Posts Tagged ‘Big East’

NCAA Football Super Conference Teams Projections & Realignments

September 19th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football, NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on NCAA Football Super Conference Teams Projections & Realignments
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Projected Super Conferences Teams List & Team Realignments Can Be Found Below

Last season, college conference realignments really shook the landscape of college football as we know it. Now, the Boise State Broncos are in the Mountain West, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are in the Big 10, the Big 10 has 12 teams, and the Big 12 has 10 teams… not to mention that the artists formerly known as the Pac-10 are now known as the Pac-10 after taking the Colorado Buffaloes and Utah Utes. However, conference expansion certainly isn’t done yet, as there are shockwaves that are already rumbling across the country about how conference realignment might pan out.

Here’s what we already know: Next year, the ACC is going to have at least 14 teams in it. The Syracuse Orange and the Pittsburgh Panthers are heading to the ACC to make that conference have 14 teams. It is likely that the ACC is going to be looking for two more teams to add into the fold for an even 16.

We also know that the Big East is at least getting one team back in the TCU Horned Frogs, who made the commitment last year to jump from the Mountain West to the Big East once this athletic year is over.

The Texas A&M Aggies are trying to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, and though the SEC has openly welcomed the Aggies with open arms, there are still schools in the Big 12 like Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor that are trying to block the move. Odds have it, they won’t be successful, and in 2012, A&M will be in the SEC.

The question for the SEC though, is who the 14th team is going to be. There are some thoughts that perhaps TCU could go back on its word to the Big East and try to head to the SEC, but the West Virginia Mountaineers are trying to make the move as well. If this happens, it is clear that the Big East is just a dead conference waiting to be partitioned the rest of the way.

To make matters worse for the Big East, the ACC is also reportedly in pursuit of the Connecticut Huskies and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for their Super Conference. This would round out the conference at 16 teams and would likely lock in the conference for the foreseeable future without any further expansion or departure… or does it???

The new realigned SEC Coference would have 14 teams with the additions of Texas A&M and West Virginia, and it would need two more schools. You just know that there won’t be small, unproven schools coming to the SEC, so the conference will do all that it can to poach from a bigger conference. Remember how the ACC thought it was set? Not so fast. Don’t be shocked if Florida State and Clemson headed to their instate rivals Florida and South Carolina and joins the SEC.

And that would leave the ACC with two open slots again to fill…

And that’s only the half of it. The Pac-12 is in talks with the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners about coming to their conference, and if that happens, the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders will almost certainly be on the move to make that conference the Pac-16 as well.

That being said, the Big 12 would only be left with Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas, and Missouri. Kansas State and Kansas seem to be a package deal, and they could be headed to the Big 10, and that is the preferred conference for the Tigers as well. Iowa State and Baylor would be hung out to dry and might have to join lesser conferences. The 16th team for the Big 10? You’d like to think since this is probably going to ultimately signal the dawn of a college football playoff down the line, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are probably going to have to join, and this is the conference that makes the most sense.

And if you’re keeping score at home, the Big East could only be left with TCU, South Florida, Cincinnati, and Louisville, with the prospects of Villanova joining the FBS ranks for football in the coming years.

So let’s go back to the ACC, which has two slots to fill. Louisville and Cincinnati make relatively close travel partners, and the conference location does fit those schools, and though really any of the holdovers, or the possibility of South Florida and UCF coming into the ACC together exists, we tend to think that it would be the Bearcats and the Cardinals that enter into the ACC.

Thus, the dawn of the college football super conferences that we’ve been hearing all about… And right now, this is what we really could end up seeing when this alignment is said and done…

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Proposed College Football Realignment & New Super Conferences
(College Footall Teams in Italics Designate New Teams Entering Conferences)

ACC “Super Conference”: Wake Forest, Maryland, NC State, Boston College, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Miami, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Louisville

Pac-16 “Super Conference” (the old Pac 10): California, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, USC, Arizona State, UCLA, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech

Big 10 “Super Conference”: Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri

SEC “Super Conference”: Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Florida State, Clemson

Still, that leaves a lot of questions to be answered… Baylor, TCU, South Florida, and Iowa State all wouldn’t have places to go, though they could all come together in Conference USA. BYU is another team that is basically left out in the cold for all of this, and save for going to the WAC and hoping that eventually the WAC and the MWC combine, it could end up as an independent for the foreseeable future without a conference, and potentially without a spot in college football’s prospective playoff.

And then of course, there’s Boise State, the team that thought it was going to a conference in the MWC that could have been a powerhouse… until BYU opted for independence, TCU left for the Big East (or did they???), and Utah went to the Pac-12. There are going to be very, very unhappy teams in all of this, and in all likelihood, these are going to be the unhappy campers that are left out of the super conferences of college football.

The other question is what is left to do with the rest of the Big East Conference in basketball. Teams like Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, and Villanova could be headed to the Atlantic 10, while that conference might have to eliminate some of its members at the bottom of the totem poll to try to get all of these teams under the same conference umbrella.

