It’s time for bowl predictions for the middle 3 ACC bowl games, which will feature Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Virginia. Not to get cocky, but the Confidential is 2 for 2 so far, having predicted Missouri to defeat North Carolina by 11 (actual margin 17) and North Carolina State to defeat Louisville by 4 (actual margin 7). While tonight will feature the final game of the first three, it is time to move onto the next three–the games of December 30 and 31.
On December 30, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-6) will travel to Nashville to take on Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-6) in the Music City Bowl. As the .500 records suggest, neither team does a particularly outstanding job at anything. Mississippi State is currently favored by 6.5 points, as perhaps the SEC pedigree is dictating Vegas. After all, their losses were to stud teams LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Auburn. The problem is that their best win was against Louisiana Tech. In contrast, Wake Forest stumbled to a season-opening loss at Syracuse in overtime (who was 5-2 at one point this year), but otherwise lost only to bowl teams. And Wake Forest did beat Florida State and North Carolina State. Edge to Wake Forest. Prediction: Wake Forest 23-Mississippi State 21.
On December 31, Georgia Tech (8-4) faces off against Utah (7-5) in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. You know what you are going to get from the Yellow Jackets. About 300 yards of rushing and maybe 150 yards of passing. Meanwhile, Utah has been outstanding against the run–giving up only 98 yards per game on the ground. That is 8th in the nation. Plus, the Utes will have several weeks to prepare for the Georgia Tech attack–something most teams do not get week-to-week. But the bigger question is whether Utah can move the ball against Georgia Tech. If Utah’s defense does what it can do, it will not need to score much to win. Prediction: Utah 20 – Georgia Tech 14.
On December 31, the final ACC game during the calendar year 2011 will involve Virginia (8-4) playing Auburn (7-5) in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. Auburn has had its offensive woes this year as it transitions out of the Cam Newton era. To be sure, they have to do that in the ever-difficult SEC. Meanwhile, Virginia was only able to score 14 points in its final two games of the season against Florida State and Virginia Tech. This has all the makings of a defensive struggle. Maybe The Confidential is just a little too fond of Mike London. This may be a case of having the ACC-Goggles on. Prediction: Virginia 24-Auburn 14.
Feel free to share your agreement or disagreement. Just do so before the game ends…