Saturday College Football 6-Pack

OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL SATURDAY SIX-PACK LOADS UP ON THE SUPER CONFERENCES AS WE EXAMINE TWO GAMES APIECE HERE FROM THE PAC-10, SEC & BIG 10 ...

HEY, NFL WEEK 10 IS ALREADY HERE: IT'S RODDY WHITE "REDEMPTION HOUR" AS THE FALCONS NIP RAVENS 26-21

By Jim Hurley:

Here's a quickie quiz comin' your way:

You know that the current BCS Standings list the Oregon Ducks as the #1 team in the land and the Auburn Tigers at #2.

But can you venture a guess on where these clubs were in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll.

Buzzzz. Time's up!

Oregon started off this season at #11 in the first AP poll while Auburn started off at #22 - and so don't ever have some know-it-all buddy of yours tell you that teams "never" come from way back in the pack to make a run for all the marbles!

Obviously, all signs point to a collision course that would have Oregon play Auburn in the BCS Championship Game in Glendale come the evening of Jan. 10, 2011 but now hear this ... the Tigers (10-0) might still be able to get there with a single loss but the Ducks (9-0) won't be able to say the same.

Mull that possibility for a moment or two and you know we're right!

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you the NFL, and College Football action 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. Remember, the NBA and college seasons have started, and you can get the entire NBA & NCAA basketball seasons at an early bird price right now. Click here to start winning in hoops.     


COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S SATURDAY SIX-PACK

#1 OREGON (9-0, 6-0 Pac-10) at CALIFORNIA (5-4, 3-3 Pac-10) - 7:30 p.m. ET, Versus
There were plenty of furrowed brows last week when the top-ranked Oregon Ducks didn't score a single point in the first quarter against Washington - heck, even offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich called it "weird".

But the Ducks shook off the early cobwebs and rock-n-rolled their way to yet another 50-plus point game en route to the 53-16 victory against short-handed Washington and now Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is banking on the engines being revved up right from the start here in Berkeley.

In fact, the numbers entering this one are mind-numbing as the Ducks are averaging a nation's-best 54.7 points and 567.2 yards a game but Kelly's kids may have to be a little careful here now that backup QB Nate Costa is gone for the season and so maybe starting QB Darron Thomas (2,070 yards passing with 22 TDs and 6 INTs) will do less running than usual.

Keep in mind that the Cal Bears will be playing once again without injured QB Kevin Riley (knee) who's lost for the year and so Brock Mansion gets the nod and he was shaky with two picks in last week's non-cover 20-13 win at Washington State.

Spread Notes - Oregon is 11-5-1 ATS (against the spread) when playing fellow Pac-10 teams since late in the 2008 season plus the Ducks are a hearty 6-2-1 versus the vig overall this season. California is a perfect 4-and-oh spreadwise at home this season and trace back to the start of 2008 and you'll see the Golden Bears are a dazzling 13-3 ATS in Strawberry Canyon.

GEORGIA (5-5, 3-4 SEC) at #2 AUBURN (10-0, 6-0 SEC) - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Let's interrupt this whole Cam Newton negative report bit to say the following - while the likes of Florida and Miss State continue to "implicate" the current Auburn QB/Heisman Trophy frontrunner in naughty deeds past just remember that those schools were "in bed" with him long ago and so maybe everyone that romanced Newton in times past should simply stop flapping their yaps!

The $64,000 question here is whether or not all the distractions will cause Newton to go a bit nutty here in the oldest rivalry game in the South - the Tigers know Newton (1,890 yards passing with 19 TDs and 5 INTs and a team-leading 1,146 yards rushing) will feel "safe" on the football field but it says here he needs help to get past a hungry Georgia team dying for a "signature win" this season. Look for Auburn RB Michael Dyer to get 20 between-the-tackle runs here and just a couple of explosive bursts could be the "diff"

On the flip side, Georgia - as sure as the sun rises in the East - will be cleaning house at year's end as the school and head coach Mark Richt simply don't see eye-to-eye anymore but expect these Dawgs to go down fighting the rest of the way while looking to latch onto yet another post-season bowl bid. Quarterback Aaron Murray (2,307 yards passing with 18 TDs and 6 INTs) to go "vertical" right off the bat here.

