Outkick's Vegas Top Ten and SEC vs. Big Ten 1-14


The time to shine is finally here.  All the posturing, resume building, and quality win discussion becomes moot after just one more Saturday.  Your trusted playoff committee has spoken; placing the ultimate college football blue blood Alabama on the outside looking in after losing to Auburn seemingly far from controlling their own destiny with a potential two-loss Big Ten Champion in Ohio State lurking in the shadows.  Naturally, that sparked a major debate among over zealous fan bases throughout the SEC; which conference is better?  Here’s a high level look at point spreads pitting each member of the Big Ten against their SEC counterpart based on playoff standings for those up top and then season standings after that.

Modest assumptions were required based on injuries, changes in coaching personnel, and all the other shenanigans altering the complexion of a December kickoff compared to Mid-October. (Sorry Vol fans, regardless of who coaches you guys won’t see a bump in power profile.)

Auburn -5 vs. Wisconsin

Alabama -5.5 vs. Ohio State

Georgia -3 vs. Penn State (assumes Joe Moorhead remained as Penn State OC)

LSU -11.5 vs. Michigan State

We could stop right there since you’re clearly seeing a firm divide among the top of the league. Don’t worry, we’ll continue to keep the discussion fair.

Northwestern -2.5 vs. South Carolina

Mississippi State -1 vs. Michigan (assumes a healthy Nick Fitzgerald)

Missouri -6 vs. Purdue (yes, we know they played already spare us the rant)

Iowa -3.5 vs. Kentucky

Texas A&M -10 vs. Nebraska

Ole Miss -9.5 vs. Rutgers

Florida -7 vs. Maryland

Indiana -5 vs. Vanderbilt

Arkansas PK vs. Minnesota (assumes Brett Bielema as head coach)

Tennessee -8 vs. Illinois

Quickly tabulating results shows the SEC as decided favorites (more than 3 points) in 8 hypothetical match-ups.  The Big Ten is favored by more than 3.5 points just once, in the Indiana vs. Vanderbilt match up. We know a committee didn’t seed this mythical tournament field, we know all the games wouldn’t go according to suit, and we know individual team-by-team match-ups play a tremendous role in a conference’s ability to save face.  However, when push comes to shove the SEC is still better than the Big Ten on paper and the gambling community at large continues to back that notion with their hard earned money.

Every handicapper or bookmaker like BetOnline.AG offers a differing opinion, meaning we can’t speak for the industry as a whole.  Obviously, there’s no perfect answer for such a dilemma in figuring out conference supremacy unless college football ultimately decided to be proactive and create one Saturday, every September, where power 5 conferences rotate opponents top to bottom like we see annually on the hardwoods (spare me with the logistics arguments, we have a good idea here so run with it).  Who complains if the SEC plays the BigXII in 2018 while the PAC 12 faces off against the ACC? Then the following year you rotate and we all have one big party as fans of college football instead of the Big Ten feasting on the MAC annually while SEC schools run up the score New Mexico State.

We also wouldn’t be doing our jobs this week if we failed to include the final edition of our Vegas top 10.  No need for overrated or underrated at this juncture of the season; bowl games are a different beast examining numbers.

Looking for our best bet on Championship Saturday?  Listen to Bet the Board podcast where we broke down all Power 5 league titles with LSU legend and 2-time Super Bowl champion, Booger McFarland.

Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.