Bourbonstreet’s Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 12

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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)

Bourbonstreet Championship Series Top-10:

#1 Ohio State
#2 Michigan
#3 the eventual SEC Champion (Arkansas or Florida)
#4 SEC runner-up (Arkansas or Florida)
#5 the PAC-10 Champion (USC or CAL)
#6 Texas
#7 Boise State
#8 the eventual ACC Champion
#9 Rutgers (maybe wvu)
#10 NBC’s favorite team

Glendale Arizona B.C.S. bid:

#1 Ohio State:
Last week: Demolished Northwestern on the road by 44
This week: the Glendale B.C.S. invite is on the line in Columbus

#2 Michigan:
Last week: clipped Indiana by 31 as the visitor
This week: Glendale and one of the top-5 college rivalries

The game of the year, (part III), is here in college football. One team will
get the auto bid to Glendale, Arizona; the other team does have some shot at a
B.C.S. at large bid, or they will end up being the best college football team
still playing in late December of 2006. But either way this is clearly can’t
miss college football TV extraordinaire. But who will win???

Ohio State has won four out of the last five head to head. But only one of
those games was decided by more than six points. So if we allow history to be
our guide, this one should be very close, but the Buckeyes will prevail in the
end. I’m inclined to agree with history, and here’s why: in studying
late-season games such as this, I prefer to borrow a page from Boxing and use
the so called form-guide to compare respective efforts vs. common
previous opponents. In this particular case, both Ohio State and Michigan have
both beaten every single opponent that they have in common. However, the
uncommon difference is margin of victory.

· Northwestern: Ohio State by 44, Michigan by 14
·
Indiana: Ohio State by 41, Michigan by 31
·
Minnesota: Ohio State by 44, Michigan by 14
·
Michigan State: Ohio State by 31, Michigan by 18
·
Iowa: Ohio State by 21, Michigan by 14
·
Penn State: Ohio State by 22, Michigan by 7

In stats that’s what’s known as a perfect correlation, as Ohio State has
beaten every single common opponent by more points than Michigan did. In fact,
the Buckeye scoring advantage over the Wolverines sums to an impressive 105
total points. Yes Michigan’s #1 ranked run defense will give Ohio State a
tough way to go, but the reverse is also true, as the 11th ranked Buckeye’s
run defense will stymie the Wolverines. So this game is earmarked to come down
to the opposing QB’s, and that is the tell-tale sign of who will ultimately
win. As Ohio State QB Troy Smith has a 5% edge in completion percentage, and an
aggregate +11 edge in passing ratio (TD’s:INT’s). This will be a great game,
but I like the Buckeyes to eventually win. Ohio State 22, Michigan 16.

#3 and #4 SEC Sugar Bowl representative, at large bid:
West Side:
#3 Arkansas
took care of Tennessee last weekend 31-14 down in
Fayetteville in front of the home-town Razorback fans. This is all the more
impressive to me, as UT had a fairly stout incoming defense, which had been
playing better of late. But Arkansas RB Darren McFadden shredded the Volunteer
defense for 181 on the ground, and UT sure missed injured star QB Eric Ainge, as
his replacement Jon Crompton barely completed 50% of his throws. Arkansas must
now travel to play 3-7 Mississippi State, who did upset Alabama last weekend.
But the Razorbacks have a favorable schedule and appear to be headed to the SEC
Championship game to me, courtesy of a perfect SEC in conference effort thus far
on the year. In the SEC…that’s saying something, and don’t forget that
Georgia did Arkansas no small favor by all but eliminating Auburn from SEC
western contention last week.

East Side:
The #4 Florida Gators struggled to beat South Carolina, but
they did eventually put down their former head coach’s current football team.
They beat Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks last week by one single solitary point,
as Florida clinched the SEC Eastern crown via two blocked field goals, and one
blocked extra point. Chris Leak had a nice day, though only nine yards separated
these two SEC schools in the end, as they combined for a whopping 51 total first
downs last weekend. This week the Gators will maul 2-8 D-1aa victim Western
Carolina. This one is already over, and this one will be extremely ugly if you
are a WCU fan. But WCU will at least take home a nice sized pay check for their
troubles. The Gators close with instate rival Florida State up in Tallahassee on
November 25th.

#5 PAC-10 B.C.S./Rose Bowl team:
Despite last week’s four point upset L on the road in Arizona, CAL
is still tied with USC at 6-1 in conference play, atop the PAC-10 standings. Do
not forget that the PAC-10 does not play a post season championship game in any
sport, so this week’s CAL vs. USC match-up is for all the Rose Bowl marbles.
Last week a -3 turnover margin doomed the Golden Bears, despite out-gaining
Arizona by nearly 100 total yards on the day. For the 17th ranked team in
turnover margin, this was more an aberration than expected. But CAL QB Nate
Longshore must limit his errant throws on the road vs. USC next week, or CAL
will be beaten by So.Cal for the 5th time in their last six games.

