Do Six 1-4, One 0-5 NFL Teams Signal Decline Of Play
Do Six 1-4 And One 0-5 Teams Indicate Decline Of NFL?
If You Thought Football Was Wild Last Week, Get Tied On for Another Weekend of the Same
Pats Crush Hapless Browns 33-13 To Win 100-Unit Play
Two More 100-Unit Winners This Weekend
This Week’s Football Begins Wednesday Night On ESPN2 – Appalachian State At UL-Lafayette
Crushing Bookmakers In MLB Playoffs Because Of Five Underdog Winners
By Kelso Sturgeon
To say this past football weekend was a wild one is somewhat of an understatement and it was a reminder the so-called “lock” teams do not exist. Think about it: winless Texas-San Antonio, a 17-point underdog knocked off Southern Mississippi, 55-32, unbeaten and 6th ranked Houston, a 16-point favorite at Navy, lost to the Middies, 46-40, and to me the most unexpected result of the week was nationally-ranked TCU’s one-point, 24-23, win as a 30-point favorite over Kansas, a team that stood 1-18 in its last 19 games.
History suggests you can expect more of the same this week, which begins Wednesday night in Appalachian State (3-2) is at UL-Lafayette (2-3) for a Sun Belt Conference game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Thursday night it will be the Denver Broncos (4-1) at the San Diego Chargers (1-4) and Navy (4-1) at East Carolina (2-4) for an American Athletic Conference contest. The Broncos-Chargers game will be on ABC, Navy and East Carolina on ESPN.
In the colleges two Saturday showdown conference battles – #1 Alabama (6-0) at #9 Tennessee (5-1) in the Southeastern Conference and #2 Ohio State (6-0) at #8 Wisconsin (4-1) in the Big Ten. The four teams in these games face the acid test and I will be releasing them as a two team parlay to those who purchased my 32-game, four-week OctoberFest package.
While last week was a bit iffy for many handicappers I am pleased to report on Saturday I won another 50-unit College Game of the Year as South Florida (-14) knocked off East Carolina, 38-22, and on Sunday took down more big money while winning my 100-unit NFL Blowout Game of the Month with the New England Patriots (-10) with their 33-13 win over the hapless Cleveland Browns.
I never understood the betting line on the Patriots-Browns matchup nor did most of the public. Las Vegas bookmakers suffered one of their biggest one-game losses in recent history on this game. They said 90% of the tickets were on the Patriots and 70% of the money. Adding to the misery of those on the other side of the counter was the fact 9-of-10 parlay card players used the Patriots. Disaster, and an expected one, with a betting line that crashed head-on into reality.
Chalk up one for the public.
I Was Upset With Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh Until….
Michigan took the field Saturday at Rutgers as a 30-point favorite over Rutgers and won he game 78-0. The first thought in my mind was Harbaugh felt the need to 1-up Ohio State and its coach Urban Meyer that the week before had crushed the Scarlet Knights, 58-0. Shame on Harbaugh—and then I saw the light. Rutgers is in such a state of decline with its football program it would be better off in a conference other than the Big Ten.
The fourth largest home crowd (53,292) in the history of Rutgers football was on hand for Michigan and what they saw had to make them sick. Rutgers was so outclassed it did not get a first down until late in the 4th quarter and finished the night with 2. It averaged 0.72 yards per play on 54 plays for a total offense number of 39 yards. The Scarlet Knights punted 16 times.
Rutgers was so completely outmanned Michigan could have played the game with its freshmen players and still won by a substantial margin. This is not to knock the Rutgers players, who will take a long time to get over this one and the fact they have been outscored 136-0 in their last two games. Things like that haunt players. Rutgers has its homecoming Saturday against Illinois (1-4), a team that has beaten only Division I-AA Murray State, 52-3 this season. Bookmakers have not posted a line yet on this one.
NFL Appears To Be In Big Time Decline
I have had a long-standing criticism of the National Football League teams in that, like a striptease dancer, if you’ve seen one game you’ve seen them. Every team runs the same offense and every team runs the same 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Put the New York Jets on the field against the New York Giants boredom reigns. Now take these same two teams, exchange uniforms, and put them on the field against one another and one could hardly tell the difference. It’s the same old same old boredom.
No one in the NFL had any reason to be concerned—until now. Each team could charge outrageous prices for both season and single-game tickets. Now the warning signs are there. TV ratings are falling at an alarming rate—and TV money is where each team makes its fortunes. One can speculate as to why this is happening but its obvious.
- The games are boring.
- Bad teams have so little talent they have to get lucky to beat anybody.
- Many fans have been turned off since the NFL blessed players who “stand by” their conscience on social issues by disrespecting the flag during the national anthem.
- The quality of overall play is declining in a manner so obvious, the NFL is losing respect.
- There are plenty of other things to do besides attending and/or watching NFL games on TV.
All these things have contributed to declining interest in the NFL but in the end it boils down to the product that is on the field and much of it is certainly not professional by any past standard. It has not been many years ago that the worst team in the league could upset the best teams. That is no longer so.
I said before the season began the Cleveland Browns would not win a game this season because of foolish air-headed decisions by the front office to go cheap, taking the position a player is a player and the guy making $850,000 per season can play just as well as one making $4.5 million. Cheap does not work at this level of play and it is no secret the Browns are off to an 0-5 start (1-4 ATS).
Cleveland has no chance to get to the Super Bowl, or even to make the playoffs. You can add to that list six 1-4 teams – New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers. The figures speak for themselves—since 1990 teams that have opened 1-4 have a 6.3% chance to even make the post season.