Last Week: 1-5 ATS 3-3 SU
For the Year: 19-23 (.452) ATS 28-14 (.667) SU
We learned last week that Texas A&M likes to play with fire. One week after defeating Ole Miss despite 6 turnovers, the Aggies nearly blow a 27-0 lead and commit 19 penalties against Louisiana Tech. Not exactly rolling into SEC play...we learned that Notre Dame utilizes Tommy Rees like Mariano Rivera, but you certainly can't argue the results...we learned that SEC defensive battles can be fun to watch, as South Carolina/LSU was as good as it gets...we learned that Kansas State can win ugly, but can they win ugly all the way to New Orleans or Phoenix?...we learned that West Virginia's favorite Star Wars character is Admiral Ackbar...we learned that someone hacked my account and made last week's picks?...and finally, we learned that Texas is once again a national joke. Welcome back to 2003.
The obituary of Mack Brown's tenure of Texas has already been written so well on this site this week, but I'd be remiss if I didn't add a few thoughts of my own...
Simply put, I'm not buying another ticket to Texas/OU game in the Cotton Bowl until Mack Brown is no longer the head coach at Texas.
I've spent a few grand during his tenure for what used to be my favorite game experience ever, but three times I've been treated to a beating that resembles the parking lot at Candlestick Park. One other time we didn't score a single point. In other games I did not attend, we scored 3 points, in another we were blown out again, and in yet another a 5'8" running back was the most physical player on the field.
"That isn't who we are," Mack was quoted as saying this week. No Mack, that is exactly who we are, under your direction.
Asked twenty years from now about the Mack Brown tenure at Texas and our first thoughts may very well be the national championship of 2005, but it won't be long until we lose that smile off our face and remember the beatings that we received in the Cotton Bowl because Mack Brown doesn't take this game as seriously as anyone else does.
You can hire and fire coaches, but the fact of the matter is that there are two coaches that have been here for every brutal snap in those four games - tight ends coach Bruce Chambers and Mack Brown.
And I can say with about 99.9% certainly that the problem isn't Chambers.
I'm not that guy - I wasn't calling for Mack's head during the Simms/Applewhite era when the grumbles started. I wasn't calling for his head during the Chance Mock/Vince Young platoon. I wasn't calling for his head when a lot of us wanted Will Muschamp to take over before he got away. I wasn't calling for his head after 5-7 in 2010 or 8-5 in 2011...I felt that Mack's success on the field and the class act that he was off the field had dictated that he can leave on his own timetable.
But you lost me on Saturday morning, Mack.
I can't do it anymore. I can't be embarrassed to be a Longhorn anymore like I was in the second quarter of a second straight thrashing in this series. Fan after fan filtered out, and all I could do was sit there and think about was how this could be happening yet again. To an Oklahoma team that we all perceived coming into the game to be a fine candidate to be spending Christmas in San Diego or San Antonio.
But we all should have known what was coming once Oklahoma drove right down the field on the first series (they've scored first every game in this series going back to 2006...think about how impossible that is) and Texas went three and out. We had certainly seen it before.
We have felt that sickening feeling way too often in the last 13 years of this series.
Our last hope was just to avoid becoming a GIF for all of the Internet to behold, but a poor sorority girl fell victim just for putting her hands on her head and screaming an expletive that a lot of us let out that morning. Morning. Not afternoon. Morning.
As much as it pains me to say, Mack, you lost me.
And we can't even say "maybe next year" with confidence.
On to the games...
Michigan State @ Michigan -10:
Michigan has cruised to two Big 10 wins after their loss at Notre Dame, while Michigan State somehow managed to play a two-overtime game against Iowa that ended with 35 total points scored last week. I like Michigan State's defense, but Michigan's isn't bad, only allowing 39 points in the last four games.
Michigan 24 Michigan State 20
ATS - Michigan State
SU - Michigan State
South Carolina @ Florida -3.5:
It is possible that Marcus Lattimore misses this game for South Carolina with a hip injury. He was limited against LSU last week, only carrying the ball 13 times for 35 yards. Of course the entire South Carolina offense was limited, only gaining 211 yards in 60 plays.
Florida wasn't much better, only gaining 77 yards through the air in an uninspiring win over Vanderbilt.
I can't really see a team of South Carolina's caliber losing two in a row, while Florida has been flirting with disaster with their offense.
South Carolina 23 Florida 16
ATS - South Carolina
SU - South Carolina
LSU -3.5 @ Texas A&M:
You start to wonder if LSU has the offense to keep up with Texas A&M, but then you remember that SEC teams play defense...well most of them. Sit down, A&M.
LSU 28 Texas A&M 23
ATS - LSU
SU - LSU
Kansas State @ West Virginia -2.5:
This is a good match-up for West Virginia. The much-maligned defense actually stops the run fairly well, allowing 131 yards per game on the ground, while the strength of their offense, Geno Smith, faces Kansas State and their 74th ranked pass defense.
West Virginia wasn't "exposed" last weekend. They had a terrible game in a tough situation. They hand Kansas State, who relies too much on "perfect" football, their first loss here.
West Virginia 41 Kansas State 28
ATS - West Virginia
SU - West Virginia
Texas Tech -1.5 @ TCU:
These two teams were left for dead as late as last week, after Tech laid an egg against Oklahoma and TCU lost Casey Pachall to suspension and then losing to Iowa State in Fort Worth.
Tech's defense appears to be legit, but we all know that the Texas Tech that we all know plays a lot differently away from Lubbock than they do at home.
TCU 31 Texas Tech 28
ATS - TCU
SU - TCU
Baylor @ Texas -10.5:
And move on we must. It isn't like we aren't used to this by now.
How bad has this Texas defense been? They have given up more yards in the last two games (1137) than Alabama has given up all season (1087).
It doesn't get any better this week, in fact it might get worse, as they face a Baylor offense that is ranked 2nd in the country, featuring wide receiver Terrance Williams, whose 166 yards leads the country by 30 yards per game over the next closest receiver.
Their one hope on defense might be the tendency of Nick Florence to throw interceptions, as his four against TCU last week gave up nine on the season.
As good as Baylor's offense is, their defense is just as bad, giving up 1.876 yards in their last three games against Louisiana-Monroe, West Virginia and TCU. Trevone Boykin, starting his second career game for TCU, threw for 4 touchdowns and ran for another.
Coming off the debacle in Dallas last week, where the team appeared to be fractured, you have to wonder where Texas's head is here. If they take the mindset that the second season starts now and they can still somehow salvage a respectable record, they should prevail...but if not, well...
Baylor 44 Texas 37
ATS - Baylor
SU - Baylor
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for more beer.