Welcome To September - It's College Football Time

Hurley Cashes Kickoff Classic!
Miss State (-31) Memphis 59-14...2-Touchdown Cover!
Heartbreaker miss on Wisconsin (-35.5) over UNLV 51-17, as Rebels get two late touchdowns and Badgers kill clock on 20-yard line.

Goes 2-0 Friday, with Baylor (+3.5) over TCU 50-48 and Raiders/Seahawks (Under 37.5)

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Welcome To September As College Football's In Full-Speed Ahead Mode

By Jim Hurley:

Go ahead and admit it:

Labor Day Weekend is one of the best times of the year in the sports world 'cause there's always a slew of College Football Games to open up the season (this year there's 40 in all from tonight here right through the Labor Day Evening battle royale in the ACC between Miami at Maryland) plus this holiday weekend means the National Football League is not far behind as this year's Kickoff Game (that's New Orleans at Green Bay) should be a doozy on the night of Thursday, September 8th. Throw in the Major-League Baseball and - if you will - the always-exciting U.S. Open Tennis in Flushing Meadows (NY) and that's what you would call a full plate ... right?

We'll stay in the spirit of all things College in just a moment when we bring you Friday's preview between TCU at Baylor plus there's a whole lot more to munch on in today's edition of Jim Sez but first this important reminder:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the College Football and NFL Winners when you check with us every Game Day either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # at 1-800-323-4453. Check in times are as follows: After 1 p.m. ET Mondays-through-Fridays and after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays/Sundays/Holidays -- and remember we'll have Major-League Baseball Winners too from now right through the 2011 World Series.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL TV PREVIEW - IT'S FRIDAY NITE ACTION DEEP IN THE HEART O'TEXAS

#14 TCU at BAYLOR - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Maybe it slipped your mind that last year there were two College Football teams that finished out the 2010 season undefeated: Naturally, the BCS National Champion Auburn Tigers were a perfect 14-and-oh SU (straight-up) but hope you didn't forget about the TCU Horned Frogs.

The soon-to-be Big East Conference team (see 2012 season) and current Mountain West Conference club won all 13 of its games including a 21-19 non-cover victory against 3 ½-point underdog Wisconsin in last year's Rose Bowl and so Gary Patterson's squad heads into this prime-time clash riding that 13-game winning streak and knowing it hasn't lost a regular-season game since late in the 2008 season - that's 25 successive regular-season wins for TCU in case you're counting!

Here, the Frogs are favored by a 4 ½-point spread (it opened at 6 ½ points) and keep in mind last year TCU split its two spread verdicts when the betting line saw 'em as single-digit favorites (a 47-7 win at 4 ½-point dog Utah and then the aforementioned non-cover win in the Rose Bowl against the Wisky Badgers).

If TCU's gonna start off this season with a spread "W" -- something it was unable to do last year en route to a 30-21 triumph over 13-point pup Oregon State - than the defense that lost six starters off a sterling unit must make some big stands against Baylor QB Robert Griffin who last year threw for a school-record 3,501 passing yards. Griffin has great maneuverability despite some past knee woes but he must evade the likes of LB Tank Carder (the 2010 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year) who helped led TCU to some spiffy stats last year including a nation's-best 228.5 yards-a-game yield to go along with 12 points-per-game yield.

On the flip side, TCU has a new gunslinger running the show on offense as the Andy Dalton Era - finally - ended and so keep a close eye here on sophomore QB Casey Pachall who is aided/abetted by the likes of RBs Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker and Waymon James. Expect TCU to get 40-plus rushes here but whether the Frogs can constantly pound down on Art Briles' club - and new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett's stop unit - remains to be seen but no doubt the Bears have some shorin' up to do after last year's defense surrendered 435.4 yards a game (that ranked 104th nationally out of 120 FBS teams).

SPREAD NOTES - TCU last year finished up just 7-6 ATS despite the perfecto SU mark and note that included a sub-par 3-4 spread log when laying away/neutral field points. Overall, the Horned Frogs are a collective 34-21 vig-wise as betting favorites while dating back to the start of the 2006 campaign. On the flip side, Baylor's coming off a shabby 5-8 ATS season that included four consecutive season-ending spread losses as dogs (versus Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Illinois in the Texas Bowl). The Bears have failed to cover all three of their recent showdowns against TCU including last year's 45-10 loss as 21-point road dogs.

