Thursday, September 26, 2013

FOOTBALL NEWS AFTER WEEK THREE


FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER


Hello Football Fans,
 
This letter is an alternative to attending your mandatory GA meeting (gambler's
anonymous).
 
Enjoy,
 
The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL, on the lam from the gambling police


NFL WEEK #3

It was another bizarre week in pro football.  Four games were decided by a winning TD late in the 4th quarter, including three inside of one minute [TENN at 0:15 to beat SD, CLE at 0:51 to beat MIN, MIA at 0:43 to beat ATL, and ugly ending for the Pack with CIN scoring defensive TD at 3:47 to finish the scoring and win].

After three weeks, I’m told historically that teams starting a season 0-3 have only a 3% chance of making the playoffs (hard to believe, huh?).  That means six teams: JAX, PIT, TB, MIN, NYG, and WSH have only a slim chance to make the playoffs this year, as they are all winless in 2013.  Of course it makes sense that an 0-3 team is probably not very good, and thus would not be expected to make the playoffs.  Even “decent” teams that start this poorly have dug themselves a 5½ foot hole, and will have a tough time climbing out and surpassing other teams that got off to a better start.

Historically, teams starting 3-0 have about an 85% chance to make the playoffs. There are seven undefeated teams this year: CHI, NOR, SEA, NE, MIA, KC, and DEN.  Statistically, 6 of these 7 teams will make the playoffs (meaning that one probably won’t).

Teams starting the season 2-1 have a bit better than a 50% chance of making the playoffs.  Those 8 teams are: DAL, DET, NYJ, CIN, BAL, HOU, TEN, and IND.  Thus, probably 4 teams in this group will make the playoffs.
The 11 teams starting 1-2 have about a 24% chance of reaching the postseason: PHI, GB, ATL, CAR, STL, SF, AZ, BUF, CLE, SD, and OAK.  That means probably 2 or 3 of these teams will make the playoffs.


NFL ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS

In pro games this week, SIX underdogs won their games outright out of 16 games, or 37.5%.

On Thursday night, HC Andy Reid led the KC Chiefs +3h into his old stomping grounds and beat Philadelphia, 26-16.  The PHI Eagles have now lost 8 home games in a row; isn’t that unbelievable?  I had to go back and check to make sure.  They haven’t won in Philly since Week #4 of last year (a 2-point victory).


SHOCKER OF THE WEEK:
Indianapolis +9h traveled to the West Coast to play San Francisco and shockingly dominated on the scoreboard in the second half to win 27-7.  Total yards from scrimmage favored the Colts only 336-254, but the Niners were hurt by two turnovers (none for Indy) and six penalties (only 1 for Colts).

HONORABLE MENTION:
Cleveland +6h had just traded their starting RB Trent Richardson to Indianapolis during the week and then had to travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings with their #3 QB, Brian Hoyer.  The Browns were ahead 24-17 at halftime, but Minnesota took the lead with a FG at 10:47 in the fourth quarter.  The visitors finished with a 2½ minute drive of 11 plays for 55 yards and the winning TD, leaving only 51 seconds on the clock.

Baltimore +2h beat visiting Houston, 30-9.

Detroit +1 won at Washington DC, 27-20.  The Lions had not won the previous 21 times visiting the capital city, and now the long losing streak is over.

UNCANNY LOSS OF THE WEEK:
Cincinnati +3 hosted the Packers of Green Bay and jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the Pack scored 30 unanswered points.  The Bengals came back with 2 more TD’s to trail only 30-27 in the 4th quarter.  Green Bay was grinding out yardage, eating up the clock .With under 4 minutes remaining in the game, GB faced 3rd and 4 and picked up a 1st down.  But wait….Cincy threw the red flag to challenge the spot.  The call on the field was reversed, the first down was taken away, and the Pack faced 4th and inches on Cincinnati’s 41-yard line.  A simple running play up the gut resulted in a fumble, picked up by …fumble, bumble.. the Bengals and taken 58 yards to paydirt for the final score of the game with 3:47 on the clock.  FINAL: CIN 34, GB 30.

NOT QUITE:
San Diego +3 was never behind in its game at Tennessee until the Titans scored a TD with 15 seconds remaining in the game to win 20-17, which resulted in a tie ATS.  The Titans outgained the Chargers from scrimmage, 452-277, but committed 11 penalties for 116 yards.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBS ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS

In FBS college games this week, I believe some kind of record was broken.  Only TWO underdogs won their games outright out of 44 games, or 4.5%.

