The bowl season gets back underway tonight as Louisville and Southern Miss takes the field in St. Petersburg, Fla. at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN. Lousiville is ranges from a 2.5 to 3.5 point favorite over Southern Miss in tonight's game. The teams are old conference foes from C-USA, but Louisville is now in the Big East and apparently in a 'friendly' dance competition Louisville took it a bit too serious. There was an altercation that required the Florida Highway Patrol officers to intervene. These pregame scuffles have been quite the rage this post season. There is no indication that the melee made any of the experts picks change who they were going for.
ESPN's Big East blogger Brian Bennett picks Louisville to win tonight's game:
The Cardinals are a senior-laden squad full of veteran guys who are excited to play in their first bowl game. Strong's defense will limit Southern Miss' high-octane output, and Powell will run over the questionable Golden Eagles defense. Louisville wins 31-21.
While, his counter part Andrea Adelson who writes about the non-AQ schools predicts Southern Miss to win:
Southern Miss 30, Louisville 27. Yes, a good defense usually trumps a good offense, but Southern Miss is taking this challenge in a big way. The last time the Golden Eagles faced a good defense, they won -- 31-21 over UCF. The Knights have the best defense in Conference USA, and rank No. 18 in the country in total D. Louisville is No. 12.
Time to see who the computers like in tonight's game. AccuScore runs 10,000 simulations and predicts a very close matchup with the average final score being 31.4 to 31.1 in favor of Southern Miss over Louisville with Southern Miss winning 51 percent of the time. So, perhaps tonight will be the first exciting bowl game that is not decided by the first quarter.