Handicapping Week 10

We begin this week, with another American nitwit, seeking his fifteen minutes of Warholian fame.

On a Thursday night, two weeks ago, a 22 year old University of Arizona senior, Jace Michael Lankow, dressed in full referee regalia; jersey, hat and whistle, stormed onto the field just before the half, of the UCLA/Arizona game.

He proceeded to strip down to his Wildcat colored skivvies, and once he was collared, he told police, that he did it to improve his chances of appearing on the TV show; Wipeout.

You can’t make this up. 

He was charged with criminal impersonation, and it must thrill his parents to know, that their tuition payments are being put to good use. 

Arizona is also contemplating expelling this budding genius.

But the best line came from the L.A. Times, which wrote, “During his run, Lankow covered 38 yards, while the entire UCLA team ran for 34.”

This weekend, let’s see which teams celebrate a home team wipeout, and which need any ref, real or Memorex, to blow the whistle early, in order to put an early end to the misery.

No.1 LSU at No.2 Alabama (Ch.4, 8 p.m.) In a game that will have more hits than a Beatles catalogue, it’s finally Armageddon time in Tuscaloosa.

This is only the 25th time in the seventy-six seasons of the AP poll that Nos.1 and 2 will meet on the same field, during the regular season.

In a sharp contrast to the blue suited Tide, LSU’s approach is directly attributable to its free spirited coach; “The Mad Hatter,” Les Miles.

The Bayou Bengals are directed by its flawless senior QB, Jarrett Lee (13 touchdown passes – 1 interception), with an occasional changeup from his speedier backup, captain Jordan Jefferson.

The Tigers down hill running attack features its battering ram tailback, Spencer Ware, and his mercury infused partner, Michael Ford.

The aerial show focuses on a pair of targets; Rueben Randle (7 TDs), and Odell Beckham Jr., who have added a big play dimension to the Death Valley assault.

Most importantly, in a game in which the talent on both sides is equal, LSU leads the country with the fewest (3) turnovers.

The nation’s third stingiest D (11 points), is harder to penetrate than a congressional budgetary impasse, and stones runners, and disrupts passes, behind a pair of seething ends; Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, while corner Tyrann Mathieu is a turnover generating machine.

Defense is the identity of Titans from Tuscaloosa, which instills more fear, than an indictment of a Wall Street hedge fund manager.

T is also a favorite city of Groucho Marx, as the dialogue from the movie; “Animal Crackers,” attests.

“We tried to remove the tusks.  But they were embedded so firmly we couldn’t.  Of course in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa…”

Saint Nicks destructive eleven, led backers Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, and All-America Safety Mark Barron, have also posted better numbers than Elle McPherson.

 

These Kryptoniters, who allow points about as often as it rains in Texas, have surrendered a mind bending seasonal total of 55 points.

It ranks first in crushing runners, (less than 2 yards a carry), tops in total D, second defending against the pass, while allowing a jaw-dropping average of; less than seven points a game. 

The offense is directed by the steady hand of QB, A.J. McCarron – 10 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions.

 The first year starter leans heavily on his bell-cow; Heisman Trophy contending tailback, Trent Richardson (7th in rushing, 123 yds. a game, 17 TDs), while wideouts Marquis Maze, and Darius Hanks, can move the chains. 

Like its counterparts, the Tide also doesn’t part with the ball, losing a total of eight turnovers, but only two, since the first game.

In the first official game of the new century, with the winner in control of its national championship destiny, we think the Boys from Groucho’s favorite town, victorious in 25 of its last 26 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, gets the W.

No. 10 South Carolina at No. 8 Arkansas (ESPN, 7:15 p.m.) It’s hard to know which one of these teams is the most overrated.

In Columbia, Steve Spurrier’s quarterback search, is worthy of Diogenes.

The run orientated Cocks, (49th in scoring) are presently under the direction of its dual threat, sophomore QB, Connor Shaw (6 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), with assists from true freshman tailback Brandon Wilds and his All-America receiver, Alshon Jeffrey.

The country’s14th tightest D, (17pts.), behind backer Antonio Allen, and end Melvin Ingram, has been the glue to the Gamecocks season.

The adage goes; “You have to be good, to be lucky,” and in its last two come from behind victories, Arkansas has been like a turkey, the day after Thanksgiving.

Lately, the Hogs top twenty scoring (36pts) offense has been in need of a tune-up.

When operating smoothly, the Razorbacks have sliced teams with its hardened QB Tyler Wilson, the director of the nation’s ninth leading passing attack.

When the Boys from Fayetteville run, emerging star Dennis Johnson is the primary choice, while wideouts; Jarius Wright, and Joe Adams, are touchdown creating targets.

