There were upsets in Week 11 so let's take a look back at the college football odds and see what we learned from the bad beats, the stunning victories and how we could have improved our picks.
#5 Hawkeyes Hang On
The Big Ten houses two undefeated teams; defending national champions Ohio State in the East and Iowa in the West. While the Buckeyes are No. 3 in the nation the Hawkeyes are on the outside looking in at No. 5 and can only hope that their 40-35 victory over Minnesota allows them to become part of the Fantastic Four. Unfortunately for Iowa fans the victory probably only held their spot on the playoff bubble as those four teams in front of them won as well and did so in more impressive fashion. The Hawkeyes host Purdue next week.
#6 Baylor Falls to Sooners
The Bears went into Saturday night's game against the Sooners undefeated and poised to make a charge into cracking one of the top four playoff spots. But things had changed since starting quarterback Seth Russell was injured at the end of the 45-27 win over Iowa State. True freshman Jarrett Stidham made his first collegiate start in Week 10 after it was determined Russell would require season ending neck surgery. And though the Bears defeated Kansas State 31-24 it was their lowest offensive output of the year and fell well short of the 17-point handicap imposed by the college football odds makers.
Fast forward to Week 11 and the line plummeted from Bears -5 down to as low as Bears -1 at home against the twelfth ranked Sooners. That proved that plenty of sharp money was pouring in on Oklahoma and the bookmakers were begging for buy back on the home favorite. Alas, the freshman Stidham tossed a pair of touchdown passes but also got in trouble with two picks as Baylor's 20-game home unbeaten streak came to a crashing halt in a 44-34 defeat to their Big 12 rivals the Oklahoma Sooners. Baylor's ranking will surely tumble after this defeat and may be the death knell for their hopes of getting in the college football playoffs.
Baylor meets another Big 12 foe next week when they take on the undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys.
#7 Stanford Gets Quacked By Ducks
The Cardinal' 38-36 loss to Oregon virtually ended any hopes that a Pac-12 team will be represented in the playoffs this season. Stanford came into this one with only a lone blemish on their record and could not afford another if they wanted to remain a viable consideration for the postseason tournament. Those that chose to include Stanford in their college football picks learned early in the game that this was going to be a struggle and the 9 ½ points the home team was laying did not bode well for cashing a ticket on the favorite.
Stanford failed on a two-point conversion to tie the game with only seconds remaining in the game which resulted in a soul crushing 38-36 defeat at the hands of the Oregon Ducks. The Cardinal fall to 8-2 overall and host California next week.
#8 Cowboys Seeking Respect
The Big 12 boasts four of the best teams in the nation but the Oklahoma State Cowboys are now officially the best of the bunch. At least that's what their 10-0 record suggests and with their latest victory on the road they are now in the playoff conversation. Though their 35-31 win at Iowa State on Saturday could hardly be classified as a dominating performance, particularly when the oddsmakers had installed them as 12-point favorites, they are now one of only five undefeated teams in the nation.
But style points matter and it will be interesting to see where the pollsters place them when the rankings are revealed early this week. The Cowboys have an enormous game next week when they welcome the Baylor Bears into Stillwater.