Eyes of Texas are bloodshotat Red River

Oct 8, 2002 7:04 AM

   Every year oddsmakers make Texas the favorite over Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout. The last couple of meetings, the Sooners have won convincingly. This year, the line came out Texas —3½. Once again, the oddsmakers lined up like sheep. Let’s fleece them!

   Oklahoma vs. Texas —3½ : The Shootout has been won by Oklahoma the last two years. There’s talent on both teams, and they’re both ranked in the Top 5. But Sooner Coach Bob Stoops has an edge on defense, which is where these big games are typically won and lost. That’s the edge, and it goes to Oklahoma.

   Florida St. at Miami (—13): The Seminoles are somehow out of sync. They have the athletes on both sides of the ball to compete with anybody, but the team has looked vulnerable, if not inept — FSU struggled with Iowa State, Louisville and Clemson. Their problems will be magnified against a well-oiled Hurricane squad that has been waiting for someone to blow away. The storm warnings are out this weekend!

   Penn St. at Michigan (—7): The Lions pulled out a big win at Wisconsin, which reluctantly fell from the unbeaten ranks. Michigan has had an extra week to prepare, but the Wolverines have been unimpressive, especially as a home favorite (0—3 ATS this season). Penn St. is getting better every week and could pull the mild upset.

   Michigan St. at Iowa (—7): Michigan St. had a much—needed bye week, but traveling to Iowa won’t be fun — the Spartans haven’t won in Iowa City in more than a decade. This year’s Iowa squad is the best in years, evidenced by its come—back win over Purdue and impressive victory over Penn St. Lay the logs with Iowa.

   Texas Tech at Iowa St. (—7): Kliff Kingsbury was magnificent (49 of 59 for 474 yards and five TDs) in a thrilling overtime win at Texas A&M. But a letdown can be expected. While Tech silenced a few critics last week, they’ll come up short against an inspired Iowa St. team this week.

   Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (—8): With his big win over Syracuse, Pitt coach Walt Harris got a lot of his critics off his back. Now he travels to South Bend where the Panthers have lost five of their last six with the Irish. But Notre Dame has done it with special teams and defense, and still lacks a formidable offense. Pitt will capitalize and keep this one close.

   BYU at Air Force (—7): You can’t give enough credit to Air Force, which swamped Navy last weekend by scoring 48 straight points (48—7 final). BYU embarrassingly fell behind Utah St. by 27 points before salvaging the win with four straight scores. The going gets tougher in Colorado Springs, where the Air Force should win this one going away.

   Oregon at UCLA (—2 ½): The Ducks come into the Rose Bowl on a roll — they’ve won 10 straight (only Miami has a longer streak, 27 straight). Nevertheless, the Bruins seem to be getting its offense and defense playing on the same page. Their win at Oregon St. last week wasn’t as close as the score. Give the nod to the Bruins in a hard-fought shootout.