The Wiz Of Odds: It's all over but the crying

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

The college football season is effectively over. The Florida Gators are going to defend their Bowl Championship Series title and stamp themselves as not only the team of the decade, but one of the greatest in the history of the game.

Forget the hype surrounding Saturday's Southeastern Conference title game. Alabama isn't in Florida's class, and Texas will be an even bigger pushover for the Gators in the BCS title game.

I'm here to tell you to bet Florida and give the points the rest of the way. You'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Remember me when you're filling out that deposit slip.

It’s not that the Gators have upped their level of play this season. Simply, the rest of the college football world has regressed.

One by one, big-name contenders have been reduced to pretenders. Oklahoma, which lost last year's BCS title game to Florida, was No. 3 in the Associated Press preseason poll. But the Sooners had only 29 combined starts returning in the offensive line and it took less than a half for Sam Bradford to get hurt. A few weeks later, Bradford was done for the season and so were the Sooners, who at 7-5 have their worst team in a decade.

USC was No. 4 in the AP poll, simply because everybody thought the Trojans would be the Trojans. Forget about a defense that had to be rebuilt, this was a program that only had to reload.

In the middle of fall camp came the curious decision by Pete Carroll to start Matt Barkley, a freshman, at quarterback.

By midseason, the cracks were showing. Oregon took advantage by scoring 47 on USC and two weeks later Stanford put up a jaw-dropping 55, with Barkley throwing gasoline on the fire with four turnovers.

Ohio State was No. 6, but the athletic Terrelle Pryor was out of position as a starting quarterback. His inability to be a consistent threat as a passer doomed the Buckeyes in losses to USC and Purdue.

Virginia Tech, at No. 7, was thought to be the class of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hokies, knocked woozy in Week 1 by Alabama, failed to advance to ACC title game. The teams that did— Clemson and Georgia Tech — were slapped around last week by mediocre SEC teams. That tells you something about the quality of the ACC.

Mississippi? The Rebels were No. 8 before being exposed as a fraud by South Carolina in Week 3. They stand 8-4 after last Saturday’s embarrassing loss to Mississippi State. Two of the victories have come against Division I-AA teams.

We were told that Oklahoma State, at No. 9, was going to make the Big 12 South a three-team race. Then Houston visited Stillwater in Week 2 and stunned the Cowboys. As for the three-team race stuff, Oklahoma State lost by a combined 54 points to Texas and Oklahoma.

It could be argued that Penn State's most notable victory came in Week 2 against Temple. It failed to defeat a team of merit in the awful Big Ten and has been left begging for BCS crumbs.

Texas Christian and Boise State don't figure in this discussion because each plays in a non-BCS conference. Sorry, but those are the corrupt rules of the BCS.

Florida, meanwhile, kept plugging along, needing only a little help from SEC referees to get past stubborn Arkansas.

The Gators are slightly better on defense, not as good on offense and about the same on special teams when compared to the 2008 squad. Add Tim Tebow, the greatest player in the history of the SEC, and this team is simply unbeatable.

Two challenges remain in Alabama a

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Posted by eliminat0r85
4 years ago

What are you talking about? Florida is not already the winner. They are not better defensively then they were in 2008 if everyone has regressed but Florida, how would you conclude that the defense is better. Must be nice to contradict yourself in your own column. Florida is gonna stamp their mark in history, and be the team of the decade. Well yea but since the rest of the college world regressed I don't think history is gonna care. Oh look florida whooped all the easy teams they played in 2009, they barely beat some not so good teams as well. Good luck with that campaign. The team of the decade was the Trojans. If tebow was around at the start of 2010 i might give you that decade. But the 2000's are clearly trojan years. Might wanna go back in your history book again their Wiz. There's nothing to suggest that Bama is better equipped defensively to handle Tebow and Co. this year, then last year. Well considering Bama has been winning games defensively all year I'm gonna have to disagree. Jerrod Johnson and the Aggies lighting up the Texans, if Johnson can do it, Tebow can. Might wanna recheck Jerrod Johnson's QB ability. Cornhuskers defense is what Texas should be worried about, look what they did to Oklahoma, look what, Oklahoma did to texas. Not to mention look what Nebraska has been doing all year on defense. Its gonna be a tough game for Colt and company, thats for sure. Also the line is tumbling because of Zac Lee.
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Posted by madulamaximus
4 years ago

Hey, I just like quality dogs in big games. Even more so when its a dog that has been previously defeated by the same team. The books had Bama at+ 9 to +10 last year . This year they got the spread Bama at +5 to +6. So even the books see it as being a closer call. PLEASE LOAD IT UP ON GATORS so that it justifies my BAMA MONEYLINE INVESTMENT. overs and unders are really really tough on this call. 24-17 BAMA!
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Posted by Droxside
4 years ago

TCU is the best "team" in the country much as Utah was last year. Unfortunately the current system is about Money, popularity and politics and could not care less about who actually deserves what...
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Posted by showtime9
4 years ago