Note the totals price is 65 ½ points right now - might we see these SEC clubs go into the 80s? Hmmm.

Spread Notes - Auburn has covered six of its 10 games this year and the Tigers are an electric 5-1 versus the vig in SEC affairs this year with the lone spread loss coming at Kentucky back on Oct. 9th. Meanwhile, Georgia has covered four of its last five spread verdicts this season after getting out to a sluggish 1-4 ATS start and note overall the Dawgs are a dreary 7-16 spreadwise in SEC play the past two-plus seasons.

#6 STANFORD (8-1, 5-1 Pac-10) at ARIZONA STATE (4-5, 2-4 Pac-10) - 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net
And now we get to those folks - meaning Stanford, Wisconsin and Ohio State - who remain on the fringes of this BCS Championship Game chase as all of these one-loss clubs stay very much alive (even if the odds are against ‘em at this very moment).

Stanford QB Andrew Luck (2,219 yards passing with 22 TDs and 6 INTs) - who earlier this week lurched back into our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch - continues to dazzle this year but how about some love for a Cardinal defense that's held five of the team's first nine opponents to 17 points or less? And keep in mind in the wild/wacky/wide-open Pac-10 this Palo Alto squad already has shut out both UCLA and Washington (and both of those games were on the road!).

Meanwhile, Arizona State has lost 14 consecutive games to Top 25 foes and QB Steven Threet (17 TDs but 15 INTs) must steer clear of the field-flipping picks here if the home dogs want to have a shot.

Spread Notes - Stanford's 5-4 ATS overall this season but did you realize the home teams in this rivalry game are 8-2 vig-wise since the start of the 2000 season? Arizona State's 6-2-1 spreadwise in all games this year and the Devils have covered eight of their last 10 home games dating back to the start of last year.

INDIANA (4-5, 0-5 Big 10) at #7 WISCONSIN (8-1, 4-1 Big 10) - 12 p.m. ET, espn2
Is there a more under-the-radar BCS Championship Game contender out there than these Wisky Badgers?

Okay, that 34-24 loss at Michigan State back on Oct. 2nd was a stun-gun affair for Bret Bielema's squad a month ago but ever since the Madison men have been really in a take-no-prisoners mode with an 18-point win against Minnesota followed by three straight wins/covers with two of the triumphs coming against biggies Ohio State and Iowa - so why not more national attention heaped on the Badgers?

Good question!

In this week's clash against three-TD pup Indiana the Badgers figure to be without sledgehammer RB John Clay (knee) but nowadays there's plenty of quality depth here and so watch for RB Montee Ball (127 yards rushing and two TDs in last week's 34-13 win/cover at Purdue) to get 20-to-25 carries here and look to keep Indy's wobbly defense on its heels.

Spread Notes - Wisconsin rides a three-game pointspread winning streak into this clash but the Badgers are just 13-17 ATS as betting favorites since the start of the 2007 season. Indiana is a solid 12-8 ATS overall since the start of last season and the Hoosiers have covered nine of their last 15 spread decisions in Big 10 play.

PENN STATE (6-3, 3-2 Big 10) at #9 OHIO STATE (8-1, 4-1 Big 10) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN
The euphoria of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno nabbing his 400th career win is just now starting to wear off and here comes a major reality check for JoePa and his Nittany Lions.

Ohio State has quietly posted seven games of 35-or-more points scored this year with QB Terrelle Pryor long ago out of this year's Heisman Trophy race (yes, we did think he would win it at season's start) but did you realize he has a 20 TD-to-7 INT ratio right now?

Plus, check out hard-charging RB Dan Herron who has rushed for 634 yards (a 4.9 ypc average) with 12 TDs for a Buckeyes bunch that may once again sport the best O-line in the whole Big 10.

