The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 21, 2008

PiRate Ratings College Football Preview For Week Nine: October 21-26, 2008

NCAA Week Nine: Biggest Week To Date

 

This is the most important week of college football to date.  Starting with Tuesday night’s MAC game between teams competing for the very competitive East Division, at least a dozen games have major implications. 

 

The biggest one takes place at the Horseshoe Saturday night on ABC, as Penn State plays Ohio State.  The Buckeyes are at least two touchdowns better today than they were when they took the field against Southern Cal in September.  Penn State has the talent to win in Columbus, and I expect a fantastic game.

 

Texas faces Oklahoma State in a battle of unbeaten teams.  While the Longhorns are expected to dismiss the Cowboys much like they did against Oklahoma and Missouri the last two weeks, they better not overlook the boys from Stillwater, who enter this game believing they are not getting the respect that is due them.

 

In the SEC, the Georgia-LSU game could be one of those elimination games, where the loser is out of the BCS at-large bowl race.  What a difference a year makes, when LSU won the National Title last year with two conference losses.

 

In the Pac-10, Southern Cal plays at Arizona, and the Wildcats will be sky high for this game.  USC may be walking into a trap, much like they did at Oregon State.  However, they won’t take the Wildcats for granted.

 

 

The PiRate Top 25 is different from the polls.  I do not rank the teams based on what they have done to date.  These teams are rated on how I think they will perform in the future (predictive ratings).

 

PiRate Ratings by Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida State

2-1

5-1

110

69

41

Clemson

1-3

3-4

108

65

43

Maryland

2-1

5-2

107

65

42

Boston College

2-1

5-1

105

64

41

Wake Forest

2-1

4-2

104

57

47

North Carolina State

0-3

2-5

92

62

30

 

 

 

 

   
Coastal Division

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Virginia Tech

2-1

5-2

107

67

40

North Carolina

1-2

5-2

106

67

39

Georgia Tech

3-1

6-1

106

64

42

Miami

1-2

4-3

103

62

41

Virginia 

2-1

4-3

98

57

41

Duke

1-2

3-3

94

62

32

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

South Florida

1-1

6-1

116

73

43

Pittsburgh

2-0

5-1

109

63

46

West Virginia

2-0

4-2

107

66

41

Cincinnati

1-0

5-1

107

63

44

Connecticut

1-1

5-2

105

64

41

Rutgers

1-2

2-5

104

61

43

Louisville

0-1

4-2

100

62

38

Syracuse

0-3

1-6

84

53

31

 

Big Ten

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Penn State

4-0

8-0

126

76

50

Ohio State

4-0

7-1

124

69

55

Iowa

2-2

5-3

111

70

41

Illinois

2-2

4-3

109

70

39

Wisconsin

0-4

3-4

105

68

37

Michigan State

3-1

6-2

104

62

42

Minnesota

2-1

6-1

104

67

37

Northwestern

2-1

6-1

101

65

35

Purdue

0-3

2-5

99

65

34

Michigan

1-2

2-5

97

59

38

Indiana

0-4

2-5

85

57

28

 

Big 12

North Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Missouri

1-2

5-2

119

74

45

Kansas

2-1

5-2

113

66

47

Nebraska

1-2

4-3

105

65

40

Colorado

1-2

4-3

99

61

38

Kansas State

1-2

4-3

98

67

31

Iowa State

0-3

2-5

87

56

31

South Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Texas

3-0

7-0

130

82

48

Oklahoma

2-1

6-1

125

83

42

Oklahoma State

3-0

7-0

118

70

48

Texas Tech

3-0

7-0

115

78

37

Baylor

1-2

3-4

97

62

35

Texas A&M

0-3

2-5

90

55

35

 

Conference USA

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

East Carolina

2-1

4-3

98

63

35

Central Florida

1-1

2-4

91

51

40

Marshall

2-1

3-4

90

56

34

Memphis

1-3

3-5

89

59

30

Southern Miss.

