cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
On 08/30/2011 12:16 AM in NCAA Football

Cnotes CFB Week # 1 Best Bets

Memphis tries to end losing skid to Mississippi St.


Kickoff: Thursday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Mississippi State -26.5, Total: 50.5

The Mississippi State Bulldogs look for their 12th straight win over Memphis when the two former rivals square off Thursday night. These schools used to play every year, but did not meet at all from 2004 to 2009. The spread is so big because the Bulldogs are the darkhorse in the SEC West, while the Tigers are 3-21 in the past two seasons.

MSU had a great finish to last year, ending the season on an 8-2 run highlighted by wins over Florida, Georgia and Michigan in the Gator Bowl. Memphis, on the other hand, lost its final nine games by an average of 27.6 PPG, failing to reach 20 points in any of the nine contests. And that doesn’t even include the meeting between these teams to open the 2010 season when MSU outgained Memphis 570 to 237 en route to a 49-7 blowout. The biggest difference in these teams is the rushing offense. MSU averaged 215 rush YPG (16th in nation) while the Tigers had the fifth-worst ground game in the land (92 rush YPG). Although this is a hefty spread for a road team, expect MISSISSIPPI STATE to cover.

This FoxSheets trend also backs the Bulldogs.

MEMPHIS is 4-15 ATS (21.1%, -12.5 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last 3 seasons. The average score was MEMPHIS 18.3, OPPONENT 39.4 - (Rating = 2*).

MSU scrambling QB Chris Relf has developed into a pretty good passer, throwing for 569 yards and six touchdowns in the final two games of 2010. His development is aided by WR Chad Bumphis, who led the team in all receiving categories (44 rec, 634 yds, 5 TD). Senior RB Vick Ballard is the key to this offense. He had six multi-touchdown games and finished with 20 scores on the season. The Bulldogs held opponents to under 20 PPG and should still be a strong defensive team in 2011. However, they did lose their three best players in the front seven in DE Pernell McPhee and LBs Chris White and K.J. Wright.

The Tigers offense had the second-fewest points scored (14.4 PPG) partly because the offensive line surrendered 37 sacks and 87 tackles for losses. Despite the lack of protection, QB Ryan Williams still had a decent freshman season with 2,075 passing yards, 13 TD and 10 INT. He worked very well with top WR Marcus Rucker who scored eight of the team’s 14 receiving TD. The defense only forced 13 turnovers all season (5 fumbles, 8 INT), with a paltry 14 sacks. This led to the fourth-most points allowed in the nation (39.8 PPG). With seven defensive starters returning, much more will be expected from this defense in 2011.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/30/2011 12:26 AM

Wisconsin heavily favored to beat UNLV Thursday
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 8/29/2011 at 5:28:00 AM



Kickoff: Thursday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Wisconsin -35, Total: 55

The Wisconsin Badgers expect to start the season with a big win when they host UNLV on Thursday night. Wisconsin is coming off an 11-2 season, while the Rebels finished 2-11 last year. These two clubs also matched up in last year’s opener at UNLV, where the Rebels only trailed by three points at halftime before the Badgers pulled away in the third quarter and won 41-21.

This year’s Wisconsin offense could be even better than the 2010 version, which posted three 70-point games and finished fifth in the nation in scoring at 41.5 PPG. The new QB is NC State transfer Russell Wilson, who has averaged 267 total yards per game in his career. But the focal point of the offense is the RB duo of James White and Montee Ball who combined for 32 rushing TD in 2010. UNLV had the fifth-worst rushing defense among FBS teams last year (223 rush YPG), including 278 to Wisconsin. The Rebels offense was even worse, ranking third-to-last in the nation in yards with 274 YPG. Considering UNLV is 0-10 ATS as a road underdog in the past three seasons, expect WISCONSIN to cover the huge spread.

The FoxSheets provide another reason to bet on the Badgers.

UNLV is 4-15 ATS (21.1%, -12.5 Units) in road games in games played on turf since 1992. The average score was UNLV 19.6, OPPONENT 35.6 - (Rating = 1*).

The Rebels will be led this year by sophomore QB Caleb Herring, who saw limited duty as a freshman (28-for-56, 365 yds, 4 TD, 3 INT). Herring is now operating behind an offensive line that lost three starters. However, he does have some experienced skill-position players to work with. Senior WR Phillip Payne gained 71 of UNLV’s 105 receiving yards versus Wisconsin last year and finished the season with a team-high 689 yards. RB Tim Cornett had six of UNLV’s nine rushing TD last year, while gaining 546 yards on the ground. The strength of the defense lies with cover corners Will Chandler and Quinton Pointer.

Wilson figures to have plenty of time to make decisions on Thursday, as UNLV had a paltry 12 total sacks last year. His top target will be senior WR Nick Toon, who is coming off a disappointing year, catching just 36 passes and three touchdowns. But there was nothing lackluster about White and Ball who combined for 2,048 rushing yards on 6.4 yards per carry. The Badgers defense will miss stud DE J.J. Watt, but they have two great outside linebackers in Mike Taylor and Chris Borland, who missed the majority of last year with a shoulder injury.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/30/2011 12:27 AM

Syracuse hosts Wake Forest in season opener


Kickoff: Thursday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Syracuse -7, Total: 49.5

Syracuse looks to build on a surprising eight-win season when it opens the 2011 campaign at home against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons had a miserable year, going 3-9 and getting outscored by 13.0 PPG.

Wake was equally bad on both sides of the ball, ranking 108th in the nation in total offense (302 YPG) and 101st in total defense (431 YPG). QB Tanner Price finished his freshman year with zero TD tosses in his final four games, a span of 85 pass attempts. Syracuse also had its problems on offense, scoring 20 points or less eight times. However, the Orange was tremendous on the defensive side of the ball, finishing seventh among FBS schools in total defense (301 YPG) and holding eight opponents to 16 points or less. Considering Wake is 3-11 ATS in its past 14 road games and the Orange are 9-3 ATS in the past 12 games versus non-Big East opponents, the pick here is for SYRACUSE to win and cover.

