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The Book 2015: Week 13

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Did BC cost ND a playoff spot? Eagles close out season as small favorites at 'Cuse. Alabama, Oklahoma top our poll heading into rivalry week.

Eagles celebrate one of their five turnovers vs Irish
Eagles celebrate one of their five turnovers vs Irish
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Amazing.  I say it every year, but the college football season passes more quickly than any other sport.  It was just yesterday that we walked into Alumni Stadium to see the Eagles open the year against Maine.  Tonight, I am stuffing a turkey and getting ready for the season finale in the Dome against Syracuse.

The Book though has a long way to go.  With this being rivalry week and then championship week, followed by bowl season and the College Football Playoff championship, still plenty of opportunities there to make a statement.  Let's start then with BC.

It was shocking to most people that Vegas opened with the Eagles as a 3 point favorite against the Orange, but the Book and Phil Steele pretty much agree.  Both have BC very small (1-1.5 point) favorites.  Syracuse has been ranked ahead of BC just once this entire year and that was last week.  With BC's loss, but strong effort against a big spread, they have moved back the #12 spot in the ACC in both polls and up to #80/#75 nationally.

The ACC right now is the property not of Clemson, but of the North Carolina Tar Heels.  UNC is #1 in the ACC, #4 nationally, while the Tigers are #2 in the ACC and #8/#10 per the Book and Steele.

Nationally, we have top seven consensus for the first time this year, with Alabama, Oklahoma, Baylor, North Carolina, TCU, Oregon and Stanford in that exact order through both publications, but the big question now is with the College Football Playoff rankings.  Is it possible that Boston College will ultimately wind up costing Notre Dame a playoff spot? Hard to say otherwise.

With now Oklahoma, Iowa and Michigan State ahead of the Irish, it seems that Notre Dame no longer has its destiny in its own hands.  Beat Stanford (currently #9) and the Irish finish 11-1, but Oklahoma still has a game against #11 Oklahoma State and Iowa and Michigan State have chances to be conference champions with potential games remaining against each other.

The Boston College defense, forcing five turnovers at Fenway Park, ultimately may prove to be the wake to the Irish funeral.

As the year has gone along, the spreads and the rankings have gotten closer and closer to each other. That's probably mostly to do with the formulas used to determine movement, which are identical.  The only difference is where teams began the season.

The Book has typically struggled three weeks each season.  1) The second or third week of November.  By that time, although it was earlier this year than in the past, the spreads have gotten very large and huge spreads have been difficult winners.  2) Bowl games are another.  In the bowls, the weeks off and the inter-conference matchups highlight comparisons that haven't been made during the season.  3) The last week is this one, rivalry week.

Rivalry Week games typically don't follow the model.  Teams seemingly mismatched on paper, have a century or more of history between them that evens games off, so it is always buyer beware when those games are played.  This year though we have a lot of smaller spreads when it comes to these games, so perhaps the success rate against the spread will improve.

So far this season in games with 30+ point spreads predicted, the Book this year is 25-24-2..better than usual.

This week, we have a few big ones, including Oregon being a 50.8 point favorite in the Civil War against Oregon State.

Enjoy your football weekend and Go Eagles!

