PredictionMachine.com’s Manager of Research and Analytics, John Ewing, reviews the week that was with a look at three college football teams that stood out for good reasons and three whose weekends did not turn out as successfully as anticipated.
Alabama Crimson Tide
2012 Record: Straight-Up 6-0, Against-the-Spread 3-3
Previous Game: 42-10 thumping of Mizzou
They are who we thought they were! Except we (Mizzou) did not let them (Alabama) off the hook, they took it to us and never let up. I was at this game and it got ugly fast. On the second play of the game Eddie Lacy rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown, on his way to 177 yards and three touchdowns for the day. The refs halted the game because of the weather with over eight minutes left in the first half but they considered invoking the mercy rule usually reserved for tee ball games as it was already 28-0 when the rain started coming down.
Gary Pinkel said, “That is maybe the best team I have ever seen.” I think he included the “maybe” in his quote because he knew that we had simulated the rest of the season and on average Alabama will lose one game. Number one in the BCS Standings, number one in our power rankings, and maybe, sort of, number one in Gary’s heart.
The total has gone over in 5 of Alabama’s last 7 games on the road
The total has gone under in 6 of Tennessee’s last 8 games when playing Alabama
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2012 Record: Straight-Up 6-0, Against-the-Spread 4-2
Previous Game: 20-13 goal line stand against Stanford
If you did not see it, Notre Dame needed a goal line stand in overtime to secure the victory over Stanford. Stanford had the ball, 1st and goal from the 4-yardline and decided to run it four straight times. Manti Te’o had a huge hit to stop the Cardinal on 3rd down and then it took a controversial call on the final play of the game to seal it for Notre Dame. Stepfan Taylor might have score on 4th and 1 but at the end of the day the Irish are now 6-0 for the first time since 2002.
The last time the Irish started 6-0 they finished the regular season 10-2. Irish fans are hoping for a better result and a chance to play for the BCS Championship. Unfortunately for the Golden Domers we are predicting that they lose two games and like in 2002 finish 10-2.
BYU is 2-4 against-the-spread in its last 6 games
The total has gone under in Notre Dame’s last 5 games at home
Oregon State Beavers
2012 Record: Straight-Up 5-0, Against-the-Spread 4-1
Previous Game: 42-24, it was closer than the final score, win over BYU
No one expected Oregon State to be this good, including us, we projected them to win six games and finish 9th in the PAC 12. Sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion has been impressive completing 63% of his passes and throwing seven touchdowns. However, there were a lot of questions surrounding the game with BYU as Mannion was out with a knee injury. QB 2, Cody Vaz, had not started a game since he was in high school. No biggie, he threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns. It is all the more impressive when you consider that BYU has the 13th ranked defense according to our Power Rankings.
The Beaver’s defense stepped up in the win intercepting three passes thrown by BYU’s Riley Nelson. Two of the interceptions came late in the fourth quarter. Oregon State faces Utah next.
The total has gone under in 10 of Utah’s last 15 games on the road
Oregon State is 3-6 against-the-spread in its last 9 games at home
West Virginia Mountaineers
2012 Record: Straight-Up 5-1, Against-the-Spread 2-4
Previous Game: 49-14 road loss at Texas Tech
When you have a great offense you can cover up the sins of a poor defense. However, when that same offense fails to score then the shortcomings of the defense become glaring. Coming into the game West Virginia was giving up 336 yards through the air, we ranked them as the 75th team in defensive pass efficiency. This stat did not matter much before Saturday as the Mountaineers were averaging 52 points per game. The offense failed to get the ball in the end zone, in part due to its inability to convert on fourth down. WVU turned the ball over on downs five times.
One positive note for Mountaineer fans is that Geno Smith has yet to throw an interception on the season. While Smith only completed 52.7% of his passes against Texas Tech he is still averaging 75.3% completion on the season.
The total has gone over in 10 of Kansas State’s last 14 games on the road
West Virginia is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last 5 games
2012 Record: Straight-Up 4-2, Against-the-Spread 3-3
Previous Game: 63-21 whipping in the Red River Rivalry
It was over early according to the Live Scorecaster, Oklahoma was a 90.4% favorite to win with 5:16 left in the 2nd quarter. That win percentage broke the 99% mark with 3:56 left in the 3rd quarter. Texas was beat in every category, they were out-gained by 388 total yards, turned the ball over three times, and to add insult to injury saw QB David Ash leave the game with a wrist injury.
Texas is currently eighth in the Big 12 and will find it difficult to compete for the conference title this season. Texas’s final four games are all against ranked opponents.
The total has gone over in 6 of Baylor’s last 8 games when playing Texas
Texas is 7-14-1 against-the-spread in its last 22 games at home
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
2012 Record: Straight-Up 6-0, Against-the-Spread 4-2
Previous Game: 23-15 win over Syracuse
Welcome to Haters Corner, I hope you brought your Haterade. Rutgers is the 15th best team in the country according to the BCS Standings. I’m not buying it. Sure they play in a BCS Conference and they are 6-0. However, that conference is the Big East which is scrambling to remain a real power. The six wins include victories over Tulane and Howard, their marquee victory came against an Arkansas team that is not any good. The teams that the Scarlet Knights have beat are a combined 12-19 on the season. Rutgers faces Cincinnati and Louisville at the end of the season, if they can win those games or compete then I might reconsider my stance but I doubt I will have to….hate, hate, hate!
Rutgers is 2-4 against-the-spread in its last 6 games when playing Temple
Temple is 7-2 straight-up in its last 9 games