Posts Tagged ‘Cincinnati Bearcats’

Cincinnati vs. Duke Predictions & Analysis: 2012 Belk Bowl 12/27

December 26th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Cincinnati vs. Duke Predictions & Analysis: 2012 Belk Bowl 12/27
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Belk BowlThe 2012 Belk Bowl picks are going to be difficult to make, as the Cincinnati Bearcats and Duke Blue Devils are set to do battle with one another in a Big East vs. ACC battle. Check out our Belk Bowl predictions and the keys to the game for Cincinnati vs. Duke.

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2012 Belk Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils
2012 Belk Bowl Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
2012 Belk Bowl Date/Time: Thursday, December 27th, 6:30 p.m. (ET)
2012 Belk Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Key #1: The Blue Devils have to prove they can play with the big boys
The Belk Bowl isn’t exactly a BCS bowl game or anything of the sorts, but this is as big of a stage as the Blue Devils have played on in quite some time. They haven’t been in a bowl game in 17 years, and they haven’t won one in over 50 years. That’s a heck of a long time for a team to wait between bowl appearances or bowl victories. Duke played great ball this year against some lousy teams to start the season, but what we have to remember is that there wasn’t a win against a bowl eligible team to show for its work. Head Coach David Cutcliffe and the gang went 0-6 SU and ATS against teams that were bowl eligible and 6-0 SU and ATS against teams that weren’t eligible. The only asterisk to that mark was the fact that the North Carolina Tar Heels would have been eligible if not for the fact that they were faced with a bowl ban handed down by the NCAA. In their last four games of the season, the Blue Devils were outscored by an average score of 49-24.

Famous Belk Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
Cincinnati Bearcats -9.5
Duke Blue Devils +9.5
Over/Under 60.5
Click Here to Bet Your Famous Belk Bowl Picks!

Key #2: George Winn has to find the end zone for UC
The equation really is frighteningly simple for the Bearcats this year. When RB George Winn has found the end zone, they have done tremendously well. When he hasn’t, they haven’t. Winn has 12 touchdowns on the season spread over six different games. In those games that he has scored, the Cats have averaged 36.0 points per game. In those six outings, Winn has averaged 110.0 rushing yards per game. When he hasn’t scored, Winn has averaged just 90.7 yards per game, and the team has been good for only 26.0 points per game (21.0 points per game against FBS teams). There is a good chance for Winn to get into the end zone in this game against a Duke outfit that has allowed 17 rushing touchdowns in its last seven games.

Key #3: Duke’s seniors have to play like seniors
QB Sean Renfree has started for three seasons for the Blue Devils, while WR Connor Vernon is now in his fourth straight campaign starting. These two men arguably been the best QB/WR tandem that the Blue Devils have had in decades, and it is really showing. Renfree threw for 2,755 yards and 18 TDs this year, and he now has a total of 55 TDs between passing and rushing in the last three campaigns. Vernon has had 273 receptions, 3,630 yards, and 20 trips to the end zone in his four campaigns. He wrapped up his regular season finale with 11 catches, 109 yards, and two scores against Miami, and that marked the third time this year that he had multiple touchdowns in an outing. This is a game where the Blue Devils have everything stacked against them, and if they are going to figure out how to beat the Belk Bowl odds, they’ll need great contributions from their big time leaders that have been around the team for a long time.

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Sweet 16 Predictions, Picks: #6 Cincinnati vs. #2 Ohio State 3/22/12

March 21st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Sweet 16 Predictions, Picks: #6 Cincinnati vs. #2 Ohio State 3/22/12
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The East Region will send its last team to the Elite 8 on Thursday night, and the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Ohio State Buckeyes duke it out for that spot. We’re set to make our Sweet 16 predictions for the clash in Beantown.

2012 Sweet 16 Matchup: #6 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #2 Ohio State Buckeyes
East Region Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Sweet 16 Date/Time: Thursday, March 22nd, 9:45 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. Ohio State Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: Yancy Gates has to keep up with the Ohio State bigs
We give Yates all the credit in the world for getting to his 10 points and five boards in spite of the fact that he was battling foul trouble and a stout Florida State Seminoles defense. He had a huge impact on the game defensively, but the argument could be made that this is going to be an even tougher task. Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger are both fantastic big men, and they are going to be a heck of a lot tougher of a draw on both sides of the court than Florida State’s big men were. Gates is a big time forward who can come up with that double-double on any given night. It’s not necessarily going to have to show up on the stat sheet, but Gates is going to have to stay out of foul trouble and be a real nuisance to these other two big boys on the other side of the court, or it will be a long game for the Bearcats.

Sweet 16 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Cincinnati Bearcats +8
Ohio State Buckeyes -8
Over/Under 129.5
Click Here to Bet Your Sweet 16 Picks!

Key #2: Ohio State has to get out of its mind the struggles of past tourneys
The Buckeyes are going to be thinking all week long about the fact that they were eliminated last year by the Kentucky Wildcats right here at this juncture in the Sweet 16. In both situations, OSU was the team that was expected to advance last year over Kentucky, just as it is expected to do this time around as well. Everyone thought that Sullinger was going to head to the NBA, but he eschewed that opportunity to come back to the NCAA Tournament again with these Buckeyes. This is a team that has a heck of a lot more experience right now, and that could prove to be a real asset. That being said, it is a problem that cannot haunt Head Coach Thad Matta and the gang, as this is a team that always seems to be coming up just short of the ultimate goal.

