Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the company that provides the majority of lines to casinos in Nevada, listed Southern California as the top team at the end of the 2007 season. Some may have questioned the positioning, considering LSU dominated Ohio State 38-24 en route to the BCS Championship.
At the start of the 2008 campaign, LVSC backed the Trojans again and listed them No. 1 in their preseason rankings. After three weeks of the college football regular season, USC and head coach Pete Carroll have lived up to the oddsmakers poll and put a stamp on the top spot with a 35-3 wire-to-wire victory over Ohio State last Saturday.
LVSC dropped the Buckeyes from fifth to seventh in the rankings. Despite the loss, they’re still considered the best team in the Big Ten. Penn State (8) and Wisconsin (16) are closing the gap and will have a chance to leap OSU come October. While the Big Ten continues to receive criticism from pundits across the nation, it isn’t the only group that is down this year.
USC may be the best team in the LVSC Top 30 and the nation but the Pac 10 was embarrassed as a whole over the weekend. California was surprised 35-27 by Maryland, Arizona State was shocked 23-20 in overtime to UNLV and BYU completely outclassed UCLA in a 59-0 victory. And if it wasn’t for a collapse by Purdue, Oregon would’ve joined the above trio as well.
The Trojans’ schedule on paper looks very doable for an undefeated season. While I might be a tad premature to call for the 12-0 run, it’s probably not a stretch to say that USC will be a double-digit favorite in every game for the rest of the year.
It wouldn’t be fair to exclude the ACC as a weak conference too, with Clemson (18) and Virginia Tech (26) listed as the only schools in the Top 30.
For the second straight week, the SEC has seven schools listed in the Top 30, tied with the Big 12. The AP Poll has five SEC schools listed at No. 10 ore better while LVSC only has three teams in the first 12 spots.
One team that appears to be overrated – at least to the oddsmakers – is Alabama. Nick Saban’s team is perfect after three games but back-to-back road trips against Arkansas and Georgia will give gamblers a better barometer.
Below is a breakdown of this week's Top 30 along with notes from LVSC's Chief Operating Officer Kenny White.
2008 Las Vegas Sports Consultants Top 30
Walloped Washington…Talented with plenty of depth.
SEC play begins this week at Tennessee.
Offensive juggernaut. D' will have to tighten up.
Dodged a bullet at South Carolina.
Ike stopped Texas this week. Host Rice this week.
Still has a chance to win a bowl game...Just not the big one…
Big Ten door could be wide open. Title shot????
Red Raiders dominate a lame bunch of Mustangs.
Purdue had Ducks on the ropes. Loss of Roper devastating.