Handicapping Week 10

We begin this week with a final meal and a final word.

Last week in Florence, Arizona, death row inmate Jeffrey Landrigan was executed by lethal injection.

His last meal consisted of the following: a well done steak, fried okra, french fries, strawberry ice cream and a Dr. Pepper.

But it was his final words that earned him a place, in our college blog. 

When Landrigan walked into the chamber, he looked through the glass and said: “Well, I’d like to say thank you to my family for being here, and all my friends.  Then he closed with these words: “Boomer Sooner!” as the world closed around him. 

This week let’s see which teams appear lifeless, and which gorge themselves with the satisfaction of another lethal performance.

No. 4 TCU at No. 6 Utah (CBS College Sports, 3:30 p.m.) Winners 22 consecutive regular season games, Coach Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs are the best eleven in the Lone Star State, and that includes the Dallas Cowboys.  These Sons of Sammy Baugh are also looking for its second consecutive BCS invitation.

The Boys from Forth Worth, the nation’s ninth highest scoring team (40 points a game) are commanded by its gristled leader, senior QB Andy Dalton(16 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), the maestro behind the Frogs streak.

The flame throwing red head is assisted by the country’s 16th best runner Ed Wesley (6.8 yards a carry) and a trio of chain moving targets; All-America Jeremy Kerley (7TDs), Josh Boyce and Bart Johnson.

The nation’s stingiest (8.67 points) D, featuring All-America backer Tank Cardner, his partner Tanner Brock and end Wayne Daniels, are Park Avenue elite; tops in both defending the pass, and total defense, and have surrendered an eye-popping total of; 7 fourth quarter points.

In Utah, the Salt Lake City dicers, who are riding a 21 game home winning streak, have been pounding teams, outscoring opponents in the second quarter by the cumulative jaw-dropping total of: 141-16.

The nation’s third highest (45 points a game) scoring team, is directed by sophomore QB Jordan Wynn (13 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), with assists from the tailback tandem of Eddie Wide, Matt Asiata, and a pair of field stretching receivers; Jereme Brooks and DeVonte Christopher.

The country’s sixth stingiest D (14.13), is also Broadway worthy, swallowing runners and disrupting passes behind corner Lamar Chapman, and backers Matt Martinez and Chaz Walker.

In a close battle, with apologies to former Dallas Cowboy Coach Jimmy Johnson, “How bout them Horned Frogs!”

No. 5 Alabama at No. 12 LSU (Ch. 4, 3:30 p.m.)  The Tide is rising, as is, its opportunity to play for a second consecutive national championship.

Coach Nick Saban’s Tuscaloosan Titans, (Groucho’s favorite town) who now control its own destiny, are commanded by Mr. Steady, QB Greg McElroy (11 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions – 70% completions) who operates as the nation’s eighth most efficient passer.

The field general is assisted by the country’s most dynamic tailback tandem, reigning Hesiman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, his partner Trent Richardson, and a Linus-blanket wideout; All-America Julio Jones. 

The nation’s second stingiest D (12.5 points), is third in interceptions (15), a plus nine in turnover margin, and attacks behind a trio of All-Americas; safety Mark Barron, backer Don’t’a Hightower and end Marcell Dareus.

In Death Valley it’s the defense that dominates.

These Baton Rouge disruptors, otherwise known as LSU, feature All-America corner Patrick Peterson, backer Kelvin Sheppard, and tackle Drake Nevis.  This crew rolls as the nation’s tenth stingiest (12.5 points a game) and chokes the life out of the run and the pass better than Albert DeSalvo.

But, as the Tiger faithful is well aware, the offense has become the poster boy for Pepto-Bismol.  These bumbling Sons of Billy Cannon possess bottom-feeding congressional democrat numbers; 73rd in scoring, 113th in passing, and 101 in total offense. 

These end zone challenged nomads, featuring QB’s Jordan Jefferson, Jarrett Lee, tailback Stevan Ridley and wideouts Rueben Randle and Terence Toliver score a touchdown as often as John Kerry picks up the tab.

In a game that will have more hits than a Stooges episode, we think the Tide continues to rise.

No. 13 Arizona at No. 10 Stanford (Ch. 5, 8 p.m.) In the desert, the Wildcats have been a surprising oasis, silently climbing into the nation’s conscience.

