Friday, 12/1 Quick Hitters: Tennessee or ASU, Championship Weekend Preview, Best Bets, and more!

Question of the day: which is the better college football job, Tennessee or ASU?

Usually a college football fan would say the Volunteers due to being in the better conference, having a more celebrated tradition, and higher profile exposure. The problem is…coaches keep turning that job down like the place is on fire after the fanbase’s reaction to Greg Schiano’s near-hire last Sunday.

So the answer to my question above is ASU. Yet I’m still not convinced that AD Ray Anderson is making a good move by reportedly hiring his good friend and former client, Herm Edwards as the Sun Devils’ next head man.

The truth is…the right guy for both jobs is the same…former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Once the hottest name in the college ranks to NFL personnel, Sumlin holds a combined 86-43 record at Houston and A&M. While he may not be a home run hire so-to-speak, Sumlin is a safe bet to produce winning season after winning season with the occasional super successful one.

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Oh you have to love college football’s silly season…it has more ups and downs than a soap opera…

-Grading the notable coaching hires thus far:
UCLA: Chip Kelly (former Oregon and NFL HC) – A+
Florida: Dan Mullen (Mississippi State HC) – A
Mississippi State: Joe Moorhead (Penn State OC) – B+
Oregon State: Jonathan Smith (Washington QB and former OSU QB) – B

-Grading the speculative hires (if they come true):
Nebraska: Scott Frost (Central Florida HC and former NU QB) – A
Texas A&M: Jimbo Fisher (Florida State HC) – B+
Tennessee: Mike Leach (Washington State HC) – B
ASU: Herm Edwards (former Jets and Chiefs HC) – D+

If you missed my Wednesday football predictions, click here.

-Georgia, you can’t lose twice to the same team in a four week span, can you? Auburn crushed you at their place but now you’re playing essentially a home game in Atlanta. If RBs Nick Chubb and Sony Michele can control the clock for the Bulldogs, they should be in fine shape.

-Notice how nothing about the Arkansas coaching search has been leaked? Makes me wonder if Auburn’s Gus Malzahn is still their top candidate, providing his team loses on Saturday and misses the Final Four.

-While I feel REALLY good about my Georgia pick, I can’t say the same for picking Wisconsin to beat Ohio State. The Badgers’ strength of schedule thus far has been weak and they desperately need to prove that their undefeated regular season wasn’t a fluke. Expect a lower-scoring affair than anticipated with Wisconsin wearing down OSU by running it 50+ times.

-USC-Stanford Part II is tonight and while I would normally lean against picking the Trojans to beat the Cardinal twice, the week of rest USC received after their win over UCLA will be the difference. A healthier Trojans squad slow Cardinal RB (and likely Heisman finalist) Bryce Love in a comfortable win.

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-While I like that the Big XII finally has a conference championship game despite their round robin conference schedule, Saturday’s game in Arlington could do more harm than good to the conference if TCU upsets Oklahoma. Several weeks ago the Sooners mopped up on coach Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs fairly easily, 38-20, in Norman. But if TCU gets their revenge, OU will be left out of the top-4 in what would be a devastating blow to the conference, including financially.

-Let me make this clear…there is nothing that can happen during Saturday’s OU-TCU game that will change my opinion of Baker Mayfield winning the Heisman Trophy in a landslide. I don’t care if the Sooners’ QB makes rude gestures the entire game, he’s a worthy Heisman winner in my book.

-If TCU loses, does Washington, who is idle this week, move up the one spot necessary to gain a berth likely in the Cotton Bowl? This outcome could have major implications for ASU and UofA’s December bowl destinations.

-Another big question based on the Playoff Committee’s rankings on Tuesday night is if Miami beats Clemson in a close game, will the Tigers still make it in over 2-loss Ohio State or 1-loss Alabama teams? Fortunately this won’t be in play as I just don’t see Miami upsetting the defending national champs in Charlotte.

-Another team I’m putting on upset alert this week is Central Florida. Memphis is really good and the Golden Knights, despite playing the AAC Championship Game at home, might have trouble slowing down QB Riley Ferguson, WR Anthony Miller, and the potent Tigers offense. The winner likely advances to play the loser of the SEC Championship Game in the Peach Bowl.

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-Fresno State beat Boise State in a meaningless game last week. Now the two teams play again in Boise for the Mountain West title. Expect QB Brett Rypien and the Broncos to beat down a Bulldogs team now that a conference championship is on the line.

 

On to my Best Bets which lately have been more than respectable…

College Football Week 14 Best Bets
Last Week: 3-2
Overall: 36-33-1
Georgia +2 vs. Auburn
Miami / Clemson Over 46.5 Total Points
USC / Stanford Under 57.5 Total Points
FIU -1 vs. UMass
Florida Atlantic -11.5 vs. North Texas

NFL Week 13 Best Bets
Last Week: 4-1
Overall: 32-27-1
Jaguars -9.5 vs. Colts
Packers +1 vs. Bucs
Seahawks +6 vs. Eagles
Titans / Texans Over 43 Total Points
Browns / Chargers Over 42.5 Total Points

-Here’s the reality Cardinals fans, one more loss and your team’s playoff hopes are 100% gone. Based on the way Jered Goff and the Rams are playing, the season for all intents and purposes ends this week.

-Big win for the Cowboys on Thursday night over the Redskins. Their playoff hopes, now at 6-6, are clinging by a thread. It’s amazing how successful the Cowboys can be with a healthy offensive line.

-Speaking of offensive lines who aren’t healthy, poor Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. I’d be surprised if Cousins returns to Washington next year…so where will he go? My early gut feeling says one of the New York teams…Giants or Jets.

-Finally, Week 13’s fantasy football portion of the column:

PPR HERO (an underrated player who will finish in the top-10 at his position this week):
Season Record: 4-8
Week 12: Joe Mixon (RB, Bengals) (WIN)
Week 13: Devin Funchess (WR, Panthers)

PPR ZERO (a top-15 player who will finish outside of the top-20 at his position this week): 
Season Record: 8-4
Week 12: Adrian Peterson (RB, Cardinals) (LOSS)
Week 13: Devonta Freeman (RB, Falcons)

KICK IT TO WIN IT (A likely waiver wire kicker who will end up in the top-10):
Season Record: 4-8
Week 12: Graham Gano (Panthers) (WIN)
Week 13: Mason Crosby (Packers)

PUNT OF THE WEEK (the team I think will punt most frequently therefore upgrading the other team’s fantasy defense…aka turning them into a top-10 fantasy D for the week):
Season Record: 10-2
Week 12: Houston Texans (vs. Baltimore Ravens) (WIN)
Week 13: Cleveland Browns (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

 

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.

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