#42 Texas Tech Red Raiders: College Football 77 in 77

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Yo ho yo ho! a pirate’s life for me! For the Texas Tech Red Raiders a pirate’s life consists of lots of passing, not a lot of running, and not a lot of defending. Last year was a bit more extreme as they did all those things, only more so. Usually the defense is more serviceable and the running game has a little more punch than they did in 2011.

We expect more of the same in 2012- they’ll throw it, they’ll score, but they’ll give up a ton of points as well, as they face a very pass-friendly conference with a lot of high-powered offenses in it. What’s interesting about the TTU program is what happens at the college football level hasn’t translated to any NFL quarterbacks of note. In Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree, you’ve had wide receivers that have done something on the pro level, but no signal caller is yet to do so.

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Texas Tech QB Goes 40-44 Passing; Breaks NCAA Record

Lookout Big 12, those of you who still remain for Seth Doege and the Texas Tech offense. The Red Raiders have been a well-oiled pass-happy machine for years, but yesterday’s 59-13 rout at New Mexico was a special show.

Doege broke the NCAA completion percentage record for quarterbacks who complete at least 40 passes. He connected on 40 of 44 attempts (90.9 percent) to overtake former Red Raider Kliff Kingsbury’s previous mark of 49 for 59 (83 percent).

Doege accomplished this in three quarters before giving way for second-stringer Jacob Karam.

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Northwestern vs. Texas Tech: Brutally Honest Ticket City Bowl Preview

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The college football game formerly known as the Dallas Football Classic is a pretty even-Stephen (like Colbert, a Northwestern alum) match on paper.

Same exact conference and overall records for both teams. Both programs don’t care much to run the ball, and they each have only one good win among their seven. Which is funny because the two teams they beat in those games (Iowa Hawkeyes, Missouri Tigers) played in a bowl a few days ago. Iowa beat Mizzou- good omen for NU?

Forget the double digit spread, this ballgame is a “pick’em.”

By Paul M. Banks

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Sidetracked: Adam James Trapped in a Closet?


By: Melissa S. Wollering

Every so often in Sidetracked, we veer off topic, down the path everyone’s thinking but no one’s saying.

With no disrespect to what I’m sure was slightly abusive and highly uncomfortable, it sounds like Adam James was trapped in a closet. “Confined to a small dark areas while the rest of the team practiced” sounds almost poetic.

Literary greats were trapped in closets and cupboards and turned out allright. (Feel free to list referenced characters below.)  Doesn’t solitary confinement serve a disturbing yet therapeutic purpose? Perhaps Adam James’ experience can best be told through the eyes of R&B lyricist extraordinaire, R. Kelly. [Read more…]

Take It To The Bank!! Week 4, College Football

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By Paul Schmidt

Welcome back to Take It To The Bank! First things first — let’s clean up after last week.  It was a respectable 2-2, with two things blindsiding me: 1) Florida, by Urban Meyer’s own admission, saying they didn’t need to run Tennessee out of the stadium because he knew they were only playing to not get blown out.  Awesome.  Next time, could someone tell ME??  Is that really too much to ask??  2) Texas and Texas Tech playing some defense. Defense in the Big 12?  Really?  Next thing you know, someone is going to tell me Tim Tebow isn’t Jesus!

This week we’re adding a new wrinkle to things, by bringing in a guest picker.  I select the games and send them out. That week’s guest makes their picks and then I make mine.  Since I also only pick 4 games, I have a tie-breaker pick for the week, something tailored to how skilled of a gambler I think the person is.  This week, we have The Bank’s other degenerate gambler, Peter Christian, taking the podium.  Though many of you may know Pete, I asked him to write a quick intro for those of you that don’t:

“My gambling resume: I learned the ropes from one of the worst gamblers on the planet, though he’ll never admit it. Watching him gamble was like watching Paris Hilton act. It was clear he was going to keep wasting time and someone elses money trying but there was no way he was ever going to get better.

He showed me the ropes however and put me on the path to learning the way to follow the way things worked. To this day I’m still a small timer but I’ve had more big wins than big losses (though my small losses probably outweigh the small wins) with the biggest coming on the opening day of the NCAA Tournament in 2005 when I parlayed the four afternoon games into a months salary (minimum wage in Wisconsin). I haven’t won a parlay since.”

