Thursday, October 24, 2013

FOOTBALL NEWS AFTER WEEK SEVEN



FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER

Hello Football Fans,

I'm back from China, and noticed that the college Top 10 has gotten a shake-up.  It's not a big
reach to predict that there will be more unbeaten teams take a hit in the next four weeks.  Stay tuned.
In the NFL, we're not quite to the halfway point of the regular season.  Only one team remains unbeaten.

Read on and enjoy,

The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL

 

The Fugitive did not find the one-armed man in China, and hopefully he didn’t leave his positive point-spread “mojo” in Beijing or Shanghai.

While I was gone, many of the top-ranked college football teams suffered losses.  And more upsets could be coming soon.  There are still 10 undefeated teams, eight of which are in the Top 10; unbeaten Fresno State and Northern Illinois are ranked in the second 10.  By the end of the season, I’m expecting at most 4 unbeaten teams and more likely one or two.  If only one team is undefeated after the regular season, it will be real interesting to see which one-loss team gets into the BCS Championship game (or, if three teams are undefeated, which team gets left out of the NCAA title game).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

COLLEGE POLLS as of October 20, 2013

The initial BCS Poll is out.  The results are a combination of the Harris Interactive Poll, the USA Today Poll, and the average of six computer rankings, each weighted one-third.
Following is the new BCS poll and the AP rankings as a comparison.

BCS RANK           SU             RANK
TEAM             RECORD        AP Poll           Comments

#1 Alabama          7-0             #1 (55)                        Hosts LSU on Nov 9th; at Auburn Nov. 30
#2 Florida St         6-0             #3 (2)              Hosts Miami.FL on Nov 2nd
#3 Oregon             7-0             #2 (3)              Hosts UCLA Sat.; at Stanford Nov 7th
#4 Ohio State        7-0             #4                    Plays at Michigan Nov 30th
#5 Missouri          7-0             #5                    Homecoming Saturday vs. S. Carolina
#6 Stanford           6-1             #8                    Hosts Oregon Nov 7th & ND on Nov. 30th
#7 Miami.FL        6-0             #7                    Plays at FSU on Nov 2nd
#8 Baylor              6-0             #6                    Hosts Oklahoma Thursday, Nov 7th
#9 Clemson           6-1             #9                    At S.Carolina on Nov. 30th
#10 Texas Tech     7-0                        #10                  Plays at Oklahoma on Saturday
#11 Auburn           6-1             #11                  Hosts Alabama on Nov. 30th
#12 UCLA            5-1             #12                  Plays at Oregon this Saturday
#13 LSU                6-2             #13                  At Alabama on Nov. 9th
#14 VA Tech        6-1             #16                  Plays at Miami.FL on Nov. 9th
#15 Oklahoma      6-1             #17                  Plays at Baylor, Thursday Nov. 7th
#16TX A&M        5-2             #14                  Plays at LSU Nov 23rd
#17 Fresno State   6-0            #15                  Not tough schedule in last 4 games
#18 N. Illinois       7-0             #23                  Hosts Ball State on Wed., Nov. 13th
#19 Okla. State     5-1             #19                  Plays at Texas Tech on Sat., Nov. 2nd
#20Louisville       6-1             #18                 
#21 S.Carolina      5-2            #20                  Plays at Missouri this Saturday
#22 Michigan       6-1             #24                  Hosts Ohio State on Nov 30th finale
#23 UC Florida     5-1            #21                  Toughest game: home vs. Houston Nov 9th
#24 Nebraska        5-1             #25                  Plays at Michigan on Nov. 9th
#25 Oregon St       6-1             NR                   Hosts Stanford this Saturday

The initial BCS rankings clearly have three teams at the top – ALA at .9841, FSU at .9348, and Oregon at .9320.  Unbeaten #4 Ohio State has played a cupcake schedule and gets only a .8553 BCS average, followed closely by Missouri at .8219.  The BCS #6 through #8 teams have BCS averages in the low .7xxx range, and BCS #9 and #10 have averages in the low .6xxx range.

