The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 15, 2017

Making College Football Even Better

This is our annual and somewhat repetitive treatise dealing with how to improve the college football game as it pertains to the current status.

College football is thriving since the advent of the 4-team playoff.  Unfortunately, those in charge made a little mistake in previous years when they scheduled semifinal bowls for the PM hours of New Year’s Eve.  Numerous fans across the nation chose (in some cases it was chosen for them by a significant other), to attend other festivities.  The semifinal games belong on New Year’s Day, which is the slot Americans have associated with bowl games for decades.  The ultimate college football experience starts with celebrating the birth of the new year while camping out on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena with hundreds if not thousands of potentially new friends; then watching the most magnificent two hours of the Tournament of Roses Parade, contemplating how much work has gone into the planning of this event (it actually begins on January 2nd every year), and then realizing that the bands will march and play their instruments for 5 1/2 miles.

One of the neat things to do if you have been to multiple Rose Parades is to stake out a spot on Paloma at the end of the route and then to be the first to view the floats as they go on display near Victory Park.

The culmination of a fantastic event should be the Rose Bowl Game, which should not be played on any other date but New Year’s Day at 3PM PST (Jan. 2 if the first is on a Sunday).

That being said, there are a few other changes that we believe will take a great game and shoot it into orbit.

ISSUE 1–The Playoffs (8 is not enough)

The Playoffs need more teams, so that all Power 5 Conference champions get an automatic bid.  How would you feel if the Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North and then did not have the opportunity to appear in the NFL Playoffs?  Or what if the Houston Astros would have been cut out of the Major League playoffs because Cleveland had a better resume this year?

Here’s how the PiRates see it at the present time.  We are unanimously in favor of giving all five Power Conference champions an automatic invitation to the gridiron dance, while at the same time, we believe the top four teams should receive a reward.  One method could be that the top four would host the next four in an 8-team tournament, but to us that is not enough reward for the top four teams.  Also, there are going to be years were the number 9 team is as good as the number 4 team, and instead of arguing that number 4 should not have been selected, as number 9 was just as deserving, why not extend it out by a half round?  12 is the perfect number of playoff teams.  Most importantly, a 12-team tournament gives the top four teams a bye to the quarterfinals, and they can still host a quarterfinal round game on their home turf.  That is the proper reward for finishing in the top four.

Additionally, a 12-team tournament gives the Group of 5 conferences a chance.  Guarantee that one of the 12 spots goes to the top Group of 5, just like it receives a New Year’s 6 Bowl bid now.  If Central Florida runs the table this year, rather than receive the last slot in the NY6, at least they could be the #12 seed in a 12-team playoff.  If they really are deserving, then they can prove it by taking out the #5 seed in a road contest.

With 5 Power Conference teams and one Group of 5 Conference team receiving automating bids, it leaves six at-large bids.  In our opinion, these six at-large teams should cover the bases for finding teams worthy of playing for all the marbles.  You are talking about teams ranked around #10 overall at this point.  The #10 vs. #11 team is much less important than the #5 and #4 team competing for a spot.

If we were to look at this season, playing out the remaining games for our purposes in this editorial, the playoffs might look something like this:

ACC Champion–Miami

Big 12 Champion–Oklahoma

Big Ten Champion–Wisconsin

Pac-12 Champion–USC

SEC Champion–Alabama

Best Group of 5–Central Florida

At large 1–Georgia

At large 2–Clemson

At large 3–Ohio St.

At large 4–TCU

At large 5–Penn St.

At large 6–Notre Dame

Top teams left out–Washington, Auburn, Michigan St., Boise St., Memphis, Oklahoma St., and LSU

At the present time, Wisconsin would be left out of the Playoff, even though the Badgers are undefeated.  This would be a travesty if a 13-0 UW team failed to make the playoffs while a 2-loss team sneaked in ahead of the Badgers.  Under our format, none of the teams left out would have any legitimate reason to state a case that they deserved to be in, because in actuality the last two seeds probably should not be in the tournament at all.  However, this actually serves a useful purpose.  If seeds 10, 11, and 12 are not all that worthy of being in the playoffs, then their first round hosts (seeds 5, 6, and 7) get a little benefit that seed 8 does not receive.

Seeding the 12 teams above, you would get something like this:

Opening Round

#12 Central Florida at #5 Georgia

#11 Notre Dame at #6 Clemson

#10 USC at #7 Ohio St.

#9 Penn St. at #8 TCU

Quarterfinal Round

UCF-Ga. Winner at #4 Wisconsin

N. Dame-Clemson Winner at #3 Oklahoma

USC-Ohio St. Winner at #2 Miami

Penn St.-TCU Winner at #1 Alabama

From here the playoffs would be back to where they are now–two bowl games for the Semifinals, followed by the National Championship Game.

 

ISSUE 2–The Games are Toooooooo Lonnnnnng

The NFL realized a few years back that their once 2 1/2 hour games had jumped by an hour, because players believed in going out of bounds rather than absorb contact by a quickly moving 300-pound wall of steel.  They began starting the clock after the ball was brought back in bounds by the side judge or line judge.  Thus, the number of scrimmage plays returned to about where it had been for decades, in the 120-130 per game neighborhood.

College football used to see anywhere from 110 to 150 scrimmage plays per game.  Today, one team might run 100 plays, while the other gets 75, and the game becomes the football version of War and Peace.  The game needs to get to a point where 120-150 plays is the average range.  There is one definite way to make the clock move more than it does today–end the stoppage of the clock on first downs.  The NFL does just fine without the clock stopping on first downs.  The sideline official simply places his lead foot on the spot where the scrimmage stick needs to go, and he keeps it there until the man holding the stick arrives, which is almost always before the ball is snapped for the next play.

If you keep the clock moving after a play results in a first down during a typical college football game today, you are not stopping the clock about 45 times per game.  On games where there are fewer first downs, the clock will keep running any way, so this will basically just keep your 1,000 total yard games under 4 hours, while doing little to the 500 total yard games.

ISSUE 3–We Want Real Overtime

The current mode of college overtime can take a hard fought, defensive gem 13-13 tie at the end of regulation and turn it into a 43-41 4OT game that looks like nobody played a lick of defense.

College overtime should start with one team kicking off to the other, and with a touchdown needed on the first drive in order to end the game without the kicking team getting the ball, just like in the NFL.  Play 10 or 15 minutes, and if the teams are still tied, then let it be a tie game.  Tie games can be just as important as wins and losses.  In today’s world of computer technology, a tie game will not throw a monkey wrench into the works.  Here’s a little secret for you: When the PiRates adjust our ratings after every college football game, we adjust all overtime games back to the tie score at the end of regulation and throw out what happens in overtime, with the exception of factoring in the possibilities of key players being injured and if it could deflate the loser in the future.  What goes on in the current overtime does not tell us anything important.  We need to know how teams perform on both sides of the ball on a 100-yard field and not a 25-yard field.  In actuality, it makes the game a different sport entirely.  How would you like a college basketball overtime only played in the half-court with each team getting a possession per overtime?  That is not real basketball either.

ISSUE 4: A Wet Turf Should Never Be Credited With a Tackle

How many times have you seen a player make a brilliant move to get open in the clear only to slip on wet turf or dive to make a play and then cannot advance the ball, even though no defender has participated in the play?  The NFL totally gets this issue.  A player should not be considered tackle, unless a defender is responsible for downing him or has made contact with him while he is on the ground.  Watching a receiver embarrass a defender, make a brilliant highlight-film catch, and then have to settle for a 6-yard gain, when he could get up and run for 25 yards robs not only the player and his team, but also the fans who want to see action.  When that player dives for the ball and makes the catch today, the turf gets the tackle.  Only vegetation can be happy about that.

ISSUE 5: Pass Interference Should Never Be Allowed to Become a Defensive Strategy

In the early 1980’s, the college football world changed defensive pass interference penalties to a maximum of 15 yards and an automatic first down.  In today’s game, there are times when it is beneficial to clobber a receiver and give up the 15 yards and first down rather than give up the 30-yard pass completion or the touchdown catch.  With less than a minute to go in the game when one team needs only a touchdown to win, but they must go 80 yards, every time the offensive team throws at an attempt to gain more than 35 yards, it is wise to merely clobber the receiver if there is any chance the ball will be caught.  You give up 15 yards and a first down, but now the receiver is hearing footsteps.  The next pass may find him not really extending his arms out to try to catch the pass, knowing that the defender can perform as much unnecessary roughness on him and only suffer the interference penalty.

The right thing to do is to restore pass interference penalties back to awarding the offense a first down at the spot of the foul, just like it has remained in the NFL.  Now, if a team interferes on a Hail Mary pass in the end zone, the offense gets the ball at the opponent’s one yard line, and gets another play, even if the clock shows 0:00.  Pass interference should never be allowed to become a strategy.  It is the equivalent of a flagrant foul in basketball on a breakaway drive to the hoop.

 

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October 19, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for October 19-21, 2017

The Captain has been shanghaied by the lasses.  After a couple weeks of total failure, the Captain handed over the controls of the PiRate Ship to us ladies, because, as he said, “Hey, you cannot do any worse than me.”

Actually, the Captain is enjoying the fruits of his labors as a baseball analytics specialist, and the thoughts of having the first Yankees-Dodgers World Series in 36 years (and as he stated, first legit season in 39 years) has sent him ahoy to dry land for the weekend.

Every week, the Captain prefaces this edition with the warning that you should not actually wager real money, or what goes for real money, on our parlay selections.  Readers, today, this edition of picks comes 100% from five women.

What can women know about football?  As the Captain says, if playing or coaching football made the men involved total experts, they would have all retired a long time ago and made even more money draining the sports books.  It just doesn’t happen.  Actually, the top experts are usually some professor at Cal Tech or MIT with a long computer program that spits out teams that when wagered on, return profits about 5 out of 8 times.

I am here to tell you that the 5 women contributing to this submission today probably have more actual football experience than the Cal Tech and MIT professors.  It may have been from Powder Puff College Football playing with Tri-Delt or Delta Gamma, but we know the game.

That doesn’t mean we know anything about picking winners, so be forewarned.  We went on intuition and other feminine instincts, and we came up with four parlays.  The only advice we received from the Captain was that we should limit our parlays to a max of 4 games, and the parlay calculator had to return a value better than +120.  We did both.

As for last week, need you ask?  The Captain issued just two parlays, and both lost.  For the season his return is -30%.  If we win this week, we just might mutiny and take over control of our vessel.

#1 @ +142  
Must Win Must Lose
Northwestern Iowa
Minnesota Illinois
#2 @ +169  
Must Win Must Lose
Arkansas St. UL-Lafayette
Notre Dame USC
LSU Ole Miss
#3 @ +127  
Must Win Must Lose
Houston Memphis
Penn St. Michigan
#4 @ +132  
Must Win Must Lose
UAB Charlotte
Purdue Rutgers
Duke Pittsburgh

Good luck.  You’ll need it if you play our parlays.  Shame on you if you wager the paper that they say is real money on these selections.  If you want to gift away $400, you can send it to my Patreon page.

October 5, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for October 5-9, 2017

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:02 pm

Finally, the PiRates had a week to celebrate.  Playing strictly college games, it was quite a profitable week, albeit in imaginary currency.

Three of our five selections won, returning us $718 on our $500 invested for an ROI of 44%  The weekly success almost squared us for the season, as we are now just $83 down on $1,700 invested.  We are one additional successful week from possibly going from red to black figures for the season.

We have selected four parlays this week, all consisting of three-games apiece.  We will be experimenting with additional options this week to test a theory put forth by a mathematics department head of a local university, and if this theory shows some merit, we will discuss it at length in the near future.  For now, we will continue posting only money line parlays that give us better than +120 odds.

Every year, we look to see which games tend to give us the most success, and it is uncanny that two leagues tend to lead the way.  Would you ever guess that the Sun Belt Conference and Mid-American Conference have given us more winners than any of the Power 5 leagues?  Is it because these two leagues are more predictable, or is it because maybe the books do not always have the best gauge on these two conferences, and the numbers produce more favorable odds?  Unfortunately, we do not have enough data saved to give us a factual answer.  However, the percentages that we have saved tell us that we have a statistically important advantage when playing games among the MAC and SBC, so these two leagues will remain in the PiRate diet.

We will preface our picks for this week with the mild warning that we were not in 100% agreement on any of the picks this week, while we were solidly behind the three winning plays last week.  In actuality, we were not in 100% agreement on any potential 3-team parlay that produced greater than +120 odds.  The only parlay we all agreed on involved SIX games, at +205 odds.  Six sure things are seldom 100% sure.  It is most likely that one of the six could be upset, and our leader actually believes one of the six might be a great sides pick at +11 (off the record, he likes New Mexico State +11 vs. Appalachian State).

Here are our four parlays for the week.

#1@ +145  
Must Win Must Lose
Florida LSU
TCU West Virginia
Notre Dame North Carolina

 

#2@ +138  
Must Win Must Lose
Syracuse Pittsburgh
Michigan Michigan St.
Marshall Charlotte

 

#3@ +176  
Must Win Must Lose
Miami Florida St.
UTSA Southern Miss
Navy Air Force

 

#4@ +130  
Must Win Must Lose
Akron Ball St.
Idaho UL-Lafayette
Ohio U Central Mich.

 

Note–Once again, we are not issuing any NFL selections for the obvious reasons and the not-so-obvious reason that our NFL ratings have taken a 50%+ drop in readership.  This speaks loudly, and I hope the NFL brass are paying attention at the mass media with similar drops in patronage.

It is our editorial opinion that the NFL needs to instate a rule outlawing all publicly political opinions and statements during their games, just like most other retail establishments.  When you or we go to the grocery store to buy food, or go to your local insurance agent to renew your policies, none of us would expect to be issued any political litmus tests from either side of an issue, and we would quickly look elsewhere for our groceries or insurance if we did have to hear the employees and management deliver one-sided editorials, whether it was our identical belief or opposing belief. 

