College and NFL Questions and Answers




Okay, so it was pretty much “status quo” this past Tuesday night when the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings were announced as Miss State, Florida State and Auburn ran #1-#2-#3 as they did for that initial announcement.

The only change among top four teams was the inclusion of #4 Oregon and the exclusion of now two-time loser Ole Miss who was dropped down to #11 ... and ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit warned the viewing masses in that CFP show not to expect the “status quo” again next week.
But why not?

Miss State, Florida State and Auburn all are healthy betting favorites in their Saturday games and even #4 Oregon is a TD-plus road betting favorite at #17 Utah ... so what gives?

Ahh, maybe those all-important top four slots won’t change come Tuesday night’s next announcement but there could be major movin’-and-shakin’ elsewhere in the top 10 spots:

#7 KANSAS STATE (7-1, 5-0 Big 12) at #6 TCU (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) - 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox
Hey, back to that ESPN show the other night, there were a couple of panelists dishing major “love” on the TCU Horned Frogs who happen to enter this monumental Big 12 tilt with a 48.0 points-per-game scoring average that ranks ‘em second among all FBS teams but it says here that TCU - a 6-point betting favorite for this clash at press time - must win by a nice “margin” in order to threaten the top four spots in the CFP poll but don’t sell QB Trevone Boykin and Company short.

The savvy quarterback apologized to his team following last week’s wild 31-30 come-from-behind win at West Virginia (Boykin completed only 12-of-30 passes for 166 yards in that one) but don’t be surprised if this one comes down to PK Jaden Oberkrom who nailed the 37-yard game-winner in Morgantown last Saturday.

Still, a healthy TCU win and some “slippage” by #4 Oregon and/or #5 Alabama and the Frogs could leapfrog into one of those bracket spots.

#10 NOTRE DAME (7-1) at #9 ARIZONA STATE (7-1) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
No doubt that the only thing 10th-ranked Notre Dame needs is a “signature win” to make an impact in these CFP rankings and a win at Tempe would have the teams ranked #5-thru-#8 quaking in their high tops.

The ND Fighting Irish are averaging a haughty 35.4 points per game and QB Everett Golson - who remains outside-looking-in at the Heisman Trophy leaderboard - comes off a three-TD rushing and three-TD passing performance last week against Navy.

If Notre Dame, let’s say, wins this game by a double-digit margin, will Brian Kelly’s guys zoom right by a few teams in the top 10?

We say “yes”!

If you’ve been with us for a while here at Jim Hurley’s Network, then you know what we’re talking about here ... we’re checking out the college football teams that will be in a “first time” situation from a handicapping standpoint and so here’s a couple of teams to watch this weekend:

IOWA STATE (2-6, 0-5 Big 12) - Hey, the Cyclones are laying road points for the first time this season after covering two-of-three as road dogs in earlier games at Iowa, Oklahoma State and Texas. In fact, the last time Iowa State was a road betting favorite was late in 2012 when - you guessed it - the ‘Clones were a 3 ½-point fav at Kansas and I-State won 51-23. Still, it’s been 10 straight away games that the Cyclones were gobbling up points, so we’ll see what they can do as road chalk in Lawrence.

DUKE (7-1, 3-1 ACC) - It’s been another grand year for Dookie head coach David Cutcliffe and Company but now we’ll see how the Blue Devils handle being “indoors” for the first time in the 2014 season. Duke’s playing at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on this early November weekend and the last time the Durham gang played inside was that wacky 52-48 loss-but-cover against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in the 2013 Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta ... remember that New Year’s Eve dandy? Matter of fact, that’s the only dome game Duke has played in the last 10 years and keep in mind they’re laying road points here against the Orange.

My handicappers and bloggers will have all the weekend winners and you can get NCAA Football, NFL Week 10 play and all the NBA/NCAA Basketball action when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online. Hey, don’t forget there’s plenty of key College Football action on tap this weekend including Alabama at LSU, Baylor at Oklahoma, Ohio State at Michigan State and Notre Dame at Arizona State plus the NFL Week 10 marquee matchups feature San Francisco at New Orleans and the Sunday Nighter between the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers. Check in with us after 1 p.m. ET for weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET for the Saturday/Sunday games ... got it?

It’s time to check in with the worst spread sides in College Football this year as we head down the proverbial home stretch, so here goes

Oregon St.161.143
Old Dominion270.222
So. Carolina270.222
Florida State260.250
North Texas260.250
Kent State360.333
No. Carol.360.333
Okla. State360.333
Texas A&M 360.333
Texas Tech360.333
Virginia Tech360.333
Wash State360.333

In case you hadn’t noticed there have been a slew of money-burning teams in the NFL this year but which ones have truly been “overpriced”? Here’s our short list:

NEW YORK GIANTS - Forget for a moment that the G-men are just 3-5 ATS (against the spread) this season and consider the following:
This offensive unit - utilizing a brand-new offense for them in the West Coast under first-year coordinator Ben McAdoo - has been searching for answers for the better part of this current campaign and yet the Giants were taking only 1 ½ and 5 1/2- points in recent divisional road games at Philadelphia and Dallas.

Okay, so it wouldn’t have much mattered if the prices were a tad more accurate as NYG lost those respective road games by 27 and 10 points but it’s safe to say the Giants are a few notches below the Super Bowl-winning team from 2011 (boy, does that seem like a really long time ago!) and even this weekend we question the rather modest 9-point price at Seattle.

After all, the Giants are without their top running back in Rashad Jennings, their top WR Victor Cruz and playing with a shaky O-line and under-productive D-line ... why not a 12- or 12.5-point price tag here, we ask.

SAN FRANCISCO - Memo to Las Vegas: The here-and-now 49ers ain’t what they used to be the past three years when going to the NFC Championship Game three years in a row (and that Super Bowl season in 2012).

Everyone that eyeballs NFL action knows the defense misses LBs Patrick Willis and NaVarro Bowman - the latter’s been out the whole year and the former’s missed the past two games (both of which San Fran failed to cover) -- and it has not escaped our Jim Sez notice that the Niners are just 3-3-1 ATS as betting favorites after going a collective 26-15-2 spreadwise as chalk sides the prior three seasons.

You might want to be careful laying points with San Francisco the second half of this season, okay?

Final Note: The Cincinnati Bengals can officially press the panic button: Okay, so Marvin Lewis’ squad is still two games over .500 at 5-3-1 following last night’s ugly-as-sin 24-3 home loss versus 6-point underdog Cleveland but the high-and-wide throws by QB Andy Dalton (see 10-of-33 passing for 86 yards with 3 INTs) couldn’t be blamed all on the gusty winds inside Paul Brown Stadium and you’re starting to wonder if the Bengals are underachieving with first-year offensive coordinator Hue Jackson ... and don’t look now but here comes a three-game road swing through New Orleans, Houston and Tampa Bay.

NOTE: Get all the exciting NCAA Football and NFL Week 10 key topics tackled in the next edition of Jim Sez.


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