Volume 27, Issue 10

Volume 27, Issue 10~ Tuesday November 9 thru Monday November 15


You got it -- we've reached the nitty-gritty time of this 2010 College Football Season with every one of the 120 FBS teams down to their final two, three or four remaining games and here we'll examine who have been the 'Down-The-Stretch Spread Stars' the past few seasons.

The roll call, please!

ARIZONA -- The Wildcats have three games left on their 2010 schedule and this Pac-10 crew is a nifty 8-4 ATS (against the spread) in the final three games of the year dating back to 2006. Hey, 'Zona has notched six spread wins in seven tries as underdogs in down-the-stretch games the past four years and Mike Stoops' crew will get its opportunity to bang out another dog winner when they invade Oregon on Nov. 26th.

CENTRAL FLORIDA -- Talk about your consistent down-the-stretch items!
The UCF Knights still have three games remaining on this 2010 regular season beginning with Saturday's Conference USA clash against Southern Miss but did you know UCF has -- at worst -- covered two of its three final games in each of the past four years for a record of 9-3 against the odds in late-season tilts? Check out the fact Central Florida still has two remaining road games and that qualifies as good news considering George O'Leary's squad is a potent 5-1 ATS away in these recent down-the-stretch affairs.

FLORIDA -- It's sure 'great to be a Gator' late in college football seasons as evidenced by the fact this SEC team is a collective 7-1 against the odds in its final three regular-season games the past three years and not including SEC Championship Game tilts. Urban Meyer's crew is a sizzling 6-1 ATS as twin-figure betting favorites in these late-season games and you'll get an opportunity to lay a heavy-duty price in next weekend's non-conference home game against Appalachian State. Circle your calendar!

IOWA STATE -- Here's the lowdown when it comes to late-year games with the Cyclones:
The Big 12 team has covered two-of-three games in each of the past three years when finishing up regular-season play but dig a little deeper here and you'll see that the 'Clones have covered three-of-four down-the-stretch games when placed in the road underdog role.

NEVADA -- There are four games still left on the Wolf Pack's current sked and so that's plenty of opportunity to make some pocket change. The Western Athletic Conference club is an electric 14-5-1 ATS in the final four regular-season games dating back to the 2005 season (folks, that's a powerful .737 winning rate against Mr. Vig) and the Pack owns a 7-4 ATS away mark in these down-the-stretch tilts and a 7-1-1 ATS home mark in late-year affairs. Okay, so Nevada's hosting Boise State the day after Thanksgiving and so make sure you aren't sleeping off your leftovers when you should be 'getting busy'.

NORTHWESTERN -- The Big 10 Wildcats have three games left on the regular-season calendar beginning with Saturday's date against Iowa and folks who've backed the purple gang are a collective 8-4 ATS in the last three games since 2006. Note that N'western is 8-3 ATS as down-the-stretch underdog plays and the 'Cats have covered four of their five away games when we get to this point on the schedule.

OHIO STATE -- Let's cut right to the chase here: The Buckeyes have three games left beginning with Saturday's tilt against Penn State and if you go back the past three seasons you'll see that Jim Tressel's team is a composite 6-2-1 ATS in late-year games plus the 'Eyes don't get unhinged when laying heavy-duty price tags are a solid 4-2-1 ATS when laying more than a TD late in the year. Hey, did you realize that Ohio State also is 4-1-1 spreadwise in its last six head-to-head meetings with rival Michigan? Now you know!

OLE MISS -- There are three remaining game on the Rebels' 2010 schedule (at Tennessee this weekend and then at LSU and home to archrival Miss State) but this is usually when the Oxford gang really comes to life. Note that Ole Miss owns a 7-2-1 ATS mark in the final three weeks of play going back four years (there's a pair of no-line games against Northwestern State tossed into the mix, you'll note). The Rebs have covered three of their four late-year road games plus the SEC crew is a perfect 4-0 ATS as dogs and so combine the best of both these worlds and you might go 'cha-ching' when Mississippi plays at big favorite LSU on Nov. 20th.

OREGON STATE -- Now these are busy Beavers when they get down to their final four regular-season games! The Corvallis kids are a collective 12-4 ATS in the final four games the past four years and now some of the 'usual suspects' are popping up on the O-State schedule including archrival Oregon but it's worth noting these clubs have split the last four head-to-head verdicts while the Beavers are 10-2 ATS against everyone else late in the year since '06. Hmmm.

