Volume 27, Issue 10
Volume 27, Issue 10~ Tuesday November 9 thru Monday November 15
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
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12
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.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13
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.
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.
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.
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.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14
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.
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.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15
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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