The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 19, 2017

2017 Independents Preview

At one point in the 1960’s and 1970’s there were in excess of 30 college football teams not affiliated with a conference. Schools did not need a conference affiliation to succeed. Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, and other big name schools were power teams that frequently competed for national titles. Michigan State was actually an independent that won a national title prior to becoming the final member of the original Big Ten. There was even a five-year period where Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington State left the Pacific Coast Conference and played as independents, as the forerunner to today’s Pac-12 almost dissolved.

Today, the independent ranks are close to dissolving, but they are hanging on by a thread, or should we say four threads. Army, BYU, Massachusetts, and Notre Dame are what’s left, althought New Mexico State will join this group next year, more because they are being evicted from the Sun Belt. and the MWC has no vacancies for them at this time.

Notre Dame is only a quasi-independent. They belong to the ACC in many ways–they play a five-game schedule of ACC teams, and they can qualify for any ACC Bowl, as long as they are within one win of the next available team.

BYU is a tough fit as a full member in any conference, because the Cougars will not play any athletic competition on Sunday. In basketball, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee seeds them in brackets that keep them away from a Friday-Sunday schedule. They would be a perfect fit with New Mexico State in the Mountain West or even with New Mexico or Utah State in the Big 12, with New Mexico State replacing whichever school left.

Army is okay as an independent, although the West Pointers could fit right into the American Athletic with rival Navy. Massachusetts could easily fit in this league as well, and the independents would be history.

Since there are no preseason media polls, we will start by showing you our own PiRate Retrodictive Ratings for the four schools. You might ask how there could be retrodictive ratings, when no games have been played yet. How can we rate them on their results thus far? Obviously, this is not possible, but we begin each season adjusting the previous season’s final retrodictive ratings just like we do our regular PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings. By the fourth week of the season, the retrodictive ratings are 100% based on the current year’s results.

PiRate Retrodictive Ratings (Independents)

Independents
# Team
PiRate Retrodictive
1 Notre Dame
2 BYU
3 Army
4 Massachusetts

 

Here are our regular predictive PiRate, Mean, and Bias preseason ratings.

Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 109.7 107.8 109.6 109.0
B Y U 103.0 101.9 103.6 102.8
Army 94.6 94.2 95.5 94.8
Massachusetts 86.0 84.4 86.0 85.5
         
Independents Averages 98.3 97.1 98.7 98.0

And, here are our not-so-scientific predictions for won-loss and bowl projections.

Independents Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
BYU x 9-4 [Military]
Notre Dame x 8-4 Pinstripe
Army x 8-4 Armed Forces
Massachusetts x 3-9  

BYU’s bowl bid is an at-large bid.

 

Trivia: Nobody could come up with the answer to yesterday’s trivia question. Rather than show all the incorrect replies, since we don’t want to embarrass anybody, we erased them from the responses.
Here it is again: Who are these two legendary coaches? Coach number one was a college head coach who won 70% of his games at his first Division 1 school, a team that played in a now defunct conference. He moved on to be a college head coach at two additional schools, the second of which he was replaced by a second coaching legend who won more than 200 games at the college level and more than 250 when his NFL wins were added. Four decades after winning 70% of his games at the first school, Coach number one was still coaching, now the head coach of an NFL team which he guided to the playoffs multiple times. Coach number two was still coaching four decades later after he replaced coach number one. Coach number two won a national championship during his career.
Name the two coaches. If nobody gets the answer by the time we go to press with tomorrow’s preview, we will give the answer, but we know that our readers tend to be among the most knowledgeable football fans and analytical geniuses, so we expect somebody to come up with the correct answer.

We had several guesses, and some of you actually guessed coach number two as coach number one. Nobody guessed correctly on coach number one. He is Marv Levy, who coached at New Mexico in 1958 and 1959, going 7-3 both years. New Mexico played in the defunct Border Conference, a pre-WAC establishment. Levy moved on to an unsuccessful stint at UC-Berkeley, and then to William & Mary. Levy led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls four decades later.

Coach number two, who succeeded Levy at William & Mary was Lou Holtz. Holtz won 249 games at the collegiate level and another three in the NFL with the Jets.

Coming later today–The American Athletic Conference

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December 4, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For December 10, 2016

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:49 pm

There is only one game this week, the annual Army-Navy game, played this season in Baltimore.  Because our ratings for all 128 teams can be affected by just one game, we will not issue our bowl picks until after the conclusion of the game this weekend.

So, since there is not much to post this week, let us relay a little mathematical data concerning the Big Ten Conference, and its one playoff representative.

A similar thing occurred in 2006, when Ohio State played Florida for the national championship.  The Buckeyes were number one after narrowly defeating second-ranked Michigan at the Giant Horseshoe in Columbus.  The score that day was Ohio State 42 Michigan 39.

Ohio State defeated Michigan this year in double overtime and due to a favorable call that might have been and might not have been correct, but wasn’t reviewed.

Ohio State went to the national championship in 2006, and they will go to the playoffs this year.  Michigan will have to be consoled with an Orange Bowl bid.

We asked then and ask now, “How much is Ohio State’s home field advantage worth?”

We can tell you that in 2006, Ohio State’s home field advantage for the Michigan game was worth more than four points, but rounded to four.  They beat Michigan by three.

This year, Ohio State’s home field advantage for the Michigan game was just a tad under three points which rounded to three points.  The score was tied at the end of regulation.

In actuality, both in 2006 and in 2016, Michigan was slightly better than Ohio State in the rivalry game and slightly better ranked, but both times, the Buckeyes earned the right to play for the championship.

This is a recurring theme.  In 1973, Michigan looked like the better team at the end of the day in a 10-10 tie of undefeated teams, but Ohio State received the Rose Bowl invitation (and Michigan stayed home at 10-0-1), because Michigan’s quarterback had been injured and was not a sure thing to be ready for the Rose Bowl (The Big Ten decided who went to Pasadena).

We are not advocating that Michigan be given the Playoff spot over Ohio State.  We are just alluding to the point that home field advantage should be part of the equation as long as there is going to be a playoff committee.

Our true belief is there should be no playoff committee.  The participants should be decided strictly on the results with tiebreakers similar to the NFL.  Of course, the NFL has the advantage in that every team in a division plays its division rivals twice, home and home.  The Big Ten cannot schedule home and home so that Michigan and Ohio State would play both in Columbus and in Ann Arbor every year.

In another dozen or so years, expect the number of playoff teams to expand to 8, and then maybe 12, and maybe even 16, and this controversy will be replaced with the controversy of team number 17 being left out while team number 16 got in.  We only hope that by the time the playoffs expand to 16 teams, there will be a new way to select them, maybe 8 conferences with two divisions each, and each division getting a team in the football dance.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 138.7 132.5 138.7 136.6
2 Washington 133.0 125.8 132.4 130.4
3 Ohio St. 127.5 127.1 127.8 127.5
4 Clemson 129.5 123.5 128.7 127.2
5 Michigan 127.4 125.5 127.2 126.7
6 Oklahoma 125.2 123.3 125.1 124.5
7 LSU 124.9 120.4 124.4 123.2
8 USC 124.3 119.4 122.8 122.2
9 Florida St. 122.8 117.1 122.1 120.7
10 Louisville 121.9 118.4 121.7 120.7
11 Penn St. 119.9 119.7 120.0 119.9
12 Auburn 120.5 118.5 120.4 119.8
13 Wisconsin 118.7 116.7 119.1 118.2
14 Virginia Tech 118.7 116.9 118.8 118.1
15 Oklahoma St. 116.6 117.9 116.0 116.8
16 Miami 118.4 113.1 118.3 116.6
17 Pittsburgh 117.8 113.8 117.1 116.2
18 Colorado 117.1 112.7 117.0 115.6
19 Iowa 115.9 113.1 115.8 114.9
20 North Carolina 116.2 110.9 116.0 114.4
21 Washington St. 114.9 112.2 114.4 113.9
22 Western Michigan 113.2 113.0 114.9 113.7
23 Stanford 114.9 109.3 114.4 112.9
24 Kansas St. 111.9 113.7 111.9 112.5
25 Tennessee 113.3 110.9 112.4 112.2
26 Texas A&M 112.9 111.4 112.2 112.2
27 Florida 112.4 112.9 110.9 112.1
28 West Virginia 111.9 111.5 111.5 111.6
29 Temple 111.5 110.6 112.3 111.5
30 Notre Dame 112.3 109.5 111.4 111.1
31 Utah 112.7 107.8 111.4 110.6
32 Western Kentucky 110.7 108.8 112.1 110.5
33 Houston 110.0 108.8 111.1 110.0
34 South Florida 110.0 108.3 110.6 109.6
35 Arkansas 111.0 107.1 110.1 109.4
36 BYU 110.7 106.5 110.7 109.3
37 Georgia Tech 110.2 106.4 109.3 108.6
38 Mississippi St. 109.2 107.3 108.0 108.2
39 Georgia 108.3 107.7 107.6 107.9
40 TCU 107.4 109.1 106.4 107.6
41 North Carolina St. 108.8 105.2 108.5 107.5
42 Northwestern 108.8 105.4 107.8 107.3
43 Navy 107.4 106.1 107.5 107.0
44 Minnesota 107.4 105.8 107.1 106.8
45 Vanderbilt 107.5 104.3 106.4 106.1
46 Nebraska 106.5 104.3 106.1 105.6
47 Memphis 106.1 103.9 105.5 105.2
48 Boise St. 104.5 105.7 105.2 105.1
49 Tulsa 104.5 105.7 105.0 105.1
50 Michigan St. 105.1 104.3 103.9 104.4
51 Texas 104.1 105.7 103.0 104.3
52 UCLA 105.1 103.2 104.0 104.1
53 Kentucky 104.1 104.2 103.8 104.0
54 San Diego St. 103.8 102.6 105.6 104.0
55 Baylor 103.8 104.2 103.8 103.9
56 Indiana 103.5 104.6 102.9 103.7
57 Ole Miss 105.3 101.6 104.0 103.6
58 Toledo 102.5 103.2 103.4 103.0
59 Oregon 103.7 101.7 102.6 102.7
60 Texas Tech 102.2 101.6 101.3 101.7
61 California 103.9 97.7 101.7 101.1
62 Duke 101.3 100.3 100.7 100.8
63 Wake Forest 101.2 99.5 101.3 100.7
64 Appalachian St. 99.7 100.9 101.3 100.6
65 Iowa St. 100.6 100.6 99.6 100.3
66 Missouri 99.9 98.6 98.6 99.1
67 Oregon St. 100.6 96.2 99.5 98.8
68 Boston College 99.5 97.9 98.9 98.8
69 Virginia 99.9 97.3 98.9 98.7
70 Colorado St. 97.8 99.4 98.9 98.7
71 Central Florida 97.7 98.7 98.4 98.3
72 Air Force 97.6 99.2 97.8 98.2
73 South Carolina 98.3 97.8 97.8 98.0
74 Arizona St. 99.0 97.4 97.3 97.9
75 Louisiana Tech 96.5 98.7 98.2 97.8
76 Syracuse 98.9 95.6 97.2 97.3
77 New Mexico 95.2 96.9 96.0 96.1
78 Maryland 95.8 97.8 94.2 95.9
79 Northern Illinois 94.6 95.9 95.5 95.3
80 Arkansas St. 93.1 95.8 94.8 94.6
81 Arizona 95.3 93.0 93.8 94.0
82 Wyoming 93.5 94.1 94.5 94.0
83 Ohio 91.4 97.1 92.0 93.5
84 Central Michigan 92.5 94.6 92.9 93.3
85 Troy 91.0 94.8 92.8 92.9
86 SMU 91.9 91.5 93.9 92.5
87 Cincinnati 92.0 92.8 91.7 92.2
88 Army 89.4 95.8 90.6 91.9
89 Purdue 91.7 90.3 90.5 90.8
90 Old Dominion 89.4 92.4 90.6 90.8
91 Miami (O) 89.4 91.1 90.8 90.4
92 Illinois 91.6 88.8 90.4 90.3
93 UTSA 87.2 92.9 89.6 89.9
94 Utah St. 88.8 91.2 88.6 89.5
95 Middle Tennessee 88.5 90.3 89.0 89.3
96 Nevada 88.2 90.2 88.7 89.1
97 Southern Mississippi 88.4 88.6 88.7 88.6
98 Eastern Michigan 87.6 89.6 88.3 88.5
99 East Carolina 87.6 89.0 87.6 88.1
100 Tulane 86.8 89.9 87.4 88.0
101 Idaho 85.6 90.4 87.8 87.9
102 Kansas 87.0 91.0 85.1 87.7
103 Georgia Southern 86.3 87.4 87.9 87.2
104 Bowling Green 86.3 87.4 86.5 86.7
105 UL-Lafayette 84.8 88.6 86.4 86.6
106 Rutgers 86.8 85.3 85.1 85.8
107 Ball St. 84.7 86.7 85.6 85.7
108 Kent St. 84.0 85.5 84.9 84.8
109 Connecticut 84.9 84.6 84.3 84.6
110 South Alabama 81.8 88.0 82.5 84.1
111 San Jose St. 84.1 84.2 84.0 84.1
112 Akron 81.8 86.9 82.7 83.8
113 UNLV 82.5 85.4 83.1 83.7
114 Florida International 81.2 85.4 81.8 82.8
115 Massachusetts 79.8 85.0 80.6 81.8
116 Hawaii 80.9 80.8 80.7 80.8
117 Rice 77.8 83.3 78.3 79.8
118 Georgia St. 77.6 82.0 79.4 79.7
119 Marshall 77.9 81.4 78.4 79.2
120 Charlotte 76.3 81.9 76.9 78.4
121 North Texas 77.2 80.2 77.6 78.4
122 Fresno St. 77.3 80.6 77.0 78.3
123 Buffalo 76.1 81.9 76.7 78.3
124 Florida Atlantic 75.0 79.5 77.1 77.2
125 UTEP 74.4 79.1 75.7 76.4
126 New Mexico St. 74.2 77.2 75.3 75.6
127 UL-Monroe 68.8 74.1 69.8 70.9
128 Texas St. 62.3 64.9 63.3 63.5

