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November 10, 2011
Ducks to Help the Sooners?
Of course you all know by now that SoonerScoop.com has you covered for any and all aspects of Oklahoma football however that's not to say that Sooner fans aren't simply college football fans who enjoy talking about the top match-ups from coast to coast. As such each week in 'Picked Over' SoonerScoop.com writers Eddie Radosevich and Josh McCuistion will offer you their take on games across the Big 12 along with a few of the top match-ups from coast to coast in college football. So take a look as one staffer offers random musings, while another brings real numbers to the table.
Season to Date: Josh leads in wins 49-48
Eddie Radosevich: Frank Beamer and his Virginia Tech Hokies find themselves in a familiar position tonight when they travel to Atlanta. Standing atop the ACC Coastal division standings a win would all but secure the Hokies place once again in the ACC championship game. In fact the winner of this match-up has represented the Coastal division in the conference championship game the last six years. VT who ranks No. 5 in the country in rush defense will come up with enough stops in this one and cover the 1-point on the road. Take the Hokies minus the point.
Josh McCuistion: Coming off an emotional home win I just have my concerns about the Ramblin' Wreck…I really think we've got to go with the Hokies here. It's just tough to get up for two straight games of that magnitude. NOTE: I promise this was filed at 7-7 (and VT's kickoff was the first play I'd seen).
ER: In what will be most likely TCU's first and last trip to the Blue Turf of Boise (Idaho) the Horned Frogs travel to take on Chris Petersen and Co. with a 7-2 record vs. ranked opponents. However, gone is current Cincy Bengal signal caller Andy Dalton and with him in my opinion the chance to jump up and steal a victory from the BCS's No. 5 ranked team. I like the Broncos in this one but a late Horned Frog touchdown covers the 15-point spread.
JM: The game that was going to take the Mountain West over the top is a one and done deal. People love to talk about Boise and how fundamentally sound they are but I feel like a lot of people have ignored the Broncos were a flat out better team in 2010 than they are in 2011. Last year they dominated all comers while this year they've certainly had smooth sailing but at times they've looked to at least have some work to do in the second half. All that said, they know this is their last real chance to make a statement in the spotlight, something tells me to take the Blue turf boys.
ER: The eyes of the football world will be on this one in Happy Valley on the heels of what could end up being one of the most tragic cases in all of collegiate sport. My only question is how can this Nittany Lion re-group and get it done on the field. Sadly the actual game won't be the main story in this one as I look for the Cornhuskers to rebound and cover the 3.5 on the road. Just a terrible final chapter to the Joe Paterno era.
JM: I can't go any direction other than Nebraska here and frankly I'm a bit shocked Vegas has left this one on the books. I expect a close one because the Nittany Lions still have a quality defense and though it's not one I would touch due to the emotions of the game and the sporadic performances by the Huskers, I can't chose anyone other than Bo Pelini's bunch.
ER: Like the afore mentioned Virginia Tech Hokies the Georgia Bulldogs find themselves in position to all but secure a spot in the SEC Championship with a win 'Between the Hedges' Saturday over the defending national champion. The Bulldogs who are winners of their last seven games in a row after falling to an 0-2 start look primed to be a possible major roadblock to the BCS with an upset in the SEC Championship game. Mark Richt's club has also been generous this year against the spread going 6-3 (ATS). Georgia wins this one but take the Tigers plus the points.
JM: This seems like Vegas is fully back on board with Georgia, and while I've been a supporter of the Bulldogs as they've rallied from mediocrity I have some trouble buying them as a 13-point favorite against an Auburn squad that has been wildly up and down this season. And now that I've tried to talk myself into Auburn, I just can't go there, I'll take the Hairy Dawgs.
ER: Sooner fans will have their eyes set on this one as a Oregon win could vault the Sooners right back in their #chasefor8. Luckily for the Sooners Oregon travels to Palo Alto garnering a 8-1 record vs. the Cardinal since 2002. On the other side of the eight ball the Ducks will need to figure out a way to stop Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck- a task that is easier said than done. Call it a hunch but give me the Ducks. The Oregon speed will cause problems for the Stanford as I expect the Ducks to also match the physical play across the front in the trenches. I'll take the Ducks straight up.
