Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Week 11 DVOA Ratings

DVOA has finally climbed on board the Wentz Wagon! The Eagles move into the No. 1 spot, but they aren't the only strong, well-balanced team in the NFL this year. New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and the Los Angeles Rams make this one of the best seasons ever for multiple teams over 30% in DVOA, and Minnesota isn't far behind.

19 Nov 2015

SDA: Conference Survival

by Chad Peltier

Things are getting serious now that we have some real separation after the first five to ten teams. There's a fairly limited group of schools vying for playoff contention at this point, and the fans seem to know it. While some notable playoff contenders have been eliminated in recent weeks, this week can further narrow the field as Michigan State goes to Columbus, Baylor tries to upend the undefeated Cowboys, and TCU will try to hand the Sooners their second loss. Some members of the SEC have gotten a final cupcake in before their rivalry games (looking at you, Alabama), but most of the country faces a tough challenge on a Saturday where there are big games on almost all day.

Memphis (-1.5) at Temple -- 12 p.m. (ESPNU)

Sure, this one has lost some of its allure since the two teams have combined to lose four of their last six games, but it's still one of the most exciting late-season games left as both teams try and get to double-digit wins. The teams are opposite sides of the coin: the Tigers are a top-ten offensive unit but have a defense that barely makes the top 90. For Temple, it's the reverse -- a defense-led team that is particularly effective against the pass. So with strength-on-strength with the Memphis offense taking on the Temple defense, which unit will come out on top?

Temple's defense is a top-25 unit by almost any metric, but itcertainly has its strengths and weaknesses. For one, it's efficient against opposing run games (13th) and is at its best aggressively stuffing running backs in the backfield (30th), but it allows a surprising number of explosive runs (118th). Temple is even better against the pass, allowing just a 34 percent passing success rate (21st) without getting to the quarterback very frequently (70th in adjusted sack rate). This really couldn't be much more of a strength-on-strength matchup, with Memphis fielding a merely average rushing offense (67th) that certainly isn't explosive, but possessing one of most prolific quarterbacks in the country in Paxton Lynch. Lynch is extremely efficient (16th in passing S&P+) and has still thrown just three interceptions and rarely takes sacks. Houston managed to slow Memphis down in the second half and Navy ground out a win, but no one else was consistently able to stop the Tigers. One thing to watch will be how explosive the Memphis passing game can be -- Lynch has been geared more towards efficiency, with his top two receivers averaging 12 and 13 yards per catch, but Temple's pass defense is ranked just 60th in passing IsoPPP.

Overall Memphis Temple
F/+ 25 45
When Memphis has the ball Offense Defense
S&P+ 7 24
FEI 12 37
Success Rate 16 14
IsoPPP 48 106
Rushing S&P+ 67 48
Passing S&P+ 16 30
When Temple has the ball Defense Offense
S&P+ 88 80
FEI 62 72
Success Rate 83 96
IsoPPP 88 30
Rushing S&P+ 54 96
Passing S&P+ 79 77

But while the Temple pass defense vs. Paxton Lynch matchup is the primary reason to watch, the game could be decided on the margins -- for example, the Memphis defense is certainly poor, particularly against the pass, but can P.J. Walker take advantage? Walker has been fairly productive behind his receiving duo of Robby Anderson and Ventell Bryant, but the passing offense as a whole is fairly inefficient. Neither receiver has more than a 58 percent catch rate, and Walker completes just 56 percent of his passes for 6.4 yards per attempt. The Owls' best hope is to capitalize on excellent field position and to take advantage of scoring opportunities whenever they come. One of the biggest disparities between the teams is in average starting field position and in finishing drives, as the Owls are third in the country by starting drives on the 35-yard line while averaging more than five points per scoring opportunity. While the Memphis defense is typically excellent in starting field position as well (with an average start on the 26-yard line), they are terrible in red zone defense, ranking 115th in points allowed inside the 40.