The FoxSheets also like the UNDER to occur in this matchup.

SYRACUSE is 34-12 UNDER (73.9%, +20.8 Units) when the total is between 49.5 and 56 since 1992. The average score was SYRACUSE 18.1, OPPONENT 28.0 - (Rating = 2*).

Despite 16 starters returning, the cupboard is still pretty bare for Jim Grobe’s Wake Forest team. A subpar receiving corps has hindered QB Tanner Price’s progression. The only reliable pass catcher is Chris Givens (35 rec, 514 yds, 4 TD). For the Deacons to hang around in this game, TB Josh Harris (720 rush yds, 5.7 YPC, 7 TD) will have to gain yards on the ground. On the defensive side of the ball, undersized DT Nikita Whitlock and DE Zach Thompson have to put pressure on Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, and to keep the pressure off a young secondary that started three freshmen at the close of the 2010 campaign. Wake also lost its two starting ILBs.

Most of the Orange offense returns with QB Ryan Nassib (19 TD, 8 INT) and WR Van Chew (611 yds) trying to improve on Syracuse’s 11.5 PPG in its final four regular-season games. RB Antwon Bailey (5.1 YPC career) must make the jump from a third-down back to the featured rusher replacing Delone Carter. The defense may take a step back after losing six starters, the biggest being leading tackler Derrell Smith.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/30/2011 07:21 PM

UCLA begins season at Houston


Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Houston -3, Total: 62

Case Keenum returns to the field for a sixth season when his Houston Cougars open the 2011 campaign at home against UCLA. The Bruins are coming off a 4-8 season, but one of their wins was a 31-13 blowout of Houston when UCLA rushed for 266 yards. Keenum suffered a torn ACL in that defeat while trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception.

Houston not only returns Keenum, but TB Charles Sims will also take the field. Sims had 1,457 yards from scrimmage in 2009 before being ineligible to play last year. UCLA has two new coordinators to help improve upon the school’s 100th-ranked offense (317 YPG) and 94th-ranked defense (420 YPG), but this high-flying Cougars offense is tough to contain. The Bruins are just 3-8 ATS in their past 11 road games and an identical 3-8 ATS in the past 11 games as an underdog. On the other hand, the Cougars are 10-1 ATS at home over the past three seasons with Keenum starting under center. Play on HOUSTON to win with Keenum leading the way.

New offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will try to solve the starting QB position (5.3 YPA, 9 TD, 14 INT), which will either belong to Richard Brehaut (6 TD, 7 INT) or Kevin Prince (3 TD, 5 INT). RB Johnathan Franklin (1,127 rush yds, 5.3 YPC, 8 TD) is back to lead a strong rushing offense that gained 176 YPG (32nd in nation). WRs Taylor Embree (409 rec yds) and Nelson Rosario (309 rec yds) aren’t stars, but they usually get the job done. The defense was pretty porous against the run, allowing 206 YPG (108th in nation). The return of DE Datone Jones who missed 2010 with a broken foot, will help. WLB Sean Westgate (90 tackles, 11 TFL) and SS Tony Dye (96 tackles, 9 PD) are the best remaining players in the back seven.

Keenum’s career numbers are among the best ever in college football history. He has thrown for 13,586 pass yds with a 69% completion rate, 107 TD and 41 INT. He also has 20 rushing touchdowns to boot. In addition to Sims, the Cougars are loaded with offensive talent. TB Bryce Beall (870 rush yds, 12 TD) and WR Patrick Edwards (1,100 rec yds, 13 TD) were top gainers on the team last year. The defense was porous last year, allowing 451 YPG (111th in nation) and 30.1 PPG (ranked 95th). Talent still remains however, with DE Kelvin King (4 sacks) and LBs Marcus McGraw (110 tackles, 7 TFL) and Sammy Brown (7.5 sacks, 20 TFL). The secondary has to replace three starters, but FS Nick Saenz (72 tackles, 6 PD) and SS Roisean Haynes (45 tackles) comprise a strong last line of defense.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/30/2011 07:30 PM

National Champion Auburn opens vs. Utah St.


Kickoff: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Auburn -21, Total: 56.5

Auburn begins the defense of its 2011 BCS National Championship when it hosts Utah State on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers have only three returning starters on offense and three on defense, with the biggest hole to fill being departed Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton.

Junior QB Barrett Trotter will get first crack at replacing Newton, after attempting just nine passes in backup duty last year. The Aggies also have a new quarterback, which won’t be revealed by head coach Gary Andersen until the game begins. Either JUCO transfer Adam Kennedy or freshman Chuckie Keeton will trot out under center in the team’s first series, with neither player having any FBS experience. This is certainly a mismatch on paper. Auburn won 14 games last year and the Aggies have only 13 wins over the past four seasons. However, Utah State is 10-4 ATS in its past 14 road games, while Auburn is 1-4 ATS when favored by at least 20 points over the past two seasons. The Tigers should win comfortably, but not by three touchdowns. UTAH STATE is the pick.

The FoxSheets provide a three star trend expecting the Aggies to cover.

Play On - A road team (UTAH ST) - poor defense from last season - allowed 400 or more total yards/game, with 5 defensive starters returning, in the first two weeks of the season.(36-11 since 1992.) (76.6%, +23.9 units. Rating = 3*).

Utah State will try to hang around in this game by controlling the clock and rushing the football. The team’s top rusher from last year, Derrvin Speight is gone, but TB Kerwynn Williams (451 rush yds, 5.6 YPC) has the ability to produce a monster season behind four returning starters on the offensive line. The Aggies rushed for 169 YPG last year, but ranked 93rd in the nation in passing (179 YPG). Utah State’s defense was even worse, ranking 101st in points (33.8 PPG) and 100th in yards (429 YPG), mostly because of a weak pass rush that tallied a mere 13 sacks. However, DE Levi Koskan (4.5 sacks) and LB Bobby Wagner (team-best 133 tackles) are back to help improve this unit.

