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Saturday's List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind........
13) Guess those commercials will never end now; Peyton Manning just bought 21 Papa John’s pizza places in the Denver area; I’m not sure I could afford to buy 21 pizzas, much less buildings. Must be nice.
12) Pro Football Focus, an excellent website, has a cool stat where they track “Ball in Air” passing stats; Eli Manning leads with 1,374 yards (196.3/game); what it is simply passing yardage minus yards after catch. West Coast Offense QB’s would fare very poorly in this category.
11) Mets moved their AAA farm team from Buffalo to Las Vegas, another head-scratcher, unless they have no plans to actually bring a player up from AAA. Their AA team is in Binghamton, so maybe that’s where the quick call-ups will come from.
10) In 2005, Game 1 of the White Sox-Astros World Series drew a 9.5 rating, competing against college football on a night where traditionally less people watch TV. Game 1 this year, on a Wednesday, competing against nothing but an NBA exhibition game on NBAtv, drew a 7.6 rating. Not good.
9) Nine of 12 ACC basketball coaches have had their jobs for three years or less; Coach K, Roy Williams and Leonard Hamilton long-timers.
8) Long Beach State is picked #1 in the Big West hoop rankings, last time for a long time that someone other than San Diego State (joining league next year) will be the Big West’s top pick.
7) Atlantic-10 will have 16 basketball teams this winter, confusing more people everywhere; league loses Temple (Big East), Charlotte (C-USA) next year, so they’ll be back to 14 teams.
6) Speaking of which, the Big East has 15 basketball teams this year, but loses Syracuse-Pitt-Notre Dame after this season, while adding teams from all over. I actually have no idea how many teams (16?) they’ll have next season. Big East adds Temple-UCF-Memphis-SMU, so I guess it’ll be 16, unless I’m forgetting someone. Boise State, San Diego State are just in league for football.
5) ESPN.com reports that support staff for Florida State’s football program does 84 hours of laundry a week. That’s 12 hours a day, every day.
4) Big Dozen averaged 12,868 fans per basketball game LY, 1,300+ more per game than any other college league in America.
3) How would today’s NFL be different if Archie Manning hadn’t strong-armed his youngest son away from playing for the Chargers, who drafted him, but then traded him to the Giants?
2) Its very possible the Tigers are going to lose the World Series because Prince Fielder, whose dad also played in the major leagues, doesn’t know how to slide. How is that possible?
1) I need to know more about the stock market, it interests me but I’m stupid about it. Riddle me this; Apple has to be making a fortune with these new IPhones; they sold almost 27M of them, but because their quarterly profits will not meet previous expectations, price of Apple Stock has fallen 100+ points in the last month.
But they’re still making a lot of money right? Someday I’ll figure all this out.
Northwestern won five of last seven games with Iowa, with underdogs winning sox of the seven SU; Hawkeyes lost four of last six visits here, but none of the losses was by more than 4 points (dogs 5-1 vs spread in games played here). Wildcats were outscored in second half of last four games, outscored 29-14/19-14 in second half of their two losses; they’re 3-0-1 as favorites this year, improving them to 6-13 as home favorites under Fitzgerald. Iowa is just 3-3 vs I-A opponents, scoring 19 or less points in three of last five games, despite a +6 turnover ratio; they won only true road game in OT at Michigan State, are 8-6 as road underdogs since 2007.
Spreads on Alabama games are getting inflated because they’ve been so good this year, with no win by less than 19 points. Mississippi State is 7-0 and still getting 24 points here; they’ve lost nine of last 11 and four in row vs Bama by average score of 29-7- they lost 30-10/32-7 in last two visits here. State’s 7-0 record came vs three Sun Belt teams, I-AA Jackson State and three SEC teams with losing records, so they’re stepping way up in class here. Crimson Tide just went on road for two games and crushed Missouri 42-10, Tennessee 44-13; one caveat here is that their biggest game, the LSU game, is next Saturday in Baton Rouge. Five of six Bulldog games stayed under the total.
