Jim Sez for Wednesday, October 14 …

Jim Sez for Wednesday, October 14 …

THE JIM SEZ MID-WEEK REPORT –
HERE’S THURSDAY’S NFL WEEK 6 BASH
BETWEEN THE 5-AND-0 FALCONS AT THE SAINTS …
PLUS OUR COMPLETE 2015 NFL POINTSPREAD STANDINGS CHART…
THE HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST MAKES ITS DEBUT
WITH LSU’S FOURNETTE AT THE TOP OF THE PACK

Here’s a little memo to the National Football League and their on-field and off-field officials … get your damn act together already!

Hey, we’re less than halfway through this 2015 NFL season and already we’ve had the lingering effects of the dopey DeflateGate deal from a year ago (New England Patriots 1, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell 0!), we’ve seen the now-infamous batted ball scene in Seattle earlier this month (the Detroit Lions were the victims there) and now evidence that 18 seconds ran off the clock late in the other night’s Pittsburgh Steelers’ come-from-behind 24-20 win in San Diego … by now you know the details as the game clock ticked down from 2:56 to 2:38 after a Chargers’ kickoff that sailed out of bounds and lucky for the league that QB Michael Vick and the Steelers marched downfield and then RB Le’Veon Bell scored out of the Wildcat formation with just :05 left or else there would have been lots of hootin’ and hollerin’ coming from the Steel City.

And forgive us, but the Steelers have usually gotten all the calls in whatever games we’ve witnessed over the years including in the Super Bowls that ended the 2005 and 2008 seasons! Sorry, had to get that jab in there.

The bottom line is all this talk about the “integrity of the game” is being shot to hell – officials are either throwing way too many flags (the games have bogged down badly in the first five weeks of play) or not calling ‘em when they should and clock issues, etc. are hounding many of this year’s crews and things are going from bad to worse.

Maybe the league shouldn’t have thrown so many of its resources (that’s $$$) at lawyers during DeflateGate last summer and instead should have spent to get better game officials … this is getting bad!

In any event, there are games to play as we roll through the month of October and here’s how the NFL Week 6 card kicks off …

NFL WEEK 6 – THURSDAY NIGHT PREVIEW
ATLANTA (5-0) at NEW ORLEANS (1-4) – 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFL Network
One of the league’s better rivalries gets renewed inside the Louisiana Superdome where – believe it or not – the home-town Saints ain’t what they used to be as Sean Payton’s crew has lost six of its last 10 home games there since the start of last year and now here comes a Falcons’ crew that’s both playing well and catching mucho breaks through the early portion of this here-and-now campaign.

In fact, Atlanta’s off to its first 5-and-oh SU (straight-up) start since 2012 – the Falcons made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game that season, remember – and whether it’s backup-turned-starting RB Devonta Freeman scoring touchdowns like they were going out of style or relative unknown CB Robert Alford racing 59 yards on a game-winning “pick six” in OT to cap a 25-19 win after Washington’s intended receiver fell down, the new-look “Dirty Birds” are all the rage.

Consider that Atlanta is a + 50 in the points differential category and rookie head coach Dan Quinn right now is the runaway winner of the Coach of the Year award.

The Saints, meanwhile, surrendered 519 yards to a wobbly Philadelphia offense in last weekend’s non-competitive 39-17 road loss and here sore-shouldered QB Drew Brees comes off the most hollow 335-yard passing game in recent NFL memory. If you watched that game or parts of it, you saw Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan jawing a whole lot – gut feeling is here if the Falcons score 30-plus points and stagger the Saints’ defense, Ryan could be a goner by the weekend.

Note that the Falcons are the 3-point betting favorite for this clash and the last two times Atlanta was a road fav in this rivalry (see 2006 and 2012) it was the Saints that snagged the upset win. Just sayin’!

Spread Notes – Atlanta’s covered four of its first five games this year but the Falcons are a rotten 5-11 ATS (against the spread) as betting favorites while dating back to late in the 2012 campaign. New Orleans is 4-9 vig-wise in NFC South games since early in the 2012 season.

NFL POINTSPREAD STANDINGS
Here’s the up-to-the-second NFL Pointspread Standings while heading into Week 7 action:

TEAM

WON

LOSS

PUSH

PCT

Green Bay

5

0

0

1.000

Cincinnati

4

0

1

1.000

New England

3

0

1

1.000

Pittsburgh

3

0

2

1.000

Arizona

4

1

0

.800

Atlanta

4

1

0

.800

Carolina

3

1

0

.750

Minnesota

3

1

0

.750

NY Jets

3

1

0

.750

Denver

3

1

1

.750

Buffalo

3

2

0

.600

Cleveland

3

2

0

.600

NY Giants

3

2

0

.600

Washington

3

2

0

.600

Tennessee

2

2

0

.500

Oakland

2

2

1

.500

Chicago

2

3

0

.400

Jacksonville

2

3

0

.400

New Orleans

2

3

0

.400

Philadelphia

2

3

0

.400

St. Louis

2

3

0

.400

San Francisco

2

3

0

.400

Tampa Bay

2

3

0

.400

Miami

1

3

0

.250

Seattle

1

3

1

.250

Dallas

1

4

0

.200

Detroit

1

4

0

.200

Houston

1

4

0

.200

Indianapolis

1

4

0

.200

Kansas City

1

4

0

.200

San Diego

1

4

0

.200

Baltimore

0

4

1

.000

 

THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT

THE JIM SEZ HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST
It’s our first look at the 2015 Heisman Trophy Watch List where we offer up our top five contenders each week for college football’s most coveted individual award … and now here’s how we see things shaping up while heading into this mid-October weekend:

1 – LEONARD FOURNETTE, RB, LSU – We haven’t had a running back win the Heisman Trophy since 2009 (see Alabama’s Mark Ingram) but right now this Bayou Bengals’ star is a runaway leader in the Heisman clubhouse despite the fact his amazing run of 200-yard rushing games ended with last Saturday’s 158-yard ground game in the 45-24 win/cover over South Carolina. In all, Fournette’s run the ball for 1,022 yards with 12 TDs while averaging a haughty 8.6 yards per carry this year and his breakaway speed/raw, overwhelming power makes this sophomore stud a highlight waiting to happen.

Up Next – Fournette and his 5-and-oh #6 LSU team is at #8 Florida this Saturday night. Right now we’d call Fournette the 1-to-2 betting favorite to win the shiny hardware.

2 – TREVONE BOYKIN, QB, TCU – There were plenty of “Heisman moments” in last Saturday night’s wild 52-45 non-cover win by TCU at 9-point dog Kansas State as this senior star threw a 55-yard game-winning TD strike to WR Josh Doctson with 1:10 remaining in the game. In all, Boykin threw for 301 yards with two TDs and rushed for another 124 yards with two scores – he’s clearly the main runner-up to Fournette as we get nearer the halfway point of the 2015 college football season with Boykin now having thrown for 2,103 yards with 21 TDs and 5 INTs to go along with 366 rushing yards with 4 TDs.

Up Next – Boykin and #3 TCU is at three-TD pup Iowa State this Saturday night and our current Jim Sez odds have the Horned Frogs mega-star at 5-to-1 to win the award.

3 – EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, RB, OHIO STATE – Last year’s playoff/national championship game hero has been one of the few constants in what’s really been a rather unsatisfying 6-0 SU start (the Buckeyes are a rotten 1-5 against the odds so far). The junior back is fresh off a 106-rushing yard/two-TD performance in last week’s 49-28 non-cover win against 32-point dog Maryland and for the year “E.E.” has rushed for 835 yards (a 6.9 yards-per-carry average) with 10 TDs.

Up Next – The ‘Eyes are a 17-point home betting favorite for Penn State this Saturday night and our current odds on Elliott to win the Heisman are 15-to-1.

4 – SETH RUSSELL, QB, BAYLOR – Most Heisman Trophy “watch lists” have this 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior on the outside looking in at a top five spot but his 1,527 yards passing with 22 TDs and 5 INTs can’t be ignored even though naysayers will point to the weak sked (see games against SMU, Lamar, Rice and Kansas) and the fact any Baylor quarterback will have jumbo stats in this pass-friendly offense. Still, Russell has been the numero uno reason the Bears are ranked #2 in the land and averaging an eye-popping 64.2 points per outing.

Up Next – Baylor’s a three-TD fav against West Virginia this Saturday and Russell could toast a defense that’s been battered the last two weeks by Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Call Russell a 50-to-1 guy right now.

5 – DALVIN COOK, RB, FLORIDA STATE – Here’s our third running back in our initial Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch List and no doubt this hard-charging sophomore deserves a spot here following his 222-yard rushing and 47-yard receiving game in that 29-24 non-cover win against 6.5-point dog Miami last Saturday night. In all, Cook has rushed for 792 yards (a 9.0 ypg average) and he’s registered nine TDs (8 rush/1 receiving).

Up Next – Cook and Company host TD-underdog Louisville this Saturday night and right now we place ‘em at 60-to-1 to win the award.

Extra, extra …
It’s already been an uber-busy week for the College Football world with the resignation of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier – we never like to see a coach “bag it” halfway through the year and so a major boo-hoo to the ole ball coach – and the firing of USC head coach Steve Sarkisian but straight ahead there are five games on tap matching up ranked teams including Thursday’s #18 UCLA at #15 Stanford (see game preview in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez) plus Saturday showdowns such as #8 Florida at #6 LSU, #7 Michigan State at #12 Michigan, #10 Alabama at #9 Texas A&M and #17 Iowa at #20 Northwestern.
Lots of game previews/key notes in the next couple of Jim Sez columns.

 

18
Nov

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