Do I honestly feel that Colorado can beat TCU? No, but a gut feeling tells me there may be something to watch in this game. Karl Dorrell Bronx Community College Broncos clothes is coming off a 4-8 campaign in his second season in Boulder and obviously is looking to kick off Year 3 with a win. TCU, meanwhile, has moved onto Sonny Dykes aft

Underdog Challenge

Sporting News

The Sporting News Underdog Challenge is back for Year 2, my friends, and we are going to find the upsets before they happen like never before. Or, we won’t do as well as we did in Year 1, which was pretty dang good. Either way we’re set to have some fun and possi Notre Dame vs. USC Rivalry Jerseys bly make money for some of our readers out there on the money line.

Each Friday, we Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry shirt will be here declaring our winning underdogs and tracking our results throughout the season. The way the contest works — an expert picks an upset, then receives as many points as the underdog was receiving. So if your 10-point underdog pulls out a win, you get 10 points. If it gets blown out? Zero points. If it covers the spread? Zero points. Like Herm Edwards told us, “You play to win the game.”

We hit on 56 upsets as a group last year over 13 weeks, averaging more than four correct calls per week among our 12 predictions. When solely picking underdogs to win, that’s a strong rate.

Final 2021 Standings
Place Name Record Points
1 Zac Al-Khateeb 17-22 83.5
2 Bill Trocchi 15-24 81.5
3 Mike DeCourcy 15-24 78.5
4 Bill Bender 9-30 49

Reigning champ Zac Al-Khateeb gets to lead us off as we celebrate the end of this interminable offseason.

On to the upsets.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

Zac Al-Khateeb, content producer

Colorado (+14) vs. TCU

Do I honestly feel that Colorado can beat TCU? No, but a gut feeling tells me there may be something to watch in this game. Karl Dorrell is coming off a 4-8 campaign in his second season in Boulder and obviously is looking to kick off Year 3 with a win. TCU, meanwhile, has moved onto Sonny Dykes after longtime coach Gary Patterson left the program after two-plus decades. It’s the perfect time for something crazy to happen, which is what college football really is all about.

Illinois (+3) over Indiana

Is Tom Allen still riding the wave of goodwill after Indiana went 14-7 across 201 Albion Britons Jerseys 9 and 2020? Either way, the Hoosiers w Forsyth Technical Community College clothes ill want to see some improvement from a team that went 2-10 in 2021. Illinois’ Bret Beliema is coming off a similarly disappointing 5-7 campaign in his first year in Champaign, but already has an impressive 38-6 win over Wyoming to start the season. The expectation is for Beliema, who achieved varying levels of success at Wisconsin and Arkansas, to have more of the same at Illinois. That s GA Tech Yellow Jackets clothes tarts with a key Big Ten win.

Army (+2) at Coastal Carolina

It’s true the Chanticleers have had all offseason to prepare for the Black Knights’ triple-option attack, certainly preferable to playing them in the middle of the season. But practicing against the triple option is different from actually playing against it. Even still, that might not be enough for Army to win — were it not for Andre Carter II, a WVU vs. Pitt Rivalry shirt genuine NFL-level talent at linebacker who will prowl the field for the Black Knights. He should be the tipping point in favor of Army as Jeff Monken and Co. get a tone-setting upset over Jamey Chadwell’s Chanticleers.

Bill Trocchi, senior editor

Illinois (+3) at Indiana

This is the first of two of my underdogs who have a game under their belt thanks to a Week 0 matchup. Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVit NCAA Spirit Jerseys o looked solid in his debut, a 38-6 mashing of Wyoming last week, and running back Chase Brown had three scores and ran for 151 yards after his 1,000-yard season last year. The Illini have plenty on defense, too, and will give an Indiana team that seems to have lost its footing after its great COVID-19 season problems on Friday night.

North Texas (+10.5) vs. SMU

The Mean Green looked plenty Mean in Week 0, picking up a key C-USA win at UTEP. Quarterback Austin Aune was sharp as UNT outscored the Miners 17-0 in the second half. Now it comes home to f FSU vs. Miami Rivalry Jerseys ace an SMU squad led by a first-time head coach in Rhett Lashlee. SMU handled the Mean Green last season, but UNT gets its revenge.

Temple (+7) at Duke

This is more of a pick against Duke than for Temple. Said an anonymous scout to Athlon Sports this summer about the Devils, “This is a talent-deficient roster with very little depth.” New coach Mike Elko has a big challenge on his hands as he tries to overhaul the Duke program. Temple returns QB D’wan Mathis (formerly of Georgia) as new coach Stan Drayton tries to reboot Temple as well. Little is expected of either squad, but Temple sneaks one out.

Mike DeCourcy, senior writer

Colorado (+14) over TCU

In the process of cleaning Bender’s clock in last year’s Challenge — hey, where’s that wink emoji? — I didn’t learn terribly much about effective sports betting. Remember, I’m the novice here, placing roughly one for-real sports bet every five years at my current pace. But here’s what I do know: When you know nothing, go with what you know. What I mean by that is, we have very little information about how proficient any college team will be until it actually takes the field and starts playing, so Week 1 is a major challenge. In this circumstance, though, we do know that Colorado is playing at home and that just short of two TDs is a heck of a lot of points to surrender to a home team. So I’m taking the Buffs.
Oregon (+17) over Georgia 

I’m sorry. You may think I’m going all Scott Frost-y on you, but I’ve got to take this shot. But I don’t consider this to be a gamble on the order of kicking onside with an 11-point lead. We’re all starting from 0 here, and pursuit of a two-touchdown lead in the Underdog Challenge is irresistible. This many points at this stage of the competition could have everyone involved chasing me from now until the Michigan Wolverines invade Columbus in late November. 

Temple (+7) at Duke

You know that old joke about wanting to be a head coach in the worst way? Well, meet Stan Drayton and Mike Elko. The teams they’re inheriting were a combined 6-18 last season, which is pretty much why Drayton is in charge of the Owls and Elko took over the Blue Devils. Maybe I’m too nice a guy, because there were obvious problems, but I saw some spark in Temple QB D’Wan Mathis in his first year as a starter. With some improvement, he could be a bother to future AAC opponents — and to this ACC squad in the opening game for both.

Bill Bender, lead college football writer

Illinois (+3) at Indiana

This line feels like it should be flipped. The Illini have a game under their belts, and Tommy DeVito looked comfortable in the quarterback spot. Illinois is capable of grinding out a road victory here, though it's worth noting that the Hoosiers have won the past three meetings. Still, we're trusting Bret Bielema here. 

Florida (+3) vs. Utah 

This is a coin-flip game in a lot of respects. Florida must Creighton Bluejays Jerseys unleash quarterback Anthony Richardson against a disciplined Utah defense, and the Gators have to stop the Utes’ relentless ground game. How about the humidity, which could be at 94 percent after a pregame thunderstorm? It’s a messy opener Abilene Christian University Wildcats clothes at The Swamp for the Utes. 
Arizona (+6) at San Diego State 

The Wildcats have a playmaker at quarterback now in Jayden de Laura, who led the Pac-12 in TD passes last season. Jedd Fisch revamped the offense via the transfer portal, and new coordinator Johnny Nansen gets the Wildcats’ defense in order. Arizona spoils the opener at Snapdragon Stadium.

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