In the Holy War, Utah +6h won at BYU, 17-10.

Memphis +4 handily beat visiting Arkansas State, 31-7.

NOT QUITE:

San Diego State +9h was ahead 27-14 after three quarters, but Oregon State got a Pick-6 touchdown with 2½ minutes remaining in the game to win, 34-30.

Connecticut +18 nearly beat visiting Michigan, but the Wolverines outscored the outmanned Huskies 10-0 in the 4th quarter to prevail and avoid the upset, 24-21.

“UPSETS” -- FCS (Division 1-AA) beats FBS (Division 1-A)

Georgia State, just moving into the FBS this year, lost its fourth straight game that included losses to three FCS schools.
The Panthers lost last Saturday to visiting Jacksonville State, 32-26.

Cumulatively for the first four weeks, the total FCS wins over FBS teams has now grown to FOURTEEN, including the three losses by GA State.

FCS UPSETS – “NOT QUITE”

Northern Illinois eked out a victory over Eastern Illinois in Dekalb, IL, 43-39.

I take back my previous statement that Nebraska has a better team than last year.  The ‘Huskers were tied at 14-14 with South Dakota State before taking control of the game in winning 59-20.  Something is amiss in Lincoln.  “Big” Red has a bye week to regroup this weekend.

COLLEGE GAMES AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS)

If you ever think you are a good gambler and that you can make money betting on games, call me at 1-866-URP-ATSY.  Even if you have a game figured out ahead of kickoff, that doesn’t mean you’ll win ATS.  Following are a few examples.

Wisconsin -24 was ahead only 14-10 against visiting Purdue in mid-2nd quarter, but it was all Badgers from that point.  However, UW needed an “insurance” TD in the 4th quarter to cover ATS in winning 41-10.  The Badgers outgained the Boilermakers 546-180 from scrimmage (388 yards rushing), but still could have easily not covered the spread.

Host UCLA -42 (that means the Bruins have to give six touchdowns to the other team) had to score a “meaningless” TD using 3rd and 4th team players with 4:38 remaining in the game to actually cover that huge spread by 4 points in winning 59-13 over hapless New Mexico State.  HAWKEYE in the FFHL was the beneficiary.

Texas A&M -28h is highly regarded and has last year’s Heisman Trophy winner as its QB.  Of course the Aggies dominated against the visiting SMU Mustangs, but they missed three extra points in the 2nd quarter.  No problem; A&M won 42-13 to win by 29 and cover ATS “by the hook” (1/2 point).  It’s easy to pick the favorites and win.  Good luck next week.
Footnote: TX A&M only outgained SMU from scrimmage by a margin of 581-434.

Alabama, the consensus #1 team in the country, was favored by 39 points at home against Colorado State.  The Crimson Tide was only ahead 17-6 at the end of the 3rd quarter, but ended up winning 31-6, still way short of covering ATS (missed by 14 points).

Another SEC team, host LSU -17 faced West Division opponent Auburn.  The home team Tigers were ahead 21-0 at halftime and already covering ATS.  But by the end of the game, the other Tigers (Auburn) had stayed close enough to cover ATS in their loss, 31-17.

This happens all of the time; should I keep going?  OK, I will.  The stuff above happens every week, but this next one is not normal at all.
This is the most amazing happenstance for the week, and I’m not being melodramatic on this one:

Virginia Tech -8 (favored by eight), scored the tying TD at home against Marshall with 3:08 remaining in regulation to tie the score at 21-21.  The game went to overtime.  The likely scenarios in OT are wins by 3, 6 or 7, meaning that the VA Tech Hokies were not likely to cover ATS.  But, of course, because The Fugitive’s opponent had picked the Hokies in our pool, all convention went out the window.  After two overtimes, the game was still tied at 21 since in the first two overtime periods VA Tech had missed two FG’s and Marshall had missed one FG.  In the third OT, teams can no longer kick the extra point after a TD, but are forced to go for “two”.  Sure enough, the Hokies got the ball first in the 3rd overtime and scored a TD and 2-point conversion to lead by eight.  Marshall fumbled away their opportunity to tie and the game was over.  FINAL: VA.TK 29, THUNDERING HERD 21, and it was a tie ATS.  Unbelievable!

