The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 24, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football–October 28-30, 2021

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
Coastal CarolinaTroy22.920.822.8
East CarolinaSouth Florida12.112.013.3
TulsaNavy9.910.39.4
NevadaUNLV17.019.218.1
WisconsinIowa-2.0-1.6-1.8
BuffaloBowling Green24.923.925.7
Wake ForestDuke24.523.125.8
Michigan St.Michigan-2.3-3.3-3.6
North Carolina St.Louisville10.29.88.7
SyracuseBoston College1.11.11.0
Georgia SouthernGeorgia St.-6.4-5.5-6.4
West VirginiaIowa St.-5.6-5.9-7.7
MarylandIndiana3.52.51.2
Florida AtlanticUTEP13.814.215.5
PittsburghMiami (Fla.)2.84.63.5
IllinoisRutgers3.82.34.2
NorthwesternMinnesota-6.9-7.4-9.0
TempleCentral Florida-16.2-14.2-17.2
Georgia TechVirginia Tech0.01.31.4
ClemsonFlorida St.12.312.113.3
LibertyMassachusetts33.834.937.3
RiceNorth Texas3.43.43.5
Utah St.Hawaii1.42.52.0
BYUVirginia4.22.54.1
UtahUCLA7.16.66.2
Arizona St.Washington St.15.515.115.7
CaliforniaOregon St.-8.5-4.9-6.2
USCArizona24.725.025.9
San Jose St.Wyoming7.57.05.1
OregonColorado15.416.818.3
MarshallFlorida Int’l.20.119.419.5
Oklahoma St.Kansas32.935.037.4
Old DominionLouisiana Tech-8.7-8.3-6.8
LouisianaTexas St.26.426.727.7
Middle TennesseeSouthern Miss.12.812.113.8
NebraskaPurdue6.97.65.8
VanderbiltMissouri-18.6-19.6-19.2
Kansas St.TCU-0.80.3-0.7
Mississippi St.Kentucky-0.6-2.2-1.9
OklahomaTexas Tech21.920.021.8
Ohio St.Penn St.19.919.319.3
HoustonSMU2.81.32.2
BaylorTexas-2.4-1.2-2.4
AuburnOle Miss3.32.73.3
Florida (N)Georgia-17.7-16.7-18.5
TulaneCincinnati-23.8-24.7-25.3
Appalachian St.Louisiana-Monroe26.225.529.0
South AlabamaArkansas St.8.98.48.5
Western KentuckyCharlotte10.911.410.9
Colorado St.Boise St.-6.4-5.9-6.6
Notre DameNorth Carolina7.48.07.3
StanfordWashington1.71.30.5
San Diego St.Fresno St.5.13.22.7

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia134.8
2Alabama131.6
3Ohio St.130.9
4Oklahoma121.2
5Iowa St.120.7
6Cincinnati120.2
7Texas A&M118.6
8Auburn117.4
9Ole Miss117.2
10Florida117.1
11Iowa116.2
12Texas116.1
13Michigan114.9
14Notre Dame114.8
15Penn St.114.4
16Clemson114.2
17Arizona St.114.0
18Utah113.6
19Oklahoma St.113.5
20Arkansas113.0
21Kentucky112.9
22Oregon112.4
23Baylor112.1
24U S C111.6
25Wisconsin111.4
26Oregon St.111.3
27West Virginia111.3
28NC State111.1
29Coastal Carolina110.8
30T C U110.6
31Pittsburgh110.4
32Michigan St.110.3
33North Carolina110.3
34L S U110.2
35Nebraska110.0
36Wake Forest110.0
37U C L A109.9
38Miami (Fla.)109.8
39Tennessee108.8
40Mississippi St.108.4
41Minnesota108.1
42BYU107.6
43Louisiana107.3
44Kansas St.107.2
45Virginia107.0
46Washington106.7
47Purdue106.2
48Stanford104.9
49Florida St.104.6
50Louisville104.5
51SMU104.4
52Appalachian St.104.2
53Houston104.0
54Boise St.103.6
55Texas Tech103.0
56San Diego St.102.9
57Virginia Tech102.4
58Indiana102.4
59Fresno St.102.2
60Liberty101.8
61California101.8
62Maryland101.8
63Nevada101.7
64Boston College101.7
65Washington St.101.6
66U T S A101.6
67Air Force101.1
68Missouri100.4
69Georgia Tech100.4
70Army100.1
71Syracuse99.8
72UCF99.5
73East Carolina98.6
74Colorado98.6
75Northwestern97.8
76Miami (Ohio)97.8
77Toledo97.5
78South Carolina97.1
79Illinois96.6
80U A B96.3
81Ball St.96.3
82Rutgers96.2
83Tulsa95.5
84Buffalo95.4
85Florida Atlantic95.0
86Colorado St.94.8
87Eastern Michigan94.6
88Western Michigan94.5
89Central Michigan94.3
90Marshall94.2
91San Jose St.94.0
92Georgia St.93.8
93Memphis93.3
94Tulane93.1
95Hawaii92.8
96Troy91.7
97Kent St.91.3
98South Alabama90.9
99Utah St.90.7
100Wyoming90.5
101Northern Illinois89.8
102Western Kentucky89.7
103Arizona89.3
104USF89.1
105Navy88.7
106Middle Tennessee88.6
107Duke87.5
108Ohio86.3
109Georgia Southern86.2
110Louisiana Tech85.2
111U N L V85.1
112Arkansas St.84.8
113U T E P83.5
114Texas St.83.4
115New Mexico82.4
116Rice81.8
117Kansas81.4
118Charlotte81.1
119Temple81.1
120North Texas80.3
121UL-Monroe80.3
122Vanderbilt79.2
123Southern Miss.78.2
124Florida Int’l.77.5
125Old Dominion75.2
126Akron74.6
127Bowling Green73.6
128New Mexico St.72.0
129UMass69.0
130Connecticut68.3

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati119.7119.3121.7120.2
SMU104.0104.4104.9104.4
Houston104.3103.2104.6104.0
UCF99.398.3100.999.5
East Carolina98.397.899.698.6
Tulsa95.695.695.495.5
Memphis92.993.293.893.3
Tulane93.492.093.893.1
USF89.288.889.489.1
Navy88.788.389.188.7
Temple80.681.681.181.1

AAC Averages96.996.697.797.0
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson113.7113.7115.0114.2
NC State111.2110.8111.2111.1
Wake Forest110.0109.5110.4110.0
Florida St.104.4104.6104.7104.6
Louisville104.0103.9105.5104.5
Boston College101.6101.7101.8101.7
Syracuse99.799.999.899.8

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Pittsburgh110.0110.8110.6110.4
North Carolina109.7109.8111.3110.3
Miami (Fla.)110.2109.2110.1109.8
Virginia106.6107.7106.7107.0
Virginia Tech103.2102.1102.0102.4
Georgia Tech100.2100.5100.4100.4
Duke87.588.486.687.5

ACC Averages105.1105.2105.4105.3
Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma122.2120.3121.1121.2
Iowa St.121.2119.8120.9120.7
Texas117.0115.3116.0116.1
Oklahoma St.113.7113.5113.3113.5
Baylor112.6112.1111.6112.1
West Virginia112.7111.0110.2111.3
T C U111.4110.0110.4110.6
Kansas St.107.6107.3106.7107.2
Texas Tech103.2103.4102.3103.0
Kansas83.881.578.981.4

Big 12 Averages110.5109.4109.1109.7
Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.130.3130.3132.0130.9
Michigan114.1115.1115.4114.9
Penn St.113.4114.0115.7114.4
Michigan St.110.3110.3110.4110.3
Indiana102.3102.0102.7102.4
Maryland102.8101.5100.9101.8
Rutgers95.497.295.896.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Iowa115.9115.5117.2116.2
Wisconsin110.9110.8112.3111.4
Nebraska109.6110.0110.3110.0
Minnesota107.2108.0109.1108.1
Purdue105.7105.4107.5106.2
Northwestern97.898.197.697.8
Illinois96.296.597.196.6

