Despite ESPN Game Day giving UTEP the stiff-arm and instead going to see a 3-5 Tulsa get smoked by the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Nip, I am very excited for the last trip of the season. To be honest, all UTEP had to do was take care of business at FAU this weekend, and I bet Game Day would be coming to El Paso. Instead, they lost 28-25 and there went their bid to host Kirk and the Gang, despite an undefeated UTSA coming to town. Oh well, it will make the Friday night recovery easier if we don’t have to get up to wave our flag at Game Day.
This week, we are trying to attempt the very difficult same day double. That means driving up to Las Cruces Saturday morning to see Utah State lay the wood on New Mexico State at a 2 pm kickoff. I am hopefully the Aggies of Utah will roll over the Aggies of NMS so we can bolt out of there at halftime. It should give us plenty of tailgate time at UTEP in advance of what may be the best game of the weekend when the red-hot Roadrunners come to play the Miners at 8pm. I consider myself lucky to have such a big game at UTEP. Historically speaking the Miners haven’t always been good teams when I have seen them play before. That’s not to say their performance was not spirited – the New Mexico State Aggies maybe not so much. So, that’s the plan for this weekend.
As for my picks, it doesn’t get much worse than last week. Just when I thought I had Vegas on the ropes, I have my second 0-4 week. I had mistakenly thought that Iowa would show up against Wisconsin. That game was lost in the first ten minutes. Rice dragged it out later, going to OT before losing to the Mean Green. I got so wrapped up in the PSU vs OSU game that I lost track of Kentucky taking it on the chin against Mississippi State. That little gem ended my dismal week.
Some other random notes from last week:
- Miami just jumped all over Pitt. You really can’t give any team that many points and expect to win. Not mention that the ACC Network coverage was brutal.
- I want to support Cincinnati, but it is hard to argue that they look like a top tier team. They struggled with Tulane this weekend. Of course, so did Oklahoma earlier this season. One more reason for expanded playoffs.
- Iowa State being Iowa State – no consistency
- I am sure I have seen a team self destruct quicker than Florida did in the last two minutes of the first half against Georgia, I just can’t remember when.
- Honorable mention to La Tech for the worst call of the weekend when they tried a bomb on 4th and three with 20 seconds instead of punting. ODU takes over, moves twenty yards and kicks the winner with no time remaining.
- However, the worst call of the weekend was when SMU, after just tying the game with less than a minute to go, decides to kick off to arguably the best kick returner in the country, Houston’s Marcus Jones. Jones takes it to the house and there goes SMUs undefeated season. Absolutely a terrible decision.
There aren’t many match ups I like this week. I generally don’t like betting on rivalry games because anything can happen, particularly when it comes to the Armed Forces. However, I have to believe that Air Force can beat Army by at least three points. Earlier this year I played the “Win one for the fired coach” bit and I got burned. Gary Patterson has left a great legacy, but I don’t think it will help TCU beat Baylor. I always bet the games I am at so that leaves me picking Utah State to cover 18.5 over New Mexico State. I don’t love such a big point spread, but I plan to leave the game at halftime so I will be cheering for Utah State to put New Mexico State away early anyway. I would like to keep the cheering and betting aligned on this one. I have a different take on the night game. I am putting my money on UTSA, but it’s an emotional hedge because if UTEP wins, the Sun Bowl should be rocking.
Other observations for the week:
- If Liberty beats Ole Miss, does that tarnish the SEC and help Cincinnati? I doubt it.
- Likewise, if Auburn beats Texas A&M, does it weaken Bama? Not at all
- But, if Cincinnati only beats Tulsa by a touchdown, it definitely hurts the Bearcats Life is hard when you are a Group of Five team.
- The game not too watch: 2-6 ODU against 1-7 FIU.
Good luck this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy my review of Arizona State.