Last Week: 3-3 ATS 4-2 SU
For the Year: 31-27-2 (.534) ($90) ATS 48-12 (.800) SU
What we learned last week:
• Tennessee might have been without their starting quarterback, but I’m not sure he could have helped keep Missouri under the 339 rushing yards they allowed.
• Todd Gurley is back just in time for Georgia to…well, make a run for the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl, as his 187 total yards and two touchdowns helped send Florida to their fourth loss of the year.
• Whatever Florida is, Florida State is the exact opposite, as they have outscored their last four opponents 204-45. And yes, three of those opponents were ranked at the time.
• It is possible to attempt a 62-yard field in overtime. Think about that for a minute. TCU can’t wait for this season to end.
• Texas Tech can lose despite more total yards, twice as many passing yards, 11 first downs, one more turnover and one blocked punt. Oh, those last two are the reasons they lost. Got it.
• We learned that not only does Jonathan Gray have to worry about Malcolm Brown taking his job, there is the matter of Chris Whaley…
It is nearing that part of the season that we all dread, where the regular season is coming to a close and we’re forced to watch Seton Hall and Depaul basketball on Saturday afternoons. I get the shakes just thinking about it. We’re not there yet, however, so let’s take a shot at what some bowl game match-ups might look like:
THE PELINI BOWL: CARL VS. BO
Allegedly Carl knows what to do in a bowl…
THE JERK BOWL: BO PELINI VS. RICHIE INCOGNITO
Bo is so arrogant he believes he can be in two places at one time, while Incognito tries to parlay this notoriety into a movie career as that one guy who holds on to football way too long and still goes to high school parties when he is 28.
THE DOOMED BOWL: BELLMONT HALL EMPLOYEES VS. BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO STORES
They’re all done anyhow.
THE FOX SPORTS ONE BOWL: ERIN ANDREWS VS. CHARISSA THOMPSON
I just wanted to see that in writing.
ALAMO BOWL: ARIZONA STATE VS. OKLAHOMA
Bob Stoops gets so pissed at Mike Stoops at the Oklahoma team dinner that he pushes him in the Riverwalk. While Stoops stands there and laughs, Todd Graham pushes him in. Hilarity ensues.
FIESTA BOWL: BAYLOR VS. FRESNO STATE
Baylor is so excited to play in their first BCS bowl…and then they have to play Fresno State. In a tricked-out stadium. Ticket sales are so poor that University of Phoenix Stadium officials put a tarp over the upper decks. Baylor feels at home and scores 70.
SUGAR BOWL: CLEMSON VS. AUBURN
The Sugar Bowl has its choice of which SEC team gets to look disinterested in being there for three quarters before Clemson "all together now" and blocks their own punt or somesuch.
ORANGE BOWL: FLORIDA STATE VS. CENTRAL FLORIDA
The Orange Bowl gets the first at-large choice, panics and decides that having a crappy game is now an annual Orange Bowl tradition.
ROSE BOWL: OHIO STATE VS. STANFORD
Your consolation is a trip to Los Angeles to play in the greatest American theater of sports. Congrats.
COTTON BOWL: TEXAS A&M VS. TEXAS
Well, well, well…the bowl game that everyone besides Texas and Texas A&M fans want. Texas trails late in the game until Case McCoy plays pinball in the middle of the field, Anthony Fera kicks a field goal and 50,000 Aggies test the integrity of the AT&T Death Star by pounding their heads against the concrete walls.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: ALABAMA VS. OREGON
Oregon strives to bookend national championship appearance with losses to Alabama teams.
On to the games...
Mississippi State @ Texas A&M -19:
What is Mississippi State’s best victory this year? Alcorn, Troy, Bowling Green or Kentucky?
Texas A&M 44 Mississippi State 17
ATS – Texas A&M
SU – Texas A&M
LSU @ Alabama -12:
We all remember the low scoring shenanigans between these two teams a couple of years ago. But the story of this game might be the quarterbacks, A.J. McCarron for Alabama and Zach Mettenberger for LSU. Alabama is ranked 8th in the country in team passing efficiency, while LSU is 5th.
But, of course, this is Alabama/LSU, and the defenses will come to play. And Alabama’s is simply better. 5th in the country vs. 22nd for LSU. 1st in scoring defense vs. 31st for LSU.
Bama wins again.
Alabama 24 LSU 17
ATS – LSU
SU – Alabama
Oregon -10.5 @ Stanford:
This has suddenly become a heavyweight match-up that is must-see TV every year. Both teams enter with national championship aspirations, with the Rose Bowl a nice consolation prize.
The Cardinal has played great defense since their loss to Utah, allowing only 22 points combined to UCLA and Oregon State…but they also allowed those 400 yards and 27 points to Utah, 489 yards and 28 points to Washington and 367 passing yards to Arizona State.
And we know what Oregon has on offense.
Oregon 37 Stanford 24
ATS – Oregon
SU – Oregon
Kansas State @ Texas Tech -2:
Texas Tech went from right in the midst of the national picture to also-ran…you know, once they started playing actual opponents.
Regardless, I still can’t see them losing three in a row, especially at home.
Texas Tech 34 Kansas State 21
ATS – Texas Tech
SU – Texas Tech
Oklahoma @ Baylor -15:
Lot of firsts in this one…first time Baylor has been favored against Oklahoma since 1998, the first time Bob Stoops has been a 15-point underdog, the first time Baylor has removed the tarp from Floyd Casey Stadium…
Okay, I’ll let the tarp thing go.
Baylor comes into this game averaging 63 points per game and 717 yards per game, while Oklahoma comes in averaging 31 and 435. Simply put, this isn’t the Oklahoma offense that can keep up, and their defense, riddled by injury, has given up 30 points in two of their last three ballgames.
Baylor proves their legitimacy.
Baylor 48 Oklahoma 28
ATS – Baylor
SU – Baylor
Texas -6.5 @ West Virginia:
This isn’t one that I have looked forward to on the schedule.
Yes, West Virginia is 4-5, losing three in a row before their overtime win in Forth Worth last week. And yeah, they sound like an XM station, ranking in the nineties in scoring offense and the eighties in scoring defense. Their special teams are awful, they commit a lot of penalties and turn the ball over too much.
But…and forgive my boastfulness, this is Texas, and yes, everyone gets up to play Texas. They don’t get up to play Maryland.
With all due respect, of course.
Texas will have to be good. Very good. Case McCoy can’t throw the interceptions that he did against Kansas and TCU. The running game will have to be sharp. The defense will have to berate a young offense and not give them any confidence or momentum from the beginning.
In a video game setting, sure, Texas should win easily. And no, nobody is going to give you any credit for beating a 4-5 West Virginia team on the road. But these are the games that can make or break your season, especially with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor on the horizon.
Take care of business.
Texas 31 West Virginia 20
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for the Carl Pelini going away party.