Thursday, November 30 - MAC Championship Game
Ohio Bobcats +3.5 (10 Units)
Regardless of where this game was going to be played, it was going to be a road game for the Ohio Bobcats and nothing else matters. What really matters in this game is that Athens, Ohio and the Bobcat faifthful have not seen a MAC Title come to their town since 1968 which is quite ridiculous considering how much of a flip-flop the MAC has been all season. What people don't understand about Ohio is that several experts, including Phil Steele (who I love reading his material) had the Ohio Bobcats pegged to win the East Division and make it to the MAC Title Game. So don't for one minute think that this team doesn't belong in this game because that is as far as things get from the truth. As a matter of fact, this is the team that returned not only the most starters in the MAC but also amongst the most starters in the entire Country and you know that those guys want to end the season with a bang. Now I know this is not a home game for the Bobcats but let's see what happened the last few times oddsmakers made these guys underdogs away from home. In their road opener, Ohio went to Nothern Illinois and won as a 19 point underdog. The following week, Ohio went to Rutgers and pulled off a push. Later on in the season, Ohio went to Illinois and beat a Big 10 school as a 6.5 point underdog. Then came the visit to Kent State where they were 7 point underdogs but won by 10. That was the last time oddsmakers made the mistake of pegging them as underdogs but I guess these clowns just never learn. Ohio is 4-1-1 ATS as an underdog this season. The Bobcats are averaging 24.6 points per conference game this season and they have done it on 342.0 total yards and 5.5 yards per play. CMU's defense has not been all that great in conference play allowing 18.1 points per game on 347.6 total yards of offense and 4.9 yards per play. On the ground is where Ohio dominates. RB Kalvin McRae is the second best RB in this conference and has led this team to 213.8 rushing yards per game on 5.1 yards per carry against MAC opponents. McRae has 1139 rushing yards on the year and 15 touchdowns. CMU has been okay against the run but Garret Wolfe of NIU lit them up for 200 rushing yards and McRae should have a huge day. The running attack will set things up for QB Austen Everson who is a senior. Everson is completing 59.5% of his passes in MAC play this season for 6.3 yards per pass attempt. CMU's pass defense has been decent as well but the running game should have them on their heels and allowing more than 5.9 yards per pass attempt in the MAC. Everson has been sacked only 8 times in Conference play and thrown only 6 interceptions. CMU has a decent pass rush but it won't be effective enough once McRae starts powering his way to first down after first down. The Bobcats need to take care of the ball in this game or risk losing the turnover battle. Everson needs to make big third down conversions when needed and I expect Frank Solich (who has won two Big 12 championship games as a coach) to have his guys ready for the biggest game of their lives.
The Central Michigan Chippewas are probably going to be everyone's big play in this game but it's a betting mistake and I am immediately assuming that the naked eye bettor is betting with exactly that...a naked eye. Yes of course this is an attracting team to bet on because they have been near perfect on the ATS front (ironically losing both ATS game away from Kelly/Shorts Stadium) and they have compiled a 7-1 Conference record. As winners of the MAC West Division, this is CMU's big time chance of winning their first MAC Conference Title since 1994 and as a matter of fact, they have not won 10 games in one season since sometime in the 1970's. Now the argument most are going to use when betting on the Chippewas is how well they did against very good non-conference opponents and how much tougher their schedule really was. Well I don't care because playing out of Conference is one thing but playing in Conference, is a completely different thing. That would be why we are all betting on a Conference Championship Game and not a Bowl Game where had these two teams been non-conference opponents in a Bowl Game, I would be on Central Michigan. Detroit is not too far down the road for the Chipps so expect all their fans to be present but I don't think they can come close to filling the lower bowl with only CMU fans. The Chippewas are averaging 29.4 points per game against MAC Conference opponents this season on 357.4 total yards of offense and 5.8 yards per play. Ohio's defense was by far the best in the MAC as they allowed only 14.9 points per game in Conference play for only 281.4 total yards of offense and only 4.4 yards per play. WOW! The Chippewas average 127.1 rushing yards per MAC game this season on 4.0 yards per carry. However, RB Ontario Sneed has not done much on the season and the Bobcats are allowing only 3.6 yards per carry in Conference play. In the air, QB Dan Lefevour has been outstanding, completing 65.1% of his passes in conference play for 7.7 yards per pass attempt but the problem there is that the Chippewas rely a little too much on the passing game which can be bad. I say bad because Ohio's secondary is ranked #13 in the Country as opposing MAC QB's are completing only 50.6% of their passes against them for only 5.2 yards per pass attempt. Ohio needs to keep pressure on the redshirt freshman QB of the Chippewas because he will more likely than not be very nervous to start the game and keep in mind that CMU has fumbled the ball 16 times against MAC opponents and escaped without injuries most of the time. CMU may look like the better team on paper but I don't think Brian Kelly has championship experience like Solich. I mean winning some Division II titles doesn't really count. I'll take the better team.
