Tony's Tip Sheet

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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 11/08/2012 5:31 AM
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Tony's Tip Sheet
By Tony Gerdeman

The Buckeyes are languishing at fifth in the AP poll and will be sitting at home this weekend watching teams with losses trying to move ahead of them.

The only team ahead of the Buckeyes that might have a chance of losing this week is Kansas State, and they never do anything right.

I wouldn't expect any movement skyward for the Buckeyes this week, but there is hope down the road.

I think it's obvious that Georgia is going to beat Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and Oregon will lose at Oregon State to end the regular season. Kansas State will lose to Texas to end the season as well, and Notre Dame will obviously lose at USC.

It's all happening just as I secretly predicted.

Now all the Buckeyes have to do is win out.

Thursday November 8

Teams:  #10 Florida State (8-1) at Virginia Tech (4-5)
Time (TV):  7:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  2
Cheer For:  Virginia Tech

Are you there 1999? It's me, Tony. Florida State at Virginia Tech on Thursday night used to be something to get excited about. Now it's not even worth planning a pizza delivery for. Virginia Tech's best win this season is over Duke, and the Hokies are coming off of a 30-12 loss at Miami (FL). A win here could save their season, but they're just not very good. Quarterback Logan Thomas is so inconsistent that I've begun to think that it's an OCD thing. Like after a 30-yard NFL-worthy strike for a completion, he has to overthrow a pass into the flats on the next snap before he can move on. Thomas has thrown twelve interceptions this season, all coming in the last seven games. He'll add to that total against the Noles and Florida State will turn his mistakes into points. Florida State 34 – Virginia Tech 17

Friday November 9

Teams:  Pittsburgh (4-5) at Connecticut (3-6)
Time (TV):  8:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest:  NOOOOO!!!!
Cheer For:  Connecticut

I've been watching quite a bit of 'Knight Rider' lately. The other night I watched an episode where a man dressed up in a gorilla suit and choked a lady during a costume party. This game is that gorilla and anybody who watches it is the lady. Michael Knight's not coming through those doors, folks. K.I.T.T.'s not coming through those doors either. If you watch this game, enjoy those thick gorilla knuckles wrapped around your skinny little throat. You deserve what you get. Pittsburgh 21 – Connecticut 13

Saturday November 10

Teams:  Arkansas (4-5) at #8 South Carolina (7-2)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (CBS)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Arkansas

If John L. Smith wants to save his job, he'll need to get a win in this game. He'll also need to successfully blackmail Arkansas' athletic director, and possibly have a top notch hypnotist get involved as well. “Every time you hear the word 'Football', you'll cluck like a chicken. Also, you think John L. Smith is doing a fantastic job.” South Carolina 34 – Arkansas 13

Teams:  Miami (FL) (5-4) at Virginia (3-6)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (ABC/Gameplan)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Virginia

I only put this game on here to ask why anybody would choose to play football at Miami. They don't draw a crowd, they don't have a campus stadium, they will never again be the Miami that people remember. The Miami football program is dying. The only reason that it isn't dead yet is because the mystique still lives on. The mystique is Miami's only recruiting tool. It has taken a long time for that mystique to die because there are still a ton of NFL players keeping it alive. But the current Miami Hurricanes football program is no longer a viable power. It is an indifferent entity with a smattering of very talented players that can't put together a winning plan of action because winning is just too difficult and losing is much, much easier. Players get to Miami expecting it to be the Miami that they always heard of. Winning is taken for granted, which is why they have so much trouble trying to do it anymore. Virginia 28 – Miami 26

Teams:  #9 Louisville (9-0) at Syracuse (4-5)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (ABC/Gameplan)
Interest:  2
Cheer For:  Syracuse

Louisville is due for a slip up, but they play in the Big East and the conference schedule provides traction like two-inch cleats on flat land. Louisville 38 – Syracuse 20

Teams:  #24 Northwestern (7-2) at Michigan (6-3)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  4
Cheer For:  Michigan

Again, I know you're not going to root for Michigan. That's fine. I'm only telling you what you should do. I think Northwestern's offense is the type that could give the Wolverines some trouble, but then I think most offenses should give the Wolverines trouble, yet they rarely do. Getting Michigan's linebackers involved in pass coverage is a good thing for Northwestern, but I'm not sure they'll be able to run the ball. If they can't run the ball with Venric Mark they become way too predictable, and that makes Greg Mattison's life much less difficult. It's not clear yet if Denard Robinson is playing this week, which is a problem for Northwestern's defensive preparation. Robinson and Devin Gardner pose different problems, but as long as the Wildcats can stop the run, they'll have a shot. I just have to believe that Mattison's defense will impose their will and Jake Ryan will be everywhere on defense. Michigan 27 – Northwestern 17

