Second Week in CFB a Wacky One
by Robert Ferringo - 09/12/2006
What was your second kiss like? How about the second job you ever had? And how much fun did you have in the weekend after your college graduation? After the anticipation and excitement that was involved in your First Time, it's only natural that there is some form of letdown after the next time, right?
Well, that's precisely what we saw in Week 2 of the college football season. With the exception of some dominating performances by a few powerhouse teams, this was a wacky week in college football. The most glaring indicator of the head-scratching, ticket-tearing, murderous-rage inducing developments can be found by looking at how huge underdogs performed against their supposedly superior opponents.
Underdogs that were posted at +19 or greater were 13-6 against the spread this past weekend. But that's not the astounding part. The truly shocking part was that six of the 19 dogs almost pulled off the outright upset! Duke (+20), Troy (+26), Florida International (+20), Louisiana-Monroe (+24), Air Force (+20) and Syracuse (+20) each lost by a touchdown or less, with the average margin of victory at just three points. A seventh team, Ohio (+19), actually went on the road and beat Northern Illinois.
There were huge letdowns to be found all over the college landscape, as teams from major conferences seemed to hit cruise control over the weekend. Teams outside of the Big 6 BCS Conferences were 17-9 against the spread, with many of the mid-majors making the Big Dogs fight for their bone.
But the lackadaisical play wasn't just limited to schools like Tennessee, UCLA and Florida State - all of which were weak-willed on Saturday. And as much as I hate to criticize a team that's been through as much as Northwestern, the Wildcats were manhandled by Div. I-AA New Hampshire. Yes, I said New Hampshire. UNH went on the road to Evanston and hammered the Big 10 representative 34-17.
The loss came just one week after Northwestern earned an inspired 21-3 victory at Miami, OH. That game was the first for the Wildcats since the death of head coach Randy Walker during the summer.
That was the fourth Div. I-AA win in as many weeks, as Montana State (over Colorado), Portland State (over New Mexico) and Richmond (over Duke) each stunned Div. I-A programs. The four wins by the Little Guys doubled the amount that the small schools could muster in 2005.
Emotion always has and always will have a tremendous impact on college football. That's what happens with angry, underdeveloped, hormonally imbalanced teenagers. The key lesson here is that bettors need to be mindful of both look-ahead games and letdown games when they make their weekly wagers.
Questions or comments for Robert? E-mail him at Robert@docsports.com.