11W Weekend Update Sponsored By Outstanding Mediocrity

By Luke on November 11, 2010 at 1:00p

College football's 11th week is... Well... Let's just let the distinguished Chris Fowler do the honors:

I'm afraid I pretty much echo his sentiments. This is my second year doing this (strictly for entertainment purposes) little wagering "column" and while we've had some pretty paltry Saturday offerings, this one is definitely up there.
Speaking of paltry, my teetering on and around .500 continues seemingly without ceasing. While last week's national slate got off to a 3-0 start, I quickly did my darnedest to regress to the mean and finished with a 4-4 mark on the week. .500 isn't going to put me over the gambling Mendoza line I'm afraid as the season total now tallies up to 39-40-1, or around 49%. With a seemingly fairly transparent week ahead of us, let's hope I pull a 6-2 (or 7-1; dare to dream) type effort out of my rear. Maybe by bowl season I can approach false authority status yet again. On (on on) to the next one:
National Games

#15 Utah at Notre Dame (+6), 2:30 - NBC (HD)

A game that following Utah's completely embarrassing no-show act against TCU last weekend looked to have every making of the "angry revenge" type spread for the Utes has them set as... 6 point favorites? Look, it doesn't even matter than the Utes didn't pass the 50 yard line until midway through the 3rd quarter against the Horned Frog: GIVE THE SIX POINTS AND RUN WITH IT. Jordan Wynn is as volatile of a quarterback in the country (case in point his 16/35 for 148 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT effort last weekend) but I have an unbelievably hard time envisioning a scenario where Notre Dame and true freshman quarterback Tommy Rees derail a dignity restoring victory needing Utes side, particularly after how flat they looked 2 weeks back against Tulsa. Brief aside: Andrew Hendrix lol. Utah 35 - Notre Dame 17

Georgia at #2 Auburn (-8.5), 3:30 - CBS (HD)

A day after this one was pulled off many boards in Vegas early Wednesday morning due to, uh, some kind of inane social media experiment, we add it not so much for the prestige of a painfully average Georgia side (not that we know anything about painfully average, nope) taking on Auburn and ostensibly the Heisman front runner Cam Newton, but for the sheer picking intrigue of having a game surrounded by so much controversy. I'm thinking quite a few gut check gamblers are feeling a bit uneasy about their Georgia moneyline bets at this point, eh? The best bet for the Dawgs at this point may be to hope that the hysteria/circus environment surrounding Newton's receiving (or not) receiving illegal benefits gets the Tigers QB distracted and has a tangible impact on his play. Auburn is all in at this point: either their season is vacated by the NCAA after their star's past foils are legitimized, or nothing happens (at least in the immediate future) and they have to hope they can stay driven/sharp enough to keep on the march to the SEC Championship Game. As a totally terrible person, I'm naturally rooting for them to win the league before the hammer drops. To the early gamblers' credit, UGA is far from a good team, but they certainly play most of their opponents tough. I can see them keeping things close but still falling at Auburn. Let's cover our bases either way and go Auburn 31 - Georgia 24.

San Diego State at #3 Texas Christian (-26.5), 4:00 - Versus (HD)

You know it’s that kind of week when a ranking of a fringe Top 25 San Diego State side traveling to face a fringe national title contending Texas Christian squad earns top billing around these parts. This one merited inclusion if nothing else for degree of difficulty: a 26.5 point spread in a matchup of borderline Top 25 teams seems awfully steep for a contest not involving Oregon. Brady Hoke, the front runner for the Minnesota gig in some circles, has the zombie corpse of SDSU playing good ball, but Gary Patterson’s team’s never looked better, particularly in lieu of last week’s demolishment of Utah at Utah. This has all the makings of the game where you think to yourself “man, easy money” but then are rudely humbled and put in your place by realizing that Vegas odd’s makers are incredibly good at what they do. My gut says TCU covers, but my head says SDSU. Since neither have been particularly accurate, let’s say………. Take SDSU and the points, TCU 24 - SDSU 14.

