Saturday, October 27, 2012

College Football ATS: October 27 - Can South Carolina Bounce Back?

Another good week going 3-1-1 last Saturday and now 10-4-1 the last three weeks.

I will admit I have less confidence in the picks below than in some weeks past, but here goes it:

South Carolina -13.5 vs Tennessee

The Gamecocks are likely butthurt after very likely losing out on the SEC East for a second straight season and smarting after a thrashing at the hands of the Gators.  This is an easy let down spot for Steve Spurrier's club which makes me fearful of a two TD line.

But South Carolina is at least even or better at every position on the field than the Volunteers who can't exactly be that up for this game knowing their coach is going to get fired at the end of the season (if they are fighting for him why haven't they shown better efforts leading up to here?)

Indiana + 2 at Illinois

Last week, I picked the Under for the Hoosiers game against Navy and ended up pushing.  While Indiana has played an easier schedule, nothing in the stats shows me the Illini are better than them.  Home field advantage?  Pretty much non existent as Illinois fans have mostly lost hope for this season.

UNC -7.5 vs NC State 

The Tar Heels have been a different team at home this season with all three losses coming on the road.  While NC State has won five straight in this series, I think their streak stops here.  The Wolfpack are pulling out games this season by close margins, including beating Maryland last week when the Terps missed a 30 yard FG from the center of the field

Oregon -28 (FIRST HALF) vs Colorado

My first halftime bet of the year. Normally I don't these types of bets but this makes sense for several reasons: 1) Oregon has USC next weekend and will likely want to rest players in 2nd half 2) The Ducks have shown outbursts in the first half while mostly shutting it down after halftime.  This is before having a big game like Chip Kelly does next week. 3) Colorado sucks

Kansas State -7.5 vs Texas Tech

This is the pick I most nervous about.  I rode the Wildcats to an upset win last week at West Virginia, but I wonder if bettors are putting too much stock in K-State right now.  I thought the Red Raiders blowout win vs WVU was more a fluke but it is turning out not to be.  But every stat tells me Bill Snyder's team has this game by a TD or more and the stats have been good to me thus far this year.

Other games to keep an eye on:
Florida -7 vs UGA
Penn State PICK vs Ohio State
FSU -27 vs Duke
Oregon State -3 at Washington
Ole Miss +6 at Arkansas

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Georgia Tech Football: Does Paul Johnson Have A QB Controversy?

The Yellow Jackets ended their three game skid with a 37-17 win over Boston College getting strong performances from starting QB Tevin Washington and his backup Vad Lee.

Georgia Tech jumped out to an early lead in Saturday's win and a few stops by the defense obviously gave Paul Johnson enough confidence to allow backup Vad Lee to play earlier and more than in previous games.  

Below is a breakdown of the Jackets' offensive drives with yards, yards per play, and yards per point for each of the QBs in the BC game.

Offensive PlaysWashington YdsWashington PointsWashington Yds/PlayWashington Yds/PtLee YardsLee PointsLee Yds/PlayLee Yds/Pt

The numbers reveal that Lee was actually the more explosive of the two.  When the Durham, NC native was leading the offense Tech averaged 7.1 yards per play, exactly their season average coming into the game.  He was also slightly more efficient in scoring with a 12.1 yards per point (I like this stat better because it incorporates fumbles and field position).

Saturday's game was the 24th straight start for Washington, but the fifth year senior's record as starter entering the game was 11-12.

During Tech's slide late last season and early this season, fans have called for backup Lee, who was a ESPN 150 recruit out of high school, to see more playing time.

Johnson has continually stated Washington gives his team the best chance to win and is the most consistent at leading the offense.  The embattled head coach felt the offense needed to score every time they had the ball because of the 89th ranked defense.

Washington played well and was victimized by two missed (and very makeable) field goals on his yards per point.   

But you cannot doubt the passing threat Lee gives the Yellow Jackets offense.

I think going forward Washington holds onto the starting job as he has shown this season, even Saturday, he is better at sustaining drives.  However, I think Lee's showing gave Johnson a lot more confidence to play him more if Washington falters down the stretch.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20 College Football ATS Picks: Alabama Rolls

7-3 the last two weeks hoping to continue the positive trend again this week. 

Louisville -5.5 vs South Florida

The Cardinals opened as nine point favorites but the line has moved in the Bulls favor since. I don't see anything on the injury indicating why U of L would be perceived lower.  The line has moved in the last 24 hours and since neither of these are "public" teams I have to assume this is money from the sharps.

Based on this deduction, I am going out on a limb here with this pick.

Kansas State +3 at West Virginia

The Mountaineers offense finally let them down last week while the defense played like they have all season.  When I saw that WVU was favored by just over a field goal to a team that had just gotten blown out by Oklahoma I knew something was up.  It was. 

