The Week That Will Be (10.22.2011)

Last Week: 4-2 ATS 5-1 SU
For the Year: 23-19 (.548) ($170) ATS 29-13 (.690) SU

Last week we learned that…well we didn’t learn much about LSU that we didn’t already know. They like to run the ball (260 yards), don’t like to pass the ball (123 yards), but like it even less when you do either (339 total offensive yards for Tennessee).

…we learned that Michigan State’s defense is for real, holding Denard Robinson to 165 total yards and Michigan to a total of 250 yards as a team.

…we learned that you can take LaMichael James and Darron Thomas out of the game, but you can’t take Oregon’s offense away.

…we learned that despite being outgained by nearly 250 yards, Kansas State wins ballgames by running the football (193 yards) and not turning the ball over (0 turnovers to Texas Tech’s 4).

…we learned that it is hard to win ballgames, on the other hand, when you give up 415 yards passing, 6 touchdowns, 35 first downs and don’t force the opponent to punt the football all day. RGIII or not, Baylor isn’t going to improve upon the Texas Bowl until they turn that around.

…and finally, we learned that you can cut Brandon Weeden’s passing yards in half from one year to another, but it doesn’t matter if you allow the back-up running back to rush for 140 yards and you only average 2.2 YPA on your side of the football. A much better performance than last week, but moral victories aren’t counted on the Freddie Steinmark scoreboard.

Anyhow…

Believe it or not we are now halfway through the season so it is time to do our annual mid-season awards, for which you get no trophy, but you might get a snarky comment or two.

The Chaps Girl Award (MVP): Not only is there not a clear winner this year, but you might have trouble narrowing down a list of who gets to go to New York and dodge large piles of trash on the sidewalks and gets to pay $14 for a cocktail. You have great candidates like Robert Griffin III, Kellen Moore, Trent Richardson and Landry Jones, but to me the winner is Andrew Luck. Stanford is winning games by an average of 26 points, haven’t scored less than 37 points and don’t have another marquee player on that offense.

The Herschel Walker Award (Freshman of the Year): It isn’t a great year for freshmen in college football. We could have talked about De’Anthony Thomas for Oregon or Isaiah Crowell at Georgia, but we’re homers so we’re going to pick Jaxon Shipley. He’s trailed off as of late, but the kid looks just as good as his brother did in his upperclassman years. And he’ll only get better.

The Eric Taylor Award (Coach of the Year): Gulp. Okay, we’ll tell you how good Clemson and Dabo Swinney has looked thus far this year, but those impressive wins over Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech look pretty meh right now. Bill Snyder at Kansas State has done a great job, but would we really be surprised if they finish at 8-4? No, it is with great apprehension that we go with Les Miles, who might be that "special" kid in the cafeteria, but he’s beaten Oregon, West Virginia and Mississippi State when that was still an impressive thing to do. The only thing between LSU and an undefeated schedule is a road trip to Tuscaloosa in early November.

The Rich Kotite Award (Worst Coach of the Year): Look no further than Jumbo Fisher at Florida State, who did lose his quarterback against Oklahoma, but what is a Top 5 pre-season team doing losing to Wake Forest?

The Better Go To Walgreens Award (Surprise of the Year): See above. Florida State losing to Wake Forest was a setback, but then again, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised…the Seminoles have now lost 4 out of 6 to Wake.

The (Insert Failed Sound From The Price is Right Here) (Disappointment of the Year): You have Ohio State and Mississippi State falling completely on their faces, but once again, we must look at pre-season champion Texas A&M, who sit at 4-2 with come from ahead losses to Oklahoma State and Arkansas. At least with their move to the SEC the Aggies won’t have to worry about high expectations.

The Betty Ford Award (Outstanding Achievement For Wasted Talent): The good news for others hoping to take this award home is that Stephen Garcia appears to be out of chances at South Carolina. Like his other suspensions at South Carolina, Garcia’s latest this off-season didn’t cost him any games…he managed to work his way from the bench, threw 9 interceptions in 5 games, turned to the dark side again and was promptly kicked off the team.