Wisconsin has turned their season around, winning last three games (after sluggish 3-2 start) by 17-24-25 points, while running ball for average of 305.7 yards/game, which is what they’ve done in past; home teams won their last six games with Michigan State, with underdogs covering six of last seven. Spartans lost last three visits here, by 8-3-35 points. MSU lost three of last four games, with all three losses by 3 or less points, scoring 16 or less points in all three games- under is 6-1-1 in their games this season, but four of last five Wisconsin games went over. Wisconsin is 10-3 in last 13 tries as a home favorite. Badgers beat State 42-39 in Big Dozen title game last December.
7-0 Florida covered its last six games, outscoring four best teams they’ve played 74-11 in second half; they’ve been underdog in three of their seven games. Gators have been so dominant they’ve abandoned the pass, throwing for 61-77-94 yards in last three games, but they might need it here vs 6-1 Georgia team that scored 29+ points in every game but its 35-7 loss at South Carolina. Dawgs failed to cover their last four games as a dog. Georgia beat Florida 24-20 LY, just their 4th win in last 22 games in this old-time rivalry; last two meetings were decided by total of 7 points. Dogs are 6-4 vs spread in last 10 series games, with Florida 5-3-1 vs spread last nine times they were a series favorite.
Home team covered all seven of North Carolina’s lined games this year, with UNC 3-0 as home favorite, winning those games by average score of 47-13. NC State is 2-2 on road, winning close games at UConn/Maryland, losing on last play at Miami- they beat Carolina the last five years, despite being underdog in last four meetings; Wolfpack won last two visits here, 41-10/29-25. Tar Heels got upset at Duke last week; they’re 0-3 this year when they have negative turnover ratio. 5-2 State won its last two games by combined total of 3 points; they’re 2-4 in last six games as road underdog, after covering 12 of first 18 such games under O’Brien. Four of last five Wolfpack games stayed under the total.
Favorites covered all six of Arizona State’s lined games this season; Sun Devils are 4-0 as favorites, 2-0 at home, but they got smoked at home (down 43-7 at half) by Oregon last week, as Ducks had 406 yards rushing. Home side won last four UCLA-ASU games, with Bruins losing 55-34/34-9 in last two visits here; UCLA had last week off- they’ve won two of three road games, but were favored in all three. Bruins covered only game as an underdog- they were 6-16 as road underdogs under Neuheisel, their last coach. Since 2007, ASU is now 16-11 vs spread as a home favorite. Four of last five games for both sides stayed under the total. UCLA had last week off; ASU played last Thursday.
8-0 Ohio State needed OT to survive Purdue last week, and hung on to beat Indiana 52-49 the week before, so they’re vulnerable, even moreso if QB Miller can’t go here (he’s expected to play); Buckeyes won three of its last four visits to Penn State- underdogs covered four of last five series games played here. Penn State won/covered last five games after an 0-2 start, allowing an average of 13.8 ppg; Northwestern was only one of those five opponents to score more than 14 points. Lions are 3-1 as home favorites under O’Brien, after covering only four of previous 17 tries- they’ve thrown ball for 282+ yards in three of last four games. OSU won its two road games (Mich State/Indiana) by combined total of 4 points.
6-0 Oregon State won seven of its last eight games with Washington, losing 35-34 in last visit here; they’ve won four of last five visits to Seattle, and covered last five times they were favored to beat Huskies. Beavers’ last three wins are all by 13+ points despite playing backup QB Vaz. OSU already has road wins at UCLA/Arizona/BYU- they’ve been underdog in four of six lined games. Since 2004, OSU is 9-5 as a road favorite. Washington got waxed 52-17 last week at Arizona, its third loss in row (average score, 43-17); home team covered Huskies’ last five games. Washington is 2-0 as home dog this year- they’re 6-4 overall as home dogs under Sarkisian. Four of six OSU games stayed under the total.