The Bobcats are and have been underrated all seasons long. I know that most people are on CMU this game because of the amount of times they have covered on the ATS level but that doesn't concern me. When you really look at it, CMU lost two ATS games all season while Ohio lost three ATS games all season. CMU's two ATS losses came on the road and don't be fooled by the fact that this game is being played in Detroit, Michigan because the Bobcats are bringing quite an amount of people to try and capture their first conference title since 1968. Overall, Ohio is the better team and it's going to show tonight.
Trend of the Game: Ohio is 4-1 ATS as an underdog this season.
Ohio 30, Central Michigan 27
Friday, December 1 - CUSA Championship Game
Houston Cougars -4.5 (10 Units)
The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles are somewhat the class of the CUSA and I say that because year in and year out they win enough games to make it to a Bowl Game and they consistantly have the best defense in this conference. Do not confuse this with another neutral site game between two conference opponents playing for the Championship game because make no mistake about it, Southern Miss is coming to Houston and some 32000 in Robertson Stadium are going to be ready to make some crazy noise hoping it helps their team take the Conference Title. The Eagles are on a big time roll right now as they have won four straight games and seem to have turned the corner from some mid-season problems. Away from home, I am not so sure this team has been all that great because in their season opener, they got smashed by Florida on the road which is fine, then they went to UCF and won by only five points which seeing that UCF finished with only four wins, was kinda pathetic. Then came a road trip to a tough Tulsa opponent, a game the Eagles lost 20-6. That was followed by a blowout road loss to Virginia Tech and then came two road wins against conference basement occupiers Tulane and Memphis. So the Eagles don't really have any valid road wins this season and that's a huge concern. Southern Miss is averaging 26.6 points per conference game this season on 325.1 total yards of offense and 5.1 yards per play. That's not bad but what people don't realize is that this Houston defense is actually much better than last year's and they allow only 21.6 points per game in Conference play for only 304.9 total yards per game and 4.9 yards per play. On the ground, the Eagles have done a great job running the ball with RB Damion Fletcher but I was impressed with the way Houston held him to only 80 yards in their first meetings. Sure the Eagles average 171.5 rushing yards per conference game on 4.5 yards per carry but Houston's run defense is allowing only 112.6 rushing yards per CUSA game on only 3.5 yards per carry. In the air, QB Jeremy Young has played well but he makes a lot of poor decisions. Young is completing 55.7% of his passes against CUSA opponents for 6.1 yards per pass attempt and has thrown only 3 interceptions against Conference opponents. Houston's pass defense is not the best around but they do allow opposing conference QB's to complete only 56.1% of their passes for only 6.4 yards per pass attempt. They have picked off 8 passes in conference play as well as forced 12 fumbles and recovered 9 of them. I don't doubt that Southern Miss can score early and take the lead in the first half. However, they are not a good second half team and I expect the Cougars to force one or two turnovers that change this game for good.
