Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 12:03 PM
HEY, NFL FANS, WE'RE GETTING CLOSER TO THE START OF THE '17 SEASON
PLUS COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES: WHAT TEAM(S) THIS WEEK COULD MAKE A HUGE LEAP IN THE RANKINGS (OR EVEN CLIMB INTO THE RANKINGS)?
Here's a word to the wise when it comes to the NFL: Just be patient, folks, the 2017 regular season will be here before you know it when the Kansas City Chiefs challenge the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Thursday, Sept. 7th and then that's followed by an array of great Week 1 games on Sunday, Sept. 10th and Monday, Sept. 11th.
The bottom line is the last full night of NFL Preseason Week 4 games on Thursday will offer up more opportunities to "cash" before we get to the real games and don't discount the notion that NFL teams generally don't want to go 0-4 SU (straight-up) in these exhibition tilts ... in case you were wondering, the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders and defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons all will enter Thursday's final preseason games without a win. Just sayin'!
On the flip side, note that Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, and Seattle all stand at 3-and-oh SU while heading into Thursday's games.
Meanwhile, plenty of items to touch on while we draw nearer to the start of the '17 season ...
The New York Jets - finally - have named veteran journeyman Josh McCown as their starting quarterback even though the 38-year-old has barely played this summer (see one series against Tennessee three weeks ago). It's one of the most bizarre quarterback "competitions" we've ever seen - maybe the J-E-T-S don't know what they're doing again! - but looking ahead you can expect that second-year pro Christian Hackenberg will wind up in a starting role sometime around mid-season while third-stringer Bryce Petty doesn't really figure to be in the plans unless there is an injury to McCown/Hackenberg ...
Will the Dallas Cowboys not suffer quite as much as they think when/if RB Ezekiel Elliott is suspended for as much as six games? Heck, veteran RB Alfred Morris carried the ball nine times for 56 yards in last Saturday's come-from-behind 24-20 win/cover against the 3-point underdog Raiders. On one play, Morris slammed his way for a 17-yard ground gain that energized the Cowboys' crowd and reports of Morris being in tip-top shape has Dallas backers thinking he could be a plug-right-in 100-yard rusher right off the bat behind this Pro Bowl-like offensive line in that prime-time Week 1 home game against the archrival New York Giants on Sept. 10 ...
Finally, perhaps you noticed that the Denver Broncos went from an opening-line betting favorite of 4 points down to 2.5 points - the reason is backup QB Paxton Lynch suffered a shoulder sprain in last weekend's 20-17 win/push versus the Green Bay Packers and he'll be out for a few weeks although the AFC West team says he won't require surgery. The Broncos - who had already named incumbent Trevor Siemian as their starter prior to the Preseason Week 3 game against Green Bay - are in the hunt now for a backup but don't hold your breath that it will be Colin Kaepernick.
The Jim Hurley Network is ready for yet another slam-bang Football Season straight ahead and we want you to come along for the ride! Get in on a big week (and big season) when you check in right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Again, remember there's College Football all this holiday weekend beginning with Thursday's Six (6) on-the-board games, there's NFL Preseason Week 4 action on Thursday night and a reminder that we'll also cash in with lots of Major-League Baseball too. Go ahead and sign up for the whole 2017 Football Season TODAY at our special discounted prices and bang home loads of winners right through Super Bowl Sunday in early February!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS/NOTES
Let's get you set for what's ahead this first full week/weekend of College Football as there's Six (6) on-the-board games on tap Thursday including #2 Ohio State at Indiana and a pair of re-scheduled games (see FIU at UCF and Tulsa at Oklahoma State; There's Six (6) on-the-board games set for Friday featuring #8 Washington at Rutgers;
On Saturday, there are 26 "board" games including a slew of marquee matchups such as #13 LSU vs. BYU (in New Orleans), #11 Michigan vs. #17 Florida (in Arlington) and the whopper - that's #1 Alabama vs. #3 Florida State (in Atlanta) - and the Labor Day weekend rolls on with a pair of Sunday games (#22 West Virginia vs. #21 Virginia Tech in Landover plus Texas A&M at UCLA) and it all wraps up Monday Night with #25 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech inside the shiny new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Hey, it's never too soon to check out the rankings and what team(s) might be looking to take a major leap or even look to get into the rankings ... and here's a couple of teams we have in mind for this upcoming Labor Day weekend:
#17 FLORIDA - Gotta say we thought the Gators would be ranked higher than this to start the here-and-now football season and now could enter this Saturday's tilt against Michigan minus as many as a dozen players because of suspensions and off-the-field incidents. Still, if Jim McElwain's crew can rally to the cause and topple the 3.5-point favored Wolverines here it could be borderline top 10 and that's important while so many other top 15-type teams are playing patsies and not likely to raise their stock.
COLORADO STATE (1-0) - McElwain's old team from Fort Collins could well be a mover-and-shaker inside the Associated Press Top 25 before too long: Right now the Rams are unranked but they just blitzed 3-point underdog Oregon State 58-27 last weekend as the QB Nick Stevens-to-WR Michael Gallup combo shined (Stevens threw for 334 yards and 3 TDs; Gallup caught 11 passes worth 134 yards). Next up is Friday's "neutral site" game in Denver against the rival Colorado Buffaloes. If CSU - a 4.5-point pup down from +7 - can swipe this intrastate affair, it'll be a part of next week's Top 25.
NOTE: Plenty of College Football Game Previews comin' up all week long here at Jim Sez.