Tayson Hill, Kyler Fackrell

Four safe college football win total picks for 2014

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As we inch closer and closer to the start of a new college football season, we et little morsels of gambling goodness dropped in front of us like a bread crumb trail leading us to the first kickoffs of the new year. Award watch lists are one thing, but gambling numbers are something else. Just the other day we got to look over a number of win totals to review.

5Dimes set the over/under numbers for a good number of schools this fall, and Kegs ‘n Eggs shared them with the public. You can review the full list available to see if your school is listed (Florida State is not, for example), but here are five you can probably feel pretty good about, keeping in mind these numbers are strictly based on the regular season.

BYU: 8.5 (Over -160, Under +120)

BYU has won eight game sin each of the past two seasons, but this 2014 season looks to be a tad more difficult than you might think. To beat the over, BYU is going to probably need to get off to a good start. That would mean winning games at Texas and at home against a talented Houston team. BYU also plays Utah State, at Boise State and at UCF. Can BYU win nine games? Yes, probably, but if you have to go one way on this the under seems like a safer bet.

Maryland: 7.5 (Over +100, Under -140)

Maryland joins the Big Ten this season and will be placed in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State. The Terps may have the most talented group of wide receivers in the conference, but getting to eight wins looks to be a tall order in 2014. Maryland has non-conference games against West Virginia and Syracuse as well, and neither of those games should be considered automatic wins by any stretch of the imagination. The Under seems safe, as the numbers surely indicate.

Miami: 7.5 (Over -160, Under +120)

Miami won nine games last season but the Hurricanes could have some quarterback issues facing them in 2014. Miami gets road games at Louisville and Nebraska in September, not to mention division games with Duke and Georgia Tech. Cincinnati could also be a challenge in non-conference play and the Hurricnaes have a rough stretch in the second half of the season including a Thursday night game at Virginia Tech and home games against UNC, Florida State and Pittsburgh. There may only be three sure wins on this schedule, and just getting to eight is going to be a battle. That over seems risky, and I am as big an Al Golden fan you may find.

Nebraska: 7.5 (Over -130, Under -110)

Nebraksa could very well be entering October with five wins with games against Northwestern, Rutgers, Purdue and Minnesota all still to be played. Personally, this over seems almost too easy to hit, but this is Nebraska we are talking about. Even if the Huskers take a loss in September, or two, getting to eight wins should be realistic given the track record (at least eight regular season wins each season since 2008).

Helmet sticker to Kegs ‘n Eggs.

Report: Cincinnati will name Ohio State’s Luke Fickell as new head coach on Saturday

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26:  Head coach Luke Fickell of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on from the sideline while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 40-34. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Looks like Cincinnati didn’t need to go far to find their replacement for Tommy Tuberville.

According to Toledo sports reporter Jordan Strack, the Bearcats will make the hire of Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell official on Saturday.

A person told USA Today that talks between the two parties were progressing on Friday night but not yet complete.

The move makes plenty of sense for Fickell, a Columbus, Ohio native who has spent nearly his entire career in the state not too far from Cincinnati. He did serve as interim head coach of the Buckeyes back when Jim Tressel was fired and was retained by Urban Meyer and served as one of the mainstays of the defensive staff.

Cincinnati has served as a bit of a stepping-stone job to major openings around the Midwest and has proven to be one of the more desirable jobs in the AAC given the resources at the school and the local talent base. The hiring of somebody like Fickell makes plenty of sense on both ends and it seems like the only unknown at this point is whether he sticks around for Ohio State’s semifinal game against Clemson or heads to Cincinnati right away.

Reports: FAU pursuing Alabama OC Lane Kiffin as next head coach

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22:  Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks off the field after their 33-14 win over the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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After missing out on becoming head coach at Houston, it appears Lane Kiffin’s pursuit of a new job is moving on.

Moving on down to Boca Raton apparently.

First reported by FootballScoop, two sources confirmed to the Associated Press on Friday evening that Florida Atlantic is pursuing Kiffin to become the Owls’ next football coach.

Kiffin has also reportedly been in the mix at South Florida but it looks as though the Bulls are moving quickly to getting a deal done with Charlie Strong. If the former Texas coach turns USF down, the Alabama offensive coordinator could get back in the running in his old hometown of Tampa.

The Owls would represent an interesting destination if the two parties come together however. Combined with his offensive background and ability to recruit, the area known as a retirement mecca could instead be the perfect place for the young Kiffin to continue to rehabilitate his image. The program is looking to replace Charlie Partridge after three 3-9 seasons but FAU has solid facilities for a CUSA team and is located in a talent-rich area.

It seems like quite the drop from being the offensive coordinator at a program like Alabama but the drive to be a head coach is clearly a strong one for Kiffin.

Baylor’s Matt Rhule hires four staffers from Temple, including two defensive coaches

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 14: Matt Rhule, head coach of the Temple Owls stands on the sidelines in the second half against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. South Florida beat the Temple Owls 44-23. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)
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One of the most interesting hires this offseason has been Baylor bringing in Matt Rhule over from Temple to be the program’s new head coach.

Rhule didn’t have any previous ties to the state of Texas so many folks were wondering what kind of staff would he assemble. On Friday it seems, we’re getting our first look that not a ton is going to change from his days in Philadelphia.

Baylor announced that four staff members — Francis Brown, Evan Cooper, Sean Padden and Mike Siravo — would be following Rhule from the Owls to the Bears. The program also made official the previously reported hire of Texas high school coach Paul Wetzel.

Padden was previously an associate AD at Temple and heads to Waco as Baylor’s new director of football operations. Titles were not given out for the other three members but Brown coached defensive backs for the Owls, Siravo was the team’s linebackers coach and Cooper was the director of player personnel.

Those hires represent plenty of familiar faces and continuity for Rhule as he settles in with Baylor and figure to be the first of many new coaches added to the staff over the coming weeks.

The release did not state whether they would be remaining with Temple through the team’s Military Bowl appearance but it seems pretty clear they will be filling their new roles relatively quick and probably won’t coach in the Owls’ final game this season.

Missouri hires former Texas coach Brick Haley as new defensive line coach

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 24:  Defensive end Charles Harris #91 and defensive lineman Jordan Harold #55 of the Missouri Tigers celebrate after sacking quarterback Daniel Epperson #11 of the Delaware State Hornets during the game at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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It took a few weeks, but Missouri head coach Barry Odom has a new defensive line coach.

The school announced the hiring of Brick Haley on Friday afternoon, a longtime veteran SEC coach who heads to Columbia after previously serving on Charlie Strong’s staff at Texas.

“I’m very pleased and really excited to be joining Coach Odom’s program,” said Haley in a release.  “We haven’t worked together, but I’m very aware of him and the reputation he has in the coaching profession.  I look at this as an unbelievable opportunity to work with someone who has such an impressive passion and work ethic.  It didn’t take me long in our conversations to know that Coach Odom is the right guy and someone you want to work with.  I believe that Mizzou is a place where the sky is the limit, and I’m looking forward to being part of the program.”

Haley has a strong reputation as a recruiter, which is helpful considering that the Tigers are in a bit of a rebuilding job right now. In addition his recent stop at Texas, he also coached at LSU, the Chicago Bears, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Clemson and others.

Missouri does have a strong tradition of producing first-round picks along the defensive line and it appears that, after a one year speed bump with Jackie Shipp, the program has found the next coach to help carry on that tradition.