Friday, October 17, 2008

College Football Spread Discussions are Copy/Pasted Here [10/18/08]

Posted by Double M & ADMohr

This is the 6th installment where ADMohr (of ADMohr twitter fame) and I bet guess who wins against the spread of some intriguing college football games of the weekend. As always, he'll focus on football and I'll focus on other stuff. If you want/need more description, see original post.

Hey, everybody. Hope you've been enjoying the Immediate Regret Pop Culture Cage Match. I'm going to take a brief divergence from that and give you a look at college football for the weekend.

It was a tough week for me last week. I missed my first 5 picks before I got a push. Bad news. That said, I'm gonna put that week on Missouri - I was too concerned about selectively wording my Chase Daniel is a douche rant at the end of last week's post. ADMohr had a decent week though. As such, he opened up a 3 game lead on me in the standings.

With results like that, it's fortunate that I did not place any money on last weeks games. In any case - I'll look to turn it around this week with a lot of afternoon and late games. Heavy on the pictures from me this week.

FYI, I don't know if you saw, but BYU is ghandi after they got beat down 32-7 last night. Did you know that BYU was ranked #8? That's ridiculous, I don't care if my boy Todd went there or not.

Wake Forest (-2.5) @ Maryland 11:00 AM

ADMohr: Things to remember: The Maryland defense will give up 400 yards against everyone, even if Wake's offense isn't necessarily stellar on its own. Also don't forget that Maryland has some of the more surprising wins of the year in Cal and Clemson (well, maybe not that surprising there), but they've also laid some of the bigger eggs of the year, being shutout v. Virginia and a poor performance v. Middle Tennessee. Wake wins, and covers the spread.

MM: You may or may not know that Maryland's mascot is the Terrapin. What you probably didn't know is that the name of the big ass turtle is Testudo? Well, it turns out Testudo can break it down.

Maryland beats the spread and wins outright at home against a shaky Wake Forest team.

Nebraska (-8) @ Iowa State 11:30 AM Versus

ADMohr: Things to remember: A really hard pick considering that Iowa State was within points of beating KU at home, yet also was manhandled on the road last week v. Baylor. Nebraska meanwhile could either have confidence coming off the near-upset where they ran their offense at will against the Red Raiders and should've won the game. These teams' defenses are equally weak, and Nebraska will have to have the same near-flawless execution of their run/pass balance in order to stay in this one. I think Nebraska can and will win this game, but I just can't take them with 8 points on the road. Iowa State beats the spread.

MM: This is a battle for the worst team in the Big 12. Last week, Nebraska played the best game that I have seen them play since 2006 and Iowa State lost, badly, to Baylor - a team I would have previously considered the worst team in the Big 12. All that said, Iowa State is a different team at home. If Pelini can continue to rally this beat-down Nebraska squad (coming off of 3 straight losses), there's no way that Nebraska loses this game. But 8 points seems a bit high for a defense that's still ranked very poorly. I think Nebraska wins but Iowa State covers the spread.

Kansas (+20) @ Oklahoma 2:30 PM ABC

ADMohr:Things to remember: OU exposed themselves as a pass first team last week, and there's probably nothing wrong with that as long as they can continue to put up some 360 yards passing a game. Meanwhile, after Kansas lost a heartbreaking game on the road to South Florida, they've never really gotten their same type of execution back and suddenly they're starting to look like the frauds everyone thought they were last year. The misnomer is that KU has a strong defense – the reality is that their defense is rather inconsistent, with some strong games (CU) and weak ones (USF, ISU). That said, KU is averaging 400 yards of offense a game with around 30 points a game. This is a hard pick b/c it's definitely conceivable that KU will unravel in what could actually be their toughest matchup and away game in two years, but I'm a huge believer that the Mangino is a great, great coach and I think we can count on 25 points from KU in this one, and if they can keep the turnovers down, they'll keep OU from scoring 45 on their own, so I'm going with KU to beat the spread (not win though) in this one.

MM: Come on a messed up thought train with me. Kansas appears to be a different team on the road this year, so let's think about Mark Mangino. He's a big man and so he probably eats a lot of food and he probably eats more of it with his new contract. I don't know the man's deucing schedule, but, for the sake of argument, let's say that he doesn't deuce in the morning. Well, if Kansas goes on the road trip, they probably leave on a Friday before he's had the chance to drop his daily deuce. I have a feeling that Mark Mangino is the kinda person that desperately needs the home field advantage/a person to wipe him down post-deuce, and he is definitely not getting that on the road. So he probably just holds it in and doesn't go on the road. This sounds like bad news. There's nothing worse than when you really have to drop a deuce but can't - because you really can't think about anything else but the deuce. This will alter Mangino's coaching. Oklahoma rebounds from their tough loss last week and picks up a solid win against a deuce-holding Mangino Kansas team, but Kansas covers the spread.

