Last weekend was something special. Congratulations to Ohio State and their obnoxious fan base for wetting themselves as three touchdown favorites in Iowa City; essentially dashing their hopes of becoming national champions. It’s always fun to listen to a fan base bitch and moan on social media about the college football playoff rankings first unveiling when there’s an entire month of the season left to go only to see their favorite program play itself right out of contention. What makes things more entertaining is when a team expected to be massive favorites in all their remaining games against inferior competition falls flat. However, picking on the Scarlet and Grey for being unprepared on a big stage is nothing new when we look back at how they showed against Oklahoma, Penn State (spare me the heroic comeback garbage), and last week at Kinnick. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, the committee has an unhealthy relationship with their program and should they possibly end the regular season 11-2 as Big Ten champions there’s still a chance they could sneak into the semifinals if chaos ensues.
When we look at the rest of the landscape there’s actually a more extensive list of teams controlling their own destiny than the committee leads you to believe. Naturally, this is an over simplified look at the pecking order, but by our count there are nine teams that fall into the “win and you’re in” bucket.
Alabama, Georgia, Auburn (yes, Auburn), Miami, Clemson, Oklahoma, TCU, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin.
Let’s just say Wisconsin getting in the playoff as an undefeated Big Ten Champion would be entertaining given their resume currently has more holes in it than the academic transcript of a UNC basketball player. Now to be fair, it would look better with a victory over Michigan and the East division champion.
Vegas Top 10
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
Congratulations to the Maize and Blue fans, you’ve gone from being one of our most overrated teams early in the season to officially being underrated. Often times the betting market over reacts or under reacts meshing preseason expectations with actual on-field performance. Michigan fell victim to the hype machine early; struggling to cover big numbers with a very young football team. As the season’s progressed and Coach Harbaugh continues to tinker with his offensive choices something magical happened; books treated them like a red headed step child after getting slapped around by Penn State. We know they didn’t cover the following week against Rutgers, but that’s in the past; don’t be surprised if the Wolverines thrive in their final two games as underdogs against Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Normally I have to write long elaborate explanations of why we peg certain teams as grossly overrated or vastly underrated. In this instance it’s straightforward and simple; the Hawkeyes are not even close to as good as the team that dismantling Ohio State, 55-24 last weekend. Let us not forget this is the same Hawkeyes offense that scored 17 points vs. Minnesota, 10 points at Northwestern, and 10 points at Michigan State. Suddenly, after just a 60 minute sample size they’re top 20 caliber? NO SHOT! I’m not here to diminish their outright upset as three touchdown underdogs, but let’s not think a singular game is indicative of what we’re going to see every week here on out from Iowa.
Double Digit Dog of the Week: UL Lafayette +20.5 (6-4 ATS)
There’s normally nothing sexy about the double-digit underdog in college football. Sure, we see it all the time, a double-digit ‘dog rises up from the depths of despair to put forth a Herculean effort claiming a season defining win nearly every week. Late in the year there’s nothing better than when a team is laying multiple scores with questionable motivation. Enter the Ole Miss Rebels playing their 7th straight game fresh off last minute heroics against Kentucky to win in Lexington, 27-24. Before that, Ole Miss let a game slip through their fingers against Arkansas, but showed resiliency beating the Wildcats on the road. However, the Rebels aren’t bowl eligible this year and they finish the regular season with a home date against Texas A&M before traveling to Starkville on Thanksgiving for the annual Egg Bowl against Mississippi State; could you possibly blame them if this game against a middle of the road Sun Belt foe feels like a glorified scrimmage? Me neither, and while I don’t expect you to know the coach of Lafayette (Mark Hudspeth), or their new starting quarterback (Levi Lewis), or which previous running back is getting major burn for the New York Jets (Elijah McGuire); just bet it and forget it when the Ragin’ Cajuns cover comfortably.