Sunday, September 30, 2007
I think LSU is way ahead of all of these teams at this juncture in the season. Florida and BC are a step behind. Kentucky through Georgia are all very talented but missing a key ingredient to go all the way. 7-14 Auburn through Arkansas are Jekyl and Hyde teams and could be put in any order. Everyone knew the North Carolina teams would struggle, but I have been surprised by the lack of performance so far.
Haven't shown any weaknesses so far
Chinks in the armor discovered in the loss; still extremely talented team
3. Boston College
Why do they scrape by such less opponents?
They just keep winning and Woodson is as good as advertised
5. South Carolina
Workman like effort in win with backup QB
Running game exploded with best duo in SEC
Showed a lot of composure in winning drive in the Swamp
8. Virginia Tech
AP Ranking is a little high for a team that has not shown anything
Tough season could really turn positive with an SEC win against Georgia
Could this be a breakthrough year for the Cavs?
11. Georgia Tech
Great bounce back win, but cannot have any more two week lapses
One of the least talked about upsets all with a backup QB POY
14. Arkansas (Edit)
16. Florida State
17. Wake Forest
19. Miss St
21. Ole Miss
22. North Carolina
23. NC State
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Tech held Clemson's potent rushing attack to just 38 yards on the ground. A blocked punt by the Yellow Jackets set up the only touchdown of the game. Clemson was just 1-4 on FG including a 30 yarder just before halftime while Georgia Tech was 2-2 including a 47 yarder. The game started with a fumbled hand off exchange setting up a FG by Clemson which turned out to be their only points. Tashard Choice bounced back from a hamstring injury for 145 yards and 1 TD as his runs wore down Clemson in the 4th quarter. Georgia Tech played much better on the line of scrimmage this week especially defensively. The Jackets had 6 sacks and numerous hurries of QB Cullen Harper who was just 17-39. James Davis was given just 12 rushes and Spiller only 9. Spiller's long of the day was just 5 yards. Georgia Tech rushed the ball 46 times and passed only 15.
Auburn 20 Florida 17
A true freshman Wes Byrum kicked a 43 yarder as time expired on the second attempt after a late Florida timeout as Auburn beat Florida for the second straight year. The Tigers came out chomping with a 14-0 lead, but by the middle of the 4th quarter, Florida had tied it up at 17. It appeared Tim Tebow was going to will his team for victory, but Auburn got a key 3rd down and a questionable kick interference call and subsequent rant by Tommy Tubberville gave Florida very good field position with about 4 min left. The Tiger defense stiffened and after getting the ball they used a couple of 3rd down conversions and used a steady running game to get the ball all the way down to the 26 to set up the game winner. The loss was Urban Meyer's first at home.
Alabama struggled on offense against FSU in their third straight tough game and came up short against the Seminoles in Jacksonville. It looked like Alabama would have a late shot but illegal touching negated a onside kick recovery.
Georgia and Ole Miss went back and forth for three quarters until the Bulldogs broke the game open in the 4th quarter. Thomas Brown had 178 yards and 3TDs while Knowshon Moreno added 90 yards.
South Carolina's Chris Smelley was 19-37, but got a lot of help with 3TDs from Mike Davis as the Gamecocks broke out offensively in a 38-21 victory over Miss St.
Maryland went into New Brunswick, New Jersey and stunned the 10th ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Terps had control most of the game behind the tough running of Keon Lattimore. The Terps defense also came up with a big down fourth down stop with 2 min left to end any chance of a Rutgers comeback.
Week: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 3-1 O/U
Season: 11-7 SU, 11-6-1 ATS, 10-8 O/U
Friday, September 28, 2007
Hall ready to dazzle FSU : "D.J. Hall grew up a Seminoles fan, but wasn't recruited by them. He ended up at Alabama, where he is the school's career leader in receiving yards."
Hokies' offense struggling : "The Hokies (3-1) are 11th in the ACC in total offense and searching for more consistency heading into Saturday's game against visiting North Carolina."
Florida State's self-reported academic fraud for "academic dishonesty" reads like page from the "Dummies Guide to Cheating" playbook. FSU reported 23 athletes for participating "in varying levels of academic fraud during the 2006-07 school year" according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Funny, when Kyle Wright came to Miami he was a savior, possibly good enough to supplant Brock Berlin at starting quarterback as a freshman.
Who could have possibly predicted Georgia Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett would struggle without Calvin Johnson?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Line: Clemson -3, 49.5
Two teams headed in two different directions is the storyline for this game. Georgia Tech started off 2-0, but has sputtered in their last two games in losses to BC and Virginia. Meanwhile, Clemson is off to 4-0 start and is turning into an offensive juggernaut with the unexpected play of QB Cullen Harper. Harper has thrown 12 TD passes and 0 INT this year, but he will be facing Georgia Tech’s complex blitzing scheme that ranks 8th in the nation in sacks.
The key to Clemson’s offensive success is on first down where the Tigers are averaging 8+ yards per play. On the other side of the ball, Georgia Tech has struggled mightily on 3rd down ranking 119th in conversions out of 120 teams. On third down and in the red zone is where the Yellow Jackets really miss a guy like Calvin Johnson. Clemson’s offensive strength is running the ball. Georgia Tech’s defensive strength is pressure on the QB and stopping the run. Clemson was able to run the ball last year on Tech when they blocked man to man. Tech did not have the depth at LB to play 8 or 9 men in the box like they needed.
What Clemson has to do to win:
-Negate the blitz with the running ability of Davis and Spiller between the tackles.
Clemson ran at will against Tech last year amassing over 300 yards rushing
-Protect Harper on passing plays
Georgia Tech’s defense ranks 8th in the nation in sacks and Harper has yet to throw a pick this year
-Make Taylor Bennett beat you with his arm
Reggie Ball’s replacement has not been much of an improvement completing just over 50% of his passes with just 1 TD
What Georgia Tech has to do to win:
-Get the running game established, especially on first down
Georgia Tech needs to help out their offense and Bennett to prevent 3rd and 8+
-Convert 3rd and short
Durant Brooks is a great punter, but the doesn’t put any points on the board.
