5 Possible Week 9 College Football Upsets
5 Week 9 College Football Upsets
Beware of the Theory of Transitive Property: That is, if Team A beat Team B and Team B beat Team C, Team A would also beat Team C.
Would and could are very different things when talking about comparative scores.
That’s why matchups are far more important predicting the outcome of any football game, particularly college ones, than what the teams might have done against similar opponents. Looking at the matchups helped us go 3-2 for three of the last four weeks sandwiched in between a 2-3 week.
Tip No. 1 is to look for a team poor against the run playing a team with a good running game. The same principle applies for a team poor against the pass playing a good passing team. Historically, those kind of stats have been much more meaningful than comparative scores.
Three underdogs came through for us last week and upset favorites, as we predicted: Duke beat Virginia, 35-22, Central Florida topped Louisville, 38-35, and Missouri beat Florida, 36-17. Our losses were Baylor beating Iowa State and Georgia Tech overwhelming Syracuse, both epic blowouts.
One of the matchups that intrigues us with this Week 9 slate is Temple at SMU because the Mustangs of June Jones have a sophisticated passing attack, while the Owls of Matt Rhule have a porous pass defense. Evidently, that line has intrigued a lot of other people because it opened with Temple getting 10 and now the Owls are getting 13. Plus, Jones is a proven college football head coach and Rhule is not. Since picking SMU would not be an upset, we're staying away from that one.
Here are five lines that are reasonable, considering that our picks are getting valuable points.
5. Boise State Over BYU
The last time the Broncos ventured into Utah, two weeks ago, they came away an 11-point winner at Utah State. While it won't be easy this week against the host Cougars, this could be a three-point game either way. Considering that they are getting seven, this is a value for a team historically not fazed by road games.
4. UConn Over Central Florida
Even though this is at UCF, the 22.5 points the Huskies are getting is way too tempting to pass up. UConn's defense has proven more than capable in games against Michigan and South Florida and could do enough to keep this one closer than expected. Plus, UCF is coming off an emotional high in a win over Louisville and does not historically blow teams out.
3. Houston Over Rutgers
The visiting Cougars, a seven-point underdog, were unbeaten until last week's 47-46 loss to BYU, running an NCAA-record 115 plays from scrimmage in the loss. That figures to cause a Rutgers' defense that has had problems all year fits and make this one a shootout with the Cougars winning, 31-28.
2. Navy Over Pitt
No coach gets more out of his talent than the Middies' Ken Niumatalolo, and he will once again prove that as a 5.5-point underdog to the visiting Panthers, who had problems stopping Old Dominion in a 35-24 win last week. One week to prepare for Niumatalolo's triple option is not enough, especially in front of a large crowd at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
1. Vanderbilt Over Texas A&M
Vanderbilt has way too good of a program to be getting 18 points, even on the road against Johnny Manziel and the Aggies, and that's a value that cannot be passed up. The Commodores always play hard and smart, and they will be in this game right until the end.