August 19, 2009
Here's how ridiculously high the alleged 73-point line for Florida's opener against Charleston Southern -- flying around at warp speed via blogs and tweets today -- really is: I actually bought a hard copy of a newspaper to confirm it. I haven't paid for a newspaper since I last worked for one three years ago. No, wait, we got them for free there. So I literally can't remember the last time I bought a newspaper before this morning.
But I had no other choice if I wanted to actually see the number listed, because you won't find any "official" line on the Web -- not only is Florida-Charleston Southern not listed on any "legit" Vegas sites, which don't issue odds for I-AA opponents, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere, including the various homes of its ostensible source, USA Today handicapper Danny Sheridan; Florida-Charleston Southern isn't listed among Sheridan's daily lines, or on his own Web site's lineup for the first week of the season, or on USA Today's college football odds page, or on USA Today's "matchup" page for the UF-CSC game. It's nowhere to be found.
As far as I can tell, the buzz around the "Florida –73" line this morning comes exclusively from a column posted Thursday by the (Columbia, SC) State's Ron Morris, who wrote that he read the line in USA Today, and suspected it was the most lopsided line ever issued for a college football game (probably true). I wrote Morris to point me toward some proof; being of the Web, I naturally expected a link in return, but wound up walking down the street to pick up today's USA Today instead.
So, one dollar down in the name of truth, and Morris was close:
Now, 63 points, or just nine touchdowns, that I totally believe.