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2016 College Football Win Totals Talk: USF, The American, and Nationwide

We assembled our handicapping crew to discuss South Point Casino's over-under win totals for all 128 FBS teams. It's Christmas coming very, very early. GAMBOLLLLLLLLLL!

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

(Editor's Note: Ryan got himself a killer post-graduate job and isn't able to be a regular anymore, but we'll still invite him to join our roundtables and publish whatever he feels like writing about USF.)


Jamie: Awwww yeah, win totals for all 128 FBS teams in June. For a true degenerate like Collin and wannabe degenerates like me and Ryan, this is catnip.

Let’s start with the obvious one here… USF 8.5 wins at -110. I think it might get a little touch and go with that Syracuse/FSU back-to-back and some tricky road games in conference, but this team can go 9-3 and win the bet, right?

Ryan: I don't see USF going worse than 6-2 in the conference this season. Do that, and you can take a loss vs. FSU and still hit the over. Drop a game to Syracuse or Northern Illinois, and you can still manage it by knocking off say, Temple or Cincinnati on the road. I see enough ways to find nine wins here that I'm into it.

Collin: Sorry... I was in a live chat with a customer service representative from E*Trade to see if I can put my entire Roth IRA on this proposition.

I think USF is good, of course, but I also think their schedule is a cupcake. They'll be favored in 11 of 12 games this season (FSU will be about a TD favorite), and they don't have to play Houston. Even if you punt the FSU game, Syracuse should be a win because Dino Babers is going to need to get his guys in there to run a totally different system than Syracuse has had. And the Baby Bulls of 2015 went 5-0 vs. the East Division, which will probably be worse overall this year.

Now to go into full homer and mark mode... how the hell does C.Florida win five?? Out of conference is South Carolina State (fine, they'll win this one), Michigan (BWAHAHAHA), Maryland (who will be better), and FIU in Miami Gardens (legitimately feisty). Crossover games are Tulane (bad, but so is C.Florida), Tulsa (not good, but probably better than C.Florida), and Houston (who will pave them).

That was the slowest defense I've seen in person at the FBS level last year. Scott Frost can't fix that in half a recruiting class. They just don't have anywhere near enough talent, and they'll be running a new system. For you to lose this bet, C.Florida would have to be bowl eligible. And that is never, ever happening.

Jamie: I don't know if I'd go real big on under 5 for C.Florida. Remember they're playing the same mediocre East division USF is. And I don't think that team was truly 0-12 bad last year. There was a lot of checking out when O'Leary quit. Also they made a huge upgrade at defensive coordinator by hiring Not Chuck Bresnahan. (I actually don't know who they hired but it doesn't matter, it's an improvement.) Sure they have to go 6-6 to lose that bet for you, but it wouldn't be a big shock to me if they did.

Ryan: They were horrendous last season, but if they're, like, top-90 level this year -- which I still think is fairly conservative -- there are five wins on the schedule. With South Carolina State and FIU in non-conference, 2-2 is reasonable. They're not so far off that they can't beat three teams -- say, Tulane, Tulsa, and ECU -- in conference play and push.

Collin: The East Division is bad, but C.Florida is possibly the worst of it. Scott Frost is in a Year Zero situation. I love this bet as much as the Ken Caldwell video.

Jamie: How about the rest of the league? East Carolina under 5.5 looks like a lock. I still don't know why they fired Ruffin McNeill. UConn over 5 at +100 is appealing too. I think they make it back to a bowl game. Houston over 9.5 seems like easy money, but I am not a fan of paying a -135 vig.

Ryan: The Houston over seems so tempting here until you realize they play Oklahoma and Louisville out of conference. They could have a top 15-20 team and go 9-3, so I'm not touching this.

Collin: ECU firing McNeill was maybe the most "we overvalue our place in the pecking order" move of the year. But he also left them some talent. I'll need to follow up on how much of a teardown Scottie Montgomery is doing.

I very much like UConn, but would even more if they weren't playing a mini-ACC schedule this year (Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College... OK, yeah, I don't mind them playing BC). Don't see how UConn goes 4-8 or worse, so that seems like a great bet.

