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!
|Bowling Green||28.9/28.8||at Ball State|
|Washington State||1.1/0.4||at Washington|
|at Oregon||50.8/50.9||Oregon State|
|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|
|at Florida||4.3/2.3||Florida State|
|Georgia||6.9/6.9||at Georgia Tech|
|at Mississippi State||2.6/1.4||Mississippi|
|Clemson||17.9/19.3||at South Carolina|
|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|