Friday, November 9, 2012

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 11


Weekend of November 10, 2012

Arkansas at South Carolina
(USC is favored by 15.5)


For Carolina in the SEC, Arkansas has really been a problem.  What a perfect chance to land a nice win against them while they reorganize.  The Hogs are one of those programs that is the solo “big dog”  in their state which means they won’t stay down for long, similar to LSU. 

The Gamecocks’ main opponent this year has been themselves mentally and that really is the only significant question about Saturday.  If USC comes out, does what they are supposed to and plays hard they will land a nice easy win.  If they are flat and loafing we will be in a nightmare in the 4th quarter.  

The good news is that history matters to Steve Spurrier and he wants to land consecutive SEC seasons of at least six wins for the first time in the program’s history.  So there is a good chance we will take care of business and enjoy a big victory.  
South Carolina 33, Arkansas 17 - USC wins and covers the point spread


UCS fans usually know to root against their opponents, but Arkansas week is tough for them.  When you spend the majority of your time – and money – inside Wal-Mart, how do you reasonably pull against the flagship university of Wal-Mart’s home?

Do I cheer for my team, or the provider of my jorts?
Do I cheer for my team, or the supplier of my Slim Jims?
Do I cheer for my team, or my employer?

The good news is this year’s Arkansas team provides the ultimate win-win.  It allows you to feel sorry for them – maybe even cheer for them – yet still walk away with a win.  And if you don’t beat them too bad, you almost feel good inside.

See, this isn’t the Arkansas team of last year, or UCS’ lone East Division, or even the last six years (Arky is 5-1 over that span).  No, this Arkansas team is different.  And worse than that, they’ve quit.  Quit on their coach and each other.  And I don’t expect them to find themselves during a noontime Billy Brice.

UCS plays hard – for Marcus – and steamrolls Arkansas.  Jumping on them quickly and watching them once again lay down for an opponent.  The defense eats up Wilson and the offense...  Well, let’s just say they’ll enjoy playing against a terrible defense with no heart.

UCS 37
Arkansas 20

UCS wins and covers the point spread.


Maryland at Clemson
(Clemson is favored by 27.5)


You can set Clemson’s football seasons to music at this point so this will be an easy analysis:
1.       Beating up several nobodies while gearing up for Florida State. 

2.       Beating up several more nobodies while gearing up for South Carolina. 
Clemson will pad their stats some more this weekend, as a team of injured  high-schoolers from College Park will limp into Clemson for a lashing. 
Tigers win and the rest of the country yawns.  

Clemson 52, Maryland 6 - Clemson wins and covers the point spread


In years past, a team without its starting quarterback and best defensive playmaker would spell trouble for Clemson.  They would find a way to play down to their opponent, let them hang around, and give them just enough hope that they could win.  And sometimes we even let them.

But this Clemson team is different, for the better.  And this Maryland team, for the worse.

But to Maryland's credit, most of it is not their fault as their down to their 5th string quarterback, who really isn't a quarterback.  In fact, the injuries have been so bad Terp fans are beginning to feel sorry for Randy Edsall.

Hopefully this Clemson team won't.  And I don't think they will.  But at the same time, I don't know that Clemson can keep the offensive pace they've had the last two weeks.  And with a 27.5 point spread, any mistakes by the Tigers, or points by Maryland, makes for a tough cover.  One that Clemson won't make.

Clemson 40
Maryland 14

Clemson wins but does not cover the point spread.

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