Week 5 Bets – Part 1

Lots of bets posted since I’m writing this later in the week. There might not even be a part 2 to this week…this might be final:

Bets Placed:

Virginia -21 vs Kent State – Great deal. Unadjusted line is 21, but we all know how quick UVA’s stock is rising. As if their defense wasn’t already good, their offense somehow put up 500+ yards on BYU. They upset Louisville during their last home game. Now they’re at home against a Kent State team that’s still missing Dri Archer, and is just an all-around untalented team.

Clemson -10 vs North Carolina – Come on guys, it’s Clemson! This line should have been 14 or so, and looks like it has moved there now. I’m highly surprised that the line wasn’t slanted the other direction after UNC got demolished by ECU, and Clemson played a very strong game and effectively gave one away in Tallahassee.

Wisconsin -32.5 vs South Florida – This should be a low scoring affair for USF. On the other side, the Bulls’ defense has been questionable (NC State scored 49, but UConn scored 17). But the NC State game is a better case study as they ran the ball 53 tiems

Penn State -9 vs Northwestern – Accurate line based on the math but talk about two teams heading in opposite directions. Good luck stopping Hackenberg in Happy Valley this week.

Nebraska -19 vs Illinois – Again a fair line. Congrats to Illinois for eeking out wins over Western Kentucky and Texas State to make themselves look semi-relevant. But barely keeping your head above water vs Sun Belt teams of past and present isn’t the same as being able to stop Abdullah the Butcher. The Illini have given up 400+ total yards per game. The loss to Washington is a good model game for what’s to come against Nebraska: 10 yards per rush, 25 first downs allowed, 450+ total yards allowed.

Bowling Green -4.5 at Massachusetts – This is a perplexing, scary line. I expected the line to be -14, and it came out at -12. Then I watched the line fall down to -7, before finally plummeting to -4.5 yesterday. BGSU’s 51 point loss was no worse than UMass’s 41 point loss, so I don’t know what bettors looking at here. Regardless, the line based on raw power ratings is about 13.5 to 15.5. UMass has shown improvement since last year, but Bowling Green has managed quite well without Matt Johnson and was able to upset Indiana. Down to -4.5 just seems like a great deal and I have to take BGSU to cover.

Boise State -13.5 at Air Force – This is a matchup play and a power rating play. I have the line handicapped at 18.5, but there’s a more important reason for this bet. Air Force’s big strength is its run game (surprise, it’s a service academy). Air Force is averaging 58.5 rushes per game, which ranks #1 in FBS behind Army and Navy. Enter Boise State defense, who is tied for #1 in FBS in rushing defense. This is a similar matchup to Week 3’s TCU vs Minnesota, where Minnesota, who usually relied on the rushing game, was stuffed by a stout TCU rushing defense. The Smurfs must have stolen the Frogs’ defensive playbook, because they’re only allowing 1.8 yards per rush so far this season.

Nevada -2 at San Jose State – Soon after placing this bet the line moved to -5. That’s more like it. Nevada and Air Force are polar opposites in terms of where they stand in the MWC, and I have the line at something more like -10.

Missed Out:

Purdue +14.5 vs Iowa – This was a good deal but I hesitated and the line moved down quickly. Now it’s at +9.5 or something.

 Still Considering:

TCU -32 at SMU – I’m biased, so I just can’t! But my gosh, SMU is starting their freshman QB  backup QB  third string QB  FOURTH STRING WALK ON QB against a Top 10 defense. But I can think of reasons TCU doesn’t cover too like

1) TCU shows mercy on the poor soul June Jones left to coach Eric Dickersons’ favorite team

2) TCU’s defense allows zero points, but TCU fumbles /  Joeckel throws a pick-6 and TCU scores fewer than 40 points out of courtesy.

While I find these possibilities only slightly more likely than Craig James confessing to his crimes, I acknowledge my bias as a Horned Frog.

Remember the Five.


Running All Day

A somewhat perplexing thing happened this week, as teams that were OK – not great – got absolutely obliterated by teams with a strong running game.

