Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
Weather: 65 degrees
Line: Michigan -7
I think Vegas is un-believably good at setting lines when it comes to pro sports. Vegas seems to struggle in Bowl Games as some believe they have become a high profile exhibition game. The underdog has been winning bowl games left and right this bowl season which is killing my Bowl "confidence" pool.
I can tell you one person that doesn't believe Bowl Games are exhibitions and that's Jim Harbaugh. His team is on a business trip and they have been pretty much practicing full time since they landed in Miami. It seems the schedule makers love a State of Florida Team vs. Michigan match-up in neutral sites. Michigan played Florida in the Citrus Bowl last year and now gets FSU in the Orange. Michigan will kick off next years schedule against Florida in Dallas.
Tale of the Tape
Michigan WR vs. FSU DB's = Michigan
Michigan OLine vs. FSU DLine = FSU
Michigan Dline vs. FSU OLine = Michigan
Coaching = Michigan
Special Teams = Michigan
FSU Running Game vs. Michigan D = Push
Florida State is banged up in the defensive backfield and the offensive line. Michigan will need to take advantage of these match-ups. FSU like everyone will load the box and stop Michigan's run with their talented defensive line. 280-pound SDE DeMarcus Walker is a monster and probably a first round talent. He will force Wilton into quick decisions that make it difficult for the Michigan RB's to find holes. FSU will put pressure on Wilton all day to try to protect the inexperience in their defensive backfield.
Michigan has had a long time to prepare for FSU's talented defensive line and Michigan Offensive line had their best game of the year in the Citrus last year. I expect another strong performance from them in the Orange.
Yell, This is the Big House South if....................................
- Wilton can handle the pressure and plays clean
- Peppers and crew don't give up any big plays to Dalvin Cook
- Michigan has a healthy mix of run and pass
- The Michigan seniors want to leave with a win
- Giving Jimmy a month to prepare is trouble for FSU
Say, well this could be high profile exhibition if......
- Dalvin Cook is breaking off long runs
- FSU's talent trumps their inexperience
- FSU's pressure gets Wilton happy feet and throwing picks
- Florida State has a home field advantage playing in Florida
Florida State is like Mike Tyson later in his career. This year they have beat up a number of less talented teams but lost their big games. They have a number of weakness that you should be able to exploit to win the game, but you have to be very careful because your still fighting freaking Mike Tyson.
The reason underdogs win Bowl Games is they want to be there vs. their opponents and play to win. Florida last year laid down because they didn't want to be there and had a number of draft prospects that didn't want to get hurt. Michigan has a ton of seniors that are draft eligible and a "let down" has to also be protected against if your a Wolverine. The difference is Michigan's head coach and his mentality that every football game is important opportunity and this isn't an award trip, its a business trip.
I have seen a number of FSU games this season. They have looked terrible and great during the same game. Michigan is the better team but Florida State has talent and are very dangerous. The two guys that could beat the Wolverines are Devin Cook and DeMarcus Walker, both players might be the best (at their position) the Wolverines have seen this year. Jimmy doesn't seem to like night games and the Wolverines have usually not played their best football in primetime.
I like the "jimmy advantage" of having a month to prepare for FSU and some will argue if FSU is motivated to play this game. Most of the talk from the FSU side has been if Devin Cook should even play. If the Michigan offense line can hold up, I like Michigan big in this game. If they struggle, Michigan will have trouble moving the ball which will keep FSU in the game. I'm expecting to see huge games from Darboh, Chesson and Butt. That is a tough match-up for an injured FSU defensive backfield. I love the Michigan defensive vs. FSU inexperienced QB and young but talented WR's. If they can stop Cook (Stribling will need to be able to tackle!) and can protect against the deep ball, the Michigan defense will have another good game.
Michigan 31 FSU 20