#5 Oklahoma Sooners: College Football 77 in 77

Welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the Oklahoma Sooners

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#42 Texas Tech Red Raiders: College Football 77 in 77

texas tech cheerleaders

Yo ho yo ho! a pirate’s life for me! For the Texas Tech Red Raiders a pirate’s life consists of lots of passing, not a lot of running, and not a lot of defending. Last year was a bit more extreme as they did all those things, only more so. Usually the defense is more serviceable and the running game has a little more punch than they did in 2011.

We expect more of the same in 2012- they’ll throw it, they’ll score, but they’ll give up a ton of points as well, as they face a very pass-friendly conference with a lot of high-powered offenses in it. What’s interesting about the TTU program is what happens at the college football level hasn’t translated to any NFL quarterbacks of note. In Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree, you’ve had wide receivers that have done something on the pro level, but no signal caller is yet to do so.

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SEC Football: Oversigning (“Cheating”)=More Championships

auburn_cam_newton

As Wes Bynum’s 19-yarder sailed through the desert air to split the uprights and down Oregon in the Tostitos BCS national championship there was no question Auburn was the best team in college football.  There was also no doubt which conference was at the top of the summit.  The cheers of “S-E-C” that rained down like ticker-tape on the Auburn players and coaches was evidence enough.  Fans chanting the conference’s moniker knew, and so did the rest of the nation, the SEC, with victories in the last five national championships, was college football’s king.

Fans, writers and even coaches have sought to explain this domination.  Many pegged blazing SEC speed as the reason, asserting that kids from Florida and Georgia just have better wheels than farm-boys from Ohio and Wisconsin.  For years, that reasoning has been widely accepted, but lately a new explanation has bubbled to the surface: oversigning.

By: Jeff Beck [Read more…]

West Virginia to Replace Missouri in Big 12

The carousel keeps moving in college football conference expansion and relocation. Today it leaked that the West Virginia Mountaineers have been approved to replace Missouri Tigers in the Big 12 conference. The conference board of directors approved the move to take place once the Mizzou move to the SEC is complete.

WVU leaving the Big East obviously leaves an already very weak football conference to become even weaker. The Big East is already reeling from the loss of TCU, Syracuse and UConn. The Mountaineers over the Tigers probably means a push in football, but an upgrade in college basketball.

Here’s more from the AP:

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Big 12 Trying to Avoid Dissolution by Potentially Adding TCU

TCU_cheerleaders

Today, Big 12 Conference brass cleared the way to potentially add TCU, a maneuver that could honestly save a league that seemed ready to collapse a few weeks ago. The Big 12 fired commissioner Dan Beebe a couple weeks ago, the first step in trying to rehab the league. Instead of just dissolving, the move would counter-act the rumor that Mizzou is jumping to the SEC.

Although TCU is not meeting expectations this season, they’re still a program on the rise which has more than out-grown it’s mid-major status.

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#7 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #8 Texas A&M Aggies: Brutally Honest Game Preview

texas a&m

Get ready for a Pac-12 vs. SEC Challenge! Oh wait, not yet.

In a game that could affect both the conference and national title races, Oklahoma State (3-0) will travel to Texas A&M (2-0) Saturday. Brandon Weeden, the nation’s leading passer with 384.7 yards per game, has helped the Cowboys offense collect 157 points and average 601 yards per game, a mark that ranks second in the country. Leading the Aggies, however, Ryan Tannehill holds a 72.3 completion percentage and has yet to be sacked behind the A&M line.

For the first time ever, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will meet with both teams ranking in the Associated Press top 10. The Aggies lead the series, winning 17 of the previous 28 meetings, but the Cowboys took the 2010 game with a 38-35 thriller in Stillwater, Okla.

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#45 Kansas State Wildcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

kansas state dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Ranked third in the 2010-2011 preseason polls, the Kansas State Wildcats failed to live up to the lofty expectations last year.  They lost four of their first five Big 12 games but were able to pull it together at the end of the season before bowing out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  This year, Kansas State goes back to being an under the radar team.

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#12 Oklahoma State Cowboys: College Football 77 in 77

oklahoma-state-mike-gundy

One of two things usually come to mind first when you talk about Oklahoma State Cowboys football. 1.) the infamous Mike Gundy “THAT’S GARBAGE! and “I’M A MAN, I’M 40!” rant from 2007 (we know you’ve seen the parodies, but just in case you haven’t go here and here)

2.) the richest most powerful and all-seeing, all-doing alumni booster in college football in T. Boone Pickens. The stadium is not the only building on the OSU campus with his name on it.

But after the first 11 win season in school history, featuring the most explosive offense ever at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys will soon become more nationally known for their winning ways and exciting white-collar football.

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Illinois and Missouri Square Off in the Arch Rivalry Game

The Arch Rivalry game really is a misnomer.

The Missouri Tigers have taken down the Illinois Fighting Illini in 16 of the 23 times they have played, and have won all five of the games since the “rivalry” started back up in the early 2000’s.

For whatever reason, since the Illini have dominated the Border War basketball series (winning 20-of-28 matchups), everyone seems willing to ignore it.

All that is really needed for a rivalry is a great game atmosphere, rabid fanbases that don’t care for each other and being located closely together.

Apparently, the quality of the games is not necessarily important. Who knew?

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Oklahoma State Heading to Pac 10

oklahoma-state-mike-gundy

“THAT’S NOT TRUE! SO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT” Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy yelled during his famous tirade three years ago.

But this is actually likely true. Ok St. is heading to the Pac-10 (which will soon become the Pac-16)

“THAT’S WHY I DON’T READ NEWSPAPERS!! CUZ THEY’RE GARBAGE!”

