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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Gee, wonder how game preparation is going for the Penn State Nittany Lions for their Saturday showdown against Nebraska?

Don't ask us how - or why - Penn State head coach Joe Paterno felt it important to get to his team's practice on Tuesday afternoon amidst all the wackiness surrounding his old buddy/defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and those very sick allegations but there was the 84-year-old JoePa shuttling off to campus for a light practice and more than a couple of personal bouts with reporters/camera folks.

Hey, and who knew that Paterno's son Scott could be one of the best bouncers in town - talk about a heavy-handed kid!

Naturally, football takes a back seat to all the alleged miscreant actions of Sandusky but here's one thing we wanted to get off our chests:

Isn't is ironic that Paterno has been the "conscience" of college football for nearly the past half-century - remember how he once uttered that he didn't want to retire 25 years ago and "leave the sport in the hands of the (Jackie) Sherrills and (Barry) Switzers of the world"?

Yeah, everyone's a whole lot better off now that we left it to you and your Penn State cronies!

We'll have much more to say on Paterno and this whole sordid saga in the days ahead but let's get back to the playing field and weigh in a couple of "under-the-radar" games this Saturday:

ARIZONA STATE at WASHINGTON STATE - The visiting Sun Devils (6-3, 4-2) are tied with UCLA atop the Pac-12 South (remember USC's not eligible to play in this year's first-ever conference champion game) and so Dennis Erickson's club has no wiggle room whatsoever after losing 29-28 at the Uclans last week. Everyone knows A-State can get sloppy at times but the Tempe team has beaten Wazzu seven straight times and the good folks in Las Vegas list 'em as 12-point chalk sides here.

CENTRAL FLORIDA at SOUTHERN MISS - You might have missed it but the USM Golden Eagles last weekend scored four non-offensive touchdowns in their 48-28 win at 9 ½-point underdog East Carolina. So, now Larry Fedora's squad enters this home tilt in Hattiesburg on a seven-game SU (straight-up) winning streak and Southern Miss also has covered seven in a row. Note that Southern Miss is listed as a 9-point betting fav for this clash and keep in mind last year UCF was a 10-point home favorite in this game and yet the Eagles won 31-21. Can revenge-minded Central Florida get its payback and possibly cost Southern Miss (8-1, 4-1) the Conference USA East Division?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPREAD UPDATE
It's our weekly look at College Football Betting Favorites and here's the update:

Week # FAVS VS SPREAD
#1 19-19-0 (2 no plays)
#2 24-21-0
#3 24-23-0 (1 Pick 'Em)
#4 22-24-0 (1 Pick 'Em)
#5 16-35-1 (1 Pick 'Em)
#6 32-20-0
#7 23-26-0 (1 Pick 'Em)
#8 24-26-0
#9 28-23-1
#10 21-31-0
Season Total 233-248-2
(4 Pick 'Em Games and 2 No Plays)

Note: College Football Betting Favorites are winning at a .484 rate thus far this 2011 campaign and check out the fact that we've had only four weeks where Favorites sported a better-than-.500 record, there's been five weeks where Betting Favs had a sub-.500 mark and one dead-even but vig-losing week right at season's start.

Extra, extra: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to win big-time all week and weekend long as we get deeper into the merry month of November with lots of great College Football action plus there's lots of winning straight ahead with NFL Week #10 action. Go ahead and make sure you're all aboard for all the action right through Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th. Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here for the NFL, NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball winners!

THE THURSDAY NITE TV PREVIEW
Note the numbers below reflect the current BCS Standings:

#10 VIRGINIA TECH (8-1, 4-1 ACC) at #21 GEORGIA TECH (7-2, 4-2 ACC) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Of course it's a battle for first place in the ACC's Coastal Division - but it's a lot more than that! It's an opportunity for Frank Beamer's here-and-now Virginia Tech Hokies to keep climbing up the BCS charts as they shoot for a fifth consecutive SU (straight-up) victory with RB David Wilson - the nation's leading rusher with 1,185 yards and 7 TDs - sure to get his mitts on the ball 30-or-so times here against a Georgia Tech defense that's surrendered more than 30 points juts once this year (see the 45-35 win/push against N.C. State back on Oct. 1st).

On the flip side, the GT Yellow Jackets zoom into this prime-time affair averaging a haughty 328 yards rushing per game and in the 31-17 upset win against 3 ½-point Clemson back on Oct. 29th (note both Techs had a bye last weekend) there was QB Tevin Washington reeling off a season-high 176 yards rushing on some 27 carries.

Keep a stopwatch on this game as it could be done in two-and-a-half hours if everything stays on thee ground.

Spread Notes - Virginia Tech is an ugly 2-7 ATS (against the spread) this year and the Hokies have failed to cover each of their last three head-to-head showdowns versus Georgia Tech. Note that the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are 5-3-1 vig-wise overall this season and keep in mind G-Tech's covered four-of-five home games this year.

NOTE: Lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez including the latest Heisman Trophy Watch plus the NFL Week 10 Thursday Night game between the Oakland Raiders at the San Diego Chargers.

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