Bourbonstreet’s Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 10

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Bourbonstreet’s Championship Series: (BstreetC.S.)

(note to reader: this is a BCS game forecast, not an Official Ranking top to
bottom)

#1 Ohio State:

Last week: Demolished Minnesota by 44
This week: Visiting the Fighting Illini of Illinois up in Champaign

Minnesota came limping into Columbus for the Buckeyes’ 2006 Homecoming and
got tattooed 44-zip for their troubles. Two different Ohio State RBs (Tony
Pitman, and Chris Wells) accounted for over 200 combined rushing yards, QB Troy
Smith racked up a cool 226 all-purpose yards, and the buckeyes won by 44 points
despite giving away three fumbles! This game would have been in the 60’s if
not for a Butterfingers routine from Buckeyes. In fact this game was so bad that
former all-world #1 high school recruit, senior QB Justin Zwick, got in on the
scoring himself, on a late three foot QB sneak. I like that. But just how great
is this OSU football team you ask? Only two teams have scored more than seven
points vs. the Buckeyes, OSU has won every game by at least 17 points, the
Buckeye defense has cut its 2005 points allowed in half and intercepted 250%
more passes in only nine games, all with a lowly two returning defensive
starters to begin the season! How impressive is that???

Ohio State Head football Coach Jim Tressel is 15-3 in November; that stat
will obviously read 16-3 after this Saturday, as Illini QB Juice Williams (yes,
that is his real name) only connects on 46% of his passes. But this is the
Buckeyes’ only artificial surface game of 2006. So I expect playing-time to be
parceled out to avoid any nasty leg injuries when a Buckeye foot gets caught in
the Illini turf. This will lower the Buckeyes’ margin of victory; I’ll call
for OSU by an undersized 25 points.

#2 Vacant: (because Ohio State has now separated themselves from the
rest of the pack)

#3 wvu: (because: wvu can come close to locking down their trip to
Glendale this Thursday nite down in bourbon, blue-grass and horse-racing
country)

Last week: OPEN
This week: the Big East game of the year, in Papa John’s stadium to play
Louisville!

There will be all kinds of talk this week about Brian Brohm’s trick knee,
and bad thumb. Ditto the fact that the Larry Csonka impersonator know as RB
Michael Bush is now out for the year. But the hurt that everyone is over-looking
is wvu starting OT damien crissey’s foot injury. It’s not that crissey is a
great OT, but rather that he is the only senior OT wvu has got. As every other
OT in wvu’s 3-deep is a sophomore or younger! That’s not only a step down in
experience, but an out right drop, off a cliff, in terms knowing how to handle
big-game pressure. Two weeks ago Cincinnati ran for 212 yards vs. Louisville,
primarily by running up the gut on the Cards. That is not necessarily QB pat
white and RB steve slaton’s preferred destination. But it is the strength of
wvu’s offensive line, running behind all-everything C dan mozes, and likely
all-conference G jeremey sheffy. But slaton and white can not run inside you
say? I’m not so sure, but I am sure that the 6`3“ 250 pound bruiser known as
owen schmitt can run inside vs. Louisville’s less than quick defensive line.
This should be wvu’s strategy, a healthy does of schmitt early on to shuffle
the cards for slaton later in the game. I do like wvu here folks. More on that
below.

#4 Michigan:

Last week: beat Northwestern by only 14 at home
This week: The pride of Muncie Indiana, Ball State in the (Big) house

I was a little bit gun-shy on predicting a big Michigan win last week. I said
only 20 points would separate Michigan and Northwestern, and I was off by six.
Yes the rain did even out the playing field last week, slowing the game down and
giving Northwestern’s gi’normous offensive line a chance to push, shove, and
grunt their way to a close game. But Michigan QB Chad Henne was the real
concern, only connecting on 50% of his throws, which is his second 50% day in
his last Three games. One outta two passing will not beat Ohio State in three
weeks, it will however beat a rented MAC team such as pitiful three win Ball
State. Chad Henne should be glad to hear that Ball State is ranked dead-last in
all of D-1 in Pass Defense. That is a get well soon Hallmark engraved invite to
restore a bit of Chad’s depleted aplomb if I ever saw one. Michigan has won
86% of its last 14 November home dates, so this outcome is nary in doubt. But
improving enough to beat the Buckeyes away is very much up in the air, pun
intended.

