Who: Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3) vs Duke Blue Devils (6-6)
When: Thursday, December 27th, 6:30 PM EST
Line: Cincy by 9.5
Ross: Duke! In a bowl game! That alone is pretty remarkable, given how terrible Duke's been — their last bowl game was the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl. It could have been even more remarkable — at one point Duke was 6-2 this year. Then the bottom fell out and they lost their last four games in embarrassing fashion. They gave up 40+ in each loss and lost by a combined 102 points. So, no, they didn't exactly end the season on a high note. Cincinnati, meanwhile, ended the season in a 4-way tie for the Big East championship and won four of their final five games. In terms of common opponents, Cincinnati and Duke each played Virginia Tech; Cincinnati won, 27-24, while Duke lost, 41-20. Cincinnati lost their coach (Butch Jones went to Tennessee) and has had to deal with the tumult created by the hire of Tommy Tuberville and Duke will no doubt be more excited to be in this game… but I just can't see an upset here. Duke just isn't very good and Cincinnati's defense (17.2 ppg, 12th in the nation) will slow down the Duke offense enough for QB Munchie Legeaux to do his damage on the other side of the ball.