AIR FORCE (8-4)
vs. GEORGIA TECH (6-6)
Dec. 27 -- 3:00 pm MT -- ESPN2
Our predictions, with the confidence points from our ESPN.com Bowl Mania entries included. A confidence rating of 35 is highest, 1 is lowest.
The last time we all agreed so heavily (Hawaii Bowl), we were all wrong by about 4 TDs...
Could this be the quickest game in the history of Division 1 football? Both the Jackets and the Falcons run a possession-based option attack and love to control the football. Georgia Tech has the superior talent on both sides of the ball but have missed their star QB who blew out his knee earlier in the year. This one will be close. The Falcons will make one more play. Coach Calhoun and the Cadets will come out on top.
WINNER: AIR FORCE -- CONFIDENCE: 14
Georgia Tech will be without QB Josh Nesbitt (not medically cleared to play) and has also suspended 3 defensive players. With or without Nesbitt, Air Force would still have the better passing QB in Tim Jefferson. Jefferson and the Falcons' air attack always makes hay (not in total yards, but in efficiency) on non-conference teams who focus so much on stopping the option that they forget to cover pass patterns. This year's example was Jefferson's 8-14 for 107 yards in a 3-point loss to Oklahoma. Air Force wins with more offensive diversity.
WINNER: AIR FORCE -- CONFIDENCE: 26
Air Force has played great most of the year. They seem to trail off in mid to late season - usually from injury. The rest before the bowl will prove vital. They finally have a QB that can throw and some receivers and backs that can catch. Air Force wins.
WINNER: AIR FORCE -- CONFIDENCE: 24
AIR FORCE 80%