My old man's that old man,
Spent his life livin' off the land
Dirty hands, and a clean soul
It breaks his heart seein' foreign cars
Filled with fuel that isn't ours
And wearin' cotton we didn't grow
He's got the red, white,
And blue flyin' high on the farm
Semper fi tattooed on his left arm
Spends a little more in the store for a tag
In the back that says U.S.A.
He won't buy nothin' that he can't fix
With WD Forty and a Craftsman wrench
He ain't prejudice he's just, made in America
Loves his wife, she's that wife
That decorates on the fourth of July
But says, "Every day's Independence Day"
She's golden rule, teaches school
Some folks say it isn't cool
But she says the Pledge of Allegiance anyway - Toby Keith
The Bishop holds court as ECU delivers the mail. Carter-Finley Stadium -- nineteen-eighty something: Above. Click image to enlarge.
Betting against every new college football head coach in their opener is an old but steady handicapping technique that provides a most favourable player bias according to the Oil Man. Nebraska's new skipper Matt Rhule heads to Minnesota for a Thursday night opener facing a number of headwinds to include four straight program losses to the Gophers.
Nebraska has been a program in a steady state of decline since joining the Big 10. Transition from the historical speed nature of the long departed Big Eight conference to the smash-mouth style of the Big 10 has been problematic. A new coach, transfer portal QB from Georgia Tech and a rebuilt offensive line are burdens enough, but winning a conference road opener the last Thursday of August at a Minnesota "Gold Out"
game will be near impossible for the Huskers.
P.J. Fleck begins his seventh season at Minnesota holding a strong hand with a superior ground game and the overall better squad. Fleck believes in power rushing between the tackles while eschewing the deep aerial. Last season the Gophers led the nation with 25 red zone rushing TDs while converting 47 percent of their third down opportunities.
Minnesota is a ground heavy team with the fewest wide receiver targeted throws in the country since 2019. At Minnesota tight ends block and the forward pass looked on with disdain. The Gophers attack easily hits 170 yards on the ground and 200 is more likely in an opener. Nebraska will hang around on defence for a half but the Minnesota running game should open the flood gates after intermission.
The Man knows all this and opened Minnesota as a six and the hook point favourite. This number was quickly steamed to seven and should close there. We will modify the Oil Man's strategy slightly by taking Minnesota on the Money Line. This means that instead of laying seven points and needing to win by at least eight, we take the Gophers needing only to win the game but at a much reduced winning payoff.
(The current Money Line price on Minnesota is -250
. This means that for every 25
risked, the payoff for a win is 10
. The player pushes 25
through the window in taking Minnesota and cashes the winning ticket for 35
-- receiving back the 25
stake and the 10
Only college basketball is more stat heavy than college football. The modern handicapping era far advanced from the halcyon days where the Stardust posted reams of computer printouts along the wall for plungers to ponder. Any stat, any analytics program or divining number can be generated from within today's post-modern digital gulag.
Thus one must take pains to avoid the dreaded paralysis-by-analysis time and bankroll sink. The eastern spiritual man might ask: "Why attempt to measure that which cannot be measured?"
Coach Fleck understands the psychological aspects of the battle better than any Big 10 skipper. After administering their annual beating to the Huskers in 2021, Fleck emphasised that while Nebraska was the name program, only the Gophers could Row the Boat because despite having more skill, Nebraska lacked the culture of the Minnesota program.
Needless to say folks in Lincoln were upset by those most nuanced remarks. Especially when Fleck suggested last season the Huskers needed "to stay Frosty" -- a reference to since departed head coach Scott Frost. That guy was terrible and Fleck and Minnesota have owned Nebraska of late.
Thursday August 31 a unique opener for several teams. State College travels to UConn for the very rare Wolfpack road opener while Barton College hosts an improving Chowan eleven. (If you have never taken in a game at Barton's new on-campus stadium, you are missing something special in Wilson).
However for Minnesota every season opens at home on a Thursday night -- part of the culture Fleck speaks of. The game is a Gold Out, pre-game festivities will begin early, and the crowd will be ready. This is the atmosphere Nebraska, and their new head coach and QB, will be rolling into.
We just need Minnesota to win this game to feed the (Barton) bulldog and prepare further for the ECU-Michigan match up two days later. We have the Pirates plus 34 and the hook for two units and with the game now at 35 are likely to add more.
The fact that the U.S. Ten Year yield continues to spike each time you view it in this space is no need for alarm. Well, actually it is. However approaching economic collapse is merely another distraction in crushing The Man and accumulating the monster bank roll. Thus one must ignore such at their own peril and keep on truckin'.
Nebraska is much like Ukraine in that they suffer from the proverbial alligator mouth and hummingbird ass syndrome. Rhule, like Zelensky, can talk the talk but when it comes to game time the world sees a dysfunctional program designed more to launder monies than generate results on the battlefield.
In Lincoln they finally got rid of the problem just as the West will do with Zelensky this fall after the Russian deep strike. A transfer portal ACC QB jumping to the Big 10 and opening on the road at Minnesota? That guy will have about as much success there as Kiev did with their latest counter-offensive...
This is a very good spot with all the trends vectoring in our favour. Our call here is MINNESOTA -250, risking 2.5 units to win one. The Gophers will control the clock and the ball in the second half and cruise to victory on the ground:
MINNESOTA 24 NEBRASKA 14
The Oil Man has been watching college football a long time and knows his stuff -- this is a good spot to kick off the campaign with a winner. With no number likely on the epic Barton College-Chowan battle this is by far the best value of opening Thursday.