-Pressure Cullen Harper
Harper has played really well early on, but I don’t think he be forced to do a whole lot playing with big leads and two great running backs.
Don’t be fooled by last year’s blowout by Clemson as this has been a very close series over the last 10 years. The underdog is 11-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
Clemson and Georgia Tech have also been Jekyll and Hyde under their current coaches – winning when they are down and losing when they riding high. Clemson fans are aware of this fact, but smell blood when it comes to this game with Virginia Tech next week. I think this game will come down to the wire and the Tigers have a lot of weapons, but this game is ripe for a Georgia Tech upset.
Georgia Tech Wins, Under
Georgia vs Ole Miss 1:00PM
Line: UGA -15, 47.5
Last year, Georgia was really struggling and nearly got defeated by Ole Miss in Oxford. The Bulldogs are coming off a big win over Alabama in overtime last week. Ole Miss put a lot of heart into the game last week versus Florida, but came up short and must go on the road for another tough game.
What Ole Miss must do to cover:
-Exploit a young Georgia secondary
Ole Miss will use a bunch of trick plays and misdirection to confuse a young Georgia secondary.
-Rush Matt Stafford
The Rebels need to try and get some pressure on Matt Stafford as he is still prone to trying to do to much with arm.
- Get Benjarvus Green-Ellis going
Except for a big game against Missouri, he has not been the factor they thought he would be.
What Georgia must do to cover:
- Dominate the line of scrimmage
Despite their troubles on the o-line, the Dawgs have better depth than the Rebels and should be able to wear them down
- Play within their limits
Georgia has better talent and they shouldn’t have to prove anything after last week’s win. Just execute and the talent rise to the top.
- “Special” Teams
Thomas Brown and Mikey Henderson are two of better returners in college football and could be poised for a breakout game.
I don't think Georgia will have much trouble with Ole Miss despite the Rebels improvement this year. The only thing I worry about the Bulldogs is a late score against backups. Ole Miss has to be a little drained after last weeks game.
Georgia wins, Covers, Over
Florida vs Auburn 8:00 CBS
Line: Fla - 17.5, 55
Florida will try to avenge their only loss of 2006 against Auburn. The Gators have surprised some with how dominant they have been especially with how many starters they lost. Auburn has really struggled on offense with turnovers and their QB play. Brandon Cox did regain his starting job after going 13 for 19 with 1 TD against New Mexico State, but backups Kodi Burns may still get some looks too.
Tim Tebow’s offensive production is nothing short of remarkable. At 363.5 yards per game, he out gains four teams in the SEC (South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Miss St). As a Florida fan, you would have to be little nervous with how many hits he is taking each game though even if he is your leading rusher. The last time Auburn was a big underdog to Florida was in 2001 where they shocked the Gators 23-20.
What Florida must do to cover:
-Pressure Auburn QB’s
Cox is like a statue in the backfield and Burns is still learning the passing game at the college level -Spread the ball
Gators have the most weapons on offense of any team in the country, including a very special one in Percy Harvin. Utilize all of them.
What Auburn must do to cover:
-Protect against deep ball.
As great as Tebow has been, I still think he has some work to do in the short passing game
-Get an early lead
Auburn’s offense is not built to come from behind and they need to get some confidence early in a hostile environment. Plus, the can play their style of game because they cannot survive a shootout with the Gators.
I think Florida will struggle a little bit on offense as this is best defense they have played all year. But the Gators will turn Auburn turnovers in points quickly and be able consistently stop the Auburn offense.
Florida Wins, Covers, Under
FSU vs Alabama Jacksonville, FL 5:00 CBS
Line: FSU -2, 43.5
These two coaches have some history with each other. Bobby Bowden offered Nick Saban a job in Saban’s native state of West Virginia a long ways back. Bowden was also a strong candidate for the Alabama job back in the 80s. "I thought that my calling was to go back there (to Alabama). But it wasn't meant to be. And of course now, as I look back, it's a good thing I didn't go there. That's Bear Bryant. Nobody will ever top him up there. That's his. This is mine." -Florida State coach Bobby Bowden to the Orlando Sentinel. Bowden interviewed for the Alabama job in 1986 before the Tide hired Bill Curry. I think Bowden want this one real bad.
What FSU has to do to win:
-Convert on 3rd downs
FSU is 118th in the nation in 3rd down conversions
-Get consistent QB play
If Drew Weatherford struggles, don’t be surprised to see the more versatile Xavier Lee get a shot off the bench. Jimbo Fisher expressed his displeasure after the win at Colorado two weeks ago.
What Alabama had to do to win:
-Move the ball vertically
FSU has a very stout run defense allowing just under 75 yards per game, but they have been susceptible against the pass giving up 230 yards through the air.
-Make QB beat you
For the past few years, FSU has struggled to run the ball although they are doing better this year. I would still take my changes with Weatherford or Lee trying to beat me by stacking the line.
When i first saw this line I was miffed. How can Alabama be an underdog in this game? I know Jax is closer to Tallahassee, but this will not be Doak Campbell Stadium. Everything points towards an Alabama victory which makes me think something has go to be up in Tuscaloosa.... who knows how many scouts are hanging around there these days. Maybe somebody broke up with their girlfriend or something. It is hard to believe a middle of the road ACC team could beat a middle of the road SEC team right now.
Alabama Wins, Over
Other SEC, ACC Action
South Carolina – Miss St
Despite loss of star LB Jasper Brinkley and a new starter at QB, the Gamecocks will beat the upstart Miss St Bulldogs.
Miami – Duke
Miami almost lost this game last year after the suspensions levied from the brawl against Florida International. I think the Hurricanes don’t have any trouble with the Blue Devils this time.
VT – UNC
The Tar Heels are really struggling under Butch Davis out of the gate and it does not get any easier this week. VT will win this one in a defensive struggle.
Boston College – Umass
BC will win this one but only by 3 TD as they don’t seem to blow out much lesser opponents.
