Attention naysayers…I have some bad news for you.
The Sooners could win on Saturday.
Not possible, you say? Texas is too strong? Vince Young is the next coming of Michael Vick?
Even Bob Stoops appears to be looking at the game from the wrong perspective. In a recent Sooners Illustrated article coach Stoops makes the unfortunate comment that his Sooners "match up well" with Texas. The problem with the syntax of this statement is that Stoops is implicitly holding the Longhorns up for comparison instead of dealing with them as a team who has lost their last five head-to-heads against the Sooners.
Texas matches up well with Oklahoma this year, but this is nothing new. The Longhorns have either matched or exceeded the Sooners' talent level each of the past five years. Also, Texas has started an experienced quarterback against Oklahoma every year since 2000.
The only difference this year is that Texas is enjoying an excessive amount of respect for buggy-whipping a mediocre Michigan team in last season's Rose Bowl and was impressive against a good Ohio State team in Columbus in September.
And while it's true that Vince Young does appear to have improved his passing, he is still throwing interceptions and he still has a tendency to hang his head when mistakes occur – a problem that has cost him dearly in past Red River Rivalries. The looming question is, can Vince and his fellow ‘Horns overcome the five year's worth of psychological baggage they have accrued against Oklahoma?
And there is also this additional ace-in-the-hole for the Sooners:
Texas already believes they have the game won.
Saturday, October 8th
Air Force at Navy (-1) Last year's very good Navy team has morphed into this year's so-so team. Air Force, on the other hand, is playing well for a 2-3 team. Line seems about right but got to give the nod to the Falcons.
AF by 4
Arizona at USC (-37) Stoops' fans will be practicing their wincing in preparation for this one. Little bro Mike is making discernable progress in the desert but in the PAC 10 "discernable" progress and $7.50 will get you both a cappuccino and a pink slip.
Trojans by 35
Baylor at Iowa State (-9) I've gotta say that Guy Morriss has me stumped. His Bears haven't been playing like the Bagels we've all come to know and love. Question is, at what point during this season will they revert? Let's have faith in them for one more week, at least, shall we?
‘Clones by 7
California at UCLA (-1 ½) It's October…time for all coaches on the west coast whose initials are Karl Dorrell to turn back into pumpkins.
Golden Teddy Grahams by 17
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (-12 ½) Considering himself a teacher first and a coach second, hats off to Dave Wannstadt for using his team as a dynamic illustration of Newton's First Law of physics, to wit…"A body at rest tends to stay at rest". And considering the way that the portion of the Pittsburgh student body that comprises the football team has been playing, they're likely to remain at rest for several weeks to come.
Bearcats by 1
Texas A&M at Colorado (-3) Word has it that Franchione "advised" his assistants not to fraternize with the Baylor coaching staff either before or after the game and then declined to meet Guy Morriss at mid-field for a perfunctory handshake. Tough to respect a guy like that.
Beefaloes by 8
Mississippi State at Florida (-27 ½) What in the world happened to St. Urban the 1st last weekend? I mean, heck, the Zookster could have had the Gators playing at least that well. I smell a very ugly score approaching Saturday as Meyer has had his team sweating bullets all week.
Florida by 45
Kansas at Kansas State (-6) How ‘bout that whacky Snyder, being so confident of his team's ability to win that he doesn't even have a punter in position to kick the ball? What a guy, huh? This is a real opportunity for Mangino to shine.
Jayhawks by 3
Missouri (-5 ½) at Oklahoma State Okay Gary, here's your big chance. OSU is down…and I mean that in the purest sense of the word. The Cowboys just averaged two yards per carry against Colorado and their quarterback was throwing balls into the 20 yard line seats. Missouri had best strike while the Aggie is cold.
Tigers by 10
Texas Tech (-4) at Nebraska It's time for a big ol' serving of revenge, Callahan style. As everyone remembers, Texas Tech set the NU program back to the 1960s last year with a 70-10 throttling which actually wasn't as close as the score would indicate. The Huskers are mad, and ready. There's a big bill for the Red Raiders to pay. What goes around, comes…well, you get the picture.
Tech by 14
Ohio State (-3) at Penn State Sorry, Joe. The ride's been fun but it may be coming to an end this weekend. But it doesn't really need to come to an end…Tressel and his Blackeyes, while very talented, are beatable. They've been safely ensconced in their home stadium for the first four games, not having to venture out into the hostile world to play a game. And, Joe, your young men have been playing their hearts out. So the opportunity will be right there, Joe, in Beaver Stadium on Saturday. I'll have to pick against you but I'll be hoping I'm wrong. Good luck.
OSU by 7
Oklahoma at Texas (-13 ½) The line for this game, thirteen and change, is insulting. Stoops should be insulted and it is incumbent upon him to make sure the team is insulted as well. Texas hasn't been favored by this many points since John Blake was trying to figure out which sideline to stand on. There's no question that the Sooners have lost much respect after belly-flopping in last season's national title game and then beginning this season like a Mountain West also-ran. I can think of no better way to restore the team's self-confidence and the respect of their peers than to bitch-slap Texas silly this coming Saturday.
Oklahoma by 9
Wann Smith has served two years as national columnist for the Pigskin Post, contributed to the College Football News (a contributor to Fox Sports and the Sporting News) and is currently the editor of the College Football Gazette. Smith lives in St. Louis with his family.
Click the link below to visit his website...
College Football Gazette
You can also contact Wann Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Smith's Picks: Week Six
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