Wisconsin 68, Bowling Green 17 (+24 ATS)

Penn State 48, Massachusetts 7 (+14 ATS)

We saw a similar trend when they ran over very poor teams:

Michigan State 73, Eastern Michigan 14 (+14 ATS)

Georgia 66, Troy 0 (+25 ATS)

And let me throw another in for fun:

Georgia Southern 28, South Alabama 6 (+21 ATS)

Of course the games were a blowout. They were expected to be. But every single one of these games was covered by the favorite…by two to four touchdowns. Also worth noting that all four games went OVER on total points. Offensively the underdogs did about as we expected, but defensively they fell apart.

So what happened?

“Cuz we’re the power five and they isn’t!” says the ignorant SEC/B1G fan.

Sure the teams were favored, but the spread is already accounted for by power ratings. So there’s a breakdown somewhere, a flaw in this whole “using power ratings to handicap teams” method. And the reason is matchups. A look into the history and strategy of the MAC and Sunbelt will enlighten us a bit more.

In these smaller conferences (and the FCS), coaches often test out more outside the box offenses, often playing more aggressively and trying new schemes since they are not in the national spotlight. In the past decade this has taken the form of the up tempo, HUNH, air-raid / run-and-gun, super spread offense. There’s nothing wrong with that. But its use proliferated at such a rate that it became the new normal, and every team was using that style of offense. But from a defensive standpoint, teams began to recruit into a defensive scheme designed to stop the passing game. They became so familiar with 3-4 WR sets that they hardly ever saw a pro-set or I-formation. They sacrificed size in favor of speed in their DL and linebackers. This makes sense because at the lower level, they often have to choose one rather than both, since most of the talent is snatched up by Power Five schools. So what happens when these defenses go up to face a Wisconsin, or an Arkansas, or a Nebraska, or a Michigan State, or a Georgia? The wheels fall off the wagon, as the underdogs are simply not equipped with the personnel to stop Todd Gurley, or his replacement who is also a 6-foot, 200+ lb back. So even though on paper the spread is 28 or 35, we can expect the final margin of victory to be 50 or 60 because of this.

And how do you stop running up the score? Stop rushing?

Presumably when you want to stop the score, you quit passing and instead run the ball. You then let the clock run down as much as possible and run another play. But again, when Todd Gurley is averaging 12.2 YPR and his backup is on the field averaging 15.5 YPR, and the clock stops on first downs, it’s hard to stop running up the score. What else do you do, kneel the ball for the rest of the game?

The tides are turning in the Sun Belt

Georgia Southern is an interesting case. They’re essentially the Wisconsin of the Sun Belt. They realized that by creating a contrarian system, based on a power run game. As a result they’ve been able to exploit a weakness in the FCS and G5 scheme, and to much success so far.


Results Through Week 4

ATS Picks Total Season (20-15, 57.1%)

ATS Picks This Week (4-5, 44%)

Texas A&M -28 at SMU ☆ (W) – This was the easiest pick, and pushes my ☆ picks to 3-0. Texas A&M dismantled SMU in what looked like a home game since 90% of the fans were in maroon. There’s nothing to say here other than the fact that the line should have been 40+, and that A&M’s second and third string is more talented than SMU’s starters.

South Carolina -19 at Vanderbilt (L) – Vandy returns kickoff for a TD to start the game. We never recovered from there, and South Carolina won by 14. I’d still take this same bet again.

UMass +29 at Penn State (L) – I would not take this same bet again. In a separate post I’m going to write more about the Big Ten’s dismantling of the MAC.

Purdue +7.5 vs Southern Illinois (W) – I originally had planned to get a middle on this cause surely it will be a close game, right? Oops. I don’t even know what happened and why SIU couldn’t hang, but thanks Purdue.

Clemson +20.5 at Florida State (W) – This line just looks silly now. I had the line at 8 to 10 starting off, and since Winston’s VORP is about 10 to 14, Clemson should have been slightly favored. FSU was so lucky to walk away with a win.

NIU +14.5 at Arkansas (L) – This is part 2 of me being on the wrong side of #MACtion. I thought the Huskies had a good run defense, but apparently not against teams who are actually good at running the ball.

Austin Peay +42 at Eastern Illinois (L) – “Do not bite the hand that feeds you.” – I owe EIU since they helped me win my biggest bet of the year. I shouldn’t have disrespected them by betting against the Panthers. This line was supposed to be like 24 since EIU is performing terrible this year. But apparently Austin Peay is in a whole ‘nother league of terrible. Or maybe EIU is getting it together. Either way, I didn’t expect this bad of a blowout.

