Tony's Tip Sheet

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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 10/12/2011 6:32 PM
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Football
Tony's Tip Sheet
By Tony Gerdeman

The rule around here is that when people complain about there not being any “good games” in a given week, that's when the best games happen.

Besides, look at all of the supposed “great games” that we've had up to this point. It's all been trash. We shouldn't have to lower ourselves to watching the ACC to witness a good game. That's demeaning. Why don't we just drink out of toilets instead!

There are plenty of possibilities for good games this week, and sometimes the best games are in the last place you'd look—like the Big XII.

Even if that all fails, we still have a pretty good chance of seeing Michigan lose for the first time this season, and that's always fun.

Though watching them lose for the last time in a season is much more fun.

Thursday October 13

Teams: USC (4-1) at California (3-1)
Time (TV): 9:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: California

California's best win this season has been against Colorado. LOL. Can you imagine such a thing? But you know their family letter is totally trying to make it all sound very impressive.

“Hey all,

Things are good here. Dakota starts real estate camp this week and she's very excited. She says to tell you hello. Zander is protesting in a tree a couple of hours away. He's the happiest I've ever seen him. We'll be hopping in the Hummer and taking a new iPad battery to him later today. As you can imagine, we've had a busy six weeks or so. We recently defeated Colorado in overtime. You remember when they won the national championship that one time? Grampa does. So I'm guessing he's very impressed. It was a fantastic game. Anyway, looking forward to seeing everybody at the reunion--even Utah, who was adopted but we still love them all the same.

Love,

California”

USC 31 – California 17

Saturday October 15

Teams: #20 Baylor (4-1) at #21 Texas A&M (3-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (FX)
Interest: 4
Cheer For: Baylor

We're cheering for Baylor because Texas A&M is leaving for the SEC, and we don't take too kindly to the SEC around these parts. Actually, we take to the SEC just kindly, I was just trying to speak in a language that both Baylor, A&M and the SEC are used to. Now pardon me while I adjust my belt buckle and jort combo. The Aggies are a 9.5-point favorite in this one, which surprises me considering they are about to play against Robert Griffin, and they'll be doing it with a defense that gives up more passing yards (347.6) than anybody else in the nation. But they'll be doing it at home. This one has all of the makings of a shootout with Gatling guns. I'll go ahead and take the best two-loss team in the nation. Texas A&M 42 – Baylor 34

Teams: #11 Michigan (6-0) at #23 Michigan State (4-1)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Michigan State

I'm completely torn on this one. If I think back to the Notre Dame game, Michigan only won because of Irish cornerback Gary Gray's lack of ability to defend a jump ball. Michigan State has better cornerbacks and won't get beaten as badly as Notre Dame did. This will also be the most physical team that Michigan has played, and they'll be doing it on the road. But the Spartans are still having trouble running the ball, though they've had a week off to get ready for this game. It will be interesting to watch them attack Denard Robinson. Or if they'll attack him at all. Will they blitz him like they did Braxton Miller? (I'm not comparing the two, mind you.) Or will they simply try to keep him in front of them and make him give the ball up? I'm also pretty confident that nobody in Michigan's secondary can handle B.J. Cunningham, and Keshawn Martin will spread things east and west as well, which the Wolverine defense won't like. If the Spartan offense stays basic and simply runs straight ahead, I think the Michigan defense can contain them. It would then be up to Kirk Cousins to make the throws to win the game. I'm not sure he can do that this year with the offensive line that he currently has. All of that being said, there's also the simple fact that Michigan is doing what they need to do to win, and the Spartans haven't shown themselves to be a very good team. Michigan State has won three in a row in the series, but their reason for doing so (Rich Rodriguez) is long gone. If the Wolverines can pull this one off, every Michigan fan in the nation should finally be 'all in' for Brady Hoke. Except they're mostly superficial jerkbags, so they'll never truly be accepting of a husky football coach. Michigan State 31 – Michigan 27

Teams: Indiana (1-5) at #4 Wisconsin (5-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Indiana

There will have to be new words invented to describe this destruction because trying to use existing words wouldn't do it justice. Don't let your kids watch this one. This is the type of game that Kevin Wilson has to look at and see there's really no sense in even preparing. I wouldn't be surprised if half of his team takes Saturday off to go play in a three on three tournament or something. Wisconsin 63 – Indiana 7

Teams: Purdue (3-2) at Penn State (5-1)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Purdue

You know what, forget what I said about not letting your kids watch the Wisconsin game. It would be better to watch that game than watch this one. At least in the Wisconsin game your children will get to see what skilled football looks like. In this game they'll only get to watch failure after failure, and isn't football supposed to be an escape from that? Lousy sucky kids. Penn State 28 – Purdue 7

