When I think about college football and what I love most about the sport, my mind goes to exactly the kind of stuff we saw this weekend.
Upsets and near-upsets were the story of Saturday in Week 6. The most important example was unquestionably No. 1 Alabama falling to Texas A&M 41-38 but included a few other instances, including No. 10 BYU losing to Boise State 27-16 and No. 13 Arkansas falling to No. 17 Ole Miss in a 52-51 thriller.
There were also several notable situations with higher-ranked teams almost falling, including No. 3 Iowa coming back to beat No. 4 Penn State 23-20, No. 6 Oklahoma roaring back to life to beat No. 21 Texas 55-48, No. 9 Michigan topping Nebraska 32-29, No. 14 Notre Dame outlasting Virginia Tech 32-29 and No. 19 Wake Forest needing overtime to beat Syracuse 40-37.
Outside the marquee ranked games, other contests of note included Northern Illinois adding to a strong season by beating Toledo 22-20, Virginia edging Louisville 34-33, Florida State taking down North Carolina 35-25, and UCF besting East Carolina 20-16.
Right on the money: Times are tough for the On Second Thought column, as for the second straight week there were no precise spread predictions. As a result, the number of correctly predicted final score spreads stands at 10.
The recent dry spell after a strong start makes plenty of sense though: the further we get from the start of the season and learn more and more about all the teams, the less likely summer projections are probably going to hold up.
At least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.
I will mention I covered my Auburn pick for the game against Georgia, though in the summer I only had the Bulldogs by 13. Of course, back then I didn’t realize I had to account for someone named Ladd McConkey.
That correct prediction means my Auburn picks are 5-1 this season according to my spread, with the only misfire being that close win over Georgia State.
Biggest miss: Let’s start from the top.
I missed my prediction of Alabama losing by one week (no hard feelings, Lane) and had the Crimson Tide by eight over the Aggies, which honestly feels OK seeing as the actual line was 18 in the days prior to the game. My more-painful SEC miss was with LSU, the team I picked by 11 over Kentucky only for the Wildcats to beat the Bayou Bengals by 21.
I made my Stanford/Arizona State pick in the midst of the NCAA’s investigation of the Sun Devils and decided that combined with my belief in David Shaw would result in a 12-point Cardinal win. No dice, as Arizona State took a 28-10 victory.
The only other real miss of note was with San Jose State, which I picked by 12 only to watch the Spartans fall 32-14 to Colorado State.
Travel log: I’ll have a more detailed travel log next week thanks to Auburn’s trip to Arkansas, but I will say Saturday’s home game in Jordan-Hare Stadium was quite enjoyable.
The stadium had its biggest crowd yet this fall, and watching the eagle fly pregame and seeing the fans take in the experience meant a lot after the strange last year we’ve all experienced. Hopefully Auburn fans will keep coming and things will go smoothly for the rest of the fall.
As for next week’s games, I have Auburn by 9 over No. 17 Arkansas, No. 1 Georgia by 9 over No. 11 Kentucky, and No. 25 Texas by 8 over No. 12 Oklahoma State.