When teams have results that deviate from the expectation, the betting markets can be ripe for overreaction. We see a lot of that in Weeks 2-4 when the season is just getting going because there is a race to have the teams accurately rated and properly valued. However, there are going to be times later in the season when a win or a loss might get too much credit.
Week 8 could very well be one of those weeks.
Underdogs simply crushed it in Week 7, going 34-11 ATS with 15 outright upsets. There were some real surprises in that group, like Georgia Southern over James Madison, Michigan State over Wisconsin, Stanford over Notre Dame and Colorado over Cal. There were also some that altered the national landscape like Tennessee over Alabama, Kentucky over Mississippi State and Illinois over Minnesota. There were plenty of close calls, too, like Iowa State against Texas and Duke over North Carolina.
Betting on college football has been like tiptoeing around landmines for the last few weeks. Quarterback injuries seem to be more of an epidemic than ever. Head coaches have been fired and interims have had highs and lows. Players are planning for their futures by sitting out to maintain a year of eligibility. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances in a lot of these games, not to mention all the totals movement we saw with Hurricane Ian and then this past week with wind in the Great Lakes region.
One thing that the transfer portal and college football free agency have done is spread the talent around the country. Players want to play in the biggest games under the brightest lights, but also realize that scouts and talent evaluators will find you if you stand out and sometimes that’s easier to do on a lesser team in a lesser conference.
There are only 25 teams with one or zero losses. There are only 10 Group of Five teams that are unbeaten in conference play and only 12 in the Power Five conferences. We joke about wondering “Is anybody actually good?”, but we might as well just get used to the increased parity in college football. It’s only going to grow from here.
Here are my Week 8 Power Ratings: