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Jimmy's Best NCAA Football Selections Saturday 10/1/22

Nice week last Saturday, we went 4-0, let's do it again!

1. Northwestern at Penn State

Penn State -25.5 / -10000 / 52.5

Penn State is built on Defense and their Offense is looking very good. The Penn State secondary has been impressive this season. But, did you know that it has an incredible lead in one particular category? The Lions now have 41 pass breakups through four games. The next closest team sits at just 25. And, Penn State only had 41 all of last year. There have been 16 Penn State vs Northwestern games since 1997. Penn State is 12-4 in the series. In the series,when Penn State scores 30 points or more they are 12-0. Again, it’s been four football seasons since the teams have played. Since 2018, Penn State is 21-7 at home. In those 21-wins, Penn State scores on average 38, allowed 14 (with a margin of victory at +24) and the combined totals average 52 points.

Northwestern is not doing so well this year. Overall, (HM and RD) since last season (Sep 3, 2021). Northwestern is 12-18 and they are 3-8 on the road beating (Purdue, Illinois and Iowa). Technically, the Nebraska game in Ireland at the beginning of this season was a home game. This year, Northwestern has lost 3-in-a-row to inferior teams at HOME! Last week they lost to Miami (OH), prior to that FCS Southern Illinois and then Duke. Northwestern is currently 1-3 coming into this game and their only win came in the College Football Kickoff opener in week “0” (zero) in Ireland beating Nebraska 31-28. Northwestern is playing Penn State which is a ranked top 20 team. Since 2021 against teams ranked in the TOP 60 Northwestern is 0-10 (Home and Road) and Northwestern scores on average 14, Allows 36 (with a margin of loss at -22) and combined totals average 50 points.

Penn State against FCS and teams ranked 75 or higher (Because that's what Northwestern is), Penn State scores on average 40 Points, Allows 10, (margin of victory at 30+) and combined totals average 50 points

Score Allow Totals Pt Dif

Penn State Hm 40 10 50 30+

Northwestern Rd 14 36 50 -22

Just to pile it on, looking only at FBS teams, Northwestern ranks 49th in total offense, Penn State is 33rd. On total Defense, Penn State ranks 64th and Northwestern 82nd. But, here is the Big Picture: You can accumulate all the yards you want, but gaining the most yards in a game does not equal the most points in a game. In team scoring Offense, Penn State is ranked 29th I115 pts, avg 38 pts per game) and Northwestern is 104th (total 92 pts, avg 23 pts per game). You have to score points to win. Just to put a little more salt in the wound, Penn State RB Nicholas Singleton (Freshman) is 3rd in the nation in “yards per rush” with 8.95 per touch.


Northwestern is tied for the national lead with seven fumbles lost. Its turnover margin is a dreadful minus-5 (Penn State's is plus-8). The Wildcats fell behind Duke 21-0 but rallied for a one-possession loss. They gave up four turnovers in a loss to Southern Illinois. Miami (Ohio) kicked a field goal with 21 seconds left in regulation to win 17-14 this past Saturday. "We continue to keep beating ourselves," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. Penn State is expected to win easily, once again at home (Beaver Stadium). So, two questions to ponder as the Nittany Lions prepare to face fall-off-the-cliff Northwestern Saturday afternoon: Who is the tougher opponent − Mid-American Conference Central Michigan or these Wildcats? And what can Penn State possibly gain by playing a second-straight overmatched team at home? First up, forget conference affiliation and coaching pedigree. CMU appears like the more efficient, disciplined and dangerous outfit at this point, which is a stunning proclamation. Their fight was legit last weekend. Which probably outweighs Northwestern, which has looked inept at basic operation since rallying to win its opener. The Wildcats are sabotaging themselves through a litany of penalties, turnovers and missed opportunities. They've lost three straight, the last two to non-Power Five opponents Southern Illinois and Miami (Ohio). Their reality is unconscionable bleak at the moment, as in they may not win again this fall without market improvement. Proof? Northwestern owns arguably the Big Ten's worst offense (only 16.6 points, 321 yards per game) and defense (yielding 29 points, 430 ypg.). Their run defense is difficult to fathom. Opponents are gashing them for more than 200 yards per game. Which all means that Penn State should be able to blast off to a big lead early, especially leading on their rotating rookie running backs, Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. And that's where the potential good of this kind of day shows itself. If the Lions can take advantage. Because what can make this team special is the impact of several freshmen who have performed beyond their on-field experience. They must keep learning, keep stacking their game experiences and confidence before those three season-defining tests next month. From the running backs to offensive linemen (Sal Wormley, Landon Tengwall) to receiver (Tre Wallace). From defensive linemen (Zane Durant, Dani Dennis-Sutton) to linebackers (Abdul Carter) and defensive backs (Zakee Wheatley). The list goes on. If Penn State wants to win nine or 10 games, those guys must continue raising their level of play. It must find a deep passing game and more rush pressure from its front seven. The youngest would-be stars simply need time and repetition against varying competition. All the better that extended opportunities should come for the majority Saturday against a team that lost itself and does not appear close to answers. Of course, this result probably won't mean much to the big picture. But what can be gained from it, almost certainly will.

