Thursday, December 15, 2011

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2011: Drunk Chicks and A Football Game in New Orleans

Ah New Orleans!

The Where and When: 
Saturday, December 17th; 9:00 p.m. eastern
Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA. ESPN

The Who: 
San Diego State Aztecs (8-4, 4-3 MWC) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns(8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt).

The Why: 
LA-Lafayette is in it's first bowl game in 41 years, just a few hours from their campus, while SDSU squeaked in because Conference USA has more bowl tie-ins than they do eligible teams and the Mountain West had 5 bowl eligible teams and only 4 bowl tie-ins. If that's not a ringing endorsement I don't know what is - I can see coach Rocky Long now: "Hey guys, we're the odd man out in the MWC because nobody wants to watch u,s but fortunately C-USA is Houston, Southern Miss and a crap platter so we get to go to New Orleans and play a Sun Belt team!!"

On the bright side, I doubt the New Orleans Bowl expected to land a future BCS AQ team in SDSU (since they are slated to move to the Big East....which makes as much as sense as trying to understand Lazy Sweatpants on a Saturday at 3 a.m. while he's gorging on a Fat Burger and Fat Fries).

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
LA-Lafayette puts up about 32 points per game (good for 32nd in the country), driven primarily by a pass offense that generates 251 yards per game (40th). Meanwhile, they surrender 393 yards per game and almost 30 ppg (83rd). Additionally, a potential x-factor for the Ragin' Cajuns is that their kicker is 16-18 on the season, including 5/6 from 40+.

SDSU is led by running back Ronnie Hillman, who averages 138 yards per game and the Aztecs have rolled to a 12 and 2 record in his career when he's topped 110 on the ground. Additionally, the Aztecs are led by senior QB Ryan Lindley who hands off to Hillman a bunch of times but is also smart enough to have tallied 20 touchdowns versus only 8 interceptions. Lastly, of SDSU's 4 losses, 3 came against ranked teams (Michigan, TCU, and Boise State) - which means that either they are willing to play a tough schedule and go "anyone, anywhere, anytime" or else they just aren't good enough to compete with good teams.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
This is where it gets tough. On the one hand I camped out on the beach in San Diego and woke up to the blisteringly hot sun at 6 a.m. as I boiled lobster-style in my tent. On the other hand I've driven through Louisiana and just hoped to the heavens my car wouldn't break down (if you've seen Deliverance you know what I'm saying).

On the flip side, Tim McGraw is from Louisiana (live like you were dying my friends), I got drunk in New Orleans and ate alligator, and the state is home to one of the two best teams in the nation (since clearly the SEC is the best conference in America). But, San Diego has beautiful weather year round, it's a short trip to Mexico (tequila barato para todos!!!) and none other than the immortal Mario Lopez hails from San Diego (who doesn't love some A.C. Slater!?!?)

All that considered, my wife and I love the beach so if I ever fall into Powerball type money we'd choose the beaches of San Diego over the swamps of Louisiana.

Vegas Edge:
SDSU is a 5 point favorite, while the over/under is 58 1/2. Meanwhile, the Aztecs are 6-6 against the spread (ATS) while the Ragin' Cajuns ended the season 8-4 ATS. Not a lot going on here so I'd like to take a minute to wish everyone happy holidays - if you haven't done so already, I hope you enjoy spending all the money I won you this season. Come to think of it, I am kind of like a "fall Santa," bringing the people the gift of winning bets for 10+ weeks this fall. You're welcome can thank me by showing your holiday spirit and donating 5% of your winnings to any animal or homeless shelter out there....they're all worthy causes. And with that, on to the final verdict.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
Although LA-Lafayette will be the "home" team since the game is up the street from their campus, I'm not sure that's enough to keep them in contention. Apparently they'll be bringing about 30,000 fans to the game, but in a stadium that holds almost 80k, I'm not sure that matters. It'll still be half empty. Additionally, I think that Hillman will have a big game, Lindley will make a couple big throws, and although the Ragin' Cajuns will hang in until halftime (or maybe even through three), SDSU puts it away with a touchdown late, covers the spread and flies back to sunny southern California with a 38-24 victory (and visions of moving to the Big East dancing in their head).

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