Cam Newton’s 51 total touchdowns won’t be easy to replace, but the ground game is in good hands with Michael Dyer (1,093 rush yds, 5 TD, 6.0 YPC) and Onterio McCalebb (810 rush yds, 9 TD, 8.5 YPC). It will be key for Barrett Trotter to establish a passing game, or teams will load up the box and try to exploit Auburn’s young offensive line, which returns only one starter. Trotter has reliable receivers, led by Emory Blake (526 rec yds, team-high 8 TD). Auburn could certainly struggle defensively with eight starters leaving, but the three that remain are all solid -- DE Nosa Eguae (3.5 sacks, 7.5 TFL), OLB Daren Bates (48 tackles, 7 QB hurries) and CB Neiko Thorpe (64 tackles, 9 PD). The secondary continues to be the biggest weakness on the team, as the Tigers 108th in pass defense (259 YPG allowed).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/30/2011 07:32 PM

TCU opens 2011 campaign at Baylor


Kickoff: Friday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: TCU -6, Total: 56

Reigning Rose Bowl Champion TCU looks for another big win over nearby rival Baylor when the two schools open their seasons Friday night in Waco. After an 11-year intermission from this rivalry, the schools have played three times since 2006, with the Horned Frogs winning all three games by a combined score of 89 to 27.

Despite last year’s 45-10 drubbing, these schools are more evenly matched in 2011. TCU lost six offensive starters including the winningest QB in the school’s history, Andy Dalton. Baylor returns its dynamic duo of QB Robert Griffin and WR Kendall Wright to a team that reached its first bowl since 1994. But the difference in this game is defense, and TCU had the best stop unit in the land last year, with a nation-leading 12.0 PPG and 228 YPG. Baylor’s defense, which lost six starters, was 89th in scoring (30.5 PPG) and 104th in yardage (435 YPG). TCU ran for 291 yards against Baylor, with 165 of those coming from returning RB Ed Wesley. Factor in Baylor’s poor home record in the past two years (4-8 ATS), and the pick here is TCU.

The FoxSheets also side with the Horned Frogs to win this matchup.

BAYLOR is 59-89 ATS (39.9%, -38.9 Units) as an underdog since 1992. The average score was BAYLOR 15.8, OPPONENT 36.8 - (Rating = 1*).

Coach Gary Patterson, who is 36-3 in the past three years, still has great talent. Junior QB Casey Pachall has all the tools to become a great player. He’s been dealing with a shoulder injury, but it’s not expected to bother him when the game begins Friday night. Pachall knows he doesn’t have to do it all by himself with a supporting cast that includes RB Ed Wesley (1,078 rush yds, 11 TD) and WR Josh Boyce (646 rec yds, 6 TD). The defense might not be the best in the land, but LBs Tank Carder (9.5 TFL) and Tanner Brock (106 tackles) are both excellent leaders. The defensive line remains a position of great depth and the secondary which led the nation in passing defense (129 YPG), is still very good.

Baylor had trouble beating really good teams last year, getting outscored 195-92 in four games versus Top 25 final poll participants (TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma). Ultra-talented QB Robert Griffin III (3,501 pass yds, 22 TD, 8 INT; 635 rush yds, 8 TD) benefits from his top two WRs returning in Kendall Wright (952 rec yds) and Josh Gordon (17.0 yds per catch). TB Jay Finley is gone, but Terrance Ganaway (6.4 YPC) and Jarred Salubi (8.3 YPC) are both capable runners behind a strong offensive line. Three of the four starters in the secondary graduated, but new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett has a couple of budding stars in sophomore DE Tevin Elliott and MLB Chris McAllister.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/31/2011 07:57 PM

Tech Trends - Week 1

August 29, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 1

UNLV at WISCONSIN... Interestingly, Badgers have failed to cover the last four meetings against frequent foe UNLV, although cut it close last year (won by 20, laying 20 ½). Wisky no covers last 4 since '09 hosting non-Big Ten FBS foes, although Bielema closed 2010 by covering 7 in a row and has covered 8 of last 12 at Camp Randall. UNLV 0-7 vs. line away in 2010, 1-12 last 13 on road. Tech edge-Wisconsin, based on UNLV road woes.

MISSISSIPPI STATE at MEMPHIS...Bulldogs have won and covered all five meetings since 2000, including 49-7 romp at Starkville LY. MSU 3-0 as chalk away from home LY. Not much home field edge lately at Liberty Bowl for wretched Memphis, just 3-8 vs. line last 11 as host. Tigers lost 5 games by 36 points or more LY in Larry Porter's awkward debut season. Tech edge-MSU, based on Memphis shortcomings.

WAKE FOREST at SYRACUSE... Wake had dropped its first five SU and vs. line away from home, in ugly fashion, LY until winning at Vandy in finale. Deacs now 3-11 vs. spread last 14 as visitor since mid '08, and Grobe just 2-7 as dog LY after better marks in role prior (18-11 as short '05-09). Grobe also 9-5 vs. line last 14 against FBS non-ACC foes. Marrone is 7-2 vs. line against non-Big East since '09, but note that Orange dropped their last 4 vs. spread at Carrier Dome LY. Tech edge-slight to Wake, based on extended Grobe dog and non-ACC trends.

BOWLING GREEN at IDAHO... Rematch of wild '09 Humanitarian Bowl (now the Idaho Potato Bowl) won by Vandals 43-42! Falcs really tailed off last year when dropping 7 of last 9 vs. number, but they were 4-3 getting 7 or more away from home in 2010. Akey just 2-7 vs. line last 9 at Kibbie Dome, and Vandals 2-2 laying 7 or more LY. Tech edge-slight to Bowling Green, based on recent Akey mark at Kibbie Dome.

