Who knows, maybe things would’ve been different for the Texas Longhorns last season if they could’ve held on in Week 2.
The aptly named kicker Bert Auburn drilled a 49-yard field goal to give the Longhorns a 19-17 lead over the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide with just 1:29 remaining in Austin.
But it just wasn’t to be.
Future No. 1 NFL Draft pick Bryce Young led the Tide on a nine-play, 61-yard drive to set up Will Reichard’s 33-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to break Texas’ hearts. The Longhorns would finish the season 8-5 and end up playing in the Alamo Bowl.
Now Texas, which is 11th in the AP poll after cruising past Rice 37-10 in Week 1, hopes to finish the job in this year’s rematch at Alabama on ESPN.
The Tide are ranked third in AP but they top the TRACR top 25 after moving ahead of previous No. 1 Georgia. This one should be fun to watch since Alabama is fourth in offensive TRACR and third in defensive TRACR, and Texas ranks sixth and seventh, respectively.
As a reminder, TRACR (Team Rating Adjusted for Conference and Roster) is a net efficiency metric that evaluates how well a team performs based on who it plays. The model, which is trained on over 10 years of college football data, is based off an EPA (expected points added) calculation weighed by who teams play. It rewards big wins over good teams and punishes losses to bad ones or even wins that are closer than expected.
A team with a TRACR of 0.0 is considered an average team in the FBS. The rankings, along with projected record, probability of running the table and chances of becoming a bowl-eligible team, will be updated throughout the season on our TRACR college football rankings page.
So how big of an underdog is Texas really in Tuscaloosa? What did Colorado move up to in our TRACR rankings after last week’s stunning upset of defending national runner-up TCU? And how far did LSU fall after its dismal showing against Florida State?
Those are some of the questions we’re answering with TRACR as we break down our college football Week 2 predictions.
Looking back, it was quite a Colorado debut for Deion Sanders (or Coach Prime) and his son Shedeur on Saturday. The younger Sanders completed 38-of-47 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-42 win at TCU, which was ranked 17th in the AP poll.
Now the Buffaloes, who have moved into the AP Top 25 at No. 22, have a chance to surpass last year’s win total with a home victory against historical rival Nebraska out of the Big Ten.
The Pac-12 team jumped 35 places in TRACR up to 79th, the third-highest improvement behind Texas State (88th), which knocked off the heavily favored Baylor Bears, and Rutgers (61st), which pounded Northwestern.
In Orlando, it was almost the opposite of last year’s thrilling finish between Florida State and LSU on Sunday night when the Seminoles broke a 17-all tie in the third quarter and never looked back in a 45-24 victory.
The Tigers (28th) couldn’t stage a late rally this time and plummeted out of the TRACR top 25 after being ranked seventh heading into the season opener. (Clemson was the other big faller following its loss to Duke, dropping to 31st after entering the season 10th.)
LSU, which has a lot of work to do if it wants to reach the College Football Playoff, should be able to regroup with a home matchup against Grambling State. ACC-power Florida State, which moved from 12th to 10th in our rankings, takes on Southern Miss in Week 2 on Saturday.
Here are TRACR’s college football picks for this weekend.
- TRACR No. 1 Alabama 64.3% over No. 6 Texas
- No. 2 Notre Dame 95.3% over No. 52 NC State
- No. 4 Georgia 97.4% over No. 111 Ball State
- No. 5 Michigan 97.7% over No. 104 UNLV
- No. 7 USC 94.9% over No. 69 Stanford
- No. 9 Oklahoma 83.6% over No. 40 SMU
- No. 10 Florida State 93.6% over No. 81 Southern Miss
- No. 11 Oregon 80.8% over No. 55 Texas Tech
- No. 12 Texas A&M 58.4% over No. 18 Miami (FL)
- No. 14 Utah 79.9% over No. 56 Baylor
- No. 15 Kansas State 86.2% over No. 74 Troy
- No. 16 Wisconsin 87.1% over No. 75 Washington State
- No. 17 Washington 72.7% over No. 51 Tulsa
- No. 19 Ole Miss 61.4% over No. 29 Tulane
- No. 21 Syracuse 94.7% over No. 125 Western Michigan
- No. 23 UCF 89.1% over No. 102 Boise State
- No. 24 North Carolina 83.5% over No. 71 Appalachian State
- No. 25 Minnesota 90.0% over No. 114 Eastern Michigan
No. 3 Ohio State, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 13 Penn State, No. 20 Oregon State and No. 22 TCU are off this week. Check out our complete college football rankings and predictions here.
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