Kansas State +8 vs Auburn (W) – I can’t believe they covered after K-State missed 3 field goals and Lockett let that pass be intercepted in the end zone. That’s 16 points that K-State missed out on. Thanks Auburn for not scoring on the last drive and letting the Wildcats cover the spread.

Eastern Michigan Under 3.5 Points (L) – I upped the ante and said that EMU wouldn’t make it across midfield. And I was right for the first half. I believe they had 7 total yards of offense in the first half, although I read other reports claiming they had 1 yard. Either way, that’s what we expected. Unfortunately, Michigan State’s second and third string actually gave up points. What a bummer.

Week 4 – Adjusted Scores

It’s been one crazy week in college football. Let’s take a quick look back at some adjusted scores that may tell a different story than the scoreboard:

Virginia 42, BYU 22 – This one jumps off the page the most. UVA ran 102 plays at over 5 yards per play, and was somewhat efficient at turning that into points but not as much as it should have been. Still, they gained 500 yards on BYU. 500 YARDS ON BYU! They had possession for over 40 minutes. Who does that? Meanwhile, the BYU offense managed to score 41 points in under 20 minutes on the field, with only 60 plays and 322 yards. That’s twice as efficient at scoring as the average football team.

Alabama 59, Florida 9 – Alabama 12.8 yards per pass. Florida 3.3 yards per pass. That summarizes it quite well. Alabama ran 87 plays in 40 minutes while Florida ran 55 in 20 minutes. They dominated the clock and dominated in efficiency. Thanks to fumble returns and other gifts, Florida made this one look a lot more respectable than it actually was.

West Virginia 42, Oklahoma 41 – WVU played with Oklahoma step for step. They actually passed for 9.2 YPA as well, but an extra fumble and an extra INT put the Sooners in position to leave Morgantown with a win.

Clemson 30, Florida State 21 – Ok, so I guess this isn’t really surprising to anyone who watched the game. How many missed field goals and runners slipping does it take for you to throw away a game?

ECU 81, UNC 23 – You know what’s better than scoring 70 points on UNC? Gaining 789 total yards on UNC.

Cincinnati 26, Miami OH 25 – This game was close. I expect Miami’s first win to come pretty soon as they’ve proven they can hang with big teams, just not enough to beat them. Six games on their schedule appear winnable.

Michigan 20, Utah 17 – Throw 3 picks, don’t score in the 2nd half? Yep that’s a recipe for losing. It’s raining hard in Ann Arbor.

Other Adjusted Scores:

Auburn 25
Kansas St 17

Connecticut 4
South Florida 16

GA Tech 26
VA Tech 32

Troy 10
Georgia 46

Bowling Green 16
Wisconsin 75

Old Dominion 44
Rice 43

E Michigan 3
Michigan St 40

Iowa 20
Pittsburgh 33

Tulane 28
Duke 33

Maryland 26
Syracuse 51

Marshall 43
Akron 23

Hawaii 17
Colorado 30

Central Mich 17
Kansas 26

Army 25
Wake Forest 23

Louisville 22
Florida Intl 9

Texas A&M 61
S Methodist 13

Rutgers 33
Navy 29

San Jose St 14
Minnesota 28

U Mass 15
Penn State 36

Fla Atlantic 18
Wyoming 22

Indiana 39
Missouri 41

Texas State 37
Illinois 38

Georgia State 16
Washington 22

Ball State 24
Toledo 37

App State 35
S Mississippi 22

Memphis 38

Miss State 49
LSU 32

NIU 19
Arkansas 32

Idaho 31
Ohio 41

Utah State 30
Arkansas St 20

South Carolina 34
Vanderbilt 27

GA Southern 31
S Alabama 18

Miami (FL) 33
Nebraska 35

Houston 44

New Mexico 40
New Mexico St 41

California 49
Arizona 56

LA Lafayette 13
Boise State 40

San Diego St 10
Oregon St 26

Oregon 40.3
Wash State 40.1

Week 4 Bets – Part 4

Bets Placed:

Eastern Michigan Under 3.5 Points – like I said earlier, I’m not sure if EMU makes it across midfield. At least not against MSU’s starters. Zero points or a growls goal wins on this one. Also worth noting EMU starting QB is out (as if that means anything…he’s just as bad as their backup).  Sparty needs to make a defensive statement after giving up 46 to Oregon anyways do they shouldn’t allow much. I also got this at +105 on 5D so getthat if it’s still available.