Key #3: The Buckeyes have to be solid with the basketball
There isn’t a heck of a lot that the Buckeyes could complain over in the first two rounds of their tourney, but if there is a bugaboo, it is that they turn the ball over too much. OSU has 30 turnovers in two games, raising its average up to 11.7 turnovers per game. These Bearcats have been flat out awesome turning other teams over in March Madness. They have 28 turnovers already forced to their credit, and they pick up a lot of steals on a regular basis. Cashmere Wright had five steals on his own against Florida State, and if he and the rest of his teammates can get the job done and frustrate the Buckeyes, just as the Wildcats did last year, the Bearcats are going to have a shot at springing this upset.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Sweet 16 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

NCAA Football Picks: NC State @ Cincinnati College Football Props

September 21st, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on NCAA Football Picks: NC State @ Cincinnati College Football Props
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Week 4 of college football betting action is here! But before you get started with the NCAA football odds, be sure to check out our college football prop picks for the first day of the fourth week of the season, including the NC State vs. Cincinnati picks!

TJ Graham Over/Under 88.5 Receiving Yards
It is interesting how Graham has really stepped up in this, his senior season. He only had just over 700 receiving yards in his first three seasons with the Wolfpack, and now, he has 252 yards and 12 receptions thus far this year. Of course, this Cincinnati defense, though not the greatest in the world, is still a heck of a lot better than those of two FCS teams and Wake Forest. We just have a hard time believing that QB Mike Glennon is going to be finding all that much success, and if that’s the case, Graham won’t be able to put up fantastic stats either. Graham Under 88.5 Receiving Yards (-115 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

Isaiah Pead Over/Under 97.5 Rushing Yards
Pead really has run wild in his first three games of the year, including putting up 155 yards on just 14 carries against the Tennessee Volunteers. What’s interesting is the fact that Pead has 257 yards on the ground, yet he has only had 27 touches of the football. This is a lot more serious game, and Jameel Poteat, George Winn, and the likes won’t be getting as many touches as they did against the Akron Zips and the Austin Peay Governors. Though Pead won’t be averaging darn near 10 yards per carry in this game in all likelihood, there is no way that we can see the Wolfpack and their relatively shoddy defense keeping Pead under 100 yards on even 16-18 carries. Pead Over 97.5 Rushing Yards (-115 at BetOnline Sportsbook).

2010 College Football Coaching Changes

August 24th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2010 College Football Coaching Changes
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Some of the biggest programs in college football have seen changes right at the top this year. The odds to win the 2011 BCS Championship have altered as well, as there have been hirings, firings, and replacements, along with some surprise changes that could shake the entire core of the NCAA football betting world. A number of schools have made changes at the top in what has been a very, very interesting offseason. Here is the list of the schools that are heading in new directions with their football programs and their 2011 BCS Championship odds.

Akron Zips (+700000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Akron has been a train wreck in the MAC for a number of years, and last season was no exception. The Zips went just 3-9 and just 2-6 in conference, and a 4-8 ATS record didn’t make many college football betting friends either. Now, there is a huge quarterback battle going on in Akron, as QBs Patrick Nicely and Matt Rodgers are both candidates for the job. Rodgers’ injury last year might’ve been the final straw to getting JD Brookhart fired. Rob Ianello, the new man in charge, has a long way to go to get this program back to the form that it was in back in 2005 when it won the MAC Championship.

Buffalo Bulls (+500000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Without a doubt, Turner Gill was the most beloved coach in the history of Buffalo Bulls football. He really helped put the program on the map, especially two seasons ago when the Bulls upset the previously unbeaten Ball State Falcons to win the MAC Championship Game when no one gave them even the remotest of chances. If the name Jeff Quinn sounds familiar to you, think back to both Central Michigan and Cincinnati. Both of those teams lost Brian Kelly right before their bowl games. Quinn was the man in charge of both a bowl win for the Chippewas over Middle Tennessee in 2005 and last season’s Bearcats loss to the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. Getting back to a bowl game would be a triumph for Buffalo, which fell a game short of eligibility last year.

Central Michigan Chippewas (+120000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): The Chippewas had a chance to really make some noise last year, the final season with QB Dan LeFevour. However, just as has been the case in quite a few instances when a legendary coach leaves a program, Butch Jones decided that LeFevour’s departure was the best time for him to try to move on to a big time coaching gig. Now, the Chippies are left with Dan Enos, the former running backs coach for the Michigan State Spartans. Enos has never been a head football coach at any level, clearly showing that CMU didn’t have a heck of a lot of options. No one wanted to be the man that followed Jones in Mount Pleasant, especially without LeFevour there to quell the pain of transition.

Cincinnati Bearcats (+15000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Shame on Brian Kelly for leaving the Bearcats right before their bowl game after a perfect regular season and a Big East championship! The team made the right call by going after Kelly’s successor at Central Michigan, Butch Jones as a replacement. We already know that Jones knows Kelly’s system after taking over for him without missing a beat at Central Michigan, and several teams were eager to grab his services. Jones made a good call as well, as he knows that QB Zach Collaros might actually be better than the departed Tony Pike. Collaros can win this team the Big East title this year, which might immediately put Jones in line for an even better position.