The NFL will only continue to lose patronage if they allow politicization in any way, on any side.  Football is just one of many avenues of entertainment.  The NFL has fallen behind trail hiking, reading good books, going shopping with our loved ones, visiting friends, and doing inventory (ugh) in the households of the Pirates.  The TVs have remained silent on Sundays and Monday nights.  Worse for the NFL, we all have discovered a much more enjoyable end to our weekends by not watching the games, something that may become addictive long after the impasse has been retired.  It takes a lot to win customers back after they have made the decision to leave.  Many companies never succeed in returning to what they once were once they experienced a large migration away from their establishment.

October 2, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for October 4-7, 2017

PiRate Rating Spreads For This Week

October 4-7        
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Georgia Southern Arkansas St. -6.5 -6.9 -8.7
North Carolina St. Louisville 2.5 3.0 2.3
Connecticut Memphis -13.7 -9.8 -13.8
BYU Boise St. -0.5 0.7 0.0
East Carolina Temple -7.2 -6.0 -7.2
Oklahoma Iowa St. 26.2 23.2 26.3
Clemson Wake Forest 27.0 25.1 26.8
Toledo Eastern Michigan 6.7 6.8 8.0
Kansas Texas Tech -14.6 -10.7 -14.5
Iowa Illinois 22.9 21.6 23.8
Vanderbilt Georgia -14.5 -16.4 -15.8
Auburn Ole Miss 27.0 26.3 29.0
Northwestern Penn St. -14.2 -14.0 -14.9
Virginia Duke -2.3 -1.1 0.5
Syracuse Pittsburgh 5.9 4.0 5.9
Ohio U Central Michigan 4.8 5.5 5.7
Miami (O) Bowling Green 15.8 16.8 16.7
Texas St. Louisiana-Monroe -7.5 -5.5 -7.4
Middle Tennessee Florida Int’l. 10.6 11.2 10.3
Appalachian St. New Mexico St. 13.3 12.9 13.4
Purdue Minnesota -3.1 -1.7 -2.2
North Carolina Notre Dame -5.9 -5.9 -8.6
Northern Illinois Kent St. 13.6 11.9 13.5
Navy Air Force 12.4 12.6 12.4
Florida LSU 7.3 7.5 6.3
Buffalo Western Michigan -15.1 -11.0 -14.5
TCU West Virginia 13.0 9.7 13.4
Akron Ball St. 10.7 11.8 9.3
Florida St. Miami (Fla.) 4.6 5.3 4.2
Oregon Washington St. -1.9 -2.6 -2.3
Tulane Tulsa -1.5 -1.0 -0.9
Ohio St. Maryland 31.8 27.1 31.0
USC Oregon St. 29.9 29.5 31.1
UAB Louisiana Tech -22.5 -19.2 -21.4
South Carolina Arkansas 1.7 1.6 1.0
Utah St. Colorado St. -11.6 -11.3 -12.4
Idaho Louisiana-Lafayette 3.0 3.8 4.1
Old Dominion Florida Atlantic 4.3 3.6 3.4
Charlotte Marshall -13.5 -12.6 -14.7
Coastal Carolina Georgia St. -11.6 -9.7 -10.1
Rice Army -14.8 -13.8 -15.3
UTSA Southern Miss. 13.4 13.6 15.6
Texas Kansas St. 2.6 3.6 2.9
Houston SMU 8.0 7.3 7.3
Texas A&M Alabama -32.6 -29.8 -32.7
Boston College Virginia Tech -17.0 -16.0 -18.0
Kentucky Missouri 17.8 19.0 18.6
San Jose St. Fresno St. -10.2 -8.8 -11.4
Michigan Michigan St. 18.4 15.4 17.0
UTEP Western Kentucky -19.4 -15.3 -20.3
Nebraska Wisconsin -17.4 -12.1 -16.4
Cincinnati Central Florida -20.6 -19.9 -20.3
Colorado Arizona 14.7 13.4 13.9
Utah Stanford -7.5 -4.3 -6.5
Nevada Hawaii -0.8 0.9 0.8
Washington California 31.7 31.0 34.1
UNLV San Diego St. -11 -8.4 -11.3
This Week’s FBS vs. FCS Games
Home Visitor PiRate
Indiana Charleston Sou. 29

 

This Week’s PiRate Retrodictive Ratings 

Retrodictive Ratings are like rankings, rating teams based on what they have done so far this season without trying to predict the outcome of future games

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team Rating
1 Alabama 132.4
2 Clemson 130.8
3 Washington 129.6
4 Oklahoma 129.2
5 Penn St. 127.7
6 Georgia 127.5
7 Michigan 123.8
8 Ohio St. 123.6
9 Wisconsin 123.5
10 Miami (Fla) 123.0
11 TCU 122.9
12 Washington St. 122.2
13 USC 120.7
14 Louisville 120.4
15 San Diego St. 117.9
16 Florida 117.6
17 Virginia Tech 116.5
18 Oklahoma St. 116.1
19 Central Florida 115.8
20 South Florida 115.6
21 Auburn 115.5
22 Notre Dame 115.5
23 Utah 115.2
24 Stanford 115.1
25 North Carolina St. 115.0
26 Texas Tech 114.9
27 Navy 114.9
28 Wake Forest 114.8
29 Mississippi St. 114.7
30 Kansas St. 114.7
31 Minnesota 114.2
32 Oregon 114.0
33 Duke 113.9
34 Iowa 113.5
35 Kentucky 113.4
36 Georgia Tech 113.2
37 Maryland 112.9
38 Florida St. 112.5
39 Houston 112.0
40 Texas A&M 111.8
41 West Virginia 111.4
42 Michigan St. 111.1
43 LSU 110.6
44 Colorado 110.2
45 Tennessee 109.7
46 Toledo 109.3
47 Vanderbilt 108.5
48 South Carolina 108.2
49 Texas 107.7
50 California 107.6
51 Memphis 107.2
52 UCLA 106.9
53 Western Michigan 106.6
54 Nebraska 106.0
55 Boise St. 105.6
56 Northwestern 105.0
57 Indiana 104.7
58 Purdue 104.4
59 Arizona St. 103.9
60 Colorado St. 103.7
61 Virginia 103.4
62 Troy 102.9
63 UTSA 102.0
64 SMU 101.8
65 Arkansas 101.7
66 Appalachian St. 101.5
67 Ole Miss 100.9
68 Northern Illinois 100.7
69 Marshall 100.0
70 Pittsburgh 99.6
71 Ohio 98.9
72 Louisiana Tech 98.4
73 Tulane 98.2
74 Boston College 98.0
75 Arizona 97.8
76 Iowa St. 97.0
77 Utah St. 96.6
78 Air Force 96.2
79 Army 95.9
80 Wyoming 95.3
81 North Carolina 94.5
82 Western Kentucky 94.1
83 Arkansas St. 93.7
84 Southern Miss. 93.3
85 Temple 92.9
86 New Mexico 92.8
87 Fresno St. 92.2
88 Syracuse 91.5
89 North Texas 91.1
90 Tulsa 90.6
91 Florida Int’l. 90.4
92 Eastern Michigan 89.9
93 Buffalo 89.4
94 Illinois 89.3
95 Cincinnati 88.7
96 Miami (O) 88.1
97 Florida Atlantic 88.0
98 Idaho 87.2
99 BYU 86.9
100 Middle Tennessee 86.5
101 Old Dominion 86.1
102 Baylor 85.8
103 New Mexico St. 85.0
104 UNLV 84.9
105 Akron 84.7
106 Missouri 84.7
107 Oregon St. 84.1
108 UL-Monroe 83.6
109 Rutgers 82.9
110 Hawaii 82.5
111 Central Michigan 82.2
112 UL-Lafayette 82.0
113 Ball St. 81.8
114 East Carolina 81.3
115 South Alabama 80.8
116 Connecticut 79.6
117 UAB 79.1
118 Georgia St. 78.3
119 Coastal Carolina 77.9
120 Georgia Southern 77.8
121 Kansas 77.8
122 Kent St. 75.1
123 Rice 75.0
124 Nevada 74.4
125 Massachusetts 73.8
126 Bowling Green 73.3
127 San Jose St. 73.2
128 UTEP 73.1
129 Texas St. 72.6
130 Charlotte 72.2

PiRate Predictive Ratings

Predictive Ratings only look forward to the next week’s games played.  They do not rate teams based on what they have done so far, and in many cases, a higher-rated team may have lost to a lower-rated team (like Ohio State being rated higher than Oklahoma).

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 141.1 136.3 140.1 139.2
2 Ohio St. 132.6 129.9 132.1 131.5
3 Clemson 130.7 127.8 130.3 129.6
4 Washington 130.0 126.9 130.7 129.2
5 Penn St. 127.7 125.7 128.5 127.3
6 Auburn 126.8 124.6 126.9 126.1
7 Oklahoma 125.9 124.0 126.6 125.5
8 Georgia 123.6 124.3 123.9 123.9
9 Florida St. 124.1 122.6 123.1 123.3
10 Oklahoma St. 122.5 121.1 123.3 122.3
11 Miami 121.5 119.3 121.0 120.6
12 Wisconsin 122.4 118.4 120.7 120.5
13 U S C 119.5 118.8 119.3 119.2
14 Virginia Tech 118.9 118.2 119.4 118.8
15 T C U 119.5 116.9 119.9 118.7
16 Washington St. 118.3 116.1 117.8 117.4
17 Stanford 117.5 116.1 116.7 116.8
18 Michigan 116.9 116.5 116.2 116.5
19 Louisville 116.3 115.2 116.4 116.0
20 N. Carolina St. 115.8 115.2 115.7 115.6
21 Notre Dame 115.7 114.5 116.5 115.5
22 Florida 116.0 114.9 115.5 115.5
23 Georgia Tech 116.0 113.7 114.3 114.7
24 Texas 113.5 114.3 113.9 113.9
25 Kansas St. 113.9 113.8 114.0 113.9
26 Oregon 113.4 110.5 112.6 112.2
27 South Florida 112.2 110.8 113.3 112.1
28 Central Florida 110.7 112.3 111.8 111.6
29 L S U 111.8 110.3 112.2 111.4
30 Kentucky 111.4 110.2 110.9 110.8
31 Colorado 111.5 109.5 109.4 110.1
32 Northwestern 110.6 108.6 110.6 109.9
33 West Virginia 109.4 110.2 109.5 109.7
34 Iowa 109.6 109.8 109.3 109.6
35 U C L A 108.5 107.8 107.9 108.1
36 Utah 107.0 108.8 107.2 107.7
37 Mississippi St. 107.2 108.0 107.2 107.5
38 Duke 108.4 107.0 107.0 107.5
39 Minnesota 107.3 107.5 106.9 107.2
40 Syracuse 107.8 106.2 107.1 107.0
41 Colo. State 107.2 105.8 107.5 106.8
42 Wake Forest 106.8 105.7 106.5 106.3
43 Vanderbilt 106.6 105.4 105.6 105.9
44 Arkansas 106.2 105.6 105.7 105.9
45 N. Carolina 106.8 105.6 104.9 105.8
46 Indiana 104.6 104.7 105.0 104.8
47 Pittsburgh 104.9 105.2 104.2 104.8
48 Maryland 103.9 105.8 104.1 104.6
49 Texas A&M 105.5 103.5 104.4 104.5
50 S. Carolina 104.9 104.2 103.7 104.3
51 Houston 104.5 103.8 104.4 104.2
52 Texas Tech 104.5 103.9 103.7 104.0
53 Tennessee 104.7 103.0 102.8 103.5
54 Virginia 103.1 102.9 104.4 103.5
55 Iowa State 102.6 103.8 103.3 103.3
56 Western Michigan 102.7 101.0 104.2 102.6
57 Nebraska 102.0 103.4 101.3 102.2
58 San Diego St. 101.9 102.0 102.8 102.2
59 Purdue 101.1 102.8 101.7 101.9
60 Baylor 101.1 103.0 101.2 101.8
61 Arizona St. 102.1 101.5 101.5 101.7
62 Ole Miss 102.8 101.3 100.9 101.7
63 Navy 101.4 102.1 101.5 101.6
64 Memphis 101.7 100.8 101.8 101.4
65 Michigan St. 100.0 102.5 100.7 101.1
66 Toledo 99.6 99.5 101.0 100.0
67 California 101.3 98.9 99.6 99.9
68 Boston College 99.4 99.7 98.9 99.3
69 SMU 99.0 99.1 99.6 99.2
70 Arizona 99.8 99.1 98.4 99.1
71 Tulsa 98.8 98.7 98.6 98.7
72 Boise St. 99.0 97.2 98.5 98.2
73 Appalachian St. 98.6 96.3 98.9 97.9
74 U T S A 95.7 97.3 97.8 96.9
75 Troy 96.6 96.6 96.1 96.4
76 Army 95.5 95.6 96.2 95.8
77 Missouri 96.6 94.3 95.3 95.4
78 Eastern Michigan 95.5 95.1 95.5 95.4
79 BYU 95.5 94.9 95.5 95.3
80 New Mexico 95.0 94.7 95.8 95.2
81 Tulane 94.4 94.6 94.8 94.6
82 Wyoming 95.4 94.2 94.2 94.6
83 Miami (O) 92.7 94.7 94.2 93.9
84 W. Kentucky 93.6 92.8 94.7 93.7
85 Rutgers 93.9 94.0 93.1 93.7
86 Temple 92.7 93.1 92.6 92.8
87 Air Force 91.9 92.5 92.1 92.2
88 Louisiana Tech 91.4 92.5 92.4 92.1
89 Utah St. 92.6 91.5 92.1 92.1
90 Oregon St. 92.6 92.4 91.1 92.0
91 Ohio U 91.1 92.5 92.1 91.9
92 Northern Illinois 90.2 90.0 90.7 90.3
93 Illinois 89.7 91.2 88.5 89.8
94 Marshall 88.7 90.0 90.3 89.7
95 U N L V 88.7 91.1 89.0 89.6
96 Fresno St. 89.8 88.5 90.3 89.6
97 Old Dominion 88.6 91.1 88.9 89.5
98 Middle Tennessee 89.0 89.8 89.4 89.4
99 Arkansas St. 88.2 89.9 89.8 89.3
100 Central Michigan 88.7 89.5 88.9 89.0
101 Cincinnati 87.6 89.9 89.1 88.9
102 Kansas 87.4 90.7 86.7 88.3
103 Florida Atlantic 86.9 89.9 88.1 88.3
104 Hawaii 87.6 88.4 87.4 87.8
105 N. Mexico St. 88.3 86.4 88.5 87.7
106 Buffalo 85.1 87.5 87.2 86.6
107 Connecticut 84.9 88.0 85.0 86.0
108 Southern Miss. 85.3 86.7 85.2 85.7
109 Massachusetts 85.4 84.7 85.3 85.1
110 Akron 83.9 87.0 84.0 85.0
111 Georgia St. 84.9 84.2 84.9 84.7
112 N. Texas 84.0 85.6 84.3 84.6
113 Idaho 83.5 85.6 84.4 84.5
114 UL-Lafayette 84.0 85.3 83.8 84.4
115 S. Alabama 83.2 86.0 83.3 84.2
116 Nevada 82.8 85.3 84.2 84.1
117 East Carolina 82.5 84.1 82.4 83.0
118 Florida Int’l. 80.8 81.1 81.6 81.2
119 UL-Monroe 81.1 81.7 79.9 80.9
120 Kent St. 79.6 81.1 80.2 80.3
121 Bowling Green 79.5 80.4 79.9 79.9
122 Georgia Southern 79.2 80.5 78.6 79.4
123 Rice 77.7 78.8 77.9 78.1
124 San Jose St. 77.1 77.2 76.4 76.9
125 Ball St. 75.7 77.7 77.2 76.9
126 Charlotte 72.7 75.0 73.1 73.6
127 U T E P 71.7 75.0 71.9 72.9
128 Coastal Carolina 70.8 72.1 72.3 71.8
129 Texas St. 71.1 73.7 70.0 71.6
130 UAB 66.5 70.8 68.5 68.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 2-0 5-0 112.2 110.8 113.3 112.1
Central Florida 1-0 3-0 110.7 112.3 111.8 111.6
Temple 0-2 2-3 92.7 93.1 92.6 92.8
Cincinnati 0-1 2-3 87.6 89.9 89.1 88.9
Connecticut 0-2 1-3 84.9 88.0 85.0 86.0
East Carolina 1-1 1-4 82.5 84.1 82.4 83.0
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 1-0 3-1 104.5 103.8 104.4 104.2
Navy 3-0 4-0 101.4 102.1 101.5 101.6
Memphis 0-1 3-1 101.7 100.8 101.8 101.4
SMU 1-0 4-1 99.0 99.1 99.6 99.2
Tulsa 0-1 1-4 98.8 98.7 98.6 98.7
Tulane 0-1 2-2 94.4 94.6 94.8 94.6
             
