Friday, December 27, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman

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They are going crazy for the Military Bowl in Annapolis.

The When/Where:
Friday, December 27th at 2:30 p.m. EST. Annapolis, MD.  ESPN

The Who:
Marshall Thundering Herd (9-4, 7-1 CUSA) vs. Maryland Terrapins (7-5, 3-5 ACC)

The Why:
The Military Bowl is presented by Northrop Grumman. As #72 on the Fortune 500 list and $25 billion in revenue, they can afford it. The game had been hosted at the venerable RFK stadium, but was moved this year to Annapolis.

As you might guess, the Military Bowl would like to invite a service academy, but alas that didn’t happen. Instead the local Maryland Terrapins will play local favorite in their final year in the ACC. The Terrapins won 3 conference games, which represented progress for Randy Edsall’s College Park team.

The Thundering Herd won Conference USA East division (quick…name the other schools in that division) but lost to Rice in the Championship game in Houston. Marshall was 6-0 at home this year. The Herd can light up the scoreboard.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:

Marshall is 7th in the nation in points scored. QB Rakeem Cato keys the offense completing 60% of his passes with 36 tds and 9 ints. It’s a balanced offense that throws for 291 yds/game and rushes for 211 yds/game.

The Terrapins will travel 27 miles to their bowl destination. Big wins against Virginia Tech and Boston College helped get Maryland bowl eligible for the first time since they won the Military Bowl in 2010. QB C.J. Brown leads an uninspiring offense that scores 26 ppg.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
There is no time like the present to start rooting for future Big 10 conference foes right? Ugh, those awful helmets and an awful football tradition. What was Jim Delaney thinking? Oh, right, television markets.

I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon in College Park when I lived in D.C. I took the Metro up there and walked around the campus…so that really seals the deal.

The Vegas Edge:
Marshall is a 2.5 pt favorite with the O/U at 61.  Each of the last 5 military bowls have gone over.  Both are mixed against the spread, but Marshall is on a 7 game over streak and Maryland is on a similar 3 game streak. Given the Marshall offense, that might be the play here.

The Sweatpants Verdict
Marshall is better by the numbers. Maryland is essentially playing at home and played in the ACC which is at least allegedly tougher than Conference USA. Lets go upset.

Maryland 32 Marshall 31.

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