Football

Prognosticating the Odds

What is better than your father-in-law's barbecue?

Everybody loves odds! Come join us in our predictions for this season.

Hello and welcome one and all. We are barreling towards the 2016 season, so Spencer & I thought it would be a good idea to throw some gamblin’ type odds & over/unders out in the spirit of discussion. Vegas we are not, but think of us as the low-scale, homespun, slightly less flashy substitute to the neon-high you would get there. You know, like driving up to The Strip on 87 at night.*

It should be noted we don’t officially condone gambling on amateur sports but if you do and are headed to Vegas please let me know.

OFFENSE

1 ) OVER/UNDER – Stockton rushes for 800 yards

SPENCER – This one is tough because we’re not sure how Stockton will handle being the every-down back (or even if he CAN be that back). I think we’ll probably see more of a rotation than we did last season, bringing in Demarcus Felton as the primary backup. I think we’ve probably heard the end of Quinton White’s career (outside of blowouts) and I don’t have a handle on if Dauphine is ready yet, although he’d be a fine third option. I think we’re going to see the kind of rotation we got when Stephens and Washington were both healthy, meaning I’m going to take the under on Stockton hitting 800 yards, but just barely. SPENCER – UNDER

BRIAN – In the past two seasons as a back-up, Stockton has rushed for over 350 yards in each of them, even with DeAndre going over a 1000 in each of those. Is it because he was a change-of-pace back? Was it just good play-calling for the situation? Maybe. But he’s also fast as hell, and I’m really not that worried about him in an every down back type of situation. Worst case scenario is Felton/White/Dauphine step up in a big way, in which case you get to really start playing with Stockton’s position on the field and we can get real biblical on opposing defenses. But all that aside, you’re asking him to go for a bit over a hundred yards more than half of DeAndre’s senior production against defenses that should be loosened up by the passing offense. BRIAN – OVER

2) Mahomes on Heisman Ballot – 25/1

BRIAN – The odds of Mahomes winning are currently set at 33/1 ($100 dollar bet nets you $3,300), so I think 25/1 to make it on the ballot during a potentially loaded field seems fair. Looking at the early projections, I think it’s going to be pretty RB heavy if Fournette & McCaffrey keep up at their current pace, and an extra year on Dalvin Cook against ACC defenses could be rough. Aside from that, you have potential 1st overall draft pick Watson, Baker Mayfield, whom I think will get cannibalized a bit by Perine/Mixon, & the quarterbacks of CFB blue bloods Notre Dame & Ohio State (which is no slight to Barret or Kizer, who are both incredibly talented). So, for Pat to be able to crack the top 5 he’s going to have to go absolutely bonkers, have a few huge statement games, and not turn the ball over. I think he’ll have a fantastic year, it’s just hard to imagine him making it this year. His senior year though? Get your plane tickets. BRIAN -NO BET

SPENCER – For Mahomes to be on the ballot, I think Tech is going to need to win 9 games. I’m not sure the defense is going to be giving enough support for that to happen, with what we’ve heard so far. There is a lot of youth on the defense, which brings me hope, but that also means it’s not going to be pretty. Having said all of that, I think Mahomes has a sparkling season, probably best we’ve seen from a Tech QB in a long time (maybe ever). I just think the overall record is going to hurt his chances and I think that’s going to be on the defense. SPENCER – NO BET

3) Mahomes Odds Bonanza

a) OVER/UNDER Mahomes Passing Yards – 5,000

SPENCER – I’m going to take the over. Mahomes passed for nearly 4,700 yards in 2015. For him to hit the 5,000 yard mark, he’s going to need to average only 23 more yards per game (over a 13 game season), which I think is completely within reach. I’m thinking we’ll see Mahomes in the 5,200 range this season. SPENCER – OVER

