Best Bets for This Weekend's College and NFL Games
As if we haven't covered this topic ad nauseam, there was one last add on Big XII expansion that came out after we did our Tuesday post on where the University of Houston goes from here. Apparently, the "unanimous" vote by the conference's ten member schools to remain at ten member schools wasn't really all that unanimous.
Courtesy of ESPN.com:
In a 714-word league memo covering the league's talking points, obtained by ESPN, the first two items instructed officials to "Indicate the Board arrived at a "Unanimous Consensus" and say "the Board was unanimous in its desire and commitment to stay at 10 members."
The internal Big 12 memo also suggested conference officials not "indicate that TV influenced [its] decision" and that the Big 12 was not "psychologically disadvantaged" because it didn't expand.
I've said it before and I'll say it here again — nowhere is there a bigger gaggle of lunkheads whose actual degree of common sense and self-awareness is so disparate from their bloated incomes than with those running our major colleges and universities. Anyone who has an issue with professional athletes' salaries and their being "overpaid," I urge you to examine the salaries of university presidents and ask yourself if you couldn't find a sound businessman to perform these exact same functions at about a third of the cost, and do so with a thousand times more dignity than some of these clowns in place right now.
Not ALL of them are clowns, mind you, but unfortunately for the Big XII, the ones out in front of this process are. The Big XII is a joke, from their claims of being "psychologically disadvantaged" to their memo imploring their members not to use the words "psychologically disadvantaged" publicly. It's highly appropriate that the conference that claimed to give us the "one true champion" and then declared co-champions in 2014 has to cattle-prod its members into unanimity. Just perfect.
Hey, you know who the "one true champion" in college football is in my book? (Watch me segue back into gambling talk here)...the college team that has the best record against the spread, that's who!
Which brings us to:
Colorado +2 over STANFORD
Did you know that the University of Colorado is not just 5-2 straight up this season, but they are a perfect 7-0 against the spread? That is glorious. How have we not jumped on the Buff Bandwagon yet? Well, that gets remedied this week, as the Buffs travel to Palo Alto to take on a Stanford team that needed some horrific DeShone Kizer turnovers to beat an awful Notre Dame team last weekend. Notre Dame's defense was basically the equivalent of "general admission" all season — go and sit wherever you want — and Stanford needed turnovers to score 17 points. Also, with Stanford clearly reeling, whatever home field advantage may have been gleaned from the Cardinal crowd is gone. (There's a reason they show people reading books and newspapers at Stanford games — not exactly a raucous crew.) Buffs win this one straight up and remain undefeated where it counts...in gambling!
SMU +21 over Houston
Hey, speaking of Big XII expansion, maybe we can rename this SMU-versus-Houston game the Jilted Expansion Bowl, as both of these schools invested massive amounts of cash in facilities upgrades, only to see the Big XII decide "UNANIMOUSLY" to remain at ten schools. Maybe the ultimate gambling compliment I can pay Tom Herman and the Coogs is that they've crossed over to where they're now a very public team in the wagering world. We saw it last week when they had to lay three touchdowns to a spunky Tulsa team, and now they go on the road laying three touchdowns against an SMU team that took Tulsa to overtime on the road two weeks ago. Chad Morris has this thing moving in the right direction with the Mustangs. The Coogs win the game, but again, three touchdowns is too many.
Oklahoma -14 over TEXAS TECH
Credit Bob Stoops for fishing his season out of the grease, when the sharks were circling and smelling blood in the water. After a first month of the season that saw the opening loss to UH and the catastrophe at home against Ohio State, the Sooners are off to a 3-0 start in the Big XII and back on track for a New Year's Six bowl game. Meanwhile, Kliff Kingsbury continues to get exposed for what he is — a decent offensive coordinator who had no business being hired as a head coach when he was given this job a few years ago. After a 31-point loss to West Virginia at home last weekend, the wheels could be coming off for this Red Raider team. Oklahoma scores 55 on them this weekend, which means Tech has to get to around 40 to cover. Nope.
Chargers +6.5 over FALCONS
Last season, the Falcons started out 5-0 before the bottom fell out on head coach Dan Quinn, and they wound up 7-9. This season, they got off to a 4-1 start, and then probably should have won in Seattle last weekend, which means they're playing like they're 5-1 right now. We are back at that fork in the road. Do we believe in the Falcons? While I think they probably go on to win the division, I don't think they're a great team. I do think the Chargers are better than their 2-4 record, and they proved that against Denver last Thursday night. The extra rest serves the Chargers well, and they keep this one close.
Patriots -7.5 over STEELERS
Landry Jones versus Tom Brady. The end.
Vikings/EAGLES UNDER 41
Eight weeks ago, this matchup would have been Teddy Bridgewater versus Sam Bradford. Now, Sam Bradford is still involved, but he's all dolled up in 5-0 Vikings gear, and rookie Carson Wentz, who was drafted to replace Bradford in Philly, is starting for the surprising 3-2 Eagles. This is one of those divorces where everybody winds up better off afterwards. The Vikings are the only undefeated team in the league, and the Eagles are a huge surprise with a bright future at the most important position. These divorces where everybody winds up happy are good for the kids...and in this case, it's good for the under.
Last Week: 5-1
Season Record: 24-18
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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