The Fraud Five
By Mike Kern
October 20, 2019
The latest Fraud Five. Or, why college football is the best week-to-week sport. Because you really never do know, even when we think we’ve finally got it all figured out.
Not. And this is the weekly proof.
Wisconsin – First Georgia, now this. And this isn’t the way you’re supposed to get ready for a trip to Ohio State. Or maybe that’s one of the reasons why it happened. Anyway, the Badgers were a 30-point favorite at Illinois. But they blew a late 9-point lead and went down on a last-play field goal. That’s hard to do, especially for a team that hadn’t lost yet and had already posted four shutouts.This just in: Just about everybody will lose before the regular-season is over, sometimes when you least expect it. That’s why there’s a FF to begin with.
Missouri – Just when people are starting to take you a little bit seriously, you lose at Vanderbilt. Which, of course, is a real long way from acceptable. The same Vandy whose only win come against Northern Illinois, and had just got clubbed at home by UNLV.
Miami – In the battle of the two most recent ex-Temple coaches, Manny Diaz got beat at home in overtime by Georgia Tech and Geoff Collins. The same GT that won once for their first-year coach, and had lost at home to Citadel. And the Hurricanes were coming off a win over Virginia. So much for the good vibes that might have created.
Toledo – A week after losing to Bowling Green (and scoring seven points in the process), the Rockets lost 52-14 at Ball State as a slight underdog. Good thing they scored last.
Duke – It’s OK to lose at Virginia, in a matchup of 4-2 teams, as a slight dog. Still, 48-14 seems at least a bit excessive. Good thing the Blue Devils scored last.
Cal – Lost at home to Oregon State as a double-digit fave. It’s the Bears third straight loss. At least the first two were to Arizona State and Oregon. So much for that 4-0 start, which included wins at Washington and Mississippi.
I could have thrown Temple in here, but I’ll give the Owls some slack since they’d already beaten two ranked teams at the time (Maryland has since faded), both at home. They were coming off one of those upsets, which might help explain why they came up rather small at unbeaten SMU as a touchdown dog. So I’m granting them a pass. Call it the hometown discount.