R.I.P. Keith Jackson

Keith Jackson, the voice of college football for so many years, has passed. Here’s his call on the last play when the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Miami for the 2002 National Championship.

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Miami and Duke provide another crazy finish

It’s been a pretty crazy year in college football. This play is right up there as one of the craziest, though the Michigan fiasco versus Michigan State still take still takes the cake and was far more important in the playoff picture.

Still, this one will be shown for a long time, and the officials have a lot of explaining to do. On one of the backward passes there was a knee that clearly seemed to be down before the ball was let go.

Also, there were clear block in the back penalties, and the refs initially announced that penalty, only to strangely overturn it later.

The Miami Hurricanes were fortunate and Duke got screwed. But in the big picture it doesn’t matter much.

College Football Week 10, NFL Week 9 Free Picks

Miami vs. Florida State, 8:00PM ET
These are two very different 7-0 teams. On one side you have the Hurricanes, who trailed in the fourth quarter in each of their last two games. On the other you had Seminoles, who have scored 40 or more points in seven consecutive games and the closet thing they came to losing was beating Boston College by double-digit points. Miami’s offense has been inconsistent of late and while its defense has held strong since the start of the season, no opponent has been a hurdle for Heisman candidate Jameis Winston. The Seminoles are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games and 4-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record. Lay the points.
FREE PICK: FLORIDA STATE -21

Iowa State vs. Kansas State, 3:30PM ET
Outside of the Miami-FSU tilt on Saturday night, there aren’t many sexy matchups on the Week 10 schedule. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be had. Kansas State is 0-4 against the spread in its last four games following a straight up win while Iowa State is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 road games versus a team with a losing home record. The road team is also 3-1-1 against the spread in the last five meetings between these two teams while the underdog is 4-1-1 against the number in the last six meetings. The Cyclones are 1-6 on the year but take a closer look at their losses prior to their beat down at Baylor and last week versus Oklahoma State. They covered rather easily against Texas Tech and should have beaten Texas if it weren’t for a last-second collapse. The Wildcats, meanwhile, couldn’t be further from the team that opened the 2012 season winning its first 10 games. Take the points on this inflated spread.
FREE PICK: IOWA STATE +17

Saints vs. Jets, 1:00PM ET
One would think that with this being the “Ryan Bowl” that we’ll see plenty of defense. But who knows the tendencies of the Ryan-led defenses better than the offenses for the Saints and Jets? Despite Jimmy Graham playing on an injured foot, Drew Brees threw for five touchdowns last week in a win over Buffalo, including two TD passes to his banged up tight end. Meanwhile, the over is 5-1 in the Jets’ last six games overall, 4-1 in their last five games versus a team with a winning record and 13-5-2 in their last 20 games in November. With New York’s front seven taking away the Saints’ running game, look for Brees to pick on the Jets’ secondary. This game won’t lack for big plays.
FREE PICK: OVER 45.5

Chargers vs. Redskins, 1:00PM ET
Washington’s defense has been putrid this season while allowing 32.7 points per game (31st in the NFL). In fact, the over is 7-2-1 in Washington’s last 10 games after allowing more than 30 points in its previous game (its allowed over 80 points the past two weeks ago), and 7-3 in its last 10 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in its previous game. On the other side, the over is 7-1 in the Chargers’ last eight games in Week 9 and 39-18-4 in their lat 61 road games. Points shouldn’t be a problem on Sunday in Washington.
FREE PICK: OVER 51

Fade Material: College Football Week 3 Predictions

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell (C) runs onto the field prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Well, go figure. I change the name of this column to “Fade Material” and then I start handing out winning picks. If I knew that was all I had to do, I would have changed the title years ago and avoided all the years of .500 or below predictions.

After a 3-1 performance in Week 1, I finished 3-0-1 with my Week 2 picks. Georgia was a push against South Carolina but TCU, Alabama and BYU had no problems covering. I’m still looking for my first sweep of the season, so let’s see if we can’t nail it this week. (Although I admit to having reservations about “Road Test Weekend.” There are some tough games on the board…)

Auburn @ Clemson, 12:00PM ET
Everyone keeps waiting for Auburn to lose and all they’ve done the past two weeks is pull wins out of their backsides. The No. 19 Tigers find themselves once again as underdogs, this time against an unranked Clemson team. Nobody can ever quite figure out Clemson, which either plays the game of its life or sinks to the level of its competition. They’re 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 versus the SEC, while Auburn is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Auburn is also 6-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last four games an underdog. I think the Tigers of Auburn keeps this within a field goal, making that 3.5-point spread highly attractive.
THE PICK: AUBURN TIGERS +3.5

Ohio State @ Miami, 7:30PM ET
The Buckeyes face their first road test under new head coach Luke Fickell and while they didn’t look particularly sharp against Toledo last week at home, I like OSU to win outright tonight. They’ll face a quarterback in Jacory Harris, who is coming off a one-game suspension and who was unimpressive against Oho State last year. He threw four interceptions, including three in the first half alone. Granted, that was a different Buckeyes team last season but the defense is still solid and I expect them to give Harris trouble again this time around. The Buckeyes are 11-3 against the number in all games over the last two seasons and 14-4 ATS in road games in September since 1992.
THE PICK: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES +2.5

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Explosive allegations rock Miami Hurricanes

The drumbeat of college football scandals just got louder with some serious allegations being leveled against the Miami Hurricanes football program. Yahoo! Sports broke the story and followed up with more analysis, and this thing could be pretty big.

In one sense, none of this is surprising. As we’ve said many times, college football players are squeezed by the current system and there are too many temptations for them to cash in on benefits when they don’t have their own spending money. We’ve seen it in the tattoo scandal at Ohio Sate and the potential suit scandal at Alabama. The NCAA needs to reform the rules.

This crap happens everywhere. The deciding factor is simply proof available to the NCAA. With Ohio State, they had an FBI sting that produced the memorabilia that was central to the scandal. So far in Alabama there are tons of photos produced by sites like SPORTSbyBROOKS. We’ll see where that goes.

Here in Miami things might be even worse, as a rogue booster named Nevin Shapiro is in prison. He’s pissed off and he seems determined to take down the Miami football program. Thus the problem – if he can provide proof, Miami is in huge trouble. Some of the allegations are pretty tough as he’s saying he also provided prostitutes to the players.

The NCAA needs to be careful here. If they go off on these programs with massive sanctions, you might end up with a revolt as other schools will realize that this is happening everywhere on some level. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Meanwhile, the officials in Miami need to get on top of this asap.

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