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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Guest Column: Wang Says, Spice it Up!

Welcome back, faithful Homerism readers. The Wild Wang is happy to have you. The first two weeks have been good to this guest columnist, going an impressive 6-2 against the spread for the second week in a row. This doctor is beginning to think he may have entered the wrong profession. I may take the next few weeks to sample the many tasty sauces Buffalo Wild Wings has to offer, so I can make an informed decision once Homerism loses this bet.

I'm very excited to try out the newest option, Southwest Chipolte!

On a side note, if you haven’t had the chance to check out Fox’s newest hit television show, Hole in the Wall, I highly recommend it. Who knew such a simple concept could bring so much enjoyment? I haven’t stopped laughing at the show's preview featuring a rather chubby African-American woman attempting to contort her body through an oddly shaped hole in a moving wall. Her facial expressions and comments as the wall draws closer are priceless.

(Editor's Note: Homerism seconds this recommendation with a vengeance.)
On to the Big XII picks…

Oklahoma (-20) at Washington
Here's the Wild Wang view of OU so far. Last week’s victory over Cincinnati was somewhat of a roller coaster ride. On the bright side, the offense looked almost unstoppable. Welcome to the show, Ryan Broyles. Malcolm who? Sam Bradford continues to do nothing but impress. This despite the assertion by the ABC announcers early in the game that Bradford didn’t even rank in the top five Big XII QBs so far this year. That soon will change. Make no mistake, this Bearcat team is no pushover. Rushing for 200 yards and 400 yards passing is stuff PS3 games are made of.
On the other hand, last week had a bit of déjà vu also. Marshwan Gilyard was all over the field and the Sooner defense didn’t seem to have any answers. Too many big plays in the passing game and on special teams kept this game closer at half than it probably should have been. The D did put the clamps down in the second half, but one half of strong play won’t cut it against Missouri or Texas.

All in all, though, it’s hard to be too upset with last week’s result. At this point in the season, I expect personnel and schemes to continue to evolve. Fortunately, the Sooners are good enough to work out the kinks against a quality opponent such as Cincinnati.

On to Washington. Rough way to lose a game last week. As a Villanova basketball fan I know the feeling. Too often, referees hide behind the strict interpretation of the rule book to justify a silly penalty. The bottom line is the players should determine the outcome of the game, and there is a time for the refs to swallow the whistle, especially in a case when the game wasn’t even being played. What was lost here was the fact that the Huskies almost pulled off the upset against 15th-ranked BYU. Jake Locker has proven to be a dangerous dual-threat quarterback and the defense was able to force two turnovers. Despite the 0-2 record, Washington is not a team to be taken lightly.

This game was scheduled prior to the disaster against Oregon, so we get Pac-10 officials again. They won’t have the chance to alter this outcome.

The Pick: OU wins 45-20.
Homerism: Sooners by 28.
Kansas at South Florida (-3.5)
If not for the Ohio State-USC game, this contest would be getting much more attention by the national media. South Florida looks to help save face for the pathetic Big East. This matchup features two of the biggest media darlings from 2007. The Bulls have started 2-0 after gutting out an overtime victory over Central Florida last week. Matt Grothe threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns last week, while adding 50 yards on the ground. South Florida was aided by almost 150 yards worth of penalties against Central Florida.

The Mangina is out to prove this year’s Jayhawks are for real. After a slow start last week, Kansas got it going in the third quarter to take down Louisiana Tech 29-0. Todd Reesing continues to prove he belongs in the conversation of best Big XII quarterback after throwing for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns without an interception.

I have missed on the Jayhawks the first two weeks, time to reverse my fortune.
The Pick: Kansas wins straight up.
BH: Bulls.
Nevada at Missouri (-26)
Hard to ask for much more from Chase Daniel last week after he completed 16 out of 17 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns in less than one half of work. Interestingly, Coach Gary Pinkel decided to play highly touted quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the second half and went as far as to say he would play next week against Buffalo also. The running and passing game were equally effective last week while rolling to a 42-0 halftime lead.
Nevada gets its second straight Big XII opponent after holding its own last week against Texas Tech. The defense was surprisingly tough against the Red Raider passing game, holding Graham Harrell to under 300 yards passing and only one touchdown. They won’t have as much luck this week.
The Pick: The Wang is as high on the Tigers as any team in the country, Mizzou covers with ease.
BH: Nevada.
Missouri St. at Oklahoma St. (no line)
Who knew the Missouri Valley conference existed for football? Not me. Well, the Pokes get a chance to go up against a JV team when the Bears come to Stillwater. As predicted, there were plenty of fireworks last week when Houston made the trip to “The Boone.” Dez Bryant was unstoppable while picking up Big XII player of the week honors after racking up 236 yards and three touchdowns on nine catches. Kendall Hunter rushed for 210 yards on just 22 carries while finding the endzone twice. This was the kind of offense Poke fans were expecting this year. On the down side, the defense did allow 37 points and almost 500 total yards of offense.

Enter the Missouri State Bears, the panacea for what ails the Poke defense. The Bears are 0-1 after falling to Division II squad Washburn. Really? Washburn? Maybe the football team should take a look at adding Barry Hinson to the coaching staff; I hear he is available.

The sky is in the limit for the Pokes this week. This one gets out of hand early.
The Pick: Pokes roll.
BH: Pokes.
Iowa State at Iowa (-13.5)
The cyclones handed Dr. Wild Wang one of his loses last week when they beat up on Kent State by 20 points. With contributions from all aspects of the game, Iowa State was able jump on the Golden Flash early and come away with an easy win. A blocked a punt and two forced fumbles eventually turned into 21 points for Gene Chizik’s squad. The Cyclones did have a little trouble containing Kent quarterback Justin Edelman, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for 65 yards.
Iowa is 2-0 this year after two blowout wins against a cupcake schedule. Has any coach lost more luster in the past couple of years than Kirk Ferentz? Iowa is a pedestrian one game over .500 the past three seasons. Hard to make any real judgment as to whether Iowa is back this year considering the level of competition. Can’t ask them to do more than they have but there is still much to prove.
Always hard to call a rivalry game especially after Iowa St. pulled out the win last year.
The Pick: I am going with the Cyclones to cover this spread.
BH: ISU.
Washington State at Baylor (-1.5)
Baylor had the chance last week to be on the right side of a blowout after beating Northwestern State 51-6. Not exactly USC, but a win is a win. Washington State on the other hand has had the chance to be on the wrong side of two blowouts this far this season. Against Northwestern St., Baylor complied 308 yards by halftime, more than they had the entire game against Wake Forest. Robert Griffin was impressive in his first career start, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another.
Losing to a conference opponent by 63 points is never good. There haven’t been many positives to take away from the Cougars so far this season. The offense was only able to muster 167 total yards, while turning it over four times. Make no mistake; this is not a good team.

You may want to frame this, I may never say this again. I am confident the Bears will cover this spread easily.
The Pick: Baylor.
BH: Baylor.
New Mexico State at Nebraska (-25.5)
The Wild Wang owes the Cornhuskers one after they were able to score 21 fourth quarter points last week to barely cover the spread. In doing so, though, I came away unimpressed. It took a kickoff return in the fourth quarter by Niles Paul to give Nebraska some breathing room against an inferior opponent at home. Joe Ganz threw for 216 yards with one interception and no touchdowns, while leading rusher Roy Helu was only able to manage 59 yards on the ground. The defense allowed 353 yards, 40 more than the Nebraska offense.
What can I say about New Mexico State? This will be their first game of the season after Hurricane Gustav forced their opening game against Nicholls State to be cancelled. I don’t like a team who hasn’t seen the playing field yet against a team with 2 games experience… on the road nonetheless.
The Pick: I am going to take the Huskers.
BH: Nebraska.
SMU at Texas Tech (-36.5)
My thoughts on Texas Tech have already been documented here. Last week was somewhat of a disaster. I guess you can put on a spin on it and say that the defense and special teams proved they can be counted on to win games. Michael Crabtree was back putting up big numbers with 158 yards receiving, but Graham Harrell threw for “only” 297 yards and one touchdown.
June Jones has had a bit of a shaky start in Dallas this year, winning one and losing one. They were able to achieve victory over Texas State, but did give up 36 points in the process. The previous week saw the defense allow 56 points to Rice. Graham Harrell was 44 out of 59 for 419 yards and 4 touchdowns in last year’s matchup, which Tech won 49-9.
SMU hasn’t beaten Tech since 1986 and that streak won’t end here. It's a lot of points, but the Mustangs can’t stop this offense.
The Pick: My pick is Tech.
BH: Tech big.

That’s it folks, only 9 games this week. A lot of intriguing matchups should make for an interesting weekend for the Big 12. Some tough games to call, in my opinion. could make for a down week after starting off strong. My advice? Never lose faith in the Wang.

(Editor's Note: Homerism will get around to tallying up the standings next week.)