First, a correction. Last week I stated that I had gone 60-0 with my picks while PhogBlog was down due to technical problems. During that time, I had shared my picks with Jeremy, and his recollection was not entirely consistent with mine. So he asked me to re-check my figures. I did, and, after further review, it turns out that I was mistaken. My record for the four weeks was actually 33-26-1. My apologies for this inadvertent miscalculation.
My record last week was 10-4-1. You could look it up.
My record for the season is 82-55-3.
The games of Week 11*:
1. KU -5.5 at Okie St
This is the third straight week that I have wondered about the respect KU is receiving from Vegas. However, I have profited the previous two times by taking the Hawks anyway.
This week, though, the boys in Nevada are REALly stretching the limit. They are making the Jayhawks give almost a TD on the Road to a team that, for thirty minutes last year, made KU 76, NU 39 seem like a photo finish between two evenly matched competitors.
And that game was in Lawrence. Why would this year’s game be any different in Stillwater.
For one, Okie St does not appear to have improved over the course of the time. At least not to the same extent KU has.
The Cowboys have been dominated by Troy. Not Sparta, mind you. Troy.
They have blown a 17 point half-time lead in a loss to A&M and its lame duck coach.
But those two games were on the Road. Strange things happen on the Road.
At Home, Okis St survived a shoot-out with Tech only because the Red Raiders dropped a certain game winning TD pass on the game’s final play.
They survived a shoot-out with k-state by kicking a field goal on the game’s final play.
And they blew a 21 point fourth quarter lead while going scoreless themselves to lose what should have been a blow-out (not a shoot-out) to Texas.
So Okie St and their adult coach are vulnerable even in Slim Pickin’s Stadium.
And any team that can score TD’s on 10 consecutive tries is well-equipped to win a shoot-out.
In addition, KU’s defense is better equipped, both talent and preparation-wise, to at least make OSU work for their scores this year. There might even be an occasional three and out, as opposed to three and PAT’s.
With all this said, does KU have enough manpower and moxie to win this game?
Before the season, I conceded this game as a certain L. A few weeks ago, I assessed our chances of winning to be 42%.
Because of the problems Okie St has had putting anyone other than the dregs of the conference away, because Touchdown Todd has truly become a TD machine, and because KU is one hard-nosed group of competitors with high football IQ’s, I now rate the Hawks chances in this game at 51.3%.
So, yes, I think KU stays undefeated.
But by 5.5?
OSU has had their three conference Home games decided on the final play of the game against three pretty good teams. KU’s Road wins have been by 6, 5, and 8 points.
Kudos to Vegas. They did a nice job on this game.
My gut says KU by a field goal. But since the Hawks have beaten the spread every week thus far this season, I will ride this bird until the sun sets.
2. A&M +18.5 at Mizzou
How many points would Vegas need to dangle from its odds board to entice me into thinking of taking the dysfunctional entity that is the Texas Asinine Masochistic football team on the Road? Mizzou gets to pad its numbers against an uninspired opponent as it continues on a collision course with KU in Kansas City.
3. k-state -7.5 at Nebraska
How many points would Vegas need to dangle from its odds board to entice me into thinking of taking the dysfunctional entity that is “N is for Nowledge” U at Home. What I would REALly like to see is a game between NU and TAM: Winner keeps its coach. Or would that be loser?
4. Texas Tech +6.5 at Texas
Even Mack Brown is smart enough to stay out of a shoot-out with Graham Harrell and Co. UT methodically wears Tech down at Home.
5. Colorado -5 at Iowa St
I would buy this line in Boulder. But the Cyclones have played solid three weeks running. At best, this game is a toss-up. Five points makes it easy money.
6. Michigan St +4 at Purdue
Two fairly equal teams. If you give Purdue 3-4 points for the Home field, it’s a dead even game. If you value the Boilers’ home field as worth 5 points, you take:
7. Michigan -2.5 at Wisconsin
Michigan’s march to the Top 10 comes to a screeching halt.
8. Illinois +15 at Ohio St
Like it or not, Ohio St, our second undefeated team of the week, just seems to keep improving—like KU. They might get their come-uppance before the regular season ends, but it won’t be in Columbus.
9. Air Force -2.5 at Notre Dame
Notre Dame a Home Dog to Air Force? Because the Fly Boys don’t have a 44 year drought and to end:
10. Florida St +6.5 at Virginia Tech
Florida St is another improving team, albeit more slowly than Ohio St and KU. Last week they beat BC on the Road. They are likely to at least stay close to the Hokies.
11. Arkansas at Tennessee (Pick)
Darren McFadden, the best RB this side of Adrian Peterson, is hitting his stride.
12. Kentucky -3 at Vanderbilt
Kentucky? That’s a basketball school.
13. Florida -6.5 at South Carolina
Gotta like Steve Spurrier getting a TD and half a PAT at Home vs. the team of his youth. And middle-age.
14. Southern Cal -4 at Cal
This once looked like the National Game of the Year. Instead, that title is more and more looking applicable to the Border War (that’s right, Lew, I said “WAR”—put that in your wimpified pipe and smoke it) in the Home of the Cheeeeefs. As for the defrocked contest in Berkeley, what has USC done to make anyone think they can go on the Road and beat a good (if not as good as anticipated) team of Cal Bears?
15. Fresno St +17 at Hawaii
The third and last of the nation’s undefeated teams. Frsno has a history of playing top teams tough. Hawaii has a history of blowing by anyone who ventures into their island lair.
*For entertainment purposes only. You get what you pay for. There are no refunds.