Weekly Preview: Michigan State at Ohio State, Oregon at Utah, and More

November 17, 2021 by Staff

With two weeks to go in the regular season for most teams, only 3 of 130 still sport unblemished records and the College Football Playoff Committee ranks them quite far apart.

Georgia (10-0) is the only undefeated school from a Power 5 conference and has been the consensus No. 1 team in America for most of the season.

Cincinnati (10-0) is the Group of Five school everyone expected could make a run at becoming the first school outside the Power 5 conferences to crack the season-ending 4-team playoff field and the committee has shown the Bearcats little respect, keeping them at No. 5.

UTSA (10-0) has biggest one of the biggest surprises, and by far the best news coming out of Conference USA this season. But the Roadrunners are just getting nibbles from the playoff committee who seem to be patronizing them by placing them at No. 22.

This week, Georgia will give its stars a lot of rest as the Bulldogs entertain FCS Charleston Southern as a 49.50-point favorite, according to the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com..

It's a different story for Cincinnati and UTSA, each of whom will face one of the better teams in their respective conference.

Cincinnati draws a home date with SMU with the Bearcats favored by 12 in the sportsbooks, but just 6.77 by the computer. The Mustangs'  road schedule has been difficult, resulting in losses to both Memphis and Houston. A trip to Cincinnati gives them the Trifecta of brutal.

Meanwhile, UTSA gets UAB in San Antonio with a chance to unseat the reigning three-time CUSA West champs. The oddsmakers have the Roadrunners by 5 whole the computer weighs-in a little less enthusiastically with a 3.98-point edge to the home team.

The marquee game this week has the playoff committee's 4th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes hosting the committee's 7th-ranked Michigan State Spartans, and . The committee has given MSU plenty of extra incentive by ranking them behind the Michigan team they beat and insisting that it's because they believe the Wolverines are the better team. The sportsbooks are dissing Michigan State, too, by installing Ohio State as a 19.5-point favorite. Mind you, the computer also sees this one heavily in the Buckeyes' favor and by a not-so-respectful 17.89 points.

Ohio State has a trip to Michigan to look forward to next week.

A game of great interest will be taking place in Salt Lake City where No. 23 Utah hosts No. 3 Oregon. The Utes can clinch the PAC-12 South with a win over the Ducks who can lock down the North title with a win over the Utes. Somewhat surprisingly, the oddsmakers and the computer are both leaning to Utah to prevail. The sportsbooks listed the Utes by 2 at the open and that line has increased to as much as 3.5. The computer gives Utah a 6.28-point edge.

Other games to watch include Baylor at Kansas State, Iowa State at Oklahoma, Virginia Tech (without Justin Fuente) at Miami, UCLA at USC, and "The (not so) Big Game" with Cal at Stanford.

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.

The final 4 FCS-FBS matchups of the year will take place this Saturday with Charleston Southern at Georgia, Tennessee State at Mississippi State, Wofford at North Carolina, and Prairie View A&M at Texas A&M.

The FBS is 101-12 vs. the FCS this season. Since we began tracking this in 2003, the FBS teams are 1,570-140 (.918).

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
November 6: Rhode Island 35, Massachusetts 22
November 13: Maine 35, Massachusetts 10

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)


GEORGIA - Won 14 straight overall-all (FBS longest).
Last: Won 41-17 at Tennessee on Saturday, Nov., 13.
Next: Hosts FCS Charleston Southern on Saturday, Nov. 20. Visits Georgia Tech on Saturday, Nov. 27.

OHIO STATE - Won 28 straight conference games (FBS longest), and 13 straight road games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 59-31 at home vs. Purdue on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Next: Hosts Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 20. Visits Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 27.

CLEMSON - Won 33 straight home games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 44-7 at home vs. Clemson on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Next: Hosts Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 20. Visits South Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 27.

FIU - Lost 9 straight over-all (FBS longest).
Last: Lost 50-10 at MTSU on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Next: Hosts North Texas on Saturday, Nov. 20. Visits Southern Miss on Saturday, Nov. 27.

VANDERBILT - Lost 19 straight conference games (FBS longest)..
Last: Lost 34-17 at home to Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Next: Visits Ole Miss on Saturday, Nov. 20. Visits Tennessee on Saturday, Nov. 27.

NEW MEXICO STATE - Lost 17 straight road games (FBS longest).
Last: Lost 59-3 at Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Next: Visits Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 20. Hosts Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 27