I went 7-6 on the week (6-6 on site selections and 1-0 on the newsletter consensus selection of UNLV +10.5). Trentmoney’s newsletter total of Syracuse – Minnesota under 55 was also an easy winner.
The following are some college football betting notes and random observations from week # 4 and GoSooners and I will add any relevant info we run across while capping various games for the upcoming week. Please feel free to share your notes and observations in the comments section below. We would appreciate it.
The Good – Home dogs. I nailed all three of my home dogs last week with Auburn +21, Colorado State +13 and UNLV +10.5. I also left several good ones on the table including FIU +13 and Ball State +10, admittedly I also had Hawaii +8 on my final cutoff list.
The Bad – Illinois -3. By far my worst selection of the week. For whatever reason I thought the Illini performance in Tempe was just a bad spot combined with the injury to Scheelhaase, however this team seems to have some serious issues. Six turnovers to a non-BC school that was allowing over 500 ypg, really?
The Ugly – The red zone. Michigan and Arizona entered the red zone 10 times on Saturday and were able to produce 2 FGs. How is that even possible?
Between the two of them they had 11 turnovers ….. in one game. For good measure I could toss Virginia into the mix, who despite outrushing TCU and only being outgained by 85 yards, somehow managed to lose by 20 points. The Cavs committed 4 turnovers and at least the ones I saw while watching the game were all unforced.
That is three losses by three teams that committed 15 turnovers between them on Saturday and were a negative 8 in turnover ratio. I sure hope those numbers even out in the end.
Kent State – Buffalo: Two of the absolute worst offensive football teams I have ever seen. If Buffalo QB Alex Zordich isn’t the worst QB in the FBS, he’s in the top two.
BYU – Boise State: If not for BYU QB Riley Nelson’s inability to figure out which team he was playing for, the Cougars win this one going away. Boise’s offense had no chance of scoring in that game. I knew there was absolutely ZERO chance that a non-BCS school could lose the amount of talent and experience that Boise did and “reload.” Most BCS schools not named Alabama, USC or Ohio State would have the same problem.
Virginia – TCU: Yeah it sucked that Patterson wanted to impress the alumni so he had all his starters in there with the game already decided, but it really shouldn’t have come to that anyhow. Virginia outrushed TCU and they only were outgained by 85 yards. That very rarely is going to lead to a 20 point loss unless you turn the ball over. Check, UVA did that 4 times ….. 5 if you include the TOD.
Missouri – South Carolina: As expected Mizzou just isn’t ready to go 4 quarters with some of the better SEC defensive lines. QB Franklin had very little time to throw the football and his counterpart Conner Shaw was fantastic on this day (21 of 22 for 252 yards and 2 TDs vs 0 ints).
Maryland – West Virginia: Either the Maryland offense is steadily improving each week or the West Virginia defense is not very good. Probably a combination of the two. However the real issue that I saw was the Mountaineer OL. Geno Smith was constantly being pressured and either knocked down or sacked. I got a feeling Geno and company are in for a rude Big 12 welcome when they head to Austin in a few weeks. I hear Texas has a few good DE’s on along their DL. Good luck Geno, you’re going to need it.
Miami – Georgia Tech: I was way wrong on this one. Both these defenses sucked. I really thought GT’s would be improved this year, but I have a feeling that their opening day performance against VT was more of the Hokie offense being poor as opposed to the Yellow Jacket D being stout.
Colorado – Wazzou: Shocked. Shocked that the Buffs still have a pulse after the drubbings they absorbed the previous few weeks, and shocked that Wazzou’s defense is that bad. So guess who is in a first place tie with ASU and USC in the PAC 12 South? CU baby!!!!
Oregon State – UCLA: Beavers looked sharp and fast. Their defense looks like the real deal. I figured UCLA was probably a little overrated and had been overachieving, but they were definitely outplayed and outcoached by Oregon State and Mike Riley.
LSU – Auburn: I had a good feeling that Auburn’s defense would step up in this game and they did. However I think that also had to do with the fact that LSU’s offense is still a work in progress. This was QB Mettenberger’s first SEC road start and you knew that was going to be tough. The way I saw it was that LSU isn’t as good as everyone thought and Auburn isn’t as bad ………… which is usually the case.
