Well fans.....we got you your money back last week. Although I did receive a few reader comments about laying down a Money Bet on Kansas Sate (sorry Schillare), the stats that we uncovered while writing the prediction were overwhelmingly in favor of Missouri. I actually started out writing that post in favor of the Wildcats, but as you saw....I just couldn't find a way for them to get it done at home versus the Tigers. As predicted, it was Blaine Gabbert to Denario Alexander all day long. I went so far as to put Alexander in my fantasy team where he racked up an impressive 38 points as a receiver.
This week begins, what apparently has now shifted to a two weekend process: RIVALRY WEEK. I can remember when they used to play all of the games on one weekend and the best thing you could do would be to find a sports bar that has about 20 televisions and get the bartender to plug in as many games as possible. A couple games to keep your eyes on this weekend, Michigan vs. Ohio State: Arguably the biggest college football rivalry in the country happens on Saturday at 12:00 (or 9:00 am for all of us West Coasters). Terrelle Pryor will try to lead the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl with a win over Michigan, they are favored by 12. Montana vs. Montana State! If you've never watched this game, then you are missing something. This is a great rivalry that Montana has traditionally dominated (70-33-5). There was a span of 16 years (from 1986-2002) where Montana State did not win a game. The game will be in Bozeman this year, and it's looking to be another "Brawl of the Wild" (as the rivalry is called). They were shoveling feet of snow off of the turf earlier this week.
These are both great games, but we're going to stay home in the PAC this week for the Money Bet of the Century....and a great rivalry game. Any self-respecting college football fan should recall with great fondness the California/Stanford game from 1982...."The Play". With seconds left on the game clock, Stanford kicks off to California in what should be the last, uneventful play of the game. What ensues on the kickoff will be talked about for decades, and involves Stanford accusations of referee misconduct, multiple lateral passes (some of questionable legality), and a certain trombone player in the end zone. From what I understand, you can still find people (mainly students that attended at the time) that get really heated about this play 27 years after the fact. I've added the video here if you've never seen "The Play", or you just want to take a trip down memory lane.
This game should not let you down, it's going to be a good one. As Reese Witherspoon, Ex-Stanford Cardinal, will tell you.... Stanford is on a current winning 'heater'. After dismantling Oregon two weeks ago in a 51-42 shootout, Stanford then took care of the Trojans last week in a 55-21 shocker. That's the most points USC's Defense has ever given up at home in school history, and Pete Carroll's first loss in a 28 game win streak in the month of November. Freshman QB Andrew Luck is looking solid and a lot of people are talking about Toby Gerhart as a potential Heisman runner-up. And why not? He has 1400 yards and 19 touchdowns with these two games left to play. He's been an absolute baller when faced with the "tough game".....3 touchdowns and 223 yards against Oregon, 178 yards and 3 touchdowns against USC....BOTH top 10 teams. When Stanford needed him most.....he's been delivering.
Cal comes into this game a little bit wounded. Another phenomenal running back in college football is Cal's Jahvid Best. Anyone who had this guy on their fantasy college football team at the beginning of the year probably still has the lead. Jahvid currently has 12 touchdowns, and 861 yards...a pretty astonishing 6.14 yards a carry. Problem is....he isn't going to be playing this game. He's out with a concussion after a nasty end zone dive a couple weeks ago where he landed on his head. Shane Vereen will start in his absence, but is not expected to produce results like Best. With the run option shut down, it's going to be up to the receivers to do a little heavy lifting. Marvin Jones is probably going to be Kevin Riley's #1 target. He's caught 5 TD passes this year, but might be able to step it up now that the running option is less of a threat.
The big problem I see for Cal is that they've got to be able to put up points to beat Stanford. Stanford's defense is not necessarily stellar, but they are an offensive firepower to be reckoned with. Without Best, Cal just isn't going to have the ability to match The Cardinal.
Cardinal win this game by 14!