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The Oddsmakers' Top 25 College Football Poll

If you've been religiously reading this space for the last year (hi dad!), you remember that I finagled untold numbers of easy posts by endlessly quoting the Oddsmakers Top 25 College Football Poll last fall. The Oddsmakers Poll is published by Las Vegas Sports Consultants, which advises Nevada sports books on betting lines. The Poll is a composite of their expert rankings, which are used to formulate the firm's recommended lines. In other words, No. 14 on this list would be favored on a neutral field against No. 15, which, we can all agree, is the best way to decide the BCS standings, and is also the most perfect expression of human reason since the appointment of Alberto Gonzales.

The problem is, romantics like Brian Cook at the mgoblog get all upset when teams with many losses are still beloved by Vegas. That's why the Vegas preseason Oddsmakers Top 25 Poll* is the most beautiful expression of perfect reason that we will see for the next 12 months. So enjoy it now. The summary: the AP overvalues the Big Ten and SEC (especially Georgia and Tennessee), and undervalues the Pac-10 and Big 12. The full rankings, with faulty AP poll rankings are in parentheses, after the jump.

1. Southern Cal (1)
2. LSU (2)
3. Texas (4)
4. Louisville (10)
5. Oklahoma (8)
6. Florida (6)
7. California (12)
8. West Virginia (3)
9. UCLA (14)
10. Wisconsin (7)
11. Michigan (5)
12. Ohio State (11)
13. Virginia Tech (9)
14. Nebraska (20)
15. Miami (31)
16. South Carolina (30)
17. Georgia Tech (27)
18. Penn State (17)
19. Arkansas (21)
20. Florida State (19)
21. Texas Christian (22)
22. Oregon (29)
23. Missouri (26)
24. Rutgers (16)
25. Hawaii (23)
26. Tennessee (15)
27. Georgia (13)
28. Arizona State (36)
29. Texas A&M (25)
30. Oklahoma State (42)

Unranked by Vegas: Auburn (18th in AP), Boise State (24th).

* The fact that there are 30 teams in the Vegas Top 25 Poll should be held against neither me nor the Poll's creators, nor should it be used to argue that this is anything other than perfect rationality.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 27, 2007; 10:12 AM ET
Categories:  College Football  
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1. What are the odds on somebody catching the fact that five extra teams in a top 25 poll?

2. Does this mean Friedgen won't be doing the "We Ready" dance at the pep rally?

Posted by: | August 27, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Wow - looks like a fun year for the big 12 and my alma mater - OU

Posted by: alexandriamom | August 27, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Polls be damned... Notre Dame is still overrated.

Posted by: SSFSCoWA | August 27, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

This ranking definitely called the result of Cal/Tennessee correctly.. and the Michigan meltdown looks a bit less surprising.

Posted by: Mantle | September 3, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

We are all fans of some team or we wouldn't be a bloggin.
However we all need to heed to this inflexion point. The Michigan game, UT, Texas and others over the last couple years shows how old the prevailing thinking is on college football. Boise St. last year showed off in the big bad bowl game. No choke there. The Big East was 5-0 in the bowl games. Hawaii has as good a candidate for the Heisman as any big boy school as does Rutgers (no fluke there folks). The big time conferences are protecting themselves for the big bowl assignments, with the lobbying and such, but I am telling you now in the next couple year's teams like Michigan and Notre Dame aren't going to be shoe ins. Example 1 and biggest example. Last year Texas starts the year with a top 5 ranking because of the previous years win with the great Vince Young (folks he's been drafted). Well we all know after last years Kansas State and A&M games that they weren't even a top 15 team.The betting line in Las Vegas casinos favored then #4 ranked Texas by 16 points against an unranked 6-4 Kansas State team. After these losses Texas got to play a 6-6 Iowa team in a Bowl game so they could ensure a win, no embarrassment and a pay day. But this year the AP guys and everyone else AGAIN gave Texas the same poll position with Michigan. Why, because. (or maybe.....can you say TV ratings for the pre scheduled season) I have nothing against Texas as I am not so sure Ohio State should be top 10 or Auburn top 20, but we will see. Did anyone notice the brilliant minds at FOX that had Georgia and West Virginia ranked in the twenty some things with big bad Michigan and Texas in the top 6. I for one think the Slaton and White tandem at WV are going to role over a lot of defenses this year and ask anyone in Dallas about Georgia's QB Matt Stafford. He could have started for most colleges his senior year in High School.

Your thoughts are right there is a lot of football to be played, so I'll leave it there.
But just know that the balance of power has shifted when the best AA team beats a top 10 team in the big house.

Posted by: john | September 4, 2007 2:34 AM | Report abuse

I am a California resident and love our states teams as much as the next, but this guy is an IDIOT! It is quit obvious that he has a skewed opinion and has no idea what he is talking about.

Posted by: JB | September 7, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

This may help for ranking the teams, but it doesn't help in deciding who will win the games, since when are college football games ever played on "neutral" fields outside of bowl season?

Posted by: Hal Lewis | September 13, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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