You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
– The pressure is totally off Purdue – it can play loose and free. The program was a big fat nothing a few years ago, and now it’s playing its second bowl game in a row, Jeff Brohm is sticking around, and it’s house money time for the Boilermakers. Going back to the late Joe Tiller era, the Boilermakers are 3-1 going back in the last four bowls, starting with a win over Central Michigan in the 2017 Little Caesars Pizza. Before that? Purdue lost six bowl games in seven – this is a fun time for the program.
– Speaking of pressure on Gus Malzahn, it’s time to win one of these bowl things again. Auburn was a bowl game killer for almost a decade, winning eight games in nine from the 2002 Capital One over Penn State to the 2011 Chick-fil-A over Virginia. But starting with the BCS Championship loss to Florida State to end the 2013 season, Malzahn and Auburn have lost four of their five bowl appearances, only beating Memphis in the 2015 Birmingham. Considering the loss to UCF last year, the Tigers need to show up.
– While Jarrett Stidham might be thinking and hoping for a second round, top 50 draft slot, he and Purdue’s David Blough should put on a bit of a mid-range draft pick show for the NFL scouts. These two will see time in the league, but likely as backups early on. This is one of those games that helps crystalize things a little better in the process. It’s a job interview for both of them.
Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl?
There will be minimal production from both running games, but the respective passing attacks will go off. Stidham will have a big game as a well-motivated Auburn tries to erase the memory of last season’s bowl loss to UCF. But Purdue will be interesting, too. It won’t get wiped out, but it’ll get stopped a bit too much in the second half with the Auburn defensive front taking over in key spots.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Auburn 34, Purdue 24
Line: Auburn -3.5, o/u: 54.5
ATS Confidence: 3.5
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar
Must See Rating: 3.5
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, London
1: New Year’s Eve: Times Square, New York