Big Ten Averages108.0108.2108.9108.4
Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Florida Atlantic94.295.695.295.0
Marshall94.194.094.694.2
Western Kentucky88.690.290.389.7
Middle Tennessee88.288.389.288.6
Charlotte80.281.281.981.1
Florida Int’l.77.077.678.077.5
Old Dominion74.875.575.475.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U T S A101.2101.9101.7101.6
U A B96.296.496.496.3
Louisiana Tech85.585.884.285.2
U T E P83.484.482.683.5
Rice81.881.881.881.8
North Texas80.480.480.280.3
Southern Miss.77.978.677.978.2

CUSA Averages86.086.586.486.3
FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame114.1114.7115.6114.8
BYU107.8107.2107.8107.6
Liberty101.4101.9102.0101.8
Army100.2100.199.9100.1
New Mexico St.72.373.070.872.0
UMass70.169.567.369.0
Connecticut68.969.466.768.3

Indep. Averages90.790.890.090.5
Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)99.397.696.697.8
Buffalo96.195.295.095.4
Kent St.91.092.390.791.3
Ohio85.986.886.386.3
Akron76.074.573.574.6
Bowling Green74.174.372.373.6

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Toledo98.097.696.997.5
Ball St.97.196.894.996.3
Eastern Michigan96.094.693.394.6
Western Michigan94.695.093.794.5
Central Michigan95.494.093.594.3
Northern Illinois90.989.589.089.8

MAC Averages91.290.789.690.5
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.103.4103.2104.0103.6
Air Force100.8101.0101.6101.1
Colorado St.94.694.895.094.8
Utah St.90.491.290.690.7
Wyoming90.190.590.990.5
New Mexico82.882.981.482.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
San Diego St.103.1102.7102.8102.9
Fresno St.101.1102.5103.1102.2
Nevada101.0102.4101.7101.7
San Jose St.94.594.593.094.0
Hawaii93.092.792.592.8
U N L V85.584.785.285.1
MWC Averages95.095.395.195.1
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon111.4112.5113.4112.4
Oregon St.111.1111.2111.6111.3
Washington106.0107.1107.1106.7
Stanford104.6105.4104.6104.9
California99.7103.3102.4101.8
Washington St.101.1102.1101.6101.6

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Arizona St.113.6114.2114.3114.0
Utah113.6113.6113.5113.6
U S C111.3111.2112.1111.6
U C L A109.5110.0110.2109.9
Colorado98.998.798.198.6
Arizona89.689.289.289.3

Pac-12 Averages105.9106.5106.5106.3
Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia134.3134.5135.6134.8
Florida116.5117.8117.1117.1
Kentucky112.0113.7113.1112.9
Tennessee108.8108.5109.0108.8
Missouri100.5100.899.8100.4
South Carolina97.697.296.697.1
Vanderbilt79.979.278.679.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama131.6130.9132.4131.6
Texas A&M118.2118.9118.6118.6
Auburn117.5116.8117.8117.4
Ole Miss117.1117.1117.4117.2
Arkansas113.2113.1112.7113.0
L S U109.7110.5110.5110.2
Mississippi St.108.4108.5108.2108.4

SEC Averages111.8112.0112.0111.9
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina111.4109.6111.4110.8
Appalachian St.103.8103.3105.4104.2
Georgia St.94.293.593.893.8
Troy91.691.891.791.7
Georgia Southern86.386.685.986.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana107.9106.4107.7107.3
South Alabama91.291.190.390.9
Arkansas St.84.985.284.384.8
Texas St.84.582.783.083.4
UL-Monroe80.680.879.480.3

Sun Averages93.693.193.393.3

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.9
2Big 12109.7
3Big Ten108.4
4Pac-12106.3
5Atlantic Coast105.3
6American Athletic97.0
7Mountain West95.1
8Sun Belt93.3
9Independents90.5
10Mid-American90.5
11Conference USA86.3

Playoff and Bowl Projections

BowlTeamTeam
BahamasMarshallToledo
CureSMUCoastal Carolina
BocaLouisiana TechAir Force
New MexicoUTEPNorthern Illinois
IndependenceBYUFlorida Atlantic
Lending TreeWestern MichiganAppalachian St.
L. A.San Diego St.UCLA
New OrleansUTSALouisiana
Myrtle BeachCentral MichiganCharlotte
Famous Idaho PotatoEastern MichiganBoise St.
FriscoNevadaUL-Monroe
Armed ForcesArmyUAB
GasparillaMiddle TennesseeBuffalo
HawaiiCentral FloridaFresno St.
CamelliaKent St.Troy
Quick LaneBall St.Wyoming
MilitaryNorth CarolinaTulsa
BirminghamMemphisLiberty
First ResponderWestern KentuckyTexas Tech
LibertyTexasLSU
HolidayMiami (Fla.)USC
Guaranteed RatePurdueWest Virginia
FenwayHoustonBoston College
PinstripeNorth Carolina St.Penn St.
Cheez-ItWake ForestIowa St.
AlamoBaylorArizona St.
Duke’s MayoClemsonTennessee
Music CityMarylandArkansas
Las VegasWisconsinOregon St.
Tax Slayer GatorVirginiaFlorida
Tony The Tiger SunLouisvilleUtah
ArizonaMiami (O)Utah St.
CitrusIowaOle Miss
OutbackMinnesotaTexas A&M
TexasKansas St.Auburn
PeachPittsburghKentucky
FiestaNotre DameMichigan
RoseOregonMichigan St.
SugarOklahoma St.Alabama
CottonOklahomaOhio St.
OrangeGeorgiaCincinnati
ChampionshipGeorgiaOhio St.

NCAA Strikes Out On New Overtime Rule

Did you watch the Penn State-Illinois game Saturday?  It was tied 10-10 after 60 minutes of excellent defensive football.  The Illini shut down the Penn State passing game while controlling the clock by running and running and more running.

Both teams scored field goals in the first two overtimes to make the score 16-16.  The new overtime rule states that starting with the third overtime, both teams get a two-point conversion attempt.  If the score remains tied, then successive two-point conversion attempts are taken until one team scores and the other team does not.

Additionally, after the first overtime, there are no more coin flips.  The teams rotate the choice.  And, what happens is the home team always wants to play on the side of the field where the student body cheers in the end zone, while the opponent wants to play at the other end of the field.  After each overtime, the players, officials, chain gang, and hundreds of fans must make the 100-yard walk to the other end of the field.

It’s no longer much of a secret that making two-point conversions is about as difficult as making 55-yard field goals.  That became a huge problem yesterday in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania.  Penn State and Illinois could not convert their two-point conversion attempts.  Overtimes three, four, five, six, and seven produced 10 consecutive botched conversions.  As each overtime ended, everybody had to move to the other end of the field, and the longer into this mess it continued, the big tubby linemen began to walk at a snail’s pace to get back.

Illinois finally scored in the eighth overtime, but then Penn State did the same forcing a ninth overtime.  The game was finally decided when the Nittany Lions missed their ninth overtime attempt, while Illinois scored to win the game 20-18.

In the amount of time it took to play the nine overtimes, another game that kicked off at the same time as the first overtime began the second quarter of their game just before the nine-overtime game concluded.  In other words, it took a little longer than one full quarter to play the nine overtimes.

Imagine a game in late November with sloppy playing conditions where regulation ends in a tie game, and nobody can score in the overtimes for 10 or more of these ridiculous two-point conversion attempts.  If it took nine yesterday, there is a possibility that somebody else will need 10 or more.

The NCAA must re-evaluate this fiasco of a rule.  In fact, the NCAA needs to have a constitutional convention and modify a lot of the rules to get into the 21st century.  Here is our suggestion for rules changes–use the same rules the NFL uses.  To wit:

1. Overtime should be one, 10-minute period with a touchdown on the first possession winning the game, but a field goal allowing the other team to have a possession.  If the game is still tied after 10 minutes, it stands as a tie game.

2. Intentional pass interference is now a definite defensive option to stop a big gain.  Players will even deliver cheap shots knowing that giving up 15 yards beats giving up 50 or a touchdown.  Because passing the ball is tantamount to winning, the pass interference penalty needs to go back to giving the offense the ball at the spot of interference, be it 12 yards past the line or 50.

3. The clock should not stop on first downs.  That rule was in effect when chain gangs were the only way to spot the ball.  In today’s world, the ball can be spotted quickly via computerization and an extra referee.  Let the clock move on first downs.

