Monster College Weekend on Tap









Let the facts state that the College Football Season – slightly past the mid-point stage as you read this Jim Sez column – still has a lot more questions than answers as we dig into this October weekend of action:

Like, can anyone out there beat Alabama, Ohio State or Clemson – yes, we know the latter two just squeaked by with “W’s” last weekend but maybe both the Buckeyes and Tigers are “destined” for FBS playoff berths this year and – and will we find ourselves with two Big 10 teams in this year’s four-team playoff bash?

Mighty Michigan may be the team that KOs Ohio State at year’s end (‘ya never know!) … or will the frisky Wolverines be on the outside-looking-in at the playoffs when all the dust settles in December?

In any event, lots happening this week/weekend with the college kids and so let’s get y’all a handful of quick-hitter previews:


Tonight, it’s …

MIAMI (4-2, 1-2 ACC) at VIRGINIA TECH (4-2, 2-1 ACC) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Lots of injuries on this Miami side and thus the pointspread swing here as Virginia Tech opened as a 4-point choice but zoomed up to minus 6 in a New York City minute! No doubt the Techsters are breathing fire after getting shocked at the ‘Cuse last weekend and note first-year Hokie head coach Justin Fuente took the full blame by saying his club was outplayed on offense, defense and special teams … yup, that’s the whole deal gang but expect QB Jerod Evans (17 TDs passing and just 2 INTs) to pick on this banged-up ‘Cane defense.

Spread Note – Miami has covered four of its last five head-to-head showdowns versus V-Tech.


On Friday, it’s …

OREGON (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12) at CALIFORNIA (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) – 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

What in the devil has happened to this Oregon program? It was only two years ago when the Ducks were playing for a national championship (see Ohio State 42, Oregon 20 to wrap up the 2014 season) but right now this is a major mess and we give it a 99.9 percent shot that clueless head coach Mark Helfrich is gonzo by year’s end … if Oregon wants to salvage this season, then a “W” here under the lights in Strawberry Canyon is a must but the Cal Golden Bears have seven-time revenge and QB Davis Webb (2,256 yards passing with 22 TDs) can get hot in a hurry. Did you know the totals price here is 88.5 points? Gulp!

Spread Note – Oregon is a rotten 0-5-1 versus the vig this year but did you know the Ducks have covered their last five in a row against Cal?


On Saturday, it’s …

#6 TEXAS A&M (6-0, 4-0 SEC) at #1 ALABAMA (7-0, 4-0 SEC) – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Good grief … the ‘Bama Crimson Tide is up to a 19-point betting favorite here but as we’ve been prone to tell buddies this year, “You ain’t gonna get rich betting against Alabama!”. If frosh QB Jalen Hurts (9 TD passes, 3 INT) can evade the pass rushes of DEs Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall here than don’t be surprised if Nick Saban’s bunch hangs half-a-hundred on the Aggies. P.S., Alabama has scored 52, 48, 48, 49 and 49 points in five of its seven games this season.

Spread Note – Alabama has notched covers in five of its first seven games this year and overall the Crimson Tide’s 29-19 ATS in SEC affairs the past five-plus seasons.


#2 OHIO STATE (6-0, 3-0 Big 10) at PENN STATE (4-2, 2-1 Big 10) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Once upon a time this was a classic Big 10 rivalry game but the O-State Buckeyes have won the last four in a row and six of the last seven showdowns versus Penn State and – dare we say – only one of these two is “relevant” anymore when it comes to the college football universe. Okay, not to get nit-picky here but would like to see 19.5-point fav Ohio State get off to a better offensive start (just two first-half FGs in last week’s eventual OT win at Wisconsin) with quarterback J.T. Barrett likely to look for big chunk plays in the passing game. Note the ‘Eyes have won 20 consecutive road games in SU (straight-up) fashion.

Spread Note – Ohio State’s 7-3 against the odds in its last 10 meetings with Penn State.


#10 WISCONSIN (4-2, 1-2 Big 10) at IOWA (5-2, 3-1 Big 10) – 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Don’t forget about this doozy in the Big 10 – the Wisky Badgers are being called (by everyone) the “best two-loss team in America” and they have a little revenge matter to settle here as Iowa copped last year’s game 10-6 as 6-point road dogs.

Spread Note – Wisconsin is 5-1 ATS this year but the Badgers have failed to cover five of their last seven duels with Iowa.




Gotta ask the question right here and right now:

Are the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets and/or the Chicago Bears worth the proverbial plugged nickel to bettors from here through the remainder of the season?

No doubt the defending NFC champion Panthers have fallen apart with this 1-5 SU (straight-up) and 1-5 ATS start and you can see the wheels have come off this wagon – hey, blame know-it-all head coach Ron Rivera for lots of the woes but keep in mind the front office folks are regretting the decision not to re-sign CB Josh Norman;

Meanwhile, the J-E-T-S basically have put up the white flag on this ’16 season as they’ll go with lifetime underachiever QB Geno Smith for Sunday’s Week 7 game against Baltimore. True, NYJ’s entering an easier portion of its schedule but at 1-5 ATS so far we won’t be at all surprised if this winds up being a 4-12 or 3-13 type spread season in New Jersey;

And finally the Bears – also 1-5 versus Mr. Vig so far – have a shot to turn the beat around this evening with the road game in Green Bay (see our Jim Sez preview in yesterday’s column) and even four consecutive 300-yard passing games by backup-turned-starting QB Brian Hoyer hasn’t been enough. The Bears have suffered through five straight non-winning spread seasons in a row. Do we hear six?



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