Saturday, December 28, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: Russell Athletic Bowl

Louisville used the Staples button to schedule this year. 

The When/Where:
Saturday, December 28th at 6:45 p.m. EST. Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL. ESPN

The Who:
Miami Hurricanes (9-3, 5-3 ACC) vs. #18 Louisville Cardinals (11-1, 7-1 American)

The Why:
The Russell Athletic Bowl has had more changes than Oregon’s uniforms. Originally it was the Blockbuster Bowl. Then it was Carquest, Tangerine, Mazda, Champs Sports and now the Russell Athletic Bowl. In 2001, the game moved from Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami to Orlando. Its run by the same people who do the Capital One Bowl.

Louisville pretty much played no one- the 105th ranked schedule. Okay, they did lose to UCF who won the American Athletic Conference and are going to a BCS Bowl. But that’s it. E. Kentucky? FIU? Ohio? Cupcake City, baby! I believe this is known as scheduling for bowl eligibility.

Miami lost three straight games in the middle of the year to Florida State, Virginia Tech and… Duke? I’ll tackle Duke later; but the Canes do not really own an impressive victory. They finished in a three way tie for second place in the Coastal division.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:

This should be a fun one with stars on both sides of the ball. Next year, these two will be conference foes in the ACC. (I think they were both in the Big East back in the day, but honestly, I don’t remember.)

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater was a pre-season Heisman candidate, but as I mentioned…they didn’t play anyone. Which make his numbers (3500+ yards, 28 tds, 4 ints) a little less impressive. He is likely playing his final collegiate game. The Cards average 35 ppg, good for 29th in FBS.  The Defense was 2nd nationally overall and against the run (hint: they didn’t play anyone).

Miami’s QB is no slouch. Stephen Morris threw for 2,868 yards 21 tds and 12 ints. Al Golden’s offense scored 35.9 ppg, good enough for 26th nationally. The Hurricane defense gave up 26 ppg, but were shredded by Florida State. Good news, they are playing Louisville, not Florida State.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
Many of my loyal readers know that I spent a year in Coral Gables working for the Miami Athletic Department. In fact, one of the guys I worked with is now the Athletic Director. So I have an old-school tie to the Canes. Ask me sometime about when Leonard Hamilton wanted me to change the date of Passover or how my car broke down every month like clockwork or the much-fabled second job selling shoes at a Sears in S. Miami. Ah, good times. Kinda.

The Vegas Edge:
Louisville is a 3-point favorite.  Point total is 57. Louisville has been favored by double digits in every game it played this year, expect for the final- an overtime thriller with Cincinnati.

The Sweatpants Verdict
Louisville has not played anyone. Miami has talent, but I highly doubt they care much about whatever this bowl is called this year. That all adds up to a bunch of offense and whoever scores lasts wins. Tune in to this one, as it could be wild.

Miami 41 Louisville 40

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