And do we have some BIG GAMES this week! Lots of Elimination Games and Coaches on the Hot Seat Battles that will be eye-candy, pop-corn time for the college football junky! I think anyone that doesn’t follow the sport of college football is truly missing out. Every game matters….every snap…everything. There’s no weeks off and if you lose, while it’s not over, in certain cases and certain fan-bases, it might as well be.
Idle Thought of the Week
Reflecting on Michigan’s first two games of the season got me to thinking about what I would have thought about those games 30 years ago vs. today. (CORRECTION from Monday: Michigan’s 114 Point total in two games dates back to 1914 and the Fielding H. Yost Point a Minute Teams! I don’t know where I got the other date from and I apologize to anyone that was using it in conversation!) IF I hadn’t seen the games, I would have told you 30 years ago that Michigan probably controlled the line of scrimmage, had more rushing than passing yards and won the TOP in both games. And 30 years ago I probably would have been right.
How times change. Michigan aired it out over UCF and was a little more balanced against way overmatched Hawaii. And passing the ball to control the game is okay. In fact, I prefer to be able to have a controlled passing attack as the ability to score from anywhere seems more possible with a passing attack unless you’re running a full spread with a scary fast QB (think D-Rob and his ability to seemingly score at will when the defense guessed wrong).
So where am I going with all this? College Football has evolved and it’s still a great sport – maybe even better. The big, head banging, snowplow offenses you used to see just aren’t that scary anymore. The Spread Offense, Tempo, and Speed have changed the game. Teams aren’t afraid to go up against bigger opponents. See Georgia and Nicholls State for the latest example.
Controversy of the Week!
So it would seem that last week’s COTW is more or less spilling over into this week regarding officiating, replay officials, and simply KNOWING THE RULES of the Game. The talking heads have been giving their two cents on all of this, and here’s mine. I know the game and the rules of women’s softball pretty well. I coached it for 9 years and now I’m umping it. I’ve been doing that for about 4 years. I peruse the rule book (or I glance at it and review some stuff) every season just to stay on top of things. But there are TIMES in the heat of the moment when even the BEST UMPIRE or OFFICIAL can screw up. Make no mistake: I’m not excusing the referees in the CMU-OSU Disaster. I’m just sayin’:
I could leave it at that, but that’s not what this little entry on Friday’s is all about. So knowing that feces occurs and armed with the challenge of “Officiate every game without a mistake” mantra, what do we do? And I do think there’s an easy “fix” for this problem. And believe it or not, it has to do with social media. I know, right? Like, the FMQ is up to speed on stuff like that.
When the on field referees made the grounding call, the rule that you can’t end the game on a penalty was at the forefront of their minds because, frankly, I’ve always known that to be the case as well. However, everyone kind of blew it in that group as Group Think took over and they were all thinking the same thing and thought they were getting it right. But there’s an exception to the penalty rule for intentional grounding.
My GUESS is that there were officials somewhere who were watching from the bar or at home knew what was going on and the play being called on the field was WRONG!
So how do we solve it?
First: I’ve never understood why there’s only 2 officials in the replay booth. It seemed to me that you should either have 1 or 3, just so there were no disputes. IF two people are seeing things one way and the other guy is seeing the other way, he’s over ruled. There should be 3, plain and simple.
Second: In addition to the third guy in the booth, there needs to be a twitter feed for each game that is restricted to other officials that can sign on and watch the game and tweet about stuff as its happening. The newly added 3rd replay official can be the guy that receives input from that feed and figure out if the referees are doing something wrong as his phone or computer will start going ape-shit as soon as everyone sees someone else making a mistake. Trust me – I can tell you that people will let you know when you’re making a mistake as an official, referee or umpire.
Logical? Sure. Simple? Not so much. But the officials really shouldn’t be screwing things up that bad in a standard game and a simple rule where no subjectivity is involved. And this has happened enough in recent years to start thinking about what can be done to fix it.
Controversy of the Week #2
This one is a little less sports rule oriented and more NCAA meddling in stuff that I, frankly, think it shouldn’t be meddling in – and it’s really starting to piss me off. In case you didn’t here, the NCAA pulled all championship events from the state of North Carolina due to the passing of their controversial HB2 (which stands for Health Bill #2) gender law that has supposedly insulted and discriminates against the rights of the LGBT(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Community, stating that Universities that embrace diversity cannot be forced to participate in a state that condemns it. For clarification: All the law states is that you have to use the bathroom based on the classification of your plumbing. In other words: boys with boys and girls with girls. Of course, the ACC has now pulled the 2016 ACC Football Championship Game from North Carolina as well, where it’s been played since 2009.
My Take: NCAA and ACC – MYOB and stay out of politics! I heard Title IX being referenced as part of the reason for this and THAT REALLY PISSED ME OFF. The NCAA has one Mission Statement: Protect and support the welfare and safety of the student athlete. PERIOD!!!! The State of North Carolina can do whatever it wants and Universities in NC are part of and subject to the laws of North Carolina. I think it’s wrong for the NCAA and the ACC to now put a financial penalty and hardship on the cities and towns that were planning on those events.
Where does this all end? Are the University of North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke also planning to pick up their respective campuses and move out of the state because they’re unhappy with HB2???
Why just sporting events? Can someone please answer that?
So, Week #2 is in the books and we’re still in the green. Dammit Akron, it would have been a really good week if you would have delivered. And if VaTech would have just held onto the damn football….Anyway, here’s the summary of where the FMQ is at and how we’ll be betting this week.
Weekly Lessons Learned:
Wisconsin IS better than advertised. Watch them for future opportunities. And pay attention and adhere to what you learned!
