Monday, December 31, 2012

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2012: The Gator Bowl - A Special New Year's Gift from SEC Guy

Hey Loyal Readers,

As you probably read, our dear moderator and B1G are doing the "heavy lifting" on the bowl games this season, but here at the Mansion we couldn't let the best time of year go without giving our fans a Festivus Miracle! Not to mention, when I told the SEC Queen Bee I wasn't writing any bowl game blogs she correctly pointed out that, in her words, "All year I've had to read about Drake bleeding Dark Blue and Yellow which worries me since he might infect others with the dreaded affliction of being average and not living up to the hype, NV Nole actually posted something during rivalry week that the ACC could compete against the obviously superior SEC, this dude B1G may or may not actually exist since he was out of commission all year and then suddenly reappeared, and CyClown was like Charlie Brown's teacher..."wah, wah, wah" all year about how the Little Tweleve, or whatever they're called, are a good conference. I wonder if his face hurts from walking around with 'Bitter Beer and My Conference Sucks' face all day? Anyway, for your fans, for the SEC, for humanity - you have to write something!"

And with that, I had no let's get to it, Productive Sweatpants style.......

A little rap to get this party started:
The When/Where:
The Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, FL, January 1st, 2013 12:00 pm ET, ESPN

The Who:
Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4 SEC) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten)

The Why:
The Gator Bowl gets the fourth pick of Big Ten teams and pits them agains the sixth pick of SEC teams. Said another way, Big Ten, take one of your top teams and let's pit it against an average SEC team since that might, and I repeat might, lead to a competitive game. And somehow people still make the argument that the Big Ten is relevant. Although these are the same people that argue the band Hanson, Blimpie subs, My Space, and anything Drake says are still relevant.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:

Northwestern comes in to this game hoping to finally get a bowl win for the first time since 1949. Yep, that's right, the last time they won a bowl game the US was just a few years in to living like the families on Pleasantville...where everything was, you know, pleasant. The Wildcats do score 31.5 points per game and have the 14th ranked rushing attack in the nation at 231 yards per game. They only pass for 167 yards per game (112th) but hey - look at Pat Fitzgerald, he has on sunglasses and 50 laminated pages clipped to his belt!

Mississippi State, meanwhile, started the season 7-0 before dropping 4 of 5 down the stretch. Statistically, they are pretty "middle of the road" across the board, ranking 50th in the nation in passing yard, 87th in rushing yards, 56th in points scored, and 28th in points against.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
Mississippi State is in the SEC. Northwestern isn't even on the semester system (look it up - they plan their school year by "quarters"). Not to mention Elvis is from Mississippi. And you don't mess with the King.

The Vegas Edge:
You may not believe it, but Northwestern went 11-1 ATS this year. Yep, you read that right. Meanwhile, MSU was an even .500 at 6-6. That said, MSU is a 2 point favorite going in to this game and I think that speaks to the fact that the Big Ten was horrible (yes horrible) this year and the SEC continues it's roll as the preeminent conference in the land. Unless you think Wisconsin belongs in a BCS game. Of course, if you do, I would remind you of the outcome of this game.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
Northwestern will put up a fight, Cain Kolter will do his thing and Pat Fitzgerald will really try to win a bowl game for the Wildcats for the first time in 100 years. I just don't see it happening. Call it intuition, call it the fact that I watched MSU play this year and I know they're a good team or call it my memory of the Bulldogs absolutely destroying Denard and Big Blue a couple years, I don't think the streak ends this year for the squad in purple. The SEC continues it's domination of the weaker conferences (which is all conferences) on their march toward a 7th straight national championship. And if that sounds like hyperbole - it's not, it's the truth (and yes Drake, hyperbole really is a word).

Mississippi State 34 - 21

Happy New Year everybody - I hope you all have as much fun and laughter ringing in the New Year as we will here at the Mansion!  

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