The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 24, 2019

A Great Compromise For The NFL

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:47 am

As Week Three of the NFL Preseason continues today, the hot topic among the NFL teams, media, and fans is the preseason itself.  Four preseason games are definitely too many in the 21st Century.  With mini-camps and organized team activities, NFL football does not need more than a month of preseason preparing for the regular season.

At one time, NFL teams played six preseason games and then played a 12-game regular season.  It expanded to six preseason and 14 regular season games in 1961 (1960 in the American Football League).  When the NFL schedule expanded to 16 games in 1979, the preseason shortened to the four games we have now.  So, this current formula has been in place for 40 years.

The owners believe that any reduction in preseason games should be accompanied by an increase in regular season games.  The players don’t believe an 18-game regular season schedule is such a good idea, as injuries are considerably more prevalent the more games they play.  With an 18-game regular season, some players will play 22 regular season games if they make the Super Bowl as a Wildcard.

Obviously, the NFL owners will not agree to removing two preseason games with no extra regular season games.  The players may not agree on the 18-game schedule either.

Here’s our compromise proposal.  Remove two preseason games, which means just one home game per team, and replace it with just one extra regular season games.  That means the regular season would be 17 games.  How could we favor an odd number of games, since that would mean half the league would play nine home games and the other half eight.  Wouldn’t that give the half with nine home games a big advantage?

That’s not what we are proposing.  What we propose is that this 17th game would be played at a neutral site.  There are many excellent college football venues and bowl sites that do not host NFL football.  How would a Dallas-Houston game at the University of Texas play in Austin?  What about the Steelers and Eagles playing at Penn State in Happy Valley?  Or, consider the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals playing at the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium?

Opening pro football to all these other markets would grow the brand nationally like playing in London has internationally.  Games in London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, and Munich could be schedules as neutral site games rather than home games.  The NFL could add Mexico City, Honolulu, Tokyo, and Melbourne to its regular season schedule.

What would be done with the extra week of the season when the schedule reduced from 20 different weeks to 19?  Throw in a second bye week for every team and construct schedules that give teams an off week following their neutral site game.

If this plan were put in place, the NFL season would begin tomorrow, Sunday, August 25.

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August 22, 2019

PiRate Ratings Picks For August 24, 2019

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:35 am

Welcome to the debut of the 2019 PiRate Ratings Picks.  During the football season, we will issue our pretend financial advice for you to read as entertainment purposes only and not to wager real money on games.

We pretend to make $100 wagers on whatever it is we select.  In the past, we have done this with money line parlays, teasers, straight wagers, and regular spread parlays.  Through the years, we have discovered our most successful style of wagering has been playing money line parlays.  At one time, we were successful teasing the totals lines.  13-point, 4-game parlays of teaser totals gave us an incredible hot streak one season when the standard deviation of scores was much lower than normal.

In this decade, there has been higher standard deviation in NFL scores, because the new rule moving extra points back 15 yards has created instability in game scores.

Many years ago, we had a rather impressive result playing the middle in games, but that was when we had permission to release the “outlaw” line before the official opening line.  Without the ability to see the Outlaw line and then the opening line, it was impossible to try to guess which games would see a large enough swing to go with both sides.

Since there are only two games this week, both college games, there is no real play that can be issued with our strategy.  If you take both favorites this week, Florida over Miami and Arizona over Hawaii, the best money line parlay odds you can get today is .6941, which means you would win $169.41 if you bet $100 and the two favorites won.  That means you would get your $100 investment back with $69.41 in profits.  Our philosophy is to only play parlays with odds of +120 or better, meaning you would receive $220  or more on a $100 wager.

In order to play a parlay with better than +120 odds this week, we would have to pick Hawaii or Miami to win outright.  If we selected Florida to beat Miami and Hawaii to upset Arizona, the parlay odds would be around +500 at this very moment.  That means, we would win $600 on a $100 wager if Florida and Hawaii won.

Alas, we are only confident this week of one outcome, that Florida will indeed beat Miami.  The actual point spread is right where we believe it should be, so playing the line is out of the question.

The best Money Line spread available to us at midday Thursday is -290, which means if we wager $100 on this game, if Florida won, we’d get a tiny $34.48 profit.  The reward is too small for the risk.

The totals for these two games do not give us a chance to come up with a playable parlay either, so for Week 0, we are not issuing any official picks.  We prefer to pick our spots and play only games that we are confident in occasionally winning.  If we play Money Line parlays with odds of +120 or better, we can win a smaller percentage of games and still turn a profit.

Let’s say we play 50 games this year with an average parlay odd of +180  Let’s say we get lucky and win 20.  Here’s how that would affect our imaginary bank account.

50 wagers of $100 each = $5,000 investment

20 Wins at +180 = $3,600 in winnings

30 Losses at +180 = $3,000 in losses

$600 profit at the end of the 50 wagers

12% Return on Investment

This 12% would take place in roughly 4 months, so the annualized Return on Investment would be 36%.  Not many investments return 36% in one year.

Ah, but here’s the rub: how likely is it that we can win 40% of our Money Line wagers at +180 odds?  The answer at the present time is one year in four, or to re-phrase it, four years ago.  The only solace is that the most recent three years brought imaginary profits as well, just nothing close to an annualized return of 36%.  Our 2018 season profit was so small it is not worth mentioning.  It was better in 2017 and much better in 2016, so the four year trend has been going in the wrong direction.

Ah, but here’s the other rub: We invested imaginary funds in all the years we have issued our selections.  Being 100% accurate and being 0% accurate brings the same outcome on zero real dollars invested.

Last year, we welcomed five of our long time friends to participate in a contest selecting winners against the spread.  It was a close contest all year, and as a group the five turned a small profit.  This year, we are going to have a guest computer program try to pick winners.  We decided to call this program “Davey 19.”  Davey is named for a former quarterback at TCU and for a short time with the Philadelphia Eagles.  Davey was only 5 foot 7 inches tall, but he had the heart of a giant and the fundamentals of a robot, so that’s why we are calling our guest computer program Davey 19 this year.

We will give Davey an identical rule–to make investments in imaginary $100 wagers.  Davey can make any type of selection in college and the NFL.  Davey does have one selection this week.

 

PiRate Picks For August 24, 2019

None   (not enough games for a playable parlay)

 

Davey 19 Selection For August 24, 2019

Hawaii +11 vs. Arizona

 

We do feel like Florida has a better than 60% chance to beat Miami, but the Money Line odd is too low to make enough profit to limit risk.

August 19, 2019

PiRate College Football Ratings: August 20, 2019

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:01 pm

PiRate Ratings Spreads For Week 0 and Week 1–August 24 through September 2

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings
Saturday August 24
Home Visitors PiRate Mean Bias
Florida (n) Miami (Fla.) 11.0 9.5 8.9
Hawaii Arizona -2.2 -0.3 -3.4
 

 

Thursday August 29
Home Visitors PiRate Mean Bias
Cincinnati UCLA 2.6 1.1 3.7
Tulane Florida Int’l. 4.4 5.4 3.7
Clemson Georgia Tech 36.7 34.0 36.7
Texas A&M Texas St. 36.5 33.7 34.9
Arizona St. Kent St. 26.4 24.6 26.8
BYU Utah -13.5 -11.5 -13.5
 

 

Friday August 30
Home Visitors PiRate Mean Bias
Army Rice 28.2 26.4 28.7
South Florida Wisconsin -12.1 -10.1 -10.9
Michigan St. Tulsa 27.1 26.4 26.2
Rutgers Massachusetts 21.2 18.1 21.2
Wake Forest Utah St. 1.3 2.0 0.0
Nevada Purdue -15.2 -13.4 -15.2
Colorado (n) Colorado St. 20.5 14.8 20.6
Oregon St. Oklahoma St. -11.9 -10.8 -12.3
 

 

Saturday August 31
Home Visitors PiRate Mean Bias
North Carolina St. East Carolina 18.9 16.1 19.5
Illinois Akron 16.5 17.3 15.4
Indiana (n) Ball St. 23.8 22.4 23.3
Nebraska South Alabama 35.9 33.8 36.8
Ohio St. Florida Atlantic 32.2 31.1 31.7
Kentucky Toledo 21.3 19.7 19.0
Memphis Ole Miss 3.1 3.7 5.6
Louisiana (n) Mississippi St. -25.0 -19.6 -25.8
North Carolina (n) South Carolina -14.3 -11.3 -12.7
Tennessee Georgia St. 30.8 29.0 30.3
Alabama (n) Duke 31.3 26.7 32.2
Coastal Carolina Eastern Michigan -5.2 -4.1 -7.1
Stanford Northwestern 0.3 0.1 1.5
Boston College Virginia Tech -1.5 -2.6 -1.6
Liberty Syracuse -21.3 -19.4 -21.0
Arkansas St. SMU -5.4 -4.3 -5.8
Florida St. (n) Boise St. 2.0 3.6 1.9
Vanderbilt Georgia -18.7 -17.8 -20.0
Auburn (n) Oregon 3.8 0.9 1.5
LSU Georgia Southern 28.0 25.3 27.3
Wyoming Missouri -18.5 -12.7 -17.7
Iowa Miami (O) 27.4 26.6 26.8
Michigan Middle Tennessee 35.2 33.8 35.8
Pittsburgh Virginia 3.4 2.4 2.7
Texas Louisiana Tech 23.4 23.5 22.5
Washington St. New Mexico St. 37.0 32.5 37.4
USC Fresno St. 7.2 8.0 6.8
 

 

Sunday/Monday September 1/2
Home Visitors PiRate Mean Bias
Oklahoma Houston 28.2 25.7 24.9
Louisville Notre Dame -23.8 -22.4 -25.9

 

FBS vs. FCS Games

 

Home Visitor PiRate
San Jose St. Northern Colorado 14.5
Connecticut Wagner 12.6
Central Michigan Albany 9.8
Bowling Green Morgan St. 17.2
Buffalo Robert Morris 43.9
Charlotte Gardner-Webb 26.5
Western Kentucky Central Arkansas 11.9
Central Florida Florida A&M 45.5
UAB Alabama St. 45.5
Minnesota South Dakota St. 12.7
UNLV Southern Utah 17.3
Air Force Colgate 11.3
New Mexico Sam Houston St. 9.7
Maryland Howard 36.0
Iowa St. Northern Iowa 22.2
Kansas Indiana St. 13.8
West Virginia James Madison 18.5
Ohio U Rhode Island 27.6
Washington E. Washington 18.0
Temple Bucknell 44.2
Navy Holy Cross 24.4
Penn St. Idaho 40.5
Appalachian St. East Tennessee 36.3
Arkansas Portland St. 21.0
Texas Tech Montana St. 25.7
UTSA Incarnate Word 7.3
Troy Campbell 33.8
California UC-Davis 14.5
Marshall VMI 37.8
Old Dominion Norfolk St. 23.5
Southern Miss Alcorn St. 23.6
Kansas St. Nicholls 23.9
Baylor Stephen F Austin 37.3
Northern Illinois Illinois St. 7.3
Western Michigan Monmouth 20.5
North Texas Abilene Christian 19.4
UTEP Houston Baptist 15.2
TCU Ark. Pine Bluff 52.3
Louisiana-Monroe Grambling 24.3
San Diego St. Weber St. 8.1

