The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 13, 2019

Bubbles Are Boiling

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 2:16 pm

Five Sundays from today, the NCAA Selection Committee will choose and seed the 68-team field for the NCAA Tournament.  At the present time, the Bubble list has begun to emerge with greater clarity.  There are about three dozen teams still competing for at-large bids, and more than half will not get into the Dance.

Some of the teams under consideration will eventually receive automatic bids when they win their conference tournaments.  On the other hand, there could be a few major upsets in the power conference tournaments forcing a bubble to pierce for one of these teams.

Let’s look at the principle boiling bubbles today.  We will let you decide if their resumes warrant bids or warrant bans to the NIT.

Team

Net

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Alabama

44

2-6

6-1

4-2

3-0

Arizona State

72

3-1

4-3

3-1

6-2

Baylor

32

3-5

7-1

1-0

5-2

Belmont

60

3-1

2-1

2-2

11-0

Butler

53

1-7

6-3

4-1

3-0

Central Florida

45

0-2

4-2

7-0

6-1

Clemson

39

2-6

2-2

5-0

6-0

Creighton

57

2-9

3-2

4-0

3-0

Davidson

68

0-2

3-1

6-3

8-0

Florida

42

1-9

3-1

3-1

5-0

Hofstra

51

0-2

0-1

4-1

16-0

Indiana

49

4-8

2-3

1-0

6-0

Lipscomb

30

2-3

2-1

2-0

12-0

Minnesota

58

3-6

4-2

4-0

5-0

New Mexico St.

59

0-1

2-1

8-2

9-0

North Carolina St

37

1-6

5-0

2-1

9-0

Ohio St.

36

4-5

3-2

4-0

5-0

Oklahoma

41

3-8

5-2

7-0

0-0

Ole Miss

35

3-7

3-0

4-0

6-0

Saint Mary’s

50

1-5

1-2

6-3

7-0

San Francisco

52

0-4

1-1

5-1

11-0

Seton Hall

69

2-6

7-1

2-2

3-0

St. John’s

48

4-4

4-1

2-2

8-0

TCU

33

1-7

5-0

7-0

4-0

Temple

55

1-5

5-1

4-1

7-0

Texas

34

4-6

4-4

3-1

3-0

Toledo

54

0-1

2-0

8-3

9-0

UNC Greensboro

46

1-3

1-0

5-0

13-0

Utah State

38

1-2

2-2

4-2

10-0

VCU

43

1-3

2-2

7-1

7-0

Wofford

28

2-4

3-0

4-0

9-0

Yale

62

0-3

1-0

5-1

8-0

 

Team

EFF.

SOS

Rd/Neut

Con

Ovr

Alabama

48

17

6-7

6-5

15-9

Arizona State

63

66

5-4

7-4

16-7

Baylor

34

50

5-4

7-4

16-8

Belmont

64

160

8-3

10-2

19-4

Butler

53

25

4-8

5-7

14-11

Central Florida

50

89

6-3

7-3

17-5

Clemson

31

36

4-6

5-5

15-8

Creighton

49

12

5-6

4-7

13-11

Davidson

75

106

7-6

9-2

18-6

Florida

38

29

5-7

4-6

12-11

Hofstra

67

225

7-4

11-1

21-4

Indiana

45

37

3-7

4-9

13-11

Lipscomb

33

204

9-3

11-0

20-4

Minnesota

56

51

5-6

6-7

16-8

New Mexico St.

54

134

9-3

9-1

20-4

North Carolina St

40

194

5-4

5-6

17-7

Ohio St.

32

49

6-3

6-6

16-7

Oklahoma

42

7

7-6

3-9

15-10

Ole Miss

39

63

7-4

6-4

16-7

Saint Mary’s

44

47

3-8

6-4

15-10

San Francisco

47

121

5-5

6-4

18-6

Seton Hall

66

40

6-6

5-6

14-9

St. John’s

52

57

7-4

6-6

18-7

TCU

37

20

6-5

5-6

17-7

Temple

76

56

8-5

7-4

17-7

Texas

28

3

4-6

6-6

14-11

Toledo

51

126

9-3

8-3

20-4

UNC Greensboro

80

188

10-2

11-1

22-3

Utah State

43

115

8-5

8-3

18-6

VCU

46

54

6-5

8-2

17-6

Wofford

30

133

8-3

13-0

21-4

Yale

72

123

7-4

5-1

15-4

 

Here’s an explanation of each column

Net: This is their official NCAA NET rating, the new and improved formula that supersedes all other, like the RPI.

Q1-Q4: These are the won-loss records for each quadrant.  The Quadrants are broken up into these groups.

Quadrant #

Home

Neutral

Road

Quadrant 1

1-30

1-50

1-75

Quadrant 2

31-75

51-100

76-135

Quadrant 3

76-160

101-200

136-240

Quadrant 4

161-353

201-353

241-353

If you play the #101 team at home, this is a Quadrant 3 opponent.  If you play the #101 team on their floor, this is a Quadrant 2 opponent.  If you host the #50 team, it counts as Quadrant 2, but if you play that team on a neutral floor or on the road, it is a Quadrant 1 game.

EFF.: This is the ranking in total efficiency, which is offensive efficiency combined with defensive efficiency and adjusted for strength of schedule.

SOS: This is the ranking of strengths of schedule for each team.  Keep in mind that the difference between #1 and #50 may be minimal, while the difference between #51 and #100 may be considerably more.

Rd/Neut: This is the combined road and neutral court won-loss records

Con and Ovr: Although not used by the Committee, this is the conference and overall won-loss records for each team for you to look at and decide for yourself if a certain team belongs in the Dance.  We are not 100% convinced that committee members don’t subconsciously let this stat creep into their decision-making process.  If a team finishes four games under .500 in their league while another finishes four game over .500, that four game swing is going to count for something, even if it isn’t supposed to count.

Trying To Think Like A Committee Member

Let’s look at each school on this list.

Alabama

With wins over Kentucky and Mississippi State, the Committee might overlook losses to Northeastern and Georgia State.  Two of the Tide’s non-conference losses are to probable NCAA Tournament teams Central Florida and Baylor.  The Tide sits at 6-5 in the SEC and projects to a 10-8 or 11-7 final mark.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation with possibility of starting in Dayton.

Arizona St.

The Pac-12 surely cannot be limited to just one bid, can it?  The Committee is not supposed to look at this metric, but this is no different than when the judge tells the jury to disregard a remark from a sustained objection in a court room.  Of course, it is remembered.

Arizona State beat Kansas and Mississippi State.  This past weekend, they handed Washington their first Pac-12 loss.  The Sun Devils lost a close game to Nevada.  They also lost at home to Princeton and recently were blown out at home by Pac-12 cellar dweller Washington State by 21 points.  They also lost at SEC last place Vanderbilt by 16, and they barely beat SEC #13 Georgia.

Does the Kansas win and close loss to Nevada do enough for the Sun Devils?  Their NET rating is 72, and their strength of schedule is 66.  In their favor, Arizona State has a winning record away from Tempe.

Verdict: Sorry, nothing in the inbox but some ads for hotels near Madison Square Garden in late March that you probably won’t need.

Baylor

The Bears lost early in the season to some really weak teams in Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin, but the TSU loss may turn out to be to a future NCAA Tournament team.  At 7-4 in the Big 12 with wins over Texas Tech, Iowa State, and TCU, plus a sweep of Oklahoma, Baylor is on the inside as of now.  We project Baylor to finish 10-8 in the league, and with this league’s strength, Coach Scott Drew can sleep peacefully when his team is eventually ousted in the Big 12 Tournament.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation and does not have to make travel arrangements to Dayton.

 

Belmont

Every year, Coach Rick Byrd has his Bruins among consideration for an NCAA Tournament bid, and this year is no different.  Belmont won at UCLA and Murray State, and they swept rival Lipscomb, who is in the top 30 and also in discussion for a potential at-large bid.  Among their losses is to Purdue in West Lafayette, but also among the losses are two to Jacksonville State.

We project Belmont to win out in the regular season to enter the OVC Tournament at 16-2 in the conference and 24-4 overall.  The Bruins will be the mild favorite to win the automatic bid, but Murray State, Austin Peay, and Jacksonville State will have shots as well.  If Belmont lost to Murray in the Championship Game and finished 26-5, the Bruins would have to be part of the at-large discussion.

