Volume 26, Issue 1

Volume 26, Issue 1 ~ Thursday, September 2 thru Wednesday, September 8


So, what will be the 'catch words' heard 'round the land this Football Season?

Last year it was 'Who Dat' and 'Roll Tide' as the New Orleans Saints and the Alabama Crimson Tide, respectively, won Super Bowl 44 and the BCS National Championship but you all know what they say about repeating -- it ain't easy!

No doubt the Saints will get an instant test with the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday night -- and can it really get any better than this with Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings back inside the Louisiana Superdome less than nine months after the Saints nipped the Vikes 31-28 in a thrilling NFC Championship Game overtime affair? -- while College Football's Preseason #1 team Alabama eases into the current campaign with a game against multi-touchdown underdog San Jose State.

Hey, but there are some terrific story lines in this Opening Week of the 2010 NCAA Season and not the least of which is the new sheriff in town at Notre Dame (see Brian Kelly), the Heisman Trophy-hopeful quarterback playing a big game at BYU (that's Washington's Jake Locker) and don't forget the Opening Week's best matchup of 'em all -- a Labor Day evening clash at FedEx Field in Landover where nationally-ranked Boise State and Virginia Tech tangle in a 'must-win' game for both teams if they wish to win it all this year.

Take a longer look at this first week of the NCAA gridiron season and you'll also see other monster games such as Pittsburgh at Utah (on Thursday night), North Carolina vs. LSU (on Saturday night in Atlanta) and Purdue at Notre Dame.

Buckle up the chinstraps, ladies and gents, 'cause this is gonna be a great ride! And it's gonna be a great tide for anyone who climbs aboard with handicapper extraordinaire Jim Hurley. The winning starts right now for America's #1 'capper and this is all you need to know:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NFL and NCAA Football 2010 Winners when you call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or when you log online at www.jimhurley.com. Sign up now and get in for the entire NFL and College Football Regular Season -- and make sure you're in the winner's circle each and every week!

Note that the check-in times are after 1 p.m. ET for all the NFL and NCAA weeknight games and then anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hey, don't be sitting on the sidelines this Football Season: Win right from the start and pile up your gridiron profits from here through Super Bowl XLV.


Just do the math:

Following the 2009 NCAA Football Season some 23 schools changed head coaches -- for varying reasons, of course -- and that meant a whopping 19 percent of the 120 head coaching jobs at the FBS level will be manned by different folks to begin this new gridiron year.

So, is it too early to start thinking of who might be in trouble following the 2010 campaign?
In a word ... no!

In fact, it's safe to say that at least 8-to-10 gentlemen come to mind immediately as to who's sitting on the proverbial 'hot seat' this coming campaign.

Here's our NETWORK BULLETIN list in school alphabetical order ...

Dennis Erickson, Arizona State -- Back-to-back losing seasons in the desert haven't sat well with the Sun Devils faithful and now this one-time national champion coach (at Miami, of course) has a clear directive: Get A-State to a post-season bowl game or pack your bags! P.S., a three-game road swing through Oregon State, Washington and California won't help his cause.

Dan Hawkins, Colorado -- Whatever happened to the belief that the Buffaloes hired an 'offensive genius'? The Hawkins Era in Boulder has been a major bust as he's produced just 16 wins in his first four seasons and, yes, we've noticed how Colorado has scored 20 points or less in 26 of his 49 games. Folks, we could see a scenario where the only way Hawkins saves his job is with a win on Thanksgiving Weekend at Nebraska ... gulp!

Greg McMakin, Hawaii -- The natives are getting restless in the 50th state and lack of offensive punch is really haunting the Honolulu kids. Gee, that never was a problem in the June Jones Era! McMakin -- a former Erickson assistant in days gone by -- is a listless 13-15 in two-plus seasons on the island and there's talk brewing that a sluggish start could kayo McMakin during the 2010 season.

Ron Zook, Illinois -- The numbers just don't lie and they say that this Big 10 head coach has produced only one winning season in his first five years (see 9-4 back in 2007) and in case nobody had told you last season the Illini lost five consecutive conference games by double-digit margins. Egads!

