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Earlier this year, it was suggested by several writers across the lower 48 and myself that possibly Greg Schiano



2008-12-05

Earlier this year, it was suggested by several writers across the lower 48 and myself that possibly Greg Schiano, the Rutgers coach, had made a bad career move and not moved on from Rutgers after celebrated 11-2 season in 2006. As we are all aware, timing is extremely important in life. Last season was not expected to be as positive as the previous year with too many defensive players graduated, and the Scarlet Knights went to a second consecutive bowl game for the first time ever and got a pat on the head for finishing 8-5.

The warm and fuzzy feelings were dissipating for Rutgers, being predicted no better than fourth in most preseason magazines despite 15 returning starters and an experienced signal caller like Mike Teel. The season started a complete disaster, with home televised losses to Fresno State and North Carolina, followed by a loss at Navy. At 0-3 and turnover margin of -8, things were looking bleaker than the New Jersey economy.

A 38-0 win against Morgan State did not turn anyone's head, especially after losing at West Virginia and Cincinnati, though covering the spread the last two. A gut wrenching, hard fought 12-10 win over Connecticut stemmed the negativity and changed the entire attitude of the team and the program.

After the offense went three weeks without committing a turnover, Teel and his receivers finally clicked, totaling 371 yards passing at Pittsburgh, who had been hot, and cruised to a 54-34 road upset as 9.5-point underdogs. The Knights have won their last three games by 114-36, becoming bowl eligible and can cement the invite with win tonight over Louisville (5-6, 4-6 ATS).

Once college football teams hit November, their lot is cast, oh sure the occasional upset occurs, but for the most part if you are playing well, you continue to and the same goes the other way. With Rutgers on five game winning streak, with an average margin of victory of 20 points, no team is playing better in the Big East and that might include BCS bound league champ Cincinnati. With Teel and the offense on fire, Rutgers is 10-1 ATS when they score 28 or more points over the last two seasons.

Now take a team picture of Louisville. Since upsetting what was believed to be a still good South Florida team 24-20 at home in late October (Rutgers beat USF 49-13 at their place), the Cardinals have crashed to earth with four losses in a row, committing 14 turnovers along the way. None of these defeats have been competitive either, failing to cover the spread in any of the four, making Louisville colder than a Papa John's pizza delivered an hour late.

A few hardy contrarians will point to this is the perfect setup for Louisville to upset Rutgers, thinking another Brohm brother is still playing quarterback and this is the Cardinals from a few seasons ago. Enough bettors are going that way with the line at Sportsbook.com and other wagering outlets having dropped to 10.5 points after opening at 13, with a total of 51. The Knights are 8-1 ATS when the total is between 49.5 and 56 over the last three seasons.

Remember all the love defensive coordinator Ron English was receiving for keeping the Cardinals in games with the defense, 132 points and 435 yards per game later after four straight losses, the praise has turned to mumbling.

What I'm proposing in the title of the article, is to bet the farm, seeing most people don't have farms to wager, from a legal standpoint, I'm on solid ground. With the Rutgers defense having allowed more than 17 points just once in last six games and Teel throwing laser shots to receivers Kenny Britt, Tiquan Underwood, and Tim Brown, expect coach Schiano and his team to triumph by 20 points and easily cover the spread like a fresh cover of snow on the grass.


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