So.Cal on the other hand was highly impressive at home beating former
21st ranked Oregon by a score of 35-10 in the Coliseum. The Trojan defensive
line dominated this game, forcing two turnovers which provided two short fields
deep in Oregon’s own territory. So.Cal has won 31 straight games at home, and
that has some pundits hinting that a perfect finish might vault the Trojans into
the B.C.S. title game. But a three game closer of CAL, U.C.L.A and Notre Dame is
a very tough way to finish. CAL will give USC a tough time this week, but I
gotta side with the team that is an even 70 spots better in total defense. That
would be So.Cal; the Trojans by 10 or less.

#6 Texas, Big-12 Fiesta bound:
Last week: Texas got upset by Kansas State
This week: OPEN

Texas still looks like the BIG-12’s Fiesta bowl bound team to me, in
spite of having been upset by Kansas State last weekend in a true wild-West old
fashioned shoot-out by a score of 45-42. Why am I still so high on Texas?
Because the Longhorns have in affect a 1.5 game lead over 2nd place Oklahoma in
the BIG-12 South, thanks to having tamed the boomer-Sooners by 18 points back on
October 7th, and we already know they can beat Nebraska.

But there is one major problem here. Texas lost stellar freshman QB Colt
McCoy on their first score of the day last week, and his status is uncertain at
this time. Though X-Rays of his shoulder were negative, he appears to be
suffering from a proverbial neck stinger, and it remains to be seen if Colt will
take the field vs. aTm in 8 days time? This weekend the Longhorns are OFF before
hosting arch rival Texas aTm on the day after Thanksgiving.

#7 Boise State,
Last week: rallied to score 11 straight points to barely beat San Jose State
This week: set to annihilate bottom-dwelling 1-9 Utah State on the Smurf-turf

Boise State almost heard their B.C.S. bubble go “pop” last week down in
San Jose. Only three points separated Boise State from losing their B.C.S.
wildcard bid and playing in the MPC Computesr Bowl, or worse. But senior Bronco
QB Jared Zabransky shook off severe dehydration from a likewise bout of
influenza to finally lead two game winning drives in the games final six minutes
of play. Chalking up a TD, a two-point PAT and a FG in the process of keeping
BSU’s B.C.S. hopes alive. They will remain alive at least until a November
25th visit to 7-3 Nevada rolls around. As all the Broncs need do is beat one of
the seven worst teams in all of D-1 this weekend, as 1-9 Utah State enters the
fray known as the Smurf-turf. Boise will win, but must recover the service of
all-everything RB Ian Johnson, who suffered a partiality collapsed left-lung vs.
San Jose State last week. Johnson is a gamer, as he managed 29 carries last
week, most of which were on the strength of only one good lung. But Ian must be
back for Nevada, or Boise State’s B.C.S. goose will be fully cooked.

#8 ACC Orange Bowl team:
Georgia Tech
is on their way to Jacksonville, and the Rambling-Wreck will
smoke Duke in their home finale this weekend, before closing with in-State rival
Georgia on the road. The Yellow-Jackets were lack-luster on offense last week,
only managing seven points vs. the porous UNC defense. But GT did pitch a
shut-out, and better than that, GT was able to spread out playing-time last
week, and will do more of the same this week. This will allow the Yellow-Jackets
to be the better rested team in Jacksonville, in three weeks time.

The ACC Atlantic is still too close to call in a hotly contested race between
surprising Maryland and even more surprising Wake Forest. Last
week both teams won. Wake dropped a 30-0 bomb on Florida State down in
Tallahassee, which ended up being the 3rd strike for Seminole offensive
coordinator Jeff Bowden, as he is now out. The Demon-Deacs have won four
different games by one full play or less, (a TD or less), on the year. I just do
not see how that is sustainable given their offensive skill-position attrition.
Wake must now host the #1 defense in all of college football, otherwise known as
our Virginia Tech Hokies. I will have more on this below, but you can start
feeling good now.

Maryland also has a very losable game this weekend, having to travel up
to New England to play the still improving Boston College Flying Eagles on the
road. BC has won 80% of their home finales under Coach Tom O’Brien. Then there’s
this…on the road the Terrapin defense allows a very benevolent 5.5 per rush,
and a down right neighborly 8.4 through the air. BC QB Matt Ryan will love this,
as the Flying Eagles’ play-calling mix has been approaching a 50-50 mix of run
and pass in the last three weeks. I’m gonna call for both of the top-2
Atlantic division team to be beaten in close, low-scoring games, and as an
embedded prediction I’ll call for both Atlantic teams to score 20 points or
less. But this will still leave Wake’s trip up to College Park, Maryland to
decide whom the Yellow-Jackets will play in Jacksonville.

Big East entrant:
#9 Rutgers (or #17 wvu?):
Rutgers looked like a twice beaten team last week, as the Scarlet-Knight
appeared all but finished, trailing Louisville 7-25 at home. Then at last glace
Louisville had won, as Rutgers’ game winning field goal attempt sailed wide
left by a good 10`. But upon further review one could see a yellow-handkerchief
with it’s middle bound and filled with bb’s, which is otherwise know as a
yellow flag laying on the field, and Scarlet Knight kicker Jeremy “I’m not
related to the famous or infamous Simpson judge” Ito nailed a 28 yarder to
step forevermore into the role of big-man-on-campus up in New Brunswick, NJ.

