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Gary Segars:

Welcome to the BetUS College Football Show. This is the August 16th edition of the show. Last week you guys knocked out some favorite regular season win totals. But today, we’re going to talk title futures. I’m your host, Gary Segars. You can follow me on Twitter @GaryWCE. We are america’s favorite sportsbook.

I want to start out first by thanking the fellows along with Corbie for handling the show last week while I was out at Bet Bash in Vegas, Spanky and the crew at Circa did a fantastic job with the event. I got to meet up with several big names in the college football space, Bud Elliott, Joey Tunes, the legend, Paul Stone, I learned quite a bit in just a few short days. Shout out to Scott and the crew over at Spank Odds. It was a fantastic time.

Everybody was awesome. I enjoyed myself. But enough about that. Now, before we talk futures, we have, of course, have to bring in the stars of the show, our college football experts. Now on the left side of the screen, of course our analyst, the numbers guy, I call him the numerical guru. He’s @statsowar on Twitter, Parker Fleming. Parker, fantastic job hosting last week. How are things this week?

Parker Fleming:

Gary, last week, thank you, it was very stressful keeping everybody in line, keeping my eyes on the sheet and all that. Certainly, appreciate you being back and again appreciate. Is this our last show before we started talking about games?

Gary Segars:

Oh, yes sir.

Parker Fleming:

One last look at the big picture and then we get to dive into the nitty-gritty. Excited about that. I think today is going to be a fun conversation to frame the college football season this fall. Really excited to get into it.

Gary Segars:

You are certainly right about that. Ten days from now, we will have football on our screens. We’ll be right in the middle of Navy and Notre Dame. I can’t wait. Can’t wait. All right. On the right side of the screen, of course, the best in the business, our award-winning professional handicapper. He’s @KyleHunterPicks on Twitter. Kyle Hunter, how are you brother?

Kyle Hunter:

Doing well, man. Good to have you back. Parker did a great job last week filling in as well. I tell you what, when you say 10 days left before football’s on our screen, it makes me think, “Man, nine days tomorrow, single digits. We are getting really, really close.”

Gary Segars:

We certainly are. I’m so excited. It feels like it’s forever. But I mean you look at this calendar, it’s right around the corner. Now let me go ahead and tell everybody if you haven’t already like the video, hit Subscribe. That’s the easiest way to support the show. If you prefer the audio version, you can always listen to the show on your favorite podcast app. Just go subscribe to the BetUS Football show.

As always, we do a Q&A segment after we’ve gone through our initial topics, make sure you got your questions in the chat. I see Mikey Lowe in there. I see J. Rock, several other people already. Put your questions in the chat. We will answer as many of those as we can at the end of the show. Just a heads-up, we’ve already done quite a bit of content previewing the coming season. Once we finish here, go and check those out.

A lot of people on social media have been saying that they can’t wait for us to be back. You and I been paying attention. We have been back for a while now. Go and check out all that content. Of course, you can always keep track of the NCAAF odds over at BetUS as well. Just visit betustv.com/odds in your browser.

All right. Fellas, today we are talking about futures, our favorite picks to win, divisions, conferences, Heisman Trophy, who can make the playoff, who can win the national title, all that kind of stuff. Let’s go ahead and dive into this thing. We’ll start with our picks for division and conference winners. Okay.

First up, we’ll start with the MAC and we’re going to look at the east division on this one. Everyone seems to love Ohio with Rourke back at quarterback. Ohio went nine and three in the regular season. They lost the MAC title game when Rourke had a season ending injury late in the season. Now the bobcats are plus one 20 to win the east this year. But let me just put the brakes on that a little bit.

Ohio went three and won and one score games last year in the regular season. Their overall post-game win expectancy was 6.86 and 6.14, much closer to 7 and 6 than they were 9 and 4. Not to mention the fact that the MAC East has not had the same rep in back-to-back years since Bowling Green back in 2013 through 2015. Kyle, you and I both really like another team that went six and six last season, but we think they could have a big bounce back. Why don’t you go ahead and tell the beautiful people about our pick to win the MAC East?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I like Miami, Ohio here. To me there’s a couple questions. Should Ohio be this big of a favorite, and second, why would Buffalo be so much higher ranked than Miami Ohio? Miami’s completely different team with Gabbert at quarterback. I mean, Smith did a fine job filling in, but there’s no explosiveness in the offense compared to what there is with Gabbert.

They were 123rd in offensive success rate last year and then you’ve got Gabbert who played 4 games last year. He was out most of the year. RedHawks defense is always solid, defensive line strong again, secondary returns all four starters from last year. They get to host Toledo and Buffalo this year, I think the schedule looks pretty good. They do go to Ohio and what will be a massive game, clearly.

This is getting Western Michigan and Kent State on the road too is a good draw. You want to get those weak teams on the roads that you can try to pick up those Ws in those spots. I think this is a high upside team if Gabbert stays healthy, a good number here at plus 360. I think this is the best value here in the MAC East.

Gary Segars:

I agree with you. I’m going to take Miami Ohio as well. Chuck Martin knows how to develop a defense. Last year they won three of their last four games to make it to a bowl game and that was after Aveon Smith started eight games as a freshman. Gabbert got hurt last year. Gabbert is back this season, as you mentioned, along with that stud linebacker, Matt Salopek and the defense is number 16 in adjusted returning production this year.

Give me an experienced defense with Chuck Martin. They had the number four havoc rate in the country last year along with the quarterback that knows the system and they got some new weapons from Notre Dame and Southeast Louisiana at wide receiver. The biggest thing for me, like you mentioned, Kyle, Gabbert.

When he started in ’20 and ’21, the team was number 45 and number 43 in yards per play. They dropped to number 117 last year on offense. On top of that, like you said, schedule sets up beautifully, road games, Kent State, Western Michigan, you got Ohio and Ball State on the road as well. But you also got Bowling Green, Toledo, Akron, and Buffalo all coming to Miami. Plus 360 seems like a great bet to me. Parker, you got an opinion on this one?

Parker Fleming:

I think the MAC’s interesting. There’s a couple of teams that I think, “Oh, if they get the right quarterback play, maybe they’ve got some returning production or they’re going to surprise anybody.” I don’t actually have a strong lean in the MAC to start here. I’m interested to look at a couple totals. But I do certainly think the odds are nice here and you get a nice path. That makes a ton of sense.

No MAC play for me to start here. But again, I think MAC logic is a little bit different than the rest of the nation and you guys have done a good job at laying out what those fundamentals are.

Gary Segars:

MAC logic does not exist. This conference is bananas every year. We’re just hoping to hit one here. Let’s go ahead and set our sights on the Mountain West. No divisions in the MWC this year. They’ve had four different champions in as many seasons. 2019 was Boise State, 2020 San Jose State, 2021 was Utah State, and 2022 was Fresno State.

As you see here. Well of course we have Sun Belt on the screen. But Mountain West, we’re focusing on that one. Parker, every year it appears that there’s a team that comes out of nowhere to shock the Mountain West. Who are you rolling with this year with the Mountain West?

Parker Fleming:

I really like Colorado State this year. I think that they are a really, really interesting program in the sense that when Norvell came in two years ago coming from Nevada, said, “Hey, I need X, Y, and Z to win.” Colorado State said, “Hey, we’ll spend. We’ll give you what you need to win.” We knew the roster last season was going to be in a weird place.

We were asking at one point, are they going to be up around the air raid with five tight ends or something? But generally, they weren’t terrible on defense last season and I think that that’s overstated or maybe understated, excuse me. Their stretch at the end of the season last year they were 2 and 5, but they only scored 16, 10, 13, 12, and 17 points. I’d expect that to increase with Clay Millen coming back.

One of the higher completion percentages of any quarterback in the nation last fall, even if a step to target wasn’t great, he gets a whole off season with that air raid. Remember with the air raid, we want the golden rep. You just need to rep it a lot more. He’s got a good foundation with potentially being relatively on target and catchable.

Horton, the receiver 2.77 yards per route run last season was 28 in all of FBS, not just the G5, 79.9 wide receiver grade and a 36.7 target share. If they can decrease his target share by shoring up some secondary opportunities. If Millen can find a way to get to that second read, which I again believe I’m optimistic about him, that defense will return 53rd most returning production there. That offense will take a step forward.

They’ll be able to stretch the field and a defense that was pretty good is going to keep them in games. This year, they’re going to have the offense to really win some of those close games. The way the home away breaks, they get Boise at home, which again, if you beat Boise at home, you lose the Air Force on the road, which on the road just means down the road for the Mountain West there.

But I really like the long odds-on Colorado State here. I think if the offense clicks, we’re looking at a ceiling of a conference champion, absolutely.

