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''She said we have to go run an errand or something. She looked like she was out of her mind,'' he said, grinning at the thought of his first Michigan-Ohio State game. ''We went to some outdoor area, like a mall. They were playing The Game' over the louds

It's a meaningless matchup that means everything to the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's status is yet again a hot topic ahead of the Iowa game. Pelini kept his job despite a 38-17 home thrashing against the Hawkeyes last November, and he rewarded new athletic director Shawn Eichorst with a bowl win over Georgia and an 8-1 start in 2014.

But a two-game slide has left the Huskers (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) in danger of their sixth straight four-loss campaign.

A bad showing in Iowa City could spell the end for Pelini.

''I think the last two weeks we didn't play very well. I said this earlier in the year: Some of the things were happening and weren't hurting us. And that's reality. In the last two weeks it's hurt us,'' Pelini said.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz isn't going anywhere, not after signing a huge contract extension in 2010.

But a second straight win over Nebraska - and the 8-4 mark that would go with it - would go a long way toward satisfying a fan base that thought the Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3) could have won the Big Ten West.

Both teams enter Friday's game unranked and out of league title game contention. But the circumstances surrounding this year's matchup should help turn this series into the rivalry the Big Ten always hoped it would become.

''We want to win really bad. They want to win really bad,'' Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock said. ''Does that make it a rivalry? It probably does.''

Here are a few key things to consider with Nebraska and Iowa set to meet in Iowa City:

ABDULLAH'S DAY? The Big Ten's best backs have done big things against the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium. Indiana's Tevin Coleman had 219 yards rushing on just 15 carries and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon had 200 in last week's 26-24 win. Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah could be the next back to slice through the Hawkeyes, but he hasn't been the same since he sprained his left knee against Purdue this month.

RUDOCK: Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock has made plenty of strides since the last time he played Nebraska. Rudock has 14 TD passes, a league-low four interceptions and is less than a point behind Ohio State's J.T. Barrett for the Big Ten lead in completion percentage. ''It's not only he has ability, but he really works at it hard. The other part is, can you do that when you get knocked around a little bit?'' Ferentz said. ''It's really a tough job. Some guys are better than others. He's really doing a nice job.''

GREGORY VS. SCHERFF: The matchup to watch inside will be Nebraska defensive end Brandon Gregory against Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff. Gregory has seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss. But Scherff is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy given to the nation's top lineman. The Huskers will likely move Gregory around to exploit matchups, but it'll be fun to see Gregory and Scherff square off.

WIDEOUT WOES: Pelini said Monday that Jordan Westerkamp will play after hyperextending his knee in last week's loss to Minnesota. But Kenny Bell, whose 171 career catches are the most in school history, is questionable after sustaining an apparent concussion against the Gophers. ''When somebody has a head injury, it's difficult to say,'' Pelini said.

TICKETS: Iowa and Nebraska's fan bases have long been regarded among the most passionate in the Midwest. But that hasn't translated at the ticket office. Iowa spokesman Steve Roe said Wednesday that just under 3,000 tickets were still available. Kinnick Stadium seats 70,585.

Auburn fans give oaks one more roll

AUBURN, Ala. Auburn fans Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US NFL Lines said goodbye to the two oak trees at Toomers Corner with one more toilet paper celebration following the spring game on Saturday.

An A-day-record crowd of 83,401 watched the Orange team defeat the Blue squad 35-14 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Gus Malzahns first spring game since he was hired to coach the Tigers. Thousands of fans then made their way to drape toilet paper over the two frail, poison-infested oaks in a tribute that was more celebratory than somber.

Theres more to Auburn than two oak trees, revered and sturdy as they are, retired athletic director David Housel said. These oak trees are but an outward visible symbol of the Auburn heart. This is a day of celebration and remembrance.

The spring game included 164 all-purpose yards and a touchdown by junior college transfer Cameron Artis-Payne, and Jonathan Mincy was ejected for a targeted hit above the shoulders on wide receiver Dimitri Reese.

