Posted 09/18/2010 at 10:06 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning! Welcome to another Saturday of college football featuring bets, ballgames, Budweisers and much more. I'll try to check in throughout the day with thoughts, analysis and recommendations for second-half bets.
Let's start the day by clearing out my inbox with some mailbag questions pertaining to today's Week 3 action.
Question from Bulldog Bob in Atlanta, Brian, will Richt get a pass for any losses without A.J. Green? What record do we need for him not to get fired. I thinik we should keep him, but who do we go after if we fire him?
Answer: Bulldog Bob: If you're familiar with any of my writing in the past, then you're well aware that I think the first pink slip in Athens needs to be handed to the incompetent school president Michael Adams, who inexplicably ran the legendary Vince Dooley out of town in favor of Damon Evans, who is now gone after shaming the school with a DUI and shaming his family with a skank being in the car with him with her red panties in Evans' lap. Anyway, back to Richt and this year's Dawgs: If Georgia loses today and at Mississippi St., that'll be a 1-3 start and Richt will be in big trouble. He won't be done yet, though. With Green, UGA should be favored in its next four games -- at Colorado, vs. UT, vs. Vandy and at Kentucky. So the Dawgs could be 5-3 going into the Florida game. As long as UGA doesn't get blown out there and it can find a way to finish 8-4 and win a bowl game, I think Richt will be safe. However, if a loss to Florida gets coupled with a loss at Auburn, UGA will be 6-5 going into the regular-season finale against Ga. Tech. That would be bad news. At that point, perhaps a blowout win over Ga. Tech and a bowl win could MAYBE save Richt. We'll see. But hey, a win today could be huge and put all of this talk to rest -- for now.
Question from War Eagle Wayne from Huntsville: Brian, War Damn Eagle! WE're gone whup up on some Clemson kitty cats tongiht, trust me! Hey man, why ain't you been on the Finebaum Show this year? Can Auburn win the national title?
Answer: Wayne: I think Auburn wins tonight, but not sure if it covers. I loved what I saw out of Cam Newton last week at Mississippi St., but I still have plenty of questions about Auburn's defense. That unit needs to improve and will be tested tonight. As for the Paul Finebaum Show, I was on with them weekly every Monday last year, but didn't get invited back. Not sure why, but no biggie. They're a national show now on Sirius and XM, so I suspect their interviews with 'gambling people' could be limited to those that pay to go on radio shows. We don't do that at VI. I go on a lot of shows, but we never pay money to be on a show. You can hear me on several weekly shows: Paul Howard in Vegas and Reno on Mondays and Friday, Schick and Nick on Thursday mornings (11:10 Central) on 1620 The Zone in Omaha, 1560 in Houston on Wednesday mornings around 9:10 Eastern and the Out of Bounds Show in Jackson, MS. on Wednesday mornings around 9:35 Eastern. Also occasionally on The Sid Rosenberg Show in Miami and Gators and More in Jacksonville and The Big Nasty Show in Lumpkin, TX. Can Auburn win it all this year? I doubt it. Get past Clemson and South Carolina and then we'll talk. That regular-season finale in Tuscaloosa sure does look daunting. We'll see, though, because you never know and that's the beauty of college football!
Question: Terrence in Reno -- Brian, how about Nevada? What are Colin Kaepernick's Heisman chances and can the Wolf Pack be unbeaten going into the Boise game?
Answer: Terrence, great question that I addressed in my Bonus Nuggets at the bottom of my UF-UT preview. Yes, Nevada has a shot at being unbeaten going into Boise showdown on Nov. 26 on a Friday on ESPN. The biggest test is next week at BYU. A road game at Hawaii is no lay-up, either, and the trip to Fresno St. will certainly be a big hurdle. But yes, there's a chance. As for Kaepernick's chances at the Heisman, if he keeps putting up monster numbers and the Wolf Pack stay unbeaten, he's a legit sleeper. Those things would have to happen and then he would have to have a career game in a win over Boise. If all that goes down, who knows?
Allright, let's touch on some players who need to perform at a big-time level in order for their teams to win today. Let's call it...
Players on the Hot Seat today:
1-Robert Griffin (Baylor QB)
2-Garrett Gilbert (Texas QB)
3-Nic Grigsby (Arizona RB)
4-Pernell McPhee (Mississippi St. DE)
5-Tauren Poole (Tennessee RB)
6-Warren Norman (Vandy RB)
7-Aaron Murray (Georgia QB)
8-T.J. Yates (North Carolina QB)
9-Jake Locker (Washington QB)
10-Michael Dyer (Auburn RB)
It's 10:40 a.m. Eastern, 80 minutes until kickoff in Athens between the hedges. I'm going to go grab breakfast, but I'll be back shortly. Good luck with your wagers! If anyone is interested in my pick pack, feel free to check it out!