TOO MANY PEOPLE SMOKING CRACK IN HERE FLORIDA WINS BY 10 AND TEXAS WINS BY 28 ..THEY PLAY FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ...THAT EASY ...FLORIDA FAVORED BY 7.....TEXAS WINS OUTRIGHT THIS YEAR....BET IT CASH IT BANK IT FELLAS....SHOWTIME9...
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Posted by joseq1800
4 years ago

The Florida Gators are going to stamp themselves as not only the team of the decade, but one of the greatest in the history of the game. How can you be one of the greatest in history during a time when the rest of football has regressed? It’s not that the Gators have upped their level of play this season. Simply, the rest of the college football world has regressed.
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Posted by Beechernic
4 years ago

You shouldnt consider giving up big points to A&M a big deal. J.Johnson is a stud. 3,217 yds 28tds aerial, 34tds total. This game rivaled the 4th of July with the air time bombs. TX D is ranks in the bottom 30 for aerial attack and 1 in rushing. What are the strenghts of FL offense. Sure as garbage isnt in the air (63). Tebow had a much better Soph & Jun year. This alone is a result of an athletically worse team, but they still find a way to win. This showed with thier in conference ATS 3-5. The 3-1 ATS out of conference was against FLINT, TROY, and a (thank you Maximus) wounded & captainless FSU. Seems like you're also putting a lot of stock in the Defense. Offensively the SEC is down this year. Down big time for the bar they have set for themselves. Offensive numers are bad, total yards alone: FL(12th in the country) AL(40) LSU(108) Miss (42) GA(72). The only point im making here is the Gators D is better for a reason (Jay - maybe thats the point your making too). Its really hard going against Tebow....but then again, if you're smart and paid attention, you made a lot of money doing it this year.
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Posted by keithinala
4 years ago

cte: don't be foolish. Bama is better in several areas than last year. Last year they were surprised to be there, this year they expected to. McElroy is better than Wilson was, Ingram is ok, plus his backup is better than anyone Florida has at RB. I'll love see you talk after Saturday.
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Posted by IHS
4 years ago

ARE YOU KIDDING? WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? TCU WOULD SLAUGHETER FLORIDA in a title game, not to mention what TEXAS will do to them if, IN FACT, they even get passed THE TIDE...
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Posted by cteclawwin
4 years ago

Love to see everybody ridin the Bama Underdog wave just like they did last year. Won big last year thanks to you fools pulling the line down and will win even bigger this year. Bama has gotten worse and worse throughout the season. Can't believe anybody would say they're better this year than last! McElroy is a joke, which effectively eliminates the threat of Julio Jones, Ingram is banged up and overrated, and the D is strong, but not as good as last year. Florida hasn't gotten any better this year, but Tebow wins pure and simple. Florida wins this by at least 2 TDs.
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Posted by oaktownpics
4 years ago

i think about that florida gators game vs alabama crimson tide and i got florida gators giving up 5 in a half because alabama crimson tide only got mark ingram and florida got tim tebow the quorter back of the florida gators he likes to run the ball a lot and i think he is going to crack a big touch down run and that is going to be a interesting game to watch.and the other big game to watch is the cincy bearcats playing pittsburgh in pittsburgh house.and i think the cincy bearcats quorter back tony pike go be having is a game because pittsburgh is a good team and pittsburgh just might beat them.because they got a good running back and i do not know his name and he is strong.but i have to take cincy bearcats because i just think they have to much and i think tony pike go be throwing deep passes and i thing he is going to have them right on line and his wide recievers are going to be catching them footballs that he is thrownig.and plus if tim tebow and the florida gators beat alabama crimson tide they is going to be playing colt mccoy and the texas long horns and i think tim tebow and the florida gators is going to beat both alabama crimson tide and the texas longhorns.and the florida gators are going to be unbeatible.and they might finish the season undefeated if they beat both alabama crimson tide and texas long horns but i said maybe.because alabama might beat tim tebow and the florida gators and the fans is going to be heartbroken.
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Posted by DtotheP
4 years ago

Favorites are prone for a letdown. I wouldn't be surprised to see Bama knock off Florida and Texas win in the National Championship. No matter what from here on out, take the points! All 3 matchups should be close games.
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Posted by keithinala
4 years ago

The SEC champion will win the NC again.
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Posted by BigErn
4 years ago

I like most of this story but first of all Florida doesnt play anyone worth talking about besides alabama. If tebow gets past Alabama this week Texas and colt the cannon mccoy will roll right past them for a national championship. And come on, best team ever, i dont think thats even close, 95 Huskers are without a doubt the best team to ever play. If tebow played them, he would be crying after the first series.
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Posted by keithinala
4 years ago

For the Wiz to say there is no reason to think Bama can do better than last year, this proves he is clueless and hasn't been following these teams. Florida is not as good as last year, and Bama is better. Ingram is fine, and Richardson is even more talented than him. Get set for a big loss and humbling exerience Saturday Wiz.
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Posted by cmobama
4 years ago

