The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 30, 2021

PiRate Picks–September 30-October 4, 2021

This edition will be short this week due to time constraints, but it is chock full of college money line parlays, as we perceive some excellent value on the college side and not on the NFL side. We even include a rare, 4-team parlay at +372.50. Remember, we never wager real money on our selections and recommend you do the same. Use this feature only for entertainment purposes or supplemental research.

Date:

September 30-October 4

1. Odds:+173.19
Must WinOpponent
Notre DameCincinnati
Michigan St.Western Kentucky


2. Odds:+219.78
Must WinOpponent
PurdueMinnesota
OregonStanford
ArmyBall St.


3. Odds:+220.45
Must WinOpponent
MissouriTennessee
USCColorado
West VirginiaTexas Tech


4. Odds:+372.50
Must WinOpponent
TexasTCU
Wake ForestLouisville
South CarolinaTroy
Oklahoma St.Baylor

September 22, 2021

PiRate Picks For September 23-27, 2021

A Weekend of Despair

We hope you have read numerous times on this site that we do not wager real money on the selections you see here in this weekly feature. We always encourage you to do the same. It is for this reason that we were able to sleep peacefully this week after the incredibly unlucky fortunes that destroyed what could have been a second incredibly successful weekend.

The weekend started out with a nice parlay win as Kansas State beat Nevada and Troy beat Southern Miss. to return a nice $282 on our imaginary $100 wager. The combo parlay with one college game and one pro game was next. Mississippi State had to beat Memphis, and they should have done so. The officials in the game admitted to making a major mistake in the game, and there was a blatant oversight on the same play. Memphis scored the decisive touchdown returning a punt that had already been signaled as dead by the back judge. At the same time, the punt returner wore number four. Nothing wrong with that, but he was not the only number four in the game for the Tigers. Had the mistake not been made, Mississippi State wins the game, and when Denver won the next day, that parlay would have been a winner of $226.42 on the imaginary $100 wagered to guarantee a winning weekend.

On Sunday, Seattle led Tennessee by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and Kansas City led Baltimore by 11 in the fourth quarter. The other parts of the final two parlays had already won. Tennessee scored twice to tie the Seahawks where they went on to win in overtime to kill one parlay, and Baltimore pulled off a minor miracle to beat Kansas City by a point to kill the other one.

Even with the three heartbreakers losing, we are out nothing. No stress means we can return to picking games this week with the same imaginary bank account that never runs out of $100 investment opportunities.

When the opening lines came out, we immediately spotted a huge mistake in one college game. It was the spread in the Georgia-Vanderbilt game, as it opened at 30 1/2 or 31 depending on the books in question. The bookmakers made a big mistake, and within five minutes, that spread had moved to 35. The mistake they made was assuming that Vanderbilt would get about three points for home field advantage. SEC fans and bettors know that Georgia fans will make Vanderbilt Stadium a sea of red. Somewhere either side of 90% will be rooting for the Bulldogs, making this a home game on their opponent’s field. Vanderbilt’s quarterbacks will have to use hand signals on their home field. Georgia is really the home team, and poof, the line may still be low at 35. We don’t issue straight wagers against the line these days. But, we came oh so close to issuing a special bulletin Sunday night when we saw that incredibly low number.

We spent a couple hours looking over the money lines this week looking for certain in-house data to come up with the games we wanted to play. This was a difficult week, because we didn’t particularly like the schedule in either college or pro football. In the end, in order to get our parlays up above +120, we had to go with multiple very long shot combinations at very large odds.

We are going with five selections this week, one of which is not a parlay, but just one single upset pick. Three of our parlays include three games each; we prefer to play two-game parlays, especially when using NFL teams, where it is hard to pick the winners of three games all that often. So, when you look at these picks below, realize they are long shots. Please don’t wager real money on these games unless you have other research data that our selections merely verify.

This Week’s Parlays

Date:Sept 23-27
Odds:+205
Must WinOpponent
Kansas St.Oklahoma St.

Odds:+259.50
Must WinOpponent
Eastern MichiganTexas St.
Michigan St.Nebraska
MemphisUTSA

Odds:+217.69
Must WinOpponent
Michigan St.Nebraska
Boston CollegeMissouri

Odds:+157.86
Must WinOpponent
CarolinaHouston
Kansas CityLA Chargers
Las VegasMiami

Odds:+208.86
Must WinOpponent
ArizonaJacksonville
BuffaloWashington
SeattleMinnesota

August 15, 2021

FBS Independents Preview

While 2020 was one strange logistical nightmare for college football conferences, it was a walk in the park compared to what the FBS Independents endured.

First, Notre Dame decided to join the Atlantic Coast Conference as a full-fledged member for one season.  Then, the Irish ran the table, upsetting Clemson to win the ACC regular season title.  That NBC TV contract must mean a lot to the Irish, because full-time membership in the ACC might have allowed the once top program in football to increase its recruiting base and return to the glory of their earlier times.  Alas, the NBC money meant more than membership in one of the top four leagues.

BYU, Army, and Liberty had to move mountains to play a full schedule, sometimes scheduling a Saturday three or four days before.  It was almost a 21st Century barnstorming tour for the three schools, but it seemed to work as the Cougars went 11-1, the Black Knights went 9-3, and the Flames finished 10-1.  BYU’s lone loss came at the hands of Coastal Carolina in one of those last-minute scheduled games.  Trying to prepare for CCU’s highly unorthodox offense with no advance notice may have been something the Baltimore Ravens might have struggled pulling off.  

Army finished first in the nation in total defense, allowing just 275 yards per game, and they finished runner-up in scoring defense, allowing 14.8 points per game.  Liberty lost by one point at North Carolina State, which is all that kept the Flames from running the table.  Liberty knocked off previously undefeated Coastal Carolina in overtime in the Cure Bowl.

Connecticut, New Mexico State, and UMass didn’t fare so well in the year of Covid.  UConn cancelled their season and never played a game.  This comes off a 2019 season where the Huskies went just 2-10 with one FBS win over UMass.

UMass didn’t play until Mid-October and then the Minutemen played just 240 minutes, going 0-4 and scoring just one touchdown, one field goal, and one safety.  The Minutemen were outgained by more than 400 yards in their season-ending loss to Liberty 45-0.  In the nine years since UMass has been a full FBS member, they have a 19-81 record, with nothing better than a couple of 4-8 seasons.

Then, there is New Mexico State.  The Aggies were one of three FBS schools to cancel their entire 2020 season.  NMSU is just barely hanging on as an FBS football program, and losing the entire season was a big financial tragedy.  However, there was an even bigger tragedy in Las Cruces this Spring.

The Aggies decided to play a couple of FCS opponents that were playing Spring schedules.  On February 21, NMSU welcomed Tarleton State to Aggie Memorial Stadium for a Sunday afternoon contest.  Tarleton State had just lost to McNeese State and would lose again the week after the NMSU game to upstart football program Dixie State.  This should have been a game where the last player on the Aggie bench saw at least a quarter of action when the game was a 35-point blowout.

Sure enough, the game was a blowout, and NMSU got to empty their bench in the final quarter.  Unfortunately, Tarleton State scored two touchdowns in the first four and a half minutes.  Three plays into the third quarter, the Texans led the Aggies 40-7.  They won 43-17 after emptying the bench.

How does a hopeful normal season look for the Independents?  There is no official Independent Media poll.  Instead of showing you how the media voted, here is a composite look at how 20 other computer power ratings see the Independents finishing this year.

  1. Notre Dame
  2. Liberty
  3. Army
  4. BYU
  5. Connecticut
  6. UMass
  7. New Mexico St.

How do the three PiRate Ratings see the 2021 season for this septet?

Notre Dame returns to full Independent status this year.  The Irish face a major rebuild on the offensive side of the ball.  If Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan can find some of the spark that made him shine two years ago, Notre Dame may not suffer greatly from the loss of Ian Book.  However, the offensive line will be inexperienced, and the receiving corps needs a go-to big play receiver.

The Irish return half of their defensive regulars from 2020, but they lose their defensive coordinator, Clark Lea.  Lea’s defense was tops in the ACC, and the 19.7 points per game allowed is incredible when you consider that they played Clemson twice, Alabama, and North Carolina. 

Notre Dame faces a weaker schedule this year, but there are still potential tough games against Florida State, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, USC, North Carolina, Virginia, and Stanford.  Don’t expect another undefeated regular season in South Bend, and don’t expect a return to the Playoffs.  The schedule is full of trap games.  Toledo, Purdue, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, USC, North Carolina, and Stanford will be tough contests, and it is possible that the Irish do no better than 3-4 in these seven games and at best 5-2.

Liberty should be more talented and will be a much more experienced team this year.  The Flames were 10-1 last year, but 2021 presents LU with a considerably tougher schedule.  Coach Hugh Freeze takes the Flames to Oxford, Mississippi, in November, where LU will take on his former team, Ole Miss.  It should be one of the most exciting games of the season, and the final score might look more like a basketball game.  Games against Louisiana and Army follow the Ole Miss game.  If Liberty wins two of their last three, they could win 10 games again.

Army’s offense didn’t click on all cylinders last year, but the Black Knights’ defense surrendered less than 115 rushing and 160 passing yards per game to lead the nation in total defense.  That great defense returns an intact defensive line and an experienced secondary, so it might be even tougher to move the ball on the Black Knights this year.  Unfortunately, a new quarterback and inexperienced offensive line probably means the Cadets will regress a bit this year.

BYU finished third nationally in scoring and fourth nationally in scoring defense.  Key players on both sides of the ball must be replaced, foremost being quarterback Zach Wilson, who now wears a New York Jets’ uniform.  At least, the Cougars should know who they are going to play the following Saturday when they wake up Monday mornings this year.

Connecticut last won a game on October 26, 2019, when they topped a 1-win UMass team.  The Huskies have not defeated a legitimate FBS program since they beat Tulsa in October of 2017.  Expect UConn to show an improved passing game and better all around defense this year, but the Huskies have a long way to go before they will be competing for winning records as a new Independent.

As for UMass and New Mexico State, these two teams may be the weakest among the 130 FBS teams.  They both are definitely in the bottom five.  The two teams close out the 2021 season facing off in Las Cruces.  Unless these schools can find a conference during the upcoming round of realignment, they both face the possibility of joining former FBS Independent Idaho at the FCS level.

Here are the preseason PiRate Ratings for the Independents.

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame108.8110.6111.2110.2
BYU109.2108.2110.3109.2
Liberty104.3105.6106.5105.5
Army100.099.8100.2100.0
Connecticut77.478.674.276.7
UMass74.874.070.573.1
New Mexico St.70.371.167.669.7
Indep. Averages92.192.691.592.1

While the PiRate Ratings are designed only to compare teams’ power ratings in their next scheduled game, we can still have a little fun trying to predict won-loss records.  

IndependentsOverall
Liberty11-1
Notre Dame8-4
BYU8-4
Army7-5
UMass3-9
Connecticut2-10
New Mexico St.2-10

December 11, 2020

PiRate Picks for December 11-14, 2020

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:12 am

Picking Games That Will Actually Be Played Harder Than Picking Winners

We moved this feature from Thursday to Friday beginning last week, in hopes that we would stop issuing selections only to have them be cancelled later in the day when games in our parlays and teasers were virus victims. So, what happened last week? Literally five minutes after we posted our selections, our number one selection as far as our confidence in thinking it would be a winner, was cancelled.

We cannot possibly send this out an hour before the Noon Eastern kickoffs, so Friday morning is about as late as we can release this weekly feature. Maybe, we should try to predict who will cancel in the final 24 hours before kickoff?

We were quite hesitant to use Tennessee and Vanderbilt in our selections this week, because the Commodores’ roster looks like a retail store about five weeks after they have begun to liquidate with a “going out of business” sale. They have 44 players remaining on the team, but they have just one defensive end left on the roster, and two real linebackers. They have been forced to use small defensive backs at linebacker and offensive linemen in the defensive line. One of the healthy defensive backs, a true freshman and one of the very few 4-star recruits suffered the tragic loss of his mother and has been left with three siblings that he will now become their legal guardian. He’s all of 18 years old.

If you want to contribute something to this family facing a tragic loss of having both father and mother pass away, the four teenage kids could use a little Holiday Season support. For what it’s worth, the Vanderbilt freshman, DeRickey Wright, is not only on athletic scholarship at Vanderbilt, he is on academic scholarship. His three sisters are aged 16, 14, and 10. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the family. Rather than ask you not to use our selections here as real betting advice, we ask you to consider donating a little to help this family in their worst time of grief.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/j3m97-wright-family

This Week’s Selections

1. College 10-point Teaser
SelectionOpponentSpread
Arizona St.Arizona-0.5
GeorgiaMissouri-3
NebraskaMinnesota-0.5
2. College 10-point Teaser
SelectionOpponentSpread
Ball St.Western Mich.+8
ToledoCentral Mich.-1
TroyCoastal Carolina+23.5
3. College 10-point Teaser
SelectionOpponentSpread
North CarolinaMiami (Fla.)+13
TennesseeVanderbilt-5.5
Boise St.Wyoming-1
4. College 10-point Teaser
SelectionOpponentSpread
FloridaLSU-13
AuburnMississippi St.+3.5
USCUCLA+7.5
5. Money Line Parlay @+131.55
Must WinOpponentOdds
ArmyNavy
Virginia TechVirginia+131.55
6. Money Line Parlay @ +160
Must WinOpponentOdds
UtahColorado
NorthwesternIllinois+160
7. NFL 10-point Teaser
SelectionOpponentSpread
ChicagoHouston+11.5
N.Y. GiantsArizona+12.5
DetroitGreen Bay+17.5

August 31, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Football–Sep 3-7

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:11 am

This Week’s Games

Favorite

Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Southern Miss.

South Alabama

7.3

6.5

9.3

Army

Middle Tenn.

5.2

6.9

4.5

Texas St.

SMU

-22.6

-21.1

-24.1

Memphis

Arkansas St.

18.0

13.9

17.7

Navy

BYU

4.9

4.5

3.3

FBS vs. FCS (PiRate Only)

FBS

FCS

PiRate

UAB

Cent. Arkansas

8.6

Marshall

E. Kentucky

21.5

North Texas

Hou. Baptist

26.9

UTEP

S F Austin

7.8

Note: Game Spreads Have Been Adjusted From Ratings Due To Covid-19 Opt-outs.

This Week’s Ratings

#

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg.

1

Clemson

123.6

124.5

127.8

125.3

2

L S U

123.2

122.5

125.8

123.8

3

Alabama

121.4

122.3

123.3

122.3

4

Georgia

121.1

119.4

121.9

120.8

5

Florida

119.7

119.3

120.8

119.9

6

Auburn

118.0

116.6

117.9

117.5

7

Notre Dame

117.5

116.5

117.7

117.2

8

Oklahoma

116.9

116.9

117.1

117.0

9

Texas A&M

115.7

115.8

115.9

115.8

10

Texas

115.2

113.6

115.3

114.7

11

Oklahoma St.

113.4

112.8

113.6

113.3

12

N. Carolina

111.3

111.5

112.5

111.8

13

Kentucky

110.3

110.5

111.5

110.8

14

Iowa St.

110.9

110.2

110.7

110.6

15

Louisville

110.3

110.9

109.1

110.1

16

Virginia Tech

109.2

109.2

111.3

109.9

17

UCF

109.2

109.6

110.5

109.8

18

Tennessee

109.1

109.0

109.6

109.2

19

Memphis

110.0

108.0

109.3

109.1

20

Cincinnati

109.5

108.3

109.4

109.1

21

S. Carolina

109.3

107.0

108.7

108.3

22

Baylor

108.0

108.1

108.2

108.1

23

Ole Miss

106.7

106.1

108.4

107.1

24

Kansas St.

107.4

106.0

107.5

107.0

25

Florida St.

107.4

105.8

107.7

107.0

26

Virginia

106.6

106.1

106.3

106.4

27

T C U

105.0

102.8

105.1

104.3

28

Houston

104.7

103.2

103.2

103.7

29

Pittsburgh

102.9

104.7

103.1

103.6

30

Miss. St.

104.1

102.5

103.8

103.4

31

Appal. St.

103.0

102.1

104.4

103.2

32

Navy

104.4

102.4

102.3

103.0

33

Louisiana

102.5

101.9

102.3

102.2

34

SMU

102.1

101.5

101.5

101.7

35

BYU

101.9

100.4

101.5

101.3

36

Miami (Fla.)

100.3

103.0

100.3

101.2

37

W. Virginia

100.6

100.7

100.7

100.7

38

Duke

100.3

101.0

99.5

100.2

39

Missouri

99.1

99.2

100.3

99.5

40

Boston Coll.

99.6

99.3

99.6

99.5

41

Texas Tech

99.7

98.5

99.9

99.4

42

Wake Forest

98.4

99.6

98.1

98.7

43

Georgia Tech

98.7

98.0

97.3

98.0

44

W. Kentucky

96.0

97.1

97.0

96.7

45

Temple

96.4

97.0

95.3

96.2

46

Tulsa

97.6

95.7

95.1

96.1

47

Georgia Sou.

95.2

96.2

96.5

96.0

48

Florida Int’l.

95.4

95.2

95.8

95.5

49

Syracuse

94.3

96.6

95.1

95.4

50

Marshall

95.9

95.5

94.6

95.3

51

Tulane

94.8

95.0

94.1

94.6

52

Arkansas

94.7

95.8

92.4

94.3

53

USF

95.3

94.0

93.4

94.2

54

NC State

93.5

93.7

93.6

93.6

55

U A B

93.3

94.0

93.0

93.4

56

Vanderbilt

93.3

92.7

91.8

92.6

57

Arkansas St.

92.0

94.1

91.6

92.6

58

E. Carolina

92.1

92.6

90.9

91.9

59

Southern Miss.

91.1

91.6

91.2

91.3

60

Army

90.1

92.5

89.8

90.8

61

Kansas

89.8

90.0

88.5

89.5

62

Coastal Car.

88.3

88.9

88.7

88.6

63

Middle Tenn.

87.5

88.1

87.8

87.8

64

Troy

87.0

89.0

87.3

87.8

65

Georgia St.

87.8

87.5

87.7

87.7

66

La. Tech

86.5

88.0

87.7

87.4

67

Liberty

86.2

89.1

86.8

87.4

68

Charlotte

86.2

86.5

86.3

86.4

69

Rice

86.2

84.2

85.6

85.3

70

UL-Monroe

84.7

84.9

83.2

84.3

71

S. Alabama

82.8

84.1

80.9

82.6

72

Fla. Atlantic

81.3

83.0

81.4

81.9

73

North Texas

78.1

79.3

78.5

78.7

74

Texas St.

78.0

78.9

76.0

77.6

75

U T S A

76.6

76.3

75.9

76.3

76

U T E P

64.0

67.0

63.6

64.9

Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

AAC

Overall

UCF

109.2

109.6

110.5

109.8

0-0

0-0

Memphis

110.0

108.0

109.3

109.1

0-0

0-0

Cincinnati

109.5

108.3

109.4

109.1

0-0

0-0

Houston

104.7

103.2

103.2

103.7

0-0

0-0

Navy

104.4

102.4

102.3

103.0

0-0

0-0

SMU

102.1

101.5

101.5

101.7

0-0

0-0

Temple

96.4

97.0

95.3

96.2

0-0

0-0

Tulsa

97.6

95.7

95.1

96.1

0-0

0-0

Tulane

94.8

95.0

94.1

94.6

0-0

0-0

USF

95.3

94.0

93.4

94.2

0-0

0-0

E. Carolina

92.1

92.6

90.9

91.9

0-0

0-0

AAC Averages

101.5

100.7

100.4

100.9

 

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

ACC

Overall

Clemson

123.6

124.5

127.8

125.3

0-0

0-0

Notre Dame

117.5

116.5

117.7

117.2

0-0

0-0

N. Carolina

111.3

111.5

112.5

111.8

0-0

0-0

Louisville

110.3

110.9

109.1

110.1

0-0

0-0

Virginia Tech

109.2

109.2

111.3

109.9

0-0

0-0

Florida St.

107.4

105.8

107.7

107.0

0-0

0-0

Virginia

106.6

106.1

106.3

106.4

0-0

0-0

Pittsburgh

102.9

104.7

103.1

103.6

0-0

0-0

Miami (Fla.)

100.3

103.0

100.3

101.2

0-0

0-0

Duke

100.3

101.0

99.5

100.2

0-0

0-0

Boston Coll.

99.6

99.3

99.6

99.5

0-0

0-0

Wake Forest

98.4

99.6

98.1

98.7

0-0

0-0

Georgia Tech

98.7

98.0

97.3

98.0

0-0

0-0

Syracuse

94.3

96.6

95.1

95.4

0-0

0-0

NC State

93.5

93.7

93.6

93.6

0-0

0-0

ACC Averages

104.9

105.4

105.3

105.2

 

 

Big 12 Conference

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

B12

Overall

Oklahoma

116.9

116.9

117.1

117.0

0-0

0-0

Texas

115.2

113.6

115.3

114.7

0-0

0-0

Oklahoma St.

113.4

112.8

113.6

113.3

0-0

0-0

Iowa St.

110.9

110.2

110.7

110.6

0-0

0-0

Baylor

108.0

108.1

108.2

108.1

0-0

0-0

Kansas St.

107.4

106.0

107.5

107.0

0-0

0-0

T C U

105.0

102.8

105.1

104.3

0-0

0-0

W. Virginia

100.6

100.7

100.7

100.7

0-0

0-0

Texas Tech

99.7

98.5

99.9

99.4

0-0

0-0

Kansas

89.8

90.0

88.5

89.5

0-0

0-0

Big 12 Averages

106.7

106.0

106.7

106.5

 

 

Conference USA

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

CUSA

Overall

W. Kentucky

96.0

97.1

97.0

96.7

0-0

0-0

Florida Int’l.

95.4

95.2

95.8

95.5

0-0

0-0

Marshall

95.9

95.5

94.6

95.3

0-0

0-0

U A B

93.3

94.0

93.0

93.4

0-0

0-0

Southern Miss.

91.1

91.6

91.2

91.3

0-0

0-0

Middle Tenn.

87.5

88.1

87.8

87.8

0-0

0-0

La. Tech

86.5

88.0

87.7

87.4

0-0

0-0

Charlotte

86.2

86.5

86.3

86.4

0-0

0-0

Rice

86.2

84.2

85.6

85.3

0-0

0-0

Fla. Atlantic

81.3

83.0

81.4

81.9

0-0

0-0

North Texas

78.1

79.3

78.5

78.7

0-0

0-0

U T S A

76.6

76.3

75.9

76.3

0-0

0-0

U T E P

64.0

67.0

63.6

64.9

0-0

0-0

CUSA Averages

86.0

86.6

86.0

86.2

 

 

FBS Independents

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

Conf.

Overall

BYU

101.9

100.4

101.5

101.3

x

0-0

Army

90.1

92.5

89.8

90.8

x

0-0

Liberty

86.2

89.1

86.8

87.4

x

0-0

Ind. Averages

92.7

94.0

92.7

93.2

 

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

SEC

Overall

Georgia

121.1

119.4

121.9

120.8

0-0

0-0

Florida

119.7

119.3

120.8

119.9

0-0

0-0

Kentucky

110.3

110.5

111.5

110.8

0-0

0-0

Tennessee

109.1

109.0

109.6

109.2

0-0

0-0

S. Carolina

109.3

107.0

108.7

108.3

0-0

0-0

Missouri

99.1

99.2

100.3

99.5

0-0

0-0

Vanderbilt

93.3

92.7

91.8

92.6

0-0

0-0

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

SEC

Overall

L S U

123.2

122.5

125.8

123.8

0-0

0-0

Alabama

121.4

122.3

123.3

122.3

0-0

0-0

Auburn

118.0

116.6

117.9

117.5

0-0

0-0

Texas A&M

115.7

115.8

115.9

115.8

0-0

0-0

Miss. St.

106.7

106.1

108.4

107.1

0-0

0-0

Ole Miss

104.1

102.5

103.8

103.4

0-0

0-0

Arkansas

94.7

95.8

92.4

94.3

0-0

0-0

SEC Averages

110.4

109.9

110.9

110.4

 

 

Sunbelt Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

SBC

Overall

Appal. St.

103.0

102.1

104.4

103.2

0-0

0-0

Georgia Sou.

95.2

96.2

96.5

96.0

0-0

0-0

Coastal Car.

88.3

88.9

88.7

88.6

0-0

0-0

Troy

87.0

89.0

87.3

87.8

0-0

0-0

Georgia St.

87.8

87.5

87.7

87.7

0-0

0-0

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Avg

SBC

Overall

Louisiana

102.5

101.9

102.3

102.2

0-0

0-0

Arkansas St.

92.0

94.1

91.6

92.6

0-0

0-0

UL-Monroe

84.7

84.9

83.2

84.3

0-0

0-0

S. Alabama

82.8

84.1

80.9

82.6

0-0

0-0

Texas St.

78.0

78.9

76.0

77.6

0-0

0-0

SBC Averages

90.1

90.7

89.9

90.2

This Week’s Free College Pick–And You Get What You Pay For!

We are toning down the selections against the spread this year due to the lack of games each week and the uncertainty of available personnel.  We will issue a minimum of selections and highly urge you to not use this non-advice.  All wagers will be done at the pretend amount of $100 units.

