Friday Service Plays

Friday Service Plays

THE GOLD SHEET

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL

MICHIGAN STATE (7-5) vs. BOSTON COLLEGE (10-3)

Friday, December 28 Night at Orlando, FL (Grass Field)
TEAM GP SUR PSR PF PA YR YP T-R-P YR YP T-R-P TO DIFF OPR
Mich. St. 12 7-5 7-5 34 27 200 226 53-29-19 134 217 39-19-19 +5 .6 12.0
Bost. Coll. 12 9-3 6-6 29 21 106 340 46-15-27 68 268 31-8-17 +4 .7 11.2
*Michigan State 27 - Boston College 26

–It was a tale of two seasons for Jeff Jagodzinski’s Boston college team, as an 8-0 start and potential BCS bowl fizzled after a 2-3 SU mark down the stretch (1-4 vs. the points). Michigan State, conversely, reversed its recent trend of lateseason fades and turned in two of its best performances of the season in its final two games against bowlbound Purdue & Penn State. The Spartans desperately needed both of those victories in order to secure their first winning record and bowl bid since 2003. MSU first-year HC Mark Dantonio sparked progress in mental toughness and discipline that’s most impressive.The Spartans have excellent offensive balance, running and passing for more than 200 ypg. QB Brian Hoyer threw for 2594 yards & 18 TDs with only 7 ints. this season, while the inside/outside RB combination of Jehuu Caulcrick (813 YR; 21 rushing TDs) & Javon Ringer (1346 YR; 6.0 ypc) balanced the offense. Hoyer’s favorite target is WR Devin Thomas (75 catches, 1226 yds.).The OL features 3 fifth-year seniors, including all-conference T Pete Clifford,and the running game benefited from Dantonio’s revived use of a fullback this season. Defensively, MSU leaves something to be desired, but all-Big Ten fifthyear sr. DE Jonal Saint-Dic had 10 sacks. BC has won 7 straight bowls (covering 6), but this is Jagodzinski’s first postseason as a head coach. The Eagles have fallen from a potential national title shot to a third-tier bowl and can’t help but be disappointed at the way their season finished. BC does own an edge at QB. Eagle sr. Matt Ryan threw for 4258 yards and 28 TDs and is considered one of, if not the, top NFL prospects at his position. However, Ryan is not without flaws, as he threw 12 ints. in BC’s last 6 games. Soph WR Rich Gunnell (58 catches) and jr. Brandon Robinson (53) are productive, and sr. RB Andre Callender paced the team with 72 recs. and ran for 956 yards (4.7 ypc) & 9 scores. The defense led the country against the rush, but overall held foes to only 20 fewer yards per game than Michigan State, as the Eagle pass defense ranked 103rd. Spartan HC Mark Dantonio was in charge at Cincinnati for a bowl win in ‘04,so he knows how to prepare. (DNP...SR: BC 3-1-1)


EMERALD BOWL

MARYLAND (6-6) vs. OREGON STATE (8-4)

Friday, December 28 Night at San Francisco, CA (Grass Field)
TEAM GP SUR PSR PF PA YR YP T-R-P YR YP T-R-P TO DIFF OPR
Maryland 11 5-6 4-7 24 22 141 203 31-23-7 148 223 29-15-12 +9 2.6 9.5
Oregon St.11 7-4 7-4 25 25 166 183 32-21-7 80 232 32-12-17 -2 -1.0 8.4

*Maryland 21 - Oregon State 20
—These teams’ respective 2007 campaigns were both complicated by significant injuries. Oregon State lost its best WR (sr. Sammie Stroughter) early in season, then saw star sr. RB Yvenson Bernard (missed 2 of last 4 games) & top QB soph Sean Canfield (missed last 3) sidelined down stretch. Maryland’s starting QB Jordan Steffy was knocked out of lineup after first month of campaign, but his loss wasn’t as debilitating as the series of injuries that decimated the Terrapin OL.Each squad will be closer to full strength for this game. The steady Bernard (more than 1000 YR in each of last 3 seasons) & the shaky Canfield (8 TDP, 14 ints.) are expected back for the Beavers. Steffy is available for Maryland (although he’s been replaced by cool soph Chris Turner), and, more importantly, the OL has regained some traction (thanks in part to the return of all-ACC sr. G Andrew Crummey). Also, Terp star LB Erin Henderson (122 tackles) is now in much better shape after playing through painful knee & back injuries.Prefer to take points with UM side that appears capable of springing small upset. Turner is a better field general than Canfield and a better passer than OSU’s No. 2 QB, 5-11 soph Lyle Moevao. And the Terps counter Bernard’s ground presence with productive sr. RBs Lance Ball & Keon Lattimore. Also favor “under,” as both teams possess a speedy, hard-hitting defense (Beavers have 42 sacks & rank No. 2 in nation vs. the rush).
(DNP...SR: FIRST MEETING)


TEXAS BOWL

TCU (7-5) vs. HOUSTON (8-4)

Friday, December 28 Night at Houston, TX (Retractable Dom
TEAM GP SUR PSR PF PA YR YP T-R-P YR YP T-R-P TO DIFF OPR
Tcu 12 7-5 5-6 27 19 169 219 37-19-13 109 211 26-12-12 -6 2.1 14.5
HOUSTON11 7-4 4-7 34 32 227 272 49-25-22 151 232 46-19-27 -10 -2.6 18.0

*Tcu 30 - HOUSTON 21—
The two most dominant platoons in this matchup are clearly TCU’s defense & Houston’s offense. Although down a bit from 2006 when it ranked 2nd overall in nation, the Horned Frog stop unit has still limited foes to 19 ppg on 320 ypg this season. Meanwhile, the balanced Cougars are racking up 513 ypg (4th in nation) and have put at least 34 points on scoreboard in 9 of their last 11 games. But, while the TCU defense has been bolstered by return of sr. DE Tommy Blake, a preseason A-A who missed several games earlier in campaign, the Cougars enter this battle without the architect of their prolific attack. Head coach Art Briles has already left for his new job at Baylor, taking co-offensive coordinators Randy Clement & Philip Montgomery with him to Waco. DB coach Chris Thurmond will serve as Houston’s interim mentor for this game. It’s unlikely the Cougars would have been able to run roughshod over the sure-tackling Frogs even if Briles were still around. And now, stripped of its offensive brain trust, doubt UH will do significant damage against a swarming TCU stop unit that has the speed necessary to keep Cougs’ big-play sr. RB Anthony Alridge (2527 YR on 7.5 ypc and 28 TDs last 2 seasons) bottled up.“Under” might also be worth a look, as Frogs’ own youth-laden attack is not a finished product with still-learning RS frosh QB Andy Dalton (10 TDP & 10 ints.) at the trigger.
(04-TCU -6' 34-27...SR: Hou. 13-11)

