It’s Prime Time College Football: Ohio State & Oklahoma State Headline Tonight’s Key Tilts











Hard-core College Football fans want to ask something:

Can we get to the games already?

If you’ve been checking out the various cable TV stations ‘round the land, than you know it’s been absolutely filled to the brim with shows on who wins what conference, who are the Heisman Trophy favorites, etc., etc.

Thank goodness the first full week of College Football action is finally upon us and tonight we hit the road runnin’ with a pair of top 10 teams taking center stage … that’s #2 Ohio State (at Indiana) and also #10 Oklahoma State (hosting in-state rival Tulsa) and we’ll touch on both of those tilts shortly but first this key reminder:


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Tonight, it’s …



Everyone’s going absolutely ga-ga over this year’s Ohio State Buckeyes … but will this Big 10 team be quite as grand as advertised?

Consider that the ‘Eyes bring back 15 starters (last year they returned only six starters overall on offense/defense) and seasoned quarterback J.T. Barrett (2,555 yards passing with 24 TDs and just 7 INTs a year ago) is one of those many slingers in the hunt for this year’s shiny Heisman Trophy. But Ohio State is a whopping 3-TD betting favorite for this road game against an Indiana team playing with a new head coach in former DC Tom Allen and against former head coach Kevin Wilson who is now one of OSU’s offensive coordinators. P.S., Wilson was not exactly loved by his former IU Hoosier players.

Spread Stats – Ohio State’s 34-31-1 versus the vig under sixth-year head coach Urban Meyer … not as good as you thought, right? Indiana is 13-19-1 ATS in conference play the past four years.



TULSA at #10 OKLAHOMA STATE – 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

The Las Vegas guys/gals have this one with Okie State a prohibitive 18-point betting favorite, thanks in large part to the thrilling pass-catch combo of QB Mason Rudolph (4,091 yards passing with 28 TDs in 2016) to WR James Washington (71 catches for 1,380 yards and 10 TDs last year) but if the Cowpokes are gonna cover this rather bloated price tag than their all-too-often wobbly defense must hold the fort sometimes one year after allowing 26.5 ppg. If Tulsa is gonna hang tough here, than TB D’Angelo Brewer (1,435 rushing yards last season) must chew yards/clock and maybe even have to run for 200-or-so yards.

Spread Stats – Oklahoma State has covered six of its last nine non-conference games dating back to the start of the 2014 season while Tulsa’s a crummy 2-5 ATS (against the spread) in season-opening games the past seven seasons. Note that Oklahoma State has failed to cover seven of its last 11 games when placed in the role of double-digit betting favorite.


In other College Football News/Notes …

Okay, so up above we touched on whether or not this year’s Ohio State Buckeyes might be a tad overrated – we believe they are and thus the club’s #2 ranking in the season-opening Associated Press Top 25 is a bit ambitious but they’re not one of the teams we’re thinking about when it comes to being “overrated” at the start of this here-and-now campaign.


Here’s three “overrated” teams as we start the 2017 season:


#4 USC – Sure, the Troy Boys were all the rage late last season when QB Sam Darnold had this Pac-12 team rampaging its way to nine consecutive wins to end the season but SC is sitting there with a major bulls-eye on its back right now and the hype is over-the-top stuff. Should any of us be surprised if this USC team winds up with a .500-type pointspread record at year’s end?


#11 MICHIGAN – Now that third-year Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has taken his team ‘round the world (met the Pope!) and tried to make their famous helmet even more famous, the fact remains that 11 players off last year’s roster headed to the NFL (a school record, mind you) and there’s major question marks right there at quarterback while heading into Saturday’s neutral site game against short-handed Florida. Michigan’s a dead-even and vig-losing 13-13 against the odds under Harbaugh so far and the Wolves could be sub-.500 vig-wise if defense/quarterback are negatives.


 #21 VIRGINIA TECH – One major reason why teams snag pre-season top 25 rankings is “reputation” … this V-Tech team comes off a 10-win SU (straight-up) season and all but this club has mucho questions including whether or not redshirt frosh QB Josh Jackson is the real deal for a team that must play the likes of Clemson and Miami this ’17 season.



Finally, we put an exclamation point on the NFL Preseason with Thursday’s 15 games – thankfully, the Dallas vs. Houston game was cancelled – and here’s a short checklist of what’s really important in some of the games:

The Buffalo Bills must find out whether rookie QB Nathan Peterman is their man should first-stringer Tyrod Taylor (concussion) happen to miss the NFL Week 1 tilt against the New York Jets …

The Kansas City Chiefs will be searching for some backup help at running back after starter Spencer Ware went down with a season-ending knee injury last week in Seattle. Will KC be scouring the waiver wire this weekend and looking for some veteran help should rookie RB Kareem Hunt (Toledo) not impress in tonight’s game versus Tennessee …

And what does the Denver QB situation look like with second-year pro/backup Paxton Lynch gone for a few weeks with a shoulder sprain? Word is the Broncos will play Kyle Sloter for most/all of this exhibition game against the visiting Arizona Cardinals.


NOTE: More College Football Previews/Notes in tomorrow’s Jim Sez.



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