Louisville – NC State
Syracuse did it, why not NC State? I think Louisville gets the Cardinal ship righted this week and beats the Wolfpack going away.
The Scarlet Knights first real test comes against a Maryland team reeling after losing a big lead to Wake Forest. Rutgers should win this one going away, but it could be a shootout.
Two teams that I cannot figure out in this one. Lose to bad teams, play well against good teams. I will take Virginia at home.
Get serious here
Kentucky – Florida Atlantic
Kentucky… the new powerhouse of football in Kentucky claws the Owls of Florida Atlantic
Arkansas – North Texas
McFadden leads the nation in rushing and Arkansas leads the nation in collapses, but they will win this one.
Vandy – Eastern Michigan
Vandy wins… I hope they would.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
News & Notes:
Chris Smelley to start at QB against Miss State. Smelly replaced Blake Mitchell last week in the second half
Bobby Bowden is mum on whether or not 2 FSU players, including starting LB Geno Hayes will be suspended for this weeks game vs Alabama in Jacksonville after an arrest last week. Hayes has been demoted to 2nd team for the game with Alabama.
Is FSU considering a change at QB after the performance at Colorado?
Despite going down on the first series last week, QB Harrison Beck will be starting this week vs Louisville.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Dominating opponents on line of scrimmage keeps them as favorite in SEC
Survived a scare against Ole Miss; Tebow has the stuff to make a run at a repeat
3. Boston College
Somewhat lackadaisical in win over Army; Matt Ryan best QB in ACC and SEC
4. South Carolina
Over matched at LSU, but still have a shot in the East
Passed every test so far with ease; QB Cullen Harper has been better than expected
Big road win on Saturday, but that is almost expected under Richt
The win in Arkansas may have been bigger than the win over Louisville
Third tough game in a row vs FSU this week in Jacksonville
Team has to be reeling after two tough losses; this is where Nutt saves his job
Defense still needs some work after Arkansas State put up 20+
Big win for Randy Shannon in dominant performance over Texas A&M
12. Virginia Tech
Beamer is hoping QB Tyrod Taylor is ready for Miami a little later in the season
13. Wake Forest
15. Georgia Tech
16. Florida State
18. Miss St
21. Ole Miss
22. NC State
23. North Carolina
Georgia held their ground in the SEC East race with a big road win in atmosphere as crazy as you will find in college football. Georgia led this game until the end of the 4th quarter and needed just 1 play in overtime to give Nick Saban his first loss at Alabama.
What we learned about Georgia:
Mark Richt still has just 3 road losses in his tenure at Georgia as his team was in control for most of the night with good production from his dynamic backfield duo on the ground and in the air. Matt Stafford struggled a little bit, but for the most part was solid in just his 12th start (9 wins 3 losses). The Bulldog defense also did a fairly good job at containing Terry Grant and the Alabama rushing attack.
What we learned about Alabama:
The Tide was feeding off the emotion of the crowd for most of the game to make up for the deficit in talent on both sides of the ball. Terry Grant did not get in a good rhythm all game forcing Alabama to use the deep ball against a suspect UGA secondary. Keith Brown and DJ Hall had breakout games and should be a force in the SEC. Defensively, Alabama played pretty well, but had trouble with Georgia’s back getting extra yards after the first hit.
Virginia 28 Georgia Tech 23
Georgia Tech has now failed to defeat the Cavs every year in Charlottesville since 1990. Al Groh’s team turned two Georgia Tech turnovers into 14 points, including the go ahead TD.
What we learned about Virginia:
Cedric Pearman is a beast at running back breaking tackles from the usually sure handed Tech linebackers. Virginia still struggles at the QB position, but was able to use the TE in the short passing game to move the ball effectively. The offensive line did a good job protecting the QBs and opening holes for the running game against a good Ga Tech D-Line. Defensively, the Cavs got a lot of pressure on Taylor Bennett forcing the junior QB to hurry some passes. They did a pretty job on containing Jonathan Dwyer on the ground as well.
What we learned about Georgia Tech:
Georgia Tech is neither as good as we thought nor are they thought they were. The offense is struggling on the offensive line, not being able to protect Bennett consistently and also not able to open holes for the running attack. The Yellow Jackets still have trouble in the red zone scoring without a go to wide out and settled for field goals. Defensively, Virginia rolled the pocket and used short throws like Boston College did to negate blitzes. The d-line is not getting the same pressure it was and there are more holes for opponent to run in. My main guess is that the DT Joe Anoai is missed more than they originally thought. I think you will see more and more teams use the strategy of rolling the pocket and quick throws against Tech.
LSU 28 South Carolina 16
The Tigers used two QBs, a dominating defensive line, and a trick play to befuddle Steve Spurrier and South Carolina.
What we learned about LSU:
The Tigers are still as good as advertised on defense. After a TD drive early by South Carolina, the Tiger defense settled in and effectively shut down the Gamecock running attack. Les Miles used two QBs in different manners and both were very effective. LSU did miss the reliability of the injured Early Doucet and will need him back soon if they want to go undefeated.
What we learned about South Carolina:
The offensive line problems that came up against South Carolina State will appear again against good teams like LSU. The Gamecocks miss the big play ability of Sidney Rice against a good defense; they had to rely mostly on short passes and the WR making a play after the catch. The defense did a pretty good job allowing just 21 points (7 came on a fake FG for a TD). The Gamecocks sorely missed Jasper Brinkley in the middle during the first half. I think the proved they can hang with the big boys for four quarters though if they get some breaks.
Weekend Record: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 2-2 O/U
Season Record: 9-5 SU, 9-4-1 ATS, 7-7 O/U
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Line: GT -3, 40.5
Georgia Tech comes into this Coastal Division battle looking for their first win in Charlottesville since 1990. Tashard Choice is questionable for this game that could dictate the season for the Yellow Jackets. If they lose, then Tech is looking at another 7-5 season, but a win could again jump start an ACC Championship season.
