It's the craziest thing, a top-15 opponent is on deck and I'm anticipating the game like it's a nooner against a directional Michigan.
Maybe this will land me on freezing cold takes later tonight, but there's just not an ounce of me that thinks Purple Baylor will win this game under any circumstances. And I've had that feeling since like, June.
I know Gary Patterson is a defensive genius who's been around longer than I've known how to type on a computer. I respect that, and I respect him. But there's a reason the dude was scared shitless to schedule this game in the first place.
“So you don’t want me to win a national championship?” he said, when his AD brought up the idea of playing a home-and-home with Ohio State.
This is a free loss for the frogs. Patterson knows it, Vegas knows it, and I know it.
The Bucks are going to roll, and officially get their generational head coach back the second the clock ticks to zero.
|TIME (ET)||MATCHUP||FAVORITE||TV CHANNEL|
|12:00||GEORGIA SOUTHERN @ #2 CLEMSON||CLEM (-32)||ESPNU|
|12:00||MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE @ #3 GEORGIA||UGA (-33)||ESPNNEWS|
|12:00||#5 OKLAHOMA @ IOWA STATE||OKLA (-18)||ABC|
|12:00||KENT STATE @ #11 PENN STATE||PSU (-35.5)||FS1|
|12:00||#21 MIAMI @ TOLEDO||MIAMI (-11)||ESPN2|
|2:30||VANDERBILT @ #8 NOTRE DAME||ND (-13.5)||NBC|
|3:30||BYU @ #6 WISCONSIN||WIS (-22.5)||ABC|
|3:30||#12 LSU @ #7 AUBURN||AUB (-11)||CBS|
|3:30||#17 BOISE STATE @ #24 OKLAHOMA STATE||OK STATE (-1.5)||ESPN|
|3:30||SMU @ #19 MICHIGAN||MICH (-36)||BTN|
|7:00||#1 ALABAMA @ OLE MISS||BAMA (-22)||ESPN|
|8:00||#4 OHIO STATE VS #15 TCU||OSU (-13)||ABC|
|8:00||#22 USC @ TEXAS||TEX (-3.5)||FOX|
|10:00||#10 WASHINGTON @ UTAH||WASH (-4.5)||ESPN|
|10:30||#23 ARIZONA STATE @ SAN DIEGO STATE||ASU (-5)||CBSSN|
Word of the Day: Mutilate.
THAT 11W PREGAME FIX.
- Game Preview.
- Q&A With TCU beat writer Drew Davidson.
- 10 Reasons to hate.
- Game Poster.
- Game Trailer.
TALK ME OUT OF IT. I've been around long enough to know Gary Patterson ain't going to let J.K. Dobbins or Mike Weber gash him. He's going to do everything he can to stop the run, put pressure on Dwayne Haskins, and make the young quarterback beat him through the air.
I've seen nothing that convinces me that's going to work out well for the frogs. Here's what I stumbled across in my quest to convince myself this won't be a blowout.
Dwayne Haskins has been remarkably efficient in the short passing game this season, but has attempted just 13 throws 10 or more yards downfield.
Will this be the week Ohio State opens up the playbook an unleashes his arm in the deep passing game? pic.twitter.com/VjFCaygy12
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) September 14, 2018
When I read this stat, I thought it had to be a lie. I've been in awe of Haskins arm since his first drive against Oregon State. There's no way he's only thrown 13 passes of more than 10 yards.
But then I realized, we're both right. Haskins has thrown to the sideline more than any Buckeye quarterback I've ever seen, which takes an absurd amount of arm strength to do with consistency and confidence.
So while these throws aren't technically more than 10 yards downfield, they're not exactly dink-and-dunk passes across the middle, either. They're traveling 20-25 yards horizontally, which takes an elite arm strength.
So to say his arm hasn't been unleashed is not really genuine.