#5 Texas :

Last week: rallied as the visitor to beat upstart Texas Tech
This week: The Cowboys of Oklahoma State visit Austin

A r-freshman QB in only his 9th start, on the road, down 21 points after the
first 14 minuets of play who can rally his foundering squad to win by four
points is a future super-star QB indeed! That is exactly what Texas Pivot Colt
McCoy did down in Lubbock last weekend, overcoming four Longhorn turnovers in
the process to preserve Bevo’s B.C.S. hopes for another week. Texas is not a
consummate football team. Nebraska and Texas Tech have both shown us as much,
and the 112th ranked Longhorn Pass Defense speaks fluently to this as well. But
when you consider the fact that Texas has sacked opposing QBs 30 times already
on 2006; you really have to wonder what is going on down in the Lonestar State’s
favorite secondary? Clearly the issue is not a lack getting after the opposing
QB, and oddly enough the Texas Longhorn secondary is basically 100% healthy.
Then there is this; the Oklahoma State Cowboys and their fire-balling Pivot
Robert Reid will be coming to town this weekend. Reid has a nifty 19:7 ratio on
the year, a 155mm howitzer for an arm, and leads the 7th ranked Scoring Offense
in all of D-1. Ergo, Texas will find itself in another old-West style shoot-out
this weekend. Texas has won seven straight vs. the Oklahoma State. I’ll call
for eight in a row, but it won’t be easy, though it will be entertaining.

#6 SEC jumble:

EAST:

Tennessee is one point away from being perfect, has won five in a row,
and has deftly made their way to a very quiet 7-1 on the year. The Vols can sure
throw that ball, as Junior Eric Ainge has been hot of late. But he does have a
bum ankle this week and is visiting L.S.U. at night. The Bayou Bengals are
entirely different cats under their own lights, and I jus’ have a hunch that
they will pull this upset and thereby eliminate UTenn from B.C.S. consideration,
as L.S.U. does not field a single defensive unit ranked lower than 7th in all of
D-1!

Florida struggled a bit to beat Georgia in Jacksonville last week, a team
that this week’s opponent Vanderbilt upset two weeks ago. Vandy has slowly
improved from perennial S.E.C. cellar-dweller to respectability over the last
three years. Florida will win, but this one will be closer that it should.
Gators by 12.

WEST:

Arkansas is still perfect in S.E.C. play after beating out of conference
Louisiana Monroe by 31 last week. But a less than easy game awaits, as the
Razorbacks now must visit the Visor-Boy Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina
Gamecocks this week. USC-East is very solid at home, but does have turnover
woes, and all kinds of injury and suspension problems. This should be enough for
Arkansas to win a close game in Columbia.

Auburn is coming off of a very narrow win over 2-7 Mississippi last week,
in a game that saw the War-Eagles struggle with turnovers, penalties, and
big-plays all day long. Auburn now gets likely Sun Belt champion Arkansas State
at home. Arkansas State loves to run the football; this will wind the game-clock
and keep this final margin closer than the name Arkansas State would suggest.
Still I like Auburn to win by double-digits or better, thereby setting up
show-down games vs. Georgia and chief rival Alabama to close the year.

#7 Boise State:

Two weeks ago: OFF
Last night: beat detestable rival Fresno State, 45-21
Next week: “Do you know the way to San Jose?” (State)

I’ll wager you are wondering why I have my boys from the Saturday AM
cartoon based playing surface this high? Why? Two fold:

· Boise was first to nine wins in all of D-1

· Boise will be one of no more than three perfect D-1 teams after
November 25th

Does that make Boise the 7th best team in D-1? In short, “no”, but I do
like the Broncs’ chances to beat anyone ranked lower than them at home on the
myopic Smurf-turf.

Fresno looked the part of a gamer for the first quarter of play last night,
then Boise found their offensive flow, and when they find such a flow in Idaho,
you can make book on a torrential downpour of points. As the Broncs have scored
no less than 42 at home this year, and they mustered six different scoring
drives of 50+ yards last night. Senior QB Jared Zabransky finally played a solid
game for the first time since September, and sophomore RB Ian Johnson rumbled
for a very well earned 136 on the ground. In nine days Boise and San Jose State
will play, in their last five meetings these two teams have combined to average
76 total points. More on that next week.

#8 Louisville:

Last week: BYE
This week: hosting the game, with a likely B.C.S. slot on the line.

