Saturday Service Consensus Reports

Saturday Service Consensus Reports

Confidential Kick-Off!! The Gold Sheet!!
America's Handicapping Leaders For 50 Seasons!

11 RUTGERS over *Syracuse
Late Score Forecast
RUTGERS 47 - *Syracuse 14

Long-time Big East sources tell us Rutgers can't wait to get back on gridiron
after suffering back-to-back losses for 1st time since '05. Normally-potent
Scarlet Knight attack (32 ppg), featuring productive QB Teel (5th in pass
efficiency) & tireless RB Rice (622 YR, 10 TDs), should quickly recapture its
mojo vs. a Syracuse defense yielding 38 ppg. Scouts further report
beleaguered Orange HC Robinson (only 6-23 SU at 'Cuse) used 9 true frosh to
increase team's overall mobility & speed vs. WV. That strategy didn't work,
as Mounties scored on 9 of their 1st 11 possession en route to 55-14 bashing
in Carrier Dome. And after facing the productive offenses of Maryland &
Cincy, look for an angry, quick Rutgers "D" to smother Orange attack that's
surpassed 20 pts. just once in past 13 games. 'Cuse's team leader sr. LB/DE
McClain says he is "sick" with what's going on. That won't change.

10 ILLINOIS over *Iowa
Late Score Forecast:
ILLINOIS 28 - *Iowa 17

Ending Wisconsin's 14-game winning streak was proof that HC Ron Zook has
turned Illinois fortunes around. An old adage is that "good players make
good coaches" and the Illini are an example of that, having out-recruited the
vast majority of their opponents the last few years. Iowa is one of the
teams Zook has out-recruited, and injuries or suspensions have sapped the
Hawkeyes of several key players, most notably WRs Andy Brodell & Dominique
Douglas, OT Dace Richardson, LB Mike Klinkenborg, and TE Tony Moeki. As a
result, Hawkeye HC Kirk Ferentz has played 11 true frosh, the most since he's
been at Iowa. Zook says QB Juice Williams & WR Rejus Benn (both banged up
vs. Badgers) are on track to play vs. Iowa. Hawkeye prowess at home has
faded, as Iowa is just 2-6 vs. the number last 8 at once-feared Kinnick

10 AIR FORCE over *Colorado St.
Late Score Forecast:
AIR FORCE 27 - *Colorado St. 19

Amazingly, snakebit CSU has now gone the equivalent of a full season (12
games!), as well as a calendar year, since its last win on October 7, 2006.
And MWC sources suggest the fight is simply out of depleted Rams, who failed
to circle the wagons vs. beatable San Diego State last week, prompting
sources to speculate that veteran HC Sonny Lubick might announce retirement
soon. So we're a bit surprised that CSU is laying points to a rejuvenated AFA
bunch, especially with sr. QB Carney enjoying the freedom associated with new
HC Calhoun's shotgun that replaced Fisher DeBerry's more-restrictive option.
Moreover, veteran Falc "D" creating all sorts of havoc with variety of blitz
schemes orchestrated by shrewd d.c. DeRuyter, which ought to further fluster
desperate Ram QB Hanie.

10 *CINCINNATI over Louisville
Late Score Forecast:
*CINCINNATI 47 - Louisville 27

This game exemplifies how fast things can change these days in college
football. Last year, under defensively-oriented Mark Dantonio, Cincy had an
offense that produced 20 ppg and barely supported its stubborn defense. This
year, with Brian Kelly having installed his spread offense and added transfer
QB Ben Mauk (a former starter at Wake Forest), the Bearcats have rolled up 43
ppg. With the offense giving rest to the ball-hawking defense (which leads
the nation with 25 takeaways), the stop unit is yielding only 12.7 ppg.
Meanwhile, the loss of coach Bobby Petrino to the pros is obviously resulting
in an adjustment phase for Louisville to new HC Kragthorpe. And the Cardinal
defense-without NFL first-round DT Amobe Okoye up front and three DBs in the
secondary-is giving up 31 ppg! Cincy 5-0 vs. spread TY.

10 HOUSTON over *Jacksonville
Late Score Forecast:
HOUSTON 16 - *Jacksonville 13
(Sunday, October 14)

Credit Gary Kubiak for bringing stability, toughness and confidence to 3-2
Houston. His deal for QB Matt Schaub has provided consistency and leadership
at that key position, and Schaub's strong arm gives the Texans the ability to
threaten the entire field. Underdog Houston has a history of playing well
vs. the Jaguars, going 8-2 vs. the spread overall and 4-1 in Jacksonville,
with 6 straight-up wins in the series! And the Texans are much stronger up
front on defense TY with amazing rookie DT Amobe Okoye joining LY's two
rookie keepers, LB DeMeco Ryans and DE Mario Williams (a combined 8 sacks for
the trio so far TY). The conservative nature of the Jacksonville offense
should help keep this game tight all the way, giving Houston a chance to
steal another win.

TOTALS: UNDER (38) in the Tennessee-Tampa Bay game-Titans defense much better
than people expected; injuries limiting the options of Jon Gruden on
offense....UNDER (43) in the New Orleans-Seattle game-Without the power of
Deuce up the middle, foes effectively limiting the effectiveness of Drew
Brees and Reggie Bush.

HONORABLE MENTION (Nine-Rated Games): GEORGIA (-7) at Vanderbilt-After last
week's rout in Knoxville, HC Richt returns to basics, and does not stop, with
embarrassed Bulldogs...TENNESSEE (-6.5) at Mississippi State-Huge QB edge for
Vols; Florida's back-to-back losses give UT genuine hopes of reaching the
title game!...UTAH (-13.5) vs. San Diego State-Aztecs have to win more than
one game before we believe their defense is sound enough to stop a good
spread attack...CALIFORNIA (-14) vs. Oregon State-If Beavers continue their
turnover ways on the road at Cal, Bears' speed will have the number covered
by halftime...WASHINGTON (+3) at Green Bay-Redskins have the talented
secondary (four No. 1 picks) to keep Favre in check; the emerging offense to
win the game.

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Confidential Kick-Off!! The Gold Sheet!!

Purdue 30 - MICHIGAN 24--Look for Purdue's offense to rebound against vulnerable Michigan 2ndary after struggling against speedy Ohio State defense. Wolverines needed more than return of QB Chad Henne to fulltime duty to turn the tide last week (4 E. Mich TOs helped), but doubt Boiler QB Curtis Painter (19 TDP, only 3 ints.) will oblige with similar giveaways. Respect Michigan's offensive talent, but Wolverines just 3-6-1 last 10 as home favorite. (04-Mich. +4 16-14...SR: Mich. 40-12)

Rutgers 47 - SYRACUSE 14--Orange offense rarely scores (12 ppg, excluding upset at Louisville). And defense (allowing 485 ypg!) can't stop anyone. Other than that, everything is swell at Syracuse. Rutgers' star RB Rice, who was headed to SU before former HC Pasqualoni was fired, leads disappointed Knights (2 straight losses) to cushy win. Scouts report plenty of tickets available at once-packed Carrier Dome.

OHIO 23 - Eastern Michigan 22--Ohio U. has had a negative turnaround in the rushing game this season (103rd in rushing, 108th in run defense). If EMU can solve turnover problems (the Eagles have 14 giveaways in their last 3 games), they should be in this game all the way. Bobcat passing attack was ineffective in loss at Buffalo, and RB McRae was held to less than 100 YR for the 5th straight game.

