| FTBL The Resident College Football Expert Week 8

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The Resident College Football Expert Week 8: If it works, does that make it RIGHT?

by RollTideRandy

The Resident College Football Expert loves nothing more than laughing at ridiculous coaching blunders. The question that needs to be asked though, if it works, does that make it right? Let us investigate. Coaching blunder of the week in Week 7 was Bobby Petrino’s decision to take a safety at the end of the Arkansas game against Auburn. But was it really a blunder?

Why it may have been a blunder: The point deficit shrank from five to three. That means that the Barn no longer needed to get the ball into the end zone to win, they only needed a field goal. Plus, the Arkansas punter was averaging 52 yards per kick and they would have lined up for the punt from the seven, not the one, meaning he had plenty of room to kick. The punt returner would have fielded the kick at around the 40 and he was averaging eight yards per return, which means they would have started at around the 48. After the safety, Auburn returned the free kick to the 40, which means the exchange only netted them eight yards. Considering they would have only needed to drive to the 25 for a field goal, rather than all the way to the end zone, and you have to conclude that the move gave away 17 free yards, which was not smart.

Why it may not have been a blunder: Auburn has scored more points on Special Teams this season than they have scored on offense. Throw out Southern Miss and Monroe and the Special teams production is probably double that of the offense. Had they punted, Arkansas would have given Auburn two chances to score a TD on Special Teams either by a blocked punt or a punt return. There is no chance to block a free kick, so there is a higher probability the Auburn offense will have to get it done, which is good for Arkansas.

Conclusion: Auburn and Arkansas both stink!

You know The Expert rarely pays attention to the NFL (i.e. the NO FUN LEAGUE), yet he found himself watching the Bears and Falcons last Sunday which led to witnessing the most frequent blunder being perpetrated by coaches today, the squib kick! Why do coaches continue to do this? Has it ever worked? Rather than needing to drive the entire field in 20 seconds, the Falcons found themselves a 20 yards pass play away from field goal range. Over and over again the squib kick leads to disaster. Why coaches continue to use it is a mystery that may never be solved.

So Bobby Petrino should send a case of champagne to Lovie Smith for helping him avoid the coaching blunder of the week award. That squib kick was just mind-blowingly stupid. Right up there with “Hey, let’s start Rex Grossman at Quarterback. That kid has Super Bowl winner written all over him.”

Now, on to the picks…

Ole Missy vs Alabama

The Crimson Tide has blown out four teams this season and played two weaker teams close to the vest. So far this season, they have not put together back-to-back poor performances and The Expert sees no reason why that should happen this week, especially coming off a bye week. Ole Missy has played nothing but close games this season, so if they find themselves facing a two or three score deficit, no one knows how they will respond. With the way Bama has started games this season, that is probably the situation they will face. Rather than mount an UGA like comeback, these young guys, on the road, are going to meltdown and Bama will win easily. Bama 42 Ole Missy 14

LSU vs South Carolina

A lot of SEC fans seem pretty excited about the Gamecock’s prospects in this game. The Expert will give them their due, they have played well the past two weeks. The problem is that the quarterback play has still been inconsistent. This game is a gamble South Carolina‘s coach. If Sinister Steve dials up the hot hand to start at QB, Carolina has a shot. Odds are though, the LSU defense will punish the South Carolina starter and win the game convincingly. LSU 27 South Carolina 14

Vanderbilt vs Georgia

The Commode Doors’ greatest asset this season has been their experience. That has made them cool down the stretch and helped them pull out wins late in games. The problem for them this week is that UGA has a pretty mature team themselves, so it isn’t that great of an advantage this week. And when you compare the talent level of these teams, there is no comparison. Comparing the experience levels of these teams is like comparing a Lincoln and a Cadillac. Comparing talent levels however is like comparing a row boat to the USS Ronald Reagan. Vandy got their once every 30 year win against the Bulldogs two seasons ago and won’t win this one. UGA 37 Vandy 10

Mississippi State vs Tennessee

The downward spiral for the Viles continues and there is no end in sight. As sad as the Miss State Bulldogs have looked this season, they have still had more bright spots to their season than the Viles. QB Nick Stephens has tried his best to re-energize the Vile Nation, but the offense he has been running has been very conservative. The Bulldogs are good enough at stopping the run and shutting down the short pass to score a victory against the Viles. Miss St 9 Tennessee 7

Ohio State vs Michigan State

Michigan State is a pretty weak 6-1. They have gotten it done, but struggles against Florida Atlantic and Iowa show this team is not ready for a full strength Ohio State team. The Buckeyes have rebounded from their loss to USC and gotten completely healthy. They’ll knock off the Spartans this week. Ohio St 24 Michigan State 17

Michigan vs Penn State

We have to include this game only because we have not taken enough time to laugh at the demise of the Wolverines. Could this season happen to a nicer guy than Rich Rod? It just keeps getting better too. They are catching Penn State just at the right time. The Nittany Lions have been ripping every team on their schedule this season. Because they are Michigan, there will be no overlooking by Penn State in this one. This feels a lot like Coach Fran’s game against Oklahoma in his first season at aTm. Penn State 77 Michigan 0

Kansas vs Oklahoma

Kansas is a lousy team that has been skating by for two seasons now. Many are asking themselves, “When will they get what is coming to them?” Wait no longer fans, the time is at hand. There is no way the Jayhawks escape Norman without getting clobbered. They have no defense and their skill players on offense are overrated. Oklahoma 37 Kansas 24

Wake Forest vs Maryland

It‘s time to dive into the topsy-tervy ACC where the unexpected always happens. What was up with Maryland getting blown out by Virginia? You never have any idea what will happen in this league. Take this game for example, everything points to Wake knocking off Maryland this week, so…..Maryland 20 Wake Forest 17

Joe The Plumber‘s Upsets of the Week

North Carolina vs Virginia

Here‘s another of those crazy ACC games. How good is North Carolina? They are 5-1 and have found their way into the top 25, but this still is not a great team, so it‘s not likely they will keep up this kind of play. They barely edged the Dumb at home last week. This week on the road, they will not be so lucky. Virginia 28 North Carolina 19

Miami vs Duke

Miami has just barely escaped the Dukies the last two seasons. This year, Duke is improved, has a real coach, and the Miami decline has continued. You have to think this is the year Duke will pull off a win against the Canes. Duke 21 Miami 16

Georgia Tech vs Clemson

One more game in the crazy ACC. Clemson has went from #9 to 3-3, fired their coach, and the entire team is lining up to bash the former coach. Ga Tech on the other hand is 5-1, couldn‘t be happier with their coach, and is playing and acting like one big happy family. In the ACC, that can only mean one thing, Clemson is a sure thing to win this game. Clemson 23 Ga Tech 17

Missouri vs Texas

The Expert is keeping the faith with Missouri. They tripped-up a little last week against Oklahoma State, but The Expert still knows they have probably the best offense in College Football. If we learned one thing last week, it‘s that Texas plays as little defense as every other team in the Big 12. In a shoot-out like this, The Expert‘s rule of thumb is to always take the better offense and the better quarterback. Missouri 34 Texas 31

North Texas Hating Pick of the Week

North Texas vs La Monroe

North Texas put up yet another miserable defensive performance. They are now giving up more than 53 points per game ranking them DEAD LAST in the NCAA in total defense. The Expert hates to wax philosophical, but can you imagine what might happen if All-barn played North Texas this season? What would happen if a defense that finds it almost impossible to stop anybody faces an offense that finds it equally difficult to advance down the field? Would the universe collapse upon itself? Oh, by the way…La Monroe 87 North Texas 21
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