The opening week in NCAA football is an excellent barometer to use when determining whether or not perception meets reality. The college football oddsmakers were very wrong on several big favorites so let's point them out and put those teams on our black list -- at least for now.
UNC was installed as a 13-point home favorite in most shops against the Golden Bears of California. This was supposed to be a gimme-game for the Tar Heels as their aggressive defense was predicted to smother any offensive plans that California's first-year head coach Justin Wilcox was intending to conjure. Lo and behold, the Golden Bears hung tough throughout and broke away in the final quarter with a pair of touchdowns to capture a 35-30 victory on the road. Let's put the Heels on the shelf for now as this team may not be what many believed it be coming into this season. They are +8 this week at home to ranked Louisville.
NC State (-8) upset by South Carolina
Although this hardly qualifies as a seismic upset, the Wolfpack was better than a touchdown favorite to defeat their intra-state rivals in this one. Much like their ACC compatriots from North Carolina, NC State was installed as a fairly healthy favorite but could not keep pace with an out-of-conference foe. Only this team wasn't from just any conference, but the much ballyhooed SEC, home of the Crimson Tide and those southern college football powerhouses. The Gamecocks lived up to their name and showed they were more than game to upset an ACC squad known for toughness of their own. NC State is a big home favorite this week vs. Marshall.
Texas (-19) upset by Maryland
The NCAA football odds makers had initially installed the Longhorns as 16-point favorites, but the status of Maryland's quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome was deemed questionable, which pushed the number to 19 at kickoff. It didn't matter what number you got if you included the Horns in your college football picks because the Terps marched into Texas Memorial Stadium and marched out with a huge road win. Charlie Strong is no longer in charge at UT because of poor defense and inconsistent special teams. The Longhorns changed coaches (Tom Herman), but the issues remain the same. Don't get hooked by the Horns and consider this team a pass until we see what they are all about in the coming weeks. Next up is San Jose State.
Baylor (-33) upset by Liberty
This is this is the second shocker emanating from the Big 12 after Texas bowed to Maryland. However, that was a mild upset compared to Baylor suffering the most humiliating defeat of the week and perhaps the season. Of all the teams to defeat the Bears, few would have ever suspected it would be just the second FCS team in Baylor history to do the deed. BetOnline had the Bears as high as 34½-point home chalk when the game closed and anyone who had the temerity to dream big -- real big -- could have plunked down a few bucks on Liberty at 5Dimes and gotten a +7500 return on their lottery ticket. Be wary of the Bears going forward.