Who better to rank college football teams than the Las Vegas boys?


gallowayFact: TCU, one of the Little Sisters of the Poor, will play Wisconsin of the God-gifted Big Ten in the most prestigious bowl game of all, the Rose.

Opinion: What happens in Vegas, should never stay in Vegas, particularly where college football is concerned.

Reaction: “I don’t think,” said ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, the King of College Football, “the NCAA would exactly agree with you.”

Bingo: Herbie, that’s exactly my point, or point spread.

The NCAA, and its evil twin, the BCS, represent the worst in under-the-table corruption.

Vegas, however, is an honest gambling house when it comes to sports. Vegas doesn’t have to be crooked. In gaming, the money flow always will eventually favor the house.

Actually, as the NCAA honchos will admit privately, the biggest deterrent to gambling scandals in college sports involving fixing or point-spread manipulation, is, yes, Vegas, which immediately tips off the NCAA when it detects strange wagering trends.

Cheaters are about as welcome in Vegas as TCU will be in the Rose Bowl.

Except, heh, heh, the Frogs are the betting favorite in the Rose Bowl. Vegas says so.

The oddsmakers in Nevada opened the Rose Bowl line at TCU favored by 11/2 points, and then the sharpies immediately “bet up” TCU to a 3-point favorite, before the line settled at 21/2. (An explanation on this later.)

But how could this be? Wisconsin is a member of the almighty Big Ten.

Now along comes Vegas to tell us The Little Frogs of the Poor are favored over Wisconsin.

“I’m shocked by that, and I’m talking to college football people all over the country who are shocked by that,” said Herbstreit.

For those locally who follow the college football coverage on ESPN (the best in the country, by far) then you already knew the Mouse-Ear lads had soured on TCU.

But when Vegas speaks, ESPN and everyone else listens, whether they admit it or not.

Good golly, the Badgers even beat Ohio State this season, and now the Badgers are dogs to TCU?

Yes, it was E. Gordon Gee, the president of Ohio State, who went on record a couple of weeks ago, saying teams like the Little Frogs of the Poor didn’t deserve to be playing any big-time bowl football or sharing any financial profits with the likes of the mighty Big Ten.

(Gee later apologized like crazy after taking a national media beating for being flat stupid.)

But this week, Jim Delany, the commissioner of the Big Ten, fired up this quote in praising his beloved BCS system, “Now some of the people who have received the most have put in the least.”

That’s a direct shot at TCU, where they have been playing football for over a hundred years, and where Sammy Baugh, Bob Lilly, Davey O’Brien, etc. can match up, famous-name wise, with anything Ohio State has ever had to offer.

Delany is a known fool. Over the decades, TCU has put plenty into college football.

But maybe Delany became all hissed off when he saw the Vegas line on the Rose Bowl.

We all know a 16-team playoff should decide a true national champion in college football, and we all know the BCS way of human polls and computers are a flawed and even a corrupt system to decide No. 1. Yes, that means this season, too, with Auburn and Oregon.

But even with a true playoff system, what would be the best way to seed a 16-team field? Or if the BCS stranglehold continues, what’s the best way to decide the top bowl matchups for financial riches?

Easy answer, and it’s not human polls and computers.

Las Vegas is the answer.

Put that city’s three top college football handicappers in a room, and they can rank ’em in about a half hour. That’s what these people do for a living, and they do it every week with billions of dollars at stake.

In Vegas, there is no football emotion involved, no prejudice, no rah-rah B.S.

It’s simply a cold-hearted process to decide which team is better than another team for the purpose of handicapping a game.

As someone who keeps up with Vegas “opinions” on a daily basis (not for betting, but for good information), I’m like Herbstreit, meaning surprised at TCU being favored over Wisconsin. I had figured the Badgers would open as about a 5-point favorite.

As a side note, in the only other bowls matching non-automatic league qualifiers against the BCS “big boys,” Air Force is a 21/2-point favorite over Georgia Tech and Nevada is a 91/2-point favorite over Boston College. Vegas also likes the “Little Sisters” in those games.

The point spread is a system that evaluates the talent of each team while also attempting to predict how the bettor’s money will flow.

In the case of TCU, it was complimented in two ways. Vegas put the line up in its favor, and then the early money (mostly professional gamblers) backed the Frogs heavily by driving up the spread to three points.

Don’t you just know Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, who likes to run it up on the scoreboard anyway, is already using this as locker-room motivation.

Something called a Horned Frogs is favored over us. How could that be? This is an insult. On Wisconsin.

Because, Bret, Vegas said so.

That doesn’t mean TCU will win the Rose Bowl, but nobody knows how to rank college teams better than the Vegas boys.

Randy Galloway can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on Galloway & Co. on ESPN/103.3 FM.

Randy Galloway, 817-390-7697


Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/12/09/2693884/who-better-to-rank-college-football.html#ixzz17sOSEnKt


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