The Pi-Rate Ratings

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.

 

 

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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.

November 25, 2018

PiRate Ratings–College Football Week 14

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Friday November 30
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Mid-American Conference Championship Game @ Buffalo
Buffalo Northern Illinois 5.9 6.9 7.0
 

 

Pac-12 Conference Championship Game @ Santa Clara, CA
Washington Utah 5.4 4.5 5.4

 

Saturday November 24
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Big 12 Conference Championship Game @ Arlington, TX
Oklahoma Texas 7.2 7.4 7.6
 

 

Sun Belt Conference Championship Game @ Appy St.
Appalachian St. Louisiana 17.8 17.6 18.0
 

 

Conference USA Championship Game @ Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee UAB 2.3 2.0 2.8
 

 

American Athletic Conference Championship Game @ Central FL
Central Florida Memphis 11.3 10.4 10.8
 

 

Southeastern Conference Championship Game @ Atlanta
Alabama Georgia 12.8 13.4 13.3
 

 

Mountain West Conference Championship Game @ Boise St.
Boise St. Fresno St. 2.7 3.0 3.2
 

 

Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game @ Charlotte, NC
Clemson Pittsburgh 30.3 28.7 31.4
 

 

Big Ten Conference Championship Game @ Indianapolis, IN
Ohio St. Northwestern 15.5 15.4 16.0

Other Saturday Games

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Virginia Tech Marshall 12.6 8.6 10.7
North Carolina St. East Carolina 30.9 29.9 30.5
South Carolina Akron 30.2 28.2 30.4
California Stanford -5.2 -5.0 -5.2

 

FBS FCS
Home Visitor PiRate
Iowa St. Drake 42.7
Liberty Norfolk St. 26.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 141.3 139.7 143.1 141.4
2 Clemson 138.8 136.5 139.5 138.3
3 Georgia 128.6 126.3 129.8 128.2
4 Ohio St. 126.3 124.5 126.4 125.7
5 Michigan 125.9 124.5 126.3 125.5
6 Notre Dame 126.3 123.9 125.4 125.2
7 Mississippi St. 124.2 122.6 125.4 124.1
8 Washington 122.0 119.9 122.4 121.4
9 Oklahoma 121.5 120.2 121.3 121.0
10 Missouri 121.1 119.6 122.1 120.9
11 Penn St. 119.3 117.0 119.0 118.4
12 L S U 117.6 116.7 118.4 117.6
13 Auburn 116.8 115.6 118.1 116.8
14 West Virginia 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6
15 Iowa 117.2 115.3 116.6 116.4
16 Utah 116.6 115.3 117.0 116.3
17 Washington St. 115.8 114.7 115.5 115.3
18 Miami 115.8 114.4 115.4 115.2
19 Florida 115.2 113.6 115.7 114.8
20 Texas A&M 114.6 113.6 115.1 114.4
21 Central Florida 114.0 114.4 114.5 114.3
22 Stanford 114.5 112.3 114.5 113.8
23 Texas 114.3 112.8 113.7 113.6
24 Iowa State 113.5 111.8 112.9 112.7
25 Georgia Tech 113.1 111.9 112.7 112.6
26 S. Carolina 112.9 111.7 112.6 112.4
27 Kentucky 112.7 111.4 112.5 112.2
28 Syracuse 112.7 111.4 112.2 112.1
29 N. Carolina St. 112.5 111.6 111.7 111.9
30 Fresno St. 111.8 111.3 111.8 111.7
31 Boise St. 111.5 111.4 112.0 111.6
32 Oregon 111.2 110.9 111.8 111.3
33 Michigan St. 112.0 109.9 111.3 111.1
34 Boston College 111.6 109.4 111.1 110.7
35 Utah St. 109.7 110.9 110.6 110.4
36 Northwestern 110.7 109.2 110.4 110.1
37 Arizona St. 110.2 108.9 109.8 109.6
38 Purdue 110.0 108.3 109.7 109.3
39 Pittsburgh 109.5 108.7 109.0 109.1
40 Oklahoma St. 109.6 108.0 109.5 109.0
41 Duke 109.4 107.4 108.6 108.5
42 Wisconsin 109.3 106.9 108.4 108.2
43 California 108.3 106.3 108.3 107.6
44 U S C 107.1 105.6 106.2 106.3
45 Texas Tech 107.0 105.4 105.7 106.0
46 Virginia 106.2 106.1 105.4 105.9
47 Vanderbilt 105.7 105.7 106.1 105.9
48 Temple 105.5 105.8 106.1 105.8
49 Wake Forest 106.8 105.0 105.0 105.6
50 T C U 106.5 105.2 105.1 105.6
51 Memphis 104.7 106.0 105.7 105.5
52 Nebraska 105.4 104.2 104.9 104.8
53 Kansas St. 104.8 103.6 104.1 104.2
54 Ohio U 103.3 104.5 104.2 104.0
55 Virginia Tech 104.3 103.1 103.5 103.6
56 Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4
57 Cincinnati 102.7 104.1 103.2 103.3
58 Baylor 103.8 102.2 103.4 103.1
59 Florida St. 103.7 102.4 102.8 102.9
60 Ole Miss 102.5 101.8 102.7 102.3
61 Minnesota 102.8 101.4 102.3 102.2
62 Arizona 102.1 100.7 102.4 101.7
63 Maryland 102.4 100.9 101.5 101.6
64 BYU 100.9 101.5 101.9 101.4
65 Houston 101.1 101.6 101.2 101.3
66 Indiana 101.4 100.2 101.1 100.9
67 Buffalo 99.6 101.6 100.9 100.7
68 N. Carolina 100.7 100.0 100.7 100.5
69 Toledo 99.4 100.9 99.6 100.0
70 U C L A 100.7 100.1 99.2 100.0
71 Appalachian St. 98.7 100.6 100.3 99.8
72 Tennessee 98.6 99.0 98.0 98.5
73 Colorado 98.4 98.5 98.5 98.5
74 Kansas 98.4 97.1 97.5 97.7
75 Wyoming 97.2 97.7 97.2 97.3
76 Middle Tennessee 96.2 98.2 97.4 97.3
77 Miami (O) 95.7 97.6 97.8 97.0
78 U A B 95.9 98.2 96.6 96.9
79 Northern Illinois 96.2 97.1 96.4 96.6
80 N. Texas 95.7 98.2 95.7 96.5
81 Air Force 95.6 96.2 95.9 95.9
82 Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.6 95.5 95.8
83 Arkansas 96.7 94.3 95.7 95.6
84 Marshall 94.2 97.0 95.3 95.5
85 Florida Atlantic 94.4 95.6 94.8 94.9
86 Nevada 94.8 94.9 94.6 94.8
87 San Diego St. 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7
88 SMU 94.2 93.7 93.2 93.7
89 Tulane 93.0 93.5 92.7 93.1
90 Troy 91.4 93.0 92.9 92.4
91 Arkansas St. 91.2 92.8 92.9 92.3
92 Georgia Southern 90.5 92.4 91.2 91.4
93 Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.0 90.3 91.0
94 South Florida 90.5 91.9 90.1 90.8
95 Western Michigan 89.8 91.4 90.7 90.7
96 Tulsa 90.0 89.8 90.0 89.9
97 Louisiana Tech 89.0 90.9 89.3 89.7
98 Southern Miss. 88.2 91.4 89.0 89.6
99 Rutgers 90.2 89.1 89.1 89.5
100 Navy 88.7 90.5 88.8 89.4
101 Illinois 89.6 89.0 88.6 89.1
102 UL-Monroe 85.9 86.7 86.5 86.4
103 Akron 85.6 86.5 85.1 85.8
104 W. Kentucky 84.1 87.0 84.7 85.3
105 Louisiana 83.3 85.5 84.8 84.5
106 Colorado St. 83.5 84.2 83.3 83.7
107 U N L V 83.2 84.1 83.3 83.5
108 Oregon St. 84.4 82.5 83.4 83.4
109 Louisville 83.9 83.3 82.7 83.3
110 East Carolina 83.1 83.2 82.7 83.0
111 Charlotte 81.8 84.4 82.7 83.0
112 New Mexico 82.6 83.3 81.8 82.6
113 Hawaii 82.2 83.8 81.7 82.6
114 Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5
115 Bowling Green 80.5 81.4 80.9 80.9
116 Old Dominion 79.7 82.9 79.6 80.8
117 San Jose St. 80.4 81.3 79.8 80.5
118 Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.7 80.5
119 Liberty 80.4 79.9 80.4 80.3
120 Central Michigan 79.0 81.0 79.0 79.7
121 Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3
122 Coastal Carolina 76.0 78.1 76.3 76.8
123 Georgia St. 75.6 77.2 75.6 76.1
124 U T S A 73.6 77.2 74.0 75.0
125 South Alabama 73.4 75.2 73.8 74.1
126 Texas State 72.8 75.2 73.1 73.7
127 N. Mexico St. 72.3 73.8 72.3 72.8
128 Rice 70.0 72.7 69.0 70.6
129 Connecticut 70.2 70.5 69.3 70.0
130 U T E P 68.8 71.8 68.6 69.7

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 114.0 114.4 114.5 114.3 8-0 11-0
Temple 105.5 105.8 106.1 105.8 7-1 8-4
Cincinnati 102.7 104.1 103.2 103.3 6-2 10-2
South Florida 90.5 91.9 90.1 90.8 3-5 7-5
East Carolina 83.1 83.2 82.7 83.0 1-7 3-8
Connecticut 70.2 70.5 69.3 70.0 0-8 1-11
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Memphis 104.7 106.0 105.7 105.5 5-3 8-4
Houston 101.1 101.6 101.2 101.3 5-3 8-4
SMU 94.2 93.7 93.2 93.7 4-4 5-7
Tulane 93.0 93.5 92.7 93.1 5-3 6-6
Tulsa 90.0 89.8 90.0 89.9 2-6 3-9
Navy 88.7 90.5 88.8 89.4 2-6 3-9
AAC Averages 94.8 95.4 94.8 95.0
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 138.8 136.5 139.5 138.3 8-0 12-0
Syracuse 112.7 111.4 112.2 112.1 6-2 9-3
N. Carolina St. 112.5 111.6 111.7 111.9 5-3 8-3
Boston College 111.6 109.4 111.1 110.7 4-4 7-5
Wake Forest 106.8 105.0 105.0 105.6 3-5 6-6
Florida St. 103.7 102.4 102.8 102.9 3-5 5-7
Louisville 83.9 83.3 82.7 83.3 0-8 2-10
Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Miami 115.8 114.4 115.4 115.2 4-4 7-5
Georgia Tech 113.1 111.9 112.7 112.6 5-3 7-5
Pittsburgh 109.5 108.7 109.0 109.1 6-2 7-5
Duke 109.4 107.4 108.6 108.5 3-5 7-5
Virginia 106.2 106.1 105.4 105.9 4-4 7-5
Virginia Tech 104.3 103.1 103.5 103.6 4-4 5-6
N. Carolina 100.7 100.0 100.7 100.5 1-7 2-9
ACC Averages 109.2 108.0 108.6 108.6
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 121.5 120.2 121.3 121.0 8-1 11-1
West Virginia 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6 6-3 8-3
Texas 114.3 112.8 113.7 113.6 7-2 9-3
Iowa State 113.5 111.8 112.9 112.7 6-3 7-4
Oklahoma St. 109.6 108.0 109.5 109.0 3-6 6-6
Texas Tech 107.0 105.4 105.7 106.0 3-6 5-7
T C U 106.5 105.2 105.1 105.6 4-5 6-6
Kansas St. 104.8 103.6 104.1 104.2 3-6 5-7
Baylor 103.8 102.2 103.4 103.1 4-5 6-6
Kansas 98.4 97.1 97.5 97.7 1-8 3-9
Big 12 Averages 109.7 108.2 109.0 109.0
Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Ohio St. 126.3 124.5 126.4 125.7 8-1 11-1
Michigan 125.9 124.5 126.3 125.5 8-1 10-2
Penn St. 119.3 117.0 119.0 118.4 6-3 9-3
Michigan St. 112.0 109.9 111.3 111.1 5-4 7-5
Maryland 102.4 100.9 101.5 101.6 3-6 5-7
Indiana 101.4 100.2 101.1 100.9 2-7 5-7
Rutgers 90.2 89.1 89.1 89.5 0-9 1-11
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Iowa 117.2 115.3 116.6 116.4 5-4 8-4
Northwestern 110.7 109.2 110.4 110.1 8-1 8-4
Purdue 110.0 108.3 109.7 109.3 5-4 6-6
Wisconsin 109.3 106.9 108.4 108.2 5-4 7-5
Nebraska 105.4 104.2 104.9 104.8 3-6 4-8
Minnesota 102.8 101.4 102.3 102.2 3-6 6-6
Illinois 89.6 89.0 88.6 89.1 2-7 4-8
Big Ten Averages 108.8 107.2 108.2 108.1
Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Middle Tennessee 96.2 98.2 97.4 97.3 7-1 8-4
Marshall 94.2 97.0 95.3 95.5 6-2 8-3
Florida Atlantic 94.4 95.6 94.8 94.9 3-5 5-7
Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.0 90.3 91.0 6-2 8-4
W. Kentucky 84.1 87.0 84.7 85.3 2-6 3-9
Charlotte 81.8 84.4 82.7 83.0 4-4 5-7
Old Dominion 79.7 82.9 79.6 80.8 2-6 4-8
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
U A B 95.9 98.2 96.6 96.9 7-1 9-3
N. Texas 95.7 98.2 95.7 96.5 5-3 9-3
Louisiana Tech 89.0 90.9 89.3 89.7 5-3 7-5
Southern Miss. 88.2 91.4 89.0 89.6 4-4 6-5
U T S A 73.6 77.2 74.0 75.0 2-6 3-9
Rice 70.0 72.7 69.0 70.6 1-7 2-11
U T E P 68.8 71.8 68.6 69.7 1-7 1-11
CUSA Averages 85.8 88.5 86.2 86.8
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 126.3 123.9 125.4 125.2 x 12-0
Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4 x 9-2
BYU 100.9 101.5 101.9 101.4 x 6-6
Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5 x 4-8
Liberty 80.4 79.9 80.4 80.3 x 5-6
N. Mexico St. 72.3 73.8 72.3 72.8 x 3-9
Indep. Averages 94.0 94.2 94.1 94.1
Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Ohio U 103.3 104.5 104.2 104.0 6-2 8-4
Buffalo 99.6 101.6 100.9 100.7 7-1 10-2
Miami (O) 95.7 97.6 97.8 97.0 6-2 6-6
Akron 85.6 86.5 85.1 85.8 2-6 4-7
Bowling Green 80.5 81.4 80.9 80.9 2-6 3-9
Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3 1-7 2-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Toledo 99.4 100.9 99.6 100.0 5-3 7-5
Northern Illinois 96.2 97.1 96.4 96.6 6-2 7-5
Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.6 95.5 95.8 5-3 7-5
Western Michigan 89.8 91.4 90.7 90.7 5-3 7-5
Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.7 80.5 3-5 4-8
Central Michigan 79.0 81.0 79.0 79.7 0-8 1-11
MAC Averages 90.3 91.7 90.7 90.9
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Boise St. 111.5 111.4 112.0 111.6 7-1 10-2
Utah St. 109.7 110.9 110.6 110.4 7-1 10-2
Wyoming 97.2 97.7 97.2 97.3 4-4 6-6
Air Force 95.6 96.2 95.9 95.9 3-5 5-7
Colorado St. 83.5 84.2 83.3 83.7 2-6 3-9
New Mexico 82.6 83.3 81.8 82.6 1-7 3-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 111.8 111.3 111.8 111.7 7-1 10-2
Nevada 94.8 94.9 94.6 94.8 5-3 7-5
San Diego St. 94.6 94.7 94.8 94.7 4-4 7-5
U N L V 83.2 84.1 83.3 83.5 2-6 4-8
Hawaii 82.2 83.8 81.7 82.6 5-3 8-5
San Jose St. 80.4 81.3 79.8 80.5 1-7 1-11
MWC Averages 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Washington 122.0 119.9 122.4 121.4 7-2 9-3
Washington St. 115.8 114.7 115.5 115.3 7-2 10-2
Stanford 114.5 112.3 114.5 113.8 5-3 7-4
Oregon 111.2 110.9 111.8 111.3 5-4 8-4
California 108.3 106.3 108.3 107.6 4-4 7-4
Oregon St. 84.4 82.5 83.4 83.4 1-8 2-10
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 116.6 115.3 117.0 116.3 6-3 9-3
Arizona St. 110.2 108.9 109.8 109.6 5-4 7-5
U S C 107.1 105.6 106.2 106.3 4-5 5-7
Arizona 102.1 100.7 102.4 101.7 4-5 5-7
U C L A 100.7 100.1 99.2 100.0 3-6 3-9
Colorado 98.4 98.5 98.5 98.5 2-7 5-7
Pac-12 Averages 107.6 106.3 107.4 107.1
Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 128.6 126.3 129.8 128.2 7-1 11-1
Missouri 121.1 119.6 122.1 120.9 4-4 8-4
Florida 115.2 113.6 115.7 114.8 5-3 9-3
S. Carolina 112.9 111.7 112.6 112.4 4-4 6-5
Kentucky 112.7 111.4 112.5 112.2 5-3 9-3
Vanderbilt 105.7 105.7 106.1 105.9 3-5 6-6
Tennessee 98.6 99.0 98.0 98.5 2-6 5-7
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 141.3 139.7 143.1 141.4 8-0 12-0
Mississippi St. 124.2 122.6 125.4 124.1 4-4 8-4
L S U 117.6 116.7 118.4 117.6 5-3 9-3
Auburn 116.8 115.6 118.1 116.8 3-5 7-5
Texas A&M 114.6 113.6 115.1 114.4 5-3 8-4
Ole Miss 102.5 101.8 102.7 102.3 1-7 5-7
Arkansas 96.7 94.3 95.7 95.6 0-8 2-10
SEC Averages 114.9 113.7 115.4 114.6
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 98.7 100.6 100.3 99.8 7-1 9-2
Troy 91.4 93.0 92.9 92.4 7-1 9-3
Georgia Southern 90.5 92.4 91.2 91.4 6-2 9-3
Coastal Carolina 76.0 78.1 76.3 76.8 2-6 5-7
Georgia St. 75.6 77.2 75.6 76.1 1-7 2-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Arkansas St. 91.2 92.8 92.9 92.3 5-3 8-4
UL-Monroe 85.9 86.7 86.5 86.4 4-4 6-6
Louisiana 83.3 85.5 84.8 84.5 5-3 7-5
South Alabama 73.4 75.2 73.8 74.1 2-6 3-9
Texas State 72.8 75.2 73.1 73.7 1-7 3-9
Sun Belt Averages 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

Conference Ratings

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 114.9 113.7 115.4 114.6
2 B12 109.7 108.2 109.0 109.0
3 ACC 109.2 108.0 108.6 108.6
4 BTEN 108.8 107.2 108.2 108.1
5 PAC12 107.6 106.3 107.4 107.1
6 AAC 94.8 95.4 94.8 95.0
7 MWC 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
8 IND 94.0 94.2 94.1 94.1
9 MAC 90.3 91.7 90.7 90.9
10 CUSA 85.8 88.5 86.2 86.8
11 SUN 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

Top Group of 5

Central Florida will get the New Year’s 6 Bowl Bid with a win over Memphis this week in the CUSA Championship Game.  If Memphis pulls off the upset, then UCF could still sneak in depending on how the loss looks.

Should UCF fall by a considerable margin because Mackenzie Milton is out for the season, then Boise State could move above the Golden Knights should the Broncos defeat Fresno State for the second time.

Should Fresno State beat Boise State, and Memphis beat Central Florida, then there could be some issues with the awarding of Bowl Bids.  Because Army doesn’t play Navy until December 8, and the announcement of the bowl bids is December 3, then Army could be excluded even if they blowout Navy by 50 points.  In this instance, Central Florida would probably still get the bid at 11-1.  Had Army defeated Duke at the beginning of the season, then at 11-1 with a loss only to Oklahoma (a game they came close to winning), then the Bowl Committee would have been in a heap of trouble, having to make alternate announcements pending what Army did versus Navy.

At 10-2, Army may still get a chance to play a Power 5 opponent in a bowl game.  Coach Jeff Monken would be a cinch to be offered a Power 5 job if he was not in the Paul Johnson mode.  Monken’s triple option offense is stronger than Georgia Tech’s this year, and his defense is considerably better.

 

Playoff and Bowl Projections

This week, you will see many of the bowl projection sites beginning to come to agreement on the top bowl games.  No doubt, almost every projection will have Alabama in the Cotton Bowl against either Oklahoma or Ohio State, while Clemson and Notre Dame will be in the Orange Bowl.

We thought about this for a long time Saturday night as Clemson and Alabama continued to dominate.  It looked so much like the Playoffs could be narrowed to two teams.  However, we thought about something.  Georgia is not going to lay over and die for the Crimson Tide to roll over.  The Bulldogs have a bad taste in their mouth from last year, where they could smell the National Championship Trophy in the second half of the title game, before some freshman named Tua came off the bench in the second half and looked like a combination of Joe Montana, Brett Favre, John Elway, and Doug Flutie.

We have noticed the teams that have given Alabama the most trouble through the Nick Saban years.  These teams have physical defenses and offenses with dual-threat quarterbacks that can act as another running back while still passing like stars.  Think about Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, or DeShaun Watson.  Even Chad Kelly had legs and could take off and run.  These are the teams that gave the Crimson Tide the most trouble in the last decade.

In the last few weeks, Alabama’s defense has been exposed by this read and react style of offense.  The Citadel’s triple option basically embarrassed Alabama in the first half.  Auburn’s spread option offense did some damage, but Jarrett Stidham does not have the legs to motor on the keeper like the QBs that have outscored Alabama to victory.

Here’s the thing.  Just like Alabama last year, Georgia has their not-so-secret weapon sitting on the bench waiting to be this year’s Tua Tagovailoa.  Freshman sensation Justin Fields possesses the same skills as Newton, Manziel, and Watson.  He has the potential to lead Georgia to an upset victory and totally throw the FBS Playoffs into disarray.

What if Georgia beat Alabama?  Assuming Clemson easily dismisses Pittsburgh, then Clemson would be number one, Georgia and Notre Dame would be number two and three in either order, and Alabama would fall to number four.  Ohio State and Oklahoma would be left out.  Forget Central Florida.  Even if Bama beats Georgia, Northwestern beats Ohio State, and Texas beats Oklahoma, a Georgia team at 11-2 would get into the playoffs before UCF.

If Georgia were to upset Alabama, then four SEC teams would most likely make the NY6 bowls.  The Bulldogs and Tide would make the playoffs.  Florida would most likely make the Peach Bowl, and LSU would probably edge out Penn State and others for the Sugar Bowl.

There are 81 bowl eligible teams as of today.  Virginia Tech is a win over Marshall this weekend from becoming bowl eligible and making it  82.  Liberty can get to 6-6 with a win over Norfolk State, but they have already been eliminated from bowl eligibility as a transition team to FBS once 78 teams became bowl eligible.

If you are a fan of a Mountain West, Mid-American, or Sun Belt Conference team that is 6-6 today, you better cheer hard for Marshall to knock off Virginia Tech.  There are already three teams too many for the bowls, and if the Hokies win, they will jump over any of the Group of 5 teams hoping to land in a bowl.  Teams like Eastern Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Wyoming, and Louisiana-Monroe are holding out for a miracle.  At most one of these teams will make it to a bowl, and if Virginia Tech wins this weekend, all four are likely to have empty envelopes.  Eastern Michigan could still top Western Michigan, but the Broncos have a larger fan base than the Eagles.

What you see below is our look at the bowls should Georgia beat Alabama.  You can look at all the others on the Internet to see what it would look like if the status quo remains, but we believe you will want to read this alternative look.

 

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

November 18, 2018

PiRate Ratings–College Football Week 13

There are a bevy of interesting games with something on the line this week. Playoff games are on the line, bowl eligibility is on the line, and a few coaching jobs are on the line as Rivalry Week returns.
If you are a fan of a 5-6 team this week, you better hope that they win, because there is 0.01% chance or 1 in 10,000 that a bowl will have to take a team that is worse than 6-6. As of today, 71 teams are now bowl eligible. Three games this week will pit teams with identical 5-6 records, so three more are guaranteed to become bowl eligible, bringing the total to 74. There needs to be four more teams that will need one more win, and there are an additional 16 teams that have a chance to do so. The chances that 13 of these 16 teams lose their final game are less than the chances of the San Diego Padres facing the Chicago White Sox in the 2019 World Series.
Below, we take another look at each conference so you can determine which games you want to watch this week, or if you’d rather go shopping on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. You really should spend a few bucks with a locally owned small business this Saturday. We recommend our favorite jewelry artist, Marjorie Miller of Marjorie Miller Designs right here in the Music City at Beautiful Gifts for Her

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Tuesday November 20
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Western Michigan Northern Illinois -6.5 -6.0 -6.2
Miami (O) Ball St. 17.9 17.6 20.4

 

Thursday November 22
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Air Force Colorado St. 14.7 14.6 15.4
Ole Miss Mississippi St. -17.4 -16.1 -18.1

 

Friday November 23
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Ohio U Akron 19.3 19.6 20.6
Cincinnati East Carolina 17.8 19.3 18.3
Kent St. Eastern Michigan -14.7 -15.2 -15.4
Bowling Green Buffalo -13.3 -14.5 -14.3
Iowa Nebraska 17.0 16.3 17.2
Kansas Texas -13.8 -13.8 -14.7
Missouri Arkansas 24.8 25.6 26.8
South Alabama Coastal Carolina -0.3 -1.0 -0.6
Toledo Central Michigan 19.6 18.8 19.5
South Florida Central Florida -21.0 -20.0 -21.5
Oregon St. Oregon -20.9 -22.8 -22.4
Memphis Houston 3.1 3.9 3.7
Virginia Tech Virginia -0.6 -2.1 -1.0
West Virginia Oklahoma -1.0 -0.7 -1.4
Washington St. Washington -1.6 -0.4 -2.1

 

Saturday November 24
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Miami (Fla.) Pittsburgh 6.0 5.0 5.5
Connecticut Temple -30.1 -29.9 -31.6
Louisville Kentucky -21.4 -20.6 -22.4
Clemson South Carolina 28.8 27.6 30.1
Michigan St. Rutgers 29.0 28.0 29.5
Georgia St. Georgia Southern -12.2 -12.3 -12.7
Florida Int’l. Marshall -2.1 -1.1 -2.5
Boston College Syracuse 7.6 6.8 8.0
Ohio St. Michigan -3.5 -4.2 -4.3
Northwestern Illinois 24.9 23.8 26.2
Georgia Georgia Tech 15.5 14.1 17.1
Duke Wake Forest 11.7 11.5 12.8
Wisconsin Minnesota 14.3 13.3 14.3
North Carolina North Carolina St. -11.6 -11.6 -11.2
Louisiana Tech Western Kentucky 12.4 11.6 12.4
Rice Old Dominion -13.1 -13.6 -14.0
UTEP Southern Miss. -13.3 -13.4 -14.0
Liberty New Mexico St. 11.0 8.6 11.4
Boise St. Utah St. 3.9 2.2 3.1
Utah BYU 17.8 15.8 17.6
Appalachian St. Troy 9.5 10.1 9.6
New Mexico Wyoming -8.5 -7.9 -9.0
Middle Tennessee UAB -2.1 -2.6 -1.8
California Colorado 12.9 10.6 12.8
UCLA Stanford -11.9 -10.1 -13.9
Vanderbilt Tennessee 4.3 3.6 4.8
TCU Oklahoma St. -2.2 -2.1 -3.7
Florida St. Florida -4.9 -4.5 -6.4
Penn St. Maryland 16.1 14.9 16.3
Baylor Texas Tech -7.0 -7.3 -6.2
Fresno St. San Jose St. 36.9 35.3 37.9
Iowa St. Kansas St. 11.8 11.5 12.3
Texas A&M LSU -1.4 -1.5 -1.7
Indiana Purdue -6.6 -6.0 -6.4
Tulane Navy 6.9 5.5 6.9
UL-Monroe Louisiana 5.3 3.7 4.6
Tulsa SMU -2.9 -2.9 -2.3
Florida Atlantic Charlotte 20.3 19.1 19.9
Texas St. Arkansas St. -13.8 -12.8 -15.0
UTSA North Texas -22.5 -20.9 -22.5
USC Notre Dame -17.3 -16.7 -17.8
Alabama Auburn 25.4 24.8 25.5
UNLV Nevada -13.3 -12.5 -13.4
San Diego St. Hawaii 20.3 18.8 21.5
Arizona Arizona St. -7.2 -7.3 -6.5

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 141.0 139.3 142.6 141.0
2 Clemson 139.2 136.9 140.1 138.7
3 Michigan 129.1 127.9 129.8 128.9
4 Georgia 127.8 125.3 129.0 127.3
5 Notre Dame 126.9 124.6 126.2 125.9
6 Mississippi St. 122.5 120.7 123.6 122.3
7 Ohio St. 122.6 120.6 122.4 121.9
8 Oklahoma 121.4 120.0 121.1 120.8
9 Washington 120.6 118.4 120.9 119.9
10 Missouri 119.8 118.3 120.8 119.6
11 L S U 117.9 117.0 118.7 117.9
12 Iowa 118.0 116.1 117.6 117.2
13 Auburn 117.1 116.0 118.6 117.2
14 West Virginia 117.4 116.3 116.7 116.8
15 Utah 116.9 115.5 117.5 116.7
16 Washington St. 117.0 116.0 116.8 116.6
17 Penn St. 117.4 114.9 116.9 116.4
18 Texas 114.9 113.5 114.6 114.3
19 Central Florida 114.0 114.4 114.3 114.2
20 Stanford 114.8 112.5 115.0 114.1
21 Boston College 114.8 112.6 114.5 114.0
22 Texas A&M 114.0 113.0 114.5 113.8
23 Michigan St. 114.6 112.5 113.9 113.7
24 Miami 114.3 112.7 113.6 113.6
25 Georgia Tech 113.7 112.7 113.3 113.3
26 Fresno St. 113.3 112.7 113.5 113.2
27 Iowa State 113.8 112.2 113.4 113.1
28 N. Carolina St. 113.3 112.5 112.7 112.8
29 Florida 112.8 111.1 113.3 112.4
30 S. Carolina 112.0 110.8 111.5 111.4
31 Northwestern 111.8 110.3 111.8 111.3
32 Duke 112.2 110.2 111.4 111.3
33 Wisconsin 112.1 109.7 111.4 111.1
34 Boise St. 110.9 110.6 111.2 110.9
35 Utah St. 110.0 111.4 111.1 110.8
36 Pittsburgh 110.8 110.2 110.6 110.6
37 Kentucky 110.5 109.2 110.3 110.0
38 Arizona St. 110.5 109.2 110.1 109.9
39 Oklahoma St. 110.3 108.8 110.3 109.8
40 Syracuse 110.2 108.9 109.5 109.5
41 Purdue 110.0 108.2 109.6 109.3
42 Oregon 109.1 108.9 109.7 109.2
43 Texas Tech 108.8 107.3 107.6 107.9
44 California 108.3 106.2 108.3 107.6
45 Virginia 106.3 106.4 105.7 106.1
46 U S C 106.5 104.9 105.4 105.6
47 Florida St. 105.8 104.6 104.9 105.1
48 T C U 105.6 104.2 104.1 104.6
49 Temple 103.9 104.1 104.5 104.2
50 Kansas St. 104.5 103.2 103.6 103.8
51 Ohio U 103.0 104.2 103.9 103.7
52 Maryland 104.3 103.0 103.6 103.6
53 Ole Miss 103.7 103.2 104.0 103.6
54 Vanderbilt 103.5 103.4 103.7 103.6
55 Memphis 102.8 104.1 103.7 103.5
56 Nebraska 104.1 102.9 103.4 103.4
57 Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4
58 Virginia Tech 104.2 102.8 103.2 103.4
59 Houston 102.7 103.2 102.9 102.9
60 Cincinnati 100.9 102.4 101.2 101.5
61 Arizona 101.8 100.4 102.1 101.4
62 Wake Forest 102.5 100.7 100.7 101.3
63 BYU 100.6 101.3 101.4 101.1
64 Baylor 101.8 100.1 101.3 101.1
65 Indiana 101.4 100.3 101.2 101.0
66 Tennessee 100.8 101.3 100.4 100.8
67 N. Carolina 100.2 99.4 100.0 99.9
68 Appalachian St. 98.6 100.6 100.2 99.8
69 U C L A 100.4 99.9 98.7 99.6
70 Minnesota 100.3 98.9 99.6 99.6
71 U A B 98.2 100.6 99.0 99.3
72 Buffalo 98.0 100.0 99.3 99.1
73 Colorado 98.4 98.6 98.5 98.5
74 Toledo 97.6 99.0 97.6 98.1
75 Northern Illinois 97.5 98.5 97.9 98.0
76 N. Texas 96.9 99.2 97.1 97.7
77 Florida Atlantic 97.0 98.2 97.5 97.6
78 Kansas 98.1 96.7 96.9 97.2
79 San Diego St. 96.8 96.9 97.3 97.0
80 Arkansas 98.0 95.6 97.0 96.9
81 Miami (O) 95.5 97.3 97.7 96.8
82 Nevada 96.4 96.5 96.4 96.4
83 Air Force 95.9 96.5 96.3 96.2
84 Eastern Michigan 95.4 96.9 95.9 96.1
85 Marshall 94.2 96.8 95.3 95.5
86 Wyoming 95.4 95.7 95.3 95.4
87 Middle Tennessee 93.6 95.5 94.7 94.6
88 SMU 94.8 94.4 94.0 94.4
89 Tulane 93.3 93.8 93.2 93.4
90 Troy 91.5 93.0 93.0 92.5
91 Louisiana Tech 91.5 93.5 92.0 92.3
92 South Florida 91.5 92.9 91.3 91.9
93 Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.2 90.3 91.0
94 Arkansas St. 89.9 91.4 91.5 90.9
95 Georgia Southern 89.9 91.7 90.5 90.7
96 Western Michigan 88.5 90.0 89.2 89.3
97 Tulsa 89.4 89.1 89.2 89.2
98 Navy 88.4 90.2 88.3 89.0
99 Rutgers 88.6 87.5 87.5 87.9
100 Illinois 88.5 87.9 87.2 87.9
101 Southern Miss. 85.9 89.0 86.5 87.2
102 Louisville 87.6 87.0 86.4 87.0
103 UL-Monroe 86.5 87.2 87.2 87.0
104 Akron 85.7 86.6 85.2 85.9
105 East Carolina 85.6 85.6 85.4 85.5
106 Oregon St. 86.2 84.2 85.2 85.2
107 New Mexico 84.4 85.3 83.7 84.5
108 Old Dominion 82.9 86.1 82.8 84.0
109 Louisiana 82.7 85.0 84.1 83.9
110 Colorado St. 83.2 83.9 82.9 83.3
111 W. Kentucky 81.6 84.4 82.0 82.7
112 Bowling Green 82.1 83.0 82.5 82.5
113 U N L V 81.6 82.5 81.5 81.9
114 Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5
115 Central Michigan 80.5 82.6 80.7 81.3
116 Hawaii 80.5 82.1 79.7 80.8
117 Ball St. 80.1 82.2 79.8 80.7
118 Liberty 80.6 79.9 80.8 80.5
119 Charlotte 79.2 81.7 80.0 80.3
120 Kent St. 78.7 79.7 78.5 79.0
121 San Jose St. 78.9 79.9 78.1 79.0
122 Coastal Carolina 76.1 78.4 76.6 77.0
123 Georgia St. 76.2 77.9 76.3 76.8
124 Texas State 74.1 76.6 74.5 75.1
125 South Alabama 73.3 74.9 73.5 73.9
126 U T S A 72.4 76.2 72.6 73.8
127 N. Mexico St. 72.1 73.8 71.9 72.6
128 Connecticut 71.8 72.2 70.9 71.6
129 U T E P 70.6 73.7 70.6 71.6
130 Rice 67.8 70.5 66.8 68.4

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 114.0 114.4 114.3 114.2 7-0 10-0
Temple 103.9 104.1 104.5 104.2 6-1 7-4
Cincinnati 100.9 102.4 101.2 101.5 5-2 9-2
South Florida 91.5 92.9 91.3 91.9 3-4 7-4
East Carolina 85.6 85.6 85.4 85.5 1-6 3-7
Connecticut 71.8 72.2 70.9 71.6 0-7 1-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Memphis 102.8 104.1 103.7 103.5 4-3 7-4
Houston 102.7 103.2 102.9 102.9 5-2 8-3
SMU 94.8 94.4 94.0 94.4 4-3 5-6
Tulane 93.3 93.8 93.2 93.4 4-3 5-6
Tulsa 89.4 89.1 89.2 89.2 1-6 2-9
Navy 88.4 90.2 88.3 89.0 2-5 3-8
AAC Averages 94.9 95.5 94.9 95.1
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 139.2 136.9 140.1 138.7 8-0 11-0
Boston College 114.8 112.6 114.5 114.0 4-3 7-4
N. Carolina St. 113.3 112.5 112.7 112.8 4-3 7-3
Syracuse 110.2 108.9 109.5 109.5 5-2 8-3
Florida St. 105.8 104.6 104.9 105.1 3-5 5-6
Wake Forest 102.5 100.7 100.7 101.3 2-5 5-6
Louisville 87.6 87.0 86.4 87.0 0-8 2-9
Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Miami 114.3 112.7 113.6 113.6 3-4 6-5
Georgia Tech 113.7 112.7 113.3 113.3 5-3 7-4
Duke 112.2 110.2 111.4 111.3 3-4 7-4
Pittsburgh 110.8 110.2 110.6 110.6 6-1 7-4
Virginia 106.3 106.4 105.7 106.1 4-3 7-4
Virginia Tech 104.2 102.8 103.2 103.4 3-4 4-6
N. Carolina 100.2 99.4 100.0 99.9 1-6 2-8
ACC Averages 109.7 108.4 109.1 109.0
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 121.4 120.0 121.1 120.8 7-1 10-1
West Virginia 117.4 116.3 116.7 116.8 6-2 8-2
Texas 114.9 113.5 114.6 114.3 6-2 8-3
Iowa State 113.8 112.2 113.4 113.1 5-3 6-4
Oklahoma St. 110.3 108.8 110.3 109.8 3-5 6-5
Texas Tech 108.8 107.3 107.6 107.9 3-5 5-6
T C U 105.6 104.2 104.1 104.6 3-5 5-6
Kansas St. 104.5 103.2 103.6 103.8 3-5 5-6
Baylor 101.8 100.1 101.3 101.1 3-5 5-6
Kansas 98.1 96.7 96.9 97.2 1-7 3-8
Big 12 Averages 109.6 108.2 109.0 108.9
Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Michigan 129.1 127.9 129.8 128.9 8-0 10-1
Ohio St. 122.6 120.6 122.4 121.9 7-1 10-1
Penn St. 117.4 114.9 116.9 116.4 5-3 8-3
Michigan St. 114.6 112.5 113.9 113.7 4-4 6-5
Maryland 104.3 103.0 103.6 103.6 3-5 5-6
Indiana 101.4 100.3 101.2 101.0 2-6 5-6
Rutgers 88.6 87.5 87.5 87.9 0-8 1-10
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Iowa 118.0 116.1 117.6 117.2 4-4 7-4
Northwestern 111.8 110.3 111.8 111.3 7-1 7-4
Wisconsin 112.1 109.7 111.4 111.1 5-3 7-4
Purdue 110.0 108.2 109.6 109.3 4-4 5-6
Nebraska 104.1 102.9 103.4 103.4 3-5 4-7
Minnesota 100.3 98.9 99.6 99.6 2-6 5-6
Illinois 88.5 87.9 87.2 87.9 2-6 4-7
Big Ten Averages 108.8 107.2 108.3 108.1
Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Florida Atlantic 97.0 98.2 97.5 97.6 3-4 5-6
Marshall 94.2 96.8 95.3 95.5 5-2 7-3
Middle Tennessee 93.6 95.5 94.7 94.6 6-1 7-4
Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.2 90.3 91.0 6-1 8-3
Old Dominion 82.9 86.1 82.8 84.0 2-5 4-7
W. Kentucky 81.6 84.4 82.0 82.7 1-6 2-9
Charlotte 79.2 81.7 80.0 80.3 3-4 4-7
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
U A B 98.2 100.6 99.0 99.3 7-0 9-2
N. Texas 96.9 99.2 97.1 97.7 4-3 8-3
Louisiana Tech 91.5 93.5 92.0 92.3 5-2 7-4
Southern Miss. 85.9 89.0 86.5 87.2 3-4 5-5
U T S A 72.4 76.2 72.6 73.8 2-5 3-8
U T E P 70.6 73.7 70.6 71.6 1-6 1-10
Rice 67.8 70.5 66.8 68.4 0-7 1-11
CUSA Averages 85.8 88.5 86.2 86.8
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 126.9 124.6 126.2 125.9 x 11-0
Army 103.1 103.8 103.3 103.4 x 9-2
BYU 100.6 101.3 101.4 101.1 x 6-5
Massachusetts 80.9 82.3 81.2 81.5 x 4-8
Liberty 80.6 79.9 80.8 80.5 x 4-6
N. Mexico St. 72.1 73.8 71.9 72.6 x 3-8
Indep. Averages 94.0 94.3 94.1 94.1
Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Ohio U 103.0 104.2 103.9 103.7 5-2 7-4
Buffalo 98.0 100.0 99.3 99.1 6-1 9-2
Miami (O) 95.5 97.3 97.7 96.8 5-2 5-6
Akron 85.7 86.6 85.2 85.9 2-5 4-6
Bowling Green 82.1 83.0 82.5 82.5 2-5 3-8
Kent St. 78.7 79.7 78.5 79.0 1-6 2-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Toledo 97.6 99.0 97.6 98.1 4-3 6-5
Northern Illinois 97.5 98.5 97.9 98.0 6-1 7-4
Eastern Michigan 95.4 96.9 95.9 96.1 4-3 6-5
Western Michigan 88.5 90.0 89.2 89.3 4-3 6-5
Central Michigan 80.5 82.6 80.7 81.3 0-7 1-10
Ball St. 80.1 82.2 79.8 80.7 3-4 4-7
MAC Averages 90.2 91.7 90.7 90.9
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Boise St. 110.9 110.6 111.2 110.9 6-1 9-2
Utah St. 110.0 111.4 111.1 110.8 7-0 10-1
Air Force 95.9 96.5 96.3 96.2 2-5 4-7
Wyoming 95.4 95.7 95.3 95.4 3-4 5-6
New Mexico 84.4 85.3 83.7 84.5 1-6 3-8
Colorado St. 83.2 83.9 82.9 83.3 2-5 3-8
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 113.3 112.7 113.5 113.2 6-1 9-2
San Diego St. 96.8 96.9 97.3 97.0 4-3 7-4
Nevada 96.4 96.5 96.4 96.4 5-2 7-4
U N L V 81.6 82.5 81.5 81.9 1-6 3-8
Hawaii 80.5 82.1 79.7 80.8 4-3 7-5
San Jose St. 78.9 79.9 78.1 79.0 1-6 1-10
MWC Averages 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Washington 120.6 118.4 120.9 119.9 6-2 8-3
Washington St. 117.0 116.0 116.8 116.6 7-1 10-1
Stanford 114.8 112.5 115.0 114.1 4-3 6-4
Oregon 109.1 108.9 109.7 109.2 4-4 7-4
California 108.3 106.2 108.3 107.6 3-4 6-4
Oregon St. 86.2 84.2 85.2 85.2 1-7 2-9
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 116.9 115.5 117.5 116.7 6-3 8-3
Arizona St. 110.5 109.2 110.1 109.9 4-4 6-5
U S C 106.5 104.9 105.4 105.6 4-5 5-6
Arizona 101.8 100.4 102.1 101.4 4-4 5-6
U C L A 100.4 99.9 98.7 99.6 3-5 3-8
Colorado 98.4 98.6 98.5 98.5 2-6 5-6
Pac-12 Averages 107.5 106.2 107.3 107.0
Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 127.8 125.3 129.0 127.3 7-1 10-1
Missouri 119.8 118.3 120.8 119.6 3-4 7-4
Florida 112.8 111.1 113.3 112.4 5-3 8-3
S. Carolina 112.0 110.8 111.5 111.4 4-4 6-4
Kentucky 110.5 109.2 110.3 110.0 5-3 8-3
Vanderbilt 103.5 103.4 103.7 103.6 2-5 5-6
Tennessee 100.8 101.3 100.4 100.8 2-5 5-6
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 141.0 139.3 142.6 141.0 7-0 11-0
Mississippi St. 122.5 120.7 123.6 122.3 3-4 7-4
L S U 117.9 117.0 118.7 117.9 5-2 9-2
Auburn 117.1 116.0 118.6 117.2 3-4 7-4
Texas A&M 114.0 113.0 114.5 113.8 4-3 7-4
Ole Miss 103.7 103.2 104.0 103.6 1-6 5-6
Arkansas 98.0 95.6 97.0 96.9 0-7 2-9
SEC Averages 114.4 113.2 114.8 114.1
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 98.6 100.6 100.2 99.8 6-1 8-2
Troy 91.5 93.0 93.0 92.5 7-0 9-2
Georgia Southern 89.9 91.7 90.5 90.7 5-2 8-3
Coastal Carolina 76.1 78.4 76.6 77.0 2-5 5-6
Georgia St. 76.2 77.9 76.3 76.8 1-6 2-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Arkansas St. 89.9 91.4 91.5 90.9 4-3 7-4
UL-Monroe 86.5 87.2 87.2 87.0 4-3 6-5
Louisiana 82.7 85.0 84.1 83.9 4-3 6-5
Texas State 74.1 76.6 74.5 75.1 1-6 3-8
South Alabama 73.3 74.9 73.5 73.9 1-6 2-9
Sun Belt Averages 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

The Conferences Rated

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 114.4 113.2 114.8 114.1
2 ACC 109.7 108.4 109.1 109.0
3 B12 109.6 108.2 109.0 108.9
4 BTEN 108.8 107.2 108.3 108.1
5 PAC12 107.5 106.2 107.3 107.0
6 AAC 94.9 95.5 94.9 95.1
7 IND 94.0 94.3 94.1 94.1
8 MWC 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
9 MAC 90.2 91.7 90.7 90.9
10 CUSA 85.8 88.5 86.2 86.8
11 SUN 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

Group of 5 Teams Still in Running for NY6 Bowl

  1. Central Florida
  2. Utah St.
  3. Boise St.
  4. Fresno St.
  5. Army

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Playoff and Bowl Projections

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

 

Key Games on TV This Week

All times given are Eastern Standard

American Athletic
UCF vs. USF: Central Florida easily disposed of Cincinnati, and now they must end the regular season with a swooning South Florida team that looks all out of kilter. USF was 7-0 and has now lost four consecutive games. The Bulls play one good half and one bad half in nearly every game, and if this repeats itself, UCF should win by more than 20 points. However, we suspect USF will play its best game of the year, so this game could be closer than expected, especially if USF’s better half is the first half.

Time: Friday, 4:00 PM
TV: ESPN

Memphis vs. Houston: The West Division race is still up for grabs, and it will go to the winner of the Houston-Memphis game at the Liberty Bowl. Houston may have a little bit of dissension after some issues on the sidelines against Tulane last week. Memphis is playing its best ball of the season, and the Tigers enjoy a modicum of home field advantage. This game could have some head coaching implications. Major Applewhite is not a huge favorite in Houston, and a loss plus a bowl loss could put his job in jeopardy. On the other side, Memphis coach Mike Norvell could be on the short list of multiple Power 5 Conference jobs.
Time: Friday, 12:00 PM
TV: ABC

Teams needing to win Saturday to become bowl eligible
Tulane vs. Navy, 12 Noon on ESPNU
SMU vs. Tulsa, 3:30 PM on CBSSN

Atlantic Coast
Clemson will play Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game, but there are other reasons to watch the Tigers this week. CU plays rival South Carolina, and this should give us all a chance to see Trevor Lawrence face a tough SEC defense. Somewhere down the road, Clemson might play for a National Championship against an even better SEC defense. In limited action earlier this year Lawrence was 5 of 9 for 99 yards and a touchdown against Texas A&M. South Carolina became bowl eligible against Chattanooga last night, and the Gamecocks added a late replacement game for their hurricane cancellation. They now play Akron next week, so there is a chance to get to 8-4 if they can pull off the big upset in this game. At 8-4, they could move up over Missouri and Auburn in the bowl pecking order.  Clemson vs. South Carolina

Time: Saturday, 7 PM
TV: ESPN

Teams needing to win Saturday to become bowl eligible
Florida State vs. Florida, 12 PM on ABC
Wake Forest vs. Duke, 12:30 PM on ACCn

Big 12
This conference has multiple games of importance in both the Playoff and bowl picture. Let’s start by explaining how the Conference Championship Game looks.

Oklahoma leads Texas and West Virginia by one game in the standings, but the Sooners have not clinched a spot in the Championship Game. Oklahoma plays at West Virginia this week. Texas visits Kansas.

If Oklahoma wins, they are the #1 seed, and West Virginia falls to 6-3 in the league. If Texas then beats Kansas, it will be a rematch of the Red River Rivalry in Arlington, Texas, as the Longhorns will be 7-2.

If West Virginia beats Oklahoma, and Texas beats Kansas, then the Sooners are eliminated, while West Virginia and Texas play in the title game.

If Texas loses to Kansas in a monumental upset, then no matter what happens in the OU-WVU game, the two will play again the next week for the Big 12 Championship.

Oklahoma needs to beat West Virginia and Texas and hope for Northwestern to pull off a big upset in the Big Ten Championship Game to have any chance at making the Playoffs. There is a minor chance that they could get in if Notre Dame lays an egg at the Coliseum against USC this week, but the way the Trojans are playing, don’t bet on it.

