Baver Answers Colin's College Football Questions. 9/19/14

Every Friday during the season, Pencilstorm college football guru Brent Baver answers Colin's questions about the upcoming weekend. Click here for previous week.

So, with the Kent State beatdown, what did we learn?

Kent State is worse than expected; maybe the spread should have been 40.  But the Bucks still beat that number by almost 4 TD’s, so things went better than expected.  Miami (OH), a team on par with Kent State, trailed by only 7 points at halftime against UM Saturday, to put things into perspective. 

Against KSU, we were able to see the talents of true freshmen Raekwon McMillan and Jalyn Holmes.  Holmes looks like a potential star down the road, and I would be shocked if McMillan doesn’t become a star very soon.  Another true frosh, Jamarco Jones, seemed to hold his own at LT, and could end up pushing starter Daryl Baldwin at RT.  With the outcome of the game being effectively over by halftime, it was nice to get a look at these three kids and so many other youngsters that are behind veterans on the current OSU depth chart.

I know you will preview Cincinnati in next week’s blog, but any early thoughts?

I’m happy Ohio State bounced back a bit and smacked Kent State, but I am still worried about Cincinnati.  I haven’t watched Cincy QB Gunner Kiel play yet, but understand that Kiel looked every bit as good as advertised against Toledo.  There is a reason he was rated the #1 QB prospect in the country coming out of high school.  I think this game will be interesting, as the Bearcats are fairly solid on both sides of the ball.

So at this point, what is a reasonable goal for this Buckeye team? 

Winning the Big Ten is still a realistic goal.  A quick glance at the updated “Games of the Year” lines at shows OSU giving 7.5 to State Penn in Happy Valley, the Bucks getting 1.5 in East Lansing, and Ohio State laying 13 to UM in the ‘Shoe.  So, the odds-makers still think Ohio State has a very legitimate shot at winning the Big Ten East.  Va Tech, despite their letdown against ECU, was well prepared for OSU.  It’s now very clear that the Hokies spent countless hours in August preparing for Ohio State.  Don’t write the Bucks off because of that loss just yet.

You are teaching Logic 101. Evaluate these two statements:

1) The Big Ten blows. A national laughing stock. 1-10 against other major conference schools. (+ Notre Dame)

2) Notre Dame are now considered national title contenders largely based on beating Big Ten schools.

Can both statements be true? What gives?

The Big Ten is an atrocity, whether Notre Dame enters the conversation or not.  Every year we hear how down the Big Ten is, but this year, the league is as bad as I can ever remember.  And, it’s time for Big Ten fans to quit crying about the SEC.  The SEC is the best of the five major conferences and the Big Ten is the worst.  It is what it is.

We will have to wait and see with Notre Dame.  They didn’t play well against the worst team in the Big Ten…Purdue.  And they spanked a mediocre Michigan squad.  The upcoming 6-game stretch for the Brian Kelly’s squad is brutal.  Let’s reevaluate after they are halfway through that stretch.

Which line do you prefer? Michigan over Utah by 5 on Saturday….or…. Brady Hoke eats over 5 dozen donuts Sunday?

I don’t like Michigan laying the 5 against the Utes, but I think the donut over/under is slightly high.  I think a 4 ½ dozen o/u would draw more action on both sides.  I am still hoping ESPN will have some live look-ins from the Hoke household on Sunday. 

On the slightly more serious side, what’s the latest with the Brady Hoke watch?

The love child of Chris Christie and Chris Farley has some work to do, and Hoke seems to be in over his head more and more as every day passes.  I’ve leaned toward UM keeping Hoke at least for another season, but will lean the other way if the Michigan loses to the Utes Saturday.

If you were a gambling man, what games catch your eye this weekend?  You were 3 for 3 last week – nice.

I’ve hit the two Virginia games in this Q&A (Wk 1 & Wk 3) and will stick with them once again.  Maybe their luck runs out against BYU, but I still like this much improved Virginia team and will take them getting the 14 pts at BYU.  I don’t like much else, but put a gun to my head, and I’ll take the Gators and the 14.5 at Bama.  Think Bama wins the game, but guessing Florida hangs around with their more than solid D.  And I will take Oklahoma giving the 7.5 on the road at West Virginia.  Definitely a much improved ‘Eer squad, and they hung with the Sooners last year; but the line is too low on this one.  11-ish is more in line with where it should be.

Colin Gawel runs Pencilstorm out of Colin's Coffee. Brent Baver knows more about college football than you. Click here to learn more about them and our other contributors.