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Ohio U lost for first time last week, but they'd been flirting with danger, as their last four wins vs I-A opponents were all by seven or less points. Bobcats are 2-6 vs spread last eight games as home favorites- they won last four games vs Eastern Michigan, but only one of those was in last five years (30-17 in '10). Eastern is 1-7 this year, 1-3 as road underdogs, losing road games by 11-38-16-21 points. Eagles are 17-20-1 as dogs on road, since 2007. MAC home favorites are 11-5 vs spread in conference play. Five of seven EMU games went over the total.
Virginia Tech/Miami are both down a little this year; Hokies lost three of last four games, are 0-4 away from home, allowing 37 ppg- since '05, VT is 17-9-1 as road favorites, but 0-2 this year. Miami is honoring former coach Jimmy Johnson at this game; what they need are a few of his old players. Hurricanes lost last three games, scoring 12.3 ppg; they're 3-4 vs I-A teams, and allowed 32-36-37 points in the three wins. Hurricanes are 7-3 as underdogs under Golden. ACC home underdogs are 6-5 vs spread in league play. Last three Miami games stayed under the total.
Middle Tennessee won three of last four games with Western Kentucky, but lost 36-33 at home to Hilltoppers LY; last two games in series were won by total of 4 points. Blue Raiders are erratic, beating Ga Tech by three TDs, but losing to a I-AA team and getting waxed 45-3 at Miss State. WKU won five of last six games, covered six of last seven; they're 2-5 as home favorites since moving up to I-A- they lost last home game in OT to UL-Monroe. MTSU allowed 442 rushing yards last two games, a red flag. Sun Belt home favorites are 3-12 vs spread in conference play.
Underdogs are 8-3 in last 11 Washington-California games; Huskies won last three years, with 16-13 win at Cal in '10 their first win in Berkeley in last four tries. Washington is 6-11 as road dog under Sarkisian, 0-3 this year, losing games on foreign soil by average score of 48-14- they've got home wins over Stanford/Oregon State, top 20 teams, but haven't been competitive on road. From 2008-11, Cal was 17-3 vs spread as a home favorite, but they've lost three of four games in their refurbished home stadium this year (0-1 as home favorite). Pac-12 home favorites are 9-8 against the spread. Five of last seven Washington games stayed under.
Another night that is not huge but like a few plays for the weekend so will throw out a few early plays along with an opinion on tonights game.
MIAMI FLORIDA +3 (buy pt)
ALABAMA -7 (buy pt)
MICHIGAN STATE +3 (buy pt)
VIRGINIA +14 (buy pt)
UCLA PK (moneyline)
Had surgery yesterday so not in great shape today. So will stop back if I can and able. Also leaning towards Mississippi State and Georgia Tech today Jumping off Oklahoma unless you got em early in week at -10 or less
Friday's List of 13: 13 Things I’m looking for this weekend since I will not be around on Friday……..
13) Panthers at Redskins; RGIII vs Cam. This year’s next big thing vs last year’s next big thing. Hope they compare notes after the game.
12) Alabama @ LSU—Lot of pressure on LSU’s QB Zach Mettenberger, who isn’t expected to do much against Bama’s great defense.
For what its worth, someone who knows figured out that NFL’s worst team (Jaguars) would be a 24-point favorite over Alabama on a neutral field.
11) Jay Cutler went to college at Vanderbilt, now returns to Nashville with Bears’ squad being carried by its defense (six TDs on defense/special teams in last five games). Titans play lot of close games, if they don’t turn ball over, this is a FG game.
10) West Virginia gave up 104 points in losing its last two games, but TCU brings a freshman backup QB to Morgantown, and they’ve lost three of their last four games. We’ll see if last week’s bye helped Mountaineers.
9) New Jersey has been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy; how much did it disrupt the Giants’ preparation this week?
Steelers are flying into play on Sunday, which never happens. Hotel they were supposed to stay at has no power, as of Thursday night.
8) Maryland is out of QB’s, so they’re starting a freshman LB at QB—he played in high school LY. Georgia Tech’s defense is reeling, good chance for them to get healthier.
7) Did the bye week help Baltimore’s defense, which is now without Webb/ Lewis for rest of season? Ravens won’t get any sympathy in Cleveland, where franchise used to be located.
6) Counting preseason games, Lakers are 0-10 this season, losing badly in two games that really count, which makes Friday’s game with the Clippers at least a little more interesting than usual. Steve Nash banged up his leg in Portland Wednesday, not sure if he’ll play. Lakers are not a young team.
5) Winner of Dolphin-Colt game will be 5-3 at the halfway mark, and no one, not even their families, had that happening.
4) Texas struggled but won last two games, beating Baylor/Kansas by less than a TD each; they’ve allowed 260 rushing yards/game over last five games, now visit dangerous Texas Tech squad that is more comfortable throwing ball. Interesting game for Mack Brown’s crew.
3) 3-4 Cowboys @ 7-0 Falcons—Game management has escaped Dallas this year- their last two losses were nailbiters to Ravens/Giants that easily could’ve been wins. Atlanta is off to best start in franchise history; ’72 Dolphins have champagne ready, should Dallas post the upset.
2) Oregon at USC—There was a shooting at a Halloween party on USC campus Wednesday night; hope everyone is OK and college can get back to being fun again.
1) Eagles at Saints Monday night. Michael Vick has to put points on board here, against a horrible Saint defense, or he’s going to get benched. NO was dreadful in all aspects of game in Denver last week. Game between two struggling, desperate teams.
Saturday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud.......
