Talkin College Football Playoffs



Folks, we fully realize that many of you spent countless hours the past two days watching/listening to the TV talking heads at ESPN and Fox discuss and dissect the College Football Playoffs … but now it’s our turn!

The truth of the matter is the committee – for the most part – did indeed “get it right” as the foursome of Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington were the most deserving teams thanks mainly to that “body of work” phrase that everyone likes to toss out there and we just wanted to thump out our chest ‘cause we told you months ago that we wouldn’t have a two-loss team in this field … and we wuz right!

Hey, Penn State deserves kudos for that fabulous come-from-way-behind 38-31 win against 3-point favorite Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship Game and both Michigan and Oklahoma are dang good teams too – all of the above have at least two losses -- but both the Wolverines and the Sooners have more blemishes than the playoff-bound squads listed above in this Jim Sez column.

Where the committee didn’t get it right was in the seeding:

Folks, we don’t have a major problem with Ohio State (11-1) getting in, but being that the Buckeyes didn’t even play in last Saturday’s aforementioned Big 10 Championship Game we would have seeded this Columbus club #4 and thus made their road to a championship the hardest of all four teams.

Funny thing is we didn’t hear this suggestion (okay, we might have missed it but doubt it!) from the likes of ESPN’s Danny Kanell or Kirk Herbstreit or Fox’s Matt Leinart or Brady Quinn but don’t ya think that would have been a better solution having Ohio State play #1 Alabama (13-0) in the semifinals and then have to play the survivor of #2 Clemson (12-1) versus should-have-been #3 Washington (12-1)?

Food for thought, as we like to say.

Meanwhile, plenty to say about the playoffs and all the Bowl Games in the coming days here, so don’t sweat it ‘cause we’ll preview/forecast all 41 post-season games but let’s get this playoff stuff jump-started with quick-hitter looks at some key pointspread stats as it pertains to the Crimson Tide, Tigers, Buckeyes and Huskies and note each team’s pointspread record is in parentheses next to their names below:

ALABAMA (9-4) – Did you realize that Nick Saban’s teams are only 4-6 ATS (against the spread) in SEC Championship Games/Bowls/Playoff games since 2012? Also, the Tide’s 10-5 ATS as double-digit betting favorites dating back to late last season.

CLEMSON (6-7) – One thing about these Tigers is that they thrive in the post-season as evidenced by a cool 5-and-oh against-the-odds record in bowls/playoffs the past four years. Note that Clemson is 11-4 spreadwise as underdog sides since the start of 2011.

OHIO STATE (6-6) – It’s true the ‘Eyes won/covered all three of their non-league games this year (versus Bowling Green, Tulsa and Oklahoma) but overall Ohio State’s a modest 34-30-1 ATS under fifth-year boss Urban Meyer.

WASHINGTON (7-5-1) – If you want to be surprised about the Huskies, than note this Pac-12 team has covered six of its last seven non-league games the past two years and that included all three games this year when laying 26-or-more points. Plus, Washington has covered four of its last six bowls.

Extra, extra …

Our Monday Night Football preview in just a second but first this important reminder …

My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight’s NFL Week 13 tilt between the Indianapolis Colts at the New York Jets … get the Side & Totals winners here on game-day afternoon when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at

Plus get all the upcoming College Football Bowl games plus the Basketball action too … don’t get left out in the cold, folks!


Tonight, it’s …

INDIANAPOLIS (5-6) at NEW YORK JETS (3-8) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Word is that the Indy Colts will indeed have star QB Andrew Luck (2,827 yards passing with 19 TDs and 8 INTs) back in the saddle after he missed the team’s Thanksgiving Night loss to Pittsburgh with a concussion – if Luck targets anyone here it’s whoever Jets’ CB Darrelle Revis is covering!

Yes, the future Hall of Famer has been that bad this year and last week the New York City tabloids were busy running stories about how Revis “didn’t want to play anymore” … and it sure shows!

The Jets will go with Ryan Fitzpatrick (10 TDs/13 INTs) under center here – another bone of contention with Jets’ fans/media who want to see if second-year slinger Bryce Petty is “the answer”. 

Hey, Jets’ fans, cheer up – next year you’ll get that “last-place schedule” and so games against Jacksonville and Cleveland should do wonders for your won/loss mark!

Spread Stats – Indianapolis is a dead-even but vig-losing 5-5-1 against the odds this year and overall the Colts are 0-4 ATS in head-to-head games with the J-E-T-S since 2006. On the flip side, NYJ’s 4-6-1 spreadwise this dreadful season and that makes this AFC East crew a composite 12-12-3 ATS under second-year boss Todd Bowles. Ugh!

In other NFL Week 13 News/Notes …

No doubt we have ripped into Carolina Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera plenty this year but sitting QB Cam Newton for the first series – really, just one play and that was a Derek Anderson deflected pass that was intercepted in last night’s ugly 40-7 loss in Seattle – was a disaster in more ways than one as the NFC defending champs really mailed it in and Newton, let’s face it, just wasn’t “into” this prime-time game. Coach, just wanted to let you know we’re writing this while wearing a necktie! …

Get the feeling it’s same-old, same-old when it comes to certain NFL teams: Take the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills, for instance.

In the Falcons’ heart-thumping 29-28 home loss to 5-point underdog Kansas City, it was that ill-timed QB Matt Ryan pass on the two-point play that went the other way courtesy of S Eric Berry and just another close loss for the Falcs. Or maybe you didn’t know that the “Dirty Birds” have lost nine of their last 20 overall games by just 7 points or less.

When it comes to the Bills, well, maybe it’s really a Rex Ryan thing because his defenses never – ever – make a big stand. His days as the head ball coach of the Jets were filled with shabby defensive stands when needed most and in yesterday’s 38-24 loss at 3-point favorite Oakland, there was Buffalo sporting a 24-9 lead just five minutes in the third quarter and all his defense had to do was make a stop or two and keep the momentum on the Bills’ side. Instead, the Raiders marched 75 and 38 yards with back-to-back possessions to get within 24-23 and then the final frame was an absolute collapse by both Buffalo’s offense and defense.

The playoff drought in western New York’s gonna continue – how long can these fine fans take the same old nonsense story? …

Finally, quick-hitter/off-the-radar heroes in Sunday’s games included Detroit Lions’ secondary which did not allow the potent New Orleans Saints to score a single aerial score en route to that 28-13 win by the Motowners and what about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ O-line which protected QB Ben Roethlisberger (289 passing yards and two TDs) and blocked for patient RB Le’Veon Bell (29 carries for 118 yards) – now the streaky Steelers have three consecutive wins/covers heading into Sunday’s game in Buffalo.

NOTE: Lots of College Bowl talk plus NFL News/Notes too in the next edition of Jim Sez.


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