There are three more important games in the Big 12 this week.  Texas Tech plays Baylor at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The winner earns a bowl bid, while the loser plays again next September. If the loser is Texas Tech, there’s a good chance that somebody other than Kliff KIngsbury will be coaching the Red Raiders in 2019. His job is not totally secure unless TTU wins this game and the bowl game.
Oklahoma State is bowl eligible thanks to the upset over West Virginia. The Cowboys close the season against TCU, and the 5-6 Horned Frogs need a win to become bowl eligible. TCU had several near misses, but their defense looked strong in stopping Baylor Saturday.
Kansas State might be playing its final game under the direction of legendary coach Bill Snyder. At 79, there’s a chance that Snyder will retire for good after this season. Kansas State is 5-6 and faces a tough finishing game against Iowa State in Ames. Iowa State coach Matt Campbell might also be leading his Cyclones on the field for the last time. He could easily be gobbled up by a bigger school looking to hire a new coach. Should Urban Meyer step down at Ohio State, a lot of insiders believe that Campbell would be on a very short list in Columbus.

Big 12 Key Game Schedule
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
Time: Friday, 8 PM
TV; ESPN

Texas vs. Kansas
Time: Friday, 12 Noon
TV: FS1

Texas Tech vs. Baylor
Time: Saturday, 12 Noon
TV: FS1

TCU vs. Oklahoma St.
Time: Saturday, 8 PM
TV: Fox

Kansas St. vs. Iowa St.
Time: Saturday, 7 PM
TV: FS1

 

Big Ten
Michigan vs. Ohio State: It’s all about the big rivalry game at the Giant Horseshoe. Michigan and Ohio State will meet for the annual grudge match, and the winner wins the East and stays in contention for the Playoffs. The loser most likely would get the consolation prize of a Rose Bowl game. Michigan has not won in Columbus since 2000, which means they are zero for their last eight. In that span, they lose their most important game prior to this one, when they fell by a field goal in 2006. Expect a hard-fought effort on both sides, and the winner just may come out of this game at somewhat less than 100%, giving Northwestern a bit more chance to pull off a big upset in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Time: 12 Noon, Saturday
TV: Fox

Indiana and Purdue face off in Bloomington in a bowl qualification/elimination game. These may be the two best 5-6 teams in the nation, and the winner will be a tough 6-6 bowl team. Purdue may be playing with some distractions, as it appears as if Coach Jeff Brohm is halfway out the door and headed south to his Alma Mater in Louisville.

Time: 12 Noon, Saturday
TV: ESPN2

The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe must fall in the favor of Minnesota against Wisconsin if the Golden Gophers are to nab the Big Ten’s ninth bowl bid. UM is 5-6 and extremely inconsistent, sometimes in the same half of games. Wisconsin is coming in for a landing with a stalled engine, so this game should be close and relatively low scoring.

Time: 3:30 PM, Saturday
TV: ESPN2

Maryland has not won a game since D.J. Durkin was officially re-instated and then fired. The Terrapins were 5-3 and looking like a bowl team before the news hit. They have dropped three games in a row and must win at Penn State to become bowl eligible. Penn State is winning on fumes in November. The Nittany Lions’ offense has disappeared. Still, PSU looks like a prohibitive favorite in this game, and they actually still hold a remote chance of earning the final New Year’s Six Bowl bid. A win would almost guarantee them no worse than the Citrus or Outback Bowl games on New Year’s Day. Maryland vs. Penn St.

Time: 3:30 PM, Saturday
TV: ABC

Conference USA
CUSA lost any chance of sending a team to the Peach Bowl when UAB coughed up the ball too many times and lost at Texas A&M after coming out even in total yardage. The Blazers have clinched a berth in the CUSA Championship Game, and their contest at Middle Tennessee this week will still be important, because the East Division race is still to be decided. If Middle beats UAB, and Marshall beats Florida International, then Middle and UAB would play again next week in the CUSA Championship Game. If FIU beats Marshall and UAB beats Middle Tennessee, then FIU wins the East Division race.

Middle Tennessee vs. UAB
Time: 3PM, Saturday
TV: Online only at ESPN3

Florida International vs. Marshall
Time: 12 Noon, Saturday
TV: Stadium and Facebook

Teams needing to win Saturday to become bowl eligible
Florida Atlantic vs. Charlotte
Time: Saturday, 6PM
TV: Stadium

Southern Mississippi vs. UTEP
Time: 3 PM, Saturday
TV: ESPN+

Independents
Notre Dame can become the first team to secure a spot in the Playoffs by topping USC in Los Angeles. USC will be playing for bowl eligibility as well as Coach Clay Helton’s job security. There might be a couple of NFL head coaches, including former coach Pete Carroll interested in taking the job if it becomes available, but we tend to believe Dino Babers might be the answer if this job opens up. As for the Irish, they are peaking at the right time. A double-digit win should leave Notre Dame in the 3-slot with a trip to the Orange Bowl to face Clemson the most likely scenario.  Notre Dame vs. USC

Time: 8 PM, Saturday
TV: ABC

 

Mid-American
The MAC Championship Game will pit Buffalo and Northern Illinois unless the unthinkable happens, and the Bulls lose to a weak Bowling Green team. Should Buffalo lose, then Miami of Ohio has a chance to do the unthinkable for the second time in three years if they beat Ball St. Miami began 2016 at 0-6 and then won six games in a row to come from last to first and make a bowl game. This year the Red Hawks were 1-4 and then 3-6 before winning back-to-back games over favored Ohio and Northern Illinois teams. Ohio can only win the division if Buffalo and Miami both lose.
In the West, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan all have six wins and are bowl eligible, but there is little chance that all three will be invited to bowls. At least one of these three will miss out, so, it is important to get that seventh win this week.

Key MAC Games Schedule

Buffalo vs. Bowling Green
Time: 12 Noon, Friday
TV: ESPNU

Miami (O) vs. Ball St.
Time: 7PM, Tuesday
TV: ESPN+

Ohio U vs. Akron
Time: 12 Noon, Friday
TV: CBSSN
Note: Akron is technically still in the running for bowl eligibility at 4-6, but the Zips must beat Ohio and then South Carolina, so we have eliminated them from the bowl team possibles.

Eastern Michigan vs. Kent St.
Time: 12 Noon, Friday
TV: ESPN3 online

Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois
Time: 7 PM, Tuesday
TV: ESPNU

Toledo vs. Central Michigan
Time: 12 Noon, Friday
TV: ESPN3 online
Mountain West
Fresno State clinched a spot in the conference championship game and will face the winner of the Boise State-Utah State game. Utah State is playing for more than just a spot in the MWC Championship Game. They are the team on-deck should Central Florida fall to USF or in the AAC Championship Game. The Aggies could sneak into the Fiesta Bowl with wins over Boise State and Fresno State and a loss by UCF.

Boise State-Utah St.
Time: 10:15 PM, Saturday
TV: ESPN

Wyoming is 5-6 and needs a win over New Mexico to become bowl eligible. Even at 6-6, the Cowboys have only a slim chance to earn a bowl bid.

Time: 2:30 PM, Saturday
TV: MWCn
Pac-12
Both division races will be decided this week. In the North Division race, it comes down to the Apple Cup game between Washington and Washington St. Washington State has not won the Apple Cup since Mike Leach’s first year in the Palouse. UW has won the last five years by better than three touchdowns per game. An impressive win over Washington combined with a blowout win in the Pac-12 Championship Game could bring the Playoffs into view for WSU if Northwestern won the Big Ten Championship Game and Oklahoma did not win the Big 12 Championship.  Washington State vs. Washington

Time: 8:30 PM, Friday
TV: Fox

The South Division comes down to Utah or Arizona State. Utah has already finished their conference slate, and their game against BYU is strictly for bragging rights in the Beehive State. The Arizona State-Arizona game is the important one. If the Sun Devils win, then Coach Herm Edwards will force all those pundits to eat crow when they called his hiring a farce. ASU would win the South with a win over their rival. Arizona has a lot to play for as well. The Wildcats are 5-6 and must win to become bowl eligible, where they most likely would be shipped east as an at-large team for a bowl needing to fill a spot.

Arizona-Arizona State
Time: 3:30 PM, Saturday
TV: FS1

Colorado was 5-0, and now the Buffaloes are 5-6. Coach Mike MacIntyre is on a hot seat in snowy Boulder, and CU must venture to smoky Berkeley to face a hot Cal team that got an unexpected week off last week. CU better hope that Cal is looking forward to the Stanford makeup game the following week and overlooks the Buffs, because CU hasn’t got much left in the tank at this point.  Colorado vs. California

Time: 7PM, Saturday
TV: Pac-12
Southeastern
Alabama and Georgia will meet in the next chapter of greatness in the SEC Championship Game next week, but both teams must not overlook their arch-rivals this week, both of whom come into this game in peak performance.

Alabama should have little problem with Auburn, but the Tide showed some vulnerabilities that Auburn, and then Georgia, and possibly Clemson can attack. By saying “vulnerabilities,” we refer to something similar to the 1927 New York Yankees being a little weak at third base with Jumping Joe Dugan. Auburn last beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2010, but that team has Cam Newton at quarterback and still only won by a point.

Alabama vs. Auburn
Time: 3:30 PM, Saturday
TV: CBS

Georgia cannot afford a loss to Georgia Tech, as the Bulldogs might not make the playoffs even if they subsequently beat Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Tech has made a big turnaround since starting the season 1-3. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall has a chance to reach 1,000 rushing yards with a good game here and another in the bowl game.

Georgia vs. Georgia Tech
Time: 12 Noon, Saturday
TV: SECn

Vanderbilt and Tennessee face off in Nashville with a bowl game going to the winner and the end of the line coming for the loser. Tennessee needs quarterback Jarrett Guarantano to return from a head and neck injury suffered Saturday against Missouri. Guarantano is worth more than a touchdown to the Vols compared to backup Keller Chryst. The Vols also have concerns at wideout where Marquez Callaway also was injured against Missouri. Vanderbilt has some injury concerns at quarterback as well, but it is their number two guy that will probably miss this game. Should anything happen to Kyle Shurmur, then the Commodores would be forced to put a true freshman with zero game experience into the most important game of their season. Vandy coach Derek Mason could receive some feelers from other job openings if he can guide the Commodores to their second bowl in three years. He was courted by California last year, and a possible opening or two in the Pac-12 could attract him.  Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt
Time: 4 PM, Saturday
TV: SECn

Sun Belt
Half of the league still holds SBC Championship Game aspirations. In the East, Troy plays Appalachian State, and the winner takes the division title and hosts the inaugural SBC Championship Game. The Mountaineers host this game and have not lost a conference game at home in more than three years. These two teams did not play each other last year when they tied for first, and the last two times they played, the games came down to the final minute.

Time: 2:30 PM, Saturday
TV: ESPN+

The West Division is currently log-jammed with three teams tied for first at 4-3. Louisiana holds the trump card in this three-way race. If the Ragin’ Cajuns defeat rival UL-Monroe, they will win the division title and play in the league title game. If UL-Monroe beats Louisiana, then Arkansas State would get in if the Red Wolves beat Texas State. If UL-Monroe wins and Arkansas State loses, then the Warhawks would win the division title outright.
Louisiana vs. UL-Monroe
Time: 3 PM ,Saturday
TV: ESPN+

Arkansas State vs. Texas State
Time: 4PM, Saturday
TV: ESPN3

 

November 11, 2018

PiRate Ratings–College Football Week 12

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Tuesday November 13
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Ball St. Western Michigan -6.3 -6.0 -7.9

 

Wednesday November 14
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Ohio U Buffalo 2.1 1.2 1.5
Northern Illinois Miami (O) 7.1 6.5 5.4

 

Thursday November 15
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Kent St. Toledo -16.5 -16.7 -16.3
Houston Tulane 7.4 7.4 7.7
North Texas Florida Atlantic 2.4 3.4 2.2

 

Friday November 16
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
SMU Memphis -4.4 -6.0 -5.8
New Mexico Boise St. -23.1 -21.5 -23.7

 

Saturday November 17
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Michigan Indiana 32.8 32.7 33.6
Wake Forest Pittsburgh -2.5 -3.8 -4.1
Illinois Iowa -21.0 -19.7 -21.9
Purdue Wisconsin 0.9 1.9 1.6
Georgia Tech Virginia 11.6 10.6 12.2
Minnesota Northwestern -8.4 -8.0 -9.0
Clemson Duke 30.1 29.6 31.6
Rutgers Penn St. -28.1 -26.4 -29.3
Kansas St. Texas Tech -4.8 -4.7 -4.7
East Carolina Connecticut 12.7 12.1 13.2
Temple South Florida 15.3 14.1 16.7
Georgia Massachusetts 51.8 47.9 52.7
Coastal Carolina Georgia Southern -9.6 -8.7 -9.3
Tennessee Missouri -13.0 -11.1 -14.3
Kentucky Middle Tennessee 20.3 17.1 19.2
Maryland Ohio St. -16.4 -16.0 -17.4
Louisville North Carolina St. -17.1 -16.9 -17.7
Central Florida Cincinnati 15.6 14.0 15.1
Auburn Liberty 36.4 35.5 37.3
Charlotte Florida Int’l. -8.6 -9.9 -8.5
BYU New Mexico St. 31.1 29.9 31.9
Wyoming Air Force 1.2 0.5 0.1
Colorado Utah -13.2 -11.5 -13.3
Colorado St. Utah St. -26.3 -27.1 -28.0
Notre Dame Syracuse 16.2 14.9 15.9
Appalachian St. Georgia St. 24.7 24.7 26.1
Marshall UTSA 24.9 23.6 25.7
California Stanford -5.0 -4.8 -5.2
Oregon Arizona St. 1.6 2.8 2.5
Washington St. Arizona 13.2 13.5 12.6
San Jose St. Nevada -15.4 -14.7 -17.0
Baylor TCU -1.4 -1.5 0.3
Navy Tulsa 1.1 3.5 0.8
Texas A&M UAB 18.6 14.6 17.9
Mississippi St. Arkansas 23.4 23.7 25.2
Oklahoma St. West Virginia -5.4 -6.2 -4.9
Southern Miss. Louisiana Tech -4.1 -3.0 -4.4
Akron Bowling Green 9.8 10.2 9.5
LSU Rice 54.4 50.8 56.2
Vanderbilt Ole Miss 2.5 3.2 2.6
Florida St. Boston College -8.5 -7.6 -9.4
Oklahoma Kansas 27.7 27.9 29.4
Washington Oregon St. 38.8 38.8 40.7
Arkansas St. UL-Monroe 4.8 5.6 5.7
Troy Texas St. 22.1 20.9 23.6
Louisiana South Alabama 12.1 12.8 13.4
Virginia Tech Miami (Fla.) -3.6 -3.2 -3.5
Western Kentucky UTEP 8.4 8.3 9.0
Nebraska Michigan St. -11.1 -10.1 -11.5
Texas Iowa St. 2.2 2.2 1.8
UCLA USC -7.4 -6.3 -8.6
Fresno St. San Diego St. 20.1 19.7 20.3
Hawaii UNLV 1.8 2.5 0.5

 

FBS FCS
Home Visitor PiRate
Florida Idaho 33.0
Alabama Citadel 58.2
Army Colgate 21.2
Old Dominion VMI 20.9
North Carolina Western Carolina 25.6
South Carolina Chattanooga 36.0