Ryan: I really like Cincinnati over 6.5. They're the second-most talented team in the East behind USF, they were a bit snakebitten last season with injuries and turnovers, and their non-conference is easy enough to go 3-1 on. All they need to do then is go 4-4 in conference to hit the over, which seems like easy money

I also like Tulsa under 6.5. They had the easiest schedule of all time last season, and even then only won six games. I could see them finding a way to six again, but I feel pretty comfortable that they don't reach seven.

Jamie: I'd be all over Cincinnati except Tuberville, and my God that defense. I feel comfortable saying USF could have put 80 or 90 points on them last year if they had felt like it.

Collin: SMU over 3.5 also seems tremendous. We both agree Chad Morris is a great coach. He's has had a year to get it together, and they get North Texas and Liberty out of conference. They can't go 2-6 in the West with Tulane, Tulsa, and Memphis in the division, can they?

Jamie: Good call on SMU. They can probably find four wins on that schedule. They also get Baylor, which who the hell knows. I also feel like they'll beat someone they shouldn't beat this year. Really hope that someone isn't USF.

Ryan: I'm good with the overs on UConn and SMU, but don't love either schedule.

Jamie: Let's move nationally now. Florida State over 9.5 at even money feels like stealing. What three games are they losing with that defense and running game? LSU under 10 is another favorite because why would you ever back Les Miles to go 11-1? Or how about TCU over 8, Virginia Tech over 6.5, or Nebraska under 8.5?

Collin: Nationally I like just about none of your picks. FSU is starting a freshman QB it appears, and they still play a reasonably tough schedule. Dropping three seems doable, though I agree they're likely to go 10-2. I have learned to not ever bet on or against Hat, though even the year he won it all they lost two. Need to see how many changes Fuente needs to make in Blacksburg. But you may be onto something with Nebraska in the crappy B1G division.

Jamie: They have Iowa, Ohio State, Northwestern, and Wisconsin all on the road, plus they play Oregon. They have to win two of those games to get to 9-3. Not. Happening.

I would be absolutely stunned if TCU doesn't win nine games. They had a zillion injuries last year and still went 10-2. Sure they lose Trevone Boykin, but he got about 50 times better under Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham, and now they get to go to work on Kenny Hill. Plus their defense is going to be good as always. That is my favorite pick on the entire board.

Collin: The Gators over 7.5 seems a lock, even if you have to pay -125 to get it. The great Florida traditions of faux environmental protection, roadside orange blossom honey stands, and Jeremy Foley scheduling cupcakes in non-conference play continue unfettered.

Jamie: What, random alligator sightings on golf courses isn't a great Florida tradition? That's a stayaway for me. The bet, and the alligators.

Collin: Might love the Canes over even more at 6.5 and the same -125 juice. Mark Richt hasn't lost control of Brad Kaaya yet, and everything we know about what's happening in Coral Gables has been very positive so far.

Jamie: Oh, I like that Miami pick. That whole bet comes down to a nasty five-game midseason stretch: at Georgia Tech, FSU and North Carolina at home, at Virginia Tech, and at Notre Dame. If they win even one of those they're in pretty good shape. Win two and it's in the bag.

Side note: Why the hell is Miami playing at Appalachian State? Fire everyone.

Collin: Isn't Year Four where shit generally starts to go sideways for Skip Holtz? Louisiana Tech has Arkansas and Texas Tech out of conference, plus Middle Tennessee in Murfeesboro. C-USA might not be so terrible this year. He'd have to win eight to cover, and that seems like a tall order.

And Rich Rod's not getting Arizona bowl eligible? Their number is six, but the schedule includes Grambling and Hawaii. He's a helluva coach, he's had time to get his talent in the door, and now he's got a quarterback he likes too. They can't go 4-5 in a Pac-12 where they don't play Oregon this year?

Jamie: I thought I proved that betting against Skip Holtz, even fake $1 Protect Your Unit spite betting, is a bad idea. No sale. Also Skip didn't make it to year four here.

As for Arizona, I'm still scarred from a pick I made in my handicapping league last year. It was Arizona's Big Game at Home against UCLA, Myles Jack was hurt, Arizona had looked pretty good up to that point, and they were getting 3.5 points. I jumped on the Wildcats and then watched in horror as their defense gave up something like 6000 yards. The game was over before halftime. What I'm saying is I hate hate hate their defense and if you asked me before every drive if I would bet on them getting a stop, I would never say yes.