In fact, last year wasn't a really great betting year for the College Football Teams from the Lone Star State. Here's how all of the FBS teams from the great state of Texas fared spreadwise in 2010:

TEAM SPREAD RECORD PCT.
Texas A&M 8-5-0 .615
TCU 7-6-0 .538
North Texas 6-6-0 .500
Rice 6-6-0 .500
SMU 6-8-0 .429
Texas Tech 5-7-1 .417
Baylor  5-8-0 .385
UTEP 5-8-0 .385
Houston 4-7-1 .364
Texas 3-9-0 .250

Check it out: The country's 10 Texas-based College Football teams went a collective 55-70-2 versus the vig (a dismal .440 winning rate) last year and only Texas A&M really/truly distinguished itself with the Las Vegas odds.

 

SUNDAY COLLEGE PREVIEWS

THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PARADE OF GAMES ROLLS ON THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND AS WE PREVIEW SUNDAY'S TWO TILTS
(THAT'S MARSHALL AT WEST VIRGINIA AND SMU AT TEXAS A&M) ...

PLUS OUR 2011 NFL PRESEASON POINTSPREAD STANDINGS

By Jim Hurley:

No doubt that everyone - including us here at Jim Sez - are primed for the Saturday Nite prime-time games between #3 Oregon versus #4 LSU along with the neat bash between #5 Boise State versus #19 Georgia but make no mistake about it ...

There's a whole lot of goodies on the opening-weekend "plate" for the College Football kids and we send out possible "upset alerts" to the likes of BYU (a 3-point favorite at Ole Miss), California (a 10-point favorite versus Fresno State) and Indiana (a six-point fav against Ball State) as any/all of the above could hit a major pothole right smack out of the proverbial starting gate.

One other thing that's on our mind here as we roll into a Saturday filled with College Football goodies - note that 30 of this weekend's 40 College Football Games are being played here on Saturday afternoon/night - is that it's a brand-new world in the expanded Big 10 (yes, now there are 12 teams in this league thanks to the off-season addition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers) as both Ohio State and Michigan enter a new era:

The Buckeyes - minus head coach Jim Tressel (a/k/a The Sweater Vest) - are venturing into a new world with Luke Fickell at the helm and it'll be interesting to see The Ohio State's focus here as better than a four-TD betting favorite versus in-state "rival" Akron.

Meanwhile, Michigan bid adieu to sad-sack head coach Rich Rodriguez and now the Brady Hoke Era has begun and this opening-week tilt against two-TD pup Western Michigan might not necessarily be a joy ride for the maize-and-blue.

Keep in mind that the Big 10 will play its first-ever Conference Championship Game at regular season's end - it's the Leaders and Legends Divisions, in case you were wondering! - and wouldn't it be a hoot if we got Ohio State versus Michigan on back-to-back weekend later this season?

SUNDAY'S COLLEGE GRIDIRON PREVIEWS

MARSHALL at #24 WEST VIRGINIA - 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
It's been a messy off-season for the football folks in Morgantown - once-popular head coach Bill Stewart was shoved right out the door in June so that "coach-in-waiting" Dana Holgorsen could take control immediately and now the heat is on to cover this bloated 23-point (and growing) Las Vegas pointspread. Hmmm.

If West Virginia wants to lay down the law in this edition of the "Coal Bowl" than QB Geno Smith (2,763 yards passing with 24 TDs last year) must sparkle in this spread-the-wealth offense that will be looking to get off 75-to-80 snaps here. Hey, keep in mind that last year WVU needed overtime to top 12 ½-point pup Marshall 24-21 and the Thundering Herd easily could have won that game if not for a bunch of self-inflicted wounds including a missed 39-yard FG by Marshall's Tyler Warner in the overtime session.

