NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 2 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
The NCAA football world hasn't been untouched by the monster Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida this weekend. No. 16 Miami will not play at Arkansas State on Saturday. There are no storm worries in Arkansas, but the University of Miami is closed and school officials weren't going to ask their players to go play some silly game with destruction closing in on their city. Plus, who knows when the UM delegation could fly back into town.
That game being canceled - Miami and Arkansas State don't share a bye week or they likely would have made it up then; Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said his school offered to move the game to Friday night, but the Miami administration made the decision not to travel -- could hurt the Canes in a couple of ways. For one, obviously one fewer game to impress the College Football Playoff selection committee. It could hurt UM's strength of schedule down the line if, say, ASU finishes 10-1 or something and wins the Sun Belt Conference. Then again, the Red Wolves - who only lost by seven at Nebraska in Week 1 -- might have upset the Hurricanes, who could have been caught looking ahead to next week's big trip to Florida State.
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No. 22 Florida originally moved its Saturday game against Northern Colorado from 7:30 p.m. to noon ET but then went ahead and canceled it altogether because the schools don't share an open date the rest of the year. I'm curious what this means for next week's game vs. No. 25 Tennessee. Gators coach Jim McElwain had decided to stick with Feleipe Franks as the starting quarterback even though he was terrible in last week's loss to Michigan, completing 5 of 9 passes for 75 yards, fumbling twice and being sacked once before being pulled in the third quarter. Not like Florida has any better options. I'm assuming Franks will start vs. UT, but what about starting WR Antonio Callaway and RB Jordan Scarlett? They were both suspended vs. Michigan and not listed on the team's depth chart against Northern Colorado. Let's say McElwain internally decided on a two-game suspension for those guys. Does he change it to a two-week suspension now? I'd be willing to bet those guys play in the important game vs. the Vols.
A very interesting American Athletic Conference game between Central Florida and Memphis has been cancelled.
No. 10 Florida State has moved up the kickoff of Saturday's home game against Louisiana Monroe from 7 p.m. to noon ET. The Seminoles begin life without quarterback Deondre Francois, lost for the season in last week's defeat against No. 1 Alabama. The Noles are -34.5 in what could be a trap game ahead of Miami's visit. That FSU is playing and can break in freshman QB James Blackman is a bit of an advantage, in my opinion, ahead of next week.
Travel concerns also prompted officials to move the start of the game between No. 21 South Florida and UConn to 10:30 a.m. from noon Saturday. Halftime will be shortened and USF will leave for home immediately afterward to try and get to Tampa before any storms. The Bulls are -17 .
Here are some notes and any major line moves for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
No. 23 TCU at Arkansas (+3): This line opened with the Hogs as 1.5-point favorites. The Big 12 could use some good news with a victory here after teams like Texas, Baylor and West Virginia all lost last week, with the Horns and Bears doing so in embarrassing fashion. Plus, I expect Oklahoma to get planted Saturday night at Ohio State. The Razorbacks will have top receiver Jared Cornelius for this one. He missed fall camp with nagging back issues and barely played in last week's 49-7 win over Florida A&M. Cornelius is the lone receiver target for QB Austin Allen with substantial game experience.Cornelius had 32 catches for 515 yards and four scores last year. However, top cornerback Ryan Pulley will miss a "significant" period of time after injuring his chest in Week 1. Pulley led Arkansas with 13 pass breakups last season. The Hogs won at TCU last year, 41-38, in double overtime. Allen ran 5 yards for the winning score in the second OT. That was the first meeting of the former Southwest Conference rivals since 1991. The Frogs opened this year with a 63-0 rout of Jackson State.
No. 15 Georgia at No. 24 Notre Dame (-4): This is one of four matchups of ranked teams on Saturday and, unfortunately, they all start within 90 minutes of one another. I get you want the best games in prime-time, but why not switch one of the four to 3:30 ET? This is the best random statistic that I've heard in a long time: It's Georgia's first game north of the Mason/Dixon Line since upsetting No. 10 Michigan 15-7 on Oct. 2, 1965. Vince Dooley was Georgia's second-year coach that year. That's frankly amazing. This line opened with the Irish at -6.5, and I'm surprised it has dropped considering that the Dawgs will be without starting QB Jacob Eason after he was sprained his knee early in the Week 1 win over Appalachian State. Sounds like the former No. 1 QB recruit will miss multiple weeks. True freshman Jake Fromm will make the first college start of his career. He was 10-for-15 for 143 yards with a TD last week in place of Eason. Expect this to be one of the most running-heavy games of Saturday. Georgia has two excellent running backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and the Irish gashed Temple for 422 rushing yards in last week's easy win.
East Carolina at West Virginia (-14.5): Short week for the Mountaineers, who fell out of the Top 25 following Sunday night's 31-24 neutral-site loss to ranked Virginia Tech. There was very good news out of that defeat, though, in that Florida transfer QB Will Grier looked great in throwing for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Somehow the Mountaineers lost despite 592 yards of offense. Expect plenty of offense in this one as East Carolina was horrid defensively last year and looks no better following a 34-14 home loss to FCS school James Madison in Week 1. The Dukes are a good program at that level, but 614 yards offense? They rushed for 422. Gardner Minshew started at QB for the Pirates but eventually was pulled for Duke transfer Thomas Sirk, and Sirk will start here. He was 21 of 35 for 210 yards with two interceptions in the loss. ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery was Sirk's offensive coordinator during Sirk's only season as the Blue Devils' starter in 2015.
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