I won money everywhere I laid points and only had one game come through when I took points. (This might turn me into a point laying fool this week.)
Seasonal Lessons Learned:
Week #2 had plenty of underachievers, I just didn’t think Georgia and Clemson would struggle with FCS opponents. Go figure. Week #3 has plenty of elimination games where teams will be playing for their entire season and scores are going to tighten up.
So, without further ado, let’s make some bets!
THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!!
Houston @ Cincinnati (+7.5)
Houston has spanked Oklahoma and a compass point cupcake and they only have to lay 7.5 on Thursday night to the Bearcats that had trouble with Purdon’t? I know, I know…it is in Cincinnati, but that seems like a gift.
I’ll take Hermann’s Cougars and lay the 7.5 for $25
Texas A&M @ Auburn (-3)
In what could be billed as the “First SEC School that will Interview Hermann If They Lose” Bowl, that’s a surprising spread. Auburn has done nothing to impress on the offensive side of the ball and my head is screaming “TAKE THE AGGIES!!!” What am I missing? When I don’t know what to do, it’s better to PASS.
Georgia State @ Wiscy (-34)
I’m a Cheesehead believer at this point, the Big ‘Ole Grater in Madison is working fine and based on what I saw on the power ratings for GSU, this is going to turn into a long afternoon for the Panthers….
Take Wiscy and lay the 34 for $50
The Quack Attack @ the Cornsuckers (-3)
B1G or PAC Semi-Elimination Bowl. If you lose this game, there’s no margin for error in conference. Here’s yet another spread that kind of had me scratchin’ the ‘ole cranium. I think the Cornsuckers have been doing a pretty good job beating some people up and Oregon’s Quack Attack doesn’t have as much “Quack-Quack” as they used to. They’ve been “getting the job done”, but I think the Cornsuckers are looking for respect and want a pelt for the wall. Let’s not forget that Riley has seen “Basketball on Turf” 7 times while at Oregon State and may know a thing or two about slowing it down. I know Armstrong isn’t the greatest QB, but I can’t take the Ducks….
Take Nebraska and lay the 3 for $25
BC @ Va Tech (-6)
I felt like this was ANOTHER gift from the betting gods. If Va Tech can just stop dropping the damn ball, they should be able to beat the Boston Catholics fairly easy….
Take Va Tech and lay the 6 for $50
Bama @ Ole Miss (-10.5)
Ole Miss Elimination Game. Hmmmmmm….the only team to have beaten Bama in the last two years is getting 10.5 at home. And Ole Miss has a defense (I know – couldn’t stop a hot FSU QB from coming back from a 22 point deficit). Still, that defense got a chance to improve over the last week. I’m not sayin’ the Rebels will win, but I’ll take the points here because, well, it’s the SEC and Bama.
Take Ole Miss and the 10.5 points for $25
SPARTY @ THE DOMERS (-7.5)
Domer Elimination Game. That’s how Domers have to be looking at this game. Of course, Sparty has only beat the Domers once in the last 5 tries with Sparty’s last victory being the Little Giant’s Game of 2010. Part of me is thinking Vegas is just being nice to Marcus Antonio with this spread. Watched the Furman Game on the BTN (again) and also saw a replay of the Domers abusing Nevada. I’m not sure the bye helped or hurt Sparty…another game sandwiched in there might, MIGHT have been better. BK has lots of tools to work with in that Domer offense and I just don’t know if Sparty’s O’Connor can take advantage of the Domer secondary, which is still suspect.
Take the Domers and lay the 7.5 for $25
FSU @ Louisville (+2)
Or the “One Foot In the ACC Grave Game”. Man-oh-man-oh-man. Line has moved from 3 to 2 on this game. I really don’t know who I like in this game. I mean, I like Louisville getting points and if you saw the Syracuse game, you know what I’m talking about. But that was Syracuse – this is the Seminole D this week - but the Seminoles did lose their superstar Safety James…. I’m thinking one way, but leaning another….Does that make sense?
Take the Seminoles and lay the 2 for $25
The Suckeyes @ the Laters (PK)
Boomer Sooner elimination game. This spread opened Monday at Laters (+3) and has been bet down, meaning that somebody somewhere likes Bob Stoops getting points at home (Stoops is something like 42-2 when playing in Norman). Still, I’m nervous that even when they’re home, Stoops and Oklahoma could struggle in the 2nd half. I saw a game replay of the Houston game and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why Oklahoma just didn’t keep on running the ball like they were doing on the opening drive. It was almost as if they were allergic to the run or something…Anyway, for selfish reasons (and the fact that Hermann is telling Urban Legend EVERYTHING HE’LL NEED TO KNOW about Houston) I would like the suckeyes undefeated in November when Michigan comes calling. Of course, this is usually when Oklahoma really screws me….Of course, the MMQ in the Preseason Spectacular had the Suckeyes losing this game….What to do?????
Take the suckeyes for $25
Colorado @ Michigan (-20)
Finally - a Power 5 School comes to town. Unfortunately, it’s a Power 5 School that is running a brand spankin’ new Spread Offense with a semi-mobile QB (new OC comes straight from Texas Tech). I hate having to defend the spread, but hopefully Donny Brown’s troops are up to the task. The Colorado “D” should be no match for Michigan’s ground and passing attack, so I’m not worried too much about that. Michigan is a perfect 2-0 ATS this season as are the Buffalos. I know that the Buffalos are better and have demolished similar, overwhelmed competition, but they haven’t played anyone decent or as fast defensively as Michigan, yet. Pending a total disaster on both sides of the ball, I don’t see the Michigan ATS number being tarnished this weekend.