Why Georgia Tech will cover:
The Jackets were embarrassed last week on national television on both sides of the ball and will be looking to redeem themselves. Even if Choice does not play, Tech has 3 capable backups who can carry the load. QB Taylor Bennett got a lot of experience in the pocket last week and showed he can deliver the ball if given adequate time. Virginia has one of the worst offenses statistically in the ACC. The Cavs have been unable to decide on a QB yet and will be playing a sophomore and a freshman. Jon Tenuta loves young QBs
Why Virginia will cover:
Something is in the air in Charlottesville whenever they play Georgia Tech. The Cavs have used hook and ladders and anything in the bag to pull off wins. The Cavs have been playing better each week and their confidence is riding high. BC made the blueprint on how to beat Tech and the Cavs do have an improving defense led by DE Chris Long. Cedric Pearman has been a surprise at RB and leads the ACC in rushing (over the bally hoed Choice).
GT is 10-4-1 ATS in last 15 road games
Under is 12-4 in last 16 road games
Under is 17-5-3 in last 25 UVA conference games
Home team is 8-1 ATS in last 9 games
GT is 5-0 ATS after double digit home loss
UVA is 10-1 ATS in last 11 as home underdog
Georgia Tech has the better talent on both sides of the ball, but there is just something about them in Charlottesville that they cannot shake. Choice will likely be limited and the Jackets are searching for a go to guy at wide out still. However, I think the Yellow Jackets finally get it done this time around. Jonathan Dwyer makes a name for himself with a 100+ yard game.
Georgia Tech Wins, Covers, Over
Georgia @ Alabama 7:45 ESPN
Line: Alab -3.5, 48
An East vs West match up as Georgia travels to Alabama for their first road game of the year. Both teams have faced Western Carolina with similar blowout wins. The Catamounts head coach did say he felt Georgia was more physical and skilled than the Tide. Mark Richt closed practices for the first time in his 7 years in Athens hoping to keep any distractions away from his young team poised for a big win
Why Alabama will cover:
Last week was just the beginning of the Saban era and big wins. The Crimson Tide now has confidence they can come back against a good team. Terry Grant has been a surprise at TB with 5 TDs and this Georgia defense is susceptible to a sound running game (see South Carolina). The crowd will be at fever pitch with College Gameday in town.
Why Georgia will cover:
Everybody kind of forgot about Georgia after their loss to South Carolina as the attention turned to LSU, Florida, and Alabama. This could be Matt Stafford's break out game, but it will important to get Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno involved early. This Tide defense will give up some points as Arkansas came back from 21-0 to take the lead last week.
UGA is 2-6 ATS in last 8 conf games
Alab is 8-20-2 ATS in last 30 home games
UGA is 4-1 ATS in last 5 as dog
This is shaping up to be a classic in the SEC with two of the most respected minds in college football. Despite a high scoring game last week, I like this one to be good old fashioned defensive struggle. Watch how composed Bama is early after their big win last week.
Alabama Wins, Georgia Covers, Under
South Carolina @ LSU 3:30 CBS
Line: LSU -18, 46
Spurrier has had some good wins so far at South Carolina (@ Tennessee, vs Florida, @ Georgia), but this could be the big win he has been longing for. Both teams bring in stingy defenses and solid passing games.
Why LSU will cover:
The only TD scored on LSU this season had to be reviewed by replay - that is how good this defense is. On offense, the Tigers have an explosive passing game led by receivers Early Doucet and Brandon LaFell. This game is not at night, but the crowd will still be rocking in Baton Rouge will rattle a South Carolina offense that turned the ball over 6 times against South Carolina State.
Why South Carolina will cover:
18 points is a lot for a top 15 team even if they are playing on the road. Lets also debunk those LSU defensive stats a little as they have played Miss St, Middle Tennessee St, and a Virginia Tech team who has never been known for offense. Spurrier will try to keep the ball out of LSU's hands with a steady ground attack. He hopes to keep it close until the end and get a big play from his defense led by the Brinkley brothers, Jasper and Casper.
SC is 8-0 ATS in last 8 road games
Under is 22-8 in last 30 SC road games
LSU is 8-3 ATS in last 11 home games
SC is 5-0 ATS in last 5 as road dog
LSU is 5-0 ATS in last 5 as fav
The only thing keeping LSU from winning is if they come into this game over confident after 3 straight 40+ point wins. However, I think Spurrier can keep this game close into the fourth quarter with a steady diet of Cory Boyd and Mike Davis. LSU just has too much firepower on offense and their defense will create too much havoc in the Gamecock backfield.
LSU wins, South Carolina Covers, Under
Florida is 0-3 in the state of Mississippi since 1994, but the Gators get this one easily over Ole Miss. Clemson will go to 4-0 with a win in the Textile Bowl vs NC State. Two wins a row for the Blue Devis? Don't think so as Duke falls to Navy. BC won't let a letdown game against derail them - BC rolls. Butch Davis returns to South Florida, but it a big underdog to the Bulls. South Florida keeps Davis and North Carolina at the drawing board. Wake Forest gets Riley Skinner back this week just in time to trip the Terps. Auburn hopes using two QBs (Brandon Cox and Kodi Burns) will help the Tigers hold onto the ball against the Aggies of New Mexico State. The Tigers get a much needed win. Tennessee may still be down after the blowout to Florida, but they shouldn't have much trouble against Arkansas State. Another big game in the SEC is Kentucky at Arkansas. Both teams can light up the scoreboard with Wildcats doing it through the air and the Razorbacks on the ground. Arkansas fans will be upset after the Alabama defeat last week and may bring some boos on if the Hogs struggle. Despite the big win last week, Kentucky needs a big win in the SEC and this is first step. However, I like Arkansas to pull out the win in nail-biter.