NORTH TEXAS at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL...The debut of Dan McCarney at North Texas. Mean Green have lost and failed to cover their last four against Mario Cristobal's FIU, but UNT did close 2010 with a rush when covering four of last five after Todd Dodge's ouster. LY's interim HC Mike Canales remains as o.c. in 2011. UNT actually 4-2-1 its last 7 as road dog. Golden Panthers only 1-3 vs. line as home chalk LY and 2-6 in role since '09. Tech edge-slight to UNT, based on recent trends.

KENTUCKY vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY (at LP Field, Nashville)...Joker Phillips and UK covered all three FBS non-SEC reg.-season games LY, although Cats ended season dropping 7 of last 10 vs. spread. Joker was 4-1 as chalk LY and note that Cats are 5-0 as favorite away from Lexington since 2005. WKU showed a bit of spark LY in Willie Taggart debut (6-6 vs. line, 4-3 away) but just 1-3 vs. line outside of Belt and 2-4 as DD dog in 2010. Tech edge-slight to UK, based on team trends.

Friday, Sept. 2

TCU at BAYLOR...Frogs blew out Bears 45-10 LY at Fort Worth but are only 9-9 vs. spread their last 18 away from Amon Carter Stadium. They're also just 2-5 vs. spread last 7 vs. non-MWC foes away from home, although Patterson is 43-27-1 vs. line overall since '05. Bears, who have lost and failed to cover (wide margins) last 3 vs. Frogs since '06, dropped last 4 SU and vs. line in 2010, and Art Briles just 4-8 vs. line his last 12 at Waco and 2-6 his last 8 as dog. Tech edge-TCU, based on team and series trends.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/31/2011 07:58 PM

Saturday, Sept. 3

NORTHWESTERN at BOSTON COLLEGE...Spaziani 1-6 vs. line at home LY (now 1-7 last 8 at Alumni Stadium) and 0-4 as Chestnut Hill chalk. Cats only 4-9 vs. line overall themselves LY but Fitzgerald was 10-3 vs. number as dog away from Evanston the previous three seasons. Tech edge-Northwestern, based on team trends.

UTAH STATE at AUBURN...Note that Chizik just 2-6 vs. spread his last 8 vs. non-SEC foes and only 1-5 last six chances laying DD points. Interestingly, Utags are 6-1 getting 20 points or more the past two seasons for HC Gary Andersen, and they're 9-4 since '09 against spread as visitor. Walking it back a bit further, USU now 17-7 vs. number last 24 as visitor. Tech edge-USU, based on team trends.

AKRON at OHIO STATE...First game of the post-Tressel era in Columbus. Will the jaded Ohio State fans still be happy at beating this undermanned MAC opponent? Tressel was awfully good vs. number (9-2-1 LY, 55-24 last 79 on board) so let's see what Luke Fickell can do. Bucks had also covered their last 9 vs. non-conference foes under Tressel. Zips only 1-3 vs. spread getting 20 or more under Ianello LY. Tech edge-Ohio State, based on team trends.

MIAMI-OHIO at MISSOURI...Miami-O returns to Mizzou where it was buried 51-13 LY. RedHawks rallied late for Haywood LY by winning last 6 SU (5-1 vs. line), but now it's Treadwell debut. Tend to dismiss most of the pre-2010 Miami numbers because so wretched especially 2008-09. Pinkel was 5-2 laying DD in 2010 after only 6-11 mark in role the previous three years. Tigers covered 4 of 6 at home LY after dropping 10 of 16 vs. line the prior three seasons in Columbia. Tech edge-slight to Miami-O, based on extended subpar Mizzou home trends.

KENT STATE at ALABAMA...Nick Saban against his alma mater, will he take it easy? Tide was 4-0 vs. line as non-conference host LY, laying heavy numbers each time, and Bama 8-1 vs. spread last 9 vs. non-SEC. Bama 27-14 last 41 on board as well. Hazell debut for Flashes, who are 1-6 vs. line last 7 away from Dix Stadium vs. non-MAC foes. Tech edge-Bama (unless Saban in a merciful mood), based on team trends.

UCLA at HOUSTON...Cougs in revenge mode after Bruins KO'd both of their QBs in LY's 31-13 UCLA win at Rose Bowl. Which might have been turnaround for several cheap shots taken by Kim Helton's UH against UCLA back in 1998, a game in which Freddie Mitchell suffered a severe broken leg. (Helton was mad because he thought Bob Toledo ran up the score in 1997's 66-10 win.) Neuheisel only 1-5 vs. line away LY and 6-10 in role since arriving at UCLA in 2008. Neuheisel also 7-16 last 23 as dog, although he is 8-2 vs. number against non-conference opposition since 2008. Tend to throw out most UH spread numbers LY when Cougs just 1-4-1 vs. line at home and 3-8-1 overall. But Sumlin still just 7-13-1 his last 21 as chalk (1-4-1 LY). Tech edge-slight to UCLA, based on extended team trends.

WESTERN MICHIGAN at MICHIGAN...Do we dismiss the wretchedness of the Rodriguez spread numbers at Michigan now that he is gone? His regime was cursed at Ann Arbor so we tend to dismiss it, but for the record the Wolverines dropped their last 9 vs. the number last year and were 10-27 vs. the line for Rodriguez the past three years, and 5-15 as chalk for Rich. Meanwhile, Brady Hoke was 6-2 as chalk LY for SDSU (although he dropped all four laying points in '09). Hoke is 21-14 vs. line the last three years with Ball State and Aztecs. Broncs no covers last 4 (0-3-1) vs. non-MAC foes away from Waldo Stadium, and just 10-16-1 vs. spread away since '08. Tech edge-slight to Michigan, based on Hoke factor.

