Handicapping week 14

In celebration of the season, we bring you one of our favorite long-ago cartoons, with a football theme.

It was from Doonesbury, and it was drawn this way:  The date on the calendar was Friday, November 28, the day after Thanksgiving.   On the edge of a cliff stood a large turkey, just Gobbling!!! And Gobbling!!!  The caption read:  It’s like spiking the ball in the end zone after scoring a touchdown!!   This weekend, let’s see which teams gobble-up the points, and which play like a bunch of turkeys.  To our “Loyal” readers:  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.)  Oklahoma may be whistling down the Plains, but its stature continues to rise in the national rankings.  In addition to leading the nation in scoring, the Sooners are also number one in sacks and turnover margin.  The entire Norman operation, which has outscored opponents in the first half by the combined eye-popping score of: 397-130, is commanded by the latest Heisman Trophy front-runner, quarterback Sam Bradford, who has thrown a school record 42 touchdown passes, with only six interceptions. 

The QB gets big assists from his tailback tandem of DeMarco Murray, and Chris Brown, who have combined for over 1800 yards and 28 touchdowns.  Bradford has the added luxury of choosing between a trio of big-play wideouts led by Juaquin Iglesias, who combined have 26 touchdown grabs.  The D, behind end Jeremy Beal and backer Travis Lewis, stones runners, but tumble-weeds badly defending against the pass.

These favorite Sons of T. Boone Pickens are anything but a dry-well.  QB Zac Robinson (21 touchdowns – 7 interceptions) directs the nation’s seventh highest scoring attack, with help from the country’s fifth leading rusher in Kendall Hunter (14 touchdowns, questionable) and All-America wideout, Dez Bryant, who has 16 touchdown receptions.  The D, led by backer Orie Lemon is as helpless defending against the pass, as Tom Menino in a public speaking class.  OU has won the last five in this “Bedlam Series,” make it six, as T. Bonne Pickens Boys come up as dry as an overcooked turkey, and OU makes its case for playing for the national title.

No. 19 Oregon at No. 17 Oregon State (Versus, 7 p.m.) The Ducks, the nation’s eleventh best scoring eleven, fly on the legs of the nation’s sixth best rushing attack, featuring dual-threat quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (9 touchdowns- 4 interceptions), and his turf churning tailbacks Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount.  The D, has the ability to be quarterback disruptors, led by a pair of sack master ends in Nick Reed and Will Tukuafu, but overall, can be compromised as easily as; “Take a buck,” Chuck Turner, aka Super-Fly.

A win, and for the first time since the Administration of LBJ, (1965),  the Beavers, who have won six straight, and eight of nine, will have an invitation to a front row seat for the Rose Bowl Parade. Will Rogers was reported to have said: “I never met a man I didn’t like.”  Well, the Beavers’ faithful, feel the same way about its brothers Rodgers;  freshman sensation and record breaking tailback Jacquizz (shoulder), and his talented sibling James.  Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that “Quizz,” the igniter of the OSU offense, and probable conference MVP, will be able to play.  In that is the case, the Corvallis caravan will look to James, and the quarterback combination of: Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao, along with field-stretching talent of wideout Sammie Stroughter, to carry the Beavers flag to its Pasadena destination.  The thirteenth overall ranked D, led by safety Greg Laybourn and backers Keaton Kristick is solid against both the pass and the run.  The 112th edition of the Civil War is truly a toss-up, but with the Roses on the line, we think the boys from Corvallis somehow find a way; and spend New Year’s Day in Pasadena, in a probable rematch from the regular season, against Penn State.

