Texas Longhorns VS Alabama Crimson Tide: BCS National Championship Pick

As I said in my newsletter, Alabama is the best college football team in the Nation. Defensively they look superior to every other team, and offensively they often manhandle opposing defenses, control the clock, and have shown the ability to beat the snot out of opponents as well as win ugly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will win this game.

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A month of no games can play tricks on a team, and that’s one of the reasons why this ridiculous bowl stuff makes everything a little more interesting. For an entire month, the Texas Longhorns have been hearing people talk about how they don’t have a chance against the best team in the SEC. They’ve heard about Heisman winner Mark Ingram and the powerful running game. They’ve heard about the defense with a handful of future NFL players. Yes, for one month, they’ve got to hear all the reasons they should lose. And it’s amazing how motivational that can be for a team that didn’t lose a single game all season long.

But despite that motivational push, it’s tough for me to go against Alabama here. Bowl games are special, and you never know, but the Tide look too tough in areas I think are most important. They are as tough as nails up front of offense and all over the field defensively. They allowed just 11 points per game, allowed 7 or less in 6 contests, and held normally powerful offenses like Arkansas, Florida, and Ole Miss to fewer than two touchdowns. The Crimson Tide are certainly battle tested. They easily ran throw what many people thought was the very best team in the Nation when they blistered Florida 32-13 in the SEC Championship game.

Texas struggled down the stretch, barely beating Texas A&M in a game where the Longhorns allowed 39 points (nearly twice as much as the Crimson Tide ever allowed in a single game this season) and needed a long last second field goal to beat Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship. Anything can happen in Bowl games, but if both these teams play to their potential, I think the Tide win easily. So I’ll take Alabama to cover the spread.

Texas Longhorns VS Alabama Crimson Tide (-3.5)

BCS National Championship Preview: Wronging a Right

Before I get started on my frustrated rant that ends up with me crushing my own soul by suggesting these idiots actually got it right, here’s a list of the 10 schools that will be enjoying BCS Bowl money this coming New Year, and the match-ups in their selected Bowls. I’ll be doing free picks, write-ups for each game later in the month:

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BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide vs Texas Longhorns

Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Fiesta Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Boise State Broncos

Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Florida Gators

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

First and foremost, lets get the obvious out of the way: there is now way in hell anything without a playoff could ever really be called a “Championship”. If the Yankees never had to play the Red Sox, or if they didn’t have to play the National League, it would be pretty damn hard to call them the National Champions or even better yet, the “World Champions”, now wouldn’t it? Pitting the two “top rated” teams against each other,  based on an absurd ranking system that relies almost completely on coaches that don’t even vote, and that are supposed to vote a certain way based on their conference loyalties, in a system that brings into account “PRE-SEASON Rankings”, seems like an interesting way to crown a champ to me.

But like I said, that is obvious, and since this fine country is almost completely money driven, it makes sense that colleges would keep selling the souls of their athletes for as much cash as possible, and keep this “clever” bowl system going for as long as possible. Here’s to you Mr. Obama – it may not be high on your list, but I’ll be impatiently hoping for your mark on the college game. So we’ll just agree to agree here, it is impossible to do teams’ justice in this format, especially when their are multiple undefeated teams. IMPOSSIBLE.

Now lets get into these match-ups and how they are absolutely right in the worst way. I personally would have matched up TCU and Florida, Cincinnati and Boise State – and lets be honest, I could careless about the other match-ups right now, because matching TCU, Cincinnati, or Boise State up with Georgia Tech or Iowa wouldn’t show anybody anything. And the Rose Bowl is the Rose Bowl and it’s looking like it always will be despite how despicable the Big 10 becomes. I’m willing to accept that, and think Ohio State and Oregon will be a fun match-up. But I have good reason for changing the match-ups around a little.

My problem with the TCU vs. Boise State match-up is that it won’t prove anything except who is the best “small college” school in the country. But for arguments sake, instead of calling it “Small College”, lets go with “Can’t Possibly Win a National Championship College” – because that better describes the them and their situation. If you put Boise State or TCU up against Florida, and the other up against Cincinnati – then you would have two great “CPWaNCC’s” against two bigger and more distinguished schools (though the Big East has almost as little respect as the “small conferences”). That would give the small colleges a chance to prove themselves against top competition, and it would, maybe in the future, give them more respect with voters. The problem with a match-up like this is that it would have a chance of doing exactly what I suggested, making the “other” colleges gain some respect, and thus giving them a chance at the National Championship. Oh, you don’t think that’s a problem? Too bad for us, because “the Man” does.

Unfortunately for me, they probably got the match-ups right on the dot, based solely on the quality of teams. BYU and TCU have proven to me that they are 2 of the top 4 teams in the Nation, and if they can’t play for the National Championship, that means that, in my book, they are the next two best teams and thus should play each other. Cincinnati is very good, but I believe they are 2nd to both of the colleges that can’t possibly win a national championship. Florida might be the best team in the Nation, but laid an egg last week, getting absolutely handled by Alabama, thus losing their chances for a Top spot. I don’t think Texas is as good people give them credit for, but being a “Big Conference” school, and undefeated, will put them in the Big game, and it’s hard to argue with that.

