It was a subpar week going 2-3 but fortunately I hit my two unit play with North Texas to make things even. Nice 74 to 62 defensive struggle for the fightin' Kathy Irelands. Geez. The only thing standing in the way of my 4th consecutive winning weekend were the Kansas Manginas. It'd be nice if these guys would mix in a last second victory for once. Maybe that's like asking Mark Mangino to mix in a salad, because apparently this team is for real. Fat jokes aside, you gotta tip your hat to Kansas. They are now 10-0 against the number and have a legit shot to play for a 'Ship. Oh well, I'm done with that juggernaut.
My overall record is now 35-25-3 and a smokin' 8-4 in two unit plays for an 11 unit profit on the year. As the season winds down, it seems like Mr. Linesmaker is getting sharper and sharper and my card this week reflects that with only 3 games on the docket. That's okay because bowl season is where our bread is buttered, and we'll ignore reaching for plays like Henry James ignores Adam's apples. On to the winners.
The Fightin' Manginos are a perfect 10-0 against the salad.
Clemson -7.5 vs. Boston College.This is a tale of two teams going in opposite directions. Boston College is reeling after the miracle win in Blacksburg three weeks ago. They were torched at home by an abysmal Florida State offense two weeks ago and played listless football last week on the road against the banged up Terrapins who were forced to start a walk-on LB. A night game in Death Valley against Clemson, who is flying under the radar, is bad news for a slow B.C. team that's coming apart at the seams.
On paper, the matchups would appear to be somewhat favorable for the Eagles' defense. They sport a good rushing defense and will be facing a team that relies on running the football. Not so fast Lee Corso. Clemson's QB Cullen Harper is an above average passer averaging 6.6 ypp vs. defenses surrendering 6.2. He manages the game well having only thrown 4 picks on the year. Keep in mind B.C.'s plodding secondary has allowed FSU's Drew Weatherford and Maryland's Chris Turner 7.9 ypp and 10.6 ypp respectively the last two weeks. And neither of those offenses poses the rushing threat that Clemson does.
On defense, the Tigers average giving up 4.6 yards per pass play vs. teams averaging 5.8. I know they'll be facing Doug Flutie's boy toy, but Matt Ryan isn't having the Heisman caliber year everyone's touting. He's averaging 7 yards per attempt, which is the national average. Alot of that has to do with the fact he's throwing to a stable of slow possession receivers, but excuses don't help teams play within the number. Throw in a motivated Clemson team playing for an ACC title at home, at night, and this very well could be a blow out feeding frenzy for a team that feels disrepected. I like Clemson here 38 to 17.
South Florida -7.5 vs. LouisvilleThe Cardinals have seemed to right the ship defensively after being gouged by Middle Tennessee State, Syracuse, and Utah earlier in the year. Offensively they've played through some injuries along the Oline and have basically moved the ball exclusively through the air because of their inept running attack. They lost a heart breaker at West Virginia last week and now must go to South Florida for the second leg of their road trip.
South Florida is coming off of a blowout win at Syracuse after playing 3 of the best defenses in conference in Rutgers, UCONN, and Cincinatti, all of which were losses. The good news for USF is Louisville's defense or lack thereof. Louisville's D is allowing nearly 1 yard per play more than their schedule is allowing. South Florida should treat this defense an awful lot like it treated Syracuses last week, which was a balanced 580 total yard effort.
On defense, South Florida has precisely the personnel to give Louisville fits. An aggressive front 7 that can get after the passer and athletes in the secondary to cover. USF's defense has struggled with the straight ahead power rushing attacks of Rutgers and UCONN, but Louisville can't run the rock as evidenced by its 2.6, 3.0, 3.1, and 1.4 yards per carry in the last 4 weeks. I think Brohm will be hit more than his agent would like Saturday night because of the Bull's attacking front 7 and Louisville's one dimensional attack. Expect a couple of picks and a long evening for the Cardinals. USF big 42 to 21.
Does XBOX 2007 have a "rub your vagina" button?
**Cincinatti +6.5 vs. West Virginia. 2 Units**It's another night game in the Big East, and that can only mean one thing, a home dog win. The funny thing is we saw a carbon copy of this game in week 5 when WVA traveled to South Florida. Same night game, same home dog, and almost the same teams since Cincy is a carbon copy of USF. They sport an athletic, attacking, opportunistic defense and a methodical offense with a QB that manages the game. Hell, you could argue that Ben Mauk's been a better manager than Grothe this year.
On offense Mauk has averaged 7.3 yards per pass play against teams that yield just 6.0 yppp. Not bad. The Bearcats also rush the ball effectively at home averaging 4.4 yards per carry against defenses that give up 3 ypc.
Defensively, the Bearcats sport an opportunistic defense that statistically speaking is only slightly above average being only .5 yards per play better than the offenses they've faced. They do, however, stop the run, which will obviously be the major test on Saturday. They allow 3.9 yards per rush against offenses that rush it for 4.8. At home, that number dips to 2.2 yards per rush allowed. And they'll need that fast aggressive rush defense vs. White, Slaton, and company. I like this to be a field goal game either way, with a lean toward Cincy since WVA is talking national championship again and Steve Slaton has a vagina. Cincy in a squeeker 27 to 24.
Adam's Apple free.
Good luck everyone.