Verdict: The Bruins need to win the automatic bid and then become a very game 12-seed.  Too many Bubble teams have to fold for Belmont to rise up and secure an at-large bid.  We believe as an automatic bid-winner and #12 seed, the Bruins are equipped with the talent and coaching to win their first tournament game after some near misses.

 

Butler

This Bulldogs team is not in the class with some of their recent NCAA Tournament teams.  A lone Quadrant 1 win came in a neutral contest with Florida, a team which they played a second time a month later and lost by close to 40 points.

The next most impressive victory is a home win over Ole Miss.  Butler’s NET rating of 53 is on the in-out line, but in their favor is a #25 strength of schedule

Verdict: We hear Dayton is lovely in March.  Even if it snows several inches, you will be very happy you got to visit Southwestern Ohio.  It’s an easy 2 hour drive.

 

Central Florida

The Golden Knights beat Alabama and Temple, and they lost to Houston.  UCF should get to 10 wins in the American Athletic Conference, but the Knights need to pull off one big win to solidify their at-large standing against their peers.  UCF will get that chance with games remaining with Cincinnati and Houston.  A sweep of South Florida might also be impressive enough to push them over the top.

Verdict: Hanging on to a First Four bid for now

 

Clemson

The Tigers don’t have many great wins on their schedule.  Their recent upset of Virginia Tech and an earlier win over Lipscomb are the only Quadrant 1 victories.  In their favor, they are 11-0 against Q3 and Q4 combined, so their losses have been to good or great teams.

We project CU to go 8-10 in ACC play, which in most years gets an ACC team into the field, whether it is deserved or not.  Clemson might need one more upset to complete their resume-building.  They certainly need to hold serve against the teams beneath them in the league.  A win tonight at Miami would be mighty.  We think that a win at home over Florida State, North Carolina, or Syracuse would give them all the juice they need.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation and probably not one to Dayton

 

Creighton

The Big East is top heavy with two superior teams and a half dozen good but not great teams.  At 4-7 in league play, the Blue Jays have a lot of work left to do to get onto the upper half of the Bubble.

The one thing keeping Creighton in the discussion currently is the fact that they have played 12 Quadrant 1 games so far and have a top 15 strength of schedule.  However, they are only 2-10 in those games.

Creighton’s next four games are must-win games.  The Blue Jays have to take care of Xavier tonight in Cincinnati and then beat Seton Hall, DePaul, and Georgetown to improve to 8-7 when they travel to Marquette in March.  A 6-1 finish from here would put CU at 10-8 in the league and 19-12 overall, where an opening round win in the Big East Tournament would give the Blue Jays a strong chance to get in.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only if they meet the parameters set above.  As of today, we’d say their invitation would be to host a game in the NIT.

 

Davidson

Bob McKillop is one of the most underrated coaches in college basketball.  While Davidson has an exceptional history of greatness thanks to what legendary coach Lefty Driesell did 50 years ago, those were different times.  Driesell recruited four or five players as good as Stephen Curry, and he brought Davidson to the top five of the rankings in 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1969.  McKillop inherited a mess when he took over this program that was coming off a 24-loss season plus the transfer of their one good player.  He’s now led the Wildcats for 30 seasons!

Of course, none of this means anything to the Selection Committee.  Davidson’s resume is iffy at this point, and without an automatic bid, it looks like a slim possibility.  Their only quality win to date is a home game victory over conference co-contender Virginia Commonwealth.  This is their only win against a top 100 team, and it came at home.  Unless they face VCU in the Conference Tournament, they will face just one other top 100 team the rest of the way.  The stars just don’t align for the Wildcats this year.

Verdict: They better win the automatic bid or plan on playing in the NIT, CBI, or CIT

 

Florida

Coach Michael White is underachieving in Gainesville, and, following in the footsteps of Billy Donovan, could find his seat heating up quickly if the Gators miss out on this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Florida’s schedule is the only reason why at 4-6 in the SEC and 12-11 overall that they are still in consideration as an at-large team.  The Gators are looking at 8-10 in the league and 16-15 overall.  With that record, they will have to win at least three SEC Tournament games to even be in the final discussion.

Verdict: One of the biggest disappointments of the season does not receive an NCAA bid and may not receive an NIT bid either

 

Hofstra

Make no bones about it, Hofstra is not a real at-large candidate.  However, we wanted to list the Pride here to show you their resume.  At 21-4, the Pride has no Q1 or Q2 wins.  They are 16-0 against Q4, and their strength of schedule ranks 225.  We wanted to show them to you so you can compare them with the other Mid-major teams on this list.  We could have also shown you UC-Irvine, a team in a similar boat with Hofstra, while Wofford, UNC Greensboro, Belmont, and Lipscomb have some tiny at-large hopes.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only if it is automatic

 

Indiana

This was supposed to be a much better year in Hoosierland, and like his brother Sean, Archie Miller has come under fire.  IU was supposed to contend with the Michigan schools and Purdue for the Big Ten title.  Instead, the Hoosiers find themselves mired in a tenth place tie in the Big Ten at 4-9/13-11.

Indiana has the bare minimum criteria to squeak in as a fortunate bubble team.  Their NET rating is just under 50, and most power league teams in the top 50 get into the field.  Their strength of schedule is 37, and this is okay for any major conference team on the bubble.  Their efficiency rating is also okay at 45, not great but adequate enough for a Big Ten team.

With 12 Quadrant 1 games and wins in four of those contests, the Hoosiers have proven they can compete at the top of the game.  Of their seven remaining games, five are against tough opponents, and Indiana needs to win two of those five games and four overall to enter the Big Ten Tournament not needing to win three games to feel comfortable about getting an at-large bid.

Verdict: At the present time, we have them as the #68 team in the field, and they would be slotted to go to Dayton, where they might have to play Butler. What a rivalry game played close enough for the fans to make the commute by car!

 

Lipscomb

The Atlantic Sun Conference is mid-major at best and borders on low-major status, but Florida Gulf Coast proved this league has the ability to send teams to the Sweet 16.

Lipscomb made its first NCAA Tournament appearance last year and scared North Carolina for a half.  This Bisons team is better than last year, and the former NAIA superpower might be talented enough to replicate what FGCU did earlier in the decade.

Lipscomb has played five Q1 games, all on the road and won twice, once against TCU.  They have no bad losses, going 14-0 against Q3 & Q4.  Among their losses is a four-pointer at Louisville.

If Lipscomb beats Liberty tonight in Nashville to complete the season sweep, they will almost assuredly win out to finish 16-0/25-4 before hosting all their conference tournament games.  It would take a lot to not be the automatic qualifier, but in the event they lost to Liberty in the finals, they would be 27-5 with a lot of positives on their resume.

Verdict: The Bisons are a very likely automatic qualifier, but if they were 27-5, it would take a lot of statistics-bending to exclude them from the at-large pool.  However, we have faith that the Selection Committee would find ways to ship Lipscomb to the NIT in favor of the ninth place team in the ACC or 10th place team in the Big Ten or even the fifth best Big East team, or even TCU who lost at home to this Lipscomb team.

 

Minnesota

Richard Pitino, Saul Phillips, Murray Bartow, and Bryce Drew know what it is like to have fathers that enjoyed long, successful careers in college basketball.  They also know what it is like to have their team’s fanatics wishing that those great coaches had created daughters rather than sons.  Pitino is on very thin ice in Minneapolis, and the Gophers must make the Big Dance if Pitino is to stay employed in the Cities in 2020.

The Gophers are in 8th place in the Big Ten with a 16-8 record overall.  This is just enough to meet the minimum for a Big Ten team.  Their NET rating is 59, which is right on the line for average lowest rating that gets in.  Three Quad 1 wins and a 5-6 record away from home gives the Gophers a decent shot at making the field.

Minnesota’s closing schedule could cinch their bid or kill their chances.  Their more winnable games are on the road, and the tougher opponents must come to Minneapolis.  Tonight’s game at Nebraska could be a bell-weather contest.  A loss might open the door for another bubble team to step up and pass the Gophers.

