The Notre Dame Fighting Irish find themselves on top of the BCS standings for the first time in team history. While all of that it’s impressive in its own merit – we’re not about to raise the ire of Fighting Irish star linebacker and leading Heisman nominee Manti Te’o by calling them a fluke – a certain segment of the population aren’t as sold on Notre Dame being the best team in the nation.
Apparently, that segment of the population includes oddsmakers.
According to the latest Don Best/Linemakers Power Ratings, the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish doesn’t occupy the top spot in the rankings. Heck, it’s not even in the top 5. It’s all the way down in 9th place. Yeah, 9th place.
It’s easy to get enamored with the fact that Notre Dame has that ‘0’ on the loss column for the year. But once you take a closer look at how the Irish got to 11-0, certain in-game circumstances in a number of their games that went their way, including ugly wins over Purdue and Pittsburgh, may have caused that 11-0 record to be, shall we say, inflated.
On top of that, losses by both previous number 1 Kansas State and number 2 Oregon at the hands of Baylor and Stanford over the weekend could have opened the back door for Notre Dame to climb on top of the rankings. The team’s 38-0 pasting of unheralded Wake Forest didn’t exactly give oddsmakers that feeling of watching a true number one team.
Predictably, BCS number 4 Alabama sits comfortably on top of the Don Best/Linemakers Power Rating, followed by Oregon, Florida State, Texas A&M, Georgia, Kansas State, LSU, and Oklahoma.
Only after those eight teams do we see Notre Dame’s name. It’s not exactly the kind of ringing endorsement befitting of a number 1 team, is it?
So what does this all mean? Is Notre Dame not as good as their records suggest? That appears to be the case when you ask Vegas oddsmakers. That’s not to say that a Notre Dame-Alabama title game isn’t piquing the interest of these oddsmakers.
On the contrary, they’re salivating at the thought of seeing both teams on the field for the BCS Championship Game on January 7, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
Vegas bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro told as much to Sporting News, saying: “Obviously, from a business standpoint, we’re rooting for an Alabama-Notre Dame matchup to become a reality. If we get that game with the intrigue already built in between the two storied programs, and the length of time that it will be on the board from early December to almost mid-January, it will be the single biggest handle on any college football game ever booked.”
As it stands now, the Las Vegas Wynn already posted lines on a potential Notre Dame – Alabama BCS National Championship game. To no one’s surprise, the Roll Tide are favored over the Fighting Irish by 9 points.
Yeah, the current BCS number 1 is already a nine-point underdog against what many believe to be the best team in college football.
Where’s the love for the Fighting Irish?