Remember me Reset Password


College Football Betting - Deciphering the BCS

Posted by Blake Frazier on 4/19/2012 9:47:41 AM
If you want to be a successful college football betting player, you need to learn the nuances of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which is how the NCAA decides its national champion. It can get confusing, especially later in the season, so here’s an analysis to help you out before you head to your sportsbook to place a wager.

The BCS started in 1998, and there are changes made almost every year. There are five BCS games: the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Orange Bowl, and the BCS national championship game. The BCS involves teams from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-10, and as of this year, the Mountain West Conference.

There are three polls and standings which make up the BCS rankings:

HARRIS POLL – former coaches, players and administration, as well as former and current media

Strengths: knowledgeable people that know the game, can cover a lot of matchups

Weaknesses: some have an agenda, certain conferences/teams can be favored

USA TODAY POLL – a poll of current NCAA coaches

Strengths: also knowledgeable, also is credible coming from a coach’s perspective

Weaknesses: same as Harris Poll, some may not vote for bitter rivals, and current coaches can’t watch as many games as they need to

COMPUTER RANKINGS – six different statistical categories, including strength of schedule

Strengths: very thorough, considers the most important stat, strength of schedule

Weaknesses: unable to see how the games play out, which plays a massive role in the polls

There is often at least one BCS controversy each year, and 2008’s was the Big 12’s Texas being passed over in favor of Oklahoma for the title game, despite beating the Sooners by 10 points on a neutral field in the annual “Red River Rivalry” game. There was also Utah’s 12-0 record that left them out of the BCS title game, and even after their win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, the Utes were only No.2 to finish the season despite being the only undefeated team in the country. The Sooners were thought to have the tougher schedule, which gave them the nod to the computers. Strength of schedule also hurt the Utes, who were from the Mountain West, which is thought to be inferior to the major conferences. After a lot of legal threatening and the involvement of the US Congress, the MWC is now included in the BCS.

So what does this mean to those watching the college football lines? It means that later in the season, teams will be jockeying for position in the BCS standings, because winning one of those bowls increases your chances of at least splitting the national championship. This will also affect spreads, as some teams try to put up as many points as possible, trying to sway the computers. Until we get a college football playoff, this is how it’s going to go, so make sure you understand this system before heading to your football lines to do some sportsbook betting.

For more college football tips and picks throughout the season, follow Blake in the Betting Edge at

Blake walked onto his college football team and had a brief stint as an assistant coach after he graduated. He brings a sharp mind to the world of sports handicapping. Blake understands the nuances of the game that only someone who has played would understand. Thoughts or questions?



↑ Back to page content
Media Logos

At BetOnline, our company’s guiding principle is to establish long-lasting, positive relationships with our customers. BetOnline is perfect for those who like to stay on top of all the latest sports & horse racing odds or play a few games in the online casino. We have built our reputation on giving our clients nothing but high-quality service and once you have worked with us, you will realize why we are regarded as a leader.

From our customer service to our cutting-edge technology, enticing contests and dedication to putting the best product out on the marketplace, BetOnline is always striving to improve and we take the wants and needs of our customers very seriously. We are always looking for suggestions to make our product better, and client input allows us to build a relationship that will last for a lifetime.

Trust is tough to create and it is even tougher to maintain, which is why we always keep the lines of communication open with our clients at BetOnline, and the best part is that it will not cost you a dime.

Head over to our world-famous sportsbook, where you will find live lines for all major sporting events, but that is not all because at BetOnline, you will also find the Betting Edge, which is a constant stream of advice from people that spend countless hours looking over trends and statistics, so you don’t have to. You get an honest and educated opinion for people that truly love sports, and we are always updating the section to keep you up on what’s happening in current in the world of sports.

The racebook is another fantastic section at BetOnline, as you can get a headstart on the Triple Crown season by reading over our articles to give you an idea of the winning horses. We don’t just focus on the Triple Crown at BetOnline; you can find information on races all year around and that will help you out when it comes time to watch the major thoroughbred horse races.

You can also check out our casino, where you can play the latest games powered by the latest technology. From poker to card games, slots and everything in between, we have you covered at BetOnline.

We have contests and promotions galore as BetOnline is all about what our clients want, so check it out and if you have any inquiries, never hesitate to get in touch with us. Betonline because your can!

↑ Back to top