Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: Outback Bowl

The over/under on times this is shown during the game is 8.

The When/Where:

Wednesday, January 1st at 1 p.m. EST. Tampa, FL. ESPN.

The Who:

Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4, 5-3 B1G) vs. Louisiana State Tigers (9-3, 5-3 SEC)

The Why:

The Bowl used to be called the Hall of Fame Bowl but in 1995 they removed all pretense and called it the Outback Bowl for Outback Steakhouses. Idea: Why not move this bowl to the real Outback in Australia? That would be a reward for both teams. We could also see who really supports their team.

The Iowa Hawkeyes recovered from a 4-8 season last year with wins over Michigan and Nebraska in their final two games. That allowed the Hawkeyes to be a more attractive bowl option.  The Hawkeyes loss to Northern Illinois at the outset of the season, but that turned out to be an okay loss.

LSU only lost to Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss. Strangely they beat Texas A&M and Auburn. They finished third in the SEC West and are playing in their 14th consecutive bowl.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Iowa is a typical Big Ten team. They will try to beat you with defense and an offense so boring that you will need to wake yourself up in the mid-second quarter. That’s how Kirk Ferentz likes it and it has worked well for him. Jake Rudock is a sophmore who has Hawkeye fans excited about next season. They Hawks will pound it with Mark Weismann and Damon Bullock.

The Defense is led by a trio of Senior linebackers playing their final game. James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens rank in the top 10 of B1G tacklers. The defense is in the top 20 for points per game, 18, and yards per game, 302.

LSU is without its quarterback Zack Mettenberger. True Freshman Anthony Jennings will try to keep the offense humming (37 ppg, 465 ypg). He will have weapons to use in the country’s best pass catcher, Odell Beckham, Jr., and WR Jarvis Landry. The ground attack may be key with RB Jeremy Hill who averages 6.8 yp carry needing a big day to keep the Iowa defense honest.

LSU is a good SEC defense. Les Miles’ squad has only given up 22 ppg. They held Johnny Manziel to 10 points and Auburn to 21. They are licking their chops against 81st offense in the country.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:

Stop it.

Get ready to see the Drew Tate to Warren Holloway over and over again. The epic end of the 2005 Capitol One Bowl featured a desperation 56 yard touchdown pass to end the game the only other time these two teams met. Its pretty clear someone in the LSU secondary had the wrong call.

The Vegas Edge:

LSU is a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 49. The Hawks normally struggle on offense. You have to believe a true freshman QB is going to have a tough go of it. The under is the best play here.

The Sweatpants Verdict

Low scoring, defensive effort. LSU probably has enough other weapons to overcome their QB. Going with my head and not my heart. I hope I'm wrong and they play "In heaven there is no beer" all night long.

LSU 24  Iowa 10.

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