Last Week: 2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U
Season: 7-3 SU, 7-2-1 ATS, 5-5 O/U
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Texas AM @ Miami 7:30 ESPN Thursday
Line: Miami -2.5, 46.5
Thursday night ACC action as the Big 12 comes calling in Miami. Texas AM brings a 3-0 record into the Orange Bowl and an impressive running attack led by Mike Goodson, Javorskie Lane, and QB Stephen McGee. Miami is still having issues at QB, but has turned back to Kyle Wright for the time being. The Hurricanes are trying to avoid back to back 2-2 starts while the Aggies are hoping for their first back to back 4-0 starts since Bear Bryant in 1956-57.
Why Miami will win:
The Hurricanes appear to have found some reliable receivers in Darnell Jenkins and Lance Leggett. Javarris James and Graig Cooper have been solid on the ground as well. Miami has the luxury of playing at home on just 4 days rest while Texas AM had to travel half away across the country. The Aggie defense could help the Canes break out of the offensive doldrums as they are allowing 380+ yards a game defensively. This game is at night and the Orange Bowl is always a little more lively under the lights.
Why Texas AM will win:
All the Aggies have to do is force turnovers from Kyle Wright, which isn't hard to do considering Florida International forced 3 last week. After getting those turnovers, they can control the ball with their punishing run attack averaging close to 300 yards per game. Texas AM is very efficient in the red zone having converted 20/20 chance this season.
Texas AM 1-1 ATS, 2-0 O/U
Miami 1-2 ATS, 1-2 O/U
Texas AM 7-2-1 ATS in last 10
Texas AM is 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS vs road BCS teams under Dennis Franchione
Miami is 2-9 ATS in last 11 vs teams with winning records
Under is 21-5 in last 26 Miami home games
I think the Aggies have too much firepower in the backfield for the Hurricanes to stop all night long. Also, neither Kyle Wright nor Kirby Freeman has been able to show consistency or ability to take care of the ball.
Texas AM wins, Covers, Under
Last Week: 2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U
Season: 7-3 SU, 7-2-1 ATS, 5-5 O/U
I guess they think Kyle Wright can turn it on this week offensively
Georgia @ Alabama -3.5
Same line as Arkansas line a week ago; Georgia plays well as a road dog under Richt
Georgia Tech -3 @ Virginia
Tech has not won in Charlottesville since 1990 and is coming in with a bruised ego
Florida -21 @ Ole Miss
Considering Gators beat Tennessee by 39, three touchdowns does not look too hard
NC State @ Clemson -7
Tom O'Brien was nemesis to Clemson when he was at BC, but it obvious he doesn't have the same talent at State
South Carolina @ LSU -16.5
That is a lot of points for a top 15 matchup even if it is at Baton Rouge
Duke @ Navy -11.5
The Midshipmen are a little down this year after a few years of pretty good success
Army @ Boston College -28.5
Only thing keeping BC from covering is complacency after big win at Georgia Tech
North Carolina @ South Florida -13.5
The Bulls must now deal with being big favorites - an unfamiliar position
Maryland @ Wake Forest -3
This is a make or break it game for Maryland after some non conference patsies
Kentucky @ Arkansas -6.5
This is a mighty big line for a team that just beat Louisville, but then again Arkansas should have beaten Alabama
New Mexico State @ Auburn -17
Hard to see Auburn even scoring 17 points at this point!
Arkansas State @ Tennessee -18.5
I think Fulmer doesn't hold back in this to take a little heat off after last weeks blowout loss
Other Lines of Interest....
Penn State @ Michigan -3
Nittany Lions are top 10 and Michigan is 1-2.....but then again Penn State is not impressive right now for a top 10 team
Oklahoma -23 @ Tulsa
This is not even a road game for the Sooners who beat Miami by 30+
Michigan State -12 @ Notre Dame
This game always seems to have some crazy twist or turn....It is just hard to see ND doing much
Monday, September 17, 2007
They have a big win over preseason ACC fav Va Tech and looked to have not missed a beat
39 point win over Tennessee was very impressive; Meyer's offense very tough to defend
3. Boston College
Near flawless execution in a 14 point win at Georgia Tech
4. South Carolina
Big game at LSU this week; no doubt Spurrier already been preparing for a week
The Tide got the Razorback hog off their back; they usually do well when they beat the Hogs
Cullen Harper has been a big surprise at QB
Tough loss to Alabama, but looks like they are still very strong
8. Georgia Tech
Humbling, Sobering are words to describe loss to BC; back to drawing board with pass defense
Rich Brooks finally got that big win; Andre Woodson is the real deal at QB
Despite an early season loss, this team could still make some noise in the SEC East
A 1-2 start is not a huge surprise, but the performance in those losses is
12. Virginia Tech
Freshman Tyrod Taylor hopes to jumpstart the Hokies as they begin ACC play
13. Wake Forest
14. Florida State
17. Miss St
21. NC State
22. North Carolina
23. Ole Miss
3. South Carolina
9. Miss St
12. Ole Miss
1. Boston College
3. Georgia Tech
4. Virginia Tech
5. Wake Forest
6. Florida State
10. NC State
11. North Carolina
National Top 10
5. West Virginia
6. Notre Dame (just kidding, but a big drop between top 5 and next 5)
7. Ohio State
10. Boston College
Games I watched.....
Florida 59 Tennesee 20
Take a look at that score. 59 points against Tennessee is unheard of, but is pretty apparent that the Vols are not what they used to be. John Chavous' defense gave up over 500 yards of offense, including 31 straight points from the 3rd quarter on. The Gators are still searching for a reliable running back, but Percy Harvin and Tebow are filling the void for now. The loser of this game has not played in the SECCG since 1997. The Vols will have their work cut out the rest of the season, but they do get Georgia and South Carolina at home this year. They have Arkansas State at home, then a bye before Georgia comes to Knoxville. The Gators travel to Ole Miss and then have a home game against a suddenly anemic Auburn before the big showdown in Baton Rouge.
