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- Getting it out of the way from the start
1) Pryor has a touchdown if the ball doesn’t get poked out. That’s how I saw it and will never blame him for the effort. It was a great attempt...until...you know.
2) It was good to be back in Ohio Stadium at night.
- Tired of writing two columns, this is now College Football ADD with some betting tips at the end. We’ll also say that maybe the only 20 reads my bettor’s guide got last week had something to do with it.
- Let them commence. Pat Forde and Stewart Mandel already jumped on the train; many of our Bleacher Report writers have done the same and will continue to do so.
Get ready for the most overused phrase of the rest of the season: “BCS Doomsday Scenarios.”
To that I say, let us damn the BCS when all the games have played out. Until then we’re all just wasting hot air.
That’s from a huge advocate of a six or eight-team playoff system.
Me Wasting Hot Air
- I can’t resist—it’s funny to think about certain games playing out in the championship. Like what if undefeated Texas Tech played undefeated Penn State.
Better still is the thought of the unquestioned top two conferences being left out entirely by a Penn State/USC matchup. Talk about an uproar.
- Arizona State (2-5), UCLA (3-5), Cal (5-2), Arizona (5-3), and Oregon (6-2): That’s the schedule that stands in USC’s way of winning the Pac-10 Championship yet again. No, that’s not USC's schedule—it's Oregon State’s, who with every win take one more step toward the auto-BCS berth by having the tiebreaker over USC.
You want to talk real doomsday scenarios—try to figure out what happens if USC ends up as the only one-loss team, yet Oregon State wins the BCS berth.
- Utah and Boise State: At what point or how many losses by teams in front of them do they come into the equation? And just how mad would you be if you were a Utes fan and you picked the one season to knock off Michigan in which it meant nothing? I mean, they might as well have beaten Wyoming twice or played Arkansas State; Alabama’s playing them.
- Is it a letdown for this season if the Big 12 Champ doesn’t play the SEC Champ? With these two conferences getting so much publicity as THE top conferences this season, they don’t have many opportunities to go head to head in the bowls unless they play in the championship game or are aligned as at-larges.
Only bowl matchups in the Cotton or Independence Bowls exist, and those will get teams well after Georgia, Florida, ‘Bama, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. could already be gone to BCS games.
Enough wasting hot air—here are some random thoughts
- Whoever at ABC/ESPN decided they’d play AC/DC all year long, it’s annoying already. I have a feeling we’re gonna be putting up with it for another three months.
- Call me partial, but the GameDay sign reading “Helen Keller is Lou Holtz's Translator” took the lead in my favorite sign of the year, possibly the decade.
- Minnesota’s turnaround is a good story. North Carolina having their injuries derail a potential perfect season is a great story. I’ve been following UNC all season for some reason—OK, the reason is I bet on them a lot—and they are two key injuries from being 8-0 after last year’s 4-8 mark. Major turnarounds for both clubs.
- I have ceased any and all betting on games involving ACC teams for the remainder of the year, including bowl games. Over/Unders, ATSs, moneylines, and most importantly, no teasers at all.
- Florida State is 6-1. Call me after they go through the last five on their schedule of at Georgia Tech, home against Clemson and B.C., and a final road test at Maryland before finishing the season against archrival and potentially BCS-bound Florida.
6-1 is a good start, but if they can even finish 9-3, I’d really be impressed.
- Anyone else get the feeling we just bought a few more years talking about when Bobby Bowden and JoePa will retire? Combined records, 15-1.
- Did you know that at 3-5 Rutgers (who are also 2-2 in conference) sits in fourth of the Big East? If West Virginia beats UConn this weekend, they'll be third. The Big East's only ranked team, No. 23 South Florida, is seventh in the league.
- Arizona, finish the job‚you had it won.
- Only two teams from BCS conferences are officially bowl in-eligible. Both of them reside in the state of Washington.
- Michigan's bowl streak stays alive one more week, then ends with a thud at Minnesota.
- Can someone please introduce Mark Mangino to a salad? He dwarfs Charlie Weis's ego. That's hard to do.
This Week's Elite Games
No. 1 Texas at No. 5 Texas Tech
This concludes Texas’s stretch of games against four straight top 12 opponents. I’ll personally punch Mack Brown in the throat if they win this game and then lose to A&M to end the season. I might not be the only one.
I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more confident in a bet of an Over/Under in my life. Take the over 75.5 in every bet this weekend. I will.
No. 8 Florida at No. 6 Georgia
We have two schools playing as well offensively as they have all season about to meet, and all we can talk about is dancing in the end zone last season. Can we please stop focusing on the stupid repercussions of last season's stupidity and focus on the possibility Mark Richt might be dumb enough to do it again?
Knowshon Moreno became Knowshon Moreno in last season’s game; Florida's defense has improved since that debacle. Who wants a cocktail!
Conference Games of the Week
ACC: No. 15 Florida State at Georgia Tech
Florida State and Georgia Tech both surprised me last week with their performances. If GT loses, it could be the end of their Coastal Division title hopes. Yes, the storied history of the ACC Coastal Division is on the line.
Big 12: No. 1 Texas at No. 5 Texas Tech
I discussed already, so all I will say is, Harrell to Crabtree...touchdown. Go Red Raiders! Shoot ‘em up!
Big Ten: Northwestern at No. 17 Minnesota
What a terrible weekend of football games in the Big Ten. Northwestern just lost to Indiana and will be without leading rusher Tyrell Sutton. Minnesota needs this one to stay alive in the New Year’s Day bowl game debate and/or relevance in general.
Big East: No. 23 South Florida at Cincinnati
The Thursday Night game on ESPN should be renamed "The Place Where We Hype Up the Big East for a Night." I like the underdog Bearcats so much, I'm taking them on the moneyline this week.
Pac-10: Washington at No. 5 USC
Why would I watch this game? To see if the Trojans hit 100. The line is 45. 45! Yeah...padding the stats time.
SEC: Tennessee at South Carolina
Other than the Cocktail Fight, this game has the most importance in the SEC this weekend. A Tennessee loss forces them to win out to remain bowl eligible. A Gamecocks win means Spurrier gets to tell funny jokes about beating Tennessee.
Michigan State (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin
Kansas (-10) vs. K-State
Missouri at Baylor’s Over at 69.5
BYU (-14.5) at Colorado State
Arizona St. (+15) at Oregon State
Stay away from these games
Northwestern at Minnesota (-7.5)—too much uncertainty with both teams.
Michigan at Purdue (-1.5)—which 2-6 team do you like?
All ACC games—I’m serious. I’m like 2-17 over the last 19 games I’ve tried picking. The ACC is a coin flip.
Oregon at Cal (-3)—I can’t figure these teams out either.
That’s all I have for the week—we went short. Tip your wait-staff. I’m out.
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