After a rough 1-5 record two weeks ago, the Wang needed to prove he was more than just another pretty face. A 4-2 week not only increased the Wang’s ever-expanding lead over Homerism, it proved that, yes, there is more to this guy than just his looks… He can really pick the hell out of some Big 12 games! No sense in getting overconfident with this lead I have built. No prevent defenses here; the Wang is applying his patented full court press!
Quick update on CBS-gate here in Buffalo. The Wang was forced to leave the comfort of his living room couch this weekend to catch the Bills game last Sunday. If you have ever tried to listen to an entire sporting event via radio, you know it’s not easy to follow the action. After enduring this conflict for more than three weeks, I have finally decided to switch my cable provider. The Wang has had enough… and so have more than 2,000 other Buffalo residents who have made the same move. If there is one thing you don’t want to mess with here in Buffalo, it’s sports teams. So, come Nov. 3, the Wang will be back with complete CBS coverage. Hasta la vista, SMU field hockey!
Just a few thoughts about last week’s Sooner game. Before getting into the defensive woes ,let’s focus on some of the bright spots. First, anytime an Oklahoma team is able to set a scoring record of any type, something must be said. This program has a long history of prolific offenses putting up some gaudy numbers. When I learned that last week’s 55 points at halftime was a record, the Wang stood at attention. The four touchdowns scored in the final eight minutes of the first half after KSU had tied the game were quite impressive. The ability to bury an opponent like this after facing some adversity is championship material.
The fact that KSU was able to score 28 first half points and come back and tie the game after being down 28-7 is a different story. If you would have told me before the game that Josh Freeman would out-throw Sam Bradford by more than 200 yards, I would have thought you were crazy. The defense, particularly against the pass, is downright atrocious right now. I am afraid it will end up being the downfall of this team once they reach Tech and Oklahoma State.
On to the running game and Demarco Murray. The Wang wanted to see Murray build on his confidence from the previous week and continue to run with more conviction. While he has still yet to bust any real long run yet, he seems to be getting better and better as the season progresses. Murray scored four touchdowns while averaging more than six yards per carry and also happened to be Bradford’s leading receiver this week. Also, not enough gets said about Chris Brown, who has become about as reliable as an OU fan could hope for. The Sooners rushed for 273 yards as a team on a day when Bradford didn’t seem to be on top his game. If this trend holds up, there isn’t a defense in the country that can hold this team under 40.
One last thought… Something has to be done with these special teams. Jimmy Stevens missed yet another extra point. The kickoff team allowed a 75-yard return. Mike Knall averaged a dismal 28 yards per punt. Mark the Wang’s words: this type of special teams play will eventually cost the Sooners another game.
Last week, the Wang turned to Thomas Edison for inspiration. This week, Winston Churchill: “Responsibility is the price of greatness.”
I think you get the point.
Nebraska at Oklahoma (-22)
The Sooners head back to Norman for a Saturday evening tussle with an old nemesis, Nebraska. Last week, Nebraska was able to clutch defeat from the hands of victory for the Wang by the slimmest of margins. The Wang was looking good at the half, with Baylor leading by three points and getting 11 from Vegas. Unfortunately, Baylor was unable to score a single point in the second half, and a fourth quarter safety gave the Cornhuskers the 12-point lead needed for the cover. The Nebraska defense held Robert Griffin to just 134 yards passing and without a touchdown pass, while Joe Ganz went off for 336 yards and three touchdowns. The defense did give up over 200 yards on the ground to the Bears, and I think this is where Nebraska will be in trouble.
I look for Sam Bradford to rebound from his “subpar” performance last week and put up huge numbers against Nebraska. Combine that with a rejuvenated OU run game, and I foresee another 50-point OU outburst. These two teams haven’t faced off in the regular season since 2005. And, after Saturday night, Nebraska will be wishing they had waited a little longer to play again…
The Pick: OU, 55-20.
Blatant Homerism: Nebraska.
Texas at Texas Tech (+3.5)
The Wang was right on the money last week when he predicted that OSU would be able to keep it close with Texas. Nevertheless, Texas again proved why it is the top team in the country after winning despite a few late mistakes my Colt McCoy. The Wang likens Jordan Shipley to Elton Brand during his days at Duke. Brand was about as reliable a player as Duke has ever seen. He was able to score almost at will. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand Duke about as much as I can’t stand Texas. But Brand was a special player in college. It seems the same can be said for Shipley, who finds a way to make every catch despite the fact that the defense knows the ball is coming his way. Case in point: Shipley had 15 grabs for 168 yards last week. I don’t know how he does it, but he seems to always be open while running the exact same route every time.
