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New Years Day Service Plays

New Years Day Service Plays

Ben Burns' #1 BOWL GAME OF THE YEAR - New Year's Day

I'm laying the points with GEORGIA. I liked Georgia as soon as this matchup was announced and I've been thrilled to see the line dropping over the past few weeks. With the line significantly lower than what it opened at, I feel we're now getting terrific value on what I feel is the significantly better team. I had a pretty good read on the Warriors this season and I sucessfully played on them in their big win vs. Boise State. However, I also successfully played against the Warriors when they barely beat Nevada, winning 28-26. I also successfully released my WAC Conference Game of the Year on Louisiana Tech when the Bulldogs hosted the Warriors. Hawaii was laying four touchdowns but won by just a single points, 45-44. I felt that the Warriors were over-rated heading into both those games and I feel thats the case here. Sure the Warriors beat Boise State. However, that game came at Hawaii and we've since seen lightly regarded East Carolina also defeat Boise, on the same field. Looking at their road games, in addition to Nevada and LA Tech, we find that the Warriors faced UNLV, Idaho and San Jose State. To put it bluntly, none of those five teams are anywhere close to the class of Georgia. Conversely, the Bulldogs last six road games came against the likes of Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Georgia Tech. Those are six tough venues (well, maybe not Vanderbilt) and the Bulldogs won five of those games outright, including double-digit victories at Florida and Georgia Tech, most recently. Clearly, this is a very well-coached team which knows how to win away from home. They've also played some very tough competition in recent Bowls, most recently knocking off West Virginia last season. Additionally, the Bulldogs beat up on Florida State (26-13) when they played here at New Orleans in 2002. The Warriors' have had success in the Bowls this millennium. Those games have come at "The Hawaii Bowl" though, a major advantage for the home team. I feel that the Bulldogs 10-2 record is more impressive than the Warriors 12-0 mark. The Bulldogs closed out the year with six straight wins and the last five all came by double-digits. I look for them to prove that they're the better team with a double-digit victory, improving to 13-4 ATS their last 17 games on turf. *Bowl Game of the Year

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Mighty Quinn

Wisky + 3 1/2

Ark +3

Florida (best bet ) -10

TT -6

USC - 13 1/2

Georgia - 8 1/2

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6* USC

CBB 3*Wich St




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Note: It has not taken Ron Zook to long to turn this Illinois team into an offensive powerhouse. They are led by a very elusive QB, Juice Williams, who can beat you so many ways. He is going to have success verses the Trojans on New Year's Day and it is all because he is not a sitting duck like many QB's are in the Pac 10. This guy can throw, but more importantly he can beat you with the run, and he can beat you with his mobility in the pocket. As you know, I had these Trojans in their big win over AZ State, and all because of the great pressure they put on the QB. They did that very well and they followed it up with another nice effort verses UCLA to close out the 2007 campaign with a bang, winning their last 4 games, and primarily because of their defensive efforts. That fact alone has given us a super low Total Line for this one and I will thank the Oddsmakers for that. This is a different Animal coming to the West Coast though and USC is not going to be able to lay into the passer all game long. As most offensive squads do, the Iliini are peaking toward the end of the year, scoring 35 points per game over the last 4 games, and they they even managed 28 verses a very talented Ohio State team. They are going to get their points in this one. But the main reason to play this game is the USC scoring machine that has Booty back in the saddle and playing an Illinois D that has no way of stopping them. This offensive crew is performing as good as anyone in the country right now and their last two game yard margins are phenominal, with 447 verses the Bruins, and 508 verses AZ State. Those two D's are far better than what Illinois brings to the table and holding the Trojans down below 35 in this one is not going to be likely. We should not be fooled by what USC has done overall this year. They are healthy and they are hungry. It would not even surprise me if they got this total line all by themselves. Illinois is probably going to be working from behind most of this game. That is going to keep the ball in the air, and that is more than likely going to create some Boo Boo's. That very well might give us some bonus D points. Play OVER with confidence.

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3* Kansas
1* Texas Tech

Aurthur Ralph Sports



900 Daily BEST BETS


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Tuesday, January 1st

Outback Bowl
Tampa, Florida

Wisconsin vs. Tennessee, 11:00am ET

10-2 ATS vs. non-conference opponents
39-22 ATS after forcing 3+ turnovers

5-1 Under off BB games with 40+ pass attempts
8-3 Under off 3+ conference games

AT&T Cotton Bowl
Dallas, Texas

Arkansas vs. Missouri, 11:30am ET

7-1 ATS off BB games allowing 31+ points
15-4 ATS off a combined score of 70+ points

24-7 Over after committing 1 or 0 turnovers
7-3 Over off a loss by 21+ points

Capital One Bowl
Orlando, Florida

Michigan vs. Florida, 1:00 ET

0-5 ATS after having 100 or less rushing yards
3-7 ATS off a straight up loss

9-2 ATS vs. non-conference opponents
6-1 ATS off an ATS win as a favorite of 10+ points

Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, Florida

Texas Tech vs. Virginia, 1:00 ET

Texas Tech:
0-8 ATS away off a conference win
0-7 ATS away off an ATS win

10-2 Under off a straight up loss
8-1 Under after having 100 or less rushing yards

Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Pasadena, California

Illinois vs. USC, 4:30 ET

7-1 ATS off a straight up win
10-2 ATS away after scoring 37+ points

9-2 Under as a favorite
7-1 Under off a conference game

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, Louisiana

Hawaii vs. Georgia, 8:30 ET

7-1 Under off 7+ wins
6-1 Under playing on artificial turf

17-5 ATS away vs. non-conference opponents
21-9 ATS away off an Under

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Happy New Year my fellow football investors...

My group of coaches has had a nice run this weekend with our only loss coming on Clemson -2 -105

with wins on Penn State, Alabama, Miss St, and Wake Forest...

Tommorow we are on Tennessee -1, Florida -10.5, Georgia-7.5 needless to say we love the SEC teams...  I am close to a decision on Missouri... I may lay the pts there as I have won several games playing against interim coaches so far except for the loss with Clemson playing Auburn with AU's new offensive coordinator...  Arkansas defensive coordinator Herring wasnt any good at Clemson or Arkansas so much drama surronds this game I am having a hard time backing either team but the majority of our staff like Mizzou... roll

Our early NFL selections are
Ny Giants +3
San Diego -7
Seattle -5

My best advice is just to fade Wayne Root!!!

Good Luck and again Happy NEW YEAR@!!! ;D

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4-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #468 Florida (-3.5) over Michigan AND Take #472 USC (-6.5) over Illinois

2-Unit Play. Take #472 USC (-13.5) over Illinois (5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1)
The Big 10 stinks. I think both of these games are going to be ugly, ugly blowouts as the Florida and USC programs are just head and shoulders above either UM or Illinois. Also, there is no doubt that Urban Meyer and Pete Carroll will have far superior game plans with the extra preparation time. All in all I think this is one of my favorite plays of the bowl season.

3.5-Unit Play. Take #466 Missouri (-3) over Arkansas (11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1)
I think the Tigers are the better team here and that we’re getting a bargain with this spread. If it had been -7 we would have likely stayed away here. But Arkansas has had a lot of trouble with pass-happy teams this year, losing to Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee this season. Missouri has lost to only Oklahoma and has handled other BCS bowl teams Illinois and Kansas. I think the Tigers make a statement and avoid the letdown. Mizzou is 8-1 ATS after a loss of 20 or more points, 11-3 ATS overall, and 5-1 ATS in neutral site games. The Hogs are just 2-5 ATS in nonconference games and just 2-5 SU in their last seven bowl games.

7-Unit Play. Take #474 Georgia (-7.5) over Hawaii (8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1)
I think this one gets ugly. I have nothing but confidence that Mark Richt, the master motivator, will have his Bulldogs ready to roll in this one. Hawaii is just 7-18 ATS against teams with a winning record and this game reminds me of when Boise State came to Athens in 2005 and got hammered by 35 points. Hawaii is 4-7 ATS as road dogs 4-7 as road dogs and is 10-15 ATS off the islands since 2003. Georgia is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 bowl games and 3-2 ATS in its last five. I think they dominate this one from start to finish and position themselves in the preseason Top 5 for next year.

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Strike Point Football

2-Unit Play. #464 Take Tennessee -2.5 over Wisconsin (1/1 - 11 am)

Despite several suspensions pending for the Vols, I expect the SEC team to come out on top, mainly due to the quarterback play of Erik Ainge over an inconsistent Tyler Donovan. And even if a couple of Tennessee players are unable to play, the question of starting running back for the Badgers P.J. Hill can prove just as important. Here, the Vols come out ahead, winning the turnover battle and get more from their ground game with Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty

4-Unit Play. Take Tennessee/Wisconsin Under 59.5 (1/1 - 11 am)

In this same match-up we'll see a low scoring affair between two teams that will show their rust after a long break. Wisconsin likes to play ball control, while Tennessee, too, establishes its rushing game. Both defenses will win their match-ups against their respective offenses, and this one will stay under the posted total. The under for Wisconsin is 5-1 in its last six non-conference games and 4-1 in its last five games vs. the SEC. Tennessee has stayed under in its last four bowl games, and they will here as well.

7-Unit Play (Bowl GOY). #465 Take Missouri -3 over Arkansas (1/1 - 11:30 am)

After getting the BCS snub, expect these Tigers to come out fired up and ready to play. Yes, you could make the case some teams would just go through the motions in a game they probably didn't want to be in, but not this Mizzou team. They suprised everyone this season and will be in the race next year, so this team knows the importance of a game like this that can bring a lot of buzz into the spring for this up-and-coming program. Chase Daniel will pick apart the Hogs defense with his four and five wide sets, while freshman sensation Jeremy Maclin will do what he does best: make plays whenever he touches the ball. Daniel will out produce both Arkansas running backs, and the Tigers will make a statement that they should have been in the BCS instead of either Illinois or Kansas. Missouri is the play here.