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Temple 111.5 110.6 112.3 111.5
South Florida 110.0 108.3 110.6 109.6
Central Florida 97.7 98.7 98.4 98.3
Cincinnati 92.0 92.8 91.7 92.2
East Carolina 87.6 89.0 87.6 88.1
Connecticut 84.9 84.6 84.3 84.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 110.0 108.8 111.1 110.0
Navy 107.4 106.1 107.5 107.0
Memphis 106.1 103.9 105.5 105.2
Tulsa 104.5 105.7 105.0 105.1
SMU 91.9 91.5 93.9 92.5
Tulane 86.8 89.9 87.4 88.0
         
AAC Averages 99.2 99.2 99.6 99.3
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 129.5 123.5 128.7 127.2
Florida St. 122.8 117.1 122.1 120.7
Louisville 121.9 118.4 121.7 120.7
North Carolina St. 108.8 105.2 108.5 107.5
Wake Forest 101.2 99.5 101.3 100.7
Boston College 99.5 97.9 98.9 98.8
Syracuse 98.9 95.6 97.2 97.3
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Virginia Tech 118.7 116.9 118.8 118.1
Miami 118.4 113.1 118.3 116.6
Pittsburgh 117.8 113.8 117.1 116.2
North Carolina 116.2 110.9 116.0 114.4
Georgia Tech 110.2 106.4 109.3 108.6
Duke 101.3 100.3 100.7 100.8
Virginia 99.9 97.3 98.9 98.7
         
ACC Averages 111.8 108.3 111.2 110.4
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 125.2 123.3 125.1 124.5
Oklahoma St. 116.6 117.9 116.0 116.8
Kansas St. 111.9 113.7 111.9 112.5
West Virginia 111.9 111.5 111.5 111.6
TCU 107.4 109.1 106.4 107.6
Texas 104.1 105.7 103.0 104.3
Baylor 103.8 104.2 103.8 103.9
Texas Tech 102.2 101.6 101.3 101.7
Iowa St. 100.6 100.6 99.6 100.3
Kansas 87.0 91.0 85.1 87.7
         
Big 12 Averages 107.1 107.9 106.4 107.1
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 127.5 127.1 127.8 127.5
Michigan 127.4 125.5 127.2 126.7
Penn St. 119.9 119.7 120.0 119.9
Michigan St. 105.1 104.3 103.9 104.4
Indiana 103.5 104.6 102.9 103.7
Maryland 95.8 97.8 94.2 95.9
Rutgers 86.8 85.3 85.1 85.8
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 118.7 116.7 119.1 118.2
Iowa 115.9 113.1 115.8 114.9
Northwestern 108.8 105.4 107.8 107.3
Minnesota 107.4 105.8 107.1 106.8
Nebraska 106.5 104.3 106.1 105.6
Purdue 91.7 90.3 90.5 90.8
Illinois 91.6 88.8 90.4 90.3
         
Big Ten Averages 107.6 106.4 107.0 107.0
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 110.7 108.8 112.1 110.5
Old Dominion 89.4 92.4 90.6 90.8
Middle Tennessee 88.5 90.3 89.0 89.3
Florida International 81.2 85.4 81.8 82.8
Marshall 77.9 81.4 78.4 79.2
Charlotte 76.3 81.9 76.9 78.4
Florida Atlantic 75.0 79.5 77.1 77.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisiana Tech 96.5 98.7 98.2 97.8
UTSA 87.2 92.9 89.6 89.9
Southern Mississippi 88.4 88.6 88.7 88.6
Rice 77.8 83.3 78.3 79.8
North Texas 77.2 80.2 77.6 78.4
UTEP 74.4 79.1 75.7 76.4
         
CUSA Averages 84.7 87.9 85.7 86.1
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 112.3 109.5 111.4 111.1
BYU 110.7 106.5 110.7 109.3
Army 89.4 95.8 90.6 91.9
Massachusetts 79.8 85.0 80.6 81.8
         
Independents Averages 98.1 99.2 98.3 98.5
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 91.4 97.1 92.0 93.5
Miami (O) 89.4 91.1 90.8 90.4
Bowling Green 86.3 87.4 86.5 86.7
Kent St. 84.0 85.5 84.9 84.8
Akron 81.8 86.9 82.7 83.8
Buffalo 76.1 81.9 76.7 78.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 113.2 113.0 114.9 113.7
Toledo 102.5 103.2 103.4 103.0
Northern Illinois 94.6 95.9 95.5 95.3
Central Michigan 92.5 94.6 92.9 93.3
Eastern Michigan 87.6 89.6 88.3 88.5
Ball St. 84.7 86.7 85.6 85.7
         
MAC Averages 90.3 92.8 91.2 91.4
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 104.5 105.7 105.2 105.1
Colorado St. 97.8 99.4 98.9 98.7
Air Force 97.6 99.2 97.8 98.2
New Mexico 95.2 96.9 96.0 96.1
Wyoming 93.5 94.1 94.5 94.0
Utah St. 88.8 91.2 88.6 89.5
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 103.8 102.6 105.6 104.0
Nevada 88.2 90.2 88.7 89.1
San Jose St. 84.1 84.2 84.0 84.1
UNLV 82.5 85.4 83.1 83.7
Hawaii 80.9 80.8 80.7 80.8
Fresno St. 77.3 80.6 77.0 78.3
         
MWC Averages 91.2 92.6 91.7 91.8
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 133.0 125.8 132.4 130.4
Washington St. 114.9 112.2 114.4 113.9
Stanford 114.9 109.3 114.4 112.9
Oregon 103.7 101.7 102.6 102.7
California 103.9 97.7 101.7 101.1
Oregon St. 100.6 96.2 99.5 98.8
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 124.3 119.4 122.8 122.2
Colorado 117.1 112.7 117.0 115.6
Utah 112.7 107.8 111.4 110.6
UCLA 105.1 103.2 104.0 104.1
Arizona St. 99.0 97.4 97.3 97.9
Arizona 95.3 93.0 93.8 94.0
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.4 106.4 109.3 108.7
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 113.3 110.9 112.4 112.2
Florida 112.4 112.9 110.9 112.1
Georgia 108.3 107.7 107.6 107.9
Vanderbilt 107.5 104.3 106.4 106.1
Kentucky 104.1 104.2 103.8 104.0
Missouri 99.9 98.6 98.6 99.1
South Carolina 98.3 97.8 97.8 98.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 138.7 132.5 138.7 136.6
LSU 124.9 120.4 124.4 123.2
Auburn 120.5 118.5 120.4 119.8
Texas A&M 112.9 111.4 112.2 112.2
Arkansas 111.0 107.1 110.1 109.4
Mississippi St. 109.2 107.3 108.0 108.2
Ole Miss 105.3 101.6 104.0 103.6
         
SEC Averages 111.9 109.7 111.1 110.9
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 99.7 100.9 101.3 100.6
Arkansas St. 93.1 95.8 94.8 94.6
Troy 91.0 94.8 92.8 92.9
Idaho 85.6 90.4 87.8 87.9
Georgia Southern 86.3 87.4 87.9 87.2
UL-Lafayette 84.8 88.6 86.4 86.6
South Alabama 81.8 88.0 82.5 84.1
Georgia St. 77.6 82.0 79.4 79.7
New Mexico St. 74.2 77.2 75.3 75.6
UL-Monroe 68.8 74.1 69.8 70.9
Texas St. 62.3 64.9 63.3 63.5
         
Sun Belt Averages 82.3 85.8 83.8 84.0

 

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 111.9 109.7 111.1 110.9
2 ACC 111.8 108.3 111.2 110.4
3 Pac-12 110.4 106.4 109.3 108.7
4 Big 12 107.1 107.9 106.4 107.1
5 Big Ten 107.6 106.4 107.0 107.0
6 AAC 99.2 99.2 99.6 99.3
7 Independents 98.1 99.2 98.3 98.5
8 MWC 91.2 92.6 91.7 91.8
9 MAC 90.3 92.8 91.2 91.4
10 CUSA 84.7 87.9 85.7 86.1
11 Sun Belt 82.3 85.8 83.8 84.0

PiRate Retrodictive Rankings–similar to the AP and Coaches polls in its purpose

12/4/16
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Ohio St.
3 Clemson
4 Michigan
5 Washington
6 Penn St.
7 Wisconsin
8 USC
9 Oklahoma
10 Florida St.
11 Western Michigan
12 Colorado
13 Stanford
14 LSU
15 Louisville
16 Auburn
17 West Virginia
18 Oklahoma St.
19 Washington St.
20 South Florida
21 Iowa
22 Boise St.
23 Florida
24 Houston
25 Temple
26 Virginia Tech
27 Pittsburgh
28 Nebraska
29 Miami (Fla)
30 Tennessee
31 Texas A&M
32 Utah
33 Western Kentucky
34 Navy
35 North Carolina
36 Tulsa
37 Minnesota
38 BYU
39 Kansas St.
40 Georgia Tech
41 Appalachian St.
42 Toledo
43 San Diego St.
44 Memphis
45 Georgia
46 Arkansas
47 Northwestern
48 Air Force
49 Kentucky
50 Colorado St.
51 Troy
52 Vanderbilt
53 North Carolina St.
54 Indiana
55 Ole Miss
56 TCU
57 Old Dominion
58 Wyoming
59 California
60 New Mexico
61 Mississippi St.
62 Central Florida
63 Louisiana Tech
64 Maryland
65 UCLA
66 South Carolina
67 Baylor
68 Oregon
69 Notre Dame
70 Idaho
71 Boston College
72 Texas
73 Arkansas St.
74 Wake Forest
75 Ohio
76 Arizona St.
77 Oregon St.
78 Eastern Michigan
79 Middle Tennessee
80 Texas Tech
81 SMU
82 Missouri
83 Duke
84 Michigan St.
85 Syracuse
86 Central Michigan
87 UTSA
88 UL-Lafayette
89 Army
90 Miami (O)
91 Northern Illinois
92 Iowa St.
93 Arizona
94 Southern Miss.
95 Georgia Southern
96 Hawaii
97 South Alabama
98 Illinois
99 Cincinnati
100 Tulane
101 Akron
102 Utah St.
103 Bowling Green
104 Purdue
105 East Carolina
106 Virginia
107 San Jose St.
108 Nevada
109 North Texas
110 UNLV
111 Ball St.
112 Rutgers
113 UL-Monroe
114 Kent St.
115 Kansas
116 Georgia St.
117 Connecticut
118 Charlotte
119 UTEP
120 New Mexico St.
121 Florida Int’l.
122 Marshall
123 Rice
124 Massachusetts
125 Florida Atlantic
126 Fresno St.
127 Texas St.
128 Buffalo

 

Army – Navy Game played at Baltimore

Team Team PiRate Mean Bias
Army (N) Navy -18.0 -10.3 -16.9

 

The Bowl Schedule

Day Date Bowl Conferences Time (ET) Network
Sat Dec-17 New Mexico MWC CUSA 2:00 PM ESPN
New Mexico (7-5) vs. Texas-San Antonio (6-6)
Sat Dec-17 Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC 3:30 PM ABC
Houston * (9-3) vs. San Diego St. (11-2)
Sat Dec-17 Cure AAC SBC 5:30 PM CBSSN
Central Florida (6-6) vs. Arkansas St. (7-5)
Sat Dec-17 Camellia MAC SBC 5:30 PM ESPN
Toledo (9-3) vs. Appalachian St. (9-3)
Sat Dec-17 New Orleans CUSA SBC 9:00 PM ESPN
Southern Miss. (6-6) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6)
Mon Dec-19 Miami Beach AAC MAC 2:30 PM ESPN
Tulsa (9-3) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)
Tue Dec-20 Boca Raton AAC CUSA 7:00 PM ESPN
Memphis (8-4) vs. Western Kentucky (11-2)
Wed Dec-21 Poinsettia MWC BYU 9:00 PM ESPN
Wyoming (9-4) vs. BYU (8-4)
Thu Dec-22 Idaho Potato MAC MWC 7:00 PM ESPN
Idaho * (8-4) vs. Colorado St. (6-6)
Fri Dec-23 Bahamas AAC/CUSA MAC/CUSA 1:00 PM ESPN
Old Dominion (9-3) vs. Eastern Michigan (7-5)
Fri Dec-23 Armed Forces Navy Big 12 4:30 PM ESPN
Navy (9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-5)
Fri Dec-23 Dollar Gen. MAC SBC 8:00 PM ESPN
Ohio U (8-5) vs. Troy (9-3)
Sat Dec-24 Hawaii CUSA MWC 8:00 PM ESPN
Middle Tennessee (8-4) vs. Hawaii (6-7)
Mon Dec-26 St. Petersburg AAC ACC/ND 11:00 AM ESPN
Miami (O) * (6-6) vs. Mississippi St. * (5-7)
Mon Dec-26 Quick Lane ACC/ND Big Ten 2:30 PM ESPN
Boston College (6-6) vs. Maryland (6-6)
Mon Dec-26 Independence SEC ACC/ND 5:00 PM ESPN2
Vanderbilt (6-6) vs. North Carolina St. (6-6)
Tue Dec-27 Ht. of Dallas Big Ten CUSA 12:00 PM ESPN
Army * (6-5) vs. North Texas (5-7)
Tue Dec-27 Military ACC/ND AAC 3:30 PM ESPN
Wake Forest (6-6) vs. Temple (10-3)
Tue Dec-27 Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 7:00 PM ESPN
Minnesota (8-4) vs. Washington St. (8-4)
Tue Dec-27 Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 10:15 PM ESPN
Baylor (6-6) vs. Boise St. (10-2)
Wed Dec-28 Pinstripe ACC/ND Big Ten 2:00 PM ESPN
Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. Northwestern (6-6)
Wed Dec-28 Russell Athl. ACC/ND Big 12 5:30 PM ESPN
Miami (Fla.) 8-4 vs. West Virginia (9-3)
Wed Dec-28 Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 8:30 PM FOX
Indiana (6-6) vs. Utah (8-4)
Wed Dec-28 Texas Big 12 SEC 9:00 PM ESPN
Kansas St. (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (8-4)
Thu Dec-29 Birmingham AAC SEC 2:00 PM ESPN
South Florida (10-2) vs. South Carolina (6-6)
Thu Dec-29 Belk ACC/ND SEC 5:30 PM ESPN
Virginia Tech (9-4) vs. Arkansas (7-5)
Thu Dec-29 Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 9:00 PM ESPN
Oklahoma St. (9-3) vs. Colorado (10-3)
Fri Dec-30 Liberty Big 12 SEC 12:00 PM ESPN
TCU (6-6) vs. Georgia (7-5)
Fri Dec-30 Sun ACC/ND Pac-12 2:00 PM CBS
North Carolina (8-4) vs. Stanford (9-3)
Fri Dec-30 Music City ACC/ND/B10 SEC 3:30 PM ESPN
Nebraska (9-3) vs. Tennessee (8-4)
Fri Dec-30 Arizona SBC MWC 5:30 PM No TV ^
South Alabama (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)
Fri Dec-30 Orange ACC/ND B10/SEC 8:00 PM ESPN
Florida St. (9-3) vs. Michigan (10-2)
Sat Dec-31 Citrus ACC/ND/B10 SEC 11:00 AM ABC
Louisville (9-3) vs. LSU (7-4)
Sat Dec-31 TaxSlayer ACC/ND/B10 SEC 11:00 AM ESPN
Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
Sat Dec-31 Peach Semifinal Semifinal 3:00 PM ESPN
Alabama (13-0) vs. Washington (12-1)
Sat Dec-31 Fiesta Semifinal Semifinal 7:00 PM ESPN
Clemson (12-1) vs. Ohio St. (11-1)
Mon Jan-2 Outback Big Ten SEC 1:00 PM ABC
Iowa (8-4) vs. Florida (8-4)
Mon Jan-2 Cotton At-Large At-Large 1:00 PM ESPN
Western Michigan (13-0) vs. Wisconsin (10-3)
Mon Jan-2 Rose Big Ten Pac-12 5:00 PM ESPN
Penn St. (11-2) vs. USC (9-3)
Mon Jan-2 Sugar Big 12 SEC 8:30 PM ESPN
Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Auburn (8-4)
Mon Jan-9 Championship Semifinal Winners 8:00 PM ESPN
Alabama/Washington vs. Clemson/Ohio St.
  • * Replacement Team
  • ^ Arizona Bowl will be broadcast online only at Campus Insiders website

