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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 4:17 PM



Okay, College Football Playoff committee, we see what you're doing:

Just two weeks into the CFP rankings, it's becoming quite obvious that who you play is more important than whether or not you win the games against the folks that you do play.

Case in point here are the now-#8 Wisconsin Badgers who can't seem to climb the ladder despite the snazzy 9-and-oh SU (straight-up) record. True, the Badgers hardly have played a "who's who" of opponents as non-conference wins against the likes of Utah State, Florida Atlantic and BYU aren't gonna make the heart flutter and keep in mind Wisky's not yet played Michigan nor will it play either Ohio State or Penn State.

Still, 9-0 is - you know - 9-0 and yet there are four one-loss teams currently ahead of Wisconsin in the latest CFP rankings and so it's become evident that a rather lackluster sked is gonna be a black mark against a team even if it's from one of the so-called Power 5 conferences/leagues.

On the flip side, it sure seems to us that the committee guys/gals are "favoring" defending champion Clemson (8-1). The Tigers are sitting there at #4 in the CFP rankings and do own wins against the likes of Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech but can we remind folks that the Atlantic Coast Conference is not having a brilliant year save for Miami (8-0) who we also happen to think belongs ahead of Clemson in the rankings - the 'Canes are #7 while heading into Saturday night's major hoedown versus #3 Notre Dame.

True, pointspread wins/losses likely don't factor one bit into the current CFP rankings but consider that Clemson are a crummy 1-4-1 ATS (against the spread) in its last six games while Wisconsin is 5-4 against the odds this year and Miami is at least a dead-even/vig-losing 4-4 versus the Vegas prices.

In short, where does Clemson merit this sort of "benefit of the doubt" to be ahead of a pair of unbeaten teams? It doesn't!

Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have Football Winners (both the Sides & Totals) all week long in an uber-busy week on the gridiron. The College kids have plenty of good stuff going on as there's Three (3) games on Thursday and Three (3) more Friday even before we get to a super-sized Saturday menu and don't forget that NFL Week 10 swings into action on Thursday with a key NFC West game between the Seattle Seahawks at the Arizona Cardinals. And there's lots of NBA winners and the College Basketball guys start up Friday, so just check in with us here online or 1-800-323-4453.

Here's our newest edition of the Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch List where we break down the top five candidates:

BAKER MAYFIELD, QB, Oklahoma - Really didn't want to go with this Sooners' slinger in the top spot but he gets it by default (he's our third frontrunner in as many weeks). Last week's school-record 598 passing yards with 5 aerial TDs powered Oklahoma to a wild 62-52 "Bedlam" win against Oklahoma State and for the year Mayfield's thrown for 3,226 yards and 28 TDs.

BRYCE LOVE, RB, Stanford - This speedy star has been hobbled lately with a bum ankle and yet his season stats (1,456 yards rushing/that's 9.6 yards per carry with 12 TDs) still are good enough to get 'em into the upper crust of this Watch List. If Love can post some mighty numbers against Washington on Friday night, he could zoom back into the lead. No West Coast bias here!

SAQUON BARKLEY, RB, Penn State - Our Heisman leader last week has plummeted all the way to third place following last week's quiet 63-yard rushing performance in the marathon 27-24 loss at Michigan State. On the year, Barkley's rushed for 864 yards (a 5.7 ypc average) and 9 TDs plus don't forget that KO return for a score a couple of weeks ago.

MINKAH FITZPATRICK, S, Alabama - We're keeping our uber-special Crimson Tide defender right in our top five even though he was in and out of last week's 24-10 non-cover win against LSU with a bad hamstring. No overwhelming stats but he is the best player on the nation's best team, so there's that!

MICHAEL GALLUP, WR, Colorado State - Spreading some love to the non-Power 5 guys as this Rams star leads the nation in receiving yards (1,196) on 76 catches with 6 TDs. Last week was a quiet outing for Gallup (only four catches for 29 yards against Wyoming) but his overall "body of work" that includes 212- and 263-yard receiving games merits him a top five spot. Right


On Thursday Night Football, it's ...SEATTLE (5-3) at ARIZONA (4-4) - 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Will the real Seattle Seahawks please stand up?

The 2013 Super Bowl champs - and 2014 Super Bowl losers - keep trying to regain the mojo of recent years past but instead this '17 season has been a roller-coaster ride of sorts ... up one week with a last-second win against Houston a couple of Sundays ago then last week's inexplicable home loss to a beaten-up and battered Washington team.

No wonder Seattle head coach Pete Carroll had such a forlorn look on his face following his team's latest low point but now what gives here with the Seahawks' defense likely facing 25-plus carries from RB Adrian Peterson (he ran the ball 37 times last week for 159 yards in a 20-10 win at San Francisco) while Seahawks' QB Russell Wilson (team-high 77 yards rushing against the 'Skins) must get some help from an O-line that's playing poorly and a backfield that's really yet to replace one-time start Marshawn Lynch.

Think the price tag - Seahawks minus 6 points - is a bit high here? Hmmm. Check with us for the game-day Sides/Totals winner and we'll get you right to the winner's circle.

Spread Stats - Seattle has covered six of its last nine head-to-head showdowns against Arizona while dating back to the middle of the 2012 campaign. Note the Cardinals are a rotten 2-7 ATS as underdogs since late 2015.

NOTE: Lots of College Football and NFL Week 10 Game Previews are straight ahead in the next couple of Jim Sez columns, so don't miss out.


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