Last Week: 1-5 ATS 4-2 SU
For the Year: 20-20-2 (.500) ATS 34-8 (.810) SU
What we learned last week:
• We learned that well, no, we already knew that Texas A&M’s defense was terrible and that Johnny Manziel is still the best player in the country.
• We might have been premature on our proclamation of Florida finding a quarterback last week as Tyler Murphy threw for only 115 yards against a LSU defense that isn’t the Tiger defense of old.
• It is hard to win football games in the SEC (or any major conference) with the injuries that Georgia has had, as Missouri will now find out as they find themselves without James Franklin for several weeks.
• The second-best player in the country is Marcus Mariota, who has thrown for 17 touchdowns to zero interceptions on the season, and ran for an additional 8. Washington had the #3 pass efficiency defense in the country, and Mariota treated them to 366 yards and 3 TDs.
• Baylor looks beatable! They only scored 35 points in Manhattan! They only had 445 yards! Suckers!
• And finally, we learned that you can never underestimate the heart of an Alamo Bowl Champion.
Where the hell did that come from? And no, I’m taking about my 1-5 record ATS last week, although I could write 1,200 words on what BS that was and still might privately to vent my frustrations, but I sit here days later and I wonder…
Seriously, where did that come from?
Texas was the aggressor from the opening kickoff. Texas lined up and ran the ball down an opponent’s throat. Texas was the one going for it on 4th and 2 from the opponent’s 20-yard line. Texas was the one stopping an opponent on 4th and Goal with 5 minutes left in the game and then literally running the clock out.
The score was 36-20 and every Sooner I have heard this week talk about the game has said that the score should have been much, much worse.
But, as the realization began to seep in that we were actually going to pull this off, somewhere around the time of Case McCoy’s second best-throw-of-his-career to Mike Davis late in the third quarter, I couldn’t help but have one other feeling other than pure jubilation.
What the hell, Mack Brown?
Where was this effort in Provo? Or against Ole Miss in your own stadium? Where was it in 2012? In 2011? In 2010?
Why does it take two losses, and another near loss, to finally get in gear and play up to the ability that is on this roster?
Besides the two great throws of Case McCoy, were you shocked by any individual performances on Saturday? We all know Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown are capable of that. No receiver played above their head. The offensive line perhaps did, but with a heralded assistant coach like Stacy Searels, we should be able to run the ball like that more often than not.
The defense was better, but again, those are all highly rated recruits on that side of the ball as well.
While the buzz around Austin is of making a run for the conference title, would it shock anyone out there if the Longhorns slept through their next game at TCU and ended up finishing the season 7-5 or 8-4?
I credit Mack Brown for this. He restored the rivalry that albeit he helped destroy with that effort on Saturday. It was a great last hurrah, and if this is indeed his last season at Texas, it is a nice tip of the cap to his outstanding career at Texas.
But I just can’t help but wonder, if this team had shown this urgency against BYU and Ole Miss, or had taken care of the defensive coordinator problem in the off-season when Mack knew this was a make or break season, where this team could be right now.
Definitely Top 10. Running the table would be a near certainty, not a "well we know it isn’t going to happen, but…." We would be getting stories on College Gameday or in Sports Illustrated about how Texas is back, not how it all went wrong.
But alas, Texas fans are left to bask in a singular regular-season victory, that no matter how sweet it is, in the end it is just a tad bit bitter as well.
On to the games...
UCLA @ Stanford -6:
UCLA is no stranger to playing well on the road, as they have already defeated Nebraska and Utah away from the Rose Bowl this season. Stanford couldn’t handle Utah last week, but I’m not sure I see them dropping two in a row.
Stanford 31 UCLA 27
ATS – UCLA
SU – Stanford
Florida -3 @ Missouri:
Missouri tries to keep their lead in the SEC here without their starting quarterback, but Maty Mauk was a schoolboy star who should be able to fill in nicely. On the other side of the ball, it is very movable object against can’t hit the broad side of a barn, as Missouri’s pass defense has struggled, but Florida’s offensive problems are well documented.
Missouri does get after the quarterback though, and I like them here.
Missouri 27 Florida 20
ATS – Missouri
SU – Missouri
Florida State -3 @ Clemson:
Clemson needed 14 fourth-quarter points to avoid an upset at the hands of Boston College last week, which would be about right for them. On the other hand, playing Pittsburgh, Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Boston College and Maryland don’t exactly get you ready to play the bigger boys of college football.
I’ll go for the home team.
Clemson 34 Florida State 28
ATS – Clemson
SU – Clemson
USC @ Notre Dame -3:
This used to be a game you would circle on your college football calendar, but both teams couldn’t look more mediocre right now. USC’s defense does look legit outside the Tempe, Arizona city limits, but I’m not sure I trust them to go on the road and pick up a victory in a hostile environment.
Notre Dame 24 USC 16
ATS – Notre Dame
SU – Notre Dame
TCU @ Oklahoma State -7.5:
Oklahoma State needed a week off after a loss against West Virginia and a too close for comfort win over Kansas State. TCU took the week off, too, barely breathing enough fire to squeak by Kansas in Fort Worth.
The week off will do the Cowboys some good.
Oklahoma State 31 TCU 17
ATS – Oklahoma State
SU – Oklahoma State
Oklahoma -24 @ Kansas:
If it seems like Oklahoma and Kansas always play the week after Texas/OU, you are correct (well, almost), as they have linked up 7 times in the 15 years that Bob Stoops has been coach. Stoops is a perfect 14-0 the week after that game, defeating his opponent by an average of 25 points.
Kansas hung tough with TCU for the whole game, with Texas Tech for a half and Rice for, oh crap, they’re supposed to beat Rice.
The Sooners have some real problems, and will likely be exasperated by the injuries, but Kansas doesn’t have it to pull off any sort of upset here.
Oklahoma 37 Kansas 16
ATS – Kansas
SU – Oklahoma
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for St. Arnold Pumpkinator.