Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

Marc Lawrence Playbook

Thursday, November 6th

Denver over CLEVELAND by 1
Thursday night matchup of two teams in dire straits pairs conference rivals
with a storied history. Counting Art Modell’s old Browns and the new, the
Broncos are 16-2 SU in the last 18 games against Cleveland (3-0 versus the
new; 13-2 against the old), including 8-0 ATS when taking points. That ties
nicely into Mike Shanahan’s 8-1-1 ATS career mark as a dog when his team is
.500 or less and off back-to-back losses. Meanwhile, the Browns have caved
to the fans’ desires and will be operating with Brady Quinn at quarterback
in his NFL starting debut. While we believe Quinn will win the job on a
full-time basis and have a solid career, the timing is suspect and borders on
panic. Finally, this nugget from our database: sub .500 home favorites off a
SU favorite loss taking on an opponent also off a SU favorite loss are 5-16-1
ATS if the host lost to the spread by 10 or more points in its loss. We’ll walk
the dog here tonight.

Sunday, November 9th

Jacksonville over DETROIT by 4
Two teams adept at finding ways to lose go at it in the Motor City with each
in need of a tourniquet. After a 12-win campaign in 2007, this year’s Jaguars
are just 3-5 SU and 2-6 ATS with the underdog ringing the register in all
eight games. The Lions continue the quest of their first win of the season,
blowing a 10-point halftime lead in a 27-23 loss at Chicago last week. Some
small solace came in the form of Detroit’s first stat win of the season. Until
Jacko can be trusted laying wood anywhere against anyone, we’ll fade them
and their 0-7 ATS mark as a favorite of 6 or more points against an opponent
off an away game.

5* BEST BET
CHICAGO over Tennessee by 10
By the fuzz hair on Kerry Collins’ chin, the Titans remain unscathed
following last week’s overtime win at home against the Packers. The
first crack in the armor occurred, however, when Tennessee lost the
money for the initial time this season. Will they be like the Patriots
of last year who went on a 2-8 ATS free fall following their first
pointspread defeat of the season or more like the ’06 Titans that went
10-2 ATS in their final 12 games of the season? We think the former,
especially as long as the perfect bulls-eye is adorning the Titans’
uniforms. Our notion is confirmed by the fact that undefeated teams
during the second half of the season are just 2-8 ATS when favored
in non-division games against an opponent off a win this decade.
Tennessee’s tendency as a road favorite of 3 or less points in games off
a win clinches it as the Titans are just 4-14 SU and 1-14-3 ATS in this role
before Game Fifteen of the season. As our friends south of the border
would say, “Adios mi perfecto amigo!”

3* BEST BET
NEW ENGLAND over Buffalo by 14
The Pats laid the Bills out both times last season, winning 56-10 and
38-7. In fact, in the last 9 games in this series, Buffalo has not scored
more than 17 points in ANY game, averaging less than ten points
per contest. With both teams tied atop the AFC East Division (along
with the Jets) this game becomes critical. And when games are as
important as this we opt to rely on the best big game coach in the biz,
Bill Belichick. Like the sun on a nude beach in South Florida, he shines
in division play, especially against an opponent off back-to-back losses
where his teams are 17-6 ATS throughout his head-coaching career,
including 10-1 ATS at home. With the wheels beginning to come off
for the Bills (outgained in 4 of their last 5 games), it’s time to butter up
the buns. This looks like a butt kicking.

New Orleans over ATLANTA by 3
Saints return to American soil following their 37-32 upset win over the
Chargers in London two weeks ago looking to dig their way out of the NFC
South Division cellar. Despite its 4-4 record, and thanks to its No. 1 ranked
offense, New Orleans has outgained 6 of its 8 opponents in 2008. A win
today is absolutely critical to their post-season chances. Atlanta returns
home off last week’s walkover win at Oakland knowing they are 1-10 ATS
off a DD ATS win when facing a .500 or greater foe. Given their success in
this series (4-1 ATS last 5 games here), we see the Saints marching to victory
in Atlanta today.

NY JETS over St. Louis by 4
Ever so quietly the Jets have played themselves into a tie for the top spot in
the AFC East Division. And like Smith Barney, after checking out their team
log, they’ve earned it. Since the Bye Week, Brett’s bunch has outgained
all four opponents. Today, though, they find themselves smack dab in the
middle of a division sandwich, off a Buffalo revenger with a revenge affair up
next with New England. The Rams enter off back-to-back losses knowing they
have won the money each of the last nine games in this series, winning eight
games straight-up on the field. Noting the Flyboys 0-13 ATS mark at home in
games before the Patriots when taking on an opponent off a loss and their
1-10 ATS record against NFC squads off back-to-back losses, we’re compelled
to do the right thing and grab the points. Oblige yourself and do the same.

MIAMI over Seattle by 6
A terrific job by Tony and the Tuna this season. After tasting victory just once
in 2007 they are in position to make a run at the playoffs at the midway point
of the season. Our problem with their success is the price the linesmaker is
making them pay. They’ve been favored only one time (-3) under Sparano
and that resulted in a 27-13 loss. To further validate our contention, we
point out the fact that NFL favorites of 7 or more points who won 1 or
less games the previous year are 11-30 ATS in non-division games, including
3-15 ATS when playing off a SU and ATS win. Yikes! While Seattle is down
more than Dow Jones, the truth of the matter is the Seahawks are 11-3 ATS
as dogs off a double-digit SU and ATS loss versus a .500 or less opponent,
including 8-0 ATS if Seattle’s win percentage is .250 or less. Fish get the win.
Seahawks get the green.

MINNESOTA over Green Bay by 3
These two division rivals opened the 2008 season in Green Bay where the
Packers emerged victorious, 24-19, despite being outgained by the Vikings.
That would normally set the table in the rematch but not today. Not with
Minny limping in off an ‘inside-out’ win over Houston and the Packers off an
‘inside-out’ loss at Tennessee last week. With the Cheeseheads dominating
this series of late (6-0-1 ATS last seven games) and the Vikings owning the
superior running game, we’ll put this game on hold for the time being.

Carolina over OAKLAND by 6
Talk about laying an egg: the Waffl e House is in heavy negotiations with Al
Davis to assume operations of the ruinous Raider franchise. Just 3 fi rst downs
in last week’s 24-0 home loss to the Falcons probably sealed Tom Cable’s
chances of being on anyone’s permanent head coaching short list. Since
taking over for Lane Kiffin four weeks ago, Cable’s crew has been outgained
in every contest by an average of 209 YPG. Not much to like about the
Black-n-Silver other than the fact that home dogs tend to bounce back with
a vengeance off a home loss of 24 or more points, going 30-17 ATS, including
25-10 when off back-to-back defeats. With Carolina’s propensity for gagging
on chalk, we’ll put a call into the Cable Guy to clear up this picture.

SAN DIEGO over Kansas City by 10
Before jumping off the high board in support of the Chargers the 2nd half of
this season, be advised: there is no lifeguard on duty, not with Norv Turner
calling the shots. In other words, you’re on your own. You should also be
aware of the fact that the Chiefs are 19-6 SU and 19-4-2 ATS in division
games when playing off a loss in which they allowed 30 or more points,
including a perfect 5-0 ATS as a dog of 5 or more points! Also be advised
that Turner is a certified money-burner at home in division games off a loss
in his NFL career, going 7-15 ATS, including 0-6 SU and ATS this decade. Read
the signs: no diving.

PITTSBURGH Over Indianapolis by 1
Steelers dominating win over the Redskins Monday night vaults them back
into prominence in the AFC. The Colts’ struggling win over the Patriots keeps
them on the watch list. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger’s questionable status
puts this game on hold for the time being. What appeared to be a marquee
game on this week’s schedule has seen the luster wear off. If you must
plunge, you need to know that Tony Dungy is 14-5 ATS in his NFL career as
a dog off a win versus a non-division foe of a SU and ATS win. With Peyton
Manning 109-59 SU as a starter during the regular season, we’d point to the
points.

4* BEST BET
PHILADELPHIA over NY Giants by 14
The 7-1 Giants invade the 5-3 Eagles in a key NFC East division dukeout
at Lincoln Financial Field. Last year the G-Men upset Philadelphia
two times. It not only propelled New York into the playoffs and
onto a Super Bowl victory but it also denied the Eagles a spot in the
postseason. It’s atonement day today and Andy Reid is ready to rumble.
That’s because in his career Reid is 19-8-1 ATS with division revenge,
including 5-1 SU and 5-0-1 ATS when off back-to-back SU and ATS
wins. The Eagle defense chips in, too, having held three foes to season
low yardage this season. On the other side of the coin, the Giants are
2-13 ATS in November in games against an opponent off a double digit
win. While the Giants have met with solid success on the road of
late, we can’t dismiss the loss they suffered in Cleveland and the fact
that they allowed both the Browns and the Bengals season high yards
this season. Stay at home with Andy and his high-flying birds.

Baltimore over HOUSTON by 3
Hurricane Ike leaves his print on another rescheduled NFL game this Sunday
when the Ravens take on the Texans. This marks the 5th home game in 6
weeks for Houston while the Ravens take to the road for the 4th time in
5 weeks, thus a schedule maker’s edge goes to the Texans. Our problem
is laying points into a defense that is 83 YPG superior. And we never like
coughing up points with one team that has never beat nor been favored
against the other. There are plusses on both sides of this game, for sure. The
bottom line, though, is when in doubt… go with fido.

Monday, November 10th

ARIZONA over San Francisco by 6
Who would have ever thunk it? The Cardinals sitting atop the NFC West
division standings with a THREE GAME lead at the halfway point of the
season! Now instead of the hunter they become the hunted. Welcome to
the world of Richard Kimble, my friend. From this point forward they will
be tested, that you can believe. The first exam comes in this game when
they put their 0-11 ATS mark on the line as a .500 or greater team at home
against a division opponent. There’s also this 0-8 ATS mark as favorites of 7 or
more points over the last 15 years to ponder. Toss in Frisco’s 7-0 ATS log with
division revenge when playing off back-to-back losses and suddenly we’ve
got a test paper that looks like aces in all the right places. Results to follow.

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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

Marc Lawrence Playbook

VA TECH over Maryland by 4
The 6-2 Terps (#23 in the BCS poll) have overcome a schizophrenic start to
vault into the ACC Atlantic division lead and are actually just one of three
teams in the country with three wins over ranked teams. Not so at Blacksburg
where Beamer Ball is currently fl oundering. Va Tech’s 30-20 loss to Florida
State marked only the second time in 53 games where the Hokies have lost
back-to-back contests SU and a program that fi lled its supporters’ pockets
with a 32-17-1 ATS run during the previous four seasons has sunk to a
money-burning 2-5 ATS log in ’08. The fact that the Terps have won outright
in all three of their underdog appearances this season has us leaning in their
direction but there are just too many injuries surrounding the game at this
time (Maryland RB Da’Rel Scott; VT QBs Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor) to
make a defi nitive call.

UTAH over Tcu by 3
Hold on… we’re climbin’ off the fence for this one! TCU was relegated to redheaded
stepchild status in the national ‘BCS Buster’ conversation following
the Frogs’ loss to Oklahoma but the Horned Ones put the kibosh on big, bad
BYU, 32-7, and now have a chance to eliminate fellow MWC power Utah
from BCS consideration. TCU’s ferocious ‘D’ has held its previous fi ve foes to
just 8.4 PPG and they’ve limited EIGHT opponents in ’08 to season low yards,
the most of any team in division 1-A. The Froggies also would have entered
today’s showdown as a ‘SMART BOX ‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ dog but they
happened to show up favored, instead. That means we’ll take a good, long
look at the Utes – and we actually like what we see. Unbeaten Utah has held
four of its foes to season low yardage while building its SU home win streak
to nine in a row. The boys from Salt Lake City also bring along a super 15-3
ATS record as dogs since 1990 when the team’s win percentage is .750 or
greater. Oh yeah, Utah has served up frog legs in two consecutive meetings
and would solidify its #8 BCS ranking with a win here. It’s red over purple in
the battle for the green…

Friday, November 7th

Nevada over FRESNO STATE by 1
A season that started with great promise for Pat Hill’s Bulldogs came crashing
down last weekend with a loss to mediocre Louisiana Tech, the third time
this year that Fresno State has come out on the short end of a 3-point fi nal.
With the WAC title now conceded to Boise State, Hill admitted that the
only thing left to play for is a bowl berth. That could be a lot easier said
than done, particularly when the 5-3 Dogs defense is getting gashed for an
ugly 5.4 YPR and the visiting Wolf Pack is toting the mail for an outstanding
average of 6.6 YPR. Advantage, Nevada. The Reno Wolves also look like
the pack to back when we note their 4-1 ATS record as a series dog and
FSU’s dismal 1-5 spread mark this season as chalk. In a game that looks to
be tighter than this week’s presidential election, we’ll take the feral dogs to
bring down their domesticated cousins.

Saturday, November 8th

RUTGERS over Syracuse by 11
Despite knocking off Louisville for its second win of the year, Syracuse still
can’t get any respect, showing up as a 2-TD underdog to the 3-5 Scarlet
Knights. Rutgers has had a week off to bask in the glory of its shocking 54-
34 destruction of Pitt but a Knights’ defense that’s forced only FIVE fumbles
all year doesn’t look like double-digit chalk material to us. True, Rutgers has
cashed in the previous three meetings with the ‘Cuse but its dreadful 0-4 ATS
record when favored this year (lost three of those games outright) will likely
keep our wallets closed. On the fl ip side, lame duck Syracuse coach Greg
Robinson is 5-0 ATS off a win of more than 6 points (not many of those in
his career!) and the Orange are taking 3 fewer points on the road here than
they did as home dogs to the Knights last year. Our only relevant thought to
this snoozer is that Robinson continues to lose so the SU administration can
FINALLY kick him into the gutter where he belongs. No interest.

