jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
12/30/2012 11:54 PM

10-8-1 .553
+6 gyros


Totals leans: 11-8 .579

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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
12/31/2012 12:05 AM

Music City Bowl:
North Carolina St vs. Vanderbilt
North Carolina State (7-5) failed to meet expectations after entering 2012 with ACC title hopes, instead finishing 4-4 in conference play. Though the Wolfpack assured themselves of a third consecutive winning record after beating Boston College 27-10 on Nov. 24, coach Tom O'Brien was fired after six seasons at the helm. NC State is one of 10 bowl teams playing without its head coach. In six seasons, O'Brien was 40-35 and 22-26 in the ACC, though NC State did reach bowl games the last three seasons.

He's been replaced by Dave Doeren, who became a hot commodity for leading the Huskies to a second straight Mid-American Conference championship and a BCS bowl berth. With Doeren busy recruiting, the 59-year-old Bible, the Wolfpack's offensive coordinator, is looking forward to calling the shots.

Success could be hard to come by against a Vanderbilt team that's proven unbeatable since opening 2-4. The Commodores (8-4), who've outscored opponents by an average of 24.0 points during a six-game run, haven't taken seven consecutive games since closing their 1948 campaign with eight wins in a row. A victory in the bowl would be their ninth, matching the single-season record set most recently in 1915.

Vanderbilt should feel right at home with this game being played just a few miles from campus. The Commodores have made things difficult on opposing quarterbacks, allowing just six passing TDs and an average of 175.8 passing yards to rank in the top 10 nationally in each category. Slowing down N.C. State's Mike Glennon, though, surely won't be easy. The senior standout is projected to be one of the first signal callers taken in next year's NFL draft after leading the ACC with 3,648 passing yards and finishing second with 30 TDs.

Jordan Rodgers, Aaron's little brother is no slouch in the least, and will surely continue looking for Jordan Matthews early and often. The 6-foot-3 wideout has scored in four straight games and ranks second in the SEC with 87 receptions and 1,262 yards, a single-season school record. Running back Zac Stacy, the school's all-time leading rusher, is closing his career after rushing for 1,034 yards this season and is the No. 1 option on a team that ran the ball 59 percent of the time.

It will be strength vs. strength when Vanderbilt's 10th-ranked passing defense faces Glennon and NC State's 20th-ranked passing offense. The Commodores feel confident after stifling Bray and UT's 16th-ranked passing attack, and momentum is on Vanderbilt's side. Coach James Franklin signed a lucrative extension recently and the game will be played in Nashville against an NC State squad that is going through a coaching transition after losing three of its final five games. Lean strongly to the under 51.5 as Vandy's defense combined with the power running game will result in successful and long sustained drives.


The pick: Vanderbilt -7 (bought half)
2 gyros



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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
12/31/2012 12:17 AM

Sun Bowl:
Georgia Tech vs. USC
As September approached, Southern California was armed with high expectations, a Heisman-hopeful quarterback and a hunger to return to a BCS game. Almost four months later, all that's left in a season-long trail of disappointment is one final chance to go out on a high note - even if it is against a team with a losing record and without star Matt Barkley. After a two-year bowl hiatus due to NCAA sanctions caused by principals long gone, USC (7-5) makes its return to the postseason Monday in El Paso, Texas, where it will take on Georgia Tech (6-7) in the Sun Bowl.

While Southern California is no doubt happy to be taking the field in late December, playing in a mid-tiered bowl against a team that needed a special NCAA exemption to even be allowed to play in the postseason was not in the original plans. With Barkley back to lead a squad that was returning 19 starters and the high-profile transfer of Silas Redd from Penn State, the Trojans opened the year atop the AP poll intent on turning around a program tainted by the Reggie Bush scandal. Those high hopes hit a bump in the road with a 21-14 loss to Stanford in their third game of the season before totally coming apart following a 6-1 start.

