2018 Texas Bowl: Teams, Facts, and Pick
Which team moves above .500?
Deep in the heart of Texas, this is NOT the former Heart of Dallas Bowl. This is, however, the 2018 Texas Bowl.
There is a pretty big payout coming to these teams, so nobody is complaining. Hey, when you’re 6-6, games like this are a blessing to a program. One of these teams will end up 7-6 and with a bowl victory.
This is a Big 12-SEC matchup, and not a top-tier one, but one in which both teams have a lot in common. It’s the Baylor Bears and the Vanderbilt Commodores for the Texas Bowl.
Previous Bowls Picked: Cure | New Mexico | Las Vegas | Camellia | New Orleans | Boca Raton | Frisco | Gasparilla | Bahamas | Idaho Potato | Birmingham | Armed Forces | Dollar General | Hawaii | First Responder | Quick Lane | Cheez-It | Independence | Pinstripe
2018 Texas Bowl: This Year’s Bowl Info
|Thursday, December 27, 2018, 9:00pm ET (6:00pm PT)|
|NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas|
|Broadcast on ESPN|
|$6,300,000 payout (Link: College Football Poll)|
|Vanderbilt is a 4.5-point favorite|
2018 Texas Bowl: Baylor Bears
|6-6 (4-5 Big 12); 6th place in Big 12|
|Best Win: Oklahoma State|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense T-71st, Total Offense 36th, Rushing Offense 80th, 3rd Downs T-31st, Time of Possession 20th, Turnover Margin 119th, Sacks Allowed 116th, Red Zone 122nd|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense T-87th, Total Defense 78th, Rushing Defense 80th, Opponent 3rd Downs 106th, Sacks Per Game T-75th, TFL Per Game T-83rd, Interceptions T-100th, Opponent Red Zone 120th|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-107th, Punts Per Game T-86th|
2018 Texas Bowl: Vanderbilt Commodores
|6-6 (3-5 SEC); 6th in SEC East|
|Best Win: Middle Tennessee|
|Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 75th, Total Offense 69th, Rushing Offense T-82nd, 3rd Downs 108th, Time of Possession 33rd, Turnover Margin T-17th, Sacks Allowed T-39th, Red Zone 125th|
|Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 49th, Total Defense 83rd, Rushing Defense 89th, Opponent 3rd Downs 120th, Sacks Per Game T-102nd, TFL Per Game T-112th, Interceptions T-34th, Opponent Red Zone T-66th|
|Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-114th, Punts Per Game T-100th|
2018 Texas Bowl: Head-to-Head
Vanderbilt and Baylor have met twice previously, making this their third all-time meeting.
Baylor leads the all-time historical series, 2-0, though these contests were played in 1953 and 1954. (Link: Winsipedia)
2018 Texas Bowl: Pick
Neither of these programs have seen each other since Ike and Mamie were in the White House. Truth be told, either one would have been pleased to make a bowl this season with the way their programs have looked in recent times.
Let’s get this out of the way: neither team has a great offense. The quarterback play has not been bad by either one, between Charlie Brewer (Baylor) and Kyle Shurmur (Vandy), but neither unit overall is a wow. The defenses are not looking so crisp, either. Vandy has a scoring defense rank of 49th in FBS, but they give up plenty of yards and do not do well defending against the run. As it just so happens…Baylor does not have much rushing offense. Never mind.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn just got over the 1,000 yard mark on the ground this season for the Commodores, but his team as a whole is limited on offense. What makes this more difficult to pick is that both teams seem even, neither is a particular find on either side of the ball, but both do have a few playmakers that could swing the contest one way or another. Baylor is from the Big 12, so one would think they have offense, but note that Vandy scored an average of 36.75 points per game over their last four. The Bears, on the other hand, have been held back by opposing defenses a number of times. Though they closed the season on a high note against Texas Tech, Big 12 play was at best a mixed bag for them.
The Commodores are the hotter team, though that’s such a relative term.