Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 11/20/16
Adios, Charlie Strong. I don’t think there was much chance Strong was going to get one more year on the Texas sidelines. But the final nail was driven home on Saturday in a truly awful loss by the Longhorns to lowly Kansas.
There’s simply no other way to put it other than to say Strong did not have his football team prepared to play. Sure, the players warrant blame for mailing it in, but the buck has to stop somewhere and in this case the coach has to get criticized.
There isn’t question as to who the primary target is to replace Strong. The Texas boosters, and we know their pockets are very deep, are evidently willing to do whatever it takes to lure Tom Herman from Houston to Austin.
Herman’s stock was extremely high to begin with. But the blowout win by the Cougars on Thursday against Louisville pretty much cemented him as the number one choice for pretty much whatever job he wants. The popular theory is that Texas will be the landing spot for Herman. But I sure wouldn’t be surprised to find out LSU has a monster offer prepared.
Tough luck for Houston to be sure. Had the Big 12 expanded as they indicated they would, the Cougars might have been moving up in terms of conference prestige and perhaps Herman would have stuck around. But that’s not happening for at least the near future, and it’s really difficult to envision Herman staying with an AAC team.
Okay Saturday here overall. The football split, but I had another good day in college basketball and picked up a net profit of 1.5 units altogether. It could have been better, but I left a couple of winning opinions off the card and stubbornly playing Arizona was just plain stupid. Nevertheless, a nice day and I’ll try to add some more today. Three NFL sides are locked in, and I’ve got circles on a small handful of college basketball games as well.
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The Saturday free play on Washington State looked good into the third quarter but Colorado really wore down that small Wazzu defensive front and proved to be the clear right side. The Cougars are a solid team but if they want to take that next step to superpower level, I think they’re simply going to have to get bigger on defense. Here’s my NFL free play for this week.
BILLS at BENGALS
Take: BILLS +2.5
I think you can stick a fork in the Bengals if they get beat today, and I definitely feel that’s a possibility.
Buffalo is now a Top 10 team on the efficiency numbers. The Bills are also +57 on point differential when stacked up against the Bengals. That’s not always the single most reliable variable when sizing up an individual game, but it certainly indicates which team is probably the better entry.
Buffalo has been its own worst enemy, which is why they’re 4-5 and losers of three straight. But I think that’s also getting us a favorable number here.
The Bengals are pretty much doing what I suspected they might do this season, which is fall back to the pack. I thought the window might have closed following yet another playoff disaster to end the 2015 season. I stated at the time that it was my belief that there needed to be a coaching change or else the team ran the risk of getting stale. That definitely seems to be taking place as this year’s Cincinnati entry is an underachiever.
I’m looking at this as a very winnable game for Buffalo. They might simply be the better team, but beyond that, I like the situation as Cincinnati is shaping up as a down the stretch fade possibility. I’ll grab the available points with the Bills.