PredictionMachine.com’s Manager of Research and Analytics, John Ewing, reviews the week that was with a look at three college football teams that stood out for good reasons and three whose weekends did not turn out as successfully as anticipated.
2012 Record: Straight-Up 11-1, Against-the-Spread 6-6
Previous Game: 42-10 butt kicking over rival Georgia Tech
Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate (game nickname), a rivalry that dates back to 1893, did not live up to its history as the Bulldogs routed the Yellow Jackets. Aaron Murray threw for two touchdowns tying Peyton Manning for the second most passing touchdowns in SEC history. Murray also passed the 3,000-yard mark making him the first SEC quarterback to do so in three consecutive years. The Bulldogs fourth straight win improves Georgia’s record to 63-39-5 all time against the North Avenue Trade School. Georgia heads to the SEC title game with hopes of a national title.
Georgia is 25-36-4 against Alabama; although they have won three of the last 4 meetings. Alabama is 3-4 in the SEC Championship game; all seven games came against Florida. Georgia is 2-2 in the SEC title game; all four appearances have come since 2002.
Alabama is 15-1 straight-up in its last 16 games
The total has gone over in 4 of Georgia’s last 5 games against Alabama
2012 Record: Straight-Up 10-2 Against-the-Spread 8-4
Previous Game: 35-17 Bruin beatdown
Stanford is so hot right now! They have won six in a row, beating #11 Oregon State, #2 Oregon, and now #17 UCLA. The win over UCLA was the fourth in a row for the Cardinal and gives Stanford 10 wins for the third straight season; the first time the program has accomplished that feat. Stepfan Taylor rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns helping Stanford win the Pac-12 North and setting up a rematch against UCLA next Friday.
As always, the storylines in college football mimic those of The Challenge. In episode 8, “Honey, I’m Homeless”, Zach and CJ face off in the Arena with CJ dominating Zach for a Team Cancun win in the men’s heat. After the women’s heat is won by Team San Diego the men face off again as a tiebreaker. Zach overcomes the short turnaround, comes up with a new game plan, and thumps CJ after a slow start in the rematch. I’m not saying that UCLA will beat Stanford when they face each other Friday but this should give UCLA fans hope that their team can bounce back just like Zach.
UCLA is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Stanford
The total has gone under in 5 of Stanford’s last 7 games
South Carolina Gamecocks
2012 Record: Straight-Up 10-2 Against-the-Spread 8-4
Previous Game: 27-17 taming of the Clemson Tigers
Dylan Thompson filled in for starting quarterback Connor Shaw (sprained ankle) and threw three touchdowns to go along with 310 yards through the air. However it was the Gamecocks’ defense that had the bigger impact. Jadeveon Clowney had 4 ½ sacks setting a single season Gamecocks’record with 13 sacks, and South Carolina picked off the usually accurate Tajh Boyd twice.
The win was the Gamecocks fourth in a row over the Tigers, which is the first time the Gamecocks had won four in a row in the series since 1954. The win also made Steve Spurrier the winningest coach in South Carolina history despite only coaching in his eighth season in Columbia.
The Gamecocks do not play again until bowl season; they are 5-12 in bowl games. South Carolina has made a bowl in seven out of eight seasons under Steve Spurrier. The Gamecocks are 1-3 in the last four bowl appearances.
Florida State Seminoles
2012 Record: Straight-Up 10-2, Against-the-Spread 4-8
Previous Game: 37-26 oops, loss to Florida
After being dominated in the first half by the Gators everything seemed to being going the Seminoles way in the third quarter. EJ Manuel had the offense clicking, throwing and rushing for a touchdown to help score 17 unanswered points and give the Seminoles the lead. Then everything unraveled, in a span of nine minutes in the fourth quarter Florida scored 24 straight points and put the game out of reach. EJ Manuel committed four turnovers (3 INTs, only the 2nd time that has happened in his career) and the usually strong FSU defense allowed 244 yards rushing.
The Seminoles had been dominant at home, outscoring opponents 324-54. The loss destroyed any hope that the Seminoles had to play in the national championship game and dropped the ACC to 1-5 against the SEC this season. The ACC has not had a winning record against the SEC since 2003 when it finished 5-4.
The total has gone over in 4 of Florida State’s last 6 games
Georgia Tech is 2-8 straight-up in its last 10 games against FSU
2012 Record: Straight-Up 9-2, Against-the-Spread 5-6
Previous Game: 51-48 OT win vs. Ok State
Oklahoma won 51-48 against their in-state rivals in the first overtime game in the Bedlam series. Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns surpassing Graham Harrell to become the all-time Big 12 leader in passing yards. So why are the Sooners on my three down list? Simply, I bet on them and they failed to cover. I reasoned that Mike Gundy had an Eric Berry like fear of the Sooner’s mascots, Boomer and Sooner. Add that fear to Oklahoma State’s record against the Sooners since Gundy took over as head coach, 1-7, and it looked like an easy cover. In retrospect, I realize that Oklahoma State’s mascot is a Cowboy. A cowboy’s favorite pet is a horse; therefore, there is no fear and Oklahoma State was going to cover.
The total has gone over in 7 of Oklahoma’s last 8 games
TCU is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
2012 Record: Straight-Up 3-9, Against-the-Spread 4-8
Previous Game: 49-0 blanking by Alabama
Auburn was spanked for the second consecutive year by Alabama, losing in the most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years. The Tigers 3-9 record is the worst for any team within two years of having won an Associated Press national title. Auburn had one of its worst offensive performances of the season tallying only seven first downs and committing three turnovers. Auburn finishes 0-8 in SEC play, its worst record in ten years.
UFC World Champion, George St-Pierre, is afraid of being abducted by aliens. While George’s fear seems unfounded; Auburn fans’ fears of another rocky SEC season seemed real. Head coach Gene Chizik was fired shortly after the Auburn loss. Don’t feel bad for Chizik, he will receive a buyout of $7.5 million to be paid in monthly installments over the next four years.
Special note: I’ve always dreamed of being fired from a high paying job and getting paid not to come into work. Football coaches are so lucky.
Auburn will not play again until next season, had they made a bowl they were on an impressive 5 game winning streak and 8-1 in the last nine. Auburn has only missed post-season play twice since 1999.