2. Texas State at James Madison

James Madison -21.5 / -2000 / 53

Welcome to Harrisonburg, Virginia Texas State! If you didn’t know Texas State is located in San Marcos Texas. San Marcos is exactly half-way between San Antonio and Austin Texas on US Interstate 35 (I-35)

JMU is one of 21 teams in the FBS still undefeated at 3-0. Since 2018 JMU is 28-3 at home and 45-9 overall. In their opening game at home they crushed Middle Tennessee 44-7, ya know that team that just beat Miami at home. James Madison is the real deal. From 2021 to current they are 15-1 regular season, and they lost the FCS Championship 14-20 to North Dakota State. JMU Senior RB & QB average 6.3 and 5.5 per. Rush. QB Todd Centeio has 11 TD’s and NO INT’s. Offensively, JMU ranks 35th in FBS and 46th overall. JMU is ranked 15th in the nation at rushing. Defensively JMU ranks 3rd in the nation!

Since 2018 JMU Score Allow Pt Diff Combined

Overall (HM & RD) 37.7 15.3 22.4 53.0

JMU Home Only 42.1 13.4 28.7 55.6

Against FBS TOP 40 (HM&RD) 25.5 19.7 5.8 45.2

Texas State opened the season as a two-point road favorite at Nevada and fell 38-14. They didn't help themselves with four turnovers. They followed that with an easy win over FIU 41-12 at home as a 14-point favorite. On Sept. 17, they predictably fell at Baylor by 35, 42-7 on the road as a 29.5-point dog. The Bobcats took care of business last week in their 34-0 win over Houston Christian (FCS team and Bible Beaters) Since 2018, Texas State is 4-21 on the road. Their big 4-wins came against (FIU, Arkansas State, ULM and Georgia State). Texas State is currently ranked 135th in Offense, 6th in passing and 199th in rushing. Calvin Hill is their best RB gaining 4.6 yards per carry ranked 54th in FBS and their QB Layne Hatcher has 10 TD’s and 4 INT and ranks 31st in passing yards with 266 per game. On Defense, Texas State is currently ranked 44th overall (FCS and FBS) and 25th in FBS.

Since 2018 TX ST Score Allow Pt Diff Combined

Overall (RD) 19 33 -14 52

Road vs Ranked TOP 60 14 37 -23 51

Road vs Ranked 61+ 23 28 -5 50

Since 2018 JMU Score Allow Pt Diff Combined

JMU Home 42.1 13.4 28.7 55.6

TX ST Road vs Ranked TOP 60 14 37 -23 51


3. Georgia State at Army West Point

Army -9.5 / -335 / 58

This past weekend Army beat Villanova 49-10, they had 472 rushing yards and six rushing TD’s. Army did pass 1-time, an incomplete pass, which made their passing totals for the game “0” zero, goose egg, nada, blank, zip…you get the point. But, I bet you didn’t know that Georgia Southern is 10-0 when recording “0” Zero passing yards, yep goose egg, nada, blank, zip! Yes five of those 10-games were in the 2010’s and 4-games between 2012 - 2013. So Army isn’t the only team to win a game with no passing yards. On to our game, since 2018 Georgia State is 7-15 on the road. This season Georgia State is 0-4 losing to almost every team named Carolina: South Carolina 35-14, North Carolina 35-28 and Coastal Carolina 41-24, their other loss came from Charlotte 41-42. BTW, Charlotte's defense is ranked last in FBS (131st) and overall ranked 251 (FCS & FBS) only three teams worse (Yale, 'Presbyterian and Eastern Wash) AND YET Georgia State could not get a win! Currently, Georgia State’s offense is ranked 96th overall, 142nd in passing and 55th in rushing. The Georgia State defense is ranked 211th overall giving up over 450 yards per game. QB Darren Grainger is ranked 80th overall and completes 52% of is passes and has 9 TD’s and 4 INT’s It’s not going to get any better this week when Georgia State heads to play Army. Army is 24-4 at home since 2018. Army and Georgia Southern played last year at West Point and lost 27-28. Now, Army has played 20 FBS teams at home since 2018 and is 16-4.