13) Lot of fuss in the Big Apple this week about the merits of holding the New York City marathon Sunday, while thousands of citizens still don’t have power in their homes after the hurricane. I don’t know enough about the situation to have an educated opinion, but I do know this; if I was a billionaire like Mayor Bloomberg, last thing I’d be doing was a job where people give me grief, like he is getting now. Bloomberg seems like a good guy who means well, by the way.
12) Guy who won the World Series of Poker won $8.53M; fella is from Maryland. He only had to play heads-up for an hour or so, after the final table had played 3-handed for 250 hands and 11 grueling hours.
11) Problem ESPN has televising the final table is that its so difficult to get to a final table more than once, its always new people who get there, strangers to the viewers, so it doesn’t have the same appeal as a team sport where you get to “know” coaches/players over the course of time.
10) Odds of flopping 4-of-a-kind after being dealt a pocket pair? 407-1.
9) Houston Rockets finished over .500 LY but didn’t make the playoffs; GM Daryl Morey blew the team up and started over, trying to build a team that can win a championship. Quite a gamble, since the Rockets only have 13.5% of their minutes back from LY, but James Harden has 86 points in his first two games and looks like a tremendous addition.
8) Mike Rice Sr, TV analyst for the Trailblazers, used to be the coach at Duquesne/Youngstown State; his son coaches Rutgers now. Talking about the Lakers running a version of the Princeton offense, Rice’s opinion was that it was better served for teams that have lesser talent than most of their opponents. That group would not include the Lakers.
7) Hey, if you’ve got an extra $241M hanging around the house, London police are selling Scotland Yard, their old police headquarters; would make a pretty good vacation getaway, and you could lock your kids up in a holding cell if they got in trouble.
6) NBA record for most points on an Opening Night? Wilt Chamberlain, with 56.
5) Indiana Hoosiers are favored to beat Iowa this week; its first time in five years Indiana is favored to win a football game in league play.
4) Florida/Florida State don’t play FAU, FIU or South Florida in basketball. Why is that?
3) Feel bad for the Nets, who spent the last two years promoting how their move to Brooklyn would be good since fans could just take the train right to their new arena. What were the odds that the subway would get flooded for the first time the same week the Nets had their home opener?
2) Chargers may have struck gold with WR Danario Alexander, who is very talented but has a really bad knee; he helped the Rams at times, but playing on the artificial surface didn’t help his balky knee. He looked good on grass Thursday night.
1) Rafael Soriano did a nice job filling in as closer in the Bronx after Mariano Rivera got hurt, but now, with Rivera looking like he might retire, Soriano’s scumweasel agent, Scott Boras, has opted out of next year’s contract and will test the free agent waters.
Interesting to see if he’s just holding Brian Cashman up for more money, or if Soriano will be elsewhere next year. If Rivera retires and Soriano bolts, that leaves a huge void in the Bronx bullpen.
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a busy sports Saturday ....
13) Bad news for Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, as Alabama got a TD with 0:51 left to pull out a tense 21-17 win at LSU, in a game where the Bayou Bengals' gambles failed at almost every turn. AJ McCarron had the best drive of his career at the right time for the Crimson Tide.
12) There's a pretty good chance the four unbeatens will stay that way, but K-State QB Collin Klein did get hurt in his game, so that could impact the Wildcats' chances of having a perfect season.
11) Speaking of K-State, 73-year old coach Bill Snyder sounds a lot like Mister Rogers when he talks, but he basically refused to answer any of ABC's Heather Cox' questions after the game, especially about the injury to Klein. He has a very polite way of being rude.
As for Ms Cox, she can interview me any day she wants-- I'll answer any of her questions, and at great length. I promise.
10) Pitt led 20-6 at Notre Dame with 14:00 left. Irish looked dead when they threw an incompletion on 4th-and-10, but a BS pass interference call gave them a first down that led to a TD, and several twists/turns later, the Irish had once again escaped with a dramatic win, this time 29-26 in OT over a Pitt team that lost to Youngstown State in September.
9) Tennessee 55, Troy 48, which ain't going to make Volunteer Nation feel much better. Total yardage: Troy 722, Tennessee 718. Yikes.
8) Southern Miss has had 18 consecutive winning seasons, but they're winless this year; Golden Eagles led 16-0 at home over UAB Saturday at the half, but blew the lead and fell to 0-9 with a 27-19 loss in a game they were favored to win. A complete disaster.
7) Vanderbilt won 40-0 at Kentucky; send your head coaching resumes to the UK Athletic Department, Lexington, Kentucky. Wildcats fans had no idea how good they had it when Rich Brooks was their coach. Now they're finding out. At least basketball season starts next week.
6) San Jose State trounced Idaho 42-13, is bowl eligible for first time in four years, and could be headed to a bowl for first time since 2006.
5) Texas A&M freshman QB Johnny Manziel reminds me of Doug Flutie; he was 30-36 for 332 yards, and Aggies also ran ball for 361 yards as they went to Starkville and waxed Mississippi State, 38-13.
4) Army stopped a 13-game losing skid vs service academies when they upset Air Force 41-21; if they beat Navy in December, Cadets will win their first Commander-in-Chief trophy since 1996.
3) Why doesn't Boise State wear blue jerseys at home anymore? Did TV people complain that the jerseys blended in with the blue turf?
2) Biggest upset this weekend? San Diego State (+14) went to Boise and upset the Broncos 21-19 on the blue turf.
1) Oregon 62, USC 51. Read that again. Ducks hung 62 points on the Trojans in the LA Coliseum. Impressive display of offense. They gained 730 freakin' yards. We won't mention the 615 yards USC gained.