Last Week: 5-1 ATS 3-3 SU
For the Year: 11-7 (.611) ($290) ATS 9-9 (.500) SU
We learned last week...
...that Louisville is for real. Lamar "Heisman" Jackson had 5 touchdowns, Dalvin Cook was held to 54 yards and the Seminole offense was 2/13 on third down. It all added up to a 43-point victory for the Cardinals that seemed to be worse than the score indicated.
...that it is hard to win games with untimely special teams gaffes, turnovers and inexplicably punting the football with just minutes left down a score....wait we are talking about Notre Dame and Michigan State, right?
...Auburn now has seven straight losses at home against Power Five opponents, which includes six straight SEC home contests. They're also 2-10 in their last 12 conference games, with LSU looming this week in a battle of beleaguered head coaches just looking to survive.
..Ole Miss has now blown two 21-point leads in three games, but surely both teams are looking to fire their defensive coordinator because they gave up more than 40 points...
...that Oklahoma officially is a mess. I thought they were overrated coming into the season, but they just looked downright outmatched against Ohio State, as the Buckeyes rushed for 291 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and Baker Mayfield threw two interceptions. They always seem to pull out of it, but if there is a tailspin year in the Sooners' future, it wouldn't surprise me.
...do I get credit for this, from last week's article: "and Iowa likely loses to North Dakota State this weekend so don't bother with them, either."
..and finally, we learned that I'm done with late night kicks on the West Coast.
No immediate recovery.
Isn't that the truth.
We heard after the Notre Dame game that "Texas was back". When the polls came out the next day, somehow after the dust settled the Longhorns surged up to 11th in the country in the AP Poll. The Longhorns come out the next week and struggle in the first moments of a game with a patchwork offensive line, then end up taking care of business.
We all thought, "this team is different."
Until they weren't.
The stark reality is settling in, and it says that the road to being "back" is a long and tortuous one, especially from the depths from which they came, and there are no shortcuts.
Not even for Texas.
The Longhorns sit at 2-1 with the conference schedule ahead of them. The good news is that the hardest games on the schedule don't look quite as hard, the bad news is that the other teams are also looking at Texas on the schedule and thinking there is a soft spot as well.
So what happened on Saturday? This was supposed to be a hard fought, but ultimately a relatively easy victory for Texas over a Cal team that looked overmatched...on paper?
Why did a defense that faces a spread offense every day in practice suddenly look like it didn't have a clue what the forward pass was? There are two tenets of facing an Air Raid attack:
1. Thou Shall Not Give Up Thy Big Play
2. Make a Freaking Tackle
Texas failed on both accounts, giving up a bajillion yards to a guy that started at Idaho State (who has a big match-up with Sacramento State this weekend, throw out the records when those two get together), and missed enough tackles to make people actually wonder if there is an epidemic around the country.
And for some reason our offensive plan wasn't Warren left, Foreman right, Swoopes up the middle when it appeared Shane Buechele might have been a little off, but that is the only complaint I am going to have about an offense that put up 41 points on the night.
Dropping that game on Saturday night doesn't ruin the whole season - let's be realistic here, any talk of Texas running the table was misguided at best - but to get back to respectability, a game against a rebuilding team is one that they really needed to win.
Now in order to cancel that one out, they need to take care of business and win in either Manhattan, Lubbock or Stillwater, all far more hostile environments.
Their first chance for redemption is a week from Saturday...so the recovery had better be immediate.
On to the games...
Stanford -3 @ UCLA:
UCLA hasn't been what they thought they were going to be coming into this season, a physical, gritty team, you know, like Stanford. Josh Rosen has as many interceptions (four) as touchdowns. Soso Jamabo has been the team's leading rusher, but he only has 183 yards through the team's first three games (he missed last week with an injury).
Stanford is winning doing what they usually do - running the football, not letting the other team go up and down the field, commit few penalties (only 7 on the year) - and oh yeah, give the football to Christian McCaffrey.
Stanford 34 UCLA 24
ATS - Stanford
SU - Stanford
Florida @ Tennessee -6.5:
We forget about this as college football fans - Florida has beaten Tennessee an astounding 11 (!) times in a row.
Can you even imagine the uproar around here if Texas had lost to Oklahoma or Texas A&M that many times? Yikes.
The last Florida coach to lose to Tennessee was Ron Zook. Both teams are on their third head coach since then. What was going on in 2004? Facebook was born in a Harvard dorm, George W. Bush was still in his first term, Chris Leak was quarterback for Florida and Texas's last national championship was still in 1970.
If the Volunteers don't do it this year, you begin to wonder when they will, because Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio is out with a knee injury sustained last week, and in is Austin Appleby, who transferred from Purdue of all places.
Tennessee 23 Florida 17
ATS - Florida
SU - Tennessee
Georgia @ Ole Miss -7.5:
The Kirby Smart Era at Georgia almost met disaster two weeks ago when they escaped a home game against Nicholls State with a two-point victory, and then they went on the road last week and needed a last minute touchdown to defeat Missouri by one point. Nick Chubb has been solid (365 yards in three games), but he isn't getting much help.
Ole Miss has blown those big leads, but they've also been good enough to be up that big on Florida State and Alabama. And they're not starting out 1-3
Ole Miss 38 Georgia 24
ATS - Ole Miss
SU - Ole Miss
Wisconsin @ Michigan State -5.5:
It appears that Wisconsin redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook will get his first start at quarterback this week in East Lansing, against a defense that looked very good against DeShone Kizer until the game was over late.
Michigan State's defense wins the day.
Michigan State 31 Wisconsin 21
ATS - Michigan State
SU - Michigan State
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M -5.5 (Arlington, TX):
The Aggies have won four straight in this series - but the games have been close, with the last two going to overtime. Each has already shown their mettle - with A&M slugging a talented UCLA squad and keeping Auburn down in the dumps, while Arkansas two weeks ago won in overtime in TCU's own stadium.
Both of these quarterbacks are bus drivers, each team has a strong running game, but the question is whether or not the Aggies are satisfied with using it. We know Arkansas would like nothing better than to showcase theirs.
Texas A&M 31 Arkansas 28
ATS - Arkansas
SU - Texas A&M
Oklahoma State @ Baylor -8:
The question here is...they defeated DingDong State in the opener and then struggled for a bit with SMU and Rice before pulling away and putting up victories that look large in the ledger.
Oklahoma State has that one tainted defeat against Central Michigan, but looked great (offensively) against Pitt last week, putting up 640 total yards, with 540 of those coming from the arm of quarterback Mason Rudolph.
We should get our first test of the Bears here - and how Jim Grobe might handle a close game. Baylor wins...but it certainly wouldn't shock me to see them fall apart, either.
Baylor 41 Oklahoma State 37
ATS - Oklahoma State
SU - Baylor
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for Beat Bye Week t-shirts.