AAC Averages     97.5 98.1 97.9 97.8
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 3-0 5-0 130.7 127.8 130.3 129.6
Florida St. 1-1 1-2 124.1 122.6 123.1 123.3
Louisville 1-1 4-1 116.3 115.2 116.4 116.0
N. Carolina St. 2-0 4-1 115.8 115.2 115.7 115.6
Syracuse 0-1 2-3 107.8 106.2 107.1 107.0
Wake Forest 1-1 4-1 106.8 105.7 106.5 106.3
Boston College 0-2 2-3 99.4 99.7 98.9 99.3
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 1-0 3-0 121.5 119.3 121.0 120.6
Virginia Tech 0-1 4-1 118.9 118.2 119.4 118.8
Georgia Tech 2-0 3-1 116.0 113.7 114.3 114.7
Duke 1-1 4-1 108.4 107.0 107.0 107.5
N. Carolina 0-3 1-4 106.8 105.6 104.9 105.8
Pittsburgh 0-1 2-3 104.9 105.2 104.2 104.8
Virginia 0-0 3-1 103.1 102.9 104.4 103.5
             
ACC Averages     112.9 111.7 112.4 112.3
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 1-0 4-0 125.9 124.0 126.6 125.5
Oklahoma St. 1-1 4-1 122.5 121.1 123.3 122.3
T C U 1-0 4-0 119.5 116.9 119.9 118.7
Texas 1-0 2-2 113.5 114.3 113.9 113.9
Kansas St. 1-0 3-1 113.9 113.8 114.0 113.9
West Virginia 1-0 3-1 109.4 110.2 109.5 109.7
Texas Tech 0-1 3-1 104.5 103.9 103.7 104.0
Iowa State 0-1 2-2 102.6 103.8 103.3 103.3
Baylor 0-2 0-5 101.1 103.0 101.2 101.8
Kansas 0-1 1-3 87.4 90.7 86.7 88.3
             
Big 12 Averages     110.0 110.2 110.2 110.1
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 2-0 4-1 132.6 129.9 132.1 131.5
Penn St. 2-0 5-0 127.7 125.7 128.5 127.3
Michigan 1-0 4-0 116.9 116.5 116.2 116.5
Indiana 0-2 2-2 104.6 104.7 105.0 104.8
Maryland 1-0 3-1 103.9 105.8 104.1 104.6
Michigan St. 1-0 3-1 100.0 102.5 100.7 101.1
Rutgers 0-2 1-4 93.9 94.0 93.1 93.7
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 1-0 4-0 122.4 118.4 120.7 120.5
Northwestern 0-1 2-2 110.6 108.6 110.6 109.9
Iowa 0-2 3-2 109.6 109.8 109.3 109.6
Minnesota 0-1 3-1 107.3 107.5 106.9 107.2
Nebraska 2-0 3-2 102.0 103.4 101.3 102.2
Purdue 0-1 2-2 101.1 102.8 101.7 101.9
Illinois 0-1 2-2 89.7 91.2 88.5 89.8
             
Big Ten Averages     108.8 108.6 108.5 108.6
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
W. Kentucky 0-1 2-2 93.6 92.8 94.7 93.7
Marshall 0-0 3-1 88.7 90.0 90.3 89.7
Old Dominion 0-0 2-2 88.6 91.1 88.9 89.5
Middle Tennessee 0-1 2-3 89.0 89.8 89.4 89.4
Florida Atlantic 1-0 2-3 86.9 89.9 88.1 88.3
Florida Int’l. 2-0 3-1 80.8 81.1 81.6 81.2
Charlotte 0-1 0-5 72.7 75.0 73.1 73.6
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 0-0 3-0 95.7 97.3 97.8 96.9
Louisiana Tech 1-0 3-2 91.4 92.5 92.4 92.1
Southern Miss. 0-1 2-2 85.3 86.7 85.2 85.7
N. Texas 2-0 3-2 84.0 85.6 84.3 84.6
Rice 1-1 1-4 77.7 78.8 77.9 78.1
U T E P 0-1 0-5 71.7 75.0 71.9 72.9
UAB 0-1 2-2 66.5 70.8 68.5 68.6
             
CUSA Averages     83.8 85.5 84.6 84.6
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   4-1 115.7 114.5 116.5 115.5
Army   3-2 95.5 95.6 96.2 95.8
BYU   1-4 95.5 94.9 95.5 95.3
Massachusetts   0-6 85.4 84.7 85.3 85.1
             
Indep. Averages     98.0 97.4 98.4 97.9
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami (O) 1-0 2-3 92.7 94.7 94.2 93.9
Ohio U 1-0 4-1 91.1 92.5 92.1 91.9
Buffalo 1-0 3-2 85.1 87.5 87.2 86.6
Akron 1-0 2-3 83.9 87.0 84.0 85.0
Kent St. 0-1 1-4 79.6 81.1 80.2 80.3
Bowling Green 0-1 0-5 79.5 80.4 79.9 79.9
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 1-0 3-2 102.7 101.0 104.2 102.6
Toledo 0-0 3-1 99.6 99.5 101.0 100.0
Eastern Michigan 0-1 2-2 95.5 95.1 95.5 95.4
Northern Illinois 0-0 2-2 90.2 90.0 90.7 90.3
Central Michigan 0-1 2-3 88.7 89.5 88.9 89.0
Ball St. 0-1 2-3 75.7 77.7 77.2 76.9
             
MAC Averages     88.7 89.7 89.6 89.3
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colo. State 1-0 3-2 107.2 105.8 107.5 106.8
Boise St. 1-0 2-2 99.0 97.2 98.5 98.2
New Mexico 1-1 3-2 95.0 94.7 95.8 95.2
Wyoming 1-0 3-2 95.4 94.2 94.2 94.6
Air Force 0-2 1-3 91.9 92.5 92.1 92.2
Utah St. 1-0 3-2 92.6 91.5 92.1 92.1
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 1-0 5-0 101.9 102.0 102.8 102.2
U N L V 1-0 2-2 88.7 91.1 89.0 89.6
Fresno St. 1-0 2-2 89.8 88.5 90.3 89.6
Hawaii 0-2 2-3 87.6 88.4 87.4 87.8
Nevada 0-1 0-5 82.8 85.3 84.2 84.1
San Jose St. 0-2 1-5 77.1 77.2 76.4 76.9
             
MWC Averages     92.4 92.4 92.5 92.4
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 2-0 5-0 130.0 126.9 130.7 129.2
Washington St. 2-0 5-0 118.3 116.1 117.8 117.4
Stanford 2-1 3-2 117.5 116.1 116.7 116.8
Oregon 1-1 4-1 113.4 110.5 112.6 112.2
California 0-2 3-2 101.3 98.9 99.6 99.9
Oregon St. 0-2 1-4 92.6 92.4 91.1 92.0
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 2-1 4-1 119.5 118.8 119.3 119.2
Colorado 0-2 3-2 111.5 109.5 109.4 110.1
U C L A 1-1 3-2 108.5 107.8 107.9 108.1
Utah 1-0 4-0 107.0 108.8 107.2 107.7
Arizona St. 1-1 2-3 102.1 101.5 101.5 101.7
Arizona 0-1 2-2 99.8 99.1 98.4 99.1
             
Pac-12 Averages     110.1 108.9 109.4 109.4
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 2-0 5-0 123.6 124.3 123.9 123.9
Florida 3-0 3-1 116.0 114.9 115.5 115.5
Kentucky 1-1 4-1 111.4 110.2 110.9 110.8
Vanderbilt 0-2 3-2 106.6 105.4 105.6 105.9
S. Carolina 1-2 3-2 104.9 104.2 103.7 104.3
Tennessee 0-2 3-2 104.7 103.0 102.8 103.5
Missouri 0-2 1-3 96.6 94.3 95.3 95.4
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 2-0 5-0 141.1 136.3 140.1 139.2
Auburn 2-0 4-1 126.8 124.6 126.9 126.1
L S U 0-1 3-2 111.8 110.3 112.2 111.4
Mississippi St. 1-2 3-2 107.2 108.0 107.2 107.5
Arkansas 0-1 2-2 106.2 105.6 105.7 105.9
Texas A&M 2-0 4-1 105.5 103.5 104.4 104.5
Ole Miss 0-1 2-2 102.8 101.3 100.9 101.7
             
SEC Averages     111.8 110.4 111.1 111.1
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 1-0 2-2 98.6 96.3 98.9 97.9
Troy 1-0 4-1 96.6 96.6 96.1 96.4
Arkansas St. 0-0 1-2 88.2 89.9 89.8 89.3
N. Mexico St. 0-1 2-3 88.3 86.4 88.5 87.7
Georgia St. 0-0 1-2 84.9 84.2 84.9 84.7
Idaho 1-0 2-2 83.5 85.6 84.4 84.5
UL-Lafayette 0-1 1-3 84.0 85.3 83.8 84.4
S. Alabama 0-1 1-4 83.2 86.0 83.3 84.2
UL-Monroe 2-0 2-2 81.1 81.7 79.9 80.9
Georgia Southern 0-0 0-3 79.2 80.5 78.6 79.4
Coastal Carolina 0-1 1-3 70.8 72.1 72.3 71.8
Texas St. 0-1 1-4 71.1 73.7 70.0 71.6
             
Sun Belt Averages     84.1 84.9 84.2 84.4

Ratings By Conference

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 ACC 112.9 111.7 112.4 112.3
2 SEC 111.8 110.4 111.1 111.1
3 BIG 12 110.0 110.2 110.2 110.1
4 PAC-12 110.1 108.9 109.4 109.4
5 BIG TEN 108.8 108.6 108.5 108.6
6 INDEP. 98.0 97.4 98.4 97.9
7 AAC 97.5 98.1 97.9 97.8
8 MWC 92.4 92.4 92.5 92.4
9 MAC 88.7 89.7 89.6 89.3
10 CUSA 83.8 85.5 84.6 84.6
11 Sun Belt 84.1 84.9 84.2 84.4

Playoff and Bowl Projections

Bowl Conferences Team 1 Team 2
N. Orleans CUSA SBC Louisiana Tech Arkansas St.
Cure AAC SBC [W. Kentucky] Appalachian St.
Las Vegas MWC 1 PAC-12 5 Colorado St. Stanford
New Mexico CUSA MWC North Texas Boise St.
Camellia MAC SBC Ohio U New Mexico St.
Boca Raton AAC CUSA South Florida Marshall
Frisco AAC MAC SMU Buffalo
Gasparilla AAC CUSA [Fresno St.] Florida Int’l.
Bahamas CUSA 1 MAC Florida Atlantic Western Mich.
Potato MAC MWC Miami (O) Wyoming
B’ham AAC SEC 8-9 Memphis Tennessee
Arm. Forces Army BIG TEN 8 Army Nebraska
$ General MAC SBC Northern Illinois Troy
Hawaii AAC MWC Houston Hawaii
Ht. of Dallas BIG 12 6 CUSA Kansas St. UTSA
Quick Lane ACC 7-9 BIG TEN 7 [Toledo] Michigan St.
Cactus BIG 12 5 PAC-12 6 Texas Colorado
Independ. ACC 7-9 SEC 8-9 [Old Dominion] [UNLV]
Pinstripe ACC 3-6 BIG TEN 5 Virginia Maryland
F. Farms BIG TEN 6 PAC-12 8 Purdue Oregon
Texas BIG 12 3 SEC 2-7 Texas Tech Arkansas
Military AAC 7-9 ACC 7-9 Navy [Middle Tenn.]
Camp.Wrld ACC 2 BIG 12 2 Virginia Tech Oklahoma St.
Holiday BIG TEN 3 PAC-12 2 Northwestern UCLA
Alamo BIG 12 1 PAC-12 1 TCU USC
Belk ACC 3-6 SEC 2-7 N. Carolina St. Florida
Sun ACC 3-6 Pac-12 Duke Utah
Music City ACC 3-6/B10 4 SEC 2-7 Georgia Tech Mississippi St.
Arizona MWC SBC San Diego St. [Iowa]
Cotton At-large At-large Penn St. Georgia
Taxslayer ACC 3-6/B10 4 SEC 2-7 Minnesota South Carolina
Liberty BIG 12 4 SEC 2-7 West Virginia Kentucky
Fiesta At-large At-large Washington St. Wisconsin
Orange ACC 1 SEC 1/B10 1 Louisville Ohio St.
Outback BIG TEN 2 SEC 2-7 Michigan Texas A&M
Peach At-large At-large Notre Dame Central Florida
Citrus B10 1/ACC 2 SEC 1 Miami (Fla.) Auburn
Rose Playoff Semi-final Clemson Oklahoma
Sugar Playoff Semi-final Alabama Washington
Champ. Semifinal Winners Alabama Clemson
         
Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections

It’s Bowl Contention/Elimination Season
Welcome to real Autumn. As the calendar page flips to October, college football season is in full bloom. Many schools will reach the halfway point of their schedule this weekend. Another sign that Autumn is here in earnest–college football picks up another day, as the Wednesday night scheduling begins this week.

