The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 14, 2022

American Athletic Conference Preview

Just when a Group of 5 Conference is getting really good with maybe three teams strong enough to contend for a 2022-23 Playoff berth, said league is about to lose all three really good teams. Cincinnati broke through the insiders’ club last year, when the Bearcats ran the table in the regular season and became the first G5 school to receive a bid to the National Championship Playoffs. It was the second consecutive year that Cinti won every regular season game.

Alas, the Bearcats are headed to the Big 12 Conference. Going with them are the other two really good teams–Houston and Central Florida. A host of Conference USA teams will replace the really good teams, and this league will fall back in the Group of 5 pecking order.

This will be one interesting race this year. Houston and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play, but there is a decent chance they will face each other in game 13 in December.

American Athletic Conference Preseason PiRate Ratings

East Carolina99.599.1100.499.7

American Athletic Conference Official Media Poll

#Team1st PlaceOverall
3Central Florida7225
6East Carolina0157
9South Florida071

The PiRate Ratings are designed to look at just the next week’s schedule of games and not to use to look forward. Nevertheless, here are the predicted won-loss records for the league.

Central Florida7-110-2
East Carolina4-46-6
South Florida2-63-9

Cincinnati picked to win AAC Championship Game.

October 27, 2021

PiRate Picks–October 28-30, 2021

Back To Back Winning Weeks

Usually, the middle of October to the middle of November has been the period where our college football parlay picks have made their move into positive territory, and this year has been another example of that. After going north and south of the break-even line, in the last two weeks, a couple of big wins with fat payouts has taken our imaginary bankroll and turned it from red to black numbers.

We won two of the four parlays, one paying out at +187 and the other at +147.40. That comes to a 33.6% return on investment for the weekend. For the year, $3,500 in imaginary funds have been wagered with the sports books, and $3,704.28 in imaginary funds have been returned for an ROI of 5.84%.

Last week, we did not particularly like the games overall. It was difficult finding suitable parlays with payouts better than +120 that our “system” said had a better chance than the minimum needed to show a profit. The week before, too many games presented themselves as playable, and we had to limit the ones we wanted.

This week, it is somewhere in between. We selected to underdogs to win outright with rather fat payout odds. Our methods say these two games are virtual tossup games, so if we can get better than +120 on these games, we feel compelled to take the ‘dogs.

However, after the two straight up upset selections, we spent an extra hour plus trying to combine games into suitable odds while remaining confident that the teams would win.

So, without further adieu, here are our five selections for this week.

Note: Corrected Parlay after astute football guru Dustdog spotted an error.

Date:October 28-30


Must WinOpponent
UTEPFlorida Atlantic

Must WinOpponent
Michigan St.Michigan

Must WinOpponent
Notre DameNorth Carolina

Must WinOpponent
Central FloridaTemple
Kansas St.TCU
RiceNorth Texas

Must WinOpponent
Utah St.Hawaii
San Jose St.Wyoming

August 17, 2021

American Athletic Conference Preview

Today, we preview the strongest of the Group of 5 conferences.  In a couple of years, we might be referring to the American Athletic Conference as the top of the “Tier 2” leagues.  It would not be surprising to see some of the Big 12 teams and some of the AAC teams merging into one league.

Until then, the AAC remains the conference where the top team is usually the leading contender for the guaranteed Group of 5 team in a New Year’s Six bowl.  Last year, Cincinnati ran the table in the abbreviated season and then beat Tulsa in an exciting game to move to 9-0 and earn the New Year’s Six bowl bid against Georgia in the Peach Bowl.  Playing basically a road game against the in-state school, the Bearcats had a chance to win the game and fell just short.

Bearcats coach Luke Fickell welcomes back a roster that has a little rebuilding to do, but the talent-level should be a little stronger thanks to some excellent recruiting classes bringing underclassmen to the roster.

UC has back-to-back games at Indiana and Notre Dame after beginning the year with winnable home games.  If the Bearcats can pick off the Hoosiers and Fighting Irish, they could find themselves in the same position as last year–in the hunt for a Playoff bid but probably looking at a #6 or #7 final rating and a repeat trip to a New Year’s Six bowl.

The Bearcats cannot be counted out this year against the big dogs on their schedule.  A defense that gave up 16.8 points and 325 yards per game last year, could be a little better in 2021.  The secondary coverage should be one of the five best in the nation, led by the top cover corner in the nation in Ahmad Gardner.

The only question for this year’s UC team is the offensive line, which must be rebuilt with more underclassmen than upperclassmen.  In a season where other teams might field 23-year old seniors, this could come to haunt the Bearcats.

