The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 28, 2015

2015 AFC South Preview

Indianapolis and the Three Dwarfs:  Since the AFC South was formed, all four member teams have had their turn as the top banana, but there has been one consistent theme.  When Tennessee was dominant in the early 2000’s, the Colts were the chief competitor usually finishing a game behind or ahead of the Titans.

When Jacksonville was tough with their stable of tough running backs, it was Indianapolis that was 14-2 when the Jags were 12-4.

When Houston began to shine a few years ago, once again, their competition was the Colts.

Now, the Colts have no competition in the South.  Houston lacks a quarterback that can get them to the playoffs, and J. J. Watt cannot make 30 sacks to level the playing field.  Jacksonville has more rebuilding to do before they can even challenge for an 8-8 record.  Tennessee has been down for six years, and the Titans have as many holes in their roster as a piece of Swiss cheese.  The Colts could go 6-0 in divisional play, while the other three teams all finish 2-4.

 

Houston surprised the football world by rebounding from 2-14 to go 9-7 and almost make the playoffs.  The Texans’ schedule goes from one of the easiest with all the last place teams to one of the more difficult with two extra second place teams (Kansas City and Cincinnati instead of Oakland and Cleveland).  The Texans lose their star receiver in Andre Johnson, and Brian Hoyer passing to Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington as options to DeAndre Hopkins does not have the look of a playoff contender.

Andrew Luck compares with Peyton Manning in that he has taken over this team and led them to divisional dominance.  He also compares a little to Andy Dalton in that the Colts keep coming up short in the playoffs.  However, as we stated about Dalton, it is not his fault when the Colts’ defense gives up 45 points to the Patriots.  This year, Indianapolis’s offense is set to take a step up to the very top of the AFC.  The Colts add Andre Johnson to a roster already stocked with offensive stars.  An improved defense should give Indy a strong chance at competing for the best overall record in the AFC and a good shot at playing in February.

Jacksonville has been number 31 or 32 in the league for multiple seasons.  At one time, the Jaguars were the leading team to relocate to Los Angeles.  At one time, they were more than 21-point underdogs in a game.  Jacksonville might have been picked to contend for an 8-8 record this year had bad luck not hit this team in the Spring.  Top draft choice Dante Fowler was lost for the season with an ACL injury.  Fowler could have been the Jags’ Watt and improve the defense by a touchdown per game.  Now, they have little pass rush, and enemy quarterbacks will be a lot more comfortable on Sunday.

Tennessee puts all their eggs in the Marcus Mariota basket.  Eventually, we believe Mariota will prove to be the right choice for the Titans, but as a rookie with a vulnerable offensive line, we expect backup Zach Mettenberger to be the starter by midseason and possibly Clay Whitehurst by December.  The Titans defense made a couple of key additions by signing Brian Orakpo and adding legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau as assistant head coach.  LeBeau might wish he had retired with the liabilities in the line and in the secondary.

 

HOUSTON TEXANS

Texans Starting Lineup
Offense
WR DeAndre Hopkins
WR Cecil Shorts
WR Nate Washington
TE Garrett Graham
LT Duane Brown
LG Xavier Su’a-Filo
C Ben Jones
RG Brandon Brooks
RT Derek Newton
QB Brian Hoyer
HB Alfred Blue
FB Jay Prosch
   
Defense
DE Jared Crick
DT Vince Wilfork
DE J. J. Watt
LB John Simon
LB Brian Cushing
LB Mike Mohamed
LB Jadeveon Clowney
CB Kareem Jackson
S Rahim Moore
S Stevie Brown
CB Johnathan Joseph
N5 A. J. Bouye
   
Special
Kicker Randy Bullock
Punter Shane Lechler
KR Chandler Worthy
PR Chandler Worthy
Houston Texans
Head Coach Bill O’Brien
Off. Coordinator George Godsey
Def. Coordinator Romeo Crennel
2014 W-L-T 9-7-0
Pts 23.3
Opp 19.2
   
Ratings  
PiRate 97.6
Mean 99.1
Bias 97.5
Average 98.1
   
Grades  
Running B+
Passing D
Vs. Run A
Vs. Pass C+
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C
   
