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This Week's Vegas Top 25

If you missed it, last week we discovered the Las Vegas Sports Consultants Top 25, a "poll" based on the power rankings compiled by the advisors to Vegas oddsmakers. The analysis by wise commenters went over my head, but anyhow, we've pledged to make this a regular Monday Morning feature, and so here's this week's poll, with record and BCS ranking in parentheses.

1. Ohio State (7-0) (1)
2. Texas (6-1) (9)
3. Michigan (7-0) (3)
4. California (6-1) (10)
5. Louisiana State (5-2) (18)
6. Southern Cal (6-0) (2)
7. Florida (6-1) (6)
8. Tennessee (5-1) (11)
9. Louisville (6-0) (7)
10. Notre Dame (5-1) (8)
11. Clemson (6-1) (12)
12. Wisconsin (6-1) (21)
13. Oregon (5-1) (14)
14. West Virginia (6-0) (5)
15. Auburn (6-1) (4)
16. Nebraska (6-1) (17)
17. Oklahoma (4-2) (22)
18. Boise State (7-0) (15)
19. Georgia Tech (5-1) (19)
20. Miami (4-2) (NR)
21. Pittsburgh (6-1) (NR)
22. Penn State (4-3) (NR)
23. Arkansas (5-1) (13)
24. Florida State (4-2) (NR)
25. Missouri (6-1) (24)

NR by Vegas: Rutgers (16 in BCS), Boston College (20), Iowa (23), Tulsa (25).


1) Texas is fifth in all three human polls and gets crushed in the BCS computer rankings (cumulative 15th), but the Longhorns are second here. Which again means, on a neutral field, before betting begins and favoritism is accounted for, Texas would likely be favored against every team in the country besides Ohio State.

2) The SEC fares poorly here, with Auburn and Arkansas far lower than their position in the human polls or the BCS standings.

3) West Virginia is 14th, which matches its average BCS computer ranking. (This doesn't relate to the Vegas poll, but Rutgers actually has the same record and a much better computer score than West Virginia. The 'Eers, though, are much more popular than Rutgers in the human polls.)

4) This also doesn't relate to Vegas, but gee whiz, why is Georgia still in the top 25 in two of the three human polls after losing at home to Commodore 64?

5) On a neutral field Cal would, at least in the initial recommended line, be favored over Southern Cal? Weird.

6) Penn State looks odd at 4-3, but bear in mind that the losses are at Ohio State, at Notre Dame, and home to Michigan by a touchdown.

Thoughts? Does everyone agree with me that this should be used instead of the BCS, or, at a minimum, instead of the coaches' poll?

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 16, 2006; 9:58 AM ET
Categories:  College Football  
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Ahhhh.. Tulsa finally makes teh column. Thanks Dan :)

Posted by: Mike | October 16, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

If this is all about ranking teams in terms of heads up competition on a neutral field, please make sure to publish this immediately prior to the bowl games.

Posted by: jhorstma | October 16, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mike. But no BYU? Hmmmm.

Posted by: RCougar | October 16, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame me, RCougar... Blame the computers. It's just science LOL

Posted by: Mike | October 16, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Love this poll. Always felt teams should be rated on how folks feel they would mathc-up on a head-to-head basis. This does so perfectly. kudos!

Posted by: krossfader | October 17, 2006 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't get some of this. Louisville is far ahead of WVU, but all the talking heads think WVU will win IN LOUISVILLE. Arkansas is far below Auburn, who is far below LSU and Florida. Is LVSC saying that those SEC games were anomalies? That they know something about Louisville-WVU that everyone else doesn't? That's what it seems to me.

Posted by: Neema | October 17, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this 'poll' skewed by what's important to these oddsmakers -- establishing a betting line where half the money is bet on each team? That's not necessarily the same as establishing which team is the best. For example, if tons of money is bet on Notre Dame all the time, the oddsmakers move the line to a spread more unfavorable to ND, to even out the action. In this hypothetical, the higher / lower spread makes Notre Dame look better than they really are.

Posted by: Marc | October 17, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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