November 17, 2011

WeIs Roundtable Week 12 Picks: Conference Cream Rising Edition

Not the most stellar week of matchups, but a few top 25 contests that should be entertaining.  Dan is out of the country researching his soon-to-be-supporting favorite Dutch Eredivisie Premier League team.  So only 4 of us waxing prose (no haikus this week) on the top games.  The picks...
Nebraska (+3) at Michigan

Jeremy: Michigan (-3)
Nebraska will no doubt find some interesting ways to move the ball, but the deficiencies in the passing game will eventually be their undoing in the Big House.

Michigan 28  Nebraska 20

Jimmy: Nebraska (+3)
December 28, 2005.  Dragged to Chicago’s Michigan bar Duffy’s for some bowl game action, (a venue that ranks behind Greenland’s 5th best outdoor sports bar in my book.  Even the dog on the bar’s marquee looks bummed to have Michigan fans always over to watch games) I made the best of the situation.  Michigan happened to be playing the Cornhuskers and I happened to still own my bright red Dillon Hall “It’s Alright To Be Jealous” shirt.  Nebraska survived that night, much to my fellow patrons’ chagrin (and my delight).  That was the last time these two heavyweights squared off, though there's rich history that exists between the schools.  A lot has happened since 2005, with both programs going through the ringer to get back to respectability, even if neither is back to the smashmouth days of yore.

Denard is one decent hit away from getting shelved.  Even though Brady Hoke has found a RB to rely on now for offense, Bo Pelini is father along in his program reclamation project.  An emotional win in Happy Valley last week sets up a cathartic BCS ticket stamping win this week.  Go Big Red!

Nebraska 27  Michigan 25

Mike: Nebraska (+3)
This may be a product of my virulent anti-Michiganism, but I like Nebraska in this spot.  Although the Wolverines’ defense has improved from last season, Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhart should be able to find room to maneuver on the ground against Michigan.  In addition, Denard Robinson, who was never exactly a portrait of quarterback accuracy, is banged up this week, which has led to extended playing time for the inexperienced Devin Gardner.  As the old adage goes, if you’ve got two quarterbacks, you’ve really got none.  Look for the Huskers to notch an important victory in Ann Arbor this weekend.

Nebraska 27 Michigan 24

Phil: Michigan (-3)
Nebraska has been one of the most confusing teams for me all year. You would think a Bo Pelini team would have a stout defense, yet they got blasted by Wisconsin, let OSU score a ton of points, and loss to Northwestern. You would also think that Burkhead and T Magic could control the clock and wear teams down, but I don't see them dominating inferior opponents either. Michigan has a good defense, with a bunch of athletes, and then there is little #16 back there, who I will be hard pressed to pick against.

Michigan 27 Nebraska 20

USC (+15) at Oregon

Jeremy: USC (+15)
The Trojans sound like they're a little banged up going into this one, but 15 is too many.

Oregon 37  USC 28

Jimmy: USC (+15)
Well, by the commutative property of wins, USC’s 3 point OT loss to Stanford equates to a 24 point loss at the hands of the Ducks.  But USC’s speed matches up a little better against the Flying Water Fowl.  With no PAC-12 title game to prepare for (a shame given the alternatives stumbling to win the division) and no bowl game on the horizon, this game in Autzen is USC’s de facto BCS showdown.  The kitchen, microwave, toaster, dishwasher and even the sink are getting thrown at Oregon to remind America not to sleep on ‘SC.  Still don’t think they win, but they cover the 2 TD+ spread. 

Oregon 48  USC 41

Mike: USC (+15)
It’s taken 10 games, but I have finally come around to USC.  Although I was extremely disappointed after our loss to USC and I assumed that Stanford and Oregon would both annihilate them, it appears that the Trojans are indeed a credible outfit.  Oregon waxed USC in Los Angeles last year and the Ducks are rounding into championship form, especially on defense, so a blowout is certainly not out of the question.   Nonetheless, USC is a better team than last year, primarily due to the improved play of Matt Barkley, and they should be able to score enough points to cover this hefty spread.

Oregon 44 USC 31

Phil: Oregon (-15)
Chip Kelly is at his best when his speed can dominate a game. Stanford was a good matchup for Oregon, as their strength was no match for the Ducks' speed. It was only my hatred for Alabama that let me miss that pick. This week, USC also has speed, but they only dress like 50 players and I can easily see Oregon scoring late and Kelly getting his ridiculous 2 pt conversion to cover. Plus, he knows that style points will count as there could be a bunch of teams with 1 loss vying for title game spots.

Oregon 47 USC 27

Kansas State (+9) at Texas

Jeremy: Kansas State (+9)
The battle between two Big XII teams who are nowhere near as good as their rankings suggest. I have no idea who's going to win this game, but I can almost guarantee you it’s going to be a close one.

Texas 34  Kansas St. 31

Jimmy: Kansas State (+9)  Lock of the Week
What am I missing here?  Texas doesn’t have a QB yet Mack Brown trusts and doesn’t have an RB available without a doctor’s permission slip.  Bill Snyder’s team very narrowly missed knocking off the indestructible OSU force.  Kansas State has found a way to make every game close and exciting (except a behind the woodshed game vs. OU).  They're 7-2 against the spread on the season.  Texas has lost to all 3 teams they've played with a pulse.  So why are the Wildcats 9 point dogs?  I’m capitalizing on the Dangerfield treatment and riding the Collin Klein Extravaganza to an outright victory in Austin.