East Carolina Pirates (+160000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): ECU was on the verge of something special with Skip Holtz in charge, but when South Florida came calling for the second generation coach, he had to move on to the bigger named school. Ruffin McNeill has been an assistant at Texas Tech for a number of years. Many thought that he would be a logical successor to Mike Leach, especially after guiding the Red Raiders to a 41-31 Alamo Bowl win over Michigan State last year. Will the spread offense work at East Carolina, though? It is certainly a huge shift from the traditional, “take care of the football and play good defense” mentality that Holtz had. There could be a bit of a transition period for the Pirates, but ultimately, McNeill should make a good director of the ship there.

Florida State Seminoles (+7000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): For the past three seasons, Jimbo Fisher has just been waiting patiently for Bobby Bowden to retire so he could take over command at Florida State. Truth be told, the Noles have been under Fisher’s watchful eye ever since he stepped foot in Tallahassee, so this might not be a huge transition for the garnet and gold. Fisher has transformed this offense into a train wreck from the Drew Weatherford/Xavier Lee days into one that is genuinely feared with QB Christian Ponder at the helm. It’s going to be fun watching this team grow once again, especially with the QB of the future, EJ Manuel already waiting in the wings. A defense still needs to be picked back up to get Florida State back on the map. Fisher has huge shoes to fill from the second winningest coach in NCAA FBS history.

Kansas Jayhawks (+35000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Kansas had to think that last season was the year that it could really contend for a National Championship. However, Mark Mangino, who helped resurrect the program and turn it into a national contender in the first place, failed miserably, as he wasted the talents of seniors like Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier, Todd Reesing, and Jake Sharp. Turner Gill was the hottest young coaching commodity on the planet, and KU was sure to snatch him up. He is already looked at as a hero in Lawrence, as very few of the players and even fewer of the alumni had any care for the way that Mangino treated his team at all.

Kentucky Wildcats (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Rich Brooks deserves a lot of credit for keeping Kentucky football relevant for a number of years. Still, it was time for him to go, as it seemed as though the program hit a peak under his direction. Head coach in waiting Joker Phillips is set to unleash his offensive talents on the rest of the SEC in a move that is probably going to take a few years to get perfected. The Cats are always going to be a second rate team in the SEC, particularly in the East, where programs like Florida and Tennessee will always be the hottest recruiting beds. Phillips has his work cut out for him to make the Wildcats more than Music City Bowl honorary members on an annual basis.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (+150000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Here’s a team that wasn’t so certain that it was really changing coaches. La Tech was shocked when Derek Dooley left for Tennessee, and they had to scramble to try to replace him at the last second with most of the best coaching options already off the board. Little known Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes is the man that was suddenly put in charge on January 20th. He is bringing in a spread offense which will bring La Tech essentially into the 21st century of WAC football. This program has bigger problems, though… trying to figure out what conference it is going to be playing in once the WAC finishes falling apart.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (+750000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Mired in the middle of a bad conference for a number of years, the Warhawks are just trying to figure out how to get to a bowl game and to challenge the top teams in the Sun Belt. Signing Todd Berry made a lot of sense though, as he is very familiar with the system at Louisiana-Monroe having served under previous head coach Charlie Weatherbie as an assistant for two years. He has bounced around as assistants in other locations since 2005, but he’ll return to the Bayou and try to get the Warhawks on the map for the first time in the history of the school.

Louisville Cardinals (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Simply put, the firing of Steve Kragthorpe was an absolute must in Louisville. Kragthorpe single handedly destroyed the program that Bobby Petrino turned into a Top 10 program year in and year out in the Big East. Kragthorpe couldn’t find a way to win in the senior year of QB Brian Brohm, one of the most decorated players in the history of the school’s football team, and since then it has been all downhill. Charlie Strong comes in from Florida, where he will bring a spread offense that should at least spark a bit of promise for a program that has been dropped into the doldrums of the Big East for the past few years.

Marshall Thundering Herd (+140000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Mark Snyder was one of the many coaches that were essentially forced out of their positions. Snyder wasn’t even allowed to hang around for the team’s bowl game, a 21-17 win in the Little Caesar’s Bowl over Ohio. John “Doc” Holliday has been the associate head coach at West Virginia for a number of years, and many are surprised that it took this long for him to land a head coaching job. The cupboard certainly isn’t bare at Marshall, and many think that Holliday can be the man that can bring this program back to prominence in its new conference, C-USA.

Memphis Tigers (+350000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Simply put, Memphis is in terrible shape right now. The Tigers might not be favored in any game which they play this season, and if that’s the case, the prospects of a one or two win campaign is a real possibility. Former coach Tommy West blasted the program on the way out the door, which might cause us to never hear his name again. Larry Porter is going to be taking over, but even he knows that this is probably nothing more than a temporary stop before he gets fired as well. The Tigers are going nowhere fast, and unless the school pumps some more money into the facilities there, this program is closer to being gone than being relevant.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+11500 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Notre Dame football has been on a steep decline ever since Lou Holtz retired. Coaches like Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie helped wreck what was once one of the most proud programs in the history of college football. Charlie Weis didn’t help matters any either, though he at least took the team to a BCS game in his reign. Former Cincinnati HC Brian Kelly accepted the Irish position just days before his Bearcats tried to complete an undefeated season with a Sugar Bowl victory over the Florida Gators. Cincinnati’s players elected to play without their skipper, and the end result was a huge loss to mar an otherwise fantastic campaign. Kelly probably has three years to turn the Irish into winners.

