Upset Watch: Bowl Week 4

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 4

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on January 3rd, 2012 at 9:16 AM

And, at last, we are at the end. Since Week One, August 30th, I’ve been covering college football games. 18 weeks later, we arrive at the final set of college football games for the 2011-2012 season. What better way to end the season than to cover the remaining BCS bowl games, including the BCS National Championship?

 

For those of you keeping track, Big 12 teams are 6-1 (Missouri, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State won; Iowa State lost). Conference USA teams are 3-1 (Marshall, Southern Miss, and Houston won; Tulsa lost). MAC teams are 3-1 in bowl games (Temple, Ohio University, and Toledo won; Western Michigan lost). SEC teams are 4-2 (Mississippi State, Auburn, South Carolina, and Florida won; Vanderbilt and Georgia lost). Big East teams are 2-1 (Rutgers and Cincinnati won; Louisville lost). Independent teams are 1-1 (BYU won; Notre Dame lost). Sun Belt teams are 1-1 (Louisiana-Lafayette won, Florida International lost). Mountain West teams are 2-3 (TCU and Boise State won; Wyoming, San Diego State, and Air Force lost). Big Ten teams are 3-6 (Purdue, Illinois, and Michigan State won; Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin lost). ACC teams are 2-4 (North Carolina State and Florida State won; North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Virginia lost). PAC-12 teams are 2-5 (Utah and Oregon won; Arizona State, California, Washington, UCLA, and Stanford lost). WAC teams are 0-3 (Utah State, Louisiana Tech, and Nevada).

 

During the regular season, the Upset Watch reviewed picks from the previous week, noted the bad picks, and pointed out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it was only in Vegas. It also looked at one or two sure-fire favorites (two when Michigan wasn’t playing).

 

Because this is the bowl season (and our last hurrah for the 2011-2012 regular season), we’ll cover each of the bowl games, splitting them up by week.

 

Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

Utah (8-5) +3.5 Georgia Tech (8-5). Result: Utah 30 Georgia Tech 27 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Utah would cover].

 

Illinois (7-6) -1.5 UCLA (6-8). Result: Illinois 20 UCLA 14 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Illinois would cover].

 

South Carolina (11-2) +1.0 Nebraska (9-4). Result: South Carolina 30 Nebraska 13 [Props to Lord Maker, Trebor, and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting South Carolina would cover].

 

Oregon (12-2) -5.5 Wisconsin (11-3). Result: Oregon 45 Wisconsin 38 [Props to Lord Maker for correctly predicting Oregon would cover].

 

Stanford (11-2) +4.0 Oklahoma State (12-1).Result: Oklahoma State 41 Stanford 38 [Props to Trebor for correctly predicting Stanford would cover].

 

Push

Northwestern (6-7) +11.0 Texas A&M (7-6). Result: Texas A&M 33 Northwestern 22.

 

Losses

Vanderbilt (6-7) -1.5 Cincinnati (10-3). Result: Cincinnati 31 Vanderbilt 24 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Cincinnati would cover].

 

Virginia (8-5) +3.0 Auburn (8-5). Result: Auburn 43 Virginia 24 [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Auburn would cover].

 

Penn State (9-4) +9.0 Houston (13-1). Result: Houston 30 Penn State 14 [Props to Lord Maker, Trebor, and BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting Houston would cover].

 

Georgia (10-4) -2.0 Michigan State (11-3). Result: Michigan State 33 Georgia 30 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Michigan State would cover].

 

Ohio (6-7) +2.0 Florida (7-6). Result: Florida 24 Ohio 17 [Props to BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting Florida would cover].

 

This Week

The final week of the college football season kicks off Tuesday night when (#13) Michigan meets (#11) Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl (8:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3); this marks only the second meeting between the Big Ten and ACC in the BCS (2005-2006 season featured Penn State and Florida State in the Orange Bowl, with Penn State winning 26-23 in 3OT). On Wednesday night, (#15) Clemson faces off against (#23) West Virginia in the Orange Bowl (8:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3). No games on Thursday night, so we’ll skip to Friday night, for the Cotton Bowl Classic, where (#8) Kansas State and (#6) Arkansas meet at Jerryworld (8:00 PM EST/FOX). Finally, next Monday the 2011-2012 NCAA Champion will be crowned, where conference rivals (#2) Alabama and (#1) LSU meet in New Orleans (8:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3).

 

Upset Watch

Clemson (10-3) -3.0 West Virginia (9-3) (@ Miami Gardens, FL). The Mountaineers are 17th in total offense (100th rushing, 7th passing); Clemson is 29th (61st rushing, 21st passing). West Virginia is 27th in total defense (51st rushing, 32nd passing); the Tigers are 59th (80th rushing, 34th passing). Clemson leads the series 1-0, with a 27-7 victory over West Virginia in 1989 (Gator Bowl). Clemson is 16-17 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-4 ATS as a favorite in last 5). West Virginia is 13-17 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen is 9-3 (6-6 ATS, 2-1 ATS underdog); Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney is 29-18 (21-18 ATS, 14-12 ATS favorite). Clemson is 6-4 ATS as a favorite this year (8-5 overall ATS); West Virginia is 2-1 ATS as an underdog this year (6-6 overall ATS). West Virginia’s last bowl game was the 2010 Champ Sports Bowl, a 23-7 loss to North Carolina State; Clemson’s last bowl game was the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl, a 31-26 loss to USF. Take Clemson to cover the points.

 

Arkansas (10-2) -7.5 Kansas State (10-2) (@ Arlington, TX). The Wildcats are 96th in total offense (29th rushing, 109th passing); Arkansas is 27th (81st rushing, 13th passing). Kansas State is 74th in total defense (39th rushing, 104th passing); the Razorbacks are 51st (79th rushing, 27th passing). Kansas State leads the series 3-1, with a 16-7 victory over Arkansas in 1926, 3-0 in 1911, and 5-0 in 1910. Arkansas defeated Kansas State 28-7 in 1967. Arkansas is 12-23-3 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-2 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Kansas State is 6-8 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 0-5 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder is 59-40 (52-40 ATS, 22-10 ATS underdog) since 2001; Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino is 74-26 (59-38-1 ATS, 41-22-1 ATS favorite) since 2001. Arkansas is 6-3 ATS as a favorite this year (7-5 overall ATS); Kansas State is 7-1 ATS as an underdog this year (9-3 overall ATS). Kansas State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl, a 36-34 loss to Syracuse; Arkansas’s last bowl game was the 2010 Sugar Bowl, a 31-26 loss to Ohio. Take Arkansas to cover the points.

 

Southern Methodist (7-5) +7.0 Pittsburgh (6-6) (@ Birmingham, AL). The Mustangs are 53rd in total offense (98th rushing, 22nd passing); Pittsburgh is 84th (68th rushing, 76th passing). Southern Methodist is 37th in total defense (31st rushing, 60th passing); the Panthers are 41st (24th rushing, 70th passing). The series is tied at 2-2-1, with SMU defeating Pittsburgh 7-3 in 1983 (Cotton Bowl) and 33-14 in 1948. Pittsburgh defeated SMU 20-7 in 1942 and 34-7 in 1938. The teams tied 7-7 in 1940. SMU is 5-7-1 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 3-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Pittsburgh is 12-15 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 2-0 ATS as an favorite in last 5). Pittsburgh Coach Keith Patterson is 0-0 (0-0-0 ATS, 0-0-0 ATS favorite); SMU Coach June Jones is 87-56 (65-68-2 ATS, 29-26-1 ATS underdog) since 2001. SMU is 1-4 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS); Pittsburgh is 2-4 ATS as a favorite this year (7-5 overall ATS). Pittsburgh’s last bowl game was the 2010 Compass Bowl, in Birmingham, a 27-10 win over Kentucky; SMU’s last bowl game was the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl, a 16-14 loss to Army. Take SMU to cover the points, and win.

 

Arkansas State (10-2) -1.0 Northern Illinois (10-3) (@ Mobile, AL). The Red Wolves are 25th in total offense (55th rushing, 17th passing); Northern Illinois is 10th (9th rushing, 59th passing). Arkansas State is 20th in total defense (15th rushing, 54th passing); the Huskies are 87th (83rd rushing, 75th passing). Northern Illinois leads the series 6-1, with a 31-30 victory over Arkansas State in 1996, 38-16 in 1994, 23-7 in 1993, 31-0 in 1992, 22-21 in 1991, and 35-0 in 1990. Arkansas State defeated Northern Illinois 28-21 in 1995. Arkansas State is 0-1 all time in bowl games (1-0 ATS; 0-0 ATS as a favorite). Northern Illinois is 3-3 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 1-3 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Northern Illinois Coach Dave Doeren is 10-3 (5-8 ATS, 1-1 ATS underdog); Arkansas State Coach David Gunn is 0-0 (0-0 ATS, 0-0 ATS favorite). Arkansas State is 8-2 ATS as a favorite this year (10-2 overall ATS); Northern Illinois is 1-1 ATS as an underdog this year (5-8 overall ATS). Arkansas State’s last bowl game was the 2005 New Orleans Bowl, a 31-19 loss to Southern Miss; Northern Illinois’s last bowl game was the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl, a 40-17 win over Fresno State. Take Arkansas State to cover the points.

 

Alabama (11-1) +1.0 LSU (13-0) (@ New Orleans, LA). The Crimson Tide are 30th in total offense (15th rushing, 72nd passing); LSU is 75th (17th rushing, 105th passing). Alabama is 1st in total defense (1st rushing, 1st passing); the Tigers are 2nd (3rd rushing, 8th passing). Alabama leads the series 45-25-5. In the five recent meetings, LSU leads 3-2, with a 9-6 victory over Alabama earlier this year, 24-21 in 2010, and 41-34 in 2007. Alabama defeated LSU 24-15 in 2009 and 27-21 in 2008. LSU is 22-19-1 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Alabama is 33-22-3 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Alabama Coach Nick Saban is 94-24 (66-46-2 ATS, 7-5-2 ATS underdog) since 2001; LSU Coach Les Miles is 103-38 (65-66-5 ATS, 39-39-2 ATS favorite). LSU is 8-3 ATS as a favorite this year (10-3 overall ATS); Alabama is 0-0 ATS as an underdog this year (8-4 overall ATS). Alabama’s last bowl game was the 2010 Capital One Bowl, a 49-7 win over Michigan State; LSU’s last bowl game was the 2010 Cotton Bowl, a 41-24 win over Texas A&M. Take Alabama to cover the points, and win.

 

Gameday Prediction

The Wolverines are 34th in total offense (12th rushing, 90th passing); Virginia Tech is 38th (31st rushing, 66th passing). Michigan is 18th in total defense (35th rushing, 16th passing); the Hokies are 12th (17th rushing, 41st passing). These teams have never met before. Michigan is 19-21 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Virginia Tech is 9-15 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer is 110-36 (78-61-2 ATS, 11-4-0 ATS underdog) since 2001; Michigan Coach Brady Hoke is 57-52 (58-43-3 ATS, 24-13 ATS favorite). Michigan is 6-3 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4 overall ATS); Virginia Tech is 0-0 ATS as an underdog this year (4-9 overall ATS). Michigan’s last bowl game was the 2010 Gator Bowl, a 52-14 loss to Mississippi State; Virginia Tech’s last bowl game was the 2010 Orange Bowl, a 40-12 loss to Stanford.

 

Michigan is 2-1 against teams fielding top 25 defenses, defeating Illinois and Ohio, but losing to Michigan State; the Wolverines are 3-0 against top 40 offenses (Northwestern, Notre Dame, and San Diego State). Virginia Tech’s two losses came at the hands of Clemson, allowing an average of 390 yards (222 passing yards – 56.9% of offense), while being outscored 61-13. The Hokies are 10-1 when they outgain their opponents on the ground (1-1 when outgained on the ground). Virginia Tech is led by QB Logan Thomas (2799 passing yards, 59.2% completion, and 29 total TDs), RB David Wilson (1627 rushing yards, 6.1/carry, and 9 rushing TDs), and WRs Danny Coale (787 receiving yards, 15.1/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) and Jarrett Boykin (731 receiving yards, 12.8/catch, and 5 receiving TDs). Virginia Tech is 2-1 when Wilson is held under 100 yards rushing, being outscored 65-60 (average of 22-20); the Hokies are 9-1 when Wilson meets or exceeds the 100-yard plateau, outscoring opponents 311-158 (average of 31-16). Take Michigan to cover the points.

 

Michigan 24 Virginia Tech 16

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 3.5

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 3.5

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on December 31st, 2011 at 10:10 AM

So far only two Big Ten teams have played in bowl games; between now and the next Upset Watch, on Tuesday, January 3rd, seven Big Ten teams will have played in bowl games, leaving only Michigan left to play.

 

For those of you keeping track, SEC teams are 1-0 (Mississippi State). Big 12 teams are 4-1 (Missouri, Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma won; Iowa State lost). MAC teams are 3-1 in bowl games (Temple, Ohio University, and Toledo won; Western Michigan lost). Conference USA teams are 2-1 (Marshall and Southern Miss won; Tulsa lost). ACC teams are 2-2 (North Carolina and Wake Forest lost; North Carolina State and Florida State won). Independent teams are 1-1 (Notre Dame lost; BYU won). Big East teams are 1-1 (Louisville lost; Rutgers won). Big Ten teams are 1-1 (Purdue won; Iowa lost). Sun Belt teams are 1-1 (Louisiana-Lafayette won, Florida International lost). Mountain West teams are 2-3 (Wyoming, San Diego State, and Air Force lost; TCU and Boise State won). PAC-12 teams are 0-3 (Arizona State, California, and Washington). WAC teams are 0-3 (Utah State, Louisiana Tech, and Nevada).

 

During the regular season, the Upset Watch reviewed picks from the previous week, noted the bad picks, and pointed out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it was only in Vegas. It also looked at one or two sure-fire favorites (two when Michigan wasn’t playing).

 

Because this is the bowl season (and our last hurrah for the 2011-2012 regular season), we’ll cover each of the bowl games, splitting them up by week.

 

As a reminder, the Michigan game will be covered on the January 3rd posting.

 

Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

Texas (8-5) -3.0 California (7-6). Result: Texas 21 California 10 [Props to wolver767 and Lord Maker for correctly predicting Texas would cover].

 

Florida State (9-4) -2.5 Notre Dame (8-5). Result: Florida State 18 Notre Dame 14 [Props to One Inch Woody and Lord Maker for correctly predicting Florida State would cover].

 

Baylor (10-3) -9.0 Washington (7-6). Result: Baylor 67 Washington 56 [Props to wolver767, One Inch Woody, Lord Maker, and Trebor for correctly predicting Baylor would cover].

 

Brigham Young (10-3) -1.0 Tulsa (8-5). Result: Brigham Young 24 Tulsa 21 [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Brigham Young would cover].

 

Push

Toledo (9-4) -1.0 Air Force (7-6). Result: Toledo 42 Air Force 41.

 

Losses

Louisville (7-6) +3.0 North Carolina State (8-5). Result: North Carolina State 31 Louisville 24 [Props to One Inch Woody and jamiemac for correctly predicting North Carolina State would cover].

 

Iowa State (6-7) +2.5 Rutgers (9-4). Result: Rutgers 27 Iowa State 13 [Props to Trebor for correctly predicting Rutgers would cover].

 

Mississippi State (7-6) -6.5 Wake Forest (6-7). Result: Mississippi State 23 Wake Forest 17 Mississippi State (6-6) [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Wake Forest would cover].

 

Iowa (7-5) +16.0 Oklahoma (9-3). Result: Oklahoma 31 Iowa 14 [Props to Lord Maker for correctly predicting Oklahoma would cover].