Coach Mike Stoops Cats, averaging 32 points a game, are led by QB Nick Foles (knee) with assists from tailbacks Nic Grigsby (ankle), Keola Antolin, and the receiver trio; Juron Criner, William Wright, and David Douglas.                    . 

The nation’s seventh stingiest D(14.38), ranks tenth overall, is fifth in sacks (25), and stones runners behind end Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore and tackle Justin Washington.

On the Farm, Stanford’s fiery Coach Jim Harbaugh, has harvested a fertile crop, as SU is 7-1 for the first time (1970) since old friend Jim Plunkett led them to the Rose Bowl.

The Cardinal flies on the arm of its dynamic, dual-threat All-America QB, Andrew Luck (20 touchdown passes – 6 interceptions), the director of the nation’s fifth highest scoring (42 points a game) eleven.   

The dart thrower’s supporting cast; tailback Stepfan Taylor, who plays a starring role in the country’s 12th best running attack, and favorite target Doug Baldwin (6TDs), send more shivers to the opposition, than Mariah Carey stuffed into a size 4 dress.

The aggressive D, featuring end Thomas Keiser, Chase Thomas, and Shayne Skov, is solid in all phases.

In a very close game, we think the Boys from the Palo-Alto; show the Cats, that Stanford is no mirage.

No. 17 Arkansas at No. 18 South Carolina (ESPN, 7 p.m.) This is yet another opportunity for the Hogs to bring home the bacon.

The ring master of Coach Bobby Petrino’s flying circus, the nation’s second best passing attack, is Gibraltar sized (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) All-America QB Ryan Mallett (18 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions) who operates as the country’s seventh most efficient passer.

The Fayetteville gunslinger is assisted by decoy (92nd in rushing) tailbacks Knile Davis, Broderick Green, and a trio of Store-24 targets; Greg Childs, D.J. Williams, and Joe Adams, who have combined for over 100 catches.  [Note: Childs out for season – knee]

The D, featuring backers Jerry Franklin, Jerico Nelson and safety Anthony Leon, inhales passes, but struggles (78th) slowing runners, which is the wrong formula against South Carolina.

The Head Ball Coach controls his SEC East destiny, and has the Cock faithful crowing in full throttle.

The Gamecocks engine is its hard charging tailback, Marcus Lattimore (11 TDs) who averages over 100 yards a game, with assists from QB Stephen Garcia (13 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions – 70% completions) along with two game changing wideouts; All-America Alshon Jeffrey (7 TDs, 18 yards a catch) and Tori Gurley.

The attacking D, featuring end Devon Taylor, backer Josh Dickerson and tackle Melvin Ingram, stones runners, but defends the pass (15th from the bottom) about as well as Chuck Turner defended himself, which is a scary proposition against Arkansas.

In another classic SEC chess match, we think the Head Ball Coach celebrates the victory with a BLT.

No. 22 Baylor at No. 19 Oklahoma State (FSN, 12:30 p.m.)  The last time (1995) the Baylor Bears were bowl eligible; Bill Clinton was deep into his second term.

This Waco wagon (8th in total offense) gallops on the legs of its elusive QB Robert Griffin (20 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), with assists from tailback Jay Finley, and a pair of TD grabbers, Kendall Wright (6TDs) and Josh Gordon (7TDs) who averages 21 yards a catch.

The Bears D (78th overall), led by end Tevin Elliott and backer Chris Francis, takes almost as many hits as the New York hotel room’s furniture took against a raging Charlie Sheen.

The OkState Cowboys have three bullets ready to fire at all times.

These Stillwater sharpshooters, the nation’s third highest scoring (45 points a game) eleven, attack behind QB Brandon Weeden (23 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions), the country’s third leading rusher, All-America tailback Kendall Hunter (12 TDs, over 1100 yards) and All-America wideout Justin Blackmon, who has 14 TD grabs, and averages 158 receiving yards per game.

It’s the D, which gives, OkState’s biggest benefactor, alum Boone Pickens, (the stadium is named after him) visions of a dry well.

These Cowpokes, led by backers Orie Lemon, and James Thomas are the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, ranking 86th overall, 7th from the bottom defending the pass, while surrendering a sieve like 28 points a game.

It what should be a shootout, we think the sharpshooters from Stillwater, simply have more ammunition to fire.

(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)

 

Last week’s record: 4-1                                             Season record: 28-17.

Make sure to read our week 10 recap which will be up and running on Sunday by noon.

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