San Jose State Spartans (+800000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): There aren’t many programs that have been as inept as San Jose State in recent years. The Spartans really were never in a position to let Tomey, a legendary coach in West Coast college football go. However, he announced his retirement, which is leading way to Mike MacIntyre to come across the country from Duke, where he was the team’s defensive coordinator. Working on the defense would be a good start for the Spartans, as they were one of the worst ‘D’s in the land last year… Of course, they had one of the worst offenses as well. A couple home wins would be a huge triumph this season.

South Florida Bulls (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Jim Leavitt was the only head coach that the Bulls ever knew, even when they were just a tiny I-AA school just trying to make ends meet. However, amidst some off the field issues, the university decided to get rid of their head coach and sign Skip Holtz to replace him. The move made a lot of sense, as Holtz has been leading East Carolina up the ranks of Conference USA, the same conference that South Florida came out of from back in the day. With QB BJ Daniels and a host of returning starters, the Bulls might be the most BCS ready hire of the bunch, especially with a proven coach like Holtz on the sidelines.

Tennessee Volunteers (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): The poor Volunteers finally looked to be heading in the right direction, as the family of Kiffins, Lane and Monte were finally starting to round this program into shape after several lousy years with Phil Fulmer in charge. Kiffin decided to bolt to USC when the opportunity arose this year in spite of the fact that the program could be in shambles. That left the men on Rocky Top scrambling. Though it wasn’t a sexy hire, Derek Dooley was about the only name that the Vols could come up with. No one is expecting this hire to work, and if someone better becomes available next year than a coach that was mediocre with a WAC school, expect Tennessee to jump on it.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (+17500 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): In one of the more bizarre stories in a very awkward offseason, Texas Tech fired Mike Leach following allegations surrounding one of his players. Leach is still sitting out this season to sure up some legal matters against the university, but hiring Tommy Tuberville was a huge coup for the program. The biggest question that is yet to be answered is whether Tuberville will let the Air Raid continue, or whether he will instead install a more run first offense which is similar to the ones used in the SEC where he came from at Auburn two years ago. Texas Tech was on the verge of being a real national power under Leach. Tuberville is expected to, at minimum, keep that up.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (+300000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): One of the two FCS coaches that took the jump into the FBS this year was Montana’s Bobby Hauck. Hauck takes over for Mike Sanford, who went just 16-43 overall in five years with the Runnin’ Rebs. Not only did Hauck have a lot of success at the FCS level, but he also coached under one of the great FBS coaches of our time as well in Rick Neuheisel both at Washington and Colorado. The Rebels might have themselves a real winner coaching them up, but reaching a bowl game would be a huge accomplishment for a program that has been a wreck since turning over its coaching staff the last time.

USC Trojans (No Line to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Pete Carroll saw this one coming. He knew that USC was about to get hammered by the NCAA for recruiting violations which saw RB Reggie Bush lose his Heisman Trophy. Before the dust settled though, the university successfully conned Lane Kiffin into coming back to Southern Cal, the place which he became a highly coveted assistant coach just a few years ago. Kiffin is upset about the punishments, which make the Trojans ineligible for the National Championship or a bowl game for the next two years and costs the program a number of scholarships. Still, this is clearly a very, very talented team that could run the table… if it wanted to. It’s Kiffin’s job to make sure that his team is ready to play and isn’t worried about the fact that it won’t be in a bowl game this year.

Vanderbilt Commodores (+60000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Bobby Johnson actually had the Commodores ranked for the first time in their history just two years ago, but since that point, they have fallen upon relatively hard times. He elected to resign just a few months ago, which was a shocking move to the program which he helped assemble. Assistant head coach Robbie Caldwell was immediately named the interim coach of the team, and just a few weeks ago, he had that tag removed. Still, Vandy isn’t going to be competing in the SEC East any time soon, and six wins would be a massive, massive triumph any year.

Virginia Cavaliers (+60000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Be careful what you wish for, Cavaliers fans. UVA at least had a lot of great recruits coming to Charlottesville under former head coach Al Groh, and for quite awhile, it was a relevant team in the ACC. However, the Cavvies got tired of Groh and got rid of him this year, bringing in Mike London, a former assistant and the previous head coach of the Richmond Spiders, making London the other FCS coach to leap up to an FBS program as a head coach. However, the cupboard is entirely dry for Virginia. This could be the worst BCS conference school in the land this year.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+900000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): With the transition to the Sun Belt now fully complete, the Hilltoppers decided to go in another direction this season, firing David Elson after an 0-12 season in which the team really wasn’t competitive at all. Taggart is a WKU alumnus and has since been the running backs coach at Stanford. His key project? Toby Gerhart, who became one of the top running backs in the nation last year. The Hilltoppers hope that Taggart can bring just a shadow of respectability to this program over the next few seasons as they try to establish themselves as a legitimate member of the FBS.

2010 College Football Betting: Preseason Top 25 ATS Power Rankings

July 17th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   1 Comment »
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The 2010 college football betting season is nearly here! Though anyone can rank the teams No. 1 to No. 25 in the nation in terms of SU records, here at Bankroll Sports, we are ranking our Top 25 underrated teams that could be monsters for your against the college football odds this season.

25. Ball State Cardinals (2-10, 6-5 ATS in 2009) – After a magical run in 2008 in which the Cardinals flirted with an undefeated season, Ball State came crashing back down to Earth last year under first-year HC Stan Parrish. However, this year Ball State returns their entire offense from 2009, including 2nd team All-MAC RB Miquale Lewis who should go down as the school’s all-time leading rusher with even a halfway decent 2010 campaign. The Cardinals have been friends to college football betting fans over the past five years, going 35-22-1 ATS in that span.