4. Add the two-minute warning.  In lieu of the clock stopping on first downs, add a two-minute warning to both halves.  That is when teams need the clock to stop, and the networks can get an extra commercial break before halftime or the end of the game.

5. Allow a player that falls to the ground with the ball but having been untouched by the defense to get up and advance.  Why should poor playing conditions be responsible for making a defensive stop?  

Here’s one additional rule change that should be considered.  Targeting happens too much these days when the ball carrier lowers his head to invite the targeting penalty.  This is almost like the flop in basketball.  The rule needs to be changed so that when the ball carrier initiates the targeting by putting himself into position for any tackle to become a potential targeting penalty, the offense should be penalized 15 yards for a personal foul.

Additionally, ejection is much too harsh of a penalty.  How about making targeting a 20-yard penalty and automatic first down, and also allowing it to supersede the half the distance to the goal and be allowed to go all the way to the 1-yard line if the offense is in the Red Zone?  A penalty in one game shouldn’t be allowed to stay in effect for a half of another game.  This may be the most ridiculous rule in college football history.  Think of a basketball game where a Syracuse player commits an intentional foul on a Connecticut player late in the second half of a game, and then three days later when Syracuse plays Duke, Duke gets to start the game with 2 foul shots from the intentional foul three days back.

October 17, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football–October 20-23, 2021

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
Appalachian St.Coastal Carolina-8.0-6.7-6.7
SMUTulane9.811.89.9
Arkansas St.Louisiana-23.5-21.5-24.5
CharlotteFlorida Atlantic-7.3-7.5-6.3
UNLVSan Jose St.-6.3-7.2-5.1
ConnecticutMiddle Tennessee-12.7-11.9-15.9
Central FloridaMemphis8.66.98.9
Utah St.Colorado St.-1.6-1.0-2.2
ArizonaWashington-15.5-17.4-17.5
ToledoWestern Michigan3.12.02.4
Florida St.Massachusetts32.233.035.6
Georgia St.Texas St.12.213.313.4
IndianaOhio St.-15.9-16.0-17.0
AkronBuffalo-12.8-13.4-14.3
Penn St.Illinois25.426.127.6
VirginiaGeorgia Tech9.610.910.1
LouisvilleBoston College2.62.03.7
Virginia TechSyracuse9.88.68.7
PittsburghClemson-4.2-3.5-5.5
MinnesotaMaryland4.56.88.6
MichiganNorthwestern18.519.219.8
Central MichiganNorthern Illinois9.69.910.3
Ohio UKent St.-2.2-2.6-0.8
NavyCincinnati-33.3-33.5-35.5
Miami (Fla.)North Carolina St.1.91.42.1
ArmyWake Forest-5.8-5.0-6.1
South FloridaTemple10.88.89.9
Bowling GreenEastern Michigan-16.5-14.5-15.1
HoustonEast Carolina9.89.49.1
KansasOklahoma-41.4-41.8-45.2
Ball St.Miami (O)1.33.32.4
WyomingNew Mexico18.719.220.9
CaliforniaColorado-2.02.31.5
Oregon St.Utah-1.5-1.6-1.3
Washington St.BYU-3.3-1.5-2.8
UCLAOregon1.71.30.9
Texas TechKansas St.-1.2-0.7-1.2
TCUWest Virginia5.35.87.4
Iowa St.Oklahoma St.11.19.911.6
UABRice22.022.422.7
AlabamaTennessee25.425.026.0
Texas A&MSouth Carolina21.522.623.0
VanderbiltMississippi St.-22.2-22.8-22.9
PurdueWisconsin1.81.62.4
Ole MissLSU10.08.89.1
Louisiana-MonroeSouth Alabama-13.2-12.9-13.9
North TexasLiberty-20.8-21.7-22.4
Louisiana TechUTSA-8.4-8.5-9.8
Florida Int’l.Western Kentucky-8.5-9.5-8.8
Air ForceSan Diego St.2.23.24.1
Notre DameUSC3.64.34.1
Fresno St.Nevada3.33.34.9
HawaiiNew Mexico St.26.125.127.7

FBS vs. FCS Game

FBSFCSPiRate
ArkansasArkansas-Pine Bluff39.5

Teams Not Playing This Week

Arizona St.
Auburn
Baylor
Boise St.
Duke
Florida
Georgia
Georgia Southern
Iowa
Kentucky
Marshall
Michigan St.
Missouri
Nebraska
North Carolina
Old Dominion
Rutgers
Southern Miss.
Stanford
Texas
Troy
Tulsa
UTEP

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia134.5
2Alabama131.4
3Ohio St.126.6
4Oklahoma124.7
5Cincinnati123.2
6Iowa St.121.0
7Texas A&M117.4
8Penn St.117.2
9Auburn117.1
10Ole Miss116.9
11Florida116.8
12Clemson116.2
13Iowa115.9
14Texas115.8
15Utah114.7
16Michigan114.4
17Arizona St.113.7
18Notre Dame113.7
19Oklahoma St.113.1
20Arkansas112.8
21U S C112.7
22Kentucky112.6
23T C U112.5
24Coastal Carolina112.5
25Oregon112.0
26Baylor111.8
27NC State111.0
28L S U110.6
29U C L A110.3
30Oregon St.110.2
31Michigan St.110.0
32North Carolina110.0
33Miami (Fla.)109.8
34Nebraska109.7
35West Virginia109.3
36Wake Forest109.3
37Wisconsin109.3
38Tennessee109.0
39Louisiana108.9
40Pittsburgh108.7
41Washington108.3
42Purdue108.2
43BYU107.5
44Indiana107.3
45Virginia107.3
46Kansas St.107.1
47Minnesota106.9
48Mississippi St.106.4
49Stanford104.6
50Houston104.5
51Virginia Tech104.3
52Liberty103.4
53Boise St.103.4
54Boston College103.3
55Maryland103.3
56Louisville103.1
57Texas Tech103.1
58Appalachian St.102.8
59SMU102.5
60Fresno St.102.4
61Washington St.101.9
62Air Force101.8
63Florida St.101.8
64San Diego St.101.7
65Colorado101.6
66Nevada101.5
67Army100.7
68Georgia Tech100.1
69Missouri100.1
70U T S A99.3
71California99.2
72U A B99.1
73UCF98.9
74Northwestern98.3
75Syracuse98.2
76East Carolina98.1
77South Carolina98.0
78Miami (Ohio)97.1
79Ball St.97.0
80Western Michigan96.2
81Rutgers95.9
82Toledo95.7
83Central Michigan95.6
84Wyoming95.5
85Tulsa95.3
86Colorado St.95.1
87Tulane95.0
88San Jose St.93.9
89Marshall93.9
90Georgia St.93.8
91Memphis93.8
92Illinois93.8
93Hawaii93.6
94South Alabama93.3
95Eastern Michigan93.0
96Buffalo93.0
97Florida Atlantic92.8
98Troy91.5
99Kent St.90.8
100Utah St.90.5
101Western Kentucky89.3
102USF88.5
103Arizona88.5
104Northern Illinois88.2
105Louisiana Tech87.4
106Duke87.2
107Ohio86.9
108Middle Tennessee86.7
109Navy86.1
110Georgia Southern86.0
111U N L V85.2
112Arkansas St.83.7
113Texas St.83.4
114U T E P83.3
115Charlotte83.3
116Vanderbilt81.7
117Temple81.7
118Rice79.3
119North Texas79.2
120Kansas78.9
121New Mexico78.9
122Southern Miss.78.0
123Florida Int’l.77.9
124UL-Monroe77.5
125Akron77.0
126Bowling Green75.2
127Old Dominion75.0
128New Mexico St.71.2
129UMass71.2
130Connecticut70.2

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati122.6122.3124.9123.2
Houston104.7103.7105.2104.5
SMU102.1102.6102.8102.5
UCF98.997.7100.398.9
East Carolina97.997.399.098.1
Tulsa95.495.495.295.3
Tulane95.393.895.995.0
Memphis93.393.894.493.8
USF88.888.188.788.5
Navy86.385.886.486.1
Temple81.082.381.881.7

