Last week’s 1-2-1 record was extremely frustrating especially when you consider Baylor missed covering by two points and Pitt missed it by one. Then a late touchdown by Nebraska turned a win into a push. Such is life in the big city.
What has given me comfort is that some of the big name handicappers are also off to an extremely slow start on the college trail. After all, misery loves company
Arkansas (+6.5) at Texas A&M (AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX)
You just keep waiting for Sumlin and the Texas A&M to crack. We all know the Aggies coach is on the hot seat and it’s anyone’s guess if and when it will pressure him and his team into a loss. The one thing Sumlin does have in his favor is an improved defense. The Aggies have constantly been able to pressure the quarterback with their stud defensive ends, Daeshon Hall and Myles Garrett.
Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks started out the season with two extremely close wins (one at TCU) before destroying Texas St. last week.
With each passing week, I love Austin Allen more and more. He’s off to a solid start with 7 touchdown passes and only two interceptions, both came in the opener against Louisiana Tech.
It will be a close game, one possession game that could go either way.
Oklahoma St. (+8) at Baylor
With the number being larger than one score, you have to determine how much you believe in Baylor, even though we really don’t know anything about them yet. They have played one of the worst non-conference schedules in the country. They have gotten off to a slow start in each game. They haven’t covered the number yet. They have been polar opposite of what they were, in those terms, under Grobe.
Oklahoma St. is 2-1 even though we can all agree that they should be 3-0. The Cowboys had an impressive win last week over Pitt but this will be there first true test against a dynamic versatile offense. Keep an eye on the run defense in this one. Oklahoma St. gave up 290 yards rushing to Pitt.
If Baylor is able to run the ball, Grobe will be able to dictate the pace in this one and not only will Baylor win but they will cover.
LSU (-3) at Auburn
In the latest episode of ‘losing coach leaves town’ in the SEC, Les Miles and Gus Malzaun square off in a pivotal SEC conference game.
It looks like Les Miles has found his guy at quarterback in Danny Etling. Last week, Etling was the very definition of “game manager” and that might not be all that bad for LSU. Definitely the key stat was Etling going 6-9 for a TD on third downs. Add Leonard Fournette to the formula and this looks like a road game where Miles can play that close to the vest game without worrying about getting blown out.
On the other side, Auburn seems to find a way to lose games. The Tigers lost a home game to punchless Clemson who, by the way, has stayed punchless and to Texas A&M. Malzahn has gone through three quarterbacks this season and despite being at home, this sets up for Malzahn to lose another ‘losing coach leaves town’ game.
Nebraska (-6.5) at Northwestern
This number is trickier than it seems. People will see an undefeated team coming off a win against a Power 5 quality opponent against a team that is 1-2 with losses to Western Michigan and Illinois St. but it might not be that simple.
Northwestern got on the winning train last week versus Duke. Northwestern starting quarterback, Clayton Thorson, threw for 320 yards but he won’t be facing the Blue Devils.
Nebraska’s defense isn’t going to remind you of the old Black Shirts days but their offense is dynamic. Tommy Armstrong had 200 yards passing and 95 yards rushing last week against Oregon. Armstrong has thrown 3 TD’s in back to back weeks. Sophomore Devine Ozigbo 4.6 yards a carry with 4 TD’s in three games. It appears that Nebraska should win this game by double digits easily but proceed with caution.
Last week: 1-2-1
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook