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?

Comments

ChiBlueBoy

November 1st, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

People are making a big deal of Iowa being 5-0 at home this year. That would be against Tenn Tech (34-7), Pitt (31-27 late escape), Louisiana-Monroe (45-17) jNW (41-31) and Indiana (45-24). Iowa has some decent pieces and could create issues, but looking at everything else, we cover.

Maize_in_Spartyland

November 2nd, 2011 at 12:14 AM ^

Iowa is 22-4 (0.846) at home since 2008, with losses to Northwestern (2008, 22-17) (2009, 17-10), Wisconsin (2010, 31-30), and Ohio (20-17). The last time Iowa lost by more than a touchdown, at home, was in 2007, with a 9 point loss to WMU and an 18 point loss to Indiana.

 

To compare, since 2008, at home . . .

1. Ohio 24-3 (0.888)

2. Wisconsin 21-3 (0.875)

3. Penn State 23-5 (0.821)

4t. Iowa 22-4 (0.846)

4t. Michigan State 22-4 (0.846)

6. Nebraska 22-5 (0.815)

7. Northwestern 14-8 (0.636) 

8. Illinois 15-9 (0.625)

9. Michigan 17-11 (0.607)

10. Purdue 14-12 (0.538)

11. Minnesota 11-15 (0.423)

12. Indiana 10-15 (0.400)

 

One Inch Woody…

November 2nd, 2011 at 10:42 AM ^

While this is valid, I think this year has completely different circumstances. Iowa hasn't played a complete team at home yet and Michigan is going to be the closest thing to a complete team they have played all year. It gets harder when Michigan State, a more complete team, comes to town the week after, even. All of the box score results of Iowa's games point to the same story: wildly inefficient offense, bad defense against mobile quarterbacks. If Indiana (scored 24 points) and Northwestern (scored 31 points) even had a SEMBLANCE of defense, they could have easily beaten Iowa at Kinnick.

One Inch Woody…

November 1st, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

Kinnick is a tough atmosphere, but a noon start changes things in terms of crowd noise. Early reports are indicating that it's not going to be a trash tornado, but quite well behaved weather.

Iowa runs a pro-style offense and as such, this game will be very interesting for our defense. The threat of play-action from MSU undoubtedly contributed to the numerous times our LBs were caught frozen on run plays and Iowa will seek to establish play-action early. Our best bet is coming out in our base 4-3 under and pray that Iowa's OC is as stubborn as Borges in refusing to check into bubble screens. Vandenburg is a first year starter who has shown to crumble under pressure so I don't see many checks happening. Iowa's vertical passing game should hopefully be neutralized by Woolfolk's sheer athleticism at SS. Gordon has shown excellent cover skills at FS but a little slow at the nickel (replaced by Avery). We must be wary of Coker, play action, no-huddle, and McNutt. We can sleep soundly about conservative play calling, Vandenburg assuming the position while Martin consumes his soul, and that the only legit defense that Iowa has faced has held them to 3 points (though it was during the trash tornado, if I'm not mistaken). [it feels good to put Michigan up there in the legit defenses. We technically shut Purdue out... huge ass RPS on the first one and JT Floyd being a dumbass on the second one]

On offense, Iowa has Shaun Prater to worry about and that's about it. Their defensive line is receiving less laud than Purdue's, even. Prater is nowhere near as athletic as Ricardo Allen. Unless Iowa is able to time the snap count or completely overpower our hardened O-Line with their less-than-average D-line, Denard should have plenty of time to throw. This means that we'll have to mainly worry about Denard vs. going through his progressions. That, and whether or not Borges will continue to add Hi-Low reads and other simple constraint plays to the offense which are easy for 2nd year starters like Denard to grasp. The whole vertical passing game is not going to work against Prater and Co. In addition, every Big 10 team we have faced has used pretty much the same defensive scheme to good effect, given D-Line penetration. This strategy is stacking 8 in the box and forcing Denard to complete throws. The threat of him running will keep them subdued for a short amount of time, which would be enough to complete a Hi-Lo read like we did countless times against Purdue. The Stack formations are very helpful for this. Our triple-option game will hopefully have matured a little bit more against Iowa and Touissant will shred the weak Iowa defense.

Purdue hung with Penn State and thrashed Illinois before moving into its shell. Yet, we are currently pegged as the worst 1 loss team in the country, the 6th best team in the big 10, and are on upset watch (yet again...) this weekend. Massey predicts that Michigan will win 28-21. Massey correctly predicted the scores and outcomes to each of the previous games and he predicts us to win all the remaining four with Nebraska being the most uncertain.

I think Iowa comes out and plays hard to save face and will jump to an early lead. But, the coaches have learned their lesson from MSU and will fight back slowly to take control of the game. The score will be 28-20 at the start of the 4th quarter and Iowa will bring it to 28-26 before failing an attempted 2 point coversion since they never practice it because Ferentz would rather die than attempt something so uncertain. Denard has 2 picks and 1 TD. Touissant has 100 yards. Woolfolk records his first pick. Morgan gets a sack. BWC gets 5 TFLs. Book it!

switch26

November 4th, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

sorry, but there is no way we are the worst 1 loss team in the country..

 

Look at Penn State.. anemic on offense, yes the D is good, but that won't help them down the road.

 

Kansas state is the same way..  Good D, soso offense..  Cinci is 6-1, ya they are better than us too lol

jjlenny3

November 2nd, 2011 at 9:32 AM ^

Houston -27 vs UAB

MSU -27.5 vs. Minn

OSU  -27 vs Ind

ND -14 vs wake

 

my upset

Missouri +3 vs Baylor

 

look at SDSU vs New Mex. -35.5  New Mexico hasn't scored in their last 2 games.

Trebor

November 2nd, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

Ugh, 1-4 last week. Boo to me. Seriously Iowa, losing to Minnesota?

Anyway, my 5 picks this week:

Michigan State (-28) - MSU may yet lose a game this season, but not this week. Their offense gets back on track at home, and Minnesota isn't going to move the ball against MSU.

Northwestern (+17.5) - Northwestern will give up a lot of points, but they'll put points up like they have against everyone this season. They won't win, but they also won't lose by 3 scores.

Oregon (-15) - They'll continue to roll through their schedule until the Stanford game.

Arizona (-4) - Arizona can't continue to play as awful as they have, can they? Against a Utah team that's been overwhelmed in their first year as a member of a BCS conference?

Stanford (-21) - See Oregon above.

Number 7

November 2nd, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

Favorite ATS:  Iowa State and the 14 points they're giving at home.  Yes, two TDs is high for a defensively challenged squad.  But KU is all-around challenged.  Consider the margins of defeat in the last 6 games:  42, 11, 42, 40, 38, and 43 points.

Dog ATS:  Texas Tech, getting 12 points against Texas?  TT can do it on the road (even if beating Kansas by only 11 (see above) doesn't really count as 'doing it;);  'Horns are uniinspiring.  Take the points at least.  Also, I think Northwestern matches up well (enough) against Nebreaska -- not to win, but certainly to stay within the 17.5 points I see they're getting.

Dog SU:  Utah, getting 3.5 points at Arizona.  One of these times, Utah is going to come through for me.

Picktown GoBlue

November 4th, 2011 at 12:22 AM ^

Michigan covering 35-21

I'll take Northwestern with the points, since they should be able to score against Nebraska but probably won't win

Just not feeling like too many upsets will happen this week - could both LSU and Alabama lose so we can stop hearing about them and so they can stop putting up the results of the last 4 #1 vs #2 contests?