If Ever There Was a Holiday Gimme, This Could Be It
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If ever there was a smörgåsbord of opportunities to pad the ol' bank account, it's on the table being set today in San Diego.
Give a Mike Leach team a field with a buncha white lines five yards apart, and he'll engineer massive point production.
Give virtually any college program a distracting controversy, and odds are their performance will suffer.
This combination could make for a lopsided Holiday Bowl.
After taking a look at the Bovada data tool on our Home page, the word value is shouting out in so many ways with this pairing:
The line's soared from Wazzu -5½ to Wazzu -9½ -- and it's risen to -10½ in some books -- so Bovada still offering it as Wazzu -9 at this moment is like cashing in on an after-Christmas sale.
Weather at kickoff is expected to be a comfy 65ºF and not drop below 58ºF throughout the early evening, so it'll seem like the tropics for these two cold-weather clubs.
That should make Bovada's over-under of 61 even more attainable.
Toss in the facts that:
- Two of the Golden Gophers' suspended players are CB KiAnte Hardin and S Antoine Winfield Jr,
- As are a pair of backups in the secondary who get their snaps,
- Coug QB Luke Falk making a settling declaration that he's coming back for a senior season, and
- He's an equal-opportunity slinger, ie- any eligible receiver on a route can be a primary target,
And there's a fairly decent side play to be had that Washington State will roll up over 500 yards through the air.
Here was a late-season assessment of Falk prior to the Apple Cup:
For the record, the playoff-bound Washington Huskies held Falk & Co to 17 points.
The Golden Gophers aren't Washington.
Minnesota's ground game must chop clock for them to stay in this one. It's doubtful they will. DC Alex Grinch has fashioned a physical defense that, among others, jammed Stanford's humongous O-line and near-pro Christian McCafferty.
While Mike Leach is waxing prolific on whatever the hell crosses his mind, Gopher coach Tracy Claeys is being asked questions about the petition to fire him.
Ugly, just ugly.
Claeys is doing his best to instill an us vs them mentality, giving it the old college try, and whatever else might provide a boost.
The problem remains, though: there's not enough us in their secondary and too many of them out there with good hands.
Prediction: Wazzu -9
Result: Minnesota 17 Washington State 12 ... Minnesota covers