0-3

2-5

89

60

29

U A B

1-3

2-6

84

52

32

West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Tulsa

4-0

7-0

107

73

34

Houston

3-0

4-3

95

63

32

Rice

3-1

4-3

87

60

27

Tulane

1-2

2-4

87

58

29

U T E P

3-1

3-4

83

56

27

S M U

0-5

1-7

83

60

23

 

Independents

           
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Notre Dame  

4-2

104

63

41

Navy  

4-3

96

59

37

Army  

2-5

85

51

34

 

Mid American Conference

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Temple

1-3

2-5

96

57

39

Buffalo

1-2

3-4

95

63

32

Bowling Green

1-2

3-4

94

64

30

Miami (O)

1-2

2-5

92

58

34

Akron

2-2

4-4

91

60

31

Ohio U

1-2

2-5

91

52

39

Kent State

0-3

1-6

85

55

30

           
West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ball State

3-0

7-0

111

71

40

Northern Illinois

3-1

4-3

102

62

40

Central Michigan

4-0

5-2

100

67

33

Western Michigan

4-1

6-2

99

64

35

Toledo

1-2

2-5

87

56

31

Eastern Michigan

1-3

2-6

83

53

30

 

Mountain West Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Utah

4-0

8-0

114

69

45

T C U

4-0

7-1

114

65

49

Brigham Young

2-1

6-1

111

68

43

New Mexico

2-2

4-4

98

61

37

Air Force

3-1

5-2

95

57

38

Colorado State

1-2

3-4

89

57

32

UNLV

0-3

3-4

87

58

29

Wyoming

0-4

2-5

82

51

31

San Diego State

0-3

1-6

74

49

25

 

Pac-10 Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Southern Cal

3-1

5-1

131

74

57

Oregon State

3-1

4-3

114

75

39

Oregon

3-1

5-2

112

69

43

Arizona

3-1

5-2

112

74

38

California

2-1

4-2

109

69

40

Arizona State

1-2

2-4

108

65

43

Stanford

3-2

4-4

104

63

41

U C L A

2-2

3-4

103

59

44

Washington

0-4

0-6

93

60

33

Washington State

0-5

1-7

75

49

26

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida 

3-1

5-1

128

80

48

Georgia 

3-1

6-1

122

73

49

Tennessee

1-3

3-4

113

68

45

South Carolina

2-3

5-3

113

67

46

Kentucky

1-2

5-2

108

62

46

Vanderbilt

3-2

5-2

108

62

46

West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Alabama

4-0

7-0

118

68

50

L S U

3-1

6-1

115

72

43

Ole Miss

1-3

3-4

110

68

42

Auburn

2-3

4-3

108

59

49

Mississippi State

1-3

2-5

103

57

46

Arkansas

1-3

2-5

99

67

32

 

Sunbelt Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Troy

3-0

5-2

100

65

35

Louisiana-Lafayette

3-0

4-3

93

65

28

Florida International

2-1

3-4

90

57

33

Florida Atlantic

0-2

2-5

90

60

30

Arkansas State

2-1

4-3

89

59

30

Middle Tennessee

1-3

2-5

87

55

32

Louisiana-Monroe

1-2

2-5

85

54

31

* Western Kentucky

0-0

2-6

85

52

33

North Texas

0-3

0-7

69

52

17

           
* 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

Boise State

2-0

6-0

111

70

41

Fresno State

1-1

4-2

101

67

34

Nevada

2-1

4-3

97

69

28

San Jose State

3-0

5-2

96

58

38

Hawaii

2-2

3-4

92

54

38

Louisiana Tech

1-2

3-3

90

55

35

New Mexico State

1-1

3-3

85

54

31

Utah State

1-2

1-6

80

49

31

Idaho

0-4

1-7

70

55

15

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

   

 

 

Tuesday, October 21  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

TEMPLE Ohio U

8

21-13

   

 

 

Thursday, October 16  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

WEST VIRGINIA Auburn

2

19-17

AIR FORCE New Mexico

0

23-23 to ot

   

 

 

Friday, October 17  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Boise State SAN JOSE ST.

12

32-20

   

 

 

Saturday, October 18  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

KANSAS Texas Tech

1

31-30

BALL STATE Eastern Michigan

31

41-10

NORTH CAROLINA Boston College

4

28-24

Minnesota PURDUE

2

33-31

CONNECTICUT Cincinnati

1

21-20

Northwestern INDIANA

12

35-23

Illinois WISCONSIN

1

31-30

MIAMI–FL Wake Forest

2

16-14

Central Michigan TOLEDO

10

34-24

Oklahoma KANSAS STATE

24

52-28

FLORIDA Kentucky

23

35-12

NEBRASKA Baylor

11

31-20

Louisiana Tech ARMY

2

19-17

B Y U U n l v

27

41-14

VANDERBILT Duke

17

31-14

Fresno State UTAH STATE

18

35-17

TULANE Rice

3

34-31

TEXAS  Oklahoma State

15

35-20

Georgia L S U

4

28-24

South Florida LOUISVILLE

13

34-21

PITTSBURGH Rutgers

8

21-13

GEORGIA TECH Virginia

11

24-13

FLORIDA STATE Virginia Tech

6

30-24

CALIFORNIA U c l a

9

28-19

MARYLAND North Carolina St.

