Parity and the AP preseason poll

Bill Connelly ($$):

… Winston became the second straight redshirt freshman to win the Heisman and gave the Noles a dynamite offense to pair with its elite defense. FSU charged to 14-0, with no opponent able to stay within 14 points until Auburn in the BCS championship game.

That was the last time a team began the season lower than sixth and won it all. It’s happened only three times in the last 18 seasons, and in one of those three (Florida in 2006), the champ started out seventh.

… But since Saban arrived at Alabama in 2007 and redefined what being a title team requires, the sport has become a bit more predictable. And we can say with confidence that one of this year’s top six teams — No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Clemson, No. 5 Notre Dame or No. 6 Texas A&M — will take the crown.

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention this offseason, you already knew this. The sports books don’t think you even need six guesses to find the champion — three will do. Caesars Sportsbook has been listing an “Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State versus the field” prop bet, and the odds for that trio of teams is down to -380, equivalent to a 79% chance. (A Bama-and-Georgia-only prop is now at -115, equivalent to 53%.)

Expanding from the BCS to the CFP hasn’t affected this, but a sixteen-team playoff field will for sure change all that, amirite?

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49 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

49 responses to “Parity and the AP preseason poll

  1. jcdawg83

    Expanding the playoff field will result in increase account balances for 12 teams and ESPN, nothing more.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Notre Dame. Always. Over. Rated.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Anon

    Expanding will allow more wagering opportunities? At least more dollars per game wagered?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Russ

    If A$M wins more than 9 regular season games, I’ll be amazed.

    Liked by 4 people

    • jcdawg83

      If that is the case I wonder if the big money donors will pull the plug on Jimbo? This will be year 5 for Jimbo at aTm. I have to believe the Aggie faithful are already having buyers remorse over hiring him.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Biggen

        If Jimbo can’t get more than 9 wins this season I think the seat will begin to warm rapidly. Even with his recruiting success he better at least make a run for the SEC West. I think if he finds himself out of the race early the natives will become restless.

        Liked by 1 person

        • MGW

          They beat Bama and signed an amazing recruiting class, so something’s working. But you’re also correct. Which is why they’re completely screwed if they do start talking hot seat after this year. If they fire Jimbo they’ll officially be in the same boat with Tennessee and Auburn; no self respecting coach will want that job. Hell, even Texas had to hire a retread and they’ve got more money than God. Delusional expectations and meddling boosters have consequences.

          Liked by 3 people

          • jcdawg83

            Their boosters BOUGHT an incredible recruiting class. Jimbo looks to be a Dopey Dope who can’t succeed even when given the best of everything. If they don’t win the West this year those same boosters may decide they are tired of throwing money at Jimbo and being rewarded with disappointing seasons. Realistically, if Jimbo can’t win the West in 5 years with the money that has been thrown at him, the boosters would be very justified in running him out of town.

            Beating Alabama was a short term feel good thing on the way to another 8-4 season.

            Like

        • Down Island Way

          Should the friday night bonfire come back to the a&m campus, you can stick a fork in him…

          Like

      • originaluglydawg

        Maybe we can bait them into firing him like we baited Auburn into firing Gus.
        Come to think of it, Gus would probably be a great hire for TAM..(not kidding).

        Liked by 1 person

      • rugbydawg79

        Just something creepy about him. It will blow up in his face this year.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

      They’re not called Texas 8&4 for nothing!

      Liked by 7 people

  5. argondawg

    I am just drinking in coffee and thinking how nice it is to be elite!.Dont care about expansion etc. I am just soaking up being one of the three that are standing at the top of the hill for awhile. the view is wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

    • MGW

      The sport would be a hell of a lot more fun to watch if it weren’t just the handful of teams at the top but it’s nice to be one of them.

      Like

      • Tony BarnFart

        I’ll let Bama fans and their 14 years of dominance make that concession. We just quenched a 40 year drought, so I’m not about to make apologies.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Russ

        Nah, that doesn’t bother me in the least, even when we weren’t at the top. The sport has always had a few behemoths and then the rest. I’ve never been a “championship or bust” kind of fan, though that’s what ESPN has been pimping for the last decade or more.

        I enjoy the games themselves. I like Tuesday night MACtion. I’ll watch PAC12 After Dark. Just line up and play.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

    The expand the Playoff people are idiots, unless they admit what it’s about (the money) and what it’s not about (quality games, of which there will be none added).

    Andy Staples is my favorite national CFB writer, but he is annoyingly on the expansion train. Pobody’s nerfect.

