Posted 09/17/2008 at 12:14 PM
USC delivered a convincing win in a disappointing big game that could not live up to the hype last weekend. If the scheduling situation was different the result might have been different but it was a very favorable set-up for the Trojans and they played well. USC saved some face for what was nearly a disastrous day for the Pac-10. The conference went 3-7 S/U last week and just 2-8 ATS. Arizona State, Arizona, and California all lost outright as double-digit favorites and had Oregon not pulled out a miraculous double-overtime victory it would have been a very tough week for the Pac-10 credibility outside of USC. UCLA served up the most embarrassing result losing 59-0 to BYU.
The ACC has taken most of the criticism as the weak conference this season but the Big East also deserves some heat. Connecticut won and covered against Virginia last week and that was the first against the spread win for a Big East team so far this season. Currently the Big East is 1-13 against the spread including six S/U losses as favorites. The ACC has not performed well at 6-8 against the spread in non-conference games but North Carolina and Maryland brought some respect back with impressive non-conference wins last week. The Big Ten will deservedly catch some negative publicity with the two marquee teams Ohio State and Michigan getting worked last week but Wisconsin’s win at Fresno State and Purdue playing Oregon tough helps the cause a bit.
As great as the SEC can be the conference did not exactly challenge itself in the non-conference season so far and the Alabama win over Clemson can only carry so much weight. The SEC has a 13-7 ATS record out of the conference but the Big 12 has been the dominant conference so far with a 19-4 spread record. The Big 12 does not feature a marquee win however as Missouri’s win over Illinois would have to be considered the best of a rather unimposing slate of match-ups.
In the NFL home teams had a rough Sunday with only four home teams covering based on the closing line. It was a day of comebacks as Indianapolis, Buffalo, San Francisco, Green Bay, and Denver all won in wild finishes. The Chargers can take up some serious beef with the league for two huge plays that went against them. As much as the replay system has been modified to cover all possible scenarios, the system looked egregiously bad as the Chargers were robbed twice based on an official’s error and a technology malfunction. The bottom line is San Diego, a team that was in the AFC Championship last year is 0-2. As is Seattle, Minnesota, Jacksonville, and Cleveland, teams that all appeared to have pretty solid playoff chances this season. The pressure will be on this week as 0-3 would be tough to recover from. Good Luck.