18

35-17

Michigan State MICHIGAN

4

24-20

MIAMI–OH Kent State

10

31-21

NAVY S m u

16

37-21

NORTHERN ILLINOIS Bowling Green

11

35-24

New Mexico State IDAHO

12

38-26

T C U Wyoming

35

35-0

MISSOURI Colorado

23

37-14

Ole Miss ARKANSAS

8

35-27

IOWA STATE Texas A&M

0

24-24 to ot

Troy NORTH TEXAS

28

48-20

MISSISSIPPI ST. Middle Tennessee

19

28-9

Florida Atlantic UL-MONROE

2

28-26

Alabama TENNESSEE

2

22-20

OHIO STATE Penn State

1

21-20

MEMPHIS Southern Miss.

3

31-28

Notre Dame WASHINGTON

8

28-20

Colorado State SAN DIEGO ST.

12

31-19

Oregon ARIZONA STATE

1

25-24

Southern Cal ARIZONA 

16

35-19

Nevada HAWAII

1

31-30

   

 

 

Sunday, October 26  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

TULSA Central Florida

19

35-16

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

   

 

Tuesday, October 21  

 

Favorite Underdog

Mean Prediction

TEMPLE Ohio U

23-17

   

 

Thursday, October 16  

 

Favorite Underdog

Mean Prediction

WEST VIRGINIA Auburn

21-17

AIR FORCE New Mexico

34-26

   

 

Friday, October 17  

 

Favorite Underdog

Mean Prediction

Boise State SAN JOSE ST.

31-20

   

 

Saturday, October 18  

 

Favorite Underdog

Mean Prediction

Texas Tech KANSAS

35-34

BALL STATE Eastern Michigan

38-7

NORTH CAROLINA Boston College

24-21

Minnesota PURDUE

35-26

CONNECTICUT Cincinnati

17-16

Northwestern INDIANA

34-21

Illinois WISCONSIN

31-30

MIAMI–FL Wake Forest

20-20 to OT

Central Michigan TOLEDO

28-20

Oklahoma KANSAS STATE

40-21

FLORIDA Kentucky

28-10

NEBRASKA Baylor

27-14

Louisiana Tech ARMY

30-27

B Y U U n l v

35-14

VANDERBILT Duke

26-14

Fresno State UTAH STATE

23-10

Rice TULANE

34-28

TEXAS  Oklahoma State

41-30

Georgia L S U

22-21

South Florida LOUISVILLE

30-24

PITTSBURGH Rutgers

27-12

GEORGIA TECH Virginia

27-17

FLORIDA STATE Virginia Tech

19-17

CALIFORNIA U c l a

35-21

MARYLAND North Carolina St.

24-10

Michigan State MICHIGAN

28-17

MIAMI–OH Kent State

30-21

NAVY S m u

49-28

NORTHERN ILLINOIS Bowling Green

31-24

New Mexico State IDAHO

42-27

T C U Wyoming

34-0

MISSOURI Colorado

40-21

Ole Miss ARKANSAS

26-24

IOWA STATE Texas A&M

24-22

Troy NORTH TEXAS

44-17

MISSISSIPPI ST. Middle Tennessee

21-14

Florida Atlantic UL-MONROE

21-16

Alabama TENNESSEE

21-10

Penn State OHIO STATE

20-19

MEMPHIS Southern Miss.

28-27

Notre Dame WASHINGTON

24-13

Colorado State SAN DIEGO ST.

35-27

Oregon ARIZONA STATE

35-30

Southern Cal ARIZONA 

33-21

HAWAII Nevada

35-32

   

 

Sunday, October 26  

 

Favorite Underdog

Mean Prediction

TULSA Central Florida

42-19

 

Bowl Outlook by Conference

 

It is starting to look like there could be at least two and as many as four teams from non-BCS conferences that could run the table.  Only one of these teams would be guaranteed of a BCS at-large bid under the current rules, but more than one of these teams could be offered a bid.  If Boise State and Utah continue to win impressively, it is possible that both teams could crash the party.