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 11
Overall Rank 22
Postseason No

 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Colts Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Andre Johnson
WR T. Y. Hilton
TE Dwayne Allen
TE Coby Fleener
LT Anthony Costanzo
LG Lance Louis
C Khaled Holmes
RG Todd Herremans
RT Jack Mewhort
QB Andrew Luck
HB Frank Gore
FB (NONE)
   
Defense
DE Kendall Langford
DT Josh Champan
DT Arthur Jones
LB Trent Cole
LB Jerrell Freeman
LB D’Qwell Jackson
LB Erik Walden
CB Greg Toler
S Mike Adams
S Dwight Lowery
CB Vontae Davis
N5 Darius Butler
   
Special
Kicker Adam Vinatiari
Punter Pat McAfee
KR Dan Herron
PR Phillip Dorsett
Indianapolis Colts
Head Coach Chuck Pagano
Off. Coordinator Pep Hamilton
Def. Coordinator Greg Manusky
2014 W-L-T 11-5-0
Pts 28.6
Opp 23.1
   
Ratings  
PiRate 104.7
Mean 105.8
Bias 104.9
Average 105.1
   
Grades  
Running B
Passing A+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass C
Special Teams A
Coaching + Intangibles B-
   
Predicted W-L 10-6-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 4
Overall Rank 7
Postseason Yes

 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Jaguars Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Allen Robinson
WR Allen Hurns
TE Julius Thomas
TE Marcedes Lewis
LT Luke Joeckel
LG Zane Beadles
C Stefen Wisniewski
RG Brandon Linder
RT Jermey Parnell
QB Blake Bortles
HB T. J. Yeldon
FB (NONE)
   
Defense
DE Andre Branch
DT Ziggy Hood
DT Tyson Alualu
DE Jared Odrick
LB Telvin Smith
LB Paul Posluszny
LB Dan Skuta
CB Davon House
S Craig Loston
S Sergio Brown
CB Aaron Colvin
N5 Josh Evans
   
Special
Kicker Josh Scobee
Punter Bryan Anger
KR Denard Robinson
PR Rashad Greene
Jacksonville Jaguars
Head Coach Gus Bradley
Off. Coordinator Greg Olson
Def. Coordinator Bob Babich
2014 W-L-T 3-13-0
Pts 15.6
Opp 25.8
   
Ratings  
PiRate 89.8
Mean 95.2
Bias 88.5
Average 91.2
   
Grades  
Running C-
Passing D
Vs. Run C-
Vs. Pass C-
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C-
   
Predicted W-L 5-11-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 16
Overall Rank 32
Postseason No

 

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Kendall Wright
WR Harry Douglas
TE Delanie Walker
TE Anthony Fasano
LT Taylor Lewan
LG Byron Bell
C Brian Schwenke
RG Chance Warmack
RT Jeremiah Poutasi
QB Marcus Mariota
HB Bishop Sankey
FB Jalston Fowler
   
Defense
DE DaQuan Jones
DT Sammie Hill
DT Jurrell Casey
LB Derrick Morgan
LB Zach Brown
LB Avery Williamson
LB Brian Orakpo
CB Perrish Cox
S Da’Norris Searcy
S Michael Griffin
CB Jason McCourty
N5 Coty Sensabaugh
   
Special
Kicker Ryan Succop
Punter Brett Kern
KR Dexter McCluster
PR Dexter McCluster
Tennessee Titans
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt
Off. Coordinator Jason Michael
Def. Coordinator Ray Horton
2014 W-L-T 2-14-0
Pts 15.9
Opp 27.4
   
Ratings  
PiRate 93.9
Mean 93.7
Bias 94.5
Average 94.0
   
Grades  
Running C
Passing C+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass B-
Special Teams B
Coaching + Intangibles C
   
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 14
Overall Rank 28
Postseason No

 

August 19, 2013

2013 American Athletic Conference Preview

2013 American Athletic Conference Preview

 

Say hello to the newest FBS conference.  The AAC formed when the Catholic, non-scholarship football schools from the Big East and the schools that play football divided into two leagues.  For just one season, this conference will still field a somewhat decent roster of teams, but two of the most prestigious schools will leave for greener pastures at the end of this season.  With three more teams joining this league from Conference USA next year, it will basically make this new league the original Conference USA with a new name.

