Monday, December 11th, 2017

BBVA Compass Bowl

Published on January 7, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

BBVA-compass-bowl-logoThe BBVA Compass Bowl is a bowl game that is based out of Birmingham, Alabama. This bowl game has been played four times before under the name PapaJohns.com Bowl. The matchup is between teams from the SEC and the Big East.

The bowl game was created because there had not been a bowl game hosted in Birmingham since the Dixie Bowl, which played a total of three times starting in 1947. Birmingham also hosted the SEC championship game until it was moved to Atlanta in 1994.

The 2011 Compass Bowl will feature the Pittsburgh Panthers (7-5) from the Big East against the Kentucky Wildcats (6-6) from the SEC. The game will kickoff at noon ET tomorrow, January 8. It can be seen on ESPN and heard on ESPN Radio.

Neither team can claim having much momentum going into this ballgame. Pittsburgh let go of Dave Wannstedt and then hired and fired the Miami of Ohio head coach who got charged with a felony domestic violence. That leave them without a coach and without a whole lot of motivation from the school and fans.

Kentucky has played like Kentucky usually plays. They get blown out occasionally and they play good teams tight but often lose those games. They are a run of the mill 6-6 SEC team. 2-6 in their conference with an upset win against South Carolina and gave Mississippi their only conference win of the year.

Previous Bowl Results

UConn (7-5) won the bowl game last year for the Big East over South Carolina (6-6) by the score of 24-7. This was the only other time that these two conferences have met in this bowl game. The Big East as a whole is a perfect 4-0 in the BBVA Compass Bowl/Papajohns.com Bowl.

2010-papajohns-bowl-photo

The Pittsburgh Panthers (9-3) won the 2009 Meineke Car Care bowl 19-17 over North Carolina (8-4). They are 3-5 in bowl games since 2000.

The Kentucky Wildcats (7-5) were beaten last year in the Music City Bowl 21-13 by the Clemson Tigers (8-5). Kentucky has been to a team record 5 straight bowl games; they are 3-3 in bowl games since 1998.

Compass Bowl Breakdown

RecordsPittsburgh: 7-5; Kentucky: 6-6
All Time Bowl RecordPittsburgh: 11-15; Kentucky: 8-6
Key WinsPittsburgh: South Florida 17-10, Syracuse 45-14; Kentucky: South Carolina 31-28, Louisville 23-16
Key LossesPittsburgh: Miami 31-3, Notre Dame 23-17, West Virginia 35-10; Kentucky: Florida 48-14, Ole Miss 42-35, Auburn 37-34

Kentucky has only beaten two winning teams this year (both shown above) the other four wins were against four very poor quality opponents. They were beaten by 10 points or more 3 times but also had 2 very close games against good teams.

Pittsburgh has a horrible game against rival West Virginia 35-10 to put them out of contention for the Big East title. They barely lost to UConn and played well against Notre Dame and Utah in losses.

Points For/GamePittsburgh: 26.3; Kentucky: 33.0
Points Against/GamePittsburgh: 19.8; Kentucky: 28.5
Offensive Yards/GamePittsburgh: 368; Kentucky: 437

This game is going to depend on whether or not Pittsburgh comes ready to play with all of the coaching drama that has been going on over there. If this game were earlier in the bowl season, I could see Pitt rise for the challenge; but the kids are already into their next semester and probably won’t be pumped up to play in a bowl game like this.

Kentucky is kind of weak on defense and Pittsburgh has been able to put up points against bad defenses. However, Pittsburgh’s defense is not infallible and Kentucky knows how to score points as well.

Prediction

Here we go again. I was wrong on this last time in the GoDaddy.com Bowl when I picked against the better team (Miami of Ohio) that was minus a coach. I can’t see myself being wrong again ;). I’m going to go with Kentucky winning this game 34-27.

Highlights from Previous PapaJohns.com Bowl

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