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings (1-130)

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 135.3 130.6 136.1 134.0
2 Clemson 133.8 129.6 134.6 132.7
3 Georgia 125.7 123.6 126.1 125.1
4 Michigan 122.9 120.8 123.6 122.4
5 L S U 123.5 120.4 122.2 122.0
6 Ohio St. 121.1 119.3 121.3 120.6
7 Notre Dame 121.0 119.1 121.5 120.5
8 Oklahoma 120.5 119.4 120.1 120.0
9 Florida 120.7 117.8 119.7 119.4
10 Texas A&M 118.3 116.6 116.7 117.2
11 Utah 116.6 114.7 116.8 116.0
12 Auburn 117.0 114.4 116.1 115.8
13 Mississippi St. 117.5 112.5 117.2 115.7
14 Michigan St. 115.6 115.3 115.7 115.5
15 Penn St. 115.0 113.9 114.9 114.6
16 Missouri 115.5 112.4 115.5 114.5
17 Iowa 115.1 112.6 114.9 114.2
18 Oregon 113.3 113.5 114.6 113.8
19 South Carolina 113.8 112.2 113.7 113.2
20 Washington 112.7 111.9 113.8 112.8
21 Iowa St. 111.8 112.2 111.7 111.9
22 Syracuse 111.9 111.5 112.0 111.8
23 Washington St. 112.0 110.7 112.2 111.6
24 Tennessee 111.8 111.6 110.3 111.2
25 Minnesota 111.8 111.2 110.6 111.2
26 Texas 111.4 111.2 110.7 111.1
27 Northwestern 111.3 110.4 110.3 110.7
28 Purdue 110.4 110.3 110.0 110.2
29 Baylor 110.3 110.2 109.8 110.1
30 Miami (Fla.) 109.6 108.3 110.8 109.6
31 Oklahoma St. 109.6 110.0 108.9 109.5
32 Wisconsin 109.7 109.0 109.0 109.2
33 Virginia Tech 108.5 109.1 109.2 108.9
34 Indiana 109.6 107.8 108.6 108.7
35 Stanford 108.7 107.5 108.8 108.3
36 Central Florida 108.1 107.1 109.2 108.1
37 Kentucky 108.8 107.5 107.6 108.0
38 Arizona St. 107.9 106.6 108.5 107.7
39 Pittsburgh 108.0 107.6 107.4 107.7
40 Nebraska 107.2 108.8 107.0 107.7
41 California 107.0 107.0 108.3 107.4
42 Virginia 107.1 107.7 107.2 107.3
43 Texas Tech 107.5 107.6 106.6 107.2
44 U C L A 107.1 106.9 106.3 106.8
45 Kansas St. 107.0 106.8 106.6 106.8
46 Cincinnati 106.8 105.0 107.0 106.3
47 West Virginia 106.4 106.2 105.9 106.1
48 Utah St. 105.6 104.3 107.0 105.6
49 Florida St. 105.2 105.9 105.4 105.5
50 Boise St. 105.2 104.3 105.5 105.0
51 U S C 103.8 105.2 104.2 104.4
52 Appalachian St. 105.4 103.3 104.5 104.4
53 Boston College 104.1 103.5 104.6 104.1
54 Memphis 103.8 103.3 105.0 104.0
55 Duke 104.0 103.8 103.8 103.9
56 Vanderbilt 104.5 103.3 103.6 103.8
57 Wake Forest 103.4 102.8 103.5 103.2
58 T C U 101.8 105.6 102.2 103.2
59 Army 102.8 102.7 102.6 102.7
60 North Carolina St. 102.5 102.2 103.1 102.6
61 Temple 102.2 101.0 103.5 102.2
62 Arizona 101.9 102.0 102.4 102.1
63 Maryland 102.3 101.8 101.1 101.7
64 BYU 101.6 101.7 101.8 101.7
65 Ole Miss 102.2 101.1 100.9 101.4
66 North Carolina 99.5 100.9 101.0 100.5
67 Fresno St. 99.6 100.2 100.4 100.1
68 Georgia Tech 100.1 98.6 101.0 99.9
69 Colorado 100.0 99.0 100.1 99.7
70 Arkansas 99.5 100.5 98.8 99.6
71 Western Michigan 99.6 98.2 99.9 99.2
72 SMU 99.4 98.4 99.6 99.1
73 Georgia Southern 98.5 98.0 97.9 98.2
74 Air Force 96.7 98.0 97.5 97.4
75 Illinois 97.2 98.1 96.3 97.2
76 Houston 95.4 96.7 98.2 96.7
77 Ohio 96.5 95.2 98.0 96.6
78 Tulane 95.9 96.6 96.0 96.2
79 Hawaii 95.7 97.7 95.0 96.1
80 Kansas 95.3 96.5 95.0 95.6
81 South Florida 94.6 95.9 95.1 95.2
82 Wyoming 94.0 96.6 94.8 95.1
83 Oregon St. 94.8 96.2 93.6 94.9
84 San Diego St. 94.2 96.2 93.9 94.8
85 Troy 94.9 95.5 93.9 94.8
86 Florida Int’l. 94.0 93.7 94.8 94.2
87 Northern Illinois 94.5 93.2 94.6 94.1
88 Louisville 94.7 94.2 93.0 93.9
89 Southern Miss. 94.6 92.2 94.9 93.9
90 Marshall 93.1 92.6 94.0 93.2
91 North Texas 93.0 92.3 93.9 93.1
92 Nevada 92.2 93.9 91.8 92.6
93 Louisiana 92.5 92.9 91.4 92.3
94 Tulsa 91.5 91.9 92.5 92.0
95 Florida Atlantic 91.9 91.1 92.6 91.9
96 Rutgers 91.9 91.9 91.5 91.8
97 Arkansas St. 91.4 91.7 91.3 91.5
98 Louisiana Tech 91.1 90.8 91.2 91.0
99 Toledo 90.5 90.8 91.6 90.9
100 Middle Tennessee 90.7 90.0 90.8 90.5
101 Miami (Ohio) 90.7 89.0 91.1 90.3
102 Louisiana-Monroe 89.2 89.9 89.2 89.4
103 Eastern Michigan 89.0 89.2 89.8 89.4
104 Buffalo 88.2 89.0 89.2 88.8
105 Liberty 88.1 89.6 88.6 88.7
106 Western Kentucky 87.9 88.7 89.4 88.6
107 U A B 87.2 89.1 87.7 88.0
108 U N L V 86.4 88.9 86.5 87.3
109 Navy 86.2 89.2 85.8 87.1
110 Charlotte 86.4 87.0 86.8 86.7
111 East Carolina 85.2 87.6 85.1 86.0
112 Ball St. 85.8 85.4 85.3 85.5
113 Kent St. 85.0 85.5 85.2 85.2
114 San Jose St. 83.8 86.0 82.9 84.2
115 Georgia St. 84.0 85.6 83.0 84.2
116 Texas St. 83.8 84.9 83.8 84.2
117 New Mexico 83.2 86.3 82.6 84.1
118 Akron 83.3 83.4 83.5 83.4
119 Coastal Carolina 81.4 82.6 80.2 81.4
120 Colorado St. 79.4 84.2 79.5 81.0
121 New Mexico St. 78.0 81.2 77.8 79.0
122 Bowling Green 78.5 78.5 78.9 78.7
123 Central Michigan 78.1 79.2 78.2 78.5
124 Texas-San Antonio 77.2 80.0 76.9 78.0
125 Rice 77.1 78.8 76.4 77.5
126 Old Dominion 75.7 76.0 75.7 75.8
127 South Alabama 74.3 78.0 73.1 75.2
128 Massachusetts 73.7 76.8 73.3 74.6
129 Connecticut 73.6 77.9 72.1 74.5
130 U T E P 66.9 72.6 67.3 68.9

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 108.1 107.1 109.2 108.1 0-0 0-0
Cincinnati 106.8 105.0 107.0 106.3 0-0 0-0
Temple 102.2 101.0 103.5 102.2 0-0 0-0
South Florida 94.6 95.9 95.1 95.2 0-0 0-0
East Carolina 85.2 87.6 85.1 86.0 0-0 0-0
Connecticut 73.6 77.9 72.1 74.5 0-0 0-0
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Memphis 103.8 103.3 105.0 104.0 0-0 0-0
SMU 99.4 98.4 99.6 99.1 0-0 0-0
Houston 95.4 96.7 98.2 96.7 0-0 0-0
Tulane 95.9 96.6 96.0 96.2 0-0 0-0
Tulsa 91.5 91.9 92.5 92.0 0-0 0-0
Navy 86.2 89.2 85.8 87.1 0-0 0-0
 

 

AAC Averages 95.2 95.9 95.8 95.6
 

 

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 133.8 129.6 134.6 132.7 0-0 0-0
Syracuse 111.9 111.5 112.0 111.8 0-0 0-0
Florida St. 105.2 105.9 105.4 105.5 0-0 0-0
Boston College 104.1 103.5 104.6 104.1 0-0 0-0
Wake Forest 103.4 102.8 103.5 103.2 0-0 0-0
North Carolina St. 102.5 102.2 103.1 102.6 0-0 0-0
Louisville 94.7 94.2 93.0 93.9 0-0 0-0
 

 

Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Miami (Fla.) 109.6 108.3 110.8 109.6 0-0 0-0
Virginia Tech 108.5 109.1 109.2 108.9 0-0 0-0
Pittsburgh 108.0 107.6 107.4 107.7 0-0 0-0
Virginia 107.1 107.7 107.2 107.3 0-0 0-0
Duke 104.0 103.8 103.8 103.9 0-0 0-0
North Carolina 99.5 100.9 101.0 100.5 0-0 0-0
Georgia Tech 100.1 98.6 101.0 99.9 0-0 0-0
 

 

ACC Averages 106.6 106.1 106.9 106.5
 

 

Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 120.5 119.4 120.1 120.0 0-0 0-0
Iowa St. 111.8 112.2 111.7 111.9 0-0 0-0
Texas 111.4 111.2 110.7 111.1 0-0 0-0
Baylor 110.3 110.2 109.8 110.1 0-0 0-0
Oklahoma St. 109.6 110.0 108.9 109.5 0-0 0-0
Texas Tech 107.5 107.6 106.6 107.2 0-0 0-0
Kansas St. 107.0 106.8 106.6 106.8 0-0 0-0
West Virginia 106.4 106.2 105.9 106.1 0-0 0-0
T C U 101.8 105.6 102.2 103.2 0-0 0-0
Kansas 95.3 96.5 95.0 95.6 0-0 0-0
 

 

Big 12 Averages 108.2 108.6 107.7 108.2
 

 

Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Michigan 122.9 120.8 123.6 122.4 0-0 0-0
Ohio St. 121.1 119.3 121.3 120.6 0-0 0-0
Michigan St. 115.6 115.3 115.7 115.5 0-0 0-0
Penn St. 115.0 113.9 114.9 114.6 0-0 0-0
Indiana 109.6 107.8 108.6 108.7 0-0 0-0
Maryland 102.3 101.8 101.1 101.7 0-0 0-0
Rutgers 91.9 91.9 91.5 91.8 0-0 0-0
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Iowa 115.1 112.6 114.9 114.2 0-0 0-0
Minnesota 111.8 111.2 110.6 111.2 0-0 0-0
Northwestern 111.3 110.4 110.3 110.7 0-0 0-0
Purdue 110.4 110.3 110.0 110.2 0-0 0-0
Wisconsin 109.7 109.0 109.0 109.2 0-0 0-0
Nebraska 107.2 108.8 107.0 107.7 0-0 0-0
Illinois 97.2 98.1 96.3 97.2 0-0 0-0
 

