Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Week That Will Be (10.25.08)

Last Week: 5-1 ATS 6-0 SU
For the Year: 30-17-1 (.638) ($1130) ATS 41-7 (.854) SU

What we learned last week: We learned that perhaps you should leave the state of Utah more than once before mid-October if you want to entertain thoughts of crashing the BCS party. This is the problem with letting these non-BCS teams into the mix, there is no way a Texas, or Alabama, or Florida lose in Fort Worth…We learned that Alabama might not lose in Fort Worth, but a 4 point win over Mississippi and a 3 point win over Kentucky wouldn’t exactly have me reserving a room in Miami if I were a Tide fan. Alabama is young, and do a bunch of things well, but nothing great, which will catch up to them at some point….We learned that Javon Ringer doesn’t need to be making any dinner reservations in New York on Heisman ceremony weekend after throwing up 67 yards in his biggest game of the year Saturday afternoon…We learned that Mike Sherman shouldn’t be making any reservations past this year, period. The score was a lot closer than most predicted, but 2 points in the second half of a very winnable game over a highly ranked opponent won’t do your resume any favors. It was so bad that they are now 3 point underdogs to 2-5 Iowa State…We learned that Kansas might be as good as they were last season, but they aren’t going anywhere, and a lot of contenders would kill to have Todd Reesing as their quarterback…And finally we learned that we still don’t miss Chase Daniel in these parts. We’ll take Colt McCoy and run with it, thanks.


Seven down, five to go.

It sounds so simple, until you realize that part of the seven was Florida Atlantic, UTEP and Rice. And oh yeah, an extra two games will probably be added to that schedule if we get where we want to get to. So seven more games.

So halfway. I think we can agree that we underestimated this team this year, and that if we get the effort and focus for every game the rest of the way, they have a very good chance of getting to where they want to be.

Seven. The name of a pretty good Brad Pitt movie. The number of Mickey Mantle, and perhaps the name of George Costanza’s daughter out there somewhere. The number of deadly sins. Designer jeans. The magic number on slot machines.

A magic number indeed. In baseball, teams talk about “magic numbers” when they are counting down the end of the regular season, and their magic number is a combination of how many wins they need and how many losses they need by their closest opposition to win the division or wild card.

But in college football, without a playoff system, the Longhorns now have a magic number of 7.

Jordan Shipley said this week that they don’t give you awards for being 7-0, but go 7-0 again this year, and we’re talking about a special team, and a special program.

And does anyone want to bet against this group of guys getting the job done? The chemistry and focus that this team appears to have is truly special.

Focus. We’re rolling downhill now.

But now it is time for the fourth annual HornMafia Mid-Season Awards.

The Chaps Girl Award (MVP) – Colt McCoy, QB, Texas

Duh. You know you have made it big when everywhere you turn they are talking about your girlfriend. And he’s having a pretty good season on the field, too with a nearly 2 to 1 ratio of incompletions to touchdowns. Ridiculous.

The Herschel Walker Award (Freshman of the Year) – Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State

The numbers aren’t outstanding (59/90 653 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT; 411 rushing yards), but he’s 5-0 as a starter and has Ohio State poised to get their ass kicked by a SEC team in a bowl team once again.

The Eric Taylor Award (Coach of the Year) – Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Sure, they haven’t played much, but the Cowboys are off to a 7-0 start in who knows how long. Sure, they’ll probably finish with 3 losses, but even that is progress for OSU. And no, I’m not going to make any MAN jokes. It’s tired.

The John Blake Award (Worst Coach of the Year) – Paul Wulff, Washington State

Wulff came from FCS’s Eastern Washington, and I’m not sure that Washington State could beat Eastern Washington this year. The Cougars have given up 60 points four times this year, and are 118th (out of 119) in scoring offense and 118th in scoring defense. Texas A&M is scrambling to schedule Washington State before the end of the year.

The Northwestern Award (Surprise of the Year) – Ball State

Ball State entered the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in their 82 year history this month, as the Cardinals are 7-0 and now 20th in the BCS standings. And yes, the Aggies are officially jealous of Ball State.