The Les Miles Award (LSU’s Punter): I’m not even going to bother looking up the kid’s name, and the taunting call was BS, but still, you’re a punter, run into the endzone, put down the ball and go to the oxygen tank.

The Chris Rock Award (Most Cussing on the Sidelines): Will Muschamp had to apologize to the media this week for his antics on the sidelines during a 17-6 loss to Auburn earlier this month. Perhaps Muschamp should realize that is isn’t the official’s fault that his team is 4-3.

The Lock That Isn’t a Lock To Get to the National Championship Game: With the Honey Badger getting suspended and LSU running out a fast food contest winner every week at quarterback, give me Alabama and Wisconsin in New Orleans for the championship game. Where we go from there is anyone’s guess, but it might set a record for the number of fat white people in New Orleans at one time.

On to the games...

Wisconsin -7.5 @ Michigan State:

Tale of two ballgames here: (1) Russell Wilson has thrown 4 4th quarter passes all season…is Wisconsin prepared to face a quality opponent on the road? ; (2) Yes, we learned last week that Michigan State’s defense is for real, but they’ll have their biggest test yet this week.

Wisconsin’s offense gets all the accolades, but the defense is allowing a shade under 10 points per game. Michigan State’s offense is solid, but they’ve also struggled against mediocre defenses thus far.

The defense might help the Spartans for a while, but I think Wisconsin eventually wears them down due to the inability of Michigan State to move the football.

Wisconsin 31 Michigan State 17
ATS – Wisconsin
SU – Wisconsin

Washington @ Stanford -20.5:

Washington doesn’t do much great, but they are 5-1, with that one loss a 13 point loss to Nebraska in Lincoln. Stanford has been great, but this is their first opponent with much of a pulse. The Cardinal win, but Sarkisian keeps it close.

Stanford 41 Washington 27
ATS – Washington
SU – Stanford

USC @ Notre Dame -9.5:

USC can’t stop anybody, giving up 84 combined points to the state of Arizona and ranking 105th in the country in pass defense, but Notre Dame is getting a bit too much credit here for a four game winning streak where they have been outgained in two of those wins.

It has been 10 years since Notre Dame beat Southern California in South Bend. That will change this year, but not before the Trojans give them a scare (ahem).

Notre Dame 31 USC 28
ATS – USC
SU – Notre Dame

Texas A&M -20.5 @ Iowa State:

Since starting the season 3-0, Iowa State has been outscored 138-57 in three straight losses. It doesn’t get any better this week.

Texas A&M 51 Iowa State 17
ATS – Texas A&M
SU – Texas A&M

Oklahoma State -7 @ Missouri:

Two things here: (1) Oklahoma State is playing the last of a 4 out of 5 games on the road, with a start time of 11 AM…are they due for a letdown here? ; (2) Missouri’s best games this year are both losses, a valiant effort in Norman against Oklahoma and an overtime loss to Arizona State in Tempe. How good are they?

The Cowboys will struggle for a half before pulling away after the half. There is too much on the line for OSU this year to trip up here.

Oklahoma State 38 Missouri 23
ATS – Oklahoma State
SU – Oklahoma State

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma -29.5:

2000: Oklahoma 27 Texas Tech 13
2002: Oklahoma 60 Texas Tech 15
2004: Oklahoma 28 Texas Tech 13
2006: Oklahoma 34 Texas Tech 24
2008: Oklahoma 65 Texas Tech 21
2010: Oklahoma 45 Texas Tech 7

Oklahoma might not be able to win in Lubbock (haven’t won there since 2003), but there are death, taxes and Oklahoma kicking the crap out of Texas Tech in Norman.

Let’s average the points out, give Oklahoma an extra 10 points to account for a Texas Tech defense that has given up 154 points in the last four games, can’t pressure the quarterback and can’t stop the run and take away a point from Texas Tech for starting a quarterback that has a bad consonant/vowel ratio and we have a final.

Oklahoma 53 Texas Tech 14
ATS – Oklahoma
SU – Oklahoma

For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for World Series tickets in Arlington.

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