Boston College 24 Georgia Tech 10
This game was not as close as the score says. The Eagles dominated both sides of the ball shutting down Tashard Choice, ending his streak of 7 straight 100 yards game, while Matt Ryan torched the Tech secondary for over 400 yards passing. Tech's blitzing scheme did not work against a stout BC line and a gameplan of getting the ball out of Ryan's hands quickly. The execution of offense was some of the best I have seen from an ACC team in a while. Ryan's passes were point, the receivers caught nearly every pass, and the o-line held their ground against persistent pressure. Conversely, the Yellow Jackets were plagued with dropped passes and long third downs resulting in a 2-14 conversion rate. One positive for the Yellow Jackets was their run defense that kept the Eagles to under 3 yards per carry. The Eagles are not 3-0 in the ACC and have three very winnable out of conference games before going to Blacksburg on Oct 25. Georgia Tech must regroup and travel to Virginia where they have not won since 1990.
Other Thoughts on the Weekend...
Arkansas - Alabama was a game frought with coaching headlines. The Crimson Tide fans are in a tizzy after beating the 16th ranked Hogs in the 4th quarter. They better get their horses ready as Georgia comes to T-town this week. Arkansas showed they can score despite not having an every down QB to throw the ball. The Hogs have to regroup quickly as Kentucky comes to Fayetteville this weekend. The Wildcats survived an offensive shootout with Louisville and Rich Brooks finally got a big win. Kentucky could have the best offense in the SEC, but they won't be able to stop many people. Their game with Arkansas may total 80 points with all that firepower on the same field. The Miss State "shocker" over Auburn was the big surprise of the weekend. Freshman Kodi Burns had to come off the bench to help try and spark a turnover-ridden offense. The Tigers cannot stop from shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers. Miss State needs to build on this win and turn it into a 2-3 win SEC season and not just one big win for the program.
Did anybody notice who was running the ball for Florida International against Miami? That's right... the famous Ned who made an appearance during the brawl last year, crutches in hand. I think Miami will only go as far as their QBs will take them and that doesn't look very far right now. Florida State surprised with their ease in a victory over Colorado in Boulder, but again they will only go as far as Drew Weatherford can take them...see Miami. I think the Hokies move to start freshman Tyrod Taylor will pay off in the future, but I worry about Sean Glennon's comment possibly splitting the team.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Florida vs Tennessee 3:30 CBS
Line: Florida -7, 54
Tim Tebow will attempt to become only the third UF QB since 1990 to beat Tennessee in their first start. An SEC Championship Game berth may hang in the ballots as the loser has not made it to Atlanta since 1997. Both teams lost starters to injury this week (Andre Caldwell, Antonio Gaines). I think the Vols need to stick with the run despite temptations if they get behind early. They do not have as high powered offense as Florida and have some questions with a young secondary. This game could turn into a blowout if Tebow can keep the Vols off balance.
This line has come down slightly since its -8 opening. I think the total may rise due to the expectation of a shootout with two good offenses and questions of defense. The home team is only 2-5 in the last 7 games. Florida is 3-2 ATS in the last 5 meetings. The highest total over the last 5 games is 58 and the lowest is 23. I like the over in this game and I like the Gators chances to cover at home.
Florida Wins, Covers, Over
Georgia Tech vs Boston College 8:00 ESPN2
Line: GT - 6.5, 48
Early season showdown in the ACC as the two best teams so far battle in Atlanta. Both teams have potent offenses - Georgia Tech does it on the ground and Boston College does it through the air. Both teams have been strong against the run, but some of this due to opponents having to come from behind. I think this game comes down to Georgia Tech's ability to get to Matt Ryan with the blitz. Ryan is very similar to Brady Quinn who threw for over 200 yards against Tech last year.
BC is 19-8 in their last 27 games away from Chesnut Hill - pretty impressive road record. GT is 12-5 in their 17 ACC home games. BC is 29-21 against conference opponents over the last 7 years. The Eagles will be playing their 3rd straight big game under a new coach, while Georgia Tech got to rest for three quarters last week against Samford. I think BC is again flying under the radar, but Tashard Choice and the Yellow Jacket running attack are just too much.
Ga Tech wins, BC Covers, Under
Alabama vs Arkansas 6:45 ESPN
Line: Alab -3, 47
Another early season conference showdown that is huge in the SEC West standings and huge for the head coaches involved. Arkansas will be without red zone target Marcus Monk. The question for the Razorbacks is can they take advantage of a weak front 7 of Alabama. I think McFadden needs to have a Heisman type game to lift the Razorbacks past their deficiencies in the passing game. Alabama has gotten a surprise from their running game and pass rush, who knocked out Vandy QB Chris Nickson. If John Parker Wilson can hook up with deep threats Keith Brown and DJ Hall, then the Tide could roll in this game.
Arkansas has failed to cover in their last 5 games. Arkansas has covered in the last 4 meetings. Nick Saban was 3-2 vs Arkansas at LSU. The under is 24-10 in the last 34 where Alabama is a favorite.
Alabama Wins, Covers, Under
I like North Carolina in a breakthrough ACC win for Butch Davis over Virginia. Al Groh should probably start looking. If Auburn doesn't cover the 13 points against Miss St, then they are in trouble this year. Tyrod Taylor starts for VT against Ohio, but Sean Glennon is not very happy about it. Potential team splitting decision if Taylor struggles. I think VT rolls in this one. Miami vs Fla International. I expect the refs to be very, very tight in this game. Miami has no trouble in this one. Wake is the best 0-2 team in the country and beats Army convincingly. Vandy disappointed me last week, but they should handle Ole Miss at home. An offensive showcase will be in Lexington as Louisville and Kentucky play to 100. The Cardinals defense is better.
I think FSU is in trouble and the high altitude won't help. Colorado upsets the Seminoles.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
1. Running game
The winner 15 of the last 17 years has had more rushing yards than the loser. Neither team is great at it, but they both could be very good. Florida will use a less conventional approach by using QB Tim Tebow and WR/RB/H-Back Percy Harvin in addition to Kestahn Moore. Tennessee has to be able to run the ball in this game and control the clock. The Vols can score points too, but they don't want to get into a shootout.
