The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 7, 2011

PiRate Ratings: College Football for November 8-12, 2011

The Conference Races & The Bowls

The Search For 70 Bowl Eligible Teams

 

With 35 bowls, the Football Bowl Subdivision needs 70 bowl-eligible teams to fill those spots.  Remember, we cannot include Southern Cal in that list, because they are ineligible for a bowl game this year.  Since there are only 120 total FBS schools, it requires a lot of teams to get to six wins by virtue of defeating a team from the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as I-AA.  There are only four more FBS versus FCS games this year, all involving teams from the SEC.  Three of those SEC teams are already bowl eligible, so only the Florida-Furman game can help an FBS team become bowl eligible. 

 

If there are fewer than 70 bowl eligible teams, the NCAA supposedly will allow teams with a losing record to earn bowl bids.  The last team with a losing record to earn a bowl bid was North Texas in 2001, but the Mean Green earned their bid by winning the Sunbelt Conference championship.  William and Mary won the Southern Conference title and earned the automatic bid to the Tangerine Bowl, even though they were just 5-6 overall.  SMU, at 4-6, was invited to the Sun Bowl in 1963.  Will it happen again in 2011?  Let’s look at the conference breakdown and count who we think will make it.

 

ACC

Atlantic

Clemson leads Florida State and Wake Forest by one full game.  The Tigers have already defeated the Seminoles, and if they defeat Wake Forest this weekend, they will wrap up a spot in the ACC Championship Game.  If the Demon Deacons win, then all three teams will be alive having gone 1-1 against each other.

 

Coastal

Virginia Tech leads Georgia Tech by a half-game and Virginia by a full game, and the Hokies must play both teams.  They face Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday. 

 

Bowl Eligible (6)

Florida St., Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Virginia

 

Bowl Probable (3)

North Carolina St., Wake Forest, and Miami need each need one more win and each have two winnable games left.

 

Big East

All eight teams are still in contention to be bowl eligible.  Cincinnati leads with a 3-0 conference record, while Louisville is a half game back at 3-1, losing to the Bearcats in October.  West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Connecticut have two conference losses.

 

This race is a mess, and we believe that five of the eight teams will end up bowl eligible.  Throw in Notre Dame, since the Irish will not earn a BCS Bowl Bid, and you have six bowl eligibles.

 

Bowl Eligible (4)

Cincinnati, Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Rutgers

 

Bowl Probable (2)

Louisville and Syracuse

 

The Cardinals and the Orangemen both have five wins.  UL can win all three of their remaining games, so it should be a slam dunk for Coach Charlie Strong’s club.  Syracuse and South Florida square off at the Carrier Dome Friday night, and the loser will probably be eliminated.

 

We believe Pittsburgh and Connecticut will both fall a game short, but both still have legitimate shots at getting to six wins.  As for South Florida, the Bulls must win at Syracuse this week, or we believe they are out of the picture.

 

Big Ten

The first year of the 12-team Big Ten has been a disappointment as no teams are in contention for the big prize, and the Rose Bowl participant will more than likely have two or even three losses.

 

Bowl Eligible (8)

Wisconsin, Ohio St., Penn St., Illinois, Michigan St., Nebraska, Michigan, and Iowa

 

Bowl Probable (1)

Northwestern

 

Northwestern has four wins, but their next two games are at home against Rice and Minnesota.  We believe they will win both to become bowl eligible.

 

Purdue is 4-5.  They must upset either Ohio State or Iowa and then beat Indiana to become bowl eligible.  We do not see the Boilermakers becoming Spoilermakers this year.

 

Big 12

Oklahoma State has moved up to number two in the BCS Ratings, as they passed Alabama. We here at the PiRate Ratings still have Oklahoma rated a bit higher than Oklahoma State, but the Sooners’ have lost a key piece to their offense.  The big game OU-OSU game comes on December 3 in Stillwater at Boone Pickens Stadium.  Tickets for that game may be more expensive than a dozen barrels of oil.  The Cowboys get an extra week to prepare for the game, so all factors are on their side.  We think it will be a great game, but losing Ryan Broyles for the season will be a major blow for OU.  We call this game a tossup as of today.

 

Bowl Eligible (4)

Oklahoma St., Oklahoma, Kansas St., and Texas

 

Bowl Probable (3)

Texas A&M, Missouri, and Baylor

 

Texas A&M and Baylor need one more win, as does Iowa State and Texas Tech.  Missouri needs two more wins.

 

A&M has been a major disappointment, but the Aggies still have a home game with Kansas and should easily win that one to become bowl eligible.

 

Baylor plays at Kansas this week and faces Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium on November 26.  The Bears will be in a bowl.

 

Missouri, just officially announced as the SEC’s 14th team beginning next season, has a home game with Texas Tech and a season-ender with Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium.

 

Texas Tech fell apart after upsetting Oklahoma.  The Red Raiders finish with Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Baylor, and unless they pull off another big upset, they will stay home in December.

 

Iowa State needs one more win, but the Cyclones finish with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State.  The next big win in Ames may be won by Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, or Newt Gingrich at the Iowa Caucuses.

 

Conference USA

Houston has a very slim chance to get to a BCS Bowl, if the Cougars go 13-0 in the regular season.  They need Boise State to lose a game so they can be the highest-rated non automatic qualifying champion in the BCS Rankings.  They need Tulsa to be 8-3 and Southern Miss to be 11-1 when they face and beat them to end the regular season and win the conference championship game.  Then, they will still need for a couple top 10 teams to drop into the second 10.  It’s possible, but not probable, because it is going to be hard for anybody to knock off Boise State.

 

Bowl Eligible (4)

Houston, Southern Mississippi, Tulsa, and SMU

 

Bowl Probable (1)

Marshall

 

There are four teams with four wins, needing two more to become bowl eligible. However, with their schedules, we only believe one will get to six victories.

 

UTEP closes with East Carolina, Tulsa, and Central Florida.  The Miners’ easiest game prior to last week was against Rice, and the lost to the Owls.

 

Central Florida closes with Southern Miss, East Carolina, and UTEP.  Only the UTEP game is at home, and we cannot see UCF winning either road game.

 

East Carolina has a decent chance with games against UTEP, UCF, and Marshall, but only the UCF game is in Greenville.

 

Marshall should lose at Tulsa this weekend, but the Thundering Herd benefits from playing Memphis the following week before hosting East Carolina the week after.  They have the best chance at emerging with six wins.

 

Independents

We have already included Notre Dame in the Big East list because the Irish do not appear to be headed to a BCS Bowl.  They would have to win at Stanford and still need a lot of help.

 

Bowl Eligible (1)

Brigham Young

 

Bowl Probable (0)

This will open the door for two at-large bowl berths. Neither Army nor Navy appear to be headed to bowl eligibility.  Both are 3-6, so one is guaranteed to lose a seventh game when they face off on December 10.

 

Navy has tough games at SMU and San Jose State before taking on Army.  The Midshipmen have beaten Army 11 straight times, and it could be Army’s year to end that streak.

 

Army closes with Rutgers and Temple before taking on Navy.

 

Mid-American

Here is another muddled conference where 10 different teams have a chance to make it to the championship game.

 

In the East, Miami of Ohio has won three games in a row after a 1-5 start to move into a tie for first with Ohio.  Temple is a half game back, while Bowling Green and Kent State are one game back.

 

In the West, Northern Illinois and Toledo are tied at 4-1 in league play, but the Huskies own the tiebreak over the Rockets after winning their epic match 63-60.  Ball State, Western Michigan, and even Eastern Michigan are still mathematically alive.

 

Bowl Eligible (3)

Ohio, Northern Illinois, and Ball State

 

Bowl Probable (5)

Toledo, Temple, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Bowling Green

 

As many as three of these probable teams could be 6-6 and would serve as the last line of teams available for at-large bids.

 

Mountain West

Boise State is number five in the BCS rankings, and the Broncos will need help from several other teams to make it to the National Championship Game.  Oklahoma State and Stanford must lose, and Alabama may have to lose again or LSU may have to lose.

 

The funny thing about the Broncos this year is that we feel this is their weakest team in the last four years!  Their run defense is not as forceful as it has been the last five years, and Boise will have a tough time winning out with TCU, San Diego State, and Wyoming still to play.

 

Bowl Eligible (2)

Boise State and TCU

 

Bowl Probable (3)

San Diego State, Wyoming, and Air Force

 

All three teams need just one more win for bowl eligibility, and all three have two patsies on their schedules.  So, all three should have at least seven wins, and one team should get to eight.

 

However, with Boise State likely headed to a BCS Bowl (not the National Championship Game), the MWC will need six bowl eligible teams and will come up one short.

 

Pac-12

Stanford still has national title aspirations, and they will need to beat Oregon handily this week and then close with convincing wins over Cal and Notre Dame.  If the Cardinal can beat the Ducks by two touchdowns, it will at least establish a comparison with LSU.  LSU beat Oregon by 13 in the season opener.  Remember, Stanford has been hit hard by injuries to their receiving corps, while Oregon is coming into their Saturday game near full strength.

 

Bowl Eligible (4)

Stanford, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona State

 

Bowl Probable (3)

Utah, UCLA, and California

 

These three teams each need one more win to get to six and all three have really good shots at doing so.

 

Utah’s schedule gives them a chance to win out.  The Utes host UCLA, then go to fast-falling Washington State, before closing at home against Colorado.

 

UCLA has a home game with Colorado, and that alone will get them to six victories.  Road games at Utah and USC do not look promising, but if they win both, they will play in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game.

 

California should become bowl eligible this weekend when they host Oregon State.

 

Southeastern

11 of the 12 teams are still alive in the bowl eligibility race, and at least nine teams will get there.  The big news is that Alabama stayed in second place in the BCS rankings.  If they win out, they will be in the National Championship Game.

 

LSU has a tough home game with Arkansas, but the Tigers should run the table and meet Alabama in New Orleans for the National Championship.

 

Bowl Eligible (6)

LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina

 

Bowl Probable (3)

Florida, Mississippi State, and Tennessee

 

Florida needs one more win and has a game with Furman, so the Gators are in.

 

Mississippi State needs one more win and should get it in the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss.

 

Tennessee, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt are 4-5 and need two more wins.  All three must play the other two and all three will probably lose their other game, which in all three cases come on the road against teams with winning records.  Because Tennessee has a long history of beating the other two, we will go with the Volunteers to beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky and become the ninth bowl eligible SEC team.

 

If both LSU and Alabama advance to the title game, the SEC will need 11 bowl eligible teams, so there could be two and even three at-large spots available for other teams.  If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, then the Tide and Tigers could play again.

 

Sunbelt

No SBC team has won 10 regular season games, but it could happen this year.  If Arkansas State defeats Louisiana (UL-Lafayette for those that do not realize the Ragin’ Cajuns call themselves “the University of Louisiana” these days), the Red Wolves will win out and go 10-2.

 

This league has benefitted from the at-large bowl bid in recent years, and it should be another season of getting at least one extra team in a bowl.

 

Bowl Eligible (2)

Arkansas State and U. of Louisiana

 

Bowl Probable (2)

Florida International and Western Kentucky

 

After starting 0-4, Western Kentucky has reeled off five straight wins, but that streak will come to a crashing halt this week.  The Hilltoppers play at LSU.

 

WAC

Two thirds through the season, no WAC team has become bowl eligible as of yet.  This league has four bowl allotments, and only three teams have five wins (no other team has even four yet).  To make matters worse, some teams will need seven wins to become eligible, because they play 13 regular season games.

 

Bowl Eligible (0)

 

Bowl Probable (4)

Nevada, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, and Utah State

 

Nevada and Louisiana Tech face off in Reno on November 19, and the winner of that game will be the conference champion, while the loser will still become bowl eligible.

 

Hawaii has home games with an subpar Fresno State team and an inept Tulane team, so the Warriors will get their needed seven wins.

 

Utah State is a stretch, but we believe the Aggies have what it takes to win out including pulling off an upset over Nevada in Logan a week after the Wolf Pack beats Louisiana Tech.

 

Total Bowl Eligible as of November 7, 2011—44

 

Total Bowl Probable as of November 7, 2011—30

 

As of today, we see about 74 bowl eligible teams fighting for 70 bowl spots.  See our bowl possibilities at the end of this post.

 

Here is this week’s list of teams ranked from 1 to 120.

 

#

Team

PiRate

1

L S U

137.3

2

Alabama

136.9

3

Stanford

133.7

4

Oklahoma

131.5

5

Oregon

128.7

6

Oklahoma St.

127.4

7

Wisconsin

124.6

8

Florida St.

124.0

9

Boise St.

123.8

10

Southern Cal

122.2

11

TexasA&M

121.3

12

Notre Dame

119.4

13

Arkansas

118.1

14

Texas

117.1

15

Arizona St.

116.8

16

Missouri

115.8

17

Clemson

115.7

18

Georgia 

115.2

19

Nebraska

115.0

20

S. Carolina

114.6

21

Michigan

114.5

22

Michigan St.

114.1

23

Florida 

112.6

24

Washington

112.5

25

Houston

112.4

26

T C U

111.9

27

Utah

111.7

28

Virginia Tech

111.6

29

Miami(FL)

111.1

30

Kansas St.

110.3

31

Mississippi St.

110.0

32

Cincinnati

109.7

33

Ohio St.

109.6

34

Baylor

108.3

35

California

108.2

36

Southern Miss.

107.8

37

Georgia Tech

107.4

38

Auburn

107.4

39

Penn St.

107.0

40

U C L A

106.8

41

Vanderbilt

106.5

42

Iowa

106.0

43

W. Virginia

106.0

44

Arizona

106.0

45

Nevada

105.9

46

Tulsa

105.8

47

B Y U

105.5

48

Tennessee

104.4

49

Pittsburgh

103.8

50

Oregon St.

103.4

51

TexasTech

103.2

52

Northwestern

103.2

53

N. Carolina

103.2

54

Virginia

103.0

55

N. Carolina St.

102.5

56

Illinois

102.4

57

WakeForest

101.8

58

S. Florida

101.2

59

Air Force

100.8

60

Louisville

100.7

61

Utah St.

99.9

62

Washington St.

99.8

63

LouisianaTech

99.6

64

Toledo

99.0

65

Rutgers

98.9

66

San Diego St.

98.7

67

Iowa St.

98.2

68

BostonColl.

98.1

69

Temple

98.0

70

Purdue

97.5

71

Hawaii

96.9

72

S M U

96.5

73

Duke

96.3

74

Central Florida

96.1

75

Connecticut

95.3

76

Northern Illinois

95.0

77

Navy

94.4

78

Ole Miss

93.9

79

Minnesota

93.8

80

Maryland

93.6

81

Arkansas St.

93.0

82

Syracuse

93.0

83

Kentucky

92.8

84

Western Michigan

92.3

85

Wyoming

92.2

86

Colorado

92.0

87

East Carolina

91.7

88

Fresno St.

91.0

89

San Jose St.

90.9

90

Miami(O)

90.4

91

Marshall

88.3

92

OhioU

88.2

93

Kansas

88.0

94

U T E P

86.7

95

Idaho

86.7

96

Army

85.9

97

FloridaInt’l

85.8

98

UL-Lafayette

84.9

99

Bowling Green

84.7

100

WesternKy.

84.5

101

New Mexico St.

84.2

102

Rice

84.2

103

UL-Monroe

83.6

104

Indiana

83.2

105

Colorado St.

82.9

106

Ball St.

82.2

107

U N L V

82.2

108

Eastern Michigan

80.2

109

North Texas

79.6

110

Central Michigan

78.4

111

U A B

78.4

112

Kent St.

78.3

113

Troy

76.3

114

MiddleTennessee

76.2

115

Buffalo

73.5

116

Tulane

69.7

117

Akron

67.7

118

New Mexico

67.4

119

Memphis

66.9

120

FloridaAtlantic

65.6

 

The PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

FloridaState

4-2

6-3

124.0

Clemson

5-1

8-1

115.7

North CarolinaState

2-3

5-4

102.5

WakeForest

4-2

5-4

101.8

BostonCollege

1-5

2-7

98.1

Maryland

1-5

2-7

93.6

       
Coastal Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Virginia Tech

4-1

8-1

111.6

Miami-FL

3-3

5-4

111.1

Georgia Tech

4-2

7-2

107.4

North Carolina

2-4

6-4

103.2

Virginia

3-2

6-3

103.0

Duke

1-4

3-6

96.3

 

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Cincinnati

3-0

7-1

109.7

West Virginia

2-2

6-3

106.0

Pittsburgh

2-2

4-5

103.8

South Florida

0-4

4-4

101.2

Louisville

3-1

5-4

100.7

Rutgers

3-2

6-3

98.9

Connecticut

2-2

4-5

95.3

Syracuse

1-3

5-4

93.0

 

 

Big Ten

       
Leaders Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Wisconsin

3-2

7-2

124.6

OhioState

3-2

6-3

109.6

PennState

5-0

8-1

107.0

Illinois

2-3

6-3

102.4

Purdue

2-3

4-5

97.5

Indiana

0-6

1-9

83.2

       
Legends Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nebraska

3-2

7-2

115.0

Michigan

3-2

7-2

114.5

MichiganState

4-1

7-2

114.1

Iowa

3-2

6-3

106.0

Northwestern

2-4

4-5

103.2

Minnesota

1-4

2-7

93.8

 

 

Big 12

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Oklahoma

5-1

8-1

131.5

OklahomaState

6-0

9-0

127.4

TexasA&M

3-3

5-4

121.3

Texas

3-2

6-2

117.1

Missouri

2-4

4-5

115.8

KansasState

4-2

7-2

110.3

Baylor

2-3

5-3

108.3

TexasTech

2-4

5-4

103.2

IowaState

2-4

5-4

98.2

Kansas

0-6

2-7

88.0

 

 

Conference USA

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Southern Mississippi

4-1

8-1

107.8

Central Florida

2-3

4-5

96.1

East Carolina

3-2

4-5

91.7

Marshall

3-2

4-5

88.3

U A B

1-5

1-8

78.4

Memphis

1-3

2-7

66.9

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Houston

5-0

9-0

112.4

Tulsa

5-0

6-3

105.8

S M U

4-2

6-3

96.5

U T E P

1-4

4-5

86.7

Rice

2-4

3-6

84.2

Tulane

1-5

2-8

69.7

 

 

Independents

       
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Notre Dame  

6-3

119.4

B Y U  

6-3

105.5

Navy  

3-6

94.4

Army  

3-6

85.9

 

 

Mid American Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Temple

3-3

5-4

98.0

Miami(O)

3-2

4-5

90.4

OhioU

3-2

6-3

88.2

Bowling Green

2-3

4-5

84.7

Kent St.

2-3

3-6

78.3

Buffalo

1-4

2-7

73.5

Akron

0-5

1-8

67.7

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Toledo

4-1

5-4

99.0

Northern Illinois

4-1

6-3

95.0

Western Michigan

3-2

5-4

92.3

BallState

4-2

6-4

82.2

Eastern Michigan

3-2

5-4

80.2

Central Michigan

2-4

3-7

78.4

 

 

Mountain West Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

BoiseState

3-0

8-0

123.8

T C U

4-0

7-2

111.9

Air Force

1-3

5-4

100.8

San DiegoState

2-2

5-3

98.7

Wyoming

2-1

5-3

92.2

ColoradoState

1-2

3-5

82.9

UNLV

1-2

2-6

82.2

New Mexico

0-4

0-9

67.4

 

 

Pac-12 Conference

       
North Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Stanford

7-0

9-0

133.7

Oregon

6-0

8-1

128.7

Washington

4-2

6-3

112.5

California

2-4

5-4

108.2

OregonState

2-4

2-7

103.4

WashingtonState

1-5

3-6

99.8

       
South Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

U S C

4-2

7-2

122.2

ArizonaState

4-2

6-3

116.8

Utah

2-4

5-4

111.7

U C L A

4-2

5-4

106.8

Arizona

1-5

2-7

106.0

Colorado

0-6

1-9

92.0

 

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Georgia

5-1

7-2

115.2

South Carolina

5-2

7-2

114.6

Florida

3-4

5-4

112.6

Vanderbilt

1-5

4-5

106.5

Tennessee

0-5

4-5

104.4

Kentucky

1-4

4-5

92.8

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

L S U

6-0

9-0

137.3

Alabama

5-1

8-1

136.9

Arkansas

4-1

8-1

118.1

MississippiState

1-4

5-4

110.0

Auburn

4-2

6-3

107.4

Ole Miss

0-6

2-7

93.9

 

 

Sunbelt Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

ArkansasState

5-0

7-2

93.0

FloridaInternational

2-3

5-4

85.8

U.ofLouisiana

6-1

8-2

84.9

Western Kentucky

5-1

5-4

84.5

Louisiana-Monroe

1-4

2-7

83.6

North Texas

2-3

3-6

79.6

Troy

1-3

2-6

76.3

MiddleTennessee

1-3

2-6

76.2

FloridaAtlantic

0-5

0-8

65.6

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nevada

3-0

5-3

105.9

UtahState

1-2

3-5

99.9

LouisianaTech

4-1

5-4

99.6

Hawaii

3-2

5-4

96.9

FresnoState

2-2

3-6

91.0

San JoseState

2-3

3-6

90.9

New MexicoState

1-3

3-6

84.2

Idaho

1-4

2-7

86.7

 

 

Here are the PiRate spreads for this week’s games.

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

   

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 1  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

TOLEDO Western Michigan

9.7

38-28

10   

Northern Illinois BOWLING GREEN

7.3

35-28

7   

   

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 2  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

TEMPLE Miami (O)

10.1

27-17

13   

   

 

 

 

Thursday, November 3  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

Ohio U CENTRAL MICHIGAN

7.3

27-20

5   

Houston TULANE

40.2

50-10

33   

Virginia Tech GEORGIA TECH

1.2

26-25

-1   

   

 

 

 

Friday, November 4  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

South Florida SYRACUSE

4.7

28-23

4   

   

 

 

 

Saturday, November 5  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

Pittsburgh LOUISVILLE

0.1

27-27 to ot

-3   

Ohio St. PURDUE

9.1

35-26

8   

Michigan ILLINOIS

9.1

30-21

3   

NORTHWESTERN Rice

22.0

45-23

15 1/2

VANDERBILT Kentucky

16.2

35-19

13   

CLEMSON Wake Forest

16.9

34-17

19 1/2

VIRGINIA Duke

9.7

34-24

8 1/2

North Carolina St. BOSTON COLLEGE

1.4

17-16

2   

EASTERN MICHIGAN Buffalo

9.2

33-24

2 1/2

Texas A&M KANSAS ST.

8.0

42-34

3   

Kent St. AKRON

8.1

28-20

6 1/2

Baylor KANSAS

17.3

38-21

17 1/2

AIR FORCE Wyoming

11.6

33-21

14   

B Y U Idaho

22.3

38-16

19 1/2

S M U Navy

5.1

35-30

6 1/2

UTAH ST. San Jose St.

12.0

38-26

11   

TULSA Marshall

20.5

38-17

16   

BOISE ST. T c u

14.9

38-23

15 1/2

FLORIDA ST. Miami (Fla)

15.4

31-16

10   

CINCINNATI West Virginia

6.7

31-24

3 1/2

Rutgers  (n) Army

13.0

27-12

8 1/2

MISSOURI Texas

1.7

38-36

-1 1/2

Nebraska PENN ST.