MINNESOTA at SOUTHERN CAL...Trojans just 9-17 vs. line since '09 and have been just 3-9 laying DD the past two years (1-4 for Lane Kiffin LY). Kiffin 3-7 as DD chalk since '09 (UT & SC), and Troy 0-4 vs. points outside of Pac LY (Kiffin 2-7 non-league since '09). Jerry Kill debut at Minnesota, note he was 9-4 vs. line LY for NIU Huskies before leaving prior to bowl game. Tech edge-Minnesota, based on extended SC/Kiffin negatives.

SOUTH FLORIDA at NOTRE DAME...Skip Holtz carries Lou's torch back to South Bend, where dad was gently moved aside after '96. Big stuff for Skip and Lou, and Skip was 4-1 as dog LY with Bulls, now 27-10 as short at ECU and USF since 2005. Brian Kelly covered just 1 of 7 at home in ND debut LY (an odd 1-3-3 vs. line) and Irish have covered just 9 of last 34 at home since early in the 2006 campaign (dating to the early Weis years). Tech edge-South Florida, based on team trends.

BYU at OLE MISS...Cougs closed with a rush last season with covers in last five and seven of last eight games, although most of those (save 1-point loss at Utah) were vs. less-than-stellar opposition. Bronco Mendenhall still 9-5 vs. spread last 14 away from Provo. Houston Nutt 4-10 vs. line last 14 reg.-season games and only 2-6 vs. mark last 8 at Oxford. Nutt only 2-5 as dog since '09. Tech edge-BYU, based on recent trends.

SAN JOSE STATE at STANFORD...Shaw debut on Farm. Peninsula series resumes after a one-year hiatus in 2010, Tree had won and covered previous three and is 7-1 SU and vs. line last 8 in series. SJSU just 7-23 vs. number last 30 on board and 3-11 vs. line last 14 away from home. Tech edge-Stanford, based on series trends.

COLORADO STATE at NEW MEXICO...Mike Locksley is 0-8 SU and vs. number in September the past two years. Lobos only 4-8 vs. line in Albuquerque since '09 as well. Rams just 4-9 vs. number on road the past two years and just 1-5 as road chalk since '05, but have covered 3 of last 4 meetings. Tech edge-CSU, based on Lobo/Locksley negatives.

BUFFALO at PITTSBURGH...Buffalo a wretched 2-10 vs. points LY (1-10 vs. FBS foes) and dropped its last 7 SU and vs. line in Quinn debut campaign. Bulls now 6-17 vs. spread last 23 on board dating to late '08. Todd Graham Pitt debut, he covered 9 of last 10 at Tulsa LY and was 3-2 vs. mark as DD chalk host, note however he was just 19-19 overall as chalk at Tulsa. Stache was only 8-10 as home chalk from 2007-10 at Pitt. Tech edge-slight to Pitt, based on Buffalo negatives.

SOUTH CAROLINA vs. EAST CAROLINA (at Charlotte)...Now we just need North Carolina vs. Western Carolina to complete a Carolina parlay this weekend! ECU was defenseless LY and dropped 5 of its last 6 vs. the number, and only 2-5 last 7 as dog for Ruffin M. after Skip had posted solid dog marks prior. Spurrier has won and covered openers in each of the last three years but he's only 3-5 last 8 as chalk away from home. Spurrier just 6-6 last 12 as DD chalk. Tech edge-slight to SC, based on Spurrier opener mark.

FRESNO STATE vs. CAL (at Candlestick Park, San Francisco)...Bears begin their season away from Strawberry Canyon, all home games either at Candlestick or AT&T Park across the Bay in 2011. Since mid 2004, Jeff Tedford is a subpar 34-44 vs. number. Meanwhile, Bulldogs' Pat Hill 8-4 vs. spread on reg. season road since '09 and 5-1 vs. spread the last two regular seasons against non-WAC foes. Tech edge-Fresno, based on team trends.

ARMY at NORTHERN ILLINOIS...Dave Doeren debut at NIU. Physical West Point was 4-0 as visiting dog last year and has covered opener the past two years for Rich Ellerson, both at EMU. Black Knights also 5-0 as visiting dog LY. NIU no covers last 4 as chalk vs. non-conference foes and was 2-12 laying DDs from 2005-09 before 6-2 mark in role LY. Tech edge-Army, based on team trends.

RICE at TEXAS...Rice had failed to cover 4 in a row vs. Texas (from '05-'08) before getting the cover at Reliant Stadium LY. Owls haven't beaten Horns SU since '94 (Kenny Hatfield) when both still played in the old SWC. Mack just 3-12 vs. line last 15 on board since late '09, 3-10 vs. spread last 13 at Austin, 3-8 laying 19 or more same span. Owls just 6-14 as DD visiting dog since '05, however (0-2 LY). Tech edge-Rice, based on recent Texas negatives.

INDIANA vs. BALL STATE (at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis)...New coaches both ways (Wilson IU, Lembo Ball State)! Since 2002, IU is 7-4 vs. line against MAC opposition, and Hoosiers 4-2 vs. number against non-conference foes since '09. Cards, however, are 19-9 vs. line away from Muncie since '07 (4-2 LY), and are 5-2 vs. points against Big Ten since '06. Tech edge-slight to Ball State, based on team trends.

TULSA at OKLAHOMA...Blankenship Tulsa debut. Tulsa closed in a hurry LY when covering 9 of its last 10, including its last 5 away from home. Tulsa 6-3 vs. spot last 9 against non-CUSA foes on road and 7-3 as DD dog since 2003. Stoops just 5-5 laying DD at Norman since '99, though 19-11 overall in role since '07 (14-8 laying DD at Norman that span). Sooners also 9-3 last 12 vs. line vs. non-conference foes at Norman. Tech edge-slight to OU, based on team trends.