Wisconsin over INDIANA by 14
Bret Bielema’s Badgers were riding a 24-5 SU streak and a #9 AP ranking
when they rolled into the Big House for Game Four of the 2008 season. But
after blowing a 19-point lead in its shocking 27-25 loss to Michigan, Wisky has
totally collapsed, plummeting to the Big 10 basement after four more defeats,
the most recent a galling, last-second choke job against Michigan State that
neatly sums up the Badgers’ disturbing year. Now Wisconsin needs to win its
two remaining conference games to become bowl eligible, a prospect still
within the realm of possibility. The Hoosiers probably won’t put up much of
a fight; riddled with injuries before last week’s back-breaking home loss to
Central Michigan, Indiana will be lucky to field enough warm bodies to avoid
a forfeit. IU’s dreadful 6-18 ATS mark in its last 24 games at Bloomington just
makes the case for the visitors even stronger. On, Wisconsin!

Ohio St over NORTHWESTERN by 14
Tied at 17, Northwestern and Minnesota were slogging along towards
overtime when the Wildcats’ Brendan Smith returned an interception 48
yards for the winning TD with just 12 seconds remaining. But the real eye opener
in NU’s 24-17 victory was the play of replacement QB Mike ‘Don’t
Call Me Franz’ Kafka, who atoned for a pair of costly picks by rambling for
217 yards on 27 carries – a school rushing record for a quarterback. However,
he’ll be witness to a defensive metamorphosis this weekend when he has to
stare down Ohio State’s big-time stop unit, a task infi nitely more challenging
than taking on the Golden Gophers. Then there’s the laundry list of strong
ATS numbers that the Buckeyes bring to the fray: 10-0 after Penn State, 9-1
away off a SU home loss and 9-2 away versus a Big 10 foe with revenge.
OSU head coach Jim Tressel – who has to be enjoying the fact that his
annual abuse of Lloyd Carr almost single-handedly led to the downfall of
the Michigan program – chips in with an 8-2 ATS mark off a loss against a
conference adversary (4-0 if favored by 4 or more points). Today’s contest is
also a rare ‘double inside-out’ matchup: the Wildcats beat Minnesota but
were outgained; the Buckeyes lost to the Nittany Lions but won the stats.
NU’s star RB Tyrell Sutton is offi cially done for the year and with Ohio State’s
offense coming off a blood-curdling 6-point effort against Penn State, we
expect the Bucks to cash their fourth straight ticket in this series. Sure, OSU
has a mega-revenger on deck with the Fighting Illini but that won’t scare us
away from this bonafi de blowout of the hobbled Mildcats.

MICHIGAN ST over Purdue by 8
Hey, misery truly DOES love company! With Purdue head coach Joe Tiller’s
Farewell Tour rapidly heading south (Boilers had dropped fi ve straight
before taking on Michigan last week), it was only fi tting that the Tillerman
share a little bit of his frustration by ending the Wolverines’ run of 33
consecutive bowl appearances. It took a hair-raising catch-and-lateral play in
the game’s closing seconds to bury Michigan but the victory keeps oxygen
pumping to Purdue’s near-hopeless shot of reaching an 11th bowl in Tiller’s
12 seasons at West Lafayette. Good numbers abound for both sides in today’s
donnybrook. The Boilermakers own a torrid 13-1 ATS mark when playing
off a SU conference home win, plus they’ve cashed in six straight Game Ten
situations. Michigan State, also the benefi ciary of a stirring comeback win last
Saturday, will be bidding farewell to the seniors at Spartan Stadium today, a
situation where they’ve grabbed the green 13 out of the past 14 times. Our
biggest problem with MSU is backing a squad playing its 11th straight game
without rest against a desperate foe (not to mention Sparty’s season-ender
with conference bear Penn State looming on the horizon). With Gang Green
possibly looking past Purdue while searching for an oxygen tank, we’d take
it or leave it.

N CAROLINA over Ga Tech by 7
We don’t know what you’ll be doing after you put down this week’s
newsletter but we’ll bet UNC head coach Butch Davis will be watching fi lm
from the Virginia-Georgia Tech game two weeks ago. While every other ACC
coach has been unable to defend Paul Johnson’s triple option offense, Al
Groh’s Wahoos held the Jackets to just 156 rushing yards and overcame a
14-3 halftime deficit by outscoring Tech 21-3 in the second half to win, 24-17.
And who knows – maybe with an extra week to prepare, Davis can put his Tar
Heel defenders in the right schemes to slow down the prolific Tech offense.
Butch pushed the proper buttons the last time out versus Boston College,
holding the Eagles to a season low 244 total yards, and the rested Heels
have kicked their way to four straight series’ covers. Our powerful database
informs us that a week of rest coupled with revenge works wonders for
conference home teams off a SU win, going 69-32-4 ATS from Game Nine
out. Considering the Yellow Jackets have been outstatted in three of their
last four games, we’ll be going to the Chapel to see Carolina make a wreck
out of Tech.

Illinois over W MICHIGAN by 3
Hmmm… Indiana loses to Central Michigan, Michigan loses to Toledo… is the
MAC closing the gap on the Big 10? That looks to be the case here. Illinois has
won outright in its last four meetings with the Mid-Americans but has had
its pockets picked in all four contests. Meanwhile, Western Michigan shows
up with a smart 4-1 ATS log as pups against the Big 10 and since the Broncos
have already earned bowl eligibility with 7 wins, they’d like nothing better
than to spoil 5-4 Illinois’ shot at reaching the postseason – certainly not a
lock with Ohio State and Northwestern waiting in the wings. Speaking of
the Buckeyes, Ron Zook’s 28-21 upset of OSU at Ohio Stadium last year was
his signature win at Champaign so he’ll have to work extra hard at keeping
his team focused on WMU here. The potential distraction of playing today’s
game at cavernous Ford Field in Detroit shouldn’t affect an Illinois squad that
opened its season versus Missouri at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
And if we can’t convince you to take the points with the Broncos, perhaps
we can point you toward the ‘Over’. Led by a pair of talented, up-tempo
quarterbacks in Juice Williams and Tim Hiller, the yards and points should pile
up fast, making short work of the 50.5 point OU line. Bombs away!

WAKE FOREST over Virginia by 1
The collection plates are less full these days in Winston-Salem. After posting
a profitable 16-9-1 ATS mark over the past two seasons, the Deacs have gone
right into the pointspread crapper in ‘08, losing the money in four of their
last five contests. Virginia’s miracle four-game SUATS run bit the dust last
Saturday in a 24-17 OT loss to Miami and both the Cavs and the Demon
Deacons enter this critical clash with identical 3-2 SU marks in conference
play. One of our favorite expressions is to fi nd a favorite this time of the
season that’s been outgained in each of its last three games. We call it
‘leaking oil’ and thanks to three straight stat losses, the Demon Deacons
have officially joined the Pennzoil Club. With Jim Grobe’s squad failing to
cash a single ticket in five straight clashes with the Cavs on this field and
Virginia back in its preferred role of underdog, we’ll look for the OT loser
Cavaliers to get the better of the OT winner Deacons today. A solid take.

3* BEST BET
NC State over DUKE by 7
The Blue Devils’ brief flirtation with a winning record may have
disappeared in last week’s agonizing OT loss at Wake Forest but
they’ve gained a world of respect under new coach David Cutcliffe,
having won as many games this season – four – as they did in FOUR
YEARS under previous leader Ted Roof. Things aren’t going quite as
well in Raleigh where the ‘Tom O’Brien Experiment’ continues to sour:
the Pack’s 2-6 SU record in ’08 puts them at 7-11 overall under the
formerly-successful Boston College head man. But a trip to the ATS
archives tells us that NC State’s victory drought is about to come to
a much-needed end. For starters, the Pack has ruled this series with
an iron paw, winning 12 of the last 13 meetings SU. State was also
favored in 12 of those 13 games – and the one time they were made
the pooch, the Lupines responded with an outright win. The Pack has
also compiled a solid 9-3 ATS mark as dogs versus a foe off a SU loss
and chief wolf O’Brien removes any lingering doubt with his perfect
5-0 SU and ATS record as an underdog of less than 7 points playing
with rest. As for Duke, OT losers have failed miserably the following
week as conference home chalk, going 18-36-2 against the number,
including 8-22 off a SUATS loss. The Devils have also been left blue in
their last dozen attempts as favorites, posting a poor 3-9 SU and 2-10
ATS record. O’Brien temporarily silences the naysayers with a big ACC
win here.

UPSET GAME OF THE WEEK
Oklahoma St over TEXAS TECH by 6
How does the Big 12 keep doing it? Every week the conference conjures
up a primetime marquee matchup with national championship
implications – and this Saturday is certainly no exception. The Red
Raiders, of course, remained unbeaten after an electrifying last-second
win over #1 Texas and the Cowboys prepped for this showdown with
a 59-17 surgical dissection of Iowa State. And just like last week, this
heavyweight affair features a pair of quarterbacks worthy of Heisman
contention, Tech’s Graham Harrell (474 yards passing and 2 TDs vs.
Texas) and OSU’s Zac Robinson (395 yards passing against ISU). For the
stat freaks who point out that Okie State’s last win at Lubbock came
way back in 1944, we’ll counter with the fact that the Red Raiders had
NEVER beaten a No. 1 ranked opponent until last week – a scenario
that brings our ‘BRILLIANT DISGUISE’ angle from Playbook #9 to the
forefront. Mike Gundy’s Cowboys are 3-0-1 as conference road dogs
of 7 or fewer points and have carved out a superb 9-1 ATS mark when
playing off a SU Big 12 home win of 21 or more points. Let’s be honest:
the Red Raiders’ last second win over the Longhorns was nothing short
of miraculous and in this week’s battle of 500-yard offenses, we look
for Mike Leach’s magic to finally run out.

Florida over VANDERBILT by 21
A big letdown is always a possibility following a huge revenge win like
Florida’s 49-10 humiliation of Georgia but this Gator team looks too loaded
at every position to lose focus here… unless all-world QB Tim Tebow’s wobbly
ankle becomes a sore point of contention. For long-suffering Vanderbilt fans,
this year has an all-too-familiar look – a fast start followed by a devastating
late-season fl op. The Commodores appeared to be bowl-bound last year but
dropped their fi nal four games to keep them in Nashville for the holidays.
Right on cue, this year’s squad bolted out to a 5-0 start but has folded in
three straight, keeping them on the outside looking in at the postseason
promised land. We all know the Commies don’t have a snowball’s chance
of beating the mighty Gators SU but with a 5-0 ATS record off a week of
rest and a 14-4-1 ATS mark as SEC dogs off a SU favorite loss, Vandy has a
legitimate chance at covering the big number. Urban Meyer’s lone trip to
central Tennessee with his Gators resulted in a narrow 25-19 win in 2006
and with Florida playing the meat in a Georgia/South Carolina sandwich, UF
could be in for a real struggle today.

4* BEST BET
SOUTH CAROLINA over Arkansas by 20
Speaking of Florida coaches, former Gainesville legend Steve Spurrier
enters this matchup with an impressive 92-58-2 ATS college headcoaching
career when squaring off with a conference foe, including 4-0
when playing with double-exact revenge. The Hogs gained a bit more
cred for themselves and the SEC when they knocked off previously
unbeaten Tulsa last Saturday, grabbing the lead on a 96-yard kickoff
return late in the third quarter then keeping the Golden Hurricane
off the scoreboard in the final period. However, hidden in the glow of
victory was the ugly truth that Arky got whipped in the stats (528-435)
and fi rst-year head coach Bobby Petrino has NEVER grabbed the cash
when both teams enter off a SU win and Bobby-boy loses the contest
SU (0-5). We’re aware that South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia is not
100% but backup Chris Smelley is an able replacement. In terms of
scheduling, it couldn’t get much better for Spurrier’s team: the Hogs
come in nice and fat off a home upset win and South Carolina suits up
for its Last Home Game playing with double revenge. Razorbacks get
cold-cocked in Columbia.

Georgia over KENTUCKY by 14
The Dawgs turned in one of the season’s most disappointing performances
last week against Florida, a 49-10 disaster that had Georgia coach Mark Richt
questioning his team’s effort. “I thought there was fi ght in us,” lamented
Richt but after QB Matthew Stafford’s costly third-quarter interception
changed a potential 14-10 Georgia deficit to a 21-3 Gators lead, it was ‘Game
Over’ at the Cocktail Party. However, if anyone can revive an emotionally
distraught team to return to the business at hand, it’s Richt. He owns an
astonishing 28-4 SU record as Bulldogs’ head coach playing on the road (21-
11 ATS) and has cashed in five of seven meetings with the Bluegrass Cats.
Thanks to Georgia’s blowout loss and Kentucky’s SU dog win at Mississippi
State, the number on today’s matchup show up a bit more reasonable. And
with Kentucky just 1-4 ATS as dogs playing with conference revenge, we’ll
look for UGA to rebound with a vengeance.

Bowling Green over OHIO U by 6
Here we go again… a pair of MAC East squads trying to salvage their seasons,
only it’s too late for Ohio to do anything but play the role of spoiler. The
BeeGees show up with a 4-5 SU record but they can reach the conference
championship game if they run the table and Akron stumbles against
Buffalo. Notching a win in Game One of its final three looks like a strong
possibility for Bowling Green: the Falcons have completely dominated this
series, going 8-1 ATS overall and visiting the pointspread winner’s circle in
their last four visits to Peden Stadium. The visitors are also fueled by the
fire of revenge from last year’s 38-27 loss to Ohio, the BeeGees’ only home
loss of the season. Head coach Frank Solich does own a 4-1 ATS record as a
conference home dog with the Bobbies but the feeling here is the Cats are
essentially clawless. Ohio has failed to win at home against a single lined
opponent in 2008 and we think they’ll come up empty again.

