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Eddie Walls’ College Football Week 12 Betting Recap

CFB

Early in the week we saw a deadly Ohio Bobcats offense decimate a Buffalo team with two NFL prospects on offense. The 52-17 win showed that Ohio could move the ball on Buffalo at will but also showed a chink in the armor of the Bulls that hadn’t been exposed all season. They simply blitzed every single down and forced Tyree Jackson, who is a giant-sized quarterback, to move around. The result was a 9-for-21 120-yard performance. His draft stock (if he declares) might have tumbled.

Miami Ohio is one win away from bowl eligibility. I counted Chuck Martin’s squad out three weeks ago but their win versus Northern Illinois was impressive. Miami is a target every year for me as their head coach struggles tremendously in one possession games. They have beaten their toughest two opponents in back-to-back weeks in one possession affairs. A good dog to bet and a bad team to lay a number with might be flat out a great bet next week with the season on the line.

I don’t have enough time to write at length about Houston’s game versus Tulane. So here’s the cliff notes version. You lose your quarterback who is your entire offense and three plays later your coach is arguing and trying to pull a jacket off of your only five-star recruit in program history. He goes berserk, your coach goes berserk. You win the game going away and, in the process, lose perhaps your season and any chance to recruit that type of athlete for years to come. You play Memphis for all the marbles in a week. Perfect timing.

Who ever thought we would be saying Florida Atlantic will have to beat Charlotte on Saturday to be bowl eligible? In all seriousness Lane Kiffin built unreal expectations with his first-year thrashing Conference USA in a down year. They’re probably right there with Purdue as the best five-win team in the nation but Jeff Brohm is humble and Lane is not.

Boise State wasn’t looking ahead and Utah State did everything possible to put doubt in the bettor’s mind. As much as I love Utah State and loathe Brian Harsin, the Matt Wells of old tried to show up in Colorado State Saturday. He was 0-9 in one possession games the past two seasons before Saturday’s referee-aided win at the buzzer. It’s still the super bowl of the Mountain West and I’ll be a nervous man holding a futures ticket in one hand and probably a hedge ticket in the other.

Maryland loves to be the home dog. That was their best offensive performance of the season and damn Matt Canada is fun! However, 500 yards rushing and you call a pass play to knock off Ohio State in the first overtime?! Why? Oh Urban, get your headaches and kids excuses ready already. Could you imagine having to sit next to Meyer in a sportsbook with his parlay cards ready? Haha.

Pat Narduzzi somehow won the ACC Atlantic with no passing attack so to speak and a secondary made up of freshman and sophomores. The ACC is beyond strange this year and I’ll say it’s the worst Power 5 conference as a whole but huge kudos to Pittsburgh. If they’re this good this year imagine what they’ll be next year. That’s an unusually young squad.

From one Michigan State staffer to the next. Mike D’Antonio has apparently decided to not even prepare an offensive game plan anymore. That’s a broken team when they can limit everyone to less than 20 but find themselves as a six- or seven-win team with 15 return starters and sky-high expectations. It could be a very strange situation going forward. Thankfully they play a dead Rutgers team this week.

Uncertain what everyone saw in Minnesota but PJ Fleck being on the cusp of a bowl with a freshman quarterback and a rebuilt defensive line reminds me of how kooky college football is. They fired Tracy Claeys for only getting seven or eight wins every year. They wanted more offense and they’ll get just that going forward. Unfortunately, I am less certain than ever about the Gophers. When a team overachieves on the side of the ball with the majority of their youth and declines on the side of the ball they should rely on, it can really offset your view on handicapping that team. They play for all the bowl marbles this week. If you can find DFS for college football, take Jonathan Taylor over whatever number they put out there.

Florida is back. Texas is back. I’m not sold on Tom Herman as much as I am Dan Mullen. Regardless it’s good for football’s ecosystem and God forbid we have to watch the 13-10 games Will Muschamp was in love with losing. And while Charlie Strong is a tremendous coach, he has never handled star players (high recruits) well. Both Florida and Texas have legitimate recruits now. I still prefer to grab points whenever possible going forward with their opponents.

Colorado is in midst of the best late season collapse that I can recall. They were 5-0 to start and have suffered six consecutive losses. The quarterback whisperer of Mike Macintyre has been beyond mediocre once he lost DC Jim Leavitt. The program has been flat for a long while now and if they lose Saturday and extend their bowl drought, they’d be smart to get Leavitt on the phone to replace Mac.

Kansas State won Bill Snyder’s last game (supposedly) in a stadium named after him. In a disaster of a season, with an all freshman and JUCO secondary, he beat the likes of Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. His system is boring and he’s gotten kids to buy into it for 35 years. He’s a mentor to the man he faces off against with a bowl bid on the line in Matt Campbell at Iowa State. If you’ve followed me this season, I’ve had a lot of Kansas State plays. Change in coaches is always welcomed but in Snyder’s case he will be sorely missed.

There are two head coaches who are always overlooked in the top 10 lists. They are weird dudes and more similar than probably they’d be ashamed to admit – Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State and Mike Leach at Washington State. I prefer Leach as he is a little more laid back but both do more with less at a Power 5 level than most realize.

Washington State is having their best season ever with the least experience that Leach has had since arriving. He also leads all of college football in ATS record. He coaches the most important game of his tenure Saturday versus Washington. I have always been a Chris Peterson guy but I am going to tell you right now if Chris had Mike’s roster this season, he would have won six games maybe. Peterson has evolved into something I could have never imagined which is a regressing offensive mind while Leach has transformed from a shootout coach to a versatile, well rounded defendant on assistants to become one of the best.

Oklahoma State has only six wins but pushed Oklahoma on the road to a two-point conversion fail to lose as 21.5-point dogs. They beat a top 10 West Virginia team and did so with a career backup quarterback known for his feet more than his arm. His teams simply never quit on him. We all could learn a lot from both when reflecting on our own handicapping.

Thanks, and may all the bad beats be someone else’s problem,

Eddie Walls

Specializes in small conference games and finds value in both sides and totals. Professional gambler who always gets the best of the numbers. Can give you a full strength and weakness report on all 130 college football teams, coaches, coordinators and players over a large sample size.