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9/7/05 7:28 PM
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Edited: 07-Sep-05
Member Since: 06/08/2002
Posts: 4000
College football previews

FRIDAY - Pittsburgh -13 ½ at Ohio U.

Pittsburgh began this season ranked in the top-25. However, the school laid an egg in its season opener when Notre Dame recorded a 42-21 road victory. This may look like an easier opponent, but playing on the MAC road in front of a national TV audience is never easy. Pittsburgh may be 16-1 S/U vs. the MAC all time, but they are 15-0 at home and just 1-1 on the road with the loss coming at Toledo just two years ago. Ohio had a difficult opening assignment at Northwestern, and they were promptly flattened 38-14. They are 9-8 S/U in non-conference home games since 1985, but only four of those games came vs. lined opponents, and they are 0-4 ATS in those contests.

SATURDAY - Kansas State -10 at Marshall

Kansas State used to beat up on its early season non-conference opponents, but my how times have changed. The Wildcats are now 0-8 in their last 8 non-conference affairs that had a posted line, including their opener last week where they failed to cover the 33-point spot in a 35-21 victory over Florida International. Marshall may be in for a down year in this, there first season in Conference-USA. They were certainly unimpressive in their opener just getting by an outclassed William & Mary team, 36-24.

Notre Dame at Michigan -7

Notre Dame shocked many observers including ourselves with its authoritative road win at Pittsburgh. Perhaps new coach Charlie Weis brought some of that New England magic to South Bend. This will be even more of an acid test as the Irish are facing a Michigan team that is truly one of the best in the land. Michigan is also playing with revenge after losing at Notre Dame last year, 28-20. The Wolverines looked impressive in their 33-17 win over Northern Illinois as wide-out Jason Avant stepped right in for the departed Braylon Edwards and caught nine balls for 127 yards.

Clemson at Maryland -1 ½

Clemson sprung a mild upset in its opener beating nationally ranked Texas A&M at home 25-24. The victory occurred thanks to the foot of kicker Jad Dean, who was a perfect 6 for 6 in his field goal attempts. The offense could only muster one touchdown however, and they will need an improved performance on the road here. The Tigers were not particularly impressive on the ACC road last season going just 1-3 in their conference road games while losing by an average of 8.8 points. On the other hand, Maryland struggled in its opener barely nipping Navy 23-20. It could be that the Terps were looking past the Midshipmen to this conference opener, but Maryland did not exactly tear things up vs. conference foes in this stadium last year, going just 2-2 S/U in ACC home play while getting outscored by 3.5 points per game.

Colorado State at Minnesota -12 ½

This is a tough spot for Colorado State as they played their hearts out last week in a bitter 31-28 loss to arch-rival Colorado, and they now must go back on the road vs. a tough Big Ten opponent. Keep in mind that the Rams lost pretty badly at home to this Gophers team also, 34-16 last season. Minnesota opened on the road at Tulsa and they crushed the Golden Hurricanes 41-10. With Marion Barber III now gone, Laurence Maroney flourished in his first game as the every-down running back, rushing for 203 yards and two touchdowns.

Iowa -8 ½ at Iowa State

The Hawkeyes looked very impressive in their 56-0 whitewash of Ball State, but keep in mind that the Cardinals had many players suspended for that game. The Hawkeyes enjoyed a 441-144 advantage in total yards. While this annihilation may not have proven anything, the fact remains that Iowa is still one of the most underrated teams in the land and they have a very balanced attack that is capable of blowing out anyone at any time. On the other hand, Iowa State had a much tougher time than expected before putting away lowly Illinois State 32-21. Interestingly however, Iowa State has done extremely well in the head-to-head series with their supposedly superior Big Ten rivals, going 5-2 S/U and 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Cyclones covered a fat 21 1/2-point spot last year while losing just 17-10 at Iowa.
-LT Profits

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