Thursday, November 12, 2015

FOOTBALL NEWS AFTER WEEK NINE

FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER 

Hello Football Fans,

The next three weeks of the regular season and the conference championship games will determine which teams get into the college football playoffs.  It's still early, but a lot happened last weekend.  And the Hawkeyes are CFP#5 (for now).


In the NFL, the season has crossed over the halfway point of the regular season.

Enjoy,

The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL, on the lam from the gambling police (and not participating in any "illegal" fantasy football "gambling" sites)

COLLEGE 

There were plenty of upsets last weekend, and eight of the AP Top 25 teams lost. 
And the bizarre and unusual finishes to games continues.  The Michigan flubbed punt seemed to trigger the recent run of strange plays and odd finishes. 

FBS ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS 
This week FIFTEEN underdogs won outright in 60 FBS games for an upset rate of 25.0% (17.3% last week).  

BIZARRE FINISH OF THE WEEK 
Arkansas (+10h) had a chance to upset host AP#19 Mississippi on the last play of regulation with the score tied 45-45.  The Razorbacks tried a 47-yard FG but it was blocked, sending the game into overtime.  Ole Miss started the first OT period with a TD and extra point to lead by 7.  The ARK Hogs started their OT opportunity from the 25-yard line, but a penalty and sack and incompletion had them facing 4th-and-25 from the 40-yard line (needing to get to the 15-yard line just to get a “1st down” and keep faint hopes alive).  A pass to the sidelines was caught at the 25-yard line, but the defender was right there and started to tackle the receiver.  The Razorback receiver flung the ball over his shoulder into the middle of the field, about 10-15 yards behind him.  The ball was tipped, bounced once and an Arkansas player picked it up and ran it to the 11-yard line – FIRST DOWN.  After that miraculous play, the Hogs scored a TD and still had a chance to win, behind 51-52.  Instead of tying the game with a PAT kick, HC Bret Bielema decided to “go for two” and the win from the 3-yard line.  Another pass play…QB is sacked…game over?...NO, penalty for grabbing the QB’s face mask on the sack.  Arkansas got another chance, this time from the 1½ yard line (half the distance to the goal).  A quarterback keeper up the middle was good, and the upset was complete.
FINAL: ARK 53, MISS 52 (OT)

FIRST-LOSS UPSETS 

Five previously undefeated teams took it on the chin in Week #9. 

BAD CALL, MAN, BAD CALL! 
Nebraska (+5h) pulled out a wild home victory with the help of the officials against previously unbeaten AP#6 Michigan State.  The NEB Cornhuskers were behind 38-26 after the MSU Spartans scored a TD with only 4:16 remaining in the game.  Nebraska finally responded on a TD with only 1:46 to go (behind by 5), and then got the ball back and marched 61 yards in 3 plays, leaving only 20 seconds with the ball at Michigan State’s 30-yard line.  The next play was the clincher; the ‘Husker WR ran down the sideline, stepped out of bounds while running his route, came back in bounds and caught a TD pass to take the lead….but wait, a receiver cannot be the first player to touch a ball after going out of bounds, so the TD would be nullified….but wait, the officials said the MSU defender forced the receiver out of bounds and after replay review the TD was allowed. 
FINAL: NEB 39, MSU 38 

It was a bogus call by the officials.  The defender was running down the sideline ahead of the receiver and was looking back at the QB – there was very little if any contact.  The Big 10 Conference officials stood up for the call on the field after the fact, but that meant nothing to the MSU Spartans, whose chances for a CFP playoff berth were drastically diminished on one bad call. 

Last Tuesday night, Northern Illinois (+7) won at AP#20 Toledo, giving the Rockets their first loss of the season, 32-27.  NIU lost its QB to injury in the first half; Toledo led 17-16 at halftime and extended the lead to 27-19 before N. Illinois scored two unanswered TD’s to win. 

Navy (+7h) won handily at AP#15 Memphis, 45-20, and the Tigers suffered their first loss of the season and are now out of the CFP playoff picture.  They had beaten Ole Miss earlier in the year, 37-24.  The Midshipmen moved into the Top 25 with a record of 7-1 (only loss at Notre Dame, 44-24). 
AP#12 Oklahoma State (unbeaten, but still a home underdog of 4½ points) soundly beat visiting AP#5 TCU, 49-29, taking advantage of Horned Frog turnovers.  Previously unbeaten TCU ran an amazing 110 plays from scrimmage, racked up 36 first downs and 663 total yards; QB Trevone Boykin was 35 of 57 for 445 yards passing and 3 TDs, but threw 4 interceptions (to the detriment of his Heisman Trophy chances). 

In contrast, the OSU Cowboys ran only 53 plays, got 16 first downs and generated 456 yards from scrimmage (ZERO turnovers). 