The Houston Cougars have not won the Conference USA Championship belt in something like 10 years now. Sure they are not the most talked about team in Houston these days but with the way the Texans are playing, I am willing to be that several people are going to come out for this game tonight. Both the offense and defense are laced with Seniors so this is one last chance to do something good for the fans and for their pride as they had come so close at times. I mean Houston was always that team that would lead the West Division for half the year and then completely fade off the conference map once we hit the midway point. Well not this time around. The Cougars kicked off their season with a nice 4-0 start before losing a decent game to Miami at the end of September. Then came what looked like an early season meltdown as the Cougars lost to Louisiana Lafayette and then Southern Miss, making it another three game losing streak that could ruin their season. The Cougars quickly turned things around however with a huge win against UTEP at home followed by four more conference wins to finish the year on a 5-0 run and take the West Division Title. Houston's last loss was against Southern Miss so it's time for some sweet redemption and this one might get ugly. Houston is averaging 34.4 points per game in CUSA Conference play this season and they have done it on 450.1 total yards of offense and a whopping 6.1 yards per play. Southern Miss has the top defense in the conference as they allow 16.5 points per game on only 295.5 total yards and 4.9 yards per play. On the ground, RB Jackie Battle has led this team to 197.8 rushing yards per conference game on 5.3 yards per carry and he has recorded two straight 125+ rushing yard games heading into this one. Southern Miss are allowing only 3.4 yards per carry in conference play but I expect Battle to make an impact. In the air, Senior QB Kevin Kolb has been just outstanding, completing 68.2% of his passes for 8.7 yards per pass attempt, 25 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Conference MVP for sure. Southern Miss has one weakness on defense and it's their secondary as they allow 6.7 yards per pass attempt in Conference play and should get lit up nicely tonight. The problem I have with Houston is the amount of penalties they take in games this season but they are well coached by Art Briles who knows a little something or two about winning state titles in the state of Texas. Should be a great game.
I totally expected Souther Miss to be favored or close to it in this game but oddsmakers saw things differently and apparently like Houston to be that much better than the Eagles. However, the most crucial intangible of this game is the revenge factor because Houston came close to winning their first meeting this year in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and now it's time to host the big bash and party like there's no tomorrow once they rap up this title on a revenge win. Both teams have new records and goals on the line in this game but there will be no stopping Houston in this game as I see them absolutely romping the Souther Miss Eagles
Trend of the Game:
Houston is 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
Houston 31, Southern Miss 14
Saturday, December 2 - ACC Championship Game
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -2.5 (10 Units)
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have not won a conference title since 1970 or something like that which makes this quite incredible and impossible that they stand here today and have shot at winning another one. This is a team that was 4-7 last year but that was completely expected to at least reach a Bowl Game so don't be all that shocked that everyone else around them choked themselves out of this Atlantic Division spot. I mean Boston College had a huge meltdown to lose the division title but Wake Forest doesn't really care how they got here because they are here and they have a chance to reach the BCS should they win this game. Incredible. Not only was this team 4-7 the last two seasons but they lost their starting QB on the opening day of the season and in the end, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they had been redshirting Riley Skinner and he has stepped in outstandingly. The Deacons had two losses this season, one to Clemson (who I think is better than WF) and the other to Virginia Tech (who I also think are better than WF). Other than that, Wake has beatonly one or two teams that are Bowl Eligible and I'm not impressed with their schedule. The Deacons are averaging 21.9 points per conference game this season but on only 291.4 total yards of offense and 5.1 yards per play. Georgia Tech's defense has been stout all season, allowing 19.4 points per game in Conference play but on only 298.0 total yards per game