PAC 12 Betting Notes and Nuggets – North
I recently completed The Saturday Edge’s 2013 PAC-12 Betting Prospectus, which will be available in a few weeks. The prospectus consists of two pages per team, jam-packed with betting information for the 2013 season.
We tried to minimize the player and position group information, since that is readily available via numerous sources (Phil Steele, USA Today, Rant Sports … just to name a few).
Instead the prospectus attempts to get right to the point by telling you what we already know about each team and then providing reasons why something will change or stay the same.
Every team preview tries to provide the information that is important to the college football bettor, and answer the questions that they want answered:
- Was last year’s team good or bad? Why?
- Will this year’s team be better or worse? Why?
- Will this year’s team be overvalued or undervalued? As such, is this a PLAY ON team or a PLAY AGAINST team?
- Will this year’s team be an OVER or UNDER team? Why?
Obviously condensing all of this information into just two pages was quite difficult and some good team notes and betting nuggets had to be left out. So I wanted to share with you some of the information that didn’t make the final cut for inclusion in the prospectus.
California Golden Bears
Turnover Nugget – Cal has gone 3-11 over the last three seasons when losing the turnover battle, including an 0-5 mark in 2012. New head coach Sonny Dykes’ 2012 Louisiana Tech team turned the ball over only 13 times despite running 1,054 plays, 533 through the air (once for every 81.071 plays). Meanwhile, Cal turned the ball over 30 times in 817 plays, or one turnover for every 27.33 plays.
Obviously with an inexperienced quarterback and a new offensive system being introduced in 2013, I wouldn’t expect Cal to be as efficient in the turnover department as La Tech was last season. However I do expect their ball security to improve, which in turn will only benefit the offense.
Replacing Kenjon Barner – Barner doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He was overshadowed by LaMichael James for most of his career, but he rushed for almost 1800 yards in 2012, and that kind of production is not easily replaced. De’Anthony Thomas now becomes the feature back, Everybody knows about his speed, elusiveness, and the big play ability. But can he be the focal point of the offense, rather than merely an X-factor?
The big question/concern is Thomas’ size. He is kind of small and has only carried the ball 147 times in two years.
Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas(Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE)
Oregon State Beavers
Two capable QB’s – “It wasn’t like one of them digressed or didn’t play well in the spring time,” Oregon State head coach Mike Riley said. “And so, again, that’s good. Obviously, they are both good enough from their past to say they can start and can win games for us, and that’s good also. For me personally I have confidence in both of them.”
Riley can take his time before deciding on the starter because both Vaz and Mannion are established players who know the offense and have played in big games.
QB Kevin Hogan – Hogan looked sharp in spring and said he felt like it, telling CBSSports.com, “Our coaches tell us that there are few NFL teams that are running the complexity of our offense. We carry over 300 plays going into each game. Last spring I was kind of lost, trying to find my way in the offense. I was mostly focused on getting up to the line and running the play, instead of on what the defense was doing. I want to get in the head of the opposing defensive coordinator.”
If Hogan and the Stanford passing game show even marginal improvement over last season, this team is good enough to challenge for a national championship.
Up tempo offense – “We’ve implemented so much offensively,” Sark said. The Huskies spent the spring installing a new up-tempo offense. How much of it was installed and how comfortable the players are running it remains to be seen. But head coach Steve Sarkisian has made a point that his team needs to 1) do a better job keeping up with the up-tempo offenses in the PAC-12 and 2) do a better job keeping opposing defenses on their heels.
I think QB Keith Price will do really well in this type of offense. After working behind last year’s banged up offensive line, he’s already used to getting rid of the ball quickly. LOL!
Defensive Strength – Run defense should be a strength next season as the Cougars actually did a solid job of defending the run in 2012. They allowed 3.5 yards per carry over the final four games, and nearly all of the key contributors in the front seven will return 2013.
Overall WSU’s defensive numbers weren’t that impressive last season. The Cougs gave up 425.4 yards and 33.7 points per contest in 2012. But they did have their moments and should be at least marginally improved after relying on a lot of youth last season.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.