7 No-vertimes

Nov 4, 2003 5:07 AM

If a college football game needs multiple overtimes to decide a winner, chances are Arkansas is involved.

The Razorbacks held off Kentucky in an incredible 7 overtimes to prevail 71-63. Arkansas is 5-1 in OT games since Division I-A developed that tiebreak system in 1996. The Hogs were bet up from a 3 to 6½-point favorite, while the "over/under" was obliterated from the closing 49.

Just to add some salt in the wound, the game ended 24-24 after regulation time. We just threw that game into a pile of bad beats that included the South Carolina-Mississippi and East Carolina-Memphis contests. Ole Miss, a 7½-point favorite, led comfortably 43-21 before surrendering 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to blow the cover.

Memphis, a 17½-point chalk, trailed 14-7 before rallying to take a 41-17 lead with under three minutes left in the game. So what do the Tigers do? They allow the visiting Pirates to come up with backdoor cover.

There were some other stunners: Notre Dame getting blanked at home for the first time in some 25 years, Penn State suffering its first-ever five-game losing under Joe Pa, Tennessee getting booed at home after leading Duke only 3-0 at the half, and North Carolina allowing an incredible 39 second-quarter points to Maryland.

Of course, some things never change. The La-La’s (Monroe and Lafayette) were outscored 121-10 in lopsided losses to Auburn and Southern Miss.

SUCKER BET: That award goes to those taking the "over" in the Colorado-Texas Tech game. The total opened at 80, went as high as 82 in most books before dropping to 78½. Still it’s one of the highest totals we’ve ever seen and, sure enough, the game finished 26-21. Someone knew something.

ROMP ALERT: Ok, we jumped the gun last week. We still believe "Run’em up" Bill Snyder and Kansas State will pound Iowa State into submission. Our excitement overshadowed the fact that K-State had two weeks to "unprepared" for this lemon.

SECOND GUESS: On anyone who would doubt the power of legendary handicapper Jimmy Vaccaro, who donated a $550 wager to a lucky patron at last Friday’s Stardust Invitational Contest. Vaccaro’s pick of Texas A&M —11½ covered by half a point when visiting Kansas opted for kicking the PAT after scoring a late TD during a 45-33 loss. When you’re hot, you’re hot.

ATS WATCH: Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights put the nation’s only perfect mark against the spread on the line at feisty Connecticut. Rutgers comes off a bye week, while the host Huskies have spent the past couple of weeks beating the lower level teams from the MAC. It’s not Virginia Tech-Pitt, but this should be an interesting Big East tilt.

ADDED BOARD: Keep an eye on Utah State. The Aggies came off a 49-0 demolishing of Arkansas State with a stellar 41-20 victory over Middle Tennessee State. U-State opened as a one-point favorite and closed 2½ en route to take a commanding 35-0 lead after three quarters. This week, the Aggies visit New Mexico State. Stay with State.

SCOREBOARD: Including Thursday’s action, favorites were 9-0 ATS in the first nine contests on the rotation. The dogs closed the gap to 28-21.

GAME OF THE WEAK:Illinois at Indiana. The host Hoosiers are favored by 1.