While I hit the nail on the head with my Texas pick last week, I couldn’t have been more wrong about Tech. The Wang was really doubting Tech as a legitimate contender this year going into the Kansas game. I even went so far as to predict KU to win the game outright. Sixty-three Tech points later, the Wang and KU were handed an embarrassing loss. Graham Harrell catapulted himself into the Heisman talk with Bradford and McCoy, throwing for 386 yards and five touchdowns. I expect another tight battle for Texas this week, but this time the clock will strike midnight for Cinderella…
The Pick: Tech straight up.
BH: Tech straight up.
Kansas State at Kansas (-11)
The Wang pointed to Brandon Banks last week in his picks as a player that had some big-play potential for the Wildcats. Five catches and 145 yards later it seems the Wang was right on. Yet, Banks wasn’t even the leading receiver for KSU against Oklahoma, as Ernie Pierce made 11 catches for 176 yards. Considering Pierce had six catches for the entire year coming into this game, it appears the OU secondary can make anyone a star.
Kansas, on the other hand, was completely dominated last week on both sides of the ball against Texas Tech. Todd Reesing could only manage 154 yards through the air and suffered three interceptions. The Wang continues to struggle with this year’s Jayhawk team. Looking at their list of wins against the likes of Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston State, Iowa State and Colorado, I am beginning to think they are more pretenders than anything…
The Pick: Give me the underdog Wildcats in this rivalry game.
Colorado at Texas A&M (-3.5)
The Wang was chastised by one of his readers last week for picking the Aggies. Please, everyone, have some faith in the Wang. I didn’t go to four years of medical school for nothing!
The Aggies made winners out of the Wang by handily defeating the lowly Iowa St. Cyclones, 49-35. Jerrod Johnson had a huge day, throwing for 381 yards and accounting for five touchdowns. Earlier this year, I called Texas A&M the new Baylor of the Big 12. Well, they didn’t hold that title for long, as I believe the torch has now been passed to the Cyclones.
Colorado hung tough with Missouri last week for the first minute and nine seconds of the game en route to a 58-0 loss. Freshman Tyler Hansen got his first career start and promptly fumbled the first snap of the game away. He finished with 30 yards rushing on 16 carries to lead the Buffalos. Never a good sign. Colorado has now lost four of its last five games and is staring at a quarterback controversy between Hansen and Cody Hawkins. The controversy being that neither is any good.
Time for another ride on the Aggie train…
The Pick: Gig ‘em!
Iowa State at Oklahoma State (-30)
Won’t take long before this one starts getting ugly. Vegas can’t make the spread big enough here for me to go against the Pokes. OSU proved a lot to the Wang last week by going on the road and putting a scare into Texas. This is a legitimate team with lots of firepower on a very balanced offense. The defense couldn’t do much to stop Colt McCoy, but then again, no one has been able to do that this year. Despite his big numbers, OSU did force a couple key turnovers to keep them in the game. Kendall Hunter is a stud at running back and put up 161 yards on the ground against a team ranked number two in the nation against the run. As hard as it is to admit this, OSU is a damn good team, and one that is going to give the Sooners a lot of problems down the road.
As for Iowa State—where do I begin? The losing streak has reached six games after starting the season with wins against powerhouses Kent State and South Dakota State. If you want a silver lining, I guess Austen Arnaud did throw for 371 yards without an interception. Other than that, the Wang sees nothing to like about this team. My official diagnosis for this team is “dismal.” Time to pull the plug…
The Pick: I will take the Pokes big here.
Missouri (-20) at Baylor
After a rough two-week stretch, Mizzou had the good fortune of playing Colorado at home last week. The Tigers took full advantage of the situation. The assault was spread out over the entire game, as Missouri scored at least 10 points in each quarter. Chase Daniel was back to his Heisman form with 300 yards passing and five touchdowns. The running game got into the action, too, with 189 yards on the ground. This was the Missouri team the Wang expected to see the previous two weeks.
Baylor had a chance to reverse a long trend of futility in Lincoln last weekend, but fell short with a lackluster second half performance. Robert Griffin still has yet to throw an interception, yet his passing numbers were far from impressive, as he completed nine out of 20 attempts for 134 yards. He was able to make some plays with his feet, though, leading the team with 121 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Baylor did its best Kansas State impression by failing to convert one of its 10 third down opportunities. Baylor continues to show signs of life and improvement, but this week will be tough.
Mark my words, Missouri will prove to be a difficult opponent this December in Kansas City for whomever makes the championship game from the South. Despite looking overrated in their two losses, this is still a team that can easily ruin the year for a team like Texas looking to make the BCS title game…
The Pick: I will take the Tigers in this one.