10/12/13 in NCAAF   |   pigskinfan   |   65 respect

If the first game of the NLCS is any indication of what the rest of that series will be like, we're in for an amazing ride over the next 10 days or so.  I commented yesterday on how Verlander had added to his status in the game with his performances in the ALDS against the A's, but we saw a true legend at work last night.  Carlos Beltran is about as good as it gets.  Yes, he's playing on gimpy knees and doesn't have that speed that he did when he was breaking in here in Kansas City, but he sure brings everything else to the table.  And he continually performs when the bright lights go on, and never once was there any question about him in the "Steroids Era" of the game.  As long as he has the desire to play and has the ability to be productive, I will enjoy watching him play, but when he does decide to hang them up, the guy has got to be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
As much as I love baseball and could talk about it for hours, it is not the focus now.  Plenty of beeswax to deal with on the campus gridirons today, so let's get busy.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL  (0-1 last night and 2-2 so far for the week)
BUTTA  (no play last night and 1-0 so far for the week)
1.  Nebraska (-14) over PURDUE - The Huskers got back to basics with the power running game last week and throttled a pretty talented Illinois team.  That return from whence they came has no doubt been caused by the fact that Nebraska was without their starting QB and will be again this week.  The Boilers don't appear to be a group that can offer much opposition if the Huskers stay the course, so I'm not at all worried about this number with the Children of the Corn out on the road.
2.  S. Carolina (-240) over ARKANSAS - The Ol' Ball Coach is figuring out ways to win with this team.  He has a solid QB, but his defense doesn't appear to be as stout as it has been in years past.  It is that defense that will prevent me from laying the (-5) hung on Carolina, but I do expect they'll come out of this with the win.
3.  Buffalo (-10) over W. MICHIGAN - It was a rough start to the season for the Bulls.  They lost to Ohio St. and got throttled by Baylor, but tell me one team that's gone up against either of those squads and not met the same fate.  The Bulls are rolling now with 3 straight wins though.  The partially scary thing is that this will be their first road game after 3 in a row at home, but they carry a strong running game and a decent defense with them.  Those are keys for any team to be successful on the road, plus this opponent today can't seem to get out of it's own way this season, and their starting QB in "out" for this game.
  1.  CLEMSON (-23 1/2) over Boston College - This one is out their on the fringes of potentially acceptable numbers, but I won't even tempt fate since I already have 3 plays I like a lot.  B.C. did give Florida St. a pretty good run a couple of weeks ago, but that was at home.  Death Valley is the place where upset dreams get crushed.
  2.  OHIO (-18 1/2) over C. Michigan - I don't know what to make of this Ohio team.  I think they're at least this many better than Central, but that little voice is telling me to distance myself from this game.
  3.  Alabama (-27) over KENTUCKY - I told you last week that Coach Saban would call off the dogs early in last week's game against Georgia St.  Against a conference foe this week, he will not be nearly as benevolent or merciful.
  4.  Baylor (-17) over KANSAS ST. - Part of K-State's problem so far this season is that the defense is not as strong as it needs to be.  That's not good news with Baylor coming to town.  Nobody has slowed down the Bears yet, and the Wildcats won't fare any better.
  5.  Oklahoma (-13 1/2) over Texas - It's Coach Brown's Alamo today.  His team is outmanned by this Sooner squad, but the Horns must win this game to give the coach any prayer of keeping his job.  Meanwhile, nobody is paying attention to Oklahoma right now.  That's probably because there's no flash to this team.  They play power football on offense and strong defense.  It's a good formula that's working perfectly for them, and it should be more than enough to lay Texas out today.
  6.  TEXAS TECH (-14) over Iowa St. - A couple of concerns that keep me from jumping on the Red Raiders again this week:  First and foremost is their starting QB is injured and out for this game.  We all know Tech is a QB factory, at least within the offensive system they play, but it still is a concern.  The other is how do the Cyclones respond to having a game stolen from them last week?  They could be a "circle the wagons/us against the world" group, or they just might have no juice at all.  I would bet, with their coach's personality, that it would be the former, but there's just too many other questons here to make me care too much one way or the other.