Watch for:

  • While Temple's pass defense is the strength of the team, they are only average preventing explosive pass plays. Memphis' passing attack is slightly geared towards high-percentage efficient throws rather than explosive ability, but Paxton Lynch might be able to throw deeper than usual to open things up underneath as well.
  • Can the Owls take advantage of their scoring opportunities, since they are 34th in points per scoring opportunity while the Memphis defense is 115th in the same category?

F/+ Outright Pick: Memphis

USC (+4.5) at Oregon -- 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Overall USC Oregon
F/+ 9 33
When USC has the ball Offense Defense
S&P+ 12 95
FEI 9 87
Success Rate 29 103
IsoPPP 21 60
Rushing S&P+ 29 108
Passing S&P+ 22 62
When Oregon has the ball Defense Offense
S&P+ 39 11
FEI 23 13
Success Rate 71 20
IsoPPP 25 12
Rushing S&P+ 23 4
Passing S&P+ 39 31

The line on this one is very surprising, favoring the Ducks by 4.5. Sure, Oregon took down Stanford last week and the Trojans squeaked by Colorado after one-score wins over California and Arizona in previous weeks, but the advanced stats seem to strongly prefer USC over Oregon due to the latter's poor defense. The Trojans are the highest-ranked three-loss team at ninth in the F/+ and are just one of four teams with three or more losses in the F/+ top 25. Oregon jumped 15 spots in the F/+ rankings with last week's win to 33rd overall, but they're dragged down by their 95th-ranked defense in S&P+. But we could be in for an undercover shootout since both offenses are top-15 S&P+ units and have varying poor defensive play, particularly against passing attacks. So is the Vegas line a reflection of confidence in Vernon Adams against the USC defense, or is it merely respect for playing the game in Autzen?

It's a stretch to say that Oregon's defense stopped Stanford. The Cardinal had an efficient game, but timed themselves out of the game with a glacially-slow pace of play. The Ducks are particularly poor against the run (108th in rushing S&P+), but do a decent job preventing explosive pass plays (22nd) even if they are inefficient in terms of passing success rate (113th). So nothing really changes for the USC offense, as that plays in to the Trojans' strengths. Cody Kessler is efficient, completing around 69 percent of his passes, though it's almost a one-receiver system with Juju Smith-Schuster totaling more than 700 more receiving yards than the second-leading pass catcher, cornerback and part-time receiver Adoree' Jackson. But the explosive run game should find plenty of opportunities versus Oregon's defense. Ronald Jones II started his college career as by far the most explosive option for the Trojans' ground game (he averages more than 3 highlight yards per carry more than second-leading rusher Justin Davis), giving USC something it hasn't had offensively since maybe Reggie Bush. No matter the metric you use to describe the Ducks' run defense, Oregon should allow plenty of explosive rushing opportunities for Jones.

In that regard, this should be one of the most exciting matchups of running backs we'll see this season, since Royce Freeman has been one of the best but forgotten running backs in the country. Getting nowhere near the love that Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, or Dalvin Cook get, but just as effective and critical for his team, Freeman has paced the fourth-ranked rushing attack in rushing S&P+, rarely getting stuffed (20th in stuff rate), and gaining at least 5 yards on an average of 45 percent of his carries. Freeman kept the Oregon offense at least steady while Vernon Adams was injured. But the Ducks have taken a huge step forward since Adams' return, as he averages nearly 3 yards per attempt more than Jeff Lockie and opens the vertical passing game up. For the Ducks to win, they'll need to run efficiently (against the 63rd rushing success rate Trojans defense) and pass efficiently as well (against the 79th-ranked passing success rate defense). It's worth noting that the Ducks might start very quickly, as USC is 90th in defensive S&P+ in the first quarter, before tightening up to a top-20 unit over the next two quarters. So even if the Ducks jump to an early lead, it doesn't necessarily mean that USC can't come back with better defensive play for the rest of the game.

Watch for:

  • Who will win the running back matchup? Derrick Henry versus Leonard Fournette got all the press, but this matchup of premier Pac-12 backs deserves your attention as Ronald Jones II faces sneaky-excellent Royce Freeman. Both backs should be explosive against the defenses.
  • Though it's a running back matchup, can we expect big games from the passing offenses? Cody Kessler should be efficient if not exactly explosive, but can Juju Smith-Schuster change that for USC?

F/+ Outright Pick: USC

Michigan State (+13) at Ohio State 7 p.m. (ABC)

Overall Ohio State Michigan State
F/+ 5 15
When Ohio State has the ball Offense Defense
S&P+ 16 35
FEI 31 31
Success Rate 17 57
IsoPPP 40 64
Rushing S&P+ 7 33
Passing S&P+ 21 20
When Michigan State has the ball Defense Offense
S&P+ 7 32
FEI 11 19
Success Rate 4 62
IsoPPP 75 37
Rushing S&P+ 18 108
Passing S&P+ 3 42

Ohio State has been consistently favored by large margins in the Vegas spreads, but has also generally failed to cover these wide spreads. That's not necessarily a knock on Ohio State -- they're 10-0 and fifth in the F/+ rankings for a reason -- but it does speak to the immense confidence that bettors have in the Buckeyes coming off of their national championship season. With nearly a two-touchdown spread favoring the Buckeyes over the Spartans, is this the game where the Ohio State offense meets the lofty expectations it set at the end of last season? Will Ohio State begin to play up to its competition, or can the Spartans themselves play better than their 15th ranking in the F/+?

To get it out of the way, if Michigan State is going to have a chance, Connor Cook and his leading receiver Aaron Burbridge will need to have monster games. Cook has been solid, only throwing four interceptions, rarely getting sacked (3.7 percent sack rate and 28th in adjusted sack rate). But his completion percentage is not very efficient (56 percent) and the passing offense is heavily reliant on Burbridge, who receives almost 36 percent of the targets in the passing game. Further, Burbridge has as many receiving yards as the next three receivers combined. If Ohio State's Eli Apple can lock down Burbridge, or if the defensive line can pressure Cook enough to force errant passes without blitzing, then it's tough to find another playmaker for Michigan State. Part of the issue is the total lack of a run game (108th in rushing S&P+), which should allow the Buckeyes to get both pressure on passing downs and limit the run game without loading the box. Ohio State's run defense has been spectacular, but like its pass defense, has somewhat struggled to defend explosive runs. The Spartans don't appear to have an explosive back capable of making the Buckeyes pay, as the freshman duo of Madre London and L.J. Scott average under 6 highlight yards per opportunity and have opportunity rates under 37 percent. So the weight will almost all be on Connor Cook to produce despite things stacked heavily in Ohio State's favor. That's a tall order considering Cook's shoulder injury from last week.

But the matchup between the Ohio State offense and the Michigan State defense is an interesting one. Yes, Pat Narduzzi left his post as Spartans defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh job last season, but the identity of the defensive scheme hasn't changed, and neither has its break-don't-bend profile -- at least through the air. That means a lot of pressure is on the Spartans cornerbacks. Expect Ohio State to challenge these corners and try to take advantage of their 93rd passing IsoPPP inability to contain explosive receivers. The Buckeyes' Michael Thomas is on par with any receiver in the country in terms of wining one-on-one battles, while Jalin Marshall and Braxton Miller pick up the highlights as deep threats. These three receivers should inflict a good deal of damage on the Spartans defense. However, expect their effect to be felt most on passing downs. While Michigan State is 20th overall in passing S&P+, they are 64th in passing downs S&P+, indicating that they perform best against the pass on standard downs. And on standard downs, expect to see a lot of Ezekiel Elliott against the 78th-ranked rushing S&P+ defense. In short, there's every reason to think that the Buckeyes should be fairly efficient against the Spartans on the ground and explosive through the air, so unless red zone woes come up again (relative woes, that is -- they rank just 35th in points per scoring opportunity) the Buckeyes should score well on the Spartans for College Gameday.

Watch for:

  • Explosive plays through the air with Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall, and Braxton Miller, and efficient running from Ezekiel Elliott, especially on standard downs.
  • The key matchup will be how efficient Connor Cook is able to be against a Buckeyes pass defense that rarely allows opposing quarterbacks to complete even half of their passes. But the Ohio State pass defense can struggle with broken plays for explosive gains, so watch for how effective Aaron Burbridge is able to be. Either way, don't expect a lot of turnovers from the Spartans.

F/+ Outright Pick: Ohio State

LSU (+6.5) at Ole Miss -- 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Overall LSU Ole Miss
F/+ 12 13
When LSU has the ball Offense Defense
S&P+ 14 28
FEI 11 53
Success Rate 28 34
IsoPPP 13 51
Rushing S&P+ 2 13
Passing S&P+ 34 43
When Ole Miss has the ball Defense Offense
S&P+ 41 18
FEI 34 21
Success Rate 61 13
IsoPPP 26 26
Rushing S&P+ 44 57
Passing S&P+ 7 2

What a difference two weeks makes for LSU. From the top four in the country to talk of Les Miles on the hot seat and coaching for his job, this Tigers-Rebels matchup has somewhat of a somber tone looking in from the outside. Both teams are coming off losses to Arkansas as the SEC West has begun to cannibalize itself outside of the seemingly unstoppable Crimson Tide. So these teams -- along with Georgia and Auburn -- are playing more for pride and for a higher quality bowl game at this point. And though the wind has been taken out of these teams' sails to some degree, they are both top-15 teams that merely had tough competition.

It's worth watching how Leonard Fournette handles two subpar games after his blazing start to the season. While he's still the nation's leading rusher, Derrick Henry is closing in on Fournette, and Ezekiel Elliott isn't far behind either. The LSU offense as a whole has gone south as Fournette has been slowed by Alabama and Arkansas. The Rebels defense isn't exactly the landshark unit we expected, but their run defense is solid. Thirteenth overall, the Rebels will nevertheless need to worry about Fournette once he gets to the second level as they are 51st in rushing IsoPPP and Fournette averages 7.2 highlight yards per opportunity. But the landsharks' bigger weakness is against the pass, as Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen carved up Ole Miss for 442 yards, 10 yards per attempt, six touchdowns, and no interceptions. Brandon Harris is not Brandon Allen, but he is an explosive passer thanks to wideouts Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre. These two command 60 percent of the Tigers' total passing targets and average more than 17 yards per catch as well. The Tigers rarely throw it (111th in standard downs run rate), but are explosive when they do, and that should be a big concern for Ole Miss.

Chad Kelly is doing more than could be expected of a transfer quarterback. Yes, he has a bad habit of throwing interceptions (12 this year), but he is prolific otherwise (sixth in passing success rate) with Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core, Quincy AdeBoyejo, and Damore'ea Stringfellow rounding out a deep receiving corps. Treadwell is the obvious main target (25 percent of targets, 73 percent catch rate, and nearly 15 yards per catch), but the other three mentioned are certainly scary targets for any secondary. Except that LSU's pass defense is excellent, ranked seventh in passing S&P+. For comparison, Brandon Allen threw for 442 yards against Ole Miss, but only 141 against LSU. Sure, this had a lot to do with the offensive game plans for the two games -- Allen averaged 9.8 yards per attempt against the Rebels and 8.8 against the Tigers -- but it also speaks to what the Razorbacks thought would be successful. So it's fair to expect Chad Kelly to have more issues with LSU's pass defense than almost any team he has faced so far this year. The Tigers' pass defense has been far more intimidating than their run defense, however, as Derrick Henry ran for more than 200 yards and then Arkansas's back ran for nearly 300 total yards on LSU. Ole Miss has generally lived and died on offense based on Chad Kelly, but Jaylen Walton has increasingly come in to his own. The Ole Miss scheme doesn't ask a lot from its running backs, but he averaged nearly 6 yards per carry against Arkansas and faces an LSU defense 44th in rushing S&P+. Any kind of success on the ground will be huge for taking the pressure off of Kelly.

Watch for:

  • How efficient can the Ole Miss run game be? It's facing the 44th-ranked rushing S&P+ defense in LSU, and should open things up more for Chad Kelly even though he faces a much tougher LSU pass defense.
  • Will Leonard Fournette's struggles continue for a third-straight game? The one-time Heisman leader now will go against the 13th-overall rushing S&P+ Ole Miss defense, though the Rebels are 51st in rushing IsoPPP.

F/+ Outright Pick: Ole Miss

Baylor (EVEN) at Oklahoma State -- 7:30 p.m. (FOX)

Overall Baylor Oklahoma State
F/+ 78 16
When Baylor has the ball Offense Defense
S&P+ 1 51
FEI 3 24
Success Rate 1 35
IsoPPP 1 63
Rushing S&P+ 16 42
Passing S&P+ 3 24
When Oklahoma State has the ball Defense Offense
S&P+ 74 20
FEI 55 35
Success Rate 44 37
IsoPPP 66 18
Rushing S&P+ 20 13
Passing S&P+ 65 27

It's Week 12 and the Big 12 leaders are undefeated Oklahoma State and one-loss Oklahoma, exactly like we expected, right? Preseason favorites Baylor and TCU aren't technically out of the running with just one loss each, but they face a significant challenge to get back in to the playoff conversation. For Baylor, that will start with trying to hand the undefeated Cowboys their first loss of the season. Oklahoma State hasn't always made it look easy -- they won by 11 over Central Michigan, three over Texas, and four over Iowa State, with six games under a 75 percent S&P+ percentile performance -- but they are currently the Big 12 leaders thanks to their passing attack and aggressive pass rush. But just because Baylor was taken down by the Sooners last week, don't expect their explosive offense to take the rest of the season off.

We were promised a shootout last week in Baylor-Oklahoma, but it was actually much tamer than the barnburner many of us expected. In two straight weeks -- Jarrett Stidham's first two starts as Baylor's quarterback -- the Bears have failed to score more than 34 points. Can we get a wild shootout this week instead? Well, a lot will hinge on how well the Baylor offensive line deals with pressure. Stidham, despite his accuracy and production in limited opportunities this season, is nevertheless a freshman, which showed in the Oklahoma game as the Sooners' front seven was able to apply some pressure. In theory, this is strength versus strength, as the Baylor offensive line is 13th in adjusted sack rate and taking on the Cowboys' defensive line, which is 17th by the same metric. Emmanuel Ogbah has double-digit sacks and tackles for loss and should have even more success than Oklahoma did last week (recording two sacks and eight tackles of loss). If the defensive line does successfully pressure Stidham, then it might also follow its rival Sooners and limit the Baylor run game. Ranked as one of the most efficient rushing attacks in the country, the Bears were held to just 3.6 yards per carry against Oklahoma. Don't count on that level of defensive efficiency from the Cowboys, though, as they are only average (42nd in rushing S&P+, 40th in adjusted line yards) in run defense. Baylor might put more on Shock Linwood's plate (53 percent opportunity rate) to not only relieve pressure on Stidham, but to take advantage of Oklahoma State's relative defensive weakness. A final thing to keep an eye on: there is no one better in the country at getting points out of scoring opportunities than the Bears, who average six points per scoring opportunity. But the Cowboys defense is actually weak in the red zone, ranking 87th by allowing nearly five points per scoring opportunity on defense -- and that might be a function of their weaker run defense. So look for more ground-and-pound from Linwood as the Bears get scoring opportunities.

The Bears defense has taken a lot of flack for failing to meet (somewhat overhyped) preseason expectations, particularly along the defensive line. The run defense is the obvious strength and is a verifiable top-25 unit despite Samaje Perine totaling 166 yards -- the Oklahoma run game as a whole averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The pair of Andrew Billings and Shawn Oakman hasn't racked up the numbers in pass defense, but they, along with defensive end Jamal Palmer, have totaled 33 tackles for loss and have stuffed 24 percent of opponents' runs (22nd). As a result, Oklahoma State is likely to find very little success on the ground. The common perception is that while running backs Chris Carson and Rennie Childs are inefficient and don't offer much explosive potential for the 118th rushing S&P+ Cowboys offense, quarterback J.W. Walsh is the run game's spark. While it's certainly true that he is the most explosive runner for Oklahoma State, averaging 7.4 highlight yards per carry, he also has a sub-30 percent opportunity rate and low overall volume of carries. That leaves Mason Rudolph and the incredibly productive Cowboys passing offense to handle the majority of the work. Which is fine, as Baylor is 120th in passing IsoPPP, and should allow plenty of long completions to James Washington and David Glidden.

Watch for:

  • With Oklahoma State's strong pass defense and ability to get to the quarterbacks combined with Baylor's rushing efficiency, will Baylor's offense be slowed down just enough to allow Oklahoma State's dynamic passing offense to mount too much of a lead to quickly match?
  • Baylor seems to have a big advantage in red zone scoring efficiency, averaging nearly 6 yards per scoring opportunity. Can that be the difference for the Bears, who have seen their offensive production go down since Seth Russell's injury?

F/+ Outright Pick: Baylor

TCU (N/A) at Oklahoma -- 8 p.m. (ABC)

Overall TCU Oklahoma
F/+ 24 3
When TCU has the ball Offense Defense
S&P+ 9 14
FEI 20 2
Success Rate 3 24
IsoPPP 17 19
Rushing S&P+ 66 6
Passing S&P+ 10 5
When Oklahoma has the ball Defense Offense
S&P+ 77 8
FEI 70 14
Success Rate 35 15
IsoPPP 118 20
Rushing S&P+ 66 40
Passing S&P+ 73 11

Things are looking dire for 9-1 TCU, to the point that Vegas hasn't set a line for this matchup. Josh Doctson was recently ruled out for the rest of the season with an injured wrist, while Trevone Boykin missed most of last week's 23-17 win over Kansas after turning his ankle. These are inarguably the biggest stars for the Horned Frogs and are responsible for TCU's top-ten offensive S&P+ ranking. Oklahoma is coming in to form at just the right time as Baker Mayfield, Sterling Shepard, and Samaje Perine are rolling through the Big 12 slate post-Texas.

So if Trevone Boykin is limited or can't go at all, what do the Horned Frogs have to stand behind on offense? Not very much. That's not a slight to running back Aaron Green, who has a 42 percent opportunity rate and averages more than 5 yards per carry, but he's simply neither high-volume nor explosive enough to be the centerpiece of this offense. Freshman Foster Sawyer appears to be the primary backup, but struggled with accuracy and efficiency against Kansas. Even if Boykin is able to go, not having Josh Doctson available is a big blow to the Horned Frogs. Not only did he receive a quarter of all targets, but he also nearly as many yards as the next three receivers who have to replace him put together. Kolby Listenbee is the explosive threat and freshmen Shaun Nixon and KaVontae Turpin are both capable, but Doctson was the machine for the Horned Frogs. Even TCU at full strength might have issues with the sixth- and fifth-ranked Oklahoma rushing and passing defense, though. The primary fear for TCU will be linebacker Eric Striker, who has amassed 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks this season. TCU is rarely stuffed in the run game (tenth) or sacked (seventh), but it's always a concern playing against this quality of competition and without your primary receiving threat.

Things don't look much better for TCU on the defensive side of the ball either. Oklahoma has been rolling lately, as Baker Mayfield is now leading the 11th-ranked passing S&P+ offense and Samaje Perine has begun to pick up where he left off in 2014. In general, the Sooners have struggled with getting stuffed in the run game and creating explosive pass plays. The latter may be solved just by facing the TCU defense. The Horned Frogs are 126th in passing IsoPPP and 73rd in passing S&P+ overall. Further, the Horned Frogs are just 123rd in stuff rate against the run and 66th in rushing S&P+. Expect Oklahoma to move the ball at will against the Horned Frogs. It will be up to the TCU offense to turn this in to an unexpected shootout.

Watch for:

  • Will Trevone Boykin play, and if not, how will Aaron Green handle being the focal point of an air-based offense? Can the three receivers behind Josh Doctson replace his explosive ability?
  • How does Oklahoma's defense fare even against this three-headed receiving corps?

F/+ Outright Pick: Oklahoma

OTHER GAMES

Michigan at Penn State: The Wolverines have one week before The Game with Jim Harbaugh taking on Urban Meyer, but they have to get past a Penn State team that has one of the best defenses in the country. Will Jake Rudock continue his incredibly productive passing for another straight game?

North Carolina at Virginia Tech: The Tar Heels are one of the great surprises of the year as they have rebounded entirely from a close loss to South Carolina in the opener and are now looking at an ACC title game appearance. They will need to get past Virginia Tech, however, and the Hokies' defense is as good as any.

UCLA at Utah: Utah got horrible news that Devontae Booker is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury and surgery. Utah was favored at home, but does this news shift the favor to Josh Rosen and the Bruins?

F/+ PICKS: WEEK 12

Favorite Spread Underdog F/+ Pick F/+ vs. Spread Pick
Memphis 1.5 at Temple Memphis Temple
Michigan 3.5 at Penn State Michigan Michigan
North Carolina 6.5 at Virginia Tech North Carolina Virginia Tech
at Utah 2 UCLA Utah UCLA
at Ole Miss 4.5 LSU Ole Miss Ole Miss
at Ohio State 13 Michigan State Ohio State Ohio State
at Oregon 4 USC USC USC
at Arkansas 3.5 Ole Miss Arkansas Arkansas
at Oklahoma State 0 Baylor Baylor Baylor
at Oklahoma N/A TCU Oklahoma N/A

Picks against the spread last week: 3-6
Picks straight up last week: 5-4

Posted by: Chad Peltier on 19 Nov 2015

6 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2015, 3:32pm by Kal

Comments

1
by Kal :: Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:18pm

A big reason usc is an underdog - other than playing badly for the last two weeks while Oregon has been playing great - is that usc lost both their starting ilbs, including their leader in tackles this season. They're also likely down to two total starting safeties and might be down an olineman as well. Missing both starting ilbs going up against the 4th best running offense is not a good thing.

4
by poplar cove :: Fri, 11/20/2015 - 2:48pm

BINGO.........was going to say same thing myself. USC has a ton of injuries and haven't been quite the same running the football either since losing All-American center Max Tuerk a month ago, a guy Phil Steele had as the top center in CFB before the season. Trojans averaged just 3.5 per carry last week against a bad Colorado rush defense that's been allowing over 5.0 YPC this year.

2
by Greazypickle :: Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:52pm

When did you gather the spreads? They are not current. Are spread picks still the same with current lines?

3
by Johnny :: Fri, 11/20/2015 - 7:33am

Every season people act surprised at Alabama's penultimate regular season opponent, and conveniently ignore a) the Tide's schedule up to that point, and b) the absurdly soft schedules everyone else plays in September and October, while Alabama is actually playing impressive non-conference opponents and conference games.

Saban has pushed for 9 conference games for years, but none of the other SEC teams will go along with him. He has also argued against the cupcake games because it is bad for fans...but I digress.

5
by poplar cove :: Fri, 11/20/2015 - 2:54pm

There's no arguing their conference sked is tough but Louisiana Monroe, MTSU and Wisconsin at a neutral site is impressive? Would love to see Alabama or any SEC team for that matter actually go on the road once in a while in non-conference play.

6
by Kal :: Mon, 11/23/2015 - 3:32pm

LSU does it regularly. They're kind of awesome that way. Auburn did as well.

Alabama almost always does the neutral site thing because it's a huge amount more money for them. It's something like a 3m payday.