If it’s October, then it is time to start looking at bowl eligibility. Obviously, there are dynasties like Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and others that are going to a bowl with 100% certainty, and there are teams like Charlotte, Kansas, and Oregon State that are definitely not going to a bowl.

There are about 80 teams in position to become bowl eligible, and maybe 55 to 60 of these schools will earn it, while the other 20 to 25 will fall short. We call this time of year, Bowl Contention/Elimination Season (BCES). Each week, there will be games where the winner will stay in contention for a bowl, while the loser will either be severely damaged or outright eliminated from bowl contention. Let’s take a look at some of the early BCES games in October.

Illinois (2-2) at Iowa (3-2). The loser of this game cannot find a path to 6-6. Illinois must win this game and then defeat Rutgers, and then two from Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, and Northwestern. If the Illini cannot beat Iowa, they cannot win four others. Iowa’s offense is struggling with new a new quarterback, receivers, and running backs. They will have to squeak by three more opponents and have a tough closing schedule.

Duke (4-1) at Virginia (3-1). This is not a bowl elimination game. The winner of this one is in very good shape to become bowl eligible, in fact close to 100% likely with just one loss.

Pittsburgh (2-3) at Syracuse (2-3). This is a true bowl eliminator. The winner moves to 3-3 and stays in contention for a bowl at probably 6-6, while the loser is not going to win four more games.

Florida International (3-1) at Middle Tennessee (2-3). This was not how it was supposed to be this year in CUSA. Western Kentucky, Old Dominion, and Middle Tennessee are struggling, while FIU is in contention for the East Division title. For Middle, they have serious injury issues on offense, namely their quarterback and top two receivers. FIU has improved each week under Butch Davis, and a win this week probably gives the Panthers anywhere from 85-90% chance of getting to six wins.

Minnesota (3-1) at Purdue (2-2). This is a trap game for Minnesota. After losing a tough home game to Maryland, the Gophers travel to West Lafayette to take on a much-improved, confident Boilermaker team that will be coming off a bye week and will be playing in the memory of former great PU coach Joe Tiller, who recently passed away. Jeff Brohm will have Purdue fired up to win this game, and at 3-2, Purdue will be more than Spoilermakers; they will be serious bowl contenders.

Tulsa (1-4) at Tulane (2-2). The winner still has a chance to make a bowl this year. The loser has no chance. Green Wave second year coach Willie Fritz will start getting noticed by the big schools if he guides Tulane to a bowl in his second year in New Orleans. Fritz worked wonders at Georgia Southern, and before that, he turned programs around at Sam Houston State and Central Missouri. Fritz’s offense is unique in college football. It may look a lot like Army, Navy, and Georgia Tech’s triple option offense, but it is nothing like those three. It is more similar to the old Nebraska offense with zone blocking rules and regular (double) options with power running and quick passing. His style of play might work in the Big 12 or even the SEC. He might get a chance to interview at an SEC school in December if TU can make a run to a bowl.

Arkansas (2-2) at South Carolina (3-2). If Arkansas loses this game, the Razorbacks are in serious jeopardy of not getting to six wins this year, and it could be one of three or four SEC schools looking to replace a coach. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp is okay to stay if he goes 5-7, but Brett Bielema may have a tough time keeping the job in Fayetteville if he doesn’t get the Razorbacks to eight wins.

UL-Lafayette (1-3) at Idaho (2-2). It is hard to beat Idaho in the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. There will be very little chance that ULL will recover to 6-6 if they lose to the Vandals this week. On the other side of the field, Idaho must get to seven wins to have a legitimate chance at a bowl. The Sun Belt will not go to bat for the Vandals unless they force the issue, because Idaho is dropping to FCS at the end of this year and will no longer be a SBC member. Only if the SBC has no other options, will Idaho get a fair shake.

Florida Atlantic (2-3) at Old Dominion (2-2). The winner of this one moves into decent contention for a bowl. It is our opinion that CUSA will end up with more bowl eligible teams than bowl contracts, but there are always other leagues that cannot fill their allotment of bowl bids. Due to geography, this league has an advantage in placing at-large teams in bowls.

Arizona (2-2) at Colorado (3-2). Rich Rodriguez is in serious trouble in Tucson, and anything short of a bowl invitation should be the end of his tenure in the desert. The Wildcats would need three more wins if they beat the Buffaloes at Folsom Field this week, but finding three more wins is still a tough task. Colorado would need just two more wins if they hold off the Wildcats in Boulder, and Mike MacIntyre has job security in the Rockies.

The Playoff Race, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love A Threepeat
At this point in the season, it might be insane to think that any team other than Alabama or Clemson has a chance to make it to the College Football National Championship Game. Sure, there are a lot of really good teams, some that might run the table and enter the playoffs at 13-0. But, at this point of the season, the two powers look to be in a league of their own, headed to a rubber match in Atlanta, which would be the perfect neutral site.
How rare is it for the same two teams to play for the Championship of a sport three years in a row? In one word–Very! College football has only had a playoff for a couple years, and before that a BCS Championship, so the chances have not been there for it to happen. It could be argued that from 1944 to 1946, Army and Notre Dame played in essence the National Championship Game when they faced off at Yankee Stadium, but those games were in-season, and there was no guarantee that the winner would be the champion.
In the NFL, no two Super Bowl teams have every played each other three years in a row. Prior to the Super Bowl era, The Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns played for the NFL title in 1952, 1953, and 1954.

The New York Giants and New York Yankees squared off in three consecutive World Series in 1921, 1922, and 1923. In the NBA, the Warriors and Cavaliers have played each other for the title the last three years, and in the NHL, even though for many years there were not even 10 total teams (just 6 for many of those years), it has still been rare. Detroit and Montreal met for the Stanley Cup in 1954, 1955, and 1956.

 

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

 

 

 

 

September 25, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for September 28-30, 2017

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:08 am

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

September 28-30        
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Iowa St. Texas -7.3 -6.9 -6.6
Duke Miami (Fla.) -5.4 -4.4 -6.1
Illinois Nebraska -6.7 -7.0 -6.8
Utah St. BYU -7.2 -7.3 -8.7
Washington St. USC 0.3 -1.6 -0.2
Georgia Tech North Carolina 7.3 5.8 6.9
Temple Houston -8.4 -6.7 -8.4
Minnesota Maryland 10.8 8.3 10.6
Florida Vanderbilt 11.4 12.1 11.5
Pittsburgh Rice 28.8 28.0 27.9
Arkansas New Mexico St. 21.4 23.0 21.3
Wisconsin Northwestern 15.7 13.2 13.7
East Carolina South Florida -24.4 -20.8 -25.4
North Carolina St. Syracuse 11.5 12.5 12.2
Boston College Central Michigan 12.0 11.7 11.0
Army UTEP 28.3 24.2 29.1
Tulsa Navy 6.7 5.0 6.8
Penn St. Indiana 24.5 22.4 24.5
Wake Forest Florida St. -15.7 -14.8 -15.2
Massachusetts Ohio U -3.1 -5.6 -4.0
Tennessee Georgia -7.7 -10.5 -9.9
Kansas St. Baylor 16.2 13.8 16.5
Kent St. Buffalo 0.6 -1.0 -0.7
SMU Connecticut 14.4 11.5 14.4
Kentucky Eastern Michigan 21.4 20.2 21.3
Stanford Arizona St. 19.3 17.9 19.4
Michigan St. Iowa -10.4 -7.1 -9.4
Wyoming Texas St. 25.7 21.2 25.2
Notre Dame Miami (O) 23.1 19.5 21.8
Bowling Green Akron -0.6 -3.7 0.4
Auburn Mississippi St. 17.5 14.2 17.0
Louisiana Tech South Alabama 9.2 7.3 10.0
Southern Miss. North Texas 9.2 8.4 8.8
Western Michigan Ball St. 23.4 19.5 23.0
Florida Int’l. Charlotte 12.8 10.3 13.5
Louisiana-Monroe Coastal Carolina 13.4 12.5 10.3
LSU Troy 25.1 23.0 26.6
Florida Atlantic Middle Tennessee -4.9 -2.1 -4.3
Cincinnati Marshall 7.3 8.5 7.8
New Mexico Air Force 2.3 2.0 2.5
Central Florida Memphis 0.4 3.6 1.1
Rutgers Ohio St. -30.5 -27.7 -30.3
Texas A&M South Carolina 2.6 1.1 2.3
Virginia Tech Clemson -7.9 -5.5 -6.4
Texas Tech Oklahoma St. -16.3 -14.8 -18.5
Oregon St. Washington -34.4 -31.1 -36.6
Alabama Ole Miss 34.6 31.3 35.3
Fresno St. Nevada 7.6 3.2 6.2
UCLA Colorado -0.6 0.9 1.1
UNLV San Jose St. 10.7 14.0 11.9
Oregon California 14.3 14.0 14.9
San Diego St. Northern Illinois 17.0 17.3 17.7
Hawaii Colorado St. -11.2 -8.6 -11.3
This Week’s FBS vs. FCS Games
Home Visitor PiRate
Louisville Murray St. 47

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

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

The Predictive Ratings–These concentrate on the future and do not always reflect what the teams have done in the past.  Thus, a team can be rated higher than another team that beat them earlier this season.

PiRate Rating–Our oldest rating is based on analysis of statistical data against the strength of schedule to date.  It is more concerned with yards per point and predicting how many yards each team will gain and surrender rather than prior points scored and surrendered.

Mean Rating–This is a more conservative statistical rating, using the mean (average) of five separate statistical and scoring data points.  Updating this rating takes up most of our time on Sundays.  Of the three ratings we submit, this one is the most independent of the other two.

Bias Rating–This rating differs from the PiRate Rating only in how the algorithm is calculated.  We give a bias to certain factors, giving these more weight than others.  It is the most liberal rating in that our updating for this one allows teams to rise and fall by more points each week than in our other two ratings.

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 137.5 132.7 136.4 135.5
2 Washington 130.0 126.7 130.7 129.1
3 Clemson 130.1 127.1 129.4 128.9
4 Ohio St. 130.0 127.3 129.3 128.9
5 Penn St. 126.9 124.9 127.5 126.4
6 Oklahoma 125.9 124.0 126.6 125.5
7 Florida St. 124.5 122.8 123.6 123.7
8 Auburn 124.2 121.9 124.1 123.4
9 Oklahoma St. 123.0 121.3 124.1 122.8
10 Wisconsin 122.8 118.6 121.0 120.8
11 Georgia 119.5 120.4 119.8 119.9
12 U S C 120.0 119.5 119.9 119.8
13 Virginia Tech 119.2 118.6 120.0 119.2
14 T C U 119.5 116.9 119.9 118.7
15 Miami 118.9 116.6 118.3 117.9
16 Stanford 117.9 116.3 117.3 117.2
17 Michigan 116.9 116.5 116.2 116.5
18 Washington St. 117.3 114.9 116.7 116.3
19 Louisville 116.1 115.0 116.2 115.8
20 N. Carolina St. 115.8 115.2 115.7 115.6
21 L S U 115.4 113.6 116.1 115.0
22 Florida 115.5 114.7 114.8 115.0
23 Kansas St. 114.1 113.8 114.3 114.1
24 Notre Dame 114.1 112.7 114.6 113.8
25 Texas 113.2 114.0 113.4 113.6
26 Kentucky 112.9 111.5 112.6 112.3
27 Georgia Tech 113.7 111.2 111.7 112.2
28 Oregon 113.0 110.2 112.1 111.8
29 South Florida 111.7 110.0 112.7 111.5
30 Iowa 111.5 111.2 111.2 111.3
31 Colorado 111.8 109.7 109.6 110.3
32 Mississippi St. 109.8 110.7 110.0 110.2
33 Duke 111.0 109.7 109.7 110.1
34 West Virginia 109.4 110.2 109.5 109.7
35 Northwestern 110.2 108.4 110.3 109.6
36 Minnesota 109.5 109.3 109.3 109.4
37 N. Carolina 109.4 108.4 107.8 108.5
38 Central Florida 107.0 108.9 108.0 108.0
39 U C L A 108.2 107.6 107.7 107.8
40 Utah 107.0 108.8 107.2 107.7
41 Tennessee 108.8 106.9 106.9 107.5
42 Syracuse 107.3 105.7 106.6 106.5
43 Vanderbilt 107.1 105.6 106.3 106.3
44 Arkansas 106.5 106.0 106.2 106.3
45 Wake Forest 106.4 105.5 106.0 105.9
46 Indiana 105.4 105.5 106.0 105.6
47 S. Carolina 105.4 104.8 104.4 104.9
48 Ole Miss 105.9 104.4 104.1 104.8
49 Memphis 105.1 103.9 105.3 104.7
50 Pittsburgh 104.7 105.0 104.0 104.6
51 Colo. State 105.0 103.4 105.1 104.5
52 Houston 104.7 103.7 104.6 104.3
53 Texas A&M 105.0 102.9 103.7 103.9
54 Iowa State 102.9 104.1 103.8 103.6
55 Virginia 103.1 102.9 104.4 103.5
56 San Diego St. 103.0 103.0 104.0 103.3
57 Texas Tech 103.7 103.4 102.6 103.2
58 Maryland 101.7 104.0 101.7 102.4
59 Purdue 101.1 102.8 101.7 101.9
60 Baylor 100.9 103.0 100.9 101.6
61 Arizona St. 101.7 101.3 100.9 101.3
62 Nebraska 100.8 102.4 99.9 101.0
63 Tulsa 100.7 100.3 100.7 100.6
64 California 101.7 99.2 100.1 100.3
65 Toledo 99.6 99.5 101.0 100.0
66 Michigan St. 98.1 101.1 98.8 99.3
67 Navy 99.0 100.0 98.9 99.3
68 Western Michigan 99.4 97.6 100.7 99.2
69 Arizona 99.8 99.1 98.4 99.1
70 BYU 98.9 98.1 99.4 98.8
71 Boston College 98.8 99.2 98.2 98.7
72 SMU 98.2 98.3 98.6 98.4
73 Boise St. 99.0 97.2 98.5 98.2
74 Appalachian St. 98.6 96.3 98.9 97.9
75 U T S A 95.7 97.3 97.8 96.9
76 Army 96.3 95.9 97.1 96.4
77 Rutgers 96.5 96.6 95.9 96.3
78 Missouri 96.6 94.3 95.3 95.4
79 Miami (O) 94.0 96.2 95.8 95.3
80 Tulane 94.4 94.6 94.8 94.6
81 Air Force 93.8 94.1 94.2 94.0
82 Eastern Michigan 94.0 93.8 93.8 93.9
83 W. Kentucky 93.6 92.8 94.7 93.7
84 Wyoming 94.6 93.1 93.2 93.6
85 New Mexico 93.1 93.1 93.7 93.3
86 Troy 93.3 93.6 92.5 93.1
87 Temple 92.5 93.2 92.4 92.7
88 Middle Tennessee 91.9 92.4 92.4 92.2
89 Cincinnati 90.7 93.1 92.5 92.1
90 Oregon St. 92.6 92.6 91.1 92.1
91 Illinois 91.6 92.9 90.6 91.7
92 Ohio U 90.8 92.4 91.7 91.6
93 Louisiana Tech 90.4 91.4 91.3 91.1
94 Hawaii 89.8 90.8 89.8 90.1
95 Central Michigan 89.3 90.0 89.6 89.6
96 Utah St. 90.2 89.3 89.2 89.6
97 Old Dominion 88.6 91.1 88.9 89.5
98 Northern Illinois 89.4 89.3 89.8 89.5
99 Arkansas St. 88.2 89.9 89.8 89.3
100 Kansas 87.4 90.7 86.7 88.3
101 Fresno St. 88.6 87.0 88.8 88.2
102 U N L V 87.0 89.9 87.4 88.1
103 Southern Miss. 87.7 88.9 87.7 88.1
104 N. Mexico St. 88.0 86.0 88.0 87.3
105 Connecticut 85.7 88.8 86.0 86.8
106 Marshall 85.9 87.1 87.2 86.8
107 Nevada 84.0 86.8 85.7 85.5
108 Florida Atlantic 84.0 87.3 85.1 85.5
109 Massachusetts 85.7 84.8 85.7 85.4
110 S. Alabama 84.2 87.1 84.4 85.2
111 Buffalo 83.3 86.0 85.3 84.9
112 Georgia St. 84.9 84.2 84.9 84.7
113 Idaho 83.5 85.6 84.4 84.5
114 UL-Lafayette 84.0 85.3 83.8 84.4
115 Akron 83.0 86.5 82.8 84.1
116 East Carolina 83.0 84.9 83.0 83.6
117 N. Texas 81.6 83.4 81.8 82.3
118 Kent St. 81.4 82.6 82.1 82.0
119 Florida Int’l. 81.6 81.7 82.6 82.0
120 UL-Monroe 81.4 81.9 80.0 81.1
121 Bowling Green 80.4 80.9 81.1 80.8
122 Ball St. 79.0 81.1 80.7 80.3
123 Georgia Southern 79.2 80.5 78.6 79.4
124 Rice 78.4 79.5 78.6 78.8
125 San Jose St. 78.8 78.4 78.0 78.4
126 Charlotte 71.9 74.4 72.1 72.8
127 Texas St. 71.9 74.8 71.0 72.6
128 U T E P 70.9 74.7 71.0 72.2
129 Coastal Carolina 70.5 71.9 72.2 71.6
130 UAB 66.5 70.8 68.5 68.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 1-0 4-0 111.7 110.0 112.7 111.5
Central Florida 0-0 2-0 107.0 108.9 108.0 108.0
Temple 0-1 2-2 92.5 93.2 92.4 92.7
Cincinnati 0-1 2-2 90.7 93.1 92.5 92.1
Connecticut 0-1 1-2 85.7 88.8 86.0 86.8
East Carolina 1-0 1-3 83.0 84.9 83.0 83.6
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 0-0 3-0 105.1 103.9 105.3 104.7
Houston 0-0 2-1 104.7 103.7 104.6 104.3
Tulsa 0-0 1-3 100.7 100.3 100.7 100.6
Navy 2-0 3-0 99.0 100.0 98.9 99.3
SMU 0-0 3-1 98.2 98.3 98.6 98.4
Tulane 0-1 2-2 94.4 94.6 94.8 94.6
             
AAC Averages     97.7 98.3 98.1 98.0
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 2-0 4-0 130.1 127.1 129.4 128.9
Florida St. 0-1 0-2 124.5 122.8 123.6 123.7
Louisville 1-1 3-2 116.1 115.0 116.2 115.8
N. Carolina St. 1-0 3-1 115.8 115.2 115.7 115.6
Syracuse 0-0 2-2 107.3 105.7 106.6 106.5
Wake Forest 1-0 4-0 106.4 105.5 106.0 105.9
Boston College 0-2 1-3 98.8 99.2 98.2 98.7
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Virginia Tech 0-0 4-0 119.2 118.6 120.0 119.2
Miami 0-0 2-0 118.9 116.6 118.3 117.9
Georgia Tech 1-0 2-1 113.7 111.2 111.7 112.2
Duke 1-0 4-0 111.0 109.7 109.7 110.1
N. Carolina 0-2 1-3 109.4 108.4 107.8 108.5
Pittsburgh 0-1 1-3 104.7 105.0 104.0 104.6
Virginia 0-0 3-1 103.1 102.9 104.4 103.5
             
ACC Averages     112.8 111.6 112.2 112.2
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 1-0 4-0 125.9 124.0 126.6 125.5
Oklahoma St. 0-1 3-1 123.0 121.3 124.1 122.8
T C U 1-0 4-0 119.5 116.9 119.9 118.7
Kansas St. 0-0 2-1 114.1 113.8 114.3 114.1
Texas 0-0 1-2 113.2 114.0 113.4 113.6
West Virginia 1-0 3-1 109.4 110.2 109.5 109.7
Iowa State 0-0 2-1 102.9 104.1 103.8 103.6
Texas Tech 0-0 3-0 103.7 103.4 102.6 103.2
Baylor 0-1 0-4 100.9 103.0 100.9 101.6
Kansas 0-1 1-3 87.4 90.7 86.7 88.3
             
Big 12 Averages     110.0 110.1 110.2 110.1
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 1-0 3-1 130.0 127.3 129.3 128.9
Penn St. 1-0 4-0 126.9 124.9 127.5 126.4
Michigan 1-0 4-0 116.9 116.5 116.2 116.5
Indiana 0-1 2-1 105.4 105.5 106.0 105.6
Maryland 0-0 2-1 101.7 104.0 101.7 102.4
Michigan St. 0-0 2-1 98.1 101.1 98.8 99.3
Rutgers 0-1 1-3 96.5 96.6 95.9 96.3
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 0-0 3-0 122.8 118.6 121.0 120.8
Iowa 0-1 3-1 111.5 111.2 111.2 111.3
Northwestern 0-0 2-1 110.2 108.4 110.3 109.6
Minnesota 0-0 3-0 109.5 109.3 109.3 109.4
Purdue 0-1 2-2 101.1 102.8 101.7 101.9
Nebraska 1-0 2-2 100.8 102.4 99.9 101.0
Illinois 0-0 2-1 91.6 92.9 90.6 91.7
             
Big Ten Averages     108.8 108.7 108.5 108.7
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
W. Kentucky 0-1 2-2 93.6 92.8 94.7 93.7
Middle Tennessee 0-0 2-2 91.9 92.4 92.4 92.2
Old Dominion 0-0 2-2 88.6 91.1 88.9 89.5
Marshall 0-0 2-1 85.9 87.1 87.2 86.8
Florida Atlantic 0-0 1-3 84.0 87.3 85.1 85.5
Florida Int’l. 1-0 2-1 81.6 81.7 82.6 82.0
Charlotte 0-0 0-4 71.9 74.4 72.1 72.8
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 0-0 3-0 95.7 97.3 97.8 96.9
Louisiana Tech 1-0 2-2 90.4 91.4 91.3 91.1
Southern Miss. 0-0 2-1 87.7 88.9 87.7 88.1
N. Texas 1-0 2-2 81.6 83.4 81.8 82.3
Rice 1-1 1-3 78.4 79.5 78.6 78.8
U T E P 0-1 0-4 70.9 74.7 71.0 72.2
UAB 0-1 2-2 66.5 70.8 68.5 68.6
             
CUSA Averages     83.5 85.2 84.3 84.3
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   3-1 114.1 112.7 114.6 113.8
BYU   1-3 98.9 98.1 99.4 98.8
Army   2-2 96.3 95.9 97.1 96.4
Massachusetts   0-5 85.7 84.8 85.7 85.4
             
Indep. Averages     98.7 97.9 99.2 98.6
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami (O) 1-0 2-2 94.0 96.2 95.8 95.3
Ohio U 1-0 3-1 90.8 92.4 91.7 91.6
Buffalo 0-0 2-2 83.3 86.0 85.3 84.9
Akron 0-0 1-3 83.0 86.5 82.8 84.1
Kent St. 0-0 1-3 81.4 82.6 82.1 82.0
Bowling Green 0-0 0-4 80.4 80.9 81.1 80.8
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Toledo 0-0 3-1 99.6 99.5 101.0 100.0
Western Michigan 0-0 2-2 99.4 97.6 100.7 99.2
Eastern Michigan 0-1 2-1 94.0 93.8 93.8 93.9
Central Michigan 0-1 2-2 89.3 90.0 89.6 89.6
Northern Illinois 0-0 2-1 89.4 89.3 89.8 89.5
Ball St. 0-0 2-2 79.0 81.1 80.7 80.3
             
MAC Averages     88.6 89.7 89.5 89.3
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colo. State 0-0 2-2 105.0 103.4 105.1 104.5
Boise St. 1-0 2-2 99.0 97.2 98.5 98.2
Air Force 0-1 1-2 93.8 94.1 94.2 94.0
Wyoming 1-0 2-2 94.6 93.1 93.2 93.6
New Mexico 0-1 2-2 93.1 93.1 93.7 93.3
Utah St. 1-0 2-2 90.2 89.3 89.2 89.6
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 1-0 4-0 103.0 103.0 104.0 103.3
Hawaii 0-1 2-2 89.8 90.8 89.8 90.1
Fresno St. 0-0 1-2 88.6 87.0 88.8 88.2
U N L V 0-0 1-2 87.0 89.9 87.4 88.1
Nevada 0-0 0-4 84.0 86.8 85.7 85.5
San Jose St. 0-1 1-4 78.8 78.4 78.0 78.4
             
MWC Averages     92.2 92.2 92.3 92.2
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 1-0 4-0 130.0 126.7 130.7 129.1
Stanford 1-1 2-2 117.9 116.3 117.3 117.2
Washington St. 1-0 4-0 117.3 114.9 116.7 116.3
Oregon 0-1 3-1 113.0 110.2 112.1 111.8
California 0-1 3-1 101.7 99.2 100.1 100.3
Oregon St. 0-1 1-3 92.6 92.6 91.1 92.1
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 2-0 4-0 120.0 119.5 119.9 119.8
Colorado 0-1 3-1 111.8 109.7 109.6 110.3
U C L A 0-1 2-2 108.2 107.6 107.7 107.8
Utah 1-0 4-0 107.0 108.8 107.2 107.7
Arizona St. 1-0 2-2 101.7 101.3 100.9 101.3
Arizona 0-1 2-2 99.8 99.1 98.4 99.1
             
Pac-12 Averages     110.1 108.8 109.3 109.4
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 1-0 4-0 119.5 120.4 119.8 119.9
Florida 2-0 2-1 115.5 114.7 114.8 115.0
Kentucky 1-1 3-1 112.9 111.5 112.6 112.3
Tennessee 0-1 3-1 108.8 106.9 106.9 107.5
Vanderbilt 0-1 3-1 107.1 105.6 106.3 106.3
S. Carolina 1-1 3-1 105.4 104.8 104.4 104.9
Missouri 0-2 1-3 96.6 94.3 95.3 95.4
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 1-0 4-0 137.5 132.7 136.4 135.5
Auburn 1-0 3-1 124.2 121.9 124.1 123.4
L S U 0-1 3-1 115.4 113.6 116.1 115.0
Mississippi St. 1-1 3-1 109.8 110.7 110.0 110.2
Arkansas 0-1 1-2 106.5 106.0 106.2 106.3
Ole Miss 0-0 2-1 105.9 104.4 104.1 104.8
Texas A&M 1-0 3-1 105.0 102.9 103.7 103.9
             
SEC Averages     112.1 110.7 111.5 111.5
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 1-0 2-2 98.6 96.3 98.9 97.9
Troy 1-0 3-1 93.3 93.6 92.5 93.1
Arkansas St. 0-0 1-2 88.2 89.9 89.8 89.3
N. Mexico St. 0-1 2-2 88.0 86.0 88.0 87.3
S. Alabama 0-1 1-3 84.2 87.1 84.4 85.2
Georgia St. 0-0 1-2 84.9 84.2 84.9 84.7
Idaho 1-0 2-2 83.5 85.6 84.4 84.5
UL-Lafayette 0-1 1-3 84.0 85.3 83.8 84.4
UL-Monroe 1-0 1-2 81.4 81.9 80.0 81.1
Georgia Southern 0-0 0-3 79.2 80.5 78.6 79.4
Texas St. 0-1 1-3 71.9 74.8 71.0 72.6
Coastal Carolina 0-0 1-2 70.5 71.9 72.2 71.6
             
Sun Belt Averages     84.0 84.8 84.0 84.3

How The Conferences Rate

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 ACC 112.8 111.6 112.2 112.2
2 SEC 112.1 110.7 111.5 111.5
3 BIG 12 110.0 110.1 110.2 110.1
4 PAC-12 110.1 108.8 109.3 109.4
5 BIG TEN 108.8 108.7 108.5 108.7
6 INDEP. 98.7 97.9 99.2 98.6
7 AAC 97.7 98.3 98.1 98.0
8 MWC 92.2 92.2 92.3 92.2
9 MAC 88.6 89.7 89.5 89.3
10 CUSA 83.5 85.2 84.3 84.3
11 Sun Belt 84.0 84.8 84.0 84.3

Alabama Takes Commanding Lead
Alabama’s most recent victory, a 59-0 pasting of Vanderbilt, propelled the top-ranked Tide into a rather lofty status this week. With the win, accompanied by unimpressive wins by Clemson and Oklahoma, Alabama has now opened a better than six-point cushion in the PiRate Ratings over the number two team. It is not often in PiRate Ratings’ history that a number one team has been rated more than six points ahead of the number two team. It puts ‘Bama in esteemed company. Since our ratings started in 1969, only two other number one teams held a greater than six-point edge over the number two team at the end of a season. Unfortunately, we do not have in-season information on our ratings prior to 1989.