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THE MAX

Champs Sports Bowl @Orlando, FL

Michigan St vs. Boston College

Current line: Boston College –3½, 56

Rookie head coaches square off here in this ACC – Big Ten challenge. Michigan St head coach Mark Dantonio took over a program that was just mired in mediocrity under John L. Smith over the last few years despite having NFL talent to work with.But Dantonio turned things around instantly as the Spartans improved their offense by 9 points per game and 69 yards per game from a season ago.Their offense is tough to stop as they average over 200 yards on the ground and through the air while scoring 34 points per game on yardage of 426. And that offense did not fall off one bit vs. good competition as the Spartans put up the same numbers vs. the bowl teams they faced. Their defense played well early allowing only 15.5 points per game over the first 4 games, but tailed off by allowing 32.5 points per game over the last 8games.Boston College changed their identity after Tom O’Brien bolted for Raleigh. BC hired former Green Bay offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, and coach Jags hired Steve Logan to be his offensive coordinator. No longer was BC that pounding running team, but instead, they went to being an“explosion team” that aimed for big plays on every down. BC wanted runs of 12 yards or more and passes of 16 yards or more. And they accomplished that with senior QB Matt Ryan. He led the Eagles to 330 passing yards per game on his way to setting numerous school passing records. The running game wasn’t anything special though as they gained just 3.5 yards per rush. Defensively, the Eagles owned the best rush defense in the country allowing a miniscule 68 yards per game on 2.2 yards per rush. Their secondary is very weak ranking 103rd in the country. They gave up over 330 passing yards in 5 of their games with those opponents scoring 28, 17, 24, 27, and 42 points in those games.You have to question the mental state of Boston College as they could have been playing in a BCS bowl had they beat Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game. They were also the #2 team in the country at one point, and a trip to see Mickey was not in their plans. The BC fan base does not travel all that well, so their support will be minimal.On the other hand, Michigan St is excited to be here. Their last bowl game was back in 2003. Compare that to BC playing in their 9th consecutive bowl game, and it’s easy to assume Michigan St wants to be here. This looks like a good match-up for a high scoring game, and we’ll look for this game to go over the total as both passing attacks should put up big numbers.


Texas Bowl @Houston, TX

TCU vs. Houston

Current Line: TCU –3½, 59½

This year’s Texas Bowl is aptly named, and should draw a nice little turnout with two solid instate programs doing battle here. Houston HC Art Briles will not coach the Cougars here, as he leaves for Baylor. Briles turned the UH program around, leading the team to 4 bowl games in his 5 years, after they made only 2 in the previous 15 years. His exciting offense did not skip a beat despite losing Kevin Kolb to the Philadelphia Eagles after last season. This year’s offense. Led by redshirt freshman QB Case Keenum, was the best of Briles’ tenure here, scoring 36 points per game, and ranking 4th in the nation at 513 yards per game. It will be interesting to see how this team, and mainly this high-powered offense responds, as they will be coached by cornerback coach and recruiting coordinator Chris Thurmond for the bowl game.TCU had some injuries to key players early on both sides of the ball early on and that contributed greatly to an unimpressive 4-4 start. However, they got somewhat healthy and finished strong, going 3-1 SU/ATS down the stretch, including a respectable 27-22 loss at BYU, and a 37-0 massacre of New Mexico. The college football coaching carousel has somehow avoided Gary Patterson again thus far,and although it wouldn’t shock me if he was snatched up late in the game, he is, for now, staying put. Patterson’s program is built on defense, and this year is no different, as TCU ranked 16th nationally in total defense (320 ypg) and scoring defense (19ppg). The Horned Frogs held the bowl teams on their schedule to only 4.3 yards per play, anumber surpassed by only USC and Ohio St. By comparison, UH allows 6.0 ypplay to the bowlers on their schedule. This would be an interesting chess match if Art Briles were on the Houston sideline. However, he’s not, and therefore I have to side with TCU. The UH spread offense uses tons of misdirection and specializes in mismatches and getting their playmakers in space. The quarterback looks to the sideline on most plays, and then makes the call. I cannot fathom Keenum getting the same input fromthe sideline now that not only Briles, but BOTH OF HIS OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS are now at Baylor.Patterson and his DC Dick Bumpus will have their rugged defense prepared here, and despite their talent, I’m not sure the Cougars offense will be ableto adjust with their current coaching situation. TCU should improve to 4-2 SU, 4-1-1 ATS in bowls under Patterson. TCU by 11.


Emerald Bowl @San Francisco, CA

Maryland vs. Oregon State

Current Line: OSU–5, 48½

Interesting matchup between a pair of teams that had never given each other a second thought up to now. An Oregon State offensive lineman even claimed he wouldn’t be able to find Maryland on a map. Lyle Moevao, a squatty (5-11, 225 pound) quarterback, won the final three games for the Beavers and even if the frequently intercepted Sean Canfield is healthy, Maevao will get the call here.Veteran running back Yvenson Bernard is the Beavers primary offensive threat, but he had his knee scoped before the Oregon game and is no lock to play here. The physical Beaver offensive line is a strength, and their defense has great speed.Even though Oregon State appears to have gotten stiffed, with Oregon going to the Sun Bowl despite a loss to the Beavers, OSU played in El Paso and didn’t want to go back, so they’re excited to be in this contest. Oregon State was the third place team in the Pac Ten, and that’s certainly more impressive than a mid-level ACC finish by a 6-6 team that was 3-5 in conference play. But Oregon State was fortunate to play both Cal and Oregon when the Bears and Ducks were extremely beat up, and lost to Cincinnati, Arizona State, UCLA, and USC, all by double digits. Maryland was truly devastated byinjuries this season and will be significantly healthier. Like Oregon State, they’re excited to be here, as the players preferred this destination to Charlotte and Boise. Oregon State will have more fan support in this baseball stadium, but crowd noiseshouldn’t be an issue.Ralph Friedgen has been a great developer of quarterbacks over the years (he got a team quarterbacked by Stan Humphries to the Super Bowl, developed Joe Hamilton and George Godsey at Georgia Tech and Shaun Hill here at Maryland) but the Terps have struggled at that position over the past few years. Chris Turner came out of nowhere to be effective at the position after Josh Portis’ suspension for academic dishonesty and Jordan Steffy’s concussion. Turner was effective when he got decent offensive line play, but struggled when the line was injury riddled. Turner is a California native (his dad was the original drummer for Ratt) and will have dozens of people in the stands at this one. Oregon State’s statistical advantages in this game are a big shaky due to catching teams at good times and Maryland’s injuries. With the Terps return to health and Bernard not at 100% for the Beavers we’ll call for the upset. Maryland by 3.

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THE SPORTS MEMO ( 7-1 IN BOWLS THIS YEAR !!)

Boston College -3.5 vs. Michigan State O/U 57 Recommendation: Boston College
Friday, December 28, 5 pm EST (ESPN) Orlando, Fla.

