College Football Week 1, 2021 — Monday notes and observations

In years past, I would always produce a weekly post about the upcoming football game for The Citadel. I did that for about a decade. As I wrote earlier in the summer, though, I’m changing things up this season.

Time constraints are part of the reason for that, but to be honest I also got tired of the routine involved in preparing the posts — and after a while it felt a bit like diminishing returns for me as a writer and perhaps for anyone who actually read them.

This has led to what will be something of an experiment. I’m going to just make quick posts when I can. Some of the discussion will be similar to what I did before, but there will be differences as well. Much of what I write will still be focused on the Bulldogs and its opponent for a given Saturday (or Thursday, as is the case for the Coastal Carolina game this week), but I’ll also delve into other college football-related stuff on occasion.

That is my intent, anyway. I happen to really enjoy college football, flawed and ridiculous as it is.

First, here are links to my posts from this summer. Most of them, of course, are statistical summations and analyses of The Citadel’s spring football season, so they are (hopefully) a good primer for anyone ready to get deep into prep work for the Bulldogs’ 2021 fall campaign:

Here are a few recent links of interest:

Season preview for The Citadel from The Charlotte Observer

The Citadel’s football practices have been top secret (not even Val Kilmer can watch them)

Phil Kornblut of SportsTalk (SC) interviews Brent Thompson, Jaylan Adams, and Willie Eubanks III

Game notes from The Citadel for its game against Coastal Carolina

Coastal Carolina’s game notes are also available

Brent Thompson’s Monday afternoon (8/30) press conference

Associate AD Kevin Olivett discusses The Citadel’s plans for the home football schedule on The Mauro Midday Show

The weather forecast for Thursday night in Conway, per the National Weather Service: mostly clear, with a low of 66°.

This will be only the second game between the two programs contested at Brooks Stadium. The first, of course, was the 2015 playoff game, which was played in the afternoon in November, with a gametime temperature of 71° (and almost no wind). Attendance that day: 6,751.

A few sportsbooks set lines late last week for The Citadel-Coastal Carolina. When the lines were initially released on Friday, Coastal Carolina was favored by 31½, but by Saturday evening the spread had already moved to 35½ . As of Monday night, it is 34½, with an over/under of 54½. The moneyline for The Citadel is currently +4750.

Incidentally, here are the point spreads for The Citadel’s last 15 games against FBS competition:

  • 2009, North Carolina: 32
  • 2010, Arizona: 40
  • 2011, South Carolina: 39
  • 2012, North Carolina State: 14
  • 2013: Clemson: 40
  • 2014, Florida State: 58
  • 2015, Georgia Southern: 25½
  • 2015, South Carolina: 20
  • 2016, North Carolina: 21½
  • 2017, Clemson: 47
  • 2018, Alabama: 51
  • 2019, Georgia Tech: 26
  • 2020, South Florida: 18
  • 2020, Clemson: 48
  • 2020, Army: 30

The Citadel is 6-9 ATS during that stretch, with (obviously) two outright victories.

Last year, Coastal Carolina was 9-2-1 against the spread, while the Bulldogs (F20/S21) were 5-7.

In Week 0, there was only one FCS vs. FBS matchup. San Jose State beat Southern Utah 45-14 (the line closed at 28 in most places, so the Spartans wound up covering).

Some other lines of note for this week around the country (and the SoCon), as of Monday evening; this is just a selection, and not the entirety of the slate by any means:

Wednesday night game

  • UAB is a 14½-point favorite over Jacksonville State (in Montgomery)

Thursday night games 

  • Chattanooga is a 2½-point favorite over Austin Peay 
  • Samford is a 14½-point favorite over Tennessee Tech 
  • UNLV is a 10½-point favorite over Eastern Washington (hmm…)
  • Appalachian State is a 10½-point favorite over East Carolina (in Charlotte)
  • Ohio State is a 14-point favorite at Minnesota
  • North Carolina State is an 18-point favorite over South Florida 
  • UCF is a 4½-point favorite over Boise State 

Friday night games 

  • North Carolina is a 5½-point favorite over Virginia Tech 
  • Wake Forest is a 31-point favorite over Old Dominion
  • South Dakota State is a 3½-point favorite at Colorado State (yes, the FCS team is favored)

Saturday games

  • Georgia State is a 2-point favorite over Army
  • Connecticut is a 2½-point favorite over Holy Cross (only 2½?!)
  • Boston College is a 50½-point favorite over Colgate
  • Nebraska is a 42½-point favorite over Fordham
  • Air Force is a 42½-point favorite over Lafayette
  • Wisconsin is a 4½-point favorite over Penn State (up to 5½ in some places)
  • VMI is a 19½-point favorite over Davidson
  • Furman is a 1½-point favorite over North Carolina A&T
  • Eastern Kentucky is a 10½-point favorite at Western Carolina
  • Wofford is a 6½-point favorite at Elon
  • Vanderbilt is a 21½-point favorite over East Tennessee State
  • Alabama A&M is a 5½-point favorite over South Carolina State
  • West Virginia is a 2½-point favorite at Maryland
  • Iowa is a 3½-point favorite over Indiana
  • Marshall is a 2½-point favorite at Navy
  • Alabama is an 18½-point favorite over Miami [FL] (in Atlanta)
  • Texas is an 8-point favorite over Louisiana
  • South Carolina is a 43½-point favorite over Eastern Illinois
  • Southern California is a 14-point favorite over San Jose State
  • LSU is a 3-point favorite at UCLA
  • Oregon is a 20½-point favorite over Fresno State
  • Clemson is a 3-point favorite over Georgia (in Charlotte)

Sunday night game

  • Notre Dame is a 7½-point favorite at Florida State

Monday night game

  • Mississippi is a 10-point favorite over Louisville

More to come in the next day or two…

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