This column might not have Natalie Portman, but it has the second best thing...Mid-Season Awards.
Last Week: 3-3 ATS 2-4 SU
For the Year: 22-26 (.458) ($620) ATS 30-18 (.625) SU
We learned last week that Michigan can beat Michigan State, but the Wolverines needed some magic from Denard Robinson in order to do so, leading them down the field for the go-ahead field goal as time expired...
We learned that Florida doesn't need no stinking offense, as the Gators didn't have to cross mid-field on any of their scoring drives, taking advantage of South Carolina mistakes to start four drives inside the Gamecocks' 30-yard line and three inside the 10-yard line. How much longer will that magic last for Florida?
We learned that it is possible to have a game that is so LSU and so Texas A&M at the same time, as the Aggies blow yet another 10 point lead and LSU hangs around and hangs around and somehow ends up looking like the dominate team one again...
We learned that Kansas State is for real...if we still consider West Virginia real, which nobody does anymore...so is Texas Tech not real anymore since they beat West Virginia who is not real anymore? I'm confused.
And finally, we learned that 7-on-7 scrimmages were moved to October at DKR.
I think we're all a little tired of hearing about the Longhorn Network, Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and Natalie Portman (just kidding), so let's take our focus away from the local scene this week and take a look at the national scene and hand out...
HornMafia's Mid-Season Awards
The Matthew Broderick Award (Freshman of the Year): Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Who else? Everyone was talking about Manziel at least getting an invite to New York before they faced an actual good defense last week, but Manziel has already set SEC records and his jersey sales last week surpassed Gomer Pyle.
The Todd Marinovich Award (Promising QB Derailed By His Own Vices): Casey Pachall, TCU
Pachall was leading a ranked team, had a high NFL Draft stock, and pissed it all away on the Wednesday night before the Iowa State when he was arrested for DWI. Pachall left school, ended up in rehab, and TCU appears to have moved on.
The This Looked A Lot Cooler Several Weeks Ago Award : Lousiana-Monroe
The Warhawks hit the national scene when they upset then Top 10 Arkansas, only to follow that up by going to overtime, only to follow that up by nearly upsetting Baylor. Unfortunately for the Warhawks, those teams have gone a combined 2-10 since they played.
The It's Like Joe Paterno Except His Team Doesn't Suck and He Didn't Cover Up Child Molestation Award: Bill Snyder, Kansas State
It is nothing short of incredible of what is going on in Manhattan, Kansas, as the Wildcats are now ranked 3rd in the country after a beat-down of West Virginia last week. Snyder just turned 73, which means we're really screwed if Mack Brown decides he can coach that long, too.
The Rose Bowl is Cringing Award: Oregon State
Oregon State is 7th in the country and likes to go to In-and-Out after wins, which is alright with me. With a road trip to Stanford and the Civil War against Oregon in Corvallis...well let's not get ahead of ourselves but let's just say that the Rose Bowl isn't exactly pumped up about that potential Oregon State/Iowa Rose Bowl (if, of course, Oregon should go to the BCS Championship Game and Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin somehow lose to Iowa.
The Quarter-Season Heisman Award: Geno Smith, West Virginia
Geno gets an army man-sized Heisman trophy commemorating his fine September.
The Quentin Jammer Award (Defensive Player of the Year): Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Te'o has an awesome name, an awesome game and looked really cool in the rain against Stanford. And c'mon, wouldn't you take a good old Mackovic Texas defense that featured Dusty Renfro, Shaun Rogers, Casey Hampton, Aaron Humphrey and Jammer right now? Ugh.
The Ricky Williams Award (Offensive Player of the Year): Collin Klein, Kansas State
Sure, he's only thrown for 10 touchdowns, but he's run for 14 more and he has what would probably be a middle of the pack Kansas State team undefeated and in control of their own destiny to the Championship Game. And he owes it all to Texas, whom he played against in his first career start, throwing for all of 9 yards but defeating the Longhorns behind his 127 rushing yards and 106 from running back Daniel Thomas. Will Muschamp sycophants, refusing to believe that Lombardi Jr. would allow two players to beat him, have since tried to scrub those stats from official record and get them put next to the JFK files in the National Archives. Their efforts have thus far been unsuccessful.
The Heisman Trophy: A.J. McCarron, Alabama
Yeah yeah, there was Geno Smith, and now it is Collin Klein, but McCarron won a national championship last year and has only returned this year to lead Alabama to an undefeated record, a #1 BCS ranking, all the while throwing for nearly 1500 yards, 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The SEC Team of the Year (Also Known As Future National Champion): Alabama
Alabama has only given up 1,369 yards in seven ballgames, which bests second-best Florida State by 443 yards. They good. Add to that an efficient offense that doesn't beat itself, and who is going to beat them on this schedule?
On to the games...
Michigan @ Nebraska -2.5:
Michigan prevailed mightily in this match-up last year, 45-17...and you have to wonder how much closer it will be seeing as how Nebraska has been run over by the best two offenses they have faced this year (UCLA and Ohio State). Michigan has a pretty good athlete at quarterback.
Michigan 31 Nebraska 24
ATS - Michigan
SU - Michigan
Florida -6.5 vs. Georgia:
We talked about how bad Florida's offense is earlier, but it doesn't matter with this defense. Georgia can take solace in the fact that Florida hasn't faced an offense with a pulse since Texas A&M in Week Two, but you have to go with the hot hand here, no?
Florida 27 Georgia 16
ATS - Florida
SU - Florida
Mississippi State @ Alabama -24:
Have you ever remembered a top 13 match-up with such a wide point spread? How can the Bulldogs win? First they have the nation's best turnover margin, keep that up and at least they won't beat themselves. Second, they could catch Alabama off-guard, as they play LSU next weekend. But this is Nick Saban. Before the Florida game last year, the Tide beat Arkansas 38-14. Before LSU last year, they beat Tennessee 37-6.
They don't let up, and Mississippi State's going to find themselves out of their league again.
Alabama 41 Mississippi State 13
ATS - Alabama
SU - Alabama
Texas Tech @ Kansas State -7:
What do you know, two Big 12 teams that play defense?
Kansas State has been a machine, scoring on 9 of 10 offensive possessions against West Virginia last week, and only turning the ball over four times all season. Collin Klein is the real deal, and can kill you in so many ways.
I have to wonder if Tech can get up for another game when they got beat by Oklahoma, stomped West Virginia and survived a shootout with TCU last week. Still should be a game, though.
Kansas State 28 Texas Tech 24
ATS - Texas Tech
SU - Kansas State
Notre Dame @ Oklahoma -10:
A match-up of college football titans in Norman this week, and the biggest question appears to be, how good is Notre Dame's defense, really? The best offense they have faced belongs to Miami, who is ranked 51st in the country. They, of course, face a quite potent Oklahoma offense here, ranked 5th in the country in scoring offense, an offense that appears to be rounding into form.
You always have to worry about Landry Jones farting and falling down, but when it is all said and done, Oklahoma is in a different class right now than Notre Dame.
Oklahoma 34 Notre Dame 14
ATS - Oklahoma
SU - Oklahoma
Texas -21 @ Kansas:
Well this one should be over quickly for Texas...hmm...yeah, nothing is easy when you have the 107th ranked defense in the country. Kansas is terrible, giving up 428 yards per game and 31 points per game, but they do run for 180 yards a game...
Texas ran for 441 yards in this game last year, and they should be able to run here. Add in a more effective David Ash, and really, if Texas has problems here, we're in more trouble than any of us thought.
Texas 52 Kansas 24
ATS - Texas
SU - Texas
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for Joe Bergeron For Heisman gear.