and 4.7 yards per play. On the ground, the Deacons use about 3-4 RB's and average 139.6 rushing yards per game on 3.8 yards per carry in ACC play this season. The Yellow Jackets defense is allowing only 90.8 rushing yards per conference game on only 3.2 yards per carry and without the running game, Wake Forest isn't worth much. In the air, QB Riley Skinner is completing 69.1% of his passes in Conference play for 7.5 yards per pass attempt. He is playing behind a great D-Line and has thrown only 4 interceptions in conference play. The GTech defense is allowing ACC QB's to complete only 50.0% of their passes this season for 6.0 yards per pass attempt. They have recorded 23 sacks in eight conference games and have intercepted 9 passes along the way. This is a very agressive defense that has forced 16 fumbles against ACC opponents this season. Wake Forest has had a nice run but it will only be good enough as a momentum builder for next season.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were just as improbable as Wake Forest when it comes to making it this far in the ACC conference this season. I mean it's pretty damn tough to play behind Virginia Tech and Miami and somehow knock them both off to reach this game. The Jackets are an impressive 9-3 on the season and unlike Wake Forest, they have a few impressive wins to go along with their Coastal Division title. Chan Gailey has come a long way with these players and this will the last chance both Reggie Ball and Calvin Johnson will have to play together. GTech opened the season with a tough home loss to Notre Dame but their defensive was outstanding in that game and the Jackets sent an early message. After winning their next three games, the Jackets went to Virginia Tech and blew out the Hokies 38-27 (something nobody else has done all season). Then they hosted Miami and blew them out 30-7 which pretty much sealed the deal as to who would be representing this division in the championship game this weekend. The Jackets closed out the regular season by losing a thriller to Georgia but they played well and that should give them good momentum coming into this one. The Jackets average 26.6 points per game in the ACC this season and they have done it on 328.6 total yards and 5.6 yards per play. Wake Forest has been solid defensively all season as they allow 18.1 points per game in ACC play but on only 348.5 total yards and 5.3 yards per play. On the ground, RB Tashard Choice has rushed for 1204 yards this season and led the team to 151.1 rushing yards per conference game. Wake Forest are allowing 110.5 rushing yards per ACC game and have done a decent job stopping some good running backs. In the air, QB Reggie Ball has been both great and bad but that's the way he is. Ball is completing only 46.8% of his passes in ACC play but he has connected for 7.1 yards per pass attempt and really only thrown 8 interceptions in ACC play. Wake Forest has allowed ACC opponents to complete a whopping 60.3% of their passes for 7.3 yards per pass attempt this season. They don't have much of a pass rush and rely heavily on their DB's to make some big plays which could be next to impossible with Calvin Johnson playing his final ACC game ever (unless he comes back next year) with a chance to reach the BCS. I really like the Yellow Jackets to greet Wake Forest with a little bit of southern love in this one. Both teams are quick starting when it comes to scoring points early but much like we have seen in other games this season, Georgia Tech is a tough team to score on and they force enough turnovers that the offense is handed a short field. Tashard Choice doesn't get enough respect as a RB and I expect him to have a huge game heading into the Bowl Season and heading into his Senior year. The Yellow Jackets have this one and only chance to win the ACC Title and altough I don't like Chan Gailey as a head coach, my money is Ball and Johnson to have a conneciton party in this one.
The ACC had one of it's worst years in recent memory as there has been a changing of the guards with the big boys Miami, Virginia Tech and Florida State will all sit at home and watch as teams they can beat are playing for the title. I have the ACC ranked as the sixth best conference in the Country which is big time downfall from years past. The two best teams in this conference are by a landslide Virginia Tech and Clemson and then I would take Boston College but like I mentioned before, shit happens and those teams choked at one point or another. We are stuck with these two teams so let's deal with it and make some cash. Did I mention I still think FSU is better than both these teams? LOL...money time and by the way, this game is in Jacksonville, Florida.
Trend of the Game:
Georgia Tech is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings not played at Wake Forest.
