Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Bowl Previews: Part VIII

Part VIII of our bowl previews. Part VII was yesterday.

#14: BBVA Compass Bowl (January 8, 2011)
Pittsburgh Panthers (7-5, 5-2 Big East) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (6-6, 2-6 SEC)
GUGS: 52.8

Eddie: Every time I see the name for this bowl game, I think of Trey Parker and Matt Stone.  (32) Pittsburgh is the second least consistent offensive team in the country at 42.2 +/- 39.7 PPH.  (43) Kentucky is more consistent, but sits 0.2 PPH behind Pittsburgh, offensively.  The Wildcats' Achilles heel is their completely lack of defense.  The Panthers hold a 6.7 PPH defensive advantage that should lead them to a 28-24 victory with 66.8% confidence.
Justin: I'm glad Eddie went there with the movie reference, because it means I can pretend I had to look it up to know what he was talking about. Both the (27) Panthers and (53) Wildcats are relatively good teams with no obvious deficiencies on offense or defense. Pitt as a 2.1 PPH advantage on offense and 3.0 PPH advantage on defense, so they're the slight favorites here. The catch is that both of these teams play slow -- don't expect more than about 160 plays in this game -- so a freak turnover or tipped pass could alter the result. Barring the unexpected, Pitt are 2-to-1 favorites, should be able to get and maintain a lead over the Wildcats and ride that to a 35-31 victory.

#13: Independence Bowl (December 27, 2010)
Air Force Falcons (8-4, 5-3 MWC) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-6, 4-4 ACC)
GUGS: 53.6

Justin: From a game where there's a clear favorite to one with no favorite, we have the (43) Falcons against the (50) Yellow Jackets. This will be another slow game but it will be close. The Yellow Jacket offense isn't as explosive as it was last year, and its already-problematic defense has slipped as well. Air Force doesn't have the offensive firepower of the Yellow Jackets, but their defense is much more stingy. Similar to last year's Orange Bowl, this will be a test of the Yellow Jacket offense against a superior defense. Also similar to last year's bowl game, TFG says that the Yellow Jackets come out worse for the wear, but this time it'll be much closer. Air Force is a 1-point favorite and only 53.4% likely to win. This will be a grind'em-out game that will thrill traditionalists.
Eddie: It's a shame that this game is played on my anniversary because it's one of the games I'm most interested in watching.  (41) Georgia Tech and (46) Air Force play a Cro-Magnon brand of football that produces consistent offensive results.  The Yellow Jackets hold a slight 2.8 PPH offensive advantage, but Air Force holds a slight 1.5 PPH defensive advantage.  The numbers say this game should be extremely close with a 28-27 Georgia Tech at only 53.3% confidence.

#12: Outback Bowl (January 1, 2011)
Florida Gators (7-5, 4-4 SEC) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten)
GUGS: 54.2

Eddie:  (16) Florida hasn't been very good this year thanks to their inability to reshape their offense around John Brantley, but (42) Penn State has been downright awful offensively.  As bad as Florida has been, they still hold a 7.9 PPH advantage over the Nittany Lion offense.  Penn State has even lost its defensive prowess that has carried them through rough offensive stretches.  Florida holds a 5.6 PPH defensive advantage over the once-awesome Penn State D.  All the numbers say that Florida wins decisively, 31-20, with 75.8% confidence.
Justin: TFG has been pretty inaccurate about Florida so far this year, as it tends to do when a team undergoes a drastic transformation from one year to the next. These Gators are down 5.4 PPH on offense this year and up 3.6 PPH on defense; for those of you keeping track at home, that's a 9.0 PPH shift in the wrong direction over the course of one year. Penn State has had a similar 6.3 PPH shift since last year, but neither team has been particularly predictable. My computer promises me it's put all that in the past, though, and it's going to do right by me this time. I'm skeptical, but the prediction is Florida by 5 as 2-to-1 favorites.

Home Visitors Odds Home Visitors Odds
(53)Kentucky31 (27)Pittsburgh35 65.2 (43)Kentucky24 (32)Pittsburgh28 66.8
(50)Georgia Tech32 (43)Air Force33 53.4 (41)Georgia Tech28 (46)Air Force27 53.3
(13)Florida32 (31)Penn State27 66.7 (16)Florida31 (42)Penn State20 75.8