Friday, December 27, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: Texas Bowl

Minnesota and Syracuse will play football like its 1903. Grab your leather helmet!

The When/Where:
Friday, December 27th at 6 p.m. EST. Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX.  ESPN

The Who:
Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4, 4-4 B10) vs. Syracuse Orangemen (6-6, 4-4 ACC)

The Why:
The Texas Bowl normally features a Big 10 and Big 12 team squaring off for recruits, steers and ten-gallon hats. This year however, the Big 12 was unable to fill its quota of teams, allowing a 6-6 Syracuse team to head south.

Minnesota beat expectations by winning 8 games. The Gophers probably wish they had early season Big 10 games against Iowa and Michigan to do over. Losses in their final two games to Wisconsin and Michigan State left a sour taste in their mouths.  Minnesota was in this bowl a year ago, losing to Texas Tech in the last minute.

Syracuse opened the season by losing to two B1G teams (both of whom Minnesota beat) but beat Boston College to make itself Bowl eligible.   

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:

The forward pass will not have its finest day in this game. Both teams prefer the run and are mirror images of one another.

Minnesota averages just over 200 yds/game on the ground, good for 34th nationally. Minnesota is 119th in the pass and averages 26 ppg. The Gophers held ground and pound Michigan State to 14 points in their last game.

Syracuse is 39th nationally in rushing with 193 yards/game on the ground.  The Orangemen are 105th in passing and average 22 ppg. Syracuse is 28th nationally against the run.

Folks, don’t watch this game unless you are liquored up, I beg you.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
It’s a Big 10 team. I’ll go with them.

The Vegas Edge:
Minnesota is a 4-point favorite with a 47.5 over/under. There is no line on how many seizures Jerry Kill will have. I’ll go with two. (Lighten up Gopher fans, if he’s going to continue to coach then he can take some ribbing.)

Look, the over is way high. Even adjusting for bowl game craziness, these two teams are going to stink up the joint.

The Sweatpants Verdict
Minnesota should cover here. They’ve played better competition and they feel like a team with something to prove. But this will not be pretty football.

Minnesota 17 Syracuse 10

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