Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 3:03 PM
NFL Officially Begins Unofficial Preseason Wednesday With 25-Unit Game Of Week Set For Thursday
If Ravens QB Mallett Falters Thursday You Can Bet The Shunned Colin Kaepernick Will End Up As Baltimore’s Starting Quarterback
Why Wyoming And Tulane Will Be Two Of Most Surprising College Teams This Season
Dodgers (79-32) On Track To Break Single Season Win Record Of 116 Held By 2001 Mariners (116-46) And 1906 Cubs (116-36)
By Kelso Sturgeon
Maybe it’s just me, or a faulty memory, but the opening week of National Football League practices has been far more chaotic than those of the past. Much of the uncertainty belongs to a lack of quarterbacks who possess the talent, smarts and credentials to be a starter in the NFL, or even to be on a roster. The suits will deny that but it’s the raw truth.
A rundown of the quarterback situation in Wednesday night’s Houston at Carolina and the seven Thursday night games reveals just how unsettled and unpredictable things are for some teams.
--The Houston Texans will start former back-up Tom Savage who replaces the quite inept $72 million man Brock Osweiler who was shipped off to the Cleveland Browns after a non-productive season. If Savage cannot put more life into the Texans offense (ranked 29th of 32 teams last season in total offense, passing and points scored under Osweiler) he will have to step aside and hand the job to Clemson rookie DeShaun Watson who led the Tigers to the national championship last season.
--Carolina will sit starting Cam Newton and will start proven veteran Derek Anderson
--The Baltimore Ravens are in a real jackpot at the quarterback spot with starter Joe Flacco (back) out for 3-6 weeks. This means back-up Ryan Mallet, who has a suspect pre-season this far will get the start against the Washington Redskins. If he falls short of expectations you can expect Baltimore to immediately sign exiled former 49er QB Colin Kaepernick and make him the start at least until Flacco returns.
--The quarterback situation in Miami is somewhat up in the air with NFL insiders saying starter Ryan Tannehill (knee) is out for the season and that is the reason the Dolphins gave former Chicago Bears signal-caller Jay Cutler $10,000,000 (plus an additional $3 million in incentives) to postpone his TV career, come out of retirement and take over. He knows the offense and will become the starter once he is in shape and up to speed. Meantime Miami’s starter is the veteran Matt More. Miami hosts Atlanta Wednesday night.
--Shocking news from the Cleveland Browns camp. Osweiler, who washed out as the starter at Houston last season, has moved to #1 on the depth chart, replacing expected starter Cody Kessler who while looking good in practice thus far was demoted because the coaching staff felt his arm strength and release are far below NFL requirements.
And this is just for the first eight preseason games of Week #1.
Week #1 Of NFL Preseason Wednesday Night With 25-Unit Game Of Week Set To Win Thursday Night
The Houston Texans and he Carolina Panthers meet tonight night in Charlotte as Week #1 of the NFL preseason gets into high gear with games scheduled each night for five straight days. The Houston-Carolina game will be televised nationally on the NFL network. Carolina is a 2.5-point favorite, with a total of 36.5, despite the fact the Panthers may well not play quarterback Cam Newton who will be rested.
I am releasing this game as a 5-unit play but will take my first big-game stand of the season Thursday night when I release my 25-Unit Week #1 Preseason Game of the Week.
For the record, I opened the season with a loss on the under (35 points) in the Dallas-Arizona game but intend to have a dynamite opening week. Get on board for membership in my Best Bets Football Club for just $199 and get the REST OF THE NFL PRESEASON FREE (a $100 value). You can play the preseason daily for just $15 if that better suits your needs.
When you sign up for a season membership in my Best Bets Football Club for just $199—you are joining a club loaded with big game plays, the first of which will be my traditional 200-unit College Kickoff Classic Blowout on Saturday, Sept. 2.
Most football handicappers duck the preseason because they consider it at best a chaotic crap-shoot. Me? I consider it an outstanding opportunity to make a few thousand dollars and insure a solid bankroll will be available when the regular season begins.
Wyoming And Tulane Will Be Two Dramatically-Improved College Teams This Season And Both Beg Your Attention
When on lives in the football world it does not take long to spot a head coach who is exceptional, even if he is not at Alabama, LSU, Clemson or Wisconsin. This particular subject is of great importance to bettors who with the knowledge of up-and-comers can cash some healthy tickets for at least 2-3 years—before bookmakers and handicappers get up to speed.
We have two coaches that fall into the genius category and are destined for big things, beginning this season. First there is Craig Bohl at Wyoming and then there is Willie Fritz at Wyoming. Both are capable of turning any program in championship mode, even a Top 20 team. It takes just two things to win at the highest levels of college football—the ability to coach and the ability to attract top-flight players. One can coach but can’t get the players and will for his career be mired in an up-and-down mediocre career.
Bohl and Fritz can do both and have a genius understanding of how to beat their opponents.
No Question Wyoming’s Bohl Is A Coaching Genius
Bohl took over at Wyoming four seasons ago in Laramie and in 2014 and went 4-8, followed by a 2-10 mark in 2015 and an 8-6 record last season with two of those loss coming in the Mountain West Conference championship gam against San Diego State, 27-24, and in the Poinsettia Bowl to BYU 24-21. The Cowboys begin this season with one of the best quarterbacks in the country—junior Josh Allen who threw for 3,203 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2016.
Bohl, who was the defensive coordinator on Nebraska’s 2002 national championship team became head coach at North Dakota State in 2003 and left in 2013 to head up the Wyoming cause and it is of note he left the Bison with a 104-32 mark and in his last three season there went 43-2 and led the school to three straight NCAA Division II championships.
His overall record is 118-56 and that speaks for itself.
I was awakened to just how good he was when North Dakota State opened the 2013 season at Kansas State and as a big underdog won 24-21. This Kansas State team, which has one of the strongest homefield bias figures in the country, went on to have an 8-5 season and beat Michigan, 31-14, in a bowl game. The Bison finished the season 15-0 and won another national championship
Why/How Did It Take Fritz So Long To Finally Make It?
Tulane coach Willie Fritz, a graduate of Pittsburg State (KS) certain has paid his dues. He was a defensive back at Pittsburg State, national small college power, and before becoming a head coach in college held a variety of jobs in high school football, the junior colleges and the small colleges. He left powerhouse Binn Junior College in Texas (the school that gave us Cam Newton) in 1997 to take over at Central Missouri, where he went 97-47 before leaving the school in 2009.
He left to take over the head coaching job at Sam Houston State, another NCAA Division I power, and went 40-15 there from 2010-1013, taking three teams to the NCAA Division II playoffs and twice finishing as the runner-up.
Then in 2014 he took over at Georgia Southern, went 17-7 there, and the answered the call at Tulane. The Green Wave, long a football doormat, was a mere 4-8 in Fritz’s first season there but served notice he intended to revitalize another program—and he will.
Fritz begins this season in New Orleans with a lifetime 158-77 college coaching record.