I'll bet you didn't know what a good week it was for northeast teams
And to think The Day ran a story last week titled “Connecticut seen as prime candidate to legalize sports betting.”
Imagine if we could have bet this past weekend?
How about this four-team college football parlay for, say, a hundred clams:
Syracuse at home versus Clemson getting 22.
UConn at Temple getting 11.
Boston College at Louisville getting 21.
Rutgers at Illinois getting three.
All on the moneyline, which means you bet them to win the game outright, not merely cover the spread.
What would those odds have been?
This just in: They all won. Syracuse, UConn, BC, Rutgers. Hail to the victors.
That bet would have paid enough to buy some nail polish for all the Rockettes and at least three of those Grande skinny espresso caramel macchiato with skim milk things at Starbucks, no?
Indeed. Quite the historic weekend for college football in the northeast, which, in football dialect, is the Land That God Forgot. Seriously. We’d need the Elias Sports Bureau to figure out the last time Syracuse, UConn, BC and Rutgers all won on the same weekend.
Shall we discuss?
Start here: No one’s saying there’s going to be this sudden rebirth of the old days in the east when Syracuse, UConn, BC and Rutgers actually won games regularly. Let’s just enjoy the moment.
Syracuse: The best win for northeastern football since BC beat Southern Cal in 2014. It would appear the Orange have the right guy in Dino Babers. And while most of us here in Connecticut have an inherent distaste for the Cuse, who doesn’t love upsets, rebirths, history and the idea that there’s hope for everyone? The Dome was rocking Friday night. Quite the sight.
UConn: OK. I won’t pretend to be objective about defensive coordinator Billy Crocker. Longtime friend. But let me just say this: UConn’s heretofore defensive woes were way (way, way) more about personnel than scheme. Crocker’s defense, which allowed 70 points to Memphis, got better last week. And played better, saving this game.
The Huskies are a better coached team in 2017. Period. The offense, with the same personnel as last season, is considerably more productive. And just as a reminder of the previous regime’s incompetence, there’s this: Amos Alonzo Diaco’s defense at Nebraska, which appears to be about as tough as a meadow of daffodils, allowed eight straight scoring drives against Ohio State on Saturday. Eight straight. Ohio State didn’t punt.
BC: The Eagles would not have upset Louisville without New London, Connecticut. That’s right. City native A.J. Dillon — a freshman — ran for 272 yards and four touchdowns, named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Player of the Week. Dillon’s best play: discarding Louisville defender Chucky Williams with a stiff arm that would have defensive ends taking notes.
Dillon’s best work, though, came in the postgame news conference. He talked about his offensive line and his teammates. Not about himself. But then, not surprising. His mom, Jessyca Gatewood-Campbell, the Elementary Dean at the Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School, raised him well.
Dillon and Michael Walker, son of former East Lyme and St. Bernard great Mike Walker, are among BC’s five best players, thus making the Eagles the unofficial team of southeastern Connecticut.
BC’s win, coupled with UConn’s win, at least gives the upcoming game at Fenway Park (Nov. 18) a little more juice.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights snapped a 16-game losing streak in the Big Ten. I have no idea whether this will lead to a win streak, but it’s got to start somewhere. It’s like tennis. One volley at a time.
Not sure whether the northeast will get any love on any of the college football shows this week. There’s probably a lot to break down from South Carolina’s riveting, 15-9 win at Tennessee. But maybe somebody out there might notice that the four schools that carry the flag for northeastern college football all did something noteworthy this past weekend.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro
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