 

Big Ten Averages 110.1 109.4 109.6 109.7
 

 

Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Florida Int’l. 94.0 93.7 94.8 94.2 0-0 0-0
Marshall 93.1 92.6 94.0 93.2 0-0 0-0
Florida Atlantic 91.9 91.1 92.6 91.9 0-0 0-0
Middle Tennessee 90.7 90.0 90.8 90.5 0-0 0-0
Western Kentucky 87.9 88.7 89.4 88.6 0-0 0-0
Charlotte 86.4 87.0 86.8 86.7 0-0 0-0
Old Dominion 75.7 76.0 75.7 75.8 0-0 0-0
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Southern Miss. 94.6 92.2 94.9 93.9 0-0 0-0
North Texas 93.0 92.3 93.9 93.1 0-0 0-0
Louisiana Tech 91.1 90.8 91.2 91.0 0-0 0-0
U A B 87.2 89.1 87.7 88.0 0-0 0-0
Texas-San Antonio 77.2 80.0 76.9 78.0 0-0 0-0
Rice 77.1 78.8 76.4 77.5 0-0 0-0
U T E P 66.9 72.6 67.3 68.9 0-0 0-0
 

 

CUSA Averages 86.2 86.8 86.6 86.5
 

 

FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 121.0 119.1 121.5 120.5 x 0-0
Army 102.8 102.7 102.6 102.7 x 0-0
BYU 101.6 101.7 101.8 101.7 x 0-0
Liberty 88.1 89.6 88.6 88.7 x 0-0
New Mexico St. 78.0 81.2 77.8 79.0 x 0-0
Massachusetts 73.7 76.8 73.3 74.6 x 0-0
 

 

Indep. Averages 94.2 95.2 94.3 94.5
 

 

Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Ohio 96.5 95.2 98.0 96.6 0-0 0-0
Miami (Ohio) 90.7 89.0 91.1 90.3 0-0 0-0
Buffalo 88.2 89.0 89.2 88.8 0-0 0-0
Kent St. 85.0 85.5 85.2 85.2 0-0 0-0
Akron 83.3 83.4 83.5 83.4 0-0 0-0
Bowling Green 78.5 78.5 78.9 78.7 0-0 0-0
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Western Michigan 99.6 98.2 99.9 99.2 0-0 0-0
Northern Illinois 94.5 93.2 94.6 94.1 0-0 0-0
Toledo 90.5 90.8 91.6 90.9 0-0 0-0
Eastern Michigan 89.0 89.2 89.8 89.4 0-0 0-0
Ball St. 85.8 85.4 85.3 85.5 0-0 0-0
Central Michigan 78.1 79.2 78.2 78.5 0-0 0-0
 

 

MAC Averages 88.3 88.1 88.8 88.4
 

 

Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Utah St. 105.6 104.3 107.0 105.6 0-0 0-0
Boise St. 105.2 104.3 105.5 105.0 0-0 0-0
Air Force 96.7 98.0 97.5 97.4 0-0 0-0
Wyoming 94.0 96.6 94.8 95.1 0-0 0-0
New Mexico 83.2 86.3 82.6 84.1 0-0 0-0
Colorado St. 79.4 84.2 79.5 81.0 0-0 0-0
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 99.6 100.2 100.4 100.1 0-0 0-0
Hawaii 95.7 97.7 95.0 96.1 0-0 0-0
San Diego St. 94.2 96.2 93.9 94.8 0-0 0-0
Nevada 92.2 93.9 91.8 92.6 0-0 0-0
U N L V 86.4 88.9 86.5 87.3 0-0 0-0
San Jose St. 83.8 86.0 82.9 84.2 0-0 0-0
 

 

MWC Averages 93.0 94.7 93.1 93.6
 

 

Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Oregon 113.3 113.5 114.6 113.8 0-0 0-0
Washington 112.7 111.9 113.8 112.8 0-0 0-0
Washington St. 112.0 110.7 112.2 111.6 0-0 0-0
Stanford 108.7 107.5 108.8 108.3 0-0 0-0
California 107.0 107.0 108.3 107.4 0-0 0-0
Oregon St. 94.8 96.2 93.6 94.9 0-0 0-0
 

 

South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 116.6 114.7 116.8 116.0 0-0 0-0
Arizona St. 107.9 106.6 108.5 107.7 0-0 0-0
U C L A 107.1 106.9 106.3 106.8 0-0 0-0
U S C 103.8 105.2 104.2 104.4 0-0 0-0
Arizona 101.9 102.0 102.4 102.1 0-0 0-0
Colorado 100.0 99.0 100.1 99.7 0-0 0-0
 

 

Pac-12 Averages 107.1 106.8 107.5 107.1
 

 

Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 125.7 123.6 126.1 125.1 0-0 0-0
Florida 120.7 117.8 119.7 119.4 0-0 0-0
Missouri 115.5 112.4 115.5 114.5 0-0 0-0
South Carolina 113.8 112.2 113.7 113.2 0-0 0-0
Tennessee 111.8 111.6 110.3 111.2 0-0 0-0
Kentucky 108.8 107.5 107.6 108.0 0-0 0-0
Vanderbilt 104.5 103.3 103.6 103.8 0-0 0-0
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 135.3 130.6 136.1 134.0 0-0 0-0
L S U 123.5 120.4 122.2 122.0 0-0 0-0
Texas A&M 118.3 116.6 116.7 117.2 0-0 0-0
Auburn 117.0 114.4 116.1 115.8 0-0 0-0
Mississippi St. 117.5 112.5 117.2 115.7 0-0 0-0
Ole Miss 102.2 101.1 100.9 101.4 0-0 0-0
Arkansas 99.5 100.5 98.8 99.6 0-0 0-0
 

 

SEC Averages 115.3 113.2 114.6 114.4
 

 

Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 105.4 103.3 104.5 104.4 0-0 0-0
Georgia Southern 98.5 98.0 97.9 98.2 0-0 0-0
Troy 94.9 95.5 93.9 94.8 0-0 0-0
Georgia St. 84.0 85.6 83.0 84.2 0-0 0-0
Coastal Carolina 81.4 82.6 80.2 81.4 0-0 0-0
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Louisiana 92.5 92.9 91.4 92.3 0-0 0-0
Arkansas St. 91.4 91.7 91.3 91.5 0-0 0-0
Louisiana-Monroe 89.2 89.9 89.2 89.4 0-0 0-0
Texas St. 83.8 84.9 83.8 84.2 0-0 0-0
South Alabama 74.3 78.0 73.1 75.2 0-0 0-0
 

 

SBC Averages 89.5 90.2 88.8 89.5

 

Conference Power Ratings

 

# League Average
1 SEC 114.4
2 BTen 109.7
3 B12 108.2
4 P12 107.1
5 ACC 106.5
6 AAC 95.6
7 Ind 94.5
8 MWC 93.6
9 SUN 89.5
10 MAC 88.4
11 CUSA 86.5

 

 

Top 5 Group of 5
1 Central Florida
2 Cincinnati
3 Utah St.
4 Boise St.
5 Appalachian St.

 

 

Preseason Bowl Projections

 

Bowl Conf Conf Team Team
Bahamas MAC CUSA Western Michigan Southern Miss.
Frisco AAC At-large Houston Florida Int’l.
Cure AAC SBC Temple Georgia Southern
New Mexico CUSA MWC Louisiana Tech San Diego St.
Boca Raton AAC MAC Central Florida Ohio
Camellia MAC SBC Eastern Michigan Louisiana
Las Vegas MWC Pac-12 Utah St. UCLA
New Orleans CUSA SBC #1 UAB Appalachian St.
Gasparilla AAC CUSA Cincinnati Florida Atlantic
Hawaii BYU/MWC AAC BYU Memphis
Independence ACC SEC Florida St. North Texas
Quick Lane ACC Big Ten Boston College Northwestern
Military ACC AAC Pittsburgh South Florida
Pinstripe ACC Big Ten Virginia Minnesota
Texas Big 12 SEC Oklahoma St. Mississippi St.
Holiday Pac-12 Big Ten Washington St. Iowa
Cheez-It Big 12 Pac-12 West Virginia Hawaii
Camping World ACC Big 12 Miami (Fla.) Iowa St.
Cotton At-large At-large Army Washington
First Responder CUSA Big 12 Marshall TCU
Redbox Pac-12 Big Ten Stanford Wisconsin
Music City SEC ACC Indiana Wake Forest
Orange ACC BTen/SEC Notre Dame Florida
Belk ACC SEC Syracuse Tennessee
Sun ACC Pac-12 Virginia Tech Arizona St.
Liberty Big 12 SEC Texas Kentucky
Arizona SBC MWC Troy Fresno St.
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 Baylor Oregon
Citrus SEC BTen/ACC Texas A&M Nebraska
Outback Big Ten SEC Auburn Penn St.
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Ohio St. Utah
Sugar Big 12 SEC Oklahoma LSU
Birmingham AAC SEC SMU North Carolina St.
Taxslayer/Gator SEC Big Ten South Carolina Michigan St.
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Toledo Air Force
Armed Forces Big Ten MWC Purdue Boise St.
Dollar General MAC SBC Northern Illinois Arkansas St.
FBS PLAYOFFS
Fiesta Top 4 Top 4 Clemson Georgia
Peach Top 4 Top 4 Alabama Michigan
Champsionship Fiesta Peach Clemson Alabama
Italics–At-large team because the conference cannot fulfill its allotment

 

 

 

 

 

August 18, 2019

2019 Southeastern Conference Football Preview

Current Penn State and former Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin once said, “The three toughest conferences in football are the NFC, AFC, and SEC.”  Even though Clemson has taken Alabama to the woodshed twice in three years, the SEC is still the class of college football.  Clemson has no rival in the ACC like Alabama has in the SEC.  There are no Georgia, LSU, Florida, or Texas A&M types in the ACC.  Clemson played Texas A&M last year; it was a close game, and the Aggies had a chance to win it.  They go to Clemson early this season, and it is probably the only game Clemson will have to worry about until the Playoffs.

In the East Division, Georgia is the only team that has won the SEC Championship in the last 10 seasons.  The Bulldogs won the 2017 title, and they led Alabama in the National Championship Game until Tua Tagovailoa came off the bench and became the best quarterback to wear the Crimson since Ken Stabler and Joe Namath.  Georgia lost to LSU last season and then led Alabama into the second half in the Championship Game, before Tua rallied the Tide again.  Can the third year be the charm?  Coach Kirby Smart has star quarterback Jake Fromm and talented running back D’Andre Swift back behind a tough offensive line.  The receiving corps is thin on experience but has some talent, and with Fromm throwing the ball, the passing game will top 200 yards a game.

The Bulldog defense had a little trouble stopping some enemy quarterbacks last year, but the secondary will be improved in 2019.  The Bulldog defense should yield 17 or less points per game, and Georgia has a chance to go 12-0 and get that third chance in a row to stop the Tide.

