Cnotes 2017 College Football Picks-Trends-News Etc. !

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    [B][I]Friday’s Tip Sheet
    August 29, 2017[/I][/B]

    There are six lined games set for Friday of Week 1 in college football. Washington begins its quest to get back to the College Football Playoff by heading across the country into New Jersey. Wisconsin is at home looking to avoid an upset bid from Utah State that nearly resulted in a shocking loss at Camp Randall five years ago.

    We’ll tackle those two games before touching on the others in Bonus Nuggets.

    [B]**Washington at Rutgers**

    –[/B] As of Tuesday, most betting shops had Washington installed as a 27.5-point road favorite with a total of 52 for ‘over/under’ wagers. The Huskies opened as 31-point ‘chalk’ at most books in late June, but the number was heavily adjusted Monday morning.

    [B]–[/B] When these schools met last season in the opener at Husky Stadium, Washington raced out to a 48-3 third-quarter lead en route to a 48-13 spread-covering victory as a 25-point home ‘chalk.’ The 61 combined points slipped ‘over’ the 56-point total thanks to RU’s 10-yard TD run from Janarion Grant with 5:53 remaining. The Scarlet Knights committed three turnovers and allowed the Huskies to score a pair of touchdowns on special teams. UW’s Jake Browning completed 18-of-27 throws for 287 yards and three TDs with one interception. Dante Pettis had a 68-yard punt return for a score. Grant had nine catches for 56 yards in the losing effort. He combined for 160 all-purpose yards on 18 total touches.
    [B]
    — Washington[/B] went 12-2 straight up and 7-7 against the spread last season. The Huskies made the College Football Playoff for the first time in school history, losing 24-7 to Alabama in the semifinals as 14-point underdogs at the Ga. Dome in Atlanta. They beat four ranked teams, including a 41-10 win as 7.5-point ‘chalk’ over Colorado at the Pac-12 Championship Game. Chris Petersen’s only other defeat came at home to Southern Cal by a 26-13 count. UW had notable scalps vs. Stanford (44-6), at Utah (31-24) and at Washington State (45-17).

    [B]– Washington[/B] returns seven starters on offense and six on defense. With the exception of leading receiver John Ross, Petersen’s squad brings back all of its skill players on offense. Browning, a junior who has already started 26 games and garnered fourth-team All-American honors in 2016, completed 62.1 percent of his passes last year for 3,430 yards with a 43/9 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Pettis also returns after hauling in 53 receptions for 822 yards and 15 TDs. Junior RB Myles Gaskin earned first-team All Pac-12 honors by rushing for 1,373 yards and 10 TDs while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Gaskin also had 19 catches for 137 yards and one TD. Senior RB Lavon Coleman provided excellent depth, rushing for 852 yards and seven TDs with a 7.5 YPC average.
    [B]
    — Washington’s[/B] defense gave up merely 17.7 points per game in 2016. This unit is led by two senior linebackers in Keishawn Bierria and Azeem Victor and a pair of junior defensive tackles, Greg Gaines and Vita Vea. There’s also a true sophomore safety in Taylor Rapp, who was a second-team Freshman All-American after recording 53 tackles and four interceptions. Bierria had 70 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, and two passes broken up, while Victor produced 67 tackles and three TFL’s. Vea had 39 tackles, five sacks, 1.5 TFL’s, two PBU and two QB hurries, and Gaines tallied 35 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 4.5 TFL’s.

    [B]– UW[/B] announced Monday a one-game suspension for Victor and a two-game suspension for reserve CB Austin Joyner, who had 10 tackles and one interception in 12 games as a freshman last year. Also, starting sophomore LB D.J. Beavers is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Beavers started four games in ’16, contributing 40 tackles, 0.5 TFL’s, one interception and one PBU.

    [B]– Washington[/B] owns a 6-3 spread record in nine games as a road favorite during Petersen’s first three years at the school. The Huskies are just 2-3 versus the number in five games as double-digit road ‘chalk’ under Petersen. This is their biggest road favorite spot since Petersen took over.

    [B]– Rutgers[/B] limped to a 2-10 SU record and a 4-8 ATS mark in its first season under head coach Chris Ash, who came to RU after two seasons of serving as co-DC at Ohio State under Urban Meyer. The Scarlet Knights got their only wins of ’16 at home over Howard (52-14) and New Mexico (37-28). They finished the year on a nine-game losing streak, dropping six of those nine (and seven total) by double-digit margins, including losses of 58-0 at Ohio State, 78-0 vs. Michigan, 49-0 at Michigan State and 39-0 vs. Penn State. RU was -2,010 net yards for the season with a minus-five turnover margin.

    [B]– Rutgers[/B] brings back six starters on offense and eight on defense. The new starting QB is Kyle Bolin, a grad transfer from Louisville who was stuck on the bench behind last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson. In three years at U of L that included six starts under center, Bolin completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,104 yards with a 13/10 TD-INT ratio.

    [B]–[/B] Grant is RU’s best player who went down with a season-ending injury in the fourth game last year. He is a three-time All-Big Ten selection as a return specialist. Before getting injured in ’16, he had already produced 20 catches for 210 yards. Also, Grant had rushed for 138 yards and three TDs on just 16 attempts for an 8.6 YPC average. He also had two TDs on special teams.
    [B]
    –[/B] When Bolin isn’t targeting Grant, his next-favorite target will be sophomore Jawuan Harris, who had a team-high 39 receptions for 481 yards and three TDs in ’16. RU also returns its leading rusher in senior Robert Martin, who had 625 yards for two TDs with a 5.2 YPC average.

    [B]– After RU’s[/B] offense averaged an abysmal 15.7 PPG last season, Ash hired former Minnesota and No. Illinois head coach Jerry Kill as his new offensive coordinator. This is the eighth different OC at RU in eight years.

    [B]– RU’s[/B] defense surrendered 37.5 PPG in ’16. This unit brings back its top two tacklers, junior LB Trevor Morris (102, 1 sack) and junior LB Deonte Roberts (95, 1 INT).
    [B]
    — Fox Sports 1[/B] will provide the telecast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

    [B]**Utah State at Wisconsin**

    — [/B]As of Tuesday, most books had Wisconsin favored by 27.5 points with a total of 52. The Aggies were 35/1 on the money line at 5Dimes.eu (risk $100 to win $3,500).
    [B]
    — Wisconsin[/B] finished ’16 with an 11-3 SU record and a stellar 10-3-1 ATS mark. The Badgers’ losses came against teams that were ranked second, fourth and eighth in the nation at the time. They covered the spread in losses at Michigan (14-7 as 10.5-point underdogs) and vs. Ohio State (30-23 in overtime as 10.5-point ‘dogs), and the other defeat came to Penn State (38-31) at the Big Ten Championship Game. Wisconsin had three victories over top-10 teams at the time they played, winning 30-6 at eighth-ranked Michigan State in Week 4. The Badgers also knocked off fifth-ranked LSU (16-14) in the season opener at Lambeau Field and beat seventh-ranked Nebraska 23-17 in overtime.

    [B]– Wisconsin[/B] won a 24-16 decision over previously-undefeated and 12th-ranked Western Michigan at the Cotton Bowl, hooking up its backers as a 7.5-point favorite.

    [B]– Paul Chryst’s team[/B] is 21-6 SU and 17-9-1 ATS since he took over for Gary Andersen in 2015. He was Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator from 2005-11 when the school set offensive records galore. Chryst was the head coach at Pitt from 2012-14, taking the Panthers to three bowl games while going 19-19.

    [B]– Wisconsin[/B] owns a 5-4-1 spread record with one outright loss in nine games as a double-digit home favorite during Chryst’s tenure.

    [B]– Wisconsin[/B] already lost All-American candidate Jack Cichy to a season-ending ACL tear a few weeks ago. In seven games before getting injured last season, Cichy had 60 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5.5 TFL’s, two PBU and three QB hurries. Now sophomore LB Zack Baun (foot) is out for the season. Baun had 15 tackles and 3.5 TFL’s last year. Reserve RB Taiwan Deal is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Deal rushed 32 times for 164 yards last year, averaging 5.1 YPC.
    [B]
    — Wisconsin[/B] returns eight starters on offense and six on defense. The defense gave up merely 15.6 PPG and had 34 sacks. This unit was led by rising junior LB T.J. Edwards, who produced 89 tackles, three sacks, 5.5 TFL’s, three interceptions, three QB hurries, two PBU and one forced fumble despite missing the first two games of the year. Senior safety D’Cota Dixon is another standout player, registering 60 tackles, four interceptions, four QB hurries, four PBU, one sack, 1.5 TFL’s, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in ’16.

    [B]–[/B] As a redshirt freshman last year, Alex Hornibrook started nine games at QB. The southpaw completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,262 yards with a 9/7 TD-INT ratio. The Badgers are hoping he can make a big jump in improvement in ’17. Hornibrook will have his two favorite targets back, senior WR Jazz Peavy and senior TE Troy Fumagalli, a second-team All Big-Ten pick last season. Peavy had 43 receptions for 635 yards and five TDs, while Fumagalli hauled in 47 catches for 580 yards and two TDs.

    [B]– Utah State[/B] missed out on the postseason last season for the first time since 2010. The Aggies finished a second straight campaign with a losing record after winning 19 games in the first two years of Matt Wells’s tenure. They went 4-8 ATS in ’16, going 1-3 ATS in four outings as road underdogs. Utah State is 5-9 versus the number in 14 games as a road ‘dog on Wells’s watch.

