Awful beats went on, and on, and on!

Sep 14, 2004 5:17 AM

Week 3 in college football was one colossal bad beat.

It started last Thursday when Missouri led Troy State 14-0 within five minutes and never scored again. It ended with Clemson refusing to accept victory in a head-shaking last minute straight-up loss to Georgia Tech.

In between, there were back door covers at Oklahoma State and Maryland as both winners allowed Tulsa and Temple respectively to score late touchdowns and cover the spread.

Here are some of our observations that we hope turns into cash for us in future weeks.

”¡ Connecticut continued its growing reputation as a second half juggernaut, scoring 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to escape with a 22-20 victory over Duke, though failing to cover as a 15½-point favorite.

”¡ Nebraska football is not back. Oh, the Huskers are throwing and completing more passes. Unfortunately, too many are being grabbed by the opposing team. Southern Miss, a longtime nemesis of Alabama’s, added Nebraska to the list after winning outright as a nice 14½-point underdog.

”¡ The Stanford trend worked to perfection. Now it’s four years in a row that the Cardinal have covered their first two games of the season. File that away for the 2005 campaign.

”¡ Howard Schnellenberger is a certified genius. Add Florida Atlantic to Miami and Louisville as programs Howie turned from dust to diamonds. FAU has now beaten Hawaii and North Texas in consecutive weeks as road dogs.

”¡ Don’t believe what you see or read. The people that jumped off the bandwagons of USC, Texas A&M, UCLA are back on. Conversely, fans of Mississippi State, Penn State, Kansas State and Colorado State have left the building.

”¡ Utah, Fresno State, Boise State and Memphis could cause major headaches for the BCS as the season goes on. Oregon State’s Mike Hass is the best receiver you’ve never heard of.

”¡ Our shocker of the week occurred well below the radar screen, even beyond the "added games" portion of the Las Vegas rotation. Rutgers, aka The State University of New Jersey, lost to New Hampshire 35-24. A new low for the Scarlet Knights, and that’s saying something.

”¡ Finally, Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni saved his job for another week after a close (cover) call against lowly Buffalo. The Orange host Cincinnati this Saturday in their home opener.

Last week: 3-4

Season: 6-8

Here’s hoping for much better results this week.

Utah (-20) at Utah State: Urban Renewal continued last week at Arizona with Utah’s second straight win and cover. The Utes have been winning with defense, which is no surprise. State has lost six in row vs. Utah and is 1-4 ATS since ’99. The last two lines in Logan have been 11½. Utes covered both. UTAH.

Wisconsin (10½) at Arizona: We’re not ready to say the Wildcats are back as a threat to win the Pac 10, but the Mike Stoops regime has apparently convinced the players that victories start on defense. The Badgers did not look good against UNLV and the Tucson heat could take its toll. Wisky may be looking ahead to Penn State at home. ARIZONA.

Clemson (1½) at Texas A&M: The Tigers should have lost to Wake Forest and didn’t. They should have beaten Georgia Tech and didn’t. So heading to College Station, HC Tommy Bowden is back in hot water. Meanwhile A&M coach Dennis Franchione did a nice job of fixing the wounds suffered at Utah. The 12th man looms large here in first-ever meeting. TEXAS A&M.

So. Florida (+14) at S. Carolina: The Gamecocks put all their chips in last week against Georgia, but the lack of offense prevented an outright upset. HC Holtz will face a monumental task getting the Chickens up for this one. South Florida is hungry to play some football after all the hurricanes. A nice underdog play. USF.

Air Force (+6) at UNLV: The home opener for the Rebels and a happy welcome back to the Mountain West Conference. Starting the season with road games at Tennessee and Wisconsin will shorten anyone’s coaching career. Air Force is disciplined and predictable. Rebels can compete against these Falcons. UNLV.

Notre Dame (-3)at Michigan St: What a difference beating Michigan can make. HC Willingham is the toast of South Bend again after another Irish miracle. But this is East Lansing, a house of horrors for ND. The Spartans are 7-1 ATS in their last eight matchups with the Irish. A perfect spot for State to remind people of the BYU debacle. MICH ST.

And, in the NFL.

Redskins (-3) at Giants: Clinton Portis runs for at least 150 and LaVar Arrington gets a couple of sacks. Eli mops up again. REDSKINS.

Jets (-3) at Chargers: Chad Pennington throws for a bunch now that RB Curtis Martin appears off to a career season. Beating Texas is not convincing enough. NY JETS.

Vikings (+3.5) at Eagles: An offensive shootout that is decided by the Philly defense. Vikes can’t stop anyone. EAGLES.

Last week: 4-1-1

Season: 4-1-1