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LEO’S LOSERS : WEEK 3

By Leo Haggerty

Week 2 was another productive week if you followed the advice of Leo’s Losers.

Leo’s Lock (2-0 overall) was a $100 winner.  Leo’s Losers (6-4 overall) posted another respectable 3-2 for $75 to the good.  Finally, Leo’s Others (15-5 overall) chalked up an impressive 7-3 log to put $120 in the bank.

The final total for Week 2 is a plus $295.  Add that to the $480 from Week 1 and the arithmetic for the year adds up to $775 in the black.

So, here’s my Losers for Week 3.

LEO’S LOCK

NCAA

Southern California (+9) loses to STANFORD

First of all, and just a quick reminder, I picked Stanford to win the PAC 12 and be one of the four teams to compete in the CFP (College Football Playoff) in January.  Naturally, you have to assume I like the Cardinal to go, at worst, 12-1 during the regular season.  The question has to be is this that one game where the Cardinal and White stubs its toe?  I don’t think so especially with the contest in Palo Alto.  The Men of Troy will put up points and the game will be competitive for almost three quarters.  That’s when RB Christian McCaffrey will take over.  Look for a couple of late scores by #5 and one could of the special teams variety.  Stanford 48-30 but it won’t be easy.

LEO’S LOSERS

NCAA

Vanderbilt (+6) loses to GEORGIA TECH

Everything I look at with this game screams Tech to win big.  In fact, I considered this long and hard to be Leo’s Lock. Here’s what I’m seeing.  First, the game is in Atlanta.  Advantage, Yellowjackets.  Second, Vandy doesn’t see this type of option offense in the SEC.  Advantage, Ramblin’ Wreck.  Finally, you don’t beat a Paul Johnson-coached team, you outscore them and scoring points is the Commodores Achilles heel.  Big advantage, Old Gold.  GA Tech 51-13 in a rout.

NEBRASKA (-3) loses to Oregon

What am I thinking here?  Am I going against Big Red in Lincoln?  Really?  Have I lost my mind?  Maybe, but let’s look at the facts.  The Ducks goal on offense is to run a play every 15 to 20 seconds.  The Cornhusker defense has no way of preparing for that contingency.  Knowing that Oregon is going to score points as well as wear down their defense, Nebraska is going to have to put up big points.  They will but just not enough.  UO 49-42 in a shootout.

Ohio State (-1 1/2) loses to OKLAHOMA

Gut feeling here for an upset.  The Buckeyes are notoriously slow starters.  The Sooners already have one loss and cannot afford another if they want to make the CFP.  If the game was at the Horseshoe I would definitely have a change of heart.  The fact is that it’s not in Columbus, where the high is suppose to be in the mid-70’s, but in Norman, where expected temperature is the mid-80s, with thunderstorms. The only lightning won’t be in the sky.  OU QB Baker Mayfield will light up the OSU secondary rain or shine.  It’s gut check time and Boomer Sooner comes through 30-28.

NFL

CLEVELAND (+6 1/2) loses to Baltimore

Even though the Browns are at home, the Ravens are finally healthy.  With QB Joe Flacco and WR Breshad Perriman hooking up on offense and LB Terrell Suggs creating havoc on defense, Baltimore has just too many weapons for a Cleveland team that has to replace injured starting QB Robert Griffin III with journeyman Josh McCown.  Hark the Ravens 27-9.

LOS ANGELES (+3 1/2) loses to Seattle

Let me get this out of the way.  I’m a BIG Jeff Fisher fan.  If he says the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, QB Jared Goff, isn’t ready yet then he ain’t ready yet.  No knock on the former Cal signal-caller.  Too many QBs were ruined because they couldn’t make the transition from the frying pan of the collegiate game to the fire of the NFL gridiron.  Can you say Ryan Leaf?  The Rams have to be patient and that’s another way of saying to your fans wait till next year.  Goff may be the future but he’s not the present and the Seahawks are the now.  With QB Russell Wilson maturing with every game and the Legion of Boom still lurking in the secondary, this game could get ugly early.  Seattle 24-10 but only the score will be close.

LEO’S OTHERS

NCAA

Florida State (-2) loses to LOUISVILLE

Army (-5 1/2) loses to TEXAS-EL PASO

SYRACUSE (+15) loses to South Florida

North Texas (+36 1/2) loses to FLORIDA

APPALACHIAN STATE (+3 1/2) loses to Miami-FL

TULANE (-6) loses to Navy

NFL

Miami (+6) loses to NEW ENGLAND

Tampa Bay (+6 1/2) loses to ARIZONA

Jacksonville (+3) loses to SAN DIEGO

CHICAGO (-3) loses to Philadelphia