NORTHWESTERN 40 - Minnesota 27--Northwestern's defense might be mediocre (ranked 72nd), but Minnesota's stop unit is in considerably worse position (118th in total defense and turnover margin; worst pass defense in the nation). Meanwhile, Gopher QB Adam Weber's flashy start has faded (3 TDPs, 5 ints. last 3 games), and Wildcat QB Bacher found his groove against Michigan State (520 YP, 5 TDPs).

OHIO STATE 40 - Kent State 3--This isn't the time to go against Ohio State side gathering momentum for national championship run. Buckeyes have outscored foes 111-21 in last 3 games, and defense led by super-quick LB Laurinaitis, has allowed the fewest points in the country. OSU overcame QB Boeckman's uncharacteristic 3-int. performance to handle Purdue, so Buckeyes should bash Kent, even if Chris Wells (injured ankle) can't go (Maurice Wells 15 carries for 74 YR in relief vs. Purdue).

South Carolina 27 - NORTH CAROLINA 16--Though new UNC mentor Butch Davis was able to upset his schizoid former employer Miami-Florida week ago, don't see much carry-over vs. surging South Carolina (4 straight covers), thriving on road under Spurrier (8 straight spread wins). Tar Heels still-learning soph QB Yates figures to get a "schooling" by tight-covering 'Cock 2ndary (SEC-best 46%, 6 ints., just 2 TDs) that held Kentucky star QB Woodson to only 2 TDP in 38-23 victory. Meanwhile, Carolina's cookin' RS frosh QB Smelly (535 YP, 4 TDP in his 2 starts TY) has plenty of "fun" operating the "Fun and Gun" vs. young, unfinished Tar Heel defense (27 ppg). (DNP...SR: North Carolina 34-16-4)

MIAMI-FLORIDA 21 - Georgia Tech 20--Revenge-minded Hurricanes having hard time establishing even keel under new HC Shannon. And relentless Tech blitzes figure to perplex Miami's shaky sr. QB Wright (4 ints. at Carolina). Although Ramblin' Wreck offense still relying heavily on workhorse sr. RB Choice (32 carries each of last 2 games), jr. QB Bennett (309 YP) & emerging 6-3, 220 RS frosh D. Thomas (9 catches for 139 yards) pitched in effectively during last week's close loss at Maryland.

Virginia Tech 31 - DUKE 13--This matchup no contest in recent seasons, and spread not so roomy since Duke has covered 5 straight TY. Still, Hokie offense a work in progress with true frosh QB T. Taylor at trigger, but Beamer has STs going and VT 9-2 vs. number last 11 as a road favorite.

CINCINNATI 42 - Louisville 27--NFL-caliber sr. QB Brohm & Cardinal attack still dangerous. And getting away from increasingly-disgruntled home faithful won't hurt Louisville's sagging confidence. But see no reason to buck burgeoning Bearcats (6-0 SU, 5-0 vs. spread). Happenin' new HC Kelly (formerly at C. Michigan; 22-5-2 vs. spread since 2005!) has invigorated offense. And Cincy stop unit (25 takeaways) making many more plays than languishing Card defense (allowed at least 38 points in 4 of last 5).

Alabama 27 - MISSISSIPPI 26--Bama has played in 4 straight tightly-contested games (Houston was threatening to tie in final minute week ago), so will support a more competitive Ole Miss squad that's covered 4 straight as SEC dog in Oxford. Rebels productive QB Adams (61%, 8 TDs, just 4 ints.), who has an additional key target with now-healthy, big-play soph WR McCluster (3 catches for 48 yds. vs. La Tech), should have time to do this thing vs. Tide "D" that's recorded an SEC-low 5 sacks.

Georgia 34 - VANDERBILT 21--Both squads off disappointing losses, but have much more trust in revenge-minded UGA (see Looking for an Angle) to bounce back as conference visitors, where poised Dawgs are now 23-4 SU last 27. Big QB edge to UGA versatile triggerman Stafford (58%, 7 TDs, 3 ints.) over Vandy QB Nickson (5 of 16 vs. Auburn), whose confidence has been shaken following early benching vs. Tigers. 'Dores not stepping up vs. SEC upper division so far, getting outscored 44-3 by halftime in Bama & Auburn setbacks.

Toledo 28 - BUFFALO 27--Buffalo victories are rare. But improved Bulls already have two MAC wins TY (albeit one of them at Temple), and Toledo's defensive unit (43 ppg) is just as dubious as UB's. Rockets have turned to 6-3 true frosh QB D.J. Lenehan (2 ints. last week vs. Liberty). But not sure Bulls ready yet to lay points.

KANSAS 46 - Baylor 14--Versatile, determined KU (4-0 vs. spread) fought through a few mistakes to win at K-State and now needs one more victory to reach 6-0 after going 6-6 LY and being snubbed by bowls. Powerful FB/TB McAnderson keeping defenses honest while fiery 5-11 QB Reesing generates FDs & TDs. All-Big XII CB Talib now has 4 TDC at WR! Bears 1-6 last 7 as road dog.

New Mexico 22 - WYOMING 21--With NM's crafty HC Rocky Long reportedly adding a few wrinkles during bye week, points worth taking with combative Lobo squad that's covered 19 of past 28 in underdog role. NM's effective QB Porterie (66%, 7 TDs, 3 ints), workhorse RB Ferguson (560 YR in 125 tries; 8 TDs) & sure-handed WRs M. Smith & T. Brown (combined 75 catches) can trade all the way in what has recently been a hotly-contested MWC battle (last 3 decided by 4, 3, & 7 pts.).

Tennessee 31 - MISSISSIPPI STATE 16--Now that talented but young UT defense played fast and smart in resounding 35-14 romp vs. Georgia (held Dawgs to just 243 yds., 1 meaningful TD), won't hesitate to buck offensively-limited MSU squad lacking much stability at QB with true frosh Carroll (just 93 YP vs. UAB), seeing action due to injury to Henig (see Special Ticker). Vols sizzling sr. QB Ainge (66%, 10 TDs, just 2 ints., 282 ypg passing) and deep RB stable does plenty of business vs. aggressive, but overworked Bulldog defense that yielded 83 combined pts. vs. LSU & South Carolina. (DNP...SR: Tennessee 26-15-1)

MIAMI-OHIO 31 - Bowling Green 24--Miami has won and covered 6 of last 7 in this series, and RedHawk defense has yielded just 2 TDs in 2 MAC games this season. Bowling Green's "D" has allowed 32 ppg, including 35 to Temple. Falcon attack ranks 6th in passing, but QB Tyler Sheehan's 5 ints. at BC showed the soph still hasn't fully matured.

UTAH 34 - San Diego State 16--We've seen these false alarms from SDSU before, so we're not going to bite on Aztec bait just yet after win over snakebit Colorado State. Not convinced Chuck Long's bullet-riddled "D" has cured its sloppy-tackling tendencies, and worth noting that Utah "O" finally looking as advertised in preseason with QB B. Johnson now healthy and RB Mack (295 YR last 2) emerging as infantry diversion.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 37 - Army 20--Credit resilient Army for finding way to muster 2 straight home wins despite little help from its punchless offense. However, Black Knights' luck figures to run out at Mount Pleasant, where host CMU is 9-0-1 vs. spread its last 10. Chips' super soph QB LeFevour (5 TDP, 146 YR at Ball State last week) hitting his stride under new HC Butch Jones. (05-Central Michigan -2 14-10...SR: Central Michigan 1-0)

HOUSTON 37 - Rice 21--Cougars stepping way down in class after admirable effort at Alabama. Cross-town rival Rice notched its 1st victory of season last week at Southern Miss, with help from seven turnovers by host. How long can sputtering Owl offense (just 67 YP vs. Eagles!) trade with potent Houston attack? Rice ground game got boost from true frosh RB Hill (100 YR, including 54-yard TD) in win over USM.