Note that Penn State will start new campus hero QB Matt McGloin who has thrown for 475 yards with 5 TDs and 0 INTs the past two games as he's relegated Rob Bolden to the bench.

Spread Notes - Ohio State has covered four of its last five home games against Penn State dating back to the 2000 season and the Buckeyes are a collective 16-5-1 versus the vig overall since the beginning of 2009. Penn State heads into this clash on a current three-game spread winning streak and the Nittany Lions are 9-4-1 against the odds away since early in the '08 campaign.
  
#23 SOUTH CAROLINA (6-3, 4-3 SEC) at #22 FLORIDA (6-3, 4-3 SEC) - 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Gotta love that ole ball coach! Following last week's bitter 41-20 home loss against 4-point underdog Arkansas, there was South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier telling the assembled media that "I don't know how my team (his Gamecocks) have won six games this year."

Now, Spurrier just spent a full week convincing his Carolina crew that it can win at "The Swamp" and if so will likely be making the school's first-ever appearance in the SEC Championship Game.

The Florida Gators have other notions and expect Urban Meyer's guys to challenge a pass defense that ranks a lowly 109th nationally and so QB John Brantley (only 8 TDs this year) better be on target or he'll get booed again!

Spread Notes - Florida enters this SEC showdown sporting a 4-3 spread log against same-league foes this year and the Gators are just 24-24-2 ATS when playing inside the country' toughest conference the past five-plus seasons. South Carolina has failed to cover 12 of its last 20 away games overall since the start of 2007.

NFL NEWS & NOTES: WEEK 10'S UNDERWAY

As our headline suggests, the Atlanta Falcons' 26-21 win against 2-point underdog Baltimore (another Jim Hurley Winner) was really the Roddy White "Redemption Hour" when all was said and done: The star receiver for the Falcons dropped two critical QB Matt Ryan passes late in the game but he more than made up for it with his 33-yard touchdown catch-and-run with 20 seconds remaining in the game.

Did White push off Baltimore DB Josh Wilson to get free?

Sure looked like way on the TV replays but - as usual - the NFL on-field officials got it wrong and so in this battle of the Birds that kicked off NFL Week 10 it was Atlanta staying super at home and the Ravens wondering how that terrific defense surrendered 80 yards in seven plays with everything on the line.

Memo to the Ravens" It might have cost you an extra playoff game and home-field advantage ... that's all!

 

OUR NFL WEEK 10 SUNDAY PREVIEWS- WE CHECK IN ON THE TILTS IN CLEVELAND, CHICAGO NEW JERSEY AND PITTSBURGH, PLUS OUR NFL POINTSPREAD TIDBITS WEEKLY FEATURE IS HERE TOO! ...

EXTRA. EXTRA: WHO WILL BE THE"HOT" ASSISTANT COACHES VYING FOR BIG-NAME JOBS AT YEAR'S END?

By Jim Hurley:

Think there's a plethora of storylines in this NFL Week 10?

Heck, we've already witnessed a rollicking win by the Atlanta Falcons over the Baltimore Ravens in Thursday Night Football action and now we've got plenty of goodies come Sunday like the New York Jets going up against old coach Eric Mangini in Cleveland ... and what about Minnesota QB Brett Favre and those"drama queen" Vikings in Chicago?

Wow, we've got lots to say about the new Dallas Cowboys head coach as his club saunters in the New Meadowlands Stadium against the hot-hot-hot New York Giants and the proverbial"cherry on top" comes with the Sunday Night Football game between old rivals New England at Pittsburgh.

So, let's get it rollin' with some NFL Week 10 Sunday Previews in just a sec but first this ultra-important reminder:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you the NFL, and College Football action 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. Remember, the NBA and college seasons have started, and you can get the entire NBA & NCAA basketball seasons at an early bird price right now. Click here to start winning in hoops.
Note: Don't forget that there will be plenty of College Basketball Monday-thru-Friday matinee games in the next couple of weeks with all the holidays approaching and so check your schedules and don't miss out on any of the day-time winners. Got it?

