Friday, September 2, 2016

College Football: The Morning After (Best Opening Weekend In a While)

ESPN, as they do, is hyping this college football opening as THE BEST OPENING WEEKEND EVER!!  And while I'm not sure about that, ever being a long time after all, I do know that the schedule of games this long opening weekend is pretty strong.  As is typically the case, with no pre-season games, revolving-door rosters, we're bound to get a shock or three as good teams who will probably end up the season pretty strong stumble out of the gate.

Because of this fact all of the analysis and voodoo that college football "experts" and betting "experts" claim to have boils down, in many cases, to blind, random, luck on week one.

Last night was a good example of that.  As Tennessee struggled to squeak past Appalachian State in overtime, winning by falling on a fumble by their own QB in the end zone, people who predicted the Volunteers to run away with the game had egg on their faces, and touts who gave out App State on the ML were proclaiming themselves geniuses. And then the final drive happened, and the App State ML touts faded away while the App State "cover" folks told us that they knew it all the time and we could know it too for just $500 for the entire season.

All of this is fine except, they didn't know it. NO ONE knew it. This is a game that I passed on because Tennessee is just too much of an unknown. I THINK they're going to be good by the end of the season (and they survived here) but I'm not sure. I will say this, which should cheer up Vols fans. People forget that it was the same Michigan team that lost to App State that finished 9-3 which included a win over the then Tim Tebow-led (and Urban Meyer coached) Florida Gators in the Gator Bowl.  So, they have that going for them.

Louisville looked good but they looked good against the 125th power-ranked team in the country. To be honest, playing a tough FCS team might have been a tougher out than Charlotte. Leonard Jackson appears to be the honest, real-deal at QB though. It will be interesting to see what he can do against better.

My "FIVE" had a rough start. I picked Tulane on the ML, which, in retrospect was a mistake. Had I picked them to cover I would have been feeling much better about the state of things this morning. I was right about one thing however: Wake Forest isn't going to be very good. The thing that I was wrong about was that Tulane had any talent on the roster at all.  Offensively anyway. I still think there's going to be value in betting toward Willie Fitz's side, but to cover, not to win with that pitiful offense.

FIU looked like they were going to salvage my start against Indiana, until halftime, when they suddenly decided to just up and stop playing. The result was a missed cover leaving me with an 0-2 start and looking toward tonight's Toledo/Arkansas State (ASU to cover) tie to get me off the ground so I have a CHANCE on Saturday to have a winning first week. I always start slow however, I think the last two years I've gone 0-5 in week one (due, in part, to stupid decisions [see above]) so there's always hope (and week 2).

Coach Mason of Vanderbilt should be on the hot seat. His team did everything imaginable last night to NOT win the game against South Carolina.  Speaking of the Gamecocks, they looked horrible. They were sloppy, inefficient, offensively inept. In essence, a Will Muschamp team.

Either Minnesota is not as good as we thought or Oregon State is better than we thought. I'm not sure which is true yet.

Connecticut, (24-21 over Maine), Cincinnati (28-7 over Tennessee Martin) and Rice (beat 46-14 by Western Kentucky) all showed poorly and gave rise to a lot of Big XII expansion jokes on social media last night.  But one game, even a poorly played one, shouldn't matter. In fact it doesn't matter. That's why UH, even IF OU houses them, which I don't think will happen, and Cincinnati still appear to be the front-runners to me.

4 more days left in this opening weekend. Pace yourself.

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