And in case you missed the wild game of the week, a game decided by ½ point ATS, Pittsburgh -3h won at Duke, 58-55 in a non-overtime game to not cover ATS.
The Panthers scored 3 TD’s in the 4th quarter, including the last two with 5:30 and 3:43 on the clock to win the game.  Duke lost the turnover battle, 4-0.  Pitt’s QB Tom Savage threw 6 TD passes without an interception.

Don’t forget to call me if you think you are really good at picking games against the spread.  Here is a prime example:

Florida -16 was ahead 31-10 in the fourth quarter, but the Gator backups let Tennessee score a meaningless TD to win only 31-17 and not cover ATS.  The TENN Vols got the “backdoor” cover.  MOORE MONEY got lucky, but YO MAMA’s #1 pick and 1-800-OPPOSITE and FILTER KING also got burned.

I’m stopping now.  This could go on forever.  And my fellow handicappers in the FFHL probably have even better stories than the ones I just mentioned.
Reading this letter is better for you than going to your Gamblers Anonymous meeting.

COLLEGE POLLS

Once again I have to say that these polls mean very little so far.  The AP and USAToday Polls both have the exact same Top 10 and Top 25, with slightly different orders.  The largest discrepancy is the University of Washington (U-Dub), 16th in the AP and 20th in the coaches’ poll.
Oregon is getting a few more first place votes, taken away from Alabama.  In the AP, it’s Alabama 56 and the OU Ducks 4.  In the USAToday, it’s ‘Bama 59 and Oregon 3.
We’ll find out a lot more in the next few weeks, as a full slate of conference games gets started in this upcoming fifth week.

FFHL RESULTS – WEEK THREE

This week, we FFHL’ers collectively performed pretty much like monkeys again at 40-39-5 (50.6% ATS).  In college, we were 25-20-1 (55.4% ATS), and in the NFL we were 15-19-4 (44.7% ATS).
We selected only 19 underdogs out of 84 picks, and those ‘dogs were 4-12-3 ATS (28.9% ATS, and an even uglier 1-9-3 ATS in the NFL.  That should get all of us betting favorites even more heavily next week.

Our #1 and #2 picks are the worst after four weeks, each at 41.7% ATS.  Our best pick is #6, at 62.5% ATS year-to-date.
Cumulatively, we are 51.0% ATS so far this year.  We are 55.5% in college on 219 picks and only 42.7% in the NFL on 117 picks.

FFHL LOP-SIDED and CONTESTED PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS)
Listed below is a breakdown of some of our significant picks. 


                              ATS Picks
Team                      For-Against   Result / Unsolicited comments

Stanford -6 vs. AZ State    5-0     WIN, (almost) no doubt after 29-0 halftime lead
Oregon St -9h at SDSU     4-0     LOSS, Beavers lucky just to win SU, 34-30
USC -6h vs. Utah State     4-0     LOSS, “pathetic” mediocre victory, 17-14
Texas A&M -28h vs. SMU  3-0     WIN, unbelievable ½ point cover ATS, 42-13
Baylor -30 vs. UL-Monroe  3-0     WIN, blow again by Bears, 70-7
Florida -16 vs. Tennessee  3-1     LOSS, backdoor cover by Vols in loss, 31-17

GB Packers -3 at CIN                  4-0     LOSS, Bengals win outright after red flag, 34-30
NY Giants +1 at CAR                  3-0     LOSS, Gnats were annihilated at Carolina, 38-0
MIN Vikings -6h vs. CLE    3-0     LOSS, outright defeat by 3rd QB and Browns, 31-27
CHI Bears -2h at PIT                   5-1     WIN, Chicago is hot & beat Steelers easily, 40-23
SD Bolts +3 at TENN                   3-1     TIE, Titans score TD at 0:15 to win 20-17
MIA ‘Phins -2h vs. ATL      2-2     WIN, big Dolphins comeback TD at end, 27-23
NOR Saints -6h vs. AZ      2-1     WIN, New Orleans wins going away, 31-7
NE Pats -7 vs. TB Bucs     2-1     WIN, as Tampa Bay shows little in 23-3 defeat

COLLEGE
In the 4th week of college games:
                                        ATS                        Straight-up
                                        Record                   Record