Sunday, November 14th
NFL MUST-WIN PARLAY

The Jim Hurley Network has isolated two games on the Sunday card that offer huge betting value because of the volatility associated with handicapping "must-win" games, and two of them involve both teams needing to win.

In the NFC, it's Minnesota-Chicago. The Vikings need to win this one and beat Green Bay next week or the season is shot. Chicago's 5-3, but the bloom is off their fast start and they need a key win here.

In the AFC, it's Tennessee-Miami. The Dolphins are 4-4 and a fourth home loss would realistically end their playoff hopes. Tennessee is 5-3, but in the competitive AFC South that has Indianapolis right behind them a wild-card landscape where it's going to be hard to oust the runner-ups in the North & East, the Titans have no margin for error.

How will these four teams respond on Sunday. Thanks to Jim Hurley's on-scene sources, we've got the answer and we'll get the money. Get both games in a parlay that you MUST WIN! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR $25

NFL WEEK 10 KEY SUNDAY PREVIEWS

NEW YORK JETS (6-2) at CLEVELAND (3-5)- 1 p.m. ET, CBS
In case you've missed it, there's been plenty of"yucking it up" here coming from second-year Jets head coach Rex Ryan who donned a wig and put padding under his shirt in a mid-week press conference that playfully mocked his twin brother Rob who just so happens to be the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns but there won't be lots of yucking it up once they kick it off here- note that Cleveland head coach Mangini has some real simmering issues with how/why the J-E-T-S axed him following the 2008 season and don't forget there's some crossover stuff here too with Jets WR Braylon Edwards fully expecting the"LeBron James" treatment when he comes back into the Dawg Pound.

Wipe away all the ancillary stuff that has to do with this game and here's what is really/truly important:

The Jets need to get this"ground-and-pound" running game working early so that QB Mark Sanchez (1,692 yards passing with 10 TDs and 5 INTs) will be able to shine off the play-action fakes and so look for NYJ to hammer away here in the first half with a physical ground game and hope to take some life from the Browns' renewed defense. Look for RB Shonn Green (just 391 yards rushing so far in 2010) to be a central component here with our guess that the former Iowa star gets 25 carries.

Meanwhile, Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis- and what a steal he's become after getting dealt last off-season by Denver- is fresh off a 29-carry, 184-yard performance in last Sunday's 34-14 win against 4-point fav New England and he needs about that many carries here if the Browns are to complete this little mid-season trifecta (see back-to-back wins already against New Orleans and New England).

Spread Notes -- The Jets sport a 9-2 ATS (against the spread) mark in their last 11 games against fellow AFC teams and that includes covers this year against the likes of New England, Miami, Buffalo and Denver. The Jets are 16-11 spreadwise overall in the Ryan Era. Meanwhile, Cleveland is 4-3-1 versus the vig overall this season but note that the Brownies are a stellar 11-3-1 ATS overall dating back to the middle of the 2009 season.
    
MINNESOTA (3-5) at CHICAGO (5-3)- 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Maybe this week the Vikings fans will get their"execution"! Following last week's harried 27-24 overtime win against the Arizona Cardinals, there was Vikings' beleaguered head coach Brad Childress telling the media that everyone"came for an execution (his) and instead got a pretty good ball game."

Memo to Childress: Lose this game and you may have your little head loped off by your still-angry owner!

The soap opera that is the 2010 Vikes has been major fodder for the TV/radio talking heads the past few weeks but the down-home reality here is that if Minnesota loses in this near pick 'em game at Soldier Field it could set in motion a whole chain of events not the least of which would be Childress getting axed by Monday morning with the likelihood that current defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier would get the job at that point.

The Vikes' fight to stay alive in the muddled NFC Playoff picture again depends greatly on battered QB Favre (1,896 yards passing with 9 TDs and 13 INTs) but be sure about one thing here: If Minny RB Adrian Peterson (144 total yards from scrimmage against the Cardinals last Sunday) isn't getting his big mitts on the ball 25-or-more times here than the host Bears will be sending Childress a post-game"thank you" note.

