The 2014 College Football season is so close you can analyze its pores. Win total over/unders are out. Here are five teams we like to hit the over.
Alabama Crimson Tide [10.5]
Home: FAU, So. Miss, Florida, Texas A&M, Miss. St., Western Carolina, Auburn
Away: Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU
Neutral: West Virginia
Since Nick Saban got Bama rolling in 2008, their worst loss was to a nine-win South Carolina team in 2010. The Tide should be double-digit favorites in almost every game they play. Maybe a resurgent Florida keeps it close. Perhaps Ole Miss or Tennessee gives them a battle away. But, most likely, the season comes down to LSU and Auburn. Both teams have question marks. All Alabama would need to do is split them.
Arizona Wildcats [6.5]
Home: UNLV, Nevada, Cal, USC, Colorado, Washington, Arizona State
Away: UTSA, Oregon, Washington St., UCLA, Utah
Rich Rodriguez is coming off back to back seven-win regular seasons, while going 2-6 in one-score games in Pac 12 play. The Wildcats have had some absolute turds. They’ve also pulled off some major upsets. Let’s give them UNLV, Nevada, Cal and Colorado at home. Add the road game at UTSA. That’s five. They would need two wins from the remaining seven games.
Iowa Hawkeyes [8.5]
Home: Northern Iowa, Ball State, Iowa State, Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Nebraska
Away: Pitt, Purdue, Maryland, Minnesota, Illinois
Iowa is in the weaker Big Ten West. They drew Indiana and Maryland from the East. Ferentz could certainly “Ferentz” the hell out of this season. But the schedule sets up very nicely for the Hawkeyes. Their toughest road trip is either Pittsburgh or Minnesota. They play Wisconsin and Nebraska at home in November. If they don’t cover the over before the final two games, that would be disappointing.
Michigan Wolverines [7.5]
Home: App. State, Miami (Ohio), Utah, Minnesota, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland
Away: Notre Dame, Rutgers, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State
No Michigan game should be taken for granted. But, presuming reasonable progression and competence, they should get to at least eight wins against that schedule. Hoke’s teams have been far better at home. They should go 7-0 but let’s say they go 6-1. That still means winning just two of five away games. Rutgers is one. Michigan has not lost in Evanston since the 54-51 game in 2000. The Wildcats just lost their best player.
Wisconsin Badgers [9.5]
Home: Western Illinois, Bowling Green, USF, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Minnesota
Away: Northwestern, Rutgers, Purdue, Iowa
Wisconsin’s schedule is pitiful. The Badgers are in the weaker West division. They play Maryland and Rutgers from the East. They get two of the three conference games they should be concerned about, Nebraska and Minnesota, at home. LSU is not a given defeat. It’s hard to find one potential loss beyond that, let alone two.
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