BY TODD FUHRMAN
Marquee match-ups create upheaval atop the rankings; it’s a college football tradition as old as tailgating and drunk coeds. Voters in the popularity polls have the luxury of completely overhauling what they thought to be a true hierarchy after a few data points; bettors and oddsmakers need to be much more calculated with their adjustments (Baylor football not included). However, it’s impossible to ignore the thrashing Oklahoma put on Ohio State in Columbus Saturday night, which in turn begs the following questions:
- Is Oklahoma that good?
- Is Ohio State that bad?
- Is Baker Mayfield the ultimate badass in college football right now?
Clearly, the last question doesn’t impact power numbers, but it’s always fascinating to see college football fans and media quick to heap praise on the team securing a marquee resume-building win while completely trashing the losing side; it doesn’t quite work that way when you assess the power potential of each team. Remember, no team is ever as good or as bad as they looked in their last 60 minutes of action.
Here’s an updated look at our Bet the Board top 10 after Week 2:
3) Florida State
4) Penn State
5) Ohio State
Yes, Ohio State and Florida State are both still worthy top 5 caliber football teams despite the early losses (hint, Alabama and Oklahoma are both pretty good). No, USC doesn’t catapult to #1 after pummeling an overrated Stanford side that appeared ill-equipped to handle athletes in space. From our perspective there are two teams being incorrectly valued at least in the eyes of pollsters through the first two weeks.
The Wolverines are a good football team and will only improve as the season progresses. Are they a top 10 caliber side right here right now? Absolutely not. Wins over Florida and Cincinnati don’t completely mask the inexperience on the Wolverines roster, although victories provide confidence builders for a team now ranked ahead of Ohio State for some odd reason. Michigan’s next real test doesn’t come until October 14th, a road date at Indiana. Until then the popularity polls will continue to overrate the Maize and Blue while we remain skeptical of their top 10 inclusion until further notice. They are knocking on the door, though…
Underrated: Notre Dame
When we look at the top 25 it’s absolutely criminal that the Golden Domers aren’t being respected by the AP or Coaches poll. Say what we want about Brian Kelly’s surly post game manner, Notre Dame is a fringe top 15 team this season that has tremendous upside behind their talented pivot Brandon Wimbush. A quick look at last weeks line when the Irish hosted Georgia indicates how the betting market truly feels about them, essentially, calling them equals to the now 13th ranked Georgia Bulldogs had the game been played on a neutral. It’s rare to say you’ll get value betting on Notre Dame, but as public perception diminishes there will be ample opportunity in coming weeks to back them at reasonable prices.
Double Digit Dog of the Week: Utah State +14 (2-0 ATS, 0-2 SU)
Damn the pesky green Wave, we should have had our first outright upset, but I digress. Bring on the Aggies this week! Who are the Demon Deacons to be laying double-digits to any team in the FBS? You have to go all the way back to Week 1 last season since Wake was in this role laying 17 to Tulane before winning ugly, 7-3. I love what Coach Clawson is beginning to build in Winston Salem during his 4th year, but an explosive offense isn’t it. Don’t be fooled by their dominant 34-10 win over Boston College last weekend; the Demon Deacons only outgained the Eagles by 4 yards. Since 1993, when installed as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points, Wake is a dreadful 3-13 against the spread. Why is this relevant now? It’s probably not, but this is way too big a price tag for a battled-tested Utah State team that trekked to Camp Randall and held up admirably for a half against Wisconsin. This isn’t a game most people should watch or make time for, but we’re putting the favorite on upset alert!