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Compass Bowl Betting – BBVA Compass Bowl Features Teams In Turmoil

Posted by Blake Frazier on 1/11/2012 9:24:00 AM
compass bowl betting

The 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl matches a team with an unhappy coach against a team whose new coach won’t fully take the reins until the offseason begins. Uncertainty will abound.

SMU Mustangs vs. Pittsburgh Panthers - Saturday, January 7

Sports betting line: Pittsburgh -3.5

Why SMU Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, it’s clear that Pittsburgh will be playing with a less-than-full deck. Pittsburgh scuffled all year under first-year coach Todd Graham, a product of the Panthers’ offseason turmoil, which was found in the form of two coaching transitions. Dave Wannstedt was replaced by Mike Haywood, but less than two weeks after Haywood was hired, Pitt’s newly-minted head coach was charged with domestic violence against his wife. Haywood was fired, and Graham – in a pinch – took the job. The result was the mixture of a new coach with players recruited to fit a different system. Predictably, Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri didn’t easily embrace Graham’s offensive concepts, leading the Panthers to drift through their autumn without a clear sense of direction. Against South Florida, this offensive thrived, but when star running back Ray Graham went down against Connecticut with an injury, the Panthers couldn’t rebound. Up one week and down the next, Pitt ended up where you’d expect it to finish: at the .500 mark. Ray Graham won’t be available for this bowl game, which means that Pittsburgh will take the field with a minimal amount of resources. Moreover, Todd Graham bolted for the Arizona State coaching job. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst will become the Panthers’ new head coach, but he stayed with Wisconsin’s staff for the Rose Bowl against Oregon. He won’t be coaching Pitt this weekend, leaving the Panthers in the lurch. SMU can take advantage of Pitt’s unsettled situation.

Why Pittsburgh Will Win

The college football betting  experts examining this contest know that if the coaching situation in Pittsburgh was scrambled, the situation at SMU is dark and stormy. For SMU, the clouds of uncertainty have rolled into the picture, threatening to take away the forward strides this program has made in recent years. SMU coach June Jones finally lifted the Mustangs to a bowl game in 2009, taking the Dallas-based school to the postseason for the first time since the pre-death penalty days of the mid-1980s. Now, however, Jones must tell his players and future recruits about his level of commitment to SMU. Jones was courted by Arizona State after the Sun Devils fired former coach Dennis Erickson. Jones’s coaching status is likely to distract from his players in this game, wiping out any advantage the Mustangs might have had against Pittsburgh’s shorthanded offense. Bowl games are decide by motivation levels – the team that wants to play in a game will win, and the team that doesn’t care about the event will lose. SMU cares less about this game than Pittsburgh does.

Who Will Win

It’s clear that SMU can’t trust its coach. Pittsburgh doesn’t have its new coach on the sidelines, but that’s a better situation than what SMU faces. Take the Panthers over the unmotivated Mustangs.



College Football Betting Pick: Pittsburgh

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