#18 Mississippi State at #12 Alabama (-13), 7:15 - ESPN2 (HD)

A battle of juggernauts: TWO TOP 20 SEC SIDES IN… a 13-point potential snoozer between Alabama and Mississippi State. While Alabama/LSU this isn’t, much like the Utah game, this one has all the making of the pissed off spread shattering affair that we see routinely. Alabama’s two headed rushing duo hasn’t been quite their 2K9 selves (see: the Alabama offensive line) and Dan Mullen has shown with the Bulldogs that he was likely a big part of the mojo in Gainesville during the middle part of the last decade.  While 13 flirts with being dangerous for a team of Alabama’s offensive inconsistency of late (and against an offense with the ceiling of MSU), Bama plays angry and wins comfortably 31-13.

Big Ten Games

#13 Iowa at Northwestern (+3) (+9.5), 12:00 - ESPN (HD)

The game that makes Black Heart Gold Pants’ collective dreams come true. After a close call at Indiana last week (that was literally a Damarlo Belcher drop away from ending their dark horse Big Ten title aspirations), Iowa heads to Evanston as but 3 9.5 point favorites. Ricky Stanzi may have to celebrate Veteran’s Day with the force of a covert military operation if Iowa wants to keep in the one-conference loss mix. Dan Persa and co. are fresh from a meltdown after an early large lead against PSU and will need to outpace Mike Kafka’s palty 10/18 for 72 yard performance a year prior (in spite of the net positive end outcome). Persa actually had success on the ground a year prior against the Hawkeyes, but a team still smarted by the upset in Iowa City a year back should be plenty motivated to prove that their game against Indiana was an aberration. Look for the Hawkeyes to make this a statement game, Iowa 34 – Northwestern 17.

Michigan at Purdue (+13), 12:00 - Big Ten Network (HD) (Regional)

Fresh off a triple overtime 69-67 win [via ‘failed 2 pt conversion’], Michigan heads to Purdue to take on a 2/3-star quarterback you’ve never heard of and the Boilermakers. Purdue evidently studied the attrition rates facing the Michigan secondary much of 2010 and decided they need to one up them in terms of the sheer number of injuries they’ve suffered through. Despite a dignified effort a week prior against Wisconsin, Purdue will need more than moral victories if they wish to curtail Denard Robinson (though I’ve heard if you can actually land a square tackle on him, he will miss 1+ quarter(s)). Freshman place holder QB Sean Robinson had 3 picks in the loss to Wisconsin and will have to be more consistent if the Boilers want to rain on the Wolverines post bowl eligibility clinching parade. While the schadenfreude would rain from the skies if the Wolverines suffered the same fate in West Lafayette the Bucks did a year prior, expect Michigan to be too much, too fast: UM 44 – Purdue 27.

Minnesota at Illinois (-21), 12:00 - Big Ten Network (HD) (Regional)

The first of two lack luster Big Ten affairs brings lame duck Minnesota into Champagne to face an Illinois side still licking their paws after a season worse defensive showing a week back. After showing masterful game plans against Ohio State and Penn State, the Illini promptly looked like they expected to go to A^2 and simply contain the Wolverines by sheer self-interest. Minnesota continues to do very little right, not the least of which is respect MarQuise Gray’s importance to the programs future. Gray will need a lot more than the dozen or so snaps he saw a week’s back as well if the Gophers want to keep this interesting, though undoubtedly courtesy will be paid in abundance to the Big Ten’s answer to Reggie Ball in Adam Weber. The Gophers covered a ridiculously large spread against Sparty last weekend, but 21 is the sort of number dreams are made of. I-L-L-I-N-I (h8 u annoying Big Ten Network commercials), 34-10.

