No ifs ands or Buffs, I’ll bet CU

Jul 5, 2005 6:08 AM

First of all, I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth.

As I sit here at my computer looking over the early baseball games and getting ready to check out some of the ponies, it just struck me how lucky we are here in the good old USA.

Thanks to our troops for their sacrifice that allow us to live as we do!

With the All Star game next Tuesday and Del Mar opening July 20, it’s time to start getting ready for football. Last night, I spent several hours digging into a few things and came up with a couple early plays that may be of future interest.

I have been interested for a long time in the Sept. 3 matchup between Colorado and Colorado State. In past years, this game has been a great dog play. The team getting the points has covered eight of the last 11 meetings. Last year the Buffaloes opened as a six-point favorite, but the line went down to -4½. Colorado barely squeezed out the win, 27-24.

Needless to say, I was ready to put down Colorado State as one of my early plays since they would again be the underdog in this big rivalry. Another reason I initially liked State was because of all the turmoil that the University of Colorado was going through, not only the football program but throughout the entire campus.

Coach Gary Barnett has been under fire for all the crazy things his staff and players have been up to such as sexual misbehavior, a slush fund and numerous other things too long to mention. Gary has denied knowing anything was going on between his coaches and players. He has been able to save his job for now, even though the CU president and AD resigned.

As I dug deeper, it just looks like CU has the players to put together another great season. Last year they got to the championship game with Oklahoma and it looks like they could repeat as North champion. It may not save Barnett’s job, but to me the Buffs are united behind him and will come out with some vengeance.

Colorado has 17 starters back including third-year starting QB Joel Klatt. The only negative was the loss of Bobby Purify — not the singer but the top running back last year. Word has it that freshman Maurice Greer can outright fly and could be the big surprise. The kicking game is tops, ranking second nationally with a 46.5 average. One other interesting stat — Colorado is 33-3 straight up when out-gaining the opposition.

Colorado State has been on a down slide since 10-win seasons in 2000 and ’02. Last year Sonny Lubich’s crew went 4-7. Even with 18 starters back, I just don’t see much improvement. The Rams are lousy against the rush and that will spell doom in this game. State will try to keep the ball on the ground. If CSU falls behind early, I think that the new QB will feel the pressure and produce mistakes.

Bottom line: I’m all over the Buffs. Buck that 8-3 ATS for the dog! No way, I lay more than seven. I’ll dig a little deeper if the spread is below seven. I think if the bookmakers open the line at -7, it will be bet down. So, you may just want to wait.

Another game I’m following is the Sept. 11 NFL matchup pitting Tennessee against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The early line is Steelers -7½. I am already on the Titans. Pittsburgh lost much of its offensive line and QB Ben Roethlisberger will not have his favorite target Plaxico Burress to unload to and bail him out. I see the Steelers over priced early and a good team to bet against the first three or four games.