Central Florida undergoes a big change as Josh Heupel and his up-tempo, high-powered spread offense have moved to Tennessee, while former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn brings his different style of spread offense to Orlando.  The former offense was driving on the interstate in open country, while the new offense will be like the old blue highway with winding roads and hilly terrain.  It won’t be as flashy, but the Knights could benefit by playing defense a lot less than they did in recent years.  This is going to benefit UCF’s young defense that must break in eight new starters, including four excellent defensive backs.

The UCF offense can become the team’s best defense if they can sustain long drives.  In Heupel’s time in Orlando, UCF had no trouble moving the ball, but they scored so quickly, the defense fatigued.  In the Knights’ three losses last year, second half defense was the reason they lost those games by eight to Tulsa, one to Memphis, and three to Cincinnati.

This is year three for Dana Holgorsen, and he’s 7-13 in two years at the helm.  This is a school that made it public that 8-4 records were grounds for divorce with its head coach, so Holgorsen better hope he can turn things around this year, or he might receive a lump sum alimony check with orders to vacate the premises.

An Air Raid style offense that struggles to pass the ball is an anomaly.  Houston also had a problem holding onto the ball in 2020, and the defense was overly tasked due to a lot of short offensive drives that turned the ball over via fumble, interception, or punt.  

What hurt the Cougars most last year was never knowing if they were going to play from week to week.  They were like understudies when the star had a cold.  They prepared all week and then found out on Friday that their game was cancelled.  It happened eight times!

Quarterback Clayton Tune has the potential to run the Air Raid.  Houston needs to have an extra receiver step up to complement Jeremy Singleton and Nathaniel Dell.  

Defensively, we expect the UH stop troops to show considerable progress this year, especially if the Cougars cut down on the turnovers.  They gave up slightly less than 400 yards per game and 32 points per game in 2020. With most of the top players returning, those numbers could drop to 350-370 yards and 25-28 points per game.  And, what might that bring UH?  Maybe an 8-4 record, and we know what that did to former coaches Major Applewhite and Tony Levine.

Tulsa was the big surprise of the AAC last year.  After multiple years languishing near or at the bottom of the standings, the Golden Hurricane discovered how to play defense.  TU surrendered 21.6 points and 333 yards per game, holding Oklahoma State to 16, Navy to 6, undefeated league champion Cincinnati to 27, and Mississippi State to 28 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

That defense returns 10 starters, so opponents are going to be in for a fight trying to score points on the Hurricane in 2021.  If the offense can live up to expectations, then TU might repeat with another trip to the AAC Championship Game.  Quarterback Davis Brin came off the bench as the backup last year against Tulane and led TU on three consecutive touchdown drives, and then led his team to an overtime victory.  If he can play an entire season like he did in that quarter and a half, Tulsa might be playing at Cincinnati in November with first place on the line.

Tulane has slowly improved year by year during coach Willie Fritz’s tenure in the Crescent City.  Now entering year six, Fritz has a minor defensive rebuild to perform, but the offense should remain potent after averaging 35 points per game and leading the league in rushing.  This is a team that may be a year away from contending for a spot in the conference championship game, and we expect the Green Wave to remain a .500 team this year.

East Carolina coach Mike Houston was the Nick Saban of FCS football during his tenure at James Madison.  Prior to that, he did the inevitable and won at The Citadel.  After a 4-8 record in year one at ECU, his 2020 shortened season record of 3-6 included consecutive wins over Temple and SMU to finish the 2020 season.  This just might be the year the Pirates cross the .500 threshold and return to a bowl for the first time since 2014.  10 starters return to both sides of the ball.  Houston’s short passing game is almost an aerial version of Woody Hayes’ three yards and a cloud of dust.  By spreading the field and throwing quick passes for 3 to 7 yards with an occasional run after catch of another 10-15 yards, it can be difficult to bend and not break for any defense.

The key will be the defense.  If the more experienced stop side can shave a touchdown off its 2020 average, that might be enough for the Pirates to break even in the league.  The problem is that ECU plays Appalachian State, South Carolina, and Marshall out of conference.

SMU enjoyed a 7-3 season that ended with a Frisco Bowl bid that never came to fruition due to Covid.  With nine starters returning to the attack side, one would think that the Mustangs are poised to top their 39 points per game average.  But, the biggest reason why this team moved the ball with relative ease last year is one of the two not returning.  Former Oklahoma backup Tanner Mordecai might be a talented passer, but he isn’t going to match what Shane Buechele did in Dallas.  With an expected drop in offense, and a defense that at best will be as good as 2020, expect the Mustangs to take a step backward this year, but they could still earn a bowl bid.

Since Justin Fuente won 19 games his last two years at Memphis and then took the Virginia Tech job, pundits have predicted the downfall of the Tigers’ fortunes.  Mike Norvell replaced Fuente and guided the Tigers to a Cotton Bowl berth before he took the Florida State job two years ago.  Ryan Silverfield took over last year, and during Covid, UM’s best offensive players opted out.  Memphis still managed to put together an 8-3 record that included a bowl win over Florida Atlantic.

Now, the Tigers face an issue at quarterback as former QB Brady White gambled on the NFL Draft, went undrafted, signed a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans, and did not make it to the preseason.  Two transfers from Power 5 schools expect to vie for the starting QB job this year.  Former Arizona Wildcat Grant Gunnell and former LSU Tiger Peter Parrish are competing for the job, and we expect Gunnell to be under center when Memphis runs its first play of the 2021 season.  Considering that he had very little help at Arizona, as the Wildcats struggled to compete in the Pac-12, Gunnell looked decent enough to believe he can guide Memphis to a possible break-even or slightly winning record.

South Florida hired former Clemson offensive coordinator Jeff Scott to try to return the Bulls’ program to where it was in the prior decade.  Unfortunately, Scott couldn’t bring any of Clemson’s All-Americans to Tampa.  After going 1-8 with the lone win coming against FCS The Citadel, there is nowhere to go but up for the Bulls this year.  The offense has a chance to be improved this year, but there’s one small problem.  Scott still does not know who will be his starting quarterback as August practices have been underway for a week.  The defense is missing several key parts from a unit that was downright weak in 2020.  Against FBS competition, USF gave up 44.1 points and more than 450 yards per game.  

USF has a difficult schedule this year with games out of conference against North Carolina State, Florida, and BYU.  Winning three games would be considered a major advancement this year.

Navy was one of the most disappointing teams last year, but Coach Ken Niumtalolo failed to get the Midshipmen ready to play to start the season due to Covid concerns.  After an opening game pasting at the hands of BYU, Navy rebounded to get to 3-2, but then they dropped their final five games, scoring just 13 points in the last three.

The 2021 picture is anything but rosy for Navy.  The offense suffered severe losses, as players that would normally come back for an extra year at other schools are starting their military commitment.  When a triple option team has to break in a new quarterback, two new slotbacks, and three new offensive linemen, it is expected that the offense will suffer a drop in production.  Navy only scored 16.6 points per game and rushed for just 178 yards per game, an all-time low in Niumatololo’s 13 years.  Now, Navy embarks on a 2021 season with its toughest schedule in many years.  Marshall, Air Force, Notre Dame, and Army represent one of the toughest out of conference slates in all of FBS football, as all four should earn bowls this year.  This looks like a rough year in Annapolis.

After several really good years under Al Golden, Steve Addazio, Matt Rhule, and Geoff Collins, Temple looked like they pulled off a minor coup when they hired former Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey to keep the good times rolling in Philly.  After an 8-5 season in 2019, Temple looked more like the 2003 and 2004 program that was kicked out of the old Big East Conference last year.  A 1-6 season almost became an 0-7 season, but the Owls benefitted from USF mistakes to pull out a 2-point win.

One would think that the program couldn’t be worse than last year, but the Owls have major rebuilding projects on both sides of the ball this year.

On the positive side, if you can call it that, Temple was one of the most affected teams by Covid last year.  They almost didn’t play at all and only played their first game in Mid-October, losing narrowly to a Navy team playing its fourth game of the season.  2021 should be another tough one at Lincoln Financial Field.

Here is how the American Athletic media voted at the preseason conference meetings.

2021 American Athletic Conference Preseason Media Poll

Team (First-Place Votes)Points
1.Cincinnati (22)262
2.UCF (2)241
8.East Carolina85
11.South Florida43

The PiRate Ratings are not that different.

American Athletic Conference





East Carolina95.394.396.295.3

AAC Averages





The PiRate Ratings are not designed to predict won-loss records for a season, as they have a use by date of the next week’s games.  Nevertheless, we issue predictions just for the fun of it.

American AthleticConf.Overall
Central Florida6-29-4
East Carolina4-45-7
South Florida1-72-10
* Cincinnati picked to win AAC Championship Game

October 14, 2020

Saturday’s College Football TV Schedule

This weekly addition to the PiRate Ratings is supposed to be the easiest edition we put out, but not this year. The TV schedule has already changed twice today after changing on Monday when Baylor postponed their game with Oklahoma St. With the cancellation of Vanderbilt and Missouri, one switch was made. Then, when it became official that Florida and LSU were moving to December 12, another change was made.

