Over at Football Study Hall, kleph gathered up a bunch of magazines (Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Sports, The Sporting News and Phil Steele, to be exact), looked at their top 25 lists and their All-American teams and then crunched them all together to get a general picture of where they have things in the preseason.
Georgia finished seventh, behind three other SEC teams, including South Carolina in the East. Alabama was the #1 pick; every magazine has the Tide listed at the top.
Meanwhile, Chase Stuart took the point spreads the Golden Nugget published last week and ran them through his SRS ratings to get a top 25 based on those.
We don’t have a full slate of games, but we do have at least 1 game for 83 different teams. Theoretically, this is different than using actual game results: one game can be enough to come up with Vegas’ implied rating for the team. That’s because once we’re confident in Oklahoma’s rating, Tulsa being 18-point underdogs in Norman gives us a good estimate for how Vegas views Tulsa. I assigned 3 points to the road team in each game in coming up with the implied SRS ratings. For example, Arizona is an 11-point favorite on the road against California. So for that game, we assume Vegas believes the Wildcats are 14 points better than the Golden Bears; if we do this for each of the other 247 games, and then iterate the results hundreds of times, we can come up with a set of power ratings.
My impression when I saw the spreads was that Vegas likes the Dawgs (if you remember, Georgia is currently favored in every regular season game). Stuart’s math backs that up, as Georgia is ranked fifth in the implied SRS ratings. (Bama and Texas A&M are the SEC teams ranked higher.) He’s got this to say about it:
Another team Vegas is pretty high on is Georgia. The Bulldogs return Aaron Murray, the quarterback who finished atop my 2012 passer rankings. Last December, I argued against Georgia on the basis of a (for the SEC) creampuff schedule; this year, it makes sense to assign Georgia a high rating but a low ranking. In addition to division games against Florida and South Carolina, the Bulldogs get LSU from the West and face Clemson out of conference. And then in Atlanta, they’d still need to beat the West champion (presumably Alabama, A&M, or LSU). Georgia may be good, but they have a tough road to get to the BCS title game.
Sounds about right.