The big winner around college football in Week 9 was the Michigan State Spartans as they knocked off fellow unbeaten Michigan, 37-33, to climb to No. 5 in the new AP Top 25 and to +4000 to win the national title on the NCAAF odds. The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday this week as well. Let’s see how the teams come in for your NCAAF bets.
Analysis Updated National Championship NCAAF 2021
This marks the seventh consecutive week the Spartans have improved their ranking in the AP Poll. It’s also the highest Michigan State has been ranked in the AP Poll since Dec. 6, 2015 (No. 3). Sparty trailed Michigan by as many as 16 points in the second half on Saturday in East Lansing. Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III scored five touchdowns, including what proved to be the game-winning score from 23 yards out with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Walker finished the day with 23 carries for 197 yards and five touchdowns, three in the second half and three for 20 or more yards. The five touchdowns were the most in the 114-game series history between Michigan State and Michigan, and were the most ever by any opponent against Michigan. The five rushing TDs also tied for the second most in school history.
Walker continues to lead the FBS in rushing, averaging 149.2 yards per game. He also ranks among the FBS leaders in total rushing yards (second with 1,194), rushing touchdowns (third with 14), scoring (third with 11.2 ppg), total touchdowns (third with 15), total points (fourth with 90), all-purpose yards (fifth with 153.8 ypg) and yards per carry (ninth with 6.8 avg.).vIt marked MSU’s first win over an AP Top 10 team since winning at No. 8 Penn State on Oct. 13, 2018 and was this is MSU’s highest-ranked win since topping No. 4 Iowa in the 2015 Big Ten Championship Game. Michigan State is 8-0 for the first time since 2015 and for the seventh time overall in school history (1951, 1952, 1965, 1966, 2010, 2015, 2021). MSU is also 5-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2013.
Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker is the first Spartan coach to win his first two games against the Wolverines. Last year, he joined Nick Saban as one of two Spartan coaches to beat Michigan in his first game against U of M.
The Spartans have a potential trap game this week at Purdue. MSU does have some defensive concerns as that unit is giving up 300.5 pass yards per game, which is fourth worst among all FBS teams. To reach the Big Ten championship game and ultimately the College Football Playoff, Michigan State will have to get through Penn State and Ohio State.
Another unbeaten team on the rise is Wake Forest of the ACC, although the Deacons are still national title longer shots at +9000. The Deacons (8-0) beat Duke 45-7 on Saturday. Wake Forest totaled 677 yards of total offense on Saturday and limited the Blue Devils to just 315 yards of offense. Additionally, the Demon Deacons won the turnover battle and possessed the ball on Saturday for 36:05.
QB Sam Hartman finished the contest 24-of-37 for 402 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, Hartman added a pair of touchdowns on the ground, setting a new career high. He is the first quarterback in Wake Forest history to have four consecutive 300-plus yard passing games and the second quarterback in program history to post back-to-back 400-plus yard passing games. uke, Wake Forest remains the only team in the nation that has scored at least 35 points in every game this season.
The Demon Deacons check in at No. 10 this week in the AP poll, which marks the highest ranking in school history. Wake Forest is 8-0 for the first time in program history. Additionally, the Demon Deacons are off to their first 5-0 start in conference play for the first time in program history.
Wake Forest visits North Carolina this week yet it will not count in the ACC standings for the second straight season. The traditional rivals scheduled these games because the ACC schedule for teams in separate divisions brings the matchup together once every seven seasons. UNC owns a 43-18-2 record at home against Wake. The Deacs’ last win in Kenan Stadium was in 2006 when they won 24-17.