FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER
Hello Football Fans,
I'm guessing not many of you did well picking NFL winners in your football pools last weekend. There were many field goals that determined the outcome of games.
Also, the first BCS rankings are out, and the computers are playing a significant role at this point, although it's still too early to get overly excited.
Enjoy,The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL
Pro football gets top billing over the college action this week, as we had a wild week of underdog victories in NFL Week #6.
NFL ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS
In the wild and wacky pro games this week, EIGHT underdogs won their games outright out of 13 games, or 61.5% (no line on MIN-WSH game). The betting public had better figure out which team should be favored.
HARBINGER FOR THE WEEK:
On Thursday night, Tennessee +5h beat visiting Pittsburgh, 26-23 with a Rob Baronis field goal from 40 yards on the last play of regulation. He had kicked three FG’s in the first half, including the last play of the 2nd quarter. The Steelers fell to 2-3 and 2½ games behind Baltimore in the AFC North; they play division games in five of their last seven games of the season.
Seattle +3h beat visiting New England, 24-23 with a huge comeback after the Patriots had gone ahead in the 4th quarter on a TD with 9:21 on the clock. The Seahawks, led by rookie QB Russell Wilson, scored the winning TD with 1:18 remaining in the game.
Cleveland +2h beat visiting Cincinnati, 34-24. The Browns earned their first win of the season, and rookie QB Brandon Weeden got his first win as a starter on his 29th birthday. The hapless Browns also snapped their 11-game losing streak going back to last year.
SHOCKER OF THE WEEK:
Buffalo +5 won at Arizona in overtime, 19-16. The Cardinals kicked a 61-yard FG with 1:09 to go to tie the game, but the Bills blocked (tipped) the potential game-winning 38-yard FG on the last play of regulation and the ball bounced backwards off the left upright – no good. In OT, the Bills converted their own FG attempt from 25 yards to shock the home crowd. The Cardinals had won eight straight home games before this upset.
NY Giants +7 won convincingly at San Francisco, 26-3, and the Niners were unable to exact revenge on the Gnats from last year’s NFC Championship Game overtime loss at Candlestick Park, 20-17.
Green Bay +3h busted out of their funk on the road and blasted Houston, 42-24, to give the Texans their first loss of the season. “The Pack is Back” at 3-3 (Sue says that her team never disappeared in the first place). GB is now 1½ games behind Chicago in the NFC North. Houston (5-1) still has a 2½ game lead in the AFC South.
Detroit +3h won in overtime at Philadelphia, 26-23, kicking a 45-yard FG to shoot the Eagles down to a mediocre 3-3 record. Philly was ahead by 10 after scoring on a 70-yard TD pass, but blew the lead as the Lions kicked a FG at the end of regulation to send the game into an extra period. The Eagles fired Juan Castillo, their defensive coordinator, yesterday.
On Monday night, Denver +1h used a 2nd-half ambush to win at San Diego, 35-24. The Chargers led 24-0 at halftime, but turned from Bolts to Dolts and lost going away. Norv Turner finally has to be on shaky ground; in order to keep this team on track for a division title after that MNF debacle will be a miracle (even though they are tied for the AFC West lead with the Broncos).
Following are the five favorites that actually won their games:
Miami -3h beat visiting St. Louis, but failed to cover ATS by ½ point.
Tampa Bay -4h blew out visiting Kansas City, 38-10.
Atlanta -9h beat visiting Oakland, 23-20, but did not cover ATS. The Falcons needed a 55-yard FG as time expired to stay undefeated for the season.
Baltimore -3h held on to beat visiting Dallas, 31-29, but failed to cover ATS. The Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant dropped the 2-point conversion that would have tied the game with 32 seconds remaining in the game. But Dallas got the ball back on a successful onside kick and had a chance to win; they squandered at least 20 seconds and settled for a 51-yard FG attempt on the last play of regulation – no good. Dallas dominated the game from scrimmage, outgaining the Ravens 481-316, which obviously doesn’t count in the win column. Offsetting that statistical difference, the Ravens padded their lead in the 3rd quarter with a 108-yard kickoff return to paydirt, tying the all-time NFL record.
NY Jets -3h had little trouble with visiting Indianapolis and won 35-9. So only the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets and Tampa Bay covered the spread this week.
Of the 32 NFL teams, eleven have accumulated 3-3 records.
In the AFC East, all four teams are tied for first and tied for last with 3-3 records – NYJ, NE, MIA, and BUF.
The St. Louis Rams are 3-3, alone in the cellar of the NFC West and only 1 game out of first place. AZ, SF, and SEA are all at 4-2.
In the AFC West, SD and DEN are tied for the division lead with 3-3 records.
In the NFC East, PHI and WSH are both 3-3, only one game behind division leader NYG (4-2).
Atlanta (6-0) is the only unbeaten team in the NFL this season.
Every team has at least one win; the 1-win teams are: CLE, JAX, OAK, KC, CAR, and NOR.