2011 Big East Tournament Odds, Preview, and Free Picks

March 6th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2011 Big East Tournament Odds, Preview, and Free Picks
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Full List of Odds To Win The Big East Tournament Can Be Found Below

The 2011 Big East Tournament gets started on Tuesday, and here at Bankroll Sports, we have all of the ins and outs for all of the best college hoops betting picks on the internet for the big time duel at Madison Square Garden.

Trying to pick the winner of this event could be brutally hard, as there are as many as 11 teams that could be in the field of 68 come Selection Sunday, and it feels like any of the 11 can actually get the job done. We’ll start with the one that probably has the most on the line this week, and that is the Marquette Golden Eagles (30 to 1 Odds to Win Big East Tournament at JustBet Sportsbook). The Golden Eagles don’t need to win this tournament to get into the field of 68, but they do need to win at least one, and possibly two games to get the job done. They’ve got a lethal set of shooters, but their defense is lax at times, and the rest of the team just never really rallies when the shooters go cold. However, Head Coach Buzz Williams’ team knows what this feeling is like at Madison Square Garden, and we wouldn’t be shocked if Marquette comes up huge on Tuesday, Wednesday, and maybe even deeper into the week in this tournament.

The teams that are most like to actually win this event though, are the ones that don’t have to fight it out on Tuesday and Wednesday. That means that we’re focusing in on the top two seeds, the Pitt Panthers (2 to 1 Big East Tournament Odds at JustBet Sportsbook) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2 to 1 2011 Big East Tournament odds at JustBet Sportsbook). These two teams haven’t exactly been head and shoulders above the rest of the crew in the Big East this year, but they definitely do have all of the right stuff to be able to win this tournament. Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis are amongst the best pure shooters in the entire conference, while Head Coach Mike Bray has really put in some tremendous defensive values for this team. Meanwhile, Head Coach Jamie Dixon knows how to get this job done with Pitt as well. The Panthers are grinders, and the always find ways to get the job done on both ends of the court. Both could be prospective winners of this event.

If you believe in magic though, perhaps the team you should be betting on is the Connecticut Huskies (20 to 1 Big East Tournament Lines at JustBet Sportsbook). Sure, UConn has to come through the bracket starting on Tuesday, but there really won’t be any problems starting off this tourney with a win over DePaul. From there, it’s all about Kemba Walker. There isn’t a man that can take this tournament over like Walker can, and he really could single handedly put this team on his back and get the job done if he catches fire. We’re never ones to bet against these gritty Brooklyn boys playing back on their home courts at MSG, and Walker is possibly the most talented that we’ve seen come through these ranks in a long, long time here in the Big East.

2011 Big East Tournament Odds @ JustBet Sportsbook (as of 3/6/11):
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Cincinnati Bearcats 25 to 1
Connecticut Huskies 20 to 1
Georgetown Hoyas 12 to 1
Louisville Cardinals 5 to 1
Marquette Golden Eagles 30 to 1
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2 to 1
Pittsburgh Panthers 2 to 1
St. John’s Red Storm 6.50 to 1
Syracuse Orange 3 to 1
Villanova Wildcats 50 to 1
West Virginia Mountaineers 12 to 1
Field 30 to 1

The Big, Bad Big East May Just Be Bad

March 19th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on The Big, Bad Big East May Just Be Bad

The Big, Bad Big East

Someone’s going to have to forgive Big East Commissioner John Marinatto if this is what he looks like after yesterday’s NCAA Tournament games from his conference.

It’s bad enough that that’s Buzz Williams, the head coach of the Marquette Golden Eagles, who crashed out of the dance in their most predictable fashion: losing by two points practically at the buzzer. It was par for the course for a team that only suffered one loss by double digits all year long and lost six games in conference by less than a touchdown.

An 11 seed (as the Washington Huskies were) from a power conference (even though there’s a debate about just how “powerful” the Pac-10 was this year) isn’t the end of the world. Upsets happen all the time like that this time of year, and the Big East knew that it wasn’t going to have an 8-0 first round of this tournament in all likelihood.

Even losing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish wasn’t all that big of a deal to the Big East. After all, the Irish were probably the weakest of tournament teams out of this conference, and they were still adapting to a new system and life where their best player (Luke Harangody) was coming off of the bench and not starting.

Notre Dame was probably an overrated #6 seed playing against an Old Dominion squad that was probably an underrated #11. So it was par for the course for the luck of the Irish to run out late in the game against the Monarchs, and again, it wasn’t that big of a deal or that black of an eye to take.

Now… Villanova…. You’re a significantly, significantly different story.

Once upon a time a threat to take over the #1 spot in the AP Poll, the Villanova Wildcats entered this tournament looking to make amends for a bad showing in the Big East Tournament, which wrapped up after just one game following a loss to the aforementioned Golden Eagles. Surely, there was no way that there was even a remote struggle coming for a team that was going to be on the #1 line of the tourney if not for that late season swoon, right?


