Thursday, December 27, 2012

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2012: Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

The Gopher's are seriously in a bowl game?

The When/Where:
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX, December 28th, 2012, 9:00 pm ET, ESPN

The Who:
Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-6, 2-6 B1G) @ Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5, 4-5 Big XII)

The Why:
Typically the best barometer to use for those of us that like to debate the quality of the two leagues, the Car Care bowl normally takes the number six team from both the B1G and the Big XII. But since the B1G is minus two of it's top teams you get the 9th team in the league vs the 7th from the Big XII. And believe me that's a stark difference this year.

Minnesota enters just is 15th bowl game all time. Which was kind of a surprise to me until I remembered its Minnesota. And as you might have guessed, they are 5-9 in those games. Tech on the other hand is headed to its 34th bowl game where they also have a not so sterling 12-21-1 record.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Minnesota was afraid to play offense this season. They are the 114th ranked total offense, 81st ranked rushing offense, 108th ranked passing offense and the 99th ranked scoring offense. And they were not efficient. So they tried to win with defense. "Tried" being the opportune word. They are the 29th ranked total defense, 77th rush D, 11th pass defense and 38th scoring defense. Not bad until you remember what the B1G offenses looked like this year.

Tech continued it's tradition of excellent offensive numbers and pedestrian defensive numbers. The second ranked passing offense lead the way for the 12th total and 17th scoring O. Defensively they were decent, ranking 39th in total, 75th in rushing and 22nd passing. The trouble is they are the 91st ranked scoring defense. Beware the red zone and Big XII offenses.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
I love that gopher from Caddy Shack. Yes sir, I sure do. 

The Vegas Edge:
Tech is a 13 point favorite and the over/under is 55.5. Which okay. Neither team was great in conference play. I'll give the Big XII the nod this season as the better of the two and therefore the edge to Tech. Neither team was great ATS either going 5-7 and 6-6 respectively. The confidence booster here is that Tech was 4-0 against non winning teams and Minny was 1-4 against winning teams. Add in that Tech is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 as a fav of 10.5 or more and that the Gophers are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 as a dog, and it helps the decision along.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
Normally I wouldn't back a team that was a double digit favorite and just lost their head coach. But, I think this is different. Klingsbury is now the head man at his alma mater and will want to make a statement. This is a great stage for him to kick off his tenure with a bang. Also, Tech fans travel well, and this is basically a home game for them. What makes me a little nervous is all the time this young Gopher's team has to prepare. Nervous, but not sold. I don't think they'll have that much time to mature and figure out how to stop this offense. And I'm not really sure they'll score either. Stick with Tech and maybe look at the over.

Tech 45 - 27

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