Friday, January 4, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2012: BBVA Compass Bowl

I went to a pillow fight and the BBVA Compass Bowl broke out.
The When/Where:
Saturday, January 5th at 1 p.m. EST. Birmingham, AL. ESPN.

The Who:
Pittsburgh Panther (6-6, 3-4 Big East) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (6-6, 3-5 SEC)

The Why:
There is a Saturday between New Year’s Day and the National Championship. Somehow, this was the best possible option. The Bowl features (endures might be the better word) the #9 SEC team and a member of the shrinking Big East. Pittsburgh is making its third consecutive appearance in Birmingham.

The Panthers beat Virginia Tech and Rutgers this year. They also took Notre Dame to overtime. They also lost to Youngtown State. Nevertheless, they won six games fair and square and here they are in Birmingham.

Ole Miss does not have a good win to its credit. It also doesn’t have a bad loss. They won 6 winnable games and lost 6 losable games. This is what mediocrity looks like. A 30 for 30 special in the making this Mississippi team was not.
What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
If you are looking for great offense against tough defense, I would suggest the national title game. However, if you are looking for a two very mediocre teams playing for no good reason…this game is for you.

The Ole Miss offense is squarely in the middle of the pack in every category. They throw a little more than they run. Average 30 ppg. QB Bo Wallace threw for 2,800+ yards and had 19 TDs along with 15 INTs. He also rushed for 8 more TDs. A Dewel Threat, as they say in a long Mississippi drawl. The Rebels gave up more than 28 ppg and 133 rushing ypg in the rugged SEC West.

The Panthers offense is just as pedestrian, leaning more heavily on the pass. That could be because Senior QB Tito Sunseri operates an efficient offense with over 3,000 yards passing with 19 TDs and 2 INTs. RB Ray Graham topped 1,000 yards on the ground. The Pitt defense allowed only 19.7 ppg. A top 20 ranking that may have more to do with the level of competition than the defensive talent.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
It would be easy to pick the SEC team here. BUT…did you know the SEC is 0-2 in the BBVA Compass Bowl? Did you further know that Pittsburgh beat the last SEC school to appear- Kentucky- 27-10 in 2011? Before you rush for the upset button though you might consider that Pittsburgh lost last year to SMU 28-6.

The Vegas Edge:
Ole Miss is a 3 point favorite. Over/Under is 52.
The Sweatpants Verdict:
Might be a good game to bet the first half under, I can tell you that. But Ole Miss is in the second year of rebuilding, happy to be here, close to home. Pittsburgh has to be tired of this bowl. Go for motivation.  

Ole Miss 28 Pitt 23.

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