October 27, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–October 27-31, 2016

The Hook
We talked about this in a previous posting, but we now have real data to show you why you should not wager real money on our picks. Last week, we hit a small bonanza, and we came within a few seconds of a major, albeit imaginary, windfall profit.

We issued four long shot money line parlays, each returning better than 2 to 1 odds. We won on two of the four and came within seconds of winning the third one. As it is, our profit from last week was 61% return on the investment. Had that third game that we lost in the last seconds been a winner as well, our profit would have exceeded 100% on the investment.

It’s the “last-second”, “one play,” “fluke play” stuff that hooks the investor to make him or her return the next week to wager more. We have no problem with this. We can wager “$500,000,” and it is the same as if we wagered “$1.” It’s just a fun exercise for a half dozen math geeks, four of whom are members of the fairer sex by the way.

What we have noticed so far this season is that our college picks are winning, while the NFL picks are not doing well at all. The 2016 NFL season has been too tipsy-turvy to hit on parlays. Sure, you can pick New England to win at -300, but that won’t help you much, because at -300, the Patriots basically have to win out to keep you from losing money. If they go 12-4, and you bet on them to win every week at a -300 average, you will invest $300 every week and win $100 12 times, while losing $300 four times. This would allow you to break even in theory, but New England doesn’t go off at -300 each week. They might lose at -450. They might win at -600 over a lousy team. Your invested amount won’t get you the profit to buy that new pearl necklace for that special lady in your life, or that new cell phone with the 16 megapixel camera to replace that camera that is best used to start a campfire.

Until otherwise determined to be safe, we are going to limit our money line parlays to college games only. The upset tendencies this time of year tend to be more conservative than the NFL.

For the season, our “just for fun only” picks have wagered on 31 money line parlay games, all at better than even money odds. We have won 10 of the 31 at an average of $283.25 (on $100 wagered) and lost the other 21 ($-100). This brings us a return of $-130 for the season, which is still a negative 4% return on investment. For what it’s worth, the college selections are responsible for 80% of the winnings, and those picks alone have a positive return on investment, which is why we are going only with college picks this week.

We are going to issue just three selections this week. All three are very long shots such that winning just any one of these three games will make our week an imaginary profitable one. One of the parlays combines two underdogs that we believe can win outright and return an incredible 6+ times what we are pretending to invest.

Look carefully at all three parlays. There is a reason they call them “long shots.” Chances are high that all three will lose, so be forewarned all you reading this with a URL from Las Vegas as well as all you that have figured out which two online books you can find to plug the numbers into a calculator and discover which book we used for each parlay. Remember this: just since we started this feature 15 minutes ago, three of the games that make up the parlays have changed the money line odds.

This Week’s Games

October 27-31,2016
1. College Parlay @ +295
Temple over Cincinnati
Indiana over Maryland
Memphis over Tulsa
Central Michigan over Kent St.
N. C. St. over Boston College
 
2. College Parlay @ +324
Toledo over Ohio
Wake Forest over Army
Southern Miss. over Marshall
Florida over Georgia
Tennessee over South Carolina
Penn St. over Purdue
Washington St. over Oregon St.
 
3. College Parlay @ +607
North Texas over UTSA
Kentucky over Missouri

 

 

September 21, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–September 22-26, 2016

After improving a bit last week and losing only $23 of our imaginary bank roll, we have decided to expand our plays to include a couple of underdogs we believe can win outright. Thus, two of our four chosen plays this week will return big payoffs of imaginary cash should they come through with winners.
First, we must take care of official business. Last week, we played five parlays, winning $277 and losing $300. For the year, we have now wagered $1,200 in imaginary money, and have a loss of $442 to date, meaning still no return on our unreal investment. We warned you that Money Line Parlays can be really tough, but we love to play them, especially since it costs us nothing.
Here are our picks for this week. Remember, don’t actually wager on these. This is just for fun, and we would never put a dime of real money on these plays, even if it returned over 40% on investment last year. It’s doing squat so far this year.

1. College Parlay at +450
Army over Buffalo
Tulane over Louisiana-Lafayette
Arkansas over Texas A&M

Arkansas is the underdog in this parlay and the reason it offers a return of 4.5 times the amount invested. The Razorbacks have been slowly developing a balanced offense with an improving defense. Winning at TCU is enough to show us that the Hogs are on the way back to great things. Texas A&M has struggled in their two wins over quality opposition, and we believe the Aggies are due for continued struggles.

Army is off to a great start, and the Black Knights now face a Buffalo team that has already lost to a FCS opponent. This could be the type of game that allows the Cadets to play their plebes. Coach Jeff Monken learned well from his mentor Paul Johnson, and the Army rushing attack looks like it could move the ball on most FBS teams this year. They should light up the scoreboard against Buffalo.

Tulane is also running the option under first year coach Willie Fritz. Fritz does not have all the pieces in place yet in New Orleans, but with his Texas ties, it is only a matter of time until the Green Wave are winning once again. For now, TU has an exceptional defense with a clock-consuming offense that allows that defense to stay fresh and strong enough to hold ULL to 10 points, which is few enough that we see the olive green and blue winning this week.

2. College Parlay at +126
Arizona St. over California
Cincinnati over Miami (O)
Minnesota over Colorado St.
Memphis over Bowling Green

Arizona State had to rally in the fourth quarter to win at UTSA, while Cal pulled off a nice home upset of Texas. With the Golden Bears playing in the heat in Tempe, and with ASU’s players more focused, we believe Todd Graham’s Sun Devils will play their best game of the season to date, while Cal has trouble with the heat and the speed of the ASU receivers.

Cincinnati should beat Miami of Ohio by 3 touchdowns, but even if the in-state rival underdogs play their best possible and the Bearcats stink up the joint, Cinti should win by at least 10.

Minnesota is a team flying under the radar. They win, but they don’t win convincingly and don’t win with flashy play. The offense is better than most think, and the defense is not shabby. This Gophers team is not yet the equivalent of the Sandy Stephens’ teams of the early 1960’s, but it could be as good as any in Minneapolis since Laurence Maroney and Bryan Capito were moving the pigskin.

This year’s Memphis team has not really been challenged yet, and Bowling Green is not the team to bring that challenge. The Tigers should have little problem disposing of the Falcons, as this is a different BGU team without Dino Babers at the controls.

3. NFL Parlay at +373
Indianapolis over San Diego
Oakland over Tennessee
Dallas over Chicago

Oakland is the second underdog we will use in our parlays this week. The Raiders’ starting offensive and defensive lines manhandled the Titans starting offensive and defensive lines in the preseason game. Preseason games don’t reveal a lot, but when you see one front consistently moving the opposing front in the same direction, it is a good bet that they will do so no matter the importance of the game. We believe the Raiders will score more points than the Titans are capable of scoring, and thus we go with the underdog.

Indianapolis faces a must-win scenario at home. Even with a sore Andrew Luck, we believe the Colts will find a way to eke out a small win. If not, then the AFC West is going to be one incredible 4-team race.

Dallas should handle the Bears with relative ease. Without Jay Cutler, Chicago will have to play conservatively and hope they can rattle Dak Prescott. We believe that the nifty rookie will continue to play brilliantly week after week and could be the odds-on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

4. NFL Parlay at +143
Miami over Cleveland
New York Giants over Washington
Carolina over Minnesota

If Cleveland couldn’t win with RGIII and John McCown at quarterback, then how can they win with Cody Kessler, who wasn’t good enough to make the active roster when all the QBs were healthy. Miami is not playoff worthy at this point, but Adam Gase can design a game plan that will make Kessler’s debut a nightmare.

The Giants look like the Giants of old when Eli Manning had multiple quality receivers to throw to, and the defense came up with big stops. Well, Manning has multiple quality receivers again, and the defense is coming up with big stops. NY could be looking at a season where they are playing at home in January.

The Carolina-Minnesota match worried us for hours today. The Vikings will have to go without Adrian Peterson, but their defense looks as strong as it has looked since the days of Eller, Page, and company. Meanwhile, there is unrest in Charlotte, and it could carry over to the team. We decided that in the end, we would go with the home team to capitalize on the weakened running game and thus to slow down Sam Bradford.

September 6, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For September 9-10, 2016

What an incredible opening week to the college football season!  When was the last time seven SEC schools were 0-1?  It would take a lot of research, but we’re guessing if it happened, it happened back when Sewanee was a member of the league in the 1930’s.

 

How do you imagine Les Miles has slept since Saturday night?  He is going to need a lot of ice to keep cool in that boiling hot seat in Baton Rouge.  What about Mark Stoops, Gus Malzahn, and Derek Mason?  At least Malzahn lost at home by less than a touchdown to the defending national runner-up, but the questionable decisions in the final minutes left many War Eagle fans perplexed.

 

It wasn’t a great week for the Pac-12 Conference either.  USC and UCLA used to play doubleheaders early in the season at the L.A. Coliseum.  Often, it was actually a Friday night, Saturday night deal.  These days, that no longer happens, and this year, both teams ventured to the Lone Star State and left with 0-1 records.  Arizona lost to BYU.  Oregon State lost at Minnesota, and then Washington State lost to Eastern Washington.

 

The Big Ten had a decent first week.  Ohio State and Michigan began the year like the good ole days when the two teams might both still be unbeaten by the time they faced off in late November.  Michigan State, Penn State, and Minnesota won but didn’t look great doing so.  Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Iowa, and Nebraska looked great doing so.  Purdue’s win over an FCS school looked neutral, while Northwestern and Rutgers lost.  And, then there was Wisconsin.  They Lambeau leapt over LSU, making for Coach Miles’ recent insomnia.

 

The ACC picked up two wins over the SEC in three attempts, and the Big 12 picked up a couple of big wins, led by Texas edging Notre Dame.

 

The big winner of the day was the AAC, where Houston immediately jumped to the top of the Group of Five and even placed themselves into contention for a playoff spot if the Cougars can run the table impressively.  However, they will have to get past a couple of tough conference opponents.

 

Out West, San Diego State and Boise State believe they have what it takes to run the table and challenge Houston for that one guaranteed New Year’s 6 Bowl.

 

Week two does not offer as much as week one of the college season, and there isn’t a Thursday night game, as the NFL gets center stage.  Next week, we actually believe the college schedule has more to offer than week one.  For now, the big game this week is the one taking place at Bristol Motor Speedway just south of Bristol, Tennessee.  The Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies have not played in decades, even though the two semi-powers are within an easy drive of each other.  They hope to place 150,000 fans in the speedway for the ball game.  It will be the ABC Primetime Game at 8 PM Eastern Time.

 

Usually, after the first week, some new readers to this site will see our ratings and think we are nuts that a team that lost in week one might still be rated higher than the team that beat them.  There are two basic types of ratings’ metrics.  The Predictive Ratings try to predict the outcome of the next game, so what the team has done to this point of the season is not as important as how they might do in the future.

 

You will see that LSU did not fall below Wisconsin in our Predictive Ratings.  Think of it this way.  If the 1927 New York Yankees dropped their season opener to the Boston Red Sox, would that make the Red Sox a better team?  The Yankees would eventually finish 59 games ahead of Boston that year, and no, they did not actually begin the season by losing to Boston.  They defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, the team that would finish number two in the American League.

 

Retrodictive Ratings are more like what you are probably accustomed to seeing.  They rank teams based on what they have done so far and cannot be used to predict the outcome of future games.  If Team A beat Teams B & C, and Team B beat Team C, then they should be ranked A, B, C in that order.  It isn’t that easy because with 128 FBS teams, there are dozens of exceptions where Team A might beat Team B and lose to Team C, while Team B beats Team C.  It gets a little easier as the season continues, because eventually, there will be teams that have done better than other teams in a more organized manner.

 

Okay, if you are still awake, here are our Predictive Ratings this week.

