Normally, this is where I would say "Wow, the college football season is already here! Gee, it seems like we just got done crowning Ohio State a week ago!", but not this offseason. Between all the stories of head trauma, off the field crime, not to mention the general non-sports sociopathic craziness going on in the world, I've been counting down the days until college football for the last four months.
Put simply, this was a REALLY long summer, and finally it's ending. Temperatures are now hovering around 92 degrees (instead of 102) and college football is 48 hours away. Let's make this interesting, shall we? Sure, you can "day trade" on individual games, if you like (and I plan to), but if you're more into long-term investing, here are five season win total bets for the 2015 college football season that I will be investing in, and hopefully getting paid on just in time for Christmas!
Here you go….
Colorado OVER 5.5 +130
I know what you're saying… wait, Colorado still has a football team? Wait, that was mean. Ok, let's do that again. I know what you're saying… whoa, Sean, Colorado under Mike MacIntyre won four games in his first season in Boulder, then went down to two wins last season, what the hell are you thinking? Well, I'm glad you asked. Let's start with the hidden little gem that the Buffs play a 13th game in the regular season against Hawaii (in Week 1, actually, Buffs favored by a touchdown). Also, this is the magical third year where a new head coach has his own recruits, and in his third year at San Jose State, MacIntyre won 11 games. The Buffs lost four close games last season, so the regression theory would indicate they win a couple of those. I'm betting on a coach here.
Penn State OVER 8 -150
James Franklin heads into his second season in Happy Valley and has a schedule that would require a catastrophe to lose the five games you'd need to lose in order to have to pay on this bet. The only games on the Nittany Lions' schedule where they will be underdogs are at Ohio State and at Michigan State. The remaining ten games include only two true road games (season opener at Temple, November visit to Northwestern).
Miami (FL) OVER 6.5 -140
It goes against every fiber of my being to p[ick the Hurricanes to succeed, but it also goes against every fiber of my being to leave money on the table. Brad Kaaya has some experience under his belt now, and their four hardest non-FSU games are at home (Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Georgia Tech).
USC UNDER 9 +120
Realize that if you're taking USC to go OVER nine wins, you're betting on their head coach Steve Sarkisian to do something that he's never done in his six year career as a head coach — win ten games. You're also betting on him to do it against a schedule that includes the following: back to back September games against #21 Stanford and at #15 Arizona State, an October visit to #11 Notre Dame, and a November schedule that has home games against Arizona and UCLA and a road trip to Oregon. Also, you're betting on a guy who did this like a week ago...
There's a good chance that Sark is drunk right now, as you read this. I'll take the UNDER. You know who probably agrees with me?….
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Texas A&M UNDER 8 -120
…..KEVIN SUMLIN, THAT'S WHO! Am I right?
Sark after Dark! The only problem for Sumlin is that I am equally skeptical about his ability to get A&M to nine wins, which you will need in order to hit on an OVER bet. Year Three is the "tell" year for a lot of coaches, and Sumlin has gone backwards each season in his three years in College Station — 11 wins in 2012, 9 wins in 2013, and 8 wins last season. The Aggies start off with a tough opener against Arizona State at NRG Stadium this Saturday, and if they lose that, winning an OVER is a near impossibility. if they do lose to ASU, they would need avoid losing more than two of these games in order to win an OVER bet — vs #18 Arkansas, vs Mississippi State, vs Alabama, at Ole Miss, vs #6 Auburn, at #14 LSU. I don't think they can do that.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.