If you combine the team (staring at a major bowl bid almost all season)
and personal disappointments of both BC and senior signal caller
Matt Ryan (didn’t even finish in the Heisman top five), you’d come to
the immediate assumption that this middle of the road bowl game is
not one that they’ll be extremely excited to play in. But this is a blue
collar, upper class laden group with a recent history of cashing tickets
in this very type of bowl contest. In this decade, Boston College
has gone 6-1 ATS in their postseason appearances with all being of
the pre-New Year’s Day variety. Add in the fact that first-year head
coach Jeff Jagodzinski will be very motivated to come away with a
victory in his first bowl appearance and you can see that the group
from Chestnut Hill will likely show up focused. With the motivation and
desire to win being the same from the opposing Michigan State Spartans
and their first-year head coach Mark Dantonio, figure this to be
an early bowl season tilt where everybody goes hard for the full 60
minutes. With the ever important focus factor handicapped as even
and no home field advantage involved, the fundamentals become the
single most important aspect to be examined here. For both defenses,
this will be a tremendous challenge as Michigan State’s well balanced
offense along with BC’s prolific passing attack are very tough to stop.
The Spartans averaged 200.3 rushing yards and 225.9 passing yards
per game this season but the success of the ground attack is absolutely
crucial for them every time they take the field. The rushing tandem
of Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick was sensational this year and
when they’re going well, they help the MSU passing game immensely.
Junior quarterback Brian Hoyer has put together an impressive set of
statistics throwing for 2,594 yards and completing 61.5% of his passes
while throwing a mere seven interceptions. This is however, a run first
team and if the ground game doesn’t produce, this team’s scoreboard
production goes down significantly. That could be an issue in this contest
as Boston College boasts the nation’s No. 1 rushing defense allowing
a mere 68.1 rushing yards per game. They are tough enough
to stand up to Michigan State’s steamroll type of running game and
they swarm to the football very well. Their secondary led by safety
Jamie Silva and shutdown cornerback DeJuan Tribble are opportunistic
playmakers. The Spartans limited wide receiving corps which
features just one dominant target in junior Devin Thomas could find
things exceptionally tough against this group. That won’t be the case
for Matt Ryan and his arsenal of receiving options. The diversity of this
Eagles passing game which can dissect an opponent short, mid range,
or deep, will be a major concern for Michigan State all day. Michigan
State sack artist Jonal Saint-Dic and his running mate at defensive end
Ervin Baldwin (17.5 combined sacks and 32 combined tackles for loss)
are critical to this pass defense which places a heavy burden on freshman
tackle Anthony Castonzo and the Eagles offensive front. Expect
Boston College to have all the answers in this matchup and cover the
short number against the game but outclassed East Lansing bunch.




TCU -3.5 vs. Houston O/U 60 Recommendation: TCU
Friday, December 28, 8 pm EST (NFL Network) Houston, Texas

The numbers Houston put up this season offensively can be quite
intimidating. There is no secret however, the strength of their
schedule and the lack of defense being played by the opposition
had a lot to do with the output. Of the 11 I-A teams Houston faced,
the average total defensive ranking was 94th, with six of those
teams taking up the bottom 19 spots nationally. TCU on the other
hand played a much more respectable slate, facing five defenses
that ranked in the top 50, including four in the top 26. TCU ranks
16th in the nation in total defense and two of Houston’s three
worst games offensively came against 28th ranked Alabama and
62nd ranked Oregon. In those two games, the Cougars were outscored
a combined 78-51. Therefore, while Houston has the weapons
and the system to move the ball, we don’t expect the weekly
40-plus points they were accustomed to putting up within C-USA
to happen. The Horned Frogs once again sported a hefty defense
this season, but it was the lack of offense that kept them from
contending in the Mountain West. After averaging close to 200
yards per game rushing the last five seasons, the Horned Frogs
were left hanging as star running back Aaron Brown spent most of
the season on and off the injury report. With him out, things didn’t
come easy but good news came in the form of sophomore Joseph
Turner (5.2 yards per carry) who closed out the year with a 226-
yard effort against San Diego State. The passing game showed
some signs of promise with a handful of 300-yard games from
freshman Andy Dalton. However, with 121 more rush attempts than
pass, the focus is clear. The key in this game is going to be the
battle of turnovers. In Houston’s four losses, they committed 15.
No coincidence either those games featured three of the top four
defenses Houston faced. TCU isn’t statistically dominant at taking
the ball away, but again, this is a quality of defense the Cougars
have seen little of. Another key stat to look at with both these
teams is offensive and defensive red zone production. Houston
allowed a ridiculously high 76% touchdown rate when opponents
were inside the 20. TCU allowed touchdowns just 44% of the time
when in the red zone. Those stats tell us Houston is likely to settle
for more FGs than the customary TD they had such an easy time
converting on playing the weak defenses of C-USA. And while TCU
is no great shakes with the ball, they averaged 32.6 points per
game their last six contests facing defenses than almost all had
more prowess than what they’ll see against Houston. We’ll also
address former head coach Art Briles leaving his post to take
the less than sexy Baylor gig. While we don’t always agree that
a coach leaving has an impact, it is one more negative aspect to
what once was a bright season prior to the devastating 56-7 loss
to Tulsa –- which kept Houston out of the conference championship
game. Defense rules the day in this one as TCU makes scoring
a lot tougher on Houston than in games past. We’ll lay the points




Maryland vs. Oregon State -4 O/U 48 Recommendation: Oregon State
Friday, December 28, 8:30 pm EST (ESPN) San Francisco, Calif.

6-6 record or not, the Maryland Terrapins came way with some impressive
performances in 2007. They won at then-undefeated Rutgers as a
17.5-point underdog. They backed that up with a win against a respectable
at the time Georgia Tech squad and then closed out the year with
a shutout win at NC State –- a game in which the winner headed to a
bowl and the loser stayed home. All in all, Maryland played nine games
as an underdog and won four of them. Quarterback Chris Turner proved
his worth this year after Jordan Steffy was plagued with injuries. Originally
the back-up’s back-up, Turner managed to complete over 75% of
his passes in two huge wins over Boston College and NC State and gave
the run-oriented Maryland offense some balance. His role in this game
is extremely important given that Oregon State boasts one of the best
rush defenses in the country. Running backs Keon Lattimore and Lance
Ball both tallied 1,500 yards and 25 TDs combined. It was a grind it out
affair on the ground for most of the season as the Terps averaged over 4.1
yards per carry only once this season vs. I-A competition. For the second
straight year, Oregon State quietly put together a solid campaign. The
Beavers endured multiple key injuries but managed to win six of their last
seven SU and ATS. The quarterback situation is up in the air with Sean
Canfield and Lyle Moevao in the mix. Canfield missed the season finale
vs. Oregon with a shoulder injury, but regardless of who plays, the two
combined for a 10-to-20 TD-to-INT ratio making running back Yvenson
Bernard’s health an interesting factor (he is expected to play). Defensively,
we see a huge advantage with OSU’s defensive line. Not only are
they stout at stopping the run, but they can get to the quarterback with
42 sacks on the season. That is bad news for a suspect Maryland offensive
line that allowed 38 sacks. While Maryland did come away with some
marquee victories, the bottom line is they finished the season 6-6, with a
win over I-AA Villanova and just three league wins. The offense as a whole
was marginal at best with national rankings of 65th in rushing, 78th in
passing and 88th in total offense. There were more than enough sub 20-
point performances against the ACC for us to recognize the Terps as a
weak offensive club. Oregon State’s resume was clearly more impressive.
They were outclassed by USC and Cincinnati and had a major letdown vs.
UCLA, but outside of those three games, they were impressive against
teams of better quality than what they’ll face in Maryland. Initial questions
linger, however, as to what type of intensity the Beavers will bring
into this one. The PAC-10’s bowl alignment is notoriously bad and there
has to be a sour taste in heading to the Emerald Bowl after finishing 6-3
in one of the better conferences in the country. To their credit, head coach
Mike Riley has done an excellent job at preparing his squads for postseason
play with a 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS mark. Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen, too, is
well versed in good postseason performances, outscoring his last three
bowl opponents a combined 95-17. Still, the matchup favors the Beavers
who are capable of shutting down the Maryland rushing game and forcing
a first-year quarterback in Turner to make plays he is not accustomed to
making. The line in our opinion is very favorable as we’ll back the Beavers