No. 2 Florida at No. 23 Florida State (Regional, Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) Florida scores touchdowns faster than Chuck Turner grabs $100 bills.  These NASCAR infused Gators, are directed by its All-America quarterback, and reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow – whose has hung numbers that read:  22 touchdowns – 2 interceptions – 11 rushing touchdowns – while making a strong push for another chunk of fancy hardware.  The nation’s third highest scoring eleven, who have outscored first half opponents by the combined jaw-dropping score of 276-32, also flies with the tailback committee of; All-America receiver/runner Percy Harvin, and his backfield mates Chris Rainey and Jeffrey Demps.  When the QB is added into that Daytona mix, this quartet has rushed for over 2000 yards and scored 28 touchdowns.  The starry dart-thrower also has the luxury of focusing on another game-changing wideout in Louis Murphy.  The Country’s third stingiest swarming D, which is third in interceptions and second in turnover margin, is led by All-America backer Brandon Spikes, and is equally ferocious in attacking the run and the pass. 

The Seminoles would love to scalp its in-state rival’s chance at a national championship.  In Tallahassee, defense is king, and sack connoisseur end Everette Brown is the leader of FSU’s seventh overall bunch of attackers.  This group also blitzes more that the Germans in WWII, and shoots down a pass with better accuracy than, Eddie Rickenbacker.  The offense directed by dual-threat sophomore quarterback Christian Ponder (12 touchdowns – 11 interceptions) with assists from power back Anton Smith (14 touchdowns) and wideout Greg Carr, is much improved, but remains a along way from your father’s Florida State.  The Gators chomp, as Urban Meyer championship express rolls into Atlanta, for an SEC showdown, and probable national title play-in game, with the Crimson Tide. 

Maryland at No. 20 Boston College (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.)  The Terps would never find its way into Cormac McCarthy’s best selling book; The Road.  When it comes to playing away from the cozy confines of College Park, Maryland at 1-4, is in need of an M.D.  The Terrapins offense, behind quarterback Chris Turner (9 touchdowns – 8 interceptions), the tailback tandem of Da’Rel Scott, Davin Meggett, plus wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey, has been about as effective (100th in nation) as Deval Patrick, in lowering the state’s property taxes.  The D, featuring a pair of active backers in Dave Phillistin and Alex Wujciak, gets pushed around between the twenties, but stiffens when it comes to defending its goal. 

Coach Jags (Jeff Jagodzinski) has kept the Eagles soaring with its defense.  Future Sunday studs, tackle B.J. Raji and backers Mark Herzlich and Mike McLaughlin lead a group that is; fifth in total D, leads the country in interceptions, stones runners, is the nation’s fifteenth stingiest, and overall, has bailed out the B.C. season, better the U.S. government has bailed out the nation’s banks.  The offense, now under the leadership of red-shirt freshman quarterback Dominique Davis, with assists from a pair of quality fellow freshman tailbacks, Montel Harris and Josh Haden, is mistake prone, and has had more ups and downs than a bride’s pajama’s on her wedding night.  Historically, this is the type of game in which BC has coughed up a fur ball – not this year – as the Eagles fly into next week’s, ACC title game.

No. 18 Georgia Tech at No. 13 Georgia (Ch.4, noon) The Jackets have fit perfectly into first year coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option option attack.  The nation’s fourth best running team motors behind the ACC’s leading tailback Jonathan Dwyer, while being directed by its Houdini-like quarterback Josh Nesbitt, who passes (a seasonal total of 93) about as often as a republican is elected, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The country’s twelfth stingiest D, featuring end Michael Jackson, and backers Kyle Jackson and Sedric Griffin is equally effective against the pass and the run. 

The Bulldogs have been a disappointment.  It’s starry backfield of All-America tailback Knowshon Moreno, (the nation’s 13th leading rusher) quarterback Matthew Stafford (17 touchdowns -8 interceptions) and freshman sensation receiver A.J. Green (7 td’s) haven’t produced the dazzle that the Athens faithful were expecting.  The D, behind backers Rennie Curran and Darryl Gamble struggles defending the pass, and has surrendered far too many points to be considered an elite team. In the 103rd meeting of these Peach State rivals, Georgia has rung up the second longest winning streak of the series at 7, it won’t get to 8, as the Jackets finally slip on a winning suit.

Last week’s record: 5-0.                      Season’s record: 41-24.


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