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Ole Miss vs. Baylor: Prediction, pick, Sugar Bowl odds, spread, live stream, TV channel, watch online

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A bowl game featuring a matchup of teams who were contenders from the Big 12 and SEC will put a wrap on the New Year’s Day schedule as No. 7 Baylor faces No. 8 Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The Bears finished first in the Big 12 for the first time since 2014 — and won the Big 12 title game for the first time ever — with a last-second tackle by former walk-on Jairon McVea to cap off a 21-16 win over No. 9 Oklahoma State. The Bears have not won a New Year’s Six or BCS bowl since the format started in 1998. 

The Rebels won 10 regular-season games for the first time in program history in coach Lane Kiffin’s second season in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss beat five of its last six opponents by double-digits, including a 31-21 victory over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. 

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral declared for the NFL Draft and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby took a new role at Oklahoma. However, both key figures are expected to participate in the Sugar Bowl. Baylor does not have any notable opt-outs to this point. The Bears won the only previous battle between these two teams in 1975, a 20-10 decision. 

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Ole Miss vs. Baylor: Need to know

Battle of opposites: Opposites attract as Baylor’s No. 22 Expected Points Added defense faces off against Ole Miss’ No. 21 EPA offense. The Bears held every opponent to 30 points or fewer behind a Herculean effort from All-American safety Jalen Pitre, while Ole Miss cleared the 30-point plateau eight times. While Ole Miss is known for its quarterback play, the Rebels led the SEC with more than 224 yards of rushing per game. The only two better rush defenses Ole Miss played in 2021 held the Rebels to a combined 3.0 yards per carry. The battle up front could decide the game. 

Dynamic skill talent: Ole Miss runs a high-powered offensive system under head coach Lane Kiffin. Quarterback Matt Corral was an early Heisman candidate after throwing for 3,339 yards, 20 touchdowns and just four interceptions while running for 597 yards and 11 scores. Running backs Jerrion Ealy, Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish Jr. all cleared 500 yards and combined for 21 touchdowns. Receiver Dontario Drummond caught 67 passes for 924 yards and eight touchdowns. The collection of talent is perhaps the best Baylor has played in 2021. 

Battle-tested Bears: Baylor boasts one of the most impressive resumes among New Year’s Six teams after beating three top-16 squads, including No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 16 Oklahoma in the final month of the season. The Bears also added a two-score victory over No. 13 BYU in October that aged like fine wine after the Cougars went undefeated against the Pac-12. Conversely, Ole Miss did not beat a team ranked in the top 20. In its only performance against a top-10 squad, the Rebels lost 42-21 to No. 1 Alabama in a game that was never close. Baylor will present a unique matchup. 

How to watch Sugar Bowl live

Game: Sugar Bowl
Date
: Saturday, Jan. 1 | Time: 8:45 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome — New Orleans
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Sugar Bowl Bowl prediction, picks

Featured Game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. Baylor Bears

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The game is ultimately a pick ’em after the line swung in Baylor’s direction after opening. The battle will be a strength-on-strength, especially in the run game. However, if Baylor can keep track of Ole Miss’ skill talents, the Bears are poised to rumble their way to their first ever New Year’s Six bowl win. Prediction: Baylor (-1)

Which college football picks can you make with confidence during bowl season, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,600 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.

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Braves Remind Fans That Vaughn Grissom Is Here To Stay

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(Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

 

The Atlanta Braves called up infield prospect Vaughn Grissom out of necessity to start Wednesday’s game.

They are currently dealing with several injuries in the middle of the infield, so they picked Grissom from their Double-A team.

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This doesn’t mean that Grissom isn’t talented: he is, and it’s evident.

Injuries presented him with an opportunity: it will be up to him to take advantage of it.

Apparently, the team is willing to give him an extended look, as they search for solutions.

The most important thing is that the player didn’t seem rattled during his MLB debut on Wednesday.

Quite the contrary, in fact: he looked like a natural.

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That day, he went 2-for-4 with a home run (a 412-foot shot off Darwinzon Hernandez) and a stolen base to fuel a Braves win over the Boston Red Sox.

 

Part Of The Braves’ Future (And Present)

Grissom joined Michael Harris III as the two 21-year-olds in Atlanta’s lineup.

Harris has progressed nicely since being called up a few months ago: can Grissom do the same?

