The Week That Will Be (11.13.2010)

Last Week: 5-1 ATS 4-2 SU
For the Year: 25-31-4 (.446) ($-890) ATS 39-21 (.650) SU

What we learned last week:

We learned that Nick Saban needs to quit going to the beach during this bye weeks…with the loss to LSU Saban is now 16-14 in games after a bye week in his career…

We learned that Andrew Luck is still really, really good…

We learned that TCU might be the best team in the country, as they rolled Utah, out-gaining them by 337 yards…

We learned that Baylor might have been satisfied with a win over Texas, as they let Oklahoma State gain 725 yards and hardly looked like a team of “destiny”…

We learned that Oklahoma needs to work on their goal line offense in practice this week, and Bobby Stoops does not like leaving the confines of Norman…

And finally, we learned that we need to use our power and influence to get Kansas State kicked out of the conference.

Anyhow…

We talked in this space last week about not letting William Powell beat you on kick-off returns, and then we talked about stopping the one player that they had, Daniel Thomas.

All of that was out the window in the first minute of the game.

And we were wrong, they had two players to watch out for. Never in the modern era of football has a team ever had to stop two players.

I wish I could pinpoint what was wrong with this thing this year, but the offense stinks, the defense isn’t much better, the special teams are defunct and frankly it appears that the team has given up…which scares me to death.

Mack Brown sat there this week and told us that the team gave a great effort, and if that was a great effort we are REALLY in trouble, because if that was a great effort and we get down 39-0 to a team that will finish 7-5 in a weak conference…our recruiting efforts for the last four years have been a massive failure.

I wish I could answer why this coaching staff thought it was prudent to try to force Garrett Gilbert, a master of the spread offense, into the Chris Simms offense, or why they thought that we were a running team with three average to below average running backs, or why they thought this defense was the best in the Mack Brown era when we have major holes at all three levels, but the guys with the press passes don’t choose to ask those questions in their allotted time.

Nope, what we have here is a lost year in Texas football, one in which likely nothing will be earned, but hopefully a lot will be learned.

But enough about that…usually this time of the year we are fretting about who so and so plays this week, and if we have enough Sagarin points to get to #2, but this year other programs are worrying about that while we are debating how long it takes for a back-up quarterback to warm-up.

Let’s take a look at the potential BCS Championship teams:

OREGON

Remaining Schedule: @ California, Arizona, @ Oregon State

If the Ducks win out they are likely in. Cal has been pretty good at home, averaging 47 points per game in wins over UC-Davis, Colorado, UCLA and Arizona State, but just lost Kevin Riley Skinner, who is replaced by the seldom used Brock Mansion. But still, Oregon still hasn’t won in Berkley since 2001.

Arizona has had a solid year, but has been skating by…and won’t beat Oregon at Autzen.

Boise State fans will try to talk you into Oregon State being a really good team, but they’re just okay, and face Southern Cal and Stanford the week before they play Oregon. Will they have anything left in the tank? But still, this is always an entertaining game, with Oregon winning the last two by a combined score of 102-71.

AUBURN

Remaining Schedule: Georgia, @ Alabama, SEC Title Game

Auburn has the most intriguing games left this year, with the Cam Newton saga threatening to push the Dallas Cowboys and Brett Favre off of the front pages of the newspaper. IF Cam Newton plays the entire season, it should be a good one, as Auburn hasn’t beaten Georgia in five years, the Iron Bowl is always a good one and Urban Meyer leaking, er, Urban Meyer, ahem, allegedly leaking the stories about Newton leads to the revenge game of the decade in the SEC Title Game.

Grab a beer, demand money from your friends to have you at their Auburn watching parties and enjoy some good old Southern dummy football.

TCU

Remaining Schedule: San Diego State, @ New Mexico

TCU is a 27 point favorite against a decent San Diego State team this weekend, and will be a bigger favorite the next weekend, so they ain’t losing. If Auburn or Oregon drops one, TCU will be there ready to take their bid, and I’m not sure if they don’t deserve one outright.

The Frogs own the nation’s #1 defense for the second year in a row (after finishing #2 the year before), also own the nation’s best scoring defense, the nation’s #8 offense and are led on the field by a senior quarterback that has thrown 18 interceptions in three years.

Talk about their schedule all you want, but they have given up 23 points since the end of September and dominate games like we haven’t seen since 2005 Texas/USC.

BOISE STATE

Remaining Schedule: @ Idaho, Fresno State, @ Nevada, Utah State

Boise must have felt they needed the attention late in the year, because they have three straight Friday night games, which might be all that you need to know about the seriousness level of their program. Seriously, Friday nights are reserved for Euless Trinity dominating, no?

Boise might have an interesting slate left. Idaho won’t be much of a challenge, as the Vandals gave up 844 yards to Nevada last week. Fresno could probably challenge the Broncos at home, but must travel to Boise.

Nevada might be interesting. The Wolfpack can kill the clock (#2 in rushing offense in the country), can somewhat play defense (#19 in rush defense, #29 in sacks) and have a senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick that has 7 touchdowns to 0 interceptions in three career games against Boise, all losses, but all close losses (69-67 in 2007, 41-34 in 2008 and 44-33 in 2009).

Then, if Boise gets past Nevada they must play Utah State…yeah.

