Coach Meyer: New Faces/New Places: Skip Holtz

"COACH'S CORNER"
With Two-Time AFC Coach of the Year RON MEYER

DR. LOU'S SON MOVES FROM EAST CAROLINA TO SOUTH FLORIDA

The name "Holtz" has quite a history in college football. Of course, most of that history belongs to Lou Holtz...who became nationally prominent at Arkansas in the early 1980's before becoming the most successful Notre Dame coach of the last few decades in South Bend.

Currently, you see "Dr. Lou" all through the college football season on ESPN's TV coverage. Some times it's hard to believe that's the same guy!

Lou's son Skip Holtz has had a respected career as both an assistant and head coach. He's kept East Carolina competitive for many years now. It's a program that's scored some big upsets in September against top notch competition. It's a program that often finds itself putting on a good show in a bowl game. A few years ago East Carolina upset Boise State out in Hawaii (that was the year after Boise State stunned Oklahoma). Last season, East Carolina took a very good Arkansas team right down to the wire.

This season, Skip is now the coach of South Florida, moving up from Conference USA to the Big East. He replaces Jim Leavitt, the volatile ball of energy who helped put South Florida on the map, but then took things a bit too far with his intensity in the locker room and on the practice field. Is Skip Holtz ready for the big time? Some thoughts:

  • Holtz did well at East Carolina, but he didn't DOMINATE Conference USA by any means. His teams were prone to exciting highs but occasional flat performances against teams they should beat.
  • Holtz has been a "hot commodity" so to speak for quite a few years now. Yet, it took until 2009 for somebody to give him a shot in a major conference. That tells me something. Maybe he doesn't interview well. Or, maybe programs doing due diligence weren't as impressed with Holtz as the mainstream media was. Sometimes you have to read between the lines when evaluating how well a coach will meet a new challenge. I will give Holtz the benefit of the doubt as he starts out. But, I won't forget that it took 1-2 years longer than expected for him to get his shot.
  • Holtz had a knack for finding skill position players who were "better than their conference" so to speak, and then putting the ball in their hands as much as possible. That's tougher to do in a BCS league because the talent pool is so much deeper.
  • Those are negatives so far. On the positive side, HE WON! He also had a knack for motivating his players to bring peak performance in their biggest games. This isn't a guy who made his reputation by obliterating patsies but getting squashed by quality. This is a coach who matched up well with quality when confronted with it as a general rule.

South Florida has an extreme schedule to start off. September features laughers against Stony Brook, Western Kentucky, and Florida Atlantic...but a September 11th meeting against powerful Florida. Late in the season, the Bulls draw the Miami Hurricanes from the ACC. Welcome to the Sunshine State Coach Holtz!

I'm cautiously optimistic about South Florida's fortunes this year. I'm particularly excited that we have SO MANY new faces in new places that will have oddsmakers guessing from the get-go. My ability to read teams from a coach's perspective will put me way ahead of the game in September and all through the season.

I hope you're enjoying this series of "New Faces/New Places" articles regarding college football coaches. More are on the way. I also hope you'll take advantage of my early bird rates and sign up for my football service by calling 1-877-540-8787. The season will be here before you know it. NFL Exhibition football is just a few weeks away!

Don't forget that my baseball continues to ring up big profits. I proved to you through MARCH MADNESS, the NBA PLAYOFFS, and the first half of MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL that I can win in ANY sport because I have more real game experience than the numbers crunchers who make the line. I know why teams win and lose!

And, that's why YOU should put A COACH IN YOUR CORNER!

 

"A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM"
From the "King of Las Vegas" WAYNE ROOT!

SHOCKING DROP-OFFS OFTEN HAPPEN RIGHT AFTER LENGTHY OUTINGS

As I was watching Tim Lincecum struggle against the Los Angeles Dodgers the other night (in a game where his Giants would rally from a 5-1 deficit to win), it occurred to me that I hadn't warned you yet about the importance of monitoring pitching counts and innings for big name starters.

One of the most powerful keys to finding SHOCK THE SYSTEM drop offs for big name pitchers is to go against them when they just threw a lot of pitches or went the distance in their prior outing. Lincecum was coming off a complete game shutout vs. the New York Mets. He wasn't anywhere near his normal self against the Dodgers.

You can win a lot of money backing opponents of big name pitchers who aren't likely to be their normal selves!

Now, fading Lincecum for the full game didn't happen to work that night because of the rally. But, if you played the Over, you got there very early in the game. If you went against the Giants on the 5-inning line, it was an easy victory. The key was that Lincecum was in position to pitch below par. If he's priced at par, smart handicappers have ways to take advantage.

Here are the guidelines I look for when fading a big name pitcher:

  • Go against him after a complete game.
  • Go against him after an outing with at least 120 pitches, for some guys I use 115 based on their past histories.
  • Go against him if he's had three straight starts totaling at least 330 pitches (cumulative fatigue).
  • Go against him if he's thrown at least 23 innings in his last there starts regardless of pitch counts.
  • Go against him if he's just faced a bunch of bad teams, and now he's facing a good team (you might be surprised at how many bad teams Lincecum has faced lately!).

Now, there's obviously more to picking a game than this single factor alone. Qualifiers here go on my initial "go against" list of nominees, then I study the opposing pitcher, the offenses, the ballparks, recent team trends, and make my final decisions. You regulars know I'm not a heavy action player. I try to find the strongest options on the board and focus on those for my clients.

Just remember that I'm THE KING OF UPSETS because I've always had a knack in ALL sports for knowing when a favored team or pitcher is likely to be off their game. I strongly encourage you to study pitch counts and complete games. The second half of 2010 is shaping up GREAT for this strategy because a lot of pitchers earned respect in the line by having strong first halves. Now, many of those guys are cooling off because of fatigue or other issues...and there's big money waiting to be won!

I've been having a great season in the bases, as we continue to build our bankrolls for the blockbuster football campaign that will be here shortly. You can join the fun by calling 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Be sure to ask about my early bird rates when you call. Don't forget that game day releases, including my elite NO-LIMIT plays, can be purchased here at the website with your credit card.

A lot of big name pitchers are going to have bad outings in the next few days, the next few weeks, and all through the second half of the season. Do you want to join the chorus of losing bettors saying "boy, what happened to him?" Or, do you want to make a fortune by going to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT?!

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