 

Another possibility this year may come about if only one non-BCS team gets a BCS at-large bid, while two others finish 12-0 or 13-0.  Tulsa and Ball State are still undefeated, and if they finish that way, this could be a year where the bowls get together and make some deals so that these undefeated teams could meet.  Without doing so, a 13-0 Tulsa team could be forced to play in the Liberty Bowl against a 6-6 SEC team.

 

ACC

Wake Forest’s thumping at the hands of Maryland combined with Virginia Tech’s losing to Boston College makes this an “anybody’s guess” race.  The PiRates believe Virginia Tech will eventually emerge as conference champs.  In the Atlantic Division, Wake Forest has the tiebreaker advantage over Florida State.  Clemson, Duke, and Virginia are facing uphill climbs to get to six wins; the PiRates say, as of today, they will all miss out.

 

1. Orange Bowl-Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh

2. Chick-fil-a-North Carolina vs. Kentucky

3. Gator-Florida State vs. South Florida

4. Champs Sports-Maryland vs. Minnesota

5. Music City-Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee

6. Meineke Car Care-Boston College vs. West Virginia

7. Eagle Bank-The ACC will be one team shy, and this bowl has   

    an agreement with the MAC as a backup

8. Emerald-Miami (Fla.) vs. Arizona

9. Humanitarian-Wake Forest vs. Boise State

 

Big East

Pittsburgh can lose one time in the league and still win the BCS spot if they finished tied with South Florida.  West Virginia and Cincinnati are both unbeaten in conference play, but I believe both will fall at least twice due to tough finishing schedules.  The PiRates believe Louisville is headed for a rough finish and will not become bowl eligible.

 

1. Orange-Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Tech

2. Gator-South Florida vs. Florida State

3. St. Petersburg-Cincinnati vs. East Carolina

4. Meineke Car Care-West Virginia vs. Boston College

5. International-Connecticut vs. Central Michigan

6. Papa John’s-No eligible team available

 

Big Ten

This week’s big game will go a long way in deciding the bowl alignments.  The PiRates pick Ohio State to edge Penn State and throw a monkey wrench into things.  Michigan is going to miss out on a bowl for the first time since the Wolverines went 10-1 in 1974 and saw 10-1 Ohio State get the Rose Bowl bid (when the conference only allowed teams to go to the Rose Bowl).  Purdue, in Joe Tiller’s last year as coach, will miss out as well.

 

1. Rose-Ohio State vs. Southern Cal

2. Fiesta-Penn State vs. Alabama

3. Capital One-Michigan State vs. Georgia

4. Outback-Illinois vs. South Carolina

5. Champs Sports-Minnesota vs. Maryland

6. Alamo-Northwestern vs. Oklahoma State

7. Insight-Iowa vs. Nebraska

8. Motor City-Wisconsin vs. Ball State

 

Big 12

Texas looks invincible, but Oklahoma looked the same way two weeks ago.  Any of the South’s top four teams could finish in the Top 10, and I wouldn’t be surprised if three do so.  In the North, Missouri should still emerge as the division champ, but can they beat Texas in a rematch?  Colorado’s win over Kansas State solidifies their hold on the final bowl slot.  The Wildcats could miss out for the second year in a row.

 

The big news here is that the PiRates believe Oklahoma will win out as well, and with a Penn State and Alabama future loss, will jump up to number two in the BCS rankings.

 

1. National Championship Game-Texas vs. Oklahoma

2. National Championship Game-Oklahoma vs. Texas

3. Cotton-Texas Tech vs. L S U

4. Holiday-Missouri vs. Oregon

5. Alamo-Oklahoma State vs. Northwestern

6. Sun-Kansas vs. California

7. Insight-Nebraska vs. Iowa

8. Independence-Colorado vs. Vanderbilt

9. Texas-No eligible team available

 

C-USA

Tulsa has the talent and schedule to run the table and finish 13-0.  Even if they do so, there chance of landing a BCS at-large bowl bid is slim.  It would be awful if all they could garner at 13-0 would be a Liberty Bowl Bid, but that could be their fate.  If they could face a 13-0 Ball State or 12-0 Boise State team in another bowl, it would make for great entertainment, but for now, I leave the alliances the way they are supposed to be.

 

1. Liberty-Tulsa vs. Ole Miss

2. St. Petersburg-East Carolina vs. Cincinnati

3. G M A C-Memphis vs. Northern Illinois

4. Armed Forces-Houston vs. New Mexico

5. Texas-Rice vs. Notre Dame

6. New Orleans-No eligible team available

 

Independent

Both Navy and Notre Dame should become bowl eligible.  Navy is guaranteed a bid to the new Eagle Bank Bowl if they are bowl eligible.  Notre Dame won’t qualify for a BCS bid, and they won’t get the Gator or Sun bowl bids for which they can qualify.