Verdict: For now, we believe the Selection Committee would send the Gophers an Invitation and even allow them to avoid the First Four.  However, a 3-4 finish to give UM a 9-11 mark in the league and 19-12 overall might put Minny on the wrong side of the Bubble if they lost their first Big Ten Tournament game.  Pitino loses his job if UM misses the Dance.

 

New Mexico St.

New Mexico State is not getting an at-large bid, even if the Aggies win out until the WAC Championship Game and then lose to Grand Canyon or Cal St. Bakersfield by one point in overtime.

Let’s look at their resume.  They lost at Kansas by three points, and that was their only Q1 game.  Even had they beaten Kansas by three, their resume is too thin with just one Q1 game.

NMSU is just one spot behind Minnesota in the NET Ratings, and the Aggies are 9-3 away from Las Cruces.  However, their strength of schedule rates at number 134, and we learned from the top-16 seed reveal last week just how much this year’s Committee valued strength of schedule.

Verdict: No At-large chance, but we believe this team could be 30-4 when they win the WAC’s automatic bid.  Coach Chris Jans has overcome a lot of adversity to resurrect his career.  NMSU will be a dangerous 12 or 13 seed.

 

North Carolina St.

Kevin Keatts is one of our favorite basketball coaches.  We are in high regard of his ability to evaluate talent and alter his schemes to best exploit opponent weaknesses and utilize his talent.  Even that embarrassing oops loss to Virginia Tech does not alter our opinion.  Keatts is a Final Four coach of the future, be it here or some place else.

This Wolf Pack team is not going to advance very far in the NCAA Tournament, but they will almost definitely receive a bid based on their results so far.

When an ACC team has a top 40 NET rating, they are going dancing.  NCSU is presently #39.  The Wolf Pack currently has a winning record away from Raleigh.

All is not peachy though with their resume.  Their Strength of Schedule is an unheard of for an ACC team #194, because they played six of the bottom 34 teams in Division 1, including the two weakest of all.  State only has one Q1 win all year, a home victory over Auburn which looks less impressive now than it did then.

The Pack can easily finish the regular season on a 5-2 sprint to a 10-8 regular season conference record, which gets an ACC team an at-large bid better than 95% of the time.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation as one of the last teams in that do not play in the First Four

 

Ohio St.

The Buckeyes really should not be in this discussion.  The only reason why we include them here is that they still need to avoid a total collapse.  At 6-6/16-7, if OSU goes 3-5 down the stretch, they will get into the field.

Road wins over Cincinnati, Indiana, and Creighton are impressive enough already, but we see the Buckeyes finishing no worse than 4-4 and possibly 5-3 to make their selection quite easy.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Oklahoma

Can a team that is 3-9 in their conference really be in the hunt for an at-large bid?  Oklahoma certainly hopes so, and thanks to the Big 12’s overall concentration of power, the Sooners do have a legitimate chance to get into the Field of 68 with a conference mark no better than 7-11.

In OU’s favor is a schedule that faced no Q4 teams and just seven Q3 teams.  Oklahoma went 7-0 in those games.  Their overall strength of schedule is #7, which means that a winning overall record is going to be enough to give them a chance.

Oklahoma has six games remaining prior to the league tourney, and if they go 3-3 with one of those wins coming against Kansas, and then they win their first Big 12 Tournament game, the Sooners will be in good enough shape to expect great things on March 17.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation if they go 3-3 plus one Big 12 Tournament win

 

Ole Miss

Ole Miss is 16-7, and all seven of their losses came to Q1 teams!  They have three Q1 wins, including one on the road against Mississippi State.

A 35 NET rating and 39 Efficiency rating makes their resume complete.  At this point, Ole Miss is competing for a 7 or 8 seed and not needing to worry about missing out on the Dance, unless they totally collapse.  Coach Kermit Davis has done an incredible job in his first year in Oxford.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels have received an at-large bid in the past, but they also beat Gonzaga in the past.  This year, it appears out of reach, and a 11-5/22-12 final record (the best possible without beating Gonzaga, is most likely to fall short of the minimum needed criteria.

Verdict: SMC is going to have to beat Gonzaga to have any chance, and most likely, that win will have to come in the finals of the WCC Tournament, which would then give the Gaels the automatic bid and Gonzaga an at-large bid at the expense of another team on this list.

 

San Francisco

At one time earlier this year, USF looked like a potential at-large team.  A 13-point loss at home to Gonzaga followed by losses at Saint Mary’s and San Diego, basically necessitated winning at Gonzaga to have a real chance.  The Zags ran the Dons off the floor, ending USF’s at-large possibilities.

Verdict: No bid unless USF pulls off the upset and wins the West Coast Tournament Championship.  We cannot see USF beating Gonzaga, but if the Dons earn the #2 or #3 seed in the conference tournament, while BYU earns the #4 seed, then the Dons could hope that the Cougars upset Gonzaga, giving them a chance to knock off BYU for the automatic bid.

 

Seton Hall

Seton Hall is in a similar boat to Butler and Creighton in the up and down Big East race.  The Pirates have some pluses and some minuses in their quest to get a bid.

On the plus side are wins over Kentucky and Maryland, but countering those two great Q1 victories are losses at home to St. Louis and DePaul.  Three of their Q1 losses were by five points or less, and they have only played seven games against Q3 & Q4 teams.

With a 69 NET Rating, the Pirates need to improve their standing in the last five weeks.  The schedule is quite tough with the top two Big East teams (Villanova and Marquette) still on the schedule, and the Hall has road games with Creighton, St. John’s, and Georgetown.  We expect SHU to enter the Big East Tournament at 7-11/16-14, and the Big East is not strong enough for a team with fewer than 10 conference wins or nine with a couple of conference tournament wins to get in.

Verdict: Looks like they will be disappointed on Selection Sunday without an upset of Marquette or Villanova and a 9-9 Big East record

 

St. John’s

St. John’s is only a half-game in front of Seton Hall, but their resume might as well be 20 games ahead.  The Red Storm have played a much tougher schedule this year, and schedule strength appears to be very important, just behind NET Ratings, with the Committee.  Sweeps of Marquette and Creighton with their worst loss coming against DePaul gives SJU a strong shot at making the field.  Add a 7-4 record away from home, and the Red Storm would have to collapse to miss out this year.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation, probably an 8 or 9 seed

 

TCU

Like Ole Miss, all of TCU’s losses have come to Quadrant 1 teams.  They are 16-0 against all others.  A 33 NET rating and 20 Strength of Schedule Rating puts the Horned Frogs well up into the good graces of the Selection Committee.

TCU should be no worse than 9-9 in the Big 12, and when a league is as strong up and down as this one, the 9-9 team always gets into the field.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Temple

When a top 10 team has just one loss all year, the team that beat them gets added oomph in their resume.  Temple gave Houston their only loss so far this year.  The Owls lost their other five Q1 games to date.

Temple’s NET Rating is 55, which puts them on the Bubble for sure.  Their Strength of Schedule is 56, which is at the bottom of the allowed SOS for an at-large team.  An 8-5 record away from home (7-4 away from the City of Brotherly Love) makes their criteria smack dab in the hunt as one of the final teams in our highest teams out.

Temple can go 5-2 the rest of the regular season to finish at 12-6 in the league.  With a win in the AAC Tournament, that would give the Owls at least 23 wins, and that would leave them exactly where they are now–in the middle of the discussion between teams number 67 and 70.  A win at South Florida this weekend would really help.

 

Texas

The Longhorns have the worst record of teams that appear to be in good shape with the Selection Committee.  At 6-6/14-11, UT still has work to do just to guarantee a plus .500 record.  They have played the third toughest schedule in the nation, and they own wins over North Carolina, Purdue, Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor.

Add a 34 NET Rating and 28 Efficiency Rating, and Texas only needs to get enough wins down the stretch to guarantee an at-large bid.  A 9-9 Big 12 record does the trick.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation

 

Toledo

The PiRate Ratings are big fans of the Mid-Major conferences that have been around for decades, and the MAC is one of those leagues.  Toledo was really good back in the late 1960’s when Steve Mix played for the Rockets prior to starting in the NBA.  Success has been limited for Toledo on the hardwoods since then.

This Toledo team has no chance of securing an at-large bid, and with a 30-point loss to Buffalo, it is hard to see them getting revenge in the championship game of the MAC Tournament.  Still, we include them in this write-up, because the MAC Tournament is always competitive, and the top-seeded team loses in it more than the average conference.