    [B]– Utah State[/B] brings back 10 of 22 starters, five on each side of the ball. The Aggies went winless in six road assignments last season, limping to an atrocious 1-5 spread record.

    [B]– Utah State[/B] led 14-3 at intermission in its last trip to Camp Randall in 2012. However, when the Aggies missed a short field goal on the game’s final play, Wisconsin won a 16-14 decision despite never threatening to cover as a 14-point home favorite. During that banner campaign, Utah State finished 11-2 with its lone defeats coming at Wisconsin and at BYU by a 6-3 score.

    [B]– Utah State[/B] senior QB Kent Myers has started 25 career games. He has a 31/14 TD-INT ratio in those three seasons, but he only had 10 TD passes and eight interceptions during 12 starts in 2016. Myers completed a career-low 58.0 percent of his passes for 2,389 yards. Myers rushed for 449 yards and six TDs last season. Myers has his favorite target back in the mix. Ron’quavion Tarver had 46 catches for 602 yards and three TDs. Tonny Lindsey also returns after rushing for a team-best 763 yards and six TDs with a 5.2 YPC average.

    — Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

    [B]**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**[/B]

    [B]– The Lane Kiffin[/B] Era in Boca Raton will get started Friday night when Florida Atlantic plays host to Navy at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU. As of Tuesday, most spots had the Midshipmen listed as a 10.5-point road ‘chalk’ with a total of 68.5 points. The Owls were +300 on the money line (risk $100 to win $300). Ken Niumatalolo’s squad went 9-5 both SU and ATS last year, ending the season on a three-game losing streak, including a 48-45 loss to La. Tech at the Armed Forces Bowl. The Middies took the cash, however, as seven-point underdogs against the Bulldogs. Navy brings back four starters on offense and eight on defense. FAU went 3-9 SU and 3-8-1 ATS in ’16. The Owls return nine starters on offense and eight on defense. WR Kalib Woods “is not on our football team,” according to recent remarks from Kiffin. Woods was arrested for his part in a fight during the summer and charged with two felony battery counts, though his lawyers have made a motion to have the charges dismissed. Woods led FAU with 68 catches for 934 yards and one TD in ’16.

    [B]– Colorado[/B] and Colorado State will square off in Denver at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on the Pac-12 Network. According to recent reports, this rivalry will move back to being play on campus rather than in the Mile High City after this encounter. One reason for this is CSU’s new stadium that opened last Saturday with the Rams thumping Oregon State by a 58-27 count as 3.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The 85 combined points soared ‘over’ the 60-point total. Nick Stevens threw for 334 yards and three TDs compared to just one interception. Michael Gallup had 11 receptions for 134 yards, while Tre Thomas had a 44-yard pick-six as one of five turnovers forced by the CSU defense. CSU has lost back-to-back games to Colorado and three of the last four, including a 44-6 beatdown in ’16. Mike MacIntyre’s squad is coming off a breakout campaign, as it won the Pac-12 South and finished with a 10-4 record. The Buffaloes return nine starters on offense and three on defense. As of Tuesday, most spots had the Buffaloes favored by 5.5 points with a total of 66. The Rams were +180 on the money line (risk $100 to win $180).

    [B]– Eastern Michigan[/B] is a 14-point home favorite vs. Charlotte for Friday’s 6:30 p.m. Eastern kick of a non-televised affair. The total is 57 points, while the 49ers are +450 to win outright.

    [B]– As of Tuesday, Boston College was favored by three[/B] (with some extra -115 or -120 juice) or 3.5 for its opener at Northern Illinois. The total was in the 51-52 range. These schools met at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill in ’15, with BC capturing a 17-14 victory. However, the Huskies covered the number as five-point road underdogs. BC went 7-6 both SU and ATS last season and returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense. Keep an eye on the Eagles’ senior DE Harold Landry, a fourth-team All-American last year when he had 51 tackles, 16 sacks, 5.5 TFL’s, seven forced fumbles, seven QB hurries, four PBU and one interception. The Eagles are 3-4 ATS as road favorites during Steve Addazio’s tenure. NIU won at least 11 games in five consecutive seasons from 2010-14, but it has gone 8-6 and 5-7 over the last two campaigns. The Huskies, who are 0-2 ATS as home ‘dogs on Rod Carey’s watch, bring back five starters on offense and seven on defense. They lost four one-possession games in ’16. This game will kick at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on the CBS Sports College Network.

    [B]– Baylor[/B] starting safeties Davion Hall and Henry Black have been injured since the start of training camp. Now sophomore CB Grayland Arnold is out for 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery Sunday on his broken arm. In addition, senior DB Travon Blanchard has transferred to Texas A&M-Commerce and will play right away. In fact, he practiced with the FCS Lions this past Friday and will play this week vs. North Alabama. Blanchard was a second-team All Big-12 selection last year when he recorded 73 tackles, 7.5 TFL’s, 1.5 sacks, five PBU, one interception and one QB hurry. And finally, RB Terrence Williams is out indefinitely for undisclosed reasons. Williams rushed for 1,048 yards and 11 TDs in ’16, averaging 5.7 YPC. Fortunately for the Bears, they open with cupcake home games vs. Liberty and UTSA.

    #433202

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    [B][I]Maryland ready for opener at No. 23 Texas
    August 29, 2017[/I][/B]

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) There were several reasons why Tyrrell Pigrome won the starting quarterback job at Maryland, not the least of which are his experience, running ability and leadership skills.

    Coach DJ Durkin took all that under consideration, then decided that the 5-foot-11 sophomore should be the one to guide the offense against No. 23 Texas in Saturday’s season opener.

    ”We have to make decisions as a program,” Durkin said Tuesday. ”That’s who we feel gives us the best chance to win right now.”

    Pigrome played in 11 games last year, including one start. He passed for 322 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 254 yards and four scores.

    In an intense competition that was finally decided this week, Pigrome prevailed over sophomore Max Bortenschlager, freshman Kasim Hill and redshirt junior transfer Caleb Henderson.

    ”He can run, he can pass,” center Brendan Moore said of Pigrome. ”Honestly, I trust him behind me. I think we’re going to get a lot of things done of offense this year.”

    A year ago, Maryland launched Durkin’s first season at home with a 52-13 rout of Howard. This season, the Terps open on the road against a storied opponent.

    ”It’s a big test for us, a big challenge in Week 1,” Durkin said. ”But I think the whole reason you come to a place like this is to play these types of games.”

    Moore, a 6-1, 302-pound junior, grew up in Austin, Texas. He went to more Longhorns games than he can remember, and understands just how tough it is for a visiting team to win there.

    ”Obviously, it’s going to be loud. It’s going to be rowdy. It’s their first game with a new head coach” Tom Herman, Moore said. ”But we’ve played in a lot of big stadiums before. All we have to do is execute, do our thing and come out with a win.”

    Maryland went 6-6 last year before losing to Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl. Beating Texas in the would be the ideal way to enter the second phase of the Durkin Era.

    But the Longhorns have won 17 straight home openers. In addition, they’re going to be eager to put on a show for Herman, who comes to Texas after serving three years as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and two years at Houston, where he went 22-4.

    ”It’s definitely an honor to be able to go to Austin and open against such a prestigious program,” Maryland defensive back Darnell Savage said. ”When I was at the age when I started to fall in love with football, (quarterback) Vince Young was at Texas. It’s kind of crazy how it turned out this way.”

    It’s going to be a tough scenario for a sophomore quarterback with one career start, but Pigrome faced Ohio State and several other Big Ten schools last year.

    ”Terrell did a great job throughout this camp, and that’s how he earned the job,” Durkin said. ”Experience is always something that helps. If you’ve been out there playing, you’ve been in the fire before.”

    #433203

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    [B][I]Ohio State at Indiana
    August 29, 2017[/I][/B]

    The Big Ten will be in the spotlight on the first Thursday night of the college football season with a rare conference game in August.

    Ohio State visits Indiana to kick off the night in a nationally televised game with some intriguing storylines despite the large spread. Here is a preview of the first big game of the season for Thursday night college football.

    [B]Matchup: Ohio State Buckeyes at Indiana Hoosiers
    Venue: At Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana
    Time/TV: Thursday, Aug. 31, 8:00 p.m. ET
    Line: Ohio State -20½, Over/Under 58
    Last Meeting: 2016, at Ohio State (-28) 38, Indiana 17[/B]

    In five seasons at Ohio State Urban Meyer has cemented his legacy as an all-time great in the college football coaching ranks with a 61-6 record. He led the team to a perfect season in 2012 while ineligible for the postseason and delivered a championship in 2014 in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Surprisingly Ohio State has only won the Big Ten championship once in that five-year run and this year’s team is the favorite to accomplish that feat this season while being considered a prime national title contender.

    J.T. Barrett is fewer than 1,200 yards short of becoming the all-time passing leader at Ohio State and he is certainly considered a potential Heisman Trophy finalist after throwing for over 2,500 yards last season while also rushing for 845 yards, accounting for 33 touchdowns. The top rusher from last season Mike Weber is also back for his sophomore season and the Buckeyes have an experienced squad with plenty of motivation to redeem a narrow loss to Penn State as the lone blemish in the 2016 campaign and more notably an embarrassing 31-0 defeat in the national semifinal matchup with Clemson.

