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September 28, 2012
Picked Over: Who's For Real OSU or Texas?
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 should begin this prediction with a confession. I can't stand Urban Meyer. Everything from his time at Utah to the love affair with his quarterback at Florida to his time now at Ohio State I just can't stand the guy. It should be no surprise that I'm going to tell you to take Michigan State this week. While the fact that Sparty will be looking for it's first back-to-back win vs. Ohio State since 1998-99 does scare me a bit I do have Le'Veon Bell to lean on as I feel he will have loads of success on the ground. Ohio State has yet to put together four quarters this year and I have no reason to think it will be on the road in East Lansing. Take Sparty minus the points.
Josh McCuistion: JOSH'S LOCK OF THE WEEK For I'd love to join Eddie on this one and jump on my men of Sparta, but I have to look at this line and think 'This is Madness!', I just can't figure out where this line is coming from. I see a difference maker at quarterback for the Buckeyes and a defense that is coming along, so long as it can be a bit more sound in it's tackling than it was a few weeks ago against Cal. I realize that East Lansing is a seriously tough place to play but this Michigan State team lacks game changes on the perimeter and Andrew Maxwell is still a huge question mark.
ER: Oddly enough this match-up raises the eyebrow as it could be one of the more interesting plays of the weekend. Oregon State heads to Tuscon as the underdog despite a pair of road victories over Wisconsin and @ UCLA. Then you have an Arizona club on the other side that returns home following an embarrassment on the road in Eugene (49-0 loss to Oregon). Keep in mind the fact that AZ turned in a 0-for-6 in the red zone a week ago as well as the fact that Oregon State has won five games in a row in Tuscon and I have to feel like Arizona will get it back on track this week in a close one. Take Arizona and the points.
JM: I kind of like the Wildcats in this one, I see a team that is stinging off a tough loss against what may be the best team in the country (yes Alabama fans, I said it) going against a team who has spent all week as the champion victors - can the Beavers handle this type of attention? The thing that an Oklahoma high school football junkie like me loves the most? Oklahoma high school stars all over the field for both teams - notably Cayman Bundage, Michael Doctor, and Tyrequek Zimmerman. In the end, I'm going with the home team to leave Oregon as the final undefeated team in the Pac12.
ER: Which Miami team will show up on Saturday? The Hurricanes that got ran off the field in Manhattan or the Hurricane team that won a shootout last weekend in Atlanta against Georgia Tech? For some reason I have feeling it will be the former as I give the nod to N.C. State. Wolpack quarterback Mike Glennon who has been more than serviceable for Tom O'Brien's club. Since their opening weekend loss to Tennessee it's been the Wolfpack who have steadily improved and I look for that to continue this weekend when they head to Miami. Take N.C. State in the upset.
JM: Is there a tougher team in the country to try and figure out than Miami? They looked like a sure loss last weekend against Georgia Tech and it just goes to say that you can't overlook the kind of talent that is currently on hand in Coral Gables. At the same time I see a steady group for the Wolfpack but lacks the type of elite talents to push Miami. I'm taking Miami but with teams like the Hurricanes, keep your money far, far away.
ER: I suppose you could say this is the official welcome party for the Mountaineers. One helluva welcome party if I must say. The Big 12 sent Baylor. After blowing my lock of the week last weekend and having seen Baylor's defense at times over matched by a Louisiana-Monroe offense last Friday night I can't help but think that Dana Holgorson has already started drinking redbull vodka's in preparation for the game. It's gonna be a party afterall. I don't see very many instances that the Mountaineer offense will be stopped on Saturday but would be a little leery of the large amount of points. We'll take a flier here and hope that Baylor doesn't back door cover us. Take West Virginia minus the points at home.
JM: Well it's finally time to see what the Mountaineers are going to do in Big 12 play and it's also time for the Big 12 to get it's first taste of just how hostile Morgantown can be. I don't think the Bears are a team that will fall apart, and I think that Art Briles has proven to be a coach that is keeping the Bears rolling rather than rebuilding but I just think West Virginia got caught looking ahead last week and they'll now show where their focus is. I'll take the Mountaineers here.
ER: EDDIE'S LOCK OF THE WEEK For two straight weeks the Horned Frogs have played around with the hearts of diehards in Vegas. Two weeks ago four fumbles inside the Kansas redzone resulted in a loss vs. the spread while last week a touchdown with under three minutes pushed them across the number in a win vs. Virginia. This week I expect Gary Patterson's club to be on the war path as they avenge last season's unexpected shocker in Fort Worth. Keep in mind that the last time TCU has lost a Skillet Bowl they have returned the next year and are 4-0 winning that game by 15 points per contest. I think they can figure out a way to get another deuce on the board. I like TCU by 3 touchdowns on Mockingbird.
JM: I could simply respond to this with 'Garrett Gilbert' but as my writing pen-name would definitely be 'El Duderino' I know you all want more. So let's look at the former Longhorn star that was, according to his family, mistreated by the guys in Austin. Currently, in one of the most pass-happy offenses in college football history is completing just over 50-percent of his passes for an average of under five yards per attempt and a 3:4 TD:INT ratio. So yeah, I expect an absolute beating from the Horned Frogs here. If Eddie hadn't already locked it, I might be so inclined.
ER: With next week's game versus Oklahoma looming Texas Tech finds themselves in an awkward spot. Unproven through three games in wins vs. Northwestern State, Texas State, and New Mexico it's hard for me to go to bat for the Red Raiders. Sure last year's loss in Lubbock will be on their minds but wasn't the loss to Iowa State in 2010 as well? That's right. Iowa State has won two straight vs. Texas Tech (by 14+ in both contests) and I don't expect that to change as if there's anything we've learned from this Cyclone team is the fact that they don't back down to anyone. Give the coaching advantage to the Cyclones at that in Paul Rhoades who once an understudy to Tommy Tubberville. I like the Cyclones at home straight up.
JM: I think Eddie has been reading my files, but before I take him pu on that situation - has anyone stopped to consider the kind of job that Paul Rhoads is doing in Ames? And more than that has anyone realized that while it's not often thought of as a tough place to play in the Big 12 the sleepy Midwest team has lulled plenty of teams to sleep through the years, right Quinn Sharp? I'm not a buyer on Tech yet because frankly I haven't seen enough of them against any realistic competition. I'm with Eddie, take the Cyclones straight up.
ER: Undoubtedly this will be the game of the week for the Big 12. With Oklahoma on its final 'bye' virtually all Sooners fans- as well as the nation (Fox national broadcast)- will have their eyes focused on Stillwater. For Texas it's hard to not think this is one of the games they have had circled on their schedule after two years in a row of being on the losing end versus the Pokes. Saturday's trip to Stillwater will also the mark of a three game stretch for the Longhorns that will write the story of their season. The absence of Wes Lunt should allow J.W. Walsh the opportunity of his career going up against the school that 'went the other way' from the Denton Guyer product but I see the Texas defense being to stout. Give me the Horns in what should be an interesting three weeks for Mack Browns club.
JM: Man, I can't deny I'm really looking forward to this game. Has Oklahoma State figured out their defensive issues? Can Texas potentially be a year ahead of schedule? We'll find it all out on Saturday but this game just really intrigues me. That being said, I see Oklahoma State struggle to keep up with Texas' ground game after Arizona had some success on the ground against the Cowboys. Obviously it's a different kind of attack but I'm not sure the Cowboys are ready to hold up against a Texas ground game that has shown signs of being a very strong unit. I'll take Texas and the points.