Wednesday, December 14, 2011

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2011: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Ron “Tater Salad” White would be the grand marshal- if they had a parade.

The Where and When: Saturday, December 17th; 3:30 p.m. MST.
Bronco Stadium, Boise Idaho. ESPN

The Who: Ohio Bobcats 9-4, (6-2 MAC) vs. Utah State 7-5, (5-2 WAC).

The Why: Let’s be honest, this bowl game is like the bankrupt on the wheel of fortune. There are all sorts of wonderful places you can visit and then there is Boise, Idaho in December.

How excited is Ohio punter Paul Hershey about this bowl? Well, he tweeted: “Idaho?? Who the fuck wants to play there in December??”

But ESPN gets programming, the schools get a trip, the conferences justify their existence and wa-la…hundreds of otherwise sane people are going to Boise, Idaho a week before Christmas.

Ohio won the MAC East, but lost in the championship game. They have never won a bowl game.

The Aggies are back in a bowl for the first time since 1997 when they went to Boise, Idaho.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You: Both teams average over 30 points per game and are in the top 25 offenses in the country.

The Utah State Aggies run a fast offense which is 6th in the country in rushing attack with 277 yards on the ground per game. Running back Robert Turbin is 10th in the nation with 118.0 rushing yards per game, including seven 100-yard efforts. So, you know, that might be a problem. The Bobcat defense ranked third in the MAC, allowing 126.4 yards per game, and kept two of its last four opponents under 70. Problem solved.

The Aggies are not particularly adept at throwing the ball, but apparently they can. Adam Kennedy took over as the signal caller in November. He’s thrown 10 touchdowns and 4 picks…leading USU to a 5-0 record.

State has the WAC’s top-ranked defense, which is like being the tallest midget. Still, the Aggies have given up over 28 points per game, and over 429 yards during their winning streak.

The Ohio offense should have plenty of room to maneuver with its option-based attack. Tailback Dante Harden is the top rusher chewing up 5.5 yards a carry. Quarterback Tyler Tettleton has 600 yards rushing and 9 TDs. Tettleton though has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 26 TDs.

If you are looking for a shoot-out…this has all the makings of a big one.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern: I’ve driven through Ohio and once went through a Utah airport. So that’s a push. Bobcats are green and the Aggies are blue…so again a push. Both live in the shadow of their bigger brothers- Utah and Ohio State. I’m kind of partial to the Bobcats because Frank Solich was run out of Nebraska on a rail for…whoever that Raiders coach was.

Vegas Edge: Utah State is a 1.5 point favorite. The over/under is 58. Bobcats are 6-7 ATS and the Aggies are 6-6 ATS.

Listen, I don’t have any idea who is going to win this game. But I cannot imagine a situation in which they do not score more than 58. Skip the points and take the over.

The Sweatpants Verdict: The best guess here is probably the team that has the ball last. Neither is going to stop one another. It’ll be 41 and sunny in Boise- so no real weather issues. I think the Bobcats played a tougher schedule, but the Aggies seem to be pretty hot at the end of the year. Where is one of those Octopuses that correctly picks the winner when you need them.

I’ll go Aggies 31 Bobcats 30.

ed: There's still time to join the PS Bowl Challenge at Yahoo. The password is: sweatpants

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