College Football Picks: Betting Comparison Between MAC & Big 10 Conferences

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, September 24, 2015 6:03 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 24, 2015 6:03 PM UTC

The story of the Little Engine is an apt analogy to the September CFB schedule in games between the MAC (the LITTLE engine) and the BIG 10 (the BIG engine). It helps us place college football picks.

The Little Engine That Could
Most of you are familiar with the childhood story of “The Little Engine that Could.” To refresh your memory, it is the story of a big engine who steamed his way to the top of the mountain with little trouble. The Little engine did not climb the mountain nearly as fast or as easily. But, he kept repeating this mantra to himself “I think I can, I think I can.” The big engine rested at the top of the mountain smugly, perceiving that the little engine would try in vain to reach the top of the mountain. Slowly, but surely, the little engine climbed the top of the mountain with the continuing positive reinforcement of “I think I can, I think I can.”

The story of the Little Engine is an apt analogy to the September CFB schedule in contests between the MAC (the Little engine) and the BIG 10 (the Big engine). That is the story of how BIG 10 players were recruited to the top schools in the region, while the little engine players were relegated to the inferior conference of the MAC.  It is little wonder that the MAC schools make these September non-conference games of major importance in their season, while the BIG 10 games see them as offering little importance in the overall schemata.  The charts below show the success that MAC teams have had already in September with the mental and emotional edge against the big engine.  It will be followed by a chart that shows you the 5 non-conference games between these conferences this week.



The 5-2 ATS (71%) record for these MAC vs. BIG 10 non-con games is certainly meaningful. Unlike years gone by, it now appears that the increase in talent and coaching of “the little engine” is closing the gap on “the big engine.”  But, this record is just the tip of the iceberg for the underrated MAC Conference. In all non-con games, the first 3 weeks of September, the MAC stands a lofty 22-13 ATS.  

The final week of September generally signifies the end of non-con play. This week, as outlined in the chart below, there are no fewer than 5 MAC vs. BIG 10 matchups to conclude the September non-con slate. As always, it is the handicapper’s conundrum to decide whether the big engine will have a look ahead to the BIG 10 season which begins next week, or whether the coaches attempt to build confidence and momentum with dominating victories over the little engine. The following chart shows the matchups and college football odds of each of these games for Saturday, September 26th. You may fill in the results for yourself and make a final analysis on the performance of the little engine college football picks in the month of September.


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