BRIAN – Here’s where we get to the lofty heights. Nobody in red & black has thrown for 5,000 since Graham Harrell in 2008, who had the advantage of peak Crabtree. IF the receivers are as good as advertised, and IF the offensive line stays healthy, and IF the interceptions/punterceptions are cut down, then I think he can do it. As you said, he only needs to average 23 more yards a game, and he’s not having to sling it against an SEC defense early on this season. However, I believe some of the more stout defenses can be found later in the season, so being healthy going into those games is going to be key. But why not, it’s August let’s get optimistic. BRIAN – OVER

b) OVER/UNDER Mahomes Rushing Yards – 450

BRIAN – This is the sneaky one. In Manziel year 2, his rushing yards got cut nearly in half as he began to sit in the pocket more and go through his progressions instead of running everywhere, which is what you have to believe Kliff would have tried to instill. While Mahomes already sits in the pocket a good amount, I think we’ll see a lot more of a pocket presence this season. Even if the offensive line ends up being a work in progress, I think the talent at receiver will allow him to not have to tuck and run it as much as he did in 2015. He’s still going to get a lot of yards on the ground, but I think he’s below his number from last year. BRIAN – UNDER

SPENCER – Mahomes quietly rushed for 456 yards and 10 TDs last season. In fact, looking back at some of the individual game stats, I was surprised how well he did in games against Texas and West Virginia. I think we’ll see him eclipse the 450 yard mark again in 2016. SPENCER -OVER

c) OVER/UNDER Total TD’s – 40.5

SPENCER – WAY over. Mahomes accounted for 46 total TDs in 2015. I think he is going to see a nice bump in total TDs as I think the offense is going to be even better this year. SPENCER -OVER

BRIAN – I believe I’m going to agree with you. During his junior season, DeAndre wasn’t given the ball too much in the red zone, but that changed last season as he brought in 14 total TD’s. With Stockton’s style stepping into the starting role, I don’t think you’ll see the RB take as many red zone touches, and Mahomes will end up absorbing some of that scoring. Coupled with the increased talent at WR, I think he’ll eclipse 40. BRIAN – OVER

DEFENSE

1) OVER/UNDER Team Total Sacks – 27.5

BRIAN – Last season, the Red Raider defense netted 19 sacks, and had 24 in 2014. They haven’t had more than 25 since 2010, and they had 40 in 2009, which was Ruffin’s last year with us. While Fehoko drew a lot of attention last year, he just didn’t have the support on the line to take advantage. You really really want Fehoko to take that next step this year, and we desperately need a Gary Moore/Broderick Washington/Pipkins/Hill step up. A huge part of the 24 in ’14 was Robertson, who’s roll changed under Gibbs. If Gibbs’ scheme is more conducive to turnovers than sacks so be it, but it would be nice to see some real pressure put on by the DL. BRIAN – UNDER

SPENCER – Under. Those years (‘10 and ‘09) had solid depth and very skilled defensive ends. The defensive line needs a nose guard to take some pressure off of Fehoko and a game changer at defensive end/rush end to be pushing 30 sacks. We’ll see what we have in Gary Moore and Kolin Hill, but I don’t think this defense gets to 28 sacks. SPENCER – UNDER

2) OVER/UNDER Total Turnovers – 28.5

SPENCER – Under. I think the defensive backs still have a ways to go under Gibbs. I can’t name a  single corner I feel confident in coverage, especially against Big 12 talent receivers. The safeties aren’t that much better. The defense might be able to force and recover a few more fumbles, but that’s hard to count on. Tech was able to force 13 fumbles (and recovered 10) in 2015 and caught 15 interceptions. I think we’ll see a drop in interceptions, with a slight bump in fumbles, probably ending the season close to where Tech did in 2015 with 25 total. SPENCER – UNDER

BRIAN – The defense had 25 TO’s last year, so that means they’d need to find another 4 to get the over. The starting corners are projected as Paul Banks & DJ Polite-Bray (Justis Nelson is going to play mostly), replacing Nigel Bethel & Teven Madison who were responsible for 22 PBU’s and 3 INT’s. Your interception leader, J.J. Gaines, has graduated. This seems dire! However, we saw huge strides in just a single offseason with Gibbs, and I’m going to do that foolish optimist thing where I think another year will do wonders. I think we’ll also have another pleasant Jah’Shawn Johnson like surprise with some of these incoming freshman that Gibbs has picked. BRIAN – OVER

