September 20, 2014

The Money Bet of the Century, Week 3 | 1-0

Money Betters-


Week One of the 2014 season kicked off the right way with a win in the Oregon vs. Michigan State game. In that game, things went down almost exactly as we would have thought. As I had mentioned, the researchers were working over time to pour over all of the stats. Oregon was only a 13 point favourite in this home opener versus Sparty. As we figured, Oregon would play tough at home in front of this early season match up. The MBOC team accurately predicted that not only would Oregon cover the 13 points, but would in fact win by 17. As it turned out, Oregon got it done by 19 after a very slow start, coming from a 27-18 deficit to win AND COVER the line. As predicted, Marcus Mariotta knew that he would have to give a second half performance worthy of a Heisman run, and deliver he did. Oregon stacked up 28 unanswered points in the 2nd half to get this one done. Cheers to the MBOC team for digging this one out.

Here is a great recap of the game if you missed it:

There are a couple games this week that look worthy of consideration. First up is the Alabama vs. Florida match. Although the MBOC team is not a big fan of Florida in general (it goes back to the fact that Florida State, Miami and Florida all benefit from the fact that they are in 3 different conferences, making it easier for them to all be in a great standing late into the season), this year Florida has a rough schedule---which includes South Carolina, Alabama, as well as a season ending game against Florida State (who only has to play two ranked teams this season to march towards their hopes of a National title *sigh*). Florida looks underrated this year. They started off the season with a 65-0 win over the Eagles before almost blowing it against Kentucky last week in a 3 OT thrilling win. Look for them to keep it close in the Alabama game where Alabama is a 14 point favorite (in Tuscaloosa).

We almost took that one, but we found a tastier game for the readers to sink their teeth into. That game this week is the Utah vs. Michigan (in Ann Arbor).

I looked for Michigan Girls, this was the result.
Can't prove she's from Michigan,
....but do you really care?
Michigan comes out --not the strong team that we've seen from them in seasons past. After a strong snowing in week one versus Appalachian State (a team that has haunted them before), they were shut out at Notre Dame on the road (31-0). It was an embarrassing loss for a prideful Wolverines club in a long-standing rivalry. They bounced back in week 3 with a win over Miami Ohio (34-10). Now, we know what you might be thinking---'MBOC team, this isn't a strong showing by Michigan. App State and J-Crew U are not good programs, and they didn't even have decisive wins against either of these Powder Puffs!'. We hear you, but listen to this!

Michigan, with the exception of Notre Dame, runs a tight defence. With the exception of a few unlucky turnovers, this would have been a complete shut out. Michigan also did not play their star receiver Devin Funchess (who racked up 200+ yards and 3 touchdowns in his first game of the season). Brady Hoke, Michigan's Head Coach, said he wouldn't let anyone know if Funchess will return for today's game because he "didn't feel like it", but internal sources in the locker room say he is ready to return to the field and we believe he'll be back for this matchup against Utah and ready to play. With the season now underway, Michigan will look to claw their way back up the Big 10 standings in a much more serious game against a high-scoring Utah Offense.

Utah girls = wholesome.
That brings us to Utah, and their scoring. So far this season they've been racking up points, and currently sit ranked 3rd in the country in the 'points scored' category. They've been pounding the ball on the ground very effectively through the likes of RB Devontae Booker, who has already amassed 145 yards on 20 carries for 3 touchdowns. Utah Quarterback Travis Wilson has had dual threats in receivers Dres Anderson and Kenneth Scott, finding this pair for 5 touchdowns and a combined 300+ yards. Well, the news on this week is that Utah isn't playing Fresno State or Idaho State, and they're not playing the game in front of a home friendly crowd in Rice Eccles Stadium  in Salt Lake City, Utah. They'll be playing in The Big House in front of 100k+ fans who are hungry for a statement game that will help define their 2014 campaign.

Before we get to the prediction on this game, let's talk about some fan mail. Multiple fans reached out to us to ask where the LBOW (LinkedIn Babe of the Week) feature went. Great question. In week one, the LBOW actually had a bye, and had a delayed home opener. Well, worry no more fans, because the LBOW is back in week 3. We head to Las Vegas, Nevada for the first pick of the LBOW 2014 team.

She started her career at PF Chang's 'creating an outstanding dining experience", while cheerfully serving you your lettuce wraps with a smile. You also might have seen her at the Cosmopolitan Hotel as a Pool Attendant, but got her big corporate break as an intern at 'Preferred Public Relations'.  These days you'll find her as a Marketing Manager at The Light Group Stuff. She can maintain calendars and budgets, participate in Marketing Strategy Meetings, or liason with talent----it's your call. But while she's recommending new booking talent, she's also the first LBOW for the 2014 season. Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together for the lovely Lia Thormodsgaard. 

And now---for the prediction. Utah marches into the Big House, but is up against an unfavorable 3.5 spread. That's a joke. Michigan wins this by 14 at home in front of a raucous crowd.


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September 6, 2014

The Money Bet of the Centruy - 2014 Season - Week 1 | 0-0

Money Betters-

Back in it's 15th year, the Money Bet of the Century is coming in HOT off of a 2013 season, in which we finished 5-2-1.

While the United States slept, the team was assembled, locked in a dark room, and fired up the 20 odd computers that are solely provisioned for the sake of 'crunching numbers'. Pizzas were ordered---kegs of beer were trucked in from the far reaches of the planet---and then more kegs were trucked in after the first ones were expired. The team pulled an all-nighter, knowing that getting off to the right start is essential for paving the road for an award winning season.

First, a brief history of the MBOC. Started in 1999, co-founders Marc Cooperstein and Dave Noreen, were undergraduate students at the prestigious, world-class institution that is Washington State University. Mr. Cooperstein came to the notion that the match-up between Idaho and Washington State was a mismatch, and that the gambling line that had been setup for the game "was a joke". He eagerly proclaimed, to anyone that was listening, "I'm betting the house on this game. If Vegas is giving away "free money", well---I'll take it. This game is literally the Money Bet of the Century, and if I had more money---I'd put it all on this game". After putting his 1977 2003 BMW on the line for 800 dollars worth of cash to wager on the game, he sat down in front of the television to watch the game unfold. Only a few short hours later, with the game not going his way, Mr. Cooperstein locked himself in his room, effectively locking out his fraternity brothers that kept stopping by to taunt him about his failed bet. He was last seen in his room (from an outdoor window), with his head in his hands with a miniature television set in his lap, softly sobbing as his realization that he had just lost his car, became a reality. The Money Bet of the Century blog was brought into the world, kicking and screaming.

The analysts at the MBOC have been drooling for months over this week, because of the multitude of high profile games that will happen this week. Games up for consideration? How about USC vs. Stanford? This perennial PAC-12 game is never a sleeper. USC has been looking good the farther they get away from their sanctions--and Stanford, a recent powerhouse in the  PAC-12, is ranked #13. Should be a pretty lively affair. But wait....there's more. What MBOC analyst would not consider the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game. This heated rivalry goes back many years and is an all-time classic. In the 41 times these schools have met since 1887, Michigan leads the series 24-16-1. The ALWAYS ranked and usually over-hyped Irish come into the game ranked 16. But the MBOC were not lured into this potential nugget.

The staff toiled away into the late hours, and the office started to look like the command center in The Hunt for Red October with sweat pouring down their faces and tensions running high. But they believe they have found Sean Connery, the target has been locked, and the torpedoes have been loaded and aimed. All that is left to do is to flip the switch.

The Oregon vs. Michigan State game is a massive early season contest. Seasons will be determined in this matchup at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Last year Heisman Trophy candidate and potential 2014 winner Marcus Mariotta looked sharp in his first outing this year against severely undermatched opponent South Dakota. He amassed 267 passing yards in the first half, and 3 touchdowns,  before being sat down in a runaway victory that ended in a very lopsided 62-13 pounding. During the game, Mariotta surpassed old Duck Quarterback, Joey Heisman (Harrington) for the school record in touchdowns thrown. The Ducks piled up a staggering 673 yards against the wiley South Dakota Coyotes before it was all said and done. Oregon Duck Byron Marshall, currently in his Junior year playing out of San Jose, California,  proved to be a dual threat against SD, throwing down 90 yards on the ground, but also caught 8 open field passes that amassed him 138 yards of receiving. The Ducks have the deck stacked in their favor, playing in front of what will be an electric crowd on home turf.

If all that sounds daunting, guess again. Michigan State looks dangerous, and the media is all abuzz of them being national contenders this year. "This is an opportunity early in the season to see where we're at as a program," said Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio. Right you are Mark---the Ducks will plan on bringing everything. Michigan State will be ready, however. Probably one of the most talked about Defenses in the country will try to stop the speedy Oregon Duck offense. Defensive End Shilique Calhoun and Linebacker Taiwan Jones are back for Michigan State, and are hopeful that their leadership can rally a Michigan State defense that lost 6 starters at the end of the 2013 campaign. Michigan State Junior starting Quarterback, Connor Cook, will be looking to represent Hinckley, Ohio in all the right ways as he takes the field against Oregon on Saturday. In his game last week against powderpuff Jacksonville State, he also put up over 200+ yards before sitting out the rest of the game in the 2nd half. Michigan State easily put away the Gamecocks 45-7. Tony Lippett started his Senior year campaign at wide receiver for Michigan State--piling up 167 yards with just 4 catches while also adding 2 touchdowns to his 2014 tally.

This game will live up to its fanfare, and Michigan State will come ready to play. Look for Oregon's always-tough defense to lock down Lippett at Wide Receiver,  and do their best to prevent Michigan State's Jeremy Langford from pounding the ball up the middle. Mariota will be in prime form in front of a home crowd, knowing he will need to lead the Ducks to impressive win if he hopes to keep both his Heisman Dreams and the Ducks National Championship hopes alive. The MBOC team predicts that Oregon comes out strong---and stays strong. The line on this game is Oregon -13, playing in front of an early season, highly energized crowd on FOX Sports. Oregon gets this done and beats Michigan State by 17.

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...and that, my friend, is THE MONEY BET OF THE CENTURY!!!