While the rest of the Associated Press (AP) Top 10 wound up in the winner’s column last week, then third-ranked Oklahoma (4-1) and then seventh-ranked Michigan (4-1) fell in stunning upsets.
The Wolverines – now ranked 17th by the AP – were 10.5-point favorites at home but lost to bitter rival Michigan State (4-1) in a 14-10 defensive grind.
As for the Sooners, they opened as enormous 28-point home favorites over Iowa State (3-2), only to drop a 38-31 shootout.
Incredibly, the Cyclones went into that game as massive (+7500) moneyline underdogs, paying huge dividends for the brave souls who backed them. Accordingly, bettors sizing up the Week 7 slate will invariably be searching for similar matchups with upset potential.
And as is usually the case, the unfortunate team up next for top-ranked Alabama (6-0) is a prime candidate for longshot status.
This Saturday that will be Arkansas (2-3), a team that counts wins over mid-major lightweights Florida A&M (2-4) and New Mexico State (2-4) as its only victories on the year. When faced with stronger SEC competition, the Razorbacks have wilted on both occasions.
That doesn’t bode well for the Hogs as they head to Tuscaloosa for a date with the Crimson Tide. Alabama beat its first two SEC foes by a combined margin of 125-3, and even with last week’s relatively close 27-19 win over Texas A&M (4-2) factored in, the Tide really is rolling. After all, Alabama was up 24-3 over the Aggies before a late comeback bid.
All things considered, Arkansas probably won’t be the next Iowa State, despite a similar consensus spread that puts them as 31-point road underdogs.
Second-ranked Clemson (6-0) has defended its National Championship with a series of dominant wins. That run looks likely to continue this Friday with a visit to Syracuse (3-3), as the Tigers are tabbed as 23-point road favorites by online sportsbook Bovada.
Third-ranked Penn State (6-0) takes the week off, while fourth-ranked Georgia (6-0) should have no problems hosting SEC walkover Missouri (1-4) as 30-point home favorites.
Fifth-ranked Washington (6-0) appears primed for a second consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff.
The Huskies have blown out every opponent they’ve faced, averaging 43.0 points per game on offense while giving up a stingy 10.2 points per for the third-best scoring defense in the nation.
That dominance may be attributable to the Pac-12’s relative weakness, however, as Wazzu hasn’t played a single ranked team on the season. And nothing changes this week, as the Huskies head to Tempe to take on a middling Arizona State (2-3) team.
The books have Washington as 17.5-point road favorites, but they’ll need to be careful, as the Sun Devils do have a 37-35 win over then 24th-ranked Oregon (4-2) to their credit.
If the Cyclones’ surprising upset is to be repeated this week, sixth-ranked TCU (5-0) could be the culprit.
The Horned Frogs travel to Kansas State (3-2) for a date with a formerly feared Big 12 rival. And while these Wildcats may not have the offensive firepower of old, they’re still averaging a healthy 36.8 points per game.
With legendary head coach Bill Snyder back for a second tour of duty starting in 2009, Kansas State has recorded a Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl appearance, so the team certainly doesn’t lack for leadership.
The same can be said for Gary Patterson of TCU, who has coached the team continuously since 2000 – posting two 12-1 seasons and a 13-0 campaign along the way.
The Wildcats took last year’s matchup 30-6, but this year the Horned Frogs look like an entirely different team. Even so, the oddsmakers have this as a close contest, with TCU favored by only 6.5 points on the road.