Saturday, January 5, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2012: Bowl

I wonder if Kent St. center, Chris Anzevino, goes all Manu on his teammates over kicker, April Goss.

The When/Where: Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL, January 6, 2013, 9:00 pm ET

The Who:
(25) Kent State Golden Flashes (11-2, 8-1 MAC) @ Arkansas State Red Wolves (8-3, 7-1 Sun Belt)

The Why:
I'm over the fact that this game exists. What bothers me is that it's the game right before the MNC and on the Sunday of the first round of the NFL playoffs. Can't we play this thing in December? Makes no sense.

Anyway, the Bowl takes the winner of the Sun Belt and the #2 team from the MAC. And lookie-lookie, that's what we got. Arkansas State are the Sun Belt champs and Kent State lost to NIU in the MAC championship.

Kent State and Ark State are in just their second bowl game all-time. Both are looking for their very first post season victory as FBS teams.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Statistically this is a pretty even match up. The Flashes enter the game a little lopsided on the offensive side of the ball. They are the 71st, 15th, 114th ranked total, rush and passing offense, while racking up 34.6 ppg (31st). The Red Wolves and Gus Malzahn's spread offense has the edge here. Ranking 15th, 21st and 42nd in total, rush and passing. They put up almost two more points a game than the Flashes good for 22nd in the land.

Defense is a little more even. Kent St. comes in as the 80th, 41st, 110th and 47th ranked total, rush, pass and scoring defense. Surprisingly Arkansas St. is a little better as the 52nd, 53rd, 61st and 49th ranked team in the same categories. These teams are just about equal in scoring defense giving up 25.1 and 25.4 point per game respectively.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
So Kent State has a Freshman Walk-on kicker. And she's a girl. It's real-life Necessary Roughness. I'm going with Kathy Ireland and the Flashes!

The Vegas Edge:
The Red Wolves are the favorites in this one by 4 points. The over/under is sitting at 61. Kent St. was great for me (and others who found them early) all year long going 10-2-1 ATS on the year. Ark St. wasn't too shabby either at 8-4, but they played a bit tougher of a schedule going 3-3 vs winning teams to KSU's 4-1. Ark St. was just 0-2 verse ranked teams. But those teams were Oregon and Nebraska on the road. Not exactly NIU! Here's the key trend to consider, Ark St. is 6-0 ATS when favored by 3.5 to 10 points on the year.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
Both of these teams' head men are moving on. Gus bolted for Auburn already, but Hazell stuck around for this game and will then split for Purdue. I always have a tough time backing a team missing their head coach in a bowl game. That said, they were in this situation last year when Hugh Freeze got the head gig at Ol Miss. Hopefully they learned from that experience.

I thought Hazell did a great job this season with Kent St. I rode them pretty much all year. And the MAC has dominated The Belt in the Bowl season thus far going 2-0. But, I think the Arkansas St. gets revenge for the conference here. I think these teams are similar defensively but the Red Wolves have the advantage on the offensive side of the ball. Should be a good one, but look for Ark St. to bring home the bacon.

Ark St. 35 - 30

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