A view from the stands

A view from the stands

Friday, October 10, 2014

College Football Previewing Week #7:

Here is your guide for this week in college football! 

11:00 a.m. Games:

#13 Georgia @ #23 Missouri - Line Missouri +3
(Line remains Missouri +3 after the Todd Gurley Suspension)

Last year Missouri went down between the hedges and got a big W, 41-26. It was the classic case where Georgia simply wasn't prepared for the game. The Mizzou D had 4 turnovers: 2 picks off Aaron Murray and a sack fumble returned for a touchdown. In short, Murray was Missouri's best player. 

This is a MUST WIN for Georgia. If they win they hold their fate in the East. If they lose, they need Missouri to lose 3 games in the SEC. (remaining schedule: @ Florida, vs Vandy, vs Kentucky, @ A&M @ Tenn, vs Arkansas) and Georgia would have to win out (@ Arkansas, Florida, @ Kentucky, vs Auburn) otherwise Mizzou will take the East. (note: Florida could still slide in to take the East, but I don't see it happening)

Yesterday, I was going to give up the 3 and taking the Dawgs, Georgia didn't have Gurley last year and I thought he (and his beastly 8 yards per carry) would be the difference maker this year, but due to his suspension yesterday. All bets are off... Does the Georgia run game and offense go to hell? Or does true freshman Nick Chubbs step up and carry the load? Your guess is as good as mine. As always... Saturday will tell the tale.

Texas vs #11 Oklahoma (The Red River Showdown @ The Cotton Bowl) -Line: Texas +14.5 

This used to be the game to determine who was going to win the Big 12, but TCU taking down Oklahoma, and the Baylor spanking of Texas has made this the one the opening act for the Big 12 on Saturday. These teams still don't like each other and I am interested to see how this shakes out. I'm a non-bettor in this one, but I would say Texas covers the spread. (I've got Texas as a wild card in every game this season), but Oklahoma takes the game.

Northwestern @ Minnesota - Line: Northwestern +4 (Yes Minnesota is the favorite)

Somehow this has made it to be a big game... not sure how, but Northwestern has cleared Penn State and Wisconsin. On the other side, Minnesota is 4-1 (The Loss to TCU doesn't look so bad, but no notable victories as Michigan continues to slide). Both of these teams control their fate in the conference.

Minnesota has had 2 weeks to prepare for this, while Northwestern is going to have to get past the potential for the classic post big game let down (The W over Wisconsin last week) that so many teams suffer from. I think they can and will. I'm a non-bettor due to Minnesota's bye week, but I like the Cats straight up.

2:30 p.m. (Buckle Up- Big Games!)

#2 Auburn @ #3 Mississippi State - Line: Mississippi State +2.5

And the crew from College Gameday is loving it. No need to leave the state of Mississippi just a short 97 miles to this week's destination in Starkville, MS (from Oxford last week)
2 top 5's squaring off... Just another day in the SEC West... Get the popcorn, this is sure to be a show. Auburn has proven me a fool, they are for real. At the same time I'm a believer in this Mississippi State team lead by Dak Prescott. This is what makes the SEC so great. 

If you were to try and break down the numbers, you'll drive yourself mad.

Total O:
Miss St #20 - 2709 yds (50/50 - run/pass)
Aub #36 - 2486 yds (54/46 - run/pass)

Points Per Game
Miss St #12 - 42.6
Aub #13 -40.0

Total D:
Miss St #76 - 2132 yds given up
(Note: They played Texas A&M, The #1 O in the country by yards and gave up garbage yards to them and LSU)
Aub #15 - 1533 yds given up

Run D:
Miss St #13 - 491 yds given up
Aub #14 - 501 yds given up

Miss St 12 total (9 picks, 3 fumbles)
Auburn 7 (7 picks)

Points allowed
Miss St #22 - 19.4 per game
Auburn #9 - 14.4 per game

... Oh and by the way, you can actually just throw out all the numbers, because these two teams have HISTORICALLY had great games. In 2010, when Auburn won the National Championship with Cam Newton and went 14-0... The final score of the Miss St game was 17-14. and in 2011 Auburn came up with a Massive Tackle at the goal line with 10 seconds to win the game. I'll just let the video below do the talking.