THE NATIONAL RANKINGS 1-128
GP PS TEAM REC MASSEY/CFP
1 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 10-1 1/2
2 2 Oklahoma Sooners 10-1 3/3
3 3 Baylor Bears 9-1 6/7
4 4 North Carolina Tar Heels 10-1 14/14
5 5 TCU Horned Frogs 9-2 15/19
6 6 Oregon Ducks 8-3 18/17
7 7 Stanford Cardinal 9-2 9/9
8 10 Clemson Tigers 11-0 2/1
9 8 Ohio State Buckeyes 10-1 4/8
10 9 Ole Miss Rebels 8-3 16/18
11 14 Michigan State Spartans 10-1 7/5
12 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys 10-1 10/11
13 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 10-1 5/6
14 15 Florida State Seminoles 9-2 17/13
15 17 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 8-3 19/21
16 21 Florida Gators 10-1 12/12
17 12 Arkansas Razorbacks 6-5 32
18 18 Michigan Wolverines 9-2 11/10
19 13 UCLA Bruins 8-3 24/22
20 19 Washington State Cougars 8-3 36/20
21 29 Navy Midshipmen 9-1 13/15
22 23 Iowa Hawkeyes 11-0 4
23 22 Tennessee Volunteers 7-4 26
24 24 West Virginia Mountaineers 6-4 34
25 39 Bowling Green Falcons 8-3 37
26 25 Georgia Bulldogs 8-3 31
27 28 Pittsburgh Panthers 8-3 30
28 36 Houston Cougars 10-1 25
29 20 USC Trojans 7-4 27
30 26 LSU Tigers 7-3 20
31 34 Toledo Rockets 9-1 22/24
32 32 Northwestern Wildcats 9-2 23/16
33 35 Virginia Tech Hokies 5-6 57
34 37 San Diego State Aztecs 8-3 54
35 43 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 9-2 39
36 42 South Florida Bulls 7-4 42
37 33 Arizona State Sun Devils 6-5 43
38 27 Washington Huskies 5-6 50
39 38 Wisconsin Badgers 8-3 29
40 31 Texas A&M Aggies 8-3 28
41 30 Utah Utes 8-3 21/23
42 40 Temple Owls 9-2 33/25
43 51 BYU Cougars 8-3 38
44 57 Northern Illinois Huskies 8-3 51
45 46 Miami-Florida Hurricanes 7-4 45
46 54 Memphis Tigers 8-3 35
47 45 Louisville Cardinals 6-5 48
48 44 N.C. State Wolfpack 7-4 47
49 41 California Golden Bears 6-5 41
50 48 Auburn Tigers 6-5 46
51 61 Georgia Southern Eagles 7-3 55
52 52 Nebraska Cornhuskers 5-6 53
53 47 Texas Tech Red Raiders 6-5 44
54 53 Penn State Nittany Lions 7-4 40
55 49 Arizona Wildcats 6-6 64
56 59 Air Force Falcons 8-3 52
57 63 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 8-3 59
58 73 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 8-3 72
59 69 Western Michigan Broncos 6-5 68
60 50 Minnesota Golden Gophers 5-6 58
61 55 Boise State Broncos 7-4 60
62 67 Cincinnati Bearcats 6-5 61
63 60 Iowa St. Cyclones 3-8 77
64 62 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 3-8 73
65 65 Virginia Cavaliers 4-7 78
66 78 Arkansas State Red Wolves 7-3 62
67 58 Texas Longhorns 4-6 66
68 74 Marshall Thundering Herd 9-2 56
69 70 Duke Blue Devils 6-5 63
70 56 Kansas State Wildcats 4-6 69
71 64 Missouri Tigers 5-6 70
72 76 Appalachian St. Mountaineers 8-2 49
73 72 Connecticut Huskies 6-5 76
74 66 Indiana Hoosiers 5-6 65
75 68 Illinois Fighting Illini 5-6 71
76 82 Utah State Aggies 6-5 75
77 79 Central Michigan Chippewas 6-5 67
78 80 Kentucky Wildcats 5-6 80
79 77 South Carolina Gamecocks 3-8 83
80 75 Boston College Eagles 3-8 88
81 81 Vanderbilt Commodores 4-7 81
82 71 Colorado Buffaloes 4-8 91
83 84 East Carolina Pirates 5-6 74
84 85 Colorado State Rams 6-5 84
85 83 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 3-8 93
86 87 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 6-5 82
87 91 Akron Zips 6-5 85
88 88 Purdue Boilermakers 2-9 97
89 86 Syracuse Orange 3-8 89
90 93 Ohio University Bobcats 7-4 79
91 90 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 5-6 86
92 95 New Mexico Lobos 6-5 95
93 94 San Jose State Spartans 5-6 94
94 89 Maryland Terrapins 2-9 90
95 96 Nevada Wolf Pack 6-5 92
96 92 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 4-7 87
97 98 Troy Trojans 3-7 99
98 99 Florida Atlantic Owls 2-9 111
99 101 Buffalo Bulls 5-6 96
100 102 Georgia State Panthers 4-6 100
101 97 SMU Mustangs 2-9 102
102 104 Ball State Cardinals 3-8 104
103 106 Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 4-6 103
104 103 UNLV Rebels 3-8 107
105 111 New Mexico State Aggies 3-7 115
106 114 Miami-Ohio Redhawks 3-9 120
107 117 Texas-El Paso Miners 4-7 117
108 108 Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 3-8 113
109 107 Tulane Green Wave 3-8 110
110 105 Wyoming Cowboys 1-10 122
111 110 Massachusetts Minutemen 2-9 118
112 112 Army Black Knights 2-9 121
113 100 Oregon State Beavers 2-9 101
114 113 Kent State Golden Flashes 3-8 109
115 120 South Alabama Jaguars 5-5 98
116 119 Old Dominion Monarchs 5-6 106
117 109 FIU Panthers 5-7 105
118 115 Fresno State Bulldogs 3-8 108
119 118 Idaho Vandals 3-8 116
120 121 Rice Owls 4-7 112
121 122 North Texas Mean Green 1-10 124
122 116 Kansas Jayhawks 0-11 119
123 123 Texas State Bobcats 3-7 114
124 124 UCF Knights 0-11 125
125 126 Eastern Michigan Eagles 1-10 128
126 127 ULM Warhawks 1-10 126
127 125 Hawaii Warriors 2-10 123
128 128 Charlotte 49ers 2-9 127

