Brad-ketology: January 30th Edition

The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance.  For the conferences who currently have NCAA tourney teams, it is assumed that one of those teams will win their conference tourney.  If not, then a stolen bid would result, and the number of at-large bids would drop.

Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.  Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that.  There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.   Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.

Brad-ketology columns will be published at least twice a week (typically on Sundays and Fridays) and more often than that when it gets closer to tourney time.  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Thursday January 29th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas, Arizona

2-seeds: Gonzaga, Villanova, Wisconsin, Duke

3-seeds: VCU, Wichita State, Notre Dame, North Carolina

4-seeds: Iowa State, Maryland, West Virginia, Louisville

5-seeds: Utah, Arkansas, Providence, Baylor

6-seeds: Northern Iowa, Butler, Georgetown, Texas

7-seeds: Oklahoma, San Diego State, Georgia, SMU

8-seeds: Stanford, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, LSU

9-seeds: Dayton, Indiana, Texas A & M, Ohio State

10-seeds: Seton Hall, Michigan State, Xavier, Colorado State

11-seeds: Miami-FL, Iowa, Old Dominion, Davidson

12-seeds: George Washington, Ole Miss, NC State, Washington, Wofford, Green Bay

13-seeds: Eastern Washington, Yale, Iona, Bowling Green

14-seeds: Long Beach State, Murray State, Stephen F. Austin, William & Mary

15-seeds: North Carolina Central, High Point, Georgia State, Texas Southern

16-seeds: Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota State, Albany, New Mexico State, Bucknell, Robert Morris

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Temple, St. John’s, Syracuse, Tennessee

2-seeds: St. Mary’s, Tulsa, Illinois, Brigham Young

3-seeds: Alabama, Kansas State, Wofford, Green Bay

4-seeds: Michigan, UConn, Eastern Washington, Boise State

5-seeds: UCLA, UMass, Florida, Clemson

6-seeds: Purdue, Oregon, Yale, Oregon State

7-seeds: Iona, Pittsburgh, Bowling Green, Memphis

8-seeds: Rhode Island, Nebraska, Minnesota, Evansville

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Wyoming, Colorado, Harvard, Western Kentucky, New Mexico

Mid-Major Cinderella Stories of 2015

The mid-major conference tournaments are the source of much of the early holiday season drama, as only the tourney champion will be able to put on their dancing shoes.  While almost all mid-major NCAA teams have the chance to play Cinderella come Christmas Day (aka the first round of the NCAA tourney), it is particularly special when these teams have an inspiring sentimental storyline.  Often times this involves a squad making its first trip to the Big Dance (see Northern Colorado in 2011).  Other times there is a likable coach who warms the hearts of the nation (see Pete Carril in 1994, Andy Enfeld in 2012).  Inevitably, when the second week of March comes around, these stories will come to fruition.  In the meantime, it’s worth looking at the standings and checking out which mid-major conference leaders/contenders could inspire us during ESPN’s annual championship week.  Only teams currently in first or second place of their respective conferences will be included in this column.  They are listed in alphabetical order by conference.

SMU (AAC)- The Mustangs are projected as the first 8 seed in my inaugural edition of Brad-ketology in 2015.  This squad is still looking to earn its first tourney bid since 1993 with the legendary Larry Brown at the helm.

North Florida (Atlantic Sun)- Basically, anyway the current Atlantic Sun ends up will produce a sentimental storyline.  The reason being is that thanks to conference realignment only two teams in the current league have ever danced before and one of those squads (Jacksonville) hasn’t been in the field of 64 since 1986.

Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun)- See comment above.

Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun)- We all remember what this squad did in the 2012 tournament and even though some of the personnel and head coach have changed, Lob City 2.0 would be a fun story come March.

Sacramento State (Big Sky)- The Hornets of Sacramento State currently sit atop the Big Sky standings in search of their first ever bid to the NCAA tournament.

High Point (Big South)- The Panthers are another Big Dance virgin sitting in first place of their current conference standings.

