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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 3:00 PM

If you know anything about what it means to play championship caliber college football in the year 2015, then you know that it’s an absolute JOKE that Iowa and Michigan State are playing for a spot in the Final Four. Iowa isn’t even a top 20 team in most Las Vegas Power Ratings that I respect. Michigan State is borderline for top 10…though they’re capable of playing poorly against mediocre opposition at the drop of a hat.

I get that it’s not a great year for college football. If you tried to isolate who was getting screwed by the inclusion of the eventual Big 10 champ in the proceedings…it would be difficult to isolate one team. Everybody has issues. That’s part of why Iowa and MSU have settled near the top. They only have one loss between them. They play in a major conference. The selection committee probably feels its hands are tied.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a system that didn’t tie the hands of the selection committee! Florida State was a joke as a Final Four team last year even though they were undefeated until getting exposed as a pretender by Oregon. If Iowa gets in…they may ultimately be the worst team ever to qualify for as long as this system is in place.

Think of it this way. Take the top 20 teams currently in the committee’s rankings. Imagine they’re playing a full round robin schedule of 19 games. Each team plays everyone else once. Based on:

*Market Power Ratings

*Respected Computer Ratings

*Team Statistics

*Team Statistics against quality opponents

Could you even imagine a universe where IOWA would have one of the four best records? With Alabama and Ole Miss from the SEC, Stanford Oregon, and USC from the Pac 12, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and TCU from the Big 12, throw in Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame. Are you telling me Iowa might go 14-5 straight up and finish around fourth?


Hey…there’s a lot of parity this year…and maybe 14-5 is the best anyone could do. But, no matter how you slice it…there’s no way HEAD-TO-HEAD that this slow-footed mediocrity of a team is going to look great against that tough a schedule. They’re only in the discussion because they played a soft schedule…and then survived close decisions with the likes of Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. They needed a defensive touchdown to beat Nebraska by 8.

The fact that Michigan State is favored by -3.5 tells you right there that Iowa is a pretender. The composite of the smartest influences in sports betting think that Michigan State…who’s borderline as a top ten team anyway…should be laying more than a field goal at a neutral site. What would all of those other teams in the top 20 be laying to Iowa on neutral sites? Versus how many opponents would Iowa be favored? Northwestern certainly…they beat them pretty bad in the regular season. Who else? Florida isn’t playing well. Houston’s a mid-major. I’m not saying Iowa would go 0-19. Would YOU expect them to do any better than 6-13? If they score a minor upset this coming Saturday night…a team that’s outclassed in a “final 20” grouping will get to play in the Final Four.

Michigan State? Maybe a .500 caliber team in that mix. Maybe worse.

Here’s a good homework assignment today for you regulars here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. Use your own preferred approaches to ballpark what the pointspreads would be for all games matching top 20 teams going head to head. This is easy to do if you just build a Power Ratings scale. The market looks to have Alabama at the top. If you visualize Alabama vs. each of the other 19 teams and build the scale…that will ultimately tell you what you’d make…say…Oklahoma over Northwestern, or whatever.

Don’t forget that you can use actual matchups from this weekend for guidance. You already know that Michigan State should be about 3-4 points better than Iowa on your scale. Clemson should be about 5-6 points better than North Carolina. Stanford should be about 4 points better than USC. And…whoa…Alabama should be about 17-18 points better than Florida. (Yup, Iowa would be favored over Florida!).

This will prepare you very well for the coming bowl campaign. You’ll be using a mix of your own approach and the market to get a solid read on team quality.

Who will KELSO STURGEON be picking Saturday in the Big 10 Championship game? I can’t tell you here. I’ll obviously be looking at PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS. But, I have to admit that THE MOTIVATION FACTOR may favor Iowa because they’re sick and tired of hearing about how they don’t deserve to be in the discussion. Talk about a team that has something to prove!

You can purchase my top plays in all the big college and pro football games this weekend right here at this very website with your major credit card. Build your bankrolls between now and then with basketball. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping thanks you again for your attendance and hard work. I’ll see you again this weekend to talk about THE MOTIVATION FACTOR in December pro football. Some very interesting matchups this weekend where motivation…or a lack of motivation is likely to loom very large. Now…go work on those projected poinspreads for college football’s Top 20!


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

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