Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
College Key Selections
1--Iowa over Wisconsin 38-17
1--Penn State over Michigan 40-13
2--Virginia (+) over North Carolina 33-23
3--Memphis(+) over East Carolina 31-30
3--Tulsa over UTEP 58-24
4--Oregon State over Washington 44-14
5--Army (+) over Buffalo 24-27
5--South Florida over Syracuse 41-10
NFL Key Selections
2--Dallas over St. Louis 30-10
3--Tampa Bay over Seattle 33-13
4--Washington over Cleveland 27-10
5--NY Jets over Oakland 27-20
5--Houston over Detroit 34-20
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
CKO CONFIDENTIAL KICK-OFF
RATINGS: 11 - Exceptional, 10 - Strong, 9 - Above Average
11* WESTERN MICHIGAN over *Central Michigan
WESTERN MICHIGAN 40-*Central Michigan 28
Western Michigan is on a hot streak, as the Broncos have posted a 3-0-1 spread mark and 35 ppg in the last
month. The offense is in good hands with 6-5 jr. QB Tim Hiller (68%, 23 TD passes and just 5 ints. this season),
who’s thrown for 550 yds., 6 TDs and just 1 interception in 2 prior games vs. CMU. Western’s receiving corps
is deep and talented, as WRs Simmons, Julien & Nunez and TE Ledbetter have all already caught 32 or more
passes. The Broncos balance Hiller’s throws with RB Brandon West, who’s run for an average of 101 yards in
the last 6 games, and caught 24 passes in ‘08. WMU ranks higher than the Chippewas in several key defensive
categories, most importantly scoring defense, where the Broncos allow almost a touchdown less per game than
CMU. WMU is in double-revenge mode, having lost SU to Central in each of the last two years, but the Broncos
are 4-1-1 vs. the number in the last six meetings.
10* MISSISSIPPI over *Alabama
MISSISSIPPI 23 - *Alabama 24
Resurgent Ole Miss succumbed to the “Sport Illustrated Jinx” in 31-24 Oxford loss vs. South Carolina, but believe
the resilient Rebels can bounce back and perform at the same high level reached in 31-30 upset at Florida. SEC
scouts report during the bye week HC Houston Nutt is having his team practice with full pads and focusing on
cutting down on turnovers. Note in its 3 defeats (by combined 15 pts.), Ole Miss has committed 11 TOs (to just
4 for opponents). Nutt says he is pleased how his players have responded to the harder practices when saying,
“They’ve had a great attitude, and I’ve had my antenna up.” Fundamentally, Rebels offense possesses the
balance (156 ypg rushing, 217 passing) and diversity to produce vs. Bama defense that showed some chinks in
2nd H of 41-30 win vs. Georgia. And with Tide ground assault unlikely to steamroll Rebels front 7 (3.3 ypc, 13
sacks), Saban’s crew will be in a 60-minute battle. Bama just 3-16 as Tuscaloosa chalk since ‘05.
10* VANDERBILT over *Georgia
VANDERBILT 20 - *Georgia 24
Although the loss at Mississippi State puts a crimp in Vandy’s SEC title dreams, have to continue to be impressed
by the Commodore defense. That unit is allowing just 16 ppg, puts on a tremendous pass rush, and has been
forcing turnovers and providing the offense with good field position. Special teams have contributed as well, as
Vandy ranks 22nd in net punting and D.J. Moore is 3rd in the nation in returning punts (23 ypp). The Georgia
offense was highly touted when the Dawgs were ranked No. 1 in preseason, but production has been a bit
harder to come by in SEC play, where Georgia has averaged 23 ppg in 3 league contests after pouring in 101 pts
in first 2 games this season. One reason things have gotten tougher offensively is that the Dawgs have lost their
top two left tackles to injury. No reason defense and special teams can’t keep Vandy in the game for 60 minutes.
10* *VIRGINIA over North Carolina
*VIRGINIA 26 - North Carolina 20
Now that North Carolina’s star WR/returner Tate (ACC-leading 165 all-purpose ypg) is out for year with a torn
ACL, ACC sources strongly urge taking the still-generous number with suddenly-surging 3-3 Virginia, back in the
bowl picture following dominating 35-20 victory over East Carolina. Previously-stagnant Cav offense is now
grooving behind 6-3 soph QB Verica (50 of 66 last 2 games) and RB Peerman (173 YR vs. Pirates; 186 vs. Tar
Heels LY), operating behind a cohesive OL. Gambling Tar Heel 2ndary (14 ints. but 60%, 232 ypg passing) likely
to get burned deep vs. sizzling Cav attack knee deep at WR. Meanwhile, hard-charging Cav defense (18 sacks),
featuring LB Sintim (7 sacks), will pressure Tar Heel QB Sexton, especially since ground game gains just 3.4 ypc.
And, with the aforementioned Tate sidelined, UVA 2ndary can do more “doubling” on homerun threat WR Nicks.
Groh’s squad has covered 14 of last 17 as a dog, and last 8 at home vs. UNC.
10* TENNESSEE over *Kansas City
TENNESSEE 23 - *Kansas City 6
While rebuilding K.C. is preparing Brodie Croyle (0-7 as an NFL starter) to return to the starting lineup for the first
time since he injured his shoulder in the season opener, Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher has been at work during
the team’s bye week studying the success of the Dolphins and several college teams in various formations that
make use of the QB in unusual ways. The 5-0 Titans thus plan to have extra weapons in their arsenal with the
return this week of Vince Young. Although Kerry Collins will remain the starter, Young is also expected to see
action, armed with a new group of plays and also sharing the field with Collins at times. However, the Chiefs
dare not forget about the speed of RB Chris Johnson (381 YR), one of the brightest rookies in the league.
Fisher’s underrated “D” is allowing only 11 ppg, best in the NFL!
TOTALS: N.Y. Jets-Oakland UNDER (43)—Oakland coaching change won’t help, and QB JaMarcus Russell can’t sustain drives. N.Y. offense could be “Jetlagged” from cross-country trip...Cleveland-Washington UNDER (39-estimated line)—Cleveland’s 12 ppg is the worst production in the NFL; Giants allow 2nd fewest points in the league. It usually takes two teams scoring to get a game over the total.
HONORABLE MENTION (Nine-Rated Games): NORTHWESTERN (-4) vs. Purdue—Look for Wildcats to bounce back as lame duck Purdue HC Joe Tiller sounds as if he’s ready to give underachieving QB Painter the hook....MISSISSIPPI STATE (+8½) at Tennessee—MSU has covered 3 of last 4 and owns the country’s No. 3 pass defense. Vols a sad 108th in scoring...NEW MEXICO (-14½) vs. San Diego State—Aztec defensive line injuries just keep coming;QBing medical report not a lot better, and they run for the fewest yards in the nation. Lobo RB Ferguson will have a monster day...UTEP (+17½) at Tulsa—Look for Miners to trade TDs all the way in this “defense-optional” affair. UTEP QB Vittatoe has 825 YP, 10 TDPs & just 1 int. in last 3 games...MIAMI (-3)
vs. Baltimore—Ravens represent the least-productive attack the Dolphin defense has faced this season, while the “Wildcat” set has pushed Miami into the top ten in offense.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
THE GOLD SHEET
IOWA by 14 over Wisconsin
ARKANSAS Plus over Kentucky
SAN JOSE STATE by 12 over New Mexico State
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE by 15 over Arkansas State
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16
*Florida State 24 - NORTH CAROLINA STATE 19—Seminoles have won & covered two straight, as FSU offense (540 YR in last 2 games!) starting to pound the rock. Special game for well-liked ‘Nole assistant coach & deposed former N.C. State mentor Amato. Still, inclined to take points with host & resourceful RS frosh QB R. Wilson (3 TDP, 2 TDR, no ints. in his last 2 games).Insiders say injured LB Irving & DT Cash likely back in action for speedy
Wolfpack defense. CABLE TV—ESPN
(07-FLA. ST. 27-N. Car. St. 10...19-19 F.35/124 N.34/96 F.16/28/0/257 N.19/32/3/172 F.0 N.1)
(07-FSU -18 27-10 06-NCS +10 24-20 05-Ncs +12' 20-15...SR: Florida State 19-9)
*TCU 26 - Byu 20—The difference in the “BCS Buster” candidacies of these two is the fact TCU has had to face (and lose to) Oklahoma, and BYU hasn’t had a similar test. But d.c. Dick Bumpas’ hot-pursuing, top-ranked Frog defense might prove an effective weapon vs. QB Max Hall and high-powered Cougar attack. Not convinced BYU “D” as good as its numbers suggest after steady diet of impotent opposition. TCU loses little with backup QB Jackson (who has led back-to-back wins) in lineup, and Frogs very tough to beat in Fort Worth (18- 2 SU, 14-4 vs. line as host since ‘05)!
(07-BYU 27-Tcu 22...T.22-19 T.39/130 B.34/112 B.26/44/1/305 T.24/37/1/222 B.1 T.0)
(07-BYU -7 27-22 06-Byu +5' 31-17 05-Tcu +3' 51-50 (OT)...SR: BYU 5-2)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17
*BOISE STATE 41 - Hawaii 10—UH progressing under new HC McMackin. But won’t be dissuaded from supporting hopeful BCS-buster BSU, playing ferocious defense (no TD last 8 Qs!) to complement an always well-designed, fluid attack. Broncos highly-accurate RS frosh QB K. Moore (72%, 10 TDs, 3 ints.) has the diverse weaponry to exploit undersized Warrior defense that’s allowed 101 combined pts. vs. the top two attacks it has faced (Florida & Oregon State). Fast-starting BSU has outscored opponents 117-23 in 1st H. CABLE TV—ESPN
(07-HAWAII 39-Boise St. 27...H.33-19 B.35/101 H.24/79 H.40/53/2/495 B.22/37/1/231 H.0 B.1)
(07-HAWAII -3 39-27 06-BSU -14' 41-34 05-Bsu -10' 44-41...SR: Boise State 6-3)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18
Connecticut 26 - RUTGERS 19—Scouts very skeptical that 1-5 Scarlet Knights will be able to pull out of tailspin in second half of season. Punchless Rutgers offense (just 13 ppg in first 5 vs. FBS foes) dearly misses departed star RB Ray Rice, while visiting UConn owns nation’s leading rusher in jr. Donald Brown (178 ypg).
(07-CONN. 38-Rut. 19...R.29-18 C.39/256 R.33/168 R.32/54/1/343 C.10/21/0/140 C.0 R.0)
(07-CONN. -1 38-19 06-RUTGERS -19' 24-13 05-Rutgers -3' 26-24...SR: Conn. 4-2)
Wake Forest 17 - MARYLAND 13—It might be best just to stay away from games involving bipolar Maryland, as divining what kind of effort to expect out of schizophrenic Terps from week to week a crapshoot at best. Wake offense (just 3 TDs, 8 FGs in last 3 games) struggling in red zone, but very veteran Deacon defense (eight 5th-year seniors!) is the most dependable platoon on field.
(07-WF 31-Md. 24 (OT)...19-19 M.57/200 W.41/178 W.22/35/3/219 M.11/20/1/115 W.1 M.2)
(07-WFU -3' 31-24 (OT) 06-Wfu +1' 38-24 05-Mary. +2 22-12...SR: Maryland 40-15-1)
Georgia Tech 23 - CLEMSON 16—With pressure building on HC Tommy Bowden, troubled Tigers switching to RS frosh Willy Korn at QB. The touted Korn’s considerable mobility figures to come in handy vs. swarming Yellow Jackets (4-0 vs. spread), as young, patchwork Clemson OL vs. Tech’s topnotch DL looks like a MAJOR mismatch. Scouts say not to read too much into Jackets’ close call vs. Gardner-Webb last week (see Special Ticker). CABLE TV-ESPN2
(07-GA. TECH 13-Clem. 3...G.14-5 G.46/189 C.32/34 C.17/39/1/194 G.7/16/1/67 G.1 C.1)
(07-TECH +3 13-3 06-CLEM. -7 31-7 05-TECH -2' 10-9...SR: Georgia Tech 46-24-2)
EAST CAROLINA 33 - Memphis 31—Poor Pirates need a hug after rising into nation’s top 15 during first few weeks, only to plummet down rankings with 3 straight losses. ECU should find enough holes in improving (but still vulnerable) Memphis defense to get back in win column. But potent Tigers capable of trading points behind juco QB Hall (61%, 559 YP, 6 TDP last 2 games).
(07-E. Car. 56-MEMP. 40...24-24 E.44/491 M.28/77 M.34/61/2/416 E.12/26/0/150 E.0 M.0)
(07-Ecu -5' 56-40 06-ECU -2' 35-20 05-MEMPHIS -7' 27-24...SR: East Carolina 10-6)
DUKE 24 - Miami-Florida 23—Hurricanes’ defense is banged up, and their offense (just 216 yards in home win over UCF) clearly a work in progress. Big experience edge for Duke jr. QB Lewis (28 TDP, only 13 ints. last 1+ seasons) over still-maturing RS frosh Miami counterpart Marve (7 ints. last 3 games). Extra week of prep helps crafty new HC Cutcliffe & his blossoming Blue Devils spring upset. CABLE TV-ESPNU
(07-MIAMI 24-Duke 14...M.21-17 M.37/185 D.37/61 M.20/25/2/245 D.18/27/0/241 M.0 D.2)
(07-MIAMI -24 24-14 06-Miami -18 20-15 05-MIAMI -35' 52-7...SR: Miami-Florida 4-1)
*Virginia Tech 19 - BOSTON COLLEGE 13—New BC QB Crane’s shaky confidence bolstered by his 428 YP & 5 TDs (2 pass, 3 rush) during Eagle win at N.C. State. However, he’ll find going MUCH tougher against consistently obdurate Hokie stop unit that’s begrudged foes fewer than 14 ppg over last 4+ seasons. BC’s stout front 7 does match up well against run-oriented Hokie attack, but wouldn’t buck wily old Tech mentor Beamer (17-3 vs. spread last 20 as true visitor!) in anticipated defensive struggle. TV-ESPN2
(07-Bos. Col. 14-VA. TECH 10...B.19-15 V.41/116 B.18/32 B.25/53/2/285 V.15/25/0/149 B.0 V.2)
(07-Va. Tech 30-BOS. COL. 16...B.24-22 V.36/98 B.25/84 B.33/52/2/305 V.21/33/1/202 V.1 B.0)
(07-Bc +3 14-10, Tech -4' 30-16 06-BC +2' 22-3 05-TECH -13' 30-10...SR: Va. Tech 9-6)
SOUTH FLORIDA 42 - Syracuse 10—Host Bulls will be snorting fire after having an extra week to stew over rare home loss to Pitt. Meanwhile, hanging around at Pat White-less West Virginia definitely not a buy sign for sad-sack Syracuse.
(07-Usf 41-SYRACUSE 10...U.26-14 U.56/346 S.17/15 S.21/38/2/276 U.19/28/1/236 U.0 S.2)
(07-Usf -17' 41-10 06-USF -10 27-10 05-Usf -7' 27-0...SR: South Florida 3-0)
IOWA 27 - Wisconsin 13—A tale of two QBs, as Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi is making solid progress and minimizing mistakes, while Wisconsin’s Allan Evridge has regressed to the point he only completed 2 passes against Penn State and has probably lost his job to Dustin Sherer (career 11 of 22, 2 ints., no TDPs). Hawkeyes own the better defense, and RB Shonn Greene is 6th in the nation in rushing (134 ypg). A win here key to Iowa bowl hopes.
(07-WIS. 17-Iowa 13...W.17-13 W.49/166 I.26/59 I.17/37/0/169 W.12/23/1/138 W.2 I.0)
(07-WIS. -7' 17-13 06-Wis. -1' 24-21 05-Iowa +2' 20-10...SR: Wisconsin 41-40-2)
NORTHWESTERN 30 - Purdue 22—Not sure if Purdue QB Painter did enough against Ohio State to retain his starting job, but his performance at the Shoe wasn’t any worse than C.J. Bacher’s effort at home in loss to Michigan State. Wildcat RB Sutton had 139 YR vs. the Spartans, and he gives NW a little consistency absent on Boilers. TV-ESPN
(07-PURDUE 35-N’western 17...N.20-19 P.38/220 N.29/89 N.20/39/3/208 P.24/38/0/182 P.0 N.1)
(07-PURDUE -13 35-17 06-Purdue -7 31-10 05-Nwu +7' 34-29...SR: Purdue 49-25-1)
OKLAHOMA 40 - Kansas 17—During KU’s wonderful 12-1 campaign of 2007, the Jayhawks did not have to face the powers of the Big XII South on the road. Now KU does. Neither team is running as well as it would like, but OU strikes “sooner” (110-6 in the first Q TY) with its big-play aerial game, while KU must usually be content to chip away. Sooners disappointed after last week, but they’re 11-3-1 vs. the spread their last 15 at home. Jayhawks’ 3-0 dog mark L1+Ys duly noted. (05-Oklahoma -6' 19-3...SR: Oklahoma 66-27-6)
BOWLING GREEN 37 - Miami-Ohio 24—Miami has dropped 7 of last 8 SU, and QB Raudabaugh has completed just 22 of 41 passes for 180 yards and 0 TDs in last 2 games. Conversely, BG triggerman Sheehan has thrown for 831 yds., with 7 TDs and just 1 int. in the last 3 games. RedHawk pass “D” doesn’t bring much pressure & ranks 108th in efficiency.
(07-MIAMI 47-B. Green 14...M.26-14 M.53/262 B.26/25 M.16/24/0/237 B.19/32/1/207 M.1 B.2)
(07-MIAMI -1 47-14 06-Miami +4 9-7 05-Bgu +9 42-14...SR: Bowling Green 35-24-5)
Western Michigan 37 - CENTRAL MICHIGAN 35—In a battle of the two best QBs in the MAC, favor WMU’s Tim Hiller a bit over reigning league MVP Dan LeFevour. Hiller is having a slightly better season, as he’s completed 68% with 23 TDs and just 5 ints., compared with LeFevour’s 65%, 9 TDs & 3 ints. Broncos have an edge running (jr. RB Brandon West 90 ypg rushing) and defensively, and Chips just 1 cover last 6 vs. WMU.
(07-C. Mich. 34-W. MICH. 31...C.22-21 C.43/149 W.35/107 W.27/37/1/311 C.23/38/1/235 C.1 W.0)
(07-Cmu -3 34-31 06-CMU -6 31-7 05-WMU -2' 31-24...SR: Western Michigan 43-33-2)
Nebraska 23 - IOWA STATE 20—Even though ISU disappointed in 38-10 loss last week at Baylor, coach Gene Chizik is forming a useful young nucleus of 6-3 soph QB Arnaud, 5-10 soph RB A. Robinson, and 6-3 jr. WR M. Hamilton. Cornhuskers refused to cave in last week at Texas Tech, but they’ve covered just two of their last ten on the road and lack the power ground game to give them physical control as in the past.
(07-NEB. 35-Iowa St. 17...I.28-17 I.51/134 N.30/130 I.26/51/3/281 N.19/29/1/239 N.2 I.1)
(07-NEB. -21 35-17 06-Neb. -7 28-14 05-NEB. -3' 27-20 (OT)...SR: Nebraska 84-16-2)
*TENNESSEE 20 - Mississippi State 16—Vexed Vols off to their worst SEC start since 1988. But with UT ground game coming to a grinding halt (1 net yd. in 15 carries vs. UGA), doubt raw QB Stephens able to compensate vs. aggressive MSU defense that limited Vandy to just 107 yds. Bulldogs careful jr. QB T. Lee (no int. in 65 passes) has time to find favorite target 6-4 WR McRae (19 catches last 3 games), since Vol DL applying little pressure (10th in SEC in sacks). Croom’s troops 8-3-1 as road dog since ‘06.
(07-Tenn. 33-MISS. ST. 21...M.18-14 T.42/211 M.36/135 T.22/36/1/259 M.18/33/0/203 T.0 M.0)
(07-Tennessee -7 33-21...SR: Tennessee 27-15-1)
ALABAMA 26 - Mississippi 21—Since resurgent Ole Miss has been fiercelycompetitive in every game, generous points should work with Rebels, who’ve given Bama fits in past 3 outings (see Looking for an Angle). If Ole Miss minimizes mistakes (15 giveaways so far), Rebels strong-armed QB Snead (1272 YP) & his speedy WRs well-equipped to stretch Bama defense. Doubt Tide’s preferred smashmouth tactics overwhelm a now-healthy, formidable Ole Miss DL (allowing 3.3. ypc). HC Nutt 2-0 as a dog TY, while Bama bankrolldepleting 3-16 as Tuscaloosa chalk since 05. TV-CBS
(07-Ala. 27-MISS. 24...A.27-19 M.31/136 A.40/113 M.22/40/3/284 A.26/40/1/265 A.1 M.0)
(07-Ala. -6' 27-24 06-ALA. -16 26-23 (OT) 05-Ala. -13' 13-10...SR: Alabama 44-9-2)
GEORGIA 27 - Vanderbilt 17—Though previously undefeated Vandy finally tossed in a clinker in 17-14 setback in Starkville (season-high 10 penalties) still interested in even-keeled ‘Dores, who’ve covered 5 straight as an underdog. Vandy owns the defensive speed & athleticism (16 ppg, 11 ints.) to contain Georgia, as it has L2Ys. Capable Dore QBs Nickson and/or Adams do some business vs. young UGA 2ndary (ranked 11th in SEC) after generating a paltry 65 YP vs. Miss. State. UGA just 3-8 as DD Athens chalk since ‘05.
(07-Ga. 20-VANDY 17...G.17-14 V.38/179 G.35/167 G.16/31/0/201 V.9/15/0/131 G.0 V.2)
(07-Georgia -7 20-17 06-Vandy +14 24-22 05-Georgia -16 34-17...SR: Georgia 48-18-2)
Akron 31 - EASTERN MICHIGAN 30—Hard to recommend EMU, as Eagles have covered just once this season and allow 207 ypg rushing, but Akron is in even worse shape defensively. Yielding just 38 points in last two games (both on the road) shows EMU capable of at least competing defensively, and emergence of soph RB Dwayne Priest (118 YR at Army) helps take pressure off
(DNP...SR: Akron 15-10)
UTAH 37 - Colorado State 9—MWC scouts admit that CSU better than expected. But fundamentals a bit troubling for Rams, whose “O” slowed to a crawl last week vs. TCU when Frogs took away RB Gartrell Johnson’s ground threat and forced HC Fairchild to switch to backup QB Kubiak in hope of igniting attack (it didn’t work). Utah’s 8th-ranked rush “D” can do much the same, and Utes (8-3 last 1 laying DDs) have KO power.
(07-Utah 27-COLO. ST. 3...U.24-17 U.49/322 C.34/135 C.16/28/1/140 U.14/22/1/130 U.1 C.0)
(07-Utah -5' 27-3 06-UTAH -12 35-22 05-CSU -4' 21-17...SR: Utah 30-17-2)
Texas Tech 37 - TEXAS A&M 20—For the sixth time in six games TY, Texas Tech rushed for more than 100 yards! While that improved ground game has helped balance the Red Raider offense, it has somewhat cut into the customary dizzying stats of QB Graham Harrell (“only” 20 TDP so far). The A&M defense still porous, but Mike Sherman’s development of 6-5 soph QB Jerrod Johnson (68 YR, school-record 419 YP last week) continues to impress despite Aggies’ 1-5 spread mark.
(07-TEX. TECH 35-Tex. A&M 7...T.25-20 A.43/233 T.29/108 T.30/37/0/425 A.17/30/1/133 T.1 A.0)
(07-TECH -9' 35-7 06-Tech +2' 31-27 05-TECH -15 56-17...SR: Texas A&M 34-31-1)
RICE 44 - Southern Miss 37—Revenge-minded Southern Miss hungry for victory after dropping last 3 games, and new HC Fedora’s fledgling Eagle attack should find substantial updraft facing yielding Rice defense. Still, USM’s own stop unit is down TY, so irrepressible Owl sr. QB Clement (66 TDP last 2+ seasons) most likely to fire decisive scoring shots.
(07-Rice 31-s. MISS 29...S.21-14 S.37/189 R.41/169 S.25/45/4/233 R.9/21/1/67 R.1 S.3)
(07-Rice +20' 31-29...SR: Rice 1-0)
Southern Cal 59 - WASHINGTON STATE 7—Al Roker might as well be giving the forecast these days for bedraggled Wazzu, as “cloudy with highs in the 60s” takes on a new connotation with Cougs (who have already allowed 60+ three times!). And yet another QB injury (latest starter Lobbestael out a month) has Paul Wulff praying that one-time starter Lopina can recover quickly. Final margin depends solely upon Pete Carroll’s compassion.
(07-S. CAL 47-Wash. St. 14...S.28-15 S.35/207 W.27/64 S.30/38/2/302 W.21/43/1/183 S.0 W.0)
(07-USC -25 47-14 06-Usc -16' 28-22 05-USC -29' 55-13...SR: Southern Cal 55-8-4)
Pittsburgh 29 - NAVY 22—Usually reluctant to go against money-making Middies (43-25-1 vs. spread last 69 on board!), as new HC Niumatalolo (3 straight covers) has continued former boss Paul Johnson’s profitable ways. Fundamentals not bad for Pitt, however, as star soph RB McCoy (291 YR in last 2 games) hitting his stride, and veteran Panther defense had extra week to prepare for Navy’s tricky triple-option.
(07-Navy 48-PITT 45 (OT)...N.26-25 N.70/331 P.48/227 P.20/28/1/191 N.9/14/0/166 N.0 P.0)
(07-Navy +4 48-45 (OT)...SR: Pittsburgh 20-13-3)
MICHIGAN STATE 21 - Ohio State 20—MSU is up to the task, as Spartan offense now getting mistake-free production from QB Brian Hoyer (205 ypg passing, 5 TDP just 1 int. last 3 games) to balance star Javon Ringer’s running. OSU offense working in fits and spurts, as Terrelle Pryor has thrown for just 104 ypg and 1 TD in last 3 games after making a splash against Troy. Buckeye RB Beanie Wells seemed to be suffering effects of lingering toe injury vs. Purdue (22 for 94 rushing). TV-ABC
(07-OHIO ST. 24-Mich. St. 17...O.22-9 O.47/229 M.28/59 O.15/23/1/193 M.12/24/1/126 O.1 M.0)
(07-OSU -18' 24-17 06-Osu -14 38-7 05-OSU -6' 35-24...SR: Ohio State 26-12)
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
TEXAS 30 - Missouri 27—Do or die for Missouri to stay in the national picture. So, with Chase Daniel (3 ints. last week!) expected to be more careful, anticipate desperation effort from potent Tigers. MU (4-2 L2Ys when getting points) will relish the chance to play as an underdog, even though facing practically-perfect Colt McCoy (79.4%, 17 TDs, 3 ints.) is never easy. Tigers have scored in 23 of 24 Qs TY. (05-Texas -14' 51-20...SR: Texas 15-5)
VIRGINIA 27 - North Carolina 26—Butch Davis’ young Tar Heels grabbing lots of headlines with 5-1 start, as play-making UNC defense (18 takeaways— 2nd in nation) making things easier. ACC scouts say not to sleep on resurgent Virginia, however. Cav soph QB Verica maturing rapidly, healthy sr. RB Peerman ripped off two long TDR last week, and fiery sr. LB Sintim (7 sacks) sparking defense. Upset possible at Charlottesville, where host UVa has covered 14 of last 17 as dog and last 8 at home vs. Heels.