Gary Segars:

I could certainly see it. Colorado State, very interesting team. They got the strongest defensive roster in the conference and number 30 in the FBS in returning production. As you’ve talked about, I mean on offense, they were puttered last year. I don’t think it really fit the scheme number 126 in PPA per drive.

But the quarterback Clay Millen, I mean 72% of his passes completed even though the offensive line gave up almost 5 sacks a game and 9 tackles for loss. I’m with you. I trust Norvell to get the offense going this season so I can get on board with this. I may have to not quite roll pizza money, like maybe some hot and ready money on this one, but I do like where you’re going with this. We’ll go ahead and lock this one in. Parker likes Colorado State plus 1,400 on this one. Kyle, you got an opinion on this one?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I mean we talked about Colorado State some last week, so you can go back and watch that one as well. But I think Horton is a matchup nightmare for anybody. The Mountain West is there to be had this year. Boise State’s a little bit down from what they have been, Fresno State down, I think Air Force down.

Their talent’s clearly better than what they showed last year and their red zone lack of success on offense. I mean they have to be better in the red zone. I don’t blame Parker for making this play.

Gary Segars:

Me either. Me either. We’ll lock it in. Parker likes Colorado State to win the Mountain West. Next on the board we’re moving to the American Athletic Conference and that is the AAC. We know that this is going to be an awesome conference because we all three have different best bets for who can win the conference. None of us has the favorite. Tulane who is actually sitting at plus 200 right now.

This is a fun conference. I mean it’s 14 teams, just wild. You’ve got Tulane plus 200, SMU plus 320, UTSA plus 450, and then Memphis at plus 600, Florida Atlantic with just a ridiculously nice schedule at plus 650. But let’s go on and start with this. Kyle, you are going to go ahead and take the new darling in the conference here. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us who you have to win the AAC?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I’m going to take UTSA in this one. I think they’re set up to succeed right away in the AAC. They have star quarterback in Frank Harris. This guy is tremendous. I think he’s still underrated by many people. They move into a tougher conference but immediately still have the best quarterback in the conference, which is always the nice thing.

The defensive line, linebackers are underrated. Traylor has done a really good job improving this defense. I know you guys have seen it, but he’s been doing great work on recruiting, Traylor as well. These guys are getting some dudes coming up. UTSA is going to continue to be good. UTSA avoids SMU, I’m very high on and they don’t have to play a solid Memphis team either.

This is a Florida Atlantic. They play at Florida Atlantic, then Tulane. I think Tulane plus 450, it’s baked into the number that they play Tulane. Certainly, the upside’s very high on the Roadrunners. They suffered a lot of injuries last year, guys. This team was playing a lot of second string, third string guys. I think with better health this year, they’re capable of really big things.

I think plus 450 is a really good price here on UTSA. I think even though they’re stepping up to a “tougher conference,” I think UTSA has the talent to do this.

Gary Segars:

I’m with you somewhat. I like UTSA personally. I think the step up in competition without Zakhari Franklin is going to be a bit much for them. But I’ll go ahead and tell you who I’m rolling with and why. I’m going to take SMU plus 320. We’ll lock these in afterwards. But I like SMU plus 320. I’ll admit I had them at plus 450 about a month ago. I still like the price.

The latest trends, though I will admit are not in SMU’s favor. They couldn’t get into the Pac-12 before it crashed. The ACC decided not to expand. Today, TCU announced that they’re going to be pausing that rivalry. This has not been a great summer for the Mustangs. But I do know both you guys went over on the regular season win total of eight last week. I’m going to go a step further.

The quarterback, Preston Stone, looks like the real deal in Rhett Lashlee’s offense so far in camp. While their defense was putrid last season, it looks like they’re going to start five new transfers on that side of the ball, all of which appear to be talent upgrades. Now from a roster standpoint, they’ve got the second strongest offense and the second strongest defense in the conference.

Their schedule has road conference games at rebuilding ECU. They got Temple, they got Rice and they’ve got Memphis while they host Charlotte. They’re rebuilding Tulsa again, North Texas and Navy. There is no reason for them to lose more than one game in the AAC. I like my chances if I can get them to the AAC title game. I like SMU at plus 320 here.

I think this team is ripe to be able to win this conference. Parker, tell us about yours. You’re rolling with the longest odds of any of us. Give us some opinions on UTSA and on SMU here. But I want to know who you think is going to win the AAC.

Parker Fleming:

I like both of those plays honestly and I think there’s a lot of value in the AAC, which makes it a lot of fun. I think the unbalanced schedule, especially the first year of that and not knowing the uncertainty of how much does returning production matter for UTSA that’s going to have a step up in competition overall. SMU would raise this. Another interesting question because it is, as you mentioned Gary, they’re going to be transfer heavy on defense.

We’ve seen teams do okay with that. This is a new era where that returning production and continuity might matter less if you can get new talent in there to start. Definitely some uncertainty there. I am actually going to go Memphis. Yet another play. They’re plus 600, like you said, the longest odds of those three.

I think the schedule breaks really, really nicely there. They do get Tulane. But then basically all they have to do after Tulane is beat SMU at home. They’ve got at UAB at North Texas, South Florida, at Charlotte, SMU and Temple to end the stretch there. I’m not interested in a seasoned future or win total in Memphis. Man, they’ve got Missouri and Boise State and Tulane. Wouldn’t surprise me for them to go 0 and 3 there.

But the good news is they can lick their wounds a little bit with UAB, North Texas and cruise and prepare for that mini championship game against SMU because that will be a defacto elimination match, I believe. Last year Memphis was just okay on both sides of the ball, 56th in offensive EPA per play, 69th in defensive EPA per play.

I think if they can normalize especially the run pass splits on offense 43rd EPA per pass, 77th EPA per rush and get a little bit higher of a rushing floor with some continuity here, I think they’re 60th in returning production, maybe 66th looking at my notes. They’re going to have some turnover there. But what they’re going to hope to do is rely more on Seth Henigan an experienced quarterback and be able to take some pressure off the rest of the offense there.

Memphis can always recruit weapons. They can always recruit fast guys. The schedule breaks really, really nicely. They do get SMU at home on senior day. That will be the game they have to win. If you’ve got one loss Memphis … In the conference, one loss Memphis and one loss SMU, the writing’s on the wall, what you can do going into that game. I do like the opportunity to potentially hedge as well. With these long odds, I think this is a smart ticket to be holding in November.

Gary Segars:

That’s a really, really genius way to look at that, the way that you can hedge out there because of the way that the schedule sets up. I’m with you. It feels like a make-or-break season for Silverfield. I don’t know that he’s got to win the conference. But man, he’s definitely got to be better than the six and six he’s done the last two seasons. Schedule sets up nicely for a big year though.

As you mentioned, they brought in some good guys. I mean that stud running back from Old Dominion is there now and that’s a big piece of the pie. Big piece of the pie. Kyle, you got a thought on Memphis here?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. Just real quick. Memphis was not nearly as explosive on offense as what I expected last year. I guess the question is can they get back to that? Remember a few years ago when they were always top 25 in explosiveness. Last year, they were 97th in explosiveness on offense. They’ll definitely need to be better there. I think the schedule is a good one. Avoiding UTSA, the road games or the weaker teams. They host SMU. I will say the last game at Temple I think could be a bit tricky.

Temple’s not bad. That defensive temple could be pretty good and then who knows about Warner? He could take a big step-up. I don’t mind Memphis and I do agree with you guys that the AAC, there’s a lot of value here. Tulane lost a lot from last year. They’re certainly deserving favorite. But I think there’s ways to look at this conference where you can find some good value.

Gary Segars:

I agree. Let’s go ahead and lock this thing in. Kyle is going to take UTSA. I’m going to take SMU. Parker is going to ride with the Memphis Tigers. All right. Now let’s go ahead and move on. I’m the only one that has Sun Belt bets. But last season Kyle and I both hit Troy plus 325 to win the Sun Belt West. I feel like I know this conference pretty well. Let me go ahead and start this.

I will start with the Sun Belt West, which you can see on your screen now. South Alabama plus 150, Troy plus 170, Louisiana plus 380, and then it gets really long shots, Southern Miss plus 1,000, Arkansas State 2,200, et cetera, et cetera. I think this is the year for South Alabama. I like them plus 150 to win the western division this season.

The team went 10 and 2 and they had 2 one score losses, otherwise they would’ve been undefeated in the regular season. They would’ve included a win over UCLA. They would’ve won the division last year if they had just been able to beat Troy in one of those one score games. Now they’re number two in adjusted returning production in all of FBS. On offense, they got Carter Bradley back at quarterback. They got all Sun Belt running back with Damian Webb and they add Memphis’s third leading receiver Javon Ivory to an already stacked wide receiver room.

Now on defense, that’s Kane Wommack’s bread and butter. They bring back nearly 81% of production on that side of the ball. They only lost two starters. This is all dudes that know his system. The schedule, it’s not the easiest. They’ve got James Madison and Troy on the road but they get Marshall, Louisiana and so they’re missing home.