SOUTHERN MISS -- The Golden Eagles have three more games this year before they await word of their bowl destination and did you know that the Hattiesburg guys are a combined 7-2 ATS in their down-the-stretch games the past three seasons? Heck, Southern Miss has covered all five of its late-year road games including the slip-under-the-price-tag 25-20 loss-but-cover at 6-point fav East Carolina last year.

So, there you have it -- in all here's 10 college football teams who've thrived in their down-the-stretch games. Now we'll soon find out is recent spread history repeats itself ... or not!


Let's get this straight:

There is no way in the modern-day world of College Football we will ever see the likes of someone like Penn State's 83-year-old head coach Joe Paterno.

His 400th career win -- all with the Nittany Lions, of course -- put him in a really unique stratosphere last weekend and it got us to wondering what young (or relatively young) coaches out there might wind up bagging Paterno-like win totals when all's said and done.

Maybe it's a lost cause to go down this path, but let's give it a try:

CHRIS PETERSEN, Boise State -- Don't look now but the Broncos' 46-year-old boss-man exited last weekend's rollicking 42-7 victory against Hawaii with 57 wins (and only 4 losses) in his brief career and he could be building a west-of-the-Mississippi version of Penn State right before our very own eyes. If Petersen averages 10 or 11 wins a year for the next decade -- whether it be at Boise State or somewhere else -- than he'll be climbing that wins chart faster than you can say smurf turf!

BRIAN KELLY, Notre Dame -- Okay, so this year's 4-4 start hardly looks like some great beginning in South Bend but keep in mind that Kelly entered this 2010 season with 171 career wins at places such as Central Michigan and Cincinnati and there is no reason to think he can't crank out 9, 10 or 11 wins a year once he gets the motor revved up at this Catholic school. Kelly is just 49 years of age and most in-the-know folks will tell you his fires won't be burning out anytime soon despite some of the both on- and off-the-field heartaches this season.

CHIP KELLY, Oregon -- Our 'second Kelly' is the 46-year-old head coach at Oregon and he's already produced 18 wins in a year-and-change and 35 years of that will get you awfully close to Mr. Paterno, wouldn't it?

Remember: Jim Hurley gets you all the Football & Basketball Winners every day of the week. Get with us here online and check out his All-Day Club Pass that last week roared with an 8-2 Saturday!

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Jim Hurley's NCAA 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 Fridays or 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


BOISE STATE at IDAHO: The beat goes on for the B-State Broncos who rolled over Hawaii 42-7 last weekend behind QB Moore's crazy stat-sheet stuffing game (see 30-of-37 passing for 307 yards with 3 TDs including an 83-yarder to WR Young) and now HC Petersen's crew is laying heavy road lumber here and note Boise State's won the past three showdowns against its in-state foes by 38, 35 and 44 points ... just saying! Check in with us here online for this espn2 duel and get all the evening hoops action too.

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MARYLAND at VIRGINIA: Both of these ACC clubs were nipped at the wire last weekend as the Terps surrendered killer 35-yard scoring strike with 37 seconds left in 26-20 loss-but-cover at Miami but something tells us Maryland QB O'Brien (9-of-28 for 134 yards passing and one INT) will be more accurate here and so it's the road folks or nothing at all. Virginia's now allowed 33-or-more points in four of its last six games with last Saturday's 55-48 defeat at Duke a major setback for rookie HC London's guys. Maryland 33, Virginia 28.

CINCINNATI at WEST VIRGINIA: Both Big East teams fresh off a bye week and both of 'em needed some down time for different reasons. Cincinnati QB Collaros needed more time to heal his achy body while WVU Mountaineers needed down time to digest rough OT loss at UConn a couple of weeks back -- might have been some of the worst coaching we've ever witnessed and now HC Stewart's club won't cash here either. West Virginia 27, Cincinnati 26.

MIAMI at GEORGIA TECH: Hats off to U of M signal-caller Morris for stepping into the void left by injured QB Harris as last week the true freshman threw for 286 yards in his first start and zinged in 35-yard game-winning TD to WR Hankerson in game's final 40 seconds to topple Maryland. Now, we'll sit tight here and see if Morris gets another turn or will Harris (concussion) be back in the saddle?

IOWA at NORTHWESTERN: Now that the N'western Wildcats served as JoePa's foil in coach's 400th career win the Evanston gang can get back to business but it won't be so easy after blowing 21-zip lead en route to 35-21 loss to the Nittanies. One key to that loss was fact that HC Fitzgerald's defense was out of position for much of the second half but here would look for renewed vim/vigor when dealing with Iowa gang that had to settle for a batch of FGs in 18-13 non-cover win at Indiana. Count on Northwestern QB Persa-to-WR Ebert (six catches for 111 yards at Penn State) to make some noise here. Iowa 30, Northwestern 26.