The Clemson Award (Disappointment of the Year) – West Virginia

The Mountaineers returned QB Pat White and RB Noel Devine, but early season losses to East Carolina and Colorado leave them unranked. Even their wins have been unimpressive (beating hapless Syracuse by 11, beating equally hapless Rutgers by 7). Bob Stoops has been talked off the ledge numerous times for losing to this outfit last season.

The We’re Not Relevant Award – Texas A&M

The Aggies lose to Arkansas State at the beginning of the year, and ESPN’s list of big upsets for the week doesn’t even list it. Yikes. The Aggies have now been dropped by the Houston Chronicle, who will now cover them with a pool reporter. Yes, we have lost to this team two years in a row, but we’re not talking about us right now.

The We Need Barack Obama Award – Michigan

Michigan desperately needs to change something, as a home loss to Toledo coupled with a home loss to Appalachian State last year have Wolverines fans wondering just how in the hell they were being considered for BCS bowls in the not so distant past. Now you have Michigan players guaranteeing wins over Michigan State, who they have beaten 8 of the last 10 times. Michigan fans hopey hope that the Rich Rodriguez era isn’t an epic failure.

The Drunken Tailgater Award – Leonard and Pope (tie)

Leonard was thrown out of Scholz’s for “harassing the barstaff” when he was sitting at the table for most of the night, while Pope destroyed my tailgate chair and proceeded to pick it up and throw it down to the ground like a professional wrestler. This ends Jeremy’s three year run as Drunken Tailgater at the mid-way point.

The Don Draper Award – Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Don Draper is a man’s man, and Brian Orakpo will bench press you and me put together. Orakpo could probably drink while he is at work and still wreck havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

The What The Hell is Your Problem? Award – Colorado, Iowa State

Colt McCoy, Texas. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech. Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State. Robert Griffin, Baylor. Jarrod Johnson, Texas A&M. Chase Daniel, Missouri. Todd Reesing, Kansas. Joe Ganz, Nebraska. Josh Freeman, Kansas State. How many teams would kill to have any one of these guys at quarterback? Get with the program, CU and ISU.

The Texas Karma Award – Tim Brewster, Minnesota

The former Texas coach (and father of Texas safety Nolan Brewster) has the Gophers at 6-1 (after going 1-11 last year), with the lone loss coming in Columbus to Ohio State. With no Penn State on the schedule, Minnesota could be looking at a 10 win season, which might get Brewster some looks at the bigger schools out there. You think the Aggies could have hired him?

The Let’s Just Pretend This Never Happened Award – Todd Dodge, North Texas

North Texas is 0-7, have given up 77 points to Rice and 59 to Louisiana-Lafayette, and Dodge’s high paced offense is 113th in the nation. Meanwhile, his old stomping grounds, Southlake Carroll, actually lost a regular season game this month. Oh, the humanity.

Facebook Status Messages

Dabo Swinney joined the group I Have a Retarded Name and I think I am Will Muschamp.

T Boone Pickens is sad that $186 million doesn’t go as far as it used to.

The Pac-10 is trying to get Texas A&M in the conference.

Houston Nutt is trying not to use the phone this week in Fayetteville.

SEC Officiating is thinking of hiring Tim Donaghy and Ray Lewis.

Roy Williams is glad to be in DALLAS! Sunday 11:14 AM

Roy Williams is oh shit. Sunday 3:45 PM

The Guys Smoking Marijuana in the Creek are glad that the LMFZ keg wasn’t 2 feet to the left.

On to the games...

Georgia @ LSU -2:

Who really knows what either of these teams are about? In their biggest games of the season, both have fallen on their face. Georgia lost 41-30 to Alabama (after being down 31-0), and then LSU lost to Florida 51-21.

Both have okay to good offenses, and Georgia has a slightly better defense. But this game is in Baton Rouge, where the Bulldogs haven’t won since 1998.

I’m inclined to pick Georgia because of the better defense and better quarterback, but the game being in Baton Rouge and Les Miles somehow being a better coach than Mark Richt has me leaning towards LSU.

LSU 24 Georgia 17

Alabama -6.5 @ Tennessee:

Tennessee has been getting hammered by their fans and the media all season, but Alabama hasn’t won in Knoxville since 2002, it’s at night in a stadium where fans know this is their biggest game of the year, and the Volunteers have a pretty damn decent defense, 11th in the nation in total defense coming into this one.