4.5

26-21

3   

Oklahoma St. TEXAS TECH

21.2

49-28

18   

Michigan St. IOWA

5.1

21-16

3   

ARKANSAS Tennessee

16.7

27-10

NL

SOUTH CAROLINA Florida

5.0

24-19

NL

SOUTHERN CAL Washington

13.2

34-21

13 1/2

GEORGIA Auburn

10.3

31-21

12 1/2

CALIFORNIA Oregon St.

7.8

28-20

9 1/2

STANFORD Oregon

8.0

38-30

3   

NEVADA Hawaii

12.5

34-21

10   

U a b MEMPHIS

9.0

23-14

7 1/2

San Diego St. COLORADO ST.

13.3

30-17

14 1/2

Alabama MISSISSIPPI ST.

23.9

34-10

18 1/2

Arizona St. WASHINGTON ST.

14.0

35-21

12 1/2

Louisiana Tech OLE MISS

2.7

27-24

-1   

Wisconsin MINNESOTA

27.8

49-21

28 1/2

Notre Dame  (n) Maryland

24.8

38-13

19   

Fresno St. NEW MEXICO ST.

4.3

31-27

NL

UTAH U c l a

7.9

27-19

7 1/2

SOUTHERN MISS. Central Florida

14.7

35-20

10   

East Carolina U T E P

2.5

31-28

-3 1/2

Arizona COLORADO

11.0

28-17

13 1/2

U n l v NEW MEXICO

12.3

28-16

8 1/2

ARKANSAS ST. Louisiana-Lafayette

11.1

38-27

9 1/2

North Texas TROY

0.8

27-26

NL

LOUISIANA-MONROE Middle Tennessee

11.2

28-17

5 1/2

FLORIDA INT’L Florida Atlantic

22.7

33-10

18 1/2

L S U Western Kentucky

56.3

56-0

41   

 

 

Bowl Speculation

(Team) means at-large selection.  The MAC and Sunbelt Get Them All!

 

Bowl

Conference

Conference

Team

Team

New Mexico

MWC # 5

Pac12 #7 / WAC

(Toledo)

Louisiana Tech

Famous Idaho Potato

MWC #2 or 4

WAC

Wyoming

Nevada

New Orleans

Sunbelt #1

C-USA

Arkansas St.

(Ball St.)

Beef O’Brady’s

Big East #6

C-USA

Syracuse

Marshall

Poinsettia

MWC #2 or 4

WAC

San Diego St.

Utah St.

MAACO

MWC #1

Pac 12 #5

T C U

U C L A

Hawaii

WAC

C-USA

Hawaii

Southern Miss.

Independence

ACC #7

MWC #3

Miami (Fl)

Air Force

Little Caesar’s Pizza

Big 10 #8

MAC #2

Illinois

Ohio U

Belk

ACC #5

Big East #3

North Carolina

West Virginia

Military

ACC #8

Navy

Virginia

(Temple)

Holiday

Pac 12 #3

Big 12 #5

Utah

Missouri

Champs Sports

Big East #2

ACC #3

Notre Dame

Clemson

Alamo

Big 12 #3

Pac 10 #2

Kansas St.

Arizona St.

Armed Forces

C-USA #3

B Y U

Tulsa

B Y U

Pinstripe

Big East #4

Big 12 #7

Rutgers

(Florida Int’l)

Music City

SEC # 7

ACC #6

Tennessee

North Carolina St.

Insight

Big 12 #4

Big 10 #4 or 5

Texas A&M

Ohio St.

Meineke Car Care of Texas

Big 12 #6

Big 10 #6

Baylor

Michigan

Sun

ACC #4

Pac 12 #4

Virginia Tech

Washington

Kraft Fight Hunger

Pac 10 #6

Army/ACC

California

Wake Forest

Liberty

SEC#8-9/BigEast

C-USA #1

Mississippi St.

Houston

Chick-fil-A

SEC #5

ACC #2

Auburn

Florida State

TicketCity

Big 10 #7

C-USA

Iowa

S M U

Capital One

Big 10 #2

SEC #2

Wisconsin

Georgia

Gator

Big 10 #4 or 5

SEC #6

Nebraska

Florida

Outback

SEC #3 or 4

Big 10 #3

South Carolina

Michigan St.

Rose

BCS Pac12

BCS Big 10

Stanford

Penn St.

Fiesta

BCS Big 12

BCS At-Large

Oklahoma

Oregon

Sugar

BCS SEC

BCS At-Large

Alabama

Boise St.

Orange

BCS ACC

BCS At-Large

Georgia Tech

Cincinnati

Cotton

Big 12 #2

SEC #3 or 4

Texas

Arkansas

BBVA Compass

Big East#5/CUSA

SEC #8 or 9

Louisville

(Western Ky.)

GoDaddy.com

Sunbelt # 2

MAC #1

Louisiana-Laf.

Northern Illinois

National Championship

*** BCS #1 ***

*** BCS #2 ***

L S U

Oklahoma St.

 

 

Advertisements

October 31, 2011

PiRate Ratings: College Football for November 1-5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:57 am

1 vs. 2

Are you ready for the newest Game of the Century?  Here is a breakdown of this special game.

 

L S U (5-0 SEC  8-0 Overall #1 in nation) vs. Alabama (5-0 SEC  8-0 Overall #2 in Nation)

 

Site: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL  Capacity: 101,820

 

Television: Saturday, November 5, 2011 CBS 8:00 PM EDT

 

L S U

Oregon (N)                 40-27

Northwestern St.       49-  3

@ Mississippi St.        19-  6

@ West Virginia        47-21

Kentucky                    35-  7

Florida                        41-11

@ Tennessee              38-  7

Auburn                      45-10

 

Stat Box

Stat                             LSU                Opp

Pts                               39.3                 11.5

FD                               20.8                 14.5

Rushing                      189.0               76.6

Rush Avg.                  4.3                   2.5

Real Rush *               194.1               92.3

Real Rush Avg. *      4.5                   3.3

Passing Yds.               183.1               174.8

Pass Yds/Att.             8.3                   5.4

Real Passing Yds. *   178.0               159.1

QB Sacks Allowed     7-41                 19-125

Interception %          0.6                   4.3

Total Offense             372.1               251.4

Punts                          43.9/Net 41.1 

PAT                            38-40

FG                               10-12 (44 LG)

Kick Return               23.8                 19.8

Punt Return               8.0                   0.6

TO Margin                 +15

Red Zone total           39                    16

RZ TD                        31                      9

RZ FG                          7                      6

 

* Using NFL rules where sacks count against passing yardage

Alabama

Kent St.                      48-  7

@ Penn St.                 27-11

North Texas               41-  0

Arkansas                    38-14

@ Florida                   38-10

Vanderbilt                  34-  0

@ Ole Miss                 52-  7

Tennessee                   37-  6

 

Stat Box

Stat                             Ala                  Opp

Pts                               39.4                   6.9

FD                               21.9                   9.9

Rushing                      229.3               44.9

Rush Avg.                  5.8                   1.7

Real Rush *               238.3               59.8

Real Rush Avg. *      6.3                   2.4

Passing Yds.               228.4               135.6

Pass Yds/Att.             8.0                   4.5

Real Passing Yds. *   219.4               120.8

QB Sacks Allowed     12-72               17-119

Interception %          2.2                   3.7

Total Offense             457.6               180.5

Punts                          39.0/36.4 Net 

PAT                            39-40

FG                               12-16 (45 LG)

Kick Return               23.5

Punt Return               12.7

TO Margin                 +6

Red Zone total           41                    9

RZ TD                        24                    5

RZ FG                        11                    1

 

* Using NFL rules where sacks count against passing yardage

 

 

PiRate Ratings

Alabama                     138.1  #1

L S U                          136.1  #2

 

Alabama Home-field Advantage for this game: 3 pts

 

PiRate Spread           Alabama 5.0

PiRate Score              Alabama 21  L S U 16

 

100 Computer Simulations

Wins: Alabama 54  L S U 46

Avg. Score: Alabama 18.76  L S U 16.36

Outlier A: Alabama 31  L S U 10

Outlier B: L S U 24  Alabama 10

Average Spread: 7.48 points

Spread Deviation: 4.64

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

#

Team

PiRate

1

Alabama

138.1

2

L S U

136.1

3

Stanford

134.0

4

Oklahoma

132.0

5

Oklahoma St.

130.6

6

Oregon

128.1

7

Boise St.

126.9

8

Southern Cal

122.4

9

Florida St.

122.4

10

Notre Dame

122.1

11

Wisconsin

121.8

12

TexasA&M

120.8

13

Arizona St.

119.1

14

Missouri

118.6

15

Nebraska

118.5

16

Michigan

117.1

17

S. Carolina

116.9

18

Arkansas

116.5

19

Michigan St.

116.3

20

Clemson

115.7

21

Texas

114.3

22

Georgia 

113.9

23

Ohio St.

113.4

24

Washington

113.1

25

Florida 

112.9

26

T C U

112.1

27

Virginia Tech

111.6

28

Houston

109.6

29

Cincinnati

109.5

30

Mississippi St.

109.5

31

W. Virginia

109.3

32

Utah

109.2

33

Miami(FL)

108.9

34

Arizona

108.3

35

Southern Miss.

107.5

36

Auburn

107.4

37

Georgia Tech

107.4

38

Penn St.

107.0

39

Kansas St.

106.8

40

TexasTech

106.3

41

Nevada

105.9

42

Vanderbilt

105.9

43

N. Carolina

105.8

44

Tulsa

105.7

45

Baylor

105.5

46

B Y U

105.5

47

California

105.4

48

Tennessee

105.1

49

U C L A

104.2

50

Pittsburgh

104.0

51

Iowa

103.7

52

Oregon St.

103.1

53

Air Force

102.6

54

Illinois

102.4

55

Washington St.

102.3

56

S. Florida

101.3

57

Iowa St.

101.0

58

Purdue

100.6

59

Toledo

100.6

60

Temple

100.3

61

Northwestern

100.0

62

BostonColl.

99.7

63

Virginia

99.5

64

WakeForest

99.4

65

N. Carolina St.

99.4

66

San Diego St.

99.3

67

Rutgers

98.8

68

Duke

98.7

69

Utah St.

98.7

70

Hawaii

98.4

71

Louisville

97.7

72

S M U

97.5

73

Ole Miss

97.0

74

Maryland

96.8

75

LouisianaTech

96.4

76

Central Florida

96.2

77

Syracuse

94.3

78

Connecticut

94.3

79

Arkansas St.

93.8

80

Fresno St.

93.7

81

Northern Illinois

93.4

82

San Jose St.

93.4

83

Western Michigan

92.3

84

Wyoming

92.0

85

East Carolina

92.0

86

Navy

91.8

87

Colorado

91.8

88

Minnesota

90.1

89

Kentucky

90.0

90

Miami(O)

89.3

91

Marshall

88.3

92

U T E P

87.5

93

FloridaInt’l

86.0

94

OhioU

85.9

95

New Mexico St.

85.5

96

UL-Lafayette

85.2

97

Kansas

85.2

98

Bowling Green

84.7

99

Army

84.6

100

WesternKy.

84.3

101

Idaho

84.2

102

Rice

83.4

103

UL-Monroe

83.3

104

Colorado St.

82.9

105

Ball St.

81.5

106

U A B

81.2

107

Eastern Michigan

80.9

108

Indiana

80.4

109

North Texas

79.6

110

U N L V

79.4

111

Troy

78.9

112

Central Michigan

78.7

113

Kent St.

78.0

114

MiddleTennessee

75.5

115

Buffalo

73.5

116

Tulane

69.2

117

Akron

68.8

118

Memphis

66.9

119

New Mexico

66.8

120

FloridaAtlantic

64.8

 

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

FloridaState

3-2

5-3

122.4

Clemson

5-1

8-1

115.7

BostonCollege

1-4

2-6

99.7

WakeForest

4-2

5-3

99.4

North CarolinaState

1-3

4-4

99.4

Maryland

1-4

2-6

96.8

       
Coastal Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Virginia Tech

4-1

8-1

111.6

Miami-FL

2-3

4-4

108.9

Georgia Tech

4-2

7-2

107.4

North Carolina

2-3

6-3

105.8

Virginia

2-2

5-3

99.5

Duke

1-3

3-5

98.7

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Cincinnati

2-0

6-1

109.5

West Virginia

2-1

6-2

109.3

Pittsburgh

2-1

4-4

104.0

South Florida

0-3

4-3

101.3

Rutgers

2-2

5-3

98.8

Louisville

2-1

4-4

97.7

Syracuse

1-2

5-3

94.3

Connecticut

1-2

3-5

94.3

 

Big Ten

       
Leaders Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Wisconsin

2-2

6-2

121.8

OhioState

2-2

5-3

113.4

PennState

5-0

8-1

107.0

Illinois

2-3

6-3

102.4

Purdue

2-2

4-4

100.6

Indiana

0-5

1-8

80.4

       
Legends Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nebraska

3-1

7-1

118.5

Michigan

3-1

7-1

117.1

MichiganState

3-1

6-2

116.3

Iowa

2-2

5-3

103.7

Northwestern

1-4

3-5

100.0

Minnesota

1-3

2-6

90.1

 

Big 12

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Oklahoma

4-1

7-1

132.0

OklahomaState

5-0

8-0

130.6

TexasA&M

3-2

5-3

120.8

Missouri

2-3

4-4

118.6

Texas

2-2

5-2

114.3

KansasState

4-1

7-1

106.8

TexasTech

2-3

5-3

106.3

Baylor

1-3

4-3

105.5

IowaState

1-4

4-4

101.0

Kansas

0-5

2-6

85.2

 

Conference USA

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Southern Mississippi

3-1

7-1

107.5

Central Florida

2-2

4-4

96.2

East Carolina

3-1

4-4

92.0

Marshall

3-2

4-5

88.3

U A B

1-4

1-7

81.2

Memphis

1-3

2-7

66.9

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Houston

4-0

8-0

109.6

Tulsa

4-0

5-3

105.7

S M U

3-2

5-3

97.5

U T E P

1-3

4-4

87.5

Rice

1-4

2-6

83.4

Tulane

1-4

2-7

69.2

 

Independents

       
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Notre Dame  

5-3

122.1

B Y U  

6-3

105.5

Navy  

2-6

91.8

Army  

3-5

84.6

 

Mid American Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Temple

3-2

5-3

100.3

Miami(O)

2-2

3-5

89.3

OhioU

2-2

5-3

85.9

Bowling Green

2-3

4-5

84.7

Kent St.

1-3

2-6

78.0

Buffalo

1-4

2-7

73.5

Akron

0-4

1-7

68.8

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Toledo

4-0

5-3

100.6

Northern Illinois

3-1

5-3

93.4

Western Michigan

3-2

5-4

92.3

BallState

3-2

5-4

81.5

Eastern Michigan

3-1

5-3

80.9

Central Michigan

2-3

3-6

78.7

 

Mountain West Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

BoiseState

2-0

7-0

126.9

T C U

3-0

6-2

112.1

Air Force

1-3

4-4

102.6

San DiegoState

1-2

4-3

99.3

Wyoming

2-0

5-2

92.0

ColoradoState

1-2

3-5

82.9

UNLV

1-1

2-5

79.4

New Mexico

0-3

0-8

66.8

 

Pac-12 Conference

       
North Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Stanford

6-0

8-0

134.0

Oregon

5-0

7-1

128.1

Washington

4-1

6-2

113.1

California

1-4

4-4

105.4

OregonState

2-3

2-6

103.1

WashingtonState

1-4

3-5

102.3

       
South Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

U S C

3-2

6-2

122.4

ArizonaState

4-1

6-2

119.1

Utah

1-4

4-4

109.2

Arizona

1-4

2-6

108.3

U C L A

3-2

4-4

104.2

Colorado

0-5

1-8

91.8

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

South Carolina

5-1

7-1

116.9

Georgia

5-1

6-2

113.9

Florida

2-4

4-4

112.9

Vanderbilt

1-4

4-4

105.9

Tennessee

0-5

3-5

105.1

Kentucky

0-4

3-5

90.0

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Alabama

5-0

8-0

138.1

L S U

5-0

8-0

136.1

Arkansas

3-1

7-1

116.5

MississippiState

1-4

4-4

109.5

Auburn

4-2

6-3

107.4

Ole Miss

0-5

2-6

97.0

 

Sunbelt Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

ArkansasState

4-0

6-2

93.8

FloridaInternational

2-2

5-3

86.0

U.ofLouisiana

5-1

7-2

85.2

Western Kentucky

4-1

4-4

84.3

Louisiana-Monroe

1-3

2-6

83.3

North Texas

2-3

3-6

79.6

Troy

1-3

2-5

78.9

MiddleTennessee

1-3

2-5

75.5

FloridaAtlantic

0-4

0-7

64.8

 

Western Athletic Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nevada

3-0

5-3

105.9

UtahState

0-2

2-5

98.7

Hawaii

3-1

5-3

98.4

LouisianaTech

3-1

4-4

96.4

FresnoState

2-1

3-5

93.7

San JoseState

2-2

3-5

93.4

New MexicoState

1-3

3-5

85.5

Idaho

0-4

1-7

84.2

 

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

   

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 1  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

TOLEDO Northern Illinois

10.2

38-28

7   

   

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 2  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

Temple OHIOU

11.4

28-17

5   

   

 

 

 

Thursday, November 3  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

MIAMI(O) Akron

23.0

35-12

16 1/2

Florida St. BOSTONCOLLEGE

19.7

34-14

14 1/2

Tulsa CENTRAL FLORIDA

6.5

34-27

-3   

   

 

 

 

Friday, November 4  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

KENT ST. Central Michigan

1.8

23-21

-1   

Southern Cal COLORADO

27.6

41-13

22   

   

 

 

 

Saturday, November 5  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

WEST VIRGINIA Louisville

14.6

35-20

14   

EASTERN MICHIGAN Ball St.

1.9

26-24

-3 1/2

Ole Miss KENTUCKY

4.0

24-20

2 1/2

GEORGIA New Mexico St.

32.9

47-14

37   

RUTGERS South Florida

0.5

28-27

-1   

Virginia MARYLAND

0.2

26-26 to ot

-2 1/2

CONNECTICUT Syracuse

2.5

24-21

3 1/2

MIAMI(FL) Duke

13.2

30-17

16 1/2

MICHIGAN ST. Minnesota

29.2

42-13

28   

WISCONSIN Purdue

24.2

41-17

26 1/2

OHIO ST. Indiana

36.0

42-6

29   

FLORIDA Vanderbilt

10.5

27-16

11   

IOWA ST. Kansas

18.8

35-16

13 1/2

NEBRASKA Northwestern

22.5

44-21

19   

T c u WYOMING

17.1

38-21

20   

S M U Tulane

31.3

41-10

25   

AIR FORCE Army

21.0

42-21

14 1/2

Michigan IOWA

9.9

31-21

3 1/2

TEXAS TexasTech

11.0

31-20

10   

OKLAHOMA TexasA&M

14.7

41-26

16 1/2

ARKANSAS South Carolina

2.6

27-24

4 1/2

North Carolina NORTH CAROLINA ST.

3.9

27-23

3 1/2

ALABAMA L s u

5.0

21-16

4 1/2

Oregon WASHINGTON

12.0

40-28

16 1/2

Arizona St. U C L A

11.9

35-23

13 1/2

CALIFORNIA Washington St.

6.1

34-28

9 1/2

Notre Dame WAKEFOREST

20.2

37-17

14   

Southern Miss. EAST CAROLINA

12.5

41-28

9 1/2

SAN JOSE ST. Idaho

12.2

35-23

6   

ARIZONA Utah

2.1

24-22

1 1/2

Stanford OREGON ST.

27.9

49-21

21   

OKLAHOMA ST. Kansas St.

27.3

44-17

21 1/2

Missouri BAYLOR

10.1

38-28

1   

Houston U A B

25.9

50-24

24   

Cincinnati PITTSBURGH

2.5

24-21

3   

SAN DIEGO ST. New Mexico

35.5

49-13

37   

U t e p RICE

1.6

28-26

1 1/2

FRESNO ST. LouisianaTech

1.3

28-27

4   

Boise St. U N L V

44.5

59-14

41   

HAWAII Utah St.

3.7

31-27

9   

NAVY Troy

15.9

42-26

5   

UL-LAFAYETTE UL-Monroe

4.4

28-24

3 1/2

WESTERN KENTUCKY FloridaInternational

0.8

28-27

-3   

TENNESSEE MiddleTennessee

32.6

42-9

18   

Arkansas St. FLORIDAATLANTIC

26.5

37-10

16   

 

Note: If you like Halloween stories, check out the true story that happened to our founder 41 years ago tonight at: https://piratings.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/a-true-halloween-story/

 

August 22, 2011

2011 Mountain West Conference Preview

2011 Mountain West Conference Preview

If only…  If only Brigham Young and Utah had chosen to stay in this conference, and TCU would not have announced their departure after 2011-12, this conference would have leap-frogged over at least one and maybe two automatic qualifying BCS leagues.

 

Imagine a league with Boise State, TCU, BYU, Utah, and Air Force as its top tier and with San Diego State and Colorado State frequently displaying enough talent to beat teams from the “Big Six” conferences.  This league would have had the potential to state its case for inclusion in the AQ conferences.  With the Big 12 on the precipice of breaking up, who knows?  Maybe the MWC could have taken in the leftovers from that league and assumed an automatic qualifying position.

 

2011 should still be an interesting season in this conference.  TCU must still play one more year here, and then the top three teams from the WAC (Nevada, Hawaii, and Fresno State) will join Boise State in this league.

 

Boise State

The Broncos dominated the WAC like no other team has dominated a conference since Alabama dominated the SEC in the 1970’s.  BSU posted a WAC record of 69-3 in their last nine seasons in their old league (Alabama went 64-4 in the SEC from 1971-1980; Oklahoma went 64-6 in the Big 8 in that same time frame).

 

Will Coach Chris Petersen’s Broncos dominate the MWC like they did the WAC?  It looks like they will in 2011.  Boise returns just enough talent to make another run toward an undefeated season.

 

Kellen Moore is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender.  The quarterback is already the leading passer in school history.  Last year, he completed better than 71% of his passes at better than 10 yards per attempt.  His TD/Int ratio was 35/6, and there is no reason to believe he cannot duplicate or improve upon those numbers this year.  He is a bit small for the NFL’s likes, but he should still be a second day draft choice next year.  Backup Joe Southwick is more than capable of running the team should Moore go down with an injury.

 

Moore loses his top two targets from a year ago.  Titus Young and Austin Pettis were gems, as they both grabbed 71 passes and teamed for 19 touchdowns.  Both were high draft picks, so there will be a drop-off in talent at this position.  However, Boise might still have the best receiver in the league.  Tyler Shoemaker proved to be a breakaway threat when he averaged better than 18 yards per reception last year.  Tight end Kyle Efaw should see more balls thrown his way this year after grabbing 24 passes and scoring five times in 2010.

 

Another pass-catching threat is running back Doug Martin.  Martin had 28 receptions last year to go with 1,260 yards rushing and 14 total touchdowns.  He’s always a threat to break open any run or reception.

 

The offensive line returns three starters; foremost among them is tackle Nate Potter.  The former two-time 1st Team All-WAC should become a 1st Team All-MWC and contend for All-American honors as well.  Center Thomas Byrd is likely to join Potter on the all-conference squad.

 

Maybe the biggest loss on this side of the ball is offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.  Harsin is now the OC at Texas.  Former Houston Oiler quarterback Brent Pease is the new OC after serving as the receivers’ coach here for multiple seasons.

 

We look for Boise State to continue dominating with an explosive offense this year, but we seriously doubt the Broncos will match their 2010 numbers of 45 points and 520 yards per game.  Call it about 38 points and 450 yards per game, as Moore will have to rely a little more on the short passing game.

