The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 31, 2017

Money Line Parlay Picks for August 31-September 4, 2017

If you have been following the PiRate Ratings for a few years, you will know that we have issued selections on games every year since this page was created. Over the course of many football seasons, our money line parlay selections have been the most popular feature we have published. There is good reason for this–they have been successful. Last year, our selections returned better than 8% on investment, which was so-so, but it was still a winning season, making it three successful seasons in a row.
Regular readers here may also remember that our money line parlay selections have tended to perform their best in October and November, so keep that in mind if you use our free advice as a wagering tool. You should know this (and if you are a regular you have read this many times in this feature–we NEVER wager on sports contests. This is strictly an exercise in mathematical fun, which makes it so much easier for us to publish these parlays.

The true opening week of the football season does not give us NFL regular season games, so we have a reduced amount of games available in our menu. Therefore, we are issuing just one parlay for this week.

This parlay gives us a calculated odd of +138, so for every $100 of imaginary bank account we invest, if this parlay wins we will receive $238 back ($138 + the $100 we invested). Of course if this play loses, then we lose the $100 of imaginary investment.
Without further adieu, here is our selection for Labor Day Weekend.

1. Money Line Parlay at +138
Ohio State over Indiana
Nebraska over Arkansas St.
North Carolina over California
Georgia over Appalachian St.
Alabama over Florida St.

If you are interested in knowing how we calculate the odds of our parlays, we use offshore books only in finding the best overall odds for the games we wish to play. Since we do not work for these sports books, we will not give them free advertising and name names. However, if you look at offshore money line odds online at any of numerous sites, it should not be that difficult to find one particular site with the most favorable odds. Most sites have a money line parlay calculator, and if not, you can find this at many different sites. Parlay odds can be figured by doing some math, but you can save a lot of time by using these calculators.

We always round down to the nearest whole dollar when calculating the payout odds of the parlays. In actuality, today’s parlay should return $238.46 for every $100 invested (or $138.46 profit) rather than $238.

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March 12, 2017

Selection Sunday Ayem–March 12, 2017

Like Xmas Day For A Basketball Junkie

5:30 PM Eastern DAYLIGHT Time cannot come quickly enough.  Today is the day fans of 68 teams get to open their March Madness presents.  Most of the teams that will be dancing know they are in, be it with an automatic bid or a for sure at-large bid.  The Bubble has shrunk to just a few teams, and our Bracketology Gurus believe they have the 68 teams this morning before any games are played today.  Only the seeding may be altered by today’s games, but they agree in 100% unison that the teams we will list are the 68 teams that will continue to pursue their National Championship dreams.

THE FINAL BUBBLE

California

Illinois St.

Iowa

Kansas St.

Rhode Island

Syracuse

USC

Vanderbilt

Wake Forest

Xavier

Room at the Inn for six of these 10 teams, so which six make it, and which 4 are number one seeds in the NIT?

The six we have in are (alphabetically): Kansas State, Rhode Island, USC, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Xavier.

The four that will need tissues to wipe their tears are: California, Illinois State, Iowa, and Syracuse

The one that the Gurus believe should be in over one that should be out is Illinois State rather than USC.  However, the Gurus are selecting based on how they predict the Selection Committee will select, and even through the rules state that teams are not chosen within a conference by conference basis, subconsciously the members will look and see that they cannot exclude both Cal and the Trojans.  USC’s win over SMU is the reason the men of Troy get in over the men of Berkeley.

 

There are six games left to be played, and the seed lines could change based on who wins, but the Committee does not change their final seedings within the last two hours, so the final scores of some of the games will be official after the final seeding has been done.  Thus, the AAC and Big Ten Championship Games will still be underway when the final seeds are completed.  Only the name of the Sun Belt Conference Champion will have to be added late, and the Committee can already put the first letter of that champion on the board–a “T” (Texas State or Troy).

 

Here is today’s schedule.

American Athletic Conference Championship
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 SMU 29-4 vs. 2 Cincinnati 29-4 3:15 PM ESPN
                 
Atlantic 10 Conference Championship
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 Rhode Island 23-9 vs. 2 VCU 26-7 12:30 PM CBS
                 
Big Ten Conference Championship
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
8 Michigan 23-11 vs. 2 Wisconsin 25-8 3:00 PM CBS
                 
Ivy League Conference Championship
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Princeton 22-6 vs. 3 Yale 18-10 12:00 PM ESPN2
                 
Southeastern Conference Championship
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
1 Kentucky 28-5 vs. 3 Arkansas 25-8 1:00 PM ESPN
                 
Sun Belt Conference Championship
Seed Team W-L vs. Seed Team W-L Time TV
4 Texas St. 20-12 vs. 6 Troy 21-14 2:00 PM ESPN2
                 
Selection Sunday
5:30 PM EDT on CBS
 
NCAA Tournament
First Four: March 14-15
                 
Second Round: March 16-17
                 
Third Round: March 18-19
                 
Sweet 16: March 23-24
                 
Elite Eight: March 25-26
                 
Final Four: April 1
                 
National Championship: April 3

The Bracketology Gurus Field of 68

  1. Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina
  2. Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon
  3. Baylor, Louisville, Florida St., UCLA
  4. West Virginia, Butler, Notre Dame, Cincinnati
  5. Florida, Iowa St., Virginia, Purdue
  6. Wisconsin, SMU, Minnesota, Michigan
  7. Creighton, Arkansas, Saint Mary’s, Wichita St.
  8. Maryland, Miami (Fla.), VCU, Virginia Tech
  9. Northwestern, Oklahoma St., Dayton, Seton Hall
  10. Michigan St., South Carolina, Marquette, Providence
  11. Middle Tennessee, Xavier, Vanderbilt, USC, Wake Forest
  12. UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Vermont, Rhode Island, Kansas St.
  13. Bucknell, Princeton, Winthrop, East Tennessee St.
  14. Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico St., Iona, Northern Kentucky
  15. Texas Southern, Kent State, Jacksonville St., North Dakota
  16. Texas St., UNC-Central, New Orleans, South Dakota St., UC-Davis, Mount St. Mary’s

Last Four Byes: Marquette, Providence, Vanderbilt, Xavier

Last Four In (Dayton Bound): USC vs. Wake Forest, Rhode Island vs. Kansas St.

First Four Out (#1 Seeds in NIT): California, Illinois St., Iowa, and Syracuse

 

Coming Next:  We go dark for 48 hours.  Tuesday morning, we will premier PiRate Bracketnomics for 2017 with a total primer on how we handle our bracket picking and outright winners of games for you that failed to heed our warnings and chose to wager your hard-earned dollars in Vegas or offshore.  FWIW, we have heard from a half-dozen of you that you have found something in our Blue Ratings that have made you handsome profits this year.  We hope that continues for you, but please do not rely on just our ratings to wager money with books in Vegas.  We don’t want the guilt trip when you cannot pay your April Mortgage or car payment.

In addition to Bracketnomics, we will also give you all the raw data to use for yourself.  We will have a spreadsheet of all 68 teams with their Four Factors, their PiRate Specific Ratings, and then follow that up with how the teams fit in our Final Four footprint.  We have backtested the data we use as far back as each statistic allows us to do, and we will include that in our preview.

Tell all your friends to check us out.  The Tuesday preview is our most visited entry of the year, even more than our Super Bowl and College Playoff National Championship football editions.

 

But remember our axiom: We are just a bunch of math nerds doing this for fun.  Please wager responsibly, or like us just wager a lunch with your friend.  Also, remember that you have a better chance of being abducted by aliens from space while being struck by lightning, as you hold the winning Power Ball and Mega Millions lottery tickets while getting a kiss from a supermodel (all at the same time) than you do of picking a perfect bracket.

Note: Special Congrats go to Renato Nunez on his impressive home run at Hohokam Park yesterday against the Rangers.

October 20, 2016

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlay Picks–October 20-24, 2016

Not So Good

Last weekend was not a great one for the parlay-pickers at PiRate Headquarters.  We selected four longshot parlays and returned one winner at +192, as upsets by Eastern Michigan and Vanderbilt prevented a potential major windfall.

For the season, this drops our mediocre results to just plain not-so-good.  As usual, our solace is that we are not out a penny, because we never actually invest real currency (or whatever you call those green notes in your wallet).

We’re not all that enthused with this week’s schedule either.  It took an extra afternoon to come up with four picks, and we included two underdogs to win outright in our four plays.  Good luck with that.

It may be a better weekend to hike in the forest with all the changing colors on the trees.

1. College Parlay @ +209
California over Oregon
North Carolina over Virginia
West Virginia over TCU
 
2.College Parlay @ +234
Colorado over Stanford
Oklahoma over Texas Tech
Alabama over Texas A&M
Tulsa over Tulane
 
3. College Singleton @ +275
Arizona St. over Washington St.
 
4. NFL Parlay @ +208
Green Bay over Chicago
Cincinnati over Cleveland
Atlanta over San Diego
Denver over Houston

August 24, 2016

College Football Preview–August 26, 2016

The College Football season kicks off a week earlier than normal this year thanks to the California Golden Bears playing the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.  The chosen venue is the former site of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, but in our opinion, this game would have been better placed in the Sydney Cricket Grounds, where the current Australian Football League Sydney Swans play.  48,000 seats are more than enough for these two teams, and ANZ Stadium holds around 80K.  Past games in Australia have drawn fewer than 20,000 fans.

 

Here are the initial PiRate Retrodictive Rankings For 2016.  Retrodictive refers to how teams have done so far to date, trying to rate the teams in order of who they have beaten and who has beaten them; they are not able to be used to predict the future, like our regular Predictive Ratings, which follow below.  Obviously, with no games played to date, these rankings are not yet Retrodictive.  Rather than re-list last year’s final Retrodictive Rankings, we have applied the updates to the 128 teams’ regular ratings to last year’s final rankings.

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

Here are the regular PiRate Ratings for the opening week of the season.  In some cases, these ratings differ slightly from the ratings given during the conference previews of the last 10 days, the reason being that players have quit, been injured, or transferred since the data was first compiled.

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Tennessee 127.7 121.8 128.4 126.0
2 LSU 127.6 121.1 126.8 125.2
3 Oklahoma 125.6 122.1 125.6 124.4
4 Alabama 126.5 119.0 125.0 123.5
5 Clemson 126.8 116.4 125.7 123.0
6 Florida St. 122.9 115.4 121.9 120.1
7 Michigan 120.0 118.0 120.4 119.5
8 Mississippi St. 120.1 115.9 119.7 118.6
9 Stanford 121.3 112.8 120.4 118.2
10 Oklahoma St. 117.5 118.8 117.5 117.9
11 USC 119.7 114.3 118.0 117.3
12 Washington 119.4 110.4 119.1 116.3
13 Louisville 118.6 111.8 118.0 116.1
14 Texas 114.4 118.0 114.4 115.6
15 Pittsburgh 117.1 111.7 116.4 115.1
16 North Carolina 117.4 109.2 117.1 114.6
17 Auburn 114.5 113.8 113.9 114.1
18 TCU 113.3 115.6 113.2 114.0
19 Notre Dame 116.2 111.0 114.8 114.0
20 Florida 113.5 116.8 111.1 113.8
21 Arkansas 116.4 110.3 114.2 113.7
22 Miami 116.6 108.0 115.9 113.5
23 Ohio St. 113.3 113.5 113.5 113.4
24 Iowa 114.6 110.9 114.2 113.2
25 Georgia 112.5 114.0 112.1 112.9
26 Michigan St. 113.1 112.4 111.1 112.2
27 Oregon 112.8 111.8 111.7 112.1
28 Texas A&M 112.1 111.4 112.0 111.8
29 Virginia Tech 111.0 110.8 111.5 111.1
30 Ole Miss 113.6 107.4 112.1 111.0
31 Washington St. 112.3 107.6 112.0 110.7
32 UCLA 110.9 110.2 110.3 110.5
33 Houston 110.1 108.3 111.9 110.1
34 Baylor 109.4 109.7 110.6 109.9
35 Penn St. 109.5 111.3 108.0 109.6
36 Nebraska 110.4 105.9 110.5 108.9
37 Arizona St. 108.7 109.2 107.7 108.6
38 Utah 111.4 105.3 108.9 108.5
39 Wisconsin 109.1 105.9 109.5 108.2
40 BYU 110.6 102.9 110.3 107.9
41 South Florida 108.3 105.7 109.5 107.8
42 Northwestern 109.7 103.5 108.1 107.1
43 North Carolina St. 108.0 104.7 107.6 106.8
44 Georgia Tech 108.1 104.2 107.4 106.6
45 West Virginia 106.6 106.1 106.0 106.2
46 Arizona 107.2 105.2 106.1 106.2
47 Boise St. 104.4 105.7 106.3 105.5
48 Colorado 107.0 102.1 107.0 105.4
49 San Diego St. 104.9 102.2 108.2 105.1
50 Boston College 105.1 103.6 104.9 104.5
51 Kansas St. 103.1 107.5 102.5 104.4
52 Vanderbilt 106.9 100.7 105.1 104.3
53 Minnesota 104.8 102.8 104.7 104.1
54 Texas Tech 104.9 102.3 102.7 103.3
55 Virginia 104.4 101.2 103.8 103.1
56 Syracuse 105.2 101.0 103.1 103.1
57 Indiana 101.5 106.0 100.9 102.8
58 Missouri 103.0 101.8 102.5 102.5
59 Western Michigan 102.0 100.9 103.9 102.3
60 Cincinnati 101.5 102.7 102.5 102.3
61 Temple 102.2 101.2 103.1 102.2
62 Maryland 100.9 104.2 98.1 101.1
63 Wake Forest 102.3 99.2 101.5 101.0
64 Tulsa 99.7 102.2 100.4 100.8
65 Kentucky 100.4 102.3 99.2 100.6
66 Toledo 101.0 98.9 101.8 100.6
67 Memphis 102.7 97.8 100.8 100.5
68 Central Michigan 98.9 101.9 99.9 100.2
69 Air Force 99.9 100.2 100.1 100.1
70 California 104.7 93.3 101.0 99.7
71 Duke 99.4 100.7 98.0 99.4
72 Iowa St. 99.8 99.2 98.7 99.2
73 Illinois 100.6 97.2 99.8 99.2
74 Navy 99.2 99.0 98.6 99.0
75 South Carolina 99.0 99.3 98.1 98.8
76 Northern Illinois 97.3 98.9 98.4 98.2
77 Purdue 99.4 96.6 98.3 98.1
78 Connecticut 98.3 96.1 98.6 97.7
79 Western Kentucky 99.3 93.3 100.0 97.5
80 Rutgers 99.0 96.2 97.3 97.5
81 Bowling Green 96.7 94.7 97.3 96.2
82 Appalachian St. 95.5 95.7 97.1 96.1
83 New Mexico 94.3 97.6 95.6 95.9
84 Oregon St. 97.8 93.0 95.0 95.3
85 Marshall 92.5 96.9 94.3 94.6
86 Utah St. 93.2 97.1 93.0 94.4
87 Nevada 92.3 95.6 93.6 93.9
88 Arkansas St. 91.9 94.2 94.4 93.5
89 Georgia Southern 93.0 91.7 95.5 93.4
90 SMU 93.7 92.1 93.2 93.0
91 Southern Mississippi 92.7 92.1 93.8 92.9
92 East Carolina 91.6 94.6 91.7 92.6
93 Middle Tennessee 91.2 93.8 92.3 92.4
94 Ohio 88.7 98.2 90.1 92.4
95 San Jose St. 91.0 91.0 91.9 91.3
96 UNLV 89.0 93.6 89.1 90.6
97 Kansas 88.3 96.1 85.9 90.1
98 Colorado St. 88.2 90.6 89.0 89.3
99 Army 84.2 93.2 86.6 88.0
100 Rice 84.7 94.1 85.1 88.0
101 Akron 84.8 92.6 86.5 88.0
102 Old Dominion 85.8 89.2 86.4 87.1
103 Central Florida 85.9 88.6 85.9 86.8
104 Florida Atlantic 84.9 88.6 86.8 86.8
105 Louisiana Tech 85.4 88.6 86.0 86.7
106 Troy 83.6 90.2 85.2 86.4
107 Florida International 82.4 89.6 84.3 85.4
108 Buffalo 80.8 90.1 82.2 84.4
109 Ball St. 83.6 85.6 83.8 84.3
110 Georgia St. 81.7 87.1 83.9 84.2
111 Fresno St. 82.1 87.1 81.9 83.7
112 Tulane 82.2 86.1 82.0 83.4
113 Miami (O) 82.2 84.0 82.9 83.0
114 Kent St. 82.3 84.5 82.2 83.0
115 Wyoming 82.5 82.5 82.6 82.6
116 UTSA 78.4 87.1 80.9 82.2
117 Idaho 78.1 85.2 79.7 81.0
118 UL-Lafayette 76.3 86.8 78.7 80.6
119 Eastern Michigan 78.1 83.6 79.5 80.4
120 South Alabama 75.3 85.2 76.2 78.9
121 Massachusetts 75.0 84.5 76.2 78.6
122 UTEP 74.5 79.5 75.8 76.6
123 Hawaii 77.0 76.5 75.7 76.4
124 Charlotte 73.0 81.1 74.6 76.2
125 New Mexico St. 73.7 76.5 74.9 75.0
126 North Texas 74.0 76.6 73.7 74.8
127 UL-Monroe 67.9 73.3 68.3 69.8
128 Texas St. 68.8 69.5 69.5 69.3

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 108.3 105.7 109.5 107.8
Cincinnati 101.5 102.7 102.5 102.3
Temple 102.2 101.2 103.1 102.2
Connecticut 98.3 96.1 98.6 97.7
East Carolina 91.6 94.6 91.7 92.6
Central Florida 85.9 88.6 85.9 86.8
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 110.1 108.3 111.9 110.1
Tulsa 99.7 102.2 100.4 100.8
Memphis 102.7 97.8 100.8 100.5
Navy 99.2 99.0 98.6 99.0
SMU 93.7 92.1 93.2 93.0
Tulane 82.2 86.1 82.0 83.4
         
AAC Averages 98.0 97.9 98.2 98.0
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 126.8 116.4 125.7 123.0
Florida St. 122.9 115.4 121.9 120.1
Louisville 118.6 111.8 118.0 116.1
North Carolina St. 108.0 104.7 107.6 106.8
Boston College 105.1 103.6 104.9 104.5
Syracuse 105.2 101.0 103.1 103.1
Wake Forest 102.3 99.2 101.5 101.0
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Pittsburgh 117.1 111.7 116.4 115.1
North Carolina 117.4 109.2 117.1 114.6
Miami 116.6 108.0 115.9 113.5
Virginia Tech 111.0 110.8 111.5 111.1
Georgia Tech 108.1 104.2 107.4 106.6
Virginia 104.4 101.2 103.8 103.1
Duke 99.4 100.7 98.0 99.4
         
ACC Averages 111.6 107.0 110.9 109.9
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 125.6 122.1 125.6 124.4
Oklahoma St. 117.5 118.8 117.5 117.9
Texas 114.4 118.0 114.4 115.6
TCU 113.3 115.6 113.2 114.0
Baylor 109.4 109.7 110.6 109.9
West Virginia 106.6 106.1 106.0 106.2
Kansas St. 103.1 107.5 102.5 104.4
Texas Tech 104.9 102.3 102.7 103.3
Iowa St. 99.8 99.2 98.7 99.2
Kansas 88.3 96.1 85.9 90.1
         
Big 12 Averages 108.3 109.6 107.7 108.5
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 120.0 118.0 120.4 119.5
Ohio St. 113.3 113.5 113.5 113.4
Michigan St. 113.1 112.4 111.1 112.2
Penn St. 109.5 111.3 108.0 109.6
Indiana 101.5 106.0 100.9 102.8
Maryland 100.9 104.2 98.1 101.1
Rutgers 99.0 96.2 97.3 97.5
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 114.6 110.9 114.2 113.2
Nebraska 110.4 105.9 110.5 108.9
Wisconsin 109.1 105.9 109.5 108.2
Northwestern 109.7 103.5 108.1 107.1
Minnesota 104.8 102.8 104.7 104.1
Illinois 100.6 97.2 99.8 99.2
Purdue 99.4 96.6 98.3 98.1
         
Big Ten Averages 107.6 106.0 106.7 106.8
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 99.3 93.3 100.0 97.5
Marshall 92.5 96.9 94.3 94.6
Middle Tennessee 91.2 93.8 92.3 92.4
Old Dominion 85.8 89.2 86.4 87.1
Florida Atlantic 84.9 88.6 86.8 86.8
Florida International 82.4 89.6 84.3 85.4
Charlotte 73.0 81.1 74.6 76.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Southern Mississippi 92.7 92.1 93.8 92.9
Rice 84.7 94.1 85.1 88.0
Louisiana Tech 85.4 88.6 86.0 86.7
UTSA 78.4 87.1 80.9 82.2
UTEP 74.5 79.5 75.8 76.6
North Texas 74.0 76.6 73.7 74.8
         
CUSA Averages 84.5 88.5 85.7 86.2
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 116.2 111.0 114.8 114.0
BYU 110.6 102.9 110.3 107.9
Army 84.2 93.2 86.6 88.0
Massachusetts 75.0 84.5 76.2 78.6
         
Independents Averages 96.5 97.9 97.0 97.1
 
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Bowling Green 96.7 94.7 97.3 96.2
Ohio 88.7 98.2 90.1 92.4
Akron 84.8 92.6 86.5 88.0
Buffalo 80.8 90.1 82.2 84.4
Miami (O) 82.2 84.0 82.9 83.0
Kent St. 82.3 84.5 82.2 83.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 102.0 100.9 103.9 102.3
Toledo 101.0 98.9 101.8 100.6
Central Michigan 98.9 101.9 99.9 100.2
Northern Illinois 97.3 98.9 98.4 98.2
Ball St. 83.6 85.6 83.8 84.3
Eastern Michigan 78.1 83.6 79.5 80.4
         
MAC Averages 89.7 92.8 90.7 91.1
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 104.4 105.7 106.3 105.5
Air Force 99.9 100.2 100.1 100.1
New Mexico 94.3 97.6 95.6 95.9
Utah St. 93.2 97.1 93.0 94.4
Colorado St. 88.2 90.6 89.0 89.3
Wyoming 82.5 82.5 82.6 82.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 104.9 102.2 108.2 105.1
Nevada 92.3 95.6 93.6 93.9
San Jose St. 91.0 91.0 91.9 91.3
UNLV 89.0 93.6 89.1 90.6
Fresno St. 82.1 87.1 81.9 83.7
Hawaii 77.0 76.5 75.7 76.4
         
MWC Averages 91.6 93.4 92.3 92.4
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Stanford 121.3 112.8 120.4 118.2
Washington 119.4 110.4 119.1 116.3
Oregon 112.8 111.8 111.7 112.1
Washington St. 112.3 107.6 112.0 110.7
California 104.7 93.3 101.0 99.7
Oregon St. 97.8 93.0 95.0 95.3
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 119.7 114.3 118.0 117.3
UCLA 110.9 110.2 110.3 110.5
Arizona St. 108.7 109.2 107.7 108.6
Utah 111.4 105.3 108.9 108.5
Arizona 107.2 105.2 106.1 106.2
Colorado 107.0 102.1 107.0 105.4
         
Pac-12 Averages 111.1 106.3 109.8 109.1
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 127.7 121.8 128.4 126.0
Florida 113.5 116.8 111.1 113.8
Georgia 112.5 114.0 112.1 112.9
Vanderbilt 106.9 100.7 105.1 104.3
Missouri 103.0 101.8 102.5 102.5
Kentucky 100.4 102.3 99.2 100.6
South Carolina 99.0 99.3 98.1 98.8
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
LSU 127.6 121.1 126.8 125.2
Alabama 126.5 119.0 125.0 123.5
Mississippi St. 120.1 115.9 119.7 118.6
Auburn 114.5 113.8 113.9 114.1
Arkansas 116.4 110.3 114.2 113.7
Texas A&M 112.1 111.4 112.0 111.8
Ole Miss 113.6 107.4 112.1 111.0
         
SEC Averages 113.9 111.1 112.9 112.6
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 95.5 95.7 97.1 96.1
Arkansas St. 91.9 94.2 94.4 93.5
Georgia Southern 93.0 91.7 95.5 93.4
Troy 83.6 90.2 85.2 86.4
Georgia St. 81.7 87.1 83.9 84.2
Idaho 78.1 85.2 79.7 81.0
UL-Lafayette 76.3 86.8 78.7 80.6
South Alabama 75.3 85.2 76.2 78.9
New Mexico St. 73.7 76.5 74.9 75.0
UL-Monroe 67.9 73.3 68.3 69.8
Texas St. 68.8 69.5 69.5 69.3
         
Sun Belt Averages 80.5 85.1 82.1 82.6

 

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Southeastern 113.9 111.1 112.9 112.6
2 Atlantic Coast 111.6 107.0 110.9 109.9
3 Pac-12 111.1 106.3 109.8 109.1
4 Big 12 108.3 109.6 107.7 108.5
5 Big Ten 107.6 106.1 106.7 106.8
6 American 98.0 97.9 98.2 98.0
7 Independents 96.5 97.9 97.0 97.1
8 Mountain West 91.6 93.4 92.3 92.4
9 Mid-American 89.7 92.9 90.7 91.1
10 Conference USA 84.5 88.5 85.7 86.3
11 Sunbelt 80.5 85.1 82.1 82.6

 

PiRate Ratings Spreads For August 26, 2016

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Hawaii California -27.6 -16.8 -25.2

Bowl Projections

We erred when issuing bowl projections in our conference previews, completely forgetting that the current Rose Bowl tie-in calls for the Pac-12 and Big Ten to supply the highest rated teams not in the playoffs, rather than using the old BCS formula rules.

 

Therefore, we have moved Ohio State into the Rose Bowl in lieu of Alabama, which in turn caused us to rearrange several other bowls once Alabama was moved to an SEC only bowl.

 

We are sorry for the error.  Here are the updated Bowl Projections.

Bowl Conferences Team vs. Team
New Mexico MWC CUSA New Mexico vs. Rice
Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC Arizona St. vs. Boise St.
Cure AAC SBC [Army] vs. Troy
Camellia MAC SBC North. Illinois vs. Ga. Southern
New Orleans CUSA SBC W. Kentucky vs. Arkansas St.
Miami Beach AAC MAC Tulsa vs. West. Michigan
Boca Raton AAC CUSA [Cent. Michigan] vs. Southern Miss.
Poinsettia MWC BYU San Diego St. vs. BYU
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Bowling Green vs. UNLV
Bahamas AAC/CUSA MAC/CUSA Memphis vs. Toledo
Armed Forces Navy Big 12 Navy vs. [Arizona]
Dollar General MAC SBC Ohio U vs. Appalachian St.
Hawaii CUSA MWC Marshall vs. Air Force
St. Petersburg AAC ACC/ND Houston vs. [Colorado]
Quick Lane ACC/ND Big Ten Boston College vs. Wisconsin
Independence SEC ACC/ND [UL-Lafayette] vs. Georgia Tech
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA Indiana vs. Middle Tenn.
Military ACC/ND AAC N. Carolina St. vs. Temple
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Penn St. vs. Oregon
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 [Maryland] vs. Utah
Pinstripe ACC/ND Big Ten Virginia Tech vs. Northwestern
Russell Athletic ACC/ND Big 12 Louisville vs. TCU
Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 Minnesota vs. Washington St.
Texas Big 12 SEC Baylor vs. Mississippi St.
Birmingham AAC SEC Cincinnati vs. Texas A&M
Belk ACC/ND SEC Miami (Fla) vs. Florida
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 Oklahoma St. vs. USC
Liberty Big 12 SEC West Virginia vs. Ole Miss
Sun ACC/ND Pac-12 Pittsburgh vs. UCLA
Arizona CUSA/SBC MWC/SBC Louisiana Tech vs. Utah St.
Music City ACC/ND/B10 SEC Nebraska vs. Auburn
Orange ACC/ND B10/SEC Florida St. vs. Notre Dame
Citrus ACC/ND/B10 SEC Iowa vs. Alabama
TaxSlayer ACC/ND/B10 SEC North Carolina vs. Arkansas
Peach Semifinal Semifinal Tennessee vs. Stanford
Fiesta Semifinal Semifinal Michigan vs. Oklahoma
Outback Big Ten SEC Michigan St. vs. Georgia
Cotton At-Large At-Large Clemson vs. South Florida
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Washington vs. Ohio St.
Sugar Big 12 SEC Texas vs. LSU
Nat’l Championship Semifinal Winners Tennessee vs. Michigan

Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections because the contracted conference will not have a bowl eligible team able to fill the slot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 22, 2016

2016 Pac-12 Conference Football Preview

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:45 am

The Pac-12 was the odd league out last season in the NCAA Playoffs, as league champion Stanford saw their chances to earn a bid end before they started last year. An opening week loss at Northwestern in which the Cardinal could not run the ball and could not average even 4.5 yards per pass attempt. After that game, Stanford averaged more than 40 points per game the rest of the season and almost 10 yards per pass attempt. It culminated with a blowout win over Iowa in the Rose Bowl.

This season, Stanford begins the year as our choice to be the fourth seed in the 2017 FBS Playoffs, but their path to the conference championship is cluttered by nine additional teams fully capable of beating anybody else in this league. The Pac-12 will be as competitive as it has ever been, and the PiRate believe that 10 teams will earn bowl elibility this season, including the entire South Division. Yes, even Colorado is improved enough to go 6-6 and earn its first bowl bid in nine years.

The North Division has the two bottom-feeding teams to begin the 2016 season. California must start over with a major rebuild after losing top draft selection Jared Goff and the top six pass receivers on offense and their top three defensive stars. The Golden Bears and Oregon State, which has returned to their familiar position of the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, will fight it out in Corvallis in early October to see which team will avoid a possible 0-9 conference record.

The other four teams in the North Division will make for an excellent race this year. Stanford is the favorite to begin the season, but the Cardinal are not a shoo-in to win their division, much less the overall league championship. A new quarterback must be found to replace Kevin Hogan, but Coach David Shaw has a happy decision to make in replacing him. Both Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns are highly talented and able to put up better overall stats than Hogan.

Of course, whoever wins the starting job, or even if it becomes a platoon, the number one job for the QBs will be handing the ball off to Christian McCaffrey 25 times a game and getting out of the way. McCaffrey begins the season as one of two top candidates for the Heisman Trophy (Clemson’s DeShaun Watson being the other). McCaffrey led the Cardinal with more than 2,000 rushing yards in 2015, and he also led the team in receptions and receiving yards. A reloaded offensive line should allow SU to stay consistently strong all year, and hopefully for fans on The Farm, the team will not lay an egg in September, when most of the difficult games will be played.

Washington is the sexy pick of many pundits to win the North this year, as the Huskies return a lot of talent from a 7-6 team, including two capable quarterbacks and a running back that scored 14 rushing touchdowns and who will be running behind an experienced and talented offensive line.

The Huskies have a chance to be 4-0 when they face Stanford on Friday night, September 30, but they could also be 0-1 in the league and looking at elimination with a loss to SU.

Oregon missed Marcus Mariota enough to lose four games for the first time since 2007. The Ducks look to be in the same boat again this year, lacking enough offensive consistency to win games 52-42 every week, while having a defense that could give up 40 points per game in conference play. Adding a road game in Lincoln against Nebraska plus facing USC and Utah on the road from the other division means the Ducks are likely to lose four games again this year.

The Pirate worked his magic again last year. Coach Mike Leach guided Washington State to its first nine-win season in a dozen years. The Cougars shaved 11 points per game off their 2014 defensive average, while continuing to pass the ball better than any other team in the land. Luke Falk completed nearly 70% of his passes in his first year as a starter in Pullman with a TD/INT ratio of 38 to 8. Most of Falk’s receivers are back, and the pass blockers are talented enough to allow Falk time to find them. The WSU offense should be even better this year, and after averaging around 31 points per game for three years running, this team should top 35 per game this season. Keep an eye on this team: they could be the dark horse to challenge Stanford.

There is no clear-cut favorite in the South Division, and it would not be at all surprising if multiple teams finished tied for first at 6-3 or even 5-4. Home field advantages in Boulder, Salt Lake City, Tempe, Tucson, and Los Angeles are enough to turn underdogs into favorites, and no team in this division has the talent to be a prohibitive favorite over another team.

Somebody has to win a trip to the Conference Championship Game, and our choice from among the six fairly equal teams is USC. The Trojans must replace Cody Kessler at QB, but their offense is deep and talented, albeit not dominating everywhere else. Max Browne is the new starting quarterback. He has played sparingly in two seasons, but the former top QB in the 2012 class has a rifle arm and can throw the ball 50-60 yards with ease.

The Trojan defense will be suspect at the start of the season, especially up front where there will be an entirely new starting defensive line and two new linebackers. If any type of pass rush can be generated, the secondary could lead the league in interceptions, as the Trojans are loaded in the back of the defense.

UCLA has the missing the experienced quarterback in Josh Rosen, but the Bruins have a lot of holes to plug everywhere else on the offense. The Bruins lost their star running back and top two receivers, as well as three star offensive linemen. Rosen might be running for his life a bit too much for the Bruin offense to excel this year.

Defensively, The Sons of Westwood could lead the division in fewest points and yard allowed. 15 of the top 17 tacklers from 2015 are back including the entire front four and six of the front seven.

Arizona State, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado could play each other 100 times each and all win 50 times. There is very little separating these four teams, as each has its own strengths and exploitable weaknesses. Home field advantage should allow the quartet to pick up key conference wins in their paths to bowl eligibility. Other than Colorado’s September 17 game at Michigan, these teams should win all their remaining non-conference games this year. Hosting Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington State, and Utah should give the Buffaloes a 50-50 chance at finding four additional wins after securing two against Colorado State and Idaho, so CU has a fighting chance to give 4th year coach Mike MacIntyre his first bowl team in Boulder.

Here is how the Pac-12 Media predicted the standings.

Pac-12 North Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Stanford 24 186 20
2 Washington 8 163 4
3 Oregon 1 132  
4 Washington St. 0 112  
5 California 0 67  
6 Oregon St. 0 33  
         
Pac-12 South Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 UCLA 19 180 3
2 USC 12 173 5
3 Utah 2 127 1
4 Arizona 0 87  
5 Arizona St. 0 85  
6 Colorado 0 63  

Here is how the PiRate Ratings show the league at the start of the season.

Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Stanford 121.3 112.8 120.4 118.2
Washington 119.4 110.4 119.1 116.3
Oregon 112.8 111.8 111.7 112.1
Washington St. 112.3 107.6 112.0 110.7
California 104.7 93.3 101.0 99.7
Oregon St. 97.8 93.0 95.0 95.3
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 119.7 114.3 118.0 117.3
UCLA 110.9 110.2 110.3 110.5
Arizona St. 108.7 109.2 107.7 108.6
Utah 111.4 105.3 108.9 108.5
Arizona 107.2 105.2 106.1 106.2
Colorado 107.0 102.1 107.0 105.4
         
Pac-12 Averages 111.1 106.3 109.8 109.1

 

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

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

Pac-12 Conference Projected Standings
North Division
Team Conference Overall Bowl
Stanford 8-1 12-1 * Playoffs–Peach
Washington 7-2 10-2 Rose
Oregon 6-3 8-4 Holiday
Washington St. 5-4 8-4 Foster Farms
California 1-8 2-10  
Oregon St. 0-9 1-11  
       
South Division
Team Conference Overall Bowl
USC 7-2 9-4 Alamo
UCLA 6-3 7-5 Sun
Arizona St. 4-5 7-5 Las Vegas
Colorado 4-5 6-6 [St. Petersburg] *
Arizona 3-6 6-6 [Armed Forces] *
Utah 3-6 6-6 Cactus
       
* Colorado’s and Arizona’s bowl bids are at-large invitations

 

Coming Tomorrow: The Atlantic Coast Conference was once the weakest of the Power 5 leagues and arguably only on par with the old Big East Conference.  Now, the ACC is number two for the first time ever.

February 29, 2016

America’s Most Accurate Bracketology Composite–February 29, 2016

The finish line is in sight.  Championship Week I is here.  Conference tournament action tips off Tuesday night and by Friday night, 10 Conference Tournaments will be underway.

Let’s take a look at our weekly Bracketology composite first.  At this point in the season, we have shrunk “The Bubble” down to just the last 12 teams in and the first four teams out.  Once teams start pulling off upsets in conference tournament action, there will be fewer spots here as we must pop a Bubble for each automatic bid awarded to a team not currently under consideration.

This does not apply to the low and mid-major conferences other than maybe the Missouri Valley Conference and maybe the West Coast Conference.  If a team pulls off a monumental upset in, say, the Big Sky Conference Tournament, such as Idaho State upsetting Weber State, there will still be just one Big Sky team in the Dance.  However, if Mississippi State were to win the SEC Tournament, the Bulldogs would pop a bubble for some other major conference team, like Butler.

The 32 Bracket Einstein’s see it this way this week:

Seed Team Auto. Bid
1 Virginia ACC
1 Kansas Big 12
1 Villanova Big East
1 Xavier at-large
2 Michigan St. Big Ten
2 Oklahoma at-large
2 North Carolina at-large
2 Miami (Fla.) at-large
3 Oregon Pac-12
3 West Virginia at-large
3 Utah at-large
3 Maryland at-large
4 Duke at-large
4 Kentucky SEC
4 Iowa at-large
4 Indiana at-large
5 Iowa St. at-large
5 Texas at-large
5 Purdue at-large
5 Texas A&M at-large
6 California at-large
6 Baylor at-large
6 Wisconsin at-large
6 Arizona at-large
7 Seton Hall at-large
7 St. Joseph’s Atlantic 10
7 Notre Dame at-large
7 Dayton at-large
8 Texas Tech at-large
8 Colorado at-large
8 Pittsburgh at-large
8 Wichita St. MVC
9 South Carolina at-large
9 Providence at-large
9 Vanderbilt at-large
9 Cincinnati American
10 Oregon St. at-large
10 Syracuse at-large
10 Connecticut at-large
10 St. Mary’s WCC
11 USC at-large
11 VCU at-large
11 Valparaiso Horizon
11 UALR SunBelt
12 Michigan at-large
12 Florida at-large
12 Temple at-large
12 Butler at-large
12 San Diego St. MWC
12 Monmouth MAAC
13 Akron MAC
13 Hofstra Colonial
13 Yale Ivy
13 Chattanooga Southern
14 Stony Brook AmEast
14 Hawaii Big West
14 UAB CUSA
14 South Dakota St. Summit
15 Stephen F. Austin SLC
15 Belmont OVC
15 New Mexico St. WAC
15 Weber St. Big Sky
16 Winthrop Big South
16 North Florida A-Sun
16 Hampton MEAC
16 Wagner Northeast
16 Bucknell Patriot
16 Texas Southern SWAC
Last 4 Byes
VCU
USC
Connecticut
Syracuse
 
Last 4 In
Butler
Temple
Florida
Michigan
 
1st 4 Out
Alabama
Tulsa
St. Bonaventure
George Wash.

 

Conference Tournaments Beginning This Week

American East Conference Tournament
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds
Quarterfinal Round
Wednesday, March 2
#8 UMBC (7-24) @ #1 Stony Brook (23-6)
#7 Hartford (9-22) @ #2 Albany (24-7)
#6 Maine (8-21) @ #3 Vermont (19-12)
#5 Binghamton (8-21) @ #4 New Hampshire (18-11)
Semifinal Round
Monday, March 7
Lowest Remaining Seed @ Highest Remaining Seed
2nd Lowest Remaining Seed @ 2nd Highest Remaining Seed
Championship
Saturday, March 12
11:00 AM EST on ESPN2

Albany has won four straight games and 9 of 10, but Vermont has won 5 games in a row, including a 14-point shocker at Stony Brook.

Albany went 14-0 at home and is guaranteed at least 2 home games if they keep winning.  Stony Brook went 12-1 at home.

Vermont has the best shooting team in the league, while Stony Brook has the best defense.

 

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds
Quarterfinal Round
Tuesday, March 1
G1: #8 USC-Upstate (10-21) @ #1 North Florida (21-10)
G2: #5 Kennesaw St. (11-19) @ #4 Florida Gulf Coast (17-13)
G3: #7 Stetson (10-21) @ #2 NJIT (17-13)
G4: #6 Lipscomb (11-20) @ #3 Jacksonville (16-15)
Semifinal Round
Thursday, March 3
G1 winner vs. G2 winner at higher seed
G3 winner vs. G4 winner at higher seed
Championship
Sunday, March 6
12:30 PM on ESPN2

North Florida won its final three games to earn the top seed.  The Ospreys own a 13-1 home record and have the best offense and shooting in the league by a large margin.

Jacksonville lost its last two games of the regular season when the Dolphins had a chance to earn the top seed.

Florida Gulf Coast and NJIT have the top defenses in the league, with FGCU being best against opponent shooting accuracy, and NJIT being the best at forcing turnovers.

Note: Stetson is ineligible for the postseason, but the Hatters will play in the conference tournament.  Should they win, then regular season champion North Florida will receive the automatic bid.

 

Big South Conference Tournament
Site: Buies Creek, NC (Campbell)
 
1st Round
Thursday, March 3
G1: #8 Longwood (9-22) vs. #9 Charleston Southern (9-20)
G2: #7 Radford (16-14) vs. #10 Presbyterian (10-19)
G3: #6 Gardner-Webb (15-15) vs. #11 Campbell (12-17)
Quarterfinal Round
Friday, March 4
G4: #1 High Poiint (20-9) vs. G1 Winner
G5: #4 UNC-Asheville (19-11) vs. #5 Liberty (13-18)
G6: #2 Winthrop (21-8) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #3 Coastal Carolina (18-10) vs. G3 Winner
Semifinal Round
Saturday, March 5
G4 Winner vs. G5 Winner
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner
Championship
Sunday, March 6
2:30 PM on ESPN2

High Point ended the season on a 6-game winning streak, while Winthrop went 8-2 in their last 10 games.  Former league leader UNC-Asheville faltered down the stretch, finishing 2-3 to drop to fourth place.

High Point won games down the stretch by not committing turnovers, shooting intelligent shots, and forcing turnovers on their opposition.

Coastal Carolina was the clear-cut leader in total defense during the season, while Radford is the league’s top rebounding team with nobody challenging in this department.

 

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
Site: Baltimore
 
1st Round
Friday, March 4
G1: #8 Elon (16-15) vs. #9 Drexel (5-24)
G2: #7 Charleston (16-13) vs. #10 Delaware (7-22)
Quarterfinal Round
Saturday, March 5
G3: #1 Hofstra (22-8) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #4 James Madison (21-10) vs. #5 William & Mary (19-10)
G5: #2 UNC-Wilmington (22-7) vs. G2 Winner
G6: #3 Towson (20-11) vs. #6 Northeastern (17-14)
Semifinal Round
Sunday, March 6
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
Championship
Monday, March 7
7:00 PM on NBC Sports Network

Hofstra could have been renamed Hotstra down the stretch, as they won their last six games to take the top seed in the conference tournament.  They have an incredible inside-outside tandem in guard Juan’ya Green (17.7 ppg, 7.2 apg) and forward Rokas Gustys (12.7 rebounds/game).

UNC-Wilmington won games by committing fewer turnovers than average and forcing a lot more turnovers than average and then capitalizing with fast break points.

 

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Albany (Siena)
 
1st Round
Thursday, March 3
G1: #8 Rider (12-19) vs. #9 Quinnipiac (9-20)
G2: #7 Canisius (13-18) vs. #10 Niagara (7-24)
G3: #6 Manhattan (12-17) vs. #11 Marist (7-22)
Quarterfinal Round
Friday, March 4
G4: #1 Monmouth (25-6) vs. G1 Winner
G5: #4 Saint Peter’s (14-15) vs. #5 Fairfield (18-12)
Saturday, March 5
G6: #2 Iona (19-10) vs. G2 Winner
G7: #3 Siena (20-11) vs. G3 Winner
Semifinal Round
Sunday, March 6
G4 Winner vs. G5 Winner
G6 Winner vs. G7 Winner
Championship Round
Monday, March 7
7:00 PM on ESPN

Monmouth is in that gray area, where if the Hawks lose in the Championship Round, they will have a legitimate case to make for an at-large bid thanks to a difficult non-conference schedule that included some impressive wins.  Monmouth hit a little blip earlier in the month, but they righted the ship with three closing victories.

Iona is the hot team entering tournament play.  The Gaels won their last five games, including one over Monmouth.

Siena is the host team, and the Saints went 12-2 at home this year.  However, the two losses came to Monmouth and Iona.

The top three seeds have some stars that you will want to watch and thus follow this tournament.  Monmouth has guard Justin Robinson, who scores better than 20 points per game and is like a Willie Mays of basketball.  He can drill the three, take it to the hoop, dish for lots of assists, pick your pockets clean, and then ice the game at the foul line.

Iona’s A.J. English tops Robinson in scoring at 22.3 per game and assists at 6.1 per game and is the league’s best NBA prospect.  Siena’s power forward Brett Bisping is dominant inside, where he averages 15.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

 

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
Site: St. Louis
 
1st Round
Thursday, March 3
G1: #8 Loyola (Chi.) (14-16) vs. #9 Bradley (5-26)
G2: #7 MIssouri St. (12-18) vs. #10 Drake (7-23)
Quarterfinal Round
Friday, March 4
G3: #1 Wichita St. (23-7) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #4 Northern Iowa (19-12) vs. #5 Southern Illinois (22-9)
G5: #2 Evansville (23-8) vs. G2 Winner
G6: #3 Illinois St. (18-13) vs. #6 Indiana St. (14-16)
Semifinal Round
Saturday, March 5
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
Championship Game
Sunday, March 6
2:00 PM on CBS

Arch Madness promises to be exciting this year.  Don’t automatically give this tournament to Wichita State, although the Shockers are definitely the favorites.  They will face a very difficult semifinal match if Northern Iowa advances past the quarterfinal round against Southern Illinois.

In Wichita’s favor, they ended the season by winning their last five games and 18 of 20 after they were 100% healthy.  After being upset at home by UNI, the Shockers won their last five by an average of 26.4 points per game.  In Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, they have the best backcourt in all of mid-Major basketball and almost the equal of Kentucky’s fine duo.

Why is UNI a threat to this resume?  To start, they beat North Carolina and Iowa State earlier this year.  To continue, they finished the season winning nine of their final ten, including stopping Wichita’s multi-year home winning streak.  To conclude, the Panthers play patiently, don’t make many mistakes, do not foul much, and in late games, they are tough in the clutch, shooting close to 80% at the foul line.

Keep an eye on Evansville, as the Purple Aces shoot the ball better than any MVC team and are second to Wichita in field goal defense.  The Aces have their own dynamic duo in D.J. Balentine (20.7 ppg, 4.4 apg) and Egidijus Mockevicius (16.6 ppg, 14.0 reb, 2.8 blk).

Northeast Conference
Site: Campus Sites @ Higher Seeds
 
Quarterfinal Round
Wednesday, March 2
G1: #8 Robert Morris (10-21) @ #1 Wagner (20-9)
G2: #5 Mount St. Mary’s (13-18) @ #4 St. Francis (Bklyn) (15-16)
G3: #7 St. Francis (Pa.) (13-16) @ #2 Fairleigh Dickinson (15-14)
G4: #6 Long Island (15-14) @ #3 Sacred Heart (12-17)
Semifinal Round
Saturday, March 5
G1 Winner vs. G2 Winner @ Higher Seed
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner @ Higher Seed
Championship
Tuesday, March 8
7:00 PM on ESPN or ESPN2

This league probably will send its champion to Dayton for a First Four game as a 16-seed waiting to take on a Virginia, Kansas, or Villanova if they win in Dayton.

Wagner finished 8-2 to run away with the regular season championship, as multiple teams could not hold onto close leads in key games.  In league play, the Seahawks forced opponents into bad shots and then controlled the boards to limit them to one shot on most possessions.

St. Francis of Brooklyn is the other hot team entering the tournament, coming in with a four-game streak.  The Terriers are the second best defensive team in the league, but they lack offensive stars.

Sacred Heart has the dominant offensive player in the league.  Cane Broome leads the loop with a 23-point average.

 

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
Site: Nashville
 
1st Round
Wednesday, March 2
G1: #5 Tennessee Tech (19-10) vs. #8 Austin Peay (14-17)
G2: #6 Murray St. (16-13) vs. #7 Eastern Illinois (13-16)
Quarterfinal Round
Thursday, March 3
G3: #4 Tennessee St. (20-9) vs. G1 Winner
G4: #3 Morehead St. (18-11) G2 Winner
Semifinal Round
Friday, March 4
G5: #1 Belmont (20-10) vs. G3 Winner
G6: #2 UT-Martin (18-13) vs. G4 Winner
Championship
Saturday, March 5
6:00 PM on ESPN2

The top two seeds get byes to the semifinals, and that could be just what Belmont needs the most.  The Bruins limped home to a 4-4 finish to just barely escape with the regular season title, but they look more like the third or fourth best team in the tournament today.

Look out for Morehead State.  We began isolating on the Eagles a few weeks ago, when Coach Sean Woods had this team looking somewhat like the Kentucky teams he played on when he was in college.  Morehead State won their final six games, and more impressively half of those wins came against Belmont, Tennessee State, and on the road at Tennessee Tech, where the Golden Eagles lost just that one time.

In tournament play, a team that can consistently shut an opponent down for four or five minute stretches and enjoy scoring runs, is going to advance, and the Eagles get to start as the #3 seed.  Their road to the championship avoids both Tennessee State and Belmont until the finals, and they get a weaker #2 seed in UT-Martin, who won the West Division with a weaker conference record than the Eagles, who played in the much tougher East Division.

Tennessee State is the other hot team entering conference tournament play.  The Tigers pasted Belmont yesterday and will have to beat the Bruins again in the semifinals to get to the Championship Game.

Tennessee Tech is a monster at home and mouse on the road.  The Golden Eagles will have to win 4 times in 4 days to get to the Dance, and we do not see it possible.

 

Southern Conference
Site: Asheville, NC
 
1st Round
Friday, March 4
G1: #8 or 9 Samford (13-18) vs. #9 or 8 VMI (9-19) *
G2: #7 Mercer (18-13) vs. #10 Citadel (10-21)
Quarterfinal Round
Saturday, March 5
G3: #1 Chattanooga (25-5) * vs. G1 Winner
G4: #4 Wofford (15-16) vs. #5 Western Carolina (15-16)
G5: #2 East Tennessee (21-10) VS. G2 Winner
G6: #3 Furman (17-14) vs. #6 UNC-Greensboro (14-17)
Semifinal Round
Sunday, March 6
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner
G5 Winner vs. G6 Winner
Championship
Monday, March 7
9:00 PM on ESPN2

This tournament should be quite interesting.  Chattanooga dominated the league until the final weeks when the Mocs began to show signs of fatigue, which could be expected after losing their star guard Casey Jones earlier in the season.  Still, Chattanooga is the slight favorite to take three games and represent the SoCon in the NCAA Tournament.  The Mocs shoot competently, defend capably, and force a lot of turnovers on the enemy.

East Tennessee is hot as conference tournament action commences.  The Bucs won their final five games.  Guards Ge’Lawn Guyn and T.J. Cromer paced the team, combining for 33.2 points per game.

UNC-Greensboro is the dark horse team that is hard to figure out.  The Spartans lost four of five games including a terrible double-digit defeat to a weak VMI team.  Then, UNCG won their last five games including a blowout of Chattanooga in Choo-Choo town.  In those final 5 contests, the Spartans shot over 50% from the field and 40% from behind the arc, while holding opponents to less than 35% from the field and 27% from behind the arc.

Note: Chattanooga plays VMI tonight in a game that will not affect the pairings in the conference tournament.  The Mocs will be #1, and VMI will finish either 8th or 9th, meaning the Keydets will play Samford no matter what.  The only difference is which color jersey they wear in that game.

 

West Coast Conference Tournament
Site: Las Vegas
 
1st Round
Friday, March 4
G1: #8 Loyola Marymount (13-16) vs. #9 San Diego (9-20)
Quarterfinal Round
Saturday, March 5
G2: #3 BYU (22-9) vs. #6 Santa Clara (11-19)
G3: #4 Pepperdine (17-12) vs. #5 San Francisco (15-14)
G4: #1 Saint Mary’s (24-4) vs. G1 Winner
G5: #2 Gonzaga (23-7) vs. #7 Portland (12-19)
Semifinal Round
Monday, March 7
G3 Winner vs. G4 Winner
G2 Winner vs. G5 Winner
Championship
Tuesday, March 8
9:00 PM on ESPN

It’s not a gamble to say that Las Vegas is the place to be for the next fortnight if you are a college basketball junkie.  Four leagues will play their tournament in the desert oasis.  The WCC promises to be interesting this year, because it looks like only the tournament champion will be wearing dancing shoes.

Saint Mary’s deserves an at-large bid if they make it to the finals and lose, but it is not a guarantee, especially if some of the power conferences have upset victors.  The Gaels did not play a tough enough non-conference slate to merit a lot of at-large consideration.

Gonzaga played a difficult enough non-conference schedule, but the Bulldogs couldn’t beat anybody, as Washington was their best win, but the Huskies keep losing down the stretch to make that win more and more meaningless.

BYU cannot be discounted in this tournament.  The Cougars are a decent shooting team, decent defensive team, decent rebounding team, and decent at forcing turnovers and not committing a lot of them.  They just aren’t outstanding at anything, but it only takes one or two players to play his best ball of the season, and the Cougars could shock the two league powers.  With Chase Fischer, Nick Emery, and Kyle Collinsworth on the floor, BYU could light it up for three days and steal the bid.

 

August 23, 2013

2013 Pac-12 Conference Preview

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:59 pm

2013 Pac-12 Conference Preview

 

Get ready for an exciting season of college football on the West Coast.  The 2013 Pac-12 conference should have two heated races in the divisions.

 

This is a year of transition, and there are no true clear-cut favorites.  On paper, Oregon looks like the class of the league, but the Ducks will not have Coach Chip Kelly on the sidelines, as well as Kenjon Barner and his 1,700+ rushing yards, as well as three of the top five defensive stoppers from 2012.

 

Don’t discount the Ducks.  New coach Mark Elfrich has enough talent to take the Quack Attack back to the National Championship Game.  However, to do so, Oregon will have to win at Stanford.  The Cardinal won at Autzen Stadium last year.

 

Speaking of Stanford, this could be an even stronger edition in Palo Alto this season.  Kevin Hogan proved to be a very capable successor to Andrew Luck, and he will enjoy having the top offensive line  in the league.  However, the Cardinal lost all their key receivers and their key running back.  SU will continue to shine and contend for national honors thanks to a top-notch defense that could yield as few as 15 points per game this year.

 

Oregon St. is lying in ambush of the big two in the Pac-12 North Division.  The Beavers have top 10 talent, albeit third best in this division.  OSU could easily start the season at 7-0 before closing with a brutal stretch of games against Stanford, USC, Arizona St., Washington, and Oregon.  It will be hard topping 4-1 in those five games, and 2-3 may be more likely.

 

Washington is just a step below the big three in the North Division.  The Huskies will take a backseat to nobody on the attack side of the ball.  Coach Steve Sarkisian has one of the best receiving corps in the country, and quarterback Keith Price has 3,500 yard potential.  The Husky defense should be slightly improved, but the schedule prohibits it from a high national ranking.

 

Washington St. and California are well back of the top four in the North Division.  Washington St. starts year two of the Mike Leach era.  He must direct a new quarterback and replace the top receiver from last year.  WSU averaged the worst rushing production in modern day times, when the Cougars ran for just 29 yards per game in 2012.  Of course, sacks (57 in all) played a huge part, and if you count the rushing the proper way, like the NFL, the number inflates to 60 yards per game and a 3.7 average per attempt.

 

California becomes the next team to switch to the Air-Raid Offense, as former Louisiana Tech head man Sonny Dykes takes over in Berkeley.  Look for UC to pass the ball about 45-50 times per game, but it will be a long season at Memorial Stadium with a major rebuilding project commencing.

 

The South Division will be more competitive than the North with four teams in contention.  Our preseason ratings show less than two points separating the top four teams, which is less than the home field advantages for each team.  A 7-2 conference mark could be enough to win the division outright, and a 6-3 record could once again be all that is needed (UCLA last year).

 

This could be a do or die year for Lane Kiffin as coach of the USC Trojans.  The men of Troy failed to live up to expectations last year, finishing just 5-4 in league play and failing to show up against Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.  Max Wittek and Cody Kessler are battling to replace Matt Barkley at quarterback, and star receiver Marqise Lee has given statements to the media that the lack of naming a starter could be causing a stir within the team.  We cannot name the Trojans as the team to beat in the South, as possible dissension and lack of leadership could cause the demise of Kiffin in Los Angeles.

 

The team that we believe has the best chance of winning the division is Arizona St.  The Sun Devils are strong but not spectacular at every position on the field, and there is quality depth for second year head man Todd Graham.  Graham has produced winners everywhere he has coached, but his problem has been stating put.  He is the Larry Brown of football.  Should he decide to stick around Tempe for a lengthy stay, he could restore this program to the lofty status it enjoyed under Frank Kush in the 1970’s.  We look for a Kush-like year at Sun Devil Stadium; ASU should top 200 yards rushing, 200 yards passing, and 40 points per game.

 

UCLA faces a minor rebuilding project on the defensive side of the ball, but the Bruins have enough talent back to contend for the South Division title.  Brett Hundley is the best pure drop back passer in the league, and he could approach 4,000 passing yards.

 

Arizona should be vastly improved on the defensive side of the ball, and when a Rich Rodriguez team plays decent defense, you have to consider his team a legitimate contender for a league title.  The Spread offense will always produce points and access yardage, so the Wildcats are right there with the other three contenders this year.

 

Utah is starting to fall well back of the contenders in this division.  The Utes fell to 3-6 in league play last year, and we do not believe they can match that mark this year.  There isn’t enough talent in Salt Lake City.  The Utes had to fight off a scrappy Colorado team last year, and Cal drops off the schedule with a trip to Oregon as the replacement.  Throw in the regular non-conference games against BYU and Utah St., and it looks like a long year for Coach Kyle Whittingham’s crew.

 

Colorado edged Washington St. by one point last year to avoid an 0-12 season.  A loss to Sacramento St. basically brought about the end of the Jon Embree era in Boulder.  Enter former San Jose St. coach Mike MacIntyre.  In year one, the Buffaloes better be ready to play their best in week two against Central Arkansas, or CU could be looking at 0-12.  Give MacIntyre time, and he will turn things around at Folsom Field.

