Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Hey, you couldn't turn on your flat-screen television the past couple of days without getting full-blown coverage of the two biggest names in NFL Training Camp this summer - that's new Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning and old Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow (a/k/a the new "Pied Piper" of the New York Jets).
Let's just say the ESPN "family of networks" saturated the airwaves with seemingly 24-hour coverage of both the elder Manning the still-young Tebow in recent days but lest anyone forget there are 40-to-50 other quarterbacks out there in NFL-land that deserve your attention this Summer of 2012 and we shall do our very best to bring you all the key news/notes regarding everyone else that hopes to throw a pass in the league where they play for pay this year ...just so y'all know!
One signal-caller we apparently won't be talking about in the coming days/weeks is one-time first-round draftee Kyle Boller who announced his retirement a mere one day after signing on the dotted line with the San Diego Chargers.
Boller - who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens way back in the spring of 2003 - was expected to make a difference in Chargers' camp considering second-string slinger Charlie Whitehurst is sidelined for the next few weeks with a knee injury and so expect there to be a literal free-for-all as potential backup quarterbacks send in their tape to San Diego head coach Norv Turner who knows Philip Rivers (26 TDs and 20 INTs a year ago, as stated in yesterday's Jim Sez column) needs some help to get through this steamy summer.
Meanwhile, there's plenty of attention focused these days on the numero uno pick of this 2012 draft - Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck (Stanford) informed media members that he was admittedly "nervous" regarding the start of his professional career but Indy veterans are trying to take the pressure off Luck by doing all the things vets do to rookies like having Luck carry shoulder pads and gear of other players. It's expected that Luck and his Colts teammates won't be in full pads later in the week.
Luck summed up things early on in Colts camp by stating, "You really have football to focus on and not much else," said the newly minted (see four-year, $22.1 million contract). (But) that excites me."
We will see how excited Luck is by the end of next week when pass-rushing Colts linebackers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis get their shots at whacking the new kid in town in practices although you can be quite sure Luck will be donning that red practice jersey along with maybe a "Stop" sign too!
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gearing up for a big-time NFL Preseason run and we'll get you started with the Side & Totals Winners of this year's Hall of Fame Game in Canton - again, that's the Saints vs. the Cardinals - on Sunday, August 5th. It promises to be a lucrative summer time of pigskin fun for Jim and his clients and so don't miss out on all the profits - we'll be rollin' in the green with NFL Preseason Winners in less than three weeks time! So be sure to check in with us either right here online or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the upcoming College & NFL Winners plus get all the daily and nightly MLB Winners too.
MORE KEY COLLEGE FOOTBALL POINTSPREAD STATS
Let's put a wrap on our Key College Football Pointspread Stats with a look at a handful-plus teams that don't belong to the so-called "power conferences" and so here goes ...
ARMY - It's not often that the Black Knights on the Hudson find themselves in the role of betting favorites but note that Army is a collective 7-12 ATS (against the spread) as chalk-layers while dating back to the start of the 2002 campaign (and that includes a spread split of four games a year ago when in the favorite's role with covers against Tulane and Fordham and pointspread setbacks against both Ball State and Miami-Ohio).
BUFFALO - Let's just say that folks are not getting rich betting the Bulls at home the past four years as this Mid-American Conference is a collective 7-15 against the odds in its own backyard although we must confess that Buffalo did cover four-of-six home games a year ago. How about the fact the Bulls have failed to cover their last six consecutive games against Big East member Connecticut? Ugh!
FLORIDA ATLANTIC - Love former ball coach Howard Schnellenberger and everything he did for college football the past forty-plus years but no getting around the fact the FAU Owls are a rotten-to-the-core 10-25 ATS overall since the start of the 2009 season (a .286 winning rate) and that includes last year's dour 3-8 spread log that included a 38-point season-opening loss versus Florida and a 44-point loss to Michigan State one week later. Bye, Howard!
LOUISIANA TECH - Count the L-Tech Bulldogs as one of the sport's best single-season betting items as last year the WAC crew pounded out an 11-2 ATS mark and that includes a 6-and-oh spread mark against teams that would play in bowl games ...hip, hip, hooray! Louisiana Tech rides into this 2012 campaign having covered its last seven consecutive games when placed in the underdog role with Sonny Dykes' squad last year cashing as pups against the likes of Southern Miss, Houston, Miss State and TCU.
RICE - Believe it or not, last year's Owls failed to cover 6-of-7 games when placed in the role of double-digit underdog with the lone pointspread win in this spot coming in a 27-24 loss-but-cover at 13-point fav SMU in the regular-season finale. Go back to the start of the '09 season and you'll see that Rice is 15-20-1 ATS with three consecutive non-winning spread years.
TOLEDO - Go back to late in the 2009 season and you'll see the Rockets have notched spread wins in 12 of their last 19 Mid-American Conference games but you may wish to know Toledo's failed to cover four of its last five post-season bowl games while dating back to 2002.
TROY - Here's a Sun Belt Conference team that usually "drops the ball:" when placed in the favorite's role as the Trojans are 4-12 vig-wise as point-layers the past two years. Troy did cover five in a row against archrival Middle Tennessee State until last year's 38-35 non-cover win as 12 ½-point home favorites.
WYOMING - Okay, so let's wrap up our pointspread goodies report here with the last team in the "on-the-board" alphabet (sorry, Yale was dropped from the betting board a loooong time again, gang!) and note the Cowboys are a rock-solid 17-9-1 as pups in the Dave Christensen Era that started back in 2009. The Pokes have enjoyed separate five- and four-game spread winning streaks under Christensen. P.S., the 'Boys are 14-8-1 spreadwise inside Mountain West Conference play the past three years too.
BASEBALL PRE-TRADE DEADLINE CHIT-CHAT
The clock continues to tick, tick, tick down on this year's Major-League Baseball Trade Deadline - we can barely wait, really! - and there are a batch of "name" players who could be getting shipped off their current rosters in the next 24-to-48 hours. Here's our best "guess-estimates" on two names making the rounds:
JAMES SHIELDS, Tampa Bay - We'll pat ourselves on the back for introducing this innings-eater righty as prime trade material about 10-or-so days ago and now everyone's making a strong bid to land Shields (8-7, 4.52 ERA) and the major contenders for his services include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves but could there be a "dark horse" chasing after this Rays hurler? It could be that Shields brings the offensively-starved Rays a couple of premium young bats and look for the Washington Nationals to be - or get in - the mix. If RHP Stephen Strasburg is gonna get shut down after 160-or-so innings than Shields could be a key component for Davey Johnson's club as it races for the best overall mark in the National League.
CHASE HEADLEY, San Diego - The latest rumors swirling around on Saturday night was that the New York Yankees were ready/willing/able to swoop down on this third baseman who could fill in for the injured Alex Rodriguez and than Yanks manager Joe Girardi could move Headley to the outfield once A-Rod is back to full tilt. Still, don't be shocked if the Chicago White Sox make a grand play for Headley who entered Sunday's game in Miami 12 HRs, 51 RBI and 50 runs scored. Odds: Yanks have some key pieces but Chisox will steal 'em at the eleventh hour.
NOTE: Lots more NFL and NCAA Football all summer long right here in Jim Sez plus remember we'll have loads of NFL Preseason News & Notes throughout the month of August!