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NORTHCOAST POWERSWEEPS

BOSTON COLLEGE (10-3) MICHIGAN ST (7-5)
CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL

This will be the 6th meeting and Boston College holds a 3-1-1 SU & 1-1 ATS record. This is BC’s 9thconsecutive bowl game winning 7 in a row SU (6-1 ATS). BC played in the then-Carquest Bowl in ‘94 &defeated Virginia 31-13. Michigan St returns to the post season for the first time S/’03. They are 7-10 SU(5-8 ATS) all-time in bowls and this is their first trip to this bowl. Dantonio is 1-0 SU & ATS in the bowls asa HC with a 32-14 win over Marshall in the ‘04 Ft Worth Bowl. This is Jagodzinski’s first year as a HC &first bowl game. The Eagles have won 10 gms in B2B years for the 1st time in BC history. These 2 havefaced 2 common opp’s TY (BG & ND) and the Eagles outscored those opp’s 41-19 while the Spartans hada 30-16 edge. BC has faced 7 bowl caliber teams (Virginia Tech twice) and outscored those opp’s 27-24and outgained them 436-358. MSU had the tougher overall sked facing 9 bowl caliber teams outscoringthem 34-31 and outgaining them 427-388. MSU has 15,000 alums who live in Florida and should bewell represented as they finished the year winning their last 2 to earn this bid. BC fans are known aspoor travellers. The Eagles are 4-11 ATS as an AF (0-2 TY) while MSU was 3-0 ATS as an AD TY. TheEagles were in the ACC Championship game on Dec 1 while MSU has not played since Nov 17th. BChas 8 seniors and 14 upperclassmen starters while MSU has 10 seniors and 17 upperclassmen.Even though BC finished #2 in the ACC and #14 overall they were still passed up by the Chick-fil-Aand Gator Bowls. This season BC had a lot of “firsts” beginning with a first year coach, 8-0 record forthe first time since 1942, beat Miami for the first time since 1984 and won their division & played in theACC Championship game for the first time. They can send the seniors out with just 12 losses in their 4years, the winningest class ever. BC is led by the ACC POY & Unitas Award winner QB Matt Ryan (#3NCAA total pass yds), who broke Doug Flutie’s BC season record for TD passes. RB Callender is notonly the top rusher but leads the teams in rec’s. The OL avg’s 6’6” 292 with 2 senior starters. BC has onlyallowed 19 sks TY (3.1%) but also only avg’d 105 ypg rush (3.6). BC is led by the nation’s #1 rushing Dwhich allowed only 68.2 ypg (2.2). The DL avg 6’3” 274 with just 1 senior starter and the defense posted34 sacks. Herzlich & Dunbar (hampered by sprained ankle) are the top 2 LB’s with a combined 16.5 tfl.BC is #24 in scoring D, however MSU scored 83 pts in the last 2 gms (Purdue & Penn St). The Eagleshave our #63 pass eff D (#33 NCAA) allowing 261 ypg (60%) with a 19-21 ratio. The secondary is ledby Thorpe finalist FS Silva. BC has our #50 sp tms. The loss of LS Jack Geiser (knee) became costly inthe ACC title game when his backup was slow on a couple of snaps and 2 kicks were blocked.The 3rd time may finally be the charm as Mark Dantonio is the third MSU HC hired since NickSaban left. Dantonio brought the Spartans some much needed toughness and discipline and scrappedthe team’s spread to go with a power running game. Luckily Dantonio had the horses to do it as speedyRinger and bruising Caulcrick combined for 2,159 yds and 27 TD’s. QB Hoyer steadily built confidencein his first year as a starter and finished #2 in the B10 in pass eff. WR Thomas went from a little used JCtransfer to the team’s go-to receiver. TE Davis played both ways and finally lived up to his vast potential.The huge OL (6’6” 310 avg) started 5 upperclassmen and paved the way for 4.4 ypc (4.0 in ‘06) althoughthey did allow 30 sks (8.4%). MSU is one of 9 NCAA teams to avg 200 ypg both rushing & passing and is#17 in our off rankings. The Spartans have struggled for years to develop a pass rush but that changedunder ex-DC Dantonio as MSU finished #12 in the NCAA with 37 sks. The DL was anchored by “TheSack Master” DE Saint-Dic who had a league record 8 FF. True frosh LB Jones led the team in tacklesin an impressive debut. The secondary was a weak spot with preseason All Conf FS Wiley benched attimes and MSU playing true frosh and ex-WR’s at CB. MSU finished #79 in pass eff D and #50 in ouroverall defensive rankings. MSU finished #83 in ST’s with KR Thomas (28.1) the lone standout.The line may look surprising with a 10-3 BC team only favored by a FG vs a 7-5 Mich St squad.BC did drop the ACC title game and throughout this entire season they felt they were heading to a BCSbowl. This team lived on TO’s but only had 3 int in the L/6gm of the season and are now without topsackman DL Albright. Michigan St won their L2 both as underdogs and all 5 of MSU’s losses were by7 pts or less with 2 coming in OT. MSU’s emotions are also the polar opposite of BC’s as they thoughtthey were headed to Detroit to play a MAC team and now get a trip to Orlando and Disney World.

FORECAST: MICHIGAN ST (+) 31 Boston College 30 RATING: 2*


TCU (7-5) HOUSTON (8-4)