(07-Va. 22-N. CAR. 20...V.22-20 V.51/197 N.23/60 N.25/38/1/339 V.18/27/0/153 V.0 N.2)
(07-Va. +3 22-20 06-VA. -6 23-0 05-UNC P 7-5...SR: North Carolina 57-51-4)
NORTHERN ILLINOIS 28 - Toledo 27—Toledo’s defensive effort in holding Michigan to just 1 TD was its best in more than a year, and the Rockets have held NIU to 21 and 13 pts. in covering last 2 against the Huskies. Toledo QB Opelt completed 33 of 50 passes for 257 YP in upset of Wolverines, and he burned NIU for 384 yds. & 4 TDs last season.
(07-TOLEDO 70-N. Ill. 21...T.35-14 T.59/382 N.32/177 T.26/33/0/430 N.13/27/1/175 T.2 N.2)
(07-TOLEDO -3' 70-21 06-Toledo +12 17-13 05-Niu +9' 35-17...SR: Toledo 28-7)
NEVADA 51 - Utah State 24—Perhaps Nevada 2ndary ought to ask Sen. Harry Reid for federal bailout assistance after allowing NMSU’s Chase Holbrook to torch it for 409 YP last week. But USU doesn’t pose the same threat, as Ag QB Borel’s option antics play into hands of Wolf Pack stop unit (7th vs. run). Utag “D” ranks 105th, so it should be fun time for Nevada Pistol that’s scored 48 ppg last 3 weeks. Chris Ault still 13-3 as Reno chalk since ‘04.
(07-Nevada 31-UTAH ST. 28...N.27-12 N.57/302 U.34/106 N.15/23/0/170 U.11/19/1/106 N.2 U.1)
(07-Nevada -7 31-28 06-NEVADA -29 42-0 05-Nevada -9' 30-24...SR: Nevada 14-4)
Marshall 38 - UAB 30—The main problem (among many) for woeful UAB is that its paper-thin defense can’t hold up for 60 minutes, as evidenced by the 42 unanswered points in 2nd half at Houston last week. A very measured recommendation for poor-traveling but deeper Marshall, which has just 2 SU wins as true visitor since mid-2004.
(07-MARSHALL 46-Uab 39...M.27-24 M.33/177 U.25/107 U.27/50/0/389 M.26/36/0/309 M.0 U.0)
(07-MARSH. -14' 46-39 06-Marsh. +6 31-24 05-MARSH. +3 20-19...SR: Marshall 3-0)
PENN STATE 37 - Michigan 6—Superior Penn State eager to end Michigan’s 8-game series win streak. Nittany Lions could get their title shot if they run the table, and Joe Paterno certainly won’t let his club look past 2-4 Wolverines prior to its trip to Columbus next week. Penn State defense held a much better Michigan offense to less than 3 ypc and 170 YP last season. After gaining just 290 yards in upset loss to Toledo, Wolverine attack might not “dent the dish” against this year’s Nittany defense. CABLE TV—ESPN
(07-MICH. 14-Penn St. 9...M.25-14 M.56/166 P.29/101 M.16/30/1/170 P.15/31/0/169 M.1 P.2)
(07-MICH. +2' 14-9 06-Mich. -5 17-10 05-MICH. -3' 27-25...SR: Michigan 10-3)
NEW MEXICO 27 - San Diego State 7—NM’s “O” no smooth-running machine, especially with Lobos now juggling QBs (RS frosh Gruner & juco T. Smith split snaps at BYU) in absence of injured Donovan Porterie. But we’re not brave enough to recommend reeling SDSU, whose lack of a credible ground diversion (Aztecs gaining about 18 inches pc the past 2 weeks) makes new juco QB Westling a sitting duck for Rocky Long’s blitz packages.
(07-N. Mex. 20-S. DIEGO ST. 17...N.19-14 S.43/166 N.38/126 N.18/35/2/239 S.18/26/0/133 N.0 S.2)
(07-Unm -8' 20-17 06-UNM -10' 41-14 05-Unm +3 47-24...SR: San Diego State 20-14)
Oregon State 36 - WASHINGTON 12—Any takers for winless U-Dub, minus Jake Locker for at least another month and with Ty Willingham wondering when axe might fall? We’ll pass on the offer, especially since Mike Riley has won & covered last four vs. old rival Huskies. The fact Beavs were throwing deep with backup QB Canfield while up 59-13 last week vs. WSU makes us even less reluctant to lay heavy lumber.
(07-ORE. ST. 29-Wash. 23...O.18-14 O.55/219 W.31/85 W.16/39/0/249 O.10/22/1/109 O.2 W.1)
(07-OSU -4' 29-23 06-Osu +9 27-17 05-Osu -3 18-10...SR: Washington 57-31-4)
*Arkansas 20 - KENTUCKY 21—Now that Arkansas’ sr. QB C. Dick (222 YP, 7 different receivers vs. Auburn) getting hang of new HC Petrino’s system and versatile 5-7 RB M. Smith (176 YR vs. Auburn; 5.5 ypc, 20 catches TY) attracting extra attention, UK will have trouble pulling away from young but maturing Hogs, who have positive vibes following stunning upset on The Plains. Wildcat run offense still sputtering (3.2 ypc; only 62 YR vs. USC), and standout WR Lyons hurting. CABLE TV-ESPNU
(07-Ky. 42-ARK. 29...K.23-22 A.51/338 K.36/170 K.21/39/0/265 A.13/28/2/157 K.3 A.1)
(07-Kentucky +7' 42-29...SR: Kentucky 4-2)
*ARIZONA 30 - California 23—Jeff Tedford’s QB juggling is keeping Ralph Barbieri, Tom Tolbert, and the rest of Bay Area sportstalk hosts guessing as to who might start for Cal, but fact is that neither Kevin Riley nor Nate Longshore (who got the call in last game vs. ASU) inspiring a lot of confidence these days. Would rather trust Willie Tuitama & Arizona spread. Wildcats have won & covered last 5 at home (win margin 43 ppg TY!).
(07-CAL. 45-Ariz. 27...22-22 C.38/186 A.20/21 A.42/62/2/309 C.16/30/1/235 C.1 A.2)
(07-CAL. -14 45-27 06-ARIZ. +13' 24-20 05-CAL. -16 28-0...SR: California 13-12-2)
*LOUISIANA TECH 34 - Idaho 20—Logging more air miles than Barack Obama the past two weeks hasn’t helped La Tech (off long trips to Boise and Honolulu) generate much rhythm, or help QB Bennett’s completion percentage (now down to 39.1!). Sight of leaky Idaho “D” (allowing 47 ppg) might help, but not sure we want to lay inflated price vs. perky Vandal “O” that displayed some pop (215 YR & 237 YP) in last week’s cover at Fresno.
(07-La. Tech 28-IDAHO 16...L.22-17 L.53/211 I.26/67 L.16/26/1/227 I.17/49/3/218 L.2 I.1)
(07-Tech -3' 28-16 06-Idaho +3 24-14 05-Tech -9 41-38...SR: Louisiana Tech 2-1)
*COLORADO 31 - Kansas State 24—Colorado 6-1 last 7 as a favorite, but Buffs’ offense suffering from attrition in its OL. K-State, meanwhile, saw juco RB Logan Dold (21 for 115 YR) provide some balance for jumbo QB Josh Freeman (12 TDs, 2 ints. TY; four TD runs last week in 44-30 win at A&M), who is getting more time to go downfield than Buff QB Cody Hawkins. CU counting on ground game and defense to eke out win.
(07-KAN. ST. 47-Colo. 20...C.22-20 K.39/249 C.36/188 C.19/41/3/223 K.15/28/0/214 K.0 C.1)
(07-KSU -5 47-20 06-Ksu +3' 34-21 05-Colo. -7' 23-20...SR: Colorado 43-19-1)
OKLAHOMA STATE 45 - Baylor 20—Dangerous spot for OSU, as Cowboys (6-0 for the first time since 1945) can’t afford to look ahead to Texas game on the road next week. Rampaging Oklahoma State has scored 56, 57, 55 & 58 in its four home games TY and is 8-0 its last 8 as a DD favorite. Is Baylor’s impressive frosh QB Robert Griffin (21 of 24, 278 YP, 2 TDs last week) able to carry his proficiency at a tough road site?
(07-Okla. St. 45-BAY. 14...O.29-19 O.51/343 B.28/83 B.29/40/2/226 O.16/21/0/202 O.0 B.0)
(07-Osu -14 45-14 06-OSU -16' 66-24 05-BAYLOR -3 44-34...SR: Oklahoma St. 14-12)
BUFFALO 24 - Army 17—“Back to the future” theme playing quite well these days at West Point, as return to option football has resulted in mild Army resurgence (2 straight wins and 3 straight covers) and a stat line reminiscent of Jim Young & Bob Sutton’s old wishbone teams (318 YR & 0 YP last week vs. EMU!). Rampaging FB Mooney can help Black Knights move clock and chains, and not sure depressed Buffalo (off back-to-back gut wrenchers) in frame of mind to extend margin. (DNP...SR: EVEN 1-1)
*SOUTH CAROLINA 23 - Lsu 20—LSU is off its worst defeat since 2002. But no guarantee ticked-off Tigers bounce back vs. surging USC, with Spurrier’s own “bailout” program working in 24-17 win at Kentucky last week. Switch to hotshot RS frosh QB Garcia (10 of 14 for 169 yds., 1 TD) sparked an offense suddenly kneedeep at WR. LSU’s green CBs likely chasing again after being toasted by Tebow last week. QB Lee’s play-action less effective with star RB Scott (held to 35 YR vs. Gators) frustrated by Cocks solid front 7 (3.2 ypc). TV-ESPN
(07-LSU 28-S. Car. 16...L.19-16 L.50/290 S.27/17 S.19/42/2/244 L.8/20/1/70 L.0 S.1)
(07-LSU -17' 28-16...SR: LSU 15-2-1)
*TULSA 52 - Utep 39—With innovative o.c. Malzahn’s torrid Tulsa attack producing about a point per minute, Golden Hurricane should eventually outdistance UTEP. Still, no big surprise if quick-trigger soph QB Vittatoe (10 TDP, only 1 int. last 3 games) able to keep Miners (9-3-1 last 13 as visiting dog) inside roomy spread.
(07-UTEP 48-Tulsa 47...T.29-28 T.43/239 U.48/219 T.27/45/2/409 U.23/29/0/351 U.1 T.1)
(07-UTEP +3 48-47 06-TULSA -14' 30-20 05-UTEP -8' 41-38...SR: Tulsa 9-7)
*San Jose State 36 - NEW MEXICO STATE 24—Hal Mumme’s Air Raid took flight last week at Reno, but don’t believe QB Holbrook (409 YP vs. Wolf Pack) & Co. can maintain similar altitude vs. quality San Jose “D” (ranked 13th...not bad for a WAC team) and lockdown sr. CBs Owens & Francies. Aggie “D” most vulnerable platoon on field and could be easy pickins’ for emerging Spartan QB Reed, now getting very comfy with sr. WR Richmond (8 catches last week vs. USU).
(07-SJS 51-Nms 17...S.23-21 S.44/190 N.25/80 N.30/49/3/318 S.19/31/0/317 S.0 N.1)
(07-SJS -4 51-17 06-Sjs -6 31-21 05-SJS -7' 27-10...SR: San Jose State 13-2)
*Houston 45 - SMU 27—June Jones building for future at SMU, while new HC Sumlin inherited a top C-USA contender in Houston. Much prefer prolific Coug soph QB Keenum (21 TDP, only 5 ints.) to still-learning Mustang true frosh Miitchell (17 TDP, but 16 ints.). And even bigger edge to jelling UH rushing attack over Ponies’ punchless ground forces (just 51 ypg!).
(07-HOU. 38-Smu 28...H.32-20 H.60/264 S.29/109 S.19/33/1/351 H.20/30/0/288 H.1 S.3)
(07-HOUSTON -19' 38-28 06-Houston -3' 37-27 05-Smu +12' 29-24...SR: Houston 13-9-1)
*ILLINOIS 42 - Indiana 19—The wheels have come off of Bill Lynch’s Hoosiers. An 0-5 spread mark is directly attributable to a defense that’s yielded 136 pts. in the last 4 games. Illinois has been much steadier on defense, and Illini QB Juice Williams has 772 YP with 4 TDs and just 1 int. in the last 2 games. Contrast that with Indiana QB Kellen Lewis’ marks of 925 yds., 5 TDs and 5 ints. for the season.
(07-Ill. 27-IND. 14...In.26-23 Il.55/288 In.35/134 In.26/52/1/263 Il.13/28/2/98 Il.1 In.3)
(07-Ill. -2' 27-14 06-Ind. +8 34-32 05-IND. -6' 36-13...SR: Illinois 42-20-3)
*Air Force 31 - UNLV 20—There’s a little more pizzazz to the Air Force triple option now that true frosh QB Tim Jefferson (started vs. SDSU) & RB Asher Clark (109 YR vs. Aztecs) adding extra pop to Falcon attack. Meanwhile, it’s looking like deja vu at UNLV, as dynamics hauntingly similar for Rebs as they were the last three seasons when each campaign went spinning out of control following loss to rival Nevada. AFA 13-4 vs. spread since HC Troy Calhoun arrived LY!
(07-A. FORCE 31-Unlv 14...U.26-15 A.42/309 U.47/184 U.24/39/0/287 A.9/14/0/123 A.2 U.1)
(07-AFA -5' 31-14 06-UNLV +10' 42-39 05-AFA -13' 42-7...SR: Air Force 9-4)
UCLA 27 - Stanford 20—UCLA not generating many style points these days, but juco QB Craft finally showing signs of grasping o.c. Norm Chow’s playbook. And not sure how much variation there will be in Stanford “O” this week if QB Pritchard (concussion vs. Arizona) can’t make post, as the Tree opted for pure smashmouth style with backups Forcier & Loukas in lineup vs. Wildcats. Note that Bruins on 3-game cover streak, and now a rather tidy 67% play vs. line (36-18!) last 4+ years.
(07-Ucla 45-STAN. 17...U.24-21 U.50/338 S.26/52 S.27/59/0/331 U.16/29/0/286 U.0 S.1)
(07-Ucla -16' 45-17 06-UCLA -23' 31-0 05-Ucla -7 30-27 (OT)...SR: UCLA 44-31-3)
WESTERN KENTUCKY 24 - Florida Atlantic 20—Since a rare pre-game tirade from FAU’s venerable HC Schnellenberger couldn’t motivate underachieving 1-5 Owl squad in 30-17 home loss vs. Troy, won’t lay any points vs. hard-trying WKU, which amassed 353 yds. in 24-7 loss vs. ranked Ball State. If Toppers competent 6-2 sr. QB Wolke can do better job in red zone, this one decided late. (FIRST MEETING)
LOUISVILLE 30 - Middle Tennessee State 21—Retooling Louisville defense gave up 481 yards at Memphis last week, but resourceful Cards scored TDs on fumble, interception, and blocked-FG returns to upend Tigers. Can’t count on much from containable Middle Tennessee offense (only 17 ppg), but Blue Raiders play enough defense to hang around host L’ville, which is just 1-6 last 7 as home chalk.
(07-LVL. 58-Mtsu 42...L.35-20 L.53/328 M.29/265 L.25/39/0/401 M.14/26/2/290 L.1 M.2)
(07-LOUISVILLE -40 58-42 06-Louisville -31 44-17 at Nashville...SR: Louisville 2-0)
*LA.-MONROE 48 - North Texas 24—We’d almost rather be investing in stocks than in helpless UNT, whose “D” continues on a near point-per-minute pace (53.3 ppg!). A chance for QB Lancaster & ULM “O” to take out frustrations after rough scheduling stretch, and note how Warhawks began late-season rallies at just this time past 2 years (11-1 vs. line last 6 of season in ‘06-07).
(07-N. TEX. 31-La.-Mon. 21...L.22-17 N.39/171 L.40/130 L.21/45/3/291 N.16/30/1/202 N.1 L.0)
(07-NTU +7' 31-21 06-ULM -7 23-3 05-Ulm -4' 24-19...SR: EVEN 12-12)
*LA.-LAFAYETTE 36 - Arkansas State 21—In key Sun Belt clash, favor revenge-minded ULL, which has been a steamrolling machine on ground TY (nation-leading 331 ypg; 7.6 ypc). Ragin’ Cagun’s dangerous dual-threat QB Desormeaux took LY’s 31-pt. blowout loss personally after generating seasonlow 8 FDs. ASU just 1-8 SU last 9 away, and host has covered 3 straight in series. Only second home game for ULL (5 straight covers!).
(07-ARK. ST. 52-La.-Laf. 21...A.33-8 A.62/406 L.27/133 A.17/23/0/275 L.7/20/0/137 A.1 L.0)
(07-ASU -9 52-21 06-ULL -6 28-13 05-ASU -11 39-36...SR: La.-Lafayette 18-17-1)
*TROY 26 - Florida Intl. 22—Troy’s status as team to beat in Sun Belt a bit iffy after season-ending knee injury to QB Hampton, thrusting little-used RS soph Tanner Jones into starting role. Meanwhile, emerging FIU continues to prove recent wins (3 in a row!) no fluke, as QB McCall & Golden Panthers (37 ppg last 3!) getting hang of new o.c. Bill Legg’s spread attack.
(07-Troy 34-FLA. INTL. 16...T.25-15 T.39/299 F.34/81 F.19/41/2/248 T.24/39/0/195 T.0 F.0)
(07-Troy -18' 34-16 06-Troy -10' 26-13 05-TROY -9 18-13...SR: Troy 4-0)
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
KANSAS STATE AT COLORADO -2.5
As a result of a recent tough schedule, the Buffaloes are a very cheap favorite this week at home against Kansas State. Colorado has dropped its last three games versus Florida State, Texas and Kansas. They haven’t been able to get their offense on track against those three better than average defenses, but this week they face one of the worst stop units in the nation.Kansas State has given up some staggering offensive numbers in its last four games. They allowed 580 yards at Louisville, 539 yards at home to UL-Lafayette, 628 yards at home to Texas Tech, and 544 yards last week at Texas A&M. They are pathetic against the run, giving up 5.95 ypc and have no clue about defending the pass either. Colorado will definitely get its ground game going this week and should have a much better go of it with the football. Kansas State just allowed Texas A&M to exceed its season-high for points and yardage (by 142 yards), beating them thanks to a blocked punt return for a TD and other Aggie mistakes. Colorado needs a win and the perfect cure is facing one of the worst defenses in the country.
AIR FORCE AT UNLV +4.5
We should have had an easy winner here last week in a similar situation with Buffalo but a late collapse doomed the Bulls in the fourth quarter. This week, we go back to the well with another squad off extended rest. UNLV has shown flashes of brilliance and flashes of futility this season but here at home, coming off a bye, I expect to see the former from the Rebels. The bye week greatly helps this defense in terms of preparing for the option offense of Air Force and allows them to shake off the loss at Colorado State two weeks ago. This line is nothing more than an overreaction to Air Force’s blowout win against hapless SDSU and I don’t expect that same result here as the Falcons’ only other wins by over this margin have come against Southern Utah and equally hapless Wyoming. With Frank Summers and Omar Clayton leading a solid offensive attack we can look for UNLV to, at worst, trade scores with Air Force and keep this one close. Then again, if Air Force struggles with turnovers like they did against Utah or special teams miscues as they did against Navy we might be looking at a UNLV SU win. Either way the home dog gets my support, rested and ready for a very young Falcons team.
MISSOURI +7 AT TEXAS
Missouri looks to make amends off its first loss of the season, with a trek to the Lone Star State to battle the Texas Longhorns. Texas-native Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel was caught looking ahead last Saturday night, while losing to Oklahoma State 28-23. However, I expect the Tigers to rebound.Daniel has had this game circled in blood as the Longhorns failed to recruit the smallish Heisman Trophy contender. Meanwhile, Texas boasts a No. 1 rating after its upset victory over Oklahoma, 45-35. No question, the Longhorns and their own quarterback star Colt McCoy feature a unique toughness not always associated with Texas teams but defensive holes remain. The key matchup to watch in this contest will be Daniel against a questionable Longhorns’ secondary that was undeniably torched last week against Oklahoma.Texas has allowed 268 ypg passing thus far and though stout against the run, I feel Missouri is going to move the ball via the pass with the same type of ease Sam Bradford and Co. did. Look for the Tigers to slip inside the number in Texas this weekend as another top-ranked team is on upset alert.
PITTSBURGH AT NAVY +3.5
This is the type of game that Dave Wannstedt and his Pitt Panthers lose. Pitt is 0-4 ATS as a favorite this year and last season it was 1-3 with a lone ATS win coming against Eastern Michigan. The Midshipmen’s run of three straight wins heading into their bye week was extremely impressive.Navy beat Rutgers, and went on the road to beat Wake Forest and Air Force over the last three weeks. Navy’s only losses have come against a very good Ball State team and a much improved Duke program. “Our kids just continue to fight and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo was quoted as saying. “This is a tough stretch we’ve had. We played Ball State on a short week, we were on the road against Duke, Wake Forest and Air Force. Our kids didn’t flinch. They have stepped up to every challenge they have faced and taken it head-on.” After starting out the season with four out of its first six on the road, Navy has found a way to finish that stretch 4-2 SU. Navy beat Pitt outright last year and they have a shot to do it again this year. Take Navy this weekend.
MISSISSIPPI STATE +8.5 AT TENNESSE
Recommendation: Mississippi State
A couple of perennial top teams in the SEC, Auburn and Tennessee, have struggled tremendously on the offensive side of the equation. Both programs had new offensive coordinators and similarly terrible quarterback play. Combined those two teams have gone 1-9-1 against the spread as the market has failed to adjust to their declining abilities. Tennessee made a quarterback change but it has not helped. Against Georgia, the score didn’t reflect it but the Volunteers were crushed. Tennessee allowed 458 yards while gaining just 209. Georgia stacked the line of scrimmage and held Tennessee to 16 yards rushing on 13 carries. Nick Stephens was only 13-of-32 for 193 passing yards. If not for two interceptions inside the 15-yard line, Georgia would have won by a 30+ margin. This week they’ll face a pretty good defense in Mississippi State, who has held its own recently, performing well against LSU, Auburn and Vanderbilt. Those offenses are similar in ability and stature to Tennessee. Getting eight points will prove to be too much and we’ll call for continued struggles out of Tennessee. Take the points.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL +7 AT TROY
Recommendation: Florida International
Forget the matchups for a moment, and forget the situation. This is a College Football Handicapping 101 situation, worthy of some explanation. The core reason for this bet is that I’m firmly convinced that Florida International is a far better team right now than they are being given credit for by the betting marketplace. Remember,this team went 1-26 SU in their previous 27 games prior to the current three-game winning streak. Heading into the 2008 season, I had FIU tied with Western Kentucky and Army as the three weakest teams in all of FBS college football according to my power ratings. That ranking was clearly wrong, as Mario Cristobal’s squad has developed into a legitimate Sun Belt contender, excelling especially on the defensive side of the football. Over their last four games - the turnaround really started with a hard fought eight-point loss to South Florida - the Golden Panthers have covered the pointspread by a whopping 94 combined points. There will be all kinds of value riding this team as they ascend the college football food chain in the weeks, months and yes, years, to come. There’s money to be made riding teams that are morphing from bad to good, or vice versa, and FIU is clearly one such team.
NORTH CAROLINA AT VIRGINIA +5.5
A suddenly red hot Virginia squad has found offensive balance, which features a solid running game, an efficient short passing game and rapidly improving quarterback play from sophomore Mark Verica. Back-back 400-yard efforts against Maryland and East Carolina become more impressive when you note that each game saw them rush for 200+ and pass for 200+ while completing over 73% of their passes. North Carolina, at 5-1, has certainly created a huge bandwagon following but its victory over Notre Dame last week was the sixth time in six games that their opponent had more first downs and the fifth time the Tar Heels were outgained. Turnovers and special teams have played a huge role in their current record but I feel that this could be a real flat spot. North Carolina enters this contest off of three consecutive National Television appearances where they exerted an extreme amount of effort. It figures to be doubtful that they’ll come up with the same type of intensity here. A knee injury to explosive return man and leading WR Brandon Tate could hurt the Heels in this one as well. Virginia is still not commanding much respect but they’ll seek to earn some with an all out effort that may just lead to the outright upset.
MIAMI (FL) AT DUKE +5.5
I have been on the Duke bandwagon most of the season and this week’s number gets me behind the Blue Devils again. They played their only stinker of the season in their last outing at Georgia Tech, losing 27-0 two weeks ago and had a bye last week. The off week should really help Duke, as they will be healthy and rested for the young Hurricanes. Miami has been hot and cold recently, as you might expect with any young team. The bottom line, however, is that they aren’t very good offensively, especially throwing the football. The Hurricanes only average 265 yards per game in their five games against FBS competition (4.25 yards per play). They are not going to have many edges against a pretty solid Duke defense, even on the line of scrimmage. Miami is also playing its fifth straight week and has ACC-leading Wake Forest next week at home. David Cutcliffe will have his Blue Devils ready to play this week and an outright win would not be a shock. Duke’s earlier wins over Virginia and Navy look better and better as those teams continue to beat good teams. Let’s take the points this weekend.
