While we wade through the desolate lands of summer, pushing towards the college football season, there are a handful of oases on the horizon.
One of them just dropped from Covers.com; the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas just released some intriguing college football lines.
The favorites are out and in looking at things, Notre Dame fans should be mighty excited entering 2012.
-13.5 vs. Navy (at Ireland)
-9.5 vs. Miami (at Chicago)
-5 vs. Stanford
+3 at Michigan State
-1 vs. Michigan
-12 at Boston College
-9 vs. BYU
+11 at Oklahoma
-12.5 vs. Pitt
+13 at USC
That's the skinny on the Fighting Irish from the mouths of folks holding the purse strings in Vegas.
The Irish are favored in all but three games, including over the Wolverines who won the Sugar Bowl and are gunning for a Big Ten title this year.
Sure, the double digit numbers of the Oklahoma and USC contests are alarming, but if Notre Dame can pull off the minor upset in East Lansing, then on paper they can get to 10-2 and a sure BCS Bowl birth.
Obviously, the numbers will change from week to week as injuries, performance and matchups come to fruition, but this is an early positive sign for the Fighting Irish. Getting Michigan at home should make for another great contest following last year's heartbreaking loss.
Brian Kelly is working to build this program back to greatness. If the numbers are any indication, he's on the right track.