3 Up 3 Down (College Week 5)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
College Football Review – Week 5

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

Alabama Crimson Tide
2015 Record: Straight-Up 4-1, Against-the-Spread 2-3

It was supposed to be the end of an era. The Crimson Tide were underdogs for the first time since the 2009 SEC Championship game. Alabama was in real danger of starting SEC play 0-2 for the first time since 1990. Then Nick Saban and Alabama reminded all of college football why they are still king.

The Crimson Tide rolled Georgia 38-10. Bama got touchdowns from the offense, defense and special teams. Alabama propelled itself back into the SEC and College Football Playoff race.

Georgia beat Alabama, what a joke.

Next Up: Arkansas

Alabama has won five straight at home against Arkansas.
Arkansas is 2-5 against-the-spread in its last seven games against Bama.

Clemson Tigers
2015 Record: Straight-Up 4-0, Against-the-Spread 2-2

It looked over early when Clemson built a 21-3 lead (99.8 percent likely to win) but the Tigers had to survive a furious rally by Notre Dame. The Irish had a chance to force overtime but Clemson defensive tackle Carlos Watkins stopped quarterback DeShone Kizer on a two-point conversion with seven second to play.

Clemson is 4-0 for the fourth time in five years. The Tigers are in the mix for the ACC and the College Football Playoff.

What a time to be a Tiger!

Next Up: Georgia Tech

Clemson has won five straight home games.
Georgia Tech is 2-4 against-the-spread in its last six road games against Clemson.

Oklahoma Sooners
2015 Record: Straight-Up 4-0, Against-the-Spread 3-1

West Virginia entered the game with the nation's top ranked scoring defense allowing just 7.7 points per game but the Mountaineers had not faced an offense like the Sooners. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-24 win.

The Sooners were crisp on offense but it was the other side of the ball that truly shined. The defense sacked WVU quarterback Skyler Howard seven times, forced three interceptions and recovered two fumbles – the second of which was returned 41 yards for a game sealing score.

Oklahoma looked like a Big 12 title contender but was penalized 12 times for 134 yards. Those kinds of mistakes could prove costly against Baylor and TCU.

Next Up: Texas

Oklahoma is 3-6-1 against-the-spread in its last ten games when playing Texas.
Texas is 1-6 against-the-spread in its last seven games.

Three Down

Ole Miss Rebels
2015 Record: Straight-Up 4-1, Against-the-Spread 3-2

This was the Rebels' year. Ole Miss, after beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa, was supposed to be the top team from the SEC and a favorite to win the playoff. Florida trucked Ole Miss 38-10.

Chad Kelly was sacked four times, fumbled twice and threw a pick for good measure. The defense, that flummoxed Alabama and created five takeaways against the Tide, gave up big plays to the Gators.

One loss doesn't end a season. Ole Miss will have a chance to insert itself in the playoff conversation with games against LSU and Texas A&M remaining.

Next Up: New Mexico State

Ole Miss has won five straight home games.
New Mexico State is 1-6 against-the-spread in its last seven road games.

Texas Longhorns
2015 Record: Straight-Up 1-4, Against-the-Spread 1-3-1

As if things couldn't get worse for Texas. The Longhorns fell behind TCU 30-0 after one quarter and were thoroughly defeated 50-7. Adding insult to injury, freshman Kris Boyd retweeted a Texas A&M fan's request for him to transfer to College Station. Many are calling for Charlie Strong's job, even the Texas Rangers.

The tweet was later deleted and the person responsible has been fired. Still, the sentiments remain.

It is going to be a long season for Texas.

Next Up: Oklahoma

The total has gone over in four of Texas' last five games when playing Oklahoma.
Texas is 4-5-1 against-the-spread in its last ten games against Big 12 teams.

Wisconsin Badgers
2015 Record: Straight-Up 3-2, Against-the-Spread 2-3

Turnovers doomed the Badgers. Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave threw two picks and fumbled twice, including midway through the fourth on Iowa's 1-yard line.

The fumble decreased Wisconsin's expected win probability by 37.5 percent. The Badgers fell 10-6 and dreams of capturing back-to-back Big Ten West titles just became more difficult. Before the upset, Wisconsin had only lost twice at home to an unranked team since the start of the 2006 season.

This was the first win for Iowa (now 5-0) against a ranked opponent in ttheir last en tries. The Hawkeyes also won without scoring in the second half for the first time since 2007.

Next Up: Nebraska

Wisconsin is 3-7 against-the-spread in its last ten games.
The total has gone over in seven of Nebraska's last nine games.