The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 25, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football–Week of August 30, 2008

The PiRates Are Ready To Board Your Ship For 2008-2009

 

Ahoy there!  The PiRates have returned for another season of mayhem and mischief.  They are ready to pillage those nasty ships from Las Vegas and reap the booty to be had.  Okay, if they are like last year, they may wish to become greeters at the local Wal-Mart, but let’s hope that 2007 was a great aberration. 

 

As you may have read in a post last week, there has been a major change this year.  This blog will concentrate on Pro Football while providing the bare bones in college football.  I just don’t follow college football with a passion any more.  The BCS has turned me off the game.  They need to either go to playoffs like all other sports, or return to the old ways and not let something or someone determine (and almost always getting it wrong) which two teams will have the chance to become the champion.  If you talk to the top experts in the business, and you know who they live in Nevada, they would tell you that Southern Cal and West Virginia were the top two teams last year.  Both of them would have been favored against either LSU or Ohio State.  The criteria that the BCS uses are no more accurate than your average stock screening program. 

 

What I plan to do this year is provide an abbreviated college preview on Wednesday or Thursday and an in-depth NFL preview on Friday.  Once again, I will also carry a pro football computer simulation of NFL teams from yesteryear, and that will run on Mondays once the NFL season begins.

 

I have the preview for the first week of the college season, as time restraints will make it impossible to post on Wednesday or Thursday.

 

Preseason PiRate Top 25

NCAA FBS

 

                 Team            Rating

Won

Lost

1

Ohio St.

128.4

11

2

2

Florida 

126.9

9

4

3

Georgia 

124.0

11

2

4

Missouri

122.9

12

2

5

S. Florida

120.4

9

4

6

Auburn

120.3

9

4

7

Clemson

119.0

9

4

7

Oklahoma

119.0

11

3

9

Oregon

117.7

9

4

10

Southern Cal

117.4

11

2

10

Kansas

117.4

12

1

12

W. Virginia

117.4

11

2

13

L S U

117.3

12

2

14

S. Carolina

115.7

6

6

15

Texas Tech

115.2

9

4

16

Tennessee

114.7

10

4

16

Arizona St.

114.7

10

3

18

Wisconsin

113.3

9

4

19

Va. Tech

111.6

11

3

20

Penn St.

111.0

9

4

21

Texas

110.5

10

3

22

B Y U

109.9

11

2

23

Alabama

109.5

7

6

24

California

109.2

7

6

25

Kentucky

109.1

8

5

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Clemson

0-0

0-0

119.0

73

46

Florida State

0-0

0-0

108.5

65

44

Wake Forest

0-0

0-0

107.8

63

45

Maryland

0-0

0-0

106.9

68

39

Boston College

0-0

0-0

101.4

62

39

North Carolina St.

0-0

0-0

92.9

61

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coastal Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Virginia Tech

0-0

0-0

111.6

71

41

North Carolina

0-0

0-0

105.6

68

38

Virginia 

0-0

0-0

99.2

61

38

Georgia Tech

0-0

0-0

97.5

62

36

Miami

0-0

0-0

96.3

58

38

Duke

0-0

0-0

95.7

62

34

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

South Florida

0-0

0-0

120.4

76

44

West Virginia

0-0

0-0

117.4

76

41

Connecticut

0-0

0-0

108.7

67

42

Rutgers

0-0

0-0

108.0

66

42

Cincinnati

0-0

0-0

107.3

64

43

Pittsburgh

0-0

0-0

107.0

63

44

Louisville

0-0

0-0

99.4

64

35

Syracuse

0-0

0-0

91.4

56

35

 

Big Ten

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ohio State

0-0

0-0

128.4

74

54

Wisconsin

0-0

0-0

113.3

71

42

Penn State

0-0

0-0

111.0

67

44

Michigan State

0-0

0-0

107.3

67

40

Illinois

0-0

0-0

106.9

67

40

Michigan

0-0

0-0

103.9

62

42

Purdue

0-0

0-0

101.7

65

37

Northwestern

0-0

0-0

98.2

65

33

Iowa

0-0

0-0

97.3

62

35

Indiana

0-0

0-0

97.2

63

34

Minnesota

0-0

0-0

94.4

62

32

 

Big 12

North Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Missouri

0-0

0-0

122.9

73

50

Kansas

0-0

0-0

117.4

69

48

Colorado

0-0

0-0

103.6

65

39

Kansas State

0-0

0-0

101.9

67

35

Nebraska

0-0

0-0

100.3

61

39

Iowa State

0-0

0-0

92.2

56

36

South Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Oklahoma

0-0

0-0

119.0

77

42

Texas Tech

0-0

0-0

115.2

75

40

Texas

0-0

0-0

110.5

71

40

Okla. State

0-0

0-0

105.6

66

40

Texas A&M

0-0

0-0

103.4

62

41

Baylor

0-0

0-0

90.9

58

33

 

Conference USA

East Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

East Carolina

0-0

0-0

103.8

65

39

Central Florida

0-0

0-0

97.6

58

40

Marshall

0-0

0-0

92.7

56

37

Memphis

0-0

0-0

87.3

58

29

Southern Miss.

