I had a good shot in several games last week, but my continuing nightmare began with Iowa State on Saturday.
The Cyclones drove down to the Missouri 12 with around two minutes to go in a 14-14 tie. I was laying —4 and just hoping to get the TD. Iowa State HC Dan McCarney decided to wind the clock down with three straight ahead runs to set up a game-winning field goal. The kicker misses the chip shot and ISU loses in OT.
I guess that’s why McCarney was 38-67 in nine seasons at Ames prior to this year. No bowl for you!
Things looked a little better Sunday. I was sitting on a perfect ticket in the Stations contest, but then the Chiefs gave it up at the end. I still just had one loss going into the blizzard game in Denver, only to have the Broncos give the game away to the Raiders with a blocked field goal try in the final seconds.
I was just reading about a book that is coming out on gambling. Simon $ Schuster has paid this guy about half a mil for the book. They also added an element of suspense by having the author wager some of his advance on the number of copies the book would sell in the first year.
By the way, it will be called "Smart Money" and will be about how the computer boys beat the bookies in Las Vegas out of millions. The writer was one of the runners for these guys and I guess he will tell all. It could be a good read.
Now to college football. Most books over the years have been scared to death of the MAC, usually deleting the games from parlay cards. Yet, they book teams like Army, East Carolina, Rice, San Jose State and a Washington team that went 1-10 SU and 2-9 ATS.
The MAC plays great football and features two good ones in the league title game. Josh Betts for the Miami, Ohio replaced Ben Roethlisberger, who is doing a fine job in the NFL with the Steelers. Bruce Gradkowski for Toledo broke the MAC record last year completing 71.2 percent of his passes.
Thursday, Dec. 2
Miami, O. (-1Â½) at Toledo (64): The Rockets lost the first meeting this year at Miami 23-16 and seek revenge. Toledo looked dead, but made a huge comeback to beat Bowling Green 49-41 to earn the title shot. Miami finished with six straight wins, including five covers. I have a sneaky feeling HC Amstutz will have his Rockets ready. TOLEDO
Saturday, Dec. 4
Va. Tech +7 at Miami, FL. (49): VT has won seven straight and has covered the last three meetings with the Hurricanes. Miami just 1-5 ATS in last six tries against the Hokies. This game looks to go down to the wire. Take the points. VA TECH.
Army (+12Â½) at Navy (56): The Middies cooled off late in the year, but finished strong with a 54-21 crushing of Rutgers. Navy is 6-1 ATS in the last seven with Army. Navy will be all out in this game, looking to impress the bowls with a 9-2 record. NAVY.
USC (-21Â½) at UCLA (59): The Trojans are taking no prisoners and will not let up in this season ending game on their way to the National Championship. USC has won and covered five straight against the Bruins, including a 47-22 drubbing last year as a 22- point favorite. USC.
Mich St. (-6Â½) at Hawaii (71): Northwestern came here last week to party and Michigan State comes for the same. You will see little defense, as Timmy Chang will have the ball in the air all night for Hawaii. Look for the Rainbows to get another win over the Big Ten. HAWAII.
Tenn (+12Â½) vs Auburn (47): Atlanta’s Georgia Dome is the site for the SEC championship. Auburn won first meeting (34-10) at Tennessee in front of a very hostile crowd. See no reason of a repeat of that score on a neutral field. The Tigers go undefeated and make their claim for a national title bid. AUBURN.
Colo. (+21Â½) vs Okla. (55Â½): Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium is the neutral site for the Big XII title game. Look for the very best of HC Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, who will take it to the Buffaloes. Don’t see anything stopping the Sooners as they look to secure a national title bid. OKLAHOMA.
Last week: 1-3
Season record: 41-45