Friday, September 18, 2009
College Football Weekend Preview: Part Two ... The 'Revenge' of Texas
For the Texas Longhorns, a run at the BCS title game is the goal this season. That said, it would be nice to beat Texas Tech
Before Oklahoma won the Big 12 title and made the BCS Championship last year, they lost decisively to Texas. With the path to the Big 12 championship looking clear, Texas ran into the Graham Harrell/Michael Crabtree buzzsaw in Lubbock. That shocker left the Longhorns hoping for a Texas Tech or Oklahoma stumble, because the three-way tie between the teams in the Big 12 South was decided by the teams' standing in the BCS, a statistic ruled by Oklahoma.
Revenge is not talked about much anymore. After all, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Beating Texas Tech would be nice, but what's it going to avenge? The key players from that game are gone. The game is in Austin this time. Oh, and it's not like Texas Tech broke any rules or did anything immoral to gain the victory.
This isn't revenge. It's a football game. One that Texas is going to win decisively, too. They haven't been tested yet (neither has Texas Tech), but there's no way of knowing if Tech will test the Longhorns. They are elite on both sides of the ball when things are clicking, and Texas Tech has too many holes, especially on defense.
Some might look at the first half struggle Texas experienced at Wyoming last week and call it a flaw. If you do that, you can make yourself think the Red Raiders have a shot. However, it's a long shot at best, nothing at all like last year.
The pick: Texas
California at Minnesota: This is a tough week for the Gophers. They were able to wear down Air Force, especially their offensive and defensive fronts, but won't be able to do that to California. Also, the hype and pageantry that comes along with a new stadium unveiling is gone. This is "just another game," and the biggest issue is how Cal adjusts to traveling so far to play a game at what would be 9 A.M. in Berkeley. The Bears have the better team, but they blew a game at Maryland last year, and there are significant worries they could be bitten by the long trip/early game bug again. There's no question this Gopher team will be hungry. They haven't beaten a legitimate big-time non-conference opponent in years, and this is a great chance to do it. That said, when making picks, it's really dumb to pick an obviously inferior team.
The pick: California
Tennessee at Florida: Everyone is looking at this game, for the obvious drama-based reasons. However, the assumption going around is that Florida will have to restrain itself from winning 88-0 or something. It's hard to imagine the Gators doing that kind of damage to Tennessee's defense, no matter how fired-up they might be. The Volunteers will be pumped, too. At least that's what Lane Kiffin is hoping. If they're not ready, this could be a long day. Like 88-0 long.
The pick: Florida
Florida State at BYU: The Cougars get their next good test with a Florida State team that needed a pair of late touchdowns to pull away from (gulp) Jacksonville State last week. On second thought, maybe the Mountain West can provide BYU with that "next good test."
The pick: BYU
Other games (Home team in CAPS)
SYRACUSE over Northwestern
IOWA over Arizona
VIRGINIA TECH over Nebraska
Cincinnati over OREGON STATE
Utah over OREGON
NORTH CAROLINA over East Carolina
ARKANSAS over Georgia
AUBURN over West Virginia
Last week: 8-1