Louisville is the home team, and my spy network tells me that is good for
four points in Papa John’s stadium. But a very odd thing has happened this
year. Between 2002 and 2005 Louisville averaged 15 more points per game at home
than they did away. This year however, the Cards are averaging one less point at
home than on the road! Brian Brohm has a negative passing ratio since his
return, and the Cardinals are 89th in the all important Turnover Margin, whereas
wvu is a smartly 16th. If that were not bad enough, Louisville trails wvu in
Punting by 74 spots, in Punt Returns by 49 spots, and in Kickoff Returns by 107
spots! That’s a lotta hidden yardage, and the associated field position edge
is ripe for wvu’s taking. And you can bet your bottom dollar that rich rod
will go Lord of the Rings err-ru-kai and “…show them no mercy” when it
comes to field-position ownership on Thursday night. If Brohm and Bush were
100%, I would in fact pick L’ville to win. But they are not, and I must call
upon the salubrious team to take this one. wvu has won every single time these
two teams have played historically, excepting being beaten by two points in
1990. wvu by about a full play.

#9 PAC-10 Jumble:

Last week: So.Cal got upset; California beat WashingtonU in OT by 7
This week: So.Cal visits lowly Stanford, CAL plays U.C.L.A. in Berkley

So.Cal took a major lump on their B.C.S. chinny-chin-chin last week up in
Corvallis Oregon, getting upset as an 11 point favorite while out gaining Oregon
State by 141 in the game. USC should, or at the very least could, have won that
game. But all Trojan B.C.S. hope is not lost. Go ahead and win out, which would
include beating CAL, thereby gaining the PAC-10 head-to-head tie breaker; and
2006 will turn out rosy indeed for Southern Cal. That typed, So.Cal
special-teams play and turnover margin must improve, or the Trojans will be
beaten again in two weeks when they host Oregon. Stanford poses no threat to USC
this weekend, but every one of the other three remaining teams the Trojans have
left will give So.Cal major tests.

CAL is just going along to get along right now, as they have won seven
straight, but they have a lot of chinks in their defensive armor. You can see
this defensive crisis manifest itself in the fact that the Golden Bears have
been out gained by an average of 160 yards per game over their last three games
played. Only the 5th best turnover margin in all of D-1 is keeping these CAL
Bears off the B.C.S. endangered list. This week CAL catches .500 U.C.L.A. at
home. The Bruins are 36th in defense, and if this game were in Los Angeles I
would take a long look at calling for an upset. CAL will win, but only due to
U.C.L.A.’s INT prone passing ratio, and very ill health.

#11 ACC jumble:

COASTAL:
The Rambling Wreck of Georgia Tech has all but assured themselves of an
invite to play in the ACC Championship game in JAX in 5 weeks time, by scoring
17 4th quarter points to rally to beat Miami by seven last week. GT may be
beaten once more in ACC conference play, but which team outta Duke and UNC has
what it takes to beat the Yellow-Jackets a second time? “Survey says…”
none of the above. GT will finish no better than 10-2, most likely 9-3, but that
is still only four winning quarters of football from a B.C.S. auto bid.

ATLANTIC:
Boston College travels to Wake Forest to decide the ACC’s
Atlantic Divisional participant this weekend, and if you truthfully knew that
was going to happen last August I’ll take my cyber-hat off to you, and I don’t
even wear a hat. Wake will scrap with B.C. at home, and this one will be less
than 10 points either way. But the Demon Deacon skill-position injuries are
starting to catch-up to Wake, as their vaunted counter based rushing attacking
has slipped, and WF has been out gained by an average of over 120 yards in their
last three games. Ergo, looks to me like the Flying-Eagles will touchdown on The
Landing in JAX on December 2nd.

#12 Rutgers:

The Scarlet Knights lived to fight another day at home in New Brunswick, on
the odd-ball ESPN Sunday night broadcast. But it took a blocked punt scooped up
for a TD in the UConn endzone, a fumble returned for another six points, and a
stellar 4th Quarter by Rutgers DT Eric Foster to finally put these pesky Huskies
down. Rutgers now gets the weekend OFF, but must play Louisville on Thursday
night in one week. If Louisville is indeed beaten by wvu, the Scarlet Knights
have a shot at getting out to 11-0, as their schedule is not all that tough
after the Cards. But giving up 199 to the 3rd string UConn RB Donald Brown II is
a problem. As is having a QB (Mike Teel) with a -3 passing ratio, though he has
only been sacked six times on 2006. RU will not finish 12-0 on 2006, the only
question is will it be Louisville or wvu who bursts RU’s perfect bubble?

