October 24, 2010

College Football Week 8 Recap, News, and Notes

The 2010 NCAA football betting campaign wrapped up its eighth week of play on Saturday night. Here at Bang the Book, we’ve got you covered for all of the most important news and notes from Week 8 college football betting action!

No Relaxation for No. 1: My goodness… Down goes the top team in the country… again… Last week, we already made fun of the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ohio State Buckeyes for getting knocked from their respective perches atop the country. Even though the Oklahoma Sooners didn’t hold down the No. 1 spot in either human poll, they were the top team in the BCS rankings that debuted last weekend. Needless to say, that didn’t last long. OU became the third straight No. 1 ranked team that went on the road in a very tough battle and failed with an outright defeat. If you believe in karma, next week’s No. 1 team, the Oregon Ducks are going to be visiting the USC Trojans this weekend, while the next week, another prospective No. 1 team, the TCU Horned Frogs visit the Utah Utes.

Big Weekend for Top 25: For once, the 25 best teams in the nation finally played like it. The only losers this week against unranked teams were the Texas Longhorns, whom will probably never be heard from again this season after a second incredibly inexcusable loss, and the West Virginia Mountaineers, who are determined to make life difficult for themselves in the Big East after losing to the Syracuse Orange. Hey, we’ll give it up for HC Doug Marrone and company, though. This is the second Big East upset on the road already this season, and the Orange are just two wins away from bowl eligibility. Top 25 teams went 12-5 ATS this weekend against non-Top 25 teams, the most impressive mark for the top teams in the country this season.

Big Day for Big XII North, Sorrowful Day for Big XII South: If you’re a fan of the Big XII North over the Big XII South, this was certainly the weekend for you! The Missouri Tigers absolutely earned their place as the top ranked team in the conference after knocking off the Oklahoma Sooners in the game that we already made mention of. However, if the Tigers want to win the Big XII North this year, they are going to have to beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln this weekend. The Huskers kept control of their own fate in this conference by downing the previously unbeaten Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater 51-41. The Texas Longhorns were the team that really could have taken advantage of this situation if not for that woeful drop to the Iowa State Cyclones as 21 point favorites. Texas was the subject of the biggest outright upset of the weekend. Virtually every team in the Big XII South now controls its destiny to go to the Big XII Championship Game this year, but in all likelihood, this battle will come down to Bedlam on the last weekend of the regular season in this conference. The team atop the Big XII right now? Would you believe the Baylor Bears? They were the one team to really lay waste to a foe from the other side of the conference, as they took down the Kansas State Wildcats 47-42 to gain bowl eligibility.

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Utes Still Undefeated, Hokies in Pursuit: The Utah Utes just keep on keeping on! They are only five more games away from playing in the BCS and potentially for the BCS National Championship. However, they had to take care of the Colorado State Rams against a 30.5 point NCAA football spread on Saturday first. Mission accomplished. Utah moved to 6-0-1 ATS this year with a 59-6 win after racking up 645 yards of offense. The Utes have now rolled off six straight games ATS after the push to start the season. However, this isn’t a standalone number as the best ATS mark in the L/6 games. The Virginia Tech Hokies, who were forgotten about and left for dead just a month ago, have gone 6-0 SU and ATS since losing to James Madison back in the second weekend of the year.

Saturday Night Delights: We already know that the Utah Utes (59) are on the list of the teams this week that crossed the 50 point barrier. The week started out with the Oregon Ducks putting 60 on the board against UCLA as well. Other 50+ point scoring teams this week include the Western Michigan Broncos (56), Nebraska Cornhuskers (51), Cal Golden Bears (50), and the most surprising entrant to the list, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (54).

Still Waiting for Touchdowns: If we were to list the number of teams that failed to reach double digits in scoring this week, we’d be here until the games kicked off next Saturday! So instead, we’ll take our weekly trip to Misery Lane, where we find a number of teams that are still waiting to score their first touchdown since the previous Saturday. The Colorado State Rams (6), Connecticut Huskies (0), Buffalo Bulls (0), and Purdue Boilermakers (0) are on the uh-oh list this weekend.

Western Kentucky Whacks Losing Skid: Last week, we mentioned that the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers were in all sorts of trouble due to the fact that they were working on a 26 game losing streak. However, they busted that one in a big time way, thwarting Louisiana Lafayette by four scores! The 54 points scored was the most by a WKU team since beating West Virginia Tech 87-0 in September of 2007. It was their first win over an FBS foe since becoming a fully fledged member of the FBS. The only problem now is that the hometown crowd still hasn’t seen it! The only two wins against FBS teams since 2007 both came on the road! If you’re interested, there are only two winless teams left in the country this year, the Akron Zips and New Mexico Lobos, and both are on eight game losing streaks with New Mexico’s dating back to last season.

Top Passers: We feel awfully terrible for Cincinnati’s Zach Collaros. The young man that is certain to have a future in professional football threw for a whopping 463 yards on Friday night against South Florida, only to have his defense totally let him down in a 38-30 defeat. We have to tip our cap to Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, who threw for 404 yards and four TDs in a 47-42 win over Kansas State to lead the Bears to the top of the Big XII South. They’ll be headed to their first bowl game in eons this year. Other 350+ yard passers on the week include Hawaii’s Brett Moniz (389), Western Michigan’s Alex Carder (372), South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia (355), and Kentucky’s Mike Hartline (353).

Running All Over the Competition: Griffin clearly wasn’t the only man on a roll on Saturday for Baylor. Check out the numbers on Jay Finley! As a part of a 683 yard day for the Bears, Finley rumbled for 250 yards on just 26 carries with a pair of scores! We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the effort that Cam Newton put up against LSU on Saturday. The new probable Heisman Trophy favorite rumbled for 217 yards to help lead Auburn all the way up to the No. 3 ranking in the country. Other 150+ yard rushers this week include Navy’s Alexander Teich (210), TCU’s Ed Wesley (209), Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter (201), Arkansas’ Knile Davis (176), Hawaii’s Alex Green (172), Clemson’s Andre Ellington (166), Georgia’s Washaun Ealey (157), and Eastern Michigan’s Javonti Greene (155)

Receiving the Top Prizes: We had a whopping ten receivers reach the 150 yard barrier this weekend through the air, and all were huge for their respective teams. None were bigger than Julio Jones for the Tide, though. It felt like every single play was going to the big man that was highly recruited, and he put up the best game of his career against Tennessee. Jones caught 12 balls for 221 yards. Other 150+ yard receivers include Miami Ohio’s Nick Harwell (219), Western Michigan’s Juan Nunez (192), Cincinnati’s Marcus Barnett (174), Western Michigan’s Jordan White, Kent State’s Tyshon Goode (158), Hawaii’s Greg Salas (158), Cincinnati’s Armon Binns (158), South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffrey (158), and Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon (157).

Season Long Awards: There is no doubt that Justin Blackmon is one of the nation’s top wide receivers anymore. He had a tremendous day against the Cornhuskers and their Black Shirts defense, and if he can do that type of damage against Big Red, he can do it against anyone in the country. His teammate Kendall Hunter had a great effort on the ground as well, making him one of four men to reach the 1,000 yard rushing mark on the season. None are more impressive than Cam Newton though, who had over 200 yards on the ground against LSU to move his Tigers into within striking distance of the BCS Championship.

Previous Accolades
3,000 Yard Passers: None
1,000 Yard Rushers
Denard Robinson (1,096)
Cam Newton (1,077)
Kendall Hunter (1,031)
Bilal Powell (1,003)
1,000 Yard Receivers
Justin Blackmon (1,112)
Greg Salas (1,068)

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