Catch Baver on the CD1025 Morning Show w/ Brian Phillips Friday Mornings at 7:40 am. and follow @baverbuckeyebag
Colin: Before talking Buckeyes, do you think Baker "Money" Mayfield would have planted that flag in Ohio Stadium if he knew Iowa State was going to do him the same way just once month later? How embarrassing was that and why did the Sooners defense that dominated the Bucks with ease give up so many points?
Baver: Yep….humiliating. 7 straight yrs with a loss to a double-digit dog. This time to a 31-point dog. That’s pretty hard to do. That wasn’t the same Baker Mayfield that carved up the Bucks. All those times he found open receivers after being chased by OSU D-linemen? Mayfield overlooked open receivers time and time against Iowa St. As for Sooner defense…similar story. It didn’t look anything like the defense that shut Ohio State down. The short passing game that the Bucks couldn’t get going? Iowa St feasted on OU with their short game. OU did have some key injuries on D, with Emmanuel Beal and Steven Parker missing good portions of the game….but come on, this was Iowa State for heaven’s sake.
Colin: Along those lines, with the improved Buckeye passing game, do you think we would beat the Sooners if the rematch were this week?
Baver: The Bucks probably would win a rematch. The OSU WRs sure look improved. We’ll probably be able to answer that question better after Penn State’s trip to the ‘Shoe in 2 wks.
Colin: Nobody is giving Nebraska any chance in this night game at Lincoln. Sounds like a classic trap game. Is there a scenario where the Huskers pull the upset?
Baver: Nebraska is a team that could probably beat Ohio St if a number of things went right for them. None of OSU’s last four opponents could say that. They got CB Chris Jones (meniscus tear) back for a bit against Wisconsin last Saturday, and he should play more against OSU. When healthy, he is the best defender the Huskers have. But if the Buckeyes let Tanner Lee beat them, God help them. Lee has thrown a league-high 10 picks, and is going to get harassed by Nick Bosa and company all night long. If they get Ohio State in a funk, this could be close, but I don’t think that happens. I like Ohio State 41-13, so I think you lay the 24 pts.
Colin: JT Barrett putting up some huge numbers. Is your confidence in him on the rise?
Baver: To an extent, but again, judgment day is October 28th against the Nits. Kevin Wilson is JT’s 3rd O-coordinator that he has played for. It looks like things are now starting to click a bit, and JT’s got some of his confidence back. Barrett doesn’t throw many picks, and is such an effective runner. And you’d see a big downgrade in those two areas if Haskins were running the show right now. But JT has not played well in big games as of late, and Penn State still looms.
Colin: Is Michigan's offense beyond repair and why hasn't Jim Harbaugh been able to recruit a stud QB?
Baver: That’s a pretty bad offense, isn’t it? Of course, bad play calling, and a minus-5 turnover ratio against Sparty didn’t help matters last Saturday. What is it with Jimmy continuing to throw the ball when he doesn’t need to in big games? It absolutely killed them against Ohio St last year and against Sparty last week. But I wouldn’t necessarily write UM off just yet. As for QB’s, they’ve signed a top-10 QB in the last two classes (Brandon Peters in ’16, Phil Steele’s #8 QB nationally, and Dylan McCaffrey this yr, Steele’s #4 QB). They may turn to Peters at some point, but they are trying to redshirt McCaffrey. Peters is probably behind where UM thought he would be at this point.
Colin: Washington State cracks the top ten. Can they run the table in the Pac 10?
Baver: Maybe, but I doubt it. The Cougs of course have the big one against the Huskies to end the regular season, and that one is on the road. They also have to play at Stanford, and would likely have to probably beat USC again if they make the P12 title game. Still, this is a good Wazzu team, and even if they don’t win the league, they are not going to go quietly.
Colin: Give us an update on your picks to date and any other lines/games you will be keeping an eye on?
Baver: 13-6 against the spread….so good overall, but thought Urban would lay it on against UNLV, and take it a bit easier on two of his ex-assistants in Ash and Durkin…and OSU did the opposite. I like Utah catching 13 on the road at USC. USC has the look-ahead with a much-improved Notre Dame team on deck, while Utah is underrated year-in and year-out. I definitely like Auburn laying 7 on the road against LSU. This is simply not a good LSU team. And I gotta go with Tom Herman’s Longhorns getting 8 1/2 in the Red River Shootout.