This week Rutgers travels to face the week in and week out feisty Cincinnati
Bearcats, and it should be noted that at 5-5, the Bearcats are fighting for
their post-season lives. Cincinnati is 4-2 at home, and this game fits the mold
of a classic let-down effort from Rutgers. But the fact that the Bearcat run
defense has declined by nearly 50 yards allowed over their last few games seems
to suggest that RU will escape with a narrow win. That works for me, the
Scarlet-Knights by 3.

wvu still has a B.C.S. shot, providing they can deal with Pitt away, beat
South Florida at home, then upset a likely 11-0 Rutgers team to close the year
in Mo-town. Pitt is allowing 258 on the ground in their last three games, but
wvu’s star-studded backfield is wounded, as bruising FB owen schmitt must have
his knee drained to play, and all-big east steve slaton has hurt his wrist for
the 2nd time in as many years, and will require off-season surgery. Still I do
like wvu to win and press Rutgers for the B.C.S. invite to close the year.

#10 Nutrasweet NBC ranking:

It looks like the Sugar will take Norte Dame even if they get beat by USC to
close the year. If you are a fan of Notre Dame or of Sugar Bowl TV ratings, then
you will love this likely at large B.C.S. bid being extended to the Fighting
Irish. If not, it could be your big east or possibly your 2nd place S.E.C. team
that gets to play a December bowl game for Notre Dame’s troubles. But in all
fairness, a current record of 9-dash-#2Michigan is not that bad of a
year. Not bad at all. This week Notre Dame can win a de facto version of the
Commanders Cup via beating slumping Army at home to complete the Fighting Irish’s
2006 sweep of D-1 Service Academies. ND will win, prolly by 20 or so points, as
the Irish look ahead a bit to USC.

#16 Virginia Tech:

Last week: Blanked Kent State 23-zip in Lane

This week: traveling to play unexpectedly 9-1 Wake Forest in Winston-Salem,
NC

I’d like to personally nominate VT’s Bud Foster for the AFCA’s
(American Football Coaches Association) 2006 Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
Whatever VT is paying Coach Foster, it’s not enough, as this is likely Bud’s
best coaching effort ever, and that is not saying something, that’s saying a
lot! But will that say enough this Saturday night? To find out, let’s look at
the so-called Boxing form-guide I introduced above, except let’s use total
yardage margin
as our basis of comparison this time, for common VT and Wake
opponents for 2006:

· Clemson: VT +166, Wake Forest -209
·
Boston College: VT -83, Wake Forest -150
·
North Carolina: VT -44, Wake Forest -81
·
Duke: VT+279, Wake Forest -75

That’s an aggregate total in favor of our Hokies of a smashing good 833
yards of total yardage margin among shared 2006 VT and Wake Forest opponents’.
So how can anyone say Wake Forest is so much better or even the slightest bit
better with a straight face?

Here’s how…one of you used the term: “spotty” to describe our
offensive talent on the free view TSL.com football message board about four
weeks back. I could not agree more, but I now must extend that adroit VT
offensive account to not only our offensive line’s current health, but also to
our recent Pivot or QB play over the last handful of VT football games.

But here’s what I based the primacy of my final prediction upon: we are
Wake’s worst defensive match-up of the year. Period. End of story. It’s us.
As our Hokies now field not only Florida school track-meet quality defensive
speed, we also field an old-school lunch pail defensive discipline to stay in
our lanes and stick to our assignments. This is critical vs. a counter-based
rushing offense, which starts cutting-back as soon as its feet hit the floor
after climbing outta bed in the morning. This match-up advantage is only
enhanced by the Demon Deacs being without their top-2 RB’s and opening game
starting QB.

Crouching stats, hidden outcomes:

VT has won 70% of the time vs.
Wake Forest

since 1976.
VT
has won by an average of 13 points since 1976.
Since 1976 the average total points scored when VT
and Wake Forest met is only 31.
Since 1999 VT is 5-9 on artificial surfaces.
Since 1997 Wake Forest is 5 games under .500 at
home.
VT
is 91% on the road in ACC play all-time.
Wake Forest
has the smallest home-field edge in all of the ACC, only
seating 31,500 in attendance at Groves Stadium.
VT
has beaten Wake Forest 64%, all-time.
VT’s
offensive line out weighs Wake Forest’s
defensive line by 54 pounds on average!

ESPN2’s Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham and the legendary Jack Arute will call
this game.

Toabcco road, ESPN2, Groves Stadium savvy prediction:
Virginia Tech 9, Wake Forest 6

#89 france:

france had last week off, so at least they did not get beat. But I just do
not see how jason snelling has gained any speed for it? On the other hand, I don’t
see how Miami can bear the weight of a burden that is so great that even Atlas
himself would be guzzling Doan’s Backache Pills by the bushel. So I’ll go
with the home team here. No word as yet regarding if Hurricane alum Michael
Irvin remembers any part of the party-a-thon he called: “My plane was bound
for Amsterdam but got laid over in Paris.”???

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!
Week#10 winner: Suffhokian!
Week#11 winner: VToncologyNurse!

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