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The Week That Will Be: Buying In

The Longhorns will face an up and down West Virginia team this week. Insert Spiderman meme here.

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 3-3 ATS 5-1 SU

For the Year: 23-25-1 (.479) (-$440) ATS 33-15 (.688) SU

Quick Thoughts From Last Week:

Aggies Handle the Hogs Arkansas put up their second highest point total of the season but this game was never really in doubt as the Razorbacks slipped in the back door for the cover. Kellen Mond was efficient (21/26 for 260 yards 3 touchdowns) as the Aggies showed they can win even when Isaiah Spiller had an off-night (just 3.9 yards per carry). The total yards were just about even (ARK 461, A&M 442) but the difference was third downs, where Arkansas was only 3/11 while A&M was 7/11.

Remember When Ed Orgeron Was a Good Coach? LSU suffered their worst defeat in 24 years as the defending champions fell to 2-3. Auburn managed to put up 506 yards while LSU put up 32 rushing yards. It is at a point where it is hard to blame it all on their well known attrition issues. And it doesn’t get any easier on the schedule, as they get a bye week before Alabama comes to town November 14.

Two Weeks in, OSU Threatens to Run Away With the Big Ten Ohio State’s win drops the Nittany Lions to 0-2 in the conference and vaults the Buckeyes to 2-0. Joining them at 2-0? Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue.

Gary Patterson Beats Somebody Other Than Texas TCU rushed out to a 30-0 lead and then held on to a 33-23 victory as the Horned Frogs rushed for 247 yards. TCU is now a very odd 2-0 on the road and 0-3 at home.

Weird Things Happen in Lubbock Like the Red Raiders thinking they might be competitive with Oklahoma. Texas Tech scored a touchdown 2:40 into the game but they should have pulled a George Costanza then because it was all downhill from there. It was 42-7 by the time they scored again. Spencer Rattler was great, but the real story of this game is Oklahoma’s 213 rushing yards.

Weird Things Happen in Stillwater Texas was outgained by 243 yards (Big 12 teams had been 3-120 in conference games with outgained by 240+ yards since 2004) and committed 13 penalties, but of course came home with the victory. Spencer Sanders had his first career 300-yard (and 400-yard) game as a passer, but also committed three costly turnovers and Chuba Hubbard was no help (2.9 ypc). Texas is now 6-5 as an unranked team against a ranked team in the Tom Herman era.

Some Random Thoughts about the Big 12 race at the (sort of) halfway mark:

  • Who is out of it? Although this is the year that a 1994-like conglomeration of Big 12 champions would occur, most likely Kansas, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU are out of it. The Jayhawks are the Jayhawks, Texas Tech is still wondering how their last two coaches are in the NFL and the United States Senate, Baylor just seems off this season and TCU won their bowl game against Texas in September.

  • Who is the Pennsylvania of the Big 12? These teams got off to slow starts but look to finish playing their best at the end of the season: Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Texas has played their nemesis TCU and Oklahoma already — and have Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State after this week’s matchup with West Virginia. Not the toughest slate with Skylar Thompson out for the year for Kansas State and with Iowa State coming to Austin. The Mountaineers still have Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma left, so they are out. The Sooners are the Sooners, we all know they will be in Arlington in December, so just prepare yourself now if you haven’t already.

  • The Hare? Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State all have one conference loss — but are all headed in different directions. The Cyclones probably have the best chance of anyone left, with a lone road trip to Austin as their only road game the rest of the year...and they have already played Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Kansas State likely still has two or three more losses in them as they have quarterback issues and now West Virginia has put the blueprint out there on how to stop Deuce Vaughn. And of course there is Oklahoma State, who still has to travel to Norman and Fort Worth, so they’ll have at least one more loss since Mike Gundy can’t beat Oklahoma.

  • Calling My Shot? Meeting December 19th in Arlington, Texas will be….drumroll, joy to the world…..*dog barking*.....Oklahoma and Texas. You figure out the tiebreakers, I’m going back to election coverage.

BYU -3 @ Boise State:

BYU enters this game at 7-0 for the first time since 2001, while Boise State is trying to get to a more modest 3-0, but would put them in a position to get to that NY6 bowl at the end of the year should Cincinnati falter.

The question here is who will start at quarterback for Boise State, incumbent starter Hank Bachmeier (268 yards, 3 touchdowns against Utah State in the opener) or USC grad transfer Jack Sears (280 yards and 3 touchdowns last week). I’m guessing whoever starts will have about 275 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Boise State allowed 415 rushing yards to Air Force last week and still won — they’ll need to be better to defeat a BYU team that comes into this game averaging 44 points and 527 yards per game.

