Homerism cuts into The Skinny's lead last week, but little brother remains out in front.
WEEK ELEVEN--The Skinny
(Last Week: 3-3; Overall: 33-25-2)
I've never experienced anything like last week. Late in third quarter in what was another comfortable victory for OU, the Sooners lost their season on a seemingly routine play by Ryan Broyles. Any chance OU had of winning the national championship – the stated goal of the season – is gone without Broyles.
It is hard to put into words what Broyles means to this team. The Sooners lost more than one of the best receivers to ever play the college game. They lost their unquestioned leader, their captain, the engine that powered this team. The 2011 Oklahoma Sooners might be able to replace his 133 yards per game, but they can't replace what he was to this team.
I think I speak for every Sooner fan when I say even the disappointing fate of the OU football season took a back seat to the disappointment I felt for Broyles. Anyone who has ever played sports, or competed in anything, can relate to Broyles' raw emotion on the sideline Saturday. In a year in which we have been bombarded with examples of people behaving poorly in college athletics, Broyles is a reminder of why we love college football. Following Broyles over his career at OU, it is clear he one of special few who "get it." If only more people in positions of authority in college athletics realized, like Broyles, that sometimes it's not about what you do, but how you do it. Broyles did it in spectacular fashion.
Texas A&M at Kansas State (+4)
This match-up features the nation's biggest underachiever, A&M, against the nation's biggest overachiever in Kansas State. Kansas State doesn't have one player on offense who would even see the field at A&M. The Wildcats have the decisive coaching advantage with Bill Snyder going up against Mike Sherman.
The Aggies have given up on the 2011 season.
The Skin says: I like K-State straight up, but I'll take the 4 points.
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (+17)
How did OU lose to this team?
You have no right to complain about not making the BCS Championship if you lose a game. I am looking at you, 'Bama fans! Weird things happen to undefeated teams in Lubbock, and OSU is coming off a tough victory over K-State. The Pokes escape Lubbock in a close one.
Skin says: Get your guns up, baby!
Lee Greenwood Special: Navy (+8.5) at SMU
I clearly have no read on the 2011 Navy Midshipmen. I am going to take a page from George Costanza's playbook this week and go with the opposite of my true feeling for this game.
The Skinny says: I'll take Navy with the points.
Wake Forest at Clemson (-16)
I was stuck watching the first half of Notre Dame-Wake last week during the 'Bama-LSU game. This simply isn't my football season!
On the positive side, I discovered Wake Forest is worse than I imagined. The Demon Deacons don't have the horses to run with the Irish and they certainly don't have the horses to run with Clemson.
Skinny says: I like the Tigers big!
Auburn at UGA (-12.5)
Auburn's three loses on the season have come at Clemson, at Arkansas and at LSU. I'm more impressed with Auburn's record than UGA's seven-game winning streak against the likes of Tennessee, Vandy and Ole Miss.
The Skinny says: A 12.5-point spread in the SEC is the equivalent 28 points in the Big 12. I like War Eagle with the points.
(Note: So, admittedly, I only saw the second half of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary on the Alabama-Auburn rivalry, but that was definitely my least favorite thus far. Why did they continue to cut to the Andre the Giant look-alike playing the piano between scenes? That was just weird!)
Tennessee at Arkansas (-14)
The calamity that was the Lane Kiffin experiment in Knoxville is really showing up this season. Meanwhile, the Hogs are the clear No. 3 in the SEC in my opinion. Arkansas will score a ton of points this weekend against the Vols sans Tyler Bray. Arkansas looks to be on course to play LSU for the SEC West.
The Skin says: Volunteers shouldn't have signed up for this one.
WEEK ELEVEN--Blatant Homerism
(Last Week: 4-2; Overall: 31-28-1)
I'm still chipping away Skin man's lead, but I'm running out of time to get that Yuletide choco-tini.
Oregon (+3.5) at Stanford
I might as well get my weekly play against Stanford out of the way now, right?
Stanford has developed a reputation in the last three years for its physical brand of football. However, if you watched LSU-Alabama last week, you had to see the glaring difference between the Cardinal and those two SEC smash-mouthists: speed and athleticism. 'Bama and LSU? They've got it. Stanford? Not so much, especially at the skill positions.
Oregon, on the other hand, emphasizes athleticism at just about every position. As we saw in last year's big Ducks win, the Cardinal just can't keep up.
BH says: I like Oregon's burners over Stanford's plodders.
Alabama (-17) at Mississippi State
This game has bounce back written all over Dan Mullen's smiling mug.
Expect the Crimson Tide to be downright fuming over losing last week's showdown with LSU. 'Bama generally outplayed the Tigers, but for four missed field goals.
All isn't lost, though, as some continue to push for a BCS rematch with the Bayou Bengals. To get there, style points will be paramount.
Nothing the Bulldogs do is stylish, but I have a feeling their guests on Saturday will take care to make this an elegant affair.
BH says: Al-a-bam-a get an-gry!
Texas A&M (-4) at Kansas State
I gave a little preview of this one over at Crystal Ball Run already.
The Aggies don't have a great coach, but he's a coach who'd undoubtedly like to keep his job. With A&M moving to the SEC next year, you can bet his employment will be re-evaluated in December if this squad continues to slip. Doesn't that sound like a kick in the ass?
BH says: Aggies giving los puntos.
TCU (+15.5) at Boise State
Let's get this out of the way up front: Neither of these outfits are on the level of the great teams fielded in Fort Worth and Boise a year ago. The Broncos are still very good, but they aren't dominating in the same fashion as last season. TCU is improving, but these Horned Frogs are so young they're still tadpoles.
The Horned Frogs being wet behind the ears relative to Boise's veterans doesn't change the fact that they've still got a great coach and system in place. Using history as a guide, these two generally play a tight game. I don't expect things will be different this time.
BH says: Take the 15.5 and don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
LGS: Rutgers at Army (+8.5)
Stuck in the middle of conference play, this has the makings of a major sandwich game for the Scarlet Knights. Last week, they beat South Florida in overtime. A week from now, they get a shot at Cincinnati, which gave Rutgers a 69-38 beatdown a year ago.
The Black Knights played Rutgers tough in 2010, falling in OT. Look for a repeat performance this year, with Army uglying up the game. The Black Knights shouldn't have much trouble slowing Rutgers' discombobulated offense enough to keep this one within a score.
BH says: Rutgers by four.
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
I should stay away from Texas Tech, right? I've bet them two weeks in a row, and all I have to show for it is a bunch of humiliation. Good thing I don't have much self-respect left to lose.
As was the case a week ago against Kansas St., Tech could give the OSU's defense trouble, because the Red Raiders don't turn the ball over much.
One other stat that should have the Cowboys a little wary: Tech has won seven straight season home finales and covered the spread in the last five.
BH says: Pokes, but much closer than the experts think