Thursday, October 02, 2008

Donkeys On Parade

I am getting ready to depart for New Orleans, Louisiana to actually witness LIVE! this weekend’s tilt between Tulane and Army. The New York Post puts Tulane up a whopping twenty points- almost three full touchdowns- over the apparently hapless Cadets.

I put the Wave square at 3.5 wins this season- and that forecast is in real danger because of games like this. Tulane has managed to schedule like half-a-dozen of the ten worst teams in America- and like SMU, Army fairly falls into that bucket. I can’t even remember the last time Tulane was favored by two scores in back-to-back weeks.

Tulane is better than this team- as at the very least the Wave is pretty obviously a clear step up from horrid. Still, you have to square a pair of thoughts in your mind before paying this generous price.

First, should Tulane carry this kind of price versus anyone? They couldn’t cover this sort of number last week versus an Army-level SMU team. And Tulane has got to do even more this week. Army is clear a mess- but the Cadets do seem to be improving after their first two disasters. Frankly, I’m not sure Tulane is better than Akron or Texas A&M- and the Army managed to play well enough to cover twenty in both spots. If last week’s Cadets show up, Tulane has no chance to cover this number.

Second, the over/under for this game is 41.5- the second lowest on the board this weekend. Aside from the fact that Army probably has no hope of covering the Green Wave wide-outs, big point totals seem difficult. But Army runs that offense that eats the clock, keeping possessions down- and the Wave is still finding itself on offense, so is that consistency there to get the five-six touchdowns they need? They might get a dozen possessions- and have to score on half? Pretty stiff challenge.

I guess I come down to this: the Tulane team we saw last week played pretty well and couldn’t cover the requisite big number, and the Cadet team that was in evidence last week probably doesn’t lose by three TDs here. So, I’m like last week. I like Tulane to win the game- but probably not by the three score margin implied. I’ll give Army 20, and root for both Tulane and the clock.

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