One key for Chicago: Get something out of this putrid ground game that currently ranks 27th in the NFL with a 90.6 yards-per-game average. Ugh!

Spread Notes -- Chicago's covered seven of its last 10 home games against Minnesota these past 10 seasons and keep in mind that includes last year's wild 36-30 overtime MNF win by the Bears on the second-to-last regular-season week of action. The Vikings head into this NFC North bash at 2-5-1 against the Las Vegas prices this year but did you realize that Minny's a solid 5-2-1 ATS in divisional games since the start of last season?
   
    
DALLAS (1-7) at NEW YORK GIANTS (6-2)- 4:15 p.m., Fox
Leave it to the Cowboys to upstage a team on a five-game winning streak! Sure, the New York Giants have rock-n-rolled their way to the top of the NFC East despite an assorted array of injuries and issues but all anyone really wants to talk about right now is the state of the 'Boys and what will new/interim head coach Jason Garrett mean to his quad right here and right now.

Well, Garrett may be considered an offensive whiz but the reality is the former O-coordinator has not been able to accomplish much since the collarbone injury to QB Tony Romo. Note that Dallas has scored a grand total of 24 points in the two games after Romo went down against these same Giants back on Oct. 25th and the gut feeling here is that the new sheriff will want to get the ball in the hands of rookie WR Dez Bryant as much as possible and so look for him to be a central figure here with quick pass plays and a few reverses too.

Meanwhile, Garrett is keeping fingers crossed that his Dallas defense will get a wake-up call- the Cowboys have yielded 41, 35 and 45 points in the team's last three games and remember the Giants rolled up 497 offensive yards in that 41-35 triumph three weeks ago. The 'Boys turned over this unit to newly named defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni but he didn't exactly wow anyone as a D-coach with the Miami Dolphins last year.

If the Giants- listed now as a 13 ½-point favorite (the biggest price tag on the Las Vegas board)- are gonna hammer out a sixth straight win than head coach Tom Coughlin's club must overcome some major injury woes along the O-line and a big matchup here will be new LT Shawn Andrews against pass rusher DeMarcus Ware who collected 11 sacks a year ago but has been strangely quiet for much of 2010.

Spread Notes -- The Giants are 10-3-1 versus the vig in their last 14 head-to-head showdowns with the Cowboys and that includes the 21-17 win as 7 ½-point pups in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game back in 2007 when the G-men were en route to that Super Bowl crown. Dallas, meanwhile, wobbles into this NFC East clash on a five-game spread losing skid (the 'Boys have not covered a game since the 27-13 triumph over 3-point fav Houston way back in Week 3) and note that the Cowboys are a collective 8-13 ATS away since the start of the 2008 campaign.

On Sunday Nite, it's ...

NEW ENGLAND (6-2) at PITTSBURGH (6-2)- 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC
Here's hoping this Sunday Night Football game provides better viewing than last week's tilt (see Green Bay 45, Dallas 7 with big screen TV shut off before 11 p.m. ET!).

The Steelers are just happy to be back home after grueling three-game road trip that included wins in Miami and Cincinnati- and a hard-fought 20-10 loss in New Orleans- and it's worth noting that Pittsburgh's scored six touchdowns the past three weeks while committing six turnovers.

Now, Mike Tomlin's team would love to control the clock here and keep Patriots QB Tom Brady (1,826 yards passing with 14 TDs and 4 INTs) off the field as long as possible but remember that the Steelers witnessed three of their O-linemen go down with injuries in last Monday Night's 27-21 hang-on-for-dear-life win in Cincy and so this could become a real paste-and-patch deal up front for the black-and-gold guys.

One under the radar key here: The Pats will be without star PK Stephen Gostkowski (thigh) who will miss the remainder of this current campaign and former Bengals reject Shayne Graham will step into the void- don't be shocked if the loss of Gostkowski (who's made nearly 85 percent of his NFL field-goal tries in his career) comes back to haunt Bill Belichick's club here and also down the line.