Tough losses were compounded by significant injury. The Trojans lost a pair of back-to-back shootouts to Arizona and Oregon that saw them score 87 combined points, but give up 101. Then, after beating Arizona State and losing to UCLA, they held their own but came up short in the regular season finale against No. 1 Notre Dame - a game played without Barkley, who was sidelined by a sprained shoulder one week earlier. Considered by many to be the preseason Heisman Trophy favorite, the senior quarterback will not return to face the Yellow Jackets, effectively ending his collegiate career.

For all of his struggles - Barkley threw a Pac-12-high 15 interceptions - he was still second in the country at 3.3 touchdown passes per game. In addition, he averaged just under 300 yards with a passer rating of 157.6, each good for second in the conference. Redshirt freshman Max Wittek will be under center in Barkley's place after making his first career start against the Irish, going 14 of 23 for 186 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. All but 19 of those yards went to one of the most dangerous 1-2 punches in college football - receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.

Lee rewrote the league record book this season with an FBS-high 112 catches, 1,680 yards and 14 touchdowns en route to a unanimous All-America selection, Pac-12 offensive player of the year honors and the Biletnikoff Award. The sophomore was the only player in the conference with more TD catches than Woods (11), who had 73 receptions for 813 yards. USC's style of offense is in stark contrast to that of Georgia Tech, which is coming off a 21-15 loss to No. 13 Florida State in the ACC title game. Coach Paul Johnson's team only advanced to that game because Miami imposed a bowl ban on itself in the hopes of lessening potential NCAA sanctions.

Although they came up short, the Yellow Jackets - one of two FBS teams to run for over 4,000 yards this season - acquitted themselves nicely against the top-notch competition. The Yellow Jackets will be making their second straight postseason trip to El Paso, extending a streak to 16 consecutive seasons playing in a bowl. That run trails only Florida State (31), Florida (22) and Virginia Tech (20), but they hope to have more success this time around: Besides falling 30-27 to Utah a season ago in the same stadium, they have lost seven straight bowl games.

To break that slide, they'll no doubt have to ride their powerful ground game. Since Johnson joined the program in 2008, no FBS team has run for more yards, and his triple-option offense is as potent as it is diverse: Six players ran for more than 400 yards and three for more than 600, highlighted by Tevin Washington's 19 touchdowns. Tasked with slowing down that spread attack will be Kiffin's father, Monte, who will be on the sidelines for his last game at USC. The conservative defensive schemes of the coaching legend were heavily criticized this season, particularly after the back-to-back losses to Arizona and Oregon in which his unit gave up more than 1,300 yards.

This game has the potential to be a USC blowout and despite the long layoff combined with the Barkley injury, Lee and Woods will both have big days. The Trojans are simply is too talented for the Yellow Jackets to hang around, and I think GT's ability to run the ball will only result in limited success considering way too many weapons on the other side. Lean slightly to under 62 in this one.

The pick: USC -7 (bought half)
1.5 gryos


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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
12/31/2012 12:25 AM

Liberty Bowl:
Iowa St vs. Tulsa
Tulsa has a chance to match its single-season wins record when it makes its eighth bowl appearance in 10 years. Iowa State beat the eventual Conference USA champions in this season's opener and heads into the Liberty Bowl on Monday motivated to finish with a winning record for the first time in three years.

Tulsa (10-3) won 11 games for the only time in program history in 2008, but it gave itself an opportunity to tie that mark with an overtime victory over Central Florida in the conference title game Dec. 1. Alex Singleton's school-record 41st career touchdown, a 1-yard dive, gave the Golden Hurricane their first C-USA championship since they won the inaugural game in 2005. A rematch with Iowa State may also be appealing after the Cyclones (6-6) rallied from an early deficit for a 38-23 home win over Tulsa on Sept. 1.

The Golden Hurricane led 16-7 after the opening quarter of that game but Iowa State took command by scoring the next 24 points. Shontrelle Johnson ran for a career-high 120 yards and a touchdown in that victory while Steele Jantz passed for two TDs. Johnson, though, didn't gain more than 73 yards in any of his next 11 games and is out for this one after injuring his right knee in a practice earlier this month.