I think they’re way better than everybody else in this conference. Troy lost a lot of senior experience from last year along with their defensive coordinator, Woods. I think this is South Alabama’s year. Before I let you guys dive in on this, let me go ahead and hit the east too because I got to pick on that side as well.

On the eastern side of the Sun Belt conference, I’m going with the Marshall Thundering Herd. Now they’re plus 400. I like them to win that division. Give us a rematch in the Sun Belt title game. Look, I know they lost the defense coordinator Lance Guidry to well Tulane, which turned into Miami. But I’m buying that the offense is going to take a step forward.

It’s quarterback Cam Fancher’s sophomore season and they’ve got all conference running back Rasheen Ali. They hit on some key guys in the transfer portal. I expect the offense to produce this season. Now on defense, Parker, I know you’re going to like this guy. The guy that’s replacing Guidry is Jason Semore. He was the linebacker’s coach at Georgia Tech last year. He has worked his way up at different schools, the Colorado School of Mines, the Montana Grizzlies.

In 2021, he was the defensive coordinator at Valdosta State for their run to the D II national title game and that defense was top 20 in multiple categories. He coaches aggressively just like Guidry. They return at least three all SBC caliber players along with a ton of experience and three extremely talented transfers.

The only conference game that I don’t have them favored in is at South Alabama. Their schedule isn’t easy but I do think that this is the best team on that side of the conference. Plus 400 does make sense to me here. Now with that said, gentlemen, discuss. Kyle, I’m going to let you jump on it first here. You got any thoughts on this?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I’ll start with South Alabama. I mean, they were a couple plays away from 12 and 0 in the regular season last year, like you said. Also, let’s not overlook how good South Alabama special teams are. They’re really good, much better than anybody else in the conference. They’ll probably win a game or two that they wouldn’t necessarily have thought that they would win.

I think Troy is probably down a bit. Troy may be a bit overvalued. They lost a lot there on defense, like Gary said. I do think South Alabama’s the best team in the Sun Belt. I like that play. Gary, I wanted to Marshall in the east. I wanted to pick somebody out of the east. Like you said, we got Troy last year. I looked at Marshall’s schedule and I got scared off.

I think Marshall’s schedule is pretty tough at South Alabama, at Upstate. Upstate is not an easy place to play regardless, and at Coastal. Certainly, a really tough schedule. I don’t know how much I trust Cam Fancher either. He needs to be better as a passer. Rasheen Ali is tremendous. He’ll step right in and be great at running back again.

I do think the new defensive coordinator hires a very good one. In general, their head coach, Huff, he really knows defense well. I think they’ll be very good on defense again, but that schedule scared me off.

Gary Segars:

I could totally understand that. I could understand that. Parker, what about you? What do you got on this one?

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. Marshall makes me nervous. I mean they were number one in raw unadjusted EPA per play on defense last year and equally good against the run of the pass, first in EPA per pass and third in EPA per rush. Again, those are descriptive, not opponent adjusted, but again that doesn’t mean they’re actually bad. You’re not going to opponent adjust your way to the number one defense being a bad defense.

But I think if you dug into their schedule a little bit, looking at the games like that Yukon Bowl game, they probably could have lost that pretty easily if Yukon wasn’t Yukon, which is a big if. But there were just a couple moments in the game where you thought, “Good Lord, a competent football team would just love to win this game and I’m not sure there is one here.”

I’m worried about the unsustainability of a rushing heavy attack that was not very efficient on offense and that had very, very slim margins. On defense, they’re losing that defensive coordinator and even though you agree, I think they did make a good hire here. I think that defensive coordinators take a little bit of time. Marshall was 125th in rush rate over expected last year. I’m not even worried about the passing game.

I think if the run game can’t even be competent, they’re not going to have the breathing room for the defense to even really make a difference there. Unfortunately, I think that I have Marshall as a regression candidate for 2023. I’m a little bit scared between that and the schedule of a Marshall bet.

As to the other side of the conference, I mean it’s bloodbath over there. I think there’s a couple of good teams and they all have different identities, but they all also have flaws. You look at Troy lost the defensive coordinator. South Alabama does seem to be the clear favorite is 150 enough, maybe. It’s still a pretty good payout if you cash that or if they make it to the championship. I think that’s probably the smartest pick out of there. But again, a little bit gun shy for me in the Sun Belt.

Gary Segars:

I think this is going to be a fun conference. I know that. I think it’s going to be a really fun conference. Yeah. I went ahead and took a stab at a couple of different ones. I feel like I know this conference. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed in that way I can come back and tell you guys, “Hey, you should have listened to me. Should have listened to me.”

All right. Moving on. We got the Conference US … Oh, wait. No. I’m supposed to lock that in. Marshall plus 400 on the east and like South Alabama plus 150 on the west. Those are my locks on that one. Now moving on, Conference USA, it looks vastly different this year. They’re losing six schools to the AAC. They brought in two FCS schools, Jacksonville State, and of course Sam Houston along with New Mexico State and Liberty from the ranks of the independence.

Liberty schedule is the easiest in the country and most seem to think that Louisiana Tech could have a strong second season under head coach Sonny Cumbie. You see the odds on the board here, Western Kentucky plus 130, Liberty plus 250. Middle Tennessee, of course Rick Stockstill, at plus 500. But Kyle, you’ve got somebody that you like here. Who do you have winning CONFERENCE USA?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. The price has gotten a bit worse here. I don’t love this one. It’s not my biggest play. I do like Western Kentucky to win Conference USA. I think there’s a pretty big gap between Western Kentucky and the rest of the conference. If you look at Western Kentucky’s schedule this year, they might be a favorite in every single game in Conference USA. Maybe not against Louisiana Tech on the road on a Thursday night. We’ll see how LA Tech looks the first few games.

I do think LA Tech is an underrated team and that’s one that I considered as a smaller bet here. Western Kentucky, they’re so great on offense. They’re going to run the ball better than people think. Last year, almost five yards per carry. They mix it in pretty nicely. Obviously, terrific throwing the ball around with Reed. Best wide receivers in the conference again.

They play Liberty and MTSU at home. I think the talent gap there is really big. I think MTSU might be a bit overvalued, worried about their offense this year. Liberty has a great schedule. I don’t think they’re nearly as good of a team as Western Kentucky. I think Liberty’s a wild card because that schedule is so weak. You wonder how many games they could win, but they won’t be that great of a team.

Conference USA obviously is so much weaker than it was a year ago. I think Western Kentucky is one of the few teams that won’t be down quite a bit from a year ago. I like Western Kentucky here.

Gary Segars:

You all know I love New Mexico state, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on this one. I couldn’t pull it on this one. Parker, you got a fuel on Western Kentucky here?

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. I think I mentioned I like Liberty over a little earlier and would be tempted to get them in the … as maybe the counter, the only foil to Western Kentucky there. But then Dae Dae Hunter is not going to play and a couple wide receivers got hurt. I think Liberty should be fine in terms of win total, but I just don’t think that they get over the hump there.

Without a clear second favorite, Western Kentucky is a step above the rest of this conference and so I like that play a lot. Kyle, I think before we put our picks in, Gary could have circled that you were going to go Western Kentucky and I was going to go Colorado State for a conference champion.

Kyle Hunter:

Absolutely.

Gary Segars:

Ayayay. I’m a fan of Tyson Hilton on Western Kentucky. While they do bring back the quarterback, Austin Reed and their wide receiver Malachi Corley, they lose their starting center, which might hurt. They’ll have their fourth offensive coordinator in four years. Ben Arbuckle joined Washington State.

I don’t know if I can agree with you, Kyle. I mean that team was really successful last year. Defense made a huge turnaround under that defensive coordinator. But a big part of it was turnovers. Parker, we’ve talked about regression a lot. You just mentioned it with Marshall and whatnot. Western Kentucky was number one with 30 force turnovers last year. They were number one with 6 defensive touchdowns, number one with 17 interceptions and they had 13 fumbles recovered. That was number two in the country.

They’re number 119 in adjusted returning production on defense. I think the turnover situation has to regress. It wouldn’t shock me to see somebody like Liberty or, like I mentioned, Louisiana Tech, something like that. Find a way to shock these guys and win the conference. I think everything is up in the air in this conference. But I mean you guys thought that with the Sun Belt.

I think it’s a lot of these conferences are going to be really, really wild this year. It’s going to be a good time. All right. Let’s continue on here. Oh, we’ve got our lock on this one. Western Kentucky plus 130 on this one. I got to get back in the habit of these guys. All right. The ACC, let’s move over to this. Parker, we’re going to start with you.

