For diehard fans -- and degenerate gamblers -- the day the bookies release the projected win totals for the upcoming college football season is like Christmas, except without actually knowing what day it falls on.
TheGreek.com has set the over/under for our beloved Oklahoma Sooners at 10, which we should interpret as a very good sign. When it comes to prognostication, I'll take the oddsmakers over the Bob Grieses and Desmond Howards all day long.
(For the uninitiated, this means that bettors are wagering on whether the Sooners will win fewer than 10 regular season games in 2010 or more than 10 for the season.)
TheGreek.com is offering totals on seven Big 12 teams.
I think Vegas has the Big 12 pegged pretty well. If I was going to make a play here, it would be the under on the Pokes, who I think will struggle with all the personnel losses from last year.
Some other quick thoughts.
Yes, I realize that the Cougars have won 10 games each of the past four years. I think that changes this season. BYU will likely be starting freshman Jake Heaps at quarterback, and leading rusher Harvey Unga and top receiver Dennis Pitta are gone. The Cougs also lose seven starters on defense. The schedule is rough, with road trips to Air Force, Florida State, TCU and Utah, as well as a home game versus Washington.
*Penn State (8.5)
The Nittany Lions are one of those public teams that I typically try to go against when possible. Defensively, I think PSU will have a tough time replacing last year's outstanding linebacking corps of Sean Lee, Navorro Bowman and Josh Hull. I also see at least three almost-certain losses in road games versus Iowa, Ohio State and Alabama. My big hesitation in this case would be that the other nine games look pretty manageable, as PSU avoids Wisconsin and has most of its other tough tests in Happy Valley.
After that offseason?
Take the Over
Sure, this is really high, and the Horned Frogs lost defensive playmakers Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington. Big deal -- TCU blew through its competition last year until the Boise State game in the Fiesta Bowl. Even then, the Broncos had to take some huge gambles that paid off. I really think TCU is just that much better than every other team on its schedule. Having a great coach like Gary Patterson never hurts, either.
I really like Wisconsin's prospects this season. The Badgers have some experience under center for the first time in forever, which means they can take a few more chances offensively. Road games at Iowa and Michigan look tough, as does a home date with Ohio State. However, I don't see this team losing more than three games this season.
I'm buying on the Huskies, who I think will win the Big East. UConn lost five games last year by an average of three points. A team that suffers such tough losses one season typically turns it around a year later. Plus, the dominoes are all lined up for Randy Edsall's team, as UConn's toughest conference games will be played in Storrs.