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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Jim Sez for Wednesday, November 25 …


Talk about tradition!
Sure, Thanksgiving Day is all about tradition – along with the “big bird” and all the trimmings but what would this very special holiday be without Jim Hurley’s Annual Turkey Shoot?

We’re gonna celebrate our 30th Annual Turkey Shoot in a really big way this week/weekend with an abundance of NFL Week 12 and NCAA Football winners (plus there’s plenty of NBA and NCAA Basketball winners on tap too!) as we plan on cashing in big for the next Five (5) days in a row while taking you right up till the NFL Week 12 Monday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens at the Cleveland Browns.
So, come along for the ride!

Note that my handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out for this year’s Thanksgiving Day games as part of Jim Hurley’s Annual Turkey Shoot when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network on Wednesday afternoon at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at

Note that we banged out a batch of NFL Week 11 winners this past Sunday as Indianapolis (+ 3.5) roared back to beat Atlanta 24-21, Houston (+ 4) toppled the New York Jets 24-17 and Dallas (- 2) held off the rain and the Miami Dolphins in a 24-14 triumph. Plus, we bagged the “under” in Denver at Chicago too and went “under” in Monday’s 20-13 New England win against Buffalo (totals price was 47.5 points)!
And there’s lots more where that came from, folks!



We’re back with the latest Installment of the 2015 Heisman Trophy Watch List where we offer up our top five weekly contenders for college football’s most coveted individual award … now here’s how we see things shaping up as we get set to head into another big-time gridiron week/weekend.

DERRICK HENRY, RB, Alabama – Our numero uno guy for a second straight week even though his numbers (68 yards rushing and 28 yards receiving with two ground TDs) weren’t anything to wave pom-poms about last weekend in the scrimmage-like 56-6 win/cover against Charleston Southern. Hey, ‘Bama boss Nick Saban was not gonna wear down Henry with Iron Bowl rival Auburn on deck! On the year, Henry’s now rushed for 1,526 yards with 21 TDs.

DESHAUN WATSON, QB, Clemson – Slide up this dual-threat star one spot in our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy List following last weekend’s 343-yard, 3-TD passing performance in the 33-13 non-cover win against Wake Forest. Now, Watson’s thrown for 2,944 yards with 26 TDs and 10 INTs on the year plus don’t forget he’s rushed for another 642 yards with 6 TDs for the nation’s top-ranked team. Up next is a Saturday early-afternoon date with South Carolina and note Watson’s Tigers are a hefty 18-point betting favorite at press time.

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY, RB, Stanford – This is the highest we’ve ranked this Pac-12 star in our seven overall “Watch Lists” this fall (we had ‘em at #5 a couple of times in recent weeks) but fresh off last Saturday night’s stirring 29-carry, 192-yard rushing/49 yards receiving/389 all-purpose yard game against California this sophomore is a fast riser on our Heisman Trophy board and he’s by no means out of the running. On the year, McCaffrey – who returned a kickoff 98 yards in that 35-22 win/cover versus the Golden Bears last weekend at “The Farm” – now has 1,546 yards rushing with 7 TDs to go along with 34 receptions and 3 scores. Hey, if he is a lights-out performer against Notre Dame this Saturday night when “all the world will be watching”, then McCaffrey could “steal” this coveted award right from beneath everyone’s noses!

COREY COLEMAN, WR, Baylor – This marks the sixth straight week we’ve placed this junior star somewhere in our top five and we decided to keep Coleman (66 catches for 1,306 yards and 20 TDs this year) right here at #4 following a relatively modest/quiet 5-catch, 77-yard game in Baylor’s 45-35 win at Oklahoma State last Saturday night in Stillwater – and remember that was a major Jim Hurley Network Winner! Note that Baylor is at TCU this Friday (see preview below).

LUKE FALK, QB, Washington State – Well, looky here! The red-hot Washington State Cougars deserve some love (we gave ‘em some with our Jim Sez pointspread comments earlier in the week) and so let’s dish some high praise onto this sophomore slinger who has thrown for 4,266 yards with 36 TDs and 8 INTs while heading into Saturday’s Apple Cup game against Washington. Falk was carted off last week’s game after hitting his head on the turf in Pullman and his status for this game against the UW Huskies has yet to be determined.

Here’s what we watching closely on this day-after-Thanksgiving Day sked …
NAVY (9-1, 7-0 American) at HOUSTON (10-1, 6-1 American) – 12 p.m. ET, ABC
Whatta way to join a league!

The Navy Midshipmen – Independents forever until this year – look to wrap up the American Athletic Conference West Division here behind superstar/record-setting QB Keenan Reynolds (NCAA’s all-time career TD rushing leader among QBs) and handicappers ‘round the land know that Reynolds and the Middies have strung together a pair of four-game spread winning streaks this year.

On the flip side is the major question as to whether or not Houston QB Greg Ward Jr. can play here – he didn’t start last Saturday’s20-17 loss at 8-point home pup UConn but did play his team’s final two offensive series – and note Ward comes into play here with 2,194 yards passing and 13 TD throws along with 810 rushing yards and 16 TDs.

Winner hosts the AAC Championship Game next Saturday against either Temple or USF.
Spread Notes – Navy has been one of America’s top money-making sides this year with the Midshipmen a stealthy 8-2 ATS (against the spread) and so that makes Navy 23-11 ATS overall since the start of the 2013 season. Meanwhile, Houston skids into this day-after-Thanksgiving Day bash on a three-game spread losing streak and overall the UH Cougars are 4-8 versus the vig in their last dozen home games.