 

This Week

Six bowl games that take place between now and the next watch will have a top 25 team playing in them. An ACC/SEC matchup ends the games for 2011, with Virginia and (#25) Auburn meeting in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (7:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3). The TicketCity Bowl kicks off the January bowl games, with at large choice (#19) Houston meeting (#22) Penn State (12:00 PM EST/ESPNU/ESPN3). A pair of early afternoon games involve Big Ten/SEC matchups; (#17) Michigan State looks to get Coach Mark Dantonio’s first bowl win as head coach; Michigan State’s last bowl win was in 2001, under then Coach Bobby Williams. The Spartans will meet (#16) Georgia in the Outback Bowl (1:00 PM EST/ABC). (#20) Nebraska will play in their first bowl game as a Big Ten member, meeting (#9) South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl (1:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3). In the Granddaddy of them all, (#10) Wisconsin will make their second straight trip to Pasadena, facing (#5) Oregon, who will be in their second straight BCS bowl game (5:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3). Wrapping up the January 2nd bowl games, once considered national title contenders, (#3) Oklahoma State will meet (#4) Stanford in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (8:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3).

 

Upset Watch

Northwestern (6-6) +11.0 Texas A&M (6-6) (@ Houston, TX). The Aggies are 7th in total offense (21st rushing, 18th passing); Northwestern is 31st (36th rushing, 35th passing). Texas A&M is 66th in total defense (13th rushing, 113th passing); the Wildcats are 80th (90th rushing, 58th passing). These teams have never met. Texas A&M is 13-19 all time in bowl games (0-5 SU in last 5; 0-5 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Northwestern is 1-8 all time in bowl games (0-5 SU in last 5; 3-1-1 ATS in last 5; 3-1-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald is 40-35 (31-40 ATS, 20-18 ATS underdog); Texas A&M Coach Tim DeRuyter is 0-0 (0-0 ATS, 0-0 ATS favorite). Texas A&M is 3-8 ATS as a favorite this year (3-9 overall ATS); Northwestern is 3-4 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS). Northwestern’s last bowl game was the 2010 TicketCity Bowl, a 45-38 loss to Texas Tech; Texas A&M’s last bowl game was the 2010 Cotton Bowl, a 41-24 loss to LSU. Take Northwestern to cover the points.

 

Utah (7-5) +3.5 Georgia Tech (8-4) (@ El Paso, TX). The Yellow Jackets are 17th in total offense (3rd rushing, 112th passing); Utah is 110th (82nd rushing, 99th passing). Georgia Tech is 45th in total defense (70th rushing, 30th passing); the Utes are 29th (7th rushing, 89th passing). These teams have never met. Georgia Tech is 22-17 all time in bowl games (0-5 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 0-3 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Utah is 12-4 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 2-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham is 64-25 (44-41-2 ATS, 12-10-0 ATS underdog); Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson is 79-47 (67-49-2 ATS, 28-28-1 ATS favorite). Georgia Tech is 4-3-1 ATS as a favorite this year (5-6-1 overall ATS); Utah is 3-3 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS). Georgia Tech’s last bowl game was the 2010 Independence Bowl, a 14-7 loss to Air Force; Utah’s last bowl game was the 2010 Las Vegas Bowl, a 26-3 loss to Boise State. Take Utah to cover the points.

 

Vanderbilt (6-6) -1.5 Cincinnati (9-3) (@ Memphis, TN). The Bearcats are 56th in total offense (37th rushing, 70th passing); Vanderbilt is 97th (47th rushing, 98th passing). Cincinnati is 46th in total defense (6th rushing, 105th passing); the Commodores are 19th (27th rushing, 33rd passing). Vanderbilt leads the series 4-3, with a 34-24 victory over Vanderbilt in 1994, 17-7 in 1993, 13-9 in 1977, and 32-0 in 1934. Cincinnati defeated Vanderbilt 33-7 in 1976, 6-0 in 1899, and 10-0 in 1898. Vanderbilt is 2-1-1 all time in bowl games (1-1 ATS; 0-1 ATS as a favorite). Cincinnati is 5-6 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Cincinnati Coach Butch Jones is 40-24 (31-28-3 ATS, 9-12 ATS underdog); Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin is 6-6 (9-3 ATS, 4-0 ATS favorite). Vanderbilt is 4-0 ATS as a favorite this year (9-3 overall ATS); Cincinnati is 1-2 ATS as an underdog this year (6-5-1 overall ATS). Vanderbilt’s last bowl game was the 2008 Music City Bowl, in Memphis, a 16-14 win over Boston College; Cincinnati’s last bowl game was the 2009 Sugar Bowl, a 51-24 loss to Florida. Take Vanderbilt to cover the points.

 

Illinois (6-6) -1.5 UCLA (6-7) (@ San Francisco, CA). The Fighting Illini are 86th in total offense (42nd rushing, 91st passing); UCLA is 62nd (30th rushing, 81st passing). Illinois is 7th in total defense (42nd rushing, 4th passing); the Bruins are 91st (96th rushing, 68th passing). UCLA leads the series 6-5, with a 35-17 victory over Illinois in 2004, 6-3 in 2003, 6-3 in 1991 (Sun Bowl), 45-9 in 1984 (Rose Bowl), 18-14 in 1958, and 16-6 in 1957. Illinois defeated UCLA 26-7 in 1964, 18-12 in 1963, 27-13 in 1951, 14-6 in 1950, and 45-14 in 1947 (Rose Bowl). Illinois is 7-9 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 1-0 ATS as a favorite in last 5). UCLA is 14-15-1 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 1-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). UCLA Coach Mike Johnson is 0-0 (0-0-0 ATS, 0-0-0 ATS underdog); Illinois Coach Vic Koenning is 4-19 (10-10-1 ATS, 0-0 ATS favorite) since 2001. Illinois is 3-7 ATS as a favorite this year (5-7 overall ATS); UCLA is 4-6 ATS as an underdog this year (5-8 overall ATS). Illinois’s last bowl game was the 2010 Texas Bowl, a 38-14 win over Baylor; UCLA’s last bowl game was the 2009 EagleBank Bowl, a 30-21 win over Temple. Take Illinois to cover the points.

 

Virginia (8-4) +3.0 Auburn (7-5) (@ Atlanta, GA). The Cavaliers are 51st in total offense (53rd rushing, 62nd passing); Auburn is 104th (38th rushing, 106th passing). Virginia is 30th in total defense (34th rushing, 50th passing); the Tigers are 78th (99th rushing, 45th passing). The series is tied 1-1, with Virginia defeating Auburn 19-0 in 1998 and Auburn defeating Virginia 28-17 in 1997. Auburn is 21-13-2 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 2-2 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Virginia is 7-10 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Virginia Coach Mike London is 12-12 (10-12-2 ATS, 6-7-0 ATS underdog); Auburn Coach Gene Chizik is 34-29 (31-29 ATS, 12-13 ATS favorite). Auburn is 1-3 ATS as a favorite this year (4-8 overall ATS); Virginia is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this year (5-6-1 overall ATS). Auburn’s last bowl game was the 2010 BCS National Championship, a 22-19 win over Oregon; Virginia’s last bowl game was the 2007 Gator Bowl, a 31-28 loss to Texas Tech. Take Virginia to cover the points, and win.

 

Penn State (9-3) +9.0 Houston (12-1) (@ Dallas, TX). The Cougars are 1st in total offense (62nd rushing, 1st passing); Penn State is 94th (54th rushing, 96th passing). Houston is 64th in total defense (77th rushing, 38th passing); the Nittany Lions are 10th (48th rushing, 5th passing). Penn State leads the series 2-0, with a 31-14 victory over Houston in 1977 and 24-7 in 1964. Penn State is 27-14-2 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 2-2 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Houston is 8-11-1 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Penn State Coach Tom Bradley is 1-2 (1-1-1 ATS, 1-1-1 ATS underdog); Houston Coach Tony Levine is 0-0 (0-0 ATS, 0-0 ATS favorite). Houston is 10-3 ATS as a favorite this year (10-3 overall ATS); Penn State is 1-2-1 ATS as an underdog this year (3-8-1 overall ATS). Penn State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Outback Bowl, a 37-24 loss to Florida; Houston’s last bowl game was the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl, a 47-20 loss to Air Force. Take Penn State to cover the points.

 

Georgia (10-3) -2.0 Michigan State (10-3) (@ Tampa, FL). The Spartans are 60th in total offense (76th rushing, 44th passing); Georgia is 39th (41st rushing, 49th passing). Michigan State is 5th in total defense (12th rushing, 11th passing); the Bulldogs are 3rd (9th rushing, 7th passing). Georgia leads the series 2-0, with a 24-12 victory over Michigan State in 2009 (Capital One Bowl) and 34-27 in 1989 (Gator Bowl). Georgia is 26-17-3 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Michigan State is 7-14 all time in bowl games (0-5 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-4 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio is 61-39 (49-44-4 ATS, 17-9-1 ATS underdog); Georgia Coach Mark Richt is 106-37 (69-64-4 ATS, 47-43-2 ATS favorite). Georgia is 8-2 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4-1 overall ATS); Michigan State is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this year (9-4 overall ATS). Michigan State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Capital One Bowl, a 49-7 loss to Alabama; Georgia’s last bowl game was the 2010 Liberty Bowl, a 10-6 loss to UCF. Take Georgia to cover the points.

 

South Carolina (10-2) +1.0 Nebraska (9-3) (@ Orlando, FL). The Cornhuskers are 59th in total offense (13th rushing, 103rd passing); South Carolina is 74th (26th rushing, 97th passing). Nebraska is 36th in total defense (66th rushing, 17th passing); the Gamecocks are 4th (45th rushing, 2nd passing). Nebraska leads the series 3-0, with a 30-21 victory over South Carolina in 1987, 27-24 in 1986, and 28-6 in 1964. South Carolina is 4-12 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Nebraska is 24-23 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini is 39-15 (27-25-1 ATS, 24-21-1 ATS favorite); South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier is 64-37 (52-42-3 ATS, 21-21-2 ATS underdog) since 2001. South Carolina is 0-1 ATS as an underdog this year (5-6-1 overall ATS); Nebraska is 4-5-1 ATS as a favorite this year (4-7-1 overall ATS). South Carolina’s last bowl game was the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 26-17 loss to Florida State; Nebraska’s last bowl game was the 2010 Holiday Bowl, a 19-7 loss to Washington. Take South Carolina to cover the points, and win.

 

Ohio (6-6) +2.0 Florida (6-6) (@ Jacksonville, FL). The Buckeyes are 107th in total offense (27th rushing, 116th passing); Florida is 102nd (75th rushing, 87th passing). Ohio is 24th in total defense (52nd rushing, 15th passing); the Gators are 9th (40th rushing, 9th passing). Florida leads the series 1-0, with a 41-14 victory over Ohio in 2007 (BCS National Championship). Florida is 19-19 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Ohio is 20-22 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 2-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Ohio Coach Luke Fickell is 6-6 (6-6 ATS, 4-1 ATS underdog); Florida Coach Will Muschamp is 6-6 (4-8 ATS, 4-3 ATS favorite). Florida is 4-3 ATS as a favorite this year (4-8 overall ATS); Ohio is 4-1 ATS as an underdog this year (6-6 overall ATS). Florida’s last bowl game was the 2010 Outback Bowl, a 37-24 win over Penn State; Ohio’s last bowl game was the 2010 Sugar Bowl, a 31-26 win over Arkansas. Take Ohio to cover the points.

 

Oregon (11-2) -5.5 Wisconsin (11-2) (@ Pasadena, CA). The Badgers are 15th in total offense (10th rushing, 63rd passing); Oregon is 6th (5th rushing, 68th passing). Wisconsin is 8th in total defense (47th rushing, 3rd passing); the Ducks are 60th (46th rushing, 82nd passing). Wisconsin leads the series 3-1 with a 27-23 victory over Oregon in 2000, 22-19 in 1978, and 22-10 in 1977. Oregon defeated Wisconsin 31-28 in 2001. Oregon is 9-15 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Wisconsin is 11-11 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 3-2 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema is 60-18 (39-34-1 ATS, 6-8 ATS underdog); Oregon Coach Chip Kelly is 33-6 (21-16-2 ATS, 18-13-2 ATS favorite). Oregon is 5-6-1 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6-1 overall ATS); Wisconsin is 0-0 ATS as an underdog this year (7-6 overall ATS). Oregon’s last bowl game was the 2010 BCS National Championship, a 22-19 loss to Auburn; Wisconsin’s last bowl game was the 2010 Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, a 21-19 loss to TCU. Take Oregon to cover the points.

 

Stanford (11-1) +4.0 Oklahoma State (11-1) (@ Glendale, AZ). The Cardinal are 11th in total offense (22nd rushing, 26th passing); Oklahoma State is 3rd (43rd rushing, 2nd passing). Stanford is 25th in total defense (5th rushing, 78th passing); the Cowboys are 107th (84th rushing, 102nd passing). These teams have never met. Oklahoma State is 13-8 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 3-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Stanford is 10-11-1 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Stanford Coach David Shaw is 11-1 (9-3 ATS, 0-0-0 ATS underdog); Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy is 58-30 (50-32-3 ATS, 33-14-1 ATS favorite). Oklahoma State is 8-3 ATS as a favorite this year (9-3 overall ATS); Stanford is 0-0 ATS as an underdog this year (9-3 overall ATS). Oklahoma State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Alamo Bowl, a 36-10 win over Arizona; Stanford’s last bowl game was the 2010 Orange Bowl, a 40-12 win over Virginia Tech. Take Stanford to cover the points.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 3

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 3

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on December 27th, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Only the SEC has yet to have had one team play in a bowl game; they’ll finally have one team play on Friday (Mississippi State). We round in to mid-bowl season form this weekend, with 15 games being played between Friday and Tuesday.

 

 

For those of you keeping track, Conference USA teams are 2-0 (Marshall and Southern Miss). Big 12 teams are 1-0 (Missouri). Big Ten teams are 1-0 (Purdue). MAC teams are 2-1 in bowl games (Temple and Ohio University won; Western Michigan lost). Mountain West teams are 2-2 (Wyoming and San Diego State lost; TCU and Boise State won). Sun Belt teams are 1-1 (Louisiana-Lafayette won, Florida International lost). ACC teams are 0-1 (North Carolina). PAC-12 teams are 0-1 (Arizona State). WAC teams are 0-3 (Utah State, Louisiana Tech, and Nevada).

 

During the regular season, the Upset Watch reviewed picks from the previous week, noted the bad picks, and pointed out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it was only in Vegas. It also looked at one or two sure-fire favorites (two when Michigan wasn’t playing).

 

Because this is the bowl season (and our last hurrah for the 2011-2012 regular season), we’ll cover each of the bowl games, splitting them up by week.

 

As a reminder, I’ll have more picks on Saturday, December 31st, before noon, covering the games through January 2nd. The Michigan game will be covered on the January 3rd posting.

 

Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

Marshall (7-6) +5.0 Florida International (8-5). Result: Marshall 20 Florida International 10.

 

Boise State (12-1) -13.5 Arizona State (6-7). Result: Boise State 56 Arizona State 24 [Props to Trebor and BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting Boise State would cover].

 

Southern Miss (12-2) -5.5 Nevada (7-6). Result: Southern Miss 24 Nevada 17 [Props to Trebor for correctly predicting Southern Miss would cover].

 

Missouri (8-5) -3.5 North Carolina (7-6) (@ Shreveport, LA). Result: Missouri 41 North Carolina 24 [Props to Trebor and BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting Missouri would cover].

 

Losses

TCU (11-2) -9.5 Louisiana Tech (8-5) (@ San Diego, CA). Result: TCU 31 Louisiana Tech 24 [Props to BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting Louisiana Tech would cover].

 

 

Western Michigan (7-6) +2.5 Purdue (7-6). Result: Purdue 37 Western Michigan 32.

 

This Week

Only three bowl games that take place between now and Friday will have a top 25 team playing in them. In a traditional PAC-12/Big 12 matchup, the Holiday Bowl will pair California and (#24) Texas (8:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3) on Wednesday night. On Thursday night, Heisman trophy winner QB Robert Griffin III leads (#12) Baylor against Washington in the Alamo Bowl (9:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3). A late Friday night game will pair Iowa against (#14) Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl (10:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3).