Les Miles, LSU -- Say what? Hey, the folks in Baton Rouge know this oft-wacky coach snagged 'em a BCS Championship back in the 2007 season but 8-5 and 9-4 years since were not deemed acceptable considering all this star-studded talent. No question the heat gets turned up high on Miles in 2010 and -- without a doubt -- his clock management better improve or he will continue to hear those howling radio sports talk folks in his ear all year long. Our fearless prediction: Miles better get this LSU team (ranked #21 at season's start) into a BCS bowl or he could be a goner.

Ralph Friedgen, Maryland -- The rotund boss-man of the Terrapins really hit the skids with last year's somber 2-10 season and any sort of repeat performance will get 'The Fridge' jettisoned out of College Park faster than you can say Jenny Craig. This is Friedgen's 11th year at Maryland and it could well be that the whole program simply needs a new voice.

Rich Rodriguez, Michigan -- Is there any coach in recent football memory that has sabotaged a program more than 'Coach Rod'? The Wolverines' back-to-back slumbering seasons (that's 3-9 in 2008 and than 5-7 in '09) have maize-and-blue alums down in the dumps and what about the fact this Big 10 team is a dreadful 6-16-1 against the Las Vegas odds in his two seasons in Ann Arbor?

Todd Graham, Tulsa -- The Golden Hurricane went from back-to-back twin-figure win years (10-4 in 2007 and 11-3 in '08) to becoming completely irrelevant on the college pigskin scene last year, thanks to 5-7 campaign. If Tulsa goes consecutive years now without a revenue-raising bowl game, than Graham will surely take the fall.

Paul Wulff, Washington State -- Can someone out there tell us why this man still has this job? The Cougars are a collective 3-22 in the Wulff Era and even losing by 30 points at archrival Washington last year didn't even get him axed. Hey, anything less than a four-win season here will mean 'curtains' for the clueless Wulff.

NFL '10 --

Pick up an NFL magazine or read someone's forecasts/predictions on the internet and you're liable to have seen 'em pick one (or more) of the following:

'The Dallas Cowboys will be playing on their home field in Super Bowl XLV this February ...'
'The New York Jets are going to represent the AFC in this year's Super Bowl ... '
'The teams to really watch this year are the Baltimore Ravens ... and/or the Green Bay Packers ... and/or the Houston Texans ...'

Well, this just in:

Just like last year when the New Orleans Saints 'came out of nowhere', you can fully expect someone not named the Cowboys or the Jets or the Ravens or the Packers or the Texans (get the idea!) to make a real run for all the marbles this NFL '10 season.

Here's three teams that shouldn't be flying under your proverbial radar:

MIAMI -- Don't sleep on the Fish who crashed back to earth last year with a 7-9 season, thanks to the fact they couldn't win outside their division. Miami cranked out four wins in six tries inside the AFC East but they staggered against everyone else (see 3-7). Now, take notice that the 2010 Dolphins play non-divisional games against Oakland, Cleveland and Detroit -- that should help.

The game plan on offense is to operate the 'Wildcat' less and have QB Chad Henne throw it downfield more -- if he can hit some long gainers early on this season it could mean big things for Tony Sparano's club.

Current Odds to Win it All: 20-to-1

NEW YORK GIANTS -- If you listen to all the talk in/around Gotham City, than you might think that there is only one pro football team in town and they are the J-E-T-S but be careful burying the G-men before their time. Tom Coughlin's crew figures to have some explosiveness at the wide receiver spots this season and it says here that the pass rush that went AWOL a year ago will be back in a big way.

Note that the Giants play three of their first four games this year at home in the New Meadowlands Stadium and that could help give this NFC East team a major confidence boost -- and something tells us QB Eli Manning will get into the league's MVP conversation this season.

Current Odds to Win it All: 15-to-1

TENNESSEE -- Has it really been 11 years since the last (and first) time the Titans went to the Super Bowl?

Now, here's a born-again Tennessee team -- one that last year rebounded from an atrocious 0-6 start to finish at 8-8 -- ready/willing/able to make a big splash this year even though it's likely you haven't heard Word One about 'em this summer!