 

New Teams: None

 

Departures: None

 

Pre-season PiRate Ratings

Pacific 12 Conference

North Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Oregon

0-0

0-0

127.9

119.7

128.8

Stanford

0-0

0-0

127.1

115.9

126.8

Oregon St.

0-0

0-0

121.3

108.6

120.0

Washington

0-0

0-0

117.5

112.6

118.0

Washington St.

0-0

0-0

100.3

96.1

99.9

California

0-0

0-0

97.8

91.9

95.5

     

 

 

 

South Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

U S C

0-0

0-0

116.9

111.4

116.8

Arizona

0-0

0-0

116.2

108.8

115.1

Arizona St.

0-0

0-0

115.5

113.1

115.9

U C L A

0-0

0-0

115.2

103.0

114.1

Utah

0-0

0-0

99.7

96.7

98.5

Colorado

0-0

0-0

89.8

85.9

87.6

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

112.1

105.3

111.4

 

 

Official Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll

 

Pos

Team

Points

1st Place

NORTH DIVISION

1

Oregon

145

15

2

Stanford

139

11

3

Oregon St.

95

0

4

Washington

84

0

5

California

47

0

6

Washington St.

33

0

       
Pos Team

Points

1st Place

SOUTH DIVISION

1

U C L A

135

12

2

Arizona St.

130

10

3

Southern Cal

117

4

4

Arizona

76

0

5

Utah

60

0

6

Colorado

28

0

       

Pac-12 Title Game Champion

  Oregon

14

 
  Stanford

8

 
  U C L A

3

 

 

The Pac-12 did not release an official preseason all-conference team, so we will list the key players for each team with stats from 2012 in parentheses.

 

North Division

 

California

Brendan Bigelow—RB (431 rush/9.8 avg  Breakaway runner)

Chris Harper—WR (41-544)

Richard Rodgers—WR (20-288)

DeAndre Coleman—DL (48 tackles/3 sacks/8.5 TFL)

Nick Forbes—LB (85 tackles/4 Passes Defended)

Michael Lowe—DB (3 Int.)

 

Oregon

Marcus Mariota—QB (68.5% comp./8.0 ypa/32TD/6 Int./860 Rush [minus sacks])

Josh Huff—WR (32-493/7 TD)

Colt Lyerla—TE (25-392/6 TD)

De’Anthony Thomas—Slot (701 rush/11 rush TD/45-445 rec./5 rec. TD/17.1 PR avg and 1 TD/1 KR TD)

Hroniss Grassu, Jake Fisher, and Tyler Johnstone—OL

Taylor Hart—DL (36 tackles/8 sacks/11 TFL)

Ito Ekpre-Olomu—DB (4 Int./20 Passes Defended)

Terrance Mitchell—DB (8 Passes Defended)

 

Oregon St.

Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion—QB (look for both to see action where they combined for 3,926 passing yards and 26 TD)

Storm Woods—RB (940 Rush/13 TD)

Brandon Cooks—WR (67-1,151/5 TD)

Grant Enger and Michael Philipp—OL

Scott Crichton—DL (9 sacks/17.5 TFL)

Michael Doctor—LB (83 tackles/11 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Rashaad Reynolds—DB (3 Int./16 Passes Defended)

Keith Kostol—P (41.9 avg/38.5 net/41% inside 20)

 

Stanford

Kevin Hogan—QB (71.7% comp.)

Kevin Danser and David Yankey—OL

Henry Anderson—DL (51 tackles/5.5 sacks/13 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Ben Gardner—DL (49 tackles/7.5 sacks/14.5 TFL5 Passes Defended)

Trent Murphy—LB (56 tackles/10 sacks/18 TFL/6 QB hurries/5 Passes Defended)

Jordan Richards—DB (68 tackles/3 Int./15 Passes Defended)

Ed Reynolds—DB (47 tackles/6 Int./11 Passes Defended)

 

Washington

Keith Price—QB (60.9% comp./19 TD/13 Int.)

Bishop Sankey—RB (1,439 rush/5.0 avg/16 TD/33-249 rec.)

Kasen Williams—WR (77-878/6 TD)

Danny Shelton—DL (45 tackles/4 TFL)

John Timu—LB (91 tackles/6 Passes Defended)

Shaq Thompson—LB (74 tackles/8.5 TFL/3 Int./6 Passes Defended)

Sean Parker—DB (77 tackles/6 Passes Defended)

 

Washington St.

Gabe Marks—WR (49-560)

Dominique Williams—WR (34-546)

Elliott Bosch—OL

Cyrus Coen—LB (60 tackles/3 sacks/12 TFL/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Deone Bucannon—DB (106 tackles/4 Int./8 Passes Defended)

Andrew Furney—K (Made 60-yard FG last year)

 

South Division

 

Arizona

Ka’Deem Carey—RB (1,929 rush/6.4 avg/23 TD/36-303 rec.)

Jake Fischer—LB (119 tackles/6.5 FL)

Marquise Flowers—LB (100 tackles/5.5 sacks/13 TFL/3 Int./6 Passes Defended)

Jonathan McKnight—DB (51 tackles/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Richard Morrison—PR (13-10.2/1 TD)

 

Arizona St.

Taylor Kelly—QB (67.1% comp./8.5 ypa/29 TD/9 Int.)

Marion Grice—RB (679 rush/6.6 avg/11 TD/41-425 rec./8 TD rec.)

Chris Coyle—TE (57-696/5 TD)

Evan Finkenberg—OL

Will Sutton—DL (63 tackles/13 sacks/23.5 TFL)

Carl Bradford—LB (81 tackles/11.5 sacks/20.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Alden Darby—DB (80 tackles/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Osahon Irabor—DB (14 Passes Defended)

 

Colorado

Christian Powell—RB (691 rush/4.4 avg./7 TD)

Nelson Spruce—WR (44-446/3 TD)

Paul Richardson—WR (former 1,000+ rec. yards/missed 2012)

Daniel Munyer—OL

Chidera Uzo-Diribe—DL (43 tackles/7 sacks/10.5 TFL)

Derrick Webb—LB (88 tackles/5.5 TFL)

 

Southern Cal

Silas Redd—RB (905 rush/5.4 avg./9 TD)

Marqise Lee—WR (118-1,721/14 TD/8.2 rush avg./28.5 KR/1 KRTD/Should be 1st or 2nd pick in 2014 NFL Draft)

Marcus Martin, John Martinez, and Max Tuerk—OL

Leonard Williams—DL (64 tackles/8 sacks/13.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Morgan Breslin—DL (62 tackles/13 sacks/19.5 TFL)

Hayes Pullard—LB (107 tackles/8 TFL)

Dion Bailey—DB (80 tackles/8 TFL/4 Int./9 Passes Defended)

 

U C L A

Brett Hundley—QB (66.5% comp./29 TD/11 Int.)

Shaquelle Evans—WR (60-877)

Jake Brendel and Xavier Su’A-Filo—OL

Cassius Marsh—DL (50 tackles/8 sacks/10.5 TFL)

Eric Kendricks—LB (150 tackles/6 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Anthony Barr—LB (83 tackles/13.5 sacks/21.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

 

Utah

Travis Wilson—QB (62.7% comp.)

Jeremiah Poutasi—OL

Trevor Reilly—DL (69 tackles/4.5 sacks/6.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

 

 

PiRate Ratings Summary

 

About Grades

93-100         A+

86-92           A

79-85           A-

72-78           B+

65-71           B

58-64           B-

51-57           C+

44-50           C

37-43           C-

30-36           D

0-29             F

 

About Predictions

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

 

North Division

Team

California Golden Bears

               
Head Coach

Sonny Dykes

               
Colors

Blue and Gold

               
City

Berkeley, CA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-7

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

52

Pass Offense

77

Run Defense

69

Pass Defense

52

               
Ratings              
PiRate

97.8

Mean

91.9

Bias

95.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

71

Mean

96

Bias

78

               
Prediction              
Conference

2-7

Overall

3-9

 

 

Team

Oregon Ducks

               
Head Coach

Mark Helfrich

               
Colors

Green and Gold

               
City

Eugene, OR

               
2012 Record              
Conference

8-1

Overall

12-1

               
Grades              
Run Offense

100

Pass Offense

91

Run Defense

92

Pass Defense

90

               
Ratings              
PiRate

127.9

Mean

119.7

Bias

128.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

2

Mean

2

Bias

2

               
Prediction              
Conference

8-1

Overall

11-1

 

 

Team

Oregon St. Beavers

               
Head Coach

Mike Riley

               
Colors

Orange and Black

               
City

Corvallis, OR

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-3

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

67

Pass Offense

94

Run Defense

93

Pass Defense

88

               
Ratings              
PiRate

121.3

Mean

108.6

Bias

120.0

               
Rankings              
PiRate

10

Mean

35

Bias

11

               
Prediction              
Conference

7-2

Overall

10-2

 

 

Team

Stanford Cardinal

               
Head Coach

David Shaw

               
Colors

Cardinal and White

               
City

Palo Alto, CA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

8-1 (won Pac-12 Championship)

Overall

12-2

               
Grades              
Run Offense

84

Pass Offense

92

Run Defense

99

Pass Defense

93

               
Ratings              
PiRate

127.1

Mean

115.9

Bias

126.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

4

Mean

9

Bias

4

               
Prediction              
Conference

9-0 (wins Pac-12 Conf. Championship)

Overall

13-0

 

 

Team

Washington Huskies

               
Head Coach

Steve Sarkisian

               
Colors

Purple and Gold

               
City

Seattle

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

83

Pass Offense

87

Run Defense

82

Pass Defense

78

               
Ratings              
PiRate

117.5

Mean

112.6

Bias

118.0

               
Rankings              
PiRate

16

Mean

22

Bias

15

               
Prediction              
Conference

4-5

Overall

7-5

 

 

Team

Washington St. Cougars

               
Head Coach

Mike Leach

               
Colors

Crimson and Gray

               
City

Pullman, WA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-8

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

25

Pass Offense

93

Run Defense

69

Pass Defense

65

               
Ratings              
PiRate

100.3

Mean

96.1

Bias

99.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

55

Mean

81

Bias

58

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-8

Overall

3-9

 

 

South Division

Team

Arizona Wildcats

               
Head Coach

Rich Rodriguez

               
Colors

Cardinal and Navy

               
City

Tucson, AZ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

4-5

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

93

Pass Offense

88

Run Defense

74

Pass Defense

71

               
Ratings              
PiRate

116.2

Mean

108.8

Bias

115.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

21

Mean

33

Bias

26

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-4

Overall

8-4

 

 

Team

Arizona St. Sun Devils

               
Head Coach

Todd Graham

               
Colors

Maroon and Gold

               
City

Tempe, AZ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

71

Pass Offense

88

Run Defense

86

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.5

Mean

113.1

Bias

115.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

24

Mean

19

Bias

20

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-3 (lose Pac-12 Champ. Game)

Overall

8-5

 

 

Team

Colorado Buffaloes

               
Head Coach

Mike MacIntyre

               
Colors

Old Gold and Black

               
City

Boulder, CO

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-8

Overall

1-11

               
Grades              
Run Offense

35

Pass Offense

62

Run Defense

62

Pass Defense

57

               
Ratings              
PiRate

89.8

Mean

85.9

Bias

87.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

92

Mean

113

Bias

98

               
Prediction              
Conference

0-9

Overall

1-11

 

 

Team

Southern Cal Trojans

               
Head Coach

Lane Kiffin

               
Colors

Cardinal and Gold

               
City

Los Angeles

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

82

Pass Offense

78

Run Defense

95

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

116.9

Mean

111.4

Bias

116.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

17

Mean

27

Bias

17

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-3

Overall

9-4

 

 

Team

U C L A Bruins

               
Head Coach

Jim Mora, Jr.

               
Colors

Deep Sky Blue and Sun Gold

               
City

Los Angeles

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-3 (lost in Pac-12 Champ. Game)

Overall

9-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

71

Pass Offense

95

Run Defense

78

Pass Defense

74

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.2

Mean

103.0

Bias

114.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

26

Mean

47

Bias

29

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-5

 

Colorado Buffaloes

Team

Utah Utes

                 
Head Coach

Kyle Whittingham

 
                 
Colors

Crimson and White

 
                 
City

Salt Lake City

 
                 
2012 Record                
Conference

3-6

 
Overall

5-7

 
                 
Grades                
Run Offense

53

 
Pass Offense

71

 
Run Defense

69

 
Pass Defense

64

 
                 
Ratings                
PiRate

99.7

 
Mean

96.7

 
Bias

98.5

 
                 
Rankings                
PiRate

60

 
Mean

75

 
Bias

66

 
                 
Prediction                
Conference

1-8

 
Overall

3-9

 

 

March 6, 2013

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournaments–Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Today’s Conference Tournaments in Action

Atlantic Sun—Quarterfinal Round

Northeast—Quarterfinal Round

Ohio Valley—Opening Round

Patriot—Quarterfinal Round

West Coast—Opening Round

 

America East Conference

 

Seed

Team

Conference

Overall

RPI

1

Stony Brook

14-2

23-6

71

2

Vermont

11-5

19-10

128

3

Hartford

10-6

17-12

171

4

Albany

9-7

21-10

164

5

Maine

6-10

11-18

273

6

U M B C

5-11

7-22

312

7

N. Hampshire

5-11

9-19

293

8

Binghamton

1-15

3-26

338

 

Conference Tournament—Albany, NY  (Championship Game at Higher Seed)

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

2-Vermont vs. 7-New Hampshire

12:00 Noon

ESPN3

2

3-Hartford vs. 6-U M B C

2:00 PM

ESPN3

3

1-Stony Brook vs. 8-Binghamton

6:00 PM

ESPN3

4

4-Albany vs. 5-Mainer

8:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

5

Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

5:00 PM

ESPN3

6

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

7:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 -Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 16

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

11:30 AM

ESPN2

 

at Higher Seeded Winner’s Home Court

 

 

 

Online Site: www.americaeast.com

 

Atlantic Sun Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Mercer 14-4 21-10 131
2 Florida Gulf Coast 13-5 21-10 109
3 Stetson 11-7 14-15 223
4 SC Upstate 9-9 15-16 228
5 Jacksonville 9-9 14-17 268
6 North Florida 8-10 13-18 220
7 East Tennessee St. 8-10 10-21 263
8 Lipscomb 7-11 12-17 235

 

Conference Tournament—Macon, GA (Mercer)

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals Time TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 06, 2013    

1

#2 Florida Gulf Coast vs. #7 North Florida 2:30 p.m. ESPN3

2

#1 Mercer vs. #8 Lipscomb 8:30 p.m. ESPN3

 

     

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals    

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 07, 2013    

3

#3 Stetson vs. #6 East Tennessee St. 2:30 p.m. ESPN3

4

#4 Jacksonville vs. #5 USC-Upstate 8:30 p.m. ESPN3

 

     

 

Day 3 – Semifinals    

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 08, 2013    

5

Winners Games 1 & 3 5:30 p.m. CSS

6

Winners Games 2 & 4 8:00 p.m. CSS

 

     

 

Day 4 – Finals    

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 09, 2013    

7

Semifinal Winners 12:00 p.m. ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.atlanticsun.org

 

Big South Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Charleston Southern 12-4 17-11 186
2 High Point 12-4 17-12 248
3 Gardner-Webb 11-5 20-11 185
4 UNC-Asheville 10-6 16-16 202
5 Coastal Carolina 9-7 14-15 246
6 V M I 8-8 13-16 311
7 Campbell 7-9 13-19 293
8 Radford 7-9 13-19 313
9 Winthrop 6-10 14-16 275
10 Liberty 6-10 12-20 324
11 Presbyterian 4-12 8-24 339
12 Longwood 4-12 8-24 336

 

Conference Tournament—Conway, SC (Myrtle Beach Area) (Coastal Carolina)

Game #

Day 1 – First Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 5

 

 

1

5S Winthrop  60  4N Radford  58 ot

 

 

2

6N Longwood  87  3S UNC-Asheville  72

 

 

3

3N Campbell  81  6S Presbyterian  73

 

 

4

5N Liberty  78  4S Coastal Carolina  61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

 

 

5

1S Charleston Southern vs. 5S Winthrop

12 Noon

Online

6

2N V M I vs. 6N Longwood

2:00 PM

Online

7

2S Gardner-Webb vs. 3N Campbell

6:00 PM

Online

8

1N High Point vs. 5N Liberty

8:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

12 Noon

ESPN3

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

2:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4-Finals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

12 Noon

ESPN2

 

Online TV Site: www.bigsouthsports.com

 

Colonial Athletic Association

 

Seed

Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Northeastern 14-4 19-11 160
2 Delaware 13-5 18-13 127
3 James Madison 11-7 17-14 207
4 George Mason 10-8 17-13 155
5 Drexel 9-9 13-17 205
6 William & Mary 7-11 13-16 265
7 Hofstra 4-14 7-24 321

 

Conference Tournament—Richmond, VA

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

4-George Mason vs. 5-Drexel

3:30 PM

Online

2

2-Delaware vs. 7-Hofstra

6:00 PM

Online

3

3-James Madison vs. 6-William & Mary

8:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

4

1-Northeastern vs. Winner Game 1

2:00 PM

NBCSN

5

Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

4:30 PM

NBCSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3-Finals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

6

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

7:00 PM

NBCSN

 

Online Site: http://www.caasports.com

 

Horizon League

 

Seed

Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Valparaiso 13-3 24-7 63
2 Detroit 12-4 20-11 58
3 Wright St. 10-6 19-11 166
4 Green Bay 10-6 17-14 167
5 Illinois-Chicago 7-9 17-14 164
6 Youngstown St. 7-9 17-14 190
7 Loyola (Chi) 5-11 15-16 218
8 Cleveland St. 5-11 14-18 196
9 Milwaukee 3-13 8-24 301

 

Conference Tournament—1st Round & Championship @ Higher Seed, Quarterfinals & Semifinals at Valparaiso

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 5

 

 

1

4-Green Bay  62  9-Milwaukee  46

 

 

2

5-Illinois-Chicago  82  8-Cleveland St.  59

 

 

3

6-Youngstown St.  62  7-Loyola (Chi)  60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

4

3-Wright St. vs. 6-Youngstown St.

