Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-0 SU,4-2-1 ATS) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (5-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date and Time: Saturday October 27, 8:00PM EST
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ND +10.5/OKL -10.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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Most likely the biggest matchup of the college football weekend will take place at 8:00PM in Norman, when the revived Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take on the Oklahoma Sooners. Both teams come in ranked in the top 10 and each squad still feels they have a shot at a BCS title. Notre Dame has had some very close calls this season but have yet to be beaten while Oklahoma sits with only one defeat; a 24-19 loss to the 3rd ranked Kansas State Wildcats. Since that loss to KSU, the Sooners have been playing near perfect football. They dominated Kansas and Texas Tech, and the 63-21 smack down they put on Texas cannot even be put into words. It was nasty. This matchup will have extremely large BCS implications. The winner will live to move on, while the loser will be virtually removed from any BCS title talk.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish: At one time, that name alone was synonymous with college football. Notre Dame was feared and respected unlike any other team that played NCAA football. In the last 10-15 years however, the Irish have become more of a punch line than a respected football powerhouse. Losing back to back years to Navy, an overtime loss to UConn, and their failure to win big games are just a few of the issues their program has endured over the years. Well, the Irish are back or are they? Many of the people in South Bend say they haven’t been this confident since the early to mid 80s and they believe that this team could be the one that brings home the crystal football in January. Others around the nation aren’t so quick to trust the Irish just yet. Many experts are taking a “ho hum” attitude towards Notre Dame saying we have seen this all before, a great start only to end with an epic collapse.
With the given recent history, you can’t really blame those who have this opinion either, but a win Saturday could sway the public’s perception in a big way. Four of the Irish’s seven wins have been by a touchdown or less, but in their defense, they have and will play a tough schedule this season and this is why many of the computer polls have them as the number one ranked team in the land, even ahead of Alabama. The Irish have already taken care of business against 3 top 20 teams and still have to face Oklahoma and USC before their gauntlet comes to an end. Needless to say, this is the biggest game Notre Dame has been a part of for the better part of a decade.
The Sooners lost a heartbreaker to Kansas State back in late September, but since that game, they haven’t really been tested. By not being tested, I don’t mean they are playing cupcakes, they just simply haven’t been tested by teams that many thought could challenge them. Texas Tech, Kansas, and Texas all fell victim to Oklahoma in a big way. Oklahoma doesn’t have the resume Notre Dame has this season, but they have still been rather impressive. Ranking 5th in scoring, and 12th in scoring defense, is a combination that can be deadly to the opposition. There isn’t much more to say here than watch out for this game, it’s going to be a good one.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: After much reading, observation, and just plain instinct, I have finally decided who I am picking in this matchup. The line sits at 10.5 in favor of Oklahoma. Many think this is rather large spread but let’s take a look at some numbers here. Oklahoma has covered the spread in 6 of their last 7 non conference games, 4 of their last 5 games overall, and Notre Dame is on a 2-5 run against the spread in their last 7 road games versus a winning team. Notre Dame is also only 3-7 overall against the spread versus winning teams. To sum it up, Notre Dame beats who they should but loses when the chips are on the table. I know we aren’t just betting straight up winner here, but I have confidence that Oklahoma will find a way to put this game away. Take the Sooners minus the points and then go collect your money! PICK: Boomer Sooner -10.5
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