Head coach Jeff Fisher has a newfound confidence in QB Vince Young and -- don't look now -- but RB Chris Johnson is the best player in the whole NFL and his entire offensive line just might join him in the Pro Bowl in February. If the Titans start fast (as we believe they will) than keep a light on for 'em because they may be having plans to go real far in the year ahead.

Current Odds to Win it All: 25-to-1



Jim Hurley's NCAA BOWL PICKS & PREVIEWS are based on information obtained prior to press time -- to get all the firmed-up Game-Day selections/ratings, just check with us anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and whenever there are weekday afternoon games and also after 1 p.m. ET for the weeknight games either online here at www.jimhurley.com or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.



  3. TEXAS
  5. TCU
  8. IOWA
  10. MIAMI

SOUTHERN MISS at SOUTH CAROLINA: It's lights/cameras/action as the College Football 2010 season gets kicked off on ESPN and what better way to start a year than watching Carolina HC Spurrier get squeamish when his offense sputters -- betcha didn't know that the Gamecocks scored 16 points or less in eight games last year and are only 7-8 ATS (against the spread) as betting favorites the past three seasons.

PITTSBURGH at UTAH: Here's a case where the ranked team (that's Pitt) is taking points against the unranked team but tough to say anything bad about the Utes who've won 23 games the past two seasons and could just be that non-BCS power that makes a run for all the marbles should the Mountain West Conference guys win here and than at Notre Dame in mid-November. The key here is simple: Utah's defense must keep RB Lewis' big runs to a bare minimum and must hold Pitt to '3's' in any of their red-zone visits. Got it?

USC at HAWAII: It's safe to say that new SC boss Kiffin is the 'most hated coach in America' and so maybe it's only appropriate that his first game with the Men of Troy will take place in one of the world's great honeymoon destinations -- but don't look for host Hawaii to show him much love here! The Warriors had major problems scoring last year -- consider that the WAC team finished 14th in the country in total offense (437 yards a game) but a dismal 89th nationally in scoring (22.8 ppg) and no question any/all trips inside the Southern Cal red zone here better result in touchdowns. Gut feeling is this one's closer than 'they' think and so gobble up the available points and tune in for this ESPN late-night affair. Call it USC 34, Hawaii 22.


The Jim Hurley Network is primed to start the regular season with a big two-team parlay on the night's biggest games. Southern Miss, hopeful of winning a championship in Conference USA last year is set to take on South Carolina, who won on this stage last year when they beat N.C. State 7-3. By the way, the Hurley Network also won on this stage last year, when we cashed in Utah State (+20.5) over Utah 17-35 and North Texas (+16.5) over Ball State 20-19. This year we're combining a pick on South Carolina-Southern Miss with another rock-solid move on Pitt-Utah. Add it all up and it comes out to a 13-5 parlay payoff at night's end to kick off the 2010 season!




ARIZONA at TOLEDO: Might this be a tougher-than-they-think game for the U of A Wildcats? The Pac-10 team is a hefty two-TD betting favorite but there are brand-new coordinators on both sides of the ball for HC Stoops and no telling if QB Foles (2,486 yards passing and 19 TDs) will be razor-sharp to start this season. Note that Toledo's defense last year ranked 116th out of 119 teams (allowed 37.2 ppg) and so odds are the Rockets will blitz more here and hope to rattle Foles into making a slew of bad passes/decisions. The 'Cats have high hopes in 2010 as they gun for a third consecutive post-season bowl bid but this one might not be a walk in the park!


ILLINOIS vs. MISSOURI (at St. Louis): This now-annual season-opening next-door neighbor rivalry game has favored the offenses in recent years (74, 94 and 46 total points scored in the past three matchups here) and won't expect anything else than shootout in St. Looie with Mizzou QB Gabbert (3,593 yards passing with 24 TDs in 2009) more than capable of pouring on the points. Note that Illini last year allowed opponents to complete 61 percent of their passes and inexperienced front seven here just won't get enough pressure on Gabbert and Co. in this clash. Missouri 38, Illinois 22.