TEXAS BOWL

This is the 2nd Texas Bowl and the 25th meeting between SWC/CUSA foes who last met in ‘04. UH haslost L/7 (1-6 ATS) in the series. This is TCU’s 2nd trip in 3 years (former Houston Bowl) and their 9th bowltrip in 10 years. This is the Cougars 18th bowl (7-9-1 all-time) but they have not won a bowl game S/’80. HCBriles took the Cougars to 4 bowls in the L5Y but left for the Baylor job and DB cch Chris Thurmond will bethe interim coach as new HC Sumlin will remain with Oklahoma for the bowl. He is considering hiring otherasst’s to help coach in this one as both co-OC’s Montgomery and Clements joined Briles’ staff. TCU clincheda bowl bid battling back from a 17-0 deficit vs SDSt in their finale, turning out the 3rd largest offensive outputin school history. Houston was looking to repeat as CUSA Champs but gothammered by Tulsa 56-7. LY theCougs lost the Liberty Bowl 44-36 (+5) to SCarolina. TCU is 3-3 SU, 3-2-1 ATS under HC Gary Patterson inthe post season. TheCougs faced 4 bowl caliber teams TY going 0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS, outgaining them 440-416but being outscored 43-23 with 3 of those gms being their lowest pt ttls of the yr. TCU took on 5 bowl caliberopps and went 2-3 ATS outscoring foes 21.8-21.6 and outgaining them 344-304. UH went 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATSin bowls under Briles (all as dogs), but this is just a few miles from campus. The Cougs are 5-3 ATS as an AD
(1-2 TY) and 10-5 ATS on grass & have played at Reliant Stadium twice, a 10-7 loss to Rice in ‘04 (-4) and a38-24 loss to Oregon (+7’) in ‘05. TCU was 0-3 TY as an AF and is just 10-18-1. They are however, 19-12-1ATS on grass the L/4Y and 10-7-1 the L/2Y as a fav of a FG or more. The Frogs have 16 upperclassmen (9Sr’s) in the starting lineup. Houston has 9 seniors among their 19 upperclassmen starters.
TCU was the media darling before the ssn, having the Preseason Off and Def POY’s. Unfortunately, DLBlake faced medical probs and never played to his potential (missed parts or all of 5 gms). The Off POY Brownwas inj’d and DNP in 2 of the 1st 3. He returned vs SMU but his production fell as he was bothered by a kneeinj and coaches made the decision to put the ball in RB Turner’s hands. Turner also missed parts of 6 gms butover the L/4 avg’d 109 ypg rush (5.2) inc a career high 226 yd vs SDSt. Brown broke his ankle vs UNLV and willnot be available. After the AF loss, TCU decided to go with the QB who was not turning the ball over.BothQB’sMarcusJacksonand Andy Dalton saw PT, and Patterson was true to his word, as each was pulled after a TO.The OL avg 6’5” 296 with just 1 Sr and has all’d 21 sks (5.1%) and paved the way for 169 ypg (3.8). Overall they finished with our #57 rated off. Hiding in the shadows of Blake for the L/3Y was DL Ortiz (3x 1st Tm MWC), andhe stepped up ranking #28 in the NCAA with 15.5 tfl while leading our #16 def. The D all’d just 109 ypg rush(3.0) and tallied 36 sks. David Roach leads our #8 pass eff D that allows 211 ypg (53%) with a 12-16 ratio. TCUhas our #1 ranked ST’s unit led by PK Chris Manfredini (tied #13 in NCAA in FG’s) and P Derek Wash (#13 net).PR Brian Bonner ranks #18 in the NCAA in PR and the Frogs give up 17.4 ypr on KR and 5.8 ypr on PR.The Cougars have avg’d more than 438 ypg in 4 of the L/5Y. They are one of the most balanced teamsin the NCAA avg 240 ypg on the ground and 273 thru the air. After losing QB Kevin Kolb to the NFL, Brilesinstituted a 2 QB system with rFr Keenum and soph Joseph. Keenum saw a majority of the action down
the stretch and ranks #16 in NCAA in pass eff. WR Avery ranks #4 in the NCAA in ypg rec and has legit4.2 spd. RB Anthony “Quick Six” Alridge is another legit 4.2 guy, finished #13 in NCAA in all-purp yds. TheCougs OL avg 6’3” 291 led by RT Akeroyd and RG Bloesch and have 2 Sr’s on the front line. The OL openedup holes for 240 ypg rush good for #10 in NCAA and the 5.1 ypc are the most S/’99 but they all’d 29 sks
(7.3%). The DL avg just 6’3” 276 led by CUSA sack leader Hunt and the Houston D usually wins the 4Qallowing just 54 pts on the yr. The LB corps is led by the duo of Allen & Lubojasky who help plug holes asHouston allowed 3.9 ypc rush which is its lowest S/’02. The secondary is led by SS Schwartz who missedLY due to inj but has bounced back and leads the team in tkls. SS Kenneth Fontenette has a tm leading 4
int as the Cougs are ranked #47 in our pass eff D all’g 224 ypg (51%) with a 28-13 ratio. Overall the Cougshave our #43 offense, #78 def and #84 ST’s with KR Avery #16 in the NCAA.Houston was thinking CUSA championship but they were mauled vs Tulsa 56-7 and are now dealing withthe mass exodus of their coaching staff to Baylor. TCU recovered after losing both the pressn off & def POY’sfor a period of time and did win 3 of their L/4 with the loss being a cover at bowl bound BYU. This game is aclassic matchup of off vs def and in LY’s bowl TCU held N Ill to just 60 yards of TOTAL off. The Horned Frogs willbattle for next season while the Cougars areplaying for interim coaches and haven’t won a bowl since 1980.

FORECAST: TCU 35 Houston 24 RATING: 2*


OREGON ST (8-4) MARYLAND (6-6)

