I was hoping that after a 5-1 run in week 3, The Process had gotten past a few weeks of mediocrity and was ready to start the sprint. Did not have. Instead, everything went in the opposite direction. Six Pack went 2-4 last week, narrowly avoiding a 1-5 result.
I take it it could be worse?
Although the results were not what I hoped for, I can at least learn a few lessons. The most notable of these is that Maryland could be really good this year. Not winning the Big 10—losing to Michigan would seriously hurt those chances—but maybe becoming the fourth or fifth best team in the conference. Maybe if we learn at least one such lesson every week, we can go 6-0 once before the end of the season!
It might even happen this week. There is only one way to find out. Let’s get to the choice. All odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
Games of the week
No. 7 Kentucky and No. 14 Ole MissA: I don’t really trust any of these teams. Kentucky might be in the top 10 in the AP poll, but I’m afraid for the sport if it’s one of the top 10 teams in the country right now. The Wildcats have been struggling to get to Northern Illinois this past week and it wasn’t due to any fluke. This is an offense that struggles to constantly move the ball and does not have explosive play. It’s not an Ole Miss problem; The Rebels are ranked 10th nationally for explosive play and have been particularly exceptional on the ground. The problem is that Ole Miss hasn’t played anyone yet. His best win is either a 42-0 shutout over a Georgia Tech team that just fired their coach, or last week’s eight-point victory over Tulsa.
Neither one inspires much confidence. In the end, I think Ole Miss’s offense is good, but not as good as it looks, and he’ll have a much harder time against Kentucky. Given that the Rebel attack is likely to slow down, combined with a bit of faith that the Kentucky attack will do something special, this makes the game appealing. Ole Miss 27, Kentucky 17 | up to 54 years old
No. 9 Oklahoma State No. 16 Baylor: Baylor is a difficult team to figure out the attack. The team ranks 13th in the nation for the number of EPA shots. Wonderful! His success rate of 50.2% ranks 15th. This is outstanding too! But the same offense ranks 105th in explosive play. What does it mean? Well, this means that the Bears rely too much on successful play after successful play to withstand long-range attacks. Also, Baylor’s conversion rate of 39.1% is well above the national average of 26.2%, and I don’t recommend relying on conversions to thirds and longs. It rarely works for long, especially when you’re up against a good defense.
Oklahoma’s defense isn’t as good as it was last year, but it’s still above average. Some of this is due to its graphics, but it’s mostly a sound unit. Last season we saw these teams play two close games against each other and I wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s meeting is similar. In such a situation, I will take points. Oklahoma State 31, Baylor 28 | Oklahoma State +2
Castle of the week
Navy in the Air Force: We have come to a long tradition … and I’m afraid it will soon come to an end. Hopefully not this weekend. For those new to The Six Pack, Service Academy Under has long been a staple in our diet. The concept is simple. Service academies conduct option offenses. This means that they control the ball more than any other team in the country. The Air Force ranks first in the country with an utilization rate of 89.1%, while the Navy ranks third with a rate of 82.9%. Army is second. No other team uses the ball more than 70% of the time (UMass has 69.6%). When teams control the ball, the clock does not stop. When the clock does not stop, it limits the common property. When there are fewer possessions in the game, fewer points are awarded.
Also, while the optional offense can give academies an edge over other teams that aren’t used to it, it’s not the case here. These defenses face option attacks every day in practice. Add these factors together and here’s what you get: since 2005, games between service academies have been under 41-9-1. What is worrying is that the books have caught on and started to lower the totals for these games in recent seasons. This did not stop the scammers from cashing out, but eventually they will crack the code. Until they do, we’ll ride the wave. Air Force 20, Navy 13 | Up to 37.5
Underdog of the week
Iowa in KansasA: Speaking of wave riding, I’ve been in Kansas all season and I’m not stopping now. The Jayhawks won and closed out again last week, improving to 4-0 in a season straight and against spread….