Thursday, December 26, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: Poinsettia Bowl

Wondering what to do with your Poinsettia now that Christmas is over? The PS Blog does it all!

The When/Where:
Thursday, December 26th at 9:30 p.m. EST. San Diego, CA.  ESPN

The Who:
Northern Illinois Huskies (12-1, 8-0 MAC) vs. Utah State Aggies (8-5, 7-1 MWC)

The Why:
According to Wikipedia (yeah, I said it), the Poinsettia is a plant that’s indigenous to Central and South America. It’s named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico who brought it here in 1825.

The little brother to the Holiday Bowl, the Poinsettia Bowl used to be a championship game for service academies. In 2005, it was revived. It still has a military lineage, (Army would have been here had they secured a winning record) with Navy making multiple appearances.

This year, the Aggies of Utah State finished as the runner up to Fresno State in the Mountain West Conference and won the right to come here.  Northern Illinois thought it was going to a BCS Bowl again and then they promptly went out and dropped the MAC Championship game to Bowling Green by 20 points. Goodbye Orange Bowl, hello Poinsettia Bowl.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Jordan Lynch. Dude is good. Leads the Huskies in passing with 2676 yards and 23 tds. Also leads them in rushing with 1881 yards and 22 tds. If the Heisman were actually about the best player in college football- Jordan Lynch would have won. Slap. Take that Jameis Winston.

The Huskies are the 5th best offense in the nation by yardage. They average 41 ppg. Against MAC competition yes, but they also beat an Iowa team in Iowa City that is 8-4 and playing on New Year’s Day. This is the Huskies second appearnce in the Bowl, losing in 2006 to TCU.

Utah State plays defense. They have given up only 17 ppg. The Aggies lost their starting QB in October. They then won 5 straight with a Freshman QB, Darell Garretson. However, Garrettson may not play due to a helmet-to-helmet collision on Dec. 7th.  They also have a 1,000 yard rusher in Joey DeMartino.

This is their third straight bowl and a much better draw than the Potato Bowl the last two seasons.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
I’ve been to Northern Illinois’ campus. I used Northern Illinois as one my teams in Gamebreaker NCAA football.

Utah State…I’m not even sure where that is.  So, lets go with the Huskies, although I’m confused what a Husky has to do with Northern Illinois.

The Vegas Edge:
No surprise the Huskies are favored by 1.5 pts. Its low if you ask me. I think Northern Illinois is the better team and with the possibility of USU starting a new QB or a woosy one. The O/U is 57.

The total points have gone over in every other Poinsettia Bowl…this is the year. However, under is 5-0-1 the last six bowl years for NIU. Which trend will endure?

The Sweatpants Verdict
Having a hard time seeing anything but an NIU win. I also think it goes over.
NIU 45  USU 30.

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