They’ll Get Better Eventually

December 21, 2010

Thus far, it seems as if one team is showing up ready to play in these bowl games, while the other team must have had too much to eat at the team banquet the night before (or, too much partying on Bourbon Street, for all you Ohio fans). To kick off the bowl season this past Saturday, we were treated to three blowouts. Although I’m not overly surprised (in years past, there have been numerous early bowl blowouts), I hope that the games are more exciting before we hit Christmas.

Although the games haven’t been much to watch, I am proud to say that I haven’t completely fallen behind in my College Bowl Mania group after the first weekend. One thing that I did notice about this year’s version of the game is that they do not include people’s overall record in picking the games, nor do they show how many possible points you can end up with. That’s a little disappointing, but I guess they are pulling out all the stops to get people to actually watch the Bowl.

For the next few days, only one bowl game per night will be played. Here is my pick for the December 21st bowl game.

Beef O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl
Southern Mississippi vs. Louisville

This bowl game, like many of the other early season bowl matchups, is a toss-up. Louisville is likely ecstatic to even be playing in a bowl game, after being picked by some (this author included) to finish last in the Big East. Their reward? A trip to St. Petersburg, where they get to play one of the more underrated programs in Southern Mississippi.

Southern Miss is no stranger to postseason play. This is their ninth straight season playing in a bowl game, and their seventeenth consecutive winning season. In order to get back on the winning side in bowl games, they’re going to need to pound the ball against Louisville. The Cardinals have one of the better defenses in the Big East, but have a problem stopping the run. If Southern Miss can establish the running game, it may be a long night for Louisville.

Like Southern Miss, Louisville will want look to get the running game going early. Running back Bilal Powell is one of the better runners in college football, and will look to make the most of his first action in postseason play. However, it will be a tough task for Powell; Southern Miss is no slouch on defense, and their run defense is the unit’s strength.

I have learned from past experience that it is wise to take the team from the stronger conference in games like these. However, I think that Southern Miss has the defense capable of containing Powell, and will have their way with Louisville’s defense on the other side of the ball. Additionally, it is arguable whether the Big East is really that much stronger than C-USA anyway. At any rate, I’m confident that this game will be better than the first three. I have Southern Miss for 11 points in the College Bowl Mania game.

Final Score: 27-21 Southern Miss

– K. Becks


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