You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
– Is UCF that good? Yeah, it’s fine, and it destroyed the same Pitt team that gave Notre Dame fits, but that’s not really the point. While LSU had to deal with a midseason run of at Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, UCF went through that same stretch facing SMU, at Memphis, at East Carolina and Temple. That’s cute, but it’s not the same ballpark of a schedule.
Throw in LSU’s games against Miami, Auburn and Texas A&M all away from Baton Rouge, and a reasonable case could be made that the Tigers faced at least six – more like seven – games harder than anything UCF had to play. But none of that matters in terms of national perception if UCF wins, even if it should. However …
– Don’t blow off just how much pressure there is on UCF. This program’s PR and social media types have spent the last year writing a very, very big check, and it’s up to the team to cash it.
The main storyline is how much this means to UCF, the College Football Playoff expansion, and the respect given to the Group of Five, but if LSU comes in and plants a pasting, the Power Five elitist backlash is going to kick in full force.
– Western Michigan. The PJ Fleck Broncos of 2016 have the only blemish for the Group of Five in New Year’s Six games so far in the CFP era. UCF beat Auburn last season, Houston dropped Florida State to end the 2015 season, and Boise State got past Arizona to close out the 2014 campaign. Throw in the UCF win over Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta – at the end of the 2013 season – and the supposed little guys have shown up.
Super. So Who’s Going To Win The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl?
LSU is way better. It has a ridiculously better resumé – UCF isn’t within ten miles of this game with LSU’s slate – and it has all the tools to win this in a blowout if it comes into this with the right focus.
But that’s not quite how these bowl games work.
The UCF fire and energy will be there early on, but the LSU lines will soon take over. This will be a game about brute force from the Tiger O line, and big plays from a defensive back seven that will show off its speed and athleticism from the start.
UCF will be terrific at times, but it won’t have the ball – LSU will keep it for well over 35 minutes. Slow and steady will win this race.
Fearless Prediction & Line
LSU 34, UCF 24
Line: LSU -7.5, o/u: 55.5
ATS Confidence: 4
– CFN Confidence Pool
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar
Must See Rating: 5
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, London
1: New Year’s Eve: Times Square, New York