3 Up 3 Down – College Football Week 11
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.
Texas A&M Aggies
2012 Record: Straight-Up 8-2, Against-the-Spread 6-4
Previous Game: 29-24 upset of Alabama
Watching this game I kept thinking about Casino and Ace’s description of Nicky. Ace: “You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And if you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he'll keep comin' back and back until one of you is dead.” It appeared that A&M did not heed Ace’s advice, a missed field goal in the 4th quarter could have made it a two score game but later the Aggies found themselves up only five points with Alabama threatening to take the lead. Texas A&M did not necessarily kill Alabama but a pick on 4th and goal from the 2 yard line and then an offside penalty put the Crimson Tide out of their misery.
Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns. He frustrated the Bama defense rushing for 92 yards and helping convert 11 of 18 3rd-down attempts. Texas A&M’s defense forced Alabama into a season high three turnovers and in so doing blew the BCS Title picture wide open.
Special note: Texas A&M and the Manziel family are working to trademark the nickname, Johnny Football. In an article by Darren Rovell on ESPN, “The nickname has no history before Aggies players and fans started calling him (Manziel) that at the start of the season.” This is not true, or I’m pretty sure it is not true. In the movie Johnny Be Good, I believe Anthony Michael Hall’s character has the nickname of Johnny Football. This movie came out in 1988 so it has been a while since I’ve seen it. I’ll do some more research and get back to everyone.
Sam Houston State is 1-13 straight-up in its last 14 games
The total has gone under in 4 of the Aggies last 6 games
Kansas State Wildcats
2012 Record: Straight-Up 10-0 Against-the-Spread 8-1-1
Previous Game: 23-10 title hope boosting win over TCU
The big winner after Saturday’s slate of games, Kansas State. Sure, they were already #2 in the BCS Standings but key wins by Oregon (#14 Stanford and #11 Oregon St) or Notre Dame (#19 USC) in the coming weeks could have jumped those programs over the Wildcats in the polls. With the Alabama loss, Kansas State only has two remaining games before a possible trip to the BCS Championship game. How did this all happen?
August 2008: Collin Klein redshirts
November 2008: Bill Snyder re-hired as head coach
June 2010: Nebraska and Colorado leave the Big 12
August 2011: Missouri and Texas A&M leave the Big 12
The combination of personnel movements and conference realignment has set the table for an unlikely KSU title run. Without a conference championship game, Kansas State would most likely have faced Oklahoma; the odds of the Wildcats finishing undefeated greatly improve.
The total has gone over in 4 of Kansas State’s last 6 games when playing Baylor
Baylor is 12-1 straight-up in its last 13 games at home
2012 Record: Straight-Up 5-5, Against-the-Spread 5-4-1
Previous Game: 51-48 4-OT win against Rocky Top
Why is a .500 team that only has two conference wins in my Three Up? Simply, I’m an unrepentant homer! Which is a lot like being a wedding singer. I have a forum to say whatever I want and if you do not like it I may end up strangling you with my microphone wire.
My Missouri Tigers didn’t do much in the first half, 64 yards of total offense. The second half and the four overtimes were a different story. James Franklin went all Chase Daniel, career offensive yardage leader, (no he didn’t eat his boogers) but he did pick the Volunteer defense apart. Franklin threw for 206 yards and 4 touchdowns after halftime. A 35-yard field goal in the fourth overtime gave Missouri its first SEC road victory. M-I-Z…!
The total has gone over in 4 of Syracuse’s last 6 games on the road
Missouri is 1-3-1 against-the-spread in its last 5 games at home
2012 Record: Straight-Up 9-1, Against-the-Spread 4-6
Previous Game: 45-26 drudging by Syracuse
It was not shocking to us that Louisville lost. In fact, we predicted the Orange’s upset victory. Louisville has played with fire all season, trailing in the second half four times prior to this game. Each time Louisville found a way to come back and secure the win (5-0 in games decided by one score or less). This time turnovers, the inability to stop Syracuse on 3rd down (14 of 19), and big plays (37 yard passing TD, 55 yard rushing TD, 35 yard rushing TD) cost Louisville a chance at an undefeated season and an improbable BCS Championship.
I say their chances for a BCS Championship were improbable because according to Paul’s Blog, Louisville only had a 2.62% chance of being the only undefeated team at the end of the season. I believe it would take such a scenario for them to be in serious contention to play in the title game. In fact, so low were their odds of remaining undefeated that we did not simulate them in any possible hypothetical BCS Championship game.
Connecticut is 1-5-1 against-the-spread in their last 7 games
The total has gone over in 4 of Louisville’s 5 home games
2012 Record: Straight-Up 9-1, Against-the-Spread 6-4
Previous Game: 27-20 miracle win against LA-Lafayette
Instead of doing any real analysis I think this game would best be explained through the use of quotes from Point Break.
Johnny Utah: “You gotta go down. You crossed the line and people trusted you and they died.”
PredictionMachine.com translation: People bet on Florida, 61% of money bet came in on Florida to cover the 27-point line, even though we told people to take Lafayette.
Bodhi: “Life sure has a sick sense of humor, doesn’t it?”
PredictionMachine.com translation: Florida needed a blocked punt for a touchdown with 2 seconds remaining to avoid the upset.
Long story short, Florida paid the Ragin’ Cajuns $950,000 to play this game and it almost came back to bite them.
Special note: While they never say it, I would imagine Johnny Utah’s nickname would have been Johnny Football since he was an all-American at Ohio State. This is just another example that can be used in the trademark case mentioned above.
Jacksonville State is 1-11 straight-up in its last 12 games on the road
The total has gone under in 6 of Florida’s last 7 games at home
Mississippi State Bulldogs
2012 Record: Straight-Up 7-3, Against-the-Spread 5-5
Previous Game: 37-17 loss to LSU
Mississippi State started the game with a 74-yard opening drive that resulted in a touchdown. From there it was all downhill for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State only managed 47 yards rushing, committed two turnovers, and was a paltry 3 of 10 on 3rd down. Just like I predicted Mississippi State lost to LSU. During the Bulldogs seven game winning streak they were averaging 37 points per game while only allowing the opposition to score 14 points. In the last three games the opposition has scored 37 points per game and the Bulldogs have only put up 12 points per game. Again, schedules makes all the difference, through seven games Mississippi State was ranked as high as #11 in the country, now they are unranked.
The total has gone over in 6 of Arkansas’s last 9 games
The total has gone under in 6 of Mississippi State’s last 9 games