Fourth Down and Inches
by Doc - 10/17/2007
Our selection service turned in another nice week as we went 8-2 overall, picking up +22 units. Of the two losses, we did get crunched with Central Florida, as the Knights appeared to be over their heads against South Florida. The other loss came with Oklahoma, our Big 12 Game of the Year. That loss was brutal and should not have occurred. The Sooner's missed four extra points and gave up a meaningless touchdown with 16 seconds left. This was a big game for the books, as the line moved to 13 points just before kickoff with all the late money coming in on the home favorite.
It was also a good week for me personally, as I advanced in the "Leroy's Money Talks" handicapping tournament. I went up against a professional gambler named Jeff Whitelaw. Although Jeff had a rough week, the guy knows football and I am sure we will here more about him in the future. He is originally from Buffalo, but he now resides in Las Vegas. Jeff is truly a class guy and it certainly was a pleasure doing the radio show with him. My next round matchup will not be until Nov. 23 and my opponent is yet to be determined.
As I looked at this week's college schedule, I felt it may be a difficult week, as nothing jumped out early. However, the more I look at it, the more I like it. As of this writing, I could be using four games in the Big Ten. One game I am sure that I will not be using is Iowa at Purdue. One team has a great defense and little offense and the other team has very little defense and a strong offense. So the big question is which team has the edge, Iowa and its defense or Purdue and its offense? The only edge I see may lie with the under.
Although neither of these teams is going to contend for a conference title, a very interesting game takes place Friday night in Ypsilanti, when Northwestern plays Eastern Michigan. The Eagles have not had much success, winning only two games, but have played a brutal road schedule with trips to Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, and Michigan. They were competitive in all three of those games and now face a Northwestern team coming off two overtime victories. These two teams met last year and the Wildcats had a huge advantage in total yards, but only won the game by a score of 14-6. An interesting note is that Eagles Coach Jeff Genyk spent 12 years coaching at Northwestern. After two emotional games for the Cats, expect a letdown and one has to take a serious look with the underdog.
Last week I went with Central Michigan over Army and covered with ease, as the Chippewas had too much offensive firepower for the Black Knights to make a game of it. I expect the roles to be reversed this week when the Chippewas head to Death Valley to take on Clemson. The Tigers had last week off and they have yet to record a victory against an ACC team. Clemson is coming off two straight losses and needs a big blowout victory in front of their home fans to keep the faithful energized. Central Michigan has won three games this season. However, their defense did not impress, giving up season highs in total yardage to Army, Ball State, and Northern Illinois. Not the type of defense you want to have when going to Death Valley. This could get ugly, but only time will tell.
So who will be the next undefeated team to fall? Two teams come to mind from BCS conferences and if either lost it would be that big of an upset. Thursday night South Florida travels to Rutgers and enters that game as only a 2 ½-point favorite. A similar situation occurs in Boulder, when undefeated Kansas is set to take on Colorado. It would not surprise me if either team goes down, but if the Jayhawks can win their next two games, they have a legitimate shot to run the table. If they do will they be in the BCS Title Game? The short answer is no! The non-conference schedule was dreadful as they played Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, and Florida International, all at Memorial Stadium. They also lucked out in Big 12 play not having to play Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. They will not have enough strength of schedule to play in New Orleans, but I personally hope they run the table to blow up the BSC a little bit more.
We finally put it together in the NFL as well, going 3-0 and picking up 10 units. Many of you questioned why we did not release a selection on Monday Oct. 8. The reason was that we did not like the matchup and do not release picks just for the sake of putting action on the table. The books love when that occurs and Monday has always been a big moneymaker for the house. We were on the right side last Monday with the under, when only 10 points were scored in the second half. We do like the game this week featuring Indianapolis at Jacksonville, as the Jaguars have had success against the Colts in the past. Many feel this will be the game Indy goes down and because of this, the Colts have been installed as just a three-point favorite on the NFL football spread. We will have a play, but remember to never use Monday nights as a way to get even after a rough week. The line is usually solid and often times the game spread is not decided until the fourth quarter.
In two weeks, the Breeders' Cup will be run at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey. The format has expanded to two days with 11 total races. Three of them will be run on Friday and the remaining eight will be run on Saturday. I will be releasing selections on the Breeders' Cup Classic and if you would like information about that race, please feel free to call me direct @ (800) 356-9182.
As I was flying back to Wisconsin on Monday, I picked up a book called, "Running Scared" by Steve Wynn. Mr. Wynn is the man who built half of Vegas including the Mirage and the hotel named after him. It is a very interesting book about his entire life dealing with how he got started and made his fortune. One of his right hand men was Charlie Myerson, a person I have had a chance to meet a few decades ago. Charlie is no longer with us and I make mention to him in my opening letter of the sports journal. What a classy guy he was and as for the book, I would strongly endorse it. No, I am not becoming Oprah!
We expect another big week and would love to have you aboard.
Best of Luck,