The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 24, 2009

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For College Football–November 23-28, 2009

Rivalry Week

Throw The Stats Out The Window

 

This is the college football week where more money is lost by those who don’t know what they are doing and more money is made by those who do know.  Certain rivalry games are just that—real rivalries.  Others are nothing but an annual beating on a little sister.

 

There is another bigger factor to this week’s games.  It’s the bowl factor.  Several teams are still looking for one final win to become bowl eligible.  A 5-6 team hosting an 8-3 team must be looked at quite differently than a 2-9 team hosting a 4-7 team.  The desire to get to 6-6 far outweighs the desire to avoid a 10-loss season.

 

NCAA Top 25 For November 23, 2009
Rank Team PiRate Won Lost
1 Texas 137.0 11 0
2 Florida  133.1 11 0
3 Alabama 130.4 11 0
4 T C U 125.3 11 0
5 Oklahoma 122.5 6 5
6 Georgia Tech 121.5 10 1
7 Boise St. 120.8 11 0
8 Oregon 119.7 9 2
9 Va. Tech 119.5 8 3
10 Texas Tech 118.8 7 4
11 Penn St. 117.7 10 2
12 Ohio St. 117.6 10 2
13 Southern Cal 116.9 7 3
14 Nebraska 116.7 8 3
15 Stanford 116.7 7 4
16 Ole Miss 116.5 8 3
17 Miami (Fla.) 116.1 8 3
18 Pittsburgh 115.6 9 1
19 Arkansas 115.5 7 4
20 Okla. St. 115.4 9 2
21 Cincinnati 115.2 10 0
22 Iowa 114.8 10 2
23 California 114.6 8 3
24 Clemson 114.5 8 3
25 L  S  U 112.5 8 3

 

 

     
Note: Ratings rounded to one decimal point
even though I rank them to two decimal points

 

 

Let’s look at the bowl eligible teams by conference as well as the teams needing to win this week to gain bowl eligibility.

 

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Clemson 6-2 8-3 114.5
Boston College 4-3 7-4 107.8
Florida State 4-4 6-5 107.7
Wake Forest 2-5 4-7 104.0
North Carolina State 1-6 4-7 101.2
Maryland 1-6 2-9 92.3

 

 

 

 

Coastal Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Georgia Tech 7-1 10-1 121.5
Virginia Tech 5-2 8-3 119.5
Miami-FL 5-3 8-3 116.1
North Carolina 4-3 8-3 112.4
Duke 3-4 5-6 99.2
Virginia 2-6 3-8 95.8

 

Clemson and Georgia Tech have already clinched their divisions and will meet for the ACC Championship.  Tech edges the Tigers in Atlanta in September, but Clemson gave the game away.

 

Duke needs to beat Wake Forest this week to earn their first bowl in 15 years.  David Cutcliffe is one of the most underrated coaches in the country, and he should receive some national recognition in the Coach of the Year balloting.

 

The ACC has nine automatic bowl bids, and only seven bowl eligible teams as of now.  The GMAC Bowl will need to find an at-large team to fill the vacant position, and if Duke loses this week, the Eagle Bank Bowl will look to the MAC to fill that vacant slot.

 

Big East Conference
 

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Pittsburgh 5-0 9-1 115.6
Cincinnati 6-0 10-0 115.2
West Virginia 3-2 7-3 104.5
Connecticut 1-4 5-5 104.1
Rutgers 2-3 7-3 101.1
South Florida 3-3 7-3 103.1
Syracuse 1-5 4-7 95.6
Louisville 1-5 4-7 91.6

 

Regardless of what happens in the Backyard Brawl in Morgantown this weekend, the winner of next week’s Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game will be Big East Champions and automatic BCS Bowl representative.  Cincinnati could still conceivably earn an at-large BCS Bowl bid at 11-1, but that chance is slimmer than slim.

 

Connecticut can gain bowl eligibility with a win at home against Syracuse this weekend, and they would get another chance next week against South Florida if they faltered against the Orangemen.  If the Huskies get that win, then the Big East will have six bowl eligible teams for six guaranteed spots.  Notre Dame could still possibly steal the Sun Bowl/Gator Bowl spot that goes to a Big East team if the Irish beat Stanford, but it would be a disgrace for them to steal a post at 7-5.  We believe Stanford will take care of business and keep Notre Dame out of the bowl picture altogether this year.