Toledo is one of three or four teams that could upset Buffalo, although this year’s Buffalo team has all the tools to sweep the regular season and conference tournament.  However, if Buffalo loses, then obviously another team must win the automatic bid, while Buffalo bursts a Bubble for another team as a certain at-large team.

A 9-3 record away from home makes this a dangerous team in Cleveland.  Toledo will waltz into Cleveland as the number one seed from the West Division, so Buffalo will have to beat two others before the Rockets will have to glare at the Bulls in a possible title game.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation only bid winning automatic bid, but Buffalo still gets in if they lose the MAC Tournament

 

UNC Greensboro

This is a team no favorite from a power conference will want to see in a potential Round of 64 NCAA Tournament game.  UNCG is a tough matchup, and the Spartans have a unique style that is hard to prepare for on a couple day’s notice.

With a 46 NET Rating, UNCG is worthy of an at-large bid if they were to win out all the way to the Socon Championship Game and lose a close one to Wofford.  The Spartans are 10-2 away from Greensboro, but their issue is a schedule that is rated 188 (which is still ahead of North Carolina State).

If UNCG is to earn enough respect to be in the at-large pool, the Spartans must win their two big games this week.  They play at Furman tonight, and then meet Wofford in Spartanburg Saturday.  If UNCG wins out but loses in the SoCon Championship Game, they will be 30-4 and in the mix for one of the last four bids.

 

Utah St.

With a 38 NET Rating and 43 Efficiency Rating, Utah State should be in the almost safe range for an at-large bid, but the Aggies are still on the outside looking in thanks to a strength of schedule rated 115.  Utah State has seven regular season games left, and if they win out, they will enter the MWC Tournament at 15-3/25-6.  Most importantly, if they win out, it will mean the Aggies beat Nevada.  The boys from Reno come to Logan on March 2.  USU almost has to win that game to have any serious at-large chances, but they also have a chance to win the automatic bid in the tough Mountain West.  Nevada won the MWC last year and failed to make the tournament title game as the number one seed, so history could repeat.

Verdict: We believe the Aggies deserve an at-large bid as of today, and for now we will give the Selection Committee the benefit of the doubt in realizing that they deserve to be in

 

Virginia Commonwealth

At the current time, we actually have VCU as the likely automatic bid winner from the Atlantic 10, ahead of Davidson, but we included the Rams here to show you how close they are to qualifying as an at-large team.

VCU has a 43 NET Rating, 54 Strength of Schedule, and 46 Efficiency Rating.  This is already better than some of the other teams thought to be among the last four in and first four out.  They have a 6-5 record away from home and won at Texas.  They suffered narrow losses to Virginia and St. John’s.

We project VCU to finish 15-3 in the A-10 and 24-7 overall in the regular season.  If they lose in the conference tournament and finish 26-8, the Rams will be in the mix for an at-large bid.

Verdict: We believe VCU has the best chance of winning the A-10 Tournament and the automatic bid, but if they lose in the Championship Game, the Rams still have a chance depending on how many Power Conferences have major upsets or if teams like Buffalo and Nevada lose in their conference tournaments

Wofford

If we told you that an anonymous team was ranked 28 in the NET Ratings with the number 30 Efficiency Rating, and with a 20-point road win at the number four team in the SEC, and with four losses all year to North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma, you might reply that Auburn or Texas Tech will obviously make the NCAA Tournament, guessing from the information given that one of these two teams must be that anonymous team.

Mention Wofford to 99% of the general college basketball fandom public, and you are very likely to hear such fanatic tell you that they will be another one of those first round 25-point losers to some Big Ten team.

Wofford and UNC Greensboro both probably belong in the NCAA Tourmament.  Unfortunately, one of these two are likely to be team number 69, 70, 71, or 72.

Verdict: Receives an Invitation if they earn the automatic bid

 

Yale

There has never been an at-large Ivy League team, and there isn’t going to be one this year, even if Yale is probably better than a couple of teams seriously on the Bubble.

The Bulldogs’ best win is a neutral court victory over Miami of Florida.  Their resume won’t get them an at-large bid.  We project the Bulldogs to go 12-2 in the Ivy League to earn the top seed in the four-team tournament.  We also project Yale to win the Tournament to finish 24-5, where they will earn no better than a 13 seed and possible a 14 seed.  At 13, there are multiple potential 4 seeds that could be uspet by this Yale team.

 

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March 11, 2018

PiRate Ratings’ Bracket Gurus’ Final Predictions For the Field of 68

That Darn Davidson
Call it the Steph Curry Effect. It would happen that the one bid-stealing team in the Conference Tournament part of March Madness would be a team from a conference that played its championship game on Selection Sunday afternoon.

 
At least the Selection Committee had to deal with this contingency as well. If our Bracket Gurus know their stuff, they believe that bubble burst popping sound you just heard emanated from Moraga, California, and Saint Mary’s just became a number one seed in the NIT.

What about the other near miss teams?  Our gurus believe (but not unanimously) the bubbles had already burst on Louisville, Middle Tennessee State, Syracuse, Marquette, Baylor, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma St.

Now, with Davidson getting in with the automatic bid, some non-guru bracketologists might simple place the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament and remove A-10 member St. Bonaventure. It doesn’t work like that. All of our Gurus already locked the Bonnies into the field. Saint Mary’s had the bottom score of the 68 teams, and with the Gaels sulking as they prepare to host an NIT game (or if our Gurus miss), now the #68 team is Arizona St. The Sun Devils are not really affected by the upset in D.C., if our Gurus have it right. They were already headed to Dayton as one of the Last Four in.

The team other than Saint Mary’s that suffered from Davidson’s win is the former last team in with a bye. USC was the number 64 team on the seed line, but after Davidson removed Saint Mary’s from the 11-seed line, it knocked the Trojans down to the fourth weakest Guru score. Thus, the Trojans are picked to join Arizona State, St. Bonaventure, and Texas in First Four games in Dayton.

Our Gurus had a difficult time narrowing the field of 68 from a field of 71. Word leaked out of the Selection Committee early Sunday morning, that all but one at-large spot had been determined prior to any games this afternoon. Our Gurus took that as a slap across 14 faces. If the Committee had it down to 69, then they could too. Between 8AM and Noon Eastern Time today, the Gurus agreed to vote Louisville, Middle Tennessee St., Marquette, and Syracuse off the Madness Island. Pending the outcome of the Davidson-Rhode Island game, the Gurus had the teams selected. A couple of late games might have affected a couple of seeds, as Cincinnati and Tennessee could swap with a Volunteer win and Bearcat loss. Tennessee lost to Kentucky in the SEC Championship, so Cincinnati should stay where they are, win or lose in the AAC Championship Game, which is about to tip off.
Since we are going to press before the American Athletic Conference Tournament ends, we told our Gurus to assume that Cincinnati wins the game and keeps their high seed.  There is a chance a Cinti loss could elevate another team from three to two seed, but we believe the Committee doesn’t want to mess with this contingency this late in the game.  We figured that time was more of the essence than waiting for the last game to finish.
So, with that in mind, here is the PiRate Ratings Bracket Gurus’ Final Prediction. If we get 68 out of 68 again this year, it will be a minor miracle. It wasn’t easy for the Gurus to come close to a consensus. Middle Tennessee, Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, and Baylor all received at least one vote out of 14 Guru lists. Saint Mary’s, Arizona St., and Texas were left off at least 3 of the 14 ballots.

