Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Did the Dallas Cowboys Go Right With Ezekiel Elliot? 1

Posted on August 05, 2016 by Andrew Scott
After being chosen with the 4th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, there is a lot of pressure on Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys.

After being chosen with the 4th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, there is a lot of pressure on Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys.

Conventional football betting wisdom suggested that the Dallas Cowboys should have gone with a QB in the 2016 NFL draft; someone that they could groom to become 36 year old Tony Romo’s near-future replacement. Notwithstanding that, having the 4th overall pick meant that top QB selections Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were pretty much out of their reach. Moreover, Cowboys management must have felt differently, because they waited until the fourth round to select Mississippi State’s quarterback Dak Prescott (the 135th overall pick). Others thought they should have added a defensive player. But most agreed that the offensive line was more than fine as it was.

At the end of the day, Dallas went with running back Ezekiel Elliot from Ohio State – which is a sort of compromise, if you think about it. While not a direct addition to an already stacked O-line (which includes Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Doug Free), Elliot is the kind of player that can make the most of arguably the best offensive line in the league. For example, the 21 year old can carry the load on a three-down basis for an offense that wants to return to a ground-and-pound style. By any measures, Elliot and the Cowboys are the right fit for both parties. Football betting experts have already pegged Elliot as an early candidate for the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year, as well as rushing champion and rookie rushing record. In any other team with a different O-line, expectations simply would not be as high for Elliot.

According to Romo, Elliot is adapting well in the Cowboys training camp. “He’s done a good job. There’s a lot to learn in the offense. It’s not easy coming into the NFL and having a system, especially like ours, where we ask you to do so much in the run game and the pass game.” the QB said. “I think he’s handled it well. You can see his ability. We’re excited about him coming out and playing good.” Romo added that Elliot has been asking the right questions, but could always ask more. Either way, the veteran quarterback is “in his ear enough.” Like an earworm? There is something not quite right about having Tony Romo serenading you right in the ear, so let’s not picture that, shall we? Read the rest of this entry →

Ohio State and Michigan State Are Beating Opponents, But Not The Spread 1

Posted on October 15, 2015 by Jim Hurley
After earning the starting quarterback job, Cardale Jones has been inconsistent so far this season.

After earning the starting quarterback job, Cardale Jones has been inconsistent so far this season.

Ohio State and Michigan State have stayed undefeated so far this season, but neither one has played to expectations. In fact, that might be the understatement of the year. If you bet both the Buckeyes and Spartans in every game this year, you would be 1-11 against the spread (ATS)! Michigan State hasn’t covered the number yet this year. Ohio State’s only cover came in the first game of the season against Virginia Tech, and had Tech’s quarterback not gotten hurt, they might be sporting an ATS goose egg of their own.

Now, each team will be in the national spotlight this week. Michigan State’s visit to Michigan (3:30 PM ET, ESPN) will be the platform for ESPN’s Gameday. And the ABC prime-time game will be Ohio State’s home game with Penn State, kicking off at 8 PM ET. Will the Buckeyes and Spartans see their ATS fortunes change?

We’ll begin with Michigan State, whose problems seem deeper and whom has already suffered in public esteem. The Spartans, after rising as high as #2 in the polls a couple weeks ago, has been dropped to #7 without actually losing a game. For handicappers, the more noteworthy development is that Michigan State has lost regard in the betting markets.

They opened as a six-point underdog to Michigan and that line was quickly bet up to (+8). It’s an astonishing reversal in perception of both teams that’s taken place in a very short period of time. Read the rest of this entry →

Surprises Abound During First Month of College Football Season 1

Posted on October 07, 2015 by Brooke Chaplan
Leonard Fournette has been the most dominant player during the first month of the college football season.

Leonard Fournette has been the most dominant player during the first month of the college football season.

As college football moves into the second month of the season, there have already been many surprises. As defending national champion Ohio State has struggled against Virginia Tech and barely managed a win against Indiana. While working out the kinks of its two-quarterback system and showing weaknesses in turn overs and fumbles, other teams such as Michigan State and SEC powerhouse LSU have emerged as national championship contenders. With many weeks still to go before the playoff begins, there are still many questions left to be answered.

Pac-12 Conference
While many college football fans tend to focus on the Southeastern Conference and its usual arsenal of powerhouse teams such as Alabama and Auburn, more and more people are turning their attention to the Pac-12 conference. Although Oregon appears to be on a decline after losing 62-20 to Utah, other teams such as USC and Utah appear to be on the verge of having what may be a very special season. With five teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25, the conference appears to be well on its way to breaking the so-called “East Coast bias” that supposedly plagues it annually.