If you were wondering, the other two teams that held a better than six-point edge on the field were Miami (Fla.) in 2001 and Nebraska in 1995. This does not mean that Alabama is one of the three best teams in our history; it just means they are in line to become one of three of the most dominant in a single season when compared to others from that particular year.  Alabama’s current rating is still historically lower than many others, namely Nebraska and Oklahoma of 1971, USC of 1972, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma of 1973, Oklahoma of 1974, Miami (Fla.) of 1987, USC of 2004, and Texas of 2005.
New Number Two
Speaking of number two, there is a new team in that position yet again. To date, the number two team has changed each week. This week, that distinguished honor goes to Washington (although Clemson stayed number two in our retrodictive ratings).

Best Group of 5
South Florida and San Diego State opened a little room over most of the rest of the Group of 5 field in the quest to receive the lone automatic New Year’s 6 Bowl Bid awarded to this group.  However, one new team moved into contention to make this an interesting three-team race at this point. Central Florida not only won at Maryland, they destroyed the Terps. UCF Head Coach Scott Frost just established himself as a potential front-runner to return to his alma mater the moment Nebraska makes its next coaching change.

The Three Best Games This Week
The ACC passed the SEC in PiRate Rating superiority last week and slightly widened that lead this past weekend. Now, it showcases two of the top three games of this week.

Clemson may have been looking ahead to this week and thus failed to thrive for more than a half against Boston College. The Tigers face what is probably their stiffest test of the regular season with a trip to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech in the Saturday night prime-time game on ABC. Virginia Tech’s defense may be strong enough to keep the Hokies in the game and give Tech a legitimate chance at the upset.

Miami visits Durham to take on Duke in a game that will go far in deciding who will contend with Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division.

The other key game this week takes place Friday Night in the Palouse, where USC invades Pullman to take on Washington State. It promises to be a game with a lot of passing yards and total points scored, and it might be one of those four-hour marathons. It just could be the most exciting game of September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 5, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for September 7-9, 2017

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:51 pm

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Purdue Ohio U 8.3 8.7 8.1
South Alabama Oklahoma St. -34.5 -30.2 -36.1
Wisconsin Florida Atlantic 44.7 37.0 42.2
Army Buffalo 16.7 12.9 15.6
Michigan St. Western Michigan -5.2 2.7 -6.3
Rutgers Eastern Michigan 7.1 6.5 6.2
Massachusetts Old Dominion -4.5 -8.3 -5.3
Duke Northwestern -2.7 -2.0 -4.0
Connecticut South Florida -20.3 -15.3 -20.9
West Virginia East Carolina 24.3 24.0 24.2
Michigan Cincinnati 32.3 28.4 30.0
North Carolina Louisville -3.8 -4.4 -5.8
Kansas St. Charlotte 42.2 38.9 42.1
Iowa St. Iowa -9.3 -7.3 -8.3
Boston College Wake Forest 2.3 3.7 2.5
New Mexico New Mexico St. 8.6 11.8 10.4
UTEP Rice -0.6 2.9 0.4
Colorado Texas St. 47.4 40.6 46.6
Ball St. UAB 17.2 13.8 16.4
Syracuse Middle Tennessee 23.7 20.4 21.7
Virginia Indiana -2.4 -2.5 -1.4
Penn St. Pittsburgh 19.4 17.1 20.9
Alabama Fresno St. 48.8 45.5 47.8
Navy Tulane 8.1 8.6 7.6
Illinois Western Kentucky -7.0 -2.5 -10.4
Baylor UTSA 12.6 13.3 10.3
UCLA Hawaii 23.3 20.5 22.6
Kansas Central Michigan 5.4 8.6 4.3
Oregon Nebraska 10.2 5.1 9.8
Arkansas St. Miami (Fla.) -26.1 -22.2 -23.6
Texas San Jose St. 25.8 28.0 26.5
Arkansas TCU 0.8 3.3 1.1
Tulsa UL-Lafayette 21.5 18.4 21.6
North Carolina St. Marshall 35.2 32.7 33.8
Nevada Toledo -10.5 -6.8 -9.8
Florida St. UL-Monroe 48.1 45.8 48.9
Missouri South Carolina 1.3 -1.9 0.8
SMU North Texas 17.6 16.1 17.9
Clemson Auburn 7.4 5.7 6.6
Notre Dame Georgia -2.2 -5.4 -2.2
Louisiana Tech Mississippi St. -12.0 -11.0 -11.4
Ohio St. Oklahoma 11.6 10.5 9.8
Central Florida Memphis 0.8 3.8 1.3
USC Stanford 2.9 5.0 4.2
Idaho UNLV 5.9 5.3 6.3
Oregon St. Minnesota -4.1 -4.5 -5.4
Arizona St. San Diego St. 5.9 4.9 3.0
BYU Utah -2.8 -6.6 -2.6
Arizona Houston -2.3 -2.4 -4.6
Washington St. Boise St. 23.4 21.8 23.3

FBS vs. FCS Games

This Week’s FBS vs. FCS Games
Home Visitor PiRate
Utah St. Idaho St. 25
Florida Northern Colorado 40
Kentucky Eastern Kentucky 30
LSU Chattanooga 40
Ole Miss UT-Martin 30
Tennessee Indiana St. 37
Vanderbilt Alabama A&M 45
Colorado St. Abilene Christian 37
Wyoming Gardner-Webb 29
Florida Int’l. Alcorn St. 15
Maryland Towson 33
Georgia Tech Jacksonville St. 18
Temple Villanova 19
Appalachian St. Savannah St. 46
Miami (O) Austin Peay 24
Northern Illinois Eastern Illinois 20
Kent St. Howard 22
Virginia Tech Delaware 41
California Weber St. 29
Georgia Southern New Hampshire 11
Troy Alabama St. 35
Bowling Green South Dakota 5
Southern Miss. Southern U 23
Texas A&M Nicholls St. 38
Akron Ark.-Pine Bluff 42
Washington Montana 41

Is this really just week two of the college football season? Normally, in week two, you get 40 FBS vs. FCS games on the schedule. You get the Big Ten playing the MAC; other Power 5 teams playing the weakest Group of 5 teams they can schedule if they didn’t get a FCS patsy. At best, you might get one or two marquee matchups and maybe a couple of okay conference games.
There are 26 FBS vs. FCS contests this week, but even a couple of those might now be interesting after Howard upset UNLV, Liberty knocked off Baylor, Tennessee State beat Georgia State, and James Madison took out East Carolina. There are a half dozen FCS teams this week that have a legitimate chance to beat an FBS team, led by South Dakota, which might even be favored over Bowling Green when the extra lines are released later this week.
There are some Power 5 vs. Group of 5 patsy games on the schedule, but there are a few that could become upsets, like Ohio at Purdue, Western Michigan at Michigan State, Eastern Michigan at Rutgers, Western Kentucky at Illinois, Central Michigan at Kansas, San Diego State at Arizona State, Houston at Arizona, and Boise State at Washington State. There are actually two Group of 5 teams hosting Power 5 teams. Mississippi State risks humility at tough Louisiana Tech, while Utah plays at rival BYU.
Ah, but now we get to the marquee games. There are enough to make this look more like the Saturday before Thanksgiving than week two. We have broken the slate down into great expectation contests and important other contests to preview this week.
Great Expectations
Pittsburgh at Penn State: We know James Franklin. We know that James Franklin has been reminding his Nittany Lions what Pitt did to PSU last year. We know Penn State has the talent to run the table and earn a playoff spot this year, while Pittsburgh may be about the same as last year. The Panthers also knocked off Clemson, so Coach Pat Narduzzi may be the new giant killer in college football, along the lines of Jack Curtice and Al Onofrio and Warren Powers at Missouri in past times. While the Nittany Lions should be considered rather heavy favorites in this one, it will be worth watching.

TCU at Arkansas: This was a great game last year, with Arkansas winning by 3 in overtime. The Big 12 needs a signature win in a hurry, and the league will get multiple opportunities to pull off a big win. Both teams looked dominant in wins over FCS foes last week, and those games served as fine dress rehearsals for this one. TCU’s Kenny Hill could be the difference in this one if his team is to win. Arkansas looks similar to the last two years, maybe a tad stronger, so this game should be close once again.

Auburn at Clemson: Trivia question with an obvious answer: In last year’s national championship run, only one opponent held Clemson under 20 points. Obviously, since it is brought up here, the answer is Auburn. That Auburn team did not have a lot of offense, and they kept it close, losing 19-13. This Auburn team has a powerful offense, and the defense is about as good as it was last year. Meanwhile, Clemson looks to have reloaded rather than rebuilt. This game could be more like a “quarterfinal round” game in the NCAA Playoffs. If you watch just one game this week, we’d select this one by a hair over a couple others. But, hey, you are going to take care of your Saturday chores and errands really early, so you can watch every single one of these games, aren’t you? We know you. We know your kind–we see it when we look in the mirror.

Georgia at Notre Dame: For a short time Saturday, it looked like Georgia had moved from a co-favorite to win the SEC East to the outright favorite after Florida’s offense forgot the object of the game is to move the ball toward the other team’s goal. Then, quarterback Jacob Eason took a beating near the sideline and was lost for the remainder of the game with a knee sprain. He is definitely out this week, and it isn’t a sure thing he will be back by September 23, when the Bulldogs play their first SEC game against the other Bulldogs, Mississippi State. Notre Dame easily dismissed Temple last week, which means they are better this year than last. How much better is still to be determined. If they are considerably better, the Irish need to win this big home game. If they are only a little better, they will look like Florida looked against Michigan last week.

Oklahoma at Ohio State: This is the second best game of the week, but it could easily become the better of the top two games. Ohio State might beat Indiana by 7 touchdowns if they played again, but Oklahoma might also beat Indiana by “half a hundred,” as former Coach Barry Switzer wanted every week. Which team has the better secondary? Oklahoma wins here. Who has the better offensive and defensive lines? Offensive lines are about equal, but the Buckeyes have the better defensive line. The offensive skill positions for both teams are top flight. We could see this one still to be decided late in the fourth quarter, or maybe after the fourth quarter.

Stanford at USC: Okay, maybe USC overlooked Western Michigan. Maybe WMU is still just as good as last year. Or, maybe the Trojan defense isn’t quite up to championship standards just yet. Stanford didn’t let down in their game against Rice “down under,” in Sydney, Australia. The Cardinal steamrolled the Owls, who definitely are not in Western Michigan’s class. This game should be interesting. Sam Darnold should be able to pass the ball with enough efficiency to put up 250 passing yards and 24 or more points, but can the USC defense contain a Stanford offense that looked very similar to the 2010 team that had Andrew Luck and Stepfan Taylor.

Important Other Games of Interest
Western Michigan at Michigan State: The Spartans disappointed greatly last year, and their opening win over Bowling Green did nothing to prove they were back. Western Michigan gave USC all it could handle for 3 quarters, and the Broncos look to be very good again this year under new head coach Tim Lester. This game should give Spartan fans a realistic look at whether their team is coming back. A win in East Lansing could propel the Spartans to a .500 or better season and a bowl bid. A loss, followed by another to Notre Dame next week, and MSU could finish under .500 again.

Northwestern at Duke: Stanford and Vanderbilt looked terrific in their first games. Duke and Northwestern looked okay, but this could be a year where all four brainy schools become bowl eligible. The winner of this game will be 2-0 with an almost guarantee of moving to 3-0 the following week.

Iowa at Iowa St.: Both teams looked better than decent in game one, but neither set the woods on fire. However, like the previous game, the winner of this rivalry emerges at 2-0 with an almost certain 3-0 start after next week. Matt Campbell may be about ready to take the Cyclones up a notch or two in the Big 12 standings, and we will be monitoring this one closely. If Iowa wins by double digits, then the Hawkeyes move to the top contender spot to Wisconsin in the Big Ten West.

Wake Forest at Boston College: Yet another game where the winner will be 2-0, this game should be a nice defensive showcase with the possibility that defense and special teams will be the deciding factor in a 17-14 type of score (BC won 17-14 last year). BC won in Winston-Salem last year, and the Eagles should be considered a mild favorite. Wake Forest has more experience and maybe a little better depth, so this game should be very close.

Nebraska at Oregon: Willie Taggart needed two years of rebuilding at his two previous stops in the coaching profession. Western Kentucky and South Florida both performed poorly in season one of their Taggart eras. Oregon opened the 2017 season with a 77-point offensive barrage against Southern Utah. Nebraska struggled with an Arkansas State team that could win 10 games this year and will almost assuredly earn a bowl bid. This game will give us a lot more information about whether Oregon can turn the corner in Taggart’s first year in Eugene, and whether Coach Mike Riley can get Nebraska back to the high echelon in college football, or whether 7-9 wins is the new norm in Lincoln.

