Heisman Watch & Thursday/Friday College Previews

THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL MID-WEEK REPORT

THE LATEST HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH STILL HAS MR. LUCK ON TOP (ARE YOU SURPRISED?)

THE FRIDAY NITE TV PREVIEWS - IT'S A BIG EAST BONANZA WITH RUTGERS-LOUISVILLE (ON ESPN) AND WEST VIRGINIA-SYRACUSE (ON ESPN2)

By Jim Hurley:

Hey, have you noticed all the College Football teams that seemingly can't cash a bet anymore?

Maybe it's just a little funk but note that California, Central Florida, Colorado, Florida, FIU, Iowa State, Minnesota, Ohio, South Florida, Troy and UNLV all sport three-game-or-longer pointspread losing streaks at press time and so hope you haven't been turning to these guys to make your "daily bread" in recent weeks.

Heck, they're more broke than those "Occupy Wall Street" guys/gals! Want to known whose not broke - and won't be in the years ahead?

Well, that's Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck who - for the fourth time in as many weeks as we've presented this year's Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch - is leading the pack and he has a quite sizeable lead over everyone else.

We'll get to Mr. Luck and the rest of the fellas in our Top 5 Heisman List shortly but first this key reminder:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will win big-time all week and weekend long as we zoom deeper and deeper into this month of October in College Football plus there's lots of winning straight ahead with NFL Week #7 play plus don't forget the World Series here for the next week-plus as the Texas Rangers take on the underdog St. Louis Cardinals. Go ahead and 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!

THE WEEKLY HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH

Editor's Note: We've kept LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu in our "top five" for now but note he'll be exiting stage left after getting suspended for Saturday's home game against Auburn. This current list acknowledges Mathieu for his great season - but don't expect him to be back in our Heisman Trophy Watch the rest of the way ...got it?

Now, here's our Top 5 Heisman Trophy candidates in all as we roll into play this coming weekend:

1 - ANDREW LUCK, QB, STANFORD - Memo to some of the folks at cbssports.com ...if you don't have this Cardinal slinger at either #1 or #2 in your Heisman Trophy list than you shouldn't be posting your picks at all! The unabashed #1 pick in next year's NFL Draft is fresh off a 336-yard, four-TD performance in last weekend's 44-14 win/cover at Washington State and that included a slow start by the 6-foot-4 junior. On the year, Luck's thrown for 1,719 yards with 18 TDs and 3 INTs and - BTW - Stanford is 6-0 SU (straight-up) and ATS (against the spread).'Nuff said!

Up Next: It's a Homecoming Game against born-again Washington this Saturday (8 p.m. ET kickoff).


2 - TYRANN MATHIEU, CB, LSU
- This 5-foot-9 sophomore star remains the biggest impact player on the nation's #1 team but his alleged failed drug test will keep him sidelined this weekend against Auburn and there's simply no way a player with this type baggage will get to stay on Heisman Trophy lists from this point forward. Mathieu - a/k/a "The Honey Badger"'cause he takes what he wants - has registered a pair of touchdowns this year and made game-changing plays in high-profile games against Oregon and West Virginia.

Up Next: Nothing but a seat on the sidelines for the LSU mega-star who won't be part of the action versus Auburn this Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET kickoff).


3 - ROBERT GRIFFIN III, QB, BAYLOR
- No doubt about it that the Bears' do-it-all junior deserves a spot on the Heisman Watch List but it's merely a personal preference where you'd like to place'em. Griffin's 430-yard, 3-TD passing game last week was not nearly enough in that 55-28 beat-down Texas A&M handed Baylor in College Station but check the season-long stats: 1,950 yards passing with 22 TDs and 2 INTs along with 295 yards rushing and two ground scores.

Up Next: Baylor draws a bye this week before returning to action on Oct. 29th at Oklahoma State.


4 - TRENT RICHARDSON, RB, ALABAMA - The best offensive player in the SEC is back in our Heisman Watch after a one-week hiatus as the 5-foot-11, 225-pound junior rushed the ball just 17 times for 183 yards with 4 TDs in a 52-7 rollaway win against four-TD home dog Ole Miss. The season stats for Richardson are as follows: 912 yards rushing (a 6.9 yards-per-carry average) with 15 TDs to go along with 15 receptions with a 25.6 yards-per-grab average ...wow!

