November 02, 2011

WeIs Roundtable Week 10 Picks: Game of the Century Edition

The week we've all been waiting for has arrived.  (And no, I don't mean Notre Dame's long awaited maiden voyage to Winston-Salem).  Appointment television Saturday night.  One of the hundreds of lead-up articles mentioned that this is the first time an SEC regular season game has ever pitted #1 vs. #2.  A bit flabbergasting to me, but whatever piles more expectations on this hyped-beyond-hyped game makes it all the more riveting.  As Samuel L. says in Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts."  The picks...
Texas A&M (+14) at Oklahoma
Dan: Oklahoma (-14)
OU bounced back in a big way, much to my chagrin, last week. A&M already had their day in the sun when they demolished a ranked Baylor team. OU is focused and ready to beat the crap out of everyone from here on in an attempt to sneak back into the BCS title game. OU keeps rolling.
OU 41 Texas A&M 21
Jeremy: Oklahoma (-14)
This is not so much an endorsement of Oklahoma as a failure to believe in the A&M hype.  The Sooners realize they're going to have to impress the voters down the stretch, and the Aggies give them the perfect opportunity to start climbing back up the polls.  OU in a big one here.
Oklahoma 48  Texas A&M 27
Jimmy: Texas A&M (+14)
While I don’t doubt the Sooners are still out for BCS blood, just feel like 2 touchdowns is a high bar to clear for a talented, albeit maddeningly inconsistent and cursed with a 2nd half allergy to winning, team.  Mike Sherman needs to finish strong if he wants the privilege of coaching any SEC games.  A competitive effort in circling the wagons for this showdown would go a long way towards job security.
Oklahoma 52  A&M 42
Mike: Oklahoma (-14)  Lock of the Week
Straight picks from Mike as he’s traveling this week.  Anything to shake him out of his slump.
Phil: Oklahoma (-14)
Kansas let me down last week after the Sooners poured it on the 2nd half. Interesting matchup here, as A&M is known to give up big points and OU is defending their home turf. I think that this is the kind of game that Stoops has made his reputation upon, and the Sooners will show up and play well. Tannehill and the Aggies are good, just no match for the home field Sooners.
OU 41 Tex A&M 24
Oregon (-14.5) at Washington
Dan: Oregon (-14.5)
Another big favorite, another cover for the Ducks. Since losing to LSU, Oregon has covered every spread except ASU, and only missed that one by a point or so. Washington was exposed by Stanford and Keith Price struggled last week Against Arizona. I think Sarkisian may be building a nice foundation in Seattle, but they aren’t ready to contend with Oregon again yet. I hate taking so many favorites, but that’s been the story of the year, and I don’t see the Ducks slipping up under the lights. 
Jeremy: Washington (+14.5)
The Huskies burned me a few weeks ago, but they are putting up some pretty impressive offensive numbers and I think they can hang with the Ducks at home.  I'm giving them one more chance.
Oregon 45  Washington 34
Jimmy: Oregon (-14.5)  Lock of the Week
Stanford leaked the blueprint on beating the Huskies like a drum - run, run and more run.  Guess what the Ducks love to do, albeit in their own frenetic spread fashion?  Run the football.  Doesn’t matter who’s under center for Oregon, LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, and all-everything freshman DeAnthony Thomas will feel like contestants on Supermarket Sweep running rampant through holes as wide as grocery aisles.
Oregon 54  Washington 27
Mike: Washington (+14.5)
Phil: Oregon (-14.5)  Lock of the Week
The Huskies are no match for the speed and finesse of the Ducks, regardless of who is playing QB. Here is an interesting question - why is Chip Kelly never chastised for running up the score in these games a la Spurrier in the late '90s with those FL teams? Is it because no one is up late watching the west coast games? Is it because they are scared of his wrath? I don't know....and it doesn't really matter. Oregon rolls on toward Stanford.
Oregon 45 Washington 21
South Carolina (+4.5) at Arkansas
Dan: Arkansas (-4.5)  Lock of the Week