 

Seed Team Conference
1 Virginia ACC
1 Villanova B-EAST
1 Xavier B-EAST
1 Kansas B12
2 Duke ACC
2 Purdue B-TEN
2 North Carolina ACC
2 Cincinnati AAC
3 Michigan St. B-TEN
3 Tennessee SEC
3 Michigan B-TEN
3 Auburn SEC
4 West Virginia B12
4 Arizona PAC-12
4 Texas Tech B12
4 Wichita St. AAC
5 Clemson ACC
5 Gonzaga WCC
5 Kentucky SEC
5 Ohio St. B-TEN
6 Houston AAC
6 Florida SEC
6 Miami (Fla.) ACC
6 Arkansas SEC
7 Texas A&M SEC
7 TCU B12
7 Rhode Island A-10
7 Seton Hall B-EAST
8 Nevada MWC
8 Virginia Tech ACC
8 Missouri SEC
8 Providence B-EAST
9 Alabama SEC
9 Butler B-EAST
9 Florida St. ACC
9 Creighton B-EAST
10 North Carolina St. ACC
10 Kansas St. B12
10 UCLA PAC-12
10 Oklahoma B12
11 USC PAC-12
11 Texas B12
11 St. Bonaventure A-10
11 Arizona St. PAC-12
11 Loyola (Chi.) MVC
11 San Diego St. MWC
12 New Mexico St. WAC
12 South Dakota St. SUMMIT
12 Buffalo MAC
12 Davidson A-10
13 Murray St. OVC
13 UNC-Greensboro SOCON
13 Marshall CUSA
13 Charleston CAA
14 Bucknell PATRIOT
14 Montana B-SKY
14 Wright St. HORIZON
14 Georgia St./UT-Arlington SBC
15 Stephen F. Austin SLC
15 Lipscomb A-SUN
15 Iona MAAC
15 Penn IVY
16 MD-Baltimore Co. A-EAST
16 Cal St. Fullerton B-WEST
16 Long Island NEC
16 Radford B-SOUTH
16 UNC-Central MEAC
16 Texas Southern SWAC

Our Gurus’ Additional Picks

First Four Round in Dayton

11-seed line: Texas vs. Arizona St.

11-seed line: USC vs. St. Bonaventure

16-seed line: Long Island vs. Texas Southern

16-seed line: Radford vs. UNC-Central

 

Last 4 Byes

61. North Carolina St.

62. Kansas St.

63. UCLA

64. Oklahoma

 

First Four Out

69. Saint Mary’s

70. Middle Tennessee St.

71. Louisville

72. Syracuse

March 10, 2018

PiRate Ratings Bracketology Late Night Update–March 10-11 , 2018

The Bracket Gurus are burning the midnight oil and pouring more coffee as they try to determine who the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee will invite into the Dance, and who will not hear the phone ring on Sunday.

At this point last year, most of the gurus were 100% in agreement on about 66 teams with only three teams really fighting for the final two spots.

There is a bit more dissension this season.  There are six teams seriously in the final discussion for three spots, but this will all change is Davidson beats Rhode Island on Sunday.  The Gurus are 100% in agreement in their belief that St. Bonaventure is in, so the Atlantic 10 could move from two to three teams if the Wildcats upset the Rams.

The teams that need to be worried about Davidson winning include Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Saint Mary’s, Louisville, and Middle Tennessee State.  The Gurus are close to eliminating Marquette, Baylor, and Syracuse, but these teams still appear on exactly one Guru list (three different Gurus have one each of the three).

Check back tomorrow after the conclusion of the Atlantic 10 Championship Game.  Within about 30 minutes of the outcome, we will publish our final Bracket Gurus report in full.  The pressure is on our Gurus.  Last year, they correctly picked all 68 teams in the field, and also correctly picked 61 teams on the correct seed line or just one seed off.

Teams In The Field as of Saturday Night, 11:59 PM EST

Team Bid Conf. W-L
Bucknell AUTO Patriot 25-9
Buffalo AUTO MAC 26-8
Charleston AUTO CAA 26-7
Gonzaga AUTO WCC 30-4
Iona AUTO MAAC 20-13
Kansas AUTO B12 27-7
Lipscomb AUTO A-SUN 23-9
Long Island AUTO NEC 18-16
Loyola (Chi.) AUTO MVC 28-5
Marshall AUTO CUSA 24-10
MD-Baltimore Co. AUTO AE 24-10
Michigan AUTO BTen 28-7
Montana AUTO BSky 26-7
Murray St. AUTO OVC 26-5
New Mexico St. AUTO WAC 28-5
Radford AUTO B-South 22-12
San Diego St. AUTO MWC 22-10
South Dakota St. AUTO Summit 28-6
Stephen F. Austin AUTO SLC 28-6
Texas Southern AUTO SWAC 15-19
UNC-Central AUTO MEAC 19-15
UNC-Greensboro AUTO SoCon 27-7
Villanova AUTO BE 30-4
Virginia AUTO ACC 31-2
Wright St. AUTO Horizon 25-9

December 1, 2013

PiRate Ratings: College Football–December 6-7, 2013

The Big Answer About The PiRate Ratings

“How can you still have Alabama at Number Two, you xoxoxo,?” says an irate Auburn fan.

 

We get this question quite a bit over the years.  Many times in the past as well as this past weekend, an Auburn beat an Alabama, yet they did not pass them in our ratings.

 

The answer to this question is simple.  We do not rank teams based on what they have done so far this season, or what is referred to as retrodictive rankings.  If we had these type of rankings, then surely the Auburns of 2013 and past years would be ahead of the Alabamas.

 

Our ratings are predictive.  We rate teams and do not rank them.  Our ratings try to predict what the next week of games will be, thus being called predictive ratings.

 

What our ratings say is that if Alabama and Auburn somehow make it to the NCAA Championship Game, we will have Alabama favored to win.

 

And, to that Auburn fan from Montgomery, here is something else for you to chew on.  It is not like we choose to place the ratings where they go.  Our system is a multiple statistic system that is about 99% mechanical and can be reproduced by anybody that has been taught the method.  The only semi-subjective part of our ratings comes in the home-field advantage, because we choose to believe that home-field advantage changes for every game.  In other words, Oklahoma receives considerably less home-field advantage this week hosting Oklahoma St. than they did when they hosted UL-Monroe the first of the season.

 

The BCS is Still BS, and the New Playoff Will Be as Well

We strongly oppose the BCS bowl system, realizing that it is more political than the party conventions every four years.

 

We suspect the four-team playoff commencing next year will also be more like a meeting of the Illinois General Assembly.

 

Who would be in the four team playoff if it began this season?  Florida St. and Ohio St. would be near locks as of now, while you figure that Alabama would still get in as well as the winner of the Missouri-Auburn game.  What about Oklahoma St.?  What more would a Northern Illinois have to do to smell a selection?

 

Why leave this choice in the hands of football politicians?  This is not the NCAA Basketball Tournament, where the number 69 team gets shafted.  The teams that can win the dance are always selected or earn automatic berths.

 

If college football ever wanted to “get it right,” they would adopt a model similar to the basketball tournament.  Until then, it will be perceived as a fraud by a substantial part of the fans.

 

Here is how the PiRates would make it right:

 

1. Go to a 12-team tournament, using bowls for the first two rounds to get from 12 to 8 to 4.

 

2. Give the champions of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, and Pac-12 automatic bids.

 

3. Give the champions of the AAC, CUSA, MAC, MWC, and Sunbelt automatic bids if any finish in the top 16 of the RPI rankings, which will replace the BCS and have mathematical values that multiple mathematicians can determine and cannot be finagled in any way by football politicians in a back room.

 

4. Select the two to seven highest RPI-ranked teams (to fill the bracket at 12 total) not automatically selected and give them berths in the tournament.

 

5. Seed the teams by RPI ranking from 1-12.  The top 4 teams would receive a first round bye as a reward for being one of the top four, while seeds 5-12 would face off in the first round.

 

Let’s look at what could be this year.  First, we must make a couple assumptions, but it will be easy for you the reader to adjust this if different teams win next week.

 

In our world, among the conference championship games, Florida St. beats Duke, Ohio St. beats Michigan St., Arizona St. beats Stanford, and Auburn beats Missouri.  These are not our predictions; they are just being used to make the idea easier to understand.

 

Here are the 12 teams that we would show qualifying for the Tournament.

1. AAC—Central Florida received an automatic bid by finishing at number 16.

2. ACC—Florida St. gets an automatic bid

3. Big 12—Oklahoma St. gets an automatic bid

4. Big Ten—Ohio St. gets an automatic bid

5. CUSA—Marshall does not get a bid by failing to crack the top 16

6. MAC—Northern Illinois gets an automatic bid by making the top 16

7. MWC—Fresno St. narrowly misses out and does not make the tournament

8. Pac-12—Arizona St. gets an automatic bid

9. SEC—Auburn gets an automatic bid

10. SBC—UL-Lafayette does not make the tournament

 

This means five at-large teams will be selected.  Assuming the conference championship games play out as suggested above, here are the five at-large teams.

