Wednesday, September 30, 2009

College Football Notebook: Top 10 Teams Take Another Tumble

By Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

But Florida still reigning at Number 1

It seems the last place any of the top college football teams would want to be is in the top 10 of any of the polls because lately it’s been the death curse for a program. This season alone, after four weeks of games, ten teams haven fallen from the top 10 with heart-breaking losses.

Last season after four weeks, there were only five teams ousted from the top 10; two years ago there was only four teams knocked off.

Last week, Miami, Mississippi, Penn State, and Cal all took a tumble opening the way for one-loss teams to move up the charts. Virginia Tech lost early in the season to Alabama, but it hasn’t cost them much as of yet, because they’ve shot all the way to No. 6 after beating Miami soundly as a home underdog.

Taking their one loss really hard in the poll was Cal who dropped all the way to No. 24 in the AP Poll. Think there isn’t an East Coast bias with the writers? Penn State was ranked close to Cal prior to their game last week; Penn State was at home playing a decent Iowa team while Cal was at the frenzied atmosphere of Eugene playing a tough Oregon squad. Both teams lost, but Cal took a giant tumble, while Penn State only dropped to No. 15.

Boise State jumped in the polls to No. 5 and has taken on the lead role as the small conference voice campaigning for a BCS Championship bid, following BYU and Utah’s failures two weeks ago. Mountain West representative TCU jumped up to No. 11 and remains unbeaten.

The new small conference player with a big voice is the impressive offense of the Houston Cougars from Conference-USA; they’re now ranked No. 12 after their impressive 29-28 win over Texas Tech.

Through all the upsets, the top 3 still remain intact and undefeated with Florida, Texas, and Alabama. No. 4 ranked LSU has a huge date in Baton Rouge in two weeks against the Gators. Florida is hopeful that Tim Tebow will be ready to go after getting knocked out with a concussion at Kentucky last week. The week off should do him well.

Big Moves of the Week

(c/o LV Hilton)

Minnesota -1½ at Northwestern: This game was bet early and often throughout the week in which Northwestern opened as a -3 favorite Monday. By Thursday, the road team was pushed to a -1½ favorite where it closed Saturday. The Gophers won the game 35-24 proving the move valid.

Maryland -1 vs. Rutgers: Pushed from Rutgers a -3 point favorite Monday to pick, and then finally to Maryland being the favorite by game day. Rutgers won the game easily 34-13 showing that any wager on the Terps may be a bad bet from here on out.

Boston College -2½ vs. Wake Forest: Wake opened a -1 home dog but was systematically bet to make B.C. the favorite. B.C. won 27-24.

Wyoming +3 vs. UNLV: Rebels opened up -5½ and was bet down to -3 by Thursday morning where it stayed until kickoff. The Cowboys took it to the Rebels with a 30-27 win continuing UNLV’s awful road record within the Mountain West.

BYU -18½ vs. Colorado State: Opened -15 and bet up throughout the week. The Cougars ended up winning by 19 and covering all bets.

Big Games this Week

Dan O’Brien, who works with Las Vegas Sports Consultants, has the early suggested lines for the two big games this week. "We opened USC -4 at Cal, but we’ve seen off-shore lines move to -5½ since," he said.

Cal’s plummet in public opinion is demonstrated early on by the move, even with USC’s laydown against Washington State as a -46 point favorite when they couldn’t even break 30 points themselves.

"The other big game of the day is Oklahoma-Miami," said O’Brien. "We didn’t offer a line because of the status of Sam Bradford, who could play, but I have seen the Sooners -6½ off-shore."

The Rebels are hoping to take the cannon from Reno this week, but the problem is that UNLV is on the road which is bad news. Nevertheless, O’Brien says Nevada is only a two-point favorite with some off-shore books up to -4½ on Sunday night, following the trend of betting against the Rebels on the road.

Sports Good Day Saturday

With all the action on a college football Saturday being so hard to figure, an official statement has come out on how the first four weeks of the season has gone. "The season hasn’t gone the public’s way in any of the weeks," said South Point Director of Sports Books Bert Osborne.

Not much else is needed to figure out how well the Saturday’s have gone thus far. Let’s just say the books are doing well on Saturday’s.

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