Well, college was back in full force last week with a few upsets. The biggest involved TCU beating Oklahoma as a 25-point dog at "Soonerville."
There actually was a big move on the dog in this game and the money was correct. Several other huge moves took place during the week. Maryland went from —8 to —13Â½ and the Terps won by three with a late score. Another big jump was Kansas going from —21 to as high as —30 in some places.
Well, the NFL is finally here and it could not have come sooner. We all need a little diversion from all the bad news of late. I am very glad the NFL preseason is over as I am still trying to recover from it and a horrible Del Mar meet. Let’s take a look at some key games this week, starting with college.
Thursday, Sept. 8
Oklahoma St -17 at FAU: There was a huge move against Florida Atlantic last week when playing at Kansas, but it turned out to be an easy cover. FAU was in the game at all times, just losing 30-19. With HC Howard Schnellenberger calling the shots, I would not get too excited about Okie State laying a big number. The Cowboys had their hands full last week just getting by Montana State 15-10. Playing this game at Dolphins Stadium on ESPN is sure to help the home side. FAU.
Friday, Sept. 9
Pittsburgh -17 at Ohio U: The Panthers who wanted to go back to being called Pitt even had Tony Dorsett on the sidelines for the Notre Dame game. Unfortunately, T.D. couldn’t suit up. He just had to stand there as Pitt got humiliated. The Bobcats were no match for Northwestern, getting clobbered 38-14 as a 15 point dog. Pitt beat Ohio last year 24-3 as a 17-point favorite. Look for the Panthers to rebound in this spot, but check status of QB Palko. Lay the number if —17 or less. PITT.
Wash State -10 at Nevada: State got by Idaho last week 28-26. This will be the first game this year for Nevada Reno. I will just have to take the points in this game, as HC Chris Ault will have them ready for a top effort. NEVADA.
Saturday, Sept. 10
Kansas St -9 Â½ at Marshall: K-State has had this game circled in the locker room for almost a year. They are seething for some revenge from the drubbing at home by Marshall last year, losing 27-20 as a 22-point favorite. This game will be between Bill Snyder HC for Kansas State and Mark Snyder HC for the Thundering Herd. Lay the points. KANSAS ST.
ND +7 at Michigan: Was the Gipper on the sidelines last week in Pittsburgh? The Irish sure looked good or was Pitt that bad. This game will tell the tale. Michigan has just one cover in the last seven games vs ND, all as the favorite. The Wolverines could not cover against Northern Illinois last week. Even though we missed taking the opening line (+8Â½), the TD still looks like a good bet. The Irish just may be back. N. DAME.
Colo St +12Â½ at Minn: Colorado State lost a heartbreaker last week at Boulder as the Buffaloes got a late field goal to get the win, 31-28. Now CSU must go into hostile Gophers land and play in that very boisterous dome. The Rams haven’t fared well after playing arch rival Colorado. This looks to be a very good play. I see this line moving up also. MINNESOTA.
So.Miss +12 at Alabama: Loaded Tide off suspensions looking for a major bowl this year and will take no prisoners. So. Miss also only 1-7 ATS in the last eight meetings. Not to mention the immense distraction following the catastrophic flood that affected Hattiesburg, home of the USM campus. Bama had a nice tune up last week as their defense completely shut down the Middle Tennessee offense in 26-7 win. This almost looks too easy, but I will lay the -12 and make a nice play here. ALABAMA.
Big 10 Game of Week
Texas +1 at Ohio State: One of these two will be in the hunt to face USC in the Rose Bowl. Texas has Vince Young. Buckeyes have Ted Ginn and a defensive unit with the speed, agility and determination to stop the talented Texas QB. Props to the two teams for scheduling this series on a home-and-home basis. Too often we see creampuffs scheduled in the early season. In this clash, Columbus makes the difference. OHIO ST.
Last week: 4-5
I will make just two plays opening week.
Sunday, Sept. 11
Titans +7Â½ at Steelers (40): The Steelers and Big Ben won’t sneak up on anyone this year. Pitt QB Roethlisberger didn’t tear it up in preseason. The points look great in this game. I see the Steelers maybe getting the W on a late field goal. TITANS.
Packers +2Â½ at Lions (46):Detroit got crushed at home last year as a 3-point favorite, losing 38-10. I believe the Lions will be much improved this year. I keep on saying the Pack just keeps getting older. Look for the Lions to eke out some revenge in their home opener. If they lose this game, I just may be finished with them this year. LIONS.