Charleston Southern (Big South)- The Buccaneers haven’t danced since 1997 but are tied with High Point and Coastal Carolina for first-place in the Big South standings.

UC Irvine (Big West)- Despite being a powerhouse in baseball, the Anteaters have never qualified for the NCAA basketball tournament.  Now, they are deadlocked in a three-way tie atop the Big West Standings.

UC Davis (Big West)- See comment above.

Northeastern (Colonial)- The Huskies haven’t earned a Big Dance invite since the 1990’s but they currently are deadlocked in a three-way tie atop the CAA standings.

William & Mary (Colonial)- The Tribe are seeking their first dance invite in school history, as they are presently tied with both Northeastern and UNC-Wilmington for first place in the Colonial.

Louisiana Tech (C-USA)- The Bulldogs are just a game back of Western Kentucky for first place in Conference USA and haven’ been dancing since 1991.

Green Bay (Horizon)- Butler’s departure has opened the door for the Phoenix, who actually won a tourney game in 1994, to earn their first bid since ’96.  This team is tied with perennial powerhouse Cleveland State for first place in the league.  If this story/video doesn’t get you excited about this program, then nothing will: http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/35087/green-bay-guard-pranked-with-scholarship.

Yale (Ivy)- For the past 25 years, this league has been dominated by Princeton and Penn with an occasional run by Cornell or Harvard mixed in.  Now, Yale is looking to finally breakthrough as they are alone atop the Ivy League standings and already possess a road non-conference win over the defending national champions.  The last-time the Bulldogs went dancing JFK was president (1962).

Rider (MAAC)- The Broncos are just a game back of perennial power Iona for first place in the Metro Atlantic Conference and haven’ been dancing since 1994.

Bowling Green (MAC)- The Falcons’ NCAA tourney drought extends almost as far back as Yale’s (1968). However, right now this squad is only a game back of the lead in the MAC East.

Bryant (Northeast)- As you can probably see, conference realignment has really opened the door for a lot of Big Dance virgins to earn their first-ever tourney bid.  The same can be said about the Bulldogs of Bryant University, as they are tied with St. Francis (NY) and Robert Morris for first-place in the NEC.

St. Francis (NY) (Northeast)- See comment above.

Colgate (Patriot)- The Raiders haven’t gone to the tourney since former NBA star, Adonal Foyle, played for them in 1996. However, they are currently tied with perennial powerhouse Bucknell for first place in the league standings.

George Southern (Sun Belt)- This conference used to be ruled by Western Kentucky, but now that the Hilltoppers have departed for C-USA, it has open the door for an unusual suspect to earn a tourney bid. See football power Georgia Southern who leads the conference standings at 6-2 and hasn’t gone dancing since 1992.

George State (Sun Belt)- Even though rival Georgia Southern currently leads the Sun Belt, the Panthers of Georgia State are only a half game back and possess a few of the top sentimental storylines of the season. Not only is Georgia State trying to end a 13-year tourney drought, but two of their star players are former major conference superstars seeking redemption at a smaller school. Starting point guard, Ryan Harrow, was a highly-touted high school recruit that failed to make things work at both NC State and Kentucky. Starting shooting guard, Kevin Ware, was a starter for Rick Pitino’s Louisville team before a horrifying leg injury in the Elite 8 sidelined him for over a year. Can you imagine if these two guys got another shot at the Big Dance?

UMKC (WAC)- Are you ready for the Kangaroos on to your bracket for the first-time in school history this March? Well it very well could happen as the ‘Roos are only a half game back of league leader New Mexico State in the WAC.

Brad-ketology: The Inaugural 2015 Edition

With college football season over and NFL playoffs winding down, it’s time to start dreaming about March.  Which means it’s also time for me to publish my first edition of Brad-ketology for the 2015 season (my personal NCAA/NIT bracket projections).  For the sixth consecutive season, this column will become the staple of my blog from now until Selection Sunday.   Brad-ketology is a little different than other NCAA bracket projections in that it is much more expansive, as it also includes the NIT field and bubble.  Furthermore, it is one of the columns used in the nationally-recognized bracket project which seeds NCAA teams by taking an average of the most prominent bracket projections in the country.  As you will see here, my bracket projection has been the 26th most accurate  amongst the top 76 bracketologists in the country.  That’s not too bad considering ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is 44th and CBS’ Jerry Palm is 52nd.

