And when your poll doesn’t square with what everyone else predicts then you’re clearly biased against their favorite team.
So as a preliminary, if your team isn’t ranked highly enough it’s clearly because I hate your team, player, or coach and I’m also sexist and racist.
Now that we’ve knocked that out of the way.
My BCS title game prediction is Alabama vs. Oregon. That’s why I have the Tide and the Ducks Nos. 1 and 2 in the preseason top 25.
Some of you will note that I took Georgia at 25-1 to win the BCS title and assert this is a conflict. It’s not. I believe Georgia winning a BCS title offers the best gambling value of any team in college football. That’s not because I believe the Bulldogs are more likely to win the title than Alabama.
It’s simply because I believe Georgia offers the best risk/reward on the gambling markets. Alabama is much more likely to win the BCS title than Georgia is. But if these teams advance to the SEC title game — as I’m projecting they will — I think we’ll see another tight SEC title game. ‘Bama would probably be around a touchdown favorite. Does Bama deserve to be 8x as likely to win the BCS title as Georgia? No way. So I like the Georgia bet better than I do the Alabama bet.
That’s why it’s important to distinguish between my picks based on market valuations and my picks based on straight-up winners. Most of the time I try to pick against the spread here on Outkick because I know that lots of you guys gamble. Last year we had a great season picking against the spread. I went 44-21 against the spread, won both my over and under season win total picks, and jumped on Bama at 6-1 after the Tide lost to A&M. So if you followed my picks, you made quite a bit of money. Will I be as successful in 2013? That’s highly doubtful. But I’ll try.
My preseason top five is the five teams that I favor to win every game this season. Every other team in college football will be an underdog at least once this year. I’m using my own predicted spreads as a rough outline of where I think the top teams should be ranked. That is, Stanford will be favored in every game all season except for the Oregon game so i have it at six. South Carolina will be favored in every game all season except for the Georgia game so I have the Gamecocks at seven.
Texas A&M will be underdogs against Alabama and, I’m projecting, on the road at LSU, so the Aggies are eight.
Clemson will be an underdog twice, against both Georgia and South Carolina so I have the Tigers at nine in my preliminary rankings. But I also bumped them down two notches because I believe both LSU and Florida would be favored over Clemson on a neutral field.
LSU will be an underdog at Georgia and at Alabama. Florida will be an underdog three times: at LSU, against Georgia in the cocktail party, and at South Carolina, but the Gators will be favored over Florida State head-to-head.
Texas is, I believe, the most likely team to win the Big 12 so I have the Longhorns ranked the next highest at 13.
The Big 12 is a complete mess and it’s hard to project exactly what the conference will look like coming into the final month of the season.
So. I have most of these teams pretty jumbled together between 13 and 19. You’ll note that I rank Baylor higher than most. Look at the Baylor schedule. If the Bears can win at Kansas State and at Kansas, they should be 7-0 with a home date against Oklahoma. At 7-0, Baylor would have climbed to the Top 10 and be poised to make major noise the rest of the way. That’s why I think Baylor’s likely to win nine games in 2013.
And with that here is Outkick’s 2013 preseason top 25.
I’m sure you’ll agree with every ranking:
Clay Travis’ preseason top 25
In other news, here’s part of our College Football Preview show on FOX Sports that became the first-ever show on the new FOX Sports 1 channel.
I’m talking about Uncle Nate, shirtless Steve Spurrier, and Mack Brown’s future.
Hopefully you enjoy it.
And if you don’t enjoy me — or my faulty earpiece … damn you, earpiece! — at least Erin Andrews is here with me.
We’ve got a little beauty and the beast college football edition going.