The Week That Will Be (Thanksgiving 2013)

Erich Schlegel

Put a long sleeve tee and a pair of Ray-Bans on Mike Leach and you have Texas Tech.

Last Week: 3-3 ATS 2-4 SU
For the Year: 39-37-2 (.513) ($190) ATS 59-19 (.756) SU


What we learned last week:

• Arizona State has clinched a spot in the Pac-12 championship game, and needs only a win over Arizona this weekend to clinch home field against Stanford, where they are undefeated this season. Todd Graham’s resume is looking better and better.

• Missouri now has 10 wins, and each win has been by 14 points or more. Still, they’ll still likely be a two touchdown underdog to Alabama in Atlanta…if they get past Auburn.

• Oregon is frantically back tracing their steps in their Choose Your Own Adventure book, wondering how they let two golden opportunities for national championship/BCS/Pac-12 title slip through their hands.

Johnny Manziel is now 0-2 against LSU in his career, with a 46 % completion percentage, has 1 touchdown to 5 interceptions and has averages 2.8 yards per carry against them. The book is out, now go get the athletes.

• Bob Stoops now has the most wins as a head coach at Oklahoma, edging Barry Switzer. It wasn’t known at press time if this stat has been adjusted for Switzer retiring due to his whole team going to jail.

• Baylor’s injuries finally caught up to them, as Oklahoma State was able to stack the box and press the receivers with no Tevin Reese. Lache Seastrunk might have been missed the most, however, as the Bears only rushed for 94 yards after averaging more than 300 per game in the previous 9 games.

Anyhow…

The final play of the rivalry…good snap and hold….Tucker’s kick is up…Justin’s kick is…GOOOOD! It’s good! And the Texas Longhorns have won the final rivalry match-up with Texas A&M…Justin Tucker drives it home, and one last time, the Texas Longhorns break the hearts of the Aggies of Texas A&M…


Pure elation.

That is what I felt that night…surpassed only by the run for the roses by Vince Young. The Aggies were taking their ball and going home, only it wasn’t their ball and nobody particularly cared if they went home. It looked like they would have eternal scoreboard for Reveille’s ancestors to gaze upon, but Case McCoy and Justin Tucker made sure that wouldn’t happen to us.

I wasn’t amidst the other chilled Longhorns in College Station that night, choosing instead to spend the holiday weekend with my parents, where my wife and I broke the news to them that we were expecting our first child the following summer.

Little did I know that night that that would be the last Texas game I ever watched with my father.

Just a few short months later he was diagnosed with cancer, his third bout with the awful disease in a short time span. Twice before he had fought it off. This time he would not, passing away this past May.

His deteriorating health and the fact that we had a newborn baby made traveling and getting together during last football season very difficult. But I hear from my mom that he watched that Alamo Bowl victory over Oregon State, no doubt muttering choice words for the effort displayed in that pitiful first half.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t regret that.

My father wasn’t a Ward Cleaver who had a life lesson to extol every time that I visited with him, but I loved nothing better than as a kid catching a baseball with him, or as an adult playing a round of golf with him. It wasn’t verbal adulation that I was seeking, it was just spending time with the guy that was a superhero long before I ever knew about Superman or Batman.

Now that, at least in the physical sense, is gone forever.

I have heard before that a boy becomes a man when his father dies. If that is indeed the case, then I would have loved to been that little boy with the thick glasses just a little while longer.

But, of course, we can’t have that. It is life’s only certainty that one day we will pass from this world. You’re never prepared for when it happens, even though, as my mom once said, when you love someone with terminal cancer, you awake each day wondering if it will be the worst day of your life.

My dad’s favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. He loved cooking for the entire family, chasing anyone out of the kitchen that dared to try to take even the smallest task off his hands. He planned dinner to be ready around halftime of the Dallas Cowboys game, and you can be damn sure he was more successful than not in hitting that mark.