24. Air Force Falcons (8-5, 7-4-1 ATS in 2009) – Since taking over for the legendary Fisher DeBerry, HC Troy Calhoun has excelled in his first three years at the Air Force Academy, taking the Falcons to a 25-14 record and three straight Armed Forces Bowl appearances. QB Tim Jefferson is a dual-threat passer who can beat team with his arm or his legs and should be one of the best in the conference if he can stay healthy for the whole season.

23. Syracuse Orange (4-8, 6-5 ATS in 2009) – The Orange may be seen as a surprising candidate to be on this list, but Syracuse showed marked improvement in their first year under new HC Doug Marrone. Although the Orange managed just one more win in 2009 than in 2008, the Syracuse program showed signs of life for the first time in years, especially when the mass exodus of 20+ players prior to the start of the 2009 season is considered. The key to the offense will be RB Delone Carter who carried the ball for 1,021 yards and 11 TDs last year.

22. Rice Owls (2-10, 4-7-1 ATS in 2009) – Much like Ball State, Rice went from a fantastic 2008 CFB wagering season to a disastrous campaign in 2009. For the 2010 season though, the Owls bring back 18 starters and one of the more experienced offensive lines in the nation to provide protection for QB Nick Fanuzzi. Fanuzzi showed some promise last season in completing 60 percent of his passes for 1,598 yards with 11 TDs and eight INTs and will look to get even better in 2010.

21. Idaho Vandals (8-5, 8-5 ATS in 2009) – In any other conference in America, QB Nathan Enderle would have garnered all-conference honors last season and would be considered one of the conference favorites for Offensive Player of the Year. Last season, Venderle completed over 60 percent of his passes for 2,906 yards with 22 TDs and nine INTs while leading the Vandals to their first winning season of the decade.

20. Oregon State Beavers (8-5, 7-5 ATS in 2009) – Over the last decade, the Beavers have been one of the best teams against the NCAA betting odds in the country, going 68-48-1 ATS. With the return of the Rodgers brothers (WR James and RB Jacquizz), HC Mike Riley’s Beavers have one of the most formidable offenses in the Pac-10 and should once again challenge for the Pac-10 title now that the Trojans are ineligible to take home the trophy.

19. North Texas Mean Green (2-10, 5-7 ATS in 2009) – With only five wins over the past three seasons, it seems rather unlikely that North Texas could be on any Top 25 list, but the Mean Green have 17 returning starters and a very manageable schedule. RB Lance Dunbar had a monster season for North Texas last year, carrying the ball for 1,378 yards and 17 touchdowns en route to 1st team All-SBC honors in 2009. Dunbar looks to continue the tradition of quality running backs at North Texas, following in the footsteps of Jamario Thomas and Cedric Cobbs.

18. Baylor Bears (4-8, 5-7 ATS in 2009) – Many pundits thought that 2009 would be the year that the Baylor Bears turned the corner, but those dreams were derailed in Week 3 after sensational QB Robert Griffin tore his ACL and back-up QB Blake Szymanski injured his shoulder. Griffin looks like he is back to form though and if he can stay healthy has a real chance to take the Bears to their first bowl appearance since 1994.

17. Miami Redhawks (1-11, 5-7 ATS in 2009) – Things haven’t looked good in Oxford over the past half decade, but there is reason for Redhawks fans to be excited in 2010. In HC Mike Haywood’s second year, the Redhawks return 19 starters from 2009 while many of their opponents in the MAC East are reloading. Miami probably isn’t good enough to make a bowl this season, but should keep games close and cover a lot of college football gambling spreads.

16. UTEP Miners (4-8, 5-7 ATS in 2009) – Inconsistent wouldn’t even begin to describe the UTEP Miners’ 2009 season. In their first C-USA game of the season, the Miners upset #12 and then undefeated Houston 58-41 as a two TD underdog on the NCAA gambling odds. In UTEP’s very next game they suffered an embarrassing 15 point loss at Memphis, giving the Tigers their only FBS win of 2009. With one of the best backfield tandems in the conference in QB Trevor Vittatoe and All-American RB Donald Buckram, the Miners will be able to put up a lot of points this season.

15. South Carolina Gamecocks (7-6, 7-5 ATS in 2009) – With the graduation of the record-setting Tim Tebow, the SEC East is the most open its been in years and the Gamecocks are in good position to take advantage of this. They usually have one of the better defenses in the country and if QB Stephen Garcia can continue to develop like he has over the past two seasons, South Carolina could flirt with a 10 win season.

14. Connecticut Huskies (8-5, 9-2-1 ATS in 2009) – Few would deny that Randy Edsall has done one of the best jobs in the country in guiding UConn from the FCS level to the FBS level. Over the past three years, Edsall has really hit his stride with the team going 25-14 and winning back-to-back bowl games. The Huskies have also been one of the best teams for NCAA wagering enthusiasts with the team going 63-42-2 ATS since 2000.

13. Texas A&M Aggies (6-7, 6-7 ATS in 2009) – Mike Sherman’s Aggies benefit from only having four road games this year, and in only one of those four road games (@ Texas) will they be a prohibitive underdog. Texas A&M has 16 returning starters this season, including QB Jerrod Johnson who passed for 3,579 yards to go with 30 TDs against just eight interceptions on his way to a 2nd team All-Big 12 selection in 2009.

