As we head towards bowl games (or at least what’s left of them) there’s a changing of the guard at the No. 1 spot! Alabama fans may relish the role of playing underdog as Clemson, in the wake of a Irish thrashing, have slipped past the Crimson Tide for top billing. Florida and Oklahoma flip-flopped positions despite the Sooners emerging victorious and Florida coming up a possession short against the big bad Crimson Tide. Texas A&M also jumped ahead of Cincinnati to No. 8 as the Bearcats just held on against Tulsa in a frigid and wet AAC Championship Game.
Our overrated team this week hails from the Big Ten (fancy that), and we’d be lying if we said this particular team hasn’t been a thorn in our side as of late. We head out west for the team we feel isn’t garnering the attention it deserves after just a one-loss season while the Best Bet heads to Texas where we dig in to see if the Longhorns can overcome a slew of injuries, opt-outs, and COVID-19 concerns to cover as the hunted in their bowl match-up.
Bet the Board Top 10 Bowl Week:
3.) Ohio State
4.) Notre Dame
8.) Texas A&M
10.) North Carolina
Coming off of their impressive 28-7 win over Wisconsin, Iowa was ready to head to Michigan for their season finale before word came down from the heavens that the Wolverines were dealing with COVID-19. So after their regular season finale was cancelled, Iowa was placed in the Music City Bowl to take on the Missouri Tigers on December 30th. While Iowa’s record at 6-2 looks great on paper, their schedule has not been overly difficult, even by meager Big Ten standards. Iowa benefitted from avoiding Ohio State and Indiana. Their wins came against opponents who finished the season with a combined 17-28 record. The offense is extremely predictable, looking to pound the rock on early downs hoping for a 3rd down bailout way too consistently. Iowa ranks outside the Top 50 in offensive efficiency and now has to deal with the uncertainty of their own COVID-19 outbreak. We saw the Hawkeyes close a 1-point underdog against Wisconsin at home two weeks ago and now they’re laying more than two touchdowns against a Missouri team that played a far more difficult schedule and has a strong defense of their own (even with a star linebacker opting out.) Iowa has officially entered “overrated” territory, a domain too familiar for Hawkeye fans.
Wow! This may be a first for the season in our underrated section, as Colorado, a PAC-12 team, has caught the eye of the sophisticated college football investor. The Buffs finished the season at 4-1, their only loss coming in the last game at the hands of Utah. Starting the season off with two upsets as a +200 dogs or greater was a great beginning for a new head coach as the offense led the way behind RB Jarek Broussard. Broussard rushed for 813 yards in just 5 games, compiling a 6.3 yards per carry average. He shouldered the load for a Buffaloes offense that implements a physical brand of football, toting the rock just over 60% of the time. Colorado has taken advantage of the red zone this year, scoring on just under 95% of their trips inside the 20. The defense has come along a bit as the season has progressed, now ranked just outside the Top 40 in overall efficiency with drastic improvement in the secondary. Colorado is 6th in the country in opponents’ yards per pass attempt at 5.9, and they’ll have an opportunity to prove their defensive merit when they take on Texas in the Alamo Bowl…
Best Bet: Colorado +9.5 (-106)
We have a nice spot here, where our underrated team this week meets a team we’ve felt has been overrated for most of the season, the Texas Longhorns. Texas is coming off of a long lay-off, as their last game was on December 5th against Kansas State. Texas lost their 6th player to opt-outs on Tuesday. WR Brennan Eagles opted to forego the Alamo Bowl to focus on the NFL Draft. However that’s not the only issue that could be in play for Texas this postseason. Senior center Derek Kerstetter will be out due to an injury suffered against Kansas State, and COVID-19 has entered the picture, ensuring Texas will definitely miss multiple players. Let us also not forget that two safeties have opted out this season and three other defensive backs (S BJ Foster, CB Jalen Greene, CB Jahdae Barron) are all recovering from lower body injuries. Two defensive tackles have opted out, and HC Tom Herman has been adamant that we will see plenty of youth on the field as the eyes of Texas look towards the future on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Colorado AD Rick George talked about how Colorado doesn’t want anyone’s empathy after not qualifying for the PAC-12 championship, despite just one loss. He prefers that the team see their bowl trip as an opportunity to earn back the respect of the CFB world. Grab the double digits here and dabble ML. We expect this number to keep coming down as kickoff inches closer.