Hawaii Bowl, 8pm
Notre Dame vs Hawaii. Lines ND -2, O/U 49
One of my favorite streaks in the history of sports is in jeopardy tonight. Not ND's 0-9 record in bowls, nor the fact ND has not won a bowl game since 1993.
Nope the streak in question is the fact that 89 different schools have won bowl games since the Fighting Irish last celebrated a bowl victory.
How long is that draught? So long that when Arizona--one of the worst teams from a BCS leage over the previous decade--won their bowl game on Saturday, it was the second time the Cats had won a bowl since the Irish won their last one.
Folks, that is not good.
Sadly, that streak will come to end tonight. I have not felt this way about a sports streak since the Rangers were trouncing the Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. With that win, we lost the infamous chant of '1940, 1940' that we could serenade the Rangers with every year they would be eliminated from contention, a testament to how long it had been since the New Yorkers had hoisted the Cup.
I made no money on that back then, but I expect to make some cash tonight on the Irish finally getting of the schnide in postseason.
First, a couple more words about this bowl losing streak by the Irish. There are only 117 teams in DI, so we're 3/4s of the way to seeing every team win a bowl before ND does again. My hopes for seeing that to fruition came to a halt when this matchup was announced a few weeks ago. Sadly, with teams like Buffalo, La Tech, Ball St in the mix this season, I thought we had a great chance of getting into the 90s. Of course, with teams like Indiana out there in the college football world, it was doubtful that every team was going to get a bowl win before ND. So, we might as well put a few bucks and ND and make this sucker worth our while.
Hawaii is not a bowl team. The only reason they qualified is due to a three game winning streak in November against the dregs of CFB, New Mexico St, Idaha and Wassau. Those clubs have a combined four wins between them.
The Rainbows can not run the football, are terrible on the O-Line and commit way too many penalities for my tastes. Throw in the fact that in the post June Jones, Colt Brennan era, they're not the smooth running passing machine they had been and you have to wonder how Hawaii stays in this one for four quarters.
For the Irish, I feel Tenuta and Cornflakes can do enough on defense to keep Hawaii at bay. As long as they dont give the 'Bows a short field, Hawaii wont score more than 20 points tonight.
On offense, ND has a tremendous advantage with Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. The Bows can't cover them. Floyd is a beast and will go for 100 yards and two scores. ND's O-Line is much improved over a year ago, they will keep Claussen clean and Jimmah will have one of his best days of the season. They'll also run the ball effectively late in this game, so there wont be any meltdowns like the Syracuse debacle.
Remember, the ND players want to be here. Their fans might be pissing and moaning about playing a game so far away, on a Holy Day and the band not being there, but this game is one big snowball being thrown back at their fans on behalf of the team. The players are tired about hearing about this bowl losing streak. They will play on fire tonight. Honestly, I would expect ND to play their best game of the season tonight.
The Pick: ND to win on the moneyline, -130.....3 Units....check out this stat I dug up doing research: Road favorites against the moneyline coming off a loss of 28 or more points after the midpoint of the season are 33-4. I'll take that historical trend to the bank tonight and sadly waive goodbye to one of my favorite stats in sports.