The final bowl game betting battle of New Year’s Day will feature a pair of teams that have had fantastic 2009 seasons. The Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0, 6-6 ATS) will look to wrap up the first undefeated season in school history with a victory against the Florida Gators (12-1, 6-6 ATS). This will be nothing more than a consolation for the Gators, who came up just short of the BCS National Championship game when they lost to the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game. Cincinnati may have deserved better this year after going 12-0, but someone had to be left out of the National Championship game. The Bearcats will try to sew up the perfect season without their HC Brian Kelly, who has left the school for Notre Dame. The college bowl point spreads show Florida as 10.5-point favorites.
Cincinnati Offense vs. Florida Defense: This may be one of the more intriguing matchups of the entire bowl season. Cincinnati’s offense has been absolutely fantastic this year no matter whether QB Tony Pike or Tony Collaros has been calling the shots. The Bearcats rank #6 in the land in total offense (464.2 yards per game), passing yards (320.2 yards per game), and points scored (39.8 per game). The unit has scored at least 24 points in all of its games this season, and at least 28 in all but one game. The offense has scored at least 45 points in three of its L/44.
Florida’s defense is going to be up to the challenge, though. The Gators may have been rolled up on by Alabama, but all in all, this is one of the best units in the country. The 32 points allowed to the Crimson Tide was more than the defending champs had allowed in their previous four games combined. No one else had scored more than 20 points on this unit all season. There are legitimately at least three first round draft picks on this unit. Pike will get a stern test from the #3 pass defense in the land, which is allowing just 151.5 yards per game.
Florida Offense vs. Cincinnati Defense: In the SEC Championship Game, the Gators’ offense was as flat as it has looked in years. However, save for the dud against Bama and the 13-3 slugfest against LSU in the Bayou, Florida has put at least 23 points on all of its opponents this year. This is the most dynamic rushing attack in the country, as the three-headed monster of QB Tim Tebow, RB Chris Rainey, and RB Jeff Demps pace the #10 ground attack in the country at 225.2 yards per game. Tebow will be playing in his final game in blue and orange, and you can bet that he’ll want to put on a show for the Gators faithful.
The Bearcats have struggled in a major way since the start of November. They hadn’t allowed more than 20 points to any foe this year before giving up 45 to UConn. Since then, Cincy has conceded 21 to West Virginia, 36 to Illinois, and 44 to Pittsburgh. Even though the Bearcats still rank in the top half of the country in every major defensive category, they’ll be facing a test like they haven’t seen all year in the Superdome on New Year’s Day.