COLORADO vs. COLORADO STATE (at Denver): No love loss here in Rocky Mountain Battle and now heavy-duty fav Colorado Buffaloes have major revenge in mind here following last year's 23-17 loss to the C-State Rams. The heat has been cranked up pretty high on Buffs boss-man Hawkins -- he's just 16-33 SU (straightup) in four years in Boulder -- and so this becomes must-win tilt especially with games at California and home to Georgia in the near future. Expect Colorado's shutdown CBs Smith and Brown to hold the keys here and so only hope for underdog Rams is to make things happen on special teams and force a batch of turnovers ... don't hold your breath!

NORTHWESTERN at VANDERBILT: We put this tilt in the 'must-win' category for the visiting N'western Wildcats who are shooting for a third consecutive bowl berth this year and must get QB Persa in gear from the get-go here. Remember that Vandy HC Caldwell only took over the reigns this past July after HC Johnson bagged it and so highly doubt the Commodores are a perfectly functioning unit right now.



PURDUE at NOTRE DAME: No doubt that the Fighting Irish hit the jackpot when it named HC Kelly to run the show after Weis Era fizzled badly but that doesn't mean South Bend crew will cruise here and so our NETWORK BULLETIN play is to gobble up all those points with a frisky Boilermakers team -- and don't ask any questions! Purdue WR Smith (91 catches for 1,100 yards last year) can burn the best of secondaries and PK Wiggs quite capable of booming a couple of 45-plus yarders here. Maybe the Irish will get 9 or 10 wins this 2010 season but this one is old-fashioned barnburner. Trust us! Notre Dame 30, Purdue 28.

CONNECTICUT at MICHIGAN: Maize-and-Blue Nation is in a tizzy these days as third-year HC Rodriguez has run this once-proud program right into the ground (see 8-16 SU mark in his first two seasons on the job) and so sense of urgency hits these Wolverines right at season's start -- and this is no easy-chair game for sure. The visiting UConn Huskies won eight games a year ago but consider they lost their five games by a grand total of 15 points and now HC Edsall brings back veteran-flavored club (8 starters back on offense; 8 starters back on defense) and QB Frazer has plenty of support with RB Todman (1,188 yards and 14 TDs last year in part-time role) ready/willing/able to make a splash here. Connecticut 27, Michigan 21.

KENTUCKY at LOUISVILLE: The Bluegrass State Battle usually has been a good time to grab the points (see our NCAA Betting Trends) but here the visiting UK 'Cats are smallish 3-point favorites and we have two new head coaches running the show ... hmm. The 'Ville is keeping fingers crossed that former Florida defensive coordinator Strong can bring this program back to the glory days while Kentucky said bye-bye to HC Brooks and hello to his long-time assistant Phillips. Hunch tells us this thing will be won late (or even in OT!) and so don't say you haven't been warned! Louisville 27, Kentucky 24.



UCLA at KANSAS STATE: Must admit that we really loved this Pac-10 versus Big 12 matchup when the Las Vegas numbers-crunchers had the visiting Bruins installed as a 2 ½-point favorite but pointspread's swung in the other direction -- K-State was a 2-point fav at press time -- and so we'll temper this pro-Wildcats play but still have mucho confidence while backing HC Snyder's guys. Game plan is to pound up behind veteran offensive line and so RB Thomas (1,265 yards rushing and 11 TDs last year) will be main benefactor and could go for 175 yards-or-so here. The Uclans ranked 94th nationally (out of 119 FBS teams) in scoring offense at 22 points per game and that ain't enough here. Kansas State 33, UCLA 22.

WASHINGTON at BYU: Great West-of-the-Mississippi battle here (even though neither team finds itself in the AP Top 25 at season's start) and all eyes will be on Huskies' senior slinger Locker (2,800 yards passing with 21 TDs and 11 INTs a year ago) who is looking to lead this Pac-10 team to its first bowl game since 2002 -- really! Locker has been known to play the game with a reckless abandon at times and so don't be surprised if BYU defenders drop into coverage more and tempt Locker to run it. If the host Cougars are gonna secure a 'W' here than a veteran defense (three starters are back) must silence Locker in his red-zone visits and BYU must be able to run the ball behind its star-studded O-line.

