Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 8/28/18
As we head into the first full week of college football, it’s a good time to focus on head coaches. I’ll post my coaches on the hot seat within the next day or two. Today, I’ll take a look at coaching upgrades, where I see a change producing dividends very quickly. I won’t be backing all these coaches right at the outset. But in each case, I’m looking for positive results in short order, if not right out of the gate. Note these are in no particular order.
Scott Frost is a massive upgrade for Nebraska. No need to dwell on what he accomplished at Central Florida. Frost is handing the QB reigns to a true freshman, and don’t be shocked to see Adrian Martinez become a national star very quickly.
Kent State isn’t likely to win many this season. But I really like the Sean Lewis hire. He’s going to open up the offense for the downtrodden Golden Flashes. Lewis was an assistant under Dino Babers, so it’s going to be up tempo early and often for this team. I expect Lewis to do well on the recruiting trail and don’t be shocked to see this program make some nice strides in the next couple of years.
UCLA hit the jackpot luring Chip Kelly back to the college ranks. The Bruins could contend in the South, a division that doesn’t really have what I’d call a dominant team. This team was absolutely awful on defense last season, as they were overwhelmed in the trenches almost every week. I’ll wait to see how quickly it comes together in Pasadena, but it’s not likely to take very long.
Jonathan Smith is an excellent choice to try and put together a rebuild at Oregon State. Smith overachieved as player at Oregon State and his rep as a QB guru is legit. Smith doesn’t have the horses to win many now. But don’t be surprised to see the Beavers throw some scares into their PAC-12 brethren as the season progresses.
Jimbo Fisher is an upgrade at Texas A&M ver Kevin Sumlin. If you don’t comprehend why, you probably don’t follow much college football. The Aggies have Clemson and Alabama on the early season slate, so they’re probably going to be 2-2 heading into Week Five, That might be the time to get on the Aggies.
Dan Mullen will stabilize Florida. I’m not sure he has the pieces in place to make much noise this season, but the Gators should return to national prominence soon enough with Mullen running things.
Jeremy Pruitt has his work cut out at Tennessee. But the Vols could get getter right away with Pruitt taking over for Butch Jones. At the very least, there should be better clock management. Jones was among the worst coaches I’ve ever seen at that aspect of the game. I also don’t think we’ll see the quit jobs that took place under the prior regime on a far too frequent basis. Harsh? Yes. Justifiable? Yes.
SMU improved annually with Chad Morris at the helm. The Hogs don’t have the talent to do a lot this season, but I think you’ll see more enthusiasm immediately. That could make the Razorbacks live as big dogs in some conference games as this team is going to play hard for 60 minutes.
Steve Campbell is a plus hire for South Alabama. It might not show early against stiffer non-SBC opponents, hut I like the Jaguars to be a go with team once league plays gets going.
I enjoyed a day off Monday, but will swing back into action today. The college card is coming together nicely. To get all my plays across the board or exclusively on the gridiron, choose one of the options on the Cokin’s Picks menu to the right of the page. For more elaborate details on how everything works, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the Tuesday comp, this one on the diamond.
RAYS (Stanek) at BRAVES (Teheran)
Take: BRAVES -125
Let’s get the bad news out of the way right away. Julio Teheran is not exactly Mr. Reliable for the Braves. But for what it’s worth, Teheran has been pretty good lately. He’s had three straight decent outings. That could well mean he’s due for a clunker, but I’d still rather be backing a pitcher in good form as opposed to one getting raked.
Ryne Stanek will be the opener tonight for the Rays. Stanek has excelled in this role for Tampa Bay. But the results in the games he’s started on the road give a little pause for concern, as the Rays have dropped eight of those nine outings.
My stance here is mostly situational. As much as I like what mad scientist Kevin Cash has done with the TB team, and as much as I love their energy and enthusiasm, this is not a great spot for the Rays. They’re off what I would consider to be an enormous sweep at home against the powerful Red Sox. Leaving their friendly confines off that rivalry sweep could produce a letdown spot.
This looks to me to be a very reasonable price on Atlanta and I’m looking at playing the Braves this evening.