6:00 PM

Horizon Network

5

4-Green Bay vs. 5-Illinois-Chicago

8:30 PM

Horizon Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

6

2-Detroit vs. Winner Game 4

6:00 PM

ESPNU (10:30)

7

1-Valparaiso vs/ Winner Game 5

8:30 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

8

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

9:00 PM

ESPN

 

Online Site: http://www.horizonleague.org

 

M A A C

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Niagara 13-5 18-12 123
2 Rider 12-6 18-13 135
3 Loyola (MD) 12-6 21-10 98
4 Iona 11-7 17-13 117
5 Canisius 11-7 18-12 110
6 Manhattan 9-9 12-17 200
7 Fairfield 9-9 17-14 170
8 Marist 6-12 10-20 250
9 Siena 4-14 7-23 297
10 St. Peter’s 3-15 9-20 283

 

Conference Tournament—Springfield, MA

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

1

8-Marist vs. 9-Siena

7:30 PM

Online

2

7-Fairfield vs. 10-St. Peter’s

9:30 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

3

1-Niagara vs. Winner Game 1

2:30 PM

ESPN3

4

4-Iona vs. 5-Canisius

4:30 PM

ESPN3

5

2-Rider vs. Winner Game 2

7:30 PM

ESPN3

6

3-Loyola (MD) vs. 6-Manhattan

9:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

7

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

2:00 PM

ESPN3

8

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

4:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

9

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

9:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.maacsports.com

 

Missouri Valley Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Creighton 13-5 24-7 36
2 Wichita St. 12-6 24-7 40
3 Northern Iowa 11-7 18-13 79
4 Evansville 10-8 18-13 96
5 Indiana St. 9-9 17-13 78
6 Illinois St. 8-10 17-14 120
7 Missouri St. 7-11 10-21 211
8 Bradley 7-11 16-15 181
9 Drake 7-11 14-16 150
10 Southern Illinois 6-12 14-16 177

 

Conference Tournament—St. Louis (Arch Madness)

 

Online Site: http://www.mvc-sports.com

 

 

Northeast Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Robert Morris 14-4 22-9 114
2 Wagner 12-6 18-11 124
3 Long Island 12-6 17-13 195
4 Bryant 12-6 19-10 146
5 Mt. St. Mary‘s 11-7 16-13 156
6 Quinnipiac 11-7 15-15 191
7 Central Connecticut 9-9 13-16 197
8 St. Francis, NY 8-10 12-17 216

 

Conference Tournament—Games at Campus Sites.  Higher Seeds Host All Games.  Teams Will Be Re-Seeded After Quarterfinals

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

8-St. Francis (NY) at 1-Robert Morris

7:00 PM

Online

2

7-Central Connecticut at 2-Wagner

7:00 PM

Online

3

6-Quinnipiac at 3-Long Island

7:00 PM

Online

4

5-Mt. St. Mary‘s at 4-Bryant

7:00 PM

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

5

Lowest Seed at Highest Seed Winners

12:00 or 2:30 PM

ESPN3

6

3rd Highest at 2nd Highest Seed Winners

12:00 or 2:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

7:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.northeastconference.org

 

Ohio Valley Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Belmont 14-2 24-6 24
2 Murray St. 10-6 20-9 128
3 Eastern Kentucky 12-4 23-8 65
4 Tennessee St. 11-5 17-13 111
5 Morehead St. 8-8 14-17 172
6 Southeast Missouri 8-8 16-15 224
7 E. Illinois 6-10 11-20 272
8 UT-Martin 5-11 9-20 306

 

Conference Tournament—Nashville

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

5-Morehead St. vs. 8-UT-Martin

7:00 PM

OVC Network

2

6-Southeast Missouri vs. 7-Eastern Illinois

9:00 PM

OVC Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

 

 

3

4-Tennessee St. vs. Winner Game 1

7:00 PM

OVC Network

4

3-Eastern Kentucky vs. Winner Game 2

9:00 PM

OVC Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

5

1-Belmont vs. Winner Game 3

7:00 PM

ESPNU

6

2-Murray St. vs. Winner Game 4

9:00 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

7:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://ovcsports.sidearmsports.com

 

Patriot League

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Bucknell 12-2 25-5 52
2 Lafayette 10-4 17-14 173
3 Lehigh 10-4 20-8 105
4 Army 8-6 15-14 213
5 American 5-9 10-19 261
6 Colgate 5-9 11-20 255
7 Holy Cross 4-10 12-17 249
8 Navy 2-12 8-22 314

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

8-Navy at 1-Bucknell

7:00 PM

Patriot All-Access

2

5-American at 4-Army

7:00 PM

Patriot All-Access

3

7-Holy Cross at 2-Lafayette

7:00 PM

Patriot All-Access

4

6-Colgate at 3-Lehigh

7:00 PM

Patriot All-Access

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

 

Games at Higher Seed

 

 

5

Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

2:00 or 4:30 PM

CBSSN

6

Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

2:00 or 4:30 PM

CBSSN

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Finals

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

 

 

 

Game at Higher Seed

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

7:30 PM

CBSSN

 

Online Site: http://www.patriotleague.org

 

Southern Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Davidson 17-1 23-7 82
2 College of Charleston 14-4 22-9 147
3 Elon 13-5 20-10 176
4 Appalachian St. 10-8 14-15 270
5 Western Carolina 9-9 13-18 251
6 Samford 9-9 11-20 281
7 Chattanooga 8-10 13-18 276
8 Wofford 7-11 13-18 240
9 Georgia Southern 7-11 13-18 277
10 UNC-Greensboro 6-12 8-21 330
11 The Citadel 5-13 8-21 327
12 Furman 3-15 6-23 342

 

Conference Tournament: Asheville, NC

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

1

8-Wofford vs. 9-Georgia Southern

11:30 AM

ESPN3

2

5-Samford vs. 12-Furman

2:00 PM

ESPN3

3

7-Chattanooga vs. 10-UNC-Greensboro

6:00 PM

ESPN3

4

6-Western Carolina vs. 11-The Citadel

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

5

1-Davidson vs. Winner Game 1

12:00 PM

ESPN3

6

4-Appalachian St. vs. Winner Game 2

2:30 PM

ESPN3

7

2-Elon vs. Winner Game 3

6:00 PM

ESPN3

8

3-College of Charleston vs. Winner Game 4

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

9

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

6:00 PM

ESPN3

10

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

8:30 PM

ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

11

Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

7:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.soconsports.com

 

Summit League

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 South Dakota St. 13-3 22-9 75
2 Western Illinois 13-3 21-7 126
3 North Dakota St. 12-4 22-8 81
4 Oakland 10-6 16-15 132
5 I P F W 7-9 15-16 264
6 Mo.-Kansas City 5-11 8-23 287
7 South Dakota 5-11 10-19 242
8 I U P U I 1-15 6-25 325

 

Conference Tournament—Sioux Falls, SD

 

Game #

Day 1 – Quarterfinals

Time

TV

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

1

1-South Dakota St. vs. 8-I U P U I

7:00 PM

FOXCS

2

2-Western Illinois vs. 7-South Dakota

9:30 PM

FOXCS

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

3

4-Oakland vs. 5-I P F W

7:00 PM

FOXCS

4

3-North Dakota St. vs. 6-UM-Kansas City

9:30 PM

FOXCS

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 -Semifinals

 

 

 

MONDAY, MARCH 11

 

 

5

Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3

7:00 PM

FOXCS

6

Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4

9:30 PM

FOXCS

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

 

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

 

 

7

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

9:00 PM

ESPN2

 

Online Site: http://www.thesummitleague.org

 

Sun Belt Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Middle Tennessee 19-1 27-4 23
2 South Alabama 14-6 17-11 149
3 Arkansas St. 12-8 18-11 154
4 Florida Int’l 11-9 16-13 137
5 Arkansas-Little Rock 11-9 17-14 163
6 Western Kentucky 10-10 16-15 178
7 Florida Atlantic 9-11 14-17 209
8 Louisiana-Lafayette 8-12 12-19 229
9 North Texas 7-13 12-19 233
10 Troy 6-14 11-20 271
11 Louisiana-Monroe 3-17 4-22 299

 

Conference Tournament—Hot Springs, AR

Note: This Tournament Uses Two Courts— S=Summit Arena, C=Convention Center Court

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

1

6-Western Kentucky vs. 11-UL-Monroe

7:00 PM  S

Online

2

8-UL-Lafayette vs. 9-North Texas

7:30 PM  C

Online

3

7-Florida Atlantic vs. 10-Troy

9:30 PM  S

Online

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

4

4-Florida Int’l vs. 5-Ark.-Little Rock

7:00 PM  C

Sun Belt Network

5

1-Middle Tennessee vs. Winner Game 2

7:30 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

6

3-South Alabama vs. Winner Game 1

9:30 PM  C

Sun Belt Network

7

2-Arkansas St. vs. Winner Game 3

10:00 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 10

 

 

8

Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

7:30 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

9

Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

9:00 PM  S

Sun Belt Network

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Finals

 

 

10

Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9

7:00 PM  S

ESPN

 

Online Site: http://www.sunbeltsports.org

 

West Coast Conference

 

Seed Team Conference Overall RPI
1 Gonzaga 16-0 29-2 10
2 St. Mary’s 14-2 26-5 41
3 B Y U 10-6 21-10 62
4 Santa Clara 9-7 21-10 90
5 San Francisco 7-9 14-15 152
6 San Diego 7-9 14-17 180
7 Pepperdine 4-12 12-17 204
8 Portland 4-12 11-20 219
9 Loyola Marymount 1-15 8-22 253

 

Conference Tournament: Las Vegas

 

Game #

Day 1 – 1st Round

Time

TV

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

 

 

1

8-Portland vs. 9-Loyola Marymount

8:00 PM

BYU-TV

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – 2nd Round

 

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

 

 

2

2-San Francisco vs. Winner Game 1

8:00 PM

BYU-TV

3

6-San Diego vs. 7-Pepperdine

10:30 PM

BYU-TV

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Quarterfinals

 

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 8

 

 

4

4-Santa Clara vs. Winner Game 2

8:00 PM

ESPNU

5

3-B Y U vs. Winner Game 3

10:30 PM

ESPNU

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Semifinals

 

 

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 9

 

 

6

1-Gonzaga vs. Winner Game 4

8:00 PM

ESPN2

7

2-St. Mary’s vs. Winner Game 5

10:30 PM

ESPN2

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Finals

 

 

8

MONDAY, MARCH 11

8:00 PM

ESPN

 

Online Site: http://www.wccsports.com

 

As The Bubble Blows

Alabama, Southern Mississippi, and Arkansas lost last night.  The Crimson Tide can still earn an at-large bid with a win Saturday and then making it to the SEC Tournament Championship Game.  Southern Miss is NIT-bound unless they win the CUSA Tournament.  Arkansas is in the same boat as Southern Miss.  The Razorbacks are a top 25 team at Bud Walton Arena, but they are not top 100 away from home.

 

Ole Miss beat Alabama last night.  The Rebels have only a slim chance of earning an at-large bid after dropping games to South Carolina and MississippiState.

 

Keep an eye on Iowa.  The Hawkeyes knocked off Illinois last night to move into a tie for 7th with the Illini.  The Hawkeyes are just a half-game back of 6th place Minnesota.  They close at home with Nebraska and should win that game to finish the regular season at 9-9 in the league and 20-11 overall.  With wins over Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, plus a non-conference win over rival IowaState, the Hawkeyes would have a very nice resume if they can win their opening round game in the conference tournament.

 

Other Big Games of Note for Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Georgetown at Villanova:  The Hoyas can make a case for a #1-seed if they can win tonight and close out at home with a win over swooning Syracuse.  Villanova will secure an at-large bid with an upset win.  The Wildcats have already slain Marquette, Syracuse, and Louisville at the WellsFargoCenter.

 

Georgia Tech at Miami:  The Hurricanes can clinch the regular season ACC title with a win tonight.  “The U” can still earn a number one seed if they win out.

 

Michigan at Purdue: Watch out for the Boilermakers!  After clobbering Wisconsin on the Badgers’ Senior Day, PU has designs on a 9-9 finish in the league.  They currently stand 7-9, and they host Minnesota Saturday.  Michigan is coming off an emotional win over MichiganState, and they are ripe for an upset tonight.

 

Oklahoma St. at Iowa St.: The Cyclones followed up the heart-breaking loss to Kansas with a blowout loss at Oklahoma, looking like their season had already ended.  They get one more chance to impress the Selection Committee tonight with a home finale against the Cowboys.  If they lose this game, ISU is NIT-bound.

 

North Carolina at Maryland:  The Terps didn’t show up in the game at Chapel Hill, trailing by more than 20 points in the first 15 minutes of the game and committing more than 20 turnovers.  This is a must-win game for UM if they want an at-large bid.  Since dropping a close game at Duke, UNC has won five straight ACC games by an average of 13 points per game.  If they win tonight and drop Duke on Saturday, they will finish in a second-place tie with the Blue Devils.  The ‘Heels are peaking at the right time.

 

Tennessee at Auburn: The Volunteers’ loss at Georgia looked terminal for their at-large hopes, but then all the other competitors lost later that day.  Now, UT has a good shot at moving back into the mix, but the Big Orange must win tonight on the LoveliestVillage on the Plains and then close out with a win at home against Missouri.  The Vols would still need two wins in the conference tournament to state a reasonable case to the Committee.

 

Minnesota at Nebraska: The Gophers need to avoid a March collapse.  Minny closes conference play with road games here and at Purdue.  If they lose both, they finish 8-10 in the league and may move out of the tournament field.

 

Stanford at California: The Cardinal have probably already fallen to the NIT field, while the Golden Bears are looking strong as an at-large team.  If UC wins tonight, the issues here are solved, but if Stanford pulls off the upset, the Cardinal move back to the bottom of the bubble, while Cal has to worry a little bit.

February 6, 2012

PiRate Ratings Look At The 2012 Presidential Race

Filed under: News & Views — Tags: , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:13 pm

The PiRate Ratings step outside the sporting world today to take a look at the 2012 Presidential Election race.  We look at this race in a mechanical manner; in other words, we attempt to handicap this race much like a horse race, using back-tested information as a guide.

 

Our conclusion: The Republican Party is in big trouble at the present time!  When the race began to heat up last summer, it looked like the GOP had as much chance of unseating President Obama as the Democrats had of unseating Herbert Hoover in 1932.  They needed to isolate on the one candidate that could unite the party and come off as the next Ronald Reagan.  Find a great communicator with executive experience that hailed from a Southern state, the Industrial Midwest, or California.

 

Only one Governor from the South decided to run, Rick Perry.  He proved to be not up to the task, and he was finished before the first caucus vote was cast.   Jeb Bush never threw his hat in the ring, and Bobby Jindal peaked four years ago.  The only Republican ex-governor of California was not eligible, and his exit from office left him in a bad scandal anyway. 

 

The Midwest had the ideal candidate, one who would have become a heavy favorite to win in 2012.  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels chose not to run, citing the desires of his family. 

 

Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, briefly entered the race, but he dropped out following the Iowa Straw Poll last summer.  Had he known that almost every candidate that did not fare well in that straw poll rose to the top of the polls at one time, maybe he would have remained in the race long enough to win the Iowa Caucus.  We will never know, and besides, we do not include Minnesota as part of the Industrial Midwest.

 

Note: The Industrial Midwest is merely a descriptive name for a group of states that relied on industry for decades as the chief means of employment.  Almost all industries have now deserted the United States for cheaper foreign labor markets. 

 

Here is the major problem for the GOP.  Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are unelectable for different reasons!  Gingrich is considered a lone wolf, even though he is really one of the global elite.  However, he has enough ego to try to make numerous changes, and that is not supported by the inside elite.  They will not allow him to become President.  Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have no chance of winning the nomination, so we will not consider either in this submission.  Of course in National polls, both candidates are in dead heats with the President, while Obama has a comfortable lead over Gingrich and a considerable lead over the fading Romney.

 

Romney is still the apparent front-runner with a very large chance of winning the nomination, so let us concentrate the rest of this submission on why he cannot beat President Obama in the general election.

 

We at the PiRate Ratings are political junkies.  We have political maps for every Presidential election in US history.  These maps paint an excellent picture of the philosophy and psychology of the American public.

 

If somebody would have had this information in 1802, they could have forewarned President Jefferson of the impending divide in the country.  Most elections from Jefferson through Lincoln showed the great divide between the states; they could have seen the split between the region that would become the Confederate States of America and the region that would stay loyal to the Union.  The upper Atlantic states and New England States voted one way, and the South and West voted another.  Most elections then were decided in the Midwest, where half a dozen large states swayed the elections. 

 

After the Civil War, the South remained solid Democrat, believing that the Republican Party was responsible for Reconstruction, carpetbaggers, and scallywags.  The South remained a solid Democrat voting block for many years.  Then, President Johnson brought forth his Great Society in the mid-1960’s, and with it, his Civil Rights Act turned the South around overnight.  Beginning in 1968, the Democrats were finished in the South.  George Wallace won a handful of Southern states campaigning on a segregationist agenda, but Nixon won the rest.

 

Since 1968, it has been relatively easy to determine the outcome of elections.  The Republicans needed to hold onto their Southern base, winning almost every state from among Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas.  We do not include Florida in this list, because this state has a large number of non-Southerners residing within its borders.  A high number of Northern retirees, many from the Upper Atlantic and New England, and a large number of Hispanics, give Florida a unique position, making it a swing state.

 

The Republicans have two options for winning the White House.  The first option is to take California and its 55 electoral votes, better than 20% of the needed 270 electoral votes to win.  By taking California and the South (not including Florida), that gives a GOP candidate 186 electoral votes.  Add 51 more electoral votes from western states that almost always vote GOP (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and this brings the total to 237.

 

From there, only 33 more electoral votes are needed for a GOP victory.  Florida has 29 electoral votes, and if a Republican takes Florida, he only needs a state like Iowa, Colorado, or Indiana to go over the top.

 

The second option for a Republican is to win a majority of the Industrial Midwest.  Look at the riches available in this swing area:  Ohio (18), Indiana (11), Michigan (16), Illinois (20), and Wisconsin (10) add up to 75 electoral votes.  We will add three states to this list that have similarities to this group.  Pennsylvania (20), Missouri (10), and Kentucky (8), bring the total in this area to 113. 

 

So, if the Republican does not carry California and its 55 electoral votes, he can still win by taking half of the Midwest.  Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin add up to 57 electoral votes, two more than California.

 

So, how does this apply to Mitt Romney and the race in 2012?  Plenty!  In the entire history of the Republican Party, only two candidates from New England and the Upper Atlantic have ever become President of the United States.  However, and this is big, both candidates were already President when they ran for President.  Calvin Coolidge, from Vermont, was the Vice President when Warren Harding died in office in 1923; he won in 1924.  Theodore Roosevelt, from New York, was the Vice President when William McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo at the World’s Fair in 1901; he won in 1904.

 

Looking at nominees that were not already President, there have been just two elections involving one GOP candidate from the New England/Upper Atlantic area.  Thomas Dewey hailed from New York.  He lost to Franklin Roosevelt in 1944 and Harry Truman in 1948. 

 

In 1944, FDR carried the entire South, as Southerners would not support an Eastern Elitist Republican, when the opposition was an Eastern Elitist Democrat.  In 1948, Dewey won in California, which had half the electoral votes as it does today.  He won in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana.  Truman carried the entire South as well as Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.

 

Romney will have major trouble in the South.  He is looked on as an Eastern elitist, a Yankee, a carpetbagger, etc.  His numerous gaffes and flip-flops will hurt him in any swing state, but in the South, words tend to mean a lot more to voters.  Let us take a look at six of those liabilities:

 

1. During an Iowa debate, he stated that he could not have a lawn service that hired illegal aliens continue to work for him because he was running for President.  This infers that had he not chosen to run, he would not have had a problem.

 

2. He stated that he didn’t make all that much money on his speaking engagements, only between a quarter and half million dollars per speech.  A majority of Southern Republican voters believe that a quarter million dollars is “all that much.”

 

3. He likes firing people.  In fact, he repeated how quickly he would fire someone just because that someone came to him with a business idea.  He has not stated a love for hiring people.

 

4. He doesn’t worry about the poor, because there are safety nets for them.  This infers that he supports the current Welfare system, which a majority of GOP voters in the South do not support.

 

5. He has flip-flopped on both abortion and gun rights. 

6. He openly vowed to be as liberal as Ted Kennedy when he ran against Kennedy in a Massachusetts Senatorial race, and he ran away from the Republican philosophy of Ronald Reagan.  That is why the Reagan family has endorsed Gingrich.

 

Any single one of these six facts is enough to harm him greatly all over the country, especially in the crucial Southern states.

 

Now, concerning Romney’s other liability in the South–his Mormon religion:  People in the South may be quiet about this issue, but a great deal of Southern White Protestants will not support him, even against President Obama.  As a Southerner who is not a Protestant, I have personally witnessed 21st Century religious bigotry.  I am not a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and I do not wear my religion on a sleeve.  I don’t advertise my beliefs publicly.  Yet, many Southerners do. 

 

I have heard enough GOP voters talk about how they cannot support a candidate that belongs to a Church that believes their savior returned to New York State and spoke to one man in the 19th Century.  For many in the South, there is still the stigma of polygamy, even though this has not been the case for over 120 years.  While religious bigotry has no place in the 21st Century, the 21st Century Southern conservative voter may decide it still does.