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 142.0 140.3 143.6 142.0
2 Clemson 139.2 136.9 140.1 138.7
3 Michigan 130.0 128.8 130.7 129.8
4 Georgia 129.0 126.5 130.2 128.5
5 Notre Dame 125.2 122.7 124.3 124.0
6 Ohio St. 123.2 121.3 123.2 122.6
7 Oklahoma 122.1 120.8 122.2 121.7
8 Washington 121.3 119.2 121.9 120.8
9 Mississippi St. 120.4 118.5 121.4 120.1
10 L S U 118.7 117.8 119.5 118.7
11 Missouri 118.3 116.9 119.3 118.1
12 West Virginia 118.2 117.3 117.6 117.7
13 Penn St. 118.3 115.7 118.1 117.4
14 Michigan St. 116.6 114.5 116.1 115.8
15 Boston College 116.3 114.1 116.1 115.5
16 Auburn 115.4 114.1 116.7 115.4
17 Utah 115.6 114.0 116.0 115.2
18 Iowa 115.5 113.6 115.1 114.7
19 Iowa State 114.6 113.1 114.4 114.0
20 Georgia Tech 114.3 113.3 114.1 113.9
21 Stanford 114.6 112.3 114.8 113.9
22 Central Florida 113.7 113.9 113.8 113.8
23 Washington St. 114.2 113.2 114.0 113.8
24 Fresno St. 113.6 113.1 114.0 113.6
25 Texas A&M 113.9 112.6 114.2 113.6
26 Texas 113.8 112.3 113.3 113.1
27 Utah St. 111.2 112.7 112.5 112.1
28 Miami 112.8 111.1 111.9 112.0
29 Florida 111.8 110.1 112.3 111.4
30 Syracuse 111.9 110.8 111.4 111.4
31 Duke 112.2 110.2 111.4 111.3
32 Northwestern 111.7 110.1 111.7 111.2
33 Wisconsin 112.1 109.5 111.2 110.9
34 S. Carolina 111.5 110.3 111.0 110.9
35 Kentucky 110.7 109.4 110.6 110.2
36 Boise St. 110.3 109.8 110.4 110.2
37 N. Carolina St. 110.5 109.7 109.9 110.0
38 Arizona St. 110.5 109.2 110.1 109.9
39 Texas Tech 110.5 109.1 109.5 109.7
40 Purdue 110.0 108.4 109.8 109.4
41 Oregon 109.1 108.9 109.7 109.2
42 Oklahoma St. 109.8 108.1 109.7 109.2
43 Pittsburgh 109.1 108.6 108.9 108.9
44 California 108.1 106.0 108.1 107.4
45 U S C 108.0 106.4 107.2 107.2
46 Virginia Tech 106.2 104.9 105.4 105.5
47 Virginia 105.7 105.8 104.9 105.5
48 Temple 104.1 104.3 105.0 104.5
49 T C U 105.4 103.9 103.6 104.3
50 Florida St. 104.8 103.6 103.8 104.0
51 Vanderbilt 103.6 103.6 103.9 103.7
52 Arizona 104.1 102.7 104.4 103.7
53 Army 103.3 104.0 103.5 103.6
54 Ole Miss 103.6 103.0 103.8 103.4
55 Memphis 102.3 103.6 103.1 103.0
56 Wake Forest 104.2 102.3 102.4 102.9
57 Maryland 103.7 102.3 102.8 102.9
58 Tennessee 102.3 102.7 101.9 102.3
59 Kansas St. 102.8 101.4 101.7 102.0
60 Cincinnati 101.2 102.9 101.7 101.9
61 Nebraska 102.6 101.4 101.7 101.9
62 Buffalo 100.5 102.5 101.8 101.6
63 Baylor 102.0 100.4 101.8 101.4
64 BYU 100.4 101.0 101.1 100.8
65 Houston 100.2 100.7 100.4 100.4
66 Ohio U 99.5 100.7 100.4 100.2
67 N. Carolina 100.2 99.4 100.0 99.9
68 Indiana 100.2 99.1 100.0 99.8
69 Minnesota 100.4 99.1 99.7 99.7
70 Appalachian St. 98.5 100.4 100.1 99.6
71 Colorado 99.4 99.6 99.7 99.6
72 U A B 98.3 101.0 99.3 99.6
73 Northern Illinois 98.6 99.6 99.0 99.1
74 Arkansas 100.1 97.8 99.2 99.0
75 U C L A 99.1 98.6 97.1 98.2
76 Toledo 97.4 98.7 97.2 97.8
77 N. Texas 96.9 99.2 97.1 97.7
78 Florida Atlantic 97.0 98.2 97.5 97.6
79 Nevada 96.6 96.8 97.0 96.8
80 Air Force 96.3 97.1 97.0 96.8
81 San Diego St. 96.5 96.5 96.8 96.6
82 Kansas 97.4 95.9 95.8 96.4
83 Tulane 95.8 96.3 95.7 95.9
84 Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.7 95.7 95.9
85 Miami (O) 94.4 96.2 96.6 95.7
86 Marshall 94.2 96.8 95.3 95.5
87 Wyoming 95.0 95.1 94.6 94.9
88 SMU 95.0 94.6 94.3 94.6
89 Middle Tennessee 93.4 95.3 94.4 94.4
90 Troy 92.6 94.0 94.3 93.6
91 Louisiana Tech 91.8 93.8 92.5 92.7
92 South Florida 91.3 92.7 90.8 91.6
93 Illinois 92.0 91.4 90.7 91.4
94 Florida Int’l. 89.7 93.4 90.4 91.2
95 Arkansas St. 89.4 90.9 90.9 90.4
96 Louisville 90.9 90.3 89.7 90.3
97 Tulsa 90.0 89.6 90.0 89.9
98 Western Michigan 88.7 90.3 89.7 89.6
99 Georgia Southern 88.8 90.4 89.2 89.5
100 Navy 88.1 90.0 87.8 88.7
101 Akron 87.9 88.9 87.6 88.2
102 UL-Monroe 87.0 87.7 87.8 87.5
103 Rutgers 87.7 86.7 86.3 86.9
104 Southern Miss. 85.6 88.7 86.0 86.8
105 New Mexico 84.7 85.8 84.2 84.9
106 Oregon St. 85.5 83.4 84.2 84.4
107 Louisiana 82.8 85.1 84.3 84.1
108 East Carolina 83.8 83.7 83.5 83.7
109 Old Dominion 82.2 85.4 82.1 83.3
110 U N L V 81.9 82.8 82.1 82.3
111 Colorado St. 82.0 82.6 81.5 82.0
112 Liberty 82.0 81.5 82.4 82.0
113 Central Michigan 80.3 82.4 80.5 81.1
114 Massachusetts 80.2 81.6 80.5 80.8
115 Hawaii 80.2 81.8 79.1 80.4
116 Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.3 80.4
117 Bowling Green 80.1 80.7 80.1 80.3
118 W. Kentucky 79.1 81.9 79.5 80.2
119 Charlotte 79.1 81.5 79.9 80.2
120 Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3
121 San Jose St. 78.7 79.6 77.5 78.6
122 Coastal Carolina 77.2 79.7 77.9 78.3
123 Georgia St. 76.3 78.1 76.4 76.9
124 U T E P 73.1 76.2 73.1 74.1
125 Connecticut 74.1 74.6 73.3 74.0
126 Texas State 73.0 75.6 73.2 73.9
127 South Alabama 73.2 74.8 73.3 73.8
128 U T S A 72.4 76.2 72.6 73.8
129 N. Mexico St. 72.3 74.1 72.2 72.9
130 Rice 67.3 70.0 66.3 67.9

 

PiRate Ratings by Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 113.7 113.9 113.8 113.8 6-0 9-0
Temple 104.1 104.3 105.0 104.5 5-1 6-4
Cincinnati 101.2 102.9 101.7 101.9 5-1 9-1
South Florida 91.3 92.7 90.8 91.6 3-3 7-3
East Carolina 83.8 83.7 83.5 83.7 0-6 2-7
Connecticut 74.1 74.6 73.3 74.0 0-6 1-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Memphis 102.3 103.6 103.1 103.0 3-3 6-4
Houston 100.2 100.7 100.4 100.4 4-2 7-3
Tulane 95.8 96.3 95.7 95.9 4-2 5-5
SMU 95.0 94.6 94.3 94.6 4-2 5-5
Tulsa 90.0 89.6 90.0 89.9 1-5 2-8
Navy 88.1 90.0 87.8 88.7 1-5 2-8
AAC Averages 95.0 95.6 95.0 95.2
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 139.2 136.9 140.1 138.7 7-0 10-0
Boston College 116.3 114.1 116.1 115.5 4-2 7-3
Syracuse 111.9 110.8 111.4 111.4 5-2 8-2
N. Carolina St. 110.5 109.7 109.9 110.0 3-3 6-3
Florida St. 104.8 103.6 103.8 104.0 2-5 4-6
Wake Forest 104.2 102.3 102.4 102.9 2-4 5-5
Louisville 90.9 90.3 89.7 90.3 0-7 2-8
Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Georgia Tech 114.3 113.3 114.1 113.9 4-3 6-4
Miami 112.8 111.1 111.9 112.0 2-4 5-5
Duke 112.2 110.2 111.4 111.3 3-3 7-3
Pittsburgh 109.1 108.6 108.9 108.9 5-1 6-4
Virginia Tech 106.2 104.9 105.4 105.5 3-3 4-5
Virginia 105.7 105.8 104.9 105.5 4-2 7-3
N. Carolina 100.2 99.4 100.0 99.9 1-6 1-8
ACC Averages 109.9 108.7 109.3 109.3
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 122.1 120.8 122.2 121.7 6-1 9-1
West Virginia 118.2 117.3 117.6 117.7 6-1 8-1
Iowa State 114.6 113.1 114.4 114.0 5-2 6-3
Texas 113.8 112.3 113.3 113.1 5-2 7-3
Texas Tech 110.5 109.1 109.5 109.7 3-4 5-5
Oklahoma St. 109.8 108.1 109.7 109.2 2-5 5-5
T C U 105.4 103.9 103.6 104.3 2-5 4-6
Kansas St. 102.8 101.4 101.7 102.0 2-5 4-6
Baylor 102.0 100.4 101.8 101.4 3-4 5-5
Kansas 97.4 95.9 95.8 96.4 1-6 3-7
Big 12 Averages 109.6 108.2 109.0 108.9
Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Michigan 130.0 128.8 130.7 129.8 7-0 9-1
Ohio St. 123.2 121.3 123.2 122.6 6-1 9-1
Penn St. 118.3 115.7 118.1 117.4 4-3 7-3
Michigan St. 116.6 114.5 116.1 115.8 5-3 6-4
Maryland 103.7 102.3 102.8 102.9 3-4 5-5
Indiana 100.2 99.1 100.0 99.8 2-5 5-5
Rutgers 87.7 86.7 86.3 86.9 0-7 1-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Iowa 115.5 113.6 115.1 114.7 3-4 6-4
Northwestern 111.7 110.1 111.7 111.2 6-1 6-4
Wisconsin 112.1 109.5 111.2 110.9 4-3 6-4
Purdue 110.0 108.4 109.8 109.4 4-3 5-5
Nebraska 102.6 101.4 101.7 101.9 2-5 3-7
Minnesota 100.4 99.1 99.7 99.7 2-5 5-5
Illinois 92.0 91.4 90.7 91.4 2-5 4-6
Big Ten Averages 108.9 107.3 108.4 108.2
Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Florida Atlantic 97.0 98.2 97.5 97.6 3-3 5-5
Marshall 94.2 96.8 95.3 95.5 4-2 6-3
Middle Tennessee 93.4 95.3 94.4 94.4 6-1 7-3
Florida Int’l. 89.7 93.4 90.4 91.2 5-1 7-3
Old Dominion 82.2 85.4 82.1 83.3 2-5 3-7
Charlotte 79.1 81.5 79.9 80.2 3-3 4-6
W. Kentucky 79.1 81.9 79.5 80.2 0-6 1-9
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
U A B 98.3 101.0 99.3 99.6 7-0 9-1
N. Texas 96.9 99.2 97.1 97.7 3-3 7-3
Louisiana Tech 91.8 93.8 92.5 92.7 5-1 7-3
Southern Miss. 85.6 88.7 86.0 86.8 2-4 3-6
U T E P 73.1 76.2 73.1 74.1 1-5 1-9
U T S A 72.4 76.2 72.6 73.8 2-4 3-7
Rice 67.3 70.0 66.3 67.9 0-7 1-10
CUSA Averages 85.7 88.4 86.2 86.8
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 125.2 122.7 124.3 124.0 x 10-0
Army 103.3 104.0 103.5 103.6 x 8-2
BYU 100.4 101.0 101.1 100.8 x 5-5
Liberty 82.0 81.5 82.4 82.0 x 4-5
Massachusetts 80.2 81.6 80.5 80.8 x 4-7
N. Mexico St. 72.3 74.1 72.2 72.9 x 3-7
Indep. Averages 93.9 94.1 94.0 94.0
Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Buffalo 100.5 102.5 101.8 101.6 6-0 9-1
Ohio U 99.5 100.7 100.4 100.2 4-2 6-4
Miami (O) 94.4 96.2 96.6 95.7 4-2 4-6
Akron 87.9 88.9 87.6 88.2 2-4 4-5
Bowling Green 80.1 80.7 80.1 80.3 1-5 2-8
Kent St. 78.9 80.0 78.9 79.3 1-5 2-8
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Northern Illinois 98.6 99.6 99.0 99.1 6-0 7-3
Toledo 97.4 98.7 97.2 97.8 3-3 5-5
Eastern Michigan 95.2 96.7 95.7 95.9 4-3 6-5
Western Michigan 88.7 90.3 89.7 89.6 4-2 6-4
Central Michigan 80.3 82.4 80.5 81.1 0-7 1-10
Ball St. 79.9 81.9 79.3 80.4 2-4 3-7
MAC Averages 90.1 91.5 90.6 90.7
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Utah St. 111.2 112.7 112.5 112.1 6-0 9-1
Boise St. 110.3 109.8 110.4 110.2 5-1 8-2
Air Force 96.3 97.1 97.0 96.8 2-4 4-6
Wyoming 95.0 95.1 94.6 94.9 2-4 4-6
New Mexico 84.7 85.8 84.2 84.9 1-5 3-7
Colorado St. 82.0 82.6 81.5 82.0 2-4 3-7
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 113.6 113.1 114.0 113.6 5-1 8-2
Nevada 96.6 96.8 97.0 96.8 4-2 6-4
San Diego St. 96.5 96.5 96.8 96.6 4-2 7-3
U N L V 81.9 82.8 82.1 82.3 1-5 3-7
Hawaii 80.2 81.8 79.1 80.4 3-3 6-5
San Jose St. 78.7 79.6 77.5 78.6 1-5 1-9
MWC Averages 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Washington 121.3 119.2 121.9 120.8 5-2 7-3
Stanford 114.6 112.3 114.8 113.9 4-3 6-4
Washington St. 114.2 113.2 114.0 113.8 6-1 9-1
Oregon 109.1 108.9 109.7 109.2 3-4 6-4
California 108.1 106.0 108.1 107.4 3-4 6-4
Oregon St. 85.5 83.4 84.2 84.4 1-6 2-8
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 115.6 114.0 116.0 115.2 5-3 7-3
Arizona St. 110.5 109.2 110.1 109.9 4-3 6-4
U S C 108.0 106.4 107.2 107.2 4-4 5-5
Arizona 104.1 102.7 104.4 103.7 4-3 5-5
Colorado 99.4 99.6 99.7 99.6 2-5 5-5
U C L A 99.1 98.6 97.1 98.2 2-5 2-8
Pac-12 Averages 107.5 106.1 107.3 106.9
Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 129.0 126.5 130.2 128.5 7-1 9-1
Missouri 118.3 116.9 119.3 118.1 2-4 6-4
Florida 111.8 110.1 112.3 111.4 5-3 7-3
S. Carolina 111.5 110.3 111.0 110.9 4-4 5-4
Kentucky 110.7 109.4 110.6 110.2 5-3 7-3
Vanderbilt 103.6 103.6 103.9 103.7 1-5 4-6
Tennessee 102.3 102.7 101.9 102.3 2-4 5-5
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 142.0 140.3 143.6 142.0 7-0 10-0
Mississippi St. 120.4 118.5 121.4 120.1 2-4 6-4
L S U 118.7 117.8 119.5 118.7 5-2 8-2
Auburn 115.4 114.1 116.7 115.4 3-4 6-4
Texas A&M 113.9 112.6 114.2 113.6 4-3 6-4
Ole Miss 103.6 103.0 103.8 103.4 1-5 5-5
Arkansas 100.1 97.8 99.2 99.0 0-6 2-8
SEC Averages 114.4 113.1 114.8 114.1
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 98.5 100.4 100.1 99.6 5-1 7-2
Troy 92.6 94.0 94.3 93.6 6-0 8-2
Georgia Southern 88.8 90.4 89.2 89.5 4-2 7-3
Coastal Carolina 77.2 79.7 77.9 78.3 2-4 5-5
Georgia St. 76.3 78.1 76.4 76.9 1-5 2-8
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Arkansas St. 89.4 90.9 90.9 90.4 3-3 6-4
UL-Monroe 87.0 87.7 87.8 87.5 4-2 6-4
Louisiana 82.8 85.1 84.3 84.1 3-3 5-5
Texas State 73.0 75.6 73.2 73.9 1-5 3-7
South Alabama 73.2 74.8 73.3 73.8 1-5 2-8
Sun Belt Averages 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

PiRate Ratings of the Conferences

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 114.4 113.1 114.8 114.1
2 ACC 109.9 108.7 109.3 109.3
3 B12 109.6 108.2 109.0 108.9
4 BTEN 108.9 107.3 108.4 108.2
5 PAC12 107.5 106.1 107.3 106.9
6 AAC 95.0 95.6 95.0 95.2
7 MWC 93.9 94.5 93.9 94.1
8 IND 93.9 94.1 94.0 94.0
9 MAC 90.1 91.5 90.6 90.7
10 CUSA 85.7 88.4 86.2 86.8
11 SUN 83.9 85.7 84.7 84.8

 

Top 5 Group of 5

  1. Central Florida
  2. Utah State
  3. Cincinnati
  4. UAB
  5. Army

 

Bowl and Playoff Projections

With two weeks remaining in the regular season plus a weekend of conference championship games, most of the conference races are getting quite interesting. The good news for the bowls this year is that there is now about a one in one hundred thousand chance that a team with a losing record will be needed. Actually, chances are maybe 98% that there will be bowl eligible teams that do not receive bowl bids, even some teams with seven and eight wins.

