Friday, July 2, 2010

What tho' the odds

We're heading into the long July 4th holiday weekend, and I can just detect the distinct whiff of college football in the air. Basketball season is finally over, with the Lakers bringing home yet another championship (yawn!). Hockey is finally over with the ... heck I don't even know who won the freakin' Stanley Cup. Shouldn't basketball and hockey be done well before June? The baseball All-Star break is almost upon us, after which it will be all systems "Go!" for NCAA football mania, and probably even a little college football betting.

So now is a very good time to take just a little peek at what might be in store for the Fighting Irish in 2010 under new head coach Brian Kelly. Heaven knows that when the time comes I'll pick the Irish to win 'em all. But what do the experts think? To get an idea I checked out the current college football odds, in this case the odds to win this year's BCS championship. A couple of interesting tidbits there. First of all, the USC Trojans are nowhere to be found on the list. (Insert creepy evil-scientist laugh laughter here). This makes perfect sense, of course, given that USC is not eligible to play in the BCS Championship (or any other bowl game) this season.

The other notable tidbit, from a Notre Dame fan's perspective, is how the Irish fit into the mix. Listed at 40/1 to win the championship, Notre Dame is tied with Wisconsin as being ranked #17 on a list of teams most likely to win the BCS title. Here's that list, with the odds:

1. 'Bama (9/2)
2. Ohio State (6/1)
3. Oklahoma (13/2)
4. Florida (8/1)
5. Boise State (10/1)
6. Nebraska (14/1)
7. Texas (15/1)
8. Virginia Tech (16/1)
9. TCU (18/1)
10. (Tie) Iowa & Miami (20/1)
12. (Tie) Oregon, Penn State & LSU (30/1)
15. (Tie) Georgia & Arkansas (35/1)
17. (Tie) Notre Dame & Wisconsin (40/1)
19. Auburn (45/1)
20. (Tie) Oregon State, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Florida State & Washington (50/1)

Certainly this list is different than a typical poll or power ranking, as the odds of winning the title will depend a lot on how tough one's schedule is and how likely one is to get through conference play unscathed. Boise State may not be the 5th best team, but they have a pretty good chance of getting through the regular season undefeated and thus of staking a claim to a spot in the Championship game. Likewise, Ohio State has the benefit of a Big-10 (11? 12?) conference that shouldn't pose much of a problem for them.

The differences in the lists being duly noted, I do find it interesting to compare Notre Dame's standing with the odds makers with the respect they are getting (or not) in the various pre-season rankings. A really good resource for those rankings are found at Wikipedia, and here is how the Irish are perceived:
With one notable exception, and with many more pre-season predictions yet to be published, the Fighting Irish aren't getting a lot of love. Interesting how closely Phil Steele's predictions line up against the bookmakers. Die-hard college football fans know that Phil Steele's pre-season ranking are the most accurate in the industry, historically.

Maybe I'll put $10 on the Irish to win it all. Certainly it would make the games even more compelling. Not that I need any more excitement. But the real value in this exercise is to help me try to get a handle on my expectations for the Fighting Irish in 2010. Because when I look at the schedule, I look at each game and say to myself, as I always do, "We should win that one."

[Note: Welcome ND Nation readers! I hope you'll add OC Domer to your bookmarks and check back often throughout the 2010 football season.]


Anonymous said...

If there is no improvement in our team or schedule, that means that the odds are we win a championship every 40 years. I'd like to see shorter odds at this time next year!

Anonymous said...

Yes the schedule is easy, but ND will be lucky to finish .500

theodorekazmar said...

As long as ND uses officials from the conference of the team they are playing they will never win enough regular seaons games to make it to the championship.

Anonymous said...

Remember, bookmakers are not in the business of predicting outcomes. They are in the business of predicting where the money will be bet and splitting that money 50/50 if they can. That the Irish are so high in the bookies rankings shows that Irish fans are likely to place a bunch of NC longshot bets in Vegas before the season, moreso than teams ranked ahead of them in the polls.

Anonymous said...

I agree with poster about the refs.
Kelly has always been in a conference
so he was treated fairly.

Wait until he gets a load of Big 10 & Pac Ten refs.

If ND makes it to NC game, they will play some conference team and all conferences have a bias against ND.

Espn hates ND--so do other coaches and most sportswriters. Holtz found this out when they gave NC to Fla. State.

Anonymous said...

Irish win them all? Someone is drinking the kool ade. At best I see a 8-4 with a 7-5 prediction. ND will lose to MSU, Pitt, Utah, Stanford and USC.

Anonymous said...

The Blackhawks...the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. 90 miles from South Bend. All I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

lucky to go .500?
7-5 prediction?
You should consider Prozac, no need to be so pessimistic

Anonymous said...

Were we to go undefeated , I am not so sure we would be still NC caliber.

USC for the last time, and some oddball team say MSU or Utah/Pitt.

!0-2 my prediction.

Anonymous said...

The son of former Notre Dame standout Joe Montana was among 11 Fighting Irish athletes arrested on misdemeanor charges of underage drinking at a party Friday night

Maybe you should blame this one on the officals too!!!!