College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo

Polls and rankings can be a gambler's best friend when it comes to wagering on large groups of vicious and volatile college students, the type that paint their faces, don high density polyurethane shells, and assemble each week to thrash each other on the gridiron. Polls and rankings set the general consensus on how strong a certain team is, regardless of Truth, and that makes them a tool for exploiting a misinformed betting public.

But this ranking system is going to work a little differently. We have enough rampant conjecture across the nation in regards to college football so I have set out to provide my faithful readers with some info that should enrich their gambling lives. The result: the Ferringo 15.

The Ferringo 15 is my Profit-Power Rankings, a ladder or hierarchy based on which teams are the most profitable on the field. I'm not trying to give you some other convoluted, random, speculative power rankings based on my own biases. So instead of Ohio State moving up or down the polls on the basis of how badly they blew out Northwestern the previous Saturday I'm going to rank each team based on past, present, and projected future achievement against the spread.

Below I've listed teams that have been and hopefully will continue to be the most profitable teams for bettors this season. It's still early in the season so there will likely be a lot of fluctuation from week to week. But after we've had some time to get the lay of the land these rankings will be buttressed by solid, visceral performance.

Last week was a banner one for the Ferringo 15, as schools playing in lined games went an outstanding 8-3 against the number. I think it's going to be tough for some clubs to maintain their perch on this list because of their big wins (Oregon and Oklahoma come to mind) but until then they are still among the most profitable teams we'll see this season. So without further ado, here is our Week 3 version of the Ferringo 15:

1) South Florida (1-0 Against the Spread) - The upsets are not going to stop at Auburn for the Bulls. They were Everyone's Sleeper at the start of the season and they've proven why. Now they get a week underground to prep for North Carolina and if they're anything less than a double-digit favorite I'll be all over them.

2) Purdue (1-0 ATS) - Curtis Painter is running point for Purdue and has led an offense averaging 52 points per game this season. The Boilers are three-touchdown favorites this week, and if they can cover that number heading into Big 10 play I'll be very impressed.

3) Memphis (1-0) - Unfortunately, the Tigers play a non-lined game against Jacksonville State this weekend. As long as they don't do anything stupid - like orchestrate a 40-point blowout - then we could still have some very solid dog value going into a key home opener with Central Florida.

4) Iowa (2-0) - Perhaps more than any other game, I'm most irritated that I didn't go big on the Hawkeyes over the Orange last weekend. Iowa's front four may be the best in the conference and Albert Young is a stud. However, beware this weekend's rivalry game with Iowa State. The following Saturday they are at Wisconsin in a huge Big Ten matchup.

5) South Carolina (1-1) - I knew that The Ol' Ball Coach would reward me for leaving the Gamecocks in the Ferringo 15 despite an opening ATS loss. Blake Mitchell can be shaky at times, but we could get another golden opportunity to cash in on SC if they're two-touchdown dogs in the Bayou on Sept. 22.

6) Anyone Playing Notre Dame (2-0) - Mike Hart guaranteed victory. But can Michigan cover? It's going to be extremely difficult behind a freshman quarterback, even if they are playing at home yet again. Michigan hosts Penn State the following week and it will be tough not to look ahead now that they know that a Big 10 title is the only thing that could vindicate this team.

7) Oklahoma (2-0) - Wow. That's all I can say about their manhandling of Miami. Look, I know the Hurricanes are a joke. They have been for years. But the way in which the Sooners dismantled Miami sent a strong message that this team is not messing around. I think if they can beat Miami by 38 they can top most inflated numbers. Bob Stoops hasn't exactly been one to call of the dogs in his career.

8) Washington (2-0)
- Jack Locker has proven himself to be more than legit, and now the Huskies are back on the map. We should have sniffed out their big win against Boise State (which was ripe to be faded) but I wanted to see one more performance before I jumped on the bandwagon. I'm riding shotgun now, and the fact that they are still home dogs against Ohio State says one thing to me - Value.

