Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 7:00 PM
The beat goes on in the College Football kingdom ... Today here at Jim Sez we serve up the two Sunday games including a peek at the Louisville Cardinals who many "in-the-know" folks believe will have a shot at the national championship when all the dust finally settles on this 2013 campaign.
Okay, so there are folks - many of whom are wearing cardinal red colors - who are indeed getting ahead of themselves but a look at the Redbirds' schedule this year does show only a couple of tough games or potentially tough games including that Sept. 14th tilt at archrival Kentucky and the Dec. 5th bash at Cincinnati.
Still, first things first and that means Charlie Strong's club has to get past pesky Ohio University and so we'll preview this game plus Sunday's Colorado vs. Colorado State showdown but first this quickie reminder:
Now, here's a look at Sunday's two NCAA Football TV tilts
OHIO at #9 LOUISVILLE - 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
No matter how you slice it, this L'ville Cardinals club is loaded one year after scoring an 11-win season that included a resounding 33-23 upset win against two-TD favorite Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The Cards have 19 starters back from that Big East Conference-winning team but all eyes - of course - are on QB Teddy Bridgewater who threw for 3,718 yards and 27 TDs last year and is quickly picking up momentum as the possible next "#1 NFL Draft pick" if you believe the hype.
Here, Bridgewater will shoot for a 50-50 run/pass balance and so that means keep tabs on RB Senorise Perry who won a spirited three-way battle for the starting job.
If the 'Ville defense - one that last year ranked 16th nationally against the pass (allowed 192.3 yards per game) - can stay in the face of active QB Tyler Tettleton (2,844 yards passing with 18 TDs last season) and not allow RB Beau Blankenship (1,604 rushing yards in '12) to get a head of steam here, then the 'Ville should be one step towards a BCS bowl game destination ... or maybe even THE BCS Championship Game itself!
Spread Notes - Louisville's a collective 21-14-1 ATS (against the spread) under fourth-year boss-man Strong (a solid .600 winning percentage) but it's worth noting the Cardinals enter this clash only 3-4 versus the vig as double-digit betting favorites during these same three years. On the flip side, Ohio is coming off a shaky 4-8 ATS season but the good news is the Bobcats are 20-9-2 ATS as underdog sides since the start of the 2007 season. Not bad at all!
COLORADO vs. COLORADO STATE (at Denver) - 6 p.m. ET, CBS Network
The big news here is the announcement earlier in the week that Colorado will start Connor Wood - the former Texas transfer - at quarterback in this hotly-contested rivalry game in the Rocky Mountains. Wood threw just one TD and four INTs in limited time with the Buffaloes a year ago when Colorado was stammering its way to a 1-11 SU (straight-up) season.
Note that Colorado State - which now has suffered through four consecutive losing seasons - will begin Year Two of the Jim McElwain Era looking to bone up both its rushing game and its rush defense as they ranked 93rd and 96th, respectively, on a national basis a year ago.
Spread Notes - Interesting to note that these in-state rivals have split their last 10 pointspread verdicts with 6-point dog Colorado State last year snagging a 22-17 upset win. Overall, Colorado has failed to cover four of its last five non-league affairs while C-State is just 3-6-1 ATS as betting favorites dating back to the start of the 2009 season.
NFL PRESEASON SPREAD WRAP-UP REPORT
Let's put a little bow on this just-completed NFL Preseason from a pointspread perspective:
Note that the final key figures read like this: NFL Preseason Betting Favorites finished 35-25-1 ATS - there were four pick 'em games in all - for a solid .583 winning rate while totals plays know the "overs" made plenty of bucks as guys/gals who like the higher-scoring games went 39-25-1 for a .609 winning rate.
The only NFL teams that were unbeaten against the Las Vegas price tags were New Orleans, Seattle and Washington as all of 'em finished 4-and-oh against the odds while only the Pittsburgh Steelers finished 0-4 versus the vig this summer.
See 'ya in the regular season!
NOTE: Catch all our NCAA Football wrap-ups plus Monday Night's Florida State at Pittsburgh preview in the next edition of Jim Sez.