The Spread, Week Six: Fraudstomp

It’s time for the annual shattering of souls known as the Fraud List. I have painstakingly examined every* remaining unbeaten team to identify the handful who will inevitably crash and burn and finish the season with five or more losses. To prove that I’m not some sick sadist, I am writing this while listening to Frogstomp, the debut album from Silverchair, the imitation Australian Pearl Jam. See, I’m a sick sado-masochist.

*Mid-majors are ineligible for this list, as are teams who have played fewer than four games.

This year, I’m tightening up the list and giving you a top six that will not be broken down any further. All of these teams have a strong chance of losing five games this year. Any eligible unbeaten team not on this list should finish with no more than four losses. The list is in order of most-t0-least fraudy.

1. Louisville (5-0)

The Cardinals’ last three wins were by a touchdown or less and their five opponents have a combined record of 5-19 so far. Three of those wins belong to North Carolina.

2. TCU (4-0)

Half of the Big 12 is undefeated right now, but only the Horned Frogs make the list. TCU’s closest win was by 8 points, but none of their four opponents has a winning record.

3. Northwestern (5-0)

As much I would like Seth Meyers to be happy, things do not look good for the Wildcats. The best team they’ve played is Indiana and that pretty much says it all. Playing in a weak and unpredictable Big Ten helps (it kept Ohio State off this list), but it might not be enough.

4. Rutgers (4-0)

I don’t know if I really think the Big East will produce two frauds this year, but Rutgers’ numbers are atrocious and leaving them off would have been inexcusable. They’ve played one team with a winning record and that was Howard, who might actually just be a dude named Howard.

5. Mississippi State (4-0)

6. South Carolina (5-0)

No list of anything is complete without a couple of SEC teams, so here you go. There are a half-dozen unbeatens in The World’s Greatest Conference, but these two had some separation from the others. Mississippi State has been unremarkable against some pretty lousy teams and it says something when the other five unbeatens in your conference are in the top 10 and you’re #20. It says you suck is what it says. The Gamecocks are here because they are going to lose their next four games.

In the end, only three or four of these teams will end up as true frauds with five or more losses. If I had to guess who escapes that fate, I’d say Northwestern and one of the Big East teams. If I had to pick just one that will drop five for sure, it would be TCU.

So how about you? I go by the numbers my system gives me with a little gut feeling thrown in, but you can pick any unbeaten teams out there. Who loses five or more this year?


  1. […] Four weeks ago, I nailed my list of Six Fraud Teams to the door of college football and then probably took a nap. With about four weeks left in the regular season, it’s time to see how things are shaping up. […]

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