So, this is the TV schedule as of Wednesday evening, Eastern Time. We suggest you look at this feature again later in the week if other games are postponed. If the schedule changes, we will do our best to update it all the way until Saturday morning.

Time ETNetworkHomeVisitorsEntertainment Value
12:00 PMABCGeorgia TechClemsonTech turnovers could make this super blowout
12:00 PMESPNSouth CarolinaAuburnShould be rather close game–loser’s coach on hot seat
12:00 PMESPN2E. CarolinaNavyReplaces Tulsa-Cinti.
12:00 PMFOXWest VirginiaKansasProbably a dud game
12:00 PMSECNTennesseeKentuckyVols own Cats in this series, but an even matchup
12:00 PMFSNSyracuseLibertyFlames could win this one and maybe by a lot
12:00 PMESPNUSouth AlabamaTexas St.Only if you are a fan of one of the teams
12:00 PMACCNMiami (Fla.)PittsburghBoth teams coming off emotional losses
1:30 PMCBSSNUTSAArmyGame should be over quickly–maybe 120 plays
2:30 PMNBCNotre DameLouisvilleIrish need to win big to let Clemson know they are there
3:30 PMABCMemphisCentral FloridaCould it be a 90 to 100-point total?
3:30 PMSECNArkansasOle MissBefore Hogs were in SEC, this was a rivalry game
3:30 PMFSNNC St.DukeA backyard brawl that should make Pack 4-1
4:00 PMESPNMississippi St.Texas A&MAll’s not well in Starkville all of a sudden
4:00 PMACCNWake ForestVirginiaExpect a close game but maybe not entertaining
4:00 PMESPN2Georgia SouthernU MassThe Minutemen play their first game of the year
6:00 PMCBSSNLouisiana TechMarshallWinner of this game most likely wins CUSA regular season
7:30 PMABCFlorida St.North CarolinaUNC needs to top half a hundred again to be a contender
8:00 PMCBSAlabamaGeorgiaMaybe the Regular Season Game of the Year!
8:00 PMESPNUCharlotteFlorida Int’l.CANCELLED
8:00 PMACCNVirginia TechBoston CollegeNice game but not Bama & Dogs

Coming tomorrow: our for entertainment purposes only handicapping selections that have accidentally made a decent imaginary profit this year. We must be due for a big losing week, but maybe we can back into some additional winners. We heard from a few of you that went against our warning and actually wagered on some longshot parlays that happened to win last week. Please do not think for one second that we can be this lucky again. Don’t wager real money on our fun picks!

September 13, 2020

PiRate Ratings–College Football September 13, 2020

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Bias Spreads

Week 3Sep. 18-19
Oklahoma St.Tulsa16.918.119.6
Georgia St.Louisiana-16.9-16.7-17.0
Western Ky.Liberty11.29.411.4
DukeBoston College3.03.92.4
MarshallAppalachian St.-2.0-1.4-4.3
Notre DameUSF24.324.626.1
North CarolinaCharlotte26.526.627.5
Georgia TechUCF-7.1-8.2-9.4
Ga. SouthernFla. Atlantic12.912.214.1
Middle Tenn.Troy-1.5-2.5-1.7
North TexasSMU-21.5-19.8-20.1
UL-MonroeTexas St.
LouisvilleMiami (Fla.)
Southern Miss.La. Tech3.42.50.9
NC St.Wake Forest-3.3-4.2-3.3

This Week’s FBS vs. FCS Games

Coastal CarolinaCampbell22.3
CincinnatiAustin Peay27.4
UTSAS F Austin12.0
Arkansas St.Cent. Arkansas11.8
UTEPAbilene Chr.-0.7