Good enough for the upset? Probably not. Alabama schooled the Volunteers last year in Tuscaloosa 41-17, and Tide fans are probably letting Nick Saban know this week that Phil Fulmer is widely recognized as the person that ratted them out to the NCAA and got them on probation. They would like nothing better than to embarrass Fulmer in what could be his last game against the Tide.

Alabama 27 Tennessee 20
ATS – Alabama
SU – Alabama

Penn State -2.5 @ Ohio State:

The Buckeyes have only lost one game at The Shoe at night…

But it’s about to be two. These teams give up about the same yardage, but Penn State and their “Spread HD” offense is averaging 160 more yards than Ohio State. This Ohio State defense will be the best Penn State sees all season, but Penn State just has too many weapons for an Ohio State team that is winning…but barely (until last week).

Penn State 31 Ohio State 21
ATS – Penn State
SU – Penn State

Texas Tech @ Kansas -1.5:

The fact that the #6 team in the country is an underdog to the #18 team tells you what Vegas thinks about Texas Tech…good, but living on borrowed time.

Their offense, while statistically good, just doesn’t seem as potent as years past, and the defense is well, Texas Tech. Kansas has the defense to put pressure on Harrell, the question is whether anyone out there can cover Tech’s receivers.

I think Tech gets caught napping the week before a big match-up with Texas.

Kansas 38 Texas Tech 34
ATS – Kansas
SU – Kansas

Oklahoma -19.5 @ Kansas State:

Nobody has stopped the Sooner offense this year, it is just a matter of keeping the ball away, getting timely stops and having enough offense to keep up.

KSU quarterback Josh Freeman is quietly having a very good year, ranked 21st in the nation in passing efficiency and 16th in the country in total offense. So we know that KSU has a somewhat decent enough offense to score some points on OU.

But do they have the defense? In a word, no.

The Wildcats are giving up 429 yards a game, and let the Aggies roll up 540 on them. Perhaps if this game was at night the Wildcats might stand a chance ala Texas in 2006, but it’s not.

Oklahoma 48 Kansas State 24
ATS – Oklahoma
SU – Oklahoma

Oklahoma State @ Texas -13:

And Texas, for the third straight week, is involved in the best game of the week.

As you’ve heard numerous times already, Colt McCoy is just putting up silly numbers this season. Mack mentioned in his press conference last week that at this point last season, McCoy had 160 completions. This year, he has 160 completions. In 44 less attempts.

Want more gaudy stats? In Texas home games this season, McCoy has 12 touchdown passes and 14 incompletions.

Read that again.

McCoy’s efficiency has propelled an offense that some were wondering if it would struggle all season into a juggernaut. 11 different players have scored touchdowns for the Longhorns this year. Both Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley are on pace to get 80 receptions…Quan might get 100.

Oklahoma State has a pretty damn good offense themselves. The Cowboys are 4th in total offense and 7th in scoring offense. Running back Kendall Hunter is 6th in the nation in rushing. Quarterback Zac Robinson is 3rd in the country in passing efficiency. So the Cowboys are a rushing team, stop the run and you win, right? Wide receiver Dez Bryant is 2nd in the country in receiving yards per game and has 13 total touchdowns this year (11 receiving and 2 punt returns).

There is some question about the level of competition for Oklahoma State, but this team put up 594 yards of offense on the Longhorns last year…they know they can move the ball.

But I’m about to go against a lot of what I just said up there and tell you this…if Texas contains OSU’s rushing offense, we win this one going away. Texas is giving up a ridiculous 48 yards per game on the ground, and really, do you think they’ll be intimidated by Oklahoma State after playing Oklahoma and Missouri in consecutive weeks?

Hold OSU on the ground to around the 150-200 yard marker…and give up the 66 yards you gave up to Jeremy Maclin last week to Dez Bryant this week…and the Horns win going away.

Because Oklahoma State isn’t going to stop us. They gave up 390 passing yards to Chase Daniel. 400 yards of offense to the Aggies. 416 to Troy. 483 to Houston.

Horns get 450 yards and roll in front of a home crowd.

Texas 41 Oklahoma State 17
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas

Random Hot Dallas Chick

For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for the Lauren Conrad after-party.

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