With Ohio State off this weekend, Buckeye fans got to kick back and scout some of the competition. Some may have taken the opportunity to do a bit more high stakes watching, throwing a little money around and seeing if they could turn a profit during the bye. Week seven was a good one, with a few upsets and a couple of really close games between ranked competition. Then, there was Georgia.
Against a 2-3 South Carolina team, the No. 3 Bulldogs fell at home 20-17 in overtime in a game that seemingly neither program had any interest in winning. Georgia was over 20-point favorites in the contest, and somehow remained in the Top 10 following the terrible loss. It was the only big upset of the weekend, which also included Louisville taking down undefeated No. 19 Wake Forest, Temple over No. 23 Memphis and Miami defeating No. 20 Virginia (although the Canes were the favorite in the game).
The rest of the Top 25 held serve, with a couple really good showdowns in the mix. The Red River Rivalry was as advertised, as No. 6 Oklahoma came away with a 34-27 win over No. 11 Texas. No. 10 Penn State had a defensive battle with No. 17 Iowa, escaping with a 17-12 victory. In the biggest matchup of the day, Joe Burrow shined in No. 5 LSU’s convincing win over No. 7 Florida — a win that shot the Tigers up to No. 2 in the AP Poll.
As with every weekend of college football, the bad beats were aplenty. Let’s dive into the craziness from week seven, and pay our condolences to those who bet on Georgia.
Michigan 42 — Illinois 25
(Line: UM - 24)
The Fighting Illini were supposed to function as a tune-up game for Jim Harbaugh’s unit, set to go up against both Penn State and Notre Dame in the next two weeks. Up until about halftime, it looked like one too, as the Wolverines held a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Illinois got a touchdown just before half to cut it to 28-7, and that is when Michigan forgot how to football.
A punt, a turnover on downs and a fumble in the Wolverines’ first three possessions of the third quarter led to 17-straight points for the Illini, who now trailed just 28-25. Luckily for Michigan, Illinois isn't exactly a powerhouse, as they themselves went on to turn it over on back-to-back drives, leading to 14 unanswered points to put UM back up 42-25. With five minutes left in the fourth, the Wolverines got the ball near midfield, and after leading by 28 earlier in the game, once again had a chance to cover.
Michigan would drive all the way down to the 12 yard line, and instead of trying to get into the end zone — a score that would have made the game push — they elected to knee the ball. The Wolverines opened as 19-point favorites, with the line moving to -24 by game time. Many bettors of UM would have won with one final score, and after leading 28-0 early on, came away with a heartbreaking loss.
Arizona State 38 — Washington State 34
(Line: ASU +2)
It was a good ole fashioned Pac-12 shootout on Saturday afternoon between the Sun Devils and Cougars, with both teams finishing with around 500 yards of total offense. Washington State had the upper hand early on in this back-and-forth contest, jumping out to a 17-7 lead in the middle of the second quarter. Arizona State would answer with an 86-yard TD pass and a field goal just before halftime, as the two teams went into the break knotted at 17-17.
After two touchdowns by the Cougs were sandwiched by a pair of ASU scores, the game remained tied early in the fourth quarter. A 31-yard field goal for Washington State with 2:30 left looked like it might spell the end for Herm Edwards and the boys, but it was not to be.
Arizona State would put together a 10-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 17-yard scamper for a TD by quarterback Jayden Daniels to take a 38-34 lead with just 35 seconds remaining. Washington State would drive down to the ASU 43-yard line on their final possession, but ultimately came up short. The Sun Devils managed to both cover the spread and win outright with very little time on the clock, dooming bettors of the Cougars.
LSU 42 — Florida 28
(Line: LSU -14)
The biggest game of the day was not even safe from a bad beat, as the No. 5 Tigers hosted the No. 7 Gators in Death Valley. The first half was pretty much exactly how most had expected this one to go, as the two teams went touchdown for touchdown throughout the opening two quarters. When the dust had finally settled at halftime, LSU and Florida were locked in a 21-21 battle.
The Gators got on the board first with a short TD pass from Kyle Trask, but the Tigers would take control from hereon out. Two-straight rushing touchdowns by LSU had them back on top 35-28 by the end of the third quarter. Joe Burrow put the icing on the cake, capping off his monster performance with a 54-yard TD pass midway through the fourth the seal the deal. Although the game was firmly in hand, it looked as though Florida was en route to a cover with a late possession at LSU’s two-yard line.
After getting to run five plays from inside the LSU five-yard line following a penalty, Florida ran perhaps the worst attempt at an option play ever ran on 4th and goal and came up way short, as LSU stayed on top by 14 points — enough to push. The Gators did not have a chance to win the game, but the score would have covered the spread, leaving their bettors in disbelief at the awful play calling on the goal line.
Honorable Mention: South Carolina 20 — Georgia 17
(SC ML +1150)
After vomit-inducing attempts at offense by both teams for pretty much the entire game, South Carolina came away victorious in overtime when one of the most reliable kickers in college football pulled the game-tying kick wide left. The Gamecocks left with an absolutely stunning win in Athens as over 20-point underdogs. A $100 bet on South Carolina to win straight up would have netted $1,150.