Well land sakes, here’s a barn-burner.
The San Jose State Spartans are 1-7, and 0-7 against the FBS. Their lone victory in 2017 has been against Cal Poly, a currently 0-7 team. They have played 2 teams from Power-5 conferences and lost by a combined 110-16.
If you think that resume is impressive, just wait until you hear what’s going on with BYU. In early 2016, the Cougars had a chance to sign coach Ken Niumatalolo of the Navy Midshipmen, one of the finest football coaches in the country on any level. But Niumatalolo believes in the running game – he wasn’t about to change his entire playbook for QB Tanner Mangum, so the the parties parted ways without a deal.
At the time, the BYU brass thought that Mangum was so talented, so promising, that the new coach must adapt around the young quarterback as opposed to the other way around. Hmm. The Cougars are 1-7 after beating only – you guessed it – a bad FCS team. Mangum’s ’17 season has been somewhere between hapless and embarrassing. He only remains the starter because HC Kalani Sitake hasn’t recruited anyone better.
Somebody has to win Saturday. But you can imagine these 2 teams actually fighting to lose it.
Who: San Jose State Spartans at BYU Cougars
When: Saturday, October 28th, 3 PM EST
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
Lines: SJSU (+13) at BYU (-13) / O/U Total: (51)
Has either team shown any sign of life against the FBS?
BYU played okay against Utah in Week 3, losing 19-13. But the defense forced 3 fumbles as the team was badly out-gained by ground and air. Mangum, who made snide remarks about Niumatalolo when the program strong-armed the coach out of the job, was a disaster. Maybe he’d be better off running the option, where at least he wouldn’t have to pass as much. The Utes picked off 3 of his 39 attempts and by-all-rights should have won by 20 points.
What about the Spartans? They looked OK against USF in Week 1, and scored 26 points against Hawaii in a road game last weekend. But the Rainbow Warriors were in a bad slump. San Jose State QB Josh Love has a 5-to-7 TD to interception ratio, and the Sparties have a mediocre ground game to go along with a porous defense.
The near-2 touchdown point spread is a mystery. These are 2 hapless teams which will finish in the cellar of their conference, and there isn’t much difference between them. Home-field advantage isn’t good for 13-14 points. All we can think of is that BYU’s heroics in seasons past are still fresh in odds-makers’ minds.
2017 is 2017. This is a straight-up pick’em. Wager on San Jose State ATS for a tremendous advantage on the numbers and a high-probability winner.