42-7 at halftime
was the ‘pitts’

Oct 21, 2003 2:53 AM

Talk about bad beats; Just imagine having Pittsburgh in a parlay and leading 42-7 at halftime as a 16-point favorite.

That’ll teach you not to mess with Rutgers! Believe it or not, the Scarlet Knights, one of the perennial have-nots in college football, have covered every spread this season. The "State University of New Jersey" outscored the visiting Panthers 25-0 in the second half to come away with the comfortable cover. Utah, a 28-10 victor at UNLV as 2½-point favorites, is the other perfect team against the spread. This week Rutgers visits Temple and Utah hosts New Mexico.

Last week we said the first to 50 points would win the Texas Tech-Oklahoma State shootout at Stillwater. Truer words were never written. Final: Okie State 51, Techsters 49.

The "over / under" was a mere 73, largest among the 22 games that the books decided to post a total. "Overs" began a hot 7-1 in the early action, eventually ending 13-9.

GamingToday handicapper and stats guru Andy Iskoe noted Saturday night on the Stardust radio show that, of the 28 games on the board with at least a 1½-point variation from opening line to close, 12 were right and 16 wrong. The saga continues.

This week we recommend three teams (Illinois, Miss State and Oregon State) to go against the rest of the year either because they are overrated, just don’t care, or are simply awful.

How Oregon State got ranked is beyond understanding. The Beavers were completely inept in making 11½-point dog Washington look like a double-digit favorite in a 38-17 home loss.

Illinois needs a new coach and Mississippi State will get one when Jackie Sherrill leaves at the end of the year.

This week the Illini will lose to badly to Minnesota, Miss State falls at Kentucky and Oregon State is taken to the shed at Washington State.

Throw those with Rutgers and Utah and you have a pretty fair five-teamer to parlay. Just don’t play any Ties Lose cards.

Here’s the latest against the spread in the Who’s Hot and Not department.

HOT: Rutgers 7-0, Utah 7-0, Purdue 6-0 last 6, Michigan St 5-0 last 5, Kentucky 5-0 last 5, Texas Tech 4-0 last 4, Auburn 4-0 last 4, Navy 5-1, Nevada 5-1, Miami of Ohio 5-1 last 6, UTEP 3-0 last 3.

NOT: Central Florida 0-6, Colorado 0-6 last 6, Iowa State 0-5 last 5, Illinois 0-5 last 5, NC State 0-4 last 4, Tennessee 0-3 last 3, West Virginia 1-4 last 5, Marshall 1-4 last 5, Alabama 1-5 last 5.

ATS UPSET WATCH: Georgia (vs UAB) with Florida next; Oklahoma State (at Texas A&M) with Oklahoma next; Texas (at Baylor) with Nebraska next; Utah (vs New Mexico) with Air Force next.