 

Upset Watch

Louisville (7-5) +3.0 North Carolina State (7-5) (@ Charlotte, NC). The Cardinals are 104th in total offense (94th rushing, 79th passing); North Carolina State is 93rd (107th rushing, 52nd passing). Louisville is 23rd in total defense (10th rushing, 61st passing); the Wolfpack are 39th (41st rushing, 55th passing). Louisville leads the series 3-0, with a 29-10 victory over North Carolina State in 2007, 35-14 in 1994, and 26-2 in 1951. North Carolina State is 13-11-1 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-0-1 ATS in last 5; 3-0 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Louisville is 7-7-1 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 0-2 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Louisville Coach Charlie Strong is 14-12 (15-11 ATS, 8-4 ATS underdog); North Carolina State Coach Tom O’Brien is 85-52 (68-53-3 ATS, 30-31-2 ATS favorite) since 2001. North Carolina State is 2-4 ATS as a favorite this year (5-6-1 overall ATS); Louisville is 6-0 ATS as an underdog this year (8-4 overall ATS). Louisville’s last bowl game was the 2010 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, a 31-28 win over Southern Miss; North Carolina State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl, a 23-7 win over West Virginia. Take Louisville to cover the points.

 

Toledo (8-4) -1.0 Air Force (7-5) (@ Washington, DC). The Rockets are 8th in total offense (14th rushing, 29th passing); Air Force is 19th (2nd rushing, 113th passing). Toledo is 76th in total defense (28th rushing, 109th passing); the Falcons are 70th (113th rushing, 6th passing). These teams have never met before. Toledo is 7-4 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 2-2 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Air Force is 10-10-1 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 2-2 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Air Force Coach Troy Calhoun is 34-18 (28-20-1 ATS, 10-7-1 ATS underdog); Toledo Coach Matt Campbell is 0-0 (0-0-0 ATS, 0-0-0 ATS favorite). Toledo is 5-3 ATS as a favorite this year (7-5 overall ATS); Air Force is 2-2 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS). Toledo’s last bowl game was the 2010 Little Caesars Bowl, a 34-32 loss to Florida International; Air Force’s last bowl game was the 2010 Independence Bowl, a 14-7 win over Georgia Tech. Take Toledo to cover the points.

 

Texas (7-5) -3.0 California (7-5) (@ San Diego, CA). The Golden Bears are 37th in total offense (48th rushing, 38th passing); Texas is 45th (19th rushing, 85th passing). California is 26th in total defense (37th rushing, 43rd passing); the Longhorns are 14th (11th rushing, 47th passing). Texas leads the series 5-0, with a 56-15 victory over California in 1970, 17-0 in 1969, 28-3 in 1961, and 33-0 in 1959. Texas is 25-22-2 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 1-2 ATS as a favorite in last 5). California is 10-9-1 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 0-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). California Coach Jeff Tedford is 79-47 (64-58-1 ATS, 16-16-1 ATS underdog); Texas Coach Mack Brown is 113-28 (70-67-3 ATS, 55-48-2 ATS favorite) since 2001. Texas is 5-3 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); California is 2-2 ATS as an underdog this year (7-5 overall ATS). Texas’s last bowl game was the 2009 BCS National Championship, a 37-21 loss to Alabama; California’s last bowl game was the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl, a 37-27 win over Utah. Take Texas to cover the points.

 

Florida State (8-4) -2.5 Notre Dame (8-4) (@ Orlando, FL). The Seminoles are 73rd in total offense (99th rushing, 34th passing); Notre Dame is 33rd (51st rushing, 33rd passing). Florida State is 6th in total defense (2nd rushing, 18th passing); the Irish are 34th (58th rushing, 34th passing). Florida State leads the series 4-2, with a 37-0 victory over Notre Dame in 2003, 31-26 in 1996 (Orange Bowl), 23-16 in 1994, and 19-13 in 1981; Notre Dame defeated Florida State 34-24 in 2002 and 31-24 in 1993. Florida State is 23-14-2 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 5-0 ATS in last 5; 1-0 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Notre Dame is 12-11-1 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 2-2 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly is 71-32 (52-41-4 ATS, 20-9-2 ATS underdog); Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher is 18-8 (14-12 ATS, 12-8 ATS favorite). Florida State is 6-4 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); Notre Dame is 0-1 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS). Florida State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 26-17 win over South Carolina; Notre Dame’s last bowl game was the 2010 Sun Bowl, a 33-17 win over Miami (FL). Take Florida State to cover the points.

 

Baylor (9-3) -9.0 Washington (7-5) (@ San Antonio, TX). The Huskies are 57th in total offense (67th rushing, 51st passing); Baylor is 2nd (18th rushing, 5th passing). Washington is 94th in total defense (54th rushing, 116th passing); the Bears are 114th (102nd rushing, 112th passing). Baylor leads the series 3-1, with a 17-14 victory over Washington in 1965, 13-7 in 1955, and 34-7 in 1954; Washington defeated Baylor 35-14 in 1964. Baylor is 8-9 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 1-2 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Washington is 15-14-1 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian is 19-18 (20-17-0 ATS, 11-12-0 ATS underdog); Baylor Coach Art Briles is 58-53 (54-52-1 ATS, 30-20-1 ATS favorite). Baylor is 6-2 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4 overall ATS); Washington is 3-3 ATS as an underdog this year (7-5 overall ATS). Baylor’s last bowl game was the 2010 Texas Bowl, a 38-14 win over Illinois; Washington’s last bowl game was the 2010 Holiday Bowl, a 19-7 win over Nebraska. Take Baylor to cover the points.

 

Brigham Young (9-3) -1.0 Tulsa (8-4) (@ Dallas, TX). The Cougars are 41st in total offense (52nd rushing, 46th passing); Tulsa is 24th (25th rushing, 41st passing). BYU is 17th in total defense (21st rushing, 29th passing); the Golden Hurricane are 90th (38th rushing, 118th passing). Brigham Young leads the series 6-1, with a 49-24 victory over Tulsa in 2006, 49-39 in 1997, 55-30 in 1996, 45-35 in 1995, 38-15 in 1984, and 25-7 in 1971. Tulsa defeated Brigham Young 55-47 in 2007. Brigham Young is 11-17-1 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 3-1 ATS in last 5; 2-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Tulsa is 8-9 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 5-1 ATS in last 5; 2-1 ATS underdog in last 5). Brigham Young Coach Bronco Mendenhall is 65-24 (48-37-1 ATS, 33-26-0 ATS favorite); Tulsa Coach Bill Blankenship is 8-4 (7-5 ATS, 2-3 ATS underdog). Brigham Young is 5-4 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4 overall ATS); Tulsa is 2-3 ATS as an underdog this year (7-5 overall ATS). Tulsa’s last bowl game was the 2010 Hawai’i Bowl, a 62-35 victory over Hawai’i; Brigham Young’s last bowl game was the 2010 New Mexico Bowl, a 52-24 win over UTEP. Take Brigham Young to cover the points.

 

Iowa State (6-6) +2.5 Rutgers (8-4) (@ Bronx, NY). The Scarlet Knights are 100th in total offense (115th rushing, 46th passing); Iowa State is 55th (35th rushing, 75th passing). Rutgers is 13th in total defense (57th rushing, 10th passing); the Cyclones are 99th (100th rushing, 72nd passing). These teams have never met. Rutgers is 4-2 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 4-0-1 ATS in last 5; 3-0-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Iowa State is 3-7 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-1-1 ATS in last 5; 3-1-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Iowa State Coach Paul Rhodes is 18-19 (20-16 ATS, 13-10-0 ATS underdog); Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano is 67-67 (68-57-1 ATS, 23-26 ATS favorite). Rutgers is 4-2 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4 overall ATS); Iowa State is 7-3 ATS as an underdog this year (7-5 overall ATS). Rutgers’s last bowl game was the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl, a 45-24 win over UCF; Iowa State’s last bowl game was the 2009 Insight Bowl, a 14-13 win over Minnesota. Take Iowa State to cover the points.

 

Mississippi State (6-6) -6.5 Wake Forest (6-6) (@ Nashville, TN). The Bulldogs are 87th in total offense (45th rushing, 92nd passing); Wake Forest is 76th (96th rushing, 36th passing). Mississippi State is 43rd in total defense (65th rushing, 23rd passing); the Demon Deacons are 75th (70th rushing, 71st passing). These teams have never met. Mississippi State is 8-6 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 1-0 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Wake Forest is 6-3 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 2-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe is 68-66 (63-63-4 ATS, 39-26-3 ATS underdog); Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen is 20-17 (19-17 ATS, 10-6 ATS favorite). Mississippi State is 4-3 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); Wake Forest is 5-2-1 ATS as an underdog this year (7-4-1 overall ATS). Mississippi State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Gator Bowl, a 52-14 win over Michigan; Wake Forest’s last bowl game was the 2008 EagleBank Bowl, a 29-19 win over Navy. Take Mississippi State to cover the points.

 

Iowa (7-5) +16.0 Oklahoma (9-3) (@ Tempe, AZ). The Hawkeyes are 70th in total offense (77th rushing, 56th passing); Oklahoma is 4th (49th rushing, 4th passing). Iowa is 68th in total defense (64th rushing, 66th passing); the Sooners are 62nd (49th rushing, 83rd passing). Oklahoma leads the series 1-0, with a 21-6 victory over Iowa in 1979. Oklahoma is 26-17-1 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Iowa is 14-10-1 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 1-3 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz is 92-46 (75-56-3 ATS, 22-16-3 ATS underdog) since 2001; Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops is 118-29 (74-67-4 ATS, 55-50-3 ATS favorite) since 2001. Oklahoma is 6-5 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); Iowa is 1-3 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS). Oklahoma’s last bowl game was the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, a 48-20 win over Connecticut; Iowa’s last bowl game was the 2010 Insight Bowl, a 27-24 win over Missouri. Take Iowa to cover the points.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 2

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 2

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on December 20th, 2011 at 7:00 PM

 

Readers from last week will recall I was in Curacao. I visited Aruba, as well. If you ever get the chance to visit Aruba, do it. There are two casinos within walking distance of port, including one having a sportsbook, in Oranjestad (Seaport Casino).

 

For those of you keeping track, MAC teams are 2-0 in bowl games (Temple and Ohio University). Sun Belt teams are 1-0 (Louisiana-Lafayette). WAC teams are 0-1 (Utah State) and Mountain West teams are 0-2 (Wyoming and San Diego State). The Mountain West Conference should get off the schneid this week, with TCU and Boise State playing this week, two of their best teams.

 

During the regular season, the Upset Watch reviewed picks from the previous week, noted the bad picks, and pointed out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it was only in Vegas. It also looked at one or two sure-fire favorites (two when Michigan wasn’t playing).

 

Because this is the bowl season (and our last hurrah for the 2011-2012 regular season), we’ll cover each of the bowl games, splitting them up by week.

 

Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

Temple (9-4) -6.0 Wyoming (8-5). Result: Temple 37 Wyoming 15 [Props to Trebor, Maize and Blue in OH, sammylittle for correctly predicting Temple would cover].

 

Ohio University (10-4) +3.0 Utah State (7-6). Result: Ohio University 24 Utah State 23 [Props to Trebor, jamiemac, sammylittle for correctly predicting Ohio University would cover].

 

Losses

San Diego State (8-5) -4.5 Louisiana-Lafayette (8-5). Result: Louisiana-Lafayette 32 San Diego State 30.

 

This Week

Only three bowl games will take place between now and the next Upset Watch, which will be on December 20th (we’ll have six bowls on the next Watch). Temple earned an at-large selection to the New Mexico Bowl (since the PAC-12 didn’t fill their bowl allotment) to face the #4 selection from the Mountain West #4, Wyoming, on Saturday (2:00 PM EST/ESPN). The Idaho Bowl will pair Ohio University, the #3 selection from the MAC, against Utah State, the #2 selection from the WAC (5:30 PM EST/ESPN). The final game on Saturday is in New Orleans, with San Diego State, an at large selection since Conference USA did not fill their bowl allotment, against Louisiana-Lafayette, the top choice from the Sun Belt (9:00 PM EST/ESPN).

 

Upset Watch

Marshall (6-6) +5.0 Florida International (8-4) (@ St. Petersburg, FL). The Golden Panthers are 80th in total offense (70th rushing, 69th passing); Marshall is 101st (92nd rushing, 74th passing). Florida International is 33rd in total defense (23rd rushing, 64th passing); the Thundering Herd are 86th (61st rushing, 100th passing). These teams have not met before. Marshall is 6-2 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-1 ATS underdog in last 5). Florida International is 1-0 all time in bowl games (0-0 ATS favorite). Marshall Coach Doc Holliday is 11-13 (11-12-1 ATS, 7-7-1 ATS as an underdog); Florida International Coach Mario Cristobal is 24-37 (31-30 ATS, 11-12 ATS as a favorite). Florida International is 3-5 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); Marshall is 5-3 ATS as an underdog this year (7-5 overall ATS). Florida International’s last bowl game was the 2010 Little Caesars Bowl, a 34-32 win over Toledo; Marshall’s last bowl game was the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, a 21-17 win over Ohio University. Take Marshall with the points.

 

TCU (10-2) -9.5 Louisiana Tech (8-4) (@ San Diego, CA). The Horned Frogs are 28th in total offense (20th rushing, 60th passing); Louisiana Tech is 50th (70th rushing, 45th passing). TCU is 32nd in total defense (29th rushing, 56th passing); the Bulldogs are 55th (25th rushing, 96th passing). These teams have not met before. TCU is 12-14-1 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 2-3 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Louisiana Tech is 2-2-1 all time in bowl games (2-1 ATS; 1-1 ATS as an underdog). TCU Coach Gary Patterson is 108-30 (70-58-5 ATS, 51-42-3 ATS favorite); Louisiana Tech Coach Sonny Dykes is 5-7 (5-7 ATS, 3-4 ATS underdog). TCU is 4-6-1 ATS as a favorite this year (5-6-1 overall ATS); Louisiana Tech is 6-0 ATS as an underdog this year (10-2 overall ATS). Louisiana Tech’s last bowl game was the 2008 Independence Bowl, a 17-10 win over Northern Illinois; TCU’s last bowl game was the 2010 Rose Bowl, a 21-19 win over Wisconsin. Take TCU to cover the points.

 

Boise State (11-1) -13.5 Arizona State (6-6) (@ Las Vegas, NV). The Sun Devils are 26th in total offense (78th rushing, 11th passing); Boise State is 9th (40th rushing, 10th passing). Arizona State is 88th in total defense (59th rushing, 107th passing); the Broncos are 16th (22nd rushing, 25th passing). Arizona State leads the series 1-0, with a 56-7 victory over Boise State in 1996. Boise State is 7-4 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Arizona State is 12-11-1 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 2-2 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Arizona State Coach Dennis Erickson is 42-43 (41-37-2 ATS, 19-19-2 ATS underdog) since 2001; Boise State Coach Chris Petersen is 72-6 (43-31 ATS, 36-29 ATS favorite). Boise State is 4-8 ATS as a favorite this year (4-8 overall ATS); Arizona State is 3-7 ATS as an underdog this year (4-8 overall ATS). Arizona State’s last bowl game was the 2007 Holiday Bowl, a 52-34 loss to Texas; Boise State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Las Vegas Bowl, a 26-3 win over Utah. Take Boise State to cover the points.