Ok, so you got it all figured out don't you? I just think you are selling my Tide just a little bit short. I am not going to "talk any garbage" but we'll see what happens here in just about three more days huh? Roll friggin Tide!!! cmobama1@charter.net
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Posted by heinmanIam
4 years ago

Tebow gets knocked out vs Alabama and TX will leapfrog to #1. Dont count Crimson Tide out of the game...........It will be much closer than most would think. BOLA
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Posted by SpadezSRH
4 years ago

PLEASE let the Florida Gators win BIG! So the Florida vs Texas spread will be Florida favored BIG. Texas can hang with Florida easy. They both have a one man offense with TEBO and MCOY. The Gator defense gave up big yards against Arkansas. Longhorns gave up big yards against the A&M. So each defense can be beat. Its comes down to which QB can make the most plays. So if covers is right and the Gators will be favored high i can't wait to cash in on that! The question is for this weeks games is can Alabama put up any points with that QB? Can Nebraska put up any points with that offense? I'm going Florida -5 and Texas -14 but only half of what i normally do because of the unknown on the offenses on the other teams?
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Posted by Godfather16
4 years ago

chicano, you need to pull your head out, I said "Texas +15 in the title game?" meaning the nat champ game, the first poster said he would like Florida laying points vs texas, but at a 15 point spread , he would take Texas + 15. OK?
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Posted by bodio
4 years ago

Huh? Madula, you sound high man!
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Posted by madulamaximus
4 years ago

I MIGHT BE MISTAKIN BUT IF ALABAMA WIN, DOES ALABAMA GET TO PLAY FOR THE NATIONAL TITLE? OR IS THIS JUST A BUMP IN THE ROAD GAME FOR FLORIDA BECAUSE FLORIDA IS IN REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME? BECAUSE IF THE WINNER OF THIS GAME PLAYS FOR THE NATIONAL TITLE: HOW COME EVERYBODY HAS ALL READY CROWNED FLORIDA BECAUSE THEY COVERED ON A 24POINT UNDERDOG?
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Posted by madulamaximus
4 years ago

Hey Jay! Thanks for the broad perspective. But what makes money is the correct pick. Having said that,I win all the big games because I block out the hoopla and the history and I look at the game and how players play. ALABAMA-Rested ingram in preperation for this game. And right now McElroy stock has great upside. I played football, I've won as an underdog and i KNOW the ingredients of a good dog investment. When you got a ferocious defense and a dominant running attack( which is the result of " true hog" linemen and a gifted running back with power speed and an all day motor with punishment capabilities) all you need is a game managing QB that takes care of the ball, hit REC @ 5-10 yards like JULIO! he might go all the way. As a result, you get what I call, The Baltimore Ravens Effect. Last years game was much closer than score indicate. It was 20-17 Alabama to begin 4th quarter. FLORIDA-What can anybody say but TEBOW,TEBOW.....TEBOW. Florida better be glad PONDER was out. The recievers were wide open but the QB just didnt make the right reads or throws. Gators did steam roll FSU offensive line. Nevertheless,Tebow willnot be runnin all over Alabama. Everybody jockin tough its cool. I love it, because it makes for a good dog senario. FSU most likely would,ve still lost but Ponder would have put up some points and in college it could have been a moneyline upset. But these bogus calls is like these refs are makin are showin lots of outside influence. BCS system is currupt "BOOKIE SHIZZNIT". There are no geniuses, you gotta know the money scenario. Refs tilt games and I see it in all Alabama AND Florida games. THE TEBOW BUBBLE WILL BURST SATURDAY!!!!!!!!! ALABAMA!!!!!MONEYLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND TO THE LAFAYETTKID!!!!!!WHEN YOU LAY LUMBER ON FLORIDA, ILL ROLL WITH THE BOOKIES AND HOLLAR...............TIIIIIIMMMMMMMBBBBBBBBEEEEEERRR!!!!! WHEN THAT BANKROLL FALL. LOL
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Posted by chicano1
4 years ago

HEY GODFATHER MAYBE YOU NEED SOME NEW READING GLASSES THATS TEXAS A 15 POINT FAVORITE AGAINST NEB......................... AND NO DOUBT THE TEBOW SHOW IS GOING ALL THE WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALREADY GOT MY WAGER IN LONG TIME AGO.................... FLORIDA WINNING THE NATL BCS CHAMP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM NOT EVEN A GATOR FAN, I JUST LOVE TO WIN $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Posted by jordyn31
4 years ago

Does the suspension of Carlos Dunlap the gators great DE mean much to the outcome?
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Posted by Godfather16
4 years ago

Texas + 15 in the title game? Not likely, my friend. If it is, sign me up for Texas , please.
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Posted by koko11
4 years ago

If only betting sports was that easy.
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Top Response

Posted by UL-LAFAYETTEKID
4 years ago

"great post jay ....agree 100 percent, i like the way you showed how all the top clubs stumbled or were esposed as fruads........i will be laying the lumber with the gators unless i can get 15 or more with texas in the title game.......gl to you the r..."