Michigan – Notre Dame: I only got to watch a portion of this game before heading out to the ASU game, but from what I saw Notre Dame has a solid D, but their offense isn’t very good. Denard Robinson is not being utilized correctly. Why do they keep dropping this guy back to pass? I’m rolling him out and giving him a run/pass option. The guy is dynamic, just not as a pocket passer.
LOWLIGHT HALL OF FAME: Denard Melts Down. Not one. Not two. Not three. Count ‘em: Four interceptions from the arm of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson floated gently into the arms of Notre Dame defenders Saturday night in a 13-6 Irish win. Not just four interceptions over four quarters: Four interceptions on four consecutive passes in the first half.
Including the first-quarter pick thrown by Vincent Smith on a halfback pass and Robinson’s fumble on the opening drive of the second half, Michigan turned the ball over on six consecutive offensive possessions, out of just 10 possessions for the entire game. For every dagger Robinson stuck in the Fighting Irish in exhilarating, last-second comebacks in 2010 and 2011, consider them paid back in full. With interest.
Utah – ASU: Saving the best for last. High octane was simply too much for the Utes to deal with. I was very surprised at how easily the ASU offense went over, through and around the Ute D. From a speed perspective ASU just had too much of it, which leads me to believe Utah isn’t winning 8 games this year. They simply do not have the team speed to compete in the PAC 12 yet.
The Utes will most likely lose their next 3 games and I wouldn’t be surprised if they miss out on a bowl game this season. Their offense is terrible, their QB is terrible and their OL was manhandled all night long. In fact their DL, which was supposed to be the team strength was very average. Their back seven is really slow. No chance this team can play with the PAC 12 big boys.
Bu most importantly, 4 weeks into the season and if we eliminate all FCS games from the equation, the number 1 defense in the PAC 12 resides in Tempe. I didn’t see that coming. I’m sure it won’t last as conference play begins in earnest, but it sure is a pleasant surprise.
Random Thoughts From GoSooners
Week 4 was a week I would soon forget. But my 3-5 record wasn’t quite as bad as it looked since only 5 points seperated me from going 5-3. For here on out the lines are only going to get tighter since there aren’t many well kept secrets left out there with these teams. And we start entering into conference play. The only way we can get an advantage over the oddsmakers is being a step ahead with the teams who are improving from week to week. And public perception along with situational plays. Although I won with Colorado State on a situational play last week, I also realize that it’s not always a great thing to rely on. Especially when trying to bet against teams who are either dominant over their competetion week in and week out, or teams who are on a mini hot streak. I would much rather ride with these kinds of teams while they are hot, than try to bet against them. The hot ATS teams through the first month of the season who are all undefeated ATS are Ball State, Fresno State, ULM, NW, Oregon St, Purdue, SJST, Texas SA and WKU. History tells me that the chances of at least 2 of these 9 teams winning a 5th game in a row ATS are close to 100%.
Guess which team is 5-4 in their last 9 games and -12 in turnover margin in that span. And if you take out their five sacks against Florida A&M, have recorded only one sack in that span. And if you take out FAM and UTEP, are only 3-4 against BCS competetion. Nope, not Arkansas, but Oklahoma. The most disturbing part for me is having a defense that is incapable of causing turnovers to offset the recent terrible play of the offense. Turnover margin can be very important. I look at it every week with these games. Just look at the program who is struggling the most in the SEC. Arkansas with a -8 TO margin and the best being Alabama with a +10 TO margin. TO margin can tell you a lot about a team. The only team last season who was in a BCS bowl who had a negative turnover margin was WV at -2. But that’s more the exception than the rule. Almost every team who makes it that far has gotten there by protecting the ball and being opportunistic on defense. For instance Bama was +22 in TO margin entering their NC game vs LSU. Other BCS teams like Okie State +15, Wisconsin +15, Oregon +9 and LSU +22 all helped these teams become BCS bowl contenders. On the other side of that coin, a couple teams who had terrible TO margins but still made a bowl game last season were Notre Dame -13 and Florida -13. Both of those programs have shown tremendous improvement in their TO margin this season, and as a result both teams are undefeated. As for Oklahoma, their slide started at midseason last year, and has continued through this season. It’s starting to remind me of the slide Texas took in 2010. Hopefully it won’t be that bad. But there’s only one way you can end a slide, you make changes. Maybe big changes. But Bob Stoops is as loyal as it gets to his assistants. Which could make this a difficult and painful process for a Sooners fan like me to watch.