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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:43 AM



By Jim Hurley:

If you're the type of College Football fan who loves eye-balling the early-season marquee matchups - and who isn't! - than this weekend's card must have you doing back flips in your backyard.

Hey, it qualifies as a really big weekend when you get fun showdowns such as #1 Oklahoma at #5 Florida State, Washington at #11 Nebraska, #15 Michigan State at Notre Dame, Tennessee at #16 Florida, #17 Ohio State at Miami and #21 Auburn at Clemson.

Now that's quite a "checklist" and we didn't even mention Thursday's key SEC tilt between #3 LSU at #25 Miss State ... and we'll preview that baby shortly here in today's edition of Jim Sez.

Check out the here-and-now Associated Press Top 25 and you will note that six of the top 10 spots are occupied by either Big 12 teams (that's #1 Oklahoma, #8 Oklahoma State and #9 Texas A&M) or SEC teams (see #2 Alabama, #3 LSU and #10 South Carolina) and there's really only one non-BCS conference team that might possibly make its stake for a spot down the road in the BCS Championship Game and that's #4 Boise State.

Yes, we know it's very, very early but ...The way things sit right now Boise State could well find itself in the top three come late November/early December and might simply be in position to root against, let's say, both Oklahoma and Alabama in their respective conference championship games and than get into the BCS Championship Game should either the Sooners or Crimson Tide lose - and that is a long way off.

One last thing here in our "intro": The aforementioned Texas A&M Aggies finally appear to have clear sailing to get into the SEC beginning either in 2012 or 2013 and so the really big story is the inevitable dissolution of the Big 12 Conference - Nebraska's gone off to the Big 10, Colorado made its dash to the Pac-12 and there's a couple of powerhouse conferences romancing the likes of Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State and so here's the fearless prediction:

In three years time there will be only four major conferences out there comprising some 64 FBS schools - the real cream-of-the-crop, if you will - and just about everyone else will be left in the dust including the likes of those Conference USA, Mountain West Conference and WAC teams.

Maybe Texas A&M is showing no "loyalty" in the scheme of things here but the fact remains this is College Football's ever-changing landscape and if you don't make the leap now you may get left behind later on.


Count 'em up ... there's 23 FBS teams in all that have perfect 2-and-oh spread records right now and here's a more in-depth look:

Alabama If the Crimson Tide allows just one TD per game than they'll cover a whole lot of games in 2011
Arkansas Maybe you're yawning over covers against Missouri State and New Mexico and now Hogs are laying 24 ½ vs. Troy
Arkansas State Note the Red Wolves have enjoyed only one winning spread season since 2005 (see last year's 7-5 ATS log)
Bowling Green If you didn't know than it may be time to put third-year coach Dave Clawson on your personal "radar screen"
Buffalo The Turner Gill Era (2006-09) brought plenty of underdog winners and now boss-man Jeff Quinn's doing the same
Central Florida Don't look now but George O'Leary's gang has covered 12 of its last 14 games overall - hip-hip-hooray
East Carolina Hey, the Buccos have reeled off covers against South Carolina and Virginia Tech and that's saying something
Florida So much for the early-season theory that you don't want to be laying big prices with a rookie head coach (Will Muschamp)
Fla. International Last Friday's prime-time 24-17 win/cover at 3-point favorite Louisville was super-impressive stuff
Georgia Tech The Jackets pounded a pair of non-BCS conference teams early on but now comes super-revenge game against Kansas
Houston If you tell us the UH Cougars will average 43 points a game than we'll tell you they'll cover an awful lot of tilts
Kansas Come-from-behind outright winner against Northern Illinois last weekend might catapult J-Hawks to big season spreadwise
Navy Did you realize that the Midshipmen have sported winning spread seasons seven times in the last eight years?
Rutgers Hats off to the Scarlet Knights for getting the cover as 10-point pups at North Carolina last weekend as they showed grit
South Florida Season-opening 23-20 win at 11-point fav Notre Dame might wind up being one of the most important games in 2011
Stanford Here's how QB Andrew Luck wins the Heisman: The Cardinal goes unbeaten and adds perfect spread log to the mix
Temple The Al Golden Era was a renaissance time for this Philly school but Owls not missing any beats without 'em now
Tennessee This is the first time the Vols have started off a season at 2-0 ATS since the 2002 season ... really!
Toledo No doubt the Rockets will regret not winning the "whole game" against Ohio State last weekend
UL-Lafayette Nice dog covers at Okie State and Kent State - the latter a 20-12 win as 9-point pups - has these Ragin' Cajuns happy
Utah State Give the gritty Aggies credit for bouncing back from tough loss-but-cover at Auburn with 37-point rout over Weber State
Vanderbilt Now when is the last time you can remember Vandy covering back-to-back weeks as a betting favorite (see 2007)?
Washington State Maybe the Coogs are back after muddling through the past three seasons with five total straight-up wins

Extra, extra: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers plan on winning plenty this NFL and College Football season and so please make sure you're all aboard for all the action and that means getting in on Thursday Nite's showdown between LSU at Miss State, Friday Nite's Boise State at Toledo hoedown plus all the weekend action too.

Let us take you right thru the BCS National Championship Game on January 9th plus get all our NFL Winners too right through Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th. Hey, it's gonna be a great ride! Plus get all the Major-League Baseball Winners too each and every day and this is all you have to do to get all the Winners: Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here for the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB winners! Sign up now and get the College Football and NFL Seasons for a grand total of $199. Check it out today!


#3 LSU (2-0) at #25 MISS STATE (1-1) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
The stats don't lie and they say that LSU has won the last 11 consecutive head-to-head showdowns against the Miss State Bulldogs - and it's not exactly as if everything's peachy keen for the Starkville squad here:

Consider that the offensive line is banged up badly with senior center Quentin Saulsberry (sprained knee) and senior left tackle James Carmon (leg) both questionable here after suffering their injuries in last Saturday's tough 41-34 loss at underdog Auburn. If those M-State blockers are a no-go here, than you better believe LSU's defensive front seven will come at QB Chris Relf (3 TDs and 1 INT so far) in a big-time fashion and so it's imperative that Bulldogs RB Vick Ballard (301 yards rushing and 4 TDs this year) breaks a few long gainers.

Note that LSU remains without suspended QB Jordan Jefferson following an off-season bar fight and WR Russell Shepard won't be back either here following a three-game suspension handed down because of an NCAA rules violation.

The Tigers have not missed a beat with QB Jarrett Lee (no INTs through two games) and WR Rueben Randle (6 catches this year and averaging nearly 22 yards a grab with one TD) might be a game-breaker deluxe if MSU can't get a solid pass rush on Lee here.

Don't look now but a Miss State loss just about kayos any/all hopes of winning the SEC West this year and that was one of head coach Dan Mullen's "reachable" goals.

Spread Notes - LSU has split its first two pointspread verdicts this season (covered Oregon and failed to cover the 47 ½-point price against Northwestern State) but go back to the start of the Les Miles Era in 2005 and you'll discover that the Bayou Bengals are a rotten 15-29-6 ATS (against the spread) in all SEC games. On the flip side, Miss State also is 1-1 spreadwise in 2011 with a cover at Memphis and that painful loss to 5-point pup Auburn but note that the Bulldogs are a rock-solid 8-4 ATS when hosting fellow SEC teams the past three seasons.

NOTE: Get NFL Week 2 "sneak peeks" in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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