The Bowl Season continues tonight with Middle Tennessee and Miami (Ohio) in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Below is a quick preview of the game with my pick at the end. Along with my pick, I will post the favorite and flip a coin for the game. Whichever method has the most points at the end of Bowl Season, I will use for next year's games.
GoDaddy.com Bowl, Middle Tennessee (6-6, 5-3 in the Sun Belt) vs Miami (Ohio) (9-4, 7-1 in the MAC), 5:00 PM on ESPN
Why You Should Watch: To see MTSU dual-threat Quarterback Dwight Dasher. Dasher has had a rough Senior season after a spectacular one last year. It's another "ho-hum" bowl to many, but one that will matter to the players and school communities. Expect that factor to produce a competitive game that exceeds expectations, based on the profiles of the teams involved.
Breakdown: The Redhawks won 3-0 in my five categories, prevailing in SOS, Turnovers, and Penalties, while the teams were even in last three games and motivation. Miami won the MAC Championship game,26-21 over Northern Illinois, when Armand Robinson made his 14th. catch of the game with 33 seconds left, to score the winning touchdown. The win capped a turnaround from a 2-10 2008 campaign, followed by a 1-11 2009 season.
Middle Tennessee is a mid-major that is quietly on the rise, making their second consecutive bowl appearance, and third in 5 years. The Blue Raiders staged a late season surge, winning their last 3 games to get bowl eligible, similar to what Washington did, capped by a 28-27 one point comeback win over Sun Belt Conference champion Florida International.
The Blue Raiders have turned the ball over 33 times this year, so that's the main reason I'm going with the Redhawks. This despite head coach Michael Haywood, who resigned after the season to take the Pitt position (which he subsequently lost, due to a domestic violence incident), being replaced by defensive backs coach Lance Guidry on an interim basis, and with Redhawks alum Don Treadwell, who has been hired as the new coach, watching.
GoDaddy.com Current Total to Date
Odds Miami (Ohio) 18
Coin Middle Tennessee 19
Connor Miami (Ohio) (10) 17 (357)