3) Odds of 2 Underclassmen LB’s Starting by Game 6 – 15/1

BRIAN – As the emergence of D’Vonta Hinton showed in 2015, if Gibbs thinks you’re going to do the best job, you’re going to see the field. While I’d love for Jenkins or Woods to step up in their upper-class years, I think this coaching staff is too high on Brooks & Picone, and I think Moore may make waves too once camp starts. As for Stice, I hope he comes in and wrecks, but he’s also converting from fullback so I think he’ll be on the same learning curve as the freshmen. I lay odds you’ll see quite the rotation early on, and by West Virginia you’ll have another youngster next to Hinton when the defense first takes the field. BRIAN – BET

SPENCER – With the depth chart released at Big 12 media days, Tech is slated to start Luke Stice, Sr., D’Vonta Hinton, So., and Malik Jenkins, Sr., at linebacker. Two of the three backups listed are freshmen. I’d like to think that Stice makes it as a transfer and that Jenkins catches on as a senior, so I’m going to say no, there will not be two underclassmen starting linebackers by game 6. SPENCER – NO BET

4) OVER/UNDER – Rushing Yards Allowed – 3,000

SPENCER – Opponents rushed for more than 3,600 yards against Tech last season. I don’t have the confidence at this point in the offseason (give me until fall camp to start chugging the Kool Aid) that number is going to be improved this season. Tech’s offense does the defense no favors in time of possession (giving them a breath) and until they prove they can slow down a rushing attack with a pulse, teams are going to continue to pound the ball against this defense. I’ve already had nightmares about Samaje Perine (how is he not retired from the NFL by now?), Mixon, Chris Warren and the like battering through the defense. SPENCER – OVER

BRIAN – To get down to 3,000 yards, the defense will have to stop an extra 50 yards per game. When put that way, it seems pretty manageable! It’s hard for me to imagine the defense being more porous than it was in 2015, but I’m pretty sure I said the exact same thing in 2014. However, I’ll again give the tie to Gibbs on now having a full season of game film of his players to know exactly what he has. There’s plenty of evidence of what’s wrong, and now we’ll see if he course corrects. While I think we’ll see quite the reduction in rushing defense, I think the total number of yards allowed will just eke over 3,000. BRIAN – OVER

MISC

1) OVER/UNDER TOTAL WINS – 7.5

BRIAN – I think this is a really tough line, but I think we do find an 8th win, especially if we beat Arizona State in Tempe. A 6-0 start feels pretty right to me, so it’s a matter of taking care of Iowa State then finding an upset or two against Oklahoma, TCU, OSU, & Baylor. Stay healthy, you get those 8 wins. I wouldn’t necessarily be disappointed with 7 given how much we’re trying to repair with the defense and how strong the conference will likely be, but 6 would be bad news bears. BRIAN – OVER

SPENCER – I’m going over, as I see Tech going 8-4 in 2016. The home schedule sets up nicely for Tech to have opportunities against the top talent in the conference in Lubbock, with trips out to Tempe,AZ, Manhattan, KS, Fort Worth, Stillwater and Ames, IA. Lose enough games to keep Mahomes out of consideration for the Heisman this year, but win enough to feel better about the direction of the program. SPENCER – OVER

2) OVER/UNDER # Alternate Uniforms – 2.5

SPENCER – I guess this depends on what we consider an Alt uniform. If we’re considering the addition of red an alternate, then I think we’ll see something like 3. If we’re considering the SWC throwbacks Tech wore against Arkansas and Texas, then I think we see just one. But whatever they do, keep the alts classy (like the SWC throwback). No Wounded Warrior. No Texas Pride. No blue. Give me red, black, white and gray and call it a day. SPENCER – OVER

BRIAN – Last year was a breath of blessed, blessed fresh air in that we wore our own uniforms for once. We had 6 alternates in 2014. 6! While I think Kliff saw how ridiculous this was and had a hand in ratcheting it down, I do think we see probably 3 alternates. The throwbacks are too great to not pull out again, Kliff’s no fan of the red but I think it comes back out again (OU maybe?), and I think we’ll get wow’ed by something unexpected. But a good wow, not an ombre one. BRIAN – OVER

*I had to specify The Strip’s location for the youngsters who might confuse it with Vegas because they’ve never had to leave The Loop to buy their alcohol

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