Last Week: 2-4 ATS 3-3 SU
For the Year: 25-29 (.463) (-$650) ATS 34-20 (.630) SU
Chalk(Georgia -14.5 vs. Florida):
I’m going to throw a lot out there at you, try to keep up. Florida and Dan Mullen (the next head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders) are now 2-7 against Top 25 opponents since 2019 – and 4-7 in their last 11 overall. Georgia’s defense has allowed 5 touchdowns all year – and have scored 3. They have outscored opponents 303-53 on the year – those 53 points allowed are the fewest in eight games by a Power 5 team since Florida State in 1993.
Bad Beat (Michigan -4 @ Michigan State):
Kenneth Walker III might have punched his ticket for the Heisman ceremony in New York with 5 touchdowns against Michigan, the most ever by a Wolverines opponent. Let’s all update our Jim Harbaugh stat books – he is now 2-13 against top-10 teams at Michigan and 3-9 against Michigan State (3-4) and Ohio State (0-5). Michigan as a program has now lost 23 of 25 to top-10 teams.
This week we’re going to take a look at the national picture, but first just a few short thoughts about the Horns.
I’ve been harping all year that Vegas set the line at 8 wins this year, and now Texas has to win out for that to happen, and I don’t think even the most optimistic of us sees that as a possibility right now.
No, Texas is staring 6-6 in the face right now, and that would mean Texas would need to defeat either Iowa State or West Virginia on the road or Skylar Thompson on a lazy Black Friday morning. None of those prospects excite me.
The Longhorns cannot keep cycling through coordinators and assistant coaches, and we have talked about the talent issues on this team (how many guys on that offense Saturday would have started for Baylor? Baylor!), but this team is more talented than 6-6 and somebody will need to take a fall. You don’t necessarily want that to be a coordinator, but man, do better if you don’t want to lose your job.
It figures to be a busy off-season for the Horns no matter what happens, but man I am tired of being run out of the stadium by teams like Baylor. Those days have to end.
We said earlier this year before the TCU game that those were the games that Steve Sarkisian was brought in to win. So was Oklahoma State and Baylor.
Alright the first College Football Playoff Rankings of the year were announced this week and everyone of course ran to their Twitter account and began bitching about the rankings as soon as they were announced like we don’t have another month of football for these things to sort themselves out.
Georgia is deservedly number one in the land. Nobody disputes that. The rest of the top 4 was Alabama, Michigan State and Oregon. I know everyone was whining about Alabama being #2, but let’s ask Vegas who would be favored on a neutral field between Alabama and the rest of the Top 10. Yeah, I thought so.
Michigan State seems very much the flavor of the month that very possibly could fall even before they play Ohio State and Penn State in consecutive weeks later this month, and if they don’t, they will one of those weeks.
Oregon doesn’t play a ranked team the rest of the season, but do have to travel to Washington and to Utah. They also end the season with the Game Formally Known As The Civil War against a scrappy Oregon State team. Crazier things have happened.
You know the committee is falling all over themselves to get Ohio State in the playoff, and with a favorable schedule the rest of the way (@ Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan State, @ Michigan) they’ll likely be in it when Oregon or Michigan State fall.
Side note: Does anyone notice that Ohio State plays 10 home games a year? Can someone investigate this?
And then there is Cincinnati. Oh yes, the Group of Five team that too cool for school Twitter lusts about every year, lamenting when they don’t get a shot at the playoff but then knowing that Alabama would be favored over Cincinnati by two touchdowns. I say it every year – there should be two national champions in college football. We do it in Texas high school football and nobody thinks it is weird – we would think it was weird if we made a team play a school with a bigger band than they do a student body in the playoffs.
Other teams in the top 10 include Michigan (hahaha), Oklahoma, who is finally being punished for their weak schedule (they should really change conferences), Wake Forest (okay who included a basketball team in here) and Notre Dame.
Because somehow they have the worst offense in America and keep winning. If Texas is, as Tony Soprano once said, the reverse of King Midas because everything they touch turns to shit, Notre Dame is, well, King Midas.
UTSA -11 @ UTEP:
It’s not often that I feature teams that have played Bethune Cookman this season <checks Texas A&M’s 2021 schedule real quick>, nope this is a first.
UTEP screwed it all up with a loss to FAU last weekend, otherwise there was a greater than zero chance of College Gameday setting up shop outside of the Sun Bowl.
Regardless UTSA is up to #16 in the AP Poll in Jeff Traylor’s second season in the River City – a second season that has been so successful that the Roadrunners gave Traylor a 10-year extension this week worth $28 million, which included a buyout that starts out at $7.5 million in year one.
They clearly feel like he is the one to build the program around, and to make sure that they get compensated justly when a blueblood comes calling.
The Roadrunners have scored 45 points or more in 4 of their 8 games this season, including the last three. They are led on the field by Senior quarterback Frank Harris, from Schertz, TX. Harris has thrown for 1,793 yards and 16 touchdowns this year. He’s joined in the backfield by fellow San Antonio metro-area denizen Sincere McCormick, who has rushed for 891 yards and 9 touchdowns. He’s reached 100 yards in five games.
Get past this one and there is a possibility of a NY6 bowl invite for UTSA, depending on what happens with Cincinnati. The rest of the schedule for the Roadrunners: Southern Miss (1-7), UAB (5-3), and @ North Texas (2-6).