Longtime Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr. pleaded guilty on March 22 to poisoning the Toomer trees after the 2010 Iron Bowl, when Cam Newton led Auburn to the national title and an Iron Bowl comeback from a 24-0 deficit.

The trees will be cut down Tuesday, and officials unveiled a plan on Saturday to renovate Toomers Corner that is expected to be completed next year.

Something doesnt have to be old to be a tradition, said Bill Stone, the president of the Auburn Alumni Association. Well be here and were gonna roll and roll and roll this corner just as we always have and just as we always will.

Toomers Corner is the bustling connecting point of campus and community, where Toomers Drugs serves up lemonade and lunch at the old-fashioned counter and the trees serve as a gateway.

The celebratory rollings date back at least 40 years, starting with the now-underground wires that used to criss-cross the corner and switching to the trees some three decades ago, according to Housel.

A system of wires crossing the street will replace the trees as a temporary solution for postgame celebrations in a tribute to the old days.

Harrison Mills, the president of Auburns student government association, said the Samford Park renovation will improve the openness, accessibility and accommodations for fans.

There were plenty of celebrations at Toomers Corner when Malzahn was the offensive coordinator at Auburn from 2009-11. He came back to the school after Gene Chizik was fired following a 3-9 season.

Malzahn, who received a five-year contract worth $2.3 million annually, said Saturday he and his team are going to give fans a reason to once again shower the corner in toilet paper.

Heres the plan in the fall: to give the Auburn family numerous opportunities to roll these trees, Malzahn said to a roar of applause.

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. VA Tech Hokies Betting Preview
2010-11-05 College Football Betting Odds: Virginia Tech -13, Total: 56

Virginia Tech goes for its seventh straight win (SU and ATS) when it hosts Georgia Tech on Thursday night. The Hokies have outscored their past six opponents 250-106 and are 13-3 ATS (15-1 SU) in the past four Novembers. The Jackets won last year’s meeting 28-23 despite only one completed pass (in seven pass attempts), as GT rushed for 309 yards and four touchdowns. QB Josh Nesbitt had three of those scores.

Georgia Tech has sustained its rushing prowess this year with a nation-leading 317.4 rushing yards per game. RB Anthony Allen (87 rush YPG, 5 TD) and Nesbitt (81 rush YPG, 8 TD) have combined for 62 percent of the team’s carries. The Yellow Jackets have the second-fewest pass attempts (105) and passing yards (678) in the nation, ahead of only Army. The defense has been adequate in terms of yardage, ranked 53rd in nation with 354 YPG allowed, but it has been better against the pass (192 YPG).

Virginia Tech has been a beast in conference play, posting a 26-12 ATS record (68%) over the past five seasons against ACC opponents. QB Tyrod Taylor is the main reason the Hokies have won six in a row. He has 12 TD and just two interceptions during the win streak and has also chipped in two 100-yard rushing games and three rushing touchdowns. RB Ryan Williams finally returned to the field last week after missing four games, but only had six carries in the 44-7 win over Duke. Williams is expected to see more action on Thursday, which makes sense considering he rushed for 100 yards on 14 carries against the Yellow Jackets last year.

The underdog is 4-0 ATS (3-1 SU) in the past four series meetings, but the these two college football betting trends support the Hokies covering the point spread.

Play On - A home team (VIRGINIA TECH) - dominant team (outgain opp. by 1.2+ YPP) against an average team (+/- 0.6 YPP), after gaining 6.75 or more yards/play in 2 consecutive games. (50-20 since 1992.) (71.4%, +28 units. Rating = 3*).

VIRGINIA TECH is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) after 2 consecutive covers as a favorite over the last 2 seasons. The average score was VIRGINIA TECH 42.7, OPPONENT 16.6 - (Rating = 2*).

For ‘total’ bettors, these two betting trends point towards the ‘over’ cashing.

Play Over - All teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 (VIRGINIA TECH) - after beating the spread by 21 or more points total in their last three games, in November games. (68-30 over the last 5 seasons.) (69.4%, +35 units. Rating = 3*).

