Thursday Threatdown Double-Header: Double-Digit Spreads
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While BCS brass tacks will be in abundance tonight, it's ironic that the chalk sees more inevitability than drama.
According to the Bovada data tool on the Home page, here are tonight's lines, with each team's BCS ranking in parentheses:
- (3) Oregon -11 at (5) Stanford
- (6) Baylor -16 vs (10) Oklahoma
Clearly, three of these teams have a realistic chance to play in the last game of the NCAA season. The fourth has a coach who'd like to remove the sarcasm from his 'Big Game Bob' nickname, still intent on reaching a BCS bowl and the $17million payout that goes with it.
Strange things happen on game day down at Leland Stanford's Farm. You're more likely to see tailgating feature gnocchi and wine than bratwurst and beer. You'll see a dancing tree. You'll also see something even stranger on the West Coast: a team that plays power football and wins with it.
Stanford's style is the closest to Alabama that Oregon sees in conference play. Last season, the Cardinal went into Eugene and pounded out a 17-14 overtime victory that ruined the Ducks' hopes of meeting that state-of-the-art in power football, the Crimson Tide, for the Waterford crystal. It also dashed the dreams of fans who wanted to see the ultimate clash of Old School vs New School, aka Alabama vs Oregon.
Art Briles is the resident genius in the Big XII these days, and for good reason. He's got his own version of high-octane offense and has proven he doesn't need Robert Griffin III to run it.
These blessed Baptist Bears will enter the heart of their schedule when the Sooners invade tonight. Baylor will then hit the road for a Cowboys Stadium meeting with Texas Tech and follow that with a journey to Stillwater to match passes with Oklahoma State. Texas is their last match of the regular season, on 7 December. It could well contain a treasure trove of story lines by then, on both sides of the ball.
Two tough road games in a row is a tall order, but perhaps not as formidable as overcoming Oklahoma. The Sooners have gone to Nôtre Dame and won and derailed Texas Tech's undefeated status, but then wet the bed against Texas. However, these are all more challenging matches than the Bears have seen.
This game was moved by Fox Sports for its own series of Thursday football programing. Who knew at the time it could be more than an undercard to the Oregon vs Stanford showdown?
Fox did viewers one possible favor. The Bears and Sooners kick off 90 minutes before the Ducks and Cardinal. If the chalk is accurate, Baylor could well be cruising by halftime, making it even easier to for fans to make the channel change.