If you’re a college football coach and you have a choice, then don’t schedule Kansas State.
It’s not just that Gary Patterson of TCU was fired yesterday after losing to the Wildcats or that Matt Wells of Texas Tech was fired the week before for the same thing, but rather it seems to be some kind of cultural thing –- like Oklahoma and Texas losing in Ames, Iowa.
Frank Solich was on his way to the Big 12 Championship in 2003 before losing to Kansas State and was subsequently fired.
Paul Rhodes had his Iowa State team up by 21 points at the half before K-State came from behind to win. Rhodes was fired the next morning.
Larry Smith was fired immediately after losing to K-State in 2000.
Terry Allen coached Kansas in 2001 and Kliff Kingsbury coached Texas Tech in 2018. Both were fired within days of losing to Kansas State.
Kansas (1-7) hosts Kansas State (5-3) this week but KU coach Lance Leopold won’t be fired no matter the final score. Leopold is in his first year with the Jayhawks and he already has quarterback Stanley Carter among the nation’s leaders in passing touchdowns. Even so, Kansas State will win this one 38-14.
Texas Tech takes the week off which means interim head coach Sonny Cumbie is safe.
There are 61 games involving FBS teams scheduled this week but only one game matches teams that are currently ranked. Nineteenth-ranked Texas A&M (6-2) seems to be everyone’s choice to take down #21 Auburn (6-2). Although there are plenty of reasons to agree with those predictions, I personally see two reasons to disagree:
First, Texas A&M has been struggling to find a passing attack. The Aggies rank 92nd in the nation for passing yards per game and sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada can’t seem to get the ball long with any regularity. In adddition, he is among the nation’s leaders when it comes to throwing interceptions.
Second, Auburn has Bo Nix who is finally producing the big results that Tigers fans have been expecting since his recruitment. Nix came to Auburn as a five-star with the blood lines of former All American Auburn quarterback Pat Nix. At that time, I wrote about Bo’s history and recruitment and that can be seen here.
The Savvy Index goes against oddmsakers three times this week:
Rhode Island (FCS 5-3) 30-28 over Umass (1-7)
Tennessee (4-4) 28-27 over Kentucky (6-2)
Boise State (4-4) 28-26 over Fresno State (7-2)
In the PAC-12 . . .
If your team is playing at home, celebrating homecoming, looking to avenge an inexplicable cave-in loss the game before, has an extra bye week to prepare, and playing an opponent of lesser renown, you would expect your team to play well and probably win, right?
You wouldn’t expect your offense to fumble the ball away on its second play and then do it again on the very first play thereafter. Your head would likely be shaking from seeing the futility of your team behind by 21 points at the half, celebrating a successful field goal only to have it wiped off the board by a penalty and the next attempt missed altogether, gasping as your defense gives up six plays of 15 yards or more, and sighing with a third quarter that had all of your drives end in either interceptions or punts.
Welcome to Tempe.
Or as the Arizona State Twitter storms say: Good bye Hermie.
According to Doug Haller of The Athletic, “The calendar says it’s too early to suggest a team has quit on its head coach, but make no mistake, this is what such a thing looks like.”
And, he may have a point when we consider that Arizona State gave up 28 straight points to end the Utah game the week before, then gave up 28 points in the first half of last week’s Washington State game. That’s 56 points in four quarters given up by a defense that returns 10 players with three years of experience.
Once again, Edwards blamed the players. He called them out for five turnovers rather than calling himself out for a rash of other problems that tell us the team was just not at all prepared.
This week doesn’t show relief as USC (4-4; 3-2) comes to town and the Trojans are just one-half game behind Arizona State (5-3; 3-3) in the PAC-12 South standings. The South Division won’t care who wins because Utah has already beaten both of them and the Utes will finish undefeated against South Division opponents.
Our Savvy Index favors Arizona State 30-27 while oddsmakers set the margin at eight.
In other South Division action, Utah (5-3) will have no trouble with Stanford (3-5), losers of three straight. Our Index shows Utah as a 34-24 favorite.
Ute quarterback Cameron Rising continues to prove he is one of the best in the nation as the 6’2”, 220 pound star from my hometown (Ventura, CA) is completing 64% of his passes, throwing one-half the national average for interceptions, and averaging nearly eight yards per carry on the ground.
Ventura fans are also proud of former Ventura College quarterback Matt Coral who has been tearing things up in the SEC at Ol’ Miss.
California (3-5) has finally found some offense and has won two in a row. The problem for the Bears is that they travel to Tucson where fans are uncommonly frothy for a Wildcat program that hasn’t won a game in two years.
Although Cal is a double-digit favorite in our system and in betting lines, I personally lean toward Arizona (0-8) for three reasons:
1) Arizona has trend lines that say it is ready to win, and
2) California has yet to win a road game in 2021, and
3) Those frenzied and frothy fans.