OREGON 44 - Washington State 20--Acknowledge Wazzu's sell-out effort last week vs. ASU, but not sure Cougs can dig deep again after emptying chamber in another losing effort. Besides, Bill Doba's blitz packages that flustered Sun Devil QB Carpenter aren't likely to work vs. UO's mobile Dennis Dixon, and shudder to think what damage Ducks' spread option can cause vs. burnable WSU "D" that's allowing 46 ppg on road.

Wisconsin 24 - PENN STATE 19--Look for Wisconsin to rebound from loss at Illinois (and end of 14-game winning streak) with a resolute effort facing Penn State squad that's only had success against flawed or injured teams this season. PSU QB Morelli has thrown 5 ints. in last 2 games, while counterpart Tyler Donovan threw for 392 yds. at Illinois last Saturday. Expect Badger RB P.J. Hill to be ready, and he & vet Wisconsin OL should have some success vs. grudging Nittany Lion defense. TV--ABC

NEBRASKA 31 - Oklahoma State 30--Husker offense quite competitive, but Bill Callahan has not been able to plug the leaks in the NU defense, which last week endured its second 600-yard allowance TY at Missouri. Cowboy offense, powered by WR Adarius Bowman & RB Dantrell Savage, scoring 36 ppg in Big XII play. But OSU's chances better if QB Zac Robinson (check status) able to play.

Texas 32 - IOWA STATE 20--Mack Brown takes on former UT co-defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, now the head man in Ames. Premium talent in short supply at ISU, but Longhorns' youth in secondary & OL, plus some absences at WR, making things tougher TY for Colt McCoy (10 TDs, 10 ints.). The Bass/Scales RB duo easing a bit of pressure on sr. QB Cylcone QB Meyer.

Illinois 27 - IOWA 17--Must check health status of Illinois offensive cogs QB Juice Williams & WR Rejus Benn, but still comfortable backing resurgent Illini. Few teams have as many injury problems as Iowa, and stodgy Hawkeyes are at a distinct speed disadvantage. Iowa defense starting to crack, as Hawkeyes have yielded 65 points vs. Indiana & Penn State after giving up just 35 in first four. Illini HC Zook holding better cards.

Boston College 35 - NOTRE DAME 14--Although we can't confirm the rumor that the Pope has switched his allegiance to BC, we can confirm that ND is going to facing a lot more vs. Eagles than it did vs. crippled UCLA, which was down to a walk-on 3rd-string QB last week in Pasadena. That's not the case vs. BC's NFL-bound sr. QB Ryan, who should move vs. Irish defense, as did most competent foes in first month of season. And training wheels still on Charlie Weis' "O" that still can't throw downfield with much consistency. TV--NBC

Western Michigan 25 - NORTHERN ILLINOIS 24--Mustering just 25 points in losses to C. Michigan & Temple the last two weeks an indication of Northern Illinois' trouble in the red zone. Husky RB Justin Anderson has run for 163 ypg the last 4, but NIU has won just one. WMU lost to Akron on an 89-yard free-kick return on final play last week, and recent defensive shortcomings just what Huskies (4-0 last 4 as home dog) need.

Tcu 27 - STANFORD 19--Okay, we know Jim Harbaugh motivated his Stanford team to play waaaay over its head vs. USC. But it might be a bigger challenge to get Cardinal ready for an encore after monumental upset over Trojans. And, while Stanford celebrating, TCU seething after another narrow defeat (at Wyo). Frog "O" buoyed by return of RB A. Brown, and let's see how Cardinal OL deals with TCU's ravenous blitzers. (FIRST MEETING)

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CALIFORNIA 41 - Oregon State 20--Guessing which OSU team shows is up about as tricky as predicting who will shine at next GOP presidential debate. But since Beavers (23 TOs!) still apt to self-destruct at any moment, would rather trust Jeff Tedford's potent Cal attack that can burn overagressive OSU "D" and make Beavs pay dearly if they lapse into giveaway mode. Banged-up Bear "D" in better shape after bye week, too.

Fresno State 30 - IDAHO 23--Tempted with Fresno now that frosh RB Matthews (167 YR at Nevada) has emerged. And Idaho likely again going with little-used 5th-yr. sr. QB Nooy (only 8 completions at SJSU) while starter Enderle heals hand injury. But slashing RB D. Jackson has returned to Vandal lineup, and clever HC Akey's scheming kept Idaho competitive vs. more-potent foes than Bulldogs in September.

Air Force 27 - COLORADO STATE 22--Never mind that CSU probably the "best 0-5 team" in country. Rams (on 12-game losing streak!) have forgotten how to win, and some MWC sources now wondering how long it will be before Sonny Lubick announces retirement. With QB Hanie absorbing weekly beatings, doubt Rams can outscore resourceful AFA bunch that rediscovered RB Hall (169 YR) in win over UNLV.

*AKRON 26 - Temple 21--Though Akron buoyed by near miraculous 39-38 comeback win at Western Michigan (Zips scored final 16 pts. in last 4:54, including 89-yd. free kick return on final play!), still prefer to "take" with equally excited Temple squad that snapped 8-game losing streak in last-minute 17-15 upset win vs. Northern Illinois. Owls strong-armed, fiery jr. QB DiMichele (former Toronto Blue Jay draftee has 561 YP last 2 games) can burn zipless Zip defense that's permitted 1806 yds. last 4 games. Hootin' Owls are 7-1 vs. spread last 8 vs. MAC teams. (DNP...SR: Temple 9-7)

*Lsu 31 - KENTUCKY 16--LSU coming off incredibly draining 28-24 comeback victory vs. Florida, but don't foresee any letdown, especially with shocking Southern Cal upset putting undisputed No. 1 Tigers in driver's seat for BCS title game. LSU's formidable RB trio of Hester, K. Williams & blazing soph Holliday (combined 185 YR vs. tough Florida front 7) will allow versatile QB Flynn to work play-action vs. ill-equipped UK stop unit (11th in SEC run defense, 5 ypc). Wildcats all-star QB Woodson, who made several key mistakes in South Carolina loss, won't "fix it" vs. stifling LSU defense (6.4 ppg, 1.3 ypc, 18 sacks, 41% allowed, 10 ints., 1 TD).

*Auburn 27 - ARKANSAS 19--Compelled to go with revenge-minded Auburn squad that has won 12 of its last 13 on SEC road. Tigers have cleaned up their mistakes (only 3 giveaways in last 3 weeks). And with steadier QB Cox benefiting from return of unsuspended star RB Lester (77 YR vs. Vandy), Auburn outscores strong, but one-dimensional Hog attack, led by unreliable QB Dick. Fast, swarming Auburn front (3.2 ypc) atones for unusually-poor effort vs. Ark. LY (gave up season-high 279 YR).

*UAB 24 - Tulane 23--Poor pointspread role for UAB (just 3-10-1 as favorite since 2005) under former HC Watson Brown, although Blazers have quietly covered 3 straight (all as big underdog) for new mentor Callaway (former Georgia o.c.). Tulane has veteran DL & best weapon on field in sr. RB Forte (578 YR in last 3 games). Green Wave's green soph QB Scelfo had just 154 YP, no TDP last week at Army, however.

*Connecticut 21 - VIRGINIA 20--Check status of UVa RB Peerman, who was ACC's leading rusher prior to hurting his foot in 1st Q at Middle Tennessee. Even if Peerman available, favor fundamentally-sound UConn (just 1 TO in each of first 5 games). Huskies have extra week of prep, patient leadership at QB with juco Lorenzen, two quality RBs in sophs D. Brown & Dixon, and a solid defense. Upset no big surprise. (FIRST MEETING)

*LOUISIANA TECH 24 - New Mexico State 23--With NMS's prolific QB Holbrook (check status) hampered by nagging rib injury, favor defensively-tougher La Tech squad thrilled to be back in Ruston following challenging 3-game road trip. Bulldogs competent QB Champion should perform like one vs. yielding Aggie defense (41 ppg).

