Doc's College Football Insider: Week 9
by Drew Mangione and Jordan Adams - 10/25/2006
Key Games: No. 10 Clemson (-4.5) at Virginia Tech, 7:30 p.m., Thursday
Miami (Fl.) at No. 21 Georgia Tech (-6), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Virginia Tech has won the last three match ups against Clemson both straight up and against the spread. Since 1985, the Hokies are 6-2 ATS, though the teams have split the match up SU. Tigers' running back James Davis, who leads the ACC in rushing yards with 961 yards and 16 TDs, is questionable with a shoulder injury suffered in his team's 31-7 victory over Georgia Tech last weekend. Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said he will use backup quarterback Ike Whitaker, who is a greater threat to run than starter Sean Glennon. His reason: so Clemson will have to game plan for him…Miami may get one more player back from suspension, in addition to the dirty dozen forced to sit out the Duke game after the Florida International debacle. Wide receiver Ryan Moore may return to practice, coming off an indefinite suspension following an Aug. 26 on-campus altercation with a woman…Florida State fans are pushing the panic button clamoring for coach Bobby Bowden's retirement as the team faces the prospect of being under .500 and ineligible for a bowl. Despite a Web site started to push out the man who built the program, the school's president has said Bowden will leave on his own terms…The Boston College Eagles, which are 36-point favorites over the Buffalo Bills, have covered in just one of the team's last five games as favorites of 10.5 or more.
Key Games: Syracuse at Cincinnati (-6.5), noon, Saturday
Connecticut at No. 16 Rutgers (-19.5), 8 p.m., Sunday
Conference Notes: Cincinnati has received the least support at home of all Big East teams with just 19,694 fannies in the seats-nearly 10,000 less than the next lowest average attendance. In six gridiron games pitting the Orangemen against the Bearcats, Syracuse is 4-2 SU, but Cincinnati is 4-2 ATS…Only two Rutgers players have been on an unbeaten team before, but the Scarlet Knights say they are confident, though not too confident. In what appeared to be a slight dig against head coach Greg Schiano's last employer-the controversial Miami Hurricanes-stud fullback Brian Leonard told the Newark Star Ledger: "It's just a different attitude with this team. I wouldn't call it a swagger. You know the teams that have a swagger. Those guys are fighting before the game and during the game…We don't do that. But we have a new-found confidence. If something happens against us, we just focus on the next play. You can see how confident everyone is. That's why we can win the games we're winning now. In the past, as I've said many times before, we hoped to win. Now we expect to win. That's changed because of the confidence we have."
Key Games: Georgia at No. 9 Florida (-13.5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
No. 8 Tennessee (-4.5) at South Carolina, 7:45 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Georgia Bulldogs' wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi has been demoted to a backup role for the second time this season because he appears to have trouble catching passes from freshman Matthew Stafford, who will again start at QB in place of fifth-year senior Joe Tereshinski III…Florida defensive tackle Javier Estopiñan is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee…Tennessee redshirt freshman running back LaMarcus Coker, the team's leading rusher with 393 yards and a touchdown, sprained his knee during a kickoff return in the third quarter of the team's 16-13 win over Alabama. He is expected to miss three to six weeks. South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is 8-2 in his last 10 games against Tennessee, including a 16-15 win as 14-point underdogs in last year's match up. Prior to that game, Tennessee had won nine straight, but the Volunteers are just 4-5-1 ATS.
Key Games: Idaho at Hawaii (-25), midnight, Saturday
Conference Notes: Nevada has won nine of the last 10 match ups against New Mexico State and is a 17.5-point favorite this week. The Aggies have lost their last four games by a combined 45 points, making them 2-1-1 ATS in that stretch behind Chase Holbrook's 21 touchdown passes and almost 2,900 yards…Hawaii has won the last two meetings with Idaho by scores of 24-0 last year and 52-21 covering spreads of 2.5 and 21.5, respectively. The Rainbow Warriors are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 as a favorite.
