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Most Saturday mornings during the college football season look the same. Wake up, shower, make some coffee and eggs, then waist away on my couch watching College Gameday, reading articles, searching for any advantage I can find on games I’m on the fence about. Last Saturday was no different, until Tom Rinaldi came onto the screen. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of the incredible story of Purdue’s Tyler Trent. If not, here is the link to Rinaldi’s piece.
So here I am at 10:20AM crying over the emotional piece, yes, I was absolutely crying, not afraid to admit that. But this is what makes college football so much better than the NFL. It’s an emotional game. These kids are 18-22. This type of stuff affects them. Now Purdue matches up well against Ohio St. (which we outlined last week), but there is no doubt that the Boilermakers rallied around Tyler.
And this is the type of stuff you cannot fit into a stat or predictive model. If is so important to take these things, emotion, motivation, feel, into account when betting.
Last Week: 3-3
Army @ Eastern Michigan
Saturday 10/27 | 12PM
The Play: Army PK
Contrarian wisdom would have us favoring Eastern Michigan as Army plays Air Force next week. Historically, service academies do not cover in the week before facing another service academy. As mentioned last week, I love Army when they face an opponent that has not seen the triple-option. Unlike Miami (OH) last week, Eastern Michigan’s strength does not lie in their defensive line. Offensively, Eastern Michigan will be able to keep this one close, but long sustaining Army drives will wear Eastern Michigan down.
Take Army in a PK.
Iowa @ Penn State
Saturday 10/27 | 3:30
ATS: Penn State -6.5
The Play: Penn State -6.5
Iowa is coming into Happy Valley with a Top 20 ranking and 6-1 record, and all of the value is on Penn State. Iowa’s best win might be last week’s 23-0 victory over Maryland. Penn State has been tested, albeit defeated, but will come into this one hungry to bounce back after a scare from Indiana. This one will probably be low scoring, but I believe the value is on Penn State has long as the spread stays under -7.
Texas A&M @ Mississippi St.
Saturday 10/27 | 7:00PM
ATS: Mississippi St. -1.5
The Play: Mississippi St. -1.5
This one will all come down to Mississippi St.’s quarterback play. There’s no doubt Nick Fitzgerald has had a heck of a career and is arguably the best rushing quarterback in SEC history. But if my life was depending on him completing a 5-yard pass, consider me as good as dead. Mississippi St.’s defense has been nothing short of elite and I think they’ll be able to keep this Texas A&M team, that struggles with finishing drives, out of the endzone.
If Keyaton Thompson gets reps under center, as Mississippi St. has alluded to, expect the offense to get moving and cover easily.
UAB @ UTEP
Saturday 10/27 | 7:30PM
ATS: UAB -16
The Play: UTEP +16
As I discussed above, college football is an emotional game. This is the perfect spot to play two teams with varying degrees of motivation. Last week, UAB had an emotional comeback victory over North Texas, where they wore the names of Pediatric cancer patients on their backs. The win also essentially locked up the Conference USA West division, making this the perfect spot for a let down game against the WINLESS Miners.
Not that many people have, but if you’ve paid attention to UTEP throughout the season, you’ll notice their marked improvement and effort during the last few weeks. This team is hungry for a win, and I’m not saying they’ll get it here, but they will fight until the very end.
Texas @ Oklahoma St.
Saturday 10/27 | 8:00PM
ATS: Texas -3.5
Oklahoma St. +3.5
There is no way Oklahoma St. losses (or at least doesn't cover) in these uniforms. Beyond the uniforms, Texas has been one of the luckiest teams in the country this season. Historically, Tom Herman teams have struggled as road-favorites. Oklahoma St. is one of the best teams in the country at scoring once they’re in the redzone, and Texas’ defense is less than stellar in that situation. Expect the Oklahoma St. defense to be in the backfield most of the night, making things uncomfortable for Texas QB Sam Ehlinger.
I love the Pokes in this spot and will probably put a little something on the Money Line.
Last week we went 3-3 in our picks…we are neither winners or losers this week, so I’d like to take this opportunity to offer you two similarly-priced options from the wonderful world of Tennessee Whiskey.
In this corner…hailing from Lynchburg, TN…wearing a black label with white lettering…everyone’s top choice for mixing with Coke…Jack Daniels Old No. 7. Everybody knows Jack Daniels. It’s readily available. It’s the Coca-Cola of whiskey. As for the actual tasting notes of this spirit, for me it’s hard to get past the lighter-fluid-esque flavor. Yes, there’s smokey flavor from the charcoal filtering and barrel aging and there’s the grainy taste from the corn used in the mash, but all of these flavors are over-powered by the actual flavor of the alcohol. Why? Simple…old No. 7 isn’t aged in barrels as long as the higher end offerings out there. (Disclaimer - in some cases it might be. Jack Daniels shoots for a consistent flavor, and will blend from spirits aged anywhere from 4-12 years. But on the average, this isn’t a very mature whiskey…in more ways than one.) It’s a perfectly good drink, but there’s a reason people mix it with soda pop on such a regular basis.
And in this corner…hailing from Tullahoma, TN…wearing a white label with black lettering…the lesser-known-cousin…George Dickel No. 12. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. I hadn’t heard of it myself until recently. Despite the overshadowing of the Jack Daniels name, I personally consider Dickel No. 12 to be the superior whisky (no “e” on this one…apparently that’s important). When telling friends about this one…I simply call it Jack Daniels with a college education. And that’s exactly what it is. The aging process is very similar to that of Jack Daniels, but apparently the filtering process is different. At any rate, all the good elements of the Jack Daniels flavor profile are front and center in this offering, and everything is just a little smoother…polished…sophisticated if you will. If you need any other endorsement, this is the spirit I keep on hand at my house when I feel like sipping on something at the end of a long day.
In reality, you can’t really go wrong with either of these options. Give yourself a generous pour…you’ve earned it. Cheers my friends!