FAVORITES           25-18-1  (58.0%)     42-2 (95.5%)   WOW!!!
HOME TEAMS        26-15-1  (63.1%)     28-14 (66.7%)
          AP TOP 10             3-4-0     (42.9%)     7-0     (100.0%)

COLLEGE
Cumulative percentages through three weeks:
                                        ATS                        Straight-up
                                        Record                             Record
                   
FAVORITES           77-93-3  (45.4%)     146-27 (84.4%)      
HOME TEAMS        87-74-3  (54.0%)     111-53 (67.7%)
AP TOP 10             14-12-1    (53.7%)   24-3   (88.9%)

NFL – 3rd week:
ATS                        STRAIGHT-UP
                                        Record                   Record

FAVORITES           9-6-1  (59.4%)                  10-6-0  (62.5%)      
          HOME TEAMS        10-5-1  (65.6%)       11-5-0  (68.8%)

NFL
Cumulative percentages through three weeks:

ATS                        STRAIGHT-UP
                                        Record                   Record

FAVORITES           23--23-2  (50.0%)    34-14-0  (70.8%)    
          HOME TEAMS        27-19-2  (58.3%)     32-16-0  (66.7%)


LOOKING AHEAD – selected games, not the full slate
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #4

Thursday      Iowa State +2h at Tulsa
                    Virginia Tech +7 at Georgia Tech

Friday           Utah State -10 at San Jose State (Aggies’ 4th road game in 5 weeks)
BYU -21h at Middle Tennessee

Saturday       BIG GAMES OF THE WEEK:
LSU +3 at Georgia
                    Wisconsin +7 at Ohio State
Oklahoma -3h at Notre Dame
OTHER INTERESTING GAMES:
                    Iowa -1 at Minnesota
                    Stanford -10 vs. WA State in Seattle
                    USC +6 at Arizona State
                    Tulane Green Wave +13 at Louisiana-Monroe
                    Army -2h vs. Louisiana Tech in Dallas
                    Houston -3 at Texas-San Antonio (UTSA)
                    Toledo +2h at Ball State (Rockets’ 4th road game in 5 weeks)

NFL WEEK #4 – SELECTED GAMES

BYE WEEKS: CAROLINA, GREEN BAY

Thursday      San Francisco -3 at St. Louis

Sunday         Divisional Matchups:
                    Cincinnati -4 at Cleveland           
                    Chicago +2h at Detroit
                    Indianapolis -7h at Jacksonville
                   
                    Other interesting games:
                    Pittsburgh -1 vs. Minnesota in London
                    Seattle -2h at Houston
                    New England +1 at Atlanta

Monday        Miami +6h at New Orleans

FOOTBALL MINUTIA

NFL TRADE AND INJURIES
Last Wednesday, Cleveland traded its 1st-round draft pick from 2012 (#3 overall), RB Trent Richardson (ALA), to the Indianapolis Colts for their first round pick in 2014.  Indy badly needed a power back after losing starter Vick Ballard (injury) for the year in Week #1.  Cleveland must have seen a flaw in their “franchise” running back; otherwise, this was a bad trade for the Browns and their fans.

Denver lost stellar OLT Ryan Clady for the year (joint damage in foot).  This could be a problem for the Broncos’ offense and Peyton Manning’s blind side and health.
UPDATE: No problem for Peyton.  He has now thrown 12 TD passes in the first 3 games (an all-time record), and has thrown zero interceptions.

Indianapolis lost one of their two starting TE’s, Dwayne Allen for the year (hip surgery).
UPDATE: Injuries don’t seem to be a problem for the Colts, as they dominated at San Francisco Sunday.

New Orleans lost cornerback Patrick Robinson for the year (knee).
UPDATE:  Saints were a big winner on Sunday.

Cincinnati lost DE Robert Geathers for the year (elbow).
UPDATE: Bengals are 2-1 after beating Green Bay on Sunday.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Go Angels & Mike Trout

Apryl and Jeney made this cool sign for fan appreciation day at the Big A. Hope we can get Mike Trout to sign it!

Go Angels (Mike Trout)!

the girls made this sign for the game today it looks extra cool.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

FOOTBALL NEWS AFTER WEEK #2



FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER

Hello Football Fans,


The NFL has gotten off to an exciting start. 

Unfortunately, there have been plenty of devastating injuries, which I have not mentioned in this letter.  You handicappers will have to do your own homework.

