Smart Box Series: High Expectations
By Marc Lawrence
When Alabama defeated Florida, 28-21, to win the first ever SEC championship game in 1992, it signaled the start of Division-1 college football conference title games.
This week finds a total of six FBS conference championship games on tap, with no less than four teams each owning one loss on the season.
Satisfyingly enough, these four one-time losers – all 11-1 on the year - find themselves paired against one another as upstart Kent State squares off against Northern Illinois in the MAC title game, while Alabama meets Georgia in the SEC championship game.
In addition to the pressure of being a defending national champion looking to get back to the BCS Championship Game, Alabama must also overcome exceedingly high expectations of its own.
The staggering effect of what happens in conference championship games with teams who have dominated on the playing field the last two seasons is eye-opening, to say the least.
Our database confirms the notion, finding that teams in conference title games who managed to win 19 or more of their last 22 games are just 6-15-2 ATS when installed as favorites in these games.
Worse, when favored by 21 or less points, and playing off a win of 3 or more points, these ’pips’ dip to 1-14-1 ATS in these title game roles.
The Tide may be high in Tuscaloosa these days but expectancy of rewarding their backers is low this week.
- Kansas City
- Power Sports
- October 23, 2016 - 1:00 PM
- Offered at:
- pinnacle @ -6.5 -107 Kansas City
1* Kansas City (1:00 ET): Fresh off upsetting the Panthers at home, 41-38 as 3-point underdogs, the Saints now take their act on the road where I feel it is very likely they'll experience far less success. The Chiefs, now 4-2 after an impressive win at Oakland (my *10* Game of the Week), appear to be hitting their stride w/ key players returning.
New Orleans' defense remains very, very bad. They are one of only four teams currently allowing 400 YPG. Kansas City just got done beating one of the other three (Oakland) and did so handily by a score of 26-10. Key was the running game, which rang up 183 yards thanks to a career day from Spencer Ware and the return of Jamaal Charles. Alex Smith should have one of his better outings of the season here considering the Saints' D has already given up four 300+ yard passing days. Save for a shockingly low-scoring loss to the Giants (16-13), the Saints have allowed at least 34 points in all other game.
While the Saints defense should continue its ineptitude, Drew Brees and the offense are likely to experience massive regression from last week. This will be their third venture outdoors this season. The first, as referenced above, saw them only score 13 pts in a loss to the Giants. Then, they were VERY fortunate to beat San Diego 35-34 thanks to the usual late game ineptitude from Mike McCoy's bunch. Back to back upsets (by a total of four points!) haven't changed my thinking that New Orleans is not going to be a very good team this season. 1* Kansas City