It's week eight of the regular season, and that means we are at the halfway point. The optimism surrounding the Hokies season opener feels like a thousand beers ago. It's been a pretty crazy season, lots of carnage leaving few undefeated teams left. My gut says there will not be any undefeated teams to end the season, making the scramble for the top 2 BCS spots even madder than usual. Could two more undefeated teams go down this weekend?
It's time for the weekly ESPN Gameday watch update, and you guessed it, they are going back to the SEC. The World Wide Leader might soon run out of SEC ass kissing material at this rate. Most of these interviews are fluffer material, however I can't wait until ESPN try to soften angry Will Muschamp this week. He's an intense, hot headed dick and that's what I like about him. Coach Boom is all that is right in college football, and it would be a shame to white wash his natural personality. I don't want him to be human, he's a laser eyed cyborg ready to terminate refs. I beg of you Gameday, don't sanitize him.
(h/t to friend of the program @governorofdixie for the image)
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of Beano Cook. The only ESPNU must listen to podcast was Beano's weekly spot with Ivan Maisel on Wednesdays. In my formative college football days, Beano was the face of ESPN's coverage and paved the way for Lee Corso. I remember him well, he was far more than just the Ron Powlus Heismans comment. I loved his wealth of college football knowledge, his humor and the fact he might be the only one in the media who said what he thought without worrying about political correctness. He was honest, and his love for the sport was honest, no one can ever doubt that. Those who knew him, honored him well this past week, each and every read or radio segment is worth your time. I promise you. I wish to be talked about like him when I pass. Carroll "Beano" Cook really was a treasure and will be sorely missed.
Oregon -9.5 at Arizona State 9:00 pm ESPN
Coming to a Girls Gone Wild DVD within months
I remember laughing when Pitt hired Todd Graham as their head coach two years ago. I thought he owed all his Tulsa success to his offensive coordinators, first Gus Malzahn and then Chad Morris. You all know the story, Pitt stank under Graham in his only year there. He hauled ass to Tempe as fast as he could and notified his team by a gutless text on his way to the airport. I laughed at ASU for hiring this coattail riding, no good, conman, knowing, KNOWING he would sink the Sun Devils in the depths of the Pac-12. Fast forward 10 months to the present and I'm currently seasoning a plate full of crow. The Sun Devils offense is legit, putting up a lot of yards through the air and ground. Their lone loss was to Mizzou in a tight contest. A win this week and they break into the top 25 with a bullet, and are likely the only true challenger to USC for the Pac-12 South title. For the love of all that is holy, lets hope not. In #goacc solidarity with our Pitt brethren, I hope Oregon depants the Arizona State.
Pick: Oregon covering. They will score, I believe they'll also defend.
LSU -3.5 at Texas A&M 12:00 pm ESPN
A helluva nooner for sure, I'd tell you to read Clay Travis for his ESPN conspiracy theories, but I'm not that much of an asshole. Both teams came away with big wins last weekend, but in different fashions. aTm wins in an Air Raid shootout against upstart Louisiana Tech, meanwhile LSU beats then top 5 Sakerlina in typical SEC fashion by ramming heads against each other for 60 minutes. What I can't figure out is which team benefits from the 11am kickoff, likely neither. If both teams are properly motivated, LSU dominates physically, but if LSU comes in satisfied after last week's victory, aTm could jump out to a quick lead. That would be optimal, if only to see Tiger's QB Zach Mettenberger have to lead the Tigers back.
Pick: LSU laying the points. I so badly want to pick aTm, I remember WVU's Air Raid putting up yards and points vs the Tigers last year. LSU doesn't have no. 7 to make gamebreaking plays for them now. Uggh, I'm being a sorry sack and going chalk.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State -14.5 12:00 pm FX
I know it's not a great game, but would you have rather me put VT at Clemson on here and made you pick that? I didn't think so. You'll get this Big 12 showdown and like it. Iowa State plays defense. Okie State plays offense, Pick one. Move on to the next game.
Pick: Iowa State getting the points. Defense.
