This article was not written on Christmas Day, but it is being posted on Christmas, since the game is on the 26th. PUP would like to wish everyone reading this site a very Merry Christmas. You’re probably looking for some football talk as a respite from being stuck in the same room as all your relatives. I can’t promise you much, but I can give you a bowl pick. So far, these are going pretty well for this site.
Wednesday’s post-Christmas bowl will have you saying Pizza-Pizza.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Central Michigan Chippewas | Wednesday, Dec. 26, 7:30pm | WKU -5.5 | ESPN
This is the ol’ Sun Belt vs. MAC matchup that we’ve been waiting to see (I guess). Both of those conferences have some very good teams, but regrettably, these were two that went .500 in conference play: Western Kentucky (Sun Belt) and Central Michigan (MAC). WKU is now without its coach, as Willie Taggart is off to South Florida; at least CMU didn’t suffer the same fate this time, as they’ve recently had two coaches snatched away. Their names? Brian Kelly and Butch Jones. Ex-Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino will replace Taggart in 2013, but assistant coach Lance Guidry will coach the team in the bowl game.
The offenses have posted almost exactly the same number of yards per game and were very close in terms of points per game. This is why we’ll look at defenses: Central Michigan has given up a staggering 33.3, while WKU has been a little better at 25.6. A deeper look at the numbers reveals that the Chippewas had a poor run defense in 2012, while the Toppers did a good job at shutting down the ground game relative to the rest of the league. What helps WKU is that their run offense was a solid and productive part of their offense, which would pose some real trouble for Central Michigan.
There was only one good win between these two teams — Western Kentucky over Arkansas State — so we’re not exactly dealing in great quality. Overall, however, the body of work for the Toppers this season has been a little more impressive and the better defense sets WKU apart just a bit.
2012 Little Caesars Bowl Pick: Western Kentucky