Since 2018 vs FBS Score Allow Pt Dif Combined

Army Home 30 14 16 44

GA Southern Road 28 34 -6 62

The Army offense is ranked 72nd overall, 219th in passing and 6th in rushing. The Army defense is ranked 87th in FBS and 157 overall. Neither team has a defense nor the ability to stop any team from scoring. Expect the points to be tallying up.


4. UMass at Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan / -20 / -1430 / 56

Two weeks ago in Tempe Arizona, Arizona State was completely outplayed in an embarrassing 30-21 loss at home to Eastern Michigan. Eastern Michigan executed its game plan to perfection by controlling both the line of scrimmage and the clock, which allowed EMU to hold the ball for 19:07 and run 47 plays in the opening two quarters. Compare that to ASU’s 23 plays in 10:53. The Eagles had 153 passing yards, 154 rushing yards and 17 first downs in the first half, while the Sun Devils only garnered 127 total yards (81 passing, 46 rushing) and five first downs. EMU running back Samson Evans finished the night with over 200 yards and one touchdown run. The Sun Devils (1-2), who hadn’t allowed a single point in the first quarter all season, gave up over 300 yards of total offense in the first half en route to a 24-14 halftime deficit. The Eagles (2-1) were also nearly perfect on third down, converting on 9-of-10 conversions to score all three of its touchdowns in the opening two quarters. Eastern Michigan also accomplished one more great feat, they were able to get Head Coach Herm Edwards fired for that loss. Eastern Michigan will conclude its 2022 non-conference slate when the Eagles play host to the University of Massachusetts. Eastern (2-2, 0-1 MAC) dropped its Mid-American Conference opener, falling at the University of Buffalo, 50-31 last Saturday. Sophomore QB Austin Smith made his first collegiate start for the Eagles, finishing 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) through the air for 190 yards, a rushing touchdown and an interception. Since 2018, Eastern Michigan against FBS teams is 9-9 at home. Eastern Michigan scores on average 29 points, gives up 28 and the combine average per game is 57 points.

RANKING (FBS & FCS) Off Passing Rushing Defense

Eastern Mich 126 119 124 207

UMass 251 253 66 105

TEMPLE (Baseline) 247 187 222 26*FCS Wins

Here’s the real deal, UMass absolutely stinks, they lost 28-0 to Temple. The closest resemblance of a UMass team Eastern Michigan has played at home is Akron in 2018 and E. Mich won 27-7. UMass comes into this game (1-3). UMass’s only win was against FCS Stoney Brook. Since 2018, UMass is 1-22 on the road vs FBS Teams. UMass has lost 19-in-a-row on the road. Since 2020 the most UMass has scored against a FBS team was 17-points (Army & Liberty) Umass has been shut-out three times (Temple, Liberty and Georgia Southern) Since 2020, UMass scores on average 6-points, allows 45 and totals are 52. The -20 seems easy to accomplish and it’s Homecoming for Eastern Michigan. Just FYI.. the last time Eastern Michigan had a shutout was vs Indiana State 52-0 in 2008

TAKE: Eastern Michigan -20

5. South Alabama at Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL)

(ULL) Louisiana -9.5 / -360 / 49.5 ***ROAD FAV

Two weeks ago, The South Alabama Jaguars were leading Chip Kelly and the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl, 31-29, with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. That’s when South Alabama coach Kane Wommack inexplicably decided to run a fake off of a 40-yard field goal attempt that would have made it a two-possession game. You can probably guess what happened next: The Jaguars hilariously botched the play. UCLA got the ball back at their 49 yard line and the rest is history. We can’t say for certain if the kicker would have made the 40-yard field goal or not, but the head coach killed SAU’s chance to be the 22nd team in FBS to be UNDEFEATED and the 3rd team from the SUNBELT to be undefeated in the nation.

