College Football Odds and Ends

* I was going to list my picks against the spread for this column, but I decided not to, for two reasons:

1) I did a betting column last time.

2) We've only had one full week.

I mean, sure, I will bet on some Week 2 games for funsies (actually it's all for funsies at my wagering level), but I think we need to be honest and say we don't know what the hell is going on until 4-5 weeks into season at least.

Here's a fer-instance. Last year, Rice's S&P+ ranking was 129th, making them the second worst team by that metric in all of FBS. Army was ... somewhat surprisingly to me, 84th, considering they were 11-2, took Oklahoma to overtime, and won the Commander-in-Chief's trophy.

Still, that's a difference of 45 rankings points, which you would think would be a big enough buffer for Army to easily beat Rice at home even if they lost a ton of talent and Rice got a lot back.

Instead, Rice missed a couple of field goals and Army, a 23.5-point favorite, was lucky to escape with a 14-7 win.

So does this mean Army is way worse than expected and you should pound Michigan against them this week at the books? Or that Rice is way better and you should pound them against Wake Forest? Or some combination of the two?

Further, what will we really learn this week from those two games? Maybe we don't learn anything that can be extrapolated beyond those four teams and perhaps their Week 1 opponents?

Nah. You really have to wait 4-5 weeks to start having any misplaced confidence about outsmarting the books.

(Bets half his bankroll on Rice +18)

* I have ties to Akron and Ohio State, and that's who I root for. But the team that I love the most without having ties is Hawaii.

I'm probably not alone in this. If you're a college football nut and a night owl, then you've seen your share of Hawaii games at midnight ET. Maybe you fell in life with their unique Pacific football culture, their guns a-blazin' offense (at least before Norm Chow came to town), or the buttery Hawaiian lilt of their erstwhile TV announcer Jim Leahey's voice.

If you are a Hawaii fan, last year got off to an exciting start with a road upset over Colorado State and a bowl bid.

This year is off to an even more exciting start, thanks to their upset over Arizona, a return to the air-powered, high-scoring offense, and tweets of delicious shade by head coach Nick Rolovich.

So get on the pineapple-scented bandwagon before it passes you by.

* The most impressive thing I saw this week that isn't already being covered to death is this: boy, does Georgia's defense look good. They only allowed three Vanderbilt drives of 50 yards or more (one was in garbage time), and even on those drives, they managed to bend and not break, holding Vandy to field goals. 30-6 looks pretty one-sided, but believe me when I say even that emphatic scoreline doesn't do the Bulldogs D justice.

Mark Webb was all over the field. Monty Rice, too. Azeez Ojulari was powering his way into the Vanderbilt backfield on the regular. They made the game boring, and I mean that as a compliment.

Now they get Murray State. At home.

(Bets the other half of his bankroll on Georgia -49.)

Leave a Comment

Featured Site