College football: Books enjoy biggest day of year

Nov 17, 2009 5:08 PM
College Notebook by Micah Roberts |

Betting action was non-stop on Saturday

The Sharps did well at the sports books on Saturday on both their early and late plays. Early last week they were on games like Mississippi, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Oregon State, Clemson, Nevada, Cal and TCU.

On game day, they came with underdogs like Notre Dame and Indiana. Overall, the Sports Books still fared well despite not doing well with the large straight bets. The Book’s equalizer came with the public play on parlays mixed in with more events to wager on than usual.

"We grinded out a win Saturday," said Las Vegas Hilton Super Book Executive Director Jay Kornegay.

"Saturday had to be our busiest day of football this season thus far. It was just non-stop all day long with a full schedule of College Football games, College Hoops getting into their schedule, a Full NBA and NHL schedule, and then the big fight (Cotto-Pacquaio); it was a huge day of volume all around."

Generally when a large favorite like Manny Pacquaio (-330) wins, it’s a great scenario because most of the betting public like to play the underdog getting plus money, but that’s not the case when Pacquiao fights because of the large following he has and they don’t care what the price is – they just know Manny is going to win.

Most Sports Books reported a win on the fight that saw great action that was close to reminding many of big bouts from yesterday’s Vegas. By sheer volume, the Books were able to juice out a win. Pacquaio can definitely carry a card like no one else and it would be fun to eventually see Floyd Mayweather and him get together.

Best Team In Texas?

No. 4 ranked TCU made a resounding statement to the nation Saturday night in their 55-28 thrashing of Utah. The Horned-Frogs not only left some skeptics impressed, but representatives from the BCS Bowls of the Orange, Fiesta and Rose Bowls were in attendance watching.

TCU already is the highest ranked team from a non-BCS Conference, and their win over the respected Utes, a BCS buster from last season who handled Alabama quite easily in the Sugar Bowl, should make considerations for their role in the overall mix favorable.

TCU is 10-0 for the first time since 1938 when Heisman Trophy winner Davey O’Brien led them to an undefeated National Championship.

Give Gerhart Some Love

Speaking of the Heisman, Stanford RB Toby Gerhart just thrust his name into consideration in a pool of no considerable stand outs this year. Monster games with 401 combined yards and 6 TD’s against highly ranked Oregon and USC that led directly to his team winning should count for more than many of the top contenders who are being considered for lifetime achievements rather than being the best this year.

Gerhart has rushed for over 1,400 yards and scored 19 TD’s this season, all substantially more than the favorite to win, Mark Ingram of Alabama.

Fight On!

The 55-21 loss to Stanford was the Trojans’ worst since a 51-0 defeat at home against Notre Dame in 1966. Head Coach Pete Carroll lost in November for the first time at USC after 28 straight victories. And for the second time in three weekends, Carroll endured the worst loss of his nine seasons.

"I’m not sure I have the right words to describe being humbled like this," Carroll said. "I don’t really know where to put it. ... We have fallen apart and given our opponents the opportunity to do whatever they want, but you have to give Stanford a lot of credit."

Anyone for the Rose Bowl?

The Pac-10 entry into the Rose Bowl is still a bit foggy, but it would be a nice change to see a team like Stanford get in no matter how slim the chance is. Arizona is an interesting choice as well. They could get their first ever Rose Bowl bid by winning their final three games of the season against Oregon, Arizona State and USC. Didn’t say it would be easy, but it is a big enough goal within reach for the team that may help them "Bear-down" this week.

As it sits now, Oregon would be the representative facing an Ohio State team who loves facing high powered offenses in Bowl games.

State of O-H-I-O

Buckeyes Head Coach Jim Tressel’s conservative play calling has cost them wins against USC and Purdue this season, and went to a new low in the fourth quarter of their 27-24 home win over Iowa.

With over two minutes to go in a tie game, Tressel called for three straight running plays opting to take his chances in overtime in a game that he basically shut down offensively in the fourth quarter while leading by two touchdowns.

The 105,000 in attendance all booed in unison, a sign they were also tired of the continuing trend.

Down south, No. 5 ranked and undefeated Cincinnati is now calling Ohio the bUCkeye state as they currently reign as state Champions. Bearcat WR Mardy Gilyard said it best about the differences between THE State University and Cincinnati.

"They can chill up there and run the ball all day in the Big 10," Gilyard said after UC beat West Virginia 24-21. "We’ll be down here gunslingin’, throwing the football and having fun and winning games."

The Buckeyes are all set for the Rose Bowl in what has been deemed as a disappointing season and visit a down Michigan at the Big House this week. This could be a great spot for Michigan to pull off a big upset while OSU pretends like they’re happy about winning the lowly Big-10 again.

Cincinnati has a couple tough dates remaining with a rejuvenated Illinois team and one-loss Pittsburgh who are having their best season since 1982, Dan Marino’s last season.

Watch every Tuesday for a brand new College Notebook article.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Micah Roberts