South Carolina at Missouri: After watching Florida and Tennessee play in week one, there is clearly a chance for South Carolina, Missouri, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky to move up to number two behind Georgia, and if Eason is out long in Athens, who knows? Any of the current back four could sneak up and take the East Division flag. Because it is the first conference game of the season for the SEC, the winner will take the early lead in the East. South Carolina looked mighty impressive in their win over North Carolina State, while Missouri’s offense looked fantastic against Missouri State. The Tigers’ defense made MSU’s offense look great. As we mentioned in our preseason preview, it would not shock us if Missouri became the first major college team to both score and surrender 40 points per game in a season. The Tigers should score a lot of points again this week. If the Gamecocks don’t play too conservatively, USC can put up 50 on the Tiger defense. Missouri might win if Coach Will Muschamp tries to sustain a lot of long drives and keeps the ball out of Drew Lock’s hands.

Boise State at Washington State: This will be an interesting late game in the Palouse. Washington State’s defense pitched a shutout against Montana State in game one, while the Cougar offense was a lot more potent than the 31 points scored showed. This could be the best Mike Leach-coached team ever or a close second best to his 2008 team at Texas Tech.

The PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 133.5 128.7 132.5 131.6
2 Ohio St. 132.6 129.5 131.8 131.3
3 Washington 128.4 124.8 129.2 127.5
4 Clemson 128.5 124.7 127.6 126.9
5 Florida St. 126.9 124.9 126.2 126.0
6 Penn St. 126.2 123.9 126.9 125.7
7 Oklahoma 124.0 122.0 125.0 123.7
8 Auburn 124.1 122.0 124.0 123.4
9 Oklahoma St. 121.2 119.8 122.8 121.3
10 Wisconsin 122.9 118.8 121.4 121.1
11 U S C 120.2 119.8 120.6 120.2
12 L S U 120.4 118.6 121.1 120.0
13 Stanford 120.3 117.9 119.3 119.2
14 Washington St. 119.5 116.2 118.7 118.1
15 Michigan 118.3 117.3 117.5 117.7
16 Miami 118.7 116.3 117.8 117.6
17 Georgia 116.4 117.7 116.5 116.9
18 Virginia Tech 116.7 116.3 117.1 116.7
19 Louisville 116.7 115.8 117.1 116.5
20 Florida 115.4 114.7 114.7 114.9
21 N. Carolina St. 115.2 114.5 114.9 114.9
22 Kansas St. 114.1 113.6 114.5 114.1
23 Colorado 114.8 112.1 112.7 113.2
24 Iowa 112.0 111.4 111.7 111.7
25 Northwestern 112.1 110.0 111.8 111.3
26 Georgia Tech 112.8 110.3 110.8 111.3
27 Kentucky 111.8 110.3 111.3 111.1
28 Tennessee 112.0 110.0 110.2 110.7
29 T C U 111.7 108.9 111.4 110.6
30 Notre Dame 111.2 109.3 111.3 110.6
31 Texas 109.5 110.7 109.5 109.9
32 Oregon 111.2 107.8 110.2 109.7
33 Arkansas 109.5 109.1 109.5 109.4
34 Vanderbilt 110.2 108.5 109.2 109.3
35 South Florida 109.5 107.7 110.7 109.3
36 Syracuse 110.3 108.1 109.3 109.2
37 N. Carolina 109.9 108.4 108.3 108.9
38 Pittsburgh 108.8 108.8 108.0 108.5
39 U C L A 108.9 107.8 108.3 108.3
40 West Virginia 107.8 108.8 107.7 108.1
41 Ole Miss 107.6 106.2 106.0 106.6
42 Texas A&M 107.6 105.2 106.2 106.3
43 Utah 105.2 107.9 105.4 106.2
44 S. Carolina 106.4 106.1 105.6 106.0
45 Maryland 105.3 107.4 105.4 106.0
46 Duke 106.3 105.1 104.9 105.4
47 Mississippi St. 104.4 105.1 104.6 104.7
48 Memphis 104.9 103.9 105.3 104.7
49 Nebraska 104.0 105.8 103.3 104.4
50 Minnesota 104.4 104.6 104.0 104.3
51 Indiana 104.1 104.3 104.1 104.2
52 Colo. State 104.2 102.8 104.1 103.7
53 Houston 104.1 102.9 104.0 103.7
54 Central Florida 102.6 104.7 103.5 103.6
55 Missouri 104.7 101.3 103.4 103.1
56 Baylor 101.9 104.4 101.8 102.7
57 Tulsa 102.7 101.7 102.7 102.4
58 Texas Tech 102.8 102.5 101.6 102.3
59 Wake Forest 102.7 102.2 102.0 102.3
60 Boston College 102.0 102.9 101.5 102.1
61 Western Michigan 102.7 99.1 104.4 102.1
62 Iowa State 101.2 102.6 101.9 101.9
63 Arizona St. 102.3 102.3 101.0 101.9
64 BYU 100.9 99.8 101.3 100.6
65 San Diego St. 99.4 100.4 101.0 100.3
66 Toledo 99.3 99.1 100.9 99.8
67 Navy 99.2 100.2 99.1 99.5
68 Virginia 98.7 98.8 99.7 99.1
69 California 100.6 98.0 98.6 99.1
70 Appalachian St. 99.7 96.9 100.2 98.9
71 W. Kentucky 98.6 96.1 100.4 98.4
72 Boise St. 98.6 96.9 97.9 97.8
73 Michigan St. 96.0 100.3 96.6 97.6
74 Arizona 98.8 97.6 96.4 97.6
75 Wyoming 98.7 96.3 97.5 97.5
76 SMU 97.0 97.3 97.4 97.2
77 Purdue 96.1 98.4 96.9 97.1
78 Rutgers 97.0 96.6 96.3 96.6
79 Army 96.3 95.9 97.2 96.5
80 Oregon St. 96.7 96.6 95.1 96.1
81 Temple 95.7 96.4 95.8 96.0
82 Miami (O) 92.9 95.3 95.1 94.4
83 Tulane 94.1 94.5 94.5 94.4
84 Troy 93.9 94.1 93.1 93.7
85 Air Force 93.3 94.0 93.6 93.6
86 New Mexico 92.7 93.2 93.6 93.2
87 Eastern Michigan 93.0 93.0 93.1 93.0
88 U T S A 91.3 93.1 93.5 92.6
89 Kansas 91.1 94.5 90.4 92.0
90 Ohio U 90.9 92.6 91.8 91.8
91 Old Dominion 90.4 93.4 90.9 91.6
92 Middle Tennessee 90.2 91.1 91.1 90.8
93 Louisiana Tech 89.8 91.6 90.7 90.7
94 Arkansas St. 89.5 91.1 91.2 90.6
95 Cincinnati 89.0 91.8 90.5 90.4
96 Hawaii 89.6 91.3 89.7 90.2
97 Illinois 89.1 91.2 87.5 89.3
98 Central Michigan 88.7 88.9 89.1 88.9
99 Connecticut 86.7 89.9 87.3 88.0
100 Idaho 86.2 88.9 87.0 87.3
101 Nevada 85.4 88.8 87.6 87.2
102 Fresno St. 87.6 86.2 87.7 87.2
103 East Carolina 86.5 87.8 86.5 86.9
104 Southern Miss. 86.1 87.5 86.2 86.6
105 Utah St. 87.1 86.0 86.3 86.5
106 Northern Illinois 86.2 86.2 86.4 86.2
107 San Jose St. 86.7 85.7 86.0 86.1
108 UL-Lafayette 84.3 86.2 84.1 84.9
109 Akron 83.5 87.3 83.5 84.8
110 S. Alabama 83.6 86.6 83.8 84.7
111 U N L V 83.3 86.5 83.7 84.5
112 N. Mexico St. 85.6 82.9 84.7 84.4
113 Georgia St. 84.5 83.7 84.4 84.2
114 Marshall 83.0 84.8 84.1 84.0
115 Kent St. 83.2 84.4 84.2 83.9
116 Buffalo 81.6 84.9 83.6 83.4
117 Massachusetts 83.4 82.6 83.1 83.0
118 Florida Atlantic 81.3 84.8 82.2 82.8
119 Bowling Green 81.8 82.4 82.7 82.3
120 N. Texas 81.5 83.1 81.4 82.0
121 Florida Int’l. 81.2 81.4 82.2 81.6
122 Georgia Southern 81.2 82.5 80.8 81.5
123 UL-Monroe 81.8 82.1 80.3 81.4
124 Ball St. 78.9 81.0 80.3 80.1
125 Rice 77.8 78.8 78.1 78.2
126 U T E P 74.7 79.2 76.0 76.7
127 Charlotte 74.9 77.7 75.4 76.0
128 Coastal Carolina 74.8 75.7 76.6 75.7
129 Texas St. 70.4 74.4 69.1 71.3
130 UAB 64.2 69.7 66.4 66.8

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 0-0 2-0 109.5 107.7 110.7 109.3
Central Florida 0-0 1-0 102.6 104.7 103.5 103.6
Temple 0-0 0-1 95.7 96.4 95.8 96.0
Cincinnati 0-0 1-0 89.0 91.8 90.5 90.4
Connecticut 0-0 1-0 86.7 89.9 87.3 88.0
East Carolina 0-0 0-1 86.5 87.8 86.5 86.9
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 0-0 1-0 104.9 103.9 105.3 104.7
Houston 0-0 0-0 104.1 102.9 104.0 103.7
Tulsa 0-0 0-1 102.7 101.7 102.7 102.4
Navy 0-0 1-0 99.2 100.2 99.1 99.5
SMU 0-0 1-0 97.0 97.3 97.4 97.2
Tulane 0-0 1-0 94.1 94.5 94.5 94.4
             
AAC Averages     97.7 98.2 98.1 98.0
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 0-0 1-0 128.5 124.7 127.6 126.9
Florida St. 0-0 0-1 126.9 124.9 126.2 126.0
Louisville 0-0 1-0 116.7 115.8 117.1 116.5
N. Carolina St. 0-0 0-1 115.2 114.5 114.9 114.9
Syracuse 0-0 1-0 110.3 108.1 109.3 109.2
Wake Forest 0-0 1-0 102.7 102.2 102.0 102.3
Boston College 0-0 1-0 102.0 102.9 101.5 102.1
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 0-0 1-0 118.7 116.3 117.8 117.6
Virginia Tech 0-0 1-0 116.7 116.3 117.1 116.7
Georgia Tech 0-0 0-1 112.8 110.3 110.8 111.3
N. Carolina 0-0 0-1 109.9 108.4 108.3 108.9
Pittsburgh 0-0 1-0 108.8 108.8 108.0 108.5
Duke 0-0 1-0 106.3 105.1 104.9 105.4
Virginia 0-0 1-0 98.7 98.8 99.7 99.1
             
ACC Averages     112.5 111.2 111.8 111.8
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 0-0 1-0 124.0 122.0 125.0 123.7
Oklahoma St. 0-0 1-0 121.2 119.8 122.8 121.3
Kansas St. 0-0 1-0 114.1 113.6 114.5 114.1
T C U 0-0 1-0 111.7 108.9 111.4 110.6
Texas 0-0 0-1 109.5 110.7 109.5 109.9
West Virginia 0-0 0-1 107.8 108.8 107.7 108.1
Baylor 0-0 0-1 101.9 104.4 101.8 102.7
Texas Tech 0-0 1-0 102.8 102.5 101.6 102.3
Iowa State 0-0 1-0 101.2 102.6 101.9 101.9
Kansas 0-0 1-0 91.1 94.5 90.4 92.0
             
Big 12 Averages     108.5 108.8 108.7 108.7
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 1-0 1-0 132.6 129.5 131.8 131.3
Penn St. 0-0 1-0 126.2 123.9 126.9 125.7
Michigan 0-0 1-0 118.3 117.3 117.5 117.7
Maryland 0-0 1-0 105.3 107.4 105.4 106.0
Indiana 0-1 0-1 104.1 104.3 104.1 104.2
Michigan St. 0-0 1-0 96.0 100.3 96.6 97.6
Rutgers 0-0 0-1 97.0 96.6 96.3 96.6
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 0-0 1-0 122.9 118.8 121.4 121.1
Iowa 0-0 1-0 112.0 111.4 111.7 111.7
Northwestern 0-0 1-0 112.1 110.0 111.8 111.3
Nebraska 0-0 1-0 104.0 105.8 103.3 104.4
Minnesota 0-0 1-0 104.4 104.6 104.0 104.3
Purdue 0-0 0-1 96.1 98.4 96.9 97.1
Illinois 0-0 1-0 89.1 91.2 87.5 89.3
             
Big Ten Averages     108.6 108.5 108.2 108.4
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
W. Kentucky 0-0 1-0 98.6 96.1 100.4 98.4
Old Dominion 0-0 1-0 90.4 93.4 90.9 91.6
Middle Tennessee 0-0 0-1 90.2 91.1 91.1 90.8
Marshall 0-0 1-0 83.0 84.8 84.1 84.0
Florida Atlantic 0-0 0-1 81.3 84.8 82.2 82.8
Florida Int’l. 0-0 0-1 81.2 81.4 82.2 81.6
Charlotte 0-0 0-1 74.9 77.7 75.4 76.0
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 0-0 0-0 91.3 93.1 93.5 92.6
Louisiana Tech 0-0 1-0 89.8 91.6 90.7 90.7
Southern Miss. 0-0 0-1 86.1 87.5 86.2 86.6
N. Texas 0-0 1-0 81.5 83.1 81.4 82.0
Rice 0-0 0-1 77.8 78.8 78.1 78.2
U T E P 0-0 0-1 74.7 79.2 76.0 76.7
UAB 0-0 1-0 64.2 69.7 66.4 66.8
             
CUSA Averages     83.2 85.2 84.2 84.2
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   1-0 111.2 109.3 111.3 110.6
BYU   1-1 100.9 99.8 101.3 100.6
Army   1-0 96.3 95.9 97.2 96.5
Massachusetts   0-2 83.4 82.6 83.1 83.0
             
