College Weekday Previews - Have the Vikings Sunk
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OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL MID-WEEK REPORT TACKLES THE WEEKNIGHT TV TILTS PLUS THERE'S HEISMAN TROPHY TALK AND MORE ...
NFL NEWS & NOTES: HAS THE VIKINGS SHIP SUNK ALREADY?
By Jim Hurley:
It's almost here:
The first BCS Standings will be released later this weekend and the buzz all 'round the land is that Boise State - providing the Broncos take care of business with their game at lowly San Jose State this Saturday - will be numero even though the current Associated Press rankings (just a guide here) have B-State at #3.
If that's the case than Boise State is gonna have to play itself off the top perch - any loss or really close calls will do - but be aware that a non-BCS qualifier could be sitting pretty all year long and wouldn't that be ironic that the "big boys" would be chasing them down the rest of the way?
Hey, as long as we're getting into numbers and rankings, let's take a minute to examine how the AP's Top 5 clubs have fared so far against the Las Vegas prices.Here's the lowdown:
- #1 Ohio State is 5-1 ATS (against the spread) so far this 2010 campaign
- #2 Oregon is 4-2 versus the vig
- #3 Boise State is 4-1 ATS
- #4 TCU is 3-3 spreadwise
- #5 Nebraska is 2-3 ATS.
So, the Top 5 stands a collective 18-10 ATS - a solid .643 winning rate - just thought you might like to know! Lots going on here in the edition of the Jim Sez College Football Mid-Week Report plus there's some NFL News & Notes too on the fast-fading Minnesota Vikings but first let's get you this key message:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you the NCAA Football, NFL and all Major-League Baseball Playoff Winners when you either call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you simply log online right here online. Here's an important note: We've got college action every weeknight and the MLB Playoffs continue starting Friday and we'll have all the action - go ahead and win a bunch of greenbacks with America's #1 Handicapper!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME PREVIEWS:
THE THURSDAY/FRIDAY NITE ACTION
On Thursday, it's ...KANSAS STATE (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) at KANSAS (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) - 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net
Let's just say that these rivals need to put their last game in the rear view mirror ASAP - the K-State Wildcats were embarrassed in a 48-13 prime-time home loss against Nebraska last Thursday night while Kansas is chomping at the bit following that ugly 55-7 loss at Baylor back on the first weekend of October.
No doubt it wasn't a happy birthday last week for State coach Bill Snyder - his club looked slow and weak in the loss to mighty Nebraska plus RB Daniel Thomas managed just 62 yards rushing and that's not gonna cut it here - while Kansas needs to get its aerial game clicking. Quarterback Jordan Webb (796 yards passing with 6 TDs and 3 INTs) has run hot-and-cold under first-year boss Turner Gill and Webb has been slow to feel the pass rush.
Expect the KSU Wildcats to "bring the house" when Kansas is in third-and-longs here and Webb better avoid the costly sack/INT or else the Jayhawks will be going down for a second straight year in this rivalry game.
Spread Notes - The home team has covered seven of the last 10 games in this Sunflower State showdown and note visiting Kansas State is a sub-par 13-19 versus the vig away dating back to the start of the 2004 campaign. Meanwhile, Kansas is a dreary 5-11 against the odds since the start of last season and the Jayhawks are 1-8 ATS in Big 12 games during this time span.
SOUTH FLORIDA (3-2, 0-1 Big East) at #25 WEST VIRGINIA (4-1, 0-0 Big East) - 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
You have to go all the way back to the 2005 season to find the last time the West Virginia Mountaineers won/covered a head-to-head matchup against the South Florida Bulls - the 'Neers copped a 28-13 triumph as 7-point road favorites in that long-ago clash - and since then USF's actually won three of the last four meetings in upset fashion and there's reason to believe West Virginia could be a bit overconfident here as 10 ½-point betting favorites (at press time) and with the Bulls fresh off last Saturday's humbling/bumbling 13-9 home loss versus Syracuse.
In case you missed it, South Florida converted just 5-of-16 third-down plays against the Orange and scored its lone touchdown on a 94-yard kickoff return by Lindsey Lamar (note that USF ranks last in the Big East in passing at just 161 yards a game).
On the flip side, West Virginia QB Geno Smith is making great strides in his sophomore season - he fired three scoring strikes in the 49-10 win against four-TD underdog UNLV last weekend and he's chucked it for 1,139 yards with 12 TDs and only 2 INTs this year. Toss in elusive RB Noel Devine (5.3 yards-per-carry rushing average and 4 TDs) and the Morgantown men could well hit (or exceed) their per-game scoring average (29.8 ppg).
Spread Notes - South Florida has covered its last four consecutive head-to-head matchups against West Virginia since 2006 and that includes three outright upsets win (and a 24-19 triumph as 21-point dogs at the end of the '06 season). Meanwhile, West Virginia has covered its last three games in a row this 2010 season but the 'Neers are just 9-15 ATS as betting favorites the past two-plus seasons.