    Ohio State has a relatively favorable schedule but next week’s home game with Oklahoma looms large in the national picture. While Ohio State hasn’t lost to Indiana since 1988, the recent meetings have featured competitive games with Indiana actually covering each of the last six seasons in this series, albeit as a hefty underdog each year with a +19½ number in 2012 the lowest in that span.

    A big storyline heading into this game is Kevin Wilson as the new Ohio State offensive coordinator. Wilson was Indiana’s head coach the past six seasons before a break-up late last season with Wilson taking the Hoosiers from 1-11 in 2011 to back-to-back bowl appearances the past two seasons. Wilson’s defensive coordinator Tom Allen moved up to the head coaching position for the Foster Farms Bowl last December and he leads the Hoosiers moving forward. Allen was previously the defensive coordinator at South Florida before moving to Indiana last season and he was also previously an assistant at Mississippi and Arkansas State.

    Indiana hasn’t had a winning season in 2007 as they lost narrowly in bowl games the past two seasons after 6-6 regular season campaigns. Residing in a very competitive Big Ten East has made it tough for Indiana to make big strides but four conference wins last season was the most for the program since 2001. This year’s team has 15 starters back in action while pulling both Illinois and Purdue from the West draw for a relatively favorable path while all three non-conference games are winnable contests.

    Richard Lagow had a productive season for the Hoosiers at quarterback in 2016 with the now senior throwing 438 times for over 3,300 yards. He had just 19 touchdowns against 17 interceptions while completing short of 58 percent of his passes as there is room for improvement. Indiana lost its top two rushers from last season but leading receiver Nick Westbrook returns while three of five offensive line starters are back with the team.

    Allen led big improvement on the Indiana defense last season cutting the points allowed by the Hoosiers 10 points per game while slashing the yardage average from 509 yards per game allowed to just 380 yards per game allowed, including surrendering only 3.8 yards per rush. The Hoosiers have a reputation as an air-it-out offensive team but this year’s success could hinge on the defense playing well again with nine starters back.

    Indiana should have nothing to lose taking a shot at big upset in a spotlight that certainly brings the most attention to an Indiana football opener in many years. Ohio State has a bigger game up next week but also knows it can’t slip up against a foe that has played them tough in recent years while Wilson will perhaps want to make a statement against his old team after a somewhat messy unexpected departure last fall.

    [B]Last Season:[/B] Indiana opened the Big Ten season with an upset win at home over then #17 Michigan State, at the time the defending Big Ten champions. The next week the Hoosiers had to go to Columbus to face an undefeated Buckeyes team that was ranked #2 in the country. As a four-touchdown underdog Indiana held its own, closing to within seven points with an early third quarter touchdown before Ohio State answered and then sealed the game in the fourth quarter after Indiana went for it on 4th down in its own territory. Ohio State had just a modest yardage edge at 383-281 but the ground edge was dramatic with the Buckeyes posting 290 rushing yards on 5.8 yards per carry while Indiana netted just 99 yards on 2.5 yards per carry. Both teams had a pair of turnovers as neither squad was at its best on offense.

    [B]Historical Trends:
    [/B]
    — Since 1980 Ohio State is 30-2-1 S/U and 18-13-2 ATS in this series but after a 8-0-1 ATS run from 1998 to 2010 Indiana has covered in the past six meetings, though at +28, +19½, +33½, +36½, +21, and +28½.

    — Two of those games did feature single-score final margins including the 2015 meeting in Bloomington.

    — Since 1980 Indiana is just 43-63-1 ATS as a home underdog, though they went 12-8-1 in that role the last six years under Wilson, including going 5-2 ATS when dogged by 14 or more points.

    — The last outright upset for Indiana as a home underdog of this magnitude came in 2006 with a 31-28 win over Iowa at +20.

    — Ohio State is 28-16-1 ATS as a road favorite going back to 2005 though they are just 11-9 ATS under Meyer since 2012 with the lone S/U loss last season’s loss at Penn State as a 17½-point favorite.

    — Ohio State is just 5-11 ATS in the last 16 instances playing as a favorite of 20 or more points with that record only going back to November of 2014 as the Buckeyes are used to this type of favorite pricing.

    #433204

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    [B][I]Johnson in no hurry to reveal G-Tech QB
    August 29, 2017[/I][/B]

    ATLANTA (AP) With less than a week to go before season opener against No. 25 Tennessee, Georgia Tech still hasn’t revealed who will start at quarterback.

    That’s not to say coach Paul Johnson is struggling with a decision.

    Coy as always, Johnson indicated Tuesday that he knows who will get the nod when the Yellow Jackets take on the Volunteers in the second of two Chick-fil-A Kickoff games at Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium .

    But it looks as though he’ll wait until the first offensive series Monday night to let everyone else in on the secret .

    ”We may play all four of `em in the first game,” Johnson said with a smile.

    Junior Matthew Jordan is the most experienced of four candidates who battled through spring practice and into the preseason for the chance to replace three-year starter Justin Thomas at the most important position in the triple-option offense.

    But Johnson’s reluctance to name a starter might be an indication that he’s going in a different direction, at least for the first game. If that’s the case, junior TaQuon Marshall would likely be the next man up. Then again, given Johnson’s penchant for catching people totally off guard, don’t rule out Lucas Johnson or Jay Jones, a pair of redshirt freshmen.

    Jordan is by the most experienced of the candidates. He was Thomas’ backup the last two years, and even stepped in to lead Georgia Tech to an upset victory at Virginia Tech in 2016. Marshall played nine games at running back as a freshman, then shifted to quarterback last season, appearing in two games as a third-stringer.

    ”Matthew is a little older. He probably has a better understanding of what we’re trying to do than anybody else,” Johnson said. ”But I think I could call a game for any of `em.”

    Georgia Tech released an updated depth chart that shows all four players in bold lettering, indicating each still has a shot at starting. And, looking to ensure that no one discussed what they’ve been told behind closed doors, the school said none of the four would be available for interviews after practice Tuesday.

    ”Our guys know who’s going to play, and I probably know who’s going to play,” Johnson said. ”I might send it out on Twitter here in a day or two. Who knows? We’ll get through a couple of more practices and it’ll be one of these four guys. I promise.”

    The coach has settled on a starting B-back, a position that suddenly came open a couple of weeks ago when the top returning rusher, Dedrick Mills , was kicked off the team for violating athletic department rules.

    Sophomore KirVonte Benson, who has never carried the ball in a college game, beat out Quaide Weimerskirch, Jerry Howard and Jordan Ponchez-Mason.

    ”He’s probably the fastest guy we’ve had a B-back,” Johnson said of the new starter. ”I think he’s got a good skillset for it. Will he play fast and tough? We’ll see. If not, one of those others guys will play.”

    It will certainly be difficult to replace Mills, a dynamic player who was MVP of the TaxSlayer Bowl in what turned out to be his final college game. Georgia Tech also lost its second-leading rusher, Marcus Marshall, who decided to transfer at the end of last season when it looked as though he would be stuck behind Mills on the depth chart.

    Johnson shrugged off the losses.

    ”Look, we played two guys a year ago. One had over 700 yards and one had almost 700 yards. The guy who plays this year will have much or more,” the coach vowed. ”Certain guys played last year. They were good players, but it’s not like, `Oh my god, let’s cancel the season because we don’t have them.’ Remember, they were unknown when they played a year ago.”

    Johnson has yet to name a starting kicker, either. Freshman Brenton King was recruited to take over for four-year starter Harrison Butker, but sophomore Shawn Davis is apparently still in the mix.

    ”I probably know who I’m going to use there, too,” Johnson said. ”We’ll kick right up until the time we play and if it changes, it changes.”

    The punting job is settled. Freshman Pressley Harvin III earned the spot over redshirt freshman Shea Underwood.

    Now, about that quarterback.

    ”I’m not in any big hurry,”’ Johnson said, ”to tell everybody who it is.”

    #433205

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    [B][I]Mystery man Stanley takes QB reins at Iowa
    August 29, 2017[/I][/B]

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley is such a mystery that few knew until Tuesday that he would rather be called Nate. Turns out that he associated the more formal ”Nathan” with being on his mother’s bad side.

    Stanley’s preferred first name was just the first of many questions he’ll be asked to answer this season.

    Stanley, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound sophomore, was officially named the Hawkeyes starter on Monday over Tyler Wiegers following a competition that lasted nearly the entire offseason. Stanley, who was 5 of 9 passing for 62 yards as Iowa’s backup a year ago, will be under center when the Hawkeyes (8-5 in 2016) host Wyoming on Saturday.

    ”It was a close call. But we needed to make a decision and start moving forward,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. ”The whole staff chipped in, and I think we all saw it was a close, competitive race.”

    Stanley is largely unknown to even hardcore fans because his recruitment was low key and because he saw scant playing time as a freshman.

    But Iowa’s coaches have long believed that Stanley had a bright future.

    Stanley, who turned 20 on Saturday, grew up in Menomonie, a town of about 16,000 people in northwest Wisconsin. Stanley did it all for Menomonie High, starting for four years in basketball and baseball, and excelling as a quarterback, defensive back and punter for the Mustangs.

    It was clear after Stanley’s sophomore season, when he threw for 1,276 yards and 14 TDs while leading his school to the playoffs, that he had a future as a Division I quarterback. But unlike many recruits in the age of social media, Stanley kept his plans so private that college recruiters had to ask Stanley’s high school coach for permission to access his tape online.