The six computers:
FSU is #1 by average computer rankings, getting the #1 vote from three of the six computers.
Alabama is ranked #2 by the computers, getting the #1 vote from 2 of the 6.
Missouri is ranked #3 by the computers, getting the #1 vote from 1 of the 6.
Oregon is ranked #4 by the computers, and 5 of the 6 computers have them #4.

The computers see several teams quite differently than the human voters:
BCS#7 Miami is ranked only #10 by the computers.  One computer has the Hurricanes ranked #21, and the highest ranking by any computer is #8.
BCS#8 Baylor is ranked only #12 by the computers.
BCS#11 Auburn is ranked #7 by the computers.  One computer has the Tigers #17 and another computer has them #5.
BCS#14 Virginia Tech is ranked #8 by the computers.  One computer doesn’t have the Hokies in the Top 25, and another computer has them #5.

AP#22 Wisconsin (5-2) is not ranked in the initial BCS Top 25.


FBS ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS

FFHL WEEK #6 – October 12th weekend

In FBS college games two weeks ago, 12 underdogs won their games outright out of 50 games, or 24.0%.

Texas +13h beat Oklahoma 36-20 in neutral site Dallas.

Central Michigan +18 won at Ohio U., 26-23.

South Florida +4h won at Connecticut, 13-10.

Rice +1h won at UTSA, 27-21.

Utah +8 beat visiting Stanford, 27-21, in a huge upset of a Top 10 team.  The Cardinal got the ball down to the Utes’ six-yard line with a minute remaining in the game, but were unable to score the game-winner.  Stanford has a tough schedule coming up – UCLA (beat them-see below), at #25 Oregon State this Saturday, then after a bye week it’s #2 Oregon on a Thursday night, at USC, rival Cal, and Notre Dame.

Missouri +7h won at Georgia, 41-26, to stay undefeated and move up in the rankings.

Tulane +9h beat visiting East Carolina in triple overtime, 36-33.

San Jose State +3h won at Colorado State, 34-27.

Penn State +2h beat visiting Michigan 43-40 in a wild quadruple overtime game.

Syracuse +7 won at North Carolina State, 24-10.

Louisiana-Monroe +6h won at Texas State, 21-14.

Oregon State +2 won at Washington State, 52-24, breaking a 24-all tie at the end of three quarters to win going away with a 28-0 fourth quarter.

AGAINST THE SPREAD
San Diego State -3h scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter at Air Force to win 27-20 and cover ATS.

Oregon -13h scored two unanswered TD’s in the 4th quarter to win at Washington U., 45-24, and cover ATS.

Arkansas State -24h was a generous host and only beat visiting Idaho 48-24 to not cover ATS by ½ point.

Houston University -9h beat visiting Memphis, 25-15, to cover ATS by ½ point.

FFHL WEEK #7 – October 19th weekend

In FBS college games last weekend, again 12 underdogs won their games outright out of 46 games, or 26.1%.
And the Top 10 got crushed, with only five of the ten teams winning their games straight up last weekend; and only two teams covered ATS.

On Tuesday night, Louisiana-Lafayette +3h won at Western Kentucky, 37-20.

On Friday night, Central Florida +14h won at Louisville 38-35 to knock the Cardinals out of the Top 10.  UCF scored the winning TD with 23 seconds remaining in the game.  From scrimmage, UCF beat Louisville just 446-445, and the turnovers were even at 2 apiece.

Tennessee +7 beat visiting South Carolina, 23-21.

Vanderbilt +7 beat visiting banged-up Georgia, 31-27.

Minnesota +12 won at Northwestern, 20-17, to knock the Wildcats out of the Top 25.

Southern Methodist +4 won at Memphis, 34-29.

#14 Missouri +3 beat visiting #22 Florida 36-17 and vaulted into the Top 10.

