So here’s the question: How did Alabama have more rushing yards, more passing yards, more time of possession, more talent, and the advantage of a starting quarterback and still lose to Texas A&M last Saturday?
You don’t have to be a certified forensic expert to figure it out. All you have to do is look at the play of the Crimson Tide’s offensive line which was 99% My Pillow and 1% Yo’ Mama. How bad was it? Well, between giving up tackles for loss and sacks, the Tide line suffered nine disasters in its own backfield. It’s been a season-long issue but never as bad as last week.
The good news for Tuscaloosans is that Alabama (5-1) is still ranked in the top five and still in contention for the national playoff. However, to get there, they’ll have to come up with mo’ Yo’. Expect the Tide to do that with a double-digit win over Mississippi State (3-2).
While there are no spectacular match ups, there are some that come close, such as #1 Georgia (6-0) favored 35-12 at home over #23 Kentucky (6-0); #14 Appalachian State (4-1) favored by four over #22 Louisiana (4-1); and #19 Texas (4-2) favored 34-26 over #12 Oklahoma State (5-0).
Savvy agrees with betting lines on 49 of the 52 games scheduled this week but disagrees with three, all of which take place out west. Our system projects that Utah (3-2) will upset #25 Arizona State (5-1) by one point; Auburn (4-2) will take down Arkansas (4-2) by four despite a Vegas spread of 3.5 for Arkansas; and #15 BYU (5-1) will get the best of fast-rising Baylor (5-1) despite betting lines favoring Baylor by 4.5.
In the only game scheduled between an FCS and an FBS, Yale (2-2) rates four points better than Connecticut (0-6). Connecticut lost 38-28 to another FCS team (Holy Cross) two months ago.
Despite a gluttony of upsets the past two weeks, the Savvy Index was 35-16 last week and stands at 77% for the season vs betting lines that are 72%. Our system was five games better than betting lines in predicting point spreads last week. It was one game worse for predicting total game points but still stands 25 games better in predicting over/unders on the season.
In the PAC-12 . . .
Washington State (3-3) is leading the way to the PAC-12 North title after last week’s win over previous leader Oregon State. The Cougars are 2-0 and face the only other team with an undefeated record in the North division, Stanford which is 3-3 over all. The only common opponent these teams have had is USC. Stanford beat the Trojans by 14 while the Cougars lost by 31. The primary difference here will be the composure and superior play of Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee.
League leader #13 Oregon (4-1) will have little trouble with the struggling California Bears (1-4). Oregon will be without stellar running back C.J. Verdell but that might not matter much since the Ducks might like taking to the air against Cal’s pass defense which ranks 115th for stopping the pass and 117th for stopping touchdowns.
Neither team has a quarterback with much in the way of flashy stats although the Ducks’ Anthony Brown has thrown just one interception in 123 passing attempts. His .08% interception rate is among the five best in the nation.
California is an odd mix of seeking to control the ball while at the same time passing more than it rushes. Perhaps that is a necessity since the Cal offensive line is among the ten worst in FBS when it comes to rush blocking.
As mentioned above, our Index sees Utah as an upset winner over #25 Arizona State. The Utes have been soaring since former Texas quarterback Cameron Rising took over late in the San Diego State game and has since been completing 65% of his passes, rushing for 6.5 yards per carry, and not throwing a single interception in 85 passing attempts.
Team discipline is often a deciding factor in close games and Utah is measurably better than the Sun Devils.
UCLA (4-2) visits Washington (2-3) in a game that is perplexing on many fronts. For example: Washington has under-performed this season while the Bruins have over-performed expectations yet UW is favored by Savvy and the oddsmakers.
In addition, Washington coach Jimmy Lake continues to start Dylan Morris despite an interception rate that is beneath the standards and expectations of most Power Five quarterbacks.
UCLA has played a tougher schedule and played it better but still can’t get the prediction nod from the betting public.
Personally, I see the Bruins winning this by double digits.
For more sports in the Northwest, please visit our friends at Oregon Sports News.
|last week: 35-16 69%||Oct||16|
|top 25||Season: 325-99 77%||wins||losses||game rating||notes|
|Arizona||0||5||20||Landman of Colorado leads nation in|
|Colorado||1||4||26||tackles but CU is 129th in team offense.|
|California||1||4||19||Oregon is second nationally|
|13||Oregon||4||1||36||in favorable turnover margin.|
|UCLA||4||2||25||I’m surprised that Savvy and|
|Washington||2||3||28||Vegas both favor UW.|
|Auburn||4||2||30||Auburn’s losses were both to top 5 teams.|
|Arkansas||4||2||26||Vegas favors Arkansas by 3.5.|
|15||BYU||5||1||26||Betting lines are solid|
|Baylor||5||1||25||in favoring Baylor.|
|Air Force||5||1||23||Keep an eye on this one because|
|Boise St.||3||3||29||the front of BSU’s 4-2-5 is really dinged up.|
|N Carolina St.||4||1||27|
|Ohio||1||5||23||Two down-trending teams will|
|Buffalo||2||4||33||determine which is worst.|
|4||Cincinnati||5||0||39||Luke Fickell to USC?
|Toledo||3||3||27||Still not sure if sensational fr qb|
|C Michigan||3||3||25||Richardson will play for CMU.|
|fbs||Yale||2||2||26||Connecticut already lost to
|Connecticut||0||6||22||an FCS by 10 (Holy Cross).
