Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Oregon takes the cake as a 58.5-point favorite over I-AA Nicholls State, while Tennessee is a 50.5-point choice over I-AA Austin Peay and Georgia Tech is posted at -46.0 over Elon. For whatever it means, while playing lower-division teams last season - and each met one - Oregon was a 49.5-point favorite over Tennessee Tech and won 63-14, Tennessee was a 48.5-point favorite over Georgia State and won 51-13 and Georgia Tech, a 49.0 point favorite, knocked off Presbyterian, 59-3.
This means the aforementioned went 3-0 straight up and 1-2 against the spread.
In what appear to be major college mismatches today, Wisconsin is -44.5 over Massachusetts and Texas is -43.0 over New Mexico State. The Badgers opened last season as a 40-point favorite over I-AA power Northern Iowa and were life-and-death to win, 26-21, and that is not to suggest UMass could warm up NI.
Texas opened last season as a 31.5-point favorite over Wyoming and won, 37-17, and in its second game was -39.5 over New Mexico and won, 45-0.
For the record, in the season's 10 matchups of NCAA I-A teams, favorites have prevailed by a 7-3 margin. Throw in the extra cannon fodder games and that figures is 14-11.
Conclusions I have drawn after just two days of limited action:
North Dakota State, the reigning I-AA champion, proved Friday night it is ready for prime time when it came from behind and won, 24-21 at Kansas State. The Bison are one of the best coached teams I have ever seen. The downside for North Dakota State is that this nationally televised game exposed Coach Craig Bohl to the world and they can kiss him good bye at the end of the season as he steps up the ladder.
When I-AA Towson went into Storrs Thursday night and as 16.5-point underdogs knocked off host Connecticut, there were hints the bottom has fallen out at UConn.
Southern California looked absolutely awful in its 30-13 win at Hawaii and if that is any indication of what is ahead for the Trojans, it is going to be another long season. The USC coaching staff can take a step in the right direction by introducing the players to one another. The Trojans played as if they were strangers to one another and thee was a complete absence of chemistry.
And, now it is on to Saturday's betting menu.
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