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College Football Lock Of The Year:

Tennessee Volunteers -130
Tennessee wins this game going away. They are CLEARLY the dominant team here! Tennessee is coming off a loss in the SEC Championship game where they were leading LSU in the 4th quarter. QB Erik Ainge is playing terrific. Ainge is an NFL-caliber quarterback. He definitely wants to improve his draft position! He will have a monster game against this Wisconsin defense! The Tennessee offensive line has only given up 4 sacks all year!!! Wisconsin will be without their starting CB and DL who were lost in the Ohio State game. And the backup cornerback, who is now a starter, just tore his ACL a few days ago! Furthermore, Wisconsin ’s two safeties are young and inexperienced. They will give up BIG PLAYS! Tennessee 's wide receivers are big and fast and nobody on UW will stop them. Tennessee is averaging 35 ppg. Expect 40+ in this game!!! Tennessee also has a VERY GOOD defense. Tennessee held Georgia to 14 points!! They held Arkansas to 13 points! They held LSU to 21 points. You want to bet on hot teams in bowl games. Tennessee is hot! Tennessee has won seven of its past nine! Wisconsin 's best player, running back PJ Hill, is coming off a leg injury and will not start. THE BIG-10 WAS AWFUL THIS YEAR!! THE S.E.C. IS MUCH MUCH BETTER. This is a short bus trip for Tennessee , a long flight for Wisconsin . The sunny 80 degree weather in Tampa will favor the Volunteers! Tennessee has had terrific practices so far this week. Fulmer has them practicing in full pads. Their wide receivers look awesome!! We are betting BIG on Tennessee !!! TENNESSEE IS A LOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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L.T. Profits

3* Virginia.


2* Hawaii

Norm Hitzges

Double Plays

Virginia +6 vs Texas Tech

Single Plays

USC -13.5 vs Illinois
Hawaii +8 vs Georgia
Missouri/Arkansas Over 69
Texas Tech/Virginia Under 59


463 Wisconsin UN59

474 Georgia -7.5

HQ Newsletter Bowl Games;

3*ILLINOIS (+) over USC

Virginia(+) over Texas Tech

A.T.S. (Angles, Trends & Systems)
Free Play Tennessee over Wisconsin

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NCAAF: Wisconsin Badgers at Tennessee Volunteers - Tennessee -2 (Heavy Hitter) -110 | Unit Value: 3

Note: I am not at all impressed with the play in the Big 10 this year and one of those teams is Wisconsin who has done quite well verses the lessor teams and no so good verses the better teams. The only real team that they beat this year was Michigan and certainly the Wolverines suffered through their worst season in a very long time. They have struggled away from the friendly confines and all 3 losses have come on the road. That is important for this game, because one of the things that I have noticed in Bowl situations, is that the Big 10 does not do so well having to always be the conference that has to travel the most. With most Bowls being in the South and West, and certainly all of the Bigger One's, the advantage lies with the squads playing in their own area, with much more familiar surroundings, local support, and a bigger fan base. Almost nobody travels as well as the Vols Fans, and this huge school also have fan support throughout the southeast. I have been to a Sugar Bowl and have seen Wisconsin play, and I have seen how many they bring to a game. It was not very impressive at all. Of course I would never play a game just based on the venue and that is not the primary reason to play this one. After a slow start, Tennessee is playing as good as anyone in the country and came a whisker away from winning the SEC championship. This team is excited about what they done and especially with the way the defense is playing. They have been as good as anyone at stopping the run over the last 6 games of the season and that is what Wisconsin brings to the table. However, they might not bring leading rusher P.J. Hill to the table suffering from a leg injury. The Vols are going to make Donovan pass the ball as they have have superior D Team Speed, and you just cannot run wide on them with any quality results. They grow'em big and fast at Tennessee and the overall speed between these two schools is overwhelming. We certainly have a huge advantage at the QB position for this one with Ainge being one of the best in the south and already breaking a few of Peyton Manning's marks at this school. He rarely makes mistakes and he is a true team leader. Ainge has 29 TDs, 10 INTs, 3,157 yards, and a 63% completion rate. His 300 completions has snapped the UT record of 287 set by Peyton Manning in 1997. That has been done playing in the best defensive conference in the country. Donovan's numbers are a far cry below that and one of the reasons is the fact that Ainge has bigger and faster recievers to throw to. There goes that team speed thing again. I suspect that while watching this game, you will take note at how quickly the Vols get to the ball on D, and how quickly they get to the endzone on O. I am laying this small number based on that fact alone.

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Missouri -3
The Arkansas Razorbacks will lack focus with the head coaching situation (Houston Nutt left the program to take a job at Ole Miss and Arkansas hired Bobby Petrino away from the Atlanta Falcons but he won't coach in the bowl game). The Tigers have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Heisman finalist Chase Daniels, and will be looking to finish off the season strong.

Georgia -9
Georgia is on another level than the Hawaii Rainbows. Despite finishing the regular season undefeated, Hawaii was not very impressive in its only game against a BCS conference opponent -- Washington -- falling behind by 21 points early. The Pack pushed Hawaii to the wire in a loss at Mackay Stadium earlier this season, when Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was out.
Reply With Quote

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Teddy Covers

USC Under 50
When USC had Heisman winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at quarterback, their offense was a finely tuned machine. The Trojans averaged 41 points per game in 2003; 38 ppg in ’04 and 49 ppg in ’05, one of the most prolific, high scoring offenses in the country. Things have changed dramatically for Pete Carroll since John David Booty took over at quarterback, with a half dozen of USC’s best receivers moving on to the NFL. USC barely reached 30 ppg last year, and were held under 28 ppg in PAC-10 play this year. In fact, this offense was held to 24 points or less six times in their final eight games of the season. No surprise, then, that the Trojans were a dominant Under team this year, 10-2 to the Under in their dozen previous games.

But even with a mediocre offense that suffered from a subpar passing game, USC was still the PAC-10 winner and a national championship contender. Why? Their defense, of course, a unit stocked with NFL level talent. Nobody moved the football on a consistent basis against USC this year – nobody; and the defense got better and better as the season progressed. In USC’s final seven games, opponents averaged just over 12 points per game against them. Most importantly, the Trojans allowed only 79 yards per game on the ground, with only one opponent all year managing to rush for 4.0 yards per carry or more against them.

That’s very bad news for an Illinois offense predicated on their ability to run the football. In the only two Big 10 games that Illinois failed to reach 200 yards on the ground, the Illini scored 6 and 17 points against Iowa and Michigan, with both games going Under the total by an average of 18 ppg. Make no mistake about it – Juice Williams is no passing threat. The Illini exceeded 150 net passing yards only three times all year. Top receiving threat, frosh sensation Arrelious Benn caught 49 passes for 596 yards. The second leading wide receiver on the team, Jacob Willis, had a grand total of 18 receptions. If Juice and RB Rashard Mendenhall can’t run, the Illini offense isn’t going to move up and down the field. And this is most assuredly one game, against one defense likely to give them problems running the football.

Let’s not forget that with the lone exception of the Vince Young national championship game, USC’s defense has allowed 10, 17, 14, 19 and 18 points in Pete Carroll’s other five bowl games as the Trojans head man, with at least four of those games coming against stronger offenses than they’ll face here. While Illinois’ defense can’t boast that same track record – the Illini have not been bowling since 2001 – it’s is certainly a capable unit that matches up well against the Trojans run-based offense. The Illini allowed only 114 rushing yards per game and eight rushing touchdowns all year! Look for a low scoring, grind-it-out game on the ground between two strong running offense and two rock solid running defenses, keeping this game Under the total. Take the Under.

Over 59 Florida
There’s a lot of concern about the weather in Orlando on Tuesday, with the potential for a rainy, windy day sending many bettors to the window for an Under wager, pushing this total down significantly. However, with the most current forecast (I write this approximately 24 hours before kickoff), the high winds and rain look like they should hold off until after the early start game. While it’s not going to be a picture perfect Florida day, it’s not likely to be a rain and wind induced mess on the field either. And, given the matchups in this ballgame, bad weather is about the only thing that could stop these two teams from marching up and down the field, putting up points in bunches.

Michigan’s defensive track record against spread offenses is positively abysmal, and that’s putting it mildly. The Wolverines faced to legitimate spread offenses with running quarterbacks this year, both at home. They gave up 34 points to 1-AA Appalachian State in their opener, and 39 points to Oregon the following week. It’s surely worth noting that Oregon could easily have hung 50+ on Michigan in that game, gaining well over 600 yards of offense, but the Ducks were simply trying to run out the clock in the second half. Michigan’s lone game against a spread offense with a mobile QB last year was equally disastrous defensively. The Wolverines gave up 42 points and nearly 500 yards to Ohio State in a game that went over the total by five touchdowns. And let’s not forget to mention Michigan’s consistent difficulties on defense in recent bowl games, allowing 32, 32, 38, 28, 30, 45, 28, 34 and 31 points in their last nine bowl games, without a single quality defensive performance to show for the last decade. This game should have a similar pace.

Urban Meyer’s offense is nearly unstoppable. Last year, in the national championship game against Ohio State, Florida put up 41 points without any sort of difficulty. Had the game been a shootout instead of a blowout, the Gators would have scored even more. This year, Florida’s offense has been dramatically better than last year’s version which produced less than 30 points per game. Heisman winner Tim Tebow personally accounted for an NCAA record 51 touchdowns: 22 on the ground, 29 through the air. The Gators offense averaged 42.5 points per game, going 9-2 to the Over in the process. Over the final month of the season, Florida averaged more than 50 points per game. Don’t expect the Wolverine defense to slow down the Gators potent attack one iota.

Florida’s 9-2 mark to the Over in their eleven lined games tells us a lot about their dynamic offense. It also tells us a lot about their mediocre defense, a unit that lost nine starters to the NFL last offseason. Away from home, the Gators gave up 30 points per game in 2007, struggling in particular against good quarterbacks on strong passing teams. Michigan’s offensive leaders, senior QB Chad Henne and senior RB Mike Hart, both spent much of the season playing at less than 100%, both battling a series of nagging injuries. Both are healthy heading into their final collegiate game, looking for a positive send-off for retiring head coach Lloyd Carr, looking to accomplish what they couldn’t do in their regular season finale against the Buckeyes.

The Wolverines scored 27+ on eight separate occasions this season, despite the injuries to their two best offensive players. The offensive line is loaded, anchored by four year starter , senior Jake Long, at left tackle. The receiving corps is just as loaded, thanks to Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington and Greg Matthews, all of whom were ranked among the top ten receivers in the country in their respective recruiting classes. Look for the Wolverines to trade points with the Gators from start to finish in this contest, sending it flying Over the total. Take the Over.

Tennessee -1
Wisconsin seems to be getting a lot of credit in the betting marketplace for their recent bowl success. Make no mistake about it – the Badgers have over-achieved in recent bowl games. Last year, they won outright as an underdog, 17-14 over Arkansas. The year before, in Barry Alvarez’s send-off game, the Badgers also won outright as an underdog, beating Auburn 24-10. In ’04, Wisconsin covered the eight point spread, losing by only three to Georgia. We’ve also seen Wisconsin wins as a seven point underdog in the ’02 Alamo Bowl against Colorado and as nine point dogs in the ’98 Rose Bowl against UCLA. To all of these strong performances from Wisconsin in the past, I say this: “Big Deal”. This year’s Wisconsin team isn’t nearly as good as those teams from the recent past. Don’t expect another Badger upset victory this time around.