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings

2L S U123.2122.5125.8123.8SEC-W
8Notre Dame117.2116.2117.2116.9ACC
10Texas A&M115.7115.8115.9115.8SEC-W
11Oklahoma St.113.4112.8113.6113.3B12
12N. Carolina111.9112.4113.3112.5ACC
15Virginia Tech109.2109.2111.3109.9ACC
19S. Carolina109.3107.0108.7108.3SEC-E
22Iowa St.107.9107.1107.5107.5B12
23Miss. St.106.7106.1108.4107.1SEC-W
27Florida St.105.5103.9105.4104.9ACC
29T C U105.0102.8105.1104.3B12
30Kansas St.104.2103.0104.1103.8B12
32Ole Miss104.1102.5103.8103.4SEC-W
33Appal. St.102.8101.9103.9102.9SUN-E
34Miami (Fla.)101.5104.1101.7102.4ACC
35W. Virginia101.4101.5101.5101.5B12
38Georgia Tech100.699.999.6100.0ACC
40Boston Coll.99.699.399.699.5ACC
41Wake Forest98.399.498.398.7ACC
43Texas Tech97.296.097.496.9B12
45W. Kentucky95.997.096.796.5CUSA
48Arkansas St.95.796.995.696.1SUN-W
49Florida Int’l.95.495.295.895.5CUSA
55NC State93.593.793.693.6ACC
56Georgia Sou.92.793.794.093.5SUN-E
57U A B92.693.492.192.7CUSA
59Coastal Car.91.892.492.292.1SUN-E
60E. Carolina92.192.690.991.9AAC
61Southern Miss.88.589.087.288.2CUSA
63Georgia St.87.887.587.787.7SUN-E
64La. Tech86.588.087.787.4CUSA
68S. Alabama85.186.484.885.4SUN-W
70Middle Tenn.
71Fla. Atlantic81.383.081.481.9CUSA
73North Texas78.179.378.578.7CUSA
74Texas St.79.079.677.378.6SUN-W
75U T S A77.177.076.576.9CUSA
76U T E P63.466.063.064.1CUSA

By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
E. Carolina92.192.690.991.9
AAC Averages100.699.999.5100.0
Atlantic Coast Conference
Notre Dame117.2116.2117.2116.9
N. Carolina111.9112.4113.3112.5
Virginia Tech109.2109.2111.3109.9
Florida St.105.5103.9105.4104.9
Miami (Fla.)101.5104.1101.7102.4
Georgia Tech100.699.999.6100.0
Boston Coll.99.699.399.699.5
Wake Forest98.399.498.398.7
NC State93.593.793.693.6
ACC Averages105.1105.6105.5105.4
Big 12 Conference
Oklahoma St.113.4112.8113.6113.3
Iowa St.107.9107.1107.5107.5
T C U105.0102.8105.1104.3
Kansas St.104.2103.0104.1103.8
W. Virginia101.4101.5101.5101.5
Texas Tech97.296.097.496.9
Big 12 Averages105.7105.0105.6105.4
Conference USA
W. Kentucky95.997.096.796.5
Florida Int’l.95.495.295.895.5
U A B92.693.492.192.7
Southern Miss.88.589.087.288.2
La. Tech86.588.087.787.4
Middle Tenn.
Fla. Atlantic81.383.081.481.9
North Texas78.179.378.578.7
U T S A77.177.076.576.9
U T E P63.466.063.064.1
CUSA Averages85.786.385.685.9
FBS Independents
Ind. Averages95.496.595.495.8
Southeastern Conference
East Division
S. Carolina109.3107.0108.7108.3
West Division
L S U123.2122.5125.8123.8
Texas A&M115.7115.8115.9115.8
Miss. St.106.7106.1108.4107.1
Ole Miss104.1102.5103.8103.4
SEC Averages110.4109.9110.9110.4
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Appal. St.102.8101.9103.9102.9
Georgia Sou.92.793.794.093.5
Coastal Car.91.892.492.292.1
Georgia St.87.887.587.787.7
West Division
Arkansas St.95.796.995.696.1
S. Alabama85.186.484.885.4
Texas St.79.079.677.378.6
SBC Averages91.091.590.991.2

Conference Ratings

2Big 12105.4
3Atlantic Coast105.4
6Sun Belt91.2
7Conference USA85.9

This Week’s TV Schedule

Friday, September 18
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
7:00 PMESPN3Coastal CarolinaCampbell
Saturday, September 19
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
12:00 PMFoxBaylorHouston
12:00 PMESPNOklahoma St.Tulsa
12:00 PMESPN3DukeBoston College
12:00 PMESPN2Georgia St.Louisiana
12:00 PMACCPittsburghSyracuse
12:00 PMABCTulaneNavy
12:00 PMESPNUWestern KentuckyLiberty
12:00 PMESPN+CincinnatiAustin Peay
1:30 PMCBSSNMarshallAppalachian St.
2:30 PMUSANotre DameSouth Florida
3:00 PMABCGeorgia TechCentral Florida
3:30 PMESPN3North CarolinaCharlotte
3:30 PMESPN3UTSAS. F. Austin
4:00 PMACCClemsonThe Citadel
4:00 PMESPN2Georgia SouthernFlorida Atlantic
4:00 PMESPNUMiddle TennesseeTroy
6:00 PMCBSSNNorth TexasSMU
7:00 PMESPN+LouisvilleMiami (Fla.)
7:30 PMABCArkansas St.Central Arkansas
7:30 PMESPNUUL MonroeTexas St.
8:00 PMACCNC StateWeake Forest
9:00 PMESPN3UTEPAbilene Christian

December 31, 2019

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For December 31, 2019

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:34 am

Spreads for Power Conference Games





Florida St.

