3 Up 3 Down (College Week 6)

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
Florida State Seminoles
2013 Record: Straight-Up 5-0, Against-the-Spread 4-1
Which would break first: an offense scoring 50+ points per game or a defense only allowing 10 points a game? Florida State answered this question emphatically by dropping 63 points on Maryland. For Florida State, this was the most lopsided win against a Top 25 program in school history. The point differential ties the worst loss by a Top 25 team all-time.
Jameis Winston continues to perform for the Heisman voters. Winston passed for career-highs in yards (393) and touchdowns (5) against the Terrapins. Winston has 17 touchdown passes this season. Over the last ten years no other player has thrown for more touchdowns in their first five games.
Next Up: Marquee matchup against No. 3 Clemson (10/19)
The total has gone over in Florida State’s last 5 games
The total has gone over in 4 of Clemson’s last 6 games at home vs. Florida State
Baylor Bears
2013 Record: Straight-Up 4-0, Against-the-Spread 4-0
You are about to read some video game stats; no wait, these are real. Baylor totaled 864 yards of offense, a Big 12 record. They scored 73 points, the most for any team in a Big 12 conference game. Ten different players scored for the Bears. Baylor managed all of these feats while turning the ball over four times, that has to be some kind of record too!
If you like betting the favorite and the over, Baylor is your team. Both have hit in every game this season. Speaking of the over, according to STATS Inc., Baylor is the only team to score at least 66 points in four consecutive games. The Bears have covered the over themselves in all but one game. The one game that they didn’t was against LA-Monroe and the total was 75, Baylor scored 70 points.
Next Up: 1st road test of the season in Manhattan, Kansas
Baylor is 1-4 straight-up in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone under in 4 of Kansas State’s last 6 games
2013 Record: Straight-Up 4-0, Against-the-Spread 2-2
Six weeks into the season which conference is the best? If you ask the pollsters, it seems pretty clear. In the AP poll the SEC has seven teams in the Top-25, the Pac-12 has the second most with four teams. In our Power Rankings, seven teams from the SEC are in the Top-17.
If you don’t appreciate gratuitous, self-congratulatory back slapping, skip this section. We have always felt that it is easier to simulate SEC games because the talent on the field is the closest to the NFL. This season, against-the-spread, in all home SEC games, we have went 23-14 (62.2% ATS). In 2012, using the same criteria, we went 56-33 (62.9% ATS). All-time, we are 131-90 (59.3% ATS). In other words, we freaking rock at predicting SEC games against-the-spread.

Three Down
Tennessee Volunteers
2013 Record: Straight-Up 3-3, Against-the-Spread 3-3
Coming into this game, Tennessee had dropped their last 18 games against ranked opponents. That streak looked prime to end against Georgia. Of course it took a plethora of Bulldog injuries to slow down Georgia. Nonetheless, in OT Tennessee had an opportunity and then this happened…
Alton "Pig" Howard dove toward the front right corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Replays showed he fumbled prior to crossing the goal line, resulting in a touchback. Georgia won on the next series. I was watching this game with a Volunteer fan; normally I enjoy watching the misery of other fans (as a Mizzou fan my team has junk punched me a number of times) but I actually felt bad about this one. The silver lining for Tennessee, they have three more chance to end their winless streak against ranked opponents with South Carolina, Alabama, and Missouri in consecutive weeks.
Next Up: A bye week before hosting South Carolina
South Carolina is 2-4-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Tennessee
Tennessee is 1-4 straight-up in its last 5 games when playing South Carolina
South Carolina Gamecocks
2013 Record: Straight-Up 4-1, Against-the-Spread 1-4
South Carolina is 4-1 with a respectable loss to Georgia. The Gamecocks are No. 14 in the AP poll and in contention for the SEC East. South Carolina also has a pretty favorable schedule getting No. 17 Florida and No. 3 Clemson at home with a week off to prepare for the Gators. Everything should be copasetic, except for one thing.
The Gamecocks Heisman hopeful, Jadeveon Clowney, is having a strange season. He only has 12 tackles and 2 sacks through five games. A variety of aliments have slowed him this season including the flu, bone spurs, and sore ribs that kept him out of last week’s game. Before the season began Clowney had the second best odds to win the Heisman at 6/1, now he is off the board.
Next Up: A 2-4 against-the-spread Arkansas
The total has gone over in 4 of South Carolina’s last 6 games
At home vs. South Carolina, the total has gone under in 4 of Arkansas’s last 6 games
Garbage Time Touchdowns
I’m going to take time to complain about garbage time touchdowns hosing us. Two stick out from last week because they were similar plays that ended in opposite fashion, yet both soured our bets.
In the UCLA/Utah game, we had the over at 61 points, by game time it had moved to 65.5. With 23 seconds left UCLA picks off Utah and starts to return the ball for a touchdown, instead of taking it to the house the defender for UCLA slides out of bounds. We pushed on that play but a touchdown there not only covers the total for us but for anyone who took the closing line. Moral victory, we were at least on the right side of the line movement.
In the Notre Dame/Arizona State game, we had the under at 62. With 1:12 left and 57 points on the board, Arizona State throws an INT out of their own end zone, the Notre Dame defender, unlike in the UCLA game, runs it in for a meaningless touchdown. It was meaningless unless you had the under.
There you go, the same play twice, breaking in different fashions yet both resulting in a blown cover for us.