*TULSA 48 - Marshall 27--True, Tulsa's defense (47 ppg last 4!) very vulnerable. But so is Marshall's young, depth-shy stop unit. So, compelled to lay points with more dynamic Hurricane & consistently-productive sr. QB P. Smith (1827 YP & 15 TDP on 62% in first 5 games). Visiting Herd just 2 covers in last 20 away from Huntington! (FIRST MEETING)

*MICHIGAN STATE 27 - Indiana 26--Indiana attack developing rapidly, as QB Kellen Lewis taking advantage of emerging sophs Ray Fisher (9 recs., 106 yds. vs. Minny) & Bryan Payton (13 carries, 90 yds., 3 rush TDs vs. Gophers) to augment Hoosier attack. Lewis & WR James Hardy tormented MSU defense last season, as Lewis had a season-high 5 TD passes (4 to Hardy) in 46-21 upset. Spartan defense has failed last two games, so take any points with improved Hoosiers.

*TEXAS TECH 41 - Texas A&M 27--Bigger--but slower--A&M has had its problems lately with TT, as Red Raiders are 11-2 vs. spread last 13 in series, including 6-0 in Lubbock! And QB Harrell (28 TDP) and RS frosh WR Crabtree (17 TDC already!) on record-breaking pace! Aggies will try to control ball with QB McGee & bruising RB J. Lane (10 TDR), but TT defense tends to rise up in this rivalry.

*OKLAHOMA 31 - Missouri 27--OU's defense has sprung a few leaks last three games, giving up 354 YP and 21 points at Tulsa, blowing a 24-7 lead at Colorado, and allowing 324 YP vs. Texas. Thus, will side with 5-0 Missouri and Tigers' versatile spread offense, as TEs Rucker & Coffman (62 combined recs.) ever so reliable, and speedy RS frosh Maclin helping QB Daniel both his rushing and receiving.

*KANSAS STATE 31 - Colorado 23--It's obvious there is some coaching (and QBing) going on at Colorado. But host K-State will be pretty much dead in the Big XII North if it loses a second straight division game at home. It turned out the Buffaloes had things easy in last week's 43-23 win at porous Baylor. Not so vs. determined, defensively-tougher K-State with OLB/DE I. Campbell pressuring QB.

*SOUTHERN MISS 33 - Smu 19--Eagles kicking themselves for handing previously-winless Rice 7 turnovers (and a victory) at Hattiesburg last week. As long as USM offense avoids repeat of that suicidal performance, host's defensive superiority should be decisive factor in this matchup. Star Eagle soph RB Fletcher will run wild vs. swiss-cheese SMU stop unit (allowed 31+ points & 500+ yards in 4 of 5 games). (FIRST MEETING)

*SOUTH FLORIDA 35 - Ucf 17--Following emotional, upset win over West Virginia, not surprised by USF's ho-hum victory at lightly-regarded Florida Atlantic. But Bulls will summon another rip-snortin' effort against shellshocked cross-state rival UCF, which gave up 28 points in mistake-filled 3rd Q during loss at E. Carolina. Huge defensive edge for host USF, which has covered 6 of last 7 in front of burgeoning Tampa faithful.

*UTEP 45 - East Carolina 40--An extra scoreboard might be needed to keep track of tally in this one, as UTEP & ECU have peppered their last 2 foes with a combined 185 points! Miners have more YR in last 3 games than all of LY, so no surprise if rapidly-maturing RS frosh QB Vittatoe leads host to another heart-stopping win. (FIRST MEETING)

*Byu 27 - UNLV 22--Maybe Wayne Newton will last longer on "Dancing with the Stars" than UNLV in the MWC race. But regional sources insist Rebs worth another look back at Sam Boyd Stadium, where they've provided good value as dog (8-4 last 12 in role). UNLV "D" sturdier than last two versions torched by better BYU attacks, and RB Summers (another 100 YR at Air Force) balancing Mike Sanford's Shotgun Spread.

*ARIZONA STATE 31 - Washington 13--Although RS frosh QB Locker providing uplift for U-Dub program, he's still a work in progress, and other elements of Husky attack (especially 100th-ranked passing game) not keeping pace. So trading points with Dennis Erickson's more refined ASU "O" could prove problematic. Note Sun Devils' 11-2 mark last 13 laying DDs at Tempe.

SOUTHERN CAL 33 - Arizona 17--We're tempted to call Dr. Phil for help in this one, with Arizona continuing to display schizo tendencies, and SC's frame of mind hard to gauge after historic upset loss vs. Stanford. But continuing sloppiness and possible absence of QB Booty (little-used backup Sanchez likely to start) makes Trojan recommendation dicey. Past Mike Stoops Cat teams have played SC tough, and Pete Carroll's defensive schemes should allow "Air Zona" spread to dink effectively. TV-ABC


*ARKANSAS STATE 28 - La.-Lafayette 24--Sun Belt opposition not blinking at sight of ASU just because Indians played Texas and Tennessee tough. And now that ASU "D" springing leaks, ULL's potent infantry (with RB Fenroy back in action) can keep Ragin' Cajuns within earshot.

*La.-Monroe 30 - NORTH TEXAS 29--Look out for ULM's "Tazmanian Devil" (RB Taz Dawson 100+ YR first five of '07), who could damage suspect UNT front 7. But Todd Dodge's Mean Green spread offense proving it can do business vs. Sun Belt defenses, and road chalk unfamiliar territory for Warhawks.

*Middle Tennessee State 29 - MEMPHIS 27--Blue Raider offense getting big spark from athletic true frosh QB Dasher, who was recruited by much higher-profile programs as a DB. And MTS defense (allowing just 16 ppg in last 3) hanging tough. Memphis owns only 2 SU wins over Bowl Subdivision teams in last 1+ seasons.


*BOISE STATE 51 - Nevada 13--Wouldn't blame Nevada HC Ault for diverting team charter away from Boise after Wolf Pack has taken its lumps vs. Broncos (and how, losing and failing to cover last 7 meetings, never closer than 31!). And now Ault breaking in a new triggerman (soph Kaepernick) after QB Graziano was KO'd vs. Fresno. Do you think Ian Johnson is licking his chops for shot at bottom-ranked Nevada rush "D?" CABLE TV--ESPN


PURDUE by 6 over Michigan

WISCONSIN by 5 over Penn State

AUBURN by 8 over Arkansas

BOISE STATE by 38 over Nevada (Sun., Oct. 14)

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GEORGIA over Vanderbilt RATING: 1
PENN STATE over Wisconsin RATING: 1
KANSAS over Baylor RATING: 3
COLORADO over Kansas State RATING: 4
WAKE FOREST over Florida State RATING: 4
CINCINNATI over Louisville RATING: 5

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Power - Sweep

4* BYU (over UNLV)

3* Colorado State (overAir Force)

3* Memphis (over Middle Tennessee)

2* Texas (over Iowa St.)

