Syracuse a Live Home Dog on Saturday
by Steve Kosmider - 08/31/2007
You know who you are. If you remember Charlie Ward leading No.1 Florida State into South Bend to battle it out with No. 2 Notre Dame in 1993. That was the first time Lee Corso and the gang took the set on location. Wow, think about that!
You know who you are. If you remember all three of the "Wide Right" games in the Panhandle State when the 'Canes vs. 'Noles meant EVERYTHING. You know who you are. When you get the Warm-n-Fuzzies from the sound of Keith Jackson's voice in the midst of a "Whoa Nellie", you know who you are. Or if the name Verne Lundquist and CBS game of the week are one and the same to you, you know who you are.
You know who you are if you watch an ABC game and think to yourself "I wonder who Brent Musberger has his money on in this one?" C'mon, we all know he loves the action. And last but not least. If you remember where you were the night the lights went out in Vegas during Wisconsin-UNLV, you know who you are! You're a College Football junkie and here we go again!
The most important thing for a college football team in week one is finding their comfort zone. And nothing gives comfort like the home field advantage. The same is true for the Week 1 gambler. Especially when a particular team's home is an on campus dome and they were 5-1 against the spread inside of it last year. Did I get your attention?
On Friday the Washington Huskies will be three-point favorites when they get it on with the Syracuse Orangemen. Washington hasn't been a road favorite since Week 10 of 2003, 36 games to be exact. They were laying 16 back then at Arizona and lost outright, 27-22. I'll give five bonus points to anyone who can tell me who coached the Huskies that day? In fact, Washington has only been road chalk seven times in this decade. They are 1-5-1 ATS in those games. Hhhhhmmmm……..it's starting to look like there are oranges growing on the Week 1 money tree!
All of the preseason rags are hyping up QB Jake Locker, the 2005 Washington High School Player of the Year. I guess you can say he's Willingham's first golden nugget recruit, and he may win the Heisman in four years. But for our purposes he's a redshirt freshman who has never played in a game. He's taking over a team that closed out last year 1-6 straight up, and he's supposed to travel 2,700 miles and lead them to victory in the Carrier Dome. And cover a spread?
By making Washington the favorite, the oddsmakers are trying to throw some bondo over their rust spots and shine them up, hoping to sell them like a used Buick. Maybe they're hoping we'll buy into their Pac-10 affiliation. Folks, no matter how much Old Spice you pour on a skunk, it's still a skunk. Syracuse is the bargain on this car lot.
The 'Cuse is 28-8 ATS vs. non-conference foes since 1999. Included in those numbers is a dominant 8-2 SU at home vs. the Pac-10. They are 23-9 ATS as a home dog under the dome since 1983. The quality of teams and talent levels differ from year to year. The home field advantage that the Orange enjoys does not. Factoring in that not one member of the Washington traveling squad has ever played in a dome, the smart play is obvious. The juice from this orange is well worth the squeeze.