3 Up 3 Down (College Week 7)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
College Football Review – Week 7

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

LSU Tigers
2015 Record: Straight-Up 6-0, Against-the-Spread 3-3

LSU used trickery to get the best of Florida again. In a tie game in the fourth quarter, LSU's kicker Trent Dominque ran for a 16-yard touchdown on a fake field goal.

The Tigers became 95 percent likely to win after the trick play and held on to win 35-28. Leonard Fournette rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns and Les Miles squad is the lone unbeaten team from the SEC.

Next Up: Western Kentucky

LSU is 16-3 straight-up in its last 19 home games.
Western Kentucky is 2-4-1 against-the-spread in its last seven road games.

Iowa Hawkeyes
2015 Record: Straight-Up 7-0, Against-the-Spread 5-2

Iowa rolled past Northwestern 40-10 Saturday. Backup running back Akrum Wadley rushed for 204 yards and four scores (tying a school record). The Hawkeyes held Northwestern to just 51 yards rushing and 2.9 yards-per-play. It was a one-sided affair.

Iowa is in control of the West division in the Big Ten and without a ranked opponent remaining on the schedule, an undefeated regular season is a possibility.

For the Wildcats, after a 5-0 start and a national ranking, back-to-back blowout losses have exposed some serious flaws with Pat Fitzgerald's team.

Next Up: Maryland

Iowa is 8-12 against-the-spread in their last twenty home games.
Maryland is 6-4 against-the-spread in their last ten road games.

Stanford Cardinal
2015 Record: Straight-Up 5-1, Against-the-Spread 5-1

The Cardinal are primed for a run at the Pac-12 title (they were our pick to win the conference before this game). Stanford defeated UCLA 56-35 in part because of a crazy catch by Francis Owusu. The receiver pinned a ball on the back of a UCLA defender for a touchdown resulting in one of the most extraordinary catches this season.

Stanford running back Christian McCaffery did his part by setting a school record with 243 yards rushing and four touchdowns. The Cardinal has beat UCLA eight straight times.

Next Up: Washington

The total has gone over in four of Stanford's last five games.
Washington is 2-3-1 against-the-spread in its last six games when playing at Stanford.

Three Down

Michigan Wolverines
2015 Record: Straight-Up 5-2, Against-the-Spread 4-3

“You've gotta believe. I guess,” said Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio after the Spartans shocked Michigan with a botched punt returned for a touchdown to win 27-23 in the final seconds.

Michigan was greater than 99 percent likely to win at varying points in the game. The Wolverines lost in an improbable way and now have dropped seven of their last eight to their in-state rival.

Michigan State's miracle play is one of the biggest swings in expected win probability in college football this season.

Next Up: Minnesota

Michigan is 10-14 against-the-spread on the road in the last five years.
Minnesota is 2-5 against-the-spread in games played in 2015 (includes last year's bowl game).

Ole Miss Rebels
2015 Record: Straight-Up 5-2, Against-the-Spread 4-3

Ole Miss wasn't supposed to lose and early in the game it looked like the Rebels wouldn't. Mississippi led 14-0 and was 97 percent likely to win but Memphis scored 31 unanswered points to become 84 percent likely to win.

Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns. This was the first win for the Tigers over a ranked opponent since 1996 and the thirteenth straight win dating back to last season (the third longest streak in college football).

Ole Miss was in the playoff conversation after a 4-0 start including a win over Alabama, but losses in two of their last three games ends any hope of a postseason run.

Next Up: Texas A&M

The total has gone under in four of Ole Miss' last five games.
Texas A&M is 14-4 straight-up in its last 18 road games.

Texas A&M
2015 Record: Straight-Up 5-1, Against-the-Spread 4-2

Kyle Allen entered the game against Alabama having not thrown an interception in 79 passes. Versus the Crimson Tide, Texas A&M's quarterback threw three picks all of which were returned for touchdowns.

The pick sixes lowered Texas A&M's expected win probability by a collective 45.3 percent. When the offense wasn't conceding scores, the defense did little to stop Bama running back Derrick Henry. The junior rusher totaled a career-high 236 yards and two touchdowns.

A&M falls from the ranks of the unbeaten and the Tide continue to reign over the SEC West.

At least the Aggies have attractive coeds.

Next Up: Ole Miss

Over the last five years, Ole Miss is 30-22 against-the-spread.
Over the last five years, Texas A&M at home is 12-17 against-the-spread.