It’s Championship Week in college football for quite a few teams across the country. We already know of one team that will be in the National Championship Game, but the second team remains undecided. The winner of the SEC Championship Game seems to be a shoe-in for the spot. A few weeks ago the SEC looked like it would be left out, but now many predict a seventh straight BCS Champion from the SEC.
Notre Dame took care of business against USC to finalize a spot in the title game. The Fighting Irish will almost certainly be an underdog to whoever they play, but you have to give the team a ton of credit for getting through the regular season unbeaten. While it has been a great season for Notre Dame, there are a lot of teams out there who can’t say the same thing.
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For the teams that didn’t have a good season, this week has started the offseason coaching carousel. Gene Chizik is out as head coach at Auburn only two years after winning a national title. John L. Smith is out as coach at Arkansas, but we knew that was coming since about the third or fourth week of the season. The biggest surprise firing so far was probably NC State’s canning of Tom O’Brien. O’Brien led the Wolfpack to a solid 7-5 year, including a big upset win over Florida State.
It’s all on the line this weekend for a lot of teams. Here’s a look at some important numbers to keep an eye on when betting on college football this weekend.
0- The number of teams that finished the season unbeaten against the spread this year. Utah State was the lone unbeaten team against the number until last week. They beat Idaho 45-9, but they were favored by 37 points, so they missed covering by a single point.
2- Two teams finished the regular season unbeaten overall. Notre Dame will play for a national title, while Ohio State will serve its one-year bowl ban. Buckeyes fans have to be very disappointed that this team won’t get a chance to compete for the title. On the other hand, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes served notice that this is going to be a team to be reckoned with in the coming years. Before the season, no one could have imagined that the two unbeaten teams at the end of the regular season would have been Ohio State and Notre Dame. It’s just another reason why no one should rely on the preseason polls for anything!
7- Les Miles has received a seven-year extension and a pay raise to remain as the LSU head coach. Earlier this week it was reported that Miles had talked to Arkansas about the coaching opening at that school. Could it be that those talks simply served as some leverage for Miles getting some more money to stay at LSU? It certainly wouldn’t have been popular at all for Miles to leave and go lead a rival school’s program.
14- Louisville was accepted as the ACC’s 14th member this week. UConn was thought to be the leading candidate to get this invitation to the ACC, but they were once again left out in the cold in the whole conference re-alignment shuffle. Don’t even think for a minute that this is the end of the mess that is re-alignment. It is only getting started, and super-conferences look to be just around the corner.
16- Kent State needs to finish in the Top 16 of the BCS rankings. If they do, the Golden Flashes will likely be playing in a BCS bowl game this year. How will this happen? There is a quirky BCS rule that any non-AQ conference champion that finishes in the Top 16 and finishes ahead of the champion of one of the big six conferences will get into a BCS bowl. Thanks to the Big East, Kent State will definitely be in front of a conference champion if they win. Can they get into the Top 16?
86.5- If you are a fan of defense, you won’t want to watch the Baylor vs. Oklahoma State matchup this Saturday. The posted total for that game is set at 86.5 points. This is the highest posted total so far this year. Will the punters even be needed in this one?
200- Alabama may have lost a game, but now that they are back in the picture bettors are still confident they’ll bring home the title. TopBet lists Alabama at -200 to win the BCS Championship. It’s speaks volumes of how big of a favorite Alabama is that even though they must win two games to win it all versus only one for Notre Dame, the oddsmakers still have the Crimson Tide as a big favorite.
600- Johnny Manziel is listed at -600 to win the Heisman Trophy according to odds from BetOnline. Collin Klein’s status as the frontrunner went up in flames when Kansas State laid an egg at Baylor. Manti Te’o is the second favorite at +325. It’s interesting to see a freshman and a linebacker as the two favorites for the Heisman. It looks like the voters are going to have to break tradition in some form or another this year.