The odds-makers are all over this one, I can't pick, I just want to enjoy the show. Gun to the head? It's really hard to pick against Auburn right now. But, I really just need some more COWBELL! Let's go Bulldogs! Come on, Gameday is in town, MORE COWBELL!

#9 TCU @ #5 Baylor - Line: TCU +8.5 (down from TCU +10.5 on Monday)

Another tale of 2 undefeateds getting ready to square off. 

When you look at the line of 8.5 in favor of Baylor, I think the perception has clouded the reality in this one. The perception is that TCU, even with their solid D (which they are known for) won't be able to "keep up" or score with the Baylor Offense that leads the nation with 51 points per game. However, the numbers and the history between these two teams tells a lot different of a story. By the numbers, TCU is no slouch averaging 42+ points per game (11th in the country), so it's not like the Horned Frogs can't score with these guys. At the same time, we are all aware of TCU's strength on D, which ranks 7th in points allowed and 7th in yds per game. And let's give a little credit to Baylor's D which SOMEHOW turned it around. They are 5th in both points allowed and yards per game (that is a huge turnaround from how bad they were last year and in 2012), but thus far they haven't seen the competition (Oklahoma) like TCU has. So you make some adjustments and all of a sudden we've got some numbers that look very much the same.

We can take this a little further and look at the past few meetings between these two. When you look at this, you're really looking at two teams that really battle it out... and maybe you could even argue that TCU has the edge given they stuck it to Baylor two out of the last four years.

2013 (@ TCU): Baylor 41, TCU 38 (TCU had the ball 2nd and 10 from the 23 with 11 seconds left, Instead of going for the tie, TCU threw a pic in the Baylor endzone to seal the deal)

2012 (@ Baylor): TCU 49, Baylor 21

2011 (@ Baylor) (with RG III): Baylor 50, TCU 48 (TCU rallied and scored 25 points in the 4th quarter to take the lead 48-47, Baylor was able to take the lead back with a field goal with 1 minute remaining. TCU was on the march but was out of timeouts and on 3rd down threw a pick which ended the game)

2010 TCU rolled 45-10 at home.

That said, I'm loving TCU and the 8.5 points their handing out. Will they win? Well the game is in Waco, so you would think the Bears have the advantage there, but I think this would fit nicely into the trend of losing at home this year. Let's put a few dollars on TCU and the money line... I wonder what the payout would be if I took TCU and gave up 8.5 points... That's right, too much TCU D for the Bears. I like the Horned Frogs on the road to pile on the points in a statement game! (... now don't let me down....)

#12 Oregon @ #18 UCLA - Line: UCLA +2 (Down from +3 on Monday)

In 1 week this has gone from "The Game" to "Damn! we gotta have this". Given the layout of the Pac 12, Oregon is in little better shape. They could lose this and they still control their fate in the North to get to the Pac 12 championship (although 2 losses on the resume doesn't look great when it comes to the playoff picture). UCLA on the other hand, if they lose, the trek back to the top of the South becomes a little trying. They would have 2 conference losses, 1 to Utah (who is in the South also) and they are looking up at a whole bunch of teams: Arizona (no losses), and USC, Arizona St and Utah, who each have 1 loss. UCLA would have to win out, and they're going to need some help. Their win over Arizona State helps the cause in the long run, but overall, it doesn't look too promising for the Bruins.

2 teams with bad losses last week... The "story" here is Oregon's offensive line that is laid up in the training room with injuries and UCLA's line, or should I say their lack of one. The Ducks are starting a true freshman AND a walk on at the tackles. Yes, a TRUE FRESHMAN and a WALK ON... at the tackles... This has resulted with 12 sacks in their last 2 games (5 against Arizona last week). On the other side UCLA's line might improve if they started using some walk ons and true freshmen, they let up 10 sacks against Utah and a total of 23 on the year (4th WORST in ALL OF FOOTBALL... But they are still better than SMU, Idaho and Wake Forest, so they got that going for them... Which is nice...).  Bret Hundley has spent more time on the turf than the grounds crew... And it doesn't look like that's going to improve this week.