He rarely even would eat his own handiwork, instead filling his appetite with the satisfaction of providing for others and of course, the Cowboys and Longhorns.

Thank you, dad.

For all that you did. And all that you will continue to do even though you are now gone.

Ohio State -14.5 @ Michigan:

Michigan’s offense is bad. Really bad. They haven’t scored more than 27 points since October 19th and they have the nation’s 95th ranked offense.

This series hasn’t been close of late, with Ohio State winning 8 of 9, and I don’t see any way the Wolverines put a dent in that trend this time, either.

Ohio State 28 Michigan 17
ATS – Michigan
SU – Ohio State

Texas A&M @ Missouri -4.5:

What is Texas A&M’s best win this year? Vanderbilt? Ole Miss? Does it matter if we’re arguing over 7-4 teams?

Meanwhile, the teams they have played that have a pulse (Alabama, Auburn, LSU), have not only defeated the Aggies but have averaged 42.7 points per game.

Missouri is going to Atlanta.

Missouri 41 Texas A&M 31
ATS – Missouri
SU – Missouri


Florida State -27 @ Florida:

Yowza. The Longhorns are low, but they’re not 27-point underdog low. Until next week, that is, but we’ll worry about that next week. And that is probably an exaggeration. Maybe.

Florida State 44 Florida 14
ATS – Florida State
SU – Florida State


Alabama -10.5 @ Auburn:


This one is for the SEC West, but the question here is that Auburn rushing attack (#2 in the country) can get anywhere against the Alabama rush defense (#4 in the country).

Auburn will be able to move the ball a bit, but I think their meteoric rise is a little too storybook to be true.

Alabama 27 Auburn 21
ATS – Auburn
SU – Alabama


Baylor -13 @ TCU:

The good news for TCU? They have the defense and more importantly the secondary to do exactly what Oklahoma State did to stifle the Baylor offense…load the box and press the corners, daring their receivers to beat your defensive backs. TCU certainly has the athletes to do this…

But the bad news is that the defense hasn’t performed as of late, giving up 30 points in three of their last four (albeit one of those was an overtime game against West Virginia), and they don’t have the offense that Oklahoma State did to keep Baylor guessing.

Baylor has a slight hangover, but gets over it quickly.

Baylor 41 TCU 17
ATS – Baylor
SU – Baylor


Texas Tech @ Texas -4.5:

Okay, here is the situation. If Texas wins here, and beats Baylor, and Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma, Texas is going to the Fiesta Bowl at 9-3. Lose here and lose against Baylor, and Texas is likely headed to…ah who really cares, we’re not going to buy tickets to it anyhow.

This holiday season it is a very Dickens-like tale of two seasons for Texas Tech, who started out at 7-0 and even poked their head into the Top 10 of the BCS before being swatted back to half court. They since have lost 4 in a row and have given up 202 points and 2,060 yards in that span.

Ouch.

They are getting gashed on the ground, with Oklahoma’s 277 rushing yards the low water mark for their opponents during this streak. Simply said, if Case McCoy has anywhere approaching 30 passing attempts, Major Applewhite should be fired on the spot.

On offense it is the same Mike Leach-like Texas Tech you are used to seeing, with a passing game that averages 400 yards per game but a running game that resembles what a local middle school might throw out there. There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb, they can both have around 8 or 9 interceptions in around 300 attempts, their passing efficiency is about the same and passing touchdowns are close enough to resemble each other.

Another year, the same story. Keep Tech one-dimensional, tackle them at the moment of the completed pass, bend but don’t break and do what you do on offense and you beat Texas Tech, who hasn’t won in Austin since 1997.

Let them rack up the YAC, let them get a decent running game going and keep shooting yourself in the foot on offense and you’ll lose to in Coach Bro’s Texas debut.

Frankly, I don’t even see how Major and Mack could screw this one up.

Texas 38 Texas Tech 24
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas


For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for AJ McCarron for Heisman t-shirts.

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