EMERALD BOWL

This is the 1st meeting and only the 4th time MD has played a P10 tm in school history with only one ina bowl (Aloha Bowl vs Wash ‘82). This will be MD’s 1st bowl in the state of California but they do have 5,000alumni between LA & San Fran. This will be MD’s 5th bowl game in 7 yrs and their 22nd bowl appearance(9-10-2). The Terps have won their L/3 bowl gms, outscoring those opp’s 95-17. Friedgen is 3-1 SU & ATS inbowl gms which is the most wins by any MD coach. LY MD defeated Purdue 24-7 (+1) in the Champ SportsBowl in a game the Terps had a 429-285 yd edge. The Terps have faced 8 bowl caliber tms and were just3-5 SU & ATS, being outscored 27-24. MD is 42-33 ATS on grass under Friedgen. OSU played the tougher
schedule TY (#11-44). After winning 7 of their final 8 LY to earn a Sun Bowl bid (39-38 win over Mizzou),the Beavers continued their 2H surge again TY winning 6 of their L/7 (6-1 ATS) to earn their 7th bowl in 9seasons. OSU has won their last 3 post season trips (2-1 ATS). The Beavers faced 7 bowl caliber teamsand were 3-4 SU & ATS being outscored by an avg of 30-21. OSU has 13 senior starters incl 8 on def givingthem the experience edge as the Terps have 8 senior starters with just 3 on the offensive side of the ball.The Terps outscored their opp’s 25-22 but were outgained 356-351. The Terps’ offense (#53 ranking),which has been decimated by injuries (only 3 players have started all 12 gms), avg’d 424 ypg their final
3 games. QB Turner has been solid since stepping in for Steffy who was inj’d vs Rutgers. RB’s Lattimore(#1 ACC scoring TDs) and Ball became just the 2nd duo in MD history to each post 10+ rush TDs in thesame season. WR Heyward-Bey, a frosh AA in ‘06, leads the Terps in rec’s. OG’s Crummey and Thomaswere out with fractured fibulas, while LT Burley has missed quite a bit of time w/an ankle inj. Crummeydid return for the season finale. MD all’d 38 sks TY (12%, #107 in NCAA). The Terps defense has our #30ranking. The DL avg 6’4” 293 with 2 Sr starters but the defense only has 23 sk, while all’g 137 rush ypg(3.9). LB Henderson led the team in tkl in all but 2 gms despite being hampered by inj the final 7 wks. MD
is +7 in TO’s. They are ranked #70 in our pass eff D all’g 219 (60%) with a 13-12ratio. MD had to replacetheir starting P, K and top KR TY and their only returning specialist, PR Oquendo, was lost prior to the BC
game (knee inj) but they do have the #2 KR def in the NCAA. MD finished with our #48 ST unit.After heavy competition at the QB position during fall camp, HC Riley decided to go with a QBrotation for OSU’s first 2 gms of the ssn. QB Canfield became the full-time starter in wk 3 but struggledwith accuracy issues early throwing a nation leading 13 int through the AZ gm. He then suffered a shldrinj 3 gms later vs USC allowing bkup Moevao to assume starting duties. Moevao was able to guide
OSU to 3 straight wins (3-0 ATS) to end the year and may have earned the starting job for this one(Canfield possibly available). RB Bernard became the #2 all-time rusher in school history after a 3rdconsec 1,000+ yd ssn and should return for the bowl after missing the Civil War with a knee inj. TheWR position took a big blow when standout Stroughter (74 rec, 17.5 in ‘06) took a Med RS forcing truefrosh WR’s Rodgers and Catchings to accept bigger roles behind starters Brown & Powers. The OLavg 6’3” 309 and paved the way for 167 ypg rush (4.1) led by C DeVan & RG Schuening (49 consecstarts). OSU allowed 31 sks TY (7.5%) & finished with our #49 overall offense. The DL avg 6’2” 272with 4 Sr starters. OSU uses a heavy rotation on the line keeping players fresh as they all’d 75 ypg(2.1) on the ground finishing #2 in the nation. The LB spot also consists of 3 senior starters with teamcaptain Doggett leading the way on a tm that finished with the #6 overall def. The secondary finished
#10 in pass eff D allowing 238 ypg (53%) with an 18-20 ratio. Former Groza winner Serna had anotherfine year and after LY’s starting P quit the tm just prior to the ssn, Serna took on double duty for thefirst time since HS. OSU finished with our #86 ST unit.Maryland suffered as much attrition as any team in the country and it showed as they dropped 3 oftheir L/5 games. Five weeks of healing will have this team in the best shape they’ve been in all season.OSU had to adjust to losing their top WR as well as finishing the year with their backup QB. Marylandis the better offensive team while OSU has a shutdown defense. We side with Friedgen’s offense to be
able to dissect the Beavers’ defense. The Fridge has won his L/3 bowls by an avg of 32-6 and shouldget enough out of his defense that is facing a QB unit with a 10-20 ratio.
FORECAST: MARYLAND (+) 23 Oregon State 20 RATING: 3*

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THE SPORTS REPORTER

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL

BEST BET
MICHIGAN STATE over BOSTON COLLEGE by 13

You think BC wanted to go to Disney World after the ACC title game? Not according toEagle linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar who said of the loss to V-Tech, “It’s a setback in terms of this program, our team, and our personal goals.” Other players mentioned how theywanted the Orange Bowl more than they wanted the ACC title. Their consolation prize isa pre-January 1, non-BCS game against a highly motivated team looking for a signaturebowl win. How bad does Michigan State want this? Well, first-year head coachDantonio noted that his program was looking to “earn back respect.” He is going togreat lengths to ensure that his team is prepared. He even cranked up the heat in theirinside practice facility to 82 degrees in an attempt to simulate the heat and humidity ofcentral Florida. He added, “We can’t re-create ideal weather conditions, but we canmaintain an up-tempo practice pace and do additional post-practice running for conditioningpurposes.” On the playing field, Boston College has struggled when they couldn’tprotect all-world QB Matt Ryan. In losses to FSU, Maryland, and V-Tech, Ryan waspressured early and often. Makes sense, given that 75% of their offensive productioncomes via the air. Michigan State ranked 14th in sacks this year with 36, so the fieldgoal favorite will likely be warding off more pressure. As for Dantonio’s offense, theSpartans really get things started with the rushing attack (4.7 ypc), but they do man asolid aerial game as well, which will be key against one of the nation’s best run defenses.That same defense put the offense in good spots by generating turnovers this year– including 21 picks. Bad news for Eagle backers – MSU turned it over only 13 timeson the year – meaning that those short fields may not be there. Sparty certainly will bethere – on the field, in the stands, and in the win column.

MICHIGAN STATE, 30-17.

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WINNING POINTS ( 2-6 IN BOWLS)

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL

MICHIGAN STATE over BOSTON COLLEGE by 2

Since we are still dealing with calendar 2007, and not something with a BCS
moniker attached, the concept of “who wants it more” must be one of the mitigating
factors, and it may well be the strongest factor of all – in a game in which the
favorite does not have a personnel edge over the underdog, give us the points with
a side that will bring a lot more enthusiasm to the table. For Michigan State to get
here in the first season under Mark Dantonio is a major reward, particularly
because the Spartans had to win it on the field. After a draining three-week stretch
in which they lost at Ohio State by seven, at Iowa in double overtime, and then a
bitter 28-24 home defeat vs. Michigan after they led 24-14 in the fourth quarter,
it would have been easy to quite. Instead they Spartans rebounded to win resoundinglyat Purdue the following week, and then rallied from a 17-point deficit to beatPenn State in the finale that not only secured this bid, but creating a great deal ofmomentum to carry over. Boston College can not say the same. In early Novemberthe Eagles were thinking National Cahmpionship, and a Heisman Trophy for MattRyan. In early December they were thinking a BCS bowl. Now they not onlyhave
lost those lofty targets, but also have to regenerate enthusiasm with a shorteramount of time available. While Ryan is special, B. C. did not gain 100 rushingonce against a bowl team this season, and that means a one-dimensional attack thatis easier to defend with the ample prep time that the Spartans have. With a likelyedge in fans as well (there are two-for-one packages being sold for fans from thestate, who canwatch both Michigan State and Michigan over a four day period on
this same field), they win this one outright. MICHIGAN STATE 29-27.


TEXAS BOWL

T.C.U. over HOUSTON by 8

While bowl games are supposed to be rewards for seasons well played, rarely has an
invitation become as much of a dark cloud as it has for Houston. The Cougars do
not get to take any kind of trip, and have been left at the altar not only by head
coach Art Briles, but by co-offensive coordinators Philip Montgomery and Randy
Clements as well, with all three departing for Baylor. That becomes more important
for this program because for Houston the turnaround under Briles was about
wide-open offensive schemes. Now they hang around their dorm rooms waiting for
the Kevin Sumlin era to begin, and despite having outstanding talent in the skill
positions on offense there are major tactical concerns as they face the best defense
they have gone up against all season. It hardly creates a scenario conducive to them
playing well, and interim coach Chris Thurmond will have an awkward time keeping
them interested over the Christmas period. There is also an intriguing conference
aspect that does not seem to be priced into this line, as we harbor a belief that
four Mountain West teams might have been good enough to win Conference USA,
with these Horned Frogs one of them. Their offense caught fire down the stretch,
and the defense will be much more physical at this line of scrimmage than what the
Cougars have been accustomed to this season. T.C.U. 34-26.