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A bat-first prospect, he had been having a stellar season in the minors before getting the call.

He started the year in High-A, and was slashing an impressive .312/.404/.487 with 11 home runs and 20 stolen bases before being promoted to Double-A.

There, he was even better, hitting .363/.408/.516 with three long balls and seven thefts in 98 trips to the plate.

That earned himself a call-up to Atlanta.

It’s likely that he still needs some more at-bats in the high minors, but as long as Grissom can produce, he will likely keep playing for the Braves.

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He is off to a tremendous start, and the organization seems ready to give him playing time, which is all that a young player needs.

The post Braves Remind Fans That Vaughn Grissom Is Here To Stay appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo

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(Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

 

The New York Mets and their fans should consider themselves lucky.

We have said it many times in this space, but the fact they were able to pair Max Scherzer with Jacob deGrom in the same rotation is incredibly impressive, and should be celebrated.

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The two pitchers have five Cy Young awards between them, and lots and lots of pitching knowledge and expertise to share.

When they are both healthy, there is little doubt they are the best one-two punch in MLB.

They have both been hurt a lot in 2022, particularly deGrom, but they are both healthy now and ready to make sure the Mets can return to the postseason.

New York is one of the best organizations in MLB, with a 73-39 record that only the Los Angeles Dodgers have been able to surpass.

 

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The Mets Aces Are Healthy And Dominating

Now that both Scherzer and deGrom are healthy and in a groove, they are in a position to challenge the Dodgers for the “best team in MLB” unofficial crown.

In fact, both teams are extremely likely to face each other in the playoffs, perhaps even the National League Championship Series.

Having deGrom and Scherzer pitch in three or four of those games would be huge.

The Mets posted a cool picture of the two aces having a chat.

They look like they are enjoying their conversation.

Hopefully, both can stay healthy for the remainder of the season and gift fans some of the most impressive stretch run and playoff performance we have seen in recent memory.

Mets fans are in for a real treat watching those two guys starting consecutive postseason games.

They hope they can deliver their first World Series title since 1986.

The post The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Steelers defense focused on getting back to team’s ‘standard’ after disappointing season

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are known for having exceptional defenses. Players like Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Joe Greene and more have been shaking up offenses throughout the franchise’s history.

With each new generation of Steelers players, they strive to reach the level of those before them. Now it is guys like T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds and Cameron Heyward who hope to be feared by offenses around the league.

Last season, the Steelers were 20th in points allowed and surrendered the most rushing yards in the league. For the first time since 2017, the Steelers were not in the top six for yards allowed, finding themselves in the 24th spot.

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It was not exactly the year the defense wanted to have, and this year the unit is focused on getting back to being a classic Steelers defense.

Defending Defensive Player of the Year Watt spoke about the expectations in Pittsburgh. 

“As a Pittsburgh Steeler defender, it’s just that much more important for us to take pride in everyone that came before us and uphold the fact that the standard is the standard. At the end of the day, when the back is against the wall, when it’s a two-minute drill, when the game is on the line, we want to be on the field,” Watt said (via NFL.com). “That’s the mentality we have to have to be a hard-nosed defense, and that’s why we’re here to build that type of tradition, that type of standard for the season.”

The defense last year was not where they wanted it to be, with Watt commenting on the “unacceptable” number of 100-yard rushers they allowed in 2021.

With such legends coming before them, there could be pressure on the players that could backfire. Heyward says he does not look at it as pressure, but what the team standard is.

“When you come to the Pittsburgh Steelers, you’re known for your defense. That wasn’t the case last year, so going forward it’s put up or shut up. If we’re going to win these games, it’s got to come down to us,” he said. “But that comes with the standard we are charged with upholding. It’s not pressure. It’s what’s expected.”

The Steelers are “based on defense,” new senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores said. 

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“Its roots and foundation is defense,” Flores said. “It’s stopping the run and rushing the passer and keeping the score down. Any outsider can look at that and, if you peel back the layers, that’s who the Steelers are and that’s who we want to be and what we want to be. But there’s a process to doing that.”

Teryl Austin, who was promoted coordinator after three seasons serving as senior defensive assistant/secondary coach, said he appreciates Flores giving an outsiders view as someone just getting to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers’ season was cut short after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round.



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