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Compass Bowl Betting – BBVA Compass Bowl Now Owns Added Uncertainty

Posted by Blake Frazier on 1/5/2011 3:40:22 PM
compass bowl betting

The BBVA Compass Bowl is now a very fragile organism and a very tough game to pick. Coaching volatility for one team will make this game an extremely hard call.

NCAA football betting: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Online Betting Odds: Pittsburgh -3.5

Why To Bet On Pittsburgh

This is still another bowl game in which the best reasons to pick one team lie more with its opponent’s weaknesses than its own strengths. The Kentucky Wildcats didn’t have a great team to begin with in 2010, but their 6-6 record will certainly be viewed as a disappointment when one realizes that the SEC East Division was very mediocre this past season. The Florida Gators won only seven games and both the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers won only six. This was a real opportunity for Kentucky to do some damage in the Southeastern Conference. Coach Joker Phillips couldn’t squeeze enough production out of his defense.

The Wildcats got torched by most of their in-division opponents and were able to thrive only against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Kentucky showed brief sequences of greatness but did not sustain any semblance of elevated quality. The biggest regret for the Wildcats and their fans was that they weren’t able to snap a losing streak against Tennessee that dates back to 1985. The Cats’ inability to take down Tennessee, the result of backbreaking turnovers committed at the worst possible moments, showed that this team is not ready to make high-level statements. It’s reasonable to say that “Kentucky is still Kentucky in football,” so Phillips and his players can’t be trusted on gameday.

Why To Bet On Kentucky

The Pittsburgh Panthers were the preseason pick to win the Big East Conference. Through October, it looked as though their plans were right on schedule. Pitt owned a two-game lead on the field and was in the process of casting aside its non-conference losses to the Utah Utes, Miami (FL) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Then, however, November happened. The Panthers slipped on the ol’ banana peel and thoroughly embarrassed themselves in face-plants against the Connecticut Huskies and West Virginia Mountaineers.

Yes, in a pair of utterly ragged performances – holistic train-wrecks in all phases of football – the Panthers simply became unhinged. Inconsistent defense and a careless, mistake-prone offense caused Pittsburgh to fritter away the Big East and miss yet another opportunity to gain a BCS bowl. The late-season tumble was so pronounced in its crash-and-burn completeness that Pittsburgh Athletic Director Steve Pederson fired coach Dave Wannstedt and sought a new direction. Frank Cignetti, the offensive coordinator, will be the coach for this bowl game.

All of that seemed bad enough, but what’s worse is that newly-hired Pitt coach Mike Haywood was fired on New Year’s Day, just 14 days after being hired as Wannstedt’s permanent replacement. No successor to Haywood has been hired; a move will likely be made after this bowl game. Pittsburgh’s players are likely to be very distracted.

How The Game Will Play Out

One coaching change was bad enough for Pittsburgh, but now the Panthers have been thrown into confusion for the second time in the past three weeks. It’s going to be hard for Pittsburgh to respond to this game with the mental focus that football players need. If you want to make a pick on this coin flip of a game, take Kentucky against the spread.

Compass Bowl Betting Pick: Kentucky

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