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 132.2 124.4 132.2 129.6
2 Clemson 126.4 117.1 125.2 122.9
3 LSU 124.8 118.9 123.9 122.5
4 Tennessee 124.0 119.1 123.8 122.3
5 Oklahoma 122.4 119.2 122.2 121.3
6 Michigan 121.5 119.3 122.1 121.0
7 Florida St. 122.7 115.4 121.6 119.9
8 Oklahoma St. 118.5 119.8 118.5 118.9
9 Louisville 119.9 114.0 119.8 117.9
10 Stanford 120.5 113.1 119.4 117.7
11 Washington 120.5 111.7 120.4 117.5
12 Ohio St. 117.1 117.1 118.3 117.5
13 Texas 114.2 116.9 114.2 115.1
14 Miami 117.9 109.3 117.2 114.8
15 Pittsburgh 116.8 111.4 116.1 114.8
16 Notre Dame 116.4 112.1 115.0 114.5
17 Georgia 114.3 114.4 114.2 114.3
18 Auburn 114.9 113.1 114.4 114.1
19 Houston 113.6 111.5 115.6 113.6
20 North Carolina 115.8 109.0 115.2 113.3
21 Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.5 113.2
22 TCU 112.1 114.4 112.0 112.8
23 Oregon 112.3 111.3 111.2 111.6
24 Texas A&M 111.9 111.2 111.7 111.6
25 Iowa 112.8 109.7 112.2 111.6
26 USC 114.0 108.9 110.8 111.2
27 Ole Miss 113.8 107.4 112.4 111.2
28 Virginia Tech 111.0 110.8 111.5 111.1
29 Wisconsin 112.2 108.4 112.7 111.1
30 Michigan St. 111.9 111.2 109.9 111.0
31 UCLA 111.1 110.4 110.6 110.7
32 Florida 110.0 114.0 107.6 110.5
33 Baylor 109.4 109.7 110.6 109.9
34 Nebraska 111.1 107.3 111.3 109.9
35 Arkansas 112.4 107.1 109.6 109.7
36 Arizona St. 108.7 109.2 107.7 108.6
37 Utah 111.1 105.0 108.6 108.2
38 Colorado 109.6 104.9 110.1 108.2
39 BYU 110.7 103.4 110.3 108.1
40 South Florida 108.5 105.9 109.7 108.0
41 Penn St. 107.4 109.7 105.6 107.6
42 Boise St. 105.7 108.7 108.1 107.5
43 Washington St. 108.8 104.1 108.5 107.2
44 North Carolina St. 108.3 105.0 107.9 107.1
45 West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
46 Georgia Tech 108.3 104.6 107.7 106.9
47 Arizona 107.1 104.7 106.1 106.0
48 Northwestern 108.2 102.7 106.6 105.8
49 San Diego St. 105.1 102.4 108.4 105.3
50 Kansas St. 103.9 107.2 103.5 104.9
51 Texas Tech 106.4 103.8 104.2 104.8
52 Boston College 104.9 103.2 104.6 104.2
53 Minnesota 104.6 102.6 104.3 103.8
54 Western Michigan 103.7 101.9 105.6 103.7
55 Indiana 102.1 106.7 102.0 103.6
56 Tulsa 102.3 104.4 103.4 103.4
57 Syracuse 105.2 101.0 103.1 103.1
58 Vanderbilt 105.1 100.1 102.8 102.7
59 Toledo 102.7 101.1 103.6 102.5
60 Cincinnati 101.3 102.5 102.3 102.1
61 Missouri 102.4 101.3 101.7 101.8
62 Maryland 100.9 104.2 98.1 101.1
63 Central Michigan 99.1 102.1 100.1 100.4
64 South Carolina 100.8 99.9 100.4 100.4
65 Duke 100.4 101.7 99.0 100.4
66 Western Kentucky 101.1 96.5 102.5 100.0
67 Appalachian St. 99.2 98.4 101.7 99.8
68 Memphis 102.0 97.1 100.1 99.8
69 Illinois 101.1 97.7 100.3 99.7
70 Virginia 100.9 97.7 100.3 99.6
71 Air Force 99.3 99.6 99.5 99.5
72 Temple 99.2 98.8 99.9 99.3
73 California 103.9 93.4 99.8 99.0
74 Navy 99.2 99.0 98.6 99.0
75 Wake Forest 100.0 97.5 98.8 98.8
76 Kentucky 98.3 100.3 97.2 98.6
77 Purdue 99.4 96.6 98.3 98.1
78 Iowa St. 98.3 97.7 97.2 97.7
79 Northern Illinois 95.9 97.6 96.8 96.8
80 New Mexico 95.0 98.3 96.3 96.6
81 Connecticut 97.0 94.8 97.3 96.4
82 Rutgers 97.9 94.9 96.0 96.3
83 Utah St. 94.5 98.4 94.3 95.7
84 Oregon St. 98.0 93.2 95.4 95.5
85 Southern Miss. 94.8 94.1 95.8 94.9
86 Marshall 92.5 96.9 94.3 94.6
87 East Carolina 93.1 96.1 93.2 94.1
88 Middle Tennessee 92.7 95.3 93.8 93.9
89 Georgia Southern 93.0 91.7 95.5 93.4
90 SMU 93.4 92.0 92.6 92.7
91 Nevada 91.1 94.4 92.4 92.7
92 Bowling Green 93.2 91.4 92.8 92.5
93 UNLV 90.3 94.9 90.4 91.9
94 Arkansas St. 90.2 92.0 92.6 91.6
95 Army 87.5 95.9 91.1 91.5
96 Kansas 89.5 97.3 87.1 91.3
97 Louisiana Tech 89.4 91.8 90.6 90.6
98 Ohio 85.9 95.0 86.8 89.3
99 San Jose St. 88.4 88.8 88.9 88.7
100 Central Florida 87.3 90.0 87.3 88.2
101 Akron 84.6 92.4 86.3 87.8
102 Old Dominion 86.2 89.6 86.8 87.5
103 Colorado St. 85.9 88.1 86.2 86.7
104 Troy 83.9 90.5 85.5 86.7
105 Florida Atlantic 84.6 88.3 86.5 86.5
106 Ball St. 85.0 86.9 85.6 85.8
107 Tulane 84.5 87.8 84.7 85.7
108 Rice 82.9 90.9 82.6 85.5
109 Kent St. 84.4 86.1 84.6 85.1
110 Miami (O) 84.0 85.2 84.9 84.7
111 Florida Int’l 81.8 88.9 83.2 84.6
112 South Alabama 80.8 89.2 82.2 84.1
113 Wyoming 83.9 83.8 84.2 84.0
114 Georgia St. 80.3 85.8 82.1 82.7
115 Fresno St. 81.4 85.7 81.1 82.7
116 Eastern Michigan 79.6 85.1 81.0 81.9
117 Buffalo 78.3 87.6 79.7 81.9
118 UTSA 78.1 86.8 80.6 81.9
119 Massachusetts 78.5 87.3 79.7 81.8
120 Idaho 77.9 85.0 79.5 80.8
121 UL-Lafayette 75.2 84.0 77.1 78.8
122 UTEP 75.8 80.5 77.3 77.9
123 Hawaii 76.6 75.4 75.5 75.8
124 North Texas 74.3 76.7 74.3 75.1
125 Charlotte 71.7 78.9 72.8 74.5
126 New Mexico St. 72.4 75.5 73.4 73.8
127 Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
128 UL-Monroe 67.9 73.3 68.3 69.8

 

And, here are our Retrodictive Ratings for this week.

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Clemson
3 Florida St.
4 Ohio St.
5 Michigan
6 Stanford
7 Louisville
8 Washington
9 TCU
10 Houston
11 Oklahoma
12 Tennessee
13 Oklahoma St.
14 Georgia
15 Wisconsin
16 Oregon
17 Iowa
18 LSU
19 Ole Miss
20 Texas
21 Notre Dame
22 Arkansas
23 North Carolina
24 Miami (Fla)
25 Texas A&M
26 Michigan St.
27 Florida
28 Baylor
29 Pittsburgh
30 West Virginia
31 Auburn
32 Utah
33 Nebraska
34 USC
35 UCLA
36 BYU
37 San Diego St.
38 Western Michigan
39 Toledo
40 Western Kentucky
41 Boise St.
42 Arizona St.
43 Penn St.
44 North Carolina St.
45 Georgia Tech
46 South Florida
47 Mississippi St.
48 Virginia Tech
49 Navy
50 Texas Tech
51 Appalachian St.
52 Northwestern
53 California
54 Indiana
55 Minnesota
56 Washington St.
57 Memphis
58 Colorado
59 Duke
60 Arizona
61 Georgia Southern
62 Southern Miss.
63 Syracuse
64 Kansas St.
65 Cincinnati
66 Illinois
67 Air Force
68 Central Michigan
69 East Carolina
70 South Carolina
71 Tulsa
72 Utah St.
73 Louisiana Tech
74 Wake Forest
75 Temple
76 Missouri
77 MTSU
78 Arkansas St.
79 Maryland
80 Marshall
81 Purdue
82 Akron
83 Vanderbilt
84 Northern Illinois
85 Connecticut
86 Boston College
87 South Alabama
88 Bowling Green
89 Kentucky
90 Nevada
91 New Mexico
92 Army
93 Oregon St.
94 SMU
95 Virginia
96 Iowa St.
97 Rutgers
98 Ohio
99 Kansas
100 San Jose St.
101 Colorado St.
102 UNLV
103 Central Florida
104 Troy
105 Florida Atlantic
106 Ball St.
107 Wyoming
108 Old Dominion
109 Rice
110 UTEP
111 Texas St.
112 Idaho
113 Florida Int’l.
114 Massachusetts
115 Georgia St.
116 Eastern Michigan
117 UTSA
118 UL-Lafayette
119 Tulane
120 Fresno St.
121 Buffalo
122 Kent St.
123 Miami (O)
124 UL-Monroe
125 Hawaii
126 North Texas
127 New Mexico St.
128 Charlotte

Here are the Predictive Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 108.5 105.9 109.7 108.0
Cincinnati 101.3 102.5 102.3 102.1
Temple 99.2 98.8 99.9 99.3
Connecticut 97.0 94.8 97.3 96.4
East Carolina 93.1 96.1 93.2 94.1
Central Florida 87.3 90.0 87.3 88.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 113.6 111.5 115.6 113.6
Tulsa 102.3 104.4 103.4 103.4
Memphis 102.0 97.1 100.1 99.8
Navy 99.2 99.0 98.6 99.0
SMU 93.4 92.0 92.6 92.7
Tulane 84.5 87.8 84.7 85.7
         
AAC Averages 98.5 98.4 98.7 98.5
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 126.4 117.1 125.2 122.9
Florida St. 122.7 115.4 121.6 119.9
Louisville 119.9 114.0 119.8 117.9
North Carolina St. 108.3 105.0 107.9 107.1
Boston College 104.9 103.2 104.6 104.2
Syracuse 105.2 101.0 103.1 103.1
Wake Forest 100.0 97.5 98.8 98.8
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 117.9 109.3 117.2 114.8
Pittsburgh 116.8 111.4 116.1 114.8
North Carolina 115.8 109.0 115.2 113.3
Virginia Tech 111.0 110.8 111.5 111.1
Georgia Tech 108.3 104.6 107.7 106.9
Duke 100.4 101.7 99.0 100.4
Virginia 100.9 97.7 100.3 99.6
         
ACC Averages 111.3 107.0 110.6 109.6
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 122.4 119.2 122.2 121.3
Oklahoma St. 118.5 119.8 118.5 118.9
Texas 114.2 116.9 114.2 115.1
TCU 112.1 114.4 112.0 112.8
Baylor 109.4 109.7 110.6 109.9
West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
Kansas St. 103.9 107.2 103.5 104.9
Texas Tech 106.4 103.8 104.2 104.8
Iowa St. 98.3 97.7 97.2 97.7
Kansas 89.5 97.3 87.1 91.3
         
Big 12 Averages 108.2 109.3 107.6 108.4
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 121.5 119.3 122.1 121.0
Ohio St. 117.1 117.1 118.3 117.5
Michigan St. 111.9 111.2 109.9 111.0
Penn St. 107.4 109.7 105.6 107.6
Indiana 102.1 106.7 102.0 103.6
Maryland 100.9 104.2 98.1 101.1
Rutgers 97.9 94.9 96.0 96.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 112.8 109.7 112.2 111.6
Wisconsin 112.2 108.4 112.7 111.1
Nebraska 111.1 107.3 111.3 109.9
Northwestern 108.2 102.7 106.6 105.8
Minnesota 104.6 102.6 104.3 103.8
Illinois 101.1 97.7 100.3 99.7
Purdue 99.4 96.6 98.3 98.1
         
Big Ten Averages 107.7 106.3 107.0 107.0
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 101.1 96.5 102.5 100.0
Marshall 92.5 96.9 94.3 94.6
Middle Tennessee 92.7 95.3 93.8 93.9
Old Dominion 86.2 89.6 86.8 87.5
Florida Atlantic 84.6 88.3 86.5 86.5
Florida International 81.8 88.9 83.2 84.6
Charlotte 71.7 78.9 72.8 74.5
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Southern Mississippi 94.8 94.1 95.8 94.9
Louisiana Tech 89.4 91.8 90.6 90.6
Rice 82.9 90.9 82.6 85.5
UTSA 78.1 86.8 80.6 81.9
UTEP 75.8 80.5 77.3 77.9
North Texas 74.3 76.7 74.3 75.1
         
CUSA Averages 85.1 88.9 86.2 86.7
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 116.4 112.1 115.0 114.5
BYU 110.7 103.4 110.3 108.1
Army 87.5 95.9 91.1 91.5
Massachusetts 78.5 87.3 79.7 81.8
         
Independents Averages 98.3 99.7 99.0 99.0
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Bowling Green 93.2 91.4 92.8 92.5
Ohio 85.9 95.0 86.8 89.3
Akron 84.6 92.4 86.3 87.8
Kent St. 84.4 86.1 84.6 85.1
Miami (O) 84.0 85.2 84.9 84.7
Buffalo 78.3 87.6 79.7 81.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 103.7 101.9 105.6 103.7
Toledo 102.7 101.1 103.6 102.5
Central Michigan 99.1 102.1 100.1 100.4
Northern Illinois 95.9 97.6 96.8 96.8
Ball St. 85.0 86.9 85.6 85.8
Eastern Michigan 79.6 85.1 81.0 81.9
         