Jantz, meanwhile, was replaced by freshman Sam Richardson during a 51-23 victory at Kansas on Nov. 17, which made Iowa State bowl eligible for the third time in coach Paul Rhoads' four seasons. The Cyclones defeated Minnesota in the 2009 Insight Bowl to finish 7-6. They were 6-7 last season after losing to Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Iowa State, though, doesn't head into this bowl game with much momentum, having lost five of seven after a 4-1 start that included an upset at then-No. 15 TCU on Oct. 6.

After going 23 of 27 for 250 yards and four touchdowns against Kansas, Richardson completed only 13 of 31 passes for 162 yards - in part to due to blustery conditions - in a 31-24 loss to West Virginia on Nov. 23, although he did connect on three TDs and run for 119 yards. Tulsa junior quarterback Cody Green, a transfer from Nebraska, has nine of his 20 total touchdowns over the last four games, and the Golden Hurricane also feature a trio of potent running backs.

Singleton, Trey Watts and Ja'Terian Douglas each have topped 760 yards this season for one of the nation's top ground attacks (240.2 yards per game). Watts has a team-best 959 yards and Douglas has 857, while Singleton has scored 22 touchdowns. Iowa State likely won't have three-time All-Big 12 linebacker and captain Jake Knott to help stop those runners as he's recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Cyclones have the 113th-ranked pass defense in the FBS, allowing 279.7 yards per game, but they held Tulsa to 198 and intercepted two of Green's 49 attempts. Iowa State will try to force some more turnovers while earning its third win in five bowl games. The Cyclones are 3-8 all-time in the postseason, including a 31-30 loss to Georgia Tech in the 1972 Liberty Bowl. Tulsa had a three-game bowl win streak snapped last year with a 24-21 defeat to BYU in the Armed Forces Bowl. After winning the C-USA title in 2005, the Golden Hurricane defeated Fresno State 31-24 in the Liberty Bowl.

Seems extremely relevant that we get 3 or 4 bowl games with an adverse feel like this. I think the wrong team is favored here, and Tulsa is licking its chops to try and seek revenge. Iowa State and Tulsa have similar nicknames inspired by the weather prevalent in their respective locations. So what happens when a cyclone goes up against a hurricane? Scientifically speaking, I have no idea, but look for Tulsa to come out ahead this time around. Lean strongly to the over 51.5 and if Tulsa can take care of the ball this could turn into a clinic.

The pick: Tulsa +1.5
2.5 gyros


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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
12/31/2012 12:39 AM

Chick Fil-A Bowl:
Clemson vs. LSU
The Chick-fil-A Bowl pits strength against strength, as one of the nation's best offenses faces one of the top defenses when No. 14 Clemson and ninth-ranked LSU meet Monday night at the Georgia Dome. Both Tiger teams came into this season with high expectations after winning their respective conference titles a year ago. A last-minute loss to Alabama essentially took LSU (10-2) out of this year's SEC race, while a Clemson (10-2) setback at Florida State prevented it from playing for the ACC title. Although they each missed out on a shot for a BCS game, their pairing in Atlanta produces one of the more intriguing bowl matchups.

While LSU lost to the Crimson Tide in last season's BCS title game, Clemson was blitzed by West Virginia 70-33 in the Orange Bowl. These programs last squared off in this same bowl in 1996, when it was called the Peach Bowl, and LSU won 10-7. The only other meeting was in the 1959 Sugar Bowl, and LSU concluded a national championship season with a 7-0 win. With a matchup showcasing a Clemson offense that has reached the 37-point mark 10 times versus an LSU defense that has yielded more than 22 points just once, it's hard to predict if another low-scoring affair will transpire.

Clemson has already established school records with 508 points and 6,220 yards, and it is one of the top FBS schools in scoring (42.3 points per game), total offense (518.3 yards per game) and passing yards (319.6). The offense, which has six players on the all-ACC first team, revolves around Boyd, the conference player of the year. Boyd is among the FBS leaders in passer rating at 168.5 and has thrown for 3,550 yards and 34 touchdowns, which ties him with Philip Rivers in 2003 for the most in a season in ACC history. The junior has also run for 492 yards and a team-high nine scores.