Florida won 10 games in Dan Mullen’s first year as head coach in the Swamp.  The Gators should be Georgia’s principle competitor this year, but Mullen has some rebuilding to do on the attack side.  Feleipe Franks is a near star at quarterback.  If he stays healthy, Franks should pass for 3,000 yards this year, as Florida has a receiving corps that rivals Alabama’s in the league.  A defense that returns a lot up front and in back could give the Gators a chance in Jacksonville against the Bulldogs.

Unless an appeal is successful, Missouri will be on probation this year and not eligible for the SEC Championship Game, the Playoffs, or a bowl.  The Tigers might be the dark horse in the division, and if eligibility is restored, this team might be good enough to sneak into the division title picture, probably in a three-way tie.  Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant replaces Drew Lock at quarterback, and the Missouri offense will be a little different, using Bryant’s ability to run.  The Tigers have an excellent receiving corps, led by a potential Mackie Award-winning tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.  The Missouri defense is not up to the standards of Florida and Georgia, but Coach Barry Odom has been gifted with a plum of a schedule this year.  The Tigers have a chance to go to Georgia on November 9 with an 8-0 record.

South Carolina and Tennessee are teams in transition.  The Gamecocks are trying to stay relevant against a tough schedule, while Tennessee is trying to return to relevance after several years under .500 in the SEC.  The Gamecocks are looking at a mild rebuilding year with a young, inexperienced defense that gave up more than 27 points last year.  Having to compete with Florida and Georgia is tough, but USC has three tough non-conference opponents, in rival Clemson plus North Carolina and Appalachian St.

Tennessee returns the most starters of any team in a power 5 conference, and the Vols have a rather strong group of redshirt freshmen available for second year coach Jeremy Pruitt.  Pruitt is a master defensive specialist, and the Volunteers will improve on their 2018 numbers of 28 points and 377 yards per game allowed.  The Big Orange offense was inconsistent last year, and it won’t be championship quality this year.  With Jim Chaney brought on board as offensive coordinator, Tennessee should be a little more consistent in 2019, and the Vols should improve to the plus side of .500 and make a bowl game.

Kentucky had its best season since 1977 in 2018, but the Wildcats face a major rebuilding year under Coach Mark Stoops.  The Wildcats lost All-American Josh Allen off the defense, and even if they returned the rest of that unit, it would mean the defense would be weaker.  Unfortunately, UK lost six other starters from this side of the ball, and it was defense that allowed UK to win 10 games last year.  The offense also lost seven starters, including star running back Benny Snell.  Terry Wilson is a serviceable quarterback, but he’s not going to shred defensive backfields like Fromm or Franks in the East.

Vanderbilt is the perennial choice for last place in the East Division, but Coach Derek Mason has been able to produce bowl eligibility twice in three years, even having to play a tough non-conference foe in those years.  The Commodores lost star quarterback Kyle Shurmur, but they bring in former Ball State starter Riley Neal, and Neal has the talent to equal or even top the production given by Shurmur.  With running back Keyshawn Vaughn returning after leading the SEC in rushing, and with a receiving corps that is deep and talented, the Commodores could average more than 400 total yards and 30 points per game this year.  Unfortunately, the defense may give up even more, and that is why Vandy might not be as dandy in 2019.  The losses of secondary stars Joejuan Williams and Ladarius Wiley will be tough on an inexperienced pass defense.

In the West, Alabama is the odds-on favorite to go 12-0, win the SEC Championship Game, and then win the semifinal game in the Playoffs, where a rematch with Clemson will excite college football fans from coast to coast.  In the Nick Saban years in Tuscaloosa, the Tide has had numerous stars drafted into the NFL, and it looked Saban had a little rebuilding to do.  At Alabama, one future star replaces a former star.  There is no such thing as rebuilding when you perpetually have the number one recruiting class in college football.  With Tagovailoa returning at quarterback, and with the best receiving corps outside of the NFL, Alabama should have no trouble topping 40 or even 45 points and 300-350 passing yards per game.  The Crimson Tide has the SEC’s best defense yet again, but they could be a tad vulnerable against some tough running backs and top of the line quarterbacks (like Fromm).  It will not be a cakewalk for the Crimson Tide this year.  One team is liable to upset them along the way, but whether that team can also finish 7-1 in the league and win the crown is highly unlikely.

LSU appears to have the best chance of dethroning the King.  The Tigers won 10 games last year but did not compete with Alabama, losing at home 29-0.  Coach Ed Orgeron has done a fine job recruiting talent to Baton Rouge, and in quarterback Joe Burrow, he has a potentially great passer, something that has prevented the Tigers from beating Alabama in recent years.  Defensively, the Tigers have the best defense not wearing crimson, and the LSU secondary might be the best in the nation.  It will give the Tigers a chance to stop Tua and the Tide.  An early game against Texas in Austin should give the nation a great look to see if LSU has what it takes to knock off the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium in November.

Texas A&M faces an impossible schedule.  They play Clemson, Alabama, LSU, and Georgia, which is just plain brutal.  Second year coach Jimbo Fisher has worked wonders in his short time in College Station, but the A&M defense is going to be battered and bruised by these top notch offenses.  The Aggies could average more than 40 points per game in the other eight contests, and it would not be a surprise to see them upset one of those four powers.  At the same time, Auburn, Mississippi State, and South Carolina might sneak up and upset the Aggies.  8-4 is about the best that can be expected under these circumstances.

Auburn also has an impossible schedule this year, as in addition to Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M in the West, the Tigers have their annual game against Georgia, and then they must commence play against a tough Oregon team in a neutral site game.  With the loss of Jarrett Stidham and his top two targets, the offense may take a step backwards.  The defense should be quite strong, but in the SEC West, the Tigers could lose a lot of 21-17 games.  Coach Gus Malzahn is in a bit of a pickle on the Plains, and if War Eagles don’t win nine times this year, Gus may be on the bus out of town.

Mississippi State might be strong enough to compete for a division title in the Pac-12 or Big 12, but in the SEC West, they are probably not even in the top four.  In a league with incredibly talented defenses, the Bulldogs had the best of all in 2018, holding nine teams under 14 points.  Still, it led to only an 8-5 season, and the Maroons have issues on the offensive side of the ball this year, especially the all-important passing game.  Only a strong chance of going 4-0 outside the league will guarantee the Bulldogs bowl eligibility.

Arkansas might be the true sleeper of the league this year.  Second year coach Chad Morris had a major transition when he came to Fayetteville and switched the Razorbacks from a smash mouth offense to a more finesse spread offense.  He didn’t have the personnel to make the offense shine.  He will have a lot more of the necessary pieces this season, and he has a quarterback that can make the offense go.  Ben Hicks was Morris’s quarterback at SMU, when the Mustangs passed for close to 300 yards and scored 38 points per game in 2017.  He won’t replicate those numbers in the SEC, but Arkansas should top 28 points per game and challenge for a 6-6 record and bowl eligibility.

Ole Miss comes off probation this year, and the Rebels can become eligible for a bowl once again.  Unfortunately, the Rebels face a major rebuilding and transitioning with new offensive and defensive coordinators.  The offense welcomes Rich Rodriguez, and his read-option spread to the SEC.  The West Division foes have many years experience facing a nearly identical offense at Auburn, so it will not be something new and surprising.  The Rebels will not be as talented or competent at Auburn running this offense, so Ole Miss should see a considerable dip in production on this side of the ball.  Of course, losing quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and three star receivers would hurt no matter what offense was being run.  Defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre has a lot more experience to work with on his side of the ball, but the Rebels lack the talent to compete against the rest of the West.  It could be a long year in Oxford.

Here is how the SEC Media voted in the preseason poll.

 

Southeastern Conference Media Poll
 

 

East Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall
1 Georgia 233 1789
2 Florida 21 1499
3 Missouri 3 1149
4 S. Carolina 1 883
5 Tennessee 1 804
6 Kentucky 1 798
7 Vanderbilt 0 358
 

 

West Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall
1 Alabama 253 1813
2 LSU 5 1493
3 Texas A&M 0 1268
4 Auburn 1 1090
5 Mississippi St. 1 769
6 Ole Miss 0 504
7 Arkansas 0 343
 

 

Championship Game Winner Overall Votes
Alabama 203
Georgia 49
LSU 3
Mississippi St. 1
Tennessee 1
Florida 1
South Carolina 1
Auburn 1

 

The PiRate Ratings show just how strong the league begins the 2019 season.  Ten teams begin 2019 at least 10 points better than the average FBS school.

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings–SEC

 

East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 126.2 123.6 126.6 125.5
Florida 120.5 117.8 119.5 119.2
Missouri 115.3 112.4 115.3 114.3
S. Carolina 114.0 112.2 113.9 113.4
Tennessee 112.6 111.6 111.1 111.8
Kentucky 109.5 107.5 108.3 108.4
Vanderbilt 104.3 103.3 103.4 103.7
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 135.6 130.6 136.4 134.2
L S U 123.3 120.4 122.0 121.9
Texas A&M 118.6 116.6 117.0 117.4
Auburn 116.8 114.4 115.9 115.7
Mississippi St. 117.0 112.5 116.7 115.4
Ole Miss 102.0 101.1 100.7 101.3
Arkansas 100.0 100.5 99.3 100.0
 

 

SEC Averages 115.4 113.2 114.7 114.4

 

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss

 

East Division

Pos Team Conf. Overall
1 Georgia 8-0 12-1
2 Florida 6-2 10-2
3 Missouri 5-3 9-3
4 Tennessee 3-5 7-5
5 South Carolina 3-5 6-6
6 Kentucky 2-6 6-6
7 Vanderbilt 2-6 5-7
 

 

West Division

Pos Team Conf. Overall
1 Alabama 8-0 13-0*
2 LSU 6-2 10-2
3 Texas A&M 5-3 8-4
4 Auburn 4-4 8-4
5 Mississippi St. 3-5 7-5
6 Ole Miss 2-6 5-7
7 Arkansas 1-7 5-7
 

*

 

Alabama picked to win SEC Championship Game

 

Coaches That Could Be In Line To Get A Top 10 Job

Most of the coaches are already at a program that either is a top 10 job or has the potential to be.  However, there is one coach that could advance to a bigger program

Mark Stoops, Kentucky

 

Coaches on the Hot Seat

Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Will Muschamp, South Carolina

 

Malzahn’s seat is considerably hotter than Muschamp’s seat.  If Auburn does not find a way to finish in the top three in the SEC West, there will most likely be a change on the Plains.

 

Top Quarterbacks

We have been showcasing three and sometimes four quarterbacks in the other conferences, but there is NFL Draft potential deep into the ranking of SEC quarterbacks.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Jake Fromm, Georgia

Feleipe Franks, Florida

Kellen Mond, Texas A&M

Kelly Bryant, Missouri

Jake Bentley, South Carolina

Joe Burrow, LSU

Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee

 

Best Offense

Alabama

Georgia

Missouri

 

Best Defense

Alabama

LSU

Florida

 

Coming Tomorrow:  It’s finally here!  This is week 0 of the NCAA Football season.  There are two games Saturday, and that means we will debut the full regular season ratings.  Look for our first weekly report tomorrow.

Here’s how we expect to release our information this year.

Mondays: Updated College Football Ratings and Spreads for the week’s FBS games

Tuesdays: Updated NFL Ratings and Spreads for the week’s games

Thursdays: Our PiRate Rating picks for the week’s college and NFL games

Very Important Reminder: The members of the PiRate Ratings do not wager on football games.  We issue our selections just for entertainment purposes only and remind you that they are presented free of charge.  You get what you paid for, so don’t go wagering your mortgage payment on our advice.

That said, the PiRate Picks have returned narrow overall profits for four consecutive seasons.  Our claim to fame is finding Money Line Parlays that return better than even money odds.  Thus, we can hit on just 40% of them and still turn a profit, because the average parlay has +150 to +180 odds.  This means that if you place $1 on a parlay at +180 odds, if you win, you will receive $2.80 back from the Nevada books (Your $1 investment plus a profit of $1.80 for winning the parlay).  If you win 30% of your wagers at +150, you will turn a profit of 5%.  If you can win one of every three parlays at an average of +150, your profit is 16.7%, more than the average return in the stock market over time.  Of course, over time, your chances of profiting in the stock market nears 100%, where in football wagering,  your chances of profiting remains at 47.6%, unless you have inside information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 17, 2019

2019 Big Ten Conference Football Preview

Filed under: College Football — piratings @ 10:00 pm

He went 54-4 in Big Ten play and 83-9 overall with a National Championship.  After seven seasons in Columbus, Urban Meyer has ridden off into the sunset to Fox Sports.  Ryan Day begins his tenure as Buckeye coach sporting a 3-0 record as interim coach at the Giant Horseshoe.  Two of those victories came against weak Oregon State and Rutgers teams, but the third victory was a tough road win at TCU,

Day inherits a minor reloading job, which includes replacing quarterback Dwayne Haskins and wide receiver Parris Campbell on the attack side of the ball.  Pity not Buckeye fans; Ohio State could easily run the table and keep Day undefeated as a head coach, at least until they run into Alabama or Clemson in the Playoffs.  Or, they could win their first 11 games and then fall at the Big House in the regular season finale.  At worst, they might lose two or three games, but there is still enough talent to make a run at the Playoffs.

Michigan lost at Notre Dame to begin the 2018 season.  Then, the Wolverines reeled off 10 consecutive victories.  At 8-0 in league play, it was supposed to be the year the Maize and Blue finally got over the hump.  Alas, Ohio State scored time and time again to embarrass Michigan by scoring 62 points on the league’s top defense.  The last time the Buckeyes embarrassed Michigan, they won every game the following year until the renewal of the rivalry.  Michigan got revenge.  That was exactly 50 years ago.  Can history repeat on the 50th anniversary?

Michigan State and Penn State suffered through somewhat disappointing seasons last year, but they both played in bowl games.  This year, both teams appear to be talented enough to challenge the big two of the Eastern Division.  The Spartans return a wealth of talent, including most of the defense that held opponents to 17 points and just 78 rushing yards per game.  MSU’s offense must do better than 18.7 points per game.

Penn State lost to Ohio State by one and Michigan St. by four, and Kentucky by three in the Citrus Bowl.  It could be more of the same this year, as the Nittany Lions lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.  However, James Franklin has a history of overachieving when not much has been expected of his team.

Indiana suffers from the same fate that so many of the Pac-12 middle of the pack teams do–the Hoosiers have a tendency to go 2-7 in league play and 5-7 overall, missing out on bowl eligibility because their conference plays nine games instead of eight like the ACC and SEC.  There is a strong possibility that IU will repeat the 2-7/5-7 act in 2019.

Maryland was 5-3 last year through the end of October, but the Terrapins couldn’t pick up a November win and bid adieu to interim coach Matt Canada.  Now the Terps turn to a coach that has a past record as the Maryland interim.  That record is 1-5.  Mike Locksley also went 2-26 in two plus years at New Mexico State, so he begins anew in College Park with a 3-31 coaching record.  His first year in Terpland will be quite long as Maryland has the fewest returning starters in the Big Ten.

Rutgers has never competed in football or basketball since joining the Big Ten.  The football team opened 2018 with a 35-7 win over Texas State, and then the Scarlet Knights dropped 11 games in a row by an average score of 34-12.  Fourth year coach Chris Ash took over this program when it was on probation, so he received a pass for the first two years.  Year three was expected to show some improvement, but RU went backwards, and Ash may not survive another catastrophic season in New Brunswick.

The West Division could see two, three, and even four teams grabbing a piece of the division flag.  No team is exceptionally talented, and no team is completely incapable of becoming bowl eligible, as even Illinois has ample enough talent to win half their games.  The Illini might need to do just that to save Coach Lovie Smith’s job.

Nebraska began the season 0-6, but once quarterback Adrian Martinez was healthy after suffering an early injury, and once he gained some experience, the Cornhuskers were a different team.  Nebraska finished the year 4-2 with narrow losses to Ohio State and Iowa.  All Head Coach Scott Frost did in year two at Central Florida was to go 13-0 with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn, a team that had defeated Alabama.  Only a questionable defense keeps the Cornhuskers from ascending to outright favorite in the West.

Wisconsin and Iowa usually have something to say about who wins the West Division, but both teams have a lot of starting talent to replace in 2019.  Wisconsin has the best running back in the league and possibly the best in the nation in Jonathon Taylor.  The Badgers have a rather decent receiving corps, but there’s a question about who will be throwing them the ball.  Talent is missing on the defensive side as well.  As for the Hawkeyes, they lost even more talent than UW.  But, Iowa returns its quarterback, and Nate Stanley will keep the Hawkeyes in the thick of the Western Division race.

Northwestern sneaked into the top spot of the division last year.  The Wildcats went 0-3 outside the league but then went 8-1 in league play.  Coach Pat Fitzgerald faces a little rebuilding like Iowa and Wisconsin, but he lost his quarterback and top two receivers from last year.  NU still has the personnel and coaching to compete for the division title, or at least a share of it.

As you’ve already seen, there are a host of contenders that have to do some rebuilding.  Minnesota isn’t one of them.  The Gophers are the most experienced team in the West, and Coach Tim Lester could have a surprise contender in Minneapolis this year.

Purdue has the best overall player in the division in Rondale Moore.  He might be the best player in West Lafayette since Leroy Keyes in the late 1960’s.  Like Keyes, Moore can do damage as a receiver and a running back.  Joining Moore in the backfield is former starter Elijah Sindelar at quarterback.  Sindelar had 18 touchdown passes in 2017, but he’s been injury-prone and his availability for the season opener this year is uncertain as of this writing.  If healthy, Purdue could find themselves in the hunt in the West.

With so many teams competing in 2019, a 6-3 conference record could be good enough to win the West.  Let’s see how the Big Ten Media votes in the preseason poll.

 

Big Ten Conference Media Poll
 

 

East Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall
1 Michigan 20 222
2 Ohio St. 14 214
3 Michigan St. 0 156
4 Penn St. 0 154
5 Indiana 0 86.5
6 Maryland 0 82.5
7 Rutgers 0 37
 

 

West Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall
1 Nebraska 14 198
2 Iowa 14 194.5
3 Wisconsin 4 172.5
4 Northwestern 1 142.5
5 Purdue 0 110.5
6 Minnesota 1 100
7 Illinois 0 34
 

 

Championship Game Winner Overall Votes
Michigan over Nebraska 8
Michigan over Iowa 8
Ohio St. over Iowa 6
Ohio St. over Nebraska 4
Ohio St. over Wisconsin 3
Nebraska over Michigan 2
Michigan over Wisconsin 1
Ohio St. over Minnesota 1
Northwestern over Michigan 1

 

Here are our preseason PiRate Ratings.

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings–Big Ten

 

East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 122.7 120.8 123.4 122.3
Ohio St. 120.9 119.3 121.1 120.4
Michigan St. 115.4 115.3 115.5 115.4
Penn St. 114.8 113.9 114.7 114.5
Indiana 109.8 107.8 108.8 108.8
Maryland 102.7 101.8 101.5 102.0
Rutgers 91.3 91.9 90.9 91.4
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 114.9 112.6 114.7 114.0
Minnesota 112.4 111.2 111.2 111.6
Northwestern 111.1 110.4 110.1 110.5
Purdue 110.5 110.3 110.1 110.3
Wisconsin 109.5 109.0 108.8 109.1
Nebraska 107.3 108.8 107.1 107.7
Illinois 96.2 98.1 95.3 96.6
 

 

Big Ten Averages 110.0 109.4 109.5 109.6

 

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss

 

East Division
Pos Team Conf. Overall
1 Michigan 9-0 13-0*
2 Ohio St. 8-1 11-1
3 Michigan St. 5-4 8-4
4 Penn St. 5-4 8-4
5 Indiana 3-6 6-6
6 Maryland 1-8 2-10
7 Rutgers 0-9 2-10
 

 

Coastal Division
Pos Team Conf. Overall
1 Nebraska 6-3 9-4
2 Iowa 6-3 8-4
3 Minnesota 5-4 8-4
4 Wisconsin 5-4 8-4
5 Northwestern 5-4 7-5
6 Purdue 4-5 7-5
7 Illinois 1-8 4-8
 

*

 

Michigan picked to win Big Ten Championship Game

 

 

Bowl Predictions Team
Playoffs Michigan
Rose Ohio St.
Citrus Nebraska
Outback Penn St.
Holiday Iowa
Gator Michigan St.
Pinstripe Minnesota
Redbox Wisconsin
Quick Lane Northwestern
Armed Forces Purdue
 

 

Alternate Bowl
Music City Indiana

 

Coaches That Could Move To Top 10 Programs

Jeff Brohm, Purdue

 

Coaches on the Hot Seat

Lovie Smith, Illinois

Chris Ash, Rutgers

 

Top Quarterbacks

Shea Patterson, Michigan

Adrian Martinez, Nebraska

Elijah Sindelar, Purdue

Justin Fields, Ohio State

 

Top Offense

Ohio State

Michigan

Nebraska

 

Top Defense

Michigan St.

Ohio St.

Michigan

 

Coming Tomorrow: The third best conference in American Football, the Southeastern Conference.  The two better are the NFC and the AFC.  Can Georgia finally get over the hump and knock Alabama off the perch?  Can LSU upset the Tide and get to the SEC Championship Game?  Is Florida on the verge of returning to prominence?  Can Mark Stoops keep Kentucky in contention for a New Year’s Day bowl?  

 

August 16, 2019

2019 Big 12 Conference Football Preview

In the 1970’s, the Big Ten was jokingly called the Big Two and Little Eight, as Ohio State and Michigan won or shared every Big Ten title between 1968 and 1982.  Oklahoma has won four consecutive Big 12 regular season championships and both of the Big 12 Championship Games since the game returned in 2017.  Lately, the Big 12 race has been more like the American League baseball race for years: who will finish in second behind the Yankees?

Oklahoma enters 2019 as a prohibitive favorite to win their fifth consecutive regular season and third consecutive Championship Game and must be considered a top contender to make the Field of Four NCAA Playoffs.  The Sooners will have to get there without the services of the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, as Kyler Murray is now tossing the ball in the NFL.  The Oklahoma offense will most likely take a small backward step even though Coach Lincoln Riley went out in the free agent market and grabbed a great one in former Alabama starter Jalen Hurts.  Oklahoma’s offense figures to be a little weaker, because the offensive line and receiving corps must be rebuilt (or reloaded).

