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All selections, analysis and thoughts will be posted on the Bowl Express Thread
SPOOKY EXPRESS BOWLING FOR DOLLARS SELECTION AND ANALYSIS THREAD BBVA Compass Bowl
Pittsburgh vs. SMU
Saturday, January 7, 1:00 pm
The Pitt Panthers have ex-Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst coming in to take over the head coaching duties, and even though Jones has been rumored to other coaching vacancies around college football, SMU head coach June Jones says he's happy where he's at. The Pittsburgh Panthers finished last season with a very mediocre 6-6 record and needed a 33-20 win against Syracuse to become bowl eligible. The Panthers were rarely blown out in those six losses however, including a three point loss to the Irish, and a four point loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Panthers don't exactly light up the scoreboard with the 69th ranked scoring offense in the nation scoring just over 25 points per game on average. Pitt runs a balanced offense, too bad neither the ground game nor the passing attack is all that potent. The Panthers secondary will be tested in this matchup against Jones and his SMU Mustang and the secondary for the Panthers has been exploited at times this season allowing over 233 yards per game through the air.
The SMU Mustangs finished a respectable 7-5, earning a spot against the Panthers in the BBVA Compass Bowl. SMU fell in week one to the Texas A&M Aggies, but the Mustangs rebounded nicely and rattled off five straight wins, including a shocking overtime victory against the TCU Horned Frogs. The offense for the Mustangs can move the ball, but that hasn't always translated into points for the 'Stangs as SMU is averaging just 25.7 points per game - 70th in the nation. As you can probably imagine, with June Jones calling the shot the Mustangs gain most of their yardage via the passing game. The defense has been outright bad at times this season.
The point total is set pretty high on this one as the public's perception feels a strong passing game against a mediocre secondary should turn into a lot of points. Both the Panthers and the Mustangs have been coming in below the number lately and I think that trend may continue in the BBVA Compass Bowl with the Under although I will wait until closer to game time to make a final decision. I have this game at about a pick em with maybe SMU winning by a point. As posted with the power numbers earlier I had SMU grabbing the 6 points which looked much better than it is now. But still have to take the points and run.