NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 7 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
Good news for those coaches - be they very successful FCS guys, lower-level FBS coaches or current Division I assistants - looking to break into a Power 5 program: There's already an opening.
Unfortunately, it's at one of the worst programs in the Power 5: Oregon State. I never understood why Gary Andersen left a great job at Wisconsin after back-to-back strong seasons in 2013-14 to head to Corvallis - other than Andersen is more of a western guy with his background. He clearly made a huge mistake as on Monday he and the university agreed to part ways. Why on earth Andersen would do this is baffling considering he just got an extension last December and was owed about $12.4 million left on his deal through the 2021 season. If a coach gets fired for anything other than cause (i.e. Rick Pitino), he gets all that money.
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The Beavers showed some signs of life late last year with upset wins over Arizona and Oregon to close the season at 4-8, a two-game improvement from Andersen's first year. However, their only win in 2017 was a 35-32 squeaker over FCS school Portland State. OSU has been blown out in its other five games. Assistant coach Cory Hall has been named the interim coach. Oregon State is a 10.5-point home dog this week against Colorado.
I have no idea who OSU's next coach will be. Would Mike Riley leave Nebraska ahead of getting fired to go back to the Pacific Northwest? You also hear some names like Boise State's Bryan Harsin, Colorado State's Mike Bobo (the Rams pummeled OSU in Week 1), Wyoming's Craig Bohl and Air Force's Troy Calhoun. Like I said, though, it's probably the worst job in the Pac-12. That got me thinking of the worst jobs in the other Power 5 conferences: Wake Forest (ACC - smallest enrollment of any FBS program), Kansas (Big 12 - it will always be a basketball school), Rutgers (need I explain?) and Vanderbilt (SEC - very tough academic standards).
Here are some notes and any major line moves for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
East Carolina at No. 22 UCF (-35): This has the biggest line shift on the board , opening with the Knights at -29. Are you aware how good that team is? Coach Scott Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback and Oregon offensive coordinator, has done an incredible job in Orlando. Many believe that if Nebraska does dump Riley that Frost on the top of the Huskers' list. He should be. UCF ranks third in the nation in scoring despite starting a true freshman at quarterback in McKenzie Milton. He is completing 68 percent of his throws with 13 TDs and only two interceptions. Meanwhile, UCF allows just 15.8 ppg, 11th nationally. The non-Power 5 game of the year will be UCF vs. No. 18 USF on Nov. 18. By the way, you must check out Central Florida's uniforms in this game. They are themed in honor of space exploration - Cape Canaveral isn't far away - and truly awesome.
Georgia Tech at No. 11 Miami (-5.5): I'm a Hurricanes fan, and I'm telling you that I think there's a great chance UM loses this game. Just about everything is stacked against Mark Richt's team. First, there's going to be a natural letdown after that thrilling last-second win at Florida State last Saturday to end a seven-game losing streak to Miami's biggest rival. Second, the Hurricanes' three best offensive players (non-QB version) are running back Mark Walton, receiver Ahmmon Richards and guard Navaughn Donaldson. Walton, probably the ACC's top back, is done for the season following an ankle injury vs. FSU. Richards hasn't played much this year due to a hamstring injury and tweaked it vs. the Noles; he's in doubt. Donaldson will sit out, as will cornerback Dee Delaney and safety Sheldrick Redwine. Finally, Georgia Tech is coming off a bye week. This screams upset.
South Carolina at Tennessee (-3): I have nothing against the University of Tennessee and attended a game there once - it's quite an experience and I highly recommend it. However, I rather want the Vols to lose here to drop to 0-3 in the SEC because I want to see if the school would then fire embattled Coach Butch Jones immediately. There's no excuse for this team not to be prepared as it come off a bye following the 41-0 home embarrassment to Georgia on Sept. 30 that all but sealed Jones' fate. Could UT actually be looking past the Gamecocks and toward next week's visit to No. 1 Alabama? Jones has made a quarterback change. Redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano will start. The former touted recruit has passed for 54 yards and a TD in three games this year. Junior Quinten Dormady started the first five for the Vols and is completing just 55.5 percent of his passes with eight turnovers (six picks). Guarantano is at least much more mobile than Dormady. USC comes off a 48-22 home win over Arkansas last week with its defense scoring three touchdowns. This one could be ugly offensively.
UCLA at Arizona (+1): This is my pick for highest-scoring game of the week and it has a total of 77.5. It's two bad defensive clubs but two very exciting quarterbacks. UCLA's Josh Rosen, now perhaps the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, leads the nation with 2,135 passing yards and is second with 17 TD passes. He's a pure pocket passer, while Arizona sophomore Khalil Tate is dual-threat. Last week in a 45-42 upset in Colorado, Tate, normally a backup, rushed for an FBS quarterback record 327 yards on just 14 carries(!!) and scored on runs of 58, 28, 47 and 75 yards. He also was 12-for-13 passing for 154 yards and a score. Tate entered the game after starter Brandon Dawkins took a late hit out of bounds on the opening drive. It's obviously Tate's job now. The Bruins are No. 125 nationally in stopping the run. UCLA's Jim Mora Jr. is 5-0 SU & ATS against Arizona's Rich Rodriguez. This game kicks off at 9 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network. I recommend you tune in if possible. The winner remains very much in the South Division race.
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