In college, this week's slate of games is a bit weak.

Enjoy,

The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL



NFL WEEK #2

For the first two weeks of NFL games, 22 of the 32 games were decided by 7 points or less (an NFL record, I’m told).  And three games in Week #2 were decided by 1 point, surprisingly a quite uncommon event (BUF 24-23, KC 17-16, and CHI 31-30).  And there were some wild finishes, with four games decided by winning touchdowns late (HOU in OT, BUF at 0:02, CHI at 0:10, and AZ at 1:59).

And more NFL records are being eclipsed because the league rules clearly favor the offense, specifically passing.  In Week #2 three QB’s threw for 400 or more yards without an interception, an NFL single-week record (GB Rodgers 480, SD Rivers 419, PHI Vick 428).  That makes five such performances for the year, and the record for a whole NFL season is only six.

Following up on last week’s oddity of three games starting off with a 2-0 score, it happened again (just once) this week.  In the SF-Seattle game on Sunday night, the Seahawks got a safety with 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter for the first score of the game when the Niners were caught holding in the end zone.  The home team dominated thereafter in a 29-3 win, and the Seattle fans -- the “12thMan”, supposedly set a new Guinness World Record for the highest decibel level at a sporting event (131.9), breaking the previous record of 131.7 set at a 2011 Turkish soccer match.  It was definitely loud, and it was evident just watching/listening on TV.  The two young QB’s Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick combined for only 8 completions and 94 yards in the first half of their Sunday night game.

Historically in the NFL, teams that start a season 0-2 have only a 12% chance of making the playoffs; still a chance, but the window of opportunity is closing.  Eight 0-2 teams are nearly desperate to get a win in Week #3: CAR, MIN, WSH, CLE, PIT, NYG, TB, and JAX.  At least two teams will be 0-3 by next Monday, because the Giants play at Carolina and Cleveland plays at Minnesota on Sunday.  And Jacksonville’s chances aren’t looking good, as the Jaguars travel across country to Seattle as a …..NINETEEN and a HALF point underdog. – wow!

TEBOWMANIA
Dateline-Jacksonville: A Facebook group called “Jags-Tebow Why Not?” organized a rally that was to be held at 3:16PM (religious reference….OMG!) on Monday outside EverBank Field, the Jaguars’ home field, and was loosely scheduled to last for 3 hours and 16 minutes.  The idea was to encourage the Jaguars’ front office to sign Tim Tebow, who is unemployed and available to any NFL team.  The “revival” attracted about a dozen people.  It was probably a poorly scheduled gathering, as the team is staying on the West Coast for the week, having played Oakland last Sunday and playing in Seattle this Sunday.

NFL ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS

In pro games this week, only 4 underdogs (including the shocker above) won their games outright out of 16 games, or 25.0%.

SHOCKER OF THE WEEK:
San Diego +7h traveled across country on six days’ rest to Philadelphia, having just blown a big lead to lose on Monday Night Football.  The Chargers were given little chance against the new up-tempo Eagle offense.  But the Bolts never trailed until Philly scored a TD with 7 minutes remaining in regulation to take the lead 27-23.  The Chargers responded with a TD, the Eagles kicked a FG to tie inside of 2 minutes, and then San Diego finished off the upset with the winning 46-yard FG with 7 seconds left.
FINAL: SD 33, PHI 30.

Miami+2h won at Indianapolis, 24-20, as the Dolphins scored the winning TD with 4:40 remaining in the 4th quarter.  Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill actually had a better game statistically than did Colts’ QB Andrew Luck.  The ‘Phins had zero penalties, and improved to 2-0.

Buffalo+2h beat visiting Carolina, 24-23.  With only 1:39 remaining in the game and behind by six, rookie QB EJ Manuel engineered a 9-play, 80 yard drive and threw the winning TD pass with 0:02 on the clock to tie the score.  The extra point kick was good, and the Bills won by 1 point and covered ATS.  The Panthers lost five players in their secondary due to injury during the game.  Safety Charles Godfrey is out for the year with a torn Achilles tendon.

Arizona+1h beat visiting Detroit, 25-21.  The Cardinals were behind 21-13 midway through the 3rd quarter, but kicked two FG’s and then scored the winning TD with 1:59 remaining in the game on a 1-yard run after a pass interference penalty.
FINAL: AZ 25, DET 21.