South Carolina is on its third straight road trip, while the Hogs are retuning home for the first time in three weeks.  In a very close game, the Hogs firepower cooks the Gamecocks bacon.

No. 17 Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) The Little Apple’s “little engine that could;” has finally been derailed.

Bill Snyder’s Cinderella Cats, the nation’s top twenty rushing eleven, are directed by its Manhattan maestro, dual threat QB Collin Klein, (16 rushing TDs, 8 Td passes), with assists from tailback John Hubert, and a pair of solid receivers; Chris Harper and Tyler Lockett.

The swarming D, featuring backer Arthur Brown, and safety David Garrett, is stout against the run, but resembles Charlie Brown in defending the pass, which is a disastrous recipe against OK State.

The Cowboys, the nation’s second highest scoring team (49), who have been riding over opponents, as if its saddles were blazing, are 8-0 for the first time since Harry Truman (1945) occupied the White House.

These Stillwater silencers, have been firing on the arm of its gunslinger; QB Brandon Weeden (22 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions), with a Grande assist from his All-America deputy, wideout Justin Blackmon (10 TDs, 9 catches a game), who is arguably the country’s finest.

On the ground, the Boys from Boone Pickens University gallop behind its explosive tailback tandem; Joseph Randle (16TDs – 105 yds. a game), and Jeremy Smith.

But it’s the colander D, (26 points), featuring end Jamie Blatnick, and All-America safety Markelle Martin, which leads the nation in turnovers, that causes more nightmares for the Oklahoma State faithful, than a visit to Elm Street.

It’s been a great ride for KState, but in Stillwater, the derailment becomes permanent.

No.6 Oregon at Washington (FSN, 10:30 p.m.) Quietly, Chip Kelly’s Ducks have quacked back into the national picture.

In a university known as the “Cradle of Runners,” this version of the Eugene eleven, are worthy high-octane performers.

These road runners, led by a returning LaMichael James (arm), his backfield mates; De’Anthony Thomas, and Kenyon Barner, are averaging over 300 yards a game, and a jaw-dropping 7 yards per carry.

The QB situation may shift from dual-threat starter Darron Thomas (18 touchdown passes – 5 interceptions), to the even swifter Bryan Bennett (6 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions).

But whoever is under center, Lavasier Tuinei and De’Anthony Thomas are explosive targets.

The D, featuring backers Dewitt Stuckey, and Josh Kaddu, allows 21 points a game, and hasn’t performed to the recent standards in Eugene.

The Huskies mush behind its bruising tailback Chris Polk, (9TDs – over 1000yds.), the nation’s fifth leading runner.

QB Keith Price (23 touchdown passes – 8 interceptions) could also qualify as a lead dog, with assists from a trio of receivers; All-America Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar, and James Johnson, who have combined for 85 catches, and a dozen TDs.

The D, which allows 33 a game, and features backer Cort Dennison, and corner Desmond Troufant, is a Pac12 candidate for a Swiss cheese factory.

Oregon had a bit of a scare last week, so we expect Kelly’s Ducks, to come out flying in Seattle.

Texas A&M at Oklahoma (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) Maybe A&M, the Home of the 12th Man, should add a 13th to try to plug its defensive woes.

But the country’s twelfth highest scoring (39) offense, does the College Station cadets proud.

QB Ryan Tannehil (18 touchdown passes – 7 interceptions) leads the march, with assists from a pair of dynamic tailbacks; Christine Michael, and Cyrus Grey, who have combined for 1566 yards and 15 TDs.

The starry QB, also has a trio of glue fingered targets; Ryan Swope, Jeff Fuller, and Uzema Nwachukwu, who have combined for an eye-popping 131 receptions, and 11 touchdowns.

The bottom feeding D, led by backers Sean Porter (8.5 sacks) and his partner Jonathan Stewart, is shakier than a Kim Kardashian marriage, and ranks dead last in pass defense.

The Sooners are annoyed, and intently focused on starting a new winning streak in Norman.

Oklahoma, the fifth highest scoring eleven (46), is commanded by its All-America dart thrower, Landry Jones – 26 touchdown passes – 9 interceptions.

The Heisman candidate has the luxury of targeting the best receiving trio in the nation; All-America Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills, and Jaz Reynolds, who have combined for an amazing 146 receptions, and 21 touchdowns.

With starter Dominique Whaley gone for the season (ankle), speedster Roy Finch is now the principal ball carrier.

The D, fires behind backer Travis Lewis, and a pair of destruction seeking ends; Ronnell Lewis and Frank Alexander, and when challenged, are championship worthy.

The streak begins anew, as OU sends A&M home, in search of that 13th man.

 

Last week’s record: 3-2                                     Season record: 31-14.

Be sure to read our recap, which will be up and running by noon Sunday.

Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.       pk

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