 

1. Eagle Bank-Navy vs. Western Michigan

2. Texas-Notre Dame vs. Rice

 

M A C

This conference is going to benefit from other conferences’ failures.  At least two and probably three extra teams will receive bowl bids from this league.  The big story is Ball State.  The Cardinals still have some tough games to play, but they could be 13-0 at the end of the regular season.  Like Tulsa, Ball State would only receive an at-large BCS bowl bid if Utah and Boise State both lost.

 

In the East, it looks like 5-3 will be good enough to earn a trip to the conference title game.  Five of the seven teams currently have two conference losses.

 

1. Motor City-Ball State vs. Wisconsin

2. International-Central Michigan vs. Connecticut

3. G M A C-Northern Illinois vs. Memphis

4. Eagle Bank-Western Michigan vs. Navy

5. Papa John’s-Buffalo vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

 

Mountain West

With TCU’s blowout win over Brigham Young, it left Utah as the final unbeaten in the MWC.  If the Utes run the table, which means beating both TCU and BYU, they will earn the lone BCS at-large bowl bid for non-BCS leagues.  Stranger things have happened, but if Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State, Southern Cal, and Alabama all lose, they could sneak into the national title picture with impressive victories in all remaining games.  They will need to rise up to number two in the voter polls.

 

1. Sugar-Utah vs. Florida

2. Las Vegas-TCU vs. Oregon State

3. Poinsettia-BYU vs. San Jose State

4. New Mexico-Air Force vs. Fresno State

5. Armed Forces-New Mexico vs. Houston

 

Pac-10

Oregon State actually controls their own destiny.  If the Beavers finished tied with Southern Cal, OSU gets the BCS automatic bid to the Rose Bowl, while Southern Cal would have to hope for an at-large bid.  The PiRates believe Oregon State will fall one more time, while USC runs the table.  If that’s so, then expect OSU to fall in the bowl preferences.

 

Stanford, Arizona State, and UCLA might all finish with four or five wins and miss out.  If that happens, then the Pac-10 will be two teams short in bowl eligibility.

 

1. Rose-Southern Cal vs. Ohio State

2. Holiday-Oregon vs. Missouri

3. Sun-California vs. Kansas

4. Las Vegas-Oregon State vs. T C U

5. Emerald-Arizona vs. Miami (Fl.)

6. Poinsettia-No eligible team available

7. Hawaii-No eligible team available

 

S E C

It’s going to be difficult for a one-loss team from the SEC to earn a trip to the national title game this year if Texas and Oklahoma continue to win big every week.  Alabama would have to run the table to make it to Miami, but the Crimson Tide would have to defeat LSU and probably Florida to do so.  Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt are all struggling to gain bowl eligibility, but all four should do so.

 

1. Sugar-Florida vs. Utah

2. Fiesta-Alabama vs. Penn State

3. Capital One-Georgia vs. Michigan State

4. Outback-South Carolina vs. Illinois

5. Cotton-L S U vs. Texas Tech

6. Chick-fil-a-Kentucky vs. North Carolina

7. Music City-Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech

8. Liberty-Ole Miss vs. Tulsa

9. Independence-Vanderbilt vs. Colorado

10. Papa John’s-No eligible team available

 

Sunbelt

This league has a chance to reap a couple of extra bowl games if there are available at-large bowl bids.  Troy should win the league, while Florida International and Louisiana-Lafayette both have great shots at getting to seven wins.  Seven is the magical number because a seven-win Sunbelt team would earn a bowl bid over any six-win team from any other conference.

 

1. New Orleans-Troy vs. Nevada

2. Hawaii-Florida International vs. Hawaii

3. Papa John’s-Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Buffalo

 

W A C

Boise State could finish 12-0 and in the top 10 and still fail to earn a BCS at-large bowl bid.  Utah is just ahead of them in the BCS polls.  It would be great if Boise State and Utah could meet in the Cotton Bowl if both finished undefeated, but that won’t happen. 

 

The WAC should pick up a couple extra bowl bids thanks to the failures of the Pac-10.

 

1. Humanitarian-Boise State vs. Wake Forest

2. New Mexico-Fresno State vs. Air Force

3. Hawaii-Hawaii vs. Florida International

4. New Orleans-Nevada vs. Troy

5. Poinsettia-San Jose State vs. B Y U

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