Continuing with 5Dimes USA Today Final Poll College Football Odds, today we will examine the book maker’s pairing of Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. The Hokies are drawing 5-8 odds ($160 to win $100) to finish higher than the Fighting Irish in the final USA Today Coaches Poll, but Notre Dame, despite its recent track record, is not as big a dog as one would think in this points matchup. The Irish are listed at 6-5 or +120 odds ($100 to win $120) to place ahead of Frank Beamer’s squad in the season ending rankings.
Notre Dame is coming off its second consecutive 8-5 season under Head Coach Brian Kelly but this year’s version of the Irish should be the best the nation has seen in quite some time. Notre Dame brings back 14 starters and 41 lettermen, and with the exception of wide receiver Michael Floyd and a handful of defenders, most of its biggest playmakers for the 2011 season return.
Conversely, Virginia Tech returns only 12 starters from last season’s 11-3 team, prompting many to wonder if the school’s streak of eight consecutive double digit win seasons will come to an end in 2012. The Hokies still have a number of big time talents, though, including quarterback Logan Thomas, defensive end James Gayle, and linebacker Bruce Taylor.
There is also the issue of schedule, and while Virginia Tech’s 2012 lineup is no picnic, Notre Dame has it worse. The Irish square off against the likes of Michigan State, Michigan, Stanford, BYU, Oklahoma, and USC. The Hokies biggest challenges will come from Clemson, North Carolina, and Florida State.
Given that grueling slate, Virginia Tech, which has finished higher than Notre Dame in the USA Today Final Poll the last 10 years (Irish were ranked just three times 2002, 2005, 2006 in that span), is the winning play in this pairing.
NCAA Football - USA Today Final Poll College Football Odds: Points Matchup
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 6/5 odds or $100 to win $120
Virginia Tech Hokies 5/8 odds or $160 to win $100
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