Indiana at #7 Wisconsin (-21.5), 12:00 - ESPN2 (HD)

If a football game is played in the woods between two boring “contrasts” of styles, does it actually happen? Indiana and Wisconsin seem hell bent to find out as Pistol Bill Lynch and Ben Chappell take on the 1990’s Big Ten barrage of John Clay and the Badgers. Scott Tolzien’s seen film of the IU secondary and has been having lucid dreams of throwing 30+ passes in a single game (!). Indiana played their best football game of the year last week at home against Iowa, but after the emotional pitfall of coming so close and coming up short, it’s completely foreseeable they come out flat and emotionally drained in Madison. With style points a must for the Badgers to keep dark horse BCS Championship Games aspirations alive, expect BIelema to approach this with all the vigor of a Wisconsin-Minnesota game. Ginormous spreads be damned, Wisconsin 38 – Indiana 10.


Comments Show All Comments

original buckeye's picture

IMO, Chris Fowler's a non-talent tool who knows next to nothing about college football.

Poe McKnoe's picture

This.  He's like Reece Davis' uglier, dumber twin.

Luke's picture

Subsequently I would have to raise reservations about your qualifications to objectively analyze live television program hosts' abilities to perform their jobs.

F O U R's picture

Srsly.  Fowler and Davis are two of the only hosts I respect.  They are objective as hell, eloquent and even keeled in a glamour sport where hyperbole and emotions typically rule the roost.  I give Davis extra kudos for having to endure the never ending stream of mouth poop that spews out of Holtz and Mays.

If you wanna rip dudes, rip Brando.  He's a moron.

BLeezy17's picture

Davis gets even more points for having to do games with Helicopter Dad and The Bachelor.

F O U R's picture


Someone in wardrobe needs to get him a fitted Judge robe, too.  That thing he has now is an abomination.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Fowler and Davis both are excellent at what they do. To be fair, though, these two play the "straight," serious, impartial acnhor/host roles, rather than being asked to give analysis, opinions (which might draw better ratings by virtue of being controversial), etc., which means that they're less likely to say outspoken things, get goofy, or possibly offend Matt McGloin.   

ATL Buckeye's picture

Chris Fowler is more qualified than 98% of all wanna be analyst that post garbage on a million sites. Lay off the guy. He's the same guy 3 weeks ago that said TCU is a team deserving of MNC game. Everyone seems to be agreeing with him now.

Keep a close eye on that UGA vs. Auburn game. UGA has talented (albeit young) QB, the best set of TEs in the country, the best WR in the country, and an OK running game that keeps people honest. Problem though is that new look 3-4 defense is not stopping anyone...but I think this plays closer, based on sheer talent vs. controversy.

B10 games are snoozers...except for ours.  

ATL Buckeye's picture

Ohhh..and El-Dub, please shed some light on this TP story of staying through next year. I don't particularly buy it. Also, his thought process is becoming delusional with this 'itch' to play basketball again. Dude, you are injury prone with ankle, knee, and hamstring problems. What part of bball is going to cure those ailments?  

Buckeye Black's picture

I think the bball thing is just kidding around.  He will stay, if he wants to play QB in the NFL, he needs another year.  That way he can play in the Senior Bowl and get all the scouts war room junkies drooling.

blazers34's picture

I think Fowler is awesome.

Johnny Ginter's picture

now i want to know what fowler's middle name is

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Where can I get in on the Iowa -3 action? The vegas lines for that game are ranging between Iowa -9.5 and -10, after opening around -12. Your score prediction has Iowa covering, anyway.     

Luke's picture

HEY-O!!!!!!!!! Thanks, I accidently copied the Miami at Georgia Tech line that was listed just below.

nickma71's picture

Fowler and Reese are the two I really respect. Holtz and May are huge homers. Although I like Mark May to some degree. Especially when he picks OSU to lose to Miami because of their speed.

Jim Marshall's picture

CF lives in my hood so we cross paths from time to time..  I will give you this tid bit of info...  The guy makes a couple hundrend grand a year and still drives a late 90's ford explorer..    that's pretty solid..   If he had a moustache than he might even up there with 36....

BacknBlack's picture

Gators and Gamecocks are playing for a trip to the SEC Championship game. If your hating on the rest of the games don't miss this one. 

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

SD state has a chance if Marshal Faulk steps out of a time machine to play for them again.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST