Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……..

— Arkansas 80, Duke 73- Duke put only two players in double figures. Arkansas struggled against pressure defense in the last 3:00, but they get a big non-conference win.

— St Joe’s 78, Villanova 65- Hawks lost in overtime at Kentucky, beat Villanova here; they haven’t had a winning season since 2016, but they’re off to a terrific start this year.

— North Carolina 100, Tennessee 92- Game was 61-39 at halftime; Vols are struggling, losing their last three games. Tar Heels were 32-38 on the foul line.

— Colorado State 88, Colorado 83- Are Niko Medved’s Rams the best team in Mountain West? They already have wins over Creighton, Colorado.

College football has its conference championship games this weekend; here are some quick trends on each conference title game, over the last five years:

AAC- favorites 3-2 against spread. Teams that won three of last five titles have moved on to other leagues.

ACC- favorites 5-0 against spread. Four of those five years the winner was Clemson; they’re not in this year’s game.

Big 14- favorites 3-2 against spread, all double digit spreads, Favorites were either Michigan or Ohio State- they won all five games SU.

Big X- underdogs 3-2 against spread.

C-USA- underdogs 4-1 against spread. Teams that won last five title games have moved on to better leagues.

MAC- underdogs 4-1 against spread. Four different teams won last five titles.

Mountain West- underdogs 4-1 against spread. UNLV is in this game for first time; Boise State is in its for 5th time in last six years, but they haven’t won this game since 2019, and they’ve already fired their coach this season.

Pac-12- underdogs 3-2 against spread. Average total, last four years- 56.5. Oregon (2-1) is in this game for 4th time in five years. Washington is in it for first time since 2018, when they won it.

SEC- underdogs 3-2 against spread. Average total: 68.6. Georgia is 1-3 in this game the last five years, Alabama 3-0. 

Sun Belt- underdogs 2-2 against spread (2020 game was cancelled).

— Long time ago, a shortstop named Garry Templeton made the 1979 All-Star Game, but he told the Cardinals’ radio guy (Jack Buck) “If I ain’t starting, I ain’t departing”

Little did he know is that his statement now sums up lot of quarterback situations in college football, except now it is “If I ain’t starting, then I will be departing”

College football has turned into baseball, with QB’s bolting into free agency at a high rate:
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina- he played five years there, with 10,000+ PY.
Athan Kaliakmanis, Minnesota
Blake Shapen, Baylor

Riley Leonard, Duke
Will Rogers, Mississippi State
Max Johnson, Texas A&M- already surfaced at North Carolina

Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
Will Howard, Kansas State
Jake Rubley, Kansas State- His dad TJ Rubley played in the NFL/CFL; he also coached Keanu Reeves in his role as the starting QB for the fictional Washington Sentinels in the movie, The Replacements.

Spencer Petras, Iowa
E.J. Warner, Temple- Kurt Warner’s son
Gerry Bohanon, South Florida

This isn’t a complete list; has to be crazy being a college coach these days, recruiting high school kids while also re-recruiting all your current players.

— HBO or Showtime should hook up with some college program to do a reality show based on recruiting and the transfer portal— it would be excellent television.

Put it this way; this season, 55.7% of the starting quarterbacks were transfers.

— Word of the Day: catalyst- a person or thing that precipitates an event.

— College football coaching changes:
Oregon State promoted defensive coordinator Trent Bray to head coach, replacing Jonathan Smith, who bolted to Michigan State. Like Smith, Bray is an Oregon State alum.

San Diego State hired Sean Lewis, who used to coach Kent State; he was offensive coordinator at Colorado this season.

— Mississippi State’s new coach, Jeff Lebby, banks a $1M incentive if his Bulldogs win a national championship. Good luck with that one.

— This season and last, in Sunday night/Monday NFL games, under is 49-17. I can’t come up with a good reason why this is happening, but it is happening.

— Richmond Spiders’ starting G DeLonnie Hunt hurt his wrist, is out 6-8 weeks.

— Lakers 133, Detroit 107- Pistons have lost 15 games in a row, are 0-14 in November. 

— 23 years ago, Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285M; this week, word is out that he is selling a majority stake in the Mavericks, for $3.5B, that’s billion, with a B.

Cuban is cashing out on most of his ownership status, but he will retain full control over the Mavericks’ basketball operations, which is what makes this so unusual.

— New York Mets had some activity Wednesday:
Mets signed P Luis Severino for one year, $13M
Mets signed IF Joey Wendle for one year, $2M (plus incentives)

— Friend of mine found the old TV show White Shadow on YouTube this week, so I’ve spent the last few late-nights catching up with one my all-time favorite TV shows.

Ken Howard is a basketball player who retires from the NBA and gets a job as a basketball coach in an inner-city high school in Los Angeles- his friend from college is the school’s principal.

Hadn’t seen this show in 35-40 years; it was only on for three seasons, but it was well done. Creator of the show was Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth Paltrow’s father.

— Delaware is moving from the CAA to Conference USA; they’ll be going I-A in football, starting in 2025-26. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.

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