Adversity and Urban Meyer cross paths about as often as it snows in the desert. This is one of those rare weeks. Meyer is coming off an ugly loss, and the chill in the air makes Las Vegas feel like Big Ten country.
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This is not a time for Aaron Rodgers to show off his spelling bee skills and cooly advise fans of the Green Bay Packers to R-E-L-A-X. A four-game losing streak would be reason to slam a fist on the panic button.
If you wager on the NFL, your handicapping usually starts with the quarterbacks. Beer-drinking gamblers and brain surgeons can agree that Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers rank as the most valuable. Below are our rankings of all 32 of the NFL's regular starting QBs.
It was a great game, capped by a dramatic comeback. Imagine if Tom Brady could do that to the New York Giants in a Super Bowl.
Even the worst NFL franchises get it right once in a while, and the Tennessee Titans got it right when it counted most. Marcus Mariota provides hope and a future, two things the team lacked at the end of last season.
A year ago, it was unanimous. Kentucky coach John Calipari was king of the hill in college basketball. Calipari had compiled an NBA farm team that was capable of running the table and inspired a proposition bet on an undefeated season.
At the moment Ben Roethlisberger was carted off the field with yet another injury, bettors on the Pittsburgh Steelers should have expected the worst. Roethlisberger's health was not the concern. The point-spread cover was in critical condition.
It's too soon to label the season a fiasco in Philadelphia, because it's only the halfway point and a bad division is up for grabs. Still, the spotlight on coach Chip Kelly is getting intense, and he's overweight and sweating.
Debates are great for college football, like them or not. It will be two months before the heated debates over who's No. 1 are decided. One thing that is certain now is Leonard Fournette's status as the nation's top running back.
Seven touchdown passes should be enough to win a game, yet Drew Brees needed help. He needed the opposing coach to have a brain cramp, and he needed a kicker to deliver. He got it all, because it was one of those days for Brees.
It has been more than a month since the Dallas Cowboys won a game. In the meantime, there has been no shortage of drama and discontent, and no sign of injured quarterback Tony Romo returning.
No longer is it hip to praise Peyton Manning. He looks much older now, even elderly at times, trotting onto the field as if limping with a broken hip.
If a slow start trips up the Cleveland Cavaliers, overreactions will be sure to follow. But the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint, and LeBron James might not be fit to run either right now.
Quality quarterbacks are in short supply in the NFL these days, which is why the good ones make around $20 million a year. The Dallas Cowboys got what they paid for when they picked up Matt Cassel by the cheap at a garage sale.
Even before the trick-play debacle, Chuck Pagano's job was in jeopardy. Under his leadership, which now appears clumsy at best, the Indianapolis Colts are getting as stale as month-old bread.
Whether gambling or coaching football, never apologize for getting lucky. Luck turns two ways, and what goes around usually comes around. Without a doubt, Mark Dantonio is the luckiest coach in the world this week.
Every bookmaker in Las Vegas showed up for work Sunday morning praying for underdogs and rooting against Tom Brady. That's basically the case every week, but it was especially true this time.
A so-called perfect world does not exist in the NFL. If everything is going right, you can bet something is about to go wrong. And everything is going right for Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Patience might be a virtue in some aspects of life, but there's no place for it in the sports world anymore. Jim Harbaugh is a Type A personality, meaning he's aggressive, ambitious and impatient.
If something seems like a bad idea at the time, don't gamble and do it anyway. Spitting into the wind, swimming with piranhas, betting against an angry Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. All bad ideas, obviously.
It had the potential to be one of the great games of the NFL season. Tom Brady and the undefeated New England Patriots, renegades on a mission, riding into Dallas to trade shots with Tony Romo.
When hired as manager, Joe Maddon was considered the ideal kindergarten cop for the Chicago Cubs. Expectations were realistic for his first year. The postseason was only a possibility. But it's October, and already those kids are all grown up.
So far, the postseason has been all about pitching. The aces are dealing. The Los Angeles Dodgers are lucky enough to throw two of baseball's best, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, back to back.
In a complex game, the answer is sometimes simple. Four weeks in a row, Aaron Rodgers has rewarded bettors for backing the Green Bay Packers. An obvious play can pay off. Not every question is a trick.
When the New York Giants are in a funk, it's usually because Eli Manning stunk it up. That's the popular storyline, and the media sticks to it. It's routine to target the quarterback in the blame game.
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