As we project the bowl and playoff bids today, we believe six bowl eligible teams will be left out of the bowl picture. There are already 64 bowl eligible teams with close to 20 more needing just one more win. Let’s take a look at each conference and show you where they stand today and where we think they will finish.

Group of 5 Conferences

American Athletic
Both division races have interesting key games this weekend. In the East, Central Florida hosts Cincinnati. If the Golden Knights win to remain undefeated, they will clinch the East Division title. However, if one-loss Cincinnati pulls off the win, and Temple beats South Florida, then there will be a three-way tie for first with one game to go. All three have very winnable final games, so at 7-1, there would be a tiebreaker involved, and Cincinnati would get the nod several layers down in the tie-breaking procedure.

Houston looked like a cinch to win the West Division until back-to-back losses to SMU and Temple knocked the Cougars into a three-way tie with SMU and surprising Tulane. Tulane and Houston square off in Houston this weekend, while SMU plays tough Memphis. This race will come down to the last weekend, and SMU has the advantage as of today.

Already Bowl Eligible: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Temple, South Florida, Houston, and Memphis

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Tulane and SMU

 

Conference USA
This league will fall shy of the number of bowl eligible teams compared to last year, but there will still be seven conference teams available for the seven bowl tie-ins the league has this year.

The East Division is down to a three-team race between Florida International, Middle Tennessee, and Marshall. Middle currently leads FIU by a half-game in the standings, but the Blue Raiders close with a home game against the top team in the league in UAB. FIU beat Middle and holds the tie-breaker edge, but the Panthers must still beat Marshall.

There is a chance that the three contenders will all finish 6-2, if UAB beats Middle, and Marshall beats FIU. Should that happen, Middle Tennessee would win the tie-breaker well down the procedure list.

UAB has already clinched the West Division championship, but the Blazers have something more to play for. It is a long shot, but if UAB could pull off the big upset at Texas A&M,then win at Middle Tennessee, and then win the CUSA Championship Game, the Blazers could be in the mix for a Peach Bowl bid should Central Florida lose to somebody other than Cincinnati and both Utah State and Boise State lose another game. The Blazers would be 12-1 in this situation.

Already Bowl Eligible: Florida International, Middle Tennessee, Marshall, UAB, North Texas, and Louisiana Tech

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Florida Atlantic
Independents
We don’t count Notre Dame in this section, because the Irish are classified with the Power Five conferences. Army is already bowl eligible and will definitely get an at-large bid to a bowl. BYU needs one more win, and the Cougars face a weak New Mexico State team this week, so they should get that win. They are also guaranteed an at-large bid to a bowl that ESPN sponsors.

Liberty will most likely finish 6-6, but the Flames are ineligible in their transition year in FBS. There is a loophole for Liberty to become bowl eligible if there are not enough bowl eligible teams, but as we said before, there will be most likely six bowl eligible teams more than needed this year.

Already Bowl Eligible: Army

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: BYU (& Liberty in reserve)

 

Mid-American
The two MAC races are basically sewn up with two weeks to go. Buffalo has a two-game lead over Ohio U in the East, and even if the Bulls lose at Ohio this week, they would also have to lose against lowly Bowling Green next week, while Ohio then beats Akron. We don’t see Buffalo finishing 0-2, and the Bulls have a better chance to finish 2-0 and stay alive in the New Year’s 6 Bowl race.

Northern Illinois is in the same boat as Buffalo in the West Division race. The Huskies lead Western Michigan by two games, and even though NIU and WMU face off in the regular season finale, the only way that game will determine the division title is if NIU loses at home to Miami of Ohio this week and WMU wins at Ball St. Miami is trying to sneak into bowl eligibility and needs wins over NIU and Ball State, but we don’t see the Red Hawks competing with the Huskies this week.

Already Bowl Eligible: Buffalo, Ohio U, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan
Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Toledo

 

Mountain West
Both races are still undecided with two week to go. Boise State’s big win over Fresno State gave the Broncos a big boost, for if they win out against New Mexico in Albuquerque and Utah State on the Blue Field, then Boise takes the Mountain Division crown.
Utah State plays at Colorado State in a game that mean nothing toward the Mountain Division race, but it means everything if the Aggies want to sneak into the Fiesta Bowl as the Group of 5 representative. If USU beats CSU and then knocks off Boise in Boise, the Aggies would enter the MWC Championship Game needing a win and a UCF loss to earn the Fiesta Bowl bid.

In the West Division, Fresno State is still in control of the race, but the Bulldogs have been exposed with questionable offensive and defensive lines. San Diego State and Nevada are just one game back with two to go, and SDSU and Fresno play this weekend in Fresno. Should the Aztecs recover from a late swoon and pull off the upset, then there could be a three-way tie for first at 6-2. Fresno State would win the tie-breaker.

Already Bowl Eligible: Utah State, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, and San Diego State

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Hawaii and Wyoming

 

Sun Belt
Technically, three teams are still alive in the East Division, as Troy is 6-0, Appalachian State is 5-1, and Georgia Southern is 4-2. However, Troy hosts a very weak Texas State team this week, and a Trojan win eliminates GSU. The regular season finale sends Troy to Appy State, and the winner of that game will win the division title.

The West Division race is also a three-team affair, but the three teams all have legitimate chances of capturing the flag. UL-Monroe leads Louisiana and Arkansas State by a game, but they conclude the regular season playing both contenders–Arkanasas State in Jonesboro and Louisiana in Monroe. Obviously, If ULM wins both games, they win the division title. If they lose one of the two games, then the team that beats them will win the division title if they also win their other game. Louisiana’s other game is a home game with South Alabama, while Arky State plays at Texas State. If both Arky State and Louisiana beat ULM, then Louisiana wins the division.

Already Bowl Eligible: Troy, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Louisiana-Monroe, and Arkansas St.

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Coastal Carolina and Louisiana

 

Power 5 Conferences

Atlantic Coast
Can anybody in this league beat Clemson that still might play the Tigers this year? Duke and South Carolina are not likely candidates, so it figures that CU will enter the ACC Championship Game at 12-0. Who the Tigers will play is still a question with two weeks to go.

After losing to a North Carolina team that has not won another game this year, Pittsburgh did not look like a bowl eligible team at all. The Panthers were 2-3 with two lopsided losses (Penn State and Central Florida). A 3-9 record looked possible at that point, because the back end of the schedule looked brutal. After an upset of Syracuse and a near miss loss at Notre Dame, Pitt was still 3-4 and not looking like they would find three more wins on their schedule. Consecutive wins over Duke, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, have placed the Panthers into first place in the Coastal Division with two games to go. Both games are on the road but winnable against mediocre teams. The problem for the Panthers is that both Wake Forest and Miami are fighting for bowl eligibility, and it would not surprise us if one of the two knock the Panthers off their perch. Pittsburgh will still win the division if they split their final two games, but should the unthinkable happen, and they lose both games, then it throws this division race into a mad world.
Virginia would have a chance to win the division, but the Cavaliers play their final two games on the road against a fast-closing Georgia Tech, and a Virginia Tech team that might be 5-5 and needing a win to earn a bowl bid. Duke, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech all have three conference losses, but the chances that any of the three can win the division are quite remote. And, in the end, who really wants to get drubbed by Clemson in the ACC Championship Game?

Already Bowl Eligible: Clemson, Syracuse, Boston College, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Duke, and Georgia Tech

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Miami

 

Big 12
This is another interesting race with four teams contending for the two Championship Game bids. Oklahoma (6-1) and West Virginia (6-1) control their own destiny, but since they still must play each other, at least one of these two teams might no longer control their destiny.

Iowa State (5-2) would sneak into the Big 12 Championship Game, should they beat Texas and Kansas State and Oklahoma beats West Virginia. Texas (5-2) would be the second team if the Longhorns beat Iowa State and Kansas and West Virginia beats Oklahoma.
Should West Virginia lose at Oklahoma State this week and then beat Oklahoma, then there could be a three-way tie at 7-2, with one of the teams eliminated. Should WVU, Oklahoma, and Texas finish tied in this scenario, Texas and Oklahoma would play for the Big 12 Championship. Should WVU, Oklahoma, and Iowa State finish tied in this scenario, then Iowa State and West Virginia would play for the title.

Already Bowl Eligible: Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas, and Iowa State

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and  Baylor

 

Big Ten
The East race is down to the same two teams that have always competed for the Big Ten title. Michigan faces Ohio State in Columbus in two weeks, and the winner will face Northwestern for the Big Ten Championship.
Obviously, the Wolverines are playing for a lot more than just the league title. Wins over Indiana, Ohio State, and Northwestern will clinch a spot in the Playoffs. Ohio State has a minimal chance of making the playoffs by closing out with wins over Maryland, Michigan, and Northwestern. Northwestern can win the Rose Bowl bid by upsetting either team in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Already Bowl Eligible: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Iowa

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: Indiana, Purdue, and Minnesota

Pac-12
The North Division race will be determined in the Palouse when the Washington Huskies visit Washington State for the Apple Cup. Stanford has been eliminated by virtue of losing to both Olympic State teams.
The South Division is still quite chaotic. Arizona State, Arizona, and Utah have three conference losses, while USC has four. Arizona State is the current tiebreaker leader by virtue of a win over Utah, while Utah drubbed Arizona and holds second place today. However, Arizona has not played Arizona State, and should the Wildcats beat the Sun Devils, and there is a multiple way tie at 5-4 with three or four teams, the possibilities are not endless, but they seem to appear that way. USC is not in the race, even if they finish in a first place tie. In the event of a tie at 5-4 between Arizona State, Arizona, USC, and Utah, the Utes win the tiebreaker. In another scenario, if Colorado beats Utah, Oregon beats Arizona State, and then Arizona State beats Arizona, then Arizona State wins the division at 5-4 no matter what USC does.
Already Bowl Eligible: Washington State, Washington, Oregon, Stanford, California, Utah, and Arizona State

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: USC and Arizona

 

Southeastern
This is a race that is already determined. Alabama and Georgia will play in the SEC Championship Game no matter what they do the rest of the season. We expect they will both win out. Georgia finishes with two non-conference opponents. They can name the score with UMass, and they should be able to slow down the Georgia Tech option game and run over the Techsters to finish 11-1. Alabama could score 100 points this week against The Citadel if Nick Saban was Barry Switzer or Bill Yeoman, but we expect a possible 56-0 halftime score to lead to a 77-0 win at most. Then, Alabama should handle Auburn in Tuscaloosa to finish 12-0.
Georgia would have to win the SEC Championship to get into the Playoffs unless a lot of nearly impossible events leave a trail of two loss teams in the wake. If the Bulldogs upset the Tide, then most likely Georgia would move up to number two and Alabama would fall to number three, leaving Michigan in a bind.

Already Bowl Eligible: Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and Auburn

Predicted to become Bowl Eligible: South Carolina and Tennessee

Here are this week’s playoff and bowl projections.

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

Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections

FBS Playoff Projections

Cotton Alabama Michigan
Orange Clemson Notre Dame
Championship Game Alabama Clemson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 15, 2018

2018 American Athletic Conference Preview

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

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

This American Athletic Conference believes the number one team in the nation played within its jurisdiction last year. No, Alabama did not have some type of adjunct relationship with the league. Central Florida was the lone unbeaten team in the nation in 2017. In addition, the Knights did something Alabama was unable to do–beat Auburn.
The PiRate Ratings not only said that UCF was not the top team in the nation, we believed there were four better teams last year. UCF’s running the table reminded us a lot of Penn State in 1968, when the Nittany Lions went 11-0 and beat Kansas in the Orange Bowl. So what did that Penn State team do for an encore in 1969? They merely went 11-0 again with one of the most aggressive defenses and special teams in college football history.
UCF just might run the table again this year, just like that great Penn State team.

However, they will have an extra impediment that Penn State did not have in 1969. Coach Scott Frost took his marbles and went home to alma mater Nebraska. The Knights will try to become the first team since Toledo in 1970 and 1971 to go undefeated in back-to-back seasons with different head coaches. That Toledo team actually ran the table for three consecutive years.
UCF returns a talented quarterback in McKenzie Milton, two talented running backs in Adrian Killins and Otis Anderson, and two highly-skilled receivers Dredrick Snelson and Gabriel Davis that helped team up for 530+ yards and 48+ points per game. The Knights should continue to pile up yards and points again this year, and if the defense can hold serve and put up similar numbers to last year, UCF has a chance to repeat at 13-0. The toughest roadblocks will be road games with North Carolina and Memphis and a home game with Pittsburgh. The regular season finale at South Florida could be a trap game.

Speaking of South Florida, the Bulls are not quite up to UCF’s talent level, and they undergo a slight rebuilding project this year. A splendid offensive team in 2017, USF must break in a new quarterback, a new running back or backs to replace two highly talented backs, and their leading receiver. Things are not all that rosy on the defensive side of the ball, but the Bulls had a lot of talented depth and should be okay on this side of the ball, especially with a defensive mastermind like Charlie Strong as head coach.

Temple continued to win with new coach Geoff Collins taking over for Matt Rhule last year. Collins might have a hard time topping last year’s seven wins, but the rest of the division is not ready to move up, so the Owls might have a shot at another bowl-eligible season. Temple has some stars on both sides of the ball, foremost being rush end Quincy Roche, who recorded seven sacks as a freshman. He’ll join the finest trio of linebackers in the league, and Temple should hold opponents to 21 to 24 points per game this year. If the offense can take a small move forward, Temple can contend with South Florida for second in the division.

The bottom three teams in the East Division fall far short of the top three. Cincinnati appears to be nearing the end of the Luke Fickell era. After a 4-8 season in 2017, the Bearcats look like a team that will find it hard to even equal that mark this year. Pass defense will be a major issue, and even if the pass rush improves this year, UC may take a backward turn against the run. The result should be another year where opponents average north of 30 points per game.

East Carolina and Connecticut face major rebuilding projects and should both win fewer games than a year ago. That’s not an easy task, as they both won just three times in 2017.

Memphis lost just twice in the regular season last year, but both times, it was to Central Florida. The Tigers host UCF in the middle of the season, and the game could match a pair of ranked and undefeated teams. The only reason why Memphis may not top the Knights is the breaking in of a new quarterback. David Moore can run and pass with talent, but he lacks the experience that Milton has at UCF. The Tigers should have a better defense this year with most of the key players back, but the offense is going to backtrack, and with it will go the Tigers’ conference championship hopes in 2018.

When Major Applewhite became Houston’s head coach last year, he heard an edict from the school’s president that 8-4 will get a coach fired there. Applewhite only mustered seven wins in his first year, and 8-4 may be about what to expect in year two. The question is: will 8-4 be good enough in year two? The Cougars lost too much talent on both sides of the ball to make a legitimate move forward. Every full-time starting skill position player at one set position on offense must be replaced. The one exception is D’Eriq King, who began the season as one of the leading receivers on the team and then moved to quarterback in the second half.

Navy has been to 14 bowls in the last 15 years, and with an experienced quarterback returning to run the double slot option offense, the Midshipmen will make it 15 in 16 years. Coach Ken Niumatalolo’s teams usually improve by a couple of games when his quarterback returns, so look for Navy to challenge for double-digit wins this year.

Unlike the East, the bottom three teams in the West could all contend for bowl eligibility this year. Tulane and SMU played a bowl-qualifier in the regular season’s final week last year. Tulane appeared to have the game won at the end, but an incorrect referee’s call gave the game and the Frisco Bowl bid to the Mustangs. The PiRate Ratings don’t call for it, but we believe Coach Willie Fritz will build on this near-miss and push Tulane to bowl eligibility. Expect quarterback Jonathan Banks to increase the Green Wave’s passing efficiency, especially since his starting receiving corps returns in full. While at Georgia Southern, Fritz’s offenses averaged better than 425 yards and 35 points per game, and if TU can match that amount this year, Fritz will be coaching in December.

SMU must start all over with a new coach and new offensive system. The Mustangs should be okay on offense, but their defense is still a mess, and the new offense may force it to stay on the field a tad more this year. It may take 40 points per game for the Mustangs to win six games and make a bowl game again.

Tulsa has the least chance of the three bottom-half teams to make a bowl this year, and a reduction in their athletic budget could signal some lean times in the near future. Last year, the Golden Hurricane could not move the football through the air, and it led to a sub 30 points per game output, and a year after winning 10 games, Tulsa lost 10 games.