NOT QUITE:

Tennessee +9h scored two fourth-quarter TD’s in a 2-minute span including a Pick-6 to take the lead, 24-16, but host Houston responded with its own TD and 2-point conversion to tie it up with 1:56 remaining in regulation.  With 57 seconds remaining, the Texans had gotten the ball back and lined up for the go-ahead FG.  The kick is up…it’s good; but wait, the Titans had called time out just before the snap in an attempt to “freeze” the kicker.  Re-snap, the kick is …. BLOCKED; but wait, the guy who blocked the kick was offsides.  Re-snap, the kick is up… it’s no good; but wait, the Titans had again called timeout to shake up the kicker, so Houston got a fourth chance.  Re-snap, the kick is up …. BOINK, off the left upright and no good, and the game was still tied at the end of regulation.
FINAL: HOU 30, TEN 24, as the Texans scored a TD in overtime to win (but not cover ATS).

Minnesota+6 had trouble getting into the end zone, settling for three unanswered 2nd-half field goals from 28, 28, and 22 to lead 30-24.  But host Chicago finished the game with a 10-play, 66-yard drive for a TD with 0:10 on the clock.
FINAL: CHI 31, MIN 30.

COLLEGE - THIRD WEEK

The big game last Saturday had AP#1 Alabama (-7h) traveling to AP#6 Texas A&M.  The host Aggies jumped out to a 14-0 lead early, after which the Crimson Tide scored 35 unanswered points by the early 3rd quarter and the visitors were still ahead 42-21 going into the 4th quarter.  A&M fought back with 2 TD’s, but ‘Bama responded with a TD at 2:28 remaining in regulation to lead by two touchdowns, 49-35.  A&M launched one last TD drive ending with only 15 seconds left.  FINAL: ALA 49, TXAM 42; and, you will notice that the underdog Aggies covered ATS by ½ point, even though they lost the game straight up (SU).

SHOCKER OF THE WEEK
Michigan was favored by 37 points at home against lowly Akron (with HC Terry Bowden in his 2nd year there).  The Zips had several shots at the end zone to win the game late from inside the Wolverine’s 10 yard line.  A fourth-down pass fell incomplete, but it was too close for Big House fans.  FINAL: MICH 28, AKRON 24, a “near miss” that would have rivaled the Wolverines’ loss to FCS Appalachian State not that long ago.

FBS ACTION – UNDERDOG WINNERS

In FBS college games this week, 11 underdogs won their games outright out of 45 games, or 24.4%, including the shocker mentioned above.

On Thursday night, TexasTech (+3) beat visiting TCU 20-10, and Tulane (+7) won at Louisiana Tech, 24-15.

AP#16 UCLA (+4) won big at AP#23 Nebraska, 41-21.  The Cornhuskers led 21-3, after which the Bruins scored 38 unanswered points including 28 points in the 3rdquarter.

Visiting AP#25 Mississippi (+3) handily beat downtrodden Texas, 44-23.  The Longhorns suffered their 2ndugly loss in consecutive weeks (at BYU 40-21 last week), albeit with their #1 QB David Ash out for the week.  The UT fans are restless, similar to what was going on in Los Angeles last week with the USC Trojan fans.

Central Florida (+5h) won at Penn State, 34-31.

OregonState (+3) won at Utah in overtime, 51-48.

OhioU. (+8) beat visiting Marshall, 34-31.

Louisiana-Monroe (+3) won at Wake Forest, 21-19.

South Alabama (+9h) beat visiting Western Kentucky and HC Bobby Petrino, 31-24.

North Texas (+3h) beat visiting Ball State, 34-27.

FloridaAtlantic (+13) won 28-10 at South Florida, and the Bulls are a pathetic AAC (formerly known as the Big East) team so far.