Colorado State +6 won the “Border War” in a blowout at Wyoming, 52-22.

#24 Auburn +13h won at #7 Texas A&M, 45-41, to jump up to AP#11, while the Aggies dropped to #14.

Wake Forest +5h raced past the visiting Terrapins of Maryland, 34-10.

Duke +2h won at Virginia, 35-22, by dominating the 2nd half.

Mississippi +10 beat visiting LSU, 27-24, with a late FG to win in a huge SEC West upset.

NOT QUITE:
Iowa +17h was ahead of host Ohio State 17-10 at halftime and the game was tied at 24 after three quarters, but the Buckeyes prevailed to win 34-24 (but not cover ATS).

AGAINST THE SPREAD
Notre Dame -3 beat visiting USC 14-10 to cover ATS by 1 point.  The Trojans missed a couple of 40-something yard FG’s and are having kicker tryouts this week.

Ball State -20 won convincingly at Western Michigan, 38-17, but covered ATS by only 1 point.

Akron -7 won at Miami of Ohio, but only 24-17, resulting in a tie ATS.

#17 Fresno State -24 beat visiting UNLV, but only 38-14, resulting in a tie ATS.





HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH
Check out this continuing evolution of the Heisman race.
Here is a comparison of the current Heisman Watch (per Heismanpundit.com, ten voters) and their projections just two weeks ago (total points based on 3-2-1 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, and 1st place votes in parenthesis), plus I added in a column for another poll:

                                                            Pundit             Pundit             Oct 21st                     
PLAYER (SCHOOL)                         OCT 22ND        OCT 9TH          USA Today

QB Marcus Mariotta (Oregon)          22  (5)             #2: 15 (2)        58  (17)
QB Jameis Winston (FSU)                 20  (4)             #3: 11 (1)        37  (  3)          
QB Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)    9    (1)             #1: 20 (6)        26  (  1)
QB Bryce Petty (Baylor)                    4                                              26  (  1)                      
QB Jordan Lynch (N. Illinois)           3                                              nada
QB Sean Mannion (Oregon St.)         2                                              nada
QB A.J. McCarron (Alabama)           0                                              3   (  0)
QB Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)  0                      #5:  3 (1)         1   (  0)          
QB Aaron Murray (Georgia)              0                      #4:  7 (0)         nada

It appears that Teddy Bridgewater is yesterday’s news, and Johnny Manziel has slipped badly as well.

NFL AFTER WEEK #7 (October 21st)

Undefeated teams: only KANSAS CITY
Winless teams: Tampa Bay and JAX

NFC East:       Dallas has a 1-game lead, but only the NYG are out of race
NFC North:     Three teams within ½ game; only MIN Vikings are out of race
NFC South:     New Orleans has a 2-game lead over Carolina, and is clear favorite
NFC West:      Seattle (6-1) has a one-game lead over SF (5-2)
AFC East:       NE leads by 1 game, but all four teams have a shot at division title
AFC North:     Cincinnati holds a 2-game lead, but it feels like the Bengals may fade
AFC South:     Indy (5-2) has a 2-game lead over Tennessee
AFC West:      KC (7-0) has a 1-game lead over Denver (6-1); SD (4-3) has slim chance

NFL ACTION WEEK #6 (10/14/13) – UNDERDOG WINNERS

In pro games two weeks ago, FOUR underdogs won their games outright out of 15 games, or 26.7%.

Carolina +2h won handily at Minnesota, 35-10.
St. Louis +7h won convincingly at Houston, 38-13.
Pittsburgh +2h won at NY Jets, 19-6, and the Steelers logged in their first win of the year.
On Monday night, San Diego +1h beat visiting Indianapolis 19-9.

