Popularity polls are the most hotly contested useless debate college football fans engage in every year. Alumni and students work themselves into a frenzy all fall because “the media doesn’t respect them.” In reality, the only group of individuals with a vested interest in ranking teams accurately each week are the members of the linesmaking fraternity.
Every oddsmaker establishes power rankings to create a college football hierarchy. Voters in both the AP and Coaches polls show recency and regional bias since someone immersed in SEC football has minimal incentive to stay up til 2 AM watching Pac12 conference games for the sake of polling accuracy. Oddsmakers responsible for setting numbers aren’t afforded the luxury of an improper valuation. When they make mistakes, ramifications are costly. Courtesy of the team at Don Best Sports information services, we’ve included the premier poll to highlight the differences between how Vegas sees college football compared to the rest of the nation.
As you’ll see below, USC and Oklahoma have fallen out of favor with the general public but should still be pegged as top 10 teams. It’s not uncommon for a team to lose a game (Oklahoma State vs Texas) and still improve their standing in the linemaker power poll while plummeting in the popularity poll. In addition to Oklahoma and USC who remain maligned by pollsters, Texas A&M is highly regarded by the experts yet barely a blip on the national radar. Arizona State and North Carolina continue to see their stock rise early in the 2012 season outside mainstream college football consciousness. The biggest “fraud” in the country in the eyes of Las Vegas? Oregon St who currently resides at #14 in the AP yet aren’t listed in the top 30 among linemakers.
|T – 5||USC||118.8||5||13|
|T – 5||Texas||118.8||8||11|
|7||Oklahoma||118.5||T – 6||17|
|T – 8||S. Carolina||118.0||8||6|
|T – 8||Georgia||118.0||T – 6||5|
|11||Notre Dame||115.9||T – 11||9|
|12||West Virginia||115.5||T – 11||8|
|T – 15||Kansas St.||114.7||14||7|
|T – 15||Ohio St.||114.7||T – 15||12|
|18||TCU||114.0||T – 15||15|
|26||BYU||111.1||T – 27||NR|
|28||Louisville||110.8||T – 27||19|
Next Ten: Boise State (AP-27), Texas Tech (AP-30), Wisconsin, Baylor (AP-33), Louisiana Tech (AP-32), Missouri, Rutgers (AP-22), Auburn, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State & Utah.
Dropped out of Don Best Linemakers Poll Top 30: Boise State (DB-24), Georgia Tech (DB-29)
Teams in AP Top 25 not in Don Best Top 30: Rutgers (AP-22), Washington (AP-23), Oregon State (AP-14), Northwestern (AP-24)
Marquee Match-ups Vegas will be watching: #4 LSU at #10 Florida, #5 Texas vs #12 West Virginia, #8 Georgia at #8 South Carolina, #14 Nebraska at #15 Ohio State