 

Big Ten

 

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Penn State 6-2 10-2 117.7
Ohio State 7-1 10-2 117.6
Iowa 6-2 10-2 114.8
Wisconsin 5-3 8-3 105.3
Michigan State 4-4 6-6 101.5
Northwestern 5-3 8-4 99.3
Purdue 4-4 5-7 99.0
Minnesota 3-5 6-6 97.9
Michigan 1-7 5-7 96.6
Illinois 2-6 3-7 95.4
Indiana 1-7 4-8 90.9

 

The Big 10 season is basically over.  Illinois has a couple of non-conference games remaining, and the only important factor in that is they play Cincinnati this weekend.  Wisconsin goes to Hawaii in two weeks, and the Outback Bowl bid could be riding on them winning the game.

 

It is almost a foregone conclusion that a second Big 10 team, either Iowa or Penn State, will receive an at-large BCS Bowl bid.  So, there will be seven teams available for eight bowls.  The Pizza Bowl (formerly Motor City Bowl) will have to look elsewhere and may be forced to invite two MAC teams.

 

Big 12
North Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Nebraska 5-2 8-3 116.7
Missouri 3-4 7-4 104.7
Kansas 1-6 5-6 104.0
Kansas State 4-4 6-6 99.4
Colorado 2-5 3-8 96.8
Iowa State 3-5 6-6 94.9

 

 

 

 

South Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Texas 7-0 11-0 137.0
Oklahoma 4-3 6-5 122.5
Texas Tech 4-3 7-4 118.8
Oklahoma State 6-1 9-2 115.4
Texas A&M 3-4 6-5 100.6
Baylor 1-6 4-7 95.7

 

Nebraska and Texas will face off in the Big 12 Championship Game, and the Cornhuskers may have a shot at pulling off a huge upset.  We give the ‘Huskers about a 15% chance of frustrating the Longhorn offense and win ugly.  If so, then another team from the Lone Star State will benefit.

 

After beginning the season at 5-0, Kansas finds itself in a must-win situation against Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.  They must earn The Brass Drum to earn a bowl bid.

 

The most important game though will be the Oklahoma and Oklahoma State game in Norman.  If the Cowboys beat the Sooners, they will more than likely earn an at-large BCS Bowl Bid at the expense of Boise State.  The Sooners must win to guarantee themselves a winning season.  The PiRate Ratings have had a devil of a time with OU this year.  Even at 6-5, their power rating keeps them in the top 10.  It’s hit or miss with them, as they showed how strong they are when they took Texas to the final gun.

 

If Kansas wins over Missouri, there will be 10 bowl eligible teams for eight guaranteed bowl spots (nine if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma).  Look for Iowa State to be the odd team out of the mix.

 

Conference USA
East Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Central Florida 5-2 7-4 104.1
East Carolina 6-1 7-4 103.8
Southern Mississippi 5-2 7-4 101.0
Marshall 4-3 6-5 95.6
U A B 4-3 5-6 91.0
Memphis 1-6 2-9 82.2

 

 

 

 

West Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Houston 5-2 9-2 105.2
Tulsa 2-5 4-7 92.8
S M U 5-2 6-5 90.1
U T E P 2-5 3-8 87.6
Rice 2-5 2-9 79.9
Tulane 1-6 3-8 69.4

 

Welcome to the conference where everything changes weekly.  With SMU losing to Marshall, the door opened once again for Houston to ascend to the CUSA Championship Game.  A win over Rice is all that’s needed, but all of a sudden the Owls have found their way.  It could be an interesting game—at least for a half.

 

The East Division championship will be decided this weekend when Southern Miss visits East Carolina.

 

UAB can gain bowl eligibility with a win over  Central Florida, but it may be a moot point.  There are only five guaranteed bowl spots with a sixth if Army fails to earn the Eagle Bank Bowl bid.  Six CUSA teams are already bowl eligible, and the Blazers cannot compete with Marshall or SMU in fanbase.

 

Independents

 

 

 

 

Team   Overall Rating
Notre Dame

 

6-5 106.1
Navy

 

8-3 103.2
Army

 

5-6 82.0

 

All three independents are still in the bowl mix, but as of now, only Navy is guaranteed a spot.  Notre Dame must beat Stanford to get to 7-5 and earn priority over every other possible at-large team.  At 6-6, they more than likely will find themselves out of the picture as there will be enough seven-win teams to fill the at-large spots.