The Wildcats will not be intimidated going into Morgantown after already winning in Norman earlier this year. 

Alabama +20 at Tennessee

The Tide have been seeing some ridiculous lines and shutting it down early in the second half producing losses ATS.  But this is a rivalry game and style points matter now with the first BCS standings out.

The Vols offense has looked good this season and the crowd will be frenzied early on, but they are no match for the Tide over four quarters.

Oregon State -9.5 vs Utah

Lose your starting QB and play a backup who has never seen a meaningful snap at the college level?  No problem for the Beavers last week at BYU.

Mike Riley is one of the underrated coaches in America and likes Corvallis so much he turned down the Alabama job in the early 2000s.  Each one of my metrics tells me Oregon State can cover the 9.5.

Navy at Indiana Under 61

My first total play of the year.  I think the Hoosiers are getting a boost here after their offensive explosion last week against Ohio State. Barring defensive scores I see this game being played in the low 50s.

While the Middies offense can be explosive, they are still more likely to grind out drives against the Hoosiers and eat clock which should keep the total low.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday ATS College Football Picks

Last week was a winning week at 3-2 (would have been 4-1 if Clemson did not score another touchdown with under a minute to go and already up 9).

Here are this week's picks:

Ole Miss -6 vs Auburn

The Tigers are in a major slide right now and only managed seven points against Arkansas. The Rebels were one yard away from defeating an improving Texas AM team last week.

North Carolina -7.5 at Miami

The Hurricanes luck appears to have run out. Meanwhile, UNC is different team when they have Gio Bernard which they are scheduled to this week.

Michigan -25 vs Illinois

The Wolverines have faced an early tough schedule so their stats are somewhat muted, but their stats numbers dominate what the Illini have produced.

Washington +13.5 vs USC

Steve Sarkisian has had his moments against USC and would love to beat his former fellow Trojan assistant Lane Kiffin. Southern Cal does not seem anywhere close to being dominant and has struggled away from home this season.

Miss State -3 vs Tennessee

The Bulldogs have not played much of a schedule this season, but the Vols had a major distraction this week with their head coach Derek Dooley having hip surgery MID WEEK! The talent level is relatively close and nothing tells me Dan Mullen will not call a better game.

What spreads do you like this weekend?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Paul Johnson on Macon Radio Discussing Next Steps For Georgia Tech Defense

Paul Johnson appeared on the Bill Shanks radio show in Macon just before his visit with the Macon Touchdown Club talking about the dismissal of Al Groh and what the next steps are for the defense.

Maybe it just me, but Johnson seemed like he enjoyed being on the radio in Macon that he does in Atlanta. Maybe it has something to do with this guy (rightly or wrongly).

AUDIO: Paul Johnson on Macon's 1670AM with Bill Shanks

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson Discusses Dismissal of Defensive Coordinator Al Groh

via GT Athletics

5 potential candidates for the Yellow Jackets new Defensive Coordinator

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Arkansas Coaching Candidates Not Named Bobby Petrino

I know the Razorbacks beat Auburn yesterday, but this is inevitable.

Arkansas Expats: Please Back Away From Jon Gruden: A Guide To Non-Home Run Coaching Hires

Gainesville Restaurant Obviously Unimpressed With Gator QB Performance

Well at least we know Jeff Driskel isn't getting any special benefits.

h/t: Alligator Army

Something Has To Be Fishy With This Opening CFB Line has the opening line for West Virginia at Texas Tech pegged at Mountaineers -4.5?

That is the same line I won off this weekend when Oklahoma visited Lubbock.

I understand Dana Holgorsen's team has to travel back halfway across the country again this week but...

College football odds: Week 7 opening line report

Yep, they weren't kidding. Something still has to be fishy with this.

Was This Promo Georgia State's Way of Finding Football Talent?

"There was no way Georgia State's cash drop wasn't going to provide an entertaining video. When you drop $10,000 worth of vouchers on a group of up to 400 college students, that is a perfect scenario for comedy.
And there was plenty to be had throughout the 2:25 clip posted on YouTube."

h/t: Dr. Saturday

How Paul Johnson Can Improve His Defense At Georgia Tech With One Phone Call

Georgia Tech lost to Clemson Saturday, their third straight this season and their third straight game giving up at least 40 points. According to ESPN this has never been done by a Yellow Jackets team in over 100 years of football.

For a program which owns one of the most remarkable stats in college football, the 222-0 win over Cumberland, this team now has its own place in Tech history.

Despite this most recent loss, Johnson has enjoyed much success over Clemson. Even after Saturday he is 4-2*  against the Tigers and specifically Dabo Swinney.

