07/15/2012 - Piscataway, NJ (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Legendary Rutgers head football coach Frank Burns passed away on Saturday at the age of 84.
The winningest coach in the history of Rutgers football, Burns compiled a 78-43-1 record over 11 seasons for the Scarlet Knights, including an undefeated 11-0 mark during the 1976 campaign and the school's first bowl appearance in the 1978 Garden State Bowl.
"We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Coach Burns and our thoughts and prayers are with the Burns family." said Rutgers director of intercollegiate athletics Tim Pernetti. "Coach Burns led our program to more victories than anyone and into National prominence. More importantly, he was the epitome of integrity and a true leader of men. We will miss Coach Burns deeply, but his legacy will forever live 'On the Banks'."
Burns was the second coach in school history to guide Rutgers into the national rankings and led the school to winning records in each of his first eight seasons as head coach.
During his playing career as a Scarlet Knight, Burns was a quarterback and guided his teams to a 27-7 record over his career. His 30 career touchdown passes still rank sixth in Rutgers history.
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Michael Vick is back, Brett Favre isn't and the NFC East remains the best division in the NFC, maybe in all of football.
As players start to gather for the start of another season, some things change and some stay the same in the world of the NFL.
The NFC East has been the dominant division in the National Conference for a while, despite limited playoff success, save for the New York Giants surprise Super Bowl win two seasons ago.
Hell, there's a generation of kids in Texas who have never seen the Cowboys win a playoff game (last win was in 1996).
But collectively, the Giants, Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins (well, maybe not so much the Redskins) are as good as a division gets in an NFC conference that has struggled to stay competitive with the AFC side.
Sports bettors have both acknowledged the NFC East's dominance, as one glance at the NFL future odds menu will show.
Looking over the NFL betting odds at online sports book MySportsbook.com we see the top three teams listed to win the NFC Championship are all from the NFC East:
Dallas Cowboys - 7 - 1
Philadelphia Eagles - 13 - 2
New York Giants - 9 - 2
Slotting in behind these three are two teams from the NFC North: the Minnesota Vikings (15-2) and the Chicago Bears (10-1).
Again, despite the lack of recent playoff success, the Dallas Cowboys are popular with the sports betting community, as they hold 14% of all the money wagered on who will win the NFC Championship.
So far, the New York Giants are the bettors' favorite to represent their conference in the Super Bowl, as they have 24% of the overall NFC Championship betting volume.
And what about the Philadelphia Eagles? For the most part, the Eagles had a very productive offseason, the kind that could bring them back to the top.
They had a good draft adding the likes of WR Jeremy Maclin and RB LeSean McCoy.
Unfortunately, the team received a blow when long-time defensive coordinator Jim Johnson passed away on Tuesday.
But this team will make a real run at the division title this year. Going into the regular season, Philly is listed at +240 to win the division.
Last season the Eagles were 9-6-1 SU and 10-6 ATS.
Teams from the NFC East will play teams from the AFC West in the regular season and the Eagles haven't really been a good bet in the last 20 games against the likes of San Diego, Oakland, K.C. and Denver, only going 8-12 ATS.
Two seasons removed from that Super Bowl title, the New York Giants see themselves listed as the odds-on favorite in NFC East championship futures at +162.
Plaxico Burress is gone and with him all the bad publicity surrounding the gun in the sweatpants incident, but can they replace him in the offense?
Last season the Giants were a very reliable bet going 12-4 ATS.
In the Giants' last 20 games against fellow teams from the NFC East; they are 13-7 ATS.
Dallas is listed at +240 to win the division.
Dallas went 9-7 SU and 7-9 ATS last season and with the amount of talent the Cowboys have, a similar performance won't do.
The Cowboys have been atrocious against divisional rivals, going 6-14 ATS in their last 20.
The Washington Redskins are longshots to win the division at +550.