Nova was acting like a defeated team before it even stepped anywhere near the court in Providence on Thursday. HC Jay Wright benched both G Corey Fisher and G Scottie Reynolds at the outset of the game for a violation of team rules. His Cats fell behind Robert Morris, the Northeast Conference champions early. No big deal, right?

It is a big deal when you’re still behind by nine points late in the game! However, thanks to officiating that allowed the Wildcats back into the game and some great free throw shooting from Reynolds (who had better have had a great day from the charity stripe after going 2/15 from the floor and 1/8 from downtown), somehow, the Cats clawed their way into overtime. From there, they asserted themselves, and finally downed the scrappy Colonials.

It was all over the news during the 2:30 games as well as in that break between the morning and afternoon sessions. Everyone was talking about how Villanova is done and how St. Mary’s is going to pick it off on Saturday and that that was that for the Big East giants.

That statement might’ve been almost right… But maybe that was that for the Big East period.

Hey Georgetown Hoyas, all you had to do was go out and take care of an Ohio Bobcats team that was probably overrated as a #14, as it was the #9 seed in its own lousy conference during the year and really beat no one of any real note outside of the MAC this year. You could’ve restored order in your own conference.

Instead, you fell behind by double digits in the first half, played a miserable defensive game, and ultimately crashed out of the tourney in the most embarrassing way possible.

It’s not even like the Hoyas can say that they were just a victim of the proverbial “March Madness.” This wasn’t a situation where Vanderbilt was in, where it just got unlucky with a crazy shot at the end of the game. There were no crazy shots. There was just sheer domination.

So now, the Big East enters its second day of basketball, and Syracuse, West Virginia, Louisville, and Pittsburgh will hope to make a better impression on the college basketball world than what their conference brethren did yesterday.

The lesson learned, though, is that the big, bad Big East might not be quite as big and bad as we once thought.

Ranking The Best College Football Conferences

November 22nd, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in College Football   5 Comments »

It is time to spark up the ever going debate that consumes college football fans every year towards the end of each season in the age old question who is the best conference in college football? There is little doubt that the Southeastern Conference (SEC) has held their reign for at least 3 years running now considering they have won 3 straight National Championships with stacked talent in the conference. However, recently this debate has emerged again as the SEC is having a less than dominating season from teams top to bottom in the conference. There are many of the experts giving Pac-10 the new title of America’s top football confidence, but if you say that why is the ACC out of the picture since they have more teams ranked higher in the BCS Standings? All of this debate going on while the SEC still has the number 1 and 2 teams in the BCS Standings means it may be all irrelevant and we will explain as we break down the Top 5 conferences in college football.

#6. big ten

Despite having promising pre-season rankings each year, the Big Ten seems to disappoint year after year. This season has not been any different, but the Big Ten still holds 4 teams in the top 25. However, there is still nobody from the Big Ten that is an elite team and the way they stack up against the out of conference teams have been flat horrible. Ohio State has already clinched the Big Ten title, but even the top team in the Big Ten could not hold off the USC Trojans earlier this year. The Trojans are not even capable of keeping pace in their own conference in the Pac-10 which makes it look even worse for the Big Ten’s sake. The Buckeyes were beaten by Purdue of all teams this year as well which would translate in SEC terms in like Kentucky beating Florida and when is the last time you have seen that happen? Even Northwestern who holds down the middle of the Big Ten was beaten by Syracuse this year which is a team that has just 1 win in the Big East. Sure the emergence of the Hawkeyes could have helped this season, but they are just another team that can only stack up against opponents in the own conference. The Big Ten has famously been one of the most over rated conferences in America and last year’s 1-6 Bowl record is a testament to that claim. Expect similar results in the 2009-2010 Bowl Games again this year.

#5 Big 12

Outside of Texas is there anyone else in the Big 12 that can truly contend on a weekly basis? Oklahoma State was hyped as one of the most dangerous teams in the preseason but an out of conference loss to Houston set the Cowboys back and they have been truly to catch-up all season. The down year from Oklahoma may be the biggest fall of the conference this year with out of conference losses to BYU and Miami. To make matters worse, the Big 12 North is an embarrassment. Nebraska is a solid team with a defense that keeps them in all games they will take part in. However, the rest of the division is fairly terrible. Kansas State will finish at 2nd in the Big 12 North at 6-6 on the year that included a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette of all teams. Iowa State was completely crushed by Iowa and so was Texas A&M by Arkansas. The Big 12 has been fueled by their powerful offenses over the past few years that could overcome the average defenses from around the conference. However, the offenses have struggled as a whole while the defenses have still allowed giving up big numbers. There is still a ton of talent in the Big 12, but they simply do not have it together this season and it has showed outside the conference. At least there is still hope Texas can bring home a National Championship if they can manage to get by Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship.

#4 big east

The Big East is definitely having a better than expected season with the help of the Cincinnati Bearcats who are still undefeated holding down a 5th place ranking. Pittsburgh is also another top 10 team that is really developing into a solid team. The entire Big East is pretty solid from top to bottom. However, there is still not any team in the conference that has recorded a really huge type of win. Pittsburgh was knocked off earlier in the year by a North Carolina State team that is barely treading water in the ACC. West Virginia was taken down by Auburn who is also below averaging in the SEC. Outside of South Florida and Rutgers capture a pair of wins against the ACC, there is not much to brag about. However, the Big East has definitely shown that they can contend and have a lot of teams with promising futures. The Big East held a 4-2 mark in Bowl records last year and they will give opponents a tough time again this year. However, the entire conference still has a way to go before they will be strong enough to put an undefeated team into a National Championship over some of the other BCS conferences as will be an example when the Bearcats are left out of the title game this year if they can remain unbeaten.

#3 acc logo

There may be some passionate fans that try and put their beloved ACC above the rest of the nation’s conferences, but that is a far from accurate claim. The ACC may have more teams ranked higher in the top 25 BCS Standings than other schools, but breaking down some of their top teams is far from impressive. The Clemson Tigers clinched the Atlantic Division at 8-3 on the season, but this is the same team that was beaten by a 2-9 Maryland team who was also beaten by Middle Tennessee State. Boston College was beaten by 6-5 Notre Dame and Florida State has had plenty of struggles this season which included an out of conference loss to South Florida. The Coastal Division has some promising hope led by 7th ranked Georgia Tech who continues to tear opponents apart by the triple option attack. Virginia Tech and Miami have shown signs of strength this season, but have also shown signs of inconsistency at the same time. The high BCS rankings may be thanks to their own strides from the upper echelon teams over the inferior teams in the conference. If you put the ACC up against the Pac-10 or SEC top to bottom and had each teams square off against each other in a number 1 vs. number 1 to number 2 vs. number 2 scenario, there is no way the ACC would have a winning record against either conference. Until they can produce some consistent National Championship contenders they will not have a chance to have the best conference in America simply because the likes of Duke, Virginia, Maryland, and others dampen those chances each year.

#2 pac 10

The Pac-10 may have more teams from top to bottom that is as strong as or stronger than any conference in America. The majority of the teams in the conference can hold their ground with nearly anyone, However, the top teams in the Pac-10 have not stacked up well in their out of conference battles. Oregon has the chance to win the Pac-10 outright next week when they play Oregon State as the top team in the conference, but they were beaten by Boise State in the opener this season. Oregon State could still make claim towards a Pac-10 title, but they also were beaten by one of the nation’s top teams in Cincinnati out of the Big East. Stanford who has helped bring up the strength of the conference this season also suffered a less than stellar out of conference opponent to Wake Forest who has been fairly below average in the ACC. Of course there are 6 different teams that hold the top 15 most difficult schedules in America meaning they are much harder to keep teams from beating up on each other. However, even if you give the Pac-10 the edge with more talent top to bottom, they still do not have a National Championship contender. It is also very irrelevant to make the claim that they would have a National Championship contender if they did not beat up on each other because the SEC has been able to overcome that void for the last 3 years with the best conference in football. However if you stack up the entire SEC vs. Pac 10 in letting each team square off against each other, the Pac 10 will hold their ground and possibly even have the slight edge.

#1 sec

All of this debate can rage on as it will most likely through the media and fans from around the nation. However as the debate continues, the SEC will be locking down their 4th straight National Championship. There is not any other team on neither Florida nor Alabama’s level and until a conference can take the National Title Trophy away from the SEC the argument is pointless. Sure the conference as a whole may be down, but what is down when you are talking about the SEC. Having a down year in the SEC is not having 4 to 5 teams in the top 15 instead of just having 4 ranked in the top 25. Outside of Mississippi State and Vanderbilt who hold down the bottom in both divisions, the entire SEC has just 2 out of conference losses and both fell in the first two weeks of the season. The SEC may have found a way to equal out in terms of records this season, but they stack up plenty well against the other top teams around the country. Last year, the SEC ranked 2nd in Bowl Games at a 6-2 mark behind the Pac-10 which was 5-0. Not only did they put more teams in Bowl Games than any other conference in America, they proved how good they were against other teams around the country that were supposedly on an equal level. It is no different this season, but the top 25 polls that impacts popular perception simply does not have as many teams from the SEC as usual and that is why people think the SEC is no longer the best conference in college football. However, they will have another stellar record in the postseason and they will bring home a 4th consecutive National Championship which will again silence all other conference claims as the best in the nation yet again.

