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The Week That Will Be: Now or Never

If you can't win this one...

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 3-3 ATS 6-0 SU
For the Year: 19-22-1 (.463) ATS 32-10 (.763) SU

We learned last week…

•  Turmoil at UCLA or not, these tweets don’t indicate things are going well for your football program…

• Another close game where Arkansas is close to breaking their SEC losing streak, another game where they abandon the running game. Number of carries for Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins in the last 11 minutes of their 14-13 loss to Alabama? Zero.

• 106,000 people can show up to see a public execution of the "WRTS" hashtag…

• Mississippi State became the fifth team since 1983 to knock off three Top 10 teams in a row, but still have road games against Alabama and Mississippi left on the schedule.

• The longest drive of the game in Waco last Saturday in that game that would killed Chuck Noll again if he had risen from the dead? Three minutes and 31 seconds. The longest scoring drive? Three minutes and 19 seconds. Yikes.

• And Oklahoma’s first third down conversion of the game was their deadliest play, as the swing pass completed to Samaje Perine ruined any chance Texas had of making a big comeback.

It is that time of year that we start to get irrationally angry at college basketball mentions on our Twitter feed because it means that college football season has to end at some point, and that is right up there with the sun visor always being too short to reach the sun when you put it up against the driver’s side window on life’s unfair axioms.

So once we accept that we can’t control fate, we can start to hand out some Mid-Season Awards:

Running Back of the Mid-Year: Quick, name the nation’s five leading rushers…if you guess Tevin Coleman (Indiana), Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), Todd Gurley (Georgia), Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska) and James Conner (Pittsburgh), you either really like teams that wear red, a Big 10 fan or cheated. Shame on you. Oh, and it is Gurley, just don’t ask him to sign his trophy.

Wide Receiver of the Mid-Year: It has to be Amari Cooper, right? Other players might have better stats, but Cooper plays in the SEC SEC SEC, so there is a hidden NCAA bylaw that overrules those stats.

Quarterback of the Mid-Year: The leaders in passing yards per game, and their team’s respective records: Connor Halliday, Washington State (2-5); Kenny Hill, Texas A&M (5-2); Clint Trickett, West Virginia (4-2); Jared Goff, California (4-2); and Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky (2-3). That’s why I would take Dak Prescott.

The Celebrity Motivation Award: Matthew McConaughey talks to the Texas team before the Kansas game, they defeat the Jayhawks 23-0 in a lackluster game. Katy Perry calls Trevor Knight cute, he proceeds to look more like Ted Knight his next two games. Homer pick says McConaughey.

Conference of the Mid-Year: The SEC has five teams in the top 10, while the Big 12 has five in the Top 15. Wait, Oklahoma State is ranked 15? Wait, Oklahoma State is ranked??? SEC.

The No S, Sherlock Award: The mid-season winner, and likely season winner, is Bo Jackson for saying that Jameis Winston "needs to make some changes in his life."

The Mid-Year I Didn’t Want That Heisman Trophy Anyway Award: Marcus Mariota and Oregon somehow lost to Arizona at home, and although they might win out, dude, they lost to Arizona at home. And yes, I know Arizona was top 10 last week. LSU was top 10 at one point this year, too. Honorable mention goes to Todd Gurley’s Autograph, Jameis Winston’s Sweatsuit, Bryce Petty’s Happy Feet Against Texas and Brett Hundley’s Offensive Line.

The Mid-Year Heisman Trophy: Otherwise known as The Best Quarterback on a Really Good Team Award…has to go to Prescott, and it isn’t even close, right?

On to the games…

Stanford -3.5 @ Arizona State:

Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici threw for 998 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions in the Sun Devils’ last two against UCLA and USC. Bercovici is expected to share time with incumbent starter Taylor Kelly, who returns from injury.

They’ll face off against a Stanford defense that is probably the best in the country, and a Stanford offense that might have trouble in the red zone, but is good enough to get there plenty of times.

Stanford 27 Arizona State 20
ATS – Stanford
SU – Stanford

Notre Dame @ Florida State -10:

The monthly saga of Jameis Winston’s eligibility is once again here, as Florida State will face a defense that was playing pretty well until the track meet they entered last week against North Carolina in South Bend.

The Irish are 6-0, mainly on the arm of Everett Golson, while Florida State is riding a 22-game winning streak, despite the antics of Winston. The Seminoles just seem a bit off this year compared to the tear they were on last year. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Notre Dame still one here, but FSU pulls this one out late.

Florida State 28 Notre Dame 24
ATS – Notre Dame
SU – Florida State

Texas A&M @ Alabama -11.5:

Well the good news for Texas A&M is that this game will be contested in Tuscaloosa, as the Aggies still haven’t beaten a Top 25 team at home under Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies were defeated by a collective 32 points by the Mississippi schools the last two weeks, so they’re just looking to stop the bleeding.

Doing most of that bleeding is Kenny Trill Hill, who had three turnovers for the second straight week. The Crimson Tide have had their troubles against spread offenses and the Aggies specifically the last couple of years, but A&M has just looked awful the last couple of weeks, and you don’t get healthy against Alabama.

Alabama 38 Texas A&M 24
ATS – Alabama
SU – Alabama

Oklahoma State @ TCU -9:

Horned Frogs co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham spent eight years on Mike Gundy’s staff at Oklahoma State, so these two teams should have some familiarity about each other.

TCU running back has running back B.J. Catalon, who had 198 yards and three touchdowns against Baylor last week, while Oklahoma State features wideout Tyreek Hill, who is averaging 11 yards per touch on the season and has kickoff returns for touchdowns in consecutive games.
TCU wins the quarterback battle here, but the Cowboys should be able to keep it close.

TCU 34 Oklahoma State 28
ATS – Oklahoma State

Kansas State @ Oklahoma -8.5:

Oklahoma has two problems right now, a defense that is giving up yards in bunches through the air, and the fact that Trevor Knight has fallen back to Earth since the Sugar Bowl and made quite the indention right outside of Norman.

Kansas State has the deep threat (Tyler Lockett) to stretch the Sooners, and a defense that was able to hold Auburn and Texas Tech to 359 and 347 total yards, respectively.

Oklahoma 24 Kansas State 21
ATS – Kansas State
SU – Oklahoma

Texas -12.5 @ Iowa State:

If Texas is going to get healthy this year, it simply has to be in this game.

The Texas defense ranks 4th nationally, giving up only 4.29 yards per play. While Cyclone quarterback Sam Richardson can be an effective passer, (262 yards passing and two touchdowns against Texas last year), and an effective rusher (99 yards rushing against Baylor earlier this season), he’s just a guy and not someone that should come into your house and dictate things.

The Texas defense could get better by forcing a turnover. They failed to produce one against Baylor and Oklahoma, and of course both were losses. Iowa State is stingy with the ball, however, only turning it over five times all season.

The Longhorn offense should be able to continue its success on the ground, as Iowa State gave up 236 yards rushing to Toledo last week and 232 against Kansas State earlier this season.

If you’re not a fan of the Longhorns special teams (so all of you), the guy to watch this week is Jarvis West, who is third in the conference in punt returns and has returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in his career.

Simply put, this is a game that Texas needs to put away if they are going to crawl out from this hole they are in…and they should.

Texas 31 Iowa State 14
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas

For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for a stiff drink as I just had to spend 225 words previewing Texas/Iowa State.