Indep. Averages     97.9 96.9 98.2 97.7
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami (O) 0-0 0-1 92.9 95.3 95.1 94.4
Ohio U 0-0 1-0 90.9 92.6 91.8 91.8
Akron 0-0 0-1 83.5 87.3 83.5 84.8
Kent St. 0-0 0-1 83.2 84.4 84.2 83.9
Buffalo 0-0 0-1 81.6 84.9 83.6 83.4
Bowling Green 0-0 0-1 81.8 82.4 82.7 82.3
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 0-0 0-1 102.7 99.1 104.4 102.1
Toledo 0-0 1-0 99.3 99.1 100.9 99.8
Eastern Michigan 0-0 1-0 93.0 93.0 93.1 93.0
Central Michigan 0-0 1-0 88.7 88.9 89.1 88.9
Northern Illinois 0-0 0-1 86.2 86.2 86.4 86.2
Ball St. 0-0 0-1 78.9 81.0 80.3 80.1
             
MAC Averages     88.6 89.5 89.6 89.2
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colo. State 0-0 1-1 104.2 102.8 104.1 103.7
Boise St. 0-0 1-0 98.6 96.9 97.9 97.8
Wyoming 0-0 0-1 98.7 96.3 97.5 97.5
Air Force 0-0 1-0 93.3 94.0 93.6 93.6
New Mexico 0-0 1-0 92.7 93.2 93.6 93.2
Utah St. 0-0 0-1 87.1 86.0 86.3 86.5
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 0-0 1-0 99.4 100.4 101.0 100.3
Hawaii 0-0 2-0 89.6 91.3 89.7 90.2
Nevada 0-0 0-1 85.4 88.8 87.6 87.2
Fresno St. 0-0 1-0 87.6 86.2 87.7 87.2
San Jose St. 0-0 1-1 86.7 85.7 86.0 86.1
U N L V 0-0 0-1 83.3 86.5 83.7 84.5
             
MWC Averages     92.2 92.3 92.4 92.3
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 0-0 1-0 128.4 124.8 129.2 127.5
Stanford 0-0 1-0 120.3 117.9 119.3 119.2
Washington St. 0-0 1-0 119.5 116.2 118.7 118.1
Oregon 0-0 1-0 111.2 107.8 110.2 109.7
California 0-0 1-0 100.6 98.0 98.6 99.1
Oregon St. 0-0 1-1 96.7 96.6 95.1 96.1
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 0-0 1-0 120.2 119.8 120.6 120.2
Colorado 0-0 1-0 114.8 112.1 112.7 113.2
U C L A 0-0 1-0 108.9 107.8 108.3 108.3
Utah 0-0 1-0 105.2 107.9 105.4 106.2
Arizona St. 0-0 1-0 102.3 102.3 101.0 101.9
Arizona 0-0 1-0 98.8 97.6 96.4 97.6
             
Pac-12 Averages     110.6 109.1 109.6 109.8
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 0-0 1-0 116.4 117.7 116.5 116.9
Florida 0-0 0-1 115.4 114.7 114.7 114.9
Kentucky 0-0 1-0 111.8 110.3 111.3 111.1
Tennessee 0-0 1-0 112.0 110.0 110.2 110.7
Vanderbilt 0-0 1-0 110.2 108.5 109.2 109.3
S. Carolina 0-0 1-0 106.4 106.1 105.6 106.0
Missouri 0-0 1-0 104.7 101.3 103.4 103.1
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 0-0 1-0 133.5 128.7 132.5 131.6
Auburn 0-0 1-0 124.1 122.0 124.0 123.4
L S U 0-0 1-0 120.4 118.6 121.1 120.0
Arkansas 0-0 1-0 109.5 109.1 109.5 109.4
Ole Miss 0-0 1-0 107.6 106.2 106.0 106.6
Texas A&M 0-0 0-1 107.6 105.2 106.2 106.3
Mississippi St. 0-0 1-0 104.4 105.1 104.6 104.7
             
SEC Averages     113.1 111.7 112.5 112.4
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 0-0 0-1 99.7 96.9 100.2 98.9
Troy 0-0 0-1 93.9 94.1 93.1 93.7
Arkansas St. 0-0 0-1 89.5 91.1 91.2 90.6
Idaho 0-0 1-0 86.2 88.9 87.0 87.3
UL-Lafayette 0-0 1-0 84.3 86.2 84.1 84.9
S. Alabama 0-0 0-1 83.6 86.6 83.8 84.7
N. Mexico St. 0-0 0-1 85.6 82.9 84.7 84.4
Georgia St. 0-0 0-1 84.5 83.7 84.4 84.2
Georgia Southern 0-0 0-1 81.2 82.5 80.8 81.5
UL-Monroe 0-0 0-1 81.8 82.1 80.3 81.4
Coastal Carolina 0-0 1-0 74.8 75.7 76.6 75.7
Texas St. 0-0 1-0 70.4 74.4 69.1 71.3
             
Sun Belt Averages     84.6 85.4 84.6 84.9

Overall Conference Ratings

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 113.1 111.7 112.5 112.4
2 ACC 112.5 111.2 111.8 111.8
3 PAC-12 110.6 109.1 109.6 109.8
4 BIG 12 108.5 108.8 108.7 108.7
5 BIG TEN 108.6 108.5 108.2 108.4
6 AAC 97.7 98.2 98.1 98.0
7 INDEP. 97.9 96.9 98.2 97.7
8 MWC 92.2 92.3 92.4 92.3
9 MAC 88.6 89.5 89.6 89.2
10 SBC 84.6 85.4 84.6 84.9
11 CUSA 83.2 85.2 84.2 84.2

 

PiRate Retrodictive Ratings

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

Note: Bowl Projections will resume in October

August 31, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 19, 2017

2017 Independents Preview

At one point in the 1960’s and 1970’s there were in excess of 30 college football teams not affiliated with a conference. Schools did not need a conference affiliation to succeed. Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, and other big name schools were power teams that frequently competed for national titles. Michigan State was actually an independent that won a national title prior to becoming the final member of the original Big Ten. There was even a five-year period where Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington State left the Pacific Coast Conference and played as independents, as the forerunner to today’s Pac-12 almost dissolved.

Today, the independent ranks are close to dissolving, but they are hanging on by a thread, or should we say four threads. Army, BYU, Massachusetts, and Notre Dame are what’s left, althought New Mexico State will join this group next year, more because they are being evicted from the Sun Belt. and the MWC has no vacancies for them at this time.

Notre Dame is only a quasi-independent. They belong to the ACC in many ways–they play a five-game schedule of ACC teams, and they can qualify for any ACC Bowl, as long as they are within one win of the next available team.

BYU is a tough fit as a full member in any conference, because the Cougars will not play any athletic competition on Sunday. In basketball, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee seeds them in brackets that keep them away from a Friday-Sunday schedule. They would be a perfect fit with New Mexico State in the Mountain West or even with New Mexico or Utah State in the Big 12, with New Mexico State replacing whichever school left.

Army is okay as an independent, although the West Pointers could fit right into the American Athletic with rival Navy. Massachusetts could easily fit in this league as well, and the independents would be history.

Since there are no preseason media polls, we will start by showing you our own PiRate Retrodictive Ratings for the four schools. You might ask how there could be retrodictive ratings, when no games have been played yet. How can we rate them on their results thus far? Obviously, this is not possible, but we begin each season adjusting the previous season’s final retrodictive ratings just like we do our regular PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings. By the fourth week of the season, the retrodictive ratings are 100% based on the current year’s results.

PiRate Retrodictive Ratings (Independents)

Independents
# Team
PiRate Retrodictive
1 Notre Dame
2 BYU
3 Army
4 Massachusetts

 

Here are our regular predictive PiRate, Mean, and Bias preseason ratings.

Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 109.7 107.8 109.6 109.0
B Y U 103.0 101.9 103.6 102.8
Army 94.6 94.2 95.5 94.8
Massachusetts 86.0 84.4 86.0 85.5
         
Independents Averages 98.3 97.1 98.7 98.0

And, here are our not-so-scientific predictions for won-loss and bowl projections.

Independents Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
BYU x 9-4 [Military]
Notre Dame x 8-4 Pinstripe
Army x 8-4 Armed Forces
Massachusetts x 3-9  

BYU’s bowl bid is an at-large bid.

 

Trivia: Nobody could come up with the answer to yesterday’s trivia question. Rather than show all the incorrect replies, since we don’t want to embarrass anybody, we erased them from the responses.
Here it is again: Who are these two legendary coaches? Coach number one was a college head coach who won 70% of his games at his first Division 1 school, a team that played in a now defunct conference. He moved on to be a college head coach at two additional schools, the second of which he was replaced by a second coaching legend who won more than 200 games at the college level and more than 250 when his NFL wins were added. Four decades after winning 70% of his games at the first school, Coach number one was still coaching, now the head coach of an NFL team which he guided to the playoffs multiple times. Coach number two was still coaching four decades later after he replaced coach number one. Coach number two won a national championship during his career.
Name the two coaches. If nobody gets the answer by the time we go to press with tomorrow’s preview, we will give the answer, but we know that our readers tend to be among the most knowledgeable football fans and analytical geniuses, so we expect somebody to come up with the correct answer.

We had several guesses, and some of you actually guessed coach number two as coach number one. Nobody guessed correctly on coach number one. He is Marv Levy, who coached at New Mexico in 1958 and 1959, going 7-3 both years. New Mexico played in the defunct Border Conference, a pre-WAC establishment. Levy moved on to an unsuccessful stint at UC-Berkeley, and then to William & Mary. Levy led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls four decades later.

Coach number two, who succeeded Levy at William & Mary was Lou Holtz. Holtz won 249 games at the collegiate level and another three in the NFL with the Jets.

Coming later today–The American Athletic Conference

August 18, 2017

2017 Sun Belt Conference Preview

You can see it coming. This little league, normally the weakest Group of 5 conference in FBS football is beginning to show some teeth. In most years since its inception, the SBC has had one team capable of producing an upset, and maybe another team capable of knocking off a better Group of 5 school in a bowl game.

That’s starting to change. At least for this year, three and possibly four teams are capable of making a run to a double-digit win season and knock off an Power 5 Conference foe.

There is a little bit of change this year, as the league expands temporarily to 12 teams with the addition of Coastal Carolina as a full-fledged member. You would think the league would divide into divisions and play a conference championship game. Next year, the league contracts to 10 teams as New Mexico State and Idaho depart. NMSU will try to make it as an independent like BYU and U Mass, while Idaho drops to the FCS level. Unfortunately for the Vandals, they are making the move downward at the least favorable time in their recent existence. Idaho has the league’s top home field advantage playing in the Kibbe Dome, and their offense is about to make historical strides forward with Matt Linehan at quarterback.

The Vandals should be in a pack of four teams trying to contend with the big three. Appalachian State, Troy, and Arkansas State figure to be the top three teams in the league, while South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Georgia State compete with Idaho for best of the rest. Georgia State should get a momentum boost when the Panthers move into the former Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field, which has been remodeled into a beautiful venue for football.

Here’s how the media voted in its preseason predictions.

2017 Sun Belt Conference Media Poll
# Team 1st Pl. Total
1 Appalachian St. 7 136
2 Troy 2 127
3 Arkansas St. 1 122
4 S. Alabama 0 98
5 UL-Lafayette 1 95
6 Idaho 0 84
7 Georgia Southern 0 82
8 Georgia St. 0 48
9 UL-Monroe 0 46
10 N. Mexico St. 1 41
11 Texas St. 0 31
12 Coastal Carolina 0 26

The PiRate Ratings agree on the top three, but there is a bit of difference after that.

Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 99.8 96.8 100.4 99.0
Troy 94.1 94.4 93.4 94.0
Arkansas St. 88.3 90.1 90.0 89.5
Idaho 86.4 89.1 87.2 87.5
Georgia St. 86.3 85.5 86.2 86.0
UL-Lafayette 84.9 86.8 84.7 85.5
S. Alabama 83.8 86.8 84.0 84.9
N. Mexico St. 84.2 81.5 83.2 83.0
Georgia Southern 80.4 82.1 79.8 80.8
UL-Monroe 79.6 80.2 77.8 79.2
Coastal Carolina 72.1 73.5 73.9 73.2
Texas St. 70.7 74.7 69.4 71.6
         
Sun Belt Averages 84.2 85.1 84.2 84.5

And, here are our not-so-scientific predictions for this year’s standings with bowl projections.

Sun Belt Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
Appalachian St. 7-1 10-2 Cure
Troy 7-1 9-3 Arizona
Arkansas St. 7-1 8-4 Camellia
S. Alabama 5-3 6-6 New Orleans
Idaho 4-4 6-6 Idaho
Georgia St. 4-4 6-6 Dollar General
UL-Lafayette 4-4 5-7  
Georgia Southern 3-5 4-8  
UL-Monroe 3-5 3-9  
N. Mexico St. 2-6 3-9  
Coastal Carolina 2-6 3-9  
Texas St. 0-8 1-11  

Coming tomorrow: You sort of get a double dose. There are just four Independents, so we will preview the Independents as well as the American Athletic Conference. Then, beginning Sunday, we start with the Power 5 conferences. College football begins in just eight days!

***A special shout out to our reader Ryan. Yesterday, we issued what we thought was a rather tough trivia question, and Ryan nailed it rather quickly. So, today, we will increase the difficulty with a little tougher trivia. ***

 

TRIVIA
Who are these two legendary coaches? Coach number one was a college head coach who won 70% of his games at his first Division 1 school, a team that played in a now defunct conference. He moved on to be a college head coach at two additional schools, the second of which he was replaced by a second coaching legend who won more than 200 games at the college level and more than 250 when his NFL wins were added. Four decades after winning 70% of his games at the first school, Coach number one was still coaching, now the head coach of an NFL team which he guided to the playoffs multiple times. Coach number two was still coaching four decades later after he replaced coach number one. Coach number two won a national championship during his career.

Name the two coaches. If nobody gets the answer by the time we go to press with tomorrow’s preview, we will give the answer, but we know that our readers tend to be among the most knowledgeable football fans and analytical geniuses, so we expect somebody to come up with the correct answer.

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