The college football season is now slightly past the halfway mark. It seems like just yesterday that the season was kicking off. Time flies when you are having a good time! The first BCS Rankings were released this past Sunday. The biggest surprise was that the Florida Gators are ranked second in the initial BCS standings. While many people are going to get all worked up about which team would finish highest if they all remain unbeaten, history tells us the best thing to do is sit back and let things sort themselves out for several weeks. There are still plenty of land mines in the path for all the unbeaten teams.
Right now, it seems like the Alabama Crimson Tide are playing in a league of their own. It’s certainly tempting to just assume they will win it all, but far stranger things have happened than Alabama getting tripped up along the way. Notre Dame came about as close as possible to losing a game last week before finally pulling out an overtime victory over Stanford on a controversial call. LSU bounced back into the Top 10 by knocking off previously-unbeaten South Carolina in a huge SEC game.
Looking for the biggest surprise in college football? Look no further than the Oregon State Beavers. Mike Riley was squarely on the hot seat coming into this season, but the Beavers are now 5-0 and ranked eighth in the nation. Riley even admitted recently that he counts himself among those surprised at the quick turnaround by his team.
The West Virginia Mountaineers won’t have any time to lick their wounds from last week’s embarrassing loss since they’ll host No. 3 Kansas State this week. Steve Spurrier returns to Gainesville on the other sideline in a crucial SEC game that should be the headliner this weekend. Here are some valuable numbers to look over before betting on college football this week.
1- The Northwestern Wildcats decided that the one thing they need most before this weekend’s matchup against Nebraska is a nap. Yes, you read that right; the team has decided to put a team nap on the mandatory itinerary for this Saturday. Coach Pat Fitzgerald asked his leadership council why the team looked sluggish earlier this year in a mid-afternoon game, and the guys came back with the fact that they needed a nap. For the record, Fitzgerald thinks it’s pretty pathetic, but he said he’s willing to give it a shot to see if it makes his team come prepared for this big game.
1- The Duke Blue Devils are just one win away from their first bowl game since 1994. The Blue Devils actually jumped out to a 20-0 lead at Virginia Tech last week before getting trounced, 41-20. Who knew Duke even cared about football? David Cutcliffe is working hard to change the Duke football program, and he deserves a ton of credit for the progress that has been made.
2- The number of teams that have covered the spread in every game this year. The two teams left standing in this group are Western Kentucky and Utah State. Both of them have been huge surprises in lesser-known conferences, and bettors who have backed them have made some nice profits!
7- The amount of points Vanderbilt is favored by against Auburn this week. Remember, Auburn won the BCS Championship over Oregon at the beginning of 2011. Who could have imagined that less than two years later the Tigers would be underdogs by a touchdown against Vanderbilt? No wonder Gene Chizik is on the hot seat!
15- The number of touchdowns so far this year by Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson. Jefferson leads the nation in touchdowns. He also leads the nation in rushing yards. No wonder so many people have tried to copy Chris Ault’s pistol offense over the past few years. Ault knows how to run an innovative offense!
25- South Carolina leads the nation with 25 sacks already this year. How nice must it be to have Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles, and Devin Taylor all on the same defensive line? If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think this was a professional front line. Expect them to keep racking up the sacks.
80.5- The posted total for the Baylor vs. Texas matchup this weekend. It is the highest total on the board. I’m no fan of playing an “over” at this level, but if you’ve seen these two defenses this year you’ll understand why I have a hard time expecting less than 100 points in this game.
182- The amount of dollars you’d have to wager to win a single dollar on a two-team parlay play on USC and Oklahoma on the moneyline this weekend. This is according to moneyline odds at 5Dimes. If you don’t already know this by now, please don’t go and wager ridiculous amounts of money on these “lock” games. It’s a good way to lose your shirt in the long run.