3 Up 3 Down (College Week 15)

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

Alabama Crimson Tide

2014 Record: Straight-Up 12-1, Against-the-Spread 5-8

Alabama was in a one score game entering the fourth quarter but the Crimson Tide responded by scoring 21 unanswered points. Alabama routed Missouri 42-13 to win the program's 24th SEC title.

Even in a one-possession game, Alabama was never in serious danger of losing. The Crimson Tide was never less than 65 percent likely to win. Bama dominated in all phases of the game totaling 504 yards of offense, holding Missouri to 41 rushing yards on 23 carries and playing nearly mistake free football (just two penalties and no turnovers).

The win solidified Alabama's grasp on the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

Next Up: Ohio State

Oregon Ducks

2014 Record: Straight-Up 12-1, Against-the-Spread 9-4

Statement game. Oregon kicked off Championship Week with an impressive 51-13 thumping of Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship.

Arizona had knocked off the Ducks in the last two meetings but Oregon got its revenge. The Wildcats were held to 25 yards of offense in the first half and Oregon led 23-0, making the Ducks 94 percent likely to win after two quarters.

Marcus Mariota not only helped Oregon secure a spot in the College Football Playoff by throwing for 313 yards and two touchdowns plus adding three more scores on the ground but he put an exclamation mark on his Heisman campaign.

Next Up: Florida State

TCU Horned Frogs

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

TCU was the only playoff contender not playing a ranked opponent this weekend. As a 34 point favorite over Iowa State, the Horned Frogs need to win and win big.

The Frogs stomped the Cyclones by scoring 38 unanswered points in the second half. TCU won 55-3 and spent most of the final 30 minutes with a win probability of 99 percent.

TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin topped 400 passing yards for the third time this season and the Frogs had a total yards differential of nearly 500 yards.

The Frogs' offense is averaging 46.1 points per game, third most in the FBS, and is on pace to break the school record of 41.6 set in 2010.

Next Up: Ole Miss


Three Down



Total Chaos


Total chaos, how about any drama? Entering Championship Week Alabama, Oregon, TCU and Florida State were ranked in the top four of the College Football Playoffs. All four teams won and TCU's domination over a weak Iowa State, the Frogs fell to sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings.

There was only a 31 percent chance that all four teams won this weekend, driven by just a 54 percent chance that Florida State beat Georgia Tech.

Chaos would have been fun, but with 650-to-1 chance that all four teams lost it was unlikely to be a wild weekend in college football.

Wisconsin Badgers

2014 Record: Straight-Up 10-3, Against-the-Spread 5-8

Wisconsin was favored over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship after the Buckeyes lost J.T. Barrett to a season ending ankle injury and were forced to start third string quarterback Cardale Jones.

The Badgers were averaging over 330 rushing yards per game but were held to 71 yards on the ground against Ohio State. Melvin Gordon, the nation's leading rusher, rushed 26 times for 76 yards.

Ohio State's 59-0 victory was the first shutout loss for Wisconsin since 1997 and it was the worst loss for the Badgers since a 59-0 shellacking by Ohio State in 1979.

Next Up: Auburn

Oklahoma Sooners

2014 Record: Straight-Up 8-4, Against-the-Spread 5-7

Leading 35-28 with a minute to play, Oklahoma was 88 percent likely to win before punting to Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys' Tyreek Hill returned that punt 92 yards for a touchdown to force overtime. Oklahoma State's Ben Grogan hit a 21-yard field goal to win the game in the extra session.

The Sooners, 20 point favorites over Oklahoma State, now have four losses on the season. A loss in a bowl game would match the worst mark for the program in this century, Oklahoma finished with an 8-5 record in 2009.

Next Up: Clemson