 

The mechanical data does not work out for Romney.  The last Massachusetts Republican that had a chance to become President was Henry Cabot Lodge.  He even made it to the GOP ticket as a Vice Presidential running mate for Richard Nixon in 1960.

 

Cabot Lodge’s political ideology was similar to Romney’s.  A disciple of two of the most influential and elitist families in New England, Cabot Lodge was also a hero.  He was the only United States Senator to resign from office to join the military to fight in World War II.  Many political experts believe Cabot Lodge hurt Nixon’s chances in many states in 1960 and even cost Nixon the election.

 

Let’s take a look at the political map of 2012.  If Romney is the nominee, then barring a major catastrophe, like a total collapse of the Stock Market or a major war that our country appears to be losing, Obama will stand a much better than 50% chance of defeating Romney for reelection.  If the country is thrust into a Mideast war through an enemy provocation, then Obama’s chances will increase all the more.

 

Let’s start our mechanical look by concentrating on the South.  Obama beat John McCain by a score of 365-173.  In 2008, Obama won in North Carolina and Virginia for 28 electoral votes.  He also took the swing state of Florida and its 27 votes (Florida has 29 electoral votes in this election).  McCain needed a sweep in the South, and he could not get it.  Had he swept the South, it would have given him 228 votes, still 42 shy of what he needed.

 

Obama won California and its 55 votes.  McCain, from Arizona, did not offer anything to swing the biggest prize his way.  Had he won California and the three Southern States he lost, he would have won the election.

 

Of course, there is a second avenue for a Republican if he cannot sweep the South and take California.  He must win several states in the Midwest.  Obama won big here in 2008, and he will do well enough in 2012 to win reelection if Romney is the opponent.

 

Obama will win his home state of Illinois and its 20 votes.  He will win Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for another 30 votes.  Romney should win Indiana, and he should win Michigan, because the Romney name still means a lot in the Wolverine State.  However, a heavy turnout in Detroit could tilt the state’s 16 votes his way.

 

You would expect Romney to do well in New England, but that is not necessarily the case.  He will lose his home state of Massachusetts, and that speaks volumes.  A little known fact is that when Romney chose not to run for gubernatorial reelection, he did so because he was going to lose by a large amount.  He won in 2002 with a slim plurality of the vote, falling short of 50%.  Had Green Party candidate Jill Stein not run, then Democrat Shannon O’Brien might have won the election.  Romney’s favorable ratings as Governor were never high, and when he chose not to stand for reelection, the favorable percentage was in the 30’s.  He left office as the 48th most popular governor after his legislation led to much higher taxes.  It is estimated that he raised taxes on many corporations by almost 100%!  He also added a heavy number of fees to run businesses, and he lost a great deal of his Republican base by 2006. 

 

Obama will win Massachusetts; he will also win Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.  Romney cannot count on his own area for major support.  He may take New Hampshire, and he could still lose there.

 

Let us break down this race into safe Republican and safe Democrat states.

 

We are going to assume that Romney can keep the Southern states McCain won in 2008, but as you read above, this is not a sure thing.  We will give him Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas for 103 electoral votes.

 

Romney will carry most of Flyover country as all GOP candidates do.  That gives him another 11 states, but only 54 more electoral votes—Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and Alaska.  That brings his total to 157 votes in these 19 states.

 

Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana will go for the Republican candidate in this race, regardless of the name of that candidate.  These three bring Romney’s total to 22 states and 181 electoral votes.  We will call this his sure thing states with the caveat that one or two of these states could go against him for the reasons described above.

 

Obama has fewer sure thing states, but they carry more electoral votes.  Start with the West, where he will sweep the Pacific Coast.  California, Oregon, and Washington plus the always Democrat Hawaii gives him four states and 78 electoral votes.

 

In the Midwest, he will carry his home state of Illinois as well as the liberal state of Minnesota.  That increases his totals to six states and 108 electoral votes.

 

We will not give Obama the two Southern states he won in 2008, even though he stands a good chance of taking both Virginia and North Carolina again.  So, his total stays the same.

 

It is in Romney’s own area where Obama will hit his opponent hard.  Give the President Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine.  That brings his total to 15 states plus DC and 196 electoral votes.

 

The remaining toss-up states are: New Hampshire (4), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), North Carolina (15), Florida (29), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), Missouri (10), New Mexico (5), Colorado (9), and Nevada (6).  That adds up to 161 electoral votes.  Obama would need 74 of these electoral votes, while Romney would need 89. 

 

As of today, if we had to call these swing states, we would give Obama New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado.  This adds 82 electoral votes, bringing his total to 278 and securing the victory.

 

We will give Romney Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Nevada.  This adds 79 electoral votes, bringing his total to 260. 

 

We must admit that we gave Romney the benefit of the doubt in several states, where he is not guaranteed to win.  In fact, with his favorable numbers sinking quickly, we believe that 260 is the absolute maximum number of electoral votes he can win.  In all honesty, he could lose 30-40 of these electoral votes.

 

The GOP needs to hope for a brokered convention where they can appeal to Governor Daniels to become the new great compromise.  Daniels can win 300-350 electoral votes by cutting into Obama’s popularity in the Midwest, and he can sweep the South.

 

 

 

August 25, 2011

2011 Pac-12 Conference Preview

2011 Pacific 12 Conference Preview

 

Larry Scott didn’t start the fire, but he did ignite it.  After Nebraska bolted the Big 12 for the Big Ten, Scott tried to lure Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado to form the first 16-team super-conference.  Sure, the Western Athletic Conference tried a 16-team setup in the 1990’s but the winner did not receive a bid to a major bowl.

 

Although Scott had to settle for Colorado and Utah, he fired the first shot toward what could become four major conferences of 16 teams.  It isn’t far beyond the imagination to see a four-team playoff down the road with a “plus one” format.

 

The strength of the league is in the North Division this year.  The South is faced with the strong possibility of sending its number two team to the first Pac-12 Championship Game, since Southern Cal is still on probation and prohibited from appearing in post-season games.

 

NORTH DIVISION

Stanford

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Stanford has a reputation for producing great quarterbacks over the decades.  Four past passers are in the College Football Hall of Fame—Frankie Albert, John Brodie, Jim Plunkett, and John Elway.  Add Trent Edwards, Steve Stentstrom, Turk Schonert, and others.  Could the current quarterback actually be the best of the bunch?  If you believe A-Rod is better than Gehrig and Ruth or Pujols is better than Musial, then maybe you can say the same about Andrew Luck.

 

Luck is the best college quarterback in 2011, and he is the prohibitive favorite to cart off the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and most importantly, the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  A joke is already going around NFL circles that one or more teams may deliberately “sandbag” this year in an attempt to post the worst record and take the next Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

 

Luck completed almost 71% of his passes last year for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns.  He averaged almost nine yards per attempt, which is almost unstoppable.  As a runner, he added over 500 yards when sacks are factored out.  As long as he stays 100% healthy, he is the player you want to watch every week—the modern day Babe Ruth of college football.

 

Receivers

Luck lost his top two targets from 2010, but we do not believe it will greatly affect his production.  Great QBs can take average receivers and make them look like stars; just ask Indianapolis Colts fans. 

 

Unlike almost every other college team, Stanford actively includes two tight ends for a considerable amount of playing time.  It allows the Cardinal to get extra blocking for the running game, and it makes it very difficult on diminutive safeties trying to stop 250-pound receivers.

 

The Cardinal have three excellent tight ends capable of making a big play.  Coby Fleener caught 28 passes and averaged 15.5 yards per catch with seven touchdowns last year; he became a star in the Orange Bowl with three touchdown receptions.  Levine Toilolo and Zach Ertz will also see significant amounts of playing time.

 

Stanford’s new wideouts will do just fine and will not be a liability.  Griff Whalen and Chris Owusu should average about 14-18 yards per catch and combine for about 90-110 receptions.  There is ample depth here with Jemari Roberts, Jamaal-Rashad Patterson, and Drew Terrell.  Terrell is a sleeper; he could emerge as a star.

 

Running Backs

What makes the offense so unstoppable is the running game.  Defenses cannot forget it is there, because the Cardinal can beat you on the ground.  Stepfan Taylor returns after gaining 1,137 yards with 15 touchdowns.  Taylor is also a big weapon in the passing game, and he grabbed 28 passes.  Defenses forget him on a running fake, but Luck is great at faking to him and then passing to him when the defense covers the downfield receivers.

 

Behind Taylor are three other competent backs that will receive playing time.  Anthony Wilkerson, Tyler Gaffney, and Usua Amanam teamed for 789 yards and seven scores in 2010.  This unit is loaded.

 

Stanford uses a fullback, but he is a blocker 99% of the time.  Last year’s “third guard,” Owen Marecic, was so good, he was a fourth round draft pick.  He also played full-time at linebacker, frequently playing 90-100 scrimmage plays in a game.  The new Marecic will be Ryan Hewitt, but he will only play on this side of the ball.

 

Offensive Line

The line must replace three excellent players from last year, including 1st Team All-American Chase Beeler at center.  Khalil Wilkes and Sam Schwartzstein are battling neck and neck to replace him.

 

David DeCastro is entrenched at one guard spot after earning 1st Team All-Pac-10 honors in 2010.  Kevin Danser will start on the other side.  At tackle, Jonathan Martin earned 1st Team All-Pac-10 accolades last year.  Tyler Mabry and Cameron Fleming are in a heated battle for the other tackle position. 

 

While not as talented overall as last year, this unit will still be an asset.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Stanford gave up just 56 points in their final six games last year, and the defensive line really toughened up down the stretch.  They allowed just 89.7 yards rushing 276.8 total yards per game in that stretch.

 

New head coach David Shaw appointed defensive back coach Derek Mason and former San Francisco 49er defensive coach Jason Tarver as co-defensive coordinators.  With the change comes a switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 defense.

 

Terrence Stephens will start at the nose.  At 290 pounds, he is a little on the light side for a two-gap defender.  Ben Gardner and Matthew Masifilo start at the end positions.  This unit is the weakest link on the team, and it will be here where Stanford either wins or loses the Pac-12 title.

 

Linebackers

Two starters return from last year, and of course, there will be an extra linebacker in the alignment this year.  Shayne Skov will start at one inside position, while Chase Thomas will start at an outside position.  They led the Cardinal with 84 and 70 tackles respectively.  Both players co-led the team with 7 ½ sacks, and they combined for 22 tackles behind the line.  They also showed prowess for stopping passes, combining for nine passes defended.

 

Trent Murphy and Max Bergen will be the new starters on this unit.  Bergen made 21 tackles in limited playing time last year.  Blake Lueders could crack the starting lineup this year.  Keep an eye on Alex Debniak.

 

Secondary

Three starters return to this unit, and it should be in good shape.  Safety Delano Howell is the stud of this unit.  He led the Cardinal with five interceptions and 10 passes defended.  Michael Thomas returns to the other safety spot after finishing third on the team with 61 tackles.

 

At cornerback, Johnson Bademosi started nine times last year, while Barry Browning takes over for Richard Sherman, another NFL draft choice.

 

OTHER

Stanford lost a lot of talent via graduation, but the biggest loss will be coach Jim Harbaugh, who graduated to the 49ers.  Shaw has never been a head coach, but we believe he has enough talent to learn on the job without losing a game due to inexperience.

 

The Cardinal were one of four teams to average better than 40 points per game and give up less than 20 points per game (Oregon, Boise St., and TCU were the others).  In the 21st Century, any team that can pull off this feat is capable of contending for a national title.  We believe Stanford’s offense could be just strong enough to control the ball and the clock and allow the defense to mature without giving up 25 points per game.  We would not be surprised if Stanford repeats their averages of last year.

 

SUMMARY

Stanford has a dream schedule for a Pac-12 team.  They open the season with area rival San Jose State and then go on the road to Duke.  They should be 2-0 before opening conference play on the road at a rebuilding Arizona.  They then get a week off before hosting UCLA and Colorado.  A road game with Washington State follows, before Washington, without Jake Locker, comes to Palo Alto.  Stanford should be 7-0 when they head to the Coliseum to face Southern Cal in the first of a tough closing schedule.  By then, the defense should be up to snuff.  Following USC, Stanford has a trap game with Oregon State in Corvallis.  Then, on November 12 is the big rematch with Oregon, and this time it is at Stanford Stadium.  Arch-rival Cal comes in the following week, and then the Cardinal close out at home with Notre Dame, in what could be a battle of 11-0 teams.

 

Stanford has not run the table with a bowl win since 1940 when they became the first college team to use the modern T-Formation.  Could it happen again?  We believe it could, but chances are the defense will stumble at least one time.  The Pac-12 does not get its due in the eastern half of the country, but there is a lot of talent spread throughout the teams, and upsets are more prevalent here than in any of the Big Six conferences.

 

Oregon

Oregon is another of the teams that faced off-the-field issues during the summer.  The football program made several thousand dollars in payments to a recruiting service in Texas for what appeared to look like a third grade art project given in return, as well as the delivery of multiple key recruits out of the Lone Star State.  Running back Lache Seastrunk left UO over the controversy.  The NCAA is investigating.

 

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Darron Thomas made fans forget Jeremiah Masoli.  Thomas made the Ducks fly last year.  He passed for 2,881 yards and 30 touchdowns and rushed for more than 550 yards (sacks not included).  He can only hope for a repeat as a 2nd Team All-Pac-12 choice, but he is the best quarterback in the league after the new “franchise” down the road.

 

Receivers

Like Mr. Luck, Thomas loses his top two targets from a year ago.  Jeff Maehl and D. J. Davis teamed for 119 receptions and 15 touchdowns, but their replacements will be quicker and more elusive this season.

 

One of those speedy guys is not quite 100% as of this writing.  Josh Huff has the talent and potential to play on Sundays.  He is recuperating from an ankle injury.  Rahsaan Vaughn will fill in for him until he is ready.  Justin Hoffman will see significant time and will use his size and speed to make big plays.  Lavasier Tuinei is more of a possession receiver, and he is the leading returning pass-catcher with 36 receptions. 

 

Tight end David Paulson returns after catching 24 passes and showing some ability to run to daylight.  He earned 1st Team All-Pac-12 honors last year.

 

Running Backs

Oregon’s Heisman Trophy candidate is LaMichael James.  James led the league with 1,731 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.  If Oregon ran the ball 70% of the time (instead of 61%), James might be a serious candidate to top 2,000 yards on the ground.  James also caught 17 passes, with three going for touchdowns.

 

Slot back Kenjon Barner should change his name to “Burner.”  The track sprinter is a hybrid running back/receiver.  He rushed for 551 yards and six touchdowns (6.1 yds/rush) and caught 13 passes with two more scores.

 

This dynamic duo plus the running ability of Thomas gives the Ducks the best running game in the league and one of the best in the nation—the best of the non-triple option teams.

 

Offensive Line

It will be hard to replace the three graduated stars from this unit, but the Ducks could still have the best blocking corps in the Pac-12.  Carson York is a returning 1st Team All-Pac-12 at guard.  Ryan Clanton will be the new starter at the other guard spot.  Mark Asper and Darrion Weems will start at tackle, while the center position is still a two-man race between Hroniss Grasu and Karrington Armstrong.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Here is the first question mark in 2011.  Three starters must be replaced.  End Terrell Turner returns after recording just 32 tackles and 2 ½ sacks.  At the other end spot, Dion Jordan saw limited action in 2010, making 33 tackles and two sacks.  The two new tackles will be Ricky Heimuli and Wade Keliikipi, who combined for 27 tackles.  The defensive line was exposed by Auburn in the Championship Game, but the Ducks gave up only 117.5 rushing yards per game in the regular season.  Expect that number to jump by about 20 to 25 yards this year.

 

Linebackers

This is the second and even bigger question mark.  The Ducks will be without their top two linebackers from last year.  Casey Matthews led in tackles and played both the run and pass better than most.  Spencer Paysinger was almost as talented.

 

Josh Kaddu is the lone holdover.  He was the weakest of the three starters last year and is not a candidate to become an all-conference player.  Dewitt Stuckey and Michael Clay will be the two new starters.  Clay saw as much time as Kaddu and made 42 tackles.

 

Secondary

This was to be the best defensive backfield in the league, but it is not now.  The front seven may not provide a decent pass rush, diminishing the secondary’s effectiveness.  The bigger factor in the decline is the suspension of one of its key components; cornerback Cliff Harris is out indefinitely after running afoul of the law, and Oregon’s defense begins to show a couple of holes and enough vulnerability to be exploited by quality teams (like LSU, USC, and Stanford) with these factors.  Harris was the premier cover corner in the nation last year.  He intercepted six passes and had an unbelievable 23 passed defended.  He is not replaceable.  He also led the nation with four punts returned for a touchdown, so his loss is worth about as much as Stanford losing Luck.

 

Anthony Gildon will start at one corner after seeing limited action last year.  Eddie Pleasant and John Boyett make a decent pair of safeties, but without Harris, this secondary will be lit up against quality passers.

 

OTHER

It is hard to predict what the investigatory cloud hanging over the program might do for team morale.  Oregon figured to be a top contender for the National Championship Game following their narrow loss to Auburn last year.  However, the cloud hanging over is definitely a black one.  It could eventually cost Coach Chip Kelly his job.  Other players could be implicated as the season progresses.

 

SUMMARY

The schedule is a bit more difficult this season, and we cannot see the Ducks running the table in the regular season.  An opener with LSU at Jerry Jones’ Cowboys’ Stadium in Arlington could be interesting if only for the fact that both teams have off-the-field issues.  The Ducks could get lucky if more than one key opponent is unable to play.  Oregon has to play at Stanford, and they host Southern Cal.  We believe at least one of those teams will get them this year.

 

Oregon State

OFFENSE

Quarterback

In a league with multiple NFL quarterback prospects, Ryan Katz gets overlooked.  Katz might be a contender for all-conference designation in other leagues, but in the Pac-12, he does not even challenge for third team.

 

Katz completed 60% of his passes for 2,401 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.  He should improve upon those numbers in his second season as a starter. 

 

Backup Cody Vaz has potential, but he is nursing a bad back and will miss the start of the season.

 

Receivers

Katz’s top three receivers (Markus Wheaton, Jordan Bishop, and tight end Joe Halahuni) are back for more after teaming for 107 catches and 12 touchdowns.  However, the sensation of the August practices has been a true freshman.  Brandin Cooks was challenging for a starting bid until he injured his ankle.  When he is fully recovered, look for him to contribute immediately.

 

James Rodgers caught only 16 passes last year in limited action, as he missed most of the season with knee injuries.  He has undergone two surgeries earlier this year, so he may not be ready to play.  He was a star in 2009 when he was last healthy.  Redshirt freshman Obum Gwachman could start in Rodgers place.  This unit will allow Katz to surpass his stats of last year.

 

Halahuni had shoulder surgery earlier this season, and he will miss all of September.  Backup tight ends Tyler Perry and Connor Hamlett face one game suspensions that will be staggered.  Tight end will be a concern in the early part of the season.

 

Running Backs

“The Quizz” is gone.  Jacquizz Rodgers left early and was a fifth round NFL Draft choice.  There will be a drop in talent and production here this year, as Coach Mike Riley uses the committee approach to replace him.

 

True freshman Malcolm Agnew may be the surprise opening day starter for OSU.  Terron Ward and Ryan McCants are contending with Agnew, but all three should see ample playing time. 

 

Offensive Line

Four of the five positions are set in stone.  The four holdovers from last year are center Grant Johnson, guard Burke Ellis, and tackles Michael Philipp and Mike Remmers.  Philipp and Remmers have the potential to become all-conference blockers.  Joshua Andrews was set to start at the vacant guard slot, but he suffered a concussion in practice and could be out for the opener.  Grant Enger had been moved to tight end but was moved back to guard and may start. 