Up Next: Richardson and the Tide's hosting Tennessee in the annual "Third Saturday in October" game (kickoff's at 7:15 p.m. ET)


5 - KELLEN MOORE, QB, BOISE STATE - Okay, so we've popped this veteran lefty back onto our "Watch List" after a two-week absence. Moore threw for 338 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs while completing 26-of-30 aerial attempts in last week's easy-chair 63-13 win/cover at 33-point pup Colorado State and so now the senior slinger has thrown for 1,729 yards with 21 TDs and 4 INTs.

Up Next: Boise State hosts Air Force this Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET on Versus).


THE THURSDAY NITE TV PREVIEW

UCLA (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12) at ARIZONA (1-5, 0-4 Pac-12)- 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
It's a new era (of sorts) for the Arizona Wildcats who recently fired oft-clueless head coach Mike Stoops in favor of defensive coordinator Tim Kish but can a team on a five-game SU (straight-up) losing skid suddenly put the brakes on bad play just like that?

The 'Cats are counting on the pass-catch combo of QB Nick Foles-to-WR Juron Criner to ignite an offense that's exceeded 31 points only once the past five games. Foles (2,255 yards passing with 15 TDs and 4 INTs) and Criner (26 catches and 3 TDs) are looking to extend Arizona's four-game winning streak in head-to-head action with UCLA. Note the Bruins have QB Kevin Prince (14-of-23 passing this year with 4 INTs) back in the saddle after Richard Brehaut broke his leg.

Spread Notes- UCLA has lost five of its first six pointspread verdicts this season and the Bruins are a collective 5-13 ATS (against the spread) since the start of last year. On the flip side, Arizona has notched spread wins in three of its last four head-to-head showdowns with UCLA while dating back to 2007. Plus, the U of A Wildcats are 4-8 vig-wise as betting favorites since late in the 2009 campaign.


IT'S A DOUBLE DIP WITH TWO FRIDAY NITE TV PREVIEWS

Note: All rankings below are according to the current BCS Standings:

RUTGERS (5-1, 2-0 Big East) at LOUISVILLE (2-4, 0-1 Big East) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Could it be that Rutgers is really the best team in the watered-down Big East this year? Greg Schiano's guys have revenge here after getting whacked 40-13 as 3-point dogs at Louisville late last season but if the Scarlet Knights get the last laugh than WR Mohamed Sanu (55 catches and 5 TDs on the year) likely will be a front-and-center star here.

Spread Notes - Rutgers is a spiffy 5-1 ATS so far this season and the Scarlet Knights already have covered road games at both 10-point favorite North Carolina and at 1-point fav Syracuse. Meanwhile, Louisville has split its first six spread verdicts on the year and the Cardinals are 7-14-1 versus the vig in Big East Conference games since the start of the 2008 season.
 
#15 WEST VIRGINIA (5-1, 1-0 Big East) at SYRACUSE (4-2, 0-1 Big East)
Think the WVU Mountaineers have been talking revenge for the past couple of weeks? Last year the Morgantown men were shocked 19-14 as 13 ½-point home favorites against Syracuse and one reason was West Virginia QB Geno Smith was intercepted three times (all in the first half) and sacked five times. Note that this West Virginia edition ranks in the top 15 in FBS play with 503.5 total yards a game and nearly 41 points per game. Whatcha gonna do now, Geno?

Spread Notes - West Virginia is 10-5-1 versus the vig since early in the 2010 season and did you know the Mountaineers are 7-3 spreadwise in their last 10 head-to-head showdowns with Syracuse. Note that the home-underdog Orange are 2-4 ATS this year including a 19-16 OT loss to 1-point pup Rutgers in its only Big East game this season.

NOTE: Get all the key Saturday College Football Previews in the next edition of Jim Sez.

23
Aug
24
Aug

Today’s Hot Plays