Alabama

South Carolina

Baylor

Missouri

Stanford

 

This is how the tournament would be seeded:

1. Florida St.

2. Ohio St.

3. Auburn

4. Alabama

5. Oklahoma St.

6. South Carolina

7. Missouri

8. Stanford

9. Baylor

10. Arizona St.

11. Northern Illinois

12. Central Florida

 

The first round games would then be:

Game 1: Oklahoma St. vs. Central Florida

Game 2: South Carolina vs. Northern Illinois

Game 3: Missouri vs. Arizona St.

Game 4: Stanford vs. Baylor

 

The second round games would then be:

Game 5: Alabama vs. Game 1 winner

Game 6: Auburn vs. Game 2 winner

Game 7: Ohio St. vs. Game 3 winner

Game 8: Florida St. vs. Game 4 winner

 

The semifinal round games would then be:

Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 winner

Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner

 

Championship

Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Regular

1

Florida St.

136.9

2

Alabama

134.8

3

Ohio St.

128.2

4

Oklahoma St.

127.7

5

Stanford

127.7

6

Arizona St.

127.3

7

Oregon

125.5

8

Baylor

125.2

9

Missouri

125.2

10

L S U

123.2

11

Washington

122.2

12

Auburn

122.2

13

Michigan St.

121.6

14

U C L A

121.3

15

Wisconsin

121.0

16

South Carolina

120.8

17

Clemson

120.6

18

Texas A&M

119.1

19

Ole Miss

117.4

20

Texas

117.1

21

Oklahoma

117.0

22

Georgia

117.0

23

U S C

116.6

24

Arizona

114.1

25

Notre Dame

113.9

26

Oregon St.

113.5

27

Louisville

113.2

28

Kansas St.

112.9

29

Michigan

112.1

30

B Y U

111.6

31

Georgia Tech

111.0

32

Miami

110.5

33

Iowa

109.5

34

North Carolina

108.8

35

Nebraska

108.7

36

Cincinnati

108.5

37

Bowling Green

108.1

38

Utah

108.1

39

Vanderbilt

107.9

40

Mississippi St.

107.9

41

Duke

107.4

42

Penn St.

107.4

43

Florida

107.4

44

T C U

107.3

45

Minnesota

106.8

46

Virginia Tech

106.7

47

Northwestern

106.7

48

Texas Tech

106.3

49

East Carolina

105.9

50

Utah St.

105.8

51

Washington St.

105.8

52

Central Florida

105.7

53

Fresno St.

105.6

54

Northern Illinois

105.1

55

Houston

104.6

56

Marshall

104.2

57

Boise St.

103.9

58

Tennessee

102.8

59

Ball St.

101.7

60

Boston College

101.5

61

Indiana

101.5

62

Pittsburgh

100.5

63

West Virginia

99.7

64

Buffalo

99.7

65

North Texas

99.5

66

Syracuse

99.0

67

Colorado St.

98.9

68

Arkansas

98.6

69

Wake Forest

98.5

70

Maryland

98.0

71

Toledo

98.0

72

San Jose St.

98.0

73

Navy

97.1

74

Illinois

96.8

75

Rice

96.2

76

Kentucky

95.7

77

Iowa St.

95.5

78

S M U

93.5

79

Florida Atlantic

93.4

80

U T S A

93.2

81

San Diego St.

92.7

82

Western Kentucky

92.2

83

Colorado

92.1

84

Louisiana–Lafayette

92.1

85

U N L V

91.2

86

Kansas

90.9

87

Rutgers

90.7

88

Tulane

90.5

89

Arkansas St.

90.5

90

Temple

90.2

91

Middle Tennessee

89.9

92

Memphis

89.8

93

Virginia

89.6

94

Kent St.

89.6

95

North Carolina St.

89.2

96

California

88.2

97

South Alabama

88.0

98

South Florida

87.5

99

Nevada

87.0

100

Purdue

86.5

101

Connecticut

86.3

102

Ohio

86.0

103

Central Michigan

85.9

104

Louisiana–Monroe

85.3

105

Wyoming

84.9

106

Akron

84.5

107

Tulsa

84.1

108

Troy

83.6

109

Hawaii

83.5

110

Army

81.8

111

New Mexico

79.5

112

Texas St.

79.1

113

Louisiana Tech

78.0

114

Western Michigan

76.8

115

U A B

75.3

116

Air Force

74.4

117

U T E P

74.0

118

New Mexico St.

70.5

119

Massachusetts

68.7

120

Southern Miss.

68.0

121

Georgia St.

67.7

122

Miami (O)

67.5

123

Idaho

67.4

124

Eastern Michigan

67.2

125

Florida Int’l

66.4

 

PiRate Mean

1

Florida St.

140.4

2

Alabama

131.1

3

Ohio St.

127.4

4

Arizona St.

126.2

5

Missouri

123.7

6

Michigan St.

122.0

7

Wisconsin

121.8

8

Clemson

121.4

9

Oregon

121.4

10

L S U

121.4

11

Auburn

121.4

12

Stanford

121.1

13

Oklahoma St.

120.0

14

South Carolina

118.9

15

Baylor

118.3

16

Washington

118.0

17

U C L A

117.2

18

Texas A&M

116.6

19

Georgia

115.2

20

Ole Miss

114.1

21

U S C

113.1

22

Michigan

112.8

23

Louisville

112.5

24

Oklahoma

111.9

25

Notre Dame

111.7

26

Miami

111.3

27

Arizona

110.8

28

North Carolina

110.4

29

Georgia Tech

110.3

30

B Y U

110.2

31

Houston

110.1

32

Cincinnati

109.9

33

Bowling Green

109.6

34

Texas

109.4

35

Duke

109.1

36

Iowa

109.0

37

Central Florida

108.5

38

East Carolina

108.3

39

Penn St.

108.1

40

Marshall

107.7

41

Northern Illinois

107.7

42

Virginia Tech

107.5

43

Nebraska

107.2

44

Minnesota

107.1

45

Oregon St.

106.5

46

Vanderbilt

106.4

47

Kansas St.

106.1

48

Mississippi St.

105.9

49

Utah

105.7

50

Fresno St.

105.5

51

Ball St.

105.3

52

Florida

105.1

53

Washington St.

105.0

54

Utah St.

104.6

55

Northwestern

104.5

56

Indiana

102.8

57

Boston College

102.2

58

Buffalo

102.0

59

North Texas

101.9

60

T C U

101.7

61

Tennessee

101.6

62

Boise St.

101.5

63

Maryland

101.1

64

Wake Forest

101.0

65

Texas Tech

100.8

66

Arkansas

100.5

67

Pittsburgh

100.1

68

Toledo

100.1

69

Syracuse

99.4

70

Colorado St.

99.0

71

Rice

98.7

72

Navy

98.5

73

Illinois

98.1

74

San Jose St.

96.2

75

U T S A

95.5

76

S M U

94.9

77

Memphis

94.1

78

Florida Atlantic

94.1

79

Middle Tennessee

94.1

80

Kentucky

94.1

81

Western Kentucky

94.1

82

Tulane

94.0

83

Louisiana–Lafayette

93.6

84

West Virginia

92.7

85

U N L V

92.7

86

Rutgers

92.6

87

Kent St.

92.6

88

Colorado

92.4

89

North Carolina St.

92.3

90

San Diego St.

91.8

91

Virginia

91.5

92

South Alabama

91.3

93

Temple

91.2

94

Arkansas St.

90.3

95

Ohio

89.4

96

Central Michigan

88.6

97

Nevada

88.5

98

Iowa St.

88.3

99

Akron

88.1

100

Army

86.9

101

Troy

86.6

102

Louisiana–Monroe

86.4

103

South Florida

85.8

104

Kansas

85.8

105

Wyoming

85.4

106

Purdue

84.7

107

Hawaii

84.3

108

Connecticut

84.2

109

California

84.1

110

Tulsa

84.0

111

Texas St.

83.3

112

New Mexico

82.0

113

Louisiana Tech

79.5

114

Western Michigan

79.0

115

Air Force

77.3

116

U A B

76.5

117

U T E P

76.1

118

New Mexico St.

73.3

119

Massachusetts

73.2

120

Georgia St.

72.6

121

Idaho

71.3

122

Miami (O)

69.7

123

Eastern Michigan

69.4

124

Southern Miss.

