Preseason Rankings, Playoff Logic And Gambling -- Oh My!By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
Now that Boise State and TCU are enjoying their best preseason rankings ever, everyone loves talking about how important the August rankings are.
Oh, really? Perhaps you heard about Cincinnati, which was one slow Dallas second away from playing for a national championship last year. The Bearcats began the 2009 season unranked in both polls.
EXTRA: 2010 OGS Preseason Top 25 Countdown
+ I love it when people think that just because something is true it must be for the best. Supporters of the current method of determining a national champion like to tell playoff proponents: "The regular season is their playoff." All that proves is that you know how to parrot the Kirk Herbstreits of the world, and as true as the point may be, does that make it right? In what other sport does the regular season serve as a playoff, and in what other sport is there frequent debate over who should play for its championship?
+ For my older readers, remember when folks said Tom Osborne was a choker and couldn't win the big one? Then he closed out his great career with three national championships in his final four years at Nebraska. Right before he and his Huskers went on that tear from 1994-97, Bobby Bowden had similar critics before his Florida State squad won the 1993 championship. Do you see anyone reversing any reputations in the near future in college football?
+ And finally, here's an interesting note for those of you thinking about getting into gambling this season: The Iowa Hawkeyes have an incredible 72-47-2 record against the spread in the last 10 years. I'm not a bettor, but I imagine there's some value in a program's stability. And it just so happens that Kirk Ferentz, beginning his 12th year at Iowa, is the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten other than that fella with the glasses in Happy Valley.