Georgia Tech 27, Wake Forest 17
SEC Championship Game
Arkansas Razorbacks +3 (10 Units)
Why in the world do I feel about 50 times better being on Arkansas as an underdog in this game than I did last week when I had Arkansas at home as an underdog? I mean we all know LSU is the best team in this conference by a longshot but since they messed up and didn't make it this far, we are pretty much stuck with a team like the Razorback which is not all that bad in the end. Arkansas was being pegged the most likely to improve this season and improve they did. The Razorbacks went from 4-7 last season to 10-2 this year and I can't remember the last time this program had a 10 win season. Arkansas do in a way deserve to be here today because although they sucked ass once again in Little Rock against LSU, the Razorbacks still had some big wins this season and are worthy of at least attempting to show us their worth. The big season started for these guys when they went to Auburn and beat the Tigers 27-10 in October. That came right after almost losing to Alabama at home two weeks before. Then came another big road win, this time over Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks. That was followed by the win over Tennessee at home and the loss to LSU to close out the year. This is by far another big game for Houston Nutt and his team. The Razorbacks are averaging 27.6 points per game in the SEC this season and they have done it on 363.9 total yards per game and a whopping 6.2 yards per play. Florida's defense has been good all year allowing only 15.8 points per game in the SEC on 305.1 total yards and only 4.8 yards per play in conference play. On the ground, RB Darren McFadden is as good as they get. He has led this team to 214.3 rushing yards per SEC game this season on 5.3 yards per carry and has rushed for 1489 yards and 15 touchdowns. The emergence of RB Felix Jones makes this a two-headed monster that's almost impossible to stop. Florida is allowing only 78.3 rushing yards per SEC game this season on 2.9 yards per carry. In the air, QB Casey Dick is still a big question mark in terms of capability to win big games. He is completing only 51.7% of his passes but has tossed 8 touchdown passes to 3 interceptions and is averaging 8.4 yards per pass attempt. Shorter routes would be a good idea in this one because opposing SEC teams have completed 59.0% of their passes against the Gators for 6.3 yards per pass attempt. Dick will have to be quick in this game because Florida have 3.0 sacks per conference game this season and they have also intercepted 11 passes in conference play. As long as McFadden can move the chains and Dick is held to short passes only, the Razorbacks should be able to control the clock and keep the Gators off the field. Arkansas have lost only 1 fumble all season in SEC play and they average only 5.5 penalties per conference game this season. Houston Nutt was not happy about the loss last week and this is the game where this team can really make it's mark in the SEC for this year and for next. I don't know if there's a chance of Mitch Mustain playing in this game but regardless, the running attack needs to be strong because the Gators have a funny way of trying to throw games away which is something LSU almost never does and is the reason the Razorbacks coulnd't pull off the comeback last week. This is their week to show the world that Florida is not BCS worthy.
The Florida Gators have been part of the BCS Championship Game talks since almost mid-season now and im getting pretty damn sick of hearing about it. In my books, neither one of these teams deserves anything close to a shot at the BCS but since Florida is the only one loss team in this conference, of course people are going to include them in National Title talk. Well it's a mistake because in my books, Florida is ranked somewhere like 9 or 10 and I could list you a bunch of teams that would more likely than not beat this Florida team. If the Gators don't win this game, all BCS hope is gone (well it's already gone) and the true colors will be shown. A lot of experts predicted that Florida was very capable of returning to the SEC Title Game but the way I see it with this team, luck brought them here (it did the same for Arkansas) and had it not been for some very sneaky and I sneaky wins over other SEC teams, the Gators would not be here right now. I mean they squeezed by Tennessee 21-20 earlier in the year but made up for it with a convincing home win over LSU. Then came the 10 point loss to Auburn in the following week and then another squeaker in the Cocktail party against a fading Georgia team. Then came another squeaker against Vanderbilt of all school and then a very lucky one point win over Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks the following week. So what did the Gators do to shut people up and close out their regular season? They beat a crappy FSU team by only seven points. The Gators are averaging 22.3 points per conference game this season but they have done it on 347.6 total yards per game and 5.8 yards per play. The Arkansas defense has surprisingly been good this season as they have allowed only 16.8 points per game in SEC play and have done it by allowing only 309.0 total yards of offense and 4.9 yards per play. On the ground, the Gators have done a good job moving the ball as they average 143.5 rushing yards per SEC game on 4.2 yards per carry. However, Arkansas is decent enough against the run and they allow 116.9 rushing yards per game on 3.6 yards per carry in SEC play this season. In the air, QB Chris Leak has completed 61.8% of his passes in conference play for 8.0 yards per pass attempt. He is playing behind an average offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 17 times in conference play and that could be why he has thrown almost one interception per conference game this season. The good news for Leak is that Arkansas don't have many interceptions on the year. The bad news however is that is that the Hogs bring a lot of pressure and have 21 sacks in SEC play this season. Arkansas is allowing only 51.4% of SEC opponents passes to be completed for only 6.3 yards per pass attempt and I do expect some of these guys in the secondary to make some big plays today. Florida is one of the most penalized teams in SEC play this season as they average 8.4 penalties per game which has pretty much killed several good drives. The Gators have huge issues putting games away and with a furious near comeback by Arkansas last week, don't expect the Gators to escape another close game with a win. I'll take the Hogs this week and I don't think they will disappoint me this time.
The SEC had another great year as I have them ranked the second best conference in the country by a small margin. I am however happy that the PAC 10 does not have a title game because nobody would want to watch it as USC is completely dominating that Conference. I think LSU and Florida are the two best teams in the conference this year but much like the ACC Title game, the best teams did not make it here and that's just how things workout. We have a great matchup between two teams who at times have been accused of being BCS contending frauds and the best part about this game is we will find out who is really that good and who is really just pretending. The Georgia Dome should be rocking for this one. The money is on Florida but I'm on the pigs.
Trend of the Game:
Florida is 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games this season.
Arkansas 28, Florida 25
Big 12 Championship Game
Oklahoma Sooners -3.5 (10 Units)
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have made me some nice coin this season as I bet on them three times and cashed each and everytime. However, I am going to have to thank them for what they have done and gracefully go against them in this one because the matchup is not good. To kick things off, Nebraska plays in the Big 12 North Division which has proven to be about twenty times weaker than the South this season with the downfall of several teams like Colorado and Iowa State. I can most definitely place 5 teams from the Big 12 South ahead of any other team (other than Nebraska) in the North. Missouri gave it a good run for a while but quickly faded at the end of the year and would not have a winning season playing in the South Division. Nebraska had some very impressive and good wins this season but I do have some concerns. The Huskers played very well against both Texas and Texas A&M (actually winning their game in College Station) but that's still not enough for me. I do however have concerns with their 11 point loss to Oklahoma State as well as their performance against Kansas and Iowa State (two teams who are pretty garbage this season). The Huskers ended the regular season with a blowout win over Colorado but once again, how prepared can that make them for this game? The Huskers are averaging 29.5 points per conference game this season and they have done it on 414.8 total yards of offense and 6.1 yards per play. However, Oklahoma's defense is stout and they are allowing 15.1 points per game in conference play. In those games, they have allowed only 249.1 total yards of offense on 4.2 yards per play and not many teams have been able to move the ball against them. On the ground, Nebraska has rushed for 162.8 yards per conference game on 4.1 yards per carry but I have a feeling they will have issues today against an Oklahoma defense allowing only 83.6 rushing yards per conference game on 2.9 yards per carry (and that comes playing in the South Division). In the air, QB Zac Taylor has come a long way in this West Coast offense with Bill Callahan. He is completing 59.1% of his passes against Big 12 opponents and averages a whopping 8.7 yards per pass attempt. Oklahoma's pass defense is allowing opposing Big 12 QB's to complete only 50.6% of their passes this season for only 5.4 yards per pass attempt and if you look at who they have played against, that's mighty impressive. Taylor is a good QB but his protection is mininal as he has been sacked 22 times by conference opponents but has refrained from throwing too many interceptions. Oklahoma doesn't pressure QB's as much as people think but they do have some solid packages and have 10 conference interceptions to show for it. Nebraska (much like Oklahoma) has had big time problems holding onto the ball this year as they have fumbled 15 times in conference play and lost 11 of those fumbles. The Huskers are one of the fastest teams in the Conference when it comes to scoring points early but Oklahoma have rarely allowed more than 10 points in the first half of any game this season and if the Huskers get behind early, I just don't see how they can comeback against this Sooners defense that is playing with big time intensity the last little while. Once again, the South is the best Division and Oklahoma is the best the South has to offer...the Huskers are in big trouble here.