68.5

125

Florida Int’l

68.3

 

PiRate Bias

1

Florida St.

138.6

2

Alabama

135.3

3

Oklahoma St.

128.6

4

Ohio St.

128.1

5

Arizona St.

127.2

6

Stanford

126.9

7

Baylor

126.3

8

Missouri

125.4

9

Oregon

125.3

10

L S U

124.0

11

Auburn

122.5

12

Wisconsin

121.6

13

Washington

121.6

14

Clemson

121.5

15

Michigan St.

121.5

16

U C L A

120.5

17

South Carolina

120.3

18

Texas A&M

118.4

19

Georgia

117.0

20

Oklahoma

116.6

21

U S C

116.0

22

Ole Miss

116.0

23

Texas

115.8

24

Notre Dame

112.9

25

Louisville

112.8

26

Arizona

112.7

27

Kansas St.

112.0

28

Oregon St.

111.9

29

Michigan

111.5

30

B Y U

111.5

31

Georgia Tech

110.7

32

Miami

110.5

33

North Carolina

110.1

34

Iowa

109.7

35

Bowling Green

109.3

36

Cincinnati

108.6

37

Mississippi St.

108.1

38

Duke

107.8

39

Utah

107.6

40

Utah St.

107.5

41

Vanderbilt

107.5

42

Nebraska

107.3

43

Penn St.

107.2

44

T C U

107.1

45

Minnesota

106.9

46

Central Florida

106.8

47

East Carolina

106.8

48

Florida

106.8

49

Washington St.

106.7

50

Virginia Tech

106.1

51

Northern Illinois

106.1

52

Northwestern

105.9

53

Marshall

105.9

54

Houston

105.8

55

Texas Tech

105.4

56

Fresno St.

105.3

57

Boise St.

104.9

58

Ball St.

102.8

59

Tennessee

102.1

60

Boston College

101.9

61

Buffalo

101.2

62

Indiana

100.9

63

Pittsburgh

100.3

64

North Texas

100.3

65

Colorado St.

99.9

66

Syracuse

99.3

67

Maryland

99.2

68

Wake Forest

98.7

69

Toledo

98.5

70

West Virginia

98.4

71

San Jose St.

98.4

72

Arkansas

97.8

73

Navy

97.6

74

Rice

96.4

75

Illinois

96.0

76

Kentucky

95.0

77

Iowa St.

94.8

78

Florida Atlantic

94.5

79

U T S A

93.4

80

San Diego St.

93.4

81

S M U

93.1

82

Western Kentucky

92.4

83

Louisiana–Lafayette

92.3

84

U N L V

92.1

85

Colorado

91.4

86

Memphis

91.3

87

Tulane

91.2

88

Middle Tennessee

90.6

89

Arkansas St.

90.6

90

Rutgers

90.3

91

Virginia

90.3

92

Kent St.

90.3

93

Kansas

90.1

94

Temple

89.7

95

North Carolina St.

89.3

96

South Alabama

89.1

97

Nevada

87.4

98

South Florida

87.0

99

Connecticut

86.2

100

California

86.1

101

Ohio

86.0

102

Central Michigan

86.0

103

Wyoming

85.2

104

Akron

85.1

105

Louisiana–Monroe

85.0

106

Troy

84.7

107

Purdue

84.5

108

Hawaii

84.4

109

Tulsa

83.7

110

Army

83.1

111

New Mexico

79.8

112

Texas St.

79.0

113

Western Michigan

77.3

114

Louisiana Tech

76.6

115

U A B

74.7

116

Air Force

74.0

117

U T E P

73.1

118

New Mexico St.

70.0

119

Georgia St.

68.5

120

Massachusetts

68.3

121

Southern Miss.

67.2

122

Idaho

67.1

123

Florida Int’l

65.9

124

Eastern Michigan

65.7

125

Miami (O)

65.4

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Louisville

6-1

10-1

113.2

112.5

112.8

Cincinnati

6-1

9-2

108.5

109.9

108.6

Central Florida

7-0

10-1

105.7

108.5

106.8

Houston

5-3

8-4

104.6

110.1

105.8

S M U

4-3

5-6

93.5

94.9

93.1

Rutgers

2-5

5-6

90.7

92.6

90.3

Temple

1-7

2-10

90.2

91.2

89.7

Memphis

1-6

3-8

89.8

94.1

91.3

South Florida

2-5

2-9

87.5

85.8

87.0

Connecticut

2-5

2-9

86.3

84.2

86.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

League Averages

 

 

97.0

98.4

97.2

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Florida St.

8-0

12-0

136.9

140.4

138.6

Clemson

7-1

10-2

120.6

121.4

121.5

Boston College

4-4

7-5

101.5

102.2

101.9

Syracuse

4-4

6-6

99.0

99.4

99.3

Wake Forest

2-6

4-8

98.5

101.0

98.7

Maryland

3-5

7-5

98.0

101.1

99.2

North Carolina St.

0-8

3-9

89.2

92.3

89.3

     

 

 

 

Coastal Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Georgia Tech

5-3

7-5

111.0

110.3

110.7

Miami

5-3

9-3

110.5

111.3

110.5

North Carolina

4-4

6-6

108.8

110.4

110.1

Duke

6-2

10-2

107.4

109.1

107.8

Virginia Tech

5-3

8-4

106.7

107.5

106.1

Pittsburgh

3-5

6-6

100.5

100.1

100.3

Virginia

0-8

2-10

89.6

91.5

90.3

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

105.6

107.0

106.0

 

Big 12 Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Oklahoma St.

7-1

10-1

127.7

120.0

128.6

Baylor

7-1

10-1

125.2

118.3

126.3

Texas

7-1

8-3

117.1

109.4

115.8

Oklahoma

6-2

9-2

117.0

111.9

116.6

Kansas St.

5-4

7-5

112.9

106.1

112.0

T C U

2-7

4-8

107.3

101.7

107.1

Texas Tech

4-5

7-5

106.3

100.8

105.4

West Virginia

2-7

4-8

99.7

92.7

98.4

Iowa St.

2-7

3-9

95.5

88.3

94.8

Kansas

1-8

3-9

90.9

85.8

90.1

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

110.0

103.5

109.5

 

Big Ten Conference

Leaders Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Ohio St.

8-0

12-0

128.2

127.4

128.1

Wisconsin

6-2

9-3

121.0

121.8

121.6

Penn St.

4-4

7-5

107.4

108.1

107.2

Indiana

3-5

5-7

101.5

102.8

100.9

Illinois

1-7

4-8

96.8

98.1

96.0

Purdue

0-8

1-11

86.5

84.7

84.5

     

 

 

 

Legends Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Michigan St.

8-0

11-1

121.6

122.0

121.5

Michigan

3-5

7-5

112.1

112.8

111.5

Iowa

5-3

8-4

109.5

109.0

109.7

Nebraska

5-3

8-4

108.7

107.2

107.3

Northwestern

1-7

5-7

106.7

104.5

105.9

Minnesota

4-4

8-4

106.8

107.1

106.9

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

108.9

108.8

108.4

 

Conference USA

East Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

East Carolina

6-2

9-3

105.9

108.3

106.8

Marshall

7-1

9-3

104.2

107.7

105.9

Florida Atlantic

4-4

6-6

93.4

94.1

94.5

Middle Tennessee

6-2

8-4

89.9

94.1

90.6

U A B

1-7

2-10

75.3

76.5

74.7

Southern Miss.

1-7

1-11

68.0

68.5

67.2

Florida Int’l

1-7

1-11

66.4

68.3

65.9

     

 

 

 

West Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

North Texas

6-2

8-4

99.5

101.9

100.3

Rice

7-1

9-3

96.2

98.7

96.4

U T S A

6-2

7-5

93.2

95.5

93.4

Tulane

5-3

7-5

90.5

94.0

91.2

Tulsa

2-6

3-9

84.1

84.0

83.7

Louisiana Tech

3-5

4-8

78.0

79.5

76.6

U T E P

1-7

2-10

74.0

76.1

73.1

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

87.0

89.1

87.2

 

Independents

Team

 

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Notre Dame

 

8-4

113.9

111.7

112.9

B Y U

 

8-4

111.6

110.2

111.5

Navy

 

7-4

97.1

98.5

97.6

Army

 

3-8

81.8

86.9

83.1

New Mexico St.

