Wow, that was BRUTAL. But as Randy Marsh once said, with blood gushing out of his face, “I didn’t hear no bell!”
There’s an episode of South Park where the boys play Little League. They hate it, want to lose, but no matter how hard they try, they keep winning. The B story in that episode focuses on Randy Marsh. More specifically, his need to get drunk and fight a parent from the other team at EVERY game the kids play. Each fight ends the same, with a bloody Randy being shoved into the back of a police car. As I watched games last weekend, that image of Mr. Marsh kept popping into my head. Just like Randy, I too am a champion. No matter how bad of a beating I take, I will lick my wounds, regroup, and fight another day. Quitting is NOT an option.
My second losing week of the year has me back at .500 (13-13) on the season. Before we get to my freshest batch of picks, let’s look back at the absolute misery of last weekend.
Oh great, both Duke and UNC woke up wanting to play defense. I knew halfway through the first quarter, there was NO WAY this over is hitting. It is such a helpless feeling as I watch Sam Howell overthrow yet another wide-open receiver (at least his 4th so far). Should be two TDs already. He is SOOOOO bad. When the number is over 70, you need a back-and-forth game from the opening kick. It’s obvious after a 7-0 first quarter that these teams aren’t going to get there. A 65-yard SCOOP AND SCORE by Tar Heels D had me believing for a second, but we were still a long way from home. After Carolina dropped a wide-open TD just before the break, this one was officially TOAST. Duke was shut out at the half (24-0). Then, the Blue Devils scored on 80-yard pass play to start the second half. In my junkie mind, add that to the first half since only 20 seconds had ticked off the clock. Need 6 more TDs baby!! My enthusiasm died quickly thereafter, and I accepted reality. This bet was busted.
CHUNK PLAYS and PENALTIES were the story early in Columbia. Tennessee scored quickly on their opening drive. Then, Missouri probably gained 120 yards on their second drive only to have multiple big gains wiped out by penalties. They managed to get a field goal though and the Vols added another quick TD. The Vols offense was just trashing the Tigers’ run D. First play of their next drive was a 92-yard TD run by Tiyon Evans. It was 21-3 with 3 minutes left in the first quarter. Tennessee scored again after an INT return to the Missouri 1 yard line set them up with the shortest field possible. 31 on the board with 1:30 left in the FIRST QUARTER. Tennessee scored 28 points on their first 14 offensive plays. Now, that is efficiency!! It was 45-10 at intermission. Tennessee got a field goal coming out of the half, then Missouri answered with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. CHUNK PLAYS HIT OVERS BABY!! With 11:30 left in the third quarter, it was 48-17 and I was pushing. The over hit with 7:25 left in the third, and Tennessee went on to BLOW OUT Mizzou 62-24 for my only win of the week.
With 5 minutes left in the first quarter, it was 10-7 Texas over TCU. My boy Bijan had just broken a 27-yard touchdown run, and I was feeling like Neil Armstrong boarding Apollo 11. This thing was headed to the MOON. Hell, we had 27 on the board after 1 quarter. Then, a kicking contest broke out as the teams combined for 4 FGs and 1 TD over the next two quarters. The rocket ship to the moon was starting to resemble the Titanic after it met the iceberg. At the end of the 3rd, it was 26-20. Not good, folks. This bad boy had a chance only needing 14 points in the last 13 and change, but it was over when Texas got stuffed on 4th and goal from the 1 with 9:30 left. TCU drove 99 yards for a touchdown but used up most of the clock. With 4:23 remaining, it’s 32-27 Longhorns. I couldn’t believe this bet was still alive, but Texas had no incentive to do anything other than run the clock out. TCU couldn’t stop them and the under cashed MISERABLY in Ft. Worth.
Ole Miss/Bama couldn’t have started any better. The headset toss and popcorn comment by Kiffin right before kickoff was classic Lane, and the opening drive was a thing of beauty. Well, until Alabama stuffed the Rebels on 4th and a foot inside the Crimson Tide 5-yard line. We didn’t know it yet, but the game was over in that moment. The Crimson Tide took the ball and drove straight down the field to make it 7-0. Next drive, Ole Miss failed to convert another 4th down, this time at their own 45. It was now painfully obvious that this over had NO CHANCE. Alabama dominated from the jump and shut out Ole Miss in the first half (2nd time the Rebs have been shut out in a half under Kiffin). Bama won this game in the trenches. Offensively, they pounded the Rebels with their ground game, and their D line/linebackers were in the backfield almost every play. Will Anderson is a monster, and Matt Corral had no time to look downfield. The Tide and Georgia are the two best teams in the nation. Hands down. The gap between them and the rest of the country is MASSIVE, like as big as the Grand Canyon.