But this one has a little more merit to it:
If you're looking for a reason to be skeptical of Ohio State vs TCU, here you go: through 2 games, Dwayne Haskins has attempted just 3 passes under pressure and one of them was an interception. Saturday will likely be the first time he's forced to make decisions under pressure.
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) September 14, 2018
I'm very interested to see what Haskins does in a dirty pocket, but I also think Ohio State is going to do a good job getting him in a rhythm with quick throws and RPOs, and I trust that gigantic offensive line.
All in all, I'm still not sold. Bucks by 24.
LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR. A few years back, TCU won a Rose Bowl against Wisconsin and Frog fans immediately turned to Columbus to flaunt it, after Gordon Gee's famous "Little Sisters of the Poor" comment.
A bunch of the following billboards sprung up around Columbus in the days following the game:
Nobody knew who did it, but now years later, a group of TCU fans are taking credit.
Runyon and his eight friends met in California and went to the game together, watching on as TCU knocked off the Badgers 21-19.
"That was the single best sports day of my life," Runyon said. "I've got chills just even thinking about it. My father and I, we rarely missed a home game growing up. I'd been watching TCU lose since I was in diapers.
Together, they had suffered through all the losing in the Southwest Conference. They had gone through the humiliation of initially being left out of the Big 12 Conference.
And just two months earlier, they had endured the indignity of their team being compared to the Little Sisters of the Poor.
They wanted Ohio State to feel a little of that pain.
Ah yes, the sting all of Columbus felt at a mid-major team flaunting a bowl win over one of Ohio State's conference rivals and a notoriously despised head coach. I very much wanted TCU to win that game. The billboard is the opposite of painful.
Also, imagine, for a second, that Ohio State beat Wisconsin in last season's Big Ten Championship game by a score of 21-19. If you think for a second any Buckeye fan reaction would be "that was the single best sports day of my life," I implore you to read a message board.
The best part is, a few years after the biggest win in TCU football history, the Buckeyes throttled a better, more talented Wisconsin team 59-0, effectively tanking the Frogs title chances in the process.
FIVE QUICK WINNERS. Last week I went 3-2, bringing my season total on these picks to 5-5. We ain't come here to only hit half the games. So here are my five winners for this weekend.
Ohio State -13 against TCU
I told you I'd stop picking Ohio State the first time it becomes a free win, and folks, today is not that day. The only way TCU keeps this game close is if Dwayne Haskins struggles, and I'm not convinced he will. I think TCU forces him to beat them, and he does, emerging as a legit Heisman contender in the process.
Boise State +1.5 against Oklahoma State
Folks, the Blue Boys are winning this one straight up, but if you're going to give me 1.5 points, I won't refuse. I understand both teams are relatively untested early, but Boise has looked absolutely absurdly dominant, handling Troy 56-20 and beating UConn 62-7 in a game where the Broncos out-gained the Huskies 818 (yes, that's the real number) to 193. I'm riding with the Murder Smurfs.
Toledo +12 against Miami
This is quite possibly the biggest game ever played in the Glass Bowl and Toledo is a shockingly good football team. I believe in Miami's defense, but I'm just not sure that offense is going to put up enough points to win by two touchdowns. Noted analytics-knower Bill Connelly actually has the Rockets winning this game comfortably, by a score of 29-21. I'm not sure I'm sold on that, but it's going to be closer than 12 points.
LSU +11 against Auburn
This isn't blind faith in Joe Burrow, but more a complete lack of trust in either team to score very much in this game. I think both defenses are great, both offenses can be relatively stagnant, and points will be at a premium. So if you're going to give me 11 of them right off the bat, I'll gladly take it, especially when I would not be shocked if LSU won this game straight up.
Florida State -3 against Syracuse
I'm sure this is a pick I'm going to regret, but I just don't think Florida State is really as bad as it's looked in the first two weeks. I'm a huge fan of Cam Akers, I think Deondre Francois is a talented quarterback, and I think that's a stout Seminole defense. Basically, I think this narrow line is an overreaction to a waxing against Virginia Tech and a closer-than-expected win against Samford last week.
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