Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Don't throw those tickets away. We are nine weeks into the National Football League season and 21 of the 32 teams are still alive for a trip to the playoffs and a possible shot at the Super Bowl. In the colleges everyone's guess carries equal weight as to which two teams will play for the national championship. Kansas State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia and Florida are all in the running and there are plenty of games left to bury or elevate each of them.
The only things we know for certain about the championship seasons are that the Super Bowl will be played Sunday, February 3, in New Orleans in the Superdome and that college football's BCS championship showdown will be played Monday, January 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Most sports books that still offer futures betting on the Super Bowl have the Houston Texans (8-1) as slight favorites over the New England Patriots (6-3) to represent the American Football Conference and the Green Bay Packers (6-3) and San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1) co-favorites to get there from the National Football Conference.
Interestingly, most bookmakers in Las Vegas have said for several weeks the Atlanta Falcons, who are 8-1 and lost for the first time Sunday, at New Orleans, 31-27, did not grade out high enough in their power ratings to be a Super Bowl team, an official opinion that will be confirmed or blown up in the next seven weeks.
In the run up to the BCS championship game, bookmakers still believe Alabama (9-1) is the best college team in the country, despite losing Saturday at home to Texas A&M, 29-24, and that the Crimson Tide are the only team in the country that can beat Oregon (10-0). As for undefeated Kansas State (10-0), the books simply do not know what to make of them, treating them as a borderline illusion. Notre Dame (10-0) also has them a bit baffled.
Since Kansas State is ranked first in the BCS poll, the Wildcats will definitely be one of the two teams that will play for the national championship-unless they lose either of their last two games, this Saturday at Baylor (4-5) and three weeks from now in Manhattan against Texas (8-2).
Oregon is ranked second in the BCS listing and will be the second team in the title game-if the Ducks win both of their last two games, this week at home against Stanford (8-2) and the following week at Oregon State (7-2) and then beat either Southern California (7-3) or UCLA (8-2) in the PAC-12 championship game.
Kansas State would seem to have an easier road, if there is any such thing at this point of the season, since Texas is the only ranked team remaining on its schedule every team Oregon must beat to get to the big one is listed among the nation's Top 25.
As for Notre Dame, the Irish have Wake Forest (5-5) at home this week and close out a week from Saturday at Southern California.
The way the BCS is set up, at least two of the three undefeated teams-Kansas State, Oregon or Notre Dame-will have to lose if either Alabama or Georgia is to get to the championship game. They will play for the Southeastern Conference championship December 1.
Streak Of 200-Unit Winners Now At 7
I won my seventh consecutive 200-unit blowout game of the week Saturday as Georgia (-14 ½) crushed arch-rival Auburn, 38-0. It is of note when I released the game I predicted a Georgia victory by from 35-42 points. Here is what I said about the game when I released it to the Internet clients.
Comments: If you are an Auburn fan that got pumped up and excited last week when the Tigers buried New Mexico State, 42-7, everybody else, except I-AA Sacramento State, has done the same thing. New Mexico State is one of the worst teams in college football and I am certain Auburn practice sessions are harder on the team than was this game. Georgia is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and grades out between five and six touchdowns better than Auburn-and comes into this game incentive-driven. A win in this game-the last SEC contest of the year for Georgia-and the Bulldogs advance to the conference championship contest and, with that, still have a chance to punch their ticket to the national championship game. You can look these teams over from top-top-bottom and analyze them until you are blue in the face and you cannot find a single edge for Auburn, except for the home field. For instance, Georgia starts junior Aaron Murray at quarterback who ranks second in the SEC in passing efficiency with a rating of 168.9. He has won 24 games as a starter and has 60 touchdown passes, with just 15 interceptions, and is the SEC's active leader in total offense with 8,873 career yards. Auburn counters with freshman Jonathon Wallace who made his first career start against New Mexico State. This is the situation at almost every position in the Georgia vs. Auburn comparison. Wallace is going to find out quickly he's not playing New Mexico State, a team that has little defense, giving up 464.2 yards per game. He will be running for his life in this one. I could go on and on as to why I like the Bulldogs to win in blowout fashion but I think you get the idea.
Bingo for the seventh straight Saturday. There will be no 200-unit play this Saturday because no teams meet the requirements for play. Four teams meet the first demand-that they grade out with a 100% chance to win straight up-but none meet the second requirement, that they have at least a 90% chance to cover the number. I do believe there will be one the following week but I must first see the numbers.
Handicapping Lesson In A&M Win
My Best Bets Football Investment Club got the money Saturday with a 15-unit play on Texas A&M (+13 ½) with its 29-24 win at Alabama and I want to share those comments with you as a teaching moment in the world of handicapping. Here are my pre-game comments on this one.
Comments: There is a saying on Wall Street that “trees don't grow to the sky”, meaning there is a limit to how high a stock will go before it starts to decline. In many respects that applies to Alabama. How much better can the Crimson Tide get? They are 9-0, the best defensive team college football has seen in quite some time and come into this game off a last-minute, draining gut-wrenching 21-17 win over LSU in a showdown battle that required everything they had to win. My figures say that victory was Alabama's high point of the season, that it can play no better and that it will be less than 100% against Texas A&M today. This is not to suggest the Crimson Tide are overnight going to slide so far down their performance profile that they lose but it is going to require a strong effort to get by a surprisingly-good Texas A&M team today. A&M is getting better with each game it plays and could easily be undefeated. The Aggies lost twice at home, first to Florida, 20-17, and then to LSU, 24-19. Texas A&M starts a freshman quarterback-Johnny Manziel-who runs the hurry-up no-huddle offense better than anyone I have ever seen. Last Saturday, he led the Aggies, a 5-point favorite, to a 38-13 win at then-15th-ranked Mississippi State and in the process ran 98 plays that amassed 693 yards. It was the fifth time this season A&M has put more than 600 yards of offense in the bank. It also is of note the hurry-up offense creates big problems for teams such as Alabama, who run defensive specialists in and out in each game. Against it, they don't have time to always do what they want to do. I look for Alabama to go to 10-0 today but everything tells me the defending national champions are going to be challenged just as they were against LSU.
The game went right to script and in the end the Aggies even got the straight-up win.
75-Unit Showdown MAC Parlay Wednesday
I want to remind you there are two important Mid-American Conference games Wednesday night-both on national television-and my opinion on both games is so strong I am releasing them as a rare 75-unit midweek parlay-25 units on both winners and a 25-unit parlay of those winning teams. The two games, both with MAC championship implications are:
Ohio University (8-2) at Ball State (7-3) On ESPNU
Toledo (8-2) at Northern Illinois (9-1) On ESPN2
Get this power-packed package now for just $25, charged to your major credit card and use it to build you bankroll for another big weekend.
Basketball Going Full Blast
I am off to a 10-4 start in the NBA this season and am winning in the colleges after just three days of play and you can still get on board for membership in my Best Bets Basketball Investment Club for the early bird price of just $199, charged to your major credit card. Sign up today on this website or toll free at 1-800-755-2255. Best Bets may also be purchased on a daily basis for $15. Get on board and let the winning begin for you tonight.