It wasn’t until after the Ole Miss game that I realized I picked 6 games instead of 5. This was also the same moment I didn’t want to watch any more football. I felt just like Eli giving the double bird to Philly fans on national TV. So, let’s just put a bow on the recap with this. Tanner Mordecai and Fresno State let me down. And that’s the second strike for Fresno. I’m done with the Bulldogs until they can prove themselves worthy of my time.
Here are my favorite overs for Week 6 of the College Football season.
Coastal Carolina @ Arkansas State (O/U 72.5)
The Chanticleers have one of the most efficient offenses in the nation. They are 2nd in the nation in yards per play (8.38), offensive touchdowns (31), and 6th in yards per game (528). All that spells bad news for an Arkansas State defense that gives up a whopping 8 yards per play, 563 yards, and 45.5 points per game. The Coastal defense is STOUT and hasn’t given up a touchdown in their last two games (avg 14 per game). While the Red Wolves’ offense isn’t great, they do put up 470 yards per contest. No doubt there will be a lot of offense in this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chants add a TD on defense as well. Coastal wins BIG 63-17.
Maryland @ Ohio State (O/U 71.5)
The Buckeyes lead the nation in total offense averaging an eye-popping 556 yards per game and 8.58 yards per play. The Buckeyes, who lost to Oregon already, not only need to win, but they also need style points the rest of the way. I expect Ryan Day to want to put the hammer down against the Terps and not let up until the final whistle. Ohio State averages 45 points per game and I expect them to get that by the end of the third quarter. Maryland is coming off an absolute meltdown last week against Iowa that saw their QBs combine to throw 6 INTs in a 51-14 blowout. The Terps will not fare much better this week, but a trash TD late should be enough to get them over 20 points on the day. Buckeyes blow them out 55-20.
Oklahoma vs Texas (O/U 63.5 – Dallas, TX)
It’s the game formerly known as the Red River Sh**tout! Oklahoma hasn’t been great (at least compared to what we thought they would be), but they are still unbeaten on the season (5-0). Texas let me down just a couple of days ago, but I’m riding a couple of trends in this one. The over has hit in 4 of the Sooners’ last 6 games and 5 of the Longhorn’s last 7. Moreover, 3 of the last 4 years of the Red River Showdown have gone over 63. Yes, I know Spencer Rattler has been a disappointment; but I think this is the week he finally resembles the Heisman contender everyone thought he would be. Sooners beat the Horns in – dare I say – a SHOOTOUT, 38-34.
Old Dominion @ Marshall (O/U 66)
Trash game alert! And I’m all over it, baby!! This one caught my eye because the total has moved up 3 points since it opened. Not quite an automatic hammer, but after looking at Marshall’s offensive stats, this bad boy has all the ingredients to make a scoreboard malfunction. The Thundering Herd are top 10 nationally in yards per play, yards per game, and touchdowns per game. They will move the ball up and down the field with ease just like Buffalo did against the Monarchs a couple weeks ago in a 35-34 game. Another thing that caught my attention was 15 turnovers by the Marshall offense and 9 takeaways by their defense. I anticipate multiple short fields for both offenses and a lot of points on the board in West Virginia. Marshall wins 47-31.
Virginia @ Louisville (O/U 69.5)
This total has moved up 4 points since it opened and by kickoff, I bet it qualifies as an automatic hammer. They can’t set this one high enough!! The Cards are scoring 34 points a game since playing Ole Miss and Maiik Cunningham has been wonderful as a dual threat (4 TDs last week, 2 rushing, 2 passing). Virginia’s offense scores over 30 a game too, but history isn’t on my side with this pick. The under has cashed the last 5 times these two teams have played. But hey, that streak bas got to end sometime, and that time is NOW. Louisville is coming off a close loss at Wake Forest (37-34), and I see a similar game developing against the Cavaliers, who also gave up 37 to Wake this year. Cards win 41-34.