At the same time, Oklahoma’s defense figures to be somewhat better than last year, but then again, it would be hard for it to be any worse after giving up more than 33 points and 450 yards per game.

Texas returned to prominence last year under second year coach Tom Herman.  After a 7-6 season in 2017, the Longhorns beat Oklahoma in the regular season before blowing a lead in the conference championship game and losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.  Texas has numerous holes to fill, especially on defense, where only two starters return.

Iowa State is a team that can be compared to the mountain lion hiding on a bluff ready to pounce and attack an unsuspecting deer.  It should be no surprise that the Cyclones should be quite good this year after posting consecutive eight-win seasons.  ISU returns more starting talent than Oklahoma and Texas, and Matt Campbell might be one of the five best coaches in football, be it college or professional.

Baylor must be considered the dark horse in the race this year.  After enduring a total rebuild after the previous regime left under a dark cloud, Matt Rhule has done a commendable job bringing the Bears back to competitive football.  The Baylor offense could challenge for best in the league, and the defense should be a little improved.  Keep an eye on BU.

There are new head coaches at Texas Tech, Kansas State, Kansas, and West Virginia.  Matt Wells comes to Texas Tech after doing great things at Utah State, but his wide-open offense is quite different from the Air Raid used by former coach Kliff Kingsbury, and the Red Raiders will need time to adjust.

Bill Snyder has retired for the second time, and Kansas State must start over with Chris Klieman, the Dabo Swinney of FCS football.  Klieman won four FCS National Championships at North Dakota State, and he inherits a decent roster.  Still, there will be an adjustment with new systems on both sides of the ball, so the Wildcats will need a year or two in transition to be competitive again.

Dana Holgorsen, in a semi-surprise move, bolted West Virginia for Houston, and the Mountaineers must start over with former Troy coach Neal Brown and without Will Grier at quarterback.  Both sides of the ball suffered heavy losses, so 2019 will be a major rebuilding season.  Still, WVU might sneak into a lower-tiered bowl because one of the bottom four is likely to end up at 6-6.

Then, there is Kansas.  What the Jayhawks are to college basketball, they are the opposite in college football.  Since Mark Mangino was forced out at Kansas over several allegations of abuse, the KU program has been the weakest of any Power 5 Conference school.  Three coaches failed to turn the program around, as the Jayhawks are an incredibly poor 5-75 in the Big 12 since Mangino left.  Enter Les Miles as the new coach.  The Kansas football program will definitely be a little more exciting just because one never knows what Miles might do as the coach.  It would not be shocking to see Kansas go for a first down on fourth down inside their own 20 yard line.  They might run plays from the single wing, double wing, wishbone, or air raid offense–in the same possession!  The only for sure thing is that Les will sample the grass in every stadium the Jayhawks play.  If they happen to actually win a conference game this year, it will be a bonus.  They have a chance to begin the season 2-0, but they will almost assuredly lost the final 10.

Two teams remain in this little preview.  Oklahoma State and TCU have been middle of the pack teams in the last couple seasons, and they appear to still be behind the top four, while they are considerably better than the bottom four.  Because the Big 12 has a nine-game conference schedule, both the Cowboys and Horned Frogs can go 4-0 against the transitioning teams.  This means, they need to win two of their three non-league games to become bowl eligible.

Here is how the Big 12 Media voted in the preseason poll.

 

Big 12 Conference Media Poll

 

Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Oklahoma 68 761
2 Texas 9 696
3 Iowa St. 0 589
4 TCU 0 474
5 Oklahoma St. 0 460
6 Baylor 0 453
7 Texas Tech 0 281
8 West Virginia 0 241
9 Kansas St. 0 191
10 Kansas 0 89
 

 

Championship Game Winner
None Chosen

 

The Initial PiRate Ratings believe the conference race will be a little bit different, and there won’t be a wide moat between Oklahoma and the next three teams.

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings–Big 12

 

Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 120.8 119.4 120.4 120.2
Iowa St. 112.0 112.2 111.9 112.0
Texas 111.6 111.2 110.9 111.2
Baylor 110.1 110.2 109.6 110.0
Oklahoma St. 109.7 110.0 109.0 109.6
Texas Tech 108.1 107.6 107.2 107.6
Kansas St. 107.5 106.8 107.1 107.1
West Virginia 107.6 106.2 107.1 106.9
T C U 102.6 105.6 103.0 103.7
Kansas 95.6 96.5 95.3 95.8
 

 

Big 12 Averages 108.6 108.6 108.1 108.4

 

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss

 

Pos Team Conf. Overall
1 Oklahoma 7-2 11-2*
2 Iowa St. 7-2 10-3
3 Baylor 6-3 9-3
4 Texas 6-3 8-4
5 Oklahoma St. 5-4 8-4
6 West Virginia 4-5 6-6
7 TCU 3-6 6-6
8 Kansas St. 2-7 4-8
9 Texas Tech 2-7 5-7
10 Kansas 0-9 2-10
 

 

* Oklahoma picked to win Big 12 Championship Game

 

Bowl Predictions

Bowl Team
Playoffs Not This Year
Sugar Oklahoma
Alamo Baylor
Camping World Iowa St.
Texas Okla st.
Liberty Texas
Cheez-it WVU
First Responders TCU

 

Coaches That Could Move Up To Big-Time Programs

Matt Rhule, Baylor

Matt Campbell, Iowa State

 

Coaches on the Hot Seat

None this year

 

Top Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Sam Ehlinger, Texas

Charlie Brewer, Baylor

Brock Purdy, Iowa St.

 

Top Offense

Oklahoma

Texas

Oklahoma St.

 

Top Defense

Iowa St.

Texas

TCU

 

Coming Tomorrow: The Big Ten Conference.  With Urban Meyer into his next round of retirement, Can Jim Harbaugh take Michigan to the Playoffs?  Can Scott Frost work magic at Nebraska like he did at Central Florida?  Will there be a multiple team tie for first in the Western Division with 6-3 conference records?

 

August 15, 2019

2019 Pac-12 Conference Football Preview

There was a time when the Pac-12 Conference, or one of its predecessor leagues like the Pac-10, Pac-8, Athletic Association of Western Universities, or Pacific Coast Conference was the premier football conference in America.  Southern California, UCLA, Stanford, California, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State have all been elite programs at some point in history.

In recent years, the league has failed to produce a dominant team like the 1954 UCLA Bruins, the 1972 USC Trojans or the 1991 Washington Huskies.  Oregon and Washington have fielded really good teams in this decade, but no Pac-12 team has finished number one since USC won in 2004 with Reggie Bush, LenDale White, and Matt Leinart starred at the LA Coliseum.

While the Pac-12 champion has been a touchdown to 10 points weaker than the SEC Champion in the last decade, the bottom teams in the league have been better than other conferences’ bottom teams.  Since moving from eight to nine conference games in 2006, in 10 of the 12 years, at least one team and in many cases two teams have come up one win short of bowl eligibility.  Only Oregon in 2010 has been able to go 9-0 in the league and win the Pac-12 Championship Game as well.

Will this be the year that one team emerges from the pack to earn the league’s first playoff spot since Washington in 2016?  The odds say it won’t happen this year.  The league is too balanced, and there are no dominant teams.  It also doesn’t help that the two leading contenders for the conference championship must face off in an interdivisional game, and chances are high the two teams could split those games.

Here is how the Pac-12 Media voted in the preseason poll.

 

Pac-12 Media Poll
 

 

North Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Oregon 17 190
2 Washington 17 189
3 Stanford 0 129
4 Washington St. 1 108
5 California 0 81
6 Oregon St. 0 38
 

 

South Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Utah 33 206
2 USC 2 167
3T Arizona St. 0 118
3T UCLA 0 118
5 Arizona 0 85
6 Colorado 0 46
 

 

Championship Game Winner Overall Votes
Utah 12
Oregon 11
Washington 9
USC 2
Washington St. 1

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings–Pac-12
 

 

North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oregon 113.6 113.5 114.9 114.0
Washington 112.5 111.9 113.6 112.7
Washington St. 111.8 110.7 112.0 111.5
Stanford 108.5 107.5 108.6 108.2
California 106.8 107.0 108.1 107.3
Oregon St. 95.1 96.2 93.9 95.1
 

 

South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Utah 116.4 114.7 116.6 115.9
Arizona St. 107.7 106.6 108.3 107.6
U C L A 107.6 106.9 106.8 107.1
U S C 104.0 105.2 104.4 104.6
Arizona 101.7 102.0 102.2 102.0
Colorado 99.8 99.0 99.9 99.5
 

 

Pac-12 Averages 107.1 106.8 107.4 107.1

 

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss
 

North Division

Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Washington 8-1 11-2
2 Oregon 7-2 9-3
3 Stanford 6-3 7-5
4 Washington St. 5-4 8-4
5 California 3-6 5-7
6 Oregon St. 0-9 1-11
 

 

South Division

Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Utah 7-2 11-2*
2 UCLA 5-4 6-6
3 Arizona St. 4-5 6-6
4 USC 4-5 5-7
5 Arizona 3-6 5-7
6 Colorado 1-8 3-9
*  

Utah picked to win Pac-12 Championship Game

 

As you can see, if our predictions are correct, three Pac-12 teams will miss bowl eligibility by one game, most likely because rather than playing an easy Group of 5 or FCS opponent, they will be playing a ninth conference game.

 

Bowl Predictions Team
Playoffs Not This Year
Rose Utah
Cotton Washington
Alamo Oregon
Holiday Washington St.
Redbox Stanford
Sun Arizona St.
Vegas UCLA
Cheez-it (At-large team needed)

 

Coaches That Could Move Up To Major Programs

None, but Stanford’s David Shaw has been rumored for years to be in the mix for a future NFL head coaching position.

 

Coaches On The Hot Seat

Clay Helton, USC

Helton begins the year with the hottest seat in college football.  He better win the BYU game in Provo, or who knows?  He could be met with his pink slip on the airport tarmac.  The Trojans’ schedule is a nightmare for a coach on the hot seat.  As if playing nine tough conference games isn’t enough, USC’s out-of-conference slate includes Fresno State, BYU, and Notre Dame.  If the Trojans go 2-1 in these games and then go 7-2 in the Pac-12 to win the South Division flag, Helton might keep his job.  Anything less, and Athletics Director Lynn Swann will have to make a move, assuming he still has his job.  Just remember, it only takes Urban Meyer one year to feel healthy enough to coach again.  There are also excellent options in Chris Peterson, Matt Campbell, Dino Babers, and even a current NFL coach.

 

Top Quarterbacks

Justin Herbert, Oregon

J. T. Daniels, USC

K.J. Costello, Stanford

Khalil Tate, Arizona

Keep eyes on Washington’s Jacob Eason and Washington State’s Gage Gebrud.

 

Top Offense

Oregon

Utah

Washington

 

Top Defense

California

Utah

Oregon

 

Coming Tomorrow: The Big 12 Conference–Oklahoma loses Heisman Trophy quarterback Kyler Murray and replaces him with former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts.  Will Hurts make a run at the hardware competing against his former teammate?

Can Texas build upon their progress made last year, or will Iowa State or Baylor emerge as the principle rival to the Sooners this year?

 

August 14, 2019

2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Preview

Filed under: College Football — piratings @ 10:00 pm

How can the best team in college football be in the fifth best conference in college football?  Clemson is about three touchdowns better than any other team in the ACC–that’s how!

The Atlantic Coast Conference is suffering with one school’s overwhelming dominance over the rest of the league.  This is akin to basketball in the old Pac-8 Conference during the era where John Wooden led UCLA to consecutive national titles from 1967 through 1973.  The rest of the league finished far back and routinely saw the Bruins run up lopsided scores week after week.  There was a year where UCLA beat second place Washington by 39 and 17 points during the year.  There was no competition, somewhat because the top talent that did not get a Bruin scholarship chose to play for a school in another conference.

Dabo Swinney has taken Clemson to heights similar to Dr. Tom Osborne at Nebraska in the 1990s, Frank Leahy at Notre Dame in the latter half of the 1940’s, and Knute Rockne at Notre Dame 20 years earlier.  The Tigers should easily run the table in the regular season this year, but there is a chance they will enter the Playoffs as the number two seed due to lower strength of schedule.

The Coastal Division should be an interesting race, as every team has a weakness that can be exploited.  Virginia is getting all the preseason love after Bronco Mendenhall guided the Cavaliers to an eight-win season.  Virginia Tech, Miami, and Pittsburgh figure to contend for the flag or maybe a piece of a shared division title.  Duke faces a considerable rebuild, but David Cutcliffe is a competent enough coach to pull off a couple of upsets.  North Carolina starts over by going back to the past.  Can Mack Brown pull off a Tar Heel reclamation project for a second time?  Georgia Tech has the toughest rebuild in the nation this year, as new coach Geoff Collins comes from Temple to replace Paul Johnson.  The Yellow Jackets are transitioning from triple option spread to a conventional 21st century spread offense with a run-pass balance.  Collins has taken over a dozen players and changed their position, but the biggest problem is a lack of a pocket passer to run the offense.  It could be a long year in Atlanta.

 

Here is how the ACC Media voted in the preseason poll.  With so many media members in attendance, there were two voters that actually picked Syracuse to beat Clemson in the Atlantic Division.  They will either become nuts or geniuses.

 

Atlantic Coast Conference Media Poll
Atlantic Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall
1 Clemson 171 1209
2 Syracuse 2 913
3 Florida St. 0 753
4 North Carolina St. 0 666
5 Boston College 0 588
6 Wake Forest 0 462
7 Louisville 0 253
 

 

Coastal Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall
1 Virginia 82 1003
2 Miami (Fla.) 55 992
3 Virginia Tech 20 827
4 Pittsburgh 8 691
5 Duke 6 566
6 North Carolina 1 463
7 Georgia Tech 1 302
 

 

Championship Game Winner Overall Votes
Clemson 170
Syracuse 2
Virginia 1

 

The PiRate Ratings begin the 2019 season with Clemson ranking more than three touchdowns ahead of Syracuse and 23.4 points ahead of the top Coastal Division team.  Without doing extensive research, the only other time one team began the season three touchdowns better than any other team in its conference might have been Arizona State in 1973, when they were in our preseason top 5 from the old Western Athletic Conference, and number two Utah was more than 20 points weaker.  Take a look.

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings–ACC

 

Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 133.9 129.6 134.7 132.8
Syracuse 111.7 111.5 111.8 111.7
Florida St. 105.4 105.9 105.6 105.7
Boston College 103.8 103.5 104.3 103.9
Wake Forest 103.2 102.8 103.3 103.1
N. Carolina St. 102.3 102.2 102.9 102.5
Louisville 94.3 94.2 92.6 93.7
 

 

Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 109.4 108.3 110.6 109.4
Virginia Tech 108.6 109.1 109.3 109.0
Pittsburgh 109.0 107.6 108.4 108.3
Virginia 107.6 107.7 107.7 107.7
Duke 104.3 103.8 104.1 104.1
N. Carolina 99.3 100.9 100.8 100.3
Georgia Tech 99.9 98.6 100.8 99.8
 

 

ACC Averages 106.6 106.1 106.9 106.6

 

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss

 

Atlantic Division
Pos Team Conf. Overall
1 Clemson 8-0 13-0 *
2 Syracuse 6-2 10-2
3 Wake Forest 3-5 7-5
4 Boston College 4-4 7-5
5 Florida St. 3-5 6-6
6 North Carolina St. 3-5 6-6
7 Louisville 1-7 3-9
 

 

Coastal Division
Pos Team Conf. Overall
1 Miami (Fla.) 6-2 9-4
2 Virginia 6-2 9-3
3 Virginia Tech 6-2 9-3
4 Pittsburgh 4-4 7-5
5 Duke 3-5 5-7
6 North Carolina 2-6 4-8
7 Georgia Tech 1-7 3-9
 

*

 

Clemson picked to win ACC Championship Game

 

Wake Forest-North Carolina counts as a non-conference game

 

Bowl Predictions
 

Bowl

 

Team

Playoffs Clemson
Orange (Notre Dame)
Camping World Miami
Belk Syracuse
Sun Virginia Tech
Pinstripe Virginia
Music City Wake Forest
Independence Florida St.
Military Pittsburgh
Quick Lane Boston College
 

 

Citrus Big Ten Team
 

 

Alternate Bowl
Birmingham North Carolina St.

 

Coaches On The Rise

Possible Candidates to Move to a Championship-Caliber Program

Dino Babers, Syracuse

Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia

 

Coaches On The Hot Seat

Steve Adazzio, Boston College

 

Top Quarterbacks

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (best college QB since Peyton Manning)

Tommy DeVito, Syracuse

Bryce Perkins, Virginia

 

Top Offense

Clemson

Syracuse

Wake Forest

 

Top Defense

Clemson

Miami

Virginia

 

Coming Tomorrow: The Pac-12 Conference.  This league has little chance at producing a national champion and only a slim chance at producing a playoff representative, but on the other hand, the weakest teams in the Pac-12 are stronger than the weaker teams of the other leagues.

August 13, 2019

2019 American Athletic Conference Football Preview

Today, we wrap up the Group of 5 Conference previews with the American Athletic Conference.  The AAC has seen its champion represent the Group of 5 conferences in a New Year’s 6 Bowl Game three times in the five years of the current rules set in place.  While this league is the strongest Group of 5 league to start 2019, we selected Army to be our predicted G5 team to make an NY6 Bowl bid this year.

This is a league about to undergo some transition.  Connecticut will return to the Big East after in 2020, and there will be an opening for another school to join the AAC.  It could be U Mass, Army, or Liberty, but it could also be somebody like Buffalo from the Mid-American Conference or possibly a new FCS school deciding to jump to FBS, like Villanova.

As for this season, the AAC should be a little more competitive than in the recent past.  Central Florida has dominated the league for two consecutive years, and the Golden Knights will be an excellent team once again this year.  However, teams like Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis, and maybe one or two dark horses will make UCF’s path to a “threepeat” quite difficult.

Here is how the American Athletic Conference Media voted in their preseason poll.

American Athletic Conference Media Poll
 

 

East Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Central Florida 19 169
2 Cincinnati 11 157
3 South Florida 0 107
4 Temple 0 101
5 East Carolina 0 66
6 Connecticut 0 30
 

 

West Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Memphis 15 165
2 Houston 14 162
3 Tulane 0 108
4 SMU 1 87
5 Navy 0 70
6 Tulsa 0 38
 

 

Championship Game Winner Overall Votes
Central Florida 12
Cincinnati 8
Memphis 6
Houston 4

 

Here are our preseason PiRate Ratings.

Preseason PiRate Ratings–American Athletic
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 107.7 107.1 108.8 107.9
Cincinnati 106.6 105.0 106.8 106.1
Temple 101.9 101.0 103.2 102.0
South Florida 94.4 95.9 94.9 95.1
East Carolina 85.0 87.6 84.9 85.8
Connecticut 75.9 77.9 74.4 76.1
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 104.0 103.3 105.2 104.2
SMU 98.7 98.4 98.9 98.7
Houston 95.0 96.7 97.8 96.5
Tulane 95.4 96.6 95.5 95.8
Tulsa 91.3 91.9 92.3 91.8
Navy 86.3 89.2 85.9 87.2
AAC Averages 95.2 95.9 95.7 95.6

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss
East Division
Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Cincinnati 6-2 9-4
2 Central Florida 6-2 9-3
3 Temple 5-3 9-3
4 South Florida 5-3 6-6
5 East Carolina 2-6 5-7
6 Connecticut 0-8 1-11
 

 

West Division
Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Memphis 6-2 10-3*
2 SMU 5-3 8-4
3 Houston 5-3 7-5
4 Tulane 4-4 6-6
5 Navy 3-5 4-8
6 Tulsa 1-7 3-9
 

*

 

Memphis Picked To Win AAC Championship Game

 

Bowl Predictions
Birmingham SMU
Boca Raton Central Florida
Cure Temple
Frisco Houston
Gasparilla Cincinnati
Hawaii Memphis
Military South Florida

Also Bowl Eligible

Tulane

 

Coaches That Could Move To Power 5 Conferences

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

Josh Heupel, Central Florida

Mike Norvell, Memphis

Willie Fritz, Tulane

 

Coaches On The Hot Seat

Randy Edsall, Connecticut

Phillip Montgomery, Tulsa

 

Top Quarterbacks

D’Eriq King, Houston

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Brady White, Memphis

 

Top Offense

Central Florida

Memphis

Houston

 

Top Defense

Temple

Memphis

Cincinnati

 

Coming Tomorrow: We start previewing Power 5 Conferences with the ACC

August 12, 2019

2019 FBS Independents Preview

Note: There isn’t much to preview about the 2019 FBS Independents, so today you get a little incite about how these ratings began and how the Independents of football began to see the light about the weaknesses of not having conference affiliation.

This is the 150th year anniversary for college football.  Yours truly vividly remembers the 100th year anniversary in 1969.  That’s the year these ratings were born.  At the time, I was sort of enamored with Ohio State University and Coach Woody Hayes.  He was dedicated to perfecting what he thought was the way to win football.  Having watched the Buckeyes defeat O.J. Simpson and the USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl the season before, I expected Ohio State to challenge the 1944 and 1945 Army teams for best in the history of the game.

On October 11, 1969, Ohio State faced a ranked Michigan State team that had just lost a close game to Notre Dame.  The Buckeyes had begun the season with slaughters over TCU and Washington.  This was the fateful Saturday that led to the creation of the PiRate Ratings.

On that Saturday, Ohio State took care of business by running the Spartans into the ground and winning by more than 30 points.  Then, something incredible happened that night.  My hometown team, the school where multiple family members attended, Vanderbilt hosted Alabama at Dudley Field.  Vanderbilt was 0-3, and ‘Bama was 3-0.  Led by sophomore phenom and future head coach Watson Brown, Vanderbilt beat Alabama 14-10 in the greatest upset of the season.

The following Monday, I went to school and a teacher asked me what I thought about the weekend’s games.  On the playground, when we played touch football, we chose teams.  We called my team “Ohio State,” while the other team called themselves “Penn State,” because Alabama was no longer worthy of being good enough.

There was an argument that day.  Which team was better–Ohio State or Penn State?  Both teams won every game the year before.  Both teams had won every game so far this year, and both teams had just easily defeated ranked teams on that Saturday.