    Liked by 4 people

    • miltondawg

      Of course the playoff expansion is about money. And in more ways than one (the playoff itself and the added eyeballs and interest in later regular season games and conference championship games). Expansion to a four team playoff was ostensibly to allow additional access and get a “truer” national champion. In reality it was a reaction to the SEC getting two teams in the BCS Championship Game and conferences demanding more of a share of the money associated with something bigger than a traditional bowl game (regardless of whether or not they were in fact the two best teams). Expansion to a larger playoff than four will be the same. Additional access with lip service to getting a “truer” national champion. And I think everyone here can see that yet again the SEC getting two of the four teams in two of the last five playoffs was a catalyst in that happening.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A clear advantage to expanded playoffs is Notre Dame loses earlier.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Texas Dawg

    Sooner or later, they will expand the playoffs. At some point a lower ranked team will win it all (not a bottom feeder but #5 or #6) due to injuries, lightning in a bottle, etc and all the pundits will say see I told you so. It will then happen again in another 50 years. The chance of one of the last 5 or 6 of seeds in a 12 or 16 team playoff winning it is just about the same was me winning the Powerball multiple times (or even once) in my life. All the while, Mickey will be backing up the money truck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RangerRuss

      The tragedy will be when the injury occurs during the useless opening round of the playoffs as one team is beating the shit out of an undeserving team. It will happen.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. godawgs1701

    This used to be the time of year when I would rail about how stupid the preseason polls are given how much impact they had on the final outcome. Now, though, given that four teams get the title shot and that there are only a small handful of teams that can legitimately claim to be title-worthy, it’s fine. Whatever.

    Like

    • MGW

      It really doesn’t matter at all anymore. Either you’re in the playoffs or your best players sit out the bowl while the rest of the team starts preparations for next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Notre Dame following a coaching change and being perpetually held out of the CFP due to weak records….

    Sure, why not list em Top 5?

    In a “what have you done for me lately” league, these guys sure get a lot of mileage out of “legacy”

    Liked by 4 people

  11. uga97

    How many Heisman QBs returned & won a title the following year? None? Go ahead & scratch Bama.

    How many 1st year HCs won a title? None? Go ahead and scratch Notre Dame out.

    How many teams lost both OC & DC and replaced with 2 new ones & won the Natty the next year? Clemson lost both, they are overated anyway since their QB stinks….bye bye.

    Texas A&M is also overrated & still needs another a year or 2 to develop their talent plus Jimbo lost his DC & just shook up all the position coaches midway thru camp. QB ain’t ready. Saban has their game circled at home. Scratch A&M.

    Its us & Ohio State

    Liked by 4 people

  12. PTC DAWG

    Fun fact..UF and FSU, both Unranked in AP preseason poll for first time since 1974.

    Liked by 9 people

  13. Briggy1981

    If not for the move from the BCS to the Playoffs, which many disagreed with, the Dawgs wouldn’t have won the Natty last year or even had a shot. I think any team in the top 10 deserves a chance to prove they are worthy. I also think that 16 teams is a bit ridiculous.

    Like

    • Other than 2007, there really hasn’t been a year where you get below #4 and think that the teams from #5 and below really deserved a shot in the BCS/CFP era. They all demonstrated a fatal flaw during the regular season. My problem with today’s selection method is that I detest the committee.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. ASEF

    16 would mean 4 playoff games for a title champion: round of 16, round of 8, round of 4, title game.

    And those 2 extra games increase the likelihood of key injuries.

    But that’s just shuffling the odds between the Top 3, not really changing the odds of the Top 3 relative to the field.

    So, no. Wouldn’t change a thing other than ruining the sport and making it just yet another sport biding time until its Tournament Spectacle.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Just for the record, fsu SUCKS.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. jcdawg83

    Go to 8 conferences of 12 teams each that make up the D1+ division of college football. The other 34 or so teams would need to drop down to FCS and Notre Dame would have to either get over itself and join a conference or drop down to FCS. Let’s face it, Georgia Southern, Vanderbilt and New Mexico State type programs will never be the best team in college football. Go back to an 11 game regular season schedule and do not allow the D1+ teams to play any teams from any lower division. Let each of the 8 conferences decide how it wants to crown its champion, regular season record, national ranking, championship game, however they want to do it. Each conference sends its champion to a three round playoff to determine the national champion. Even with a conference championship game, no team would ever play more than 15 games in a season.

    No committee, no computers, no polls, everything decided on the field. It is really the only way to have a legitimate champion.

    Like

    • JC, a variation of your proposal is what I’ve always believed to be best. The only problem is the degree of conference realignment necessary to make this possible for competitive balance would render the sport unrecognizable. Of course, the powers that be are doing a pretty good of that right now anyway.

      Like

  17. Faltering Memory

    If Jimbo goes 8&4 this season, the Texas rattlesnake roundup will be held at his ranch and the field will be salted with some real snakes.

    Like