Still Considering:

Wheres My Middle? I took Purdue +7.5, now they’re -1.5. I could take SIU Moneyline, or could just not worry about it and hold onto what’s a fair line now. I may just hold on…

Week 4 Bets – Part 3

I forgot to post this earlier, so need to make sure it’s listed here. I made a preseason pick on tonight’s game.

Bets Placed:

Kansas State +8 vs Auburn Placed in Preseason – Manhattan has been waiting for a long time for this one. This game has been the talk of the town all week (and all offseason) and expect a super excited, super loud, filled beyond capacity Bill Snyder Family Stadium. I can’t believe the line got as high as +10 this week (wish I got in on that deal) because I really figured the line would be 7 or less by the time we got around to week 4. Either way, I still like the pick a lot. I’m really really jealous of the guys who went to the Golden Nugget and got their opening game of the year line of +13, what a steal.

Still Considering: 

EMU Under 3.5 Total Points – Eastern Michigan won’t make it across midfield against Michigan State. They sure won’t score more than a field goal. Heck, they only scored 3 against Old Dominion (terrible defense) and then scored 0 against Florida. I expect their total points to be 0 or 3, leaning more towards 0.

Lamar -46 vs Mississippi College – I have this game handicapped at 55, and that’s without considering the fact that we’re talking about multiple division games from D1-FCS to D2/D3. Mississippi College just moved up to D2 from D3. We saw what Lamar can do to inferior opponents last week as they crushed Texas College and covered by 16 points. They’re probably the only team I’ve ever seen give up 73 points (73-3 to Texas A&M) and then come back and win by 73 points (73-0 vs Texas College). Mississippi College lost by 58 at home to a North Alabama team that’s probably about 7 points better than Lamar. Flip the home field advantage and we should probably expect Lamar to win 58-0 as well. But I need to do more due diligence on Mississippi College before finalizing this.


Week 4 Bets – Part 2

Austin Peay +42 at Eastern Illinois: This one is a head scratcher, and I can’t help but wonder if someone meant to put in “24” as the line and accidentally put “42”. In any case, I have EIU handicapped as an 18 to 22 point favorite without performance adjustments. I feel so bad betting against EIU since they won me my biggest spread bet of all time, but this line is pretty out there. Sorry, Panthers! There are adjustments that need to be made on both teams for their horrible performance, so let’s take a look:

Austin Peay:

ATS performance relative to Sagarin ratings: -31, -13

Average ATS loss: 22 points

ATS Win: 0%


ATS performance relative to Sagarin ratings: -7, -17, -15

Average ATS loss: 13 points

ATS Win: 0%

Proper Point Spread Adjustment: EIU +4.8 net points to power rating

New Expected Spread: 23 to 27

Commentary: Here’s the difference between EIU and Austin Peay. EIU was a favorite in two of its games (-2.5, -10), and then proceeded to lose by double digits in both of those. Austin Peay was a huge underdog in its two games (+27, +38). When you’re a 38 point underdog and end up getting beat 63-0, that’s really not very material. We already know that the team they were playing was orders of magnitude better. What we learned about EIU on the other hand was that teams they were supposed to hang with (or supposed to beat easily) are turning out to be too much for the Panthers. So in a way, EIU’s average -13 ATS margin is equal to, or even worse than, Austin Peay’s -22 ATS margin. Either way,the jump from mid-20s to low-40s in the spread is absolutely unprecedented.



Week 4 Bets – Part 1

This week is very unusual for me. I usually don’t bet SEC, and I have two SEC picks. I usually don’t bet prime time games either since the lines are usually very efficient, but I couldn’t resist on one of them.

Bets Placed:

Texas A&M -28 at SMU ☆   – I was anticipating this one for at least a week now. The second the line opened at -28 I hopped on it. Soon after the line moved to 31 and now to 32. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets close to 34 or 35 by kickoff. Texas A&M has covered by 18 points on average in their three games. SMU has missed by -24 in their past two games, causing June Jones to resign. I can’t foresee any reason why the post-Jones era would be any better though. After watching SMU lose 45-0 to Baylor and 43-6 to UNT (LOL), giving A&M only 4 touchdowns is such a steal. Don’t even bother giving SMU any points for home field advantage; you might as well give home field advantage to the Aggies. You’ll be able to count the amount of Pony fans at the game on one hand. The stadium will, however, be flooded with thousands Aggies living in DFW, excited to see Kenny Hill play, and lured by game tickets significantly cheaper than those at Kyle Field.

