Last weekend in college football we saw a lot of teams' playoff hopes disappear. While some teams made some huge forward jumps, like LSU moving up 8 spots, Michigan 6 and Oregon 5, we also saw some of the power houses plummet. Penn State, Washington, West Virginia and Georgia all fell by 6-10 spots in the rankings. Miami and Auburn dropped from the top 25 rankings altogether.
This weekend, the biggest upset I see coming could be #25 Washington State hosting #12 Oregon. Both teams are 5-1 in the Pac 12, and WSU is actually a 3-point home favorite. Since they are favored I guess it isn't really an upset if they win, but a 25 beating a 12, to me, is a pretty big upset.
The big game, though, will be the first game played at 9:00 AM PT Saturday morning. #24 Michigan State is hosting #6 Michigan. The Michigan Wolverines are a 7-point road favorite, and the over/under is fairly low at 41 points. According to the ESPN Matchup Predictor, Michigan has about a 69% chance of winning the game. They are -300 with the money line, and the Spartans are +240. It is a heated rivalry, and this year Big 10 bragging rights are on the line, so I can see a tight, low-scoring game. Michigan has been impressive this year on both sides of the ball, scoring over 38 points per game while giving up just over 15. MSU is scoring around 26 and giving up around 22 per game. Both teams are coming off big wins. Michigan beat #15 Wisconsin 38-13 last week, while MSU beat #8 Penn State 21-17.
I see this game playing out kind of like the Red River Bowl a few weeks ago. Oklahoma was "home" but the game was played in TX. Texas was the underdog but the rivalry brought out the best in them and they pulled off the upset. This week, both Michigan teams should have a lot of fan support although it is in MSU's house, so that is one advantage for them, and I think the rivalry brings out the best in State and they pull off an upset over Michigan. With a +240 money line, it might be worth taking a risk on the home underdog Spartans.