 

Army must beat Navy to earn the Eagle Bank Bowl bid.  Navy has won seven in a row in this series, so it should be one of the best in this series in many years.

 

Mid American Conference
East Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Temple 7-0 9-2 103.8
Buffalo 2-5 4-7 92.1
Ohio U 6-1 8-3 91.9
Bowling Green 5-2 6-5 91.0
Kent St. 4-3 6-5 85.0
Akron 1-6 2-9 81.4
Miami (O) 1-7 1-11 76.3

 

 

 

 

West Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Central Michigan 7-0 9-2 108.5
Northern Illinois 5-2 7-4 95.2
Western Michigan 4-3 5-6 88.2
Toledo 3-4 5-6 87.5
Ball State 1-6 1-10 81.0
Eastern Michigan 0-7 0-11 74.3

 

Central Michigan has already clinched the West Division, and the Chippewas will play the winner of this week’s Ohio U-Temple game in the MAC Championship Game. 

 

Two teams will be playing for that important seventh win this week.  Bowling Green hosts Toledo, and Kent State hosts Buffalo.

 

The MAC gets three guaranteed bowl bids and will get a fourth if Duke fails to beat Wake Forest and earn an Eagle Bank Bowl bid.   That’s where the Bowling Green and Kent State games come into play.  Both could earn bowl bids with wins, and one could even play in the Pizza Bowl against another MAC team.

 

Mountain West Conference

 

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
T C U 7-0 11-0 125.3
B Y U 6-1 9-2 111.6
Utah 6-1 9-2 107.2
Air Force 5-3 7-5 100.7
Wyoming 3-4 5-6 87.6
UNLV 2-5 4-7 86.8
Colo. State 0-7 3-8 86.4
S. D. State 2-5 4-7 85.2
New Mexico 1-6 1-10 77.9

 

TCU will manhandle New Mexico this week and then hope that either Texas A&M or Nebraska can upset Texas, Florida State can upset Florida, or Auburn can upset Alabama.  The Horned Frogs need two of the big three teams ahead of them to lose.  The loser of the SEC Championship Game means that either Texas must lose this week or next or the winner of the SEC Championship Game must lose this week.  If one of these events happen, then TCU will be playing for the national championship in January.  It’s hard to believe that this program was once as weak as Syracuse, Vanderbilt, and Washington State are today.

 

The one team still trying to gain bowl eligibility is Wyoming.  The Cowboys must beat Colorado State in Ft. Collins this week, and these two teams truly put the “war” in “Border War.”  It’s not a given that Wyoming can top the 3-8 Rams.

 

Pac-10 Conference

 

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Oregon 7-1 9-2 119.7
Southern Cal 4-3 7-3 116.9
Stanford 6-3 7-4 116.7
California 5-3 8-3 114.6
Oregon St. 6-2 8-3 112.1
Arizona 4-3 6-4 111.4
U C L A 3-5 6-5 106.1
Arizona St. 2-6 4-7 102.1
Washington 2-5 3-7 97.3
Wash. St. 0-8 1-10 71.1

 

For the first time ever, the winner of the “Civil War” game between Oregon and Oregon State will earn the Rose Bowl bid.  The Ducks and Beavers are one of the best rivalry games in college football, and I’d love to have a 50-yard line seat next week in Eugene.

 

The Pac-10 receives six automatic bowl bids, but there are seven bowl eligible teams.  It looks like UCLA will miss out this year unless they can upset USC.  Arizona must beat either Arizona State or USC to get to seven wins.  If both the Bruins and Wildcats win seven games, then expect to see the Pac-10 receiving an extra bid to a western bowl.

