NCAAF Week 8: 4-3-1, (57.14%) +0.9 Units
NCAAF Season: 30-35-2, (46.15%) -8.5 Units
The season numbers are still ugly but little by little I’m starting to get things back on track. In this last 3 weeks I’m 16-12-1 over a 29 play span which is a bit over 57%. Still plenty of digging to do but the good news is things are at least heading back in the right direction now. Here’s what I’ve got this week…
Texas A&M (+15): Going with the Aggies at home here getting over 2 TD’s against an Auburn team that I think could be looking ahead a bit. Next week the Tigers will head home to battle #1 Georgia in what is needless to say a huge game. The Aggies on the other hand have what should be an easy non conference home game against New Mexico on deck. There’s no reason they shouldn’t have all their focus and attention on Auburn this week. It’s no secret that A&M is down a little bit this year and that Sumlin has taken a ton of heat for it. This is a chance for them to get a little respect and improve their chances to actually get to a solid bowl game. I’m not sure they have what it takes to pull out an outright win but if Auburn is sleepwalking I do think A&M can hang around enough to stay within this number.
U Mass (+31.5): Pretty much the same idea here at the Auburn fade. Mississippi State has a battle with #2 Alabama on tap next week and I just wonder how much they care about this game against lowly U Mass. This game just screams a go through the motions, keep everyone healthy, win the game and the move on to Bama spot for the Bulldogs. That and U Mass isn’t is awful as you might think. Despite that 2-6 record they actually are putting up 443 yards per game on offense and out gain their opponents by an average of 54 yards per game. It looks likely that QB Andrew Ford will miss the game and I’ll admit that’s a tough blow as he’s a pretty damn good QB especially for a mid-major team. That said backup QB Ross Comis isn’t awful, he was able to come in last week in relief of Ford and lead U Mass to a win. He has 140 career attempts with 6 TD’s and 1 INT’s so while I’ll admit he’s no star he isn’t a guy who should be in completely over his head. I think the combination of a bit of U mass fire power and a lack of interest from Miss State should be enough the the big road dog to stay within this big number.
Syracuse (+7): This line has been on the move lately and is now up to a point where I’ll get involved. Talent wise this spread should be higher than what it is but Florida State has underachieved more than any team in the nation this year. Things went from bad to worse in their last game where they were throttled 35-3 by Boston College. At this point in the season it seems, at least to me, that Jimbo Fisher has lost this team. Flat out it seems most of this team has simply quit on him. Every year you see things get ugly at a few schools and players just check out mentally and physically the effort goes away too. That’s Florida State right now. Last week there were shots of guys laughing and joking around on the sidelines in the 4th quarter when they were down 28-3. These kids didn’t come to FSU to go 2-5 and just play out the string. They came with thoughts of ACC titles, national titles, etc. It’s very tough for Fisher to convince these kids to care right now and it pretty clearly looks like he hasn’t been able to do it. He’s got 4 and 5 star recruits that are getting outplayed by 2 and 3 star players right now. It’s an ugly, ugly situation and I’ll happily take Cuse getting a TD against them.
Georgia Tech (-9.5): On the surface I’m sure this is a line that doesn’t make sense to many of you. A 4-3 Georgia Tech team nearly a double digit favorite on the road against a 5-3 Virginia team. Well quite frankly despite what the records tell you GT is a much better team. The Yellow Jackets have had 3 losses this year, two of which by 1 point and the other coming at Clemson. They lost by 1 opening week on a two point conversion against Tennessee in a game where they dominated everywhere but the scoreboard. They also lost by 1 point at Miami in a game it looked like they’d win most of the way, and that last loss by 14 at Clemson is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. This is a team that could, and honestly should be 6-1 right now. Their triple option rushing attack is pure hell to deal with as they put up nearly 350 yards per game on the ground. They chew up yards, they chew up clock, and in general just wear their opponents down. On the other end we have a Virginia team that’s heading in the wrong direction. They’ve lost their last two games to Pitt and BC by a combined score of 72-24 and have looked awful in doing so. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see the Jackets win this one by 3 TD’s or more.
Wake Forest (+14.5): Notre Dame is in the midst of a stretch where they have 3 big games in 4 weeks. This is the one week they could try to exhale a bit and aren’t as focused as they were for the other 3. In the last 2 weeks they had wins over top 15 USC and then NC State and next week they go on the road to take on Miami. It’s tough to keep college kids pumped up for 4 straight games and if there’s one to lay off the gas a little this certainly looks to be it. Wake on the other hand has a chance for a road win over the #3 team in the nation and it happens to be the tradition rich Fighting Irish. There’s no need for concern about effort and intensity from them this week, the Demon Deacons will bring absolutely everything they have for this one. Wake isn’t a powerhouse or anything but this is a respectable team from a power conference that’s likely going to win 7 or 8 games and go to pretty decent bowl game. Relative to what Notre Dame has been dealing with the last few weeks and what they face next week though this spot has a sneaky letdown feel to it. I’m expecting Wake to hang around well into the 4th quarter.
I have a few more but out of time for write ups on them. Here’s the rest of the card….
Ole Miss (+3.5)
Virginia Tech (+1)