2. Passing on the advantage
Both teams could have trouble defending the pass. Tim Tebow is 2nd nationally in passing efficiency while Tennessee ranks 11th in the SEC so far. Erik Ainge is one of the better pocket passers in the country. He has an inexperienced WR corps this year, but the Gators may be starting two true freshman in the secondary. If Ainge gets time in the pocket he may be able to take advantage of an untested Gator defense.
3. Punch in the Mouth
Tennessee has already played a top 10 team on the road and a Conference USA perennial favorite. Meanwhile, the Gators have played a I-AA team and the road warriors of Division I (Troy). They put up a lot of points, but also gave up some. I think the Vols need to score first and see how the Gators react - and hope they get a little scared.
Georgia Tech vs Boston College 8:00 ESPN
1. Mistake Free
Georgia Tech has yet to turn the ball this year by fumble or interception. BC typically plays very sound football and wears the other team down with execution. I think one of these will give on Saturday night. GT QB Taylor Bennett will likely see 8 man fronts and press coverage against his run first offense. BC has 9 interceptions already on the year, but has just two sacks. LV Whitworth must take care of the ball on the ground against a team that has 5 fumble recoveries this season. The team that wins the turnover and penalty battle greatly increases their chances of winning.
2. Rattle Ryan
Jon Tenuta is going to blitz Matt Ryan no matter how accurate he may be. It will be important for the 1st All ACC to get rid of the ball quickly. Most teams attempt to do this, but are inaccurate in their short passes due to the pass rush. I think Ryan will not have an issue with this, so it will be interesting to see if Tech plays more press coverage. Ryan is not the most mobile QB and Tenuta usually feasts on pocket passers.
3. Strength on Strength
Georgia Tech ranks 4th in rushing offense. BC ranks 4th in rushing defense this season. The Eagles stat is a bit misleading since teams have lost 67 yards on carries and have been behind for most of the game. BC will be without two starting d-lineman against a Yellow Jacket offensive with four starters in their fourth year starting together. Tech has not played a strong run defense and BC has not played a strong running team. Something will give.
Alabama vs Arkansas 6:45 ESPN
1. Can Tide make Casey Dick beat them?
With Marcus Monk likely out for the Razorbacks, then Dick will have to look for another option in the air. The loss of Monk will especially be felt in the red zone with this height and body control. The wildcard or "wildhog" is the passing ability of Darren McFadden.
2. Alabama deep threats
Coming into the year, the question on the Alabama focused more on the running game than the passing game. The emergence of Terry Grant at tailback has been a blessing, but John Parker Wilson has not able to hook up with Keith Brown and DJ Hall. Both these receivers have big play ability and if the Tide can protect Wilson, then they have a chance to get on track with the deep ball.
3. Bottling Emotion
This game is huge... for SEC West... for Nick Saban a benchmark win... for Houston Nutt a big win for a program in off season turmoil. The crowd will be riled up and at a fever pitch by game time. The Razorbacks may consider themselves under the radar this year with all the attention on LSU and Saban's return. They have also had the week off to prepare. They need to be able to hang tough and be patient if things get off to a slow start.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The news links update automatically so you can check back throughout the week.
Florida vs Tennessee
The annual SEC East barometer game. The loser historically has an extremely difficult road making it to the SECCG.
Headlines leading up to the game.....
Georgia Tech vs Boston College
The two best teams after two weeks square off. The ACC really needs this one to be good for credibility purposes.
Alabama vs Arkansas
Early season SEC West showdown. Saban's first hurdle to get past the stumbling block of Mike Shula.
Hog Wild or Roll Tide
Miami leads the way with 48, while Duke has just 3.
FSU comes in at number two with 43 players.
Some interesting figures though....
Maryland is a distant 3rd with 23 players
UNC is 4th with 22 players
NC State is 5th with 20 players
These three schools have been pretty mediocre over the last 6-8 yet they are producing some good talent. I am not surprised by UNC as they have historically done well in the NFL.
Virginia and Virginia Tech have the same number of players (19) in the NFL, yet Va Tech has dominated Virginia on the gridiron. That tells me that Beamer is a better coach than Groh on the field and has done it with similar players.
Georgia Tech may be the team who does the most with the least. 10 straight bowl games yet they rank 8th with just 16 players.
Better yet, what about Clemson with just 11? The Tigers went through a rough patch in the mid 90s, but 11 is pretty low considering the amount of "perceived" talent touching the rock.
Check it out
West Virginia -16 @ Maryland
A budding rivarly in the Mid-Atlantic that WVU has dominated the last few years.
Boston College @ Georgia Tech -6.5
Possible ACCCG Preview; BC is flying under the radar again this year at 2-0
Tennessee @ Florida -8
Both teams without key starters. First real test for Florida's D
Arkansas @ Alabama -3
Alabama probably getting 4 points for the home crowd considering how important this game is
Virginia @ North Carolina -3
Hard to believe UNC a favorite after a loss to ECU. Oh wait ECU almost beat Va Tech
Miss St @ Auburn -12.5
A team Auburn should be able to dominate, but I expect low scoring
Ohio @ Va Tech -20.5
A good game to let Taylor settle in, I expect a Va Tech rout if they are any good this year
Fla Intl @ Miami - 32
Do we need any more storyline after last week and last year?
Army @ Wake Forest -20.5
Wake is probably the best 0-2 team in the nation and they are pretty frustrated right now
Ole Miss @ Vandy -5
Chris Nickson status is key in this line
Louisville -6.5 @ Kentucky
Kentucky has the firepower to match Louisville....Can't wait to see the total, probably near 80
FSU -4.5 @ Colorado
Colorado looked decent for a half last week... so did FSU
Other Interesting Lines....
