My college roommate at the University of South Carolina devised a formula for winning football games called "the romp factor." He was a grad student going for his law degree, so I was impressed.
Nearly 30 years later, the romp factor still applies.
You would think the formula would be complex considering he was an attorney, but I guess the Brooklyn background came out in his simple explanation. Take two teams and figure out which has a better chance to blow the other one out.
There it is. Two good examples last week involved Texas and Oklahoma, each looking ahead to their huge matchup Saturday in Dallas. Neither covered large point spreads.
The Longhorns were a 37Â½-point favorite over Baylor and won comfortably, 44-14. The Okies had a tougher task against Texas Tech, but were still a 27Â½-point choice in a 28-13 win at Norman. The romp factor asks the question, "Which team has the better shot at routing the other? Obviously, Texas and Oklahoma did.
Now take the games between LSU-Georgia and Auburn-Tennessee. You wouldn’t have thought the romp factor would apply. Seemed like two evenly matched SEC contests. Not so, and we were burned taking LSU and Tennessee.
Just another log to throw in the gaming fire as we try again to take some money away from the house.
Last week: 4-3
Here are seven games this week we feel the romp factor can be used in our favor.
Saturday, Oct. 9
GT (+11Â½) at Maryland: The Terps have been sitting in College Park for two weeks waiting to bury the Yellow Jackets, who are wounded after losing to Miami. Ga. Tech is right to be routed by an angry group of turtles. MARYLAND.
Purdue (-11) at Penn St: It gets even worse for Joe Pa this week after a gallant effort at Minnesota. Heisman candidate Kyle Orton should repeat his 4 TD performance at Notre Dame. PURDUE.
B. Green (-14Â½) at C. Mich: BG put up 70 against Temple. No respect for the Jewish holidays. The Chippewas upset Kent State at home as a 3-point dog, 24-21. We’ve seen Kent and they are no Bowling Green. Not even close. B. GREEN.
Miss (+16) at S. Carolina: The Rebels haven’t covered a spread yet and don’t think going to Columbia will be different. Gamecocks let the Roosters loose and sack the Rebels into submission in an ugly SEC game. S. CAROLINA.
N. Illinois (-17) at UCF: Best and worst of the MAC. Central Florida is ranked first in the Dirty Dozen. Northern is off a nice 30-point win over Akron. UCF coach O’Leary is revising his resume again. N. ILLINOIS.
UTEP (+21) at Fresno State: Romp factor clearly with Fresno, but we like the dog. Visiting Miners beat New Mexico State as a 7-point favorite, 45-0. We are still in shock. Fresno had its BCS bowl hopes explode after losing to La. Tech. Incentive is all with — UTEP.
Mizzu (-19Â½) at Baylor: The Bears could claim moral victory over Texas, which means spread cover. Remember, though, what happened at Troy State. The Bears covered against Texas. Ditto this week. BAYLOR.
Study hall: Favorites were 32-22 ATS (59.2 percent) ”¦ San Jose State beat Rice 70-63 to set an NCAA record for most points in regulation time ”¦ UL-Lafayette is above .500 (3-2) for the first time in October since 1995.
And now for, a brief look at the NFL.
The 10 a.m. games were a beautiful 4-0 ATS in our office contest. Late ones stunk.
Sunday, Oct. 10
Bills (+7) at Jets: The Jets haven’t seen the Meadowlands since Sept. 12. Bad news for Buffalo and QB Drew Bledsoe, who are winless and already in danger of losing touch with the AFC East. JETS.
Dolphins (+13) at Pats: New England going for the all-time consecutive victory mark (19) shared with the ’72-73 Dolphins. What a difference 32 years makes! Brady & Dillon will reel in No. 19 easy. PATRIOTS.
Rams (+7) at Seahawks: The Rams are no longer the fastest gun of the NFC West. Unbeaten Seattle has had two weeks to get ready for this bloodbath that turns one-sided. Don’t be deceived with 49ers result. HC Holmgren wins battle of wits with Martz easy. SEAHAWKS.
Last week: 2-0
(not including KC-Bal)