South Carolina -19 at Vanderbilt – Also was waiting a long time for this one. Do I need to say much here? South Carolina very good, Vanderbilt very, very, very bad. It feels like Groundhog Day as they keep playing home games and keep disappointing the home crowd. Vandy has a three game streak of missing the spread by 14 points or more. South Carolina appears to have gotten things together on defense a bit, and the offense still looks good. The raw power rating spread is 21, without factoring in Vandy’s slide. Glad I got in early, as the line is now up to 22 and moving up fast.

UMass +29 at Penn State – The spread is fair at about 30 by all measures, but I have a few reasons for taking this.

1) Penn State has no incentive to run up the score. At a 3 or 4 touchdown margin especially, they have no reason to keep Hackenberg or anyone else in. Run the clock, play backups, stay healthy for Northwestern.

2) UMass is doing pretty hot. Don’t discount these guys too much; they’ve been improving a lot. They almost beat Colorado and Vanderbilt, and fans are feeling very optimistic. In both games they were about a 17 point underdog and lost both games by 3 points.

3) Penn State even hasn’t scored 29 points yet. They scored 26, 21, and 13. I know, it’s UMass. But if UMass scores even 10 points in garbage time, that means that Penn State needs to put up 40 to cover.

Purdue +7.5 vs Southern Illinois – I kid you not, this is what the opening line was. I was expecting it to be the opposite. Basically, the game should be somewhere between pk to Purdue -2. My plan was to wait for them to release the line with Purdue as a huge favorite, and then take SIU Carbondale as big underdogs. Someone making the book must have been a huge Salukis fan, because this line was pretty wild. Within a few hours, the line moved from Purdue +7.5 to Purdue -3. I’m considering taking the middle here and betting the other way, so that I’d break even on any extreme score but win both bets anywhere in that 10.5 point middle area. For now though I’m hanging on and seeing how far up this Purdue line goes. Heck, I might just hold on to this bet with

Clemson +20.5 at Florida State – Ok, I get the logic, right? Last year FSU won 51-14. FSU returns more people than Clemson. It’s in Tallahassee. Therefore, FSU will win by more. But if you actually believe that FSU would have won every game against Clemson 51-14 last year you’re nuts, and we shouldn’t extrapolate based on that. Sagarin has this game handicapped at 6 to 8.5 points. I agree that seems low too. But the point is that 21 points is the absolute highest this line can go. You could make a case for the line to be 14 a lot easier than you could make a case for the line being 28. Heck, even Tomahawk Nation agrees this line is too big. Some are even betting against their own team on this one. Also worth noting that Florida State lost their starting nose guard, starting defensive tackle, and backup defensive tackle due to some bad apples at The Citadel.

NIU +14.5 at Arkansas – I feel like I’m trying to stop a moving train by betting against Arkansas, but man I really like NIU. Give me more than two touchdowns here, and I really like NIU. This is a fun game, because we have the teams that rank #3 and #6 in total rushing yards squaring off against each other. But they aren’t just two running teams. Arkansas looks like Bielema’s old Wisconsin team in the running game. That’s great, because NIU also has a top 10 rushing defense so far. It gave up 1.9 YPR to Northwestern and 3.2 to UNLV. The perfect thing to combat the Arkansas ground game. NIU on the other hand has a high run percentage, but its efficiency is low. It’s actually highly efficient in the air, often due to the fact that it lures defenders in against consecutive run plays. I have the game handicapped at -7.5 so this seems like a pretty good deal.


Still Considering These Bets:

Bowling Green (+28 or more) at Wisconsin – This thing has been on the move from 19.5 all the way up to 27. I get that Wisconsin is a better team, but Bowling Green isn’t bad either and they just beat Indiana. Sure Wisconsin will run all over them, but Bowling Green should have some kind of a response on offense too.

FIU (+28 or more) vs Louisville – Louisville’s offense struggled against Virginia, and more importantly gave up 21+ points to a team that had the worst offense in the ACC last year. Enter FIU, a team that we’re finding out might not be as bad as last year, in a non-conference matchup where Louisville has no real motivation to run up the score. Let’s see if this line gets above 28, it’s at 26.5 right now.

