Historically bad UConn is perplexing college football bettors

Normally in this space, the focus is on excellence. Not today. Instead, I want to talk about ineptitude that is both robust and historic — a level of football so bad that it is perplexing bookmakers, bettors and casual fans. Let’s talk about Connecticut football.

Now, it’s not all bad. UConn covered the spread on Saturday for the first time this year as a 35-point underdog against Army. The Huskies were down 42-0 at half and scored 21 second-half points, headlined by their final score with around a minute remaining, to get within the number. By that point, the backups’ backups were getting action.

UConn is 0-4 straight up and 1-3 against the spread. This includes a 10-point loss to Holy Cross, which lost to Merrimack College the following week. The Huskies have been outscored 146-21 by Fresno State, Purdue and Army. Oh, and Randy Edsall, the former head coach, retired after two games.

UConn will play Wyoming, Vanderbilt, UMass, Yale and Middle Tennessee State next. While these teams rarely find themselves as colossal chalks, they will assume that role when these games are played. After that? The season ends at Clemson, at Central Florida and against Houston. Yikes!

It's been a rough year for UConn.
It’s been a rough year for UConn.

It is hard to summarize how bad all three of these football games will be. In fact, it feels like a safety hazard to have Clemson, even in its offensively challenged form, play this football team.

Other than the $1.2 million Clemson will reportedly pay UConn to play this game, which is plenty, there is no real reason to actually play.

How do you create a point spread for a game like this?

“I’d open 58.5 and let the market tell me how off I am,” one oddsmaker said.

One thing is certain. What we are seeing right now from UConn is historic. And it’s so remarkable, in a way the word is not normally used, I implore you to tune in.

A few other college football tidbits and observations:

  • USC still is an incredible job. The football team hasn’t been incredible for a while, but the foundation is in place for it to be superb again. The right coach, which to me is James Franklin, will ensure that the state’s elite talent pool doesn’t leave the way it has recently. All of the ingredients are still in place for USC to be great. Also, nice win against Washington State. the Trojans closed as a touchdown-favorite, fell behind 14-0 and rallied behind their backup quarterback. More specifically, their five-star backup quarterback.
  • There might not be a great team in college football this year. Alabama looked vulnerable. Clemson struggled against Georgia Tech. Oklahoma played down to Nebraska. Ohio State once again looked incomplete. Maybe it’s Georgia’s year; that would certainly be good for my future bets. Or maybe this is just a season that changes drastically week-to-week. I prefer that, by the way. It makes the sport far more fun.
  • I bet Indiana in Week 3, and it was probably the most irritated I’ve been during a game in some time. (Well, probably in five days but you get what I’m saying.) The Hoosiers essentially filled their “does incredibly bad things to lose a football game” bingo card. They turned the ball over four times, committed a plethora of penalties, allowed a 99-yard kick return and more. These games happen in college football; I know this. And yet, I can’t help but still be angry with how that game played out.

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