Texas Christian’s current 16-game winning streak was snapped. 

Previously undefeated AP#4 LSU was a 6½ -point underdog at AP#7 Alabama.  The Tigers’ star RB Leonard Fournette was shut down by the Crimson Tide defense, and ‘Bama controlled the game and the outcome, winning 30-16. 

Fournette rushed 19 times for only 31 yards from scrimmage and 1 TD, whereas his counterpart – ALA running back Derrick Henry (6’3”, 240 lbs., big load) carried the ball 38 times for 210 yards rushing and 3 TDs. 

Fournette is still the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but Henry now has the 2nd-best odds to win it, and TCU QB Boykin dropped to 3rd-favorite. 

The ALA Crimson Tide extended its win streak in the series with LSU to five games. 

AP#13 Utah was a 1½ point underdog at unranked Washington; the Utes won 34-23 to win its first-ever game versus the UW Huskies (previously 0-8 in the series).   

OTHER VICTORIOUS UNDERDOGS 

On Thursday night, Buffalo (+1) won at Kent State, 18-17, scoring 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. 
On Thursday night, Arkansas State (+12h) won at Appalachian State, 40-27. 
On Friday night, UTEP (+6) beat visiting Rice, 24-21. 
South Florida (+4) won at East Carolina, 22-17. 
Akron (+2) and HC Terry Bowden won at Massachusetts, 17-13. 
Old Dominion (+10) won at Texas-San Antonio, 36-31. 
New Mexico State (+17) won at Texas State, 31-21. 
New Mexico (+14h) beat visiting Utah State, 14-13. 

Auburn (+7) won at AP#25 Texas A&M, 26-10, to knock the Aggies out of the Top 25.

COLLEGE FBS RANKINGS 

The CFP selection committee released its second set of rankings on Tuesday (today).  Once again, the final rankings on December 6th will be the only ones that matter. 
TEAM (record) AP Rank Comment 

#1 Clemson (9-0)    #13 easy winners in regular season; ACC title game 
#2 Alabama (8-1)    #3Plays at #20 Mississippi State on Saturday 
#3 Ohio State (9-0)    #2Hosts Mich St 11/21, at Mich 11/28 
#4 Notre Dame (8-1)    #6Plays at Stanford Nov 28th 
#5 Iowa (9-0)    #8Plays at Nebraska in regular season finale Nov 27th 
#6 Baylor (8-0)    #4Tough schedule: OKL on Sat.; at OK.St, at TCU 
#7 Stanford (8-1)    #7Finishes with 3 at home: Oregon on Sat., CAL, ND 
#8 Oklahoma St (9-0)     #5Hosts Baylor & Oklahoma on 11/21 & 11/28 
#9 LSU (7-1)    #9Tough finish: ARK on Sat., at Ole Miss, TX A&M 
#10 Utah (8-1)    #10Hosts UCLA on Nov 21st 
#11 Florida (8-1)    #11Hosts FSU on Nov 28th 
#12 Oklahoma (8-1)    #12Tough finish: at Baylor Sat., TCU, at Okie State 
#13 Michigan St. (8-1)   #14Plays at Ohio State on Nov 21st (ripped off by refs) 
#14 Michigan (7-2)    #15Hosts Ohio State on Nov 28th 
#15 TCU (8-1)    #13Tough schedule: at OKL Nov 21st; Baylor Nov 27th 
#16 Florida State (7-2)    #19 
#17 Mississippi St (7-2) #20Hosts #3 Alabama this Saturday 
#18 Northwestern (7-2)   #24 
#19 UCLA (7-2)    #18Road games at Utah Nov 21st and USC Nov 28th 
#20 Navy (7-1)    #22TOP GROUP OF FIVE team; plays at HOU 11/27 
#21 Memphis (8-1)    #25at #21 Temple on Nov 21st 
#22 Temple (8-1)    #21Hosts Memphis Nov 21st 
#23 North Carolina (8-1) #17Only loss at S.CAR in Week #1 neutral site 
#24 Houston (9-0)    #16Hosts Navy Nov 27th 
#25 Wisconsin (8-2)    #23 

COMMENTS: 

After the big shakeup last weekend, the rankings are getting “closer” to reality at the end of the regular season, but there are still many key games to be played. 

The Big XII Conference is unsettled, to say the least.  Independent Notre Dame is a wild card in the current scenario; the Irish play at Stanford in their regular season finale, a game that may turn out to determine the 4th CFP playoff spot.  The Big 10 Conference title game winner will probably play its way into the CFP playoffs.   And just in case you didn’t notice, there are no undefeated teams from the SEC Conference. 

The Top 15 are the same teams in both the AP Poll and the CFP rankings, with a somewhat different order, but not significant at this point.  And the same can be said for the Top 25.  The 12-member committee will distinguish themselves in the order of those teams, especially the top four.   

The Fugitive PontifiKurts: 

It’s still too early to get excited, but let me just say that Alabama has lost a game…at home, and regardless of how great they are on paper, with all of those 4-star and 5-star recruits they get every year coming out of high school, they still have to perform on the field.  Scoreboard, baby! (to quote Jim Rome).  Undefeated teams, in the end, must be ranked ahead of them. 

With that in mind, I doubt there will be any more than two undefeated teams by the end of the conference championship games (before the final CFP rankings). 

ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL DETAIL 

In the latest AP Top 25 rankings, there are only SIX remaining undefeated teams (after five unbeatens lost last weekend). 

EIGHT teams in last week’s AP Top 25 lost over the weekend, and three of them fell out of the Top 25: 
RANKED NEW- 

TEAM RESULTS RANKING 


#4 LSU  Lost at #7 Alabama as underdog, 30-16#9  [ALA#3] 
#5 TCU  Lost at #12 Oklahoma State, 49-29#13 [OSU#5] 
#6 Michigan State  Lost at Nebraska, 39-38#14 
#15 Memphis Lost at home to Navy, 45-20#25 
#17 Florida State Lost at #3 Clemson, 23-13#19 [CLEM#1] 
#19 Ole Miss Lost at home to Arkansas, 53-52 OT OUT 
#20 Toledo Lost at home to N. Illinois, 32-27 OUT 
#25 Texas A&M Lost at home to Auburn, 26-10 OUT 
That means three teams moved INTO the Top 25: 
New #22 Navy 
New #23 Wisconsin 


New #24 Northwestern 

NOTE: Southern California is lurking at #26 

The breakout of votes for the #1 ranking in the polls (with last week’s #1 votes in parentheses): 

AP# Rank & Ranking in 

TEAM - AP Poll - Coaches Poll 

#1 Clemson 31 (6)21 (2)#2 Unbeaten 
#2 Ohio State 26 (39)34 (48)#1Unbeaten 
#3 Alabama 2 (1)3 (0)#4 One home loss to Ole Miss 
#4 Baylor 2 (6)5 (9)#3 Unbeaten 
#5 Oklahoma State 0 (0)0 (0)#5 Unbeaten 
#6 Notre Dame 0 (0)0 (0)#6 One loss at Clemson 
#7 Stanford 0 (0)0 (0)#7 One loss at Northwestern 
#8 Iowa 0 (0)0 (0)#8 Unbeaten 
#9 LSU 0 (5)0 (1)#9 One loss at Alabama 
#10 Utah 0 (0)0 (0)#13 One loss at USC 
#11 Florida 0 (0)0 (0)#10 One loss at LSU 
#12 Oklahoma 0 (0)0 (0)#11 One loss vs. Texas in Dallas 
#13 TCU 0 (4)0 (4)#12 One loss at OK State 
#14 Michigan State 0 (0)0 (0)#14 One loss at Nebraska 
#15 Michigan 0 (0)0 (0)#15 Two losses 
#16 Houston 0 (0)0 (0)#16 Unbeaten 

COLLEGE CONFERENCE RACES 

Quickly this week: 

SEC EAST: 
Florida clinched the division title with a lackluster 9-7 home win vs. Vanderbilt 

SEC WEST: 
Title still up in the air; five teams have a shot, but Alabama is now in “control”; 
Bama clinches with wins at MISS.ST and at Auburn in Iron Bowl. 

ACC ATLANTIC: 
Clemson clinched the division title with its win over FSU last Saturday. 

ACC COASTAL: 
North Carolina will win the division with 2 wins in last 3 games: MIA, at VA.Tk, NC.St 

BIG 10 WEST: 
Iowa needs 2 wins in last 3 games: MIN, PURD, at NEB (or 1 win and a WISC loss). 

BIG 10 EAST: 
Ohio State has a one-game lead in the division, but still has to play MSU and at MICH 

PAC-12 NORTH: 
Stanford needs 1 win (vs. OREG, vs. CAL) or one Oregon loss to clinch 

PAC-12 SOUTH: 
Utah has a one-game lead over USC & UCLA;  Utes need wins at Arizona & vs. UCLA. 

BIG XII: 
Four teams still have a shot, and they all play each other in the last month.  Great drama! 

NFL 


We’ve just crossed over the halfway point in the regular season. 
The Denver Broncos lost at Indianapolis on Sunday, 27-24 to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten teams.  The other undefeated teams won their matchups last weekendCIN beat CLE 31-10 on Thursday night, NE beat WSH 27-10, and CAR hung on to beat GB 37-29. 

NFL RECORD 

This is the first season in league history that there have been three 8-0 teams. 
The remaining three unbeaten teams do not face each other during the rest of the regular season. As unlikely as it may be, there could be three 16-0 teams after Week #17. 
During the Super Bowl era, all 21 teams that started 8-0 qualified for the playoffs, and 14 of the 21 won at least one playoff game (67%). Twelve of them made it to the Super Bowl (57%), and eight won the Super Bowl (38%). 

On a related matter, teams that have started the season with a 4-4 record make the playoffs at a 32% clip, or roughly 1 out of 3 (right now, BUF, OAK, PHI, STL, SEA).  And if you expand that a bit: PIT (5-4), IND (4-5), NYG (5-4), NOR (4-5). 

THE UNDEFEATED LEADERS 

NFC SOUTH: 
CAROLINA (8-0) beat visiting Green Bay, 37-29, and the Panthers increased their lead to 2½ games over fading Atlanta (6-3), who lost at San Francisco on Sunday.  However, the slumping Falcons still currently hold the second wild card spot in the NFC. 

AFC EAST: 
NEW ENGLAND (8-0) retained its 3-game lead over the NY Jets (5-3) after beating Washington 27-10; the Jets eked out a home win over Jacksonville, 28-23.  Buffalo (4-4) beat Miami (3-5) on Sunday 33-17, and the Bills are still in the playoff hunt, but continuously battling injuries. 

AFC NORTH: 
CINCINNATI (8-0) retained its 3.5-game lead over Pittsburgh (5-4) after beating Cleveland and QB Johnny Manziel 31-10 on Thursday night.  The PIT Steelers eked out a win over visiting Oakland in Week #9 and currently hold the second wild card spot in the AFC. 

THE OTHER DIVISIONS 

AFC WEST 
DENVER (7-1) lost at Indianapolis on Sunday, 27-24, but still has a big 3-game lead in the division over Oakland (4-4), who lost at Pittsburgh in Week #9. 

NFC NORTH: 
GREEN BAY (6-2) lost at Carolina 37-29 to fall into a tie for the division lead with MINNESOTA (6-2), who won in overtime at home over St. Louis, 21-18. 
The Packers have lost two games in a row, and will just need to “R-E-L-A-X” and they’ll be OK. 
The GB Packers play at Minnesota in Week #11 (Nov. 22nd) and then the Vikings must travel to Green Bay for a rematch in the Week #17 regular season finale on January 3rd. 

NFC EAST 
The NY Football Giants (5-4) retained the division lead by ½ game over Philadelphia (4-4), as both teams won on Sunday. 
Washington (3-5) lost at New England but is still only 1½ games out of the division lead after Week #9, while cellar dweller Dallas (2-6) has lost six straight games without QB Tony Romo in the lineup; the Cowboys are now 2½ games behind the Gnats and in desperation mode after losing to the PHI Eagles at home on Sunday night in overtime, 33-27. 

NFC WEST 
Arizona (6-2) extended its division lead to two games during its bye week, since the STL Rams (4-4) lost at Minnesota.  The SEA Seahawks (4-4) were also idle in Week #9. 
The Hapless AFC SOUTH (all teams below .500): 
The mediocre Indianapolis Colts (4-5) won at home over previously undefeated Denver, 27-24 to take a ½-game division lead over mediocre Houston (3-5), who was on a bye week.  Jacksonville and Tennessee are still in the divisional race with 2-6 records, only 1.5 games behind Indy.  

NFL ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS 

FIVE underdogs won outright in 13 NFL games this week for an upset rate of 38.5% (35.7% the previous week).  It’s a crap-shoot every week, my fellow handicappers.   

Tennessee (+8) won at New Orleans, 34-28 in overtime without the Saints offense touching the ball in the extra period.  The NOR Saints never trailed in the game in regulation time, but a coin toss ended up exposing their defense and costing them the game. 

Carolina (+3) was the undefeated home underdog, but was blowing out visiting Green Bay 37-14 after scoring a TD with 9+ minutes remaining in the game.  The Pack did not give up, and scored two unanswered TDs in the next 5+ minutes. On the next series, Carolina threw an interception at their own 22-yard line on first down with 3½ minutes to go, but then The Pack was unable to score again after facing 4th-and-goal at the Carolina 4-yard line with 2 minutes remaining in the game.  QB Aaron Rodgers didn’t see one of his WR’s wide open in the corner of the end zoneouch. 
FINAL: CAR 37, GB 29 

Carolina currently has a regular season 12-game winning streak (lost in playoffs last year). 
Indianapolis (+5h) beat visiting Denver, 27-24.  Interesting game to give the Broncos their first loss, but I’m passing up the details.  Hope you saw the game. 

