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"PLAYMAKERS" TRAVELS NORTH WHILE TENNESSEE'S OFFENSE HEADS SOUTH
By Kevin O'Neill www.ConsumerBet.com
It sounds like a storyline from ESPN's Playmakers, but just in case you thought the NFL had the market cornered on pro football's miscreants, Saskatchewan Roughrider Trevis Smith, a former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker, was arrested for sexual assault in a Vancouver suburb. But it doesn't stop there. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced to the press that Smith is HIV positive. Yikes. The Canadian Press article reported: "Normally the RCMP does not comment on the medical status of anyone charged," said Const. Marc Searle of the Surrey detachment. "But in this case we believe it to be in the public interest." Police have suggested that anyone who may have had sexual contact with Smith and is concerned about exposure to HIV should immediately see their doctor or go to a clinic for testing, as well as contact police in relation to their investigation. I have a feeling if law enforcement made a similar public pronouncement about an NFL player the lawsuits would be flying.
The new turf course at Hollywood Park suffered a slight problem. The grass just didn't grow. They've had to cancel all turf racing for the fall meet, which is a disaster for horsemen and horseplayers in Southern California.
The Tennessee Volunteers have steadily declined offensively since David Cutcliffe left his offensive coordinator position to take the Ole' Miss job. After an upset loss to South Carolina Phil Fulmer has demoted OC Randy Sanders and Sanders will be leaving the program after the season. Guess who is living in Knoxville, has a son attending Tennessee, and a daughter in high school nearby? None other than David Cutcliffe. While Cutcliffe would prefer a head coaching job, his heart problems that prevented him from ever starting work as Notre Dame's OC may keep him off that "hot head coaches" list. It would be no surprise if he's back on the Volunteers staff next fall, which would be about the best thing that could happen to Erik Ainge.
Starting with Wednesday night's rampage over Connecticut, West Virginia was originally scheduled to end the season playing on Wednesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, proving that these schools will do anything for a few bucks. But a rescheduled game with South Florida on the first Saturday of December allows the Mountaineers one more Saturday outing. Call 770-618-8700 for free weekend football previews on a recorded 24-hour voice broadcast. And visit www.Vegas5.com, where the combined efforts of ASA, Nelly's Sportsline, Tom Stryker, Al McMordie, and yours truly have had a very good year.
If you're in Las Vegas Friday night, stop by the Stardust Sports Book, where I'll be matched up against Andy Iskoe in a second round matchup in the Stardust Invitational. The show, which is broadcast throughout the Western US by powerful KDWN radio in Las Vegas, is from 9 to 10PM Pacific Time. The broadcast is handled by John Kelly and Seat Williams. Stick around afterwards to say hello.
We've been getting a lot of inquiries about our basketball. We let the NBA play out for a week or two before getting involved. If you're on our email list you'll be alerted when things get revved up in the pro roundball, where we've hit 60%, 61%, and 58% in the last three years.
Not that Urban Meyer isn't really smart, and it was a nice win for Florida on Saturday over Georgia, but all the chatter about the "revamped offense" that the Gators instituted during the bye week may be a bit overheated. The Gators played a flawless first 7½ minutes of the game to take a 14-0 lead. In the remaining 3½ quarters they gained only 140 yards in 40 plays from scrimmage. Now granted, they had the lead and playing conservatively isn't a bad strategy at that point. But it shows a continuing lack of confidence by Meyer, who has previously enjoyed laying it on opponents in the Mountain West and MAC. He isn't comfortable with Leak at QB, and isn't comfortable with the way his schemes are playing against the athletes of the SEC. Vanderbilt has slipped to 4-4 after their 4-0 start, but a week off should have them fresh and ready here. Take the big points with the Commodores.
Let's check out a total in Sunday's NFL football, looking at the Texans trip to Jacksonville. It is tough to see where the points are going to come from in this one. Houston averages a historically bad 208 yards per game on offense and Jacksonville is no offensive juggernaut, as they're notching only 18 points per game. Though Jacksonville is going downfield more often, they will play not to lose this one, as Del Rio is a conservative coach. Once the Jags have a lead they'll keep the ball on the ground to run the clock. Play the under in this one.
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Have a great weekend. Good luck and be careful.