The Wang has to tip his surgical cap to Homerism this week after he was finally able to win a week against the Wild one. It was a pretty successful week for both the Wang and Homerism, who went 4-2 and 5-1, respectively. While I haven’t taken the time to figure out the updated records, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Wang still holds a pretty comfortable lead in our battle for some delicious boneless wings.
A bit of mixed emotions for a Sooner fan this past week. A 34-point win over rival Nebraska is always a nice feeling. Seeing Texas lose a heartbreaker on a last second touchdown pass felt pretty good also. On the other hand, Florida’s impressive victory over Georgia combined with Tech’s upset win forced OU down two slots in the BCS standings. OU wasn’t the only team to suffer from this fate, though, as USC also fell a couple spots after beating Washington, 56-0.
Lots of big games left to be played for the top teams, so it is a bit early to start worrying about who will be “left out” of any national championship discussions. What this does begin to stimulate though is the yearly playoff debate. Bob Stoops came out in his weekly press conference stating that he has changed his opinion on a playoff. Stoops now believes that the best way to crown a college football champion is to implement a playoff format. The big question comes with what the optimal format would be, as no matter how many teams you include in a playoff, there will always be a deserving team or two left out.
Pat Forde’s most recent Forde yard dash included his prediction for an eight-team playoff this year. His bracket included ACC and Big East champs North Carolina and West Virginia, but left out Oklahoma. Should a playoff include the best teams in the country no matter the conference affiliation? Or, should a playoff be forced to include at least one team from each BCS conference, regardless of the final BCS standings? The Wang is not qualified to answer these questions, as he missed that day in medical school. So, I will leave you, the reader, to ponder.
Former President Dick Nixon was once quoted as saying, “You've got to learn to survive a defeat. That's when you develop character.” I will survive this defeat at the hands of Homerism and come out the other end a doctor with even more drive to win! You have only made me stronger, Homerism!
On to the picks...
Oklahoma (-25) at Texas A&M
Another typical Sooner performance last weekend against Nebraska. It was complete domination on both sides of the ball for OU, forcing four turnovers on defense, as well as a pick-six on a Dominique Franks interception. The Sooners racked up almost 200 yards on the ground to go with 311 passing yards from Sam Bradford. This gives OU a 23-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation. That's is why the Wang remains confident for the Red Raider trip to Norman in a couple weeks.
Texas A&M survived its rough two-game stretch against Iowa State and Colorado with two wins, but now faces a much stiffer challenge. The Wang has to hand it to quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who has turned in a few impressive performances the last couple weeks and seems to be on the kind of roll that has the potential for some big plays against the OU secondary. Freshman receiver Jeff Fuller has been quite a force for the Aggies this year with 42 catches and seven touchdowns. Standing at 6’4”, he has the size that could give OU fits. Despite all this, the Wang still recognizes the fact that the Aggies are a bad team this year that has had the good fortune of playing two of the worst teams in the division the last couple weeks. A&M has shown improvement over the season under Mike Sherman and could be a respectable team in the coming years. Unfortunately, this year they still stink. OU scores early and often…
The Pick: OU, 61-20.
Blatant Homerism: OU.
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (-3)
The great thing about the Big 12 conference being so strong is the chance to watch top 10 matchups almost weekly. After the big upset over Texas, the Red Raiders catapulted themselves into the driver's seat for the national championship game. The task seems simple--win out, and we will see you in Miami. Unfortunately, two Oklahoma powerhouses sit in Tech's way, starting this week with OSU.
Hard not to like the Graham Harrell-Michael Crabtree combination, which combined for 10 catches and 127 yards last week, plus the game-winning touchdown. The defense was equally impressive in shutting down Colt McCoy, relatively speaking, and holding Jordan Shipley to just 6 catches and 42 yards.
Oklahoma State bounced back nicely after its tough loss to Texas the previous week with a convincing win over Iowa State. Dez Bryant continues to amaze with 170 yards and four touchdowns receiving in the game. Kendall Hunter topped the century mark on the ground on just 13 carries, giving him more than 1,200 yards on the season, while averaging more than 6 yards per carry.