MAC Averages 89.7 92.7 90.6 91.0
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 105.7 108.7 108.1 107.5
Air Force 99.3 99.6 99.5 99.5
New Mexico 95.0 98.3 96.3 96.6
Utah St. 94.5 98.4 94.3 95.7
Colorado St. 85.9 88.1 86.2 86.7
Wyoming 83.9 83.8 84.2 84.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 105.1 102.4 108.4 105.3
Nevada 91.1 94.4 92.4 92.7
UNLV 90.3 94.9 90.4 91.9
San Jose St. 88.4 88.8 88.9 88.7
Fresno St. 81.4 85.7 81.1 82.7
Hawaii 76.6 75.4 75.5 75.8
         
MWC Averages 91.4 93.3 92.1 92.3
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Stanford 120.5 113.1 119.4 117.7
Washington 120.5 111.7 120.4 117.5
Oregon 112.3 111.3 111.2 111.6
Washington St. 108.8 104.1 108.5 107.2
California 103.9 93.4 99.8 99.0
Oregon St. 98.0 93.2 95.4 95.5
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 114.0 108.9 110.8 111.2
UCLA 111.1 110.4 110.6 110.7
Arizona St. 108.7 109.2 107.7 108.6
Utah 111.1 105.0 108.6 108.2
Colorado 109.6 104.9 110.1 108.2
Arizona 107.1 104.7 106.1 106.0
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.5 105.9 109.0 108.5
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 124.0 119.1 123.8 122.3
Georgia 114.3 114.4 114.2 114.3
Florida 110.0 114.0 107.6 110.5
Vanderbilt 105.1 100.1 102.8 102.7
Missouri 102.4 101.3 101.7 101.8
South Carolina 100.8 99.9 100.4 100.4
Kentucky 98.3 100.3 97.2 98.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 132.2 124.4 132.2 129.6
LSU 124.8 118.9 123.9 122.5
Auburn 114.9 113.1 114.4 114.1
Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.5 113.2
Texas A&M 111.9 111.2 111.7 111.6
Ole Miss 113.8 107.4 112.4 111.2
Arkansas 112.4 107.1 109.6 109.7
         
SEC Averages 112.8 110.2 111.8 111.6
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 99.2 98.4 101.7 99.8
Georgia Southern 93.0 91.7 95.5 93.4
Arkansas St. 90.2 92.0 92.6 91.6
Troy 83.9 90.5 85.5 86.7
South Alabama 80.8 89.2 82.2 84.1
Georgia St. 80.3 85.8 82.1 82.7
Idaho 77.9 85.0 79.5 80.8
UL-Lafayette 75.2 84.0 77.1 78.8
New Mexico St. 72.4 75.5 73.4 73.8
Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
UL-Monroe 67.9 73.3 68.3 69.8
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.1 85.3 82.8 83.1

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.8 110.2 111.8 111.6
2 ACC 111.3 107.0 110.6 109.6
3 Pac-12 110.5 105.9 109.0 108.5
4 Big 12 108.2 109.3 107.6 108.4
5 Big Ten 107.7 106.3 107.0 107.0
6 Independents 98.3 99.7 99.0 99.0
7 AAC 98.5 98.4 98.7 98.5
8 MWC 91.4 93.3 92.1 92.3
9 MAC 89.7 92.7 90.6 91.0
10 CUSA 85.1 88.9 86.2 86.7
11 Sun Belt 81.1 85.3 82.8 83.1

And, here are our spreads for this week.

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Friday, September 9      
Florida Int’l. Maryland -16.1 -12.3 -11.9
Syracuse Louisville -11.7 -10.0 -13.7
         
Saturday, September 10      
Army Rice 7.6 8.0 11.5
East Carolina North Carolina St. -12.7 -6.4 -12.2
U Mass (N) Boston College -27.9 -17.4 -26.4
Michigan Central Florida 37.7 32.8 38.3
Pittsburgh Penn St. 11.9 4.2 13.0
Purdue Cincinnati 0.6 -3.4 -1.5
Nebraska Wyoming 30.2 26.5 30.1
Oklahoma St. Central Michigan 22.4 20.7 21.4
Clemson Troy 45.5 29.6 42.7
USC Utah St. 22.5 13.5 19.5
Air Force Georgia St. 22.0 16.8 20.4
Kansas Ohio 6.6 5.3 3.3
Appalachian St. Old Dominion 15.5 11.3 17.4
Duke Wake Forest 2.9 6.7 2.7
Florida Kentucky 14.7 16.7 13.4
Notre Dame Nevada 28.8 21.2 26.1
Ohio St. Tulsa 18.3 16.2 18.4
Alabama Western Kentucky 34.1 30.9 32.7
Baylor SMU 18.5 20.2 20.5
Wisconsin Akron 30.6 19.0 29.4
Navy Connecticut 5.2 7.2 4.3
Indiana Ball St. 19.6 22.3 18.9
Vanderbilt Middle Tennessee 14.4 6.8 11.0
Colorado St. UTSA 10.8 4.3 8.6
Washington Idaho 45.6 29.7 43.9
Miami (Fla) Florida Atlantic 35.8 23.5 33.2
South Florida Northern Illinois 15.6 11.3 15.9
Mississippi St. South Carolina 16.6 14.8 16.1
Oklahoma UL-Monroe 57.5 48.9 56.9
TCU Arkansas 2.7 10.3 5.4
Texas UTEP 41.4 39.4 39.9
South Alabama Georgia Southern -9.7 0.1 -10.8
Auburn Arkansas St. 27.7 24.1 24.8
Illinois North Carolina -11.7 -8.3 -11.9
Iowa Iowa St. 16.5 14.0 17.0
Missouri Eastern Michigan 25.8 19.2 23.7
Utah BYU 2.4 3.6 0.3
Tennessee (N) Virginia Tech 13.0 8.3 12.3
UCLA UNLV 23.8 18.5 23.2
New Mexico St. New Mexico -20.6 -20.8 -20.9
Arizona St. Texas Tech 5.3 8.4 6.5
Boise St. Washington St. -12.3 -0.5 -9.8
Oregon Virginia 14.9 17.1 14.4
San Diego St. California 4.2 12.0 11.6

Here are the PiRate Ratings For FBS vs. FCS games this week.

FBS FCS PiRate
Georgia Nicholls St. 55.6
Rutgers Howard 34.9
Houston Lamar 48.9
Minnesota Indiana St. 25.7
Texas A&M Prairie View 43.6
Florida St. Charleston Sou. 38.4
Temple Stony Brook 23.9
West Virginia Youngstown St. 27.2
Georgia Tech Mercer 31.3
Bowling Green North Dakota 24.0
Miami (O) Eastern Illinois 11.0
Northwestern Illinois St. 21.0
Ole Miss Wofford 41.9
San Jose St. Portland St. 11.2
Colorado Idaho St. 39.4
Charlotte Elon 10.1
Kent St. N. C. A&T 11.0
Marshall Morgan St. 40.9
Toledo Maine 34.5
Louisiana Tech S. Carolina St. 35.5
UL-Lafayette McNeese St. 4.6
Western Michigan UNC Central 37.1
North Texas Bethune Cookman 5.2
Southern Miss. Savannah St. 49.4
LSU Jacksonville St. 31.5
Tulane Southern 21.5
Fresno St. Cal St. Sacramento 21.7
Arizona Grambling 40.3
Hawaii UT-Martin 6.1

Our Bowl Projections will commence in October.

 

Check back Thursday for our Just for Fun Money Line Parlay  selections.  Week one was a dud, as two upsets did us in.

August 19, 2016

2016 FBS Independents Football Preview

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:40 am

At one time, there were 30 college football teams at the highest level playing as independents not affiliated with any conference. There was a veritable who’s who of college football members that lived a nomadic existence. Notre Dame, Penn State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Air Force, Houston, Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and others once made hay in the sunshine of the independent ranks.

In 2016, one new team has been added to the independent ranks, bringing the total to just four. With conferences scrambling to add conference games to their schedules (Big Ten moved up to 9 this year, while Big 12 and Pac-12 already play 9), it could be tough for these teams to make future schedules, or at least schedules strong enough to sell tickets.

Notre Dame is fortunate. The Irish can participate in the ACC in all other sports, plus they get the benefit of having five guaranteed games against ACC football members, and they can also take one of the ACC’s automatic bowl bids, even with one-fewer win than the ACC regular team. Let’s see: A 6-6 Notre Dame team or a 7-5 Wake Forest team: which one would the next bowl in the pecking order take?

BYU is almost as fortunate as Notre Dame. The Cougars still have enough prestige based on a gloried past to sell seats on the road, while their home base is very loyal. BYU could be a future member of the Big 12, but the Cougars do not want to play Sunday games, and it could be a problem for some sports like baseball. Our guess is that the Big 12 will find a way to play Thursday-Saturday games against BYU.

Army West Point remains the lone service academy not in a conference. The Black Knights are no longer a power player like they once were in the days of Colonel Earl “Red” Blaik, who went 121-33-10 in 18 years at West Point, including three national championships and three more seasons where Army kept a goose egg in the loss column.

Today, Army must rely on scheduling games against FCS schools, MAC teams, and the two service academy rivals. Still, the Cadets cannot manage a winning record and bowl eligibility. Worse, their losing streak to Navy has now reached 14, and the chances for that number hitting 15 are better than 50%.

Army fans should cheer up some, because the PiRates believe the Black Knights have a decent shot at getting to six wins and taking an at-large bowl bid this year, even if Navy is not one of those wins. Coach Jeff Monken has two experienced quarterbacks, and enough talent returning to make the offense add a few points per game to the average, while the defense should see major improvement this year, shedding at least a field goal off the generosity of last year. Nine of their 12 games are winnable, so getting to 6-6 is quite possible this year.

Massachusetts was not a great fit in the Mid-American Conference. The Minutemen may be a better option one day in the AAC, but UMass must first become respectable on the gridiron. Their record for the last four seasons is just 8-40, and it’s not like they have been playing a difficult schedule. The biggest loss for this school is not having Eastern Michigan, Miami of Ohio, and Kent State on their schedule. Other than weak FCS member Wagner, there are no other guaranteed wins on the Minutemen’s 2016 slate.

There is no pre-season media polls for the four independents. Therefore, here is the consensus of computer ratings (including the three PiRate Ratings) for the teams to start the season. There are no surprises.

Independents
# Team
Includes PiRate Retrodictive
1 Notre Dame
2 BYU
3 Army
4 Massachusetts

Here are the initial PiRate Ratings for the quartet.

Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 116.0 110.8 114.6 113.8
BYU 110.4 102.7 110.1 107.7
Army 84.7 93.7 87.1 88.5
Massachusetts 74.9 84.4 76.1 78.5
         
Independents Averages 96.5 97.9 97.0 97.1

The PiRate Ratings are meant to be used only to predict the outcomes of the next week of games, and are not best used to predict beyond that point. Because we use algorithms that include automatic adjustments by each team based on depth and experience, two different teams can win by the exact score we predict, and their new ratings might change differently.

Thus, using our ratings to predict won-loss records and bowl projections is a bit comical, but then we all need some laughs every now and then. So, laugh away at our projected standings and bowls.

Independents Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
Notre Dame x 9-3 Orange
BYU x 6-6 Poinsettia
Army x 6-6 [Cure]*
Massachusetts x 1-11  
       
* Army fills in as an at-large team in the Cure Bowl

Starting Saturday, August 20: The PiRates begin previewing the Power 5 Conferences.  First up–The Big Ten.  Can a new team emerge as the team to beat in 2016, or will it be a repeat?

 

December 9, 2013

PiRate Ratings–College Football for December 14, 2013

One Regular Season Game Left

The Army-Navy game concludes the regular season this Saturday afternoon.  Navy has won 11 in a row in this series, and Black Knights’ coach Rich Ellerson could be coaching his last game for the USMA.  His team is beaten up, while Navy appears to be playing its best ball of the season since the first of November.