 

Southeastern Conference
East Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Florida 8-0 11-0 133.1
Tennessee 3-4 6-5 110.7
Georgia 4-4 6-5 108.2
South Carolina 3-5 6-5 108.2
Kentucky 3-4 7-4 104.6
Vanderbilt 0-8 2-10 93.1

 

 

 

 

West Division

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Alabama 7-0 11-0 130.4
Ole Miss 4-3 8-3 116.5
Arkansas 3-4 7-4 115.5
L S U 4-3 8-3 112.5
Auburn 3-4 7-4 105.3
Mississippi State 2-5 4-7 100.9

 

This is a monster conference!  With Alabama and Florida headed to Atlanta to play what will be the “Game Of The Decade” (assuming both win this week), it is a given that the loser will still play in a BCS Bowl.  It isn’t completely out of the realm that if the SEC Championship game goes to overtime or is decided in regulation by a point, and if Texas loses to either Texas A&M or Nebraska, that Alabama and Florida could meet in a rematch for all the marbles.

 

With 10 bowl eligible teams, the SEC will place all 10 in bowls.  There will be a lot of last minute shuffling because there isn’t much difference between team number three and team number 10.

 

Sunbelt Conference

 

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Troy 7-0 8-3 98.4
Middle Tennessee 6-1 8-3 94.8
Louisiana-Monroe 5-2 6-5 88.2
Arkansas State 1-5 2-8 86.6
U. of Louisiana 4-3 6-5 84.3
Florida Atlantic 3-3 3-7 83.2
Florida International 3-4 3-8 81.7
North Texas 1-6 2-9 76.0
Western Kentucky 0-6 0-10 73.3

 

This league is almost assured of earning a second bowl bid this year.  Troy will play in the New Orleans Bowl, but Middle Tennessee will get an at-large bid somewhere.  Both Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe can get to seven wins, but it will take big upsets for both to do so.  ULL plays Troy, while ULM plays MTSU.

 

Western Athletic Conference

 

 

 

 

Team Conf. Overall Rating
Boise State 6-0 11-0 120.8
Nevada 7-0 8-3 108.7
Fresno State 6-2 7-4 99.0
Louisiana Tech 2-5 3-8 97.2
Utah State 2-5 3-8 91.2
Idaho 4-3 7-4 90.3
Hawaii 3-5 5-6 85.1
San Jose State 0-6 1-9 82.1
New Mexico State 1-5 3-8 70.0

 

Here’s where things should get interesting.  Boise State is a win over Nevada away from being 12-0 and the proverbial odd team out.  If Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, the Cowboys will steal the last BCS Bowl bid at the Broncos’ expense.  Then, watch for the United States Government to put their messy fingers into the college football pigpen. 

 

Before we get into this mess, Boise State has to beat Nevada.  The Wolf Pack is not a pushover, and it could easily take 50 or more points to win this game.

 

Of course, if the Sooners win over OSU, then it looks favorable for BSU getting into the field.  Then, they would be competing against a one or two-loss Big East team and maybe a two-loss Georgia Tech team.

 

If Boise State moves up, then the WAC is safe with four bowls for four bowl eligible teams.

 

Hawaii could still sneak into the mix, but they would have to beat Navy and Wisconsin.  We don’t see that happening.

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate & Mean Ratings
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 24

 

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog Score Mean
WESTERN MICHIGAN Ball State 10.2 31-21 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, November 26

 

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog Score Mean
Texas TEXAS A&M 32.9 54-21 21

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 27

 

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog Score Mean
Rutgers LOUISVILLE 6.5 28-21 5
CINCINNATI Illinois 22.5 37-14 25
CENTRAL MICHIGAN Northern Illinois 16.3 28-12 12
AKRON Eastern Michigan 9.8 34-24 13
BOWLING GREEN Toledo 6 40-34 11
COLORADO STATE Wyoming 1.8 23-21 0
Buffalo KENT STATE 3.9 28-24 -1
Temple OHIO U 8.9 30-21 3
Alabama AUBURN 22.6 33-10 12
Nebraska COLORADO 16.9 24-7 12
TULSA Memphis 13.6 38-24 12
Pittsburgh WEST VIRGINIA 8.6 28-19 3
BOISE STATE Nevada 15.4 45-30 16

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 28

 