Boyd isn't the only playmaker on offense, as Andre Ellington is second in the ACC with 1,031 rushing yards. Junior DeAndre Hopkins, a third-team All-American selection, has 1,214 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. The Tigers' defense is among the FBS leaders in points allowed (16.9), total yards (297.8), rushing yards (103.1) and pass defense efficiency (103.5). Safety Eric Reid, who has two of LSU's 18 interceptions, and linebacker Kevin Minter, who leads the defense with 111 tackles and 13 1/2 for loss, were named to the All-American second team.

While LSU typically gets just enough from its offense to survive - five of its six SEC wins came by seven points or less - Clemson is prone to defensive letdowns, as half of its opponents have scored at least 27 points. LSU's passing attack isn't particularly intimidating, but that doesn't mean the Tigers aren't afraid to put the ball in the air. Zach Mettenberger is seventh in the SEC with 329 attempts, though he has completed a conference-worst 58.7 percent of them. The Georgia native has 11 touchdowns to six interceptions, with only two of his TDs coming in four games away from Baton Rouge.

He is joined in the backfield by Jeremy Hill, who began the season fifth on the depth chart at his position. The freshman has emerged as the No. 1 running back, averaging 93.3 yards to go with eight touchdowns over the last six games. Clemson, which is trying for 11 wins for the first time since the 1981 national championship team went 12-0, concluded the regular season with a 27-17 loss to No. 11 South Carolina, a team LSU defeated 23-21 on Oct. 13. Both teams also played Auburn, with LSU winning 12-10 in its SEC opener and Clemson prevailing 26-19 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome. LSU is also no stranger to playing in Atlanta, having compiled a 9-1 record at the Georgia Dome. It is 5-0 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, outscoring the opposition 78-6 in its last two appearances.

We might get more fireworks from Clemson’s offense, but any football lover should thoroughly enjoy the drama that unfolds when LSU’s defense is on the field. Given the contrasting styles, and Clemson's high potent attack versus LSU's ability to ball control along with a stout defense, we are going to take the TD and a decent lean to the under 59.

The pick: Clemson +7 (bought half):
1.5 gyros

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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
01/01/2013 01:13 AM

Happy New Year to BTB!!

YTD 13-9-1 .587
+10.5 gyros

13-10 .565 totals leans

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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
01/01/2013 01:30 AM

Gator Bowl:
Mississippi St vs. Northwestern
Pat Fitzgerald couldn't lead Northwestern to a bowl win as a player, and he still hasn't guided it to one as the coach. A two-time Nagurski and Bednarik Award winner with the Wildcats in the 1990s, Fitzgerald helped Northwestern win two Big Ten titles. However, the Wildcats lost both of their bowl games during his days in Evanston - the 1996 Rose Bowl and the 1997 Citrus Bowl. This is the fifth straight year that Fitzgerald, one win shy of setting the school record with 50, has guided Northwestern (9-3) to a bowl. The Wildcats, though, have lost nine consecutive bowl games since their lone victory, which came in the 1949 Rose Bowl.

The Wildcats' one-point home loss to Nebraska on Oct. 20 and an overtime defeat at Michigan on Nov. 10 ruined their hopes of a league title, but they can still post their first 10-win season since the 1995 team went 10-2. A 7-0 start had Mississippi State (8-4) well on its way to its first 10-win season since 1999, but with a far more challenging second-half schedule that included matchups with ranked foes Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU - all losses - the Bulldogs settled for their second Gator Bowl appearance in three years after the rough finish.

Mississippi State, a 52-14 winner over Michigan in the 2011 Gator Bowl, haven't lost a bowl game since the 1999 Cotton Bowl. They improved to 2-0 in postseason games under Mullen with a 23-17 victory over Wake Forest in the Music City Bowl last season. Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell leads the team into Jacksonville, but it's uncertain how effective he'll be after suffering a sprained ankle in a 41-24 loss at Mississippi in the regular-season finale Nov. 24. Even if Russell can play, redshirt freshman Dak Prescott can expect to see some time under center. Prescott threw for 194 yards and four touchdowns while running for four scores.