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Injuries and academics are causing Riley some headaches this pre-season.  Both of his projected starting tackles will not be available for the opening of the season.  Dominic Glover, who recorded 43 tackles with 7 ½ for loss, is not academically eligible, and Riley is not sure when he will be available.  Kevin Frahm injured his meniscus and could be out four weeks. 

 

Redshirt freshman Scott Crichton will start at one end, while Taylor Henry should start at the other spot.  Henry started four games last year.  Rusty Fernando will become the designated pass rusher and come in on passing downs.

 

Manu Tuivailala should start at one of the tackle positions, with the other one still up for grabs as of this writing.  The Beavers will struggle here for the first month of the season.

 

Linebackers

The trio in this unit better overachieve, or else OSU’s defense will give up an increase in points per game for the fifth year in a row.

 

Rueben Robinson returns to the middle linebacker spot after registering 35 tackles in seven starts.  Cameron Collins started twice and saw considerable action in the other games.  He made 39 tackles.  Michael Doctor played in every game as a reserve and registered 11 tackles.  This group is not a top trio, but it is the best unit on this side of the ball.

 

Secondary

Once again, here is a unit that has been hit with injuries.  Top cornerback Brandon Hardin suffered a shoulder injury that required surgical repair.  He is out until October.  Two reserves are out for the season.

 

Safety Lance Mitchell finished third with 74 tackles last year.  He intercepted two passes and knocked away three others.  Anthony Watkins will start at the other safety position.  He got in on 27 tackles as a key reserve last year.  Ryan Murphy should see plenty of playing time.

 

Jordan Poyer figures to start at one cornerback position.  As a reserve in 2010, he had six passes defended.  Rashaad Reynolds will replace Hardin at the other corner.  He made 14 tackles and had no passes defended last year.

 

OTHER

The Beavers have seen their points allowed increase from 22.2 to 22.6 to 23.1 to 25.0 to 26.8 in the last five seasons.  The possibility of extending that negative streak to six is very high.  OSU could give up more than 28 points per game this season with all their injury troubles and a tough schedule against high-scoring opponents.

 

SUMMARY

The Beavers took a step backward last season, finishing with seven losses for the first time in over a decade.  This program has been on a small decline since 2006. 

 

Oregon State was once one of the weakest programs in major college football.  They went close to three decades without a winning season.  There was a quick transition from winning seasons in the 1960’s to losing seasons for the next 30 years.  Could the Beavers be on the cusp of repeating history?  We don’t know the answer, but we are a little pessimistic about 2011.

 

Katz is going to have to improve to a level similar to Thomas at Oregon if the Beavers are to score enough points to win most games.

 

The schedule gives them one cupcake—the opener with Sacramento State.  Conference games at home against UCLA, Arizona, and Washington are winnable, and road games with Cal and Washington State are winnable.  The Beavers must win all five of these games to become bowl eligible, and we cannot see this happening.

 

Washington

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Jake Locker had his critics.  He threw too many off-target passes; he held onto the ball too long and took a lot of sacks; he ran the ball when he could have passed it, etc.

 

A quarterback at Southern Mississippi in the late 1980’s had many of the same criticisms bestowed on him.  His name was Favre.  Locker is Favre redux, and the Huskies will quickly realize how much he is missed.  Locker completed just 55.4% of his passes, for 2,265 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final year at UW.  He added over 500 rushing yards (sacks removed) and six touchdowns. 

 

Keith Price takes over after completing 19 of 37 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman.  He has talent and potential, but he will not duplicate Locker’s performance.

 

Receivers

Coach Steve Sarkisian welcomes back two stars on this side of the ball.  One of them is wideout Jermaine Kearse.  Kearse hauled in 63 passes for 1,005 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2010. 

 

Devin Aguilar and Kevin Smith will supplement Kearse.  Aguilar caught 28 balls and averaged 12.6 yards per catch. 

 

The Huskies have two young, but inexperienced, quality tight ends; Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the top incoming recruit and should play right away, while redshirt freshman Michael Hartvigson will see significant playing time.

 

Running Backs

The other star on this offense is Chris Polk.  As a sophomore, he rushed for 1,415 yards and nine touchdowns, and he nabbed 22 passes for 180 yards.  Polk recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss the start of the season.  Jesse Callier will replace him.  Callier rushed for 400+ yards and actually averaged a little more per rush than Polk.  Fullback Jonathan Amosa will open holes for Polk and Callier.

 

Offensive Line

Three starters return to the blocking corps.  Center Drew Schaffer, guard Coline Porter, and Tackle Senio Kelemente combined for 36 starts with Kelemente earning some all-conference consideration.

 

Erik Kohler should start at the vacant tackle position, while redshirt freshman Colin Tanigawa will take the vacant guard position.  Overall, this is a fair unit. 

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The Huskies gave up more rushing yards last year than the year before, but four tough opponents accounted for most of that deterioration. 

 

The Huskies have depth here.  All four starters return from last year, but one or two may be supplanted by others.  Alameda Ta’Amu is the big man in the trenches.  The 6-3, 330-pound tackle plugs multiple gaps.  True freshman Danny Shelton could start opposite him.  Hau’oli Jamora and Everette Thompson should start at end, with Josh Shirley serving as a designated pass rusher.  Providing depth in the line are Sione Potoa’e and Talia Crichton.  This unit will perform better in 2011.

 

Linebackers

Here is Sarkisian’s headache, and the reason the defense may not improve overall.  Middle linebacker Cort Dennison is a good defender, having made 93 tackles with 8 ½ behind the line and defending five passes.  John Timu and Princeton Fuimaono are untested.  Garret Gilliland is available here as well.  This is the weakest trio in the Pac-12, and replacing Mason Foster and his league-leading 161 tackles will be impossible.

 

Secondary

When healthy, this is a tough unit.  However, as of this writing, one of its key components is recuperating from an ankle injury that may prevent him from starting the season opener.  Cornerback Quinton Richardson intercepted two passes among his 10 passed defended, and he will likely be replaced by Greg Ducre for the Eastern Washington game.

 

Safety Nathan Fellner led the Huskies with five interceptions and 13 passes defended.  Cornerback Desmond Trufant posted 48 tackles and defended five passes.  His counterpart will be sophomore Sean Parker, who picked off one pass in limited duty.

 

OTHER

2011 presents UW with a tough schedule.  The non-conference slate includes games with Hawaii and Nebraska (in Lincoln).  In conference play, the Huskies must play at Utah, Stanford, USC, and Oregon State.  The Apple Cup game with WSU has been moved to Qwest Field and will not be as much of a home field advantage.

 

 

SUMMARY

We have a lot of confidence in Sarkisian and his two coordinators, Doug Nussmeier on offense and Nick Holt on defense.  They have just enough talent to compete against everybody but Stanford and Oregon.  UW could win six or seven games again even without Locker at quarterback.

 

California

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Coach Jeff Tedford has developed some outstanding quarterbacks here, including current Super Bowl Champion QB Aaron Rodgers, Kyle Boller.  As OC at Oregon, he had Joey Harrington, A. J. Feely, and Akili Smith.  At Fresno State before that, he tutored Trent Dilfer, David Carr, and Billy Volek.  In other words, Tedford knows a thing or two about quarterback development.

 

This year, he welcomes Zach Maynard from the University of Buffalo.  Maynard has beaten out last year’s starter Brock Mansion and sophomore Allan Bridgford.  Look for Maynard to easily surpass last year’s off-season for Cal in yardage and touchdowns (2,101 yards and 15 touchdowns).  Look for a return of 200+ yards through the air and 20 touchdowns or more.

 

Receivers

The Bears’ top two receivers return in Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen, who teamed for 96 receptions and 1,255 yards.  Michael Calvin started three times and caught 13 passes.  Anthony Miller returns at tight end after hauling in 13 passes.  Look for steady improvement here with Maynard throwing the pigskin.

 

Running Backs

Tedford is also known for developing 1,000-yard rushing backs.  Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and the just departed Shane Vereen are prime examples.  Vereen does not have a likely 1,000-yard back replacing him this year.

 

This could be a year in which Cal uses a running back by committee.  Isi Sofele, Covauhgn DeBoskie-Johnson, and C. J. Anderson could split the carries, but the freshman Anderson has the skills to eventually become the feature back.  Cal averaged just 159 yards on the ground, which is a multi-year low in the Tedford era.  Look for better overall results, with the new trio combining for about 175 yards per game.

 

Offensive Line

This will be an improved unit in 2011.  Three starters return, including 1st Team All-Pac-12 tackle Mitchell Schwartz.  Guards Brian Schwenke and Matt Summers-Gavin are the other two veterans of the line.  Dominic Galas will start at center.  He started once in 2009.  Matt Williams is a famous sports name in the Bay area; Cal’s version will start at the vacant tackle position.  This group could give up less than 20 sacks and block well enough for the backs to average better than 4.5 yards per rush.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

There is rebuilding to do all throughout the defense this year, and the Bears will take a step backward on this side of the ball.  The line returns just one starter from the 3-man unit and loses a 1st team all-conference player in Cameron Jordan.

 

DeAndre Coleman returns at end after registering 18 tackles as a platoon player.  He did not make a sack or hurry a quarterback.  Trevor Guyton started four games and played in seven more, getting in on 29 tackles with 8 ½ for loss.  At the nose position is a human eclipse.  Viliami Moala is 6-3 and 350 pounds.  The true freshman is one of Cal’s most prized recruits, and he has won the starting job from day one.

 

Linebackers

Two starters return to this four-man unit, one of whom is a legitimate star.  The Bears lose another star with the departure of leading tackler Mike Mohamed to the NFL Draft.

 

Mychal Kendricks led the Bears with 8 ½ sacks and 15 total tackles for loss.  His fellow inside linebacker mate, D. J. Holt, returns after making 85 tackles.  On the outside, redshirt freshman David Wilkerson will man one spot, while the other one is up for grabs between Chris McCain, Ryan Davis, and Cecil Whiteside, none of whom have played here.

 

Secondary

Two starters return to the back line of defense.  Safety Sean Cattouse is the closest thing to a star on this unit.  He intercepted a pass and broke up seven others last year.  D. J. Campbell will start opposite him after making 21 tackles in reserve last year.

 

Marc Anthony returns at one cornerback slot.  He was credited with eight passes defended with two interceptions.  The new corner will be Steve Williams, who intercepted a pass and knocked away four others in reserve.  Overall, this is a reliable but not spectacular secondary.

 

OTHER

The kicking game is in good shape with the return of two quality players.  Bryan Anger narrowly missed leading the league in punting, while Giorgio Tavecchio has a strong leg and was 4-6 on field goal attempts from beyonf 40 yards.

 

Cal will have to play its home games away from campus this season, as Memorial Stadium undergoes some surgery.  The Bears will host Fresno State at Candlestick Park and play the rest of their home games at AT&T (Giants baseball) Park.  If the Giants are in the NLCS, Cal will have to move its game with USC.

 

SUMMARY

It all depends on the rebuilt defense.  Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast knows his stuff, and we believe he will mold the new players into a cohesive unit.  They will not stop everybody on the schedule, but just remember what Cal did to Oregon’s offense last year—15 points and 317 yards (Oregon gained almost 450 yards against Auburn).

 

The offense will be much improved and will easily top last season’s averages.  We would not be shocked if the Bears top 28 points per game and 400 total yards per game.

 

The schedule has just one cupcake—a week three game with Presbyterian.  Cal opens with Fresno State at Candlestick Park, and that is a trap game for sure.  Through a quirk in the schedule, the Bears will play 10 conference games this year.  The Colorado game will not count in the league standings, as this game was already on the schedule before the Buffs joined the Pac-12. 

 

Here is the catch.  Cal was 1-4 on the road last year, and in effect, all 12 games this year will be on the road.  If the two municipal parks provide them with the same homefield advantage as Memorial Stadium, then the Bears will go bowling in El Paso, Las Vegas, or a similar venue.  If not, then Tedford could be sitting on a hot seat.

 

Washington State

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Jeff Tuel is not another Jason Gesser or Alex Brink, but he is going to have a year not too different than the two former stars.  Tuel completed almost 60% of his passes for 2,780 yards and 18 touchdowns last year, and he has the potential to top 3,000 yards in 2011.

 

Marshall Lobbestael has starting experience, and if Tuel is injured, all will not be lost.  He does not have the accuracy of Tuel, but he will not be a deer in the headlights if he must go in.

 

Receivers

The Cougars return three starters here, one of whom was a Freshman All-American last year.  Marquess Wilson could be a 1st Team All-Pac-12 member this year after taking in 55 passes for 1,006 yards and six touchdowns.  He is a threat to take even a one yard pass and turn it into a long touchdown bolt.

 

Jared Karstetter hauled in a team-leading 62 passes and scored seven times.  He is strictly a possession receiver and uses his height to his advantage over smaller cornerbacks.  Isiah Barton and Gino Simone teamed up for 32 receptions and will supplement the two primary options.  Look for true freshman Henry Eaddy to challenge for a starting spot early in the season.

 

A new tight end/h-back must be found.  Coach Paul Wulff will choose between Jared Byers, Andrei Lintz, and Aaron Dunn.  This unit is in good shape overall.

 

Running Backs

WSU has not been able to generate a running game in six years.  The last three seasons have seen the Cougars rush for an average of less than 86 yards!  Of course, giving up 51 sacks in a season is enough to skew those rushing stats.  Removing the sacks, WSU rushed for about 115 yards per game with an average of 3.8 yards per rush.

 

Wulff will rely on a three-man platoon this year and hope to take enough heat off Tuel to prevent defenses from lining up and coming with five and six pass rushers.  Rickey Galvin, Logwone Mintz, and Carl Winston will split the load.  Look for the Cougars to top 100 yards rushing, but only by a little bit.

 

Offensive Line

This won’t be a major asset, but the blocking corps is going to be quite a bit improved in 2011.  Three starters return to this unit, but the new starters have enough experience to be considered quasi-starters.

 

Guard B. J. Guerra is the leader of this unit. He could challenge for 1st team all-conference honors this year.  Fellow guard John Fullington takes over on the other side after starting six times as a freshman.

 

Wade Jacobson and David Gonzales will man the tackle positions.  Jacobson started every game last year, while Gonzales has started seven games in the past.  He missed last season with an injury.

 

Andrew Roxas will be the new starting center.  He has nine career starts under his belt. 

 

This unit is not the equal of Oregon’s or Stanford’s, but they are no longer the weakest in the league here.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The Cougars are still in need of a lot of improvement on this side of the line.  They gave up 220 yards per game on the ground (average of 5.6/rush) and made just 23 sacks. 

 

Two starters return to the trenches this year.  End Travis Long led the team with five sacks and 10 ½ tackles for loss.  Tackle Brandon Rankin made just 19 stops, but five were for losses.  The new starters figure to be Anthony Laurenzi at tackle and Adam Coerper at end.  Coerper is a fast developer; he moved from number four to number one in just a couple weeks.

 

Linebackers

This unit is a little stronger than the one in front.  Two starters return here.  Alex Hoffman-Ellis finished second on the squad with 81 tackles, while middle linebacker C. J. Mizell added 57 stops with six for loss.  Sekope Kaufusi is the new starter at the Sam position.  He made 22 tackles in a limited role last year.

 

Secondary

If there is a strong unit on this side of the ball, this is it.  However, it is hard to call this quartet a major asset. 

 

It is never great when your leading tackler is your strong safety.  Deone Bucannon led WSU with 84 tackles.  He intercepted a couple passes and knocked away five more.  Tyree Toomer is the other starting safety.  He is adequate against the pass but better supporting the run.

 

Cornerbacks Daniel Simmons and Nolan Washington combined for 62 tackles but only seven passes defended.  Washington is nursing a sore hamstring, so he will be slow to start the season.

 

OTHER

Washington State’s last winning season was 2003, which was the third consecutive 10-win season.  The Cougars have fallen on rough times since.  Defense has been the major problem, as WSU has given 35 or more points per game the last three years.  We believe that streak will come to an end this season, but not by much.

 

SUMMARY

The schedule should allow Wulff’s Cougars to start 2-0 after they open with Idaho State and UNLV.  Game three will be the bell-weather game.  When the Cougars go to San Diego State, they might even be favored.  If they win the game to move to 3-0, then there is a chance, albeit small, that they could find a way to win three in the conference and make it to a bowl.  We tend to believe they will fall short this year, but they could easily double their win total from last year.

 

SOUTH DIVISION

Southern California

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Matt Barkley is the best second best quarterback in a league since Colt McCoy at Texas in 2008 and 2009.  He might be the top quarterback in every other conference in America.  Last year even though he missed a game and parts of another, he completed 62.6% of his passes for 2,791 yards and 26 touchdowns. 

 

The Trojans are stocked here with three other quality passers.  Jesse Scroggins is out indefinitely with an injured hand, but true freshmen Max Wittek and Cody Kessler have star potential.  The Trojans will rely more on the pass this year, and we expect them to average more than 250 yards per game through the air.

 

Receivers

As a freshman, Robert Woods may have been one of the three best receivers in the league.  He finished with 65 receptions and six touchdowns last year and could top 80 receptions this season.

 

Behind him, the Trojans are inexperienced.  Marqise Lee could start as a true freshman.  Kyle Prater is a redshirt freshman, but at 6-05, he will be a tough matchup problem.  Brice Butler has played sparingly in two seasons.

 

Tight end/H-back Rhett Ellison hauled in 21 passes and scored three times in 2010.  Look for him to get more balls thrown his way this year.

 

Running Backs

Who would have thought that an internet gossip site could affect a college football team?  Starting tailback Marc Tyler ran his mouth off to TMZ.com, and it cost him his spot in the lineup.  Coach Lane Kiffin suspended him indefinitely over his remarks.  Funny, Kiffin’s name has been dragged through the mud from coast to coast in numerous internet sites, yet he still has a job.

 

Tyler led the Trojans’ ground game with 913 yards and nine touchdowns.  Curtis McNeal figured to be his replacement, but he injured his knee and is doubtful for the season opener.  Dillon Baxter and C. J. Morgan will share the reps at running back until one of the other two is able to play again. 

 

Offensive Line

The Trojans are deep here.  Their two-deep is almost as good as Oregon’s, even though just two starters return.  Center Khaled Holmes is one of the best in the league.  Ditto for tackle Matt Kalil.  John Martinez and Abe Markowitz will start at the vacant guard positions, while Kevin Graf will man the vacant tackle spot.  Look for this group to provide excellent pass coverage for Barkley and surrender less than 20 sacks for the seventh year in a row.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Any defense with Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron coaching is going to be tough up front.  The Trojans have the top defensive line in the league and one of the best in the country.

 

Three starters return, but nose tackle Armond Armstead will have to share his spot with newcomer George Uko, and DaJohn Harris may be relegated to the second team in favor of Christian Tupou.

 

Nick Perry starts at one end, while Wes Horton inherits the other end spot.  Devon Kennard and Kevin Greene will spell the two starters and allow the Trojans to have fresh anchors on the edge.

 

Linebackers

If there is an Achilles’ heel in the defense, it is in the linebacker unit.  It would be hard to find the heel here, because the Trojans’ linebackers are going to make a lot of plays this year.

 

Devon Kennard returns to the middle after making 72 tackles with seven for losses.  Chris Galippo was a part-time starter and made 29 tackles.  Marquis Simmons will split time with Hayes Pullard at the other outside spot.

 

Secondary

This unit is almost as strong as the front line.  The loss of Shareece Wright and his 10 passes defended will be hard to overcome, but new starting cornerback Tony Burnett saw a lot of action last year and made 26 tackles.  He will join Nickell Robey, who led the team with four picks.

