Friday, November 9, 2012

For the love of Maryville...

A lot of chin music this week from the other columnists on my win – loss record. Apparently I’m Lee Corso and they are Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard.

Lets check the scoreboard. I said Alabama over LSU 21-14….real close to the actual 21-17 result.  And the only game I missed was an upset special against K-State. Bill Snyder continues to perform miracles.

Straight up: 4-1
ATS: 4-1

I’ll take that every week.

GAME OF THE WEEK:
#11 Oregon State (7-1, 5-1) at #14 Stanford (7-2, 5-1). 2 p.m. FOX
Is this really the game of the week? The winner gets to be the bridesmaid to Oregon in the PAC-12 North. Ah well, there are worse things in life.

It starts with defense for both teams, which is an unusual thing to say in PAC-12 football.  The best-run defenses in the league against pretty mediocre offenses with back up quarterbacks starting. Compelling, its not.

Stanford is unbeaten at home.  However, Oregon State has the better passing offense.

The Line: Stanford is a four-point favorite.

The Pick: They cover- 24-17.

#15 Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2) at #1 Alabama (9-0, 6-0) 2:30 p.m. CBS.
A classic Offense versus Defense matchup. The Aggies are trying to prove that offense can work in the defense dominated SEC. They are 5th nationally in yards and third in points scored.

The Aggies are now running a quick-tempo no huddle offense that features plenty of Johnny Football, er Manziel and plenty of offensive plays. They can run and pass.

Enter Alabama. They play defense. A comeback win last week, is there a hang over in Tuscaloosa? Well, sure but not on a Nick Saban coached team. Tide have the quickness and athletes to keep them in check.

The Line: Alabama is a 13.5-point favorite at home.

The Pick: You know the Aggies are 5-0 on the road. Bama is unbeaten everywhere. Great game, but the Tide roll, 31-27.

Purdue (3-6, 0-5) at Iowa (4-5, 2-3) ; 11 a.m. BTN.
This is an awful game.  Hawks are on a three game skid, Boilers are on a 5 game skid.

Iowa started strong against Indiana before letting the Hoosiers back in the game. The Iowa offense is just not good, blame it on, well, everything. The defense is young and cannot stay on the field long.

Purdue has gone from surprise team to wretched. Losses to Notre Dame and Ohio State looked promising; unfortunately, you cannot count close losses as a victory. Neither team is going to a bowl and I think both may have given up for the year.

The Line: Iowa a five point favorite.

The Pick: It’s at Kinnick, I’ll go Hawks 17-10.

#21 Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2) at #7 LSU (7-2, 3-2) 6 p.m. ESPN
A couple of questions, can LSU get over last week against Alabama? Has Mississippi State figured out what led them to be blown out by Alabama and TAMU?

Answers: Yes. No.

At home, under the lights- no chance.

The Line: Tigers by 15.5.

The Pick:  LSU 28- 17.

#11 Missouri Western (9-1, 8-1) at #4 Northwest Missouri State (9-1, 8-1). 2:30 p.m. MIAA Network
For all the MIAA marbles in Maryville. The winner gets the crown and is the prohibitive favorite to win it all; loser has to wait and see about playoffs. Last season, the Griffons beat the Bearcats in the regular season, only to lose in the playoffs.

The Bearcats are led by a good defense that’s third in the NCAA in scoring defense at 12.1 ppg.  The Bearcats are the top team in the league in scoring offense and scoring defense. Western is second in both.

Western likes to pound the ball with Michael Hill.  He leads the MIAA and is second nationally with 168 yards per game.  Senior QB Travis Partridge is spotty, but when he’s on, he’s one.

The Bearcats run a more versatile offense with Trevor Adams at QB, they can and do throw. But Jordan Simmons and James Franklin are a nice one-two punch.

This game seems likely to be about turnovers and field position. Northwest has won 14 straight games at Bearcat Stadium.

The Line:  No line, but Productive Sweatpants has it at 7.5, which I think is high.

The Pick: A very good game that I wish I could make it up to Maryville for, but alas, I can’t. Lots of emotion, big plays, but when the dusts settles- Cats 31, Western 28.

Enjoy the games. I know I will as I enjoy my first Saturday off since August!

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