Key Games: No. 19 Oklahoma at No. 23 Missouri (-2), 12 p.m., Saturday
No. 20 Nebraska (-5.5) at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: The Sooners have its first test without Adrian Peterson. Missouri is 5-0 at home this year and have covered all of those games…Colorado fell back into its losing ways last weekend, however they face a 3-5 Kansas team. The Buffs are 7-2 ATS against teams with a losing record…Nebraska looks to rebound after a toss loss at home to Texas. The Cornhuskers have won nine of the last ten meetings with the Cowboys…Iowa State heads on the road to face 4-4 Kansas State. The Wildcats are 8-2 ATS in their last ten home games…Texas races in-state rival Tech and are undefeated away from Austin this year. The Longhorns are 8-2 ATS in their last ten night games…Texas A&M found itself in the top 25 and will face 4-4 Baylor this weekend. The Aggies are 2-0 on the road this year and have won nine of their last ten games with the Bears.
Key Games: Northwestern at No. 2 Michigan (-33), 12 p.m., Saturday
Minnesota at No. 1 Ohio State (-27), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Sparty looks to continue its high after back the largest D I-A comeback last Saturday against Northwestern. Still on the road against Indiana, Michigan State will look for one of its two wins they need to become bowl eligible…7-1 Wisconsin gets 2-6 Illinois, however the biggest question remains about the Badgers is have they been tested in the conference. They lost to Michigan and do not play Ohio State this season… Both 5-3 Penn State and Purdue face off in West Lafayette this Saturday. The Boilermakers are just 4-12 ATS against teams with a losing record…Another step before the Ohio State showdown, Michigan hosts Northwestern. Favored by over four touchdowns, the Wildcats are just 2-5 ATS this year…The 8-0 Buckeyes get 3-5 Minnesota in the Horseshoe. Minnesota is winless in the previous ten meetings.
Key Games: No. 3 USC (-12) at Oregon State, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Washington State at UCLA (-1), 7 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: After a bye week, USC heads up to the northwest to face Oregon State. The Beavers have won two in a row after starting 2-3, while the Trojans have not covered a spread since September 16 against Nebraska…The Sun Devils got back on track with a blowout win over Stanford. Washington scared Cal last Saturday but came up short in overtime. Arizona State has won the last two meetings, both by double digits…The Bruins look to bounce back after losing late at Notre Dame. They host Wazzou and are 4-0 in Westwood this season.
Key Games: Central Florida at Houston (-19), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
East Carolina at Southern Miss (-5.5), 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: 6-1 Tulsa looks to continue its perfect conference mark as the C-USA schedule gets underway this Thursday. They face 4-3 UTEP and are favored by two touchdowns…Tulane hosts Army after its road loss to Auburn last weekend. The Green Wave are 3-7 ATS in their last ten against I-A Independents…Central Florida heads into Texas to face Kevin Kolb and Houston. The Cougars are 4-1 at home but lost its only meeting to UCF last year, 31-29…Struggling Memphis looks for its first conference win against Marshall. Both teams have combined for just two wins in ten games ATS this year. Memphis won last year's meeting, 26-3… East Carolina has posted a 3-4 record in the standings but are a surprising 6-1 against the number. The Pirates are winless on the road and face a Southern Miss team that has not lost at home this season.
Key Games: New Mexico at Colorado State (-6.5), 5:30 p.m., Saturday
Wyoming at TCU (-6), 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: BYU has been rolling, scoring over 30 points in its last four games. The Cougars are 8-1 ATS in their last nine conference games and get Air Force on the road this Saturday…Utah has struggled this year, going 4-4 thus far. UNLV is just 1-6 and have covered just one of their last nine road games…Colorado state has been tough at home, however against New Mexico the road team is 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings…Wyoming is just 4-4 this year but is two games better at 6-1 ATS. TCU is 8-3 ATS in their last eleven MWC games and won last year 28-14.