MIAMI (FL) AT DUKE +5.5
In our column Earners and Burners we wrote about Miami-Florida and the overall decline of the program. The reason for to the lackluster season has been a result of a mediocre passing game. On the year they have thrown for just eight passing touchdowns while throwing nine interceptions. Additionally, the Hurricanes average less than 4.3 yards per pass play and do not have big play capabilities. On defense, they only have three interceptions in five games. Only 11 of the 120 FBS teams have fewer interceptions than the Hurricanes. This week Duke comes in off a bye with an extra week to prepare. Even without the favorable situation we rate Duke higher than Miami-Florida. Offensively, under the direction of David Cutcliffe, this Blue Devils team is improved. While still not overwhelming on the defensive side of the equation, Duke’s defense is improved. Early on they have shown the ability to stay competitive with a pretty balanced attack but after being shutout in their most recent game against Georgia Tech, Cutcliffe said he was going to start from scratch and do a “pretty detailed study of every little thing.” We would expect a strong showing with the extra time to prepare and we’ll back the better team in a favorable situation getting underdog points.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
BRENT CROW - EARLY LOOK CFB
East Carolina -9 vs. Memphis - What has happened to the Pirates after their great start? They look completely lost on offense and obviously really miss Chris Johnson, who has been starring as a rookie for the Titans. No way I can lay points with them right now.
Clemson -2 vs. Georgia Tech - First thought: Why is Clemson favored? They were pathetic against Bama to open the year, and seemed to have gotten worse last week at Wake Forest. Still getting too much respect. But not enough for Tommy Bowden to keep his job as he was canned Monday.
Iowa -4 vs. Wisconsin - Wisconsin has been playing much stiffer competition than the Hawkeyes and this seems to be an overreaction to the Penn State whipping last week.
Oklahoma -18 vs Kansas- This seems high for a Sooner team off its first loss of the year. I have lots of respect for Mark Mangino and Todd Reesing and might take a shot with the underdog here.
Tennessee -8 vs. Mississippi State - Tennessee as a favorite is not where I want my money. The Vols can’t run, can’t throw, and can’t play special teams. State got a win last week and could get another this week.
Alabama -13.5 vs. Ole Miss - Bama should be ready to play this week after the bye and also after Texas jumped them in the polls. Ole Miss is a quality team and how good does that 31-30 win at the Swamp look now? Was hoping for more points with them here after they opened +24 at Florida.
Georgia-15 vs. Vanderbilt - The Commodores must bounce back from their first loss of the year against a Georgia team that still hasn’t played its best game. The Dogs beat Tennessee last week, but weren’t sharp and wasted too many opportunities.
SouthernCal -42 vs. Washington State - Laughing at this one. Wazzu is down to its fourth quarterback. 66-0 this week for the Cougars.
Texas -7 vs. Missouri - How do the Horns respond after the huge win over Oklahoma? Will Mizzou bounce back after its loss to Oklahoma State? Seems like taking the points here would be a good idea.
Kentucky -11 vs. Arkansas. Arkansas is much improved over the past three weeks and they whipped Auburn much worse than the score indicated. They are gaining confidence as well and face a pedestrian Kentucky offense this week. Hard to lay doubles with the Wildcats.
Oklahoma State -16.5 vs. Baylor. Upset alert here as the Cowboys enter unchartedterritory. They have Texas on deck, but they better not overlook Robert Griffin and the Baylor Bears. Griffin has been terrific for a freshman in the Big XII and will only get better.
LSU -3.5 vs. South Carolina - Steve Spurrier may have found himself a quarterback in Stephen Garcia, who was sharp in the win at Kentucky win last week. Spurrier has a solid defense and the Gamecocks have been dangerous as a home dog. LSU is not as bad as they looked at Florida last week and will be out for blood this against USC.
Penn State -24 vs. Michigan - Joe Pa is about to break his nine-game losing skid to Michigan. The poor Wolverines lost at home to Toledo last week and no one expects Rich Rodriguez to even be close this week. The Lions might be looking ahead to their trip to Ohio State next week. Michigan fans better hope that’s the case.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
DONNIE BLACK - EARNERS AND BURNERS
Earner: Florida-International - More so than the major conferences, schools in non-BCS leagues can find quick turnarounds and alert bettors can find plenty of betting opportunities. In these smaller conferences teams also get much less publicity and coverage so the value can be in play for some time. Florida International was 1-11 last season and avoided la winless campaign by beating North Texas in the last game of the season. This season they faced BCS teams on the road to open the campaign in Kansas and Iowa. Losing 82-10 combined in those games, the market didn’t get much verification that the Panthers had improved. But the have. The recruiting has been strong and the speed on this team compares very favorable to other Sun Belt teams. Freshman Ty Hilton was regarded as the best high school athlete in Dade County and was recruited by Ole Miss, West Virginia and Florida. He has emerged as a huge playmaker, scoring four touchdowns in FIU’s last three games -- all of which were wins. This week they will be installed as an underdog at Troy and then in their following game off the bye they will again be in the same role at UL-Lafayette. They end the season with four consecutive home games and will sneak up on conference opposition. They are 5-1 against the spread this season and we expect to look for more opportunities to back a team that remains largely under the radar on the added board.
Burner: Miami-Florida - Randy Shannon does not have the built in advantages that his predecessors had for the better part of the last two decades at Miami. While he has said the right things in terms of his recruiting agenda, the fact remains that this team is nowhere near the level of where it once was. They currently sit with a 3-3 straight up record but they have not been overly impressive in any of the wins. Against the spread, Miami is 1-4 versus the closing number in its lined games. The quarterback play is suspect and as they move through their conference schedule, the difficulty level will increase. On the season, they have combined for just eight passing touchdowns while throwing nine interceptions.Additionally, the Hurricanes average less than 4.5 yards per pass play and do not have big play capabilities. On defense they only have three interceptions in five games. Only 11 of the 120 FBS teams have fewer interceptions than the Hurricanes. The schedule will also prove tough the rest of the way. During the remaining of the ACC conference season, a couple of key games against Duke and Georgia Tech both come with the opposition off an extra week to prepare. The spread results will continue to falter as the market insists on inflating the overall strength of this high-profile team. As an example, they are a -5.5 road favorite over Duke. Conference opponents like Wake Forest, Duke and Georgia Tech have all continued to improve and remain undervalued in the betting marketplace.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
THE GOLD SHEET
HOUSTON by 19 over Detroit
INDIANAPOLIS by 11 over Green Bay
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
OVER THE TOTAL in the Minnesota-Chicago game
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19
Tennessee 23 - KANSAS CITY 10—Vince Young is expected to be back in action, but Kerry Collins will remain the starter for 5-0 Tennessee. However,Titan coach Jeff Fisher has hinted Tenn. spent part of its bye week installing a change-of-pace package of plays with Vince at QB, plus a grouping with both Collins & Young (think receiver) on the field at the same time. Meanwhile, K.C. turning back to QB Brodie Croyle (0-7 as a starter; shoulder injury in opener) as part of its youth movement. Fisher’s underrated defense allowing only 11 ppg,led by sturdy DTs Albert Haynesworth (5½ sacks) & Tony Brown (3½).
(07-Tenn. 26-K. CITY 17...T.19-17 T.36/148 K.21/89 K.25/43/2/217 T.16/26/0/179 T.0 K.1)
(07-Tennessee -3' 26-17...SR: Kansas City 27-19)
BUFFALO 24 - San Diego 22—Check status of QB Trent Edwards, as Bills’ offense was showing good rhythm and avoiding turnovers when he was at the controls. Backup J.P. Losman possesses a big-play knack, but is less consistent. Chargers got their offense going at home in easy 30-10 win over New England. However, the five westernmost NFL teams (Sea., S.F., Oak., S.D. & Ariz.) are 0-6 SU and only 1-5 vs. the spread vs. eastern teams TY, with the lone cover recorded by the Raiders in a 24-23 loss at Buffalo.
(06-San Diego -6 24-21...SR: San Diego 21-11-2)
Pittsburgh 23 - CINCINNATI 13—We’d be reluctant to pick the spot where troubled Cincy would earn its first win of the season even if we knew Bengals had all hands on deck. But with Carson Palmer’s sore elbow making it possible that Ryan Fitzpatrick might have to go against Dick LeBeau’s active Pittsburgh zone blitzers, and with Cincy’s ground game slowed to a crawl (only 3.3 ypc), we’ll wait a bit longer before recommending the Bengals. Note that Ben Roethlisberger is on 10-game NFL win streak in his native Ohio (18 straight victories in the Buckeye State when counting his senior year at nearby Miami University!)
(07-Pitt 24-CINCY 13...P.23-15 P.33/160 C.21/91 P.19/26/1/230 C.23/31/0/205 P.0 C.1)
(07-PITT 24-Cincy 10...P.20-15 P.35/101 C.23/74 P.21/32/2/184 C.17/44/0/175 P.2 C.1)
(07-Pittsburgh -3' 24-13, PITTSBURGH -7 24-10...SR: Pittsburgh 46-30)
MIAMI 24 - Baltimore 13—We have no doubt Ray Lewis and the proud Baltimore defense will be well-prepared for Ronnie Brown and Miami’s “Wildcat” trickery. But the Dolphins’ base offense has been clicking lately largely because of QB Chad Pennington, completing 79% of his tosses the past 3 weeks as he gets more familiar with his new surroundings. Meanwhile, Raven rookie Joe Flacco is finding that life in the NFL is a bit more difficult than with the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens, as his 3 costly picks last week at Indy have tilted his TD/int. ratio (now 1/7) the wrong way.
(07-MIAMI 22-Balt. 16 (OT)...21-21 B.36/163 M.29/72 M.23/39/0/288 B.15/30/1/182 M.0 B.0)
(07-MIAMI +3' 22-16 (OT)...SR: Miami 5-2)
Dallas 31 - ST. LOUIS 13—Hooray for Jim Haslett and the Rams for their first victory of 2007. However, although their psyche is better, it’s hard to envision them beating the much more talented Cowboys, especially with the vulnerable St. Louis secondary unlikely to be able to handle the Dallas receivers from the get-go. And it’s no secret around the league that the Rams’ LB crew is below NFL standards. That’s not good vs. the Dallas RBs and its huge OL, especially with the Pokes in bounce-back mode (check Tony Romo’s finger injury). On the fast track indoors, will side with visitor vs. St. Louis team that is just 1-6 last 7 as a home dog.
(07-DALLAS 35-St. Louis 7...D.28-12 D.33/171 S.21/62 D.21/33/1/331 S.14/30/1/125 D.0 S.0)
(07-DALLAS -13 35-7...SR: EVEN 14-14)
OVER THE TOTAL CHICAGO 30 - Minnesota 20—Adrian Peterson not likely to sneak up on Lovie Smith’s defense as he did last season when running for 350 yards in two meetings vs. Chicago (including a whopping 224 in his breakout game at Soldier Field) when the Vikings swept. But the Bears are a different animal in ‘08, especially with Kyle Orton beginning to resemble a genuine NFL QB. The presence of dynamic rookie RB Matt Forte means Chicago won’t abandon run vs. the stingy Minnesota rush defense missing MLB E.J. Henderson. Meanwhile, the disruptive, opportunistic Bear “D” can harass Gus Frerotte. Chicago “over” 17-4 at home; Vikes “over” all three on road TY.
(07-Minn. 34-CHI. 31...C.20-16 M.43/311 C.24/83 C.26/45/2/375 M.9/23/0/133 M.0 C.2)
(07-MINN. 20-Chi. 13...M.21-11 M.34/136 C.17/32 M.18/29/3/236 C.22/38/1/177 M.1 C.0)
(07-Minnesota +5 34-31, MINNESOTA -10' 20-13...SR: Minnesota 50-42-2)
CAROLINA 26 - New Orleans 17—Series trends favor New Orleans, which has covered its last 6 trips to Charlotte. But such angles are not etched in granite in the 2008 NFC South, as Carolina found out last week when its 5-game win streak at Tampa Bay came to a crashing halt. Now in bounce-back mode, the Panthers’ normally reliable infantrymen D. Williams & J. Stewart should be able to establish themselves after being non-factors last week when Carolina fell behind so early vs. Bucs. Also foresee a more characteristic performance from the rugged Panther “D” not used to seeing opposing RBs breaking the century mark, as Warrick Dunn did last week (and which Larry Johnson, L.T.,& Michael Turner could not do earlier TY).
(07-Car. 16-N. ORL. 13...N.23-12 N.28/89 C.28/88 N.29/47/2/252 C.11/19/1/155 C.0 N.0)
(07-N. Orl. 31-CAR. 6...N.22-11 N.39/113 C.18/43 N.24/36/1/260 C.18/36/3/152 N.0 C.1)
(07-Carolina +3 16-13, New Orleans -3 31-6...SR: Carolina 15-11)
NY GIANTS 34 - San Francisco 13—Interesting matchup of the Giants’ sack-seeking front seven vs. S.F.’s sack-yielding (23) Mike Martz offense. With the 49ers lacking game-breakers at WR, N.Y. defensive coordinator Spagnuolo is likely to be willing to take lots of chances to disrupt S.F. QB O’Sullivan (7 TDs, 8 ints.) early and often. Prior to their Monday nighter in Cleveland, the G-Men were No. 1 in offense, scoring & rushing, plus No. 3 in defense, not to mention 9-1 their previous 10 vs. the spread. Can’t trust underdog Niners from destructing at key junctures.
(07-NY GIA. 33-S. Fran. 15...N.21-20 N.31/140 S.18/103 S.23/38/2/164 N.18/32/1/139 N.0 S.2)
(07-NY GIANTS -9' 33-15...SR: San Francisco 17-16)
HOUSTON 35 - Detroit 16—One of our favorite lines from the late deadpan comedian Jackie Vernon, when quoting ersatz “philosopher” Sig Sakowitz, was, “A sieve might not hold water, but it can hold another sieve.” That comment seems strangely appropriate to the Detroit defense, giving up 37 ppg and 180 ypg rushing prior to last week’s 12 & 135 at Minnesota. Houston’s speedy rookie RB Steve Slaton (343 YR), now backed up by consistent veteran Ahman Green, should be eager to test that lenient unit, allowing Gary Kubiak’s play-action offense to work time and again. WR Andre Johnson (10 for 178 vs. Miami) red hot. Texans 8-4 vs. the spread their last 12 at home; Lions (who still can’t run) only 2 covers their last 13 away. (04-DETROIT -3 28-16...SR: Detroit 1-0)
OAKLAND 17 - NY Jets 16—Heidi reprise!!! It’s actually been 39 years and 8 visits by the Jets to Oakland since that infamous 43-32 victory by the Raiders in the closing seconds in 1968. Moreover, New York didn’t play well in last week’s virtual walkover vs. the Carson Palmer-less Bengals, yielding a fumble TD for the first score, seeing Brett Favre toss 2 ints., and gaining only 252 yards. The tech trends don’t favor Oakland (only 2-11 vs. the spread its last 13 at home). But these Raiders fighting harder and have more offensive talent (albeit it’s still blossoming) than those most of those teams. Home debut of new HC Tom Cable.
(06-NY JETS -11 23-3...SR: Oakland 21-16-2)
WASHINGTON 26 - Cleveland 12—Redskins took the 0-4 Rams for granted last week and let a potential victory get away. But after their only other loss TY,Jim Zorn’s charges bounced back with a 29-24 victory over New Orleans.Clinton Portis (643 YR) should give Wash. plenty of ball control in this matchup, while QB Jason Campbell has yet to throw and int. TY! DE Jason Taylor is back in action, while the Skins secondary is one of the deepest in the league.
(04-CLEVELAND +3 17-13...SR: Cleveland 33-9-1)
Indianapolis 31 - GREEN BAY 20—Peyton Manning’s preseason knee injury is now a thing of the past, as he (5 TDP the last two weeks) and his multi-talented receiver corps were able to burn the banged-up secondary of the Ravens early and decisively last week. Envision the same scenario vs. the hurting Packer back line this week. Kudos to QB Aaron Rodgers (11 TDs, 4 ints.) for toughing it through his shoulder injury the last two weeks. But the fact is that his three career wins thus far have come against opposing QBs Tarvaris Jackson, Jon Kitna, and Charlie Frye. Manning’s scalp will be tougher to get,even at Lambeau. (04-INDIANAPOLIS -6 45-31...SR: EVEN 20-20-1)
*TAMPA BAY 26 - Seattle 10—Mike Holmgren’s swan song as Seattle’s head coach is turning out to be a nightmare of injuries at the WR & QB positions (check status of Matt Hasselbeck). He can look for no relief vs. the tough-tocrack Tampa zone, which has pretty much controlled 4 of its last 5 foes. The Buccaneer offense generates few big gainers, but grisled veterans Jeff Garcia (15 of 20, no ints.) and Warrick Dunn (115 YR) were nearly mistake free in last week’s,wire-to-wire, 27-3 victory over power-running Carolina week ago. TV—NBC
(07-SEATTLE 20-T. Bay 6...S.17-13 S.34/139 T.23/90 S.17/24/0/204 T.20/31/0/194 S.1 T.2)
(07-SEATTLE -6 20-6...SR: Seattle 7-1)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20
*Denver 23 - NEW ENGLAND 19—Matt Cassel now 2-2 as a starter, with the Pats averaging 18 ppg. No offense to Cassel, but that’s not exactly the same as the recording-setting 37 ppg juggernaut directed by Tom Brady LY.Meanwhile, Jay Cutler is arguably the brightest young QB in the league, with 12 TDs vs. 5 interceptions while running Mike Shanahan’s play-action offense.Yes, Denver has covered only 2 of its last 10 away. But Shanahan is 5-1 vs. the spread his last 6 meetings vs. Bill Bellichick. Pats still capable, but have much to prove. CABLE TV—ESPN
(06-Denver +6' 17-7...SR: Denver 26-15)
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
KEVIN O’NEILL’S THE MAX
Selection and Analysis by Matty Baiungo
Virginia Tech (+2½) over @Boston College
When Rick Pitino was coaching the Celtics, he delivered an infamous quote that got Boston fans all riled up. Pitino said: “Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door.” And we can transfer that to this year’s Boston College Eagles team because Matt Ryan is not walking through that door, and neither is Gosder Cherilus nor Jamie Silva. Those three guys were the backbone of BC football for the past four years, but all are now playing on Sunday’s. This year’s team hasn’t missed those guys yet, but as they begin the meat of their ACC schedule, the Eagles will surely miss those three. And it starts in this game with Virginia Tech. Boston College has faced a very weak schedule to open 2008. The Eagles are 4-1 straight up and 3-1 against the spread, but those four wins have come against teams with a combined 7-19 record. Their loss came against the only winning team they’ve faced, Georgia Tech. And it’s of no surprise that it was their lowest offensive output of the season as they had only 262 yards on a pedestrian 3.4 yards per play. And we can expect a similar weak offensive performance here against the very fast and aggressive defense of Virginia Tech. BC’s strength this year has been their running game that goes for close to 200 yards per game on 5 yards per carry. But the sledding will be tough here as Tech has been strong at stopping the run allowing only 3.7 yards per rush. Their defensive weakness is their secondary, but BC will not be able to take advantage of that. QB Chris Crane is no Matt Ryan, and offensive coordinator Steve Logan, who has never seen a passing play he doesn’t like, has run the ball twice as much this year compared to ’07. And you can’t blame him because the Eagles throwing numbers are awful as they’re completing only 56% of their passes for 188 yards per game. And those numbers were attained by playing weak teams with bad defenses. Don’t expect much offense from the Eagles in this game. After Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina to open the season, they’ve been forgotten about. The Hokies have won five straight since including twice winning straight up as road underdogs. And when head coach Frank Beamer handed the offense over to sophomore quarterback Tyrod Taylor, things began to click. Taylor has been more accurate in the passing game, but more importantly, his mobility takes away potential sacks. The Hokies offensive line is great in run blocking but they’ve been bad in pass protection allowing 18 sacks thus far. But Taylor’s legs will lessen that vulnerability. Tech lost starting running back Kenny Lewis to a season ending Achilles injury in their last game, but Darren Evans has been outstanding (415 yards and 8 TD’s) and he should continue to produce. BC hasn’t been favored over Virginia Tech in their last 10 meetings (Tech 7-3 straight-up), and with Taylor 9-0 as Tech’s starting quarterback, the wrong team is laying points.Virginia Tech by 4.
Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill
Georgia Tech (-1) over @Clemson
Georgia Tech was horrendous Saturday. 2-3 1-AA entrant Gardner-Webb missed a 44 yard field goal at the gun that would have sent the into overtime, allowing Tech to hold on 10-7. Incredibly, Tech gained only 199 yards of offense against this weak opponent. But there’s a reason for it. Josh Nesbitt and Jaybo Shaw were both out with injury. You know how intricate the offense is that Paul Johnson brought with him from Navy, and you know that the Midshipmen used to struggle mightily whenever their quarterback got hurt. It would take a while for the backup to develop the kind of timing necessary to succeed. Obviously the same thing happened at Grant Field Saturday. And Tech was being told all week how easy a win they were going to have, how easy a win it would be, how many guys would be getting playing time, how the starters would be rested, etc. etc. Gardner-Webb was a replacement for Army, who backed out of a game last fall, and clearly nobody took them seriously. It happens, and we’re willing to forgive. The overwhelming favorite to win the ACC, Clemson is having a nightmare season. They are 1-3 against 1-A opponents this season. Tommy Bowden has benched last year’s ACC player of the year Cullen Harper in favor of backup quarterback Willie Korn. Are you kidding? When your team with the two future NFL RB’s 156-21 by a Wake Forest team that entered the game averaging less than 90 yards per game on the ground, your classy, professional quarterback isn’t he problem. The offensive line has been a disaster and the team has no continuity or chemistry. And it isn’t a circle the wagons type atmosphere; instead it is a finger-pointing extravaganza right now. . Nobody can ride herd over a team like Johnson after a bad week. The heat will be turned up on the Flats this week and the Jackets will be primed for a big performance. Both top two quarterbacks are back for Tech this week, and Nesbitt will start. This line isn’t anywhere close to what we thought it would be heading into the season, but there’s a reason for it. Clemson is a mess. Fingers are being pointed and coaching futures are being pondered. After last week’s near-disaster, Tech will be sharp and ready to roll. Georgia Tech by 7. KO’s Note: Tommy Bowden, along with offensive coordinator Rob Spence, has been fired since this was written this morning. Line has moved from Clemson –2 to Georgia Tech –1. Willie Korn will still be starting, but he will be running the option according to Dabo Swinney, the new coach. Could Clemson step up with an inspired performance? Maybe. Clemson is completely changing their offense in midseason, and will be running it against a team that faces the option every day in practice. The young offensive linemen need to learn new blocking schemes. Receivers coach Swinney is a respected assistant, but he’s more a recruiter and program guy than a game-planning strategist. Any “new day dawning” enthusiasm edge for Clemson is offset by the change,Tech’s familiarity with the offense, and the distraction of a Clemson team that won’t be able to focus on their opponent until very late in the week, if at all.
Selection and Analysis by Erik Scheponik
Duke (+5) over @Miami (FL)
The last two in this series have been very nip and tuck with Miami winning both by a combined 15 points. Two years ago at this site Duke threw in the end zone from inside the 10 for the win but was intercepted on the game’s final play. This Duke team returned 51 lettermen this season, and there is a bit of a buzz around the program due to the excellent hire of David Cutcliffe as head coach.They have added some good young players into the mix as well, and have already surpassed their win total of the last 3 seasons combined! Cutcliffe’s teams always execute extremely well on offense, and I expect them to be firing on all cylinders coming off of a bye week. That extra preparation time magnifies the already-prevalent coaching edge for the Blue Devils here, and based on what we’ve seen so far, I’m really not sure Miami is better than Duke right now. Sure, they are more talented and deeper, but you can only play 22 at once, and Miami is very beat up right now with as many as 6 players listed as starters early on possibly out for this one.Duke holds the edge at QB with 3rd year starter Thaddeus Lewis under center against a very suspect Miami secondary. The Canes were allowing 7.5 yards per pass before their last two games against the weak-passing attacks of Florida St. and Central Florida came to town.That number is much more respectable now at 6.1, but I think thy will struggle against Lewis and company on the road. Randy Shannon has upgraded the talent on both sides of the ball, but youth combined with a mostly inexperienced coaching staff hurts UM. They look very sloppy at times, especially on offense where they have no real identity. They have two talented young quarterbacks, but Shannon’s insistence on playing both along with inconsistent WR play and the inability of offensive coordinator Patrick Nix to establish any kind of rhythm has hindered any development, and both signal callers are lacking confidence right now. The win last week over UCF most likely did very little for UM, as their inability to pull away probably created more doubt than anything. Doubt and pressure can cause young teams to struggle with execution and make careless mistakes. That is happening a lot right now with the U, and Shannon has not proven that he can help a team through that just yet.The Canes are now 3-9 to the number the last two seasons as chalk, and although I do believe they will improve, they are simply not there yet. They don’t know how to win, and are very prone to either coming out flat (24-3 to Florida St. at home in the 1st half, 27-0 at the half at North Carolina last season, both were games they almost won), or letting their foot of the gas with a lead. Either of those traits spell trouble against a Duke team that will come out sky high forthis one, and not quit until the final gun. UM by only 1
Selection and Analysis by Dave Fobare
Missouri (+7½) over @Texas
Texas ought win this game easy, right? The #5 ranked team in the country beats the #1 team by 10 points at a neutral site and now comes home to host a lower-ranked Missouri team that just choked at home as a two touchdown favorite. Well let's take a look at some numbers first. Both teams have been dominant in the rushing department. Texas has outrushed their opponents 4.6 yards per carry to 2.0. Missouri has outrushed their opponents 5.3 y.p.r. to 3.0. Tiny edge for Texas. The Horns have a big edge in passing too, 9.4 yards per attempt to 6.7. Obviously with Chase Daniel the Tigers have excelled; they sport a 9.6 to 7.3 y.p.p. margin. Small edge again for Texas. But my database gives a big edge to the Tigers on strength of schedule. Yes the Horns just played Oklahoma. But after that it’s all Tigers. Texas has feasted on the likes of Florida Atlantic, Rice and UTEP. Losing to Oklahoma State may have been a disappointment for Missouri, but the Cowboys may be a Top 10 program and the Tigers have only played one truly bad program - Buffalo. My numbers say that Missouri's schedule has been about 7-10 points per game better. Big edge to the dog there.Overall my stat model calls for a surprisingly easy Tigers win as after the schedule adjustment they have the edge both on the ground and in the air. Usually in a game like this the tech edge will go to the undefeated home team - Texas, especially at a reasonable price. But last week's upset win over the Sooners gave my database a spin. The Longhorns apply to one of the best spots I have; a negative 17-58 ATS letdown system whose teams have failed to cover by an average of more than 9 points per game. The system is 0-2 ATS in 2008 and the losses each came by 14 points. By virtue of their perfect 2- 0 record in the Big 12 Texas is also hit by a negative 13-38 ATS system that nabbed Texas Tech last weekend. The Tigers have plenty of tech on their side as well; the best is a 25-1 ATS bounceback system that cashed a winner on the late phones last weekend with Tulane over UTEP.Beating Oklahoma earned the Longhorns a spot on top ofthe new AP poll. That is the first time Texas has led the AP during the regular season since 1984, and their jump to the top spot from #5 is the largest such jump since 1988.The Horns did not really upset Oklahoma; they earned it.But being the hunter is a lot easier than being the hunted.This week the bullseye gets pinned to the Longhorns. Both the stats and the tech say it’s going to be a short stay as college football's King of the Hill. Take the points.Missouri by 1.
