Last Week: 4-2 ATS 5-1 SU
For the Year: 4-2 (.667) ATS 5-1 (.833) SU
What we learned last week:
• I would have loved to have been in Vegas last Thursday night, as North Carolina drove the ball down to the South Carolina goalline in the final minute of a game that was out of hand and was after a two-hour rain delay. Who was watching that game? Gamblers that were on the line, that rejoiced or headed for the bar when the Tarheels were denied.
• We learned that Clemson can indeed win a big one, although giving up nearly 600 yards in the process isn’t exactly making anyone pencil them into Pasadena…
• And finally, we learned that Major Applewhite is the best offensive coordinator in Texas history. In all seriousness, the best stat of the night? Of the 715 yards racked up, 359 came on the ground, while 356 came through the air. Balance works.
This week we introduce a new feature at The Week That Will Be, College Football Over & Unders, which is a way to sneak in a college football preview without regurgitating the same column year after year after year.
Without further ado, here we go:
11.5 – Alabama Wins: Over. The Crimson Tide travel to College Station and to Auburn, other than that they get LSU & Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa. A Nick Saban team dropping two before December? Unlikely.
8.5 – Kansas State Wins: Under. I wonder if whomever bet this one was interested in Friday night’s game in Manhattan…
.5 – Johnny Manziel Suspensions: Push.
9.5 - Notre Dame Wins: Under. You’ll see why below.
11.5 – Ohio State Wins: Over. Their toughest road game is in Ann Arbor. It is the Big Ten. Have I mentioned I don’t care for Ohio State?
4.0 – Idiotic Media-Driven Mack Brown Recruiting Stories Over. Over. Over. Over.
10.5 – Oregon Wins Under. There has to be somewhat of a drop-off from Chip Kelly, right? Okay, even if not, the Ducks have tough road games at Stanford, Arizona and Washington.
2.5 – Will Muschamp Press Conference Rants Under. The press is too scared to come to any others so they are hereby cancelled.
9.5 – Stanford Wins Over. Stanford, on the other hand, has to travel to USC and Oregon State, but every other tough one is at home, including Notre Dame and Oregon. Split those two road games and split the two home games, and boom, 10 wins.
9.5 – TCU Wins Unnnnnder. Holy hell I needed to see this last week. How a team that has LSU, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and oh by the way lost six games last year is supposed to win 10 I have no idea.
9.5 – Texas A&M Wins Under. With Alabama, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and LSU on the schedule, and a ticking time bomb at quarterback, 10 wins seems a bit much to repeat.
3.0 – USC Starting Quarterbacks this Season Push. Which brings us to…
10.5 – USC Wins Under. Is Lane Kiffin setting the lines?
9.5 – Texas Wins Over. I’m praying for my sanity here.
On to the games...
Florida -3 @ Miami:
Both of these teams had nice but unspectacular wins against lower-tier FBS teams last week, with Florida’s win over Toledo highlighted by a 100-yard effort from Mack Brown (funny visual), and Miami’s win over Florida Atlantic highlighted by a 100-yard effort from Duke Johnson.
A few years ago this would have been a huge game, but now it is just a team hoping to get back to the top versus a school hoping to cling near the top.
Florida 28 Miami 17
ATS – Florida
SU – Florida
South Carolina @ Georgia -3.5:
Once the game settled down a tad last week, South Carolina’s offense started to look very ordinary, not nearly the juggernaut that Georgia was blasted by last week at Clemson.
The Bulldogs’ offense was fine, so it will be interesting to watch South Carolina’s defense against Aaron Murray and company, but this one also comes down to the question, "Will Georgia really start out 0-2?"
Georgia 27 South Carolina 23
ATS – Georgia
SU – Georgia
Notre Dame @ Michigan -4:
This will be the last game between these two teams in Ann Arbor for quite some time, and it is up to you to decide if that matters to you or not.
This game comes down to whether or not you trust Tommy Rees in a big game on the road.
I do not. But I do a little.
Michigan 23 Notre Dame 20
ATS – Notre Dame
SU – Michigan
Oregon -22 @ Virginia:
I don’t know about you, but in my mind these two programs are about as opposite as you can get. Oregon might have culture shock in old-school Virginia.
But they’ll get over it, quickly.
Oregon 51 Virginia 21
ATS – Oregon
SU – Oregon
West Virginia @ Oklahoma -20.5:
Unfortunately for West Virginia, Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and 344-yard man Tavon Austin aren’t here to avenge last season’s 50-49 loss in Morgantown. But Trevor Knight isn’t even Landry Jones yet, either, completing a nice game on the ground against Louisiana-Monroe but struggling doing what a quarterback kinda needs to do, throw the football.
Oklahoma is too tough for the Mountaineers, but this one will be closer than some think.
Oklahoma 34 West Virginia 20
ATS – West Virginia
SU – Oklahoma
Texas -7 @ BYU:
Don’t sleep on the Cougars, as they finished third in the country last season, facing some quality opponents such as Notre Dame, Oregon State and Georgia Tech, in addition to Utah State and San Jose State, who both finished last season 11-2.
Are they the caliber of an Alabama or LSU? No, but this Texas offense sputtered along for 27 minutes last week before…
Rattling off 715 yards and 8 unanswered touchdowns.
But that was New Mexico State, one of the worst teams in FBS, and this is BYU, not quite the BYU of lore, but still dangerous, especially at LaVell Edwards Stadium, 4630 feet above sea level.
So how do you attack BYU? Through the air. With the exception of Notre Dame, who ran for 270 yards on the Cougars last October, the teams that beat them did it through the air.
Utah’s Jon Hays threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Oregon State’s Cody Vaz threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns. And San Jose State’s David Fales threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Those teams combined for 226 yards rushing.
Now, none of those teams had the talent in the backfield that Texas does, but this appears to be a good test to see how much David Ash has grown up since last season.
Ash was great at times against New Mexico State, but the first of two interceptions was just atrocious and brings to mind a few games last year where he had trouble protecting the football.
Lead the team into battle and come out victorious, and Texas fans can start to dream of a big season. Struggle, and depend on a defensive battle or a breakout run or two? Texas fans start to wonder about the ceiling for this team.
Time to take that next step, David.
Texas 31 BYU 21
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas
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