Fourth Down and Inches
by Doc - 11/08/2007
It always amazes me how fast the football season goes along each year. It seems like the first week of the season was just yesterday and now many of the conferences finish up next weekend.
One of the factors one should look for this time of year is teams that have packed it in and given up on this season. These teams cannot wait to turn in the pads and uniform and call it a year. Not many teams fall into that category, compared to years past, but one team would be Notre Dame. This season has been a disaster for the Irish and they will be setting numerous records this year with an inept offense. Other teams joining the Irish on the podium would be Northern Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and UAB. One may not always bet against these teams because of line adjustment. However, one thing is certain: you do not want to find yourself betting with them. In most cases, no matter what the line is, they will find a way to lose by more then that number.
A prime example of that is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. They were a 19-point underdog against Kansas, a team they had a 36-game winning steak against which ended in 2005. Did anyone ever think that a Nebraska program would have fallen that low to be this sizeable of an underdog in Lawrence? I wanted to use Nebraska as a selection, but through my 36-years of experience I realized this was a play to pass on. The program is in shambles and Coach Callahan will be given the boot once the season ends.
Again this week Nebraska looks attractive, playing at Memorial Stadium against Kansas State. The Wildcats lost straight-up despite being a two touchdown favorite to Iowa State last week. Still, my experience tells me to pass on this game and I will.
With the firing of Coach Callahan all but certain, many have speculated who AD Osborne will hire as his next coach. Some point to Buffalo Coach Turner Gill, while others believe Barry Alvarez will come out of retirement to help out his former school. Whoever he hires, one thing is certain, the days of Nebraska running over teams for 300 yards per game are over. Callahan had the right idea implementing a pass style of offense, but his personality and his failure to embrace the Nebraska way got him no love from the Alumni.
Over the years the number I always felt is hard to cover is backing favorites of five or 5 ½. This was the case last week with the New England/Indianapolis game, as the favored Patriots won but did not cover. As I look at this week's college schedule, two games fall into this week's schedule with the underdog having some merit. One game is Virginia Tech -5 ½ over Florida State. The Seminoles are starting to turn it on offensively with the recent play of QB Weatherford. He is starting to get some confidence and this is something the Seminoles offense has not seen since the days of Chris Weinke. They are also getting healthy on defense and this unit has always been strong under DC Mickey Andrews and having Chuck Amato coach the linebackers does not hurt as well. Last week's victory over Boston College was no fluke and it is pretty much the same situation this week heading into Blacksburg. Remember, Boston College has already won in Blacksburg and I would not be surprised in Florida State does the same.
The other game that jumps out is Kansas -5 ½ against Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks have had a great season thus far. However, they did not play anybody in the non-conference portion of the season and avoided Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma as conference opponents. They have already beaten Colorado and Texas A&M on the road, but this will be their toughest challenge to date. The Cowboys played Texas tough before falling apart in the end, but will come back strong on Saturday looking to knock off the Jayhawks for a second straight season. They won by double-digits last year in Lawrence and I would not be surprised if they do the same thing in Stillwater this year. That being said, if the Jayhawks survive they will continue to move up the polls, but will not get in the BCS Title Game unless they receive some major help. Ohio State, LSU, Oregon, and Boston College may all have to lose twice for the Hawks to be playing in New Orleans come January. Why, you ask? It is because the coaches do not want to reward a team that played Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, and Florida International for their non-conference schedule and all four came at Memorial Stadium.
As most of you already know, our NFL plays have been disappointing this season and we have cut way back in units. I have said this before and will continue to say it, "College Football is where you make your money." We do not promote many big games in the NFL and would encourage you to focus most of your investments on Saturday. The NFL is much tougher to handicap because there are only 32 teams and the information available on each team is enormous. Regardless of a good or bad week, we will not promote much about it on our med. This company was founded on college football and to this day it is what makes the company flourish.
I will be attending the Wisconsin/Michigan game at Camp Randall Stadium this Saturday and will be joined by a unique individual in Joe Connor. Joe is a San Diego freelance writer that is driving his vehicle all across the country in an effort to promote alternative fuels. He started at the end of August and will finish his trip in December. If everything goes as planned, he will hit 114 venues, cover 31 states, two provinces and more then 30,000 miles. Doc's Sports has advertising on his car and I cannot wait to hear what he has to say on Saturday.
I am real proud with the development and continued improvement of our Web site. We continue to add new things and this year we have given you the ability to buy NFL tickets. In the future we will be adding all sports and this allows you an opportunity to purchase tickets to sold-out events. If anyone has any idea about how to improve our site, please give us a call.
I really like the college schedule this week and will be releasing our PAC-10 Game of the Year on Thursday, a 6-unit selection. This is a can't miss play for any big-game hunter and we would love you have you along for the winning ride.
Best of Luck