AAC Averages96.996.697.797.1


Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson115.6115.6117.2116.2
NC State111.2110.8111.1111.0
Wake Forest109.5108.8109.7109.3
Boston College103.1103.4103.4103.3
Louisville102.7102.4104.1103.1
Florida St.101.6101.8102.0101.8
Syracuse98.298.498.298.2

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina109.4109.5111.0110.0
Miami (Fla.)110.2109.2110.2109.8
Pittsburgh108.4109.2108.7108.7
Virginia106.7108.0107.1107.3
Virginia Tech105.0103.9103.9104.3
Georgia Tech100.1100.2100.0100.1
Duke87.288.186.387.2

ACC Averages104.9104.9105.2105.0


Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma125.7123.8124.6124.7
Iowa St.121.5120.1121.4121.0
Texas116.7115.0115.7115.8
Oklahoma St.113.4113.2112.8113.1
T C U113.2111.9112.5112.5
Baylor112.3111.8111.3111.8
West Virginia110.9109.1108.1109.3
Kansas St.107.5107.2106.6107.1
Texas Tech103.3103.5102.4103.1
Kansas81.379.076.478.9

Big 12 Averages110.6109.5109.2109.7


Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.126.1126.0127.7126.6
Penn St.116.0116.8118.7117.2
Michigan113.7114.7114.9114.4
Michigan St.110.0110.0110.1110.0
Indiana107.2107.0107.7107.3
Maryland104.4103.0102.3103.3
Rutgers95.196.995.595.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Iowa115.6115.2116.9115.9
Nebraska109.3109.7110.0109.7
Wisconsin108.9108.8110.2109.3
Purdue107.7107.4109.6108.2
Minnesota105.9106.8108.0106.9
Northwestern98.298.598.198.3
Illinois93.693.794.193.8

Big Ten Averages108.0108.2108.8108.3


Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Marshall93.893.794.393.9
Florida Atlantic92.193.493.092.8
Western Kentucky88.389.989.889.3
Middle Tennessee86.486.387.486.7
Charlotte82.383.484.183.3
Florida Int’l.77.377.978.577.9
Old Dominion74.675.375.275.0

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U T S A99.099.699.499.3
U A B98.999.299.399.1
Louisiana Tech87.788.186.587.4
U T E P83.284.282.483.3
Rice79.479.379.279.3
North Texas79.579.378.979.2
Southern Miss.77.778.477.778.0

CUSA Averages85.786.386.186.0


FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame113.0113.6114.4113.7
BYU107.7107.0107.7107.5
Liberty102.8103.5103.8103.4
Army100.7100.8100.6100.7
New Mexico St.71.672.369.871.2
UMass72.471.869.571.2
Connecticut70.771.468.570.2

Indep. Averages91.391.590.691.1


Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)98.896.895.897.1
Buffalo93.792.892.693.0
Kent St.90.691.889.990.8
Ohio86.387.387.186.9
Akron78.476.975.977.0
Bowling Green75.576.074.075.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ball St.97.697.695.797.0
Western Michigan96.296.895.696.2
Toledo96.495.895.095.7
Central Michigan96.695.395.095.6
Eastern Michigan94.692.991.693.0
Northern Illinois89.487.987.288.2

MAC Averages91.290.789.690.5


Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.103.2103.0103.8103.4
Air Force101.3101.7102.5101.8
Wyoming95.195.595.995.5
Colorado St.94.895.095.495.1
Utah St.90.291.090.290.5
New Mexico79.379.477.978.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Fresno St.101.2102.6103.4102.4
San Diego St.102.1101.5101.4101.7
Nevada100.9102.3101.4101.5
San Jose St.94.494.492.993.9
Hawaii93.793.493.593.6
U N L V85.684.885.385.2

MWC Averages95.195.495.395.3


Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon111.1112.1112.9112.0
Oregon St.110.1110.1110.4110.2
Washington107.4108.7108.8108.3
Stanford104.3105.1104.3104.6
Washington St.101.4102.5101.9101.9
California97.1100.999.899.2

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Utah114.6114.7114.7114.7
Arizona St.113.3113.9114.0113.7
U S C112.4112.3113.3112.7
U C L A109.8110.4110.7110.3
Colorado102.0101.6101.2101.6
Arizona88.988.388.288.5

Pac-12 Averages106.0106.7106.7106.5


Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia134.0134.2135.3134.5
Florida116.2117.5116.8116.8
Kentucky111.7113.4112.8112.6
Tennessee109.0108.7109.2109.0
Missouri100.2100.599.5100.1
South Carolina98.598.197.598.0
Vanderbilt82.381.781.281.7

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama131.4130.7132.2131.4
Texas A&M117.0117.7117.4117.4
Auburn117.2116.5117.5117.1
Ole Miss116.9116.7117.0116.9
Arkansas113.0112.9112.5112.8
L S U109.9110.9110.9110.6
Mississippi St.106.5106.5106.1106.4

SEC Averages111.7111.9111.9111.8


Sunbelt Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina113.0111.2113.1112.5
Appalachian St.102.5102.0104.0102.8
Georgia St.94.293.593.893.8
Troy91.491.691.591.5
Georgia Southern86.186.485.786.0

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana109.4107.8109.5108.9
South Alabama93.693.592.993.3
Arkansas St.83.984.383.083.7
Texas St.84.582.783.083.4
UL-Monroe77.978.176.577.5

Sun Averages93.693.193.393.4

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.8
2Big 12109.7
3Big Ten108.3
4Pac-12106.5
5Atlantic Coast105.0
6American Athletic97.1
7Mountain West95.3
8Sun Belt93.4
9Independents91.1
10Mid-American90.5
11Conference USA86.0

This Week’s Bowl Projections

BowlTeamTeam
BahamasUTSANorthern Illinois
CureMemphisAppalachian St.
BocaFlorida AtlanticLiberty
New MexicoUTEPAir Force
IndependenceBYUUAB
Lending TreeCentral MichiganCoastal Carolina
L. A.San Diego St.Washington St.
New OrleansCharlotteLouisiana
Myrtle BeachTulsaTroy
Famous Idaho PotatoToledoUtah St.
FriscoWestern KentuckyMiami (O)
Armed ForcesArmyMarshall
GasparillaBoston CollegeMiddle Tennessee
HawaiiCentral FloridaNevada
CamelliaEastern MichiganUL-Monroe
Quick LaneBall St.Northwestern
MilitaryMarylandEast Carolina
BirminghamKent St.Washington
First ResponderSMUWyoming
LibertyTCUArkansas
HolidayVirginia TechOregon St.
Guaranteed RatePurdueTexas Tech
FenwayHoustonClemson
PinstripeVirginiaMinnesota
Cheez-ItNotre DameBaylor
AlamoIowa St.UCLA
Duke’s MayoNorth Carolina St.Tennessee
Music CityWisconsinKansas St.
Las VegasPenn St.Oregon
Tax Slayer GatorWake ForestLSU
Tony The Tiger SunNorth CarolinaUSC
ArizonaWestern MichiganFresno St.
CitrusMichiganFlorida
OutbackIowaAuburn
TexasTexasTexas A&M
PeachOle MissPittsburgh
FiestaArizona St.Kentucky
RoseMichigan St.Utah
SugarAlabamaOklahoma St.
CottonOklahomaCincinnati
OrangeGeorgiaOhio St.
ChampionshipGeorgiaOklahoma

October 10, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football–October 12-16, 2021