2009 College Football Conference Championship Odds and Predictions

October 1st, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2009 College Football Conference Championship Odds and Predictions

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Earlier this summer, we broke down all of the NCAA College Football Conferences and provided some betting tips of who to keep on your radar for the 2009 season. Well the season is upon us, meaning the speculations and predictions of how the teams should perform are out the window. We have had the luxury of watching college football teams take the gridiron on the main stage and perhaps have a better understanding of what to expect for the remainder of the season. One thing that is certain for the 2009 season is that everyone is vulnerable to the upset bug. There has been 5 different top 5 ranked teams fall to upsets and last week 4 top 10 teams were beaten on the same weekend. The shakeup among the rankings is an equal indicator of how wide open the conference races will be for the remainder of the season. The major conferences have a long road before crowning their next champions. Based on some early performances and expectations, we bring to you a more updated look at the 2009 Conference Championships.

ACC Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The ACC:
Boston College +2000
Clemson +1200
Duke +10000
Florida State +400
Georgia Tech +600
Maryland +7500
Miami +400
North Carolina +600
North Carolina State +1000
Virginia +10000
Virginia Tech +150
Wake Forest +2000

The Miami Hurricanes appeared to be the surprise contenders in the conference jumping up to an early 9th place national ranking while capturing big wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech. However as quick as dreams for an ACC Title appeared feasible, Virginia Tech crushed the Hurricanes 31-7. Miami still has chances, but they have been desperately dampened considering they reside in the coastal division with Virginia Tech. However, the entire conference still has many contenders. Florida State has just one conference loss even though they have played very inconsistent. North Carolina and Georgia Tech both have one loss. The Yellow Jackets are perhaps too one dimensional in the running game to truly contend and North Carolina dropped their first test of the year against Georgia Tech last weekend. The Atlantic division still has a wide open race for a team to get in the ACC Championship, but the talent level is pretty significant drop off from the Coastal division. We predicted Virginia Tech in our first conference predictions and we are sticking with that decision strongly. The Hokies suffered a small letdown losing to Alabama in their opening game, but with all respect Alabama is among the very best in the nation. The Hokies blew out their big test against Miami and also managed to pullout a close out of conference win against a solid Nebraska team. The Hokies defense gives them the advantage to beat any team in the ACC. Also, Tyrod Taylor is starting to make plays with his arm which would be a huge boost to the team that has relied on the premier running attack.

ACC Conference Champion Pick: Virginia Tech

Big East Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Big East:
Cincinnati +175
Connecticut +1000
Louisville +2000
Pittsburgh +400
Rutgers +800
South Florida +200
Syracuse +2000
West Virginia +400

The Big East is still as wide open as any conference in America. Cincinnati exploded to capture the crown in 2008 and are well on their way to making claim for a repeat. Despite some key losses, the Bearcats senior quarterback Tony Pike is a passing machine with 11 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions already this season. Pike gives the Bearcats every chance to have a huge season and a big reason Cincinnati has reached the number 10 ranking in the nation. South Florida took a big hit losing QB Matt Grothe which has to play into factor for the rest of the season. Sure the Bulls beat Florida State without Grothe, but it did not require a great passing performance from B.J Daniels to accomplish the feat. Perhaps we will see just who takes the early lead in the conference when South Florida meets Cincinnati in two weeks. Pittsburgh is the surprise story of the conference with a 4-0 start. Freshman running back Dion Lewis is sensational. The Panthers may not have the firepower to take down the conference this season, but best believe they will decide who does. Of course you also have to keep West Virginia in the picture due to their great rushing attack. Noel Devine is still among the best backs in the conference, but it may be the West Virginia defense that prevents them from returning to glory. The Mountaineers have allowed 27 points per game against some very average teams and they will only face better teams throughout the year. The likely scenario here again is Cincinnati repeats. South Florida will most likely fade, but Pittsburgh has the team to be the big surprise as they also get their biggest games at home. However, the Bearcats should bring down the conference but it may be very close.

Big East Conference Champion Pick: Cincinnati +175

Big 10 Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Big 10:
Illinois +2500
Indiana +2500
Iowa +500
Michigan +800
Michigan State +2000
Minnesota +2000
Northwestern +5000
Ohio State +175
Penn State +250
Purdue +5000
Wisconsin +1000

The Iowa Hawkeyes have shaken up the Big Ten for the 2nd straight season in a row taking down Penn State. The Hawkeyes have the talent especially on offense to contend with any team in the league. However, in some of the brutal low scoring games controlled by the running game which is fairly accustom to the Big Ten may not favor the Hawkeyes. Rich Rodriguez has the Wolverines back in the spotlight as the conference’s number 1 rushing team averaging 240 yards per game on the ground. It will be interesting to see if the Wolverines emergence back to the top can continue as the schedule toughens. Ohio State is the leading candidate to take down the conference. The Buckeyes defense is still extremely talented and is only allowing 11 points per game. If the offense can pick up the pace, our preseason pick in Ohio State will still be extremely tough to beat. Penn State is still going to be a factor despite an early loss. The Nittany Lions are still perhaps the most talented team in the conference, but they too need the offense to pick up the pace.

