Week 1 Primer
Published on Thursday, 9/3/15, at 3:15 p.m. Eastern.
—My Tip Sheet for a trio of Friday games filed to VegasInsider.com earlier this week.
—My Preseason Top 25 Power Rankings.
—My Tip Sheet for three Saturday games, including Wisconsin vs. Alabama, Texas at Notre Dame and Texas A&M vs. Arizona St.
–BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall is refusing to announce which players (around 10) are suspended for Saturday’s season opener at Nebraska. The players are suspended for their role in a post-game brawl in last year’s bowl game vs. Memphis. The Cornhuskers are favored by seven at most spots.
–It hasn’t been a good week for Rutgers football. Kyle Flood has come under heavy scrutiny for allegedly contacting a professor about a grade for one of his players, Nadir Barnwell. The school is conducting an investigation into this matter. And now today we found out that five players have been arrested (and subsequently suspended) for assault. And yes, you guessed it, one of those five players is Barnwell. Flood told the media earlier today that he will coach in the team’s opener vs. Norfolk St.
–Florida coach Jim McElwain named Treon Harris as the starting QB for Saturday’s opener vs. New Mexico St. at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the SEC Network. This came as a bit of a surprise, as Grier seems to be better suited for McElwain’s pro-style attack. However, don’t read too much into this as Grier will also play and I anticipate McElwain deciding on a starter for the SEC opener in Week 3 at Kentucky by grading how Grier and Harris perform against the Aggies and East Carolina. The Gators were 4-2 in Harris’s six starts last season and he rallied UF from a 9-0 deficit in the fourth quarter at Tennessee. The two losses (vs. South Carolina and at FSU) could’ve easily gone UF’s way if not for a pair of special-teams blunders against the Gamecocks and a 95-yard pick-six on first and goal in Tallahassee where TE Tevin Westbrook dropped a ball that hit him in the hands.
—Florida has suspended three players for the opener. Also, starting safety Keanu Neal is ‘doubtful’ with a leg injury, while starting OT Martez Ivey (knee) is ‘out.’ The Gators are favored by 37 at most betting shops.
—I’m all about Wisconsin to win the Big Ten West (+160ish) and to go ‘over’ its season win total of 9.5.
—I’m still not sure what to make of this story out of East Lansing. I just can’t imagine how a team doesn’t select its three-year starting QB who is a senior and will probably be a first-round pick. Connor Cook has led the Spartans to a pair of stellar seasons, but this development makes me think he’s not overly popular among his peers.
–If you wish, you can get signed up for my college football season pack by clicking here.
–I also have picks posted for tonight and Saturday’s games (with more to follow).
–I sat down with Cory Davis of 30A Radio last week to preview the 2015 season. We hit on the SEC and several NFL teams of local interest, in addition to the best spots on 30A to watch ballgames. You can listen here if you wish. 30A Radio is under the umbrella of 30A.com, a monster of a website owned by Mike Ragsdale. They’ll be having me on every week this season. Special thanks to Mike for hooking that up!
–Best of luck to all with your Week 1 wagers!