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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

BYU over San Diego St by 38
It was a Japanese Admiral commenting on the destruction of Pearl Harbor
who supposedly uttered the line, “I fear we have awakened a sleeping
giant.” Don’t look now but we’ve got a similar situation on our hands this
weekend with BYU. The Cougars have taken two games to recover from
their loss to TCU but playing their Final Home Game of 2008 against the
worst offense west of Auburn… well, let’s just say the Mormons are ready to
resume the mission. It doesn’t hurt the Cougars’ cause that they’re 5-0 ATS
recently as home chalk of 24 or more points and have covered three straight
against the Aztecs at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Diego’s head coach, Chuck
Long, always prays in the direction of Idaho these days: SDSU’s lone win this
season came over the hapless Vandals. The sun worshippers can also claim
the dubious distinction of being the only team in college football this year
to gain 600 yards in one game and just 85 in the next. We’re leaning more
to the lower end of the spectrum in this game, especially since SDSU is 0-5
ATS away from the surf when playing with conference revenge. Look for the
Cougars to awaken from their slumber against the Aztecs in a big way.

BOISE ST over Utah St by 28
If TCU has managed to sully Utah’s perfect record before this game kicks
off, Boise State will officially don the crown of BCS Buster – but only if the
Broncos win out against four beatable foes remaining in their path. Utah
State represents the first of those obstacles, a team currently putting the
finishing touches on the latest in a long line of losing seasons. The Aggies got
pulverized by the Broncs last year, 52-0, and have been buried both SU and
ATS in six consecutive ‘games’ versus the boys in blue. Things look even more
promising when we get a look at these results: BSU is 5-0 ATS as favorites
of 30 > points, 8-1 ATS home off BB road games and 6-1 ATS home versus a
conference foe looking to get even for last year. But you know what? Even
with all the good home field numbers, we’re not inclined to lay this many
points with an undefeated team in a Homecoming affair… especially when
we’re not working with a ‘Last Home Game’ scenario. Pass.

Oklahoma over TEXAS A&M by 18
That was some initiation Sooners’ head coach Bob Stoops dished out to
new Huskers’ head man Bo Pelini: OU jumped on Nebraska with a 35-0
first quarter and rolled up 62 total points with alarming ease. That kind
of shellacking would mean a lot more to us if Oklahoma didn’t have its
Revenge Game of the Year waiting on deck against Texas Tech. Mike Leach’s
Red Raiders tagged the Sooners with one of two regular season losses in
’07 and you know Oklahoma will be looking ahead to that rumble at some
time before or during this date with the Aggies. Currently just 4-5, Texas
A&M could use a 13th or 14th man this season but they HAVE fashioned a
two-game winning streak and own enough talent to throw a scare into the
Sooners if the breaks go their way. The Aggies are 6-1-1 ATS playing their
Last Home Game and have covered six of their last seven tries as double-digit
home dogs – plus this week’s INCREDIBLE STAT points us in A&M’s direction.

RICE over Army by 3
Just one look at the Owls’ recent offensive barrage – 45.3 PPG in their last
three games – and you wouldn’t question Rice laying doubles to a game
but outmanned Army squad, right? We look at it like this: why does the
linemaker continue to undervalue the Cadets? The Black Knights have held
three of their last four foes to season low yards and outgained Air Force
250-174 in last week’s heart-breaking 16-7 loss. By comparison, the Owls
have allowed season high yards to their opponents in four games this year
(including last week versus UTEP) and continue to fail at home against nonconference
foes, going just 1-7 ATS. Don’t fall in step with the public on this
one and lay points with an unwarranted Homecoming favorite. March to the
beat of a different drummer and go military here.

COLORADO over Iowa St by 11
Let’s see… two weeks now since Colorado gave Dan Hawkins a contract
extension and the University’s reward has been a pair of losses where the
Buffs were battered by a combined score of 82-17. With Oklahoma State on
deck and a road game at Lincoln to close out the season, Hawkins knows
he’d better get things right here or he could become part of the growing
exodus of college head coaches looking for employment. Normally we’d be
leaning to the underdog in this matchup but the pitiful Cyclones couldn’t
cash against the Cowboys as a recipient in the usually reliable BUBBLE
BURST role last week, so we’re not sure we want them here against a band
of Buffaloes needing two wins in three games to become bowl eligible.
Still, we wouldn’t want to lay doubles with the bison and watch Boulder
disappear under a foot of snow before game time. Look elsewhere.

SMU over Memphis by 3
If you read our RUNNING ON EMPTY ‘Betcha Didn’t Know’ article on page
2, you know SMU is a Homecoming home dog that’s very much to our
liking. Sure, the Mustangs pulled a no-show against Navy last week but
they’ve ponied up with big-time efforts in their last two home games,
scoring 38 and 31 points in narrow losses to Houston and Tulsa. Memphis
is a benchmark of mediocrity this season, losing three in a row to the
spread before last Saturday’s upset of Southern Miss. The Tigers are also
toothless when it comes to point-laying: they’re an awful 1-4-1 ATS in
their last six as road favorites and an even worse 1-6 ATS overall as chalk.
SMU head coach June Jones looks to be laying in the weeds here with a
12-3-1 ATS record when playing off back-to-back losses so we won’t be
surprised when the Ponies head back to the corral with their second SU
win of the year.

MISSOURI over Kansas St by 28
Gary Pinkel will sure be glad to see Columbia today. The last two trips he
and his Tigers took away from the cage resulted in a 56-31 blowout loss to
Texas and a 31-28 near ambush by Baylor. Gary will be glad to check out
these numbers, too. Missouri is 7-1 ATS at home versus a Big 12 foe seeking
revenge (13-2 ATS against all teams in that role) and 10-2-2 ATS as conference
favorites of 15 or more points. Don’t stop there, Gary. Take a gander at the
3-8 ATS failure by the series visitor lately… and don’t overlook the fact that
Kansas State was sliced and diced for 110 points and 1019 yards in its last
two games versus Oklahoma and Kansas. Gary says this looks to be more of
the same and we’re in no position to argue. Smells like roast Wildcats from
over here…

FLORIDA ST over Clemson by 10
The annual Bowden Bowl is no more. Following Tommy Bowden’s
departure from Clemson a few weeks ago, Bobby the Elder must now be
content to face the Tigers’ interim leader, Dabo Swinney. But don’t dismiss
Dabo just because of his odd moniker: he had enough sense to seek out
the counsel of Clemson football’s grand oracle, Danny Ford, and Swinney’s
resulting game plan for Boston College was good enough to snap a 50-
year skid against the Eagles – and give Dabo his first career victory with
the Tiger Paw. Meanwhile, FSU’s Bowden was watching his 7th ranked
national rush defense get exposed by Georgia Tech’s triple option attack,
giving up 288 ground yards and four rushing TDs in a 3-point loss to the
Yellow Jackets. Bobby’s boys should fare a bit better this week against a
more familiar offensive attack, a notion confirmed by the ‘Noles’ 4-1 ATS
mark in the last fi ve Clemson games at Tallahassee. The Tigers come to
town dragging a 3-33 ATS ball and chain, forged when they lose SU to an
ACC revenger, and they’ve also struggled to an anemic 1-5 ATS lately as
conference road dogs of 7 or more points. Hmmm… Bobby off a SU loss
with triple revenge against the school that just cast his son into the void?
Too good to pass up!

EAST CAROLINA over Marshall by 10
ECU fan will probably have to seek out a therapist before the end of this
crazy season. The Pirates opened with an exhilarating 3-0 start, followed by
sobering 0-3 skein, and most recently a modest 2-game win streak, the last
in OT against Central Florida. Most disturbing is the Pirates’ timber-shivering
1-5 ATS performance in their past six games – after going 28-11 ATS under
Skip Holtz in 39 prior contests. This is a huge game for the Herd if they
want to go bowling in ’08 but 4-4 Marshall arrives off an ‘inside-out’ win
over Houston, the visitors’ SEVENTH consecutive ITS loss this year (only stat
win in season opener vs. Illinois State). East Carolina’s loss to the Herd cost
the Pirates a trip to last year’s C-USA title game but they can gain a double
measure of revenge here since a win also makes them bowl eligible for ’08.
If Holtz can right the ship over the coming weeks, ECU could win out and
land an upper level bowl bid.

NEBRASKA over Kansas by 3
Forget about last week’s 62-28 shucking of the helpless Huskers by Oklahoma;
there’s a huge talent gap between OU and most other teams. However,
Kansas is a different story. In case you’ve forgotten, Nebraska was slaughtered
last year at Lawrence by a 76-39 final, the most points ever allowed by the
Huskers in a football game (allowed less than 76 total points combined in 35
different seasons in school history, including 1902 when they outscored the
opposition 186-0 en route to a 10-0 season!). The Jayhawks usually come back
from Lincoln minus a feather or two – Kansas is 0-19 SU on this field since
1969 – and KU’s embarrassing 0-17 SU and 3-13-1 ATS mark after Kansas State
versus a winning foe since 1976 looks like too much history to overcome.
Nebraska needs one more win to become bowl eligible and they get it here.

Penn St over IOWA by 3
Is this the week that Penn State takes a tumble? The 9-0 Nittany Lions are a
‘go against’ play in this week’s ‘As The Noose Tightens’ SMART BOX on page
3 – and if that’s not enough to get your vote, check out these qualifications.
The Nits are just 2-7 ATS versus a Big 10 opponent with revenge, 2-5 ATS
after road games with Ohio State and 2-5 ATS as rested favorites. Despite last
week’s loss at Illinois, Kirk Ferentz finally has Iowa playing more like the teams
that went to six bowls in seven seasons than last year’s 6-6 underachievers
that shoveled snow in Iowa City on New Year’s Day. The Hawkeyes bring
along a stout 5-1 ATS mark as home dogs of 7 or more points and their
12th ranked rush ‘D’ has allowed just two lined opponents more than 100
rushing yards this season. Joe Pa knows he’s home free if he can subdue the
Hawkeyes but his team will have to conquer an Iowa defense that’s given up
a season high of just 27 points in one game – and under immense pressure
at a hostile venue, too. We’re hangin’ with the homeys today.

BOSTON COLLEGE over Notre Dame by 6
From their throwback coaches to their style-less uniforms, you just knew if
Notre Dame and Pitt were to slug it out for six hours instead of three, they’d
STILL be tied. Mercifully, the 36-33 Panther win took just four overtimes to
decide but Notre Dame now faces the dilemma of shaking off a tough loss
(Irish led 17-3 at halftime) while hitting the road for a battle royal with the
Boston Catholics. You already know we have little interest in OT losers the
following week, especially a team that lost to BC in 2007 as 13.5-point home
dogs, and the Dame’s 5-3 SU record has come at the expense of opponents
who’ve struggled to a combined SU mark of just 11-33. The red-faced Eagles
scored 21 unanswered points against Clemson last Saturday to erase a 17-0
halftime deficit but they let the Tigers score the game’s final 10 points to
hand BC its second home loss of the season. With the Beantown Boys a solid
8-1 SU and ATS at home versus an opponent off a SU favorite loss, we’ll trust
in J-God to deliver the win and cover today.

TENNESSEE over Wyoming by 24
After scoring just 15 total points in ugly back-to-back SEC losses, Tennessee
will welcome mediocre Wyoming to Knoxville with open arms this weekend.
The only thing is the Vols may not have a rudder to steer the ship. After 16-plus
seasons on the sidelines in Knoxville, word is that head coach Phillip Fulmer
has been handed the dreaded pink slip following UT’s “unacceptable” 3-6
mark in ’08. Before this bomb was dropped, the Vols were still entertaining
thoughts of postseason play: three wins in their last three games would have
qualifi ed them as bowl-berth beggars, carrying a 6-6 record in their cup,
but now? We sure don’t want Wyoming, a team that was on an 0-15-1 ATS
losing slide until last week’s win over the lowly Aztecs but neither are we
interested in disinterested favorites with a lame-duck head coach. One more
thing: Tennessee is a money-burning machine as a home favorite, going 7-15
ATS in its last 22 tries. Like the Vols without Phillip, you’re on your own.

5* BEST BET
LSU over Alabama by 11
From laughingstock to No. 1 in less than two seasons – that’s quite
an accomplishment for Alabama head coach Nick Saban. But now the
Nictator must return to Baton Rouge and if our handicapping expertise
has something to say about it, the Tide looks to be in a heap of trouble
down in Cajun country. For openers, Bama is a SMART BOX fade (‘As
The Noose Tightens’) this week while the host Bengals qualify as a
‘play on’ team from last week’s ‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ SMART BOX.
The Tide usually falters in their Last Road Game in a season, going just
1-5 ATS lately, a stat that fits just fine with LSU’s strong 7-3 ATS mark as
home dogs of 10 or less points. Les ‘The Mad Hatter’ Miles has posted
six SU wins in eight tries at home when challenging an undefeated
foe (3-0 with the Tigers) and has already met his annual quota of SU
losses with two. This just in from our powerful database: defending
National Champions are 13-4-1 ATS as dogs versus opponents with
visions of being the next National Champ (undefeated), including 10-
1-1 if the foe is off a win of 15 or more points. Say goodbye to the
new No. 1; they call it Death Valley, right?