|Ball St.||3||3||30||Ball State has suddenly turned red hot.|
|E Michigan||3||3||22||So has EMU quarterback Ben Bryant.|
|23||Kentucky||6||0||12||UK running back Rodriguez is 5th in|
|1||Georgia||6||0||35||FBS in rushing yardage (768).|
|6||Michigan St.||6||0||27||Indiana qb Penix injured and may not finish the|
|Indiana||2||3||26||season for the 4th year in a row.|
|Purdue||3||2||10||Iowa has NO ranked opponents|
|2||Iowa||6||0||33||the rest of the way.|
|Texas Tech||4||2||37||TTU has given up 142|
|Kansas||1||4||27||points in the past three games.|
|Iowa St.||3||2||29||Iowa State won this game|
|Kansas St.||3||2||20||last year 45-0.|
|14||App State||4||1||29||Tuesday game. ASU LB D’Marco|
|22||Louisiana||4||1||25||Jackson already has 9 TFLs.|
|21||Liberty||5||1||40||Liberty has the sixth best|
|LA Monroe||2||3||12||defense in the country.|
|17||Florida||4||2||29||Florida has a top 25 defense.|
|LSU||3||3||23||LSU’s defense is 76th (ypp).|
|Navy||1||4||23||Memphis has FBS reception leader plus|
|Memphis||3||3||36||two of the top 10 tacklers.|
|Akron||2||4||20||Last week, Akron scored 28 straight with 3rd string qb Zach Gibson.|
|Miami Oh||2||4||33||But Miami O has covered Savvy spreads all season.|
|Nebraska||3||4||26||Nebraska has 16 positive trends on|
|Minnesota||3||2||22||Savvy – most in the nation.|
|5||Alabama||5||1||35||Alabama will have smooth|
|Mississippi St.||3||2||24||sailing til Thanksgiving.|
|16||Texas A&M||4||2||32||Texas A&M has a stellar defense|
|Missouri||3||3||23||but over all is not as good as it seems.|
|Hawai’i||3||3||24||If UH qb Cordeiro isn’t cleared to play, the|
|Nevada||4||1||37||Rainbows won’t have a passing threat.|
|Colorado St.||2||3||28||CSU is coming on strong and|
|New Mexico||2||4||19||may play for the MWC title.|
|Miami Fl||2||3||28||The battle of two preseason top 25|
|N Carolina||3||3||31||teams that are no longer ranked.|
|Bowling Green||2||4||21||Both of these coaches have turned|
|N Illinois||4||2||29||poor starts into impressive up-trends.|
|Rutgers||3||3||24||NWestern has been awful but Savvy|
|Northwestern||2||3||25||agrees with Vegas…Wildcats win.|
|Marshall||3||3||33||UM’s Rasheen Ali already has|
|N Texas||1||4||23||11 rushing touchdowns.|
|TCU||3||2||27||My instincts tell me that|
|3||Oklahoma||6||0||38||TCU will win this in upset.|
|W Kentucky||1||4||34||Vegas has been more favorable to WKU|
|Old Dominion||1||5||31||than Savvy and has this spread at 12.5.|
|San Diego St.||5||0||28||San Jose St. in a nosedive|
|San Jose St.||3||3||19||without Starkel at qb.|
|Georgia So.||2||4||26||So Alabama qb Jake Bentley is back home in GA
|S Alabama||3||3||27||after stints at So Carolina & Utah.|
|Vanderbilt||1||4||19||Oddmakers set the USC|
|S Carolina||3||3||29||spread at a whopping 18.5.|
|UAB||4||2||31||Southern Miss is|
|S Miss||1||5||14||a southern mess.|
|20||Clemson||3||2||30||Clemson qb Uiagalelei is ranked|
|Syracuse||3||3||20||113th in FBS by Pro Football Network.|
|Mississippi||4||1||35||Savvy and Vegas set this spread|
|Tennessee||4||2||31||much too low. Should be 12+.
|12||Oklahoma St.||5||0||26||Texas has played better than OSU|
|19||Texas||4||2||34||but has some defensive injuries.|
|Troy||3||3||31||Troy’s freshman DE Javon|
|Texas St.||2||3||20||Solomon leads nations in TFLs.|
|Utah St.||3||2||34||USU is 108th for ball security so|
|UNLV||0||5||24||this game has upset potential.|
|Tulsa||2||4||34||USF defense has yet to hold|
|USF||1||4||23||an FBS opponent to under 35.|
|LA Tech||2||3||29||All five UTEP wins are against|
|UTEP||5||1||27||teams ranked 115th or below.|
|Rice||2||3||17||UTSA has wins over Illinois,|
|UTSA||6||0||41||Memphis, and W Kentucky.|
|Duke||3||3||25||UVA qb Brennan Armstrong leads|
|Virginia||4||2||35||the nation with 2460 passing yards.|
|Pittsburgh||4||1||33||Pitt leads the nation in|
|Virginia Tech||3||2||26||scoring at 52 ppg.|
|Army||4||1||22||Army’s Andre Carter II leads|
|Wisconsin||2||3||27||the nation in sacks.|
|Kent St.||3||3||26||WMU has allowed|
|W Michigan||4||2||28||13 tds through the air already.|
|Fresno St.||4||2||30||Wyoming WR Isaiah Neyor scores one|
|Wyoming||4||1||26||td for every four receptions.|