12. UCF Knights (8-5, 9-3 ATS in 2009) – Last year, not much was expected of the UCF Knights after a 2008 campaign in which the Knights had one of the worst offenses in the country. However, HC George O’Leary turned to the running game last year and found a valuable asset in RB Brynn Harvey. Last season, Harvey ran for 1,109 yards and 14 touchdowns while picking up 3rd team All-C-USA honors. Harvey suffered a knee injury in spring, but is expected to miss no more than a few games at most.

11. Michigan Wolverines (5-7, 5-6 ATS in 2009) – HC Rich Rodriguez might be on the hottest seat in the country after managing just an 8-16 record and zero bowl appearances in his first two seasons as the head coach of one of the most storied programs in the country. This season, though, will be the first where Rodriguez has a clear-cut choice at QB to run his system in Tate Forcier. With Forcier at the helm, the Wolverines will almost certainly improve on their paltry 7-16 mark against the CFB betting line over the past two seasons.

10. Temple Owls (9-4, 8-4 ATS in 2009) – Al Golden has done a remarkable job in turning around a horrific Temple program that hadn’t made a bowl game in 30 years prior to the Owls making the EagleBank Bowl in 2009. This season, the Owls return almost all of their skill position players and 16 starters to a team that should be considered the favorite to win the MAC East.

9. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-5, 5-6 ATS in 2009) – North Carolina may have the best defense in the country this season with a bevy of NFL prospects at every position along the defensive front. DE Robert Quinn, LB Quan Sturdivant, CB Kendric Burney, and FS Deunta Williams all garnered 1st team All-ACC selections in 2009, while DT Marvin Austin, LB Bruce Carter, and SS Da’Norris Searcy all picked up 2nd team honors. With 19 returning starters in all, the Tar Heels should be one of the best teams against the NCAA odds in 2010.

8. Nevada Wolfpack (8-5, 7-6 ATS in 2009) – When QB Colin Kaepernick pulls the strings, the Wolfpack have one of the most exciting offenses in the country. Last season, Nevada managed an NCAA first when the Wolfpack had three different players (Kaepernick, Vai Taua, and Luke Lippencott) rush for over 1000 yards. In WAC play, the Wolfpack have been especially great the past five seasons, going 26-14 ATS for CFB wagering fans over that time.

7. Washington Huskies (5-7, 7-5 ATS in 2009) – Jake Locker is considered by many to be the top pick in the 2011 draft, and the strong-armed quarterback showed off just what he could do in his first year under new HC Steve Sarkisian. In 2009, Locker became much more polished as a quarterback, throwing for 2,800 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in a season where they flirted with a bowl bid. This year, with 18 returning starters, the Huskies will be in great shape to make their first bowl appearance since 2002.

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-6, 4-8 ATS in 2009) – Although QB Jimmy Clausen and WR Golden Tate have departed, the Fighting Irish are primed to turn some heads in the first year of new HC Brian Kelly. Kelly had one of the best offenses in the country at Cincinnati last year and inherits an offense with a lot of weapons in RB Armando Allen, WR Michael Floyd, and TE Kyle Rudolph. The key to the season for Notre Dame will be how well sophomore QB Dayne Crist can perform in his first season running the offense.

5. Florida State Seminoles (7-6, 4-8 ATS in 2009) – Before getting hurt, QB Christian Ponder looked well on his way to having one of the best seasons in school history. Still, Ponder finished with great numbers, completing 68.8 percent of his passes for 2,717 yards with 14 TDs and seven picks. He’ll also have the luxury of being behind one of the best and most experienced offensive lines in the country, anchored by Jacobs Award winning LG Rodney Hudson.

4. Auburn Tigers (8-5, 6-6 ATS in 2009) – Despite questions over whether he was the right man for the job or not, HC Gene Chizik led the Tigers to a respectable season in 2009. With the help of offensive guru Gus Malzahn, the Tigers offense went from one of the worst in the SEC in 2008 (17.3 PPG) to one of the best in the conference last year (33.3 PPG). The Tigers dodge both the Vols and the Gators in conference play and with eight home games could turn many heads this NCAA wagering season.

3. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (10-3, 10-3 ATS in 2009) – QB Dwight Dasher may have been playing in the lowly Sun Belt last season, but his numbers were good enough for any conference in the country. The athletic Dasher turned a lot of heads in 2009, by throwing for 2,789 yards along with 23 TDs and 14 INTs while also running for 1154 yards and 13 scores. With Dasher under center, the Blue Raiders have a very good chance for back-to-back 10 win seasons.

2. Cincinnati Bearcats (12-1, 5-7 ATS in 2009) – Though QB Tony Pike and HC Brian Kelly have since departed, the Bearcats should still have one of the best offenses in the Big East in 2010 under new HC Butch Jones and QB Zach Collaros. Collaros was impressive in his limited playing time in 2009, completing 75 percent of his passes for 1,434 yards with ten TDs against just two INTs. USC transfer WR Vidal Hazelton will also pack some punch to a WR corps that lost Mardy Gilyard.

1. Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-4, 9-5 ATS in 2009) – Since taking over for Bill Callahan, Bo Pelini has brought respect back to the Blackshirts and pride back to Husker Nation. Pelini’s Huskers were one last second FG away from making it to a BCS bowl and ruining Texas’ undefeated season in the Big XII Title Game, and although they do lose Heisman Trophy candidate DT Ndamakong Suh, Nebraska returns six starters to the defense that only gave up 10.4 PPG last CFB gambling season.

