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Todd Fuhrman: Bet The Board Thinks Memphis Is Overrated

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While the top 5 remained unchanged (yes, Georgia holds on even in a loss), we did have a serious shake-up in the bottom half of the Top 10.  Penn State has dropped to No. 7 before even playing a game, as they have likely lost their star RB Journey Brown, a potential Heisman candidate, for an undetermined length of time.  UNC was shocked on the road by the Seminoles as nearly two touchdown favorites, while Texas A&M went on the road and scored a big road win over Mississippi State, moving them into the Top 10.

When it comes to overrated, we love ourselves a Group of 5 team and take aim at Memphis in the wake of their improbable comeback against UCF last weekend.  Our underrated team resides in the Big Ten and naturally takes center stage in the best bet portion of the show.  Take a listen to the most recent edition of the podcast as we break down the biggest games in the country for the upcoming weekend.

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Bet the Board Top 10 Week 8:

1. Ohio State

2. Clemson

3. Alabama

4. Georgia

5. Notre Dame 

6. Florida

7. Wisconsin

8. Penn State

9. BYU

10. Texas A&M

Overrated:  Memphis

Memphis was delivered a blow this offseason when star RB Kenneth Gainwell decided to opt out, and unfortunately for them, another big time offensive star has left.  WR Damonte Coxie left the team on Monday, forgoing the rest of the season and electing to focus on his NFL draft status instead.  Coxie’s departure leaves a gaping hole, as he had 16 grabs for 170+ yards in their first two games.  The defense remains unaffected, but that might not be a good thing for this porous stop unit.  Memphis is currently allowing 6.9 yards per play, good for fourth worst in the country headed into their fourth game against Temple this week.  The scary part for Memphis is their third down defense is middle of the pack thus far, which they should feel fortunate about given how bad the stop unit has performed overall this season.  The Tigers program has a recent history of hanging around the top 25, finally breaking through against a prominent conference rival last weekend.  With the Big Ten’s return imminent, you can kiss any thought of this team joining the REAL Top 25 goodbye.  

Underrated: Indiana

Trying to project whose under/overrated before they’ve played a single game is not an easy thing to do, but we’ll give it the ole college try.  The Hoosiers return nine starters on defense this year, and now that QB Michael Penix Jr. is finally fully healthy, he has an opportunity to lead an explosive offense that returns starting RB Stevie Scott and WR Whop Philyor.  The defensive line has a ton of experience and can lean on that to improve their pass rush from last year that frequently struggled to get to the quarterback.  Lucky for them, the linebacking crew is a fast, dynamic, and veteran laden group.  Mitch McFadden was honorable mention All Big-Ten last year and was voted Most Outstanding Defensive POY for the Hoosiers.  The leadership on this team is what sticks out above all, with head coach Tom Allen raving about the close-knit nature of the group and the job the returning starters have done prepping for the season. There could be a breakthrough season on the horizon here, but it’s going to need to start with a major performance out of the gate.

Best Bet: 338 Indiana +7 (-115)

We touched on why we felt Indiana might be a bit undervalued coming into the season, specifically in this spot.  Tom Allen has done well in recent years against James Franklin’s Nittany Lions, keeping this game within one score the last two years.  This season, he has the talent to do more than that and might be catching Penn State in a vulnerable spot.  We mentioned RB Journey Brown’s departure above. Add in a new offensive coordinator in a shortened off-season and we could see this offense start the year off slowly compared to recent years.  This is the first game during Penn State’s COVID-shortened season, and it’s also a road game. James Franklin seems quite unhappy with the procedures and protocols put into place in terms of travel.  We feel this is the perfect opportunity for Indiana to catch a talented Lions team in a tough spot. Take the +7 and don’t be surprised if the Hoosiers take this game outright.

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