BCO's College Football TV Viewing Guide
Correction: LSU is +6 vs Auburn
I’m bringing a full sixer to your living room this week. It’s tastier than last week’s sampler too. Keep your remotes in hand and be ready to start flipping at 3:30 and again at 8:00. A disturbing trend over the last decade is the lack of quality games at noon. Due to TV maximizing viewers, almost all the big time games are at 3:30 or later on Saturdays. To make it worse, this season has yielded a bad crop of Thursday night games. Trying to keep up with three games worth watching at the same time is a bit annoying. Speaking of crappy nooners, our Hokies face the doookies as the
Jefferson Pilot ACC Network game of the week. The Hokie O will likely pile on the points and I expect the D will look a lot better this week with more favorable matchups. In two weeks the rest of the Hokie games will mean something, both in conference and nationally again. The Gobblers will be back in the Six Pick soon!
Saturday, October 23rd
6 LSU +6 at 4 Auburn 3:30 pm CBS
LSUfreek's oldie but goodie of the Madhatter
OK $EC fans, I know you expect ESPN College Gameday to travel to the southland every weekend. I get it, I get it, you have the biggest package and you get angry if you can't flaunt the parts off at every opportunity. When the worldwide leader renames the show to ESPN SEC Gameday, I will be with you, until then remember it's a nationwide attraction.
On to the game, where the best offense in the $EC belongs to Auburn, while the best defense is manned by the Bayou Bengals. LSU is flat out nasty against the run giving up an average of 84 yards a game, meanwhile Auburn gains an average of 284 yards on the ground. This is going to be a treat to watch, both are ranked 6th respectively in those categories–a true unstoppable force versus an immovable object. While it's true Auburn's defense isn't good, it's through the air where they are susceptible the most as teams have found it hard to run on the Tigers all season. Ruh-roh Jordan Lee, Jarrett Jefferson or whoever OC Gary Crowton throws out there. LSU will need a big day from punt returner Patrick Peterson to give them good field position and possibly points.
What to look for: The exact opposite of last week's Auburn-Arkansas showdown. This will be a low scoring, ugly slug fest. Both teams shutting down the run and forcing each other to win via the pass, advantage: Auburn. The Mad Hatter doing something crazy and unexpected, advantage: who the hell knows.
Pick: LSU getting points. It's too hard to call a winner as both have flaws that have to catch up to them eventually.
13 Wisky at 15 Iowa -5.5 3:30 pm ABC/ESPN
This is as good game as any this week, but not getting the pub, watch it if you can. It's old school football, none of that highfalutin spread offense here. Three yards and a cloud of dust is still the mantra at these two programs. When played right, and it's perfected by these two programs, it is absolutely fun to watch. It won't be sexy, but those handful of badass broken runs right up the gut or play-action big gainers will mean something in what is likely to be a low scoring affair. This game is huge in the Big1+10, lose it and fall behind the winner, tOSU and Michigan State, trading a trip to Pasadena for San Antonio. Statistically these two teams are almost mirror images of each other, so it's going to come down to who commits fewer turnovers and makes the least amount of mistakes.
What to look for: Wisconsin having a slight let down after their big win versus then No. 1 tOSU and taking a half to get it going again. Iowa feeding off the home crowd and QB Ricky Stanzi continuing to play lights out (13 TDs 2 INTs)
Pick: Iowa to to get a late score to cover the spread.
16 Nebraska -5.5 at 14 Okie State 3:30 pm ABC/ESPN
This game is about respect, Nebraska getting theirs back, Okie State earning it. The Cornhuskers got pwned by Tejas, a team they desperately wanted to beat as a last FU on their way to the Big1+10. I'm really interested to see if the Huskers rebound, or if the Longhorns beat them twice. Can T-Magic find another trick? Will Muschamp exposed his previous one, the quarterback keeper as the only option in the Husker's spread attack. It's Okie States big chance to show they are a good team worthy of a high ranking. None of the the Cowboy wins are particularly noteworthy, so this is their first chance at a statement W. It is another game of strength against strength. OSU gains almost double the yards (535.33 YPG) as the Blackshirts give up (274.33 YPG). Both rank in the top three of their respective pass efficiency categories (69.14% 21 TDs 9 INTs to 47.37% 4 TDs 11 INTs). The Okie State defense is pretty bad and God awful against the pass. However, they are pretty solid versus the run, look for them to play to their strength and dare Nebraska to take the bait, the chum that is their secondary.
