Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 10:30 AM
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S SHOCKEROO WEEKEND IN REVIEW - AND WHAT DOES IT ALL REALLY MEAN? ...
NFL WEEK 10 WRAPS UP TONIGHT WITH BENGALS-GIANTS IN JERSEY PLUS KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK A PAIR OF HIGH-PROFILE HEAD COACHES
So, how does someone go about describing what just happened to the College Football world this past weekend?
Maybe the word "apocalyptic" comes to mind ... after all, as we've all since learned it was the first time in 31 years that the country's #2, #3 and #4 teams all lost on the same weekend but here's something even wilder that the TV talking heads wouldn't tell you at day's end this past Saturday and that's ...
- #2 Clemson was a 22-point betting favorite in its mind-numbing 43-42 loss to Pittsburgh this past Saturday;
- #3 Michigan was a 24-point betting favorite in its 14-13 loss at Iowa last Saturday night;
- And #4 Washington was a modest 8.5-point betting choice in its 26-13 home loss versus USC ... yes, a game the Jim Hurley Network cashed in with Best Bet status!
Add it all up and Clemson/Michigan/Washington were a combined 54.5-point favorites and all of 'em lost outright.
Betcha that wasn't the case back in 1985 when Michigan, Oklahoma and Arkansas were the #2, #3 and #4 teams in the land that lost!
No doubt we all await with baited breath the College Football Playoff rankings that will be announced on Tuesday night but - for now - here's some thoughts:
Aside from Alabama staying put there at #1, we can't see how both Clemson and Michigan (both one-loss teams now) are going to be treated badly considering both lost on last-second field goals this past Saturday - why should they drop below the likes of fellow one-loss squads Ohio State and Louisville?
Washington, however, is a different matter 'cause they were denied access to the "top four" at first before breaking through last week but the double-digit home loss to USC is gonna bounce the Huskies backwards a handful of slots and there may not be a path now to get back into the mix.
One thing is for certain: There is - says us - absolutely no way now that both Michigan and Ohio State make it into the playoffs on New Year's Eve because the loser of their rivalry game on Nov. 26th in Columbus is finished - kaput!
Yes, Louisville was a "winner" this weekend because the Cardinals were able to level off the field a bit now with the other one-loss teams but consider the following:
Louisville's one loss this year was to fellow ACC Atlantic Division foe Clemson (see 42-36 back on Oct. 1st) and so unless Clemson loses at Wake Forest this weekend (not likely) the U of L Cards will be denied a path to that conference title game and we're certainly not advocates of allowing teams that didn't even play in their conference title games to have a shot in the CFP playoffs.
So, dig a little deeper and we see West Virginia (8-1) being the best sneak-in-the-door candidate providing the Mountaineers beat visiting Oklahoma this Saturday in Morgantown and then winning its final Big 12 regular-season games against Iowa State and beleaguered Baylor.
Can't you see it ... West Virginia vs. Alabama in one playoff game; the Ohio State/Michigan winner vs. Clemson in the other. Stay tuned.
In other words, not a heckuva lot of changes even with the losses for Michigan and Clemson!
We'll dig into a few NFL Week 10 key storylines later in this edition of Jim Sez plus get you're the MNF preview/forecast of the game between the Cincinnati Bengals at the New York Giants in just a moment but first this key reminder ...Jim Hurley's Handicappers and Bloggers have everything all mapped out for tonight's NFL Week 10 MNF game and you can get the winner here online or when you check with us here at the toll-free # of 1-800-323-4453. Get all the NCAA Football, NBA and NCAA Hoops too every day this week and roll towards Thanksgiving Day with a fat wallet!
Tonight, it's ...
CINCINNATI (3-4-1) at NEW YORK GIANTS (5-3) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
No doubt y'all noticed that seismic Las Vegas line move this week: The Giants actually were listed as 3-point betting favorites in the opening line but it shot to pick 'em after a day or so and now here's the Bengals at PK or 1-point road favorites at last check ... but it makes sense considering the following:
Cincinnati is coming off the bye and NFL teams off their bye week this year are now 10-8-3 ATS following the other Week 10 results plus the Bengals are healthier than they were to start this season with both WR A.J. Green (averaging 112 receiving yards per game) and TE Tyler Eifert - fresh off a 9-catch, 102-yard, 1-TD game against Washington in his real "return" to action - in better shape now than they were in September.
Finally, consider the Bengals have registered 25 quarterback sacks this year and that's not been a Giants' strong suit as getting to opposing slingers has been a problem - check with us today for the Side/Totals winners and we'll let you know whether the Bengals "make sense" here or not!
Spread Notes - Cincinnati has failed to cover four of its first five away games this season after going 8-0 ATS (against the spread) away last year. On the flip side, the NY Giants are just 1-2-2 spreadwise when playing non-NFC East teams this 2016 campaign.
In other NFL Week 10 News/Notes ...
Amazing that yesterday the likes of Carolina, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and New England all lost home games on the very same day - forget the pointspreads now, last year this quartet of teams went a composite 28-7 SU (straight-up) in home games - and surely you could have found a thing or two to nit-pick when it came to those losing coaches but gotta say that Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin and Seattle's Pete Carroll - yes, the latter was a 31-24 prime-time winner at Foxboro night - really did some stupid things when it came to two-point conversions.
Tomlin was busy "chasing" points all game long after the Steelers' initial bid to go for two failed following the first TD of the game in that eventual 35-30 loss to Dallas. In all, the Steelers attempted four two-point conversions and none of 'em worked - if Pittsburgh (4-5) fails to make the post-season this year then Mr. Tomlin's bad math day here could cost 'em his job.
Meanwhile, what exactly was Carroll thinking when he had his Seahawks go for two points following a fourth-quarter touchdown fling from QB Russell Wilson to WR Doug Baldwin (their third of the night)? The TD gave the Seahawks a 31-24 lead and the conventional PAT would have made it an eight-point game - why the heck gamble and go for two there?
Of course, both NBC announcers Al Michaeals (who really is losing it this year) and sidekick Cris Collinsworth failed to criticize the move but any grade school coach would have kicked the PAT and been glad to go up eight. Geez, you thought Carroll's brain cramp in Super Bowl 49 was a doozy, this one could have doomed his side except some ridiculous play-calling by the Patriots late allowed Seattle to get to the winner's circle.
Word to the wise, NFL coaches ... stop trying to outsmart everyone, stop trying to re-invent the wheel and just take those PATs and be done with it, okay? Heck, we don't think coaches/teams should go for two till the fourth quarter at the earliest! ...
Final NFL Week 10 note: There were a dozen games yesterday and nine of 'em were decided by 7 points or less but did you know the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers now have lost four games this year by a field goal or less? So that rotten 3-6 record could be more like 6-3 with a break here or a break there. Just sayin'.
NOTE: Lots of upcoming game previews from the Colleges and NFL Week 11 in the next edition of Jim Sez, so don't miss out!