 

2-10

70.5

73.3

70.0

Idaho

 

1-11

67.4

71.3

67.1

     

 

 

 

Independent Avg’s.

 

 

90.4

92.0

90.4

 

Mid-American Conference

East Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Bowling Green

7-1

9-3

108.1

109.6

109.3

Buffalo

6-2

8-4

99.7

102.0

101.2

Kent St.

3-5

4-8

89.6

92.6

90.3

Ohio

4-4

7-5

86.0

89.4

86.0

Akron

4-4

5-7

84.5

88.1

85.1

Massachusetts

1-7

1-11

68.7

73.2

68.3

Miami (O)

0-8

0-12

67.5

69.7

65.4

     

 

 

 

West Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Northern Illinois

8-0

12-0

105.1

107.7

106.1

Ball St.

7-1

10-2

101.7

105.3

102.8

Toledo

5-3

7-5

98.0

100.1

98.5

Central Michigan

5-3

6-6

85.9

88.6

86.0

Western Michigan

1-7

1-11

76.8

79.0

77.3

Eastern Michigan

1-7

2-10

67.2

69.4

65.7

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

87.6

90.4

87.8

 

Mountain West Conference

Mountain Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Utah St.

7-1

8-4

105.8

104.6

107.5

Boise St.

6-2

8-4

103.9

101.5

104.9

Colorado St.

5-3

7-6

98.9

99.0

99.9

Wyoming

3-5

5-7

84.9

85.4

85.2

New Mexico

1-7

3-9

79.5

82.0

79.8

Air Force

0-8

2-10

74.4

77.3

74.0

     

 

 

 

West Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Fresno St.

7-1

10-1

105.6

105.5

105.3

San Jose St.

5-3

6-6

98.0

96.2

98.4

San Diego St.

6-2

7-5

92.7

91.8

93.4

U N L V

5-3

7-5

91.2

92.7

92.1

Nevada

3-5

4-8

87.0

88.5

87.4

Hawaii

0-8

1-11

83.5

84.3

84.4

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

92.1

92.4

92.7

 

Pacific 12 Conference

North Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Stanford

7-2

10-2

127.7

121.1

126.9

Oregon

7-2

10-2

125.5

121.4

125.3

Washington

5-4

8-4

122.2

118.0

121.6

Oregon St.

4-5

6-6

113.5

106.5

111.9

Washington St.

4-5

6-6

105.8

105.0

106.7

California

0-9

1-11

88.2

84.1

86.1

     

 

 

 

South Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Arizona St.

8-1

10-2

127.3

126.2

127.2

U C L A

6-3

9-3

121.3

117.2

120.5

U S C

6-3

9-4

116.6

113.1

116.0

Arizona

4-5

7-5

114.1

110.8

112.7

Utah

2-7

5-7

108.1

105.7

107.6

Colorado

1-8

4-8

92.1

92.4

91.4

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

113.5

110.1

112.8

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Missouri

7-1

11-1

125.2

123.7

125.4

South Carolina

6-2

10-2

120.8

118.9

120.3

Georgia

5-3

8-4

117.0

115.2

117.0

Vanderbilt

4-4

8-4

107.9

106.4

107.5

Florida

3-5

4-8

107.4

105.1

106.8

Tennessee

2-6

4-8

102.8

101.6

102.1

Kentucky

0-8

2-10

95.7

94.1

95.0

     

 

 

 

West Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Alabama

7-1

11-1

134.8

131.1

135.3

L S U

5-3

9-3

123.2

121.4

124.0

Auburn

7-1

11-1

122.2

121.4

122.5

Texas A&M

4-4

8-4

119.1

116.6

118.4

Ole Miss

3-5

7-5

117.4

114.1

116.0

Mississippi St.

3-5

6-6

107.9

105.9

108.1

Arkansas

0-8

3-9

98.6

100.5

97.8

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

114.3

112.6

114.0

 

Sunbelt Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Western Kentucky

4-3

8-4

92.2

94.1

92.4

Louisiana–Lafayette

5-1

8-3

92.1

93.6

92.3

Arkansas St.

5-2

7-5

90.5

90.3

90.6

South Alabama

3-3

5-6

88.0

91.3

89.1

Louisiana–Monroe

4-3

6-6

85.3

86.4

85.0

Troy

4-3

6-6

83.6

86.6

84.7

Texas St.

2-5

6-6

79.1

83.3

79.0

Georgia St.

0-7

0-12

67.7

72.6

68.5

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

84.8

87.3

85.2

 

Transitioning Teams

Team

 

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Georgia Southern

 

7-4

88.1

90.4

94.8

Old Dominion

 

8-4

83.4

84.7

89.2

Appalachian St.

 

3-8

74.1

73.0

80.8

Charlotte

 

5-6

58.4

63.0

65.5

           
Not figured in regular averages to 100

76.0

77.8

82.6

 

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Cincinnati Louisville

-2.2

-0.1

-1.7

Bowling Green (n) Northern Illinois (Det.)

3.0

1.9

3.2

Oklahoma Oklahoma St.

-8.7

-6.1

-10.0

S M U Central Florida

-9.2

-10.6

-10.7

Connecticut Memphis

-0.5

-6.9

-2.1

Baylor Texas

10.6

11.4

13.0

Missouri (n) Auburn (Atlanta)

3.0

2.3

2.9

Rutgers South Florida

6.2

9.8

6.3

Arizona St. Stanford

2.6

8.1

3.3

Florida St. (n) Duke (Charlotte)

29.5

31.3

30.8

South Alabama UL-Lafayette

-2.1

-0.3

-1.2

Ohio St. (n) Michigan St. (Indpls.)

6.6

5.4

6.6

 

Bowl Projections

We are playing the contrarian this week.  Our bowl projections show us going with Missouri to beat Auburn, Bowling Green to beat Northern Illinois, Arizona St. to beat Stanford, and Michigan St. to beat Ohio St.  If you want the standard fare, you can find about 20 other sites with conventional bowl projections this week.

 

If Missouri beats Auburn and Michigan St. beats Ohio St., we believe the Tigers will narrowly edge out Alabama for the number two spot in the BCS and advance to the title game.

 

GAME

Team

vs.

Team

New Mexico

U N L V

vs.

Oregon St.

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

Fresno St.

vs.

Washington

Famous Idaho Potato

Colorado St.

vs.

Ball St.

New Orleans

UL-Lafayette %

vs.

Tulane

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s

Toledo *

vs.

Middle Tennessee

Hawai’i

San Diego St.

vs.

North Texas

Little Caesars Pizza

Northern Illinois

vs.

Syracuse *

Poinsettia

Utah St.

vs.

Washington St. *

Military Bowl

Boston College

vs.

East Carolina

Texas

Minnesota

vs.

North Carolina *

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

Arizona

vs.

B Y U %

Pinstripe

Houston

vs.

Notre Dame *

Belk

Louisville

vs.

Virginia Tech

Russell Athletic

Cincinnati

vs.

Clemson

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Kansas St.

vs.

Nebraska

Armed Forces

Boise St.

vs.

Navy %

Music City

Georgia Tech

vs.

Ole Miss

Alamo

Oklahoma

vs.

Stanford

Holiday

Texas Tech

vs.

U C L A

AdvoCare V100 Bowl

Western Kentucky *

vs.

Maryland

Sun

Miami

vs.

U S C

Liberty

Mississippi St.

vs.

Marshall

Chick-fil-A

Duke

vs.

L S U

Heart Of Dallas

Rice

vs.

Pittsburgh *

Gator

Michigan

vs.

Georgia

Outback

South Carolina

vs.

Iowa

Capital One

Wisconsin

vs.

Auburn

Rose

Michigan St.

vs.

Arizona St.

Fiesta

Oklahoma St.

vs.

Central Florida

Sugar

Ohio St.

vs.

Baylor

Cotton

Texas A&M

vs.

Texas

Orange

Alabama

vs.

Oregon

BBVA Compass Bowl

Rutgers

vs.

Vanderbilt

GoDaddy.com

Arkansas St.

vs.

Bowling Green

BCS Championship

Florida St.

vs.

Missouri

 

 

 

 

* At-Large Selection

 

 

 

% Already Accepted Bid

 

 

 

 

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