2* Louisville (over Cincinnati)

2* LSU (over Kentucky)

UNDERDOG PLAY-O-THE WEEK :Mississippi St. +7.5 (over Tennessee)


Penn St. by 10.4 over Wisconsin dif. 4.9

Boston College by 7.3 over Notre Dame dif. 6.2

Oklahoma by 14.6 over Missouri dif. 5.6

Memphis by 8.1 over Tennesse dif. 4.0

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  Winning Points

Here’s what can happen when you are trying to turn a program around, as Butch
Davis is at Chapel Hill – just when you would like to have a breather so that the
kids can celebrate a major upset, you end up facing the wrong team at the wrong
time. Considering how gassed the Tar Heels looked in the second half last week,
when a 27-0 halftime lead nearly got away vs. Miami, and that this is the seventh
straight week without a bye, getting fresh both physically and mentally becomes a
problem. There are no such issues for South Carolina, which not only has a couple
of extra days to prepare, but also brings a much better focus than this line is
accounting for in a non-conference game. Steve Spurrier is trying to declare North
Carolina “his”, in terms of recruiting, a territory he will badly need if his program
is to compete with the S.E.C. elite. There are 17 players in the South Carolina programfrom the northern neighbor state, including three starters, and there were
eight players signed in last year’s recruiting class. On the field it means a chance for
that outstanding pass defense to frustrate young Tar Heel QB T. J. Yates, and as
each week goes by look for Chris Snelley to get more comfortable in the Gamecock
schemes, and for the passing game to continue to open up. We can already see the
potential that is there, with 709 yards passing and five TD throws in less than 10
quarters since replacing Blake Mitchell vs. L.S.U., and a young Tar Heel defense
can certainly be exploited. SOUTH CAROLINA 37-10.

It is rare that we ever have a BEST BET turn out to be as dead of a clunker as the
performance turned in by Georgia last week, when the Bulldogs were taken apart
from the opening snap by a Tennessee team playing its best game of the season. But
there was a silver lining to that black cloud, however, and it is the ability to come
right back here in a favorable price range. Now we get a talented team with a lot
of pride that can bounce back with a vengeance with two prime motivators – the
desire to eliminate the bad taste of that dismal showing in Knoxville, and also the
fact that they will spend the early part of the week against being haunted by films
of a 24-22 upset loss that they suffered between the hedges vs. Vanderbilt last year.
They will also bring that fire to the line of scrimmage to take advantage of a
Commodore team that will have had its confidence shaken badly in that early surrender at Auburn, when it was 28-0 in the second quarter and they never did put
up a fight. While Bobby Johnson has his most experienced team there is still that
problem of a lack of playmakers on offense, and in their first two S.E.C. step-up
games this season they could manage only 17 points and 453 yards combined in
falling to Alabama and Auburn. That was despite catching those opponents in
much different settings than this one (remember that Auburn was in that post-
Florida letdown mode on Saturday), and in a rare case of having to take the best
punch from a superior opponent their glass jaw will show. GEORGIA 37-13.

Virginia Tech over Duke* by 2
The fact that Duke has opened 3-0 ATS in A.C.C. play will not impress anyone;
it will be dismissed as the oddsmakers setting the numbers so high because of their
ineptitude. But that 3-0 run has come by 23.5 points, or more than a full TD per
game, and for once there really is a playmaker to build around – QB Thaddeus
Lewis. All he has done so far is throw for 1,505 yards and 15 TD’s, with five of
those scoring strikes coming from 40 yards or more, and he is only going to get
better as he gains more confidence, and more experience at reading defenses. Now
we are once again going to see a line that is far too high in a league game, with
Virginia Tech carrying far too high of a valuation for an offense that simply can not
get untracked. In their first two A.C.C. outings they could only muster a combined
20 first downs and 460 yards, and if not for five touchdowns from the special
teams and defense the last three weeks that unit would be even more fully
exposed. But sometimes scoreboards mislead. VIRGINIA TECH 26-24.

Oregon* over Washington State by 28
With Bill Doba’s depleted Cougar defense having allowed an average of 45.7 points
and 520.7 yards in going 0-3 SU and ATS on the road, what would be the last
thing that he wants this week? How about: 1. Going on the road to face one of the
most explosive offenses in the country; and 2. Having that offense playing not only
with extra physical freshness following a bye week, but also with a prime revenge
motive to get their passions stimulated as well? Unfortunately for Doba, in what is
likely his last trip to Eugene as the Washington State head coach, that is exactly the
scenario here. The Oregon offense has been unstoppable so far this season except
for the Ducks own mistakes in that bitter 31-24 loss to Cal two weeks ago (they
turned the ball over four times, including that frustrating fumble at the goal line
in the closing moments), and if the execution is as crisp as we expect they may
weave up and down the field like a basketball fast break here. There just is not anything that the Cougar defense can do about it. OREGON 48-20.

South Florida* over Central Florida by 2
Oh how they are dreaming in Tampa right now, with the Bulls suddenly moved
way up among the nation’s elite in the latest polls, and with a schedule ahead that
actually makes a run at the BCS Title game absolutely in play. But first things first.
This is still only a good, not great, team, and the burden of high expectations can
creates something that is too much for this class too deal with. And speaking of too
much, we have this week’s pointspread. The bottom line is that regardless of where
the polls show the favorite, the talent gap is not all that wide between these programs.And while the favorite is over-rated the underdog is every bit as much an
under-rated item, having to play through a -10 turnover ratio the last three games
that has colored the Golden Knight scoreboards in the wrong hue (like losing at
East Carolina despite leading by 13 first downs and 119 yards). With Kevin Smith
operating behind that solid OL to dictate a slow tempo, it will not be a surprise if
this one goes right down to the final drive. SOUTH FLORIDA 23-21.

Brigham Young over U.N.L.V.* by 21
We have always maintained that bad teams are even worse than they appear to be,
largely because the opposition will take them lightly, using such games as a week
to coast a bit. As such, when we do find the rare setting in which the superior team
is going to bring its “A” game against a weaker opponent, we have a great opportunity to step in. This is one of those games. The key for us from a value standpointis that the Rebels have turned in some decent performances this season,
which helps to keep this line low. And from a focus standpoint some of those
efforts help to get Brigham Young’s attention – the Cougars will be the first team
to play at Sam Boyd Stadium since Utah was shutout 27-0, which certainly has
them forewarned. But the real key is that they will be preparing for U.N.L.V. perhaps
as well as any opponent all season; having had two full weeks to gear up, and
with only a home game vs. Eastern Washington on deck, they can bring a game
plan that will exploit every one of the many Rebel weaknesses. B.Y.U. 35-14.

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OREGON 55 - Washington State 20 - (3:30 EDT) -- Line opened at Oregon minus 17, and is now minus 17½. How about the Ducks moving up 5 slots in the rankings (#8 in USA, & #9 in AP) despite not even playing last week? Weekly losses among the elites result in such odd actions. But the funny thing is that Oregon is rated even higher than it had been, before its loss to California 2 weeks back. Obviously, the voters recognize the true worth of this squad, despite that slippage vs #2 Cal, in a game which featured 4 killer turnovers. The Ducks are scoring at a 43.6 ppg clip, ranking 4th in rushing. They had last week off, in which to regroup, so note that Oregon is 14-3 ATS, off a bye. Enter the Coogs, with their 102nd rated "D", allowing 42, 47, 48 pts in their 3 road games so far. Revenge, anyone?

Georgia 41 - VANDERBILT 14 - (6:00) -- Line opened at Georgia minus 7, and is still minus 7. Well, the Bulldogs let us down, big time, with their less than stellar showing at Tennessee, in which they came from a 328 RY output, in their rout of OleMiss to a mere 69 RYs vs the Vols. The result was a 11 or 12 place drop in the polls, but still a Top 25 squad, which, not only has all motivation that it needs, due to last year's embarrassment, but is posted as a mere 7-pt chalk. Going back to 1975, the only games in which the Bulldogs were posted as single digit favorites in this series, they've won by the following scores: 30-14, 27-17, 41-3, 35-16, 62-35, 24-13, & 47-3. That's 7-0 ATS, folks, with plenty to spare. Vandy has proven it can't stay with powers, as 10½ & 20½ ATS losses to Alabama & Auburn attest.

