Fourth and Inches
Our Underdog Game of the Year entered the Winners column as expected, using Texas A&M plus 12 points, over Oklahoma.
The Aggies, and the 12th man (the crowd), were on top of their game all day. At various times Texas A&M had a 14-point lead and as an underdog, the victory looked to be in the bag. However, the Sooners came back and the Aggies just simply were out of gas, losing 42-35. Backed by this 6-unit winner, we also had a 5-unit winner in the Big Ten with Wisconsin -6½ over Minnesota. The Badgers had no problem with the Gophers and completely dominated the game. It was certainly rewarding to get our two biggest plays of the weekend home. However the Pro's took us down, as we went 1-3. For the weekend we did show a small loss overall.
For those of you that used UCLA as a play, everything that could have gone wrong at the start of the game, did. The Bruins fumbled the opening kickoff and it took one play for Washington State to score. In the first series that UCLA had the ball, they lost their top running back, Maurice Drew, with an ankle injury. The next series they lost their No. 1 tight end. For the Bruins, it was just a day where nothing could go right. The Bruins are on the road this week at Oregon. Will they rebound? As a five-point underdog, I would have to go with the 'Homer'.
One of the big games around the country will be Georgia at Auburn. Some folks believe these Tigers may be the best team in the country. Auburn is undefeated, but I think one has to question their easy schedule. The true test will come this Saturday and if the Tigers handle Georgia with ease, I certainly can't argue them being ranked in the top three in the country. Auburn is favored by 5, a number I've always found hard to cover as the favorite. This will be an outstanding game, and we will have a side.
This is the time of the year when one has to be careful going with a team that may have gone to the tank. The Big Ten has almost a handful of them. Minnesota, after going 5-0 at the start of the season, certainly has fallen on tough times. Penn State, who couldn't score in practice even if their offense were the only unit on the field, certainly wants this season over. Michigan State, which was riding high after beating Michigan, lost their top QB to injury and looks to be on the way back down. Purdue may be the biggest of all. They were 5-0 at one time, with road victories at Illinois, Notre Dame and Penn State, then they lost their next two home games to Wisconsin and Michigan. Now losing four in a row, this team probably is ready for the roaster.
These are the teams one has to be careful of. In most cases these teams become underdogs and as one looks at them getting points, we all have a tendency to become attracted, simply because of their strength at the beginning of the season. I have to admit, however, one of our most prominent information sources indicated to me that one of these teams will not cash it in and I have to agree. This struggler will put it back together and will be one of our top plays this weekend.
It's always nice to see changes in football and changes as to who the powers are. The State of Florida has come somewhat on hard times. Obviously Florida isn't what it used to be, Miami of Florida is struggling on offense and Florida State just doesn't have the weapons of the past. All three play tough opponents this week. I'm not sure what Vegas would give for odds, but I wouldn't be surprised if two of the three lose against the line. Florida State is on the road against a good N. C. State team. The Wolfpack lost last week but I look for them to really be up for this one. The game is being played this Thursday. Virginia is at home against Miami of Florida and what a dandy that one will be. Florida is at home against South Carolina. The days of playing the Florida schools each week and spending the money on a Florida vacation are over.
In watching the Wisconsin-Minnesota game, it was such a pleasure to watch a great offensive line work together. The Badgers have one of the best lines in the country. This can be contributed to one of the best offensive line coaches in the country in Jim Hueber. "Huebs" has been coaching offensive linemen since Ice Cream. He has sent many top linemen to the Pros.
A few years back, Jim was recruiting an offensive prospect out of Michigan. He told the young man, "If you want to play football and have fun, go to Michigan. If you want to play football and eventually sign a big Pro contract, come to Wisconsin. Let me tell you something however, if you go to Michigan, when we play the Wolverines, we will be coming after your butt." Jim's not only a great coach but also a great guy, and a huge reason Wisconsin has been successful.
There's an excellent chance we will be in the Big Ten this week with our top game. It's certainly the time to 'pop' this club. The handwriting is definitely on the wall. This game will get a rating of 6-units. In fact, for the first time in several years, we may use two 6-unit plays, both coming out of the Big Ten conference. You certainly won't want to miss these two 6-unit plays.
Could be the 'Shoot-out of Shoot-outs' this Friday night at Fresno State as the Bulldogs host Hawaii. Fresno State started out the season in fashion as they beat Washington, Kansas State and Portland State. Losing the next three, they are now back on track winning the next two. The Rainbows crushed the Bulldogs last year and revenge is in store. As a 16-point favorite, I wouldn't be surprised if Fresno State gets it done against a team that has no defense. Lay it! Seems like the only choice.
In the last few weeks in my spare time I've enjoyed watching people playing Texas Hold 'em on various TV channels. Seems like this poker craze has really caught on around the country. I think the interest will only increase, for this is one game the youth has caught on to, and will want to be a big part of. Also, the fact that winter is coming, there will be a lot of people trying their skills online. In fact, when the football season is over, I may make an attempt to see what I can do myself. Of course I'll be hooked up to one of the top poker sites in the country, that being Bodog. Still don't know why the last card dealt is called the 'River card'. Does anyone know?
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