Fargo’s 2009 Sugar Bowl Picks

Another winner from Matt Fargo last night as he took Utah over Alabama with his bowl picks.  Let’s find out just why he liked the Utes to pull off the upset over the Tide:

We all saw what happened last season when a non-BCS team crashed the party as Hawaii was trounced in the Sugar Bowl against Georgia. Gamblers have short-term memories and that is what they will remember but will likely forget two years ago when Boise St. went to Fiesta Bowl and defeated Oklahoma. It is possible for these small schools to compete and Utah will be up for the challenge here. The big thing here is that Utah isn’t just happy to be here but it wants to win. They’ve gotten this far and they aren’t here just to be the kind of team happy with a close loss or satisfied with making it to a big bowl game. They want that Sugar Bowl trophy, too. The Tide have been a very good story this season. They came in expecting to be good but not many people expected a season like this. Alabama does have a great offensive line and it has been able to knock a lot of teams around because of it but it will be missing a key ingredient on Friday. Left tackle Andre Smith, the Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s best interior lineman, was suspended after a school investigation discovered improper contact with a sports agent. We all know that the position is the most important for the quarterback as it protects the blind side but this loss could affect Alabama more emotional than physically. “Practice was not real great yesterday,” nose guard Terrence Cody said. “I think it was kind of different because he wasn’t out there. The tempo was different; we didn’t have much tempo yesterday.” Alabama has played the 58th ranked schedule which is horrible for an SEC team while Utah has played the 70th ranked schedule. Comparing the SEC and MWC with this shows little difference. Alabama is just 1-7 ATS in its last eight games following a loss. Utah is 24-5 ATS in its last 29 games as an underdog and it gets even better. The Utes have been underdogs of more than a touchdown only nine times since 1998 and they are a perfect 9-0 ATS in those games with four of those being outright wins and four others being losses by a field goal or less.