Cincinnati vs Florida
Bet 5dimes.com Line – Florida -12.5 O/U 57
The Sugar Bowl has easily been the most talked about bowl Game this year. The only problem is most of the talk has nothing to do with the Game it has to do with the current and former coaches for the Bearcats and the Gators. Cincinnati lost its Head Coach Brian Kelly to Notre Dame and the Gators Head Coach Urban Meyer resigned for a day, and now his future is very much in the air on when he will coach again, but he will be leading his Florida Gators onto the field for the Sugar Bowl.
Now that we have gotten the coach talk out of the way we can move to the bowl Game. For the Florida Gators it was BCS Title or bust for them, so this is not where they wanted to find themselves. The Gators finished the year 12-1 with their lone loss coming against Alabama in the SEC Title Game. This will be the last collegiate Game for GAtor QB Tim Tebow, and it very well could be the last Game for Head Coach Urban Meyer, so the Gators need to make sure they arent caught up with all of the emotions that go along with this Game and need to make sure they are ready to play because this is a very good Cincinnati football team on the opposing sideline.
Cincinnati finished their year a perfect 12-0 and added their 2nd straight Big East Title to the trophy case. This is their 2nd consecutive BCS Bowl Game, and if they are going to leave with a win unlike this year they are going to have to play flawless football against the Gators.
We all know about the Bearcats high powered offense led by Senior QB Tony Pike, but what we dont know is how effective will they be against a top defense like Floridas. Cincinnati has not faced a defense like the GAtors all season, so its very difficult to figure out how they will react. The Big East is not known for their defenses, so no team in the Big East could have prepared the Bearcats for what they will see in the Sugar Bowl.
Cincinnati is ranked 6th nationally in total yards and points scored and ranked 7th in passing yards per Game, so its safe to say that the Bearcats will be able to have some success offensively. They are just too good of a team and have too many weapons not to be able to put up some points. The question is how many will they be able to put up? Floridas defense is ranked 2nd in the SEC behind only Alabama in scoring defense allowing just 11 points per Game and most importantly they are ranked 1st in the SEC in pass defense allowing just 152 passing yards per Game.
The Gators arguably have the best secondary in the nation led by CB Joe Haden, CB Janoris Jenkins, S Ahmad Black, and S Major Wright. All 4 of those defensive backs have NFL futures. This is the matchup that will decide the Game will it be Cincinnatis high powered offense led by QB Tony Pike that gets the edge or will it be the GAtors secondary led by CB Joe Haden?
THE FINAL VERDICT
This Game becomes even more difficult to figure out when you take into consideration all the distractions that both teams have had to deal with the last couple of weeks. Both teams will say that they are not thinking about it and that it wont affect their play, but there is no way they can completely zone it out.
While most people would probably assume Florida plays a much tougher Schedule, that’s not really the case. With the numbers we use, these two teams played a Schedule almost identical in stregnth. Let’s not forget that Florida has the likes of Florida International, Charleston Southern, Troy and even Vanderbilt on their daNCe card. Also consider close Games against the likes of Arkansas, Tennessee, Miss St and South Carolina, all teams which we feel Cincinnati can play with.
Florida had yards per points numbers on the road of 14 on offense and 17 on defense. Cinci had numbers on the road of 12 on offense and 17 on defense. These numbers favor Cinci by 2 points.
Bottom line here is that this is simply too many points to be giving Cincinnati here. This Game is all about respect and proving they belong and we do think they belong. If they can overcome the coaching situation, this Game is one the Bearcats can win. The backdoor is certainly always open with a potent offense the likes of Cinci. You don’t get to be 12-0 by ACCident. 3* Cinci +12.5