Turning Your Offseason Analysis Into Regular Season Winners
Earlier this summer we provided stat previews for every major and mid-major conference on the college football board. We hope you read and printed those out as they ran. If you didn’t get a chance to do so, please go through the archives and take care of that now! The information provided will be vital when it comes to picking pointspread winners when the regular season begins Thursday.
Let’s briefly discuss that on a category by category basis:
*OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE STAT RANKINGS
Probably the single biggest mistake casual sports bettors make is focusing too much on players that the media is celebrating…and not enough on how each team’s DEFENSE stops people. If you step back and look at things from the team ranking level…you see a much clearer picture about what matters most. You can see which offenses move the ball (regardless of whether they have hyped individual players or not), and which defenses can win games on their own. You need to respect defenses…and you need a healthy dis-respect for the weakest defenses. Don’t lay points with bad defenses!
(Remember what we’ve been saying for YEARS, defensive wins championships! Spread offenses can only get you on the doorstep…so far anyway. Physical SEC style defenses can go the distance…which is why Ohio State hired a former SEC coach in Urban Meyer to take them the distance)
Teams with a lot of returning experience are best poised to start out a new season well. It’s not a guarantee of success. There are some bad teams who are just returning a lot of bad players! That’s a real issue in the lesser leagues like the Mid American or the Sun Belt…or with the worst teams in major conferences. But, as a general rule…quality teams who return most of their important talent will be poised to contend for conference or national championships. Teams who were good last year but lost a lot of key talent are the best choices to fade out of the gate. You need to study the summer newsstand publications for the initial numbers…then update them manually based on injuries that have been suffered in Preseason practices (far too many of those this year unfortunately).
(If you have the time…grab one of those handy weekly schedules and write down returning starters for offense and defense next to each team. A few games will literally pick themselves just from that exercise!)
*HEAD COACHES (AND THE TRENDS THAT GO WITH THEM)
The great thing about college football is that there are many longtime head coaches who have very clear tendencies in a variety of areas. One of those areas involves how they start the season! Some coaches like to hit the ground running (often peaking too early). Others work their way into a season…sometimes underachieving as early season favorites vs. cupcakes before getting big results later as in-conference underdogs. You should be studying “season opener” and “first month” histories for all established head coaches. And, remember that coaches usually take their trends with them when they change jobs. Year One of Jim Harbaugh at Stanford may tell you a lot about what Year One at Michigan is going to look like! Same for Year Two of Charlie Strong at Louisville foreshadowing Year Two at Texas.
(Have you purchased a summer publication that includes pointspread trends? Head to the bookstore, there’s still time!)
Now, there’s a lot more to handicapping than just those factors. But, those featured categories from our summer previews will help you do-it-yourselfers a lot. The FULL TEAM of NETWORK’S scouts, scources, statheads, computer gurus, and Wise Guy sources will fill in the rest as they find the strongest plays on the card for you this season. You’ll be able to purchase top daily plays right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours.
We’ll showcase three big TV games for you here in the NOTEBOOK later this week…as we put the NFL Preseason behind us and transition regular season football in both sports. Here’s what’s on tap…
Wednesday-Thursday: College Football TV Preview…North Carolina at South Carolina
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview…#3 Alabama vs. #20 Wisconsin
Sunday-Monday: College Football TV Preview…#1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech
Coming Soon: Steelers at Patriots in the NFL opener a week from Thursday…then Oregon/Michigan State in the colleges!
That’s four of the top five teams in the Preseason rankings within the first two weeks (everyone but TCU, who doesn’t play a ranked opponent until mid-November). A great way to kick off the 2014 season.
You can hear the marching band playing in the background…you can smell all the barbecue grilling at the tailgate parties…college football is about to kick off and you need to join the fun with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley
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