Philadelphia, PA – Colorado has won only one of its first 8 ATS in their last eight. Taking it a step further, they 16 ATS in their last 20 on the road.
Home or away, the move to the Pac-12 has not been an easy one. They did take California to overtime at home before losing by three points in a game that was not considered part of the league schedule. Their other home matchup was a four-point defeat at the hands of Washington State, a contest they led for most of the first 58 minutes until the Cougars scored with 1:24 left on the clock to win it, 31-27.
As previously mentioned, the road has not been kind to Colorado and the failure to perform at a high level will continue at Washington, where the Huskies are favored by 15.5 points. It's not often Steve Sarkisian's squad is favored - just three times since a year ago this week - but the Huskies have covered nine straight games. Furthermore, the offense hasn't suffered one bit since losing Jake Locker as it has scored 30 points or more in all five contests.
The defense is still a work in progress but the pieces are in place to stifle a Colorado squad that will once again be without wide receiver Paul Richardson. The sophomore, who leads the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns, remains out with a knee injury.
Washington's offense will score at will on the Buffaloes. Quarterback Keith Price is averaging 242 yards passing per game while completing 68 percent of his tosses. Moreover, his touchdown/interception ratio is 17-to-4.
Given that Colorado is 93rd in the country against the pass with only five teams allowing more touchdowns through the air, Price and his bevy of receivers will have a field day at Husky Stadium.
Washington comes into this game off a bye week while Colorado had to travel after going to Stanford last Saturday. Not only is the competition in the new league more difficult than it was in the Big 12, but the travel schedule is much more demanding, especially for a team that has failed time and time again to win on the road.
Take Washington by at least three touchdowns.
OTHER THREE-STAR PLAYS
Wake Forest has been one of this year's biggest surprises at 4-1 overall and 3-0 in ACC play - tied with Clemson atop of the Atlantic Division. Almost every college football publication predicted a last-place finish for Jim Grobe's squad after the team went 1-7 in league play a season ago. In fact, the Demon Deacons three overall wins last year came against Presbyterian, Duke and Vanderbilt - teams with a combined 7-28 record.
This year, they have lost just once and it came on the opening weekend of the season. Syracuse got the best of Wake Forest in overtime after the Deacons lost starting quarterback Tanner Price due to injury. Wake was comfortably in front at that point but the defense couldn't hold down the Orange offense in the fourth quarter.
Since that defeat, the Deacons are 4-0, including a huge victory over Florida State last Saturday. That game was their litmus test after knocking off NC State, Gardiner-Webb and Boston College. One can say they lucked out in the win since the Seminoles turned the ball over five times. However, they did not turn the ball over once on offense and ball security is just as important as turnovers gained.
Wake Forest rarely beats itself as evidenced by just four offensive miscues in five games. Only four teams have turned the ball over fewer times and that list includes the likes of LSU, Wisconsin and Stanford.
Virginia Tech is 5-1 but just 1-1 in ACC play. Moreover, the Hokies offense hasn't been too effective in 2011, averaging only 23 points per game in five Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) contests. That's over 10 points less than last season's final total.
Quarterback Logan Thomas has not set the world on fire with just five touchdowns and five picks in five FBS games. Not the best of numbers considering three of the opponents were East Carolina, Arkansas State and Marshall.
In addition, the defense, which has gotten progressively worse the last couple of years, particularly against the run, has allowed 58 points in its last two games, and both contests were played at home.
For the Hokies to win this game, they will need a monster performance from running back David Wilson. However, Wake Forest is solid against the run in ranking 21st in the country by allowing only 102 rushing yards per game.
Take Wake Forest to get the outright victory.
Friday night's Hawaii-San Jose State matchup should be an offensive shootout. The Warriors rank eighth nationally in passing with quarterback Bryant Moniz throwing 15 touchdown passes with just one interception.
Hawaii has scored 40 points or more in five of the last seven meetings against the Spartans and this one should be no different since San Jose State is without its top cornerback Brandon Driver due to injury.
The Spartans should also be able to put up a fair amount of points, especially if Brandon Rutley plays. The running back missed the BYU game and the Spartans managed just 16 points. Rutley is listed as probable, which is good news for the home team since the Spartans scored 38 and 34 points in their two prior contests.
Take the over.
Illinois hosts Ohio State in what has turned out to be a more important game for the Fighting Illini than the Buckeyes. Illinois is undefeated at 6-0 but both of its league games have come against 0-2 teams in Northwestern and Indiana.
Surprisingly, Ohio State is also 0-2 in the Big Ten but both of its losses have come against Top 25 teams in Michigan State and Nebraska. Moreover, the two defeats came by a combined 10 points, and don't forget, the Buckeyes led the Cornhuskers 27-6 early in the third quarter on the road.
Expect a close game in Champaign where Ohio State has won the last eight meetings.
Take the Buckeyes plus the points.
Go with Toledo (at Bowling Green), Tennessee (hosting LSU), SMU (versus UCF), UAB (at Tulsa), ULM (at Troy) and Western Kentucky (at FAU).
Take Baylor (at Texas A&M) and Buffalo (at Temple).
AFTER SIX WEEKS
The overall six-week total now stands at 26-49 after a 4-9 week. My Five-Star plays are 2-3, the Three-Star selections are 9-13, the Two-Star plays are 8-20 and the One-Star picks are 7-13.
As a reminder, the Five-Star plays are when my Power Plays and Key Plays coincide. The Three-Star choices are my personal picks, the Two-Star plays are the "power number" picks (games with at least a five-point differential between my line and the actual line), and the One-Star plays are my personal secondary selections.
THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK'S "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) Alabama, 107.5; 2) Oklahoma, 107; 3) Stanford, 106.5; 4-T) LSU and Wisconsin, 105.5; 6) Boise State, 104.5; 7) Oregon, 103.5; 8) Oklahoma State, 102; 9) Notre Dame, 99; 10) Texas A&M, 98.5; 11-T) Clemson, Arkansas, Arizona State and Michigan, 96.