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Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 14 Analysis/Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Dec 5, 2021
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Saturday, December 4, 2021 Georgia vs. Alabama (NCAAF) - 4:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7/-110 Alabama Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Public Missed Perception Play (WIN) Kudos to the HC Kirby Smart & his undefeated Georgia "Junkyard Dogs" for an undefeated regular season! Their success has been predicated by the # 1 defense (total defense) in the nation where co-DC's Glen Schuman & Dan Lanning have a suffocating 3-4 scheme that's sacked the QB 41 times, had 79 tackles for loss, 178 QB hits & 17 INT's. A big part of that success has been turned in by LB's Channing Tindall & Nakobe Dean who've combined for 113 tackles & 9.5 sacks. Speaking of defense, HC Nick Saban's Crimson Tide "D" is only ranked a few notches down @ 7 (total defense). In fact, Georgia's stellar run defense (80 YPG) is ranked 2nd in the nation but only 1 yard better than Alabama's run "D" (78 YPG) that's ranked 4th. When you look @ the scoring offense of both teams, Bama comes in 5th (43 PPG) while the Dogs' are 6th (41 PPG). In fact, Bulldogs' QB Stetson Bennett didn't fare to well versus the Tide last season. In a 41-24 loss, he was 18-for-40 for 269 yards, 2 TD's & 3 INT's. If you're trying to find when Alabama was this large of an underdog, you'd have to go back about 180 Crimson Tide games to the 2008 SEC Championship when they were (+10) versus HC Urban Meyer Florida squad with QB Tim Tebow (who won 31-21). I love the fact that Nick Saban has an excellent track record against Kirby Smart (3-0 SU) & Georgia (6-0 SU) since coming to Bama'. Remember, the Bulldogs' offense was held to 0 touchdowns versus Clemson & Georgia has not played a current team that's inside the Top 20. Speadwise, the numbers show Alabama 11-1-1 off back-to-back ATS losses & a convincing 9-2 versus undefeated conference opponents. My bottom line looks @ Saban's performance as a single-digit dog when his team's record is .900 or better. In this situation as a dog of 7 or fewer, his troops sit 6-1 SU but a perfect 7-0 ATS. Here's where we're going. We'll gladly go to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the SEC Championship to play the ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (buying to a key + 10 1/2) as my 8* CFB Public Missed Perception Play! Houston vs. Cincinnati (NCAAF) - 4:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -10/-120 Cincinnati Rating: 8* Mike's AAC Championship ATS Winner (WIN) This is yet another matchup that has 2 teams with very close SU records (Cincinnati @ 12-0 & Houston @ 11-1). But when you dig in just a little deeper, it reveals a Cougars' squad that's played a very weak schedule (114th) compared to their opposition (44th). They lost 38-21 to their toughest opponent (Texas Tech) in their season & home opener. The BIG game that has Cincinnati in CFB Playoff position was their decisive 24-13 win in South Bend, IN over 11-1 Notre Dame. 5th-year HC Luke Fickell (21-1 here the last 2 seasons & spent 5 years prior @ Ohio State as DC & Interim HC) has his Bearcats riding a 26-game home winning streak entering into this game. Cougars' HC Dana Holgersen knows he's up against it playing @ this venue after getting outplayed here 38-10 last season. My bottom line peruses over a Bearcats' defense that ranks 3rd in scoring "D" (16 PPG) & 3rd in passing defense (161 YPG). Cincinnati DC Mike Tressel has a shutdown corner by the name of Ahmed "Sauce" Gardner who hasn't yielded a TD pass in his 3 collegiate seasons. The UC defense has 17 INT's while giving up 8 TD's in 12 games. In the BIG games, you need a QB. My pick is Cincy's Desmond Ridder over Houston's Clayton Tune. Let's roll to their home venue of Nippert Stadium for the AAC Championship to play the CINCINNATI BEARCATS (buying to - 6 1/2) for 8 Stars! Baylor vs. Oklahoma State (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -240 Oklahoma State Rating: 9* Mike's CFB Earlybird Dependable (LOSS) These 2 met on October 2nd in Stillwater with the Cowboys coming out on top 24-14. Oklahoma State QB threw 3 INT's in that game but the "D" turned back Baylor all 3 times. Despite those INT's, OSU out-gained the Bears 401-280 with the Okies' "D" holding Baylor to 107 rushing yards. However, the QB story is on the Green N' Gold side with starter Gerry Bohanan (just a 5/5 TD/INT ratio his last 4 starts) nursing an injured hamstring which should pave the way again for Freshman Blake Shapen to make his 2nd start. He'll find the going very tough when he takes on DC Jim Knowles elite "D" that's #1 in sacks (48), #1 in tackles for loss (102), #1 in third-down defense (allowing 24.4% conversions), #3 in total defense, #6 in run defense & #10 in pass efficiency defense. HC Mike Gundy is in perfect position to guide his team to their 1st-ever CFB Playoff. Speaking of Gundy, he's a take-me-to-the-window 50-7 on the ML as a favorite coming off consecutive SU wins. The last 18 times in this series as chalk has seen OSU go 15-3 SU & a ticket-cashing 14-4 ATS. My bottom line would like to stress Strength of Schedule. While both are Big 12 teams with very close records (11-1) & (10-2), their SOS are @ 2 different ends of the FBS's 130 entries. The Cowboys played a formidable schedule thus far ranking 21st with 4 wins coming over teams in the AP Top 25. Because this line is slightly inflated to compensate for their 9-2-1 ATS record, the analytics point straight @ the ML. Let's go to AT&T stadium in Arlington, TX for the Big 12 Championship to play the OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS for the "W" as my 9* CFB Earlybird Dependable! Utah State vs. San Diego State (NCAAF) - 3:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -225 San Diego State Rating: 8* Mike's Group Of 5 Play Of The Day (LOSS) Yes, 11-1 SU San Diego State did come into Merlin Olson Field @ Maverik Stadium last season & left Logan with a lopsided 38-7 laugher. That marked the last season under Gary Andersen (his 2nd stint there) where the Aggies finished @ just 1-5. The 2021-22 campaign gives way to new HC Blake Anderson who comes over after serving as Arkansas State skipper the past 7 seasons. Things looked a whole lot brighter with 19 starters back (10-OFF, 9-DEF) & that experienced has pushed them into the Mountain West Championship @ 9-3 SU. Their offense has had great success (457 YPG, 32 PPG) with Logan Bonner (3,236 passing yards, 60% completions, 32/10 TD/INT ratio) overjoyed to have the nations #1 WR Deven Thompkins (1,543 receiving yards, 9 TD's 17.7 YPC). However, USU's defense is ranked a distant 81st & have yielded 45 points to Air Force & 44 to Wyoming this season. My bottom line stresses that the Aztecs' offense doesn't score in droves but has a stout 3-4 scheme under the direction of 2nd-year DC Kurt Mattix (coached under SDST HC Brady Hoke for 4 years @ Michigan) that ranks 11th in the nation in total "D". They've held opposing offenses to 314 YPG & 17 PPG. This game may look sluggish along the way. In the end, I look for Brady Hoke & Co. to earn a hard-fought "W". Let's fly to Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA for the Mountain West Conference Championship to play the SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS Group Of 5 Play Of The Day! Week 14 record: 2-2 for 50% Last 5 Weeks: 20-10 for 67% Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 CFB Overall Record: 44-35 for a subpar 56%

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