College Football Insider, Week 14
by Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione - 11/29/2006
Who's injured? Who's streaking? Who has the advantage in this weekend's games? What tips and trends are out there that could sway your plays? Here's an underground look at what's going down in the World of College Football:
Key Games: No. 16 Wake Forest at No. 23 Georgia Tech, 1 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: The Demon Deacons are 10-1 against the spread in the team's last 11 as an underdog of 0.5 to 3 points and 7-1 ATS as an underdog of any spread. As has been the case in much of the season, Wake Forest is banged up. Linebacker Pierre Easley is probable with a hip injury. Running back D'Angelo Bryant and offensive tackle Joseph Birdsong are questionable with dizziness and a foot injury, respectively…The Yellow Jackets have won eight of the last 10 games straight up against Wake Forest, though the Demon Deacons have four wins ATS over that stretch.
Key Games: Connecticut at No. 6 Louisville, noon, Saturday
No. 13 Rutgers at No. 15 West Virginia, 7:45 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: West Virginia quarterback Patrick White tweaked his ankle in the Mountaineers' loss to South Florida, but the team has no significant injuries listed on its injury report…The speed of the South Florida's defense shut down the option, but Rutgers' head coach Greg Schiano said his team will rely on changing and disguising formations, not speed. In the team's only game against an option-style team, the Scarlet Knights whooped on the nation's number one rushing attack, Navy 34-0, but did so after knocking Navy quarterback Brian Hampton out of the game with a knee injury in the first quarter. Both teams run and stop the run, but West Virginia's statistics dwarf the upstart Rutgers squad. West Virginia's run defense is ranked 7th nationally (79.9 yards per game) and the rushing attack ranks second with 312.1 yards per game. Rutgers' defense ranks 18th against the run allowing 98.8 yards per game; the offense ranks 22nd in rushing at 177.9 yards per game. The Mountaineers have won the last 11 match ups with Rutgers last win in the series coming on Sept. 10, 1994.
Key Games: No. 8 Arkansas at No. 4 Florida, 6 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Arkansas ranks fourth in the nation with 236.3 rushing yards per game, but Florida's defense has held opponents to just 69.7 rushing yards per game. The Gators are 5-0 SU and ATS all-time against the Razorbacks…Arkansas linebacker Matt Hewitt (sprained knee) and fullback Peyton Hillis (bruised thigh) are both questionable…Florida linebacker Earl Everett (ankle), runningback DeShawn Wynn (shoulder), wide receivers Percy Harvin (neck) and Nyan Boateng (leg) are all questionable.
Key Games: Oregon State at No. 24 Hawaii, midnight, Saturday
Conference Notes: Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan needs three touchdowns to tie David Klingler's Division I record for passing touchdowns (54). The Rainbow Warriors 42-35 win over Purdue was the team's first ATS loss when favored by 18 or more with the southern California quarterback behind center. Both teams have already accepted bowl bids. The Beavers have registered ATS wins in four of the team's last five December games with the over coming in on the last four. The over is also 5-0 in the Rainbow Warriors' last five December games. The over for this match up is between 71 and 75 points.
Key Games: Big 12 Championship Game: Nebraska at No. 8 Oklahoma (-3.5), 8 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Oklahoma can lock up a BCS birth with the conference title, but they'll be without Adrian Peterson for this weekend's game. The Sooner defense has really stepped up, not allowing 20 points in five of the last seven games during its seven game winning streak. OU has covered six of its last seven spreads. The Sooners have bested Nebraska three of the past four meetings and are 7-2-1 ATS this year vs. a team with a winning record. Oklahoma has covered six of its seven conference games this year, while the favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Regular season has concluded.
Key Games: Stanford at No. 21 California (-28.5), 3 p.m., Saturday
No. 2 USC (-13.5) at UCLA, 4:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Rivals collide as the Bruins look to ruin USC's season and disallow a chance for them to play Ohio State for the national championship in Glendale. The home team is 8-2 ATS in the last ten meetings, however the Trojans have owned the series, winning the last seven, covering all but one of those games. The Bruins have covered eight of their last ten homes games. The Trojans are just 1-5 ATS in their last six as a favorite of 10.5 points or greater… 1-10 Stanford looks to close the season on a high not and upset Cal in Berkeley. However, the Bears have not lost at home this season at 6-0. California has won the last four in the series and covered three of those games. But for the Cardinal, the road team is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Key Games: C-USA Championship Game: Southern Mississippi at Houston (-4.5), 8 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Both have had their share of ups and downs in 2006. However they each come in with strong winning streaks. Southern Miss has won four straight while Houston is winners of five in a row. In The Golden Eagles have won seven of the last eight meetings with Houston, including early this year when they topped the Cougars, 31-27. The home team is 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings while Southern Miss is 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games.
Key Games: Air Force at TCU (-17), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Colorado State (-2.5) at San Diego State, 8 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Air Force finishes off a poor campaign and come in with a 4-7 record. They face a 9-2 TCU team that has flown under the radar as defending MWC champs, thanks in large part to the strong season from BYU. Last year on the road TCU cruised to a 48-10 win over the Falcons. All-time TCU holds a 3-1 record against Air Force. The Falcons come in with three straight losses and having failed to cover seven of their last eight spreads. The Horned Frogs have won six games in a row, covering five of those games…Two more disappointing MWC teams meet in their season finales with Colorado State visiting San Diego State. The Rams are 7-3 ATS in their last ten meetings while the road team has covered seven of the last eight meetings. Colorado State has won three of the last four games in the series.