NOT QUITE:

Wisconsin +5 traveled to Arizona State to face their PAC-12 opponent and a PAC-12 officiating crew.
The Sun Devils struggled with miscues and missed opportunities most of the game, but nevertheless went ahead 32-24 after scoring on a 1-yard TD run at the end of the 3rd quarter.  Wisconsin answered with a scoring drive of its own and scored a TD with 3:23 on the clock that pulled the Badgers within 32-30, but the 2-point conversion failed.
After an Arizona State drive stalled, Wisconsin took over at its 17-yard line with 1:36 left. The Badgers moved quickly down the field, thanks to a 51-yard completion and had the ball at Arizona State's 13 with 18 seconds remaining.
With the ball on the right hash mark, Wisconsin QB Joel Stave took a snap and ran left toward the center of the field to set up the potential game-winning field goal. Stave started to kneel, but ran into one of his offensive linemen and awkwardly placed the ball on the ground before quickly bouncing back up.
Players from both teams stood around for a few seconds in confusion and Arizona State's players tried to dive on the ball, but the officials pointed to the ground, appearing to say it was a dead ball.
Realizing the clock was still running, Wisconsin's players scrambled back to the line of scrimmage with about 2 seconds left. They weren't able to get a last snap off before the clock went off, sending Arizona State's players streaming off the field in joy.
Stave and the rest of Wisconsin's players and coaches tried to argue the call, but the officials trotted off the field, leaving the Badgers stunned.
FINAL: ASU 32, WISC 30 (only consolation is that Badgers covered ATS).

“UPSETS” -- FCS (Division 1-AA) beats FBS (Division 1-A)

And the FCS upsets continue into the third week of the season.
FBS Florida International lost badly at home to FCS#23 Bethune-Cookman, 34-13.
FBS Temple lost at home to FCS Fordham, 30-29.
Cumulatively for the first three weeks, the total FCS wins over FBS teams has now grown to THIRTEEN.

FCS UPSET – “NOT QUITE”

FBS Buffalo barely beat FCS#13 Stony Brook at home, 26-23, in overtime.

COLLEGE POLLS

The Associated Press (AP) and USAToday (coaches) polls are nearly identical again.
The Top 10 and the Top 23 teams are the same, with a slightly different order.  The biggest discrepancy is the University of Washington, AP#17 and #20 in the USAToday poll.
Alabama is still #1 in both polls, with 59 of 60 first place votes in the AP and 61 of 62 votes from the coaches (Oregon gets the one other first place vote in each poll).
It’s still too early to focus on these “meaningless” polls in the last year of the BCS system.

In one last glimpse at the FCS until the end of the season, following is the current Top 10:

#1 ND State               Unanimous #1 (26 first place votes)  Beat Kansas State in opener
#2 Eastern WA           beat Oregon State, lost to FBS Toledo; plays #4 SH State on 9/28
#3 Montana St.           lost by 1 point to SMU
#4 Sam Houston St.    lost big to Texas A&M; two blowout FCS wins
#5 Central ARK          lost to Colorado
#6 Towson                beat FBS UConn, plus 2 blowout FCS wins; was preseason #12
#7 SD State               3 FCS wins
#8 New Hampshire     lost by 3 to Central Michigan
#9 Northern Iowa       beat Iowa State 28-20; was #16 in preseason poll
#10 Cal Poly               lost to FBS Fresno by 16 and FBS Colorado State by 17     


FFHL RESULTS – WEEK TWO

This week, we FFHL’ers performed pretty much like monkeys at 40-38-6 (51.2% ATS).  In college, we were 20-20-6 (50.0% ATS), and in the NFL we were 20-18 (52.6% ATS).
We selected only 15 underdogs out of 84 picks, and those ‘dogs were 10-5-0 ATS (7-2 ATS college), or 66.7% ATS.  That means we performed below average on our “favorites” picks at 30-33-6 ATS (47.8%). 

Our #1 picks and #2 picks are the worst after three weeks at 37.5% and 41.7% ATS, respectively.  Our best picks are #4 and #6, both at 63.9% year-to-date.
Cumulatively, we are 51.2% ATS so far this year after three weeks and 252 picks (Weeks Zero, One, and Two).  We are 55.5% in college on 173 picks and only 41.8% in the NFL on 79 picks.


FFHL LOP-SIDED and CONTESTED PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS)
Listed below is a breakdown of some of our significant picks. 


