Saturday, January 02, 2010

College Football Pick'em: Talking Bout the Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl has always been know for plenty of excitement. Who can forget the performance Boise State put on just a few years ago when they traveled south to take on the Oklahoma Sooners? This year's Fiesta Bowl has the potential to bring the house down with excitement. TCU and Boise State are two undefeated teams and they are loaded with talent and they will put on a show in the desert in prime time on Monday night.

This is TCU's first strip to a BCS game but you would not know that from the way the players and coaches are treating the Fiesta Bowl. "We'd love to go against a team on a bigger stage," -TCU Cornerback Rafael Priest. What it comes down to is Boise and TCU have squared off in the past. Both teams are undefeated, they come from mid-major conferences, and they want to prove they are BCS Busters. That means both schools are hungry to venture out and play a big time team.

The TCU Horned Frogs are undefeated and they have gone through a solid Mountain West schedule to earn their spot in this year's Fiesta Bowl. The last seven games of the season, the Horned Frogs have won by at least 27 points apiece. What this means is TCU has a high powered offense that can put up points. Averaging 40.7 ppg is good for fourth in the country and the Horned Frogs accompany that with over 400 yards of offense per game. Quarterback Andy Dalton has matured into a reliable passer. He only threw for 2400 yards this season but he put up 22 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. he is stingy with the ball. If the pass isn't there Dalton will take off and get up field to make positive yardage. The Broncos will have their hands full corralling Andy Dalton.

While the offense is good, the TCU defense is great. Last season when they played it was the Horned frogs defense that set the pace and held Boise to just 250 total yards. That was last year's team and they were ranked 2nd in the nation in total defense. This year the Horned Frogs are ranked first in the country in total defense. They run the 3-3-5 defense which is one you don't see often and it can confuse even a veteran quarterback. TCU likes to bring pressure from all angles and with their athleticism in the secondary they can blitz from any position.

Boise State is happy to make a return trip to a BCS game. Boise started their season off with a bang when they knocked off Oregon in the season opener and they handled the WAC competition with relative ease. Chris Peterson has a special gift in sophomore quarterback Kellen Moore. he may have struggled a bit last season as he adjusted to the college game, but it is apparent that Moore knows exactly what it takes to get the job done at this level. Moore was good for over 3,000 yards, 39 touchdowns and just 3 picks. He knows how to distribute the ball, and will hit a variety of receivers throughout the course of the game. Boise State also has a solid ground attack led by Jeremy Avery who was good for 1,131 yards this season.

Another asset the Broncos have at their disposal is head coach Chris Peterson. The Boise coach has a knack for coming up with exceptional game plans in these big moments. He is not afraid to go to the trick plays, and as a play caller there may not be a better man at knowing when to utilize his back of tricks.

The spread is sitting at a big -8 favoring TCU. While it is not surprising that TCU is favored, I am a bit taken back by the amount they are favored by. Many people out there think TCU has an argument to play for the national championship. Having seen this team play multiple times this year, it's hard to argue that factor. Boise State is once again a very good team. They are fun and exciting to watch, but they have not played a team the caliber of TCU all year. Simply put, the TCU defense is too stout, and their offense too explosive.

Winner: TCU wins the game, but Boise State will cover the points. 8 is just too much. Take the over on this game as well, there will be points


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