3 Up 3 Down (College Week 3)

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
 
Alabama Crimson Tide
2013 Record: Straight-Up 2-0, Against-the-Spread 1-1
 
Johnny Manziel set a school record for passing yards (464) and his 562 yards of total offense trails only his 2012 effort against Louisiana Tech for the most offensive production by a player in a single game in SEC history. All for naught, Alabama became the projected winner with 14:24 left in the 2nd and held on to win 49-42.
 
AJ McCarron threw 4 touchdown passes; all against five or more Aggie pass rushers. Since last season, McCarron has a 17-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio against five or more pass rushers (ESPN Stat & Info).
 
Most sportsbooks closed the game with Alabama as an 8 to 9.5 point favorite. Johnny Manziel’s “meaningless” touchdown at the end of the game swung an estimated $5 million in bets across sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
 
Next Up: Home game against Colorado State
 
Trends
Alabama is 2-5 against-the-spread in its last 7 games at home
Colorado State is 4-1-1 against-the-spread in its last 6 games
 
UCLA Bruins
2013 Record: Straight-Up 2-0, Against-the-Spread 2-0
 
UCLA began the second half with a 31% chance of winning. The Bruins scored 28 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter making them 85.7% likely to win. The 3rd quarter barrage was part of 35 points the Bruins scored in a span of 16 minutes.
 
The 28 points allowed by Nebraska in the 3rd quarter are the most allowed in any game in school history. Dating back to last year’s Big 10 Championship game, the once vaunted Blackshirts have allowed an average of 40 points and 524 yards over their last five games.
 
Next Up: UCLA hosts the Aggies of New Mexico State
 
Trends
The total has gone over in 4 of UCLA’s last 5 games at home
The total has gone over in 5 of New Mexico State’s last 5 games
 
Ole Miss Rebels
2013 Record: Straight-Up 3-0, Against-the-Spread 2-1
 
The Rebels blew a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter and trailed the Longhorns 23-17 at the half. Unfazed, Ole Miss rattled off 27 unanswered points in the 2nd half. Jeff Scott, the Rebels’ running back, slashed the Texas run defense for the second week in a row to the tune of 164 yards.
 
Good news/Bad news for Texas. You didn’t give up a school record of 550 yards rushing again. However, in eight of Texas’ last thirteen games, the opponent’s leading rusher had a career high.
 
Next Up: A week off before a road trip to Tuscaloosa
 
Trends
The total has gone under in 4 of Alabama’s last 5 games when playing Ole Miss
Ole Miss is 0-5 in its last 5 games when playing Alabama
 


Three Down

 
Wisconsin Badgers
2013 Record: Straight-Up 2-1, Against-the-Spread 3-0
 
Trailing Arizona State 32-30, the ball on the Sun Devils’ 13 with 18 seconds remaining, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave ran to the left, started to put his knee down and placed the ball on the ground in an attempt to setup a field goal. Mass confusion ensued and time ran out.
 
Even if Wisconsin had snapped the ball in the final seconds they would have lost. A new rule in college football states, “Teams will need a minimum of three seconds from the referee’s signal to “spike” the ball to allow for another play.”
 
The bizarre ending prompted Jen Bielema, wife of former Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema to tweet:



The Pac-12 officials involved in the game were reprimanded for their shortcomings.
 
Next Up: The Boilermakers steam into Madison
 
Trends
The total has gone under in 4 of Wisconsin’s last 5 games at home
The total has gone under in 5 of Purdue’s last 7 games when playing Wisconsin
 
Akron Zips
2013 Record: Straight-Up 1-2, Against-the-Spread 1-2
 
Like Dennis Green said, “They are who we thought they were! And we let’em off the hook!” If you are carrying a 27 game road-losing streak you cannot fail to score the game-winner from the 2-yard line. Despite leading Michigan twice, including late in the 4th quarter, the Zips were only the projected winner for 9 seconds.
 
Akron has lost 28 straight road games, the longest skid for visitors in the top tier of college football since Kansas State dropped 30 in a row from Nov. 9, 1985 to Nov. 2, 1991, according to STATS LLC.
 
Next Up: Louisiana-Lafayette
 
Trends
The total has gone under in 9 of Akron’s last 10 games
The total has gone under in 4 of Louisiana-Lafayette’s last 6 games on the road
 
TCU Horned Frogs
2013 Record: Straight-Up 1-2, Against-the-Spread 0-3
 
TCU was a 3-point favorite on the road in Lubbock; we thought it was more of a coin flip. The Horned Frogs had opportunities to win but shot themselves in the foot. TCU committed 13 penalties for 115 yards. They also had a punt return for a touchdown called back after officials ruled the returner signaled for a fair catch.
 
TCU was favored to win for 41 seconds when it tied the game in the 4th quarter and then a fox ran onto the field
 
Next Up: A week off, then Southern Methodist
 
Trends
TCU is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last 5 games when playing at home against SMU
Southern Methodist is 2-11 in its last 13 game when playing TCU