 

Since there is just one game, we will give you the ratings for this game here:

 

PiRate: Navy by 15.3

Mean: Navy by 11.6

Bias: Navy by 14.5

 

The Bowl Schedule

2013-14 Bowl Schedule

GAME DATE SITE TIME–ET TV
New Mexico

12/21/2013

Albuquerque 2:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Colorado St. (7-6) vs. Washington St. (6-6)

         
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

12/21/2013

Las Vegas 3:30pm ABC
Opponents:

Fresno St. (11-1) vs. USC (9-4)

         
Famous Idaho Potato

12/21/2013

Boise, ID 5:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

San Diego St. (7-5) vs. Buffalo (8-4)

         
New Orleans

12/21/2013

New Orleans 9:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

UL-Lafayette (8-4) vs. Tulane (7-5)

         
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s

12/23/2013

St. Petersburg 2:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

East Carolina (9-3) vs. Ohio (7-5)

         
Hawai’i

12/24/2013

Honolulu 8:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Boise St. (8-4) vs. Washington St. (6-6)

         
Little Caesars Pizza

12/26/2013

Detroit 6:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Bowling Green (10-3) vs. Pittsburgh (6-6)

         
Poinsettia

12/26/2013

San Diego 9:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Utah St. (8-5) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)

         
Military Bowl

12/27/2013

Washington, DC 2:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Maryland (7-5) vs. Marshall (9-4)

         
Texas

12/27/2013

Houston 6:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Minnesota (8-4) vs. Syracuse (6-6)

         
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

12/27/2013

San Francisco 9:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Washington (8-4) vs. BYU (8-4)

         
Pinstripe

12/28/2013

Bronx 12:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Rutgers (6-6) vs. Notre Dame (8-4)

         
Belk

12/28/2013

Charlotte 3:20pm ESPN
Opponents:

Cincinnati (9-3) vs. North Carolina (6-6)

         
Russell Athletic

12/28/2013

Orlando 6:45pm ESPN
Opponents:

Louisville (11-1) vs. Miami (9-3)

         
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

12/28/2013

Tempe, AZ 10:15pm ESPN
Opponents:

Kansas St. (7-5) vs. Michigan (7-5)

         
Armed Forces

12/30/2013

Ft. Worth, TX 11:45am ESPN
Opponents:

Navy (7-4*) vs. Middle Tennessee (8-4)

         
Music City

12/30/2013

Nashville 3:15pm ESPN
Opponents:

Ole Miss (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)

         
Alamo

12/30/2013

San Antonio 6:45pm ESPN
Opponents:

Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon (10-2)

         
Holiday

12/30/2013

San Diego 10:15pm ESPN
Opponents:

Arizona St. (10-3) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)

         
AdvoCare V100 Bowl

12/31/2013

Shreveport, LA 12:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Boston College (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)

         
Sun

12/31/2013

El Paso, TX 2:00pm CBS
Opponents:

Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. UCLA (9-3)

         
Liberty

12/31/2013

Memphis 4:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Mississippi St. (6-6) vs. Rice (10-3)

         
Chick-fil-A

12/31/2013

Atlanta 8:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Duke (10-3) vs. Texas A&M (8-4)

         
Heart Of Dallas

1/1/2014

Dallas 12:00pm ESPN-U
Opponents:

North Texas (8-4) vs. UNLV (7-5)

         
Gator

1/1/2014

Jacksonville 12:00pm ESPN-2
Opponents:

Nebraska (8-4) vs. Georgia (8-4)

         
Outback

1/1/2014

Tampa 1:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

LSU (9-3) vs. Iowa (8-4)

         
Capital One

1/1/2014

Orlando 1:00pm ABC
Opponents:

Wisconsin (9-3) vs. South Carolina (10-2)

         
Rose

1/1/2014

Pasadena, CA 5:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Michigan St. (12-1) vs. Stanford (11-2)

         
Fiesta

1/1/2014

Glendale, AZ 8:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Baylor (11-1) vs. Central Florida (11-1)

         
Sugar

1/2/2014

New Orleans 8:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Alabama (11-1) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)

         
Cotton

1/3/2014

Arlington, TX 7:30pm Fox
Opponents:

Missouri (11-2) vs. Oklahoma St. (10-2)

         
Orange

1/3/2014

Miami 8:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Clemson (10-2) vs. Ohio St. (12-1)

         
BBVA Compass Bowl

1/4/2014

Birmingham 1:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Vanderbilt (8-4) vs. Houston (8-4)

         
GoDaddy.com

1/5/2014

Mobile, AL 9:00pm ESPN
Opponents:

Ball St. (10-2) vs. Arkansas St. (7-5)

         
BCS Championship

1/6/2014

Pasadena, CA 8:30pm ESPN
Opponents:

Florida St. (13-0) vs. Auburn (12-1)

         
Teams in Italics are at-large selections      

 

We will have an in-depth preview of each bowl game next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday.

August 18, 2013

2013 FBS Independents Preview

2013 FBS Independents Preview

 

The number of independents in Division 1 FBS has expanded to six teams this year, the most this century.  With the Western Athletic Conference closing for football business, not all former members found homes in conference subdivisions.

 

Of course, it wasn’t so bad for this group last year.  Brigham Young and Navy enjoyed eight-win seasons, while Notre Dame made it to the National Championship Game with a 12-0 regular season mark before experiencing the drowning in the sea of Crimson Tide.

 

Into Spring, it looked like Notre Dame had a decent chance to repeat their regular season success of last year, but that chance disappeared when starting quarterback Everett Golson became academically ineligible.  The Fighting Irish schedule has some easy victories wrapped around several tough games, and this team cannot win all the tough games in 2013.

 

BYU must incorporate a new quarterback into an offense that otherwise returns a lot of talent, but the Cougars’ defense will be a work in progress, as just three starters return to one of the top stop units in the country last year.  Still, they should return to a bowl this year.

 

Navy returns enough talent to continue to cause headaches for opposing defensive coordinators.  With experience at quarterback and fullback, and with more than usual experience returning in the blocking corps, the Middies should continue to move the ball on the ground and possibly top 300 rushing yards per game this year.  Once again, the defense will be the unknown factor.  Last year, Navy surrendered more than 400 yards per game on average with the ration about equal between rushing and passing yards allowed.  Add to this that the top four tacklers from last year are now Lieutenants in the Navy, and it could be a problem.

 

Army has been forced to retreat the last two years, winning just three and two games with a couple of very tough losses to their arch-rival.  Who can forget the look on former QB Trent Steelman’s face when he fumbled the ball at the end of last year’s Army-Navy game.

 

The Cadets led the nation with 370 rushing yards per game last year, but they finished last in passing with just 66 yards per game.  Expect the rushing yards to take a considerable hit this year, but we expect Army’s passing numbers to improve, maybe even approaching the triple digit mark for the first time since they went back to the triple option philosophy.

 

 

New Mexico St. starts over yet again with its fourth head coach in the last 10 years.  Doug Martin was the offensive coordinator here two years ago, and the Aggies had their most successful output since Hal Mumme’s Air Raid offense of 2006.  It won’t take much to improve upon last season’s disastrous 1-11 record (lone win over Sacramento St.), but the schedule is a bit tougher this year.

 

Idaho fans are excited with Paul Petrino coming to the Kibbie Dome.  Vandal fans should be treated to several exciting ball games in year one, but their team is going to be on the losing end of almost every contest.  Still, it should be fun to play in one of the most interesting stadiums in America.

 

New Independents: Idaho and New Mexico St.

Departed Teams: None

 

2014 Additions: None

 

2014 Departures: Idaho and New Mexico St. will join the Sunbelt.  Navy is scheduled to join the American Athletic Conference in 2015.  Notre Dame’s working agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference begins in 2014, but the Fighting Irish will remain football independents.

 

Pre-season PiRate Ratings

Independents

Team

 

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Notre Dame

 

0-0

121.6

115.0

120.5

B Y U

 

0-0

108.2

107.8

108.9

Navy

 

0-0

91.7

94.5

91.4

Army

 

0-0

85.7

91.8

86.4

New Mexico St.

 

0-0

75.4

86.4

75.3

Idaho

 

0-0

71.3

80.6

69.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Avg’s.

 

 

92.3

96.0

92.1

 

 

There are no official media polls or preseason all-Independent teams.  Instead, here is a consensus ranking of the five independents according to the current conglomerate of Mathematics Professor Ken Massey’s College Football Ranking Composite (of which the PiRate Ratings are a contributor).  You can find his site at: http://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm

 

Massey College Football Ranking Composite

(as of Sunday, August 18, 2013)

 

Pos

Team

Ranking

1

Notre Dame

6

2

B Y U

33

3

Navy

76

4

Army

111

5

Idaho

122

6

New Mexico St.

123

 

Here is a list of key players for each of the six independents values in parentheses represent 2012 statistics:

 

Army

Raymond Maples—RB (1,215 rush yds/5.4 avg)

Larry Dixon—RB (839 rush yds/6.0 avg/6TD)

Ryan Powis, Stephen Shumaker, and Michael Kime—OL

Robert Kough—DL (9.5 TFL)

Alex Meier—LB (71 tackles)

Geoffrey Bacon—DB (136 tackles)

 

B Y U

Taysom Hill—QB (59.2%/6.0 ypa/4TD-2Int) [was 3rd string QB in 2012]

Jamaal Williams—RB (775 rush/4.7 avg/12 TD & 27 receptions/11.1 avg)

Cody Hoffman—WR (100-1,248/11 TD)

Kaneakua Friel—TE (30-308/5 TD & good blocker)

Manaaki Vaitai, Solomone Kafu, and Ryker Mathews—OL

Bronson Kaufusi—DL (4.5 sacks)

Kyle Van Noy—LB (13 sacks/22 TFL/8 QB hurries/7 Passes Defended)[1st rd. potential]

Daniel Sorensen—DB (3 Int./8 Passes Defended)

 

Idaho

Najee Lovett—WR (50-543/6 TD)

Jahrie Level—WR (46-538)

Mike Marboe—OL

Maxx Forde—DL (4 sacks/4 QB hurries/4 Passes Defended)

Solomon Dixon—DB (3 Int./6 Passes Defended)

 

Navy

Keenan Reynolds—QB (749 rush/5.1 avg [sacks removed]/56.5% comp/8.3 ypa)

Noah Copeland—FB (738 rush/4.6 avg/5 TD)

Shawn Lynch—WR (14-281 20.1 ypc)

Tanner Fleming, Jake Zuzek, Graham Vickers—OL

Barry Dabney & Evan Palelei—DL

Cody Peterson—LB (67 tackles)

Parrish Gaines—DB (69 tackles/4 Passed Defended)

Pablo Beltran—P (43.6 avg/37.8 net/41% inside 20 yard line)

 

New Mexico St.

Germi Morrison—RB (767 rush/4.8 avg)

Austin Franklin—WR (74-1,245/9 TD)

Andy Cunningham & Davonte Wallace—OL

Matt Ramondo—DL (transfer from Michigan St.)

Trashaun Nixon—LB (96 tackles/3 sacks/9.5 TFL/5 QB hurries/5 Passed Defended)

Davis Cazares—DB (116 tackles)

George Callender—DB (86 tackles)

Cayle Chapman-Brown—P (44.3 avg/37.3 net)

 

Notre Dame

George Atkinson—RB (7.1 yards per rush as backup)

T. J. Jones—WR (50-649/4 TD)

DaVaris Daniels—WR (31-490)

Chris Watt, Christian Lombard, & Zack Martin—OL (All NFL prospects)

Louis Nix—DL (50 tackles/7.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Stephon Tuitt—DL (47 tackles/12 sacks/9 QB hurries)

Prince Shembo—LB (7.5 sacks/10.5 TFL/12 QB hurries)

Dan Fox—LB (63 tackles)

Danny Spond—LB (39 tackles)

Bennett Jackson—DB (65 tackles/4 Int./8 Passed Defended)

KeiVarae Russell—DB (58 tackles)

Matthias Farley—DB (49 tackles)

 

 

     

PiRate Ratings Summary

 

About Grades

93-100    A+

86-92      A

79-85      A-

72-78      B+

65-71      B

58-64      B-

51-57      C+

44-50      C

37-43      C-

30-36      D

0-29        F

 

About Predictions

Predictions are based on the PiRate Ratings with home field advantage factored in.  The PiRate Ratings use different home field advantages for every game, since the opponent factors into the equation.

 

Team

Army Black Knights

               
Head Coach

Rich Ellerson

               
Colors

Black and Gold

               
City

West Point, NY

               
2012 Record              
Conference

 

Overall

2-10

               
Grades              
Run Offense

90

Pass Offense

22

Run Defense

40

Pass Defense

58

               
Ratings              
PiRate

85.7

Mean

91.8

Bias

86.4

               
Rankings              
PiRate

105

Mean

97

Bias

102

               
Prediction              
Conference

 

Overall

3-9

 

 

Team

B Y U Cougars

               
Head Coach

Bronco Mendenhall

               
Colors

Dark Blue and White

               
City

Provo, UT

               
2012 Record              
Conference

 

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

61

Pass Offense

79

Run Defense

74

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

108.2

Mean

107.8

Bias

108.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

39

Mean

36

Bias

39

               
Prediction              
Conference

 

Overall

9-3

 

 

Team

Idaho Vandals

               
Head Coach

Paul Petrino

               
Colors

Black, Silver, and Gold

               
City

Moscow, ID

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-5 (in WAC)

Overall

1-11

               
Grades              
Run Offense

30

Pass Offense

54

Run Defense

42

Pass Defense

19

               
Ratings              
PiRate

71.3

Mean

80.6

Bias

69.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

123

Mean

123

Bias

124

               
Prediction              
Conference

 

Overall

0-12

 

 

Team

Navy Midshipmen

               
Head Coach

Ken Niumatalolo

               
Colors

Navy, Gold, and White

               
City

Annapolis, MD

               
2012 Record              
Conference

 

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

77

Pass Offense

45

Run Defense

49

Pass Defense

59

               
Ratings              
PiRate

91.7

Mean

94.5

Bias

91.4

               
Rankings              
PiRate

89

Mean

84

Bias

89

               
Prediction              
Conference

 

Overall

5-7

 

 

Team

New Mexico St. Aggies

               
Head Coach

Doug Martin

               
Colors

Crimson and White

               
City

Las Cruces, NM

               
2012 Record              
Conference

0-6 (in WAC)

Overall

1-11

               
Grades              
Run Offense

22

Pass Offense

60

Run Defense

32

Pass Defense

41

               
Ratings              
PiRate

75.4

Mean

86.4

Bias

75.3

               
Rankings              
PiRate

121

Mean

111

Bias

121

               
Prediction              
Conference

 

Overall

2-10

 

 

Team

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

               
Head Coach

Brian Kelly

               
Colors

Navy and Gold

               
City

South Bend, IN

               
2012 Record              
Conference

 

Overall

12-1

               
Grades              
Run Offense

 

Pass Offense

 

Run Defense

 

Pass Defense

 

               
Ratings              
PiRate

121.6

Mean

115.0

Bias

120.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

8

Mean

11

Bias

10

               
Prediction              
Conference

 

Overall

11-1

 

 

********************************************************

Teams Transitioning From FCS to FBS

 

Four teams are in the process of becoming FBS schools.  Old Dominion is in its transition season before becoming a member of Conference USA.  Appalachian St. and Georgia Southern are in transition to the Sunbelt Conference.  Charlotte will entertain its first season of football this year, and the 49ers will play two seasons as a FCS Independent before joining Conference USA in 2015.

 

We do not have detailed information on these four schools, but we have rated them.  We used as much of our PiRate formulas as we can for these schools.  However, for Charlotte, since the 49ers have never played a game, we are interpolating data from other first-year programs to arrive at a very basic opening rating.

 

We will follow these four teams all season, so as to better judge them when they move to FBS.

 

Transitioning Teams

Team

 

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Georgia Southern

 

0-0

85.0

86.1

92.1

Old Dominion

 

0-0

81.5

82.6

88.6

Appalachian St.

