Finally it is time for some of the bigger college bowls. We are also only one day away from the first ever college football playoff. Both semi-final games will take place on New Years Day, as Florida State, Oregon, Ohio State, and Alabama will all vie for the National Championship. Florida State and Oregon will kick it off first in the Rose Bowl, and then Ohio State will take on Alabama later in the Sugar Bowl. I think an eight team playoff would have been perfect, but this is definitely better than no playoff. I suspect that the best team in the nation will ultimately prevail, though. Look for Alabama to take the trophy, which they probably would have if there was no playoff to begin with. However, there are no locks in sports, so we will see how things play out on New Years. Tonight is the appetizer before the fun begins tomorrow. The Orange Bowl, formerly known as a BCS Bowl game, is one of the main bowl games this season. An interesting affair against two very talented teams that can beat any team in the country on any given day. Georgia Tech comes into this one after suffering a hard loss against Florida State, 35-37, in their final game of the regular season. Mississippi State had final 4 on their minds for the majority of this season, as they were number 1 in the nation for several weeks. But 10-2 just isn’t enough to make that come true. The Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech finished the season with a mark of 10-3.
My pick yesterday wasn’t as good as the rest of the bowl season has been going. Notre Dame got off to a fast start hitting LSU early to make it 7-0. After that drive I wasn’t feeling particularly confident given how easily Notre Dame moved the ball on LSU. That was the poorest performance I have seen from LSU on defense this season, and it came against a quarterback that was making his first official start of his career. Simply put Les Miles didn’t have his team amped up for that game. Nevertheless, I have still had a successful run this bowl season, and I expect to bounce back on New Years Eve in the Orange Bowl. Everyone have a safe and fun New Years Eve and let’s make some money.
Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech Spread and Betting Odds:
Mississippi State -6.5(-110)
@Georgia Tech -6.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech Pick:
Georgia Tech doesn’t play a typical brand of football. If I were writing this 60 years ago then that would be the case. However, the triple-option offense is often reserved for military schools in this day and age. Georgia Tech may be the best in college football operating it. Furthermore, their quarterback, Justin Thomas, is fully equipped to throw the football. Often times in these kind of offenses the quarterback is pretty inept through the air, but Thomas can get it done in that regard. Georgia Tech will still run the ball a lot, but they’ll find their spots to air it out. Thomas threw for 19 touchdown passes and only 5 interceptions in the regular season. He also ran for 965 yards on the ground. They will be without a very talented receiver in this game, DeAndre Smelter. Smelter missed their last game, though, and the offense didn’t seem to suffer. FSU had problems with running football teams all season, so it didn’t surprise me much, however.
Mississippi State will come after Georgia Tech with a strong defense. The Bulldogs are 10th in the nation in total defense, allowing only 19.5 points per game. You can beat this team by passing the ball. An effective passing game will score points on Mississippi State, but running the ball continually may be like going up against a wall. Tech has the 3rd best rushing attack in the country. They will run and run some more. The passing game should be neutralized with the absence of Smelter. FSU can’t stop the run, Mississippi State is able to do that, though. The Bulldogs have an offense to support their powerful SEC defense. The employ a traditional option offense, which puts up 37 points a game for 15th in college football. They should find yards against the 52nd best defense. At first glance the points look attractive, but I think the Bulldogs defense will be well prepared to handle to the Georgia Tech offense. Give a team a little time to prepare for it and it can be a handful. Give a great run defense time to prepare, and I think it’ll end up turning out well. I think the Bulldogs show why they were the number 1 team in the country earlier in the season. I expect a 10 point win for Mississippi State, so look at -6.5 tonight.