The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 4, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football–Week of: September 4-6

Week Two: Chock Full Of So-so Games

 

The second week of the college football season is a perfect example of one reason why college football has taken a backseat to the NFL in my opinion.  Try to find a headline game this weekend.  Sure, there will be an upset or two along the way, but the top-ranked teams face a slate that includes Ohio U, Marshall, Central Michigan, Southeast Missouri, Louisiana Tech, Tulane, and UTEP.  You have to stretch your imagination to believe that the marquis games this week include Auburn and Southern Mississippi, Oklahoma and Cincinnati, West Virginia and East Carolina, and Florida and Miami.  In contrast, every game in the NFL is very meaningful this weekend.  All teams are in ties for first place in a system where standings matter in every division.

 

The PiRates fared quite well in week one.  Since, I am not picking college games against the spread, I will just mention a few of the games where the ratings stood out.  The odds favored Miami of Ohio over Vanderbilt last Thursday, but the ratings said Vanderbilt would win outright.  The Commodores won by three touchdowns.  Also on Thursday, Buffalo was just a field goal choice over UTEP; the ratings believed the Bulls would win big, and they won by 25 points. 

 

On Friday night, Rice was a mere 3½ point pick over SMU, but the ratings said the Owls were a good touchdown better.  Rice won by more than four touchdowns.  That same night, the ratings believed Temple would slaughter Army even though they were just a touchdown pick.  The former laughingstock trounced Army by four touchdowns.  

 

Ole Miss was the ratings’ pick to cover easily against Memphis even though the spread was more than a touchdown.  The Rebels won by 17. 

 

Sunday, Kentucky was an underdog to Louisville by 3½ points, but the ratings picked the Wildcats to win big.  UK won 27-2.

 

PiRate Ratings For September 4, 2008

 

NCAA Top 25 For Preseason

Won

Lost

1

Ohio St.

129

1

0

2

Florida 

128

1

0

3

Georgia 

124

1

0

4

Missouri

122

1

0

5

Southern Cal

121

1

0

6

South Florida

121

1

0

7

Oregon

121

1

0

8

Oklahoma

120

1

0

9

L S U

117

1

0

10

South Carolina

117

1

0

11

West Virginia

116

1

0

12

Clemson

116

0

1

13

Kansas

115

1

0

14

Alabama

114

1

0

15

Arizona St.

114

1

0

16

Texas Tech

114

1

0

17

Tennessee

114

0

1

18

Wisconsin

113

1

0

19

Texas

113

1

0

20

Penn St.

112

1

0

21

Fresno St.

110

1

0

22

Kentucky

110

1

0

23

Wake Forest

110

1

0

24

B Y U

110

1

0

25

Virginia Tech

110

0

1

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Clemson

0-0

0-1

116

71

45

Wake Forest

0-0

1-0

110

64

46

Florida State

0-0

0-0

109

65

44

Maryland

0-0

1-0

106

66

40

Boston College

0-0

1-0

101

61

40

North Carolina State

0-0

0-1

92

60

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coastal Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Virginia Tech

0-0

0-1

110

69

41

North Carolina

0-0

1-0

104

68

36

Georgia Tech

0-0

1-0

97

62

36

Miami

0-0

1-0

96

58

38

Virginia 

0-0

0-1

95

59

36

Duke

0-0

1-0

95

61

34

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

South Florida

0-0

1-0

121

77

44

West Virginia

0-0

1-0

116

76

40

Connecticut

0-0

1-0

109

67

42

Cincinnati

0-0

1-0

108

64

44

Rutgers

0-0

0-1

105

63

42

Pittsburgh

0-0

0-1

104

60

44

Louisville

0-0

0-1

98

61

37

Syracuse

0-0

0-1

89

54

35

 

Big Ten

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ohio State

0-0

1-0

129

74

55

Wisconsin

0-0

1-0

113

71

42

Penn State

0-0

1-0

112

68

44

Illinois

0-0

0-1

108

68

40

Michigan State

0-0

0-1

107

67

40

Michigan

0-0

0-1

104

62

42

Purdue

0-0

0-0

102

65

37

Northwestern

0-0

1-0

99

65

34

Iowa

0-0

1-0

98

63

35

Indiana

0-0

1-0

97

63

34

Minnesota

0-0

1-0

94

62

32

 

Big 12

North Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Missouri

0-0

1-0

122

73

49

Kansas

0-0

1-0

115

67

48

Colorado

0-0

1-0

104

65

39

Kansas State

0-0

1-0

102

67

35

Nebraska

0-0

1-0

102

63

39

Iowa State

0-0

1-0

91

56

35

South Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Oklahoma

0-0

1-0

120

78

42

Texas Tech

0-0

1-0

114

75

39

Texas

0-0

1-0

113

72

41

Oklahoma State

0-0

1-0

108

67

41

Texas A&M

0-0

0-1

99

58

41

Baylor

0-0

0-1

88

56

32

 

Conference USA

East Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

East Carolina

0-0

1-0

106

65

41

Central Florida

0-0

1-0

98

56

42

Marshall

0-0

1-0

93

56

37

Southern Miss.

