The Dean's List: Two-week notice

Jason Logan

College professors say it takes about two weeks to know which students will pass their course and which ones are doomed to a life of pumping gas.

The same goes for college football bettors.

While the season is just two weeks old, gamblers are already seeing tell-tale signs from some of college football's top programs. Some of these signs are good. And some of these signs fall into the same category as “severe tire damage” and “dry county”.

Here are a few programs poised to be at the top of the betting class and some who are dropping out after the first semester.

Pittsburgh Panthers

The Big East isn't getting much love this season. But if you need one reason to watch the conference, look no further than Dion Lewis. The slick freshman running back is third in the nation in rushing, totaling 319 yards and is averaging over seven yards per carry.

He's found the end zone four times on the ground with an additional 56 yards and a score coming through the air. Lewis has sparked the Panthers offense in the first two games of the season, which is averaging 46 points on over 385 yards. Pitt is a 7-point favorite hosting an overvalued Navy team this Saturday.

LSU Tigers

Blame it on the rain. Hey, it worked for Milli Vanilli. Unfortunately, that excuse doesn't fly in the SEC. Louisiana State put up another sub-par performance against Vanderbilt this weekend, downing the Commodores in a 23-9 contest that was much closer than the final score indicates.

Purple and gold faithful are pointing to the game-time monsoon for the lack of pop from the No. 7 team in the country. Unless the rain smeared the playbook ink or shorted out the headsets, that's no excuse for poor play calling. LSU was inside the red zone five times Saturday and settled for field goals on three of those drives. Tough break for those who had LSU -14.5.

Houston Cougars

I feel like a cast member of The Hills following my latest man crush – or should I say crushes. My college football heart is torn in two: One side loves Michigan QB and future Heisman winner Tate Forcier. The other wants to take Houston QB Case Keenum to the prom.

While Forcier's work against the Irish was awesome, Keenum and the Cougars' high-wire act just beat Oklahoma State at its own game. When a C-USA program can outscore the nation's most talented offense, you can't help but fall head over heels for them. Houston has the week off before facing another prolific Big 12 offense in Texas Tech. That bye week will allow the buzz around Houston to cool and bettors should get a fair spread against the Red Raiders.

Penn State Nittany Lions

The Lions face another 29.5-point spread against Temple this weekend. While the PSU defense has lived up to the billing, the offense is looking nowhere near BCS caliber. Penn State's rushing attack tallied only 78 yards against Syracuse Saturday and is currently dead last in the Big Ten with just 214 total yards.

The Nittany Lions were constantly stuffed by the Orange front seven on third and short. Penn State is actually minus 11 yards on seven third-down rushing attempts this season. Running back Evan Royster, who rushed for over 1,200 yards and 12 scores in 2008, has been more effective as a wide receiver. He's averaging almost 17 yards per catch, compared to his feeble 3.92 yards

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