College Football Handicapping: Best Revenge Spots
by Robert Ferringo - 7/25/2009
Some handicappers believe that The Revenge Game is the most overrated angle in college football betting. I, on the other hand, fully believe in the power of Revenge as it pertains to amateur athletics although I do believe that it is an overused angle by some gamblers.
Below I've listed 10 (or so) of the best revenge games in college football this season. There are certainly others that could have made the cut but I believe that in the contests I've listed there is going to be a little extra bite to the team that was scorned (and smoked) last year.
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Here are the 10 (or so) best revenge games in college football this season, in no particular order:
Oregon State at Oregon (Dec. 3)
The Civil War is one of the best rivalries in college football. And after last year's 65-38 ass beating by the Ducks this year's matchup should have even more juice in it. That blowout win - in Corvallis - knocked Oregon State out of the Rose Bowl and crushed their dreams of a Pac-10 Championship. I can't think of more of a motivation for revenge this time around.
Utah at BYU (Nov. 28)
Again, the Holy War is one of the top rivalries in the sport and this year the Cougars should have a little extra edge to them when the teams meet in Provo at the end of November. Last year's 48-24 rout was the crown jewel in Utah's undefeated season and was actually the result of a total collapse by Max Hall and the Cougars. This was a 27-24 game heading into the fourth quarter before 21 unanswered points by the home team led to the large final spread. Utah is a little vulnerable this time around and I think that those wacky Mormons at BYU will be ready to unload.
Georgia Tech vs. Georgia (Nov. 25)
The Bulldogs had beaten the Jackets six straight times before last year's stunning 45-42 upset in Athens. Tech was actually down 28-12 at the half in last year's game before they absolutely hammered UGA for 26 unanswered points in the third quarter. This year the game will be played in Atlanta and Tech has back most of the primaries from last year's squad. But Georgia rules the roost in this part of the country and will be out for blood this Thanksgiving weekend.
Ohio State vs. USC (Sept. 12)
Last year's meeting was hyped as The Greatest Regular Season Game In The History Of Regular Season Games; At Least Until The Next Greatest Game Ever. Needless to say, it didn't live up to the billing and the Buckeyes got embarrassed, 35-3. And if you throw in the 2006 and 2007 national title humiliations that's been three straight times that Ohio State has gotten demolished by bigger, faster competition from the Pac-10 and SEC. So this game is actually an important one for the Buckeyes and for the Big Ten. The Trojans have been toying with Big Ten teams for the past decade and now OSU gets a crack at them in The Horseshoe.
Illinois vs. Missouri (Sept. 5)
This will be the fifth time in eight seasons that these two squads will open the season in St. Louis and the Illini are 0-4 in those four matchups. These two schools have become sort of manufactured rivals, but there is some heat to this one. Missouri won 52-42 last season in a game that wasn't nearly as close. With the Tigers decimated by graduation you would think that Illinois could finally get over the hump against a team that has owned them lately.
Virginia Tech at East Carolina (Nov. 5) and North Carolina (Oct. 29)
Virginia Tech was completely and totally outplayed in last year's meeting at Chapel Hill, but somehow came away with a 20-17 win despite being down two touchdowns late in the third quarter. The Hokies benefited from an injury to UNC quarterback T.J. Yates and that really turned the tide last year. That loss eventually cost UNC the Coastal title and a shot at the ACC championship. This season's rematch will be on a Thursday night in Blacksburg. But with most of the talent back on both sides of the ball it should be another good one this year.
The Hokies had won six straight games, with relative ease, over East Carolina before last year's stunning upset 27-22 in Blacksburg to open the season. That game featured a lot of bad blood and was one of the more physical games of the season for both squads. Tech still led 22-13 in the fourth quarter but ECU scored with 3:36 left to get within two points and then scored the game winner with less than two minutes to play on a 27-yard blocked punt return. It will be interesting to see how playing this game later in the year - both teams will be embroiled in vicious conference title fights, I'm sure - will do to the intensity of this one.
West Virginia at Cincinnati (Nov. 13)
This Friday night game is a rematch of last year's 26-23 overtime win by the Bearcats. That game gave Cincinnati the Big East Championship after three straight years of WVU domination. The Mountaineers scored 13 points, and recovered an on-sides kick, in the last 71 seconds to force overtime but the Bearcats still pulled it out. WVU also has a serious revenge game in this year's Backyard Brawl on No. 27 at Pittsburgh. Not only did Pitt end WVU's national title dreams in 2007 but the Panthers also rallied from a 15-7 deficit last season, scoring the winning touchdown with under a minute to play. Finally, WVU is another team that has a revenge game with East Carolina after getting thumped 24-3 last year and being held without a touchdown for the first time in seven years.
Texas vs. Oklahoma (Oct. 17) and Texas Tech (Sept. 19)
I had to include both games for Texas as the 'Horns try to parlay the anger at last year's BCS Championship snub into a big season in 2009. The loss - on the final play of the game - to Tech was really the one that knocked Texas out of the title game. But the fact that some cheesy tiebreakers actually notched OU over UT in regards to the Big 12 Championship Game is still a very sore spot for the Longhorns considering that they beat the Sooners straight up in Dallas last year. Interestingly, Oklahoma actually has revenge on its mind in the Red River Shootout this year. The Sooners let a double-digit lead get away from them in last year's loss and their defense was overpowered in the second half. I don't see that happening again this time around.
Buffalo vs. Everyone (2009 season)
Last year the Bulls had one of the most emotional and most surprising seasons in the country. The end result is going to be a 2009 season loaded with revenge games for both Buffalo and their opponents. For example, there is the Sept. 26 rematch with Temple from a game in with UB won, 30-28, on the very last play when they converted a 35-yard Hail Mary. There's the rematch with Central Michigan the following week from a 27-25 CMU win last year in which Buffalo scored a TD, recovered an onside kick, and then missed a 46-yard field goal all in the last two minutes. Or what about Oct. 17's rematch with Akron from last year's four overtime Buffalo road upset? Or how about the very next week when Buffalo clinched the MAC East with a double-OT win on the road against Bowling Green (Nov. 3). Then there's Western Michigan (Oct. 24), which rallied from a 28-14 deficit, forced OT with a touchdown pass with five seconds to play, only to lose 34-28. Finally, Buffalo lost their final home game in an upset to Kent State when the Bulls fumbled into the end zone with less than two minutes to play. The Bulls get another crack at the Golden Flashes on Nov. 27.
Check out Doc's Sports Blog for 10 "honorable mention" key revenge games this season.
Robert Ferringo is a professional handicapper and you can purchase a full season's package of his football selections for just $25 per week! Click here for details.
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