Todd Fuhrman: Bet The Board Says USC Is Overrated

We had very minimal changes to our Bet the Board Top 10, though Wisconsin jumped over Oklahoma to No. 7 with their impressive victory against Michigan.  Nine of our Top 10 will be in action this week, with only Notre Dame sitting idle. (The same could probably be said about BYU playing North Alabama.)

It doesn’t feel right to have gone this far into the season without having a Pac-12 school slotted into our overrated section, so we obliged this week with one who had all sorts of hype coming into the year.  The underrated team this week was also an ideal candidate for our Best Bet as we head to the Big Ten to see if Jim Harbaugh and company can get things back on track for the Wolverines!  

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Bet the Board Top 10 Week 12:

1.) Ohio State

2.) Alabama

3.) Clemson

4.) Notre Dame

5.) Florida

6.) Georgia

7.) Wisconsin

8.) Oklahoma

9.) BYU

10.) Cincinnati

Overrated:  USC

After another come-from-behind victory over Arizona this past weekend, the Trojans maintained a Top 25 spot at No. 20 in the AP Poll.  In their opening game, USC was trailing Arizona State by 13 with 3 minutes to go before a recovered onside kick and touchdown drive in the waning seconds capped a miraculous comeback.  This past week, USC again needed a late touchdown drive to close out the Wildcats and snatch victory from defeat.  USC has the brand name to keep them in the Top 25 for now, but that may not be enough if we keep seeing performances like we have the past two weekends.  The Trojans are really struggling to stop anyone on the ground, allowing just under 6.0 yards per rush attempt, good for 109th out of 130 teams.   They have had a slew of injuries to start the year, including two on the defensive line in Brandon Pili and Caleb Tremblay and another in their center Brett Neilon.  All those players are questionable for the upcoming game against Utah.  To make matters worse, USC just lost the McClain brothers (Munir and Abdul-Malik), who chose to transfer on Tuesday.  Despite the 2-0 start, things seem to be anything but rosy in southern California.

Underrated: Michigan

We’ll admit, the case isn’t an easy one to make for the Wolverines, especially after the drubbing they took against Wisconsin.  Despite falling to 1-3 after Saturday, Michigan is still a net +0.6 yards per play, and the schedule they have played thus far is good for 17th in the country.  They still grade out Top 40 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, however being on the wrong end of turnovers luck has really plagued this side.  The defense hasn’t been able to get the big stop or turnover in the red zone, while the offense, despite moving the ball, has been far too careless with security.  We’re not sure who will be under center Saturday, as both Cade McNamara and Joe Milton have a chance at starting, but the talk coming out of Ann Arbor seems upbeat and positive for this direction of the offense.  For the first time all year, Jim Harbaugh seemed to have some life during his Monday presser, and this feels like a week where we should see the best effort from the Maize & Blue.  Professional money has shown up early in the week for Michigan, moving them out to an 11-point favorite from the opener of 8.5 against Rutgers on Saturday.  

Best Bet: 1361 1H-Michigan -6 (-105)

We spoke above on the full game move on Michigan, and while the value there has taken a hit crossing through the “10,” the 1H still offers value under the “7.”  Last week looked and felt like rock bottom for a Michigan program that has loads of talent but hasn’t been able to put it together for a full game effort since their opening game against Minnesota.  The whole country saw the Wolverines get embarrassed at home to the No. 7 team in our rankings, and we fully expect Jim Harbaugh to have this team focused and locked in early against Rutgers.  Rutgers isn’t a program that can match Michigan talent-wise anywhere on the field, and the Scarlet Knights offense will be a welcome sight to Don Brown’s defense.  We like Michigan to start getting things turned around this weekend, and the 1H here is a bit too short to pass up on.  Lay Michigan under a TD.

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Since they compete over everything,