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

American Athletic
East 1st Place Points
1. Central Florida 25 175
2. South Florida 5 140
3. Temple 0 132
4. Cincinnati 0 91
5. Connecticut 0 51
6. East Carolina 0 41
West 1st Place Points
1. Memphis 23 171
2. Houston 4 146
3. Navy 3 129
4. SMU 0 72
5. Tulane 0 68
6. Tulsa 0 44
Championship Game Winner Points
Central Florida 19
Memphis 7
South Florida 3
Houston 1

The PiRate Ratings agree almost completely with the media experts with the exception of flip-flopping Tulane and SMU

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 0-0 0-0 110.8 110.4 110.7 110.6
South Florida 0-0 0-0 96.0 99.3 96.9 97.4
Temple 0-0 0-0 95.8 95.8 96.2 95.9
Cincinnati 0-0 0-0 87.1 88.5 86.5 87.3
Connecticut 0-0 0-0 84.1 84.4 82.8 83.8
East Carolina 0-0 0-0 83.1 82.2 82.0 82.4
West Division
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 0-0 0-0 104.2 106.3 105.7 105.4
Houston 0-0 0-0 99.9 101.4 101.0 100.8
Navy 0-0 0-0 98.7 101.7 98.5 99.7
Tulane 0-0 0-0 94.4 94.6 94.0 94.3
SMU 0-0 0-0 95.1 93.8 94.0 94.3
Tulsa 0-0 0-0 91.8 90.3 92.3 91.5
AAC Averages 95.1 95.7 95.1 95.3

New Coaches
The biggest coaching change in all of Group of 5 football is at Central Florida, where former Oklahoma passing phenom Josh Heupel takes over for former Nebraska star Scott Frost. Heupel comes from the spread passing philosophy of Bob Stoops and Mike Leach. Heupel most recently served as offensive coordinator at Missouri, where Drew Lock routinely topped 300 yards passing. What a lot of fans might not know is that Heupel’s Missouri offense also finished in the top half of the SEC’s rushing statistics. UCF will most likely continue to average more than 40 points and 500 yards per game.

SMU welcomes former Louisiana Tech and California head coach Sonny Dykes, as he too brings the same offense to Dallas that Heupel will bring to Orlando. Dykes was a special offensive assistant at TCU last year, and the Horned Frogs averaged 33.6 points and 419 yards per game.

Predicted Won-Loss Records
Note: These predicted won-loss records are strictly mechanical based on the initial PiRate Ratings. No upsets are factored in these predictions. Additionally, our PiRate Ratings are only useful for the next week of games and cannot really be used to forecast past that point. Part of our weekly adjustment to our ratings includes a factor where depth issues or non-issues have been pre-set. In other words, a team without talented second stringers may lose ratings points as the season progresses even if they win games by the predicted margin, whereas a team with exceptional depth (like Alabama) will improve during the season and see its rating rise even if they win games by a little less than the predicted margin. What we’re saying is: don’t take these numbers with anything more than a grain of salt.

Team Conference Overall
East
Central Florida 8-0 13-0 *
South Florida 5-3 8-4
Temple 5-3 7-5
Cincinnati 2-6 3-9
East Carolina 1-7 2-10
Connecticut 0-8 1-11
West Conference Overall
Memphis 7-1 10-3
Navy 6-2 10-3
Houston 6-2 8-4
Tulsa 3-5 5-7
Tulane 3-5 4-8
SMU 2-6 3-9
* Central Florida picked to win AAC Champ. Game

Bowl Tie-ins
The American Athletic Conference has contracts to fill seven bowls with no set pecking order.

Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, TX
Bahamas Bowl in Nassau, Bahamas
Birmingham Bowl in Birmingham, AL
Cure Bowl in Orlando, FL
Frisco Bowl in Frisco, TX (The Home Soccer Stadium for FC Dallas of the MLS).
Gasparilla Bowl in St. Petersburg, FL
Military Bowl in Annapolis, MD

Coming Tomorrow–We begin previewing the Power 5 Conferences. First up is the Big 12.

January 9, 2018

PiRate Ratings 2017-18 College Football Final Polls

Congratulations go to Coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide for winning the National Championship in a thrilling overtime victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.  Alabama wins the top spot in all three ratings, plus the retro rankings.  Here’s how the final numbers crunched.

Retrodictive Rankings

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

The PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 136.9 133.5 135.8 135.4
2 Ohio St. 132.3 130.2 132.6 131.7
3 Georgia 130.8 130.0 131.4 130.7
4 Clemson 131.3 128.6 130.9 130.3
5 Penn St. 129.4 128.1 129.8 129.1
6 Oklahoma 128.2 126.7 129.4 128.1
7 Auburn 127.0 125.2 127.2 126.5
8 Washington 126.2 124.2 126.1 125.5
9 Wisconsin 126.4 123.9 125.5 125.3
10 Oklahoma St. 121.2 120.4 121.6 121.1
11 Stanford 120.6 119.0 119.9 119.8
12 U S C 120.1 119.2 119.8 119.7
13 L S U 118.5 116.3 118.8 117.9
14 Virginia Tech 118.1 117.6 117.9 117.8
15 Miami 118.6 117.4 117.5 117.8
16 T C U 118.0 116.5 118.2 117.6
17 N. Carolina St. 117.1 116.2 117.0 116.8
18 Central Florida 116.0 116.9 117.2 116.7
19 Louisville 116.8 116.0 116.5 116.4
20 Notre Dame 116.6 115.4 116.8 116.2
21 Florida St. 116.9 116.0 115.7 116.2
22 Northwestern 115.4 114.2 115.5 115.0
23 Iowa 114.3 114.5 113.6 114.2
24 Michigan 114.2 114.0 113.4 113.9
25 Mississippi St. 113.5 113.3 113.3 113.4
26 Memphis 113.2 112.5 114.0 113.2
27 Iowa State 112.8 112.8 113.9 113.2
28 Texas 112.9 112.9 113.5 113.1
29 Kansas St. 112.9 112.7 113.0 112.9
30 Boston College 112.6 112.3 112.6 112.5
31 Michigan St. 111.0 111.6 112.1 111.6
32 Wake Forest 112.1 110.4 112.2 111.6
33 Duke 111.1 110.0 110.4 110.5
34 Utah 109.9 109.9 110.1 110.0
35 Oregon 110.5 108.6 109.9 109.7
36 Georgia Tech 110.2 108.4 108.7 109.1
37 Washington St. 109.8 107.7 109.3 108.9
38 South Florida 109.0 108.2 109.3 108.8
39 S. Carolina 109.1 108.3 108.2 108.5
40 Pittsburgh 108.8 108.1 108.7 108.5
41 Missouri 108.5 107.1 107.8 107.8
42 Boise St. 107.5 106.1 107.6 107.1
43 Texas A&M 107.9 106.0 107.0 107.0
44 West Virginia 106.7 107.4 106.7 106.9
45 Arizona St. 106.4 105.3 106.0 105.9
46 Kentucky 106.4 105.7 105.0 105.7
47 Purdue 105.6 105.4 106.1 105.7
48 Indiana 105.5 105.6 105.9 105.7
49 Ole Miss 106.3 105.0 105.4 105.6
50 Florida 105.7 105.4 105.1 105.4
51 Arizona 106.0 104.9 104.9 105.3
52 Texas Tech 105.2 104.9 104.8 105.0
53 Florida Atlantic 103.4 104.9 105.3 104.5
54 California 105.3 103.2 103.8 104.1
55 Navy 103.5 104.1 103.7 103.8
56 Colorado 104.5 103.4 102.4 103.4
57 U C L A 103.0 102.4 102.3 102.6
58 N. Carolina 102.9 102.0 102.0 102.3
59 San Diego St. 101.5 101.5 102.5 101.8
60 Houston 101.4 101.1 101.5 101.3
61 Syracuse 102.0 100.8 101.1 101.3
62 Army 100.9 100.8 101.3 101.0
63 Appalachian St. 101.2 100.0 101.4 100.9
64 Toledo 100.1 100.1 102.1 100.8
65 Minnesota 100.3 101.2 99.2 100.2
66 Vanderbilt 100.8 99.8 99.7 100.1
67 Troy 99.7 99.8 99.9 99.8
68 Fresno St. 99.9 98.6 100.8 99.8
69 Colo. State 99.8 99.1 99.7 99.5
70 Virginia 99.6 98.6 99.9 99.4
71 Ohio U 98.3 99.6 99.3 99.1
72 Arkansas 99.4 98.5 99.2 99.1
73 Baylor 98.1 99.4 98.2 98.6
74 Temple 98.2 98.5 98.8 98.5
75 Wyoming 97.8 96.9 97.2 97.3
76 Tennessee 97.3 95.9 95.3 96.2
77 Western Michigan 95.8 95.2 96.5 95.8
78 Northern Illinois 95.0 95.0 95.8 95.2
79 Nebraska 94.9 95.4 94.4 94.9
80 Eastern Michigan 94.7 94.8 95.1 94.9
81 Maryland 94.5 95.8 93.9 94.7
82 Arkansas St. 93.8 95.0 94.7 94.5
83 Tulane 94.2 94.4 94.6 94.4
84 SMU 94.0 94.5 94.3 94.3
85 Utah St. 94.0 93.3 93.7 93.7
86 Marshall 92.4 93.5 93.8 93.3
87 Central Michigan 92.8 93.1 93.4 93.1
88 Tulsa 93.1 92.8 92.7 92.9
89 Air Force 92.2 92.5 92.2 92.3
90 Louisiana Tech 90.8 92.4 91.6 91.6
91 Middle Tennessee 90.4 91.4 91.6 91.1
92 Rutgers 91.1 91.1 90.7 91.0
93 BYU 90.0 89.9 89.9 89.9
94 Nevada 88.9 90.5 90.0 89.8
95 Miami (O) 88.7 90.7 89.9 89.8
96 Oregon St. 90.0 89.9 88.4 89.4
97 Massachusetts 88.9 88.4 89.0 88.8
98 U T S A 87.6 90.0 88.4 88.6
99 Buffalo 87.3 89.3 89.3 88.6
100 Florida Int’l. 87.6 88.0 88.4 88.0
101 Illinois 87.9 89.0 86.8 87.9
102 Southern Miss. 87.5 88.4 87.8 87.9
103 N. Texas 86.4 87.8 86.9 87.0
104 U N L V 86.2 87.7 86.3 86.8
105 N. Mexico St. 86.8 85.7 86.9 86.5
106 W. Kentucky 85.7 86.2 86.1 86.0
107 Connecticut 84.5 86.3 84.8 85.2
108 Akron 84.2 86.1 84.9 85.1
109 Cincinnati 83.9 85.7 84.6 84.7
110 New Mexico 84.4 84.4 84.9 84.6
111 East Carolina 83.2 84.5 83.3 83.7
112 Georgia St. 82.7 82.7 82.5 82.7
113 Kansas 81.8 85.1 80.5 82.5
114 Bowling Green 81.5 82.6 81.8 82.0
115 Hawaii 81.8 82.9 81.1 81.9
116 UL-Monroe 81.9 82.8 81.0 81.9
117 S. Alabama 81.1 83.0 81.3 81.8
118 Idaho 80.8 81.6 81.7 81.3
119 Old Dominion 80.3 82.7 80.5 81.2
120 UAB 79.6 79.9 81.3 80.3
121 UL-Lafayette 79.3 80.5 79.0 79.6
122 Georgia Southern 79.1 80.4 78.5 79.3
123 Coastal Carolina 74.5 75.7 75.3 75.2
124 Kent St. 73.9 75.4 74.2 74.5
125 Rice 72.6 74.1 73.0 73.2
126 San Jose St. 72.3 72.4 71.6 72.1
127 Texas St. 70.3 72.5 69.4 70.7
128 Charlotte 69.5 71.8 69.7 70.3
129 U T E P 67.9 70.7 67.9 68.9
130 Ball St. 65.7 67.7 66.4 66.6
           
PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 ACC 112.7 111.6 112.2 112.2
2 SEC 112.0 110.7 111.4 111.4
3 B12 109.8 109.9 110.0 109.9
4 P-12 109.4 108.1 108.6 108.7
5 BTEN 108.8 108.6 108.5 108.6
6 IND 99.1 98.6 99.2 99.0
7 AAC 97.9 98.3 98.2 98.1
8 MWC 92.2 92.2 92.3 92.2
9 MAC 88.2 89.1 89.0 88.8
10 CUSA 84.4 85.8 85.2 85.1
11 SBC 84.3 85.0 84.3 84.5

 

 

 

September 28, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for September 28-October 2, 2017

After four weeks of the football season, our readers might just want to take a knee; then again, they might want to place that knee firmly in some PiRate groin!  Ouch!  1,000 apologies if you took our ill-adivsed advice!

Another losing week, and we are now in the hole to the tune of -25% return on our investment for the season.  We won only one of last week’s four selections, returning $245 on $400 invested.  The -25% return for the season comes from $899 returned on $1,200 invested, quite a hole to try to emerge from before the season runs out of dates.

Our one solace, and we hope this is yours as well, is that these are imaginary dollars.  We can continue to select a liberal amount of games and be a bit wild with our selections, because we are only out the time it takes to pick these games.

This week, you will notice that all of our selections are college football games.  There are no NFL picks.  Make of this what you want, and you will be partially correct.  For one, we just didn’t feel like looking at the NFL Money Lines.  None of us will attend any games this week, and as far as we know, none of us will be watching on TV or listening on the radio.  Another reason why we didn’t select any NFL games is that the league is extremely erratic this year.  The supposed sure-thing 0-16 Jets won big over a playoff contender, and the Texans with a rookie QB almost beat New England, so let’s just walk away from the NFL for now.  The politics can only make the outcomes more unpredictable.

That leaves us with college football, and there are a lot of good games this week.  By good, we mean games in which the favorite is in the 5 to 10 point range, which presents us excellent Money Line potentials.  We actually like one underdog winning outright on the road, and we are going to put that one out as a single entry.

Here are our 5 parlay selections for this week.  Remember this: The members of the PiRate Ratings are not foolish enough to wager real currency on these selections.  We are nervous enough with our value stock selections, which are real, so we don’t need the added stress.  You to should avoid the stress of worrying about losing $500 real dollars on these selections, so only wager imaginary money if you must.

#1 @ +155  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia Tech North Carolina
Georgia Tennessee
Nebraska Illinois
#2 @ +150  
Must Win Must Lose
Iowa Michigan St.
#3 @ +146  
Must Win Must Lose
Central Florida Memphis
Cincinnati Marshall
#4 @ +128  
Must Win Must Lose
Kentucky Eastern Mich.
Western Mich. Ball St.
La. Tech South Alabama
Boston College Central Mich.
#5 @ +135  
Must Win Must Lose
UNLV San Jose St.
Florida Intl. Charlotte
San Diego St. N. Illinois
Florida Vanderbilt

 

 

 

 

August 19, 2013

2013 American Athletic Conference Preview

2013 American Athletic Conference Preview

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Departed Teams: None, since this is the first season

 

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

 

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

 

Pre-season PiRate Ratings

American Athletic Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Louisville

0-0

0-0

115.3

113.4

116.5

Cincinnati

0-0

0-0

105.5

105.9

105.9

Rutgers

0-0

0-0

99.3

104.2

100.1

Central Florida

0-0

0-0

98.2

97.5

99.2

South Florida

0-0

0-0

94.5

92.9

93.5

S M U

0-0

0-0

94.1

101.9

94.6

Connecticut

0-0

0-0

93.6

101.3

94.2

Houston

0-0

0-0

89.4

101.0

90.9

Memphis

0-0

0-0

88.7

98.4

89.7

Temple

0-0

0-0

87.6

85.1

85.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

League Averages

 

 

96.6

100.2

97.0

 

 

Official AAC Media Poll

Pos

Team

Points

1st Place

 

1

Louisville

298

28

 

2

Cincinnati

257

2

 

3

Rutgers

240

0

 

4

Central Florida

210

0

 

5

South Florida

155

0

 

6

Houston

134

0

 

7

Connecticut

131

0

 

8

S M U

118

0

 

9

Temple

60

0

 

10

Memphis

47

0

 

 

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

 

Central Florida

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

Storm Johnson—RB (507 rush/4.5 avg)

J. J. Worton—WR (44-594/5 TD)

Breshad Perriman—WR (26-388/3 TD)

Justin McCray and Torrian Wilson—OL

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

Terrance Plummer—LB (108 tackles/7 TFL)

Clayton Geathers—DB (117 tackles)

 

Cincinnati

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

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

Jordan Stepp—DL (4 TFL)

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

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

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

Tony Miliano—K (17-22 FG)

 

Connecticut

Lyle McCombs—RB (860 rush/6 TD)

Geremy Davis—WR (44-613)

Shamar Stephen—DL (26 tackles)

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

Byron Jones—DB (88 tackles)

Chad Kristen—K (14-21 FG Strong Leg)

 

Houston

Daniel Spencer—WR (41-579)

Deontay Greenberry—WR (47-564)

Bryce Redman and Rowdy Harper—OL

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

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

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

Richie Leone—P (45.5 avg./39.7 net)

 

Louisville

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

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

DeVante Parker—WR (40-744/10 TD)

Damian Copeland—WR (50-628)

Jake Smith and John Miller—OL

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

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

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

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

 

Memphis

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

Keiwone Malone—WR (44-476)

Alan Cross—TE (23-301/5 TD)

Al Bond—OL

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

Johnnie Farms—DL (9.5 TFL)