It happens every Saturday--a game that the linesmakers and the betting markets completely misread and leave huge value up on the line for those savvy enough to play the dog. It happened last week when Arkansas (+4.5) met South Carolina.

The Gamecocks were seen as the better side, having beaten Alabama, a team Arkansas lost to. And they were at home in this one. But the market didn't adjust for the fact that this game meant nothing to South Carolina--win or lose, it was the next game against Florida that was for the SEC East title. In the meantime, Arkansas had to win to keep its major bowl hopes alive. The 41-20 win by the Hogs was a stunner in the eyes of many, but predictable to those of us who'd been tracking the game from every angle. We got the money in that one and we're set to do it again this Saturday! There's another Stunner waiting out there to bite the linesmakers and you can get in on it for just $25!  CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP ONLINE!

INDIANA at WISCONSIN: Don't look now but the Wisky Badgers have won/covered their last three in a row and these days it doesn't seem to matter much who's running the ball for HC Bielema's bunch. In last weekend's 34-13 win against 20-point pup Purdue, third-stringer RB Ball (21 carries for 127 yards) did the dirty work and now expect the Badgers to own the clock here for 38 or 39 minutes in three-TD home win. Jump around! Wisconsin 38, Indiana 17.

2. TCU
6. LSU

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CLEMSON at FLORIDA STATE: Hey, remember when this was always called the 'Bowden Bowl'? Well, this is the first time in a gazillion years that at least one of the Bowden gentlemen isn't on the sidelines but at least the 'Noles have that old-time fire in their eyes following last week's bitter 37-35 home loss to North Carolina. Note that State PK Hopkins missed a pair of field goals in that clash -- yes, including a 'wide right' special with seven seconds left from 40 yards out -- but here QB Ponder (264 yards passing and 3 TDs versus the Tar Heels) hits plenty of high notes in a comfy double-digit win. It's Florida State 38, Clemson 21.

TEXAS TECH at OKLAHOMA: Don't know about you but we're starting to think the folks in Norman are running out of patience with HC Stoops. Last week's 33-19 loss at Texas A&M included a fake FG where an easy pass in the end zone was dropped plus don't forget fact Oklahoma failed on four different fourth-down plays. Maybe the road pups here used up all their energy in rousing 24-17 come-from-behind win against 5 1/2-point fav Missouri last week (see QB Potts and his two TD passes) but surely we won't just lay it here.

TEXAS A&M at BAYLOR: No doubt that the A&M Aggies have put their best foot forward ever since HC Sherman turned the staring quarterback reigns over to energetic/efficient Tannehill (225 yards passing and two TD strikes in last week's 14-point win against Oklahoma) but now road team steps into a burning furnace here as Baylor comes off 55-28 loss at Okie State and with ill intentions. Note that the Bears were crushed 38-3 last year by Texas A&M and so this one qualifies as major revenge spot but we're not going overboard ... sorry! Baylor 33, Texas A&M 31.

SOUTH CAROLINA at FLORIDA: Are we getting ready to witness another second-half-of-the-season meltdown by the SC Gamecocks? Recent years under HC Spurrier have shown this Columbia club fades badly once November strikes and last weekend's ugly 41-20 home loss to Arkansas surely raised red flags as Carolina allowed 303 passing yards and now Gators QB Brantley foaming at the mouth for his shot to 'go vertical'. It's a showdown for who wins the SEC East and it's all yours when you check in with us game-day morning after 10 a.m. ET here online.


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MISS STATE at ALABAMA: Count us among the folks who are happy a one-loss 'Bama bunch now isn't gonna high-hurdle the likes of TCU and/or Boise State when it comes to this year's BCS Championship Game. No doubt HC Saban's club has never shown hunger of the '09 crew and last weekend's 24-21 loss at LSU showed this Tide team had no finishing punch. The fact that Alabama allowed 225 yards rushing in that clash (or 5 yards-per-carry by the Tigers) should raise antenna here. Grab those points! Alabama 27, Miss State 21.

UTAH at NOTRE DAME: This whole 2010 season has been a nightmare for the ND Fighting Irish (no need to run down all the heartbreaks here!) and now it's a misery-loves-company deal here as Utes stagger into South Bend like a punch-drunk fighter after getting walloped 47-7 last week in ultra-hyped loss to TCU. Let's go find something tastier on this mid-November menu, why don't we?