Mississippi State won't have sophomore running back Nick Griffin available for this game after he suffered a torn right ACL in practice Dec. 8. Redshirt freshman Josh Robinson and Derrick Milton are expected to back up Perkins. The Bulldogs will face a Northwestern rush defense that's yielding 122.8 yards per game, 18th in the nation. Mississippi State can expect Northwestern to lean heavily on its ground game, which averages 230.9 yards. Junior Venric Mark has led the attack with 1,310 yards and 11 TDs.

Mark has also averaged 19.7 yards on kickoff returns and 20.1 on 14 punt returns, two of which he brought back for touchdowns. He's ninth in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 170.7. Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter is also a threat out of the backfield, rushing for 820 yards and a team-best 12 TDs. Colter is averaging only 11.2 passing attempts per game in the Wildcats' spread offense, but he's completed a career-high 68.7 percent and is coming off a career-best three-TD performance in a 50-14 victory over Illinois on Nov. 24. Sophomore Trevor Siemian, an Orlando native, should also get some snaps for the Wildcats. He's thrown for 1,192 yards with six TDs and two INTs while appearing in all 12 contests.

The Wildcats have recorded six of their nine INTs this season in the last three games. Redshirt sophomore Ibraheim Campbell (team-high 11 pass breakups) and redshirt freshman standout Nick VanHoose, who has seven pass breakups and two INTs despite missing three games to injury, will have to keep an eye on Chad Bumphis.

Northwestern has more offensive firepower. Russell will have a big day through the air, but the rushing tandem of Colter and Mark will help the Wildcats finally end their postseason drought in a back-and-forth thriller. Lean slightly to the over 53.5 as well as there is plenty of value given the balance of both teams in the running game.

The pick: Northwestern +3 (bought half):
one gyro


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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
01/01/2013 01:45 AM

Heart of Dallas Bowl:
Purdue vs. Oklahoma St
Mike Gundy has had plenty of success in his eight years at Oklahoma State, and it seemed inevitable his name would pop up for a high-profile job despite a disappointing regular season by his standards. While Gundy ultimately decided to remain at his alma mater, Purdue's failure to meet expectations resulted in a coaching change. Before the Darrell Hazell era begins, the Boilermakers will take on Gundy's Cowboys in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State had won at least nine games in each of the previous four campaigns, finishing 11-2 in 2010 and 12-1 with a Fiesta Bowl victory last season. The Cowboys, though, dropped their last two games of 2012 and stumbled to a 7-5 record - Gundy's worst since the last of back-to-back 7-6 seasons in 2007. Gundy had high expectations for this season's squad, which was ranked 19th in the AP preseason poll, and figured it would be playing in a postseason game of more prestige. Despite the disappointing record, Gundy reportedly was sought by Tennessee to help rebuild its program, though discussions didn't amount to much before he proclaimed his commitment to the Cowboys.

Danny Hope went 22-27 in four seasons and was let go after this year's 6-6 record. The Boilermakers won their final three games to qualify for their second straight bowl, but it wasn't enough to save Hope's job. Enter Hazell, who impressed athletic director Morgan Burke by turning a once-dismal Kent State program into a contender for a BCS bowl bid in just two seasons. Hazell, a former wide receivers coach for seven seasons under Jim Tressel at Ohio State, went 5-7 in 2011 before coming up a MAC title game victory shy of guiding the Golden Flashes to an improbable BCS bowl berth.

The Golden Flashes fell 44-37 in overtime to Northern Illinois on Nov. 30, but they'll appear in their first postseason game since 1972 when they face Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6. Hazell will coach Kent State in that contest before beginning his tenure at Purdue. A major focus in preparation for this game must be on defense, as the Boilermakers allowed 406.8 yards per game to finish 11th in the Big Ten despite having second-team All-American Kawann Short. The senior defensive tackle has 14 1/2 tackles for loss to go along with six sacks.