Spread Notes - New England is 4-3-1 ATS overall this 2010 season and note that Patriots are a rock-solid 37-21 versus the vig in away games dating back to the start of the 2004 season. On the flip side, Pittsburgh's covered five of its first eight games this year after going a rotten 5-10-1 against the odds in 2009.

NFL WEEK #10 POINTSPREAD TIDBITS

Let's go 'round the league and get you our Jim Sez NFL Week #10 Pointspread Tidbits with all figures below against the spread:

  • The Arizona Cardinals have covered six of their last seven head-to-head matchups against Seattle;
  • The Buffalo Bills are 21-14-1 as betting favorites since the start of the 2004 season;
  • The Cincinnati Bengals have lost six of their last eight away spread verdicts;
  • The Denver Broncos are just 3-6 in their last nine clashes with rival Kansas City;
  • The Houston Texans sport a dandy 10-5 spread mark in their last 15 games versus Jacksonville;
  • The Miami Dolphins are 8-19-1 at home since the start of the 2007 season;
  • The St. Louis Rams are 11-6 overall since the middle of last season;
  • The San Francisco 49ers are 9-2 in their last 11 spread decisions against the St. Loo Rams;
  • The Seattle Seahawks are 2-10 away since the start of the 2009 season;
  • And the Tampa Bay Bucs have lost 10 of their last 15 pointspread verdicts against Carolina.

NFL NEWS & NOTES

Consider the possibilities: There is a very distinct possibility that the following NFL head coaching jobs will be vacant following this here-and-now 2010 season:

In alphabetical order, they include ... Carolina, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Minnesota, San Diego and San Francisco.

Folks, we could well have one-quarter of the NFL head coaching jobs available at year's end and there are more than a handful of high-quality NFL assistant coaches right now ready/willing/able to make the dash up the coaching ladder.

So, with this in mind we'll play a little game of mix-and-match ... hey, we're gonna clip-n-save this piece and see how many we hit!

ROB RYAN- The aforementioned current defensive coordinator of the Browns almost surely will land a head coaching spot in time for the 2011 season as his work with this no-name defense has been terrific. Don't be surprised if he winds up across the bay from where he used to serve as a defensive coordinator (see Oakland) as the San Fran 49ers are said to be very high on Rex's twin brother. If not here than the Carolina Panthers could be a make-sense destination spot for the rowdy Ryan.

CHUCK CECIL- The Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator made"news" this year when he was caught flashing an obscene gesture at NFL officials but forget that one-finger salute and instead consider what an excellent job he's done for head coach Jeff Fisher. Cecil may intimidate some NFL owners who might be afraid of his swagger but he could be a genuinely good fit in Cincinnati where a fire-and-brimstone type leader is needed or he might wind up staying inside the AFC South with the Houston Texans giving him a shot. We'll see.

DOM CAPERS- Here's another D-coordinator that could get a head coaching position in time for next year. True, Capers seems a perfect fit right now in Green Bay where his famed 3-4 front has enemy offenses shaking in their high top shoes but an NFL owner looking for a veteran touch might tap Capers and so Dallas or Denver could be destinations for this one-time Carolina head coach.

MIKE MULARKEY - The current offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons was a veritable disaster in Buffalo in his two-year head coaching stint there (see 14-18 overall with the Bills in 2004-05) but the word is he's ready to"get back on the wheel" and there are plenty of NFL folks wowed by what he's accomplished with QB Matt Ryan and Co. in Georgia. It makes sense that Mularkey would head to a team searching for an offensive identity and so San Francisco would be the odds-on favorite for him if we had to venture a guess.

RUSS GRIMM- The assistant head coach an O-line boss of the Arizona Cardinals nearly gobbled up the Pittsburgh Steelers job back in 2007 before Tomlin aced his interviews with the esteemed Rooney Family but now the time's come for this Hall of Fame"Hog" to get his wings and so we could see Grimm getting plugged in at either Carolina or Denver.  

NOTE: Get our Monday Night Football Preview- that's the Philadelphia Eagles at the Washington Redskins- plus all the NFL Week 10 and College Football weekend roundups in the next edition of Jim Sez.

 

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