San Francisco (+7) beat visiting Atlanta, 17-16, to jeopardize its previously excellent shot at getting the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.  Detroit appears to want that pick more desperately than the Niners: 

Detroit 1-7 
Cleveland 2-7 
San Diego 2-7 
Tennessee 2-6 
Jacksonville 2-6 
Baltimore 2-6 
Dallas 2-6 
SF 3-6 
Chicago 3-5 
Tampa Bay 3-5 

Let’s get back to the game: 
With the ATL Falcons trailing 17-13 and facing 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line with only three minutes to play, HC Dan Quinn decided to kick a field goal rather try for the go-ahead TD.  As it turned out, that decision didn’t work. The Falcons’ defense could not stop the 49ers’ offense on the next possession, and the Niners ran out the clock to claim victory. 

On Monday night, Chicago (+3h) won at San Diego, 22-19, and our FFHL handicapper Wild Man was there to witness his team’s victory at Qualcomm Stadium. 

NOT QUITE” 
Dallas (+3) lost to visiting Philadelphia, 33-27 in overtime. 
PHI Eagles’ LB Jordan Hicks scored on a Pick 6 after jumping an out-route and returning the interception to paydirt.  Hicks was the player that was responsible for knocking DAL QB Tony Romo out of the game (broken collarbone) in their first meeting in Week #2 at Philly.  And now he is out for the season after tearing a pectoral muscle in the win over Dallas. 

The Oakland Raiders (+5) were behind 35-21 after the host PIT Steelers scored a TD with 9½ minutes remaining in the game, but the Raidas responded with 2 TD’s in the 4th quarter including the game-tying TD with only 1:15 on the clock (scoreboard: 35-35).   
Pittsburgh then marched 79 yards in 7 plays to set up the winning 18-yard FG with 2 seconds to go. 
FINAL: PIT 38, OAK 35 

Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown generated 284 receiving yards in the win over the Raiders, a Steelers franchise record and the most in any NFL game since Calvin Johnson had 329 yards against the Cowboys in October of 2013. 

Through Week #9, Atlanta’s WR Julio Jones and Antonio Brown are already over 1,000 receiving yards on the year. Jones leads the league at 1,029 yards, while Brown is second at 1,002 yards. 
Houston’s WR DeAndre Hopkins sits in 3rd place at 870 receiving yards, having played in one less game than Jones and Brown.  Projecting those numbers to season’s end, Jones is on pace for 1,829 receiving yards, Brown is on pace for 1,781 yards, and Hopkins is on pace for 1,740 yards.  DET Lions’ WR Calvin Johnsons holds the NFL record with 1,964 yards in 2012.  

NFL RECORD 
The Steelers became the first team in NFL history to have one player with 300 or more total yards from scrimmage and another player with 200 or more yards from scrimmage in the same game. 
Antonio Brown had 306 total yards, with 284 receiving and 22 rushing. RB DeAngelo Williams added 170 rushing and 55 receiving, for a total of 225. 
Brown and Williams accounted for 531 yards. The rest of the Pittsburgh offense accounted for 66 yards. 

MORE COLLEGE 

FCS UPDATE and 
FCS TOP 25 RANKINGS 

RESULTS for Top 25 matchups: 

FCS#5 McNeese State beat visiting #9 Sam Houston State, 27-10, and moved up to FCS#2, while SHSU dropped to FCS#18. 

FCS#11 South Dakota State beat visiting FCS#2 Illinois State, 25-20, and moved up to FCS#5, while ISU dropped to FCS#6. 

FCS#18 Southern Utah beat visiting FCS#25 Montana State, 34-23, and moved up to FCS#15, while MSU dropped out of the Top 25. 

Other Top 25 teams: 

FCS#3 Chattanooga lost at Mercer, 17-14, and dropped to FCS#9. 

FCS#4 Eastern Washington lost to visiting Northern Arizona, 52-30, and dropped to FCS#10, while victorious NAU moved into the Top 25 at #25. 

FCS#7 Richmond lost at New Hampshire, 30-25, and dropped to FCS#12. 

FCS#9 Portland State lost at Northern Colorado, 35-32, and dropped to FCS#16. 

FCS#19 Eastern Kentucky lost to unranked Tennessee-Martin, 42-35 and dropped out of the Top 25. 