9) UCLA (2-0) - It was a tight one, but the Bruins managed to cover last weekend against a scrappy BYU team after blowing a 20-3 lead. The Bruins' pass defense is very bothersome - especially because it means they may let teams in the back door when they're shackled with big spreads.

10) Georgia Tech (2-0) - Tech had to drop this week because, judging by their line against Boston College, they appear to be getting overrated. I think that this is not going to be the last time these two run into one another, if you know what I mean.

11) Boston College (2-0) - The Eagles have come right out of the gate firing, taking down the defending conference champions and then earning an ATS win in a grudge match against their former coach. But the road doesn't get any easier, and the Eagles are facing a team that they are 1-4 SU against recently.

12) Oregon (2-0) - I said back in July that they were going to demolish the Wolverines - and they did just that. But now it's time to see if success will go to their heads as the expectations rise or if they will raise their level of play to championship caliber. They have a pair of winnable games coming up before a showdown with Cal. I would almost like to see the Ducks stumble so we can collect against the Bears.

13) New Mexico State (0-1) - Close, but no cigar for our former No. 1. The Aggies are 5-15 as a favorite, which they have been posted as this week, but I'm leaving them in the 15 for the same reason I left South Carolina in last week: potential. I think NMSU can be a fly in the ointment in the conference and they graded out too high in the preseason for me to dump them now.

14) Missouri (2-0) - Chase Daniels is my homeboy, and we are now 2-0 backing him with free plays this season. Good times. Is the defense good enough to win the Big 12 Title? Hell no. But with three straight home games on the horizon I think we can ride the Tigers offense a little longer.

15) UNLV (2-0) - I was there in person for their near miss against Wisconsin this weekend and I was very impressed with their team speed. This isn't a good team by any stretch of the imagination, and I think they're primed for a big-time fall this weekend against Hawaii, but the Rebels have gotten it done to this point so we'll show some love.

Others receiving votes: TCU (1-1), Central Florida (1-0), Cincinnati (1-0), Michigan State (1-1), UTEP (2-0), Miami, OH (2-0), Arizona State (2-0), LSU (2-0), Kansas State (1-1), Illinois (0-1)

Dropped out: Hawaii (0-1)

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Notre Dame Backup QB Jones Doesn't Make Trip To Michigan

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Demetrius Jones, the Notre Dame quarterback who lost the starting position after a poor performance in the opener, didn't travel with the team Friday to Michigan for the game against the Wolverines on Saturday.

"At 2:30 today, while boarding the bus to Michigan, I was notified that Demetrius Jones had decided not to make the trip," coach Charlie Weis said in a statement released Friday. "I have not spoken to Demetrius and can only say that he missed the team bus. Any additional comment would be without all the facts."

Jones, a sophomore from Chicago, started the opener against Georgia Tech, but was pulled in the second quarter after fumbling the ball away twice. He was 1-of-3 passing for 4 yards and ran for 28 yards on 12 carries. He didn't play in the loss against Penn State last week.

Neither Jones nor Evan Sharpley, who was the No. 2 quarterback against Georgia Tech, have talked to the media since that opening game. Freshman Jimmy Clausen started against Penn State and is scheduled to start against the Wolverines.

Weis had said he might consider using Jones when the Irish (0-2) play at Michigan (0-2). Jones was the No. 3 quarterback last season and ran the scout team.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Saturday Morning Scoop

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Updating a previous report, The Chicago Tribune is indicating quarterback Demetrius Jones could transfer to - Northern Illinois, Tennessee or Northwestern.

Arkansas Razorbacks is reporting the Razorbacks are not counting on receiver Marcus Monk to play this week against Alabama.

Florida Gators is reporting receiver Andre Caldwell is out for Saturday's game against Tennessee with a sprained MCL.

Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer has named true freshman Tyrod Taylor his starting quarterback for this week's matchup against Ohio.

San Jose State Spartans
The Mercury News is reporting running back Yonus Davis is out on Saturday.

San Jose State Spartans
The Mercury News is reporting quarterback Adam Tafralis is expected to play this Saturday against Stanford.

The Tennessean is reporting the Commodores expect to have quarterback Chris Nickson back under center for today's game against Ole Miss.

