by Doc - 10/05/2005
In any occupation where one makes decisions and the results are disappointing, it is always difficult to face the consequences. That is certainly the case with our college selections this past Saturday. I really doubt in the past 34 years I have had a losing day of this magnitude. Granted, I've had crushing Saturdays before, as in this many years of business, it is bound to happen. What I am most disappointed in myself was getting involved in some games that I really knew little about their opponents and relied heavily on some questionable sources.
The two games that I am speaking of is the Texas A & M - Baylor game and the UCLA - Washington game. Laying that many points early in the year can be a problem especially if there are no major injuries or dissention. I really had no business being involved in two other games as well in Notre Dame - Purdue and Minnesota - Penn State. Hindsight is always 20-20 as they say; however, many chances of winning both sides of these major rivalries should have been a concern.
I make most of my selections Sunday night when the early line is released and over the years I have had a great percentage in following this procedure. None of these four were in that group and obviously if the results of these selections were different I would not be writing this column. I take total blame for the results and am looking for brighter lights ahead. The Alabama five-unit selection speaks for itself and I would not change the Michigan State selection. Picking the Spartans had good logic; however, I did not expect RB Michael Hart to gain 218 yards after sitting out nearly three games. West Virginia also had their chances in Morgantown but turned the ball over at critical stages in the game. Arizona played well on defense but just could not muster any offense whatsoever failing to score after twice being inside the red zone. I never like to lose any games; however, I can accept the results if there is good reason behind the choice.
This column is written to cry over spilled milk, only to explain that I simply did a bad job of selecting a few games. I would like to comment a bit more about my Sunday night choices. I try to narrow the choices to about six to ten selections each week. I spend most of the week getting information about these games. Obviously if strong information is brought to my attention, we will evaluate the reasoning. That was the case in the Buffalo - New Orleans game where I received information from a source who said that Buffalo was really divided between their offense and defense. This week is over and the results speak for themselves; however, it is time to move on and I will focus my attention on finding winners for this week.
A real exciting week in the Big Ten awaits, highlighted by the Ohio State - Penn State encounter in the nighttime hours. The Buckeyes had last week off and will be ready. The Nittany Lions are 5-0 and a lot of people are now starting to jump on their bandwagon. They believe that QB Michael Robinson has finally arrived and can beat teams with his arms in addition to his legs. Not so fast, as this team and Mr. Robinson will get their first real test on Saturday against the best defense in the conference. I am sure I will not take a side here; however, the total looks very inviting! If Penn State can win this game it will set up quite an affair in two weeks when they travel to Ann Arbor.
As these two teams will be fighting for the championship, the other side of the conference will be active, as two teams will be fighting to stay out of the cellar. Illinois will travel to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers. The early line has the Hoosiers installed as a six-point favorite. First year Head Coach Terry Hoeppner has gotten the most of the talent he was dealt and he is intense during the game. I watched him in person last week and when the official made a bad call, the headset went flying. A party I know was in the locker room after the game and he said that Hoeppner kept a positive attitude and this will benefit them in their homecoming game with Illinois. This will likely be the only chance Indiana will have for a conference win, as the rest of their schedule is brutal. Never like giving six points with this poor of a team, but I think the Hoosiers are the only choice to consider.
Yet another interesting game in the Big Ten this week is Wisconsin traveling to Northwestern. The Badgers have to be the biggest surprise in the Big Ten as they sit at 5-0 and are playing outstanding football with a real young squad. One has to wonder if the Oddsmakers have overreacted installing Wisconsin as a seven-point favorite. I have a strong feeling on this game and will make it known later in the week.
Of course the big game in college football this week is the Red River Shootout in Dallas when Oklahoma takes on Texas. Last year Texas was shutout for the first time since 1956 but still leads the all-time series 55-39-5. The Horns have lost five straight games to the Sooners, but come into this game as a 14-point favorite and I feel the tables have definitely turned. The Sooners will be subject to a good old Texas-style ass whooping.
Will the Trojans continue to roll? They will have no problem this week at the Coliseum against Arizona, but look out in two weeks when they travel to South Bend. Coach Charlie Weis has made it known that he has never lost to Coach Pete Carroll and he sure as hell does not play to start now. The Irish have this week off to prepare and I will be interested to see what the posted line will be for this game.
Two teams that have no love will be at each other's throat this Saturday. The home team will be going for revenge as they went down last year in defeat. In that loss they have five crucial turnovers and two blocked field goals. Can you guess who this team is? I have looked at this game and could possibly release a side selection as a big play. Stay tuned.
How informed are you with the stock market? The market has been shaky because of the country's oil problem. I have previously mentioned a company called Navarre (NAVR). This stock got up to $20 a share but now stands at six because of some minor management problems. I do not think this stock will jump much in the next few weeks but when Christmas rolls around, the company expects record earning. I look for it to be in the teens when spring rolls around next year. Contact your broker and see what his advice is on a buy here.
One topic that always comes after a bad week is betting too many games. This is a hot subject that many people have different views on. I can only say that most of the true professionals, who make a living betting sports, have no limit as too how many or how few games to bet on. Basically these individuals believe that if one has a high percentage chance of winning the game because of an oddsmaker's shortfall, it is a go. Obliviously if one only bets two games for the weekend, the chances of winning 100% is much greater then winning 100% of seven selections. However, if one works the numbers of winning 60% on 100 games compared to 60% of 200 games, the latter is the answer. Anytime one has a negative weekend like we had in college football this past Saturday, the question of the amount of games always pops up. Money management is still the answer, along with the oblivious positive winnings percentage. I think many people run into trouble betting parleys; the bookies dream! In closing it is a subject that is open for debate; however, I do not think the amount of games matters as much as the percentage of winners provided.
Our schedules have been a big hit this season as we have distributed over 200,000 all over the country. If you are interested in receiving a complimentary copy or have a sports bar that would like to take 100 copies or more free, please give our sports office a call at (800) 356-9182. I really like what the schedule brings this week and look for a complete turnaround of last week's disaster. Our Top Game will come from the West Cost as we are set to release our, "Mountain West Game of the Year." We are also looking strong with two games from the Big Ten conference.
That is it for this week,