Bethune-Cookman (+35 or more) at UCF – I have to say UCF hasn’t looked that good recently. I have serious worries about Bethune-Cookman too after their lackluster win over Grambling. Line opened at 28.5, moved to 32.5 so I’m really tempted here. I have them handicapped at 26.5. Since I’m not too passionate about it yet though, I’ll wait and see if the lines move to sweeten the deal.

Houston Baptist (-28 or less) at Texas College – Here’s your possible FCS bonus pick #1. I’ve handicapped at 28 but I really like games where the disparity is large between a Division 1 FCS team and a Division 3 or NAIA team. Houston Baptist is an FCS bottomfeeder, it’s still orders of magnitude better than some underfunded independent football program. In last year’s game, HBU won 49-7. I assume the same result from the Huskies (I’m assuming that’s their mascot, based on the logo on their website) in this year’s game.

NC A&T (-28 or less) vs Chowan – Possible FCS pick #2, similar to the one above. NC A&T is really looking good this year. Their 47-13 victory over Alabama A&M is even more impressive after seeing them play UAB, and they almost upset Coastal Carolina (FCS #5) as 13 point underdogs. Chowan is an iffy Division 2 team, that recently got blown out 47-7 against Alderson-Brodus when they were 14 point favorites. Alderson-Brodus is spending its second year in Division 2, think of it like Old Dominion. To match power ratings and find an equivalent game, it’s essentially like Old Dominion beating Texas Tech in Norfolk. I like that image a little too much.

Results Through Week 3

ATS Picks Total Season (16-10, 61.5%)

ATS Picks This Week (3-4, 43%)

Eh, so it wasn’t the best week. Realistically I broke even (3-3) but had a 4th loss because I was unable to hedge out of my Louisville bet. The line dropped from 8.5 to 6 by the time that buying points was available, and since it would have been an expensive hedge I had to just stick with the bet, despite being against the bet due to Virginia’s recent success.

If it’s any consolation, I did go 4-1 in my just-for-fun FCS picks. Maybe I should start doing that more.

Notre Dame -27.5 vs Purdue (L) – Notre Dame. Beat Michigan 31-0. Good team. Purdue. Lost to Central Michigan by 21. At home. To a directional school that calls themselves “The Chips.” This should be a no brainer, right? Wrong. Thanks for nothing, Irish. In other news, Purdue is a 7.5 point underdog next week at home against an FCS team: #13 FCS Southern Illinois. The Salukis.

Baylor -27.5 at Buffalo placed in preseason (W) ☆ – This was just free money. You can’t handicap Baylor vs inferior teams using a simple “power rating differential” type scheme. Baylor causes less skilled defenses to break down. They’re faster, and all they have to do is run downfield and waive their hand, have a glass of lemonade, and wait for Bryce Petty’s ball to land in their hands on the end zone. Seriously. I can’t remember the last time that Baylor didn’t cover the 1Q, 1H, and game line against a non-AQ or FCS team. Not in the last two years at least.

Southeastern Louisiana +7.5 at Tulane (L) – I had high hopes for this to be one of those games where the FCS powerhouse came into a lower tier FBS school and stunned them, and I’d be all impressed with myself for knowing about SELA when nobody else did, and be like “look at me, I’m an FCS guru.” I even got a great deal on this line. I think the game finished at pk, so +7.5 was a steal. But by halftime I was not so amused. Tulane 28, SELA 3. (Really, guys?) The Lions made a comeback but it wasn’t enough. They had a terrible call overturned that would have put them within a touchdown near the end, and ended up dropping the game 35-20.

Georgia Southern +22 at Georgia Tech (W) – This was a great game, and it was supposed to be a great game. Who wouldn’t want to watch two of the most prolific running teams and in state rivals square off? Georgia Southern has made a run of its own from Division 2, to FCS, and now into the FBS. Georgia Tech was coached by legendary John Heisman, whose rushing attack was second to none. Georgia Southern effectively won the game, but the referees had other plans and helped Georgia Tech win. Georgia Tech had refused to play Georgia Southern for many years, just like Texas Tech had a period of refusing to not play TCU, and now we understand why Georgia Tech didn’t want to play them.

