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October 28, 2011
Picked Over: Little Apple Upset?
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.
We know we missed last week so for the first time this season…so you all now know how important this article is each week.
Season to Date: Josh leads in wins 42-38
Eddie Radosevich: Dabo Swinney's club just keeps rolling as they improved to 8-0 last week rolling North Carolina 59-38. Improving to 7-1 vs. the spread the Tigers now prepare to head to Atlanta for a Saturday night match- up with Georgia Tech. Though the Yellow Jackets have lost it's last two (both on the road) I look for Clemson's 'dream season' to come to a screeching halt as they have trouble with Paul Johnson's triple-option attack. The Tigers have won it's last two in Atlanta vs. Clemson and I look for them to make that three in a row. Take GT in the upset.
Josh McCuistion:It seemed early on like the Yellowjackets were ready to bounce back after a disappointing 2011 campaign. Only twice all season has Johnson's bunch held teams under 21 points and will be facing clearly the most powerful offense to date. I'm officially buying into Clemson, and as such this will be the week they burn me but I'm going to stick with them until they give me reason to think they shouldn't.
ER: Here's some good and some bad. Good thing for Husker fans history tell us that Nebraska is rightly favored in this game. With their last meeting coming in the 2003 Alamo Bowl Nebraska garners a 5-0 all-time record vs. Sparty. Bad news for Husker fans I expect that streak to become 5-1 by four o'clock Saturday afternoon. With a tid bit of luck last week vs. Wisconsin the Spartans now look to be on a head on collision with the Big 10's inaugural title game while also carrying with them a 5-2 record ATS. Take MSU plus the points.
JM: After the craziness of last weekend and hitting the road for another massive game it's hard to see how the Spartans do it. Then again after watching Michigan State shut down Taylor Martinez 2.0 AKA - Denard Robinson it's hard to buy into the Nebraska offense against a quality unit like the Sparants. In spite of the roller coaster for State, I like State straight up, the points are just a bonus.
ER: There's just no way I can pick Ron Zook to get his team prepared and win at State College for the second year in a row. Last year the Fightin' Illini stomped Penn State 33-13 and I expect Penn State to remember this and return the favor. PSU has won six consecutive games but it does scare me to lay five points with the Nittany Lions only 2-6 ATS. But I leave you with this: PSU is 14-4 all-time vs. Illinois and has NEVER dropped back-to-back games in the series. As Dirk says,' Take dat witchu.'
JM: One coach past his prime, and another that's never going to have one. This game is just a horrible bore that I'll make a point not to watch but we'll go with Penn State's defense in this one, the one truly elite unit of the four on the field.
ER: Oddly enough Georgia could find themselves in the driver's seat to the Georgia Dome with a win at the 'World's Largest Cocktail Party'. Even more ironic it could be the Georgia Dome where UGA's season ends with a huge bang after beginning with such a dud in the same building. But it all must continue here with a win and I think it happens as Georgia takes advantage of a Florida coaching staff still trying to find it's niche in the SEC.
JM: In spite of a lot of early turmoil you've got to give it up to Mark Richt he has really come along nicely with this young team and has Aaron Murray playing the best football of any quarterback in the SEC. I'll go with Richt and the Bulldogs as Florida still looks a bit lost and doesn't have the quarterback play to challenge an emerging Bulldogs defense.
ER: Nationally Saturday night's match-up at the L.A. Coliseum will be billed as a game to put on 'upset alert'. I'm here to tell you how completely wrong that is. Look for Stanford to expose an overrated USC defense and roll onto victory in front of a 'mediocre' USC fan base. I like Andrew Luck. I love the Cardinal here by more than a touchdown.
JM: I've taken Stanford in every opportunity this year and I'm not about to change. The Trojans are starting to round into form, and yes I'm one of the few people that does think Lane Kiffin is a capable coach. That said Luck and the Cardinal really look to be on a roll and I expect his Heisman coronation to begin in the Coliseum on Saturday.
ER: Statement you won't hear said on Saturday? 'Can you turn the Kansas-Texas game on?'. Here's another statement you won't hear on Saturday: 'How did Kansas win that game'. I expect even the little ole Longhorn offense to find it's stride against Kansas' dreaded defense as the Eyes of Texas taste of the thrills of recording a home win. Something that hasn't been accomplished in Austin in a long while.
JM: I admit it, I thought Turner Gill was a strong hire for the Jayhawks but thanks to a preposterously bad defense Kansas is completely lost at the moment. Expect for David Ash to start to grab hold of the starting role after a huge performance. I honestly think it's more likely that Texas doubles this spread than Kansas covers.>
ER: Perhaps the winner of this game can save the victory and use it (again) at a time to be announced later when both school's make the move to the SEC! SEC! SEC! (doesn't it really need to be said three times?). On a more serious note I see no reason why the Aggies shouldn't cover the 10 points as they get set for a final showdown in Norman next weekend. Last year, Mizzou routed A&M at Kyle Field 30-9.
JM: A&M was on the ropes last year when Missouri came to town and seemingly sent the Aggies season down the drain - in fact after this loss many were wondering if Mike Sherman was long for College Station. However A&M bounced back and finished as strong as any year in quite some time. I think the Aggies get some revenge here but it'll be a very close cover, maybe something like 31-20.
ER: Quite the familiarity between these two school's head coaches as Iowa State's Paul Rhoads[/db takes on his former boss in TTU HC [db]Tommy Tubberville and while I would normally look at this as a classic 'let down' game I think the Red Raiders will be ready to play. Seth Doege quite the impression on me a week ago as he threw for his third 400 yard game of the season. He makes it four on Saturday as he improves on a league leading passing yards per game.
JM: This is a line that I like a lot. Obviously the Red Raiders will return to Lubbock full of confidence and are playing an Iowa State team that is quickly falling out of bowl contention. Should they want to change that they'll have to beat Tech, Kansas, and one of the Big 12's three current top 10 teams. That said, it's not happening, think they could score 24 and still not be within three touchdowns.
ER: At 7-0 for just the third time in school history the pressure around the Oklahoma State program to keep building upon its' dream season must surely find a tipping at some point, doesn't it? Don't look for it to be this week as the Cowboys welcome RGIII and his Baylor Bears to Stillwater and the self-proclaimed 'Best Homecoming in the Country'. Averaging 387.4 passing yards per game Brandon Weeden must be once again salivating to pick a part a lowly Big 12 defense. Look for the Cowboys to win but the Bears to 'back door cover'. Baylor +14.
JM: If this was in Waco it would be ripe for an upset, as it is the Cowboys are playing quite well at home and though I can't deny having some visions of Taylor Martinez from last year running through my head I still think Oklahoma State is realizing this could be a historic season for them and that is driving them toward decisive wins.
ER: Where do you begin after one of the most embarrassing losses in a 13-year coaches history? I'm sure most Sooner fans would agree you could begin by winning in Manhattan on Saturday. And while I'm fairly convinced the Sooners will win I'm not so sure it's sane to think the Sooners can win by two touchdowns on the road. It's been said before but the Sooners are going to need Landry Jones to once again show he can perform in a wild, psychotic atmosphere. The Sooners only go as far as Landry Jones goes. I'll roll the dice and take the Sooners 33-17.
JM: I have to say this line is one I wouldn't touch. I could quite easily see OU throwing up a strong performance but at the same time it's really hard for me to doubt Bill Snyder against Oklahoma but just the same I feel like a lot of the history we talk about with Snyder, is just that. I'm going with Oklahoma but with crazy little confidence.