The five starting rookie QB’s were 4-1 last weekend, with only IND Colts’ #1 draft pick Andrew Luck losing, while CLE, SEA, WSH, and MIA won with Weeden, Wilson, RG3, and Tannehill, respectively.
COLLEGE ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS
In college games this week, 10 underdogs won their games outright out of 53 games, or 18.9%.
SHOCKER OF THE WEEK:
Iowa +9h pulled one out at Michigan State in overtime, 19-16. The Hawkeyes are tied with Michigan for the Big 10 Legends Division lead at 2-0. For those Hawk fans that had diverted their attention to high school football, it’s time to get your eyes back “on the ball” (right, Wayne?). Maybe those Spartans can bounce back and beat the ‘Ganders this weekend in Ann Arbor’s Big House. Michigan State has won the last four meetings between these in-state rivals. Not so fast: first, the Hawkeyes had better take care of business at home as a 3-point favorite against Penn State this Saturday (keep your eye on the ball, Fugitive).
Honorable Mention SHOCKER:
Texas Tech +3h smoked visiting and previously unbeaten West Virginia, 49-14. The Red Raiders vaulted into the BCS Top 25; Texas Tech has lost only to Oklahoma.
On Friday night, Navy +2 won at Central Michigan, 31-13.
Tulane +18 rode the Green Wave to victory at home over SMU, 27-26.
#9 Oregon State +5h, without their starting QB, thumped host BYU 42-24.
Wisconsin +2 won handily at Purdue, 38-14, to solidify its chances of a berth in the Big 10 title game.
Temple +5h won at Connecticut in overtime, 17-14.
TCU +7 won easily at Baylor, 49-21. The Horned Frogs were starting their backup redshirt freshman QB Trevone Boykin for the second time, after their starting QB was suspended after a DUI arrest. The Bad News Bears of Baylor had their 9-game home winning streak snapped.
Utah State +3 won at San Jose State, 49-27.
Maryland +1 won at Virginia, 27-20, and the Terrapins are the only team without a loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference (“Say What?!?”), ahead of FSU and Clemson in the Atlantic Division with a 2-0 ACC record.
INITIAL BCS RANKINGS
This week, the first column is the first Bowl Championship Subdivision rankings (games through October 13th). The second column is the current Associated Press Poll, the third column is the first computer rankings (average of six independent metal midgets), and the fourth column is last week’s AP Poll rankings. The AP Poll is not part of the BCS formula; the computer rankings count for 1/3 of the BCS formula. Ohio State is ineligible in the BCS rankings.
INITIAL AP Rankings
BCS TOP 25 BCS AP Computers Last Week
Alabama 6-0 1 1 3 1 Toughest foe so far-Michigan
Florida 6-0 2 3 1 4 Hosts #7 S.Carolina Sat.
Oregon 6-0 3 2 6 2 Toughest foe so far-Arizona
Kansas State 6-0 4 4 4 6 Beat Oklahoma and ISU
Notre Dame 6-0 5 5 2 7 Tough games ahead
LSU 6-1 6 6 9 9 Lost at FL; beat S.CAR
South Carolina 6-1 7 9 T7 3 Plays at #2 Florida Sat.
Oregon State 5-0 8 8 5 10 Road wins at UCLA, Arizona
Oklahoma 4-1 9 10 10 13 Lost to #4 KSU
USC 5-1 10 11 15 11 Lost at Stanford
Georgia 5-1 11 13 17 14 Lost badly at S.CAR, 35-7
Mississippi St. 6-0 12 15 T12 19 Toughest foe so far-Tenn’see
West Virginia 5-1 13 17 T12 5 Ugly loss at TX.Tk, 49-14
Florida State 6-1 14 12 NR 12 Ugly loss at NC State, 17-16
Rutgers 6-0 15 19 11 20 Toughest foe so far-at USF
Louisville 6-0 16 16 19 18 Toughest foe so far-UNC
Texas Tech 5-1 17 18 T7 NR Lost to #9 Oklahoma
Texas A&M 5-1 18 20 14 22 Lost to #2 Florida, 20-17
Clemson 5-1 19 14 NR 16 Lost at FSU, 49-37
Stanford 4-2 20 22 16 17 Lost at UW and at ND
Cincinnati 5-0 21 21 21 21 Toughest foe so far-VA Tech
Boise State 5-1 22 24 20 24 Lost at Michigan State
TCU 5-1 23 NR 23 NR Lost to #24 Iowa St
Iowa State 4-2 24 NR 18 NR Lost at home to #4 KSU
Texas 4-2 25 NR 22 15 Mercy’d in Dallas by Okie
Ohio State 7-0 NE 7 NE 8 Lackluster win at Indiana
Michigan 4-2 NR 23 NR 25 Lost to ALA & at ND
Ohio U. 7-0 NR 25 NR NR Toughest foe so far-Penn St
LA Tech 5-1 NR NR NR 23 Lost at #18 Texas A&M
OBSERVATIONS on RANKINGS:
The SEC is getting way too much love, with four teams in the BCS Top 7, and six in the Top 12. “C’Mon Man?!!!” The only solace is that changes will take place as these teams beat up on each other.
