Midweek Football Previews and Notes
It's A Split On Thursday Night Football
Ravens (+1) come up short in last minute at Atlanta,
East Carolina-UAB (Over 68) easily goes over 54-42.
NBA TNT SPECIAL SWEEPS 2-0!
Nuggets (+3) Lakers 118-112 WON!
Celtics/Heat (Over 184.5) 112-107 WON!
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL MID-WEEK UPDATE IS A ROCK-'EM, SOCK-'EM LINEUP AS WE BRING YOU THE THURSDAY/FRIDAY TV PREVIEWS PLUS OUR LATEST HEISMAN TROPHY REPORT ...
OUR NFL NEWS & NOTES SEGMENT PREVIEWS THURSDAY'S SHOWDOWN IN THE SOUTH AS RAVENS-FALCONS COLLIDE
By Jim Hurley:
There are a whole lot of scenarios that could play out when it comes to this year's BCS Championship Game but here's a couple that the folks who "run the show" don't want to see:
#1: They don't want Auburn to lose a game and then still make it to the title tilt because than everyone from the non-BCS conferences will be screaming bloody murder. Keep in mind that the Tigers host Georgia this weekend and than wrap up regular-season action at Alabama - and even with a sweep of these rivals Gene Chizik's gang would have to beat either Florida or South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game to stay perfect.
In short, Auburn may be sitting pretty right now at 10-and-oh but there's a huge mountain or two (or three) to climb before it gets to the "promised land" but it's plausible that the Tigers could lose one of these next two games and still wind up in Glendale on Jan. 10th.
#2: They really/truly don't want both TCU (10-0) and Boise State (8-0) to stay perfect right through their respective regular seasons because odds are one of 'em is gonna get the boot in terms of the BCS Championship Game and - if Oregon (9-0) and Auburn (10-0) run the table - than both the Horned Frogs and Broncos will be turned aside in their bids to play for all the marbles.
Check out their skeds and tell us who's going to beat TCU with this week's home game against 26 ½-point underdog San Diego State followed by an absolute walkover game on Nov. 27th at New Mexico?
And what about what's in Boise State's way? The Broncos - fresh off delivering a real "message" in that 42-7 win against Hawaii last Saturday - do have four regular-season games remaining including a home tilt against Fresno State (Nov. 19th) and a road game at Nevada (Nov. 26th) but does anyone really think Chris Petersen's squad will get KO'd the rest of the way?
#3: Finally, they want the "status quo" and that means Oregon keeps winning in its final regular-season games at California, home to Arizona and at Oregon State and no "L's" for mighty Auburn - than the BCS Championship Game would have the following:
Another SEC team in the title game; a Pac-10 power will lots of glitz and - more likely than not - the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner too in Auburn QB Cameron Newton who these days is making some headlines for all the wrong moves but look for that all to get swept away in the matter of time.
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FRIDAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME PREVIEW
#4 BOISE STATE (8-0, 4-0 WAC) at IDAHO (4-5, 1-3 WAC) - 9 p.m. ET, espn2
Let's just say that if Don King was promoting this "fight" than he'd be telling everyone that 5-TD underdog Idaho has a puncher's chance ... yeah, right!
The fact of the matter is the B-State Broncos have reason to play hard all game long here 'cause TCU put up plenty of "style points" in last weekend's rollicking 47-7 win against Utah and now Chris Petersen's gang has to continue this little game of checkmate. One thing that Boise State does need to do is clean up some messy play as last week's 42-7 triumph over 22-point pup Hawaii did include three Broncos turnovers (meanwhile, B-State didn't force any turnovers by Hawaii ... hmm).
For all the latest/greatest on Boise State QB Kellen Moore just check out what we have to say about him in this week's Heisman Trophy Watch section below ... got it?
Spread Notes - Boise State is a brilliant 6-2 spreadwise this 2010 season and note that includes a 5-2 ATS log whenever laying twin-figure prices. The Broncos are an electric 13-3-1 ATS away the past two-plus seasons (including 4-0 ATS this year) and they've covered four of their last six head-to-head spread showdowns against Idaho. Note that the Vandals enter this prime-time affair on a four-game pointspread losing skid after starting off this season having covered four of their first five games.