Teams: #1 LSU (6-0) at Tennessee (3-2)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (CBS)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Tennessee

I love watching LSU play. Their defense is ridiculous and they don't do anything cute on offense. They just start swinging and they don't stop until they get on the bus for the ride home. Running back Spencer Ware runs the ball like he's a member of the defense. He's a brute's brute. It will be fun to see how Tennessee's passing game matches up against this defense. They might hang in for a couple of quarters, and even though they may only be down by a couple of scores throughout the game, they'll never really be in it. LSU 31 – Tennessee 17

Teams: #6 Oklahoma State (5-0) at #22 Texas (4-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC/ESPN)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Oklahoma State

We're cheering for Oklahoma State because every red-blooded American worth assault (I know it's wrong, but it's really more fitting if you think about it) wants to see an undefeated matchup at Bedlam. Of course, leave it up to Texas to ruin something special for the Big XII. Last year was the first time the Pokes were favored over Texas since the Big XII came together. This will be their second time, and for good reason. Last week Oklahoma ran through Texas like a fourth quarter option team against a gassed Ohio State defense. Despite playing at home this week, the Longhorns are once again in trouble. I would expect them to put up a fight for a while, but they just don't have the offense over the long haul. Oklahoma State 34 – Texas 23

Teams: Ohio State (3-3) at #16 Illinois (6-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN/ABC)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Ohio State

Remember that simple windbreaker that has been holding back the Zookening? It's shown as much flexibility as the Incredible Hulk's purple pants. Could this finally be the week that the windbreaker gives way and the inner Zook comes bursting out at the seams? Ohio State certainly hopes so. Illinois comes into this game undefeated and with a pretty potent offense. Nathan Scheelhaase is fifth in the nation in passing efficiency (175.83) and is throwing the ball better than he ever has and he's still running as well as he ever did. The Buckeyes got a glimpse of an option game last week, and there was some good and bad to go around. They'll see plenty of option this week as well, and executing will tell the final tale. On the other side of the ball, Illinois loves to get after the quarterback—they are sixth in the nation in sacks per game (3.67). It will be interesting to see if they take the Michigan State approach of blitzing Braxton Miller, or take the foolish Nebraska approach of waiting for Miller to injure himself.

Teams: #12 Georgia Tech (6-0) at Virginia (3-2)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPNU)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets are averaging 512.7 yards rushing per game. That's actually a lie, but the fact that you had to think about it for a second speaks volumes. When people say something “speaks volumes”, do you think they're talking about noise level or container size? Or would it be in reference to encyclopedias? I think the encyclopedia reference makes the most sense. However, when I speak volumes, I'm mostly containing it to the LOUDNESS OF MY VOICE. Georgia Tech 33 – Virginia 20

Teams: #2 Alabama (6-0) at Ole Miss (2-3)
Time (TV): 6:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Ole Miss

Yeah, we'd like to see ten different teams finish undefeated, but there's no sense in rooting for Alabama. Especially since it's impossible anyway. Go ahead and root for Ole Miss—become a fan. Then make your snide comments about Mississippi State, as if one part of that state is any better than another. You're Mississippi, for crying out loud! You're like Arkansas, but without all of the electricity. Alabama 41 – Ole Miss 14

Teams: #19 Virginia Tech (5-1) at Wake Forest (4-1)
Time (TV): 6:30 pm (ESPN3)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: Wake Forest

This is one of the games of the year in the ACC and it's only available on the internet. Now don't get me wrong, I love the internet. It pays for my car and my roof, but I'm not a big fan of watching football on it. I'm still old fashioned that way. Wake Forest is tied for first with Clemson in whatever division they're in, and a win over the Hokies would make them 4-0 in conference play. Virginia Tech, however, can't allow that to happen. They're already 1-1 in the ACC, and they can't afford to move more than a game behind Georgia Tech, who is 3-0 and running away with the other division. Honestly ACC, do something about your divisions. Can't you name them after an ideal or a symbol instead of incorporating words involving the name of your conference? And you couldn't set up the divisions so that there was an easy way to remember who was where? There's no “Well, the Ws are all with the Cs and Fs, and the Ns are together, etc” like with the Big Ten. It's ridiculous. Anyway, this is a big game for both teams, but apparently not big enough to warrant it being shown on television. Virginia Tech seems like the easy pick. Yes, Wake Forest is coming off of a 35-30 win over Florida State, but they're probably still celebrating. I'm gonna go with the Hokies because they have a better defense than the Seminoles, and I think they'll be able to score enough to get the win. Don't expect a shootout. Virginia Tech 23 – Wake Forest 20

