College Football Early Season Bye Weeks

Evaluating Teams with Early-Season September Bye Weeks

Two weeks into the college football season and we’ve witnessed the usual suspects, upsets and adjustments in price by the linesmaker. As we adjust our power ratings on teams and continue to evaluate the players’ performance on the playing field and the supporting statistics, it’s important to not only understand motivation and potential letdown situations for players and teams, but also how scheduling plays a part in the process.

I have outlined the college football September bye week schedule along with each team’s pre and post-bye opponents. In college football, this can be a real benefit to the rested and prepared team, especially later in the season. When playing at home off a bye, there is a solid situational edge when playing an opponent that is not off a bye, and usually a motivational edge especially if a quality or capable team is off a loss.

Plenty of situations and profiles to consider as you evaluate these bye teams, and we’ll review more as the season moves along. But recognize scheduling situations and take note of teams off a bye, and those playing at home that may also have additional motivation that includes significant redemption.

This is another piece to add to your handicapping arsenal, but know that you still must evaluate the match-ups, motivation, injuries, statistical profiles and betting lines at the sportsbooks. The linemaker makes adjustments to early season results, power ratings and to the bye week situation, and especially to rested and ready teams playing with redemption.

Bye Team Conference Pre Bye Post Bye Notes
15-Sep Michigan State Big Ten at Arizona State at Indiana MSU beat Indiana 17-9 LY
15-Sep Air Force Mountain West at Florida Atlantic at Utah State Beat Utah State 38-35 LY
15-Sep Louisiana Tech Conference USA Southern at LSU LT is 2-10 in non-conf road since 2013
15-Sep Rice Conference USA at Hawaii at Southern Miss Lost to So. Miss 43-23 LY
22-Sep Northwestern Big Ten Akron Michigan Last played Michigan in 2015
22-Sep California Pac 12 Idahom State Oregon Pac 12 opener, lost to OU 45-24 LY
22-Sep Utah Pac 12 Washington at Washington State Lost to WSU 33-25 LY
22-Sep Colorado Pac 12 New Hampshire UCLA (Fri) UCLA has lost 10 straight Pac 12 road games
22-Sep UCLA PAc12 Fresno State at Colorado (Fri) Beat UCLA 27-23 LY
22-Sep Boist State Mountain West at Oklahoma State at Wyoming Beat WYO 24-14 LY
22-Sep Wyoming Mountain West Wolford Boise State WYO trails series 11-1 (won as DD Dog 2016)
22-Sep New Mexico Mountain West at New Mexico State Liberty First meeting vs Liberty
22-Sep Fresno State Mountain West at UCLA Toledo Lost 52-17 at Toledo in 2016
22-Sep San Jose State Mountain West at Oregon Hawaii Lost 37-26 to Hawaii LY
22-Sep UAB Conference USA Tulane Charlotte Lost 25-24 in OT to Charlotte LY as fav
29-Sep Missouri SEC Georgia at South Caroina Lost to SC as favorite LY
29-Sep Maryland Big Ten Minnesota at Michigan Lost to Michigan 35-10 LY
29-Sep Wisconsin Big Ten at Iowa Nebraska Beat Nebraska 38-17 LY
29-Sep Iowa Big Ten Wisconsin at Minnesota beat MN 17-10 LY
29-Sep Minnesota Big Ten at Maryland Iowa Floyd of Rosedale (pig) trophy
29-Sep Illinois Big Ten Penn State at Rutgers Lost to Rutgers as favorite LY
29-Sep New Mexico State Independent at UTEP Liberty First meeting vs Liberty
29-Sep South Florida (USF) American East Carolina at Massachusetts First meeting vs Massachusetts
29-Sep Navy American at SMU at Air Force Beat Air Force 48-45 LY
29-Sep Houston American Texas Southern Tulsa (Thur) Lost to Tulsa 45-17 LY as 13′ pt fav
29-Sep Tulsa American at Temple at Houston (Thur) Tulsa won 2 games LY include vs Houston
29-Sep Utah State Mountain West Air Force at BYU (Fri) Beat BYU 40-24 LY as slight ‘Dog
29-Sep Colorado State Mountain West Illinois State at San Jose State Beat SJS 42-14 LY
29-Sep San Diego State Mountain West Eastern Michigan at Boise State Lost to Boise 31-14 LY
29-Sep UNLV Mountain West at Arkansas State New Mexico Beat NM 38-35 LY as ‘Dog
29-Sep MTSU Conference USA at Georgia Florida Atlantic Lost to FAU 38-20 LY
29-Sep Georgia Southern Sun Belt at Clemson Arkansas State Lost to Ark State 43-25 LY
29-Sep Texas State Sun Belt at UTSA Louisiana Lost to UL 24-7 LY

Author: FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful handicappers and professionals. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay