Editor's Note: Brian Gabrielle continues to crush the books in college football, leading all VI Experts in overall selections (66%, +2,490) on the season. Don't miss out on his winners this weekend. Click to win!
College football isn’t exactly in chaos but it could use a surgical makeover that would change the face of the sport while bringing fairness to the playing field: a playoff system to determine a national champion.
Just consider some of the haunting questions confronting kingmakers now.
What if horrors Kansas finished the season unbeaten and Ohio State lost to Michigan?
Power brokers would snub the Big Ten altogether.
They’re not about to have a club that lost to Appalachian State playing for a national title -- or one that was beaten by a team that lost to Appalachian State.
And uh what are you going to do with Hawaii if the Rainbow Warriors run the table?
VegasInsider.com handicapper Brian Gabrielle agrees with Ken White of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the handicapper-turned-oddsmaker who fashions lines for Nevada bet shops that 10-0 Ohio State is the rightful heir apparent to a national championship.
“The Buckeyes lost to Florida in last year’s title game and many observers felt they pretty much just went through the motions after not having played in 50 days,” said White.
“Voters in the major polls Associated Press and USA Today coaches as well as the BCS standings concur the unbeaten Buckeyes are America’s best college football team at the moment.”
That’s where the group parts company this week however with Gabrielle taking the road less traveled by.
He puts undefeated 9-0 Kansas second while everyone else picks once-beaten LSU.
The Jayhawks are ranked fifth in the two polls and fourth in the BCS standings.
White has them 11th.
If you win the Big 12 Championship and you’re wearing Sooner jerseys, you would be welcomed to the BCS Championship Game with open arms even with the one loss and suspect close wins over Texas and Iowa State.
With college football biases being engrained as they are the ONLY way Kansas gets to the National Championship Game is by 1 being undefeated and 2 winning the Big 12.
Even in that scenario there would be whiners coast to coast who would try to steal the Kansas achievement in favor of silver-spooned programs like Michigan USC and Florida. The s
ole loss in the Missouri column already negates them from the big game even if they rout Kansas and Oklahoma on the way to a Big 12 Championship.
That’s just part of the unfairness that college football is built on and ONLY a playoff system will remedy that.
I believe Kansas would beat Oklahoma in a Big 12 Championship match and doesn’t view the Sooners as the main road block for the Jayhawks. If I were a Jayhawk fan I would be more worried about Oklahoma State this Saturday.
You see at this level of the game where the difference in athletic ability is insignificant on a program to program basis the difference many times is really a mental one.
Kansas is a program that’s used to playing disrespected and thrives in the underdog role.
The Jayhawks will be more than comfortable in that situation playing in the Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma but this week they are out of their element.
They’re playing on the road under a ton of pressure and are EXPECTED to win.
Meanwhile there are no such expectations on the Cowboys just a loose football team playing at home with no pressure and a ton of motivation.
Very, very dangerous.
So in my mind it’s not Oklahoma or Missouri or even pollsters who can rob Kansas of a championship berth.
Oklahoma State is actually the biggest threat.
White opened the Jayhawks minus 3 1/2 but the number was 5 to 6 all over town Wednesday morning.
The oddsmaker already has Missouri favored by a field goal in its Nov. 17 date with KU.
Should the Jayhawks get past Okie State and Missouri Kansas known for its rich basketball history likely would face Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship.
“Right now I’d make that game a touchdown maybe,” 7 1/2 White said.
They’re knocking at the door but they’re not in yet he said.
White feels that Kansas lopsided victory over Nebraska might be tainted because the Cornhuskers are in the midst of perhaps their worst season ever.
“Opponents are running up record scores on them every week he said”.
When White looks at college football's various poll rankings and power ratings he concludes like Gabrielle there’s just one solution to determining the age-old question of who is No. 1?
“A playoff system, preferably an eight-team one. College football sorely needs it,” White said.
“This seasons bottom line he believes boils down to Ohio State-Michigan. I can tell you one thing they’re already doing wrong in Columbus.”
Last year it was 50 days between Ohio States last regular-season game and the BCS title game.
If Ohio State gets there again it’ll be 50 days again.
“They’ve done nothing to change that.”
“You almost could tell Ohio State hadn’t played for 50 days when they met Florida ... and this year the championship is in LSU’s backyard New Orleans Sugar Bowl.”
White believes Hawaii also may be a victim of inbred bias though he acknowledges it’s tough to overlook strength of schedule when it comes to the second tier of major college football.
The 8-0 Rainbow Warriors join Ohio State and Kansas as the last unbeaten clubs.
“Hawaii’s main hurdle in running the table is Boise State. Boise is better than people thought they’d be,” White said.
If Hawaii does run the table it deserves a BCS Bowl.
If Ohio State and Kansas both lose White notes a number of other one-loss clubs are back in the picture such as West Virginia, LSU, Oklahoma, Arizona State and Oregon to name a few.
“Look at West Virginia the oddsmaker said. They’re on the outside looking in with one loss Louisville and finish with Cincy, UConn and Pitt.
Another VI Expert Jimmy Boyd, also advocates a playoff system.
Boyd believes the sport has taken steps in the right diection but agrees only a playoff system could decide Americas No. 1 college team.
“The BCS has improved things but the playoff system would be the ultimate determinant,” Boyd said.
“We could have a playoff between the Top 8.”
“There still would be some controversy over those teams. I’m sure and it will give smaller conference schools less of a chance to get in but I think it keeps things heading in the right direction of finding a true champion.”