The exact opposite is true for Tennessee. The betting marketplace has looked at the Vols recent bowl failures as a favorite and reacted accordingly. After all, Tennessee lost as a favorite to Penn State last year, 20-10. They lost as a favorite to Clemson in the ’03 Peach Bowl and were blown out by Maryland in a pick ‘em affair in that same bowl game in ’02. Yes, the recent track record isn’t very pretty, but, like Wisconsin, we’re not betting on recent editions – we’re betting on a matchup between THIS year’s teams. And, frankly, this year’s teams aren’t even close – there’s a lot more than two points separating these two programs right now.

Wisconsin is big and slow, a typical old school Big 10 program. They did all of their damage in Madison this year, just 2-3 SU, 0-5 ATS on the highway. The Badgers played an extremely weak non-conference slate, not facing a single bowl team. In Big 10 play, the Badgers lost to Illinois, Penn State and Ohio State, the three toughest teams they faced. Don’t be fooled by the win at home against Michigan – the Wolverines rested numerous starters that week, in preparation for their Ohio State game the following week. Michigan State almost upset Wisconsin, in Madison. Their only dominant, signature victory against a bowl team all year came against Indiana, and there’s absolutely no way to compare a home win against the mediocre (at best) Hoosiers with a game in Florida against a team like Tennessee. In short, we can expect Wisconsin to be outclassed in this ballgame.

The last time we saw Tennessee, they were battling LSU to the wire in the SEC championship game. The Vols probably would have won that game if not for a subpar performance from senior quarterback Erik Ainge. Ainge has been mentored by offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, the same guy who coached both Peyton and Eli Manning when they were at Tennessee and Ole Miss respectively. Cutcliffe has accepted the Duke head coaching job, but he’ll be calling the plays here one last time for his senior QB. I expect a positive send-off for both coach and quarterback.

Tennessee’s biggest problem in recent bowl games has been a lackadaisical attitude. Certainly from a talent perspective, the Vols clearly outclass the Badgers on both sides of the football, particularly in the speed department. There’s a class difference between these two teams that simply isn’t reflected in the pointspread. And with all reports out of Knoxville indicating that we should expect an inspired performance from the SEC East champs, the price here is very cheap to support the superior team with the superior defense and the superior quarterback. Take Tennessee.

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Strike Point Football

2-Unit Play. #464 Take Tennessee -2.5 over Wisconsin (1/1 - 11 am)

Despite several suspensions pending for the Vols, I expect the SEC team to come out on top, mainly due to the quarterback play of Erik Ainge over an inconsistent Tyler Donovan. And even if a couple of Tennessee players are unable to play, the question of starting running back for the Badgers P.J. Hill can prove just as important. Here, the Vols come out ahead, winning the turnover battle and get more from their ground game with Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty

4-Unit Play. Take Tennessee/Wisconsin Under 59.5 (1/1 - 11 am)

In this same match-up we'll see a low scoring affair between two teams that will show their rust after a long break. Wisconsin likes to play ball control, while Tennessee, too, establishes its rushing game. Both defenses will win their match-ups against their respective offenses, and this one will stay under the posted total. The under for Wisconsin is 5-1 in its last six non-conference games and 4-1 in its last five games vs. the SEC. Tennessee has stayed under in its last four bowl games, and they will here as well.

7-Unit Play (Bowl GOY). #465 Take Missouri -3 over Arkansas (1/1 - 11:30 am)

After getting the BCS snub, expect these Tigers to come out fired up and ready to play. Yes, you could make the case some teams would just go through the motions in a game they probably didn't want to be in, but not this Mizzou team. They suprised everyone this season and will be in the race next year, so this team knows the importance of a game like this that can bring a lot of buzz into the spring for this up-and-coming program. Chase Daniel will pick apart the Hogs defense with his four and five wide sets, while freshman sensation Jeremy Maclin will do what he does best: make plays whenever he touches the ball. Daniel will out produce both Arkansas running backs, and the Tigers will make a statement that they should have been in the BCS instead of either Illinois or Kansas. Missouri is the play here.

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Tuesday, January 1 Day at Tampa, FL (Grass Field)

Wisconsin11 8-3 4-7 29 23 197 213 38-24-14 141 207 30-15-15 -1 1.3 11.4
Tennessee13 9-4 8-4 33 28 145 255 53-18-31 163 245 44-14-24 +6 2.6 8.5

Tennessee 31 - Wisconsin 24—

Both had higher expectations and hopes for
this season, but Wisconsin finished 4th in the Big Ten after a 12-1 mark in ’06
and being ranked No. 5 in October, while Tennessee lost the SEC title game
against LSU following a roller-coaster campaign that saw UT alternately lose
and win by more than 14 points in four September games. However, playing on
New Year’s Day (even if it is the early Outback Bowl) can hardly be considered
an unsuccessful season. The Badgers’ year was marked by offensive
inconsistency caused in succession by the adjustment of new starting QB Tyler
Donovan, injuries to their top two wide receivers, and an injury to star RB P.J.
Hill. Donovan finished the season with 2452 YP, 58%, 16 TD passes & 10 ints.
Hill should be close to 100% for this game after being held to 1104 YR (1569 in
’06) due to nagging groin & leg problems, and backup Lance Smith-Williams,
who was prohibited from traveling with the team during the season, will be
available for this game. Top WR Luke Swan’s torn hamstring vs. Illinois ended his
season, although 6-4 sr. Paul Hubbard returned from a knee injury to play in the last
5 games and had an excellent day in upset of Michigan, catching 7 passes for 134
yards, but was held without a catch in finale against Minnesota. All-American TE
Travis Beckum (73 catches) was the main receiver during the year, although he
could still be feeling the effects of a shoulder injury. UW won’t be 100% on defense,
as CB Allen Langford is being disciplined and his backup is true frosh Aaron
Henry. Jr. DT Jason Chapman was injured against Ohio State and is also out.
Tennessee owns a couple of edges that point us toward the Vols. QB Erik
Ainge has had a magnificent season, throwing for 3123 yards & 29 TDs,
including 12 in the last 3 games. The ground game was potent as well, as Arian
Foster gained 1162 yards & scored 14 TDs despite operating behind an OL that lost
starting OT Eric Young after he was injured against South Carolina. The offense
will also be without leading receiver Lucas Taylor (73 recs., 1000 yds.), who ran into
academic problems. On the plus side, highly respected offensive coordinator
David Cutcliffe will direct the attack one more time before taking on the head
coaching assignment at Duke, and recent return to action of 6-8 TE Brad Cottam
(94 rec. yds. in last two games) will serve Ainge well as another primary target.
Phil Fulmer’s defense improved significantly as the season wore on, allowing
just 23 ppg in the last 6 games after yielding more than 32 ppg in the first 7.
Academics took a couple of contributors on defense after the SEC
Championship game, as starting LB Rico McCoy and DT Demonte Bolden were
ruled ineligible along with Taylor (and a few other bit part players). However, the
linchpins of the defense are star MLB Jerod Mayo, a consensus all-SEC pick
averaging 10 tackles per game, and sr. S Jonathan Hefney (also all-SEC; who
will make his 50th start in this game), both still available.
We believe the injury/suspension situation is about a wash. In addition to the
edge Ainge holds, two other angles weighed in our decision. Wisconsin didn’t
cover a game away from Madison this season, and the Badger defense fell off
noticeably from last year (allowed 154 more yds. & 11 more points per game
than 2006). Improving Tennessee is 8-2 in its last 10 games, and Fulmer will
remind his team of last season’s 20-10 loss to underdog Big Ten foe Penn State
in this same bowl. (DNP...SR: Tenn. 1-0)

ARKANSAS (8-4) vs. MISSOURI (11-2)
Tuesday, January 1 Day at Dallas, TX (Grass Field)

Arkansas 11 7-4 6-4 40 27 300 165 57-29-23 147 229 35-13-20 +8 2.6 12.6
Missouri 12 10-2 9-3 40 25 159 327 60-24-31 116 263 40-18-17 +13 3.0 8.0

Missouri 41 - Arkansas 34—

In a game featuring loads of point-generating
performers on both teams and good-but-not-great defenses, Missouri’s better
balance and QB excellence are likely to be the decisive differences. This is not
to disrespect Arkansas in any way. TGS scouts report the Razorbacks have
recovered rapidly from the departure of Houston Nutt and distractions of Bobby
Petrino’s hiring, with interim HC Reggie Herring (defensive coordinator the L3Ys;
reportedly headed to A&M after game) praising his players’ conscientiousness &
spirit in preparation, saying “We have them right where we want them.”
Herring has reportedly added more variations to the attack’s “Wild Hog” sets,
which feature A-A RB Darren McFadden (1725 YR, 5.7 ypc, 4 TD passes TY)
operating behind a much-decorated OL (C Jonathan Luigs won the Rimington
Award). Felix Jones (1117 YR, 9.1 ypc; 2 KOR TDs) is also a constant threat,
FB/H-B Peyton Hillis led the team in recs. (44), and 6-6 star WR Marcus Monk
(27 career TDs, but only 4 TY) is expected to be 90-95% after missing the bulk
of the season following two knee surgeries in August.
However, the Arkansas defense proved vulnerable to competent passers
TY, giving up 41 points at Alabama, 42 vs. Kentucky, 36 vs. South Carolina, 34 at Tennessee, and 48 at LSU (in overtime). And QB Casey Dick (57%,
18 TDs, 9 ints.), although improved, still has limitations.
That means the door is open for QB Chase Daniel (69.7%, 4170 YP, 33 TDs, 10 ints.) and
the multi-dimensional Tiger spread offense, which strikes repeatedly and effectively at
defensive weaknesses. With Daniel mobile enough to buy time and tough enough to put his
head down and run, Mizzou was second in the nation in third-down conversions at 53%.
Clutch TEs Martin Rucker & Chase Coffman combined for 132 recs. & 15 TDs, while RB Tony
Temple (758 YR) led a capable RB corps. But the new addition who helped boost the Tigers
to the top of the BCS rankings going into December is speed-burning RS frosh WR/RB/KR
Jeremy Maclin, who had 77 recs. & 9 TDC, plus 4 TDs rushing, 2 on punt returns, and 1 on
kickoff returns.
Tiger HC Gary Pinkel says his team’s focus & effort are the best he’s seen, and he’s been
surprised by his team’s youthful quickness on defense, especially after losing playmaking S
Pig Brown in the eighth game. Fired-up Mizzou fans have gobbled up tickets as fast as the
Hog backers.
If you love watching offense on New Year’s Day, this is your bowl. But as a small favorite,
the Daniel-led Tigers are the choice. (DNP...SR: Tennessee 1-0)

