Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong

Each week throughout the college football season, Covers Expert Chris Elliott will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most Underrated Top 25 Team - USC Trojans (7-3 SU, 3-7 ATS)


The Trojans proved they were for real going toe-to-toe with the Oregon Ducks for 60 minutes in a tight 62-51 loss two weeks ago. They are coming off an impressive 38-17 victory over Arizona State and travel to the Rose Bowl to challenge the UCLA Bruins in a game that will likely decide the South.

Southern Cal has owned the matchup versus UCLA, winning 12 of the last 13 games including the last five straight. They met last year at the Coliseum, with USC winning 50-0. The Trojans are 4-point road favorites against a team higher in the rankings. Need I say more.

Most Overrated Top 25 Team - Michigan Wolverines (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS)

The Wolverines have not impressed this season with a record of 4-6 ATS. They were 8.5-point home favorites versus Northwestern and needed a last-second field goal to tie and overtime to win last Saturday. Starting QB Denard Robinson (elbow) remains out while junior QB Devin Gardner will get the start, with 46 completions in his three-year tenure.

Michigan hosts Iowa as big favorites Saturday, as the Hawkeyes have struggled this season (4-6, 2-4 Big Ten). The team will be at Ohio State in two weeks and will be in over their heads against the undefeated Buckeyes, as they haven't won in Columbus since 2000.

Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked - Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-3 SU, 4-4 ATS)

The Cowboys are coming off a convincing 55-34 home victory against the Mountaineers in Week 11 and welcome Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) to Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday. They are 5-1 at home, with their lone loss coming against the Texas Longhorns (8-2, 5-2 Big 12), and are outscoring their opponents at home by a combined margin of plus-37 points per game.

Oklahoma State has won the last three consecutive matchups versus Texas Tech SU and ATS, including a 66-6 victory at Texas Tech last season. The Cowboys are early 10.5-point home favorites as they look to jump back into the Top 25 in Week 13.

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