Friday, November 06, 2009

Let's All Try For A Degree Of Relevance

The New York Post puts the UTEP -7 over Tulane- so for the first time since Marshall, the Wave figures to be in a contest it could win without shocking everyone involved.

On paper, UTEP is pretty easy to figure- outside of the Houston shocker anyway. Like most okay C-USA teams they can be counted on to score something around thirty, while conveniently allowing thirty on the other side of the ledger. Take away the BCS games- Kansas and Texas- you have a very typical .500 C-USA team.

I can’t see Tulane getting to thirty with this offense again in flux at the quarterback position. So they have to probably keep UTEP to some sort of manageable number.

Unfortunately, UTEP had over 600 yards of offense last week- but UAB was able to hang around (and eventually win) because UTEP couldn’t complete their drives via a pair of interceptions. In fact, Miner quarterback Trevor Vittatoe is the problematic wild card here. Vittatoe is a below average C-USA quarterback, six picks in his last three conference games, immobile. The Tulane fan really knows what knotty immoblie quarterback play means in a quarterback League. The Miners could play well on offense- and struggle to get to 28-plus points.

Consequently, my head is screaming to take Tulane here- I mean, you’re getting seven versus a very up and down team, a mediocre defense, a bad quarterback that couldn’t beat Memphis or UAB straight up.

At 6-2 ATS (McNeese was straight up), this is the most tricky pick of the season- because the UTEP team that beat Houston and played Tulsa credibly wins by three TDs here-and the Miner team that lost to the Blazers and the Tigers could very well lose. I can’t figure what Miner team we’ll see- but their quarterback is definitely slumping. And Tulane can score 21 here (they scored 17 versus Army outside).

I must admit I’m also struck by the line bouncing between -7/-6.5. I really thought it would be more like ten… makes me wonder about some unknown UTEP poison?

I clench my teeth and take Tulane here. Sort of like the Army game- use the old handicapping maxim that if you wouldn’t be shocked that an underdog wins the game, and you’re getting a TD, take the points.

So, don’t you dare screw me Coach Toledo. And give me Tulane +7 over UTEP.

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