MICHIGAN (8-4) vs. FLORIDA (9-3)
Tuesday, January 1 Day at Orlando, FL (Grass Field)
Michigan 11 8-3 6-5 26 19 159 205 36-15-21 150 175 23-14-8 +5 2.9 11.8
FLORIDA 11 8-3 8-3 43 26 199 259 63-33-25 104 257 34-16-16 +1 3.1 8.6

FLORIDA 38 - Michigan 34—

The demanding Michigan faithful finally got
their wish, as longtime head coach Lloyd Carr tendered his resignation
following a 4th straight loss to rival Ohio State in this year’s regular-season
finale. Early on, it appeared that the beleaguered Carr might be forced out
before finishing 2007, as the Wolverines followed a mortifying loss to
Appalachian State in their opener at Ann Arbor with a humbling 39-7 home
defeat at the hands of Oregon. But UM made things interesting, winning its
next 8 games before dropping the final 2 (at Wisconsin & vs. Buckeyes) to
seal Carr’s fate. Former West Virginia mentor Rich Rodriguez takes charge
of the Wolverines after this game, and he’s already notified the current UM
assistant coaches that nearly all of them will be replaced.
While Big 10 insiders predict a spirited effort from the Wolverines in the swan
song for the respected Carr & his staff, emotion alone won’t be enough to keep
UM in the hunt against potent defending national champ Florida. The Gators
have scored more than 500 points this season, with tough-as-nails QB Tim
Tebow (29 TDP, 22 TDR) taking home the Heisman in just his sophomore
season. A quick glance at the relative statistics in this matchup, and it would
appear that Michigan (just 26 ppg) is severely outgunned. But a deeper look
reveals that the Wolverines’ offensive production during 2007 was severely
stunted by lingering injuries to QB Chad Henne & RB Mike Hart. With that star
senior duo now healthy—and the best full-time WR on the field (jr. Mario
Manningham has 20 TDC in last 2 seasons) wearing Maize & Blue—Michigan’s
attack should have enough balance & weapons to trade points.
As long as the weather is OK, “over” might be the best percentage play. The
slowish Wolverine defense does not match up well against UF’s quick-hitting
spread scheme, and the young, rebuilt Gator stop unit (allowing 249 ypg
passing, only 16 takeaways) is also vulnerable. (DNP...SR: Michigan 1-0)

Illinois 11 8-3 7-4 29 21 265 160 40-24-14 118 256 28-8-17 +2 3.1 10.9
So CAL 12 10-2 6-6 31 16 186 233 47-20-27 79 180 23-12-8 -1 2.9 11.6

ILLINOIS (9-3) vs. SOUTHERN CAL (10-2)
Tuesday, January 1 Day at Pasadena, CA (Grass Field)

SOUTHERN CAL 27 - Illinois 20—

We’ve seen it countless times throughout
the years. In a nutshell, it’s hard to get the image of a powerful program,
especially one at its zenith, out of one’s mind. Whether Woody Hayes’ late ‘60s
Ohio State teams, Darrell Royal’s Texas wishbone powerhouses from the same
era, or, in a cross-sport reference, John Wooden’s first Bill Walton-led UCLA
NCAA title team in 1972, rarely can powerhouse programs sustain an
unprecedented level of domination for more than a year or two. They might
keep winning, but oddsmakers make adjustments to the pointspread, adding
another hurdle to be cleared, while opponents begin to figure out ways to slow
them down.
And so it has been with Southern Cal the past two seasons in the wake of the
breathtaking Matt Leinart/Reggie Bush teams of a few years ago. Sure, the
Trojans are still plenty good; indeed, they’ve got a legit argument that they were
playing as well as any team in the country when the regular season concluded.
But with QB John David Booty limited somewhat by a WR corps that continues
to suffer from the dropsies, they’re not nearly as dynamic as they were in the
heyday of Leinart/Bush, although the vision of those Norm Chow-influenced
and designed offensive juggernauts is hard to erase from the memory bank.
And it’s the knee-jerk reaction to those past glories that likely continues to
saddle Troy with added pointspread premiums, ones they have mostly not been
able to overcome, even since the later days of Leinart and Bush. Indeed, SC
has covered just 3 of 8 laying double digits this season, 4 of its last 15 since
early ‘06, and just 9 of its last 26 since the middle of the ‘05 campaign. And,
now, the Trojans are being asked to carry the heaviest pointspread burden of
any bowl team this postseason.
That in itself isn’t enough of a reason to support underdog Illinois, but it’s a
nice bonus. Blessed with several playmakers, the Illini coped with some nasty
defenses this season, including a seemingly impenetrable Ohio State stop unit,
and usually fared well, especially in that 28-21 November 10 upset at
Columbus, when soph QB Juice Williams passed for 4 TDs and gave the
Buckeyes fits with his mobility. Although the matchup of Williams, RB Rashard
Mendenhall (1526 YR), and the 5th-ranked Illini infantry vs. the stout Trojan rush
“D” (ranks 4th at mere 79 ypg) could prove problematic for the Champaign-
Urbana bunch, some Pac-10 observers believe Juice’s elusiveness could be
unnerving for Pete Carroll’s “D,” as have other mobile QBs in the past (such as Vince Young and, this season, Oregon’s Dennis Dixon).
Moreover, despite its prowess, the Troy “D” hasn’t been forcing TOs (and
providing resultant short fields for the “O”) as it did for Carroll earlier in the
decade. Yes, if SC shuts down the Illini infantry and forces Williams to the air,
Illinois could be in trouble. But we’re not convinced it’s going to be that easy.
(DNP...SR: Southern Cal 10-2)

Hawaii 10 10-0 4-6 43 27 77 450 56-14-37 146 224 34-16-14 -3 1.1 20.9
Georgia 11 9-2 7-4 31 21 182 198 42-26-16 125 211 27-15-11 +5 3.3 7.5

HAWAII (12-0) vs. GEORGIA (10-2)
Tuesday, January 1 Night at New Orleans, LA (Dome; FieldTurf)

*Georgia 40 - Hawaii 37—

Certain stereotypes die hard, we suppose. Such
as the argument that the gap remains wide between BCS and non-BCS
conference powers. Which, depending on the matchup, might still prove true.
But recent wins by “outsiders” Utah (35-7 over Pitt in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl) and
Boise State (who could forget that epic 43-42 thriller over Oklahoma in last
year’s Fiesta?) in BCS bowls, not to mention some of the upsets during the justcompleted
regular season (remember Appalachian State over Michigan?)
ought to dispel those least for the time being.
Still, just because Boise beat OU last year, and Utah whipped Pitt three
years ago (a game in which the Utes were a rather prohibitive 14-point favorite,
by the way), doesn’t mean Hawaii is going to do the same against Georgia.
Indeed, there are some potentially troubling fundamental matchups for the
Warriors to overcome in New Orleans, not to mention evidence that, at least
based on its schedule, June Jones’ bunch really doesn’t belong in the BCS,
especially vs. a Bulldog team tested week in and week out by rugged SEC
competition. Mainland travel has also often been a thorn for Hawaii teams and
came very close to scuttling this season’s BCS plans, with UH experiencing
narrow escapes at modest WAC outposts such as La Tech (45-44 in OT), San
Jose State (42-35 in OT), and Nevada (28-26 on a last-second FG). And last
time we checked, trips to Ruston, San Jose, and Reno sure aren’t to be
confused with excursions to Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, or Jacksonville for a date
vs. Florida, all of which UGa dealt with in ‘07.
Thus, the challenge for the Warriors is for their defense not to be
manhandled by a maturing Bulldog OL that began to open holes for
breathtaking RS frosh RB Knowshon Moreno (1273 YR) as the season
progressed and allowed soph QB Matthew Stafford ample time to look
downfield for speedy deep-threat WRs Sean Bailey & Mohammed Massaquoi.
Although most WAC observers believe Moreno might do significant damage,
they also suggest this Hawaii “D” is more fundamentally sound under 1st-year
d.c. Greg McMackin (who has lots of NFL background) than it was under Jerry
Glanville the past two seasons. In particular, McMackin’s in-game adjustments
were invaluable, reflected in the fact Hawaii jumped from 93rd a year ago to 33rd
in total defense stats this season.But we’re not sure a bigger challenge doesn’t await a Georgia “D” that
admittedly dealt with a lot of firepower in ‘07, but never had to cope with a strike
force quite like the UH Red Gun piloted by sr. QB Colt Brennan, now healthy
after throwing 38 TDP in 2007 after tossing 58 a year ago. Brennan’s prolific
squadron of wideouts will allow the Red Gun to keep firing for a full 60 minutes.
And even if the Bulldogs extend the margin, keeping the back door “shut”
against Brennan might be easier said than done.

TEXAS TECH (8-4) vs. VIRGINIA (9-3)
Tuesday, January 1 Day at Jacksonville, FL (Grass Field)
Texas Tech11 7-4 6-5 39 27 58 470 56-15-40 185 205 38-17-18 -6 .5 11.5
Virginia 12 9-3 5-6 24 19 127 203 35-21-12 115 210 23-8-15 +3 3.6 13.7

Texas Tech 38 - Virginia 26—

Any short list of the top candidates for coach
of the year honors in 2007 should contain the name of Virginia mentor Al Groh.
Already on the hot seat after a losing campaign in 2006, Groh was under heavy
fire in Charlottesville when his Cavaliers opened this season with a moribund
23-3 loss at Wyoming. Based on that performance, few could have predicted
what would follow, as UVa cobbled together 7 straight wins and managed to
stay in the thick of the ACC title chase until the final week of the regular season.
Little has come easy for the Cavaliers this year, as 6 of their 9 victories were
decided by a total of 12 points! And the formula for success frequently wasn’t
pretty, as Groh, lacking a lot of premium offensive weapons, chose to play it
close to the vest on the attack, while leaving it up to his stingy, veteran defense
to hold foes in check. So, the main question in this matchup appears to be
whether Virginia & its Kia-like offense (just 330 ypg) has any chance of keeping
pace with the spread passing scheme “Ferrari” being driven Texas Tech (42 ppg
& 537 ypg).

