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Gator Bowl Pick

Florida vs. Ohio State

1/2/12

In 2006 the Florida Gators and the Ohio State Buckeyes squared off for the National Title with the Gators coming out on top by a score of 41-14. This year, in 2012, they'll square off in the Gator Bowl, a game in which few outside the states of Ohio and Florida care much about. But it's still a game with some intrigue. The Gators are favored by 2.5 points at 5 Dimes.

One interesting angle to this game is Urban Meyer. This is a game between his former team, and his soon to be team. While Urban Meyer won't be on the sidelines for this one, he may very well have an impact on the outcome. You have some lame duck coaches that will be on the sidelines for Ohio State who may very well have been too busy trying to line up positions for next year than concentrating on a game plan to beat the Gators.

No one was a bigger critic of the Buckeyes than us here at Bettorsworld this year, particularly the first half of the year. It was a team with a fantastic defense, but an offense that was down right comical at times. The word pathetic comes to mind. But that offense improved each week down the stretch. The Buckeyes started to insert game plans that focused on the strengths of rookie QB Braxton Miller, who also came into his own as the season progressed.

Down the stretch this team scored 33 points and knocked off Wisconsin 33-27 and scored 34 points in a losing effort at Michigan in a game that, despite the loss, showed just how far this team progressed.

The Gators, like Ohio State, were 6-6 this year. Blowout losses to Alabama and LSU serve as a reminder that things aren't like they used to be in the Sunshine State. Losses to South Carolina, Georgia, Auburn and Florida State help hammer that point home and mediocre performances against Vandy and Tennessee show us that the Gators are currently a middle of the pack SEC team.

Once again we are forced to cross our fingers and hope that the off field distractions, Urban Meyer, the coaching staff, and the sanctions imposed against the Buckeyes for next year, don't impact this game negatively, because we like the Buckeyes here.

Despite losing three straight to end the year, we feel the Buckeyes have grown more as a team and are currently the better football team on both sides of the ball. They're certainly as good or better than some of the teams Florida struggled with while the Gators are not on the same level as teams such as Wisconsin, which Ohio State beat. Also note that the Gators turnover margin of -11 places them among the worst of all Bowl teams. Our model predicts an 18-18 score which would also suggest the under 44 might be worth a look. If they show up, it goes to Ohio State. Ohio State +3 (buy half at 5 dimes)

 

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