That score seems about right, don't you think?
Two Kellen Moore touchdown passes (one set up by a turnover), one short Ian Johnson TD plunge, and a big-play TCU strike. Let's just call it good and save Mark May the trouble of flying coach on Jet Blue. Agreed? No? They still have to play the thing? Fine.
You'll have to forgive us our confidence. The Boise State - TCU Poinsettia Bowl just fits so neatly in our safe, predictable little box in our head that we picked out and wrapped so carefully, much like the gifts we have yet to buy our family members. The way we see it, the Poinsettia Bowl will go down a certain inevitable path from which there is virtually no wavering. We've discussed it, we've dreamed about it, and we've dissected it from all angles. The conclusion we've come to is that Boise State is going to win, and they'll win 24-10.
We haven't been this sure of a final score since whenever the last game was.
To us, this game seems relatively straight-forward. It won't be a shootout if the defenses come to play. The Boise State offense will lean heavily on the arm of Kellen Moore. TCU will count on its defense to dictate field possession and its offense to play keep-away from the Broncos. We could very well see five or six possessions for each team per half, and we could be dozing off to Scott Van Pelt and Sportscenter by 8:45, sneaking leftover Bagel Bites by 9:30, and lights out at 10:00.
Doesn't this game just seem predestined toward that end?
If this scenario does play itself out, then the key for the Broncos will be getting touchdowns, not field goals, when they get in the red zone. If Moore can guide the team to paydirt rather than giving way to Kyle Brotzman, it will make a world of difference in the final outcome. We don't anticipate Boise State getting tons of chances against TCU, so we feel that the Broncos need to take advantage of the ones that they do get. We felt the same way when Jenny Green sat in front of us in fourth grade.
And Moore is certainly capable. He seems to get better when he is staring at goal-to-go and other big situations. He won't need to pass for 300 yards in this game for the Broncos to win. He'll just need to make the most of his opportunities when he gets them, and from everything we've seen from him all year long, this is entirely possible, no matter how terrifying the TCU defense is.
If Moore can make plays, then Boise State should be in good shape. The BSU offense worries us the most; the Bronco defense worries us very little. Boise State's "D" will take care of itself; this is the most absolute absolute of all the P-Bowl's absolutes. Boise State has proven time and again that they are capable of shutting teams down, and if it takes another dominating performance to convince people, then so be it. As for us, we started believing against Oregon in September, and they haven't let us down since.
TCU will struggle to score. Boise State will struggle to score. The main difference here is that Boise State struggles to score every week, yet they always find a way. We don't see that trend stopping in the P-Bowl.
Of course, there is the possibility that things could go far differently than we have pictured. When we sat down to write this game prediction, we tried our best to put irrational feelings aside and approach this game with the objectiveness and sensibility of a professional. We probably failed.
So just in case our orange-and-blue-colored glasses got in the way, we thought it best to list the other scores that we considered.
- Boise State 48, TCU 35. We were closest to picking this one, based on an old adage that we have come to know and love: When two teams with stellar defenses play, more often than not the final score ends up being a lot bigger than anyone expected. We saw this phenomenon happen in the San Jose State game, and it could very well rear its ugly head tomorrow. We dismissed this score, though, because the thought of TCU scoring 35 against the Boise State defense was laughable (and vice versa for TCU fans).
- Boise State 10, TCU 7. The lazy man's score prediction is a result of looking at both defenses and joking, "Will anyone even score in this game?" This joke is not funny. It is old, and we wanted nothing to do with it. We guess a 10-7 final could happen, but there are bound to be some plays made that should make this result near impossible.
- Boise State 21, TCU 0. This prediction is close to our hearts because it would mean a shutout for the underappreciated BSU defense. We would be thrilled if this would happen, but we declined to outright pick it because we are not fond of hate email from TCU fans.
- TCU 17, Boise State 13. If this happened, there might as well not be a Christmas. We would have nothing to celebrate (save for the birth of the Christ).
Even after looking at all those score possibilities, we feel good about our 24-10 final. It will be close, but not too close. It will be exciting, but not too exciting. It is the ultimate safe pick, and at a time like this, against an opponent like TCU, with the weight of the non-BCS world on our shoulders and the prospects of an undefeated, Top 5 season hanging in the balance, safe is good.
Maybe that's why we like it so much.
Discuss: Have your own score prediction? Lay it on us in the comments.