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:05 am

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
LouisianaAppalachian St.5.23.83.3
South AlabamaGeorgia Southern5.95.35.2
MemphisNavy8.19.28.7
SyracuseClemson-16.5-16.5-18.6
North TexasMarshall-7.9-7.7-8.7
San Jose St.San Diego St.-5.6-5.1-7.0
OregonCalifornia18.615.617.9
Northern IllinoisBowling Green17.315.317.0
North CarolinaMiami (Fla.)2.03.34.0
Virginia TechPittsburgh4.93.13.7
KansasTexas Tech-16.2-18.9-20.6
IndianaMichigan St.1.10.82.0
WisconsinArmy11.611.613.6
BuffaloOhio U11.49.49.6
South CarolinaVanderbilt21.021.521.6
South FloridaTulsa-3.3-4.0-3.3
Boston CollegeNorth Carolina St.-0.20.90.8
MinnesotaNebraska-1.8-1.3-0.4
Miami (O)Akron24.223.724.1
CincinnatiCentral Florida24.325.225.0
VirginiaDuke16.717.218.0
NorthwesternRutgers3.01.12.1
Eastern MichiganBall St.0.5-1.2-0.5
New MexicoColorado St.-8.9-9.0-11.0
ColoradoArizona11.811.811.3
Boise St.Air Force8.07.47.6
UtahArizona St.1.40.50.2
WyomingFresno St.0.8-0.1-0.4
WashingtonUCLA1.42.52.4
Louisiana-MonroeLiberty-29.5-30.4-32.9
BaylorBYU7.06.95.4
MissouriTexas A&M-12.1-12.3-13.0
TexasOklahoma St.11.39.811.3
OklahomaTCU14.914.013.9
Central MichiganToledo2.92.22.9
Southern Miss.UAB-14.7-13.8-14.7
IowaPurdue17.217.217.0
Mississippi St.Alabama-17.5-16.4-18.5
Western MichiganKent St.1.70.61.3
Old DominionWestern Kentucky-9.1-9.8-9.6
GeorgiaKentucky26.624.927.4
LSUFlorida-5.9-6.6-5.9
TennesseeOle Miss-4.9-5.0-4.8
Texas St.Troy-4.6-7.0-6.8
Kansas St.Iowa St.-10.8-9.4-11.4
ArkansasAuburn1.52.41.0
UTSARice16.817.517.0
UNLVUtah St.-1.9-3.8-2.2
UTEPLouisiana Tech-7.1-6.7-7.1
Washington St.Stanford-0.4-0.2-0.2
NevadaHawaii10.812.511.1

FBS vs. FCS Game

FBSFCSPiRate
ConnecticutYale2.5

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia135.0
2Alabama129.1
3Ohio St.126.3
4Oklahoma124.2
5Cincinnati122.0
6Iowa St.120.8
7Iowa119.5
8Texas118.8
9Florida118.5
10Clemson117.5
11Ole Miss116.9
12Penn St.116.9
13Texas A&M116.3
14Auburn115.6
15Arizona St.115.2
16Arkansas114.3
17Michigan114.1
18Notre Dame113.4
19T C U113.0
20Utah112.9
21Oregon112.8
22U S C112.4
23Coastal Carolina112.2
24Kentucky111.8
25Baylor111.4
26Oklahoma St.111.0
27Nebraska110.4
28North Carolina110.0
29Oregon St.109.9
30Miami (Fla.)109.8
31U C L A109.7
32Wisconsin109.7
33Michigan St.109.5
34L S U109.3
35West Virginia109.0
36Wake Forest109.0
37Tennessee109.0
38Washington108.9
39Mississippi St.108.7
40NC State108.3
41BYU107.9
42Indiana107.8
43Liberty107.4
44Kansas St.107.3
45Virginia Tech106.7
46Louisiana106.4
47Minnesota106.2
48Pittsburgh105.8
49Boston College105.8
50Purdue105.3
51Appalachian St.105.3
52Boise St.105.2
53Stanford104.9
54Virginia104.7
55Houston104.2
56Maryland103.0
57Louisville102.8
58SMU102.2
59San Diego St.102.0
60Texas Tech101.8
61Washington St.101.6
62Florida St.101.5
63Nevada101.3
64Missouri100.8
65Fresno St.100.6
66Air Force100.5
67Army100.4
68UCF100.2
69Georgia Tech99.8
70Colorado99.7
71South Carolina99.3
72California98.4
73Miami (Ohio)98.1
74East Carolina97.9
75Wyoming97.7
76Rutgers97.6
77Syracuse97.3
78Northwestern97.1
79U A B97.0
80U T S A96.8
81Ball St.96.3
82Central Michigan95.8
83Toledo95.6
84Tulsa95.3
85Tulane94.8
86Kent St.94.5
87Hawaii93.8
88Buffalo93.8
89Georgia St.93.6
90San Jose St.93.6
91Illinois93.5
92Eastern Michigan93.4
93Western Michigan93.2
94Memphis93.1
95Colorado St.93.0
96Florida Atlantic92.6
97Marshall92.0
98Troy91.7
99South Alabama91.4
100Arizona91.1
101Duke90.4
102Utah St.90.4
103Louisiana Tech89.7
104Northern Illinois88.8
105USF88.8
106Georgia Southern88.4
107Western Kentucky87.9
108Navy86.9
109Middle Tennessee86.5
110Ohio86.1
111U N L V85.3
112Arkansas St.83.5
113Texas St.83.1
114Charlotte83.1
115Rice82.3
116Temple81.5
117North Texas81.4
118Vanderbilt80.9
119New Mexico80.9
120Southern Miss.80.6
121U T E P80.3
122Kansas80.2
123Florida Int’l.77.7
124Old Dominion76.4
125Akron76.1
126Bowling Green74.8
127UL-Monroe74.5
128New Mexico St.71.0
129UMass71.0
130Connecticut70.1

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati121.4121.1123.6122.0
Houston104.4103.4104.9104.2
SMU101.8102.3102.5102.2
UCF100.198.9101.6100.2
East Carolina97.797.198.897.9
Tulsa95.495.495.295.3
Tulane95.193.695.794.8
Memphis92.693.193.593.1
USF89.188.489.088.8
Navy87.086.587.386.9
Temple80.882.181.681.5

AAC Averages96.896.597.697.0

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson116.8116.9118.7117.5
Wake Forest109.2108.5109.4109.0
NC State108.6108.0108.2108.3
Boston College105.4105.9106.0105.8
Louisville102.4102.1103.8102.8
Florida St.101.3101.5101.7101.5
Syracuse97.497.597.197.3

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina109.3109.5111.1110.0
Miami (Fla.)110.3109.2110.1109.8
Virginia Tech107.4106.3106.4106.7
Pittsburgh105.5106.3105.7105.8
Virginia104.1105.4104.5104.7
Georgia Tech99.899.999.799.8
Duke90.491.389.590.4

ACC Averages104.8104.9105.1105.0

Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma125.4123.3124.0124.2
Iowa St.121.4119.8121.2120.8
Texas119.6117.9118.8118.8
T C U113.5112.4113.1113.0
Baylor112.0111.4110.7111.4
Oklahoma St.111.3111.1110.5111.0
West Virginia110.6108.8107.8109.0
Kansas St.107.6107.5106.8107.3
Texas Tech101.9102.2101.2101.8
Kansas82.780.377.680.2

Big 12 Averages110.6109.5109.2109.7

Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.125.8125.7127.4126.3
Penn St.115.7116.5118.4116.9
Michigan113.4114.4114.6114.1
Michigan St.109.6109.6109.4109.5
Indiana107.6107.4108.4107.8
Maryland104.1102.7102.0103.0
Rutgers96.798.797.397.6

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Iowa119.1118.8120.6119.5
Nebraska110.0110.4110.7110.4
Wisconsin109.1109.1110.7109.7
Minnesota105.2106.1107.3106.2
Purdue104.9104.5106.6105.3
Northwestern97.297.396.997.1
Illinois93.393.493.893.5

Big Ten Averages108.0108.2108.9108.4

Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Florida Atlantic91.993.292.892.6
Marshall92.091.892.492.0
Western Kentucky87.088.588.387.9
Middle Tennessee86.286.187.286.5
Charlotte82.183.283.983.1
Florida Int’l.77.177.778.377.7
Old Dominion75.976.776.776.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U A B96.997.097.197.0
U T S A96.697.296.896.8
Louisiana Tech89.990.488.989.7
Rice82.382.282.382.3
North Texas81.681.581.181.4
Southern Miss.80.281.180.480.6
U T E P80.381.279.380.3

CUSA Averages85.786.386.186.0

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame112.7113.3114.1113.4
BYU108.0107.4108.3107.9
Liberty106.6107.5108.1107.4
Army100.5100.5100.1100.4
New Mexico St.71.472.169.671.0
UMass72.271.669.371.0
Connecticut70.671.368.470.1

Indep. Averages91.792.091.191.6

Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)99.797.796.998.1
Kent St.94.295.693.794.5
Buffalo94.593.593.493.8
Ohio85.586.686.386.1
Akron77.576.074.876.1
Bowling Green75.275.773.574.8

