NCAA Football Week 3 Recap
Half of the teams ranked in the top ten in the College Football polls struggled in their weekend contests, but they all managed to come away with victories even if some of them failed to maintain their spots in the rankings.
Despite barely hanging on for a 31 – 29 win over Florida, Alabama didn’t come close to covering the 14.5 point spread but managed to retain the top spot in the AP poll. Their betting odds before the match were as low as -667!
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Close Calls for the Top Ten
The Crimson Tide took a 21 – 3 first-quarter lead, and it looked like they would rout the Gators in an impressive performance on the road, but Florida kept chipping away and came within a missed two-point conversion after a touchdown with just over three minutes left in the game from forcing overtime. Alabama has now won 32 consecutive games against SEC East teams, dating back to a 2010 loss to South Carolina, which was coached by Steve Spurrier.
Third-ranked 2 – 0 Oklahoma hosted 2 – 1 Nebraska in a renewal of a historic rivalry and had to stop the ‘Huskers on a final drive to secure a hard-fought 23 – 16 win, but the close result cost the Sooners a spot in the rankings as they fell to fourth behind Oregon, who was an easy winner against FCS Stony Brook. Even though Oklahoma failed to cover a 22.5 point betting spread, they beat a team from the Power Five Big Ten in a big rivalry game and lost a spot to a team that won a game that shouldn’t even be on the schedule.
Georgia Tech battled number six Clemson to the end, but they were turned away on fourth and goal for the Tigers to stay barely stay alive in the College Football Playoff (CFP) picture. Clemson was a 27.5 point favorite and didn’t come close to covering even though they never trailed in the contest, but the close result still cost them in the rankings as they fell to ninth, entering a Week 4 clash at N.C. State.
Eighth-ranked Cincinnati was looking to keep their CFP hopes alive in their first of back-to-back games against Power Five teams that they hope will influence committee members if they complete the season without a loss. They trailed Big Ten member Indiana entering the fourth quarter but scored twice without giving up any points in the fourth quarter to grab a 38 – 24 victory over the Hoosiers, who were ranked 17th in preseason polls.
In an entertaining Saturday night affair, home standing tenth ranked Penn State benefitted from 106,000 white-clad fans to thwart 22nd rated Auburn, covering a five-point spread at BetUs to prevail 28 – 20 over the SEC foe. Auburn was averaging 61 points a game coming into the contest, but Penn State’s defense did a good job of limiting the Tigers’ offense to 367 yards in the win that lifted the Nittany Lions to sixth in the rankings.
Cruising to Victory
Covering a 30.5 point spread was going to be difficult for second-ranked Georgia at home, considering South Carolina boasts a decent enough defense to keep the Bulldogs from putting up a big offensive number. It turned out that Georgia posted plenty of points in their 40 – 13 win over the Gamecocks, but the visitors were able to penetrate the Bulldog defense enough to keep the score inside the betting line.
Fifth-ranked Iowa and number seven Texas A&M both took care of Group of Five opponents and covered the spread, but weren’t overwhelming as the Hawkeyes took out Kent State (+23.5) 30 – 7, and the Aggies recorded their first shutout of an FBS team since 2015 with a 34 – 0 victory over New Mexico (+30). Ohio State, who fell to ninth after their Week 2 loss to Oregon, easily got by winless Tulsa but failed to cover the 25.5 point spread, and they dropped a spot in the rankings to tenth.
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