There’s no good reason to manufacture point spreads for the top 25 college football games of the 2014 season at this point in the offseason. Then again, there’s no good reason not to, either.
I take that back. There is one very good reason to put on the oddsmaker cap well before it’s necessary. At the very least, it can give us a brief moment away from the defensive substitutions discussion and the sudden scrum regarding the 10-second rule.
As for this exercise, let’s point out a few necessary disclaimers.
First and most importantly, these are projections with a hint of personal forecast. The Golden Nugget will release its early "Games of the Year" point spreads around summer, which means there isn’t much else to go off of until then. These particular lines are an attempt to dissect what Vegas would do if games were to be played next weekend.
On that note, I wish these games were set for next weekend.
That’s a perfect segue into disclaimer No. 2, a reminder that these lines will change plenty over the next six months. Spring football will bring both the good and the bad—development and injuries—while the natural, unexpected attrition will occur for some teams. A lot of this can’t be predicted, of course, but instead reacted to.
We’ll have ample time to react, but why wait? The top 25 games—sorted by date—have officially been handicapped.