 

The two starting safeties are back for more.  Jawanza Starling and T. J. McDonald combined for 126 tackles and nine passes defended.

 

Nickel back Torrin Harris is good enough to be a regular for most teams.

 

OTHER

Kiffin was cleared in the recent investigation of the Tennessee football program.  The Trojans will be off probation after this season, and they will not be eligible for the Pac-12 Championship Game this year.

 

SUMMARY

USC should be 6-0 when they travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame on October 22, although they must face Arizona State in Tempe on September 24.  They follow that game with Stanford at the Coliseum. A trip to Eugene to face the Quack Attack in November is followed by a visit from cross-town rival UCLA. 

 

Southern Cal should win at least eight games this year, and we would not be surprised if they go 10-2.

 

Arizona State

OFFENSE

Quarterback

When healthy, Brock Osweiler is an effective quarterback.  At 6-08, he has no trouble seeing over the line, but he is mobile enough to be an effective runner.  In limited action last year, he completed 57% of his passes for 797 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.

 

The Sun Devils will be in a heap of trouble if Osweiler is absent for any length of time.  Redshirt freshman Taylor Kelly is the next best option, but he is not ready for Pac-12 football.

 

Receivers

Coach Dennis Erickson has loads of depth here but no true stars.  His projected three starters, Aaron Pflugrad, Mike Willie, and Gerell Robinson, all topped 25 receptions and combined for 94 total with 13 touchdowns.  T. J. Simpson caught 29 passes for 481 yards, but he is still recovering from ACL surgery in the spring.  Juco Transfer George Bell could see action early.

 

Tevor Kohl and Christopher Coyle could form a double tight end set, but ASU does not throw to their tight ends and uses them basically for blocking.

 

Running Backs

The Sun Devils have some depth here.  Cameron Marshall returns after leading the team with 787 yards and nine touchdowns.  James Morrison saw limited action in 2010, but he will move to number two on the depth chart.  Deantre Lewis will not be ready for the start of the season after suffering a gunshot wound that damaged his hamstring.  He finished second with 539 rushing yards.

 

Look for Marshall to threaten the 1,000 yard mark if Lewis does not see the field this year.

 

Offensive Line

Arizona State welcomes back all five starters from 2010, and this is why the Sun Devils have an excellent shot of advancing to the first Pac-12 Championship Game.

 

Center Garth Gerhart is a Remington Trophy contender.  Tackle Evan Finkenberg could contend for all-conference honors.  Guards Andrew Sampson and Mike Marcisz and tackle Aderious Simmons round out the unit.  Look for the total number of sacks allowed to drop by 5-10 from a rather high 31 in 2010.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Erickson’s front four performed admirably last year, giving up just 120 rushing yards, but they did not provide enough of a pass rush.  Both ends, Junior Onyeali and Jamaar Jarrett, return after teaming for 22 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.  Bo Moos and William Sutton will be the new tackles.  They are one-gap aggressors and not big beefeaters.  Corey Adams is making a charge to replace Moos.

 

Linebackers

This could have been one of the top units in the nation, but the loss of key starter Brandon Magee with a torn Achilles’ tendon has dropped it several rungs on the national ladder.  Vontaze Burfict led the team with 90 tackles last year, but he did not record a sack and only knocked away three passes.  Colin Parker made 57 tackles, while Oliver Aaron made 47 with 7 ½ for losses.  Aaron replaces Magee.  Shelly Lyons could crack the starting lineup in place of Parker.

 

Secondary

Here is the problem with the defense.  ASU gave up 245 passing yards per game and allowed a completion percentage of 63.2%.  Two full-time and one part-time starter must be replaced.  Cornerback Deveron Carr started part-time and made just eight tackles.  At the opposite corner, Osahon Irabor made 40 tackles with three passes defended.  Safety Eddie Elder registered 64 tackles with 5 ½ stops for loss and five passes defended.  Clint Floyd will start at the other safety spot after recording 30 tackles.

 

OTHER

The Sun Devils had a -6 turnover margin last year, and a lot of that had to do with a defense that could not create turnovers.  Expect some improvement on that side of the ball but not much.

 

SUMMARY

This is Arizona State’s year to shine, but injuries could hamper the process.  With Southern Cal ineligible for the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Sun Devils are the best of the rest in this weaker division. 

 

ASU may not have a gaudy record, because their out of conference slate includes games against Missouri and Illinois.  They could easily start 1-3, because their first conference game is against the Trojans.  Even if that happens, the Sun Devils can still rebound and go 6-3 in the league.  That should be good enough for second in this division, and at 7-5, they would be playing Oregon or Stanford for the Pac-12’s automatic BCS bowl berth.

 

Arizona

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Nick Foles returns after passing for 3,191 yards and 20 touchdowns.  He completed 67+% of his passes.  The situation is muddled after Foles.  Expected backup Bryson Beirne sprained his ACL and is out for several weeks.  Last year’s backup Matt Scott plans to redshirt this year, and that leaves true freshman Daxx Garman as the only other choice should Foles go down.

 

Receivers

Coach Mike Stoops has quality talent here with the return of his top four receivers.  Juron Criner, David Douglas, David Roberts, and Terrence Miller teamed for 207 receptions and 18 touchdowns.  Criner was the breakaway threat, while the other three were excellent possession receivers.

 

Dan Buckner joins the group after transferring from Texas.  He had starting experience with the Longhorns.

 

Running Backs

One of UA’s two platoon backs return this season.  Keola Antolin rushed for a team-leading 668 yards; he scored seven times.  Antolin also caught 28 passes with two more touchdowns.  The talent behind him is average.

 

Offensive Line

Oh no!  That’s the best way to describe this unit, as all five starters are missing.  Center Kyle Quinn is the only player to ever start a game, and he started a grand total of one.  Guards Trace Biskin and Chris Putton are as green as any starter in college football.  Tackles Fabbians Ebbele and Mickey Baucus are redshirt freshmen.  ‘Zona is going to regress by a considerable amount, and Foles is in danger of having to run for his life.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The front line is almost in the same boat as the offensive line.  The Wildcats lose two NFL Draft choices.  Tackle Justin Washington is the lone returnee.  He made 46 stops with 11 ½ for loss and will contend for 1st Team All-Pac-12 honors this year. 

 

Sione Tuihalamaka starts at the other tackle position.  He made 23 stops with three going for losses.  The ends will be Mohammed Usman and C. J. Parrish.

 

Linebackers

Paul Vassallo returns to his Will linebacker position after leading the team with 102 tackles and eight for loss.  Derek Earls returns at the middle spot after making 44 tackles.  David Lopez will be the new starter at the Sam position.  This is an average unit.

 

Secondary

If Arizona has a strength on this side of the ball, it is in the secondary.  Free safety Robert Golden finished tied for third in the league with 13 passes defended, but he only intercepted one pass.  He’ll team with Marquis Flowers, who made 11 tackles as a freshman.

 

At Cornerback, Trevin Wade needs to improve on his four passes defended, while Shaquille Richardson becomes a full-timer after coming up with nine passes defended.  Without a strong pass rush, this unit will struggle a little.  

 

OTHER

Arizona has to visit Oklahoma State just prior to playing Stanford, Oregon, and USC in consecutive weeks.  This four-game losing streak could damage the morale of the new starters and doom Arizona to a losing season.

 

SUMMARY

The only sure wins on the schedule are the opener with Northern Arizona and the finale with Louisiana.  There are chances for maybe four conference wins, so the Wildcats could get to 6-6.  Who knows?  When Arizona faces Arizona State, if they are 4-4 in league play, the game could even be for a trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

 

U C L A

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Stanford is noted for its great tradition of outstanding quarterbacks.  UCLA is noted for its awful tradition of injured quarterbacks.  It seems like every starter since Cade McNown graduated in the 1990’s has suffered some injury.

 

Kevin Prince is just the latest in that trend.  He made it through five games last year, passing for 384 yards out of the new pistol offense.  His knee was not well enough to allow him to set and throw quickly, and the extra running from the new formation sent him to the sidelines. 

 

Backup Richard Brehaut returns after leading the Bruins with almost 1,300 passing yards.

 

Two more QBs could see playing time this year; that is if tradition holds, and quarterbacks go out with injuries.  Nick Crissman was a highly sought-after passer four years ago, while true freshman Brett Hundley is a dual threat.  Hundley might have challenged for a starting spot, but he tore his meniscus playing basketball and will not be ready at the start of the season.  Even before he suited up, the injury bugaboo hit him.  Expect more of the jinx in 2011.

 

Late Note: Brehaut sprained his foot in practice and will miss a few days.  JINX!

 

Receivers

If a healthy quarterback can get in a rhythm and start several games, he will be happy with the group of receivers on hand.  Nearly everybody that caught or even dropped a pass in 2010 is back in 2011.  Leading receiver Taylor Embree strained a calf muscle and will be slowed to start the season.  Embree made 32 receptions but did not convert any into touchdowns.

 

Anthony Barr and Nelson Rosario will start at the other two receiver spots; they teamed for 38 receptions but just one touchdown.  Tight end Cory Harkey made 14 catches.  How many touchdowns did he score? Zero!  Of course, the Bruins only scored nine times through the air.  Randall Carroll is the one legitimate long ball threat.  He will see a lot of action after averaging 16.2 yards on his 15 receptions—and with two whole touchdowns!

 

Running Backs

At last, here is one position that will not cause Coach Rick Neuheisel nightmares.  Jonathan Franklin rushed for 1,127 yards and eight scores, while averaging 5.3 yards per rush.  Backup Derrick Coleman added 487 yards and five scores.  If the passing game develops like it could, the running game could see its yardage drop a little, but the average per carry could top 4.5 yards.

 

Offensive Line

Additional injuries and academic issues have put a dark cloud over this unit.  Guard Stan Hasiak had to enroll in a junior college due to grades.  His expected replacement, Jeff Baca, will miss the start of the season with an ankle injury.  The other guard spot was expected to be filled by Chris Ward.  He suffered a sprained ankle and will miss some practice time.

 

At least tackles Mike Harris and Sean Sheller are healthy and experienced.  Center Kai Maiava missed all of last year, but his healthy return is the one bright spot here.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The Bruins are in good shape here with a lot of depth and decent talent.  Damien Holmes and Datone Jones make up a quality pair of ends.  That is, if Jones can make a 100% comeback after a medical redshirt year in 2010.  Justin Edison and Cassius Marsh can plug a lot of gaps from their tackle positions. 

 

Linebackers

Will linebacker Sean Westgate made 90 tackles with four sacks and 11 total for losses.  He played tough against the short pass, knocking away four passes.  The unit will build around him.  Patrick Larimore missed Spring Practice, but he should be ready for the start of the season.  Glenn Love will start at the other linebacker spot after making 16 tackles as a reserve.

 

While not spectacular, this trio will not be the reason UCLA loses games this year.

 

Secondary

What looked like a possible strength has taken a pounding through injuries.  Somebody needs to investigate UCLA’s practice field.  Are they going on pavement or something?

 

Three starters return to the defensive backfield, including strong safety Tony Dye.  Dye led the Bruins with 96 tackles (remember what we said about strong safeties leading in tackles), while breaking up nine passes and pilfering one other.  His counterpart will be Dietrich Riley, who made 21 stops in reserve last year.

 

The cornerbacks are set with Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price.  The duo teamed for 51 tackles and 14 passes defended.  Jamie Graham figured to contend for a lot of playing time after transferring from Vanderbilt, but he suffered a meniscus tear that requires surgery and will be out until at least October.  Anthony Jefferson had to have surgery for a herniated disk in his back and will also be out all of September.

 

OTHER

Neuheisel is on the hot seat.  His three years in Westwood have produced a pair of 4-8 seasons with a 7-6 season in between.  He has two new coordinators this year.  Norm Chow went to Utah, so former 49ers’ offensive guru Mike Johnson takes over.  Joe Tresey is the new DC.  He was Brian Kelly’s DC at Cincinnati for two years.

 

SUMMARY

An opening game against Houston will be very interesting and reveal if UCLA has any chance of moving up from the dregs of the conference.  The next game against San Jose State should produce a win, but game three is against Texas.  The Bruins could be 1-2 and looking at another losing season; they could be 2-1 with a chance to get to seven wins.  If the quarterback play comes around with no injuries, they could even be 3-0.  If that’s the case, and the jinx can be avoided, they could be a dark horse for the South Division title, or at least the eligible team title.

 

Utah

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Welcome to the Pac-12 Jordan Wynn.  Wynn is 1-1 lifetime against conference opponents.  The Utes beat California in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl, and he almost upset Oregon in the 2009 regular season.

 

Last year in the Mountain West Conference, Wynn completed 62.2% of his passes for 2,334 yards and 17 touchdowns.  He missed Spring Practice, but he should be ready for the start of the season.  With new offensive coordinator Norm Chow tutoring him, he should produce better numbers even in a tougher league.

 

Juco transfer Jon Hayes will be the primary backup this year.

 

Receivers

Utah does not have exceptional talent here this year.  The depth is not there.  DeVonte Christopher is a gem; he led the Utes with 660 yards in receptions, averaging almost 17 yards per catch.

 

H-Back Luke Matthews is another big play receiver, but he only got his hand on 18 passes last year.  He will be called on to block more than catch passes. 

 

Reggie Dunn will split time with Dres Anderson at the flanker position, while Kendrick Moeai starts at tight end.

 

Running Backs

Utah must replace its two-platoon set of runners.  They combined for more than 1,400 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns.  Juco transfer John White will get first crack at starting, but Tauni Vakapuna should get a lot of attempts in short yardage situations.  He’s 5-09 and 229 pounds, so tackling him will be like stopping a large boulder coming down a mountain.

 

Offensive Line

This is not a strong unit.  Center Tevita Stevens is more than capable after earning 3rd Team All-MWC honors last year.  Tackles John Cullen and Tony Bergstrom have the experience with Bergstrom earning 2nd Team All-MWC honors.  Both projected starting guards will miss the start of the season, and Coach Kyle Whittingham has not yet settled on one of the replacements.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

There is some talent here, but overall, this is not an exceptional unit.  Star Lotulelei may one day live up to his name, but the nose tackle is an unknown commodity at the moment.  The other tackle will see a platoon between James Aiono and Dave Kruger.

 

Derrick Shelby and Joe Kruger will start at end.  Shelby made 6 ½ stops for loss last year. 

 

Linebackers

This is the strongest unit of a weak defense.  All three starters from last year return, and they finished one, two, and four in tackles.

 

Chaz Walker led the Utes with 113 tackles, while making seven for losses.  Hybrid linebacker/safety Matt Martinez made 91 tackles, while Brian Blechen added 67 stops and proved to be excellent against the pass with nine passes defended, four of them interceptions.

 

Secondary

The Utes have to start over here, as all four 2010 starters are gone.  Cornerbacks Conroy Black and Ryan Lacy have some experience, and Lacy has sprinter’s speed, so he will make up for a few mistakes before it can hurt the team.

 

Juco transfer Keith McGill will join true freshman Eric Rowe and sophomore Michael Walker at safety.

 

OTHER

Whittingham has expressed some concerns with his place kickers, as Coleman Petersen and Nick Marsh have been inconsistent in practice.

 

The Utes will miss punt returner Shaky Smithson, who took two back the distance last year, while averaging 19.1 yards per return to lead the nation.

 

SUMMARY

It is going to be a rough first season in the Pac-12 for the Utes.  Their offense will not equal last season’s production of 33 points and 389 yards, and their defense will give up more than 2010’s 20 points and 337 yards.

 

After an opening game with Montana State, Utah faces USC and BYU on the road.  They get a week off before starting conference play in earnest.  Mixed in the middle of the schedule is a trip to Pittsburgh. 

 

We see a 1-2 non-league record and then a struggle to win three more games.  At least, the Utes play neither Oregon nor Stanford.

 

Colorado

OFFENSE

Quarterback

New coach Jon Embree and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy return to their alma mater to light a fire in the Buffaloes’ offense.  They inherit co-starter Tyler Hansen, who completed 68% of his passes but averaged less than 10 yards per completion.

 

Juco transfer Brent Burnette could challenge Hansen for the job.  Overall, this is the weakest QB roster in the Pac-12.

 

Receivers

Paul Richardson is sure to start after leading the Buffs with a 15.1 yard average per catch.  He grabbed 34 passes and scored six times.  Logan Gray, a former QB at Georgia, is immediately eligible and will start.  The other position will be split between Toney Clemons and true freshman Tyler McCulloch.  There is potential here, but they may need another season of experience.

 

Running Backs

Rodney Stewart is “the man.”  He was the Buffaloes’ offense last year, rushing for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns.  Bieniemy may sound like a broken record calling his number over and over again this year.

 

Offensive Line

Three starters return to a rather decent unit.  Ryan Miller and Ethan Adkins form a formidable pair of guards, while David Bakhtiari is a plus at tackle.  Jack Harris earned the other starting tackle nod, but he has never played in a college game in two years at CU.  There is a two-man battle to fill the center spot that would have belonged to Mike Iltis had he not given up football.  Daniel Munyer and Gus Handler are neck and neck.

 

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

The Buffs are hurting on this side of the ball.  They will have a weaker defense than Washington State this year.  However, the four-man D-line is not all that bad.

 

Josh Hartigan and Chidera Uzo Diribe will make a decent pair of ends.  Hartigan made seven QB sacks as a designated pass rusher last year and will be more of a linebacker than end, while Will Pericak will play more like an end than a tackle.  Curtis Cunningham and Conrad Obi will play inside.  This unit has depth and some talent.

 

Linebackers

Unless you count Hartigan as a true linebacker, this unit is in need of a transfusion.  Jon Major made 57 tackles at the Will position last year, but too many of them were after nice gains by the enemy.  Derrick Webb and Douglas Rippy are not the answer and will be exploited.

 

Secondary

CU will be lit up via the passing game, as the secondary is not Pac-12 caliber.  Safeties Ray Polk and Anthony Perkins will make a lot of tackles, but officials will be signaling “first down” on most of them.  Travis Sandesfeld and Greg Henderson are subpar at cornerback.

 

OTHER

Colorado plays at Hawaii, so the Buffs will have 13 games on their schedule.  The contest with California in week two will not count as a Pac-12 game, since it was previously scheduled as a non-conference game.

 

SUMMARY

Because they play 13 games, there is a good chance CU will suffer through a double-digit loss season.  They play at Hawaii and at Ohio State outside of the league, and they face rival Colorado State at Invesco Field in Denver.  It will be a long first year for Embree.

 

2011 Pacific 12 Conference Media Poll

Team

1st Place Votes

Points

North Division

 

 

Oregon

29

239

Stanford

13

220

Washington

 

142

Oregon State

 

120

California

 

110

Washington St.

 

51

 

 

 

South Division

 

 

Southern Cal

24

230

Arizona St.

13

207

Utah

4

170

Arizona

1

140

U C L A

 

89

Colorado

 

46

 

 

 

Pac-12 Championship

 

Oregon

 

28

Stanford

 

11

Arizona State

 

3

 

 

2011 Pac-12 Conference PiRate Ratings

Team

PiRate #

Prediction

North Division

 

 

Stanford

126.4

9-0/13-0*

Oregon

125.6

8-1/11-1

Oregon State

112.9

5-4/6-6

Washington

112.9

5-4/7-5

California

111.3

3-6/6-6

Washington St.

102.8

3-6/5-7

   

 

South Division  

 

Southern Cal

117.2

7-2/9-3

Arizona St.

116.6

6-3/8-5

Arizona

113.1

3-6/5-7

U C L A

110.9

3-6/4-8

Utah

108.4

2-7/3-9

Colorado

101.8

0-9/1-12

   

 

* Stanford picked to defeat Arizona State
in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game.

 Coming Friday Night: A look at what’s left of the Big 12 Conference.

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