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College football, Week 10: Schedule, TV listings, S&P+ and F/+ picks

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Clemson v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Another week, another bout of bad luck. S&P+ went 5-10 on picks decided within five points of the spread and 22-15 on games in which a team covered easily. The string of awful close-game luck has been so strong this year that I’m going to look into it in the offseason, but ... pretty sure this is just really, really bad luck. In theory, that means it’ll turn at some point.

And yet, S&P+ still moved back over .500 for the season after the hilariously unlucky late-September stretch.

  • Weeks 1-2: 45-41-1 (52%)
  • Weeks 3-5: 69-95-2 (42%)
  • Weeks 6-9: 115-92-3 (55%)

Movin’ on up and whatnot.

Meanwhile, the F/+ picks (the combined FEI/S&P+ picks, which you can also track on the Google Doc below) are doing better than S&P+ as normal, but only a little bit. It is four games and one percentage point ahead of S&P+ for the season, but S&P+ has actually made up four games in three weeks. Doesn’t usually work that way.


As your weekly refresher, I’ve been playing with standard deviations and volatility to see if I can come up with a way to determine which picks are most likely to succeed in a given week. The results have been encouraging, though returns are diminishing.

Season to date: 13-5-2 (70%) — 5-0 in Week 6, 4-0-1 in Week 7, 2-2-1 in Week 8, 2-3 in Week 9

We’ll say F-N got a little bit cocky last week, picking two rivalry games (Michigan-MSU, Florida-Georgia) as slam-dunk covers. It went 1-1 in those and naturally missed the Rice-Louisiana Tech game, in which all it saw was Tech as a huge favorite, and not “Tech as a huge favorite because most of Rice’s team came down with a virus.” I’ll allow that one.

(That’s one thing to continue to mention here: Lots of times S&P+ thinks a certain team is super likely to cover because S&P+ doesn’t track injuries ... or illnesses, I guess. As always, however, I will continue to view this as a worthwhile experiment.)

This week’s F-N PICKS:

  1. Appalachian State (-31.5) vs. Texas State
  2. Missouri (+7) at South Carolina
  3. Troy (-21) vs. UMass
  4. Auburn (-26) vs. Vanderbilt
  5. Minnesota (-17) vs. Purdue

This one makes me nervous, too. Four huge favorites and a Missouri team that has lured S&P+ into a trap. Because S&P+ is an unweighted, full-season numbers (I still have yet to figure out a way to weight more recent games in a way that makes the numbers more successful), it starts to miss on certain teams that either get particularly hot or cold. Missouri was ultra-promising in September but has laid three eggs in four games, including a highly disappointing showing against a relatively hot Kentucky squad.

South Carolina still isn’t any good, despite the win over Tennessee, but if Missouri plays to its S&P+ rating, it will be the first time since September.

So yeah, I’m thinking this is a 2-3 week here. But I’m also always wrong, so...


Season to date: 13-6-1 (68%) — 4-0 in Week 6, 5-2-1 in Week 7, 2-1 in Week 8, 2-3 in Week 9

Tough week here, too, though there was luck involved — Utah covered by three, and Navy covered by 0.5 with a late score.

This week’s All-Conference picks:

  • Kentucky (+2) vs. Georgia
  • North Texas (+20) vs. Louisiana Tech
  • Temple (-10) at UConn
  • Florida (-5.5) at Arkansas
  • Kansas (+34.5) at West Virginia
  • Oklahoma State (+2.5) at Kansas State

Kentucky over Georgia. What a time to be alive. (I like these picks quite a bit, though S&P+ felt pretty good about Kansas last week, too, and that didn’t work out very well.)


Season to date: 26-16 (62%) — 9-0 in Week 6, 4-6 in Week 7, 9-4 in Week 8, 4-6 in Week 9

These three tiers of ‘likely-to-cover’ picks went 8-12 last week, and the others went 19-13. So ... yeah. That should serve as confirmation that this concept is still very much a work in progress. But I’m going to keep going to see what happens.

This week’s YCWWTIYAGDOTP picks:

  • Wisconsin (-7) at Northwestern
  • Michigan (-31) vs. Maryland
  • Bowling Green (+17) at NIU
  • Toledo (-10) at Akron
  • Wake Forest (-3) vs. Virginia
  • New Mexico (-15) vs. Nevada
  • Virginia Tech (-11) at Duke
  • Penn State (-7.5) vs. Iowa
  • Boise State (-29.5) vs. San Jose State

Here’s the updated Google doc with all picks. (Once more: the FOURNETTE LOCKS and whatnot are not yet included, as it’s still a pretty loose idea.) And, as always, here’s a completely useless embed, just for fun:

(We’re still due an upset in the 95%-99% category. Looking at you, Clemson-Syracuse.)