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Texas Longhorns vs. Oregon Ducks Point Spread - Pick

Texas Longhorns (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Oregon Ducks (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Alamo Bowl Preview
Date and Time: Monday December 30, 6:45pm EST
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio TX
TV: ESPN
by Tim, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: Tex +13.5/OR -13.5
Over/Under Total: 67

”Remember the Alamo!!” Yeah, well, I’d rather not…kinda’ been “overcooked” by my account. “Remember Mack Brown!!” 158-47 at Texas with a National Title, 98-33 in Conference play, 10-4 in Bowl games, and 30-20 in his last three years. Decent numbers save for the last three years. But when I think of Mack Brown I do not think wins and losses. When I think of Mack images of excessive Gin and high blood pressure come into my mind for some reason? Texas will be in the fight at the ‘2013 Valero Alamo Bowl’ taking on the under-performing and overrated Oregon Ducks in a showdown guaranteed to be over-hyped! Texas comes into San Antonio after getting throttled at home by Oklahoma State 38-13, and dismembered by Baylor 30-10 two weeks later in Wac(k)o. Mack Brown started the season losing two of Texas’ first three games and ended the season in the same fashion. Brown is “outta’ there” as current Texas enabler leaving many Texas fans speculating the new Barkeep should be none other than one of Mack’s biggest critics, “The Tyler Rose”; Earl Campbell. Unfortunately, Earl cannot be reached until his “playing days Gravy Train” comes to a complete halt which, using Archie Griffin’s brake plan, will take a lifetime to achieve. Oregon has an axe to grind: The Ducks are bringing the ‘Whooping Stick’ to the city with the “River Walk” (River Walk???? I’ll take River Ride).

9th in rushing offense, 20th in passing offense, 2nd in total offense, and 3rd nationally in scoring offense, the Oregon Ducks are the “Nike” of college football; a lot of flash and over-priced! Oregon’s offense is dangerously close to Baylor’s offense and that might spell “B-L-O-W-O-U-T” for the ten-gallon hat wearin’, color-your-hair pitch black, Texas athletic supporters! Come to think of it, Oregon’s offense performs an awful lot like Oklahoma State…or any other decent team Texas has faced this year! Texas is 80th nationally in rushing defense, 63rd in total defense, 56th in points allowed, and the only reason the Longhorns are a decent 47th in passing yards allowed is because most capable football teams just jam the ball down Texas’ throat on the ground! Considering the “toughness” Texas teams are known for when the going gets tough, we find Texas’ defense without an attitude when their opponent is squeezed inside the 20. Texas is 98th in Red Zone defense allowing their opponent to score virtually 90% of the time they enter this money-maker territory. To put this value in perspective; 2-10 Eastern Michigan is one spot better than Texas at 97th. Just below Texas we find 2-10 Air Force flying at tree-top level in 100th position. Coincidentally, Mack Brown’s former Head coaching job before coming to Texas—North Carolina---is tied with Texas in this MOST important stat! Quite frankly, the four teams above Texas (Cal, Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Army) and the five teams just below Texas (Air Force, South Alabama, SMU, Tulsa, and Florida International) are a combined 28-80 and not one of those teams named has a winning record! Texas fired 2013 Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz after getting caramelized by BYU in the second game of the 2013 season. Greg Robinson took over for Diaz and has produced…well…everything Greg Robinson usually produces starting at Syracuse then moving to Michigan; a considerably terrible defense lacking heart, desire, courage, or purpose! Shoot! Texas doesn’t need to fire Mack Brown! Texas needs to get rid of EVERYONE on the defensive side of the ball. It is a miracle Texas has a .500 record in 2013 with such a porous and uninspiring defense as the Longhorns are putting on the field. Texas going 8-4 in 2013 might be the greatest coaching performance in the last 5 years in the entire country! There is simply no way, by comparison, Texas should win 8 ballgames in 2013. I believe Oregon might just remind us December 30th why 8-4 for Texas might just as well be 5-7! Texas has played in the stratosphere relative to their capabilities and schemes. Oregon is more like Baylor to Texas and Texas? Texas is more like Oregon’s Week 3 opponent; Tennessee (Oregon 59-14 winners).

Oregon is like the really laid back, good looking, surf bum who has incredible athletic ability but, at 29, still works 32 hours a week working the fryer at Carl’s Jr.! The Dude…yes, just like the Big Lebowski…kills the waves with tabletop spins on curls, runs a pipeline like cable wire, has a trail of bikini clad pigeons chasing after him, but really has no other purpose in life other than to look good, act naturally cool, and be really good at stuff that doesn’t matter. The Ducks have been a disappointment in 2013. Sure, Oregon has looked fantastic and boasts some classic muscles inside their ‘wife-beaters’. But Oregon, predictably, has beaten who they should have beaten and lost to Stanford and Arizona---both games the Ducks were supposed to win and SHOULD have won. Arizona choked-out Oregon by playing a frantic, speed-ball offense giving the Duck defense no time to breathe. Oregon’s saving grace is Texas’ choice of using two QB’s in a hurry-up offense that are both vehemently opposed to running fast and hurrying-up! Case McCoy and David Ash (injured) make a visit to the DMV look like a jump-in-and-out, keep the car running, stop and pop. A third Texas QB—Freshman Tyrone Swoopes---who is promoted by Texas as “The Next Vince Young” appears mostly to be an “Old Vince Neil” without the hit records and beer belly! But…Texas persists in running an up-tempo offense with those downbeat QB’s. For Oregon, it is another set of ribs on the Alamo BBQ! Oregon has stabled an incredible team of athletes. Spurring those athletes to play hard and focused is the key.

This game is tough to gauge. If Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas didn’t like the idea of playing in the Rose Bowl, he sure as crap isn’t going to like washing sand out of his ears at the Alamo Bowl! Thomas is finally back after missing 4 games with an ankle injury. Mariota is a definite threat to run CRAZY against the Longhorns’ defense. Robinson’s Defense is 9th worst in the nation giving up rushing yards to opponent’s QBs. Mack Brown last game certainty doesn’t amount to very much simply because Mack isn’t all that affable or charismatic as a Head Coach. In Texas, getting to play in the Alamo Bowl is right up there with changing your transmission fluid in your F-10 Pickup…it’s just something to do, not celebrate. I do believe Oregon is overly-hyped and, even with Thomas back in the lineup, Oregon is probably a ten point favorite without considering a “Home Field Advantage” for the Longhorns. Still, Texas pride is thick and runs deep; the ‘Horns picked up the pieces after a 1-2 start to finish a respectable 8-4 in 2013. As badly as I want to believe the Longhorns will not allow a blowout in the State of Texas, I only have to look at the Baylor and Oklahoma State game to see patterns of performance related to pride. The fact is; Texas is outmanned by Oregon at just about every position on the turf and I must go with the surfer “Dude” only because----He looks like he can do some amazing things with all that talent! See ya’ later Mack…you ran a clean program!

Tim’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Oregon -13.5

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