12:20 p.m.: We're off to a great start in Athens, where Arkansas and Georgia have both produced touchdown drives. The Hogs converted a pair of third downs on their first drive with Ryan Mallett throwing a touchdown pass. UGA marched down the field and faced a fourth-and-goal at the one. Mark Richt decided to go for it and redshirt freshman QB Aaron Murray ran into the end zone on a naked bootleg to the short side. The Dawgs just forced a three and out, but then made a colossal mistake on special teams. Arkansas got a first down when the punter bobbled the snap but took off running to his left and somehow got past the first-down marker. It's 7-7 late in the first quarter.
In other action, West Va. drew first blood against Maryland and leads 7-0. The 'Neers closed as 10-point home 'chalk' at most books. Check that, WVU is now up 14-0. Oh, brother, the poor ol' itchin' ACC! North Carolina settled for a short field goal to take a 3-0 lead against Ga. Tech. The Tar Heels still have most of their best defensive players in street clothes serving suspensions.
12:35: Arkansas just got a 62-yard punt return for a TD by Joe Adams, but it was nullified by an illegal block to the back penalty. Big break for the Dawgs. Still tied at 7-7.
Ga. Tech answered UNC's FG and raised 'em four points with a TD for a 7-3 lead. Jackets closed as three-point 'dogs at most spots. UMass had a 3-0 lead at Michigan, but the Wolverines have scored to go ahead 7-3. With more than three minutes left in the first quarter, Ohio St. is out to a commanding 17-0 lead over Ohio, which closed as a 30-point 'dog.
1:00: The Minutemen have surged back in front at the Big House, leading Michigan 10-7 early in the second quarter. Arkansas leads UGA 14-7 and is about to go for it on fourth and four midway through the second quarter. The Hogs are UGA's 44, and the Dawgs have just taken a timeout.
Ohio St. is almost ahead of the number against the Bobcats, who trail the Buckeyes by a 27-0 count. UNC has gone back into the lead, 17-14, vs. Ga. Tech. That total closed at 52 and 'over' backers are styling at this point.
Ok, back to Athens for fourth down. Ah, Bobby Scumer(Pet)rino has had a change of heart and will punt. Ole Miss and Vandy are scoreless at the end of the first, and that's why that game is not in my remote control rotation. West Va. is all over Maryland, leading 21-0.
2:30 p.m.: Georgia trails Arkansas 24-10 early in the fourth quarter. The Dawgs had a nice drive going until just now when RB Washaun Ealey missed a blitz pickup and Murray got sacked. Murray answers with nice pass, though, setting up third and short. On a third and four, questionable call by oc Mike Bobo because Ealey up the middle stuffed for loss of one. Fourth down...inside 12 minutes left...Murray gets great protection but can't get it to his target. Dawgs in dire situation now. They are staring at 1-2 with a trip to Starkville (without A.J. Green) on deck.
Ga. Tech is leading UNC 27-24 early in the fourth quarter. I passed on this game but need the Jackets because I'm on 'em for an 'over' eight season win total play. GT has the ball at 11-minute mark facing a 2nd and 5 at UNC's 40.
Vandy has a 21-14 advantage over Ole Miss as that game gets deeper into the third quarter. Robbie Caldwell is looking for his first win as coach of the Commodores, while the Rebels can't fathom falling to 1-2 during this easy part of their schedule.
Jeremiah Masoli has turned in a couple of remarkable plays in the third quarter. He had a sensational touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14 and he just busted a big run on fourth and one to get Ole Miss into the red zone.
3:30: Crazy finish in Athens, as Georgia rallied to tie the game at 24-24 and then got the ball back and was on the move. From there, however, the UGA staff had a couple of questionable calls in terms of play selection, and Arkansas was able to get the ball back. Moments later, yet ANOTHER busted coverage gave the Hogs a long go-ahead TD pass from Mallett to Childs. Razorbacks win 31-24, although the Dawgs had a chance on a Hail Mary.
Vandy has started to put it on Ole Miss, leading 28-14 with 7:16 left. Penn St. covered the 21-point number in its 24-0 win over Kent St., while Ga. Tech held off UNC by a 30-24 score. Maryland scored 17 unanswered points to make it a nail-biter for our purposes, cutting WVU's lead to 28-17. But the 'Neers tacked on a late field goal to win and cover in a 31-17 triumph. Michigan held off UMass's upset bid, albeit barely. The Wolverines edge the Minutemen, 42-37.
With the Gators' kick on tap and my Week 3 Rewind in the works now that the early games have gone final, I'm going to be checking out now, but be sure to look for my Week 3 Rewind on the VI college football arena late tonight.