 

The Bronco defense played one poor half all season.  Unfortunately, it came against Nevada, and it ended the 24-game winning streak.  They allowed just 11 points and 232 yards per game in the other 12 contests.  Expect more of the same in 2011, as the Broncos are strong from front to back.  Their defensive line could be one of the top five in the country.

 

BSU forced 49 sacks last season, and it should be another stellar year for rushing the passer.  Three starters return to the front four, and the new starter saw considerable action last year.  We would not be surprised if all four players earned some form of post-season honors.  Tackle Billy Winn will be a high draft choice next spring.  He comes off a 2010 season that saw him make four sacks and 9 ½ total tackles for loss, while driving blockers away from the linebackers.  End Shea McClellin led the team with 9 ½ sacks and tied for the lead with 13 ½ total tackles for loss.  New starting end Tyrone Crawford finished second on the team last year with seven sacks and tied McClellin with 13 ½ total tackles for loss.  Chase Baker added 4 ½ sacks from his tackle spot.

 

The linebacker position is not quite as strong as the front four, but it is still a big plus.  Both starters from 2010 are back.  Byron Hout and Aaron Tevis combined for 80 tackles a year ago.

 

The five-man secondary returns just two starters, but the new starters will receive a lot of help from having the best pass rushers in the league up front.  The Broncos did not intercept many passes in 2010, but they made up for it with excellent coverage.

 

Another key loss to the team this year is punter/kicker Kyle Brotzman.  Brotzman may be remembered for missing the critical field goals against Nevada, but he was one of the best combo kickers in the nation.

 

The new schedule finds a couple of possible bumps in the road, but we tend to believe Boise is capable of running the table and challenging for a spot in the National Championship Game.  Once again, Boise must travel 2,000+ miles to the east for their opening season game.  This time, the Broncos face Georgia at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.  If they get by the Bulldogs, then they should be 8-0 when TCU comes to Bronco Stadium.  TCU will not be as strong this year as they have been in recent seasons, and we see Boise winning that one.  So, an opening win over Georgia would more than likely send Boise to a 12-0 season with hopes that there are not two undefeated teams from the AQ conferences.

 

T C U

13-0 and a 3rd place national finish following a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin is a hard act to follow.  The Horned Frogs enjoyed their best season since the 1938 squad won the national title and tiny quarterback Davey O’Brien won the Heisman Trophy.

 

2011 looks like a rebuilding year, but Coach Gary Patterson should be able to coax another winning season and bowl bid out of his troops.

 

The bigger rebuilding job must take place on the offensive side of the ball.  Quarterback Andy Dalton may wish he was still in college rather than be the starting quarterback for the most mismanaged team in the NFL.  Dalton left as the all-time leading passer in TCU history.  This position will take a major hit, because the expected starter, Casey Pachall, has an injured shoulder.  An MRI turned up negative, but a sore shoulder does not lead to a great passer.  If Pachall is not 100% ready to start the season, TCU will be in a heap of trouble.  Behind him are two untested backups.  Matt Brown and Trevone Boykin both have the potential to be excellent dual threat quarterbacks, but both are freshmen; Boykin is a true freshman.

 

Three of the top four receivers from last year have also used up their eligibility.  That leaves Josh Boyce as the only holdover from among that quartet.  Boyce caught 34 passes and averaged an eye-popping 19 yards per reception with six touchdowns.  Antoine Hicks saw limited action and caught 13 passes, but he has the potential to be a big-play receiver.

 

The backfield is the strong spot on this team, and we look for the running game to be featured more often this season.  Last year, the Horned Frogs ran the ball 64% of the time, and that number could approach 70% this year.  Ed Wesley ran for 1,078 yards and 11 touchdowns, while chief backup Matthew Tucker contributed over 700 yards and seven scores.  3rd teamer Waymon James saw enough action to rush for more than 500 yards and five scores.  All three return, as well as fourth teamer Aundre Dean, who led the team in yards per carry at 7.0.

 

The biggest problem area is the offensive line.  Only one starter returns.  Among those missing is 1st Team All-American and Rimington Award winner Jake Kirkpatrick and 1st Team All-MWC tackle Marcus Cannon.  The OL gave up just nine sacks all season.  Look for a considerable gain in this negative statistic this season.

 

TCU averaged almost 42 points per game while rushing for close to 250 yards and passing for more than 225 yards per game last year.  The Frogs won’t jump that high this season.  Look for a regression to about 28-30 points and 375-400 yards per game.

 

There is rebuilding to do on the defensive side of the ball as well, only not as much as on the offensive side.  Of course, there is nowhere to go but down after the team finished first nationally in points and yards allowed.  The definite strength of the defense is at linebacker where both starters return after garnering All-American honors last year.   Tanner Brock and Tank Carder are future NFL stars.  The duo teamed up to record 166 tackles with 15 ½ tackles for loss, while they found time to record 10 passes defended.

 

The front four is not as talented as Boise State’s great quartet, but they are better than any other MWC team.  End Stansly Maponga earned 2nd Team All-MWC accolades last year.  The other end spot may eventually go to sophomore Jon Koontz over senior Braylon Broughton.  D.J. Yendrey and Ray Burns make a capable pair of tackles.

 

The secondary shows promise, but it is not going to be up to the standards set by last year’s team.  For the second year in a row, TCU allowed fewer than half of enemy passes to be completed, but we expect that streak to end this season.  Cornerback Greg McCoy intercepted a couple of passes and knocked away six others.  New starter Jason Verrett will replace all-conference CB Jason Teague.  At Safety, only one of the three starters returns.  Tekerrein Cuba is a sure thing at one spot, but Patterson has been switching players around at the other two positions. 

 

The schedule is manageable this season.  An opener at Baylor followed by a trip to the Springs to take on Air Force in week two will be a great indicator for this team.  A 2-0 start could give TCU a chance to visit the field of blue with a 9-0 record.  Of course, this team could lose one or both of those first two games.  We believe the Horned Frogs can earn another double-digit win season, but only if Pachall stays healthy, and the new offensive line gels quickly.

 

Air Force

If Boise State had not joined the league, Air Force would have been listed as a co-favorite in the Mountain West this year.  The Falcons have a lot of experience returning from their best team since 1998.  At the military academies, 14 starters are unheard of.  In fact, it has been many years since AFA has returned that 14 starters.

 

The Falcons gave up 21 points and 350 yards per game last year, which was very respectable but nothing like what they did in 2009 (15.7 ppg/288 ypg).  The stop troops may be as good as the 2009 edition, but even so, we do not expect the Falcons to five up less than 18 points per game in 2011 with the schedule they have.

 

Eight starters and eight key reserves return to this side of the ball, so the Falcons will definitely be improved.  As you must have to succeed in this league, Coach Troy Calhoun has a dynamite secondary.  Safety Jon Davis finished second on the team with 93 tackles and tied for first with three interceptions.  Calhoun would like to see his tackles go down and his interceptions go up.  Often, he had to make tackles on running plays after backs broke through the first line of defense.  Cornerback Anthony Wright knocked down six passes and intercepted two others, as the AFA passing game gave up just 148 yards per game last year.

 

The Falcons are equally strong at the linebacker positions.  Calhoun used three and four linebacker sets last year, and he has a full stable of experienced players back this year.  Jordan Waiwaiole led the Falcons with 96 stops with 7 ½ tackles for loss.  Brady Amack added 82 tackles, while Patrick Hennessey got in on 60 stops with 10 for loss.

 

The one weak spot on this side of the ball is the defensive line.  The Falcons were too generous against the run last year, giving up more than 200 yards per game.  TCU rushed for 377 yards in a 38-7 pasting.  The Falcons have no 300-pound linemen, so they will always be vulnerable in the trenches.  Using a 3-4 defense places a large amount of pressure on the nose tackle, and at 260 pounds, Ryan Gardner is at a disadvantage.  Gardner made only 29 tackles in 10, 2010 starts.  End Zach Payne is the star of the front wall.  He came up with 6 ½ stops behind the line.

 

We are optimistic that Air Force will once again feature an exciting and efficient offense.  The main reason is the return of quarterback Tim Jefferson.  Removing sacks, Jefferson rushed for more than 800 yards and 15 touchdowns.  He passed for 1,459 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging better than nine yards per pass attempt.

 

The running game is in great hands with running back Asher Clark joining Jefferson in the option attack.  Clark led AFA with 1,031 rushing yards.  Two fullbacks that combined for more than 1,000 yards must be replaced, but Calhoun never seems to have a lack of talent ready to plug in here.  The new fullback is Wesley Cobb, a seldom used backup the last two years.  Mike DeWitt will back him up.

 

When your leading pass receiver had 18 receptions, it’s hard to call his return a major asset.  However, Jonathan Warzeka is the perfect academy flanker/slot.  His 18 receptions went for 406 yards (22.6/rec) and three touchdowns.  Warzeka provided excellent ability to run on the perimeter when Jefferson pitched him the ball; he averaged 7.6 yards on his 41 carries.  Zack Kauth grabbed 16 passes and averaged 17+ yards per reception, so the Falcons should once again burn defenses that put eight in the box to try to stop the option attack.

 

The offensive line returns three starters, but there is some concern here with expected starting guard Jordan Eason out with a knee injury and backup center Jeffrey Benson, who was expected to slide over to guard to replace Eason, also suffered a knee injury.  Thus, Calhoun will have to do more shuffling.  One player sure to star wherever he ends up on the line is A. J. Wallerstein, a 1st Team All-MWC performer last year.

 

Air Force averaged 31 points and 425 yards per game last year.  There is no reason to believe they will not equal or better those numbers in 2011.  The schedule sets up nicely for the Falcons.  A relatively easy opener with South Dakota is followed by a visit from TCU.  If the Falcons can get revenge on a rebuilding Horned Frog team, they could be headed to their first double-digit win season this century.  If not, a repeat of last year is within their grasp.

 

San Diego State

2010 was a memorable one at Qualcomm Stadium, as the Aztecs won nine games, including a 21-point win over Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl.  It was SDSU’s first winning season since 1998 and first nine-win season since the 1977 team went 10-1-0 (Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox was a member of that team).  However, the main force behind the turnaround has moved to the “Big House.”  Coach Brady Hoke is now pacing the sidelines at Michigan.

 

All is not lost.  Rocky Long is the new head man after serving as Hoke’s defensive guru the last two years.  Long won at New Mexico; look at what happened to the Lobos since his departure.

 

This year’s Aztec squad will not be as strong, but there is enough returning talent to send SDSU back to a bowl game.  However, Long was faced with an epidemic to one part of his offense, and it could sink the Aztecs’ bowl hopes.

 

The injury bug hit his receiver corps—big time.  Expected starters Jay Waddell and Dominique Sandifer both suffered season-ending knee injuries.  Incoming freshman Anthony Sheffield failed to qualify academically.  Then, possible replacement starter Larry Clark suffered a knee injury.  Not even Oklahoma could lose four key players at one position and not suffer.  San Diego State was already looking at having to replace their top three receivers from last year.  Now, tight end Gavin Escobar is the only returning receiver that caught at least 10 passes last year.  His backup, Hunter Hewitt, has been suspended for the start of the season, so the Aztecs have a lot of work to do disguising this weakness.  Walk-on Dylan Denso and Marcus Russell may see considerable playing time.

 

Quarterback Ryan Lindley will give the new receivers a chance to become successful.  Outside of Kellen Moore, he is the next best quarterback in the league.  Lindley will leave SDSU as the all-time leading passer if he can pass for about 160 yards per game this year.  He passed for close to 300 yards per game last year, so barring injury or just downright pitiful play at the receiver position, he should own that record by October or early November.

 

Long’s coaching style resembles Woody Hayes more than Mike Leach, so expect the Aztecs to run the ball more this season, especially with the liability at wide receiver.  Both of last year’s key backs return.  Sophomore Ronnie Hillman led the conference by a large margin with 1,532 yards and 17 touchdowns, which beat Marshall Faulk’s freshman records.  Backup Walter Kazee added 320 yards and three scores.

 

One place that the Aztecs don’t have to worry is the offensive line.  Four quality starters return from a year ago, and they should open holes for the running backs to sneak through for five yards.

 

After averaging 35 points and almost 460 yards per game last year, expect a reduction in both areas.  Long’s game plans usually seek to control the ball on extended scoring drives and not go for the quick score.  Look for about 28 points and 380-400 yards.

 

The defense has a bit of rebuilding to do.  An already raw defensive line took an extra beating when starter to be Neil Spencer was declared academically ineligible.  Larry Gibbs was expected to compete for Spencer’s end spot, but he suffered a broken foot in Spring drills.  That leaves nose tackle Jerome Long and end J. J. Autele as the only experienced holdovers from last year.  Long, an undersized nose tackle in the 3-3-5 alignment, got in on 30 tackles with 6 going for losses last year.  Autele posted 15 tackles as a backup.

 

The strength of the defense is the three-man linebacker unit.  All-conference star Miles Burris returns to the Sam linebacker position after leading the team with 80 tackles.  He led the conference with 9 ½ sacks and 20 tackles for loss. 

 

The secondary will miss free safety Brandon Davis for the first couple of games.  That will leave cornerback Leon McFadden as the lone returning starter until the third game.  McFadden was the star of last year’s secondary with 14 passes defended (led the conference).

 

The schedule presents SDSU with seven or eight win opportunities. We believe they will get to six, maybe seven wins and go bowling once again.

 

Colorado State

The Rams have suffered through back-to-back 3-9 seasons after going bowling in 2008.  Fourth year head coach Steve Fairchild may begin to feel the heat in Fort Collins, if the green and gold go 3-9 again this season.  Fairchild has enough tools to build a winner this year, but like San Diego State, the Rams have been plagued with a rash of problems in one area.

 

That area is the offensive line.  It started when projected starting guard Connor Smith chose to take his sheepskin and enter the workforce rather than use his final year of eligibility.  Then, key reserve tackle Justin Becker was ruled academically ineligible.  To make matters worse, three more offensive linemen suffered injuries in one week of preseason drills.  The other expected starting guard Jake Gdowski had knee surgery and will more than likely miss the start of the season.  Jason Baird and Mason Hathaway are sidelined with ankle injuries.  CSU is now razor thin here, and any chance for a winning season will hinge on the success of their offense.

 

If the Rams can provide any pass protection, they have no worries at quarterback.  Sophomore Pete Thomas put up some amazing numbers as a freshman.  He completed 64.7% of his passes for 2,662 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.  He did toss 13 interceptions, but almost half of those came in September.  Thomas has the ability to pass for 3,300 to 3,500 yards this year, as the Rams move to more of a pro-style passing attack like those used by the New England Patriots.

 

The Rams have two receivers capable of topping 50 receptions this season.  Lou Greenwood and Byron Steele teamed up for 54 receptions and 787 yards last year.  The Rams have depth here with the return of five backups that registered 15 or more receptions.

 

The running back position is not what it used to be in the Sonny Lubick days.  Nobody on this roster is a threat to rush for 1,000 yards, but this offense will not need that to succeed.  If Fairchild can find a back that can consistently pick up three yards on 3rd and two and can punch it in from the two yard line, the Rams will be okay at this position.  Raymond Carter saw limited action here last year after transferring from UCLA.  Carter, at one time a 4-star recruit from Los Angeles, has never lived up to his press credentials, mostly because of multiple knee injuries.  If he can remain healthy, he is capable of rushing for 100 yards against the weaker defenses, but we have to question his durability.  He should be limited to about 15 touches a game.

 

The offense averaged a meager 16.5 points and 335 yards per game in 2010.  If the problems in the offensive line can be solved, CSU will easily surpass these numbers in 2011.  If the OL stays as it is as of mid-August, Thomas could be running for his life rather than running downfield to congratulate his receivers.

 

The defense is much healthier, but it is not as talented as the offense.  The secondary is suspect after giving up nearly 70% completions last year and finishing 3rd to last in passing efficiency defense.  Cornerbacks Elijah-Blue Smith, Momo Thomas, and Shaq Bell have the potential to be good, but only if they get a little help from the pass rush.  The trio combined for just one interception and one pass defended, which is completely unacceptable at this position.

 

The strength, if you can call it that, on this side of the ball will be at linebacker.  Mychal Sisson is a probable 1st team all-conference player after making the 2nd team two years in a row.  He finished second in the league with 15 tackles for loss and recorded 95 total tackles last year.

 

The front four is another liability, and Fairchild could use more 3-4 alignments this year trying to hide the liability and take advantage of more talented linebackers.  The Rams posted just 21 QB sacks, and the chief instigator, Guy Miller, graduated.  Ends Broderick Sargent and C. J. James combined for just 3 ½ sacks.  Davis Burl can play a hybrid position (end/lb), and he has the quickness to pursue across the field and get into the backfield.

 

The Rams were generous a year ago, giving up 35 points and 425 yards per game.  Without an improved pass rush, don’t expect much improvement this year.  However, their schedule will actually give them a chance to challenge for bowl eligibility, especially if Thomas can help the Rams outscore the opposition in 38-35 style games.

 

Games against New Mexico, Northern Colorado, Colorado, Utah State, and San Jose State could actually give the Rams a chance to start 5-0 before enjoying a week off to prepare for Boise State.  The second half of the season includes games with UTEP, UNLC, and Wyoming.  This gives CSU eight winnable games, and we believe they can win at least six of them, but only if the offensive line can protect Thomas.

 

Wyoming

Dave Christensen came to Wyoming after serving as Gary Pinkel’s offensive coordinator at Missouri.  He immediately produced big results in his first season in Laramie in 2009, winning seven games, including the New Mexico Bowl.  In year two, the Cowboys didn’t catch the breaks they caught the year before and finished 3-9.  Both years, Wyoming was outgained and outscored, so the question remains: can Christensen turn this program around and produce a consistent winner?  Wyoming has a storied history in college football, and even though it is the smallest state by population, the ability to recruit all over the Rockies gives this school a chance to succeed.  One look at the lovely campus at more than 7,100 feet in elevation is a great recruiting tool to big sky country (Disclaimer: the photo montage screen saver on the computer typing this preview includes a lovely picture of Laramie, WY, taken by our founder when he lived in the Rockies and frequently hiked in Curt Gowdy State Park just a bit to the east of Laramie).

 

Wyoming will have a new offensive coordinator and new quarterback this year after averaging just 19 points and 286 total yards per game in 2010.  Former Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon produced some stellar passing teams, especially with Tyler Sheehan at quarterback.  Brandon finds the QB cupboard almost bare.  Austyn Carta-Samuels transferred to Vanderbilt when his former OC left for Cal.  Emory Miller was expected to compete for the starting job and given a 50-50 chance of winning it, but he quit the team.  That leaves true freshman Brett Smith as the starter.  Look for Brandon to keep things simple for Smith.  Wyoming will throw short and try to spread the field and cut down on mistakes.  Smith’s completion percentage could be over 60, but his yards per attempt could be under six.

 

The Cowboys lost their top two receivers, leaving Chris McNeill as the leading returnee.  But, he averaged just 9.2 yards per reception last year.  When UW uses a tight end, T. J. Smith can get open in the seams of zones.  He caught just eight passes last year, but he averaged nearly 22 yards per catch.  Look for him to more than double his amount of touches this season.

 

The Cowboys are just fine at the running back position.  Alvester Alexander returns after leading the team with 792 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.  We believe he has 1,000 yard potential, and he could become an important weapon in the short passing game.  In fact, it would not surprise us to see him lead the team in rushing and in receptions.

 

The offensive line is the real strength of this offense, and it will give Smith a chance to learn without fearing continual turf poundings.  After giving up 31 sacks last year, the OL should chop that number by at least 10.  Tackles Kyle Magnuson and John Hutchins create a solar eclipse when they stand up straight.  They will protect the flank and open holes for Alexander.

 

If Smith can just have an average year as a freshman, Wyoming’s numbers will improve on this side of the ball.  We are looking for a typical stat line of 17-27 for 175 yards against an average opponent.  Throw in 150 yards rushing, and Wyoming would average about 20-25 points per game this year.  That would be an enormous improvement; UW has not averaged 20 or more points per game since 2006.

 

There is good news and bad news on the other side of the ball.  Wyoming needs more good news after giving up more than 30 points and 400 yards per game last year.  The Good news is the return of the entire starting front four from last year.  There will be improvement on the 20 sacks and 200+ rushing yards allowed.  End Josh Biezuns led the team with 6 ½ sacks, while his counterpart Gabe Knapton added four.  The healthy return of Mark Willis gives the outside quality depth.

 

Now the bad news: Wyoming must rebuild its back seven line of defense.  Only two starters return here, and the unexpected loss of middle linebacker Oliver Schober is likely to be a major factor in why the Cowboys will not improve much if any on this side of the ball.

 

Brian Hendricks is the lone holdover at linebacker.  He finished third on the team with 80 tackles, but he did not get into the backfield, nor did he cover well on passing plays.  Backup middle linebacker Devyn Harris saw considerable action in 2010, so he has a chance to partially fill the void left by Schober.

 

The secondary performed admirably last year considering there was very little pass rush, and the safeties had to make a lot of stops on running plays.  Cornerback Tashaun Gipson could vie for all-conference honors this year.  He defended a dozen passes last year, intercepting three.

 

It will be hard to hold opponents under 30 points per game this year with the weaknesses in the back seven.  The schedule offers the Cowboys a chance to top last year’s win total, but we do not see this team getting to six wins.  4-8 or 5-7 is about the peak for this season.

 

U N L V

Bobby Hauck replaced Joe Glenn at Montana and in seven seasons, guided the Grizzlies to seven conference championships.  His last team included future Pro Bowl rookie kick returner Mark Mariani. 

 

In his first season in Las Vegas, Hauck’s Rebels finished 2-11, only six fewer losses than he experienced in seven years at Montana.  Glenn left Montana to take a job in the MWC at Wyoming, but he never turned the program around and was dismissed after six seasons.  Is the Montana position a lot like the Boise State position has been?  You can win big at Montana, but don’t try to let the chips ride for bigger stakes?

 

Only time will tell, but in year two in Vegas, Hauck may wish that what happens at Sam Boyd Stadium, stays in Sam Boyd Stadium.  The Rebels will have a hard time improving on the woeful 2-11 season of last year, and they could even win 50% fewer games if they cannot defeat New Mexico.

 

Hauck comes from the three yards and a cloud of dust offense school, and he does not have the horses to make it run.  The current roster was recruited to play in the spread offense, and what talent there is was recruited for speed over girth.

 

Trying to improve on 18 points and 274 yards per game, the first order of business is finding a new quarterback.  Omar Clayton has left the building after finishing second in school history to Randall Cunningham in passing yards.  Caleb Herring should line up under center when the season opens on September 1.  He completed half of his 56 passes last year with four touchdowns and three interceptions (the latter stat too high to win in this league).

 

We expect improvement in the Rebels’ running game this year, but it would be hard to go downhill from last year’s weak results (103 rushing yards per game). Tim Cornett and Bradley Randle teamed for just 655 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, but both have looked solid so far in August drills.

 

UNLV has experienced depth at the receiver positions, but the leading receiver from 2010 will miss the start of this season.  Phillip Payne led the Rebels with 40 receptions, while proving to be the only breakaway threat on the team.  He is still recovering from a broken foot.  Payne has the potential to be an all-conference player.  Replacing him until he is ready to go will be tall and lanky Kurt Davis.  Marcus Sullivan has the potential to give the Rebels a solid one-two punch on the perimeter.

 

The offensive line is still a major liability, and expected starting tackle Allen Carroll has been a spectator in practices so far.  The transfer from Washington would be the one true talent on this line, but he has yet to suit up after being medically cleared.  Redshirt freshman Cameron Jefferson is well undersized to play tackle, but he will start at the all-important left tackle position.  Jefferson is 6-6 and only 265 pounds having been a basketball star more than a football star in high school.

 

With an inexperienced line and inexperienced quarterback, defenses may be able to choke off the running game and stop the Rebels’ offense again this season.  We are a little pessimistic on their prospects in year two of the Hauck regime.

 

The defense makes the offense look good.  UNLV had no defense last year.  The Rebels surrendered 40 points and 450 yards per game.  There was no pass rush; enemy backs enjoyed career days; and the secondary played like matadors.  Maybe having major graduation losses on this side of the ball is not such a bad thing.

 

There is one man among boys on this side of the ball.  Linebacker Princeton Jackson comes from Blinn Junior College (Cam Newton’s school) where he was a legitimate superstar in the Juco ranks.  Jackson is quick and strong, and he can make a tackle on either sideline.  He will immediately be the star on this side of the ball and team with Nate Carter and Tani Maka to give the Rebels respectability at this position.

 

You know things are not well when your leading returning sack master recorded just 1 ½ sacks.  UNLV only dumped QBs 12 times in 13 games last year.  B. J. Bell tied for the lead (with a defensive back) with just 1 ½ sacks.  The other starting end, James Dunlap, never touched a QB.  In the interior, Hauck has a couple of beefy bulldozers coming in at 300+ pounds, but there is very little experience or depth here.

 

The secondary might have been an asset this year, but the Rebels’ projected starting strong safety Chris Jones decided to quit playing the game.  The news is a little better at cornerback with the return of the top three players with starting experience.  Will Chandler and Sidney Hodge (the other player with 1 ½ sacks) combined to stop 10 passes last year with Chandler intercepting five of those.  Former starter Quinton Pointer returns after missing 2010 with a knee injury.

 

The schedule does no favors for UNLV.  The Rebels open the season with road games against Big Ten power Wisconsin and improving Washington State.  Then Hawaii comes for a visit.  Game four finds the Rebels hosting a dangerous FCS team in Southern Utah; the Thunderbirds are capable of pulling off the upset.  In conference play, UNLV faces the other two weakest teams on enemy turf, so this could be a very long season in Vegas.  The chances for an 0-12 season are there, but we believe the Rebels can find a way to win two times.

 

New Mexico

How many times have you seen something similar to this story? A publicly traded company has a history of turning a modest profit most quarters with an occasional loss but never a big loss.  The board decides the modest profit is not enough and brings in this promising assistant from one of the Dow Jones 30, and the modest quarterly profits all of a sudden became incredible losses, threatening to make the company the next Eastern Airlines.

 

New Mexico’s most influential supporters were not satisfied with Rocky Long’s typical six and seven-win seasons in a state that just does not have any recruiting base to expect anything more.  Long won nine games in 2007, and he should have been given a lifetime contract.  Instead, a rebuilding season in 2008 brought a 4-8 record and his dismissal. 

 

How do you feel about that now you influential supporters?  You traded five bowls in six years for back-to-back 1-11 seasons and with no prospects for much improvement if any. 

 

New Mexico’s most recent 1-11 season was much worse than the 1-11 season the year before.  The Lobos averaged 16 points and 266 yards (last in the nation) per game while giving up 44 points and 470 total yards per game last year.  Among the losses was a second consecutive defeat to rival New Mexico State, a team that finished 2-10.

 

Third year coach Mike Locksley has appointed two new coordinators, but that is not the problem.  As a popular commercial once made popular, “Where’s the Beef?”  There are not enough FBS-caliber players on the roster, and Vince Lombardi couldn’t win six games with this team.

 

There is talent on offense, but none of it as in the line.  Two starters return to the blocking corps, and this group may be weaker than last year.  Last year’s line gave up 27 sacks and opened holes for just 108 rushing yards at less than three yards per rush.  The top lineman, tackle Darryl Johnson, missed Spring practice.

 

The Lobos went through four quarterbacks last year, and two return for more pain and suffering.  Either B. R. Holbrook or Tarean Austin will start against Colorado State in game one, but with the lack of protection, it would be no surprise if true freshman Dustin Walton is starting at some point during the season.  Holbrook and Austin combined for 1,017 passing yards with a 51% completion rate and a 4/10 TD/int ratio.

 

The top two receivers from last year are back, giving the Lobos a chance to have a little better passing yardage this year.  Ty Kirk and tight end Lucas Reed teamed for 71 receptions and 936 yards.  New wide receiver Lamaar Thomas has world class sprinter’s speed; he started his career at Ohio State, and he could become the top receiver here.

 

Kasey Carrier and James Wright both return to the backfield.  The two gained 677 yards on the ground and scored four touchdowns last year, but it could be harder for them to gain yards with the raw offensive line.

 

It looked like the defense had a chance to improve quite a bit, but major defections/injuries/suspensions have put a major crimp in the trenches of the 4-2-5 alignment.  The big loss is tackle Calvin Smith, who was a big-time recruit.  He transferred to Purdue.  End J. J. Hugine transferred as well.  End Omar Castillo was dismissed from the team, while end Johnathan Rainey broke a bone in his neck and will miss the entire season.  Two juniors who played sparingly a year ago will be counted on to lead the front line.  Joe Harris and Reggie Ellis will join Jaymar Latchison as the only experienced players in the trenches.

 

UNM has some talent at linebacker.  Carmen Messina, Joe Stoner, and Javarie Johnson, and Spencer Merritt give Locksley a decent two-deep.  Messina led the Lobos with 115 tackles with six tackles for loss.  He batted away four passes as well. 

 

The secondary returns four starters from a year ago, but unless the line develops some threat of a pass rush, it will be hard for this quintet to improve by much.  Free safety Bubba Forrest made way too many tackles last year (100).  If he records triple digit stops again this year, the Lobos will be looking up at the rest of the MWC in the standings.

 

The schedule gives UNM a chance to win four times.  Colorado State is vulnerable in the opener due to their offensive line issues.  Sam Houston State visits on September 24, and if the Lobos lose that game, Locksley could be out.  New Mexico State visits Albuquerque the following week, and the Lobos have dropped the last two games to the Aggies.  On November 12, UNM hosts UNLV in a game that could decide which team avoids the basement.

 

New Mexico has so much room to make up on the rest of the league, it is really hard to predict that they will win any of these four winnable games.  We believe that lightning will strike at least one time—again.

 

2011 Mountain West Conference Media Poll

Team

1st Place Votes

Points

Boise State

28

236

T C U

3

208

Air Force

 

176

San Diego State

 

160

Colorado State

 

104

Wyoming

 

80

U N L V

 

77

New Mexico

 

39

 

 

2011 Mountain West Conference PiRate Ratings

Team

PiRate #

Prediction

Boise St.

121.7

7-0/12-0

T C U

110.0

6-1/11-1

Air Force

106.6

5-2/8-4

S.D.State

100.3

4-3/6-6

Colo.State

92.4

3-4/6-6

Wyoming

90.4

2-5/4-8

UNLV

85.2

1-6/2-10

New Mexico

81.7

0-7/1-11

 

August 28, 2009

2009 Western Athletic Conference Preview

2009 Western Athletic Conference Preview

A PiRate Look

In the fourth in our series of conference previews, we take a look at the Western Athletic Conference, where Boise State has dominated this loop like no other team has dominated their conference in the 21st Century.  The Broncos have never lost a home game in the WAC, and they have won six of seven conference titles.  It took a 12-0 Hawaii team in 2007 to edge them in Honolulu to prevent them from a total skunking of the league.  The 2009 WAC preview was the first conference where the staff at the PiRate Ratings had to discuss at length before issuing predictions.  The raw preseason ratings gave Utah State the third best beginning rating, but none of us believed the Aggies will finish there, even though we all agree they are very much improved this year.

Here are the preseason PiRate ratings for the league.  The ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number even though we calculate them to two decimal places.  Thus, when you see multiple teams with the same rating, they are not actually exactly even.  To understand what the rating means, it is set so that 100 is average.  Thus, a rating of 90 means the team is 10 points weaker than the average team in the FBS.  The average of all 120 FBS teams should round to 100 if the math has been successfully calculated.

For those who have not followed the PiRate Ratings before and wonder about the home field advantage, we do not assign set in stone advantages.  These are assigned on a game-by-game basis.  For instance, if New Mexico State was to get really lucky and host Texas or Oklahoma, it would be expected that the Longhorn or Sooner fans would find a way to get to Las Cruces and make it a home game for the visiting team.  However, if that same Aggie team hosted Army a week after Army played at Air Force, then the Aggies could enjoy as much as five points in home field advantage.  The PiRates think it’s ridiculous to issue a blank home field advantage for all teams or even assign a range of set home field advantages.

   

Western Athletic Conference Preseason Ratings

     

 

Prediction *

 
    Team

PiRate

WAC

Overall

 
    Boise State

109

7-1

10-2

 
    Nevada

98

7-1

9-3

 
    Utah State

96

4-4

5-7

 
    Fresno State

95

6-2

7-5

 
    Louisiana Tech

94

5-3

7-5

 
    San Jose State

92

4-4

5-7

 
    Hawaii

86

1-7

3-10

 
    New Mexico State

78

1-7

2-10

 
    Idaho

75

1-7

1-11

 
     

 

 

 

 
    *  Predictions not based on PiRate Rating but  
    on expected changes to rating during the year  

 

Boise State: Can the Broncos run the table in the regular season yet again?  This year, we think that won’t happen for two reasons.  They have non-conference games against Oregon and Tulsa, and we think they will lose one of them.  Also, we believe Fresno State has an excellent shot to pull off the upset in conference play.  Now, we’re still picking BSU to win the conference, but we think it will be with one conference loss.

Quarterback Kellen Moore is already the second best passer in the WAC as a sophomore, and he should top 3,000 yards passing with 25-30 touchdown passes this year.  His percentage (69.4% in ’08) could drop a little because his receiving corps has less experience this season.  The running game could regress without former star Ian Johnson and with a question mark in the offensive line.

Defensively, there is a great deal of rebuilding to do in the front seven, where only two starters return.  The secondary is the strength of the team with safeties Jeron Johnson and George Iloka and cornerbacks Brandyn Thompson and Kyle Wilson leaps and bounds more talented than the next best WAC secondary.

Nevada: The Wolf Pack could play at Boise State on Black Friday with a chance to steal the conference championship.  If the game was played at Mackay Stadium, it might be a 50-50 proposition.  Nevada should have its best team this decade with most of the key elements returning to the defending top offense in the league and one of the best in the nation (509 total yards per game in ’08).

It all starts under center where quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the king of the WAC.  Last year, he rushed for 1,130 yards and passes for 2,849 yards, accounting for 39 touchdowns!  Factor out quarterback sacks, and he averaged over eight yards per rush.  He may rush less and pass more this year because Nevada returns the WAC’s top running back, a sure-handed wide receiver, and a tight end with great hands.  Add to it a strong recruiting class where one or two freshmen receivers could supply great depth.

That top running back is Vai Taua, who rushed for 1,521 yards with 15 touchdowns last year.  Taua reminds us some of Green Bay Packer Ryan Grant.  Behind Taua is a stable of able backs, so the Wolfpack should rush for 275-300 yards per game and could easily top six yards per rush again this season.

There are some new receivers this year, but they will be greatly aided by the fact that defense must try to stop or slow down the run first.  Look for Kaepernick to pass for around 250 yards per game.

The offensive line returns two excellent tackles.  Mike Gallett and Alonzo Durham both earned 2nd team All-WAC honors last year and both could make it to the first team this year.

Defensively, Nevada has liabilities, but they should be able to hold most opponents under 35 points.  With a team capable of easily topping 40 points per game, giving up 30 could be enough to challenge for the league crown.  The strength lies in the terminals as ends Kevin Basped and Dontay Moch combined for 36 tackles behind the line of scrimmage (21 ½ sacks).

The schedule may keep Nevada from a top 25 finish.  The Wolf Pack play at Notre Dame to open the season, and this game could be interesting for most of the day.  A road game at Colorado State could be the pivotal game.  Nevada can still have a decent year if they start 0-2, but they won’t challenge for the conference title after that.  A home game with a rebuilding Missouri team gives them a good shot at an upset, and the following game against UNLV should be exciting.  Unfortunately, the game with Boise State is on the field of blue, and we don’t believe Nevada is up to the task.  It looks like a second place finish and nine regular season wins.

Utah State: We double and triple-checked our statistical formula to make sure this rating was correct; it was.  The PiRate formula believes USU will be one of the five most improved teams in FBS football.  Personally, we believe they will be a better team, but not the third best in the WAC.

Gary Andersen takes over as head coach after serving as the defensive coordinator at Utah for five years.  The Aggies will shift to a no-huddle spread offense from the shotgun, and they have the talent on offense to make it go. 

Quarterback Diondre Borel isn’t as talented as the top passers in this league, but he should be able to approach 2,500 yards and 15-20 touchdowns.  A poor man’s Colin Kaepernick, Borel could approach 800 yards rushing as well.

Borel will have a boatload of average receivers at hand.  While none of them will be all-conference performers, the depth will allow Andersen to shuttle them in and keep them fresh.  Borel will need three of the receivers to step up because he has very little help in the backfield.

The offensive line will be stronger this season, and center Brennan McFadden will receive first place votes for all-WAC.  Look for the Aggies to rush for about 125 yards per game and pass for about 225.  It should give them a great shot at averaging more than 25 points per game for the first time in eight years.

The defense was really weak in 2008, and they face an added obstacle trying to improve this year.  USU games averaged 136 plays per game last year, and with the new offense, they will probably average close to 150 plays this year.  That should lead to about seven more defensive plays, so the Aggies will yield 30-35 points and 400 total yards per game again this year.

What will keep State from posting a winning record is their killer schedule.  Out of conference, they travel to Utah, Texas A&M, and BYU.  Only a home game with Southern Utah will give them a win prior to conference play.  What hurts more is that the weakest conference opponents host the Aggies, while the strongest teams come to Logan.  USU will not upset Boise State or Nevada at home, but Idaho, Hawaii, and New Mexico State cannot be counted as automatic wins.  It adds up to another losing season, but the Aggies could pull off an upset along the way.

Fresno State: The Bulldogs are almost always a tough team to beat, but they always lose to somebody they should have beaten.  That’s why FSU has always been the bridesmaid and never the bride in the WAC.  This year, Coach Pat Hill has enough talent on hand to play head-to-head at home with Boise State, but they could also lose to teams like San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, and even Utah State.

What’s keeping the Bulldogs from seriously challenging Boise State is an experienced quarterback.  Hill has stated that three different players will see playing time early in the season.  Whoever ends up as the regular will have one of the league’s top receivers as well as three other really good receivers at the other end of those passes.  Look for Seyi Ajirotutu to appear on the nation’s receiving leaders.  He could top 1,000 yards in receptions.

Three running backs who each topped 600 yards rushing return this year.  Anthony Harding, Lonyae Miller, and Ryan Matthews combined for 2,250 rushing yards and 19 scores, and they should top that mark this year.

The offensive line needs two new tackles, and with a new quarterback, that could mean a few extra sacks and interceptions. 

The Bulldog defense surrendered 31 points and 411 yards per game in 2008, and those figures are going to drop this season.  We see them coming in at 26 points and 380 yards.  The top four tacklers return from last year, as well as the top two pass defenders.  Look for middle linebacker Ben Jacobs to play for pay in two years.  He made 113 tackles and broke up five passes in 2008.  He’ll be an excellent Tampa 2 defender.

The schedule is manageable, and if the ball bounces the right way, Fresno could pull off a couple of road upsets against teams from BCS conferences.  We don’t see them winning at Illinois, but Cincinnati and Wisconsin are not impossible this year.  UC Davis provides an easy opening win, and all three quarterbacks could get some positive game experience.  The Boise State game is at Bulldog Stadium on Friday night, September 18.

Louisiana Tech: Long-time Georgia football coach Vince Dooley won more than 200 games in a quarter century in Athens.  Most of those teams moved the football by the rush.  Now, his son Derek is following in his footsteps.  Louisiana Tech may line up in the one back offense like most teams these days, but they still deliver the goods by running the ball more than 60% of the time.  Running back Daniel Porter rushed for 1,164 yards and nine touchdowns last year, and he’ll be running behind an offensive line that returns intact from last year.  He could top 1,500 yards this year.

The Bulldogs will not challenge for the WAC title this year unless the passing game improves by 50% or more.  Returning quarterback Ross Jenkins completed just 52.9% of his passes last year for only 1,155 yards and seven scores.  He needs to increase that number to 1,700 yards or more or else the offense will bog down against the WAC teams with good run defenses.  Phillip Livas is the best receiver on the team, but he will need some support.

Defensively, the Bulldogs will be tough again up front.  After allowing just 104 rushing yards per game in 2008, there’s a good chance that number will drop to double digits this season.  All four starting defensive linemen return as does three of the second team quartet.  The problem for LT is that they couldn’t stop an average passing attack last year, and unless some new secondary members become stars, the Bulldogs could give up 275 passing yards per game again this year.

The schedule begins with road games against Auburn and Navy.  The Bulldogs could start 0-2 and just as easily could start 2-0.  If they upset the Tigers and handle the Midshipmen, they should be 4-0 when they play Nevada in Reno on Friday night, October 9.  Boise State is a home game also played on a Friday night.  The only certain loss on the schedule this year is a game at LSU on November 14.  If the Bulldogs come up with any semblance of a passing game and pass defense, they could contend for the conference title.  Of course, conference titles are rather common in the Dooley family, with papa Vince and Uncle Bill owning a bundle of them.

San Jose State: Until the Spartans learn how to move the ball and score points, they will remain in the middle of the pack in the WAC.  SJSU averaged a paltry 283 total yards per game last year and less than 20 points per game.  The defense stayed on the field too long, and it collapsed late in the season.

The Spartans could only gain 87 rushing yards per game in 2008, and to make matters worse, they lost their only decent rusher.  That number should move into triple digits this year, even with a raw set of backs toting the pigskin.  All five starting offensive linemen from last year return.

Quarterback Kyle Reed could be one of the most improved quarterbacks in the league this year.  If a couple of competent receivers can be found, and if tight end Terrance Williams can continue to improve, we project that Reed could pass for more than 200 yards per game with a better TD/INT ratio this year (9/6 in ’08).  If the receivers don’t come through, then SJSU will continue to falter with an anemic offense.

The Spartan defense returns a top-flight front seven, but the back four could be suspect.  End Carl Ihenacho will compete for 1st team All-WAC honors this year after recording 18 ½ tackles behind the line with seven sacks last year.  Brother Duke Ihenacho anchors the second line of defense.  He recorded 5 ½ tackles behind the line, intercepted five passes, and broke up six others.

The secondary surrendered just 170 passing yards last year, but with three new starters, that number could inflate by 35-50 yards per game.

The schedule is the big bugaboo for the Spartans.  An opening game at Southern Cal, followed by a home game with Utah and a game up the road at Stanford could leave them at 0-3.  Fresno State, Boise State, and Louisiana Tech are also road games, so San Jose State would have to beat everybody else on their schedule to repeat the 6-6 record of last year.

Hawaii: June Jones is now two seasons removed from Hawaii, and the downslide in Honolulu will continue.  The Warriors no longer have the devastating passing game that can outscore opponents regardless of how porous the defense might be.  Now, the defense will be even weaker, while the offense is run of the mill.  It all adds up to a major drop in the standings.

The Warriors return just a pair of starters from a defense that yielded 29 points and 361 total yards per game.  Expect those numbers to climb to 35 points and 425 yards allowed.  The secondary will be torn to shreds by Moore, Kaepernick, Borel, and a few others.  Nary a player on the roster has ever started a game in the defensive backfield.

The front seven is only marginally more experienced as end John Fonoti and linebacker Brashton Satele return, but they were not major contributors last season.

The offense is pedestrian at best.  Without Jones and the great passing of Colt Brennan, Hawaii’s numbers fell from 43 to 25 points and 512 to 346 total yards per game.  Quarterback Greg Alexander returns after sharing starting duties last year.  Alexander has experience and depth in his receiving unit, so the Hawaii passing numbers should jump from about 250 to near 300 yards per game this year.

The running game needs improvement, but it’s doubtful those numbers will increase this year.  We figure Hawaii will be forced to pass more due to having to attempt to come back from deficits, and the offensive line may not be up to the task to open enough running lanes.

Another major problem this year are the special teams.  UH couldn’t keep a kicker on campus and didn’t know who would start until Scott Enos arrived late from a junior college.  A true freshman will be the punter.

The schedule is always tough when every road game travels from two to five time zones.  The road games this year find Hawaii travelling to Washington State, UNLV, Louisiana Tech, Idaho, Nevada, and San Jose State.  We believe they will go 0-6 in these games.  Navy, Wisconsin, and Central Arkansas visit Honolulu, as well as conference foes Fresno State, Boise State, Utah State, and New Mexico State.  It looks like the Warriors could be headed to double digit losses this year.

NOTE: Satele out for the season with a shoulder injury

New Mexico State: The Hal Mumme era is over in Las Cruces, and the Aggies could do no better than 4-8 during his tenure.  Enter DeWayne Walker, the former defensive coordinator at UCLA.  Walker’s Bruin defense held Southern Cal to nine points in a 2006 upset, and he coached UCLA in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl after Karl Dorrell left.

Walker made some major changes when he assumed control.  Gone is the spread passing formation replaced by a more balanced attack.  With NMSU career passing leader Chase Holbrook gone, the job will be inherited by junior college transfer Jeff Fleming.  Expect the Aggie passing attack to shrink from over 300 passing yards per game to just over 200 yards per game.  Running backs Marquell Colston, Tommy Glenn, and Ronald Opetaia will get more carries this year after combining for 683 yards last year.  They will be running behind a line with about the same experience as last year’s line, but the extra rushing attempts (and the reduction in sacks from 44 by almost half) should add up to about 100 rushing yards per game compared to an NCAA 2nd worst 55.

The defense will begin to make strides toward respectability this year.  After surrendering 34 points and 380 yards per game last year, even with massive losses on the stop side.  A fine duo at linebacker returns in Jason Scott and Nick Paden.  The front four has no returning starters, so the pass rush and defense against the run should suffer some early until Walker can “coach ‘em up.”

The schedule gives NMSU a chance to get off to a fast start, and the Aggies could gain some confidence early.  They open at home against Idaho, and that game should be a toss-up.  Next, they host Prairie View.  That will be the last game where they will be favored to win.  Road trips to Ohio State, Boise State, and Louisiana Tech should be unpleasant.

Idaho: Coach Robb Akey’s Vandals doubled their win total last year from the year before, but unfortunately that meant a 2-10 record after a 1-11 record in 2007.  Idaho has not finished over .500 since 1999, and that streak will not end this year.

Quarterback Nathan Enderle returns this year after passing for more than 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns last year.  He also tossed 17 interceptions, but he often had to run for his life due to poor pass blocking.  The pass blocking may actually be weaker this year, so expect another year of turnovers.

The running backs may take some of the heat off the passing game.  Donte Jackson and Princeton McCarty combined for 1,176 yards, and Jackson has the potential to be a 1,000 yard rusher.

The passing game could suffer due to the loss of top receiver Eddie Williams, who had more than double the receptions of anybody else on the squad.