 

0-0

81.4

82.5

88.5

Charlotte

 

0-0

55.0

56.1

62.1

           
Not figured in regular averages to 100      

 

This submission concludes the previews of the non-automatic qualifying conferences.  Beginning tomorrow, we preview the six big conferences, starting with the new American Athletic Conference (former Big East).  Many argue that this league does not deserve an automatic bid to the FBS bowls, and it figures that the league champion will be the last team selected, but at least this lasts for just one more season.

 

Here is the schedule for the remaining previews:

 

Date Conference
Tuesday, August 20 American Athletic Conference
Wednesday, August 21 Atlantic Coast Conference
Thursday, August 22 Big Ten Conference
Friday, August 23 Big 12 Conference
Saturday, August 24 Pac-12 Conference
Sunday, August 25 Southeastern Conference
Monday, August 26 AFC West
Tuesday, August 27 AFC South
Tuesday, August 27 Week 1 College Football Report
Wednesday, August 28 AFC North
Thursday, August 29 AFC East
Friday, August 30 NFC East
Saturday, August 31 NFC North
Sunday, September 1 NFC South
Monday, September 2 NFC West
Tuesday, September 3 NFL Week 1 Report
Wednesday, September 4 Week 2 College Football Report

 

And, remember:  The PiRate Ratings are part of Ken Massey’s College Football Ranking Composite at: http://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm

 

&

 

Todd Beck’s College and Pro Football Prediction Tracker at:

http://www.thepredictiontracker.com/

 

August 19, 2011

2011 FBS Independents Preview

2011 FBS Independents Preview

 

While not a conference, there has been expansion in the ranks of the FBS Independents.  In fact, it has expanded by 33.3%.  Okay, that just means that one new team has been added to the ranks this year.  Brigham Young has left the Mountain West Conference to go out on their own.

 

All four independents have bowl guarantees if they become bowl eligible, so it is not such a bad deal to be unaligned with a conference—for now.  If for some reason, this group were to grow by one next year, and that team hails from Austin, Texas, then the Independents will have major relevance again.  At one time, the best teams in the nation were independent.  Remember Florida State, Miami, Syracuse, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame were all independents in the 1980’s, when they dominated nationally.

 

Notre Dame

Coach Brian Kelly has the Irish faithful “drinking the Kool-Aid.”  After a 4-5 start last year, the Irish won their last four games against three bowl teams and a Southern Cal team that would have been eligible for a bowl by an average score of 27-10.

 

Now those fans are expecting a return to a BCS Bowl Game and a possible run to the big game.  It isn’t impossible; Notre Dame is loaded and has only three tough games.  They should be favored to beat two of them.

 

Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees are back to battle for the starting quarterback job.  Crist has the stronger arm, but Rees has a more accurate arm.  The two combined for 3,100+ yards and 27 touchdowns and should top those numbers this season.  Rees started the final four games when the Irish went 4-0.

 

Most of the top receivers return from last year.  Michael Floyd is one of the best in the nation.  He caught 79 passes for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, and with the rest of this unit having quickness and great hands, defenses will not be able to double up on him all that often.  Theo Riddick is one of the best out of the slot; he finished second on the team last year with 40 receptions.  Tight end Tyler Eifert should compete for the Mackey Award.  He should top 30 receptions this season.  T.J. Jones and John Goodman give the Irish more weapons at this position.

 

Notre Dame has not been a scary running team since Lou Holtz was the coach, but they started to show signs of returning to a more daunting ground team.  In that four game winning streak to end the season, the Irish averaged 4.3 yards per rush and 156 yards per game.  Cierre Wood may not be the next Allen Pinkett, but he could approach the 1,000 yard mark this season.

 

Making the offensive efficient and consistent is a strong and somewhat quick offensive line with four experienced starters returning as well as several quality backups. Center Braxton Cave, guard Trevor Robinson and tackle Zack Martin could all contend for some form of national honors.

 

Notre Dame scored just 26 points per game in 2010, and we can see that number jumping by as much as 10 points this year.  Expect more than 400 total yards per game out of this offense.

 

Kelly’s biggest footprint on this team last year was the defensive improvement, as the Irish allowed just 20 points and 360 yards per game after giving up 26 points and 400 yards the year before.  With most of the key players from last year returning this season, expect more improvement in those numbers.  All three units are top notch.

 

The strongest of these strong units is the quartet of linebackers.  Inside, the tandem of Manti Te’o and Carlo Calabrese have no equals from among the 3-4 defenses in college football.  Te’o will be a high draft pick if he decides to come out after his junior season.

 

Up front, nose guard might be the only question mark in the defense.  The 3-4 needs a big, beefy guy who can control two gaps, and this may be the only weakness in this defense.  Teams with big beefy backs that can hit between the tackles may be able to find occasional success.  Ends Kapron Lewis-Moore and Ethan Johnson both have the potential to become NFL draft choices.

 

The secondary is sound thanks to the return of three starters.  Harrison Smith has few peers at the free safety position.  He intercepted seven passes and knocked away seven others last year.  Cornerback Gary Gray is a multi-talented defender.  He covers well and provides an excellent force against the run.

 

The schedule should give the Irish their first route to a BCS bowl game in five years.  Notre Dame plays no cupcakes this year, but most of the opponents are beatable.  A road game with Michigan in week two should be interesting, and a road game in the season finale against Stanford could be another “Game of the Year.”  Of course, there are the additional rivalry games with Michigan State, Purdue, and Southern Cal.  We tend to believe Kelly’s heroes will prevail in most if not all of these games.  In fact, we would not be surprised if the Irish were 11-0 when they head to Palo Alto.

 

Brigham Young

To many teams, winning seven games including a 52-24 bowl victory would be considered a successful season.  In Provo, it is considered an off year.  Relax Cougar fans; your team will improve this season as an independent.  Your schedule is tough, but your offense will be explosive once again.

 

Every skill position player that contributed for more than a play or two will be back.  Start at quarterback, where BYU has been known to produce a few good ones over the last 45 years.  The current future NFL player is Jake Heaps.  As a freshman, Heaps completed 57.2% of his passes for 2,300+ yards and 15 touchdowns.  We believe his numbers will top 3,300 yards and maybe 3,500 yards with 25+ touchdowns in 2011.

 

On the other end of Heaps’ missiles, the Cougars have two specialists in getting open nine yards deep when it is 3rd and 8.  Cody Hoffman and McKay Jacobson will not average 15 yards per reception, but they will convert a lot of third downs with receptions against pressure.  Tight end Devin Mahina provides a mighty big target at 6-06, and he should top his totals of last year (11-118).

 

In the past, BYU’s backs were noted for exceptional pass blocking and route running out of the backfield.  Unlike most teams, the Cougars have kept a split back alignment to run the original West Coast Offense.  The running game does not get the credit it deserves, but this team is capable of running the ball 50-60 times and gaining 300 yards.  J.J. DiLuigi and Bryan Kariya combined for more than 1,450 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, while Joshua Quezada added more than 500 yards and five touchdowns.  All three return.  DiLuigi caught 45 passes, and Kariya added 21, so the tradition continues in that respect.

 

Four starters return to a very capable offensive line that allowed just four sacks in the final six games.  Tackle Matt Reynolds may be the best player on the team, and he could be starting in the NFL next year.  Tackle Braden Brown and guard Braden Hansen were 2nd Team All-MWC choices last year.

 

Look for BYU to average more than 35 points and 425 yards per game this season.  Don’t be surprised if there are games in which the Cougars top 200 yards on the ground and 300 through the air, or 250 both ways.  It will be difficult if not impossible to stop them.

 

It is another story on the defensive side of the ball, where there is rebuilding to do.  The top three tacklers will not be around, and six starters are missing.  Coach Bronco Mendenhall took over the defensive coordinator duties last year, and he will remain in that position this year.

 

Mendenhall will need to work magic to come up with a championship-caliber secondary.  The Cougars lost three starters including the number one and three tacklers, who accounted for 22 passes defended.  After limiting opposing passers to a low 53% pass percentage and just 192 yards in a league where quarterbacks routinely pass for 250, BYU will give up more than 200 yards and allow as much as 60% completion percentages this season.

 

BYU is in better shape at linebacker.  The return of a healthy Jordan Pendleton  along with Brandon Ogletree gives the Cougars two quality players at this position.  Uona Kaveinga began his career at USC, and he is eligible this year and could start from day one.

 

Another former Trojan, nose guard Hebron Fangupo is perfect for a 3-4 defense.  He should control the A-gaps and give the linebackers the freedom to pursue aggressively.  Ends Eathhyn Manumaleuna and Matt Putnam need to improve and provide more pass rushing to their repertoire, as the Cougars did not disrupt enemy quarterbacks enough last year.

 

BYU gave up 21 points per game last year, but it was a “Tale of Two Cities.”  In the first seven games, they allowed 28 points and 400+ yards per game.  In the final six games, they gave up 14 points and less than 250 yards per game.  We have confidence in Mendenhall; he is a terrific defensive coordinator, and hiring himself for that position verifies he is a smart head coach.  However, the Cougars will take a step backwards on this side of the ball in 2011.  Call it 24-26 points allowed per game.

 

BYU’s schedule is tough.  The Cougars keep Utah and TCU from their old conference.  They go on the road to face Ole Miss, Texas, Oregon State and Hawaii.  They should dominate all the other teams on the schedule.  We believe they can win two or three of those tough games, so call it an 8-9 win season with a trip to the Armed Forces Bowl.

 

Navy

For a short time after the end of the 2010 season, it looked like Coach Ken Niumatalolo might be headed to an AQ school in a big conference, but in the end, he stayed in Annapolis.  After winning 27 games in his three years at the Naval Academy, look for the Midshipmen to take a small step backward for Coach N.

 

When an option team loses an experienced quarterback, they almost always regress a little.  Ricky Dobbs led Navy in rushing while passing for more than 1,500 yards as a senior.  His replacement, Kriss Proctor, threw a total of five passes last year, but he will be a better runner than Dobbs.  Proctor started against Central Michigan, a game in which Navy won 38-37.  He rushed for 201 yards in that game.  In 2009, he ran for 89 yards, including the decisive 40-yard touchdown jaunt to beat Wake Forest.  Proctor could rush for more than 1,000 yards this year, but he may find it hard matching his rushing output with his passing output.

 

Two of the three starting backs return this year, led by fullback Alexander Teich.  Teich is hard to bring down with just one defender, and that makes the spread option go.  He averaged almost six yards a try in 2010 and rarely lost yardage.  B-Back Gee Gee Greene rushed for almost 500 yards caught 18 passes at a 16-yard clip.

 

The receivers will be called on to block more than ever this season.  Brandon Turner has big play potential, especially when the opposing safeties begin to think Navy will never pass.  He averaged 28.2 yards on his four receptions last year.  He could catch as many as 25 passes this year, and if he can average “just” 20 yards per catch, he could take enough pressure off the running game.

 

The offensive line should be a strength this year.  In this offense, offensive lines do not need much time to gel.  With center Brady DeMell and guard John Dowd, Navy has a couple of blockers that will open some holes for Teich.  That will force an extra defender to cover inside, and that will allow Proctor more room to attack the perimeter.

 

Navy’s offense will be potent this year.  Last year, they averaged 30 points and 405 yards per game.  They may not equal those numbers this year, because the Midshipmen will try to control the clock more to keep a green defense off the field.  We can see this team leading the nation in rushing with about 325-350 yards per game, while throwing for only 60-75 yards per game.  It adds up to about 28 points per game.  If the offense can control the ball for about 68 plays and allow only 60-64, Navy can go bowling yet again.

 

Now, for the defense.  Navy’s best defense will be a ball-controlling offense, because the Midshipmen lost too much on this side of the ball.  Eight key players used up their eligibility, including six of the top eight tacklers.

 

Among the holdovers, end Jabaree Tuani is the one real star.  He registered 15 ½ total tackles for loss last year.  Navy was generous against the run last season, giving up 4.6 yards per attempt, and we cannot see any improvement here this year.

 

The four-man linebacker unit returns one starter and one top reserve.  Max Blue  is a little better against the pass than the run.

 

The secondary was not exactly terrific, as it gave up close to 70% completions.  With only one starter returning, teams may pass Navy dizzy this year.

 

An easy schedule will give the Midshipmen enough sure thing wins to propel them back to a bowl, but this team will not win as many games as last year.  If they should happen to lose to Delaware in the opener, then all bets are off.  Navy’s nine-game winning streak over Army could be in jeopardy.

 

Army

Coach Rich Ellerson guided the Knights to a bowl game in just his second season in West Point.  Army finished with a winning record for the first time in 14 years.  In order for the Black Knights of the Hudson to go back to a bowl in 2011, the offense may have to ignite and look somewhat like it did in the days of Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard.  The defense is going to leak like a sieve this year.

 

Trent Steelman returns for his third year as a starter at quarterback.  He rushed for more than 800 yards when you factor out sacks, and he scored 11 rushing touchdowns.  While he was not called on to pass very often, he held his own as a passer, completing 53.4% of his passes for 995 yards and seven touchdowns against just three picks.

 

Fullback Jared Hassin is the best at his position from among the handful of teams that run the option.  He rushed for 1,013 and nine touchdowns last year.  At 6-3 and 235, he is a downhill runner with the ability to run for an extra yard or two after contact. 

 

Malcolm Brown and Brian Cobbs will be dangerous open-field runners when Steelman is force to pitch.  The two combined for 5.7 yards per rush and nine scores in 2010, and we expect more breakaway runs this season.

 

The two starting wide receivers from last year are back for more.  Austin Barr and Davyd Brooks were the leading receivers, but their combined efforts only produced 29 receptions and 453 yards.  Ellerson would probably like to use Brown and Cobbs more in the passing game.

 

Only one starter returns to the offensive line, but in the spread option, it is much easier to break in new linemen.  While there could be a bump or two in the road early in the season, the line should perform fine by the third or fourth game.

 

Army scored 27 points per game last year, while rushing for more than 250 yards per game.  They finished dead last in passing with just 78 yards per game.  Army games take a lot less time to play, and the total number of scrimmage plays in their games last year was less than 125.  That is how the Black Knights have to play to win—control the clock and use long drives to keep the defense on the sidelines.  It worked for Vince Lombardi, and it works for Ellerson.  Look for Army to take the air out of the ball even more this year.  We could even see their games going for just 120 plays.  Thus, we forecast Army to maybe score a couple points less this year but be just as efficient if not more so.