 

1. Money Line Parlay (+103)

        Southern Miss over South Alabama

        Navy over BYU

August 12, 2019

2019 FBS Independents Preview

Note: There isn’t much to preview about the 2019 FBS Independents, so today you get a little incite about how these ratings began and how the Independents of football began to see the light about the weaknesses of not having conference affiliation.

This is the 150th year anniversary for college football.  Yours truly vividly remembers the 100th year anniversary in 1969.  That’s the year these ratings were born.  At the time, I was sort of enamored with Ohio State University and Coach Woody Hayes.  He was dedicated to perfecting what he thought was the way to win football.  Having watched the Buckeyes defeat O.J. Simpson and the USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl the season before, I expected Ohio State to challenge the 1944 and 1945 Army teams for best in the history of the game.

On October 11, 1969, Ohio State faced a ranked Michigan State team that had just lost a close game to Notre Dame.  The Buckeyes had begun the season with slaughters over TCU and Washington.  This was the fateful Saturday that led to the creation of the PiRate Ratings.

On that Saturday, Ohio State took care of business by running the Spartans into the ground and winning by more than 30 points.  Then, something incredible happened that night.  My hometown team, the school where multiple family members attended, Vanderbilt hosted Alabama at Dudley Field.  Vanderbilt was 0-3, and ‘Bama was 3-0.  Led by sophomore phenom and future head coach Watson Brown, Vanderbilt beat Alabama 14-10 in the greatest upset of the season.

The following Monday, I went to school and a teacher asked me what I thought about the weekend’s games.  On the playground, when we played touch football, we chose teams.  We called my team “Ohio State,” while the other team called themselves “Penn State,” because Alabama was no longer worthy of being good enough.

There was an argument that day.  Which team was better–Ohio State or Penn State?  Both teams won every game the year before.  Both teams had won every game so far this year, and both teams had just easily defeated ranked teams on that Saturday.

I went home the following day to read the old Nashville Banner newspaper, an afternoon publication.  The AP and UPI top 20 rankings were in the sports pages of that day’s paper.  The entire top 10 featured undefeated teams.  Among the teams besides Ohio State and Penn State were Texas and Arkansas from the Southwest Conference, UCLA and USC from the Pac-8 Conference, and Tennessee, LSU, and Florida from the SEC.  The other team was Missouri, a team that had just creamed Michigan and Nebraska.

I looked at the rankings and then glanced over at the “Litratings.”  The Litratings were a ratings system compiled by Dr. Edward Litkenhous, a famed Vanderbilt engineering professor.  In the days before computers, there were three alternatives to the AP and UPI rankings.  They were Dunkel, Carr, and Litkenhous.  The Nashville Banner carried the Litratings, as Dr. Litkenhous personally delivered his ratings to the paper every week.

I began comparing scores and opponents of the top 10 teams.  It was crude, but I basically started this to show my friends why Ohio State was the best team in college football, and that Penn State was not even as good as any of those undefeated conference teams.

The rest of the season, I happily compiled new top 10 rankings based on my crude mathematical knowledge, and each week through the middle of November, Ohio State was still the best team.  There were just four teams remaining that were unbeaten and untied–Ohio State, Penn State, Texas, and Arkansas.  On that next Saturday, Michigan gave Ohio State a spanking in Ann Arbor.  Seeking revenge for a 50-14 defeat in Columbus the year before, the Wolverines’ defense was superb, and the Buckeyes’  season ended at 8-1 and no chance for a national championship.

Meanwhile, Texas and Penn State slaughtered and shut out their opponents, while Arkansas beat a better quality opponent in SMU.  So, who was the top team in the nation?  My personal ratings said that Penn State was a tad better than Texas and Arkansas.  Once tied USC and once beaten LSU were just a tad behind.

Penn State closed out the regular season with two convincing road victories over mediocre teams, one over rival Pittsburgh and one over North Carolina St.  Arkansas and Texas both easily handled mediocre Southwest Conference teams.

Penn State accepted the Orange Bowl bid for the second year in a row.  They could have accepted a bid to the Cotton Bowl to play the Arkansas-Texas winner, but at the time they had to vote, Ohio State was still undefeated and a win over Michigan would clinch the national title.  The Buckeyes could not play in the Rose Bowl that year, because the Big Ten still did not allow teams to play in Rose Bowls in consecutive seasons.  They would be 9-0 and undisputed national champions with a win over Michigan.

Additionally, this was just six years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, and a lot of people from outside the South and Southwest thought of Dallas as an outlaw town where the 1960s were not that much different than the 1860s.  Some of the African-American players on the Penn State team did not want to go to Dallas, so the team voted to return to Miami on New Year’s Day.  Their opponent would be 9-1 Missouri, the team that slaughtered Michigan earlier that season.

Did Penn State have a legitimate claim to the national title?  I thought they did.  Their offense was solid but not spectacular, even though they had three running backs that would play in the NFL, including future all-pros Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell.  It was the Nittany Lions defense and special teams that made this team so special.  The defense gave up fewer points than the defense and special teams scored or set up.

It wasn’t the Associated Press, United Press International, Dunkel, Carr, or Litkenhous that made the decision on which team would win the national championship.  President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the winner of the December game between Arkansas and Texas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, would be the national champion.  He even planned to be there in person to present the trophy to the winner.

Until the early 1970’s, it was the norm for the national championship to be awarded before the bowl games.  The bowl games were considered rewards for great seasons and not like postseason play.  So, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for the national champion to be crowned after the conclusion of the regular season.

That first Saturday in December of 1969, the home team Razorbacks quickly scored two touchdowns to lead 14-0.  It looked like Arkansas was going to win its third national title of the 1960s, as they won a piece of the 1964 and 1965 titles in split decisions.  This would be their first consensus championship, and Coach Frank Broyles would probably take over the title of greatest current college coach.

Texas was on the verge of being defeated.  The Longhorns had an 18-game winning streak on the line as well as the national championship.  The fourth quarter started with Arkansas still ahead 14-0, and the Razorback defense had solved the triple option that no other opponents could stop.  Texas quarterback James Street was not your typical wishbone quarterback.  He was a decent passer, and Royal decided that the Longhorns would have to start passing the ball, something the wishbone offense was not meant to do other than the occasional surprise play-action pass.

Street dropped back to pass, while the Arkansas pass rush forced him to scramble to avoid a 10-yard sack.  Somehow, a small pocket opened, and Street took off down the right sideline for a touchdown.  Royal decided to go for two, and a counter option run was successful to make the score 14-8.

With less than five minutes left in the game, and the score still 14-8 in favor of the Razorbacks, Texas was in deep trouble.  Facing a fourth down and three on their side of the 50 yard line, Coach Darrel Royal decided to gamble and go for the first down.  They came out in their wishbone offense, and Arkansas bunched up with nine defenders near the line of scrimmage.  Not only was Royal ready to gamble, he figured that even if the Longhorns powered for the three yards and a first down, they could not keep the ball on  the ground and score the winning touchdown with so little time left.

Royal called for the play-action long bomb off the option fake.  Street faked to his fullback running into the line and continued to option the Arkansas defensive end–for two steps.  Then, he quickly dropped back three steps and fired the ball long and high into the air.  At the other end of the play, receiver Randy Peschel had maybe a half-step on two Arkansas defenders.  The ball came out of the sky into Peschel’s arms inside the Razorback 15 yard line.  Arkansas was stunned.  They were in place to stop all three phases of the triple option and then run the clock out to play LSU in the Cotton Bowl, the team that had upset them in the Cotton Bowl just four years before.  Alas, neither team would spend New Year’s in Dallas.

Texas ran two plays and scored a touchdown on a counter dive.  The extra point put the Longhorns up 15-14 with just over three minutes to play.

The game wasn’t over.  Unlike Texas, Arkansas ran a pro-style offense, and Quarterback Bill Montgomery had a dangerous receiver in Chuck Dicus.  The Razorbacks quickly drove into Longhorn territory.  They needed one more first down to get into legitimate field goal range with a chance to win the game in the final seconds.  Montgomery rolled out to throw toward Dicus, but the toss was a little off target, and Texas intercepted the pass to clinch the game.

The Longhorns were given the trophy by President Nixon.  It appeared that they would now play 9-1 LSU in the Cotton Bowl, and my ratings would actually make LSU a small favorite.

Except it didn’t happen.  After decades of not permitting the football team to play in bowl games, the elders at Notre Dame decided that it was now okay.  LSU was in essence uninvited to the Cotton Bowl, and a weaker Notre Dame team was invited in their place.  Meanwhile, LSU was now shut out of a bowl, as Ole Miss had already accepted the Sugar Bowl bid when it appeared that LSU was Dallas-bound.

