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Friday, October 12, 2012

Semifinal in the B1G, Beavers v. Cougars, losing in the SEC, Lubbock and the Death Star, and Tulane Watch 2012

The winner of Purdue and Wisconsin this weekend should represent their division (the name of which I am still boycotting) for the Big 10 championship. Illinois and Indiana are each projected to fewer than 2 conference wins and Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible. That leaves Purdue and Wisconsin. Like UCLA a year ago, they have also already demonstrated that they would finish in the bottom half of the other division (whose name demonstrates an arrogance unwarranted by the irrelevance of the conference). The model is giving Wisconsin and Purdue equal odds, so right now that division (the one that rhymes with "cheaters") is a coin toss.

We should see a lot of this Saturday
BYU gets Oregon State this weekend. The model projects them to 20 points . . . total. This game is also notable because Oregon State is a top 10 team and BYU is favored both by the model and in Vegas. No team in the nation allows fewer yards per carry and rushing yards per game than BYU, and Oregon State couldn't run the ball against a bad run defense. Overall, BYU's defense rates out at #2 in the nation and Oregon State is 7th. The first team to double digits will win this game.

Ole Miss has lost 16 straight SEC games. Auburn has lost five straight. In fact, their last win in conference came against none other than the Rebels of Ole Miss. The loser this weekend will get another shot at an SEC win this season against Vanderbilt (yeah, Vanderbilt got a sweet deal on the SEC West schedule) and Ole Miss still has a game against Arkansas, but whoever loses this weekend will probably be underdogs for the rest of their SEC schedule. Ole Miss should win, and if they do Auburn will rack up ten straight conference losses. The heat will turn up for Mr. Chizik. And the national media will berate Auburn fans for turning on the coach they have paid millions of dollars to run their program into the ground after winning a championship with someone else's players and one transcendent athlete with a sketchy recruitment history.

Win and LSU is again a title contender. Lose and LSU
will be threatened with a total meltdown.
Staying in the SEC, let's say for the sake of being hypothetical that South Carolina beats LSU this weekend. Assuming A&M beats LaTech, LSU will undoubtedly be underdogs in College Station the next week and then again against Alabama. LSU could realistically lose four straight games. That would be the 2nd team from the same division that would lose four straight games after starting the season in the top 10. Bonus points to anyone who can tell me the last time that happened.

Texas is playing Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout. People tell me this game is important. I guess so. They're playing for 3rd in the Big 12? Vegas likes OU by three and the model by four. I don't really like either team, but that's irrelevant.

Vegas likes Virginia Tech over Duke by 10. The model likes the Hokies by 1. Duke is 5-1 with its only loss to Stanford. VaTech is 3-3 and has lost three of the last four to Pitt, Cincinnati, and North Carolina. The underlying statistics on both teams are weak, but there are some interesting statistical match-ups. For example, Duke is top 15 in completion percentage but bottom 15 in yards per catch. The Virginia Tech defense is top 5 in completion percentage allowed and bottom 20 in yards per catch allowed.

This is what Geno Smith is getting himself into
The game that if doing so was at all original I would love to call the Admiral Ackbar trap game of the week: Everyone that goes in to Lubbock riding high leaves Lubbock on a dead horse. Its a fundamental law of physics. Everyone else that goes in to Lubbock is terribly, terribly lost.

Tulane Watch 2012: With the great Garrett Gilbert at the helm, SMU has the nation's third worse offense (this is one half of the reason I don't give Saban credit for any championships while at Alabama). They are 40 yards short of having Tulane doubled in yards per game. I am willing to say that the first team to score will win this game, but not for the reason you're thinking. I say that because SMU will win this game, and SMU will be the first team to score, the last team to score and they will score every time in the middle, too.

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