September 17, 2023 –
Mike Kern’s Fraud Five
And away we go again!
Oklahoma State — Cowboys were a touchdown favorite at home against South Alabama. They lost 33-7, to a team that ranks 132nd out of 133 FBS teams in pass defense. The Sun Belt member had been 1-14 against teams from Power Five conferences. It was OSU’s first non-conference loss since 2016 (Central Michigan). And its third non-conference home loss since Mike Gundy took over as coach in 2005. Oh well.
Tennessee — Nothing wrong with losing at Florida, again, since the Vols haven’t won there in two decades. But this was maybe supposed to be different. They were favored by about 5, and Florida wasn’t supposed to be all that. But the final was 29-16. I like the Tennessee coach, and he was really good last year, but even though I took Florida and the points on the Saturday morning show I do with Dick Jerardi (Here, There and Everywhere on the Gambler, part of IHeart radio), I somehow was expecting Vols to still get it done where it matters. Guess I was wrong about that part.
Arizona State — I know this is a dumpster fire as program tries to recover from the Herm Edwards debacle (and I like Herm), but 29-zip at home to Fresno State is not good. As a slight fave. Eight turnovers can do that. And Fresno had beaten Purdue (39-35), and has now won 12 straight. Did we mention their quarterback is from the Phoenix area? Anyway, it was the first time ASU has been blanked since 2008, and the first time at home since 1988. Both those were to Southern Cal, which is the next opponent. That’s really not good.
Stanford — Lost at home to FCS Sacramento State, 30-23, in coach Troy Taylor’s home debut. Now Sac State has won a school-record 22 straight in the regular season. But it was its first win over a Pac-12 school since 2012. Did we mention that Taylor is the former coach at Sac State, where last season he took the team to its first playoff berth win? Or that seven of the Cardinal’s next nine games are against teams currently ranked in the Top 25?
Arkansas — Nothing too egregious. But did lose at home to Brigham Young, 38-31, as a TD fave. Both were unbeaten. The Cougars are 3-1 in their last four road games against SEC teams. The last was in 2019 (Tennessee). The Razorbacks play their next four on the road, three against ranked teams.
Texas San Antonio — Again, nothing overly whatever. And UTSA was playing with its backup QB. But it was favored by a TD. And lost at home, 37-29, in a game in which it never led. I’m not sure how good Army is, so we won’t get carried away, but I did notice. The backup did go 17-for-25 for 239 yards. But the Cadets went 8-for-18 for 188, which they don’t often do.