(10-2, 9-3 ATS)
Ohio State Buckeyes
(11-1, 9-2-1 ATS)
The SEC has absolutely dominated the Big Ten in the bowl season this year, but the big boys from the best in conference in the Midwest have one last chance at some vengeance, as the Ohio State Buckeyes engage in NCAA football betting warfare with the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sugar Bowl on January 4th.
Give a ton of credit to Head Coach Bobby Petrino and his staff this year, as this has turned into a legitimate Top 10 team in the country. Petrino’s Hogs took care of some great teams like the Texas A&M Aggies, South Carolina Gamecocks, Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers, and Mississippi State Bulldogs this year, and they should be very proud to have finished with a ten win regular season. QB Ryan Mallett is probably playing in his last game with the Razorbacks, and this is his last chance to prove to NFL scouts that he has a chance to really perform highly at the next level. The junior threw for 3,592 yards and 30 TDs, and he’ll be setting career highs in both categories here at the Sugar Bowl. He has three straight games with at least three TD passes under his best as well, and you can bet that Mallett is going to do everything he can to make sure if this is the final game of his career, that it is one to remember. Things have been difficult this year with WR Greg Childs being knocked out for the year just halfway through the campaign, but when you look around at what Arkansas has to offer, you realize that there is an 1,100 yard back in RB Knile Davis and a whopping five receivers that will have at least 600 yards by the time this one is said and done.
Ohio State’s biggest question in this game is whether five juniors, led by QB Terrelle Pryor are really playing in their last game with the Bucks in spite of the fact that they have all pledged to come back for their senior seasons. Pryor and company were suspended for the first five games of next season, and they are only being allowed to play in this game due to the fact that they pledged to remain Buckeyes in 2011. Pryor threw for 2,551 yards and 25 TDs this year, but there are two more offensive stars that could be in some trouble as well. RB Daniel Herron and WR DeVier Posey were both in this scandal with selling merchandise and getting discounted tattoos. Herron rushed for 1,068 yards, while Posey had 778 receiving yards. Still, this is a team built on its defense. This unit ranked No. 2 in the land this year at 251.6 yards per game, and with a good enough performance, this unit can finish No. 1 in the land in scoring. Right now, it is No. 3 at 13.3 points per game.
We see it almost every year that the SEC is just the dominating conference over the Big Ten, and we tend to believe that that will remain in place on Tuesday night. We love taking the points one way or the other, but we don’t think the Sugar Bowl odds make one bit of difference.
Sugar Bowl Free Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks +3.5