December 30, 2008

AutoZone Liberty Bowl -- Kentucky (6-6) vs. East Carolina (9-4) (Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Memphis, Tennessee January 2, 2009 5pm E

Tie Ins: CUSA #1 vs. SEC #6-8

Dan: East Carolina -1.5

Ugh. Am I the only one that hates these random crappy bowl games thrown in to the mix after January 1st just to enable ESPN to stretch out the national title game for another week? This is brutal. I know my colleagues here at WEISND are in stark disagreement with my opinion on these 6-6 match-up bowl games in mid-December. But in January? How can you possibly defend this? I’ll go with Skip, I guess.

East Carolina 24 Kentucky 21

Matt: Kentucky +1.5

I really have no opinion on this game.

Kentucky 20 ECU 17

Mike: East Carolina -1.5


East Carolina 21 Kentucky 17

Doug: East Carolina -1.5

This game is a dud on the surface, but East Carolina could really finish off a strong season with a win here over an SEC team. The Pirates have had a nice year with some quality wins, so I am rooting for them to pull this one off.

Just a word of advice for Skip Holtz. I know you are waiting for the right job to open up (perhaps it is even the ND job?), but I would be careful about staying at East Carolina too long. East Carolina has decent tradition (as someone who worshipped former Bengals QB Jeff Blake in the mid-90s, I have some history with that program), but it's a very cyclical program. With the competition from UNC and now a resurgent NC State for recruits, it's not easy to have a lot of sustained success at East Carolina. If I was Skip Holtz, I would be looking to parlay his success at ECU to another job in a BCS conference where he has a chance to win. I thought Syracuse was a perfect fit for him, but I guess he didn't want that job. I don't know, I hope he doesn't stay too long and suddenly find himself tied down at ECU with a bunch of 8-5/7-6 type seasons.

While I'm here, a couple thoughts on the Kentucky basketball team. They are starting to play better, but that team is a long way from what I would call a quality team. UK has some nice young players with Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson, but Gillespie needs to continue to recruit and bring in high-quality guys who want to wear that Kentucky jersey. They badly need a point guard and some other guards who can handle the ball and knock down shots. I think Gillespie is doing fine at UK, but the expectations are eventually going to rise significantly for this program. With his track record at Texas A&M, I think he'll eventually get that program back to playing at a high level.

East Carolina 23 Kentucky 13

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