Playing The Odds

By Adam Caparell - June 05, 2007

We're roughly a little over 80 days away from the start of the college football season so why not stray from the talk of playoffs and extra years of eligiblity to talk about something signifcantly more fun and entertaining: The odds-on-favorites to win the BCS Championship.

It's no surprise that USC is considered the team to beat - by the experts, the fans and Vegas - in New Orleans come January. Trailing the Trojans are Michigan, Florida, Texas, West Virginia, LSU, the field and Oklahoma, in that order.

But want an early prediction? Pick the field.

There's always some dark horse team out there that makes a big run at the national championship. And with college football's champion being solely determined by what happens in the regular season, with some many twists, turns and unexpected happenings yet to come to fruition, there's a very good chance it's not going to be one of those seven teams winning it all. One wrong bounce of the ball, one poor decision, one bad call by the refs can ruin a season in a heartbeat. So don't expect every one of those teams mentioned above to be in the running. History shows otherwise. Some bad breaks will come their way to more than a few of them.

Notre Dame, Texas, Auburn and West Virginia were all ranked in the AP's first poll of the 2006 season and all considered among the favorites to win it all. Auburn finished the season at No. 9, West Virginia at No. 10, Texas at No. 13 and Notre Dame at No. 17. None of them came close to making it to Glendale and the BCS Championship Game. Only the Irish made it to a BCS bowl game and after their performance in the Sugar Bowl, proved what many had said - including myself - going into the game: that they didn't belong there.

So if you're going to pick a winner, and hypothetically are looking to make more than your money back on a modest investment, look for a team hovering right around the top 10. Think along the lines of a Louisville or Virginia Tech. Tennessee and Georgia have great values, especially the Bullodgs who will be better than Florida State, yet the Seminoles have been given better odds to win it all despite the fact that Bobby Bowden's crew will be hard pressed to win an ACC Championship this year, let alone the national championship. Just be wary of the SEC teams because they beat each other up during that regular season.

As for the team the odds-makers are showing the least amount of respect to? Wisconsin. Teams like Ohio State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Rutgers, Penn State all have better odds than the Badgers to win it all right now. And that, odds-makers, could come back to haunt you.

Spring Football Schedule Planner: In case anyone was looking to plan their April next year, Ohio State will be holding its Spring Game April 26, due to a change in the university's academic calendar. So Buckeyes fans, save the date. After all, over 75,000 of you showed up to Ohio Stadium over a month and a half ago, surpassing the previous year's record of 64,000 fans for the annual glorified scrimmage.

Swimming In Money: The Big East Conference gained a record $21,888,675 for five bowl appearances in 2006- 07. That was significantly trumped by the SEC who took in $23.7 million from its bowl games, $13.2 million from the SEC Championship Game and $48.3 million in TV revenues.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:35 PM on June 05, 2007
Comments (1)


You are nuts. Name the last National Champion to come outside of the preseason Top 5. Flor...Tex...USC...LSU, there we go, LSU in 2003. Go ahead and take the field, I'll be sitting pretty with the top 5. (By the way, Wisconsin is in mine, along with Florida, LSU, and Texas).

Really, though, I probably only need USC. It is hard for me to fully get across how good they will be this year, but for a clue, think 2004 with a better defense. Even injuries can't hurt most positions that much.

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