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Washington State

vs.

BYU

College Football Pick with Analysis

8/30/12

BYU will host Washington State to kick off their 2012 season on Thursday, August 30th, at 10:15 pm est. BYU is a -13.5 point favorite 5 Dimes sportsbook and has been as high as -14.5. The current total is a whopping 61 at Betonline and SBG Global. This game is currently one of the more balanced games on the board for opening week, in terms of public opinion, with the betting public favoring BYU by anywhere from 51 to 58%, depending on which source you use.

BYU was 10-3 a year ago, capped off with a Bowl game win over Tulsa. How good BYU was a year ago though, is certainly open for debate. The only ranked opponent they faced was Texas, in week 2, who was ranked 24th at the time, but finished the season unranked. In fact, a glance at last years dance card shows us that what the BYU schedule lacked was quality opponents. They squeaked by Ole Miss to open the season, 14-13, lost to Texas 16-17 in game two and were then blown off the field by Utah 54-10 (wash st took utah to ot). The only other quality opponent was TCU, a 38-28 loss.

Washington State is a team we can't wait to get a look at this year because of the addition of new head coach Mike Leach. Leach is a winner, taking Texas Tech to bowl games in each of his 10 seasons. He's known as an offensive genius and will be taking over an offense that has already shown it can put points on the board. The big question here is whether or not it will take some time for Leach to get this team on track offensively, learning his schemes. There's generally always a learning curve, especially with an offense like the one Leach will run.

BYU returns 7 starters on each side of the ball as Bronco Mendenhall enters his 8th year as head coach. So we give an edge to BYU as far as being more intact and consistent. Washington State returns the same number of starters but will have their work cut out for them adjusting to the new coach. QB Jeff Tuel has said it was surprisingly easy to learn the offense, however, we'll see if that holds true under real game conditions.

Last year BYU stumbled out of the gate offensively. Their offense was anemic the first 3 games of the year, scoring 14,16 and 10. Another offensive start like that and BYU could be in trouble here, as Washington State will score some points. Anytime you have a prolific offense on the field, you have to take a good hard look at that team if and when they are getting a bucket full of points from the oddsmakers. We like to say, "the back door is always open" with teams like that.

Washington State will have a prolific offense. We just don't know how prolific it will be on opening day. We do know that Leach sure would like to make a statement though, if at all possible. We're not sold on BYU and think the points are worth taking here. At one time there was +14.5 available. We want at least two touchdowns, so we'll watch the board here and will pull the trigger when the first +14 appears on the board. This is not a key release at this time. Just a strong opinion. Washington State +14 or more.

 

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