Selection and Analysis by Matty Baiungo
@Georgia (-15) over Vanderbilt
Last week, we detailed the phoniness of Vanderbilt. And their magical ride got derailed in Starkville in a 17-14 loss. But once again, Vandy found themselves in a very fortunate situation at the half. They led by a score of 7-3, but these halftime numbers tell the real story. Mississippi St was dominating the Commodores in the stats; 9-4 in first downs, 155-42 in yardage, 4.4 – 2.1 in yards per play, 107-36 in rushing yards, and 4.7 – 2.1 in yards per rush. Despite those numbers, Vanderbilt somehow held a 4-point lead. How was this possible? After a 16-yard punt by Mississippi St, Vandy got the ball on the Bulldogs’ 17-yard line. And this happened with 4:32 left in the half. And to show you just how inept this Vandy offense is, it took them 4 minutes and 13 seconds to move the ball 17 yards. They scored a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining in the half, but to take over 4 minutes to go 17 yards is simply pathetic.The second half saw more of the same. But Mississippi St was able to capitalize on their chances and went up 17-7 and basically put the game out of reach. For the game, Vanderbilt had a grand total of 107 yards. The fact that this team ever got to 5- 0 and ranked # 13 in the country will be one of the greatest flukes in college football history. And if they couldn’t move the ball on Mississippi St or their other four opponents, then they’ll have no chance in this game. This is a huge step up in class as Georgia was the preseason # 1 and is certainly a legitimate Top 10 team. If Georgia doesn’t win this game by 30 points or more, then they too would qualify as a phony team. But expect the winning margin to be huge here. Georgia disappointed us last week on the late phones. We used them laying 12½ over Tennessee, but came up short in their 26-14 win. But the box score tells us that they should have won the game by at least 30 points. The Bulldogs won yardage 458-209, including winning rushing 149-1. That’s no misprint either. But two things prevented Georgia from winning that game more convincingly. One was the fact that Georgia settled for three chip-shot field goals (34, 28 and 20 yarders), with two of those coming over the first 17 minutes of the game.And two Georgia turnovers also prevented a blowout. They key interception came on 3rd and goal from the 6- yard line when Georgia was up 20-7. Instead of either a 27-7 or 23-7 lead, the score was 20-14 after Tennessee capitalized on QB Matthew Stafford’s mistake. If Georgia comes anywhere close to last week’s production, they will annihilate Vanderbilt. Well aware of head coach Bobby Johnson’s 15-4 spread mark as a road underdog over the last five years, but most of that was when Vanderbilt was taken lightly. Georgia will not overlook the ‘Dores here because they only won by three last year in Nashville and lost at home in 2006. Georgia will be focused and things will get ugly between the hedges. Georgia by 22.
Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill
@Northern Illinois (-7½) over Toledo
A lot of good things happened for Toledo when Michigan was inside the Rockets 10-yard line Saturday. In the first quarter, with a second and goal on the Toledo 5, Michigan’s Steven Threet tossed an INT that was returned 100 yards for a 7- 0. To close the game, Michigan missed a 26-yard field goal that would have sent the game to overtime after having the ball inside the Toledo 10 but failing to make any more progress. Toledo enjoyed a 3-1 turnover edge and pulled out the win despite being outrushed 170-70. Beating Michigan has proven to mean very little this fall. It creates a false sense of confidence and overrates the team.Utah beat Michigan, then failed to cover in a win over UNLV. Notre Dame beat Michigan, then got beat up by Michigan State the next week. Illinois beat Michigan, then lost outright as a double-digit favorite to Minnesota. So Toledo not only got lucky, but they set up themselves up for a major letdown here. This is a team that in the previous two weeks lost to Florida International at home as a 19-point favorite and then lost to Ball State 31-0, also at home.And they take on a Northern Illinois team that is underrated. The Huskies actually had a shot to beat Tennessee two weeks ago, but came up short.They also had tough, close losses at good teams Minnesota and Western Michigan. The losses keep their improvement off of the national radar, and others who did realize that the Huskies are pretty good may have lost with them this week in a noncovering win over Miami-O. Northern Illinois was more dominant than the 17-13 margin would indicate as they outgained the RedHawks 5.6-4.3 yards per play. Two things masked the Husky superiority, a punt return for a TD by Miami, and the fact that Northern Illinois was down to their third string quarterback. The top two have been pretty good, and they Huskies should be in better shape here. Northern Illinois is the better team. NIU statistical edges are even more prominent than they appear, as they have been on the road all season, with the Miami game being their first home affair against a 1-A opponent all season. Big letdown situation for a Toledo team that doesn’t play well on the road.Nice spot for Jerry Kill’s squad. Northern Illinois by 14.
Selection and analysis by Kevin O’Neill
Arkansas (+9½) over @ Kentucky
Obviously it was going to be a transition year at Arkansas, with a change from the running attacks favored by Houston Nutt to Bobby Petrino. But the changeover was even worse than expected, and the Hogs had been pretty pathetic. But there’s some latent talent in Fayetteville, and the Razorbacks are starting to catch on to things. The fact that the Hogs hung around with Florida for the first three quarters two weeks ago looks pretty good when you look at Florida’s 7+ yards per play against formerly impenetrable LSU on Saturday night. And while Auburn is a mess, the level of dominance exhibited by Arkansas in their 25-22 win on the Plains is noteworthy. Total yardage was 416-193, rushing dominance was 188-56, and first downs were 19-11. The Razorbacks are starting to get it. Kentucky is a team beset with quarterback problems. An early 27-2 win over Louisville made a lot of people sit up and take notice, but that game was not all that impressive, as UK gained only 210 yards on 64 plays and the Cardinals offense was terrible early. Kentucky barely held on to beat MTSU 20-14 and a 17-14 loss to Alabama was not really that close against a Tide team letting down the week after schooling Georgia. Saturday was another close game that saw them lose yardage 348-214 in a 24-17 loss to South Carolina. This team simply doesn’t have a lot of offensive pop.Their other two wins were against 1-AA Norfolk State and Western Kentucky, a team in their first year after being elevated from 1-AA. So they’ve struggled against all four 1-A teams they’ve faced,and now they’re being asked to cover double digits against an Arkansas team that is improving.Arkansas’ defense is vulnerable, but can Kentucky generate the kind of attack that will take advantage?This figures to be a tight, low scoring game in which points are hard to come by. Casey Dick has been around forever and his experience comes in handy with his young skill position teammates. Dick completed a 31-yard pass to Joe Adams and a 39-yard strike to Greg Childs against Auburn, and both of those two are freshmen. There are some young players starting to make plays, and while Bobby Petrino isn’t a guy you’d want to buy a used car from, he can coach at the college level.Overmatched in the pros, and unable to relate to players he couldn’t dominate, he’s a fine strategist at this level, and recieves full compliance from his young charges. Improving Hogs hang around.Kentucky by only 3.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
KEVIN O’NEILL’S THE MAX
Selection and Analysis by Matty Baiungo
@Chiefs (+7½) over Titans
Sometimes you just have to play the ugly dog in the NFL. And there’s no uglier dog on the card this week than the Kansas City Chiefs. Off to a 1-4 start, the Chiefs now own just one win in their last 14 games played. Yep, that’s a 1- 13 record dating back to November 4th of last year when the Chiefs closed out the 2007 season by losing their last nine games. The whole organization is a mess. GM Carl Peterson has been adamant about rebuilding the Chiefs roster with young talent, tight end Tony Gonzalez has had repeated talks with Peterson looking for a ticket out of town, and head coach Herm Edwards may be one of the worst coaches in the game. Nice guy (talked to him at the Vegas airport a few years back), but simply not a good NFL head coach. There’s nothing to like about the Chiefs, so how can I recommend playing them this week? Kansas City falls into two decent situations for this game. First, they enter this game off their bye week. Home dogs off a bye always deserve a look, especially if they lost their previous game going into it. For two weeks, they’ve had to listen to how bad they are, and that they don’t resemble the look of a real NFL team. That’s two weeks of constant negativity with nobody giving them the time of day. That’s plenty of motivation for the Chiefs to put everything they have into their preparation for this game in order to shut up the doubters. Second, the Chiefs were shutout 34-0 in their loss at Carolina. And NFL shutout losers usually bounce back strong in their next game because of the embarrassment they just endured. Even though Kansas City has lost 13 of their last 14 games, the Chiefs have been somewhat competitive losing seven of those games by 10 points or less. We’ll see their best shot in this game, an effort similar to their Denver win three weeks back. There’s nothing bad to say about Tennessee’s play on the field. At 5-0 straight up and against the spread, they are only one of two remaining undefeated teams left. The Titans have the best defense in the league holding opponents to 11 points per game on 268 yards per game while allowing a minuscule 4.4 yards per play. Those are some daunting numbers, and obviously tough to play into.But the Titans are not a team really built to win by big margins, especially on the road. Over the last 3 years, Tennessee is 11-7 on the road. Of those eleven wins, eight of them have come by 9 points or less with their average margin coming by only 7.7 points per game. The Titans have only been road favorites 3 times over that span by 3½, 4, and 1½ points. This is unfamiliar territoryfor the Titans, and a spot that favors the home underdog.Titans by only 1.
Selection and Analysis by Erik Scheponik
Saints @ Panthers Over 44
Here we have one of the NFL’s best offenses in New Orleans and an improved-yet-inconsistent Carolina offense that should be able to put up some big numbers against a mediocre defense at home. Sure, Carolina’s defense is decent, but the Saints very seldom play a bad offensive game under Sean Payton always moving the ball and putting up points no matter who they play. In fact in their last 18 games, they have been held to under 22 points only once, and under 325 yards only 4 times. That is remarkable consistency and has led to a 13-4-1 OVER mark. Drew Brees is playing the quarterback position as well as anybody in the league, and the passing game should be bolstered by the expected return of Marquis Colston this week. The offensive line paves the way for all of their weapons, and Sean Payton is one of the best playcallers in the business. On the season, New Orleans is averaging 29 points per game, 412 yards per game and 6.5 yards per play, all top 5 numbers. Carolina’s offense has shown flashes as well, and the weapons are definitely there. Jake Delhomme is back under center behind a rebuilt, talented offensive line, and although he struggled last week throwing 3 picks against Tampa Bay, he is a very capable QB in this league. He steps down in class here against a New Orleans stop unit that allows 330 ypg and 22 ppg. The Panthers have a chance to be one of the league’s most balanced offenses as Jonathan Stewart looks like a future star at RB, and the receiving corps is deeper behind Steve Smith this season. We’ll have to check the status of their offensive line here as both C Ryan Kali and T Jeff Otah missed last week’s loss at Tampa, and we’d want at least one in the lineup (which we should get as both were gametime decisions this past week) before pulling the trigger. Carolina’s offense has been able to sit on some big leads this season, but they are not good enough defensively to shut down New Orleans (is anyone?) here. The Saints will get some points, and that will make Carolina open things up as well. Carolina has also had some trouble with getting punts blocked lately, and the Saints and Reggie Bush may be able to spring a big return if Carolina puts too much emphasis on protection. I expect both teams in the 20’s here, and while the Panthers’ defense may pull them through, Brees and company will be heard from, as usual. We’ll call it 26-24 Carolina. Play Over the total.
Selection and Analysis by Dave Fobar
Denver (+3 even) over @New England
My NFL tech database has gone thru some changes overthe past couple of seasons. Kevin O'Neill has touched on the fact that in the NFL passing has become much more important than running of late and I've mentioned it in passing here in this column. According to my numbers the game the increased emphasis on the air game started in 2002. The change was quite difficult to see at first in part because there are so few NFL regular season games. My own study has also shown that in the early part of the season the run game still holds some value from a tech perspective. But we are reaching the stage of the campaign where the air attack and its defense have become the dominant handicapping factor over the past 6 seasons. All this is a roundabout way of getting to my point: I've had to ditch quite a bit of stat-related tech over the past couple of seasons, and I hold very dear the few stat-based tech systems that have done well both in the distant NFL past and more recently. The best of my statbased systems has a play here against the Patriots. It derives from New England's poor statistical performance and the system's teams are just 131-218 ATS, including 4- 8 ATS so far this year. This system has performed at a 27% clip out of sample, and it works on Monday night games too with a 4-11 ATS mark and a larger losing cover margin. While the loss of Tom Brady has received most of national media's attention, the Pats' bigger problem has been the decline in its defense. They are giving up 7.5 yards per pass. The New England organization has been very good at discarding expensive players who no longer gave the team value for their dollars, but this past summer they made some curious moves. They certainly needed to makes some moves; at the end of last season the defense looked old and slow. One acquisition in particular struck me: the signing of cornerback Ferndando Bryant to a one-year contract. Bryant was let go by my hometown Lions. He was never really a good fit for Rod Marinelli's Tampa 2 scheme and his body suffered quite a bit of wear and tear from the run support the defense demands. So from a stylistic view the move made sense, but it wasn't like Bryant was doing a bang up job against opposing receivers either. Now Bryant didn't make it through training camp with New England, but if the Pats were desperate enough to give a Matt Millen castoff a shot they were in bigger trouble than I realized at the time.Still I thought Matt Cassel would do a credible job filling in for an injured Tom Brady. While Brady is a very good QB his numbers until last season were never really deserving of all the accolades that came his way. The Patriots are a team that prepares well for emergencies, and the general consensus was that New England was still a playoff-caliber team. After 142 pass attempts I'm not so sure. Cassel has put up a respectable 6.4 yards per pass but simply doesn't make the proper decisions quickly enough. He has been sacked 19 times so far, and many of them have been his fault. Bottom line, the Broncos are the better team right now and they probably deserve to be a small favorite in this game. New England is going to have to fall further before the betting public makes the proper adjustments.Denver by 3.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Powersweep (Northcoast/Phil Steele)
3*- Ohio St
UNDERDOG PLAY OF THE WEEK
Over the past 25 years this play has been a reader favorite hitting 180-126. Over
the last 8 years the Underdog Play of the Week has recorded 28 OUTRIGHT
UPSET WINNERS to the incredible record! Here is this week's Underdog Play
of the Week:
Missouri (+7) over TEXAS
The last time that Missouri beat Texas in Austin was a 10-0 shutout in 1896! Brown is 4-0 vs MO (1-3
ATS) with the avg win 40-17. UT is 12-4 SU vs ranked foes and 9-0 SU & 8-1 ATS after the RRR. Texas
is 6-0 SU/ATS after a solid 2H performance LW vs OU. They are playing what Brown is calling “the best
4 tms in a row we’ve played maybe in Texas history.” QB McCoy is avg 260 ypg (79%) with a 17-3 ratio.
MO was stunned LW by OSU, never really getting on track offensively & the def all’d 187 rush yds (4.3)
and wasn’t able to get off the field (8-3 ATS off SU loss). It took 52 drives but QB Daniel finally had a 3
& out series. He is avg 343 ypg (76%) with a 16-4 ratio, but 3 int were LW. Both off rank in the Top 10
(MO #7, UT #3), but Texas has the def edge (#6-27) as they are all’g 51 (1.9) rush ypg & are ranked #3
in our pass eff D (268 ypg, 55%, 10-4 ratio). The Horns are 3-0 SU/ATS in Austin this ssn (exact 52-10
scores in each), but MO is on an 18-4 SU & 15-5 ATS run as the Tigers will be the toughest opp to visit
since then-#1 Ohio St in ‘06 (UT lost 24-7, -2). Also new #1 UT has OSU on deck which now looms
very large in the B12 South race. Doesn't it make sense to use a team off a big loss over a team off a
huge win. Could we use the Tigers as our Top play? FORECAST: Missouri 38 TEXAS 37
4* OKLAHOMA over Kansas - Sooners were B12 champs LY but it was the Jayhawks that finished #7
in the AP ahead of #8 OU. OU is off an emotional loss to rival Texas (11-1 SU & 8-4 ATS gm after) were
they couldn’t stop the Horns in the 2H (outscored 25-14 all’g 161 rush yds, 4.6). OU has won 21 straight
B12 HG’s (13-8 ATS, avg score 42-14) and is 11-3-1 as a HF and 10-1 SU & 8-3 ATS vs the B12 North.
QB Bradford avg 342 ypg (72%) with a 23-5 ratio. Mangino was an asst cch under Stoops prior to taking
over at KU (1999-’01) and is 0-2 SU/ATS vs his former boss (avg loss 30-7, L/gm in ‘05). KU is 12-38
SU on the road under Mangino, but on an 8-2 ATS streak. KU is just 7-16 ATS as a DD dog. KU beat CU
LW, but has been somewhat unimpressive in their 1st 2 conf gms (trailed ISU 20-0 at HT & only led CU
16-14 after 3Q). QB Reesing is avg 330 ypg (72%) with a 15-3 ratio. OU has the off (#1-43) and D edges
(#9-36). Stoops is 12-5 ATS off a SU loss and will put down the hammer here to get the bad taste out of
the Sooners mouth (OU outscoring opp’s 110-6 in 1Q). FORECAST: OKLAHOMA 47 Kansas 20
3* NEVADA over Utah St - UN leads the series 14-4 SU but is just 1-5 ATS (S/’97). UN has won the L/3
but has dropped 2 of 3 gms in Reno. These two have avg 67 ppg over the L/11 and the visitor has won 7
of 8 with the only exception being a 42-0 win by UN (-29) in ‘06. USU has won 3 of its L/4 WAC gms but
has not won 3 or more conf gms in a ssn S/’03. Aggies QB Borel is avg just 112 ypg (53%) with a 6-5 ratio
but he does lead the tm with 300 yds rushing. USU’s D needs to buckle down as it’s all’g 430 ypg (#105
in the NCAA). The Aggies have an edge on ST (#97-110) but UN has the adv on off (#16-114). USU is
3-17 SU & 8-12 ATS in conf AG’s S/’02 while UN is 14-3 ATS as a HF. QB Kapernick is avg 192 ypg (64%)
with a 9-3 ratio while also rushing for 565 yds (8.6) with 9 TD’s & he’s a WAC POY candidate. Paired w/
RB Taua (614 yds, 6.3 & 8 TD), UN is #3 in the NCAA in rush off avg 309 ypg which has enabled the Wolf
Pack to hang onto the ball for an avg of 32:39 (#13 in the NCAA). UN’s run D has been stout all’g just 74
ypg (#7 in the NCAA), but the Pack needs to shore up its pass D which is all’g 345 ypg (#119) as it caught
up with them in LW’s loss. FORECAST: NEVADA 48 Utah St 20
3* Ohio St over MICHIGAN ST - LY OSU dominated with a 422-185 yd edge but MSU got FR & IR TD’s
in a 24-17 Bucks SU win (-18’). OSU has won their L/2 in E Lansing by an avg of 35-13 (-8 avg). OSU is
12-3 as an AF & has won 12 straight B10 AG’s. Dantonio is 6-3-1 as a HD and has faced his mentor 3x
(Tressel 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS). OSU beat Purdue 16-3 win but didn’t score an off TD and were outgained
298-222 although the Boilers never made it inside the OSU 25. QB Pryor played like a frosh (124 ttl yds)
and was held without a TD for the 1st time as a str. RB Wells (479, 6.7) was held to 94 yds (1st time under
100 TY) and clearly was not 100% (foot and flu). OSU’s OL has allowed a conf worst 19 sks. Bucks have
allowed 172 rush ypg (4.8) to the 2 pro style off’s they’ve faced (USC & Wisky) as the DL play has been
inconsistent. MSU is off a 37-20 win over NW in which they were outgained 459-297 but took advantage of
a +3 TO edge. This is RB Ringer’s (#2 NCAA 1112, 4.5) last shot at his home state school who denied him
admission (49 yds on 18 carries LY). MSU has only faced 1 mobile QB TY (Indy’s Lewis who was hurt in
the 1H) and allowed 473 yds vs IU. The off’s are even but OSU’s D (#2-45) & ST’s (#3-77) carry the day in
a true battle of Tressel ball. In ‘03 we used Wisconsin as our GOY over the Spartans, an easy 56-21 winner.
Will we go against the overrated Spartans again? FORECAST: Ohio St 24 MICHIGAN ST 14
2* Florida Atl 30 WKU 20 - 1st meeting. This gm does not count in the Sun Belt standings but FAU is
off a 30-17 loss to Troy. They are 7-2 SU vs conf foes on the road (WK joins in ‘09) and 3-0 as an AF. QB
Smith is avg 228 ypg (48.8%) with a 5-9 ratio and WR Gent has 23 rec (15.3). This is WKU’s 8th straight
gm and they are off a 24-7 loss vs Ball St. They were only outgained 355-352. QB Wolke (4 sts) was
named the starter for rest of ssn and is avg 112 ypg (54%) with a 5-4 ratio (QB Black status unknown). WR
Gaebler has 22 rec (10.4). FAU is in desperation mode and at 1-5 expect changes from Schnellenberger.
FAU dominated Minny 42-39 with a 580-470 yd edge delivering as our 5H Sept GOM Winner LY. Do we
roll with the Owls again? FORECAST: Florida Atl 30 WKU 20
2* SOUTH CAROLINA (+) over Lsu - LSU is 15-2-1 SU all-time (series) & SC’s last win was in ‘94. LY LSU
used a fake FG to score a TD & had a 290-17 yd rush edge in their 28-16 win but we won a 4H LPS on SC
(+17’) on the road. This is SC’s first ranked opp (6-1-1 ATS vs them) in 5 wks and they have a bye on deck so
they will give their “A” gm while LSU is off a road trip to Fla and has UGA on deck. LSU has not traveled here
S/’03 and is 3-11 ATS vs the SEC East incl LW’s blowout loss to FL in which they were outgained 475-321.
Miles is 4-1-1 ATS off a loss at LSU. DT Jean-Francois DNP LW (CS). Spurrier is 11-2 SU vs LSU but just 3-6-1
as a HD. LSU excels in night gms (now 19-1 SU after LW’s loss). LSU RB Scott has 570 (6.9) but had a streak
of 4 consec 100 rush gms stopped LW and also lost a fmbl for the first time TY. QB’s Lee & Hatch alternated
LW & have comb to avg 220 ypg (57%) with a 7-6 ratio. SC QB Garcia (avg 100 ypg, 66%, 2-1 ratio) came off
the bench LW to relieve an ineffective Smelley (182 ypg, 60% 9-10 ratio) and led the tm to 10 pts in the 4Q to
beat KY 24-17 in Lexington. Spurrier is disappointed with the RB’s (Davis is top 354, 4.1). WR McKinley (20,
10.3) broke SC’s rec record LW, but suffered 2 fmbls. SC has quietly put together 4 consec wins and needs 1
more to be bowl elig. LSU has the edge on off (#19-63), but their young QB’s struggled on the road LW and
this wk face an even stronger D (#10, LSU #22). FORECAST: SOUTH CAROLINA 24 (+) Lsu 20
2* W Michigan over C MICHIGAN - WM is 1-14-1 visiting Mt Pleasant with the win coming in ‘02. LY WM
was in control early but wrongfully had their key offensive plyr WR Simmons ejected in the 2Q and CM got a
TD with :12 left to pull out a 34-31 road win (-3). Last time here CM (-7) rolled 31-7. Both tms played Ohio and
Temple TY going 2-0 SU & 1-1 ATS. CM is off a 24-14 win over TU as a 7 pt HF but benefited from +3 TO as
they were outgained 301-297. WM had 18-10 FD & 288-196 yd edge over TU but only won 7-3 as a 4 pt AF.
WM had a 503-356 yd edges over Ohio winning 41-20 as a 7 pt HF. CM was outgained 513-431 by OU but
won 31-28 as a 3’ pt AF as OU fmbl’d what could have been a gm winning TD into the EZ. CM QB LeFevour is
avg 230 ypg (65%) with a 9-3 ratio and is the top rusher with 304 (3.8). He left LW’s gm in the 2Q (ankle, CS).
WM QB Hiller is avg 292 ypg (68%) with a 23-5 ratio. RB West leads with 633 (5.6). While CM has a slight off
edge (#41-46), WM has a big D edge (#67-104). This tm has now won 6 in a row & they’ve been a staple at
this spot for the L/3W and we’ll continue to ride. FORECAST: W Michigan 34 C MICHIGAN 27
Thursday, October 16th -
Florida St at NC STATE - Flor St asst coach Amato was the Wolfpack HC for 7
yrs before being fired after ‘06 and makes his 1st trip back to Raleigh. NCSt has 4 outright upsets the last 7
yrs of the series and is 6-1 ATS but those wins were all under Amato and he’s on the other sideline now.
Byu at TCU - BYU’s 1st gm outside the state of Utah in over a month. TCU has all’d 36 ppg to BYU the
L/3Y as they got a lucky SU win in Provo in ‘05, a gm they trailed big. LY TCU was down 24-9 but rallied for a
backdoor TD w/3:49 left (+7’), 27-22. TCU is 1-5 SU on Thurs gms but 10-2 SU & ATS at home since joining
the MWC (losses vs BYU & Utah). TCU is 5-1 as a HD & BYU is 0-2 TY as an AF but 10-4 SU (8-6 ATS) on
Thurs nights. Two yrs ago, BYU’s win here delivered a Thurs Night Marquee & snapped the nation’s longest
win streak (13). TY BYU enters with the nation’s longest win streak, but do they leave with it?
Friday, October 17th - Hawaii at BOISE ST - This is a rematch of LY’s WAC Champ where #14 UH
snapped #17 BSU’s 6 gm win streak in the series 39-27 (-2’) to claim the WAC Title & dealt the Broncos
their 1st WAC loss in 3 yrs (S/’05). The Warriors have covered their L/3 vs the Broncos but BSU has simply
dominated the WAC going 53-4 (93%)! The Broncos have never lost a conf home gm & own a 29 gm home
win streak vs the WAC. This is the 1st of B2B Fri gms for BSU but the Broncos are right at home going
12-3 ATS (15-2 SU) in weekday reg ssn gms S/’01, incl 8-1 ATS (11-0 SU) at home. While the numbers
say Boise, don’t forget Hawaii has won 8 straight conf road gms.
