The "book" top 20

Since 1984 I have made a yearly purchase of a college football preview magazine, GamePlan. To be honest, it's kind of cheesy, it has limited information and the editor has always taken some odd shots at teams through the years. It certainly isn't Phil Steele or Athlon (which I get yearly as well), but it does have one thing those don't have. It has a little feature called Stat Key.

Stat Key has a ratings system, which you can use yourself and update weekly to create your own point spreads and your own top 20 or whatever you feel like tracking.

The first year I bought what I have come to call "the book", I decided to try it out and for the past 30 years, I have used it week after week, creating my own spreads and top 20 (most of you don't remember the days they only ranked 20 teams...and yes, it is my way of relaxing!!)

I have tweaked it along the way and it has gotten to the point now where the spreads it puts out week in and week out are very representative of what Vegas uses and the Top 20, although you may disagree with it, is also really close to what plays out in the AP and USA Today polls.

Using it against the Vegas spread, it has had 5 straight winning seasons now, not ever going much above 52 to 54% on the year, but still..more winners than losers says a lot. Do remember, it's not about you picking against the book spreads, but the book picking against Vegas.

For the weekly selections I have been using Danny Sheridan's opening lines the past few years as I bailed on getting the Boston Globe!

Since I do this weekly, I figured I would share it with the group and hope you enjoy it.

This week's top 20 then:

  1. Oregon 6-0
  2. Florida State 5-0
  3. Alabama 6-0
  4. Ohio State 6-0
  5. LSU 6-1
  6. Baylor 5-0
  7. Wisconsin 4-2
  8. Clemson 6-0
  9. Louisville 6-0
  10. Missouri 6-0
  11. Stanford 5-1
  12. Texas A&M 5-1
  13. South Carolina 5-1
  14. Arizona State 4-2
  15. Nebraska 4-2
  16. Boise State 4-2
  17. UCLA 5-0
  18. Miami FL 5-0
  19. Florida 4-2
  20. Michigan State 5-1

Yeah, some oddities like Nebraska ahead of UCLA and Wisconsin with 2 losses and Arizona State with 2 losses so high, but that's half the fun, something to debate and unlike the regular polls, this is not necessarily about record, but about comparing teams.

BC currently sits at #60 in the country and #9 in the ACC.

Based on current standings, BC will be a 4 point underdog next week at North Carolina.

Spreads of top 20 and ACC games for the week:

TOP 20

  • at Oregon 29 Washington State
  • Florida State 4 at Clemson
  • at Alabama 28 Arkansas
  • at Ohio State 20 Iowa
  • LSU 12 at Mississippi
  • at Baylor 22 Iowa State
  • Wisconsin 16 at Illinois
  • at Louisville 8 Central Florida
  • at Stanford 4 UCLA
  • at Texas A&M 8 Auburn
  • South Carolina 9 at Tennessee
  • at Arizona State 6 Washington
  • at Boise State 27 Nevada
  • at Missouri 6 Florida (note it can't take James Franklin's injury or any injury into play)
  • at Michigan State 29 Purdue
  • ACC
  • Miami 9 at North Carolina
  • Duke 3 at Virginia
  • Maryland 4 at Wake Forest
  • at Georgia Tech 4 Syracuse

Year to date: 161-145-6 .526 with 18 point spreads exactly what Vegas had

Enjoy and argue back next week.