OHIO at NEW MEXICO STATE...Eighteen of DeWayne Walker's 20 SU losses since '09 have been by 10 points or more. Ags 0-5 vs. line since '08 vs. non-WAC foes at Las Cruces. Walker just 3-10 vs. line at Cruces since '09. Solich 13-8 vs. line away from Athens since '08, but only 4-6 as road chalk since '07. Tech edge-Solich, based on NMSU negatives.

BOISE STATE vs. GEORGIA (at Georia Dome, Atlanta)...Boise was 6-1 vs. line away from blue carpet LY and is now 21-8 vs. spread its last 29 away from Boise. Rematch of '05 opener at Athens won by Ga 48-13. Broncos have also last 7 away from home vs. non-WAC foes. Richt was 0-4 as dog LY after 9-4 mark in role the previous five years. Dawgs also 1-6 vs. spread away from Athens LY. Tech edge-Boise, based on recent trends.

OREGON vs. LSU (at Jerry Jones Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX)...Les Miles only 2-5 vs. line last 7 outside of SEC. Les also just 16-30 vs. number last 46 on board since early '07. Ducks 2-4 vs. spread last 6 vs. non-conference foes away from Eugene, but 31-21 overall vs. line since '07. Tech edge-slight to Oregon, based on Les Miles' extended spread marks.

LA TECH at SOUTHERN MISS...LT nothing special vs. line in Dykes' debut LY (5-7 vs. spread), 1-1 as DD road dog. Bulldogs also 0-6 vs. number last 6 as non-WAC visitor. Fedora 13-6-1 vs. line last 20 on board for USM. Tech edge-USM, based on team trends.

COLORADO at HAWAII...Jon Embree debut for Buffs, we remember his dad as a long-striding Denver Broncos receiver in 1969. CU was 0-5 vs. spread as true visitor LY and 1-4 vs. line as non-conf. visitor since '07. Leahey covered all 7 reg. season home games LY and is 22-12 vs. spread last 34 on board for Greg McMackin since mid '08. Tech edge-Hawaii, based on team trends.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE at PURDUE...Last year was a mess for MTSU, just 4-9 vs. line and 2-5 away from Murfreesboro, also 0-5 vs. non-Belt. Many distractions in 2010, however, and note Rick Stockstill was 21-14 vs. line in the three previous seasons. Purdue just 2-7 as Ross-Ade chalk since Danny Hope took over in 2009, and 1-4-1 vs. spread last 6 vs. non-Big Ten foes. Riveters 4-11 as Ross-Ade DD chalk since '05. Tech edge-MTSU, based on Purdue negatives.

ARKANSAS STATE at ILLINOIS...Ron Zook was 5-3 as chalk LY but was highly unreliable in role previously (just 7-12 between '07-09). Zook 1-6 vs. line last 7 on board hosting non-Big Ten foes. Hugh “Deep" Freeze HC debut for Ark State which was 3-1 as DD road dog for Roberts LY. Red Wolves had covered 7 of first 9 LY before dropping last 3 vs. number in 2010. Tech edge-slight to Ark State, based on extended Zook negatives.

UL-MONROE at FLORIDA STATE...Jimbo fared okay laying DD numbers last season, covering 3 of 5 (2-1 laying 20 or more) after Bowden had failed repeatedly to cover heavy lumber in his later years with Noles (just 1-7 laying DD from '07-09). Jimbo also 4-1 vs. line against non-ACC last year. ULM was 1-2 vs. line on road vs. non-Belt in Todd Berry debut LY (all of those vs. SEC bowl teams) and 2-3 as DD dog. Tech edge-slight to FSU, based on recent Jimbo numbers.

TROY at CLEMSON...Troy finally got rolling late LY with wins and covers in its last 3 games after a somewhat disappointing earlier portion of 2010. Blakeney still 10-5 vs. line last 15 as dog. Dabo struggling lately at home, just 2-5-1 last 8 vs. spread at Death Valley. Tech edge-Troy, based on team trends.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC at FLORIDA...Howard really labored late LY, dropping last 5 and 9 of last 10 vs. number. FAU just 4-19 vs. points last 23 vs. non-Belt foes in reg.-season play, and Owls also just 5-12 against spread last 17 as visitor. Muschamp Gator debut, note that Fla. still 3-1 as DD Swamp chalk LY despite post-Tebow downturn (1-1 laying 20 or more). Tech edge-Florida, based on recent Schnellenberger negatives.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/31/2011 07:58 PM

UNLV at Wisconsin

August 31, 2011

UNLV at Wisconsin

Thursday, Sept. 1
8:00 pm ET

After a summer full of NFL lockout talk, it sure is nice to get back to football…college football that is. Hard to believe the 2011 season is just days away but I couldn’t be more ready. Seriously, the women’s World Cup was exciting but I’m ready to move on.

Speaking of exciting, the programming gods at ESPN started the season with a fumble for this Thursday night opener. UNLV at Wisconsin? A 35 ½-point spread? What? Were the rights to the New Hampshire-Toledo game out of their price range?

I suppose we should just look at the bright side. Quarterback Russell Wilson, who transferred to Madison after three seasons at N.C. State, has been the talk of college football recently. There are a number of folks who think that Wilson, who started 36 games for the Wolfpack, could be the piece the Badgers need to make a run at the BCS Championship.

Prior to Wilson’s announcement, quarterback did figure to be somewhat of a question mark for coach Bret Bielema. Gone was Scott Tolzien, an underappreciated signal caller who completed over 72 percent of his passes and went 21-5 in two seasons as a starter in Madison. Wisconsin knew it had plenty of offense returning with six starters back, especially with the electric running back combo of James White and Montee Ball but the addition of Wilson should add a dimension that makes this offense especially dangerous.

The other side of the ball is a bit of a different story for the Badgers. True, Wisconsin does return six starters on defense but the five they lost include critical pieces such as defensive end J.J. Watt and cornerback Niles Brinkley.

