Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2011: Poinsettia Bowl

San Diego!

The Where and When:
7th Annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, December 21st, 5:00 p.m. – ESPN

The Who:
TCU Horned Frogs (10 – 2 Mountain West Champions) versus Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8 – 4 Western Athletic Conference Champions)

The Why:
Even with TCU and Tech being conference champions I would expect to see a lot of empty seats for this game. Historically, the Poinsettia Bowl has done well when they were able to secure Navy’s participation, but I just don’t see a lot of enthusiasm from TCU fans who are on the heels of a Rose Bowl appearance last season. Also, let’s face it, Louisiana Tech plays in the same conference as Hawaii, so if you are a fan and want to take a trip I think that is the one you scrimp and save for.

I guess the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Bureau let the Las Vegas Bowl Committee know that they preferred the Mountain West Conference runner up Boise State over the actual champion TCU. Who am I to say what is better economically for the host cities? But, I think Vegas got the best of San Diego in this selection process.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
The Bulldogs will needs to dig deep defensively if they want to stay in this game. They bring in the 55th ranked total defense against the Horned Frog’s 28th ranked total offense. TCU quarterback Casey Pachall threw for 24 touchdowns this season while only throwing 6 picks and will be looking to add to those numbers versus the 96th ranked passing defense.

The one thing going for Tech is their ability to take away the ball on defense. The Bulldogs rank 11th nationally in turnover margin and will need this trend to continue to be competitive against TCU. The ball hawking Bulldog defense is led by Senior Adrien Cole with 121 tackles and who was the WAC defensive player of the year.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
TCU is one year removed from playing with the big boys in the Rose Bowl and they are heading to the Big 12 next season. This will be a business trip for TCU where they will want to solidify that they deserve to be in the Big 12 and maybe even compete for a title in the next few years. A loss to a WAC team would be a huge step back for this program. Plus, as I mentioned earlier it cannot sit well with them that they were passed over by the Las Vegas Bowl for a team they beat, so there may be a little bit of feeling disrespected on TCU’s part.

Vegas Edge:
TCU is favored by 11 in this game and the over/under is 55.5. Horned Frogs are probably a good bet at 11, but the over is very attractive as well. Both of these schools recruit tremendous athletes and with the extra month of practice look for the offenses to perform well.

Sweatpants Verdict:
I have to go with TCU even with Tech having defeated an SEC team this year (Ole Miss - 27 - 7). This season was a disappointment for TCU, but this game will be their stepping stone to a Big 12 schedule next year. Look for the Horned Frogs to win this one along the lines of 42 – 21.

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