The Oklahoma Sooners had the world and some thrown at them this season but it has yet to faze them. Let's start with the fact that their starting QB was supposed to be Rhett Bomar but he got kicked off the team before the season even started. Then came the disasterous scandal in Oregon where the Sooners clearly won the game but got screwed by refs who have now admittingly told eveyrone that they made some bad calls and yes they screwed Oklahoma. That's some unreal stuff. Now if you thought that was unreal, how about losing superstar and Heisman candidate RB Adrian Peterson for the year? The worst part about that is that he was hurt while doing a celebratory dive into the endzone. So what have the Sooners done about all that? They have marched on as Bob Stoops troopers and finished the year 10-2 with their only REAL loss being against the best team in this Conference, the Texas Longhorns. Other than that, Oklahoma blew their North Division opponents right out of the water, they smoked Missouri 26-10 on the road, they beat Texas A&M on in College Station, they romped Texas Tech at home and they topped it all off by beating the surging Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road by a 27-21 score. The Sooners are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games and are heading for big things when they win this game. The Sooners average 26.0 points per game in Big 12 play this season and have done it on 347.8 total yards of offense and 5.4 yards per play. On the ground, RB Allen Patrick has been oustanding replacing Peterson, rushing for 670 yards and leading this team to 192.9 rushing yards per Big 12 game on 4.9 yards per carry. The Nebraska defense is weak against the run as they allow a whopping 134.9 rushing yards per conference game on 4.4 yards per carry which tells me that Oklahoma can dominate this game on the ground and keep the Nebraska offense off the field for the better part of the game. In the air, QB Paul Thompson has also been a pleasant surprise as he has completed 61.0% of his passes in Big 12 play and is averaging 7.2 yards per pass attempt. Thompson has rarely been sacked this season and has thrown only 4 interceptions against Big 12 opponents. Nebraska's defense has held Big 12 opponents to a 53.0% completion rate this season but they give up huge plays in the air and have allowed 7.0 yards per pass attempt. They have 9 interceptions in Big 12 play and are good at pass rushing but it won't matter against this Oklahoma offensive line that has pushed everyone backwards all season. The only problem I have with the Sooners is that they have fumbled 24 times in conference play and lost 15 of those fumbles. Luckily for them, Nebraska has not been at recovering fumbles so the Sooners might catch a few breaks. Oklahoma is the class of the Big 12 and with all that they have been through this season, the least they deserve and expect is to be Big 12 Champions once this game is all said and done.
The Big 12 took another big nose dive in my conference rankings this season as I have them pegged the #5 conference in the Nation. I also think (and I have discussed this before) that Texas is a more talented team than both Oklahoma and Nebraska but their messed up season was tossed down the gutter with another loss last weekend. Oklahoma and Nebraska are by far the best talents after Texas so it's fitting that they meet in this game. Can you imagine Texas Tech or someone like that playing in this game instead? No way. I think I am with the money in this game and it doesn't concern me because Stoops has been through too much to lose this game.
Trend of the Game:
Oklahoma is 6-1 ATS in their last seven Big 12 conference games.
Oklahoma 31, Nebraska 17