Thursday's To Do List:
1. Stuff face.
2. Watch Pro football.
3. Watch college football (on split screen or second TV as required).
4. Prepare for Friday and Saturday football.
The games of Week 13***:
1. Texas A&M +13 at Texas
UT wants a big victory to ease the sting of their loss to k-state. Good thing for the Longhorns that KU, the team that routed UT's conquerors by 19 points (should have been 41), is not on their schedule this year. As for this game, UT is at home-and that makes all the difference. That and the Big 12 refs they carry in their pockets like so many nickels and dimes. . .
2. LSU at Arkansas (Pick)
LSU has nothing to lose, which makes them dangerous: i.e., Les Miles can't choke. Arkansas is at least in the BCS Imaginary Championship discussion, which gives it something to lose. I'll take the loose talented team over the tight home team.
3. Colorado +14 at Nebraska
On the first day after Thanksgiving , Las Vegas gave to me. . .
4. Oregon +3 at Oregon St
The Beavers are tough at home. Ask USC.
5. KU +7 at Mizzou
I spent a number of paragraphs last week explaining why k-state's victory over UT and four bucks would get them a cup of coffee at Starbucks. This week, the shoe is on the other foot. KU takes to the road to play a hated rival seven days after a glorious victory that has raised everyone's hopes and expectations.
First, KU's opponent is not on a roll-or even semi-roll-itself. It is in the midst of a downward spiral in a bottomless pit.
Second, they are coached by Gary Pinkel. There is no reason to believe that he has the leadership traits necessary to right the ship and get the Tigers back on the winning track.
Third, if Mark Mangino has demonstrated nothing else in his tenure at KU, it is that he can prepare for a big game better than Pinkel. And that he can get his team to play hard every game without regard to what happened the week before. They never give up. They never let up.
Well, with the exception of the UT game last year.
This will not be anything like the UT game. It won't be a rout unless KU is doing the routing.
Can Mizzou win? They have the motivational edge. In addition to being a desperate team trying to salvage its season, they must beat KU Saturday or they will have lost five straight games to the Jayhawks-because if the streak reaches 4 Saturday, they are not going to break KU's hold on them next fall in Lawrence.
Not that KU has no motivation. The Hawks have the opportunity to nail down a bowl bid-and, perhaps, a decent one. Lose this game, and the giveaways to Toledo, Baylor, and A&M will come home to roost. Emphasis on HOME-as in For the Holidays.
On balance, this game should be a pick--although Mizzou -2 would be understandable because of the venue.
KU +7 is better than any bargain Best Buy or Circuit City is offering this weekend, no matter how early you get out Friday morning.
6. Oklahoma -6 at Okie St
The Bedlam series is in Stillwater this year. OU wins, but the homestanding Bedlammers hang around to the end:
7. South Florida +20.5 at West Virginia
I have made some hay this fall with USF. They are a respectable and under-rated team. They are so good, they almost beat KU. WVU"s offense, however, is rolling like a bowling ball down a luge track. Get out of their way or get bowled over. I'm thinking 45-17.
8. Syracuse +14.5 at Rutgers
Rutgers obviously was not worthy of playing in the imaginary national championship game. Just thinking about what Ohio St would do to them brings to mind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fortunately, the Scarlet Knights are playing Syracuse, a team not worthy of being in any game, imaginary or REAL.
9. Louisville -11.5 at Pitt
Call Pitt butter, because the Panthers are on a roll.
NOT! NOT Even at home.
That joke kills in Kazakhstan.
10. North Carolina -7 at Duke
Like MOST basketball schools, these two teams are anxiously awaiting the end of football season. Wouldn't you just hate to be a fan of a one dimensional sports program like these? As for this pathetic excuse for a football game, Duke better win, because they have nothing but a long, cold winter in front of them in Cameron Indoor Stadium-especially vis a vis UNC.
11. South Carolina +5.5 at Clemson
Hoping that Steve Spurrier wants this one half as much as he wanted Florida.
12. Florida -9.5 at Florida St
How far has Florida St fallen? The head coach's son can't even keep his job.
13. Georgia Tech +2 at Georgia
The Ramblin' Wreck might be a heck of a bunch of engineers, but they are a hcek of an inconsistent football team. Unfortunately, I have had little success with their games this year, expecting them to be good the weeks they stink, and expecting them to stink the weeks they look like world-beaters. There isn't a more inconsistent, maddening team in the land.
Unless it's Georgia.
Since this game is being played between the hedges, I will go with:
14. Arizona St +3.5 at Arizona
AU is the PAC 10's version of KU: Bringin' it strong late in the season.
15. Notre Dame +7 at Southern Cal
Southern Cal makes its claim to the other spot in the Imaginary Championship Game.
Lose Tigers, lose to the Big Blue
You're in the big time when you play KU
Throw the ball away and have no fear
Today the Hawks will grab your tail and kick your rear
So lose Tigers, lose to the Big Blue
We'll score many points and you'll score few
We will stomp you til you moan and groan
And you'll wish we'd stayed at home.
_______________________________________________________________***As always: 1. These picks are for entertainment purposes only. 2. You get what you pay for. 3. There are no refunds.