*10* SUPER POWER (Thursday)
Indiana vs. Tennessee,
01/02/2020 19:00 EDT,
Score: 22 - 23
Point Spread: +2½/+100 Indiana
10* Indiana (7:00 ET): Indiana has not won a bowl game since the '91 Copper. Granted, they've been to only four since, but this program is dying for something resembling a "marquee" victory. Beating Tennessee in the Gator Bowl would certainly qualify. The Hoosiers have perennially struggled to beat the top teams they face as is evident by a shocking 1-16 SU record as an underdog under HC Tom Allen (third year here). But A LOT of those games have been close. My own power rankings say IU should be the favorite here, so I'll take them with the added value.
Things were not looking good for Tennessee after a 1-4 SU start that included a home loss to Georgia State. But credit HC Jeremy Pruitt for turning things around in Knoxville as the Vols finished on a 6-1 SU run w/ the lone loss coming to Alabama. But as far as SEC schedules go, the one UT made its run against was pretty easy. It has only two wins over bowl teams, those being Kentucky (by 4) and Mississippi State (by 10). They lost to Florida, Georgia and Bama by an average of nearly four touchdowns per game. I'm really not sure why the Volunteers were bet to the role of favorite here.
Admittedly, you could say some of the same things about Indiana as they didn't beat a single bowl team and all of its losses were to teams ranked at the time. But I come back to the Hoosiers wanting that elusive bowl win. In the two years before Allen's arrival, they were close, losing by three in overtime to Duke (Pinstripe) then by two to Utah (Foster Farms). The latter was actually Allen's first game as HC (was interim). I'm trusting my own numbers and for the Hoosiers to be the more motivated side here. 10* Indiana