3 Up 3 Down (College Week 8)

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 6-0, Against-the-Spread 5-1
It got ugly quick for Clemson, Florida State crushed the Tigers 51-14 in Death Valley. Seminole quarterback Jameis Winston now has the second best Heisman odds (11/10) after throwing for 444 yards and three touchdowns. Florida State’s impressive win has them 2nd in the BCS Standings.
Florida State will host No. 7 Miami in two weeks; according to the Las Vegas Hilton the Seminoles are 14 point favorites. We project FSU to win 60% of the time by an average score of 38-26. The last regular season road block to an undefeated season is a road trip to the Swamp. The LVH has Florida State as a 13.5 point favorite over Florida. By our simulations, FSU wins 61% of the time 25-17.
Next Up: Starting a kennel for the Wolfpack from NC State.
The total has gone over in Florida State’s last 5 games
The total has gone under in 5 of NC State’s last 6 games when playing FSU
Auburn Tigers
2013 Record: Straight-Up 6-1, Against-the-Spread 5-2
Given Alabama’s success in recent years and the shortcomings of Auburn (no wins in the SEC last season), it is easy to understand how the Tigers could go overlooked in the state of Alabama. But no more, after a 45-41 victory over Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, Auburn is back in the national spotlight.
Auburn’s success this season could mean that the winner of the Iron Bowl will represent the SEC West in the conference title game. The LVH has Alabama as a 13 point favorite on the road. Right now, Alabama wins 71% of the time 37-22.
Next Up: Florida Atlantic, a late season creampuff
The total has gone under in 4 of Auburn’s last 5 games at home
The total has gone under in 6 of Florida Atlantic’s last 8 games
Texas Tech Red Raiders
2013 Record: Straight-Up 7-0, Against-the-Spread 5-2
The Red Raiders have been outshined this season by high scoring conference mate Baylor but it is Texas Tech that has sole possession of first place in the Big 12. Last Saturday, the Red Raiders trailed by double digits late in the third quarter on the road at West Virginia before they rattled off 21 unanswered points to stay unbeaten.
Freshman Davis Webb made Red Raider history as he became the first quarterback to top 400 yards passing in his first two starts. Texas Tech will need another strong performance from Webb in the Red Raiders biggest test this season, a road trip to Norman.
Next Up: Road game against Oklahoma as a 7 point dog
Texas Tech is 4-8 against-the-spread in its last 12 games when playing Oklahoma
Oklahoma is 2-6 against-the-spread in its last 8 games at home

Three Down
Louisville Cardinals
2013 Record: Straight-Up 6-1, Against-the-Spread 3-4
Before the season began Louisville was our most likely team to go undefeated. A soft schedule seemed like an easy way to waltz into the BCS picture but it left the Cardinals vulnerable. Working with such a thin margin, one loss and Louisville’s title aspirations would be squashed. Louisville led 28-7 midway through the third quarter before being outscored 31-7 to close the game. It was just the second win for Central Florida over a ranked team in 27 attempts.
Louisville has dropped precipitously in the polls appearing at No. 20 in the BCS Standings. The Cardinals’ odds to win the BCS had decreased to 25/1 before their loss, now they are off the board. Teddy Bridgewater’s Heisman odds have suffered a similar fate.
Next Up: South Florida, a team one spot ahead of Louisville in the AAC standings
The total has gone over in 4 of South Florida’s last 5 games at home vs. U-of-L
South Florida is 4-1 straight-up in its last 5 games at home vs. U-of-L
Texas A&M Aggies
2013 Record: Straight-Up 5-2, Against-the-Spread 3-4
Offensively the Aggies are one of the best teams in the country. A&M is top 10 in both offensive rush and pass efficiency. Texas A&M can score with the best of them but their defense has been atrocious.
The Aggies have given up 30 or more points in five of their seven games. Texas A&M is 112th nationally (out of 123 teams) in rushing defense. They're giving up 226.6 yards on the ground per game. The defensive unit has cost A&M a chance at a national title but most likely an SEC title game appearance as well.
Next Up:  A frisky Vanderbilt that just knocked off No. 15 Georgia
Vandy is 7-15 in its last 22 games on the road
The total has gone over in 6 of Texas A&M’s last 7 games
SEC Quarterbacks
It is hard to win in the SEC; it is harder when you lose key players to injury, especially the quarterback. SEC quarterbacks may face the greatest risk of injury week in and week out given the draft prospects most teams carry on the defensive line. Nine of the 14 teams in the SEC this season have had injuries at the quarterback position. This last weekend Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel (shoulder), South Carolina’s Connor Shaw (knee) and Vanderbilt’s Austyn Carta-Samuels (leg) were all injured. Other notable injuries this season include Florida’s Jeff Driskel (leg) and Missouri’s James Franklin (shoulder)