Gundy also said. But this doesn’t come to us via the old guard medium. It comes to us from one of our favorite sources of info for this site. TMZ.com

By Paul M. Banks

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The Sports Bank’s Live College Football Blog: Week 2

charlie-weis-is-fat

Greetings college football fans! Well, it’s week two of the college football season and since our live blog went so swimmingly last week, we thought we’d come back and do it all over again.

I’m your host, H. Jose Bosch and I, along with a host of TSB writers will take you on a magical journey throughout the Big Ten and the rest of the nation throughout the day. There may be some more Arby’s jokes, Paul Schmidt might break all rules of journalistic integrity and pound Ron Zook’s face in when Illinois inevitably has another disappointing weekend and David Kay will once again risk his life covering a swine flu-infested football team.

Who knows what kind of wacky mayhem will happen!

So sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. Questions, comments or concerns may be addressed in the comments section, where we encourage you to add your input on any game you’re watching. Bonus points for finding/highlighting embarrassing moments. If you can provide a picture, even better. This thread will be for the noon games and we’ll have a second thread for the 3:30 games and beyond.

Oh and yes, Charlie Weis is fat. Go Blue!
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You Can Take It to The Bank!

money

By Paul Schmidt

Welcome to the new feature on The Sports Bank, where I tell you how to make money in a completely legitimate and accepted way!

You know, as long as you live in one of the states that approves of gambling on sporting events.

That’s right, each week I’ll be advising you of the four best lines I see on the Big Board every week in college football (and professional, starting next week), and give all of us a chance to line our pockets with a little bit of scratch!

So quick housekeeping notes:

1) If I place a bet against your team, it’s nothing against them, I just want to make money, and I don’t think they will cover/beat the spread.

2) Just because you think a team will win does NOT make them a good bet.

3) Betting on your own team is never a good idea, and I’ve only bet on the Illini one time — which happened to be in 2007 against Ohio State (-13).  I only wish I’d teased it with the under and put a bet on the money line…

4) Betting on the big name teams and games is not always the way to go — the books don’t pay a lot of attention to the smaller conferences (and that will CERTAINLY be reflected in my week 1 picks here), and generally, if you know a little about the teams, you can make some money on the lesser schools (I watch a lot of WAC football late on Saturday nights…trust me on this).

5) If a line looks too good to be true, it probably is — even with point 4 in place, the people who do this job are still very good at what they do.  Be careful out there! 6) For record-keeping purposes, I’m looking at the Harrah’s Casino’s lines, which will be current when I type the pick in. Why Harrah’s?  I generally stay at one of their casinos while in Vegas, and I like most of them.  So there.

And with all that in mind, the best week of the gambling year is here, week one of college football!  The lines are a little goofy, you can play your sleepers without a ton of danger, and some big conference teams are oooooover-rated!!

As a quick bonus pick, generally, books will not take action on a Division 1-A football team taking on a 1-AA team.  I’ve heard a couple rumors of bets being taken on Florida and Charleston Southern.  While I’d never suggest betting the house on them, Charleston Southern is reportedly +62.  That’s a whoooole lot of points for a team that probably won’t have their first team on the field for more than the first half.  Again, I’m not saying bet the house there, but there’s probably value.

Now on to my picks (which, oddly enough, are all underdogs for week 1):

Western Michigan (+13) over Michigan (@ Michigan)
Since all we have to go on is last year’s games, Michigan seems to be getting too many points here. Western Michigan popped Illinois pretty good in Detroit last year, and Illinois routed Michigan in the Big House.  I’m not saying that I used that to make this pick completely…but the Broncos do return Tim Hiller, and he’s probably the second best QB that you’ve never heard of.  Again…not saying Michigan will lose, but I really, really don’t think they win this game by two TDs (the amount needed to win the bet).

Georgia (+5) over Oklahoma State (at OK State)
I like this Georgia team. No one seems to be talking about them and I think they are just as talented as anyone else in the SEC this season. I also think Oklahoma State is one of the nation’s most overrated teams — that’s right Mike Gundy, I said it.  I’M A MAN!!! I’M 31!!!!  The SEC has something of a history of stifling high-powered Big 12 offenses recently (last year’s national title game), and I like Georgia to win this one outright.

Northern Illinois (+16.5) over Wisconsin (at Wisconsin)
I don’t know a ton about Northern, but they seem to return a lot on defense (though they lost their best player to graduation and the NFL in defensive end/linebacker Larry English). This wouldn’t seem to bode very well for a Wisconsin team that should struggle mightily to score points on offense.  I don’t think Wisconsin puts up 17 total in this game, honestly.  That still might be enough to win the game, but not come close to covering.

Central Michigan (+13.5) over Arizona (at Arizona)
Remember when I said, just a little earlier, that Tim Hiller was the best player you’ve never heard of?  The best is playing in this game.  Quick…who has the most yards from scrimmage of any player in college football the last three years?  I’ll even tell you, he’s got an insane 11,702 yards from scrimmage.  Give up?

The answer is Dan LeFevour, an extreme dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidate (at least he should be). He’ll pace a very, VERY good Chippewas offense this season, and could go a long way towards improving his Heisman candidacy with a road win against a Pac Ten team. Look here as well for the Chippewas to win outright (and if you’re of a mind, place a bet on the money line!! I’m seeing +450 or thereabouts, meaning you have to wager 100 dollars to win 450).

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to comment on how obnoxious I am, how good/bad my picks are, any questions you might have, and, most especially, how wonderful and praise-worthy I am…