NCAAF News Emery Stays in Baton Rouge/Win Totals to Consider

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:
Jun/13/2024

As losing players has seemingly become the norm in college football’s transfer portal, the Tigers of Louisiana St. Tigers received some unexpected news.

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Running back John Emery Jr. has pulled out of the portal, returning to Baton Rouge to play his final season. Since Louisiana St. is entering this season with a shot at the title, this is potentially rather significant news around the landscape.

Emery has started just five games, but has appeared in a total of 37. He has over 1,000 career rushing yards to go along with 14 touchdowns.

Logan Diggs had been the Tigers’ leading running-back rusher a season ago, but he’s off to Ole Miss. Emery will thus see increased playing time this season.

He will need to help a backfield that saw quarterback Jayden Daniels (1,134 yards, 10 touchdowns) as the overall leading rusher a season ago. Daniels is now the projected starter with the Washington Commanders, so the return of Emery only helps the fortunes in the Bayou. ‘
Here’s a look at those ‘theoretical’ fortunes, along with those of some other programs…

Louisiana St. Tigers (Over/Under 9 Wins)

Despite losing quarterback Jayden Daniels, coach Brian Kelly has the players in place to have the Tigers of Louisiana St. make a run at a title.

A low number at nine, especially with a schedule which doesn’t appear all that hard. There’s a road opener against defensively-deficient Southern Cal, then a home ‘gimme’ against the in-state Nicholls Colonels.  

Go over (-120) here.

Alabama Crimson Tide (Over/Under 9½ Wins)

If you begin any season by penciling in ‘10’ as the number of wins by the Alabama Crimson Tide, this is a ‘within-the-margin-of-error’ number. However, this is a new era in Tuscaloosa.

Coach Nick Saban and his six ‘Bama titles have retired, replaced by Kalen DeBoer, formerly of the Washington Huskies. DeBoer took those Huskies to the title game last season, so he’s no stranger to the bright lights of the gridiron.

It’s a new-look, 16-team SEC with the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns coming to play. Alabama is riding quarterback Jalen Milroe, but there seem to be too many unknowns here. ‘

Go under (-150) here.

Texas Longhorns (Over/Under 8½ Wins)

As was mentioned, the Texas Longhorns (and Oklahoma Sooners) have joined the Southeastern Conference, rival of the (see above) Louisiana St. Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide. Texas was in the College Football Playoff last season, loaded once again.

Quinn Ewers returns to quarterback the ‘Horns, and it’s intriguing to see the Texas dominance of the Big 12 carries over.

The losses may be more than usual with his new set of playmates. Texas will find a way to win at least nine games, however.

Go over (Ev) here.

Ohio St. Buckeyes (Over/Under 10½ Wins)

There isn’t a lot of wiggle room with a number set this high, and the Big Ten is now the Big Eighteen with the additions of the Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins, Southern Cal Trojans and Washington Huskies.

Those former stalwarts of the dearly-departed Pac-12 could have the Big Ten laying claim to being the best conference in the country.

If the Michigan Wolverines are to defend their national title of last season, it’s without coach Jim Harbaugh, who was one step ahead of any potential NCAA sanctions with his ‘bolt’ to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Thus, Ohio St. has a big shot to win the conference (and perhaps even beat the Wolverines). Consider the Buckeyes are -700 favorites just to make the new 12-team postseason tourney, according to College Football Playoff odds.

With the Buckeyes beginning the season as a 50½-point choice (that’s no typo) over the Zips of Akron, as per college football odds, when it comes to seasonal wins, go over (-135) here.

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