                                    ATS Picks
Team                           For-Against    Result / Unsolicited comments

OAK Raiders -5h vs. JAX      5-0       WIN, Jags lose RB and game, 19-9
NOR Saints -3h at TB            4-1       LOSS, New Orleans wins by only 2, 16-14
BAL Ravens -6h vs. CLE       4-0       WIN, Baltimore wins 14-6 to cover by 1½
DEN Broncos -4h at NYG     3-1       WIN, Denver blowout 41-23 over Gnats
SEA Seahawks -2h vs. SF     2-1       WIN, Seattle “D” dominates in 29-3 win
KC Chiefs -3 vs. DAL           2-1       LOSS, Kansas City wins only 17-16

Louisville -14 at Kentucky     4-0       TIE, Cardinals win only 27-13
Oregon -28 vs. Tennessee     3-0       WIN, blowout of SEC Vols, 59-13
Alabama -7h at Texas A&M   3-0       LOSS, Tide wins only 49-42 to miss by hook
Michigan -37 vs. Akron         3-0       LOSS, ugly ‘Gander win only 28-24
UCLA +4 at Nebraska           3-1       WIN, Bruins start slow, finish strong, 41-21 win
Penn State -5h vs. UCF         2-1       LOSS, Central FL wins outright, 34-31

COLLEGE
In the 3rd week of college games:
                                                ATS                             Straight-up
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES                              15-28-2  (35.6%)        34-11 (75.6%)

Big favorites did not fare well last weekend
HOME TEAMS                         18-24-2  (43.2%)        26-18 (59.1%)

            AP TOP 10                     4-3-1     (56.2%)         7-1     (87.5%)

COLLEGE
Cumulative percentages through three weeks:
                                                ATS                             Straight-up
                                                Record                        Record
                       
FAVORITES               52-75-2  (41.1%)        104-25 (80.6%)         
HOME TEAMS           61-59-2  (50.8%)         83-39 (68.0%)
AP TOP 10                  11-8-1    (57.5%)        17-3   (85.0%)

NFL – 2nd week:
ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

            FAVORITES               7-9-0  (43.8%)                12-4-0  (75.0%) 
         
            HOME TEAMS          9-7-0  (56.2%)                 12-4-0  (75.0%)




NFL
Cumulative percentages through two weeks:
ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

          FAVORITES               14--17-1  (45.3%)        24-8-0  (75.0%) 
        
            HOME TEAMS          17-14-1  (54.7%)        21-11-0  (65.6%)

LOOKING AHEAD – selected games, not the full slate
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #3

Thursday         Clemson -13h at North Carolina State

Friday             Boise State +3 at Fresno State

Saturday          Utah +7 at BYU in the “Holy War”
                        Rice +2h vs. Houston at neutral site Reliant Stadium (NFL HOU Texans)
                        Michigan State +7 at Notre Dame
                        Colorado State +40 at Alabama (Go Rams!)
                        Auburn +17h at LSU
                        Texas-San Antonio +1 at UTEP
                        Utah State +6h at USC
                        North Carolina +5h at Georgia Tech
                        Purdue +24h at Wisconsin
                        Tennessee +17h at Florida    

NFL WEEK #3 – SELECTED GAMES

Thursday        Kansas City (+3h) at Philadelphia

Sunday            Divisional Matchups:
Buffalo +2h at NY Jets
                       
                        Other interesting games:
                        Houston -2h at Baltimore
                        Atlanta +1h at Miami             Falcons have some key injuries

Monday          Oakland +14h at Denver

FOOTBALL GAMBLING

Several years ago, the State of Delaware failed to get sports gambling legalized in the state.  Now New Jersey has suffered the same fate, although a limited panel of judges ruled 2-1.  The next step is a rehearing by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit with a full panel of judges.  If unsuccessful there, the State could potentially apply for the US Supreme Court to hear the case.

QUIZ QUESTION

QUESTION #1:  CBS announced that the Alabama-Texas A&M game on Saturday afternoon earned the highest ratings for a regular season college football game in 23 years (on CBS), hitting an overnight household rating of 9.0 (whatever that means).  What game in 1990 had the previous high rating for an afternoon regular-season college football game for CBS?



ANSWER #1:
Miami of Florida vs. Notre Dame earned a 10.1 rating on October 20, 1990.
It was a “Convicts vs. the Catholics” game in Notre Dame Stadium, the last game in their 23-year series dating back to 1955.  Miami coach Dennis Erickson stated, “It’s a travesty that we're not playing anymore.”
The Irish won 29-20 to end the national championship hopes of the Hurricanes, as Rocket Ismail returned a kickoff for a TD, Craig Hentrick kicked 5 field goals, and Rick Mirer threw a TD pass for HC Lou Holtz and Notre Dame.