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ball St.96.997.095.096.3
Central Michigan96.795.495.295.8
Toledo96.395.794.895.6
Eastern Michigan95.093.292.093.4
Western Michigan93.393.792.593.2
Northern Illinois90.088.588.088.8

MAC Averages91.290.789.790.5

Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.105.0104.8105.7105.2
Air Force100.0100.4101.1100.5
Wyoming97.397.798.297.7
Colorado St.92.892.993.493.0
Utah St.90.191.090.190.4
New Mexico81.381.579.980.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
San Diego St.102.3101.8101.9102.0
Nevada100.7102.1101.0101.3
Fresno St.99.5100.9101.6100.6
Hawaii93.993.693.993.8
San Jose St.94.294.192.493.6
U N L V85.784.885.485.3

MWC Averages95.295.595.495.4

Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon111.9112.8113.8112.8
Oregon St.109.8109.8110.1109.9
Washington107.8109.3109.5108.9
Stanford104.5105.4104.7104.9
Washington St.101.2102.2101.5101.6
California96.3100.298.998.4

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Arizona St.114.6115.4115.6115.2
Utah113.0112.9112.8112.9
U S C112.1112.0113.0112.4
U C L A109.4109.8110.0109.7
Colorado100.299.799.299.7
Arizona91.490.990.991.1

Pac-12 Averages106.0106.7106.7106.5

Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia134.5134.6136.1135.0
Florida117.7119.2118.5118.5
Kentucky110.9112.7111.7111.8
Tennessee109.0108.7109.2109.0
Missouri100.9101.3100.3100.8
South Carolina99.799.498.999.3
Vanderbilt81.680.980.380.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama129.2128.3129.9129.1
Ole Miss116.9116.7117.0116.9
Texas A&M116.0116.6116.3116.3
Auburn115.9115.0116.0115.6
Arkansas114.3114.4114.0114.3
L S U108.8109.6109.6109.3
Mississippi St.108.7108.9108.4108.7

SEC Averages111.7111.9111.9111.8

Sunbelt Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina112.7110.9112.8112.2
Appalachian St.104.8104.5106.6105.3
Georgia St.94.093.393.693.6
Troy91.591.991.991.7
Georgia Southern88.488.888.288.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana107.1105.3106.9106.4
South Alabama91.891.690.991.4
Arkansas St.83.784.182.883.5
Texas St.84.482.482.683.1
UL-Monroe75.175.173.274.5

Sun Averages93.392.892.993.0

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.8
2Big 12109.7
3Big Ten108.4
4Pac-12106.5
5Atlantic Coast105.0
6American Athletic97.0
7Mountain West95.4
8Sun Belt93.0
9Independents91.6
10Mid-American90.5
11Conference USA86.0

Bowl Projections

BowlTeamTeam
BahamasFlorida AtlanticNorthern Illinois
CureSMUCoastal Carolina
BocaLouisianaAir Force
New MexicoUTEPWyoming
IndependenceBYUUAB
Lending TreeKent St.San Jose St.
L. A.San Diego St.Arizona St.
New OrleansLouisiana TechLiberty
Myrtle BeachCharlotteAppalachian St.
Famous Idaho PotatoWestern MichiganBoise St.
FriscoUtah St.Washington St.
Armed ForcesArmyWashington
GasparillaWestern Ky.Fresno St.
HawaiiEast CarolinaHawaii
CamelliaBall St.South Alabama
Quick LaneCentral MichiganMarshall
MilitaryVirginiaHouston
BirminghamMTSUEastern Michigan
First ResponderMemphisKansas St.
LibertyTCUArkansas
HolidayNorth Carolina St.Utah
Guaranteed RateIndianaTexas Tech
FenwayCentral FloridaUTSA
PinstripePittsburghRutgers
Cheez-ItBoston CollegeBaylor
AlamoIowa St.UCLA
Duke’s MayoWake ForestMississippi St.
Music CityMinnesotaTennessee
Las VegasWisconsinOregon St.
Tax Slayer GatorVirginia TechAuburn
Tony The Tiger SunNorth CarolinaUSC
ArizonaToledoNevada
CitrusPenn St.Ole Miss
OutbackMichiganFlorida
TexasTexasTexas A&M
PeachClemsonAlabama
FiestaNotre DameMichigan St.
RoseOregonIowa
SugarKentuckyOklahoma St.
CottonOhio St.Cincinnati
OrangeGeorgiaOklahoma
ChampionshipGeorgiaOhio St.

October 3, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football–October 7-9, 2021

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:32 am

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
TulaneHouston-4.6-4.9-4.0
Arkansas St.Coastal Carolina-26.7-23.6-27.4
CincinnatiTemple43.041.043.9
Florida Int’l.Charlotte-0.3-0.7-0.5
Arizona St.Stanford12.612.413.3
North CarolinaFlorida St.17.818.220.2
RutgersMichigan St.-8.0-5.5-6.6
MassachusettsConnecticut0.4-1.4-0.9
SyracuseWake Forest-11.1-10.2-11.9
Central FloridaEast Carolina5.65.06.1
Ohio St.Maryland17.719.021.6
Bowling GreenAkron3.35.75.0
ToledoNorthern Illinois11.312.712.5
Kent St.Buffalo-0.32.2-0.2
DukeGeorgia Tech-6.7-5.9-7.7
Western MichiganBall St.4.55.36.4
LibertyMiddle Tennessee22.823.923.1
LouisvilleVirginia1.60.03.0
Air ForceWyoming5.14.84.9
BYUBoise St.9.89.69.8
MarshallOld Dominion22.621.622.5
Colorado St.San Jose St.-3.0-2.9-0.5
USCUtah7.47.59.2
Washington St.Oregon St.-9.3-8.2-9.6
TennesseeSouth Carolina9.08.79.5
NavySMU-12.2-13.6-13.2
Texas TechTCU-5.8-4.0-5.7
AuburnGeorgia-14.6-15.5-16.1
KentuckyLSU-0.20.8-0.8
BaylorWest Virginia-1.00.20.3
MissouriNorth Texas25.025.725.3
Texas St.South Alabama-6.0-8.2-7.3
UABFlorida Atlantic5.73.84.5
FloridaVanderbilt38.640.840.5
TulsaMemphis5.04.23.4
Louisiana-MonroeGeorgia St.-11.9-11.1-13.5
IllinoisWisconsin-10.3-10.0-11.3
Eastern MichiganMiami (O)-2.8-2.5-3.3
Texas (N)Oklahoma-4.9-4.1-3.7
NebraskaMichigan0.0-0.6-0.5
TroyGeorgia Southern5.35.36.1
Ohio UCentral Michigan-9.3-6.8-7.3
Texas A&MAlabama-14.3-12.8-15.3
Ole MissArkansas6.05.97.0
Southern Miss.UTEP5.86.27.8
Western KentuckyUTSA-7.3-6.2-5.9
IowaPenn St.6.04.44.6
Virginia TechNotre Dame-2.1-4.2-5.1
ArizonaUCLA-14.3-15.2-15.2
San Diego St.New Mexico24.023.325.0
NevadaNew Mexico St.32.433.134.5

28 Teams Off This Week!

Appalachian St.
Army
Boston College
California
Clemson
Colorado
Fresno St.
Hawaii
Indiana
Iowa St.
Kansas
Kansas St.
Louisiana
Louisiana Tech
Miami (Fla.)
Minnesota
Mississippi St.
North Carolina St.
Northwestern
Oklahoma St.
Oregon
Pittsburgh
Purdue
Rice
South Florida
UNLV
Utah St.
Washington