In the bowl games, Texas struggled to beat Notre Dame in what was basically a Longhorn home game.  Irish quarterback Joe Theismann shredded the Texas secondary for well over 200 passing yards, and Texas had to come from behind to win.

At the same time, Ole Miss, led by Archie Manning, beat Arkansas in a mild upset in the Sugar Bowl.  The Rebels had ended the season on a hot streak, having also giving Tennessee and LSU their only regular season losses.  Still, the Southwest Conference teams did not look to be as strong as the poll-voters believed.

That evening, Penn State played a Missouri team that averaged over 40 points per game and held the Tigers to one field goal.  They won only 10-3, but the defense intercepted Missouri quarterback Terry McMillan seven times (he threw just six interceptions in the 10 regular season games).

So, who was the best team in 1969?  Was it Penn State or Texas or maybe even another team?  My ratings said that Penn State was the best team, but I also had LSU number two and USC and Texas tied at number three.

Penn State would enjoy undefeated seasons in 1968, 1969, and 1973 and not win the national championship in any of those years.  The 1973 team finished at the top of my ratings.  The poll voters favored conference teams, and except for Notre Dame, an Independent had to win every game convincingly to win a national title.  Syracuse in 1959 dominated all 11 opponents to win only a split decision, as once-beaten Ole Miss from the SEC received more #1 honors that year.

In 1969, the centennial year for college football, 27 major college teams played as independents.  West Virginia finished 10-1 losing only to Penn State, the Mountaineers just barely made the final top 20.  Houston finished 8-2 in the regular season and also just barely made the top 20 prior to bowl season.  The Cougars then totally thrashed Auburn in the Bluebonnet Bowl to earn some respect.

50 years later, there are just six independent football schools left.  Notre Dame can remain an independent and thrive.  The Irish have their exclusive NBC TV contract.  They can steal a bowl bid from the ACC in a sweetheart arrangement, where they can finish leap over any ACC team that has one more win than they have.

BYU left the Mountain West Conference with aspirations of joining the Pac-12 or Big 12, but they were left at the altar.  The Cougar football program has contracted in recent years.  It won’t be a surprise if they try to return to the Mountain West in three or four years.

Army does not need to join a football conference.  Although their two military rivals belong to conferences, the Black Knights can remain independent and survive by doing what they have been doing for the last few years.  Navy actually has regressed since joining the American Athletic Conference.

As for Massachusetts, Liberty, and New Mexico State, they have to wait until the next round of cannibalism from the Power 5 conferences.  If the AAC loses a team or two, UMass and Liberty could be in line to replace them.  If the Mountain West loses a team to Pac-12 or Big 12 expansion, maybe NMSU could get in as a replacement, or maybe if BYU returns to the MWC, the Aggies can be the 14th members.

There is no such entity as a media poll for the FBS Independents.  Therefore, we will show you how 10 of the most reputable computer forecasters believe.  We are not vain enough to include ourselves in these 10 ratings, plus you will see our ratings below as well.

 

10 Computer Gurus Poll of FBS Independents
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Notre Dame 9 59
2 Army 1 51
3 BYU 0 38
4 Liberty 0 32
5 New Mexico St. 0 17
6 Massachusetts 0 13

 

Here are the preseason  PiRate Ratings for the FBS Independents.

 

Preseason PiRate Ratings–FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 121.4 119.1 121.9 120.8
Army 102.6 102.7 102.4 102.6
BYU 101.8 101.7 102.0 101.8
Liberty 87.9 89.6 88.4 88.6
New Mexico St. 77.8 81.2 77.6 78.8
Massachusetts 73.5 76.8 73.1 74.5
 

 

Indep. Averages 94.2 95.2 94.2 94.5

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss
Pos Team Won-Loss
1 Army 11-2
2 Notre Dame 10-2
3 BYU 8-4
4 Liberty 7-5
5 New Mexico St. 2-10
6 Massachusetts 2-10

 

 

Bowl Predictions

Hawaii BYU
Orange Notre Dame
Cotton Army (top G5 team)
 

 

Also Bowl Eligible
Liberty

 

 

Coaches That Could Move to Power 5 Conferences

Jeff Monken, Army

Hugh Freeze, Liberty

 

Coaches On The Hot Seat

Kelani Sitake, BYU

Doug Martin, New Mexico St.

 

Top Quarterbacks

Ian Book, Notre Dame

Zach Wilson, BYU

Kelvin Hopkins, Army

 

Best Offense

Army

Notre Dame

Liberty

 

Best Defense

Notre Dame

Army

BYU

Coming Tomorrow: The American Athletic Conference–still the #1 Group of 5 conference

December 6, 2018

PiRate Ratings Selections for December 6-10, 2018

The Land Sharps are taking a week off this week, since they play only college games, and there is just one game.  They will return for the bowls and playoffs.

In the meantime, the PiRate Ratings will go it alone and select our teaser choices for you to look at but not touch.  In other words, please do not wager real currency on what we issue here, as this is for entertainment purposes only.  While, our NFL picks have been on fire now for about a month, this does not mean they won’t stink it up so bad that they need to be sprayed with poopouri.

COLLEGE
13-Point Teaser 4-Game Parlays @12-10
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Army Navy 20 Navy
Navy Army 6 Army
Army Navy 27 OVER
Army Navy 53 UNDER

 

N F L

10-Point Teasers 3-Game Parlays @11-10
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Tennessee Jacksonville 15.5 Jacksonville
Baltimore Kansas City 3.5 Kansas City
Indianapolis Houston 5 Houston
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Green Bay Atlanta 15 Atlanta
New England Miami 17.5 Miami
Cleveland Carolina 9 Carolina
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Oakland Pittsburgh Pk Pittsburgh
Chicago L.A. Rams 7 L.A. Rams
Minnesota Seattle 7 Seattle
Team Team Total Pick
Kansas City Baltimore 41 OVER
Houston Indianapolis 59.5 UNDER
N.Y. Giants Washington 31 OVER
Team Team Total Pick
New Orleans Tampa Bay 45.5 OVER
Carolina Cleveland 37 OVER
Arizona Detroit 30.5 OVER
13-Point Teaser 4 Game parlay @12-10
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Washington N.Y. Giants 9.5 N.Y. Giants
San Francisco Denver 9.5 Denver
L.A. Chargers Cincinnati 1 L.A. Chargers
Detroit Arizona 16 Arizona

 

 

 

December 2, 2018

Final Bowl Projections +Army-Navy

PiRate Ratings Final Bowl Projections

Bowl Conferences Team 1 Team 2
New Mexico MWC CUSA Utah St. North Texas
Cure AAC SBC Tulane Louisiana
Las Vegas MWC Pac-12 Fresno St. * California
Camellia MAC SBC Buffalo Georgia Southern
New Orleans CUSA SBC UAB Appalachian St.
Boca Raton AAC CUSA South Florida Middle Tennessee
Frisco AAC At-Large Memphis [San Diego St.]
Gasparilla AAC CUSA [Duke] Southern Miss.
Bahamas MAC CUSA Toledo * Florida Int’l. *
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Ohio U Nevada
Birmingham AAC SEC Cincinnati [Virginia Tech]
Armed Forces AAC Big 12 Houston [Army]
Dollar General MAC SBC Northern Illinois Troy
Hawaii CUSA MWC Louisiana Tech * Hawaii *
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA [BYU] Marshall
Quick Lane ACC Big Ten Boston College Purdue
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 TCU Arizona St.
Independence ACC SEC Georgia Tech [Western Michigan]
Pinstripe ACC Big Ten Syracuse Wisconsin
Texas Big 12 SEC Baylor Auburn
Music City ACC/Big Ten SEC Pittsburgh Missouri
Camping World ACC Big 12 North Carolina St. Iowa St.
Arizona MWC SBC Boise St. Arkansas St.
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 West Virginia Washington St.
Belk ACC SEC Virginia South Carolina
Peach At-large At-large Florida Central Florida
Military AAC ACC Temple Wake Forest
Sun ACC Pac-12 Miami (Fla.) Stanford
San Francisco Big Ten Pac-12 Minnesota Oregon
Liberty Big 12 SEC Oklahoma St. Vanderbilt
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Iowa Utah
Gator ACC/Big Ten SEC Northwestern Texas A&M
Outback Big Ten SEC Michigan St. Mississippi St.
Fiesta At-large At-large LSU Michigan
Citrus ACC/Big Ten SEC Penn St. Kentucky
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Ohio St. Washington *
Sugar Big 12 SEC Texas Georgia
FBS PLAYOFFS
Cotton Clemson Notre Dame
Orange Alabama Oklahoma
Championship Game Alabama Clemson
Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections
* Team has already accepted this bid

