Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 Bowl Previews: Part II

Part II of our bowl preview. Part I was yesterday.

#32: New Mexico Bowl (December 18, 2010)
Brigham Young Cougars (6-6, 5-3 MWC) vs. UTEP Miners (6-6, 3-5 C-USA)
GUGS: 31.6

Eddie:  This one is going to get real ugly, real quick.  (54) BYU isn't a great team, but they're better than their 6-6 record indicates.  Their offense is potent, albeit inconsistent at 31.2 +/- 27.7 PPH.  This is particularly bad for (93) UTEP and their 6.4 +/- 29.2 PPH defense.  BYU should cut through UTEP's defense at a remarkable 24.3 PPH pace.  UTEP simply will be unable to keep up with that pace.  It may look close at the half, but BYU should cruise to a 41-20 victory with 81.8% confidence.
Justin: (42) BYU did well in-conference, but went a horrible 1-3 OOC. Losses to (18) Florida State and (28) Nevada are excusable, but a loss to (97) Utah State is not. The Cougars are a far cry from the team that defeated Oregon State last year, but should have enough to handle (95) UTEP. The Miners went 3-1 OOC, but two of those victories were against (116) New Mexico and (120) New Mexico State. TFG prefers good losses to bad wins, and BYU has a net efficiency of +2.5 PPH compared to UTEP's -7.2 PPH. TFG doesn't see this as a contest and has BYU as better than 3-to-1 favorites to win by more than a touchdown.

#31: New Orleans Bowl (December 18, 2010)
Ohio Bobcats (8-4, 6-2 MAC) vs. Troy Trojans (7-2, 6-2 Sun Belt)
GUGS: 33.8

Justin: This game is going to be close, but due to it having two thoroughly mediocre teams -- the (74) Trojans and (78) Bobcats -- playing an average-scoring game. Neither team has a positive net efficiency, so this will likely come down to whichever team makes the fewest mistakes. If you're looking for a bowl game that will be close and possibly exciting, but not particularly flashy or skilled, this may be the bowl game for you. Troy wins this coin toss by 1, 34-33.
Eddie:  (90) Troy suffers from a malady that plagues nearly all the bottom quarter teams in RBA's poll -- an inconsistent defense.  The Trojans D yields 6.3 +/- 32.7 PPH.  (86) Ohio isn't especially good on that side of the ball, but the Bobcat defense should only give up 9.7 +/- 16.7 PPH.  Although Troy sports a +1.0 PPH offensive advantage, it simply can't overcome the 3.5 PPH defensive disadvantage.  Ohio wins this one with a late field goal, 31-28, with 54.3% confidence.

#30: TicketCity Bowl (January 1, 2011)
Northwestern Wildcats (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten) vs. Tech Tech Red Raiders (7-5, 3-5 Big XII)
GUGS: 41.8

Eddie:  This one is going to end very badly for (77) Northwestern.  RBA's luckiest team in the country suffered a huge loss when quarterback Dan Persa went down with an Achilles tendon injury.  The worst part is that the subsequent blowouts haven't taken a huge toll on RBA's model, yet.  That makes (45) Texas Tech's whopping +7.2 PPH offensive advantage and +6.5 PPH defensive advantage that much worse.  Even before the Persa injury, this game wasn't going to be that close, but it may very well be worse than RBA's predicted 38-24 score with 72.6% confidence.
Justin: Even though this a New Year's Day game, it just barely qualifies as a "real" bowl game. The (71) Wildcats take on the (51) Red Raiders in a tale of two teams going in opposite directions. Texas Tech is on the way down after forcing out Mike Leach, and Northwestern is on a slow trajectory upwards. The Red Raiders haven't fallen far enough to tip this one in favor of the Wildcats, though. Texas Tech has seen one of the largest year-to-year changes since Leach left, dropping nearly 7.0 PPH on offense, giving up another 2.5 PPH on defense, but playing even faster. That's right: even though the odds aren't in their favor as much, Texas Tech sped it up slightly from last year. TFG still has them as nearly 2-to-1 favorites over a Northwestern team that had seven of their games decided by 5 points or less (going 5-2); they'll need that luck to hold out against Texas Tech's projected 3-point advantage.

Home Visitors Odds Home Visitors Odds
(42)BYU34 (95)UTEP26 78.6 (53)BYU45 (95)UTEP17 81.8
(78)Ohio33 (74)Troy34 52.9 (85)Ohio34 (90)Troy27 54.3
(71)Northwestern30 (51)Texas Tech33 62.9 (75)Northwestern28 (43)Texas Tech35 72.5