Georgia Tech



Miami (Fla.)



Boston College


Central Florida




August 13, 2019

2019 American Athletic Conference Football Preview

Today, we wrap up the Group of 5 Conference previews with the American Athletic Conference.  The AAC has seen its champion represent the Group of 5 conferences in a New Year’s 6 Bowl Game three times in the five years of the current rules set in place.  While this league is the strongest Group of 5 league to start 2019, we selected Army to be our predicted G5 team to make an NY6 Bowl bid this year.

This is a league about to undergo some transition.  Connecticut will return to the Big East after in 2020, and there will be an opening for another school to join the AAC.  It could be U Mass, Army, or Liberty, but it could also be somebody like Buffalo from the Mid-American Conference or possibly a new FCS school deciding to jump to FBS, like Villanova.

As for this season, the AAC should be a little more competitive than in the recent past.  Central Florida has dominated the league for two consecutive years, and the Golden Knights will be an excellent team once again this year.  However, teams like Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis, and maybe one or two dark horses will make UCF’s path to a “threepeat” quite difficult.

Here is how the American Athletic Conference Media voted in their preseason poll.

American Athletic Conference Media Poll


East Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Central Florida 19 169
2 Cincinnati 11 157
3 South Florida 0 107
4 Temple 0 101
5 East Carolina 0 66
6 Connecticut 0 30


West Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Memphis 15 165
2 Houston 14 162
3 Tulane 0 108
4 SMU 1 87
5 Navy 0 70
6 Tulsa 0 38


Championship Game Winner Overall Votes
Central Florida 12
Cincinnati 8
Memphis 6
Houston 4


Here are our preseason PiRate Ratings.

Preseason PiRate Ratings–American Athletic
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 107.7 107.1 108.8 107.9
Cincinnati 106.6 105.0 106.8 106.1
Temple 101.9 101.0 103.2 102.0
South Florida 94.4 95.9 94.9 95.1
East Carolina 85.0 87.6 84.9 85.8
Connecticut 75.9 77.9 74.4 76.1


West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 104.0 103.3 105.2 104.2
SMU 98.7 98.4 98.9 98.7
Houston 95.0 96.7 97.8 96.5
Tulane 95.4 96.6 95.5 95.8
Tulsa 91.3 91.9 92.3 91.8
Navy 86.3 89.2 85.9 87.2
AAC Averages 95.2 95.9 95.7 95.6

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


Predicted Won-Loss Records

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

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

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


PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss
East Division
Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Cincinnati 6-2 9-4
2 Central Florida 6-2 9-3
3 Temple 5-3 9-3
4 South Florida 5-3 6-6
5 East Carolina 2-6 5-7
6 Connecticut 0-8 1-11


West Division
Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Memphis 6-2 10-3*
2 SMU 5-3 8-4
3 Houston 5-3 7-5
4 Tulane 4-4 6-6
5 Navy 3-5 4-8
6 Tulsa 1-7 3-9



Memphis Picked To Win AAC Championship Game


Bowl Predictions
Birmingham SMU
Boca Raton Central Florida
Cure Temple
Frisco Houston
Gasparilla Cincinnati
Hawaii Memphis
Military South Florida

Also Bowl Eligible



Coaches That Could Move To Power 5 Conferences

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

Josh Heupel, Central Florida

Mike Norvell, Memphis

Willie Fritz, Tulane


Coaches On The Hot Seat

Randy Edsall, Connecticut

Phillip Montgomery, Tulsa


Top Quarterbacks

D’Eriq King, Houston

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Brady White, Memphis


Top Offense

Central Florida




Top Defense





Coming Tomorrow: We start previewing Power 5 Conferences with the ACC

March 24, 2019

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament For Sunday, March 24, 2019













North Carolina









Central Florida



Texas Tech






Virginia Tech















Ohio St.






UC Irvine



Sunday’s Schedule





12:10 PM

Tennessee vs. Iowa



2:40 PM

North Carolina vs. Washington



5:15 PM

Duke vs. Central Florida



6:10 PM

Texas Tech vs. Buffalo



7:10 PM

Virginia Tech vs. Liberty


San Jose

7:45 PM

Virginia vs. Oklahoma



8:40 PM

Houston vs. Ohio St.



