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Matchups

Baylor

Baylor proved that the program can go on without Robert Griffin III, putting together a 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS second half that included big upset wins over Kansas State and UCLA. The offense put up more yards than any other team in the country last year, and even with a new starting quarterback at the helm, that shouldn’t change much this year with an elite running back tandem and a great offensive scheme already in place.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8566

Kansas State

Kansas State put together one of the best seasons in all of college football last year, going 11-2 SU and 10-3 ATS en route to winning the Big 12 title. An encore presentation is unlikely for the Wildcats with so much personnel turnover this offseason. Not only did Kansas State lose its offensive leader in Collin Klein, but it lost its entire front seven on defense as well. The team is so well-coached that the drop-off may not be as extreme as it would be in other programs, but the Big 12 is just too deep this season to expect much noise out of this rebuilding squad.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8573

TCU

Just about everything that could go wrong for TCU did last season. The Horned Frogs lost their starting quarterback Casey Pachall due to off-field issues and starting running back Waymon James to injury, leading to a 4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS record in Big 12 play. Both Pachall and James return this year, which should give a big boost to the offense. And the defense was a bright spot for TCU in 2012, giving up less yards than any other team in the Big 12. TCU’s defense will keep the team in most games, making the Horned Frogs a likely candidate for improvement in 2013.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8661

Oklahoma

It was business as usual for Oklahoma in 2012 as the team finished with its sixth season of 10 or more wins in the last seven years with a 10-3 SU record and a share of the Big 12 title. With Landry Jones departed to the NFL after starting for four years at Oklahoma, mobile quarterbacks Blake Bell and Kendel Thompson will duke it out for the position and should be able to keep things rolling. The Sooners’ once stingy defensive unit was a weakness in 2012, and will need to be better if the team is going to win the Big 12 this year.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8540

Cincinnati

Cincinnati is the one team in this conference that has the best chance to push heavily-favored Louisville for the inaugural AAC title. It has a balanced offensive attack that can both pass and run the ball, complementing a defense that knows how to keep opponents out of the end zone. The Bearcats open conference play against South Florida on October 5 and they should not be really tested until going on the road against Rutgers on November 16. In what should serve as the AAC Championship Game, they will host Louisville on December 5.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8597

SMU

The Oddsmakers have the Mustangs as a middle-of-the-road team in the AAC this season, but this could be the sleeper team of the conference. Much of their success will hinge on the continued development of Gilbert and a rebuilt defensive line, but they do not have Louisville on the schedule and will face Rutgers and UCF at home. Circle November 9 as a make or break game in SMU’s title hopes when it travels to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8569

Ohio State

Ohio State went undefeated last year, but played under no pressure with the postseason ban. Would things have gone differently had OSU played knowing that a loss or two might cost them a shot at the conference title or national championship? Hard to say. But the Buckeyes are under no such ban this year, so we'll find out. And Ohio State now plays under extra pressure in that a conference championship might not be enough; it's national championship or bust. Offensively the Buckeyes will be fine, there's talent aplenty to fill the holes on defense and the schedule is accommodating.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8633

Houston

Houston is going to once again have to put up a ton of points to exceed a projected win total of 5.5 seeing that any major improvement on defense is still a couple of years in the making. The one thing we know for sure is that, win or lose, the Cougars will always be a fun team to watch. The first half of their schedule is manageable, but the losses could start piling up quickly down the stretch with Rutgers, UCF, Louisville, and Cincinnati on the slate in their final six games.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8643

Temple

This program continues to attract some of the better local talent from the Philadelphia area but it is going to take a season or two for Rhule to turn it into a cohesive team that can successfully compete in the AAC. Temple’s projected win total appears to be right on the mark with an aggressive non-conference schedule that includes a season opener on the road against Notre Dame. The Owls will then face Louisville at home and Cincinnati on the road in their first two conference games.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8662

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has played in the Rose Bowl three straight years. The Badgers lost all three, but they were also dogged in all three, and lost all three by one score or less. Now UW moves on with a new head coach who hopes to get them over the hump. Most teams would miss a guy like Montee Ball, but not Wisconsin; they'll just plug in Melvin Gordon and/or James White and keep rolling along.

League Abbreviation: 
NCAAF
Team ID: 
8543

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