College and NFL Notes and MNF Preview
Now here's something you're not likely to hear on the Labor Day evening showdown ESPN telecast between #11 Ole Miss versus #4 Florida State ...
The Associated Press Top 10 teams are a not-so-electric 3-6 ATS (against the spread) so far this weekend while going into this holiday night bash with only #1 Alabama, #6 Ohio State and #7 Michigan all cashing at the proverbial window for their backers while the likes of #2 Clemson, #3 Oklahoma, #5 LSU, #8 Stanford, #9 Tennessee and #10 Notre Dame all gagged against the almighty pointspread but it's those outright losses by the Sooners, Bayou Bengals and Fighting Irish that had everyone in the College Football universe buzzing when they woke up on this end-of-summer Monday morning.
On Labor Day evening here, it's ...
#11 OLE MISS vs. #4 FLORIDA STATE (at Orlando) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Hey, not gonna waste your time - or ours - discussing all the off-the-field junk surrounding the Ole Miss program as that's been dissected to death but we will tell y'all that the Rebels (a 5.5-point underdog at press time) have the more experienced slinger here in QB Chad Kelly (4,042 yards passing with 31 TD passes last year) and bring back a handful of starters from a defense that last season ranked 21st nationally against the rush (127.1 ypg).
Folks, that's important here 'cause Florida State RB Dalvin Cook (2,699 yards rushing overall the past two years) is a legit Heisman Trophy candidate (and our choice to win the shiny hardware this December) who figures to get anywhere between 25-to-35 carries even if FSU redshirt freshman QB Deondre Francois has some success zinging the ball to a classy array of wide out targets including new YouTube star WR Travis Rudolph.
Note the totals price here is 59 points and - just for fun - we'll let you know that some 25 college football teams scored 50 points or more on their own this holiday weekend!
Spread Notes - Florida State's failed to cover seven of its last nine non-ACC games while dating back to late 2013 while Ole Miss is a tasty 31-16-1 against the odds under fifth-year boss High Freeze.
In other NCAA Football News/Notes ...
Let's get you quick-hitter comments on those Top 10 teams that lost straight-up this past weekend:
#15 HOUSTON 33, #3 OKLAHOMA 23 - May we never hear the monikor "Big Game" Bob Stoops again when it comes to the Sooners' boss-man whose team allowed a 109-yard touchdown off a missed long-distance field goal ... you're a regular genius, Bob!
WISCONSIN 16, #5 LSU 14 - Nice to see Bengals QB Brandon Harris really improved (we say with tongue firmly planted in cheek) as the veteran threw for a meager 131 yards with two picks as 12.5-point favorite LSU lost its opener for the first time ever in the Les Miles 12-year era. Folks, no wiggle room now for either Oklahoma or LSU as we don't believe the bunk going 'round that they'll be a two-loss team in this year's playoffs, okay?
TEXAS 50, #10 NOTRE DAME 47 (2 OT) - Gotta admit that we never took the ND Fighting Irish seriously when it came to national championship talk and it's quite distressing for Brian Kelly's club to think they surrendered seven offensive TDs here along with 500-plus offensive yards. No doubt Irish titles hopes could be extinguished for real by Sept. 17th (that's a home game against Michigan State). Yowie!
NFL WEEK 1 HANDICAPPING NOTES
A couple of quickie thoughts on this NFL Week 1 card that gets underway on Thursday night from Denver: There's six road betting favorites on the menu and there could be even more should the 1-point dog Oakland Raiders slide into the chalk role in New Orleans and/or if the New York Giants become the betting choice in Dallas where right now that opening-week game is listed as pick 'em.
What we're wondering is if there are some teams rated as the betting favorites based on "reputation" as the here-and-now notes say the Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) are all banged up yet are laying points at the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings minus out-for-the-year QB Teddy Bridgewater are still 1.5-point betting favs in Tennessee - how come that Las Vegas price only came down a mere half-point or full point after the Bridgewater injury? Hmm.
Finally, all you "suicide pool" or "knockout pool" folks surely are zooming in on a pro-Seattle Seahawks play against 10.5-point pup Miami in Week 1 but can we remind you that late last season the Seahawks were a 10.5-point favorite versus the then-St. Louis Rams and Pete Carroll's guys got beat 23-17.
Just so you know!