To get the day started on New Years we have an exciting featuring the Big 10 vs. the SEC. It is a solid matchup to wake up from after your drunken stupors from last night. Remember drink plenty of Gatorade today while you’re watching the games. Wisconsin comes in after getting absolutely humiliated against Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship game. The Badgers didn’t manage to score at least a field goal in the game, as they got routed 59-0 in a game that was a runaway. The massive blowout put the Ohio State Buckeyes into the college football playoff. They will play Alabama later tonight in the Sugar Bowl. It controversially knocked TCU from the playoff after they toyed with their opponents earlier in the day. Blowing out Wisconsin is pretty impressive, but blowing out Iowa State doesn’t carry nearly as much weight. It will be Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon’s final game in college, as he declared for the NFL Draft a couple of weeks ago. Gordon famously broke the college football rushing record, only to have it broken the next week. After getting limited against Ohio State, I would be surprised if he doesn’t have a big game against the Auburn Tigers.
Last season Auburn was playing in the National Championship, this year they get Outback Bowl instead. There wasn’t much controversy to be had with this decision, the Tigers are 8-4 and were three games back from having a chance at the playoff. Playing in the SEC is no easy task and Auburn had a pretty good season all things considered. They were competitive throughout the season and they gave Alabama a pretty stingy test in the Iron Bowl. Will Wisconsin be able to forget about that joke of a game against Alabama a few weeks ago? It can’t get much worse for the Badgers than that game. Look for a much better effort this afternoon against Auburn. They should be fired up to play against one of the big boys of the SEC. Happy New Years and let’s get this party started with the Outback Bowl on New Years Day.
Auburn vs. Wisconsin Spread and Betting Odds:
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Auburn vs. Wisconsin Pick:
Auburn comes in to today’s Outback Bowl with the same quarterback that led them to the National Championship game a year ago, Nick Marshall. Marshall controls an offense that is largely dictated by how well the run game is operation, and it is rarely off. Auburn is based off an option system with Marshall running it to perfection. He is coming off a game where he passed for 456 yards and 3 touchdowns against a good Crimson Tide defensive unit. As is the case with option quarterbacks, Marshall can run the ball effectively. He ran for 780 yards and 11 touchdowns. A step back from 1068 yards last season, but he improved his passing game. Marshall tossed 18 touchdowns this season and 8 interceptions. The Auburn offense ranks 12th in the nation with 258.8 yards on the ground. Overall they are quite potent, averaging 36 points per game. Keep in mind that this was done against good SEC defenses, not creampuffs. Averaging 36 points in the SEC is a pretty good accomplishment.
Wisconsin will face Auburn with a great running game themselves. I already mentioned the accolades of Melvin Gordon. Gordon rushed for a whopping 2336 yards with 17 touchdowns in 2014. He also chipped in with 171 receiving Can you blame him for wanting to go to the NFL early? Barring any setbacks like a major injury, Gordon should have a great NFL career. Wisconsin emphasizes their power running game in most games. The Badgers are 4th in the nation in yards per game rushing with 314 yards. They can run the score up quickly simply by utilizing the running attack. Wisconsin averages 35 points a game. Before the Ohio State game, Wisconsin scored more than 30 points in 6 out of 7 games. I think they respond after looking like a high school offense playing a college in their last time on the field. I think the Outback Bowl should at least hit 65 points given these two offenses. Look for the OVER 63.5 to cash in, as we make our first bet of 2015.
PICK: OVER 63.5 POINTS (-110)