Saturday October 18th - RUTGERS 24 Connecticut 17 - UC Coach Edsell has owned Schiano at 5-0-1
ATS in the series incl 3-0 ATS in New Brunswick but Rutgers holds an all-time 18-9 edge. LY on a very
windy day, Conn rushed for 256 yds (6.6) in their 38-19 home win (Rutgers 511-396 yd edge). The series
has been decided by a TD or less in 4 of 6. Rutgers is off to their worst start S/’02 when they went 1-11
losing to Cincy 13-10 LW. QB Mike Teel is 195 ypg (55%) with a 3-7 ratio but now has top RB Young who
has battled back from inj (78 yds, 3.5 LW). Conn is led by the NCAA’s leading rusher D Brown avg 178 ypg
(5.8). ND transfer QB Frazer (PS#7) will make his 2nd start here and will benefit from a bye. Rutgers (our
#38 rush D) will look to capitalize on the inexp QB and will load up the box vs Brown. Both these teams were
dominated by N Carolina. These 2 tms have similar D & ST’s rankings but Conn has the off edge (#49-89).
Every game is a must-win and Schiano will have the Knights fired up in front of the home crowd.
MARYLAND 20 Wake Forest 17 - LY Alphonso Smith’s 100 yd IR TD late 3Q jump started the Deacons
miracle comeback (down 24-3) incl a TD with :03 left on 4th down to force OT. WF has never beaten UM 3
straight years. In ‘06 here, it was a showdown for the ACC Atlantic Title and WF won 38-24 as a 1’ pt AD. MD
is 4-2 with unexpected wins over then #20 Clemson and #23 Cal and surprising losses to MTSt & UVA. MD
is 6-2 ATS as a dog vs ranked tms with 5 outright upsets. QB Turner is avg 164 ypg (58%) with a 6-6 ratio.
RB Scott has 482 rush yds (5.4) and 8 rec (10.4). WR Heyward-Bey has 12 rec (22.2). WF is 2-0 TY in ACC
play but has only managed 1 TD and won its 1st 2 league gms for the 1st time S/’87. QB Skinner is #1 in
ACC pass eff avg 232 ypg (68%) with a 7-4. WR Boldin has 31 rec (10.0). MD has the off edge (#57-77) but
WF has a solid D (#8-72) and schedule edge (#8-70). MD is off a bye and have been stewing for L/2 weeks
about their embarrassing loss 31-0 to UVA and teams that beat CU the week prior are 1-4 ATS.
Georgia Tech 17 CLEMSON 16 - LY GT upset #13 CU 13-3 as the Tigers missed 4 FG, had a punt blk’d to
set up the only TD & fmbl’d a KR setting up a FG. The dog is 17-2 ATS but CU did cover in ‘06 here 31-7 (-7)
which was GT’s only ACC reg ssn loss that yr. GT HC Johnson is 14-2 as an AD. Nine of the L/12 have been
decided by 5 or less. CU has a bye on deck. CU’s off is banged up, 2 starters from the OL, RB Spiller & WR
Grisham were all hurt in LW’s 12-7 loss to WF (CS) and once again the fans are calling for Bowden’s job. After
the loss vs WF, Bowden announced rFr Willy Korn (PS#2) will replace Harper (preseason ACC POY) as the
starting QB. In the 2 gms Korn has played in (both IAA) he has passed for 157 yd (78%) with 1 TD. LW GT’s
QB Nesbitt missed his 2nd str gm (hamstring - exp back vs CU) and bkup Shaw was also out (concussion).
Booker made his 1st career start and did not fit the triple-option (155 ttl off). In fact, GT struggled with just 79
rush yd (210 below their avg) vs IAA Gardner-Webb as they barely pulled out the 10-7 win. These 2 matchup
evenly on off (CU #53-58) and CU has a slight D edge (#21-31) however GT has one of the best DL’s in the
country which should be able to stop CU’s run game especially with a banged up OL.
EAST CAROLINA 30 Memphis 23 - LY Memphis all’d 491 rush yds, their most S/’82 (56-40, -5’ away),
but Johnson had 301 and he is gone. The Pirates are off a 3rd consec defeat (35-20 to VA) and have lost
the L/4 ATS. QB Pinkney mirrored the tm’s hot start, but has cooled down and completed just 36% (12-28)
against a VA D that was getting consistent pressure. Pinkney is completing 68% on the ssn and is avg 206
ypg with a 6-3 ratio. EC is 8-4 SU and 11-1 ATS in the series. EC is 17-9 ATS in CUSA play under Holtz,
11-4 ATS vs the East. Mem is off a 35-28 loss to UL in which they outgained the Cardinals 481-299, but
all’d FR & KR TD’s and also had a blocked FG ret’d for a TD. QB Hall threw for 350 yds (60%), but his
fumble with the gm tied in the 4th was ret’d 21 yds for the GW score. Hall (258 ypg, 59% 9-6 ratio) and
RB Steele (94 ypg, 6.3) lead our #45 off and the Tigers (3-4) are a few plays away from being 7-0, as they
have outgained all but one (W vs UAB). The Tigers’ best DT McDonald left LW’s gm with an ankle inj (CS).
With both teams off tough non-conf losses, expect a tight CUSA East battle.
DUKE 17 Miami, Fl 10 - Last time here, UM was riddled by susp & needed an int on the last play to hold
on for a 20-15 win (-17). LY at Miami, Duke only trailed 17-14 (+24) and was SOD at the UM30 and 2 plays
later Miami got a TD with 2:15 left to win by 10. In their first 3 ACC meetings Miami has been favored by
an avg of 25.6 ppg but figures to take this a little more seriously. Miami is 2-8 as an AF and while Duke is
4-14 as a HD, Cutcliffe is 6-2 as a HD. Duke is off to its best start since 1994. Duke’s ground gm, however,
is struggling only avg 66 ypg L/3 gms. QB Lewis is #2 in the ACC avg 194 ypg (60%) with a 7-3 ratio. WR
Riley has 27 rec (10.2) & true Fr J Williams 20 (11.6). UM struggled LW vs UCF as QB Marve threw 3 int
but UM’s D held UCF to just 78 ttl yds, their fewest allowed S/’99. On the yr QB Marve is avg 122 ypg (55%)
with a 6-8 ratio. RB Cooper has 412 rush yds (5.0) and a tm high 13 rec (only 4.2). UM does have the edge
on both sides of the ball (off #70-94, def #20-60), however Duke has the home, bye and QB edges.
Virginia Tech 20 BOSTON COLLEGE 16 - LY VT had the game locked up but #2 BC got 2 TD’s in the last
2:11 incl an onside kick recovery and won 14-10 in Blacksburg. VT won the ACC Title game 30-16 but that
was a little misleading as they got a 39 yd IR TD with :11 left. In the two games BC all’d just 283 ypg. BC is
6-2 ATS in the series and while VT is 5-1 SU in Chestnut Hill, BC has covered the L2 winning in ‘06 (22-3)
as a HD. VT is 14-1 SU & 12-3 vs ACC. VT is 7-3 ATS as an AD and BC is 27-17-2 as a HF. QB Crane, who
was named ACC Off POW after throwing for 428 yds vs NCSt, is avg 178 ypg (57%) with a 4-6 ratio for the
season. True Fr M Harris (PS#159) has rushed for 313 yds (7.3). The Eagles have the edge on both sides of
the ball (off #60-79, def #24-37). QB Taylor is avg 99 ypg pass (61%) with a 1-2 ratio and has rushed for 338
yds (5.1). VT lost starting RB Lewis (ruptured Achilles vs WKU) but his bkup RB Evans has 415 yds (4.2).
USF 41 Syracuse 6 - LY was memorable as we used USF (-16’) on the road as our 2007 College GOY
and they rolled to a 41-10 lead after 3Q’s and won by that score with 346 yards rushing making them 3-0
ATS in the series with the avg win 32-7. USF is 8-4 ATS at home. QB Grothe leads the Bulls and the BE
with 258 ypg ttl off. The def has been hampered by inj’s the L/2 and will benefit from the bye. LW Syracuse
outgained WV 346-268 but was unable to pull the upset. With HC Robinson on his way out the Orange
have played well their L/3 gms. QB Dantley is avg 151 ypg (58%) with a 7-3 ratio and RB Brinkley has
rushed for 476 yds (5.4). They now face a stout D that is #11 in NCAA in total def all’g 266 ypg. Syracuse
has all’d 416 ypg on the road the L2Y. The Bulls have huge edges on offense (#26-54) and defense (#25-
105) while Syr holds the ST edge (#21-54). Both these teams faced conf foe Pitt with the same results,
losses. Pitt outgained Syr 407-263 and USF 374-245. HC Leavitt and the Bulls come in with a chip on
their shoulder after falling from the Top 10. Could this be our next 5*?
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
IOWA 23 Wisconsin 16 - UW HC Bielema is an ex-Iowa DB & assistant and has a Hawkeye tattoo. While he
is 2-0 SU vs his alma mater those wins have been by 3 & 4. Here in ‘06 Iowa dropped a wide open 4th down
pass at midfield and LY in Madison, Christensen missed an open WR by inches on 4th down on what would
have been a TD both in the final minutes. Bielema is 4-7 ATS on the road but Iowa is 4-8 ATS as a HF. UW is
off its worst home loss S/’89 as ST’s miscues & a costly TO set up PSU with a 24-7 halftime lead. QB Evridge
started LW’s gm 2-10 & could lose his job. The OL played w/o LT Carimi (knee) & lost RG Urbik (knee, CS) vs
PSU. UW has all’d 154 rush ypg (4.2) in B10 play. Iowa snapped a 3 gm slide with a 45-9 rout at Indy in which
they outrushed Indy 227-95. Greene (#6 NCAA 937, 6.2) became the 1st RB in UI history to have 100 yds in
the 1st 7 gms of a season. Hawks allow 98 rush ypg (3.1). Both came into ‘08 thinking B10 Title but regrouping
Wisky is now in the conf basement at 0-3 while Iowa may have turned their season around.
NORTHWESTERN 27 Purdue 17 - Purdue is 8-2 SU in the series incl 4-1 in Evanston (4-1 ATS) where their
avg win is by 24.5 ppg. QB Painter had 3 career highs (35 of 49 for 431 yds) the last time PU visited Evanston.
LY NW led 17-14 to start the 4Q on the road but PU had a 220-4 yd edge in the 4Q scoring 21 unanswered
pts. NW is 0-7 ATS as a B10 fav while PU is 9-17-1 as an AD including LW’s cover vs OSU in which they
outFD’d (18-14) & outgained (298-222) the Bucks but never got inside OSU’s 25. QB Painter (242 ypg, 55%,
5-6 ratio) had 2 TO’s and slid to #91 in the NCAA pass eff (2nd lowest SR QB in nation). Young Boilers D is
getting healthier & has held Penn St & OSU to 2 off TD’s. Two NW 1Q TO’s led to a 17-0 hole vs MSU which
they could not climb out of as they lost 37-20 despite 27-18 FD and 459-297 yd edges. QB Bacher (#90 NCAA
pass eff 221, 58%, 7-8 ratio) continues to struggle while RB Sutton has 603 yds (5.5). Cats D leads the league
with 19 sks. Two struggling QB’s so the D’s (nearly even) & ST’s (NW #32-65) will decide this one.
BOWLING GREEN 34 Miami, Oh 20 - Miami is the only MAC team BG does not have a winning SU record
against incl the current 1-8 streak leading to what some alumni call the “Miami Whammy.” LY MU retired QB
Roethlisberger’s #7 during pregame and then held BG to 25 yd rush (ssn low) in a 47-14 (-1) home win (BG 74
yd gbg TD drive 1:06 left). Last time here, it was a mud bowl Thurs Nite gm and BG missed a short FG at the
end (kicker slipped) and lost 9-7. Miami had a QB controversy LW but QB Raudabaugh held onto his starting job
and is avg 198 ypg (57%) with a 4-5 ratio. The top rusher is RB Merriweather with 453 (3.9). Miami lost 17-13
but covered as an 11 pt AD to a NI tm that was starting its 3rd string QB and scored its only TD on a 63 yd PR.
We won a 4H LPS on BG, as they had a 419-367 yd edge over Akron in the 37-33 win. QB Sheehan is avg 241
ypg (65%) with a 9-4 ratio. BG’s top rushers are RB’s Turner (238, 5.4) and Bullock (237, 4.2). MU holds the D
edge (#84-111) but BG has the off edge (#62-112) and has played the tougher sked (#62-96).
Nebraska 33 IOWA ST 24 - LY ISU ran a school rec 102 plays, led 10-0, had 415-369 yd & 28-17 FD edges
but lost 35-17 (+21’) in Lincoln. NU is 13-2 SU & 10-5 ATS but lost SU in 2 of 3 trips here & the HT is 12-4 ATS.
The Huskers are off a tough 1st road trip to Lubbock but did outgain TT (29-16 FD edge) in an OT loss and are
coming off their toughest stretch of the ssn facing B2B elite B12 QB’s (all’d 273 ypg passing, 80%, 5-0 ratio).
QB Ganz is avg 273 ypg (69%) with an 11-6 ratio. ISU was hammered by BU LW as they were outFD’d by 11,
outgained by 178 & trailed 38-3 late. Incl 2-0 ATS TY, ISU is on a 7-2 ATS run at Jack Trice. Both tms are in
desperate need of a win (no wins for either in over a month) and NU has the off edge (#17-82) and has played
the tougher sked (#11-72). ISU has the ST edge (#40-112), can create TO’s (+7) and Chizik is 5-1 ATS as a HD
with 3 outright upsets and almost pulling off 2 more (LY vs #4 OU & 2W ago vs #16 KU).
TENNESSEE 20 Mississippi St 13 - Tenn has won 5 in a row in this series (4-1 ATS) by an avg of 41-17.
LY UT WR Taylor had a career high 186 rec yds in a 33-21 road win (-7). Miss St is 8-14 ATS vs the SEC
East, but LW they upset #12 Vandy (+1’) winning a 4H LPS for us. MSt outgained VU 247-107 and outFD’d
them 16-7 in their 17-14 win. UT is in a Georgia/Bama sandwich and at 2-4 this is the worst start in the
Fulmer era. UT was outgained 458-209 by GA and outFD’d 29-10 in their 26-14 loss. UGA held UT to 1
yd rush with RB Foster held to 3 yds rush (341, 5.0 on yr). New UT QB Stephens has avg 182 ypg (49%)
with a 3-0 ratio in his 2 starts. MSt QB Lee is a former walk-on who has avg 128 ypg (60%) in his first 2
sts with a 2-0 ratio. MSt RB Dixon has 427 (4.4) and rushed for 107 (4.0) vs Vandy. MSt is 7-3-1 as an AD
but UT is 5-2-1 as HF. With both tms starting out at 2-4, this is a must-win for both if they hope to avoid a
losing season and Fulmer desperately needs a win to quiet his detractors. UT has edges on off (#56-102)
and def (#11-38), but MSt may have more momentum off their big win.
ALABAMA 23 Mississippi 20 - LY the Rebels led 24-17 in the 4Q & later had a 41 yd pass to the 7 overturned
with :07 left. Fans threw bottles & garbage onto the field and Saban said “If Ole Miss fans want to be classless,
that’s their business.” Bama has won the L/3 by exactly 3 pts each time despite being 14, 16 and 6’ pt favs. The
HT is 6-2 SU & 7-1 ATS but the fav is 2-5. Saban is 4-2 SU (3-3 ATS) vs Nutt in their careers, but Saban has won the L/3 SU and is on a 3-1 ATS run. Nutt is 10-2 as an AD incl 7-0 ATS vs Top 20 tms on the road covering by 16’ ppg with 3 upsets incl beating #2 Aub and #1 LSU while at Ark and a near upset of #16 WF and an upset of #4 Fla TY at Ole Miss. Bama is 3-17 as a HF incl a 2 pt win over KY (-15) in their last outing. Despite UA being ranked #2 and UM being unranked, the differences aren’t that wide with Bama having slight off (#18-27), def (#12-49) edges and UM having a slight ST’s edge (#43-63). If Bama’s D has a weakness it’s vs the pass (our #26) as they all’d UGA’s Stafford to pass for 274 and have all’d 244 ypg in 3 SEC gms. UM QB Snead has avg 212 ypg (55%) with a 9-9 ratio. Tide QB JPW has struggled at times TY and with the running gm being featured is only avg 142 ypg (60%) with a 6-2 ratio. Bama RB Coffee has 708 yds (7.5) while UM has split carries between Bolden (297, 5.4) and Eason (248, 4.2). Bama’s D is all’g just 51 ypg rush (2.3) and UM has only all’d 113 ypg rush (3.0), so the tm with the stronger passing gm will have and adv and right now that is Ole Miss.
GEORGIA 31 Vanderbilt 10 - The visitor is 12-4 ATS. LY UGA was in a Tenn/Florida sandwich and hit a
37 yd FG with no time left for a 20-17 come-from-behind win. They were lucky to force a Vandy fmbl at the
GA 7 with 2:43 left. The last time in Athens, VU won 24-22 for their 1st road win over a ranked opponent
ever. UGA is once again off Tenn but this time they are off a big win that was more dominating than the final
indicates as they had 458-209 yd & 29-10 FD edges and held UT to 1 yd rushing but only won by 12. UGA
has LSU and then Florida on deck! VU may suffer a letdown after climbing to #13 in the AP poll with their
5-0 start and then losing by a FG at Miss St LW while trying to clinch their 1st bowl bid since 1982. UGA
QB Stafford has avg 251 ypg (62%) with an 8-3 ratio. RB Moreno has 590 (5.6). VU QB’s Nickson & Adams
have alternated but only avg 90 ypg (53%) with a 5-3 ratio comb though Nickson is the tm’s #2 rusher (317,
4.3). RB Hawkins leads VU with 333 yds (4.2). UGA has a huge edge on off (#10-100) and a decent edge
on def (#7-28), but the situation favors Vandy this wk because no matter how hard Richt tries to convice
his tm that VU is for real, they can only bring their “A” gm so many times in a row. The winner of this keeps
pace with Florida in the East and both are off misleading finals (see News & Notes).
E MICHIGAN 26 Akron 23 - Last met in ‘03 and the dog has covered 5 in a row. The HT has won 7 in a row
SU as UA last won in Ypsilanti in ‘92. This is a rarity TY as a MAC West tm is a dog to a MAC East tm. UA has
gone 4-0 ATS on the road with 3 str outright wins. Both played Army & BG and both are 1-1 SU & ATS but in
opposite gms. Akron had 18-15 FD and 357-223 yd edges over Army and won 22-3 as a 10 pt AF, but that was
Army’s 3rd gm with their new option off. LW EM was outFD’d 17-16 and outgained 341-255 losing 17-13 to Army
as a 1 pt AD. EM had 23-18 FD & 410-388 yd edges over BG and won 24-21 as a 20’ AD. LW we won a 4H
LPS against UA, as they were outFD’d (25-22) and outgained (419-367) losing 37-33 at home. EM has Ball St
on deck but UA has a bye and won’t play again until Nov 5th. Akron QB Jacquemain is avg 231 ypg (59%) with
a 12-10 ratio. The Zips top rusher is RB Kennedy with 473 (4.7). EM QB Schmitt is avg 134 ypg and has 126
(4.1) rush yds. Their top 2 rushers are RB Blevins (380, 4.9) and RB Priest (377, 5.4).
UTAH 38 Colorado St 10 - UT is 4-1 SU & 5-0 ATS (series) and LY dominated 27-3 (-5’). LW UT benefited from
3 WY TO’s, leading to 3 scores as they were actually outgained (252-242) & outFD’d (14-11) in a 40-7 pounding
of the Pokes. QB Johnson (206 ypg, 65%, 11-6 ratio) was held to 110 yd pass in cold, gusty winds. RB’s Asiata
(410, 5.0) & Mack (378, 4.6) only comb for 52 yds, but still account for 70% of the rush yds TY. LW CSU gained
32 yd rush (TCU all’d 22 ypg rush) on its gm-opening TD drive, but then struggled as they actually finished w/11 rush yds (all’d 6 sk, -51 yd). The scoring was over (13-7) w/6:52 left 2Q although CSU did have a chance to go ahead but 2 TD rec’s were dropped in the EZ. QB Kubiak ply’d the 2H to try & spark the off hitting 12-24 for 121 yd with an 0-1 ratio. RB Johnson (521, 4.5) seemed to be battling an inj on and off LW (CS). Even with the above avg performance the L/2W, CSU’s avg loss in AG’s is by 28 ppg (both vs tms below UT’s caliber) and they’re 0-3 ATS the gm after facing a tough TCU D (avg loss by 18 ppg - all vs SDSt). The Utes have huge edges here on off (#28-97), D (#30-75) and ST’s (#9-118) which has us calling for UT to take its undefeated rec’d into the bye.
Texas Tech 45 TEXAS A&M 17 - TT is 10-3 SU vs A&M, but all 3 losses were at Kyle Field & the Red Raiders
haven’t won 4 straight in this rivalry S/’70-’73. TT is 15-4 ATS and has only been favored 5 times vs A&M, covering all 5 but has not been favored in College Station in 32+ yrs. TT escaped NU in OT LW to remain unbeaten and has scored no less than 35 in any gm TY (outgaining foes on ssn by 197 ypg, 25 pt avg MOV). QB Harrell is avg 385 ypg (68%) with a 20-3 ratio. His #1 target WR Crabtree has 43 rec (15.2) with 10 TD (broke school rec LW). A&M lost to KSU LW but moved the ball well with 544 off yds but is 2-4 SU (2 shaky wins) & 1-5 ATS at the halfway mark in Sherman’s 1st yr. A&M is 0-4 ATS at Kyle Field and is ranked #95 in our pass eff def all’g 163 ypg (64%) with a 6-3 ratio and the Aggies hadn’t faced a Top 50 pass off till LW (all’d 234 yds, 81%). QB Johnson had a tremendous outing LW with 487 ttl yds (419 pass, 3 TD). The Red Raiders have big off (#5-64) and surprisingly def (#40-94) & ST (#84-105) edges. Tech once again should have an easy time posting big numbers vs a A&M squad still adjusting to the change from an option based to pro-style offense facing by far their toughest opp to date. With the many B12 upsets TY, Leach will stress not to let up. TT was one of our favorite GOM Winners with a 70-10 win over Neb, would we go with the Raiders again?
RICE 41 Southern Miss 27 - LY Rice was outgained 422-236 but was +5 TO’s in its 31-29 upset. The TO’s
put Rice up 31-7 after 3Q, but SM’s 2nd string QB Reaves rallied the team in the 4Q but they missed a
late 2 pt conv and lost (-20’). SM is 10-3 SU on the road vs CUSA West tms but this is their first trip here
and Rice is 27-15-1 ATS in conf games incl 9-3 at home. Rice is fresh off a bye, but suffered a 63-28 loss
at Tulsa the previous wk and needs a win to keep any CUSA West title hopes alive. QB Clement (291 ypg,
16-4 ratio) and WR Dillard (46, 14.7, 11 TD) are the most prolific TD tandem in NCAA history, hooking up
42 times for scores. Rice is #15 in the nation avg 39 ppg and is scoring even more in CUSA play (42 ppg).
SM is off a 24-7 home loss to #15 Boise St in which the Eagles’ new no-huddle spread attack was held to
just 278 yds and rFr QB Davis’ record of 5 consec gms with over 200 yds came to an end. SM is desperate
for a win after 3 SU/ATS losses, but Clement, Dillard and our #32 off will be too much for the Eagles #76 D.
The Owls put SM’s bowl (6) and winning ssn (14) streaks in serious jeopardy.
Usc 52 WASHINGTON ST 3 - The Trojans make their 1st road trip since their upset loss in Corvallis. Things
have turned back in their favor as they have dominated their L/2 gms by a combined 72-10 margin incl
Carroll’s 9th shutout in his tenure LW vs ASU. LY USC held Wash St to a ssn low 247 yds in a 47-14 home
win (-25) but they did struggle in their last trip to Pullman escaping with a 28-22 win (-16’). The Cougs are
off yet another embarrassing loss to OSU and have now given up 63+ pts in 3 of 4 conf gmsfa while being
outgained by a 468-214 clip vs IA opponents going 0-6 ATS. Fourth string walk-on rFr QB Wagner could be
forced to start here (no career att’s) after taking over mid 4Q for the inj’d Lobbestael (CS). His first test is
a monumental one as WSU has our #111 off while the Trojans line up with our #1 overall def. Despite their
Pacific NW woes in recent yrs (0-6 ATS incl 3 outright losses), the Trojans have covered 4 of the L/5 vs WSU
(43-15 avg score) which will likely mean another long day for the Cougar faithful in the Palouse.
Pittsburgh 34 NAVY 24 - These 2 tms combined for 93 pts & 915 ttl yds LY in Navy’s OT win which snapped
a streak of 4 SU Pitt wins in a row. The HT is 4-1 ATS and Navy is 23-12 ATS off a bye. The Middies are just
2-7 SU on HC games and Pitt is also off a bye giving them extra prep time for the option. Pitt is off another
huge win over a Top 25 team (3rd straight) defeating USF 26-21. After a disappointing start “Shady” McCoy
has delivered two 140+ rush efforts, the last vs a Top 10 rush D. Navy is off a win over rival Air Force, a
game in which they were outgained & needed 2 blk’d punts for the win. QB Kaheaku-Enhada did not play
and is questionable (CS). Navy brings their #2 rush attack (314 ypg) and they now face a D all’g 118 ypg
rush (3.7). Pitt has a huge edge on def (#19-100) and has played our #29 toughest schedule. The Panthers
have momentum they haven’t had under Wannstedt and will avenge last year’s loss.
North Carolina 30 VIRGINIA 20 - This matchup is billed as the South’s Oldest Rivalry & this is the 113th
meeting. The HT is 17-5 ATS (Virg 8-1 ATS). LY VA needed 5 Chris Gould FG’s (UVA rec) incl a career best 51
yd’r to defeat NC. NC failed to cover vs ND giving us our Top LPS 4H Winner and the Heels are off to their best
start (5-1) since winning the 1st 8 gms in 1997 and are just 1 win away from being bowl elig. NC was 0-6 LY on
the road but is 2-0 TY. Other than vs Duke, NC has not been a conf AF S/’01. Carolina secured its 2nd win by 7
or less pts TY after losing 6 close gms LY. QB Sexton, who has started 3 for the inj’d Yates, is avg 187 ypg (57%) with a 3-1 ratio. WR Tate, who sprained his ankle LW (CS), is avg 164 all-purp ypg (#1 ACC). WR Nicks has 33 rec (16.8). Virg has covered 8 st’r here winning SU by 16 ppg. RB Peerman, who was hampered w/inj, has rushed for 2 consecutive 100+ gms guiding the Cavs to 2 straight wins after starting the season 0-3 vs BCS foes. QB Verica is avg 159 ypg (66%) but w/a 3-7 ratio (3-2 L/2). WR Ogletree has 31 rec (12.4) and TE Phillips 25 (9.3). The Tar Heels have lost 13 in a row SU in Charlottesville, however, Missouri snapped its 15 gm losing streak early TY at Neb. We used NC as our Oct GOM over Virginia in ‘05, will we go with the Heels again as our big play?
