|Poinsettia Bowl 2013|
Northern Illinois finished the regular season (including the Mid American Conference Championship game) at 12-1. The Huskies played against an "easier" strength of schedule as compared to the league average. The Huskies best game (win over highest ranked team using the model linked above) was over currently ranked #18 Ball State and their worst game (loss to lowest ranked team using the model linked at the top of this blog - and only loss) was to currently ranked #10 Bowling Green. Northern Illinois is currently the #14 ranked team in overall production with the #5 ranked offense and the #83 ranked defense.
Utah State finished the regular season (including the Mountain West Conference Championship game) at 8-5 playing against an "average" strength of schedule. The Aggies best game of the season was a win over currently ranked #52 Colorado State and their worst performance was a loss to currently ranked #80 Utah. In terms of overall production, the Aggies are currently the #24 ranked team in total production with the #47 ranked offense and the #11 ranked defense.
This game should be determined by whether Northern Illinois defense is more or less productive than Utah State's offense. The other side NIU's offense and USU's defense should be a great battle, but statistically should be a very even match, so who get's the best of who when USU's offense vs. NIU's defense will be the part of the game I am most interested in watching.
While this should be a competitive game between Northern Illinois and Utah State, the model gives the edge to the Northern Illinois Huskies being victorious in the Poinsettia Bowl tonight.