7-0 Kansas State comes home off smashing 55-14 at West Virginia LW (TY 479-243, was 31-7 at half); Wildcats (+3) upset Texas Tech 41-34 in Lubbock LY, after having lost 66-14/58-28 in previous two series games; total yardage in game LY was 580-241 Tech, but K-State was +4 in turnovers and got the win. K-State is 2-1 as home favorite this year, 8-5 in last 13 tries under Snyder, who is legit miracle worker for job he’s done in Little Apple. Wildcats are +13 in turnovers this season, with only 4 giveaways. 6-1 Tech hammered Tech two weeks ago, they pulled out OT win at TCU last week, so this is third tough game in row for them; teams been having trouble in that role this season.
TCU’s first year in Big X has been hampered by its star QB getting a DIU and suspended for season, but they scored 53 points last week in OT loss to Texas Tech; Horned Frogs are 4-0 as road underdogs since ’09, winning 49-21 SU at Baylor (+7) in only game as road dog this season. 5-2 TCU is -7 in turnovers in its two losses, +10 in its wins- they have road wins at Kansas (20-6, -21), SMU (24-16, -15 in downpour). Oklahoma State gave up 59-41 points in its two losses; they allowed 23-14-10 in three wins vs I-A teams, are trying to run ball more to protect banged up young QB’s; their starting QB this year is nine years younger than LY’s starter (Weeden), now a 28-year old rookie in NFL.
Arkansas hammered Auburn (24-7, +8), Kentucky (49-7, -18) last two weeks after 1-4 start; curious to see if they’ve snapped their funk by beating Ole Miss team they beat 29-24/38-24 last two years. Favorites are 7-3 vs spread in last ten series games; Rebels lost four of last five visits here, with all four losses by 14+ points. New Ole Miss coach Freeze has Rebels at surprisingly good 4-3, with tough loss to A&M; Rebels are 10-4 vs spread in last 14 games as road underdog. Hogs were 13-4-1 as home favorite from ’09-’11, but are 1-2 this year, giving up average of 40.3 ppg in their three home losses (2-3 SU). Three of last four Arkansas games went over total; three of last four Rebel games stayed under.
Look at their schedule; if Notre Dame wins this game, only real threat between them and unbeaten regular season would be at USC Nov 24; Irish play great defense, allowing 11 ppg in 7-0 start, but other than Miami, none of those seven opponents have dynamic passing games. ND covered five of last six tries as road underdog, winning 20-3 (+6) SU at Michigan State in their only true road game this season. Oklahoma scored 41-63-52 points in winning three league games since getting upset 24-19 (-16) at home by Kansas State; Sooners had only one takeaway (-4) in first three games, have nine (+6) in last three. Since ’06, Oklahoma is 24-12-1 vs spread as a home favorite.
Michigan (-3) beat Nebraska 45-17 LY, outgaining Cornhuskers 418-260, 238-135 on ground, in first meeting as conference rivals (Nebraska won ’05 bowl game, 32-28). Since 2007, Wolverines are 4-9 vs spread as road underdogs; they’re 0-2 this year, losing 41-14 (+12) to Alabama in Dallas, then 13-6 (+6) at Notre Dame- they completed only 31 of 61 passes in last three games. Nebraska is 4-0 (2-1 as home favorite) in Lincoln, but over last six games, Huskers are -10 in turnovers, coughing ball up 18 times- they escaped Northwestern last week with 29-28 win after late rally, passing for an un-Huskerlike 342 yards. Nebraska is 13-17 vs spread as a home favorite under Pelini.
-- How many Hawai'i players you think have seen snow? It snowed in Fort Collins Friday; Hawai'i is a 6-point dog in high altitude and snow.
-- Wisconsin covered 11 of last 13 as a Big Dozen home favorite.
-- In his three D-I coaching stops, Brian Kelly is 12-6-1 as a road dog.
-- Underdog is 15-5 vs spread in NC State-North Carolina series.
-- Ohio won its last six games (5-1 vs spread) against Miami.
-- Central Michigan covered twice in its last 21 lined games.
-- Favorite covered 13 of last 19 Indiana-Illinois games.
-- Purdue covered 10 of last 13 games against Minnesota.
-- Underdog covered 12 of last 14 Iowa-Northwestern games.