 

For this one season, the last that really matters for receiving a bid to a big bowl with the maximum payout, there is a team capable of challenging for the national championship.

 

Louisville should be favored to win all 12 games, and the Cardinals will not be required to play in a conference championship game to advance to the national title game should a 12-0 record earn them one of the top two spots in the final BCS National Championship Game.

 

If any school is capable of upsetting the Cardinals, it would be Cincinnati.  The Bearcats change coaches this season, as Butch Jones left for Tennessee.  He is replaced by journeyman coach Tommy Tuberville, who has piloted the likes of Ole Miss, Auburn, and Texas Tech.

 

Rutgers returns a significant amount of talent from last season’s 9-4 campaign, and the Scarlet Knights should compete with a trio of other teams for the third spot in the league.  Central Florida, South Florida, and SMU will compete with RU for the third spot.

 

Connecticut and Houston should be considered dark horses in the AAC race, while Memphis and Temple will bring up the rear.

 

 

New Teams: The members of the AAC played in either the Big East or CUSA last year.

 

Central Florida   CUSA
Cincinnati   Big East
Connecticut   Big East
Houston   CUSA
Louisville   Big East
Memphis   CUSA
Rutgers   Big East
S M U     CUSA
South Florida   Big East
Temple   Big East

 

 

Departed Teams: None, since this is the first season

 

2014 Additions: East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa move from CUSA, giving the AAC nine former CUSA members (Cincinnati and South Florida were once in CUSA).

 

2014 Departures: Louisville leaves for the ACC, while Rutgers heads to the Big Ten, leaving this league with no team that played in every Big East season and leaving just Connecticut and Temple that did not play in CUSA.

 

Pre-season PiRate Ratings

American Athletic Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Louisville

0-0

0-0

115.3

113.4

116.5

Cincinnati

0-0

0-0

105.5

105.9

105.9

Rutgers

0-0

0-0

99.3

104.2

100.1

Central Florida

0-0

0-0

98.2

97.5

99.2

South Florida

0-0

0-0

94.5

92.9

93.5

S M U

0-0

0-0

94.1

101.9

94.6

Connecticut

0-0

0-0

93.6

101.3

94.2

Houston

0-0

0-0

89.4

101.0

90.9

Memphis

0-0

0-0

88.7

98.4

89.7

Temple

0-0

0-0

87.6

85.1

85.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

League Averages

 

 

96.6

100.2

97.0

 

 

Official AAC Media Poll

Pos

Team

Points

1st Place

 

1

Louisville

298

28

 

2

Cincinnati

257

2

 

3

Rutgers

240

0

 

4

Central Florida

210

0

 

5

South Florida

155

0

 

6

Houston

134

0

 

7

Connecticut

131

0

 

8

S M U

118

0

 

9

Temple

60

0

 

10

Memphis

47

0

 

 

The AAC has not released an official preseason all-conference team.  Here is a list of key players for each of the members:

 

Central Florida

Blake Bortles—QB (62.9% comp/7.7 ypa/25 TD/7 Int)

Storm Johnson—RB (507 rush/4.5 avg)

J. J. Worton—WR (44-594/5 TD)

Breshad Perriman—WR (26-388/3 TD)

Justin McCray and Torrian Wilson—OL

Thomas Niles—DL (5 sacks/7 QB hurries)

Terrance Plummer—LB (108 tackles/7 TFL)

Clayton Geathers—DB (117 tackles)

 

Cincinnati

Brendon Kay—QB (63.0%/9.4 ypa/10 TD/2 Int—as co-starter)

Dan Sprague, Sam Longo, Austen Bujnoch, and Eric Lefeld—OL

Jordan Stepp—DL (4 TFL)

Greg Blair—LB (138 tackles/9 TFL/4 QB Hurries/8 Passes Defended)

Deven Drane—DB (43 tackles/9 Passes Defended)