Teams:  Wisconsin (6-3) at Indiana (4-5)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest:  4
Cheer For:  Wisconsin

If you believe that Ohio State is going to go undefeated this season, then an Indiana win in this game leaves them a season-ending win at Purdue away from playing in the Big Ten Championship Game. What that means is that Indiana is still a very long way from Indianapolis. Bret Bielema isn't letting anybody know who his starting quarterback is, but it will likely be Danny O'Brien. O'Brien has been highly flawed this season, which will give the Hoosiers a chance. However, Montee Ball is on a roll right now and the Badgers have had a week off to prepare for the Indiana offense. Expect Wisconsin to pound the ball and not let O'Brien lose this game for them. Wisconsin 38 – Indiana 31

Teams:  Purdue (3-6) at Iowa (4-5)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Purdue

Ugh. If the movie “Se7en” had a scene where they went to a football game, this would have been that football game. What's in the box? Two terrible teams. Here, now have some more spaghetti, Fatty. Iowa 20 – Purdue 14

Teams:  Missouri (4-5) at Tennessee (4-5)
Time (TV):  12:00 (SECN)
Interest:  1.5
Cheer For:  Missouri

You probably have no interest in this game, so feel free to go ahead and skip the following in-depth analysis. Tennessee's offense is highfalutin the way they throw the ball around. They think they're so special. And then you got that Missouri with the way they run and throw that ball around like they ain't got a care in the world. Boy, they fancy too. Makes me sick. Whatever happened to the good ol' days when we listened to Bob Seger and ran the ball? Drive-in theaters and fullback dives on third and seven. Now THAT was football. That was America. That's the America that gets narrated with respect and reverence. There will never be reverential narration for Tyler Bray's America. Tennessee 44 – Missouri 27

Teams:  Georgia Tech (4-5) at North Carolina (6-3)
Time (TV):  12:30 pm (ACCN)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Georgia Tech

You know what? I'm going to let you guys break this game down for me because I abhor UNC games. You: “Well, North Carolina has a better record, and I like their uniform colors.” Wow, what a bunch of chicks you people are. Remind me to send you out for my dry cleaning if, in the future, I ever own clothes that require dry cleaning. North Carolina 27 – Georgia Tech 17

Teams:  Colorado (1-8) at Arizona (5-4)
Time (TV):  1:30 pm (FX)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Arizona

How Jon Embree (he's Colorado's head coach) hasn't been fired yet this season, I'll never know. I assume it has to do with the fact that they simply can't afford to pay his moving costs. Colorado is the worst BCS team in America. Heck, the worst BCS team in the world. Arizona will name the score, though you know they'll spell it wrong. Arizona 56 – Colorado 7

Teams:  #11 Oregon State (7-1) at #14 Stanford (7-2)
Time (TV):  3:00 pm (FOX)
Interest:  3
Cheer For:  Stanford

Stanford is favored by 4.5 points and have held their last three opponents (California, Washington State, Colorado) to -34 yards rushing. It won't be Oregon State's rushing that they'll have to worry about – it will be their passing. However, quarterback Cody Vaz can be rattled, and Stanford's front four can certainly rattle. Crap, I've got two Beaver receivers starting this week. I need to hit the waiver wire. The rest of the Tip Sheet will be done in a hurry. No offense. Stanford 27 – Oregon State 17

Teams:  #15 Texas A&M (7-2) at #1 Alabama (9-0)
Time (TV):  3:30 pm (CBS)
Interest:  4.5
Cheer For:  Texas A&M

I think we all know how this is going to go. We're all hoping Johnny Football can save us, but he can't. Maybe if this game was in College Station, but it ain't. I'm not saying A&M won't score a few points, but it won't be enough because the Aggies also have to play defense. This could be a Robert Griffin Special, however, for Johnny Manziel. What's a Robert Griffin Special? It's where you look great in a loss and Heisman voters treat it like a win. Alabama 38 – Texas A&M 23

Teams:  Penn State (6-3) at #16 Nebraska (7-2)
Time (TV):  3:30 pm (ABC/ESPN2)
Interest:  3.5
Cheer For:  Nebraska

You're cheering for Nebraska because they will prove to be the better win for the Buckeyes. The Huskers enter this game having won at Michigan State last week despite Taylor Martinez's three interceptions. If he throws three interceptions this week, they'll lose. Penn State needs to keep Nebraska's offense off the field, so they'll have to protect Matt McGloin well enough to allow him to complete his short passes and move the chains. If they can't, they have no chance. An Indiana win and a Penn State loss would clinch a share of the Leaders Division Championship for the Buckeyes. That is going to be one sweet half of a trophy! Nebraska 30 - Penn State 21