Everybody loves Florida State, plus 160 over here. They love Clemson plus 140. North Carolina a bit of a darling because the quarterback Drake Maye. Personally, I think Brennan Armstrong could do some big things reuniting with the offense coordinator Robert Anae over at NC State, they’re plus 2,000 on the board here. But you like a long shot here as well. Tell us what your play is for the ACC.

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. Again, I want to make sure I reiterate. Do I think Louisville is the most likely team to win the ACC? Absolutely not. But looking at the odds here, you get this plus 1,000 and you get one basic fact that I think really separates this here. They don’t have to play Florida State or Clemson. That’s a very easy path. Even if they have to go to Pitt, if they have to go to NC State, they could theoretically split those and have one loss and still be able to make the conference championship there.

I think there’s an opportunity for them to sneak in on schedule alone. Obviously, I think they’ve made a pretty big coaching upgrade. Being just really brief here because again, there’s 99th in returning production. I’m not going to sit here and try to be like, “Hey, I like the guys coming in.” It’s really a schedule argument, a coaching argument, and then a continuity argument for quarterback.

I know Jack Plummer is Jack Plummer. I know who he is. What I do know is that last year Louisville had one game of a passing performance with a higher than 75 grade all season, one game and that was against James Madison last year. Jack Plummer at Cal had 6 games of 73, or better, 5 of 75 or better passing.

Jeff Brohm is going to be able to take Jack Plummer and give Louisville a passing offense. Granted. We know that the depth of target’s going to come down, but that’s going to increase the probability of those explosives. That defense that played pretty well last year is going to have a lot more breathing room with a team that can work out how to get the pass game.

Now, do I want Malik Cunningham or Jack Plummer? I think that’s a different question about what I expect between the quarterback performance last year and how they maximized it and what they’re going to do this year. Again, a log shot, nowhere close to … we’re not even talking fraction units here. We’re talking this is interesting for the standpoint of the long and you potentially cash out the long shot, because they missed the schedule.

But I think Plummer coming in, reuniting with Brohm, the consistency that Plummer showed even on a bad team, he comes into a better situation, they’re going to have explosive guys on the edge. I like the floor that Plummer sets for the offense. If the defense can come even close to repeating that performance from last year, they don’t have to play the two best teams in the conference. They could very easily sneak into the championship game here. I like this plus 1,000.

Gary Segars:

I like your reasoning here, Louisville plus 1,000. That price is intriguing. I do like the Plummer and Brohm pairing here. Dear Lord, that schedule, but they’re going to start probably five transfers on offense, and five more on defense. They lost some of the strongest pieces from that defense from last season. I’ve got them as underdogs at NC State, at Pitt, and at Miami. I’m not going to ride with you. But this is going to be a fun team to pull for. Kyle, you got any thoughts on Louisville here?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. Reign me in if I go too long on this one. But I thought about this one for quite a while. Louisville plus 1,000. Here’s the thing. I think there are so many different possibilities of how this could go. I mean this could be like we’re at week 10 and we’re thinking Parker is an absolute genius for taking plus 1,000 in Louisville or we could get to week 5 or 6 and Louisville could look really bad and they’re going to sail under the win total and somebody in the comments is going to be flaming Parker.

Parker Fleming:

We’ll never speak of it again. Either Parker is a genius or it never gets mentioned. Those are the only two.

Gary Segars:

It would be me and Marshall. That’s going to be my thing.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. Right. But I think the reason this makes sense, Parker, is because all those different possibilities and you’re taking a plus 1,000 and if one of the possibilities is a really high upside and you’re getting a long price like this, I think it makes sense to do something like this, because volatility is a good thing if you’re taking a big plus price. You don’t want a lot of volatility if you’re taking somebody plus 100 to win a conference.

But you take somebody plus 1,000, I think it’s a good idea. I don’t really know how Louisville will do this year. Wouldn’t want to bet their win total. But I could see taking the plus 1,000.

Gary Segars:

I’m with you. Let’s lock it in for Parker, Louisville plus 1,000 to win the ACC is going to be his pick on this one. Now, we got to dive into the power two conferences and we are going to begin with the Big 10. We’re going to start off with the West on this. Last year, Purdue and Jeff Brohm came out of nowhere to win that division. This season, as we just mentioned, Brohm is at Louisville.

Illinois had a big year, but their star DC, Ryan Walters is now the coach in West Lafayette. Minnesota, they’re at plus 650 here, number four on this list. They’ve got some different pieces. They’ve got a new offensive coordinator. The two favorites in the division are Wisconsin and Iowa. Kyle, you’ve got one that you really like here. I’m questioning this. I would love to hear your reasoning. Tell us who you’re betting in the Big 10 West.

Kyle Hunter:

All right. I would not say this is my favorite one. But I do like Wisconsin to win the Big 10 West at plus 125. I wish the price was a little bit bigger. But I think that Wisconsin’s upside is a lot higher than everybody else here. Tanner Mordecai is a massive step up from anybody that Wisconsin’s had a quarterback in quite a while. Luke Fickell comes in, changes things right away. Longo is a huge hire, certainly, to change up the offense.

Usually, a bit cautious about teams making these big overhauls, certainly. But Wisconsin has fewer question marks than the other top contenders in the west to me. Iowa has to play at Penn State at Wisconsin. Illinois losing Walters hurts a lot. I think that’s a huge loss. Minnesota’s defense is clearly down from the last couple of years. Minnesota also has to play Michigan, Ohio State and at Iowa. Wisconsin hosts Iowa. They host Ohio State. They avoid Michigan and Penn State.

They did pretty good here on the schedule. Badgers have a great running game with Allen and Mellusi. Some balance with the passing game I think will make a world of difference. I see a lot of question marks for the other teams around them. I mean, is Iowa’s offense actually going to be better? I don’t want to trust that. I know Iowa’s defense is going to be good. But I ain’t going to trust Iowa’s offense to be good until I see it with my two eyes.

I don’t think there’s too many teams that could win the Big 10 West. I don’t take Fickell. I think Fickell is a really good coach and I like Wisconsin here this year.

Gary Segars:

I tend to agree with you. Like you mentioned, I mean, I’m nervous about how big of a cultural shift that they’ve got going on there. Although, we have seen old man football teams transition into faster pass happy offenses better than the other way around. If you can remember, Bobby Petrino was incredibly successful at Arkansas when he transitioned after Houston Nutt. That was two completely different offensive philosophies.

Parker, tell us your thoughts on Wisconsin and then you’ve also got to pick to win the Big 10. Tell me about that one.

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. Well, one on Wisconsin, if you go back and look at Cincinnati’s schedule last year, call me crazy, but it’s like they were three one score losses against, what is that, UCF, Tulane and Arkansas. In all three of those games, it was like, “Man, if they had just hit one of those passes, they could have won any of those three.” Granted if ifs and buts were candies and nuts, every day would be Christmas.

But you can see, “Hey, Luke Fickell, stability, better athletes, wide open division and less of a question mark at quarterback than Luke Fickell has ever had.” Including Desmond Ridder. I think really, really good situation there. Certainty overall and I mean, yeah, I like that latter approach that Kyle made there in terms of the bets of who are you going to pick against them. What team are you going to say let’s go against them and pick against? I think you get the remaining bet there of Wisconsin.

I’m going the other side of the division going to the west and I’m going to go Big 10 winner. You could do Big 10 West here as well. But I like Penn State here. I think if you do the math using just SP plus for instance, you’re going to get a 55% chance they win one of Michigan and Ohio State. You start doing the math on that, they’re going to get to the Big 10 championship and be absolutely favored there.

I really, really am excited about this Penn State team. I don’t want to go too in depth on them because a couple of weeks ago we spent a lot of time on Penn State. But I think my reasoning is the same. The running game is going to be better. The defense is going to be absolutely lights out. They bring Dante Cephas from Kent State, which really [inaudible].

Gary Segars:

Are you all hearing that?

Parker Fleming:

I think we might be having technical difficulties, Gary.

Gary Segars:

Yeah. I think we’re okay. I don’t know what is going on with the stream right now. But we’re going to make it. Parker, I see where you’re going with this. Penn State makes a whole lot of sense. If you like them at plus 450 to win the east, they’re absolutely going to be favored to win the title game. If they get there, plus 550 is helping the odds tremendously. I don’t know. I’m going to talk more about this team later.

I know you all talked a lot about them last week. I’ll hold off my thoughts on the Nittany Lions. But yeah, we’re going to talk more about them here momentarily. The lock on that one for Parker is at Penn State to win the conference at plus 550 and Kyle likes Wisconsin plus 125 to win the west. I can roll with that. I like this.

Yes. Strange things happening on the stream. I come back and this is what happens to you guys. Let’s see. We’ve got one more. Let me go ahead and tell everybody like the video if you’re watching the show, help us out, like the video, subscribe to the channel, of course, and toss some questions in the chat for the Q&A. I see Mike in here. I see Mikey Lowe, I see Steven, I see Throw A Dowg A Bone. You guys are fantastic. Yes. Help us out. Like that video. We would appreciate it.