The defense was horrible last year, giving up 43 points and 472 yards per game!  Don’t expect much improvement this year, because three of the five decent defenders from last year have graduated.  The defensive line has no pass rushing threats, and the linebacking unit took a major hit.  The secondary returns three starters, but none of them would start at most of the other WAC schools.

The schedule is a killer for this team, and if the Vandals fail to win at New Mexico State in the season opener, it’s going to be a hard road to find a win on the schedule.  A home tilt against Hawaii could be the only other winnable game this year.

Next up: A look at Conference USA. Can this conference finally supply an at-large participant in a BCS Bowl?

December 9, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football–Week of: December 9, 2008

NCAA Regular Season Summation

 

Congratulations go to Oklahoma and Florida, and my condolences go to Texas, Southern Cal, and Penn State, and Alabama.  Some biased poll voters, a couple of computer geeks, and a couple of sports elitists have determined that the Sooners and Gators are a couple hundredths of a percentage point better than the rest of the pack and deserve to play for the national title.

 

Florida lost their one game at home.  Oklahoma lost their one game on a neutral field to one of the other teams up for consideration.  Alabama’s loss on a neutral field to Florida is the exact same situation.  Texas lost on the road to an undefeated Texas Tech team on the final play of the game.  Southern Cal lost on the road at Oregon State with one late play figuring greatly in the outcome.  Penn State lost on the road at Iowa on the final play of the game.  So, the computers can tell us that Florida and Oklahoma are the two most deserving? 

 

Here are the final regular season PiRate Top 25 and the PiRate Ratings by conference:

 

NCAA Top 25 For 2-Dec-2008

Rank

Team

PiRate

Won

Lost

1

Florida 

140

12

1

2

Oklahoma

139

12

1

3

Southern Cal

131

11

1

4

Texas

128

11

1

5

Ohio St.

127

10

2

6

Alabama

125

12

1

7

Penn St.

125

11

1

8

Ole Miss

121

8

4

9

Texas Tech

120

11

1

10

Boise State

120

12

0

11

T C U

120

10

2

12

Oregon

120

9

3

13

Utah

118

12

0

14

Iowa

117

8

4

15

Rutgers

117

7

5

16

California

116

8

4

17

Georgia 

115

9

3

18

Oklahoma St.

114

9

3

19

Arizona

114

7

5

20

Clemson

113

7

5

21

Oregon State

113

8

4

22

Missouri

113

9

4

23

Florida State

112

8

4

24

Pittsburgh

112

9

3

25

Cincinnati

110

11

2

     

 

 

Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number

even though I rank them to two decimal points

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Clemson

4-4

7-5

113

68

45

Florida State

5-3

8-4

112

70

42

North Carolina State

4-4

6-6

106

70

36

Boston College

5-3*

9-4

104

63

41

Wake Forest

4-4

7-5

104

56

48

Maryland

4-4

7-5

101

62

39

 

 

 

 

   
Coastal Division

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Virginia Tech

5-3*+

9-4

109

67

42

Georgia Tech

5-3

9-3

109

68

41

North Carolina

4-4

8-4

105

66

39

Miami

4-4

7-5

102

60

42

Virginia 

3-5

5-7

100

58

42

Duke

1-7

4-8

93

60

33

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Rutgers

5-2

7-5

117

70

47

Pittsburgh

5-2

9-3

112

66

46

Cincinnati

6-1

11-2

110

64

46

West Virginia

5-2

8-4

110

65

45

South Florida

2-5

7-5

106

68

38

Connecticut

3-4

7-5

102

64

38

Louisville

1-6

5-7

91

57

34

Syracuse

1-6

3-9

89

56

33

 

Big Ten

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ohio State

7-1

10-2

127

71

56

Penn State

7-1

11-1

125

76

49

Iowa

5-3

8-4

117

72

45

Wisconsin

3-5

7-5

107

71

36

Northwestern

5-3

9-3

105

64

41

Michigan State

6-2

9-3

104

64

40

Purdue

2-6

4-8

103

67

36

Illinois

3-5

5-7

102

65

37

Michigan

2-6

3-9

96

57

39

Minnesota

3-5

7-5

92

58

34

Indiana

1-7

3-9

79

54

25

 

Big 12

North Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Missouri

5-3*

9-4

113

74

39

Kansas

4-4

7-5

109

67

42

Nebraska

5-3

8-4

108

70

38

Colorado

2-6

5-7

95

57

38

Kansas State

2-6

5-7

92

67

25

Iowa State

0-8

2-10

86

57

29

South Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Oklahoma

7-1+

12-1

139

97

42

Texas

7-1

11-1

128

82

46

Texas Tech

7-1

11-1

120

85

35

Oklahoma State

5-3

9-3

114

71

43

Baylor

2-6

4-8

106

68

38

Texas A&M

2-6

4-8

90

56

34

 

Conference USA

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

East Carolina

6-2+

9-4

99

62

37

Southern Miss.

4-4

6-6

97

64

33

Memphis

4-4

6-6

92

61

31

Marshall

3-5

4-8

89

58

31

Central Florida

3-5

4-8

88

46

42

U A B

3-5

4-8

84

51

33

West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Tulsa

7-1*

10-3

103

72

31

Rice

7-1

9-3

97

66

31

Houston

6-2

7-5

97

67

30

U T E P

4-4

5-7

87

59

28

S M U

0-8

1-11

78

57

21

Tulane

1-7

2-10

69

50

19

 

Independents

           
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Navy  

8-4

104

61

43

Notre Dame  

6-6

98

58

40

Army  

3-9

82

46

36

 

Mid American Conference

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Bowling Green

4-4

6-6

103

68

35

Buffalo

5-3+

8-5

101

68

33

Temple

4-4

5-7

96

57

39

Ohio U

3-5

4-8

91

51

40

Kent State

3-5

4-8

89

58

31

Akron

3-5

5-7

89

60

29

Miami (O)

1-7

2-10

81

54

27

           
West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ball State

8-0

12-1

109

73

36

Western Michigan

6-2

9-3

100

63

37

Northern Illinois

5-3

6-6

98

59

39

Central Michigan

6-2

8-4

97

68

29

Eastern Michigan

2-6

3-9

88

59

29

Toledo

2-6

3-9

85

55

30

 

Mountain West Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

T C U

7-1

10-2

120

68

52

Utah

8-0

12-0

118

70

48

Brigham Young

6-2

10-2

106

67

39

Air Force

5-3

8-4

95

58

37

Colorado State

4-4

6-6

93

60

33

New Mexico

2-6

4-8

93

56

37

UNLV

2-6

5-7

85

56

29

Wyoming

1-7

4-8

85

51

34

San Diego State

1-7

2-10

76

49

27

 

Pac-10 Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Southern Cal

7-1

11-1

131

72

59

Oregon

7-2

9-3

120

77

43

California

6-3

8-4

116

73

43

Arizona

5-4

7-5

114

75

39

Oregon State

7-2

8-4

113

74

39

Stanford

4-5

5-7

106

64

42

Arizona State

4-5

5-7

103

63

40

U C L A

3-6

4-8

100

57

43

Washington

0-9

0-12

81

54

27

Washington State

1-8

2-11

74

49

25

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida 

7-1+

12-1

140

86

54

Georgia 

6-2

9-3

115

73

42

South Carolina

4-4

7-5

108

63

45

Tennessee

3-5

5-7

107

62

45

Kentucky

2-6

6-6

102

62

40

Vanderbilt

4-4

6-6

100

55

45

West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Alabama

8-0

12-1

125

69

56

Ole Miss

5-3

8-4

121

74

47

L S U

3-5

7-5

106

68

38

Arkansas

2-6

5-7

102

68

34

Auburn

2-6

5-7

102

56

46

Mississippi State

2-6

4-8

97

55

42

 

Sunbelt Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Troy

6-1

8-4

105

69

36

Florida Atlantic

4-3

6-6

90

61

29

Middle Tennessee

3-4

5-7

90

58

32

Arkansas State

4-3

6-6

89

59

30

Florida International

3-4

5-7

89

58

31

Louisiana-Lafayette

5-2

6-6

88

66

22

Louisiana-Monroe

3-4

4-8

87

56

31

* Western Kentucky

0-0

2-10

79

49

30

North Texas

0-7

1-11

70

55

15

           
* Western Kentucky will become eligible in 2009      
Their games will not count in the SBC Standings in 2008    

 

Western Athletic Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Boise State

8-0

12-0

120

74

46

Nevada

5-3

7-5

102

73

29

Louisiana Tech

5-3

7-5

94

56

38

Utah State

3-5

3-9

93

57

36

Hawaii

5-3

7-6

93

55

38

Fresno State

4-4

7-5

88

61

27

San Jose State

4-4

6-6

85

53

32

New Mexico State

1-7

3-9

74

48

26

Idaho

1-7

2-10

73

57

16

 

Here is the bowl schedule

 

Date

Time EST

Bowl

City

Team

Team

D. 20

11:00

Eagle Bank

Washington DC

Wake Forest

Navy

D. 20

2:30

New Mexico

Albuquerque

Colorado State

Fresno State

D. 20

4:30

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg

South Florida

Memphis

D. 20

8:00

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

B Y U

Arizona

D. 21

8:15

New Orleans

New Orleans

Troy

Southern Miss.

D. 23

8:00

Poinsettia

San Diego

Boise State

T C U

D. 24

8:00

Hawaii

Honolulu

Hawaii

Notre Dame

D. 26

8:00

Motor City

Detroit

Central Michigan

Florida Atlantic

D. 27

1:00

Meineke Car Care

Charlotte

North Carolina

West Virginia

D. 27

4:30

Champs Sports

Orlando

Florida State

Wisconsin

D. 27

8:00

Emerald

San Francisco

California

Miami (Fl.)

D. 28

8:15

Independence

Shrevport

Louisiana Tech

Northern Illinois

D. 29

3:00

PapaJohns

Birmingham

N. C. State

Rutgers

D. 29

8:00

Alamo

San Antonio

Northwestern

Missouri

D. 30

4:30

Humanitarian

Boise

Nevada

Maryland

D. 30

8:00

Texas

Houston

Western Michigan

Rice

D. 30

8:00

Holiday

San Diego

Oregon 

Oklahoma State

D. 31

12:00

Armed Forces

Ft. Worth

Air Force

Houston

D. 31

2:00

Sun

El Paso

Oregon State

Pittsburgh

D. 31

3:30

Music City

Nashville

Vanderbilt

Boston College

D. 31

5:30

Insight

Tempe

Kansas

Minnesota

D. 31

7:30

Chick-fil-a

Atlanta

Georgia Tech

L S U

J. 1

11:00

Outback

Tampa

Iowa

South Carolina

J. 1

1:00

Capital One

Orlando

Georgia 

Michigan State

J. 1

1:00

Gator

Jacksonville

Clemson

Nebraska

J. 1

4:30

Rose

Pasadena

Southern Cal

Penn State

J. 1

8:30

Orange

Miami

Virginia Tech

Cincinnati

J. 2

2:00

Cotton

Dallas

Texas Tech

Ole Miss

J. 2

5:00

Liberty

Memphis

East Carolina

Kentucky

J. 2

8:00

Sugar

New Orleans

Alabama

Utah

J. 3

12:00

International

Toronto

Connecticut

Buffalo

J. 5

8:00

Fiesta

Glendale

Texas

Ohio State

J. 6

8:00

G M A C

Mobile

Tulsa

Ball State

J. 8

8:00

Nat’l Championship

Miami

Florida 

Oklahoma

December 1, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football–Week of: December 3-6, 2008

NCAA Week 15: The Postseason Falls to BieCeS

 

With one weekend remaining in the regular season, the dreadful BCS has suffered from yet another snafu.  Oklahoma is in the Big 12 Championship Game because a computer or two has deemed the Sooners to be a tiny bit better than the Longhorns even though Texas beat them by 10 points on a neutral field.  The Big 12 should have never used BCS ranking to break three-way ties, but then again the BCS shouldn’t be there in the first place for the Big 12 brass to be dumb enough to use it as its tiebreaker.

 

I don’t advocate that Texas should be in that title game instead of Oklahoma or even Texas Tech.  I don’t believe the BCS system to be credible; the vote of Oklahoma over Texas is ridiculous, and if Texas had been voted in by a miniscule amount, it would have been just as ridiculous.

 

If Oklahoma wins this week over an inferior Missouri squad, the Sooners will play for the national title against the winner of the Alabama-Florida game.  Southern Cal, Texas Tech, and Penn State, as well as Utah, Boise State, and Ball State among other top contenders will get no chance to compete for all the marbles.

 

The Top 25 had very little movement after this past weekend.  The bowl situations started to come into focus, as information started to leak out on which bowls want which teams if they are available.  So, when you read the bowl section below, realize that these are not just predictions now; some of the teams are slotted based on leaked information from bowl scouts.

 

Personally, I believe Florida and Southern Cal are the two best teams in the nation.  The Gators’ offense is as good as any college team in 13 years, while the Trojans’ defense is the best college defense in 16 years.

 

NCAA Top 25 For 2-Dec-2008

Rank

Team

PiRate

Won

Lost

1

Florida 

141

11

1

2

Oklahoma

134

11

1

3

Southern Cal

132

10

1

4

Texas

128

11

1

5

Ohio St.

127

10

2

6

Penn St.

125

11

1

7

Alabama

124

12

0

8

Ole Miss

121

8

4

9

Texas Tech

120

11

1

10

Boise State

120

12

0

11

T C U

120

10

2

12

Oregon

120

9

3

13

Utah

118

12

0

14

Missouri

118

9

3

15

Iowa

117

8

4

16

Georgia 

115

9

3

17

Ball State

114

12

0

18

California

114

7

4

19

Oklahoma St.

114

9

3

20

Clemson

113

7

5

21

Oregon State

113

8

4

22

Florida State

112

8

4

23

Rutgers

112

6

5

24

Cincinnati

111

10

2

25

Arizona

111

6

5

     

 

 

Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number

even though I rank them to two decimal points

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Clemson

4-4

7-5

113

68

45

Florida State

5-3

8-4

112

70

42

Boston College

5-3*

9-3

107

65

42

North Carolina State

4-4

6-6

106

70

36

Wake Forest

4-4

7-5

104

56

48

Maryland

4-4

7-5

101

62

39

 

 

 

 

   
Coastal Division

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Georgia Tech

5-3

9-3

109

68

41

Virginia Tech

5-3*

8-4

106

65

41

North Carolina

4-4

8-4

105

66

39

Miami

4-4

7-5

102

60

42

Virginia 

3-5

5-7

100

58

42

Duke

1-7

4-8

93

60

33

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

   
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Rutgers

4-2

6-5

112

67

45

Cincinnati

6-1

10-2

111

65

46

West Virginia

4-2

7-4

111

66

45

Pittsburgh

4-2

8-3

109

65

44

Connecticut

3-3

7-4

105

65

40

South Florida

2-4

7-4

105

68

37

Louisville

1-5

5-6

96

59

37

Syracuse

1-6

3-9

89

56

33

 

Big Ten

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ohio State

7-1

10-2

127

71

56

Penn State

7-1

11-1

125

76

49

Iowa

5-3

8-4

117

72

45

Wisconsin

3-5

7-5

107

71

36

Northwestern

5-3

9-3

105

64

41

Michigan State

6-2

9-3

104

64

40

Purdue

2-6

4-8

103

67

36

Illinois

3-5

5-7

102

65

37

Michigan

2-6

3-9

96

57

39

Minnesota

3-5

7-5

92

58

34

Indiana

1-7

3-9

79

54

25

 

Big 12

North Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Missouri

5-3*

9-3

118

75

43

Kansas

4-4

7-5

109

67

42

Nebraska

5-3

8-4

108

70

38

Colorado

2-6

5-7

95

57

38

Kansas State

2-6

5-7

92

67

25

Iowa State

0-8

2-10

86

57

29

South Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Oklahoma

7-1

11-1

134

93

41

Texas

7-1

11-1

128

82

46

Texas Tech

7-1

11-1

120

85

35

Oklahoma State

5-3

9-3

114

71

43

Baylor

2-6

4-8

106

68

38

Texas A&M

2-6

4-8

90

56

34

 

Conference USA

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

East Carolina

6-2

8-4

98

62

36

Southern Miss.

4-4

6-6

97

64

33

Memphis

4-4

6-6

92

61

31

Marshall

3-5

4-8

89

58

31

Central Florida

3-5

4-8

88

46

42

U A B

3-5

4-8

84

51

33

West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Tulsa

7-1*

10-2

104

73

31

Rice

7-1

9-3

97

66

31

Houston

6-2

7-5

97

67

30

U T E P

4-4

5-7

87

59

28

S M U

0-8

1-11

78

57

21

Tulane

1-7

2-10

69

50

19

 

Independents

           
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Navy  

7-4

100

60

40

Notre Dame  

6-6

98

58

40

Army  

3-8

86

49

37

 

Mid American Conference

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Bowling Green

4-4

6-6

103

68

35

Buffalo

5-3

7-5

96

64

32

Temple

4-4

5-7

96

57

39

Ohio U

3-5

4-8

91

51

40

Kent State

3-5

4-8

89

58

31

Akron

3-5

5-7

89

60

29

Miami (O)

1-7

2-10

81

54

27

           
West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ball State

8-0

12-0

114

75

39

Western Michigan

6-2

9-3

100

63

37

Northern Illinois

5-3

6-6

98

59

39

Central Michigan

6-2

8-4

97

68

29

Eastern Michigan

2-6

3-9

88

59

29

Toledo

2-6

3-9

85

55

30

 

Mountain West Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

T C U

7-1

10-2

120

68

52

Utah

8-0

12-0

118

70

48

Brigham Young

6-2

10-2

106

67

39

Air Force

5-3

8-4

95

58

37

Colorado State

4-4

6-6

93

60

33

New Mexico

2-6

4-8

93

56

37

UNLV

2-6

5-7

85

56

29

Wyoming

1-7

4-8

85

51

34

San Diego State

1-7

2-10

76

49

27

 

Pac-10 Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Southern Cal

7-1

10-1

132

73

59

Oregon

7-2

9-3

120

77

43

California

5-3

7-4

114

72

42

Oregon State

7-2

8-4

113

74

39

Arizona

4-4

6-5

111

74

37

Arizona State

4-4

5-6

106

65

41

Stanford

4-5

5-7

106

64

42

U C L A

3-5

4-7

99

57

42

Washington

0-8

0-11

83

55

28

Washington State

1-8

2-11

74

49

25

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida 

7-1

11-1

141

87

54

Georgia 

6-2

9-3

115

73

42

South Carolina

4-4

7-5

108

63

45

Tennessee

3-5

5-7

107

62

45

Kentucky

2-6

6-6

102

62

40

Vanderbilt

4-4

6-6

100

55

45

West Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Alabama

8-0

12-0

124

69

55

Ole Miss

5-3

8-4

121

74

47

L S U

3-5

7-5

106

68

38

Arkansas

2-6

5-7

102

68

34

Auburn

2-6

5-7

102

56

46

Mississippi State

2-6

4-8

97

55

42

 

Sunbelt Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Troy

5-1

7-4

104

68

36

Middle Tennessee

3-3

5-6

92

58

34

Arkansas State

4-2

6-5

90

60

30

Florida Atlantic

4-3

6-6

90

61

29

Louisiana-Monroe

3-4

4-8

87

56

31

Louisiana-Lafayette

4-2

5-6

86

64

22

Florida International

3-4

4-7

86

57

29

* Western Kentucky

0-0

2-9

82

51

31

North Texas

0-7

1-11

70

55

15

           
* Western Kentucky will become eligible in 2009      
Their games will not count in the SBC Standings in 2008    

 

Western Athletic Conference

           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Boise State

8-0

12-0

120

74

46

Nevada

5-3

7-5

102

73

29

Louisiana Tech

5-3

7-5

94

56

38

Utah State

3-5

3-9

93

57

36

Hawaii

5-3

7-5

91

54

37

Fresno State

4-4

7-5

88

61

27

San Jose State

4-4

6-6

85

53

32

New Mexico State

1-7

3-9

74

48

26

Idaho

1-7

2-10

73

57

16

 

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

   

 

 

Wednesday, December 3  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Middle Tennessee LA.-LAFAYETTE

3

34-31

   

 

 

Thursday, December 4  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

RUTGERS Louisville

19

31-12

   

 

 

Friday, December 5  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Ball State            (Detroit) Buffalo

18

42-24

   

 

 

Saturday, December 6      
Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

Pittsburgh CONNECTICUT

1

24-23

TULSA East Carolina

9

40-31

Navy Army

14

21-7

Boston College Virginia Tech

1

21-20

CALIFORNIA Washington

34

44-10

Florida Alabama

17

31-14

Southern Cal U C L A

30

30-0

FLA. INT’L Western Ky.

7

28-21

TROY Arkansas State

17

38-21

ARIZONA Arizona State

8

35-27

WEST VIRGINIA South Florida

9

30-21

Oklahoma Missouri

16

49-33

Cincinnati HAWAII

16

26-10

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

Wednesday, December 3  

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

LA.-LAFAYETTE Middle Tennessee

27-24

   

 

Thursday, December 4  

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

RUTGERS Louisville

34-21

   

 

Friday, December 5  

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

Ball State            (Detroit) Buffalo

37-24

   

 

Saturday, December 6  

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

Pittsburgh CONNECTICUT

21-21 to OT

TULSA East Carolina

42-34

Navy             (Philadelphia) Army

35-24

Boston Coll.   (Jacksonville) Virginia Tech

20-17

CALIFORNIA Washington

42-10

Florida                 (Atlanta) Alabama

27-17

Southern Cal U C L A

34-7

FLA. INT’L Western Ky.

30-20

TROY Arkansas State

34-24

ARIZONA Arizona State

28-20

WEST VIRGINIA South Florida

24-19

Oklahoma    (Kansas City) Missouri

44-31

Cincinnati HAWAII

27-17

 

Bowl Outlook By Conference

 

Teams in all CAPS have already accepted invitations to that bowl.

 

ACC

After having a new team at the top of each division for multiple weeks, Boston College and Virginia Tech both won last week when they had to win.  Now, the winner of their game will advance to the Orange Bowl, while the loser probably drops to the Champs Sports Bowl.

 

With Georgia Tech’s win over Georgia, their hometown bowl will be glad to take the Yellow Jackets.  That bowl prefers a ranked team coming off a win, and Tech fits that bill.

 

Florida State will get the Gator Bowl invitation regardless of how the ACC title game turns out.  The Gator Bowl does not want to have the loser of the title game returning to Jacksonville three weeks later.

 

1. Orange Bowl-Boston College 10-3 vs. Cincinnati

2. Chick-fil-a-Georgia Tech 9-3 vs. L S U

3. Gator-Florida State 8-4 vs. Nebraska

4. Champs Sports-Virginia Tech 8-5 vs. Wisconsin

5. Music City-North Carolina 8-4 vs. Vanderbilt

6. Meineke Car Care-Miami 7-5 vs. West Virginia

7. Eagle Bank-Wake Forest 7-5 vs. NAVY

8. Emerald-Clemson 7-5 vs. California

9. Humanitarian-Maryland 7-5 vs. Nevada

10. Hawaii (at-large)-N.C. State 6-6 vs. Southern Miss.

 

Big East

Cincinnati has clinched a BCS Bowl spot.  The Bearcats are more than likely headed to the Orange Bowl.

 

Notre Dame’s loss to USC means the Irish may not seize one of this league’s bids.  If Rutgers beats Louisville, then there will be six, seven-win bowl eligible teams for six bowls; Notre Dame would not be eligible for a Big East Bowl, so they would become the top 6-6 at-large possibility.  Should Louisville win this week, then Notre Dame will be headed to El Paso.