THE HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH
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 - CAM NEWTON, QB, AUBURN: The aforementioned Tigers' do-it-all signal-caller remains the head-and-shoulder leader for this coveted piece of hardware but he doesn't have things locked up just yet. Last week's scrimmage-like 62-24 win by Auburn over some chap named UT-Chattanooga included four more scoring strikes by this 6-foot-6, 247-pound junior and so now he'll enter this weekend's home game against archrival Georgia with 19 TD passes and 15 TD runs and let's not forget that scoring grab two weeks back against Ole Miss - wow, 35 touchdowns and he could have as many as four games still left on his season! Note that Newton's thrown for 1,890 yards (only five INTs) and he's rushed for 1,146 yards while averaging a haughty 6.5 yards a pop and he's been both the best and most exciting player in the sport in this 2010 season. Hip-hip-hooray!
#2 - LaMICHAEL JAMES, RB, OREGON: The Ducks' cat-quick sophomore remains runner-up for the Heisman Trophy at the current time and we've had 'em in second place now for three weeks running. Oregon's 53-16 win against Washington last Saturday in Eugene featured a 26-carry, 121-yard, 3-TD game for James who this week takes his act to Berkeley while sporting the following numbers in 2010: There's 1,331 yards rushing (6.8 ypc) with 17 TDs and he's averaging an eye-popping 17.3 yards on his eight receptions with one score. The key to James making up major ground is more about the Georgia and Alabama defenses slowing down Newton - if that's at all possible - than cranking out a 200-yard rushing game against the Cal Golden Bears but, yes, that would help!
#3 - KELLEN MOORE, QB, BOISE STATE: Must admit that we were tempted to inch this classy lefthander past James for second place but thought twice about it ... Moore's 30-of-37, 507-yard, 3-TD/2-INT game in the Broncos' wipeout win against Hawaii last week was a real eye-opener and hope you caught that highlight of his 83-yard scoring bomb to a wide-open WR Titus Young. Moore has been #1, #2 or #3 on our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch ever since we started posting this particular segment way back on Oct. 5th and he remains in position to vault up the charts providing he can register another couple of 500-yard type passing games in the weeks ahead - don't forget he gets some valuable espn2 face time come Friday night when the Broncos head into Idaho as five-TD betting favorites. The year to this point: Moore has 2,372 yards passing, 21 TDs and 4 INTs plus he owns wins against BCS conference teams Virginia Tech and Oregon State.
#4 - ANDREW LUCK, QB, STANFORD: This Cardinal mega-star appeared in our debut Heisman Trophy Watch back in early October but he hasn't been back in till now. Last week Luck aired two TD passes along with 293 aerial yards en route to a 42-17 blowout of Arizona and hope you noticed he didn't toss a single interception. On the year the 6-foot-4, 235-pound sophomore - who many folks have dubbed the "smartest" player in college football - has thrown only six picks while piling up the gaudy numbers (see 2,213 yards passing and 22 TDs). No doubt that Luck - as we look down the road - will receive the lion's share of West Coast votes this year but if he can really wow folks in season-ending games against Arizona State, California and Oregon State than Luck might be rising the Heisman charts with a "bullet".
#5 - KENDALL HUNTER, RB, OKLAHOMA STATE: Fully aware that this Cowboys star doesn't appear on most Heisman Trophy frontrunner lists especially after the modest 14-carry, 66-yard, 2-TD game in the 55-28 win against Baylor last weekend but all we've done is drop him a peg here as this senior still owns some super stats including 1,240 yards rushing (nearly 138 ground yards per game) to go along with 14 TDs. Keep in mind Hunter's had "perfect attendance" this year whole Okie State mate WR Justin Blackmon - who's popped up on most/all Heisman lists - missed a game with a regrettable DUI charge.
NFL NEWS & NOTES
No doubt that this here-and-now Dallas Cowboys season is history from a perspective of getting to the playoffs but what will new head coach Jason Garrett's effect be on this underachieving crew?
Most in-the-know people believe that Garrett actually has regressed in terms of a play-caller plus there's rumblings that he won't "have the room" here even though he is a different voice from since-fired head coach Wade Phillips.
The fact of the matter is Dallas owner Jerry Jones didn't really have a choice here: He had to fire the incompetent Phillips and he also had to put Garrett in charge to see if the long-time offensive coordinator could handle the new/challenging role.
There is talk that Jones has a short "wish list" for his next coach - allegedly it includes buddy/Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt and current New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and soon enough we'll find out if Garrett's name will be on that list at year's end.
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