The Bowl Series: Fiesta Bowl

New Years, Lets Celebrate

Matt Cassista

Matt Cassista

    As we draw near another festive year in 2014, we leave behind us things like Thrift Shop, twerking, and Kim Kardashian’s fake boobs and face. With all new years, January 1st brings some of the greatest college football to us first hand and this year has a series of games that should entertain even the littlest of college fans.

                I’m on board with a fun punch-out in this year’s Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl between (15)UCF and (6) Baylor. At first glance I wanted to harp on Baylor enthusiast just because they seem to feel that Baylor’s gaudy offensive numbers mean they’re going to roll over UCF. Lets not forget Wofford, Buffalo, and Iowa State aren’t exactly formidable opponents. Pushing there shit in 69-3, 70-13, and 71-7 means nothing once you’re up 3 or 4 scores. Their Madden-like 624.5 yd/game and 53.3 pts/game could blind the casual viewer. Plus they got an embarrassing Oklahoma State lost on their resume, one of the 32 point variety.

                UCF on the other hand only suffered one lost as well, and to a very strong opponent in the Game Cocks…losing to them by only a FG doesn’t necessarily seem like a back breaker to this team’s goals and aspirations. They also ranked 12th in the nation in defense, allowing only 19.6 pts/game, that’s pretty stout. Blake Bortles also had a 22-7 TD-INT stat line this year with over 3000 passing. However, UCF also has a few questionable wins in their resume, when they edged out Temple 39-36 (which suffered a 2-10 season,) as well as holding on to beat SMU 17-13…SMU being another team with a fairly poor record (5-7).

                It’s these last few details about UCF that I really struggle to see them having much success in this game. Their offense is 38th in the Nation. It’s a shame it cannot be top 25 when you’re “running the show” in the new American Atlantic Conference. Baylor’s defense finished 20th in the nation in points allowed a game, so they’re no slouch. Baylor has big receivers in Goodley, Reese and Petty should have the green-light to run the offense through these playmakers. Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk just had a 1000 yard rushing season and with an opportunity to show his name in bright lights, this may be a golden chance for him to increase his draft stock. Neither team has the upper hand in playing under the big lights…this is both UCF’s and Baylor’s first BCS game. Baylor however, does have a big win under their belt in beating Oklahoma earlier in the year, they seem to love the attention of the late night spot light.

                I’m taking Baylor in this one, the spread is currently set at a 16.5 point favorite for Baylor, I don’t know if I am so ballsy as to go that high because of how offensive UCF can prove to be, but I could definitely see this game staying close till the late 3rd/early 4th.