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The Week That Will Be: Playoffs???

With a Texas bye week and the SEC/Big South Conference Challenge occurring this week, we are left to ponder college football's biggest mysteries.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 3-3 ATS 5-1 SU
For the Year: 34-37-1 (.479) ATS 51-21 (.708) SU

We learned last week…

• The Nebraska Blackshirts (is that still a thing?) were ranked 19th in the country in rushing defense as of Saturday morning. As of Saturday night, after facing Melvin Gordon, they were 75th…

• At this point it doesn't matter how they got there, or what magic they have had to pull out, or if first-half lines are a popular Google search in Tallahassee, all that matters is that Florida State is still undefeated and a victory over Boston College, hapless Florida and in over their head Georgia Tech away from the playoff.

• Does everyone remember when Auburn was good? If Georgia is beating your ass in a big game it can’t be a big game…

Blake Sims looked more like the Heisman candidate on Saturday in that match-up, as he converted third downs of eight and ten yards with his legs to preserve a 15-play, 76-yard drive to push the game out of Mississippi State’s reach.

• Texas Tech went ahead 21-7 in the third quarter, Bob Stoops threw his visor down, and only then did he discover where he kept Tech’s defensive signals scribbled on a piece of scrap paper. The Sooners scored on their next five possessions and it was all over, until Tech scored a touchdown with no time remaining to beat the spread. [Narrows eyes…]

• I don’t care how poor Oklahoma State’s offense has looked this season, when you hold a Power Five team to 192 yards on 53 plays (an average of 3.6 yards per play), you are doing work.

I know you are sick of reading about the playoff, because I am sick of reading about the playoff, especially when there is STILL a lot of football left to be played, with most of the top teams still having at least somewhat difficult game or two left on their schedule, so let’s just do some Random Thoughts and not talk about the playoff. But of course we will talk about the playoff because it is the largest story going right now.

TEXAS GETS BOWL ELIGIBLE – I honestly never thought I would see the day where I was excited or proud of a Texas team for becoming bowl eligible, but Saturday night I was excited and proud of a Texas team for becoming bowl eligible. Just four weeks ago many thought the ship was lost at sea after getting shut out in Manhattan, but Charlie Strong brought the ship home, told them they’ll never be lost ever again and challenged the crew of an adjoining ship to a fight, which they said no to because they might lose that fight. Bravo.

WILL MUSCHAMP GETS FIRED – The Longhorn nation was sad when Muschamp left for the Swamp, because we all know that a successful coach must scream, yell, jump really high and be pictured bleeding from his forehead but still coaching through it because that is what a real damn football coach does. Muschamp was doomed by a poor team left behind by Urban Meyer, by trusting Charlie Weis to run anything and by never developing an offense that looked fit for anything but leather helmets, but you know he’ll get another head coaching job at a big name school because he screams and yells and jumps really high.

SOME OTHER BOWL THOUGHTS – Wait just a second, Michigan is about to be bowl eligible? Oh hell, forget what I said about Texas becoming bowl eligible. This is an unmitigated disaster….There is nothing that goes better than Popeye’s Chicken and the Bahamas…Some projections have Texas A&M playing say, Northwestern in the Texas Bowl, how delicious would it be if this elaborate plan of the SEC’s blew up in their face and they lost to a B1G team?....Oh hell, South Carolina is bowl eligible?....If I have to watch LSU on New Year’s Day I might scream.

AND YES, MORE PLAYOFF TALK – Okay, here is how it should go down. Ohio State is immediately thrown out of the bunch because they lost to MICHAEL BREWER and VIRGINIA TECH. By TWO touchdowns. Bye. See you later. Have some more pizza, Urban.

Whoever loses out between Baylor and TCU (or both of them) are going to kick themselves they either A.) lost to a Dana Holgersen coached team, or B.) blew a game where they scored 58 points. My dream scenario (if Texas can’t beat TCU next week, that is), is to see both of them go and have Paul Finebaum’s head explode on national television while ESPN goes to 24 hours a day crisis reporting to find out who these teams are and if either has a virgin quarterback that has bible verses on his eye black that they can send to be interviewed by Tom Rinaldi and make us cry because damn that Tom Rinaldi.