EMERALD BOWL

OREGON STATE over MARYLAND by 7

Mike Riley’s Beavers may have been held together but duct tape at various times,
but all they did was battle, week after week. A Pac 10 campaign that openeddisastrously,as a 19-0 lead in the opener vs. Arizona State turned into a defeat and a 14-12 lead in the 4th quarter vs. U.C.L.A. reversed itself into a stunning 40-14 finalscore, ended with a surge that we believe will carry over here – they went 6-1 intheir last seven league games, losing only at Southern Cal, and gutting out that finalwin at Oregon with a back-up QB and without key RB Yvenson Bernard. Now
they get healthy again in the skill positions on offense, and a defense that was rock
solid down the stretch (even in the loss at Southern Cal they only allowed 16 first
downs and 287 yards) gets a chance to control the flow against a Maryland team
that lacks playmakers. While Ralph Friedgan got the Terrapin job because of his
offensive acumen, as each year goes by his reputation becomes tarnished. His attack
finished #88 in the nation in total offense this season, showing no big play ability
either overland (65th in rushing yards) or through the air (78th in passing). It
could only add up to a 6-6 record, courtesy of non-conference walkovers vs.
Villanova and Florida International, and an offense that did not perform well at all
from behind may find itself in that very role here, with Oregon State having a
sparkling 127-16 edge over the opposition in the first quarter this season, with the
defense allowing only one touchdown in 12 games. OREGON STATE 27-20.

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POINTWISE ( 0-8 )

EMERALD BOWL

OREGON STATE (8-4) vs MARYLAND (6-6)

ANALYSIS
Okay, which Maryland Terrapin shows up here, the one which posted RY edges
of 239-82 over Rutgers (27-pt cover), 249-10 over NCSt (39½-pt cover), &
135-45 over BC (14-pt cover), or the one which was outrushed 353-89 by
West Virginia (2-pt ATS loss), & 249-97 by Clemson (9½-pt ATS loss)? Sure,
the Mountaineers & Tigers are Top Ten caliber squads, but so are Rutgers &
BC, which climbed as high as 10th & 2nd in the nation, respectively. Thus,
altho the Terps wound up the season as a 50/50 team, they are much more
than that. Just 2 losses by more than a TD, with 5 of their 7 spread losses by
just 2, 3½ (OT), 5, ½, & ½ pt. And that includes taking on no less than 8 bowl
teams. In their annihilation of 17½ pt chalk Rutgers, the Terps held a 36:57-
23:03 time edge, & in their rout of NCSt, which got them to "bowl eligible"
status, they held a 37:55-22:05 time edge. A true "under-the-radar" squad.
The Oregon State Beavers have also been a generally unnoticed team, never
cracking the Top 25, due mostly to their 2-3 start, which saw them being belted
for 34, 44, & 40 pts. Oh, by the way, they had a cumulative minus 11 TOs in
those 3 early setbacks, 2 of which resulted in spread losses of 34 & 28½ pts.
Their horse, of course, is RB Bernard, who has topped the 1,000 yd mark for
the past 3 seasons, but whose 4.4 ypr average this season, is hardly anything
special. He is expected to play, despite undergoing knee surgery. When the
dust settled on the regular season, the Beavers ranked 2nd best in the entire
nation in rushing "D", with an unmatched 2.13 ypr stop unit. Both are highly
competitive bowl squads, but that Beav rush "D" may be the final determinant.
PROPHECY: OREGON STATE 27 - Maryland 17 RATING: 6


TCU (7-5) vs HOUSTON (8-4)

ANALYSIS
A couple of old Southwest Conference & Conference USA squads meet in the
2nd annual Texas bowl, & fittingly, both are from the Lone Star State, altho the
Cougars of Houston, obviously, have the decided home edge. For the Frogs
of TCU, this marks their 9th bowl appearance in the last 10 years, and the 6th
trip in the 7 years of Patterson's reign, since taking over for the departed Dennis
Franchione, who worked miracles his 3 years at the helm, before leaving
for Alabama in '01. This year's Frog squad is successful, to be sure, but a
definite drop from the past couple of seasons, in which TCU compiled a record
of 22-3, along with a 17-7 log vs the spread. No, those teams hardly needed
wins in their final 2 games of the year, to achieve a winning record, which was
the case this season. They lost 7 starters from LY's potent offense, including
QB Ballard & his .905 career winning percentage. Dalton? Over 2,200 PYs,
but just 10 TDs & 10 INTs. Thus, a team which really has impressed in only 1
of its dozen games, that brilliant 37-0 shutout of a decent New Mexico squad.
The Coogs are one of more than a few squads, which own the double edged
sword of a highly productive offense, only to be dragged down by a vulnerable
defense. The nation's 4th best (& splendidly balanced) "O", which has topped
26 pts in 32 of their last 37 games, but a "D" which has allowed more than 26
pts in 10 of its last 12 lined contests. Check RB Aldridge with 1,568 yds, along
with a 6.4 ypr average. But Houston enters this contest on an 0-4 spread run,
by an average of 16.5 ppg ATS. And the Cougars have allowed 54, 42, & 44
pts in their 3 bowl games since '03. Back-&-forth, but can't back Houston "D".
PROPHECY: TCU 41 - Houston 31 RATING: 4


BOSTON COLLEGE (10-3) vs MICHIGAN STATE (7-5)

ANALYSIS
If Utah's 6-game bowl winning streak ranks 2nd currently, which team ranks
1st? Right, the Eagles of Boston College, who've won 7 straight holiday games,
covering 6, with their only miss by 5½ pts in LY's 25-24 miracle win over Navy
in the Meineke Bowl. And they did have to survive another near miraculous
comeback by Boise in the '05 MPC Computer Bowl. Led by QB Ryan, who
threw for 4,258 yds & 28 TDs, the Eagles climbed to the #2 spot in the nation,
& stayed there for 3 weeks, before being upset by Florida St & Maryland, on
consecutive Saturdays. Altho their running game was nearly non-existent down
the stretch (63 ypg in their final 6 outings), they still managed to meet Virginia
Tech in the ACC title game. But they couldn't repeat their earlier heartstopping
effort vs the Huskies, when Ryan threw a pair of TD passes in the final 2:11,
losing 30-16. No running "O", but an equally stingy running "D", which finished
as the nation's best, allowing the above 68 ypg. Can the balanced Spartans,
who haven't graced the holiday scene since the '03 Alamo Bowl, & who haven't
won a bowl game since the '01 Silicon Valley Classic, dent that defense? Well,
truth be told, only Pittsburgh & Ohio St were able to hold the MSU offense in
check, & that includes overcoming a 24-7 deficit vs PennSt & the Lions' 9th
ranked "D", in their regular season finale. Ringer & Caulcrick have combined
for 2,159 RYs & 27 TDs, while QB Hoyer ranks 2nd best in the Big Ten among
QBs (61.5%). Defensively, the Spartans are hardly anything special, with a
32.5 ppg "D" in their last 8 games. But the dog is plus 55½ pt ATS in the last
10 games involving BC. We'll grab the pts, in what could be a classic match.
PROPHECY: MICHIGAN STATE 27 - Boston College 26 RATING: 3

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EROCKMONEY

Staying with the theme of going against Conf. USA. This is a home game for Houston, but TCU is the superior team. TCU played well down the stretch after struggling early in the season. TCU won't have a letdown of falling short of possible BCS expectations and will continue their fine play down the stretch.