    Stanley attended camps at Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh before his junior year at Menomonie. Stanley instantly felt at home at Iowa, and he committed to the Hawkeyes that summer partly so they’d stop recruiting other quarterbacks in his class.

    ”Came to camp here, fell in love with the campus, Kinnick (Stadium) and the facilities,” Stanley said. ”I figured why not make the decision first? This is really where I want to go.”

    Stanley kept his commitment to Iowa even though that wasn’t easy to do.

    Paul Chryst, whom Stanley had built a solid relationship with at Pitt, took over at Wisconsin shortly after Stanley committed to Iowa. Chryst tried to persuade Stanley to become a Badger, but Stanley held firm.

    ”My parents always stressed to be true to your word,” Stanley said.

    The expectation for Stanley once he got to Iowa was that he would redshirt as a freshman, bulk up and prepare to compete for the backup job by 2017. But Stanley was so impressive in camp last fall that the coaching staff pushed him ahead of Wiegers.

    Though Stanley threw just nine passes in 2016, he was the first true freshman quarterback that Ferentz had trusted enough to see action since 2003.

    Wiegers pushed Stanley hard enough for the starting job in both the spring and fall that Iowa coaches extended their own preferred timeline for naming a starter. But Ferentz informed Stanley of his decision on Thursday.

    A depth chart released Monday still referred to Stanley as Nathan – although this time it came with the news he’d been waiting for months to hear.

    #433206

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    [B][I]Corso still going on “GameDay” – with help
    August 29, 2017[/I][/B]

    BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) Lee Corso looks down at his notes and asks: ”How do you say this guy’s name?”

    ”Stid-um,” Kirk Herbstreit responds and then begins to spell Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s last name for his longtime ESPN ”College GameDay” partner. A few letters in, Herbstreit reaches over and says, ”Here, let me get that for you.”

    Herbstreit writes the name on the sheet of paper, and then they ready themselves to record the next segment.

    Now 82 and eight years removed from a stroke, Corso is back for a 30th season on ”College GameDay.” He can still energize college kids on a Saturday morning like a free-beer tailgate, and for millions of viewers the games don’t begin until he dons a mascot head and picks the day’s marquee matchup. But getting Corso through a show also requires some help, both on the air and behind the scenes. At times his contributions are off topic. Names come out wrong. Words can escape him.

    Herbstreit, Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and the rest of the ”GameDay” crew have adjusted. Instead of Corso’s limitations hindering the show, they make it more compelling. It feels real, not staged, and for live TV, that’s usually a good thing

    ”To this day there’s no question in my mind that all the great things that coach adds to the show outweigh those times when his tongue may get tied or he stumbles on his speech or he stumbles over a few words or has trouble getting something out,” said Lee Fitting, who was ”GameDay” producer for 12 years and now oversees all ESPN’s college studio and remote programs. ”And the times when he does struggle to get some words out, the way in which Kirk and Rece and Desmond and David help coach along, pick up that slack, makes up for it.

    ”It’s endearing to the viewer. It’s the family members picking another member of the family up.”

    Corso signed a new multiyear contract with ESPN earlier this year. Fitting said it was a no-brainer for the network to bring Corso back. Corso said it was the same for him.

    ”This job is like stealing. I travel first class in a nice plane. I have a driver waiting for me. I go in a room and have room service. I have a meeting. Then I go to the best game of the weekend and talk football – and they pay me. You gotta be kidding me,” Corso said. ”Why the hell would I leave something like this?”

    Corso played quarterback at Florida State in the 1950s, and roomed with teammate Burt Reynolds. He went on to a 27-year coaching career that included stints as head coach at Louisville, Indiana and Northern Illinois. His last coaching job was with the Orlando Renegades of the USFL in 1985. Two years later, he was hired by ESPN.

    He was a natural on TV, quick-witted, spontaneous and unafraid. In 1996, Herbstreit, the former Ohio State quarterback, joined Corso and host Chris Fowler on ”GameDay.”

    ”Everything he did, I mimicked,” Herbstreit said of Corso.

    That relationship has grown from coach-quarterback to more father-son over two decades. Herbstreit said he would turn to Corso for advice on marriage and raising kids. As for making it in TV, Corso said Herbstreit needed only a little guidance.

    ”I kept harping on him, first thing: You’re so good looking. Make sure you’re not off camera,” Corso said.

    On May 16, 2009, at 8:30 a.m., Corso went to get the paper in front of his home in Florida. When he came back inside, his wife could tell something was very wrong. He was having a stroke.

    ”I vowed that I’d be back – and I couldn’t talk,” Corso said. He did make it back that season. He was slower, more deliberate.

    ”You have to realize you’ll never be the same,” Corso said. ”But you have to adjust your life.”

    He adjusted and so did ”GameDay.” Especially Herbstreit.

    During the taping of the season preview show last week in Bristol, Corso touted Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph as his Heisman Trophy pick. Later in the segment, he referred to Rudolph as Randolph and Herbstreit turned it into a funny exchange involving Davis and Howard, too. In another segment about what conference will be the best this season, Corso responded with how Alabama would beat Florida State. Herbstreit, this time more subtly but with a smile, steered the conversation back on topic.

    ”The worst thing I can do is correct him a lot,” Herbstreit said. ”So it’s a very fine line between never embarrassing him, never correcting him too much, or letting him comfortably get his words out. Not jumping to the rescue too soon, but not letting him just hang out there alone.”

    Fitting said Corso is usually involved in about half of the 3-hour show’s 11 or 12 segments. The ”GameDay” crew is keenly aware of making sure Corso is not alone on camera when he gets stuck.

    ”It quickly becomes much more conversational. Kirk can help Lee through it. He puts his arm on coach. It’s much more comfortable and tolerable for the viewer than … that isolated shot,” Fitting said.

    On Thursday night, a special edition of ”GameDay” will air from Bloomington, Indiana, before the Hoosiers play No. 2 Ohio State. It will be the first time Corso has seen Indiana play in person since he was coach from 1973-82. Later this season, he will make his 300th head-gear pick. The first came at Ohio State when he convinced Herbstreit to help him get Brutus Buckeye’s head.

    Herbstreit said thinking about ”GameDay” without Corso is ”terrifying.” Corso said he will keep doing the show as long ESPN lets him.

    ”If they don’t think I can contribute to the show then tell me, `OK, Lee, it’s time for you to go.’ I’ll go,” he said. ”That’s it. I just want to go. I (don’t) want no rocking chair.”

    #433207

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    [B][I]Pac-12 Beat: From Week 0 & beyond, scheduling quirks abound
    August 29, 2017
    [/I][/B]
    It’s Week One for the college football season. So that means Utah must be playing a Thursday night game.

    The Utes have opened the season on a Thursday night since 2009 – before the school joined the Pac-12 conference. This season they’ll host North Dakota.

    Those Thursday starts help showcase the Utes on television, in this season’s case on the Pac-12 Network. It also gives Utah fans the chance to make other plans for the long Labor Day weekend.

    Utah has requested a Thursday game each season with the understanding it may not always be granted.

    The Utes also have two Friday night games this season. The Pac-12 is among the conferences that schedule games on Fridays, with nine games involving league teams set for this season – not including the conference championship.

    ”We’ve got schedules that accommodate the short weeks, the long weeks, every possible conceivable time we can play, we’ve done that,” coach Kyle Whittingham said, discussing how scheduling quirks impact the team.

    There are a number of other calendar twists in the Pac-12 this season:

    [B]BYE BYE BYE: [/B]The fourth-ranked Trojans have no off week this season. None . So there’s no chance for a team that many say has a good shot of making the playoffs to rest and recharge.

    What does work in USC’s favor is the start of the season: The Trojans have three straight at home, starting Saturday with Western Michigan. Then they’ll host No. 14 Stanford and No. 23 Texas.

    ”We learned from last year how important it is to start fast. You can do all you want in October and November, and we’ve been really good, but if you don’t start fast, it’s hard to get where you want to be. It’s going to be critical for us to open up those three ballgames and be hitting on all three cylinders,” coach Clay Helton said.

    [B]WEEK ZERO: [/B]Oregon State’s game against Colorado State last weekend was originally scheduled for Sept 23. But it was moved up to Week Zero to accommodate Colorado State, which wanted to open the season in the team’s new stadium.

    It was the earliest start in Oregon State history and it was not kind to the Beavers, who fell 58-27 to the Rams.

    Coach Gary Andersen said he thinks the schedule overall works out in Oregon State’s favor because the Beavers will get a bye before facing No. 8 Washington and USC in consecutive weeks.

    ”For this team, where the byes lie for us, I think it’s a positive. It makes it a week longer season, but hopefully that week will help us,” Andersen said.

    Oregon State will face another team this weekend that got off to an early start, the Portland State Vikings, who are coming off a 20-6 loss at BYU.
    [B]
    THIS WEEK IN THE PAC-12 AGAINST COLORADO STATE:[/B] It’s Colorado’s turn . The Buffs open the season with the Rocky Mountain Showdown against their in-state rivals at the home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos. It’s also one of those Friday night games.