2009 Top 5 BCS Bowl Teams

October 15th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in College Football   1 Comment »

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College Football action is just starting to enter the heart of conference play. This is normally the time of year when you really start to find out which teams are for real when the competition picks up on a weekly basis. Top teams are sure to fade and new faces are to emerge. Nearly everyone has Florida meeting up with Texas in the National Championship, but there is so much football left to play that nothing is certain especially since both teams are coming off rather sluggish performances. Judging by the amount of upsets this year, then how could you even think about a National Championship match-up just halfway through the year. The major conference teams are very vulnerable this time of year because they are facing top teams each and every week. We are not going to try and predict the National Championship match-up because it just seems to far fetch to think anything is a guarantee as crazy as college football turns out. However, we have taken the time to break down a few teams that will see BCS Bowls this season. Breaking down the way some of these talented teams are playing and their remaining schedules, we bring to you the Top 5 BCS Bowl teams for 2010.

#1. Florida Gators (5-0)

The Gators may not be the best team in the country, but who is going to beat them for the rest of the year? Florida captured its biggest win of the season in a 13-3 defensive battle last week over LSU. The Gators remaining schedule is very weak and they play just two teams with a winning record and only South Carolina is ranked in the top 25. The only logical room for an upset here outside of South Carolina, is a loss in the SEC Championship. If that happens, the Gators still got to a BCS Bowl even though it would not be the National Championship Game. The Gators defense is so good that an upset becomes highly unlikely until they square off in the SEC Championship. The Gators offense has not racked up the points as expected this year which could hold them back from repeating as National Champions. However, they are still 100% locks for a BCS Bowl Game.

#2. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0)

The Crimson Tide is in an extremely similar situation in the SEC West. Alabama is not only perhaps playing better than anyone in the country, but have a manageable schedule from here out. Alabama has a solid test against South Carolina this week and LSU two weeks following. If they can win both those two games they will obviously have a perfect regular season record for the 2nd straight year in a row. Even if they lose one game they can still get to the SEC Championship with another LSU loss. In that scenario, the Crimson Tide still make a BCS Bowl even if they lose to Florida and that may be the worse case scenario for Alabama. The Crimson Tide would have a great chance at beating Florida if they were to play right now. The Alabama offensive and defensive lines are as big and strong as an NFL team. They have dominated on both sides of the ball and Nick Saban has the Tide rolling once again. All scenarios point to another BCS Bowl Game as well for the beast of the west in the SEC.

#3. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1)

The Hokies were a bit unlucky to get a chance at Alabama in their opener this year, because their offense just was not clicking at the start of the season. However, quarterback Tyrod Taylor is starting to make a lot more plays with his arm and that is making the entire offense very dangerous. Freshman Ryan Williams is one of the best young guys in the nation. The Hokies running back has rushed for 734 yards and 9 scores this season to keep the running game going after losing star back Darren Evans before the season even started. The Hokies defense is strong as always, but their offense has become explosive. If Taylor continues to throw the ball well, Virginia Tech is the most dangerous one loss team in the country. The Hokies have more quality wins than any team in the Top 10 and they played Alabama tough when they were not even playing well. The Hokies square off with Georgia Tech this week and a win would all but guarantee a trip to the ACC Championship. However, more importantly there is not any other team in the ACC that can play with the Hokies if they keep pace meaning an automatic BCS Bowl Berth for the conference champions.

#4. Texas Longhorns (5-0)

The Longhorns appear to be on the path to fight for a National Championship and a Big 12 Title as well. However, both of those hopes face a huge test this Saturday when they take on rival Oklahoma. A loss would actually give the Sooners the lead in the Big 12 South considering both of Oklahoma’s losses have been outside the conference. Still the Longhorns are favorites to win the game and if they can edge out the Sooners, they will be in a BCS Bowl Game. The Longhorns have a much more difficult schedule than some of the other teams on our list with meetings with Oklahoma State and Kansas remaining. All Texas really has to do is beat Oklahoma this weekend to control their own destiny. A win over the Sooners means they can still suffer a loss and make the trip to the Big 12 Championship. It’s hard to think Kansas or Nebraska could beat Texas in the Big 12 Title Game and that gives the Sooners a ticket to a BCS Bowl despite what happens the rest of the year.

#5. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0)

The Bearcats may be the most unlikely of BCS Bowl contenders heading into the season, but they have an offense that can contend with anyone in the nation. QB Tony Pike is receiving Heisman type attention after a wonderful start completing 67% for 1,493 yards, 13 touchdowns, and just 3 interceptions. The offense is among the best in the country averaging the 42 points per game. The Bearcats appear to have too much firepower which will make it tough for teams like South Florida and Pittsburgh to steal the conference crown away. Cincinnati goes on the road tonight in one of their biggest games of the season against South Florida and a win would make the BCS Bowl picture an instant reality. Pittsburgh has become a factor in the conference, but they don’t seem to have the talent to keep it together for another half of the season considering they really struggled last week against Connecticut. Cincinnati has all the opportunities to cash in here and make their way to one of the big bowls. However, a win tomorrow night would give the Bearcats a very considerable chance to win out. If that happens the BCS Standings will then again be a big factor as always in deciding who is worthy of competing for the National Championship. Would it let the Bearcats out of the Big East into the big game?

