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The Week That Will Be (10.29.2011)

Last Week: 2-4 ATS 3-3 SU
For the Year: 25-23 (.521) ATS 32-16 (.667) SU

We learned last week that we learned that instant replay does work in major sports (Wisconsin/Michigan State)…I’m talking to you, MLB.

…we learned that Stanford can run all over Washington like a LMFAO song, to the tune of 446 yards.

…we learned that Notre Dame = me and USC = my wife and our closet = Notre Dame Stadium.

…we learned that the Aggies were about as interested in playing Iowa State as Tony La Russa was in seeing Lance Lynn pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

…we learned that Oklahoma State defenders might as well be waving the wheat at opposing running backs, but it doesn’t matter when you run 2 for 1 specials on the opposing defense.

And finally, we learned that 39 game home winning streaks are made to be broken.


If it wasn’t for Texas…

The last Big 12 win for Texas at home?

You remember it. You probably remember it very well.

You might remember the bomb to James Kirkendoll in front of Section 1 for a touchdown. Perhaps you remember Jordan Shipley tip toeing down the sideline on the north end of the stadium. Then there was the beauty over the middle to Malcolm Williams for a 61 yard score. And finally, there was another score for Kirkendoll in the fourth quarter.

And you certainly remember the dogpile by all the seniors at mid-field after the game…all except for one.

Colt McCoy took his own lap that night, Senior Night of course, glad-handing those that might have doubted him in the beginning, thanking those that came to love him as he set a national record for victories as a quarterback. He just came off a glistening performance of 396 yards passing, four touchdowns and only nine incompletions in 41 attempts. As he stopped to take a picture with the cheerleaders, and the crowd chanted Texas….Fight….…his favorite song rang over the PA system, George Strait’s Texas.

Unfortunately, in many ways that would be McCoy’s last hurrah. Texas won a Big 12 Championship Game where McCoy was on the ground more than he was making plays on it. And of course we all know the atrocity that occurred in Pasadena.

More than 700 days have passed since that cool November night, but the joyful aura that surrounded the stadium that evening was seemingly 1400 days ago.

Championship dreams turned to utter disgust in 2010, and while there is more promise in 2011, one must consider the fact that last year’s team sat right here with the same record before losing five out of its final six games, with another twenty-plus underdog opponent coming to Austin that nobody outside of that opposing city thought that they could ever lose to.

2009 was an eternity ago in more ways than one. But if you really want to show the progress that hasn’t been evident around here since the first half against Iowa State earlier this year, pound the hell out of Kansas.

With all due respect to Turner Gill and his squad, the Longhorns are served a meaty dish on their plate this week after getting pushed around for two weeks by teams that were simply better than they were.

Do what good teams do and run this team into the ground.

This Kansas squad has yet to give up less than 42 points to a FBS opponent, including a Northern Illinois squad that would love to have the talent that we have on our roster. Kansas State and Texas Tech would probably love to have the talent that is on our roster as well.

It is time for youth to stop serving as an excuse and start serving as a threat.

Throttle the opponent before you on Saturday, and while it won’t cause any shockwaves throughout the conference, it will at least service notice that you can take care of the business that is before you…something that wasn’t done last season.

Then maybe, just maybe, we can start to envision a joyous aura returning to this stadium one day.

And that ridiculous streak will be no more.

On to the games...

Michigan State @ Nebraska -4:

The challenge in this one is how does Michigan State react to be the hunted instead of the hunter? They’ve ventured on the road twice this season, getting hammered by Notre Dame (31-13) and holding down Ohio State (10-7). Add to those two factors that this is the last of a gauntlet of emotional games (@ Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin), and you wonder how much they have left in the tank.

With each team playing into the other’s defensive strength (Michigan State can’t run but can pass, Nebraska can’t stop the run but can stop the pass; Michigan State’s defense is ranked second nationally), expect a low scoring game with MSU being the better team here.

Michigan State 20 Nebraska 16
ATS – Michigan State
SU – Michigan State

Clemson -3.5 @ Georgia Tech:

As a great man in movie lore once said, "it’s a trap." How in the world does Clemson only enter this game as a little over a field goal favorite when Georgia Tech was defeated soundly by Miami last week? Tech averaged a pitiful 2.8 yards per carry and had only 211 total yards, meanwhile Clemson enters this game averaging 40 points per game?

Georgia Tech does have a good pass defense thus far (giving up only 170 yards per game through the air), but haven’t faced anyone like Clemson. There is always the potential to "pull a Clemson" here (especially with a defense that has given up 83 points in the last two games), but the Tigers should roll.

Clemson 41 Georgia Tech 31
ATS – Clemson
SU – Clemson

Stanford -7.5 @ USC:

There wasn’t much thought of USC staying in this one until last week’s victory over Notre Dame, but realistically there still shouldn’t be much talk. Yes, the Trojans earned that victory with 443 total yards, but Notre Dame didn’t help themselves with 3 turnovers.

Southern Cal is looking at the best offense they’ve faced all year as well as the best defense they’ve faced all year. That doesn’t bode well.

Stanford 41 USC 24
ATS – Stanford
SU – Stanford

Baylor @ Oklahoma State -14:

I want to like Baylor. Robert Griffin is a special, special player. But then I look at that defense that has given up at least 26 points to every FBS opponent they have faced this season, is giving up 425 yards per game, 33 points per game and couldn’t even force Texas A&M to punt, and I’m wondering how they give the ball enough to RGIII to win this game.

Baylor should be able to put some points up late, but Oklahoma State might go for 60.

Oklahoma State 52 Baylor 28
ATS – Oklahoma State
SU – Oklahoma State

Oklahoma -13.5 @ Kansas State:
This is not a good match-up for Kansas State. Sure, if the Oklahoma that dropped pass after pass comes into Manhattan and pulls that act again, or if On the Road Landry shows up they have a shot, but to this point, Kansas State has relied on a somewhat healthy running game, virtually nothing from the passing game, a stout run defense and timely turnovers.

Those don’t last forever.

Robert Griffin threw for 346 yards but Baylor had 3 turnovers. Seth Doege at Texas Tech threw for 446, but Tech turned it over 4 times and lost. Is this Kansas State defense opportunistic…or lucky?

Oklahoma isn’t as good as they were against Texas, but whatever warts they showed against Texas Tech, Kansas State doesn’t have the offense to exploit them.

Oklahoma 37 Kansas State 17
ATS – Oklahoma
SU – Oklahoma

Kansas @ Texas -28:

I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, and others on this site have told you similar things, but I really don’t think it can be over stated how bad this Kansas defense has been this year.

You know they are allowing opponents half a hundred points per game, you know they are giving up 550 yards per game (to put that in perspective, 550 yards on offense would rank you second in the country in total offense; 50 points per game would lead FBS). They’ve also allowed two opponents, Georgia Tech and Kansas State, to nearly double their season average in points per game.

It’s like they give you a menu at the beginning of the game and ask whether you would like to run all day or pass all day, or splurge and do both.

Their offense isn’t terrible. Quarterback Jordan Webb is 16th in the country in passing efficiency, but you have to wonder if that is because teams like Oklahoma State took out their starters in the second quarter and didn’t really care if Jordan Webb marched his team up and down the field because they could get this game over faster.

On a team full of freshmen and sophomores, one that hasn’t experienced a win in nearly a full month, you have to hammer them and gain confidence going into the second half of the season.

Show us what you got.

Texas 48 Kansas 13
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas

For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for souvenir coal in West Virginia.