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Ready 4 the Road

   by Tom Stryker - 09/21/2007

There are a couple of ways that college football teams can get a jump start to the season.

The most common is for a team to pad their schedule with a handful of creampuffs early. This allows both the offense and defense to work out the kinks before the meaningful games arrive.

Another, and the backbone for my College System of the Week, is for teams to open up with a string of consecutive home games. It certainly doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that playing in your own backyard can be beneficial in the month of September. A supportive crowd can give a young team the confidence it needs to excel. Without the distractions of travel, a team can grow and build momentum that could carry them a long way.

With that thought in mind, I turned to my college football database to see if this situation had any merit. Here's what I discovered.

Since 1980, play ON any college football conference guest in game four of the season provided they opened with three consecutive home games.

27 Year ATS Record = 62-44 ATS for 58.4 percent!

Right of the bat, this college system packs profit. Motivated by a conference battle, on foreign soil and off three comfortable games in their own backyard, our virgin traveler hits the road and flat out takes care of business!

There are six teams locked into this general situation: Georgia, Florida, Northwestern, Penn State, Clemson and Kentucky.

As you know, there are special tighteners to every system I own and this one is no different. If our "play on" guest is priced as an underdog of +4' or more, this situation explodes to a tremendous 34-15 ATS for 69.3 percent! It is much easier to motivate a team in the underdog role and, in this specific angle, we've removed a 28-29 ATS record by simply adding that parameter. From that list of six, only two remain: Northwestern and Kentucky.

With our 34-15 ATS in hand, this system improves to a tremendous 20-5 ATS for 80.0 percent provided our guest is tackling an opponent that owns a won/loss percentage of .700 or better! The only team that fits this special tightener is the Purple Cats of Northwestern!

Off last week's embarrassing home loss to Duke, no one will want to take the points with Northwestern on Saturday. However, this system is pretty straight forward and makes great technical sense. The Buckeyes whipped the Wildcats 48-7 in 2005 and 54-10 last season and you can bet your last dollar that the Purple Cats will be extremely focused when they arrive in Columbus. Good luck with Northwestern and be sure to check back next week for another powerful college football system.

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