Air Force 27 - COLORADO STATE 17 - (5:30) -- Line opened at ColoradoSt minus 3, and is now minus 3½. The Falcons have been a nice surprise over the first half of the season, as their 4 wins match their entire total over the '06 campaign. And it could easily read 5-1, as their loss to Navy a couple of weeks back, saw the 'Force with an impressively balanced 237 RYs & 237 PYs, along with a 25-18 FD edge. And balance has hardly been the Falcons' trademark over the years. They punted just twice in their win over a very competitive UNLV squad a week ago, with Hall's 169 RYs representing the most by a Falcon RB in 16 years. The Rams are in off managing only 16 FDs vs the nation's 118th rated defense.

Rutgers 41 - SYRACUSE 13 - (12:00) -- Line opened at Rutgers minus 15½, and is now minus 16½. Two weeks ago, the Orange shocked the football world, with their upset of Louisville, as 37-pt underdogs. Thus, the faithful dared hope that their nightmare could possibly be over. But it wasn't to be. The 'Cuse followed that one with an absolute clunker at Miami-Ohio, in which they managed only 66 RYs, & but for the grace of Miami's self-destructive tendencies, only a 3-pt Syracuse loss. Then entirely back to normal in last week's 55-14 home loss to WVa. Sure, the Knights have underachieved thus far, but check a 69-15 scoring edge in their last 2 vs the 'Cuse. Orange: a 138-46 pt deficit at home this year.

Purdue 31 - MICHIGAN 30 - (12:00) -- Line opened at Michigan minus 4½, and is now minus 5½. As we wrote a week ago, the Boilermakers would find the going a bit rough vs OhioSt's rock of a defense, & surely proved out, as they were held scoreless by the Bucks, until the final 10 seconds. But only top-ranked LSU has higher rated "D" than OhioSt, so the woes of Purdue's Painter (23rd rated passer with 17 TDs & only 3 INTs) & Co were pretty much expected. But not so this week, as the Wolves of Michigan rank 48th, 40th, & 45th in rushing, passing, & total defense. The visitor is a solid 10-1-1 ATS in games involving theBoilers, as well as 24-11 ATS in Wolverine contests. Call the upset in scoreboard lighter.

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5* TCU over Stanford by 16
4* Indiana over Michigan State by 10
3* South Carolina over North Carolina by 14

UPSET OF WEEK: Iowa over Illinois by 7

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Re: Saturday Service Consensus Reports


Purdue (5-1, 2-2 ATS) at Michigan (4-2, 2-3 ATS)

Purdue looks to regroup from its first loss of the season when it visits the Big House for a Big Ten clash with suddenly surging Michigan.

The Boilermakers were outclassed in every conceivable way in Saturday night’s 23-7 home loss to Ohio State, failing to cover as a seven-point home underdog. The Boilermakers passed for 268 yards, but on 60 attempts, they were held to 4 net rushing yards on 17 carries, and they didn’t get on the scoreboard until 10 seconds were left in the game.

Playing without several key players who were suspended, Michigan ran its winning streak to four with last week’s sluggish 33-22 victory over Eastern Michigan. The Wolverines came up way short as a 29½-point favorite despite rolling up 459 yards of total offense and forcing four turnovers.

The Wolverines have defeated Purdue four straight times overall and 16 consecutive times in Ann Arbor, and they’re 5-1 ATS against Joe Tiller since he took over the Boilermakers, including 3-0 ATS at home. In the most recent meeting in 2004, Michigan won 16-14 as a four-point road underdog.

Purdue has been money on the road recently, going 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine as a visitor (4-1 ATS as a road underdog). Conversely, Michigan is just 8-15-1 ATS in its last 24 home games (2-2 this year), but 7-2 ATS in its last nine Big Ten battles.

Despite last week’s near shutout, Purdue is averaging 39 points per game on the season, but Michigan is giving up an average of only 15.7 points in its last three outings.

For Michigan, the under is on runs of 7-2 at home and 9-1 in conference games. For Purdue, the under is on runs of 16-5 in October, 23-8 in conference and 9-3 when playing as an underdog. Finally, each of the last four meetings have stayed under the posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE:               UNDER

Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-3 ATS) at Miami, Fla. (4-2, 2-4 ATS)

Two teams floundering in the ACC meet up in a key league battle at the Orange Bowl, where Miami, Fla., hosts the Yellow Jackets, who hit the road for the third time in the last four weeks.

The Hurricanes traveled to North Carolina as a seven-point favorite last week, but fell behind 27-0 at the half and departed Tobacco Road with a 33-27 loss, snapping a three-game winning streak. Quarterback Kyle Wright threw four interceptions in the defeat.

Georgia Tech followed up an upset win over Clemson with a 28-26 loss at Maryland as a 3 ½-point road chalk. The Yellow Jackets lost despite finishing with a 24-12 edge in first downs and a 484-343 advantage in total offense, including 175-88 on the ground.

Following last week’s upset loss to North Carolina, the Hurricanes are now 5-14 ATS as a favorite since the start of the 2005 season (2-3 ATS in that role this year).

Georgia Tech is on ATS runs of 8-3-1 as a road underdog going and 14-7 as a conference road ‘dog. That includes a 14-10 upset victory as an 18-point underdog at the Orange Bowl in 2005, which the Yellow Jackets followed up with last year’s 30-23 win as a 4½-point home chalk, when they rallied from a 10-0 deficit by forcing four Hurricanes turnovers.

The under is on runs of 22-6 at the Orange Bowl, 10-2 for Miami in conference play, 10-2 for Miami as a favorite and 22-8 for Georgia Tech when playing on grass. Also, the under is 3-1 in the four previous meetings between these schools, with the lone over occurring last year.


Louisville (3-3, 1-4 ATS) at (15) Cincinnati (6-0, 5-0 ATS)

Cincinnati, one of the Big East’s three undefeated teams, puts its perfect record on the line when it entertains struggling Louisville.

Louisville’s first season under new coach Craig Kragthorpe continued its disappointing theme, as the Cardinals fell 44-35 to Utah despite being a 14½-point home favorite. Louisville got destroyed in the trenches, getting out-rushed 260-26, and the Cardinals’ pathetic defense allowed 582 total yards to the Utes.

After four straight blowout non-conference victories to start the season, the Bearcats kicked off Big East play with a 28-23 upset win at Rutgers as a four-point road underdog. Cincinnati’s opportunistic defense forced four turnovers, running its season total to 25, tops in the nation.

Louisville QB Brian Brohm had another strong game in last week’s loss to Utah and he’s now completing 67 percent of his passes for an average of 403 yards per game with 20 TDs and just four INTs. However, this week, he faces a Cincinnati defense that leads the NCAA with 16 INTs.

Brohm won’t be the only competent passer on the field, as Cincinnati QB Benjamin Mauk is connecting on 65 percent of his throws for 207 ypg with 12 TDs and three INTs.

Louisville barely got by the Bearcats last year, winning 23-17 as a 25½-point home favorite. Cincinnati’s spread-cover in that contest snapped its 0-8 ATS slump in this rivalry, with the Bearcats being underdogs in all nine contests.

The Bearcats have been the best pointspread team in the land this year under first-year coach Brian Kelly. In fact, going back to his days with Central Michigan, Kelly is 22-5-2 versus the number since 2005, including 9-0-1 ATS in his last 10 games at home.

Dating to last year, Cincinnati is on a 7-1 ATS run at Nippert Stadium.