THE ACC RANKINGS
GP PS TEAM REC MASSEY
1 1 North Carolina 10-1
2 2 Clemson 11-0
3 3 Florida State 9-2
4 4 Pittsburgh 8-3
5 5 Virginia Tech 5-6
6 8 Miami 7-4
7 7 Louisville 6-5
8 6 NC State 7-4
9 9 Georgia Tech 3-8
10 10 Virginia 4-7
11 11 Duke 6-5
12 12 Boston College 3-8
13 13 Wake Forest 3-8
14 13 Syracuse 3-8

Last weeks head to head results:

GamePlan (The Book): 28-29 .491 , 1 games identical to Vegas spread.   Season to date: 317-312-12 .504, 5 games identical
Phil Steele:  27-31 .466, 0 games identical to Vegas spread.  Season to date: 326-306-12 .516, 2 game identical

The Vegas spread used is the Danny Sheridan opening line.

NATIONAL/ACC/BC OPPONENT SPREADS
FAVORITE GP/PS SPREADS UNDERDOG
Bowling Green 28.9/28.8 at Ball State
at Houston 1.1/1.7 Navy
Iowa 3.5/5.0 at Nebraska
at Pittsburgh 9.4/9.5 Miami
Washington State 1.1/0.4 at Washington
at Arkansas 22.1/23.0 Missouri
at Oregon 50.8/50.9 Oregon State
Baylor 0.2/0.3 at TCU
Oklahoma 6.6/7.3 at Oklahoma State
at West Virginia 15.5/16.1 Iowa State
at Michigan 1.4/0.8 Ohio State
at Michigan State 19.3/19.0 Penn State
Alabama 23.2/25.0 at Auburn
at Florida 4.3/2.3 Florida State
Georgia 6.9/6.9 at Georgia Tech
Louisville 5.5/7.0 at Kentucky
at Mississippi State 2.6/1.4 Mississippi
Clemson 17.9/19.3 at South Carolina
at Tennessee 21.0/24.6 Vanderbilt
at USC 0.5/2.7 UCLA
at Stanford 8.0/10.3 Notre Dame
Boston College 0.7/1.6 at Syracuse
Duke 2.4/1.0 at Wake Forest
North Carolina 15.6/15.9 at North Carolina State
Virginia Tech 5.7/5.9 at Virginia