Thursday, November 1, 2012

And I'm Back

He’s bbbaaaaacckkkkkk. I’ve spent the last few weeks fighting for the resistance in a far-off land. While I was gone, Iowa football is giving performances reminiscent of the 70’s, Notre Dame apparently is a power again and Bill Snyder continues to be an ageless wonder performing miracles in a small Kansas town.

Lets get right to it.

GAME OF THE WEEK: #1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0) vs. #5 LSU (7-1, 3-1); 7 p.m.
Old Conventional Wisdom: low scoring games are boring.
New Conventional Wisdom: When two teams keep one another under 10 points, they should play again in the national championship game.

Alabama is a very, very, very good football team. They run, they block, they tackle, they hit, they pass, they catch, they hold up four fingers as you go to the fourth quarter, yada, yada, yada. 

LSU is a very, very good football team. They are loaded with NFL talent, have quickness everywhere, they run the ball, they tackle, they hit you, they have atmosphere, and there is a real tiger for heaven’s sake. Yada, yada, yada.

Same team. One has a QB, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron. One has home field advantage.  I would write more about this, but frankly there are thousands of stories out there on the details. I’m interested in the results.

The Line: Bama is a nine-point favorite.

The Pick: Oh sure Bama won 21-0 in the BCS Championship AND LSU lost to Florida, but come on.  Alabama 21 LSU 14.

#20 Nebraska (6-2, 3-1) at Michigan State (5-4, 2-3) Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ABC.
I don’t know what’s wrong with the Big Ten this year. What’s up is down and what’s down is paper. See, it makes no sense.

Nebraska controls its destiny in the Legends Division. They lead the B1G in scoring, total offense and rushing…and Taylor Martinez is STILL their QB. Of course, Rex Burkhead is still the feature back. Although he may not play this weekend.

Michigan State may have saved their season with an overtime win over Wisconsin. Sparty’s defense is stout, seventh-ranked stout. Their offense is what we call, le Awful.  Le’Von Bell is averaging 117.9 yards per game, but that’s about it.

The Line: State started as a 1.5-point favorite, but it is currently Nebraska favored by 2.

The Pick: I’ll pick momentum here. Nebraska 27 Michigan State 17. However, if Rex doesn’t go…all bets are off.

Iowa (4-4, 2-2) at Indiana (3-5, 2-3) 2:30 p.m. BTN
Both schools have pretty well moved on to basketball season.

Iowa’s offense is non-functioning. 100th in passing, 107th in scoring. James Vanderberg has no one to throw to, and no one to hand off to. New coordinator Greg Davis subscribes to the dink and dunk theory of Ken O’Keefe. The Defense is young but they can’t win it themselves.

Indiana has not completely checked out of football for basketball. They beat Illinois and in a scandal plagued and otherwise awful Leaders Division…they could go to the Championship game if they win out. Could being the operative word.

They can score- 34.3 ppg, but they are awful against the run. If Iowa can run…a big if. My heart thinks Iowa is better than IU, but its on the road and Indiana will score no matter whose at QB.

The Line: Indiana by 1.

The Pick: Indiana 31 Iowa 17.

#12 Oklahoma (5-2, 3-1) at Iowa State (5-3, 2-3) 11 a.m., ABC.
The only drama here is picking the right point spread. Oklahoma will whip up on the Cyclones.

Sooners are mad. Iowa State beat Baylor and only needs to beat Kansas on November 17th for a bowl appearances. Big talk from Clone fans that ISU takes down one really good team per year. Not this week.

The Line: Sooners by 11.5

The Pick:  Oklahoma 35 ISU 10.

#24 Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) at #2 K-State (8-0, 5-0). 7 p.m. ABC.
I think Kansas State is a good football team. However, the notion that they have already won out really bothers me. This is an extremely dangerous team and game.

The Cowboys are 7th in points and 1st in total offense. Their defense wasn’t good to start the year, but has been better lately.

K-State of course has Collin Klein.  12 TDs and 2 Ints along with 634 rushing yards. He’s a beast.  The Wildcats are 6th in scoring. The defense isn’t going to stop OSU.

I believe that KSU should be on major upset alert. If the Cowboys offense gets rolling, I don’t think KSU can keep up.

The Line:  Cats by 9.5.

The Pick: My belief is that K-State is going to trip up. This looks like the spot…too much overconfidence, too much looking ahead from a team that is good, but I’m not sure they are great.  OSU 31 KSU 30.

Also for good measure: Romney 52- 47 and 285 electoral votes.

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