Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM
In case you had lost count, 13 of the NFL’s 32 teams had opened their training camps to veterans/rookies alike as of yesterday afternoon and by Friday night another 14 teams will be added to that mix.
In other words, let’s all say a great big hello to Football … we’re so glad you’re back, guys!
We will take a few moments here in today’s edition of Jim Sez to get the word out regarding a few key news/notes and – drum roll, please – pretty much every Jim Sez column from this moment on will get you some sort of NFL- or NCAA Football-related items and so you know where to come to get all the pigskin insights.
Let’s go ‘round the league for a couple of things today as NFL Training Camps swing into gear – here’s what we’re tracking today:
The Tennessee Titans – at least for right now – are listing veteran Matt Hasselbeck as their #1 quarterback ahead of second-year pro Jake Locker on the team’s depth chart but if you read the comments of both second-year head coach Mike Munchak and Tennessee offensive coordinator Chris Palmer than you get the sense this is a dead-even battle as camp begins.
Hasselbeck likely has the slight edge heading into camp merely because Munchak is more familiar/comfortable with his work under center but insiders claim it’s really Locker’s job to lose based on how he plays in the team’s preseason games.
Note that Hasselbeck started all 16 games for last year’s 9-7 Titans team but Locker made some impressive passes in relief and now it may come down to who works better with first-round draftee WR Kendall Wright (Baylor) who figures to be an even more important player for this AFC South club now that wide-out Kenny Britt has been arrested -- again! …
The onset of training camps always means instant cuts but one of the more surprising ax jobs happened Wednesday afternoon when the Green Bay Packers released S Charlie Peprah who had started 25 games for the Pack over the span of the past two seasons.
Peprah – who reportedly failed his team physical – claimed the release “caught me off guard” but there’s some sense he will catch on in the coming days and wouldn’t it be ironic if Peprah joins the archrival Detroit Lions who are looking for some secondary help these days …
Finally, is there a way for anyone other than rookie Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) to land the first-string quarterback job with this year’s Cleveland Browns?
Heck, if you listen to second-year head coach Pat Shurmur than both former starter Colt McCoy and journeyman QB Seneca Wallace still have legit shots to win the numero uno spot but McCoy sound like a guy ready/willing/able to crank out the excuses if he doesn’t win the first-string position:
“I’ve had three (offensive) coordinators going into my third year,” McCoy told reporters. “Most are things (with the Browns) that are out of your control.”
Meanwhile, Wallace bristled at talk of being the team’s third-string quarterback – “You guys (the media) know that the third quarterback doesn’t dress on Sundays,” an agitated Wallace commented.
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 New Orleans Saints vs. the Arizona 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 at www.jimhurley.com or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the NFL Winners plus get all the daily and nightly MLB winners too. The check-in times are anytime after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday Baseball Winners and after 1 p.m. ET for weeknight NFL and MLB action. Plus, remember to check in after 11 a.m. ET on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays for all the Football and Baseball.
KEY COLLEGE FOOTBALL POINTSPREAD STATS
Hope you enjoyed our “early-bird” pointspread peek at many of the opening-week/weekend games in College Football in that last edition of Jim Sez and now we’ll continue on the ATS (against the spread) theme with some individual team highlights/lowlights … enjoy as we take you from A-thru-M in the alphabet with more to come in tomorrow’s column!
ALABAMA – Okay, so just how powerful have the last couple of Crimson Tide teams been? Well, check it out: ‘Bama is a collective 12-4 ATS as double-digit betting favorites dating back to the start of the 2010 season and that includes pointspread wins last year as 10-point road favorites at Penn State (see 27-11 final) and 21-point betting favs against archrival Auburn (see 42-14 win).
Overall, Nick Saban-coached Alabama teams are 20-13 against the odds whenever in the role of twin-figure favorites as that dates back to the start of 2007 but lately it’s been a real cha-ching factor for this SEC team as heavy-duty point-layers.
BOISE STATE – No doubt the Broncos have been banking lots of loot for their backers over the years as B-State is a cumulative 82-53-2 ATS (a .607 winning percentage) since the start of the 2001 campaign but as pointed out in our most recent Jim Sez article the blue-turf bunch did suffer through a 5-8 ATS campaign a year ago.
Still trace back those past 11 gridiron seasons and you’ll see that Boise State has covered 11-of-17 pointspread games when placed in the underdog role (and that’s a neat .647 winning rate).
CENTRAL MICHIGAN – Folks, you’re not gonna find many (if any) teams that have sported a worse pointpread record over their last 25 overall games than these CMU Chippewas.
In fact, go back to the tail end of the 2009 campaign and you’ll see that this Mid-American Conference crew is a collective 6-18-1 versus the vig for a shoddy .250 winning rate during this time span and that includes a 4-12 ATS mark in conference affairs … ugh.
FLORIDA – Want a strange-but-true pointspread fact regarding last year’s not-so-mighty Gators? The SEC crew failed to cover all seven games it played against bowl-bound teams with ATS losses and than – oddly enough – covered its Gator Bowl game 24-17 win against 2 ½-point underdog Ohio State. No telling if this sort of “trend” will carry over to this upcoming 2012 campaign but you may want to think twice about backing Florida against good teams this year no matter the pointspread price tag.
KANSAS STATE: Quick … what pointspread category have the K-State Wildcats thrived in the past three years? If you said whenever playing fellow Big 12 foes, than you win a prize! Kansas State’s a sizzling 18-7 versus the vig in league affairs since the start of 2009 (that’s a .720 winning rate) and last year the ‘Cats won in upset outright fashion against the likes of Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Texas.
MICHIGAN STATE – The Spartans wracked up a five-game ATS winning streak to wrap up the 2011 season culminating with that thrilling 33-30 triple-OT win against 2 ½-point fav Georgia in the Outback Bowl.
Meanwhile, if you got back to the start of 2010 you will note M-State has enjoyed three different spread winning streaks of four-or-more in a row but how about the fact that back in 2002 the Spartans actually failed to cover eight consecutive games plus State lost seven in a row spreadwise in 2006. Talk about your streaky teams!
NOTE: There’s lots more NFL and NCAA Football chatter all this week here at Jim Sez, so don’t miss out!