THURSDAY September 1, 2020. A game no one is looking at St. Francis (PA) at Akron.
Akron 30 vs St. Francis (PA) 23 OT
Akron -16.5 / -835 / OU 47
A game not many people are betting is St. Francis (PA) at Akron. The Red Flash is in the Northeast Conference (FCS) and ranked 190 nationally. Akron is in the Mid-American Conference and is ranked near the bottom of 235 teams that make up FBS and FCS teams. In fact, most rating and ranking polls have them at 233 nationally. Keep this in mind, teams ranked above Akron are Morgan State at 229, Bryant at 160 and Eastern Michigan at 106.
Why does it matter that those teams are ranked ahead of Akron? Please allow me to explain.
In 2019 St. Francis (PA) beat Bryant on the road by 10-points 16-6 and in 2021 lost to Bryant on the road by 1-point 17-18. In 2021, Akron played Bryant at home and won by 21 points 35-14. Also, last year (2021), St. Francis beat Morgan State on the road by 13-points 27-14. St. Francis also went on the road and lost to Mid-American Conference team Eastern Michigan by 20 points 15-35. If rankings and ratings have a purpose and meaning, if these rankings truly help distinguish which team is “better” than another team THEN shouldn’t playing like opponents helps paint a picture of which team can best another? So, Morgan State is ranked at 229, Bryant ranked at 160 and Eastern Michigan at 106. What should happen when Akron is ranked 233 nationally with St. Francis ranked at 190 are set to play a football game? I see a picture of St. Francis covering the point spread of +16.5.
Akron at home scores on average 16 points per game and allows 31 points per game. Since 2018, Akron at home is 4-15 with wins coming from Ball State, Bryant and Bowling Green in 2020-2021 and a win over Cent Mich in 2018.
TAKE: +16.5 St. Francis (PA) WIN
Bryant (BU) 37 at Florida International (FIU) 38 OT
FIU-14.5 / -625 / OU 53
When I look at the NCAAF Rankings and Ratings for this game I see much division.
Sagarin ranking shows FIU 48.3 and BU 30.8. Whitlock ratings have has FIU 25.9 and BU 27.6 and Kislanko which ranks High to Low (with 1 being best and 200 worst) has FIU -127.1
and BU -36.1. The Bottom line is this, FIU or Bryant, depending on which ranking system you use either has FIU dead last or Bryant dead last. In computer game simulations between FIU vs Bryant it shows FIU 34 and Bryant 20. I know this axiom, when two teams considered the worst play each other, you get a horrible game filled with errors and mistakes. All it takes is a few turnovers, interception, a blocked kick and the game will forever be changed. I have included a write up from Saturday Blitz by Dante Pryor. He thinks FIU can go winless this season and calls the Bryant game critical and one game out of the eleven schedule they NEED to win.
TAKE: Bryant +14.5 and putting a little $$ on the money line Bryant +400
What a write Up
Mike MacIntyre takes over the FIU football program this fall. Can the Panthers be competitive in 2022 with their new head coach? The question looming over the FIU football program is essential: “Does the Florida International University administration genuinely care about having a good football program?” If the answer is no, then there is no long-term rebuild. It won’t matter who the head coach is; the program will cycle through coaches. Outgoing coach Butch Davis thinks the university doesn’t care about football. Jones felt that the administration was sabotaging the program. He said the staff could not recruit, and he could not offer his assistant coaches contract extensions due to financial constraints because of the pandemic. If the answer is yes, then there is something to build. FIU is in Miami, and there are plenty of good players in Dade county to play at the Group of Five level. Mike MacIntyre takes over for Jones with one of the biggest building projects in the FBS. The Panthers are abysmal and have been for the last couple of years. However, this is a program that has not always been this bad. Jones led the Panthers to three consecutive bowls from 2017-2019. Mario Cristobal got the Panthers to two bowls before he was unceremoniously fired. MacIntyre takes over a program that has won one game in two years, and most of its significant contributors have graduated or transferred. This season is going to be a long one in south Florida. Here is a look at the Panthers’ offense, defense, and schedule.
The offense averaged 20.3 points per game last season The offense was not great last season, but it was not awful either. The issue this season for the Panthers is that all of their significant contributors are no longer on the roster. Leading passer Max Bortenschlager is gone and currently looking to make an NFL roster. The same with last season’s leading rusher D’Vonte Price who signed February 25 with the Indianapolis Colts. Wide receiver Bryce Singleton declared for the NFL Draft and was invited to the Miami Dolphins rookie minicamp. FIU lost three linemen to the transfer portal as well. Left tackle Miles Frazier transferred to LSU; left guard Sione Finau left for Purdue; right guard Dontae Keys transferred to Colorado State. The Panthers will likely turn to Duke transfer quarterback Gunnar Holmberg to lead the offense. Last season’s leading receiver, Tyrese Chambers, flirted with the transfer portal but decided to return. He and South Florida transfer Randall St. Felix could make quite the 1-2 punch on the outside. Despite losing three offensive linemen to the portal, there is a lot of returning experience along the offensive line. There are questions at running back, however. Without Price, the Panthers look at Lexington Joseph and nothing else.
