After a sample taste of Bloomin’ Football Down Under, the college football season begins in earnest this week, kicking off with a host of games on Thursday night and finishing with the annual lone Monday Night Football Game during the regular college season.
There are a few things we failed to mention in our college conference previews this year, namely that our preseason ratings failed to produce a clear-cut dominant team or even a small group of dominant teams. It is our opinions that this will be more of a balanced season with 20-25 teams capable of competing for their conference championships, and as many as 8-12 teams with reasonable beliefs they can earn a playoff spot.
There is reason for this parity. The most recent dominant teams–Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, Baylor, and even Clemson, figure to be a little less powerful than in recent years. These teams can still win the national title, but they are not likely to go 12-0 in the regular season and outscore their opponents by an average of 40-10.
As a whole, the Pac-12 and Big Ten figure to be a couple points weaker this year than in recent seasons, while the Big 12 is about on par with last seasons, but with a minor changing of the guard, as we believe Texas will replace Baylor as one of the championship contenders. The ACC appears to be on a slight rise, while the SEC remains the SEC. While Alabama and Florida may be down a bit, LSU and Tennessee are moving up a bit, which should make the top league’s championship race one where the powers beat up on themselves and leaves every team with a league loss.
Because only one game involving FBS teams has been played, we will update the 128 teams after this weekend’s games. Cal dropped a tiny bit while Hawaii rose a tiny bit, so it really does very little to the ratings, and we have already altered the Hawaii-Michigan game this weekend based on Hawaii’s result in Australia.
Here are this week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads.
|Boston College||Georgia Tech||0.1||2.4||0.5|
|Georgia St.||Ball St.||0.6||4.0||2.6|
|Mississippi St.||South Alabama||47.0||32.9||45.7|
|Ohio St.||Bowling Green||19.6||21.8||19.2|
|Tulsa||San Jose St.||11.7||14.2||11.5|
|UTEP||New Mexico St.||4.3||6.5||4.4|
Every week, we will also reveal what we call estimated spreads for the games involving an FBS team playing an FCS team. We say this is estimated, because it is simply a score-based formula similar to the original regular PiRate Rating of the 1970’s and 1980’s, before the advent of the Internet making data-mining so easy. This is a raw estimate based on establishing a crude rating for the FCS team and the regular PiRate Rating for the FBS team. We update the FBS team very marginally when they play an FCS team because of this.
|FBS vs. FCS||Week 1||Estimated|
|North Carolina St.||William & Mary||28.1|
|Utah St.||Weber St.||24.8|
|New Mexico||South Dakota||15.2|
|Eastern Michigan||Mississippi Valley||28.5|
|Nevada||Cal Poly SLO||18.2|
|Air Force||Abilene Christian||36.1|
|Oklahoma St.||SE Louisiana||44.1|
|East Carolina||Western Carolina||22.0|
|Florida Atlantic||Southern Illinois||6.3|
|Georgia Southern||Savannah St.||53.6|
|Miami (Fla)||Florida A&M||49.0|
|Central Florida||South Carolina St.||14.8|
|Middle Tennessee||Alabama A&M||43.0|
|Iowa St.||Northern Iowa||9.4|
|TCU||South Dakota St.||31.2|
|Texas Tech||Stephen F. Austin||34.6|
|Washington St.||E. Washington||30.0|
|San Diego St.||New Hampshire||29.9|
|Arizona St.||Northern Arizona||28.6|
Coming Wednesday–The PiRate Ratings will issue our initial JUST FOR FUN Moneyline Parlay wagers for week one of the college football season. Last year, our moneyline parlays caught lightning in a bottle and finished with a hefty 40% return on investment, BUT that does not mean they are usable to throw away your hard earned money. If you already know what you are doing, then maybe you can look at our selections with an expertise that will allow you to filter out our errors in judgment and find a small silver needle in the Nevada haystack.
There will be fewer selections since we normally include the NFL games in this weekly entry, and we do not fool with preseason games. Beginning the following week, we expect to issue more selections.