Colin: Will Urban go back to running the "Cardale" offense which struggled or maybe incorporate some of JTB's package which seems much better suited for this collection?
Baver: I think you’ll see a mix of an offense tailored toward Cardale and maybe some of what we’ve seen with JTB, save the read option. I hate to dis Cardale….I am rooting for the guy, and the so-called fans that boo him in The ‘Shoe are pathetic. You asked earlier in the year… something along the lines of: is Cardale’s confidence going to hold up to criticism, with fans clamoring for JTB? I said at the time that I thought Cardale’s confidence would be fine, but I don’t think it is right now. I see a guy that has lost a lot of confidence. I hope I am wrong.
Colin: Is Cardale capable of running the read option?
Baver: Not really; it’s not his game, although they still may run it on occasion with Cardale.
Colin: Does Braxton finally throw a forward pass this week?
Baver: My guess is yes. Beck and Urban were probably saving Braxton’s first pass for the Sparty game, but I think they are going to have to utilize Braxton more this week with Barrett being held out.
Colin: Minnesota lit up the vaunted Michigan defense last week. Are the Gophers improving or was it a fluke?
Baver: A little of both. The Jerry Kill retirement added some extra emotion last week. QB Mitch Leidner is going to cause the Buckeye D some problems with his legs. But without David Cobb at TB, the Gopher offense just isn’t the same this year and will have problems moving the ball on Ohio St. On the other side of the ball, Minny’s CB’s (Murray & Lynn) are big time; Cardale needs to be sharp or those guys will make him pay.
Colin: The month of November is shaping up with some epic battles. What three or four games are going to determine who makes the CFP?
Baver: LSU at Bama on Saturday, Sparty at Oh St in 2 wks, Baylor at TCU on Nov 27th, and Notre Dame at Stanford Nov 28th. Those are the 4 biggest gms, but the top four Big 12 teams (Bay, TCU, Okl, Ok St) all play each other in Nov, so it’s gonna be quite the ride in that conference.
Colin: Give us an update on your picks to date and what games and lines will you be keeping an eye on this weekend?
Baver: 14-6-1 overall against the spread, which includes 6-2 ATS on the Buckeye picks. I think Minniehaha +24 is the play this week; as mentioned above, I think the Buckeye O takes a step back without JT. Hope I am wrong and Cardale lights it up, but I am going to say 31 -13 Ohio State, which means a Minn cover. I like Bama laying the 6 1/2 is against LSU. Fournette, I think, will be (somewhat) held in check and LSU will have problems putting points on the board. Finally, I think you have to take the ‘Noles getting 11 at Clemson. The ‘Noles have had their number and I think they hang tight in this one, no matter who FSU starts at QB. I still think the Tigers win the game, though.