9:40 PM

Oregon vs. UC-Irvine


San Jose








December 9, 2018

PiRate Ratings–College Football Bowls & Playoffs

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:58 am

All times given are Eastern Standard

Saturday December 15
New Mexico Bowl 2:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Utah St. North Texas 11.6 10.2 12.4
Cure Bowl 2:30 PM on CBSSN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Tulane Louisiana 9.3 7.5 7.3
Las Vegas Bowl 3:30 PM on ABC
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Fresno St. Arizona St. 2.8 3.7 3.4
Camellia Bowl 5:30 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Georgia Southern Eastern Michigan -4.7 -4.2 -4.3
New Orleans Bowl 9:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Appalachian St. Middle Tennessee -0.6 -0.7 -0.2


Tuesday December 18
Boca Raton Bowl 7:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
UAB Northern Illinois -0.6 0.7 -0.2


Wednesday December 19
Frisco Bowl 8:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
San Diego St. Ohio U -8.7 -9.8 -9.4


Thursday December 20
Gasparilla Bowl 8:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
South Florida Marshall -1.9 -2.8 -3.0


Friday December 21
Bahamas Bowl 12:30 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Toledo Florida Int’l. 9.8 7.9 9.3
Idaho Potato Bowl 4:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Western Michigan BYU -11.1 -10.0 -11.2


Saturday December 22 12:00 PM on ESPN
Birmingham Bowl
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Memphis Wake Forest -2.3 0.7 0.3
Armed Forces Bowl 3:30 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Houston Army -1.3 -1.5 -1.2
Dollar General Bowl 7:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Buffalo Troy 5.6 5.8 5.1
Hawaii Bowl 10:30 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Hawaii Louisiana Tech -3.3 -3.6 -4.0


Wednesday December 26
First Responder Bowl 1:30 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Boise St. Boston College -0.3 1.7 0.5
Quick Lane Bowl 5:15 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Minnesota Georgia Tech -11.4 -11.6 -11.4
Cheez-it Bowl 9:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
TCU California 0.4 1.2 -0.8


Thursday December 27 1:30 PM on ESPN
Independence Bowl
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Duke Temple 6.4 4.1 5.0
Pinstripe Bowl 5:15 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Wisconsin Miami (Fla.) -6.5 -7.5 -7.0
Texas Bowl 9:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Baylor Vanderbilt -0.4 -2.1 -1.1


Friday December 28
Music City Bowl 1:30 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Auburn Purdue 6.8 7.2 8.4
Camping World Bowl 5:15 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Syracuse West Virginia 1.0 0.8 1.2
Arizona Bowl 5:30 PM on CBSSN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Nevada Arkansas St. 3.6 2.2 1.6
Alamo Bowl 9:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Iowa St. Washington St. -3.3 -3.9 -3.6


Saturday December 29
Peach Bowl 12:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Florida Michigan -9.7 -9.9 -9.6
Belk Bowl 12:00 PM on ABC
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
South Carolina Virginia 5.9 4.8 6.6
Cotton Bowl 4:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Clemson Notre Dame 12.6 12.9 14.3
Orange Bowl 8:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Alabama Oklahoma 19.2 18.7 20.8


Monday December 31
Redbox Bowl 3:00 PM on Fox
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Oregon Michigan St. -0.8 1.0 0.4
Military Bowl 12:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Virginia Tech Cincinnati 1.9 -0.2 1.0
Sun Bowl 2:00 PM on CBS
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Stanford Pittsburgh 5.3 4.2 6.1
Liberty Bowl 3:45 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Missouri Oklahoma St. 12.0 12.1 13.1
Holiday Bowl 7:00 PM on FS1
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Utah Northwestern 6.0 6.1 6.7
Gator Bowl 7:30 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
North Carolina St. Texas A&M -2.9 -2.7 -4.0


Tuesday January 1
Outback Bowl 12:00 PM on ESPN2
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Iowa Mississippi St. -7.5 -7.8 -9.3
Citrus Bowl 1:00 PM on ABC
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Kentucky Penn St. -6.7 -5.6 -6.5
Fiesta Bowl 1:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
LSU Central Florida 2.9 1.5 3.0
Rose Bowl 5:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Ohio St. Washington 6.9 7.1 6.6
Sugar Bowl 8:45 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Georgia Texas 14.9 14.3 17.1


Monday January 7
National Championship Game 8:00 PM on ESPN
Team 1 Team 2 PiRate Mean Bias
Bama or Okla. Clem or N. Dame

For those that need to know–these ratings include the list of star players that are sitting out their bowl so as not to risk injury prior to the 2019 NFL Draft.  For example, Will Grier will not play for West Virginia, and that is enough to switch the Mountaineers from favorite to underdog.  This includes a list through Saturday, December 9.

NOTE:  The PiRate Ratings will commence with college basketball coverage as soon as all the major conference teams have played their tenth game.  Our rating is meaningless until every team has played 10 games.

