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Conference commissioners set to decide sites for inaugural four-team playoff
2013-04-22

The conference commissioners in charge of putting together the four-team playoff system that will start after the 2014 regular season will meet starting Tuesday in Pasadena, Calif.
At the top of their agenda: Pick three more bowls to be used in the semifinal rotation and decide on a site for the first national championship game.

It will be another big step, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said recently.

True, though all signs point toward these big steps being foregone conclusions. The Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls are the overwhelming favorites to be chosen for the playoff rotation, and have been for a while. So much so that only one other bowl the Holiday Bowl in San Diego even put in a bid to be part of the system that will replace the Bowl Championship Series.

I was a little surprised we didnt get more, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.

Hancock said there was plenty of interest even though it didnt result in bids.

I talked to 10 or 12 bowls about it, he said. I think for various reasons people decided, many of the bowls decided, theyd rather go in a different direction. Some wanted to stick with their conference contracts, others couldnt meet specs for 55,000 seat stadiums.

Were not disappointed with the numbers. We have good options and there are terrific stadiums.

Bowlsby conceded the appearance of three bowls having the inside track to the playoff rotation might have deterred others from bidding.

Even Holiday Bowl organizers acknowledge they are a big underdog.

We know its a tough competition, Holiday Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski said. But we felt it was incumbent upon us to make a bid.

Its tough to beat out the incumbents.

As for the site of the first national championship game, which will be played Jan. 12, 2015, the front-runner is Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of not only the Dallas Cowboys but the Cotton Bowl.
Its not quite a done deal.Tampa, Fla., also put in a bid that is being considered. But itll be hard to pass up playing the first national title game of the playoff era in the Dallas Cowboys state-of-the-art football palace.
The new postseason system will also get a name this week.
It will be simple, Hancock said. It will not be cutesy. And it will be descriptive. Ive seen too many people make mistakes by trying to be cutesy.
Also on the agenda will be the selection committee that will pick the final four. The commissioners want a panel similar to the one that picks the field for the NCAA basketball tournament, composed of athletic directors and conference commissioners.
That wont be finished this week, but Hancock hopes when the commissioners leave southern California, the selection committee will be the only major part of the new postseason plan still hanging.
I know the commissioners are very interested in moving the needle on it, he said. Im sure it will get a fair amount of discussion.




2015 Kentucky Derby Odds
2015-04-15

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March Madness Bracket
2015-02-15

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NCAA Football Awards Preview for 2010 Season
2010-08-17

Here are some more of the highly sought after college football awards and a preview of who the top candidates for each award are. Staying ahead of the game in the awards is important for every college football bettor.


Mackey Award (Top Tight End)- Heading into the season, there are many candidates capable of having breakout years and winning the award, including DJ Williams, Ben Guidugli, and Wesley Saunders. However, my two frontrunners are Kyle Rudolph and George Bryan, who both had very impressive seasons as sophomores last year. Rudolph was part of the high-octane offense at Notre Dame that included Golden Tate, Jimmy Clausen and, Michael Floyd. Although his 33 catches, 364 yards, and three touchdowns look rather pedestrian, he was usually the third offensive option. He has a tremendous combination of size and speed and with Tate now gone, he has the potential to vastly increase his numbers. Bryan has excellent size at 6’6” and 270 pounds and posted numbers superior to those of Rudolph. He has a nose for the end zone, scoring six touchdowns to go along with 40 receptions and 422 yards.


Thorpe Award (Best Defensive Back)- There will be a litany of playmaking defensive backs in college football this year, led by UCLA safety Rahim Moore, a reigning first team All-American whose ten interceptions led all of college football last season. DeAndre McDaniel of Clemson also has an amazing nose for the ball, as is evidenced by his eight interceptions last season. The list goes on and includes Mark Barron’s seven interceptions and Tyler Sash and his six picks. The one guy who should contend for this award but doesn’t have the interception totals of the others is Patrick Peterson. At 6’1” and 211 pounds with excellent ball skills and speed, Peterson is the epitome of a shutdown cornerback. His relatively low total of interceptions isn’t the mark of poor playmaking ability but rather an unwillingness of other teams to throw in his direction. Except for Sash, all the others play safety and have more opportunity to make their interceptions. This will be an intriguing race and the result should reflect just how much of a premium the voters place on interception totals.


Doak Walker Award (Running Back)- As the returning Heisman Trophy winner, one might expect Mark Ingram to run away with this award. However, that won’t be even remotely close to the case. It could be argued that he’s not even the overall favorite to win. Ingram’s backup, Trent Richardson, is an outstanding player who will garner more carries and perhaps cut into Ingram’s touches a little bit. Although 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns on 271 carries is excellent by any standards, Ingram largely won the Heisman as a result of being the best player on the best team in college football. Nevertheless, Ingram is a unique talent and will undoubtedly be in the running. The list of challengers is lengthy and includes Jacquizz Rodgers, LaMichael James, Evan Royster, Ryan Williams, Dion Lewis, and Noel Devine; I think the two headliners from that cluster are Rodgers and Lewis. Although Rodgers is small, he is tough and very skilled in the red zone, scoring 21 touchdowns on the ground last season with 1,440 rushing yards. Perhaps what sets him apart is his versatility and skills as a receiver. He caught an astounding 78 passes last season, a number that would lead almost any team in college football. If Jacquizz and his brother James were able to win their respective position awards in the same year, it would be the first time that two brothers accomplished that feat. Dion Lewis is a formidable roadblock for the Rodgers’ chances, though. He absolutely dazzled as a true freshman last year, rushing for 1799 yards and 17 touchdowns. He only got better as the season went on and there’s no telling how good he could be as a sophomore. The wild-card candidate may be Noel Devine, regarded by many as the most explosive and perhaps fastest of any player in college football. He is a threat to break a long run any time he touches the ball and has a definite “wow” factor. He rushed for 1,465 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, and averaged 6.1 yards a carry, the same as Ingram. If he has a few more highlight-reel runs this year, he may stamp himself as a contender in the eyes of voters.  


