3 Up 3 Down (College Week 12)

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
Improbable Finish
Auburn kept its SEC West title hopes alive with a Miracle Catch! The Tigers were 3-9 last year including losing every SEC game but now can claim a division title with a victory in two weeks against No. 1 Alabama.
Auburn had a 30.2% chance of winning before the Hail Mary gave the Tigers the lead.
USC Trojans
2013 Record: Straight-Up 8-3 Against-the-Spread 6-5
The Trojans had not beat a ranked opponent since 2011. A 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds left ended that drought and moved USC to 5-1 under interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron.
USC’s win over Stanford makes it unlikely that the Pac-12 will have two teams in BCS Bowls. This means that every team in the conference lost approximately $500,000 when Stanford lost. The Pac-12 has had two teams make BCS bowls every year since 2009.
Next Up: Colorado
The total has gone under in 4 of USC’s last 5 games
Colorado is 5-10 against-the-spread in its last 15 games at home
Duke Blue Devils
2013 Record: Straight-Up 8-2, Against-the-Spread 8-2
Duke pounded Miami, literally, rushing for 358 yards as a team (they only averaged 152 yards on the ground coming into this game). The Blue Devils have won six straight games ensuring a winning season for the first time since 1994 and have beaten two Top 25 teams in the same year for the first time since 1971. The Dukies are No. 25 in the AP Poll, their first ranking since 1994.
Three weeks ago Miami was No. 7 in the BCS standings. Since then they have lost three consecutive games and control of the Coastal Division.
Next Up: Wake Forest
The total has gone over in 5 of Duke’s last 7 games
Wake Forest is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last 5 games at home vs. Duke

Three Down
Texas Longhorns
2013 Record: Straight-Up 7-3, Against-the-Spread 5-5
Texas had not beaten a ranked opponent at home since 2008. Oklahoma State kept that streak alive by handing the Longhorns their worst loss in the Mack Brown era (16 seasons). Disheartening: in less than a minute the Cowboys scored two touchdowns including a tipped pass (could have been an INT) and then a pick-six to close the first half. Those two plays resulted in a 26% increase in Oklahoma State’s expected win percentage.
Texas’ Big 12 title hopes are still alive but the Longhorns will need to win out including defeating No. 4 Baylor plus get some help.
Next Up: Texas Tech
The total has gone over in 5 of Texas Tech’s last 5 games
The total has gone over in 8 of Texas’ last 11 games when playing Texas Tech
Cheap Seats
Illinois and Purdue are a combined 4-16 on the season including zero wins in the Big 10. The Illini and the Boilermakers square off this weekend to determine which squad is the worst in the Leaders Division. The one positive of both teams sucking is that it is affordable to attend the game. According to StubHub there are numerous tickets available for less than a dollar with the cheapest posted for $0.39.
Preseason Rankings
Of the teams in the AP Poll’s preseason rankings, ten of them are currently not ranked including: Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, Boise State, TCU, Northwestern, and Oregon State.
Every team listed has at least three losses with three teams having losing records.