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia134.4
2Alabama131.1
3Oklahoma123.4
4Ohio St.122.8
5Cincinnati121.5
6Iowa St.120.5
7Iowa119.7
8Texas119.1
9Florida118.3
10Penn St.117.7
11Ole Miss117.2
12Clemson117.2
13Auburn116.0
14U S C115.2
15Arizona St.114.9
16North Carolina114.1
17Texas A&M114.0
18Michigan113.9
19Arkansas113.9
20Notre Dame113.4
21Oregon112.5
22L S U112.2
23Coastal Carolina111.8
24West Virginia111.8
25Oregon St.111.8
26T C U111.5
27Oklahoma St.110.7
28Nebraska110.6
29Wake Forest110.2
30Utah110.1
31BYU109.9
32Miami (Fla.)109.5
33U C L A109.5
34Kentucky109.2
35Baylor108.6
36Washington108.6
37Wisconsin108.5
38Michigan St.108.4
39Mississippi St.108.4
40NC State108.0
41Indiana107.5
42Tennessee107.2
43Liberty107.1
44Kansas St.107.0
45Virginia Tech106.6
46Maryland106.4
47Louisiana106.1
48Minnesota105.9
49Pittsburgh105.5
50Boston College105.5
51Stanford105.1
52Purdue105.0
53Appalachian St.105.0
54Virginia104.6
55Texas Tech103.3
56Boise St.103.2
57Louisville103.1
58Houston103.0
59SMU102.6
60Missouri102.5
61San Diego St.102.0
62Nevada101.2
63South Carolina101.1
64Fresno St.100.3
65UCF100.3
66Army100.2
67Air Force100.1
68Georgia Tech99.8
69Washington St.99.8
70Colorado99.4
71Rutgers98.7
72Miami (Ohio)98.5
73Florida St.98.4
74California98.1
75Wyoming98.1
76East Carolina97.7
77Toledo97.1
78U T S A96.9
79Northwestern96.8
80Central Michigan96.3
81Western Michigan96.2
82Syracuse96.1
83Tulane96.0
84San Jose St.96.0
85U A B95.9
86Illinois95.5
87Buffalo95.4
88Tulsa95.2
89Marshall94.6
90Florida Atlantic93.7
91Hawaii93.6
92Memphis93.5
93Kent St.93.4
94Ball St.93.3
95Eastern Michigan93.0
96South Alabama91.9
97Troy91.8
98Arizona91.6
99Georgia St.91.4
100Colorado St.90.9
101Duke90.6
102Utah St.90.2
103Louisiana Tech89.5
104Georgia Southern88.7
105USF88.6
106Western Kentucky87.9
107Northern Illinois87.4
108Navy87.0
109Middle Tennessee86.8
110Ohio85.9
111U N L V85.1
112Arkansas St.83.9
113Southern Miss.83.0
114Texas St.82.7
115Rice82.1
116Charlotte81.9
117Temple81.8
118Vanderbilt81.4
119New Mexico80.9
120North Texas80.2
121Kansas79.9
122Florida Int’l.78.9
123U T E P78.4
124Bowling Green77.3
125UL-Monroe76.7
126Old Dominion74.9
127Akron74.1
128Connecticut71.8
129New Mexico St.70.8
130UMass69.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference

TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati121.0120.5123.0121.5
Houston103.3102.2103.6103.0
SMU102.0102.7103.0102.6
UCF100.299.0101.8100.3
East Carolina97.697.098.697.7
Tulane96.294.897.096.0
Tulsa95.495.394.995.2
Memphis92.993.594.193.5
USF88.988.288.888.6
Navy87.386.687.387.0
Temple81.082.582.081.8

AAC Averages96.996.697.697.0

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson116.5116.6118.4117.2
Wake Forest110.3109.6110.7110.2
NC State108.3107.7107.9108.0
Boston College105.1105.6105.7105.5
Louisville102.7102.4104.3103.1
Florida St.98.498.498.398.4
Syracuse96.396.495.896.1

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina113.2113.6115.5114.1
Miami (Fla.)110.0108.9109.8109.5
Virginia Tech107.5106.2106.2106.6
Pittsburgh105.2106.0105.4105.5
Virginia104.1105.4104.3104.6
Georgia Tech99.899.999.899.8
Duke90.691.589.690.6

ACC Averages104.8104.9105.1104.9

Big 12 Conference

TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma124.7122.4123.0123.4
Iowa St.121.1119.5120.9120.5
Texas119.8118.3119.3119.1
West Virginia113.3111.5110.6111.8
T C U112.1110.8111.5111.5
Oklahoma St.111.0110.8110.2110.7
Baylor109.3108.7107.9108.6
Kansas St.107.3107.2106.5107.0
Texas Tech103.3103.8102.8103.3
Kansas82.480.077.379.9

Big 12 Averages110.4109.3109.0109.6

Big Ten Conference

East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.122.3122.2124.0122.8
Penn St.116.4117.4119.2117.7
Michigan113.2114.2114.4113.9
Michigan St.108.7108.4108.2108.4
Indiana107.3107.1108.1107.5
Maryland107.6106.2105.4106.4
Rutgers97.699.998.598.7

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Iowa119.4118.9120.8119.7
Nebraska110.2110.6110.9110.6
Wisconsin108.0107.9109.5108.5
Minnesota104.9105.8107.0105.9
Purdue104.6104.2106.3105.0
Northwestern96.997.096.696.8
Illinois95.295.495.895.5

Big Ten Averages108.0108.3108.9108.4

Conference USA

East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Marshall94.594.395.194.6
Florida Atlantic92.894.494.093.7
Western Kentucky86.988.588.387.9
Middle Tennessee86.586.487.686.8
Charlotte81.082.082.681.9
Florida Int’l.78.278.979.678.9
Old Dominion74.475.275.074.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U T S A96.797.296.896.9
U A B96.095.895.995.9
Louisiana Tech89.790.288.789.5
Southern Miss.82.483.583.083.0
Rice82.182.082.182.1
North Texas80.580.379.880.2
U T E P78.679.377.278.4

CUSA Averages85.786.386.186.0

Independents

TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame112.6113.4114.3113.4
BYU109.9109.4110.4109.9
Liberty106.3107.2107.7107.1
Army100.3100.399.9100.2
Connecticut72.173.170.271.8
New Mexico St.71.271.969.470.8
UMass71.070.167.869.6

Mid-American Conference

East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)100.098.097.498.5
Buffalo96.095.095.195.4
Kent St.93.294.692.593.4
Ohio85.386.586.085.9
Bowling Green77.578.276.177.3
Akron75.774.072.774.1

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Toledo97.697.296.497.1
Central Michigan97.295.895.896.3
Western Michigan96.196.795.796.2
Ball St.94.194.091.893.3
Eastern Michigan94.792.991.593.0
Northern Illinois88.787.086.487.4

MAC Averages91.390.889.890.7

Mountain West Conference

Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.103.1102.8103.6103.2
Air Force99.7100.0100.6100.1
Wyoming97.698.198.798.1
Colorado St.90.790.791.390.9
Utah St.89.990.889.990.2
New Mexico81.381.579.980.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
San Diego St.102.3101.8101.9102.0
Nevada100.6102.0100.9101.2
Fresno St.99.2100.6101.3100.3
San Jose St.96.696.694.896.0
Hawaii93.793.493.793.6
U N L V85.584.685.285.1

MWC Averages95.095.295.195.1

Pac-12 Conference

North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon111.6112.5113.5112.5
Oregon St.111.6111.6112.1111.8
Washington107.5109.0109.2108.6
Stanford104.7105.7105.0105.1
Washington St.99.4100.499.599.8
California96.099.998.698.1

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U S C114.7114.7116.0115.2
Arizona St.114.4115.1115.3114.9
Utah110.4110.2109.8110.1
U C L A109.2109.6109.7109.5
Colorado99.999.498.999.4
Arizona91.991.491.591.6

Pac-12 Averages105.9106.6106.6106.4

Southeastern Conference

East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia133.9134.0135.5134.4
Florida117.6119.1118.3118.3
Kentucky108.4110.2108.9109.2
Tennessee107.3106.9107.3107.2
Missouri102.5103.0102.1102.5
South Carolina101.4101.2100.8101.1
Vanderbilt82.081.380.881.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama131.1130.2132.1131.1
Ole Miss117.1117.0117.5117.2
Auburn116.3115.4116.4116.0
Texas A&M113.8114.4113.8114.0
Arkansas114.1114.1113.5113.9
L S U111.6112.4112.7112.2
Mississippi St.108.4108.6108.1108.4

SEC Averages111.8112.0112.0111.9

Sun Belt Conference

East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina112.5110.3112.5111.8
Appalachian St.104.5104.2106.3105.0
Troy91.591.992.091.8
Georgia St.91.891.091.491.4
Georgia Southern88.789.188.488.7

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana106.8105.0106.6106.1
South Alabama92.192.191.491.9
Arkansas St.83.984.783.183.9
Texas St.84.181.982.182.7
UL-Monroe77.377.475.476.7

Sun Averages93.392.892.993.0

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.9
2Big 12109.6
3Big Ten108.4
4Pac-12106.4
5Atlantic Coast104.9
6American Athletic97.0
7Mountain West95.1
8Sun Belt93.0
9Independents91.8
10Mid-American90.7
11Conference USA86.0

PiRate Ratings Commence Bowl Projections Today

With one month of play in the books, it is time to begin issuing our Bowl Projections. This is starting to look like a fractured college football season. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac-12 Conference have basically been eliminated from Playoff contention. In the Big 12, Oklahoma looks anything like a Playoff team, and Ohio State’s loss at home to Oregon now looks much worse with Oregon losing to Stanford.