2009 College Football Early Season Tidbits

September 9th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in College Football   1 Comment »
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The opening week of college football is always exciting given the unknown factor entering the season. Not that college football lacks any surprises throughout the season, but all the previews for teams and everything just do not tell the story until the teams actually take the gridiron. Who could have predicted the mighty Oklahoma Sooners would fall in their first game of the season? There was a lot of interesting stories over the past 7 days and they are sure to continue as we prepare for round 2 this weekend. We will take a look at some of the teams that impressed last weekend as well as the ones who really disappointed. Keep these teams in mind before making your selections this Saturday and be sure to check out our expert picks here at

Surprise Teams:

No. 10 California Golden Bears

We warned a few weeks back that California could be the team to dethrone USC from the Pac-10 this season and they proved those expectations are legitimate with a 52-13 thrashing over Maryland last weekend. The Golden Bears possibly performed better than any of the top teams in the nation. Jahvid Best added more supporting evidence that he is the best running back in the land by carrying the ball just 10 times but posting 137 yards and 2 touchdowns in the process. Perhaps even more impressive was QB Kevin Riley. Riley threw 17 for 26 (65%) totaling 298 yards and 4 touchdowns. If the Golden Bears can have that type of success through the air with Best in the backfield, California can start thinking about a BCS Bowl Game by season’s end.

No. 9 BYU Cougars

I know a lot of people will be jumping on the BYU bandwagon after their huge upset over Oklahoma last weekend, but its hard to see if the Cougars were that impressive or simply the Sooners were not? The Cougars skyrocketed in the standings this week to #9 in the nation. The BYU defense is what really stood out in the game. The Cougars held the Oklahoma offense to just 265 yards of total offense nearly half what the Sooners offense produced in 2009. The Cougars defense returned 8 starters on that side of the ball and look very disciplined controlling the Sooners passing game. BYU has a favorable schedule for the rest of the season and that is why they are getting so much attention after the huge victory. The Cougars must be able to establish so more offense before they take on teams like Florida State and Utah, but they are definitely a team to keep on your radar this season. BYU is 17.5 point favorites on the road at Tulane this weekend to keep the momentum alive.

No. 23 Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bearcats took the Big East by surprise last year and evidently there has been a culture change down in Bearcats country that will be sticking around for a while. The Bearcats were 5 point underdogs on the road at Rutgers before the Cincinnati offense exploded to route the Scarlet Knights 47-15. QB Tony Pike led the no huddle offense to rack up a career high 362 yards of passing with 3 touchdowns. Cincinnati offense totaled 564 yards of total offense. The offense was so impressive they appear they could single handedly take down the Big East again this year. We know that is big words after just one game, but when are people going to start giving credit to the Bearcats program that looks as stable as any on top of the Big East.

Disappointment Teams:

No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners

Well, the idea of Sam Bradford returning to win a National Championship may already be out the window. There is no doubt that the Sooners loss this past weekend was the biggest shocker of opening week. Bradford went down with a shoulder injury and the Sooners offense never looked like the potent 50 point scoring machine they were in 2008. There is now even more concern with Bradford expected to miss as many as 4 weeks of football. Luckily, the schedule is less than difficult until they meet Miami 3 weeks from now. Still, the Sooners have tons of question marks to figure out. The offensive line did not look productive and it is apparent that the playmakers on the outside are vacant. It’s amazing how a team can be supernaturally powerful last season and come out looking like an average college football team a year later. There is work to be done and the Sooners best get things right before the Big 12 schedule starts. Oklahoma was previously number 3 in the country before dropping 10 spots with the defeat.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois has all the makings to be a very strong team in the Big Ten this season, but they actually became the only Big Ten team to lose this weekend. The Illini passing game was expected to be the difference maker this season and get the team back on the Bowl Game path. However, Illinois was blown out by Missouri 37-9 in a dismal defensive performance. Illinois managed over 325 yards of offense which may not be extremely impressive, but could have perhaps produced more than 9 points. Dual threat QB Juice Williams had a solid performance throwing the ball, but the Illini defense simply could not stop the Big 12 offense of Missouri. The Tigers racked up nearly 450 yards of total offense. The Illinois defense was the biggest concern heading into the year and perhaps an even bigger concern now. Williams gives the offense the potential to contend in the Big Ten, but the defense could make 2009 another long disappointment.

No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes

Illinois was not the only Big Ten team to disappoint this weekend. The Buckeyes nearly became the Oklahoma story early Saturday by barely escaping with a victory over Navy. The Buckeyes defense lost a ton of talent last season in players like Marcus Freeman, Malcolm Jenkins, and James Laurinaitis. The Buckeyes were expected to reload and remain a solid defensive threat. However whether it was the defense lack of experience or just simply thrown for a loop by the Navy option, the Buckeyes defense failed to impress giving up 342 yards on the game. The Ohio State offense managed just 365 total yards of offense and was far from overpowering. Of course, Terrelle Pryor remains a gifted talent that will give any defense a hard time. Still, that may not be enough if the Buckeyes do not find some explosion on offense and more productivity on the other side of the ball. The poor performance come from what many consider a weak opponent. However, the Buckeyes will have the opportunity to right the ship when they take on number 3 ranked USC Trojans this week. The Buckeyes will be 6.5 underdogs in the colossal battle that will take center stage Saturday night.