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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 8:46 AM

One of the NFL's best off-season stories - and you can file it under either fact or fiction - is that San Diego Chargers veteran QB Philip Rivers "saved" head coach Norv Turner's job.

Rivers, for one, admitted "it wasn't coaching" that sabotaged the Chargers a year ago during that rather ugly 8-8 SU (straight-up) season and that's nice of him to say after he threw 20 interceptions and botched a late-game snap in a painful 23-20 prime-time overtime loss in Kansas City on Halloween Night. Remember?

Now, Turner gets a sixth year in San Diego knowing full well the heat is on from the proverbial get-go and it's interesting to note the Lightin' Bolts - whose whole organization was shook up badly regarding long-time legend Junior Seau's off-season suicide - went from playing in three playoff games in Turner's first year in San Diego back in 2007, to a pair of playoff games in 2008, to just one post-season tilt in '09 to back-to-back years of no playoffs the past two years ...and so it's safe to say that Turner won't make it to 2013 if this AFC West club is kept out of the post-season party this year.

Keep a close eye peeled this training camp to a pair of new editions for the SD Chargers:

WR Robert Meachem - formerly a member of a Super Bowl-champion team in New Orleans - inked a four-year unrestricted free agent deal back on March 13th while do-it-all receiver/return specialist Eddie Royal signed a three-year deal two days after the Meachem signing and both will give Rivers (4,624 yards passing with 26 TDs last year) a pair of targets that will try to make up for the off-season loss of WR Vincent Jackson (team-leading 60 catches last year) who took his talents to Tampa Bay.

Hey, one last note on the 2012 Chargers who open up preseason play with an August 9th home tilt against Green Bay:

They'll play December road games at Pittsburgh (Week 14) and at the New York Jets (Week 16) and we'll see if "Mother Nature" cuts 'em a break here as note that game at MetLife Stadium against the J-E-T-S on December 23rd could well be a night game ...brrr.!

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.


Okay, so the past couple of editions of Jim Sez went through the alphabet from A thru Z with Key College Football Pointspread Stats but the fact of the matter is we left out lots of "name" teams and so let's get you more ATS (against the spread) goodies as we concentrate here on the teams from the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conferences ...enjoy!

ARIZONA - The Wildcats axed head coach Mike Stoops following on the heels of a second straight 4-8 ATS campaign but how about the fact that this Pac-12 team is just 5-13 versus the vig in league play the past two seasons and that includes a 25-point loss at Oregon to Oregon last year and a 25-point loss at Stanford back in 2010? Plus, note that the underdog sides have covered eight of the last 11 showdowns between Cactus State rivals Arizona and Arizona State you have been forewarned!

AUBURN - The Tigers took a pointspread turn for the worse last year while going 5-8 ATS overall and 3-5 vig-wise whenever placed in the underdog role but contrast that with the 2002-through-2010 seasons and you'll see that War Eagle combined to go 20-10 ATS as pups during this time span (that's a nifty .667 winning percentage). Did you know that Auburn is a rock-solid 5-2 spreadwise in its last seven showdowns with Iron Bowl archrival Alabama that's better than you thought, right?

CINCINNATI - The Big East Bearcats wound up being highly predictable at home last year: Cincy won/covered all three of its non-conference home games against Austin Peay, Akron and N.C. State while failing to cover all three of the team's league home tilts against Louisville, West Virginia and Connecticut. Our Jim Sez instincts told us the 'Cats have been a strong underdog side in recent years but in reality Cincinnati's failed to cover seven of its last 10 games when grabbing points (after having gone 11-4-1 ATS as dogs from between 2006-2009). Okay, so we were half-right!

GEORGIA TECH - Maybe you had forgotten that last year's GT Yellow Jackets finished the season having gone 1-7-1 spreadwise in their final nine games but the fact of the matter is now fifth-year head coach Paul Johnson had entered last year with a nifty 21-14-1 ATS mark at the school prior to last season's hiccup. Note that the Techsters last year even failed to cover the Duke game after the Ramblin' Wreck had powered a 5-0-1 ATS log against the Dookies in the six prior meetings. Just sayin'!
LSU - Here's a program that's not played in nine January bowl games the past 11 years and yet the Baton Rouge gang is 71-62-7 against all Las Vegas prices during this 11-year span ...not quite as good as you might think! No doubt LSU last year sparkled spreadwise with a 10-4 mark that included regular-season outright wins against Oregon and Alabama as the Tigers now are 6-3-1 ATS as pups the past three years.

MINNESOTA - Did you realize that the Minny Golden Gophers closed out the 2011 season on a five-game spread winning streak? Folks, that represents Minnesota's longest spread winning streak since 2008 and note that this Big 10 team has registered back-to-back 6-3 ATS marks as underdogs the past two years and is a healthy 22-13-3 versus the vig as pups while dating back to the 2007 campaign.

OREGON STATE -Last year's so-so 4-5 ATS mark in Pac-12 games surely was nothing to write home about for the O-State Beavers but check it out: The Corvallis kids still own a 27-17 ATS log in league affairs while dating back to the start of the 2007 season (a .614 winning rate). One other thing: Oregon State's covered five of its last six showdowns against Arizona and four of the last five against California.

SYRACUSE - The Orange backers really got squeezed last year en route to a shabby 3-9 ATS campaign that included overtime covers against Wake Forest and Toledo (sad to say we're still stinging after those games!) but one thing you can say positive for the 'Cuse is that it has been a fast starter with season-opening spread "W's" in each of the last three years - against Wake Forest last year and against Minnesota (2009) and Akron (2010).

UCLA - You might have forgotten how the Bruins sported winning spread seasons six years in a row beginning back in 2004 but now the Pac-12 guys are just 9-17 ATS the past two years including last season's shaky 5-9 spread campaign.

WISCONSIN - Last year's 45-38 Rose Bowl loss to 4 ½-point fav Oregon snapped the Badgers' four-game spread winning streak when in the underdog role but it's worth noting that the Madison men are a sturdy 25-16-1 spreadwise as pups since 2001. P.S., Wisconsin is 6-0 ATS against Purdue and 5-1 ATS against Indiana in recent years and so be careful about betting those Hoosier State teams against "Bucky Badger" and friends.

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!

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