Tuesday, January 1, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2012: Allstate Sugar Bowl

Yeah that pretty much sums it up. 


The When/Where:
Allstate Sugar Bowl, Superdome, New Orleans, LA, January 2nd, 2013, 8:30 pm ET, ESPN

The Who:
(21) Louisville Cardinals (10-2, 5-2 Big East) @ (3) Florida Gators (11-1, 7-1 SEC)

The Why:
This year's Sugar Bowl locked up the SEC team that didn't get manufactured by the media to be selected for the MNC game and didn't lose the conference title game and a BCS at large. Enter Florida who finished 3rd in the SEC and Louisville who won the Big East.

Louisville is playing in its 17th bowl game looking to move to .500 with a victory (they're 7-8-1). The Gators enter their 40th bowl game all time, where they are 20-19. 

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Offense vs Defense, bottom line. Louisville is the offense in this equation entering as the 3rd most efficient one in the country. They are the 47th, 100th, 23rd and 49th ranked total, rush, pass and scoring offense. It's basically Teddy Bridgewater being awesome. Florida, I think, has an offense. This unit enters the game as the 103rd total, 36th rushing, 118th passing and 75th scoring unit in the nation. Ehh.

But that's okay because the defense is bad ass. Florida is the top ranked efficient defense in the country. They rank 5th, 6th, 13th and 3rd in total, rush, pass and scoring. The most points they've given up was 26 to FSU. Louisville wasn't terrible here either. Coming in as the 25th, 51st, 19th and 36th ranked total, rush, pass and scoring defense.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
Red and black vs orange and blue. Cardinals vs Gators. Kentucky vs Florida. Uh, I guess I'll say that I like spring break so I'll pick Florida?

The Vegas Edge:
When the Big East rolls in to SEC country the lines open up. The Cardinals are a 14 point underdog in this one. With the O/U sitting at 45.5. Two touchdown spreads in bowl games make me nervous. But, Florida did go 7-5 ATS to Louisville's 5-7. Then figure Louisville didn't face a ranked team all season long. Not one. BIG EAST!!! Florida went 4-1 against them. The under might be worth a look here, with the hook in your favor.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
I'm with everyone else on this game. Florida is pretty good. They had a legit argument to be put in the title game. Even if Teddy Bridgewater is healthy, I'm not sure even he is enough in this one. Charlie Strong's decision to stick around was huge for the Cardinal and I'm sure he'll have his team ready to play his former squad. Even so, bowl games tend to favor good defenses as offenses are typically rusty after all the time off. So I'll stick with the dominant defense here.

Florida 31 - 12

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