 

1. Orange-Cincinnati 11-2 vs. Boston College

2. Sun-Rutgers 7-5 vs. Oregon State

3. St. Petersburg-South Florida 7-5 vs. East Carolina

4. Meineke Car Care-West Virginia 8-4 vs. Miami (Fla)

5. International-Connecticut 8-4 vs. Buffalo

6. Papa John’s-Pittsburgh 8-4 vs. Middle Tennessee State

 

Big Ten

Ohio State is almost assured to get the final BCS Bowl bid over Boise State, so the Big Ten will not have enough bowl-eligible teams for their seven allotted bids.  That may open the Motor City Bowl for a possible match of undefeated teams.

 

Although not technically official, Penn State has been mathematically eliminated from moving into the National Championship Game.  Thus, I have them “officially” in the Rose Bowl.

 

1. Rose-PENN STATE 11-1 vs. Southern Cal

2. Fiesta-Ohio State 10-2 vs. Texas

3. Capital One-Michigan State 9-3 vs. Georgia

3. Outback-Iowa 8-4 vs. South Carolina

4. Champs Sports-Wisconsin 7-5 vs. Virginia Tech

5. Alamo-Northwestern 9-3 vs. Missouri

6. Insight-Minnesota 7-5 vs. Kansas

7. Motor City-No qualifying team

 

Big 12

Missouri is being overlooked by everybody but Oklahoma this week, so I expect the Sooners to drill the Tigers.

 

With two teams headed to BCS Bowls, and with Colorado failing to upset Nebraska, this league will fall two teams short.

 

1. BCS National Championship-Oklahoma 12-1 vs. Florida

2. Fiesta-Texas 11-1 vs. Ohio State

3. Cotton-Texas Tech 11-1 vs. Ole Miss

4. Gator-Nebraska 8-4 vs. Florida State

5. Holiday-Oklahoma State 9-3 vs. Oregon

6. Alamo-Missouri 9-4 vs. Northwestern

7. Insight-Kansas 6-6 vs. Minnesota

8. Independence-No Qualifying Team

9. Texas-No Qualifying team

 

C-USA

Tulsa and East Carolina are the two divisional champions, and I believe the Golden Hurricane will win the title game this week.  Rice is the best team in this league as the season ends, but the Owls will not be at the top of the list for those remaining bowl-eligible teams.  Expect to see Rice fall to the Texas Bowl.

 

Unless another bowl chooses them first, Houston may wind up in Ft. Worth playing Air Force in a rematch of a game played in the regular season.  I think Rice would be a better opponent, but the Cougars are the better drawing team. 

 

1. Liberty-Tulsa 11-2 vs. Kentucky

2. St. Petersburg-East Carolina 8-5 vs. South Florida

3. G M A C-Southern Miss. 6-6 vs. Central Michigan

4. Armed Forces-Houston 7-5 vs. Air Force

5. Texas-Rice 9-3 vs. Notre Dame

6. New Orleans-Memphis 6-6 vs. Troy

 

Independent

Navy is headed to the Eagle Bank Bowl regardless of their outcome with Army this week.  We know for sure that Maryland will not be their opponent in a possible in-state rivalry game.  The Terps have final exams that week, and they will not accept a bowl bid during exam week.

 

Notre Dame will still be invited to a bowl at 6-6.  They will be the first 6-6 team invited as an at-large team.  I believe they will be headed to Houston.

 

1. Texas (at-large)-Notre Dame 6-6 vs. Rice

2. Eagle Bank-NAVY 7-5 vs. Miami (Fla.)

 

M A C

Ball State should handle Buffalo this week.  If they do, I expect the Motor City Bowl to make a deal with the WAC to release Boise State to come to Detroit in a battle of the unbeatens.  It will thus become the top non-BCS bowl.

 

The MAC will benefit from the failure of other conferences not being able to fulfill their bowl quotas.  Three more teams (Western Michigan, Central Michigan, and Buffalo) have seven wins, so there will be one extra bowl invitation for the MAC.  I have Western Michigan playing in an at-large bowl, but there is no news leaks about where they might be headed.  I have them headed west based on the fact that Boise State won’t be selected by the Poinsettia Bowl as they have that right.

 

1. Motor City-Ball State 13-0 vs. Boise State

2. International-Buffalo 8-5 vs. Connecticut

3. G M A C-Central Michigan 9-3 vs. Southern Miss.

4. Poinsettia (at-large)-Western Michigan 9-3 vs. T C U

 

Mountain West

Utah is officially a BCS bowl invitee.  It appears that they are headed to the Big Easy to play in the Sugar Bowl.

 

BYU has been to the Las Vegas Bowl the last three years, and I believe the folks in sin city will invite the Cougars a fourth consecutive time.  TCU is still a possibility, but in this time of economic turmoil, I’m guessing it will be a number’s game that comes up craps for the Frogs.

 

1. Sugar-Utah 12-0 vs. Alabama

2. Las Vegas-B Y U 10-2 vs. Arizona

3. Poinsettia-T C U 10-2 vs. Western Michigan

4. New Mexico-Colorado State 6-6 vs. Fresno State

5. Armed Forces-Air Force 8-4 vs. Houston

 

Pac-10

Oregon made the Rose Bowl officials happy when they defeated Oregon State.  Now Southern Cal needs to defeat UCLA to return to Pasadena for another game.

 

Arizona State can still become bowl-eligible with a win at Arizona, but I think the Wildcats have a huge revenge motive that will end the season for the Sun Devils.  Thus, I have the Pac-10 falling two spots shy of fulfilling its obligations.

 

 

1. Rose-Southern Cal 11-1 vs. Penn State

2. Holiday-Oregon 9-3 vs. Oklahoma State

3. Sun-Oregon State 8-4 vs. Rutgers

4. Las Vegas-Arizona 7-5 vs. B Y U

5. Emerald-California 8-4 vs. Wake Forest

6. Poinsettia-No qualifying team

7. Hawaii- No qualifying team

 

S E C

What happens if Florida beats Alabama in overtime or by one point in regulation?  Might there be a rematch in a month for the National Championship?  It’s not going to happen for two reasons.  First, a loss of any kind will put Alabama behind both Oklahoma and Texas.  Second, I believe Florida will win this week by double digits.  No matter which team loses, it will be headed to New Orleans.  A Florida-Utah game would be interesting because of Urban Meyer.

 

There is a rumor going around that the Capital One Bowl could take Ole Miss over Georgia.  I think that rumor has merits, but I don’t expect the Rebels to end up in Orlando.

 

1. National Championship-Florida 12-1 vs. Oklahoma

2. Sugar-Alabama 12-1 vs. Utah

3. Capital One-Georgia 10-2 vs. Ohio State

4. Outback-South Carolina 7-5 vs. Michigan State

5. Cotton-Ole Miss 8-4 vs. Texas Tech

6. Chick-fil-a-L S U 7-5 vs. Georgia Tech

7. Music City-Vanderbilt 6-6 vs. North Carolina

8. Liberty-Kentucky 6-6 vs. Tulsa

9. Independence-No qualifying team

10. Papa John’s-No qualifying team

 

Sunbelt

Troy should beat Arkansas State this weekend to wrap up the SBC title.  They will be the only seven-win team in the league, but it is likely that two six-win teams will receive at-large bids.  The winner of the UL-Lafayette-Middle Tennessee game will likely wind up in Birmingham, while either Arkansas State or Florida Atlantic will take the Independence Bowl bid.  I’m guessing ASU will be picked over FAU.  Of course, if ASU beats Troy, they will head to New Orleans.  Troy would then head to Birmingham, and ULL or MTSU will end up in Shreveport.

 

1. New Orleans-Troy 8-4 vs. Memphis

2. Independence (at-large) Arkansas State 6-6 vs. La. Tech

3. Papa John’s (at-large) Middle Tennessee 6-6 vs. Pittsburgh

 

W A C

The Boise State-Ball State mini-dream game is still full of potential pitfalls.  The Humanitarian Bowl wants to host this game, but Ball State doesn’t want to play Boise State on the blue turf.  Boise State may think Detroit is too close to Muncie, Indiana.  The Independence Bowl has been mentioned as a possible site since it will have to find two at-large teams, but the Independence Bowl is supposed to take a Sunbelt team if they don’t have an SEC team.  Louisiana Tech is a great bet to be the other at-large team in Shreveport.  I believe the Motor City Bowl is the best option.  That will allow the Humanitarian Bowl to take Nevada and cause no further bowl interruptions.  If the big game ends up in Boise, then the ACC will have to be compensated.  They have more than enough eligible teams to meet their obligations. 

 

1. Motor City-Boise State 12-0 vs. Ball State

2. Humanitarian-Nevada 6-6 vs. Maryland

3. New Mexico-Fresno State 7-5 vs. Colorado State

4. Hawaii-Hawaii 7-6 vs. North Carolina State

5. Independence (at-large)-La. Tech 8-4 vs. Arkansas St.

 

 

November 24, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football–Week of November 25-29, 2008

NCAA Week 14: Oh What A Mess!!!

 

The conclusion of the 2008 FBS regular season begins this week and finishes next week.  There are multiple problems with the postseason as of now, and I don’t believe these problems will all be resolved by Saturday, December 6.

 

The national championship will produce controversy no matter which two teams are picked for the game.  Eight or more teams could conceivable have realistic arguments in favor of their being one of the final two.  The system is set up for failure, especially this season.  Except for 2005, this inept method of picking teams has “gotten it wrong” just about every season since its inception.

 

The non-BCS bowl situation couldn’t be more messed up today.  Six bowl will more than likely need at-large entries as the conferences which with they have agreements will not provide enough bowl eligible teams.  The poor Independence bowl will have to find two at-large teams unless a couple of miracle upsets occur this week.

 

NCAA Top 25 For 25-Nov-2008
Rank Team PiRate Won Lost

1

Florida 

140

10

1

2

Oklahoma

133

10

1

3

Southern Cal

132

9

1

4

Texas

128

10

1

5

Ohio St.

127

10

2

6

Penn St.

125

11

1

7

Texas Tech

122

10

1

8

Missouri

121

9

2

9

Alabama

120

11

0

10

T C U

120

10

2

11

Georgia 

119

9

2

12

Utah

118

12

0

13

Oregon State

118

8

3

14

Ole Miss

117

7

4

15

Iowa

117

8

4

16

Boise State

116

11

0

17

Oklahoma St.

115

9

2

18

Oregon

115

8

3

19

California

114

7

4

20

Ball State

113

11

0

21

Florida State

113

8

3

22

Rutgers

112

6

5

23

West Virginia

112

7

3

24

Cincinnati

111

9

2

25

South Carolina

111

7

4

Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number even though I rank them to two decimal points

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Florida State

5-3

8-3

113

70

43

Clemson

4-4

6-5

110

66

44

Boston College

4-3

8-3

108

65

43

N. Carolina State

3-4

5-6

106

70

36

Wake Forest

4-4

6-5

102

56

46

Maryland

4-3

7-4

100

61

39

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coastal Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Virginia Tech

4-3

7-4

106

65

41

Georgia Tech

5-3

8-3

105

64

41

North Carolina

3-4

7-4

105

66

39

Miami

4-3

7-4

102

60

42

Virginia 

3-4

5-6

100

58

42

Duke

1-6

4-7

93

60

33

 

Big East Conference
           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Rutgers

4-2

6-5

112

67

45

West Virginia

4-1

7-3

112

67

45

Cincinnati

5-1

9-2

111

65

46

Pittsburgh

3-2

7-3

108

65

43

Connecticut

3-3

7-4

105

65

40

South Florida

2-4

7-4

105

68

37

Louisville

1-5

5-6

96

59

37

Syracuse

1-5

3-8

89

56

33

 

Big Ten
           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ohio State

7-1

10-2

127

71

56

Penn State

7-1

11-1

125

76

49

Iowa

5-3

8-4

117

72

45

Wisconsin

3-5

7-5

107

71

36

Northwestern

5-3

9-3

105

64

41

Michigan State

6-2

9-3

104

64

40

Purdue

2-6

4-8

103

67

36

Illinois

3-5

5-7

102

65

37

Michigan

2-6

3-9

96

57

39

Minnesota

3-5

7-5

92

58

34

Indiana

1-7

3-9

79

54

25

 

Big 12
North Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Missouri

5-2

9-2

121

75

46

Nebraska

4-3

7-4

109

70

39

Kansas

3-4

6-5

106

66

40

Colorado

2-5

5-6

94

56

38

Kansas State

2-6

5-7

92

67

25

Iowa State

0-8

2-10

86

57

29

South Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Oklahoma

6-1

10-1

133

90

43

Texas

6-1

10-1

128

82

46

Texas Tech

6-1

10-1

122

85

37

Oklahoma State

5-2

9-2

115

69

46

Baylor

2-5

4-7

104

66

38

Texas A&M

2-5

4-7

90

56

34

 

Conference USA
East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Southern Miss.

3-4

5-6

97

64

33

East Carolina

5-2

7-4

94

59

35

Central Florida

3-4

4-7

92

50

42

Memphis

3-4

5-6

89

59

30

Marshall

3-4

4-7

87

56

31

U A B

2-5

3-8

80

51

29

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Tulsa

6-1

9-2

106

73

33

Houston

6-1

7-4

99

67

32

Rice

6-1

8-3

95

64

31

U T E P

4-3

5-6

91

61

30

S M U

0-7

1-10

78

57

21

Tulane

1-6

2-9

72

50

22

 

Independents
           
Team  

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Notre Dame  

6-5

98

58

40

Navy  

6-4

97

60

37

Army  

3-8

86

49

37

 

Mid American Conference
East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Buffalo

5-2

7-4

99

66

33

Bowling Green

3-4

5-6

98

66

32

Temple

3-4

4-7

94

57

37

Akron

3-4

5-6

91

62

29

Ohio U

2-5

3-8

89

49

40

Kent State

2-5

3-8

86

57

29

Miami (O)

1-6

2-9

83

55

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Ball State

7-0

11-0

113

74

39

Western Michigan

6-1

9-2

101

64

37

Northern Illinois

5-3

6-5

101

62

39

Central Michigan

6-1

8-3

100

68

32

Toledo

2-5

3-8

90

58

32

Eastern Michigan

1-6

2-9

84

55

29

 

Mountain West Conference
           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

T C U

7-1

10-2

120

68

52

Utah

8-0

12-0

118

70

48

Brigham Young

6-2

10-2

106

67

39

Air Force

5-3

8-4

95

58

37

Colorado State

4-4

6-6

93

60

33

New Mexico

2-6

4-8

93

56

37

UNLV

2-6

5-7

85

56

29

Wyoming

1-7

4-8

85

51

34

San Diego State

1-7

2-10

76

49

27

 

Pac-10 Conference
           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Southern Cal

7-1

9-1

132

73

59

Oregon State

7-1

8-3

118

75

43

Oregon

6-2

8-3

115

73

42

California

5-3

7-4

114

72

42

Arizona

4-4

6-5

111

74

37

Stanford

4-5

5-7

106

64

42

Arizona State

3-4

4-6

105

64

41

U C L A

3-4

4-6

100

57

43

Washington

0-8

0-11

83

55

28

Washington State

1-8

2-10

73

49

24

 

Southeastern Conference
East Division          
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Florida 

7-1

10-1

140

87

53

Georgia 

6-2

9-2

119

73

46

South Carolina

4-4

7-4

111

65

46

Tennessee

2-5

4-7

105

61

44

Kentucky

2-5

6-5

104

63

41

Vanderbilt

4-4

6-5

102

57

45

West Division

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Alabama

7-0

11-0

120

68

52

Ole Miss

4-3

7-4

117

71

46

L S U

3-4

7-4

107

68

39

Auburn

2-5

5-6

106

58

48

Mississippi State

2-5

4-7

102

57

45

Arkansas

1-6

4-6

101

67

34

 

Sunbelt Conference
           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Troy

5-1

7-4

104

68

36

Arkansas State

3-2

5-5

93

61

32

Middle Tennessee

3-3

5-6

92

58

34

Florida Atlantic

3-3

5-6

92

61

31

La.-Monroe

3-4

4-8

87

56

31

La.-Lafayette

4-2

5-6

86

64

22

Fla. International

3-3

4-6

84

55

29

* Western Ky.

0-0

2-9

82

51

31

North Texas

0-6

1-10

67

53

14

           
* Western Kentucky will become eligible in 2009

Their games will not count in the SBC Standings in 2008

 

Western Athletic Conference
           
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Off

Def

Boise State

7-0

11-0

116

72

44

Nevada

4-3

6-5

102

73

29

Louisiana Tech

5-2

7-4

94

56

38

Hawaii

5-3

6-5

92

55

37

Fresno State

4-3

7-4

92

63

29

Utah State

2-5

2-9

88

55

33

San Jose State

4-4

6-6

85

53

32

New Mexico State

1-6

3-8

79

51

28

Idaho

1-7

2-10

73

57

16

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

 

   

 

 

Tuesday, November 25  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

BALL STATE Western Michigan

15

38-23

NORTHERN ILLINOIS Navy

7

27-20

   

 

 

Thursday, November 27  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

TEXAS Texas A&M

41

48-7

   

 

 

Friday, November 28  

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

West Virginia PITTSBURGH

1

21-20

OLE MISS Mississippi State

18

27-9

Ohio U MIAMI (O)

3

20-17

EAST CAROLINA U t e p

6

30-24

TEMPLE Akron

6

28-22

Central Michigan EASTERN MICHIGAN

13

37-24

BUFFALO Kent State

16

37-21

L s u ARKANSAS

3

31-28

NEBRASKA Colorado

18

35-17

Bowling Green TOLEDO

5

31-26

BOISE STATE Fresno State

27

44-17

ARIZONA STATE U c l a

8

21-13

   

 

 

Saturday, November 29      
Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score

ALABAMA Auburn

17

20-3

TEXAS TECH Baylor

21

49-28

Florida FLORIDA STATE

24

42-18

Oklahoma OKLAHOMA STATE

15

42-27

GEORGIA Georgia Tech

17

34-17

North Carolina DUKE

9

31-22

CINCINNATI Syracuse

25

35-10

WAKE FOREST Vanderbilt

3

13-10

CLEMSON South Carolina

2

21-19

BOSTON COLLEGE Maryland

11

28-17

N.C. STATE Miami-Fl

7

28-21

VIRGINIA TECH Virginia

9

23-14

TENNESSEE Kentucky

4

20-16

Missouri        (Kansas City) Kansas

15

35-20

MEMPHIS Tulane

20

38-18

Arkansas State NORTH TEXAS

23

44-21

Nevada LA. TECH

5

35-30

Houston RICE

1

35-34

UTAH STATE New Mexico St.

12

28-16

Southern Miss. S M U

16

41-25

Tulsa MARSHALL

16

40-24

CENTRAL FLORIDA U a b

15

21-6

FLA. ATLANTIC Fla. International

11

35-24

OREGON STATE Oregon

6

34-28

SOUTHERN CAL Notre Dame

35

35-0

HAWAII Washington State

23

33-10

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site

 

Tuesday, November 25  

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

BALL STATE Western Michigan

31-20

Navy NORTHERN ILLINOIS

31-31 to OT

   

 

Thursday, November 27  

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

TEXAS Texas A&M

49-14

   

 

Friday, November 28  

 

Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

PITTSBURGH West Virginia

27-24

OLE MISS Mississippi State

28-10

Ohio U MIAMI (O)

28-26

EAST CAROLINA U t e p

38-30

TEMPLE Akron

31-29

Central Michigan EASTERN MICHIGAN

33-20

BUFFALO Kent State

30-14

L s u ARKANSAS

35-30

NEBRASKA Colorado

44-27

Bowling Green TOLEDO

30-27

BOISE STATE Fresno State

41-19

ARIZONA STATE U c l a

31-23

   

 

Saturday, November 29    
Favorite Underdog

Pred. Score

ALABAMA Auburn

30-7

TEXAS TECH Baylor

52-26

Florida FLORIDA STATE

35-21

Oklahoma OKLAHOMA STATE

42-35

GEORGIA Georgia Tech

37-28

North Carolina DUKE

30-24

CINCINNATI Syracuse

32-10

WAKE FOREST Vanderbilt

17-12

CLEMSON South Carolina

28-26

BOSTON COLLEGE Maryland

31-21

Miami-Fl N.C. STATE

31-28

VIRGINIA TECH Virginia

21-12

TENNESSEE Kentucky

17-16

Missouri        (Kansas City) Kansas

42-28

MEMPHIS Tulane

37-24

Arkansas State NORTH TEXAS

38-21

Nevada LA. TECH

38-35

RICE Houston

35-34

UTAH STATE New Mexico St.

27-22

Southern Miss. S M U

34-21

Tulsa MARSHALL

40-28

CENTRAL FLORIDA U a b

24-14

FLA. ATLANTIC Fla. International

38-33

OREGON STATE Oregon

31-24

SOUTHERN CAL Notre Dame

34-7

HAWAII Washington State

42-23

 

 

Bowl Outlook by Conference

 

Another week of games have been played, and nothing was really determined bowl-wise.  Instead of knowing where some of the teams are headed, the picture is actually more clouded than it was last week.  A couple of teams were eliminated from the bowl picture, but we’re talking about UNLV and Illinois.  As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday, we only know for sure that Navy is in the inaugural Eagle Bank Bowl.  Penn State is all but assured of a spot in the Rose Bowl, but it isn’t official yet.

 

Teams in all CAPS have already accepted invitations to that bowl.

 

ACC

Another week, another couple of frontrunners are ripe for upset losses.  Miami and Maryland controlled their own destinies last week, but both were blown out.  Now Virginia Tech and Boston College have the easiest roads to the title game.  If the Eagles beat Maryland in Chestnut Hill this week, they are headed to Atlanta.  If Virginia Tech beats Virginia, the Hokies are joining the Eagles.

 

The overall mediocrity of this league actually could help the ACC get an extra team in the bowl discussion.  If North Carolina State beats Miami or Virginia beats Virginia Tech, the league will have 10 bowl eligible teams.  Should both the Wolfpack and Cavs win, then 11 of the 12 teams will be bowl eligible.

 

1. Orange Bowl-Boston College 10-3 vs. Cincinnati

2. Chick-fil-a-North Carolina 9-3 vs. South Carolina

3. Gator-Florida State 8-4 vs. Nebraska

4. Champs Sports-Virginia Tech 8-5 vs. Northwestern

5. Music City-Georgia Tech 8-4 vs. Vanderbilt

6. Meineke Car Care-Miami (Fla) 7-5 vs. West Virginia

7. Eagle Bank-Clemson 7-5 vs. NAVY

8. Emerald-Maryland 7-5 vs. Notre Dame

9. Humanitarian-Wake Forest 7-5 vs. Boise State

10. Texas (at-large)-N.C. State 6-6 vs. Southern Miss.

 

Big East

Cincinnati is a win away from securing a BCS Bowl bid, and it looks like they would be headed to Miami.  Coach Brian Kelly will be very popular Sunday morning if the Bearcats win, and he could be the head coach at a larger school before December 15.

 

Once Cincinnati wraps up the Orange Bowl berth, the dominoes should begin to fall.  I believe the bowls will possibly sacrifice won-loss record for distance.  With the economy in shambles, fans may be reluctant to travel great distances and spend a lot of money.  Thus, I am picking South Florida to stay at home for their bowl.  I am going with West Virginia to stay close to home.  I am sending Connecticut north of the border.