 

Saturday December 8
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Army Navy 14.6 13.3 14.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 141.0 139.3 142.6 141.0
2 Clemson 138.9 136.8 139.7 138.5
3 Georgia 128.9 126.7 130.3 128.6
4 Ohio St. 127.1 125.4 127.4 126.6
5 Michigan 125.9 124.5 126.3 125.5
6 Notre Dame 126.3 123.9 125.4 125.2
7 Mississippi St. 124.2 122.6 125.4 124.1
8 Washington 122.7 120.8 123.3 122.3
9 Oklahoma 121.8 120.6 121.8 121.4
10 Missouri 121.1 119.6 122.1 120.9
11 Penn St. 119.3 117.0 119.0 118.4
12 L S U 117.6 116.7 118.4 117.6
13 Auburn 116.8 115.6 118.1 116.8
14 West Virginia 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6
15 Iowa 117.2 115.3 116.6 116.4
16 Utah 116.4 114.9 116.6 116.0
17 Washington St. 115.8 114.7 115.5 115.3
18 Miami 115.8 114.4 115.4 115.2
19 Florida 115.2 113.6 115.7 114.8
20 Central Florida 114.2 114.7 114.9 114.6
21 Texas A&M 114.6 113.6 115.1 114.4
22 Stanford 114.7 112.6 114.9 114.1
23 Texas 114.0 112.4 113.2 113.2
24 N. Carolina St. 113.2 112.4 112.6 112.7
25 S. Carolina 113.1 111.9 113.0 112.7
26 Georgia Tech 113.1 111.9 112.7 112.6
27 Kentucky 112.7 111.4 112.5 112.2
28 Syracuse 112.7 111.4 112.2 112.1
29 Fresno St. 112.0 111.6 112.2 111.9
30 Iowa State 112.5 110.8 111.9 111.7
31 Boise St. 111.3 111.1 111.6 111.3
32 Oregon 111.2 110.9 111.8 111.3
33 Michigan St. 112.0 109.9 111.3 111.1
34 Boston College 111.6 109.4 111.1 110.7
35 Utah St. 109.7 110.9 110.6 110.4
36 Northwestern 110.4 108.8 109.9 109.7
37 Arizona St. 110.2 108.9 109.8 109.6
38 Purdue 110.0 108.3 109.7 109.3
39 Oklahoma St. 109.6 108.0 109.5 109.0
40 Pittsburgh 109.4 108.4 108.8 108.9
41 Duke 109.4 107.4 108.6 108.5
42 Wisconsin 109.3 106.9 108.4 108.2
43 California 108.1 106.0 107.9 107.3
44 U S C 107.1 105.6 106.2 106.3
45 Texas Tech 107.0 105.4 105.7 106.0
46 Virginia 106.2 106.1 105.4 105.9
47 Vanderbilt 105.7 105.7 106.1 105.9
48 Temple 105.5 105.8 106.1 105.8
49 Wake Forest 106.8 105.0 105.0 105.6
50 T C U 106.5 105.2 105.1 105.6
51 Memphis 104.5 105.7 105.3 105.2
52 Nebraska 105.4 104.2 104.9 104.8
53 Virginia Tech 104.6 103.9 104.2 104.2
54 Kansas St. 104.8 103.6 104.1 104.2
55 Ohio U 103.3 104.5 104.2 104.0
56 Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4
57 Cincinnati 102.7 104.1 103.2 103.3
58 Baylor 103.8 102.2 103.4 103.1
59 Florida St. 103.7 102.4 102.8 102.9
60 Ole Miss 102.5 101.8 102.7 102.3
61 Minnesota 102.8 101.4 102.3 102.2
62 Arizona 102.1 100.7 102.4 101.7
63 Maryland 102.4 100.9 101.5 101.6
64 BYU 100.9 101.5 101.9 101.4
65 Houston 101.1 101.6 101.2 101.3
66 Indiana 101.4 100.2 101.1 100.9
67 N. Carolina 100.7 100.0 100.7 100.5
68 Toledo 99.4 100.9 99.6 100.0
69 U C L A 100.7 100.1 99.2 100.0
70 Buffalo 99.0 100.8 100.0 99.9
71 Appalachian St. 98.3 100.1 99.7 99.4
72 Tennessee 98.6 99.0 98.0 98.5
73 Colorado 98.4 98.5 98.5 98.5
74 Kansas 98.4 97.1 97.5 97.7
75 Northern Illinois 96.8 97.9 97.3 97.3
76 Wyoming 97.2 97.7 97.2 97.3
77 U A B 96.2 98.6 97.1 97.3
78 Miami (O) 95.7 97.6 97.8 97.0
79 Middle Tennessee 95.9 97.8 96.9 96.9
80 N. Texas 95.7 98.2 95.7 96.5
81 Air Force 95.6 96.2 95.9 95.9
82 Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.6 95.5 95.8
83 Arkansas 96.7 94.3 95.7 95.6
84 Florida Atlantic 94.4 95.6 94.8 94.9
85 Marshall 93.9 96.2 94.6 94.9
86 Nevada 94.8 94.9 94.6 94.8
87 San Diego St. 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7
88 SMU 94.2 93.7 93.2 93.7
89 Tulane 93.0 93.5 92.7 93.1
90 Troy 91.4 93.0 92.9 92.4
91 Arkansas St. 91.2 92.8 92.9 92.3
92 Georgia Southern 90.5 92.4 91.2 91.4
93 Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.0 90.3 91.0
94 South Florida 90.5 91.9 90.1 90.8
95 Western Michigan 89.8 91.4 90.7 90.7
96 Tulsa 90.0 89.8 90.0 89.9
97 Louisiana Tech 89.0 90.9 89.3 89.7
98 Southern Miss. 88.2 91.4 89.0 89.6
99 Rutgers 90.2 89.1 89.1 89.5
100 Navy 88.7 90.5 88.8 89.4
101 Illinois 89.6 89.0 88.6 89.1
102 UL-Monroe 85.9 86.7 86.5 86.4
103 Akron 85.8 86.7 85.5 86.0
104 W. Kentucky 84.1 87.0 84.7 85.3
105 Louisiana 83.7 86.0 85.4 85.0
106 Colorado St. 83.5 84.2 83.3 83.7
107 U N L V 83.2 84.1 83.3 83.5
108 Oregon St. 84.4 82.5 83.4 83.4
109 Louisville 83.9 83.3 82.7 83.3
110 Charlotte 81.8 84.4 82.7 83.0
111 New Mexico 82.6 83.3 81.8 82.6
112 Hawaii 82.2 83.8 81.7 82.6
113 East Carolina 81.9 81.9 81.3 81.7
114 Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5
115 Bowling Green 80.5 81.4 80.9 80.9
116 Old Dominion 79.7 82.9 79.6 80.8
117 Liberty 80.9 80.4 80.9 80.7
118 San Jose St. 80.4 81.3 79.8 80.5
119 Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.7 80.5
120 Central Michigan 79.0 81.0 79.0 79.7
121 Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3
122 Coastal Carolina 76.0 78.1 76.3 76.8
123 Georgia St. 75.6 77.2 75.6 76.1
124 U T S A 73.6 77.2 74.0 75.0
125 South Alabama 73.4 75.2 73.8 74.1
126 Texas State 72.8 75.2 73.1 73.7
127 N. Mexico St. 72.3 73.8 72.3 72.8
128 Rice 70.0 72.7 69.0 70.6
129 Connecticut 70.2 70.5 69.3 70.0
130 U T E P 68.8 71.8 68.6 69.7

