Eric Francis/Getty Images
When: Friday, Dec. 28, 9 p.m. EST, ESPN
Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
In what is perhaps the boldest of our lock picks for Week 2 of the bowling season, it's Minnesota plus-13 vs. Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. What’s intriguing about this game is that the Golden Gophers' one glaringly obvious statistical strength matches up very well with that of Texas Tech.
Indeed, it's Minnesota’s No. 11-ranked pass defense trying to shut down the Red Raider’s No. 2-ranked pass offense.
Of course, this all should be qualified by saying that the Golden Gophers didn’t necessarily earn this high mark by facing a slew of pass-happy foes in the Big Ten.
Either way, and regardless of the fact that Minnesota’s impotent offense might finally provide Texas Tech’s defense with an opponent that it can shut down, the question here is simple: Is 13 points too many?
The Red Raiders have beaten BCS foes by a narrow margin in 2012—a fact that can be illustrated by pointing out that they played in overtime three times this season (they were 2-1 in these games).
This includes a triple-overtime 56-53 win over TCU in October.
It’s not so much the feeling that Texas Tech is walking into a buzz saw vs. Minnesota, but rather the sneaking sensation that 13 points is way too much confidence for a team that has lost big and won close games in 2012.
Tech should win, but maybe not by 13 points, especially given the Gophers' pass D.