Arryn Chenault—DB (3 Int/6 Passes Defended)

Tony Miliano—K (17-22 FG)

 

Connecticut

Lyle McCombs—RB (860 rush/6 TD)

Geremy Davis—WR (44-613)

Shamar Stephen—DL (26 tackles)

Yawin Smallwood—LB (120 tackles/15 TFL/4 Passes Defended)

Byron Jones—DB (88 tackles)

Chad Kristen—K (14-21 FG Strong Leg)

 

Houston

Daniel Spencer—WR (41-579)

Deontay Greenberry—WR (47-564)

Bryce Redman and Rowdy Harper—OL

Derrick Matthews—LB (126 tackles/6 sacks/17 TFL/9 QB Hurries)

Zach McMillian—DB (5 Int./11 Passes Defended)

Trevon Stewart—DB (126 tackles/8 Passes Defended)

Richie Leone—P (45.5 avg./39.7 net)

 

Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater—QB (68.5% comp./8.9 ypa/27 TD/8 Int. Heisman Candidate)

Michael Dyer—RB (former 1,242 yard rusher for Auburn in 2010)

DeVante Parker—WR (40-744/10 TD)

Damian Copeland—WR (50-628)

Jake Smith and John Miller—OL

Marcus Smith—DL (29 tackles/4 sacks/ 7 TFL)

Preston Brown—LB (109 tackles/5 Passes Defended)

Calvin Pryor—DB (100 tackles/7 Passes Defended)

Terrell Floyd—DB (3 Int./8 Passes Defended)

 

Memphis

Jacob Karam—QB (64.2% comp./14 TD/3 Int.—Formerly at Texas Tech)

Keiwone Malone—WR (44-476)

Alan Cross—TE (23-301/5 TD)

Al Bond—OL

Martin Ifedi—DL (7.5 sacks/11 TFL/4 QB Hurries)

Johnnie Farms—DL (9.5 TFL)

Charles Harris—LB (79 tackles)

Anthony Brown—LB (71 tackles)

Lonnie Ballentine—DB (3 Int./8 Passes Defended)

Tom Hornsey—P (43.4 avg./38.9 net/41.7% inside the 20)

 

Rutgers

Gary Nova—QB (57.0% comp./22 TD/16 Int.)

Brandon Coleman—WR (43-718/ 10 TD)

Betim Bujari, Antwan Lowery, and Kaleb Johnson—OL

Jamil Merrell—DL (40 tackles/10.5 TFL/5 QB Hurries)

Jamal Merrell—LB (83 tackles/8.5 TFL

Lorenzo Waters—DB (68 tackles/6.5 TFL)

 

S M U

Garrett Gilbert—QB (2932 yards/15 TD/15 Int./8 rush TD)

Traylon Shead—RB (Juco star should take pressure off passing game)

Jeremy Johnson—WR (67-679)

Der’Rikk Thompson—WR (41-535)

Randall Joyner—LB (93 tackles/8 Passes Defended)

Jay Scott—DB (76 tackles/11 Passes Defended)

Kenneth Acker—DB (50 tackles/3 Int./15 Passes Defended)

 

South Florida

Andre Davis—WR (46-534/6 TD)

Sean Price—TE (21-209)

Austin Reiter and Quinterrius Eatmon—OL

Aaron Lynch—DL (Former Starter at Notre Dame)

DeDe Lattimore—LB (76 tackles/7.5 TFL)

JaQuez Jenkins—DB (53 tackles)

Mark Joyce—DB (74 tackles)

 

Temple

Chris Coyer—RB (444 rush/4.0 avg)

Jalen Fitzpatrick—WR (30-363)

Tyler Matakevich—LB (101 tackles)

Anthony Robey—DB (41 tackles/6 Passes Defended)

 

 

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

Central Florida Knights

               
Head Coach

George O’Leary

               
Colors

Black and Gold

               
City

Orlando

               
2012 Record              
Conference

7-1 (in CUSA)

Overall

10-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

58

Pass Offense

73

Run Defense

57

Pass Defense

62

               
Ratings              
PiRate

98.2

Mean

97.5

Bias

99.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

68

Mean

71

Bias

63

               
Prediction              
Conference

7-1

Overall

9-3

 