Big Ten Conference Champion Pick: Ohio State +175

Big 12 Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Big 12:
Baylor +10000
Colorado +5000
Iowa State +10000
Kansas +800
Kansas State +10000
Missouri +1500
Nebraska +800
Oklahoma +175
Oklahoma State +1200
Texas -140
Texas A&M +10000
Texas Tech +5000

The 2008 college football season was the year of the Big 12 as their explosive offenses took center stage and did not disappoint. However, the high scoring offenses of the Big 12 have not been very convincing so far this season. Oklahoma was upset in their opener to BYU, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech both lost to Houston, Iowa State was blown out by Iowa, and the emerging Nebraska Cornhuskers were put back in the place by Virginia Tech. However, the Cornhuskers are better than expected and they will be heard this season. Nebraska has a balanced offense and a defense that will put them in every game they enter. The Jayhawks are expected to come out of the North, but they will have their hands full with Nebraska. Of course the winner of the South division will likely be the winner of the Big 12. Oklahoma State received tons off attention this summer due to their offense before struggling out the gates. The offense has been mediocre for Big 12 standards and it is unlikely they are going to beat out Texas or Oklahoma. However, the Cowboys still have the firepower to upset either one of the two. Texas is the overwhelming favorites as Colt McCoy already has 1,145 yards and the Longhorns offense is averaging 49 points this season. The Oklahoma Sooners have seemingly been thrown out the picture ever since their loss to BYU and Sam Bradford went down due to a shoulder injury. However, the Sooners are yet to play their first conference game and could be firing on all cylinders by the time they meet Texas on October 17th. The Oklahoma defense is going to give the Longhorns all they can handle in that meeting and if they force McCoy to a few turnovers the Sooners will be back on top of the Big 12 once again. The schedule may be tougher for Oklahoma to manage, but their defense along with the sharp running backs makes up for any letdowns in the passing game.

Big 12 Conference Champion Pick: Oklahoma +175

Pac 10 Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Pac 10:
Arizona +4000
Arizona State +
California +250
Oregon +600
Oregon State +2500
Stanford +1800
UCLA +800
Southern Cal -150
Washington +1200
Washington State +5000

The Oregon Ducks nationally televised loss to Boise State on opening night put their hopes at a Pac-10 title on the backburner even though it was not a conference loss. However, the performance was fairly terrible and the Ducks were simply written off making the conference likely a two horse race between California and USC. The Trojans of course have had a share in 7 straight Pac-10 titles and are big favorites to win again. However, they have a huge road test with California this weekend they could really make a difference in the conference race. California reached the number 6 ranking the country last week behind Heisman hopeful running back Jahvid Best. However, the forgotten Oregon Ducks completely blew out California in a 42-3 thrashing. The Ducks recorded their 2nd straight win against a top 25 team and catapulted themselves right back into the conference race. USC already has a conference loss to their record as they were upset by Washington who was winless in 2008. The Trojans are under control from a freshman quarterback Matt Barkeley. For that reason along with the losses on defense, we predicted this would be the year that the Trojans do not make their claim at an 8th straight title. California could possibly confirm that prediction with a win over the Trojans this weekend and give the Golden Bears and Oregon the upper hand in the conference race. The Trojans defense is sure to make things tough for their opponents, but their inconsistent offense production will take its toll. We predicted California, but listed Oregon as the dark horse in the preseason. However, Oregon’s opening night loss may have been the best thing the team experiences this season. They are playing like a completely different team and they already have one of their biggest victories out of the way to bring down the Pac-10. We going to reverse that earlier prediction and put Oregon ahead of California to win the Pac-10 Championship especially with the odds begging for attention.

Pac Ten Conference Champion Pick: Oregon +600

SEC Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The SEC:
Alabama +250
Arkansas +10000
Auburn +1500
Florida -275
Georgia +700
Kentucky +10000
LSU +1000
Mississippi +1500
Mississippi State +10000
South Carolina +10000
Tennessee +10000
Vanderbilt +10000

If you are not a Florida Gators fan, you may be possibly tired of hearing about the Florida Gators. However, you have to respect what they are trying to accomplish which is a 3rd national championship in 4 years which is simply ridiculous. Still, the odds are favoring Florida so much it nearly makes it a lose-lose situation to bet on. Mississippi appears to have been over rated after getting shut down by South Carolina. LSU is in similar situation, but they have escaped the upsets. However, the Tigers may not be able to escape their meeting with Georgia this weekend. The Tigers have not been able to run the ball and that will not get them anywhere in a SEC Title race. Auburn should start getting some attention as they are truly developing nicely. Auburn will not win the conference by any means, but they have every possibility to upset someone that has hopes to win the SEC. The race really comes down to the two teams that meet in last year’s SEC Championship. Florida as stated before are huge favorites considering their elite defense returned every starter from last year’s championship team and are holding teams to just 7 points per game which is best in the conference. Also, is there any need to even mention the Gators are led by Tim Tebow? However, Alabama is still a team for worthy consideration. The Crimson Tide is ranked number 3 in the country with quality wins over Virginia Tech and Arkansas. The Crimson Tide offense appears to be more dangerous this season than they were in 2008 behind veteran players like John Parker Wilson and Glenn Coffee. However, QB Greg McElroy can make the throws and has just 1 pick this season compared to 7 touchdowns. Mark Ingram has been very effective on the ground and the offense is spreading the ball around well through the air. The Crimson Tide defense remains the team’s strength, but with more firepower developing on offense they are going to be very tough to beat. It may seem absolutely crazy to go against Florida, but Nick Saban knows how to win the big games and when these two teams meet again in Atlanta that could very well be the outcome. Sure 99% of everyone will go with Florida, but getting Alabama at +250 odds is something to take a gamble on.