Once again, we have combined all three of our sub-ratings into one more accurate rating.  We will issue spreads on weekend games through the conference tournaments and then spreads on the conference tournament games.

Additionally, starting in Mid-January, we will see the return of our Bracketology Gurus, who in two years of existence have gotten all 68 teams in the tournament one year and 67 of the 68 teams in the other.  We hand-picked 12 not-so-angry men that love college basketball and devote about the same amount of time in analyzing college basketball data as we analyze Major League Baseball.



December 5, 2018

What If… An NCAA Playoffs With No Committee Choices

Four teams are happy.  At least three teams are sad and feel slighted.  Oklahoma and Notre Dame have been invited to the playoffs.  Ohio State and Georgia were jilted.

There could be an argument for Oklahoma and Notre Dame over Ohio State and Georgia.  On the other hand, the folks that know best, those sharps in Nevada, would tell you that Georgia is the third best team in the nation.  Many computers will tell you that on December 29, 2018, Ohio State would be a better team than Oklahoma.

Imagine if specially appointed committees chose other things for the rest of us.  How would you like some insider former politicians explaining to you why Candidate A will be your President instead of Candidate B, even though all the political experts say that Candidate B would be the better Chief Excutive?

What is a special committee of psychologists chose who you will marry based on their criteria.  You may be in love with Michelle, but they may choose Kelly for you because she can balance a checkbook and you cannot?

What if the NFL had to choose just four teams for the playoffs.  This year, there are five really good teams in the Rams, Chiefs, Saints, Patriots, and Texans.  Maybe the Bears and Chargers are also among the four best.  Do you want a 12-4 division winner not making the NFL Playoffs?

Of course you don’t.  And, the fandom of college football doesn’t buy for a minute that the Selection Committee knows what it’s doing.  Let’s see any of them pick games against the spread.  If they are true experts, then they will put up results that make Billy Walters look like an amateur.

The four team playoff did nothing to solve the problems of the two-team BCS National Championship Game it replaced.  In fact, this year, you could make an excellent argument that just putting Alabama against Clemson would be a better option than picking four out of six or seven deserving teams.

Any legitimate FBS Playoffs must allow every FBS team a chance to play their way into said playoffs.  There are 130 FBS teams.  There needs to be no more than 64 top level teams and preferably 32, but let’s not even talk about separating the Power 5 from the Group of 5.  Let’s talk about honest realignment into 7 conferences of 16 teams  and 1 conference of 18 teams.  In an even better world, two FBS teams would drop down to FCS, leaving 128 teams.

Divide each conference into two divisions.  Every team within a division will play each other during the regular season plus three teams in the other division.  In the 18-team conference, there will be just two teams against the other division.  The rhyme and reason to which schools a team in the other division would play would be made by the league with a rotating schedule so that a different three teams would be played every year, possibly using the NFL’s strategy of having the prior first place team in one division playing the prior first place team in the other division and so on down to the prior last place teams playing each other.

At the end of the season, the top team in each division of each conference would then make the 16-team playoff.  In the first round, the division winners of each conference would play to determine the conference champion.  This would leave eight teams for eight playoff spots.

These conference championship games could be played on neutral sites like the current Power Five Conference Championship Games, or on the home field of the team with the better conference record with set tiebreakers to determine the higher seed if there is a tie.

With the number down to eight, the next round could be played on home fields of the higher seeds as determined by criteria that all teams and all fans will know, just like home field is determined in the NFL.  At no time will a committee of so-called experts determine who is in these playoffs and who will be the home team.

After this second round of the playoffs, the final four can then be played like it is today.

This would give every team a chance to play for the national title, just like all 350 Division 1 basketball teams have a chance.  If you think this isn’t fair to Alabama or Clemson to have to play more games to become national champion, then you must absolutely hate March Madness when Sister Jean and her Loyola Ramblers or Butler or Wichita State can make a run to the Final Four.  You must hate the fact that a Gonzaga can advance from a small program into one of the top 10 in the nation.

If the entire FBS has a chance to win the national title, then all programs will have a chance to do what Gonzaga has done in basketball.

Another bonus could be in scheduling.  Instead of an SEC team like Georgia scheduling Austin Peay and Massachusetts, or Alabama scheduling The Citadel, Arkansas State, and Louisiana (the one in Lafayette and not Baton Rouge), the national schedule makers could schedule Alabama and Oklahoma, or Georgia and Michigan.

What about the FBS vs. FCS games?  Why not give each FBS team two preseason games against FCS teams, where the FBS team pays the FCS team a check just like they do now?  With all the extra billions coming into this new paradigm, the FBS teams could keep these FCS programs solvent without putting a 63-3 pasting on them in a regular season game.

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