The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance.  For the conferences who currently have NCAA tourney teams, it is assumed that one of those teams will win their conference tourney.  If not, then a stolen bid would result, and the number of at-large bids would drop.

Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.  Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that.  There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.  For example, my bracket projection currently has Old Dominion (a # 11 seed) earning the automatic bid from Conference USA even though they are 5th in league standings.   Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.

Brad-ketology columns will typically be published twice a week (typically on Sundays and Fridays) and more often than that when it gets closer to tourney time.  Please feel free to comment or debate.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas, Arizona

2-seeds: Gonzaga, Duke, Villanova, Wisconsin

3-seeds: VCU, Maryland, Notre Dame, Wichita State

4-seeds: North Carolina, Iowa State, West Virginia, Utah

5-seeds: Louisville, Georgetown, Baylor, Arkansas

6-seeds: Texas, Providence, Northern Iowa, Butler

7-seeds: Oklahoma, San Diego State, Georgia, Dayton

8-seeds: Indiana, SMU, Stanford, Cincinnati

9-seeds: Oklahoma State, Miami-FL, Colorado State, LSU

10-seeds: Texas A & M, Michigan State, Seton Hall, Xavier

11-seeds: NC State, Washington, Iowa, Old Dominion

12-seeds: George Washington, St. John’s, Davidson, Ohio State, Wofford, Green Bay

13-seeds: Eastern Washington, Yale, Iona, Bowling Green

14-seeds: Long Beach State, Murray State, Stephen F. Austin, Northeastern

15-seeds: North Carolina Central, High Point, Georgia State, Texas Southern

16-seeds: Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota State, Albany, New Mexico State, Bucknell, Robert Morris

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Tennessee, Syracuse, Ole Miss, Temple

2-seeds: Alabama, St. Mary’s, Kansas State, Tulsa

3-seeds: Illinois, Brigham Young, UConn, Wofford

4-seeds: Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Michigan, Eastern Washington

5-seeds: Oregon State, Yale, Oregon, Iona,

6-seeds: Florida, Bowling Green, Nebraska, Memphis

7-seeds: Minnesota, Wyoming, Purdue, Rhode Island

8-seeds: UCLA, Boise State, Clemson, Evansville

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Colorado, Western Kentucky, UMass, Harvard, New Mexico

My Final College Football Rankings (1-128)

1 TCU
2 Ohio State
3 Florida State
4 Oregon
5 Alabama
6 Michigan State
7 Baylor
8 Marshall
9 Missouri
10 Georgia
11 UCLA
12 Arizona State
13 Georgia Tech
14 Clemson
15 Wisconsin
16 Mississippi State
17 Boise State
18 Southern California
19 Utah
20 Ole Miss
21 Arizona
22 Kansas State
23 Duke
24 Louisville
25 Nebraska
26 Memphis
27 Air Force
28 Georgia Southern
29 Northern Illinois
30 Colorado State
31 Auburn
32 Stanford
33 Oklahoma
34 Minnesota
35 NC State
36 Notre Dame
37 Texas A & M
38 Florida
39 LSU
40 Rutgers
41 Utah State
42 UCF
43 Toledo
44 Cincinnati
45 UL-Lafayette
46 Arkansas
47 Oklahoma State
48 Washington
49 Penn State
50 Virginia Tech
51 South Carolina
52 Tennessee
53 West Virginia
54 Iowa
55 Maryland
56 Boston College
57 BYU
58 East Carolina
59 Navy
60 Houston
61 Louisiana Tech
62 Western Kentucky
63 Western Michigan
64 Rice
65 Texas State
66 Appalachain State
67 Texas
68 Miami-FL
69 North Carolina
70 Pittsburgh
71 Illinois
72 Bowling Green
73 Central Michigan
74 San Diego State
75 Nevada
76 UTEP
77 Arkansas State
78 South Alabama
79 Fresno State
80 Kentucky
81 Oregon State
82 California
83 Michigan
84 Northwestern
85 Virginia
86 Temple
87 Middle Tennessee
88 UAB
89 Ohio
90 Old Dominion
91 Buffalo
92 Texas Tech
93 Indiana
94 Akron
95 Ball State
96 Washington State
97 Syracuse
98 Wake Forest
99 Vanderbilt
100 Kansas
101 Purdue
102 South Florida
103 UTSA
104 Army
105 UL-Monroe
106 New Mexico
107 FIU
108 Wyoming
109 North Texas
110 Iowa State
111 Colorado
112 Tulane
113 FAU
114 Hawaii
115 UMass
116 Troy
117 San Jose State
118 Kent State
119 Southern Miss
120 Tulsa
121 Uconn
122 Miami-OH
123 New Mexico State
124 Eastern Michigan
125 UNLV
126 Idaho
127 SMU
128 Georgia State

