Going into the first weekend of the college football season and there are a lot of dogs to consider. Mostly, because there are a lot of unproven talent out there, live dogs are the most prevalent. With some big numbers to cover, a closer look at some of the underdogs would be a wise thing for college football handicappers. Here is a breakdown of some of the games this week:
TCU (-13 vs. Oregon State): It’s either Texas Christian or Boise State as the prime teams to bust the BCS conference’s lock on the title game. TCU, which faces Oregon State, has a good running game with Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker and the offensive line should be solid. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 2,756 yards and 23 touchdowns last season to lead the offense. The defense should be good enough to keep Oregon State at bay
It’s very important this season to show that we deserve to be here,” TCU receiver Curtis Clay said in a published report. “We were always trying to prove everyone wrong, and now I think our goal is to prove everyone right.”
Colorado State (+12 vs. Colorado): This is a classic rivalry game where the underdog has dominated. Colorado State a double-digit underdog to Colorado last year outright won the game. The underdog is 10-3 ATS, while the road team is on a 5-1 tear.
Purdue (+11 at Notre Dame): The Irish should be improved, but double-digit favorites? Buyer beware here. Notre Dame rallied last year for a late score and the victory.
Marshall (+28 at Ohio State): Ohio State is a solid favorite to win the Big Ten, but the Buckeyes are still offensively challenged at times. And Ohio State does not tend to blow out opponents. Marshall would not have to post many points to cover the 28-point spread.
Michigan (-3 vs. Connecticut): The Wolverines continue to struggle under Coach Rich Rodriguez and Connecticut – 7-0 ATS in its last seven road games — comes in with ideas of an upset. Giving points with Michigan — which is 0-5 ATS in its last five games — until it shows it has turned things around, is a tricky experience.
Oregon (-34 vs. New Mexico): The Ducks are 15-1 in home openers and 15-7 in their last 22 September games. Normally, they would be a lock to steamroll an overmanned New Mexico team. But it was not a fun off-season for the Ducks, losing their quarterback to suspension. And their top running back is also suspended for the opener. We are talking about a team that can be totally distracted. It’s only a rumor that they will be using their police mug shots in the media guides.
Hawaii (+21 vs. Southern Cal): The Warriors have not been the same since Coach June Jones left and the slide continues this season. They are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games against Pac 10 teams. Hawaii faces a USC team looking to bounce back.
“This is not a vacation,” Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said in a published report. “This is not a pleasure trip. We haven’t won one game, so we don’t deserve the right to go on vacation”
San Jose State (+37 1/2 at Alabama): Actually, this is a combination of an alpaha dog playing a sick puppy. It’s not going to be pretty. The Spartans are 0-8 ATS in their last eight road games and 0-5 ATS in their last five games on grass. No.1 Alabama, even without running back Mark Ingram, will be pouring it on San Jose State. The question will be when will Alabama stop scoring?
DOG FIGHT OF THE WEEK
The dogfight of the week will come down Monday night when No. 3 Boise State travels to Washington, D.C., to face No. 10 Virginia Tech. It’s only Labor Day, but one of these teams’ season is going to take a serious hit. Boise State, which stunned Oregon early last season, will not be sneaking up on any opponents this season.
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