As the college football season comes to a close, this weekly piece continues to fill up my Inbox with rants about me disrespecting their school. The one constant about this sport are the arguments created off the playing field and in the polls, which is great.
What needs to be understood about these weekly rankings is that they’re created not by me but the oddsmakers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the company that provides odds to the majority of casinos in Nevada.
Chief Operating Officer Kenny White and his crew use the ratings (see below) as a base for creating the opening line. After they send out their numbers to their clients, the odds are adjusted based on the market, which is you.
Looking at the ratings deeper, we all know Bob Stoops and his 5-4 Oklahoma (8) squad aren’t going to a BCS bowl this year, which is probably a good thing for Stoops, but if they were to face some of these teams that did earn a trip to a top-tier bowl, the Sooners would be favored.
Whether you agree or disagree with White is up to you. Rather than debate, try to use these ratings as a handicapping tool that will help you stay away from the public perception traps created by the other polls (AP, USA Today, BCS).
A perfect example of this is Utah (33), who is ranked 16th in this week’s BCS Rankings and 17th in both the AP and USA Today polls. Kyle Wittingham’s team sports an 8-1 record and the lone loss came by seven (31-24) at Oregon, who has a great shot of wining the Pac 10 despite last week’s setback at Stanford.
Are the Utes still living off last year’s impressive victory against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl? It’s possible but the oddsmakers aren’t buying into Utah and it’s apparent in Week 11.
Utah will face its toughest test of the season this Saturday when it meets TCU (4), who is ranked fourth in every poll, including this week’s LVSC Rankings. White and his team have been high on the Horned Frogs all year and that’s probably part of the reason why they’re listed as 20-point home favorites over the Utes. A couple other reasons – they’re solid on both sides of the football and they’ve been a covering machine (6-2 ATS) all season.
Along with TCU, Brigham Young (27) is the other Mountain West Conference team listed in this week’s LVSC rankings, but that would definitely change with a Utah upset in Forth Worth on Saturday.
The MWC is on par with the Big East (2) and Big 10 (3) in this oddsmakers' rankings. The SEC continues to garner the most respect behind the counter with seven schools while the Big 12, ACC and Pac 10 all have five a piece.
Boise State (9) is the lone WAC school getting attention by the oddsmakers and it's just four wins away from posting a perfect 13-0 season.
So who was the last team to beat Boise? TCU edged the Broncos 17-16 in last year’s Poinsettia Bowl. A rematch would be fun and the debate even better.
Below is a complete breakdown of this week’s LVSC Rankings.
|Dropped out of Top 30: California (18), Notre Dame (28))|
|Next 10: Notre Dame, Michigan State, Utah (16 BCS), Connecticut, California, Wisconsin (20 BCS), Missouri, Florida State, West Virginia (25 BCS) and South Carolina |
Chris David can be reached at email@example.com