Ohio St -4.5 @ Washington
Husky QB (Lockett) making quite a name for himself, Buckeyes have not so far
Notre Dame @ Michigan -7
SOMEBODY has to win....Hard to see Michigan winning by a TD with Henne out, but Wolverines do have better talent...we think
Monday, September 10, 2007
3. South Carolina
Outside Looking In: Alabama
Bottom: Miss State
LSU cemented their status at the top for this week with their throttling of Va Tech on Saturday Night. Florida is at #2 mainly because it appears their offense has not missed a beat with Tebow at the helm. Defense is still a question and they are a ways behind LSU right now. South Carolina moves in after a big road win at Georgia. They did just enough to win the game and give themselves a head start in the SEC East race. Arkansas has not played anybody of consequence, but Darren McFadden and Felix Jones have picked up where they left off last year. I put Tennessee in at #5 mainly because we have a good idea of what they can do after five games because they have played a top 10 team and a decent Conference USA team. Alabama and Georgia are next in line.
1. Georgia Tech
2. Boston College
4. Virginia Tech
5. Wake Forest
Looking In: Take your pick except for Duke
The ACC looks to be weak again this year, but a few teams have played very to start the season. Georgia Tech destroyed Notre Dame on the road and followed it up with a 69-14 win over Samford where backups played 3/4 of the game. Boston College has been solid, looking like a Tom O'Brien coached team even though he is now at NC State. Clemson's running back tandem are vying with Arkansas for the best duo in the country and Cullen Harper has been a surprise at QB in two convincing wins. I put Va Tech at #4 because they have the talent and showed some life with Tyrod Taylor at QB. Wake Forest played hard, but came up just short against Nebraska last week. They look to be a tough out again this year.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Line: LSU -12.5, 38.5
I look for LSU to stack the box against the run to come out blitzing Sean Glennon a lot to make him beat the Tigers with quick decisions. The emotion for Virginia Tech will be different this week, but they should be more composed than last week despite playing in front of a raucous LSU crowd. I look for the LSU defense to carry them again this week to a score or setup of a score.
12.5 is a lot for two teams in the top 25 squaring off even if it at LSU. The total is low, but you would expect that with two top flight defensive teams. If Virginia Tech loses by that much, then they really are not the team we thought they could be.
LSU Wins, VT Covers, Under
Miami @ Oklahoma 12:00 ABC
Line: Okla -10.5, 43.5
Look for Miami to try and put a lot of pressure on OU's new QB and make him beat them with 8 men in the box. I still think OU can run on Miami with the line stuffed because of Allen Patrick and their offensive line. Graig Cooper and Javarris James have to get the Canes running attack going or else the offense could be in for a long afternoon. I think Miami needs to play for a defensive struggle and hope they can turn it in on late turnover.
OU is favored by less at home than LSU is! The total seems a little high to me. I know the Sooners scored 79 versus North Texas, but this is not the Mean Green. This is Miami's first emotional game under Shannon, so it will be interesting to see how they react if they get down - this Miami is not unaccustomed to losing unlike years past.
Prediction: OU Wins, Covers, Under
South Carolina @ Georgia 5:45 ESPN2
Line: UGA -4.5, 45
Spurrier did not take much out of his playbook last week keeping it very vanilla in prep for this game. I think the Gamecocks will pull out of all stops in this game as they are out manned (as usual vs Georgia). Both teams have the ability to get balance on offense and take away that balance from their defense. Matt Stafford looked very poised in the pocket last week and the running game showed promise.
4.5 points is not very many points for a ranked team at home versus an unranked team, especially for Georgia who has been very good at home under Mark Richt. I think both of these teams offenses are underrated and could have success running and throwing. Blake Mitchell is in his first game this season after numerous off field troubles in the off season. Hard to bet against Georgia at home with the way they looked last week.
Georgia Wins, Covers, Over
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Line: LSU -12.5, 38.5
The first game with significant national championship implications this season. Virginia Tech struggled last week coming off an emotional pregame ceremony. LSU's 45-0 defeat of Mississippi State was aided by several Bulldog turnovers and a sloppy field. The Tigers are very tough at home in night games. Two of the best defenses in the country will be on display, so expect a lower scoring game.
1. Sean Glennon must play mistake free football (no turnovers)
2. Branden Ore needs to carry the offensive load (see Kenny Irons in 2005)
3. LSU needs to make VT beat them. The Tigers lost both of their games last year because of mistakes they made.
Miami @Oklahoma Noon ABC
Line: Okla -10.5, 43.5
A revival of an Orange Bowl rivalry from the 80s as the Hurricanes travel to Norman for an early season showdown. The Sooners played without Allen Patrick last week, but that did not make a difference in 79-10 rout of North Texas. Miami has turned to Kirby Freeman at QB after inconsistency the last two years from Kyle Wright. The Canes have the talent to hold the OU offense down - the question is can they move the ball consistently?
2. OU must protect their QB in passing situations. The Miami D-Line is very strong and they have a ball hawking safety in Kenny Phillips. The Sooners need to have a short, controlled passing game.
3. Kirby Freeman needs to be a difference make... for Miami.
South Carolina @ Georgia 6:45 ESPN2
Line: UGA -4.5, 45
The Gamecocks did little to impress last week though their starter Blake Mitchell was suspended. I think Spurrier played very vanilla as not to give much away to Mark Richt. On the other hand, Georgia looked pretty impressive in beating a decent Oklahoma State team last week, especially on defense. Matt Stafford was very efficient on offense passing the ball and Knowshon Moreno and Thomas Brown provided a solid ground attack. This game will be close and low scoring like the last five meetings have been in this early SEC East battle. This could be the gateway game to catapult South Carolina to the top of the SEC East, but they have to have this game for that to happen.
Keys to the Game:
1. South Carolina needs to rattle Stafford and the receivers early. I think Okie State let Stafford get way to comfortable in the pocket. Hit him hard early and lay some doubt in the receivers if they hear footsteps.
2. Remember Mike Davis. When everyone thinks Spurrier they think passing, but the Gamecocks needs to get the reliable Davis involved to keep a sound Georgia front seven off balance.
3. Bulldogs special teams special. Georgia has a decided advantage in the kicking and return game. They need to take advantage of this and give themselves some short fields
Georgia beats Oklahoma State in all facets of the game leaving the Cowboys vaunted offense scratching their head.
This just in... Georgia Tech just sacked Notre Dame again.
Cal gets revenge in a thrashing of the Tennessee defense.