3 Up 3 Down (College Week 3)

By John Ewing
A review of 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.

Three Up

South Carolina Gamecocks
2014 Record: Straight-Up 2-1, Against-the-Spread 1-2

South Carolina, which was blasted two weeks ago by Texas A&M, hung on to defeat Georgia 38-35 and propel the Gamecocks back into the SEC East race.

Saturday's marquee matchup wasn't without drama. Georgia's kicker Marshall Morgan, who set an SEC record during the game with his 20th consecutive field goal, missed two attempts later in the game including a 28-yarder with 4:24 left in the game that would have tied the score.

Following the missed field goal, South Carolina needed a successful fourth down conversion with 1:30 left to win the game.

Fun fact for Georgia fans: the last two times the Bulldogs lost to the Gamecocks, Georgia has won the SEC East.

Next Up: Vanderbilt

The total has gone under in 6 of South Carolina's last 7 games vs. Vandy.
Vandy has lost five straight games against South Carolina.

Boston College Eagles
2014 Record: Straight-Up 2-1, Against-the-Spread 2-1

Boston College rushed for 452 yards as the Eagles defeated USC 37-31 for the team's first victory over a top 10 team since 2002.

A week after ending Stanford's 17-game home winning streak, USC failed to beat Boston College as 17 point road favorites. The Eagles were +525 to win the game outright. The odds implied that you needed greater than 16 percent confidence that BC would pull the upset to feel comfortable wagering on the Eagles to win. We gave Boston College a 32.6 percent chance of shocking USC.

Boston College trailed 17-6 in the second quarter but scored 24 unanswered points to increase the Eagles' odds of winning from 27 percent to 80 percent.

Next Up: Maine

Maine has only won one game in its last ten contests.
The total has gone over in 5 of Boston College's last 6 home games.

East Carolina Pirates
2014 Record: Straight-Up 2-1, Against-the-Spread 3-0

A week after upending Ohio State, Virginia Tech had a letdown at home. East Carolina broke a five game losing streak to ranked opponents with a 28-21 upset of the Hokies.

ECU defeated a ranked team on the road for the first time since 1996. The Pirates quarterback Shane Carden ran for a 1 yard touchdown with 16 seconds left to seal the victory.

Next Up: North Carolina

North Carolina is 3-8 against-the-spread in its last 11 games on the road.
The total has gone under in 4 of ECU's last 5 games at home.

Three Down

Florida Gators
2014 Record: Straight-Up 2-0, Against-the-Spread 1-1

The Gators are undefeated and the team's streak of 28 straight wins over Kentucky is still intact, the longest current win streak for one team over an opponent in an uninterrupted series.

However, Florida needed 3 overtimes to defeat an 18 point underdog 36-30. Kentucky's 10-6 lead in the 2nd half was the first time the Wildcats had a lead against the Gators since 2003 (per ESPN Stats & Info).

Florida's struggles may continue as the Gators travel to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama next week. Four of Florida's next five games are against teams currently ranked inside the AP top 25.

Next Up: Alabama

Florida is 2-6-1 against-the-spread in its last 9 games.
The total has gone over in 4 of Alabama's last 5 games.

Louisville Cardinals
2014 Record: Straight-Up 2-1, Against-the-Spread 2-1

Four turnovers and a 28 percent (4 of 14) conversion rate on third down led to Louisville's 23-21 loss to Virginia.

It had been 672 days since the Cavaliers last won an ACC game, with the win Virginia ended an 0 for 11 drought against conference foes. After going 6-18 the last two seasons, Virginia is now 2-1 and narrowly lost to UCLA 28-20 in Week 1.

Next Up: Wake Forest

The total has gone under in 9 of Wake Forest's last 12 games on the road.
Louisville has won five straight at home.

Icing Kickers/Betting on the Top 25

Iowa State defeated Iowa 20-17 as Cyclones kicker Cole Netten hit a 42-yard field goal with two seconds left. Iowa tried to ice the kicker before the game winning field goal. Netten missed the first attempt but after the Hawkeyes timeout, the Iowa State kicker converted the attempt. Icing the kicker does not work.

Speaking of things that do not work, betting on teams in the top 25 of the polls to cover against-the-spread. This week only three teams that were ranked heading into the weekend were less than double-digit favorites. Heavily favored in most games the top 25 teams went 6-11-1 against-the-spread (35% ATS).