The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, pits the Oregon State Beavers, riding a late-season surge, against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Can the Beavers pull off a shocking upset, or will the Irish assert their traditional dominance? Let’s dive into the data, analyze the injuries, and predict the outcomes in this December 29th showdown.

Model Consensus:

The AI models cautiously favor the Irish, but acknowledge the Beavers’ potential:

  • BettingPros Consensus: Notre Dame -6.5
  • ESPN FPI: Notre Dame 65.2% win probability
  • CBS Sports: Notre Dame 57% win probability
  • Sports Illustrated: Notre Dame 58.1% win probability
  • BetQL: Notre Dame -6.5, Under 43
  • SportsLine: Notre Dame -6.5, Under 43

Pythagorean Theorem and Strength of Schedule:

Oregon State’s 8-4 record translates to a predicted 26 wins with 6 losses based on their 428 points scored and 364 points allowed. Notre Dame’s 9-3 record translates to a predicted 27.2 wins with 4.8 losses based on their 439 points scored and 229 points allowed. This analysis suggests a close matchup, with Notre Dame holding a slight offensive edge and a much stronger defense.

However, strength of schedule paints a slightly different picture. Oregon State faced the 127th toughest schedule compared to Notre Dame’s 113th. This suggests that Notre Dame’s wins might be slightly inflated due to a slightly easier route throughout the season.

Injury Report and Weather:

Oregon State faces some key injuries: running back Damien Martinez, linebacker Anthony Gould, defensive lineman Makiya Tongue, and offensive lineman Ryan Franke are all out. Losing Martinez and Gould hurts their offensive and defensive cores, respectively. Notre Dame also has its share of injuries: running back Mitchell Evans and offensive linemen Kevin Bauman and Aiden Gobaira are unavailable. Additionally, star quarterbacks Sam Hartman and Joe Alt are preparing for the NFL Draft and might not play.

The weather in El Paso on December 29th is expected to be sunny and warm with a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This shouldn’t significantly impact the game’s pace or style.

Personal Prediction:

The loss of Hartman and Alt throws significant uncertainty into the Irish offense. Oregon State’s late-season resurgence and strong defense, coupled with Notre Dame’s offensive instability, offer potential for an upset.

  • Oregon State +6.5 (spread): Taking the points with the Beavers offers solid value given the uncertainty surrounding Notre Dame’s offense and Oregon State’s recent form.
  • Under 43 (total): Both teams’ potential offensive struggles due to injuries suggest a lower-scoring affair than predicted by some models.

Pick: Take Oregon State Beavers +6.5 points. ***LOSE***

Enjoy the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl and witness the potential underdog story unfold as the Oregon State Beavers challenge the Notre Dame Fighting Irish under the El Paso sun!