It’s not impossible, especially if the Red Raider OL can’t hold the Cavaliers’
A-A sr. DE Chris Long (14 sacks; son of former Oakland Raider star & current
talking head Howie) at bay. Still, it’s much more likely that Tech will eventually
be able to pull away from this hard-trying but limited underdog. Raider jr. QB
Graham Harrell has thrown for 83 TDs & nearly 10,000 yards in just the last 2
seasons, and his rapid reads & quick release will help de-fuse the Virginia pass
rush. Also, Tech’s revelatory RS frosh WR Michael Crabtree (125 catches for
1861 yards & 21 TDs!) is a near-impossible matchup, too physical for many
CBs to handle but also too quick & agile to be covered by most safeties. No
surprise if the fundamentally-sound Cavaliers & versatile QB Jameel Sewell (16
TDP, 15 ints. last 2 seasons) win a few battles. They just probably don’t have
enough overall firepower to survive a 60-minute war against the relentlesslyattacking
Red Raiders. (DNP...SR: FIRST MEETING)

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POINTWISE ( 6-14 )

MISSOURI (11-2) vs ARKANSAS (8-4)
Missouri ...... 47.0 ...40-25 ... 25-20 .. 165-119 ... 328-262 .. +11 . Missouri
Arkansas ..... 42.2 ...40-26 ... 19-19 .. 297-148 ... 161-211 .. + 6 . by 2.5 Pts
Just a month ago, the Tigers of Missouri were hoping to land a spot in the BCS
Championship game, as they were ranked #1 in the nation, before losing to
Oklahoma, 38-17, in the Big 12 title contest. That game, by the way, was the
only one in which Mizzou failed to reach at least 31 pts this season. As a matter
of fact, the Tigers had averaged a blazing 42 ppg in their 13 lined contests,
previous to that failure vs the Sooners. Led by brilliant Jr QB Chase Daniel, who
finished 4th in the Heisman voting (69.7%, 4,170 yds, 33 TDs, & only 10 INTs),
the Tigers have been a major story all season. Ranked a mere 32nd on our
"Polls" column at the season's onset, with only 1 publication ranking them in the
Top 25, they barely escaped Illinois in their opener, but prevailed, thanks to 5
Illini TOs. But the machine was revved, with 548, 619, 581, & 606 yds in the
next 4 contests, before being derailed by Oklahoma (who else?). They were the
only team to take the measure of then 2nd-ranked Kansas (519-391 yd edge), &
their 55-10 road demolition of a decent Colorado squad (598-196 yd edge) is the
stuff of legends. Thus, the Razorbacks of Arkansas will have their hands full, in
trying to stay with this offensive juggernaut. But the Hogs have the irrepressible
McFadden in their arsenal. He has run for an astronomical 4,485 yds & 40 TDs
the past 3 years, ranking 31st, 10th, & 4th in ball toting since '05. He blitzed
LSU for 206 yds in Arkies' season-ending upset of mighty LSU, & how about an
incredible 323 RYs (9.2 ypr), in the Hogs' 48-36 win over South Carolina? That
is simply awesome. Even with the departure of 10-yr coach Houston Nutt, the
Razorbacks fear no one. And the huge Tiger disappointment may be the edge.

TEXAS TECH (8-4) vs VIRGINIA (9-3)
Texas Tech . 42.0 .. 42-26 .. 25-19 .... 65-177 .. 476-196.. - 6 . Tex Tech
Virginia ....... 41.1 .. 24-19 .. 16-15 .. 127-115 .. 203-210.. + 3 . by 4.4 Pts
Here we go again! The Raiders of Texas Tech compete in their 8th straight
bowl game, in the 8 years of Mike Leach's tutelage. And what an offense the
Raiders display, especially with their aerial fireworks, where they've ranked
#1, #1, #1, #1, #3, & #1 the past 6 years. Junior Graham Harrell has inherited
the mantle from earlier Tech flingers Kingsbury, Symons, Cumbie, & Hodges.
In his 2 years over center, he has thrown for 9,953 yds & 83 TDs! Not exactly
the type of opponent one aspires to face in a bowl contest. The Raiders swept
past Clemson, 55-15, in the '02 Tangerine (35-pt cover); Navy, 38-14, in the
'03 Houston (11½ pt cover), & California, 45-31, in the '04 Holiday (3-pt cover).
So an automatic play, right. Not quite, as they were held to a mere 10 pts in a
13-10 loss to Alabama in the '05 Cotton (6-pt ATS loss), & needed the largest
comeback in bowl history for a 44-41 OT win over Minnesota in the '06 Insight
(3½ pt ATS loss). By the way, Tech came from 38-7 down, halfway thru the
3rd. So, still a scintillating attack, but hardly an obvious "go-with" bowl play.
But, when the Raiders are on their game, they are dynamite. The Cavs return
to the bowl scene, after LY's expected miss, following the departure of Groh's
offensive & defensive coordinators. Virginia opened the year with a miserable
5 FD, 7 RY, 110 TY display in a 23-3 loss at Wyoming, but has fallen just twice
since, by 5 at NCSt, & by 12 at VaTech. Five wins by 3 pts or less, but also a
pair of impressive 30 & 48 pt romps over Pittsburgh & Miami. The Cavs shine
on "D", where they rank 18th (11th in scoring "D"). But containing Harrell,
Crabtree (21 TD catches), & Co, is another matter. But not a "1" call anymore.
RATING: TEXAS TECH 33 - Virginia 24 RATING: 6

USC ............ 40.3 .. 31-16 .. 21-16 .. 186- 79 ... 233-180 .. - 1 . USC
Illinois ......... 43.5 .. 30-29 .. 19-19 .. 266-115 .. 157-241 .. + 1 . by 10.3 Pts
Just 3 years ago, Ron Zook left the Florida Gators as a failed successor to the
legendary Steve Spurrier, when they suffered through 5-loss seasons in each
of his 3 years at the Gainesville helm. Well, it didn't take the Fighting Illini of
Illinois long to snag him. And what a coup it has turned out to be, with Illinois
making it all the way back from a combined 8-38 record from '03-'06, to a spot
in the Grandaddy Bowl. Plain & simple, Zook has recruited well. Led by the
elusive Juice Williams at QB (1,498 PYs, 774 PYs), & the running of Mendenhall
(1,526 yds, 6.2 ypr, 16 TDs), the Illini have come from 47th, to 10th, to 5th in
the land in overland production. Check topping 275 RYs no less than 7 times,
with 260 RYs vs an Ohio St "D" which was 200 yds more than the 60.4 RYpg
allowed by the Buckeyes in their other 11 games. And that was at Columbus.
Can they repeat such a fete vs a healthy USC Trojan squad, which has been
the premier program in nation over the past 5 years? The logical answer may
seem to be: "Why Not?". And we certainly don't dismiss any such possibility,
with the aforementioned Illini overland accomplishments. But, as we noted,
this Troy squad is at its healthiest at the moment, proving that with a throttling
of then #7 Arizona St, in that Thanksgiving day massacre (508-259 yd edge),
followed by their rout of Ucla (26-10 FD, 231-12 RY, 437-168 TY advantages).
Booty is again a force (63%, 20 TDs), & remember, he threw for 4 TDs in LY's
annihilation of Michigan in this same bowl. In Zook's 3 years with Florida, his
Gators went 0-3 in bowl games, losing 38-30, 37-17, & 27-10 (9, 23½, 13 pt
ATS setback). Sure, this is another time & place, but Trojans shine in biggies.

FLORIDA (9-3) vs MICHIGAN (8-4)
Florida ........ 46.6 .. 43-26 .. 22-18 .. 199-104 .. 259-258.. + 1 . Florida
Michigan .... 43.1 .. 26-20 .. 19-15 .. 162-131 .. 185-159.. + 8 . by 14.1 Pts
What a match! Just the 2nd between these collegiate gridiron behemoths, the
Wolverines of Michigan, & the defending national champion Gators of Florida.
Their 1st meeting took place in the '02 Outback Bowl, with Michigan (+1) prevailing
38-30. The Wolves have dropped 4 bowl games since, & have allowed
33 ppg in their last 9 holiday classics. Not exactly what is expected from
squad which is known for its rock-ribbed defense. A year ago, the Gators
made it look easy, in their 41-14 BCS title rout of Ohio St (31-pt cover), & the
Wolves made it look difficult in that 32-18 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl (13-pt
ATS setback). But despite those outcomes, we still feel that the Wolves were
jobbed from a return shot at the Buckeyes. No doubt, they still feel the same.
But is that added incentive enough to propel them past the awesome Gators,
who somehow lost 3 times this season? Florida opened more than few eyes
in its unheard of 59-20 rout of Tennessee, & wound up the season on a 4-gm
run, both SU & ATS, despite a "D", which allowed 33 ppg in its final 4 SEC tilts.
The Gator are led, of course, by Heisman winner, soph Tim Tebow, who set all
kinds of QB records with 29 passing, & 22 running TDs. Try 68.5% & just 6
INTs. The Wolves opened with that shocking loss to Appalachian St, followed
by a 39-7 home loss to Oregon (624-365 RY deficit), but then 8 straight wins,
before losses to Wisconsin & Ohio St: 40-25 FD & 756-411 yd deficits! Hart
has been a stalwart at RB for 4 years, but managed only 2.8 ypr in LY's Rose
Bowl. QB Henne & WR Mannigham are threats, to be sure, but Gator coach
Urban Meyer has simply shined in bowl contests. Florida, despite huge spot.
PROPHECY: FLORIDA 41 - Michigan 21 RATING: 1

GEORGIA (10-2) vs HAWAII (12-0)
Georgia ...... 47.1 .. 32-21 .. 18-17 .. 179-120 .. 200-205.. + 4 . Georgia
Hawaii ......... 34.3 .. 46-23 .. 27-21 .... 81-140 .. 442-210.. - 1 . by 5.9 Pts
This contest features yet another 2-loss team which feels that it has been
jobbed out of the BCS Title Game (the Georgia Bulldogs), facing major college
football's lone unbeaten team, which is thrilled to be here (the Hawaii Rainbow
Warriors). The 'Dawgs are, of course, one of the true elite squads in the land,
with a combined 63-15 record over the past 6 years, and making it to 34 bowl
games since the '66 season, with this marking their 11th straight season with
a bowl reward. And try 22 New Year's Day games. This year edition hardly
began with any flourish, as Georgia stood at just 4-2, after a thrashing at the
hands of the Vols of Tennessee, with 1 of those 4 wins by just 3 pts, in an OT
game vs eventual 6-6 Alabama. QB Stafford is the trigger, finishing as the 5th
rated passer in the SEC with 2,348 yds & 18 TDs, but Moreno is the engine
(2nd to McFadden in SEC RYs) in the 'Dawgs' 6-0 windup. Check 188 yds in
the Bulldogs' shockingly easy win over Florida (19½ pt cover). Yep, a 6-game
run to wind it up, & the 4th slot in the national rankings, but no BCS cigar. For
the 10th-ranked & perfect Rainbows, this one represents the apex. June Jones'
overhead barrages have been near unstoppable for the last 7 years, but this
edition is assuredly his best. The 'Bows have been challenged, to be sure, but
at season's end, they again led the nation in scoring at 46.2 ppg, down a bit
from LY's 46.8 ppg. They are led, of course, by the brilliant Colt Brennan, who
has thrown 131 TDs the past 3 years, to a bevy of top-notch receivers, such as
Grice-Mullen, Bess, & Rivers. This squad defines the word "explosive". Can
Hawaii be this year's Boise St? Absolutely. Fireworks galore & another upset.
PROPHECY: HAWAII 38 - Georgia 36 RATING: 2

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Wisconsin +2

Missouri -3

Florida -10

Tech Tech-5.5

Illinois +13.5


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NORTHCOAST POWER SWEEPS: ( 16-4 !!!!!!!!!!)

