3 Up 3 Down (College Week 8)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
College Football Review – Week 8

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

USC Trojans
2015 Record: Straight-Up 4-3, Against-the-Spread 4-3

USC “upset” Utah (the Trojans were the betting favorite in Vegas) 42-24 Saturday night. Linebacker Cameron Smith picked off Utah quarterback Travis Wilson three times and returned one pick for a touchdown (Smith's three interceptions were worth 33 percent in expected win probability for USC).

USC is capable of winning out (18 percent chance) and avenging its loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game (8 percent chance to win the conference). Of course, after an already up and down season for the Trojans, for the time being the team will enjoy its victory over Utah.

The Utes run at a perfect season is over. Utah has been winless in Los Angeles since 1916.

Next Up: Cal

USC has won five straight against Cal.
The total has gone under in 9 of USC's last 11 games when playing Cal.

Duke Blue Devils
2015 Record: Straight-Up 6-1, Against-the-Spread 5-2

It took four overtimes (the first in ACC history) for Duke to beat Virginia Tech 45-43. Blue Devils quarterback Thomas Sirk threw for four touchdowns and ran for the game-clinching 2-point conversion.

The Dukies are now 3-0 in ACC play, keeping pace with North Carolina and Pitt in the Coastal Division. A second division title in three years is in play for the Blue Devils.

Duke has a 48.3 percent chance to win the division, a 12.1 percent chance to win the conference.

Next Up: Miami (FL)

Miami is 9-1 straight-up in its last ten games against Duke.
The total has gone under in six of Duke's last seven games.

Memphis Tigers
2015 Record: Straight-Up 7-0, Against-the-Spread 4-2-1

Memphis defeated Tulsa 66-42 Friday night. Tiger quarterback Paxton Lynch threw for a career high 447 yards and four touchdowns while leading Memphis to 704 total yards of offense.

The Tigers have won 14 straight games (third longest winning streak in the country) and it has been a year since the program's last loss. Can the Tigers a legit top 25 team and undefeated, crash the playoff?

Memphis has a marquee win over a ranked Ole Miss, but the Tigers have played just the 71st ranked schedule in college football. An undefeated season is Memphis' only hope of being voted into the four-team playoff. The Tigers have a 34 percent chance to win out.

Next Up: Tulane

Memphis has taken five of the last six games at home against Tulane.
The total has gone over in four of Tulane's last six games.

Three Down

Florida State Seminoles
2015 Record: Straight-Up 6-1, Against-the-Spread 3-4

Georgia Tech shocked Florida State with a blocked field goal returned 78 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the game.

The Noles were 62% likely to win before the field goal attempt. Florida State's 22-16 loss to Georgia Tech ends a streak of 28 consecutive ACC wins. The Yellow Jackets ended a five game losing streak to the Noles and knocked Florida State out of the playoff race, for now.

Next Up: Syracuse

Florida State is 23-2 straight-up in its last 25 games.
The total has gone over in six of Syracuse's last seven games.

James Madison
2015 Record: Straight-Up 5-2, Against-the-Spread 4-3

“College GameDay” went to Harrisonburg Saturday for the showdown between James Madison and Richmond. Usually FCS games don't get that kind of attention but JMU was undefeated and the game featured two highly ranked rivals.

The fans showed up and killed it with the signs but the Dukes let them down during the game. James Madison gave up 720 yards of offense and 59 points. The Dukes perfect season came to a screeching halt.

They'll always have the memories.

Miami Hurricanes
2015 Record: Straight-Up 4-3, Against-the-Spread 4-3

The Hurricanes suffered the program's worst loss in school history. Clemson destroyed Miami 58-0 on Saturday. The Canes were totally inept fumbling the ball once, turning it over on downs twice, throwing three interceptions and then punting on their eight other possessions.

That kind of offensive performance leads to fans fighting in the stands.

And former players calling for Al Golden to be fired…

On Sunday, The U relieved Golden of his coaching responsibilities.

Next Up: Duke

Miami is 19-14-1 against-the-spread in the last five years against the ACC.
Duke is 1-3 straight-up and against-the-spread in their last four games vs. Miami.