bruces1g's Football Blog
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Time to break out the roasting pan and prepared to dine once again on some crow. This past weekend I was dismal in my picks.  In fact, it was just down right ugly. Even the ones that I did get, I was off base on. Geez, I may have to change this to a comedy blog or start posting my picks on Sunday. I think I also might need to get Wade involved again.

I was a pathetic 2-2 in the SEC, but better in the national picks going 2-1 (but the one I missed, I missed large).  This brings my  total to 54-21. I am afraid I am not much better than .500, so you might want to take my opinion with a grain of salt. ;)

Enough moaning and groaning, now lets look at what happened this week...

TENNESSEE over VANDERBILT: Vandy had a golden opportunity to put a hurting on the Vols, but instead decided to give them an early holiday gift.  Two Vandy turnovers led directly to 10 points for the Vols. The Vols helped their own cause by actually generating 10 points on offense. Vandy's only real offensive score was a FG and the TD came on a pick 6.  Vandy's chances of playing a bowl game in a warmer climate is looking mighty slim.

FLORIDA over CITADEL:  As everyone in the free-world knew it would be, this game was a severe slaughter. To Meyer's credit, he did pull the starters very early in the second quarter and most of the over-the-top scoring was done by backups. The Gator's looked awesome against the FCS team, but will have a stiffer challenge in their next game against FSU.

MISSISSIPPI STATE over ARKANSAS:  State really surprised me in this game by generating their best offensive performance of the year. RB Anthony Dixon turned it on for 179 rushing yards and three TDs - this from a team that was averaging a meager 77-yards rushing against SEC teams.  On the defensive side, the Bulldogs managed to hold Michael Smith, the SEC's #2 rusher to only 60-yards.  This win could be important in helping Sly Croom get another season with the Bulldogs. On the positive side, this game was the debut of Casey Dick's younger brother, Nathan, thus insuring several more years of joke material.

OLE MISS over LSU:  LSU continued to have a rocky home season this year as they once again gave another team all the opportunities that they needed to win. This time it was not Lee tossing another pick-6 (although he did have one interception before leaving the game injured), but the defensive secondary that left receivers so open that they were almost lonely.  Twice Jevon Snead found wide open receivers, once for a 34-yard TD and then again late in the game for 39-yard gain that set up the final touchdown. Snead ended up 16-or-25 for 274-yards and 2 TDs.  The Rebel's defense also turned in a dominating performance in holding LSU to 215-yards of total offense with only 37-yards net rushing.  They also forced two interceptions and sacked the LSU QBs 4 times.  Ole Miss has their annual duel with Miss State next week and could finish with a surprising 8-4 record.

Now for the Next Best Three...

PENN STATE over MICHIGAN STATE: The Nittany Lions secured a Rose Bowl spot and a share of the Big 10 title by trashing the Spartans. Daryll Clark went wild throwing for 341-yards and four TDs. On the other side, the PSU defense stuffed Javon Ringer the whole game holding him to just 42-yards.  This game was over early as the PSU was up 28-7 at the half and never let up on the way to a completely dominating performance. In addition, the win invigorated Joe Pa and he pledged to remain at the helm for at least one more year.  Paterno on the sidelines in a Little Rascal scooter?

UTAH over BYU: The Utes persevered in the Holy War and in doing so kept their undefeated season and role of BCS-buster alive. An opportunistic Utah defense forced Max Hall into throwing 5 picks and one fumble. The Utes turned those turnover into a fourth quarter 21-point landslide after the Cougars had cut it to 27-24 mid way thru the third quarter. In contrast, the Utes' Brian Johnson had a phenomenal game going 30 of 36 for 303-yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions. Now sitting 12-0 and at #6 in the BCS standings, the Utes are assured of a BCS bowl game and perhaps more if anyone stumbles.  Let the BCS complaining begin!

OKLAHOMA over TEXAS TECH:  Here is one that I never would have imagined. If anyone had told me that OU's lackluster (at least until this game) defense would hold the high-powered Red Raider offense to just 21 points, I would have told them to put the crack-pipe down.  This was an unbelievable performance by the Sooners as they did everything that they had to do to win this game. Kudos to Stoops for having his team very well prepared.

First, they dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage.  The offensive line created gaping holes that allowed OU to run for 299-yards and DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown both go over 100-yards. They exposed a much smaller TT defensive line by going straight at them and pounding them into exhaustion. On the defensive side of the ball, the Sooners stuffed the TT rushing attack very early on and then set their sights on Harrell.  Mixing blitzes, stunts and coverages, the Sooners confused, harassed and frustrated the Red Raider's QB all night. Their masterful defensive plan also included shutting down Michael Crabtree for much of the game, taking away a potent weapon in the TT attack. Tech's offensive line that had looked very impressive in early games, suddenly found itself out-muscled and out-quicked as the Sooners attacked the gaps created by the wide line splits that the Red Raiders employ. This allowed the Sooners to bring pressure from a variety of angles and disguise their coverages very effectively. In addition, they were very aware of the TT screen-pass tendencies and repeatedly snuffed them out.

Overall if was a very impressive performance by the Sooners and certainly they looked like a much better team than the one that lost to Texas. For sure, the Big 12 South is now a mess and will probably be decided by BCS Poll positions. It will interesting to see how it all plays out in the next couple of weeks.

That is all the crow for me for now. I will try to have the next pick em posted by sometime Wednesday, as there is a full slate of SEC games for the weekend - some with very large implications.  Be sure to let me know as soon as you can about the Next Best 3 games. I'd like to thank everyone for their input over the weeks - it has made it challenging.

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