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.
South Carolina Gamecocks
2012 Record: Straight-Up 6-0, Against-the-Spread 5-1
Previous Game: 35-7 thumping of Georgia
As I watched the first quarter and saw the Gamecocks take it to Georgia I couldn’t help but think of The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons. Specifically, I thought of the Big Easy vs. Wes elimination challenge. Big Easy tells the camera, “I want to prove to everyone that I can take a strong competitor out.” He then trucks Wes and literally rings the bell with Wes’s head. This clip pretty much explains what happened in the game. South Carolina was undefeated coming into the contest but its victories had come against lesser competition. South Carolina needed a statement win and that’s what they got. Gamecock tailback Marcus Lattimore said, “We definitely sent a message out to the whole country, it’s not the old South Carolina. We can play with y’all. We can play with anybody.”
Lattimore dominated the game rushing for 109 yards, the third time he has passed the century mark against the Bulldogs. The victory, tenth in a row, sets a South Carolina school record. SC gets another test next week as they face LSU.
South Carolina is 9-1 in its last 10 games on the road
LSU is 2-5 against-the-spread in its last 7 games
2012 Record: Straight-Up 5-0, Against-the-Spread 4-1
Previous Game: 14-6 upset of LSU
When was this game over? You might think the game was in doubt until there was no more time left on the clock. Wrong, the game was over well before the clock showed zeros. Actually, it was over with 2:38 left in the 3rd when Mike Gillislee rushed for 9 yards to the Florida 42. How do I know this, is it because I’m wicked smart (I am) or ruggedly good looking (also true)? No, the app told me. After Gillislee picked up those 9 yards the Gators win-probability went to 52.9%. Four and half minutes later Gillislee punched it in for a touchdown increasing not only Florida’s margin over LSU but also their win-probability to 71.1%.
Gillislee finished with a career high 146 yards and two touchdowns. The Florida defense shut out LSU in the second half, the Gators have only allowed 13 points combined in the 2nd half this season. Florida travels to Vandy next.
The total has gone over in 6 of Florida’s last 7 games playing at Vandy
Vanderbilt is 2-5 against-the-spread in its last 7 games at home vs. Florida
Ohio State Buckeyes
2012 Record: Straight-Up 6-0, Against-the-Spread 3-3
Previous Game: 63-38 smashing of Nebraska
The poor Big Ten. Coming into this weekend, only three teams from the conference were ranked in the top 25. Included in the group was Northwestern, a team that was 47th according to our Power Rankings. After this weekend, two of those teams are no longer ranked. Ohio State, the only undefeated team in the B1G, is also the team that cannot represent the league in postseason play. The 63-38 drubbing of Nebraska highlights the Buckeyes as the best team in the conference.
Braxton Miller appears nearly unstoppable as he rushed for 186 yards, breaking his own school record for a quarterback, while adding 127 yards through the air. Ohio State can still win a Big Ten division title even though they are on NCAA probation.
Ohio State has won the last 5 meetings on the road against Indiana
Indiana is 2-4-1 against-the-spread in its last 7 games
2012 Record: Straight-Up 5-1, Against-the-Spread 2-4
Previous Game: 14-6, failed to score in the 2nd half, loss to Florida
‘Eye of the Tiger’ was the theme song to Rocky III. In the movie, Rocky Balboa is shown resting on his laurels, living the good life, doing American Express commercials, and posing for photos during his training. Meanwhile, Mr. T is training like this. I’m not sure this is what happened to LSU but it would explain their lackluster start to the season and getting knocked out by a Florida team that appears to have the ‘Eye of the Tiger.’
LSU committed eight penalties, turned the ball over three times, and failed to score in the second half for the first time all season. LSU needs a training montage to get pumped up as they face four ranked opponents in a row.
South Carolina has won its last 3 games against ranked opponents
LSU is won the last 4 meetings against the Gamecocks
Florida State Seminoles
2012 Record: Straight-Up 5-1, Against-the-Spread 2-4
Previous Game: 17-16 gut check loss to NC State
Florida State led 16-0 at halftime. Their defense was controlling the game, NC State’s first half drives looked like this: punt, punt, punt, interception, fumble, and punt. The second half was a different story. Florida State, a team that did allow the ball in the end zone in the first half failed to move the ball deep into Wolfpack territory getting shut out in the second half. NC State took advantage and chipped away at the lead. On the Wolfpack’s final drive they converted three 4th-down attempts and were aided by a pass interference call, all of which led to the go-ahead touchdown.
EJ Manuel was limited in the game completing a season low 58% of his passes while being held to -16 yards rushing. The Seminoles had not won six games in a row since they won the national title in 1999.
The total has gone under in 12 of Boston College’s last 13 road games
Florida State is 2-4 against-the-spread in its last 6 games when playing BC
TCU Horned Frogs
2012 Record: Straight-Up 4-1, Against-the-Spread 2-3
Previous Game: 37-23 DUI related loss to Iowa State
We projected TCU to finish 8th in the Big 12 and to win only 6 games. The TCU under on 7.5 wins for the season was one of our strongest plays, check out how the rest of our picks are doing here. TCU needs four more wins to go over the total. Let's assume they win their next two against Baylor and Texas Tech (not gimmes by any means). After those games they are @ Ok State, @ #5 West Virginia, home vs. #6 Kansas St, @ #15 Texas, and home vs. #13 Oklahoma. Where do the other two wins come from? Do you hear that sound? It's me knocking on wood but I think you get the point.
TCU is 2-4 against-the-spread in its last 6 games
Baylor is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last 5 games when playing TCU