Will he stay or will he go? Day after day on the sports pages, ad nauseam… at least now a decision has been made and Mack Brown is riding his steer off into the sunset. We can’t deny that the man is uber-popular in Austin, so there will be plenty of burnt orange in the stands in San Antone for Ol’ Mackie’s swan song – along with some inspired play from his troops on the field. But let’s take emotion out of the equation for a moment and look at some numbers. Big 12 dogs of 3.5 or more points are 5-1 ATS in bowl games versus Pac-12 opponents, while pre-New Year’s Day Pac-12 bowlers are 1-11 ATS as favorites of 6 or more versus foes off a loss. And once again, we go back to the middle of October when the Ducks were 6-0 and had anointed themselves a spot in the BCS Championship game already, and all the Nike execs were scrambling to get their spots reserved in the Rose Bowl suites. It was then that the Ducks pulled on the hot pink helmets to play Washington State and were summarily torched for 557 yards passing by Mike Leach’s offense and a statistical slide ensued. From that point on, Oregon has slipped a -101 net YPG, the 4th biggest decline among bowl squads. We also found this trend very interesting: bowl teams with first-year coaches are 1-4 SUATS as
double-digit favorites (that’s four SU losses in five tries, folks). Add it all up and you will not fi nd us fading a Texas team that is obviously in a ‘Win One for the Gipper’ mode. In fact, when you bring emotion back into the discussion, the Longhorns might fi nish by chanting “Remember the Alamo!” after tonight’s upset. The Clincher: pre-New Year’s Day dogs of 7 or more points off a SUATS loss are 20-5-1 ATS when facing an opponent that failed to beat the spread by more than 7 points in its last game.
Washington over NY Giants by 8
After cashing last week’s 5* call on the Redskins, we’re putting the war paint back on again in what looks to be Mike Shanahan’s swan song in Washington. For openers, they will look to avenge a 24-17 home loss to the Giants on the 1st of December, a game in which the Skins won the stats. The win snapped a 5-game ATS series win skein by the Hogs and that ties nicely into Washington’s 10-1 ATS record as division road dogs of less than 7 points when seeking revenge. Not to mention the Hogs’ 7-1 ATS mark in games after clashes with the Cowboys. Meanwhile, the Giants return home off a road win ‘leaking oil’ like the Exxon Valdez, having been outgained in each of their last four contests. Not good news when they’re being quarterbacked by an erratic signal caller (Eli Manning) who is 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS home off a win in division games, including 0-5 ATS versus .500 or less opponents. While the rating is lowered to a 4* this week, the intensity is ratcheted up in Mike’s final curtain call. Especially with our AWESOME ANGLE (page 2) fi rmly in his corner. The Clincher: Shanahan is 17-8 SU and 18-7 ATS in division games off back-to-back losses, including 9-1 SU and 10-0 ATS when his team owns a losing record.