Big Ten Conference
Despite its struggles, Ohio State still remains the top-ranked team in the nation. However, the Spartans of Michigan State are hot on their heels at number two. Add to the mix traditional powers such as Wisconsin and surprise teams like Northwestern and Michigan, and fans have the ingredients for what promises to be a return to prominence for teams in the Midwest. For those who possess an online sports management degree, working in the athletic departments with the likes of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh could prove to make each day an exciting one indeed. Read the rest of this entry →

What Are The Odds? Looking at the Top Preseason Contenders for the College Football Playoffs 0

Posted on August 26, 2015 by Jim Hurley
Ohio State has been anointed as the favorite to again raise the College Football National Championship trophy.

Ohio State has been anointed as the favorite to again raise the College Football National Championship trophy.

The anointing of Ohio State for a repeat national championship has begun—the Buckeyes were the first unanimous preseason #1 in the history of the AP poll when that venerable organization released its voting results earlier this week. Las Vegas is no less bullish on the Bucks, slotting Ohio State is a decisive 2-1 favorite to win it all in Glendale on January 11. There’s no question Urban Meyer has a terrific team. But does that make them a terrific bet?

Ohio State is not a perfect team. They have youth on the offensive line, with two sophomores in starting roles. They have to replace a pair of defensive lineman, something that can’t be overlooked in the run-heavy Big Ten.

While Meyer has a well-documented embarrassment of riches at quarterback, even that comes with its own challenges—he can’t afford to have the locker room split between J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, even if Braxton Miller made everyone’s life easier by agreeing to switch to wide receiver.

Then there’s the suspensions. Four players will miss the season opener on Labor Day Night at Virginia Tech, including All-American defensive end Joey Bosa. If Ohio State gets through this game, which they remain favored to do, then that issue is past them. But it’s one more fly in the ointment.

None of this is to suggest that the Buckeyes are uniquely vulnerable or that they shouldn’t be ranked #1. What I am suggesting is that 2-1 is a very short price when the season is just beginning. You can likely wait until the beginning of the Playoff and get close to the same price, but without any lingering questions.

Public handicappers have to look elsewhere for value. Here’s a brief rundown of how the challengers to Ohio State are viewed in Las Vegas, and some pertinent thoughts on each group of teams:

THE PRIME CHALLENGERS: TCU (6-1), Alabama (13-2): This is rarefied air for the Horned Frogs, with their #2 preseason ranking in the AP poll being the highest in their history. The Crimson Tide are more interesting. It’s a short price, but about as good as anyone will get with a Nick Saban-coached team. If early games, like the September 5 prime-time affair with Wisconsin at Cowboys Stadium show an improved ‘Bama defense, the Tide are worth a serious look. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Fearless Predictions for the 2013 College Football Season 4

Posted on August 31, 2013 by Dean Hybl
Will Nick Saban again be lifting the BCS crystal when the season is over?

Will Nick Saban again be lifting the BCS crystal when the season is over?

Though the fact that much of the country has been experiencing some of the warmest weather of the summer might suggest otherwise, the wait really is over and it is time for college football season.

The opening games on Thursday night just wet the whistle for what should be another great year across the country.

Rather than joining the thousands of others who have offered their preseason rankings and conference predictions, here are “5 Fearless Predictions” of things I expect to see happen in college football this season.

1. Someone other than Johnny Manziel wins the Heisman Trophy

This may have been considered an off the wall prediction after the freshman phenom won the Heisman Trophy and  then led Texas A&M to a Cotton Bowl victory last season. However, he has spent the last nine months getting more attention for the parties he has attended and for all the time he spent signing autographs for “free” than for his upcoming sophomore season.

I think Manziel is a talented college football player (though unlikely to be a good NFL player), but his rise to the Heisman last season was a bit of a fluke as it was really the result of one huge performance against Alabama and the lack of a clear offensive star among the elite teams in the game.
Read the rest of this entry →

Should College Athletes Be Paid? 18

Posted on August 18, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

Recent "scandals" have brought up the topic of paying Collegiate Athletes.

This offseason has been by far the worst offseason in the history of College Football. USC and Ohio State have broken NCAA regulations and the allegations surrounding Miami (though not yet proven) are even worse. These situations, along with many others in recent years, beg the question as to whether college athletes should be paid.

Here’s the answer:

This a tough question, because everyone wants to see their favorite team out on the field and winning games, not being inspected and searched by the NCAA, but college athletes should NOT be paid or rewarded beyond what they already receive. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Original Patriot: Gino Cappelletti
      September 3, 2017 | 6:54 pm
      Gino Cappelletti

      Gino Cappelletti

      In recognition of the start of football season, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is one of the original stars for the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

      In many ways, Gino Cappelletti epitomized the early years of the American Football League. While the NFL was becoming more specialized and tougher to break into, the AFL provided former college stars with a new place to play and its “wild west” mentality allowed players to contribute in a wide variety of ways.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Which 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee is Less Deserving of Enshrinement?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top