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Switzer on Manziel

Johhny Manziel is a polarizing figure, as is Barry Switzer. So when you get Switzer sharing his opinions on Mr. Manziel, you should expect some fireworks. He started by totally ripping him:

“I’m gonna tell you. I said Johnny Manziel is … I don’t like his antics. I think he’s an arrogant little prick,” Switzer said. “I’ve said that and I’ll say it again. He’s a privileged kid, he’s embarrassed himself, he’s embarrassed his teammates, his program. He’s embarrassed his coach. And they’ll all have to defend him because they have to coach. I know that. I spent 40 years in the damn game so I know how it works.”

But true to Swtizer form, you get the other side as well, as he goes on to say, “He’s the best I’ve seen. I’ve never seen a quarterback in college football take control of a game like he does and put up the numbers he does. It’s fantastic what he’s done against good competition. Game after game after game the numbers he puts up are staggering” SWitzer addresses all of the on-field magic that Manziel is able to create.

So in his own way, Switzer sums up the big arguments around Manziel. There are personal concerns, and then there’s the performance on the field. He finishes by saying, “He’s the most dominant, most dynamic college quarterback I’ve ever seen.”

But that still begs the question of how good he can be in the NFL. There are tons of great college quarterbacks who don’t translate to the NFL. The key with Manziel is his ability to make qick decisions and throws in the pockets, and his ability to improvise. They other key is that in the NFL he’ll have to pull back on the running, as he can get crushed out there. Predicting what he will do in the NFL is about as easy as predicting the outcome of an NFL bingo game or Butlersbingo as he has so much talent but now will be facing much tougher defenses.

One key will be where he goes. We’ve seen coaches and the system have a big impact on the success of a quarterback. If you get a coach that can harness his quick decision-making and convince him to be careful in how often he runs with the ball as opposed to scrambling, we might have a superstar on our hands.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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UCF stuns Baylor

This should not have been a shock. Baylor has had an incredible season, but the hype surrounding this team’s offense and Art Briles has become ridiculous. There were even people suggesting Briles should be considered as an NFL coach, which is just absurd. Presumably even Texas is taking a hard look, which is more appropriate, but Texas doesn’t need a gimmick offense to be a power. I susect they’re much better off with a different coach.

Plenty of people watched the game last night more interested in watching UFC’s Blake Bortles as an NFL quarterback prospect for the NFL draft. His performance was up and down, but he seems to have all the tools that will make NFL scouts drool.

But back to the game, Baylor certainly had its moments on offense as they have very dynamic players, but good defense can really disrupt this offense, whcih makes all of their gaudy stats meaningless. I would have loved to see Baylor play a team like Michigan State as I think they would be overpowered based on this performance.

UFC was a huge underdog but they outplayed Baylor for most of the evening. It was a fun game if you don’t care about defense. Both teams have no idea how to tackle, particulary in the secondary. But at least UCF managed a pass rush, and that really affected Baylor.

In the end, both programs are on the rise, so we’ll be seeing plenty more of them in the years to come.

Michigan State overpowers Stanford

All year long we had to listen to media experts insist that no Big Ten team could play with a physical Stanford team that won the allegedly far superior PAC 12. Well, Stanford and its vaunted running game ran into a green wall of reality last night as Michigan State out-muscled them over and over again in the trenches.

Say what you want about the Big Ten and its recent troubles, but the better Big Ten teams know how to play physical football, unlike most Pac 12 teams. Watching Stanford run through defenses like Oregon tells you nothing about how they will fare against Michigan State’s top-ranked defense.

Of course, it didn’t help that alleged “genius” David Shaw showed zero immagination with his play calls. Running Tyler Gaffney up the middle on fourth and three against this defense was just silly, as everyone knew what was comming and the Spartans slammed him for a three yard loss.

Meanwhile, Sparty and Mark Dantonio did the best immitation of Tresselball we’ve seen in years. They were tough on defense and resiliant on offense. This team also didn’t give up after a brutal pick-six before the half and responded with a quick touchdown to stay in the game.

It was a great win for Michigan State and the Big Ten, so perhaps we can be spared some of the smack talk about the PAC 12 for at least a year.

