College Football Pick’em: Week of 9/14
After last weekend, it’s official: The regular season college football machine is firing on all cylinders as we chug on toward Week 3. Well, unless you’re Auburn or Notre Dame, who are probably thanking their lucky stars right now they limped through last weekend’s games. And oh no, now there are “just” seven Southeastern Conference teams in the Top 25 rankings — though Auburn did plummet 12 spots after barely holding off an Football Championship Subdivision team they were predicted to beat. Though it’s true the Pacific Coast Conference has had a somewhat quiet start to the regular season, thankfully our Trojans handily beat a team we paid $1.1 million to come play us, and we have been improving each week just in time for our first conference game against the Farm.
Now it’s that time again where I talk about that darn model thing. But after getting all excited about the stuff we added to the model last week, I promise to keep this section short and sweet. We expected our predictions for Week 2 to be somewhat shaky with the addition of new data. But rather than a complete bloodbath, we came out mostly unscathed with a 76 percent accuracy for the week. Sure, this drops our week over week average to 78 percent, but when you consider that many NFL pundits average approximately 61 percent accuracy when, you know, their livelihood focuses on knowing all about football, I’d say we are doing quite well.
See? Nice and short. Now let’s check out the predictions!
|Day||Time||Home Team||Away Team||Home Team Odds||Away Team Odds||Spread|
|Fri||07:00 PM||Arizona State||New Mexico||99.5%||0.5%||-20.5|
|Sat||01:00 PM||Indiana||Western Kentucky||68.55%||31.45%||-8|
|Sat||02:00 PM||Washington||Utah State||89.07%||10.93%||-16.5|
|Sat||03:00 PM||Georgia||South Carolina||87.86%||12.14%||-16|
|Sat||04:00 PM||Arkansas||Texas Tech||79.6%||20.4%||-12.5|
|Sat||04:00 PM||Colorado State||Colorado||1.68%||98.32%||19|
|Sat||04:00 PM||Old Dominion||North Carolina State||47.03%||52.97%||1|
|Sat||04:00 PM||Texas State||Southern Mississippi||25.05%||74.95%||9.5|
|Sat||05:00 PM||New Mexico State||Texas-El Paso||61.47%||38.53%||-5|
|Sat||05:00 PM||Oregon State||San Jose State||99.18%||0.82%||-20.5|
|Sat||05:00 PM||Penn State||Rutgers||80.53%||19.47%||-13|
|Sat||05:00 PM||San Diego State||South Alabama||54.59%||45.41%||-2.5|
|Sat||05:00 PM||Southern California||Stanford||98.92%||1.08%||-20.5|
|Sat||05:00 PM||Texas Christian||Southern Methodist||90.45%||9.55%||-17|
|Sat||05:00 PM||Toledo||Iowa State||61.16%||38.84%||-5|
|Sat||05:30 PM||Washington State||Wyoming||98.52%||1.48%||-20|
|Sat||07:30 PM||Fresno State||Utah||1.41%||98.59%||19.5|
|Sat||07:30 PM||UCLA||Brigham Young||66.84%||33.16%||-7.5|
|Sat||09:00 AM||Army||Wake Forest||21.32%||78.68%||11|
|Sat||09:00 AM||Florida Atlantic||Buffalo||72.98%||27.02%||-10|
|Sat||09:00 AM||Maryland||South Florida||0.67%||99.33%||19.5|
|Sat||09:00 AM||Michigan||Nevada-Las Vegas||78.86%||21.14%||-12|
|Sat||09:00 AM||Michigan State||Air Force||64.29%||35.71%||-6.5|
|Sat||09:00 AM||Minnesota||Kent State||98.15%||1.85%||-20|
|Sat||09:00 AM||North Carolina||Illinois||26.42%||73.58%||9|
|Sat||09:00 AM||Texas A&M||Nevada||97.03%||2.97%||-19.5|
|Sat||09:30 AM||Syracuse||Central Michigan||92.97%||7.03%||-18|
|Sat||11:00 AM||Oregon||Georgia State||86.83%||13.17%||-15.5|
|Sat||11:30 AM||North Texas||Rice||1.69%||98.31%||19|
|Sat||12:00 PM||Eastern Michigan||Ball State||11.84%||88.16%||15|
|Sat||12:00 PM||Kansas State||Louisiana Tech||63.12%||36.88%||-6|
|Sat||12:30 PM||Louisiana State||Auburn||83.85%||16.15%||-14|
|Sat||12:30 PM||Miami (Florida)||Nebraska||99.55%||0.45%||-20.5|
|Sat||12:30 PM||Miami (Ohio)||Cincinnati||0.81%||99.19%||19.5|
|Sat||12:30 PM||Notre Dame||Georgia Tech||70.72%||29.28%||-9|
|Sat||12:30 PM||Ohio State||Northern Illinois||96.21%||3.79%||-19|
|Sat||12:30 PM||Oklahoma State||Texas-San Antonio||73.32%||26.68%||-10|
|Sat||12:30 PM||Purdue||Virginia Tech||66.15%||33.85%||-7|
No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 2 Alabama (Spread: -19.5)
After a week out of the spotlight, ESPN’s College GameDay is back in Tuscaloosa as Alabama hosts Ole Miss this weekend. Readers will likely recall that Ole Miss was the only team to beat Alabama during the regular season last year. And while it is true that Ole Miss has averaged 74.5 points in their past two games, they’ve also only played an FCS team and a non-power five conference team. Despite their impressive final scores and other statistics, Ole Miss’ weak strength of schedule means that Alabama is a 19.5 favorite in our model. Nonetheless, this will be an interesting matchup, as a largely unproven Ole Miss team faces off against the ’Bama powerhouse.
No. 18 Auburn at No. 13 Louisiana State (Spread -14)
Remember when the Associated Press projected Auburn in the National Championship? Oh boy, it’s been a rough period for Auburn since their high preseason aspirations. It’s true, Auburn is still undefeated, but after squeaking by Jacksonville State last week, many are questioning whether Auburn is even capable of winning the SEC. And now the Tigers are traveling to “Death Valley” where they haven’t won since 1999.
As fun as it is to bag on Auburn for its early season issues, there is no question that this is not going to be a cakewalk for LSU. Last week, LSU very much looked liked a team just starting their season, especially with six Tigers making their first career starts and playing seven freshmen. Our model has LSU as a 14-point favorite, but they need to get rid of the sloppy penalties, especially against a more high-powered team like Auburn to pull out their first home win.
Stanford at No. 6 USC (Spread -20.5)
Ah, the infamous Stanford-USC game. While the spread seems to indicate that this should be yet another easy game for USC, Trojan fans should be wary of playing the Farm, regardless of what a college football writer’s model might say.
History aside, it’s important to point out the signs of improvement we’ve seen each game from USC. In particular, I want to give a shout out to our offensive line who, after giving up five sacks to Arkansas State, made sure Kessler had a much more enjoyable evening last weekend. They did not give up a single sack against the Vandals and enabled Kessler to throw for 410 passing yards.
This will be an interesting conference opener for both teams. For Stanford, this game is an opportunity to try and get their season back on track after a slow start. For USC, this game will be an opportunity to show that the first two games weren’t just flukes and that they deserve a spot in the top 10.
While we’re on upset alert, another potential upset-alert matchup is No. 19 BYU at No. 10 UCLA. Though BYU rolled UCLA 59-0 back in 2008, the UCLA team today is quite a different beast. BYU has been able to keep their undefeated start going with both wins coming from last minute Hail Marys, and they have quite a few offensive options, but they will be going up against a fast, tough UCLA defense. This should be a good game to catch the tail-end of after the USC game.