3 Up 3 Down (College Week 14)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
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

Arizona Wildcats

2014 Record: Straight-Up 10-2, Against-the-Spread 5-7

Arizona was a longshot to reach the Pac-12 Championship. The Wildcats needed to beat Arizona State and then have Stanford knock off UCLA. Sometimes longshots come through. Arizona won the Territorial Cup beating their instate rival 42-35 and the Cardinal rolled the Bruins.

The win was Arizona's first in the series since 2011 and the Pac-12 South division championship is the first outright league championship for the Wildcats as a member of the Pac-12. The win was also the tenth overall on the season, just the third year with double-digit wins in the team's history.

Arizona will face Oregon in the Pac-12 title game next week. The Wildcats handed the Ducks their only loss of the season, a 31-24 road victory. Can Arizona upset Oregon again?

Next Up: Oregon

The total has gone under in four of Arizona's last five games.
Oregon is 3-7 against-the-spread in its last ten games against Arizona.

TCU Horned Frogs

2014 Record: Straight-Up 11-1, Against-the-Spread 10-2

TCU produced an impressive win on Thanksgiving defeating Texas 48-10. The Horned Frogs forced six turnovers and scored 24 points off of the Longhorns' mistakes.

TCU's romp over Texas keeps the Frogs in contentions for the Big 12 title. More importantly, the prime time win should impress the selection committee.

Mississippi State's loss to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl and a dominating win by TCU should be enough to move the Horned Frogs into the most likely College Football Playoff bracket.

Assuming TCU fills the vacated spot left by the Bulldogs, the Frogs will have to beat the hopeless Cyclones in the season finale and hope that the lack of a conference championship does not hurt them.

Next Up: Iowa State

Iowa State is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last five games.
The total has gone over in six of TCU's last eight home games.

ACC over SEC

On Saturday the ACC went 4-0 against the SEC. Georgia Tech beat Georgia 30-24 in overtime, Clemson knocked out rival South Carolina 35-17, Louisville had to rally to beat Kentucky 44-40 and Florida State survived Florida 24-19. This is the first time since 2000 that Georgia Tech, Florida State and Clemson all defeated their SEC rival in the same season.

Florida State has won 28 consecutive games; they are the only undefeated team left in the FBS. The Noles are one win away from reaching the College Football Playoff.

The SEC had as many as three teams ranked in the top four by the College Football Playoff committee including the top seed in each of the initial five rankings. If Missouri beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game the conference could be left out of the inaugural playoff.

The ACC's dominance over the SEC on Saturday may be a preview for how the rest of the season will shake out for the Southeastern Conference.

Three Down

Marshall Thundering Herd

2014 Record: Straight-Up 11-1, Against-the-Spread 7-4-1

One team from the Group of 5 will receive an automatic bid to either the Fiesta, Cotton or Peach bowls. Marshall entered the season finale as one of the favorites to earn the bid as one of two undefeated teams in the country and were being ranked for the first by the College Football Playoff.

133 points later, the Herd's perfect season came to an end and any hope of a prestigious bowl dashed. Marshall lost to Western Kentucky 67-66 as the Hilltoppers converted a two-point conversion in overtime to cap the highest scoring game involving a ranked team.

Marshall's Rakeem Cato set several school records including single-game touchdown passes and career passing yards. Of course the Heisman hopeful would trade all of that for a chance to participate in the College Football Playoff.

Next Up: Louisiana Tech

After covering five straight weeks ATS, Marshall is now 2-3 ATS in last five games.
Louisiana Tech has covered against-the-spread seven of its last ten games.

Ohio State Buckeyes

2014 Record: Straight-Up 11-1, Against-the-Spread 7-5

The Buckeyes already had the Big Ten East division wrapped up before its 111th meeting with rival Michigan. Ohio State ran all over the Wolverines (233 rushing yards, four touchdowns) in a 42-28 victory. Ohio State became the first Big Ten team to go unbeaten in conference play in three straight regular seasons.

The Buckeyes are in contention for the College Football Playoffs but Ohio State's postseason chances may have come to an abrupt end with an injury to quarterback J.T. Barrett.

Ohio State already lost starting quarterback Braxton Miller and will now be without the services of Barrett who suffered a season ending ankle injury. Barrett was completing nearly 65 percent of his passes and averaging over nine yards per attempt. Barrett's dual threat capabilities made him a Heisman candidate; he was averaging over five yards per carry and had scored 11 rushing touchdowns on the season.

The Buckeyes now turn to sophomore Cardale Jones. With a third string quarterback, can Ohio State win a Big Ten Championship and reach the first ever College Football Playoff?

Next Up: Wisconsin

The over has hit in nine of Ohio State's last ten games.
Wisconsin has been favored against every Big 10 opponent this season.

Head Coaching Carousel

Will Muschamp was the first big name coach to get the axe. Florida sacked their head coach with two games remaining.

Bo Pelini, Nebraska's polarizing football coach, joins Muschamp in the unemployment line. Pelini coached the Huskers for seven seasons leading them to a 67-27 record.

Nebraska was a consistent winner under Pelini, the Cornhuskers won at least nine games since 2008, but never won a conference championship.

Nebraska joins Florida with an uncertain future. The Cornhuskers will be looking for their fourth coach since 1997.

On deck, Brady Hoke. Michigan is 5-7, out of bowl contention and lost to rival Ohio State 42-28 on Saturday.