College Choices: Upset Alerts for Michigan State, Oregon
The state of Michigan could be lucky enough not to be ranked # 2.
After a big win over Michigan, the fifth-ranked Spartans head to Purdue, a program with a long history of being one of college football’s most prolific giant slayers.
Earlier this season, the Boilermakers handed No. 2 Iowa their first loss of the season. This was Purdue’s ninth win as an unranked team against a No.2 ranked team. No other program has more than four such wins.
One of those unclassified upsets for Purdue came against Michigan State in 1954. More generally, the Spartans are 9-4 against the Boilemakers (5-3) when ranked, but Purdue is not. not. It’s been a while, though. The most recent of these games dates from 1961.
However, the curious put the Spartans on alert. Michigan State is just a 2-1 / 2-point favorite in West Lafayette, Indiana, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
On a college football calendar with just one match for ranked teams, who else is at risk of getting tripped by an underdog?
Oregon’s No.7 is less than a touchdown favorite against Washington (4-4) and is undefeated and No.10 Wake Forest is scoring road points against North Carolina (4-4).
It’s a good reminder that rankings are more of a reward for what a team has done than a projection of what a team will do. The picks, with lines from FanDuel Sportsbook:
State of Georgia (plus 12 1/2) at No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette
The Ragin ‘Cajuns are 5-0 in the series, including three games decided by three points less … LOUISIANE-LAFAYETTE 31-17.
Missouri (plus 39 1/2) at No. 1 in Georgia
Bulldogs are certainly not on high alert … GEORGIA 42-10.
Tulsa (plus 22 1/2) at # 2 in Cincinnati
The CFP selection committee basically told the Bearcats that they need to start channeling their weak competition … CINCINNATI 42-17.
LSU (plus 28 1/2) at # 3 in Alabama
Crimson Tide is 17-2-1 in the rivalry when ranked and the Tigers are not; LSU’s last big upheaval was in 1993 when he beat Alabama No.5 as an unranked team… ALABAMA 45-20.
No. 5 Michigan State (minus 2 1/2) at Purdue
Whatever the classification, the Spartans have won eight straight victories against the Boilermakers … MICHIGAN STATE 28-24.
No. 6 Ohio State (minus 14 1/2) in Nebraska
The Buckeyes have won six straight games averaging 35 points, with only one game decided by less than 25… OHIO STATE 38-21.
# 7 Oregon (minus 6 1/2) in Washington
The Ducks won 14 of 16 over the Huskies … OREGON 24-20.
Marine (plus 20 1/2) at n ° 8 Notre Dame
The rivalry was not played out last season when the pandemic altered schedules, shattering a 93-year streak… NOTRE DAME 35-13.
Indiana (over 20 1/2) at No. 9 in Michigan
Hoosiers ended a 24-game losing streak against the Wolverines last season, but collapsed in 2021… MICHIGAN 42-17.
No. 10 Wake Forest (plus 2 1/2) in North Carolina
The Demon Deacons are the only team in the country that has yet to hold less than 35 points in a game … WAKE FOREST 42-38.
No. 11 Oklahoma State (less 2 1/2) in West Virginia
The climbers try to beat a ranked team for the second week in a row, something they haven’t done since 2012 … OKLAHOMA STATE 24-21.
No. 12 Auburn (plus 4 1/2) at No. 13 Texas A&M
The Tigers have won four straight wins at College Station since Aggies joined the SEC … AUBURN 28-26, UPSET SPECIAL.
No. 14 Baylor (minus 6 1/2) at the TCU
The last Horned Frogs game without Gary Patterson as a coaching staff member was November 20, 1997, a win over SMU to end a 1-10 season … BAYLOR 35-24.
Liberty (plus 10 1/2) at # 15 Mississippi
Former Rebels coach Hugh Freeze returns to Oxford with the Flames and a possible first-round draft pick from quarterback Malik Willis … OLE MISS 38-30.
N ° 16 UTSA (minus 11 1/2) at UTEP
TB Roadrunners Sincere McCormick is third in the country in races at 191 – and 11th in rushes with 111.38 yards per game… UTSA 24-14.
Tennessee (plus 1/2) at No. 18 Kentucky
The Wildcats have a chance to get a New Years Six Bowl bid if they can win … KENTUCKY 27-24.
No. 19 Iowa (minus 11 1/2) northwest
The Wildcats have won four of the last five games against the Hawkeyes, who have gone on a two-game losing streak… IOWA 23-10.
No. 20 Houston (minus 13 1/2) in South Florida
The Cougars’ first game as a ranked team since 2018, which they lost the week after beating a USF ranked team … HOUSTON 31-7, BEST BET.
No. 21 Coastal Carolina (minus 19 1/2) in Georgia Southern
The Eagles hired former USC coach Clay Helton this week, but he doesn’t really start coaching the team until next season … COASTAL CAROLINE 35-21.
# 22 Penn State (minus 10 1/2) in Maryland
Terps beat the Nittany Lions for just the third time in 43 games last year … PENN STATE 35-23.
# 23 SMU (minus 4 1/2) in Memphis
If Cincinnati has any chance of qualifying for the playoffs, SMU – and Houston – will have to avoid further losses not involving the Bearcats… MEMPHIS 35-31.
Boise State (plus 4 1/2) at # 25 Fresno State
The Bulldogs recently equalized a rivalry the Broncos have had for years, winning three of the last seven games … FRESNO STATE 28-27.
Clemson (minus 4 1/2) in Louisville – @AvianDentures
The Tigers covered for the first time last week and it took a wacky game for them to do so; Maybe this is the start of a sequence? … CLEMSON 26-20.
Mississippi State (plus 5 1/2) to Arkansas – @shawn_bubba
The SEC record for one-season pass attempts belongs to the late Jared Lorenzen, who pitched 559 in the Kentucky air raid in 2000; Mississippi State’s Will Rogers is set to pitch over 600 in 12 games in the Mike Leach airstrike … ARKANSAS 28-24.
Middle Tennessee (plus 14 1/2) to Western Kentucky – @chadstray
Could this Conference USA rivalry soon become a MAC rivalry? … WESTERN KENTUCKY 42-31.
Southern California (plus 8 1/2) to Arizona State – @ArtWMoore
USC lost star receiver Drake London (ankle) to a season-ending injury last week … ARIZONA STATE 31-24.
Last week: 16-7 in a row; 12-11 against spread.
Season: 137-67 in a row; 114-90 against spread.
Follow Ralph D. Russo on https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen on http://www.appodcasts.com