College football is at its halfway point of the year, with the vast majority of teams having played six or more games.
What teams can we officially say have already exceeded season expectations or put their preseason expectations entirely out of reach?
Let’s use the regular-season Vegas win total odds from the preseason as a measuring stick.
Already a winner
It goes without saying, but in order to hit one’s season win total after only playing half of the regular season, the win total had to be pretty low to begin with.
Colorado total wins over 4½: Colorado was just 10-27 under Mike MacIntyre through three seasons, so its win total was low. The Buffs are 5-2 and might win the Pac-12 South.
Eastern Michigan total wins over 3½: The Eagles have been a perennial doormat in the MAC, but are 5-2 and have a chance to double their season-win wager and make a bowl.
North Texas total wins over 2½: Seth Littrel’s young team has already won three games.
Wyoming total wins over 3½: Look at the sneakily decent Cowboys! At 4-2, Wyoming might become bowl eligible.
Very close to winning
Ball State total wins over 4½: An upset win at Georgia State kicked things off. If the Cardinals can find one more win, they’ll hit their mark.
Idaho total wins over 4½: The Vandals have pulled upsets at UNLV and ULM, and with two more wins, can reach bowl eligibility.
Texas A&M total wins over 7: The Aggies are undefeated at 6-0 and still have games against New Mexico State, Texas San Antonio, and Mississippi State. Ten wins is not out of the question in a year in which few were confident in the Aggies.
Tulane total wins over 3½: Tulane’s season has been a success because it won its tossup games against Louisiana-Lafayette and UMass. A bowl probably will not happen, but four or five wins seems very possible.
Wake Forest total wins over 5½: Look at the Demon Deacons! At 5-2, with games against Army, Virginia and Boston College remaining, Wake Forest looks like a likely bowl team.
Already a loser
Bowling Green total wins over 7: After a 1-6 start, it’s safe to say Dino Babers left the Falcons for Syracuse at just the right time. Bowling Green has allowed 77 points twice already this year.
Marshall total wins over 8½: At 2-4, Marshall has been betrayed by its defense, allowing more than 45 points per game against FBS foes.
Michigan State total wins over 8½: The Spartans were expected to take a step back, but nobody saw Mark Dantonio’s program missing a bowl. At 2-4, things have gone south in a hurry.
As SB Nation’s Bill Connelly writes, Michigan State is not even a young team.
O’Connor is a senior, one of nine who started on offense against BYU. Seniors make up three of State’s four leading receivers and four of five starters on this line. The defense featured four senior starters plus McDowell, a junior likely to go pro. Of the 44 names on the offensive and defensive two-deep, 26 are upperclassmen (15 on offense, 11 on defense).
Northern Illinois total wins over 8½: The Huskies are 1-6, with losses to Wyoming, San Diego State, and FCS Western Illinois.
Notre Dame total wins over 9½: At 2-5, Notre Dame might be the biggest disappointment in college football.
UCLA total wins over 8½: A prototype quarterback in Josh Rosen, a stingy defense, and a 3-4 record. Yikes.
Very close to loser status
Arkansas State total wins over 8: At 2-4, even if the Red Wolves won their final six games, the best they could do is a push.
Florida State total wins over 10: The Seminoles were expected to contend for the national title, but being demolished at Louisville and losing at home to North Carolina ended those hopes. FSU might end 8-4.
Georgia total wins over 8½: With a freshman quarterback and excellent recruiting, Georgia fans will be patient with Kirby Smart. Or perhaps would have been patient, had Vanderbilt not won between the hedges Saturday. Georgia’s next loss will be its fourth.
LSU total wins over 10: LSU has already lost two games this year and will probably lose more. But this wager has been cancelled in Vegas due to the Tigers’ scheduling change after the initial postponement of the Florida contest.
Oklahoma total wins over 10: Even if Oklahoma wins the Big 12, its year will have been disappointing. Losing to Houston and being blown out at home by Ohio State, in a year in which the Sooners were widely picked to return to the dance, is tough.
Oregon total wins over 8: Regular-season losses under Mark Helfrich, by year: one, three, and four and counting.
Rice total wins over 5½: Rice was expected to have a decent shot at bowl eligibility. Instead, it is the only winless team in FBS.
UTEP total wins over 5½: The Miners just cannot score; 35 total points in three conference games is illustrative of the problems that have led to a 1-5 record.