UCLA can go toe-to-toe with SC

Nov 29, 2005 3:01 AM

Some things never change. Iowa State can’t stand prosperity. Kentucky will always be a huge basketball school. And, those Oakland Raiders can’t cover a spread as a sizable home favorite.

One bad beat last week finally went our way. Leave it to that fine Harvard QB (Ryan Fitzpatrick) to lead a miracle St. Louis Rams overtime comeback win and cover against Houston, 33-27. I wouldn’t bet on the Texans anytime soon.

On the horizon, I see one great football game (USC-UCLA), a few more good ones, including an Army-Navy matchup that should be much better than the records would indicate.

It’s hard to explain our success in the NFL compared with a continued uphill battle just to reach .500 in the colleges, except to simply carry on. College games are producing more upsets like Nevada-Reno winning the WAC, beating Fresno State fresh off the near upset of top-rated USC.

Notre Dame provided some high drama, scaring its national alums and supporters to death before booting a field goal in the final minute to hold off Stanford. Immediately after the game, Stanford Stadium was about to be demolished in favor of a newer, smaller facility. We wonder if the construction workers will find more than a few Notre Dame bet tickets in the ruins. Yes, I know it’s illegal, but.....

As for Iowa State, this is clearly a school that will not tolerate prosperity. For the second straight year, ISU choked an opportunity to win the Big 12 North, allowing Colorado to again back into the title and another chance to be smashed by Texas.

I heard a lot of handicappers around town give Kentucky much love last week as a home dog, only to fall once again to Tennessee. It proved again that the Vols, at rock bottom, are totally superior to the Wildcats in football.

The Oakland Raiders? Well, they cost my dad a four-team parlay winner and an unbeaten record for me in last week’s top five selections. I fell into the trap of thinking the Raiders would be sucked into the weekly wave of covering favorites. The Mayers simply learned that the Raiders s--k. You can fill in those other letters.

Last week: 3-5

Season: 62-64

Now on to a limited, but most interesting college football slate.

Akron +13 vs N. Illinois: The Zips backed into Thursday’s MAC title game in Detroit against the league’s best team. UNI gave Michigan a nice test early in the year. I also remember Army blanking Akron on a week I picked the Cadets. Time to double down. UNI.

La Tech +21½ at Fresno St.: The visitors will pay a heavy price for playing the Bulldogs off two bitter losses, one good and the other bad. Fresno will be seeing Nevada and that WAC title they left back in Reno. FRESNO ST.

Louisville +18½ at UConn: The Huskies home on national TV have nothing to lose. The Cards were nonchalant against Syracuse last week and probably wish they had another shot at West Virginia. UCONN.

Army +6½ vs Navy: The famed Commander and Chiefs Trophy is on the line again in the traditional academy rivalry that should be a good watch, despite the records. Army is faster and more versatile than past teams. ARMY.

Colorado +27½ vs Texas: The Dr. Pepper Big 12 title game. Dr. Pepper has a better chance of beating the Longhorns. Vince Young atones for last week with a monster game. TEXAS.

UCLA +20½ at USC (73½): This should be a scorefest from start to finish. If UCLA avoids its patented sluggish first half play, this could be even better than the Fresno shootout. Bruins may not win, but they can go toe-to-toe with the Trojans. UCLA, OVER.

LSU-2½ vs Georgia (40): The SEC Championship. Atlanta’s Georgia Dome is considered a neutral site, but don’t believe it for a minute. The state bleeds Silver and Red from Augusta to Athens and Macon to Savannah. Dawgs getting points is a gift. Should be a good old fashioned slobber-knocker. UNDER.