0-0

1-0

89

60

29

Memphis

0-0

0-1

88

59

29

U A B

0-1

0-1

83

49

34

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Tulsa

1-0

1-0

99

66

33

Houston

0-0

1-0

93

57

36

Rice

1-0

1-0

89

61

28

Tulane

0-0

0-0

84

56

28

U T E P

0-0

0-1

81

50

31

S M U

0-1

0-1

80

57

24

 

Independents

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

 

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Notre Dame

 

0-0

102

64

38

Navy

 

1-0

93

58

35

Army

 

0-1

77

49

28

 

Mid American Conference

East Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Bowling Green

0-0

1-0

98

63

35

Temple

0-0

1-0

97

59

38

Buffalo

0-0

1-0

95

61

34

Miami (O)

0-0

0-1

91

58

33

Kent State

0-0

0-1

89

56

33

Ohio U

0-0

0-1

87

53

34

Akron

0-0

0-1

84

57

27

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ball State

0-0

1-0

103

67

36

Central Michigan

0-0

1-0

99

66

33

Western Michigan

0-0

0-1

97

61

36

Northern Illinois

0-0

0-1

92

58

34

Toledo

0-0

0-0

90

57

33

Eastern Michigan

0-0

1-0

88

55

33

 

Mountain West Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Brigham Young

0-0

1-0

110

70

40

Utah

0-0

1-0

108

65

43

T C U

1-0

1-0

108

63

45

Wyoming

0-0

1-0

93

58

35

New Mexico

0-1

0-1

91

58

33

UNLV

0-0

1-0

89

58

31

Air Force

0-0

1-0

89

54

35

Colorado State

0-0

0-1

86

55

31

San Diego State

0-0

0-1

84

52

32

 

Pac-10 Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Oregon

1-0

1-0

121

71

50

Southern Cal

0-0

1-0

121

69

52

Arizona State

0-0

1-0

114

71

43

California

0-0

1-0

109

66

43

Arizona

0-0

1-0

109

71

38

U C L A

0-0

1-0

107

63

44

Oregon State

0-1

0-1

105

68

37

Washington

0-1

0-1

103

65

38

Stanford

1-0

1-0

103

62

41

Washington State

0-0

0-1

96

59

37

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida 

0-0

1-0

128

79

49

Georgia 

0-0

1-0

124

74

50

South Carolina

0-0

1-0

117

70

47

Tennessee

0-0

0-1

114

72

42

Kentucky

0-0

1-0

110

64

46

Vanderbilt

0-0

1-0

102

61

41

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Auburn

0-0

1-0

120

73

47

L S U

0-0

1-0

117

72

45

Alabama

0-0

1-0

114

67

47

Ole Miss

0-0

1-0

107

65

42

Mississippi State

0-0

0-1

105

59

46

Arkansas

0-0

1-0

102

68

34

 

Sunbelt Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida Atlantic

0-0

0-1

97

66

31

Troy

1-0

1-0

97

61

36

Louisiana-Monroe

0-0

0-1

90

56

34

Arkansas State

0-0

1-0

88

56

32

* Western Kentucky

0-0

0-1

86

54

32

Middle Tennessee

0-1

0-1

84

55

29

Louisiana-Lafayette

0-0

0-1

82

56

26

Florida International

0-0

0-1

80

50

30

North Texas

0-0

0-1

74

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

1-0

110

69

41

Boise State

0-0

1-0

103

65

38

Nevada

0-0

1-0

94

63

31

Hawaii

0-0

0-1

92

56

36

Louisiana Tech

0-0

1-0

91

56

35

San Jose State

0-0

1-0

87

54

33

Utah State

0-0

0-1

83

49

34

New Mexico State

0-0

0-0

82

51

31

Idaho

0-0

0-1

80

58

22

 

This Week’s PiRate Picks

 

This Week’s Games

Home Team in Bold

(N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 4

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

South Carolina

Vanderbilt

13

27-14

 

 

 

 

Friday, September 5

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Ball State

Navy

13

34-21

 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 6

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Ohio State

Ohio U

44

44-0

Wisconsin

Marshall

23

37-14

Boston College

Georgia Tech

7

28-21

Michigan State

Eastern Michigan

21

35-14

Michigan 

Miami (O)

16

30-14

Connecticut

Temple

10

27-17

Iowa

Florida International

22

35-13

Auburn

Southern Miss.

