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.
2012 Record: Straight-Up 8-0, Against-the-Spread 4-4
Previous Game: 70-14 win over Colorado
Oregon avoided looking ahead to their showdown with USC and in turn side stepped a trap game by crushing Colorado. It wasn’t really a trap game because that implies the Buffalos potentially could beat Oregon. When we simulated the game 50,000 times before it was played, Colorado only won 7,100 games or 14.2% of the time. It was apparent early that Colorado was outmatched in every facet of the game. Buffaloes head coach Jon Embree said, “They’re a good team. They’re fast.” Fast is an accurate statement, the Ducks rushed for 425 yards for the game and sprinted to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
Even though Oregon is undefeated they were passed by Kansas State and Notre Dame in the BCS Standings. The Ducks will have a chance to impress pollsters (computers) if they can navigate the remainder of their schedule. Three of the next four games are against ranked opponents.
The total has gone under in 4 of Oregon’s last 5 games when on the road at USC
USC is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
2012 Record: Straight-Up 7-1, Against-the-Spread 3-5
Previous Game: 17-9 upset of the Gators
Georgia was 6-1 coming into this game with their only loss at South Carolina. However, the Bulldogs were 6.5-point dogs in Jacksonville against Florida Saturday. A lot of that had to do with their poor defensive performance against Kentucky the week prior when they allowed 206 yards rushing. It was a different story this week as the defense, led by Jarvis Jones, held the Gators to 81 yards rushing and forced 6 turnovers. Georgia won for just the fifth time in the last 23 meetings with Florida.
The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead with twelve minutes remaining in the first quarter and never gave it up. If you didn’t know any better you might have thought this was a boring game. However, according to the Live Scorecaster the predicted winner changed 14 times as both teams combined for nine turnovers. It wasn’t until 10:53 left in the 4th that Georgia was able to maintain the win probability.
The total has gone under in 4 of Mississippi’s last 5 games
The total has gone over in 5 of Georgia’s last 6 games at home
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2012 Record: Straight-Up 8-0, Against-the-Spread 5-3
Previous Game: 30-13 victory of the Sooners in Norman
Notre Dame has annoyed me for most of my sports life. It's not because the Irish beat my favorite team or because I hate the movie Rudy but I cannot stand the amount of attention Notre Dame gets from the media. They are like the Yankees or Tebow, regardless of how they are performing it’s a requirement that each sports broadcast mentions them. So once again this year I was skeptical of the Irish and their chances to play for a title. It didn’t help that they had the 10th toughest schedule according to our rankings. I fully expected Oklahoma to take care of business at home, 79-4 under Bob Stoops in Norman, against a team with a mediocre offense. Notre Dame surprised me in this game, their defense proved once again how strong it is and I am now starting to believe in Notre Dame.
At the very least I am not annoyed when I hear pundits talk about the Irish, for the first time in nearly a decade they may be properly rated. Notre Dame is the only team in the country with four wins against top 25 teams, which include two wins against top 10 teams on the road.
The total has gone under in each of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games on the road
Notre Dame is 7-13-2 ATS in its last 22 games at home
Oregon State Beavers
2012 Record: Straight-Up 6-1, Against-the-Spread 5-2
Previous Game: 20-17 loss at Washington
My buddy’s wife told him that Sunday was all about him, he would get breakfast in bed, then he could watch football all day, and she would make him nachos for dinner. We agreed that it had to be a trap! I feel like this is what happened to Oregon State. First, the Beavers were getting their starting QB, Sean Mannion, back from knee surgery. Then they were going to face a team that had lost its last three games by giving up an average of 43 points while only managing 21 points or less in each contest. So what could happen, right? I’m not sure how my friend’s Sunday went but Oregon State’s Saturday night was terrible. Sean Mannion’s return was spoiled by his own ineptitude as he threw four interceptions ruining the Beavers chance for their first ever 7-0 start. Oregon State looks to rebound next week against Arizona State.
Arizona State is 2-4 straight-up in its last 6 games when playing Oregon State
The total has gone over in 6 of Oregon State’s last 7 games when playing Arizona St
2012 Record: Straight-Up 6-2, Against-the-Spread 2-6
Previous Game: 39-36 road loss to Arizona
Matt Barkley had himself a game against Arizona. He threw for 493 yards and three touchdowns tying Carson Palmer’s school record for 400-yard games. Most of his passes went to wide receiver Marqise Lee who set a Pac-12 record with 345 yards receiving. With these record-setting performances USC beat the Wildcats…wait, no they didn’t. USC squandered a 15 point 3rd quarter lead and ended their slim hopes of getting back into the national title picture with an upset loss Saturday afternoon. The Trojans allowed Arizona quarterback Matt Scott to throw for 369 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 100 yards with another score.
USC had five turnovers in their loss Saturday and committed thirteen penalties for 117 yards. The Trojan defense also allowed Arizona to rush for over 200 yards as a team. USC can play spoiler this coming week when they host Oregon.
The total has gone under in 4 of Oregon’s last 5 games on the road at USC
The total has gone under in all 3 of USC’s home games this year
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
2012 Record: Straight-Up 7-1, Against-the-Spread 5-3
Previous Game: 35-23 loss to Kent State
I’m not always right but when I am I will definitely remind you of it! Two weeks ago I called Rutgers out on being overrated. Their ranking was a byproduct of a weak schedule. I didn’t think they would slip up until they had to face Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Louisville to close out their season. But a non-conference loss to Kent State not only ruined any outside shot at an undefeated season and a national title but it more importantly made me look good. Well, as good as you can look for calling out Rutgers as not being a top 15 program.
The total has gone over in 5 of Army’s last 8 games
Rutgers is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games