A 53-game schedule this week gets started early with a Tuesday night Sun Belt clash sending Appalachian State to Lafayette to face Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns. The visiting Mountaineers opened as a 3.5-point favorite, but the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com give the home team a 1.69-point advantage. Appalachian State won the first 8 meetings before falling 24-21 in Boone last year.
That game is just one of seven where the computer goes opposite the spread. It also likes Georgia Southern by 2.33 at South Alabama (-3.5), Utah by 4.39 at home over Arizona State (-1), Central Michigan by 2.95 at home versus Toledo (-5), LSU by 6.09 at home over Florida (-10), Indiana by 8.34 at home over Michigan State (-3.5), and Minnesota by 4.63 at home over Nebraska (-2.5).
The lone FBS school to face a FCS member is actually an underdog as Yale gets a 0.09-point edge at Connecticut. The Huskies are already one of ten FCS schools to lose to a FCS opponent this season, having dropped a 38-28 decision to Holy Cross on September 4.
27 teams are idle this week, including the computer's 4th-ranked Michigan Wolverines, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 9 Wake Forest. No. 10 Penn State, No. 11 SMU, No. 14 Notre Dame, and No. 16 Coastal Carolina.
Leading the charge of highly-ranked teams seeing action this week is No. 1 Georgia which faces No. 20 Kentucky in Athens. It's a battle for first in the SEC East as both teams are 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the division. SEC East. The Wildcats haven't seen this kind of success since 1950 when they began 10-0 and finished 11-1 with a victory over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. The 'Dawgs have won 11 straight in the series, and are 60-12-2 overall against Kentucky. Georgia is a 22.5-point favorite and a 20.58-point computer pick.
The computer's No. 2 team, Iowa, is a 12.5-point favorite and a 15.76-point computer pick at home over Purdue as the Hawkeyes look to continue their best campaign sine 2015 when they went 12-0 in the regular season before losing 16-13 to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game getting blown out 45-16 by Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
No. 3 Oklahoma, which is coming off a scintillating 55-48 win over Texas, draws a home date with TCU (3-2, 1-1). The Sooners have been challenged in every game with no victories over a FBS program by more than 7 points. Yet somehow, the oddsmakers list Lincoln Riley's troops as a 12-point favorite while the computer has the spread at 8.74. Freshman QB Caleb Williams, who led the rally against Texas, is expected to be the starting QB over preseason Heisman candidate Spencer Rattler. However, Riley has declined to publicly reveal who will start, as of Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Fifth-ranked Cincinnati entertains UCF as a 20-point favorite and a 15.33-point computer pick.
No. 6 Alabama will look to rebound from its loss at Texas A&M when it visits Mississippi State as a 17.5-point favorite and an 11.84-point computer choice.
No. 8 Oklahoma State is a 4.5-point underdog at Texas while the computer likes the Longhorns by more than double that amount at 9.26.
Elsewhere, Virginia Tech hosts Pittsburgh in a battle of the two remaining ACC Coastal teams that are undefeated in league play. Each squad is 1-0 in the conference while every other team in the Coastal has at least 2 losses. The Panthers have taken 8 of the last 12 from the Hokies after Virginia Tech won 7 of the first 8 meetings.
Utah hosts Arizona State for the lead in the PAC-12 South. These are the two remaining undefeated teams in league play in the PAC-12 South, and the entire conference as a whole. The Utes are 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the league, while the Sun Devils are 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the PAC-12. Utah is 2-0 at home. Both teams lost by similar scores at BYU with the Utes falling to 26-17 on September 11, and Arizona State dropped a 27-17 decision in Provo a week later. Utah has won 3 of the last 5 meetings with the Sun Devils, including 21-3 in their last meeting in 2019 which was also at Utah.
UTSA looks to run its record to 7-0 when the Roadrunners host Rice as an 18.5-point favorite and a 15.72-point computer play.
Western Kentucky is a 7-point favorite and a 2.89-point computer pick to hand Kent State its first MAC loss, while surprising MAC West leader Northern Illinois is a 10point favorite and 12.47-point computer pick at home over Bowling Green.
SEE: Weekly Picks
2 teams will play 2 FCS teams this fall (UConn and UMass), and 115 teams will play 1 FCS school for a total of 117 such matchups. 105 of those 117 games have already been played.
No FCS-FBS games took place the last two weeks, and there is only one such game this week as UConn hosts Yale as a 0.09-point computer underdog.
The FBS is 95-10 vs the FCS this season. Since we began tracking this in 2003, the FBS teams are now 1,564-138 (.919).
Last year, 30 FBS teams played a total of just 34 games against FCS schools and the FCS won just 1 game (1-33). That honor also went to Jacksonville State with its 19-10 victory over FIU.
Here are the FCS wins in 2021:
September 2: UC Davis 19, Tulsa 17
September 2: Eastern Washington 35, UNLV 33 (2 OT)
September 3: South Dakota State 42, Colorado State 23
September 4: Holy Cross 38, UConn 28
September 4: Montana 13, Washington 7
September 4: ETSU 23, Vanderbilt 3
September 11: Duquesne 28, Ohio 26
September 11: Jacksonville State 20, Florida State 17.
September 18: Incarnate Word 42, Texas State 34.
September 18: Northern Arizona 21, Arizona 19
This was the only FCS win vs. the FBS in 2020:
October 23: Jacksonville State 19, FIU 10
In 2019, FBS teams were 111-3 (.974) in such games. These were the only FCS wins that season:
August 29: Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28
September 7: Southern Illinois 45, Massachusetts 20
September 14: The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)
OKLAHOMA: Won 14 straight over-all (FBS longest).
LAST: Won 55-48 vs. Texas at Arlington on Saturday, Oct. 9.
NEXT: Hosts TCU on Saturday, Oct. 16.
OHIO STATE - Won 24 straight conference games (FBS longest), and 11 straight road games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 66-17 over Maryland on Saturday, Oct. 9.
Next: Visits Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 23.
CLEMSON - Won 31 straight home games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 19-13 at home over Boston College on Saturday, Oct. 2. Idle this past weekend.
Next: Visits Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 15.
NEW MEXICO - Lost 16 straight road games (FBS longest).
Last: Lost 31-7 at San Diego State on Saturday, Oct. 9.
Next: Hosts Colorado State on Saturday, Oct. 16.
KANSAS - Lost 17 straight to FBS schools, Lost 14 straight conference games (tied FBS longest with Vanderbilt).
Last: Lost 59-7 at Iowa State on Saturday, Oct. 2. Idle this past weekend.
Next: Hosts Texas Tech on Saturday, Oct. 16.
ARIZONA - Lost 17 straight over-all (FBS Longest) , and 16 straight to FBS schools.
Last: Lost 34-16 at home to UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 9.
Next: Visits Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 16.