Let us take you through college football's biggest upsets and toughest bad beats across the nation from Saturday in this week's State of the Union.
Two top 10 teams suffered season-altering defeats as heavy favorites Saturday in a week filled with longshot winners. Iowa State handed No. 3 Oklahoma its biggest upset in 40 years with a 38-31 win as 31-point underdogs. The loss was a tad worse than the Sooners’ 41-38 slip-up to Texas Tech as 29-point chalk on the betting odds boards in 2011 by two points. Oklahoma has now lost five games in the last decade when spotting 20 points or more in a contest. Oregon State owns three, the only other program with more than a pair in this span.
No. 7 Michigan fell to rival Michigan State 14-10 as a 13-point favorite. It’s just the fourth time the Wolverines have fallen as chalk since Jim Harbaugh took over head coaching duties in 2015. One of those defeats was also at the hands of the Spartans, a 27-23 loss spotting a touchdown two years ago. Michigan State is now 8-2 SU and 10-0 ATS in the last 10 matchups for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.
Conference USA and the MAC division also witnessed a pair of double-digit dog winners. Bowling Green stunned Miami (OH) 37-29 as 16.5-point pups. The defeat was the first for the RedHawks as favorites against a division foe in six years. Central Michigan also pulled off a shocker with a 26-23 victory against Ohio catching 10.5 points. The Chippewas are 8-1 SU in their last nine versus the Bobcats, winning as 18-point underdogs (26-23) back in 2013.
In Conference USA, Southern Miss overcame some of its recent haphazard play to beat UTSA 31-29 as a 10-point underdog. Since the start of last season, the Golden Eagles have been on the losing side of three games gifting double digits, but got one back in just their second victory spotted 10 points or more since 2013.
UAB, meanwhile, tamed Louisiana Tech 23-22 as 9.5-point pups. It’s just the ninth loss as favorites for the Bulldogs in the last decade.
It’s perhaps unfair to classify the UCF-Cincinnati clash as a bad beat, but those backing the Knights and the ‘over’ are bummed after bad weather forced the NCAA to shorten the event. Up 51-23 with 0:04 in the 3rd quarter, torrential rain and lightning caused officials to declare Central Florida winners. Sportsbooks refunded all bets. Cincy kicked off 15-point underdogs and had no answers on defense. The Knights tallied 515 yards and 7 offensive touchdowns through three quarters. The total closed at 53, which the Knights looked destined to top on their own. Easy winner voided.
Inclement weather also forced a long delay in Purdue’s 31-17 win over Minnesota in West Lafayette, IN, but it wasn’t Mother Nature fueling the spanking ‘under’ bettors caught in the contest. Another late-game pick-6 was the cause. Down 24-17 with 1:17 in regulation time, the Gophers marched 47 yards on 8 plays before quarterback Conor Rhoda gifted Ja’Whaun Bentley a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown with 10 seconds left. The score pushed the bet north of a 45 total, as the Boilermakers tallied 25 second-half points. A defensive touchdown in the final seconds seems to burn bettors every week. Sorry.
Investors taking the 5 points in Texas’ 40-34 overtime win against Kansas State are cursing both teams’ kickers this morning. Tied 27-27 with 0:02 left in the game, Joshua Rowland shanked a 45-yard effort to win it in regulation time for the Longhorns. Kansas State’s Matthew McCrane followed up two touchdowns in the first overtime period with a missed 53-yard attempt of is own in the second, bouncing one off the left upright. Texas running back Chris Warren III scored on a 2-yard touchdown run on the final possession to cap off the win. Either field goal attempt would have cashed a Wildcats’ spread ticket had either gone in. Laces out gentlemen.
We’d be remiss not to bring up Western Michigan’s 71-68 seven overtime win against Buffalo. Although the contests finished well above the closing 51 total tied 31-31 through four quarters, something about college football’s overtime rules really rubs it in bettors’ faces. Those taking a 10-point teaser were affected by what ended as the highest-scoring game in FBS history.