The Wiz Of Odds: Playoff power to the people

Jay Christensen covered college football, among other sports, for the Los Angeles Times and produces the popular college football blog TheWizofOdds.com.

A few weeks ago, smack in the middle of wall-to-wall coverage of health care reform, a helium-filled Mylar balloon took off from the backyard of a Northern Colorado home.

News channels suddenly had a fresh story to chase and discussions about the health and well being of a nation were quickly dropped in favor of a balloon.

A world stopped as the drama unfolded. A six-year-old boy was thought to be onboard, and video of an object falling from the balloon was replayed like the Zapruder film.

Turns out it was one big hoax, but the news channels had swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. Precious credibility was lost when the balloon came crashing to earth.

College football fans are facing a similar situation. A powerful network that holds broadcast rights to nearly all of big-time college football is about to take control of the big enchilada — rights to the Bowl Championship Series.

The takeover doesn’t happen until next season, but already the network is parading an endless lineup of “experts” before the viewer each week to pump up the merits of the system. Unfortunately, there is an underlying credibility problem because the corporate behemoth the experts work for will soon own and make millions off this bogus system.

It’s all a big helium-filled balloon.

The fact is, there is no true national champion in college football and with seven undefeated teams entering the stretch run of the regular season, it’s almost a certainty that at least one team is going to get royally screwed at season’s end.

College football needs a playoff, and we are here today to give the people what they want, what they truly deserve.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the world’s largest oddsmaking company, provides odds to all major Las Vegas and international sportsbooks. Each week, they produce a power ranking of the top 30 teams.

Only eight teams are needed for a playoff, and because we’ve been bludgeoned to the point of actually believing the BCS has validity, we will use the top eight teams from this week’s standings.

This includes the seven unbeaten teams — Florida, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, Cincinnati, Texas Christian and Boise State — along with Oregon, arguably the best one-loss team in the country.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants’ oddsmakers Mike Seba, Tony Sinisi and Kenny White give the teams a power rating each week, and those ratings are calculated together for a final rating. The “rate” number is based on the team playing on a neutral field, which works perfectly for our playoff exercise.

Florida is No. 1 in the BCS standings and Oregon is No. 8. Other first-round matchups: No. 2 Texas vs. No. 7 Boise State; No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 6 TCU and No. 4 Iowa vs. No. 5 Cincinnati.

Florida has the highest rate value of 122, and Cincinnati the lowest at 110. Other rate numbers: Texas 119.8; Alabama 117.9; Oregon 114; TCU 113.3; Boise State 111.3 and Iowa 110.9.

The pointspreads are determined by the difference in the rate value.

First-round matchups:

Florida would be an 8-point favorite over Oregon.

Texas (-8.5) vs. Boise State.

Alabama (-4.5) vs. TCU.

Iowa (-1) vs. Cincinnati.

Presuming the favorites win, here are the semifinal matchups:

Florida (-11) vs. Iowa.

Texas (-2) vs. Alabama.

Championship:

Florida (-2) vs. Texas.

Factors such as injuries could impact the lines, but these are a rough estimate of where we stand at this moment.

Sean Van Patten of Las Vegas Sports Consultants also gave me the current odds on the eight teams winning the BCS title. In order of current BCS standing:

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Posted by Mazman80
5 years ago

IHS sorry to hurt your feelings with the truth. Florida would come into TCU's neck of the woods and hand them a good old fashioned behind whooping. Look at the facts. They play in a weak behind conference with a weak behind schedule just like Boise St.
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Posted by _Da_Kid
5 years ago

Just so you know I'm not pulling the SOS from out of my a$$... http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/2009/Internet/toughest%20schedule/fbs_9games_past.pdf
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Posted by jaydizzle
5 years ago

TC..WHO lol they play d2 teams all year long....
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Posted by IHS
5 years ago

Cajun and Maz? You're an idiot! TCU is as strong as ANYONE including FLORIDA! TCU would give any top tem in the nation a game on a neutral field. You SEC backers live in a blind fantasy world.
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Posted by Mazman80
5 years ago