The computers are the wild card right now, but should settle down in upcoming weeks.
The metal midgets have SEC Florida at #1, independent Notre Dame at #2, SEC Alabama at #3, and then Big XII KSU at #4 and 12-Pack’s Oregon State at #5, ahead of fellow PAC-12 North foe Oregon at #6.
The computers are giving the ACC no love, with 6-1 Florida State and 5-1 Clemson not even getting a Top 25 ranking.
Out of the Big XII, BCS#17 Texas Tech is tied for 7th and BCS#24 Iowa State is ranked 18th, according to the computers.
All three human polls (AP, USA, Harris) have the same Top 6, with the AP and Harris Interactive polls having the exact same order as well. The top five teams are undefeated so far, as are five other teams ranked in the Top 25, with Cincinnati the lowest ranked unbeaten team at BCS#21. The two unranked unbeaten teams are ineligible Ohio State (AP# 7) and Ohio University.
#3 Oregon has only played one road game, and that was against soft Washington State at neutral site Seattle.
#21 Cincinnati has only played one road game, and that was against Virginia Tech at neutral site Landover, MD.
FFHL RESULTS – WEEK SIX (that’s seven weeks total, including Week Zero)
Overall, we FFHL’ers posted a mediocre record for the week of 38-43-3 (47.0%) ATS. In college, we were a decent 24-19-3 ATS (55.4%) but in the NFL we did poorly again, going only 14-24-0 ATS (36.8%), which makes sense since we tend to pick favorites and the NFL favorites were only 2-11 ATS last weekend.
CHECK THIS OUT:
Out of our 84 picks, we collectively selected 26 underdogs. In the NFL, we selected 12 underdogs out of 38 picks, going an astounding 11-1 ATS. Out of our 46 college picks, we selected 14 underdogs, going an astounding 12-1-1 ATS. In total, our DOGS’ picks were 23-2-1 ATS (90.4%). You have got to be kidding me!!? This has never happened in our 15 years of FFHL existence. Underdogs are golden. That means our “favorite” picks really stunk it up with an abysmal record of 15-41-2 ATS, or 27.6% win percentage.
COLLEGE – ALL GAMES
In the 7th week of college games:
FAVORITES 29-23-1 (55.7%)
HOME TEAMS 27-24-1 (52.9%)
TOP 25 13-7-3 (63.0%)
TOP 10 3-2-1 (58.3%)
Cumulative percentages through 7 weeks:
FAVORITES 157-172-3 (47.7%)
HOME TEAMS 158-166-3 (48.8%)
TOP 25 60-75-4 (44.6%)
TOP 10 20-29-2 (41.2%)
NFL ALL GAMES – for the 6th week:
Oh, did the favorites disappoint this week! Gotta love those dogs, just ask Michael Vick.
(We didn’t have a line on the MIN-WSH game)
FAVORITES 2-11-0 (15.4%) 5-8-0 (38.5%) Very Bad!!
HOME TEAMS 5-8-0 (38.5%) 8-5-0 (61.5%)
Cumulative percentages through 6 weeks:
FAVORITES 34-54-2 (38.9%) 52-38-0 (57.8%) Hard to believe
HOME TEAMS 43-45-2 (48.9%) 54-36-0 (60.0%)
LOOKING AHEAD – selected games, not the full slate
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #7
Tuesday UL-Lafayette -4h at North Texas
Thursday Houston -6 at SMU
BCS#3 Oregon -9 at Arizona State
Friday UConn +4h at Syracuse
Saturday BIG GAME: BCS#7 S. Carolina (the ‘dog) +3 at BCS#2 Florida
BIG GAME: BCS#4 Kansas St. (the ‘dog) +3 at BCS#13 W. VA
BCS#14 Florida State at Miami of Florida (no line yet)
BCS #6 LSU -3h at BCS#18 Texas A&M
Michigan State +10 at AP#23 Michigan
Stanford -3 at CAL-Berkeley
BCS#24 Iowa State +13 (big ‘dogs bark) at Oklahoma State
BCS#15 Rutgers -5h at Temple
BYU +14 at BCS#5 Notre Dame Battle of Independents
North Carolina -10h at Duke Good “hoops” matchup
Minnesota at Wisconsin (no line yet)
NFL WEEK #7 – SELECTED GAMES
BYE WEEKS: DEN, KC, MIA, PHI, SD, ATL (six teams)
(leaving 13 games for the week)
Thursday Seattle +7 at San Francisco
Sunday Divisional Matchups:
NY Jets +10h at New England
Pittsburgh -2h at Cincinnati
New Orleans -2h at Tampa Bay
Washington +7 at NY Giants
Other interesting matchups:
Baltimore +6h at Houston
Monday Detroit +5 at Chicago