All right. Moving on. We’ve got the SEC here. The conference were 12 of 14 schools had votes in that AP top 25 that came out yesterday. There are three teams ranked in that top five. Let’s see. We’ve still got Big 10 winner odds on the screen. There we go. SEC. All right. Kyle, I’m going to go ahead and spoil your pick. You gave it out on our team previews a couple of weeks ago. Tell me about Georgia minus 110 to win the SEC. Tell me the value on this one.

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I like this one. I know we’ll disagree a little bit on this one. Georgia is absolutely loaded. What else can you say about Georgia? We went pretty in depth about them before. As the guys have said, “You can go back and watch some of our other content.” We’ve been here for quite a while now and there’s some good content that’s still very viewable.

The QB is the only slight question mark, but they don’t have to have great quarterback play to be a great team. There’s no doubt about that. The reason I like this bet is I find it really difficult for anybody else to win the SECs. Who’s going to win the SECs east other than Georgia. I know some people would probably say Tennessee. I think the volatility associated with Tennessee, with Milton at quarterback is going to keep them from winning enough games to be ahead of Georgia.

Georgia’s going to be massive favorites in these games. I mean, look at what number they’re going to be laying consistently. Then if you’re confident, they’re going to get to the SEC title game, then you have a great minus 110 money line bet in that SEC title game. Whoever they play against minus 110 is going to be a good bet. I’m going to take Georgia here in the SEC.

Gary Segars:

All right. Parker, let’s argue with him. Alabama plus 300 to win the conference. Now, according to my early numbers, Georgia would be favored by one point a couple of points over Alabama on a neutral right now. If Saban’s bunch gets to Atlanta, there is no way that they’re going to be a plus 300 dog. They’d have to be close to 10 points to get that and that’s not going to happen. For me, it’s a bit of a value play. But Parker, tell me why you’re betting on Alabama to win the SEC.

Parker Fleming:

Standing on my principle of plus money for Saban is always a good thing. You look at their schedule and they get Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU at home. That breaks really nicely. A&M is the game I’m most worried about on October 7th there. But I do think that the break of the schedule does a lot better for home and away. I think that if they played Tennessee at home last year, that would’ve been a very, very different game.

Obviously, that’s the case for a lot of games. But specifically, with [inaudible] issues on the road, they get a much better home stretch this year. As you mentioned, if they win the SEC West, you’ve made money. I really like the odds here, just combination of schedule, combination of the talent advantage over everyone on their schedule. Maybe not A&M, but I’ll still give them the edge. It’s fine.

They get a nicer home slate here with these odds plus money on saving just seems too good to be true. I’m going to go ahead and take it.

Gary Segars:

I agree with you 100%, plus 300 on Alabama. This thing was plus 225 a month ago and it’s moved all the way out to 300. I think at this price. It’s worth a little sprinkle here. All right. Let’s move ahead. Oh, the lock on this. Parker and myself both plus 300 for Alabama and Kyle likes Georgia minus 110 on that.

Now, we’re about to have a lot of fun. I mean a whole lot of fun. We have got Heisman talk coming up now. Look, we’re going to start with Dr. Fleming over there. Parker, we can’t spend all day on this. But why don’t you go ahead and make me smile and go ahead and give me your Heisman bet for this season.

Parker Fleming:

Okay. All right. Again, Heisman bet is like we’ve done every year is, “Hey, let’s take a flyer.” We’re not talking about plays here. Please don’t go do anything crazy because of this. But Joe Milton is currently sitting at plus 2,500 for Heisman. As early as today, two hours ago, Josh Heupel said, “Joe Milton has been really accurate in the football and really decisive. He doesn’t know if he has thrown a pick all training camp.”

If they can get any consistency and processing out of Joe Milton, he’s going to put up numbers in that hypo offense. That’s just absolutely going to happen. The narrative here we’ve seen with Caleb Williams, you don’t need to make the playoff. You don’t need to make your conference championship game. I don’t think necessarily if you put up astronomical numbers on a nine-win team combined with the fact that draft season is getting absolutely insane and out of control and people are hyping up people who have no business being hyped up this much, Joe Milton already has a ton of momentum going in.

There’s going to be a little bit of fatigue with Caleb Williams from last year. I think Drake Maye is not going to put up the numbers necessarily to separate. If you get anywhere a close battle here, you could be looking really, really nice holding Joe Milton plus 2,500 knowing that he’s going to put up numbers, knowing that he’s got that hype machine behind him.

I just really think this could be a very fun ticket to hold, one, if you put some pizza money on it, it gives you something exciting to do every week to root for Tennessee to win 63 to 15 or whatever, 63 to 62 in the harder games and just throw up a ton there. But I do think that we know this offense is going to be super productive under Heupel. Whoever is the quarterback there is going to be dynamic and Milton has the raw physical tools that Hendon Hooker didn’t have, for instance, to make him a little bit more exciting to potentially get him that Heisman push.

I know that the Joe Milton stuff is a meme. I know that there’s a lot of jokes here. But I will say in all earnestness, I think that the Joe Milton plus 2,500, if you’re going to take flyers on Heisman, I don’t know why you wouldn’t take this one. All they’ve got to do is be good enough, beat everybody but Georgia and Alabama on their schedule and he’s just got to put up Heupel numbers in a Heupel offense and the path is absolutely there.

Gary Segars:

Jordan Rogers on the SEC network said he is the most talented quarterback in the country right now. I don’t know.

Parker Fleming:

Those are words. Those are words.

Gary Segars:

Definitely words. Kyle, you got a thought on Joe Milton?

Kyle Hunter:

I don’t know how to follow that up. The most talented. Yeah. I mean, I also don’t know that I believe that Joe Milton hasn’t thrown interception in practice. We know how that goes, obviously, with the coach speak. But having said that, I think Milton has such a high upside that what you’re doing again here is trying to take a flyer on a volatile thing.

I feel like I sit out the Heisman bets every year, guys. It’s like I’m sitting out of this party. Parker and Gary are getting to have fun and I just get to chat about it. But I honestly never really bet much on these Heisman futures. It’s so difficult. I think the upside is here for Milton that it would make sense. I’m not going to bet it. I don’t blame Parker for doing it though.

Gary Segars:

I would not make this as an actual real bet. I don’t think for Heisman, it makes a whole lot of sense to tie every money for that long and whatnot. Regular season win totals that’s one thing, because you can get somewhat of an edge. But you’re basically with Heisman, you’re hoping that a certain segment of the college football media bets, or not bets, but votes the way that you want them to vote.

You’re just hoping that these things happen the right way. I do love the Heupel, Milton right now. It’s a carbon copy of Anthony Richardson. We haven’t seen it all come together. But we know he’s got all the pieces. I think everybody believes that Heupel’s offense is vanilla enough that Milton can grasp it and do big things.

As far as Heisman picks go, I’ve got two of them. They’re close to the same story. First up, I like Clemson’s quarterback, Cade Klubnik, at plus 1,400. This is I guess, more of a bet on Garrett Riley coming in as the new OC. Look, he took Max Duggan at TCU, turned him into the second place finisher in last season Heisman race. I don’t think anybody was really going to beat Caleb Williams.

But Duggan was awesome and the vote was close enough that a dramatic win in that Big 12 title game might’ve pushed him over the top. The schedule sets up for Clemson to have three massive games down the stretch. You got against Notre Dame at South Carolina, and that’s if Beamer’s boys can hold up their end of the deal and potentially an ACC title game.

You get big performances in those games. That could definitely keep him front of mind for voters. The issue for me though is I don’t know who’s going to throw the ball to. Duggan had Quentin Johnston. There is nobody in that room that stands out to me right now. But before I let you guys talk about my picks here. Let me go on and give you my second pick and that is Penn State quarterback, Drew Allar, plus 2,500.

He could be the real deal and he’s going to have Kent State transfer wide receiver Dante Cephas to throw to. He’s already got the four best things that a first year starting quarterback at one. Number one, you’ve got a strong running game to lean on. Two, you’ve got a strong offensive line that’s going to protect him. Number three, you got the same OC, Mike Yurcich, that he’s been developing under. Four, you’ve got a manageable first half of that schedule.

Like I mentioned with Klubnik, it’s all about moments when it comes to the Heisman, In November, Penn State gets a visit from Michigan and then gets to play Michigan State in prime time on Black Friday, which is going to do huge numbers for NBC. If Penn State can get to 11 and 1, you get 4 straight wins in November, I think Allar could be primed for a spot in New York on this one.

If they’re 11 and 1, they’re about to make the playoffs, something like that, I think they could absolutely give him the Heisman Trophy. He’s going to be the new fresh, young face. Parker, let’s start with you here, Cade Klubnik, Drew Allar. What are your thoughts on those?