    ”There’s not a lot of games on that night. That makes it special for our players. Playing in Broncos stadium, the kids love playing in the pro stadium. It’s a unique atmosphere. I think there were almost 70,000 last year (69,850). I think there should be over 70,000 this year. So it will be loud and exciting,” Buffs coach Mike MacIntyre said.
    [B]
    MORE WEEK ZERO, FROM FAR, FAR AWAY:[/B] Stanford started the season in a dramatic way, traveling all the way to Australia to play Rice and coming home with a 62-7 victory. Last season it was Cal that got the goodwill trip to Sydney, where they beat Hawaii.

    It was Stanford’s second game outside the United States: in 1986 the Cardinal beat Arizona in Tokyo.

    Coach David Shaw said the players had a blast on the trip – despite the long plane ride.

    ”I think it would be great for this tradition to continue, whether it’s just our conference or maybe other conferences, but hopefully more teams are open for it,” Shaw said.

    The Cardinal now get a week off before visiting USC on Sept. 9.
    [B]
    HOME GAMES GALORE:[/B] The Washington State Cougars have five straight home games to open the season, then only two more the rest of the way.

    The Cougars will face Montana State, Boise State, Oregon State, Nevada and USC in succession at Martin Stadium. The two other home games will be Oct. 21 against Colorado and Nov. 4 against Stanford.

    ”I think it’s great for the folks out here, you know, to really get in the habit of getting to games, so we’re excited about that,” coach Mike Leach said when asked about the schedule. ”I’ll know more about what I think about it at the end of the season.”

    [B]COLLEGE FOOTBALL SUNDAY?[/B] The UCLA Bruins will kick off their season Sunday at the Rose Bowl against Texas A&M.

    #433208

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    [B][I]CFB notebook: Stetson DB Blakely dies after collapsing at practice
    August 29, 2017[/I][/B]

    Stetson University sophomore defensive back Nicholas Blakely died after collapsing during practice on Monday evening, the school announced.

    An official cause of death has not been released for the 19-year-old.

    “(Blakely) was on the sidelines shortly after practice began … when he complained of not feeling well and collapsed,” Stetson president Wendy B. Libby said in a statement.

    Blakely, who was an accounting major at the central Florida University, was taken to Florida Hospital DeLand outside of Orlando, where he died.

    –Kansas running back Octavius Matthews will miss the season and is likely to be done with football for good after tests revealed a career-ending medical condition.

    Jayhawks coach David Beaty said the team’s top recruit and nation’s No. 1-ranked JUCO running back would remain with the program. The nature of the medical issue was not disclosed.

    Matthews was dubbed “one of the biggest victories we have in this class” by Beaty in February when KU learned the 6-foot-1 running back picked the Jayhawks over Tennessee and Purdue. Matthews initially committed to Auburn, a national power known for producing pro running back prospects.

    –Saturday’s contest between Houston and Texas-San Antonio has been postponed due to the effects of Harvey, the tropical storm ravaging Texas that began as a hurricane.

    The game was slated to be held at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

    “As families across Southeast and South Central Texas struggle with the catastrophic flooding and impact of the storm, our focus must be on how we all can help,” UTSA president Taylor Eighmy said in a statement. “In lieu of this weekend’s game, I urge Roadrunners, the San Antonio community and all Texans to support recovery efforts in Houston and across the region, including donating to disaster relief efforts.”

    Houston announced that none of its athletic teams will play in events this weekend, including women’s volleyball, soccer and cross country.

    #434041

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    [B][I]Thursday’s six-pack[/I][/B]

    — Johnny Manziel worked out for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but he showed up out of shape; they don’t think he is ready to play ball, mentally or physically.

    — Browns cut CB Joe Haden, a 7-year veteran; he then got three years, $27M from the Steelers.

    — Atlanta 3B Brandon Phillips got his 2,000th career hit Wednesday.

    — Florida Atlantic opened as a 14.5-point underdog vs Navy; they’ve been bet down to +9. Navy’s OC is ill, and people are jumping on the Lane Kiffin bandwagon.

    — Mariners acquired P Mike Leake from the Cardinals; he has $55M left on his contract.

    — Cowboys-Texans preseason game scheduled for tonite was cancelled, so the Houston players could go home and assess the damage to their homes.

    ************************

    [B][I]Thursday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….[/I][/B]

    13) All-time record for consecutive scoreless innings:
    48— Chicago Cubs, 1968
    45— Cincinnati Reds, 1931
    45— Kansas City Royals, 2017

    12) As of Tuesday night’s results, Joey Votto had 27 walks in his last 18 games; time for the Reds to at least consider batting him leadoff.

    Votto’s on-base %age: .449
    Billy Hamilton’s on-base %age: .298

    11) In 2015, the state of California collected $258.1M in taxes from pro athletes.

    10) The major league record for home runs in a season by someone who wasn’t in the majors before August 1? 13, by Ted Williams in 1953.

    Phillies’ rookie Rhys Hoskins has 11 homers; his first big league game was August 10.

    9) To win $100 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, all a bettor has to do is put up $100,000 on the Golden State Warriors making the NBA playoffs this coming season. A $100 bet on Golden State to miss the playoffs pays $10,100.

    I could be wrong, but I would advise against putting up $100,000 to win $100.

    8) Cedar Bayou, TX had 51.88 inches of rain from Hurricane Harvey, the most rainfall ever on the continental United States. Thats over four feet of rain!!!!

    7) Dolphins’ DT Ndamukong Suh played youth soccer as a kid in Oregon— one of his teammates was Klay Thompson. Apparently Suh is now the Miami Dolphins’ backup kicker, should anything happen to starting kicker Andrew Franks, who went to D-III RPI, which is across the river from me in beautiful downtown Troy, NY.

    RPI is better known for its Division I hockey program. And its engineering program.

    6) How come no one bats the pitcher 8th this year? Because it was never a good idea, just something Tony Larussa/Joe Maddon did, so other teams blindly copied it.

    5) Former LSU coach Les Miles, one of my favorites, will be a game analyst for FOX Sports this fall. Miles live-tweeted the Floyd Mayweather fight Saturday night- he could be television gold.

    4) Major league record for most games started by a pitcher without ever appearing in relief:
    682, Tom Glavine
    379, Justin Verlander
    372, Felix Hernandez
    240, Juan Guzman

    3) According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle last week, the book Moneyball is required reading at most business schools across the country.

    Wonder if they’ll study the part where the A’s trade their best pitcher (who has an affordable contract) for three players, two of whom are currently incapacitated, and a third guy who is in AA. (he is hitting .269 in the Texas League right now).

    To paraphrase Rick Pitino, Brad Pitt isn’t walking thru that door anytime soon. Moneyball 2 ain’t gonna happen, not while the A’s flounder year after year.

    2) First-round matchups for the Puerto Rico tip-off tournament this fall:
    South Carolina-Illinois State, Boise State-UTEP, Iowa State-Appalachian State, Tulsa-Western Michigan. Pretty good tournament.

    1) Astros are coming home to Houston this weekend; Friday’s game with the Mets was postponed to a day/night doubleheader on Saturday, with a day game on Sunday.

    #434043

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    [B][I]Big Ten Report – Week 1
    August 30, 2017[/I][/B]

    [B]Buffalo at Minnesota (-25) – (Thursday, Big Ten, 7:00 p.m. ET)[/B]

    The Gophs usher in a new coach as former Western Michigan head man PJ Fleck takes over the program. Fleck was 30-22 in his 4 years with the Broncos including 13-1 last year. He should have a good feel for Buffalo coming from the MAC. His WMU squad beat Buffalo 38-0 last season outgaining the Bulls by almost 400 yards. Minny was 9-4 last year but will be breaking in a new QB this season. Their defense was solid holding 4 of their 8 Big Ten opponents to under 20 points, however they lose 8 of their top 12 tacklers.

    Buffalo was just 2-10 last year and lost all 6 of their road games by an average score of 36-9. The Bulls have won only 2 of their last 19 road openers. Minnesota has been favored by more than 24 points only 15 times since 1980. They are 13-2 SU in those games, 9-6 ATS. Buffalo has played only two Big Ten opponents since 2007 losing at Penn State 27-14 and at Ohio State 40-20.

    [B]Ohio State (-20.5) at Indiana – (Thursday, ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET)[/B]

    This is a very rare conference opener during the first week of the season. Our database goes all the way back to 1980 and OSU has NEVER been an underdog in this series. They are 30-2-1 the last 33 meetings. However, IU has given this Buckeye team fits as of late covering 6 straight by an average margin of 13.1 PPG. Last year OSU trailed Indiana 17-13 at home late in the 3rd quarter before pulling away for a 38-17 win. The Bucks return 15 starters including QB JT Barrett and a very experienced offensive line. Ohio State’s defensive line should be among the best in the nation as they bring back nearly everyone in their front 7.

    The Hoosiers have a new head coach as Tom Allen takes over for Kevin Wilson. Something to keep an eye on is the fact that Wilson is now the offensive coordinator for Ohio State! Allen was the defensive coordinator for Indiana and also held the same job at South Florida prior to arriving in Bloomington. The Hoosiers return 15 starters from a team that went 6-7 last year losing to Utah 26-24 in the Foster Farms Bowl. IU has lost by more than 21 points at home just 3 times since the start of the 2009 season. OSU has been a road favorite of -21 or more 28 times since 1980 and they are 17-10-1 ATS in those games.