On Friday, it's ...CINCINNATI (2-3, 0-0 Big East) at LOUISVILLE (3-2, 0-0 Big East) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
They play for the "Keg of Nails" Trophy here and this year it's extra special - the 50th edition of the game between these next-door neighbors.
Cincinnati leads the series 27-21-1 SU (straightup) dating back to 1929 but it's a first for Bearcats boss-man Butch Jones and 'Ville first-year coach Charlie Strong - but gotta feeling the folks in these parts will be letting both of these gentlemen know just how important this battle is and the $64,000 question here is can Cincy QB Zach Collaros (Big East-leading 236 passing yards per game) stay hot?
Collaros chucked three scoring strikes in last Saturday's 45-3 walkover win against 17-point pup Miami-Ohio and note favorite target WR Armon Binns already has 24 catches and 4 TDs this year (and a reception in 18 consecutive games).
Spread Notes - Road teams have covered seven of the last 10 games in this rivalry series although last year Cincinnati (a 17-point fav) easily notched the home spread win with that resounding 41-10 victory. In all, the UC Bearcats are 17-9-2 versus the vig in conference affairs since the start of the 2006 season while the U of L Cardinals are 16-21-1 ATS overall the past three-plus seasons and just 7-13 ATS as hosts during this time.
|Coming off an 11-4 week, the Jim Hurley Network is primed for more great things this weekend. And Friday is the time build bankroll with a big move on the Cincinnati-Louisville game. Click here to get this winner.|
THE HEISMAN TROPHY REPORT
Here's our Jim Sez Weekly look at this year's top Heisman Trophy candidates with our top five listed in order (and subject to change each/every week, of course):
#1 - TERRELLE PRYOR, QB, OHIO STATE - Okay, so there's still a Big 10 quarterback at the top of the Heisman Trophy class ... it's just not the guy from Michigan! Pryor leaped into the lead with a 334-yard, three-TD passing game in last Saturday's 38-10 win/cover against Indiana and his up-to-date stats this year include 1,349 yards passing with 15 TDs and 3 INTs to go along with 354 yards rushing (a 6.2 ypc average) and three scores.
#2 - DENARD ROBINSON, QB, MICHIGAN - Memo to the folks at espn.com ... get a grip!
The all-knowing sports folks dropped this kid from first in the Heisman Trophy race all the way down to fifth because of his three-INT performance in last weekend's 34-17 home loss to Michigan State but the way we see it is Robinson had such a healthy cushion at the top that he couldn't drop all that far! The stats: Robinson's now thrown for 1,223 yards passing with 8 TDs and 4 INTs to go along with 991 yards rushing (an 8.3 ypc average) with 9 TDs.
#3 - KELLEN MOORE, QB, BOISE STATE - The Broncos' stylish slinger will be tough to keep out of the top spot by year's end if this non-BCS qualifier runs the table but, for now, we'll keep Moore nipping at the heels of these Big 10 mega-stars. Note that Moore sports a 14-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio and he's averaging better than 14 ½ yards per completion (with 1,336 passing yards in all).
#4 -- LAMICHAEL JAMES, RB, OREGON - The "Quack Attack" deserves representation here and their tiny star back exited last week's 43-23 non-cover win against Washington State with a whopping 7.4 yards-per-carry average with 848 ground yards and 9 TDs. P.S., James also is averaging 32 yards a catch on his three receptions this season and that includes an 84-yard catch-and-run TD play last weekend in Pullman.
#5 - CAMERON NEWTON, QB, AUBURN - The SEC's most explosive player has crashed our Jim Sez Heisman Top 5 list thanks to last weekend's stat-sheet stuffing night at Kentucky. Note that Newton threw for 210 yards and rushed for 198 yards in that electrifying 37-34 non-cover win and his numbers to the moment include 1,138 aerial yards (with 12 TDs and 5 INTs) plus another 672 ground yards (with 9 TDs).
NFL NEWS & NOTES: ARE THESE 2010 VIKINGS SUNK?
Going, going ... gone?
The Minnesota Vikings - less than nine months removed from a heart-breaking overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans - likely face the risk of becoming totally irrelevant in this here-and-now NFL season should they lose at home this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
And now hear this: Hats off to ESPN play-by-play man Mike Tirico for quickly dubbing this showdown of one-win teams as the "Panic Button Bowl".
The fact of the matter is this whole 2010 season quickly is going up in smoke behind an offense that is averaging just less than 16 points a game and a defense that has shown major grit but hasn't been able to make every key stand.
No question that this latest Brett Favre-related distraction - phone pics that were more than a little risqué - has put this club in the position of answering non-football questions and that's irked many of the Vikes who weren't all that thrilled in the first place that Favre had to be begged to return this year.
Favre's 500th career TD pass the other night in that wacky 29-20 loss at the New York Jets may have been another touch of history for the 41-year-old gunslinger but what happens if the Vikes can't win this Sunday at home and then go to 1-4?
Does the Favre-to-WR Randy Moss tandem - among other things - really have any meaning the rest of the way?
NOTE: Catch our College Football Saturday Six-Pack in the nest edition of Jim Sez.
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