By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 114.2 114.7 114.9 114.6 8-0 12-0
Temple 105.5 105.8 106.1 105.8 7-1 8-4
Cincinnati 102.7 104.1 103.2 103.3 6-2 10-2
South Florida 90.5 91.9 90.1 90.8 3-5 7-5
East Carolina 81.9 81.9 81.3 81.7 1-7 3-9
Connecticut 70.2 70.5 69.3 70.0 0-8 1-11
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Memphis 104.5 105.7 105.3 105.2 5-3 8-5
Houston 101.1 101.6 101.2 101.3 5-3 8-4
SMU 94.2 93.7 93.2 93.7 4-4 5-7
Tulane 93.0 93.5 92.7 93.1 5-3 6-6
Tulsa 90.0 89.8 90.0 89.9 2-6 3-9
Navy 88.7 90.5 88.8 89.4 2-6 3-9
AAC Averages 94.7 95.3 94.7 94.9
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 138.9 136.8 139.7 138.5 8-0 13-0
N. Carolina St. 113.2 112.4 112.6 112.7 5-3 9-3
Syracuse 112.7 111.4 112.2 112.1 6-2 9-3
Boston College 111.6 109.4 111.1 110.7 4-4 7-5
Wake Forest 106.8 105.0 105.0 105.6 3-5 6-6
Florida St. 103.7 102.4 102.8 102.9 3-5 5-7
Louisville 83.9 83.3 82.7 83.3 0-8 2-10
Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Miami 115.8 114.4 115.4 115.2 4-4 7-5
Georgia Tech 113.1 111.9 112.7 112.6 5-3 7-5
Pittsburgh 109.4 108.4 108.8 108.9 6-2 7-6
Duke 109.4 107.4 108.6 108.5 3-5 7-5
Virginia 106.2 106.1 105.4 105.9 4-4 7-5
Virginia Tech 104.6 103.9 104.2 104.2 4-4 6-6
N. Carolina 100.7 100.0 100.7 100.5 1-7 2-9
ACC Averages 109.3 108.1 108.7 108.7
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 121.8 120.6 121.8 121.4 8-1 12-1
West Virginia 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6 6-3 8-3
Texas 114.0 112.4 113.2 113.2 7-2 9-4
Iowa State 112.5 110.8 111.9 111.7 6-3 8-4
Oklahoma St. 109.6 108.0 109.5 109.0 3-6 6-6
Texas Tech 107.0 105.4 105.7 106.0 3-6 5-7
T C U 106.5 105.2 105.1 105.6 4-5 6-6
Kansas St. 104.8 103.6 104.1 104.2 3-6 5-7
Baylor 103.8 102.2 103.4 103.1 4-5 6-6
Kansas 98.4 97.1 97.5 97.7 1-8 3-9
Big 12 Averages 109.6 108.1 108.9 108.9
Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Ohio St. 127.1 125.4 127.4 126.6 8-1 12-1
Michigan 125.9 124.5 126.3 125.5 8-1 10-2
Penn St. 119.3 117.0 119.0 118.4 6-3 9-3
Michigan St. 112.0 109.9 111.3 111.1 5-4 7-5
Maryland 102.4 100.9 101.5 101.6 3-6 5-7
Indiana 101.4 100.2 101.1 100.9 2-7 5-7
Rutgers 90.2 89.1 89.1 89.5 0-9 1-11
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Iowa 117.2 115.3 116.6 116.4 5-4 8-4
Northwestern 110.4 108.8 109.9 109.7 8-1 8-5
Purdue 110.0 108.3 109.7 109.3 5-4 6-6
Wisconsin 109.3 106.9 108.4 108.2 5-4 7-5
Nebraska 105.4 104.2 104.9 104.8 3-6 4-8
Minnesota 102.8 101.4 102.3 102.2 3-6 6-6
Illinois 89.6 89.0 88.6 89.1 2-7 4-8
Big Ten Averages 108.8 107.2 108.3 108.1
Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Middle Tennessee 95.9 97.8 96.9 96.9 7-1 8-5
Florida Atlantic 94.4 95.6 94.8 94.9 3-5 5-7
Marshall 93.9 96.2 94.6 94.9 6-2 8-4
Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.0 90.3 91.0 6-2 8-4
W. Kentucky 84.1 87.0 84.7 85.3 2-6 3-9
Charlotte 81.8 84.4 82.7 83.0 4-4 5-7
Old Dominion 79.7 82.9 79.6 80.8 2-6 4-8
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
U A B 96.2 98.6 97.1 97.3 7-1 10-3
N. Texas 95.7 98.2 95.7 96.5 5-3 9-3
Louisiana Tech 89.0 90.9 89.3 89.7 5-3 7-5
Southern Miss. 88.2 91.4 89.0 89.6 4-4 6-5
U T S A 73.6 77.2 74.0 75.0 2-6 3-9
Rice 70.0 72.7 69.0 70.6 1-7 2-11
U T E P 68.8 71.8 68.6 69.7 1-7 1-11
CUSA Averages 85.8 88.4 86.2 86.8
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 126.3 123.9 125.4 125.2 x 12-0
Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4 x 9-2
BYU 100.9 101.5 101.9 101.4 x 6-6
Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5 x 4-8
Liberty 80.9 80.4 80.9 80.7 x 6-6
N. Mexico St. 72.3 73.8 72.3 72.8 x 3-9
Indep. Averages 94.1 94.3 94.2 94.2
Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Ohio U 103.3 104.5 104.2 104.0 6-2 8-4
Buffalo 99.0 100.8 100.0 99.9 7-1 10-3
Miami (O) 95.7 97.6 97.8 97.0 6-2 6-6
Akron 85.8 86.7 85.5 86.0 2-6 4-8
Bowling Green 80.5 81.4 80.9 80.9 2-6 3-9
Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3 1-7 2-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Toledo 99.4 100.9 99.6 100.0 5-3 7-5
Northern Illinois 96.8 97.9 97.3 97.3 6-2 8-5
Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.6 95.5 95.8 5-3 7-5
Western Michigan 89.8 91.4 90.7 90.7 5-3 7-5
Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.7 80.5 3-5 4-8
Central Michigan 79.0 81.0 79.0 79.7 0-8 1-11
MAC Averages 90.3 91.7 90.8 90.9
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Boise St. 111.3 111.1 111.6 111.3 7-1 10-3
Utah St. 109.7 110.9 110.6 110.4 7-1 10-2
Wyoming 97.2 97.7 97.2 97.3 4-4 6-6
Air Force 95.6 96.2 95.9 95.9 3-5 5-7
Colorado St. 83.5 84.2 83.3 83.7 2-6 3-9
New Mexico 82.6 83.3 81.8 82.6 1-7 3-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 112.0 111.6 112.2 111.9 7-1 11-2
Nevada 94.8 94.9 94.6 94.8 5-3 7-5
San Diego St. 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7 4-4 7-5
U N L V 83.2 84.1 83.3 83.5 2-6 4-8
Hawaii 82.2 83.8 81.7 82.6 5-3 8-5
San Jose St. 80.4 81.3 79.8 80.5 1-7 1-11
MWC Averages 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Washington 122.7 120.8 123.3 122.3 7-2 10-3
Washington St. 115.8 114.7 115.5 115.3 7-2 10-2
Stanford 114.7 112.6 114.9 114.1 6-3 8-4
Oregon 111.2 110.9 111.8 111.3 5-4 8-4
California 108.1 106.0 107.9 107.3 4-5 7-5
Oregon St. 84.4 82.5 83.4 83.4 1-8 2-10
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 116.4 114.9 116.6 116.0 6-3 9-4
Arizona St. 110.2 108.9 109.8 109.6 5-4 7-5
U S C 107.1 105.6 106.2 106.3 4-5 5-7
Arizona 102.1 100.7 102.4 101.7 4-5 5-7
U C L A 100.7 100.1 99.2 100.0 3-6 3-9
Colorado 98.4 98.5 98.5 98.5 2-7 5-7
Pac-12 Averages 107.6 106.3 107.5 107.1
Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 128.9 126.7 130.3 128.6 7-1 11-2
Missouri 121.1 119.6 122.1 120.9 4-4 8-4
Florida 115.2 113.6 115.7 114.8 5-3 9-3
S. Carolina 113.1 111.9 113.0 112.7 4-4 7-5
Kentucky 112.7 111.4 112.5 112.2 5-3 9-3
Vanderbilt 105.7 105.7 106.1 105.9 3-5 6-6
Tennessee 98.6 99.0 98.0 98.5 2-6 5-7
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 141.0 139.3 142.6 141.0 8-0 13-0
Mississippi St. 124.2 122.6 125.4 124.1 4-4 8-4
L S U 117.6 116.7 118.4 117.6 5-3 9-3
Auburn 116.8 115.6 118.1 116.8 3-5 7-5
Texas A&M 114.6 113.6 115.1 114.4 5-3 8-4
Ole Miss 102.5 101.8 102.7 102.3 1-7 5-7
Arkansas 96.7 94.3 95.7 95.6 0-8 2-10
SEC Averages 114.9 113.7 115.4 114.7
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 98.3 100.1 99.7 99.4 7-1 10-2
Troy 91.4 93.0 92.9 92.4 7-1 9-3
Georgia Southern 90.5 92.4 91.2 91.4 6-2 9-3
Coastal Carolina 76.0 78.1 76.3 76.8 2-6 5-7
Georgia St. 75.6 77.2 75.6 76.1 1-7 2-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Arkansas St. 91.2 92.8 92.9 92.3 5-3 8-4
UL-Monroe 85.9 86.7 86.5 86.4 4-4 6-6
Louisiana 83.7 86.0 85.4 85.0 5-3 7-6
South Alabama 73.4 75.2 73.8 74.1 2-6 3-9
Texas State 72.8 75.2 73.1 73.7 1-7 3-9
Sun Belt Averages 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

Ranking of Conferences

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 114.9 113.7 115.4 114.7
2 B12 109.6 108.1 108.9 108.9
3 ACC 109.3 108.1 108.7 108.7
4 BTEN 108.8 107.2 108.3 108.1
5 PAC12 107.6 106.3 107.5 107.1
6 AAC 94.7 95.3 94.7 94.9
7 IND 94.1 94.3 94.2 94.2
8 MWC 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
9 MAC 90.3 91.7 90.8 90.9
10 CUSA 85.8 88.4 86.2 86.8
11 SUN 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 14, 2018

2018 FBS Independents Preview

Note: The preseason ratings you see in the previews may not be the same as the ratings you see for the first game. We update every team’s rating based on player injuries, changes to the depth charts, and other factors that may change during preseason practice.

