By Todd Fuhrman
It finally happened! Complete and utter chaos struck the college football landscape changing everything we saw as mere formality, (ahem Clemson to the playoff) meaning it’s anyone’s guess as to what three teams join Alabama in the semifinals (kind of).
Obviously, it wasn’t just Clemson taking it on the chin as a 24-point favorite that created the upheaval since two Pac12 pretenders (we’ll refer to them as rotten apples) in Washington (-17.5) and Washington State (-16.5) tumbled from their perch into national irrelevance. Each week we continue to see the list of contenders whittled down leaving us a landscape of viable playoff contenders that looks a lot like this:
Big Ten: Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin (yuck)
ACC: Clemson, N.C. State, Miami
BigXII: Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma State
Pac12: None (yes, I said none)
Naturally, I omitted Alabama from this list given the fact they’re now listed as prohibitive -800 favorites according to BetOnline.AG and also excluded the Fighting Irish given the incredibly treacherous road they have ahead which includes games against USC, N.C. State, Miami and Stanford. Good luck Golden Domers; make us eat our words!
Here’s the complete up to date list of Yes/No prices on teams to make the college football playoff (current at time of press). Keep in mind teams that have taken money on the “No” include Georgia, Penn State, and Wisconsin, while Clemson is the biggest “Yes” mover from 4-1 down to 3-1 to make things right after that debacle at the Carrier Dome.
Of course our Bet The Board Top 10 pisses people off, it’s almost like we plan it that way, especially those that have backed Florida State this season to the tune of a dreadful 0-4-1 ATS mark through 5 games. However, don’t sleep on the ‘Noles because they underperformed early, it could create point spread value the rest of the way. As for the rest of the Top 10 you’ve all been put on notice that winning out gets you a seat at the table (except for you Auburn, that 2nd half against LSU was pathetic).
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State / Florida State
Underrated: Georgia Tech
It’s amazing how little respect is given to the option offense of Paul Johnson and his Wramblin’ Wreck. Despite near misses against Tennessee Week 1 (that looks bad now) and last weekend against Miami, the Jackets have exceeded early season expectations producing a blemish free 5-0 ATS mark thus far. We won’t call Tech a dark horse conference champion (they could lose to Wake Saturday) but they’ll have ample chances to play spoiler with games against Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Georgia all looming on the horizon.
We debated going to the well this week with Tulane against USF for a best bet but couldn’t pull the trigger as the number has trended down all week. That being said, there’s not a team aside from Wisconsin that’s been the beneficiary of such a pathetic schedule. Find me a W on the USF resume that gets the juices flowing: San Jose State, Stony Brook, Illinois, Temple, East Carolina, and Cincinnati. Dear Jesus, that list is about as pathetic as you could assemble if you hand picked opponents. It appears, at least on paper, the Bulls won’t get tested until their season finale against UCF; they’ll remain a paper giant top 15 in the eyes of voters making them as big a joke as the University of Tennessee for continuing to employ Butch Jones.
Dog of the Week: Colorado +10 (5-2 ATS)
You don’t just recover from a 37-3 road loss on national TV. You don’t just recover from seeing your dreams of college football playoff inclusion dashed in an outright loss as a 16.5-point favorite in the college football Mecca known as Berkley. You don’t just replace your leading receiver’s 37 catches, 502 yards, and 7 touchdowns in a bounce back spot when he gets suspended for throwing a temper tantrum at practice. Add in the fact Washington State has allowed the most sacks in the FBS (32), including 9 in their loss versus Cal and you have the recipe for what we like to call a “bubble bursted” fade. When I look at Colorado they’re a far cry from last year’s division champions, but still a team that’s gone 9-4 ATS their last 13 games away from Boulder with capable talent at key positions. Throw in their ability to play tight games with 3 straight contests decided by 4 points or less, and I really believe the Buffs will not only keep this game close but have a chance to win it on the field late in what I expect to be a lethargic Martin Stadium for Pac12 After dark. We called Washington State one of the most overrated teams in the country a few weeks back, days before they thumped USC. Now it’s time to get our pound of flesh fading Wazzu off a brutal loss last Friday with Outkick the Coverage super fan and Clay Travis fan club president, Coach Mike MacIntyre.