But first - a moment of silence for the passing of Bubba Smith. Bubba was arguably the greatest DE to play college ball and was selected to Sports Illustrated All-Century team. And no - he is not best known for being Hightower in the Police Academy movies - he is best known for being a two time All American and for being the first overall selection on the 1967 draft (also the first combined draft between the AFL and NFL). He went on to be a two time All-Pro - winning a Super Bowl ring with the Colts in Super Bowl V over Dallas.
And if you want to win a bar bet ask which college team had the best draft ever. Answer - Michigan State which had four of the first 8 draft choices in 1967 - starting with Bubba (#1 - Rams), Clint Jones RB (#2 - Minnesota), George Webster LB (#5 - Houston) and Gene Washington WR (#8 - also Minnesota)
With the season quickly approaching - I have updated the NCAA Div 1A and NFL Bettors Guides for the latest lines (the lines are now out for College Football week 1) and the Sagarin ratings for College. Click here to go to the latest spreadsheets - Handy Dandy Bettors Guide
With the BCS system looking like it will be with us for awhile - teams repositioned themselves into different conferences to better their chances into the Big Show.
The Big 12 took the biggest hit when Nebraska bailed for the Big 10 and Colorado headed west into the Pac 10 (now Pac 12). With the move the Big 10 now has 12 members and the Big 12 has 10 - go figure.
The former Pac 10 also added Utah this year from the Mountain West. The Mountain West then went out and got Boise State setting up an annual big matchup up against TCU. That is until TCU decided to bolt for the Big East in 2012
And, in a move to save the collective eyeballs of the nation - the MWC commissioners decided that BSU could only join if they were forbidden to wear all blue on the smurf turf - citing that it was a competitive advantage for the Broncos. Thanks goodness - those were tough games to watch.
When Utah left the Mountain West - BYU figured to get out while the gettin' was good - deciding to go as an independent and forming their own TV network in the process. Guess they figure there is a huge untapped Mormon market just waiting on some Cougar football.
After much brow beating by Ellis I decided to withdraw last weeks prediction taking the under on North Carolina's win total. Their schedule is fairly easy (including avoiding Fla State) and they return some good athletes. Despite his bribe of some Red Breast Whiskey (the Doofus happily accepts all bribes) - he was unable to convince me to take the over on 8 wins. I'll just pass.
I'll replace that under with Miami under 8. Chad Henne gets worse each year at QB (he also is in the bottom 5 for Wonderlic scores for starting NFL QBs - can you say Kinesiology) and Kyle Orton is looking less and less likely to come over from the Broncos. Reggie Bush is a nice add but is not an every down back. Figure they go 2-4 in the AFC East that leaves the Fins with only 5 losses to get the under. 5 more losses looks likely in schedule which is features the Giants, Chiefs, Eagles, Chargers, Cowboys, Texans and Raiders.
That leaves my over/unders for the year with Michigan State over 7.5, Utah over 7.5, Detroit over 7.5, Philadelphia over 10.5 (up from 10 but I'll stay with it), Seattle under 7, Cincinnati under 7.5, Carolina under 4.5 and Miami under 8.
Oklahoma, rated preseason #1, took a major hit when Big 12 preseason Defensive POY LB Travis Lewis broke a bone is his foot and will be out 8 weeks (including games against Tulsa, FSU and Mizzou). LB was an already a thin spot for the Sooners when 5th year Senior LB Austin Box died unexpectedly back in May.
Some sad news out of LSU as Steve Kragthrope stepped down as Offensive Coordinator having been recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He will remain in the booth as QB coach. Kragthorpe turned a dismal Tulsa program into an offensive dynamo winning the CUSA in 2005. In 2007, he left Tulsa to take over as HC at Louisville where he bombed and was fired in 2009. He then accepted a position as WR coach at Texas A&M only to step down to spend time with his wife - who required heart surgery which prevented her from taking her medicine for Multiple Sclerosis. Remember Steve when you think you had a lousy day.
Stepping up from OL coach to OC for LSU is Greg Studrawa. Greg had a great run as OC for Bowling Green from 2003 to 2006. In 2003, BGSU was third in the nation in overall offense rising to number 2 overall in 2004.
Speaking of coaches - there are also a ton of new head coaches this year. I gave my opinions on most of the moves (insert 'roid joke here) in Weeks 14-18 of the Mega Bets but to recap:
Old Head Coach New Head Coach Former Position
Arkansas State Steve Roberts Hugh Freeze OC Arkansas State
Ball State Stan Parish Pete Lembo Head Coach Elon
Colorado Dan Hawkins Jon Embree Tight Ends Washington Redskins
Connecticut Randy Edsall Paul Pasqualoni Defensive Line Dallas Cowboys
Florida Urban Meyer Will Muschamp DC Texas
Indiana Bill Lynch Kevin Wilson OC Oklahoma
Kent State Doug Martin Darrell Hazell Wide Receivers Ohio State
Louisiana Rickey Bustle Mark Hudspeth Wide Receivers Miss State
Maryland Ralph Friedgen Randy Edsall Head Coach UConn
Miami (Fla.) Randy Shannon Al Golden Head Coach Temple
Miami (O.) Michael Haywood Don Treadwell OC Michigan State
Michigan Rich Rodriguez Brady Hoke Head Coach San Diego State
Minnesota Tim Brewster Jerry Kill Head Coach Northern Illinois
North Carolina Butch Davis (i) Everett Withers DC North Carolina
North Texas Todd Dodge Dan McCarney Defensive Line Florida
Northern Illinois Jerry Kill Dave Doeren DC Wisconsin
Ohio State Jim Tressel (i) Luke Fickell Co-DC and LB coach Ohio State
Pittsburgh Dave Wannstedt Michael Haywood
Michael Haywood Todd Graham Head Coach Tulsa
San Diego St. Brady Hoke Rocky Long DC San Diego State
Stanford Jim Harbaugh David Shaw OC Stanford
Temple Al Golden Steve Addazio OC Florida
Tulsa Todd Graham Bill Blankenship RB and Special Teams Tulsa
Vanderbilt Robbie Caldwell James Franklin OC Maryland
West Virginia Bill Stewart Dana Holgorsen OC Oklahoma State
Still no word on whether ULL's Mark Hudspethis related to Tommy Hudspeth of the Lions.
And it is only 3 months to VEGAS BABY!!! See you 11/11/11 in the Las Vegas Hilton
GO JUMBO! .