Of all the BCS matchups, it would appear the committee got it wrong with Baylor and UCF in the Fiesta Bowl.
I am not one who thinks those thoughts. In fact, it may be the surprise game of the bowl season.
Go ahead and laugh, but there are many media members who just assume Baylor is a better team and the team coached by George O’Leary is a small fraction of what a conference champion should be and what a high-powered offense looks like.
No credit is given to the success of Blake Bortles or the Knights' offense that did score wins over Penn State and Louisville this season and fell short to a South Carolina team that played well below its strength.
Baylor had been a national title contender for most of the season with Bryce Petty throwing the ball, Lache Seastrunk running the ball and an offense that got started well before the defense got settled on the field.
In that regard the media feels that the Knights will not be able to defend that type of team. I take that kind of belief into context with the fact Louisville was a top 10 team when it lost to UCF.
And even though I think this is a game that will be better then you and other may think, in the end, the Bears will win. Here are five reasons why.
Just because he looked average against Oklahoma State, it does not mean Bryce Petty forgot how to play football. Yes, the team lost to the Cowboys and dashed its national title hopes, but Petty is still a mega star in the making and is returning to college for his senior year with the hope of being a Heisman contender and to help win a national title. Petty will be on display for the nation to see. He should not disappoint.
Seastrunk will be the second or third running back taken off the board in the NFL Draft. His size and speed make him a nice fit on the next level. Can Central Florida stop the run after it has been swarmed by a passing game like it has never seen before?
The better team
Baylor has better players on offense and defense and will use its speed to move the ball all over the field. UCF has a good roster of weapons, but in the end there is no real evenness to this matchup. I don’t want to use the David/Goliath image, but the teams are night and day.
While some would say Petty is the focus of this team, Briles is the star of this team. The quiet, unassuming coach just goes about his business and builds a winner. He is the opposite of O’Leary - who is more fiery and a chance taker when it comes to wins and losses.
Not ready for prime time
Had this game been played two weeks ago, I would have given the Knights a chance. Now, there is no tomorrow. The Bears have time to prepare for this one, which makes them very dangerous. Time is a dangerous ally for a team with better offensive weapons.