Louisville closed out 2006 on a 4-0 ATS run, but is just 1-4 against the number this year (1-1 ATS on the road). However, the Cardinals are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 as a road underdog.

The over is 14-4 in Louisville’s last 18 October games, 7-1-1 in Cincinnati’s last nine overall and 3-0 in the last three series meetings.


(19) Wisconsin (5-1, 1-4 ATS) at Penn State (4-2, 3-3 ATS)

A week after having its 14-game winning streak snapped at Illinois, Wisconsin hits the road once again for another Big Ten showdown, this one against Penn State in State College, Pa.

The Badgers’ porous run defense continued to struggle last week, allowing 289 rushing yards to Illinois in a 31-26 loss. Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan did go 27-for-49 for 392 yards and two TDs, but he also threw two interceptions as the Badgers failed to cover as a 2½-point road underdog, their fourth consecutive non-cover.

Penn State bounced back from consecutive losses to Michigan and Illinois with a 27-7 thrashing of Iowa, covering easily as a nine-point home favorite. The Nittany Lions had 26 first downs to Iowa’s eight, and finished with a 489-194 advantage in total offense, including 256-48 on the ground.

The home team is 3-0 SU and ATS in the last three meetings in this series, including Wisconsin’s 13-3 victory last year as a 6½-point home chalk. In the last battle in State College, the Nittany Lions hammered the Badgers 35-14 as a 13-point favorite. The favorite has gotten the cash in six of the last eight in this rivalry.

Prior to their current 0-4 ATS slump, the Badgers had gone 10-2-1 ATS under second-year coach Brett Bielema. Also, despite last week’s setback, they’re still 7-2-1 ATS as an underdog since 2004.

The under is 9-4 in Penn State’s last 13 overall and 19-7-1 in its last 27 conference tussles.


Oklahoma State (3-3, 3-2 ATS) at Nebraska (4-2, 1-5 ATS)

Nebraska looks to get back on track after an ugly loss at Missouri when it returns to Lincoln, Neb., for a Big 12 home game against Oklahoma State.

The Cornhuskers barely displayed a pulse a week ago at Missouri, giving up 32 first downs and 606 total yards in a 41-6 loss as a six-point underdog, a defeat that sent Bill Callahan’s team plummeting out of the Top 25. Nebraska has now surrendered 40-plus points in three of its last four contests.

Oklahoma State outplayed Texas A&M last week for much of the game, but still came out on the short end of a 24-23 final. The Cowboys, who were very balanced with 259 passing yards and 200 rushing yards, blew a 17-point halftime lead, but still covered as a 6½-point underdog.

The Cowboys cruised to a 41-29 upset win over Nebraska last year as a 5 ½-point home underdog, the first meeting between these conference foes since 2003. Going back to 1998, Oklahoma State is on a 4-1 ATS roll against the Huskers.

Nebraska is mired in an 0-5 ATS slump, including 0-3 ATS at home and 0-3 ATS as a favorite. During the five-game stretch, the Huskers’ defense is yielding a whopping 493 total yards per game.

Oklahoma State is still just 3-11 SU and 5-9 ATS on the highway in coach Mike Gundy’s tenure.

The over is on runs of 27-11 for Oklahoma State in conference games, 8-1 for Oklahoma State in October, 12-2 for Nebraska at home, 7-1 when the Huskers play on artificial turf and 6-2 when the Cowboys play on the fake stuff.


(4) Boston College (6-0, 4-1 ATS) at Notre Dame (1-5, 2-4 ATS)

Having finally picked up its first victory of 2007, Notre Dame now faces the daunting task of facing undefeated and fourth-ranked Boston College in South Bend.

Off to an 0-5 start for the first time in school history, Notre Dame traveled to UCLA last week and produced just 140 total yards of offense. However, the ball-hawking defense forced seven turnovers, helping the Irish to a season-high 20 points in a 20-6 upset win as a 22-point road underdog. The victory snapped a seven-game losing skid that stretched to last November, with all seven losses coming by double digits.

The Eagles improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1942 with last week’s 55-24 beat-down of Bowling Green, cashing as a 20½-point home chalk. The Golden Eagles outrushed Bowling Green 146-64, and while the defense did allow 401 passing yards, they recorded six interceptions.

Boston College has beaten the Irish four consecutive times from 2001-04 (2-2 ATS), including a 24-23 upset as a seven-point road underdog in the most recent battle.

The Eagles’ offense is led by Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Ryan, who is completing 63 percent of his throws for 310 yards per game with 15 TDs and five INTs. Today, Ryan faces a Notre Dame pass defense that ranks sixth in the nation.

The Irish have scored a total of six offensive touchdowns all season and they’re averaging just 186 total yards per game, including 33 rushing ypg. Today, they face a B.C. defense that’s yielding just 49.7 rushing ypg (1.9 yards per carry).

Boston College, which is playing just its second road game of the season and its first as a favorite, went 0-5 ATS as a road chalk last year.

The Irish are 0-3 ATS at home this year and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 at South Bend. On the bright side, Charlie Weis’ squad has followed up an 0-6 ATS slump with back-to-back covers the past two weeks.

The under is 6-1 in Notre Dame’s last seven, but B.C. has topped the total in five of its last six.


Oregon State (3-3, 2-3 ATS) at (2) California (5-0, 3-2 ATS)

Having climbed to the No. 2 spot in the rankings for the first time since 1952, Cal will try to hold its ground there when it takes on Oregon State in a Pac-10 battle in Berkeley, Calif.

While the Golden Bears enjoyed a bye last week following their huge upset of Oregon on Sept. 29, Oregon State got healthy in a big way, pounding Arizona 31-16 as a three-point home chalk. The Beavers controlled the ground game, finishing with a 187-9 rushing edge and the defense forced three turnovers.

This visitor has owned this rivalry in recent years, going 4-0 SU and ATS in the past four meetings. In fact, Oregon State has prevailed in each of its last three trips to Berkeley, including a 23-20 win as a 15-point underdog exactly two years ago.

Cal has been dreadful as a double-digit favorite, going 2-10-1 ATS in its last 13 in that role. However, the Bears did get it done in its most recent game as a big favorite, topping Arizona 45-27 as a 14-point home chalk on Sept. 22.

Both offenses are putting up 400-plus yards per game, but Cal is making the most of its production with 39.4 points per game, compared with the Beavers’ 27.5 ppg average.

The over is 9-2 in Cal’s last 11 at home (2-1 this year), but the under is 7-1 in Oregon State’s last eight on the highway.

ATS ADVANTAGE:               NONE

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(1) LSU (6-0, 3-3 ATS) at (17) Kentucky (5-1, 4-1 ATS)

A week after surviving a serious scare against Florida, top-ranked LSU figures to face another stiff test when it visits Lexington, Ky., for an SEC clash against the Wildcats.

The Tigers needed to convert five fourth-down tries, including two on their final drive of the game, to rally from a 24-14 deficit and top Florida 28-24, failing to cash as a seven-point home chalk. LSU, which trailed the entire game until scoring in the final minute, finished with 391 yards (247 rushing) as it ran its winning streak to 13 in a row.

Kentucky fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 38-23 loss at South Carolina on Oct. 4, coming up short as a four-point road underdog. The Wildcats actually had advantages in first downs (26-18), total yards (384-342) and rushing yards (157-86), but they were done in by four turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns, as they had a six-game winning streak snapped.

LSU crushed Kentucky 49-0 as a 25-point home favorite in 2006. However, Kentucky is 4-2 ATS in the last six meetings since 1998, including 3-0 ATS at home.