OREGON over Stanford by 14
Ducks were unceremoniously grounded at Cal last weekend, held to their
second lowest point total of the season by the feisty Bears. One look at
the pointspread credentials in today’s contest, however, and everything’s
coming up ‘duck’. Visiting Stanford is 0-3 ATS as a dog before a home date
with the Trojans, 1-4 ATS off a SU home conference win and 4-10 ATS as PAC
10 pups of 4 or more points playing with revenge. Oregon owns a recent 6-0
SU and ATS series edge, plus the Ducks are 5-1 ATS in the fi rst of back-to-back
games at Autzen Stadium and 10-2 ATS ad double-digit conference chalk.
We do have one concern: in the final three games of the last two seasons,
the feathered ones have spiraled downward to a 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS mark.
Uhh, make that one BIG concern…

Arizona St over WASHINGTON by 10
Huskies are officially the WORST team in college football, the only school
in division 1-A (we’re gonna keep calling it that until someone makes us
stop) to have NOT won a single game (0-8 after loss to USC). But as bad as
the Huskies may be, there’s no way we’re risking our hard-earned dough
on the Sun Devils as 2-TD road chalk! Much like Wake Forest, Arizona
State is also leaking oil, losing the stats in its last five games. Dennis
Erickson’s disappointing squad should snap its 6-game losing skein today
but a 2-9-1 ATS record in the Devils’ last dozen hardly inspires confidence
that they’ll get the money, too. Recently fi red U-dub head coach Ty
Willingham has managed an 8-6 SU and 11-3 ATS mark as a dog off a
SUATS loss against sub .666 opposition and we wouldn’t be surprised if
his team pulls together to play hard in Willingham’s fi nal four games.
Take it if you play it.

Hawaii over NEW MEXICO STATE by 3
Another late line thanks to a rash of injuries crippling the Aggies. Star QB
Chase Holbrook left last week’s game against Boise State and did not return;
NMSU also lost two wide receivers in the 49-0 annihilation by the Broncos.
The oddsmaker doesn’t have an easy task here considering Hawaii was
a 31-point favorite at home last year and laid 19 to the Aggies here two
years ago. Regardless of the fi nal price, we’re not enthused about playing a
Warrior team that lost 30-14 as 6-point road chalk against sorry Utah State
last week (UH also a poor 1-5 ATS in Last Road Games) – but neither do
we want a 3-5 New Mexico State outfit that’s playing its 9th straight game
without a breather. Pass.

HOUSTON over Tulane by 16
After a competitive start, the 2-6 Green Wave appear to be at low tide,
losing by 25 or more points in three of their last four outings. Tulane’s recent
0-5 SUATS mark in this series is just marginally worse than its 1-10 ATS log
as DD dogs against a foe off a SU favorite loss, numbers that nudge us in
Houston’s direction. The Cougars do bring the nation’s 4th ranked offense
into this matchup (530 YPG) with their only stat loss on the season coming
against powerful Oklahoma State. But we do have a rule against playing
Homecoming favorites and you know what usually happens when you stray
from the rules. Bad things, man.

AIR FORCE over Colorado St by 7
Colorado State lost a cruel game at BYU last week when the Cougars
marched 76 yards in the fi nal 1:14, scoring on 17-yard TD pass with 22
seconds remaining. There was much less drama at West Point where the
Flyboys managed just 10 fi rst downs and were outyarded by Army but
somehow eked out a 16-7 win over the Cadets. Surprisingly, the Rams have
been favored in eight of the last nine series showdowns, winning outright
the only time they sported the dog collar. Air Force is losing altitude lately,
losing the stat battle in each of its last two wins, and owns a miserable 1-6
ATS log as home chalk in post-military operations (after Army and/or Navy).
CSU desperately needs this game to keep alive its faint postseason hopes and
could catch Air Force up in the clouds over next week’s huge home game
versus BYU. Take the points if you play.

UCLA over Oregon St by 1
Those who ignore history will look at the 5-3 Beavers laying a TD to the 3-5
Bruins and immediately side with OSU. Not so fast, my friend! Oregon State
has been skinned both SU and ATS in five consecutive series games with the
Bruins, losing the last three outright as favorites. The dam-builders have also
struggled away from the pond this season, going 1-3 SU with their lone win
coming over woeful Washington. Despite an expected fi nal game thrashing
by Southern Cal, UCLA can still become bowl eligible by winning today, then
beating Washington and Arizona State. Bruins are money in the bank in the
role of home underdogs, clawing their way to an 8-4 SU and 11-1 ATS in
their last dozen tries. And if you’re still wavering, UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel is the
answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2. What more could you want?

Blade
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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

Arizona over WASHINGTON ST by 36
Every time Las Vegas puts out a line on the Cougars, the bookies of America
collectively wince: seven times Wazzu has taken on the oddsmaker – and
suffered seven indisputable KO’s. Considering they’ve been beaten by an
incredible average of 60 PPG in three straight PAC 10 embarrassments,
Washington State may need more than the puny 39 points they’re being
offered to hang with the resurgent Desert Cats. But a look under Arizona’s
hood tells us the Wildcats are leaking some mid-season oil themselves, losing
the stats in their last three games. That’s too bad considering the two teams
that will vie for this season’s Apple Cup – the Cougars and Huskies -– are 1-16
SU combined and lost last week by a combined margin of 114-0! First-year
Wazzu coach Paul Wulff gets an ‘F’ in defense this season: his Cougars have
been outscored 350-33 in their six PAC 10 contests in ’08. No Wildcats for us,
though, since Arizona is the runnerup for this week’s Incredible Stat. Yes, the
Wildcats have not won a road game by 40 points since 1952, covering a span
of 249 games! That alone is enough to keep us away. And in case you didn’t
know – and we’re sure you did not – the Cougars have actually held two
teams to season low yards this season, including Oklahoma State! As Matt
Damon is known to say, “How do you like them apples!”

Southern Miss over C Florida by 3
Even after unloading on UAB in a 70-14 massacre last week, Southern Miss
fi nds itself 3-6 and gasping for postseason breath (reaching a bowl required
much less effort when ousted HC Jeff Bower patrolled the USM sidelines).
The Eagles would need to win their final three games to gain bowl eligibility
(here, home vs. ECU and at SMU) – but don’t dismiss the possibility. Opening
as a 1-point favorite over the Knights, Smissy stands 6-1 ATS recently as road
chalk but the visitors have also lost SU in the favorite role against UCF for
two straight years. Bright House Networks Stadium has dimmed considerably
this season thanks to the Knights’ disappointing 2-6 record and with UCF’s
offense currently on life support (14.3 PPG L3), we can only look in one
direction here.

TEXAS over Baylor by 20
Longhorns mounted a stirring comeback against Texas Tech in last week’s
epic battle but they couldn’t keep the lid on future NFL star Michael Crabtree
when it counted, and the Red Raider WR snared the game winner with just
ONE second left to play. Now, cursed with the ill fortune of the BUBBLE
BURST scenario, Texas must regroup quickly to deal with a surprisingly game
Baylor squad that lost by just 3 points to Missouri. The Bears are supported
by a 7-3 ATS mark in favor of the series visitor and own an identical 7-3
ATS record as Big 12 dogs if the line climbs to 27 or more points. True,
Baylor has been ripped for 51 PPG in its last nine games with the Longhorns
but Art Briles appears to be cookin’ up something special at Waco. Much
like Missouri, Texas may take a game or two to shake off Saturday night’s
heartbreaking loss at Lubbock. We’ll buck Bevo here and hope the dog way
is the right way.

WEST VIRGINIA over Cincinnati by 6
WVU QB Pat White put the team on his back against UConn last week
and engineered a 28-0 second half blitzkrieg that humbled the Huskies
and moved West Virginia back to its customary position atop the Big East.
The Mounties are in a bad spot here, though, covering just two of their
last 12 tries as home favorites off a DD ATS win against an avenging foe.
Cincinnati moved to 6-2 with last week’s methodical 24-10 win over USF and
head Bearcat Brian Kelly owns a strong 15-7-2 ATS mark taking points, a
number that sweetens to 11-2-2 ATS when made a dog of 12 points or less.
Kelly is also 5-1 ATS versus a foe off back-to-back SUATS wins and has been
mentioned as a possible candidate for the Tennessee position should UT fire
Phillip Fulmer. Bearcats befuddle the Hillbillies in Morgantown.

Louisville over PITTSBURGH by 1
Hey, you think Steve Kragthorpe is on the hot seat after losing two years in
a row to Syracuse? This from our good friend, the retired 5* General Tom
Scott: “THE FIRE UNDER HIS ASS MAKES THE TOWERING INFERNO LOOK
LIKE A PILOT LIGHT!” Fortunately for Stevie boy, the host Panthers show up
as a ‘Play Against’ in this week’s ‘Anti Irish’ AWESOME ANGLE. Pittsburgh
has failed to cash a ticket in its last six games at the Ketchup Bowl and head
coach Wannstedt owns a certifi ably bad 2-7 ATS record as home chalk of less
than 10 points. Louie laid 10.5 points to the Panthers on this field two years
ago and let’s face it: Kragthorpe needs this game like Ma needs Donna.

MINNESOTA over Michigan by 3
It’s been a season of ‘firsts’ under new coach Rich Rodriquez but not the
kind everyone expected. Now Rich can add ‘first losing season since 1967’
and ‘first time in 34 seasons to miss a bowl game’ to his litany of failure with
the Dazed-and-Blue. And we’re sure it’s been awhile since Michigan carried
a 2-7 SU record after nine games while Minnesota owned a mirror opposite
7-2 mark. We do know for sure that the Wolverines are 35-3 SU versus the
rodents since 1968 and they were favored in all 38 get-togethers. Minny is a
lifeless 0-4 against the number as chalk following a game with Northwestern
and may be hobbled by the condition of star WR Eric Decker (seen wearing
a walking boot after spraining his ankle against the Wildcats). Now that the
‘pressure’ is finally off Michigan, we think they’ll respond by posting just
their SECOND ATS WIN of the season.

USC over California by 14
Wrapped around a 17-10 win versus Arizona in the desert, USC unleashed
a scorched-earth destruction of the state of Washington, obliterating WSU,
69-0 and U-dub, 56-0. But these Bears ain’t chopped liver; in fact, they’re
a ‘Puttin’ On The Stats’ SMART BOX dog and all of us appreciate a good
opportunity to expand our intellect. Cal has plundered the Trojan treasury in
five of its six most recent trips to the Coliseum and has dropped only one of
the last six games in series by more than 14 points. Maintaining their hold on
the purse strings won’t be an easy task for the Golden Bears: USC is 10-1 ATS
off a SU home win of over 40 points, plus the Trojan ‘D’ has held all 8 foes
to season low – or 2nd low yards – this season. Jeff Tedford’s team fought
USC to the gun last year before falling by a mere 7 points; the margin will be
slightly higher this year but still low enough to ring the register.

SAN JOSE ST over La Tech by 12
In a quiet, efficient manner, the Spartan defense has been unheralded this
season. Currently ranked No. 18 in the nation, San Jose’s stop-troops have
held four foes to season low – or 2nd low yards, allowing an average of 295
DYPG. That’s why they will be bowling at season’s end. This week, though,
they tackle Louisiana Tech who is fresh off last week’s 38-35 upset slugfest
win over Fresno State. That doesn’t bode well for the Bulldogs as the gang
from Ruston is a pathetic 0-16-1 ATS in games off a win in which they scored
35 or more points! With Sparty a super-sharp 11-1 ATS at home against .500
or less opposition, look for SJSU to pad its bowl resume tonight.

New Mexico over UNLV by 3
An agonizing spot for both teams with the Lobos playing in their eleventh
straight game without rest while the Rebels look to put a halt to a 5-game
losing skid after starting the season with 3 wins in their first 4 games. Bad
new for the Vegas faithful is that QB Omar Clayton is expected to miss
this game with injuries. The best New Mexico can do is to win its final two
games of the campaign and hope to find a bowl suitor. Given the Lobos’
dominance in this series (7-2 ATS last 9 games, including 4-0 the last 4 here),
look for the clock to run out on the Rebels.

ADDED GAMES

TROY over W Kentucky by 21
Both teams failed miserably last Saturday as the Trojans were tripped
up as 10.5-point road chalk at La Monroe while the Hilltoppers laid the
‘Mother Goose’ of all eggs in an 11-point home loss to North Texas as 18-
point choices. As a result, Troy fell to 2nd place in the Sun Belt standings
and needs to win out in order to capture the conference crown. With this
being the first of a three-game season-ending homestand, the men of Troy
control their own destiny. Rest assured they will be looking to impress bowl
scouts down the stretch. And if this line stretches to -20 by the weekend,
note that the Trojans are 3-0 SU and ATS as favorites of 20 or more points
in their school history, by an average win margin of 35 PPG. No Hillfloppers
for us.

FLA ATLANTIC over N Texas by 20
This will be a test of nerves, for sure. As in do “you have enough nerve to
grab 20-plus points with a team that is 0-4 SU in this series with no loss
coming by more than 10 points but knowing that team is 0-8 ATS in games
off a win”? Or can you man-up and lay the points with a team that is 1-7
ATS at home against losing teams, one of which has NEVER been favored by
more than 14 points in its school history? As Forrest Gump was known to say,
“Ugly is as ugly does.” And we don’t want either of these sick pups.

LA LAFAYETTE over Utep by 13
Don’t look now but guess what team sits atop the Sun Belt Conference with
just three weeks remaining? If you said the Ragin’ Cajuns, you are correct.
It’s where the nation’s No. 8 ranked offense (491 YPG), keyed by a powerful
ground game averaging 312 RYPG, has led them. One more win and La La
wraps up bowl eligibility and, despite stepping outside the conference, they
should get that here. Granted, the Miners are 7-1 ATS as dogs after scoring
35 or more points against an opponent off back-to-back wins. We simply
question UTEP’s late-season, dead in the water motive.

Arkansas St over FLA INT’L by 10
We’ve been licking our chops waiting for the right spot to fade these
overrated, piteous Panthers and this looks to be it. The Red Wolves were
ambushed at top-ranked Alabama last week, thus setting the table for this
play. That’s because conference road favorites off a shutout road loss are
18-3 SU and 16-5 ATS in their very next game. Weighing both team’s stats
we find FIU –117 net YPG as opposed to ASU’s + 62 net YPG on the season.
No surprise whatsoever to see the Pussycats fall to 0-6 SU and ATS at home
against an opponent off a loss in their school history.

