It's hard to believe we are 15 weeks into the college football season and nothing has been decided as far as most of the bowls and even the national title picture.
While we don't have anything like a full schedule of games, we have some nice quality and some real meaningful ones that should keep everyone glued to their TV sets. I'll be in Las Vegas during the latter part of the week for the Manny Pacquiao-Oscar De La Hoya fight but as has been the case in the past, things here should go pretty smoothly (fingers crossed).
Because of the limited schedule and because of the time or lack of that I'll be able to spend on things this week I am at least planning on not having the picking contest this week and just having our big season ending contest for the bowls. While I may change my mind, that is where I stand right now though the free newsletter will go out as normal and if anything may go out a little early this week.
With the games being limited we can expect even more line movement than usual as people tend to play heavier on the limited action instead of being able to spread things out across many games, I think we have seen this all season long with the mid week games as 3- and 4-point moves have been common, sometimes making a one time underdog a favorite. In any event, I will probably list all of the opening lines for the bowls and that will be it for the season as far as these opening lines articles go.
While I never consider these my best work, they are usually some of my most read articles of the week. It just goes to show some of those all star "think out every word" type of writers that sometimes people just want actual information, even if it isn't breaking news. I'm glad everyone has found this series useful and I plan on continuing it next season and moving it into other sports as well as the network we are working on starts to spread its branches.
In any event, let's look at what Vegas says is going to happen this week:
On Tuesday, Middle Tennessee State is +4 at Louisiana Lafayette. This is the type of game that leaves people mystified as to how anyone can know anything about these teams. Those who visit my site regularly know that we have a very well educated group of fans and we all know these teams as well as anyone, this should be a decent game, better than some of that lower tier MAC stuff we have been seeing on Tuesdays.
On Thursday, Louisville is +11 at Rutgers. I am starting to wonder how long of a leash they are going to give Steve Kragthorpe at the 'Ville, especially after they were getting used to winning. Greg Schiano has done a nice job getting Rutgers on track as the season was setting up to be a disaster early on.
On Friday, Buffalo is +14 1/2 against Ball State in the MAC Title game held in Detroit. Ball State looks to close out the deal on their perfect regular season while Buffalo continues to try and earn respect. These are two good teams and this should be a fun one to watch.
On Saturday, Army is +11 against Navy. While many of these players will never play football again, the rivalry that is this series is as big as the game itself and it also might be the most competitive contest between these two in years.
Pittsburgh is +2 1/2 at Connecticut. Pittsburgh is coming off of a big win as an underdog against West Virginia while UConn is coming off of a tough loss on the road at South Florida. Both of these teams need this one to improve their bowl standings and the odds makers didn't seem to underestimate the importance of it.
South Florida is +7 at West Virginia. Last week put an exclamation point as to how disappointing of a season this has been for them as they lost against to Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl in a game they led much of the way. It should be interesting to see which West Virginia Team shows up for Senior Day as Pat White celebrates his last game in Morgantown.
Washington is +33 1/2 at Cal. Washington has yet to name a successor to Ty Willingham as Ty coaches his last game for the Huskies. As we all saw last time out that a bad season got worse in Washington as they lost to Washington State in the Apple Cup.
USC is -30 at UCLA. When we look at the 1 loss teams the Trojans have been the odd man out all season long even though their 1 loss came early and came on the road. This game means a lot to both teams as it still is one of the defining games in college football.
Arizona State is +10 1/2 at Arizona. Neither of these teams are very good and while Arizona has had a better year they haven't been able to step it up and get wins in games against tough opponents. While ASU isn't considered a tough opponent, rivalry games are always tough games.
Cincinnati is -7 1/2 at Hawaii. I am thinking when Cincinnati scheduled this game they thought the trip would be the highlight of their season, little did they know they would be headed to a BCS bowl game, that's how far the Bearcats have come.
Arkansas State is +11 at Troy. I was all aboard the Troy bandwagon earlier this year until the injuries took over, maybe it's time I get back on.
Western Kentucky is +7 at Florida International. FIU has had a string season considering they have won more games than in their entire existence. WKU has still yet to beat a D-1 team this season and has only beaten 1 in their entire history.
See the rest of the Week 15 opening lines and point spreads.