Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 3:09 PM
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S CONFERENCECHAMPIONSHIP GAMES GET ROLLIN' WITH TONIGHT'S PAC-12 TILT (AND THERE'S PLENTY OF STUFF SATURDAY) ...
NFL WEEK 13 REPORT: COWBOYS BEAT DEAD-AND-BURIED 'SKINS 38-14
This isn't any news flash ... but the Washington Redskins won't be winning Super Bowl LII on the first Sunday in February. The Dallas Cowboys made sure of that last night with a rather bizarre 38-14 win against the 1.5-point favored 'Skins (so much for that line move!) - Washington's seventh loss of this 2017 regular season "featured" a batch of dropped passes, a hellacious fourth-quarter sack of 'Skins quarterback Kirk Cousins and more offensive line injury news and so we now officially close the curtain on Jay Gruden's gang and wonder aloud if this Ezekiel Elliott-less (for two more games) can make any sort of late-year run for the money.
Hey, Dallas now gets 10 days to get ready for the laughingstock New York Giants - paging Geno Smith! - and then it's a road game against dysfunctional Oakland, a home game against wounded Seattle and a Week 17 road game in Philadelphia with the Eagles not likely needing to win as the NFC's #1 seed should be wrapped up by then.
Dream on, Dallas fans?
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have plenty of College Football and NFL Week 13 Winners - that's both Sides & Totals -- all weekend long in a super-busy week on the gridiron. The college games begin tonight and there's 15 big games on Saturday including a slew of conference championship showdowns in the Big 12, SEC, ACC and Big 10 plus the NFL Week 13 docket is hot-and-heavy on Sunday with Minnesota at Atlanta and Carolina at New Orleans headlining the action. And there's lots of NBA winners and College Basketball winners on tap as well every night of the week, so check with us here online or 1-800-323-4453.
Tonight, it's ...PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME -- Santa Clara, CA
#12 STANFORD (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) vs. #10 USC (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Will this be a case of "Play it Again, Sam"?
The first time these clubs clashed this year the USC Troy Boys slam-dunked Stanford 42-24 as 4.5-point home favorites as QB Sam Darnold threw for 316 yards with 4 TDs and 2 INTs - but here comes a hot Cardinal club that's won eight of its last nine SU (straight-up) and has its own hotsy-totsy slinger in K.J. Costello who aired four scoring strikes in last weekend's 38-20 no-doubt win against 3-point fav Notre Dame. If Stanford RB Bryce Love - right now the #2 guy on our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy Watch List - can churn out 20-plus carries on his creaky ankle, it might be enough for the 3.5-point underdogs. Hey, don't hold us to it but the winner of this game likely heads to the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Eve against TCU or the Ohio State/Wisconsin loser.
Spread Stats - Stanford's a solid 17-11-1 ATS (against the spread) in all conference games since late in the 2014 campaign; USC is just 6-12-1 versus the vig away the past two-plus seasons.
On Saturday, it's ...
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME -- Arlington, TX
#3 OKLAHOMA (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) vs. #11 TCU (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) - 12:30 p.m. ET, Fox
The Heisman Trophy frontrunner - that's Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield - is the star of the show entering this born-again Big 12 Championship Game but the $64,000 question is whether or not this vaunted TCU defense can slow down the Boomer Sooners and maybe even steal this game as full-TD underdogs.
Mayfield's stat line - featuring 4,097 yards passing with 37 TDs - could be a bit intimidating for any foe but TCU's already gotten walloped in the mouth-guard by the cocky slinger who threw for 333 yards and 3 TDs in a commanding 38-20 win/cover against 6-point pup TCU back on Nov. 11th but reports are TCU head coach Gary Patterson is confident his team's pass rush could get to Mayfield and make this a real taffy pull. If Oklahoma wins it's a berth in the College Football Playoffs; a loss, the Sooners will head to the Cotton Bowl.
Spread Stats - Oklahoma has covered 11 of its 16 games since the latter part of 2016 while TCU is 8-3 ATS as point-grabbers the past four seasons.
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - at Atlanta, GA
#6 GEORGIA (11-1, 7-1 SEC) vs. #2 AUBURN (10-2, 7-1 SEC) - 4 p.m. ET, CBS
The powers-that-be have placed a two-loss Auburn crew ahead of everyone but defending champion Clemson - and nobody can deny that beating then-#1 Georgia and then-#1 Alabama should count for something but what about "body of work"? Hmm, War Eagle (losers to Clemson and LSU this year) now must beat the Georgia Dawgs twice in a four-week span to hurdle its way into the playoffs and may have to do so without RB Kerryon Johnson (shoulder/check status) who went down suddenly in last week's 26-14 win against 'Bama.
On the flip side, Georgia's stout ground game - averaging 265.7 yards per game for ninth-best among FBS teams - would love to have RB's Nick Chubb (1.098 yards rushing) and Sony Michel (903 rushing yards) take turns chiseling out real estate against an Auburn defense that is the nation's 21st-best rush defense.
Keep in mind that a month ago the Bulldogs were 2.5-point favorites at Auburn; now, the Tigers are 2.5-point "neutral field" favs at the Benz Dome.
Spread Stats - Auburn is just 13-17-1 spreadwise as betting favorites the past five years; Georgia is 8-4 ATS this year and that includes an outright dog win against Notre Dame back on Sept. 9th.
NOTE: Catch our other College Football Championship Game previews plus NFL Week 13 goodies in the next Jim Sez.