Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM
Okay, so you practically need a math major to figure out all the decimal points stuff regarding the here-and-now BCS Standings that has Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame running 1-2-3 this week but how about the fact this trio is a combined 20-10 ATS (against the spread) so far this season - they're making themselves and their backers quite happy these days, right? Let's take a sneak peek at some inside-the-numbers stuff regarding their games this coming weekend ...
KANSAS STATE (10-0) - The Wildcats are an electric 9-1 versus the vig this season under miracle-man Bill Snyder but did you know that entering Saturday's game at double-digit dog Baylor the Manhattan kids have won/covered all three of their road games (at Oklahoma, Iowa State and West Virginia) and the margin of victory in these three road tilts is 17.3 points per game?
OREGON (10-0) - Note that the Ducks zoom into Saturday's home game against three-TD underdog Stanford riding a five-game spread winning streak and the fact of the matter is Oregon's 13-4-1 against the juice in conference games while dating back to the end of the 2010 season. Folks, that's a spectacular .765 winning rate plus the Ducks have covered eight of their last 10 head-to-head matchups with the Cardinal ... so there!
NOTRE DAME (10-0) - Say this for the ND Fighting Irish: They've learned to win the close games this year as Brian Kelly's crew is 5-0 SU (straight-up) in one-score games but in the business of full disclosure this South Bend gang is just 5-5 spreadwise so far and that includes a 2-4 ATS mark when installed as twin-figure favs and that's certainly the case this weekend against 24-point pup Wake Forest.
There's previews of this weekend's games to be played by the BCS #1, #2 and #3 teams later this week but now let's get to our mid-November Heisman Trophy Watch List (and things sure have changed since the first one we posted way back on October 10th):
THE HEISMAN TROPHY REPORT
1 - COLLIN KLEIN, QB, KANSAS STATE - The unabashed leader for this year's bronzed statue is the mega-star of the nation's top-ranked team and no doubt Klein's padded his lead in recent weeks. The 6-foot-5 senior last weekend accounted for only 195 yards (145 passing/50 rushing) in a 23-10 win at 6 ½-point dog TCU and he accounted for three more touchdowns in that Big 12 tilt thus giving Klein 31 TDs on the year - that's 12 passing and 19 via the ground route. On the year, Klein's thrown for 2,020 yards and rushed for 748 yards and he gets a shiny gold star for bouncing back quickly from an injury suffered two weeks ago versus Oklahoma State.
2 -- MANTI TE'O, LB, NOTRE DAME - Maybe the other Heisman Trophy "experts" out there have chosen to drop this senior stud from their elite list but not us! Te'o - who has 92 tackles (46 solo) with 6 INTs and 2 fumble recoveries - remains the heart-and-soul leader of this Fighting Irish squad and last week he nabbed yet another deflected pass for a pick in the 21-6 win at Boston College. Right place at the right time again? Well, Teo's is always in the right place and while we consider him a mile back of Klein in the chase for this ultra-coveted award, he still gets second place right now over any/all new Heisman Trophy challengers. Got it?
3 - JOHNNY MANZIEL, QB, TEXAS A&M - Gotta admit that we had this thrill-a-minute redshirt freshman on our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch List way back on Oct. 18th when we placed Manziel fourth but soon dropped him from our top five and so it's apology time to "Johnny Football" who roared back into the national spotlight with last weekend's epic 29-24 win at 13 ½-point fav Alabama. All Manziel did there was complete 24-of-31 passing attempts for 253 yards with two TDs plus he ran the ball 18 times for 92 yards (that's a nifty 5.1 yards-per-carry average against the nation's top-ranked defense). The up-to-date year-long stats now include 2,780 yards passing with 18 TDs and 6 INTs to go along with 1,014 yards rushing with 15 TDs. Manziel's moving up the Heisman charts in a hurry - although he won't get any real points for this Saturday's game against Sam Houston State - and no question the kid ought to get a suit ready for the Heisman Trophy ceremony in NYC the second Saturday in December.
4 - MARQUISE LEE, WR, USC - It's the first time we've popped this Trojans star onto the Heisman Trophy Watch List and, really, you simply can't ignore the fact that this sophomore speed-burner has zoomed into the conversation with his 98 pass receptions for 1,447 yards with 13 TDs. Last week Lee toasted Arizona State with 10 catches worth 161 yards and a score in that 38-17 second-half route and he's been a dynamic playmaker all year long for an otherwise underachieving USC team that had somebody else on Heisman Trophy voter minds back at the start of this 2012 campaign (paging QB Matt Barkley - remember?).
5 - COLBY CAMERON, QB, LOUISIANA TECH - You won't see this senior star on anyone else's current Heisman Trophy lists but we've slipped him into our top five ahead of folks such as Oregon RB Kenjon Barner and Alabama QB A.J. McCarron. Note that Cameron - who plays for a Bulldogs team that is 9-1 with the lone loss coming against, you got it -- Texas A&M - has compiled some monster-sized numbers including 3,283 yards passing and 27 TDs with no INTs. If Cameron can direct L-Tech to a mild upset win against Utah State this weekend, than maybe he will pop onto some other Heisman Trophy lists but you heard his name here first!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S THURSDAY NITE PREVIEW
NORTH CAROLINA (6-4, 3-3 ACC) at VIRGINIA (4-6, 2-4 ACC) - 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Okay, so maybe it doesn't qualify as "appointment TV" here but this ACC clash still should be highly entertaining - note the totals price is 61 points at press time - but check out the current standings and you'll see Carolina still has a pulse when it comes to winning the Coastal Division (co-leaders Georgia Tech and Miami each are just 4-3 in this very mediocre ACC).
The UNC Tar Heels have scored 43-or-more points in five different games this season under first-year boss-man Larry Fedora but can you believe that Carolina is 1-4 spreadwise in the five games in which it hasn't scored 43-or-more points? Geez!
Keep an eye here on North Carolina RB/occasional return specialist Gio Bernard who leads the ACC with 126 rushing yards per game this year and remember that punt return for a score at the end of the big win against N.C. State just a couple of weeks ago.
Virginia has flip-flopped quarterbacks - and unsuccessfully - for much of this current campaign but look for veteran Michael Rocco to get the start here one week after he chucked four TDs and threw for 300 yards in that wild 41-40 non-cover win against 1 ½-point dog Miami.
Finally, note that North Carolina has three special teams touchdowns this year - the aforementioned Bernard return against N.C. State along with one other punt bring-back fro a score and a kick return too - and that's what could separate these long-time rivals on this night inside cozy Scott Stadium. Stay tuend!
Spread Notes - North Carolina is a dead-even but vig-losing 5-5 against the odds so far this season and note the Tar Heels are an ugly 3-7 vig-wise in head-to-head showdowns against Virginia the past 10 years. On the flip side, the UVa Cavaliers are a dismal 1-8-1 spreadwise this season - the lone cover came two weeks ago in that 33-6 win at 10 ½-point fav N.C. State - and the Wahoos enter this prime-time affair having failed to cover six of their last seven conference games while dating back to late last season.
NOTE: Catch our NFL Week 11 Thursday Night TV Preview - that's the Miami Dolphins at the Buffalo Bills - in tomorrow's jam-packed edition of Jim Sez plus lots more all week long!