 

Southern Miss (11-2) -5.5 Nevada (7-5) (@ Honolulu, HI). The Wolfpack are 5th in total offense (8th rushing, 30th passing); Southern Miss is 13th (23rd rushing, 73rd passing). Nevada is 52nd in total defense (56th rushing, 63rd passing); the Golden Eagles are 31st (20th rushing, 69th passing). Southern Miss leads the series 2-0, with a 55-28 victory over Nevada in 1998 and a 35-19 victory in 1997. Southern Miss is 9-10 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Nevada is 4-7 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Nevada Coach Chris Ault is 63-39 (61-48 ATS, 14-19 ATS underdog) since 2004; Southern Miss Coach Larry Fedora is 33-19 (27-23 ATS, 19-16 ATS favorite). Southern Miss 5-5 ATS as a favorite this year (8-5 overall ATS); Nevada is 2-1 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS). Southern Miss’s last bowl game was the 2010 Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl, a 31-28 loss to Louisville; Nevada’s last bowl game was the 2010 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, a 20-13 win over Boston College. Take Southern Miss to cover the points.

 

Missouri (7-5) -3.5 North Carolina (7-5) (@ Shreveport, LA). The Tigers are 12th in total offense (11th rushing, 57th passing); North Carolina is 52nd (72nd rushing, 43rd passing). Missouri is 61st in total defense (44th rushing, 91st passing); the Tar Heels are 40th (14th rushing, 90th passing). Missouri leads the series 2-0, with a 24-3 victory over North Carolina in 1976 and a 27-14 victory in 1973. Missouri is 12-16 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 1-3 ATS as a favorite in last 5). North Carolina is 13-15 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). North Carolina Coach Everett Withers is 7-5 (6-6 ATS, 1-2 ATS underdog); Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel is 84-54 (67-64-1 ATS, 35-35-1 ATS favorite) since 2001. Missouri is 2-4 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); North Carolina is 1-2 ATS as an underdog this year (6-6 overall ATS). Missouri’s last bowl game was the 2010 Insight Bowl, a 27-24 loss to Iowa; North Carolina’s last bowl game was the 2010 Music City Bowl, a 30-27 2OT win over Tennessee. Take Missouri to cover the points.

 

Western Michigan (7-5) +2.5 Purdue (6-6) (@ Detroit, MI). The Broncos are 23rd in total offense (87th rushing, 8th passing); Purdue is 79th (39th rushing, 82nd passing). Western Michigan is 100th in total defense (107th rushing, 53rd passing); the Boilermakers are 69th (91st rushing, 38th passing). Purdue leads the series 2-0, with a 28-24 victory over Western Michigan in 2002 and a 28-13 victory in 1993. Purdue is 8-7 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 0-3 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Western Michigan is 0-4 all time in bowl games (1-1 ATS; 1-1 ATS as an underdog). Western Michigan Coach Bill Cubit is 47-38 (38-40-3 ATS, 19-22-2 ATS underdog); Purdue Coach Danny Hope is 15-21 (15-19-2 ATS, 5-9-1 ATS favorite). Western Michigan is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this year (8-4 overall ATS); Purdue is 2-2-1 ATS as favorite this year (5-6-1 overall ATS). Western Michigan’s last bowl game was the 2008 Texas Bowl, a 38-14 loss to Rice; Purdue’s last bowl game was the 2007 Motor City Bowl, in Detroit, a 51-48 win over Central Michigan. Take Western Michigan to cover the points, and win.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 1

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 1

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on December 13th, 2011 at 6:24 PM

 

As I am writing this article, I am in sunny, warm Ohio (and no it’s not because my couch is on fire – I’m not in Columbus); by the time this article is posted, I’ll be in Curacao.

 

Between December 17, 2011 and January 9, 2012, there are 24 days, but 35 bowl games. Some say there are too many bowl games (like who/what is Gildan and why are they sponsoring the New Mexico Bowl when they are a Canadian company?). Some will be outdoor cold weather games, like the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Military Bowl, and New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Some cities will host more than one bowl game, like New Orleans (New Orleans Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and BCS Championship Game) and San Diego (Poinsettia and Holiday Bowls). Finally, some states seem to have a corner on the bowl market, like Florida (St. Petersburg , Champs Sports, Outback, Capital One, Gator, and Orange Bowls) – 6, Texas (Alamo, Armed Forces, Texas, Sun, TicketCity, Cotton Bowls) – 6, California (Poinsettia, Holiday, Fight Hunger, and Rose Bowls) – 4, and Louisiana (New Orleans Bowl, Independence, Sugar, and BCS Championship) – 4.

 

During the regular season, the Upset Watch reviewed picks from the previous week, noted the bad picks, and pointed out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it was only in Vegas. It also looked at one or two sure-fire favorites (two when Michigan wasn’t playing).

 

Because this is the bowl season (and our last hurrah for the 2011-2012 regular season), we’ll cover each of the bowl games, splitting them up by week.

 

Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

@ New Mexico State (4-9) +14.0 Utah State (7-5). Result: Utah State 24 New Mexico State 21.

 

Michigan State (10-3) +9.5 Wisconsin (11-2). Result: Wisconsin 42 Michigan State 39 [Props to jrt336 and Trebor for correctly predicting that Michigan State would cover].

 

West Virginia (9-3) -1.0 @ South Florida (5-7). Result: West Virginia 30 South Florida 27 [Props to jrt336 and BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting that West Virginia would cover].

 

Push

Syracuse (5-7) +13.0 @ Pittsburgh (6-6). Result: Pittsburgh 33 Syracuse 20.

 

Losses

Troy (3-9) +17.5 @ Arkansas State (10-2). Result: Arkansas State 45 Troy 14.

 

@ Florida Atlantic (1-11) +11.5 Louisiana-Monroe (4-8). Result: Louisiana-Monroe 26 Florida Atlantic 0.

 

Wyoming (8-4) -5.0 @ Colorado State (3-9). Result: Wyoming 22 Colorado State 19.

 

Poster Picks

Trebor added in LSU (-13.5, 42-10), besides his Michigan State pick.

 

Bosch picked up a win with Southern Miss (+12.5, 49-28).

 

BrewCityBlue added in 6(!) more, besides the West Virginia pick, with THE Ohio University (+3.5, 20-23), Oklahoma State (-3.5, 44-10), Baylor (-1.5, 48-24), Southern Miss, and LSU.

 

Number 7 was on the LSU pick, too.

 

This Week

Only three bowl games will take place between now and the next Upset Watch, which will be on December 20th (we’ll have six bowls on the next Watch). Temple earned an at-large selection to the New Mexico Bowl (since the PAC-12 didn’t fill their bowl allotment) to face the #4 selection from the Mountain West #4, Wyoming, on Saturday (2:00 PM EST/ESPN). The Idaho Bowl will pair Ohio University, the #3 selection from the MAC, against Utah State, the #2 selection from the WAC (5:30 PM EST/ESPN). The final game on Saturday is in New Orleans, with San Diego State, an at large selection since Conference USA did not fill their bowl allotment, against Louisiana-Lafayette, the top choice from the Sun Belt (9:00 PM EST/ESPN).

 

Upset Watch

Temple (8-4) -6.0 Wyoming (8-4) (@ Albuquerque, NM). The Owls are 67th in total offense (7th rushing, 117th passing); Wyoming is 48th (32nd rushing, 73rd passing). Temple is 15th in total defense (26th rushing, 19th passing); the Cowboys are 98th (115th rushing, 34th passing). These two teams last met in 1990, with Wyoming winning 28-23. Temple is 1-2 all time in bowl games (1-1 ATS; 1-1 ATS underdog). Wyoming is 6-6 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS; 3-2 ATS underdog). Wyoming Coach Dave Christensen is 18-19 (21-14-1 ATS, 16-8-1 ATS as an underdog); Temple Coach Steve Addazio is 8-4 (8-4 ATS, 6-4 ATS as a favorite). Temple is 6-4 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4 overall ATS); Wyoming is 5-2 ATS as an underdog this year (7-5 overall ATS). Temple’s last bowl game was the 2009 EagleBank Bowl, a 30-21 loss to UCLA; Wyoming’s last bowl game was the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, in Albuquerque, a 35-28 win over Fresno State. Take Temple to cover the points.

 

Ohio University (9-4) +3.0 Utah State (7-5) (@ Boise, ID).The Aggies are 20th in total offense (6th rushing, 95th passing); Ohio University is 21st (24th rushing, 39th passing). Utah State is 50th in total defense (32nd rushing, 76th passing); the Bobcats are 42nd (30th rushing, 67th passing). These two teams last met in 1994, with Utah State winning 5-0. Ohio University is 0-5 all time in bowl games (0-3 ATS; 0-2 ATS underdog). Utah State is 1-4 all time in bowl games (0-1 ATS; 0-1 ATS underdog). Ohio University Coach Frank Solich is 49-40 (46-38 ATS, 21-16-1 ATS as an underdog) at Ohio; Utah State Coach Gary Anderson is 15-21 (19-16 ATS, 5-11 ATS as a favorite). Utah State is 2-6 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); Ohio University is 2-1 ATS as an underdog this year (6-7 overall ATS). Utah State’s last bowl game was the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, in Boise, a 35-19 loss to Cincinnati; Ohio University’s last bowl game was the 2010 New Orleans Bowl, a 48-21 loss to Troy. Take Ohio University to cover the points, and win.

 

San Diego State (8-4) -4.5 Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) (@ New Orleans, LA). The Aztecs are 35th in total offense (28th rushing, 64th passing); Louisiana-Lafayette is 65th (86th rushing, 40th passing). San Diego State is 57th in total defense (82nd rushing, 31st passing); the Ragin’ Cajuns are 72nd (55th rushing, 92nd passing). These two teams have never met before. Louisiana-Lafayette is in their first ever bowl game. San Diego State is 2-4 all time in bowl games (2-1-1 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as a favorite). Louisiana-Lafayette Coach Mark Hudspeth is 8-4 (8-4 ATS, 4-0 ATS as an underdog); San Diego State Coach Rocky Long is 61-50 (54-51-2 ATS, 25-26 ATS as a favorite) since 2001. San Diego State is 3-5 ATS as a favorite this year (5-7 overall ATS); Louisiana-Lafayette is 7-0 ATS as an underdog this year (8-4 overall ATS). San Diego State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl, a 35-14 win over Navy. Take San Diego State to cover the points.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Week 14

Upset Watch: Week 14

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on November 29th, 2011 at 7:00 PM

 

Only 22 games this weekend, with 19 of them on Saturday. Of the 22 games this weekend, six are conference championship games; so I guess we’ll call this championship weekend? For six teams, it’s a last ditch effort to become bowl eligible (right now 70 teams are bowl eligible; there are 70 bowl spots); so if you are a Ball State, Toledo, or Western Michigan fan, you want these teams to lose (although the winner of Syracuse and Pittsburgh will be bowl eligible for sure).

 

Army/Navy is December 10th, while this is a game where we honor our servicemen and servicewomen, there will be no Upset Watch, as there is only one game played. Upset Watch will return for the bowl season.

 

As typical with the Watch, we’ll review the picks from last week, noting the bad picks, and point out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it is only in Vegas. We’ll also look at two sure-fire favorites (since Michigan’s regular season is over). Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

Florida State (8-4) -2.0 @ Florida (6-6). Result: Florida State 21 Florida 7.

 

Losses

@ Northwestern (6-6) +7.0 Michigan State (10-2). Result: Michigan State 31 Northwestern 17 [Props to Trebor for correctly predicting Michigan State would cover].

 

*@ Michigan (10-2) -7.5 Ohio (6-6). Result: Michigan 40 Ohio 34 [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Ohio would cover].

 

@ Wake Forest (6-5) +1.0 Vanderbilt (5-6). Result: Vanderbilt 41 Wake Forest 7 [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Wake Forest would cover].

 

Nevada (6-4) +1.5 @ Utah State (5-5). Result: Utah State 21 Nevada 17.

 

@ Auburn (7-5) +21.0 Alabama (11-1). Result: Alabama 42 Auburn 14.

 

UCLA (6-6) +14.5 @ USC (10-2). Result: USC 50 UCLA 0 [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting USC would cover].

 

*I’m counting this as a loss despite the fact Toussaint was clearly in the end zone, despite the officials “better” judgment.

 

Poster Picks

Besides the Michigan State game, Trebor added a pair of wins with Purdue (-7.5; 33-25) and Virginia Tech (-4; 38-0).

 

Gulo_Gulo added a pair, as well, with Texas (+7.5; 27-25) and Wisconsin (-17; 45-7).

 

Logan88 rode Stanford (-7; 28-14) and Minnesota (+10; 27-7) to victory.

 

Number 7, following the trend of twos, picked up wins with Georgia (-5.5; 31-17) and Kentucky (+6; 10-7).

 

This Week

Championship Week begins on Thursday with (#23) West Virginia visiting South Florida (8:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN 3D(!)/ESPN3); the Mountaineers need a win to keep their BCS bowl hopes alive. On Friday, there are a pair of championship games, with Ohio University and Northern Illinois meeting at Ford Field (7:00 PM EST/ESPN2/ESPN3); Northern Illinois returns to the championship game after coming up short last year and Ohio University returns for the second time in three years. UCLA visits (#9) Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship Game (8:00 PM EST/FOX); Oregon has won three straight against UCLA, dating back to 2007.

 

Six games match top 25 opponents on Saturday. Saturday kicks off with (#24) Southern Miss visiting (#6) Houston in the Conference USA Championship Game (12:00 PM EST/ABC); a BCS bowl is on the line for Houston. (#22) Texas visits (#17) Baylor (3:30 PM EST/ABC); Texas had won 12 straight against Baylor until last year’s 30-22 loss in Austin. The SEC Championship Game is another with BCS bowl implications, matching (#14) Georgia and (#1) LSU in the Georgia Dome (4:00 PM EST/CBS); a Georgia win likely knocks Alabama out of a BCS bowl game. (#10) Oklahoma visits (#3) Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Game, a de facto Big 12 Championship Game (8:00 PM EST/ABC); an Oklahoma State win gives them a BCS bowl bid with a shot at the national title, while an Oklahoma win would likely create a three-way tie for first, with Oklahoma winning by virtue of their 2-0 record against Kansas State and Oklahoma State. In the ACC Championship Game, a rematch occurs between (#5) Virginia Tech and (#20) Clemson, this time, in Charlotte (8:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3); Clemson beat Virginia Tech 23-3 in Blacksburg on October 1st. After starting 8-0, Clemson is 1-3 in their last four games, the lone win coming by three. In another game involving a rematch, (#15) Wisconsin meets (#13) Michigan State in Indianapolis in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game (8:17 PM EST/FOX); since 2000, the teams have split their ten meetings – Michigan State won on October 22 on a desperation heave by QB Kirk Cousins, 37-31, in East Lansing.

 

Upset Watch

@ New Mexico State (4-8) +14.0 Utah State (6-5). The (NM St) Aggies are 48th in total offense (92nd rushing, 24th passing); Utah State is 24th (6th rushing, 92nd passing). New Mexico State is 109th in total defense (105th rushing, 96th passing); the (Utah State) Aggies are 48th (30th rushing, 74th passing). Since 1997, New Mexico State is 4-9 SU against Utah State (5-8 ATS); 9 of the last 13 meetings have been decided by 14 points or less. New Mexico State Coach DeWayne Walker is 9-28 (16-19-1 ATS, 15-16-1 ATS as an underdog); Utah State Coach Gary Andersen is 14-21 (19-15 ATS, 5-10 ATS as a favorite). Utah State is 4-2 in Las Cruces since 1997. Utah State is 2-5 ATS as a favorite this year; New Mexico State is 6-4 ATS as an underdog this year. New Mexico State should keep this closer than 14, provided the defense shows up. Take New Mexico State with the points, at home.