34

44-10

Nebraska

San Jose State

19

33-14

Brigham Young

Washington

4

31-27

Georgia

Central Michigan

29

43-14

Oklahoma

Cincinnati

16

37-21

Oregon

Utah State

41

41-0

Penn State

Oregon State

12

35-23

Wake Forest

Ole Miss

6

23-17

Notre Dame

San Diego State

22

36-14

Syracuse

Akron

8

28-20

Wyoming

Air Force

7

24-17

Florida Atlantic

UAB

16

33-17

West Virginia

East Carolina

7

35-28

Texas A&M

New Mexico

5

21-16

Pittsburgh

Buffalo

12

28-16

California

Washington State

10

27-17

Alabama

Tulane

34

41-7

Kansas

Louisiana Tech

27

34-7

South Florida

Central Florida

25

35-10

Arkansas

Louisiana Monroe

15

35-20

Iowa State

Kent State

5

21-16

Northwestern

Duke

1

31-30

Tulsa

North Texas

28

45-17

Maryland

Middle Tenn

19

35-16

Western Michigan

Northern Illinois

7

28-21

Oklahoma State

Houston

12

28-16

Bowling Green

Minnesota

6

33-27

Florida 

Miami (Fl)

35

42-7

Utah

UNLV

22

35-13

Memphis

Rice

2

34-32

Texas Tech

Nevada

17

44-27

Arizona State

Stanford

14

31-17

Arizona 

Toledo

23

40-17

Texas

UTEP

30

40-10

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings

Home Team in Bold

(N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 4

 

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

Mean Prediction

South Carolina

Vanderbilt

20-14

 

 

 

Friday, September 5

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

 

Ball State

Navy

31-28

 

 

 

Saturday, September 6

 

 

Favorite

Underdog

 

Ohio State

Ohio U

35-3

Wisconsin

Marshall

34-14

Boston College

Georgia Tech

35-24

Michigan State

Eastern Michigan

37-17

Michigan 

Miami (O)

28-6

Connecticut

Temple

32-20

Iowa

Florida International

34-10

Auburn

Southern Miss.

35-17

Nebraska

San Jose State

45-26

Brigham Young

Washington

35-24

Georgia

Central Michigan

35-12

Oklahoma

Cincinnati

28-14

Oregon

Utah State

44-7

Penn State

Oregon State

35-26

Wake Forest

Ole Miss

38-23

Notre Dame

San Diego State

35-20

Syracuse

Akron

27-24

Air Force

Wyoming

21-17

Florida Atlantic

UAB

34-20

West Virginia

East Carolina

34-24

Texas A&M

New Mexico

24-23

Pittsburgh

Buffalo

35-24

California

Washington State

37-28

Alabama

Tulane

35-7

Kansas

Louisiana Tech

42-17

South Florida

Central Florida

28-21

Arkansas

Louisiana Monroe

41-22

Iowa State

Kent State

23-10

Northwestern

Duke

31-28

Tulsa

North Texas

45-23

Maryland

Middle Tenn

31-19

Western Michigan

Northern Illinois

35-27

Oklahoma State

Houston

38-24

Bowling Green

Minnesota

28-21

Florida 

Miami (Fl)

38-14

Utah

UNLV

34-10

Memphis

Rice

35-34

Texas Tech

Nevada

42-30

Arizona State

Stanford

37-24

Arizona 

Toledo

42-20

Texas

UTEP

45-16

 

South Carolina-Vanderbilt Preview

 

Vegas: South Carolina by 10  O/U of 41½

PiRate: South Carolina by 13

Mean: South Carolina by 6

Strategy: None officially, but I like teasing the Under as part of a parlay (10-point teaser of Under 51½ looks really good)

 

Last year, South Carolina entered this game ranked number six in the nation and appeared to be headed to a New Year’s Day Bowl.  Vanderbilt was 3-3 headed into that game, and the Commodore defense played its best game of the year, picking off Gamecock quarterback Chris Smelley two times and sacking a contingent of USC quarterbacks seven times.  When Vanderbilt upset Carolina 17-6, it marked the Commodores’ first ever road win over a top 10 team.  It ruined the Gamecocks’ season, and they never recovered, dropping their final four games afterward to finish 6-6.

 

South Carolina shut out North Carolina State 34-0 last Thursday night, but the final margin was not indicative of how ineffective Coach Steve Spurrier’s offense was for three quarters.  They led 3-0 at the half and just 13-0 entering the fourth quarter.  Smelley did not start for USC, but he entered the game in the fourth quarter and completed all five of his pass attempts for two touchdowns and 92 yards, and he led the team to a third touchdown on Carolina’s other fourth quarter possession.