MID TENN ST over La Monroe by 1
Both teams will need to win out should they wish to don bowling shirts at
season’s end. Don’t count on it. While Monroe is a nifty 19-6 ATS on the
conference road, including 9-1 ATS when off back-to-back losses, they are
winless on the highway this season. Meanwhile, the Blue Raiders are a
Homecoming favorite that is ‘leakin’ oil’ profusely (lost the stats in each of
their last five games). Take it or leave it.

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LOGICAL APPROACH

COLLEGE SELECTION OF THE WEEK: CLEMSON + 6 ½ over FLORIDA STATE - Clemson evened their record at 4-4 with their win at Boston College last week and now sets their sights on becoming Bowl eligible with two more wins. Aside from their opening game loss to Alabama, Clemson's other 3 losses have each been by 5 points or less and the Tigers have also not allowed more than 21 points in any of their 7 games following the 'Bama debacle. The coaching change seems to have had a positive impact on Clemson and they finally have some momentum heading into what no longer is Bowden Bowl X with Tommy gone as head man of Clemson. Tommy had beaten daddy Bobby the past 3 seasons after losing 5 of 6. Florida State is having a better season than in recent years and is already bowl eligible at 6-2. To be fair, BOTH teams have a pair of wins over FCS/I-AA competition so their seasonal stats are not as impressive when only games against FBA/I-A foes are considered. Both teams have wins over North Carolina State and losses to Georgia Tech. Overall, FSU has the better stats but not by enough to suggest they win easily. Clemson's current form and ability to hang tough keep them in this game all the way. Florida State wins but by only a FG, 26-23.


Other Featured College Selections

NEBRASKA + 1 ½ over Kansas - 76-39. That was the score last season when Kansas laid it on the Cornhuskers as they improved to 9-0 in their magical season that saw them finish 12-1. Kansas felt great at piling up the points as the program routinely surrendered similar point totals to Nebraska during the 1970's and 1980's, often being shut out. The 37 point loss was Nebraska's second most lop sided loss in a generation and the 76 points allowed were the most given up by the Huskers ever - and they began playing football in 1890! Under new coach Bo Pellini the 'Huskers are improved in 2008 and are just one win away from Bowl eligibility at 5-4. Kansas is having another fine season but nothing like last year, The Jayhawks are 6-3 after routing rival Kansas State last week at home and will venture into a hostile environment in Lincoln where they have not won since 1968. The teams have similar statistics but Nebraska has played the more demanding schedule, facing foes that are a combined 50-29 whereas Kansas' foes are a combined 43-34 and include a 38-14 win over Sam Houston State. Embarrassment is a huge motivator. Nebraska wins 30-24.


LSU + 3 ½ over Alabama - Under normal conditions Baton Rouge is a hostile place for opposing teams to play against LSU. This week's game hardly qualifies as being under normal conditions as LSU hosts top ranked and unbeaten 9-0 Alabama, "welcoming" former coach Nick Saban back to town. Despite winning the BCS Title last season under his replacement, Les Miles, the LSU faithful are still bitter over Saban's departure for the NFL's Miami Dolphins where he lasted just two seasons before bolting for 'Bama. At 6-2 the defending champion Tigers won't defend their title but will go bowling. Both losses have been ugly - 51-21 at Florida and 52-38 to Georgia on this field. The Tigers disappointed us last week as they failed to cover in a 35-10 win over Tulane, outgaining the Green Wave 330-163. It's hard to find reasons to knock Alabama as they've been steady all season. But LSU has won 5 straight against the Tide, including 41-34 last season at 'Bama in Saban's first game against his former team. College football is so much about emotion. LSU wins 23-17.


Michigan + 7 ½ over MINNESOTA - Michigan's record 33 year streak of going to a Bowl will end this year as last week's loss at Purdue dropped the Wolverines to a shocking 2-7 under first season coach Rich Rodriguez. As shocking as Michigan's decline has been, Minnesota's ascension has been equally as surprising. At 7-2 the Golden Gophers will be back in a Bowl after going 1-11 last season in coach Tim Brewster's debut season which followed 5 straight Bowl seasons. Arguably Michigan has the better athletes across the board but Minnesota has been the better team as Michigan undergoes transition. Michigan has played the tougher schedule and has been improving week by week. Last season Michigan was favored by 23 over Minny, winning 34-10. Michigan's been favored over Minnesota every year for more than 30 years and almost always the line's been double digits. Minnesota averages about one win per decade over Michigan and their last win was 23-20 in 2005 at Ann Arbor. Minnesota would love nothing better than to stomp on their rival while they are down. But the class difference suggests that Michigan - still playing hard - will not only compete here but is fully capable of winning outright. Michigan wins 27-21.


NFL SELECTION OF THE WEEK: SAN DIEGO - 15 over Kansas City - This is a key game that may well determine the rest of the season for the rested Chargers. At 3-5 San Diego has played far below expectations. This is an extremely talented team that has struggled against lesser foes, including Kansas City, in recent years. In fact, the Chiefs upset the Bolts here last season, 30-16, as 11 point dogs. Perhaps the change in defensive coordinators will help restore the aggressiveness to the San Diego defense. With a pair of very tough games on deck, a confidence builder is in order. The Chiefs played surprisingly well last week at home, losing in OT to Tampa Bay in a game they led virtually from the opening kickoff. But the defense still yielded over 400yards and is allowing an average of over 400 ypg for the season, ranking last in allowing 182 rushing ypg. Off of their Bye expect a fully focused effort from the hosts vs. a vulnerable foe on a field where San Diego's won their last 2 games by 19 and 20 points. San Diego wins 34-13.


Other Featured NFL Selections :

N Y JETS - 8 over St Louis - St Louis has regressed the past few weeks after a pair of strong efforts following their coaching change. The Jets are tied for first in the AFC East following their road win at Buffalo. Jets' QB Brett Favre continues to make big plays -- for BOTH teams. There are just too many negatives to back the Rams here, including their allowance of 140 yards per game more defensively than they gain on offense. Add to that the Jets' much improved defense against the run and this game forecasts as very much one sided. Aside from their 34 point outburst against Dallas, the Rams have not scored more than 19 points in any of their other 7 games. And they've allowed over 30 points in 5 of their 8 games while the Jets routed their other NFC West foe they've played this season, defeating a better Arizona team 56-35. This one might not be quite as high scoring but should be just as decisive. N Y Jets win 31-13.


MINNESOTA - 2 over Green Bay - This is a rematch of an opening Monday nighter that marked Packer QB Aaron Rodgers' debut as a starter. Green Bay on 24-19 but the Vikes outgained the Pack 355-317. Both teams are 4-4 and trail Chicago by a game in the NFC North. Minnesota has the better rushing offense by 34 ypg and also the better rushing defense by 76 ypg. Their QB play has been below average but has improved as Gus Frerotte has replaced Tarvaris Jackson as starter. Green Bay has won 5 straight in the series but does host long time rival Chicago next week. The situation favors the Vikes and they are off of 41 and 28 point efforts in their last two games. The most glaring statistical discrepancy between these teams in rushing defense where Minnesota is allowing 3.0 yards per rush compared to the Packers' 4.9 ypr. That suggests the Packers get worn down in the second half, preserving a Viking win. Minnesota wins 27-17.


Baltimore + 1 ½ over HOUSTON - This is the game rescheduled from week two due to the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Houston's three game win streak was stopped last week in Minnesota as starting QB Matt Schaub was injured. Backup Sage Rosenfels had some success earlier this season when Schaub also missed time due to injury. Baltimore has a huge edge defensively, especially against the run as they lead the league, allowing just 64 ypg. Their balance is shown by their # 4 ranking against the pass. The Ravens also have the much better rushing offense (149 ypg, # 3) and have already won twice on the road this season against similar competition. Houston's edge on offense is due to the passing game, which will be tested by that # 4 pass defense. The old axiom remains true that a good defense stops a good offense and here the better defense is much better than the better offense. Baltimore wins 24-17.


Best of the NFL Totals

Denver/Cleveland OVER 46
Tennessee/Chicago UNDER 39
New Orleans/Atlanta OVER 50
Carolina/Oakland UNDER 38
Indianapolis/Pittsburgh UNDER 41
San Francisco/Arizona OVER 47


Money Line Recommendations

College: UTAH LSU NEW MEXICO ST Michigan
Pro: CHICAGO MINNESOTA Indianapolis PHILADELPHIA

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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

any chance for playbook ?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

rlc168 wrote:


any chance for playbook ?

Thanks in advance

Look right above ^

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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

SCORE

RUTGERS over Syracuse by 27 - 100% Play

We love the situation here for Rutgers, which started off losing 5 out of its first 6 games this season, but rebounded to win two straight. Now, after a wek off the Scarlet Knights are brimming with confidence and host a Syracuse team that won its biggest game of the season with an upset over Louisville last week. The Orange managed to win just their third Big East game in 25 tries under head coach Greg Robinson by simply handing the ball off to Curtis Brinkley, who became the school's first RB to rush for 100 yards in five consecutive games. Rutgers defensive-minded head coach Greg Schiano puts seven men in a box, puts the clamps on Brinkley and rolls to a third straight win. It's 40-13.


BOWLING GREEN over Ohio by 13 - 100% Play

We have been writing in SCORE for years that Frankie Solich is a complete moron. History shows that the longer this guy stays with a program, the worse the team gets. After taking over at Nebraska, Solich enjoyed a couple of good seasons before his lack of abililty to recruit caught up to him. At Ohio, he led the team to an impressive 9-5 record in 2006, but since then the Bobcats have regressed and enter this game with a dispraceful 2-7 record. Bowling Green, meanwhile, scored a big win ove Kent St. last week. At 4-5 with three games left, they are still alive for a second-straight bowl bid. With a bowl game on the line and revenge as a motive, the Falcons soar to a "W". 27-14.


HOUSTON ove Tulane by 24 - 100% Play

The Green Wave has been riddled with injuries this season, which is not a good sighn when you have a tremendous lack of depth to gegin with. The team played without leading rusher Andre Anderson and leading receiver Jeremy Williams in last week's blowout loss to LSU and the defensive secondary is battered and bruised as well. Now, they have to go on the road to face a Houston team that will be celebrating homecoming and has seen sophomore quarterback Case Kennum throw for at least 300 yards in a school-record nine consecutive games. The Cougars have dominated the series with Tulane, outscoring the Green Wave by a total of 79-17 in the last five meetings. Rout! 45-21.


AIR FORCE over Colorado State by 21. - 100% Play

The Fly Boys have very quietly put together a four-game winning streak and are now 7-2 overall. The key for second-year head coach Troy Calhoun has been the incredible play of the defense that has allowed under 10 points per game and has been forcing turnovers at will as they lead the nation in fumble recoveries. That's bad news for the mistake-prone Colorado State offense that has been limited to under 17 points in its 2 games this season (Utah and TCU) vs. the kind of physical defense that Air Force presents. Calhoun is 6-1 against the spread in his career at Air Force as a home favorite and the home team in this series has won eight out of the last 10. The Fly Boys roll! 28-7.

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The Gold Sheet

KEY RLEASES
NEW ENGLAND by 14 over Buffalo
ATLANTA by 14 over New Orleans
OVER THE TOTAL in the Jacksonville-Detroit game

OVER THE TOTAL Jacksonville 30 - DETROIT 27—Lackluster effort
at Cincy has put J’ville in the ignominious position of possibly losing to both of
the only two remaining winless teams in as many weeks! 2008’s myriad of
injury and personnel woes at OL & WR have made Jags (who have dropped all
six chances as chalk) a far cry from their physical playoff team of LY. So, with
young QB Dan Orlovsky boosting the Detroit offense in recent weeks (25 ppg
last three), Jags likely to add to their 11-3 “over” mark last 14 on the road.
(04-JACKSONVILLE -3' 23-17 (OT)...SR: Jacksonville 2-1)


NEW ENGLAND 24 - Buffalo 10—Randy Moss’ dropped TDP and Bill
Belichick’s ill-timed fourth-and-one timeout (on a play N.E. would have
converted inside the 10) were major factors in N.E.’s 18-15 loss last week at
Indy. Expect the Pats to play more intelligently back at home laying small
number vs. team they have dominated (N.E. 9-0 SU last 9 meetings; 7-2 vs. the
spread). Bills not running (30 yards last week) or stopping the run as well as
earlier in season, while Pats’ QB Matt Cassel reading defenses quicker.
(07-N. ENG. 38-Buf. 7...N.27-12 N.38/177 B.27/110 N.23/29/0/308 B.11/21/1/83 N.1 B.1)
(07-N. Eng. 56-BUF. 10...N.30-14 N.29/127 B.19/78 N.33/41/0/383 B.15/26/1/151 N.0 B.1)
(07-NEW ENGLAND -16' 38-7, New England -15' 56-10...SR: New England 55-40-1)


ATLANTA 34 - New Orleans 20—Falcons now own a pair of road wins
in addition to their sterling 3-0 SU & spread mark at home. And Michael Turner
(794 YR) gives them a substantial rushing edge over N.O. with Reggie Bush
(check status of knee injury) likely out again and Deuce McAllister (3.9 ypc) not
his old thundering self after LY’s knee injury. More importantly, Atlanta players
believe in and love playing for rookie HC Mike Smith, who—unlike predecessor
Bobby Petrino—went out of his way to meet and talk with everyone in the
organization to make them all feel part of the bigger plan. It’s worked so far.
(07-N. ORL. 22-Atl. 16...A.18-14 N.22/91 A.24/75 A.27/41/0/259 N.22/34/1/219 N.0 A.0)
(07-N. Orl. 34-ATL. 14...N.23-13 N.30/145 A.16/37 N.28/41/0/328 A.23/40/1/286 N.1 A.0)
(07-NEW ORLEANS -8 22-16, New Orleans -3' 34-14...SR: Atlanta 44-34)


Tennessee 27 - CHICAGO 20—Homecoming of sorts for Tennessee HC Jeff
Fisher, who played for the Bears, learning the ropes from Mike Ditka and Buddy
Ryan during his days at Soldier Field. Despite their non-cover, things continue
to fall in place for Fisher’s unbeaten Titans, who survived short prep week to
prevail in OT vs. G.B. last Sunday. Now, Fisher will get to face the erratic Rex
Grossman instead of the injured Kyle Orton (ankle) at QB for Chicago. Note
Bears’ “over” trend at home (now 19-4 last 23!).