 

Troy (3-8) +17.5 @ Arkansas State (9-2).The Trojans are 65th in total offense (116th rushing, 16th passing); Arkansas State is 26th (21st rushing, 18th passing). Troy is 113th in total defense (108th rushing, 95th passing); the Red Wolves are 36th (18th rushing, 47th passing). Since 2004, Troy is 4-3 SU against Arkansas State (3-4 ATS); Troy has won four straight (3-1 ATS over that span). Arkansas State Coach Hugh Freeze is 9-2 (9-2 ATS, 7-2 ATS as a favorite); Troy Coach Larry Blakeney is 72-61 since 2001 (60-57-2 ATS, 31-24-1 ATS as an underdog). Troy is in the midst of a surprisingly bad season, as they were picked to win the Sun Belt; by contrast, Arkansas State was picked in the middle and will finish first, regardless of the outcome of the game. Arkansas State, until this year, has only made one bowl game. Despite Troy’s struggles on defense, they have the potential to keep this game close due to QB Corey Robinson’s (3100 passing yards, 62.3% completion, 19 passing TDs, but 13 INTs) success through the air. Take Troy with the points.

 

@ Florida Atlantic (1-10) +11.5 Louisiana-Monroe (3-8). The Owls are 119th in total offense (106th rushing, 110th passing); Louisiana-Monroe is 61st (73rd rushing, 49th passing). Florida Atlantic is 69th in total defense (73rd rushing, 60th passing); the Warhawks are 29th (12th rushing, 76th passing). Florida Atlantic is 2-5 SU against Louisiana-Monroe since 2004 (1-5-1 ATS). Louisiana-Monroe Coach Todd Berry is 12-47 since 2003 (24-32-2 ATS, 3-7-1 ATS as a favorite); Florida Atlantic Coach Howard Schnellenberger is 58-73 since 2001 (36-52-2 ATS, 23-36-2 ATS as an underdog). Florida Atlantic got their first win of the season last week, at home, 38-35 over UAB. Neither team is making a bowl game. This is Coach Schnellenberger’s last game, as he is retiring. A career that started in 1979 with Miami (FL) now comes to a close in Boca Raton. Take Florida Atlantic with the points, and to win.

 

Michigan State (10-2) +9.5 Wisconsin (10-2) (@ Indianapolis, IN).The Spartans are 64th in total offense (78th rushing, 46th passing); Wisconsin is 12th (10th rushing, 63rd passing). Michigan State is 3rd in total defense (11th rushing, 8th passing); the Badgers are 7th (44th rushing, 3rd passing). Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema is 49-16 (72-61-2 ATS, 46-45-2 ATS as a favorite); Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio is 61-38 (48-44-5 ATS, 33-34-5 ATS as an underdog). Since 1999, Michigan State is 5-6 SU against Wisconsin (5-6 ATS, but 4-2 since 2004), including 1-0 this year (+7.5; 37-31 in East Lansing). If you read the Upset Watch: Week 8, I noted the home team dominance; the home team has now won seven straight, but this one is on a neutral site. Since their meeting, Michigan State is 4-1 SU (3-2 ATS); Wisconsin is 4-1 SU (2-3 ATS). Wisconsin should win, but winning by ten seems a bit much. Take Michigan State with the points.

 

Syracuse (5-6) +13.0 @ Pittsburgh (5-6).The Orange are 89th in total offense (96th rushing, 64th passing); Pittsburgh is 83rd (61st rushing, 78th passing). Syracuse is 71st in total defense (43rd rushing, 99th passing); the Panthers are 41st (22nd rushing, 69th passing). Since 1997, Syracuse is 6-8 SU against Pittsburgh (0-6 since 2005) (5-9 ATS). Pittsburgh Coach Todd Graham is 48-29 (41-33-1 ATS, 18-23-1 ATS as a favorite); Syracuse Coach Doug Marrone is 17-19 (16-18-1 ATS, 9-11 ATS as an underdog). I normally stay away from Big East games; the conference is just too unpredictable (who would have thought Louisville would be in the running for a BCS bowl?). Winner of this game is bowl eligible. Syracuse was picked, by most, to finish at the bottom of the Big East. Many experts had Pittsburgh finishing near the top of the Big East. Syracuse, under Marrone, has been an overachieving team. Pittsburgh should win the game, but Syracuse should keep it within two touchdowns. Take Syracuse with the points.

 

Sure-fire Favorites

West Virginia (8-3) -1.0 @ South Florida (5-6) (THURS). The Mountaineers are 16th in total offense (101st rushing, 6th passing); South Florida is 30th (32nd rushing, 39th passing). West Virginia is 25th in total defense (49th rushing, 30th passing); the Bulls are 34th (14th rushing, 83rd passing). Since 2005, West Virginia is 3-3 SU against South Florida (2-4 ATS). West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen is 8-3 (5-6 ATS, 3-5 ATS as a favorite); South Florida Coach Skip Holtz is 51-38 (48-39-1 ATS, 24-11-1 ATS as an underdog). Holtz’s gaudy numbers come from his days at East Carolina; he is 13-11 at South Florida (10-14 ATS, 4-3 as an underdog). I have yet to offer a pick for a game that is not on Saturday, but I couldn’t resist this one. Both teams have a lot to play for: A South Florida win makes them bowl eligible; a West Virginia win coupled with a Cincinnati win gives West Virginia the Big East title. Consider that South Florida’s record in the Big East is mediocre (21-27); West Virginia is 32-10 in the Big East since 2005 (when South Florida entered the conference). The last time West Virginia lost more than two conference games, it was 2001, Rich Rodriguez’s first year. South Florida QB BJ Daniels’s (2378 passing yards, 60.4% completion 12 passing TDs, but 6 INTs) status for the game is in doubt; he did not play in a losing effort to Louisville, last week. Take note of West Virginia’s pass offense against South Florida’s pass defense. Take West Virginia to cover.

 

Wyoming (7-4) -5.0 @ Colorado State (3-8).The Cowboys are 50th in total offense (35th rushing, 72nd passing); Colorado State is 91st (62nd rushing, 90th passing). Wyoming is 100th in total defense (114th rushing, 42nd passing); the Rams are 85th (116th rushing, 14th passing). Since 1997, Wyoming is 5-9 SU against Colorado State (7-7 ATS). Wyoming Coach Dave Christensen is 17-19 (21-13-1 ATS, 4-5 ATS as a favorite); Colorado State Coach Steve Fairchild is 16-32 (19-27 ATS, 14-16 ATS as an underdog). Wyoming is 2-5 in their last seven trips to Ft. Collins, winning the last time there, in 2009, 17-16. These teams meet for the Bronze Boot; the “Border War” had had over 100 meetings since 1899; the teams have meet every year since 1946. Take note of Wyoming’s rushing offense against Colorado State’s run defense. Wyoming is bowl eligible for only the third time since 2000 (Las Vegas Bowl in 2004 and New Mexico Bowl in 2009; Wyoming won both of those bowl games). I would be remiss if I didn’t point out Wyoming is 7-4 ATS this year (2-2 ATS favorite) and Colorado State is 3-8 ATS (3-4 ATS underdog); Coach Fairchild is 9-4 (1-2 this year) as a home underdog, though. Take Wyoming to cover.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Week 13

Upset Watch: Week 13

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on November 22nd, 2011 at 7:02 PM

 

Oh how the mighty fall hard.Among others, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Oregon all picked up losses last weekend. Houston, Michigan, and Alabama/Arkansas look to be the biggest winners, with each knowing a win this weekend virtually assures them of a BCS bowl bid, in some form or another. This weekend marks the last weekend with all of the BCS conferences playing; PAC-12 and Big Ten wrap up this weekend with their conference title games occurring on December 3rd.

 

As typical with the Watch, we’ll review the picks from last week, noting the bad picks, and point out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it is only in Vegas. We’ll also look at a sure-fire favorite and attempt to preview the Michigan game.

Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

@ Rutgers (8-3) +3.0 Cincinnati (7-3). Result: Rutgers 20 Cincinnati 3.

 

@ Michigan (9-2) -3.0 Nebraska (8-3). Result: Michigan 45 Nebraska 17 [Props to the following for correctly predicting Michigan would cover: Tyang, buckeye_hater, DaBigDaddy, victors2000, unwavering, uminks, Dr. Jay, BayWolves, and AMazinBlue].

 

Florida International (7-4) +1.5 @ UL Monroe (3-8). Result: Florida International 28 UL Monroe 17.

 

@ Washington State (4-7) +3.5 Utah (7-4). Result: Utah 30 Washington State 27 OT [Props to Number 7 for correctly predicting Washington State would cover].

 

@ East Carolina (5-6) +7.0 Central Florida (4-7). Result: East Carolina 38 Central Florida 31 [Props to jjlenny3 for correctly predicting East Carolina would cover].

 

Kansas State (9-2) +9.5 @ Texas (6-4). Result: Kansas State 17 Texas 13 [Props to jjlenny3 for correctly predicting Kansas State would cover].

 

Losses

Navy (4-7) -4.5 @ San Jose State (4-7). Result: San Jose State 27 Navy 24.

 

Poster Picks

 

Trebor went 4 for 5 this week, pretty good, if you ask me, with Minnesota (+15.5; 13-28), Tennessee (+1.5; 27-21), LSU (-30; 52-3), and Penn State (+7; 20-14).

 

Logan88 recognized Trebor’s winning ways, jumping aboard with Minnesota, Tennessee, and Penn State.

 

In addition to a pair of wins above, Jjlenny3 won on Tulsa (-13.5; 57-28), Miami (FL) (-1; 6-3), and Virginia (+17; 14-13).

 

Logan88 picked up a pair of wins with Iowa State (+27; 37-31) and Texas Tech (+18; 27-31).

 

Number 7, in addition to the Wazzou game, chipped in with Baylor (+15; 45-38).

 

This Week

It’s Rivalry Week. Miami (OH) opens Week 13 with a visit to Peden Stadium to take on the Bobcats of Ohio University (7:00 PM EST/ESPN2/ESPN3). For the first time in a few weeks, there are no games on Wednesday night, so you’ll have to wait till Thursday for the second rivalry game of the week, the Lone Star Showdown, with (#25) Texas visiting Texas A&M; the Texas teams will duke it out for the biggest disappointment in the state of Texas. You’d think Friday was the new Saturday, with 14 games being played, starting at with Eastern Michigan visiting DeKalb to take on Northern Illinois (11:00 AM EST/ESPNU); Toledo fans, EMU is your friend. Louisville controls their own destiny in the Big East, paying a visit to Tampa, to take on South Florida (11:00 AM EST/ESPN2/ESPN3). The headliner game of the day, without a doubt, with national title implications, is (#3) Arkansas visiting Death Valley for The Battle for the Golden Boot, to take on (#1) LSU (2:30 PM EST/CBS). Friday wraps up with Arizona State playing host to California (10:15 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3); Arizona State’s home loss to Arizona sealed their fate, allowing UCLA to appear in the inaugural PAC-12 Title representing the South Division.

 

Five games match top 25 opponents on Saturday. Saturday kicks off with (#13) Georgia and (#23) Georgia Tech, Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate (12:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3); Georgia Coach Mark Richt is 9-1 against his rival. A pair of matchups occur in the middle of the day, with (#2) Alabama visiting (#24) Auburn (3:30 PM EST/CBS), the Iron Bowl; and (#19) Penn State meeting (#16) Wisconsin for the Big Ten Leaders’s Division crown, in Madison (3:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3). At night, (#17) Clemson and (#12) South Carolina meet in the longest uninterrupted series in the South, The Battle of the Palmetto State (7:45 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3). The Legends Trophy is up for grabs when (#22) Notre Dame visits (#6) Stanford (8:00 PM EST/ABC).

 

Upset Watch

@ Wake Forest (6-5) +1.0 Vanderbilt (5-6). The Demon Deacons are 72nd in total offense (99th rushing, 33rd passing); Vanderbilt is 102nd (63rd rushing, 100th passing). Wake Forest is 70th in total defense (59th rushing, 79th passing); the Commodores are 20th (22nd rushing, 38th passing). Since 2000, Wake Forest is 3-2 SU against Vanderbilt (4-1 ATS); Wake Forest has won three straight against the ‘Dores. Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin is 5-6 (8-3 ATS, 4-0 ATS as a favorite); Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe is 68-65 (63-62-4 ATS, 39-26-1 ATS as an underdog). Vanderbilt is 3-4 in road non-conference games since 2006 (1-2 since 2009); Wake Forest is 8-5 in home non-conference games since 2006 (4-3 since 2009). Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers (1359 passing yards, 51.9% completion, 8 passing TDs, but 9 INTs) is 2-5 as a starter, losing close ones at home to Georgia and Arkansas; road games to Florida and Tennessee. This should be close, as Vanderbilt has a good defense, but Wake Forest should get the win. Take Wake Forest with the points, and to win.

 

Nevada (6-4) +1.5 @ Utah State (5-5).The Wolfpack are 5th in total offense (9th rushing, 36th passing); Utah State is 24th (6th rushing, 93rd passing). Nevada is 55th in total defense (52nd rushing, 72nd passing); the Aggies are 36th (21st rushing, 65th passing). Since 1997, Nevada is 7-2 SU against Utah State (only 2-7 ATS); Nevada has not been an underdog in this matchup since 1997. Utah State has more to play for, as the Aggies are not yet bowl eligible (remaining game is at New Mexico State, after this week). Nevada, however, can still win the WAC, with a win and a Louisiana Tech loss. Utah State is a much-improved team, only losing one game by double digits to date (31-21 at Fresno State) led by RB Robert Turbin (1257 rushing yards, 6.8/carry, and 19 rushing TDs). Nevada has one of the top offenses in the country; the pistol offense tends to give teams fits. Utah State Coach Gary Anderson is 13-21 (18-15 ATS, 12-20 ATS as a favorite); Nevada Coach Chris Ault is 62-38 since 2004 (56-47 ATS, 14-19 ATS as an underdog). Coach Ault is 9-0 against Utah State (coached Nevada from 1976-1992, 1994-1995, and 2004-current). Take Nevada with the points, and to win.

 

UCLA (6-5) +14.5 @ USC (9-2). The Bruins are 56th in total offense (28th rushing, 90th passing); USC is 30th (53rd rushing, 23rd passing). UCLA is 74th in total defense (82nd rushing, 53rd passing); the Trojans are 53rd (16th rushing, 100th passing). UCLA is 3-11 SU against USC since 1997 (including 1-11 since 1999, the lone win in 2006) (5-9 ATS, 4-3 since 2004). USC Coach Lane Kiffin is 24-13 (19-18 ATS, 12-14 ATS as a favorite); UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel is 36-37 since 2001 (33-39 ATS, 21-26 ATS as an underdog). UCLA’s pass offense leaves a lot to be desired, but has two quality running backs, Johnathan Franklin (857 rushing yards, 6.1/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and Derrick Coleman (639 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 11 rushing TDs). This is Coach Neuheisel’s fourth year in Los Angeles, scoring a total of 28 points in three meetings (outscored 84-28). USC is coming off a big win at Oregon, and is due for a letdown game. Take UCLA with the points.

 

@ Auburn (7-4) +21.0 Alabama (10-1).The Tigers are 93rd in total offense (36th rushing, 106th passing); Alabama is 32nd (16th rushing, 73rd passing). Auburn is 81st in total defense (98th rushing, 48th passing); the Crimson Tide are 1st (1st rushing, 1st passing). Alabama Coach Nick Saban is 93-24 since 2001 (65-46-2 ATS, 48-36 ATS as a favorite); Auburn Coach Gene Chizik is 34-28 (31-29 ATS, 17-14 ATS as an underdog). Since 1997, Auburn is 9-5 SU against Alabama (7-7 ATS, but 5-1 since 2005). Alabama has averaged 32.7 points/game in the SEC this year (15 points/game in the last two); Auburn has averaged 20.8 points/game in the SEC this year (won 16-13 over South Carolina (5), lost 45-10 to LSU (2), and lost 45-7 to Georgia (4) – results against the top three defenses faced in the SEC – averaged 11 points/game against the three). Alabama has been led on the ground by RBs Trent Richardson (1380 rushing yards, 5.8/carry, and 20 rushing TDs) and Eddie Lacy (625 rushing yards, 7.8/carry, and 7 rushing TDs); Auburn’s ground game is paced by RBs Michael Dyer (1194 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 10 rushing TDs) and Onterio McCalebb (526 rushing yards, 5.4/carry, and 4 rushing TDs). Alabama should get the win, as they are playing for a potential BCS National Championship berth and a berth in the SEC Championship game. Auburn has a history of keeping this game close; and the Iron Bowl is at Jordan-Hare Stadium, this year. Of the five losses for Auburn, two have been by more than three touchdowns (12 of the 14 meetings have been decided by 14 points or less). Take Auburn with the points.