NORTHERN ILLINOIS 31 Toledo 14 - N Illinois is 38-12 SU at home but amazingly Toledo has won 6 in a row
SU in DeKalb. For the 1st time in Power Sweep’s long history we will call for a team that was 2-10 LY to have a
legitimate revenge gm as LY Toledo (-3’) at home embarrassed an inj depleted Huskie team 70-21 with a MAC
record 812 yds offense. NIll is 9-1 SU on HC (avg win 23 ppg). Toledo is 6-13 as an AD. The Huskies beat Miami
17-13 LW, but failed to cover (-11) for the 1st time TY (4-1 ATS) as 3rd string QB Grady made his 1st start due to inj’s (CS). NIU had a 326-284 yd edge but all’d a 63 yd PR TD. While the offenses are very close (UT#88-92), the Huskies have the D edge (#50-88). Toledo is off a huge upset of Mich as one of the keys was a 100 yd IR TD. This despite UT’s offense not scoring a TD in over 10Q. UT QB Opelt is avg 188 ypg (61%) with a 7-3 ratio. Their top rushers are RB’s Collins (436, 7.3) and M Williams (314, 4.1). NIU 3 QB’s have combined to avg 172 ypg (58%) with a 7-3 ratio. They have a RB-by-committee but M Brown has two 100+ gms and leads with 348 (5.4).
Marshall 34 UAB 27 - Marshall has won all 3 meetings, but only by an avg of 32-27. They blew a 28-7 HT
lead needing a TD w/1:07 left to pull out the 46-39 victory LY. Marshall is fresh off a bye while UAB is off a
45-20 loss at Houston and is playing for the 8th straight wk. UAB actually led UH 20-3 at HT, but an IR TD
and a fumbled snap on a punt gave the momentum back to the Cougars and they rolled with 42 unanswered
2H points. UAB was outgained 549-352, with 277 coming in the 1H. QB Webb (588, 5.1) continues to make
plays with his legs, but also continues to make critical errors when putting the ball in the air. LW Webb threw
an int in the EZ, had another ret’d for a TD and has an 8-9 ratio TY. Marshall is happy to see a CUSA opp
after dropping 2 gms to BE opps (WV, Cincy) before the bye. Marshall is 1-3 off a bye with Snyder, but is
2-1 ATS vs UAB. The Blazers are 1-3-1 as a conf HD under Callaway, but Marshall has only been a conf AF
twice (0-1-1) S/’05. Marshall has the edge on D (#89-114) and needs this win to have a shot at becoming
bowl eligible, so look for a fresh Herd team to wear down a tired UAB squad.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
PENN ST 34 Michigan 3 - Paterno has lost NINE in a row SU to Michigan, the longest losing streak to any team
in his career. PSU has avg’d just 17 ppg. UM’s last 4 wins have been in OT, by 2 (last second TD after officials put :02 back on clock), 7 and 5. PSU is 13-6-1 as a HF (3-1 TY) but UM is 7-2 as an AD. UM is on just their 2nd road trip and they were swamped, 35-17 (-2) in the rain at ND (trailed 21-0 in the 1Q). PSU is off a 48-7 plastering of Wisky and is 7-0 for the 1st time S/’99 (last time they were ranked #1). QB Clark leads the league in pass eff (194 ypg, 64%, 10-2) while RB Royster has 719 (7.3). Williams is the only NCAA player with 3 ret TD’s TY. Lions have 19 sks & lead the league in ttl D. UM is off its 1st ever loss to a MAC school, a 13-10 loss to Toledo in which the Rockets ret’d an int 100 yds for a TD and a 14 pt swing and UM missed a 26 yd FG with :04 left. QB Threet (elbow & thigh) left LW’s game at the half and Sheridan hit 8-16 with 2 int. The Wolves have 19 TO’s and 15 TD’s and have allowed 35 ppg to BCS conf foes TY. The Lions lost out on playing for a national title in ‘05 thanks to the Wolves & Paterno will make sure that this one doesn’t come down to the last play.
NEW MEXICO 27 San Diego St 6 - NM has won 7 in a row SU (11-2 ATS) but LY SDSt was driving when
O’Connell fmbl’d & NM got the gm winning TD w/:15 left (-8’, 20-17). NM has dominated recently as in the L/5,
they’ve forced 17 SDSt TO’s (incl 13 int) & in the L/2 they’ve outgained them 965-591. LW vs BYU, NM appeared
to pull within 14-10 on a 14 yd TD pass mid-4Q but a pen negated it & NM was SOD. After the gm a visibly irate
Long said that call “took the gm away from our players.” He used both QB’s Gruner & T. Smith (walk-on soph)
who comb hit 13-22 for 155 yd with an 0-1 ratio (tm still not over 1000 yd pass TY). The D (16 sks) couldn’t get
to QB Hall all night & NM was outgained 382-285 in a 21-3 loss. NM has won 3 in a row in the altitude vs SDSt
incl 41-14 (-10’) in ‘06. SDSt is severely limited by inj’s (16 missed LW, 7 out yr), incl on the DL which did not help vs AF (all’d 401 yd rush). QB Lindley DNP (CS) and Westling hit 18-35 for 128 with an 0-2 ratio as SDSt was
outgained 473-165. After avg 303 ypg pass (w/Lindley), they have avg 114 & given up 9 sks the L/2.The Lobos
have won a big play for us before (‘01 College GOY over UNLV) and this very disappointed NM will find a way to
bounce back & keep in mind they are 6-1 ATS the gm after BYU.
Kansas St 33 COLORADO 30 - In 1996 CU delivered our College GOY winner over KSU (12-0, -5’). Prince
is 2-0 SU/ATS vs Hawkins with the avg win by 20 ppg. LY KSU was 3-0 as an AD with an outright upset over
Texas. The Wildcats snapped a 3 gm SU/ATS slide LW vs A&M and Prince might be looking at a must win
here with OU on deck. KSU was outgained by close to 100 yds vs the Aggies and has now all’d 500+ yds for
4 straight wks. QB Freeman is avg 252 ypg (66%) with a 12-2 ratio. CU is 8-4 as a HF & the HT is 5-1 ATS.
LW CU lost to KU and finds itself 0-3 SU & ATS the L3W. QB Hawkins is avg 169 ypg (57%) with an 11-6
ratio & is coming off an awful outing (90 yds, 36%, 2 int) as HC Hawkins inserted Ballenger (5-8 for 57 yds).
KSU does have the off (#25-75) & a huge ST edge (#2-106), but CU has the better D (#57-91) & is ranked
#54 in our pass eff def all’g 195 ypg (68%) with a 5-7 ratio. Hawkins also has to be thinking must win with
MU on deck (only HG in 4 wks) and the loser with have a tough time becoming bowl eligible.
OKLAHOMA ST 34 Baylor 27 - OSU is 10-5-1 as a B12 HF, 11-1 SU vs BU (avg win by 24 ppg) and
since the Bears upset Gundy in his 1st yr, OSU has won & covered the L/2 66-24 & 45-14. Gundy did
lose to Briles in ‘05 as UH won at home 35-24 (-1). OSU stunned Missouri 28-23 LW (led 28-17) to
remain undefeated and is 6-0 (5-0 ATS) for just the 2nd time S/’45. QB Robinson is avg 208 ypg (71%)
with a 12-4 ratio. RB Hunter has 862 yds (6.9). BU waxed ISU 38-10 LW (38-3 mid 4Q, +178 yd edge)
snapping its 13 gm B12 losing skid and at 3-3 has bought into Briles schemes but is 0-7 SU & 1-6 ATS
on the B12 road lately. QB Griffin is avg 185 ypg (62%) with a 9-0 ratio and is #2 in rushing (389 yds, 5.2)
accounting for 63% of the off. The L5Y, BU has all’d OSU to rush for an avg of 282 ypg (6.0, 3-300+ gms)
and the Cowboys are ranked #4 in rush off TY (avg 294 ypg, 5.9). OSU has off (#8-42), def (#51-69) &
ST edges (#11-82), but finds themselves in a tough B12 sandwich with UT on deck. BU is just 2-9-2 ATS
vs OSU, but did almost pull the outright upset at Conn in their only other RG this ssn.
BUFFALO 24 Army 17 - Buffalo is 3-2-1 as a HF in their history but they have never been a DD fav. The
Bulls have the off (#71-120) & D (#78-90) edges and a HUGE schedule edge (#20-115). Army’s wishbone
should hold few surprises for the Bulls’ HC Gill who was a Nebraska QB & coach. Army had a 284-250 yd
edge vs Temple but lost 35-7 as a 7 pt HD. Buff had a 449-389 yd edge vs TU and won 30-28 as a 6’ pt
HF. Army beat EM 17-13 to end a 5 gm home losing streak. They outgained EM 341-255 despite being
-2 TO and not completing a pass. Buff is off a heartbreaking OT loss as they led W Mich 28-14 with less
than 5:00 left and had an IR TD called back on a roughing pen. The Bulls are led by QB Willy, who avg
243 ypg (61%) with a 12-4 ratio. RB Starks leads with 515 yds (4.7). Army’s offense is led by FB Mooney
with 645 (5.7) and QB Bowden who has just 54 yds passing but 315 (3.4) rushing.
TULSA 48 Utep 34 - LY QB Vittatoe set a UTEP frosh record w/319 pass yds, throwing a TD pass w/:58
left for the 48-47 win (Tulsa miss FG last play). These 2 have avg’d 76 ppg the L5Y and the HT is 6-1
SU, but just 2-4 ATS and the dog has covered 4 straight. The last time in Tulsa, UTEP (+15) looked like
they would win outright leading 20-6 mid-3Q but lost 30-20. The Miners have 3 SU wins in a row and are
coming off a 24-21 (-4) home win over Tulane. Vittatoe threw for 296 yds and 3 TD’s and has thrown 7
TD’s the L/2W. Tulsa is on a 4-1 ATS run with an avg cover by 17 ppg, but is coming off its 1st ATS loss,
struggling to a 37-31 (-24’) win at SMU despite racking up 602 yds. UTEP switched to a 3-3-5 D TY and
has been successful forcing 14 TO’s (6 int, 8 fmbl), but is only #99 in our rankings. Tulsa has our #6 off
and has plenty of experience playing against the 3-3-5 as they run the same D and put up 56 pts vs N
Mex’s 3-3-5. Tulsa has our #107 D, so expect another high scoring game. Tulsa should stay undefeated
and keep its’ BCS hopes alive, but it could be another challenge against an improving UTEP team.
NEW MEXICO ST 30 San Jose St 27 - These two both made our Most Improved list. SJSt leads the
series 13-2 SU (7-2 ATS) as they have won the L/4 & are a perfect 7-0 at Las Cruces. Last time here
(’06), NMSt jumped out to a 21-6 lead before SJSt scored 23 unanswered pts for a 31-21 victory (-6’) &
LY SJSt scored the most pts of the Tomey era in a 51-17 victory (-4). SJSt QB Reed is becoming more
comfortable & avg 186 ypg (an impressive 72%) with a 7-3 ratio. With LY’s leading WR Jurovich still
sidelined with mono (CS), Richmond has picked up the slack & is the go-to WR with 36 (11.3). SJSt is
pinning its ears back & going after the QB ranking #7 in the NCAA with 19 sacks led by the duo of DL
Ihenacho (6) & LB Cole (5). SJSt has the edge on D (#32-112) but NMSt gets the nod on off (#36-103).
However, NMSt is riding high after LW’s 48-45 road win over Nev as the “Air Raid” offense torched UN’s
D rolling up 513 ttl yds. QB Holbrook passed for 409 yds & 3 TD & is avg 306 ypg (65%) with a 13-6
ratio. NMSt is #5 in the NCAA in pass off (339 ypg) & while the Aggies have 3 WR’s with 25+ rec’s, the
surprise has been Anderson who has 18 (18.7) & a tm-high 7 TD. NMSt got a late start to its ssn but the
Aggies appear to be hitting their stride.
Houston 38 SMU 35 - Houston is 8-2-1 SU vs their old SWC rival. LY UH led 31-14 at half but only
won 38-28 (-19) in SMU’s 1st game after HC Bennett was told he wouldn’t return. The visitor is 6-1 ATS
and the dog is 7-3. UH is 3-1 SU but 1-3 ATS vs SMU S/’00. Houston is starting to gain confidence in
their spread offense avg 545 ypg and has established some balance as true Fr RB Beall has 2 str 100
yd rush gms. QB Keenum leads the NCAA in ttl off avg 407 ypg with a 21-5 ratio. SMU is also showing
improvement in their new off and may have turned the corner LW vs Tulsa in a 37-31 loss. The Mustangs
finally put some “run” in HC Jones’ Run n’ Shoot, gaining a ssn high 151 yds (61 previous high) on theground.
QB Mitchell is feeling more comfortable in the system and has thrown for 669 yds (61%) and 5
TD’s the L/2 wks. Houston has a large edge on off (#23-96), but the gap has been closing as Mitchell
has matured, and both tms struggle on D (UH #87, SMU #116). The Cougars should move the ball at
will vs an SMU D that all’d 602 yds to Tulsa LW, but the Mustangs should put up their fair share of points
as well and get their 2nd straight cover.
ILLINOIS 38 Indiana 17 - Indy is 2-24 SU in Big Ten RG’s & IL had won 10 in a row SU at home in the
series before Indy’s 34-32 (+8’) upset in ‘06. LY IL won on the road 27-14 (-2’) with a 288-134 rush edge
& sk’d Indy QB Lewis 7x. Indy is 7-17 as a conf AD. IL is 1-4 as a DD HF under Zook incl LW’s upset loss
to Minny in which they outgained the Gophers 550-312 but they were SOD late 3Q on 2 tries at the UM
1 and also couldn’t overcome a -2 TO margin which included a FR TD. QB Williams (#4 NCAA ttl off)
has set stadium records the L2W with 934 ttl yds with 6 TD’s. IL D hasn’t had an int in the L/4 gms. QB
Lewis (ankle) left at the half of a 17-9 game but Iowa scored 28 straight to blow out the Hoosiers for their
4th straight loss (outscored by a combined 66-7 in the 2H). Hoosiers are allowing 187 rush ypg (3.9) in
their losing streak & their DB’s have just 1 int on the yr. IL’s #13 off should have their way with IN’s #82
D and they may have gotten the wake-up call they needed LW.
UNLV 31 Air Force 24 - The HT is 4-1 ATS but AF is 9-3 SU and UNLV is just 8-25 SU in MWC HG’s
(13-20 ATS). LV beat AF here in ‘06, 42-39 (+10’, led 42-31) with a 555-415 yd edge. LY LV had a 471-432
yd edge but lost on the road 31-14 (+5’). AF has had 2 misleading gms TY as Hou was distracted (Ike)
and Utah had a 2-1 ydg edge but only won by 3, and LW faced SDSt w/o its QB and had a 473-165 yd
edge. AF did gain 401 yds rush LW, led by Fr Asher Clark (109) and Fr QB Jefferson got his 1st start after
filling in admirably when Smith was sick 2W ago. AF D is led by Paulson who is #1 in the NCAA with 9
sks. LV is off a bye giving them extra prep time for the option while AF is in its 2nd consec AG. LV had
a wk to forget about its loss to CSU who scored 13 pts in :09 for a misleading 41-28 final. LV is one of
just 3 NCAA tms to be 100% in the redzone, led by QB Clayton. He avg 213 ypg (58%) with a 14-2 ratio
while RB Summers has 515 rush yd (4.5) & Wolfe has 40 rec (12.4). LV has excellent position players
which should prove too much for the Falcons. Look for UNLV to get its 1st MWC win here.
UCLA 23 Stanford 20 - Looking at their remaining schedule, the Cardinal have to believe this is a must
win gm to keep bowl hopes alive as WSU is the only other tm they face w/a losing record. SU rallied in
the final minutes to knock off AZ LW led by 3rd string QB Loukas who filled in for the inj’d Pritchard (CS)
& the ineffective Forcier. They continue to be a run first offense led by the RB duo of Gerhart & Kimble
who have combined for 1060 yds (6.0) TY. Their defense has been extremely susceptible in the pass
gm allowing a conf-worst 272 ypg (66%) with a 10-3 ratio. In LY’s matchup UCLA racked up 624 ttl yds
spoiling Harbaugh’s Stanford coaching debut 45-17. UCLA has TWO shutout wins the L4Y against the
Cardinal but face struggles of their own after more disappointment in Eugene LW (outrushed 323-63 but
never trailed ATS in a 31-24 loss). The HT in this series is 8-2 SU and 6-2-2 ATS while UCLA is 22-7 ATS
at home & 17-4 ATS off a loss making us lean toward the hometown Bruins in this one.
LOUISVILLE 37 Middle Tenn 13 - LY’s game featured 1,284 yds and 13 TD’s. MT had just 217 yds in
their ‘07 opener but shredded UL on a Thurs Nite gm for 555 and easily covered (+40’) 42-58. In their
last 5 lined gms vs SBC tms, UL is 4-1 & 3-2 ATS outscoring them 259-83. LW we won our Friday Night
Marquee on the Over in UL’s 35-28 win over Memphis. With Cantwell not 100% (CS) the ST’s picked up
the slack with a KR TD & blk’d FG for a TD. Mid Tenn is off a 31-21 loss to FIU, a team that had won 3
games in 2 years. QB Craddock is avg 228 ypg (65%) with a 7-4 ratio but stop him and you stop the Blue
Raiders. They now face a UL team that is all’g 252 ypg at home TY. Both these teams lost to Kentucky
with MT outgaining the Cats 383-356 while UL was outgained 251-205. UL has the off (#34-110) and D
edges (#64-83) and will look to get back their home field swagger.
ULM 44 North Texas 23 - Last time hosting NT (‘06), ULM held them to just 137 yds (23-3, -7). LY NT
benefitted from TWO IR TD’s and a short pass turned into a 99 yd TD and NT (+7) at home pulled the
upset 31-21 costing ULM a winning season. LW we won a 4H Totals Play on the Over in the NT/ULL gm
and a 3H Small College Play on ULM (+14’). NT is off 59-30 loss vs ULL and is 1 of 2 tms still winless.
QB Vizza is avg 230 ypg (63%) with a 6-7 ratio with 7 int coming in the L/3 gms. WR Fitzgerald has 55
rec (11.4). ULM is off 37-29 loss vs Ark St turning the ball over 3x after having just 3 ttl TO’s in their 1st
5 gms. They were held to just 87 yds rush. QB Lancaster is avg 190 ypg (57%) with an 8-2 ratio. WR
McNeal has 26 rec (14.0). ULM will be bringing their “A” gm after B2B conf losses and NT will be looking
for their 1st victory (1-5 ATS TY).
LOUISIANA-LFT 41 Arkansas St 38 - LY QB Leonard set a school rec w/5 TD passes as ASU set
another rec with 681 yds offense in a 52-21 (-9) home win and held ULL to a season low 133 yards rush.
Seven of the L/9 have been decided by 6 pts or less with the home team winning 8 straight. ASU is off
a 37-29 win vs ULM turning 3 ULM turnovers into 13 pts. ASU had 269 yds but was held to 122 in 2H.
They have the SBC’s best rush def all’g just 122 ypg. QB Leonard is avg 207 ypg (54%) with a 10-2 ratio.
Last time at home, ULL rushed for 265 (6.5) in a 28-23 (-6) home win. ULL is off a 59-30 win vs N Texas
with WR Chery scoring all five of ULL’s 1H scores and Fenroy becoming the all-time leading rusher in
SBC history. ULL (#14 off) is avg 332 ypg rush but 447 yds rush vs their 2 SBC foes. QB Desmoreaux
is avg 179 ypg (63%) with a 6-5 ratio. RB Fenroy has 842 ttl yds (7.8) and Chery has 26 rec (16.2). This
is the first of 3 straight road gms for ASU (5 of L/6 are AG) and the first of 3 str home gms for ULL (4 of
L/6 are HG). ULL is 5-1 ATS TY and both teams are still in the SBC Title race.
TROY 20 Fiu 13 - Troy has won all 4 meetings by an avg of 25-13 but is 1-2 ATS and only won by 5
(-9’) the last time here in ‘05. LY on the road Troy RB Cattouse rushed for a career high 205 yds but FIU
drove 71 yards for a TD with :29 left for the backdoor cover (+18’) 34-16. Prior to LW’s bye, Troy beat LY’s
SBC Champ, FAU, only outgaining them 360-358. They’re at home for the 1st time in over a month. QB
Hampton left in 3Q w/knee inj vs FAU and is out. Bkup Jones has thrown 15 passes all yr. WR Jernigan
has 24 rec (10.5). FIU is on their 3rd road gm in 4 weeks (5-1 ATS TY). They are off their third str win (SU
& ATS) beating Mid Tenn 31-21 and outgaining them 335-243 (223-72 pass). FIU is at the .500 mark for
1st time S/’02. FIU QB McCall is avg 122 ypg (48%) with a 6-6 ratio in the new spread offense. Visiting
SBC tms are 5-5 SU but 8-2 ATS so far TY.
Tuesday, October 21st
Ohio at TEMPLE - In their 1st ever meeting LY OU outgained Temple 404-209 & outrushed them 219-48
winning 23-7 (-9) at home. Ohio is on their 6th road game in 8 weeks! OU is 0-5 SU in a 3rd straight AG losing
by an avg of 31-14 since 1991. Despite each having just 2 SU wins they have combined to cover 9 of their
13 games. Both are off misleading games as Temple outgained C Mich but lost, while Ohio was outgained
by Kent St but won. Call 1-800-654-3448 after 3 PM EST for our Tuesday Night Marquee Play.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
Powersweep (Northcoast/Phil Steele)
The 3*Totals are 13-5 72%
3* Pitt/Cincy Under
3* Boys/rams Over
2* 49/NYG Over
2* Balt/Mia Under
2* NWO/Car Under
System: undefeated Fav off of a bye. '02-'08- 15-1.
4* Tennessee over KANSAS CITY - Both teams are off their bye week & KC will go back to QB Croyle who
was KO’d in the 3Q vs NE here. LY TEN beat KC 28-17 as a 3 pt AF on a cold & windy day with the stadium
half empty. KC was able to pressure Young for most of the game & they had a 17-13 lead late in the 3Q. TEN
scored 13 unanswered pts & while they only had a 27 yd edge they were +3 in TO’s. Croyle threw for 217 yds
(58%) with a 2-2 ratio. TEN is 8-3 ATS as an AF while KC is 1-6 ATS at home. KC has been outgained in 10
straight games at home (356-307) scoring 13 or less in 5 games. In the L16 games with DT Haynesworth in
the lineup, TEN is allowing 75 ypg rushing (3.6), have tallied 44 sacks (would be 5th LY), a 15-27 ratio & have
allowed 13 or less in 10 games for a 14-2 SU & 12-3-1 ATS mark. While TEN does have a MNF HG vs IND
on deck Fisher has too good of a staff with too much forward momentum vs a rusty QB with an overmatched
OL vs an elite DL. FORECAST: Tennessee 28 KANSAS CITY 7
3* Indianapolis over GREEN BAY - Both teams come in off big wins vs overmatched opposing QB’s. IND is
10-2 ATS away vs the NFC. GB is 2-6 ATS hosting an AFC foe. IND finally showed up LW & got their 1st win in
5 tries at Lucas Oil Stadium. They throttled a beaten up BAL defense without its #2 & #3 CB’s as well as their
starting RT. Manning passed for 271 yds (68%) with a 3-0 ratio as IND had 15-8 FD & 322-111 yd edges thru
the 1st 3Q. IND forced 3 TO’s & five 3 & outs on BAL’s 1st 8 drives. #1 RB Addai left LW with a hamstring inj &
#3 RB Hart was KO’d with a knee inj & their status is unknown. GB held SEA to just 88 yds thru the 1st 3.5Q as
they were forced to start #3 QB Frye as Hasselbeck (hyperextended knee) was forced to miss. GB caught SEA
at the right time as the Seahawks’ struggles masked the slew of inj’s on defense & they still allowed 113 yds
rushing (4.9). They were down to just 3 DT’s LW & lost DT Pickett & are really hoping LY’s 1st RD DC Harrell
who was on the PUP for the 1st 6 Wks can contribute. Despite their defensive issues IND is a deeper team with
a better QB vs another beat up offense & are the play. FORECAST: Indianapolis 28 GREEN BAY 13
2* OAKLAND (+) over NY Jets - This is the 3rd meeting in 4 years with the Jets being 2-0 SU & ATS winning
by an avg 25-7. The Jets are 4-1 ATS on the road. OAK is 2-11 ATS at home. These teams are very closely
ranked the L4W with OAK having the #23 & #17 units vs NYJ #21 & #14 units. OAK came into LW’s game
wanting to open up the offense under interim HC Cable & OC Knapp. They wagered that Russell in his 6th
career start would be able to compete with Brees who is the best QB in the NFL TY. Russell had 35 pass att’s
but only 13 comp for 159 yds with an int & 40.1 QBR. OAK was outFD 23-12 & outgained 441-226. Kiffin was
using the run to keep Russell out of trouble but OAK has been outrushed 126 (4.1) to 85 (3.4) the L3W. The
Jets were a bit sluggish coming out of the bye & let CIN linger in the game longer than they should have. Favre
had a rough game with 2 int’s & a fumble that was returned for a TD. The Jets run game is a concern as they
have only rushed for 66 ypg (3.3) in their L3 weeks & only had a 3.2 ypc vs CIN’s #28 rush defense. This is a
good spot for OAK as they are at home vs a Jets team coming cross country & they need a win with a long
road trip vs BAL on deck. We’ll side with the very Ugly Dog here (21-9 70%) which has earned 5 straight
upset wins. FORECAST: OAKLAND 20 (+) NY Jets 17
2* TAMPA BAY over Seattle - Sunday Night. This is the 4th meeting in 5 years & SEA is 3-0 SU & ATS vs
TB. LY SEA beat TB 20-6 as a 6 pt HF & it was 10-6 entering the 4Q. SEA added a 46 yd FG followed up by
a 7 play 70 yd drive for a TD to cement the win. SEA had a 343-284 yd edge & sacked Garcia 5 times. SEA
is 4-14 ATS in EST games & 7-14 ATS as an AD. TB is 25-12 ATS as a non-div HF. LW TB went to Garcia due
to injury & he stayed within the gameplan as TB jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the 1H. He only had 5 pass att’s
in the 2H as TB rushed 26 times (3.8) & kept the defense fresh & aggressive. Two weeks ago TB beat GB
30-21 as they wore down their defense in the heat & humidity & had a 327-181 yd edge. They now get a SEA
team that just lost to GB and is beaten up by inj’s at CB, WR even if Hasselbeck returns he will have lost the
chemistry he had with the WR’s when he was gone. This is a great situation for a TB team that will seize the
chance to get even here & stay atop the surprising NFC South. FORECAST: TAMPA BAY 28 Seattle 13
BUFFALO 24 San Diego 20 - This is the 3rd time in 4 years these teams square off & the home team has
covered both. SD is 2-6 ATS in EST game & goes straight to London after playing on SNF LW. BUF has 3 div
games on deck. BUF is 12-6 ATS at home & have covered 3 straight after a bye. QB Edwards is expected to
return from a concussion but BUF focused on the run game over the bye in practice. While BUF is a surprising
4-1 TY they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record & are 2-7 ATS the L2Y vs playoff caliber teams. They
have taken care of business TY vs the 2 West Coast teams at home with a 358-250 yd edge & 29-17 avg score.