What to look for: T-Magic to do a little more than pull bunnies out of his helmet and getting his mojo back versus the Cowboys' run defense. Nebraska won't totally stop Okie State but they will slow them down some and force a few turnovers.
Pick: Nebraska to rebound and win by a couple of scores.
UNC +6.5 at da U 7:30 pm ESPN2
The ACC matchup of the day as the University of Non Compliance faces Backulation (H/T Jim Alderson.) The loser can almost write off a trip to Charlotte to represent the Coastal in the ACCCG. Give Butch Davis credit for lots of things, paying for top talent, playing the "Ida know" card to perfection and keeping his eligible guys playing hard and well. Had all the Carolina Blue players been on the up and up, this team would be undefeated. A previously maligned UNC passing game (102nd in '09, 35th in '10) is doing very well even with missing All-Conference WR Greg Little. QB TJ Yates is having a good final season. However, the suspensions has hurt the Tarheels' defense. Without their two best and highest paid defensive linemen: DT Marvin Austin and DE Robert Quinn, teams have been able to run effectively on the heels (69th). Even with multiple starters missing time, the UNC secondary has not missed a beat already accounting for 11 interceptions with a couple more sure to come this week courtesy of 'Canes QB Jacory Harris. This game doesn't affect Butch Davis' tenure one bit, his die was cast years ago when he hired runner/coach John Blake and his son's "tutor". However, this might be a must win game for Miami's Randy Shannon. I am not suggesting he will be let go this season if things go south, but this could easily be the game that warms his seat. Recruits are noticing their struggles, and in South Beach that, not tickets sold, is the program's life blood.
What to look for: Miami will take advantage of the Tarheels depleted front four and run more than usual. UNC to out perform the more touted Hurricanes passing attack. To that note, Jacory being Jacory he will throw at least one crucial interception, while TJ Yates won't.
Pick: UNC getting the points and winning outright.
1 Oklahoma -3 at 11 Mizzou 8:00 pm ABC
Is Mizzou for real? We will find out on Saturday night. Vegas sure seems to think so, only making OU a field goal favorite. Like last week in Madison, it's now Columbia's turn to host the No. 1 team and turn electric. Can the Tigers live in the moment, both feeding off and focusing all the energy and excitement? Will No. 1 go down for the third straight week?
Even at 6-0, this is Mizzou's first true test. The tough evaluation will come when they are on defense, trying to stop that Sooners' offense. The OU offense as good as they are (17th overall) might be statistically underrated, having played two of the best defenses in the nation (FSU, Texas). The Mizzou offense should be able to effectively move the ball on OU and their alarmingly bad defense (71st overall). This has all the makings of a shootout or what has become a normal Big 12 game.
What to look for: The battle tested Sooners to weather the storm early and roll up yards and points on Missouri. The Tigers will also do some damage, but I get the feeling the OU defense is going to start to playing better and more to their talent level.
Pick: OU wins by more than a touchdown.
Air Force +18.5 at 5 TCU 8:00 pm CBSC
Hey everybody, I snuck in non automatic qualifier game. Look, I don't know a whole bunch about either team, I guess that makes me a BCS snob or something. What I do know is I love the Air Force Flex Bone offense and the annually stout Horned Frog defense. As most of you know, I really enjoy the old school option offenses, even more so when run by the service academies, with their undersized players who never take a play off. Head Coach Gary Patterson is every bit the defensive mind, Bud Foster, Bo Pelini or Nick Saban is, but without the prestige. His teams deliver every year. So when they face each other, I try to watch if I can. Senor Frog QB Andy Dalton has been around forever and the last two seasons he has been very efficient (2,756 yards 23 TDs 8 INTs in '09, 2,242 11 TDs 5 INTs in '08), not that I look for much passing versus Air Force when it's so easy to run on them (91st overall). Likewise, you can be certain Air Force is going to run as they lead the nation in rushing (346.86 YPG). This game could be over in two and half hours, so tune in early.
What to look for: A lot of running and a more physical TCU team to wear down the Falcons.
Pick: Air Force will keep the game closer than expected.
What I'm drinking on Saturday.
Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
Busting out of my regional trend and going for a beer that drinks like a wine... something the blue bloods from Durham can appreciate. A 12% abv brown ale aged in Paraguayan Palo Santo wood meant to be drank slowly.