Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Bowl Appetit

Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech -3.5 Kansas

The Mangenius and Kansas have the stage to themselves on Thursday night when they take on the Hokies of Virginia Tech. Critics can poo-poo the Jayhawks soft schedule all they want, but this fact remains--the Jayhawks have dominated it. They have outgained their opponents by over 2000 yards on the season and outscored them by 340. The Jayhawks are not like Hawaii, who struggled against soft competition and got exposed in the Sugar Bowl. And the Hokies are not like the Bulldogs. The Hokies are a fine team certainly, but they are not a championship contender as they may fancy themselves.

In the Jayhawks only loss this season, they faced a dynamic spread offense (Missouri) that they could not stop. They allowed 519 yards to the Tigers and yet they lost by only 8 points because they were able to eventually get their offense going against a solid defense (ask Arkansas how good it was). The Virginia Tech Hokies do not boast a dynamic offense. In fact, their offense is poor. They rank 99th in the nation in yards per game (332 per contest). The Hokies won 5 games this season when they gained 300 or fewer yards thanks to their outstanding defense and special teams. The Hokies brought two punts back for touchdowns and rank 7th in the nation in punt return average (14.35 yards per return). Kansas will not be able to move the ball efficiently against Virginia Tech, but the Hokies will find it tough going against the Jayhawks as well. In what should be a low-scoring affair, Kansas will pull off the upset.

The Pick: Kansas will cover the 3.5 point spread.

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