 

@ Northwestern (6-5) +7.0 Michigan State (9-2).The Wildcats are 31st in total offense (37th rushing, 37th passing); Michigan State is 68th (80th rushing, 43rd passing). Northwestern is 84th in total defense (94th rushing, 57th passing); the Spartans are 3rd (10th rushing, 4th passing). Since 1997, Northwestern is 4-8 SU against Michigan State (1-4 since 2006) (7-5 ATS, 5-2 ATS since 2002). Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio is 61-38 (47-44-5 ATS, 26-22-1 ATS as a favorite); Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald is 40-34 (31-39 ATS, 20-17 ATS as an underdog). Of the 12 meetings since 1997, 7 have been decided by more than 7 (Northwestern won 2 of those meetings). Michigan State has locked up the Legends Division and has zero chance at making the BCS National Championship; given that the Big Ten Championship is on December 3rd, Coach Dantonio may be tempted to play cautiously, and not give away his playbook. If QB Kirk Cousins (2521 passing yards, 64% completion, 19 passing TDs, but 5 INTs) makes mistakes, Northwestern has a good shot at winning; Cousins is 7-0 when not throwing an interception, he is 2-2 when throwing at least one interception. Take Northwestern with the points.

 

Sure-fire Favorite

Florida State (7-4) -2.0 @ Florida (6-5).The Seminoles are 51st in total offense (86th rushing, 25th passing); Florida is 91st (65th rushing, 87th passing). Florida State is 7th in total defense (3rd rushing, 30th passing); the Gators are 17th (51st rushing, 11th passing). Florida State is 6-8 SU against Florida (7-7 ATS). Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher is 17-8 (13-12 ATS, 11-8 ATS as a favorite); Florida Coach Will Muschamp is 6-5 (4-7 ATS, 0-4 ATS as an underdog). Florida State is 2-5 in their last seven trips to Gainesville, losing by an average of 29 points/game in their last three trips there. Florida’s offense is bad, as they are transitioning to a pro style offense and only have spread quarterbacks. Florida State QB EJ Manuel (2352 passing yards, 66.3% completion, 20 total TDs, but 8 INTs) leads the Seminoles. Turnovers will be the key in the game, as Manuel is 7-1 when throwing one or no interceptions (0-2 when throwing two or more). Manuel hasn’t had an interception in three games (47-for-70, 576 passing yards, and 3 passing TDs in last three games). Florida has struggled against good defenses, going 1-4 against top 20 defenses, but 5-1 against defenses outside the top 20. Despite their troubles in Gainesville, take Florida State to cover.

 

Gameday Prediction

Luke Fickell is 6-5 straight up at Ohio. Coach Fickell is 1-3 on the road, 3-4 in conference play, and 2-2 against teams in the top 25, at the time of the game. Coach Fickell is 5-6 ATS and 3-1 as an underdog ATS (2-1 underdog ATS on the road).

 

Brady Hoke is 56-52 straight up (13-12 at San Diego State, 34-38 at Ball State). Coach Hoke is 61-42-3 ATS and 33-17-2 against the spread as a favorite. 

 

Ohio’s defense is ranked 16th (16th passing [187.91 yards/game], 41st rushing [130.18 yards/game]). Michigan’s offense is ranked 34th (83rd passing [198.40 yards/game], 12th rushing [236.10 yards/game]).

 

Ohio’s offense is ranked 108th (118th passing [114.00 yards/game], 27th rushing [201.00 yards/game]). Michigan’s defense is ranked 14th (14th passing [184.40 yards/game], 43rd rushing [131.60 yards/game]).

 

Since 1997, Michigan is 0-1 straight up against Nebraska (0-1 ATS), with the lone meeting being in the 2005 Alamo Bowl. Michigan had averaged 400 offensive yards with 270 of those being passing and 130 rushing.

 

Nebraska is second in the Big Ten in average points per game, with 32.9 (Wisconsin leads with 46.5); Michigan averages 32.5, good for third. Against teams in the top half of the Big Ten in average points per game, Michigan is 1-2 (3-0 against the bottom half); Nebraska is 1-2 against the top half (3-0 against the bottom half).

 

Ohio is 14th in the country in scoring defense, allowing an average of 19.00 points per game, good enough for 5th in the Big Ten; Michigan is 8th in the country, allowing an average of 16.20 points per game, good enough for 4th in the Big Ten. Ohio’s defense has forced 16 turnovers to date (12 interceptions and 4 fumbles); Michigan’s defense has forced 23 turnovers to date (6 interceptions and 17 fumbles). The 17 fumble recoveries by Michigan is tied for 2nd in the nation.

 

QB Braxton Miller (762 passing yards, 595 rushing yards, 48.6% completion, and 15 total TDs), in a lot of ways, is similar to Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez. Both have very low completion rates, are erratic passers, and rely on their legs to carry their teams. Unlike Martinez, Miller takes care of the ball through the air, only having three interceptions to date. Miller has had two 100-yard rushing games in his last three games (99 rushing yards against Wisconsin and 105 against both Indiana and Penn State). Completing passes has been a struggle for Miller. When Miller completes 50.1% or more of his passes, the Buckeyes are 2-1; when he completes 50% or less Ohio is 3-4, but 0-2 in the last two games. Since returning from suspension, RB Dan Herron (553 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 2 rushing TDs) has averaged roughly 21 carries a game. After having three 100 yard or more games on the ground, Purdue and Penn State held him to a combined 138 yards, 62 and 76, respectively.

 

If Michigan wants to end the Buckeyes’ streak in the series, they will need to (1) force Miller to make hurried throws, (2) limit Herron’s damage on the ground, and (3) avoid interceptions. Michigan is 5-0 when the opposing quarterback(s) completes 50% or less of their passes, and 3-2 when the opposing quarterback(s) completes 50.1% or more of their passes (Western Michigan game not counted).

 

@ Michigan -7.5 Ohio.

 

Michigan 27 Ohio 13.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Week 12

Upset Watch: Week 12

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on November 15th, 2011 at 7:00 PM

The top three teams remain intact, with blowout wins in Lubbock (#2 Oklahoma State) and Baton Rouge (#1 LSU). The Crimson Tide also picked up a win in Starkville. Other than that, much is uncertain, as Oregon moved up, Stanford moved down, Oklahoma moved up, and Boise State moved down. If LSU wins out and Oklahoma State loses, a rematch could take place in the national title (with either Alabama or Oregon). We haven’t seen this in awhile: Four games involving FBS and FCS opponents this week.

 

As typical with the Watch, we’ll review the picks from last week, noting the bad picks, and point out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it is only in Vegas. We’ll also look at a sure-fire favorite and attempt to preview the Michigan game.

Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

Western Kentucky (5-5) +41.5 @ LSU (10-0). Result: LSU 42 Western Kentucky 9.

 

Miami Florida (5-5) +9.0 @ Florida State (7-3). Result: Florida State 23 Miami Florida 19.

 

Losses

Kentucky (4-6) +13.0 @ Vanderbilt (5-5). Result: Vanderbilt 38 Kentucky 8.

 

Washington (6-4) +12.5 @ USC (8-2). Result: USC 40 Washington 17.

 

@ Mississippi (2-8) +2.5 Louisiana Tech (6-4). Result: Louisiana Tech 27 Ole Miss 7.

 

@ SMU (6-4) -8.5 Navy (4-6). Result: Navy 24 SMU 17.

 

@ Illinois (6-4) +1.5 Michigan (8-2). Result: Michigan 31 Illinois 14 [Props to MichNukeEng for correctly predicting that Michigan would cover]

 

Poster Picks

Number 7 chipped in on two picks, with Virginia (-9.5, 31-21) and Missouri (+1, 17-5).

 

Trebor loves his favorites, see Michigan State (-2.5, 37-21) but an underdog cam through for him, in Oregon (+3.5, 53-30).

 

This Week

Northern Illinois is playing on national television for the third straight week on a Tuesday night; however, they are at home this week, playing host to Ball State (8:00 PM EST/ESPNU). Ohio teams dominate ESPN coverage on Wednesday, with Ohio visiting Bowling Green (8:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3) and Western Michigan visiting Miami (OH) (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN2/ESPN3). Thursday brings us a pair of top 25 teams putting their rankings on the line, with (#20) Southern Miss visiting Legion Field, for a matchup with UAB (8:00 PM EST); North Carolina visits Lane Stadium, for a showdown with (#8) Virginia Tech (8:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN 3D(!)/ESPN3). (#2) Oklahoma State’s (nearly) point-a-minute offense takes the field Friday night at Iowa State (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3), knowing Bedlam looms; Toledo visits MAC West rival Central Michigan (8:00 PM/EST/ESPNU).

 

Only three games involving top 25 teams with week, again. (#18) Michigan hosts (#16) Nebraska in a Legends/Bo Division matchup (12:00 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3). (#5) Oklahoma puts their BCS bowl hopes on the line, visiting Waco (8:00 PM/EST/ABC); Baylor has never defeated Oklahoma (0-20). We’ll stay in the Big 12, at the same time, but different station, with (#13) Kansas State visiting (#23) Texas (8:00 PM/EST/FX); Kansas State has won three straight dating back to 2006.

 

Upset Watch

@ Rutgers (7-3) +3.0 Cincinnati (7-2). The Scarlet Knights are 105th in total offense (118th rushing, 61st passing); Cincinnati is 40th (31st rushing, 66th passing). Rutgers is 21st in total defense (58th rushing, 11th passing); the Bearcats are 50th (2nd rushing, 115th passing). Rutgers is 2-4 ATS since 2005 against Cincinnati (1-5 SU). Cincinnati Coach Butch Jones is 11-10 at Cincinnati (9-12 ATS, 7-7 ATS as a favorite); Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano is 66-66 at Rutgers (67-56-1 ATS, 40-29-1 ATS as an underdog). Cincinnati will likely be without QB Zach Collaros (1854 passing yards, 63.4% completion, 14 passing TDs, but 8 INTs), who was on crutches at the end of the loss to West Virginia, last week. Sophomore Munchie Legaux (205 passing yards, 53.6% completion, 1 INT) will likely be under center for the Bearcats. Rutgers run defense against Cincinnati’s run offense is a bad matchup for the Bearcats, as is Cincinnati’s pass defense against Rutgers’ pass offense. Collaros is the second best quarterback in the Big East, needless to say, he’s a huge loss. Take Rutgers to cover, and win.

 

Kansas State (8-2) +9.5 @ Texas (6-3)The Wildcats are 85th in total offense (22nd rushing, 109th passing); Texas is 44th (15th rushing, 92nd passing). Kansas State is 82nd in total defense (25th rushing, 117th passing); the Longhorns are 14th (10th rushing, 48th passing). Since 1997, Kansas State is 5-2 SU against Texas (5-1 ATS). Since 2001, Texas Coach Mack Brown is 112-26 at Texas (69-65-3 ATS, 55-47-2 ATS as a favorite); Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder is 58-39 at Kansas State (51-39 ATS, 21-10 ATS as an underdog). In conference play, Texas has averaged 182.17 yards through the air (153.75 yards in the last four games). Against top 10 passing offenses, Kansas State is 1-2. Texas is not a top 10 passing offense by any means. Kansas State is 6-1 ATS as an underdog this year. Take Kansas State to cover.

 

@ Washington State (4-6) +3.5 Utah (6-4). The Cougars are 38th in total offense (103rd rushing, 9th passing); Utah is 109th (79th rushing, 102nd passing). Washington State is 84th in total defense (63rd rushing, 94th passing); the Utes are 27th (9th rushing, 76th passing). Since 1999, Washington State is 1-1 SU against Utah (1-1 ATS). Washington State Coach Paul Wulff is 9-38 at Washington State (22-24 ATS, 19-22 ATS as an underdog); Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham is 63-24 at Utah (39-34-2 ATS, 26-25-2 ATS as a favorite). Against teams with top 50 offenses, Utah is 3-1 against pass offenses outside the top 50, but only 2-3 against top 50 passing offenses. Washington State is 0-5 against top 50 rushing offenses, but 3-1 against rushing offenses outside the top 50. Take Washington State with the points.

 

Florida International (6-4) +1.5 @ UL Monroe (3-7).The Golden Panthers are 72nd in total offense (69th rushing, 68th passing); UL Monroe is 61st (70th rushing, 53rd passing). Florida International is 30th in total defense (34th rushing, 56th passing); the Warhawks are 31st (11th rushing, 83rd passing). Florida International is 2-5 SU against UL Monroe since 2004 (2-5 ATS). Florida International Coach Mario Cristobal is 22-37 at Florida International (29-30 ATS, 18-16 ATS as an underdog); UL Monroe Coach Todd Berry is 8-14 at UL Monroe (10-11-1 ATS, 3-4-1 ATS as a favorite). Florida International has averaged 25.6 points on the year (26.8 in conference, but only 16 in the previous three games before a 41-7 win last week). UL Monroe has averaged giving up 27.7 points game (25.5 in conference). Florida International has more talent and should win, but WR T.Y. Hilton (858 receiving yards, 15.1/catch, and 5 receiving TDs) needs to be productive; Hilton has averaged 54.25 yards in the last four games with 1 TD (2-2). Take Florida International with the points, and to win.

 

@ East Carolina (4-6) +7.0 Central Florida (4-6).The Pirates are 58th in total offense (112th rushing, 17th passing); Central Florida is 49th (51st rushing, 47th passing). East Carolina is 58th in total defense (89th rushing, 19th passing); the Knights are 10th (16th rushing, 18th passing). Since 2005, East Carolina is 4-2 SU against Central Florida (2-4 ATS). East Carolina Coach Ruffin McNeill is 10-13 at East Carolina (12-11 ATS, 8-7 ATS as an underdog); Central Florida Coach George O’Leary is 49-50 at Central Florida (52-43-1 ATS, 24-20-1 ATS as a favorite). UCF is 8-10 ATS as a road favorite under O’Leary. UCF is 3-2 when QB Jeff Godfrey (1745 passing yards, 68.5% completion, 4 passing TDs, but 3 INTs) rushes for a TD (1-4 when he doesn’t). ECU is 1-4 when QB Dominique Davis (2737 passing yards, 68.2% completion, 18 passing TDs, but 15 INTs) throws two or more interceptions (3-2 when one or none). UCF has largely been a disappointment this year. Under McNeill, the Pirates are 4-4 ATS as a home underdog (3-5 SU). Take East Carolina to cover the points.

 

Sure-fire Favorite

Navy -4.5 (4-6) @ San Jose State (3-7).The Midshipmen are 47th in total offense (2nd rushing, 119th passing); San Jose State is 83rd (108th rushing, 35th passing). Navy is 85th in total defense (82nd rushing, 67th passing); the Spartans are 98th (103rd rushing, 65th passing). This is the first ever meeting between these teams. A win for Navy preserves their chances of making their 9th straight bowl game. Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo is 31-19 at Navy (25-22-1 ATS, 9-12-1 ATS as a favorite); San Jose State Coach Mike McIntyre is 4-19 at San Jose State (11-12 ATS, 11-7 ATS as an underdog). San Jose State is 6-2 ATS as an underdog this year; Navy is 3-3 ATS as a favorite. Navy is 4-5 against non-service academies this year (2002 was the last year Navy had a losing record against non-service academies; since 2002, Navy is 16-3 against service academies). Against teams with top 60 run defenses, Navy is 1-4 this year (1-2 against teams outside the top 60 run defenses). Take Navy to cover.