I went home the following day to read the old Nashville Banner newspaper, an afternoon publication.  The AP and UPI top 20 rankings were in the sports pages of that day’s paper.  The entire top 10 featured undefeated teams.  Among the teams besides Ohio State and Penn State were Texas and Arkansas from the Southwest Conference, UCLA and USC from the Pac-8 Conference, and Tennessee, LSU, and Florida from the SEC.  The other team was Missouri, a team that had just creamed Michigan and Nebraska.

I looked at the rankings and then glanced over at the “Litratings.”  The Litratings were a ratings system compiled by Dr. Edward Litkenhous, a famed Vanderbilt engineering professor.  In the days before computers, there were three alternatives to the AP and UPI rankings.  They were Dunkel, Carr, and Litkenhous.  The Nashville Banner carried the Litratings, as Dr. Litkenhous personally delivered his ratings to the paper every week.

I began comparing scores and opponents of the top 10 teams.  It was crude, but I basically started this to show my friends why Ohio State was the best team in college football, and that Penn State was not even as good as any of those undefeated conference teams.

The rest of the season, I happily compiled new top 10 rankings based on my crude mathematical knowledge, and each week through the middle of November, Ohio State was still the best team.  There were just four teams remaining that were unbeaten and untied–Ohio State, Penn State, Texas, and Arkansas.  On that next Saturday, Michigan gave Ohio State a spanking in Ann Arbor.  Seeking revenge for a 50-14 defeat in Columbus the year before, the Wolverines’ defense was superb, and the Buckeyes’  season ended at 8-1 and no chance for a national championship.

Meanwhile, Texas and Penn State slaughtered and shut out their opponents, while Arkansas beat a better quality opponent in SMU.  So, who was the top team in the nation?  My personal ratings said that Penn State was a tad better than Texas and Arkansas.  Once tied USC and once beaten LSU were just a tad behind.

Penn State closed out the regular season with two convincing road victories over mediocre teams, one over rival Pittsburgh and one over North Carolina St.  Arkansas and Texas both easily handled mediocre Southwest Conference teams.

Penn State accepted the Orange Bowl bid for the second year in a row.  They could have accepted a bid to the Cotton Bowl to play the Arkansas-Texas winner, but at the time they had to vote, Ohio State was still undefeated and a win over Michigan would clinch the national title.  The Buckeyes could not play in the Rose Bowl that year, because the Big Ten still did not allow teams to play in Rose Bowls in consecutive seasons.  They would be 9-0 and undisputed national champions with a win over Michigan.

Additionally, this was just six years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, and a lot of people from outside the South and Southwest thought of Dallas as an outlaw town where the 1960s were not that much different than the 1860s.  Some of the African-American players on the Penn State team did not want to go to Dallas, so the team voted to return to Miami on New Year’s Day.  Their opponent would be 9-1 Missouri, the team that slaughtered Michigan earlier that season.

Did Penn State have a legitimate claim to the national title?  I thought they did.  Their offense was solid but not spectacular, even though they had three running backs that would play in the NFL, including future all-pros Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell.  It was the Nittany Lions defense and special teams that made this team so special.  The defense gave up fewer points than the defense and special teams scored or set up.

It wasn’t the Associated Press, United Press International, Dunkel, Carr, or Litkenhous that made the decision on which team would win the national championship.  President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the winner of the December game between Arkansas and Texas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, would be the national champion.  He even planned to be there in person to present the trophy to the winner.

Until the early 1970’s, it was the norm for the national championship to be awarded before the bowl games.  The bowl games were considered rewards for great seasons and not like postseason play.  So, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for the national champion to be crowned after the conclusion of the regular season.

That first Saturday in December of 1969, the home team Razorbacks quickly scored two touchdowns to lead 14-0.  It looked like Arkansas was going to win its third national title of the 1960s, as they won a piece of the 1964 and 1965 titles in split decisions.  This would be their first consensus championship, and Coach Frank Broyles would probably take over the title of greatest current college coach.

Texas was on the verge of being defeated.  The Longhorns had an 18-game winning streak on the line as well as the national championship.  The fourth quarter started with Arkansas still ahead 14-0, and the Razorback defense had solved the triple option that no other opponents could stop.  Texas quarterback James Street was not your typical wishbone quarterback.  He was a decent passer, and Royal decided that the Longhorns would have to start passing the ball, something the wishbone offense was not meant to do other than the occasional surprise play-action pass.

Street dropped back to pass, while the Arkansas pass rush forced him to scramble to avoid a 10-yard sack.  Somehow, a small pocket opened, and Street took off down the right sideline for a touchdown.  Royal decided to go for two, and a counter option run was successful to make the score 14-8.

With less than five minutes left in the game, and the score still 14-8 in favor of the Razorbacks, Texas was in deep trouble.  Facing a fourth down and three on their side of the 50 yard line, Coach Darrel Royal decided to gamble and go for the first down.  They came out in their wishbone offense, and Arkansas bunched up with nine defenders near the line of scrimmage.  Not only was Royal ready to gamble, he figured that even if the Longhorns powered for the three yards and a first down, they could not keep the ball on  the ground and score the winning touchdown with so little time left.

Royal called for the play-action long bomb off the option fake.  Street faked to his fullback running into the line and continued to option the Arkansas defensive end–for two steps.  Then, he quickly dropped back three steps and fired the ball long and high into the air.  At the other end of the play, receiver Randy Peschel had maybe a half-step on two Arkansas defenders.  The ball came out of the sky into Peschel’s arms inside the Razorback 15 yard line.  Arkansas was stunned.  They were in place to stop all three phases of the triple option and then run the clock out to play LSU in the Cotton Bowl, the team that had upset them in the Cotton Bowl just four years before.  Alas, neither team would spend New Year’s in Dallas.

Texas ran two plays and scored a touchdown on a counter dive.  The extra point put the Longhorns up 15-14 with just over three minutes to play.

The game wasn’t over.  Unlike Texas, Arkansas ran a pro-style offense, and Quarterback Bill Montgomery had a dangerous receiver in Chuck Dicus.  The Razorbacks quickly drove into Longhorn territory.  They needed one more first down to get into legitimate field goal range with a chance to win the game in the final seconds.  Montgomery rolled out to throw toward Dicus, but the toss was a little off target, and Texas intercepted the pass to clinch the game.

The Longhorns were given the trophy by President Nixon.  It appeared that they would now play 9-1 LSU in the Cotton Bowl, and my ratings would actually make LSU a small favorite.

Except it didn’t happen.  After decades of not permitting the football team to play in bowl games, the elders at Notre Dame decided that it was now okay.  LSU was in essence uninvited to the Cotton Bowl, and a weaker Notre Dame team was invited in their place.  Meanwhile, LSU was now shut out of a bowl, as Ole Miss had already accepted the Sugar Bowl bid when it appeared that LSU was Dallas-bound.

In the bowl games, Texas struggled to beat Notre Dame in what was basically a Longhorn home game.  Irish quarterback Joe Theismann shredded the Texas secondary for well over 200 passing yards, and Texas had to come from behind to win.

At the same time, Ole Miss, led by Archie Manning, beat Arkansas in a mild upset in the Sugar Bowl.  The Rebels had ended the season on a hot streak, having also giving Tennessee and LSU their only regular season losses.  Still, the Southwest Conference teams did not look to be as strong as the poll-voters believed.

That evening, Penn State played a Missouri team that averaged over 40 points per game and held the Tigers to one field goal.  They won only 10-3, but the defense intercepted Missouri quarterback Terry McMillan seven times (he threw just six interceptions in the 10 regular season games).

So, who was the best team in 1969?  Was it Penn State or Texas or maybe even another team?  My ratings said that Penn State was the best team, but I also had LSU number two and USC and Texas tied at number three.

Penn State would enjoy undefeated seasons in 1968, 1969, and 1973 and not win the national championship in any of those years.  The 1973 team finished at the top of my ratings.  The poll voters favored conference teams, and except for Notre Dame, an Independent had to win every game convincingly to win a national title.  Syracuse in 1959 dominated all 11 opponents to win only a split decision, as once-beaten Ole Miss from the SEC received more #1 honors that year.

In 1969, the centennial year for college football, 27 major college teams played as independents.  West Virginia finished 10-1 losing only to Penn State, the Mountaineers just barely made the final top 20.  Houston finished 8-2 in the regular season and also just barely made the top 20 prior to bowl season.  The Cougars then totally thrashed Auburn in the Bluebonnet Bowl to earn some respect.

50 years later, there are just six independent football schools left.  Notre Dame can remain an independent and thrive.  The Irish have their exclusive NBC TV contract.  They can steal a bowl bid from the ACC in a sweetheart arrangement, where they can finish leap over any ACC team that has one more win than they have.

BYU left the Mountain West Conference with aspirations of joining the Pac-12 or Big 12, but they were left at the altar.  The Cougar football program has contracted in recent years.  It won’t be a surprise if they try to return to the Mountain West in three or four years.

Army does not need to join a football conference.  Although their two military rivals belong to conferences, the Black Knights can remain independent and survive by doing what they have been doing for the last few years.  Navy actually has regressed since joining the American Athletic Conference.

As for Massachusetts, Liberty, and New Mexico State, they have to wait until the next round of cannibalism from the Power 5 conferences.  If the AAC loses a team or two, UMass and Liberty could be in line to replace them.  If the Mountain West loses a team to Pac-12 or Big 12 expansion, maybe NMSU could get in as a replacement, or maybe if BYU returns to the MWC, the Aggies can be the 14th members.

There is no such entity as a media poll for the FBS Independents.  Therefore, we will show you how 10 of the most reputable computer forecasters believe.  We are not vain enough to include ourselves in these 10 ratings, plus you will see our ratings below as well.

 

10 Computer Gurus Poll of FBS Independents
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Notre Dame 9 59
2 Army 1 51
3 BYU 0 38
4 Liberty 0 32
5 New Mexico St. 0 17
6 Massachusetts 0 13

 

Here are the preseason  PiRate Ratings for the FBS Independents.

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings–FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 121.4 119.1 121.9 120.8
Army 102.6 102.7 102.4 102.6
BYU 101.8 101.7 102.0 101.8
Liberty 87.9 89.6 88.4 88.6
New Mexico St. 77.8 81.2 77.6 78.8
Massachusetts 73.5 76.8 73.1 74.5
 

 

Indep. Averages 94.2 95.2 94.2 94.5

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss
Pos Team Won-Loss
1 Army 11-2
2 Notre Dame 10-2
3 BYU 8-4
4 Liberty 7-5
5 New Mexico St. 2-10
6 Massachusetts 2-10

 

 

Bowl Predictions

Hawaii BYU
Orange Notre Dame
Cotton Army (top G5 team)
 

 

Also Bowl Eligible
Liberty

 

 

Coaches That Could Move to Power 5 Conferences

Jeff Monken, Army

Hugh Freeze, Liberty

 

Coaches On The Hot Seat

Kelani Sitake, BYU

Doug Martin, New Mexico St.

 

Top Quarterbacks

Ian Book, Notre Dame

Zach Wilson, BYU

Kelvin Hopkins, Army

 

Best Offense

Army

Notre Dame

Liberty

 

Best Defense

Notre Dame

Army

BYU

Coming Tomorrow: The American Athletic Conference–still the #1 Group of 5 conference

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