Monday, August 29, 2005

Week 1

USA Today odds are linked on the right. Let the discussion begin ...


Anonymous said...

The Wizard likes to ease into the investment pool, but is taking a hard look at Alabama Birmingham getting 23 points at Tennessee. The Blazers have played in hostile environments before (a 34-7 loss -- failed to cover -- last season at Florida State, for example), but quarterback Darrell Hackney should be a stablizing force in Knoxville. He's experienced and ranks among the top returning QBs. Give me the 23 points.

On Thursday, one would have to think that Minnesota's veteran line will open large holes for Laurence Maroney against Tulsa, which ranked 106th last season against the run. Giving 15 points on the road is not the business we like to be in -- especially considering the Golden Gophers' inability to tackle last season -- but this may be an exception.

Anonymous said...

There's a nice column on Arizona's Mike Stoops putting on his game face in the Arizona Daily Star by Greg Hansen. Here is the link, which has been shrunk through (I urge everybody to check out for URL postings):
Stoops is one intense guy and I'm beginning to think the Wildcats (plus 7) will be a good play on Friday at Salt Lake City. I've been to Rice Eccles Stadium and its no Michigan Stadium. And Stoops is likely to blitz the hell out of Utah's 18-year-old sophomore quarterback Brian Johnson, who is making his first start. Stoops is treating this as a statement game, one that would end Utah's 16-game winning streak. Arizona was 3-8 last year, but fumbled away a victory against Washington State in the closing minutes and missed a field goal that would have beaten Wisconsin. How about Arizona on the moneyline? No guts, no glory.

Anonymous said...

Anybody notice that the Arizona State line has moved two points in a day? The trainwreck of a program called Temple (plus 27.5) announced that it has lost seven players -- including five starters -- because of academic ineligibility:

Anonymous said...

The Wizard's Magnificent 7:

Minnesota (minus 16): Tulsa ranked 106th last season against the run and running the ball is what the Golden Gophers do best. The Wizard does not like to give points and this is way more than he normally gives, especially on the road, but Laurence Maroney is an elite runner and he should pile up a bundle of yards. If Minnesota has learned how to tackle in the offseason, this looks solid.

Alabama Birmingham (plus 23): The Wizard likes to take points and with an experienced quarterback in Darrell Hackney, we will take the Blazers and a 23-0 lead.

Arizona (plus 7): Utah has an experienced line, but expect the Wildcats to make every effort to stop the run and force new Ute quarterback Brian Johnson beat them with the pass.

Rutgers (plus 2): How well do the Scarlet Knights know the Illini personnel? Robert Jackson, Rutgers' new running backs coach, was Illinois' receivers coach/recruiting coordinator the past four seasons.

Other games of interest:

Arizona State (minus 31): Too big of a number, but the only reason to consider playing this is that Temple lost seven players because of academics this week, including five starters. At 2 p.m. Pacific, it was a toasty 105 in Tempe, but it's a dry heat. ... That could work against a team with little depth that had its numbers slashed even more this week.

Air Force (plus 3): The Wizard is not sold on a team coming off a 1-10 season with a shaky quarterback being favored against an Air Force team that is well-coached.

Texas A&M (minus 1.5): Look back at Dennis Franchione's teams and they tend to turn the corner in year three. His teams have been 7-2 in road openers, plus he has an experienced quarterback in Reggie McNeal.