Posted 09/24/2012 at 05:42 PM
The Big Ten woes continue with Iowa and losing last week against a MAC team at home and Michigan looking terrible against Notre Dame. Illinois also lost by 28 points at home against Louisiana Tech. Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State all faced much tougher than expected games as well, sneaking away with wins but falling well short of the big spreads. Conference play starts this week and is not clear if any team will emerge as a quality team in the national picture, leaving the Big Ten title game likely to suffer the fate of several recent underwhelming ACC championship games.
The ACC delivered an entertaining top 10 battle last week as Florida State rallied to beat Clemson at home. Florida State’s talented defense was certainly exposed a bit as Clemson broke some big plays with some creative calls to get the early lead. Many are marking the Seminoles down for an undefeated season but don’t forget this team has not yet left Tallahassee and this program has lost seven road games the last three years.
The biggest upset in the top of the polls last week occurred in the Big XII as Oklahoma again failed to live up to expectations with an early loss, falling at home to Kansas State. The Sooners have not had great line play and QB Landry Jones continues to be a disappointment. Texas and West Virginia will get the first looks from a group of remaining undefeated teams but with several teams appearing to be pretty close it may be tough to escape the conference season with an undefeated season.
Since 1990 only one NFL team has started 0-3 and made the playoffs (1993 Chargers) and one of the perennial NFC contenders is in that boat as New Orleans blew a 24-6 4th quarter lead. That was one of three overtime games on Sunday and the new overtime format is providing some interesting finishes. While only two teams are 0-3, only three teams are 3-0 so far this season as parity reigns.
Atlanta and Houston are not huge surprises at 3-0 but Arizona is certainly a shocker. The Cardinals were 8-8 last season but they won four overtime games and were -36 in point differential. The opening schedule looked particularly daunting for Arizona but now looking ahead the Cardinals could be favored in each of the next four games, facing teams that all had losing records last season in the next four weeks. Arizona still has a limited offense however so this is a team that could be ripe for an upset. The Arizona offense has not posted 400 yards in a game since the 2009 season and only Tampa Bay has averaged fewer yards per game through three weeks.
Three of the top six teams in offensive production are 1-2 so far as offense has not been the key to success in the early going this season. Of the teams that have played three games, eight of the top nine in defensive yards per game have a winning record). Only two of the bottom 11 in defensive yards per game have a winning record (Baltimore and Cincinnati), while seven of the bottom 12 in offensive yards per game have a winning record. Those numbers do not include Seattle and Green Bay with the Monday night game pending.
Three point favorites went 1-6-1 ATS in the NFL last week with only Buffalo holding on for a cover. -3 favorites are 4-12-1 ATS on the season. The AFC punched back last week winning three of four games vs. the NFC. The NFC is 8-4 on the year vs. the AFC but the AFC has the ATS edge so far at 7-5. Best of Luck, on to this week’s slate…