College football is never predictable, and that was certainly the case on Saturday.
Heading into week six of the NCAA season, it seemed to be a rather ho-hum smorgasbord of matchups, as there were just two games where both teams were ranked inside the top 25. But the underdogs came through in making up for what should have been a yawner of a Saturday.
Some of the underdogs were incredibly unlikely winners.
The biggest upset came via Iowa State, a team 2-2 entering Saturday’s contest against unbeaten #3 Oklahoma. A 30.5-point favorite, the Sooners allowed the Cyclones to rally from a 24-10 hole, including 14 points in the fourth quarter to shock Oklahoma 38-10.
The Sooners had national championship odds of 10-1 entering Saturday. After the upset, the Westgate SuperBook has lengthened their line to 25-1.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield, a Heisman hopeful, passed for 306 yards and rushed for 57 more, but the defeat slashes his chances at winning the trophy awarded to the best player in the nation.
Bovada has Mayfield at +325 to win the Heisman. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is currently the frontrunner at +125. The Nittany Lions, which moved up to #3 with the Sooners loss, will be tested in two weeks when they host Michigan. Speaking of the Wolverines…
Battle of Michigan
In-state rivals Michigan State and Michigan is traditionally a closely contested game. Despite the Spartans coming off a dismal 3-9 year in 2016, and expectations low for 2017, MSU traveled to The Big House with a one-loss record to take on #7 Michigan in front of over 100,000 fans.
Underdogs by almost two touchdowns (13 points), Michigan State’s defense managed to outplay the Wolverines’ supposed best D in the nation. Quarterback Brian Lewerke ran for a score and passed for another, as the Spartans won 14-10 in Ann Arbor.
With Wilton Speight injured and out for the foreseeable future, Michigan’s odds of winning the College Football Playoff National Championship ballooned from 15-1 to 30-1.
Critical Weeks Ahead
Aside from Oklahoma, the other three teams in the AP top 5, Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, and Georgia, all took care of business in week six.
Penn State will get its first ranked test after a bye week with Michigan at home in Happy Valley. It’s next two games will also be against ranked opponents, both on the road against #9 Ohio State and then #21 Michigan State.
#1 Alabama seems cleared to run the table undefeated. The Crimson Tide won’t tackle a ranked opponent until November 25 when it plays at Auburn. #2 Clemson is also well positioned to go 12-0. The Tigers have just one remaining ranked opponent on its regular season schedule, #20 North Carolina State on November 4.
As for title odds, the SuperBook has Alabama at 6-5. A $100 winning bet nets the gambler $120. Clemson follows at 4-1, then Ohio State (6-1), Penn State (12-1), and Washington (15-1).
Georgia, currently the fifth-ranked team in the country, remains surprisingly long at 20-1.