Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT:
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT AS WE INCH
CLOSER TO A JAM-PACKED LABOR DAY WEEKEND
PLUS, OUR FINAL CONFERENCE-BY-CONFERENCE LOOKS TOO! …
THE NFL NOTEBOOK:
WE HAVE FANTASY “ADVICE” DURING DRAFT WEEK
Just in case you’ve been too busy planning out the holiday weekend barbecue ahead, let us be the first to tell y’all that there are some 44 College Football games on this Labor Day Weekend menu – and better believe there are some real marquee matchups on the docket including #6 Washington vs. #9 Auburn (in Atlanta) and #14 Michigan at #12 Notre Dame (a prime-timer on NBC) on Saturday plus Sunday night’s showdown between #8 Miami at #25 LSU and then it all wraps up Monday night with #20 Virginia Tech at #19 Florida State in a king-sized ACC battle.
And now hear this …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will bash the books this College Football season as this week’s card features Four (4) games on Thursday, Six (6) games on Friday, it’s a gridiron party on Saturday with 32 games and then it’s the aforementioned Sunday night tilt followed by the Labor Day evening game in Tallahassee … and don’t forget that Jim keeps piling up lots of profits with NFL Preseason action with 16 games on the Thursday night card and there’s daily Major-League Baseball winners too. So, go ahead and get all the NFL Preseason / NCAA Football / MLB winners right here at www.jimhurley.com or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE REPORTS –
THE ACC / BIG 10 / CONFERENCE USA
Gonna finish up our quick-hitter comments from ‘round the NCAA Football universe with our conference-by-conference updates as we tackle the ACC, Big 10 and Conference USA:
THE CONTENDERS – Clemson’s the head-and-shoulders favorite (again!) while Miami represents the biggest challenge to the orange gang and note the winner of Monday’s V-Tech vs. Florida State clash shouldn’t be ignored either.
THE DARK HORSE – Pittsburgh. Hey, the Panthers’ stunning win against then-unbeaten Miami last November could well be a sign of what’s ahead providing kid QB Kenny Pickett proves he’s the real deal.
BEST PLAYER – Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami. Better have the famed “Turnover Chain” ready for this senior star who snagged four INTs a year ago and registered 96 tackles too. Mark ‘em down as a sure-fire first-round pick in the next NFL Draft.
CIRCLE THE DATE – Oct. 27, Clemson at Florida State. The visiting Tigers have beaten the ‘Noles the past three years in a row and we’ll see if this Clemson defensive front is in mid-season form here.
BIG 10 …
THE CONTENDERS – Wisconsin and Ohio State open this 2018 campaign ranked #4 and #5, respectively, in the current Associated Press Top 25 poll but a real case could be made for Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan to win this free-for-all league this year. We give the slightest of edges to the Wisky Badgers.
THE DARK HORSE – Northwestern. The truth is these Wildcats have gone to bowl games in eight of the last 10 years under rock-solid head coach Pat Fitzgerald and this N’western squad sports a deep O-line and better athletes than you might think.
BEST PLAYER – Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Quite possible this 6-foot-4, 265-pound junior is in the running for the Heisman Trophy for a Buckeyes’ team that needs some early-season positive headlines.
CIRCLE THE DATE – Sept. 29, Ohio State at Penn State. Get ready for a rollicking “white out” night and just note this will be the first Big 10 game back for disgraced Buckeyes’ boss Urban Meyer.
CONFERENCE USA …
THE CONTENDERS – Florida Atlantic crushed North Texas 41-17 in last year’s C-USA Championship Game and fully expect a title rematch this December though Middle Tennessee State could sneak in providing lefty slinger Brent Stockstill can stay in one piece.
THE DARK HORSE – Florida International. The Panthers have a top-notch coach in Butch Davis and his defensive front is quite capable of taking over games.
BEST PLAYER – Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic. Last year this 5-foot-9 junior tailback scored a nation’s best 32 rushing touchdowns for Lane Kiffin’s explosive offense and he’s practically guaranteed 25 “touches” per outing.
CIRCLE THE DATE – Nov. 3, FAU at FIU. This in-state rivalry heats up after Kiffin’s guys smoked International 52-24 last year.
THE NFL REPORT
Not often we “get involved” with Fantasy League talk but just so happens that most folks will conduct their drafts this week and so here’s our proverbial two cents’ worth when it comes to potential sleepers … hey, you don’t need us to tell you to draft Los Angeles Rams’ RB Todd Gurley or Atlanta Falcons’ WR Julio Jones, right?
So, here goes …
QB – Marcus Mariota, Tennessee. Don’t be spooked by the less-than-ordinary stats last year that included just 13 TD passes and 15 INTs. The former Heisman Trophy winner should be on your QB1 draft board somewhere in the top 10.
RB – LeGarrette Blount, Detroit. The ram-tough back has played for the last two Super Bowl champions in New England and then Philadelphia and now he’ll be a goal-line hero for a Lions’ attack that last year finished a better-than-you-thought 7th in the league in scoring.
WR – Doug Baldwin, Seattle. How come nobody ever “talks up” this professional pass-catcher who last year produced 991 receiving yards and 8 TDs? Baldwin has averaged better than 6 TDs per season since coming aboard with the Seahawks back in 2011 and he’ll be a stat-sheet stuffer again.
PK – Harrison Butker, Kansas City. Don’t sleep on this 23-year-old who nailed 23 consecutive FGs last year after missing his first. We know there’s 15-to-20 kickers rated higher than this Chiefs’ star but we won’t be surprised if he boots 50 field goals in ’18.
Defense – Detroit. The Lions have a new head coach in defensive-minded Matt Patricia and gotta believe a stepped-up secondary will allow the Motowners to move way up from ranking 21st in the league in scoring “D”.
NOTE: More NFL Preseason goodies plus a whole lot of College Football reports / previews all this week right here at Jim Sez.