On a neutral field, this game is a toss-up. At home, though, Tech is tough, and also great against the spread. I am confident the fans in Lubbock will give the Red Raiders the three points they need here Saturday night...
The Pick: Wang likes Tech.
Baylor at Texas (-28)
Texas became the latest number one team to fall victim to an upset. How they come out and respond this week against Baylor will be interesting. Texas gave up a stunning 474 yards through the air to Graham Harrell and company, without picking off one of his 53 attempts. Colt McCoy looked decidedly more human last weekend, rushing for just 16 yards on 13 carries and completing “only” 59 percent of his passes. The Texas ground game was shut down altogether and managed just 80 yards rushing. Obviously, Texas remains a very dangerous team and national title contender, but its flaws pass defense finally caught up to the Horns last week.
Baylor, on the other hand, put a real scare into Missouri last week, losing by a late field goal. Baylor came back from down 14 at halftime to tie the game on two separate occasions in the second half. Freshman Robert Griffin tossed his first interception of the season on his last attempt to seal the victory for Missouri. Nonetheless, Griffin looked impressive again, throwing for 283 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another score on the ground.
The Wang really likes Baylor year, and while a bowl game seems out of the picture, this team continues to play hard. This is a big number to put up against a decent opponent so the Wang says…
The Pick: Gimme Baylor.
Kansas at Nebraska (-1.5)
Last week proved yet again that the Wang knows absolutely nothing about Kansas football. The Jayhawks promptly went out and destroyed KSU by 31 after the Wang picked the Wildcats. Alas, the Wang has things figured out.
In Kansas’ three games against ranked opponents, the Jayhawks have lost all three by a combined score of 145-86. The combined record of the teams Kansas has compiled its six wins against is 20-30. Ergo, Kansas has proven great against weak opponents with losing records.
So, the real question is, how good is Nebraska?
Nebraska’s best win has come against MAC powerhouse Western Michigan in the first game of the season. Two Big 12 wins have come against the likes of Iowa State and Baylor. The Huskers have lost at home to a middle-of-the-pack ACC team in Virginia Tech. What is the Wang saying here? That I would classify Nebraska as a bad team, and this one that Kansas should beat...
The Pick: I will take the Jayhawks.
Kansas State at Missouri (-26.5)
The Wang will finally admit he was dead wrong about Missouri. The Wang will also admit that Missouri may not pose as much of a threat in the Big 12 championship game as I originally thought. I'm not even sure Missouri will be playing in Kansas City on Dec. 6. After throwing just one interception in his first five games, Chase Daniel has now thrown seven picks in his last four. Nevertheless, the offense did move the ball well against Baylor and put up almost 500 yards of total offense. The Tigers are still a quality team, just not the national powerhouse the Wang had originally thought.
Which brings us to Kansas State, which will be playing its first game this week under lame duck head coach Ron Prince. The Wildcats fall into the “bad” team category via their blowout loss last week to rival Kansas. KSU has not lost four of its last five, with its only win coming against Texas A&M. Josh Freeman didn’t help the cause last week by turning the ball over four times before giving way to backup QB Carson Coffman. The rush defense wasn’t any better, giving up 280 yards rushing to the Jayhawks.
Tough game to call here, as this is a big number to cover for a Missouri team I am down on. But Kansas State is bad and without a head coach...
The Pick: I will take the Tigers.
Iowa State at Colorado (-10)
The folks in Boulder have to be salivating for this upcoming game against Iowa State. The Buffs finally face an opponent worse than they are. Colorado has lost five of its last six games after starting the season 3-0. How bad does West Virginia want a do-over now? Colorado fell to Texas A&M last week in College Station after going into halftime with a seven-point lead. The Colorado two-headed quarterback monster couldn’t muster 200 yards passing, while throwing three combined interceptions and zero touchdowns. One last fact: OU fans think the kicking situation sucks in Norman, but we have nothing on Colorado. Kicker Aric Goodman missed his seventh consecutive field goal last week. He now sits at 3-11 on the season.
Where have you gone, Mason Crosby? Buff Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Not much more I can say about Iowa State. The Cyclones have now lost seven in a row and haven’t even been competitive in their last four contests. I have officially jumped ship on the Aggies and climbed aboard the ISU train.
The Pick: The Buffaloes in a rout.