Wonders never cease — Apparently I taught Pete how to gamble.  Who knew?

Anyway, here’s this week’s games.

TCU at Clemson (-2.5)


Peter Christian: Clemson has fans with heart. We recently saw some of that “heart” after a tough loss to Georgia Tech. That kind of passion can only be found in what we’ve come to call a group home but is more well known as an asylum. Crazy things happen to crazy people, the Tigers go crazy and cover the points. PICK: Clemson -2.5


Paul Schmidt: Tiger fans definitely go crazy, but the team does too — just not in a good way. Clemson is typically one of the more schizophrenic teams in all of football, and that won’t change again this week.  TCU has something to prove, and they saw last week what happens to “BCS Buster” teams that don’t come out for big games (Utah and BYU). This is the Horned Frogs’ chance to make a statement. PICK: TCU +2.5

Michigan State at Wisconsin (-3)


PC: Let me be clear, I hate betting on the Big Ten. Despise it. I dislike it more than thinking about the type of exam I have to get when I turn 40. That being said I hate this Wisconsin team even more. I’m not sure I like Michigan State either but I want the points and the Spartans. PICK: Michigan State +3

PS: Michigan State is terrible.  I’ve been operating on that premise for several weeks, and it certainly is beneficial for betting purposes. Good teams, quite simply, don’t lose to Central Michiagn at home (no matter how good I think they are).  If you’re good, that just doesn’t happen.  Now I’m supposed to expect them to hang with Wisconsin on the road?  I don’t think so.  Remember, home teams essentially get a 3-point bump — think these teams would be equals on a neutral site?  No way.  NO WAY.  Sconnies roll. PICK: Wisconsin -3

Illinois at Ohio St. (-14)

PC: Remember when I said I hate betting on the Big Ten? I lied. If I was in one of the states where it is legal to gamble, I would bet on this game so fast that Usain Bolt would do a double take. Buckeyes at home could cover 1,000,000 points against Illinois… Though I’m only gonna lay the 14 required.  PICK: Ohio State -14

PS: Call it a hunch.  However, was there really any doubt where I was going when I decided to pick this game?  As I’ve said, you never bet with your heart, you bet with your head.  And I’ve only ever wagered on the Illini once…of course, that was November 10th, 2007, against Ohio State…and we know how that turned out.  Funnily enough, that was considered by many to be a trap game…and I got 13.5 points that day too. Again…just a hunch. PICK: Illinois +14

Texas Tech at Houston (-1)

PC: This is definitely the hardest of the four games to pick. Not because the teams are evenly matched but because you can’t ever predict what is gonna happen with Tech. They could explode for 50 or they might puke on the coffee table and struggle to find the end zone. I’m taking Tech and the point and rolling the dice on a shootout. PICK: Texas Tech +1

PS: I watched Texas Tech and was really impressed last week. I was really surprised that they could handle McCoy and the Longhorns offense, with so many weapons. Just a great effort.  However, Houston’s got the best offense in the country, hands down. Case Keenum is a helluva QB, and I think he can exploit the Red Raider D.  Especiually after finding out that, yeah, Colt McCoy probably could have too, but he was sick with the flu and on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Pedialyte…PICK: Houston -1

TIEBREAKER: Select one over/under number and make your pick.

PC: Minnesota at Northwestern O/U 48.5

I LOVE betting the over/under line. Mostly because it let’s me watch a game I normally wouldn’t watch with a reason to get invested in both teams’ offense or defense without really causing my blood pressure to go through the roof. With this game I feel obligated to take the over. After last years’ shootout I expect more of the same and the points will add up on both sides of the scoreboard. PICK: Over 48.5 points

PS: Arkansas at Alabama O/U 58

I think I developed a little bit of a man-crush last week on Ryan Mallett. He was simply unreal against Georgia, and that game and the offense in it was ridiculous.  However, Alabama’s D is juuuuust a little better than Georgia’s.  So why would I bet the over here?  Because while Alabama’s D might hold Arkansas to 20 points or thereabouts, Alabama’s offense is DEFINITELY a threat to put up 50 points on their own against a Razorback D that was…well, let’s say they were performance-challenged against Georgia. And given Bobby Petrino’s history of not necessarily caring about that so much, one has to believe that isn’t something that’s going to change. PICK: Over 58 points

Last week: 2-2
For the Season: 5-7

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