Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl: Baylor vs. Vanderbilt fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, December 27
Game Time: 9:00 ET
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Baylor (6-6) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6) Game Preview
Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
– Considering it’s Baylor and Vanderbilt, if you had told these two at the beginning of the season, they’d have taken the bid in a heartbeat. Actually, if you had told these two in early November that they’d be bowling, they’d have jumped for joy. Neither side could quite get their respective seasons going until they absolutely had to come up with a win – and then, it all worked out just fine.
Baylor went 1-11 last year in Matt Rhule’s first season. Vanderbilt went four straight seasons without a winning campaign. For most programs, getting to a bowl game is expected, but for these two, it’s truly a reward earned.
– Baylor was still in rebuild mode under Rhule. Missing out on a bowl wouldn’t have been all that big a deal considering how bad the team was last season, and after losing four bowl games in five dates, it didn’t look promising. But in a winner-take-bowl showdown, the Bears came through in Arlington to beat Texas Tech, and boom – now they have a shot at a winning season. The offense might not be anything special or consistent, but the team has found ways to pull off just enough wins.
– Vanderbilt was dead in the water. It was 3-5 and going nowhere in a big hurry, but it was competitive against the Notre Dames, Floridas, and Kentuckys of the world. With three wins in the final four games, and a dominant 38-13 blasting of Tennessee to close out the regular season, the Commodores found an extra gear. Now the O has to keep going.