Last Week: 2-4 ATS 3-3 SU
For the Year: 8-10 (.444) ATS 12-6 (.667) SU
We learned last week that James Franklin has never as much taken an aspirin, which I suppose is somewhat admirable until you realize a team is depending on you to win the game...
...that Tennessee will never beat Florida consistently, that it is an underlying theorem of football that shall never be brought up again...
...that likewise we should perhaps start to accept the same theory on USC ever beating Stanford again...
...that my boasting in this space last week no doubt made the football gods take it out on Arkansas this week, my bad...
...that we might need to start penciling in Notre Dame to a BCS bowl...
...and finally, we learned that the mighty defenses of the SEC might not reach to Oxford, but that was still a hell of a display by our young offense the other night.
Here it is, the dreaded bye week, where everything else looks like a college football weekend, but yet the absence of the Horns leaves us filling a bit empty at the end of the day. Or you can actually watch other games all day, however you want to look at it.
With the bye week, let's pull off an Alex King and punt the ball, going with a Random Thoughts column.
First, a couple of observations on my trip to Oxford, MS this past weekend...
- Nice little bar scene in Oxford, until you get to the door and they're wanting to charge you $20 just to enter the bar...c'mon man, we're all of age here and this isn't Las Vegas.
- The rumors of very attractive women in Oxford were certainly not exaggerated...but then I heard rumors they were all from Dallas anyhow?
- Hotty Toddy certainly beats Gig ‘Em, Boomer Sooner or Whatever The Hell That is Arkansas Yells Out With Sooie.
- The Grove was all that it was cracked up to be, but while I enjoyed the overall scene perhaps even more than a Texas home game, the individual tailgates left a lot to be desired as 8 of their closest friends were shoulder to shoulder in tailgate chairs under a pop-up tent with catered food strewn about. The middle of the Grove resembled two rats doing you know what in a wool sock, while the outside edges had a nice breeze. Great experience, no doubt, but seems like it could be troublesome every week.
- Give me a nice smoker, a keg flowing cold beer and a satellite dish where I can watch other games.
- Mississippi fans were so nice that they earn at least a top four rating in hospitality, with Alabama, Michigan and Nebraska fans in no particular order in my personal standings.
- Memo to AT&T, Oxford needs more than one cell phone tower.
Three games in and I have no complaints about the Texas offense. But a few about the defense. I'm sure all of us would have taken that. Manny Diaz will get it figured out.
Geno Smith reminds me of where Robert Griffin III was in the national mindset at this time last year. And that incompletion to TD ratio (9/9) is certainly Griffinesque.
Some Big 12 quick hits: Baylor down 20-10 at half to Sam Houston? Perhaps an implosion is on the way after all...The new Amon Carter Stadium looks outstanding. Good job TCU...The Oklahoma network we were all promised makes BevoD look like the Longhorn Network...Texas Tech being 2nd in total defense this late in the season has to be a school record...Early reports are that Charlie Weis better get over to Kansas City and get some barbeque while he can...There isn't much interesting to say about Iowa State at this time...One hell of an offensive system Mike Gundy has at OSU...And the conference's decision to make Dana Holgersen play at 11:00 AM next week is clearly an organized effort to troll the new guy...
Quick NFL Note: How properly vetted were these replacement referees? If a gambling scandal broke out of this mess, Roger Goodell would have the biggest egg on his face of any commish ever...
Wild Prediction: Gene Chizik gets fired two years after winning a national championship when they finish near the bottom of the SEC and Alabama plays for another national championship.
Not So Wild Prediction: Alabama beats Florida Atlantic this weekend.
Between college games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (and sometimes Wednesday), and NFL games now on Thursday and Sunday, I have a feeling this is going to be a very expensive Christmas for yours truly with the wife...
If Texas fans hear their inside information from the Humidor, do SEC schools hear theirs from the Spit Cup?
And finally, RIP Steve Sabol. Without him, the timpani and football would not be synonymous.
On to the games...
Arizona @ Oregon -23.5:
This match-up of RichRod and Chip Kelly could be a good one, as Arizona enters this game averaging 604 yards per game to Oregon's 596. Neither defense is that great, with Oregon having a slight advantage...
The question here is how Arizona responds on the road and how they respond to adversity. RichRod's Michigan teams weren't known for their fortitude, but at the same time, I don't see them getting blown out here, either.
Oregon 48 Arizona 33
ATS - Arizona
SU - Oregon
LSU -20.5 @ Auburn:
LSU's defense is the LSU defense, but it is the offense that is turning heads in Baton Rouge, putting up 145 points in three games. Auburn, meanwhile, is a mess, ranking 102nd in the country in scoring offense and 94th in total defense.
This has been a series dominated by the home team (9-1 the last ten years), but Auburn just appears to be a bad, bad football team with internal problems.
LSU 37 Auburn 14
ATS - LSU
SU - LSU
Clemson @ Florida State -14.5:
Wow. Florida State has only allowed 3 points in three games, albeit while playing a lingerie football league team, Dallas Carter and the Burt Reynolds-era FSU All-Star squad.
They'll get tested against a Clemson team that puts up an average of 517 yards per game (Sammy Watkins went 7/141/2 against FSU last season), but not enough to make them sweat.
Florida State 27 Clemson 16
ATS - Clemson
SU - Florida State
Michigan @ Notre Dame -5.5:
Notre Dame has only given up 30 points on the season and held Michigan State to 237 total yards last weekend - much like Alabama, they'll like try to force Denard Robinson to beat them through the air.
Michigan looks to have taken a step back this season, and they really don't do a lot of things really well, and have plenty they do badly (104th in rushing defense, 75th in scoring defense, 94th in turnover margin, 99th in sacks)...Notre Dame is nowhere close to Alabama, but they'll handle the Wolverines here.
Notre Dame 27 Michigan 20
ATS - Notre Dame
SU - Notre Dame
Virginia @ TCU -17:
The 20-6 win over Kansas was certainly not impressive at first glance, but then you notice that TCU fumbled 4 times in the ballgame, including 3 times in the red zone. They put up nearly 500 yards of offense while holding Kansas to 380, with Dayne Crist only completing 19 of 39 passes.
Virginia, meanwhile, enters this game at 2-1, but got trashed by Georgia Tech last weekend and needed a Penn State kicker meltdown to beat them. Matt McGloin had success against that Cavalier defense, what will Casey Pachall, the nation's leader in passing efficiency, do against them?
TCU 41 Virginia 17
ATS - TCU
SU - TCU
Kansas State @ Oklahoma -14:
Kansas State looked on their way to perhaps a BCS bowl bid last season before Oklahoma entered Manhattan and put up 58 points and rolled up 690 yards in the Sooners' 58-17 victory. The Wildcats would then allow 50 points in their next two games against Oklahoma State and Texas A&M as well.
They don't really looked to have things fixed defensively this year, either, giving up 251 passing yards per game against Missouri State, Miami (FL) and North Texas.
Landry Jones has looked solid but not great thus far in this young season, but he has owned Kansas State, throwing for 799 yards and 9 touchdowns in his previous two meetings against them.
There is some question about whether Oklahoma can stop the run, which we all know Kansas State can do, but if KSU falls down by two scores in the first quarter, forget it.
Oklahoma 37 Kansas State 21
ATS - Oklahoma
SU - Oklahoma
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for your return trip to Oxford.