The breakout of #1 rankings in the FCS Coaches Poll are listed below (with the #1 votes for the prior week in parentheses): 

#1 Jacksonville State (8-1)25 (23) 

#2 McNeese State (8-0)1   (0) 

#3 North Dakota State (7-2) 

#4 Coastal Carolina (8-1) 

#5 South Dakota State (7-2) 

#6 Illinois State (7-2) 

#7 William & Mary (7-2) 

#8 Charleston Southern (8-1) 

#9 Chattanooga (7-2) 

#10 Eastern Washington (6-3) 

#11 James Madison (7-2) 

#12 Richmond (7-2) 

Others: 

#15 Southern Utah (7-2) 

#16 Portland State (7-2) 

#18 Sam Houston State (6-3) 

#19 Northern Iowa (5-4) 

#25 Northern Arizona (6-3) 

FFHL RESULTS – WEEK NINE 

Overall, we FFHL’ers picked poorly with a record of 35-46-3 ATS (43.5%).  In the NFL, we posted a record of 13-17-0 ATS (43.3%); in college we were 22-29-3 ATS (43.5%).  We selected 24 underdogs and posted a record of 15-8-1 ATS (64.6%).  With the college ‘dogs, we were 10-5-1 ATS (65.6%) and with NFL ‘dogs we were 5-3 ATS (62.5%).  That means our “favorites” picks were a lousy 20-38-2 ATS (35.0%). 

FFHL LOP-SIDED and CONTESTED PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS) 

Listed below is a breakdown of some of our significant picks.   

We had only three contrary picks in college out of 54 total picks. 

We had seven contrary picks in the NFL out of 30 total picks. 

 ATS Picks 
Team For-Against Result / Unsolicited comments 
LSU +6h at Alabama 5-0 LOSS, ‘Bama dominates, 30-16 
TX A&M -7 vs. Auburn 3-1 LOSS, AU Tigers win outright, 26-10 
Houston -8 vs. Cincinnati 3-0 LOSS, UH Cougars barely win, 33-30 
Memphis -7h vs. Navy 3-0 LOSS, MU Tigers lose outright, 45-20 
Michigan State -5h at NEB 3-0 LOSS, MSU outright loss to ‘Huskers, 39-38 
FSU +11 at Clemson -11 2-2 FLORIDA ST covers ATS by 1 pt. with 13-23 loss 
DEN Broncos -5h at IND 4-0 LOSS, ‘dog Indy Colts win outright, 27-24 
NOR Saints -8 vs. TENN 3-0 LOSS, ‘dog Titans win outright, 34-28 in OT 
ATL Falcons -7 vs. SF 3-1 LOSS, ‘dog 49’ers win outright, 17-16 
NE Pats -14 vs. WSH 2-1 WIN, Patriots win 27-10 to cover ATS by 3 pts. 
BUF Bills -2h vs. MIA 2-1 WIN, Buffalo wins 33-17 to cover ATS easily 
OAK Raiders +5 at PITT 2-1 WIN, Oakland loses only 38-35 to cover by 2 pts.  
SD Chargers -3h vs. CHI 2-1 LOSS, ‘dog Bears win outright on MNF, 22-19 

COLLEGE 

This week – FFHL Week #9: 
ATS     STRAIGHT-UP 
Record Record 
FAVORITES 25-32-3 (44.2%) 45-15 (75.0%) 
HOME TEAMS 23-34-3 (40.8%) 34-26 (56.7%) 
The favorites and home teams did poorly ATS this week, and our FFHL picks suffered as a result. 

COLLEGE 

CUMULATIVE after ten weeks: 
ATS     STRAIGHT-UP 
Record Record 
FAVORITES 258-260-12 (49.8%) 421-109 (79.4%) 
HOME TEAMS 237-271-10 (46.7%) 311-207 (60.0%) 

NFL 

In the 9th week: 
ATS     STRAIGHT-UP 
Record Record 
FAVORITES 6-7-0 (46.2%) 8-5 (61.5%) 
HOME TEAMS 7-6-0 (53.8%) 9-4 (69.2%) 
Note:  six teams had “byes” 

NFL 

CUMULATIVE after nine weeks: 
ATS     STRAIGHT-UP 
Record Record 
FAVORITES 58-68-6 (46.2%) 85-47 (64.4%) 
HOME TEAMS 62-61-6 (50.4%) 76-53 (58.9%) 

FOOTBALL NEWS and MINUTIA 

NFL INJURIES 
PIT Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger was supposedly out for at least a couple of weeks with a foot sprain suffered in Pittsburgh’s Week #9 victory over Oakland.  Big Ben thinks otherwise; he will try to be ready for this week’s game. 

MIN Vikings’ QB Teddy Bridgewater suffered a concussion from a blow to the head in Minnesota’s Week #9 win over St. Louis.  He has been placed in the concussion protocol, but appears to be fine and probably won’t miss any games (he passed the first-level protocol).  It was a cheap shot by a Rams’ defensive back, a forearm-elbow to the head as Bridgewater was sliding, and Rams’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (BountyGate instigator, former DC for New Orleans) is being scrutinized again. 