JM: As much as part of me likes to think that Stanford could present some real problems for the SEC champion I can't deny that I just think they are going to have a lot of problems with the Ducks. If Stanford was a bit healthier I think I'd stick with them but it's just hard to pick a team that already has some very real questions on the perimeter of their offense
ER: This match-up in Manhattan is this week's 'maybe Vegas knows something I do not' game of the week. Last week KSU's Tyler Lockett racked up 315 all-purpose yards, the fifth most in school history while Texas A&M dropped it's fourth conference game in Norman. Combine the Aggie's loss of running back Christine Michael to a season-ending ACL injury to the equation and I can't help but think the boys from College Station have much to play for. Give me the Wildcats straight up in the upset. Aggieville should be fun on Saturday night.
JM: I'm with Eddie, this game is a case of either I'm an idiot, or Vegas is. And even though the Monday Morning Idiot is an aptly named site feature I'm going to bet against Vegas being the brains in this match-up. I'll take Kansas State straight up but I love them with the points. The Aggies have all the signs of a free fall and the Wildcats are going to look to prove that their early hype isn't entirely unfounded after falling to the Big 12's top two teams.>
ER: Last week the Jayhawks held Iowa State to a season low 13 points and now get set to host Robert Griffin III and a high powered offense in Baylor who set a single-game school record with 697 yards of total offense a week ago in a 42-29 victory over Missouri. The Bears almost a three-touchdown favorite in this one only need one more win to become bowl eligible for the second year in a row and I expect them to do so. Look for Kansas to start off hot but the Bear offense to be too much. Take the Bears -20.
JM: This is a bit of a scary game in my eyes. Kind of like Georgia above, are the Bears ready to handle being expected to win big? The Bears have always seemed to struggle with success but I'll put my faith in Robert Griffin and Art Briles. I said last week that I'd keep betting with Kansas' opponents and though last week that burned me, I think the Bears get my theory back to even this week.
ER: A week ago I advised you to take the Longhorns minus the points at home vs. Texas Tech. This week I'm going to do something most of you won't want to hear. Do the same darn thing. With the help of freshmen Joe Bergeron the Longhorn offense gained 400-plus yards on the ground for the second consecutive week a mark that hadn't been reached since 1997. I like the Longhorns again this week as they surprisingly improve to 7-2 on the year with their only losses coming to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (a theme seen in most of the Big 12 conference).
JM: Man, I've had some tough calls so far this year but this is as tough as any I can think of. I think at the end of the day the Longhorns are starting to find something on the ground and finding a bit of an identity offensively and when you look at Missouri's struggles against the run it's hard not to think that success will continue. To me it's all about what James Franklin the Tigers get, if he's on, they'll win, if he is not, the Tigers will fight to stay within a touchdown. I'll go with Manny Diaz's bunch doing enough to cross up Franklin and co.
ER: The stage is only weeks away from being set for what should be the biggest, most hyped Bedlam game in some time as the Cowboys continue down the track to what could end up being a season to remember. As such, it should be no surprise that one of the final hurdles comes at Texas Tech's Jones AT&T Stadium- a place the Cowboys have had a history of failure at. With the early 11 a.m. kickoff the Red Raiders must get a surely hungover Raider crowd into this one early. I think they will. Take Tech plus the 17.
JM: After showing some life the Red Raiders really have just fallen apart the last two weeks and it's kind of a now or never deal for Tommy Tuberville's lot who is now simply trying to find a win to get his team bowl eligible - something that seemed foregone after the big win in Norman last month. The Raiders have always been tough on the Oklahoma schools in Lubbock but I really think if anyone is going to push the Cowboys from here on out, it'll be Oklahoma. I just don't think the Red Raiders defense will present much of a scare for the Pokes.