Friday, December 28
9:00, ESPN, Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Iowa State vs. Washington State
– Before we get started, take all of this with a grain of salt. I’m the firmest of believers that Mike Leach can’t coach his way out of a paper bowl game.
He’s obviously a fantastic coach, but he had the better team in last year’s Holiday, and got roasted by Michigan State. He had the better team in the 2016 Holiday, and got whacked by a depleted and mediocre Minnesota. He has lost four of his last five bowls, and now he’s going against a coach in Matt Campbell who has something special brewing.
– Also, as a warning, I don’t like anything about this pick. The 57.5 point total seems way too low for anything involving Washington State – but if you like Iowa State, go under.
– Washington State – if it’s humming like it was for most of the season – is absolutely 2.5 points better, and with ease. It’s so low that I really, really, really, really, really want to go with the Cougars. If you like them, then hammer this – that 2.5 is absolutely nothing.
– But I think Iowa State’s defense pitches a gem. Iowa State is a rock solid team that’s used to dealing with high-powered passing games.
– And it’s Mike Leach in a bowl game. He’s overdue for his team to come up large, but until he does …
– Here’s hoping you jumped all over Iowa State as a +210 on the money line when it opened. Now it’s at +120. That’s fine, but there are plenty of better deals coming up fast – like Florida +200 against Michigan, Oklahoma State +270 against Missouri, and Oklahoma +450 against Alabama.