Meanwhile in El Paso Dana Dimel has the Miners turned around in year four under his watch. In 2017 UTEP was 0-12. The next two years they were 1-11. But here they are at 6=2 with a shot at the Conference USA title game.
UTSA is 9-1 in their last 10 games against the spread – it is hard to go against that right now.
And for the record, A&M is playing Prairie View A&M in a few weeks, Bethune Cookman’s conference mate.
UTSA 34 UTEP 21
Auburn @ Texas A&M -4.5:
Quick – who is in second place in the SEC West? Right now it is these Auburn Tigers, winners of 4 out of their last 5 with that one loss coming to #1 Georgia.
Outside of that Georgia game, the Tigers haven’t given up more than 28 points in a game this season and did a fine job last week in a win over Ole Miss corralling Matt Corral. They’ll have their hands full this week with an Aggie running game that has seems to be hitting their stride and had the week off last week. That is problematic as the weak spot for the Auburn defense is their rush defense. Against Arkansas, Georgia and Georgia Southern they gave up more than 200 yards rushing…they’ll need to tighten that up.
The Aggies have this one and then @ Ole Miss next week – win both of those and they could be an Auburn win in the Iron Bowl from playing in their first SEC Championship Game.
With the exception of an Auburn win at home in 2018, the road team has won this game 8 out of the last 9 years, with most of these games being tight (Auburn averages 27.8 ppg in that timeframe and A&M 30.3). With that in mind, give me Auburn. Maybe not to win outright, but to cover.
Texas A&M 27 Auburn 24
LSU @ Alabama -28.5:
It wasn’t too long ago that this was the game of the year – but all of the sudden Alabama has won 9 of 10 in this series, with LSU’s one win of course coming in 2019. Even worse for the Tigers is that these games aren’t even close anymore – 7 of those 9 wins was by two scores or more. Outside of 2019, LSU hasn’t scored more than 17 points since 2010 and haven’t scored more than 24 since 2007.
This is the fifth of five straight games for LSU against ranked opponents – thus far they are 1-3 in those games and gave up 31 points in three of those games. Defense has been a problem in Baton Rouge all season – LSU ranks just 73rd in the country in SP+ defense.
Bryce Young is heating up. He has 348 yards passing in three straight games. This one shouldn’t be much of a game, either.
Alabama 41 LSU 17
Baylor -7 @ TCU:
It was the end of an era this week in Fort Worth when Gary Patterson was shown the door (or he showed himself the door), ending a 21-year run as the head coach of the TCU Horned Frogs. It was time. TCU was only 13-18 in their last 31 Big 12 games and are likely headed to their second losing season in three years and their worst record since 2013 (4-8).
There is an overwhelming sentiment in the college football world that Patterson should have been able to dictate his terms or finish the season, but with the invention of the early signing day in college football, we’ll likely see more of this as schools align themselves to hire someone as soon as the whistle blows after the final regular season game.
The Horned Frogs have lost 5 of 6 this season, with that lone victory a 21-point win in Lubbock that is perplexing to this day. Quarterback Max Duggan is clearly not healthy and star running back Zach Evans has missed three straight games with an injury but there are also rumors swirling that he’s on his way out, a move that is likely sure to come now that Patterson is gone.
Patterson’s downfall this year was a defense that is currently 76th in the country in SP+ defense. That is not a recipe for success against a Baylor team that is quite happy to run the football and bide their time, as Texas found out last weekend.
Baylor 27 TCU 23
Oklahoma State -3.5 @ West Virginia:
West Virginia is coming off their biggest win of the year, their 38-31 defeat of Iowa State in Morgantown last weekend. Jarret Doege had what might have been the best game of his career, throwing for 370 yards and three touchdowns (and two interceptions) while Leddy Brown rushed for 109 yards.
Is that Neal Brown’s team finding their way, or was that Iowa State pulling an Iowa State?
I lean towards the latter.
Oklahoma State 31 West Virginia 20
Texas @ Iowa State -6.5:
Iowa Steak (RIP ChuckFnStrong) has won exactly four games against Texas in their illustrious history, but two of those were the last two years, 23-20 last year in Austin and 23-21 two years ago in Ames. The last time Texas beat Iowa State? The “Don’t Stop Believing” game in 2018.
Of course Texas is hoping to avoid a few streaks this weekend. A loss would be their fourth in a row and would be the first time they have done that since 2010. This team badly needs a win…and finds itself in a tough place to win when the temperature is supposed to dip into the 40s by the time the game ends.
Iowa State came into this year returning upwards of 19 starters off of a 9-3 team last year that lost two conference games by a total of 9 points. Thus they were expected to be a participant in the Big 12 Championship for the second straight year, but that appears to be but a dream after their defeat to West Virginia last weekend.
If they couldn’t win it this year, when?
Two games ago they lost starting middle linebacker Mike Rose, the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year to injury. West Virginia proceeded to put up 492 yards on the Cyclones when they hadn’t given up more than 350 all season and gave up 38 points to a West Virginia team that had been averaging 20 points per game in conference play.
Of course Rose is expected back this week. Of course.
This isn’t a good matchup for Texas. Sam Ehlinger was their leading rusher against the Cyclones each of the last two years. They’ve let a mediocre Brock Purdy throw for 300 yards in each of those games. They’ve let Breece Hall run for around 100 yards each of those games.
Texas has been awful on the road this season. We’ve seen Casey Thompson’s ceiling and I don’t think it is good enough to win a Saturday night game in Ames.
Iowa State 27 Texas 21
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for a new emotional support animal.