Ohio State (-3) @ Michigan State 2:30 PM ESPN2

ADMohr: Things to remember: They're running as a team with T. Pryor at the helm and a healthy Beanie back, and suddenly this kind-of-disliked tOSU team is kind of fun to watch again. And you know what's so ironic about that? They're probably going to be back in the discussion of the Mythical national championship if they win this and the mammoth upcoming game against Penn State at home. To this game – tOSU has been the definition of efficient beating teams by small margins at home and on the road and not really putting up a ton of offense in the process. Meanwhile their defense is stout as hell allowing only some 270 yards a game. The Spartan defense let a ton of yards go to Northwestern last week though they pulled out that win, and in this game you have two teams that have really proven an ability to pull it out in ugly close games, which really makes this a great matchup. I think tOSU is actually going to have their way running the ball in this game which will put them in a position to control the game, but MSU knows a thing about rushing the ball too with Javon Ringer, and I actually think they beat the spread getting up for a big game at home for this one, despite the usual history of MSU in such big games over history.

MM: I don't know if you heard, but the players are pushing to have displaced starting quarterback Todd Boeckman start again. I have no clue what this does to a team, but I'm pretty sure it's not good. Michigan State, meanwhile, has literally beaten no one. As much as I like to pick against Ohio State, they win and cover this weekend in East Lansing. Do you remember that the original American Pie was based in Michigan. At some point in that movie, Chris Klien's character, Chris, left his lacrosse team, who'd he had been practicing and playing with for 4 years, on the field during a big game in East Lansing, on Michigan State's campus, to run to a choir performance for a girl he just met. Did anyone else think that was ridiculous? I get it you're trying to lay some pipe, and that is important, but if I was on that lacrosse team, I would have kicked your ass. If that's the kind of stuff that happens in East Lansing, I want no part of picking their team. Ohio State wins and covers.

Do you ever wonder what happened to Chris Klein (he was the dude I was just talking about from the American Pie movie)? Apparently now he makes viral videos that are morbid.

Ole Miss (+12) @ Alabama 2:30 PM CBS

ADMohr: Things to remember: This may be Bama's year purely for the reason that they're truthfully not getting killed by their schedule like every other SEC schedule usually seems to do. In all honesty, they'll be favored in every game for the rest of the year, with the possible exception of Saban Bowl in Baton Rouge in a month, and that really depends on if the LSU defense is a fraud or not after their performance last week. Now that said – each of these games have more than enough trap potential to derail a distracted Saban, and this week's may actually be one of the bigger tests until Saban Bowl. Ole Miss lost a close, tough game against the Cocks last week and in the context of a damning schedule find themselves at 3-3 and yet averaging 382 yards of offense a game and just 340 yards on defense a game. That's pretty good considering their competition. The Tide meanwhile bring a great defense, but surprisingly one that's not better than the one they saw last week against the Cocks, where they hung up 360 yards and 24 points. So let's say that Ole Miss is good for 21 points in this one, the question is whether the Bama offense that beat Georgia shows up, or the one that couldn't put away Kentucky for the life of them shows up. If Bama has success running in this one, they might be able to put Ole Miss away, but I actually don't think that will happen, and they will only beat Ole Miss by about 8 to 10 points, with Ole Miss beating the spread.

MM: It's the return of the cod piece hat! Still makes me laugh and this is like the 4th time I've posted that pic. We haven't picked Bama in a few weeks so I thought it was a good time to bring this back. Ole Miss seems great at home and awful on the road. Alabama hasn't played in 2 weeks. Nick Saban knows how to coach a football team. And he has a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way out. Alabama wins and covers.

Pittsburgh (-2.5) @ Navy 2:30 PM CBSC

ADMohr:Things to remember: Navy has an impressive win vs. Wake Forest to their resume, but they are not exactly the definition of the 'balanced offense' considering they average 386 yards/game in total offense, but only 71 of those are passing yards. Weird, huh? Meanwhile the Pitt defense looks stout enough, but is similar to the Wake defense that Navy hung up 272 yards of rushing on. So for that reason alone, let's take Navy to beat the spread in this one.

MM: Dave Wannstedt has what may be the most famous mustache in all of football. How much time each morning does he spend trimming it and making sure each little hair falls into place? 1? 2? 4? Does he always carry a mustache comb and a tiny mirror? While watching this game, these are the questions I want to have answered. CBSC, get your guys on this. Pitt wins and covers.

Virginia Tech (+3) @ Boston College 7:00 PM ESPN2

ADMohr: hings to remember: VT must really be wondering what they have to do to get some respect to actually get favored in a game anymore. In usual VT fashion, after some sort of humiliating defeat in the early season (in this case, humiliating opponent, remember it was a blocked punt that lost them that game) but now the Hokies are rolling again and have some impressive road wins against Carolina and Nebraska. B.C. However brings to the table a better defense than either of those teams and an offense that has been raking with 578 yards against the Wolfpack last week (in a game that was actually pretty close in score, however). So it is understandable that the Hokies are underrated in this game, but that said how much of a home field advantage are we going to give B.C.? I think this game is kind of a push honestly. Usually in push scenarios I take the underdog to win, but I don't think BC will give up too much defensively and they'll win close, but by like 4 points or 5, some infuriating spread-beating score. BC covers the spread.