 

The defense is a major problem.  To start off, only five starters return to the fold.  Army runs the old “Desert Swarm” defense (Double Eagle Flex) used by Dick Tomey at Hawaii and Arizona (Ellerson was an assistant), and this defense requires more thinking than most NFL defenses.  New players sometimes get confused themselves, and it only take one missed assignment to create a huge running lane or wide open receiver.  We see this happening more this year than in Ellerson’s first two seasons.

 

Another major problem is the size of the defensive line.  In this defense, size is not as important as quickness and intelligence, as the linemen almost always stunt and switch positions.  However, this leads to a lot of lateral movement at the time of the snap.  Smaller players moving laterally can be annihilated by larger offensive linemen moving north.  One player who should shine is end Jarrett Mackey.  Mackey recorded four sacks in 2010.  Army will sorely miss Josh McNary, who led the team with 10 sacks.

 

The linebackers do a lot of blitzing in this defense.  Middle linebacker Steven Erzinger finished second on the team with 76 tackles, but leading tackler Stephen Anderson is now a commissioned officer.

 

The secondary returns both starting cornerbacks in Richard King and Josh Jackson.  King successfully defended seven passes with four interceptions.

 

Army gave up 24 points and just 338 yards per game last year.  Although undersized, they were able to pester opposing offenses and cause a lot of confusion.  This year, those opponents may not be quite so confused, and the Knights could have a difficult time stopping good running teams.  We look for a step backward here.  However, the schedule includes a bunch of teams that will not be able to exploit Army’s size liabilities.  This will give the Black Knights a chance to challenge for another bowl game.  It could come down to breaking the nine-game losing streak to that team with the goat.

 

Note: There is no official media poll for the FBS Independents.  What we have included here is an average of seven different print magazines and online sources (ours not included).

 

Average of 7 Online and Magazine Predictions

 

Team

Predicted Won-Loss

Notre Dame

10-2

Brigham Young

8-4

Navy

6-6

Army

6-6

 

2011 Independents PiRate Ratings

 

Team

PiRate #

Prediction

Notre Dame

123.9

11-1

Brigham Young

108.5

8-4

Navy

96.1

7-5

Army

86.3

5-7

 

Next: The Mountain West Conference Preview—Monday, August 22

December 26, 2010

PiRate Ratings College Football Bowl Preview, Part Two

We are posting three bowl previews this year; this is the second preview.  We will give you the current odds for each game, the PiRate, Mean, and Bias spreads for each game, and the results of our 100 computer simulations for each game.

 

Today, we cover the bowls from Boxing Day through New Year’s Day.  Next week, we will preview the bowls from January 2 to the Championship Game. 

 

Sunday, December 26

Little Caesar’s Bowl

Detroit, MI

8:30 PM EST on ESPN

Toledo (8-4)  vs. Florida Internationl (6-6)

Vegas: Toledo by 1

Totals: 57

PiRate: Toledo by 3.3

Mean: Toledo by 2.8

Bias: Toledo by 16.8

100 Sims: Toledo 67  Florida International 33

Avg. Sim Score: Toledo 33.6  Florida International 25.7

Outlier A: Toledo 49  Florida International 19

Outlier B: Florida International 37  Toledo 24

 

Monday, December 27

Independence Bowl

Shreveport, LA

5:00 PM EST on ESPN

Air Force (8-4)  vs.  Georgia Tech (6-6)

Vegas: Air Force by 2 ½  

Totals: 56

PiRate: Georgia Tech by 1.7

Mean: Air Force by 5.2

Bias: Air Force by 5.9

100 Sims: Air Force 55  Georgia Tech 45

Avg. Sim Score: Air Force 29.2  Georgia Tech 26.9

Outlier A: Air Force 41  Georgia Tech 23

Outlier B: Georgia Tech 34  A Force 23

 

Tuesday, December 28

Champs Sports Bowl

Orlando, FL

6:30 PM EST on ESPN

West Virginia (9-3)  vs. North Carolina State (8-4)

Vegas: West Virginia by 2 ½

Totals: 49

PiRate: West Virginia by 6.8

Mean: West Virginia by 2.3

Bias: West Virginia by 3.0

100 Sims: West Virginia 53  North Carolina State 47 (6 games decided by OT)

Avg. Sim Score: West Virginia 25.8  North Carolina State 25.2

Outlier A: West Virginia 27  North Carolina State 10

Outlier B: North Carolina State 28  West Virginia 12

 

Insight Bowl

Tempe, AZ

10:00 PM EST

Missouri (10-2)  vs.  Iowa (7-5)

Vegas: Missouri by 2 ½

Totals: 46 ½

PiRate: Even

Mean: Missouri by 4.1

Bias: Missouri by 12.6

100 Sims: Missouri 58  Iowa 42

Avg. Sim Score: Missouri 25.6  Iowa 22.3

Outlier A: Missouri 31  Iowa 13

Outlier B: Iowa 21  Missouri 7

 

Wednesday, December 29

Military Bowl

Washington, D.C.

2:30 PM on EST

Maryland (8-4)  vs. East Carolina (6-6)

Vegas: Maryland by 7 ½

Totals: 68 ½

PiRate: Maryland by 18.4

Mean: Maryland by 11.2

Bias: Maryland by 13.8

100 Sims: East Carolina 51  Maryland 49

Avg. Sim Score: Maryland 34.4  East Carolina 34.1

Outlier A: East Carolina 47  Maryland 31

Outlier B: Maryland 42  East Carolina 20

 

Texas Bowl

Houston, TX

6:00 PM EST on ESPN

Baylor (7-5)  vs. Illinois (6-6)

Vegas: Baylor by 1

Totals: 62 ½

PiRate: Baylor by 2.4

Mean: Illinois by 1.6

Bias: Baylor by 6.9

100 Sims: Illinois 54  Baylor 46

Avg. Sim Score: Illinois 32.1  Baylor 28.6

Outlier A: Illinois 34  Baylor 17

Outlier B: Baylor 28  Illinois 18

 

Alamo Bowl

San Antonio, TX

9:15 PM EST on ESPN

Oklahoma State (10-2)  vs. Arizona (7-5)

Vegas: Oklahoma State by 5 ½

Totals: 66

PiRate: Oklahoma State by 1.1

Mean: Oklahoma State by 6.1

Bias: Oklahoma State by 9.6

100 Sims: Oklahoma State 61  Arizona 39

Avg. Sim Score: Oklahoma State 38.0  Arizona 29.1

Outlier A: Oklahoma State 51  Arizona 27

Outlier B: Arizona 34  Oklahoma State 28 (and one other 6-point spread)

 

Thursday, December 30

Armed Forces Bowl

Dallas, TX

12:00 Noon EST on ESPN

S M U (7-6)  vs. Army (6-6)

Vegas: S M U by 7

Totals: 52

PiRate: S M U by 7.7

Mean: S M U by 3.2

Bias: S M U by 10.6

100 Sims: S M U 64  Army 36

Avg. Sim Score: S M U 28.2  Army 20.6

Outlier A: S M U 34  Army 10

Outlier B: Army 24  S M U 16

 

Pinstripe Bowl

New York, NY

3:20 PM EST

Syracuse (7-5)  vs. Kansas State (7-5)

Vegas: Pick’em

Totals: 47 ½

PiRate: Syracuse by 1.5

Mean: Kansas State by 4.6

Bias: Syracuse by 2.3

100 Sims: Syracuse 53  Kansas State 47

Avg. Sim Score: Syracuse 20.1  Kansas State 18.6

Outlier A: Syracuse 24  Kansas State 7

Outlier B: Kansas State 17  Syracuse 3

 

Music City Bowl

Nashville, TN

6:30 PM EST

Tennessee (6-6)  vs. North Carolina (7-5)

Vegas: North Carolina by 1 ½  

Totals: 50 ½

PiRate: North Carolina by 6.8

Mean: North Carolina by 1.5

Bias: Tennessee by 6.6

100 Sims: Tennessee 50  North Carolina 50

Avg. Sim Score: Tennessee 24.5  North Carolina 23.9

Outlier A: Tennessee 30  North Carolina 14

Outlier B: North Carolina 27  Tennessee 12

 

Holiday Bowl

San Diego, CA

10:00 PM EST

Nebraska (10-3)  vs. Washington (6-6)

Vegas: Nebraska by 14

Totals: 52 ½

PiRate: Nebraska by 11.8

Mean: Nebraska by 11.5

Bias: Nebraska by 5.3

100 Sims: Nebraska 57  Washington 43

Avg. Sim Score: Nebraska 26.1  Washington 19.3

Outlier A: Nebraska 27  Washington 6

Outlier B: Washington 23  Nebraska 14

 

Friday, December 31

Meineke Car Care Bowl

Charlotte, NC

12:00 Noon EST

South Florida (7-5)  vs. Clemson (6-6)

Vegas: Clemson by 5 ½

Totals: 40 ½

PiRate: Clemson by 5.1

Mean: Clemson by 3.7

Bias: South Florida by 6.1

100 Sims: South Florida 58  Clemson 42

Avg. Sim Score: South Florida 25.1  Clemson 19.2

Outlier A: South Florida 31  Clemson 12

Outlier B: Clemson 28  South Florida 16

 

Sun Bowl

El Paso, TX

2:00 PM EST on CBS

Notre Dame (7-5)  vs. Miami (Fl) (7-5)

Vegas: Miami by 3

Totals: 47

PiRate: Miami by 6.3

Mean: Notre Dame by 1.2

Bias: Miami by 6.0

100 Sims: Notre Dame 52  Miami 48

Avg. Sim Score: Notre Dame 23.4  Miami 23.2

Outlier A: Notre Dame 30  Miami 14

Outlier B: Miami 35  Notre Dame 14

 

Liberty Bowl

Memphis, TN

3:30 PM EST on ESPN

Central Florida (10-3)  vs. Georgia (6-6)

Vegas: Georgia by 6 ½

Totals: 55 ½

PiRate: Georgia by 12.8

Mean: Georgia by 5.3

Bias: Georgia by 11.3

100 Sims: Georgia 72  Central Florida 28

Avg. Sim Score: Georgia 28.6  Central Florida 17.3

Outlier A: Georgia 38  Central Florida 10

Outlier B: Central Florida 24  Georgia 19

 

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Atlanta, GA

7:30 PM EST on ESPN

South Carolina (9-4)  vs. Florida State (9-4)

Vegas: South Carolina by 3

Totals: 55

PiRate: Florida State by 0.4

Mean: South Carolina by 0.5

Bias: Florida State by 1.6

100 Sims: Florida State 52  South Carolina 48

Avg. Sim Score: South Carolina 26.7  Florida State 26.6

Outlier A: Florida State 30  South Carolina 16

Outlier B: South Carolina 44  Florida State 17

 

Saturday, January 1

TicketCity Bowl

Dallas, TX

12:00 Noon EST on ESPN-U

Texas Tech (7-5)  vs. Northwestern (7-5)

Vegas: Texas Tech by 10

Totals: 60

PiRate: Texas Tech by 12.5

Mean: Texas Tech by 7.3

Bias: Texas Tech by 9.6

100 Sims: Texas Tech 86  Northwestern 14

Avg. Sim Score: Texas Tech 34.6  Northwestern 21.2

Outlier A: Texas Tech 45  Northwestern 17

Outlier B: Northwestern 30  Texas Tech 24 (3 other by 6)

 

Outback Bowl

Tampa, FL

1:00 PM EST on ABC

Florida (7-5) vs. Penn State (7-5)

Vegas: Florida by 7 ½  

Totals: 48

PiRate: Florida by 13.2

Mean: Florida by 5.1

Bias: Florida by 5.5

100 Sims: Florida 54  Penn State 46

Avg. Sim Score: Florida 22.6  Penn State 19.8

Outlier A: Florida 28  Penn State 13

Outlier B: Penn State 21  Florida 10

 

Capital One Bowl

Orlando, FL

1:00 PM EST on ESPN

Michigan State (11-1) vs.  Alabama (9-3)

Vegas: Alabama by 10

Totals: 52 ½

PiRate: Alabama by 15.5

Mean: Alabama by 10.4

Bias: Alabama by 3.2

100 Sims: Alabama 59  Michigan State 41

Avg. Sim Score: Alabama 27.6  Michigan State 24.7

Outlier A: Alabama 31  Michigan State 12

Outlier B: Michigan State 35  Alabama 25

 

Gator Bowl

Jacksonville, FL

1:30 PM EST on ESPN2

Mississippi State (8-4)  vs.  Michigan (7-5)

Vegas: Mississippi State by 5 ½

Totals: 61

PiRate: Mississippi State by 10.3

Mean: Mississippi State by 6.3

Bias: Mississippi State by 4.8

100 Sims: Mississippi State 52  Michigan 48

Avg. Sim Score: Mississippi State 33.7  Michigan 30.1

Outlier A: Mississippi State 38  Michigan 20

Outlier B: Michigan 36  Mississippi State 27

 

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

5:00 PM EST on ESPN

T C U (12-0)  vs. Wisconsin (11-1)

Vegas: T C U by 3

Totals: 58 ½

PiRate: T C U by 7.9

Mean: T C U by 5.8

Bias: Wisconsin by 6.6

100 Sims: Wisconsin 54  T C U 46

Avg. Sim Score: Wisconsin 30.4  T C U 28.8

Outlier A: Wisconsin 40  T C U 24

Outlier B: T C U 34  Wisconsin 24

 

Fiesta Bowl

Glendale, AZ

8:30 PM EST

Oklahoma (11-2)  vs. Connecticut (8-4)

Vegas: Oklahoma by 16 1/2

Totals: 55

PiRate: Oklahoma by 19.7

Mean: Oklahoma by 16.2

Bias: Oklahoma by 20.7

100 Sims: Oklahoma 91  Connecticut 9

Avg. Sim Score: Oklahoma 35.3  Connecticut 14.8

Outlier A: Oklahoma 49  Connecticut 7

Outlier B: Connecticut 27  Oklahoma 23

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