Panthers head coach Dave Wannstedt has indicated running back LeSean McCoy is expected to start on Saturday for the match-up against Michigan State.

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting receiver Brent Casteel will miss the rest of the 2007 season with a torn ACL.

Clemson Tigers
The Sporting News is reporting while Cullen Harper has played well as the starting quarterback, the Tigers coaching staff would like to find more ways to get Willy Korn on the field.

Arizona State Sun Devils
Sun Devils head coach Dennis Erickson has indicated running back Ryan Torain is a game-time decision for Saturday's contest against San Diego State.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Where the action is: Saturday's college line moves

Buffalo at Penn State – spread moved from -34 ½ to -32 ½

Apparently bettors were impressed by what they saw in Buffalo’s 42-7 trouncing of Temple last week as 3 1/2–point underdogs. This game was bet down by as many as two points at some sportsbooks yesterday and the total has also moved from 48 to 50 points.

Penn State has covered both spreads in its first two games this year which were against Florida International and Notre Dame. The offense is clicking with over 400 yards per game and the defense is as stingy as ever with just five points and 129 yards against per game.

Still, the Nits have said this week they are wary of an upset and are showing respect for the Bulls – partly because of the points they put up last week and partly because every team in the top 25 is now fearful of an upset following the Appalachian State shocker.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan - spread moved from -7 ½ to -9 ½

The Irish are getting even less respect than fellow 0-2 squad Michigan. The line moved to as high as -9 ½ overnight after sitting at just -7 ½ early Friday.

Notre Dame has yet to score an offensive touchdown this season and the Irish are the worst rushing team in the nation with negative ground yardage through two games. Both teams are starting freshman QBs today, yet the total has remained steady at 44 points.

Army at Wake Forest – total moved from 42 to 44

This one is a bit of a surprise considering Army’s anemic offense that is averaging only 259 yards and 14 points per game despite facing Akron and Division I-AA's Rhode Island so far.

Sophomore quarterback Carson Williams is making his first start for Army after going 0-4 in starts last year. Senior QB David Pevoto is hobbled by an ankle injury.

Army’s game plan is to try to run the ball as much as possible and keep Wake’s defense on the field. Wake has yet to show the offensive prowess it had last season but it’s faced two tough opponents so far (BC and Nebraska) and QB Riley Skinner is out with a separated shoulder. Sophomore Brett Hodges makes his second straight start in his place.

This line opened with the Demon Deacons at -21 ½ but moved to -19 through the week.

UCLA at Utah – line moved from +15 to +16

Originally this line opened with the Utes as 13-point underdogs but bettors have steadily jumped on the Bruins throughout the week and moved the line another point Saturday to 16 points.

UCLA is coming off a pair of convincing straight up and against the spread victories over Stanford and Mountain Coast Conference foe BYU. Utah, meanwhile, is 0-2 straight up and against the number and has had trouble getting the offense going.

Starting QB Brian Johnson was injured in the season opener against Oregon State and he’s expected to be out with a concussion until at least October. The Utes have scored just 19 points through two games compared to UCLA’s 72 points.

Louisville at Kentucky – line moved from +6 ½ to +5

This rivalry didn’t used to be much just a few short years ago. Kentucky’s improved program and the play of quarterback Andre’ Woodson has changed all that in a hurry and the public has noticed.

National media hype this week suggested this game is going to be a tight shootout and the public is listening. This game was bet down to Kentucky +5 late Friday after reading figures like this one: Woodson carries a streak of 213 straight passes without an interception. 

Louisville has won the last four meetings straight up and the Cats are hungry to turn that trend around.

Hawaii at UNLV – total moved from 64 to 67

Same old story for Hawaii over/unders – oddsmakers just can’t seem to set them high enough. This line opened at around 62 early in the week before bettors pounced and have been elevating it ever since.

The reason is that the Warriors own the No. 2 offense in the nation with 585 yards per game and they are the best passing unit with 544 yards per game. The ‘over’ also went 9-4 in Hawaii games last year even though betting patterns routinely followed similar scenarios to the one we’re seeing this week.