NY JETS 26 - St. Louis 13—Now that the “real Rams” have resurfaced after
brief uprising in wake of Jim Haslett’s promotion to HC, don’t mind bucking St.
Louis. After all, if Marc Bulger is going to lead the team in rushing (his 32 yards
worth of scrambles last week vs. Cards exceeded the combined 29 YR of
Steven Jackson & Antonio Pittman), the Rams (who have scored 20 or morejust once TY)
are back into the punchless mode. Much prefer resilience of Jets,
who were able to overcome Brett Favre’s recurring mistakes and occasional
spates of penalties at Buffalo due to solid “D” and an improved running game.
(04-ST. LOUIS +3' 32-29 (OT)...SR: St. Louis 9-2)


MIAMI 24 - Seattle 10—West to “east coast” travelers have not done well TY
(0-12 SU, 2-9-1 vs. the spread for the six western-most teams), although the
Seahawks scored an ugly cover in a 20-10 loss three weeks ago at Tampa Bay.
Odds appear against them in this one, with Chad Pennington (only 4 ints.)
caring for the Miami offense, Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams supplying the
ground power, and the once-again-healthy Joey Porter (11½ sacks) supplying
the pass rush.
(04-SEATTLE -9' 24-17...SR: Miami 8-4)


Green Bay 23 - MINNESOTA 20—Minnesota out to avenge its opening-game
loss in G.B., when Aaron Rodgers (18 of 22, 1 TD in his starting debut) outdueled
the harried Tarvaris Jackson 24-19 in friendly Lambeau. Situation now
greatly changed, with Rodgers making his first start in the noisy Metrodome,
this time facing veteran Gus Frerotte (3 TDP last week). But Packer RB Ryan
Grant (91 ypg rushing last 4) now much healthier, and G.B. receivers a problem
vs. Vikes’ loose coverage. The Pack 14-5-1 vs. spread on road L2+Ys!
(08-G. BAY 24-Minn. 19...G.21-15 M.33/187 G.27/139 G.18/22/0/178 M.16/35/1/168 G.0 M.0)
(07-G. Bay 23-MINN. 16...20-20 M.22/155 G.20/46 G.32/45/0/338 M.21/39/1/227 G.2 M.1)
(07-G. BAY 34-Minn. 0...G.29-11 G.32/120 M.15/86 G.35/48/0/368 M.16/26/1/161 G.0 M.0)
(08-G. BAY -2' 24-19; 07-G. Bay -1' 23-16, G. BAY -5' 34-0...SR: Green Bay 49-45-1)


Carolina 23 - OAKLAND 10—After Oakland’s poor starts in recent games,
new HC Tom Cable said he would become “personally involved” in the team’s
first few drives. It didn’t work out so well last week vs. Atlanta, which led the
Raiders 309 yards to minus 2 in the first half! Don’t anticipate Oakland getting
untracked this week vs. Julius Peppers and the sound, tight-covering Panther
defense, which should set up enough field position for the Carolina offense to
pull away. Panthers 15-8-1 “under” last 24.
(04-Oakland +6' 27-24...SR: Oakland 2-1)


SAN DIEGO 31 - Kansas City 23—Many eyebrows were raised around the
league (especially in Minnesota, where he had been dismissed) when Ted
Cottrell was hired LY as S.D.’s defensive coordinator. They were raised higher
when Cottrell altered the Chargers’ pressure scheme to his own bend-but-don’t
break style, often using Shawne Merriman in coverage. Remember, S.D. only
began streaking LY when Cottrell restored the Chargers’ aggressive style. TY,
with Merriman and others out, S.D.’s sacks & takeaways have dropped, and so
has the pass defense. Thus, Cottrell is out and Buddy Ryan pupil Ron Rivera
is in. Young Chief QB Tyler Thigpen will test Rivera with K.C.’s new collegestyle
spread looks.
(07-K. City 30-S. DIEGO 16...S.19-17 S.24/133 K.28/126 K.17/29/2/264 S.21/42/2/200 K.0 S.2)
(07-S. Diego 24-K. CITY 10...K.18-12 S.32/191 K.25/88 K.21/40/3/180 S.10/21/1/139 S.0 K.1)
(07-K. City +12 30-16, San Diego -6 24-10...SR: Kansas City 50-45-1)


PITTSBURGH 24 - Indianapolis 16—Both QBs got off to somewhat slow
starts TY, partly due to OL injuries that allowed lots of quick inside pressure.
However, with Willie Parker due back for Pittsburgh’s Monday nighter in
Washington, Indy’s smallish DL will have to pay more attention to the Steeler
ground game, allowing Ben Roethlisberger time to find his potent receivers.
Aggressive 3-4 defenses (such as those of Pitt., S.D., N.E.) have often been
able to slow Peyton Manning in recent seasons. Colts thin at CB with Marlin
Jackson out. (05-INDY -8' 26-7, Pitt +9' 21-18 (Playoffs)...SR: Pittsburgh 18-5)


*NY Giants 22 - PHILADELPHIA 20—Have full respect for the balanced
Philly offense, especially with Brian Westbrook & Donovan McNabb healthy,
and with rookie DeSean Jackson providing young speed at WR. But believe the
pointspread value in this contest belongs with the underdog road warrior Gmen,
who are 12-1 vs. the spread their last 13 as a visitor. NYG now have 30
sacks, and the power-running of Brandon Jacobs (680 YR) is difficult to match.
If Plaxico Burress ever gets his head out.... TV—NBC
(07-NYG 16-Phil. 3...16-16 P.23/114 N.27/83 N.14/26/1/129 P.15/31/0/76 N.0 P.1)
(07-Nyg 16-PHIL. 13...P.18-15 P.28/141 N.27/111 N.17/31/0/207 P.20/31/0/165 N.2 P.1)
(07-NY GIANTS +2' 16-3, NY Giants +3 16-13...SR: NY Giants 80-67-2)


RE-SCHEDULED WRITE-IN GAME
Baltimore 26 - HOUSTON 24—Situation similar to when these teams were
originally supposed to meet in Week Two (when Hurricane Ike forced
postponement), with Houston again off a road loss and Baltimore off an uplifting
win. But Raven QB Joe Flacco now has a half-season under his belt, and fellow
rookie RB Ray Rice (154 YR last week at Cleve.) now making an impact.
Texans might miss the special rapport QB Matt Schaub has with WR Andre
Johnson if Schaub’s knee injury forces error-prone Sage Rosenfels into lineup.
Note Houston “over” 7-1 TY and 20-8-1 last 29.
(05-BALTIMORE -8 16-15...SR: Baltimore 2-0)


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10

*ARIZONA 35 - San Francisco 20—Second contest for new S.F. coach Mike
Singletary, who—in just his first game—ejected one of his own players, went
“Bob Knight” at halftime to show the 49ers how they were playing, then had a
future Coors Light tirade after the game! At least he’s entertaining. He’s since
apologized, and he’s named Shaun Hill (2-0 as a starter LY in Games 14 & 15)
S.F.’s starting QB after J.T. O’Sullivan’s int. total rose to 11. Too bad Kurt
Warner (70%, 16 TDs, 6 ints.) is sizzling, Richmond rookie RB Tim Hightower
(7 TDR TY; 109 YR last week) is a new force, and Cards 3-0 vs. the number at
home TY. CABLE TV—ESPN

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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

The Gold Sheet

KEY RELEASES
GEORGIA TECH by 6 over North Carolina
VIRGINIA by 8 over Wake Forest
BOWLING GREEN by 17 over Ohio
SAN JOSE STATE by 19 over Louisiana Tech

Georgia Tech 26 - NORTH CAROLINA 20—Check status of top Tech QB
Josh Nesbitt, as true frosh backup Jaybo Shaw struggled during last week’s home
win over Fla. State after Nesbitt left in 3rd Q with ankle injury. Ball-hawking
Carolina defense leads nation with 17 “picks,” but can still-young Heel stoppers
stand up against Yellow Jackets’ relentless ground attack for full 60 minutes?
Crafty Tech mentor & former Navy HC Paul Johnson (18-5 last 23 getting points
away from home!) a road warrior supreme.
(07-GA. TECH 27-N. Car. 25...G.20-18 G.44/178 N.35/79 N.21/35/0/283 G.15/26/0/260 G.4 N.1)
(07-TECH -10' 27-25 06-Tech -13' 7-0 05-TECH -12' 27-21...SR: Georgia Tech 23-17-3)

Bowling Green 34 - OHIO 17—Bowling Green has covered 8 straight
road games and is looking to avenge last year’s upset loss against Ohio.
Falcons had covered 8 straight vs. Bobcats prior to that. BGSU QB Tyler
Sheehan burned Kent State with 109 YR last week, and Bobcat QB Boo
Jackson has produced just 17 ppg last 5 vs. TGS-rated foes.
(07-Ohio 38-B. GREEN 27...B.27-20 O.53/264 B.32/158 B.19/43/2/249 O.12/17/1/166 O.0 B.2)
(07-Ohio +7 38-27 06-Bgu +6' 21-9 05-BGU -21 38-14...SR: Bowling Green 35-22-2)

Virginia 24 - WAKE FOREST 16—Psychology favors host, as Wake
bolstered its shaky confidence with OT victory over Duke last week at Winston-
Salem while Cavaliers are trying to recover from gut-punch home OT loss vs.
Miami that snapped their 4-game win streak. Fundamentally, however, Virginia
owns most reliable offensive weapon on field in sr. RB Cedric Peerman (523 YR,
26 catches, 6 TDs in last 5 games).
(07-VA. 17-W. For. 16...V.18-16 W.50/140 V.25/82 V.20/43/0/225 W.20/26/1/175 V.1 W.0)
(07-VIRGINIA -1 17-16...SR: Virginia 34-12)

*SAN JOSE STATE 32 - Louisiana Tech 13—Maybe SJSU caught a
break when recently-struggling QB Reed was ruled out of last week’s game at
Idaho with a bruised tailbone, allowing reliever Myles Eden a chance to flourish
(23 of 31 for 295 YP) in Mariano Rivera-like role. Technical form chart presents
quite a case for Spartans, who have covered last 4 in series and last 6 as home
chalk, while poor-travelin’ La Tech now 4-19 its last 23 as road dog (0-4 TY!).
(07-LA. TECH 27-Sjsu 23...S.23-18 L.38/152 S.26/105 S.28/47/0/369 L.22/36/1/261 L.1 S.2)
(07-TECH -5' 27-23 06-SJS -9' 44-10 05-TECH -19' 31-14...SR: San Jose State 4-3)

*Nevada 34 - FRESNO STATE 30—Since Fresno’s ‘08 goals about reaching the
BCS (which were unrealistic) and reclaiming WAC crown (which weren’t that
unrealistic) have basically been reduced to spoiling Boise’s unbeaten season on
Thanksgiving weekend, not inclined to trust Bulldogs laying points vs. explosive
Nevada. After all, Pat Hill’s bunch hasn’t covered since opening week and now
stands 3-17 its last 20 as chalk! Rested Wolf Pack needs win to help flickering bowl
hopes. TV-ESPN2
(07-Fres. St. 49-NEV. 41...N.30-15 F.35/307 N.39/211 N.30/50/0/491 F.10/16/0/168 F.2 N.2)
(07-Fsu +3 49-41 06-FSU -12' 28-19 05-NEVADA +15' 38-35...SR: Fresno State 24-13-1)

Illinois 31 - Western Michigan 28—Illinois off a big win against Iowa, and
Illini become bowl-eligible with a victory here. WMU QB Hiller & RB West
headline a talented attack, but Bronco defense hasn’t been able to contain highoctane
offenses. Illini QB Juice Williams (8th in total offense) and WR Rejus
Benn (93 ypg rec.) should get the win; maybe not the cover. (at Detroit, MI)
(DNP...SR: Illinois 2-0)

RUTGERS 37 - Syracuse 16—Both sides on recent pointspread uptick, with
Rutgers covering 4 straight and the Orange 3 of their last 4. Syracuse was able
to ride sr. RB Brinkley (100+ YR in each of last 5 games) to rare SU win week
ago. Rested Scarlet Knights counter with streaky sr. QB Teel (6 TDP in victory
at Pitt), the superior defense, and a burning desire to keep bowl hopes alive.
TV-ESPNU
(07-Rut. 38-SYR. 14...R.23-16 R.45/228 S.28/112 R.20/30/1/310 S.15/32/1/158 R.0 S.1)
(07-Rut. -17 38-14 06-RUT. -15 38-7 05-Rut. +2' 31-9...SR: Syracuse 28-9-1)

Wisconsin 37 - INDIANA 24—Tough to recommend defense-shy Indiana
crew that’s covered just once this season, especially facing Wisconsin crew
that has made a habit of demolishing the Hoosiers the last few years. Badgers
likely to be in an ugly mood after late loss at Michigan St., and Indy has yielded 37
ppg last 5 at home and is 8-24 vs. the spread in last 5 games of the last 6+ seasons.
(07-WISC. 33-Ind. 3...W.23-13 W.55/279 I.31/145 W.12/21/1/144 I.17/33/2/113 W.1 I.3)
(07-WISC. -8' 33-3 06-Wisc. -10' 52-17 05-WISC. -17' 41-24...SR: Wisconsin 34-18-2)

