3 Up 3 Down (College Week 8)

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

Florida State Seminoles

2014 Record: Straight-Up 7-0, Against-the-Spread 1-6

Florida State survived Notre Dame. The Noles rallied from a 17-10 halftime deficit and needed offensive pass interference in the closing minute to dodge defeat.

The defending champions have now won 23 straight. Little stands in the way of the Seminoles participating in the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame was the toughest remaining opponent on the Noles schedule.

Though the Irish ranked No. 5 in the polls, they were only 20th in our Power Rankings. None of the teams on FSU's remaining schedule rank inside our top 25.

Next Up: Louisville

Trends
The total has gone over in 7 of FSU's last 8 games on the road.
Louisville is 3-6 against-the-spread at home in its last nine games.

Alabama Crimson Tide

2014 Record: Straight-Up 6-1, Against-the-Spread 2-5

Alabama made a case as the best one-loss team in the country with a 59-0 thrashing of Texas A&M. Bama led 45-0 at halftime and was 99 percent likely to win for the entire second half.

Alabama set a school record for points in a quarter with 35 in the second. It was the largest margin of victory for Alabama since 1991. The lopsided outcome was just four points shy of the largest margin of victory over a top 25 team.

The Crimson Tide's defense gets a lot of credit for shutting out A&M; it was the first time the Aggies had been held scoreless since 2003. This is the first time in Kevin Sumlin's head coaching career that his team put up a goose egg.

Next Up: Tennessee

Trends
The total has gone under in 5 of Alabama's last 7 games on the road in Tennessee.
Tennessee hasn't covered in five straight games at home vs. Alabama.

Kansas State Wildcats

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

Kansas State has now won two straight games in Norman. The Wildcats joined Colorado as the only teams to beat Oklahoma two times in three years (ESPN Stats and Info).

Give all the credit to Kansas State for going on the road and beating a ranked opponent but the Sooners made it easier than it should have been.

Oklahoma threw a pick six, had a turnover in its own end zone, and Michael Hunnicutt, the team's all-time leading scorer, missed two short field goals and an extra point to tie the game.

Kansas State sits atop the Big 12 standings. The Wildcats are looking for the program's first outright conference championship since 2003, as they were co-champions with Oklahoma in 2012.

Next Up: Texas

Trends
Texas is just 1-9 against-the-spread in its last ten games against Kansas State.
The total has gone over in 4 of KState's last 6 games when playing Texas.

Three Down



Baylor Bears

2014 Record: Straight-Up 6-1, Against-the-Spread 3-3-1

A week after taking over the No. 1 spot in our Power Rankings, Baylor got sloppy on the road and lost 41-27 in Morgantown to West Virginia.

The Bears were their own worst enemy. Baylor's 18 penalties were one shy of the school record, but the 185 penalty yards did break the old mark of 157 yards set in 1976.

Before the loss to the Mountaineers, the Bears were averaging a nation's best 622.5 yards per game. West Virginia held Baylor to 318 yards of offense, 304.5 yards below the team's season average.

Next Up: Kansas

Trends
The total has gone under in Kansas' last five games.
Baylor has only lost once in its last 16 games at home.

Florida Gators

2014 Record: Straight-Up 3-3, Against-the-Spread 2-4

“Fire Muschamp”, the crowd chanted after the program's worst home loss to an unranked opponent since 1967 (lost 37-6 to LSU). If you read the box score wrong you might think the Gators had won. Florida outgained Missouri in nearly every statistical category, except one.

Turnovers. The Gators gave the ball away six times leading to 24 points. The loss was a true team effort for Florida. Missouri scored on a kickoff return, a punt return, a fumble return and an interception return.

Without narrow victories over Kentucky and Tennessee, the Gators could be winless in conference play. Florida has a bye week before hosting Georgia.

Next Up: Georgia (neutral field)

Trends
Florida is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last five games.
The total has gone over in five of Florida's last six games.


Marshall Thundering Herd

2014 Record: Straight-Up 7-0, Against-the-Spread 6-1

Can a team from a non-Power 5 conference crash the College Football Playoff? If we use recent history as a guide it is doubtful. Boise State twice went undefeated (2006, 2009) and never finished better than sixth in the final BCS standings.

Marshall is undefeated and is winning its games on average by more than four touchdowns. The Herd even have an impressive storyline as quarterback Rakeem Cato has set an FBS record by throwing a touchdown pass in 39 straight games.

Marshall should finish the season undefeated but there are few games for the Herd to hang their hat on. Marshall has played the fourth easiest schedule to date in the country.

Next Up: Florida Atlantic

Trends
The total has gone over in 4 of Florida Atlantic's last 5 games.
The total has gone over in 11 of Marshall's last 15 games.