Wyoming +44 at Oregon (W) – Everyone bet Oregon, oh everyone bet Oregon. But 44 is a lot of points, and Wyoming isn’t that bad. More importantly, Oregon just didn’t have a reason to run up the score. It’s a better idea to rest and focus on conference play next week.

UAB -37 vs Alabama A&M (L) – The first quarter was a head scratcher, ending with an Alabama A&M leading 7-0. Early in the second, they scored again to make it 14-0. On what planet does this happen? The next two quarters went fine with UAB outscoring them 41-7, much more what we expected, but the fourth quarter ended in a stalemate as UAB just wanted to get off the field and stay healthy. It’s a shame they didn’t score more points earlier, and I really should have considered the fact that they likely wouldn’t be starting many stars in this one.

Louisville -8.5 at Virginia placed in preseason (L) – Bad deal. I was 100% against this bet by the time Saturday rolled around, but the line was at -6 by that time so to buy to -8.5 I’d be paying -160 and effectively have a 50-50 shot of losing $0 or losing $60. At that point I figured what the heck, let’s just leave the bet hanging even though I don’t like it. The original logic for the bet was pretty sound: books will discount Louisville after Charlie Strong leaving, and Petrino will exceed expectations (likely true to an extent), and that Virginia will probably hang around the bottom of the ACC and not improve that much (completely false). I was surprised to see that the UVA fans rushed the field as 6 point underdogs, but at least they didn’t rush the field when they were favored in the game.

What The…? Week 3

FAU scored 50 points. They scored 3 and 0 points in their first two games, so 50 is a bit higher than we expected. It was all due to the return of QB Jacquez Johnson, who must have one of the highest VORPs of any quarterback.

Is Kentucky good or Florida bad? Probably a little bit of both, but this definitely isn’t what the Gators wanted. Had Muschamp ended up on the losing end of that overtime game, his employment situation might be looking even worse than it already is.

Bowling Green ran 113 plays. I love coach Dino Babers, and can’t get enough of this offense. It really says something to be able to lose Matt Johnson and then go out and produce like that. They needed every one of those 113 plays to beat IU. Literally.

Miami OH has a high school caliber offensive line – Seriously, the St. X or Archbishop Moeller would push these guys around in the trenches. They’ve allowed 9 sacks against 2 FBS and 1 FCS opponent. They helped the team rush for 1.6 yards per carry vs Michigan. And they just look so bad.

The ONE TIME EMU has a good defense…they can’t score to save their lives on offense. Old Dominion has a killer offense. EMU had the worst defense in FBS last year. So presumably, ODU should put up 35 or 45 points at least, right? Not so fast — the Eagles’ astounding defensive performance (I can’t believe I’m saying this) stopped the Monarchs in their tracks. This was great, because we’ve learned that ODU has a terrible defense, so terrible that they’ve had to mercy rule games. NC State scored 46 on them, heck Hampton scored 28. But EMU managed to score THREE POINTS.  They continue to be most certainly the world’s most disappointing football team.

Davis Webb struggles against 7 and 8 man zone coverage. You think he’d be used to this after a year in the Big 12, but Webb is really having trouble reading zone. He tends to always read X and force X. If he would have gone through his proper read progression, he would have found Y and Z open (or at least better targets), but likes to stick with the deep route. Unfortunately though there are plays other than four vert and Y-sail in the Tech playbook. I have a feeling Kliff will help him improve this as the season goes on.

But Tech still has no defense. Really, it’s been pretty ugly so far.

Khalil Mack isn’t coming back to Buffalo so the Bulls better get it together in the secondary. They’ve allowed 18.5 yards per completion, and even with the Baylor game removed the stats look pretty ugly. Baylor was WIDE OPEN so many times. Not running even slant or post route. The receiver ran straight, and the corner and safety didn’t know who was supposed to cover so no one did. Film room should be fun this week.

FIU is 3-0 ATS. Look out Vegas. The laughing stock of the FBS is now 3-0 at covering the spread. They lost the Bethune-Cookman, but covered. Then they thrashed Wagner. Then they hung in their with Pitt, which was actually really impressive. About 80% of bettors are taking them +26.5 vs Louisville next week.

Troy lost at home to Abeline Christian. Congrats Trojans, you’re now officially worse than Georgia State. I was very pessimistic about Troy coming into the season, losing their QB and returning only two OL. They showed a glimmer of home against Duke, but overall they’ve been pretty disappointing.