The 2010 NCAA football betting campaign wrapped up its first week of play on Monday night. Here at Bang the Book, we’ve got you covered for all of the most important news and notes from around college football and its first week action!
Underdog Uprising: The news was really, really bad for a slew of teams that were expected to win last week, several of which were expected to win by a comfortable margin. The major upsets started on Thursday when the Florida Atlantic Owls took down UAB on the road 32-31 as 13 point underdogs. Even worse were the defeats suffered by the Kansas Jayhawks and the Mississippi Rebels. Both lost to FCS opponents as four TD+ favorites. Other outright underdogs that won last week included the Minnesota Golden Gophers, BYU Cougars, Boise State Broncos, East Carolina Pirates, and Maryland Terrapins.
Super Scorers: There were a number of teams that were expected to put together a whole boatload of points. Some of them followed suit and did their job, while others put up total duds. No one scored more points this week than the Oregon Ducks, who dropped 72 on the board against the hapless New Mexico Lobos in spite of the fact that RB LaMichael James was suspended for the game. The Houston Cougars scored 68 points, while other 50+ point teams included the East Carolina Pirates (51 vs. Tulsa), South Florida Bulls (59 vs. Stony Brook), Auburn Tigers (52 vs. Arkansas State), Oklahoma State Cowboys (65 vs. Washington State), Stanford Cardinal (52 vs. Sacramento State), California Golden Bears (52 vs. UC-Davis), Tennessee Volunteers (50 vs. Tennessee Martin), Air Force Falcons (65 vs. Northwestern State), Georgia Bulldogs (55 vs. Louisiana Lafayette), Florida State Seminoles (59 vs. Samford), Indiana Hoosiers (51 vs. Towson), and Wake Forest Demon Deacons (53 vs. Presbyterian).
Heisman Candidates Bust: Mark Ingram was injured. LaMichael James was suspended. Landry Jones nearly lost to Utah State. Case Keenum couldn’t even get to 300 yards passing against an FCS foe. The bottom line is that none of the major players that were expected to come out of the gates strong really did so last week. Terrelle Pryor might have been a bit of an exception to the rule, as he threw for three scores and 247 yards in a win against Marshall. Jacory Harris also threw for three TDs against Florida A&M, but neither man really put together the performance that really could have made them stand out above the rest in Week 1.
BCS Busters!: There was all sorts of steam against the Boise State Broncos at the outset of the week, as they dropped from short favorites to short underdogs by the time the game kicked off on Labor Day night. What happened to that logic? The Broncos looked great out of the gates, had a sluggish middle two quarters, but finished off like the bandits that they are. QB Kellen Moore’s third TD pass of the game with 1:14 left won it for Boise State, which might have a clear shot now to the BCS Championship Game. The TCU Horned Frogs are surely going to be moving up in the polls as well after beating a ranked opponent, Oregon State. The Horned Frogs looked great from start to finish, and though OSU put together a good showing, there was never really a doubt. The Mountain West’s biggest win of the weekend though, came when the Utah Utes knocked off Pittsburgh in overtime. The Utes might ultimately end up being a Top 10 team in another month’s time, and they might be setting up yet another BCS busting showdown between themselves at TCU in November.
Dominating Defenses: Again, we need to make mention that this was a week where a lot of FBS teams were supposed to shut down opposing offenses from the FCS. On Thursday, the favorites really did a lot of holding to form. The Central Michigan Chippewas, Miami Hurricanes, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, and Idaho Vandals all took care of business and held their respective FCS foes to bagels for the full four quarters. On Saturday, the West Virginia Mountaineers, Tennessee Volunteers, and San Diego State Aztecs all took care of their FBS opponents with no points conceded. The Oregon Ducks were the only team to get rid of an FBS team without a point scored over the weekend, blanking New Mexico. Accolades should be given to the Arizona Wildcats, who did pitch a shutout on defense but only conceded a safety to blow the perfect game.
Top Passers: The top passer of the week was TJ Yates, who did everything he could do to bring the Tar Heels back in a loss to LSU. Yates threw for a week high 412 yards and three scores. Both Tulsa’s GJ Kinne and ECU’s Dominique Davis threw for five TD passes, and had fantastic passing games as well (399 for Kinne, 383 for Davis). Arizona’s Nick Foles (360), Texas Tech’s Taylor Potts (359), and Duke’s Sean Renfree (350) all reached at least 350 yards passing as well.
Running All Over the Competition: Some big time players came up with big time performances on the ground last week, and all of a sudden there are a ton of Heisman Trophy candidates that are emerging in an otherwise dud of a week for the big guns. Kendall Hunter was the beast of the beasts on Saturday, leading the Cowboys to a huge 65-17 win over Washington State. He accounted for 257 yards and four rushing TDs on the week. Kansas State’s Daniel Thomas (234), Oklahoma’s DeMarco Murray (218), and UAB’s QB David Isabelle (214) all rushed for 200+ yards. An honorable mention needs to be given to Michigan’s Denard Robinson, who not only completed 19 of his 22 passes for 186 yards and a TD, but he rushed for 197 yards and a score on 29 carries as well.
Receiving the Top Prizes: Someone had to get all of those yards for the Tar Heels in the passing game, and the man that stepped up was Jheraine Boyd, who had just six catches, but had 221 yards and a TD as well. Two players had 11 receptions last week, but only Arizona’s Juron Criner had at least 150 receiving yards (187). San Diego State’s DeMarco Sampson (179), Hawaii’s Kealoha Pilares (176), Florida Atlantic’s Lester Jean (164), Utah’s DeVonte Christopher (155), and Buffalo’s Marcus Rivers (155) all reached the 150+ yard barrier in receiving yards.