 

The USC defense just plain bullied the Wolfpack offense last week.  They held NCSU to just 10 first downs, 89 rushing yards and only 49 passing yards.  The ‘Pack picked off starting quarterback Tommy Beecher four times, and they still couldn’t come away with points.

 

Vanderbilt opened the season with an impressive win at Miami of Ohio 34-13.  The Commodores ran the ball at will over the Redhawks, but they showed little with their passing game.  Quarterback Chris Nickson attempted just 16 passes and completed just nine for 91 yards.  Take away a 49-yard completion to Sean Walker, and he completed the other eight passes for just 42 yards (5.3 avg.).  Now, Vanderbilt was comfortably ahead by halftime and didn’t need to throw, but the Commodores are missing their top two receivers from last season.

 

This will be a major revenge game for South Carolina.  They have had this game circled for a long time.  Some of this revenge emotion will be countered by the fact that Spurrier once commented when he was the head coach of the Washington Redskins that “there are no Vanderbilts in the NFL.”  Additionally, it is Vanderbilt’s home opener after the Commodores won impressively on the road.  The Commodore fans will come dressed in black to make a black out similar to Penn State’s white out game against Ohio State a couple years ago.  Combine a small home field advantage, and these emotional factors cancel each other out. 

 

In the end, the Gamecock defense will shut down the Vanderbilt running game and force Nickson to beat them through the air.  Vanderbilt will get to Smelley and maybe force him into some errant throws.  It adds up to a low scoring game, and I believe South Carolina will come away with a win in the neighborhood of 20-10.

 

Preview of Wisconsin-Marshall Game

 

Vegas: Wisconsin by 20½  Over/Under of 50½

PiRate: Wisconsin by 23

Mean: Wisconsin by 20

Strategy: None

 

The Badgers didn’t look pretty in game one, but the old grind it out running attack returned to Camp Randall Stadium last Saturday morning.  Wisconsin rushed for 404 yards.  P.J. Hill carried the pig 26 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns, while backup Zach Brown gained 87 yards on 15 carries.  Quarterback Allen Evridge threw just 10 passes, completing seven for 75 yards and a score, but he never really needed to pass in this game.

 

Defensively, the Badgers had some holes in their pass defense, but a lot of that was due to their reserves playing in the fourth quarter.  Against the run, Wisconsin was potent all day.

 

Marshall had trouble with FCS school Illinois State for a half before wearing down the smaller school’s defense.  The Thundering Herd won 35-10 much in the same manner that Wisconsin bested Akron.  They showed an excellent running attack and an ordinary passing attack.

 

This game should be more of the same for Wisconsin, but the Coach Bret Bielema may have to go with the starters a bit longer.  Eventually, the UW offensive line will wear down the Marshall defense and begin to churn out running yards in large amounts.  I don’t expect the Badgers to rush for 400 yards, but they should gain around 300 yards.  Evridge should post better passing numbers in this game, as Marshall is vulnerable against the pass.  I expect him to throw for 150 yards and lead Wisconsin on at least four and up to six scoring drives.

 

In the end, Wisconsin will score 28 to 38 points and win by at least three touchdowns.

 

Playable Games According To The PiRates

 

For those new to this blog, I consider a game as playable when both the PiRate and Mean ratings pick the same side by at least three points more or less than the Vegas Line.  For example, if State is favored by 6 over Tech, then the game would be playable if both ratings picked State by 9 (going with State) or by 3 (going with Tech).

 

Additionally, if both ratings agree on which team will win, and the official Vegas line is less than 10 points, then go with the moneyline.  For example, if State is a 6-point pick over Tech, then take State in the moneyline if both ratings pick them to win.

 

I am introducing another strategy today.  If both ratings pick an underdog of a touchdown or less to win outright or beat the spread by at least 3 points, then consider playing the underdog as a moneyline pick.  For example, if Tech is a 6-point underdog to State but both ratings agree that Tech is only 2 points weaker, then consider playing Tech in a moneyline strategy (this rating will not be officially listed in this experimental year).

 

All single digit favorites qualify as moneyline possibilities this week, so I will just list how the ratings pick the sides.  Nine games qualify this week with six of them going with the ‘dog.

 

Michigan -14½ vs. Miami-O

Connecticut -7 vs. Temple

San Jose State +26½ vs. Nebraska

Cincinnati +21½ vs. Oklahoma

Oregon State +16½ vs. Penn State

Washington +13 vs. California

Kansas -20½ vs. Louisiana Tech

Duke +6½ vs. Northwestern

Houston +21½ vs. Oklahoma State

       

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