Since last year’s blowout loss in Baton Rouge, the Wildcats are 10-2 SU and 9-2 ATS, including 5-1 ATS as an underdog.

Kentucky is on an 11-3-1 ATS roll at home, while LSU is 10-3-1 ATS in its last 14 as a road chalk. However, the Tigers are just 4-9 in their last 13 SEC battles.

The Wildcats actually field the more productive offense, putting up 42.7 points and 474 yards per game, compared with 37.8 points and 432 yards per game for LSU. However, the Tigers have the huge edge on defense, allowing just 9.3 points and 198 yards per contest, as opposed to 24.7 points and 377.7 yards for Kentucky.

The under is 3-1 in the last four meetings that featured a posted total.


(22) Auburn (4-2, 3-3 ATS) at Arkansas (3-2, 1-2 ATS)

With its season back on track, Auburn heads west to Arkansas in a battle of teams tied for second in the SEC West.

Auburn avoided a letdown following its huge win over Florida two weeks ago, jumping out to a 28-0 lead over Vanderbilt last week and cruising to a 35-7 victory as an eight-point home favorite. The Tigers, who have followed up a two-game losing skid with three straight victories, finished with 239 rushing yards.

Arkansas prepped for this contest with a 34-15 rout of Tennessee-Chattanooga in a non-lined contest, which came on the heels of a 66-7 home rout of North Texas. On the downside, the Razorbacks are 0-2 in SEC play, having lost at Alabama (41-38) and at home to Kentucky (42-29).

The Razorbacks snapped a three-game SU and ATS losing skid against Auburn last year, topping the then-No. 2 Tigers 27-10 as a 13½-point underdog. Arkansas had a huge 279-60 advantage in rushing yards.

The underdog is 7-3 ATS in this rivalry, with the Tigers going 2-0 SU and ATS in their last two visits to Fayetteville. Also, the straight-up winner has covered the spread in each of the last six meetings.

Auburn has relished the role of underdog in recent years, going 11-3 ATS since 2002, including five straight spread-covers dating to 2004 (three outright upsets).

Arkansas is mired in a 5-10-2 ATS slump overall, including 1-4 ATS at home.

The Razorbacks have topped the total in all four lined games this year and six of seven dating to late last season. Also, the over is 4-2 in the last six series meetings.

ATS ADVANTAGE:               AUBURN and OVER

Texas A&M (5-1, 2-3 ATS) at Texas Tech (5-1, 3-2 ATS)

Texas A&M puts its 2-0 Big 12 record on the line when it travels to Lubbock, Texas, for a showdown against the streaking Red Raiders.

The Aggies survived a scare against Oklahoma State last week, falling behind 17-0 before rallying for a 24-23 victory, failing to cover as six-point home favorites.

Texas Tech had no trouble with Iowa State last week, opening up a 28-0 lead and rolling to a 42-17 victory to even its conference record at 1-1. The Red Raiders, who have scored at least 42 points in all six games and are averaging 52.5 for the season, had a 489-287 edge in total offense and barely covered as a 24½-point home chalk.

The Red Raiders are 14-4 ATS in the last 18 meetings against Texas A&M, including 5-1 SU and ATS in the last six following last year’s 31-27 win as a three-point road underdog. Also, Texas Tech has won and covered each of the last six meetings in Lubbock, winning by an average of 16 points per game.

The Aggies are just 7-15 ATS on the road since coach Dennis Franchione took over the program prior to the 2003 season. However, they have cashed in five consecutive Big 12 road games.

Texas A&M does all of its damage on the ground (248.5 rushing ypg vs. 167.5 passing ypg), while Texas Tech, as usual, has been more lethal through the air (513 passing ypg vs. 75.5 rushing ypg).

For A&M, the over is on runs of 37-17-2 overall, 17-6 on the road and 7-2-1 as an underdog. Meanwhile, Tech has topped the total in eight of its last 11 overall, including thee of its last four. Finally, the over is 4-1 in the last five series meetings.


(11) Missouri (5-0, 4-0 ATS) at (6) Oklahoma (5-1, 4-2 ATS)

The game of the day comes from Norman, Okla., where No. 11 Missouri puts a seven-game winning streak on the line against sixth-ranked Oklahoma.

Missouri destroyed Nebraska 41-6 as a six-point home favorite last week, piling up 606 yards of total offense, with star QB Chase Daniel doing the bulk of the damage by going 33-for-47 for 401 yards with two TDs and no INTs. The Tigers also had a 195-74 rushing edge.

Oklahoma went off as a 12-point favorite against Texas in last week’s Red River Shootout, but the Sooners were in dogfight the entire day, eventually pulling out a 28-21 victory. The defense allowed 324 passing yards, but Oklahoma had a 170-61 edge on the ground and didn’t commit a turnover while forcing one.

The Tigers’ feature the nation’s fourth-ranked offense, putting up 556.6 yards per game, and they’ve scored at least 38 points in all five victories, averaging 41.8 points per contest.

Oklahoma has been held to 24 and 28 points the last two weeks after scoring 50-plus in each of its first four games. For the season, the Sooners are averaging 49.7 points, 266 rushing yards and 216 passing yards per game. At home, those numbers soar to 61.3 points, 324 rushing yards and 241.3 passing yards per contest.

The Sooners are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings with Missouri, including last year’s 26-10 victory as a one-point road underdog. The Tigers have lost their last four visits to Norman by an average of 28.8 points per game.

Oklahoma has followed up a 12-2-1 ATS run by failing to cover in its last two games. On the bright side, the Sooners are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 home contests. Also, they’ve shown an ability to avoid a Red River Shootout hangover, going 10-1 SU and 8-3 ATS in the last 11 years after playing Texas.

Missouri has covered the number in each of its last seven lined games. However, the Tigers are 1-3 ATS as a road underdog going back to 2005, and they’re 1-6 ATS in their last seven conference road games.

The under is 10-1 in Oklahoma’s last 11 conference games. However, the over is 5-1 in Missouri’s last six.


Colorado (4-2 SU and ATS) at Kansas State (3-2, 3-1 ATS)

With consecutive victories to start the conference season, Colorado sits alone atop the Big 12 North standings heading into today’s showdown against division rival Kansas State.

Following their incredible upset of then-No. 3 Oklahoma on Sept. 29, the Buffaloes were in a prime letdown spot when they traveled to Baylor last week, but they came ready to play, routing the Bears 43-23 as a nine-point road chalk. Colorado, which has already doubled last year’s win total, led 40-9 midway through the third quarter and finished with 465 total yards, though it surrendered 450 yards and got out-rushed 157-55.

Unlike Colorado, Kansas State couldn’t avoid getting bitten by the letdown bug last week, as it followed up a 20-point win at Texas with a 30-24 home loss to rival Kansas as a 3½-point home favorite. The Wildcats actually led 14-7 in the second quarter, but struggled from there and ended up getting outgained 437-363, including 170-53 on the ground.

Kansas State dumped the Buffaloes last year, winning 34-21 as a 3½-point road underdog, snapping a streak in which the home team had gone 4-0 SU and ATS in the series.

Despite last week’s loss to the Jayhawks, the Wildcats are 11-4 ATS at home since 2005 and 7-2 ATS in their last nine as a home favorite. Also, they are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 following a straight-up loss.

Colorado has cashed in each of its last three games overall, but is just 1-6-1 ATS as a road underdog the last two-plus years. Also, despite starting off 2-0 ATS in Big 12 play this year, the Buffs are just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 conference contests.

The over is 4-1 in the last five series meetings and 6-2 in K-State’s last eight overall (2-2 this year). Finally, Colorado had a 4-0 under streak snapped when last week’s game against Baylor flew over the total.


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