0-0

0-0

86.8

57

30

U A B

0-0

0-0

82.7

49

34

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Tulsa

0-0

0-0

99.4

66

33

Houston

0-0

0-0

92.1

56

36

Rice

0-0

0-0

87.1

59

28

Tulane

0-0

0-0

84.4

56

28

U T E P

0-0

0-0

82.9

50

33

S M U

0-0

0-0

82.5

57

26

 

Independents

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

 

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Notre Dame

 

0-0

102.4

64

38

Navy

 

0-0

92.7

58

35

Army

 

0-0

77.2

49

28

 

Mid American Conference

East Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Temple

0-0

0-0

96.8

59

38

Bowling Green

0-0

0-0

96.3

63

33

Miami (O)

0-0

0-0

93.9

59

35

Buffalo

0-0

0-0

93.0

60

33

Kent State

0-0

0-0

89.0

56

33

Ohio U

0-0

0-0

85.5

53

33

Akron

0-0

0-0

83.9

57

27

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ball State

0-0

0-0

102.5

67

36

Central Michigan

0-0

0-0

99.0

66

33

Western Michigan

0-0

0-0

97.5

61

37

Northern Illinois

0-0

0-0

91.7

58

34

Toledo

0-0

0-0

89.8

57

33

Eastern Michigan

0-0

0-0

87.1

54

33

 

Mountain West Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

B Y U

0-0

0-0

109.9

70

40

Utah

0-0

0-0

107.5

65

43

T C U

0-0

0-0

106.0

63

43

Wyoming

0-0

0-0

93.8

59

35

New Mexico

0-0

0-0

93.3

58

35

U N L V

0-0

0-0

89.3

58

31

Air Force

0-0

0-0

89.0

54

35

Colorado State

0-0

0-0

86.3

55

31

San Diego State

0-0

0-0

86.2

52

34

 

Pac-10 Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Oregon

0-0

0-0

117.7

70

48

Southern Cal

0-0

0-0

117.4

67

50

Arizona State

0-0

0-0

114.7

71

44

California

0-0

0-0

109.2

65

44

Arizona

0-0

0-0

106.7

69

38

Oregon State

0-0

0-0

106.2

68

38

U C L A

0-0

0-0

105.0

62

43

Washington

0-0

0-0

104.9

67

38

Stanford

0-0

0-0

102.7

62

41

Washington State

0-0

0-0

99.2

61

38

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida 

0-0

0-0

126.9

79

48

Georgia 

0-0

0-0

124.0

74

56

South Carolina

0-0

0-0

115.7

70

46

Tennessee

0-0

0-0

114.7

73

42

Kentucky

0-0

0-0

109.1

66

49

Vanderbilt

0-0

0-0

99.5

60

40

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Auburn

0-0

0-0

120.3

74

46

L S U

0-0

0-0

117.3

72

45

Alabama

0-0

0-0

109.5

66

44

Ole Miss

0-0

0-0

108.3

65

43

Mississippi State

0-0

0-0

108.0

62

46

Arkansas

0-0

0-0

102.7

68

35

 

Sunbelt Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida Atlantic

0-0

0-0

99.0

66

33

Troy

0-0

0-0

97.4

61

36

Louisiana Monroe

0-0

0-0

89.8

56

34

*Western Kentucky 

0-0

0-0

85.5

54

32

Arkansas State

0-0

0-0

84.8

56

29

Louisiana Lafayette

0-0

0-0

84.2

56

28

Middle Tennessee

0-0

0-0

84.0

55

29

Florida International

0-0

0-0

79.4

50

29

North Texas

0-0

0-0

74.0

52

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Western Kentucky will become eligible in 2009

 

 

 

Their games will not count in the SBC Standings in 2008

 

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Fresno State

0-0

0-0

106.8

69

38

Boise State

0-0

0-0

103.4

65

38

Hawaii

0-0

0-0

92.8

57

36

Nevada

0-0

0-0

92.8

62

31

Louisiana Tech

0-0

0-0

88.9

56

33

San Jose State

0-0

0-0

87.5

55

33

Utah State

0-0

0-0

82.7

49

34

New Mexico State

0-0

0-0

82.3

51

31

Idaho

0-0

0-0

81.7

58

24

 

This Week’s Games

Home Team in Bold

(N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, August 28

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Buffalo

U T E P

13

30-17

Vanderbilt

Miami-OH

3

24-21

Troy

Middle Tennessee

10

31-21

Wake Forest

Baylor

14

28-14

South Carolina

North Carolina St.

