Week 10 of the college football season was not a good one for Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, maybe the most powerful man in the sport.
Entering last Saturday, Ohio State was ranked No. 6 in the College Football Playoff Top 25 with Penn State at No. 7. It was looking quite possible that the conference could get two teams in the playoff if both won out – and both would have been favored to do so.
Alas, the Buckeyes were routed at Iowa and the Nittany Lions were upset at Michigan State. This week No. 13 Ohio State (rankings from new CFP Top 25) hosts the No. 12 Spartans, and the winner will control its destiny to take the Big Ten East and face unbeaten Wisconsin – now Delany’s only playoff hopeful – in the conference championship game.
The Buckeyes are 16-point favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. That’s an interesting number because the past two and four of the previous six in the series have been decided by 3 points or fewer. The schools have split those six.
No. 8 Wisconsin would really wreck Delany’s year with a home loss to No. 20 Iowa on Saturday. It’s hard to imagine the playoff leaving out an unbeaten Power 5 champion like the Badgers, but they have played an absurdly easy schedule thus far. The Hawkeyes are 12-point underdogs and could be flat off ruining Ohio State’s national title hopes. Iowa has covered five straight in Madison, though.
The ACC, Big 12 and SEC steal the spotlight in Week 11 regarding marquee matchups.
No. 3 Notre Dame, a pseudo-ACC member, visits No. 7 Miami in the biggest game between those once-bitter rivals since 1988, with the Irish as 3-point favorites this time. The Hurricanes are likely to play in the first ACC Championship Game regardless of what happens Saturday night, and that probably will be against No. 4 Clemson.
Clemson clinches the ACC Atlantic with a win over hugely disappointing Florida State. Each of the past six years, the winner of that game went on to win the ACC championship. The home team has taken 12 of the past 15 in the series and Clemson is -16, its biggest spread on record vs. the Noles.
The Big 12 Game of the Year features No. 5 Oklahoma and new Heisman Trophy betting favorite Baker Mayfield hosting No. 6 TCU. The loser is out of the playoff, while the winner almost surely is in the Big 12 title game – the two schools could meet again there regardless of who wins Saturday. The Sooners are -6.5.
And in the SEC, No. 1 Georgia is at No. 10 Auburn in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. The Tigers are the highest-ranked of the two-loss teams in the new CFP Top 25 but 3-point underdogs. UGA has won and covered three straight and five of the past six vs. Auburn.
For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.