College Football Archive

Week Three Preview: Big Ten Edition

(Earlier: Week Three Preview, Non B10 Edition) Before getting into the meaty Big Ten schedule for the week, a quick announcement. We are taking a bye week. We need to regroup. Watch some games from the bench. So keep that in mind when reading my predictions for the week. Wait. Hold On. It’s not really a bye week. We made a few future bets for Week 3 back in August. It includes the UCLA-Nebraska and Wisconsin-Arizona St games. In both cases, our early shopping paid off with much generous lines than game week. We’re laying less than a field goal, -2.5, with Arizona St over the Badgers. That’s such a nice spot compared to the -4 right now on a line that’s climbed as high as -5.5 in some places this week. I have a little more room for error with the Bruins on the +6.5 from August than the +4 today. I love taking points in games I expect to be close shootouts. The more merrier. Hopefully those early bird edges jumpstart the season for us. Otherwise, its a fairly important weekend in the Big 10. There are a lot varying stakes in a lot of different places. Bowl hopes already ride in games in

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The Shifting Odds: USC, Washington St

n the Pac-12 opener of Mike Leach’s second season in Pullman, Washington St secured just 12 first downs, passed for 5.7 yards per attempt, ran for 0.3 yards per carry (!) on 22 attempts, committed 8 penalties for 87 yards, derped three TOs with a -2 TO margin and didn’t score an offensive touchdown. When they did move into the red zone, their QB threw an INT in the end zone. Clearly, the Leach system isn’t taking hold in the Palaousse. Except they beat mighty USC 10-7 on the road. Leach said in the postgame that it was a battle of defensive lines. My gosh, how many times do you can say that after a game Leach is involved in? It was also odd seeing Leach pound the ball into the line as often as he did. Despite going nowhere on the ground, the Cougars stayed committed to running the ball. Their 22 rushes still lagged behind their 36 passing plays, but it sure did seem like Leach was content wasting downs plunging into the line. What does this do for Washington St? It’s a breakthrough, but it doesn’t elevate the Cougs suddenly into contender status in the Pac-12. This conference might be the most balanced from

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Fade ‘Em Horns

(Update: Books did not have an line for the Texas-Ole Miss game posted yet when we did this column. They do now. The Horns are -3 after being -8 on the summer. Is our Fade Tour now beginning today? Yes it is despite earlier proclamations that this week be a bye week. I endorse an Ole Miss play and it’s too easy to pass up) You know what I would like to bet on right now? I’d like some parlay odds on the likelihood that both the USC and Texas jobs both come open before the end of the calendar year. That seems like a sure thing at this point. Not to mention totally crazy that two high profile, brand programs would be searching for a coach at the same time. Talk about some serious coaching dominoes that could fall in the event new coaching staffs are brought into both Austin and LA. It would be reminiscent of 2000 when both the Alabama and USC jobs were open with the Tide eventually grabbing Dennis Franchione and USC taking a flier on, at the time, NFL reject Pete Carroll. We should probably think about firing the JCB at this point, too. It’s been a rough start to the

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