Some of our Group of 5 Conference won-loss predictions were figured before the beginning of August preseason practices. Thus, it could be that a player or players on some teams have already suffered season-ending or multiple game injuries or have left their teams, and these won-loss predictions no longer accurately reflect our ratings. We hope that by the time we preview the Power 5 conferences, we will know who is not going to be available (players and head coaches).

The number of FBS Independents has ballooned by 50% as Liberty moves up to FBS football and New Mexico State returns to this group after spending four years in the Sun Belt Conference.

There is no real affiliation between the six teams in the independent ranks. The top program, Notre Dame, is all but a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Irish play five ACC teams every year. In the past, Notre Dame may have been hurt by not being affiliated with a conference. That is no longer the case. Notre Dame has an easier path to the FBS Playoffs now that the top 4 teams qualify. With no conference championship game to play and the ability to arrange their schedule in the most convenient way, Notre Dame is a serious contender this year to make their first appearance in the playoffs.
If the Irish run the table or finish a strong 11-1, it will be the defense that carries them to the promised land. After surrendering 21.5 points per game and 369 yards per game in 2017, the outlook for 2018 looks better. A solid linebacking corps ranks among the nation’s elite. Middle linebacker Te’von Coney and outside linebacker Drue Tranquill may be the best duo in the nation in ruining enemy drives. Julian Love has a chance to be named an All-American from his cornerback position. The Irish are deep and talented on the back line of defense. The front four is the weakness of the defense, but in this case, the weakness means they are maybe the 30th best defensive line in the nation.

Look for an improved pass rush this year. Road games against Northwestern and Southern Cal are the two toughest on the schedule, and the Irish are strong enough this year to win both and should at least split these two games.

Brigham Young was one of the perennial best passing teams for decades during the Lavell Edwards days. A who’s who of quarterbacks including Ty Detmer, Jim McMahon, Marc Wilson, Gifford Nielsen, and Virgil Carter gave the Cougars the necessary tools to make the offense click. In recent years, not only has BYU not had a dangerous passer, passing has become a liability in Provo. Coach Kalani Sitake may have just one more year to turn things around before finding himself on another mission. The season may depend on whether the offensive line can keep senior Tanner Mangum upright and out of the hospital, something it has failed doing the previous two seasons. He is recovering from an Achilles’ injury and will lack a lot of mobility.

Speaking of passing, that word is not in the dictionary in West Point, NY. Army attempted just five passes per game last year, and completed just over 1 1/2 of those attempts per game. Still, with only 28 passing yards per game, the Black Knights averaged almost 31 points per game by leading the nation in rushing yardage. The 10-3 season was the best at West Point since 1996. The Cadets will take a small backward step this year with a decimated offense needing to rebuild, but the defense could limit opponents to 330 yards and 20 points per game this year.

Mark Whipple is a quarterback whisperer. He has a long history of getting the most out of his passers. Throughout his career, Whipple has helped tutor Greg Landry during his USFL stint, Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers (including a Super Bowl Championship season), and Donovan McNabb when he threw for the most yards in his career and led the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game. As offensive coordinator at Miami in 2009, he got the most out of Jacory Harris. So, it should be no surprise that the man that took Massachusetts to a I-AA championship his first go around in Amherst, is on the verge of making the FBS version of the Minutemen into a bowl-eligible team. UMass finished 4-8 last year with enough near misses to make a bowl game if they had gone the other way. This year, with experienced quarterback Andrew Ford, we expect the Minutemen to crash through the barrier and enjoy a won-loss record on the plus side of .500. If Ford stays healthy for 12 games, he should crash through the 3,500 passing yard barrier and make a run at 4,000. He has talented and experienced receivers returning as well as the most experienced and talented offensive line protecting him since he arrived on campus. UMass should score around 35-38 points per game, and while the defense is still quite suspect, the Minutemen should win seven games and receive their first bowl bid since they played in the 1972 Boardwalk Bowl.

New Mexico State left the Sun Belt on good footing, as the Aggies finished with a bowl win and winning season in their SBC swan song. The Sun Belt was never a good fit for this team; this school would be an excellent addition to the Mountain West, where rival New Mexico already plays, or Conference USA, where rival UTEP plays. Coach Doug Martin has enough key talent returning on both sides of the ball to return to a bowl in 2018, but they will have to stay healthy in the back half of their schedule after facing a brutal beginning. NMSU will play on August 25 against Wyoming and a short five days later, play at Minnesota. Then, on September 8, the Aggies have another tough road game at Utah State.  They could 0-3 to start the season.

Liberty finished 6-5 in their final year in FCS football last season. The Flames beat Baylor, so they will not be intimidated this year when they line up against teams like Old Dominion, North Texas, and New Mexico. Coach Turner Gill’s team won last year with a brilliant passing attack, as they frequently outscored their opponents in their wins. They gave up more than 40 points in two of those wins! In Liberty’s favor, most of their brilliant offense returns in 2018, but the schedule is about 20 points stronger per game this year than last. Don’t expect Liberty to contend for a winning season in year one in the FBS.

There is no FBS Independents media group that meets and hears speeches from the coaches and then interviews players before voting in a preseason poll. Rather than leave this section empty, I will show you how a conglomerate of 10 of my peers believe the teams will finish.

Independents 1st Place Votes
1. Notre Dame 10 60
2. Army 0 47
3. BYU 0 43
4. New Mexico State 0 26
5. Massachusetts 0 24
6. Liberty 0 10

The PiRate Ratings mostly agree with these other 10 very successful computer geniuses, and where we don’t it is probably because they are correct, and we are not.

FBS Independents
Team Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 0-0 125.6 121.5 123.7 123.6
BYU 0-0 95.9 97.0 96.3 96.4
Army 0-0 95.6 96.4 95.5 95.9
Massachusetts 0-0 89.8 92.4 92.0 91.4
N. Mexico St. 0-0 82.0 85.3 82.5 83.3
Liberty 0-0 75.2 73.9 74.2 74.5
Independents Averages 94.0 94.4 94.0 94.2

New Coaches
There are no new coaches among the six independents. Sitake is most definitely on the hot seat at BYU, and if something were to happen in South Bend, and the Irish terribly under-perform, Brian Kelly might be in trouble. However, we cannot see a scenario happening with Notre Dame this year, and the Irish have a better chance of going 12-0 than 6-6.

Predicted Won-Loss Records

Independents Record
Notre Dame 12-0
Army 8-4
New Mexico State 7-5
Massachusetts 7-5
BYU 6-6
Liberty 2-10

Bowl Tie-ins
This year, no Independents have a definite bowl contract. Notre Dame counts toward the ACC when bowls pick representative, and they can be selected ahead of any ACC rival if they have at least one win fewer than the ACC alternative. In other words, if Duke is 9-3 and the Irish are 8-4, bowls can take Notre Dame ahead of Wake Forest. If Duke is 10-2 and Notre Dame is 8-4, then Duke must be selected before Notre Dame.
BYU has an agreement with ESPN that if the Cougars become bowl eligible, ESPN will place them in one of their televised bowls as an at-large opponent.

Liberty is not eligible for a bowl this season, but there are technicalities involved that could send the Flames to the Cure Bowl.
New Mexico State has a secondary bowl tie-in with the New Mexico Bowl.

Coming Tomorrow–The American Athletic Conference

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

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.