FIU’s defense was one of the worst in FBS
Anytime you win one game, the defense is usually terrible. The Panthers had one of the worst defenses in college football last season. Florida International finished 126th out of 130 teams scoring defense, allowing 39.7 points per game. They were 128th in total defense, surrendering 491.3 yards per game. The Panthers created eight turnovers, tied for 128th in the country. The Panthers lack both size and depth up front and will get bullied on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Richard and Rishard Dames are both gone at the corner, and the safeties are young. Coach Strickland has some decisions about what defense they play because they might not have enough bodies to run a base 4-3. The Panthers did not get much line help via the transfer portal. Incoming freshman Will Prendergrast might be one of the bigger defensive linemen on the roster and will likely see a load of snaps as a true freshman. Unless this defense finds a way to create turnovers at a higher rate than last season, they will struggle to get opponents off the field.
LA TECH 17 AT MISSOURI 52
Missouri / -18.5 / -1115 / ou 60.5
Since 2018, Missouri home games vs FCS opponents on average allow 19 points per game and Missouri scores 50 points. The point difference is 31, and the combined totals for those games average 69 points. Louisiana Tech on the road vs FBS teams allows 43 points and scores 16 points on average.The point difference is 33, and the combined totals for those games average 59 points. LA Tech has lost all six FBS road games and Missouri has won all seven FCS home games. I don’t think Missouri loses this game. In fact, all six (Hatch, sagarin, Kislanko, Massey, Whitlock and Wobus) rating and ranking experts have Missouri over LA Tech well above. However, Sagarin gave Missouri only a 83% chance of winning. I do like 90% or higher. I would use the Missouri money line (-1115) as an anchor for parlays.
Alabama A&M 0 @ UAB 59
UAB -34 / NL ML / OU 63
Bryant Vincent makes his season debut as UAB's head coach Thursday, Sept. 1, against Alabama A&M at Birmingham's Protective Stadium. (UAB). For the first time in eight years, the UAB football team will open the season without Bill Clark patrolling the sidelines.Clark retired this summer, due to ongoing health issues, and offensive coordinator turned interim head coach Bryant Vincent leads the Blazers. UAB in 2017 played Alabama A&M winning 38-7. UAB is coming off their biggest win in school history, a 31-28 victory over No. 13 BYU in the Independence Bowl, the Blazers enter the season with a load of experience and the potential to capture a third league title in their final season in Conference USA. UAB is 18-3 at home since 2018. Their opponents score on average 16 points per game and UAB puts up 35 points and average scoring difference is 19 points and the average combined totals are 52 points. On the other side of the ball. QB Aqeel Glass left behind a decorated career at Alabama A&M. The two time Black College Football Player of the Year leaves Alabama A&M as the best Quarterback in the history of the Bulldogs storied franchise. Head Coach Connell Maynor hopes Quincy Casey can fill a major void under center heading into the 2022 College Football season. Casey, a redshirt sophomore, was named the starter for the Bulldogs season opener against the Blazers of UAB (Thursday, 7 PM). Casey will start, backup quarterback Xavier Lankford will also see playing time. Look, anytime you have two QB’s it means you have no QB. Last year QB Aqeel Glass put up on average over 350 yards of passing per game. Alabama A&M won seven games with Aqeel Glass that averaged 44 points per game. I would take the -34 in this game because I don't think A&M can score much.
Cal Poly @ Fresno State
Fresno State -34.5 / NL ML / OU 61
Cal Poly went 2-7 last year, 0-3 in 2020, 3-8 in 2019, 5-6 in 2018 and 1-10 in 2017, a very consistent team at losing. Cal poly has NEVER beat a FBS school and Fresno has beaten many. A very lopsided game. In fact the last time Fresno played Cal Poly was September 11, 2021 the score was 63-10 and the point spread was -32.5. The only other time these two teams met was September 7, 2013 and Fresno won 41-25. Just to dig Cal-Poly’s grave a little deeper, Fresno has senior QB Jake Haener. Last year the QB was 9th in the nation in passing yards with 4,096, 11th in the nation with 33 TD’s as is a strong candidate for Heisman Trophy. He just may get 10 TD in this game. I feel very good about the -34, it’s very doable! Since 2017 Fresno has invited four FCS teams into their Home field (Cal-Poly, UConn, Sacramento State and Incarnate Word Texas) Fresno allowed the opponent to score on average 7 points while they scored 52 with an average combined score of 60 points.
The Parlay of the Day
Fresno State -34.5 (PS)
WIN UAB -34 (PS)
WIN Oklahoma State -1665 (ML)
WIN Missouri -1115 (ML)
BET $10 WIN $32