 

With Notre Dame losing to Syracuse, the Irish are no longer in the Gator Bowl picture, and I don’t think the Sun Bowl will be able to select them as the Big East representative because they will finish 6-6 and six Big East teams will win seven or more games. 

 

I have Louisville out of the picture.  The Cardinals have been a major disappointment for the second consecutive year.  Coach Steve Kragthorpe’s seat is getting hot.

 

1. Orange-Cincinnati 11-2 vs. Boston College

2. Sun-Pittsburgh 8-4 vs. Arizona

3. St. Petersburg-South Florida 7-5 vs. East Carolina

4. Meineke Car Care-West Virginia 8-4 vs. Miami (Fla)

5. International-Connecticut 8-4 vs. Buffalo

6. Papa John’s-Rutgers 7-5 vs. Middle Tennessee State

 

Big Ten

Illinois was eliminated from bowl contention last week, but I now have Ohio State slated to miss out on an at-large BCS bowl bid.  So, this league will have seven teams for seven bowls.

 

Even thought Minnesota fell mightily in November, I have the Gophers ahead of Wisconsin because it appears that the Badger fans do not plan on supporting their team en masse this year.  In a poll in the Milwaukee paper, a plurality of fans voted their opinion that UW should not even go to a bowl this year.

 

1. Rose-Penn State 11-1 vs. Oregon State

2. Capital One-Ohio State 10-2 vs. Georgia

3. Outback-Michigan State 9-3 vs. L S U

4. Champs Sports-Northwestern 9-3 vs. Virginia Tech

5. Alamo-Iowa 8-4 vs. Oklahoma State

6. Insight-Minnesota 7-5 vs. Kansas

7. Motor City-Wisconsin 7-5 vs. Ball State

 

Big 12

Missouri is definitely in the Big 12 Championship Game next week.  The other side of the league is still a three-team race.  If Oklahoma wins at Oklahoma State, then the Sooners should jump ahead of Texas in the BCS standings, even if the Longhorns beat Texas A&M 56-0.  If Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, then Texas Tech will back in to the title game if they beat Baylor.  I think Texas can only get into the Big 12 title game if Texas Tech loses to Baylor.  However, the Longhorns still have a chance to make it to the National Championship Game if Missouri beats Oklahoma in the conference title game and Southern Cal doesn’t jump ahead of them.

 

Colorado still has an outside chance of becoming bowl-eligible.  They have to win at Nebraska.  I don’t give the Buffs much chance of doing that, and I believe Coach Dan Hawkins is riding down a slippery slope in the Rockies.

 

The Cornhuskers may cut in line in the bowl pecking order.  The Gator Bowl will probably take them ahead of a 10-3 Missouri or 9-3 Oklahoma State team.

 

1. BCS National Championship-Oklahoma 12-1 vs. Florida

2. Fiesta-Texas 11-1 vs. Southern Cal

3. Cotton-Texas Tech 11-1 vs. Ole Miss

4. Gator-Nebraska 8-4 vs. Florida State

5. Holiday-Missouri 10-3 vs. California

6. Alamo-Oklahoma State 9-3 vs. Iowa

7. Insight-Kansas 6-6 vs. Minnesota

8. Independence-No Qualifying Team

9. Texas-No Qualifying team

 

C-USA

There is still unfinished business in this conference.  East Carolina has won the East Division, but the West is still a three-team race.  Tulsa has a tough road game at Marshall, while Houston plays across town at Rice.  If Rice and Tulsa finished ties, Tulsa wins.  If Tulsa loses to Marshall, the winner of the Rice-Houston game wins.  All three will go to bowls.

 

UTEP and Memphis must win their final games to become bowl-eligible.  Memphis has an easy game against lowly Tulane, but UTEP must play at East Carolina.  Should the Tigers lose, Coach Tommy West could be in trouble.

 

1. Liberty-Tulsa 11-2 vs. Kentucky

2. St. Petersburg-East Carolina 8-5 vs. South Florida

3. G M A C-Rice 8-4 vs. Central Michigan

4. Armed Forces-Houston 8-4 vs. Air Force

5. Texas-Southern Miss. 6-6 vs. N.C. State

6. New Orleans-Memphis 6-6 vs. Troy

 

Independent

Navy is the only team that definitely knows what bowl it will be playing in this year.  The Midshipmen have already accepted a bid to the first Eagle Bank Bowl. 

 

Notre Dame will still be invited to a bowl after USC slaughters them to drop them to 6-6.  They will be the first 6-6 team invited as an at-large team.  Whether they accept the bid is another story, but I’m selecting them here.

 

1. Emerald (at-large)-Notre Dame 6-6 vs. Maryland

2. Eagle Bank-NAVY 7-5 vs. Clemson

 

M A C

Ball State has a big home game with Western Michigan Tuesday night.  Then, they would have to beat Buffalo in the MAC Championship Game and hope Boise State, Alabama, and Southern Cal all lose just to have a minute chance at getting an at-large bid to a BCS bowl.  It looks like the Motor City Bowl is the best they can hope for.  I would love to see some arrangement made to pit a 13-0 Ball State team against a 12-0 Boise State team.  A lot of deals would have to be made.

 

Central and Western Michigan should easily receive bowl bids.  Buffalo is a virtually guaranteed a bowl as well thanks to them picking up their seventh win last week.

 

Northern Illinois will become the fifth bowl team if they defeat Navy.  Even if they lose, they could still have a shot at 6-6, since their fans travel well.

 

1. Motor City-Ball State 13-0 vs. Wisconsin

2. International-Buffalo 8-5 vs. Connecticut

3. G M A C-Central Michigan 9-3 vs. Rice

4. Hawaii (at-large)-Western Michigan 9-3 vs. Hawaii

 

Mountain West

Utah is officially a BCS bowl invitee.  It appears that they are headed to the Big Easy to play in the Sugar Bowl.

 

BYU has been to the Las Vegas Bowl the last three years, and I believe the folks in sin city will invite the Cougars a fourth consecutive time.  TCU is still a possibility, but in this time of economic turmoil, I’m guessing it will be a number’s game that comes up craps for the Frogs.

 

1. Sugar-Utah 12-0 vs. Alabama

2. Las Vegas-B Y U 10-2 vs. Oregon

3. Poinsettia-T C U 10-2 vs. Boise State

4. New Mexico-Colorado State 6-6 vs. Fresno State

5. Armed Forces-Air Force 8-4 vs. Houston

 

Pac-10

Oregon State won at Arizona, and now the Beavers need to take care of business at home against Oregon.  If they win, they head to the Rose Bowl for the first time in more than four decades!  They would get a chance to redeem themselves against Penn State.

 

Southern Cal could still climb up to second in the BCS if Oklahoma and Texas both lose again this season.

 

Arizona State could still become bowl eligible by beating both UCLA and Arizona.  It could happen, but for now I am picking Arizona to end that dream.

 

 

1. Rose-Oregon State 9-3 vs. Penn State

2. Fiesta (at-large) Southern Cal 11-1 vs. Texas

3. Holiday-California 8-4 vs. Missouri

4. Sun-Arizona 8-4 vs. Pittsburgh

5. Las Vegas-Oregon 8-4 vs. B Y U

6. Emerald-No qualifying team

6. Poinsettia-No qualifying team

7. Hawaii- No qualifying team

 

S E C

Florida continues to move farther and farther ahead of the pack in college football.  I have the Gators at least a touchdown ahead of any other team.

 

Alabama is still number one in the official polls.  What if the Crimson Tide destroys Auburn and loses to Florida in overtime on a missed two-point conversion?  Might we see the same two teams play again for the national title?  Could it happen?  I think the Gators will take ‘Bama by more than two touchdowns to make it a moot point.

 

Arkansas was eliminated from the bowl talk last week, and I expect Auburn to go away this week.  If Auburn fires Tommy Tuberville, the Tigers deserve to rot into the basement in the SEC West for years.  Tuberville is a class act, and he knows how to coach.  I don’t think there is a savior out there who can do any better.

 

Kentucky and Vanderbilt will probably both finish 6-6, and that presents a mismatch problem if Tulsa wins the C-USA title.  The Golden Hurricane would be a prohibitive favorite over both teams.  Might the Liberty Bowl decide to allow the Independence of Papa John’s Bowl to take one of these 6-6 and then go after an undefeated Ball State team as an at-large opponent?  It’s something to consider, but I believe the Wildcats will travel to Memphis.  If Rice wins the C-USA title, then Kentucky will definitely be the opponent, since Vandy has already played the Owls.

 

1. National Championship-Florida 12-1 vs. Oklahoma

2. Sugar-Alabama 12-1 vs. Utah

3. Capital One-Georgia 10-2 vs. Ohio State

4. Outback-L S U 8-4 vs. Michigan State

5. Cotton-Ole Miss 8-4 vs. Texas Tech

6. Chick-fil-a-South Carolina 7-5 vs. North Carolina

7. Music City-Vanderbilt 6-6 vs. Georgia Tech

8. Liberty-Kentucky 6-6 vs. Tulsa

9. Independence-No qualifying team

10. Papa John’s-No qualifying team

 

Sunbelt

Troy has all but wrapped up the New Orleans Bowl berth.  It looks highly likely that no other SBC team will finish 7-5, but as many as three will finish 6-6.  Because I see at least four and possibly five 6-6 teams being required to fill out the at-large spots, two at-large bids could go to this league. 

 

The Sunbelt has side bets with three other bowls, and two of them will be needing to find alternative invitees.  So, I am going with the two teams I believe will travel the best here.

 

1. New Orleans-Troy 8-4 vs. Memphis

2. Independence (at-large) Arkansas State 6-6 vs. La. Tech

3. Papa John’s (at-large) Middle Tennessee 6-6 vs. Rutgers

W A C

Boise State should take care of business against Fresno State this week and finish the regular season at 12-0.  They won’t get a sniff at an at-large BCS bowl bid.  Their only hope is if Oregon State loses to Oregon, Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State, Texas loses to Texas A&M, and Texas Tech loses to Baylor (or if Missouri wins the Big 12 title).

 

The WAC has a provisional agreement with the Poinsettia Bowl should the Pac-10 not have a team available.  They won’t this year, and that could allow Boise State to go there.  Economics may trump this theory as the Humanitarian Bowl will want the Broncos to stay home.  For now, I am selecting Boise to head south and west to play a better opponent than they would face on the blue field.

 

San Jose State looks like the odd man out this year, unless the Poinsettia Bowl would prefer them to Boise State.  Then, Nevada might be the odd man out.  If the Wolf Pack take care of business this week at Louisiana Tech, then they will take a bid away from a 6-6 team.

 

1. Poinsettia (at-large) Boise State 12-0 vs. T C U

2. Humanitarian-Nevada 6-6 vs. Wake Forest

3. New Mexico-Fresno State 7-5 vs. Colorado State

4. Hawaii-Hawaii 7-6 vs. Western Michigan

5. Independence (at-large)-La. Tech 8-4 vs. Arkansas St.

 

November 18, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football–Week of: November 18-23, 2008

NCAA Week 13: It’s Resolution Week, Part One

 

This week starts the beginning of the end of the regular season for college football.  Many teams will be playing their final games of the year, and many teams will be either playing themselves into a bowl or being eliminated from a bowl.   In addition, there are numerous big rivalry games.

 

The bowl situation couldn’t be more messed up today.  I believe six bowls will have to find at-large entries as the conferences which with they have agreements will not provide enough bowl eligible teams.  I believe the Independence bowl will have to find two at-large teams.

 

NCAA Top 25 For 18-Nov-2008
Rank Team PiRate Won Lost
1 Florida  139 9 1
2 Southern Cal 132 9 1
3 Texas 128 10 1
4 Texas Tech 127 10 0
5 Oklahoma 127 9 1
6 Ohio St. 125 9 2
7 Penn St. 123 10 1
8 Missouri 121 9 2
9 Alabama 120 11 0
10 Georgia  119 9 2
11 Oregon State 118 7 3
12 T C U 117 9 2
13 Boise State 116 10 0
14 Utah 116 11 0
15 Oklahoma St. 115 9 2
16 Oregon 115 8 3
17 Ball State 113 10 0
18 Ole Miss 113 6 4
19 L S U 112 7 3
20 California 112 6 4
21 Rutgers 112 5 5
22 West Virginia 112 6 3
23 Cincinnati 111 8 2
24 Iowa 111 7 4
25 Arizona 111 6 4
         
Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number
even though I rank them to two decimal points

 

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Clemson 3-4 5-5 109 66 43
Boston College 3-3 7-3 108 65 43
Florida State 4-3 7-3 108 68 40
Maryland 4-2 7-3 105 64 41
Wake Forest 4-3 6-4 102 56 46
North Carolina State 2-4 4-6 100 67 33
           
Coastal Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
North Carolina 3-3 7-3 109 68 41
Virginia Tech 3-3 6-4 107 66 41
Miami 4-2 7-3 105 61 44
Georgia Tech 4-3 7-3 102 62 40
Virginia  3-3 5-5 101 59 42
Duke 1-5 4-6 92 60 32

 

Big East Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Rutgers 4-2 5-5 112 67 45
West Virginia 3-1 6-3 112 67 45
Cincinnati 4-1 8-2 111 65 46
Pittsburgh 3-1 7-2 108 65 43
Connecticut 3-2 7-3 105 65 40
South Florida 1-4 6-4 105 68 37
Louisville 1-4 5-5 96 59 37
Syracuse 1-5 2-8 86 54 32

 

Big Ten
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Ohio State 6-1 9-2 125 70 55
Penn State 6-1 10-1 123 74 49
Iowa 4-3 7-4 111 69 42
Wisconsin 3-5 6-5 108 71 37
Illinois 3-4 5-6 107 68 39
Michigan State 6-1 9-2 106 64 42
Northwestern 4-3 8-3 101 62 39
Minnesota 3-4 7-4 99 63 36
Purdue 1-6 3-8 98 63 35
Michigan 2-5 3-8 98 58 40
Indiana 1-6 3-8 85 57 28

 

Big 12
North Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Missouri 5-2 9-2 121 75 46
Nebraska 4-3 7-4 109 70 39
Kansas 3-4 6-5 106 66 40
Colorado 2-5 5-6 94 56 38
Kansas State 1-6 4-7 93 67 26
Iowa State 0-7 2-9 85 57 28
South Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Texas 6-1 10-1 128 82 46
Texas Tech 6-0 10-0 127 86 41
Oklahoma 5-1 9-1 127 86 41
Oklahoma State 5-2 9-2 115 69 46
Baylor 2-5 4-7 104 66 38
Texas A&M 2-5 4-7 90 56 34

 

Conference USA
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Southern Miss. 3-4 5-6 97 64 33
East Carolina 4-2 6-4 95 60 35
Central Florida 2-4 3-7 91 50 41
Memphis 3-3 5-5 90 60 30
Marshall 3-3 4-6 90 57 33
U A B 2-4 3-7 79 51 28
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Tulsa 5-1 8-2 102 71 31
Houston 5-1 6-4 100 67 33
Rice 5-1 7-3 91 62 29
U T E P 4-2 5-5 90 60 30
S M U 0-7 1-10 78 57 21
Tulane 1-5 2-8 76 52 24

 

Independents
           
Team   Overall Rating Off Def
Notre Dame   6-4 103 61 42
Navy   6-4 97 60 37
Army   3-7 86 49 37

 

Mid American Conference
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Bowling Green 3-3 5-5 99 66 33
Buffalo 4-2 6-4 98 65 33
Temple 2-4 3-7 95 56 39
Akron 3-3 5-5 93 62 31
Kent State 2-4 3-7 90 59 31
Ohio U 1-5 2-8 87 48 39
Miami (O) 1-5 2-8 87 57 30
           
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Ball State 6-0 10-0 113 74 39
Western Michigan 6-1 9-2 101 64 37
Central Michigan 6-0 8-2 99 67 32
Northern Illinois 4-3 5-5 97 60 37
Toledo 1-5 2-8 87 57 30
Eastern Michigan 1-5 2-8 83 52 31

 

Mountain West Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
T C U 6-1 9-2 117 66 51
Utah 7-0 11-0 116 69 47
Brigham Young 6-1 10-1 108 68 40
Air Force 5-2 8-3 98 60 38
New Mexico 2-6 4-8 93 56 37
UNLV 2-5 5-6 91 59 32
Colorado State 3-4 5-6 91 59 32
Wyoming 1-6 4-7 87 52 35
San Diego State 0-7 1-10 70 46 24

 

Pac-10 Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Southern Cal 7-1 9-1 132 73 59
Oregon State 6-1 7-3 118 75 43
Oregon 6-2 8-3 115 73 42
California 4-3 6-4 112 71 41
Arizona 4-3 6-4 111 74 37
Stanford 4-4 5-6 108 65 43
Arizona State 3-4 4-6 105 64 41
U C L A 3-4 4-6 100 57 43
Washington 0-7 0-10 85 56 29
Washington State 0-8 1-10 71 48 23

 

Southeastern Conference
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Florida  7-1 9-1 139 86 53
Georgia  6-2 9-2 119 73 46
South Carolina 4-4 7-4 111 65 46
Vanderbilt 4-3 6-4 106 59 47
Kentucky 2-5 6-5 104 63 41
Tennessee 1-5 3-7 101 59 42
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Alabama 7-0 11-0 120 68 52
Ole Miss 3-3 6-4 113 69 44
L S U 3-3 7-3 112 71 41
Auburn 2-5 5-6 106 58 48
Mississippi State 1-5 3-7 102 57 45
Arkansas 1-5 4-6 101 67 34

 

Sunbelt Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Troy 4-1 6-4 99 66 33
Florida Atlantic 3-2 5-5 95 63 32
Louisiana-Lafayette 4-1 5-5 91 66 25
Arkansas State 2-2 4-5 89 59 30
Middle Tennessee 2-3 4-6 89 56 33
Florida International 3-2 4-5 86 56 30
Louisiana-Monroe 2-4 3-8 85 55 30
* Western Kentucky 0-0 2-9 82 51 31
North Texas 0-5 1-9 70 54 16
           
* Western Kentucky will become eligible in 2009      
Their games will not count in the SBC Standings in 2008    

 

Western Athletic Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Boise State 6-0 10-0 116 72 44
Nevada 4-2 6-4 101 72 29
Louisiana Tech 4-2 6-4 95 56 39
Hawaii 4-3 5-5 90 54 36
Fresno State 3-3 6-4 90 62 28
Utah State 2-5 2-9 88 55 33
San Jose State 4-3 6-5 87 54 33
New Mexico State 1-5 3-7 78 50 28
Idaho 1-6 2-9 75 58 17

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site    
       
Tuesday, November 18      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Northern Illinois KENT STATE 4 28-24
       
Wednesday, November 19      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Ball State CENTRAL MICHIGAN 11 41-28
       
Thursday, November 20      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Miami-Fl GEORGIA TECH 0 21-21 to ot
       
Friday, November 21      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
BOWLING GREEN Buffalo 4 35-31
TOLEDO Miami-OH 3 27-24
SAN JOSE STATE Fresno State 0 28-28 to ot
       
Saturday, November 15      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
OHIO STATE Michigan 30 33-3
NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina St. 12 35-23
West Virginia LOUISVILLE 13 27-14
RUTGERS Army 29 32-3
Clemson VIRGINIA 5 22-17
PURDUE Indiana 16 35-19
VANDERBILT Tennessee 8 17-9
TEMPLE Eastern Michigan 15 27-12
MEMPHIS Central Florida 2 21-19
Colorado State WYOMING 1 21-20
NOTRE DAME Syracuse 20 30-10
MISSISSIPPI STATE Arkansas 4 24-20
TULSA Tulane 29 49-20
Washington WASHINGTON STATE 11 31-20
Florida Atlantic ARKANSAS STATE 3 31-28
PENN STATE Michigan State 20 34-14
T C U Air Force 22 28-6
L S U Ole Miss 2 28-26
Boston College WAKE FOREST 3 17-14
CALIFORNIA Stanford 7 28-21
Illinois NORTHWESTERN 3 27-24
Akron OHIO U 3 21-18
RICE Marshall 4 31-27
HOUSTON U t e p 13 37-24
MIDDLE TENNESSEE North Texas 22 42-20
KANSAS STATE Iowa State 11 42-31
Louisiana Tech NEW MEXICO STATE 11 28-17
Boise State NEVADA 11 42-31
VIRGINIA TECH Duke 18 35-17
UTAH B y u 11 31-20
CINCINNATI Pittsburgh 6 23-17
East Carolina U A B 13 30-17
Oregon State ARIZONA 4 35-31
Iowa MINNESOTA 9 30-21
FLORIDA INT’L La-Monroe 4 28-24
TROY La-Lafayette 11 42-31
MARYLAND Florida State 0 24-24 to ot
OKLAHOMA Texas Tech 3 45-42
U n l v SAN DIEGO STATE 18 32-14
HAWAII Idaho 18 38-20
       
Sunday, November 23      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
SOUTH FLORIDA Connecticut 3 27-24

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site  
Tuesday, November 18    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Northern Illinois KENT STATE 28-23
     
Wednesday, November 19    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Ball State CENTRAL MICHIGAN 30-24
     
Thursday, November 20    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
GEORGIA TECH Miami-Fl 19-17
     
Friday, November 21    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Bowling Green BUFFALO 28-26
TOLEDO Miami-OH 27-21
SAN JOSE STATE Fresno State 28-28 to ot
     
Saturday, November 15    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
OHIO STATE Michigan 31-7
NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina St. 34-17
West Virginia LOUISVILLE 27-21
RUTGERS Army 35-16
VIRGINIA Clemson 21-21 to ot
PURDUE Indiana 34-24
VANDERBILT Tennessee 20-10
TEMPLE Eastern Michigan 28-16
MEMPHIS Central Florida 34-28
Colorado State WYOMING 20-17
NOTRE DAME Syracuse 35-16
Arkansas  MISSISSIPPI STATE 20-17
TULSA Tulane 47-21
Washington WASHINGTON STATE 35-34
ARKANSAS STATE Florida Atlantic 30-28
PENN STATE Michigan State 28-13
T C U Air Force 27-12
L S U Ole Miss 34-28
WAKE FOREST Boston College 24-24 to ot
CALIFORNIA Stanford 35-24
NORTHWESTERN Illinois 28-23
Akron OHIO U 34-28
RICE Marshall 42-31
HOUSTON U t e p 45-34
MIDDLE TENNESSEE North Texas 42-24
KANSAS STATE Iowa State 40-28
Louisiana Tech NEW MEXICO STATE 36-30
Boise State NEVADA 28-17
VIRGINIA TECH Duke 24-12
UTAH B y u 30-21
CINCINNATI Pittsburgh 28-24
East Carolina U A B 34-24
Oregon State ARIZONA 35-34
Iowa MINNESOTA 27-24
FLORIDA INT’L La-Monroe 34-24
TROY La-Lafayette 31-23
MARYLAND Florida State 24-23
OKLAHOMA Texas Tech 41-38
U n l v SAN DIEGO STATE 27-14
HAWAII Idaho 42-21
     
Sunday, November 23    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Connecticut SOUTH FLORIDA 20-19

 

 

Bowl Outlook by Conference

 

This week may be the most decisive week in the season in deciding which teams will go to bowls and which teams will stay home.  Every conference has at least one key game, and most have multiple key games.

 

Due to the mediocrity of the ACC and Big East this year, these two leagues may benefit from having a bunch of 6-6 & 7-5 teams.  They may take as many as three of the at-large bowl bids, especially if the Sunbelt fails to produce a second seven-win team.

