GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS - 19-10 ATS...66%
NCAA: 9-0 - NFL: 4-7 - Teasers: 6-3 Hotties: 69-0
TUESDAY'S 1ST GLANCE AT THE ATS GRIDIRON TABLET
PUDUE BOILERMAKES (+1) @ NOTRE DAME IRISH
With all the pre-game hype and locker-room banter 2 week ago, you'd have thought the Wolverines & Golden Domers were playing for a National Title instead of bragging rights for 2 football factories fighting to stay above .500. Even though Notre Dame surprised many experts by easily handling Michigan, unlike Charlie Cheeseburger, Rich Rodriguez is using this season as an opportunity to develop his underclassmen...and not to save his job. Against ND, plenty of talented veterans were on the bench as Rodriguez took full advantage of his free pass this season to teach the youngsters his new schemes. As a result, besides an electrifying play from freshmen SAM MCGUFFIE or MARTAVIOUS ODOMS, the Wolverines are what they are…a Big Ten bottom-feeder until late November. If anything, the Irish victory ova is a blessing and gives us a few extra points to play with this weekend.
Back on the Touchdown Jesus front, the Irish looked extremely pedestrian following the U of M victory as they traveled to East Lansing last week and contributed only a 4th quarter TD on the scoreboard losing 23-7. While the final score didn’t appear to be a complete blow-out, the Spartans run Javon Ringer off-tackle and up-the-middle 90% of the time (even more than Iowa State legend Troy “Mini Me” Davis) and are geared to control the clock. This week, Notre Dame will be facing the most balanced and offensively-skilled team they’ve seen thus far in the Purdue Boilermakers. Lead by Sr. QB Curtis Painter (Career- 57 passing TDs, 13 rushing TDs, & 9,497 passing yards), Sr. RB Kory Sheets (Career- 3,181 rush/rec yrds, 42 TDs, & 5.2 rush avg), and a bevy of veteran WRs, I can not fathom how the overrated Jimmy Clausen & Co. can keep up.
While Coach Tiller will always be criticized for losing against ranked opponents, and lost another close one in West Lafayette to then #16 Oregon 32-26 in OT two weeks ago, the Boilermakers are better team this year than the 8 wins each of the last two years and should surprise some of the big-boys late in the year. Throw-in a couple arrests last weekend for a couple Golden Domers adding to any already circus-type atmosphere and tough to see how Charlie Cheeseburger has this group ready to slowdown Purdue’s spread attack. And if you like it, hit it up now cause I have a feeling we’ll see the Wilford Brimley look-alike giving away a FG by game time.
Final Score: BOILERMAKERS 31 FIGHTING IRISH 23
As for a few more early week ATS thoughts,...
I luv she's wearin' red & white 2 support ARK ST READ WHY
PHILLY EAGLES (-5) @ CHICAGO BEARS
Did you see Brian Griese look like he was playing for Texas Tech last week? As mentioned Monday, the slow-footed Griese dropped back almost 70 times & was basically never touched. So how do you think Chicago-native & dink-n-dunk master D-Nabb will look at Soldier Field this weekend? Andy Reid will spread-out the Bears all day, and considering the Bears have absolutely no-depth in the secondary, I have a feeling the sky will be falling in Chicago by the 2nd quarter.
Eagle defensive guru Jim Johnson is even more creative with his blitz packages this season with the addition of Asante Samuel matching-up on the outside, so expect the overachieving Bears O-Line to finally be exposed like they should. As a result, Lovie gets demoralized, but has the same monotone expression following the game!
Final Score: EAGLES 31 BEARS 17
ARKANSAS ST RED WOLVES (EVEN) @ MEMPHIS TIGERS
After years of mediocrity, the Red Wolves seemed poised to make some noise from the Sun Belt. With gutsy Jr QB Corey Leonard (10 TDs, 1 INT, & 250 rushing yards) making smart decisions, a duel rushing attack that would be dangerous in any conference with Jr. Reggie Arnold (373 yrds, 6.7, 3 TDs) & Fr. Derek Lawson (358 yrds, 9.0 avg, 2 TDs), and deep cast of WRs it’s no surprise to Mr. Gamble Arkansas St. opened the season winning at Texas A&M & is 3-1 to start the year. While a 3-pt loss to Southern Mississippi was somewhat disappointing, Leonard & Co. bounced back with a nice 31-14 win over a Middle Tennessee St. squad that beat Maryland earlier this year.
As for (1-3) Memphis, they’ve lost some heartbreakers this season before breaking in the win column last week against Nicholls State, and are now dealing with the rumors of a coaching change on the horizon.
Final Score: RED WOLVES 27 TIGERS 20