AGAINST THE SPREAD:
San Francisco -10 beat visiting Arizona, 32-20, to cover ATS by only 2 points.
New England -2h beat visiting New Orleans 30-27 to cover ATS by ½ point.
Baltimore +2h lost to visiting Green Bay only 19-17 to cover ATS by ½ point.  The Packers were leading 16-3 after three quarters, but allowed the Ravens to score just enough in the fourth quarter to only win by 2 points.
Detroit -3h beat visiting Cleveland 31-17 by outscoring the Browns 24-0 in the second half (17-0 in the 4th quarter).
Dallas -5h scored their last ten points in the fourth quarter to beat visiting Washington 31-16 and cover the spread.
Kansas City -7h beat visiting Oakland 24-7 by outscoring the Raiders 17-0 in the 2nd half, easily covering ATS.

NFL ACTION WEEK #7 (10/21/13) – UNDERDOG WINNERS

In pro games this week, FIVE underdogs won their games outright out of 15 games, or 33.3%.

Cincinnati +2h won at Detroit, 27-24.
Buffalo +7 won at Miami, 23-21.
Dallas +2h won at Philadelphia, 17-3.
Indianapolis +6h hosted undefeated Denver and former Colts’ QB Peyton Manning.  The Colts won 39-33 to establish themselves as the favorite in the AFC South.
NY Jets +3 beat visiting New England, who continues to cheat until caught.  The Patriots were penalized for violation the new field goal center-attack rule (after being warned by officials on previous violations earlier in the game) on a late Jets’ long FG attempt, giving them a second chance to make the kick, which resulted in a successful kick to win the game.
FINAL: NYJ 30, NE 27.

AGAINST THE SPREAD
Atlanta -7 beat visiting Tampa Bay, 31-23, to cover ATS by 1 point.
Kansas City -6h could not punch it in for an insurance TD, winning only 17-16 over visiting Houston, and the Chiefs did not cover ATS.
Pittsburgh -2h beat visiting Baltimore 19-16 to cover ATS by ½ point.

FFHL RESULTS – WEEKS SIX AND SEVEN

In Week #6, we FFHL’ers collectively performed miserably at 29-55-0 (34.5% ATS).  In college, we were similarly lousy at 20-36-0 (35.7% ATS), and in the NFL even worse at 9-19-0 (32.1% ATS).

In Week #7, we FFHL’ers collectively performed poorly again at 29-54-1 (35.1% ATS).  In college, we were 20-32-1 (38.7% ATS), and in the NFL a pathetic 9-22-0 (29.0% ATS).

These two lousy weeks dropped our overall win percentage to 47.8% for the year on 672 total picks ATS.  We are cumulatively 51.1% ATS in college and only 41.7% in the NFL.

COLLEGE
In the 7th week of college games:
                                                ATS                             Straight-up
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               21-29-0  (42.0%)        38-12 (76.0%)  
HOME TEAMS          21-28-0  (42.9%)        28-21 (57.1%)
            AP TOP 10                  3-5-0     (37.5%)         6-2     (75.0%)

In the 8th week of college games:
                                                ATS                             Straight-up
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               23-21-2  (52.2%)        34-12 (71.7%)  
HOME TEAMS          22-22-2  (50.0%)        27-19 (58.7%)
            AP TOP 10                  2-8-0     (20.0%)         5-5     (50.0%)
            The Top 10 got crushed this week, finally bringing the ATS
            percentage closer to the expected 50% level (actually below).

COLLEGE
Cumulative percentages through eight weeks:

                                                ATS                             Straight-up
                                                Record                        Record
                       
FAVORITES               179-187-6  (48.9%)    300-72 (80.6%)         
HOME TEAMS          183-170-6  (51.8%)    221-138 (61.6%)
AP TOP 10                  29-31-3    (48.4%)      52-11  (82.5%)


NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

NFL – 6th week:

ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               6-9-0  (40.0%)                        11-4-0  (73.3%)         
            HOME TEAMS          7-8-0  (46.7%)                        8-7-0  (53.3%)



