college football recap—week four: tigers are endangered species.

Indiana running back D'Angelo Roberts, center, leaps over several players as he scores the game-winning touchdown late during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Indiana upset Missouri 31-27. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Indiana running back D’Angelo Roberts, center, leaps over several players as he scores the game-winning touchdown late during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Indiana upset Missouri 31-27. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

If I’ve learned one thing about my betting strategy, it’s that I can’t pick against the spread to save my life. Once again, I went 1-2 against the spread (2-1 in straight-up winners). Perhaps I should just stick to picking winners, eh? Let’s review:

Alabama–32, Florida–21
My pic: ‘Bama -14.5
As predicted, the Gators hung in there in the first half. Once Alabama stopped shooting itself in the foot, they ran Florida back to Gainesville. To me, this is Alabama’s best win, so far. It was not a complete game. They made mistakes. But great teams know how to adjust, which is exactly what they did.
VERDICT: NICK SABAN MADE ME LOOK SMART

Indiana–31, Mizzou–27
My pick: Mizzou -13.5
I’m an Indiana alumnus. They’ve gone to one bowl game in the last 21 years. They’ve had just one winning season in the last 20 years. I was so certain they were going to get blown out at Missouri, I circled it as the “bet the house” no-brainer of the day.

Oops.

Indiana just doesn’t beat ranked teams on the road. Hell, they lost to Bowling freakin’ Green in their last game! But they come out and hang with Mizzou and beat them at their house? Wow. Just wow. Either Mizzou overlooked IU or early-season rankings are overrated. I think it was a little bit of both.
VERDICT: I NEED A NEW HOUSE

Oregon–38, Washington St.–31
My pick: Oregon -23.5
I really should’ve known better than to give more than three touchdowns on the road. Yeah, Oregon is a high-powered team, but even high-powered teams have trouble in their first road game of the season…a conference opponent, no less. I really didn’t think a team that couldn’t beat Rutgers at home stood a chance against whom I consider to be the best team in the nation.

I was wrong.

Yeah, Oregon won. Yeah, Oregon put up gaudy offensive stats. But they also gave up a lot of points on defense. Lesson learned.
VERDICT: NEVER GIVE 23 POINTS, YOU MORON!!!

Football Saturday: Not a Good Day to be a Tiger
Overall, it was not a good day to be a tiger (unless you were the Detroit variety). On the day, three ranked teams with Tigers as mascots (Clemson, LSU, Mizzou) were knocked off. Only the Auburn Tigers—who played Thursday night—staved off defeat this week. Incidentally, we really need to talk to the SEC about having three conference schools with Tiger mascots. That’s just not right.

Upset Stomach
A couple surprises in down-ticket races (Utah winning at Michigan, VaTech losing at home again), and one seriously major upset: Mississippi St. over LSU at Death Valley. Who saw THAT coming? Not sure if the Bulldogs are for real, but they took out a team some had earmarked for the playoff. You can’t take that away from them. As for Utah over Michigan, that wasn’t so surprising if you’ve been watching Michigan’s ineptitude this season. The Wolverines are going backwards. After losing two straight at home, VaTech proved their win over Ohio State was a complete and total fluke.

The Undefeated
I figured Florida State would win ugly over Clemson without Winston and I was right. The Seminoles are one of the best teams in the nation, but No. 1? Not in my book (yes, I’ll do rankings this week). I already talked about Oregon. They had trouble with Washington State, but I still think they’re a better team. The Ducks just have too many weapons on offense.

Oklahoma and Texas A&M won road games to remain unbeaten, which was not too surprising. A&M took apart SMU, a program in complete disarray right now. I knew the Sooners were in for a minor challenge at West Virginia, but they pounded the ball and ran all over the Mountaineers. At this point, The Big 12 is OK’s to lose.

My Top Ten
Even though the horse race for No. 1 has tightened a bit, I’m still of a mind that Oregon is the best team in the nation. However, I reserve the right to change my vote; even if all the top five teams remain unbeaten for most of the season.
1. Oregon (4-0 / 1-0)
2. Alabama (4-0 / 1-0)
3. Florida State (3-0 / 1-0)
4. Texas A&M (4-0 / 1-0)
5. Oklahoma (4-0 / 1-0)
6. Auburn (3-0 / 1-0)
7. UCLA (3-0 / 0-0)
8. Notre Dame (3-0)
9. Mississippi St. (4-0 / 1-0)
10. South Carolina (3-1 / 2-1)

The Rest
Some of these teams have a shot at getting into the post season playoff, but they’ll need a little luck on their side. Michigan State will likely win the B1G and the SEC will beat upon itself, rendering several of these teams out of contention…and no, Georgia will not be there.
11. Michigan State (2-1 / 0-0)
12. Georgia (2-1 / 0-1)
13. LSU (3-1 / 0-1)
14. Arizona State (3-0 / 1-0)
15. Arizona (4-0 / 1-0)
16, Ole Miss (3-0 / 1-0)
17. USC (2-1 / 1-0)
18. Boston College (3-1 / 0-1)
19. Nebraska (4-0 / 0-0)
20. Georgia Tech (4-0 / 1-0)
21. North Carolina State (4-0 / 0-0)
22. Ohio State (2-1 / 0-0)
23. Penn State (4-0/ 1-0)
24. Washington (4-0 / 1-0)
25. Oregon State (3-0 / 0-0)

Wait-and-See
I’m really not sold any any of these programs right now. K-State had a chance to make a statement and blew it. Arkansas has played only one ranked opponent (Auburn) and lost. They’ve got A&M next, so my guess is they won’t be cracking the Top 25 anytime soon.
Kansas State (2-1 / 1-0)
Arkansas (3-1 / 0-1)
PItt (3-1 / 1-0)

Down and Out
It’s comical that I even mention Michigan here, isn’t it? I couldn’t help myself. I don’t see Mizzou running the table this year. And even if they do, that loss to the Hoosiers looms large. Clemson’s hopes and dreams were dashed last night. In the coming weeks, this list will grow to include ranked teams who will be walking dead.
Missouri (3-1 / 0-0)
Michigan (2-2 / 0-0)
Clemson (1-2 / 0-1)

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