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson is 16-3 OVER (+12.7 Units) after 1 or more consecutive straight up losses in all games he has coached since 1992. The average score was Johnson 31.8, OPPONENT 27.4 - (Rating = 3*).

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The GMAC Bowl series has produced the most lopsided games of any bowl series in recent years, as favorites are on an incredible 7-0 SU and ATS run, winning by an average margin of 30.3 points per game. Central Michigan hopes that trend continues, although the MAC representative has been on the short end of the L3 blowouts. The Chippewas are 2-point favorites at after spending most of the last three weeks as favorites of 4-points or more.

The Chippewas got here by virtue of an 11-2 record and third conference title in the L4 years. The 2009 group was the best of the bunch, however, evidenced by the 33.2-to-17.2 scoring differential. Senior and four-year starting quarterback Dan LeFevour plays his last game for Central Michigan. Troy is again the Sun Belt champ and comes in with a 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS mark. The Trojans have played in three prior bowl games, going 1-2 SU and ATS, including 3-0 going OVER the total.

Coach Butch Jones took the Central Michigan football program to new heights. He won't be around to fully enjoy the fruits of his labor.

With the first national ranking in their history but without the coach who led them there, the No. 25 Chippewas will face Sun Belt Conference champion Troy on Wednesday night at the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Central Michigan (11-2) is champion of the Mid-American Conference for the third time in four seasons, with the last two titles coming under Jones. The coach posted a 27-13 record in his three seasons, marked by a spread offense that averaged 32.6 points during his tenure and exceeded 45 points five times in 2009. A 20-10 victory over Ohio in the MAC championship game vaulted the Chippewas into the Top 25 for the first time.

After that success, No. 4 Cincinnati came calling. Faced with a coaching vacancy after Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame, the Bearcats tabbed Jones for the job. Associate coach Steve Stripling will lead the Chippewas on an interim basis.

The Chippewas may no longer have the coach who installed their high-powered offense, but they still have the record-setting quarterback who makes it run. Four-year starter Dan LeFevour has thrown for 27 touchdowns and run for 14 to bring his career total to 147 TDs passing, rushing and receiving. That sets the major college football mark, previously shared by Hawaii's Colt Brennan and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell.

Having a record-setting receiver to target also helps. Senior Bryan Anderson has caught at least one pass in an NCAA record 53 consecutive games, and has 57 receptions for 700 yards and six touchdowns this season. Junior Antonio Brown, meanwhile, has team highs of 97 catches, 1,020 yards and nine scores.

Troy's offense may be able to keep pace. The Trojans (9-3) averaged 33.1 points - 41.2 over their last six games - en route to winning at least a share of the Sun Belt title for the fourth consecutive year.

They also boast a record-setting quarterback of their own. Senior Levi Brown ranks second in the nation with 322.3 passing yards per game, and his 3,868 yards were the most in the history of both Troy and the Sun Belt.

When Brown isn't throwing the ball, he's often handing it off to Shawn Southward. The running back ranked fifth in the nation among freshmen with 10 rushing touchdowns and gained 574 yards on 100 carries. He's taken some of the workload away from junior DuJuan Harris, whose production fell from 1,077 rushing yards in 2008 to 471.

Troy lost in overtime to Southern Miss in the New Orleans Bowl following last season. The Trojans earned their lone bowl victory in three tries in 2006, beating Rice at the New Orleans Bowl.

The Chippewas are 1-4 in bowl games, defeating Middle Tennessee in the 2006 Motor City Bowl. This is the first time they've ventured out of state in postseason play since 1994, when they fell to UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl.

This is the first meeting between these schools.

GMAC BOWL Series Trend: Since the well-known Marshall 64-61 come from behind win over East Carolina in 2001, the GMAC Bowl results have been downright ugly. Favorites have won and covered the last seven games of the series, with an average winning margin of 30.3 PPG. The last three installments have seen Conference USA on the winning end over the MAC. The last four games have gone UNDER the total, simply since the losing team has only produced 10.0 PPG.