South Carolina’s defense struggled to stop Arkansas’s aerial attack when Mallett was there, and I see no reason to expect that to change with Tyler Wilson manning the helm now. Throw in that Connor Shaw has continued to struggle and the game is in Fayetteville and you have a recipe for trouble for the Gamecocks. I expect the Razorbacks to bounce back from a frightful performance last week against Vandy.
Arkansas 28 South Carolina 20
Jeremy: Arkansas (-4.5)  Lock of the Week
Loving the home favorites I guess.  Even though the Gamecocks seem to have found themselves a serviceable QB, they're still half the offense they used to be without Marcus Lattimore.  Hogs take advantage of some early turnovers and play keep away.
Arkansas 27  South Carolina 20
Jimmy: Arkansas (-4.5)
The undercard in the SEC prize fight weekend.  South Carolina has re-written the definition of winning ugly these last two weeks, not needing more than 14 points while manhandling undermanned Mississippi State and Tennessee.  While the Gamecocks defense is solid, Arkansas has been to hell and back after their trip to Tuscaloosa.  Nothing will approach that level of emergency for Tyler Wilson.  Spurrier’s D hasn’t faced a QB with anywhere near Wilson’s talent since Week 2 vs. Georgia, and that was a 45-42 nail-biter they hung on to win.  Squeezing out tight back-to-back victories, albeit versus SEC dregs Ole Miss and Vandy, has given Bobby Petrino’s squad confidence.  With the comfort of playing at home, the Razorbacks prevail with a strong aerial assault.  
Arkansas 33  South Carolina 24
Mike: South Carolina (+4.5)
Phil: Arkansas (-4.5)
Similar game to the OU/Aggie game. I think Arky is the superior team, and they are at home. Spurrier is playing without his prize race horse Lattimore, and Shaw, albeit less turnover prone, is not the stud that Garcia was. This is a bad matchup for South Carolina, and I think Petrino will pour it in. I feel that the last 2 weeks for Arky will serve as  "get focused" games, and they will show up and play to their potential. 
Arky 34 SC 27
LSU (+4.5) at Alabama
Dan: LSU (+4.5)
This one is incredibly tough. Both teams’ defenses are incredible. I was set to take Alabama given that they are home, have a better coach, and a more trustworthy offense. But I have a hard time seeing either of these offense have much success running the football. This feels like it will end up being a knock out, low scoring game and I’m going to take the points. 
Alabama 17 LSU 16
Jeremy: Alabama (-4.5)
2011's version of the Game of the Century.  These two are pretty clearly the best two teams in the country, and I can't say it enough - I wish there was a way we could just set up a 3-game series (home-home-neutral) to crown one of these two squads as the National Champion.
Both Bama and LSU bring suffocating defenses into this game, with the Tide freakishly, consistently great, and the Bayou Bengals frighteningly, ruthlessly amazing.  LSU has been getting by on pure talent on offense this year, but its been working for them.  Bama is still breaking in a green QB, but thus far it hasn't mattered much at all.
In the end, I'm taking the team with the best player (Trent Richardson), the better coach, and the home environment.  Can't wait!
Alabama 23  LSU 13
Jimmy: Alabama (-4.5)
The 2011 heavyweight title bout everybody wanted from Week 3, when it became abundantly clear these were the top teams in the country.  Ferocious tackling and freakish speed will be on display.  A Heisman hopeful lies in the tall grass ready to pounce with a monster effort.  No exaggeration, there’s likely 25 future NFL players (maybe more?) that will play a role in this game.  The Mad Hatter plays checkers to The Sabanator’s game of chess, which isn’t as lopsided as it sounds since Les Miles happens to be a grandmaster at the former.  High probability we remember this game for years to come, for some reason or another.  Verne Lundquist has probably been walking around the last two weeks with a roll of duct tape to keep his chubby in check.  
Ever since I saw Bama pressure and completely fluster a competent Arkansas offense, I can’t shake my feeling that they’re the best team in the country.  The Tide pressure is sure to make Jarrett Lee and/or Jordan Jefferson turtle up in fear and wreak more havoc than the Tigers D, who will have their hands full with Richardson and the balanced Bama attack.
Alabama 24  LSU 14