Ohio State 30 - NORTHWESTERN 13—Impressed with banged-up
Northwestern’s upset at Minny, but Ohio State has had a bye week to stew over
loss to Penn State. Buckeyes have made a habit of destroying the Wildcats last
few years, and aberrational performance by backup QB Kafka (217 YR at Minny)
won’t be duplicated. OSU “D” allowed just 23 total pts. last 3 games. Buckeye fans
help fill stadium TV-ESPN2
(07-OHIO ST. 58-N’western 7...O.20-11 O.42/191 N.33/0 O.14/20/1/205 N.17/33/2/120 O.1 N.1)
(07-OSU -23' 58-7 06-Osu -22' 54-10 05-OSU -19 48-7...SR: Ohio State 58-14-1)

MICHIGAN STATE 28 - Purdue 24—Purdue defense yields 4.5 ypc, and
that’s a bad matchup catching MSU star Javon Ringer coming off his worst
game of the season. However, Purdue should get an emotional lift from
Michigan win, as soph QB Siller & RB Sheets produced 7 TDs and 462 yds. total
offense vs. the Wolverines.
(07-Mich. St. 48-PURD. 31...M.22-21 P.25/173 M.54/150 P.29/45/2/344 M.22/31/0/266 M.0 P.1)
(07-Msu +4' 48-31 06-Purdue +2' 17-15 05-PURDUE +4' 28-21...SR: Michigan St. 29-28-3)

North Carolina State 31 - DUKE 28—Resourceful RS frosh QB Russell
Wilson (8 TDP, 2 TDR in his last 4 games) a major difference-maker for rested
Wolfpack, who have covered 5 of previous 6. Speedy, young State defense
getting healthier, while Duke’s stop unit is nicked-up. And, although Blue Devils
are much improved, they’re still learning how to close the deal in tight games.
(DNP...SR: Duke 39-35-5)

TEXAS TECH 38 - Oklahoma State 31—OSU now 8-1 SU and a remarkable
8-0 vs. the spread TY, with an explosive, well-balanced offense and a defense
good enough to hold Chase Daniel & Co. to 23 points at Missouri and Colt
McCoy & Co. to 28 points at Austin. OSU (274 ypg) is also the best rushing
team the improved TT defense has faced. You know Graham Harrell (30 TDs,
5 ints.) will have the Red Raiders scoring often behind his impenetrable OL.
Can Zac Robinson (20 & 5) keep pace?
(07-OK. ST. 49-Tex. Tech 45...T.33-29 O.61/366 T.21/72 T.46/67/0/646 O.17/33/1/244 O.0 T.2)
(07-OSU +6 49-45 06-TECH -6 30-24 05-OSU +23 24-17...SR: Texas Tech 20-12-3)

*Florida 47 - VANDERBILT 13—Since BCS title game hopeful UF (outscored
last 4 SEC foes 201-43) as hot as any team in nation, compelled to “lay it” vs.
regressing Vandy, which has dropped 17 straight in series. Unless Denver QB
Jay Cutler is returning, extra prep week no help to a pedestrian ‘Dore attack (14
pts. or fewer in 4 straight) handcuffed by a fierce Gator defense (12 ppg). And
now that Mr. Tebow (school-record 39 rush TDs) back in Heisman race and RB
Moody back on gridiron (71 yds. in 7 carries vs. Georgia), Meyer’s squad continues
league domination. UF 11-1 vs. spread last 12 reg.-season tilts! TV-ESPN

SOUTH CAROLINA 35 - Arkansas 16—UA is making progress under 1st-year
HC Bobby Petrino. But support bowl-eligible USC, whose head-hunting
defense (SEC-best 250 ypg; 15 ppg) is on a mission after giving up an
embarrassing 541 YR to Darren McFadden & Co. in LY’s 48-36 defeat in
Fayetteville. ‘Cocks fast-rising QB Garcia (hyperextended knee; check status),
who continues to impress demanding Spurrier (not easy task), equipped to burn
young Hog 2ndary that’s allowed an SEC-worst 16 TDP.
(07-ARK. 48-S. Car. 36...A.26-19 A.58/541 S.32/125 S.27/51/0/364 A.9/11/0/109 A.0 S.0)
(07-ARK. -5' 48-36 06-Ark. -2' 26-20 05-Usc +4' 14-10...SR: Arkansas 10-6)

Georgia 35 - KENTUCKY 14—After well-liked HC Richt suffered his worst
loss in 8-yr. career, expect proud UGA to bounce back vs. offensively-sluggish
UK (14 ppg in SEC), ill-equipped to trade in Lexington, where Wildcats just 1-
6 vs. spread last 7. Banged-up UK offense (with alternating QBs Cobb &
Hartline) converting an SEC-low 30% on 3rd down, which means plenty of
scoring opportunities for high-powered Dawg offense, featuring electric RB
Moreno (1055 YR), itching to atone for low-wattage 65- yd. effort vs. Florida.
(07-GA. 24-Ky. 13...G.22-19 G.49/184 K.29/29 K.24/42/1/268 G.12/22/2/99 G.2 K.0)
(07-GEORGIA -7' 24-13 06-KY. +7 24-20 05-GEORGIA -26 45-13...SR: Georgia 48-11-2)

BOISE STATE 49 - Utah State 9—Utah State showing more pluck than John
McCain as it continues to battle for under-fire HC Guy. But quick-footed Boise
“D” (allowing an un-WAC like 9.9 ppg; 2nd in nation!) the perfect antidote vs.
livewire Aggie QB Borel. BCS-hopeful Broncos have made a habit of taking
care of business vs. Utags, winning and covering last 7 meetings (last 2 by 39
and 52, respectively!).
(07-Boise St. 52-UTAH ST. 0...B.26-11 B.45/190 U.30/82 B.28/32/0/294 U.12/24/3/154 B.1 U.1)
(07-Bsu -24' 52-0 06-BSU -38 49-10 05-Bsu -19 45-21...SR: Boise State 10-4)

Oklahoma 52 - TEXAS A&M 20—Trust the Oklahoma offense (49.8 ppg)
enough to overcome its speedy but leaky defense. Improving A&M (emerging
6-5 soph QB Jerrod Johnson has 18 TDs vs. only 4 ints.) possesses scoring
ability. But the Aggie defense (104th in the county) lacks the speed & depth to
slow Sam Bradford (34 TDs, 6 ints.) and the Sooner no-huddle spread. OU 4-
0 vs. line laying 21 or more TY.
(07-OKLA. 42-Tex. A&M 14...O.26-18 O.43/186 T.34/128 O.21/30/0/284 T.15/28/0/155 O.0 T.2)
(07-OKLA. -21 42-14 06-Okla. -2' 17-16 05-OKLA. -13 36-30...SR: Oklahoma 16-10)

RICE 37 - Army 22—Style contrasts in this one about as stark as those between
Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly. And though Army option might be able to move
the chains and the clock vs. undersized Rice “D,” Black Knights have severe
limitations if forced into catch-up mode, evidenced by last week’s loss vs. Air Force.
Dynamic Rice spread, featuring deadeye QB Clement and hybrid TE/RB/QB Casey
capable of extending margin and rewarding Owls with 5th straight home cover. (06-
Rice +10' 48-14...SR: EVEN 1-1-1)

COLORADO 26 - Iowa State 20—The ISU defense (34, 35, 38, 35, 49, 59 last
six games; 1-5 vs. spread) is fading fast. But the Colorado offense has
produced only 21, 14, 14, 14, 0 & 17 points in failing to cover its last six games!
Buffs are juggling QBs Hawkins & Hansen and have lost top rusher Rodney
Stewart (broken leg). CU (4-5), with a win, keeps its slim bowl hopes alive. But
it won’t be easy.
(07-IOWA ST. 31-Colo. 28...I.18-17 I.42/162 C.32/157 C.23/40/0/262 I.13/27/1/189 I.0 C.1)
(07-ISU +4 31-28 06-COLO. -8' 33-16 05-ISU +2 30-16...SR: Colorado 47-14-1)

Memphis 36 - SMU 28—Sure, recent spate of QB injuries finds Memphis
plumbing the depths of its roster. But jukin’ juco RB Curtis Steele (879 YR on
5.9 ypc) gives Tigers HUGE rush edge over feckless SMU ground attack
(nation’s-worst 43 ypg!). That lack of infantry support puts mucho pressure on
Mustangs’ mistake-prone true frosh QB Bo Levi Mitchell, who’s already thrown
19 “picks.”
(07-MEMP. 55-Smu 52 (OT)...M.35-28 M.47/196 S.41/189 S.35/48/2/375 M.32/61/1/343 M.0 S.0)
(07-MEMPHIS -7 55-52 (OT)...SR: Memphis 2-0)

MISSOURI 51 - Kansas State 20—The rebuilding K-State defense (542 ypg
the last six) having problems even slowing the potent offenses of the Big XII this
season, and now the Wildcat offense (10 TOs the last two games) is playing
giveaway. This is the absolute worst formula vs. the loaded Mizzou attack in
Chase Daniel’s last home game. The Tiger defense (16 takeaways) is much
tougher at home, where MU is 11-5-1 vs. spread last 17.
(07-Mo. 49-KAN. ST. 32...M.27-20 K.32/150 M.36/143 M.28/41/0/284 K.26/41/1/256 M.0 K.2)
(07-Mo. -7 49-32 06-MO. -15 41-21 05-KSU -3 36-28...SR: Missouri 57-31-5)

Blade
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Re: Newsletters 11/4 - 11/11

FLORIDA STATE 24 - Clemson 23—Seemingly lost among the wellpublicized
offensive woes that led to Tommy Bowden’s demise at Clemson has
been the staunch play of the Tigers’ speedy defense (only 17 ppg). While we
won’t be surprised if Fla. State ekes out win behind blossoming soph QB
Ponder, unwilling to lay substantial points with Seminoles, who have covered
just 6 of their last 20 as Tallahassee chalk.
(07-CLEM. 24-Fla. St. 18...C.16-8 C.42/132 F.28/114 C.14/24/0/160 F.17/35/0/142 C.1 F.1)
(07-CLEM. +3' 24-18 06-Clem. +4 27-20 05-CLEM. +1' 35-14...SR: Florida State 15-6)

EAST CAROLINA 37 - Marshall 21—Although Marshall usually manages to
mount a strong defense of its Huntington home field, Thundering Herd has
blundered away their backers’ money in 22 of last 28 on road (including recent
SU loss at lowly UAB). ECU’s complementary veteran QBs Pinkney & Kass will
find enough holes in leaky Marshall pass defense (263 ypg) to pilot Pirates to
comfy victory.
(07-MAR. 26-E. Car. 7...M.26-14 M.42/239 E.28/108 M.24/32/0/238 E.16/29/0/151 M.0 E.0)
(07-MARSHALL +7 26-7 06-ECU -7 33-20 05-Ecu +5' 34-29...SR: East Carolina 6-3)

NEBRASKA 27 - Kansas 26—Kansas hasn’t won at Nebraska since 1968
and the days of QB Bobby Douglass, HC Pepper Rodgers, and President LBJ!
The Jayhawk offense has rediscovered overachieving RB Jake Sharp (181 YR
& 4 TDs vs. K-State). However, NU’s offense potent enough to make points
valuable if it can avoid duplicating last week’s self-destruction at Norman.
(07-KAN. 76-Neb. 39...K.34-22 K.49/218 N.23/79 N.25/50/4/405 K.30/41/0/354 K.0 N.1)
(07-KAN. -19' 76-39 06-NEB. -22' 39-32 (OT) 05-KAN. P 40-15...SR: Nebraska 88-23-3)

Penn State 24 - IOWA 21—Rested Penn State has sights set on national
championship, and Texas Tech’s upset of Texas both opens the door and
should serve to warn Nittany Lions of potential pitfalls. However, Iowa owns a
sturdy defense, solid special teams, the No. 3 rusher in the country in Shonn
Greene. Hawkeye faithful organizing “Greene-out” for this match. If Iowa QB
Stanzi avoids mistakes, this one stays close. TV-ABC
(07-PENN ST. 27-Iowa 7...P.26-8 P.50/256 I.28/48 P.18/32/2/233 I.16/29/0/146 P.1 I.0)
(07-PENN STATE -9 27-7...SR: Penn State 12-8)

*BOSTON COLLEGE 27 - Notre Dame 20—Formidable test of Charlie Weis’
motivational powers as he tries to get Irish fired up to end 5-game losing streak
to Catholic rival BC just one week after his youthful squad suffered emotionsapping
4-OT home loss to Pitt. Domers have top offensive weapon on field in
terrific true frosh WR Floyd (601 YR in last 6 games), but host Eagles’ rock-ribbed
front 7 on defense likely to hold sway. TV-ABC
(07-Bos. Col. 27-N. DAME 14...B.21-14 B.34/168 N.21/27 B.32/49/1/291 N.18/49/2/195 B.0 N.0)
(07-Boston College -13' 27-14...SR: Notre Dame 9-8)

TENNESSEE 35 - Wyoming 3—In this intersectional pitting coaches with
pink slips likely in near future, lean to defensively-solid UT (19 ppg, 2.9 ypc),
which has covered 4 of last 5 laying nearly 3 TDs or more. Good chance Vols
slumbering offense finally wakes up vs. yielding Wyo defense that’s permitted
40 pts. or more in 4 of last 6 games. MWC bottom-feeder Cowboys haven’t
covered two straight since Oct. 21, 2006!
(DNP...SR: Tennessee 2-0)

Alabama 24 - LSU 16—In Nick Saban’s (“The game is not about me”) highlyanticipated
return to Baton Rouge, recommend his No. 1-ranked Bama, which
clinches West Division title with victory over nemesis LSU. Tide’s disciplined
sr. QB J.P. Wilson (61%, just 4 ints.), well-supported by punishing run assault
(202 ypg, 22 TDs), far less likely to make critical miscues than Tigers impetuous
triggerman J. Lee, who has thrown 10 ints, with 5 returned for TDs. LSU RBs
find few holes vs. Bama’s impenetrable front 7 (miserly 2.6 ypc & 1 TD) fortified
with return of mammoth, run-stuffing NT Cody. Unfinished Tiger defense,
reportedly missing LY’s 2ndary leadership, has an SEC-low 8 takeaways. TV-CBS
(07-Lsu 41-ALA. 34...L.21-20 L.34/87 A.33/20 L.25/46/3/388 A.14/40/1/234 L.0 A.1)
(07-Lsu -7 41-34 06-LSU -17' 28-14 05-Lsu -3 16-13 (OT)...SR: Alabama 43-23-5)