Kansas State 34  Texas 27

Mike: Kansas State (+9)  Lock of the Week
While Kansas State seemed to be a fraud after its embarrassing home defeat against Oklahoma, the Wildcats have acquitted themselves nicely in the past two weeks against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.  Meanwhile, anyone who dared to suffer through Gus Johnson’s screaming to watch Texas last week was able to witness a team with severe quarterback issues, as David Ash and Case McCoy struggled mightily against a pedestrian Missouri team.  Texas could benefit this week from the return of one or both of their starting running backs, Bergeron and Brown, though I suspect that the offensive problems will continue in Austin.  By contrast, Kansas State is clicking on all cylinders under do-it-all quarterback Collin Klein, so an outright upset may be in the cards.

Kansas State 28 Texas 27

Phil: Kansas St (+9)  Lock of the Week
Am I reading this correctly? Is this a perfect example of blue-bloodism? Or is this Vegas realizing that Texas has a huge following of looney fans that will love their team at home against anyone?? I would have taken K St in this game as a 9 point favorite.

K St 28 Texas 10

Oklahoma (-14.5) at Baylor

Jeremy: Oklahoma (-14.5)  Lock of the Week
The Sooners are on a mission to try and fight their way into the title picture, and the only way they're going to do so is by annihilating their competition.  Baylor started out hot this year, but is on the verge of collapse, and Landry Jones and Co. will provide the necessary push to knock them right over the edge.

Oklahoma 55  Baylor 20

Jimmy: Oklahoma (-14.5)
It’s hard not to like Baylor.  Unless you’re of the staunch, old guard, defense is the foundation of everything mentality and teams that ignore/refuse/appear to play 9 on 11 don’t deserve your respect.  If you fall in this category, you probably have other underlying issues.  But if you can appreciate an overachieving small, private religious institution duking it out with huge, resource-rich state schools who happen to be led by charismatic field generals with slick nicknames, then Baylor is the team for you.  RGIII is an entertainer at heart and will do his best to keep things interesting Saturday.

Meanwhile, despite losing their starting RB and one of the best collegiate receivers ever, the Sooners could score on the Bears with Norman’s intramural champs.  Landry Jones will push 500 yards spreading the love to The Pips (yes, that means Ryan Broyles = Gladys Knight…not the most anatomically correct comparison, but a star nonetheless).  BCS is still on Bob Stoops’ radar and a convincing win in Waco will keep them on path to an epic Bedlam matchup. 

Oklahoma 57  Baylor 35

Mike: Baylor (+14.5)
As Oklahoma sat at home healing up for its stretch run, Baylor needed a furious fourth quarter rally to force overtime, thereby avoiding an ignominious defeat to lowly Kansas.  In addition, Oklahoma has been quite reliable through the years in its familiar role as a double digit favorite.  Given my performance this year, however, I think it’s time to channel my inner George Costanza and do the exact opposite of my natural inclination.

Oklahoma 41 Baylor 31

Phil: Baylor (+14.5)
Interesting game for Stoops' club. One last hurdle before Bedlam and a huge matchup with OSU. This is not a game you wanna sleep on either. It is an away game and RG3 can light it up. Admittedly, when playing the upper echelon teams on the road, RG3 struggles, but this game is in the friendly confines of notoriously loud Floyd Casey Stadium. I think OU will win, but it will be close.

Oklahoma 44 Baylor 35

Bonus Picks

Jeremy: Akron @ Buffalo (-11.5)
Staying with my Zips this week.  The Rob Ianello farewell tour is going quite well, thank you.

Jimmy:Miami (-1.5) @ South Florida
The Bulls peaked during the 1st half of their 1st game of the season.  Sadly, it was at ND's expense.  A 4-game losing streak against the "vaunted" Big East gauntlet of opposition is clinically referred to as backwards progress.  Miami will like nothing better than to remind South Florida there's only one team that matters south of Gainesville and it's the Canes.  

Miami 33  USF 20

Mike: Arizona (+10.5) over Arizona State
Does any team repel success quite like Arizona State?  With USC’s bowl ban, there is no reason why the Sun Devils shouldn’t have already clinched the woeful Pac-12 South, but here we are.  Arizona has just two wins this season and they are coming off an embarrassing defeat at Colorado, so there’s no apparent reason to pick the Wildcats here.  Still, it’s a rivalry game and ASU is equal parts injured and mentally shaky.  Will we see more extra point hijinks in this year’s installment of the Territorial Cup?  I, for one, hope so.

Arizona 35 Arizona State 34

Phil: Virginia (+17) @ FSU
Hasn't this game been played already this year? All these ACC teams other than Va Tech and Miami run together for me. When does basketball season start? Has FSU covered once this year? Why all the questions? Who cares?

FSU 24 Virginia 17

Last Week
Dan: 4-2 (- Lock of Week)
Jeremy: 4-2 (+)
Jimmy: 3-3 (-)
Mike: 2-4 (-)
Phil: 5-1 (+)

Season To Date
Dan:39-24 (8-3)
Jeremy: 38-25-1 (7-4)
Jimmy: 36-25-3 (8-3)
Mike: 28-35-1 (6-4-1)
Phil: 35-27-1 (7-3-1)


Jimmy said...

Came across a fun tidbit today. The esteemed Bo Schembechler had a career bowl record of 5-12 with Michigan.


Dan said...

Can't miss a week with out any picks!
I am stuck on PSV and Ajax, though Robin Van Persie did start his career with Feyenoord.

As for the picks:

Nebraska +3
USC +15
Kansas State +9
Stanford -20
OSU -6.5 (lock of the week)

Notre Dame 38 Boston College 13