25

38-13

Oregon State

Stanford

1

27-26

 

 

 

 

Friday, August 29

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Temple

Army

17

31-14

Rice

SMU

7

35-28

 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 30

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Northwestern

Syracuse

10

31-21

Indiana

Western Kentucky

14

34-20

Virginia Tech

East Carolina

5

28-23

Pittsburgh

Bowling Green

14

31-17

Wisconsin

Akron

32

45-13

Florida

Hawaii

39

45-6

Texas

Florida Atlantic

15

41-26

Wyoming

Ohio U

12

28-16

Michigan

Utah

Pk

23-23 to OT

Southern Cal

Virginia

15

28-13

Oklahoma State

Washington State

4

28-24

Tulsa

U A B

13

30-17

T C U

New Mexico

10

27-17

Mississippi State

Louisiana Tech

16

26-10

Auburn

Louisiana Monroe

34

44-10

Minnesota

Northern Illinois

5

31-26

Ole Miss

Memphis

23

37-14

Nebraska

Western Michigan

6

27-21

Texas A&M

Arkansas State

22

35-13

Kansas

Florida International

42

42-0

Southern Miss.

Louisiana-Lafayette

6

30-24

Kansas State

North Texas

31

48-17

Boston College

Kent State

10

27-17

California

Michigan State

6

27-21

Clemson  (n-Atlanta)

Alabama

9

29-20

Missouri   (n-St. Louis)

Illinois

16

33-17

Arizona

Idaho

28

45-17

U N L V

Utah State

9

27-18

Oregon

Washington 

16

33-17

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 31

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Kentucky

Louisville

14

31-17

Colorado  (n-Denver)

Colorado State

18

34-16

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 1

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Rutgers

Fresno State

4

31-27

Tennessee

U C L A

6

30-24

 

Mean Rating Predictions

The Mean Rating is my old rating from the 1970’s and 1980’s.  I brought it back last year as a supplement.  When the PiRate spread and the Mean Rating agree on the point spread choice from the Las Vegas Line and both ratings differ by more than 2½ points from the Vegas Line, then consider that game as a playable game against the spread.  

 

When the two ratings agree on the predicted winner of the game, and the Vegas Line is 1-10 points on that team as the favorite, then consider that game as playable on the Money Line.  These strategies work best against the Monday lines for Saturday games.

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings

Home Team in Bold

(N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, August 28

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Mean Prediction

Buffalo

U T E P

28-24

Vanderbilt

Miami-OH

21-16

Troy

Middle Tennessee

30-23

Wake Forest

Baylor

27-10

South Carolina

North Carolina St.

31-16

Oregon State

Stanford

31-20

 

 

 

 

Friday, August 29

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Mean Prediction

Temple

Army

24-23

Rice

SMU

37-31

 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 30

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Mean Prediction

Northwestern

Syracuse

31-20

Indiana

Western Kentucky

35-20

Virginia Tech

East Carolina

28-12

Pittsburgh

Bowling Green

31-17

Wisconsin

Akron

44-17

Florida

Hawaii

41-21

Texas

Florida Atlantic

42-21

Wyoming

Ohio U

24-17

Michigan

Utah

24-20

Southern Cal

Virginia

27-12

Oklahoma State

Washington State

27-24

Tulsa

U A B

34-17

T C U

New Mexico

20-17

Mississippi State

Louisiana Tech

24-12

Auburn

Louisiana Monroe

34-10

Minnesota

Northern Illinois

28-17

Ole Miss

Memphis

31-21

Nebraska

Western Michigan

28-16

Texas A&M

Arkansas State

35-14

Kansas

Florida International

42-0

Southern Miss.

Louisiana-Lafayette

33-17

Kansas State

North Texas

45-20

Boston College

Kent State

28-6

California

Michigan State

26-21

Clemson (n-Atlanta)

Alabama

27-20

Missouri   (n-St. Louis)

Illinois

28-16

Arizona

Idaho

45-17

U N L V

Utah State

27-20

Oregon

Washington 

35-19

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 31

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Mean Prediction

Louisville

Kentucky

28-27

Colorado  (n-Denver)

Colorado State

30-20

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 1

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Mean Prediction

Rutgers

Fresno State

31-23

Tennessee

U C L A

28-27

 

Preview For Wisconsin-Akron

 

Vegas:       Wisconsin by 26½

PiRate:      Wisconsin by 32

Mean:        Wisconsin by 27

Strategy:   Neither Sides nor Moneyline apply to this game

 

The 2008 season finds Coach Bret Bielema’s Badgers loaded.  If it weren’t for the unbelievable mix of talent in Columbus, Ohio, I would tend to pick UW to win the Big Ten title.  The defense should be a little better than last season, while the offense may take a few games to gel.  However, once quarterback Allan Evridge shakes off the rust, he could actually be more explosive than departed star Tyler Donovan.

