December 19, 2008

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Southern Miss (6-6) vs. Troy (8-4) (Superdome New Orleans December 21, 2008 8:15pm ESPN)

Bowl Tie Ins – Sun Belt #1 vs CUSA

Dan: Troy -4.5

Ugh really? I really don’t know anything about either of these teams. If it were earlier on Sunday, I’d be telling you to skip it and tune in for the excellent soccer match available in the U.S. on Fox Soccer Channel – Arsenal v. Liverpool. In fact, tune in anyway (11 EST) to watch the beautiful game. Arsenal has played very well against the top 4 this year while crapping the bed against inferior opponents. They really need this match at the Emirates if they have any hope of staying in the hunt for the title. In fact, if they don’t turn things around soon, they could struggle to make the top 4 for the automatic qualifier for the Champions League. As for the bowl game, I guess you could watch Sunday Night Football instead.

Troy 28 Southern Miss 21

Matt: Troy (-4.5)

I don’t know about you guys, but my holiday season hasn’t officially started until I watch the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. On a serious note, and maybe I’m in the minority here, but I love that there are 100 bowl games. Seriously, what else is there to watch on random Tuesday afternoons when you’re home on break? As far as I’m concerned, they should let every team play a bowl game, and just have like 20 straight days of football with games starting every day at noon, 3:00, 7:00 and 10:00. I would rather watch Temple – North Texas in the Alaska Bowl than regular daytime television.

Troy 33 Southern Miss 22

Mike: Southern Mississippi (+4.5)

Jeff Sagarin’s “predictor” model has made this pick by proxy.

Troy 21 Southern Mississippi 19

Doug: Troy -4.5

I’m sure NBC is really shaking in their boots about this game being squared off against the NBC Sunday Night Panthers-Giants game in Giants Stadium for the rights to homefield throughout the playoffs in the NFC. Hmmm, Southern Miss-Troy or the NFC Game of the Year?? Tough call.

The Superdome holds 73,000 people. How many people are going to be at this game?? 10,000?? I would actually be shocked if they even got that many people. The only appeal for going to this game would be the Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens and maybe a few Hand Grenades at Tropical Isle. And by a “few” Hand Grenades, I mean one since you’d probably have to be carried out on a stretcher if you had two.

As far as the game goes, I actually have a fairly strong opinion that Troy will win this game. I watched Troy against the Buckeyes, and they are a pretty decent team. And they very nearly beat LSU this year on the road. Troy is not a joke of a team. There are actually quite a few of these random small southern schools that are coming alive as a program. It makes some level of sense since there are a lot of good football players down there. These schools like Troy and Florida Atlantic and Central Florida are only going to get better as demographics continue to change. In many ways, the Sunbelt is becoming like the new MAC. There are good players in these leagues that just weren’t big enough or flew under the radar when they were in high school. The MAC teams have been knocking off bigger name Big 10 and Big East schools for years, and now we are starting to see it a bit in the south.

I don’t know anything about Southern Miss this year, so I’ll go with Troy to win.

Troy 33 Southern Miss 27

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