(Well shucks.  I tried to weave "albeit" organically into all four picks, but came up short in the end, A&M'ing my way into a missed opportunity).
Mike: Alabama (-4.5)
Phil: LSU (+4.5)
The game of the century is here! 1 vs 2. a BCS prelim game, if you will. These 2 teams are undoubtedly the most talented, most complete, most well coached (even LSU), and have the most future pros. Both teams boast stout defenses and steady, pro style offenses that like to pound the ball and have "game-managing" QBs who don't turn the ball over. There are playmakers all over the field on both sides of the ball and this will be a very entertaining game to watch. 
LSU on defense needs to stack the box and stop the run. Auburn, no homer, has provided the blueprint to slowing Alabama's run game the past 2 years, as neither "Rent" Richardson or "Heisman" Ingram ran for anywhere near 100 yards on the Tigers. If Auburn's D Line can slow the run game, I know LSUs can. Mingo, Montgomery, and Adams should be able to have their way the overweight, less athletic Bama offensive tackles. Once the run game is corralled, I feel that McCarron will be hard pressed to beat the likes of Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu on the outside. The Bama receivers are not game breakers, and the LSU corners are supremely talented with great ball skills. If I am wrong, and AJ McChestTattoo can beat the LSU DBs, then Bama deserves to win. 
LSU on offense needs to open it up on first down. Lee and Jefferson are both experienced and steady and the LSU receiving corps with Randle, Beckam, and Peterson are all above average. Bama boasts and NFL caliber front 7, but their secondary is overrated and vulnerable to the big play. I know the Mad Hatter has some special plays saved up for this game, and I look for the difference to be made with Lee and Randle beating the Bama secondary. GEAUX TIGERS!!!
LSU 23 Bama 20
Bonus Picks
Dan: New Mexico @ San Diego State -34.5
Yes, they are that bad. Worst team in D1 history? It is possible. For the record, they have lost the last 3 weeks by a combined score of 160 – 7 against the likes of Nevada, a weak TCU team, and Air Force. 
San Diego State 49 New Mexico 7
Jeremy: Michigan (-4) at Iowa
The Wolverines are wildly overrated, but things are getting really bad in Hawkeyeland.  Before last weekend, there were legitimate discussions about whether Minnesota was the worst Big Ten team of ALL TIME.  And then they go out and find a way to beat Iowa.  Michigan is lousy, but they've managed to beat up on the dregs of the Big Ten this year, so I fully expect this to continue on Saturday.
Michigan 31  Iowa 20
Jimmy: Virginia (+2.5) @ Maryland
In their last 3 games, the Cavs have wins over Miami (on the road) and Georgia Tech.  Maryland has 2 wins total on the season.  Riding the ACC surprise team in this one.  
Virginia 27  Maryland 20
Mike: Vanderbilt (+13.5) @ Florida
Phil: Kansas State @ Oklahoma State (-21)
Apparently, I picked this game inadvertenly last week. It is a testament to which team is better, that OU was only a 2 TD favorite, whereas the Cowboys are a 3 TD favorite. Here is my recycled pick from last week. Did I mention that I love Brandon Weeden?? 
I have picked the Cowboys every week. I have a huge man crush on Weeden. They score in bundles and they have not let me down this year. Bill Snyder has the Cats playing as if it were the late nineties and Michael Bishop was running amok on the Big 12.  However, I am gonna stick my man Weeden.
Ok St 42 K St 20
Last Week
Dan: 2-4 (+ Lock of the Week)
Jeremy: 3-3 (+)
Jimmy: 4-2 (+)
Mike: 3-3 (+)
Phil: 4-2 (-)
Season to Date
Dan: 30-21 (7-2)
Jeremy: 31-20-1 (5-4)
Jimmy: 29-20-3 (7-2)
Mike: 23-28-1 (5-3-1)
Phil: 25-25-1 (5-3-1)

1 comment:

Dan said...

Forgot my lock of the week. I'll take Arkansas.