Charles Harris—LB (79 tackles)

Anthony Brown—LB (71 tackles)

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

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

 

Rutgers

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

Brandon Coleman—WR (43-718/ 10 TD)

Betim Bujari, Antwan Lowery, and Kaleb Johnson—OL

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

Jamal Merrell—LB (83 tackles/8.5 TFL

Lorenzo Waters—DB (68 tackles/6.5 TFL)

 

S M U

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

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

Jeremy Johnson—WR (67-679)

Der’Rikk Thompson—WR (41-535)

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

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

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

 

South Florida

Andre Davis—WR (46-534/6 TD)

Sean Price—TE (21-209)

Austin Reiter and Quinterrius Eatmon—OL

Aaron Lynch—DL (Former Starter at Notre Dame)

DeDe Lattimore—LB (76 tackles/7.5 TFL)

JaQuez Jenkins—DB (53 tackles)

Mark Joyce—DB (74 tackles)

 

Temple

Chris Coyer—RB (444 rush/4.0 avg)

Jalen Fitzpatrick—WR (30-363)

Tyler Matakevich—LB (101 tackles)

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

 

 

PiRate Ratings Summary

 

About Grades

93-100         A+

86-92           A

79-85           A-

72-78           B+

65-71           B

58-64           B-

51-57           C+

44-50           C

37-43           C-

30-36           D

0-29             F

 

About Predictions

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

 

Team

Central Florida Knights

               
Head Coach

George O’Leary

               
Colors

Black and Gold

               
City

Orlando

               
2012 Record              
Conference

7-1 (in CUSA)

Overall

10-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

58

Pass Offense

73

Run Defense

57

Pass Defense

62

               
Ratings              
PiRate

98.2

Mean

97.5

Bias

99.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

68

Mean

71

Bias

63

               
Prediction              
Conference

7-1

Overall

9-3

 

 

Team

Cincinnati Bearcats

               
Head Coach

Tommy Tuberville

               
Colors

Red and Black

               
City

Cincinnati

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-2 (in Big East)

Overall

10-3

               
Grades              
Run Offense

69

Pass Offense

70

Run Defense

76

Pass Defense

68

               
Ratings              
PiRate

105.5

Mean

105.9

Bias

105.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

42

Mean

40

Bias

42

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-2

Overall

10-2

 

 

Team

Connecticut Huskies

               
Head Coach

Paul Pasqualoni

               
Colors

Navy and White

               
City

Storrs, CT

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-5 (in Big East)

Overall

5-7

               
Grades              
Run Offense

48

Pass Offense

58

Run Defense

68

Pass Defense

60

               
Ratings              
PiRate

93.6

Mean

101.3

Bias

94.2

               
Rankings              
PiRate

84

Mean

57

Bias

81

               
Prediction              
Conference

3-5

Overall

5-7

 

 

Team

Houston Cougars

               
Head Coach

Tony Levine

               
Colors

Scarlet and White

               
City

 

               
2012 Record              
Conference

4-4 (in CUSA)

Overall

5-7

               
Grades              
Run Offense

53

Pass Offense

75

Run Defense

45

Pass Defense

42

               
Ratings              
PiRate

89.4

Mean

101.0

Bias

90.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

95

Mean

58

Bias

90

               
Prediction              
Conference

2-6

Overall

4-8

 

 

Team

Louisville Cardinals

               
Head Coach

Charlie Strong

               
Colors

Cardinal and Black

               
City

 

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-2 (in Big East)

Overall

11-2

               
Grades              
Run Offense

70

Pass Offense

94

Run Defense

78

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.3

Mean

113.4

Bias

116.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

25

Mean

17

Bias

18

               
Prediction              
Conference

8-0

Overall

12-0

 

 

Team

Memphis Tigers

               
Head Coach

Justin Fuente

               
Colors

Royal Blue and Gray

               
City

Memphis

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-7 (in CUSA)

Overall

4-8

               
Grades              
Run Offense

49

Pass Offense

58

Run Defense

51

Pass Defense

55

               
Ratings              
PiRate

88.7

Mean

98.4

Bias

89.7

               
Rankings              
PiRate

96

Mean

64

Bias

95

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-7

Overall

2-10

 

 

Team

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

               
Head Coach

Kyle Flood

               
Colors

Scarlet and White

               
City

New Brunswick, NJ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-2 (in Big East)

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

65

Pass Offense

64

Run Defense

71

Pass Defense

59

               
Ratings              
PiRate

99.3

Mean

104.2

Bias

100.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

61

Mean

43

Bias

57

               
Prediction              
Conference

4-4

Overall

6-6

 

 

Team

S M U Mustangs

               
Head Coach

June Jones

               
Colors

Red and Blue

               
City

Dallas

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-3 (in CUSA)

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

35

Pass Offense

75

Run Defense

58

Pass Defense

62

               
Ratings              
PiRate

94.1

Mean

101.9

Bias

94.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

80

Mean

51

Bias

79

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-3

Overall

6-6

 

 

Team

South Florida Bulls

               
Head Coach

Willie Taggart

               
Colors

Green and Gold

               
City

Tampa

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-6 (in Big East)

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

62

Pass Offense

67

Run Defense

65

Pass Defense

46

               
Ratings              
PiRate

94.5

Mean

92.9

Bias

93.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

79

Mean

91

Bias

83

               
Prediction              
Conference

3-5

Overall

5-7

 

 

Team

Temple Owls

               
Head Coach

Matt Rhule

               
Colors

Cherry and White

               
City

Philadelphia

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-5 (in Big East)

Overall

4-7

               
Grades              
Run Offense

52

Pass Offense

64

Run Defense

51

Pass Defense

43

               
Ratings              
PiRate

87.6

Mean

85.1

Bias

85.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

98

Mean

115

Bias

106

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-7

Overall

4-8

 

August 21, 2012

2012 Conference USA Preview

Conference USA placed two teams in the Final Poll last year; Houston finished number 18, and Southern Mississippi came in at number 20.  Tulsa and SMU were not far from cracking the poll as well.  Just when this league appears ready to break out and become the top non-BCS conference, the weakest BCS league pirated four teams.  CUSA stays the same for one more season, but the league will lose four teams to the Big East in 2013 and pick up four new members.  The four departing teams will be Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, and SMU.  Joining the league next year will be Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, and UT-San Antonio.

 

The league will be down some this year with the loss of some great talents, especially at quarterback.  Gone are Houston’s Case Keenum, Tulsa’s G. J. Kinne, Southern Mississippi’s Austin Davis, East Carolina’s Dominique Davis, SMU’s J. J. McDermott, and Rice’s Nick Fanuzzi.  Five of the top seven receivers (three of them from Houston) are missing.

 

The Conference races should be more wide open this year.  In the East, the team picked to win the division by the media, as well as both the PiRate and PiRate Vintage Ratings, may be ineligible for the Conference USA Championship Game.  Central Florida was placed on a one year bowl ban in football, as well as additional punitive actions for the football and basketball program, but the school is appealing the ruling.  Chances are high that the Knights will be finished playing in November.

 

The league media poll and our two polls are almost exactly the same, something that has rarely occurred at the PiRate Ratings.

 

Media Poll

 

CUSA East

Votes

Rank

Team

1st Place

Total

1

Central Florida

13

85

2

Southern Miss.

2

70

3

Marshall

0

58

4

East Carolina

0

56

5

U A B

0

29

6

Memphis

0

17

 

 

 

 

 

CUSA West

Votes

Rank

Team

1st Place

Total

1

Houston

8

81

2

Tulsa

4

73

3

S M U

3

67

4

U T E P

0

39

5

Rice

0

35

6

Tulane

0

20

 

 

PiRate Ratings

Rank

CUSA East

PiRate

1

Central Florida

100.5

2

Southern Miss.

98.3

3

Marshall

94.3

4

East Carolina

93.6

5

U A B

81.9

6

Memphis

75.7

 

   

Rank

CUSA West

PiRate

1

Houston

105.9

2

Tulsa

104.9

3

S M U

97.9

4

U T E P

90.2

5

Rice

89.0

6

Tulane

79.9

 

 

 

Vintage Ratings

 

Rank

CUSA East

Vintage

1

Central Florida

102

2

Southern Miss.

98

3

Marshall

96

4

East Carolina

95

5

U A B

91

6

Memphis

84

 

   

 

Vintage Ratings

 

Rank

CUSA West

Vintage

1

Tulsa

105

2

S M U

103

3

Houston

100

4

U T E P

93

5

Tulane

89

6

Rice

86

 

 

Team

U A B  Blazers

               
Head Coach

Garrick McGee

               
Colors

Green and Gold

               
City

Birmingham, AL

               
2011 Record              
Conference

3-5

Overall

3-9

               
PiRate Rating

81.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Rating

111

               
Vintage Rating

91

               
National Rating

98

               
2012 Prediction              
Conference

2-2

Overall

4-8

 

Neil Callaway’s five year record of 18-42 did not cut it in Birmingham, especially when Alabama and Auburn topped 18 wins in the last two years.  Garrick McGee takes over after running the offense at Arkansas.

 

The Blazers’ offense came alive in November last year, as UAB scored 41 points on Memphis, 34 points in an upset of Southern Miss, and 35 points on Florida Atlantic.  Quarterback Jonathan Perry started eight games and completed 58% of his passes for 2,042 yards and 10 touchdowns.  If he stays healthy, Perry should pass for more than 3,000 yards this year.

 

Perry benefits from having an experienced group of receivers returning.  The top seven pass catchers are back again this season.  Jackie Williams is a fine possession receiver, while Nick Adams, Patrick Hearn, and Jamarcus Nelson can turn a short pass into a long gain.

 

Greg Franklin is the returning starter at running back, but he will be pressed hard by former highly-rated recruit and Georgia transfer Dontavius Jackson.  McGee also plans to play Darrin Reaves and Bashr Coles.

 

The offensive line is the biggest liability on the offensive side of the ball.  Four starters must be replaced.  The lone returnee, tackle Chris Hubbard, was an honorable mention All-CUSA pick last year, but there isn’t enough talent here to make the offensive explosive enough to move UAB in to the upper half of the East standings.

 

The UAB defense gave up almost 37 points per game last year and close to 490 yards per game.  Oddly, their best defensive effort came against SEC foe Mississippi State.  With a tougher schedule that includes games at South Carolina and Ohio State, as well as conference games at Southern Miss and Houston and a home game against Tulsa, the Blazers could actually take another step back this year.  

 

The only bright spot on this side of the ball is at linebacker.  Marvin Burdette and Greg Irvin made a lot of tackles, some of them as the last defender before the opposing player broke loose for a long gain.

 

The front four is not strong enough to stop the run or rush the passer with any success.  UAB registered an anemic eight sacks last year; end Diaheem Watkins led with just 1 ½ sacks.

 

The secondary doesn’t have much chance to shine when opposing quarterbacks can read War and Peace before they throw the ball and still not worry about getting hurt.  Safety Jamie Bender made way too many tackles last year (119), and he has moved on.  No starters return to this unit, so opposing quarterbacks will have excellent dreams the night before they face UAB.

 

The good news in Birmingham is that UAB faces Troy, Memphis, Tulane, and Southeast Louisiana. As weak as the Blazers are, they can win these four games, and even if they lose one, they could pull off an unbelievable upset like they did last year when they defeated Southern Miss as a 23-point ‘dog.

 

 

Team

Central Florida Knights

               
Head Coach

George O’Leary

               
Colors

Black and Gold

               
City

Orlando, FL

               
2011 Record              
Conference

3-5

Overall

5-7

               
PiRate Rating

100.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Rating

59

               
Vintage Rating

102

               
National Rating

58

               
2012 Prediction              
Conference

6-2

Overall

8-4

 

The Knights could finish first in the East this year, but it appears they will be prevented from playing in the conference title game or going to a bowl game.  Too bad for Coach George O’Leary: He has 16 starters returning from a team that should have won seven or eight games last year and could have won as many as 11.  UCF finished 5-7 despite outgaining opponents by more than 100 yards per game and outscoring opponents by nine points per game.  In their five wins, they outscored their opponents by an average score of 36-5.

 

Blake Bortles takes over starting quarterback duties full time this year.  As a part-timer last season, he completed 68% of his passes and averaged 8.7 yards per attempt.  Tyler Gabbert was not happy at Missouri, where his older brother Blaine was a star.  He transferred to Orlando and will back up Bortles.

 

Dropped passes have been a bugaboo for the receiving corps, but J. J. Worton, Quincy McDuffie, and Josh Reese still combined for 114 receptions, 1,474 yards, and seven touchdowns.

 

Brynn Harvey and Latavius Murray teamed for 1,123 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, but they will take a backseat to Miami transfer Storm Johnson.  Johnson has 1,000-yard potential.

 

The offensive line returns four starters.  Center Jordan Rae, guard Theo Goins, and tackle Phil Smith are good enough to make one of the all-conference teams.

 

The defense features three talented units.  The front seven is the best in the league this year.  Troy Davis is one of the top ends in the league.  In 2011, he made 8 ½ stops for loss, including five sacks.  Former tackle Victor Gray has moved to end, and he has all-league potential.

 

Linebackers Jonathan Davis and Troy Gray teamed up for 74 tackles.  Sophomore Terrance Plummer takes over at the vacant middle linebacker spot.

 

The secondary will benefit from a good pass rush up front.  Three starters return to the back line including a fine pair of safeties in Kemal Ishmael and Clayton Geathers.  The duo finished one-two in tackles with 81 and 67 respectively.  UCF needs to have more of a ball-hawking presence.  Cornerback A. J. Bouye is the only returning player that had more than one interception last year.

 

UCF could finish first in the East standings, but the Knights’ final year in this conference will see them home for the holidays.

 

 

Team

East Carolina Pirates

               
Head Coach

Ruffin McNeill

               
Colors

Purple and Gold

               
City

Greenville, NC

               
2011 Record              
Conference

4-4

Overall

5-7

               
PiRate Rating

93.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Rating

80

               
Vintage Rating

95

               
National Rating

83

               
2012 Prediction              
Conference

5-3

Overall

7-5

 

Usually when a team improves defensively by 12 points and 100 yards per game, their record improves by three or four wins.  East Carolina actually won one less game.

 

Third year coach Ruffin McNeill welcomes back 15 starters, but one of the seven missing is quarterback Dominique Davis, who passed for 3,225 yards and 25 touchdowns.

 

A number one quarterback has yet to be named, but junior Rio Johnson has had the best scrimmage results so far.  Johnson saw limited action last year, completing 20 of 29 passes for 157 yards.  Cody Keith is the future here, but he is likely to see no action this season.  Shane Carden and Brad Warnick are competing with Johnson.

 

Whoever starts under center should immediately produce fat passing numbers thanks to a talented and deep pool of receivers.  As a freshman last year, Justin Hardy led the team with 64 receptions.  Fellow freshman Danny Webster grabbed 43 passes.  This now sophomore duo should combine for 125 receptions this season.  Reese Wiggins is the one real deep threat.

 

McNeill’s Air Raid (Mike Leach-style) offense actually passes the ball less than 60% of the time.  Last year, the running game let him down, as ECU rushed for just 109.1 yards per game and averaged 3.3 yards per try.  Four backs return this year, but one should emerge as a possible 1,000-yard rusher.  Reggie Bullock was on pace to approach 1,000 yards rushing before he was injured midway through the year and saw limited carries from then on.  Hunter Farr transferred from North Carolina, and he has all the tools needed to be a big time contributor.

 

Four starters and three key backups return to the offensive line, and the Pirates should see their offensive numbers improve this year, even with a new quarterback.  Look for ECU to score more than 30 points this season.

 

The defense gave up 32 points per game after yielding an incredible 44 points per game in the 2010 bowl season.  The strength of the 3-4 scheme is at linebacker, where all four 2011 starters return.  Jeremy Grove led ECU with 122 tackles.  Fellow inside backer Daniel Drake added 74 tackles.

 

Michael Brooks held his own at nose guard, and his play allowed the two inside linebackers to roam freely to the ball.  ECU is a little thin at end, and the Pirates need a better pass rusher to emerge.

 

The secondary has to holes to plug as three starters have used up their eligibility.  Safety Damon Magazu intercepted four passes last year and finished second on the team with 80 tackles.  At cornerback, Leonard Paulk and Jacobi Jenkins have considerable experience as backups and limited starting experience, but McNeill feels comfortable with these two seniors.

 

One player that will sorely be missed is placekicker Mike Barbour.  The Pirates were in field goal position when they got to the opponents 40 yard line.

 

McNeill is on the hot seat.  While his teams have been exciting to watch, they have not built upon what former coach Skip Holtz left.  ECU must win seven or more games this year or else his Air Raid offense will have to fly to another destination.

 

 

Team

Marshall Thundering Herd

               
Head Coach

Doc Holliday

               
Colors

Green and White

               
City

Huntington, WV

               
2011 Record              
Conference

5-3

Overall

7-6

               
PiRate Rating