Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Preview: Southern Miss, Louisville Play in the Worst Dome Ever

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, December 21, 8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: Easily the sketchiest Florida-based bowl, as it's at Tropicana Field and was formerly sponsored by MagicJack. If you've never been to the Trop, it's like if they put a sports stadium inside the largest hall at an old convention center. The last time I was there the pink PrimeCo aliens were passing out flyers, and it felt run-down then.

The teams: Southern Miss and Louisville

How Southern Miss got here: Chances are, you haven't watched the Golden Eagles since South Carolina rolled them 41-13 in Week 1. What you've missed since then is a lot of points. They scored at least 30 points in all but one of the rest of their games, and their three other losses were shootouts with scores of 44-43, 50-49, and 60-56. In short, if the defense played well, the offense generally scored enough points to win. Also, reverse those two one-point losses and Souther Miss wins the CUSA East as it beat division and conference champ UCF.

How Louisville got here: First, Louisville did the right thing by canning Steve Kragthorpe and hiring a competent head coach in Charlie Strong. After the malaise of the Kragthorpe era, having a stingy defense and great running back in Bilal Powell alone probably would have been good enough for Cardinals fans, but Strong went ahead and won six games anyway. It's a nice story, but outside of beating eventual conference champ UConn and fellow recovering program Syracuse, the Cardinals don't really have much in the way of quality wins.

College football fans care because: They know how entertaining both Larry Fedora offenses and Charlie Strong defenses can be, and they get both in this game.

SEC fans care because: You've got a 25% chance of Strong having coached your team before, and everyone takes turns playing Southern Miss.

Watch this game if...: You like a contrast in styles or want to see one of next year's CUSA favorites take on an up-and-coming team.

The result: Southern Miss 31, Louisville 24

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