Spread Notes - West Virginia sported a four-game and a three-game pointspread winning streak en route to a 7-5-1 ATS (against the spread) log last year but the Mountaineers are a dreary 16-20-1 versus the vig since the start of the 2008 season. Marshall, meanwhile, staggered its way to a 4-8 ATS campaign last year that included a 2-3 ATS mark when grabbing hold of double-digit prices. Overall, the Thundering Herd has lost its last five consecutive on-the-board season-opening games.
 

SMU at #8 TEXAS A&M - 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Network
No question that the A&M Aggies are a "vogue pick" to win it all this year after winning their final six regular-season games a year ago prior to getting belted 41-24 by LSU in the Cotton Bowl.

Head coach Mike Sherman's fourth year in Aggie-land might indeed be something special providing QB Ryan Tannehill - a converted wide receiver at this time a year ago - can sparkle. Tannehill last year threw 13 TDs and 6 INTs in rallying the Texas A&M cause but the 15-point spread here might well be determined on how SMU signal-caller Kyle Padron plays. The slick signal-caller set a school record last year by throwing for 3,828 yards with 31 TDs in that run-n-shoot attack and he's "back-doored" a couple of foes in his time.

P.S., much is being made of the fact Texas A&M just announced this past week that it will be leaving the Big 12 after this season - all signs point to the Aggies going to the rough-and-tumble SEC - while SMU could well be the team that replaces Texas A&M here in the Big 12. Stay tuned.

Spread Notes - SMU's a sub-par 16-19-2 against the odds in the June Jones Era that started in 2008 but note the 2010 Mustangs covered both of their games in which they were latching onto twin-figure prices (see a season-opening 35-27 backdoor cover at 13 ½-point fav Texas Tech and a 41-24 loss-but-cover against 18 ½-point favorite TCU). Note that Texas A&M is coming off an 8-5 ATS season that featured six consecutive regular-season-ending covers. However, it's duly noted that the Aggies are a not-so-hearty 6-12 spreadwise in non-conference affairs the past four seasons.
 
And now hear this: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gonna win plenty of greenbacks this 2011 College Football Season and so make sure you get it all jump-started with this weekend's action right through Labor Day Monday and then, of course, right through the BCS National Championship Game in January. Plus get all the Major-League Baseball Winners too each and every day and this is all you have to do to get all the Winners: Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online for the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB winners!

NFL PRESEASON POINTSPREAD UPDATE

Okay, so here's a clip-n-save item in case you are looking for the Final 2011 NFL Preseason Pointspread Standings ... enjoy!

TEAM

ATS

PCT

Detroit

4-0-0

1.000

Chicago

3-1-0

.750

Houston

3-1-0

.750

Miami

3-1-0

.750

Philadelphia

3-1-0

.750

Pittsburgh

3-1-0

.750

St. Louis

3-1-0

.750

Seattle

3-1-0

.750

Tampa Bay

3-1-0

.750

Tennessee

3-1-0

.750

Baltimore

2-1-1

.667

Washington

2-1-1

.667

Arizona

2-2-0

.500

Denver

2-2-0

.500

Indianapolis

2-2-0

.500

Minnesota

2-2-0

.500

New England

2-2-0

.500

New Orleans

2-2-0

.500

NY Giants

2-2-0

.500

NY Jets

2-2-0

.500

San Diego

2-2-0

.500

San Francisco

2-2-0

.500

Atlanta

1-3-0

.250

Buffalo

1-3-0

.250

Carolina

1-3-0

.250

Cincinnati

1-3-0

.250

Cleveland

1-3-0

.250

Dallas

1-3-0

.250

Green Bay

1-3-0

.250

Kansas City

1-3-0

.250

Jacksonville

0-4-0

.000

Oakland

0-4-0

.000

Okay, so let's put a big bow on this 2011 NFL Preseason with the following - and final - numbers:

NFL Preseason Betting Favorites finished 38-25-1 ATS for a blistering .603 winning rate (the best we've seen in a long, long time when it comes to NFL Preseasons) while "Totals" players should know that "Overs" held an ultra-slim 31-30-3 ATS mark for a .508 winning rate.

So there you have it!

Now, can't wait for the start of the 2011 NFL Regular Season on Thursday with the New Orleans Saints at the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers - and whatta Week #1 is straight ahead!

NOTE: More College Football and NFL News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.

24
Sep

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