Brett McMurphy’s Musings and College Football Picks for Week 4

What I’m wondering while waiting for this weekend’s games …

How much money is enough? Is any amount ever enough?

Florida’s athletics department had $161 million in revenue during the 2017-18 school year, according to USA Today. That’s a pretty decent amount of coin. Only nine schools in the country made more.

Each university has different ways to accumulate their athletic department riches: media rights/television deals, tickets sold, merchandise sales and donor donations are a few ways. Some schools even manage to receive athletics fees from each student.

With overall attendance decreasing, schools have had to become creative in attracting fans and Florida has offered its fans some unique opportunities – for a price, of course.

This year’s Florida home schedule consists of the Good (Auburn), mostly Bad (Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida State), and the really Ugly (FCS opponents UT Martin and Towson). To help spruce things up, so UF fans don’t look like Steve Spurrier did after that late Felipe Franks interception in the Miami opener, Florida fans can purchase a “VIP Gameday Experience.”

Here’s a partial list of what was available for the UT Martin game on Sept. 7:

$350 – Sing the alma mater on the field with the team after the game
$300 – Help raise the field goal nets during the game
$200 – Play catch on the field with a friend after the game
$100 – Watch the halftime show from the field

When I Tweeted this, Clemson fans were quick to point out you can go on the field after every Clemson home game – for free – and sing the alma mater with the team after the game – for free.

Did, I mention, it’s free at Clemson?

But Clemson is one of the rare schools: Fans are allowed on the field after the game, so we shouldn’t frown on other schools trying to cash in where it can. And don’t forget the age-old adage: Every school needs money to make money (and pay for their former coaches’ buyouts).

With the Gators’ home schedule – which, by the way, will feature better and more attractive opponents in the future – I’m surprised they don’t offer even more options. :et fans actually play in the fourth quarter of some of these blowouts if you have some college eligibility remaining? That would be worth at least $10,000, right?

Run on the field to pick up the kicking tee after a kickoff should fetch a few thousand.

Or maybe let some deep-pocketed fans donate $500,000 to call a couple of offensive plays or blitzes on defense? The opportunities to make money are endless. Why not $10,000 for you and three friends to help carry coach Dan Mullen off the field on your shoulders after another win against Tennessee or Vanderbilt? …

Wondering which coaches to fade or follow as underdog? Proceed with caution… but check out Jim Harbaugh, Clay Helton and David Shaw.

Michigan and Harbaugh is a 3.5-point underdog to Wisconsin, USC and Helton is a 4.5-point underdog to Utah and Shaw’s Stanford Cardinal is a 10-point underdog to Oregon.

First, Harbaugh. Harbaugh has been an underdog six times at Michigan. The Wolverines have lost all six.

Helton’s USC Trojans have been an underdog 13 times. The Trojans lost 12 of those games. In those 13 games as an underdog, USC was only 2-11 against the spread.

However, Shaw has had a great deal of success as an underdog. Against Oregon on Saturday, Stanford will be a home underdog for only the fifth time Shaw. Stanford won the previous four games outright. …

Wondering how the 12 schools that changed/moved to Power 5 conferences between 2011-14 have fared? On Wednesday I ranked the 12 schools based on best winning percentage in their new conference.

So which conference’s new additions combined have been the most and least successful? Let’s take a look.

First the schools we’re referencing:

ACC: Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse
Big Ten: Maryland, Nebraska, Rutgers
Big 12: TCU, West Virginia
Pac-12: Colorado, Utah
SEC: Missouri, Texas A&M

Here’s their combined conference winning percentage and number of division titles:

Big 12 69-57 54.8 percent 1 title*
SEC 57-55 50.9 percent 2 division titles
ACC 65-71 47.8 percent 1 division title
Big Ten 57-96 37.3 percent 1 division title
Pac-12 51-93 35.4 percent 2 division titles

*Big 12 doesn’t have divisions but TCU was a conference co-champ

I guess you’re wondering where last week’s musings/picks column was? Well, the dog ate my homework and/or I had technical difficulties. So let’s catch up.

My picks from two weeks ago went 4-1 and my picks from last week’s Campus Insiders show (Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET & 9:30 p.m. ET at – by the way, I highly recommend watching each week for the latest on college football news, notes, scoops and other goodies) – went 3-0.

So now on to this week’s selections:

My picks for this week. Odds from @BetOnline_ag:

Pitt +11.5 vs. UCF
Tulsa -3.5 vs. Wyoming
Charlotte +42 at Clemson
Illinois +13.5 vs. Nebraska
Ole Miss -2.5 vs. Cal

Lock of the Week: MasterLock 146-D Covered Solid Body Padlock

The tote board

Last week: 3-0
Year to date: 8-5
Lifetime Lock of the Week: Still perfect

MORE: Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections After Week 3