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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 10:15 AM

It's no secret that the here-and-now College Football Season really revolves around one super matchup that's now just a week-and-a-half away:

LSU at Alabama is prime-time material on CBS come the night of Saturday, November 5th and - let's face it - any/all games simply pale in comparison leading up to this monster matchup and you can bet your proverbial bottom dollar that we'll have lots of analyses and lots of news/notes regarding Bengals-Tide all next week long.

Meanwhile, it comes as no great surprise that these SEC superpowers are among the "Best Bets" in the world of College Football this year as #1 LSU is a tidy 6-2 ATS (against the spread) this season while Alabama is a snazzy 7-1 versus Mr. Vig and so - in case you were wondering - if someone had wagered $100 per play on all LSU and all Alabama games thus far in this current campaign than he (or she) would be up $970.

Not bad at all, right?

Still, there's been other great "Best Bets" in College Football this season and here are the cream-of-the-crop teams when it comes to winning percentage spreadwise. Hats off to the Stanford Cardinal for being the one-and-only unbeaten spread side in America so far:

TEAM ATS W/L/P PCT
Stanford 7-0-0 1.000
Alabama 7-1-0 .875
Clemson 7-1-0 .875
Arkansas State 6-1-0 .757
Kansas State 6-1-0 .757
Oklahoma State 6-1-0 .757
UTEP 6-1-0 .757
Eastern Michigan 6-2-0 .750
LSU 6-2-0 .750
Temple 6-2-0 .750
Cincinnati 5-2-0 .714
Houston 5-2-0 .714
Louisiana Tech 5-2-0 .714
Michigan State 5-2-0 .714
New Mexico State 5-2-0 .714
Rutgers 5-2-0 .714
San Jose State 5-2-0 .714
Southern Miss 5-2-0 .714
Texas Tech 5-2-0 .714
UAB 5-2-0 .714
Vanderbilt 5-2-0 .714
Washington 5-2-0 .714
Western Kentucky 5-2-0 .714
Western Michigan 5-2-0 .714
Wisconsin 5-2-0 .714

We have three quickie notes on the accompanying chart here: First off, there are 25 teams playing better-than-.700 spread ball so far this 2011 season and - check it out - 13 of them are from BCS conferences while an even dozen hail from the non-BCS teams including Arkansas State (Sun Belt) and UTEP (Conference USA) who sport matching 6-and-1 spread logs.

Secondly, note that Western Michigan (5-2 ATS) did not suffer a pointspread loss in that season-opening, weather-effected 34-10 loss at 14 ½-point favorite Michigan because the game was called off late in the third quarter and therefore not marked as a loss versus the vig.

Finally, while we hailed LSU and Alabama in our Jim Sez intro here, note that there is only one other SEC squad that made this 25-team league - and that's Vanderbilt who've covered better than 71 percent of their spread efforts thus far this season.

Extra, extra: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to win big-time all week and weekend long as we close out the month of October in College Football plus there's lots of winning straight ahead with NFL Week #8 action plus don't forget tonight is Game #6 of the World Series with the Texas Rangers looking to close out the host St. Louis Cardinals. 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 at www.jimhurley.com for the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB winners!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL MID-WEEK 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
Season Total 184-194-1
 (4 Pick 'Em Games and 2 No Plays)

Note: College Football Betting Favorites are winning at a .487 rate thus far this 2011 campaign and can you believe that only once this year (see Week #6) did the chalk-eaters really bang out a highly profitable weekend. Hmmm.

THE THURSDAY NITE TV PREVIEWS

Note that the ranking below reflects the current BCS Standings:

VIRGINIA (4-3, 1-2 ACC) at MIAMI (4-3, 2-2 ACC) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Nope, it's not the good ole days for the Miami Hurricanes who've already been beaten this year by the likes of Maryland, Kansas State and Virginia Tech but at least Al Golden's guys haven't chucked in the white towel as last weekend's 24-7 triumph over 3-point underdog Georgia Tech proved that "The U" still has special teams skills and proved they can win even without a big game from QB Jacory Harris (see eight total completions in that conference home win).

Harris - who has thrown for 12 TDs and only 4 INTs this season - watched the video of N.C. State's 28-14 mild upset win at 3 ½-point fav Virginia last week and he discovered one thing: There sure were a whole lot of wide-open receivers although State dropped a slew of passes and could have won that clash in Charlottesville by 25-to-30 points. Here, if the Wahoos (a two-TD underdog at press time) are gonna hang tough than WR Kris Burd (a team-leading 34 receptions but zero TDs) must dent the end zone a couple of times ... or else!

Spread Notes - Miami is 4-3 against the odds so far this season but the Hurricanes still are 20-32 ATS in ACC games since the start of the 2005 season. Meanwhile, Virginia's a horrid 2-5 spreadwise this season and the Cavaliers have failed to cover five of their seven away games during the 1-plus year era of head coach Mike London.

RICE (2-5, 1-3 C-USA) at #17 HOUSTON (7-0, 3-0 C-USA) - 8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Network
Don't look now but the Houston Cougars are climbing the charts in a hurry and now they're attempting to match the best start in the school's rich football history - perhaps it's time we added QB Case Keenum to our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch List?

Keenum - who has thrown for 973 yards with 7 TDs and 2 INTs in his three career games against Rice - enters this under-the-lights clash with 2,685 passing yards with 23 TDs and 2 INTs on the 2011 season and here WR Tyron Carrier (a team-leading 46 catches) figures to be targeted plenty against a Rice defense that's allowed 34-or-more points in four different games this year.

Spread Notes - As you can see by our College Football Team-by-Team pointspread chart above, the Houston Cougars are one of 15 FBS teams with a snazzy 5-2 ATS mark this year and note that Kevin Sumlin's club has covered four-of-five games this year when laying twin-figure prices. Rice, meanwhile, is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven head-to-head games against the archrival Coogs.
 

THE WORLD SERIES REPORT

TEXAS at ST. LOUIS - Rangers lead series, 3-2

Game #6 - and maybe the final game of this 2011 Major-League Baseball season - is set for tonight in St. Louis (first pitch at 8:05 p.m. ET) and here's the three keys for victory should Texas win its first-ever World Series:

  • #1 - Jump on LHP Jaime Garcia from the get-go: Naturally, that is easier said than done after the star southpaw blanked the Rangers into the seventh inning in that 2-1 Rangers win back in Game #2. Garcia had a little extra hop on his fastball in that game and the Rangers didn't get off many good swings - expect top-of-the-order right hitters 2B Ian Kinsler and SS Elvis Andrus to take some far better cuts here in their first two times up;

  • #2 - Take the extra base and don't be scared off by Cardinals C Yadier Molina. No question that St. Loo's backstop has been absolutely brilliant in this World Series (it only seems that he picks off a runner from first base every game!) but the run-run Rangers must go first-to-third on singles to the corner outfielders and Kinsler/Andrus must steal a couple of bases here.

  • #3 - What else, the bullpen: Texas RHP Alexi Ogando may be starting to run on fumes but he may have to get one or two batters out here plus RHP Scott Feldman may have to go an inning-plus here and something tells us he's headed for a key seventh- or eighth-inning showdown with 1B Albert Pujols. The winner of that head-to-head battle may tell the tale of who wins Game #6.

NOTE: Lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez including the Heisman Trophy Watch as Stanford QB Andrew Luck continues to lead the charge but find out who is in hot pursuit!

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