Oregon State (5-3) will bounce back from a tough loss at California by stampeding the Colorado Buffaloes (2-6) by at least eight points. The Buffs have found gold in freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis. CU coaches haven’t been willing to trust Lewis with the long ball but I believe that is beginning to change.
Washington (4-4) started the season with two losses, then won two games, then lost two, then won two. This is the start of the two-loss cycle as the Huskies host #8 Oregon (7-1) and will come out on the short end of a five-point loss.
UW has a strong group of running backs but ineffective blocking by an under-performing offensive line. That may lead the Huskies to passing the ball more which will trigger yet another problem: Washington quarterbacks like to serve up interceptions (7th nationally) as much as Oregon d-backs like gobbling them up (10th nationally).
Washington State and UCLA have the week off.
For the season, our system is slightly behind the oddsmakers in predicting point spreads, slightly ahead in predicting game winners, and an amazing 38 games ahead in projecting total points.
Best predictions last week were:
Ohio State over Penn State 34-22 (final was 33-24)
Clemson over Florida State 27-20 (final was 30-20)
Boise State over Colorado State 28-19 (final was 27-21)
North Texas over Rice 30-27 (final was 30-24; Vegas said Rice by 2.5)
San Jose State over Wyoming 25-19 (final was 27-21)
Our worst prediction was Buffalo over Bowling Green by 18. BGSU won by 12.
If you’re looking for more sports in the PAC-12 or the Northwest, please visit our friends at Oregon Sports News.
Here are all of our predictions for week 10.
|last week: 37-16 70% vs betting lines: spreads: -2 total game points: +7||Nov||6|
|top 25||Season: 439-144 75%||wins||losses||game rating||final||notes|
|California||3||6||32||3||Cal rb DeCarlos Brooks still not cleared|
|Arizona||1||8||18||10||from a lower body injury.|
|USC||4||5||27||16||USC has four defensive linemen|
|Arizona St.||6||3||30||31||not cleared vs ASu (as of Sunday pm).|
|Oregon St.||5||4||28||34||Vegas favors OSU by 10.|
|Colorado||3||6||20||37||CU’s two wins are over teams with no FBS wins.|
|Utah||6||3||34||52||Stanford has lost three straight and the|
|Stanford||3||6||24||7||offense doesn’t seem to have a plan.|
|8||Oregon||8||1||28||26||Interesting match between UOs ball hawking|
|Washington||4||5||23||16||secondary and UW’s inept passing.|
|Army||5||3||21||21||If these are “armed” forces teams,|
|25||Air Force||6||3||29||14||then why don’t they pass more?|
|LSU||4||5||23||14||LSU has scored 30 tds as a team.|
|3||Alabama||8||1||38||20||UA’s Bryce Young has thrown 26 tds by himself.|
|25||App State||7||2||41||48||Last year, Ark St. gave up 3.97 ypc to opposing|
|Arkansas St.||1||8||21||14||rushers. This year, it’s 7.6.|
|Virginia Tech||4||5||28||3||Virginia Tech has played more|
|Boston Col||5||4||24||17||consistently better against better opponents.|
|Idaho St.||1||8||7||14||Idaho State is one of the five under-|
|17||BYU||8||2||45||59||performing teams in FCS.|
|Rice||3||6||27||24||Nuh-uh. I think Rice wins this. Four of the Owls|
|Charlotte||5||4||31||31||five losses are against teams that were ranked.|
|Tulsa||3||6||17||20||High upset potential because Tulsa is erratic|
|6||Cincinnati||9||0||40||28||enough to win and UC is spiraling enough to lose.|
|Pittsburgh||7||2||43||54||Pitt’s once high-flying offense has|
|Duke||3||6||20||29||slowed down immensely in ACC play.|
|Temple||3||6||20||3||E Carolina rb Keaton Mitchell averages|
|E Carolina||5||4||39||45||7.3 yards per carry, 6th best in FBS.|
|Marshall||6||3||28||28||The winner of this will likely battle|
|Florida Atl.||5||4||27||13||Western Kentucky for the CUSA title.|
|24||N Carolina St.||7||2||30||28||FSU started the year 0-4 but played|
|Florida St.||3||6||22||14||above expectations all 4 October games.|
|Boise St.||5||4||28||40||Can Boise finally win 2 in a row?|
|Fresno St.||7||3||26||14||Oddsmakers say Fresno State will win this.|
|15||Coastal Car||8||1||41||28||CCU’s on-field performance dropped every|
|Georgia So.||2||7||17||8||week in October.|
|22||San Diego St.||7||2||31||11||SDSU is making a mistake by not getting|
