Looking ahead

Del Olaleye: The weekly update on college football

Del Olaleye: The weekly update on college football
Will Jimbo Fisher still be around when A&M plays Arizona State? Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Del Olaleye's weeekly college football report:

Georgia should put Jake Fromm in Bubble Wrap

The Georgia freshman has had an interesting off-season. Earlier this summer he somehow wound up with a fishing lure in his left calf. Not a huge deal for a guy from Warner Robbins, Ga. I can just hear Georgia fan now, “Oh look, Jake has a fishing lure in his leg, ain’t that something.” Fromm took the whole thing in stride. There are images of him sitting casually in a doctor’s office on his phone while a lure hangs from his leg. Clearly not a big deal. The latest summer injury is a little bit more serious but not enough to trouble Fromm’s coach Kirby Smart. Fromm broke his non-throwing hand in a “freak boating accident.” The accident happened on the 4th of July but fortunately for the Bulldogs, Fromm is already back to throwing the football. He’s not the only QB from the 2018 title game to suffer a hand injury in the offseason. In the spring Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa injured his throwing and had to undergo a surgical procedure that will keep him out until August. More injury bad luck hit the Crimson Tide this week as linebacker Terrell Lewis tore his ACL while training. Alabama had issues keeping linebackers like Lewis healthy last year. So far that trend continues as we approach the 2018 season.

Virginia Tech loses another defensive starter

The Hokies announced the dismissal of defensive back Mook Reynolds in what has been a disastrous offseason for Bud Foster’s defense. That is now seven starters that the Hokies have to replace from the 2017 defense. Two players who were expected to help in the rebuild also won’t be available. That includes Adonis Alexander who is now in the NFL Supplemental Draft. At one point Hokies starting QB Josh Jackson’s eligibility was in question as well but the Hokies were able to dodge that potentially crippling loss. Virginia Tech opens the season against ACC rival Florida State.

Arizona State and Texas A&M schedule a home and home

These two programs with first year head coaches agreed to play each other starting in 2026. The announcement isn’t particularly newsworthy. These types of announcements happen all the time. The two programs actually played in 2015.  It just struck me that it is likely that A&M’s Jimbo Fisher and Arizona State’s Herm Edwards won’t be around to be coaching against each other. Fisher has all the job security in the world. Ten years and $75 million is the epitome of security. Eight years is still a long time to keep your job in the SEC unless your name is Saban. Herm Edwards on the other hand didn’t start his Sun Devils career to glowing reviews. He’s everyone choice to be a disaster hire. Even if he turns out to be a good hire, a former NFL head coach staying in the college ranks for eight years seems unlikely. If action exist for such a boring prop bet, bet on neither one being on the sidelines for that game.

The Aggies are playing the wrong Arizona school anyway. The people over at NRG should look closely at Kevin Sumlin’s return to Houston as the Arizona head coach this season. The Wildcats play the University of Houston in September. A matchup in the Texas Kickoff Classic featuring potential Heisman candidate Khalil Tate from Arizona against the Aggies in both Fisher and Sumlin’s second year would be all types of intriguing. And would ya look at that, it just so happens there hasn’t been a 2019 game scheduled yet.

 

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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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