Parker Fleming:

Well, I like the Klubnik pick. If you remember last year … Was it last year? Maybe it was two years ago. I had a DJ U, Heisman conversation. It’s the same.

Gary Segars:

It was last year.

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. It’s last year and it’s just like, “Hey, if he can take away those 8 to 10 just baffling negative plays and Clemson can reach their ceiling, good quarterback on the best team. That’s absolutely a line for Heisman there. That’s getting votes and so I think Klubnik really there makes a lot of sense. The odds are maybe a little shorter than I think DJ U you were last year, but I don’t remember. I’m probably going against myself anyway.

But I think that’s a little bit harder sell because of the wide receivers. On the flipside, Drew Allar, I think is really good because he is new and starting, but he’s been developed, he’s been there. It’s not like he’s a freshman coming in. It’s not like he’s a new transfer. I like that a lot that he’s … They’ve been patient with him and are letting him have his time now.

Obviously, like I said earlier, they bring in Cephas. They’re going to have weapons. That rushing game should be good enough to get them a lot of breathing room. They’re going to be in a positive game script. Again, he just gets one of those Michigan or Ohio State games, that’s your Heisman moment. They’re knocking on the door of the playoff there. He’s absolutely in contention. I like the Allar bet.

Gary Segars:

Let’s go ahead and lock this thing in. Kyle, I see you put something in the chat here. Why don’t you tell us what you put in the chat here?

Kyle Hunter:

I said if I had to bet a Heisman future, which I don’t think I’m going to do, I would bet Beck from Georgia, just because of the upside of that team, thinking that sometimes even if he’s not the best player, somebody on that good of a team might end up winning it. That would be my bet if I had to make one. You guys know I like Allar based on what I think of Penn State in general. But yeah, that would be my bet If I had to make one.

Gary Segars:

I could see it. Carson Beck plus 1,800 over at BetUS right now. That makes sense. Let’s go ahead and lock ours in at least. We’ve got Drew Allar plus 2,500 for me. I like Cade Klubnik at plus 1,400. Of course, Parker is quite the fan of Joe Milton from Tennessee, plus 2,500 on that one.

All right. We got to move off the Heisman odds. We got to talk about the CFB. We got to talk the playoff. Now let me start this off. Because yeah, you could take flyers on any number of however many teams for the national championship. Bud Elliott over at 247, he puts out a list every summer. It’s called the blue-chip ratio. It’s effectively the list of teams that are capable of winning a national title.

Since 2011, every team that has won a national title has had more than 50% of their roster comprised of 4, 5-star recruits. It’s a pretty simple process. Eighteen of the last 20 CFB teams were blue-chip ratio teams. Now the only two that weren’t came in the last two seasons, Cincinnati in ’21, you had TCU in ’22.

Now the list this year, I’m going to go ahead and give this thing out. We’ll read it quick. It’s in order. Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Texas A&M, Clemson, LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Florida, Miami, Penn State, Michigan, USC and Auburn. Now Kyle, I want you to start us off here. Who do you like to make the playoffs this season?

Kyle Hunter:

I like Texas to make the playoffs here. If this isn’t Texas this year, what’s going to be Texas this year? We’ve talked about this already before. Great quarterback room, wide receiver’s got a lot better with Ad Mitchell coming over. Great offensive line. I think they’ve had that as a weakness multiple times in the past. It’s no longer the case. I don’t know where you can point to the Longhorns having a real weakness.

Some people would say, “Well, they’re down at running back.” Of course, they’re down at running back from last year, but they’re still very good in the backfield. I think Ford is such a good linebacker. The secondary, maybe the weakest unit on the defense, but they’re improving quite a bit year by year, very good special teams, Texas special teams will win them game or two also, I think.

Like I said, if they can’t do it this year, when are they going to do it? Some of the other teams in the Big 12 are down. They’ve got multiple shots here. I think this could be a really nice season here for Texas.

Gary Segars:

I could see this. I talked to Parker about it. I said, this team looks absolutely loaded in their spring game. We’ll see what happens with it. But Parker, I mean, I’m sure every TCU fan just knew that you were going to be riding that Texas’ back wave. Tell us what you’re thinking here.

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. I think that it’s really hard to, again, fight against the meme. I think that people in the past have wanted this to be true so much they’ve ignored the market fundamentals. I feel very comfortable this season saying like, “No. I’ve been a skeptical in the past.” I think that [inaudible] spent all off season with a trashcan just learning how to get the ball right where he wants it to go, I think that he has just a little bit of a problem with timing, but really not a huge issue in terms of the way their offense is going to run.

I think they’ve made some changes on the staff that are going to help them focus a little bit more on the game and maybe iron some of those timing issues out on offense. Obviously, I mean, five, six, maybe seven dudes on offense, not including the offensive line, too, who has legitimate three or four dudes and five very, very good FES starters, the consistencies there if they can stay healthy, I think we forget like last year Junior [inaudible] got hurt on the same day of fall camp.

If they could stay healthy, they’re going to have a talent advantage over everyone on the roster except Alabama. For them to go to the playoff, all they got to do is be close against Alabama. If they win against Alabama, you’re feeling amazing, but ideally they close loss to Alabama and then all they’re looking at is beating a team they’re better than the rest of their schedule, especially with the unbalanced schedule in the Big 12.

It’s possible they could get someone they don’t have the regular season in the conference championship. They wouldn’t have to beat someone twice like TCU did last year. They’ll have that. If they have that Alabama loss, I’m more worried about that. If they don’t, then I feel very good about them splitting and still making the playoff. I think that the market fundamentals are there for Texas. I think Quinn Ewers takes a step-in season two and I really do think that Texas making the playoffs especially is that plus 300.

Again, there’s conversations about who do I think is the most likely and who do I think is the best value. I think that Texas is very likely. But I do like this plus 300 here a whole lot because of the path and because of the overwhelming talent advantage they’ll have at every stop and they should have a little bit better luck with some things like fumbles that last year lost them a couple games.

Gary Segars:

I could see all of this. As far as value goes, I’m going to go over to the Big 10. Wait. Let’s lock this in first. Kyle and Parker both liked Texas plus 300, which actually dropped down a little bit from yesterday. I think it was plus 325 yesterday. A lot of people on this Texas bandwagon. I’m going to go over to the Big 10. They had two teams in the CFB last season.

I’m going to ride Penn State plus 300 to make the playoff. I know you guys are … Wait. Didn’t Parker just bet Penn State to win the Big 10 at plus 550? Yes. He did. But I’m going with the plus 300 value to make the playoff because when it comes to Big 10 tiebreakers, I think there is a massive chance that Penn State does not make the Big 10 title game at 11 and 1.

If Ohio State, Michigan and the Nittany Lions all beat each other and go 11 and 1, Penn State’s West Division opponents are Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern. All right. Ohio State gets Purdue, Wisconsin and Minnesota while Michigan gets Nebraska, Minnesota and Purdue. Now I think there’s a good chance that opponent record determines who ends up going to the Big 10 title game. I don’t think that’s going to favor Penn State.

But at 11 and 1, I can see Penn State finding their way into the playoff, especially if they lose to Ohio State back in October and then you beat Michigan in November and then Michigan ends up beating Ohio State at the end of the season, maybe Michigan goes to the Big 10 title game. Penn State gets into the playoff. Ohio State gets left at 11 and 1. There’s ways that this can work and hopefully I’ve made it complicated enough.

But to sum it up, I do like Penn State at plus 300 to make the CFB field. I like this team. I like what Franklin’s got going on. I know you guys talked about it last week. But I have not gotten the opportunity to express my allegiance for the Nittany Lions for this season. I’m going to take Penn State plus 300 to make the college football playoff.

I don’t think we have any picks for who’s going to win the national title. Kyle, first, do you have additional thoughts on Penn State. Second, is there a lot of value on the national title this year considering we’ve got Georgia at plus 225, Bama plus 600 and then Ohio State at plus 700. It doesn’t feel like enough value here.

Kyle Hunter:

About Penn State, obviously, I like Penn State. It feels like Penn State’s almost the team that we’re rooting for the most other than our favorite team here this year. But Penn State, I’ve heard some people say question marks about the offense, how they would look. I think Penn State’s defense is going to make a lot of opposing offenses look pretty bad this year.

The Penn State’s offense is up against a really good defense every single practice. I think the 11 and 1 thing for all three teams is not really a small possibility either. I think that could definitely happen in the Big 10. As far as to win it all, guys, I almost put Michigan plus 900 in there and I felt really bad trying to do that as an Ohio State fan.

Honestly, I usually don’t bet teams to win at all. It can be a crapshoot. But Michigan winning at all plus 900 is probably my favorite bet. Just thinking that their path is a pretty good one. I see we see somebody in the chat that likes Michigan to win at all as well. I think Michigan plus 900 is a decent value based on they have a very high floor. Michigan’s going to be very good. There’s not many teams they could lose to on their schedule.