Any complaints from Bielema would just be minor quibbles, especially after the gift of Wilson fell into his lap. UNLV coach Bobby Hauck can only dream of having the “problems” that his counterpart at Wisconsin is facing this season. Hauck, who compiled an 80-17 record in seven seasons at Montana, including a trip to the I-AA title game three times, is in the midst of a full blown rebuilding project in Sin City.

The last time the Rebels had a winning season was back in 2000, when John Robinson led the program to an 8-5 record. That type of season must seem a long way off for Hauck, who suffered through a 2-10 season during his maiden voyage in Vegas.

But Hauck seems to be rebuilding the right way – by giving plenty of experience to younger players. In fact, UNLV has 23 freshmen and sophomores on their two-deep heading into this Thursday night. Eventually that talent will mature and the experience and growing pains will pay dividends.

Those growing pains will be on full display this Thursday night in Madison. The Rebels, who return seven starters on offense and four on defense, have added some nice junior college transfers including LB Princeton Jackson, CB Ken Spigner and S Dre Crawford. Those three should help fill some gaping holes on a defensive unit that surrendered nearly 40 points a game last season.

On offense, signal caller Caleb Herring picked up some decent experience last year by appearing in eight of UNLV’s 13 games. That playing time should serve him well in 2011 as should the talents of sophomore RB Tim Cornett and WRs Phillip Payne and Marcus Sullivan.

If the defense can take a step in the right direction – actually two or three steps would be best – then this team might be a bit more competitive than the experts are predicting. UNLV’s current season win total is sitting at 2 ½ victories.

Being competitive this Thursday might be asking a bit much, however.

A quick look at other Thursday night games

Miss. State (-29) at Memphis: Yikes, another large number. Bulldogs return a lot of talent on offense, including an improving QB in Chris Relf and dangerous RB Vick Ballard. Memphis has only won three games over the past two years and that might not improve much this season. Larry Porter is installing a new offense and there should be a number of “learning experiences” in this one.

Wake Forest at Syracuse (-6.5): The ‘Cuse executed quite the turnaround last season, improving from 4-8 in 2009 to 8-5 last year. However, some key players from last year are gone so it remains to be seen if additional improvement can be made in 2011. Wake’s defense was a disaster last year, allowing 35.8 points a game. Coach Grobe made that area a priority in the off-season and I anticipate a much tougher team this fall.

Bowling Green at Idaho (-7): Dave Clawson is still getting things turned around for the Falcons. He will be helped by having seven starters back on both offense and defense. Idaho will have to deal with a new QB for the first time since 2006 as Nathan Enderle finally used up all his eligibility. Look for senior Brian Reader under center for the Vandals.

Kentucky (-19) at Western Kentucky: Kentucky’s offense was decimated by graduation and there will be new faces at all the skill positions. The Hilltoppers were just 2-10 in 2010 but return senior RB Bobby Rainey who will no doubt be the workhorse of this offense. This game will be played in Nashville.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33145 Followers:38
08/31/2011 07:59 PM

Focus on Quarterbacks

August 30, 2011

We started off our in-depth examination of returning starters in college football by breaking down the teams with the most and least returning starters on the defensive side of the ball. Last week, we moved on to take a look at the offense from this perspective.

The logic behind the importance I place on returning starters in the beginning of the season as a sharp handicapping angle is fairly straightforward: The team with a greater number of returning starters should have an advantage in the early part of the season over its opponent, who have more players still learning to deal with the pressure, expectations, and performance that comes with being a starter in Division 1-A (or FBS) college football.

As the final – and most important - piece of the puzzle, we now take a look at the quarterback position. By my estimation, there are 12 teams in college football dealing with a fairly significant change at this all important position. I’ll take a look at the QB position at each of these 12 teams while classifying the level of impact as low, medium, or high.

Teams dealing with significant change at the Quarterback position in 2011

Impact: LOW

Arkansas: Ryan Mallet is out, Tyler Wilson is in

Everyone knows what a talent Ryan Mallett – now with the Patriots – is but if the limited action Tyler Wilson saw last year is a true indication, this offense might not slow down at all. Wilson carved up Auburn to the tune of 332 yards and 4 touchdowns after Mallett was injured and gets NFL-caliber WR’s Joe Adams and Gregg Childs back. It does hurt that Wilson won’t have RB Knile Davis (ankle, out for season) but Ronnie Wingo and Dennis Johnson should prove capable.

Florida State: Christian Ponder is out, EJ Manuel is in

In last year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl, FSU QB Christian Ponder was injured and Noles fans got a glimpse of the future as EJ Manuel stepped in. The redshirt junior coolly went 11-for-15 against South Carolina in a game FSU would eventually win, leading many to predict a bright future for the Newport News, VA product. Ponder was great but FSU should see little drop off this year on offense.

Iowa: Ricky Stanzi is out, James Vandenberg is in

If the name James Vandenberg sounds familiar to you then it should. In 2009,Vandenberg was forced to fill in for an injured Ricky Stanzi and start at Ohio State as a freshman with the Big Ten title on the line. He nearly led the Hawkeyes to a monster upset before Iowa lost in OT (27-24). Stanzi played pretty healthy in 2010 so Vandenberg only threw eight passes last year. With Stanzi gone, the position is all Vandenberg’s and he has the potential to be one of the Big Ten’s best passers this year. Iowa should see little, if any drop off in production from the QB position.

Missouri : Blaine Gabbert is out, James Franklin is in

Brad Smith, Chase Daniel, and Blaine Gabbert. Talk about tough shoes to fill. Word out of Columbia is that new Mizzou QB James Franklin is the best runner since Smith. Franklin, who beat out Gabbert’s younger brother Tyler for the starting gig, will have a number of options to throw to and hand off to with all skill position players returning.