MM: Look, Virginia Tech just doesn't lose games like this. They don't lose to mediocre teams when they are prepared. Since switching quarterbacks, they have gone 5-0. VT will win and beat the spread. Meanwhile, last year, Va Tech decided to stop yelling "Stick It In" when they are close to scoring. This is unfortunate. However, when I was searching for a video of stick it in (there are a lot on the mist) I found this video which is an awesome replacement.

LSU (-2.5) @ South Carolina 7:00 PM ESPN

ADMohr: Things to remember: So what do we really make out of last week's game for LSU, they were pretty much never in the game, and yet I felt like they got into a deficit thanks to some big plays that they were just never capable of erasing later in the game. I guess what I'm saying is, I don't think LSU is anything greater than a Cotton Bowl type team, that said I don't necessarily think that Florida is a BCS team either, but who knows, that's not very impressive analysis on my part. Anyways the Tigers D got torched for 475 yards last week with 265 yards rushing, and they meanwhile only rushed for a measly 80 yards themselves, when we were pretty much expecting the LSU rushing game to set the tone for them offensively. So now, enter a SC team that is figuring it out, largely thanks to a great, great defense and now gets LSU in a revenge game at home. The Cocks offense is kind of figuring things out too, against some very respectable opponents in their last two games. I always love the Hat, and the Hat v. the OBC means we're going to see some wild fake punts and fake field goals in this one, probably on every fourth down, but I'm taking the Cocks to win this game and as such beat the spread.

MM: Last December, Bo Pelini accepted a job at Nebraska, worked in Lincoln for a week and then he and all of the coaches he brought from LSU went and worked on the Ohio State game plan for the national championship game. I think Bo called in his favor from Les Miles last week with help on the Texas Tech game plan and it almost paid off for Nebraska. Unfortunately, for LSU, it took Les and his staff's mind off of LSU and they got pounded by Florida. This week, Les is focused on his team again. Look for LSU to win and cover (the small spread!) against the Ol' Ball Coach.

Missouri (+4) @ Texas 7:00 PM ABC

ADMohr: Things to remember: What a great couple of matchups of B12 North v. South this week. The question to ponder is this – what happened with Chase Daniel and the turnovers last week, because that's really largely the reason they lost that game, Hell they could've probably won it for not for a pick on the "expected game winning drive" of Chase Daniel late in the game. 3 picks last week and a pair of sacks is what gave this game to the Cowboys, so the question becomes can Mizzou do on the road what it couldn't do last year against OU twice, not make mistakes, tread water with the lead and be in a position to win the game late. Muschamp cannot be denied, and he is pulling that UT defense into something he can be proud of with a "solid" performance against Bradford last week where they were still beat to the tune of 435 yards and 387 yards passing, but a pair of turnovers from Bradford were all they needed to get ahead and stay ahead in this one. So the big, overarching ESPN-storyline question is this – does Texas just go far and ahead into establishing themselves as the best team in the nation this week, or do they show that last week's game truthfully could've gone either way and lose at home against still a damn good team that can hang it up offensively like few can. I have no idea, honestly. So I'm just going to go with this – I think Texas will have more than enough opportunities to win this game, but I think Mizzou is going to do something like be down 14 in the 4th quarter and actually come back to win improbably, because the Mizzou O will click and just keep clicking. Mizzou beats the spread.

MM: Well, it's about time the Pinkel factor came through. If you don't know, Pinkel has a losing record in Big 12 play and his teams are notorious for dropping a few games "along their way to greatness." This seems like the kind of loss that would cause normal Missouri teams to spiral out of control. Meanwhile, Texas is in for a letdown game right after their huge win last week. It's a battle of two teams that should lose! I'll go with Texas since I should have picked them last week and I still hate Missouri.

California (-2.5) @ Arizona 9:00 PM FSN

ADMohr: Things to remember: Well we almost had a sweet Pac-10 matchup, and then Zona lost last week. I still suppose this is a pretty good matchup, both teams putting up over 400 yards/game offense and fairly strong defenses, with the Zona one actually being about 30 yards better (261 to 290). Big "But" to that though – in that Zona gave up a nice 430 yards of offense to Stanford last week, so I'm not quite sure what to make out of Zona's defense at this point. This game, like all Pac-10 games is just a toss up, and I guess Cal's strength of schedule is marginally more impressive than Arizona's so I guess that's who I'm going to go with in this one, Cal covering the spread.

MM: Since inexplicably losing to Maryland (it was at Maryland though), Cal has looked decent. Meanwhile, Arizona just lost to Stanford. Also, this happened at a Arizona game this year.

Yeah, that's David Hasselhoff. Would you bet on his team? I wouldn't. Cal wins and covers.

That's it for the picks this week. Here's the table for your reference. One of us is going to win big this week.

Have a good weekend.


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