  7.  ARMY (-7 1/2) over E. Michigan
  8.  Georgia Tech (+7) at BYU
  9.  Navy (+3) at DUKE
10.  Idaho (+24 1/2) at ARKANSAS ST.
11.  MISSISSIPPI ST. (-9 1/2) over Bowling Green
12.  Virginia (+7) at MARYLAND - Be real careful here.  Maryland is the superior team, but this is a HUGE rivalry game, and the Turtles starting QB is "out" today after getting blown up by Florida St. last week.
13.  Syracuse (+6 1/2) at N. CAROLINA ST.
14.  VIRGINIA TECH (-7) over Pitt
15.  S. Florida (+3 1/2) at UCONN
16.  HOUSTON (-9) over Memphis
17.  BALL ST. (-14) over Kent St.
18.  Miami-O. (+6) at UMASS
19.  N. ILLINOIS (-23 1/2) over Akron
20.  MICHIGAN ST. (-9) over Indiana
21.  Michigan (-2 1/2) over PENN ST.
22.  WISCONSIN (-10) over Northwestern - Remember what I told you about Ole Miss last week after they had their bubble burst by Alabama the week before.  The same goes for Northwestern this week.
23.  Uab (-7 1/2) over FLA.-INT'L - Big trap number here between 2 poor teams.
24.  Marshall (-7 1/2) over FLA.-ATLANTIC
25.  N. TEXAS (-6) over Middle Tennessee St.
26.  Tulsa (-10 1/2) over UTEP
27.  E. Carolina (-9 1/2) over TULANE - Believe it or not, Tulane is on the road to a bowl bid this season.  That will get derailed temporarily today though.
28.  Rice (-1) over UTSA 
29.  Troy St. (-16) over GEORGIA ST.
30.  Missouri (+7) at GEORGIA - This may be wishful thinking for a loyal Mizzou fan, but this Georgia defense is vulnerable.  That's probably most shown by how this number has sunk through the week.  The Dawgs opened (-11).  I don't think the Tigers win this game, and the more this number plummets, the weaker the spot is for them to get under the number.
31.  Florida (+6 1/2) at LSU - Big revenge spot for LSU here, but the Tigers defense is vulnerable as well, and I like what I've seen from this new Gator QB.
32.  Texas A&M (-6 1/2) at MISSISSIPPI - The Rebs slide continues for at least one more week.
33.  TCU (-25) over Kansas
34.  COLORADO ST. (-3) over San Jose St.
35.  UNLV (-8) over Hawaii
36.  Boise St. (-6) over UTAH ST. - Everything with Utah St. starts and ends with QB Chuckie Keeton.  He's now out for the season with a knee injury.
37.  WYOMING (-13 1/2) over New Mexico
38.  ARIZONA ST. (-26 1/2) over Colorado - I'm not thrilled with the Sun Devil defense, but that offense can overwhelm a team.
39.  UCLA (-25) over Cal - The same goes for UCLA.  They can run an opponent out of the stadiun with their offense, and Cal's defense is atrocious.
40.  Stanford (-7) over UTAH - I suppose there's a chance for Stanford to have a letdown here after that big test from Washington last week, but I think that's reflected in this number.  A TD isn't very much for a team as good as the Cardinal.
41.  Oregon (-13) over WASHINGTON - This might be the game of the day, and if there's a spot where the Ducks get their goose cooked, it might be right here in Seattle.
42.  WASHINGTON ST. (-2) over Oregon St.
43.  TEXAS ST. (-6 1/2) over La.-Monroe
That's it for today.  Overall, I'm not real thrilled with this schedule, but I do like the games I'm on a great deal.  So, good luck to us all.  Have a great day, be careful out there and I'll see you tomorrow.
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