These two met once in the ‘81 Garden State Bowl which UT won 28-21. The Vols make a return
visit to Tampa where they are 1-1 SU & ATS in their history including LY’s 20-10 upset loss to Penn
St (-4’). The Badgers make their 4th appearance in this game (1-2 SU & 2-1 ATS). The last time they
visited Tampa in ‘04 they hung tough with favored Georgia but lost 24-21 (+8). The bowl committee
snapped up UW nearly a week before all the other bowl invites were handed out because of their fans’
fine reputation as travellers. Fulmer is 3-2 SU & ATS vs the Big Ten in bowls (7-7 SU & ATS overall).
UW has pulled 2 straight upsets of ranked SEC teams in NY’s Day bowls to bring their record up to
2-3 SU & 3-2 ATS vs the league in bowls (LY’s win under Bielema). UT has played a tougher schedule
(#20-46) taking on 10 bowl eligible teams (6-4 SU & 5-3-2 ATS) to UW’s 7 (4-3 SU & 2-5 ATS), but UT
was outgained 429-385 while UW outgained bowl foes 400-370. Both struggled on the road TY with
UT 2-4 SU & 2-3-1 ATS while UW was 2-3 SU & 0-5 ATS! UW has 5 senior starters & UT has 7. UW is
1-3 ATS as a dog TY & UT is 6-1 ATS as an AF S/’05. UW finished their season Nov 17 while UT last
played on Dec 1 but the extra rest has not affected this Big Ten team the L/2Y.
UW came into ‘07 with expectations to not only win their 1st Big Ten Title S/‘99 but also to compete for
their first-ever Nat’l Title as they opened the yr at #7. QB Donovan was 1 of just 2 new starters on off but
inj’s hampered the unit all ssn. TE Crooks, WR’s Swan and Hubbard, RB Hill and RG Kemp were among
the starters who missed multiple gms. The Badgers, who never quite looked like the tm that finished 12-1
in Bielema’s debut season, won their 1st 5 gms to climb into the Top 5 before losing to an unranked yet
favored Illinois tm. Donovan’s efficiency was hampered by the banged up rec corps which by the Penn
St gm saw the Badgers starting 2 true Fr WR’s. Eventually Hubbard returned for the L/5 gms to provide
the offense with a big play threat. The off MVP was John Mackey finalist Beckum who led the NCAA’s
TE in rec ypg and was #2 in rec per game. RB depth was a season long problem as #2 TB Smith was
suspended for all road games (is elig for bowl). When Hill was injured vs Indiana the staff was forced
to turn to true frosh Brown and he finished with 421 yds (5.5) in the L/3. UW returned 5 of their front 7
but were disappointing as they surrendered 73 more pass ypg & 13 extra TD passes than in ‘06. The S
play was erratic as well as CB Ikegwuonu’s play slipped (1st tm All-Big Ten in ‘06). The Badgers will be
without DT Chapman (knee), CB Langford (knee) and possibly Hill (leg) for the bowl.
UT’s roller coaster ssn started with a 1-2 record with blowout losses to Cal & rival UF and fans were
calling for Fulmer’s head. A blowout win over rival UGA quieted the fans until 2 wks later when the Vols
were blown out by rival Bama. Prior to the Ark gm, 191 former UT players including Peyton Manning took
out a full page ad supporting Fulmer, and UT finished the reg ssn with 5 str wins clinching a spot in the
SEC Champ gm. UT’s offense (#32) is led by Sr QB Ainge who lost his top 3 rec’s from ‘06, but still topped
LY’s ydg & threw 10 more TD. Taylor became Ainge’s go-to guy finishing #3 in the SEC in rec pg despite
being less than 100% in several gms. RB Foster turned in a career best ssn with five 100+ rush gms. UT’s
OL has been outstanding allowing just 4 sks in 491 pass atts (0.8%) which is #1 in the NCAA. DC Chavis
has built outstanding defenses here, but TY was an exception. UT finished #46 in overall D, but #76 in our
pass eff D rankings with 3 CB’s lost to inj & dismissal since April ‘07. Undersized FS Hefney (2nd Tm SEC
‘06) had a disappointing beginning of the yr, but true frosh SS Berry emerged as a star setting a UT record
with 222 int ret yds TY. Overall UT was outscored 29.7-28.6 and outgained 415-372 in SEC play TY but
their bend-but-don’t-break defense allowed just 20 ppg in regulation the L/6 (32 ppg 1st 7).
UT has had an all-or-nothing approach to the bowls the last few yrs with huge blowout wins over
TX A&M in ‘04 & Michigan in ‘01, but blowout losses to Clem & Maryland in B2B Peach Bowls in ‘02
& ‘03. The Vols finished with a loss in the SEC Championship but had a successful 9 win season with
a New Year’s Day bowl bid. Highly respected UT OC Cutcliffe was named HC of Duke and may not
coach the Vols in the bowl. Wisc has covered the L/3 vs the SEC on NY’s Day but Tenn did finish on a
7-3-2 ATS run while facing 10 bowl eligible teams. The Vols running game & defense improved as the
season progressed making them the more balanced team and the choice here.

This will be the 5th meeting overall (2-2) & a rematch of the ‘03 Independence Bowl which Arkansas won
27-14 (-2’) despite being outgained 407-385. Mizzou is 10-14 in bowls & lost 40-27 vs Texas in their only Cotton
Bowl appearance. This will also be the Tigers’ 1st NYD bowl S/’70 (lost 10-3 vs PSU). Ark is 11-21-3 in bowls,
including 3-6-1 (1-2 ATS) in the Cotton Bowl. The Razorbacks are on a 3-12 SU & 4-11 ATS run in bowls S/’79
are 1-7 SU & 2-6 ATS on NYD. Pinkel is 2-2 in bowls (2-1 SU & ATS as HC w/MO). Ark interim HC Herring will
be making his HC debut. Both schools sold their allotment of tickets & with the strong recruiting ties for Ark
in TX along with the home of the Big XII for MO the crowd will be a full house at 50/50. Mizzou has faced 6
bowl caliber tms going 5-2 SU & ATS, outscoring opp’s on avg 37-27 & outgaining them on avg 465-364. Ark
was 3-4 SU & 4-3 ATS vs their 7 bowl caliber opps, outgaining them on avg 432-408, but were outscored on
avg 34-31. Both tms played Ole Miss, winning & covering, but Ark only all’d 294 yds & Mizzou gave up 534.
The Tigers have 7 seniors starters with 18 upperclassmen (82%) in starting roles while the Razorbacks start
10 seniors & 17 upperclassmen (77%). Mizzou was 4-0 ATS as an AF TY & Ark is 7-2 ATS as an AD. Ark will
have 8 more days of preparation as MO last played in the Big XII Title gm on Dec 1st.
Missouri was just one gm away from a Nat’l Title shot, but lost to OU for the 2nd time in one yr (only tm that
has beat them all ssn) & was bypassed by the BCS accepting the Cotton Bowl invite ungraciously. Missouri &
Ohio St are the only 2 schools in IA whose losses came vs BCS tms, yet the Tigers are not in the BCS? If you
take away the gms vs OU, Mizzou has dropped 36+ on every opp. Heisman finalist QB Daniel had a stellar Jr
season as he threw for at least 300 yds in 8 gms (62%) & is 4th in the NCAA in ttl off (343 ypg). Jeremy Maclin
broke an NCAA record for the most ttl yds in one ssn by a Fr with 2,713. He is 35% of the Tigers’ total yardage.
John Mackey runner-up Rucker along with Coffman are the best set of TE’s in the nation. The OL avg 6’4” 310
with 2 senior starters. The DL avg 6’3” 280 with 1 senior starter. The DL is the strength of the D all’g just 101
ypg (3.3) over the L/9 gms. They are led by Sr DT Lorenzo Williams & Jr DE Sulak. The secondary suffered
a big blow with the loss of Sr Pig Brown in late Oct, but does have 5 of 8 upperclassmen in the 2 deep & is
ranked #35 in the pass eff D allowing 262 ypg (62%) with an 18-16 ratio. K Wolfert is a ex-diver on the Mizzou
swim tm & has had an outstanding ssn. Super KR/PR Maclin is a threat to take it all the way on every touch.
Missouri is ranked #2 on offense, #25 on defense & #71 on ST’s (#115 in net punting, 30.9).
HC Nutt’s job was on the line well before the ssn started with all of the offssn drama surrounding the
transfer of former QB Mustain and the other Springdale players. When the Hogs started the ssn 0-3 in SEC
play, planes flew over Ark’s stadium during gms calling for his ouster. The tm led by junior RB’s McFadden &
Jones stuck together and fully supported their HC and won 5 of their L/6 gms including a huge upset of #1
LSU in 3OT to earn a NY’s Day bowl bid. Ark’s offense is #12 in our rankings. Two-time Heisman runner-up
McFadden wasn’t 100% for much of the ssn & was held to 43 yds in their loss to Aub, but tied an NCAA
record with 321 rush yds vs SCar and took nearly half of the snaps from center vs LSU (206 rush, 3 TD).
Jones was inj’d vs Tenn & missed all but 1 snap vs Miss St, but still reached 1,000. QB Dick was solid TY,
but not spectacular with a much improved TD/int ratio (LY 9-6). Dick was hampered by a banged up WR
corps with top WR Monk inj’d in the pressn and not returning until the L/6 gms. Starting WR Johnson missed
2 gms and both Monk & Johnson didn’t get much practice time all yr with the coaches holding them out
to keep them healthy for the gms. The OL is led by Rimington Trophy winner Jonathan Luigs and all’d just
10 sks (3.6%) & the tm finished #3 in the NCAA in rush (297 ypg, 6.2). Ark’s D is #49 in our rankings with
the DL solidifying midssn after Harrison ret’d from susp and settled in at his more natural DT position. Ark
allowed 147 rush ypg (3.8) and finished #5 in our pass D rankings all’g 211 ypg (46%) with a 21-19 ratio
vs a tough opposing slate of QB’s. CB Grant led the SEC in PD after moving from FS midssn.
This is a rematch of our 2003 Bowl Game of the Year as Ark (-2’) won 27-14. Missouri was the team
left out of the BCS mix and certainly will use this venue to prove they belonged. Arkansas knocked off the
#1 team in the country in their last game and then struggled to find a HC before luring Petrino from the
Falcons. Missouri has edges on both offense and defense and outgained bowl opponents by 101 ypg while
going 5-2 ATS. Missouri’s run defense is stout enough to slow the powerful Razorback rush attack and QB
Daniel knows that Ark all’d the pass attacks of Alabama and Kentucky to both put up 40+ points. FORECAST: Missouri 41 Arkansas 30 RATING: 4*