Gary Segars:

Yeah. Yeah. I think you’re probably right. I mean that schedule has set up really well for Harbaugh in that bunch the past few years. The first four games are just bleh. But it is what it is. For those that have not hit the Like button, go ahead and do that for us. Subscribe to the channel. Of course, toss your thoughts in the comments. Subscribe to the podcast. All these different fun ways you can support the show. You can always find us on your favorite podcast app. Just search for the BetUS Football Show.

Before we move off of this into Q&A, which if you guys want to toss in any questions, certainly toss into the chat. This one that I did not give out earlier, but I’ve been digging into UCLA. I’m pretty enticed by them at plus 1400 to win the Pac-12. Now, I’m not going to make it an official play, but they avoid Washington and Oregon. They play at Utah in week four. The Utes could still be dealing with a quarterback injury. Well, I guess a couple especially that early in the season.

Look, they travel to Oregon State on October 14th. The back half of this schedule is light, conference-wise. If one of those quarterbacks hits, they’re able to run the ball with Carson Steele and they’ve got just a smidge of improvement on defense. I could absolutely see them in Vegas for the Pac-12 title game. At plus 1,400, I mean, I’m all in. I’m all in on this. Throw A Dowg A Bone jumps in already. I see you all not showing USC. No love to win it all. Keep your eyes on the Trojans.

But they’re the favorite. It’s not fun to talk favorites all the time. I guess, unless it’s Conference USA. Anyway, now it’s time for our favorite part of the show. Of course, the Q&A here, if we don’t get to yours in the segment, make sure leave a comment with it after the show. You all know the drill. Okay. We’ll jump in the comments after the show’s over.

Question number one here. We’re going to start with Andrew Schroeder who jumped in and he said, “Parker, which one offensive and defensive stat most directly correlates with success, present or future, in your opinion?” Parker, I’m going to let you handle this one.

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. That’s an empirical question and we could go through and run correlations of all the variables and say this one does it the most. But I will say there’s not really a secret sauce. There’s not an infomercial. Hey, this one stat explains all of the variation in between these two teams. You’ve got to take a holistic approach. You’ve got to look at a lot of them.

I know Gary and Kyle had their indicators. I have mine too. I think they’re similar and we get at the same thing. But really what I found it comes down to in college football, how well can you pass the ball on early downs? How well can you convert on third and fourth downs? How often can you create quality possessions and how often can you capitalize on those. Those are the four things that really look at how well are you going to be able to face an average team.

If I didn’t know anything about a team and I wanted to know how well they might perform against any random team, those are the things that I would look. I like EPA. Gary says PPA. I think that’s college football data, same thing, all the same thing all.

Gary Segars:

Yep. All the same.

Parker Fleming:

But basically, what that helps me do and why I favor that over everything else is that helps me take all of these yards per play and things that are noisy like points even. How you finish a drive is a separate skill from how well you move the ball consistently and those are a lot noisy or turnovers might hurt you or whatever. What EPA does is say, “Let me just translate that into value and then I can see the value of a play before and after the play and I can get some understanding.”

Starting with those with the EPA. I like that echo rate and the points per echo. Other things I like to do and you’ll see me do on here, I like to look at run past split and how often you run and pass. There’s a lot of signal of quality there. Then lastly, I think things like field position that we get into with the special teams do kind of help you adjust for how good a team is.

There is no one silver bullet answer. College football teams are like onions. They have layers. Bet you guys didn’t think we were going to get a Shrek quote in 2023 on a future show, did we? Yeah. A good one. But yeah, I think very, very … It’s obviously complicated and I like those stat previews. I made those stat previews just because these are the stats that I think are important going into a game and I want to have access to them. That’s what I look at.

Gary Segars:

Yeah. A hundred percent agree with you on this. Kyle, do you have a particular one that you’re looking at or you agree with Parker here?

Kyle Hunter:

First, I love Parker being on the show here. He makes this more fun. We throw in these quotes like this, just make the show that much better. I love it. It’s not just his stats. He throws in these great quotes. I will say I think explosiveness is super important. Teams that give up really big plays defensively are not going to have success in the long term. You can’t give up those 50 or 60-yard gains consistently.

The other thing is red zone success is really important. You’re not going to find teams that win and cover spreads consistently without being pretty good in the red zone. We’ve seen several of the last few championship teams be exceptionally good in the red zone. I remember the LSU team with Burrow was quarterback. In general, if you’re really good in the red zone, you’re taking advantage of those opportunities.

Like Parker says, once you get inside the 20, you got to take advantage of that and get the full points. You’re going to be really good. I look at those things quite a bit.

Gary Segars:

I still subscribed to the whole five factors deal that Bill Conley put out years ago on football study hall. I went ahead and pulled it up just to make sure I’ve got them down. Explosiveness like you just said, Kyle, efficiency, of course, field position, finishing drives, as you mentioned red zone there, and turnovers. All things and obviously you can’t really … it’s tough to predict turnovers, obviously. But you can see who’s really good at not turning the ball over, stuff like that.

I’m going to put out a ranking this year on Twitter as we go through the season. Each week, just a five factors raw rank so we can see who’s actually good at this stuff and who’s not. I might toss in talent and all that kind of stuff. But those are some of the factors that you want to look for whenever you’re handicapping games or just watching, trying to get an idea of who’s going to actually win.

All right. We got a few more questions here. Shankopotomuss, I hope I said that correctly, could the Beavers make the playoff? I pulled up the schedule here for Oregon State. I see a game at Washington State in late September, a game against Utah on a Friday night. They got UCLA on a Saturday at home. Then the back half of the schedule is at Arizona, at Colorado, Stanford, and then Washington and at Oregon in back-to-back weeks. That part’s kind of rough.

Maybe, I don’t think that Oregon State is quite talented enough to make the playoff. But would it shock me if they come out of the Pac-12? No. I mean, if DJ U plays somewhat to his potential and that running game continues to do what he did last year and the defense shows up, yes, I think Jonathan Smith’s a hell of a coach. Parker, you got to feel on the Beavers making the playoff this year?

Parker Fleming:

I think it’s really tough with the talent level and then with the non-con not being great, they’re really not going to be afforded a mistake here and they might have to play one of these teams twice in the Pac-12. I think the more relevant question for college football fans is not can Oregon State make the playoff? But rather what’s a good season for Oregon State and not really concerning with the playoff?

Because I think that looking at Oregon State’s recent history, if they could string together 9, 10 wins here in two seasons consecutively, I mean I think they’re looking at really, really good. They weren’t awful last year, but they were decisively just not at that top tier, 32nd EPA per play margin, but they were 48th on offense, 32nd on defense. They really were heavy on the rush, 28th in EPA per rush, 70th in EPA per pass. Maybe DJ U raise at that ceiling a little bit.

But I think that the way they run is going to be literally they run a lot and they try to out execute you 7.7 rush rate over expected was 112th in the nation. Again, alluded to this earlier, rushing a lot on early downs really doesn’t translate to success at the upper echelon of college football. I think that it’s a bad way to frame Oregon State season to think is a playoff an expectation yes or no with the binary.

When in reality it’s, “Hey, can you string together wins, keep up down the stretch, and play a competitive game against that Washington, Oregon stretch and maybe beat one of those teams and maybe even flirt with the back 12 championship?” I think that’s much more what Oregon State should be talking about.

From a betting perspective, they’re a good team that I think in February if we had been giving out picks, we’d be talking about a lot more. But a lot of people got on the train there and those numbers just didn’t line up with what I thought. I don’t have any plays on them. But I do think it’s important to frame expectations within the program context.

Gary Segars:

I 100% agree with this. I think you’re absolutely right on this. They won nine games in the regular season last year, had a massive blowout win over Florida. Granted, it was a weakened Florida team in that bowl game. But …

Parker Fleming:

Some of those clips of those Florida defenders, man, dudes, just did not want to be there and Oregon State made them pay. That was great. I loved it.

Gary Segars:

Oregon State, man, the way they played last year, they were, I mean strong, just played with just a full steam behind them. Kyle, you got a thought on the Beavers this year, understanding of course, that the expectation is not to make the playoff, but is it possible?

Kyle Hunter:

Of course, it’s possible. I think Oregon State is so well-coached and they’ve already gotten a lot out of that team. I mean, they’re not the most talented team in the world. I would rather bet a team that had underachieved that I felt like could make a big jump rather than somebody who I think has already been almost maxed out. Smith’s a tremendous coach. Lindgren is a really good offensive coordinator as well.