Anyone who says TCU can play against any team on any field is obviously a moron. Who the hell has this team played??? Look at their schedule. Their biggest games were against BYU, Clemson, and Air Force... wow that's impressive. Please you put any of these BCS busters in a REAL conference (including the Big East which gets no respect) and they wouldn't be undefeated year after year. Boise St.'s only win against a REAL team was their opening game against Oregon at home. At least Cincy went into Oregon St. and South Florida and won. The truth is everybody jumps on the BCS buster bandwagon because they're undefeated and once a year they get a win over a top team. I like Boise St. and think TCU is a good team but to include them in championship talk is ridiculous.
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Posted by spinseeker
5 years ago

Sagarin Rankings SOS: Florida 27 (not 7) Texas 42 Bama 36 Oregon 8 Boise 81 LSU 39 G tech 12
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Posted by mrpaperstax
5 years ago

SEC wins its 4TH in 5 years!
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Posted by mrpaperstax
5 years ago

TCU versus anyone???????????? U r an idiot!!!!!!And a crack smoker!!!!!!
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Posted by johnnynav
5 years ago

Boise is such a joke. If they played Oregon right now they would get smoked. While we're busy beating USC's A**, Boise is playing cupcake San Jose St. on their ridiculous blue turf...OOOOO...big time...that's HUGE...WAY TO GO. GL against the powerhouse La. Tech next week...that should be a real barn burner.... Nice conference by the way. You guys will lose to Nevada anyway, so thanks for coming
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Posted by johnnynav
5 years ago

Boise is such a joke. If they played Oregon right now they would get smoked. While we're busy beating USC's A**, Boise is playing cupcake San Jose St. on their ridiculous blue turf...OOOOO...big time...that's HUGE...WAY TO GO. GL against the powerhouse La. Tech next week...that should be a real barn burner....I'm sure it will be on national TV. Nice conference by the way. You guys will lose to Nevada anyway, so thanks for coming
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Posted by _Da_Kid
5 years ago

Alpen, they don't just consider non-conference, they factor in the WHOLE schedule. It's great that the teams from the non-big six are beating up on the JV, but when you have to put on the big boy pants every week it's a different story. Florida has played the 7th toughest schedule in the country. Texas has been much softer, but still tougher than Bama, Ga. Tech, LSU, and Penn St., not to mention the usual suspects of Cincy, TCU and Boise - and that's just of the top 11 ranked teams. So step off, hater.... And Stargaze & Payne, you can bump your gums til the cows come home. The game is played on the field, not on paper. Boise 19, Oregon 8. Stick that in your pipe & smoke it...
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Posted by Bruce_Willis
5 years ago

steve young is a mormon?!
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Posted by AlpenGlow62
5 years ago

It just cracks me up that people think if you come from a conference that is not the SEC, Big 12 or Big 10 you can't be garbage! Does anyone remember Steve Young and BYU winning the National Championship? In today's setup, it could not happen. If you win all of your games and you are in a Division 1 conference, you deserve the chance to play for the National Championship PERIOD! The whole strength of schedule argument is stupid, who did Texas and Florida play in their non-conference shedule!
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Posted by buckey roger
5 years ago

anyone that thinks TCU is a joke hasnt watch em play
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Posted by BBallday10
5 years ago

Who cares? Boise beat them fair and square.. Oregon can't and won't jump over Boise until the Broncos lose..
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Posted by payne034
5 years ago

If Boise played Oregon now Oregon would destroy this team..... Oregon offense was non existent and Boise defense was stellar not take a look at both of that.
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Posted by STARGAZE1
5 years ago

Boise beat Oregon but they are a joke. Why do they even play the games. Let them play and then after Boise beats oregon,we will say that doesn't matter Oregon is better on paper.
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Posted by cajun_one
5 years ago

Boise, cinci, tcu, all jokes.
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Posted by AlpenGlow62
5 years ago

On a neutral field, I would play TCU against anyone in the country! This team is good, well coached, good special teams, excellent defense, productive offense, like I said anyone in the country! I would love to see a TCU / Texas matchup!
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Top Response

Posted by AlpenGlow62
5 years ago

"On a neutral field, I would play TCU against anyone in the country! This team is good, well coached, good special teams, excellent defense, productive offense, like I said anyone in the country! I would love to see a TCU / Texas matchup!"