Since 2012, South Alabama is 2-8 overall against Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL). But that’s where it ends. ULL is ranked 226 offensively, 120th in Passing and 200th in rushing. ULL’s defense is ranked 124th. Conversely, South Alabama is ranked 58th Offensively, 52nd in passing and 88th in rushing. Defensively, So. Alabama is ranked 46th. ULL is 14-3 since 2021, However, two of the three losses came back to back recently and ULL enters this game losing 2-in-a-row. After 24 wins, two Sun Belt titles, and three bowl victories in the last three seasons ULL can’t keep it going? One of the worst kept secrets in college football was that ULL Head Coach Billy Napier was killing time before going off to a giant head coaching gig somewhere. He did, and is now the Florida head coach. Now Louisiana has to try to maintain its greatness and keep on winning without Napier, without QB Levi Lewis, and without a slew of good players who took off for Gainesville with their former head coach among other places. Well, the verdict is in…ULL is no longer the king of the Sun Belt. South Alabama is having a once in a lifetime year and came within seconds of beating UCLA at home.

ULL and South Alabama against Sun Belt Teams and each other Since 2018


South Alabama HM 25 25 50

ULL RD 32.3 26.3 58.6

ULL at So Alabama 22 24 46

The games were close all these years but it won’t be this season.

TAKE: South Bama -9

6. The Citadel at Appalachian State

Appalachian State -35.5 / NL / 54

Since 2018 Appalachian State has played at least one FCS school at home and the FCS teams have NEVER won. In fact, Appalachian State has scored between 42 to 72 points vs FCS teams at home. Furthermore, Appalachian State’s home record against Sun Belt conference foes alone is a remarkable 20-2 with the two losses coming from JMU last week and conference Champion (3-years in a row) ULL in 2020.

Against FCS at Home Score Allow Pt Diff Totals

App State 52.5 11.2 41.2+ 63.7

Against FBS on the Road Score Allow Pt Diff Totals

Citadel 10 38.5 -29 48.5

The Citadel has played (Alabama,Army,Clemson, Coastal Carolina, USF and GA Tech)

Against Sun Belt Conf at Home Score Allow Pt Diff Totals

App State 37.3 20.2 19.2+ 57.5

The Citadel comes into town at 1-2 with a loss to Mercer on the road 0-17. Overall Citadel on the road since 2018 is 8-18 and against FBS teams on the road they are 1-5 with the sole win against Ga Tech in 2019. (Frankly, who hasn’t beat Ga Tech).

RANKING (FBS & FCS) Off Passing Rushing Defense

App State 80th 84th 84th 121st

Citadel 215th 254th 83rd 117th

TAKE: App State -35.5

Getting above 36 should be accomplished easily, especially since App State on average scores 52 points vs FSC Competition.

7. Wagner at Syracuse

Syracuse -54.5 / NL / 60.5

Most sports fans have NEVER heard of Wagner University. Wagner is located in Staten Island, New York. Wagner is not good, in fact, most would not consider Wagner a favorite against a good high school football team. However, I could see Wagner beating possibly an average high school team. Since 2019 Wagner is 1-27, their sole win came against LIU on September 28, 2019. Overall (Hm and Rd) during this time Wagner averages 13 points scoring, they allow 33 points with a point scoring difference of -21.5 and their games totals are 46 points.

SINCE 2019 Score Allow Pt Diff Totals

Wagner (Overall Hm & RD) 13 33 -21.5 46

Wagner (Road FCS) 11 34.9 -23.7 46.1

Wagner (Road FBS) 9 48.4 -38.6 58.2

**There are 254 teams combined in FBS and FCS, here are the teams rankings.

RANKING (FBS & FCS) Off Passing Rushing Defense

Syracuse 119th 90th 145th 68th

Wagner 217th 204th 242nd 237th

Since 2018 Syracuse has played five FCS teams at home OR teams pretending to be FCS schools. Syracuse won all five games. Syracuse played Wagner in 2018 and it was a 62 point rout.

Date Away Score Home Score Result Pt Diff Totals

Sep 18, 2021 ALBANY 24 SYRACUSE 62 W 38 86

Sep 26, 2020 GA TECH 20 SYRACUSE 37 W 17 57

Sep 28, 2019 H. CROSS 3 SYRACUSE 41 W 38 44

Sep 22, 2018 UCONN 21 SYRACUSE 51 W 30 72

Sep 8, 2018 WAGNER 10 SYRACUSE 62 W 52 72

Averages 15.6 50.6 35+ 66.2

Wagner against FBS competition averages totals of 58.2 and Syracuse against FCS averages totals of 66.2. Combined scoring of over 60 points is very likely.


