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College Football Season

Baylor at Oklahoma State Highlights Week 13

FSU 61.25-point favorite over Idaho;
Duke continues march to ACC Coastal title;
Urban Meyer bemoans BCS and Playoff

by Dave Congrove
November 18, 2013

I don't believe I have ever personally seen numbers posted this high before for a contest between two FBS schools. Florida State was installed by most sports books as a 56-point favorite this Saturday versus visiting Idaho. My Congrove Computer Rankings not only concur that this will be a rout, but even lift the bar to 61.25.

That's more than the computer has favored any FBS team over any FCS team all season, let alone an FBS school. The Seminoles were only favored by 46.05 over FCS member Bethune-Cookman back on September 21 for a game which FSU ultimately won 54-6.

According to, FSU set the all-time record at 70.5 last year when it hosted FCS member Savannah State.

This is a game that never should have been scheduled - by either school. I might be able to understand the desire on the part of Idaho athletic director Rob Spear to garner a huge payday of $950,000, but what could his counterpart at Florida State, Stan Wilcox, have ever seen as an upside to scheduling this game?

This could come back to haunt them as the 'Noles chase their first BCS Championship game bid since the 1999 season, and could wind up helping Baylor. The Bears ran over a weak schedule in the early half of the season, but have toppled Oklahoma and Texas Tech with ease in their last two games and visit Oklahoma State this week in a battle of 4 vs. 10 in the BCS Standings and 2 vs. 6 in the Congrove Computer Rankings. Conversely, Idaho is ranked 119th this week and has finished the last two seasons ranked 112th (2011) and 122nd (2012) out of 124 teams.

Six FBS teams face FCS schools this week and the highest computer line on those games is 56.99 for Alabama over Tennessee-Chattanooga. The other games are Clemson (-50.73) The Citadel, South Carolina (-47.95) over Coastal Carolina, Georgia Tech (-45.77) over Alabama A&M, Florida (-43.11) over Georgia Southern, and North Carolina (-40.65) over an Old Dominion team that is in transition from the FCS to the FBS.

On a different FSU note, I saw Jimbo Fisher and his wife Candi on Fox & Friends this morning. They are raising awareness on a rare genetic blood disorder that inflicted their now 8-year-old son Ethan. A story by Coley Harvey in the Orlando Sentinel back in August said that Ethan was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia at age 5. In most cases, children who are stricken with the blood disorder aren't expected to live beyond age 40. Cancers, most notably leukemia, eventually settle in and ultimately kill those with the disorder. Although there is no cure for Fanconi anemia, bone marrow transplants can help treat it and extend life.

The Fishers are still trying to find a bone marrow match for Ethan, even though he still has about two years before a transplant will be necessary.

Candi Fisher is chairwoman of Kidz1stFund. I encourage you to visit the website for more information, as well as for details on how to provide your support.

Back to football.....

The aforementioned Baylor is a 3.44-point computer choice at Oklahoma State this week. The Bears are 6-0 in Big 12 play. Oklahoma State is 6-1 with an upset loss at West Virginia. Texas is also 6-1 with a loss at home last weekend to Oklahoma State.

I also already mentioned Alabama's upcoming game vs. FCS member UT-Chattanooga. Meanwhile, Oregon is a 15.14-point computer road pick at Arizona, and Ohio State gets a 26.39-point home nod versus Indiana in the Horseshoe.

Speaking of Ohio State, Urban Meyer doesn't have anything good to say about the CFB Playoff on the horizon. Meyer says, "When you logically think about what the BCS people have done, and which obviously we're all part of, I think it was great for a while. I think you take an imperfect system and you do the best you can without hosting a playoff.

"I imagine there's going to be controversy with the playoffs too, now. It's not a 64-team playoff; you can only have four guys," said Meyer.

One Ohio State player was even quoted as saying that he felt they hurt themselves by not covering the Vegas spread of 33 points, but that really has nothing to do with it. Some voters might take exception to the fact that they allowed 35 points to be scored on them in the 60-35 win over Illinois, and maybe a small handful will think about the margin of the win, but the computers were all instructed years ago to eliminate any margin of victory influence in their formulas. At the end of the day, computers and humans rely more on schedule strength (real or perceived) as a primary ingredient. I believe they may even over-emphasize schedule strength, considering that the schools aren't responsible for the 8 or 9 conference games on their schedule, and scheduling non-conference games is a herculean task.

Elsewhere, Duke continues its march toward the ACC Coastal title as a 7.80-point favorite this week at Wake Forest. The Blue Devils control their own destiny and finish the season next week at neighboring rival North Carolina.

The college football week begins with a pair of MAC games on Tuesday, and another on Wednesday. The Wednesday game is the one you want to watch as Northern Illinois (10-0) visits Toledo (7-3) as a 0.33-point computer underdog to have its BCS-busting bowl hopes get dashed, along with its advantage in the race toward a MAC West title.

Other games of interest include Arizona State at UCLA, BYU at Notre Dame (Mormons vs. Catholics?), Boise State at San Diego State, Cincinnati at Houston, Michigan at Iowa, Oklahoma at Kansas State, Texas A&M at LSU, Michigan State at Northwestern, Missouri at Ole Miss, Nebraska at Penn State, and Washington at Oregon State.

FBS vs. FCS:
6 FBS teams face FCS schools this week in the last such matchups of the season. The FBS is 90-15 (.857) vs. the FCS this year and 826-80 (.912) since 2003.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
8/29: Towson 33, Connecticut 18
8/29: Southern Utah 22, South Alabama 21
8/30: Samford 31, Georgia State 21
8/30: North Dakota State 24, Kansas State 21
8/31: Northern Iowa 28, Iowa State 20
8/31: Eastern Washington 49, Oregon State 46
8/31: Eastern Illinois 40, San Diego State 18
8/31: McNeese State 53, USF 21
9/7: UT-Chattanooga 42, Georgia State 14
9/7: Maine 24, Massachusetts 14
9/7: Nicholls State 27, Western Michigan 23.
9/14: Fordham 30, Temple 29
9/14: Bethune-Cookman 34, FIU 13
9/21: Jacksonville State 32, Georgia State 26 (OT)
11/9: Old Dominion 59, Idaho 38

Eastern Washington, McNeese State and North Dakota State also had wins vs. FBS teams last year.

Originally, 106 FBS schools scheduled a total of 110 games against FCS foes this year. But Colorado later replaced a game it lost vs. Fresno State (due to flooding) with Charleston Southern. Thus, 106 FBS schools will play a total of 111 games vs. FCS foes. The schedule change also made Colorado the 4th FBS team to face at least two such schools this year. The others are Clemson and Georgia Tech with 2 apiece while FBS newcomer Georgia State scheduled 3 FCS teams and lost to each of them.

Ohio State - Won 22 straight overall. Hosts Indiana on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 25 straight at home and 23 straight vs. conference foes. Visits Toledo on Wednesday.

LSU - Won 45 straight regular season nonconference games. Hosts Texas A&M on Saturday.

Southern Miss - Lost 22 straight overall. Hosts Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

New Mexico State - Lost 21 straight to FBS teams. Visits FAU on Saturday.

Kansas - Ended 27-game losing streak to Big 12 teams last week with a 31-19 win over visiting West Virginia. Still has a 23-game road losing streak and visits Iowa State on Saturday.

Illinois - Lost 20 straight conference games. Visits Purdue on Saturday.


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