South Carolina at Florida -3 3:30 pm CBS
Steve Spurrier, a BCO fave returns home to Florida for the 4th time as coach of Sakerlina. He won a Heisman at Florida in 1966 and built the Gators, a program that was under probation and had never won a SEC title in 57 years, into a powerhouse. In his 12 seasons in Gainesville, Spurrier's teams won a national championship, 6 SEC titles, and he coached a Heisman trophy winner. Without Spurrier, Urban Meyer doesn't win any national championships and Will Muschamp is in the midst of the process somewhere else. The Ole Ball Coach may coach in Columbia, SC now, but Spurrier still is Florida Football. I am sure when he walks into the Swamp (yup, he coined that nickname too) on Saturday he'll stop to look around, reminisce, and then a knowing smirk will appear on his face. He knows whose house it really is.
Everyone on the field and the stands knows this game likely decides who goes to Atlanta in December. They'll play like it, but who will win ...
- It's in the Swamp
- Physicalness: Florida > LSU > Sakerlina
- Sakerlina is tired after a murder's row stretch
- Sakerlina plays with extra intensity and passion, knowing it's do or die for the SEC East
- Even though Shaw is a limited passer, he's still better than Driskell
- The man whose house this is coaches the Cocks
Not that it needs to be said, but watching the coaches reactions for this game is going to be the best, the very best.
Pick: Sakerlina getting points. I can't explain it, OK I can, I have an Ole Ball Coach blind spot. That blindspot says they win outright . They'll come focused and very little separates the top of the SEC.
North Carolina -10.5 at Duke 7:00 pm ESPNU
Google Images search gave me this, seems right?
This is a tip of the cap to Coach Cutcliffe. Duke isn't good, but they aren't trash either. Cut gets everything out of them, but the Blue Devils are limited by personnel. He'll need all he can get and then some for this game. Thanks to Butch Davis and his recruiting "resources" UNC isn't nearly as limited by personnel. This is the biggest UNC vs Duke game that I can remember and to have it played under the lights makes it pretty special for a lot of people in the Triangle. I wonder if the famed Cameron Crazies will show up to cheer their football team. You could make the joke that they don't know much about football, but are you really going to tell me nerds from New Jersey know that much about hoops either? As long as some lame cheer sheet is handed out, they'll be fine.
Pick: UNC covering. If Duke couldn't handle the VT offensive line and JC Coleman they are in a world of trouble vs Carolina's big uglies and Gio Bernard.
Kansas State at West Virginia -2.5 7:00 pm FOX
For Americans everywhere I would like to personally thank Texas Tech for smashing the Cousins last week and keeping Gameday from having to show up in Morgahole. Sadly, this will not be enough to spare the lives of dozens and dozens of couches. Win or lose the neers will burn things and generally act like hooligans. Milan Puskar Stadium is going to be full of sauced fans and with Gus Johnson calling the action, it's can't miss TV. This will be a fantastic contrast in styles, with K-State controlling the ground and the clock while WVU wants to push the pace and air it out. Whoever can dictate tempo, probably wins. I don't think the Wildcats have the athletes to contain the Holgorsen Air Raid, but I know for certain the neers don't have any chance to stop KSU QB Collin Klein.
Pick: WVU covering. First a lot of points (duh) will be scored, if the totals stay in the 30's I like the KState's chances, if it pushes higher, the Eco kats aren't going to be able to keep up. In the end I am going with the typical college football rebound game for the home team. K-State will get the neers best game and couches will burn.
Beer of the Week
It's getting cooler out, I'm getting in the mood for a nice stout. This week it will be Southern Tier's Mokah Chocolate Coffee Stout It's been awhile, but it's an excellent sipper that gets better as it warms, the roasted coffee tones and hint of chocolate. I can already taste it.
Remember, these picks are against the spread.
Oregon -9.5 at Arizona State
LSU -3.5 at Texas A&M
Iowa State at Oklahoma State -14.5
South Carolina at Florida -3
North Carolina -10.5 at Duke
Kansas State at west virginia -2.5
Only halfway there, so plenty of time to make up ground.