-- Oregon is 19-9-2 vs spread in last 30 Pac-12 home games.
-- Vanderbilt covered five of last six as a home favorite.
-- Wyoming covered six of last seven as a double digit underdog.
-- SMU is 4-15 in last 19 games as a home favorite.
-- Home side covered 14 of last 18 Ole Miss-Arkansas games.
-- Home side covered five of last six UTEP-Houston games.
-- Arizona is 10-3-1 in last 14 games as a home underdog.
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a college football Saturday .....
13) USC’s 39-36 loss at Arizona really helps Kansas State, since Oregon/Notre Dame still have to play the Trojans, so it’ll put a crimp in their strength of schedule. What happens if Alabama-Oregon-Notre Dame-Kansas State all win out? Chaos, that’s what.
12) If you had NC State +7.5 at North Carolina Saturday, you might be the victim of worst bad beat in college football history. State led 35-32 until UNC tied the game with 1:24 left, then when Wolfpack punted after a 3-and-out, Giovani Bernard ran the punt back 74 yards for the winning TD with 0:13 left. But you had the Wolfpack +7.5, right? I had the Tar Heels if I was honest and was pleasantly surprised.
For some unknown reason, UNC’s punter fakes the PAT and the Tar Heels get two points and the cover!!!
Carolina coach Larry Fedora has some ‘splaining to do, people. I didn’t have either side in the game, but it appears as if Carolina was blatantly trying to beat the pointspread, no?
11) USC WR Marquis Lee caught 16 passes for 345 yards; the other Trojans caught 15 for 148. But Arizona upset the Trojans 39-36, forcing five USC turnovers (+4), in a penalty-marred game (total of 27 penalties for 246 yards).
Big win for Rich Rodriguez’ team, which trailed 21-13 at the half. Horrible play calling by Lane Kiffen in the 2nd half and Barkley seems to miss a wide open Robert Woods for a touchdown every game that may have put the game away before Zona had a chance to come back.
10) Florida-Georgia was another flagfest (24 penalties for 227 yards), and a very sloppy game to boot, with far too much yapping between players. 539 total yards, 227 penalty yards, but Georgia beat Florida for the second year in row, 17-9. Big win for Mark Richt.
9) Texas A&M 63, Auburn 21, at Auburn. Aggies play a freshman QB, but Auburn is in total freefall. As long as Nick Saban is running amok with th Crimson Tide, the Auburn job is a death trap. They won the national title two years ago, and will probably change coaches this winter.
8) Washington Huskies might be weirdest team in America; they upset Oregon State 20-17, their second top 10 upset of the year, but they’ve also lost three games by 30+ points. Hard to figure, but at 4-4, and with Utah-Colorado-Cal-Wazzu left to play, Washington figures to go bowling.
7) In the NBA, Oklahoma City traded James Harden to Houston in a six-player deal; San Antonio Spurs are only team in league that didn’t make a trade this offseason.
6) Rutgers was unbeaten, until bowl-bound Kent State of MAC outrushed them 224-96 and upset the Knights 35-23. Rutgers threw six INTs, was -5 in turnovers, so its easy to see how they lost.
5) Michigan QB Denard Robinson left (elbow) with an injury in second quarter; his replacement was 3-16 for 38 yards passing, as Wolverines got beat 23-9 at Nebraska.
How does Michigan not have a QB who can pass?
4) Big day for two kick returners; Utah’s Reggie Dunn had a couple of 100-yard TDs on kick returns; UCF’s Quincy McDuffie had kick return TDs of 97/98 yards, as both teams had decisive wins.
3) South Florida led 23-3 at halftime over Syracuse, but fell apart in second half and lost on the last play, 37-36, their sixth loss in a row. Bulls had 369 rushing yards and still lost.
2) Would’ve been nice to see Oregon State-Washington game, but DirecTV doesn’t have the Pac-12 Network. Does it help a league to have its games hidden from a big chunk of the country?
1) Our thoughts and prayers to South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, who hurt his knee Saturday, an injury that appeared to be very serious. Get well soon, young man.