Short leads a Purdue defense which will face a big challenge from an Oklahoma State team that ranked fifth in the FBS in total offense at 548.9 yards per game. Junior Joseph Randle was named first-team All-Big 12 after leading the conference with 1,351 rushing yards while posting eight 100-yard performances. The Cowboys passing offense ranked seventh nationally (333.4 ypg) despite starting three different quarterbacks in junior Clint Chelf, true freshman Wes Lunt and redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh. Chelf started the final four games after Lunt suffered a concussion in a loss to Kansas State on Nov. 3.

While Oklahoma State scored fewer than 30 points only once, it allowed more than 40 five times. The Cowboys defense surrendered more than 600 yards in each of the final two games to finish sixth among the 10 Big 12 teams in total defense (426.3 ypg). Sixth-year senior Robert Marve went 20 for 29 with career highs of 348 yards and four touchdowns in that game as he continues to play through a torn ACL suffered earlier this season. Akeem Shavers totaled three touchdowns against the Hoosiers, recording season highs of 126 rushing yards and 99 receiving. Purdue went 6-0 this year when Shavers runs for a TD, compared to 0-6 when he didn't. The senior was the team's top rusher with 778 yards.

Six different quarterbacks have played for these two programs this season. But one team has three quality options while the other may have none. One program has arguably the most successful coach in school history and a scheme that appears infallible on offense. Purdue has an interim head coach who handled the wide receivers this year. The Boilermakers will find it tough to keep pace with Gundy’s high-flying offense. Which is likely why this line is one of the largest of the bowl season. You know I'm not shy to lay double digits, and with a slight lean to the over 71 we will make this scenario no exception.

The pick: Oklahoma St -16.5 (bought half)
3.5 gyros


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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
01/01/2013 02:06 AM

Outback Bowl:
South Carolina vs. Michigan
Both Brady Hoke and Steve Spurrier are trying to take that last step that will vault their respective programs into the nation's elite. The two coaches look for clues how to achieve that for next season on Tuesday when Michigan plays South Carolina in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

No. 19 Michigan (8-4) finished second to Nebraska in the Legends Division of the Big Ten, and three of its losses came to the top three teams in the country - No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State - as well as the Cornhuskers. The Wolverines were unable to prevent their archrivals from completing an unbeaten season, losing 26-21 to the Buckeyes on Nov. 24 after failing to score in the second half. Running the ball has not been a problem for Hoke in his two seasons at Michigan with Denard Robinson as the team's offensive focal point. Despite missing two games due to an injury to his throwing elbow, the senior has 1,166 rushing yards and seven touchdowns to go with 1,319 passing yards and nine scoring tosses.

The injury, however, completely eliminated his throwing, forcing him to line up as running back in the last two games. Robinson, who pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license Dec. 18 but remains eligible to play, ran for 220 yards in those contests. This will be the final game for "Shoelace," who was the first player in FBS history to rush and pass for 1,500 yards in 2010. Robinson has 4,395 rushing yards, 78 shy of passing Anthony Thomas for second on the school's all-time list. His 42 rushing TDs are third in Michigan's annals.

If Robinson can't play quarterback, Devin Gardner will likely make his fifth straight start there. He has thrown for 1,005 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions to go with seven rushing scores since taking over for Robinson. Regardless of who is under center, both players will have to account for South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, who was named a first-team All-American and SEC defensive player of the year after setting single-season school records for sacks with 13 and tackles for loss with 21 1/2. The sophomore also won the Hendricks Award, given to the nation's top defensive end. Michigan's offensive line, however, could be up to the challenge as it has allowed a Big Ten-low 15 sacks.