SD has only won the yardage battle in 1 game TY (vs NYJ) being outgained 397-317 & the team hasn’t shown
the Schottenheimer toughness that it used to have. WR Chambers (ankle) was slated to miss LW’s game it’s
clear that the defense is sorely missing Merriman as they are 32nd in pass defense allowing 280 ypg (67%)
with a 10-5 ratio (92.3 opp QBR). This is a poor situation for SD travelling on a short week vs a rested BUF
team with a rowdy home crowd, solid special teams & the home team is the play.
Pittsburgh 24 CINCINNATI 7 - PIT swept CIN LY SU & ATS moving to 12-4 SU & 11-5 ATS. PIT avg’d 22-15
FD & 337-273 yd edges with an avg score of 24-12 LY. PIT returns from a much needed bye as Roethlisberger
(separated shoulder) was in bad shape after facing JAX & RB Parker who has avg’d 114 ypg (4.5) vs CIN will
return here. CIN is 2-7 ATS as a division HD while PIT is 8-3-2 ATS as a division AF. LW vs the Jets #28 pass
def CIN opted to rest QB Palmer (throwing elbow). They went with Fitzpatrick again who passed for 152 yds
(61%) 0-0 with a meager 4.6 ypa. CIN has yet to outgain a foe TY & minus the OT game vs the Giants have
been outgained 308-204 on the year & outrushed 165 (4.3) to 65 (2.9). PIT has outgained foes 292-227 on the
road TY & outrushed them 93 (3.7) to 52 (2.3). This is a very favorable matchup for PIT as they are 2nd in sacks by (18) vs a CIN OL that is 29th in sacks allowed (19). Roethlisberger has been sacked 19 times but still has a 95.7 QBR. He should have a much easier time vs a CIN defense that is 31st in sacks by (5) with a misleading #5 pass defense that is inflated by their poor run defense (#28). Expect Paul Brown Stadium to have a lot of Terrible Towels here giving PIT a good “awayfield” advantage making for a comfortable win by the Steelers.
MIAMI 17 Baltimore 10 - The Dolphins beat the Ravens 22-16 in OT as a 3 pt HF for (now BAL OC) Cam
Cameron’s only win of 2007. BAL was off 4 tough losses to CLE, SD, NE & IND & were very beaten up. With :08
left in regulation BAL decided against going for it on 4th & 1 & hit a FG to send it to OT. BAL missed a 44 yd FG in OT & 3 plays later MIA scored on a 64 yd TD pass to win the game. This is the 3rd road game in 4 weeks for BAL & the defense was exposed LW as they were without their #2 & #3 CB’s. BAL was taken out of their gameplan early LW vs IND as the Colts had a 141-11 yd edge & a 17-0 lead. Flacco was left open to the IND pass rush who tallied 4 sacks, 4 QB hits & he threw 3 int’s. MIA’s defense was very active LW vs HOU as they forced 4 TO’s which they converted into 14 pts & were a QB draw with :03 left away from the win. GM Parcells is very familiar with Cameron’s playbook as he came on board late LY & he also has the advantage with an improved roster that BAL won’t be familiar with. While Flacco is showing signs of being a good QB the team has to put him in a position to succeed each week MIA has the edge with Pennington who isn’t intimidated by a 3-4 defense. We’ll side with the home team that has shown that isn’t afraid of the competition (NE & SD) by 6 here.
Dallas 35 ST LOUIS 21 - The Cowboys drilled the Rams 35-7 LY as a 13 pt HF. STL was minus RB Jackson
& 6 other starters. DAL was up 14-7 at the half & scored 3 TD’s in the 3Q finishing with 28-12 FD & 502-187
yd edges as STL only gained 19 yds in the 4Q. This game pits DAL #3 & #11 units (-2 TO’s) vs STL #30 & #31
units (-1 TO’s). DAL is 1-8 ATS as an AF of 9 or more. STL is 3-12 ATS at home & 1-10-1 ATS as a dog of 7.5+.
STL responded positively to the HC change LW & took advantage of a WAS team that had 3 fumbles (1 on
STL 39 & 1 on STL 34) with 1 being returned 75 yds for a TD. STL was manhandled statistically being outFD
22-8 & outgained 368-200 HD’s that won SU as DD AD’s LW are 2-13 SU & ATS since 1991. DAL was clearly
distracted by LW’s Pacman incident & were slowed by 3 former ass’t coaches being on the ARZ sidelines. ARZ
kept Owens in check (4 rec 9.0) & forced Romo to use his check downs keeping the ball in front of them. While
Barber led the team with 28 touches (6.2) they went away from Felix Jones again which cost them in the speed
area (22 yds 7.3). One of the problems of being “America’s Team” especially this year is that when they stumble
like they have the L3W the fan base gets hostile & look for the Cowboys to refocus here.
Minnesota 23 CHICAGO 20 - The Vikings swept the Bears SU LY but are only 3-6 ATS vs CHI. MIN beat the
Bears 34-31 in the 1st meeting as a 4’ pt AD & won 20-13 LY on MNF in the 2nd meeting but failed to cover as
10.5 pt HF’s. MIN is 8-4-1 ATS as a division AD. CHI is 1-5 ATS as a div favorite. MIN is off a last sec win vs a poor DET team while CHI is off a last sec loss setup by an unlucky series of events. CHI took the lead with :17 left & did a short KO to keep the ball out of Norwoods hands but ATL returned it to their 44. ATL then threw a 26 yd pass to set up a 48 yd FG with :01 left. CHI had 21-12 FD & 348-279 yd edges over the L3Q but on 5 drives inside the ATL 18 settled for 1 TD, 2 FG & were SOD. MIN dominated DET LW with a 18-8 FD & 392-212 yd edge but on 3 drives inside the DET 20 RB Peterson fumbled, they missed a FG & hit the game winning FG with :09 left. CHI will be in a foul mood after letting a win slip away but they are very depleted in the secondary (without 3 DB’s in 4Q) & RB Forte has only rushed for 52 ypg (2.9) after a strong start. While MIN has an avg WR unit as best they are good run blockers & they have a superior DL here vs an older CHI OL & the road team is the play.
CAROLINA 20 New Orleans 17 - The road team has excelled in the series going 10-2 SU & 12-0 ATS. LY
NO beat CAR 31-6 as a 2’ pt AF as the Panthers were forced to start David Carr as Testeverde (back spasms)
was scratched Sat night. NO finished with 22-11 FD & 373-195 yd edges as CAR had 4 TO’s set up 10 pts for
NO. NO is 10-2-1 ATS as a div AD. CAR is 4-9 ATS as a div HF. NO is now on the road for their next 4 games &
head straight to London after this. Minus the WAS game NO has outgained foes 447-306 as Brees has passed
for 355 yds (71%) with an 11-4 ratio. CAR went into TB off 2 big wins but Delhomme had an awful game with
3 int’s with 1 being converted into a TD & 2 on the TB 34 & 38. CAR was outrushed 142 (3.8) to 40 (2.0) which
is 83 yds less than their avg. CAR & NO are “play on” teams but we want to see if CAR gets C Kalil & LT Otah
back & if NO gets WR Colston & TE Shockey back & we’ll call this at the line for now.
NY GIANTS 34 San Francisco 20 - NYG thumped the 49ers LY 33-15 as a 9 pt HF. The Giants were up 26-7 after
the 3Q when they had a punt blocked & SF got a safety. SF went nowhere & was int’d on their next drive to set up a 2 yd TD pass by Manning as the Giants went up 33-9. While the Giants had a slim yardage edge (279-267) they earned 6 sacks & were +3 TO’s on the day as 53 of SF’s yds & a TD came in garbage time. The Giants are off LW’s MNF game vs the Browns & get a very favorable matchup vs a SF team off B2B games vs NE & PHI. SF is 8-23-1 ATS away in the EST. The Giants are 18-4 SU & 17-5 ATS. NYG has the #1 & #3 units (+1 TO’s) vs SF’s #19 & #26 units (-5 TO’s). After outgaining foes 342-292 in the 1st 3 games (2-1 SU & ATS) SF has been outgained 409-272 losing by an avg score of 34-21. LW they scored 10 pts in the final :29 of the 1H & had a 26-17 lead at the end of the 3Q on 78 & 77 yd drives. The defense couldn’t hang on in the 4Q as they allowed 23 pts & were outgained 78-(-7) not counting PHI’s 55 yd int return for a TD. West Coast teams simply don’t travel well out East but with no line due to MNF & having PIT on deck we’ll call for a 2 TD win by the Giants in a higher scoring game.
HOUSTON 38 Detroit 21 - HOU is off their 1st win & DET remains winless after letting a 10-9 lead slip thru
their fingers losing on a 26 yd FG with :09 left. DET is 5-14 ATS on the road. TO’s were the key factor for the
Texans LW as they fell behind 14-3 early on 2 Schaub int’s, had a fmbl roll into the EZ & fmbl’d on an int that
MIA recovered & scored a TD on. They escaped with a 1 pt win when Schaub ran a QB draw on 4th & 2 with
:03 left. HOU had 23-14 FD & 485-370 yd edges as Schaub had 379 yds passing (52%). DET was forced to
start Orlovsky LW as Kitna (back spasms) didn’t make the trip. Orlovsky only had 150 yds passing (57%) with
a 1-0 ratio & was clearly nervous in his 1st start. DET stayed in the game thanks to 3 MIN TO’s as they were
outFD 18-8 & outgained 392-212. DET hasn’t outgained a single foe TY & went 18Q’s before the defense made
its 1st int of the season. Schaub & Johnson have far greater chemistry than what DET has in their passing
game. HOU is an undervalued team that is finally getting in gear & after having 3 straight games decided by
4 or less look for the Texans to come up big here in a higher scoring game.
WASHINGTON 30 Cleveland 13 - CLE came in off their bye week only to face the Giants LW on MNF & TE
Winslow may have sat out. WAS got caught looking past STL LW after beating DAL & PHI on the road losing
19-17 at home. WAS had 22-8 FD & 368-200 yd edges but fmbl’d twice to kill drives inside the STL 39 & 34
& had another returned 75 yds for a TD. Minus the NYG game WAS has outFD foes 22-16 & outgained them
383-272. CLE has been outgained in 3 of 4 games prior to MNF & have yet to gain 265 yds of offense on the
year. While Anderson has been abysmal TY (136 ypg 50% 3-6) it hasn’t been entirely his fault. CLE has had a
different starting OL in each game (inc MNF), been w/o WR Stallworth to take pressure off Edwards who has
dropped 6+ passes & RB Lewis has only avg’d 59 ypg rushing (3.4) TY. This is a bad spot for CLE off a MNF
game where they will go all out to redeem themselves on national TV. They now have to travel vs a WAS team
that was embarrassed by one of the worst teams in the NFL & will not overlook another bad team.
Denver at NEW ENGLAND - This is a tough spot for NE as they are off a pair of West Coast games & faced
SD LW on SNF. DEN is well rested coming in off a pair of HG’s & are 15-4 ATS before their bye. Incl playoffs,
Shanahan is 5-2 SU & ATS vs Belichick’s Patriots who are 8-4 ATS on MNF. NE is playing to its strengths so
far & keeping teams away from an aging defense. DEN has a high octane offense but LW JAX QB Garrard
carved up the D. Execution will be key with 2 teams headed up by elite coaches here.
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
NFL 2-Minute Handicap Week 7
Tennessee SERIES: 3-1 L4 A… 6-0 RF’s vs .333 < opp… 5-0 favs w/rest vs opp off SU DD loss… 2-10 favs off SU non div win vs opp off SU loss… 4-1 OVER Game Six
KANSAS CITY 6-0 Game Six… 10-1 HD’s vs opp off BB SUATS wins… SU loser 1-13 vs AFC South… 3-13 w/rest vs opp off SU win… 1-4 dogs w/rest
San Diego SERIES: 1-3 L4... 4-0 Game Seven… 1-16 .500 > favs off SUATS win vs AFC East (0-1 this year)
BUFFALO 3-0-1 w/rest aft allowing 35 > pts… 13-1 H off SU loss vs non div opp off DD SU win… 0-10 .500 > vs non div opp (0-2 this year)… JAURON: 10-0 HD w/rev vs non div opp… JAURON: 15-2 off SU loss vs non div opp off SU win…1-4 UNDER Game Six
Pittsburgh 60-4 if win SU A off non div opp… OCT: 12-2 off BB SU wins vs opp off SU loss… 8-2 Game Six… 8-2 w/rest off BB SU wins… 1-8 A vs div opp off DD SU loss w/rev… TOMLIN: 1-7 A off SU win (1-2 this year)
CINCINNATI SERIES: 1-4 L5 / 0-7 L7 H… 15-3 H vs opp off SU A win…0-4 Game Seven
Baltimore OCT: 7-1 A off BB SUATS losses… 10-2 RD’s off SUATS loss vs < .500 opp
MIAMI SERIES: 10-2 L12… 0-10 favs off SU loss… 0-5 Game Six
Dallas SERIES: 3-0 L3 A… 7-1 Game Seven… 1-8 RF’s vs < .500 opp off SU dog win
ST. LOUIS 0-10 vs .666 > opp off SU fav loss… 2-13 dogs off DD ATS win vs non div opp… 11-56 H when allow 28 > pts (0-2 this year)… 4-1 OVER Game Six
Minnesota 6-0 RD’s 4 > pts vs .666 < div opp… 0-5 Game Seven… 2-14 RD’s vs opp off SUATS loss… OCT: 1-7 off div vs .500 > opp w/rev
CHICAGO SERIES: 4-1 L5 H… 5-0 Game Seven… 1-6 .500 > off SUATS loss w/rev vs div opp… SMITH: 8-1 off SU non div loss vs opp off SU win (1-1 this year)
New Orleans SERIES: 6-0 L6 A… visitor in Panther series 13-0… 11-0 RD’s 3-10 pts vs div opp… 8-0 A off DD ATS win vs div opp off div game… 9-1 A off DD SUATS win vs div opp… PAYTON: 7-1 dog vs .500 > opp (1-0 this year)… 5-1 OVER Game Seven
CAROLINA 5-0 favs off DD ATS loss… 7-1 H w/rev off DD SU loss vs div opp… 46-8-1 when win SU H (2-0-1 this year)… 5-2 Game Seven… OCT: 0-8 HF’s vs .500 > opp… 2-13-1 .500 > HF’s vs .500 > opp (1-0-1 this year)
San Francisco SERIES: 0-4 L4… OCT: 1-6 dogs off BB SU losses vs opp off SU loss… NOLAN: 1-8 A vs non div opp off SU loss (0-1 this year)… 3-1 OVER Game Seven
NY GIANTS 7-1 off AFC North opp vs opp off BB SU losses… 1-9 HF’s off non div vs < .400 opp (1-1 this year)… 2-14 .500 > H vs non div opp off SUATS loss… OCT: 1-6 H vs non div opp off SUATS loss… 2-11 H off SU win vs < .500 opp off SUATS loss… 2-5 Game Six
Detroit 5-0 vs .333 < opp off SU win… 5-1 Game Six… 0-6 dogs off DD ATS win
HOUSTON 1-8 off SU win vs non div opp off away game… 1-8 favored LG vs non div opp… 4-2 OVER Game Seven
NY Jets OCT: 6-1 A vs opp off DD SU loss… 4-1 Game Six… 0-8 off BB SU wins (last by DD) vs opp off DD SU loss… OCT: 1-9 off BB SUATS wins… OCT: 1-9 vs non div opp off BB SU losses
OAKLAND OCT: 5-0 off DD SU loss vs opp off DD SU win… OCT: 1-8 dogs off SUATS non div loss… 2-9 UNDER Game Six
Cleveland 11-0 off non div game vs opp off non div game (1-0 this year)… 13-1 RD’s 9 < pts when O/U line > 40 pts… 3-1 Game Six… 1-7 off BB SU wins vs opp off SU loss… visitor 2-7 vs NFC East (1-0 this year)
WASHINGTON 0-5 Game Seven… 2-11 H off SU loss w/rev & O/U line 42 > pts
Indianapolis SERIES: 6-1 L7… 6-0 favs off SU win vs NFC opp off NFC opp… OCT: 8-1 .500 > off SUATS win vs .500 > opp… OCT: 8-1 A off BB SU wins vs opp off SU win… 15-3 .500 > off DD SU win vs NFC… DUNGY: 9-1 A off DD SU win vs .500 > non div opp… 4-1 OVER Game Six
GREEN BAY 8-0 dogs < 7 pts off SU non div dog win… 7-0 .500 > off SU win w/rev vs non div opp… 4-0 Game Seven… 10-1 H w/rev vs .600 > non div opp off SUATS win… OCT: 1-9 dog w/rev… OCT: 1-7 H off non div opp vs .500 > opp
Seattle 6-0 off BB SU losses vs .500 > opp… OCT: 1-13 A vs opp off SUATS win… 4-0 OVER Game Six
TAMPA BAY SERIES: 1-4 L5 / 0-3 L3 H… 0-3 Game Seven… OCT: 3-18 off SUATS win vs non div opp
Monday, Oct. 20th
Denver 9-0 .500 > RD’s off BB HG’s vs .500 > opp w/rev… 8-1 dog Game Seven… 0-7 off BB non div games… 1-5 Monday RD’s off SU loss… 3-14 Mondays vs opp off loss… 10-2 OVER Game Seven
NEW ENGLAND SERIES: 1-5 L6 / 0-5 L5 H… 1-11 vs opp off non div game (1-2 this yerar) … 2-4 UNDER Game Six
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2-MINUTE HANDICAP - Week 8
Thursday, Oct. 16th
Byu SERIES: Fav 0-3… 6-1 away vs con opp w/ rev… 7-3 Game Seven… 1-7 away when undefeated (Gm 5 >)… 1-4 aft New Mexico
TCU 3-0 bef Wyoming… 1-3 Game Eight
Friday, Oct. 17th
Hawaii SERIES: 3-0 L3… 3-0 aft La Tech… 1-4 bef Nevada… 1-4 as dogs vs con opp w/ rev… 2-5 dogs game Seven
BOISE ST SERIES: Host 3-1… 6-0 bef San Jose St… 10-1 as con HF’s… 6-1 w/ con rev… 9-2 home off BB SU W… 1-4 Game Six
Saturday, October 18th
Wake Forest 3-0 Game Six… 6-1 in 1st of BB RG… 5-1 w/ con rev… 3-1 off SU Weekday win… 6-2 aft Clemson…
MARYLAND SERIES: 3-1 L4 H… 6-2 aft Virginia… 7-3 as con HD’s 10 < pts… 7-3 w/ con rev… 0-3 H w/ rest… 1-5 off SU loss as DD fav… 2-5 off Shutout loss
Ga Tech 5-1 away vs con off unlined DD home W… 11-3 bef Virginia… 2-6 Game Seven… 2-5 favs vs con opp w/ rev
CLEMSON SERIES: Dog 11-1… 6-0 dogs w/ conf rev… 1-4 H aft Wake Forest… 1-4 H Game Seven… 1-3 off SU Weekday loss
Virginia Tech 5-0 away vs con opp w/ rev… 3-0 Game Seven… 14-2 away off lined non con DD home W… 4-1 bef Florida St… 7-3 as conf RD/RF 3 < pts
BOSTON COLL SERIES: 6-2 L6 / 3-0 H… 6-1 H w/ rest… 4-1 w/ con rev… 4-1 Game Six… 2-6 H off 3+ SU W… 2-5 as con HF/HD 3 < pts
Syracuse 5-2 as con dogs 21 > pts… 1-5 Game Seven… 1-4 vs opp off SU fav L… 2-7 as DD dogs in 2nd of BB RG…
S FLORIDA SERIES: 3-0 L3… 3-1 Game Seven… 3-1 vs con opp w/ rev… 3-1 H bef BB RG… 0-3 off Weekday gm… 1-5 as favs 15 > pts
Wisconsin 12-1 off BB SU L… 9-2 Game Seven… 4-1 aft Penn St… 1-6 vs con opp w/ rev
IOWA SERIES: 5-1 L6… 13-2 off BB RG… 0-5 H w/ con rev… 0-4 Game Eight… 0-3 aft Indiana
Kansas SERIES: 4-1 L5 A… 4-0 aft Colorado… 5-1 bef Texas Tech… 6-2 as DD con RD’s… 1-6 Game Seven
OKLAHOMA SERIES: 3-0 L3… 8-1 H vs opp off 3+ SU W… 7-3 aft Texas… 1-4 as con HF’s 21 < Pts… 2-6 DD favs Game Seven
Mississippi SERIES: 3-0 L3… 6-1 as con dogs 14 > pts… 4-1 Game Seven… 9-2 dogs off SU home fav L… 6-2 A w/ rest… 8-3 A w/ con rev
ALABAMA SERIES: 3-1 L4 H… 7-2 as DD favs w/ rest… 0-9 H vs con opp w/ rev… 0-3 Game Seven… 1-7 aft Kentucky… 2-5 in 2nd of BB HG
Vanderbilt SERIES: Visitor 12-4… 8-0 in 2nd of BB RG… 5-1 A Game Seven… 8-2 vs .800 > con opp… 1-4 aft Miss St
GEORGIA 0-5 Game Seven… 0-4 H vs .800 > con opp… 2-6 vs con opp w/ rev
Colorado St 9-2 Game Seven… 0-4 aft TCU… 1-5 as dogs 21 > pts… 1-4 A off BB HG… 1-4 as con dogs > 14 pts w/ rev
UTAH SERIES: 4-0-1 L5… 5-1 off DD con road W… 6-2 as DD favs vs con opp w/ rev… 1-4 favs Game Eight… 2-6 aft Wyoming
Texas Tech SERIES: 12-2 L14… 6-1 aft Nebraska… 4-1 L5 as DD RF’s… 4-1 bef Kansas… 5-2 as favs vs con opp w/ rev… 1-3 Game Seven
TEXAS A&M 5-1 as DD HD’s… 5-1 H off SU home dog L… 8-2 as HD’s w/ con rev… 1-4 Game Seven… 1-4 in 2nd of BB HG
Usc SERIES: 4-1 L5… 8-1 vs .200 < opp (Gm 5>)… 5-1 as con RF’s 20 > pts… 0-3 Game Six… 0-3 aft Ariz St… 2-8 bef Arizona… 3-7 away vs con opp w/ rev…
WASH ST SERIES: 3-1 L4 H… 5-1 H vs .800 > opp (Gm 5>)… 3-1 Game Eight… 1-4 aft Oregon St… 1-4 off SU road L 30 > pts… 2-5 as DD HD’s w/ con rev
Pittsburgh 4-0 off SU dog W… 9-3 off BB SU road W… 3-1 Game Six… 1-5 w/ rest
NAVY SERIES: 3-1 L4 / 3-0 L3 H… 11-3 w/ rest… 0-4 Game Seven… 2-6 aft Air Force… 2-6 off SU road dog W
Ohio St SERIES: 4-1 L5 / 5-1 L6 A… 6-0 as RF’s 5 < pts… 4-1 bef Penn St… 8-2 A vs con opp w/ rev… 13-3 Game Eight… 2-6 aft Purdue
MICHIGAN ST 4-1 Game Eight… 8-3 H vs .800 > opp… 5-2 dogs bef Michigan… 1-4 as HD’s 5 < pts… 2-6 H w/ con rev
Missouri 10-3 bef Colorado… 0-4 aft Okla St… 1-7 A Game Seven
TEXAS SERIES: Host 5-2… 9-0 Game Seven… 8-1 aft Oklahoma… 8-3 as con HF’s 8 < Pts
N Carolina 5-1 as con RF’s 6 > pts… 0-4 A off BB HG… 0-5 vs con off non con HG… 1-4 A Game Seven
VIRGINIA SERIES: 9-1 L10 / 8-0 L8 H… 7-1 as con HD’s 5 > Pts… 5-1 dogs in 2nd of BB HG… 4-1 H w/ con rev… 3-1 Game Seven… 1-5 dogs < 10 pts vs .800 > opp
Michigan SERIES: 4-0 L4 A… 7-0 dogs vs con opp w/ rev… 4-1 bef Mich St… 4-1 L5 as dogs 7 > pts… 8-2 A Game Seven… 1-4 A off 3+ HG
PENN ST 7-0 H off BB RG… 6-2 aft Wisconsin… 0-5 vs opp off BB HG… 1-5 Game Eight… 1-4 w/ con rev
Baylor 3-0-1 bef Nebraska… 5-1 in 1st of BB RG… *0-10 vs opp off 3+ ATS W… 1-5 A w/ con rev
OKLA ST SERIES: 7-2 L9 / 4-0 L4 H… *10-1 as DD con favs… *1-7 off 3+ ATS W… 1-5 favs Game Seven… 2-7 aft Missouri… 2-6 vs con opp w/ rev
Lsu 7-3 Game Seven… 7-3-1 as con RF’s 4 > pts… 10-4 in 2nd of BB RG… 1-8-1 favs 3 > vs con opp w/ rev… 4-11 aft Florida
S CAROLINA 5-2 as con HD’s > 3 pts… 0-4 w/ con rev… 1-5 Game Eight… 1-5-1 aft Kentucky… 3-8 off BB RG
Indiana 1-7 as con dogs 13 > pts… 1-5 Game Seven… 1-5 bef Northwestern… 2-8 off 3+ ATS L
ILLINOIS SERIES: 3-0 L3 H… 6-1 aft Minnesota… 7-2 as DD con favs… 0-3 Game Seven… 1-4 in 2nd of BB HG
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
STAT FOX / PLATINUM SHEET - NFL
TENNESSEE at KANSAS CITY
When among the league’s best, head coach Jeff Fisher’s teams have typically not been among those that gets caught sleepwalking against inferior opponents. These trends indicate such: TENNESSEE is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) in road games versus poor offensive teams - averaging <=4.75 yards/play since 1992. The average score was TENNESSEE 27.5, OPPONENT 19.8. AND Fisher is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) in road games when playing against a terrible team (Win Pct. <=25%) in all games he has coached since 1992. The average score was Fisher 29.7, OPPONENT 18.3. As you can see, the average point margins are comfortable enough to cover this 7-point line. In addition, the Titans have not lost focus when coming out of the bye week, going 7-3 SU & 6-3-1 ATS in their L10. Kansas City has been horrible offensively, scoring just 13 PPG. The Titans are holding teams 7 PPG below their average on offense. If so, pencil K.C. in for six points. That won’t keep the Chiefs in this game.Play: Tennessee -7
SAN DIEGO at BUFFALO
It almost seems as if HC Norv Turner can flip the switch to get his team to play with purpose. If he could get his club to play with the urgency they did against the Patriots, the Chargers would be unstoppable. As it is, they are still a very talented team worthy of your betting dollar. At 4-2 ATS, they have covered 17 of their L21 games overall. Here they will be taking on a Buffalo team that is rested, has played well coming out of the bye week, and has been tough at home, so it will be a tall task to escape with a win. However, I can’t look past the fact that the Bills four wins have come against teams all .500 or less at this point and correspondingly, their StatFox Outplay Factor Rating is -2.9. That is atrocious for a 4-1 team, and a sign that they will be exposed in the near future. That future is now for me, and I’ll play San Diego at anything up to a field goal favorite.Play: San Diego Pk
BALTIMORE at MIAMI
It’s amazing how quickly folks jump off a team’s bandwagon, even oddsmakers. Last week, the experts saw enough in Baltimore to make it a 4-point closing line underdog at Indianapolis. After being routed 31-3, the Ravens now find themselves as a 3-point dog on the road versus a FAR less talented Miami team that is relying on gimmics and trickery to manufacture offense. Well, the Dolphins don’t figure to have much luck generating offense on a Ravens’ defense that is allowing just 221 YPG & 4.2 YPP. This is also unfamiliar territory for Miami, playing as a home favorite that is. In their L13 home games, Miami is 0-4 SU & ATS as the chalk. The Fish are also 2-10 ATS at home coming off a loss, and Sunday’s defeat at Houston was as tough as they come. Visiting teams seem to enjoy their stays in South Beach, expect Baltimore to do so.Play: Baltimore +3
NEW ORLEANS at CAROLINA
I feel compelled to buck what has been a road dominant series trend between New Orleans and Carolina and look at the fact that the Panthers finally seem to have found the way to win at home, and in convincing fashion. Carolina has not lost against the spread at home in any of its last six games, the longest such streak in the 7-year John Fox era. In that stretch, the Panthers are allowing just 11.7 PPG.Meanwhile, the Saints have allowed 31.5 PPG and 412 YPG in their two road contests this year. This means a significant defensive advantage for the hosts, an angle that I love to play weekin and week-out. Home field advantage finally seems to be returning to the NFC South Division, I’ll ride that wave.Play: Carolina -3
CLEVELAND at WASHINGTON
Since the first go-around of Joe Gibbs in Washington, the Redskins have never been a team capable of covering double-digit spreads. In fact, they’ve become better known for lackadaisical efforts like that which was on display in the 19-17 loss to previously winless St. Louis. After regrouping this week,I look for a much better effort against an equally sorry Clevelandteam. The only differences here is that the Browns aren’t being motivated by the winless tag, and this is totally unfamiliar territory for them, having never played at Fed Ex Field. In terms of numbers, going into the Monday night game versus New York, Cleveland had an Outplay Rating of -8.2. Washington’s figure at that point was +5.6, meaning this line should be closer to last week’s line versus the Rams, rather than the very winnable single-digit pointspread. Look for the ‘Skins to get back on track with a comfortable win.Play: Washington -8.5
TOP STATFOX POWER RATING EDGES:
1. NY JETS (-3) over OAKLAND 6
2. TENNESSEE (-8.5) over KANSAS CITY 5.5
3. DALLAS (-11) over ST LOUIS 5
TOP STATFOX OUTPLAY FACTOR RATING EDGES:
1. DALLAS (-11) over ST LOUIS 11
2. TENNESSEE (-8.5) over KANSAS CITY 9.5
3. NY JETS (-3) over OAKLAND 8
TOP NFL STATFOX SUPER SITUATIONS - WEEK 7 (ATS & Total)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (409) PITTSBURGH vs. (410) CINCINNATI
Play On - Home teams (CINCINNATI) - after failing to cover the spread in 4 or 5 out of their last 6 games, a terrible team(<=25%) playing a team with a winning record. (35-8 over the last 10 seasons.) (81.4%, +26.2 units. Rating=4*)The situation’s record this season is: (0-0). L3 Seasons: (7-0). L5 Seasons: (12-2). L10 Seasons: (79-42).