 

Teams in all CAPS have already accepted invitations to that bowl.

 

ACC

Both divisions are still very much up for grabs.  In the Atlantic Division, Maryland leads today, but Boston College, Wake Forest, and Florida State can still win the division.  The Terps can eliminate the Seminoles with a win this week in College Park, but they must still play at BC.  Wake Forest hosts BC this week, and a win over the Eagles could give them a piece of the title.  However, Maryland holds a tiebreaker edge over Wake if they finish in a two-way tie. 

 

In the Coastal Division, Miami has the lead, but the Hurricanes finish with two tough road games against Georgia Tech and a much-improved North Carolina State.  Miami must finish ahead of North Carolina, for the Tar Heels hold the tie-breaker edge.  Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and even Virginia still could win the title, but there are too many possibilities to mention.

 

Virginia plays Clemson this week, and the winner will be bowl eligible.  The loser could still get in with a win in their season finale.

 

1. Orange Bowl-Miami 10-3 vs. Cincinnati

2. Chick-fil-a-North Carolina 9-3 vs. Kentucky

3. Gator-Virginia Tech 8-4 vs. Missouri

4. Champs Sports-Maryland 8-5 vs. Minnesota

5. Music City-Boston College 8-4 vs. Ole Miss

6. Meineke Car Care-Wake Forest 7-5 vs. Connecticut

7. Eagle Bank-Georgia Tech 7-5 vs. NAVY

8. Emerald-Florida State 7-5 vs. Oregon State

9. Humanitarian-Clemson 6-6 vs. Boise State

10. Texas (at-large)-Virginia 6-6 vs. Memphis

 

Big East

Cincinnati held onto the lead by winning at Louisville.  The Bearcats face Pittsburgh this week, and the winner will be in first place.  West Virginia plays at Louisville, and the Mountaineers can move into a first place tie if they win and Pitt beats Cincinnati.  Rutgers and Connecticut still have outside chances to win the league.

 

Louisville and Rutgers still need one win to gain bowl eligibility.  In the other part of the equation, Notre Dame can steal either a Gator or Sun Bowl berth that would go to this conference should the Irish get to seven wins.  They are 6-4 with a home game against lowly Syracuse this week.  The Orangemen just fired Coach Greg Robinson, so they may be motivated to play a big game.  Notre Dame’s other game is against Southern Cal.  I think the Irish will finish 7-5, and the Sun Bowl will take them.

 

1. Orange-Cincinnati 10-3 vs. Miami-Fl

2. Sun-Notre Dame 7-5 vs. Arizona

3. St. Petersburg-Pittsburgh 8-4 vs. East Carolina

4. Meineke Car Care-Connecticut 8-4 vs. Wake Forest

5. International-West Virginia 7-5 vs. Central Michigan

6. Papa John’s-South Florida 7-5 vs. Buffalo

7. Motor City (at-large)-Rutgers 7-5 vs. Ball State

8. Independence (at-large)-Louisville 6-6 vs. Bowling Green

 

Big Ten

Penn State is in the Rose Bowl if they defeat Michigan State.  If the Spartans win, then Ohio State is in with a win over Michigan.  If both Michigan teams win, then Michigan State is in the Rose Bowl.  I’m going with the Nittany Lions to win and close the other loopholes.

 

Ohio State will more than likely secure an at-large BCS bowl with a win over Michigan.  At 10-2, they would trump a second undefeated team from a non-BCS conference.  Money is all that matters in these bowls, and the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl would take the Buckeyes before considering a 12-0 Boise State or a 13-0 Ball State.

 

Illinois is still one win shy of gaining a bowl bid, and they must beat Northwestern this week.  If the Wildcats win, as I believe will happen, then the Motor City Bowl will need to search for an at-large team. 

 

I believe an excellent opportunity will present itself should Illinois lose and Ball State and Boise State both run the table.  The Motor City Bowl could strike a deal with the Humanitarian Bowl so that Boise State could be freed up to play Ball State in a battle of the unbeatens.

 

1. Rose-Penn State 11-1 vs. Southern Cal

2. Fiesta-Ohio State 10-2 vs. Oklahoma

3. Capital One-Michigan State 9-3 vs. Georgia

4. Outback-Northwestern 9-3 vs. South Carolina

5. Champs Sports-Minnesota 8-4 vs. Maryland

6. Alamo-Iowa 7-5 vs. Nebraska

7. Insight-Wisconsin 7-5 vs. Kansas

8. Motor City-No Team Available

 

Big 12

This is where all the big action takes place.  Texas Tech ventures to Norman to take on Oklahoma this week, and I’m going with OU to win.  If the Sooners then win at Oklahoma State the following week, then the Big 12 South will end in a three-way tie between Tech, OU, and Texas (assuming Texas beats A&M).  The tiebreaker for the Big 12 uses highest BCS ranking, and Texas is currently ahead of Oklahoma.  Would OU jump UT if they beat Tech and Oklahoma State?  I think it’s possible, but not probable.  So, in a three-way tie, I’m guessing Texas would be the lucky team.

 

In the North, Missouri has already secured a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.  The Tigers have already played Texas, and the Longhorns whipped them.  A rematch would be much closer in my opinion, and the Tigers would have close to a 50-50 chance of winning this time around.  Should the eventual South Division champion lose to Missouri, then it will give Southern Cal a chance to move up to the BCS Championship game.  A USC-Florida game would be the best possible title fight.

 

With Kansas State losing last week, this league is now guaranteed to come up short in its bowl obligations.  In fact, it will be two teams short.  That’s too bad for the Independence Bowl, because I believe it will have to search for two at-large teams. 

 

1. BCS National Championship-Texas 12-1 vs. Florida

2. Fiesta-Oklahoma 11-1 vs. Ohio State

3. Cotton-Texas Tech 11-1 vs. LSU

4. Gator-Missouri 10-3 vs. Virginia Tech

5. Holiday-Oklahoma State 9-3 vs. California

6. Alamo-Nebraska 7-5 vs. Iowa

7. Insight-Kansas 6-6 vs. Wisconsin

8. Independence-No Qualifying Team

9. Texas-No Qualifying team

 

C-USA

As I expected last week, Houston beat Tulsa to forge a three-way tie at the top of the West Division.  Rice is the third of the trio, and the Owls still host Houston.  Tulsa still has a tough road game at Marshall.  So, any one of these three could end up in the C-USA Championship Game.

 

In the East, East Carolina is going to limp home with the title, but the Pirates are playing a good 10 to 13 points weaker in November than they did in September.  The only way Memphis or Marshall could supplant ECU is if the Pirates lose at UAB and at home to Marshall in the final game.  Look for ECU to beat UAB and clinch the division this week.

 

The good news for this conference is there will be enough bowl eligible teams to fill the six bowl allotments, and if UTEP can win one more game, there could be an extra bowl eligible team.  The Miners have a lot of digging to do, as they close at Houston and at ECU.  Southern Mississippi will become bowl eligible when they beat SMU in two weeks. 

 

1. Liberty-Houston 9-4 vs. Vanderbilt

2. St. Petersburg-East Carolina 8-5 vs. Pittsburgh

3. G M A C-Rice 8-4 vs. Western Michigan

4. Armed Forces-Tulsa 10-2 vs. U N L V

5. Texas-Memphis 7-5 vs. Virginia

6. New Orleans-Southern Miss. 6-6 vs. Troy

 

Independent

Navy is the only team that definitely knows what bowl it will be playing in this year.  The Midshipmen have already accepted a bid to the first Eagle Bank Bowl.  If Georgia Tech is the ACC representative, it will pit Paul Johnson against his former team in a triple option challenge.

 

Notre Dame will earn a bowl bid with a win over Syracuse this week.  The Gator Bowl could take them in lieu of a really good Big 12 team, but the Sun Bowl is a more likely destination.

 

1. Sun-Notre Dame 7-5 vs. Arizona

2. Eagle Bank-NAVY 7-5 vs. Georgia Tech

 

M A C

Other than the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game this week, the next most important match could be the one in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Wednesday night.  Central Michigan hosts Ball State, and this game should be must-watch TV.  If Ball State wins this road game, then the Cardinals will be in the cat-bird seat at undefeated stadium.  They still would have to beat a tough Western Michigan team in Muncie plus the Eastern champion in the MAC title game, but CMU is the real tough assignment.  Central Michigan and Western Michigan have earned bowl bids, and they will go somewhere.

 

In the East, Bowling Green hosts Buffalo Friday night, and the winner of that game is the division champ.  The loser should still finish with seven wins, and that will be enough to get them an at-large invitation to another bowl.

 

Northern Illinois may have played themselves out of bowl competition.  The Huskies are 5-5 and must beat both Kent State and Navy to get to a bowl.  I think they will fall one game short.

 

1. Motor City-Ball State 13-0 vs. Rutgers

2. International-Central Michigan 9-3 vs. West Virginia

3. G M A C-Western Michigan 9-3 vs. Rice

4. Papa John’s (at-large)-Buffalo 7-5 vs. South Florida

5. Independence (at-large)-Bowling Green 7-6 vs. Louisville

 

Mountain West

If Utah beats BYU this week, then the Utes are going to the Sugar Bowl.  The Sugar Bowl would get the last pick of available BCS teams, and Utah will qualify with a win over the Cougars.  Should BYU upset their in-state rival, then Utah will drop out of the BCS picture and open up a spot for Boise State or possibly Ball State should the Broncos also lose.

 

UNLV and Colorado State both need one more win to gain bowl eligibility.  If Utah wins, then there will be room for both the Rebels and the Rams in the bowl picture.  UNLV must defeat San Diego State, and this appears to be almost a certainty.  CSU plays at Wyoming in a big rivalry game, and their task is much more difficult.

 

1. Sugar-Utah 12-0 vs. Alabama

2. Las Vegas-TCU 10-2 vs. Oregon

3. Poinsettia-BYU 10-2 vs. San Jose State

4. New Mexico-Air Force 8-4 vs. Louisiana Tech

5. Armed Forces-UNLV 6-6 vs. Tulsa

6. Hawaii (at-large)-Colorado State 6-6 vs. Hawaii

 

Pac-10

All eyes are in Tucson this week.  Should Oregon State win on the road at Arizona, the Beavers are a home win over Oregon away from being the Pac-10 Champions and Rose Bowl representative.  If Arizona wins or Oregon upsets the Beavers in the season-ender, then Southern Cal will win the Pac-10.

 

Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State are still mathematically alive in the bowl picture.  UCLA would have to win at Arizona State and then upset USC.  It won’t happen.  Arizona State would have to beat UCLA and Arizona; it could happen, but chances are they won’t win both games.  Stanford must defeat Cal this week, but the Bears have about a 60-65% chance of winning.  Thus, the Pac-10 could miss out on their allotments by two teams.

 

 

1. Rose-Southern Cal 11-1 vs. Penn State

2. Holiday-California 8-4 vs. Oklahoma State

3. Sun-Arizona 8-4 vs. Notre Dame

4. Las Vegas-Oregon 8-4 vs. TCU

5. Emerald-Oregon State 8-4 vs. Florida State

6. Poinsettia-No qualifying team

7. Hawaii- No qualifying team

 

S E C

This conference has the definite top team in the land, and it isn’t number one Alabama.  Florida may be as dominant today as Nebraska was in 1995 and 1997.  The Gators could score 100 points this week against Citadel if Urban Meyer allowed them to do so.  They will pummel Florida State the following week, and then they should handle Alabama by more than 10 points in the SEC Championship Game.  If they lose another game this year it will be a bigger story than the Presidential election!

 

Alabama will clinch a BCS bowl game with a win over hapless Auburn next week.  That game will also eliminate the Tigers and could conceivably cost Tommy Turbeville his job (which would be ridiculous).

 

Vanderbilt clinched a bowl with their win over Kentucky in Lexington Saturday.  The Commodores now have two very winnable games remaining against Tennessee and Wake Forest.  Should they finish 8-4, they will deserve the Outback Bowl bid, but I’m guessing they would get snubbed if South Carolina beats Clemson in their final game.  However, a Vandy-Northwestern game would stir a lot of interest with the similarities between the two academic institutes of much higher learning.

 

Ole Miss also became bowl eligible Saturday, and the Rebels could move up to the Cotton Bowl if they could beat a battered LSU team in the Tiger’s Den this week.

 

Arkansas still has a remote shot at getting to a bowl.  The Razorbacks would have to win at Mississippi State and against LSU the following week.  For now, I’m calling for them to lose one of those games, so the SEC will fall two teams short in its obligations.

 

1. National Championship-Florida 12-1 vs. Texas

2. Sugar-Alabama 12-1 vs. Utah

3. Capital One-Georgia 10-2 vs. Michigan State

4. Outback-South Carolina 7-5 vs. Northwestern

5. Cotton-L S U 9-3 vs. Texas Tech

6. Chick-fil-a-Kentucky 7-5 vs. North Carolina

7. Music City-Ole Miss 7-5 vs. Miami

8. Liberty-Vanderbilt 8-4 vs. Houston

9. Independence-No qualifying team

10. Papa John’s-No qualifying team

 

Sunbelt

The New Orleans Bowl should be decided this week when Troy hosts Louisiana-Lafayette.  If ULL wins and then loses at home to Middle Tennessee in two weeks, Florida Atlantic could claim the title with wins at Arkansas State and against Florida International.  Both ASU and FIU could get into the championship picture if Troy, ULL, and FAU all lose.  For now, let’s just go with Troy to beat ULL and end all the commotion.

 

If Troy wins this week, there is a good chance that the other teams will beat each other up and leave three teams at 6-6.  If a second team does get to seven wins, then they will be assured of an at-large bid to either the Papa John’s or Independence Bowl.

 

1. New Orleans-Troy 8-4 vs. Southern Miss.

 

W A C

I have a sneaky suspicion that Boise State could find itself in a heap of trouble this week.  The Broncos travel to Reno to take on Nevada.  The Wolf Pack took Boise to four overtimes last year at the blue field before losing 69-67.  I think Nevada could be waiting to ambush the undefeated Broncos.  Boise will be lucky to escape with a win of any type.

 

Louisiana Tech has emerged as the second best team in the WAC.  Second year coach Derek Dooley is the son of former Georgia great Vince Dooley, and he could be on the verge of seeing his name on the rolodexes of several athletics directors at BCS schools.  If the Bulldogs win at New Mexico State this week, they will lock up a bowl bid.

 

Fresno State and San Jose State are both on the skids.  The two play Friday night at Spartan Stadium, and the winner will be virtually assured of grabbing a bowl.  The loser won’t be eliminated, but their road will be quite rough.

 

Hawaii is 5-5 with three games to go.  They should beat Idaho this week, and Washington State the following week to earn a bid to the Hawaii Bowl.

 

1. Humanitarian-Boise State 12-0 vs. Clemson

(Boise State could swap with Rutgers and face a 13-0 Ball State team if a deal could be made).

2. New Mexico-Louisiana Tech 8-4 vs. Air Force

3. Hawaii-Hawaii 7-6 vs. Colorado State

4. Poinsettia (at-large)-San Jose State 7-5 vs. B Y U

 

November 11, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football: Week Of November 11-15, 2008

NCAA Week 12: BCS Could Be On Verge Of Getting Quite Muddled

 

Bye Bye Penn State.  Alabama just barely survived in the Bayou.  Florida and Southern Cal showed they are the two best teams in the nation, but it’s going to take a few more losses at the top before that match-up has any chance of ever occurring.

 

Last week’s games really threw a monkey wrench into the lower bowls.  There is a good chance now that at least six bowls will have to look for at-large teams because the conferences that have agreements with these bowls will not have enough bowl eligible teams.  Read below in my bowl section to see the ensuing problems.

 

The PiRate Top 25 is different from the polls.  I do not rank the teams based on what they have done to date.  These teams are rated on how I think they will perform in the future (predictive ratings).

 

NCAA Top 25 For 11-Nov-2008
Rank Team PiRate Won Lost
1 Florida  135 8 1
2 Southern Cal 132 8 1
3 Texas Tech 127 10 0
4 Oklahoma 127 9 1
5 Texas 126 9 1
6 Ohio St. 126 8 2
7 Penn St. 124 9 1
8 Missouri 121 8 2
9 Alabama 120 10 0
10 Georgia  120 8 2
11 Oklahoma St. 117 8 2
12 T C U 117 9 2
13 Boise State 116 9 0
14 Oregon State 116 6 3
15 South Carolina 115 7 3
16 Utah 114 10 0
17 Ball State 114 9 0
18 Oregon 114 7 3
19 California 114 6 3
20 L S U 113 6 3
21 Iowa 112 6 4
22 Arizona 112 6 3
23 West Virginia 112 6 3
24 Cincinnati 111 7 2
25 Florida State 111 7 2
         
Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number
even though I rank them to two decimal points

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Florida State 4-2 7-2 111 70 41
Clemson 2-4 4-5 107 65 42
Boston College 2-3 6-3 105 64 41
Maryland 3-2 6-3 104 64 40
Wake Forest 4-2 6-3 103 56 47
North Carolina State 1-4 3-6 98 66 32
           
Coastal Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
North Carolina 3-2 7-2 110 69 41
Virginia Tech 3-2 6-3 108 67 41
Miami 3-2 6-3 104 61 43
Georgia Tech 4-3 7-3 102 62 40
Virginia  3-3 5-5 101 59 42
Duke 1-4 4-5 94 61 33

 

Big East Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
West Virginia 3-1 6-3 112 67 45
Cincinnati 3-1 7-2 111 65 46
South Florida 1-3 6-3 109 69 40
Rutgers 3-2 4-5 108 65 43
Pittsburgh 3-1 7-2 108 65 43
Connecticut 2-2 6-3 103 64 39
Louisville 1-3 5-4 96 59 37
Syracuse 1-4 2-7 88 55 33

 

Big Ten
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Ohio State 5-1 8-2 126 70 56
Penn State 5-1 9-1 124 75 49
Iowa 3-3 6-4 112 70 42
Wisconsin 2-5 5-5 110 71 39
Michigan State 6-1 9-2 106 64 42
Illinois 3-3 5-5 106 67 39
Michigan 2-4 3-7 100 60 40
Northwestern 3-3 7-3 99 62 37
Minnesota 3-3 7-3 97 61 36
Purdue 1-5 3-7 97 63 34
Indiana 1-5 3-7 85 57 28

 

Big 12
North Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Missouri 4-2 8-2 121 75 46
Kansas 3-3 6-4 108 67 41
Nebraska 3-3 6-4 106 68 38
Kansas State 1-5 4-6 97 68 29
Colorado 2-4 5-5 93 56 37
Iowa State 0-6 2-8 85 57 28
South Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Texas Tech 6-0 10-0 127 86 41
Oklahoma 5-1 9-1 127 86 41
Texas 5-1 9-1 126 81 45
Oklahoma State 4-2 8-2 117 71 46
Baylor 1-5 3-7 102 65 37
Texas A&M 2-4 4-6 92 57 35

 

Conference USA
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
East Carolina 4-1 6-3 97 62 35
Southern Miss. 2-4 4-6 95 64 31
Marshall 3-2 4-5 94 59 35
Memphis 3-3 5-5 90 60 30
Central Florida 1-4 2-7 87 48 39
U A B 1-4 2-7 79 51 28
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Tulsa 5-0 8-1 106 72 34
Houston 4-1 5-4 95 63 32
Rice 5-1 7-3 91 62 29
U T E P 3-2 4-5 87 59 28
S M U 0-6 1-9 81 59 22
Tulane 1-4 2-7 79 53 26

 

Independents
           
Team   Overall Rating Off Def
Notre Dame   5-4 103 61 42
Navy   6-3 97 60 37
Army   3-7 86 49 37

 

Mid American Conference
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Bowling Green 3-3 5-5 99 66 33
Buffalo 3-2 5-4 98 65 33
Temple 2-3 3-6 96 56 40
Akron 3-2 5-4 93 62 31
Kent State 1-4 2-7 89 58 31
Ohio U 1-5 2-8 87 48 39
Miami (O) 1-4 2-7 86 57 29
           
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Ball State 5-0 9-0 114 74 40
Western Michigan 5-1 8-2 102 64 38
Central Michigan 5-0 7-2 98 66 32
Northern Illinois 4-2 5-4 98 60 38
Toledo 1-4 2-7 86 56 30
Eastern Michigan 1-5 2-8 83 52 31

 

Mountain West Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
T C U 6-1 9-2 117 66 51
Utah 6-0 10-0 114 68 46
Brigham Young 5-1 9-1 106 66 40
Air Force 5-1 8-2 99 60 39
New Mexico 2-5 4-7 96 59 37
UNLV 1-5 4-6 90 59 31
Colorado State 2-4 4-6 89 58 31
Wyoming 1-5 4-6 88 53 35
San Diego State 0-6 1-9 72 47 25

 

Pac-10 Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Southern Cal 6-1 8-1 132 73 59
Oregon State 5-1 6-3 116 74 42
Oregon 5-2 7-3 114 71 43
California 4-2 6-3 114 72 42
Arizona 4-2 6-3 112 73 39
Stanford 4-3 5-5 108 65 43
Arizona State 2-4 3-6 105 64 41
U C L A 2-4 3-6 98 56 42
Washington 0-6 0-9 87 57 30
Washington State 0-7 1-9 71 48 23

 

Southeastern Conference
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Florida  6-1 8-1 135 84 51
Georgia  5-2 8-2 120 74 46
South Carolina 4-3 7-3 115 67 48
Kentucky 2-4 6-4 106 63 43
Vanderbilt 3-3 5-4 104 58 46
Tennessee 1-5 3-7 101 59 42
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Alabama 6-0 10-0 120 68 52
L S U 3-3 6-3 113 71 42
Ole Miss 3-3 5-4 110 67 43
Auburn 2-4 5-5 105 58 47
Mississippi State 1-4 3-6 102 57 45
Arkansas 1-5 4-6 101 67 34

 

Sunbelt Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Troy 4-1 6-3 97 64 33
Louisiana-Lafayette 4-0 5-4 93 67 26
Florida Atlantic 2-2 4-5 93 62 31
Arkansas State 2-2 4-5 89 59 30
Middle Tennessee 2-3 3-6 88 56 32
Louisiana-Monroe 2-4 3-7 88 57 31
Florida International 3-2 4-5 86 56 30
* Western Kentucky 0-0 2-8 83 52 31
North Texas 0-5 1-9 70 54 16
           
* Western Kentucky will become eligible in 2009      
Their games will not count in the SBC Standings in 2008    

 

Western Athletic Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Boise State 5-0 9-0 116 72 44
Fresno State 2-3 5-4 92 64 28
Nevada 3-2 5-4 99 71 28
San Jose State 4-2 6-4 89 54 35
Louisiana Tech 3-2 5-4 96 56 40
Hawaii 4-3 5-5 90 54 36
Utah State 2-4 2-8 87 54 33
New Mexico State 1-4 3-6 77 50 27
Idaho 1-5 2-8 75 58 17

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site    
       
Tuesday, November 11      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Ball State MIAMI (O) 25 45-20
       
Wednesday, November 12      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Temple KENT STATE 4 24-20
NORTHERN ILLINOIS Central Michigan 3 30-27
       
Thursday, November 13      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Buffalo AKRON 2 33-31
Va. Tech MIAMI-FL 1 22-21
UNLV Wyoming 5 26-21
       
Friday, November 14      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Cincinnati LOUISVILLE 12 26-14
       
Saturday, November 15      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
PENN STATE Indiana 42 49-7
Ohio State ILLINOIS 17 30-13
SOUTH FLORIDA Rutgers