College Football-The Sagarin Ratings – What They Are, How to Read Them & What to Do With Them

Though more of a hobby than a profession, Sports Watching Guide readers enjoy placing a few bets every once in a while on the BCS, the APCS (the Eye In The Sky), the USC Trojans, the Big East or Big 10. Most of our members do so for pride, as sports betting can be great entertainment, especially when betting in-season.

Bettors seeking to improve their home-field advantage, and those working to pad their wallets, look beyond the BCS standings and the Coaches’ Championship, to an exercise they’re more likely to call ‘The Sagarin Ratings’.

Developed for the past 15 years by a Statistics Professor, the BCS’ ratings are based on a number of different measurements and factors, some of which we already know. Others, such as time of possession, rankings of team skill and experience, strength of schedule, etc. It’s the beginning of a tournament, if not the closing game. We’ve already seen great performances by underdog teams, and some surprising results by favored ones. (Notice the Notre Dame vs. Michigan basketball game in late October. Betting on the Irish was money in abundance. Notice also that Michigan went on to win the Big 10 championship with little difficulty.)

The BCS’ ratings, when they are released, allow us to identify both the favorites and the underdogs, in advance of the crucial first round games beginning on October 31. So what do the Sagarin ratings tell us?

Big Ten

Purdue (9/2), Wisconsin (9/2), and Iowa (6/1) are the top-three teams in the BCS’ initial rankings. Here’s a fact about those programs: Purdue won its last three games by a combined 40 points! How’re those stats going to help the BCS maintain its perfect ranking?

A few horse racing folks have noted that iPoker has graduated many members of the Poker Stars club. At this rate, they’ll be able to bet on a game by the end of the three-week tournament.

A few members of Pokerace99 Stars have returned from a season that saw its mid-point of the season win the first of two legs. See below for the remaining members of the team to be called toiling in the Big Six tournament.

Big West

The mid-season collapse by the University of Phoenix, one of the two mid-major schools, has taken the place of the team at the top of the MVC table. “We have to wait until the end to see who the real experts are,” declared the tournament’s leader, UCLA. “Everyone’s back after this so it’s going to be impossible to tell what’s going to happen.” Someone with a lobe has to win this year’s tournament. It’s been a free-flowing liar, predicting the end of the year almost since the tip was carved. (Never mind that all the other participants seem to be in no hurry to up sticks.)

Kansas, the season’s other considerable dissimilarity, added a fifth to its season record. Now the team can pretty much look forward to the NCAA Championship.


The last time Kansas had a chance to celebrate season as the nation’s best, in 2004, it was a relative cinch. Not that it wasn’t a bit of an upset, as UCLA led by 17 at the half. But the Jayhawks made a late run, and were never the same. This time they were a No. 12 seed, the lowest of 64 teams. Pinnacle’s latest odds have them at No. 10.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of pressure to come up big, and that was exactly what the Jayhawks had to do, after doing themselves proud in the Alamo. After nearly pulling off the upset, they rebounded to claim the Big 12’s Tournament Crown, but were soundly beaten by Texas A&M in the championship game.

But the tournament was held 12 days later, and the Jayhawks found themselves one-and-one in the Elite Eight. UCLA was left out,ounding by nine points in the tourney’s Final Four, which makes for some excellent seeding. Kansas will meet Connecticut in the semifinals.

Kentucky picked up its first bid, the one it hadn’t had in 23 years, by beating Alabama on Monday night.

Now the question is, will there be a three-team race, as strong as it was last year? It’s very possible. Memphis, the second seed, could still make the Everybody Dance, too. UCLA beat the Gamecocks earlier this year in the Elite Eight, and other than Texas A&M, LSU probably doesn’t have the best chance to win the title.

This entry was posted in Gambling. Bookmark the permalink.