Vanderbilt -4 (o/u 54) vs Baylor
With Middle Tennessee State, Nevada and #3 Notre Dame making up most of its non-conference schedule, Vanderbilt played arguably one of the toughest schedules in the NCAA. The fact they recorded 6 wins against 6 losses and made the bowl schedule is something to be proud of. They did have the good fortune to catch the three worst teams in the conference over the last four weeks for wins and a bowl bid. Surprisingly, Vandy did have two legitimate stars on offense. At QB, Kyle Shurmur racked up 2,844 yards passing and 23 TDs with only 7 interceptions. Joining him in the backfield was Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who rushed for 1,001 yards on just 144 carries, good for an impressive 7.0 YPC. He also scored a total of 12 TDs.
Baylor (6-6) was not a very good football team. One would argue that a weak non-conference schedule is the only reason Baylor got the 6 wins it needed to get a bowl bid. The fact they lost 4 of its last 6 games doesn’t give them a lot of momentum entering this game. With that said, this is a team that can move the ball through the air. QBs Charlie Brewer and Jalin McClendon held the offense together by passing for a combined 3,350 yards and 20 TDs. The lack of a running game kept the pressure on those guys all season long. The defense was a bit inconsistent but good enough to compete against the bottom echelon teams in the Big 12 Conference.
Prediction: Both teams have significant holes. Vandy has the two best football players on the field but doesn’t offer much on defense. Baylor should be able to move the ball through the air and Vanderbilt should be able to rack up yards with a balanced attack. If both teams can avoid costly turnovers, they can both score in the high 20s, making the over within reach. Play over 54.5