SEC Conference Champion Pick: Alabama +250

Dynamic College Hoops Weekend

January 16th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   1 Comment »

College Basketball action heats up this weekend with one of the most exciting schedule of games to take the floor all season. There are a ton of quality games that will be taking center stage including 5 different games hosting battles between top 25 opponents. Not only is the majority of these games huge conference match-ups, but there are a few big out of conference games to determine national supremacy. Take a look at all the exciting games that will take place this weekend along with the big implications these games will make upon the country.

No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers (16-0) at No. 20 Louisville Cardinals (12-3)

The Panthers have yet to be challenged this season and own some quality wins with a dominating performance over Georgetown. Pittsburgh host one of the most talented young phenoms in America with sophomore DeJuan Blair. Blair ranks 2nd in the nation in rebounding with an impressive 13 boards per game while supporting 15 points per contest as well. Louisville on the other hand had a rocky start in some upset losses to UNLV and Western Kentucky. However, the Cardinals showed their strength with back to back wins over top 20 teams Villanova and Notre Dame. Louisville may be just now starting to play at the level they were expected to considering they were preseason ranked #3 in the land. The battle of the Big East is underway and both teams are among only 3 undefeated teams in conference play. Something will have to give as both are currently playing their best basketball of the season.

No. 3 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (15-0) at No. 9 Clemson Tigers (16-0)

Talk about a huge game. They do not get much bigger half-way through the season when you get two undefeated ACC teams taking battle to remain unbeaten. Wake Forest proved to everyone that they were national contenders taking down North Carolina 92-89. Wake Forest is the only team in the country that ranks in the top 5 in efficiency in both offense and defense. Clemson is the surprise team in the conference with an undefeated campaign of 16-0. The Tigers have narrowly escaped some close games and this will be their biggest game to date. Despite being undefeated, they are still a bunch of the media that is not giving the Tigers any credit and they will get a chance to prove to everyone that they are an elite team. Clemson will have to find away to stop one of the best guards in America in sophomore Jeff Teague. Teague is averaging a stout 21 points per game and 31 points in his last 3 outings. The Tigers must be able to contain Teague to pull of the upsets because he is one of the best pure shooters in the country.

No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas (12-3) at No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (15-1)

Cameron Indoor Stadium host a clash of college basketball powerhouses in the best out of conference game for the weekend. Georgetown represents the strength of the Big East while Duke looks to prove the ACC is still the superior conference. The Blue Devils have been playing excellent on both ends of the floor averaging a 9th best 81 points per game and a equally strong defensive scheme that has held opponents to a mere 60 points per contest. Junior Gerald Henderson is developing into the break out star the Blue Devils have been looking for. Kyle Singler leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game and both will need to play strong on Saturday. Georgetown is 2-1 this season against the top ten with convincing wins over no. 8 Syracuse and no. 2 Connecticut by double figures in both games. The Hoyas have 4 starters averaging at least 13 points and a very talented young freshman Greg Monroe. The Hoyas will attempt to take advantage of a Duke Basketball team that has stumbled in similar out of conference situations in previous years.

No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devils (14-3) at No. 7 UCLA Bruins (14-2)

Outside from California, this game most likely decides who will be the front runner in the Pac-10 this year. The Sun Devils have already stumbled twice in conference play, but have a great opportunity to gain some ground with a win over UCLA. The Bruins are shooting lights out from the floor averaging 50% for the year ranking as the 9th best shooting team in the country. Senior Darren Collison leads the team with 15.7 points per game while shooting 57% from the floor and 50% from behind the arc. Arizona State got trampled by So. Cal on Thursday 61-49 and will look to bounce back in a big way. The Sun Devils are actually the 2nd best shooting team in America averaging 51.2% from the floor lead by guar James Harden who is posting a strong 23 points per game. However, the problem comes through the rebounding category. The Sun Devils are among one of the worse rebounding teams in America averaging 31 boards per game. Fortunately for Arizona State, UCLA has not faired well against the glass either this season. The game will likely be a hard fought game between both teams considering both are battling for Pac-10 bragging rights.