8. New Hampshire at Western Michigan

Western Michigan -16.5 / -880 / 49.5

Last year coach Sean McDonnell, the New Hampshire University football coach, announced his retirement after leading the Wildcats for 23 years. "It's time for a new face, new ideas and a new way of doing things around here," McDonnell said in a statement. McDonnell's 157 career wins rank second in UNH history behind the 175 by Bill Bowes, his former head coach and a National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Famer. The Wildcats had a 14-year run of NCAA playoff berths and 14 playoff victories from 2004 to '17, including three conference championships. Rick Santos steps in as new head coach, a former QB for UNH from 2004-07

Since 2018 Western Michigan is 14-7 at home.

SINCE 2019 Score Allow Pt Diff Totals

W. Michigan (Overall Hm ) 36.3 27.9 6.4 62.5

W. Michigan (HM FCS) 50.0 6.0 44.0 56.0

NEW HAMP (RD FBS) 18.7 20.4 1.7 39.1

Last year New Hampshire played a tough James Madison team at home and lost 21-23, they also played on the road at Pittsburgh on opening day and lost 7-77

**There are 254 teams combined in FBS and FCS, here are the team rankings.

RANKING (FBS & FCS) Off Passing Rushing Defense

New Hampshire 158th 147th 153rd 142nd

Western Michigan 243rd 211th 163rd 184th

San Jose State beat Western Michigan 34-6 last Saturday, WMU has not looked good in any game. WMU has one win and it was a 37-30 win over Ball State. WMU has not scored above 13 points in all three losses; 35-13 to Michigan State, 37-13 loss to Pittsburgh and 34-6 to San Jose.Note: New Hampshire is not close to being as good as those three teams that beat WMU, probably more like Ball State if not better.

This looks like a high scoring game and New Hampshire leads in all the offensive and defensive ranking categories. TAKE OVER 49.5

9. Navy at Air Force

Air Force -15 / -835 / 37.5

Since 2018 Air Force is 14-5 at home against FBS teams.Air Forces scores an average 34-points and Allows 20 and the Totals are 54 points. When Air Force wins their average margin of victory is 22.5 points. Air Force has won the last two games (2021 & 2020) at home and on the road. Navy has been out scored in those two meetings 63-10. Air Force has won 5 of 6 home games vs Navy since 2010. The only lost came in 2012, a 21-28 win for Navy.

Since 2018 Score Allow Totals

Air Force vs Navy (Hm & Rd) 31 13 44

Air Force HM (FBS) 35 20 55

Navy Road (FBS) 23 32 56

Since 2018 Navy is 7-14 on the road against FBS teams. Navy is currently 1-2 this season. Navy got their first win of the season in a 23-20 over-time win at East Carolina. Navy lost their opener to FCS Delaware 7-14 then went to Memphis and lost 13-37.

**There are 254 teams combined in FBS and FCS, here are the team rankings.

RANKING (FBS & FCS) Off Passing Rushing Defense

NAVY 229th 230th 48th 109th

AIR FORCE 31st 250th 1st 34th


10. Rutgers at Ohio State

Ohio State -41 / ML / 60

Since 2018 Rutgers is 5-13 on the road against Big 10 teams. In 2020 Rutgers lost to Ohio State 27-49 and in 2018, they lost 3-52. Since Rutgers joined the Big 10 in 2015 they have NEVER beat Ohio State. Since 2015 the lowest Ohio State has scored against Rutgers is 55 points and the highest is 77 points. Since 2018, Ohio State has NEVER lost to a Big Ten team at home.

Since 2018 Score Allow Totals

Rutgers RD vs Big Ten (Rd) 14 30 45

Rutgers vs Ohio St (Hm & Rd) 16 52 68

Ohio State (HM vs Big 10) 46 20 66

**There are 254 teams combined in FBS and FCS, here are the team rankings.

RANKING (FBS & FCS) Off Passing Rushing Defense

RUTGERS 144th 191st 65th 15th

OHIO STATE 4th 19th 30th 31st

The Wisconsin defense couldn't stop the Buckeyes from dropping 52 relatively easy points on them and I’m sure Rutgers defense won't be able to fare much better.


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