IND Colts’ QB Andrew Luck was injured in the 4th quarter of its Week #9 matchup with Denver and will miss the next 2-6 weeks while dealing with a lacerated kidney and partial tear of an abdominal muscle.  Matt Hasselbeck, age 40, is the only other QB on the Indianapolis roster right now.  Matt Blanchard is on the practice squad.  Stay tuned. 

DEN Broncos LB DeMarcus Ware suffered a back injury in Denver’s loss at Indianapolis.  He looks to be out of the lineup for 1 or 2 weeks. 

GB Packers’ RB Eddie Lacy suffered a groin injury in Green Bay’s Week #9 loss at Carolina.  He’s been banged up all year, but put in a full workout on Monday and will likely practice on Wednesday, so he probably will be available to play in Week #10. 

BUF Bills’ RB LeSean McCoy suffered a shoulder injury in Buffalo’s Week #9 win over Miami.  He had just gotten back on the field this year.  Although nicked up, McCoy believes he’ll be ready to start in this Thursday’s matchup for his Bills and his HC Rex Ryan in East Rutherford, NJ against the Jets, Ryan’s former team. 

OAK Raiders’ RB Latavius Murray suffered a concussion in Oakland’s Week #9 loss at Pittsburgh.  His status is uncertain. 

NY Jets’ OC Nick Mangold aggravated a neck injury in New York’s Week #9 win over Jacksonville.  He missed Week #8 because of the injury, but will likely not miss the Jets’ Week #10 Thursday night matchup against Buffalo because he went through a full practice on Tuesday. 
Also, NY Jets’ CB Antonio Cromartie suffered a thigh injury.  His status is questionable” (about 50%, as of Monday night) for Thursday night’s game vs. Buffalo. 

NE Patriots’ RB Dion Lewis suffered a knee injury in New England’s win over Washington in Week #9.  It was determined to be an ACL tear and he is out for the year. 

IND defensive end Henry Anderson has a torn ACL and is out for the year. 
The rookie was a 3rd-round pick out of Stanford who had replaced injured veteran Art Jones in their line rotation and had started every game. 

DAL linebacker Sean Lee is injured again; he suffered a concussion in Week #9 and is considered “doubtful” for Week #10. 
DAL Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo is expected to be back for Week #11. 

DEN cornerback Aqib Talib has a brain injury (I think they call it “lame brain”).  He evidently cannot control his emotions on the field.  He poked an opposing Indy player in the eye after a play was over and got himself a one-game suspension.  His explanation was lame; and, he clearly forced his fingers through the facemask and inside the player’s helmet to get a shot at the guy’s face/eye.  He appealed the suspension, but I doubt he will prevail. 

FANTASY FOOTBALLGAMBLING” 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has ruled that daily fantasy sports websites DraftKings and FanDuel are illegal gambling sites and are NOT “games of skill”, as the companies had claimed.  He has demanded that they stop accepting bets from New York participants and that they stop operations in the State of New York. 

[Note: about 10% of all revenue from these two companies is generated in the state of NY.] 

Last month, the State of Nevada Gaming Control said that daily fantasy sports constituted “gambling” under Nevada law and daily fantasy sports inside the state must cease and desist. 

I suspect the federal government is on the verge of getting involved. 

COLLEGE 

THE CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI 

The Missouri football program is in disarray.  The Tigers lost their starting QB for the year due to an off-field suspension.  And now the team got involved in the handling of race-related incidents on campus.  A week ago, grad student Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike, ala Gandhi, and the football team threatened to not play again until Butler ended his protest.  On Sunday, head coach Gary Pinkel supported the cause and his team. 

On Monday, the University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned amid backlash from the student revolt.  Several hours later, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced that he would resign effective at the end of the year. 

That ended Butler’s hunger strike.  On Tuesday, the football team resumed practice and will play their game on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City against BYU.  

HAWAII 

Head coach Norm Chow was fired after a 58-7 home loss to Air Force.  The interim HC will be Chris Naeole.  Ikaika Woolsey will be the new starting QB, replacing the benched Max Wittek, ex-USC quarterback.  Hawaii (+9h) subsequently lost 41-21 at UNLV last Saturday. 

BOWL GAMES 

There are now 51 bowl-eligible teams in the FBS, with a total of 80 teams needed to fill the bowl roster. 

HAWKEYE STATS 

According to the North Carolina Sports Information Department, prior to last weekend’s games, following is a list of the most “balanced” FBS offenses so far this year, as determined by a comparison of rushing yards vs. passing yards: 

Team Rush Pass Diff 

IOWA 1611163017 
Tennessee 1713168033 
NC State 1621165534 
Stanford 1774172153 
Baylor 2368243567 
Houston 2191210883 

NON-FOOTBALL NEWS 

Just in case you’ve been out of the country and had no access to the news, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series in five games.  I have it on good authority that BEAU will eventually send out his last baseball newsletter of the year to give you some of the details and other minutia (after the postseason awards are announced). 