You may remember Swinney's first game as interim coach came against Georgia Tech, one the Tigers lost 21-17.  The AJC wrote about the friendship between the two head coaches this week leading up to the game. Swinney remarked how Johnson has been "very gracious and insightful to him since he became a head coach midway through the 2008 season

It is time Johnson stopped giving out the advice and started taking some from his friend up I-85.

This will be tough for a guy who has had his style of offense questioned for 30 years, yet it has produced on every level of competition. He does not take criticism very well and does not mince words.

But Johnson also calls himself the most competitive person he knows, to a fault he even admits.

If the guy who played in three straight Division I-AA National Championship Games, winning two, and won the Commander in Chief's Trophy a record five straight times wants Georgia Tech to be competitive going forward he must change. He must seek advice.

After last season when his Offensive Coordinator was being pursued by multiple teams willing to give said OC a big raise, Dabo Swinney did something very smart and humble.

After winning the ACC title last season, a clause in Swinney's contract kicked in to bump his pay to $2.1M per season. Mind you this is $200k lower than Johnson's current yearly salary. 

Knowing the importance of having good assistants, the Clemson head coach gave out $300,000 of his own money to his assistants.

Dabo Swinney "gets it".

He knows ACC titles don't come solely from the head coach. They come from game planning throughout the off season and game week. And maybe more importantly they come from recruiting.

Back to Georgia Tech where Defensive Coordinator Al Groh is floundering in his third season in the job.  Not only is Tech lacking in coaching, they have a massive deficit in talent when compared to their rivals. 

Head Coaches get the the praise but who does most of the recruiting?  Assistant coaches.  I would think the Clemson assistants have a little more enthusiasm in recruiting for their boss knowing his generosity and understanding how important a complete staff is. 

Johnson has already fired one DC and it is a foregone conclusion he will be firing another one after this season.

Groh is one of the lowest paid coordinators in the ACC at just $312k.

Money is tight at Georgia Tech who doesn't have a 80,000 seat stadium to draw revenue from, but if they want to be competitive they will have to pay more than what they currently are to get a Defensive Coordinator worth a damn.

Paul Johnson can solve that problem by making a phone call to Dabo Swinney for some return advice.  He can't afford not to. 

I Feel Like This Play Is Open A Lot More Than Teams Actually Run It

A nice fake punt by Kansas run on a retreating K-State punt team. The Wildcats still won 56-16 though.

I Have Been To South Bend. It Makes The South Look Good. Here Is Proof

Paul Johnson Post Game Audio After 47-31 Loss To Clemson

This is the first time in Georgia Tech's history they have given up 40+ points in three straight games.

Paul Johnson Post Game Audio from Georgia Tech Athletics.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Afternoon and Night College Football Odds

Late getting this up so I am only going with afternoon and night games.

Here is who I like:

Duke - 2 vs Virginia
Washington State +14.5 at Oregon State
Georgia Tech +11 at Clemson
Oklahoma -4.5 at Texas Tech
Washington +25.5 at Oregon

Lots of road teams which is nerve wracking.

Purdue +3 vs Michigan looked good too, but I think the numbers are being skewed because of the much more difficult schedule the Wolverines have played, so a no go for me.

I didn't see much value in totals.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Atlanta Radio Host Has A Long Memory When It Comes To Paul Johnson

A few years, Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson went on Atlanta Radio Station 680 The Fan's Chuck and Chernoff show.

Host Matt Chernoff questioned Johnson's belief that recruits taking visits are not committed. The Yellow Jacket head coach reiterated his view in a...sarcastic manner to say the least saying he would explain his stance once again "real slow so you can understand."

(You can listen to the original audio here)

After a program shocking loss last Saturday in which Tech's defense gave up over 500 yards for the second straight week, Chernoff had this to say to Johnson:

Monday, October 1, 2012

SEC Football: Power Rankings After Week 5

Two blockbuster games this weekend highlight the SEC schedule as all of my Tier II teams square off against each other. Here is how I rank the SEC after five weeks.

Tier I
1. Alabama

Tier II
2. Florida
3. UGA
4. South Carolina
5. LSU

Tier III
6. Miss State
7. Tennessee
8. Texas AM

Tier IV
9. Missouri
10. Auburn
11. Ole Miss

Tier V
12. Vanderbilt
13. Kentucky

Tier VI
14. Arkansas

ACC Football: Power Rankings After Week 5

This week's rankings are a bit of an abbreviated one...

Tier I
1. FSU

Tier II
2. Clemson
3. Miami

Tier III
4. Everyone Else

After the top 3, I can't see a logical argument for anyone else to be mentioned.

Virginia Tech has lost to two Big East teams, UNC lost Wake earlier this year who lost to Duke last week, Georgia Tech lost to home, NC State has forgotten how to play pass defense, Virginia lost to Louisiana Tech...