Last Week: 4-2 ATS 5-1 SU
For the Year: 24-22-2 (.522) ATS 39-9 (.813) SU
What we learned last week:
• Stanford is really, really going to regret that trip to Utah, as they held a UCLA team that was averaging nearly 46 points per game to 266 total yards and one fourth-quarter touchdown. Even with a one-loss to Oregon, they would have likely have been an at-large selection…
• The SEC Death March made its first stop in Columbia, although we can all agree that the Florida offense was DOA. Will Muschamp might get another year with all of their injuries this year, but his record is very Zookian right now.
• Speaking of Ron Zook, there is a chance he was coaching Clemson last Saturday night. It is never, ever a good sign when the head coach and quarterback have to deny "throwing the game on purpose" to the media the week after the game.
• If you made it all the way through USC/Notre Dame, you must also be a big fan of C-SPAN.
• When it takes two quarterbacks to beat TCU, things aren’t looking too good in Stillwater. When two mediocre quarterbacks beat you, things aren’t looking too good in Fort Worth.
• Which was a lower moment in Oklahoma history, losing to Texas in 2013, or needing a trick play to score on Kansas?
If you heard Mack Brown’s press conference on Monday, he mentioned that the players probably extended the "48-hour" rule that comes when enjoying a win before moving on to the next. Mack himself (or likely a nice young SID assistant) sent out an email last week to fans thanking them for their loyal support this season, and went on to say that this team is "beginning to be the Texas team on the field that we’ve been working toward."
That is, of course, to take nothing away from the win over Oklahoma, it was an outstanding achievement that I am still beaming about several days later. But I’m not lining up to begin the rest of conference play on Saturday.
Win these next three very winnable games, on the road against TCU and West Virginia and at home against Kansas, and we’re looking at a Texas team that is ranked once again, and would be at 6-0 in the conference. Texas Tech and Oklahoma play this week. Baylor and Oklahoma play in about 10 days. Texas Tech hosts Oklahoma State next weekend. Baylor plays three ranked opponents in their next three after Kansas.
This is the part of the schedule to make your move, to have perhaps some room for error when you play Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor.
But that isn’t possible if the goal for the season was to beat Oklahoma.
I’ve made my feelings on what I think should be the future of Mack Brown several times in this column. And yes, winning out would certainly throw a wrench in what I hope to be the future plans.
But you know what? That win last week was so damn satisfactory.
After hearing about how Texas was garbage for most of the season, after listening to commentators opine on Texas more for morbid curiosity than genuine interest, after avoiding the water cooler at work for several days following BYU and Ole Miss, it felt good to enjoy Texas football again.
Chances are that will be ruined about three minutes into Saturday’s tilt against TCU. Or in two weeks when they travel to Morgantown. Or in three weeks when Oklahoma State visits and will no doubt play their best game of the season.
We can hope that the players are over it, but as a fan, enjoy the ride. Because we all know how short lived it can be.
On to the games...
South Carolina @ Missouri -2.5:
Maty Mauk looked like a veteran in his first start last week, tallying 295 yards and a TD. Missouri has taken down Georgia and Florida in successive weeks; can they take down South Carolina as well?
The Gamecocks will be without Connor Shaw, meaning they’ll likely lean on running back Mike Davis…as unlikely as it sounds for Missouri to go through this gauntlet undefeated, I’m not sure South Carolina has the firepower to keep up.
Missouri 34 South Carolina 24
ATS – Missouri
SU – Missouri
Tennessee @ Alabama -28:
Alabama versus Texas A&M: 42 points given up. Alabama against their other six opponents: 26 points.
Alabama 38 Tennessee 14
ATS – Tennessee
SU – Alabama
UCLA @ Oregon -22.5:
These two teams last met in the 2011 Pac-12 championship game (49-31 Oregon), and very well could meet in Eugene again later this year.
UCLA quarterback Bret Hundley picked a terrible week to be off his game last week, and he’ll need every bit of his talent this week. Don’t see that happening.
Oregon 48 UCLA 24
ATS – Oregon
SU – Oregon
Baylor -34.5 @ Kansas:
The Big 12 travel department isn’t doing Baylor any favors, sending them to the state of Kansas for their first two road games of the season. Best versus worst here, and although Kansas has been a tougher game than most figured in Lawrence this year, they have zero chance.
Baylor 52 Kansas 16
ATS – Baylor
SU – Baylor
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma -6.5:
Texas Tech’s Davis Webb has 837 passing yards in his last two games as the Red Raiders are ranked the highest they have been since 2008. They, of course, have played a light schedule, with perhaps TCU their toughest test thus far?
Oklahoma has their problems, but they more often times than not take care of business in Norman.
Oklahoma 37 Texas Tech 24
ATS – Oklahoma
SU – Oklahoma
Texas @ TCU -2:
TCU is an absolute mess on offense, using two quarterbacks and two offensive playcallers against Oklahoma State last week. They have only scored 28 points or more twice this season, only average 330 yards per game and only 191 of those in the air.
They haven’t lived up to expectations this season (some had them winning the conference), and it doesn’t take too long to figure out why, with that offense and the fact that they average 7 penalties and 57 penalty yards a game.
But this is TCU, so you know they are going to have a good defense, and even in this down year they have solid numbers, only giving up 340 yards and 21 points per game. Their offense turned the ball over five times against Kansas (including a pick-six), but the TCU defense still held them to 10 points. They turned the ball over three times in the first half against the Cowboys last week, but only gave up 17 points in that first half, which included a punt return for a touchdown.
Simply saying, this is the best defense Texas will have faced this season, and likely will face. The Longhorns only ran for 86 yards (4 more rushing yards than Trevone Boykin had passing yards) on 33 carries last season. Do that again and they will come home with their third loss of the season.
Look for the Longhorns to start slow, play to the level of their competition, but also to simply make a few more plays on offense than TCU does.
Texas 28 TCU 17
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for a house next to Terry Saban.