LOOKING AHEADselected games, not the full slate 
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #10 (college FB’s 11th week) 

Tuesday Toledo (-4) at Central Michigan 
Nov 10th Kent State (+7) at Ohio U. 

Wednesday Bowling Green (-3h) at Western Michigan 
Nov 11th Northern Illinois (-6) at Buffalo 

Thursday Virginia Tech (+3h) at Georgia Tech 
Nov 12th Louisiana-Lafayette (-1) at South Alabama 

Friday USC (-16) at Colorado 
Nov 13th 

Saturday TOP 25 MATCHUPS 

Nov 14th AP#3 Alabama (-7) at AP#20 Mississippi State 
AP#12 Oklahoma (+3) at AP#4 Baylor 
AP#25 Memphis (+6) at AP#16 Houston GROUP OF FIVE 
Other ranked teams in action: 
AP#1 Clemson (-26h) at Syracuse 
AP#2 Ohio State (-17) at Illinois 
AP#5 Oklahoma State (-14) at Iowa State 
Wake Forest (+27) at AP#6 Notre Dame 
Oregon (+9) at AP#7 Stanford 
Minnesota (+11h) at AP#8 Iowa 
Arkansas (+8h) at AP#9 LSU 
AP#10 Utah (-5) at Arizona 
AP#11 Florida (-7h) at South Carolina 
Kansas (+45) at AP#13 TCU 
Maryland (+18) at AP#14 Michigan State 
AP#15 Michigan (-11h) at Indiana 
Miami.FL (+11h) at AP#17 North Carolina 
Washington State (+8) at AP#18 UCLA 
North Carolina State (+9h) at AP#19 Florida State 
AP#21 Temple (-4h) at South Florida 
SMU (+21h) at AP#22 Navy 
Purdue (+13) at AP#24 Northwestern 

Others: 
Washington (+3h) at Arizona State 
Georgia (+1) at Auburn 
BYU (-4) vs. Missouri at neutral site Kansas City 
Pittsburgh (+3h) at Duke 
Kansas State (+5h) at Texas Tech 
Kentucky (+3h) at Vanderbilt 
Texas (+7h) at West Virginia 

Tuesday Toledo at Bowling Green 
Nov 17th Ball State at Ohio U. 

Wednesday Western Michigan at Northern Illinois 
Nov 18th Central Michigan at Kent State 

NFL WEEK #10SELECTED GAMES 

BYE WEEKS: ATL, IND, SD, SF 

Thursday Buffalo (+3) at NY Jets 
Nov 12th 

Sunday Divisional Matchups: 
Nov 15th Detroit (+12) at Green Bay 
Cleveland (+3h) at Pittsburgh Steelers’ QB Big Ben is out 
Kansas City (+7) at Denver 
Arizona (+3) at Seattle 

Others: 
Minnesota (+2) at Oakland 
New England (-7) at NY Giants 
Chicago (+4) at St. Louis Rivalry Cubs vs. Cardinals? NOT 

Monday Houston (+10h) at Cincinnati 
Nov 16th 

FOOTBALL QUIZ QUESTION 

QUESTION #1:  Ohio State has won 29 straight Big 10 regular season intra-conference games (excludes Big 10 title game loss to Michigan State in 2013), which is tied for fourth on the all-time FBS list with Florida State, whose streak (2012-2105) was just broken last weekend with a loss to Clemson in an ACC game.  With a win at Illinois on Saturday, the OSU will move into 4th place alone.  Can you name the top three streaks in FBS history? (“No” is not a correct answer; you actually have to name the teams). 

HINT:  One team had two different streaks of over 29 straight intra-conference regular season wins, the all-time record of 44 in the 1950’s, and also tied for the second-best of all time in the 1980’s with 31 straight wins.  The other team (tied for 2nd all-time at 31 in the 2000’s) is currently not playing in a Power 5 conference. 

QUESTION #2:  Ohio State has the longest active winning streak at 22 games.  The next three longest active win streaks were snapped last weekend – TCU 16 games, Memphis 15 games, and Michigan State 12 games.  Which FBS team now holds the 2nd-longest current winning streak behind Ohio State?  



ANSWER #1: 
Oklahoma 1952-1959 44 wins 
Boise State 2001-2005 31 wins 
Oklahoma 1984-1988 31 wins 
Florida State 2012-2015 29 wins (streak ended last Sat. in 23-13 loss at Clemson) 
Ohio State 2012-current 29 wins 

ANSWER #2: 
Clemson, with 12 wins in a row. 
The longest active losing streaks: 
Kansas12 games (and 30 consecutive Big XII road games) 
UCF11 games 
Eastern Michigan 8 games 






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