No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-4) at No. 8 Syracuse Orange (16-2)

Another big game in the Big East? Well that is easy to do when you have so many quality teams. However I think both of these teams may be a bit over ranked, but still promises to be a great game. Notre Dame got blown away by Louisville last time out 87-63 dropping the 2nd loss in 10 days. Syracuse also got handled rather easily as the Georgetown Hoyas routed to an 88-74 victory. Syracuse sports 4 junior starters in a balanced line-up. All five starters are averaging at least 10 points or more with sophomore guard Jonny Flynn leading the team with 16 points per game. Notre Dame already has a few impressive victories on their resume this season with wins over Texas and Georgetown. The Fighting Irish sport one of the best scoring offenses in the nation lead by possibly the best player in the nation junior forward Luke Harangody. Harangody is the only player in America that ranks in the top 5 individually in both points and rebounds. The talented junior has posted 24.8 points along with 12.7 boards per game and his play will be a determining match-up in this battle among talented Big East opponents.

Despite the high attention these previous games will get there are a bunch more exciting match-ups this Saturday. Keep an eye on these games as well.

No. 14 Marquette at Providence, Illinois at No. 12 Michigan State, and Oklahoma State at No. 21 Baylor

Big East Hoops Dominance

January 4th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Big East Hoops Dominance

Earlier in the college basketball season I broke down how the ACC and the Big East stacked up against each other to be America’s best basketball conference. Notably pointing out how deep the Big East has become, and that soon they would be considered the best conference in the nation if they were not already. As the first quarter of the college basketball season has begun, the Big East has really proved the dominance among the college basketball ranks around the land. The Big East broke an NCAA record in early December when they put an amazing 8 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 Polls. Those schools proved that those rankings were not a one week wonder as well considering they have continued to have seven teams in the Top 25 through the start of 2009. Again this week when the Associated Press releases the Top 25 and the Big East has a chance to improve their own record.

The Big East entered last week with 7 teams ranked among the Top 25. Those teams were from the likes of #2 Connecticut, #3 Pittsburgh, #7 Notre Dame, #11 Georgetown, #13 Syracuse, #15 Villanova, and #18 Louisville. However, Marquette and West Virginia are the two next teams receiving the most votes to enter the top 25. Considering the past week it is very likely that 9 Big East schools will be ranked when the polls are released. #24 Ohio State dropped a loss to Minnesota this week that should knock them out the top 25. West Virginia trampled the Buckeyes a week ago by 28 points. The Mountaineers definitely deserve a top 25 ranking and they will get it. Marquette had a big win over Villanova to ring in the New Year and also a solid win over Cincinnati earlier today. #23 Michigan was defeated by unranked Wisconsin and could slide out of the top 25 as well placing Marquette into the mix. #21 Minnesota also dropped a game this week, but bounced back beating Ohio State. The Golden Gophers have only one loss on the season and I would expect them to stay among the best 25 in the nation.

Considering the rest of the 7 teams from the Big East that are ranked can stay, the Big East will most likely put 9 teams in the AP Top 25. Both #15 Villanova and #18 Louisville suffered losses this week. Louisville fell to UNLV and they will have to beat Kentucky today to try and stay in the mix. The Cardinals could be in jeopardy of dropping out of the top 25, but it may not be probable that they drop out from the #18 spot from a week ago. If everything works out the Big East will again show why they are the best conference from top to bottom with the opportunity to place 9 schools into the rankings.

Even if the Big East does not reach 9 teams, they still have another chance at making history by seasons end. The Big East has the chance to place 10 teams into the NCAA Tournament in March becoming the first ever conference to do so. The Big East already holds the record for sending the most teams to the NCAA Tournament sending eight teams. The Big East sent eight teams to the big dance in 2006 and again last season. This year the Big East will attempt to be the first conference to ever put a double digit amount of teams into the Tourney. Providence (10-4), St. Johns (10-4), and Cincinnati (10-3) all have a chance to join the other 9 teams that are among the nations top 25. If anyone of those 3 schools can survive conference play with a fairly good record, then they will the Big East a great opportunity to place 10 teams into the March Madness.

Despite the number of quality teams in the Big East, the conference would love claim a National Champion this year adding to their dominate performance. North Carolina has remained the top team in the nation this season in college basketball. However, the Big East has had two teams behind the Tarheels just waiting for to take the nations top rank. Connecticut suffered a tough defeat from Georgetown earlier and the week and Pittsburgh will jump to the #2 position in this weeks rankings. Pittsburgh has the early looks to be the only team in the nation that could challenge North Carolina. The Panthers are a prefect 14-0 and coming off a blowout over #8 Georgetown. Pittsburgh appears to be the class of the elite Big East and perhaps their tough schedule will prepare them for something special come Tournament time.

The Big East top teams will all have a chance to make deep season runs at the end of the year during the NCAA Tournament. The Big East has had 5 teams this season at one point or another receive a top 10 ranking. Those schools will go to war with each other all season. The premier competition will likely have them the best prepared conference in March if they are not worn out from the brutal conference play. Despite if they can pull off a National Championship, you must marvel and the depth and the quality of teams the conference produces. The Big East is incomparable among the best conferences in college basketball in terms of depth. There success this season is unparallel to start the year and we will have to see if it pays off at the end of the season.