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (405) TENNESSEE vs. (406) KANSAS CITY
Play Over - Any team against the total (KANSAS CITY) - after gaining 50 or less rushing yards last game against opponent after gaining 75 or less rushing yards last game. (32-7 over the last 5 seasons.) (82.1%, +24.3 units. Rating=4*).The situation’s record this season is: (1-1). L3 Seasons: (24-4). L10 Seasons: (60-26). Since 1983: (131-99).
Play On - Home underdogs or pick (CINCINNATI, KANSAS CITY, OAKLAND, ST LOUIS) - after failing to cover the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games, a terrible team (<=25%) playing a team with a winning record. (95-44 since 1983.) (68.3%,+46.6 units. Rating=3*).The situation’s record this season is: (1-0). L3 Seasons: (9-2). L5 Seasons: (11-6). L10: (35-17)
TOP NFL STATFOX POWER TRENDS - WEEK 7 (ATS & Total)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (429) SEATTLE vs. (430) TAMPA BAY
Mike Holmgren is 7-28 ATS (-23.8 Units) in October games as the coach of SEATTLE. The average score was Holmgren 19.6, OPPONENT 24.6 - (Rating = 4*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (429) SEATTLE vs. (430) TAMPA BAY
Mike Holmgren is 8-27 ATS (-21.7 Units) after failing to cover the spread in 3 out of their last 4 games as the coach of SEATTLE. The average score was Holmgren 20.4, OPPONENT 21.9 - (Rating = 4*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (405) TENNESSEE vs. (406) KANSAS CITY
Jeff Fisher is 20-6 OVER (+13.4 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing >=350 yards/game as the coach of
TENNESSEE. The average score was Fisher 24.7, OPPONENT 27 - (Rating = 3*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (411) BALTIMORE vs. (412) MIAMI
MIAMI is 9-0 OVER (+9 Units) versus excellent rushing defenses - allowing <=70 rushing yards/game since 1992. The average score was MIAMI 23, OPPONENT 25.3 - (Rating = 3*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (413) DALLAS vs. (414) ST LOUIS
ST LOUIS is 0-8 ATS (-8.8 Units) in a home game where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 2 seasons.The average score was ST LOUIS 16.6, OPPONENT 30.1 - (Rating = 3*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (417) NEW ORLEANS vs. (418) CAROLINA
NEW ORLEANS is 8-0 OVER (+8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons. The average score was NEW ORLEANS 28.3, OPPONENT 24.9 - (Rating = 3*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (429) SEATTLE vs. (430) TAMPA BAY
Mike Holmgren is 13-28 ATS (-17.8 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 as the coach of SEATTLE. The average score was Holmgren 21.4, OPPONENT 23.4 - (Rating = 2*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (429) SEATTLE vs. (430) TAMPA BAY
Mike Holmgren is 25-8 OVER (+16.2 Units) in October games as the coach of SEATTLE. The average score was Holmgren 19.6, OPPONENT 24.6 - (Rating = 3*)
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (421) DETROIT vs. (422) HOUSTON
Rod Marinelli is 8-20 ATS (-14 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest as the coach of DETROIT. The average score was Marinelli 19.8, OPPONENT 27.7 - (Rating = 2*)
STATFOX HEAD-TO-HEAD TRENDS
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (415) MINNESOTA vs. (416) CHICAGO
The UNDERDOG is 22-10 ATS in MINNESOTA-CHICAGO series since ‘92.
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (417) NEW ORLEANS vs. (418) CAROLINA
The ROAD TEAM is 11-3 SU & 13-1 ATS in NEW ORLEANS-CAROLINA series since ‘01.
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (409) PITTSBURGH vs. (410) CINCINNATI
The ROAD TEAM is 20-9 ATS in L30 games of PITTSBURGH-CINCINNATI series.
Monday, 10/20/2008 (431) DENVER vs. (432) NEW ENGLAND
DENVER is 9-3 SU & ATS in its L12 games vs. NEW ENGLAND.
Sunday, 10/19/2008 (429) SEATTLE vs. (430) TAMPA BAY
The UNDER is 5-0 in the L5 games between TAMPA BAY & SEATTLE
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
STAT FOX / PLATINUM SHEET - NCAA
BYU at TCU
Of the elite threesome in the Mountain West (BYU, TCU, Utah), one has received the majority of the accolades this season, BYU. Now, I’m not saying that the Cougars aren’t worthy of the praise, as they’ve enjoyed a nice 3-year run of success under Bronco Mendenhall, but my questions…are they really that much better than the other two teams? No is the answer, and the Outplay Factor numbers show it: BYU +10.1, TCU +11.3 against a slightly tougher schedule. TCU’s defense is as good as ever in 2008, and with the home field advantage the Horned Frogs typically enjoy, this figures to be BYU’s toughest game on the schedule. TCU’s run defense has been nothing short of incredible (21 RYPG, 0.9 YPR). Of course, they are only allowing 48% completion percentage to opponents as well. Carter Stadium has also been a house of horrors for MWC opponents usually: Patterson is 19-9 ATS (+9.1 Units) in home games against conference opponents as the coach of TCU. Thursday home underdogs are tough historically, especially those as good as TCU.Play: TCU +2
KANSAS at OKLAHOMA
Just looking at it on the surface, all other factors aside, is the gap between Kansas and Oklahoma two-touchdowns before applying any home field advantage? It seems a bit much to me, so let’s look at it closer. Both teams are 5-1, with each loss coming away from home against a tough opponent. Both teams have solid quarterbacks leading balanced offensive attacks. Both defenses allow slightly less than 20 PPG. Kansas is 20-3 SU & 17-4 ATS in its L23 games overall. Oklahoma is 18-5 SU & 13-9 ATS in its L23 games. Sure OU has put up more gaudy numbers this season offensively, but this is not the Kansas program of the early decade, and the Sooners have to be deflated from last week’s loss to Texas. HC Mark Mangino has built a winner in Lawrence, and they should be long past the days of 18-point underdog spreads. Ironically, what sells me the most on the Jayhawks was their gritty effort in the LOSS at South Florida. QB Reesing would simply not let his team fold. Expect another gutsy effort here.Play: Kansas +18
OLE MISS at ALABAMA
For most of the season’s first two months, people have been trying to explain how Alabama can’t be as good as it has shown in the early going. Perhaps it’s time to give up on that process and embrace the job that Nick Saban has done here. Look at some of the numbers the Tide have put up so far: Point differential +20.2 PPG, Yardage Differential +1.7 YPP, StatFox Outplay Factor Rating +22.2, and all against a schedule with an average power rating of 40.7 (VERY tough). Had these been statistical indicators of a team like Florida or LSU, they would certainly been laying more than 13-1/2 points at home to a team like Ole Miss. However, at less than a two touchdown pointspread, we need to consider the value on Alabama. They are a team playing with incredible confidence now. They have also beaten the Rebels at least eight straight times at home by an average score of 31-10. With Ole Miss allowing 24+ PPG, and the Tide as good as ever, why would this game be closer than that margin? Play: Alabama -13
OHIO ST at MICHIGAN ST
College football is often a “what have you done for me lately” game. Well,Ohio State has done very little to overwhelm me lately, while Michigan State is playing with the confidence of a team that expects to contend for the Big Ten title this season. Let’s face it, not all prediction transpire accordingly. Rather than Wisconsin and Ohio State controlling the conference, it might just be Michigan State and Penn State, which just so happen to be the Buckeyes’ next two opponents. We will find out just how good that HC Jim Tressel’s team is in the next two weeks, but if it’s anything like recent action, prepare for the worst. Ohio State simply isn’t playing well enough offensively to be an elite team. In their last six games, the Buckeyes are scoring just 21.1 PPG and laboring well under 5.0 YPP. The one thing they do well, and not as well as usual is stop the run. Unfortunately for them, HC Mark Dantonio’s teams are 14-4 ATS vs. good rushing defenses - allowing <=120 RYPG. I like the matchup and I like the motivation the Spartans will have.Play: Michigan State +3.5
LSU at SCAROLINA
After the rout at the swamp, are you convinced yet that LSU is not the same team it has been the last handful of years? I’ve been saying it for three or four weeks now, but I need look no further than the StatFox Outplay Factor Rating to know that the Tigers are not an elite team this season. At +2.7, they are a slightly above average team. In fact, they are allowing 22.4 PPG to opponents that score just 20.6 on average. If you use that ratio to calculate the expected points by South Carolina in this contest, it would be 25. I’ll tell you what, if the Gamecocks score 25 points, there is no way possible that LSU can cover this game. HC Steve Spurrier’s team is a better team at this point in the season and playing at home with the motivation of being an underdog. If you recall earlier in the season I mentioned that home underdogs that have turned into bowl teams cover about 65% of the time. Take advantage here.Play: South Carolina +3.5
TOP STATFOX POWER RATINGEDGES:
1. TROY (-8) over FLA INTERNATIONAL 13
2. TULSA (-17.5) over UTEP 9.5
3. LA MONROE (-17.5) over NORTH TEXAS 9.5
4. TCU (+2.5) over BYU 8.5
5. PENN ST (-24) over MICHIGAN 8
6. NAVY (+4) over PITTSBURGH 8
TOP STATFOX OUTPLAY
FACTOR RATING EDGES:
1. USC (-41) over WASHINGTON ST 15
2. WAKE FOREST (+1) over MARYLAND 14
3. KENTUCKY (-10) over ARKANSAS 13
4. TCU (+2.5) over BYU 13
5. PENN ST (-24) over MICHIGAN 12
6. MICHIGAN ST (+3) over OHIO ST 11
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (315) MIAMI vs. (316) DUKE
Play On - Road favorites (MIAMI) - after gaining 225 or less total yards in their previous game, with 5 offensive starters returning. (27-3 since 1992.) (90.0%, +23.7 units. Rating=5*).The situation’s record this season is: (1-0). L3 Seasons: (3-0). L5 Seasons: (5-1). L10 Seasons: (17-2).
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (353) MISSOURI vs. (354) TEXAS
Play On - Road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (MISSOURI) - in conference games, off a upset loss as a double digit home favorite. (25-3 over the last 10 seasons.) (89.3%, +21.7 units. Rating=4*).The situation’s record this season is: (1-0). L3 Seasons: (5-1). L5 Seasons: (12-1). Since 1992: (35-5).
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (367) OREGON ST vs. (368) WASHINGTON
Play Against - Any team (OREGON ST) - good offensive team (390 to 440 YPG) against a poor offensive team (280 to 330 YPG), after gaining 7.25 or more yards/play in their previous game. (36-7 over the last 10 seasons.) (83.7%, +28.3 units. Rating=4*).The situation’s record this season is: (0-0). L3 Seasons: (5-2). L5 Seasons: (14-3). Since 1992: (47-16).
TOP COLLEGE FOOTBALL STATFOX POWER TRENDS - WEEK 8 (ATS & Total)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (385) SAN JOSE ST vs. (386) NEW MEXICO ST
Dick Tomey is 23-3 UNDER (+19.7 Units) against conference opponents as the coach of SAN JOSE ST. The average score was Tomey 23.4, OPPONENT 25.3 - (Rating = 6*)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (345) SOUTHERN MISS vs. (346) RICE
RICE is 12-0 ATS (+12 Units) in home games vs. poor ball control teams, 28 or less possession minutes/game since 1992.The average score was RICE 35.7, OPPONENT 21.2 - (Rating = 5*)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (393) STANFORD vs. (394) UCLA
STANFORD is 15-1 UNDER (+13.9 Units) after a game with a turnover margin of -3 or worse since 1992. The average score was STANFORD 19.5, OPPONENT 25.5 - (Rating = 5*)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (345) SOUTHERN MISS vs. (346) RICE
RICE is 12-0 OVER (+12 Units) off a road loss against a conference rival since 1992. The average score was RICE 28.2,OPPONENT 27.7 - (Rating = 5*)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (353) MISSOURI vs. (354) TEXAS
Mack Brown is 11-0 OVER (+11 Units) after 3 or more consecutive wins against the spread as the coach of TEXAS. The average score was Brown 42.8, OPPONENT 22.1 - (Rating = 5*)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (389) INDIANA vs. (390) ILLINOIS
ILLINOIS is 0-9 ATS (-9.9 Units) in home games after gaining 6.75 or more yards/play in their previous game since 1992.The average score was ILLINOIS 23.2, OPPONENT 27.3 - (Rating = 3*)
Friday, 10/17/2008 (305) HAWAII vs. (306) BOISE ST
BOISE ST is 48-15 ATS (+31.5 Units) in the second half of the season since 1992. The average score was BOISE ST 43.9, OPPONENT 21 - (Rating = 4*)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (317) VIRGINIA TECH vs. (318) BOSTON COLLEGE
Frank Beamer is 49-23 ATS (+23.7 Units) after playing a non-conference game as the coach of VIRGINIA TECH. The average score was Beamer 33.7, OPPONENT 16.3 - (Rating = 3*)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (331) NEBRASKA vs. (332) IOWA ST
IOWA ST is 8-27 ATS (-21.7 Units) after gaining 125 or less rushing yards in 2 straight games since 1992. The average score was IOWA ST 18.3, OPPONENT 34.7 - (Rating = 3*)
TOP COLLEGE FOOTBALL STATFOX HEAD-TO-HEAD TRENDS - WEEK 8 (ATS & Total)
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (311) GEORGIA TECH vs. (312) CLEMSON
The UNDERDOG is 10-4 SU & 13-1 ATS in GEORGIA TECH-CLEMSON series since ‘94.
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (343) TEXAS TECH vs. (344) TEXAS A&M
TEXAS TECH is 10-4 SU & 12-2 ATS vs. TEXAS A&M since 1994.
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (313) MEMPHIS vs. (314) E CAROLINA
E CAROLINA is 7-4 SU & 10-1 ATS vs. MEMPHIS since 1994.
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (365) SAN DIEGO ST vs. (366) NEW MEXICO
NEW MEXICO is 9-4 SU & 11-2 ATS vs. SAN DIEGO ST since 1995.
Saturday, 10/18/2008 (355) N CAROLINA vs. (356) VIRGINIA
VIRGINIA is 11-4 SU & 12-3 ATS vs. N CAROLINA since 1993.
The top 10 teams in yards per play are
a combined 52-10 SU (83.9%) and 36-13-3
Here are the Top 10 teams in Yards Per Play (Regular and Spread
1. Tulsa: 6-0 SU 4-1 ATS
2. Missouri: 5-1 SU 3-2 ATS
3. Texas Tech: 6-0 SU 2-1-1 ATS
4. LA-Lafayette: 3-3 SU 5-1 ATS
5. Oklahoma State: 6-0 SU 5-0 ATS
6. Arkansas State: 4-2 SU 2-3 ATS
7. Penn State: 7-0 SU 4-1-1 ATS
8. Ball State: 7-0 SU 5-0-1 ATS
9. Houston: 3-3 SU 2-3 ATS
10. Oklahoma: 5-1 SU 4-1 ATS
Total 52-10 SU 36-13-3 ATS
Re: Newsletters 10/16 - 10/20
RATINGS: 89 & ABOVE: SUPERIOR; 88 & BELOW: ABOVE AVERAGE
GEORGIA 31 - Vanderbilt 6 - (12:30 EDT) -- Line opened at Georgia minus 15½, and is now minus 14½.
The 'Dores have had quite a ride, with their 5-0 start, but came crashing down to earth in
last week's 17-14 loss to MississippiSt, in which Vandy managed a paltry 7 FDs & 107 yds.
Now travelling to take on a Bulldog squad, which has shed any pressure situation, thanks to
its loss to Alabama a few weeks ago. Note edges of 29-10 in FDs, 148-1 in RYs, & 458-209
in total yds, in Georgia's win over Tennessee. Thus, Vandy, with its 114th rated offense,
coupled with last week's draining effort, will be up against it. 'Dawgs!
RATING: GEORGIA 89
Georgia Tech 30 - CLEMSON 13 - (12:00) -- Line opened at Clemson minus 4, and is now GeorgiaTech
minus 1. Admittedly, we like to string along with ACC dogs in such affairs, but just can't
ignore the continuing woes of the Tigers, who not only are on an 0-7 spread slide by 67½
pts, but managed just 21 RYs in their latest embarrassment. And to make matters worse,
they may be without RB Spiller (hamstring), have benched QB Harper, & have said goodbye
to head coach Tommy Bowden. The Jackets have unleashed a potent overland game,
& have won their last 2 lined tilts by a combined 65-7 score. Winner covers. Tech!
RATING: GEORGIA TECH 89
So California 71 - WASHINGTON STATE 7 - (3:30) -- Line opened at USC minus 41, and is now minus 42.
Can't get much more in the way of a heavy road chalk than the 6-TD spot in this one, but
until things change, just have to keep cashing in by opposing the futility that is this Cougar
outfit. Now have a 51-11 ppg deficit in lined affairs, & have lost their last 2 home games by
scores of 63-14 & 66-3. They've been bitten by the QB injury bug all season, & have now
lost RS frosh signalcaller Lobbestael for the season. Troy well remembers its last RG, a
monumental flop vs OregonSt. Not the focus that this Coog squad needs.
RATING: SO CALIFORNIA 88
IOWA 40 - Wisconsin 14 - (12:00) -- Line opened at Iowa minus 4½, and is now minus 3½. Almost under
the radar, is the recent demise of the Badgers of Wisconsin, who figured to be among the
elites at season's end. As a matter of fact, they were ranked 11th in the nation on our "Polls"
column in week #1 of Pointwise. Well, try, not only 3 consecutive setbacks, but off their
worst home loss (48-7) in 19 years. May be nice to get away from Madison, but not in
Wisky's case, as it has allowed 31, 38, 38, 34, & 27 pts in its last 5 BigTen road games.
Hawkeyes, in stark contrast, are coming on (28-15 FD edge LW), & have revenge angle.
RATING: IOWA 88
Mississippi State 21 - TENNESSEE 13 - (7:00) -- Line opened at Tennessee minus 8, and is still minus 8.
As has been written many times, the bye week sure comes in handy in numerous situations,
& these Bulldogs were certainly happy recipients of such a break a couple of weeks ago, as
they were off a 38-7 pummelling at GeorgiaTech, as well as a tough 34-25 setback at LSU.
Their smothering of then 5-0 Vanderbilt may augur well for their fortunes from here on out.
Catching the Vols in a Georgia/Alabama sandwich is a plus, as is UT's questionable offense,
which has produced only 11 ppg in its last 4 outings. An upset call.
RATING: MISSISSIPPI STATE 88
Indianapolis 27 - GREEN BAY 17 - (4:15) -- Line opened at GreenBay minus 1, and is now Indianapolis
minus 1½. As we noted earlier in the week, we decided to steer clear of this one for the
time being. But that's the reason for a later publication. The Packers took the measure of
the revenge-minded Seahawks last week, but that was a bit tainted, as they took full advantage
of Seattle QB Hasselbeck's absence. Not the same this time around, with the Colts'
offense clicking, & its defense in full takeaway mold (8 in their last 64 minutes of play).
Packer QB Rodgers still not at 100%, & GB's defensive backfield is hurting. Colts!
RATING: INDIANAPOLIS 88
NEAR CHOICES (Rated 87): PennSt, BoiseSt, OregonSt, Utah, Missouri -- NFL: Dallas, Houston, Denver
LINE MOVES (from largest to smallest moves): GaTech (+4 to -1); UConn (+3½ to Pick); LaTech (-17½ to
-20½); NCSt (+13½ to +11½); Boise (-24 to -26); Baylor (+18½ to +16½); FlaAtl (+3 to +1); SMU (+14 to
+12½); Monroe (-17½ to -19); Lafayette (-3 to -4½) - NFL: StLouis (+11½ to +7); Indy (+1 to -1½); SanDiego
(Pick to -1½); Cleve (+10 to +8½); Denver (+4½ to +3); KC (+8 to +7); Houston (-8 to -9). -
Okla/Kans: now 3:30; Tex/Mo: now 8:00. -
KEY INJURIES: AF QB Jefferson (head) ??; ArizSt QB Carpenter
(knee) ??; Cal RB Best (elbow) ??; CM QB LeFevour (ankle) probable; Cincy QB Pike (arm) doubtful; Clem
RB Spiller (hamstring) ??; Fresno RB Mathews (knee) probable; GT QB Nesbitt (hamstring) probable; Iowa
RB Greene (ankle) probable; KY WR Lyons (knee) out; Mich QB Threet (elbow) ??; Mich RB Minor (ribs) ??;
MichSt QB Hoyer (shoulder) probable; Navy QB Enhada (hamstring) ??; NC WR Tate (ACL) out; NIU QB
Nicholson (shoulder) ??; Rice QB Clement; SDSt QB Lindley (shoulder) ??; Stan QB Pritchard (concussion)
??; TCU QB Dalton (knee) ??; Troy QB Hampton (knee) out; UCLA RB Bell (knee) prob; Lafayette QB
Desormeaux (knee) ??; VT RB Lewis (ankle) out; WSt QB Lopina (back) prob. - NFL: Buff QB Edwards
(concussion) prob; Cincy QB Palmer (elbow) doubtful; Dallas QB Romo (finger) out; KC QB Croyle (shoulder)
prob; Pitt RB Parker (knee) prob; Seattle QB Hasselbeck (back) doubtful..
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