|Hawai’i||5||5||21||14||fr qb Will Haskell into games.|
|Texas||4||5||29||7||Seems that no matter who UT hires,|
|Iowa St.||6||3||31||30||there’s no return to glory.|
|Kent St.||5||4||35||52||NIU is playing well after a slow start.|
|Tennessee||5||4||28||45||Vegas says Kentucky will win. UK|
|Kentucky||6||3||27||42||has worst turnover margin in FBS.|
|Georgia St.||4||5||19||17||Thursday. ULL trend lines are not|
|12||Louisiana||8||1||35||21||good so this may go the other way.|
|Clemson||6||3||28||30||Louisville has lost three|
|Louisville||4||5||21||24||of its last four games.|
|23||Penn St.||6||3||34||31||PSU’s Jahan Dotson has|
|Maryland||5||4||20||14||60 receptions already.|
|Rhode Island||6||3||30||35||Former Tennessee qb Kasim Hill|
|Massachusetts||1||8||28||22||leads Rhode Island’s offense.|
|20||SMU||7||2||36||23||Memphis has just one game this year|
|Memphis||5||4||30||28||that has a net of positive trends on Savvy.|
|Georgia Tech||3||6||21||30||Miami finally seems to be finding some|
|Miami Fl||5||4||38||33||rhythm behind fr qb Tyler Van Dyke.|
|Indiana||2||7||20||7||Indiana won’t have its top 2 qbs.|
|14||Michigan||8||1||35||29||Michigan will have Cade McNamara.|
|Illinois||4||6||14||14||Minnesota’s rush defense has led|
|Minnesota||6||3||31||6||to four straight wins.|
|Liberty||7||3||30||14||Betting lines favor Ol’ Miss|
|Mississippi||7||2||32||27||by two possessions.|
|4||Ohio St.||8||1||41||26||Cornhusker fans tie another gnarly bow|
|Nebraska||3||7||20||17||on another losing season.|
|San Jose St.||5||5||21||20||SJSU has found a gem in|
|Nevada||7||2||33||51||quarterback Nick Nash.|
|UNLV||1||8||21||31||Five of UNLV’s losses have|
|New Mexico||3||6||26||17||been by just one possession.|
|Utah St.||7||2||39||35||USU’s Devon Thompkins|
|New Mexico St.||1||8||24||13||has 1099 receiving yards.|
|9||Wake Forest||8||1||35||55||UNC’s defense can’t stop the run. Guess|
|N Carolina||5||4||32||58||what Wake Forest likes to do . . .|
|11||Iowa||7||2||30||17||Iowa is “Cornerback U” – leads the|
|Northwestern||3||6||14||12||nation with 2 interceptions per game.|
|Navy||2||7||17||6||Notre Dame trend lines have|
|5||Notre Dame||8||1||35||34||stagnated while Navy is rising fast.|
|Miami Oh||4||5||27||33||Miami O is one of only 3 teams to have|
|Ohio||2||7||21||35||zero negative trends on the Index.|
|7||Michigan St.||8||1||30||29||MSU had eight defensive players|
|Purdue||6||3||20||40||dinged up against Michigan.|
|Wisconsin||6||3||29||52||Wisconsin rb Braelon Allen|
|Rutgers||4||5||14||3||averages 6.7 ypc.|
|Florida||4||5||33||17||Florida has more urgency|
|S Carolina||5||4||17||40||for this win than USC.|
|N Texas||3||6||26||38||The SoMiss offensive line has given up|
|S Miss||1||8||24||17||386 yards in tackles for loss.|
|13||Baylor||7||2||34||28||Coaches are fired quite often after losing|
|TCU||4||5||24||30||to KSU. Buh-bye good guy Patterson.|
|21||Auburn||6||3||24||3||Auburn jr qb Bo Nix is finally playing|
|19||Texas A&M||7||2||26||20||like the 5-star phehom we all expected.|
|E Michigan||5||4||24||52||Tuesday. The Toledo defense gives|
|Toledo||4||5||33||49||up an average of just 18 ppg.|
|S Alabama||5||5||24||24||I think the oddsmakers have this|
|Troy||5||4||30||31||wrong and SAla beats Troy.|
|LA Tech||2||7||24||38||These teams have a combined 11 negative|
|UAB||6||3||32||52||trends on Savvy in just the past two weeks|
|Tulane||1||8||21||10||Betting lines say UCF by 13|
|UCF||6||3||40||14||but it will be much more.|
|16||Houston||8||1||35||60||Vegas says 54.5 total points|
|USF||2||7||24||42||but it will be more.|
|18||UTSA||9||0||31||44||Neither of these defenses gives up|
|UTEP||6||3||20||23||as much as 3 ypc on the ground.|
|Middle Tenn||4||5||30||21||After an awful start, WKU is now in|
|W Kentucky||5||4||35||48||position to win Conference USA.|
|C Michigan||5||4||27||42||CMU’s fr rb Lew Nichols III should surpass|
|W Michigan||5||4||32||30||1000 rushing yards on the season in this game.|
|10||Oklahoma St.||8||1||27||24||OSU hasn’t lost to W Virginia|
|W Virginia||4||5||24||3||since 2014.|
|Colorado St.||3||6||27||17||Wyoming qbs have thrown 10 interceptions|
|Wyoming||5||4||19||31||in just 200 passing attempts.|