As much as it annoys us, Alabama is likely the best team in the country yet again, and if we want to send Rinaldi anywhere it might be to Tuscaloosa to interview Nick Saban and see how he has done this living with the disappointment of not getting the Texas job. Florida State is up there too annoying us as well, but that seemed to work out well for Cam Newton and Auburn. Oregon somehow is the quietest team in all of this, even if they don’t dress like it.

And then of course there is Mississippi State, who hasn't looked very good for about a month and a half now, but it is the SEC SEC SEC so of course they only fall to number four after being down three scores in the first half of their biggest game of the year. The Bulldogs built their resume on wins over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn, who on Saturday all looked about as competitive as the Philadelphia 76ers.

Join us next week as we discuss three other teams we thought were dead (not you, Ohio State, sit down and finish your pizza), because it is college football and it doesn't need Tom Rinaldi to produce drama.

Missouri @ Tennessee -3.5:

Win this one and at home against Arkansas next week, and Missouri is going to the SEC Championship for the second straight year. Playing at Knoxville can be tricky, but the Tigers have somehow managed to win nine straight games on the road.

The fact that the Tigers rank 104th in the country in total offense is even more of an embarrassment to Kevin Sumlin at his staff at Texas A&M, Missouri has simply been not good on offense. They were shutout by Georgia and failed to get out of the twenties in only one other conference game besides the Aggies, their 42-13 shellacking of Florida.

But they win games on defense up in Columbia this year, only allowing 64 total points in the four games since that Georgia loss.

But I think their string of playing tight games on sneaking one out has to catch up to them at some point, as the Volunteers get the win.

Tennessee 28 Missouri 21
ATS – Tennessee
SU – Tennessee

Mississippi -3 @ Arkansas:

Arkansas snapped their 17-game SEC losing streak with their victory over LSU last week, while Ole Miss still has a decent shot at the SEC Championship game.

The end of that streak was a long time coming for the Razorbacks, who lost to Texas A&M, Alabama and Mississippi State by a combined 15 points, and could have a chance against the Rebels, who have allowed more than 500 yards rushing combined in their two losses.

But just as likely is a letdown after a big win.

Ole Miss 31 Arkansas 24
ATS – Ole Miss
SU – Ole Miss

USC @ UCLA -3.5:

USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor has had consecutive games of 200 yards receiving, the first Trojan to ever achieve that feat, which is really saying something.

The Bruins have won two in a row in this series, stopping a five-game USC winning streak in the series. They’ve also quietly won four in a row since dropping two games to Oregon and Utah to fall out of the national consciousness.

Both teams can score and neither team can stop anybody, so it should be a shootout where it can go either way, but I see USC having a little more in the tank here.

USC 41 UCLA 38

Arizona @ Utah -3.5:

It appears that Utah probably peaked with their 24-21 win over USC last month, as they have lost two out of three with that one victory being an overtime win over a downtrodden Stanford squad last weekend.

Arizona hasn't looked great, either, but their pass offense (14th in the country), versus the Utah pass defense (87th) isn't a good match-up for the home team.

Arizona 28 Utah 24
ATS – Arizona
SU – Arizona

Kansas State @ West Virginia -2.5:

The Mountaineers are coming off two straight losses, and since we decided in the Texas preview that they don’t like tough, physical defenses, it is tough to pick them in this one.

Kansas State gets back to winning.

Kansas State 26 West Virginia 17
ATS – Kansas State
SU – Kansas State

Oklahoma State @ Baylor -28.5:

Baylor has scored at least 60 points in three straight home games and face another team just playing out their season in Oklahoma State.

The Bears are trying to avenge their 49-17 loss at the hands of the Cowboys in Stillwater last year, but we know this isn't the same Oklahoma State team. This one has more turnovers than scoring drives in their four-game losing streak.

Baylor has won 14 in a row at home (tied with Alabama for the longest such streak in FBS), and it isn't a matter of if they win on Saturday…it is by how much.

With Baylor looking for style points, I don’t see them letting up.

Baylor 48 Oklahoma State 14
ATS – Baylor
SU – Baylor

For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for non-authentic Jameis Winston autographs.