Saturday, December 23, 2006

Papa John’ Bowl Preview

First off one must ask, why Papa John’ and not just Papa John’s? Personally I’m a fan of the pizza but will most likely never visit the website. It must be one amazing site for them to take so much money into it or it could be an amazingly bad marketing idea.

South Florida (8-4) ended the season with a surprising upset of then #7 West Virginia. The Bulls are playing in their second consecutive bowl game as well as their second since moving up to Division I-A six years ago.

The East Carolina Pirates (7-5) finished out their regular season winning five of their last six games. This is their first bowl appearance in five years.

2006 South Florida Schedule/Results2006 East Carolina Schedule/Results
McNeese State W 41-10at Navy L 23-28
Florida International W 21-20at UAB L 12-17
at UCF W 24-17Memphis W 35-20
at Kansas L 7-13(4) West Virginia L 10-27
(23) Rutgers L 20-22Virginia W 31-21
Connecticut W 38-16Tulsa L 31-10
at North Carolina W 37-20SMU W 38-21
Cincinnati L 6-23at Southern Miss W 20-17
Pittsburgh W 22-12at UCF W 23-10
Syracuse W 27-10Marshall W 33-20
at (10) Louisville L 8-31at Rice L 17-18
at West Virginia W 24-19at NC State W 21-16

Three Reasons to Watch the Papa John’ Bowl
1. South Florida was 3-0 against the Pirates in the three seasons that the two teams played in Conference USA together (2002-04).

2. The last time East Carolina played in a bowl game they lost 64-61 to Marshall.

3. South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe was named the Big East rookie of the year and leads the Bulls in both passing and rushing.

My Prediction
I’ve correctly given you the three winners of the first three bowl games but am seriously struggling with these scores. The New Orleans Bowls wasn’t quite the blow-out that the first two were but rice was never in the game and Troy won easily.

As for this game I’m picking Southern Florida to win in, dare I say it, a close one 24-21.