Last Week: 2-2-2 ATS 5-1 SU
For the Year: 16-12-2 (.571) ($240) ATS 24-6 (.800) SU
What we learned last week:
• Perhaps Bo Wallace should be more of a quarterback and less of a professional wrestler.
• SEC Defense! SEC Defense! SEC Defense! The three best games in the SEC this year? Alabama/Texas A&M, Georgia/South Carolina and Georgia/LSU…a combined 247 points was scored in those games.
• Not to be outdone, Ohio State & Wisconsin combined to score 55 points, a barnburner of a game for the Big 10.
• Why you don’t gamble. SMU/TCU entering the 4th Quarter: TCU 17, SMU 10; SMU/TCU with 3:00 left in the game: TCU 34-17; Final score: TCU 48-17. Sigh.
• Oklahoma State loses to Iowa State on a Friday night in 2011, and now they lose to West Virginia on a Saturday morning. You have to wonder if they just can’t handle success.
• Luck of the Irish? Those first three minutes of the game showed me the Luck of the Sooners…
We’re about a month into the season now, which for most teams means that only inter-conference games remain on the schedule, unless you are the SEC and like to eat turkey in November or you are Hawaii and get to play some sunburned major conference school in December. So let’s take a look at this wide-open Big 12 conference and try to make some sense of it.
At the bottom of the conference you have to look at Kansas, despite their fancy 2-1 record that doesn’t even include salad bar victories for Charlie Weis. The Jayhawks are still bad enough to lose to Rice in something other than an academic bowl.
Next you have Iowa State and West Virginia, whose highlight of the season will likely be singing "Country Roads" after beating an Oklahoma State squad that will be spending Christmas in Phoenix at the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl. Iowa State has taken the red minivan and hidden at the bottom in between Kansas and West Virginia, quietly biding their time until…the Tip Top Lounge opens?
Kansas State has the chance to go from Fiesta Bowl to 5-7, which we might get a kick out of around here if our memory banks didn’t go back more than three years. Kansas State is so bad…(how bad are they?)…that they lost to…that’s right….Texas.
Somewhere in the middle here is Texas Tech, TCU and Texas, quickly dispensing that idea that the best athletes come from the state of Texas. Tech is doing their annual Get The Alumni Really Excited Before Losing To a Team Like Kansas bit, TCU is doing their best to keep Gary Patterson in Fort Worth a long, long time and Texas…well, let’s just say there is a difference between where Mack Brown thought they were and where reality sets in.
Oklahoma State had high hopes coming into the season despite never living up to those high hopes in the past, and then they go off and lose to West Virginia, who is best known for looking like Walter White and Jesse Pinkman cooking meth in their biohazard yellow suits than their football acumen this season. Nice try, Cowboys, but we’re not falling for it this season. [Tears up Oklahoma State over wins ticket]
So…that leaves Baylor and Oklahoma at the top of the conference, and much like LSU and Alabama a couple of years ago, these two teams will meet on a
Saturday Thursday…what the what? The best the conference has to offer this year and television ratings will suffer because poor guy’s wives just have to watch yet another doctor die on Grey’s Anatomy.
If Baylor can somehow keep up this 70 points a game, without looking it up that would no doubt be a college football record. Lache Seastrunk should be getting more hype for the Heisman, and perhaps he will when Baylor plays somebody other than the Culinary Institute (best post-game spread ever) or the always on the verge of a BCS Bowl Buffalo.
And Oklahoma, well, we hate them, but they actually manage not to take years off and will likely be right there in contention for another conference championship, not that that is important because our coach only has two of them…oh wait, we don’t have to make excuses for him anymore.
There you have it, Texas fans. The conference championship likely comes down to Baylor, who you out-recruit every year, and who runs a fun new offense, and who is building a nice, new shiny stadium, or Oklahoma, where if another conference championship trophy in Bob Stoops house next to his bronzed visors doesn’t make you want to sell every possession and move to Costa Rica, well then we can’t be friends.
On to the games...
Ohio State -7 @ Northwestern:
That Wisconsin running game that we talked up last week was held to 104 yards on 27 carries by the Buckeyes. Northwestern likes to run the football, averaging 249 yards per game. The scores haven’t been as close as indicated, but nothing I’ve seen from Northwestern this year makes me think they can hang with OSU.
Ohio State 41 Northwestern 23
ATS – Ohio State
SU – Ohio State
Maryland @ Florida State -15.5:
Randy Edsall’s team is 4-0, including a dominating effort against West Virginia last Saturday. But unfortunately those wins also include lowly Florida International, Old Dominion and Connecticut. Those teams aren’t a Florida State team pissed about their effort in Boston last week.
Florida State 38 Maryland 14
ATS – Florida State
SU – Florida State
Washington @ Stanford -7:
The Huskies got the better of Stanford last year in Seattle, holding them to 240 total offensive yards in the process. Stanford looks to be rounding into mid-season form this year, however, stomping Arizona State and Washington State in successive weeks.
They’re too physical for Washington at home.
Stanford 27 Washington 17
ATS – Stanford
SU – Stanford
Kansas State @ Oklahoma State -14:
You have to start wondering how good Oklahoma State is at this point. West Virginia is dreadful, they struggled against Mississippi State in the season opener and allowed UTSA to score 28 points in the 4th quarter in their game.
They can’t run the football and they can’t stop the pass. That is a bad combination. But can Kansas State take advantage of that?
Oklahoma State 34 Kansas State 24
ATS – Kansas State
SU – Oklahoma State
TCU @ Oklahoma -10.5:
This is a terrible matchup for a TCU squad that struggled offensively for most of the game against the likes of SMU, Texas Tech and Southeastern Louisiana. They might be able to run the football, like Notre Dame was able to, but I doubt it.
Oklahoma 37 TCU 17
ATS – Oklahoma
SU – Oklahoma
Texas -8 @ Iowa State:
Iowa State does some things terribly. They’re 83rd in the country in total offense. 83rd in scoring offense. 68th in total defense. 118th in first downs. 102nd in third down defense.
But they do a few things right. They’re 12th in the country in turnover margin, and 7th in fumble recoveries. Quarterback Sam Richardson has thrown for 757 yards in three games with 7 touchdowns to 3 interceptions.
It is hard to call Jack Trice Stadium a "buzzsaw", but turn the ball over (which Texas can certainly do), and let another quarterback control the tempo of the game by scrambling for first downs, and a national television audience will certainly see Mack Brown possibly fired in the middle of a Iowa cornfield.
But, utilize that stable of running backs (ISU allows 177 yards per game on the ground this year), keep the ball (Texas is 13th in the country in turnover margin), and use your athletic advantage on offense (Daje Johnson), and Texas wins this one comfortably.
Texas 31 Iowa State 17
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for Team Babers t-shirts.