Even with Clowney, the 11th-ranked Gamecocks (10-2) were relegated to a third-place finish in the East Division of the annually powerful SEC, losing on the road in consecutive weeks to then-No. 9 LSU and then-No. 3 Florida in October. South Carolina regrouped to win its final four games, including a 27-17 victory at previously 12th-ranked Clemson on Nov. 24 behind 4 1/2 sacks from Clowney, giving the program consecutive seasons with double-digit victories for the first time in school history.

Spurrier has a pair of capable quarterbacks after Dylan Thompson had a strong game at Clemson in place of the injured Connor Shaw, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Shaw, who has thrown for 1,732 yards and 15 TDs, is expected to be fully recovered from his foot injury by the time of this game, but Spurrier has not said which quarterback would start versus the Wolverines. Thompson or Shaw will have to compensate for a team without injured star running back Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a devastating season-ending knee injury against Tennessee on Oct. 27 and opted to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the draft Dec. 12.

South Carolina might have the better defense, but not by much. Michigan has more playmakers on offense and the combination of Garnder and Robinson will be much more like the Iowa game than the OSU game. Slight lean to the over 47.5 and while this game could come down to a field goal or who last has the ball, the wrong team could very well be favored in this spot. A sprinkle of the +180 ML looks rather attractive.

The pick: Michigan +5
one gyro


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jimmythegreek Posts:10355 Followers:375
01/01/2013 02:23 AM

Capital One Bowl:
Nebraska vs. Georgia
Both coming off painful - albeit entirely different - losses in huge games, the No. 6 Bulldogs and 23rd-ranked Cornhuskers will try to focus on the task at hand Tuesday in Orlando, Fla. While Nebraska (10-3) endured an ugly loss in the Big Ten title game and missed out on a Rose Bowl berth, that pales in comparison to the pain Georgia (11-2) felt after barely losing the SEC championship game and a chance to play for the national title.

The Bulldogs came up five yards short in a 32-28 loss to Alabama on Dec. 1 when Chris Conley caught Aaron Murray's deflected pass and was tackled at the 5 as time expired. The plan was for a touchdown or incompletion, leaving time for another play. Although their ultimate goal is out of reach, the Bulldogs have plenty to play for despite being left out of a BCS bowl. They can reach 12 wins for only the third time in school history, and a victory could also put them in the season-ending top five.

That high a ranking appears unlikely for Nebraska, but beating a team that was within a few yards of playing for the national championship wouldn't be a bad way to cap the school's first 11-win season since 2001. It would also help erase the memory of a 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the regular-season finale. That ended a six-game win streak for the Cornhuskers, who allowed a school-record 539 rushing yards as the Badgers produced two 200-yard rushers in one game for the first time in school history.

As disappointing as Nebraska's performance was, it already has shown the ability to rebound from a blowout loss. A 63-38 defeat at Ohio State on Oct. 6 was followed by the six-game streak that had the Huskers on the verge of their first Rose Bowl appearance since 2002. While Georgia's running game isn't as potent as Wisconsin's, the Bulldogs are more balanced, rushing for 2,394 yards and passing for 3,564. Murray leads the nation in yards per passing attempt (7.8), throwing for 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The fourth-year junior tossed his 90th career TD pass in the loss to Alabama, passing Peyton Manning for second on the all-time SEC list.

True freshman Todd Gurley ran for an SEC-best 1,260 yards with 16 touchdowns and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. Containing him could be a problem for Nebraska, which yielded 1,254 rushing yards in its three losses. Nebraska features a very effective ground game of its own, with backs Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah and quarterback Taylor Martinez - the school's all-time leader in total offense - combining for 2,597 yards on the ground. The Cornhuskers rank eighth in the nation in rushing yards per game (254.5).

Anchoring Georgia's defense is outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, named SEC defensive player of the year following a stellar season that included 22 1/2 tackles for loss, 12 1/2 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Georgia is better on both sides of the ball. Murray has the second highest quarterback rating in the country and has plenty of weapons to work with. Wisconsin exposed Nebraska's run defense in the Big Ten championship and there is no reason to think that Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall won't be able to put up big numbers. Decent lean to the under 61.5.


The pick: Georgia -9
2 gyros

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