    #434044

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    [B][SIZE=5]NCAAF[/SIZE]
    Long Sheet[/B]

    [b]Thursday, August 31[/b]

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]OHIO ST (11 – 2) at INDIANA (6 – 7) – 8/31/2017, 8:00 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    OHIO ST is 177-133 ATS (+30.7 Units) in all games since 1992.
    OHIO ST is 177-133 ATS (+30.7 Units) in all lined games since 1992.
    OHIO ST is 147-114 ATS (+21.6 Units) as a favorite since 1992.
    OHIO ST is 54-34 ATS (+16.6 Units) as a road favorite since 1992.
    OHIO ST is 71-46 ATS (+20.4 Units) in road games since 1992.
    OHIO ST is 71-46 ATS (+20.4 Units) in road lined games since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    INDIANA is 2-0 against the spread versus OHIO ST over the last 3 seasons
    OHIO ST is 2-0 straight up against INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 2 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]BUFFALO (2 – 10) at MINNESOTA (9 – 4) – 8/31/2017, 7:00 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]LA MONROE (4 – 8) at MEMPHIS (8 – 5) – 8/31/2017, 8:00 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]NEW MEXICO ST (3 – 9) at ARIZONA ST (5 – 7) – 8/31/2017, 10:00 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]FLA INTERNATIONAL (4 – 8) at UCF (6 – 7) – 8/31/2017, 6:00 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    UCF is 1-1 against the spread versus FLA INTERNATIONAL over the last 3 seasons
    UCF is 1-1 straight up against FLA INTERNATIONAL over the last 3 seasons
    1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]TULSA (10 – 3) at OKLAHOMA ST (10 – 3) – 8/31/2017, 7:30 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    OKLAHOMA ST is 82-55 ATS (+21.5 Units) as a favorite since 1992.
    TULSA is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) in road games over the last 3 seasons.
    TULSA is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) in road lined games over the last 3 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B][SIZE=”5″]NCAAF[/SIZE]

    Week 1[/B]

    ————————————————————————————————————————
    [size=”3″][I][B]Trend Report[/B][/I][/size]
    ————————————————————————————————————————

    [b]Thursday, August 31[/b]

    6:00 PM
    [B]FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL vs. CENTRAL FLORIDA[/B]
    Florida International is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Florida International’s last 5 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Central Florida’s last 8 games
    Central Florida is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games at home

    6:30 PM
    [B]PRESBYTERIAN vs. WAKE FOREST[/B]
    Presbyterian is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
    Presbyterian is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    Wake Forest is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games

    7:00 PM
    [B]ELON vs. TOLEDO[/B]
    Elon is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
    Elon is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
    Toledo is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toledo’s last 5 games

    7:00 PM
    [B]AUSTIN PEAY vs. CINCINNATI[/B]
    Austin Peay is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Austin Peay’s last 5 games
    Cincinnati is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 games at home
    Cincinnati is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home

    7:00 PM
    [B]RHODE ISLAND vs. CENTRAL MICHIGAN[/B]
    Rhode Island is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
    Rhode Island is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 16 of Central Michigan’s last 24 games at home
    Central Michigan is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games at home

    7:00 PM
    [B]BUFFALO vs. MINNESOTA[/B]
    Buffalo is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo’s last 6 games
    Minnesota is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
    Minnesota is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games

    7:00 PM
    [B]TENNESSEE STATE vs. GEORGIA STATE[/B]
    Tennessee State is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    Tennessee State is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Georgia State’s last 11 games at home
    Georgia State is 6-19 SU in its last 25 games at home

    7:30 PM
    [B]HOLY CROSS vs. CONNECTICUT[/B]
    No trends available
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Connecticut’s last 5 games
    Connecticut is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home

    7:30 PM
    [B]TULSA vs. OKLAHOMA STATE[/B]
    Tulsa is 11-2-1 ATS in its last 14 games on the road
    Tulsa is 6-13 SU in its last 19 games on the road
    Oklahoma State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Tulsa
    Oklahoma State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home

    7:30 PM
    [B]NORTH DAKOTA vs. UTAH[/B]
    North Dakota is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games
    North Dakota is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Utah’s last 16 games at home
    Utah is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games

    8:00 PM
    [B]FLORIDA A&M vs. ARKANSAS[/B]
    Florida A&M is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
    Florida A&M is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
    Arkansas is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
    Arkansas is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games

    8:00 PM
    [B]OHIO STATE vs. INDIANA[/B]
    Ohio State is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games
    Ohio State is 22-3 SU in its last 25 games
    Indiana is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Ohio State
    Indiana is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Ohio State

    9:00 PM
    [B]LOUISIANA-MONROE vs. MEMPHIS[/B]
    Louisiana-Monroe is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
    The total has gone OVER in 8 of Louisiana-Monroe’s last 9 games
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Memphis’s last 5 games at home
    Memphis is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games at home

    9:00 PM
    [B]SACRAMENTO STATE vs. IDAHO[/B]
    Sacramento State is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
    Sacramento State is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    Idaho is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
    Idaho is 6-12-1 ATS in its last 19 games at home

    10:30 PM
    [B]NEW MEXICO STATE vs. ARIZONA STATE[/B]
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Mexico State’s last 6 games
    New Mexico State is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Arizona State’s last 5 games
    Arizona State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games

    ———————————

    [B][I]NCAAF
    Armadillo’s Write-Up

    Week 1[/I][/B]

    [B]Thursday[/B]

    Ohio State won its last 13 games with Indiana, but last two wins here were by only 7-3 points. Hoosiers covered last six series games. OSU has senior QB with 30 starts, an experienced OL with 80 career starts; Buckeyes are 9-9 as road favorites under Meyer. Indiana has senior QB with 13 starts; its OL has only 40 returning starts. Hoosiers are 12-9 vs spread in last 21 games as a home underdog

    Last two years, MAC teams are 15-5-1 vs spread when facing Big 14 squads. Since 2013, Buffalo is 5-11 vs spread as road underdogs; since ’10, they’re 13-17 vs spread in non-MAC games. Bulls have a sop QB, 8 starters back on defense- their OL has 68 career starts. Minnesota has new coach Fleck; his Western Michigan team beat Buffalo 38-0 late last year. Gophers also have a new QB; last two years, they’re 2-8 vs spread as a home favorite.

    Memphis has a senior QB (13 starts), an experienced OL with 103 returning starts; they’ve got 9 starters back on offense, but also have their AAC opener with Central Florida on deck. Tigers are 8-11 vs spread in last 19 games as a home favorite. UL-Monroe has 16 starters back and a senior QB; since 2011, they’re 19-15 as a road underdog. Last four years, Sun Belt teams are 7-6 vs spread when playing an AAC squad.

    Arizona State is 17-9 vs spread as a home favorite under Graham; ASU has 13 starters back, but its OL has only 41 returning starts- their junior QB has 10 career starts. New Mexico State has 16 starters back, 9 on defense, a senior QB (25 starts), an OL with 43 career starts. Since 2013, Aggies are 8-15 vs spread as a road underdog. Sun Belt teams covered four of their last five matchups with Pac-12 squads.

    Central Florida pounded Florida International 53-14 LY, outgaining FIU 501-189, year after they lost 15-14 to the Panthers. UCF has an experienced OL (101 returning starts) but only four starters back on defense- since 2010, they’re 23-14 vs spread as a home favorite. Knights play AAC rival Memphis next. FIU is 8-4-1 in last 13 games as a road underdog; they’ve got a new coach, a senior QB (31 starts) and 15 starters back overall (73 starts on OL). Last four years, AAC teams are 8-6 vs spread when playing a C-USA opponent.

    ——————————–

    [B][SIZE=5]NCAAF[/SIZE]
    Dunkel

    Week 1[/B]

    [b]Thursday, August 31[/b]

    [B]Ohio State @ Indiana[/B]

    Game 133-134
    August 31, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Ohio State
    109.910
    Indiana
    92.035
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Ohio State
    by 18
    61
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Ohio State
    by 21
    58
    [B] Dunkel Pick:
    Indiana
    (+21); Over

    Buffalo @ Minnesota[/B]

    Game 135-136
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Buffalo
    69.254
    Minnesota
    92.331
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Minnesota
    by 23
    47
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Minnesota
    by 25
    51
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Buffalo
    (+25); Under

    LA-Monroe @ Memphis[/B]

    Game 137-138
    August 31, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    LA-Monroe
    64.142
    Memphis
    95.785
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Memphis
    by 31 1/2
    65
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Memphis
    by 25 1/2
    69 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Memphis
    (-25 1/2); Under

    New Mexico St @ Arizona State[/B]

    Game 139-140
    August 31, 2017 @ 10:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    New Mexico St
    59.324
    Arizona State
    88.256
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Arizona State
    by 29
    76
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Arizona State
    by 23
    71 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Arizona State
    (-23); Over

    FIU @ Central Florida[/B]

    Game 169-170
    August 31, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    FIU
    70.223
    Central Florida
    84.452
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Central Florida
    by 14
    53
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Central Florida
    by 17 1/2
    57
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    FIU
    (+17 1/2); Under

    Tulsa @ Oklahoma State[/B]

    Game 199-200
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Tulsa
    96.552
    Oklahoma State
    110.217
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Oklahoma State
    by 13 1/2
    70
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Oklahoma State
    by 18
    73 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Tulsa
    (+18); Under

    Presbyterian @ Wake Forest[/B]

    Game 215-216
    August 31, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Presbyterian
    45.365
    Wake Forest
    88.310
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Wake Forest
    by 43
    43
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Wake Forest
    by 40
    43 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Wake Forest
    (-40); Under