Impact: MEDIUM

Idaho: Nathan Enderle is out, Brian Reader is in

Nathan Enderle was the engine that drove the Vandals in 2010 but now it’s Brian Reader’s turn. The good news for Idaho fans is that Reader has gained some solid experience over the past couple of seasons, seeing action in 16 contests, including a pair of starts. In 2009, his six touchdowns were balanced by six interceptions – never a good ratio. That metric improved in 2010 when he threw five touchdowns against just one pick. Idaho should be in good hands this season.

TCU: Andy Dalton is out, Casey Pachall is in

Pachall banged up his throwing shoulder over the past week but Coach Gary Patterson says his new starter should be good to go for the season opener Sept. 2 at Baylor. The sophomore has big shoes to fill as he looks to replace four-year starter Andy Dalton. Dalton was an outstanding leader for the Horned Frogs offense and while Pachall has looked good in practice, he has a long ways to go before he can command the TCU huddle the way his predecessor did.

Virginia Tech: Tyrod Taylor is out, Logan Thomas is in

Tyrod Taylor didn’t get near the pub of Michael Vick but he will surely be remembered as one of the best signal callers to ever suit up for the Hokies. Now it is time for Logan Thomas, 6-foot-6, 256-pound specimen to take over. With that size, he won’t have the escapability of Taylor but all reports indicate he is a bruising runner with a great arm. Virginia Tech is a sleeper to make a run at the national championship and so you can expect solid QB play in Blacksburg.

Washington: Jake Locker is out, Keith Price is in

From Warren Moon in the 70's to Jake Locker last year, you could make a strong argument that Washington has produced as many talented QB’s over the last 40 years as anyone. Will new quarterback Keith Price be another in that long line of Husky greats? It’s certainly too early to answer that question but Price’s first year as a starter will be eased by having RB Chris Polk behind him. Another huge bonus is the arrival of one of coach Steve Sarkisian’s biggest recruiting jewels: 6-7, 250-pound tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Sarkisian loves to utilize the tight end in his offensive schemes and everyone knows that position can serve as a security blanket for QB’s learning on the job. Look for Price to find Seferian-Jenkins early and often.

Impact: HIGH

Alabama: Greg McElroy is out, AJ McCarron/Phillip Sims are in

McElroy was never considered a star but he was very steady and made few mistakes. Now Alabama enters 2011 not knowing who exactly will try to fill that all important role. AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims have been close enough in practice that both will likely play in the season open cupcake against Kent State. The performance in that game should give some direction as to who has the upper hand for playing time the remainder of the year. Either way, it will be a drop off in production for the Tide at QB.

Auburn: Cam Newton is out, Barrett Trotter is in

Trotter held the clipboard for Newton while the Tigers rode their QB to a national championship. Considering Newton made just about every significant play for Auburn in 2010 it goes without saying that Trotter hasn’t gained too much experience. The junior completed 6 of 9 passes for 64 yards in mop up time last season. The good news is Trotter will have stud RB Michael Dyer to hand off to. The bad news is just about everyone else is gone. The Auburn offense will see a huge downshift in 2011.

Nevada: Colin Kaepernick is out, Tyler Lantrip is in

Nevada’s offense has been just about unstoppable the past couple of years under Kaepernick. The Wolfpack was 4th in the nation in total offense with 519.8 ypg and 8th in scoring averaging just over 41 points a game. But this year the Pistol offense only returns four starters so Lantrip will have to make do with less talent around him. The senior is 6-4 and 220 pounds with a nice arm and while athletic, he certainly can’t scramble like Kaepernick and that’s what made this offense so dangerous. Look for a noticeable drop in production.

North Carolina: TJ Yates is out, Bryn Renner is in

Bryn Renner certainly has it in his genes. His Dad played college football at Virginia Tech and went on to play for the Green Bay Packers. Bryn was a highly recruited high school prospect and is now set to be the starter for UNC. The Tar Heels got a very productive season out of Yates in 2010 and the jury is still very much out on whether Renner can produce those stats. Throw in the coaching change just weeks before the season and this smells like a work in proress in 2010.

Bonus: Heisman Trophy odds & prediction (Odds provided by

The facts: Since 2000, 82% (9 of 11) of all Heisman winners have been quarterbacks. Furthermore, the average final ranking of the team which the Heisman winner played for was #4. With those two metrics in mind, I’m thinking a QB for a highly ranked team looks pretty good to me. Here are the top choices according to the odds makers.

Stanford QB Andrew Luck (+300): Luck might be the best QB in the nation but I don’t see the Cardinal being good enough as a team for him to win the award. PASS

Oklahoma QB Landry Jones (+500): The Sooners could very well play for the National Championship and if they do, Jones will get a ton of credit, including serious consideration for the Heisman. PLAY

Oregon RB LaMichael James (+600): James is the most exciting player in college football but for him to win the Heisman, Oregon would have to go undefeated and play for the National Championship and I don’t see that happening. PASS

Alabama RB Trent Richardson (+1000): With Mark Ingram gone to the NFL, Richardson now has the backfield all to himself. However, Bama figures to struggle on offense and so while the team should again be great, I doubt this talented RB puts up the numbers to win the award. PASS

Boise State QB Kellen Moore (+1500): Moore is a QB who will pile up the stats and plays for a team which will be highly ranked. Sounds good right? Yes, but the thinking here is the fact that Boise plays in a weak conference – now in the MWC – makes Moore’s chances slim. However, I feel that Boise has made enough noise against big programs to overcome that stigma. If Moore can put up huge numbers against Georgia in the opener and then the Broncos can go undefeated, this could be a nice dark horse ticket. PLAY

Close, not considered:

Michigan QB Denard Robinson (+500): Won’t sneak up on nearly that many defenses this season and the team won’t be competitive enough for him to be a serious contender.

South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore (+600): South Carolina should finish high in the polls but Lattimore won’t get ahead of James and Richardson for Heisman consideration.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: