5 Possible Week 7 College Football Upsets
5 Possible Week 7 College Football Upsets
There is a reason why the fine print on the top of your office pool says “for amusement only”, and one of the prime examples of that warning came on Saturday night in the nationally-televised game between visiting Ohio State and Northwestern.
The Wildcats, who opened as a 5.5 underdog but went off the board on Saturday as a seven-point dog, found themselves with the ball and a four-point deficit with just a few seconds left and 85 yards away from a potential game-winning score. After a few crazy desperation pitches, the ball was knocked into the end zone and the Buckeyes fell on a fumble for a 40-30 win.
If you had Northwestern, you felt good for all but the last play of the game and if you had Ohio State, you were pleasantly surprised at an unexpected ending. A lot of people were very amused and some were not, but the development was nonetheless stunning.
As far as our picks, we've been very happy for the past three weeks, following up a 4-1 week against the spread with consecutive 3-2 ATS weeks.
Last week, we had Florida Atlantic as a five-point underdog at Alabama-Birmingham (the Owls won the game outright, 37-23), Ball State as a five-point underdog at Virginia (the Cardinals won the game outright, 48-27) and Iowa State getting nine points against Texas (the Cyclones lost by one, 31-30).
To be fair, we were let down by Illinois, which got 10.5 in a 39-19 loss at Nebraska and Nevada, a 4.5-point underdog, which lost by a touchdown in overtime at San Diego State. And had Nevada missed the last extra point in regulation in our Northwestern moment, we would have won with the Wolf Pack getting the cover.
At least five teams stand out as being most likely to avoid crazy bounces this week:
5. Indiana Over Michigan State
The Hoosiers are getting nine points on the road in East Lansing, and this looks good for two reasons: They've been improving of late, coming off a 44-24 beating of Penn State. The Spartans, while having an excellent defense, have had trouble scoring all season. If the Hoosiers don't win the game outright, which I think they will, they are almost certain to cover.
4. Navy Over Duke
The Middies might have the best coach in America that nobody knows about, Ken Niumatalolo -- a headline writer's nightmare but a fan's dream. The Middies, despite severe recruiting restrictions, are well-coached enough to go on the road and beat Indiana and handle one of the better FCS teams, Delaware, by a 51-7 score. They are 2.5-point underdogs at Duke and should be able to win this game outright.
3. Bowling Green Over Mississippi State
The Falcons, coached by Dave Clawson, owns an impressive 34-7 win over Tulsa and a 3-1 record. The Bulldogs are 2-3, with wins over only Alcorn State and Troy. The 10-point spread here is probably too high and the Falcons should be able to keep this one competitive late into the fourth quarter. A win in this game puts Clawson in line for a higher-profile job at the end of the season.
2. Florida Atlantic Over Marshall
The Owls are home in this game and are getting 13 against the Thundering Herd. While Marshall has one of the best defensive coordinators in America in Chuck Heater, the Owls have some serious speed on the edges and should be able to score enough points to make this a single-digit Marshall win. Marshall is the 20th-ranked overall defense in the country, giving up only 17.3 points per game. FAU is coming off a 37-23 win at Alabama-Birmingham.
1. Utah State Over Boise State
In a battle of three-win teams, the Broncos are seven-point favorites on the road, and that's probably too much considering this is not the typical dominating Boise State team, owning wins over Southern Mississippi, Air Force and Tennessee-Martin. The Aggies have played better competition, with two close losses to USC and Utah followed up by a loss against another in-state rival, BYU. This could be a game decided on a late field goal.
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