Teams:  West Virginia (5-3) at Oklahoma State (5-3)
Time (TV):  3:30 pm (ESPN2/ABC)
Interest:  4
Cheer For:  Oklahoma State

Root for whomever you want. This game holds no bearing on the Buckeyes. Unless, of course, the scoring spills over into the crowd, which then builds into a giant snowball of tangled, drunken people, which continues to roll and gains enough speed to cause a mass national panic which leads to government intervention and the outlawing of college football altogether. Which is highly probable. West Virginia has lost three games in a row, but Oklahoma State should give them a chance to stop that streak. Pokes quarterback Wes Lunt has yet to have a good game this season, most of which has been missed due to injury. The good news for Lunt is that West Virginia makes every quarterback look better than they ever have in their lives. The Mountaineers are essentially beer goggles for quarterbacks. And it won't just be on Lunt, anyway, because the Cowboys should be able to run their way to a victory as well. Oklahoma State 52 – West Virginia 41

Teams:  Minnesota (5-4) at Illinois (2-7)
Time (TV):  3:30 pm (BTN)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Minnesota

There's just no sense in cheering for Illinois at this point. It's like performing CPR on a tree. Imagine being in your backyard trying to blow air into your elm tree, and then pounding on its trunk yelling, “Breathe, damn you! Breathe!!” Although, a counter argument would be for the Gophers to lose so that they don't become bowl eligible and then embarrass the Big Ten in a bowl game. I can see both sides, but bowl practices would be a good thing for Minnesota and freshman quarterback Philip Nelson. A win for Illinois would snap their six-game losing streak and re-energize the Illini base. Ha ha, just kidding. That will have to wait until next year. Or maybe the year after that. No later than 2018 for sure. Minnesota 34 – Illinois 21

Teams:  #2 Kansas State (9-0) at TCU (6-3)
Time (TV):  7:00 pm (FOX)
Interest:  3.5
Cheer For:  TCU

This is the best primetime game of the week, which isn't saying much at all. TCU has had a rough three-week stretch that started with a three-overtime loss to Texas Tech, then a 36-14 loss at Oklahoma State, capped by a 39-38 win at West Virginia in double overtime. Kansas State will obviously be the best team TCU has seen this season. The question will be whether or not these three weeks have prepared TCU, or exhausted them. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein had to leave last week's game with a head injury and may or may not still be suffering from that same injury. Bill Snyder said he expects Klein to play, but there is still plenty of question surrounding the validity of those expectations. I would expect Klein to play, just because that's the type of player he is. He might not be himself, but he should be enough. Let's not forget that Kansas State is a complete team, and not just a quarterback. Kansas State 30 – TCU 24

Teams:  #21 Mississippi State (7-2) at #7 LSU (7-2)
Time (TV):  7:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  2
Cheer For:  Mississippi State

If Mississippi State was actually a really good team, this would be a perfect upset alert with LSU coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Alabama last week. But since Mississippi State isn't actually a really good team, they'll take their loss like a man and as they pick themselves up off of the floor, wipe the blood from their mouth, vow revenge and then run home crying to their wife about being mugged by a gang of “at least eight bodybuilders”. LSU 24 – Mississippi State 10

Teams:  #5 Georgia (8-1) at Auburn (2-7)
Time (TV):  7:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest:  1.5
Cheer For:  Auburn

This is Auburn's last chance at their first conference win of the season. They finish the year in Tuscaloosa, so obviously they're not going to get it there.  Auburn's two wins this season have come against Louisiana-Monroe and New Mexico State. They can't beat anybody, no matter the venue. The Auburn Tigers are so bad that if they were a video game, they would only have one level and the big boss at the end would have died during the opening credits. Georgia, meanwhile, is on their way to an 11-1 regular season and a win in this game will clinch the SEC East for them. Georgia 41 – Auburn 17

Teams:  #4 Notre Dame (9-0) at Boston College (2-7)
Time (TV):  8:00 pm (ABC)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Boston College

We had to know that eventually college football on Saturday night would forsake us as it has also done on Thursday nights. What a freaking joke. I want my money back! Notre Dame 34 – Boston College 3

Teams:  #3 Oregon (9-0) at California (3-7)
Time (TV):  10:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  California

Much like Arizona and Colorado, Oregon can name the score in this one. Then they'll deck it out in neon yellow and silver, because that's what these monsters do. Oregon 63 – California 27

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