Vegas Top 10

BY foxsports • September 11, 2014

I don't pay attention to the AP or Coaches poll.  Quite frankly I think they're the biggest waste of time in all of collegiate athletics.  Polls are among the most biased "grading" system in any sport.  The accuracy we'd see in the polls would go up 100 fold if we waited for teams to play at least 5 games, eliminating any preconceived notions coming into the year.

A much higher authority than sports journalists governs oddsmaker and bettor power numbers: the almighty dollar.  These ratings reflect strength in a gambling driven context based on overall talent levels rather than brand recognition or the conference affiliation fans gravitate towards early in the year.  Let me preface this by saying in no way do Vegas rankings indicate Team A beats Team B simply because they're ranked higher; matchups play a big role in every game.  I've learned in the past there are times to make wholesale changes to rankings (UGA last year) but unlike other polls, there won't be knee jerk responses based on the results of just a single game in our ratings.  Always remember when it comes to sports gambling, a team is never as good nor as bad as they look in a single game.  

Last week we unveiled our inaugural edition of the real top 10 for 2014; every team in the rankings held serve for the week with certain sides looking more dominant than others.  For the record Florida St will remain atop this list for the foreseeable future, even amid pedestrian efforts to start the season against Oklahoma St and Citadel.  There's a wide gap between the Seminoles and the rest of the country right now... whether they actually live up to that heightened expectation all year long remains a very different narrative.

 

Last Week

This Week

1

FSU

FSU

2

Georgia

Georgia

3

Oregon

Oregon

4

USC

Auburn

5

Auburn

USC

6

Alabama

Alabama

7

Baylor

Baylor

8

UCLA

Oklahoma

9

Oklahoma

Stanford

10

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

USC dropped this week despite going on the road beating a top 10 caliber opponent. Why you ask? Well the answer is simple (kind of); the stat sheet told a very different tale compared to the final score. USC benefitted immensely from Cardinal ineffectiveness, actually getting outgained by north of 100 yards in their narrow victory.  The Trojans were responsible for many of those Cardinal miscues however USC's offense couldn't even muster 300 yards.  Statistical dominance along with against the spread results (more so than final scores) lends itself more effectively to adjusting our Vegas poll.

Side note on Oregon:  Yes, they showed a lot of perseverance beating a physical opponent thanks to 28 unanswered points.  Finding that high end gear is a trademark for top 5 teams. However I still have plenty of doubts about Oregon's ability to even make the 4 team playoff. Before you guys get worked up realize this is fluid and most importantly we'll identify the top teams in the land more effectively than any other poll out there by year's end.  

Teams just outside the top 10 this week (in no particular order):  UCLA, Florida, Michigan St.

Most Overrated team in AP/Coaches Poll:

Texas A&M:  absolutely laughable they received first place votes in the AP poll this week, more on them in coming weeks.

Wisconsin: Not sure we'll ever figure out how good this team is given their conference schedule.

Kansas St: All of this can change a week from Thursday with an upset when Auburn heads to the little apple.

Most Underrated team(s) in AP/Coaches Poll (or not ranked):  

Stanford: They deserved better against USC, with a win we're talking about Stanford with an inside track to winning the Pac 12 and eyes on a national title campaign.

Florida: It's only 1 game but they couldn't score 65 points on a high school team last year.  If Kurt Roper gets this offense clicking be sure to buy UF stock now before it starts to climb.

Top 10 team on upset alert this week:

Georgia -6 @ South Carolina

Let me be clear, this isn't me endorsing a bet on South Carolina...yet.  It's too early in the week for me to make a final determination but Georgia not having any able bodied wide receivers for the game won't help their ability to exploit the primary weakness in the Gamecock's defense. South Carolina has excelled as a home underdog going back to 2009; a role in which they're 4-0 ATS and 3-1 straight up.  Their lone outright loss was as a 17 pt dog against Florida where they came up 10 points short albeit an easy cover.  Mark Richt has struggled from an ATS perspective as well in this matchup against Spurrier, compiling a 2-6-1 ATS record in their 9 meetings.

I toyed with adding UCLA to this list simply for the fact Texas can't play worse than they did last week, but I just couldn't stomach the dog here given the suspensions, defections, and overall attitude surrounding the Texas program only 2 games into the Charlie Strong era.  

 


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