IOWA (11-0, 7-0 Big 10) at NEBRASKA (5-6, 3-4 Big 10) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The Iowa Hawkeyes know they’ll be headed to Indianapolis for next weekend’s Big 10 Championship Game – they just don’t know yet whether they’ll be going undefeated.

Kirk Ferentz’s club has, admittedly, mastered the “workmanlike win” but with the country’s seventh-ranked rush defense (allowing 107.5 ypg) and a ground attack that pounds out nearly 208 yards a game, this ‘Eyes crew is balanced and probably better than the College Football Playoff committee gives ‘em credit for … agree?

Now, Iowa ventures into Lincoln where Big Red needs a win to become bowl eligible for an eighth straight season and gotta believe the QB Tommy Armstrong-to-WR Jordan Westerkamp combo will have a major say in who wins here (note Iowa is a raise-your-eyebrows only 1.5-point betting favorite).

Iowa QB C.J. Beathard (13 TDs and 3 INTs with 2,257 yards passing) won’t be afraid to challenge the Cornhuskers deep – if he hits on two or three “chunk plays” in the passing game it should be enough for the road folks to win again.

Spread Notes – Iowa is a modest 6-5 against the odds this year but note the Hawkeyes have won/covered all three of their Big 10 road (at Wisconsin, Northwestern and Indiana). On the flip side, Nebraska is also 6-5 against the odds overall this year but Big Red is just 8-11 ATS as hosts the past two-plus seasons.

BAYLOR (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) at TCU (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) – 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Early word is that Baylor backup-turned-starting QB Jared Stidham is “questionable” for this state-of-Texas showdown after suffering leg-related injuries to go along with his back woes in last weekend’s 45-35 win at Oklahoma State – so we’ll see if third-stringer Chris Johnson can save the day as was the case in Stillwater when the unflappable slinger aired a couple of big-league touchdown chucks.

TCU is still recovering from last Saturday night’s painful 30-29 loss-but-cover at 19-point fav Oklahoma – no QB Trevone Boykin in that one for the Horned Frogs and right now he’s a major question mark for this tilt.

Hey, who’s gonna forget that last year Baylor bested TCU 61-58 in what turned out to be the most meaningful game in the 2014 Big 12 season … and keep in mind the losing side in this annual rivalry has scored 58, 38 and 48 points in three of the last four showdowns.

Spread Notes – Baylor has split its first 10 games this year but did you know the Bears are a collective 37-21 ATS since the start of the 2011 season. TCU is 5-6 spreadwise overall this season and the Horned Frogs have covered six of their last seven head-to-head tilts against Baylor.


Let’s be frank …
There’s lots of College Football coaches that have a whole lot to be thankful for these days – especially those coaches who get a few more “sheckles” for getting their teams into this year’s College Football Playoff mix (we ain’t naming names here!) -- but the reality of this time of the year is that many coaches lose their jobs and so let’s try to mix-and-match with some thoughts on who might be the next coach at a handful of now-vacant openings:

HAWAII – Interim boss Chris Naeole won’t be the man to be the full-time replacement for Norm Chow (fired back on November 1st) and everything is pointing to a return to the 50th state for June Jones … really.

ILLINOIS – Bill Cubit did a respectable job as the year-long interim coach for the fired-on-the-eve-of-the-season Tim Beckman and, while a bevy of names are being bandied about, look for Bowling Green’s Dino Baber to land the job if he wants it.

IOWA STATE – The recent firing of seventh-year coach Paul Rhoades came as no surprise at all as the Cyclones made it to just two bowl games in his tenure but what would you say if current UT-San Antonio and one-time Miami national champion head coach Larry Coker landed in Ames?

MARYLAND – The Mike Locksley (interim) Era will end with this week’s game at Rutgers and, boy, did Randy Edsall bury this once-proud program! It sure seems that current NFL Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is the odds-on favorite here.

MIAMI – The four-plus year reign of Al Golden didn’t translate into enough wins (32) and insiders say you better believe the rumors that Texas head coach Charlie Strong “wants” this job. May not look good to be one-and-done in Austin but this is a better fit for Strong and the ‘Canes.

MISSOURI – Let’s see the dust settle in the hours/days after Gary Pinkel’s retirement for health reasons … but ask under our opinion and we see Mizzou making a minority hire in the wake of campus trouble and maybe recently-fired Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton will be the Tigers’ man.

SOUTH CAROLINA – The new “ball coach” could wind up being a bigger name than we’ve been led to believe and so don’t be surprised if the likes of Western Kentucky’s Jeff Brohm and Memphis’ Justin Fuente are passed over for someone like Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville … he is out of sorts not being in the SEC, right?

SYRACUSE – Sorry to see Scott Shafer get the axe ‘cause we actually think he can coach but the Orange will move into a new “name” stage where you’re bound to hear about Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz and the aforementioned Tuberville. Hey, they could do worse.

VIRGINIA TECH – Okay, so the $64,000 question is who steps into the shoes of 29-year head coach Frank Beamer and, while defensive coordinator Bud Foster seems a “make sense” move, we think the ACC crew goes in a different direction with some new blood. How about Northern Illinois’ Rod Carey or perhaps Houston’s Tom Herman?

NOTE: We’ll have plenty to say about the latest College Football Playoff rankings plus lots of NFL Week 12 goodies in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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