The 2010 NCAA football betting campaign wrapped up its ninth 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 9 college football betting action!
Worthy Top Teams: For the first time in four weeks, the top teams in the country did what they had to do and bounced inferior teams, even on the road. No matter whether you consider the Auburn Tigers or the Oregon Ducks the best team in the nation, both came forth with dominating efforts on Saturday. The Tigers used a dynamic game from Cam Newton, which included a 20 yard touchdown reception to take down Ole Miss by three scores. Later that night, it was three TDs from LaMichael James, a man that we will do a lot of talking about later, that led the way to a dominating 53-32 win at USC.
Sunshine State Slump: It is very possible that the best team in the state of Florida this year might be the UCF Knights. They’re the only one that might be deserving of Top 25 votes after a week in which the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes were both dealt crushing upsets that might wreck both in their quests to winning the ACC this year. The Florida Gators were upset winners over Georgia in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, but they are still nowhere near getting back in the Top 25 after suffering three straight losses. Aside from UCF, the only of the three powers in the state that are even remotely worthy of the Top 25 is Florida State, as the Noles have played an interesting schedule and have looked great, save in their two losses. Miami and Florida are both dealing with three losses and are looking at very iffy bowl destinations this season.
Roadblocks for Mizzou and Sparty: ESPN hyped this Saturday up as “Roadblock Saturday,” and that’s exactly what happened for the Michigan State Spartans and the Missouri Tigers. Two of the seven undefeated teams in the country this week were knocked off on the road and were knocked off in bad ways. The Spartans know that they can still finish this regular season at 11-1 and go to the Rose Bowl after getting destroyed 37-6 against the Iowa Hawkeyes, but for the Tigers, a 31-17 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers really put them in a position where the best they might be able to do is the Alamo Bowl, even if they go 11-1. Nebraska knows that it can win the Big XII North just by winning out, and there’s nothing that the ‘Zou can do about it now that it has lost the tiebreaker for the season.
Not a Great “Crist”ening for the Irish: It’s officially time for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to push the panic button. They probably won’t be going bowling this year, as they suffered their fifth loss of the season to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the first meeting ever of these two schools. A team that was already chock full of injuries just added its biggest name to its M*A*S*H* list, as QB Dayne Crist watched his season come to an end via injury in the second quarter against Tulsa. The only good news is that there are two weeks to prepare for the final three games of the season, but there are really no given wins left on this schedule. Utah, Army, and USC are all awaiting, and if the Trojans weren’t on probation, all three would be doing something in December or January that Notre Dame won’t be… playing in a game. If we were Brian Kelly, we would be working on our resume, and in a hurry. Non-bowl seasons are not tolerated in South Bend, even for first year head coaches.
No More Unbeaten ATS Teams: The Air Force Falcons sort of hit a backdoor by scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cover the Utah Utes over the weekend, marking the first time that a team has covered against Utah this year. Its six game ATS winning streak came to a close, but two other teams reached the six straight barrier over the weekend. The Hawaii Warriors and UCF Knights have both rolled off six covers in a row, while arguably the hottest team in the nation, the Virginia Tech Hokies also have six straight covers even though they were idle this weekend. For what it’s worth, the only team in the country to not have played at least one ‘over’ and one ‘under’ this weekend has finally had its first ‘under’ mark given to it as well. The Oregon State Beavers only had 42 points in a 35-7 romp over California to fall to 6-1 for ‘over’ bettors on the season.
Saturday Night Delights: There were no shortage of high scorers on Saturday afternoon, and we have the facts and figures to prove it! Thanks to a converted two point conversion in the second overtime, the UAB Blazers not only scored an outright victory, but reached the 50 point plateau against Southern Miss. We already know that both the Oregon Ducks (53) and the Auburn Tigers (51) were able to pull off the feat as well. Other 50+ point scoring teams on Saturday included the Maryland Terrapins (62), Houston Cougars (56), Ohio State Buckeyes (52), and Nevada Wolf Pack (56).
Still Waiting for Touchdowns: It feels like we are getting more and more teams shut out over the course of a Saturday now than ever before. The biggest dud belonged to Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies, who were blanked at home by the Stanford Cardinal in a game that is likely to cost Locker millions of dollars in next year’s NFL Draft. Locker was totally outplayed by Andrew Luck, who many think could be the top pick in the Draft come the Spring. As far as other teams that didn’t find the end zone on Saturday… Washington State Cougars (0), Florida International Golden Panthers (9), Akron Zips (0), Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6), and the Louisville Cardinals (3).
Top Passers: Oklahoma’s Landry Jones was really the unsung hero of Saturday’s action, as he threw for 453 yards and four scores in the dominating win over Colorado on Saturday, and the Heisman Trophy committee might not totally see what he is worth to his team. However, he certainly wasn’t the only man that put together a great passing performance for his team. Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill (449), Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett (409), Utah State’s Diondre Borel (399), Southern Miss’ Austin Davis (388), Louisiana Lafayette’s Brad McGuire (384), San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley (365), San Jose State’s Jordan La Secla, Western Michigan’s Alex Carder (360), and SMU’s Kyle Padron (354) were men that threw for at least 350 yards on Saturday.
Running All Over the Competition: Listing all of the 150 yard running backs would take forever this week, as there were a whopping 16 men that got the job done. Instead, we’ll just look at the best performances overall. The standard of running backs this week and this year was set by Roy Helu on Saturday, as he rumbled for an NCAA high 307 yards and three TDs in a 31-17 win over Missouri. The Huskers’ back set a school record for rushing yards in a single game, including TDs or 66, 73, and 53 yards on the day. It’s sad to think that Oregon’s LaMichael James, who had 36 carries, 239 yards, and three TDs of his own is being overshadowed. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the day that Lance Dunbar had for North Texas as well, as he ran for 215 yards and three scores of his own.
Receiving the Top Prizes: Eight different receivers had at least 150 yards through the air on Saturday, and it should come as no surprise that the nation’s top receiver, Hawaii’s Greg Salas is one of them. Salas was actually the lowest ranked of these eight, as he had 11 grabs for 168 yards, but it is remotely reasonable to think that he could be a 2,000 yard receiver by the time this season is said and done with. Other 150+ yard receivers on the day include Tennessee’s Denarius Moore (228), Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles (208), SMU’s Aldrick Robinson (182), Western Michigan’s Jordan White (180), San Diego State’s DeMarco Sampson (175), Kentucky’s Randall Cobb (171), and Texas A&M’s Jeff Fuller (171).
Season Long Awards: We finally have a 3,000 yard passer to discuss this week, as Bryant Moniz got there for Hawaii on Saturday. It will probably be a couple weeks before we add our next names to the list of top passers on the season. On the ground, both Northern Illinois’ Chad Spann and Oregon’s LaMichael James reached the 1,000 yard mark, and there are a number of different backs that could get there next week. Ryan Broyles became the third 1,000 yard receiver on the season.
3,000 Yard Passers
Bryant Moniz (3,247)
1,000 Yard Rushers
Denard Robinson (1,287)
LaMichael James (1,210)
Kendall Hunter (1,174)
Cam Newton (1,122)
Bilal Powell (1,067)
Chad Spann (1,000)
1,000 Yard Receivers
Greg Salas (1,236)
Justin Blackmon (1,112)
Ryan Broyles (1,018)