 

Team

Cincinnati Bearcats

               
Head Coach

Tommy Tuberville

               
Colors

Red and Black

               
City

Cincinnati

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-2 (in Big East)

Overall

10-3

               
Grades              
Run Offense

69

Pass Offense

70

Run Defense

76

Pass Defense

68

               
Ratings              
PiRate

105.5

Mean

105.9

Bias

105.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

42

Mean

40

Bias

42

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-2

Overall

10-2

 

 

Team

Connecticut Huskies

               
Head Coach

Paul Pasqualoni

               
Colors

Navy and White

               
City

Storrs, CT

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-5 (in Big East)

Overall

5-7

               
Grades              
Run Offense

48

Pass Offense

58

Run Defense

68

Pass Defense

60

               
Ratings              
PiRate

93.6

Mean

101.3

Bias

94.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

84

Mean

57

Bias

81

               
Prediction              
Conference

3-5

Overall

5-7

 

 

Team

Houston Cougars

               
Head Coach

Tony Levine

               
Colors

Scarlet and White

               
City

 

               
2012 Record              
Conference

4-4 (in CUSA)

Overall

5-7

               
Grades              
Run Offense

53

Pass Offense

75

Run Defense

45

Pass Defense

42

               
Ratings              
PiRate

89.4

Mean

101.0

Bias

90.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

95

Mean

58

Bias

90

               
Prediction              
Conference

2-6

Overall

4-8

 

 

Team

Louisville Cardinals

               
Head Coach

Charlie Strong

               
Colors

Cardinal and Black

               
City

 

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-2 (in Big East)

Overall

11-2

               
Grades              
Run Offense

70

Pass Offense

94

Run Defense

78

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.3

Mean

113.4

Bias

116.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

25

Mean

17

Bias

18

               
Prediction              
Conference

8-0

Overall

12-0

 

 

Team

Memphis Tigers

               
Head Coach

Justin Fuente

               
Colors

Royal Blue and Gray

               
City

Memphis

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-7 (in CUSA)

Overall

4-8

               
Grades              
Run Offense

49

Pass Offense

58

Run Defense

51

Pass Defense

55

               
Ratings              
PiRate

88.7

Mean

98.4

Bias

89.7

               
Rankings              
PiRate

96

Mean

64

Bias

95

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-7

Overall

2-10

 

 

Team

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

               
Head Coach

Kyle Flood

               
Colors

Scarlet and White

               
City

New Brunswick, NJ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-2 (in Big East)

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

65

Pass Offense

64

Run Defense

71

Pass Defense

59

               
Ratings              
PiRate

99.3

Mean

104.2

Bias

100.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

61

Mean

43

Bias

57

               
Prediction              
Conference

4-4

Overall

6-6

 

 

Team

S M U Mustangs

               
Head Coach

June Jones

               
Colors

Red and Blue

               
City

Dallas

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-3 (in CUSA)

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

35

Pass Offense

75

Run Defense

58

Pass Defense

62

               
Ratings              
PiRate

94.1

Mean

101.9

Bias

94.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

80

Mean

51

Bias

79

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-3

Overall

6-6

 

 

Team

South Florida Bulls

               
Head Coach

Willie Taggart

               
Colors

Green and Gold

               
City

Tampa

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-6 (in Big East)

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

62

Pass Offense

67

Run Defense

65

Pass Defense

46

               
Ratings              
PiRate

94.5

Mean

92.9

Bias

93.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

79

Mean

91

Bias

83

               
Prediction              
Conference

3-5

Overall

5-7

 

 

Team

Temple Owls

               
Head Coach

Matt Rhule

               
Colors

Cherry and White

               
City

Philadelphia

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-5 (in Big East)

Overall

4-7

               
Grades              
Run Offense

52

Pass Offense

64

Run Defense

51

Pass Defense

43

               
Ratings              
PiRate

87.6

Mean

85.1

Bias

85.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

98

Mean

115

Bias

106

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-7

Overall

4-8

 

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