 

In game one, I am inclined to believe that the Badgers will start a little sluggish.  Akron is much weaker than they were during the Charlie Frye days, and the Zips are no threat to win this game.  It will allow UW to work out the kinks and get a win under their belt without worrying about an Appalachian State moment.

 

My personal prediction here is a 35-17 win for the Badgers.  Yes, I do disagree with my own ratings from time to time.

 

Preview for Vanderbilt-Miami of Ohio

 

Vegas:       Miami by 4

PiRate:      Vanderbilt by 3

Mean:        Vanderbilt by 5

Strategy:   Vanderbilt +3 and Vanderbilt +175 on the moneyline

 

This is a scary proposition.  I’ve witnessed Vanderbilt football games for more than four decades, and the Commodores have broken the hearts of their fans more than once (more like more than one hundred times) in that time span. 

 

Miami has a couple of famous traditions.  First, the school is known as the “Cradle of Coaches.”  I doubt there is another program that can equal the great group of leaders that came from Oxford, Ohio.  Here’s a sampling off the top of my head: Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Weeb Eewbank, Ara Parseghian, Bill Mallory, Dick Crum, Randy Walker, and Terry Hoeppner.

 

It’s the other tradition that worries me.  Miami has been known to upset their share of opponents.  They once beat Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in bowl games in three consecutive seasons.  They have won at Kentucky and at LSU.  When Northwestern won the Big 10 Championship and went to the Rose Bowl in the mid-90’s, their lone regular season loss was to Miami.

 

Now, take into consideration that this will be the first time an SEC opponent plays at Yager Stadium.  Also take into consideration that Vanderbilt is the number 12 team in the SEC and will be playing this game with an entirely new starting offensive line and with five new players in the defensive front seven.  They will be playing without their most potent weapon from last year in wideout Earl Bennett, and their best returning receiver, George Smith, will miss this game due to injury.  They lost their top running back from last year, and their starting back has never fully recovered from an ACL injury in 2006.

 

Vanderbilt steamrollered over Miami last year.  They simply ran the ball between the tackles, ala Ohio State in the Woody Hayes days.  Miami didn’t have the strength to stop the running attack even though they knew the Commodores were not going to throw the ball with an injured quarterback unable to pass.

 

Logic holds that Vandy can line up and play smash-mouth football and win this game in ugly fashion.  A few well-timed long play-action passes can be more valuable than throwing it 35 times in this game.

 

I think the Commodores will come from behind in the second half and win this game by wearing down the Redhawks in the trenches.  Here’s a little secret: Vanderbilt has possibly the best offensive line coach in college football.  Robbie Caldwell will have molded the new line players into a cohesive unit by the time this game begins, and the Commodores should find success running the ball, while quarterback Chris Nickson should have enough time to locate receivers to keep the defense honest.  This isn’t going to be a team that threatens to break the long streak of losing seasons, but this team should still be competitive.

 

My personal prediction is the same as the PiRate prediction.  Even should Miami pull off the win, four points are a lot to cover.  I like playing underdogs of more than a field goal when they have a good chance of winning outright, even when it’s the school with a tradition of breaking hearts.  Go with Vanderbilt at +4 and at +175 in the Money Line.

 

Other Playable Games According to the PiRates

 

Oregon State -155 vs. Stanford

Troy -260 vs. Middle Tennessee

Temple -270 vs. Army

Rice -3½ and -165 vs. SMU

Ole Miss -7½ and -310 vs. Memphis

Oregon -13½ vs. Washington

TCU -260 vs. New Mexico

Mississippi State -7½ and -350 vs. Louisiana Tech 

Washington State +7 vs. Oklahoma State

Missouri -8½ and -370 vs. Illinois

California -185 vs. Michigan State

Virginia +20 vs. Southern California

Utah State +9½ vs. UNLV and UNLV -500 vs. Utah State

Western Kentucky +20½ vs. Indiana (WKU’s first line ever!)

Florida Atlantic +24 vs. Texas

Kansas -36 vs. Florida International

Kentucky +3½ vs. Louisville

Rutgers -230 vs. Fresno State

Tennessee -290 vs. UCLA   

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