    Austin Peay @ Cincinnati[/B]

    Game 217-218
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Austin Peay
    40.011
    Cincinnati
    80.410
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Cincinnati
    by 40 1/2
    61
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Cincinnati
    by 34 1/2
    59 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Cincinnati
    (-34 1/2); Over

    Tennessee St @ Georgia State[/B]

    Game 219-220
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Tennessee St
    58.100
    Georgia State
    64.985
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Georgia State
    by 7
    65
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Georgia State
    by 14 1/2
    56
    [B] Dunkel Pick:
    Tennessee St
    (+14 1/2); Over

    Elon @ Toledo[/B]

    Game 221-222
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Elon
    44.688
    Toledo
    80.787
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Toledo
    by 36
    53
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Toledo
    by 39
    54 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Elon
    (+39); Under

    Rhode Island @ Central Michigan[/B]

    Game 223-224
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Rhode Island
    49.593
    Central Michigan
    73.141
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Central Michigan
    by 23 1/2
    59
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Central Michigan
    by 27
    56 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Rhode Island
    (+27); Over

    Holy Cross @ Connecticut[/B]

    Game 225-226
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Holy Cross
    50.781
    Connecticut
    64.296
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Connecticut
    by 13 1/2
    43
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Connecticut
    by 21
    46 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Holy Cross
    (+21); Under

    North Dakota @ Utah[/B]

    Game 227-228
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    North Dakota
    71.780
    Utah
    99.276
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Utah
    by 27 1/2
    45
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Utah
    by 19 1/2
    50
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Utah
    (-19 1/2); Under

    Florida A&M @ Arkansas[/B]

    Game 229-230
    August 31, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Florida A&M
    41.537
    Arkansas
    93.139
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Arkansas
    by 51 1/2
    64
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Arkansas
    by 48 1/2
    61 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Arkansas
    (-48 1/2); Over

    Sacramento St @ Idaho[/B]

    Game 231-232
    August 31, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Sacramento St
    49.963
    Idaho
    86.811
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Idaho
    by 37
    75
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Idaho
    by 24 1/2
    67
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Idaho
    (-24 1/2); Over[/B]

    [B]Delaware St @ Delaware[/B]

    Game 313-314
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Delaware St
    28.928
    Delaware
    59.742
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Delaware
    by 31
    47
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Delaware
    by 34 1/2
    51
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Delaware St
    (+34 1/2); Under

    Western Illinois @ Tennessee Tech[/B]

    Game 315-316
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Western Illinois
    66.188
    Tennessee Tech
    66.686
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Western Illinois
    Even
    64
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Tennessee Tech
    by 1 1/2
    59 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Western Illinois
    (+1 1/2); Over

    Kennesaw St @ Samford[/B]

    Game 317-318
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Kennesaw St
    55.956
    Samford
    68.913
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Samford
    by 13
    70
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Samford
    by 8 1/2
    67
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Samford
    (-8 1/2); Over

    Jacksonville @ Mercer[/B]

    Game 323-324
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Jacksonville
    31.171
    Mercer
    59.542
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Mercer
    by 25 1/2
    51
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Mercer
    by 20
    64 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Mercer
    (-20); Under

    Eastern Illinois @ Indiana State[/B]

    Game 327-328
    August 31, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Eastern Illinois
    64.383
    Indiana State
    60.329
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Eastern Illinois
    by 4
    64
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Indiana State
    by 1 1/2
    58
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Eastern Illinois
    (+1 1.2); Over

    Maine @ New Hampshire[/B]

    Game 331-332
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Maine
    64.770
    New Hampshire
    63.605
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Maine
    by 1
    46
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    New Hampshire
    by 7 1/2
    51 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Maine
    (+7 1/2); Under

    Duquesne @ South Dakota St[/B]

    Game 333-334
    August 31, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Duquesne
    58.637
    South Dakota St
    83.880
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    South Dakota St
    by 25
    46
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    South Dakota St
    by 22 1/2
    61 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    South Dakota St
    (-22 1/2); Under

    McNeese St @ Nicholls St[/B]

    Game 335-336
    August 31, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    McNeese St
    67.749
    Nicholls St
    57.412
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    McNeese St
    by 10 1/2
    63
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    McNeese St
    by 3 1/2
    57 1/2
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    McNeese St
    (-3 1/2); Over[/B]

    ***************************

    #434333

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [B][I]Thursday’s Best Bet
    August 31, 2017[/I][/B]

    [B]Thursday College Football Best Bet

    #2 Ohio State vs. Indiana

    HeritageSports.eu Odds: Ohio State (-21); Total set at 57[/B]

    After watching teams from the other Power 5 conferences improve and/or test their stock right out of the gates in Week 1 of the season, the Big 10 decided to follow suit and give their schools the same opportunity. So while there still will be a few “cupcake” games for Big 10 programs in the following weeks, we’ve got plenty of the schools in the conference testing themselves against the likes of the Florida’s and Texas’ of the world here in Week 1.

    But what may be the most intriguing matchup featuring Big 10 schools is the conference game they’ve got here with Ohio State in Indiana to take on the Hoosiers. Coming right out of the gate with a conference game is a big opportunity for both of these schools to get a leg up on their competition, but with Ohio State ranked #2 in the preseason polls, an Indiana win could come back to bite the entire conference in the ass.

    Do the Hoosiers have what it takes to shock the college football landscape on opening night, of will Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes squad put the rest of the college football world on notice?

    If you don’t take significant risks you aren’t going to score significant rewards, and a year after having three teams hovering around the CFB playoff picture – and all three teams with strong cases for inclusion – the Big 10 decided to step up their scheduling this year and further up their profile with these tremendous Week 1 matchups.

    Opening up the year with a conference game is going to feel a bit different for these players early on this evening, but as three-touchdown road favorites, Ohio State sees it as a tremendous opportunity to further their goal of getting back to the CFB playoff after last year’s embarrassing 31-0 loss to Clemson in the semi-finals.

    Yet, what makes tonight’s Ohio State/Indiana conference tilt even more intriguing is the fact that new Ohio State offensive co-ordinator Kevin Wilson was fired from his head coaching position at Indiana last year. Wilson is known for his offensive mind as he loves to air the ball down the field, and his success offensively with Indiana over the past few years is a big reason why he found this OC position so quickly.

    There is no doubt that Wilson is licking his chops at the potential for a little personal revenge tonight being on Ohio State’s sideline, but Indiana also knows his “system” inside and out having practised against it for the past five years. That familiarity – for both sides – gives this game that little bit of extra edge, and from a football fan standpoint, it’s an exciting battle to watch.

    However, from a betting standpoint, the battle between Wilson and his new Ohio State offense against his old program is part of a situation that sets up well for plays on both the side and total. The other big part of that scenario is the fact that Ohio State has a huge game against #7 ranked Oklahoma next week and you know that Meyer and the Buckeyes aren’t interested in putting too much of their stuff on film in one week if they don’t have too.

    That means that Ohio State may be looking to go into Indiana tonight, dominate early, establish a big lead, and then bleed the clock down and get the W. A game script like that is ripe for a backdoor cover from the Hoosiers who still have an explosive offense – at least on paper – and for as much as Wilson would love to stick it to his old program, Indiana would love to stick it to Wilson and his new program just as much.

    The Hoosiers know they are the big underdogs here, but with all the excitement surrounding their first game, it being against the hated Buckeyes etc etc, they know they’ve got nothing to really lose here. Letting it all hang out against a top-ranked team in the nation would be a great start to 2017 for the Hoosiers, win or lose SU, and giving them three TD’s here is too many points to pass up.

    Finally, regarding the total, the fact that we’ve got co-ordinators/programs who are very familiar with one another, and a top team looking to stay as “basic” as possible to win and move on to a big game a week from now definitely lends itself to an ‘under’ wager.

    Wilson’s offensive system is known for lighting up scoreboards, but this is still the first week with it in Ohio State and there are sure to be some bumps along the way tonight. Indiana’s offense won’t be as feared without Wilson calling the shots, and as heavy home dogs, the Hoosiers won’t be shy about keeping the ball on the ground and bleeding as much clock as they can to shorten the game.

    There is no question that Ohio State will likely be a much more prolific and explosive offensive team this year, that should cash plenty of ‘overs’ but give Wilson and company a few weeks to work out all the kinks before you really start relying on Ohio State to cash those ‘over’ tickets.

    [B]HeritageSports.eu Best Bet: Indiana +21[/B]

    #434346

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [SIZE=4][COLOR=”#A52A2A”][B]NCAAF’s biggest betting mismatches: Week 1[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]

    Each week, Monty Andrews breaks down some of the underlying betting mismatches on the college football slate, giving you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule and setting your daily fantasy lineup.

    [B]Florida State Seminoles vs Alabama Crimson Tide (-7, 49.5)[/B]

    [I]Seminoles’ unimpressive TO margin vs. Crimson Tide’s ball-hawking prowess[/I]

    There is no bigger game on the opening-week calendar than Saturday’s tilt between the No. 3 Seminoles and the top-ranked Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. And while the game is expected to be a tightly-contested affair – at least, relative to the rest of Alabama’s schedule – both teams have advantages they will look to exploit in the season opener. One of the biggest ones, based on last year’s performances, could put Florida State in a bad position this weekend.