Teams: Florida (4-2) at #24 Auburn (4-2)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: Auburn

Aside from Auburn's weird win over South Carolina, these two teams are both 0-2 against teams that matter. LSU and Alabama have blown out Florida, and Clemson and Arkansas have beaten Auburn by double-digits. So now these two teams finally get to play in an evenly-matched game, though I'm not sure the Tiger offense is evenly matched with anybody right now. They're struggling at the moment, having scored just 27 points over their last two games. I get the feeling that Florida is ready to break out a bit on offense. Facing Alabama and LSU in consecutive weeks isn't fair, but it should make Auburn's defense feel Downy soft, except for the fact that Florida has no quarterback right now. Still, they have Charlie Weis, and that's like having four or five quarterbacks! It's not easy to pick a game when you're basing your decision on the least worst quarterback. Florida's defense tells me that I should go with them, but Florida on the road tells me I should go with Auburn. I also...wait...nevermind...Charlie Weis just showed me his Super Bowl rings. Florida 24 – Auburn 23 (I already know I got this pick wrong. Lousy Charlie Weis!)

Teams: #17 Kansas State (5-0) at Texas Tech (4-1)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (FSN)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Kansas State

Okay, we get it Kansas State, you're not terrible. Now go away like Texas Tech has. You two just need to get in a car and drive from desert gas station to desert gas station looking to get ax murdered. Nobody likes you guys anymore. You're like VCRs. We have no use for you. Texas Tech 34 – Kansas State 21

Teams: #8 Clemson (6-0) at Maryland (2-3)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (ESPNU)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Clemson

We're cheering for Clemson because Maryland's uniforms don't deserve our claps. You do clap at your television, right? Clemson 27 – Maryland 14

Teams: Northwestern (2-3) at Iowa (3-2)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: Iowa

We're cheering for Iowa because Northwestern is one of those teams that could end up at 7-5 and keep a 6-6 Ohio State team from going bowling. Wow. Is this really how far things have fallen at the Tip Sheet? Absolutely! However, we and the Hawkeyes have our work cut out for us because Northwestern owns Kirk Ferentz like a ghetto timeshare. They only show up once a year and they treat him like crap. The Wildcats have won five of six in this series, and three straight in Iowa City. The favorite hasn't won this game since 2002. Three times Iowa has lost as a double-digit favorite against Northwestern, including a 21-7 loss in 2006 when they were favored by 20 points. I don't buy into trends, but I think Iowa's offensive struggles and Dan Persa's continued improvement spell bad news for the Hawkeyes. Northwestern 26 – Iowa 24

Teams: #7 Stanford (5-0) at Washington State (3-2)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (VS)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Stanford

This was almost the Gameday game, but Washington State lost to UCLA last week. I assume it would have been a crazy scene because there are some really freaking weird people in Washington. There would have likely been no less than three serial killers on the scene. The really scary part is that Andrew Luck would have had creepier facial hair than of any of them. Stanford 37 – Washington State 21

Teams: #3 Oklahoma (5-0) at Kansas (2-3)
Time (TV): 9:15 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Oklahoma

Kansas is going to get beaten so badly in this game that when they show up for work on Monday, their coworkers are going to assume that the Jayhawks joined Fight Club over the weekend. And they'll be smart enough not to ask about it. Oklahoma 70 – Kansas 7

Teams: #18 Arizona State (5-1) at #9 Oregon (4-1)
Time (TV): 10:15 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Arizona State

Can you believe this is where Gameday is this week? Sure The Michael James is out this week, but there's still a bunch of other teeny fast dudes that can make plays. Well, two anyway. But it won't matter. Arizona State is fake good and Oregon will show it to the world because that's what Oregon is best at. Like hiring a con man to catch another con man. This game is going to make a very entertaining series on the USA Network next summer. The pitch: “From the producers of 'Burn Notice'...It takes a con to catch a con. Chili McArthur is the world's greatest Three Card Monte dealer, but when a game goes bad against a carnival worker, he ends up in a coma. Chili wakes from his coma seven years later with one thing on his mind—catching the carnie that broke his damn head. But the government has other plans for him. They make him a carnival debunker. So he travels from carnival to carnival trying to spot cheaters under the guise of hustling his Three Card Monte games, but all the while he's actually gambling on revenge. Tune in for 'Chili Cons Carnies', Wednesday nights at 10pm this summer!” Oregon 37 – Arizona State 20

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