GEORGIA at AUBURN: The South's oldest rivalry won't be lacking for drama here as home folks sport perfect record and almost-perfect QB Newton (see 317 yards passing with 4 TDs in last week's ho-hum win against UT-Chattanooga) while this is veritable 'last stand' for Dawgs boss-man Richt who almost surely will get the axe at year's end but here with 5-5 SU club has a shot to really upset the applecart on a national level. Like the fact Georgia rebounded from rotten 1-4 SU start and now QB Murray (3 scoring strikes in last week's 55-7 win against Idaho State) makes this a truly sticky spot for the home chalk-eaters here. Folks, we don't expect the outright upset at this price but it'll be real, real close. Call it Auburn 32, Georgia 31.

OREGON at CALIFORNIA: The #1 Oregon Ducks are a modern-day video game when it comes to this frolicking offense but let's not be too quick to dance on Cal's grave here ... consider that the Golden Bears have won/covered all four of their home games this year and the Strawberry Canyon folks will put a little fright into HC Kelly's club even if RB James (121 yards rushing and 3 TDs last week in 53-16 win against Washington) is munching up the real estate in chunks. Cal playing without QB Riley (knee) but RB Vereen (112 yards rushing and two TDs in 20-13 non-cover win at Washington State last weekend) does enough to get home boys the all-important spread 'W' here. It's Oregon 42, California 30.


STANFORD at ARIZONA STATE: Gotta feel for the A-State Sun Devils following last week's 34-33 loss-but-cover at USC as PK Weber badly missed potential game-winning 41-yard FG with 1:34 remaining and now won't be shocked if HC Erickson's crew comes out super-flat here. Hey, that was a big-time winner for Jim Hurley on his All-Day Club Pass that finished last Saturday with a snazzy 8-2 mark! On flip side, Stanford -- a NETWORK BULLETIN 'Best Bet' winner last week thanks to that 42-17 win/cover versus Arizona -- remembers well its last visit into Tempe as Cardinal was crushed 41-17 two years ago. QB Luck (293 yards passing and two TDs last week) may be on the outside-looking-in at this year's Heisman Trophy chase but he's got the goods here! Stanford 39, Arizona State 22.

OKLAHOMA STATE at TEXAS: Nice of the 'Horns to keep QB Gilbert in there all the way in five-INT showing against Kansas State ... what was HC Brown watching? Now, disgusted fans of the burnt orange will have more to scream about here as potent Okie State Cowboys roll into Austin with RB Hunter and WR Blackmon chomping at the proverbial bit to add to their All-America numbers. Oklahoma State 36, Texas 27.

KANSAS STATE at MISSOURI: Let's go on record to state that the Mizzou Tigers never seem to have the constitution to have one of those super seasons -- now following the back-to-back road losses at Nebraska and Texas Tech we could see HC Pinkel's club beginning to lose interest on the 2010 season while K-State kids and run-run-run QB Klein never a pushover. It's Missouri 34, Kansas State 28.

PENN STATE at OHIO STATE: Another NETWORK BULLETIN salute here to HC Paterno but he won't be basking in any glory following this one in Columbus as Buckeyes -- following last weekend's bye -- bust out with three-TD win engineered by QB Pryor who will kick 'em when the Nittanies are down (something Northwestern failed to do after charging out to a big lead). It's Ohio State 39, Penn State 18.


USC at ARIZONA: As long as we're (more or less) calling out the Mizzou Tigers as 'frauds' let's do likewise with 'Zona Wildcats crew that never seems to shine when the bright lights get turned on. Now, USC comes into town with QB Barkley-to-WR Johnson getting the last laugh here. Note that HC Stooops' team is just 1-3-1 versus the vig in its last five games when favored. USC 34, Arizona 27.


Jim Hurley's NFL PICKS & PREVIEWS are based on information obtained prior to press time. To get all the NFL Week 5 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.
The NFL Week 10 Byes: Green Bay, New Orleans, Oakland and San Diego


CINCINNATI at INDIANAPOLIS: Let's be honest here ... It's tough to make a real financial commitment to these Indy Colts with all these assorted injuries even though reality says this AFC South crew is 3-0-1 ATS (against the spread) in its last four games. Don't necessarily expect any of the big guns to be back here -- plus WR Collie was carted off last week too -- but you won't be catching us telling our guy to 'gimme the Bengals' any time soon with Cincy kids just 2-5 ATS prior to last Monday's game against Pittsburgh. It's Indianapolis 27, Cincinnati 20.

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HOUSTON at JACKSONVILLE: Fully realize that the 4-and-4 Texans have been bellyaching about the ball not bouncing their way lately and really all you had to see last week was some of QB Schaub's passes get batted in the air and towards San Diego defenders -- maybe the karma is all wrong for the big-name football teams in the Lone Star State this season (see Dallas Cowboys and college's Texas Longhorns) and so well-rested Jags get our call here with QB Garrard (four TDs in 35-17 win at Dallas in team's pre-bye game) flexing his muscles again. Pssst, strongly consider the 'over' in this AFC South showdown. Jacksonville 33, Houston 27.


TENNESSEE at MIAMI: In case you were wondering, last year's Titans exited their bye week with resounding 30-13 win/cover against 3-point underdog Jacksonville Jags and now HC Fisher's guys in fresh-as-daisy mode here while Fish remain mired in offensive funk with just three offensive TDs in the past three weeks. No reason to believe PK Carpenter will get in any funk here but even another four- or five-FG game for Miami won't be enough to KO a Tennessee team that lets RB Johnson run wild and you might even see a couple of touchdown grabs by new guy WR Moss. It's Tennessee 27, Miami 22.


MINNESOTA at CHICAGO: Is it us or does it seem that each/every week is a mini-drama for the Minny Vikings? Last week was chock full of wild stuff heading into that wild 27-24 OT win against Arizona (see WR Moss waived, angry owner, baffled boss-man Childress) and sooner or later NFL teams can't handle that sort of junk and so look for the Vikes to hit the wall here. On flip side, the Bears really needed to gobble up last week's 22-19 win North of the Border against Buffalo as QB Cutler aired two scoring strikes and gave bettors a 'push' with that fancy two-point shovel pass to RB Forte. Now, count on HC Smith's guys to be buoyed by Soldier Field crowd and don't expect any of that late-game magic from Mr. Favre who's fresh off career-best 446-yard passing game. It's Chicago 28, Minnesota 17.

NY JETS at CLEVELAND: Don't get us started on these J-E-T-S who last week were ultra-sloppy and yet still survived in 23-20 OT non-cover win in Detroit (note two burned time outs on defense in the third quarter, key lost fumble by WR Edwards, etc) and now HC Ryan's gang catches major break as they get the Brownies off their emotional and one-sided 34-14 win against New England. Now, QB Sanchez (336 yards passing last week in Motown and extra-special when running the two-minute offense) gets a crack at a Cleveland defense that really allowed only one 'meaningful' TD last weekend against QB Brady and Company. Note that Browns' RB Hillis (184 yards rushing and two TDs) won't be able to barrel his way over/around the NYJ defense here. NY Jets 22, Cleveland 13.

KANSAS CITY at DENVER: Talk about your cold spells! The Broncos have not covered a pointspread since Oct. 3rd (see 26-20 win at 6 1/2-point fav Tennessee) and so it's tough to bank on HC McDaniels' crew even with the week off following 8-point London loss versus SF 49ers. Pass!

ST. LOUIS at SAN FRANCISCO: Both teams had bye weeks last Sunday but worth mentioning that San Fran able to sneak in extra prep week for new QB Troy Smith who came alive in second half of that 24-16 win/cover against Denver in the London showdown two weeks ago. No doubt that revved-up Rams defense starring LB Laurinaitis (he's gonna get a chunk of NFL Defensive Player of the Year votes this season) will be amped to keep Niners under wraps but Smith's ability to move the chains with key third-down runs and some well-timed aerial strikes to WR Crabtree means it's the 49ers or bust city here. San Francisco 24, St. Louis 15.


NEW ENGLAND at PITTSBURGH: Here's two franchises that have combined for five of the last nine Super Bowl titles but who's gonna be looking super here? The Steelers come off short week after that MNF clash in Cincinnati while the Patriots did some really deep soul-searching after that blowout loss in Cleveland that included just seven catches by N'England wide receivers (WR Welker's four grabs for 36 yards led the way in anemic showing). See if QB Brady and mates can get their act together against the NFL's top defense.
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PHILADELPHIA at WASHINGTON: The burning question in/around D.C. these days isn't about the Democrats or Republicans but rather who starts at quarterback in this MNF tilt for the 'Skins? Now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag -- Washington's first-year boss Shanahan really has no use for veteran QB McNabb -- we'll see if there is an official changing of the guard here but couldn't there be a better challenger than mistake-prone QB Grossman? On the flip side, Philly's quite happy with its choice (for now) of QB Vick who last weekend threw for 218 yards and ran for 74 yards in that 26-24 triumph over short-handed Indianapolis. Again, our selection is right here online. You can click here to order for $20.


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