At the end of the day, I'm just not much of a believer in UCLA as I said at the beginning of the year. I liked Utah last week (14.5 point dogs) strait up and I'll give up the 2 points and take the wounded Ducks this week.

North Carolina @ #6 Notre Dame - Line: North Carolina +16.5

The only reason I brought this up is it's a classic trap game for the Irish, a hard fought win over Stanford last week and they've got the big one next week on the road @ Florida State. Standing in the was is a pitiful North Carolina team, 3 straight losses (@ East Carolina, @ Clemson, and vs VT - all by 14+ points) Seeing that, it's going to be hard for Coach Kelly to get the Irish focused for this one (I don't even know if they need to be, N.C. may have shut it down for the season after their last loss). If North Carolina was going to put a charge into a game to make a statement this would be it (Georgia Tech is the only other ranked team on their schedule). It would be the first signs of life out of them all season. Even so, trap game, I'm staying away. As a non-bettor, North Carolina covers but lose by 10 to an Irish team that starts slow.

8:00 p.m.

#3 Ole Miss @ #14 Texas A&M - Line: Ole Miss +2 (down from +3 on Monday)

Ole Miss coming off the biggest win in school history with the second best D in the country by points allowed (8th by yards). On the other side, A&M is coming off a beating from the other school in Mississippi, but they still have the best offense in the country (by yards).  This should be a great game, but I think the Rebels are going to be a little hung over while the Aggies come in focused. I hope I'm wrong as I will be rooting for the Rebels, as such, my heart is getting in the way, so I'm a non-bettor. It's always hard to go against a solid D, but the head is saying give up the 2 and take the Aggies.

Fun little fact: As stated before the Ole Miss fans stormed the field and stole the goal posts after the victory over Alabama. The result was a $50,000 fine from the SEC for rushing the field (Come on.... what's that about? Fines?!... The SEC should have paid Ole Miss $50K for beating Bama... Just increased the value of the SEC brand name... damn...) and $25,000 lost due to missing goal posts. $75,000 in total damages due to the event. 

What you may, or may have not known is later Saturday evening one of the criminals (yes it is still a crime to steal goal posts) tweeted a photo of one of the posts in his apartment and said they were going to cut it up (Not exactly something I would personally flaunt, but it is what it is) The punishment for their crimes? Ross Bjork (the AD for Ole Miss) tweets "Save me & Coach Hugh Freeze a piece..." but to his credit, Ross did warn the delinquents to be careful when cutting it and said University personnel could cut it for them to ensure their safety... Thanks for stealing our goal posts.

Ross's response resulted in MASSIVE support. Ole Miss was ready to absorb the fine and replace the posts themselves (pennies to them) but fans reached out to ask how they could help, so they set up a donation page and raised over $95,000... I guess some criminals couldn't carry one of the posts that far and Ole Miss personnel found it near the stadium the next day, so they cut that up and used that as donation gifts.

Ross has since become "stern" and when asked in an off camera interview about the criminals he responded "Of course we're not going to press charges... unless they try and sell it"

This link below details the story.. but my favorite part of this...

"They walked it right down the middle of the road, and even the cops stopped to watch and give the guys thumbs up."

Ok!!! Back to Business!!!! Quit Screwing around!!!!!!

9:30 p.m.

USC @ #10 Arizona - Line: Arizona +2.5

USC seems to be having some trouble establishing themselves and Arizona is trying to get over the hump. The W last week on the road against Oregon was big... But these things go "Win 1 and you get some attention, Win 2 and some people start taking note, Win 3 and now you're somebody." (unless it's the SEC). I think it's interesting they come in as underdogs in their own home after that big win in Eugene to this 2 loss USC team. Obviously, the experts are looking for an Arizona letdown here. However, they had extended recovery time (Their last game was on a Thursday) and I think they take this and run. They take this underdog status and use it as motivation (Even though they're ranked #10, to be considered an underdog at home is insulting). At the same time, I'm not sure how USC is going to respond. They need to win this or they go down 0-2 in conference (both losses on the same side) and Sarks first season at the helm doesn't look so good with 3 losses through 6 games... So there's plenty to fight for. Even so, I like Zona. For the record, I'll be a "little-bettor" in this one.

... Just another great week in college football. Enjoy!


No comments:

Post a Comment