We are approaching the halfway mark in what has been a disappointing season for Hokies, but a solid one for the sport. I'm here to tell you to forget about VT's difficulties and think about the positives at the moment:
- uva has gone back to the algroh level of welp
- FSU is not back
- Someone forgot to tell the midwesterners, that ugly football is not part of the ACC/B1G Ten challenge
- Lane Kiffin is still an ass ... and still without a ring
- Tennessee is stuck in perpetual mediocrity
- The NCAA is about to blast Miami 40 years back in time
- Think of all that extra money you will have for Christmas without a Bowl trip expenditure
As everyone has noticed by now, Fox has become a big time player in college football. They may not have the quantity of ESPN, but arguably they have the two most exciting brands in the Pac-12 and Big XII at their dispoal. This season has been awash in very good night games on as many as 5 channels, ABC, FOX, NBC, ESPN and ESPN2. Almost always two of those primetime games have been compelling, often more, usually led by whichever Fox game Gus Johnson and Charles Davis are announcing. That broadcast has become must-watch TV. and with frequent Erin Andrews in studio popins, I haz happy. The only downside is the nooners tend to be hot trash and the 3:30 games are weaker than before, save the CBS SEC offering. I can more than live with that trade off.
Oklahoma -3.5 vs Texas 12:00 pm ABC
The Red River Shootout (Dallas)
Hey, look everyone it's a nooner featuring the former powers of the Big 12. Always weird to see such an elite game kickoff this early. You can count on one hand the number of rivalry games better than this. Whether it's the visual of the Texas State fair surrounding the historic, but dumpy Cotton Bowl or that 50% of the fans are in Burnt Orange and the other 50% in Crimson, it's a beautiful sight to behold. Considering they fry errything at the fair, I'm sure that smell permeates everyone's clothes during the walkin. Git er done! To further cement this as redneck heaven, the winning school gets to keep the gold ten gallon hat as a trophy. Murica.
Pick: Texas getting the points, winning. I know OU is going to test the Longhorn defense, but they aren't WVU and something about this Sooner team isn't quite right. The team has been off since Ryan Broyles got hurt last year. Tejas on the other hand is trending up, even after last week's speed bump.
Kansas State -6.5 at Iowa State 12:00 pm FX
Someone tell Cyclones fans, that hot women don't have to clown to get attention.
Everyone has that old, boring uncle that likely only says 10 words a year to you. However, when you break something or need advice on a life decision, you know he is there for you. That uncle fixes it perfectly like it was his problem, he gives you sage advice and is perfectly content with a simple thank you before fading into the background again. In college football, that uncle is Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. Coach Snyder, I thank you, more importantly K-State thanks you.
Pick: Cyclones getting the points. I love me some Bill Snyder, but I also love me some Paul Rhoads. Rhoads' defensive whack job in 2007 while the DC at Pitt to keep DickRod and WVU out of the BCSCG ... still gives me a stiffy. This game will be close.
Stanford at Notre Dame -7.5 3:30 pm NBC
If you listen quietly in South Bend, you are hearing the echoes being awoken. Notre Dame fans have to be giddy this season. A dominant defensive front seven and a return to the running game, a Fightin' Irish tradition leading the way. I'm sure most fans after 20 years of average football are keeping their hopes in check, but if the Irish can beat Stanford, a worthy foe on both sides of the line of scrimmage the bandwagon will be full up once again. ND arguably has the hardest schedule in the nation, 4 losses this year looked likely, but get by this game and they finish no worse than 10-2 in a deserved BCS game.
Pick: Stanford getting the points. Notre Dame isn't going undefeated and likely will lose 2 of 3 between this game, OU and USC. Not many points will be scored in this one however and it's line strength vs line strength. Slow plowing ahead for both offenses, I think.
USC -12.5 at Washington 7:00 pm FOX
This game was almost the 'eers visiting Texas Tech, but I think we all know the destruction that is going to take place in Lubbock. Instead, why not test the Gus Johnson effect. Can the out matched Huskies keep it close or even beat the mighty Trojans? Worth remembering, U-Dub head Coach Steve Sarkisian and USC head coach Lane Kiffin were coaches at USC for years and the masterminds behind the Trojans offense in 2005. They know each other and their tendencies very well. You would think Washington would be in big trouble, but In GUS I trust?
Pick: USC laying the points. The Gus Johnson theory says I'm a moron, but UDub doesn't have the type of team that can really give USC problems.
South Carolina at LSU -2.5 8:00 pm ESPN
Don't worry, I got this, baby.
No rest for the weary in Old Man football. For Sakerlina this is the sammich game between UGA and Florida ... at night in Death Valley even! Damn, what did Steve Spurrier do to piss of Mike Slive? If the Gamecocks go through all 3 opponents unscathed, that will be a remarkable achievement. I'll let them get through this game before I start blowing smoke back up the Ole Ball Coach's ass ... again. Les Miles on the other hand, I just don't know. I fully understand, using superior personnel to bludgeon the other team until they submit, but can you allow your offensive coordinator to call more than 4 plays? The LSU offense reminds me of Michigan and Tennessee schemes under Lloyd Carr and Phil Fulmer, poorly designed and often predictable, looking great versus Indiana or Ole Miss, not so much against teams with similar personnel. If the Tigers have any offensive wrinkles, I recommend not saving them for Bama or the Tigers will have their corn dogs handed to them by Jadeveon Clowney and company.
Pick: Sakerlina getting points, winning in death valley at night. LSU has to show me something on offense for me to pick them vs a quality SEC team. I done seen it from the Ole Ball Coach, who has that arrogant, cocky look about him again. This is good for college football, you guys.
Texas A&M -7.5 at Louisiana Tech 9:15 pm ESPNU
Thanks to Hurricane Isaac this game was postponed from week one until this weekend. Aggie Coach Kevin Sumlin, the fair man that he is had suspended starting linebacker Steven Jenkins for this game and this game only, not the second game versus Florida. So six games later, Jenkins is finally taking his violation of team rules from over the summer. This shows to me that Sumlin gets it and is ready to succeed in the SEC. Not playing the Bulldogs may have hurt the Aggies in testing their new systems against a "warmup" opponent before facing Florida, but in reality it likely saved the Aggies a loss. Louisiana Tech is good and could possibly a BCS buster. This will not be an easy win for the SEC. Six degrees of separation note, Bulldogs head coach Sonny Dykes and OC Tony Franklin are in the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach/Dana Holgorsen coaching tree. Yup, all offense, no defense. This team gave up 38 points to uva, so I think we can reasonably expect aTm QB Johnny Manziel to continue to look like everybody's backyard football All-American. No fret LT will also drop upwards of 35 of the Aggies. This is our shootout game of the week.
Pick: Louisiana Tech getting the points. The best bet is probably the over, but I think aTm has this offense down and will win, but it will be very close. Had this game been the first of the season, I would have gone Bulldogs for the outright win.
Beer of the Week
DC Brau Corruption in the can will be my #beercontrolfather tailgate beer of choice this weekend. It will be my first time partaking of this IPA, so I can't wait to try, but considering the beer's name, I can't think of a better choice for an election year.
Remember, these picks are against the spread.
OU -3.5 vs Tejas
KState -6.5 at ISU
Stanford at ND -7.5
Southern Cal -12.5 at UDub
Sakerlina at LSU -2.5
aTm -7.5 at Louisiana Tech
Don't let the Hokies disappointing play or a bad record in the Six Pick get you down. Make your picks, talk some smack, give me your weekend drink list and have some fun.