Thursday, December 29, 2011

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2011: Valero Alamo Bowl

The Where and When:
Valero Alamo Bowl, Alamodome, San Antonio, TX, Thursday December 29th, 9:00 ET ESPN/ESPN3

The Who:
Washington Huskies (7-5, 5-4 PAC 12) vs (12) Baylor Bears (9-3, 6-3 Big 12)

The Why:
Traditionally the Alamo Bowl accepts the second choice PAC 12 team and the third choice Big 12 team. With Oregon in the Rose Bowl, Stanford as an at large in the Fiesta bowl and USC being punished in the corner, Washington, with it's fourth place finish, was the de-facto recipient of the Alamo invite. This is their second bowl in row and 32nd bowl all time.

Baylor met it's require finishing third in the Big 12. This game is also the second in two years for the Bears. This also marks their 18th bowl game all time. The is their second trip to the Alamo Bowl.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Washington comes into this game a fairly pedestrian team offensively, which is no surprise after losing QB Jake Locker to the NFL. SO QB Keith Price has done a nice job in his first season and commands the 52nd ranked passing attack and an offense that puts up 31.5 ppg and averages 392.3 ypg. They are fairly balanced and have actually run more than they've passed, but it's close to half and half.

Defensively they are dreadful. The Huskies are 98th in score allowing 33.3 ppg. They allow 426.3 ypg (94th). They are somewhat average against the run at 55th, but terrible against the pass at 116th.

This is all music to Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III's ears. You see, RGIII brings with him the 2nd ranked total offense, 7th ranked scoring offense, 17th ranked rushing attack and 5th ranked passing attack into the game. To say that he has to be licking his chomps is probably an understatement. This game should raise his already high draft stock if he chooses to bail early for the NFL.

The good news for Washington; Baylor is worse defensively than they are. They rank in triple digits in all five categories: 109th scoring, 102 rushing, 112 passing and 114th in total. So I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about it.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
Did you know that Baylor is a religious school? Me either. But apparently it is. That worries me because if God is on their side watch out. And Huskies are my favorite dogs. I don't go to church so I'm gonna stick with the Huskies.

Vegas Edge:
This line was set at Baylor -10 and hasn't budged. And with good reason. Baylor went 5-0 down the stretch. They went 4-2 against winning teams and 7-1 against unranked opponents. Washington aided in that line by finishing 2-3 and going 0-4 against ranked teams. Baylor is 8-3 this year ATS and Washington went 7-5. Not sure I'd give an edge to either there. It should be no surprise that this has the highest O/U at 79.5. And honestly I think that might be too low.

Sweatpants Verdict:
Baylor just looks way too good here. I mean they played the harder schedule, they're facing a dreadful defense and they have the Heisman winner. I've heard a lot about the Heisman Curse and how the winners don't win their bowl games. But since 1970 the Heisman winner has gone 18-20 in bowl games. So I'm not buying it. RGIII tears apart this terrible defense and wins a shoot out. Baylor 56-39.

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