THE RED SHEET
RATINGS: 89 & ABOVE: SUPERIOR PLAY
88 & BELOW: ABOVE AVERAGE PLAY
SUMMARY OF PLAYS:
89* NORTH CAROLINA STATE
88* ARIZONA STATE
88* LOUISIANA STATE
88* INDIANAPOLIS (NFL)
VIRGINIA 48 - Syracuse 10 - (3:30) Line opened at Virginia minus 21, and is now minus 24Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½. We had the Cavaliers as a "1" Rated Release on Pointwise, with absolutely nothing transpiring in the interim to alter our feelings. The fact of the matter is that the Cavs, who have climbed to the #12 spot in the land, are one of the nation's premier squads, have outscored their first 3 foes by a combined 151-34, with c overs of 13Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½, 10Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½, & 20 pts, & face a 'Cuse team, which is lost as a road dog. Virginia sports one of the more balanced offenses in the nation, with RB Lundy already accounting for 9 TDs, & is in possession of a brilliant "D", which rank's 11th in the nation. Virginia is on an 11-1 spread run at home, while the Orange are 8-15 ATS as road dogs. Cannot erase 51-0 wipeout in first such 'Cuse setup.
RATING: VIRGINIA 89
North Carolina State 24 - VIRGINIA TECH 22 - (12:00) Line opened at VaTech minus 6Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½, and is now minus 9Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½. A week ago, we had the Wolfpack of NCSt in this exact spot, in their hosting role vs Ohio St. They came up short in that one, thanks to the turnover - five, to be exact, 121 yds in penalties, and Buckeye school-record 5 FGs. Those miscues were simply too much to overcome, especially against a quality squad such as OSU. Get this, the Bucks managed an unbelievable 137 yds for the day, with their only TD coming on a drive of just 3 yds. That was a major disappointment for the 'Pack, to be sure, but not as killing as blowing a game late. Thus, Amato has this quick shot at redemption here, & altho the Hokies are again loaded, their 9 returning starters hardly deserve such a solid chalk role.
RATING: NORTH CAROLINA STATE 89
ARIZONA STATE 41 - Oregon State 24 - (10:00) Line opened at Arizona St minus 6Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½, and is now minus 7. We all know that Texas Tech possesses the nation's most prolific passing offense, a full 100 ypg over #2 Hawaii. But a close 3rd are these Sun Devils, who are going along at a 361 PYpg clip. Since Dick Koetter arrived from Boise 3 years ago, Arizona St has been a wide open team, whose offensive heroics were generally negated by a porous defense. However, this year's Devil team provides that missing ingredient. QB Walter is lighting it up (11 TD passes in the early going), & altho the Beavs also have bona fide aerial star in Anderson, LY's OSt balance is missing (<90 RYpg). Revenge call.
RATING: ARIZONA STATE 88
MINNESOTA 50 - Northwestern 20 - (9:00) Line opened at Minnesota minus 14, and is now minus 15. The only reason that this one wasn't atop our earlier publication, was the fact that the Wildcats were a six star play on our much respected Wise Points section. Thus, we lowered Minny to a "2" rating, but firmly ensconced among our high choices. A year ago, the Gophers finished the season with the nation's 7th rated scoring offense, & this year, they, along with Oklahoma, are currently tied for 5th in scoring. They have the land's premier running duo in Barber & Maroney (250 & 273 RYs respectively the past 2 weeks), & are at their best in the early going, & are catching the Wildcats off 3 brutal encounters.
RATING: MINNESOTA 88
LOUISIANA STATE 56 - Mississippi State 3 - (12:30) Line opened at LSU minus 29, & is still minus 29. Well, it didn't take long for Croom's honeymoon to come to a screeching halt. The 'Dogs opened impressively, with their opening day solid win over Tulane, in a game which featured a 199-70 RY edge (4.2 - 2.4 ypr advantage). But that was quickly followed with a 43-14 home lambasting by Auburn, along with a 310-99 back-to-reality overland deficit. And, of course, they are in off another home loss, this time to Maine, of all folks. MSt was held scoreless over the final 57 minutes in that one. Catching the Tigers off a snapping of their 10-game run is the final nail. Whatever the Tigers want it to be. A scary thought.
RATING: LOUISIANA STATE 88
INDIANAPOLIS 33 - Green Bay 20 - (4:15) Line opened at Indianapolis minus 6, and is still minus 6. A year ago, the Colts came within a few plays from making it to the Super Bowl, as they opened the playoffs with as impressive a pair of offensive showings, as ever recorded in the history of the NFL. Not a single punt in totally destroying the defenses of both Denver & Kansas City. The importance of those near perfect exhibitions cannot be overstated. Their firepower has been respected for years, with Manning, James, Harrison & Co, but their actual blowout results were rare. Not so anymore. They won't rest on the laurels of last week's impressive win at Tennessee, & despite coming in off the Pats & Titans, won't take 'Pack lightly. Allowing 189 RYs in home loss to the Bears, hardly bodes well for GB.
RATING: INDIANAPOLIS 88
NEAR CHOICES (Rated 87): Purdue, FloridaSt, Louisville, TexasTech - NFL: Denver, Tennessee, Dallas