From the Dark Side: A Florida Fan Breaks Down the Sugar Bowl and the Gators Odds Against the Spread
Before I begin my rant about how bad THE Florida Gators will beat the Louisville Cardinals in the 2013 AllState Sugar Bowl, I want to thank DudeYouCrazy for yet another opportunity to express my deep, unshakable delight for my beloved Gator Nation. A mere two months ago, I attempted to prove that Florida’s kicking/punting game would help the Gators edge the Dawgs in the game that ended Florida’s chances for a SEC Championship and a possible National ‘ship shot. Needless to say, I was disappointed, crushed, and pretty much deflated. However, the Gators chomped their way back with victories over Mizzwho, LA-Lafayidk, Jacksonville St?, the cons from Florida Stink, and are now on their way to New Orleans for the 2013 AllState Sugar Bowl.
So, THE Dude asked me to give my professional Florida Gator analysis as to who will win this game. Easy…Florida. Only thing is, he wanted me to preview this game from the perspective of the Point Spread…not so easy, seeing as how the point spread is 15, favoring the Gators. I’ll give it my best shot.
Let me commence my rant by stating the obvious: THE Florida Gators are a much better team than the Louisville Cardinals. In my opinion (and the Dude’s) and hopefully in most CFB fans’ opinions, the Gators have the best résumé in the nation. What ranked opponent did Louisville beat this year? Exactly. The Gators had a tendency to struggle offensively throughout the year on multiple occasions. The Cardinals’ head coach is…yeah, Charlie Strong, Florida’s defensive strong-man (no pun intended) for seven straight years.
Everyone knows Florida is the better team and that Louisville should be/is the “small fry” come January 2nd at 8:30 pm, but should the Gators be a far-fetched 15 point favorite? Did Santa really eat the cookies and drink the milk you left on the fire place mantle Christmas Eve? Guess it’s all in what you believe.
From the perspective of a life-long Florida fan, I honestly can’t see the Gators covering this surprisingly copious point spread, simply based on their offensive performance or lack thereof. On the other side, Louisville is coming into this game ranking 18th in pass defense and 51st in rush defense. If Muschomp (see what I did there) and Pease know what they’re doing, they will use the same philosophy of the “ground and pound” game that helped them prevail in critical games this year against teams like USC, LSU, TAMU, and FSU. The Gators will not and I repeat, will not win this game or even come close to covering the spread through the air.
So, as I’m writing this I have noticed that not once have I mentioned anything pertaining to the Cardinal’s offense and I have good reason. Florida will enter the Sugar Bowl ranked 3rd in the nation (at 12.9) in points against. Meaning on average, Florida only allowed 12.9 points per contest. On the other hand, Louisville is listed as 48th in points for with an average of 31 points per contest. What does this mean??? It means you need to consult the numbers guy, DudeYouCrazy, because I hate using stats and would much rather offer my outlook as to how the Gators will cover this fat point spread.
In conclusion, the Louisville Cardinals are far overmatched in size and speed, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mr. Strong pull a few “special” items from his bag o’ tricks. He’s a defensive-minded coach and he spent many years at Florida even though much has changed in the program since he left.
Will Florida win? Yes. If I were a betting man, would I take the spread? Absolutely not. This year’s Florida Gators are unpredictable: 44-11 against #7 USC, 27-20 against LA- Lafayette. I hope none of this meaningless information helps you decide who to bet against, because I’m in it for one thing and one thing only, a GATOR “W”. I do urge you to bet responsibly though.
AllState Sugar Bowl Final Florida – 38, Louisville – 17
That’s all I got,