Football! This Weekend's Best Bets, "Satan Hates Auburn" Edition

I was saddened on Thursday to hear of the passing of legendary college football historian and journalist Beano Cook, who passed away in his sleep at the age of 81. Back in the '80's and early '90's, before the television landscape was cluttered with literally dozens of studio shows all blending together, Beano Cook's segments on ESPN's Gameday were "must see" for me.

His affinity for all things "old school" and strong opinions were charming to me, and I loved that even when Notre Dame was terrible in the late `90's, he would pick them to win games, insisting that they should win these games because they had "material" (Beano-speak for "good players"), better "material" than the mediocre teams they would ultimately lose to that day.

Was he off a tad on just how good some of that "material" was? Sure he was, sometimes famously so:

R.I.P. Carroll Hoff "Beano" Cook. He was one of the good ones.

Oklahoma State -27 1/2 over KANSAS When we last left Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis, he was trying to teach his players how to celebrate after last-second, game-winning field goals just a few days before losing to Kansas State by 40 points. Since then, he has conducted a closed practice for all non-seniors, bullied the team reporter from the school newspaper, and devoured 67 cheeseburgers (I'm just assuming). Pretty sporty week. The exact type of week that usually precedes a coach losing his team, losing what's left of his support base, and losing a game to a solid, prolific conference opponent by about 50 points.

OLE MISS -5 over Auburn So when was the last time that a team went from national champion to complete laughingstock underdog to Ole Miss in less than two years? Let's face it, the only thing saving Auburn from the SEC's 100 percent "ridicule focus" was the presence of Arkansas. Well, that last bit of shelter is gone now after Arkansas thrashed the Tigers last weekend, 24-7.

So how is this collapse happening at Auburn? Is it recruiting? Is it player development? Have they run out of room under the cap to get the next Cam Newton? All of those things are viable explanations. However, head coach Gene Chizik's wife Jonna has another one, and she posted on her Facebook page earlier this week. It's Satan, of course:

I have given quite a lot of prayerful consideration to your desire to help and make a difference this season and I do have a thought. As you know, Social media can be a very powerful tool.

Recent examples of its power can be cited by googling how it played a primary role in the Occupy Wall Street protests, the uprising in Egypt, the Konya 2012 movement, and the various flash mobs that randomly occur all over the world to name just a few examples.

Therefore, my humble suggestion is to create a VERY POWERFUL "ALL IN" movement of your own.

We have fans all over the US and I think it is time that they RISE UP and snatch back what Satan, himself, has stolen.

We serve a God who recovers ALL that "has been stolen" from us and there are times that He requires the efforts of His people to accomplish this truth.

Just think about the effect it will have first for the players and their families who sacrifice daily but how it will impact the fan base as a whole.

During the season of 2010 the fans came together each Friday afternoon to send our boys off with a reverse tiger walk and the effect of just that alone was palpable enough that it carried over onto the field each and every Saturday.

I encourage you to think outside the box and create something that will show the rest of the world WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO and why when we refer to ourselves as FAMILY that we mean it.

I look forward to see what you come up with.

Blessings, Jonna Chizik

P.S. feel free to share all of this as you feel led!


So, to reset, Auburn's horrific 2012 season, which is (humbly) of the same importance as the uprisings in Egypt and the Kony 2012 movement, is a smoldering disaster thanks to the lord of darkness himself, Satan. Well, Jonna, sadly I don't think God will save you in Oxford this weekend either. In fact, it might take exorcising your husband from the head coaching position for Auburn to get its groove back.   Oklahoma -3 1/2 over Texas Well, after a funky early season schedule that saw two bye weeks in a three-week period sandwiched around a home loss to Kansas State, it appears that Oklahoma got a little bit of its swagger back last week against Texas Tech in Lubbock. I think that will carry into this weekend's Red River Shootout (I refuse to call it the Red River Rivalry), as Texas is still reeling a little bit from last weekend's loss to West Virginia. The UT defense has not been nearly as advertised in the preseason, and I think that Oklahoma will be able to finally run the ball a little bit. I'll go with a final score of.....wait....what's that?.....are you serious?....okay, um, it's been brought to my attention that Oklahoma has just joined the inexplicably growing list of schools that think it's a good idea to put out their own rap video. Let's take a look:

I take it all back. The existence of this video ensures Texas covers the number. Bob Stoops' presence in the video ensures they win outright. So, to be clear, I am flipping to Texas +3 1/2 over Oklahoma.

CARDINALS -5 over Bills Do I feel strongly about this pick? Honestly, kind of. Not emphatically strong. But quite frankly, picking the Bills here gives me a good reason to find some more irate Mario Williams tweets from Buffalo Bills fans. Let's take a look and see how it went for ol' @bbwolf94 after last weekend's 45-3 shellacking at the hands of the 49ers:

Yeah, pretty much.

49ERS -6 1/2 over Giants The Texans are 5-0, so I officially reside in a city where it's fun and relevant to debate "Who is the best team in the NFL?" With the difference between the top teams so thin right now, and not knowing how the Texans' defense will react to losing Brian Cushing for the season, and with two of their toughest opponents coming up the next two games, I made the argument on my radio show this week that the 49ers are still the best team in football, a mythical title they lost the week after the Vikings knocked them off in Minnesota. Well, as it turns out 1) the Vikings are pretty damn good (4-1 on the season) and 2) the 49ers are actually still REALLY damn good (a combined 79-3 score in their game since the loss to the Vikes). Meanwhile, the Giants are still walking around wearing the belt from last season, but perhaps this is the resume of a paper champion -- two losses in the division and three wins over teams with a combined record of 2-12. I'll take the Niners by two touchdowns.

CHARGERS -1 over Broncos After taking the Chargers at home against Atlanta in Week 3 (as a three-point favorite that got worked by the Falcons, 27-3), I told a buddy that gambling sites should have a picture of the head coach's face next to each team on the page as a way to remind you "Hey, you do realize you're about to bet on NORV TURNER, right?!?" just before you hit "SEND" on a bet. And yet, here I go again. I just don't trust these Broncos on the road.

Last week: 3-3 Season record: 16-13-1

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at

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