Originally written on College Football Zealots  |  Last updated 10/16/14
Why is Clemson favored on a neutral field against a more talented SEC school? I have no idea but I’ll take the “free” 3.5 points all day (or night in this case) long. Last year a far more experienced Clemson team was a 3 point favorite in Death Valley over a young Auburn team playing their first away game of the year. So again I ask, why is Clemson a 3.5 point favorite in this game? Auburn has 16 starters returning, including 10 on what should be a vastly improved defense. Clemson has 13 and will be without their top offensive playmaker, WR Sammy Watkins. Auburn’s composite recruiting rank over the last 4 years is #10 in the country, Clemson is #18. So why is the less talented and less experienced team favored? Perhaps Clemson is favored because Tajh Boyd is a more proven QB option than Kiehl Frazier. But Auburn’s passing game ranked 10th in the SEC last year anyway (ahead of only Ole Miss and Kentucky), and the offense overall ranked 11th in the conference. So it’s not like a more experienced Auburn offense is going to regress, and in fact they are probably only going to get better. Can we say the same thing about Tajh Boyd and the Clemson offense? I doubt it. Not after losing three multi-year starters on the OL who combined for 3,363 plays over the past 4 years. In addition, last year after a strong start, Boyd and the Clemson offense in fact did regress, substantially. After averaging  40.63 ppg and over 480 ypg in the first 8 games, Clemson dropped off to 24.17 ppg and 385 ypg. Boyd’s fall was even more severe, he went from throwing 24 TD vs 3 INT in those first 8 games to tossing 9 TD vs 9 INT in the final 6. Word out of Auburn is that the DL has been dominating. I doubt Clemson’s rebuilt OL will be able to handle it and give Boyd much time to pass. I also suspect that after such poor QB play from Auburn last year, Frazier and his dual-threat skills will prove a better fit in new OC Scott Loeffler’s pro-style offense.   The Pick: Auburn 27 Clemson 17   Make sure to check out The Saturday Edge website. It's a great new site where college football handicapping enthusiasts can exchange useful betting strategies, tips, ideas and information. They have great football analysis and are also a great place to go if you want to read up on betting or get some advice. You can also sign up for their newsletter at their site. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

Report: Things got 'ugly' in Bears' locker room after loss

Redskins bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy

Rams beat Seahawks thanks to gutsy fake punt call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brian Kelly unloads on officials for pass interference call

Brett Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Joseph Randle partners with underwear company after arrest

Report: Seahawks asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron

Florida fans chant for Will Muschamp to be fired

Gennady Golovkin scores second-round knockout win

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

WATCH: Sean Payton has tense exchange with reporter

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans with whiteboard

WATCH: Tony Romo nearly runs over Alex Rodriguez

WATCH: Prince Amukamara pulls Dwayne Harris' hair

What was the meaning behind Doug Baldwin's TD celebration?

Luke Kuechly ejected after questionable call

WATCH: Giovanni Bernard gets leveled by Vontae Davis

WATCH: Rams run awesome trick play for punt return TD

Kyle Orton shaves his epic mustache

Florida State beats Notre Dame 31-27 in thriller

Tigers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans

Brian Kelly unloads on officials

WATCH: Rams run punt return trick play for TD

Joseph Randle now an underwear spokesman?

Ex-Trojans RB escorted out after USC game

FSU tops Notre Dame in thriller

Fans chant for Muschamp's head

Popovich zings Suns owner

Golden Tate reacts to Percy Harvin trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.