 

Gameday Prediction

Bo Pelini is 37-14 straight up at Nebraska. Coach Pelini is 11-4 on the road (3-1 this year), 21-11 in conference play (4-2 this year), and 7-8 against the top 25 (2-1 this year). Coach Pelini is 26-24-1 ATS and 11-13 as an underdog ATS (2-2 underdog ATS on the road).

 

Brady Hoke is 55-52 straight up (13-12 at San Diego State, 34-38 at Ball State). Coach Hoke is 60-42-3 ATS and 32-17-2 against the spread as a favorite. 

 

Nebraska’s defense is ranked 38th (21st passing [190.70 yards/game], 66th rushing [161.30 yards/game]). Michigan’s offense is ranked 33rd (84th passing [200.40 yards/game], 11th rushing [235.89 yards/game]).

 

Nebraska’s offense is ranked 50th (101st passing [171.40 yards/game], 13th rushing [232.70 yards/game]). Michigan’s defense is ranked 17th (22nd passing [191.33 yards/game], 41st rushing [130.89 yards/game]).

 

Since 1997, Michigan is 0-1 straight up against Nebraska (0-1 ATS), with the lone meeting being in the 2005 Alamo Bowl. Michigan had averaged 400 offensive yards with 270 of those being passing and 130 rushing.

 

Nebraska is second in the Big Ten in average points per game, with 32.9 (Wisconsin leads with 46.5); Michigan averages 32.5, good for third. Against teams in the top half of the Big Ten in average points per game, Michigan is 1-2 (3-0 against the bottom half); Nebraska is 1-2 against the top half (3-0 against the bottom half).

 

Nebraska is 36th in the country in scoring defense, allowing an average of 22.20 points per game, good enough for 7th in the Big Ten; Michigan is 7th in the country, allowing an average of 16.11 points per game, good enough for 3rd in the Big Ten. Nebraska’s defense has forced 15 turnovers to date (8 interceptions and 7 fumbles); Michigan’s defense has forced 20 turnovers to date (6 interceptions and 14 fumbles).

 

Michigan will need to contain Nebraska’s two biggest rushers on the ground: QB Taylor Martinez (768 rushing yards, 5.0/carry, and 9 rushing TDs) and RB Rex Burkhead (1072 rushing yards, 5.1/carry, and 14 rushing TDs). The duo combined for 221 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs against Ohio, 153 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs against Michigan State, and 177 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD against Penn State. Burkhead has had six 100+ rushing yard games this season (four of six games in Big Ten with seven rushing TDs in Big Ten, at least one per game; averaging 108.67 rushing yards per game in Big Ten).

 

@ Michigan -3 Nebraska.

 

Michigan 24 Nebraska 14.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Week 11

Upset Watch: Week 11

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on November 8th, 2011 at 6:13 PM

 

LSU field-goaled Alabama to death, with LSU remaining 1, but Alabama didn’t fall far (now #3). Boise State looks to be out of the BCS National Championship picture, as Alabama remains in front of the Broncos. The winner of Stanford/Oregon will likely be in front of Boise State, too.

 

For you sports gamblers out there:

Rank

Team

ATS Overall

ATS Favorite

ATS Dog

 

Record

1

LSU

7-2

5-2

2-0

 

9-0

2

Oklahoma State

7-2

6-2

1-0

 

9-0

3

Stanford

8-1

8-1

0-0

 

9-0

4

Alabama

7-2

7-2

0-0

 

8-1

5

Boise State

4-4

4-4

0-0

 

8-0

6

Oregon

5-4

5-4

0-0

 

8-1

7

Oklahoma

6-3

6-3

0-0

 

8-1

8

Arkansas

5-4

4-3

1-1

 

8-1

9

Clemson

7-2

6-2

1-0

 

8-1

10

Virginia Tech

2-7

2-7

0-0

 

8-1

11

Houston

7-2

7-2

0-0

 

9-0

12

Penn State

2-7

2-6

0-1

 

8-1

13

Michigan State

5-4

3-2

2-2

 

7-2

14

Georgia

6-2-1

6-1

0-1-1

 

7-2

15

South Carolina

3-5-1

3-4-1

0-1

 

7-2

16

Wisconsin

6-3

6-3

0-0

 

7-2

17

Kansas State

7-2

2-1

5-1

 

7-2

18

USC

5-4

3-3

2-1

 

7-2

19

Nebraska

3-6

3-5

0-1

 

7-2

20

Georgia Tech

5-3-1

4-2-1

1-1

 

7-2

21

Texas

5-3

5-1

0-2

 

6-2

22

Michigan

6-3

5-2

1-1

 

7-2

23

Cincinnati

5-3

4-2

1-1

 

7-1

24

Auburn

4-5

1-2

3-3

 

6-3

25

Southern Miss

7-2

5-2

2-0

 

8-1

 

The Top 25 teams were 9-11 ATS last week, with last week’s Top 10 teams going 5-5. To date, current top 10 teams are 58-31 ATS (65.2% success rate; 5-1 as underdogs) and current top 25 teams are 134-85-3 ATS (61.0% success rate; 22-17-1 as underdogs).

 

As typical with the Watch, we’ll review the picks from last week, noting the bad picks, and point out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it is only in Vegas. We’ll also look at a sure-fire favorite and attempt to preview the Michigan game.

Be sure to check out my blog, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

 

Recap:

Wins

@ Iowa (6-3) +4.0 Michigan (7-2). Result: Iowa 24 Michigan 16 [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Michigan would not cover].

 

Kansas (2-7) +14.5 @ Iowa State (5-4). Result: Iowa State 13 Kansas 10.

 

@ Kentucky (4-5) +1.0 Ole Miss (2-7). Result: Kentucky 30 Ole Miss 13.

 

@ Rutgers (6-3) +2.5 South Florida (4-4). Result: Rutgers 20 South Florida 17.

 

@ Oklahoma (8-1) -13.0 Texas A&M (5-4). Result: Oklahoma 41 Texas A&M 25.

 

Losses

Washington State (3-6) +10.0 @ California (5-4). Result: California 30 Washington State 7.

 

Duke (3-6) +15.0 @ Miami Florida (5-4). Result: Miami Florida 49 Duke 14.

 

Poster Picks

Jjlenny3 added one this week, with Houston covering (-27; 56-13).

Trebor added three wins, with Northwestern ATS (+17.5; 28-25), Oregon (-15; 34-17), and Stanford (-21; 38-13).

 

Picktown GoBlue also had Northwestern.

 

This Week

Two games for Northwest Ohio kick off Week 11, with Northern Illinois visiting Bowling Green (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN2/ESPN3) and Western Michigan visiting Toledo (8:00 PM/EST/ESPNU) on Tuesday night. The MAC takes the spotlight on Wednesday night, with Miami Ohio visiting Philadelphia, to take on Temple (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3). Three games on Thursday, with Ohio University visiting Mt. Pleasant, playing disappointing Central Michigan (7:30 PM/EST/ESPNU); (#10) Virginia Tech taking on (#21) Georgia Tech, in a Coastal Division battle (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3) (since 2006, the first year of the ACC Championship game, Virginia Tech has been in the title game four times [3-1] and Georgia Tech twice [1-1], with no other Coastal teams taking part); and (#11) Houston visiting the Crescent City, playing Tulane (8:00 PM/EST). Friday is a Big East showdown, with Syracuse hoping to become bowl eligible against South Florida (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN2/ESPN3).

 

Only three games involving top 25 teams with week. (#12) Penn State plays host to (#19) Nebraska, both of which are coming off embarrassing weeks (12:00 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3) (but Penn State’s being more serious). (#15) Georgia hosts (#20) Auburn Between the Hedges (3:30 PM/EST/CBS). Gameday is live from Palo Alto, for (#4) Stanford against (#7) Oregon (8:00 PM/EST/ABC).

 

Upset Watch

Western Kentucky (5-4) +41.5 @ LSU (9-0). The Hilltoppers are 101st in total offense (56th rushing, 104th passing); LSU is 87th (38th rushing, 102nd passing). Western Kentucky is 52nd in total defense (46th rushing, 75th passing); the Tigers are 3rd (2nd rushing, 9th passing). LSU is 35-0 all time against Sun Belt Conference teams with an average MOV of 41. Coming off the Alabama game, since 2006, LSU is 5-0, but only 2-3 ATS (2-2 ATS against non-conference opponents and 1-1 ATS against Sun Belt). LSU is 7-2 ATS, including 5-2 as a favorite; Western Kentucky is 7-2 ATS, including 7-1 as an underdog. Les Miles is 31-1 in non-conference play with LSU; 18-12 ATS in non-conference play (7-10 since 2008). Western Kentucky became Division 1 in 2008, since then they are 9-36, but 22-20 ATS. My only reluctance on taking Western Kentucky is that they are 1-4 ATS against SEC teams since 2008. The over/under is 49½, so bettors seem to think a 46-4, or 46-3, final is about right. I’d be surprised if the ‘Toppers score more than 3, but LSU will be on an emotional letdown, and I’d be surprised if they score 42 or more. Take Western Kentucky to cover.

 

Kentucky (4-5) +13.0 @ Vanderbilt (4-5)The Wildcats are 117th in total offense (79th rushing, 111th passing); Vanderbilt is 103rd (60th rushing, 106th passing). Kentucky is 70th in total defense (100th rushing, 28th passing); the Commodores are 30th (44th rushing, 41st passing). Since 1997, Kentucky is 11-3 SU against Vanderbilt and 9-4 ATS (3-0 ATS as an underdog). Kentucky is 4-5 ATS this year (2-3 as an underdog, while Vanderbilt is 7-2 ATS (3-0 as a favorite). Since their bye week, Kentucky is 2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS, Vanderbilt is 1-4 SU, but 4-1 ATS, losing back-to-back conference games by a combined 8 points. Since QB Jordan Rodgers (959 passing yards, 51.1% completion 5 passing TDs, but 5 INTs) started against Alabama, Vanderbilt’s offense has averaged 24.2 points/game. In the last three games, Rodgers is averaging 241 passing yards and 53.7% completion; has 4 passing TDs, but 2 INTs. I like Vanderbilt to win, despite Kentucky having more talent overall. Take Kentucky with the points.

 

Miami Florida (5-4) +9.0 @ Florida State (6-3). The Hurricanes are 67th in total offense (59th rushing, 66th passing); Florida State is 45th (91st rushing, 18th passing). Miami Florida is 64th in total defense (81st rushing, 39th passing); the Seminoles are 4th (3rd rushing, 22nd passing). The underdog has won six straight in this series and the visiting team has won five straight. In the past six years, five of the six meetings have been decided by eight points or less (since 1997, 10 of the last 15 meetings have been decided by eight points or less). Since 1997, Miami Florida is 8-7 SU against Florida State and 8-7 ATS. Since 2004, Miami Florida is 33-29 in the ACC, but 26-36 ATS in conference (11-10 ATS as an underdog, 9-8 ATS as a road underdog). Since 2004, Florida State is 38-26 in the ACC, but 27-37 ATS in conference (27-38 ATS as favorite, 17-25 ATS as a home favorite). This year, Florida State is 5-4 ATS, including 5-2 as a favorite; Miami Florida is 5-4 ATS, including 2-1 as an underdog. I’ll pass on projecting a winner of this one, based on the recent history, but Miami Florida should keep it closer than the spread indicates. Take Miami Florida with the points.

 

Washington (6-3) +12.5 @ USC (7-2).The Huskies are 51st in total offense (52nd rushing, 43rd passing); USC is 26th (61st rushing, 20th passing). Washington is 93rd in total defense (52nd rushing, 113th passing); the Trojans are 56th (18th rushing, 104th passing). Since 1997, Washington is 4-8 SU against USC, but 6-6 ATS (since 2005, 5-1 ATS). Four of the last six meetings have been decided by six points or less. USC Coach Lane Kiffin is 22-13 SU (13-10 in conference play), 17-18 ATS (13-10 ATS in conference play), and 11-14 ATS as favorite (7-10 ATS as a home favorite). Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian is 18-16 SU (13-11 in conference play), 19-15 ATS (13-11 ATS in conference play), and 10-11 ATS as an underdog (5-7 ATS as a road underdog). Washington is 6-3 ATS this year, including 3-2 as an underdog; USC is 5-4 ATS, including 3-3 as a favorite. This game has the potential to be a shootout, with two porous pass defenses. Washington should keep this closer than the spread indicates. Take Washington with the points.

 

@ Mississippi (2-7) +2.5 Louisiana Tech (5-4).The Rebels are 113th in total offense (84th rushing, 107th passing); Louisiana Tech is 57th (65th rushing, 49th passing). Mississippi is 98th in total defense (110th rushing, 57th passing); the Bulldogs are 60th (14th rushing, 108th passing). Mississippi is 8-1 all time against Louisiana Tech, but the two teams have only met once since 1993, a 2007 meeting in Oxford, with the Rebels winning 24-0. Over the nine game series, Mississippi has an average MOV of 12.8 (18.2-5.4). Louisiana Tech Coach Sonny Dykes is 10-11 SU (2-6 in non-conference play), 12-9 ATS (4-4 ATS in non-conference play), and 4-4 ATS as favorite (2-1 ATS as a road favorite). Since 2001, Mississippi Coach Houston Nutt is 76-58 SU (37-9 in non-conference play), 65-62 ATS (22-17 ATS in non-conference play), and 27-20 ATS as an underdog (7-9 ATS as a home underdog). Mississippi is 3-6 ATS this year, including 3-3 as an underdog; Louisiana Tech is 7-2 ATS, including 2-2 as a favorite. Houston Nutt has lost two non-conference games only once since 1998 (coached Boise State in 1997 – then Big West member; Arkansas from 1998-2007, and Mississippi from 2008-2011), losing two non-conference games in 2006, to USC and Wisconsin; Mississippi is 2-1 in non-conference this season. Despite Mississippi being a bad football team, Houston Nutt rarely loses non-conference games. Take Mississippi with the points, and to win.

 

Sure-fire Favorite

@ SMU (6-3) -8.5 Navy (3-6).The Mustangs are 49th in total offense (97th rushing, 15th passing); Navy is 43rd (3rd rushing, 119th passing). SMU is 35th in total defense (18th rushing, 81st passing); the Midshipmen are 88th (87th rushing, 65th passing). The two teams meet for the Gansz Trophy; Navy has held the trophy since its inception in 2009, and Navy leads the series 8-7. Since 1997, SMU is 1-5 against Navy, but 2-4 ATS (1-1 ATS as a favorite).

Since 2001, SMU Coach June Jones is 86-54 SU (46-25 in non-conference play), 65-65-2 ATS (24-21 ATS in non-conference play), and 35-40-1 ATS as favorite (25-27-1 ATS as a home favorite). Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo is 30-20 SU, 24-22-1 ATS, and 11-6 ATS as an underdog (9-5 ATS as a road underdog). Navy is 5-4 ATS this year, including 2-1 as an underdog; SMU is 5-4 ATS, including 4-1 as a favorite. In six losses Navy’s average MOD is 13 (but 4 losses by a combined 8 points). Navy’s defense isn’t great, and SMU is capable of minimizing damage from the triple option. Take SMU to cover.

 

Gameday Prediction

Ron Zook is 34-48 straight up at Illinois. Coach Zook is 23-20 at home (5-1 this year), 18-35 against the Big Ten (2-3 this year), and 4-19 against the top 25 (1-1 this year). Coach Zook is 37-41 ATS and 20-14 as an underdog ATS at Illinois since 2005 (7-7 underdog ATS at home).

 

Brady Hoke is 54-52 straight up (13-12 at San Diego State, 34-38 at Ball State). Coach Hoke is 59-42-3 ATS and 31-17-2 against the spread as a favorite. 

 

Illinois’s defense is ranked 6th (8th passing [177.22 yards/game], 15th rushing [102.89 yards/game]). Michigan’s offense is ranked 28th (82nd passing [208.10 yards/game], 14th rushing [237.50 yards/game]).

