In this special edition of college football betting news and notes, we focus on the Thanksgiving NCAA football action happening this Friday.
(2) Auburn (11-0) vs (9) Alabama (9-2)
Auburn will have close to a full-strength roster for the Iron Bowl, though defensive tackle Mike Blanc and defensive end Michael Goggans will have to sit out the first half. They were ejected against Georgia for throwing punches. Auburn didn’t appeal the ejections.
The hosting Alabama Crimson Tide are a bit more banged up by comparison in this sports betting matchup. Right guard Barrett Jones missed Thursday’s game and wore a protective boot on his left foot on the sideline. He’s questionable to return this week. Defensive lineman Kerry Murphy is questionable and defensive back B.J. Scott remains out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Trent Richardson (leg) looks like he’ll return to play second fiddle to Mark Ingram in ’Bama’s backfield after missing the last two games.
(20) Arizona (7-3) vs (1) Oregon (10-0)
Arizona showed flashes of brilliance early this season but games against the Pac-10’s elite (Stanford, USC) of late have been a rude awakening. Hoping to avoid a similar result against mighty Oregon, the Wildcats held a players-only meeting this week. It looks like they’ll get running back Nic Grigsby back from an ankle sprain that held him to on carry over the last two weeks. Slot receiver Bug Wright could return from his ankle injury as well.
The bye week came at the perfect time for Oregon. LaMichael James finished the Ducks’ game against California on crutches but has healed sufficiently over the last two weeks that he’s not even on the injury report. Don’t be betting on starting wideout Lavasier Tuinei to return. He has a cracked shoulder blade and could miss the rest of the year.
(3) Boise State (10-0) vs (19) Nevada (10-1)
Hawaii, Idaho, Fresno State – even supposedly powerful offensive schools can’t seem to score on Boise State. The Broncos look formidable and pretty healthy entering their trip to Nevada this week. Tight end Tommy Gallarda and linebacker Byron Hout are each out for the regular season with a broken foot.
Nevada already has an elite offense but has tweaked its line in recent weeks anyway. Jordan Mudge started over John Bender at guard last week and could retain the job; Steve Haley has returned to his role at tackle after recovering from a broken arm.