OREGON 32 - Stanford 13—Jim Harbaugh’s smashmouth tactics have
worked vs. lesser stop units in ‘08. But Oregon has enough “D” (allowing only
2.9 ypc) to prevent Toby Gerhart from pounding away at will, and not convinced
erratic Stanford QB Pritchard can compensate if infantry diversion not
available. Meanwhile, Ducks’ 2-headed monster at RB (J. Johnson & L. Blount
combined 22 TDs) a nice complement for juco QB Masoli. Note UO has won
and covered last 6 vs. the Tree.
(07-Ore. 55-STAN. 31...O.26-19 O.46/222 S.32/140 O.27/37/0/367 S.25/44/1/262 O.3 S.1)
(07-Ore. -18 55-31 06-ORE. -12 48-10 05-Ore. -6' 44-20...SR: Stanford 44-26-1)

*Arizona State 34 - WASHINGTON 15—Was competitive effort at Oregon
State an indicator that ASU ready to shake debilitating slump (and its longest
losing streak since Herbert Hoover was president?). We’re not sure, but we do
know that we don’t have the nerve to pick the spot when winless U-Dub next
delivers a competitive effort under lame-duck Ty Willingham, who was fired last
week prior to the SC game. Sun Devils can extend margin if they can balance
“O” with infantry as they did at Corvallis (RB DeWitty 110 YR).
(07-ARIZ. ST. 44-Wash. 20...A.23-13 A.49/296 W.32/146 A.20/31/1/227 W.10/30/1/142 A.0 W.1)
(07-ASU -11' 44-20 06-Asu -1' 26-23 (OT) 05-ASU -16' 44-20...SR: Washington 15-12)

Hawaii 35 - NEW MEXICO STATE 23—Since injury-plagued NMS beset with
more problems than 4-5 bowl-seeking UH, prefer to buck sliding Aggies, who
can’t run a lick without injured RB Colston, generating a paltry 109 yds. in last
93 attempts (1.7 ypc). Warriors decent QBs Alexander and/or Funaki work
play-action vs. Charmin-soft NMS run defense (5.8 ypc). Resilient UH 9-3 vs.
spread last 12 following SU loss.
(07-HAWAII 50-N. Mex. St. 13...N.28-26 N.27/77 H.14/67 H.29/46/1/425 N.41/59/3/365 H.1 N.0)
(07-HAWAII -29' 50-13 06-Hawaii -19 49-30 05-HAWAII -20' 49-28...SR: Hawaii 4-0)

*HOUSTON 37 - Tulane 20—Both sides have suffered key offensive injuries
recently. Although plucky Green Wave defense trying hard not to cave,
Houston still has enough weapons to continue recent series dominance that
has seen Cougars cover 5 straight meetings while winning each of last 4 tilts by
at least 21 points.
(07-Hou. 34-TULANE 10...H.24-16 H.35/201 T.29/85 H.24/34/2/304 T.18/43/2/228 H.1 T.0)
(07-Hou. -14' 34-10 06-HOU. -14 45-7 05-Hou. -2 35-14 at Lafayette...SR: Houston 9-4)

*AIR FORCE 38 - Colorado State 20—Tricky psychological spot for CSU,
which just missed chance at season-saving upset vs. BYU. And Rams now
back on road, where they’ve yet to cover in four tries TY. Frosh QB Jefferson
adding speed dimension to Air Force “option-spread” looks, and must
acknowledge Falcs’ pointspread prowess since HC Calhoun arrived LY (7-1 vs.
line at home,15-5 vs. points overall!).
(07-A. Force 45-COLO. ST. 21...A.26-24 A.69/385 C.43/224 C.16/29/4/156 A.3/5/0/52 A.1 C.0)
(07-Afa +3 45-21 06-AFA -6 24-21 05-CSU -3' 41-23...SR: Air Force 26-19-1)

UCLA 22 - Oregon State 20—It’s a good thing UCLA isn’t appearing on
Dancing with the Stars, as Bruno Tonioli would surely dock Bruins some style
points. And Rick Nueheisel reportedly toying with the idea of giving frosh QB
Forcier a look in wake of juco QB Craft’s ongoing struggles. But UCLA has
mysteriously brought out the worst in OSU lately (Bruins have won and covered
last 5), and Beavs might be minus catalyst QB Moevao (KO’d with shoulder
injury last week vs. ASU).
(07-Ucla 40-ORE. ST. 14...U.17-15 U.50/133 O.38/102 U.14/25/1/220 O.22/35/2/146 U.2 O.3)
(07-Ucla +2' 40-14 06-UCLA +1' 25-7 05-UCLA -9 51-28...SR: UCLA 39-13-4)

Arizona 52 - WASHINGTON STATE 0—Is Wazzu on verge of being relegated
to Big Sky Conference? And would Cougs fare any better vs. Weber State &
Montana anyway? With Wazzu outscored 172-0 since 2nd Q of Oregon State
debacle (10+ quarters ago), we’re really not sure where this pointspread might
end up. Final margin can be whatever Mike Stoops wants it to be.
(07-ARIZ. 48-Wash. St. 20...A.28-27 A.45/221 W.25/71 W.35/58/2/347 A.22/31/0/346 A.1 W.0)
(07-ARIZONA -2' 48-20 06-Arizona +16 27-17...SR: Arizona 22-13)

Southern Miss 29 - UCF 24—While we acknowledge that UCF has been
profitable play at home since moving into new on-campus stadium LY, edge in
firepower possessed by visiting USM (gaining nearly 220 more ypg than last-innation
Knight offense!) so stark that it’s tough to consider supporting host.
(07-Ucf 34-S. MISS 17...21-21 U.53/219 S.31/159 U.12/16/0/162 S.20/29/3/144 U.0 S.1)
(07-Ucf +3 34-17 06-Usm -6 19-14 05-USM -8' 52-31...SR: Southern Miss 2-1)

*TEXAS 38 - Baylor 17—Texas has buried Baylor by 34 ppg in the Bears’ last
four trips to Austin. However, those were the days before BU’s inspirational HC
Art Briles and marvelous frosh QB Robert Griffin (went a record 209 atts. before
his first int. last week). And before the Longhorns blew the top spot in the BCS
rankings with one second left at Texas Tech! (Should UT have risked burning more
clock before scoring its last TD in Lubbock?)
(07-Texas 31-BAY. 10...T.27-19 T.46/177 B.18/8 T.25/36/2/293 B.32/56/4/284 T.1 B.0)
(07-Texas -25' 31-10 06-TEXAS -27 63-31 05-Texas -29 62-0...SR: Texas 71-22-4)

*WEST VIRGINIA 28 - Cincinnati 26—After rocky start under new HC Bill
Stewart, Mountaineers have re-established themselves as the team to beat in
Big East with 5 straight victories. Star QB Pat White and underrated WV
defense (allowing just 16 ppg) might help push host’s win streak to 6. But
Bearcats likely to die hard now that accurate jr. QB Tony Pike (20 of 28 for 281
yards & 2 TDs last week) back under center. TV-ESPNU
(07-W. Va. 28-CINCY 23...W.24-17 W.61/295 C.30/84 C.19/34/0/323 W.13/19/1/140 W.2 C.2)
(07-Wva -6 28-23 06-WVA -18 42-24 05-Wva -14 38-0...SR: West Virginia 14-1-1)

Louisville 24 - PITTSBURGH 23—Since Pitt (just 2-10-1 vs. spread last 13
at home) has failed to develop any meaningful edge at Heinz Field, can’t count
on Panthers’ momentum from last week’s 4-OT win at Notre Dame carrying
through to this game. Cards counter Pitt star RB LeSean McCoy with RS frosh
V. Anderson (840 YR on 6.2 ypc), and Louisville sr. QB Cantwell is most
confident passer on field.
(07-LVL. 24-Pitt 17...L.23-15 L.39/120 P.35/107 L.21/30/1/236 P.11/21/0/163 L.0 P.1)
(07-LVL. -10 24-17 06-Lvl. -10' 48-24 05-LVL. -20' 42-20...SR: Louisville 7-4)

MINNESOTA 27 - Michigan 16—Prefer to lay the points with Minnesota,
although must check key Gopher WR Eric Decker’s ankle injury. Obviously,
Michigan defense in tatters, as that unit has yielded 40 ppg in Big Ten play.
After being eliminated from bowl picture and saddled with worst record at Ann
Arbor in 30 years, it’s qestionable how senior-laden Wolverine “D” will react.
TV-ESPN
(07-MI. 34-Minn. 10...Mc.22-16 Mc.49/307 Mn.36/132 Mc.12/21/0/254 Mn.14/30/0/99 Mc.2 Mn.1)
(07-MICH. -23' 34-10 06-Mich. -9' 28-14 05-Minn. +7' 23-20...SR: Michigan 69-24-3)

*SOUTHERN CAL 27 - California 16—We doubt Pete Carroll will enlist Will
Ferrell for another practice field stunt with serious football matters finally athand after latest romp past another Pac-10 stiff (Washington). And even though
SC’s top-ranked “D” doing a pretty good imitation of Pittsburgh’s old Steel
Curtain defense, Jeff Tedford’s clever Cal “O” has a lot more dimensions than
the many impotent attacks Troy has stonewalled in recent weeks. Bear d.c.
Gregory also well familiar with Trojan “O” that’s scored far below average in last
2 series meetings. TV—ABC
(07-S. Cal 24-CAL. 17...C.25-19 S.48/239 C.45/200 C.13/29/2/199 S.11/20/0/129 S.2 C.1)
(07-Usc -4' 24-17 06-USC -5' 23-9 05-Usc -18' 35-10...SR: Southern Cal 60-30-5)

*New Mexico 24 - UNLV 16—UNLV in midst of annual late-season fade, but
Rebs hadn’t endured a true meltdown TY until last week’s beatdown, courtesy
TCU. And now, with livewire soph QB Clayton likely KO’d by knee injury, very
green RS frosh Clausen in line for unenviable task of solving Rocky Long’s
unorthodox 3-3-5 New Mexico stop unit. Expect Lobo RB Ferguson to do some
business vs. soft UNLV stop unit allowing hefty 5.2 ypc.
(07-N. MEX. 27-Unlv 6...16-16 N.38/173 U.34/91 N.19/33/2/210 U.15/40/2/142 N.2 U.0)
(07-UNM -11' 27-6 06-Unm -2' 39-36 (OT) 05-UNM -15 24-22...SR: New Mexico 9-6)

ADDED GAMES

TROY 38 - Western Kentucky 14—Troy is the Sun Belt kingpin, with a 12-4-
1 spread mark in last 17 conference games. WKU joins the loop next season
and has “warmed up” by losing last 4 vs. Sun Belt foes (0-2 vs. spread).
Hilltopper “D” couldn’t handle then-winless North Texas attack last week, and
offense was sloppy...that’s a bad combination.
(07-Troy 21-W. KY. 17...W.20-17 W.49/256 T.44/241 W.12/23/2/160 T.13/26/1/122 T.0 W.1)
(07-Troy (NL) 21-17...SR: Troy 5-0-1)

*FLORIDA ATLANTIC 31 - North Texas 21—This is a lot of wood to chop for
Schnellenberger’s banged-up FAU squad. Owls are 0-2 laying double digits in 5
years on the line, and NT QB Vizza has 296 ypg passing & 9 TD strikes in last 4
games. Mean Green confidence bolstered by rare win (at WKU) last week.
(07-Fla. Atl. 30-N. TEX. 20...N.29-17 N.27/165 F.28/84 F.21/45/0/322 N.38/61/3/301 F.0 N.0)
(07-Fau -6' 30-20 06-Fau +5 17-16 05-FAU -3' 26-23...SR: Florida Atlantic 4-0)

*LA.-LAFAYETTE 48 - Utep 30—Go-with vs. go-against. ULL has covered 7
straight, while meandering Miners just 3-9 vs. spread their last 12. With dynamic
senior duo of RB Fenroy (1000 YR in each of his 4 seasons) & QB Desormeaux
running roughshod over UTEP defense permitting 5.2 ypc, Ragin’ Cajuns
continue to roll. (FIRST MEETING)

*Arkansas State 24 - FLORIDA INTL. 23—After being derailed by Bama’s
formidable stop unit, ASU’s well-balanced attack gets back on track vs. fading
FIU defense that’s allowed 82 pts. last two games. However, Red Wolves only
1-6 as a road favorite last 5+Ys.
(07-ASU 27-Fiu 24...A.18-15 A.41/177 F.42/140 A.19/30/0/174 F.9/19/2/110 A.0 F.0)
(07-ASU -17 27-24 06-Asu +7' 31-6 05-ASU -9 66-24...SR: Arkansas State 3-0)

MIDDLE TENNESSEE ST. 24 - La.-Monroe 23—Status of ULM QB
Lancaster ? after he was KO’d in 4th Q last week vs. Troy, but Warhawks won’t
mind going to battle with backup Revell, who completed all 5 of his passes on
winning TD drive in upset win over Trojans. Meanwhile, Rick Stockstill
continuing to let playmaking MTSU QB Dasher mostly languish on bench while
waiting for erratic starter Craddock to display some consistency.
(07-Mts 43-LA.-MON. 40...L.30-23 L.47/360 M.35/98 M.22/29/0/401 L.24/38/2/264 M.0 L.2)
(07-Mts -3' 43-40 06-Mts -3' 35-21 05-Ulm +11 34-31...SR: Middle Tenn. St. 6-2)

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