Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Bowl Previews: Part V

Part V of our bowl preview. Part IV was yesterday.

#23: Hawaii Bowl (December 24, 2010)
Hawaii Warriors (10-3, 7-1 WAC) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-3, 6-2 C-USA)
GUGS: 46.9

Justin: GUGS really like this bowl because the teams are reasonably good, the score will be reasonably high, and it will extremely close. Both (52) Hawaii and (57) Tulsa are within 1.1 PPH of each other on both sides of the ball. The Warriors will have home-field advantage on this one, which traditionally has helped them out more than home-field advantage for other teams. Tulsa plays at a sightly higher pace than Hawaii, so the Golden Hurricane may choose to speed things up and see if they can get Hawaii off their game. Either way, this will be a coin toss, with TFG favoring Hawaii, 36-35.
Eddie:  RBA doesn't see this one being quite as close as TFG does.  (59) Hawaii and (64) Tulsa are relatively even offensively, separated by only 0.6 PPH.  The real difference is on defense.  One doesn't think of Hawaii and defense in the same sentence very often, but they hold a 2.9 PPH advantage over the Golden Hurricane defensively.  Adding in home field advantage, this one looks like a Hawaii victory, 38-28, with 54.4% confidence.

#22: Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl (December 21, 2010)
Southern Miss Golden Eagles (8-4, 5-3 C-USA) vs. Louisville Cardinals (6-6, 3-4 Big East)
GUGS: 47.9

Eddie: Justin will tell you I'm lying, but I have actually heard of this bowl, thanks to its ridiculous name.  (44) Louisville has been one of the RBA surprise teams of 2010.  Charlie Strong has turned the Cardinals around from being atrocious to being on the fringe of respectability, as evidenced by their 1.0 +/- 20.7 PPH defense. Their offense isn't much to write home about thanks to a variance of 34.9 PPH, but they've been able to manage.  (57) Southern Miss is more consistent on both sides of the ball but exhibits a worse production on average than Louisville.  Long-time readers know that I'm a closeted Golden Eagle fan, but it doesn't look like they're going to pull this one out.  RBA picks Louisville, 31-27, with 69.5% confidence.
Justin: I've never heard of this bowl, and neither have you (don't lie). The (48) Cardinals play slow, deliberate, and underwhelming football. In other words, they're in the Big East. The (60) Golden Eagles are a bit more uptempo, good offense/bad defense than Louisville, and are 8 points away from being 11-1. This looks to be another close one, but right now the coin toss lands in Louisville's favor. If Southern Miss can find some defense, though, they should be able to stop Louisville's anemic offense. Until then, TFG picks Louisville, 33-32.

#21: Liberty Bowl  (December 31, 2010)
UCF Knights (10-3, 7-1 C-USA) vs. Georgia Bulldogs (6-6, 3-5 SEC)
GUGS: 49.2

Justin: The (23) Bulldogs are a much better team than their 6-6 record indicates, and the (40) Knights aren't as good as their 10-3 record might show. Both teams, however, play slow; don't expect this one to break 160 plays. Georgia is tied for the 8th most efficient offense in FBS (26.5 PPH) but is being held back by a sub-par defense that allows 17.8 PPH. The Knights have a slightly better defense (16.7 PPH) but is about 6.0 PPH short on offense. This slow, grind-em-out game is going to work in Georgia's favor. TFG gives the Dawgs a slight nod, with a 35-31 win predicted at 62.7% confidence.
Eddie:  (21) Georgia is one of the most inconsistent teams in college football.  Their offensive variance is 33.9 PPH, and their defensive variance is 25.9 PPH.  When they're playing to their potential, the Bulldogs can steamroll someone.  The question is whether (61) UCF can prevent that from happening with an offense and defense that are also fairly inconsistent.  If both teams play to the mean, Georgia stomps all over UCF thanks to a 15.7 PPH offensive advantage and an 8.6 PPH defensive advantage.  RBA says Georgia rolls 38-17 with 82.9% confidence.

Home Visitors Odds Home Visitors Odds
(52)Hawaii36 (57)Tulsa35 52.5 (59)Hawaii38 (64)Tulsa28 54.4
(48)Louisville33 (60)Southern Miss.32 56.4 (44)Louisville31 (57)Southern Miss.27 69.5
(40)UCF31 (23)Georgia35 62.7 (61)UCF17 (21)Georgia38 82.8