Who will be the new Texas Longhorns coach?

Now that Mack Brown has faced reality and resigned, there’s plenty of speculation as to who will be targeted by the Texas Longhorns. Here are the currrent odds:

Who will be the next Head Coach of the Texas Longhorns?

Charlie Strong 2/1
Art Briles 9/2
James Franklin 5/1
Mike Gundy 7/1
Bill O’Brien 15/2
Chip Kelly 10/1
David Shaw 10/1
Jim Mora 10/1
Jimbo Fisher 15/1
Jim Harbaugh 20/1
Mike Tomlin 20/1

Click here if you think you know who is going to win and want to cash in on your knowledge.

College Football Week 15, NFL Week 14 Free Picks

SEC Championship Game, 4:00PM ET
Both Missouri and Auburn were predicted to finish near the bottom of their respective divisions in the SEC and yet both shocked the masses by meeting in the SEC title game. Even though this is an even matchup, all anyone can talk about is Auburn after the Tigers pulled off the upset over Alabama last Saturday. A very underrated Mizzou team isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Dorial Green-Beckham and L’Damian Washington create mismatch problems against Auburn’s smaller defensive backs, and Mizzou owns one of the most balanced offenses in the nation led by proficient QB James Franklin. On the other side, Auburn’s rushing attack has been a headache for opponents all season, which includes Alabama and its stout front seven last weekend. That said, Mizzou has an athletic front seven capable of stretching out Auburn’s ground attack and at least limiting its effect. Mizzou won’t be able to contain Auburn because nobody has. But if it can build a lead with its passing game and force Auburn to be somewhat one-dimensional, Mizzou will win this game. Mizzou is 4-0 against the spread in its last four conference games, 13-3-1 ATS in its last 17 games overall, and 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games following an ATS win.
FREE PICK: MISSOURI +1

Big Ten Championship Game, 8:17PM ET
Based on Michigan State’s vastly underrated defense, many expect this game to be low-scoring. But Ohio State struggled with Michigan’s offense last week despite Devin Gardner’s regression all season. Yes, you can throw out the records when Ohio State and Michigan meet. Thus, it wasn’t shocking that the Wolverines hung with the Buckeyes on their home turf last week. But what was surprising is that Gardner put on a show and a Michigan offense that hadn’t been firing on all cylinders in over a month racked up 41 points on the Buckeyes. Despite Michigan State’s success this season defensively, Braxton Miller and that Ohio State offense will get theirs in the end. Granted, the Big Ten has only held two championship games in its existence. But both games sailed over the total as Wisconsin edged Michigan State 42-39 in 2011 and the Badgers thumped Nebraska 70-31 last year. Look for more fireworks on Saturday night at Lucas Oil.
FREE PICK: OVER 51.5

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, 12:00PM ET
The only reason this contest could wind up being close is because its a rivalry game and the Sooners’ defense should keep things interesting, at least at the start. But Oklahoma’s offense has been punchless in big games this season, unless you consider its 38-point outburst over an overrated Texas Tech team back in October. The Sooners could only muster 12 points versus Baylor in early November and scored 20 in a 36-20 loss to Texas in mid-October. If Oklahoma State’s offense is firing on all cylinders, this one should get ugly in the second half. The Cowboys are 6-0 against the spread in their last six conference games and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Look for OK State to roll.
FREE PICK: OKLAHOMA STATE -10

Panthers vs. Saints, 8:30PM ET
The Saints were embarrassed in Seattle on Monday night so look for Sean Payton’s squad to come out fired up with first place in the NFC South up for grabs on Sunday night. Carolina’s defense is criminally underrated but New Orleans’ offense operates at another level at home compared to on the road. Payton is a more aggressive play-caller, Drew Brees is a more accurate passer, and the skill position players are usually unstoppable in their one-on-one matchups. The Saints are 21-6 against the spread in their last 27 home games and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games versus a team with a winning road record. The only reason the spread has been set as low as it has is because New Orleans played so poorly on a national stage last Monday. The Saints represent value.
FREE PICK: SAINTS -3

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