This is a rematch of the ‘02 Outback Bowl which Mich won 38-30 (-1), the only prior meeting between
these 2 powers. The Capital One was hoping to get 9-3 Illinois with HC Zook facing his former team, but
instead will host Lloyd Carr’s retirement party. Michigan leads the NCAA with their 33rd straight post season
gm while Florida has played 17 in a row (3rd longest). This is the Gators’ 5th trip to the Capital One Bowl
(2-2 SU) with their last appearance in ‘99 (37-34 loss to Mich St, -2’) while this is UM’s 4th appearance
(2-1 SU & 1-2 ATS). Though Michigan should bring some fans, UF should have a large crowd edge. UF HC
Meyer will be trying to win his 5th straight bowl (4-0 ATS) after LY’s trouncing of #1 ranked Ohio St in the
BCS Title gm as a 7’ pt dog. Meyer is 2-0 ATS as a bowl favorite (both at Utah). Carr is 5-7 SU & 4-8 ATS
in bowls (2-3 as bowl dog) & LY suffered a blowout loss to USC in the Rose Bowl (+1). UM has 8 senior
starters and 15 upperclassmen in starting roles while UF has just 6 senior starters and 11 upperclassmen.
UF is 3-2 SU & ATS on the road TY, but just 2-9 ATS as an AF under Meyer. UM has faced 8 bowl elig
tms (5-3 SU & 3-4-1 ATS) with an avg score of 22-22 while being outgained by them 371-326. UF faced
9 bowl elig tms and outscored those tms 43-27 and outgained foes 447-370. Our rankings show UM with
the tougher schedule overall (#18-35). UM last played on Nov 17 while UF played on Nov 24.
#5 Michigan began ‘07 with National Championship expectations as they returned 4 of the NCAA’s best players
in QB Henne, RB Hart, WR Manningham and OT Long. Their shocking loss in the opener to IAA champ App St not
only dashed those lofty dreams but it also opened the floodgates for what proved to be 1 of the NCAA’s wackiest
ssns ever. The opener was also the last time that all of their stars played a full gm as Henne missed parts of 8
gms (knee & shoulder inj’s) while RB Hart missed 3 due to a nagging ankle inj. True frosh Mallett started 4 gms
(3-1 SU & ATS) but struggled with control (5 int & 10 fmbl’s w/5 lost). Despite the inj, Hart rushed for 100+ in 8
of his 9 gms played and will finally be 100% here. Biletnikoff finalist Manningham was in Carr’s doghouse due to
inconsistent play. Lombardi finalist Long was the steadiest performer on an OL which started 6 different combos.
Overall UM finished with our #47 off. After getting blown out by Oregon, UM rallied to win their next 8 gms thanks
to their D which all’d just 15 ppg and 275 ypg during the streak. The Wolves had 1 of the nation’s top D’s in ‘06 but
had to replace 7 starters incl 5 NFL DC’s. They struggled once again vs spread offenses which featured mobile
QB’s allowing 30 ppg and 421 ypg to App St, Oregon & IL. Crable led NCAA LB’s in tfl and was the only true star
of the defense that ranked #7 overall ST’s were rarely special as K Gingell had 2 FG’s blk’d vs App St which cost
them the gm. P Mesko was a standout vs OSU with 12 punts for a 45.9 avg in foul weather (40.1 net).
UF’s 2006 Nat’l Champ high started to wear off late Sept when the Gators were almost upset by Ole
Miss then the next week Aub upset the Gators in the Swamp as a 17’ pt dog ending their 18 gm home win
streak. The following wk, UF outplayed LSU, but lost in Baton Rouge for Meyer’s 1st B2B losses at Florida
(just 2nd time in career). QB Tebow suffered a shldr inj vs UK, and was unable to run vs rival UGA which
led to the Gators’ final loss of the ssn knocking them out of the SEC Title hunt. Heisman-Winner Tebow set
an NCAA record becoming the only player in history with 20+ pass & rush TD’s in a ssn. Tebow is their #1
offensive weapon (72%) as the tm’s top rusher and finished #2 in the NCAA in pass efficiency. Tebow suffered
a brkn hand vs FSU but is expected to be 100% here. Tebow’s top receiver Harvin missed 2 gms and
was forced to fill in at RB finishing as the #2 rusher. Tebow’s mobility helped the OL allow just 12 sks and
the tm rushed for 198 ypg (5.2). The Gators finished with our #1 offense. UF’s defense ret’d just 2 starters
from ‘06 and finished #42 overall in our rankings. The soft spot is the secondary which features 2 true frosh
starters (CB Haden & FS Wright) and finished #68 in our pass D rankings allowing 249 ypg (59%) with a
16-9 ratio. The rush D finished #10 in the NCAA allowing 99 ypg (3.0). UF has a large edge on ST’s (#18-98)
with returnman James & a net punt avg of 38.6 (#9 in NCAA).
Florida won the ‘06 BCS Champ with a coach who is 4-0 in bowls facing a Michigan squad that lost
its L/2 with a coach that has lost 4 straight bowls. Now let’s look a little deeper. The checklist shows that
Michigan matches up fairly evenly and they were a Top 10 team to start the year but were riddled with injuries
to their offense skill players. They will now finally be healthy and can keep this game close. Intangibles
favor the Wolves playing there final game for HC Carr against the Gators who expected, at worst, a BCS
Sugar Bowl trip as SEC Champs. This game is eerily similar to the ‘05 Capital One Bowl where a seemingly
undermatched Wisconsin squad beat Arkansas 24-10 as 10 point dog in Barry Alvarez’s final game. FORECAST: MICHIGAN (+) 31 Florida 35 RATING: 1*

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Re: New Years Day Service Plays


1st matchup. This is UVA’s 5th bowl appearance under Groh, and the Cavs are 7-9 SU & 7-8-1 ATS overall
in bowls. TT is 9-20-1 SU in bowls & is playing in their 8th straight post ssn gm, all under HC Leach (4-3
SU & 3-4 ATS). This will be UVA’s 2nd appearance in the Gator Bowl (lost to OK 48-14, -2 in ‘91). TT hasn’t
won a NYD bowl S/‘54 (Gator Bowl) going 0-3 SU & 0-2 ATS since. The Raiders are 2-1 in the Gator Bowl
but this is their 1st appearance S/’73. The Cavs have not played a NYD bowl since they lost to BC 31-13 in
the ‘94 Carquest Bowl. UVA has faced 5 bowl caliber tms going 4-1 SU & 3-2 ATS while outgaining those
opp’s 335-317 but were outscored 21-20 with 3 one pt wins. TT has faced 6 bowl caliber tms going 2-4 SU
& ATS, avg 510 ypg, outgaining foes by 59 ypg but being outscored 36-32. The Cavs have 7 seniors and 15
upperclassmen (68%) in the starting lineup while TT has just 4 senior starters & 10 upperclassmen (45%).
UVA plays their home games on grass & was 6-4 ATS on it & has the surface edge over TT who plays on
turf (3-7 ATS on grass). The Cavs are just 9-15 ATS as an AD under Groh but went 3-0 TY. TT was 3-1 ATS
as an AF TY. TT should have the fan edge here as they have sold their allotment of 12,000+ while UVA still
had 5,000 tickets remaining and their fans generally don’t travel to far away bowls.
TT is known for its potent offense that scores at will as HC Leach has that kind of persona. The
Red Raiders did return to form this year (42 ppg) from an off that avg ‘d 10 pgg less in ‘06 (prior to the
bowl). TT dropped 34+ on 10 opponents TY (83%). TT was 6-1 & ranked #22, but finished 2-3. They did
beat OU (w/o QB Bradford) to end the regular ssn & are the only Big XII tm to be bowl elig every year
since the league was formed in ‘96. For the 1st time in 6 yrs, TT had the same QB start for 2 straight
yrs. Harrell is #1 in the NCAA in pass yds, pass ypg & pass TD’s. TT however is ranked #119 in rush off
avg 61 ypg. Biletnikoff Winner WR Crabtree (1st FR named AFCA AA since Herschel Walker in ‘80) set
a Fr record with 21 TD (shattered old record of 14). He leads the nation in rec & rec yds & has eleven
100+ yd gms (two 200+). Sr WR Amendola was overshadowed, but his veteran leadership is invaluable.
The OL avg 6’6’’ 331 with NO seniors up front, making them inexperienced, but also the tallest &
largest OL in the country. The DL avg 6’4’’ 262 and again with NO seniors starters. DC Setencich was
let go after Tech all’d 49 pts & 610 yds to OkSt. McNeill has filled as interim DC & since then Tech has
allowed 25 ppg & 348 ypg. The Red Raiders rank #25 in our pass eff def allowing 196 ypg (55%) with
a 19-10 ratio. Texas Tech is ranked #3 on offense, #47 on defense & #15 on sp tms.
UVA started the ssn with an embarrassing 23-3 loss to WY with many wanting Groh fired. However, the
Cavs turned it around and won 7 straight finishing the season 9-3 with Groh being named the ACC COY &
getting his contract extended. UVA played many close games that could have gone either way. A win here
would give UVA 10 wins in a ssn for the first time S/’89. The Cavs lost their top TB Peerman midseason
w/a leg inj (#1 ACC prior to inj) and shuffled around several players until Simpson finally emerged as the
#1. The OL avg 6’5” 301 with 2 Sr starters, paving the way for 126 ypg rush (3.4) but did allow 30 sks.
The key to this game for UVA is trying to contain the nation’s #1 passing offense with their #22 ranked D.
Hendricks Winner & ACC Def POY DE Long is #3 in the nation in sks and has that first-step quickness to
apply pressure on TT. Fitzgerald is capable of creating havoc on the other side. The DL avg 6’4” 278 is only
all’g 113 ypg rush (3.0) and ranks #6 in the nation with 40 sks. LB Sintim is #2 on the team in sacks and
also has the capability of applying a lot of pressure. UVA’s secondary has struggled, all’g 210 ypg (57%)
with a 15-11 ratio ranking #72 in our pass eff D. They now have to try to defend a team that produced two
1,000+ yd receivers. The Cavs only have our #61 ST ranking but they did have one of the top punters in
the country in Weigand with a 45.5 avg but the tm had 3 P’s blk’d bringing the net to 35.2.
Ironically both of these tms had huge comebacks to beat Minnesota in their previous bowl win
(sorry Glenn Mason). TT’s spread offense is led by Graham Harrell, who passed for 5,000+ yds and
freshman WR Crabtree (1861 yds & 21 TD) and they’ll receive most of the pregame hype. Virginia’s
superstar is DL Long (Howie’s son) who is a one man wrecking crew and this grass field will help slow
the TT offense. The Cavs will quietly prep for this game as the underdog and will keep this one close
against the favored Red Raiders.
FORECAST: VIRGINIA (+) 28 Texas Tech 30 RATING: 2*

