3 Up 3 Down (College Week 4)

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
 
Stanford Cardinals
2013 Record: Straight-Up 3-0, Against-the-Spread 1-2
 
In the only matchup of ranked opponents, Stanford entered the game as a 7 point favorite and by our projections was 60% likely to win. By halftime Stanford led 29-0, pushing their likelihood of winning to 89%.
 
The Cardinals cruised to a win; Stanford surrendered three touchdowns in the final quarter but was never in serious jeopardy of losing. Stanford has now won nine of their last ten games at home against ranked opponents.
 
Next Up: A trap game? Washington State is sandwiched between two ranked opponents on the Cardinals’ schedule.
 
Trends
The total has gone over in 4 of Stanford’s last 6 games
Washington State is 6-12 against-the-spread in its last 18 games when playing Stanford
 
Fresno State
2013 Record: Straight-Up 3-0, Against-the-Spread 0-3
 
Fresno States win over Boise State broke a few streaks. It was the first win for the Bulldogs over the Broncos since 2005. Fresno State’s 3-0 start has earned them their first AP ranking (No. 25) since 2008.
 
The Bulldogs’ quarterback, Derek Carr, has thrown for a touchdown in 23 straight games, the longest active streak in FBS. After the game, Fresno State launched Derek Carr for Heisman! Unfortunately there is not a lot of faith or even passing interest in Carr for the Heisman; he currently does not have odds to win the trophy in Vegas.
 
Next Up: Let’s get tropical, a trip to Hawaii
 
Trends
The total has gone over in 4 of Fresno State’s last 6 games
Hawaii is 2-11 straight-up in its last 13 games
 
Missouri Tigers
2013 Record: Straight-Up 3-0, Against-the-Spread 3-0
 
This game featured one of the strangest line movements you will see in college football without a serious injury or suspension playing a role. The Tigers went from 6.5 point favorites to 2 point dogs and back to 2.5 point favorites before kickoff. The line movement was irrelevant as Missouri notched another win for the SEC over the Big 10 with a 45-28 victory.
 
Missouri has forced a turnover in 33 consecutive games, the longest active streak in FBS. Three of the last four seasons when the Tigers started 3-0 have ended in conference divisional titles. Before the season began, Missouri was 66/1 to win the SEC. As a Mizzou fan I wouldn’t take that bet, even if you offered it to me now.
 
Next Up: Last tune up before conference play, Arkansas State
 
Trends
Arkansas State is 5-2 straight-up in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone over in 5 of Missouri’s last 6 games
 
Three Down


 
Michigan Wolverines
2013 Record: Straight-Up 4-0, Against-the-Spread 2-2
 
­After narrowly beating Akron last week at home, Michigan, a 20 point favorite on the road, sidestepped another landmine with a 24-21 win against UConn. Against the Zips we projected the Wolverines to lose for only 9 seconds of the game, but this week Michigan was the dog for the majority of the second half.
 
Michigan has a turnover problem that begins and ends with quarterback Devin Gardner. In the last two games Gardner has thrown 6 interceptions and fumbled once. If you are a fan of throwing money away you can still bet Gardner at 50/1 to win the Heisman.
 
Next Up: Conference opener against Minnesota
 
Trends
Since 2008, Minnesota is 0-5 against-the-spread when playing Michigan
Michigan is 6-1 straight-up in its last 7 games when playing Minnesota at home
 
Pac 12 Non-Conference Opponents
 
The Pac 12 has not had stellar nonconference records as of late. In 2011, the Pac 12 went 23-12 overall against nonconference opponents. To put that in perspective the SEC went 42-6 that same year. In 2012, the Pac 12 went 25-11 out of conference while the SEC went 48-8.
 
However, this year the Pac 12 is 29-4 in non-conference play, including 21-3 against FBS teams. This is the best win percentage of any conference in the country. The Pac 12 currently has 4 teams rank in the top 16 of the AP poll 
 
Underdogs against the Top 25
 
The Top 25 loaded up on creampuffs in the last week before the start of conference play. To compensate for the high caloric level of the competition Vegas set hefty lines. There were thirteen games featuring Top 25 teams as at least three touchdown favorites. In those games the Top 25 went 9-4 against-the-spread. This includes Ohio State covering a 52.5 point spread in the 1st half and three other teams (Louisville, Miami, Baylor) all scoring 70+ points.