Pick: TCU by 13

Status: Recommended Play (rank - 7th)


12/28 - Champs - Michigan St. (+3.5) v. Boston College

BC went from National Title to BCS berth to Champs. Will this team be motivated for this game? I like Michigan St. coming in and being very happy to be in this game after the last few years. Ryan is an outstanding QB and will be a top 10 pick in next years draft. BC has played over their heads all season and will have a letdown in this one.

Pick: Michigan St. by 4

Status: Recommended Play (rank - 1st)


12/28 - Emerald - Oregon St. (-4.5) v. Maryland

Oregon St. has really played well down the stretch and will over match the Terps in San Francisco. Oregon St. will have the crowd and an overall edge in talent. The ACC had a down especially compared to the powerful PAC 10. Maryland has shown up big in their last three bowl games and the public seems to be riding the Beavers, which makes me nervous. However, I'll join the crowd and ride the Beavers.

Pick: Oregon St. by 9

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DR. BOB ( 4-4 )

LEANS:

Boston College (-3 ½) vs Michigan State: I lean slightly with Michigan State at +3 or more.

Tcu (-3 ½) vs Houston: The bowl situation favor Houston, but the math favors TCU pretty significantly and TCU is certainly the side I like.

Oregon State (-5) vs Maryland: I’ll probably pick Oregon State by 4 points, so I’ll lean slightly with Maryland.

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VEGAS HOTSHEET

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
405 Michigan St 17
406 Boston College 30
BOSTON COL -3½


TEXAS BOWL
407 TCU 37
408 Houston 27
TCU -3½

EMERALD BOWL
409 Maryland 20
410 Oregon St 32
OREGON ST -5


FREE PICK: Michigan St/Boston College :: UNDER 56

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MARC LAWRENCE BOWL PREDICTIONS: 6-2 SO FAR

Champ Sports Bowl
Boston College by 7

Texas Bowl
TCU by 1

Emerald Bowl
Maryland by 10 *BEST BET*

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ANDY ISKOE COLLEGE BOWL SELECTIONS

Dec 28 Champs Sports Bowl 5 Star Michigan State over Boston College

Dec 28 Texas Bowl 4 Star HOUSTON over Tcu

Dec 28 Emerald 3 Star Oregon State over Maryland

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AAA

NCAAF: Texas Christian Horned Frogs at Houston Cougars - Over 59 -110
Unit Value: 2

Note: This game is clearly all about the TCU Defense verses the Houston Offense. Those are the two strengths of these two teams with the Frogs allowing just 19 points per contest this year. The Cougars meanwhile have the 4th best offensive attack in the nation, throwing out 513 yards per contest. This attack is very balanced and the reason why they have scored at least 34 points in 9 of their last 11 games. We often hear that good D stops good O and in many cases that is true. But Bowl Games offer a different flavor, and especially when it is not being played BCS Style. While the offensive brains have left from this team to go to Baylor, the Cougars should by now know how to score on their own and score they have this year. What they have not been able to do is to stop the opposition, allowing 30 per contest themselves and often verses teams that have not been all that score-worthy. We can look at previous Houston Bowl appearances to find that they have allowed 54, 42, and 44 points in their 3 bowl games since 2003, and the fact is, they just don't have the horses to stop anyone. Certainly not a team that has this long to prepare for them. Both teams have quick strike ability, both teams have quality QB's and both teams have very good team speed. These two used to play quite a bit so familiararity is not going to be a problem. When they did, we usually saw up and down the field action. The last 2 games have seen 61 and 117. That is not a typo. That is 117. While I don't suspect that we will see that many in this one, the line is being held down due to coaching changes at Houston and a value line in my opinion. Play the OVER

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Michigan State vs. Boston College, over 56

The Eagles throw the ball (they average 47 attempts and 330 ypg) and I expect excellent senior quarterback Matt Ryan to go out slinging. Here he will face a MSU pass "D" that ranked in the bottom third of the nation, allowing 60 percent completions and 20 touchdown passes. The Michigan State offense is balanced, averaging more than 200 ypg both rushing and passing, and should find success against a BC defense that benefited from playing some poor ACC offenses this year.


Emerald Bowl, Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Maryland vs. Oregon St., under 49

What? Who made this number?

Both teams prefer to run the ball (Maryland 42 run attempts per game, Oregon St. 41) and must do so because of shoddy quarterback play. The QBs for these two teams combined for 29 interceptions and just 17 passing TDs. Oregon St. allowed just 75 yard per game rushing this year (2.1 ypc) and its defense (42 sacks) will be able to pressure the Terps (38 sacks allowed) on obvious passing downs. Field conditions in San Francisco should help here.

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Vegas Experts Tip Of The Day

Indiana pulls into the Palace tonight looking to knock off division-rival Detroit. The clubs split four games last year. Is backing the Pacers the way to go tonight?

Pistons on a roll having won six straight and eight-of-nine. They have covered all nine. Indiana off its feed with two losses in its last three games including a 107-95 loss at Atlanta the day after Christmas. INDIANA is 3-15 ATS versus teams that, like Detroit, average >=23 assists/game over the last 2 seasons while DETROIT is 10-1 ATSversus teams who, like Indiana, attempt 18 or more 3 point shots/game on the season this season.

Play on: Detroit

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Re: Friday Service Plays

Larry Ness 20* Bowl Total of the year

over TCU/Houston


LT Lock

Mich St.

mvbski
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Big Al free play

LA Clippers +15 over Phoenix Suns


RAS - SIDES:

South Carolina -12 1/2 UNIT

Delaware +15 1/2 UNIT

Virginia Tech -10.5 1 UNIT

Northern Colorado -10 1 UNIT

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Sebastian Basketball only

Hockey

Pass

Baskets Pro

10* New Orleans , Toronto , Orlando , Phily, Phoenix Over

Baskets College

10* Butler

Bowls later this afternoon

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Cappers Access

CFB Boston College/ Michigan st 5 Michigan st

CFB TCU / Houston U. 6 Houston U.

CFB Oregon st/ Maryland 5 Oregon


Rocco Spacamuro

50* Oregon St. under 49


Allen Eastman comp (1-7 IN BOWLS )

Take Boston College -5 over Michigan State.

The Spartans are one of many teams that have lost players to eligibility issues or violation of team rules, etc. Those missing players wont matter. BC is just a better team. This Eagles team was positioned for a BCS berth before a late season meltdown. Look for Matt Ryan and Boston College to wrap up their season in style.


Winners Edge-12/28/07

Maryland/oregon St. under 48  3 units

Boston College - 4.5  2 units

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Mr. A's

NBA

Indiana at Detroit, 8:00 PM -Detroit Pistons -9

Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:30 PM - Chicago Bulls -6

Utah at LA Lakers, 10:30 PM - Los Angeles Lakers 4


CFB

Michigan State vs. Boston College - Boston College - 3½

Emerald Maryland vs. Oregon State - Oregon State - 4½

Texas Houston vs. TCU - TCU - 4

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