Mark Ingram is the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy this coming season at www.sportsbook.com with a +350 line. Bet on the next Heisman and more Sportsbook.com where everybody bets.





CFB: Fiesta Bowl - BOISE STATE vs. TCU (8:10 PM ET, FOX)
2010-01-04

Two of this year’s bowl games were rematches of a year ago. For Boise State and TCU, the stakes are much higher this time, as the teams step up from the Poinsettia to Fiesta Bowl. Strangely there’s no Goliath in this battle of two “David’s,” with both teams having crashed the BCS party by going unbeaten. Of course, with pointspreads in play, one team has to play the role of favorite, and that is TCU (-8). That line seems to have done its job, as according to the Sportsbook.com Betting Trends page, action was split down the middle at last check.

The Horned Frogs were dominant on both sides of the ball, and boast the country’s No. 2-ranked defense in yards per play. Boise State did its best work on offense, scoring 44.2 points per game, ranking No. 1 nationally. In terms of bowl success, it’s all TCU, which owns a 5-1 SU and ATS record in its L6. The Broncos are 1-4 SU and 3-2 ATS in their L5.

Many of us would like to have seen these non-automatic qualifying teams compete against BCS conference teams, especially since the two met just one year ago with TCU defeating Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl, 17-16. Regardless, the Fiesta Bowl still presents an interesting matchup. The Horned Frogs have a dominating defense, allowing just 12.4 points and 233 yards per game. TCU can also put points on the board, winning by 36.6 points per game and going 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS down the stretch. Nobody has been better on the offensive end this season than the Broncos, however, who average a nation-best 44.2 points per game. Sixty-eight percent of the public is backing Boise State as of press time. I’ll call for a dominant TCU victory as defense wins out. TCU 41, Boise State 24.

Top FoxSheets.com ATS Trend
TCU is 15-6 ATS (+8.4 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons. The average score was TCU 37.0, OPPONENT 10.6 - (Rating = 1*)

Top FoxSheets.com Total Super Situation
Play Under - Any team against the total (BOISE ST) - in a game involving two good rushing teams - both outrushing opponents by 50+ YPG, in a non-conference game between two teams from second tier division 1-A conferences. (28-6 since 1992.) (82.4%, +21.4 units. Rating = 3*)

FIESTA BOWL Series Trend: Five different conferences boast Fiesta Bowl victories over the last five seasons, not a surprising trend considering underdogs are on a 6-2 ATS run in the series. In past Fiesta Bowl games with pointspreads of 5.5-points or more, the underdog has covered seven of nine. This year’s line shows TCU -6.5. In regards to totals, where the posted number closes is a strong indicator of the result, as in games with posted numbers of 5 or higher, the UNDER is 6-2, in games below 51, the OVER is 7-2.


CFB: Chick-Fil-A Bowl - Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee (7:30E ESPN)
2009-12-31

The highlight game on the day's schedule is the Chick-Fil-A bowl matchup between Virginia Tech and Tennessee. This bowl game is known for ringing in the New Year, and for the last four years, it has been done with upsets by the SEC team. Can the Volunteers make it five in a row as 5.5-point underdogs, or will the Hokies put the win back in the ledger of the ACC? According to 92% of bettors at Sportsbook.com, Tennessee has a good chance of winning against the spread and on the money line.

The Volunteers and Hokies will send off 2009 in the last college football game of the calendar year. Virginia Tech (7-5 ATS) is favored after finishing 9-3, winning its last four games both SU and ATS, conceding just 8.8 PPG. The Hokies haven't been the best bowl team of late, going just 3-5 SU and ATS since 2001. Tennessee (7-5 SU & ATS) shares that same bowl record in its eight games and has gone Under the total in five straight bowl battles, including twice in the old Peach Bowl. The Vols are looking to extend a streak of four straight upset wins by SEC teams in this bowl series.

Why watch and wager - For each of these teams, the goal is the same it's just the method in which they get there is the difference. New coach Lane Kiffin was able to harness Jonathan Crompton from a mistake-prone quarterback into one that make better decisions and cut down interceptions. This was helped by Montario Hardesty who used his senior season to blossom and Crompton had deception on his side with a running game. In spite of alarming defensive injuries, the Vols held together under DC Monte Kiffin and are is 20-8 ATS away from Knoxville playing a team with 75 percent or better win percentage. This is important game for the stature of the ACC and Virginia Tech. The conference has started 1-3 SU as a bowler and Virginia Tech is in search of fifth straight 10-win season. Did you know Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams actually gained more yards rushing and had more touchdowns the Heisman winner Mark Ingram? Neither did anyone else and if he can break the century mark against the Vols, the Hokies should be good. The biggest concern Frank Beamer is lack if pass rush, exposing mediocre secondary. The Hokies are 32-14 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points.

The StatFox Power Line shows Virginia Tech by 6. Expect a good game either way.


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