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Liberty Bowl Betting Predictions – Tulsa Tries To Get Revenge This Bowl Season

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/20/2012 5:36:54 PM

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane get a second chance at the same opponent this season. They lost to Iowa State on Sept. 1. Now, they'll be able to play the Cyclones again on Dec. 31.

2012 Liberty Bowl –
Iowa State Cyclones vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane – Monday, December 31    
NCAA football betting line: Iowa State -1

Why Iowa State Will Win

Even an online horse betting guru would look at a box score or two and say that Iowa State demonstrated pronounced mastery against Tulsa on Sept. 1. The Cyclones won by 15 points and gained 12 more first downs than the Golden Hurricane. Iowa State committed two fewer turnovers and converted 7 of 17 third downs whereas Tulsa converted 8 of 22. Iowa State started off in a sluggish manner but then scored 24 straight points to gain an eight-point lead and was never particularly troubled down the stretch. There's no reason why the Cyclones can't beat Tulsa again.

Why Tulsa Will Win

When a winning poker hand exists, you don't need to be too cautious, and Tulsa is not in a position to avoid taking risks. The Golden Hurricane know they need to go for broke in this game, and that point of awareness could enable them to deliver a more urgent and energized performance than an Iowa State team that might view this rematch as boring.

Tulsa can win because of its combination of improved balance and quality coaching. For a number of years, Tulsa was a talented passing team which was going to air it out on the way to 45-50 point games, aiming to win in shootout fashion. That was the modus operandi under former coach Todd Graham. In 2012 things have changed a bit, as the Golden Hurricanes have become much more balanced under head coach Bill Blankenship, enough to win the championship of Conference USA. The Golden Hurricane feature a trio of backs who have carried the ball 100 or more times.

While Alex Singleton has been featured as the red zone back, Ja’Terian Douglas and Trey Watts have each eclipsed 600 yards rushing on their carries. The team has improved its defense immensely from a year ago when it was among the worst in the entire nation. It now ranks a very respectable 42nd in the 124-member FBS in total defense. This is how a team moves up the ladder in its conference. Tulsa failed to even win its own division (Conference USA West) last season. Now it is a conference champion with a coach who delivers more of a return on the school's investment than many other coaches in college football. Blankenship has delivered the kind of value to Tulsa that various athletic directors can only dream of. 

Who Will Win

It’s true that in many bowl rematches, the team that lost the first game comes back to win the second game. This was true when Alabama beat LSU in last season's BCS National Championship Game after losing to the Tigers in the regular season. However, the sense here is that Iowa State is going to be excited about playing a bowl game. The Cyclones lost their bowl game last season and will want to make amends. Take Iowa State here.

College Football Betting Pick: Iowa State

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