    The Seminoles were merely ordinary at taking care of the football last season, averaging 1.7 turnovers for and 1.6 turnovers against for a net differential of +0.1 – good for 51st in Division I. Florida State was even worse at taking care of the football late in the campaign, recording a net turnover differential of -4 over its last three games of the season. And while those miscues didn’t prevent the Seminoles from an Orange Bowl victory, the story could be much different against the relentless Crimson Tide.

    Alabama’s regular-season turnover differential was elite – at 1.9 turnovers forced and 1.3 turnovers allowed, the Crimson Tide’s +0.6 differential ranked 19th nationwide – but it was down the stretch when the Crimson Tide really flexed their muscles. ‘Bama was sensational at ball control over the final three games of last season, forcing eight turnovers while committing zero. And if the turnover battle skews that way on Saturday night, the Crimson Tide should cruise.

    [B]Florida Gators vs Michigan Wolverines (-3.5, 45)[/B]

    [I]Gators’ road third-down woes vs. Wolverines’ stout D[/I]

    Oddsmakers are expecting a low-scoring defensive showdown at AT&T Stadium this weekend in college football’s other marquee matchup between the 16th-ranked Gators and No. 9 Wolverines. Florida’s offense is in flux – surprise, surprise – and with question marks at quarterback and on the offensive line, there’s no telling how well the Gators will be able to move the ball. If last season is any indication, Florida’s punter might see a lot of screen time Saturday.

    The Gators have struggled to find consistency at quarterback since Tim Tebow became a pro; four different quarterbacks have at least 100 pass attempts in two years with Jim McElwain at the helm. Florida’s offensive struggles last season were summarized in how poorly the team performed on third down, converting at a pedestrian 41.7-percent clip. That rate drops even lower if you only count road games, with Florida making good on just 33.6 percent of third downs away from Gainesville.

    That won’t play well at all against Michigan. The Wolverines are set to build upon last year’s promising start to the season – and atone for last year’s crushing loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The Wolverines were the stingiest team in the nation last year when it came to third-down conversion, allowing opponents to make good at an absurd 21 percent clip.

    [B]LSU Tigers at BYU Cougars (+14.5, 47.5)[/B]

    [I]Tigers’ red-zone struggles vs. Cougars’ downfield dominance[/I]

    Coming off a solid showing in SEC play and a decisive win over Louisville in the Citrus Bowl, LSU opens its 2017 campaign as more than a two-touchdown favorite over a BYU team that kicked off its season last weekend with a one-sided victory over Portland State. Yet, while the Cougars aren’t expected to put up much of a fight, they do own a decided advantage in red-zone play based on last year’s results – and that could keep things closer than fans and oddsmakers expect.

    The Tigers were slightly below average last season when it came to converting trips inside the opposition’s 20-yard line into touchdowns or field goals, scoring points on five out of every six visits in games against fellow FBS opponents. It was a slight decrease from the 84.8-percent conversion rate LSU posted a season earlier. The 13th-ranked Tigers averaged 27.8 points per game last season, and will need to be sharper in the red zone if they hope to finish among the leaders in that category.

    Perhaps LSU can learn a thing or two from its weekend opponent. The Cougars were one of the best teams in the country last season at turning red-zone trips into digits on the scoreboard, converting at a 95.9-percent rate; only Florida State was better. That is nothing new for BYU, which converted at a 93.6-percent clip in 2015. The Cougars are also elite at preventing red-zone scores, limiting teams to a 73.5-percent success rate – the eighth-best mark in Division I.

    [B]West Virginia Mountaineers vs Virginia Tech Hokies (-4, 51.5)[/B]

    [I]Mountaineers’ ordinary pass protection vs. Hokies’ sack-happy home D[/I]

    This hotly anticipated matchup features two teams ranked in the top 25 who haven’t faced each other in 12 years – and much of the focus will be on new Mountaineers’ quarterback Will Grier, who last played with the Florida Gators in 2015. Grier looked good in Gainesville, but he had better hope his offensive line is better than it was last year. The Hokies boasted one of the best defenses in the nation in 2016.

    The Mountaineers were an average pass-protection unit last season, ranking 63rd out of 128 qualifying teams in sacks allowed per game (2.1) in games against other FBS foes. They were worse down the stretch, giving up eight sacks over their final three games of the season – and now have to deal with the loss of All-American center Tyler Orlosky to the NFL. Grier will need to work fast or risk winding up on his back more than a couple of times Sunday night.

    The Hokies defense will be licking its chops after putting together one of the most dominant showings in the nation last season. With a secondary ranked in the top five in Division I coming into the season, the Hokies are in great position to make life miserable for Grier and the rest of the West Virginia passing game.

    #434355

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [B][SIZE=”5″]NCAAF[/SIZE]

    Thursday, August 31[/B]

    ————————————————————————————————————————
    [size=”3″][I][B] Thursday’s NCAAF Game of the Day: Ohio State at Indiana [/B][/I][/size]
    ————————————————————————————————————————

    [B]Ohio State Buckeyes at Indiana Hoosiers (+21, 57)[/B]

    Ohio State goes into another season with high expectations and will be tested right out of the gate on the road, as the second-ranked Buckeyes visit Indiana on Thursday for an early Big Ten matchup. J.T. Barrett returns at quarterback for Ohio State with Heisman Trophy aspirations after completing 61.5 percent of his passes, throwing for 24 touchdowns and running for nine scores last season.

    “His accuracy and just his energy level now are incredible,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer told reporters of Barrett. “He’s providing that energy for everybody. He’s always done that, but … he’s got complete ownership of everything going on in that offense.” Tom Allen, who begins his first full season as coach at Indiana, hopes to end Ohio State’s 22-game winning streak in the series on the way to leading the Hoosiers to their third straight Bowl appearance. Indiana has the benefit of a productive senior quarterback in Richard Lagow (3,362 passing yards in 2016) and an All-American caliber senior linebacker in Tegray Scales (33.5 career tackles for loss). The Hoosiers will have to contain a talented Buckeyes offense that will be led by first-year offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who was fired as Indiana’s coach in December after going 26-47 over six years in Bloomington.
    [B]
    TV:[/B] 8 p.m. ET, ESPN.
    [B]
    LINE HISTORY:[/B] The Buckeyes opened as 20.5-point favorites and by Wednesday evening that number was bumped slightly to 21. The total hit the betting boards at 53 and has been bet way up to 57.

    [B]INJURY REPORT:[/B]

    Ohio State – WR T. Grimes (Probable, Knee), RB M. Weber (Probable, Hamstring), TE M. Baugh (Probable, Toe), QB J. Burrow (Out Indefinitely, Hand), TE A. Alexander (Out For Season, Knee), DT M. Hill (Out Indefinitely, Suspension).

    Indiana – WR S. Cobbs Jr. (Questionable, Possible Suspension), DB B. Fitzgerald (Out For Season, Eligibility), DL N. Sykes (Out For Season, Undisclosed).
    [B]
    WEATHER REPORT:[/B] Weather condition should be pretty good for football with cloudy skies and temperatures in the low-70’s to upper-60’s.
    [B]
    ABOUT OHIO STATE (2016: 11-2 SU, 6-7 ATS, 6-7 O/U):[/B] Barrett rushed for 100 yards three times while throwing just seven interceptions last year, but he will have to be even better with the departure of his top three receivers from 2016. Parris Campbell could step up to a key swing role on offense and the Buckeyes will depend a lot on sophomore running back Mike Weber (1,096 yards, nine TDs), who is expected to play after being slowed by a hamstring injury in the preseason. Three high draft picks from the secondary must be replaced on a defense that is led by lineman Tyquan Lewis (eight sacks last year) as Ohio State opens the season against a Big Ten team for the first time since 1975.
    [B]
    ABOUT INDIANA (2016: 6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS, 4-9 O/U):[/B] Allen will be looking for more efficiency from Lagow, who completed 57.8 percent of his passes in 2016 and had 19 touchdown tosses but also threw 17 interceptions – four in his last two games. The Hoosiers do not have a running back returning that gained at least 250 yards, although they have a talented receiving corps that is led by junior Nick Westbrook (54 catches, 995 yards, six TDs in 2016). The status of junior Simmie Cobbs, who missed most of last season with an injury after registering 1,035 yards on 60 catches in 2015, is uncertain for the opener after he was arrested last month.
    [B]
    TRENDS:[/B]

    * Buckeyes are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
    * Hoosiers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games.
    * Over is 4-1 in Buckeyes last 5 games on fieldturf.
    * Under is 7-3 in Hoosiers last 10 games overall.
    * Underdog is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
    [B]
    CONSENSUS:[/B] The road chalk Buckeyes are picking up 62 percent of the action from Covers users and the Over is picking up 67 percent of the totals wagers.

    #434388

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 31

    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

    FIU at UCF 06:00 PM

    [B]UCF -17.0

    O 56.0[/B]

    BUFF at MINN 07:00 PM

    [B]BUFF +24.0

    O 50.0[/B]

    TLSA at OKST 07:30 PM

    [B]OKST -17.5

    U 69.5[/B]

    UND at UTAH 07:30 PM

    [B]UTAH -20.5[/B]

    OSU at IND 08:00 PM

    [B]IND +20.5

    O 56.0[/B]

    ULM at MEM 09:00 PM

    [B]ULM +25.0

    O 63.0[/B]

    NMSU at ASU 10:30 PM

    [B]NMSU +22.5

    O 70.0[/B]

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