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog Score Mean
CONNECTICUT Syracuse 11.5 28-16 12
Wake Forest DUKE 2.1 24-22 -1
North Carolina N. C. STATE 8.5 26-17 12
Clemson SOUTH CAROLINA 3.8 31-27 6
Ole Miss MISSISSIPPI STATE 13.1 34-20 6
OKLAHOMA Oklahoma State 9.6 38-28 5
T C U New Mexico 50.9 51-0 43
EAST CAROLINA Southern Miss 5.8 34-28 6
Central Florida ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM 10.4 38-28 5
ARKANSAS STATE North Texas 13.3 34-21 8
S M U Tulane 23.7 41-17 18
Marshall U T E P 5.0 35-30 7
Arizona ARIZONA STATE 6.8 27-20 6
FLORIDA Florida State 27.9 38-10 21
Missouri  (n) Kansas 0.7 31-30 3
Boston College MARYLAND 12.5 34-21 10
Miami-Fl SOUTH FLORIDA 10.6 28-17 4
Virginia Tech VIRGINIA 21.2 38-17 15
FLORIDA ATLANTIC Western Kentucky 12.9 27-14 16
Middle Tennessee UL-MONROE 3.6 31-27 4
B  Y  U Utah 7.1 34-27 4
IDAHO Utah State 2.1 34-32 6
Texas Tech (n) Baylor 23.1 42-19 18
WASHINGTON Washington State 28.9 42-13 19
Tennessee KENTUCKY 3.1 27-24 -1
L  S  U Arkansas 0.0 27-27 ot 3
Troy UL-LAFAYETTE 11.1 35-24 9
GEORGIA TECH Georgia 15.6 44-28 16
HOUSTON Rice 27.8 49-21 29
SAN JOSE STATE New Mexico St. 15.1 35-20 7
STANFORD Notre Dame 13.6 42-28 9
U  N  L  V San Diego State 4.6 28-23 5
SOUTHERN CAL U  c  l  a 13.5 28-14 10
Navy HAWAII 14.1 45-31 12

 

 

Bowl Speculations

Bowl Conference Team Conference Team
New Mexico MWC #4 Wyoming WAC #3 Nevada
St. Petersburg Big East #6 Connecticut C-USA #5 Central Fla
New Orleans Sunbelt #1 Troy C-USA #4 Southern Miss
Las Vegas MWC #1 B Y U Pac 10 #4 or 5 Stanford
Poinsettia MWC #2 Utah Pac 10 #6 Arizona
Hawaii WAC Fresno St. C-USA Houston
Little Caesar’s Pizza Big 10 #7 (Bowling Green) MAC #1 or 2 Temple
Meineke Car Care ACC #5-6-7 Boston College Big East #3 West Virginia
Emerald Pac 10 #4 or 5 Oregon State ACC #5-6-7 Florida State
Music City SEC #6 or 7 Kentucky ACC #5-6-7 North Carolina
Independence SEC #8 Georgia Big 12 #7 Kansas State
Eagle Bank ACC #8 Duke Army/C-USA (Marshall)
Champs Sports ACC #4 Miami-Fl Big 10 #5 Northwestern
Humanitarian WAC #1 Idaho MWC (Kent State)
Holiday Big 12 #3 Nebraska Pac 10 #2 Southern Cal
Armed Forces C-USA #3 S M U MWC #3 Air Force
Sun Pac 10 #3 California Big 12 #5 or Big East #2 Oklahoma
Texas Big 12 #8 Texas A&M Navy or C-USA NAVY
Insight.com Big 12 #6 Missouri Big 10 #6 Minnesota
Chick-fil-A SEC #5 Auburn ACC #2 Va. Tech
Outback SEC #3 or 4 Tennessee Big 10 #3 Wisconsin
Capital One Big 10 #2 Iowa SEC #2 Ole Miss
Gator Big East #2 or Big 12 #5 Cincinnati ACC #3 Ga. Tech
Rose BCS Pac10 Stanford BCS Big 10 OHIO STATE 
Sugar BCS SEC (Florida) BCS At-Large Boise State
International Big East #5 Rutgers MAC #3 Ohio U
Cotton Big 12 #2 Nebraska SEC #3 or 4 L S U
Papajohns.com Big East #4 South Florida SEC #9 South Carolina
Liberty SEC #6 or 7 Arkansas C-USA #1 East Carolina
Alamo Big 10 #4 Texas Tech Big 12 #4 Michigan St.
Fiesta BCS Big 12 (Penn State) BCS At-Large T C U
Orange BCS ACC Clemson BCS At-Large Pittsburgh
G M A C ACC #9 (Middle Tenn) MAC Central Mich.
National Championship *** BCS #1 *** Alabama *** BCS #2 *** Texas

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