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October 5, 2012
Of course you all know by now that SoonerScoop.com has you covered for any and all aspects of Oklahoma football however that's not to say that Sooner fans aren't simply college football fans who enjoy talking about the top match-ups from coast to coast. As such each week in 'Picked Over' SoonerScoop.com writers Eddie Radosevich and Josh McCuistion will offer you their take on games across the Big 12 along with a few of the top match-ups from coast to coast in college football. So take a look as one staffer offers random musings, while another brings real numbers to the table.
Season to Date:
Eddie Radosevich: I will usually find myself siding with the 'ole ball coach' when forced to make a decision on a Steve Spurrier coached team but for some reason or another can't find myself to do it in what is one of many 'marquee' games on the college football slate this weekend. While both squads enter the SEC showdown coming off of subpar performances a week ago I want you to keep in mind the fact that Georgia has never lost three straight to the Gamecocks. Back that with a solid quarterback in Aaron Murray and a stable of running backs and I see Mark Richt's squad going on the road and stealing one this weekend. I like Georgia straight up in the upset.
Josh McCuistion: Coming into last week I really liked Georgia in this game, I was starting to buy the Bulldogs. Not so much because I think Aaron Murray is particularly special but I did think Richt's defense was a special unit. Then they were absolutely abused at home by a team that struggled to consistently move the ball against Florida a few weeks before. It's possible that they were simply looking forward to South Carolina and should be given credit for staying locked in and still finding a way to get out with a win. That being said, I think South Carolina is more clear on who they are and will win out based on being a bit better defensively - Georgia currently No. 55 in total defense and South Carolina at No. 13. I'll take Spurrier's bunch.
ER: I believe this match-up could be one of the tougher games on the slate as LSU heads to 'The Swamp' this weekend as a three point favorite. Looking to win their third straight versus Florida since 1978-80 I see it as the Bayou Bengals who come in as the team facing a good amount of question marks. In my opinion it's going to be the road test victories over Texas A&M and Tennessee that could help the Gators if this one were to be a tight one down the stretch. The confidence of an SEC road win can go a long way and that's why I like the Gators to pull the upset in this one.EDDIE'S LOCK OF THE WEEK
JM: Man the hits just keep coming for Florida, just a brutal season opening schedule for a young team with a lot of unproven, although top-shelf, talent. The Tigers looked really pedestrian against Auburn and it seems that perhaps LSU's offense isn't about ball control so much as it just very, very bad. Don't get me wrong, this thing will be fought from beginning to end but I think Florida being a bit more battle tested and at home (even though it would be more obvious if it weren't at night), I'm with Eddie I like the Gators straight up.
ER: Has anyone really found out if this game is just a big test to see if there is any heartbeat or sign of pulse in the Big Ten conference? Basketball season is only a few months away Hoosier and Illini fans. A season ago it was the Cornhuskers who scored 28 straight points in en route to a come from behind victory in Lincoln. We jump forward to this year and even though I picked against them a week ago I'm still not buying into the new look Fighting Urban Meyers. Look for Taylor Martinez to find some success on the ground and the Huskers to keep it close well into the fourth. Take Nebraska plus the 5.
JM: Last week I thought I had a sure thing with the Buckeyes but they burned me allowing Michigan State to think they were in the game late. I'm going to give Urban Meyer a chance to make it up to me. I, again, don't think the world of Nebraska right now and have fairly consistently picked against them this year. Both teams are coming off very real tests but I like the Buckeyes at home in this one on the back of a huge performance from Braxton Miller.
ER: In terms of a one sided affair it would be hard to find a better example than a Sunflower State showdown- especially when that game takes place in the Little Apple. Bill Snyder club boasts a 9-1 record versus Kansas with their only loss coming in Snyder's first year (1989). Why should this one be different? It won't. I like Kansas State to keep it rolling this week as they return from a 'bye' week and their stunning road victory in Norman two weeks ago but I'll throw a crazy one at you with a prediction. Kansas scores a late touchdown to cover the 24 points.
JM: It's funny, I was talking to a coaching friend not long ago and we were discussing how good one team or another was, and several times I said 'oh, I really like them' or 'oh man, they're just brutal' and each time he offered counters explaining why he thought they were close to being closer to the middle than I had thought. I then offered up 'have you seen Kansas? They are just awful'. He thought about it for a second and said, 'yeah, they are'. I think you could make a fair bit of money betting against Kansas across the board this year.JOSH'S LOCK OF THE WEEK
ER: With the news of TCU quarterback Casey Pachall DWI arrest early Friday morning it puts me in a really tough spot. While it's not as quite as tough as the spot that Horned Frogs head man Gary Patterson finds himself in just two days from the Frogs conference home opener it does make me hesitate in thinking this one will be a blowout. The Cyclones are going to force you to beat them and earn touchdowns. Do I think the Horned Frogs can do it? Yes. TCU kicks a late field goal for the win but Iowa State covers the spread.
JM: I should say that this line has changed dramatically since we sent out the info on it, but for those of you who were lucky to get in on this thing early on, we'll play on because we're not about to pretend we've not lost to some late-changing lines through the first few weeks. And yes, that's the excuse we're going with. I won't lock it because that would just be a complete and total cheat but even with Pachall I'm not sure Iowa State wouldn't have been my choice here. Signed, Paul Rhoads' biggest fan.
ER: Finally we reach what should be the marquee game of the Big 12 weekend as West Virginia travels to Austin for the first time. Texas continues their ascension up rankings this week following a road victory over Oklahoma State while the Mountaineers will look to continue their high powered offensive attack lead by early Heisman candidate Geno Smith. I've got to be honest in saying I don't feel real confident in this pick so I'll take the easy road out and say I just don't see anyway Texas is able to outscore the high powered West Virginia offensive attack. Give me the Mountaineers to keep it close and within the touchdown + PAT margin.
JM: I said it last week on Twitter and it still stands 'meet the new Big 12, same as the old Big 12'. I had held out some hope that Texas with a power ground game and defense with loads of NFL talent was going to show the Big 12 that there was a way to do it other than trying to treat every game like it's on an Xbox, however the Longhorns can't seem to tackle anyone in space. And is there a team more difficult to deal with in space right now that the Mountaineers? I think Manny Diaz will see the mistakes of Baylor just sitting back and allowing Geno Smith and dial up the pressure and as such West Virginia will struggle at times against a front four that should be able to create pressure without manufacturing it - but so far has not. I know Oklahoma fans don't want to read it, but for those of you like me who think I'm Princess Leia and Texas ground game and defense is Obi-Wan Kenobi. So I'm letting my only hope lead me, Texas by 10.