OREGON STATE vs. TCU (at Arlington): This year the TCU Horned Frogs start off the season ranked #6 in the AP poll and so that means there is a king-sized target on their backs -- and that could play into their mindset at times this season. Right here Oregon State has plenty of offensive talent including the Rodgers Brothers -- that's RB Jacquizz and WR James -- and a couple of big plays from both could keep the Beavers within shouting range all game long. TCU 27, Oregon State 20.

NORTH CAROLINA vs. LSU (at Atlanta): The Chick-Fil-A season opener is one of the best games on the board this holiday weekend and truth of the matter is not a heckuva lot separates these two programs (note that Carolina is ranked #18 and LSU #21 to start off the season). The Tar Heels do have loads of quality starters back -- 9 offensive starters and 9 defensive starters return including DE Quinn (11 sacks last year) while Bayou Bengals have their own defensive stud in LB
Sheppard (team-leading 110 tackles in '09) and gut feeling is this one's an 'under' inside the sweaty Georgia Dome. It's North Carolina 17, LSU 16.


CINCINNATI at FRESNO STATE: The departure of brilliant boss-man Kelly to Notre Dame left the Cincy Bearcats angry and agitated last December -- but now here's something on the field that will tick 'em off! Look for host Fresno State to come out of the chute smoking as veteran HC Hill gets his team's ground game in gear even without former star RB Mathews (San Diego Chargers) on his side. The Bulldogs bring back their whole offensive line and smaller Cincinnati front four will get worn down here by game's end. P.S., don't expect any miracles here from Cincy QB Collaros (10 TD passes last year in part-time duty) who shined last year but may need to learn new schemes here. Fresno State 32, Cincinnati 25.


TULSA at EAST CAROLINA: Count us among the folks who were sorry to see HC Holtz leave the ECU Pirates -- his teams registered a startling 23-8-1 spread mark as underdogs in his five years on the job -- and now not so sure that new boss McNeill will have the same 'Midas touch'. The Buccos are TD-plus pups for this home clash on Labor Day Weekend and no wonder as they lost their entire front seven from last year's Conference USA champion defense and there's major question marks to answer at quarterback. On the flip side, Tulsa looking to bounce back from rare losing season (see 5-7 SU) and return specialist Johnson (nation's-best 224 all-purpose yards per game last year) figures to make his way onto the highlight reel here in this espn2 matinee tilt.


MARYLAND vs. NAVY (at Baltimore): Now here's a showdown that should be an annual affair -- the crab cake clubs have met just once in recent years (see 23-20 non-cover Maryland win back in 2005) and that's too bad -- and fully expect under-siege Terrapins HC Friedgen to get what he's after here as improved O-line gives QB Robinson enough time to chuck it and cat-quick junior signal-caller will make his fair share of big plays with his feet too. Navy is near-TD favorite right now but all this summer prep time means Terps will be ready for the Midshipmen's triple-option attack. Beware of the Turtle, indeed! It's Maryland 27, Navy 18.


BOISE STATE vs. VIRGINIA TECH (at Landover): Monster matchup on so-called 'neutral field' where Hokie Nation should comprise 85-to-90 percent of this crowd -- but when has going on the road to play big games ever bothered this Boise State program? The Broncos have won at Oregon, Southern Miss and Fresno State (twice) in the past three years alone and now HC Petersen's guys venture to the East Coast for this gotta-have-it game that could well define Boise State's whole season. The WAC crew opens the season ranked #3 by the Associated Press and QB Moore (3,536 yards passing with 39 TDs and 3 INTs a year ago) is legit Heisman Trophy contender but he must steer clear of the costly sack in this game against a defense that ranked ninth nationally in scoring last season (15.6 ppg) but lost eight starters from that vaunted stop unit. The winner here makes instant leap in its attempt to get a national title shot in January and gut feeling is Techsters need to own the ball for 40 minutes (or close to it) ... or else HC Beamer's club will be the latest team to get bamboozled by Boise State.