Best/Worst Sports Moments of 2014

For the sixth year in a row, I am publishing an account of my top 10 best and worst sports moments of the past year.  (click here for 2009-2013 editions).  Keep in mind that these are given from a purely subjective viewpoint.  When I say “best/worst moments” I’m not talking about great or horrible sporting events.  I’m talking about moments that affected me the most positively or negatively.  Overall, this was a pretty solid sports year for me, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing about these events with me.

Best Moments:

1.  Kentucky basketball beats Wisconsin in NCAA Final Four (April 5, 2014)- Part of the immense exhilaration I experienced with this game had to do with the setting in which I watched it. I was attending a good friend’s wedding earlier in the day, so I was surrounded by close friends at a crowded Wilmington bar when Aaron Harrison drained yet another game-winning three-pointer. After the Cats’ defense held off the Badgers in the final seconds, the thrill of victory sent me yelling and screaming through the streets of downtown Wilmington. The magical Wildcat run came crashing down two days later (worst moment # 9 on this list) but for that one night in Wilmington, all was right with the world.

2.  Ole Miss football stuns Alabama Crimson Tide (October 4, 2014)- If you want evidence as to why college football is the greatest sport in the world, look no further than this game. No other sport could possibly feature a regular season game with this much importance, emotion, pageantry, and postgame revelry. College Gameday made its first-ever trip to Oxford to see the Rebels pull off a dramatic come from behind victory over # 1 ranked Alabama. After the game goalposts were torn down and carried around campus, Bo Wallace was carried off the field by random members of the student body, and most shockingly Katy Perry partied the night away in various Oxford bars (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcXT75Y9y34 ). Only in college football…

3.  Mercer basketball upsets Duke in NCAA Tournament Round of 64 (March 21, 2014)- The biggest and most prominent upset I’ve ever witnessed in person…

4.  Dual Fantasy Football Championships for Team Matthews (December 22, 2014)- It’s because of moments like this one that I spend hours a day each fall analyzing and scrutinizing my fantasy football lineups in five different leagues. Before last week, I had not won a fantasy football championship in three years. Now, thanks to a terrible game by Andrew Luck and a breakout performance by Jeremy Hill I find myself the current champion of two different fantasy leagues. Both Super Bowl victories were come from behind efforts against good friends whom I work with on a regular basis.

5.  California Chrome wins Preakness Stakes (May 17, 2014)- I held small gatherings at my house for both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes this year, and I really embraced the California Chrome underdog story throughout the spring. I distinctly remember yelling “Belmont! Belmont!” as Chrome held off his challengers to take the second leg of the Triple Crown.

6.  Florida State ends SEC Reign of Terror (January 6, 2014)- You know things are pretty bad when a rapist-led touchdown drive makes the list of greatest sports moments of the year. However, despite Jameis Winston’s despicable behavior, the SEC Reign of Terror needed to end sooner rather than later, and his Noles did just that last January with a thrilling victory over Auburn.

