Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM
There are several teams who have failed to live up to expectations right out of the gate in college football. I’ve promised to “read and react” to major stories in both college and pro football as the season develops. In a sense, ALL of the teams I’m going to touch on today could become major stories in a bad way moving forward. I truly could have written an entire article about what’s wrong with any of these teams so far.
Let’s take them in alphabetical order of conferences. Here are the teams who are 0-2 against Las Vegas pointspreads so far this season.
Southern Methodist: Horrible start, as the team was routed by Texas Tech on national television, then needed a miracle finish to barely survive Montana State as a double digit favorite this past Saturday Night. Wasn’t June Jones going to save the program? Wasn’t Garrett Gilbert going to shine as a senior? (Note: Connecticut might be on this list if they had played two games. They’ve only played one, but it was a real lemon with a loss at home to Towson)
Wake Forest: The Deacons were sluggish in a tune-up against Presbyterian, then couldn’t even execute the basic fundamentals in a loss to Boston College that you may have watched on TV last Friday. Horrible way to start your season.
Purdue: This gets worse the deeper you dig. Purdue was routed in their season opener by Cincinnati, who was then embarrassed by Illinois the next week. Purdue didn’t play impressive in a non-cover against Indiana State. That Sycamores team was crushed by the Indiana team that lost at home to Navy. Good luck against Notre Dame Boilermakers!
Michigan State: Offense is the big problem here. That group literally has no idea how to score! The defense had to do all the damage against South Florida. That’s the South Florida team that lost at home to McNeese State by 32 points. Every game may feel like a hockey game for Spartans fans this season.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes dropped their opener to Northern Illinois, then could only score 28 points as favorites of 26 points against Missouri State. What’s going to happen when their schedule gets tougher?
TCU: the stats were much worse than the score in the big TV loss to LSU. Then the Horned Frogs struggled with SE Louisiana this past Saturday. More bad news…they lost their starting quarterback for at least two months when he broke his non-throwing arm. I’m most disappointed with what I’ve seen from this defense so far.
Notre Dame: The offense struggled in the second half against Temple, then the defense struggled all night against Michigan. The good fortune that befell the program last year may be turning to bad in 2013. The gods of football rarely smile on the same program for very long (Note: minor independents Army, Idaho State, and New Mexico State are also 0-2 ATS so far).
USC: You know all about this one. The media is talking about Lane Kiffin’s job security. He’s seemed in over his head wherever he’s been the head man. The Trojans were inept in Hawaii, then got worse the next week against Washington State! Great defense so far…but perhaps the worst offense this storied program has ever seen.
California: The Bears were at least competitive against Northwestern in their season opener, before losing because they kept throwing TD passes to the wrong team. They didn’t bounce back very well the next week against Portland State…surviving a 7-point decision as a much bigger favorite.
Oregon State: This team has a history of slow starts. But, even that doesn’t explain losing outright at home to Eastern Washington, then only being tied at halftime against horrible Hawaii before pulling away in a non-cover.
Florida: The Michigan State/USC of the South! Florida’s offense has been a huge disappointment, while the defense continues to play very well. The Gators would have beaten Miami if they hadn’t spent the afternoon turning the ball over.
Vanderbilt: Offseason turmoil may have taken a toll. Though, in fairness, they just missed covering the opener against Ole Miss.
History says that many of those teams are destined for pointspread disasters the rest of the season. I do believe a handful will get things turned around…and could become nice value teams in the second half of 2013 after Vegas lines have over-adjusted against them. It’s your job as students of my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping to figure out which programs are doomed to struggle based on the indicators we discussed all summer long (please check the archives if you weren’t doing your season preparation homework)!
Oh, I didn’t talk about all the 0-2 starts in the mid-major conferences today for a very good reason. I will be betting very aggressively in the coming weeks against more than a few of those lesser known squads, and didn’t want to offer up any direct hints. The Dean of Sports Handicapping strongly encourages you do-it-yourselfers to make a list of those slow starters as well, with an eye toward big bets you can make very soon. There are some real doormats out there…and Vegas oddsmakers are being very slow in making their adjustments.
If you’re not quite ready to be a do-it-yourselfer, I have game day selections available on this very website for purchase with your major credit card. Build your bankrolls Tuesday and Wednesday with baseball as you gear up for a new weekend of college and pro football action.
We’ll talk again later this week, as my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping is now in regular season mode. Thanks again for all of your hard work!