Quick notes from several of the Saturday college games:
Baylor won the most insane game of the day with the greatest comeback in school history. The Bears were down 21 in the 4th quarter and scored 24 straight to win 61-58. TCU’s decision to throw a difficult fade on 4th and 3 on its final possession was a total head scratcher.
USC got lucky when Arizona missed a field goal at the finish, as the Trojans prevailed 28-26. This is one occasion when freezing the kicker paid off, as the Wildcats appeared to have already won it with the late three. The whistle was after the ball had been snapped, by the way.
West Virginia came all the way back from a big fourth quarter deficit and knocked off Texas Tech on a 55-yard field goal at the finish line. The Mountaineers haven’t won many of these the last few years, so it’s a big win for their program.
Wisconsin needs to recruit a quarterback who can hit a target. The Badgers held on to win by 10 against Illinois, but this could have easily been a 5-TD win with even occasional accuracy by the Badger passers.
Northwestern won the stats against Minnesota, but the Gophers got a 100 yard tie-breaking kickoff return to get past the Wildcats.
Nick Chubb stepped in for suspended Todd Gurley and a fired up Georgia squad completely dismantled Missouri on the road. This might well have been the most dominant defensive performance I’ve seen all season.
Oklahoma was extremely fortunate to escape with the win against Texas. The Sooners were outplayed but got both a defensive and special teams score for the narrow win.
Marshall won big against Middle Tennessee and could have been an even wider margin if not for some bad penalties late in the first half. The Thundering Herd will be heavily favored in each of their remaining games and should finish 12-0.
Duke was impressive in getting the win at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets got a couple of late scores to make it respectable, but the Blue Devils looked like the more complete team throughout.
Eastern Michigan is a winner! The Eagles were down 10-0 early to Buffalo, but really took this one over en route to a 37-27 upset.
Massachusetts also cracked the win column as they blew Kent State out in the fourth quarter. This was a little closer than the 40-17 final. but the Minutemen were clearly the better team.
Larry Blakeney has been at Troy for roughly forever, so his announcement that this would be his final season as head coach figured to generate a response. The Trojans came out blazing and easily topped Mew Mexico State.
Ohio U won the stats against Bowling Green but they sure didn’t win where it counts. The Falcons rolled 31-13, and the buzz that this could be it for Frank Solich at Ohio is picking up steam.
Notre Dame wasn’t sharp at all against North Carolina, but the Irish managed to win 50-43. The Tar Heels are one of the worst tackling teams I have ever seen, and that’s not an exaggeration.
Boston College was outstanding in a convincing romp over North Carolina State. The Eagles OL is very cohesive and this team can really run the football.
Oregon blew out UCLA, with the 42-30 final not at all representative of how the game went. In addition to getting crushed at home, Jim Mora Jr. was highlight reel material as he got in what was kind of a hilarious shouting match with one of his assistants.
Mississippi State turned the ball over on four straight possessions and still won big in front of a frenzied crowd at Starkville. Auburn also had four giveaways in what was kind of a sloppy game. But there’s no denying that the Bulldogs are now serious playoff contenders.
Ole Miss had no letdown off the thrilling win against Alabama. The Rebels were easy winners at College Station, leading Texas A&M 35-7 before coasting to the finish line.
Louisville is really tough defensively, and just missed the upset at Clemson. The Cardinals got stopped on the Clemson two-yard line in absorbing a tough 23-17 loss.
UAB turned it over nine times the prior two games. But the Blazers were +5 net turnovers this week as they throttled North Texas.
Kansas played Oklahoma State very tough at Lawrence and just missed the monster upset. The Jayhawks certainly appeared to respond well to the departure of Charlie Weis as head coach.
Central Michigan is now a force to be reckoned with in the MAC. The Chippewas fell behind 7-0 at the start, but demolished Northern Illinois the rest of the way in a convincing win.
California ran out of gas and got drilled at home by a much fresher Washington squad. The Bears turnover issues certainly didn’t help, but they weren’t beating the Huskies in this game.
Alabama is simply not as dominant as recent editions of the Crimson Tide. They were fortunate to get out of town with the 14-13 win in an ugly game against Arkansas.
Speaking of ugly, Penn State was at Michigan. The Wolverines finally got a desperately needed win, but there were zero style points either way in this one.
Houston changed QB’s for its game at Memphis and overcame an early deficit to get the mild upset against the Tigers.
East Carolina was extremely flat at South Florida and trailed by ten at the half. The Pirates have way more talent than the Bulls, however, and eventually gained enough control to get the ho-hum win.
LSU and Florida are both struggling this season, but the Bayou Bengals found a way to win with a 50-yard FG at the finish. There’s virtually no way Bill Muschamp will be coaching the Gators much longer, is there?
My first red Saturday of the season, as I ended up 4-5 in the colleges. I’m now down roughly a half unit for the current month, which I’m not thrilled about. Note that the prior several months have been very productive, so the overall bottom line for 2014 is pretty solid. I think I ate a little too much chalk on this card, and also simply missed a couple of spots (notably Troy) that should have been played. It’s always easy after the fact, of course, but there are also always lessons that can be learned.
Probably a short card in the NFL on Sunday, although I like what I’m on, no question about that. Check out the current monthly special which includes a guaranteed profit of at least five net units. That’s purchasable using the “buy now” feature on this page, or simply email me at email@example.com. That’s also how to get in touch with me for details on what I believe to be the best net winners program in the industry.
A split on the two college free plays, as Indiana missed but UMass came through nicely. The NFL comp for this week was in yesterday’s blog. I’ll take a look at the one MLB playoff game on today’s schedule here.
10/12 5:05 PM MLB (957) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS at (958) ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Take: (957) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS +115
Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, the dogs are running wild so far in this post-season. That trend was maintained on Saturday as the two road teams emerged with wins, and I can see more of the same taking place today.
There’s certainly mot much I can say negatively about Lance Lynn, the Game Two starter for the Cardinals. He’s been remarkably consistent all season and with Adam Wainwright just not 100% right now, Lynn is the ace of the St. Louis staff, at least for the time being. The one downer for Lynn here is his 0-3, 7.98 career ledger against the Giants. But that’s really small sample data and I don’t consider it to be particularly significant.
What does matter to me is the way Jake Peavy is throwing for the Giants. He is red hot. Peavy has not allowed more than two earned runs in ten straight starts. His control has been close to razor sharp, and if Peavy isn’t beating himself, chances are not too many hitters will, either. When I see current form data like Peavy’s and a nice little plus sign attached to boot, I get very interested.
Getting the Game One win was huge for San Francisco. The Giants now can play loose, as they’ve at worst accomplished the split at Busch and now own home field advantage. We’re also seeing a common theme in the these playoffs. The teams falling behind at the outset of the series are having a great deal of trouble recovering. Perhaps it’s the pressure of being favored while behind, or something else I can’t put my thumb on. But the results have been about as clear cut as it gets.
I think this game rates as a tossup on paper with Peavy battling Lynn, but I definitely prefer to be backing the team with the momentum. That’s clearly the Giants off yesterday’s shutout win, so I’ll back San Francisco here as underdogs to take the 2-0 series lead.