7.  South Carolina football upsets undefeated Georgia (September 13, 2014)- Like events # 3 and 9 on this list, this moment is subjectively enhanced because I attended the event in person. South Carolina had a largely disappointing 2014 season, but one of their few shining moments came on a rainy evening in early September when the Gamecocks knocked off rival Georgia in dramatic fashion.

8.  San Antonio Spurs beat Miami Heat to win NBA Championship (June 15, 2014)- I have never really like the Spurs very much, but it was great seeing them emphatically deny the “Evil Empire” Miami Heat a third consecutive NBA title.

9.  Andy Murray wins 2nd round Wimbledon match against Blaz Rola (June 25, 2014)- As stated previously, events # 3, 7, and 9 are given a boost on the list because I personally attended each of them. However, events # 3 and 7 would have likely still been on this list had I not been there to see them live. The same cannot be said for this moment # 9. This match’s significance is based solely on the unbelievable luck I encountered in obtaining 5th row Court # 1 seats to see my all-time favorite tennis player defend his Wimbledon Championship. Murray certainly didn’t disappoint as he put together one of the most dominating performances of his career to destroy Blaz Rola.

10.  Vanderbilt wins College Baseball World Series (June 25, 2014)- Amazingly, events # 9 and 10 are two unrelated moments that occurred on the same day, half a world apart. Just hours after experiencing a full day of tennis at Wimbledon, the Vanderbilt Commodores, one of my favorite SEC teams, won its first major national championship with a 3-2 win over Virginia in the final game of the College World Series. The Dores’ win was also significant in that it preserved Wake Forest’s (my alma mater’s) claim to fame as being the only ACC team to win a national baseball championship.

Worst Moments:

1.  California Chrome loses Belmont Stakes (June 7, 2014)- This past June, California Chrome became the ninth horse since I began following horse racing in the mid-1990’s to fail to win the Belmont after capturing the first two legs of the triple crown. The other eight losses (except Big Brown’s) hurt a lot, but this one was definitely the worst. First of all, Chrome had one of the most likeable set of connections in horse racing history with an underdog trainer and a pair of humble, middle-class owners. Chrome also seemed to be the most capable of the recent Triple Crown hopefuls, as he had coasted by his competition in his previous six outings. However, a slow start in this year’s Belmont put him in a difficult position throughout the race, and this amazing story ended with a disappointing 4th place finish. The post-race tirade by owner Steve Coburn just added insult to injury (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sFzjoVEm9s).

2.  Ohio State beats out Baylor and TCU for final playoff spot (December 7, 2014)- When the creation of the College Football Playoff was announced in spring of 2011, I finally thought that college football’s years of exclusionary practices were over. Boy, was I wrong! Seven of the last eight national championship races have featured contenders outside “the traditional powerhouses” who were excluded from the National Title Hunt because of greed, selfishness, and prejudice. I didn’t think it was possible that a committee filled with seemingly competent college football fans and administrators would engage in the same practices when a total of four teams were finally given the opportunity to play for the national title. However, that’s exactly what happened when two small, Christian-based colleges (Baylor and TCU) were bypassed by a big-named, secular university with a vastly inferior resume (Ohio State) for the final playoff spot.

3.  Holocaust Saturday: South Carolina and Ole Miss simultaneously lose stunners (November 1, 2014)- The second-straight Saturday of college football that almost left me in tears (see worst moment # 4). Ole Miss was a yard away from scoring a touchdown, knocking off Auburn, and controlling its destiny in both the SEC and National Title races. However, at that exact moment, star wideout Laquon Treadwell was awkwardly grabbed from behind by an Auburn defender causing him to trip, break his leg and fumble the football resulting in an Auburn victory and the end of Treadwell’s collegiate career. All things considered, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more devastating play in the history of sports than that one. Minutes later, my South Carolina Gamecocks choked away their third double-digit fourth quarter lead of the season against Tennessee, losing to the Volunteers in overtime. Luckily, I was hanging out with good friends who kept me upbeat that evening. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have been crying under a bridge somewhere.

