Midweek College Football Update

THE JIM SEZ COLLEGE FOOTBALL MID-WEEK UPDATE

TAKING A PEEK AT THE FBS TEAMS THAT OWN JUST ONE POINTSPREAD WIN SO FAR THIS 2011 SEASON (SHAME, SHAME!) ...PLUS THE THURSDAY NIGHT TV FOOTBALL PREVIEW AS USC BATTLES CAL IN A PAC-12 BASH IN SAN FRANCISCO

By Jim Hurley:

You can choose to believe it or not but ...Most of the country's 120 FBS teams will be halfway through their 2011 seasons once we get through this mid-October weekend and just to prove that we like to go to "extremes" here let's take a moment to examine what teams have just one single/solitary pointspread win on their docket so far - c'mon guys, let's get a move on it! Here's the roll call:

  • Air Force - The Falcons only own a spread "W" against Navy in that wild 35-34 overtime win back on Oct. 1st and it's tough to cover prices when you can't stop a soul!

    Boston College - The Chestnut Hill gang's gone downhill fast this season as BC's a bust spreadwise at 1-5 against the odds with the lone cover coming in a 45-17 romp against 11 ½-point dog UMass.

  • Central Michigan - Maybe the Chippewas long for the glory days under former boss-man Brian Kelly (Notre Dame) but there is no hiding from the fact CMU's a lousy 1-5 spreadwise this season with the lone pointspread conquest coming in a 48-41 triumph against 7 ½-point favorite Northern Illinois.

  • Colorado State - Nobody had high hopes for this year's C-State Rams but a shaky 1-4 ATS (against the spread) mark has some folks thinking fourth-year boss Steve Fairchild could get canned ... and soon!

  • Connecticut - The 2011 Huskies have failed to cover five-of-six spread verdicts this year as Paul Pasqualoni's guys have not been able to seal the deal in close games (see 0-3 ATS in games decided by 7 points or less).

  • Florida State - Once upon a time there were folks believing the Jimbo Fisher Era would be super-special but this ACC crew hasn't covered a Las Vegas price tag since a 34-0 season-opening win against 30-point pup UL-Monroe.

  • Kent State - There's been nothing golden about this year's Golden Flashes who are 1-5 vig-wise with the sole cover a slip-under-the-number 17-10 loss at 16 ½-point fav Ohio University back on the first of October.

  • Miss State - No one's getting rich betting the M-State Bulldogs this year as the SEC West crew is just 1-5 against the odds and did you know that the Dawgs have scored more than 21 points just once in their last four games?

  • N.C. State - The 2011 Wolfpack is 1-4-1 ATS with last weekend's 38-24 win/cover against 11-point pup Central Michigan the only ticket cashed on the year and to think State covered 10 games back in 2008 and 9 games last year.

  • Nebraska - Big Red's been in the red this year as the newest Big 10 member is 1-5 spreadwise following last Saturday's come-from-behind 34-27 non-cover win against 10 ½-point pup Ohio State - not good when you're averaging some 37 points a game!

  • Penn State - Did you really think it was gonna take the Nittany Lions till Oct. 8th to register their first spread win of the year? Last weekend's gut-it-out 13-3 triumph over 4-point underdog Iowa snapped a season-opening five-game spread losing skid. Congrats, JoePa!

  • Texas A&M - You've got to go back to Labor Day weekend to find the one and only spread win of the year for the A&M Aggies who pummeled 15-point dog SMU 46-14 on that Sunday game but since than the Big 12 guys have failed to cover four in a row including getting back-doored in last weekend's 45-40 non-cover win against archrival Texas Tech.

  • Troy - This Sun Belt Conference club is just 1-4 against the number this season and that includes a current three-game spread losing streak when in the favorite's role ... so you've been warned (Troy is a near twin-figure favorite for this Saturday's home game against UL-Monroe).

  • UCLA - Hope you weren't counting on the here-and-now Bruins being a betting bonanza'cause this Pac-12 club is just 1-5 spreadwise with the lone conquest a 27-19 triumph over 4 ½-point fav Oregon State back on Sept. 24th.

  • Utah - Maybe this whole journey into the Pac-12 has been just too much to handle for the Utes who bring a sour 1-4 ATS mark into Saturday's non-league tilt in Pittsburgh. And anyone that lost with Utah at plus 8 (or 8 ½) in that infamous 23-14 loss at USC back on Sept. 10th has reason to still be spitting mad!

  • Virginia - Mark down the Cavaliers as yet another FBS team that covered in their opening-week game and than hasn't cashed since with the Wahoos a collective 1-4 spreadwise this year.

  • Virginia Tech - No question the Hokies are in a gotta-have-it mode this Saturday in the ACC road game at Wake Forest and how'bout covering a Las Vegas price tag, guys? Frank Beamer's bunch is 0-and-5 spreadwise ever since that season-opening 66-13 demolition of 26 ½-point underdog Appalachian State.

 

THE THURSDAY NITE TV PREVIEW

USC (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) at CALIFORNIA (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) -- 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

Let's see ...USC can't go bowling this year (for a second straight season) and isn't even eligible to play in the Pac-12's first-ever conference championship game and yet the Trojans are clearly the front-and-center story here in this tilt at AT&T Park in San Francisco and that's because slick signal-caller Matt Barkley (1,587 yards passing with 14 TDs and 4 INTs and a 70.7 completion percentage) is the trigger-man for a team that is averaging 30 points a game.

 The Troy Boys - a mere field-goal betting favorite for this clash against California in the Bay Area - also sport the best wide receiver in the land not getting nation-wide attention and that's Robert Woods who has nabbed 55 passes for 747 yards and 6 TDs and so it's no secret that if the host California Golden Bears are gonna win here than that pass-catch tandem must be slowed down - if not completely silenced.

One thing to watch on the Cal side: The Bears rank 19th nationally out of 120 FBS team in passing offense (averaging 300.4 yards a game) and maybe this turns out to be a "coming out" party for lefty QB Zach Maynard - the Buffalo transfer has thrown for 1,291 yards with 11 TDs and just 3 INTs and top target WR Keenan Allen (39 receptions, a 17.1 yards-per-catch average and 4 TDs) could be the speeding bullet that USC can't stop here. Stay tuned!

Spread Notes - USC enters this prime-time game at just 7-11 ATS in the year-plus Lane Kiffin Era and did you know the Trojans are a composite 17-29-1 versus the vig overall in Pac-12 games dating back to the start of the 2006 season (that's a wobbly .369 winning percentage). On the flip side, the Cal Golden Bears have failed to cover seven of their last 10 games overall and note that the Berkeley boys are just 1-5 spreadwise in their last half-dozen games against Southern Cal.
 
Extra, extra: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will win big-time all week and weekend long as we zoom deeper into the month of October in College Football plus there's lots of winning straight ahead with NFL Week #6 play plus don't forget the Major-League Baseball Post-Season that roll on all month long -- and so please make sure you're all aboard for all the action right through Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th. Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here for the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB winners!

NOTE: Lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez including the Heisman Trophy Watch!
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