The BCS bowl season continues Tuesday night with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, pitting the Michigan Wolverines against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The game is scheduled for a 8:30 pm kickoff and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds have Michigan favored from 2.5 to 3 points depending on the book with the total being set at 51 points. Neither team in the public's eye deserves to play in this game, but both have had very successful seasons and a BCS victory would make things that much better.
Free Analysis: The decision by the Sugar Bowl to bypass No. 8 Boise State and No. 11 Kansas State has sparked anger from those that were snubbed. Both teams have been defending themselves since the selection of the bowl matchups took place. Michigan probably has more of a right to be in this contest, completing a 10-2 record and the becoming the only school in the country to play 10 teams that played in bowl games this season. Aside from their loss to arch rival Michigan State for the fourth straight season and a last second loss to Iowa that still has an arguable ending, the Wolverines have jumped over every hump this season. The Wolverines went 5-7 in 2009 and 7-6 last year before this season's turnaround under first-year coach Brady Hoke, who should be the unanimous coach of the year. In what seemed like a good idea to take a team like Virginia Tech, who has a great following, the Sugar Bowl quickly scoffed at the school when it had trouble selling the 17,500 ticket allotment. Seems awful hard to not be able to sell that many tickets. Getting back to the game on the field, it's going to be a matchup of two of the better defensive teams in the country. Hard to believe, just one year removed from Michigan's 2010 season. The Wolverines went from 107th in total defense last season and 102nd in scoring defense to 18th overall and seventh in scoring defense this season. Sure, the Wolverines might not have "deserved" this game anymore than Boise or Kansas State, but Michigan surely has the pedigree and the following. It's only the second bowl game in the last four years for Michigan and one year removed from a 38-point beatdown loss to Mississippi State last year. Virginia Tech is in a BCS game for the fourth time in five years and has a lot of speed on both sides of the ball. Michigan QB Denard Robinson and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint each finished the year as a 1,000-yard rusher. Michigan did a much better job of keeping control of the ball this year as well. Robinson's numbers are down from a breakout year last season, but he threw for 18 touchdowns for the second year in a row. Michigan also increased its time of possession by nearly five minutes per game, no doubt helping the defense by keeping them off the field. Michigan poses a great threat to Virginia Tech's defense. The Hokies lost both games to Clemson this season and their offense is very comparable to that of Michigan's. Virginia Tech's offense is led by ACC player of the year David Wilson, who averaged 125.2 yards rushing for the nation's sixth-best mark. Quarterback Logan Thomas will also be looking to have a big game. The Wolverines have lost five of their last six bowl games, but a win here tonight could wipe out a very dark portion of Michigan's history. It's also their first BCS game since the 2000 Orange Bowl.
Free Pick: Michigan is the better football team here, and I think that's evident by the fact the oddsmakers currently have them favored. In both of Virginia Tech's losses to Clemson this season, mobile QB Tajh Boyd gave them problems. Not trying to pick favorites here, but Robinson is a considerably better threat to run than Boyd. Robinson now has two full seasons under center and the spotlight Michigan has found itself in will be huge for the program. It will be Michigan's defense that steps up and wins this game for the club. Robinson and the Wolverine offense will do their part, too.
Free Picks: Michigan vs Virginia Tech BettingVirginia Tech public perception is down but we're getting line value and Virginia Tech undefeated except for Clemson plus other factors college football bettors need to know about Michigan vs Virginia Tech (Tuesday, January 3, 2012) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Stephen Nover and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.