4.  Heartbreak Saturday: BC, Auburn, LSU, and Ohio State edge out Wake Forest, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Penn State (October 25, 2014)- The forementioned Holocaust Saturday could not have been possible without the heartbreaking weekend of college football that preceded it. On October 25th, I was celebrating my wife’s 30th birthday with family in Winson-Salem, NC. I, first of all, saw Wake Forest lose a heartbreaker in person to Boston College. Then, in my hotel room later that evening, I sunk to even greater levels of despair as South Carolina lost to Auburn on the last play of the game, Penn State dropped an OT thriller to Ohio State, and Ole Miss’ undefeated season was derailed by a late LSU comeback.

5.  San Francisco Giants beat Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of World Series (October 29, 2014)- The Kansas City Royals would have been the feel-good story of 2014 if they had managed to get past the Giants in the deciding game of this year’s World Series. However, Madison Bumgarner had other ideas as he shutdown the Royals on just two days rest to clinch another World Championship for the Giants. Interestingly enough, this game was played right in-between worst moments # 3 and 4 discussed above, thereby making the last week of October my worst sports week for 2014.

6.  South Carolina football chokes away game against Missouri (September 27, 2014)- As mentioned above, South Carolina football lost three double-digit fourth quarter leads this season. The first of these choke jobs was by far the most painful as the Gamecocks had both their SEC and National Title hopes taken away with two Missouri touchdowns in the final four minutes of this late September contest.

7.  Clemson football finally beats South Carolina (November 29, 2014)- This game wasn’t close for most of the second half but just because it wasn’t a heartbreaking defeat like most others on this list, doesn’t mean it wasn’t devastating.

8.  Andy Murray loses to Grigor Dimitrov in Wimbledon Quarterfinal (July 2, 2014)- I was hoping that my trip to Wimbledon this summer would bring good luck to Murray and allow him to successfully defend his Wimbledon Championship. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as the British # 1 was upset in straight sets by Maria Sharapova’s boyfriend. I will never forget walking through the Palace and Gardens of Versailles as I intently followed this disheartening result on my phone.

9.  UConn Huskies knock off Kentucky in Men’s National Championship Game (April 7, 2014)- You would think that seeing my favorite college basketball team (aside from my alma mater) get upset in the national championship game would be higher on the list, but Kentucky’s run to the championship game was so satisfying and surprising that I didn’t get too upset about their ugly loss to UConn.

10.  San Francisco 49ers blast Carolina Panthers in NFC Divisional playoff game (January 12, 2014)- Just like events # 3, 7, and 9 on my best moments of the year list, the emotional impact of this event was enhanced based on my attendance at it. I am not a huge Carolina Panthers fan (the New England Patriots have always been my favorite NFL team), but making a 4.5 hour trek home on a Sunday night after seeing the Panthers throw this game away, was a truly miserable experience.

Bowl Game Picks

These are in order from my most confident pick to least confident.

Texas A & M (+3.5) vs. West Virginia
Northern Illinois (+9.5) vs. Marshall
UL-Lafayette (+1.0) vs. Nevada
Rutgers (+3.0) vs. North Carolina
Illinois (+6.0) vs. Louisiana Tech
Air Force (Pick) vs. Western Michigan
UCF (-2.0) vs. NC State
San Diego State (-3.0) vs. Navy
Alabama (-9.0) vs. Ohio State
Utah (-4.0) vs. Colorado State

Last Week’s Record: 5-5, Overall Season Record: 72-78

Bowl Upsets to Watch Out For

These are in order from least shocking to most shocking according to the lines on vegasinsider.com:

Penn State (+3.0) vs. Boston College

Ole Miss (+3.0) vs. TCU

Texas A & M (+3.5) vs. West Virginia

Rutgers (+3.5) vs. North Carolina

Illinois (+5.0) vs. Louisiana Tech

Oklahoma State (+5.0) vs. Washington

East Carolina (+7.5) vs. Florida

Last week’s record: 1-4 (Best Pick: UCF (+6.0) over East Carolina)