NBC ranking:

Notre Dame beat a defensive budgetary cut Navy far worse than their 24
point margin suggested last week. And of all the unpredictable things, the
Fighting-Irish have developed a little bit of defense of late. As Notre Dame has
improved almost an even 20 spots in total defense over their last four games.
This week the John Bunting farewell tour pulls into South Bend, which will make
Notre Dame even more B.C.S. attractive, via UNC’s sieve of a run defense that
is ranked 4th from last in all of D-1. Notre Dame will then beat Army and Air
Force to win the de facto Commanders Trophy for 2006. But it is their visit to
So.Cal to close the year that can guarantee the Irish a B.C.S. bid, though a
10-2 Notre Dame is very likely to get in as well.

#19 Virginia Tech:

Last week: Thursday night ESPN prime-time #10 Clemson MEGA upset win! : )
This week: Down in former CSTV announcer Lamar Thomas’ “O.B” (Orange Bowl)

In our last two wins, Sean Glennon has averaged 1o4 through the air, while
Branden Ore has averaged a Pro paycheck earning 2o5 on the ground! Can that be
maintained via our normally GOP visiting game-planning, and perhaps most
importantly, is that tenable vs. the fastest defense we will play in 2006, which
happens to be ranked 4th in all of D-1 vs. the run??? If the answer turns out to
be “yes”, we will beat Miami in the Orange Bowl, and we could probably even
beat them on Mars. BOOK THAT!!!

However, if the answer turns out to be “no”, we will likely chalk up our
final L of the season.

Crouching stats, hidden outcomes:

  • Ore
    averages 5.70 when he gets the rock, Miami
    allows 2.29 per carry against the run; something’s gotta give.
  • Miami has not
    been beaten by more than eight points at home in the Orange Bowl since 1998.
  • Since 1983, Miami
    has won 93.5% of their games when scoring 1st!
  • (a front running team if there ever was one)
  • When scoring less than 20 points since 2001, VT
    has won 29% of the time; Miami
    has won 36% of the time.
  • When considering previously played common ACC opponents, (ACC teams that both
    VT and Miami have already played this season), VT
    has out gained said common ACC opponents by more than 350 total yards this year,
    compared to Miami’s offensive output vs. the same common teams.
  • Brandon Pace is 100% on FG’s for the year;
    Miami’s Jon Peattie is 67%.
  • Miami is 16-7
    all-time vs. VT.
  • VT has an edge of 46 spots in penalty yardage, and 20 spots in 3rd
    down conversion%.
  • Only one running back has topped 100 yards rushing vs. Miami
    in Miami’s last 10 regular season games.
  • The ‘Canes
    once potent offense has cracked the 30 point plateau only once in their
    last 12 games.

20-3, that is where I had this game favor of the ‘Canes back in August. Why
20-3 you ask? Because Miami’s defense was and mostly still is our worst
offensive matchup of the year. By and large that has not changed a whole lot.
What has changed is the VT running attack, two key Miami Linebacker injuries,
ditto several Hurricane offensive line hurts. So I have revised and tightened my
original margin to account for these teams moving in different directions. As an
embedded prediction, I predict this Saturday night is our lowest scoring total
of 2006.

Orange Bowl, So.Beach, Shaquille O’Neal savvy prediction:
Virginia Tech 9, Miami 10

#77 france: #68 Flordia State:

Weird game here, france is playing better, but FSU obviously has more raw
talent. But at 2-4 in ACC play how much does FSU have left to play for? Stranger
things have happened than FSU alum’ “Prime-time” “Neon-Deion” Sanders
wearing a beret and going on a Cosmo’ induced bender. france should not win,
in particular down in Tallahassee, but some how I jus’ have a hunch that FSU
is ready to come apart at cow-girl Jen’s seams. france
wins.

Official VT fb Prediction Poll results:
Week#1 winner: VT73!
Week#2 winners: Melbourne Hokie, Nat-Lite Hokie!
Week#3 winners: DeBord, collentownhokie!
Week#4 winner: Guy LeDouche!
Week#5 winner: gnosys!
OPEN Week#6 honorary winner: PHNC, for his EPIC design work!
Week#7 winner: st_andrew!
Week#8 winners: H0kieNation, Hokie2Miami!
Week#9 winners: HokieFanAtNCSU, Hokie4lyfe!

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