|2000s||7/1st (2001)||Larry Coker|
|1990s||9/1st (1991)||Dennis Erickson|
|1980s||9/1st (1983-87-89)||Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson|
|1960s||1/9th (1966)||Charlie Tate|
|1950s||4/6th (1956)||Andy Gustafson|
Note: UM was not ranked in final polls prior to 1950, in 1970s, or first three years of this decade.
I do not encourage gambling (except when it involves winning), but I must report that a friend of mine who helps run one of the bigger sports books in Las Vegas tells me that this weekend is money-money-money — the wagers flying like they won’t again until the betting holy grail we call the Super Bowl.
Think about it.
Saturday brought the enticement of the college football game of the year in No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M, with Nick Saban and Johnny Manziel dueling to see who’s more annoying and disliked.
Saturday night delivered Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s pay-per-view goldmine from the MGM Grand, reminding us that a major fight still moves major money.
Now, Sunday gives us two of the NFL season’s biggest betting draws in 49ers-Seahawks and the Peyton-Eli “Manning Bowl” (aka Broncos-Giants).
Legendary Vegas bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro called this weekend “the perfect storm,” adding, “It’s going to be off the charts.”
In the spirit of transparency, I must tell you I bet big on Mayweather to beat challenger Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. It wasn’t just that Mayweather is much better. It was my long-held gambling credo to never trust a fighter named Saul.
(That reminds me. Mayweather is reported to keep $123million in his checking account. His checks don’t bounce. They take private jets.)
Two major Miami-related events also moved the wagering needle this weekend.
One is the Dolphins’ game at the Colts, of course. I like Miami in an upset because I figure Mike Wallace will get a bunch of pity passes; plus, unlike last week, I doubt the Dolphins will forget to pack a running game. I saw that Colts owner Jim Irsay said Indy would confront the Miami pass rush “with a NASA-like heat shield.” I think that might violate NFL rules.
The other big Miami-related event? LeBron James’ wedding! His nuptials with Savannah Brinson were scheduled for Saturday in San Diego.
I placed a wager that the wedding cake would cost more than my yearly salary. It’s amazing the prop bets you can get nowadays!
• How’d you do, paraskevidekatriaphobes? Did you beat the odds and somehow survive another Friday the 13th?
• Hockey is close. Panthers training camp is now under way. The Cats always have great camps. It’s the seasons that follow that tend to be the issue.
• NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup playoffs ending in Homestead starts Sunday in Chicago, with Jeff Gordon added as a 13th driver. The Chase began with 10 drivers. They added two wild cards. Now, exceptions. What’s next? Buy-ins? A lottery?
• The U.S. men’s soccer team beat Mexico 2-0 to qualify for a seventh consecutive World Cup. We pretty much have the getting-there down pat. It’s the winning-there that’s been problematic.
• FIU, outscored 81-10 in two losses, hosted a foe its own size last evening. Panthers, if you didn’t beat Bethune-Cookman, please turn in your helmets.