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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Take the Double Extra Points - Week 2

“The Smarter You Play the Luckier You’ll Be”

Last Week: 8-5 ATS (62.5%)

I hope all of you out there put trust in us last weekend. We did have some losses, but we did end up with a record that professional gambling services would be lucky to brag about. Take notes this week because we will get it done again.


Nebraska (-8) over WAKE FOREST: WFU QB Riley Skinner is out after suffering a shoulder separation last week at Boston College. Nebraska last week had a whopping 413 yards rushing the football – most since 2002. Expect Sam Keller to get things going in the air with the new addition of WR Maurice Purify as NU needs to gain confidence in their passing game heading into USC. Two years ago, Nebraska won this contest in Lincoln 31-3.

PENN STATE (-17) over Notre Dame: True Freshman QB Jimmy Clausen will start for the Irish as they go on the road after coming off a 33-3 home loss to G. Tech. Penn State hung an easy 59-0 win last week at home and had a huge offensive output from QB Anthony Morelli. This is the first time Notre Dame travels to Happy Valley since the early 1970s so expect the Nittany Lion fans to be ready to pounce on the lowly Irish.

Wisconsin (-25) over UNLV: The Badgers are off a 42-21 win over a very decent Washington State team last week. New Wisconsin QB Donovan threw for 284 yards and is now 3-0 as a starter and has 7 TD to only 1 INT. The Wisconsin Defense allowed just 135 yards from the 2nd Q on last weekend and going up against a true Freshman QB from UNLV, they should have a field day. The Baaaadgers roll here.

Oklahoma State (-24) over Florida Atlantic: Coming off a disappointing loss at Georgia, the Cowboys will want to flex their muscle against an FAU team who is fresh off a home win. Captain Kangaroo (thanks Timmy Rose), FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger, has lost his last 7 non-conference road games by over 39 points a game. Trust me, Florida Atlantic will lay down and prepare for the next game at home against Minnesota.

SMU (-17) over North Texas: North Texas has mimicked Texas Techs’ offense this year so SMU is not behind this week ( even though Tech beat SMU by a billion on Monday). However, SMU is talented and they are 5-1 ATS the last 6 home games. The Mustangs will show off their talent and prove to their fans that they will eventually be able to out-recruit North Texas.


Kansas State (-17) over San Jose St – After watching the Spartans muster 5 first downs and 115 yards of offense against an Arizona State defense that was without 2 DL starters and using a converted TE as a DE, I would have to be more depressed than Owen Wilson to not throw down big against San Jose State on Saturday. The Wildcat rushing attack was non-existent against a very good Auburn defense last week, but will find things much easier this week against a horrendous front seven. This will be a rare opportunity for HC Price to pour it on and I think he’ll do just that in building confidence in an offense that returns 8 starters and has dangerous speed.

Baylor (-6) over Rice – As Lloyd Carr was updating his resume in Ann Arbor after last week’s complete meltdown against Appalachian State, another bowl team from 2006 was getting its ass kicked at home against a I-AA team. Not many people saw Rice lose to Nicholls State at home, but it was equally embarrassing. In fact, if you’re one of the 22 Rice alums who cares about football, you may want to thank HC Carr’s underachievers for providing air cover. Rice has a new HC and this will be his first game against a I-A team. Rice was one of the luckiest teams in the country last year with a +8 TO ratio and 4 wins in their last 5 by 6 points or less. Baylor was much better than last week’s 27-0 loss at TCU might suggest as the Bears outgained the Horned Frogs in the first half but were doomed by 3 INTs and 2 missed FGs. This is the closest thing to free money that you’ll find this week as Baylor should have a 3 TD lead by half.

Washington (+3) over Boise State –The WAC is even more over-rated than ‘Medellin’ turned out to be at Cannes last Sunday (how about the girls on Yair’s boat though?) and there is no way Boise should be favored over a very improved Washington team that completely dismantled Syracuse last week. Boise replaces 4 starters in their front seven defense that gave up just 17 points and under 300 yards per game in 2006. Washington has huge size and talent edges against the Bronco defense should be able to produce a balanced attack under new QB Locker and RB Rankin. The Huskies know this is one of the few winnable games in the next month (Ohio State, at UCLA, USC on deck) and will be primed to start out the season 2-0. Look for a close game that Washington pulls out in the 4th quarter.

Texas (-10) over TCU – Speaking of over-rated, let’s move on to the sexy pick to crash the BCS party in 2007. TCU has an excellent defense that returns 9 starters from a 2006 squad which gave up just 12 points per game, 61 yards rushing, and has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 20 games. Unfortunately, TCU has an offense that could not score more than 17 points against above average defenses last year in Texas Tech, Baylor, Utah, and BYU. Texas is a huge step up in talent for the Horned Frogs and the Longhorns will itching harder than Sammy Vegas on a Sunday morning to prove any doubters wrong after last week’s close call. Texas will cover by half and TCU won’t score more than a FG in the 3rd and 4th quarters combined.

Memphis (-4) over Arkansas State – Two words: Line value. Last week, Memphis pulled off a backdoor cover that reminded me of our Wunderkind working the bar at the Manhole in Chicago. The Tigers had a 467-275 total yardage edge against Mississippi, yet was somehow losing 20-0 at the half. As a 2.5 point dog the Tigers scored with 7 seconds left to make the score 23-21. On cue, they missed the 2-point conversion and produced another winner for Sammy Vegas and myself. This is the second revenge game in a row for Memphis as they lost 26-23 to Ark State in 2006 on a hail mary on the game’s final play. Meanwhile, Ark State opened a lot of eyes by outgaining Texas in a game that had most of the crowd in Austin searching for Lloyd Carr on sideline. This is a big let down situation for the Indians while Memphis has a I-AA team on deck and will be focused to amend last year’s fluke loss.

Michigan (-8.5) over Oregon – The pressure to win in Ann Arbor to win on Saturday will be immeasurable as an 0-2 start could cost Lloyd Carr his job. After watching the speed of Appalachian St QB Armanti Edwards and WR Dexter Jackson on FSN last night, Michigan’s rebuilt defense might actually catch a break by getting Dennis Dixon and the Oregon WRs this week. It won’t come down to Michigan’s defense though as the Wolverine ground game should control an Oregon front seven that looked terrible last week against Houston, surrendering a 200-yard rusher, over 300 yards rushing, and over 550 total yards. The Ducks fade down the stretch in this one and lose by two TDs in a must-win game in the Big House.