Vegas v. BCS computers: The Florida State debate

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Florida State fans are up in arms over the team's No. 9 BCS ranking, behind two-loss South Carolina. What does Vegas think of the Seminoles?

The Seminoles are outside the top 10 in all of the BCS computers and outside of the top 20 three. We've previous discussed how the ill-advised 2004 changes to the BCS formula damaged the system and set up some seriously wonky results.

In particular, removing the MOV component creates a situation in which Florida State would be rewarded for a 1-point win over Duke just as much as it would a 41-point win (which actually happened).

Jeff Sagarin, creator of one of the major rankings, has complained repeatedly that the BCS removing this component makes his model much less effective. For instance, his actual ranking (which includes MOV) has Alabama at No. 1 and Florida State at No. 8. The castrated ranking that follows the BCS' requirements, however, has Alabama at No. 7, Oregon at No. 8 and Florida State at No. 33.

The BCS! In which we have creators of ratings components openly stating that the system refuses to use the most accurate set of ratings.

And of course, this happens to be the year that ACC teams like Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech all combine to have some their worst seasons in recent memory. The ACC has never been a great conference, but it's also never had many of its consistently better teams all collapse at once.

If the BCS is wrong, it doesn't really lose any money. If Vegas is wrong, however, it can stand to lose a good amount of cash.

And what does Vegas say about Florida State as compared to these other teams? Let's ask Todd Fuhrman, former head of Caesar's Palace:

v. Alabama Oregon Kansas St Notre Dame LSU Tigers Georgia Bulldogs Florida Gators
Oregon Bama -5
KSU Bama -10.5 UO -5
ND Bama -13 UO -9 KSU -2.5
LSU UO -5 LSU -1 LSU -3.5
Georgia Bama -14 UO -8.5 KSU -3 UGA -1 LSU -3
Florida Bama -10.5 UO -4.5 UF -1 UF -4 UF -1 UF -3
Florida St Bama -9 UO -3 FSU -2.5 FSU -4.5 FSU -2 FSU -4 FSU -2.5
Knowing everything is fluid, here are the projected point spreads for all 8 teams if they matched up with one another on a neutral field this weekend.


As you can see from the power numbers, Oregon is clearly the 2nd best team in the eyes of the experts. The team that poses the stiffest on field test for Bama and Oregon is actually Florida State ...

Yep, Vegas has Florida State favored over all but two teams in the country on a neutral field. And essentially, all of the teams in the chart except Alabama are somewhat close in the eyes of Vegas and the most accurate computer ratings (aka the ones NOT used by the BCS).

How many months until the playoff system arrives?

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