We’re finally into the month of August which means that college football season is not very far away. Here at BangTheBook.com, college football season never seems to stop with all of the great content we have had over the offseason. Monday was an extra special day because the BangTheBook.com College Football Podcast made its triumphant return for the 2014 season.
Fittingly, host Adam Burke and regular guest Kyle Hunter began the season with a lengthy discussion about the Big Ten Conference. Both guys are Ohio State fans, but they had a very reasonable stance on the Buckeyes entering this season and have been known to cover Ohio State and their games without bias. The Buckeyes are the favorites to win the Big Ten, which is no surprise, but Kyle voices some concerns and Adam points out some things that may benefit the Buckeyes this season.
It’s possible that the three best teams in the Big Ten could all reside in the East Division, as the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines could post the top records in the conference while the teams in the West Division spend time beating each other. The Spartans had some big losses on defense. Do the guys believe that will affect them this season? Even though both guys acknowledge the potential of Michigan, Kyle has one area of concern that he simply cannot overlook. Is Brady Hoke holding the Wolverines back?
With four teams likely in the race in the West Division, what about the other teams in the East Division? Can the Maryland Terrapins be a surprise contender in their first season as a member of the Big Ten Conference? The Terrapins return 17 starters, so experience shouldn’t be a problem and Adam suggests that the uncertainty about the Terrapins could actually be beneficial to them.
One of the B1G stories in the Big Ten this past offseason was James Franklin’s hiring at Penn State. What, if anything, will separate the Nittany Lions from the other second or third-tier teams in the East Division? Will Indiana actually play some defense this season? How will Rutgers fare in the Big Ten this season? All of those questions were answered during the first half of the podcast.
The focus shifted west as Wisconsin led off a discussion about the wide open Big Ten West Division. The Badgers lost a lot from last year’s squad, including Jared Abbrederis, the program’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 2005. Notable losses on defense also could leave Wisconsin a notch or two below the standards that bettors have come to expect. Can Gary Andersen be the difference maker?
Northwestern, who lost a bunch of close games last season, could finally break through this season and take advantage of a very balanced division that lacks a top-tier team. Iowa should also be in that mix and they may have the friendliest schedule of the four teams in contention. The Nebraska Cornhuskers, who have gone at least 9-4 in each of Bo Pelini’s six seasons, have the toughest schedule out of the four teams, including road games at Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Iowa. Could coaching be the difference in this group? Kyle certainly thinks so.
Could a surprise team like Illinois or Minnesota be in the hunt? Adam believes that coaching may hold Illinois back, while the Gophers, who look very mediocre on paper, always play hard for Jerry Kill. Adam even coined the term “Kill Factor” on the show, something that could definitely be heard on a podcast again at some point this season. Both guys are very excited about a transfer at Illinois that could have a major impact on the season thanks to offensive coordinator Bill Cubit.
Adam and Kyle are doing two shows for each of the first three weeks of August to get listeners prepared for the season. Wednesday’s show will feature a discussion about the Pac-12 and the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 will all have an episode of their own, while the sixth and final preseason show will cover parts of all of the remaining conferences.
The BangTheBook.com College Football Podcast may not have a creative name, but it has plenty of outstanding information and is a necessary listen for any serious college football bettor.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.