I can’t remember it off the top of my head. But did they cover every spread except two games last year? I mean, they were tremendous against the spread. It’s going to be really hard to consistently be that good, because everybody’s going to say, “Hey, let’s bet Oregon State. They were that good.” I don’t think their upside is high enough to get to the playoffs. I do think they’ll continue to be a good team. I just think they might be rated so highly now. It might be hard to make money on them.

Gary Segars:

Yes. I agree with that as well. I do agree with that as well. We’re going to move on. We’ve got a few more questions here. This one’s not a question. But just throwing it out there. Mike M said, “Conference Realignment is BS. Look, this is the weak stuff. I mean, just wait. There’s way more stuff coming down the pipe. Just wait. It’s going to be way worse. Way worse. Just hold on.

Steven jumps in. How do we feel Utah will do this year, because they’ve been disrespected by some college experts so far? I feel great about them myself. Look, Utah is still ranked number 14 in the AP poll, in the preseason poll that just came out. We don’t know whether the tight end, Brant Kuithe is going to be good to go. We don’t know if Cam Rising is going to be the same after coming back from, yes, ACL tear.

We don’t know if his backup quarterback is going to play because it sounds like he got hurt at practice. Who knows how long he’s going to be out. If they’re back down to a third string quarterback, that’s the only healthy guy at quarterback, eh? I mean they got some tough games at the beginning of their season here. I mean, I always like this team. But who knows about this year? I just got no idea. They never come out of the gate hot. Parker, what’s your thought on Utah here?

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. I’m not interested in Utah at a team total or a playoff or anything like that. But in terms of the Pac-12, they’re sitting at plus 1,400. That’s, what, like 6.6% implied probability there. If you look at that schedule, yeah, it’s brutal early on. But if I was going to talk myself into a Utah bet, it would be to win the Pac-12 because that’s a Wittingham vote. Those early games, that Florida game, that Baylor game, take your wounds, keep moving, get some of those guys reps and stay healthy, get healthy, and then make a run at the Pac-12.

We’re looking at a guy in Kyle Whittingham who excluding the COVID season has won nine or more games in, what is this, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven of the last eight seasons there. Utah, I think is going to be okay. I don’t know that the odds have fallen so astronomically that it makes sense as a value play.

I think obviously it had. A lot of us would’ve been on it. Certainly, Kyle would’ve been on an opportunity to get an undervalued Kyle Whittingham. I think they’ve priced in the uncertainty pretty well. But I don’t think it’s insane to put a little bit of money on Utah to be the Kyle Whittingham, Utah that we know.

Maybe if you’re smart and watching things live, get a little bit better odds after they get their butt whooped by Florida and Baylor because they’re injured and knowing they’re going to bounce back. I think that’s an opportunity there potentially. Not giving them as advice, just saying. I understand the consistent logic and I think from a strategic move, it’s not the worst bet that you could make.

Gary Segars:

That’s pretty smart idea. Pretty smart idea. Kyle?

Parker Fleming:

Gary, that’s twice. I feel like in the three years of this show, I’m getting so much better at this stuff. I feel really good about that.

Gary Segars:

You are my friend. You absolutely are. Kyle, what’s your thought on Mr. Kyle Whittingham?

Kyle Hunter:

You guys know how I feel about Kyle Whittingham? I mean, I would always want to back at Kyle Whittingham team. I will say they have some question marks here at the start of the year. We don’t know who’s going to be healthy and who’s not going to be healthy. I’d rather not lock up my money in a season bet. I’d rather look to see if we can bet on them in games.

I will say Parker’s bet there makes some sense, because they’re not valued too highly. I don’t think it’s that any of us are really that low on USC. It’s just that USC is such a big favorite. It’s tough to take favorites like that, like you said. Utah always a high upside team and always the team that’s going to play hard. They’re not going to quit with Whittingham, that’s for sure.

Gary Segars:

You certainly got that right. Brodibbles jumped in, he said, who wins the ACC? Man, we just talked about who wins the ACC. Parker said it was Louisville. No. At Clemson, North Florida State, we’re going to talk about that in week four. We’re not going to worry too much about it right now. We’ve already gone over.

Paul jumped in, he said, “Who do you rely on to get your stats?” I’m going to give a couple of mine. cfbstats.com is a good one. Collegefootballdata.com is good. You’ve also got Sports Reference that does really good stuff and in Team Rankings, it has some pretty accurate data. That’s a few different spots where you can look and see who’s the best at turnovers and who’s the best at points per play and et cetera, et cetera.

Kyle, I’ll let you start in before Parker goes for about an hour on this. But where are some of the spots where you get your plays or your stats from?

Kyle Hunter:

Yeah. I mean, I’ll save Parker most of the time here on this one. But CFB Stats I use a lot. Certainly, PFF I like to look at quite a bit. Parker’s site at CFB Graphs is a good one as well. There’s lots of different places to get stats from. I look to look at Tempo Based Stats quite a bit, obviously, based on the totals that I bet. But the good thing about it is there are plenty of good sites out there now with good data. It didn’t used to be so easy to find this advanced analytical data, but now we do have it.

Gary Segars:

All right. Parker. Of course, cfb-graphs.com. What else do you look at when it comes to games? Where do you get it?

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. I mean I have PFF Premium up every time we do a show because that’s where I look. I mean you guys can hear me typing, I’m sure. But anytime there’s a question that’s just an easy way for me to go get it. Yeah. CFB data I think is good. That’s from the ESPN and that public data is getting worse and worse every year it feels like. But the team rankings is good. CFB-Graphs is probably due to flip over for the 2023 season. This is a good reminder. I should do that.

Yeah. I think those are all really, really good. I use Sports Info Solutions as well. They have some various levels of freemium and paid and all of that. I get some of that data from them because they will track the RPOs and stuff or the motion stats, you hear me cite. I use a lot from there as well.

Gary Segars:

That works. Yeah. Lots of different places where you can get your stats from. Gentlemen, we’re about 15 minutes over. That’s typical for us. But that is going to wrap it up for us. This time next week, we are going to be previewing actual games. That’s right. We’re only 10 days away from the start of college football season, real life college football. Man, I’m so ready. So ready.

All right. Make sure put our show on the calendar for next Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Make sure you join us live. Be part of the conversation. Go ahead and like that video if you have not done that already. I mean, good gracious. What are we doing? Way less, way less than usual. Oh, our Best Bets. Our Best Bets. Let’s go on and toss that out here. Parker, give us your conference winners on this one.

Parker Fleming:

I’m riding with Colorado State at plus 1,600 to win the Mountain West. Memphis to win the AAC plus 600. Saban plus money, that’s plus 300 to win the SEC. Penn State to win the Big 10 plus 550, and kind of a value play with Louisville to win the ACC plus 1,000.

Gary Segars:

I’m going to roll Miami of Ohio along with Kyle on that to win the MAC East at plus 360. I like South Alabama to win the Sun Belt West plus 150. Marshall to win the Sun Belt East at plus 400. I’ve got SMU to win the AAC at plus 320. I like Alabama along with Parker here, plus 300 to win the SEC. Kyle, what are your picks on this one?

Kyle Hunter:

I’ll take Miami to win the MAC East to plus 360. I think that’s a really good number. Wisconsin to win the Big 10 West plus 125. UTSA, the Roadrunners, to win the AAC at plus 450. Western Kentucky in C-USA plus 130. The Bulldogs of Georgia minus 110 and the SEC.

Gary Segars:

All right. As far as now these we’ve got as best bets on this. Heisman are not best bets. Okay. We’re not going to count these against the record. But Parker, who have you got on the Heisman?

Parker Fleming:

Yeah. I don’t know if there is a best bet with a Heisman here. But I think that I made a case for why Joe Milton at plus 2,500 is at least interesting and it’s worth maybe a flyer. Then I agreed with Kyle on an actual bet that Texas to make the playoffs at plus 300 seems like a nice play.

Gary Segars:

I am with you on that. Klubnik plus 1,400 from Clemson. That’s who I’ve got for Heisman. The other one, Drew Allar from Penn State plus 2,500. Both of those could be flyer opportunities, much like Joe Milton. As far as an actual bet, I like Penn State to make the playoff at plus 300. Kyle, tell us which one you’ve got here.

Kyle Hunter:

I like Texas to make the playoffs plus 300. You guys know I also like Penn State to make the playoffs as well.

Gary Segars:

Of course. Of course. All right. Let’s finish this thing out. We love each and every one of you that chooses to spend a little bit of time with us each week. Go back and watch the early game previews. Make sure and leave your comments. Like the videos, of course. We want your opinions on all this stuff. We’ll always do our best to make sure and keep the conversation going in the comments section.

You can follow the guys on Twitter. Parker is @statsowar. Kyle is @KyleHunterPicks. I am of course, @GaryWCE. Make sure and check out the latest odds over BetUS. That’s betustv.com/odds. With that said, it’s time for us to skedaddle, guys. For BetUS where the game begins. God bless college football and we’ll see you all again next week.

 

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