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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM



By Jim Hurley

This Sunday’s NFL Hall of Fame Game is tip-of-the-iceberg stuff, you know.

There’s a full card of NFL Preseason action next week beginning with a slate of games on Thursday, August 7th that features San Francisco at Baltimore (the Super Bowl matchup from two years ago)— of course— the so-called rematch of last year’s Super Bowl showdown between the Seattle Seahawks at the Denver Broncos— and so you get the idea …

Football Season’s back indeed and there’s a whole lot to settle between now and the start of the regular season on the night of Thursday, September 4th when the Green Bay Packers travel to play the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in the great northwest.

But back to summer camps and here’s some of what’s happening ‘round the league …

Word coming down now that New York Giants RB/KR David Wilson needs a “miracle” to make a comeback in pro football after suffering a neck stringer earlier this week.

The back-flipping Wilson underwent spinal fusion surgery last year and— in reality — never seemed to get a clean bill of health but sitting out this Hall of Fame Game against Buffalo figures to be the beginning of the end for the former Virginia Tech star.

P.S., better believe the Giants will be scanning the waiver wires later this month as right now the NYG backfield includes the likes of former Oakland RB Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox. Not a great cast, right?

The good news in/around New England Patriots camp is that QB Tom Brady has looked sharp while operating in a no-huddle attack plus it’s good to see former injured stars TE Rob Gronkowski, DL Vince Wilfork and LB Jerod Mayo back on the playing field but one of the truly great sights for the Pats is the aggressiveness of this new-look defense that added CB Darrelle Revis to the mix.

No doubt the Pats are spurred by that rotten showing in last year’s AFC Championship Game against Denver— note that New England allowed 400 passing yards and 507 total yards in that 26-16 loss that was never quite as close as the final score …

Finally, no NFL team has ever played in their own stadium for a Super Bowl game but the Arizona Cardinals have grand designs on changing all that.
Ever-optimistic second-year head coach Bruce Arians— who the past year-plus has been Lombardi-like between his stops in Indianapolis (filling in for an ill Chuck Pagano) and Arizona— believes his team can roll out the cardinal red carpet and “host” this year’s Super Bowl in Glendale.

Last year’s Cards went 10-6 SU (straight-up) but didn’t even make it to the playoffs and who can ever forget that 2008 team coached by Ken Whisenhunt that roared back and nearly beat Pittsburgh in SB 43 in Tampa?

Let’s predict one thing:

If Arizona is gonna get to Super Bowl 49 this February then the offensive line must improve by leaps-and-bounds and the corners— that’s top-of-the-food-chain cover guy Patrick Peterson and the newly-acquired Antonio Cromartie— must be the best tandem in the league or right up there with Seattle’s tandem of Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell.

Important Note…

Folks, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers want to welcome you to the start of the 2014 Football Season.
It all begins with Sunday’s annual Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants versus the Buffalo Bills and there’s another four weeks of money-making NFL Preseason Games that follow while the College Football campaign swings into gear later in the month with a full weekend card scheduled for Thursday, August 28th through Monday, September 1st.

Also, take note that America’s #1 Handicapper continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners… can’t beat that, right?

The NFL Preseason, the start of the College Football year and Baseball action too -- always a major money-making time of the year for the Jim Hurley Network!


Get this …

It’s the Atlantic Coast Conference and not the SEC that has the defending national champion this year and the team that’s supposed to win it all in Year One of the playoff system— yes, mighty Florida State is a short 3-to-1 price to win it all this year and as long as Heisman Trophy-winning QB Jameis Winston stays healthy and hot, gotta believe the Seminoles will be part of that aforementioned four-team playoff mix come January.

Hey, ask us right this very minute and our “final four” probably reads like this: Florida State, Oklahoma, UCLA and Ohio State— look at that, no SEC!
If there’s one under-the-radar team to check out in this year’s ACC, we’ll say it’s on-the-move Duke.

Okay, so the Blue Devils are one of the many teams listed as 100,000-to-1 to win it all this year (Georgia Tech, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Utah and Washington State are a handful of other teams facing similar win-it-all odds and we’ll post all the odds next week in a Jim Sez column) but following last year’s 10-4 SU season there is some real upbeat attitudes in Duke-land and that one-two punch of QB Anthony Boone-to-WR Jamison Crowder could be making lots of noise this fall.

Gut feeling is the Dookies win 10 games again and wind up playing in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day against Georgia— how’s that for a prediction six months hence?

Note that last year there were 11 ACC teams that made it to bowl games including Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Virginia Tech.

Folks, let’s take a step back and see what the ACC teams did last year spreadwise with overall and conference pointspread marks listed below …

Duke   11-3-0 .7867-2-0 .778
Florida State11-3-0.7867-2-0.778
Syracuse9-4-0.693  5-3-0.625
No. Carolina8-5-0.6155-3-0.625
Bost. Coll. 7-6-0.538 6-2-0.750
Clemson 7-6-0.5384-4-0.500
Louisville 6-7-0.461   
Virginia 5-6-1.4543-4-1.429
Wake Forest5-7-0.4173-5-0.375
Georgia Tech5-7-1.4173-4-1.429
Miami 5-8-0.3852-6-0.250
N.C. State4-8-0.3332-6-0.250
Virginia Tech4-8-1.3334-4-0.500


Note that Louisville was not part of the ACC last year and thus we didn’t include their conference pointspread mark from a year ago— meanwhile, it’s interesting that the ACC went a composite 99-92-3 against the odds (a .518 winning rate) with Duke and Florida State the biggest cash-grabbers and a special shout-out to Syracuse too for a dandy 9-4 ATS (against the spread) campaign.

NOTE: We’ll review the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Giants and the Bills in the next edition of Jim Sez plus lots more NFL and NCAA Football News & Notes.

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