The biggest problem with this is the match-ups are right. Football-wise, talent-wise, they are probably all right. It’s terrible that BYU and TCU are proving their worth against each other, an impossible task considering the only thing they could possibly do to prove their ability would be to oust a top ranked “Big College” team. But it’s probably right. I would rank them 2 and 3, (ahead of Texas), based on what I’ve seen from all three teams this year – so they are the next best teams, and that’s what a Bowl should be looking for. But give them a chance to fight for the small schools, come on. It may be the right match-up (Kudos to “them” for getting something right), but it’s wrong on every other level, and gives two of the best teams in the country almost nothing to gain with a win in January.

Texas Longhorns vs Nebraska Cornhuskers NCAAF Free Pick

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Texas Longhorns vs Nebraska Cornhuskers NCAAF Free Pick: I don’t see what about the Cornhuskers has them at a two touchdown underdog in this one. They’ve basically had one bad game all year long, and aside from that one piss poor outing, a 31-10 loss to Texas Tech in which they turned the ball over more than Jay Cutler, they’ve lost two games by a total of three points, a 2 point loss to Iowa State and a 1 point loss to Virginia Tech. That’s not really two touchdown underdog worthy is it?

Against like opponents, the Cornhuskers have held their own. They beat Kansas by two touchdowns while the Longhorns beat the Jayhawks by three touchdowns. The Huskers beat Oklahoma 10-3, the Longhorns won their tilt with the Sooners 16-13. Both won against the spread and straight up against Missouri.

They Cornhuskers have out-rushed all but two of their opponents on the season, the same can be said for the Longhorns. The Cornhuskers have a superior defense, allowing just 11 points on average this season. The Lonhorns have the superior offense, blasting weaker teams late in the year, and finishing the year averaging 43 points per contest compared to the Cornhuskers 25.6.

But Nebraska plays their toughest football against the best teams. They beat Oklahoma, fought Virginia Tech until the very end, and beat up on Kansas. The last two games in this match-up the Longhorns have won by 2 and 3 points. Nebraska won ATS in both games. Texas has more injury concerns headed into Saturday’s Championship game, and that last little push makes the Cornhuskers a great bet in my cocky opinion.

Texas Longhorns @ Nebraska Cornhuskers (+13.5)

Texas Longhorns vs Texas A&M Aggies Week 13 Free Pick

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Texas Longhorns (-22.5) @ Texas A&M Aggies Week 13 Free Pick: Like I said in my newsletter, Texas has won their last 5 games by at least 25 points. Why not make it 6?” Listen, there are lots of reason, historical reasons, rivalry reasons, to like the Aggies here, and so far the spread has resembled that sediment. The spread has shot down a very important 1.5 points since I made my selection, all the way down to 21, a nice 3-touchdown number. That scares me a little, the books obviously wanted some more money coming in on the road favorites – but I can’t be worried too much about what the books want.

Lets look at some reasons why my pick is scary. One – this spread has rarely been this big, only twice in the last ten seasons. Two – it’s a rivalry game. It may be a rivalry recently dominated by the Longhorns, but 7 of the last 10 doesn’t look as good when you see that the Aggies have upset Texas twice in the last three seasons. Also, the Aggies covered three straight going into last years’ game.

But that’s history, maybe not ancient history, but history nonetheless. The Longhorns probably haven’t played many games up to their par this season, but don’t look past their lat 5 wins by at least 27 points. Sure, they started off the season slow in terms of dominant wins, but five in a row in the high twenties or more? I have to like their chances to continue the run. Plus, the Aggies have been destroyed by “good” teams, OK State, Arkansas, and Oklahoma (none as good as Texas) all won their games by 27+ points over the Aggies. The Longhorns shall be #4.

Texas Lonhorns @ Oklahoma State Cowboys Free Pick

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Texans Longhorns (-8.5) @ Oklahoma State Cowboys Free Pick: I like the Cowboys, like their confidence and numbers, I just don’t think it’s real. Not against good teams anyway. The Cowboys are 6-1 but they’ve had to fight a very easy schedule for wins, Baylor, Texas A&M, Rice, and Grambling don’t strike fear into my heart, and you should consider that when you’re looking at those 6 wins. 6 wins, sure, looks nice, but against who? The Cowboys’ best win? I’d say a marginal Missouri team. Texas, on the other hand, they haven’t looked like a Top team in the nation this year either, but they have won, and they’ve had to go through Oklahoma, Texas Tech,  at Missouri, and a pretty decent Colorado team. They are the better team here, no doubt in my mind, and with Dez Bryant suspended for the season, and more importantly this game, that game breaking presence isn’t going to help bail the Cowboys out. This game could be over quick, or it could take a little while, either way there will be a time when Oklahoma has their spirits broken, and that’s a good sign for a Texas cover. The Longhorns are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games. Texas is 10-0 in their last 10 games against Oklahoma State, they are 7-3 ATS in those games, 4-1 ATS on the road. The last two games have been decided by 7 total points.