Opening line report and the BCS Blind Resume

Published on: November 27, 2012 | Written by: Todd Fuhrman

Everyone has their own idea of who should be favored when it comes to the BCS title; Irish fans obviously think their school as the only 12-0 team should have that role but the rest of the nation knows better.  We do know one thing for sure and that is Notre Dame has punched a ticket to Miami and awaits the winner of Saturday’s SEC championship. 

The buzz is growing around Georgia as the hot team since they're “finally figuring it out” now that the defense is healthy. There’s no greater indication of the surge in consumer confidence than the early line move taking UGA from +7.5 down to +7 at most major sportsbooks for their tussle with Alabama.  People still realize Mark Richt is the head coach at UGA right?

With Saturday's game in Atlanta serving as a de facto national semifinal, there are currently 5 teams with 1 loss able to make a reasonably strong claim that they deserve equal opportunity to oppose Notre Dame for the title.

Unlike Alabama, Oregon, and Kansas State only the Bulldogs and Gators were able to avoid losses as double digit favorites. However, I still wasn't sure either of those teams deserved the inside track to title town which prompted the blind resume test. Before we get there, we give the OKTC readership what they've been looking for since last weekend: officially posted opening lines for the 2 potential national title matchups.

 

LVH

Alabama (-9.5) vs Notre Dame
Georgia (-3) vs Notre Dame


William Hill US

Alabama (-10) vs Notre Dame
Georgia (-4) vs Notre Dame


Wynn Las Vegas

Alabama (-9) vs Notre Dame
Georgia (-1) vs Notre Dame


Don Best Linemakers Poll

Alabama (-7.5) vs Notre Dame
Georgia (-2) vs Notre Dame

Before any Notre Dame supporters jump in here and claim they're getting no respect, remember making the national title is all that matters since a champion is crowned on the field. Win the game and prove all SEC and Las Vegas detractors wrong after a year of being dubbed the Rodney Dangerfield of college football.  Although with a loss, Notre Dame can validate all the pundits claiming they didn't belong there in the first place.

BLIND RESUME TEST

We do it all the time in college basketball when talking bubble teams and RPI so why the hell shouldn’t we do the exact same thing in college football for the 2nd BCS title berth?  Notre Dame wins their invite for running the table (yes, their schedule includes wins over 2 likely BCS participants) which is more than most of the nation can say.  Rather than turn this into a numerical analysis with a dizzying array of stats, I chose 5 relevant categories I believe accurately determine strength of each team.

The 5 remaining 1 loss teams from BCS conferences that were included: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, and Kansas St.

Each team received a rating of 1-5 based on the following categories with 5 representing the top score. To avoid bias, each team was assigned a letter (A-E) and I'll save y'all the trouble of thinking Alabama is conveniently listed as Team A.

* Strength of Schedule (courtesy of Team Rankings)

* Yardage Differential

* Total Point Differential

* Opponents Win/Loss Record

* Turnover Differential

Strength of Schedule

5) Team D: 37.3
4) Team A: 35.8
3) Team E: 34.9
2) Team B: 33.6
1) Team C: 32.5

Yardage Differential (yards gained - yards allowed = differential)

5) Team E: +2,392
4) Team A: +2,020
3) Team C: +1,510
2) Team D: +665
1) Team B: +482

Total Point Differential (points scored - points allowed = differential)

5) Team E: +357
4) Team A: +346
3) Team C: +244
2) Team B: +217
1) Team D: +166

Opponents Win/Loss Differential (sum of opponents wins - sum of opponents losses)

All teams won at least 3 games against non-AQ's except Team B who won 2

5) Team D: 72-35 (+37)
4) Team A: 62-49 (+13)
3) Team E: 57-52 (+5)
2) Team B: 49-45 (+4)
1) Team C: 51-58 (-7)

Turnover Margin

5) Team B: +20
4) Team A: +19
3) Team D: +17
2) Team E: +14
1) Team C: +9

Blind Resume Total Points System

5th Place) Team C (9 pts)

Georgia:
Much has been made about the Bulldogs recent run of success but where are the quality wins? They upended Florida on a neutral field thanks to 400 Gator turnovers yet aside from that marquee victory,  ended the regular season beating opponents with a combined season mark of 51-58.  Forget triumphs over ranked opponents, Vanderbilt was the only other FBS team on their schedule to end the season above.500. With a schedule gifted to them, UGA should rank much higher in point differential, yardage differential, and turnover margin to be considered elite. However, the fact remains they're 60 strong minutes away from a trip to Miami on January 7

4th Place) Team B (12 pts)

Kansas St:
Coach Snyder's team lives on the mistakes of others. The best thing this team does is protect the football themselves and force opponents into turnovers supported by their +20 turnover margin. Kansas State's lone loss came against Baylor when the Bears didn't give the ball up, exposing the lack of playmakers on the Wildcat defense.  Purple power finished +482 in yardage differential, not exactly national championship caliber meaning a trip to the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon is more than befitting of their fine season rather than a chance to win the title.

3rd Place) Team D (16 pts)

Florida: There's not a team in the country with better wins on their resume than the Gators who won at Texas A&M, vs LSU, vs South Carolina, and @ Florida State. If it wasn't for a turnover plagued Cocktail Party, the Gators would be sitting pretty in control of their own destiny. Given the strong strength of schedule, it's somewhat obvious the other metrics aren't quite up to par with their 1 loss compatriots.  If you told UF fans a BCS bowl awaited come January way back in September, they'd have signed on the dotted line right then and there.

2nd Place) Team E (18 pts)

Alabama Some of the luster wore off the Crimson Tide as the most dominant team in the land when Johnny Manziel shredded them in early November. Roll Tide still remains the most talented team in the land as far as Las Vegas is concerned. Alabama's overall success this year is evident in the yardage differential and point differential they've amassed against their opponents. Come Saturday, they'll have a chance to play themselves into Miami which is all any school can hope for at this point in the year.

1st Place) Team A (20 pts)

Oregon I know what everyone's thinking, "How are they most deserving after losing at home to Stanford as 21 point favorites?!" The advanced metrics say Oregon was among the most complete teams over the course of the regular season regardless of conference affiliation.  Oregon's loss came in OT at home to an underrated Cardinal and was the narrowest margin of defeat for any team on this list. The Ducks remain the lone side in the nation that would open +3 or shorter against Alabama. However, the most talented teams don't always get a shot at the title and Oregon has no one to blame but themselves when they head to the Fiesta for a 2nd tier BCS bowl.