Last Saturday was the most exciting day of college football I can remember! There were two critical coaching decisions that have been analyzed and overanalyzed in the aftermath, and before I get to this week’s picks, I want to offer my two cents.
I think Brady Hoke had the right idea when he decided to attempt the two-point conversion down by one against Ohio State, since as a 17-point underdog, having the game come down to a virtual coin-flip is always a good move. Had there been no time remaining, going for two is a no-brainer. However, there were still 32 seconds left. All the analysis I read (including, surprisingly, from Bill Barnwell) just assumed that Ohio State wouldn’t be able to score in the last 32 seconds. But had Michigan converted the two-point attempt, Ohio State would have been more desperate and taken risks that they wouldn’t in a tie game. Basically, the odds of Ohio State scoring in the last 32 seconds are greater if they’re down by one than if the game is tied.
The other decision is, of course, Alabama attempting a 57-yard field goal with one second left in a tie game. Honestly, I don’t understand how people are second-guessing him. The kick did not miss by much, and I’m sure Saban has seen the kicker get it there from that distance in practice, since he’s too smart a coach to try something with a 0% chance of success. A low probability event occurred (Auburn returning the missed FG for a touchdown) and Alabama lost. That does not mean the process was flawed.
Ok, back to picks. Last week’s plays went 5-6 overall. Big Plays went 2-1, Other Plays went 3-2, and MP Leans went 0-3. Lines moved pretty strongly in our favor, with an average move of 1.18 points toward our picks.
Limited schedule this weekend, but there is some value. Picks are based on Massey-Peabody ratings, and do not include injuries, weather, or matchup factors. Lines are widely available as of 12:30pm EST on Wednesday.
Big Plays (23-12 YTD)
- Louisiana-Lafayette +3 at South Alabama [MP= -3.5]
Other Plays (26-33-1 YTD)
- Cincinnati +3.5 vs. Louisville [MP= -1.8]
- Bowling Green +3 vs. Northern Illinois [MP= -2.3]
- Texas +15 at Baylor [MP= +9.0]
MP Leans (20-21 YTD)
- Stanford +3 at Arizona [MP= -1.8]