The Trojans have won 10 of 12 meetings outscoring the Illini by a 26-10 avg with the last game
in ‘96. Illinois makes their 1st bowl appearance S/’01 (Sugar Bowl) and 1st Rose Bowl S/’83. Since
‘82 the Illini are 3-8 SU in bowls and Zook went 0-2 SU & ATS on NY’s day as Florida’s HC. USC is
making an unprecedented 6th straight BCS Bowl which also happens to be their 32nd Rose Bowl
bid overall. The Trojans are 66-6 their L/72 gms under Carroll with their losses by a combined 20 pts
and are 4-2 SU & ATS in the post season. USC faced 5 bowl caliber teams winning 4 of 5 SU (3-2
ATS) outscoring them by a 27-15 avg. Illinois has faced 9 bowl eligible tms going 6-3 SU & 5-4 ATS
outscoring them 27-22 and outgaining them 390-388. USC is playing in their hometown while Illini fans
are expected to flock to Pasadena. USC went 5-1 SU & 4-2 ATS on the road TY and IL went 4-2 SU
& ATS including their upset of #1 Ohio St. The Trojans have 10 senior starters and 19 upperclassmen
while bowl hungry Illinois has 8 seniors among 15 upperclassmen. Since the 2nd gm of ‘03 USC has
been favored in every reg ssn game except vs Oregon TY. The Trojans are 4-11 ATS as DD favorites.
IL is 4-2 ATS as an AD L/2Y. IL wrapped up its season Nov 17th while USC finished on Dec 1st.
Ron Zook came to Illinois with the reputation of being a big time recruiter (21 of 22 starters on Florida’s
National Championship tm) but he entered the 2007 season with a 27-33 career record. Zook’s young
squad pulled the NCAA’s largest turnaround in his 3rd year in Champaign going from a 2-10 record to
9-3. The Illini run a no-huddle spread power option which suits the skills of QB Williams. Williams is very
mobile but an unpolished passer, in fact if you take out his 4 TD pass performance vs OSU he had a 9-10
ratio TY. Early in the year Zook frequently substituted Williams with backup McGee who is considered a
better passer but the coach stuck with Juice and was rewarded. Big Ten Offensive POY RB Mendenhall
led the conf in rushing. Frosh WR Benn, who was recruited by USC, led the Illini in receiving despite rarely
being 100% TY due to a shoulder injury. The OL was 1 of the NCAA’s best paving the way for 5.7 ypc with
just 11 sks all’d (3.8%). The offense is #19 in our ranking while the D is #20. The Illini defense is led by AA
LB Leman who was #3 in the conf in tkls. The DL avg’s 6’5” 277 and had 38 sks with 3.3 rush ypc all’d.
Illinois ranks #42 in pass eff D led by cover CB Davis who was the only soph to be a Thorpe semifinalist.
The ST’s were a much improved unit (#62) as K Reda hit 3 FG’s from 50+ and the team blk’d 2 kicks.
Trojans QB Booty looked to be the Heisman frontrunner early but a broken finger vs Stanford (4
int in the 2H) caused him to miss the next 3. In Booty’s absence, bkup Sanchez took over leading
USC to victories in 2 of 3 starts. Booty returned & despite accuracy issues early, put together an
impressive performance vs ASU (375 yds, 67%, 4-0 ratio) boosting his confidence to end the ssn.
RB Washington led in rushing for the 2nd straight ssn while rFr Johnson & true frosh McKnight were
forced to carry the remainder of the load after the transfer of Moody (#2 rush LY) and a ssn ending inj
to Gable (#3 rush LY). The WR position was the biggest ? TY after the departure of Jarrett & Smith to
the NFL. The new receiving trio of Turner, Ausberry & Hazelton struggled early in the ssn as TE Davis
led the tm in rec, rec yds & rec TD’s winning the John Mackey Award. The OL is loaded with talent &
size (6’5” 303) led by AA LT Baker who helped pave the way for 185 ypg rush (4.7) while all’g 15 sks
(3.6%). USC is ranked #10 on offense. The DL avg 6’5” 286 all’g just 79 ypg rush (2.4) led by DT Ellis
and DE Jackson. The LB corps is one of the best in the nation with Maualuga, Rivers & Cushing. The
secondary all’d 180 ypg (54%) with an 8-10 ratio ranking #4 in pass eff D. The def finished #2 overall.
USC struggled on ST’s (#100) as they allowed 3 blk’d P’s and a KR TD.
It is business as usual as USC is playing in their 3rd straight Rose Bowl and 6th straight BCS appearance.
Illinois is thrilled to be selected by the BCS and their season is a success just by landing in this
game. The Trojans have a chip on their shoulder and are out to prove that they are a national power. The
defense has at least 9 players who will be playing on Sundays and already faced a pair of mobile QB’s
in Dixon and Locker. They held Oreg (w/ Dixon) 167 yds under their season avg and held Washington
204 yards under theirs. USC’s HC Carroll against UI HC Zook is one of the biggest bowl mismatches.

Hawaii ended the reg ssn with a perfect 12-0 record en route to becoming the only undefeated team in
IA. The Warriors own the nation’s longest winning streak at 13 gms & have won 22 of their L/23 contests.
The Warriors are playing in their first BCS bowl (the WAC’s 2nd in as many yrs) & are making their 5th
bowl appearance in 6 years. Three-time WAC COY (‘99, ‘06, ‘07) Jones has guided the Warriors to 5 of
their 7 bowls & is 4-1 SU & 3-2 ATS. UGA is playing in their 11th straight bowl & 7th consec bowl under
Richt (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) and LY upset #14 VT in a 31-24 come-from-behind win in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
This is UGA’s 43rd bowl appearance (#6 in NCAA, 23-16-3 record) and their 9th Sugar Bowl (3-5 SU). In
their last Sugar Bowl trip, UGA was upset by WV (-6) 38-35, a gm in which the Dawgs trailed 28-0 early
2Q. UH is 3-0 SU & 1-2 ATS vs bowl tms TY outscoring them 35-28 and outgaining them 517-357 while
completing 73% of its pass atts. UGA has faced a much tougher schedule (#49-118) with a 7-2 SU & 6-3
ATS record vs 9 bowl elig tms. UGA outscored those tms 30-22 & outgained them 372-333. The Warriors
are 1-3 SU (3-1 ATS) vs SEC squads S/‘87. UGA sold over 22,000 tickets to this gm as of presstime and
will have a huge crowd edge with possibly less than 1,500 fans making the long trip from Hawaii. UGA is
4-1 SU & 3-2 ATS on the road TY while UH is 5-0 SU & 2-3 ATS. UH has 12 senior & 21 of their starters
are upperclassmen while UGA has just 7 seniors & 13 upperclassmen in starting roles.
UH QB Brennan, the WAC Off POY, directs our #8 rated off & is the NCAA’s career leader with 131
TD passes. Brennan has passed for over 4,000 yds in each of his 3 ssns at UH. TY he threw for over
400 yds & 4 or more TD’s in 6 of UH’s 12 gms with ssn-highs of 548 yds & 6 TD. In the Warriors’ final
2 gms vs their biggest opps, Brennan passed for 937 yds (80%) & 10 TD, including a school-record 20
consec comp vs Wash. UH’s WR trio of Bess, Grice-Mullen & Rivers have each surpassed the 1,000
yd plateau TY (ties NCAA record). UH also had at least 2 WR’s with 100+ yds in a gm 8 times TY
including 4 gms with three 100+ yd receivers. UH’s OL avg 6’2” 293 & all 5 have started every game
TY. The unit is primarily a pass-protection front in the Run-&-Shoot (606 pass plays vs 261 rush) &
all’d 26 sks while aiding a running game that avg 3.6 ypc. UH is known for its offense but it features
our #61 rated D which has been flying under the radar. UH is #9 in the NCAA in sks (38), #11 in int
(19) & #5 in 3rd down conv (28.7%). UH’s DL avg 6’3”, 281 & DE Veikune leads the WAC in sks. The
LB duo of Elimimian & Leonard both eclipsed the century mark in tkls while the veteran secondary
all’d 217 ypg (57%) with a 15-19 ratio earning our #23 overall pass eff D ranking. UH is #55 in our ST
ratings & PK Kelly hit two HUGE kicks to keep UH’s undefeated season & BCS hopes alive.
UGA’s young offense (#41) is led by soph QB Stafford who made great strides after a rocky true
frosh ssn improving his TD/int ratio from 7-13 in ‘06. However, the team’s 6 gm win streak to end the
ssn can partially be attributed to RB Moreno who started the L/6 after Brown & Lumpkin were inj’d.
Brown ret’d as a bkup in the L/3 & led the tm vs GT with 139. Lumpkin (‘06’s top rusher with 798, 4.9)
may be available for the bowl. The WR’s were steady but unspectacular for most of the ssn with less
dropped passes than ‘06. The OL starts 3 true frosh and all’d just 15 sks (4.4%) while opening holes
for 179 rush ypg (4.6). UGA’s #15 D was solid vs the run all’g 120 ypg (3.4) & had a solid pass rush
with DT Atkins collecting 29 qbh & DE Howard having 33. The safeties were a little banged up TY, so
CB Allen finished as the #2 tklr and UGA finished #41 in our pass D rankings all’g 205 ypg (59%) with
an 11-11 ratio. They will need their top 6 DB’s (at least) to be healthy for the bowl, but UGA did hold
the best QB they faced, Tebow (though stationary due to shldr inj) to 236 pass yds and 1 TD pass.
Though UGA is happy to make a BCS bowl, this is potentially a lose-lose situation for the Dawgs
because if they beat UH, they “only” beat a WAC tm, and if they lose, it will be a replay of LY’s Fiesta
Bowl. Hawaii is thrilled with a BCS appearance and does have hope from fellow WAC member Boise’s
Fiesta Bowl win. Georgia however will use that same upset from LY to keep themselves focused and
HC Richt has made a point that their loss to WV in 2005 catapulted the Mountaineers program. A
focused Georgia team will show you the talent difference between the SEC and the WAC,

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