 

Illinois’s offense is ranked 55th (84th passing [204.10 yards/game], 26th rushing [198.44 yards/game]). Michigan’s defense is ranked 28th (26th passing [193.13 yards/game], 54th rushing [142.63 yards/game]).

 

Since 1997, Michigan is 7-3 straight up against Iowa (4-6 ATS). Michigan has averaged 440 offensive yards (compare with 341.5 offensive yards against Iowa) with 254.6 of those being passing (compare with 220 against Iowa) and 185.4 rushing (compare with 121.5 rushing against Iowa) since 1997.

 

Michigan hasn’t won the turnover margin against Illinois since 2004 (2-2 in games since then).

 

Illinois could pass for Rodney Dangerfield; they just get no respect. Granted, Illinois’s conference foes to date are a combined 10-11 on Big Ten (remaining opponents, including Michigan, are a combined 7-8 in Big Ten), the Fighting Illini have given up an average of 20.6 points/game in Big Ten play (16 points/game in last three – 0-3 over that stretch). Since 1997, Illinois has averaged giving up 36.7 points/game to Michigan (33.33 points/game, excluding last year), compared with 27.9 to Northwestern (14 meetings), 22.2 to Indiana (14 meetings), 27.75 to Ohio (12 meetings), 32.8 to Purdue (10 meetings), and 28.9 to Penn State (12 meetings), not including this year.

 

The Illini have recovered 8 fumbles to date (T-36th in NCAA) and have forced 8 interceptions (T-56th in NCAA). With that said, Illinois has been atrocious in net punting, averaging only 33.8 yards/punt (105th in NCAA); Michigan has been worse (32.9 yards/punt; 114th in NCAA).

 

@ Illinois +1.5 Michigan.

 

Illinois 27 Michigan 24.

 

Who ya got?

Upset Watch: Week 10

Upset Watch: Week 10

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on November 1st, 2011 at 3:14 PM

 

What a week. Top 10 teams Clemson, Michigan State and Kansas State lost; Stanford and Arkansas survived scares on the road. Michigan State’s loss now means they no longer control their own destiny, and that Nebraska is in the driver’s seat. And the Big Ten Leaders Division? Penn State is on top, at least for the next two weeks.

For you sports gamblers out there:

Rank

Team

ATS Overall

ATS Favorite

ATS Dog

 

Record

1

LSU

6-2

5-2

1-0

 

8-0

2

Alabama

7-1

7-1

0-0

 

8-0

3

Oklahoma State

7-1

6-1

1-0

 

8-0

4

Stanford

7-1

7-1

0-0

 

8-0

5

Boise State

4-3

4-3

0-0

 

7-0

6

Oregon

4-4

4-4

0-0

 

7-1

7

Oklahoma

5-3

5-3

0-0

 

7-1

8

Arkansas

4-4

3-3

1-1

 

7-1

9

Nebraska

3-5

3-4

0-1

 

7-1

10

South Carolina

3-4-1

3-4-1

0-0

 

7-1

11

Clemson

7-2

6-2

1-0

 

8-1

12

Virginia Tech

2-7

2-7

0-0

 

8-1

13

Michigan

6-2

5-1

1-1

 

7-1

14

Houston

6-2

6-2

0-0

 

8-0

15

Michigan State

5-3

3-1

2-2

 

6-2

16

Penn State

2-7

2-6

0-1

 

8-1

17

Kansas State

6-2

2-1

4-1

 

7-1

18

Georgia

5-2-1

5-1

0-1-1

 

6-2

19

Wisconsin

5-3

5-3

0-0

 

6-2

20

Arizona State

4-4

3-3

1-1

 

6-2

21

USC

5-3

3-2

2-1

 

6-2

22

Georgia Tech

5-3-1

4-2-1

1-1

 

7-2

23

Cincinnati

5-2

4-1

1-1

 

6-1

24

West Virginia

4-4

3-3

1-1

 

6-2

25

Auburn

4-5

1-2

3-3

 

6-3

 

The Top 25 teams were 9-11 ATS last week, with last week’s Top 10 teams going 0-6. To date, current top 10 teams are 50-28-1 ATS (63.9% success rate; 3-2 as underdogs) and current top 25 teams are 121-79-3 ATS (60.3% success rate; 20-16-1 as underdogs).

 

As typical with the Watch, we’ll review the picks from last week, noting the bad picks, and point out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it is only in Vegas. We’ll also look at a sure-fire favorite and attempt to preview the Michigan game.

Be sure to check out my blog, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.

Recap:

Wins

@ UCLA (4-4) +5.5 California (4-4). Result: UCLA 31 California 14.

Ball State (5-4) +11.5 @ Western Michigan (5-4). Result: Western Michigan 45 Ball State 35 [Props to SoCalWolverine for correctly predicting Ball State would cover].

Louisiana-Lafayette (7-2) +3.0 @ Middle Tennessee (2-5). Result: Louisiana-Lafayette 45 Middle Tennessee 20 [Props to Picktown GoBlue for correctly predicting Louisiana-Lafayette would cover].

Losses

NC State (4-4) +19.5 @ Florida State (5-3). Result: Florida State 34 NC State 0.

Navy (2-6) +20.5 @ Notre Dame (5-3). Result: Notre Dame 56 Navy 14.

Bowling Green (4-5) -4.5 @ Kent State (2-6). Result: Kent State 27 Bowling Green 15.

@ Michigan (7-1) -13.5 Purdue (4-4). Result: Michigan 36 Purdue 14 [Props to SoCalWolverine, One Inch Woody, jjlenny3, and Lord Maker for correctly predicting Michigan would cover].

 

Poster Picks

Jjlenny3 returned this week, with a pair of wins in addition to Michigan, (1) West Virginia (-6.5; 41-31) and (2) Air Force (-30.5; 42-0).

Trebor also rode West Virginia to victory.

Number 7 picked up a pair of wins, too, taking Illinois (+5; 7-10) and Georgia Tech (+4; 31-17).

This Week

Looks like from this point out college football can be had on Tuesdays through Saturdays. I’ll be there to witness week 10 kickoff, with Northern Illinois visiting Toledo (7:00 PM EST/ESPN2/ESPN3). Another MAC clash on Wednesday night, with Temple visiting Ohio University (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3). On Thursday there is a matchup of disappointments, with Boston College playing host to Florida State (8:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3) and Virginia visiting Miami (FL) (8:00 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3). On Friday, USC visits Colorado – Colorado is looking to snap a six game losing streak -  (9:00 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3) and Central Michigan visits Kent State, with the loser being eliminated from the postseason (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN2/ESPN3).

Games involving two top 25 teams doesn’t take place until the evening, with (#9) South Carolina visiting (#7) Arkansas (7:15 PM/EST/ESPN/ESPN3); Arkansas has won four of the last five meetings. (#14) Kansas State continues their murderer’s row stretch, visiting (#3) Oklahoma State (8:00 PM/EST/ESPN2/ESPN3); Kansas State has lost three of the last four, before that, Kansas State had won nine straight. Finally, the top two teams in the nation meet, in what is a BCS Title elimination game, with the consolation prize likely being a Sugar Bowl trip – (#1) LSU visits Bryant Denny Stadium, for a showdown with (#2) Alabama (8:00 PM/EST/CBS).

Upset Watch

@ Kentucky (3-5) +1.0 Ole Miss (2-6). The Wildcats are 118th in total offense (78th rushing, 115th passing); Ole Miss is 115th (93rd rushing, 105th passing). Kentucky is 67th in total defense (100th rushing, 22nd passing); the Rebels are 104th (116th rushing, 50th passing). The team who rushes for more yards is 4-1 in the last five meetings. Since 2003, Kentucky has averaged just over 2 conference wins per season and 3.75 home wins. The last time Kentucky didn’t have at least two home wins was 2001. Kentucky finishes with Tennessee at home. Kentucky isn’t a very good team, but neither is Ole Miss. In the five of the last seven seasons Ole Miss has had one or zero road wins (two and three road wins in the others); the Rebels last road conference win was week four of 2009. Since 2006, Ole Miss is 4-16 in SEC road games (9-11 ATS); Kentucky is 7-13 in SEC home games (8-12 ATS). Take Kentucky to win.

Washington State (3-5) +10.0 @ California (4-4)The Cougars are 32nd in total offense (95th rushing, 10th passing); California is 46th (80th rushing, 27th passing). Washington State is 84th in total defense (61st rushing, 100th passing); the Golden Bears are 33rd (51st rushing, 32nd passing). Washington State is 5-3 ATS this season; California is 3-5. Washington State Coach Paul Wulff is 3-29 SU in PAC-12 play, but 10-17 ATS (9-5 since last season). Washington State has lost six straight to California, and is 5-7 since 1997, but is 9-3 ATS. California should get the win, but a much improved Washington State team should keep it around a touchdown.

@ Rutgers (5-3) +2.5 South Florida (4-3). The Scarlet Knights are 97th in total offense (111th rushing, 56th passing); South Florida is 14th (27th rushing, 26th passing). Rutgers is 19th in total defense (46th rushing, 17th passing); the Bulls are 44th (33rd rushing, 77th passing). South Florida is 20-25 in the Big East (21-24 ATS), including 0-3 this season. South Florida Coach Skip Holtz was 38-27 SU at East Carolina and 38-25-1 ATS (30-12 SU in C-USA and 26-16 ATS in C-USA). Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano is 64-66 SU and 65-56-1 ATS (26-47 in Big East and 36-37 ATS in Big East). Since 2005, Rutgers is 23-23 in the Big East (23-23 ATS), including 2-2 this year. These teams have met six times since USF joined the league in 2005, with Rutgers winning four meetings, but losing last year. Rutgers is 4-2 ATS against USF with an average MOV of 9. Three of six meetings have been decided by three or less (2009, 2008, and 2005 were 31, 33, and 24 point differences, with USF only winning in 2005). Take Rutgers to cover the points, and win.

Duke (3-5) +15.0 @ Miami Florida (4-4).The Blue Devils are 73rd in total offense (109th rushing, 28th passing); Miami Florida is 79th (75th rushing, 61st passing). Duke is 77th in total defense (60th rushing, 97th passing); the Hurricanes are 68th (82nd rushing, 42nd passing). Duke hasn’t beaten Miami since 1976, losing seven straight since then. Under Coach David Cutcliff, Duke is 15-29 SU, 6-22 in the ACC (23-17-1 ATS and 14-12-1 ATS in the ACC). Since 2005, the average score has been 34.5-16. Duke is 4-2 ATS against Miami since 2005. This year, Duke is 5-3 ATS (4-2 as an underdog) and Miami is 4-4 (2-3 as a favorite). Take Duke with the points, but Miami should get the “w”.

Kansas (2-6) +14.5 @ Iowa State (4-4).The Jayhawks are 87th in total offense (53rd rushing, 88th passing); Iowa State is 63rd (43rd rushing, 76th passing). Kansas is 120th in total defense (119th rushing, 118th passing); the Cyclones are 101st (108th rushing, 66th passing). Kansas conference opponents to date are a combined 17-7 in Big 12 play; Iowa State’s are 13-13. Only two of Kansas’ four remaining games are against teams with high-powered offenses, and all are against teams with suspect defenses. Kansas Coach Turner Gill is 34-33-2 ATS and 24-21-1 ATS in conference play (7-13 at Kansas and 4-9 in the Big 12); Iowa State Coach Paul Rhodes is 17-15 ATS and 10-11 ATS in the Big 12. I’m gambling the numbers will even out here, as Kansas is 2-6 ATS and Iowa State is 4-4. Since 1997, Kansas is 8-6 SU (6-2 SU since 2003) against Iowa State and 6-7-1 ATS. The home team is 11-3 SU, but 9-4-1 ATS. Iowa State should win, but more than two touchdowns seems a bit high, especially for teams who don’t like to play defense.

 

Sure-fire Favorite

@ Oklahoma (7-1) -13.0 Texas A&M (5-3).The Sooners are 2nd in total offense (51st rushing, 2nd passing); Texas A&M is 7th (16th rushing, 17th passing). Oklahoma is 34th in total defense (34th rushing, 53rd passing); the Aggies are 90th (21st rushing, 120th passing). Oklahoma has won 10 of the last 12 meetings, with a MOV of 22 (17 if you exclude the 77-0 whitewashing in 2003). The team with more rushing yards in the game is 13-1 since 1997 (lone loss was in 2005). Texas A&M has allowed an average of 27 points/game (30.6 points/game in Big 12 play). Oklahoma has been suspect against the pass, as shown in the Florida State and Texas Tech games allowing 219 yards and 452 through the air, respectively. However, Oklahoma has averaged 46 points/game (47.2 points/game in Big 12). A&M’s secondary should get torched. The Aggies are 2-6 ATS this season; Oklahoma is 5-3. Take Oklahoma to cover.

 

Gameday Prediction

Kirk Ferentz is 94-63 straight up at Iowa. Coach Ferentz is 62-21 at home (5-0 this year), 55-45 against the Big Ten (2-2 this year), and 18-25 against the top 25. Coach Ferentz is 70-49-3 ATS and 21-13-3 as an underdog ATS at Iowa since 2001.

 

Brady Hoke is 54-51 straight up (13-12 at San Diego State, 34-38 at Ball State). Coach Hoke is 59-41-3 ATS and 31-16-2 against the spread as a favorite. 

 

Iowa’s defense is ranked 76th (81st passing [238.63 yards/game], 69th rushing [163.63 yards/game]). Michigan’s offense is ranked 21st (79th passing [209.90 yards/game], 8th rushing [253.29 yards/game]).

 

Iowa’s offense is ranked 57th (50th passing [243.50 yards/game], 60th rushing [159.13 yards/game]). Michigan’s defense is ranked 35th (26th passing [196.29 yards/game], 55th rushing [144.29 yards/game]).

 

Since 1997, Michigan is 6-4 straight up against Iowa (3-5-2 against the spread). Michigan has averaged 341.5 offensive yards (compare with 401.3 against Purdue) with 220 of those being passing (compare with 230.5 against Purdue) and 121.5 rushing (compare with 170.8 rushing against Purdue) since 1997.

 

Iowa has never beaten Michigan three straight times. In the last two years, Iowa has been +8 in the turnover margin against Michigan, result in two wins (+3 in the previous 8 meetings, with Iowa 2-6 in those games). Michigan holds a +3 turnover margin against opponents (+1 in Big Ten play); Iowa holds a +3 turnover margin as well (-1 in Big Ten play).

 

Last week, I talked about how field position would be key. Iowa ranks 100th in terms of punt return yardage, averaging 4.86 yards returned/punt. Michigan ranks 111th in net punting, averaging a net 32.71 yards/punt. Michigan gave up 213 yards on the ground in a loss to Michigan State, allowing 5.5 yards/carry. Iowa is led by the dangerous RB Marcus Coker (969 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 10 rushing TDs). QB James Vandenberg (1918 passing yards, 62.2% completion, and 17 passing TDs) has been very good, in his first year starting. The Wolverines will need to be aware where WR Marvin McNutt (858 receiving yards, 17.9/catch, and 9 receiving TDs) is on the field (7 catches, 114 yards in 2 meetings). Michigan actually has done surprisingly well against Iowa’s ground game in the recent two meetings, holding them to an average of 109 yards, but gave up an average of 266 through the air.

 

Iowa graduated QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, and TE Allen Reisner last year. Regardless of the talent Iowa lost, they always seem to reload. Michigan must avoid turning the ball over if they hope to get away with a win. They will also need to dominate the line of scrimmage, as Iowa’s run defense is weaker than in recent memory. Iowa outscores their opponents 130-57 in the first half (62-34 in Big Ten), but only outscores opponents 114-108 in the second half (48-56 in Big Ten).

 

@ Iowa +4.0 Michigan -4.0.

 

Michigan 29 Iowa 27.

 

Who ya got?