After a slow start to the 2023 season with just 3 Top 25 matchups over the first three full weeks, we were spoiled with seven such engagements this past weekend. Using the Coaches' Poll as our guide, four more get added to the list in Week 5.
Of those, No. 5 Texas is the highest-rated team to face another Top 25 foe when the Longhorns entertain the up-and-coming 24th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks. Texas opened as a 17-point favorite and the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com sees the same outcome with a projected margin of 17.28 points.
However, the computer disagrees on who the winner will be in two of those four Top 25 matchups.
It has 21st-ranked Oregon State (-1.5) as a 2.69-point home dog to No. 10 Utah on Friday night, and it takes the home team Ole Miss Rebels by 2.92 points over the favored 12th-ranked LSU Tigers (-3) on Saturday.
The fourth and final Top 25 matchup has No. 13 Notre Dame visiting No. 16 Duke. The Irish opened as a 5.5-point favorite at most sportsbooks. The computer agrees with the winner, but lowers the difference to just 1.51 points.
Altogether, the computer has a whopping eleven outright upset picks, if the lines hold in their current moneyline play. Many of those games will see relatively little action. Two exceptions to that rule are the aforementioned Utah-Oregon State contest, and another Friday night game that involves an ACC showdown in which favored Louisville (-3) is a 0.63-point computer underdog at NC State.
The remaining eight upset plays are all on Saturday.
FanDuel.com had Western Michigan opening as a 0.5-point favorite at home against Ball State, but the computer has the Cardinals by 0.62 in a very tight opposite pick.
Four of the computer's projected upsets involve Sun Belt games. Coastal Carolina opened as a 6.5-point underdog at Georgia Southern while the computer likes the visiting Chanticleers as the favorite by a mere 1.14 points. It also takes visiting Troy by 4.34 over home favorite Georgia State (-2.5), Southern Miss by 9.29 at home over Texas State (-7.5), and South Alabama as a fairly large 7.62-point pick at James Madison (-4.5).
It should be noted that James Madison is 6-1 at home in Harrisonburg, Virginia since entering the FBS last season, and consideration should also be given to the fact that Texas State is 3-1 with a win at Baylor to start the season, and the only loss came in a neighborhood duel at UTSA.
The computer likes Boise State by a massing 13.81 at Memphis (-2.5), Illinois by 2.30 at Purdue (-1.5) in a much closer disagreement, and UConn by 4.68 at home over Utah State (-5.5)
(SEE: Schedule, Picks, Odds)
(SEE: Complete Super 16 poll)
No. 1 Georgia at Auburn
Kansas at No. 2 Texas
No. 3 Michigan at Nebraska
No. 4 Ohio State is idle
No. 5 Florida State is idle
No. 6 Washington at Arizona
No. 7 Penn State at Northwestern
No. 8 USC at Colorado
No. 9 Oregon at Stanford
No. 10 Utah at Oregon State (Fri.)
No. 11 Notre Dame at No. 16 Duke
No. 12 Alabama at Mississippi State
No. 13 LSU at Ole Miss
Iowa State at No. 14 Oklahoma
No. 15 North Carolina is idle.Michigan State's Mel Tucker To Be Fired 'With Cause'
This season has 117 of the 133 FBS schools facing one FCS opponent, and Army playing two such games for a total of 118 FBS-FCS matchups.
Of the 16 FBS schools that do NOT play a FCS program, 7 are in the B1G (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin). 6 more are evenly split between the Big 12 (Houston, Oklahoma, Texas) and Pac-12 (Colorado, USC, Washington). The other three are Liberty (CUSA) , UTSA (American), and Virginia Tech (ACC).
FBS schools were 4-0 this past weekend, outscoring the FCS opposition by a combined score of 152-36 for an average margin of 29 points. Three were complete blowouts, but Texas A&M-Commerce took ODU to the mat in a 10-9 loss. The Lions had an opportunity to pull off the late comeback upset, but had their 2-point conversion pass intercepted in the endzone with just 28 seconds left to play in the game to allow the Monarchs to preserve the win.
The FBS programs are 101-4 this year against the FCS schools. Over-all, the FBS is a collective 1,787-152 (.922) since we began tracking this in 2003.
There are 3 such games this week as Abilene Christian visits North Texas (-15.33), Utah Tech goes to Colorado State (-22.10), and Wagner visits Rutgers (-40.20).
Here are the FCS wins in 2023, so far:
September 9: Idaho 33, Nevada 6
September 9: Southern Illinois 14, Northern Illinois 12
September 9: Fordham 40, Buffalo 37
September 16: Sacramento State 30, Stanford 23
GEORGIA - Won 22 straight home games, 21 straight over-all, and 11 straight true road games.
Last: 49-21 home win over UAB on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Auburn on Saturday, September 30.
MICHIGAN - Won 16 straight conference games.
Last: 31-7 home win over Rutgers on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Nebraska on Saturday, September 30.
NEVADA - Lost 14 straight over-all, 14 straight to FBS teams, and 7 straight home games.
Last: 35-24 loss at Texas State on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Fresno State on Saturday, September 30.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS - Lost 7 straight home games.
Last: 22-14 home loss to Tulsa on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Toledo on Saturday, September 30.
USF - Had lost 13 straight conference games and 18 straight FBS games, but defeated Rice on Saturday.
- Still owns19-game road losing streak.
Last: 42-29 home win over Rice on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Navy on Saturday, September 30.
NEW MEXICO - Lost 12 straight conference games.
Last: 34-31 overtime win at UMass on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Wyoming on Saturday, September 30.