BYU stopped a three-game Boise State winning streak last year in Provo, but the Cougars are 0-5 in Boise all-time. That ends Friday.

BYU 41 Boise State 34



Arizona State @ USC -11:

Welcome back to college football, USC, you get the gift of… a 9:00 AM start time in Los Angeles?

This is the first of six games for both of these teams in this shortened Pac-12 schedule world, as the Trojans look to win their 5th game in 6 tries against the Sun Devils.

These teams probably feature the two best quarterbacks in the conference, as Kedon Slovis returns for Year Two in the Air Raid era in Los Angeles. Slovis passed for 3,500 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, while ASU sophomore Jayden Daniels threw for 2,900 with 17 touchdowns to only two interceptions.

USC ended the season last year with a 49-24 loss to Iowa in the Holiday Bowl, but prior to that they had won 5 of 6, with the lone loss to #7 Oregon. ASU might have the conference’s best secondary, but Slovis will lead the Trojans to a victory here.

USC 41 Arizona State 34

ATS – Arizona State


Florida vs. Georgia -3.5:

Florida will be down a few players for a half in this one after that genius Dan Mullen incited a brawl during Florida’s game with Missouri on Saturday — will it make a difference?

Georgia has won three in a row in this series — and all have a common theme. Defense. Florida hasn’t scored more than 17 points in those three meetings, and haven’t scored as much as 30 points against Georgia since 2014.

And, of course, Georgia’s defense has been dominating against everyone but Alabama this season, only allowed 27 second half points this season, with 21 of those coming in that loss to the Crimson Tide.

But can Georgia score? The Georgia offense struggled again against Kentucky last weekend, as Stetson Bennett threw two more interceptions.

They’ll score enough to win this one.

Georgia 24 Florida 17

ATS – Georgia

SU – Georgia

Clemson -5.5 @ Notre Dame:

It’s the matchup of the year — pitting Notre Dame’s dominating defense (statistically the best in the ACC and have only allowed 20 points to their last three opponents combined) against Clemson and… D.J. Uiagalelei?

Uiagalelei was more than adequate last week — leading his team back from 18 points down while throwing for 342 yards and a touchdown and rushing for another — but c’mon.

This is probably the first of two match-ups with these two, as they’ll likely meet in the ACC Championship game on December 19. Win and you are sitting pretty, perhaps #1 in the country — lose and well, you probably still have a path to the playoff, especially if Clemson loses a close one without Lawrence.

This is undoubtedly the biggest game in South Bend since the Bush Push in 2005. Look for Notre Dame to use the best offensive line in the country to try to shorten the game and keep Clemson’s offense off the field. Will it work?

Clemson 27 Notre Dame 24

ATS – Notre Dame

SU – Clemson

Oklahoma State -12.5 @ Kansas State:

That was an ugly game last week.

For both teams.

Kansas State fell 37-10 to West Virginia in their first conference loss of the year as they were shutout in the second half. True freshman quarterback Will Howard had one of his low games — throwing for 184 yards with only a single touchdown to three interceptions. It was quite the odd gameplan for KSU against a stout West Virginia defense — they passed on 11 of the first 17 plays of the game…

Only three were complete. And two more were interceptions.

Oklahoma State 34 Kansas State 24

ATS – Kansas State

SU – Oklahoma State

West Virginia @ Texas -6.5:

For the second straight week, the Longhorns will face a tough test on offense — West Virginia currently has the nation’s 23rd ranked defense in S&P+.

But...West Virginia hasn’t faced an offense as TALENTED as Texas. But, much like Spencer Sanders last week, talented doesn’t always equate to good — Texas has to get it together on offense.

The good news is that West Virginia is a Jekyll and Hyde type team — they are 4-0 at home, but 0-2 on the road and have given up 130 yards more a game on the road versus Morgantown. Those two trips were to Lubbock and Stillwater, but man.

Offensively West Virginia is coming off their best game of the year last week against Kansas State. Jarret Doege threw for 301 yards (his third straight 300-yard effort) as the Mountaineers racked up 485 yards — but they still only rank 62nd in the country in S&P+ offense.

Good enough on any given day, but if Texas can play defense like they did in the second half of last week, and did for large stretches against Oklahoma and TCU, they should be able to contain West Virginia quite nicely.

West Virginia is the only Big 12 program that Texas has a losing record against, with four wins against the Mountaineers’ five, but Texas has won 2 of 3, including last year’s 42-31 win in Morgantown that featured a Sam Cosmi touchdown.

They get the win here going into the bye week — and perhaps, just perhaps, it doesn’t take overtime.

Texas 34 West Virginia 23

ATS – Texas

SU – Texas

For entertainment purposes only.

Rest in Peace, Ernest.

I love you, bud. Hook ‘em.