I suppose you also have the option of a one loss team such as LSU jumping TCU or Boise State, but I think if that happens we’ll all have to go drink ourselves into a stupor at the thought of Les Miles owning two national championship rings and we’ll all miss the game while in rehab anyhow.

So let’s not think about that.

On to the games...

South Carolina @ Florida -6.5:

South Carolina might have “Baylor beating Texas” disease, as the Gamecocks are 2-2 since beating Alabama, and those two losses were lackluster wins over listless Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

Florida, meanwhile, is headed the other way, as the last two weeks they might have found their missing offense. After realizing that John Brantley was a drop back passer forced to play in a option happy offense (stop me if you’ve heard this somewhere), the Gators substituted new quarterbacks in to run the old Tebow plays and left Brantley to do what he does best…pass. The Gators have rolled up 89 points in two weeks as a result.

South Carolina and Steve Spurrier play the Gators tough from time to time, but I think Florida is gelling at the right time.

Florida 31 South Carolina 20
ATS – Florida
SU – Florida

Oregon -20 @ California:

Oregon took a week off last week, only beating Washington 53-16, but this week they’ll be serious and do some damage.

Brock Mansion is simply no match for this Oregon team, as he threw two interceptions and plenty of incomplete passes last week in a close win over Washington State.

Oregon knows the entire nation is looking for them to slip up, and they won’t do it here.

Oregon 45 California 17
ATS – Oregon
SU – Oregon

Georgia @ Auburn -7:

The game of intrigue for the week, and it has little to do with the fact that Georgia has won four out of five and has all to do with Cam Newton and how he will handle the adversity…or if he will play at all?

Well, at “submit post” time, Cam Newton is still eligible, so we’re going to go with that. Georgia has been resurgent, but they have done so against a weaker schedule, beating Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky and Idaho State in those four games.

The key here is whether or not Georgia can get their running game which has fueled their resurgence going. Get it going and you can keep Cam Newton off the field, shorten the clock and hope that Auburn starts pressing. Get stuffed, or worse fall down early, and the Bulldogs will have to rely on Aaron Murray, who threw three touchdowns against Florida in a similar situation, but also threw three interceptions.

Auburn 28 Georgia 24
ATS – Georgia
SU – Auburn

Texas A&M -3 @ Baylor:

You look at the match-ups here and they’re close, but the key here is how does Baylor regroup and get out there after getting pounded by Oklahoma State, and more importantly, how does Texas A&M handle success?

The last time Robert Griffin faced Texas A&M, the Bears won handily, 41-21 in Waco, as RGIII threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns and Jay Finley ran for 116 yards and a touchdown. I don’t expect that lopsided score, but I do expect Baylor to get out on top.

Baylor 31 Texas A&M 27
ATS – Baylor
SU – Baylor

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma -15.5:

The home team has won the last six in this series, and the last time Tech traveled to Norman they were destroyed 65-21 in a game that was 42-7 at halftime. Neither of these teams are nearly as good as those respective squads, but Oklahoma is closer.

In conference play, Tech has lost by two touchdowns to Iowa State, barely squeaked by a Colorado team that has already fired their coach and gave up 623 yards to the Aggies.

Oklahoma wins, and they win large.

Oklahoma 48 Texas Tech 14
ATS – Oklahoma
SU – Oklahoma

Oklahoma State -5.5 @ Texas:

Texas has won 12 straight in this series, the last loss coming in…1997. Where have we heard that one before?

They haven’t always followed conventional standards, there were the big comebacks in 2004, 2005 and 2007, there were the ass kickings in 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2009, and there were the nail biters in 2002 and 2008, but they always ended up with Texas winning the game and Oklahoma State fans shaking their heads as the “visitors” won another one.

Well as hard as it is to say when a team has beaten the other 12 straight times, this one would be the most shocking of all of those, as Texas enters this one at 4-5, reeling with losses in four of their last five games and a team in disarray, while Oklahoma State rolls into town with an 8-1 record and the third best offense in the country.

So what do you have to hope for as a Texas fan, in addition to the 12 game winning streak?

Oklahoma State is so so on the road. The Cowboys dominate at home, averaging 50.8 points per game in Stillwater, but ease up a bit on the road, only averaging 37 points per game (still above what Texas has scored in any game this season, mind you). But that does include a game against Louisiana-Lafayette where the Cowboys trailed at the half, 21-17.

The Cowboys give up almost as many yards as they get. Oklahoma State is 113th in the country in pass defense, giving up 272 yards per game through the air, so if Texas can catch the ball and throw the ball to the right color jersey, there is a chance to get something here. Taylor Martinez threw for 323, Jerrod Johnson threw for 409 and Corey Robinson from Troy threw for 272, so there will be plenty of open receivers if Texas can find them.

93% of the public money and the line is going down. Your guess is as good as mine, but somebody out there knows something?

In a normal year with a normal Texas offense, this game is very winnable. Yes, Oklahoma State is good, but as Nebraska showed you can out-score them. But we all know this isn’t a normal year, and it is going to take a very, very, VERY abnormal output from this offense to keep up with the Cowboys.

Or perhaps I’m wrong, and the defense decides to play up to their billing as the “best defense in the Mack Brown era” and holds Oklahoma State to say, 24 points…

So you’re saying we have a chance.

Let’s just say I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.

Oklahoma State 38 Texas 21
ATS – Oklahoma State
SU – Oklahoma State

For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for airplane banners to show we are really, really spoiled.

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