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WRNL Bowl-a-Thon: Round 9

The games are getting better. The insight and

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Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl

Wednesday, December 31th at 12:30 PM ET. Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA. ESPN

(9) Mississippi Rebels (9-3, 5-3 SEC) @ (6) TCU Horned Frogs (11-1, 8-1 Big XII)

Line: TCU -3.5

The Peach Bowl gets a facelift in the new age college football by getting a selection of At-Large teams that just missed a spot in the four team playoff. This year's selection includes an Ole Miss team that started strong but faded down the stretch, finishing 5th in the SEC, and TCU, whose wakeup in Waco left it sharing the title of "One True Champion" with the Bears. This marks the Rebels' 36th bowl game and the 30th for TCU.

The Numbers:

Offensively, Ole Miss was solid, but not great. They finished 58th in scoring offense after averaging 30.4 ppg. They were 61st in rushing, 30th in passing and 38th in total offense. Their FEI+ offense ranking was 21st. Ranking 1st in scoring defense after allowing just 13.8 ppg, they were decidedly better on that side of the ball. The Rebels finished 29th in run, 16th in pass and 13th in total defense. Again FEI+ loved them and had them 3rd amongst FBS teams.

TCU, a team traditionally strong on the defensive side of the ball, developed some serious firepower on offense with the addition of Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie as co-Offensive Coordinators. Led by Junior Quarterback, Trevone Boykin, TCU finished with the 15th ranked scoring offense putting up a gaudy 46.8 ppg. They ran it well (37th) but were more comfortable passing finishing 7th. All of that was good for 4th in total offense averaging 542.8 ypg. On defense they ended the season 15th in scoring defense (20.3 ppg), 13th against the run, 87th against the pass and 34th in total defense. Their FEI+ rankings for O and D were 20th and 6th respectively.

One Random Fact:

Did you know the "A" in Chick-fil-A is supposed to represent high quality. A...huh...

The Vegas Edge:

Ole Miss finished the year 7-4-1 ATS and 2-9 against the total. TCU was very good at 10-2 ATS and 8-4 against the total. As a dog less the 6.5 Ole Miss finished 3-0 where TCU went 2-1 as the favorite of the same amount. That said TCU was 8-1 ATS against teams with a winning record. The total on this game is 56.

The Sweatpants Verdict:

I like this game a lot. I think it's going to be really good. I love how Gary Patterson adapted his offensive philosophy. And boy how that has paid off for TCU. This should be a really good game but I think TCU will have something to prove. TCU 34 - 30.

CyClown Says:

The Big XII has disappointed me this Bowl Season, and sadly, the SEC has been nothing but impressive.


Still, E-F-F the S-E-C

TCU 60 - Ol Miss 3

Vizio Fiesta Bowl

Wednesday, December 31th at 4:00 PM ET. University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ. ESPN

(20) Boise State Broncos (11-2, 7-1 MW) @ (10) Arizona Wildcats (10-3, 7-2 Pac-12)

Line: AZ -3

It's an off year for the Fiesta bowl as a semifinal in the playoffs so instead they get to select from the best of the rest. Boise heads to this, their 15th bowl game, by finishing as the top "non-big 6" team.  Arizona was the runner up in the Pac-12 and finds their way to their 20th bowl game.

The Numbers:

Boise finished the year in fairly normal fashion. Averaging 39.7 ppg (9th) they were the 31st, 26th and 14th ranked offense in run, pass and total offense. On defense more of the same, good not great. Their defense ended 65th in scoring giving up 26.5 ppg and were the 36th, 62nd and 40th ranked rush, pass and total defense.

Arizona had its best season under Rich Rod (being a Michigan fan, this hurt me until yesterday). Finishing as the 28th ranked scoring defense (34.8 ppg), they were the 46th, 28th and 27th run, pass and total offense. Defensively they were meh to not so great. They finished 73rd in scoring allowing only 27.5 ppg. Against the run they were 74th and just 121st against the pass good for 103rd in total defense.

One Random Fact:

Vizio's CEO and founder, William Wang, survived a plane crash in 2000.

The Vegas Edge:

Neither team was a "sure thing" this season. Boise finished 7-6 ATS while Arizona finished 5-8. And, the Wildcats were just 6-14 ATS against teams with a winning record. The total on this game is 68. Thinking the over? Not so fast my friends. Although Boise went 9-4 against the total, Arizona was just 4-9. And both team combined to go 5-14-1 against the total in their last 10 December games.

The Sweatpants Verdict:

Arizona has got me a few times this season. It's a thing I still have for Rich Rod, I'm sure. But not this time! I think this is going to be a good game, but I think Boise keeps it pretty close. Arizona 34 - 33.

CyClown Says:

Blah, blah, blah, blah, Boise.

Capital One Orange Bowl

Wednesday, December 31st at 8:00 PM ET. Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL. ESPN

(7) Mississippi State Bulldogs (10-2, 6-2 SEC) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-3, 6-2 ACC)

Line: MSU -6.5

Tied for second oldest bowl in the land, the Orange is also off rotation this year and features two teams who were College Football Playoff wannabes. After spending a few weeks as the nation's #1 team, the Bulldogs finished 3rd in the SEC to make their 19th bowl appearance. Georgia Tech finished 2nd in the ACC after falling to FSU in the ACC championship game. The Jackets are heading to their 42nd bowl game all-time.

The Numbers:

As I'm sure you have heard, Mississippi State was pretty good this season. Finishing 15th in scoring offense (37.2 ppg), they were the 20th ranked rush, 36th ranked pass and 9th ranked total offense this season. Their defense looked as if it was a bend but don't break outfit. The 10th ranked scoring defense finished allowing an average of 19.4 ppg and were 25th against the run but just 125th against the pass. All that was good for 81st in total defense. Their FEI+ ranking was a very good 9th on the year.

You should know what Georgia Tech was all about by now. Their triple option attack was good for 37 ppg or 18th in scoring offense. They were the 3rd ranked rushing and 122nd ranked passing offense in 2014. Those numbers placed them 22nd in total offense, but FEI+ loved the Jackets and had them as the #1 ranked offense (time to reconsider the triple option in Ames?). On defense they were mediocre allowing 25.1 ppg (52nd). They were 71st against the run, 67th against the pass and 65th in total defense.

One Random Fact:

Those annoying cow bells are because a damn cow wandered on the field during a Miss St vs Ole Miss game in the 30s. The Bulldogs won the game that day and have rang those effing bells ever since.

The Vegas Edge:

MSU went 7-5 ATS this year with GT going 9-4. MSU is 9-3 ATS against teams with a winning record. GT has gone 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games. The total for this one is 61.5. MSU went 5-7 and GT went 7-6 against the total this season.

The Sweatpants Verdict:

I think MSU had a nice season. I also think it's hard to prepare for the Jackets offense. I like the Bulldogs to win this game; I'm just not sold on the cover. Miss St 35 - 31.

CyClown Says:

As much as I hate to admit it, the SEC has been impressive during the bowl games so far. So has, however, the ACC. I'm not sure they get the credit they deserve as a conference and have seemingly been a thorn in the side of the SEC, sweeping their late season conference contests that included Georgia Tech's win over Georgia. I'm taking Tech and the points in this game.