NFL – 7th week:
ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               7-8-0  (46.7%)                        10-5-0  (66.7%)         
            HOME TEAMS          8-7-0  (53.3%)                        9-6-0  (60.0%)


NFL
Cumulative percentages through seven weeks:

ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               52-53-2  (49.5%)        72-35-0  (67.3%)       
            HOME TEAMS          59-45-2  (56.6%)        65-41-0  (61.3%)


LOOKING AHEAD – selected games, not the full slate
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #8

Tuesday          Louisiana-Lafayette -3 at Arkansas State      FINAL: ULL 23, ARK ST 7

Thursday         Kentucky +10h at Mississippi State                          OCTOBER 24TH
                        Marshall -8 at Middle Tennessee

Friday             Boise State +7 at BYU                      

Saturday          BCS#21 South Carolina +2h at BCS#5 Missouri     SC new QB and
                                                                                                            3rd in row game away
                        BCS#10 Texas Tech +6h at BCS#15 Oklahoma
                        BCS#12 UCLA +23 at BCS#3 Oregon                    Big 12-Pack game
                        BCS#6 Stanford -3h at BCS#25 Oregon State
                        Other games of interest:
                        BCS# 19 Oklahoma State -12h at Iowa State
                        NC State +32 at BCS#2 Florida State                       
                        BCS#17 Fresno State -8 at San Diego State             
                        UNLV +6h at Nevada                                                 In-state rivalry
Northwestern +3h at Iowa
                        Texas +2 at TCU
                        Notre Dame -20 at Air Force
                        UTEP +17h at Rice
                        Toledo +4 at Bowling Green
                        Miami of Ohio +25 at Ohio U.
                       

NFL WEEK #8 – SELECTED GAMES

BYE WEEKS:            6 teams: BAL, CHI, HOU, IND, SD, TEN

Thursday        Carolina -6 at Tampa Bay                  OCTOBER 24TH

Sunday            Divisional Matchups:
                        Miami +6h at New England
                        NY Giants +5h at Philadelphia
                        Green Bay -8h at Minnesota
                       
                        Other interesting games:
                        Dallas +3h at Detroit
                       
Monday          Seattle -10h at St. Louis

FOOTBALL MINUTIA

After three years of investigation by the NCAA, Miami of Florida finally received its punishment for “lack of institutional control”.  The football team will lose 9 scholarships over three years, but the bowl ban was lifted, meaning that the Hurricanes will be eligible for post-season play this season.  The school had previously self-imposed various penalties including a bowl ban for two years and cooperated fully with the NCAA.  Presumably this helped in getting lesser sanctions imposed on their sports programs.
The school will not appeal the final NCAA penalties.

The trade deadline for the NFL is coming soon, 4PM Eastern time on Tuesday, October 29th.  Several teams are interested in Cleveland WR Josh Gordon, who the Browns’ picked up in the supplemental draft with a 2nd round pick last year out of Baylor.  At least three teams are interested, reportedly including San Francisco, but the Browns would have to first decide to let go of the talented, 6’3” and 225 pound youngster (age 22).
Other impact players possibly on the trading block may be NY Giants’ WR Hakeem Nicks, and maybe even JAX RB Maurice Jones-Drew.

Other possibilities before the trading deadline:
Detroit RB Mikel Leshoure
TENN WR Kenny Britt
WSH TE Fred Davis
ATL TE Tony Gonzalez
MIN QB Christian Ponder
ATL DE Osi Umenyiora
JAX DE Jason Babin
WSH CB DeAngelo Hall
PIT WR Emmanuel Sanders
BUF S Jairus Byrd
HOU RB Ben Tate

FOOTBALL QUIZ QUESTION

QUESTION #1:  How many different time zones are there in the country of China?
Unhelpful (hint) Hint: The United States has six – Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii-Aleutian (I think that’s right).




ANSWER #1:
One.  Craig, I’m sure you got this one right, unless jet lag has your brain twisted.

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