AUBURN at MISSISSIPPI STATE: Here's an ESPN prime-time clash of SEC West Division rivals and wondering what type of game we'll get here: After all, Auburn copped 3-2 'pitchers duel' win in Starkville two years ago and than last season the Tigers rolled to high-scoring 49-24 triumph over M-State. If Auburn's gonna win this battle royal on the road here, than RB Fannin likely must be front-and-center guy for HC Chizik's crew while State looking to jump-start an offense that finished a lowly 72nd nationally in scoring a year ago (see 25.6 ppg). Find out what gives in this game -- and don't forget to bring along your cowbells! -- when you check out our Side/Totals plays here at 1-800-323-4453 or online at www.jimhurley.com. Got it?

(Note all figures below are against the spread)

Arizona is 4-9 away
Auburn is 6-2 vs. Miss State
Boise State is 7-2 vs. non-conference foes
BYU is 3-8-1 at home
Cincinnati is 3-0 in non-league tilts
Colorado State is 6-3 vs. Colorado
East Carolina is 23-8-1 as underdogs
Illinois is 0-6 vs. Missouri
Kansas State is 5-16 vs. non-Big 12 teams
Kentucky vs. Louisville dogs are 7-3
Maryland is 0-8 in on-the-board openers
Michigan is 2-10-1 as favorites
Miss State is 4-0 vs. Memphis
North Carolina is 9-14-1 away
Notre Dame is 9-20 as hosts
Ohio State is 13-3-1 overall since late 2008
Oklahoma State was 0-3 as double-digit fav in '09
Pittsburgh is 12-6 away the last 3 years
Rice is 1-4-1 vs. Texas
SMU was 5-2 away last year
Southern Miss is 6-3 when grabbing points
TCU is 38-21-2 overall the past 5 years
USC is 6-12 as the chalk side
Vanderbilt was 0-5 at home in '09
Virginia Tech is 5-12-1 vs. non-league opponents


So, who's gonna win College Football's most prestigious individual award this season?
It appears to be a wide-open race ahead but here's the up-to-date odds (all based on $100 per-play wagers):


Mark Ingram RB Alabama + 150
Terrelle Pryor QB Ohio State + 250
Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas + 600
John Clay RB Wisconsin + 800
Noel Devine RB West Virginia + 800
Jacory Harris QB Miami + 800
Case Keenum QB Houston + 800
Dion Lewis RB Pittsburgh + 800
Jake Locker QB Washington + 800
Evan Royster RB Penn State + 800
DeMarco Murray RB Oklahoma + 1100
Andrew Luck QB Stanford + 1100
Christian Ponder QB Florida State + 1100
Kellen Moore QB Boise State + 1200


Jim Hurley's NFL PICKS & PREVIEWS are based on information obtained prior to press time. To get all the NFL Week 16 Side & Totals Winners, just log online here at www.jimhurley.com or call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Sunday and after 1 p.m. ET on game days for Monday Night Football.


MINNESOTA at NEW ORLEANS: Now that the Saints are coming off their first-ever Super Bowl title, will that hunger still be there for this 2010 season? No doubt creative New Orleans HC Payton will open up his bag of tricks here for QB Brees (4,388 yards passing with 34 TDs and 11 INTs in '09) and so expect the home folks to chuck it 40-plus times here while looking to expose the Vikes' somewhat shaky secondary. On the flip side, Minny QB Favre (4,202 yards passing with 33 TDs and 7 INTs last year) claims he's fit to go after off-season ankle surgery but no WR Rice here (see hip surgery in late August/out for at least eight weeks) and constant headache issues involving WR Harvin (check status) could limit his play here. If point-grabbing Vikings wish to pull the mild upset in the dome, than RB Peterson (1,383 yards rushing and 18 TDs in '09) must slice/dice a Saints defense that ranked a mediocre 21st in the NFL in rush defense -- and he must hold onto the football! Check with us for the Side & Totals Winners of this NFL Kickoff clash on game-day afternoon anytime after 1 p.m. ET and we'll put you in the winner's circle. Go ahead and clap your hands -- the NFL's back!

(Note all figures below are against the spread)

Minnesota is 6-2 in its last eight openers
New Orleans is 18-10 as favorites since late 2007




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