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» Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Denver remains No. 1 in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings, but New England moves up to No. 2 and has taken over as our Super Bowl favorite.

18 Nov 2010

SDA: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and Robert Weintraub

There are few true marquee games on the college football slate this week, but that's all right -- college football is taking its show to baseball stadiums. Northwestern and Illinois will meet at a purple Wrigley Field on Saturday (it is the first football game there since 1970), while Army and Notre Dame look to reprise old, classic Yankee Stadium battles at ... new Yankee Stadium.

In another unique matchup, Georgia State's fledgling football program travels to Tuscaloosa only a few short months after suiting up for their first football game ever. Of course, there are bigger battles this weekend -- four games, in fact, pit nationally ranked teams against each other, and conference races are on the line across the country. But there may be no more scenic battles than the baseball stadium games. Besides, only one game this weekend might give us death by fade route. Come on, you know you'll watch.

Previews

Georgia State +57.5 at No. 11 Alabama (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

OVERALL When Georgia St.
Has the Ball ...
When Alabama
Has the Ball ...
Category GSU
(6-4)
Alabama
(8-2)
GSU
Off
Alabama
Def
GSU
Def
Alabama
Off
2010 F/+ Rk N/A 3 N/A 20 N/A 2
2010 FEI Rk N/A 3 N/A 18 N/A 7
2010 S&P+ Rk N/A 4 N/A 13 N/A 2
2010 FPA Rk N/A 12
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk N/A 22 N/A 4
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk N/A 14 N/A 3
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk N/A 5 N/A 8
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
N/A 59.6% Run
(64th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk N/A 12 N/A 2
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
N/A 29.0% Run
(83rd)

Sure, on the surface, this seems like a tomato can warm-up for Alabama before the titanic Iron Bowl matchup. But it's also a nice humanitarian gesture by the Tide -- the game gives a hefty paycheck and a spot of publicity for the first-year Panthers and their startup coach, Bill Curry, who coached Alabama from 1987-89. Curry went 26-10 at Alabama, but he wasn't sufficiently Bear enough for the crazed Rammer Jammers. Someone even threw a brick through his office window after a Homecoming loss. Now Curry brings his FCS team to Tuscaloosa at 6-4, with a strong quarterback -- one surprisingly not named Star Jackson. The former Tide top recruit transferred to GSU with much fanfare, but has been injury prone and Wally Pipped by freshman Drew Little, who has 18 touchdown passes. State, a commuter school located in downtown Atlanta, is no upset threat, but the Tide aren't likely to go Wisconsin on them and run up the score, either.

No. 7 Wisconsin -5 at Michigan (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Wisconsin
Has the Ball ...
When Michigan
Has the Ball ...
Category Wisconsin
(9-1)
Michigan
(7-3)
Wisconsin
Off
Michigan
Def
Wisconsin
Def
Michigan
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 15 39 5 108 38 3
2010 FEI Rk 11 41 4 109 37 1
2010 S&P+ Rk 16 38 15 97 35 6
2010 FPA Rk 10 75
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 6 97 40 7
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 29 92 29 7
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 3 88 60 2
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
71.7% Run
(14th)
70.9% Run
(15th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 19 114 41 17
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
36.9% Run
(42nd)
30.9% Run
(75th)

Back-to-back victories by Michigan has Rich Rodriguez's future in Ann Arbor looking brighter, but the much-maligned Wolverines defense will face its toughest challenge of the year this week. Michigan's defense has surrendered 32 points and 433 yards per game in 2010 but hasn't faced a Top 20 offense yet, according to FEI and S&P+. In comes Wisconsin on the heels of their 83-point barrage against Indiana last weekend. Whether or not the Badgers were looking to impress BCS poll voters, they do sit control the Big Ten tiebreakers. But they can't exclusively control their own Rose Bowl destiny. They can control the line of scrimmage. The 338 yards on the ground against the Hoosiers last week came without team rushing leader John Clay on the bench nursing an MCL injury. He may miss this weekend's game as well, but James White and Montee Ball won't mind picking up where they left off.

Pittsburgh -3 at South Florida (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

OVERALL When Pittsburgh
Has the Ball ...
When South Florida
Has the Ball ...
Category Pitt
(5-4)
USF
(6-3)
Pitt
Off
USF
Def
Pitt
Def
USF
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 20 49 17 43 37 55
2010 FEI Rk 21 38 33 34 33 63
2010 S&P+ Rk 19 63 12 66 44 59
2010 FPA Rk 41 28
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 10 63 56 55
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 15 77 28 47
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 9 36 32 52
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.2% Run
(62nd)
68.4% Run
(22nd)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 29 112 58 53
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
34.7% Run
(58th)
38.4% Run
(28th)

OK, so some viewers might prefer things like "ranked teams" and "aesthetically-pleasing football," but if you want the game with some of the biggest BCS bowl stakes of the weekend, head on down to Tampa for a key matchup in the Big East conference race. Despite their unsightly 5-4 record, Pittsburgh has a 3-1 conference record and holds a one-game lead over four teams (4-2 Syracuse, 3-2 South Florida, 2-2 Connecticut and 2-2 West Virginia) in the loss column. The Pittsburgh defense has been making do in the absence of star defensive end Greg Romeus, who missed seven games to a back injury. Jabaal Sheard and Brandon Lindsey have combined for 25.5 tackles for loss; they will have to continue picking up the slack, as Romeus is now lost for the season to a knee injury. If the Panthers' defense can avoid passing downs breakdowns, their offense should be able to take advantage of South Florida's own defensive issues. The Bulls are reasonably well-coached, but they are either too aggressive or not aggressive enough on passing downs, giving up big play after big play. This game may not pit two big-time teams, but both have better chances of making a BCS bowl than most ranked teams, and the game carries some significance because of it.

No. 6 Stanford -7 at California (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, FSN)

OVERALL When Stanford
Has the Ball ...
When California
Has the Ball ...
Category Stanford
(9-1)
California
(5-5)
Stanford
Off
California
Def
Stanford
Def
California
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 6 54 6 28 25 91
2010 FEI Rk 4 67 13 61 26 93
2010 S&P+ Rk 10 48 7 10 29 77
2010 FPA Rk 15 60
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 27 23 28 41
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 4 8 31 102
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 22 13 44 64
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
64.8% Run
(36th)
60.8% Run
(54th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 3 6 81 85
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
34.1% Run
(61st)
39.5% Run
(23rd)

The 113th iteration of The Big Game features two teams who have moved in opposite directions recently. California won 10 games in 2004 and 2006 and nine in 2008, but after an 8-5 campaign last year, Jeff Tedford's Golden Bears now stand at just 5-5, in need of a win over either Stanford or Washington to secure bowl eligibility. Meanwhile, Stanford had gone seven seasons without a winning record until last year's 8-5 breakthrough, and now they sit sixth in the BCS standings with two games remaining. The teams were on opposite sides of near-misses last week, as well. Stanford needed a fourth-quarter comeback to get past Arizona State (call it karma for Andrew Luck's downright silly pass), while California came up two points short of knocking off No. 1 Oregon in Berkeley (karma for the whole "looking to the sideline to see when you should go down with injury" thing). While Luck is obviously the big-name quarterback in the matchup, the game could be decided by whether California's Brock Mansion can put up some numbers through the air as well. The Golden Bears have been downright awful in the passing game, but they might get some opportunities on passing downs, where Stanford's otherwise solid defense has been vulnerable.

No. 9 Ohio State -3 at No. 20 Iowa (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Ohio State
Has the Ball ...
When Iowa
Has the Ball ...
Category Ohio St.
(9-1)
Iowa
(7-3)
Ohio St.
Off
Iowa
Def
Ohio St.
Def
Iowa
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 5 10 10 7 6 28
2010 FEI Rk 13 14 16 9 15 26
2010 S&P+ Rk 3 7 4 7 3 32
2010 FPA Rk 4 30
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 5 9 7 52
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 12 16 4 27
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 10 21 3 27
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
65.0% Run
(35th)
60.7% Run
(56th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 35 3 2 92
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
42.8% Run
(14th)
35.6% Run
(51st)

Hawkeyes fans must feel like they've been this close to a really special season in Iowa City, but all that slipped away in single-score losses to Arizona, Wisconsin, and Northwestern. Barring upsets galore, Iowa won't be back in contention for Big Ten title tiebreaking madness, but the Hawkeyes can still finish strong with a win over Ohio State. Both teams hang their hats on the defensive side of the ball, but Ohio State has the truly eye-popping raw stats -- 50 percent of opponent possessions are three-and-out, they give up only 29 percent of available yards, and only 5 percent of opponent drives average 10 yards per play. The Buckeyes are once again a national leader in controlling field position, aided by the top turnover margin in the country (26 gained, 12 lost). The only games the Buckeyes failed to have a positive turnover margin happen to be the only games in which they struggled -- minus-1 in a close win over Illinois, even in the loss to Wisconsin.

No. 16 Virginia Tech -2.5 at No. 24 Miami (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Virginia Tech
Has the Ball ...
When Miami
Has the Ball ...
Category Va. Tech
(8-2)
Miami
(7-3)
Va. Tech
Off
Miami
Def
Va. Tech
Def
Miami
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 9 8 14 3 21 33
2010 FEI Rk 6 12 6 1 27 28
2010 S&P+ Rk 13 6 19 4 19 33
2010 FPA Rk 6 70
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 11 8 70 35
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 16 9 2 35
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 34 1 24 11
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
67.4% Run
(25th)
61.9% Run
(48th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 23 26 23 65
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
39.8% Run
(22nd)
33.2% Run
(66th)

Not long after Labor Day, the Hokies season was in tatters, left for dead after the losses to Boise State and, horrifically, James Madison. But it's not a huge surprise that coach Frank Beamer has rallied the team to eight straight wins and the cusp of a berth in the ACC title game. That's the real BeamerBall -- cranking out double-digit win seasons. Tech can wrap up the ACC Coastal by taking their talents to South Beach and beating the Hurricanes, who will go with backup quarterback Stephen Morris in place of Jacory Harris once more. Morris has been sound, thanks in large part to superstar receiver Leonard Hankerson, who caught his 11th touchdown pass in a win at Georgia Tech last week. But it was Miami's varied rushing attack that paced them in Atlanta, and the likes of Damien Berry will need to gash a Hokie rush defense allowing nearly five yards per carry this season. Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor gives his team the most notable advantage in the matchup, sporting an 18-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a run threat that the Miami defense, led by Sean Spence, must account for.

llinois -7 vs. Northwestern (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

OVERALL When Illinois
Has the Ball ...
When Northwestern
Has the Ball ...
Category Illinois
(5-5)
NW'ern
(7-3)
Illinois
Off
NW'ern
Def
Illinois
Def
NW'ern
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 27 70 58 87 12 46
2010 FEI Rk 36 55 67 102 19 50
2010 S&P+ Rk 23 86 62 85 9 69
2010 FPA Rk 28 32
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 58 106 6 72
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 52 64 21 53
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 59 97 14 75
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
72.2% Run
(10th)
60.7% Run
(55th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 72 67 13 69
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
44.8% Run
(11th)
37.6% Run
(33rd)

No, the teams aren't having exceptionally successful seasons, but both Illinois and Northwestern may be bowl bound this year. And no, unfortunately Northwestern won't be travelling to the game from Evanston via the El. But yes, the Wrigley Field novelty will feature extra points sailing onto Sheffield Avenue, Illinois and Northwestern fans packed onto rooftop decks across the street, a padded brick wall Ron Zook claims will be just like Arena football, and, based on Cubs game day experience, what we can only assume will be some of the best tailgating of the year. Quarterback Dan Persa for the Wildcats won't be on the field after an Achilles tear during last week's comeback victory over Iowa. Illinois gave up fourth-quarter leads in losses to Michigan and Minnesota in the last two weeks, but the Illini should have an easier time bottling up a Persa-less attack.

No. 13 Arkansas -3 at No. 21 Mississippi State (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Arkansas
Has the Ball ...
When Miss. St.
Has the Ball ...
Category Arkansas
(8-2)
Miss. St.
(7-3)
Arkansas
Off
Miss. St.
Def
Arkansas
Def
Miss. St.
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 7 32 7 8 29 79
2010 FEI Rk 8 30 3 2 16 60
2010 S&P+ Rk 9 32 8 14 18 72
2010 FPA Rk 63 18
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 18 37 47 61
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 8 20 6 73
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 7 8 34 41
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
51.3% Run
(104th)
70.9% Run
(16th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 10 79 5 77
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
25.8% Run
(103rd)
51.3% Run
(5th)

The Bulldogs have managed to stay in games all season by playing tough defense. That trend evaporated in the face of Alabama's Greg McElroy, who torched the MSU secondary. Now Ryan Mallett comes to town. He threw a school-record five touchdown passes last week in a thrashing of UTEP, and he hasn't missed a beat despite the absence of injured star wideout Greg Childs. Meanwhile, running back Knile Davis has emerged to give the Hogs some balance, with nine touchdowns in the last four games. They go into StarkVegas averaging around 35 points per game, and State will need to throw it much better than it has to keep up. Quarterback Chris Relf is not a passing threat, so look for freshman Tyler Russell to get some more action -- at least he presents a threat through the air.

Notre Dame -8 vs. Army (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, NBC)

OVERALL When Notre Dame
Has the Ball ...
When Army
Has the Ball ...
Category N.D.
(5-5)
Army
(6-4)
N.D.
Off
Army
Def
N.D.
Def
Army
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 33 68 42 100 31 34
2010 FEI Rk 46 51 56 95 50 47
2010 S&P+ Rk 22 82 29 106 11 63
2010 FPA Rk 62 8
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 23 112 20 47
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 43 80 11 62
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 33 110 9 58
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
45.8% Run
(115th)
87.2% Run
(2nd)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 63 106 16 93
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
28.4% Run
(86th)
75.4% Run
(1st)

The Fighting Irish sometimes get crap for scheduling the service academies, and don't get much credit when those teams are actually decent as both Army and Navy are this year. On the other hand, ND hasn't been dominating these games -- or winning them for that matter. The last time the Irish faced a run-first service academy, Navy torched them for 35 points in six methodical non-garbage drives, attempting only two passes all day. Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco took a lot of heat for that failed game plan, but he recovered some good will in holding Tulsa and Utah to only one touchdown drive in the last two weeks. Army is led by quarterback Trent Steelman, running backs Jared Hassin and Patrick Mealy, all of whom may carry the ball 10 times or more. The Army defense isn't very good, but Notre Dame hasn't been dominant on that side of the ball all year.

No. 8 Nebraska -3 at No. 19 Texas A&M (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Nebraska
Has the Ball ...
When Texas A&M
Has the Ball ...
Category Nebraska
(9-1)
A&M
(7-3)
Nebraska
Off
A&M
Def
Nebraska
Def
A&M
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 16 26 24 10 17 54
2010 FEI Rk 9 28 8 7 12 39
2010 S&P+ Rk 17 26 30 6 20 43
2010 FPA Rk 24 101
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 26 15 36 49
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 44 15 10 50
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 29 11 27 43
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
76.9% Run
(5th)
55.8% Run
(87th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 47 8 14 48
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
47.8% Run
(7th)
25.5% Run
(105th)

Nebraska can officially clinch the final Big 12 North title and a spot in the Big 12 Championship with a win in College Station against an improving Texas A&M team. The Aggies were chosen by many to break back into the world of big-time college football this season, but a near-loss to Florida International sounded some alarms, and three-straight losses (to Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and Missouri) emptied the bandwagon. Mike Sherman was right back on the hot seat, but a few strong adjustments later, the Aggies have caught fire. Since installing former receiver Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, they have one four in a row and scored at least 33 points in each game. A&M has improved in all offensive facets, and they will provide a strong challenge to the Nebraska defense. Meanwhile, the Huskers will need quarterback Taylor Martinez at full strength again this week. He showed layers of rust in his return to action against Kansas last week, and he will need to be in fifth gear against an A&M defense that has also steadily improved in their first year in Tim DeRuyter's 3-4 system. Since beating Missouri, the Huskers have thrown it into cruise control a bit -- they will need a strong effort to move to 10-1.

Storylines of the Week

Rob Weintraub: When I used to rail against epically awful Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson, those on the receiving end would cover their ears, wipe the spittle off their cheek, and remind me that it's always a bad thing to replace a coach in the middle of a season. Best to start anew after that last enemy kneel down. Well, I wish Doug Marrone had been installed at any point during the last few seasons, and this year, Minnesota and Colorado have put that myth to bed. After the Buffs let a Lawrence Laugher turn into a Kansas Komeback for the ages, Dan Hawkins was let go as Buffs coach. His interim replacement, Brian Cabral, turned the Titanic around in a single week, as Colorado smacked a decent Iowa State team 34-14. Up in Minny, Tim Brewster was mercifully canned -- effective immediately -- after the Gophers started 1-6 and couldn't fill its beautiful new stadium. Jeff Horton took over, and Minnesota has rallied, shocking Illinois 38-34 a week ago. That upset put Ron Zook on the hot seat in Champaign. He'll survive this season, of course, and likely stay on for 2011. But if the Illini get off to a slow start next season, don't wait to pull the trigger and "effective immediately" the Zooker.

Brian Fremeau: One refrain I hear again and again in college football discussions is whether or not a team is better is getting better every week. I wonder how realistic an expectation that is for a football team. Does it mean that it plays better every week relative to its competition? By GFEI, no team has strung together more than five straight weeks of improved opponent-adjusted game efficiency this year and only six others have done so four weeks in a row. The only current four game continuous improvement in GFEI belongs to Minnesota (a stretch which happens to coincide with Tim Brewster's firing, but also includes blowout losses in three of the four games). I ran a quick and dirty summary of each team's GFEI in weeks 1-4 versus GFEI In weeks 8-11 and found the following teams top all others in better average GFEI now than at the beginning of the year: Wisconsin, Syracuse, Florida State, Houston, and Duke. The difference is attributable to schedule strength in some cases and single game outliers in others, so I won't be drawing any conclusions here. But what constitutes improvement over the course of the year? Are we looking for it among our BCS title game contenders?

Bill Connelly: Here's a fun oddity for the week: In the 51 FBS vs. FBS games played at a home stadium (and not Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium, though both are indeed home stadiums), 25 feature road favorites. This includes all nine of the FBS vs. FBS games we previewed above. Is this a peculiarity, or is this a sign that this weekend is going to be a little crazier than we are expecting? In seven of the above games, both Rob and the F/+ ratings are picking the road favorite against the spread. If that isn't a sign for a large rash of home upsets, I don't know what is.

Picks

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Rob F/+
Georgia State +57.5 Alabama Georgia St. Georgia St.
Wisconsin -5 Michigan Wisconsin* Wisconsin
Pittsburgh -3 South Florida Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Stanford -7 California Stanford Stanford*
Ohio State -3 Iowa Ohio State Iowa
Virginia Tech -2.5 Miami Va. Tech Miami
Illinois -7 Northwestern Illinois Illinois
Arkansas -3 Mississippi St. Arkansas Arkansas
Notre Dame -8 Army Notre Dame Notre Dame
Nebraska -3 Texas A&M Nebraska Nebraska
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
Week 11 Season Total
Rob: 3-7 (0-1) 49-58-3 (5-6)
F/+: 7-3 (0-1) 49-58-3 (2-9)

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 18 Nov 2010

10 comments, Last at 20 Nov 2010, 12:58pm by Tom Gower

Comments

1
by Nathan :: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 4:01pm

all i want is a navy game to be televised in the ny area for once

2
by Jeff Fogle :: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 4:44pm

Don Best is showing the Las Vegas Hilton with Alabama by 45, and the Mirage with 46.5. Where did you get the 57.5 from? Just wondering. DB could be wrong because that's an outlaw game rather than one from the main schedule...

3
by Brian Fremeau :: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 4:49pm

Covers.com; Looks like its down to 52.5 now.

6
by Kevin from Philly :: Fri, 11/19/2010 - 9:00am

63-7. So much for Alabama taking it easy on them.

7
by Oi! (not verified) :: Fri, 11/19/2010 - 10:36am

I watched the game, and can say that Alabama did take it easy on Ga State. GSU just imploded. Multiple turnovers gave the Tide a short field. An interception on a screen pass ( terrible throw) was returned for a touchdown, as was a blocked punt. Saban had pulled the starters before halftime.

4
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 9:14pm

Haven't looked at the game yet, taking Georgia State and the points.

10
by Tom Gower :: Sat, 11/20/2010 - 12:58pm

Ouch, 3-7(0-1) last week, so only 51-55-3 (4-7) on the year. 0-2 counter-consensus, so down to 15-12 there. Rob-F/+ consensus picks went 3-3 last week and are now 27-36-1 on the year.

Georgia State ended my streak of getting Thursday night games wrong, so I'm off to a good start. I'll take Michigan, Pitt, Stanford, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Arkansas, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M. Counter-consensus picks are the Wolverines, Wildcats, and Aggies, and I'll take the Purple in The Game With One End Zone.

5
by Jeff Fogle :: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 9:25pm

Closed around 44 everwhere. Looks like that 57.5 was just somebody at covers throwing a number for contests they run. Not a bettable line anywhere. First offshore place was 52ish with low limits...first Vegas places were 46-ish with low limits...rest of offshore read the tea leaves and put up a number near Vegas...and people STILL bet Georgia State to bring the number down to 44.

Funny how a game like that gets on everyone's radar when the main TV matchup is a non-entity like UCLA-Washington. Best of luck to everyone this weekend...

8
by witless chum :: Fri, 11/19/2010 - 1:45pm

"Whether or not the Badgers were looking to impress BCS poll voters, they do sit control the Big Ten tiebreakers. But they can't exclusively control their own Rose Bowl destiny."

Not sure exactly what this means. As I understand it, the Big 10 tiebreakers are just to determine who the Rose Bowl rep is. If MSU, Wiscy and OSU all finish 7-1 in conference, they're co-champs. OSU would probably win the tie breaker, which would be BCS standings at that point.

Wiscy doesn't own the tiebreaker over MSU, either, as MSU beat them in East Lansing.

The scenario for 6-2 happy fun chaos isn't THAT crazy. Say, Iowa beats OSU in Iowa City and Michigan upsets Wisconsin in Ann Arbor this week, then MSU loses at Penn State next week. And there's your four-way tie. Other than MSU doesn't share with anyone, that's my favorite scenario.

9
by zlionsfan :: Sat, 11/20/2010 - 11:47am

That's correct ... a friend who's an MSU alumna asked about it a couple of weeks ago and we looked it up. Head-to-head (like the NFL, only if one team swept or was swept by the rest), overall record, BCS standings. (For older fans, the least-recently-visited-Rose-Bowl part is no longer considered.)

4-6 (1-0) last week, 48-53-3 (7-3-0) this week. What's the deal with all the road favorites this week? picks: Wisconsin, South Florida, Stanford, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Illinois (lock), Arkansas, Army, Texas A&M.