Hawaii is at the end of a grueling 12-day road trip right now that included an unexpectedly close 45-44 overtime win over Louisiana Tech. A story in the New York Times today documented how the team is struggling with all kinds of challenges like the time change, insomnia, school work and no perdiems for the players. 

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Week 3 letdown and look-ahead candidates

We all have our peaks and valleys.  Even the most speed-addled trucker has to crash at some point.

Bettors know this as well as anyone. One day we’re cleaning up, making all the right plays, feeling like a genius and thinking about how we’re going to spend all our new-found wealth. The next day we go heavy on Maryland +16 ½ and TCU -8 and we’re right back where we started.

What’s that? You didn’t make those bets? Sorry, I guess I’m just typing my Friday morning thoughts for all to read.

In any case, football teams aren’t any different when it comes to streaks. They’ll outperform expectations some weeks, while stinking up the joint the next. Fortunately, bettors can look at a school’s schedule and have an idea of when those peaks and valleys might occur.

Some of this week’s leading candidates for an off week appear below. I’ve already met opposition in the newsroom with my selections. However, since I’m the one writing this piece, they can all go to hell.

Boston College Eagles (+6 ½ at Georgia Tech)

The Eagles couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season, beating the defending ACC champs in the opener and former head coach Tom O’Brien in Week 2. BC covered the spread as a home favorite in both games.

But Boston College plays in Atlanta this week and the Eagles were 1-5 against the spread (ATS) last year in games away from Chestnut Hill. The Yellow Jackets are easily the strongest team Boston College has faced this season.

Furthermore, the Eagles let both Wake Forest (368 yards of total offense) and N.C. State (407) move the ball at Alumni Field.  Though Boston College benefited from 10 interceptions over its first two games, the school can’t count on Georgia Tech turning the ball over nearly as often as the Deacons and Wolfpack.

Cincinnati Bearcats (-7 ½ at Miami, Ohio)

Cincinnati proved a lot last Thursday when it trounced the favored Beavers on national TV, 34-3. The Bearcats can’t count on the national spotlight again until their trip to Rutgers on Oct. 6. In the meantime, the Battle for the Victory Bell is the nation’s oldest non-conference rivalry and the biggest non-conference game on the Redhawks’ schedule.

Cincinnati is favored on the road this weekend despite dropping a 44-16 decision when the Bearcats last visited Ohio. Head coach Brian Kelly openly mused this week how his team might be better served by ending the home-and-home format of the series now that Cincinnati is a BCS big boy.

Though Cincinnati won and covered the spread during last year’s game as an 11-point home favorite, 24-10, the offense didn’t exactly light it up. Miami has covered the spread in both its games this year and will be pumped for Saturday’s game at Yager Stadium.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (+6 ½ hosting BYU)

Tulsa had a bye last weekend, so the school has had two full weeks to prepare for this matchup with the Cougars.  But Tulsa hosts an even bigger school next week, a game that has the city more excited than the matchup at hand.

The mighty Sooners visit Tulsa next week in a rare Friday night game that should cause all social activity in Oklahoma to grind to a halt for a solid three hours. Hurricane players insist they’re not looking past BYU, but Nebraska’s iffy performance in Wake Forest last week with USC looming on the horizon confirms that bettors can be burned by schools looking ahead to the biggest games on their schedule.

BYU is stinging from last week’s loss at UCLA. The Cougars beat Tulsa last year, 49-24, when they ran for 227 yards and four touchdowns against the Hurricane’s 3-3-5 defensive formation.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Notre Dame QB Jones to transfer
September 15th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Notre Dame quarterback Demetrius Jones has transferred to Northern Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

Jones, a sophomore, did not make the trip with the Fighting Irish to Michigan on Friday, and is on Saturday's players' pass list for Northern Illinois' game against Eastern Michigan, according to the Tribune. Jones started the season opener against Georgia Tech, but was pulled during Notre Dame's 33-3 loss to the Yellow Jackets, and freshman Jimmy Clausen has taken over the starting job.

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