Meanwhile, the SEC has two super teams that should be co-number ones. Alabama and Georgia might finish the regular season as the top two seeds even though one team must lose a game in the SEC Championship Game.

Cincinnati’s road win over Notre Dame is enough for now to put them in the Field of Four, but only if either the Big 12 or Big Ten champions have a loss. The Bearcats still have some tough conference opposition to conquer in SMU and Houston.

The Redbox Bowl has already cancelled their 2021 game, and that leaves spots for 82 teams in the postseason. As of today, we count 85 teams that are on pace of a minimum of six wins. The 6-6 line has a large number of teams.

Here is our first stab at the projections for 2021-22. Unlike recent years, there is a lot more wiggle room for different conferences to appear in multiple bowls.

BowlTeamTeam
BahamasUTSAToledo
CureLibertyMarshall
BocaFlorida AtlanticCoastal Carolina
New MexicoUTEPWyoming
IndependenceBYULouisiana Tech
Lending TreeWestern MichiganTroy
L. A.San Jose St.Arizona St.
New OrleansUABLouisiana
Myrtle BeachAppalachian St.Northern Illinois
Famous Idaho PotatoKent St.Boise St.
FriscoMemphisUtah St.
Armed ForcesArmyWashington
GasparillaEast CarolinaIowa St.
HawaiiHoustonNevada
CamelliaMiami (O)South Alabama
Quick LaneBall St.Western Kentucky
MilitaryVirginia TechCentral Florida
BirminghamMiami (Fla.)Mississippi St.
First ResponderTCUFresno St.
LibertyKansas St.Arkansas
HolidayNorth CarolinaUtah
Guaranteed RateAir ForceBaylor
FenwayBoston CollegeSMU
PinstripePittsburghIndiana
Cheez-ItWake ForestTexas
AlamoOklahoma St.Stanford
Duke’s MayoNorth Carolina St.Auburn
Music CityMinnesotaTennessee
Las VegasWisconsinUSC
Tax Slayer GatorVirginiaLSU
Tony The Tiger SunLouisvilleUCLA
ArizonaCentral MichiganSan Diego St.
CitrusMichiganOle Miss
OutbackMichigan St.Florida
TexasTexas TechTexas A&M
PeachClemsonPenn St.
FiestaOregonNotre Dame
RoseOhio St.Oregon St.
SugarKentuckyOklahoma
CottonIowaAlabama
OrangeGeorgiaCincinnati
ChampionshipGeorgiaAlabama

This Week’s TV Fare

This week presents fewer total games, as we mentioned early that 28 teams have bye weeks. There are a handful of important and exciting games on the schedule, but this may be the week to watch the Major League Baseball Playoffs more than college football.

Saturday, October 9
Time (ET)NetworkHomeVisitor
12:00 PMABCTexas (n)Oklahoma
FoxOhio St.Maryland
ESPNOle MissArkansas
ESPN2TennesseeSouth Carolina
FS1BaylorWest Virginia
CBSSNToledoNorthern Illinois
BTNRutgersMichigan St.
SECFloridaVanderbilt

3:00 PMACCLouisvilleVirginia

3:30 PMCBSAuburnGeorgia
ABCBYUBoise St.
ESPNNorth CarolinaFlorida St.
ESPN2SyracuseWake Forest
FS1Colorado St.San Jose St.
CBSSNNavySMU
BTNIllinoisWisconsin

4:00 PMFoxIowaPenn St.
SECMissouriNorth Texas
Pac-12Washington St.Oregon St.

7:00 PMESPNTexas TechTCU
ESPNUKent St.Buffalo
CBSSNAir ForceWyoming

7:30 PMABCNebraskaMichigan
SECKentuckyLSU
ACCVirginia TechNotre Dame

8:00 PMCBSTexas A&MAlabama
FOXUSCUtah
FS1San Diego St.New Mexico

9:00 PMESPN2TulsaMemphis

10:30 PMESPNArizonaUCLA
CBSSNNevadaNew Mexico St.

September 26, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football–September 30-October 2, 2021

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:08 pm

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
Miami (Fla.)Virginia11.89.011.8
TulsaHouston0.92.50.6
MarylandIowa-0.3-1.2-4.2
Utah St.BYU-18.9-17.5-20.0
Florida St.Syracuse4.64.65.5
North CarolinaDuke22.021.125.5
East CarolinaTulane-1.6-1.2-2.1
ClemsonBoston College15.815.617.8
PurdueMinnesota5.23.75.2
Georgia TechPittsburgh3.22.53.4
North Carolina St.Louisiana Tech23.822.624.9
Georgia St.Appalachian St.-6.2-6.4-8.2
South CarolinaTroy13.512.912.6
Ball St.Army-8.5-8.8-11.2
Penn St.Indiana8.810.010.6
TempleMemphis-12.4-11.5-12.9
Iowa St.Kansas40.040.645.4
MassachusettsToledo-20.6-21.2-22.7
IllinoisCharlotte17.617.016.7
Wake ForestLouisville11.410.910.4
BuffaloWestern Michigan4.63.04.6
RutgersOhio St.-15.3-13.1-15.6
Coastal CarolinaLouisiana-Monroe34.831.936.7
Northern IllinoisEastern Michigan-5.1-5.4-4.5
Boise St.Nevada10.08.310.6
New MexicoAir Force-10.6-10.5-12.7
ColoradoUSC-8.8-9.2-11.1
Notre DameCincinnati-4.1-2.1-4.0
San Jose St.New Mexico St.31.330.731.6
Oregon St.Washington7.56.06.5
CaliforniaWashington St.3.36.86.6
StanfordOregon-4.7-4.8-7.2
Miami (O)Central Michigan5.04.02.9
Kent St.Bowling Green19.320.520.7
AlabamaOle Miss16.515.416.8
NavyCentral Florida-13.4-13.1-15.8
SMUSouth Florida13.715.314.6
Oklahoma St.Baylor3.63.73.7
GeorgiaArkansas18.818.721.1
AkronOhio U-4.5-7.7-8.6
MissouriTennessee6.77.96.7
TCUTexas-4.2-3.8-3.9
KentuckyFlorida-8.6-8.4-9.3
Kansas St.Oklahoma-16.2-13.8-15.8
Florida AtlanticFlorida Int’l.9.610.69.0
VanderbiltConnecticut13.611.714.7
West VirginiaTexas Tech16.413.814.3
LSUAuburn-0.81.50.9
WisconsinMichigan2.61.43.2
Texas A&MMississippi St.12.312.913.0
Georgia SouthernArkansas St.2.11.22.2
UTSAUNLV14.816.615.6
RiceSouthern Miss.1.80.20.9
South AlabamaLouisiana-13.5-11.5-14.5
UABLiberty-3.7-4.9-5.2
Middle TennesseeMarshall-8.1-8.2-7.7
NebraskaNorthwestern7.88.18.8
Michigan St.Western Kentucky25.623.623.7
UTEPOld Dominion6.46.44.0
UCLAArizona St.2.01.92.0
HawaiiFresno St.-2.0-4.4-4.9

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia132.2
2Alabama130.8
3Oklahoma124.5
4Cincinnati120.3
5Iowa St.119.9
6Florida119.3
7Ohio St.119.1
8Texas118.5
9Clemson118.0
10Ole Miss117.6
11Texas A&M116.4
12Penn St.116.2
13Arkansas115.7
14Auburn115.1
15Iowa114.8
16Notre Dame113.9
17U S C113.6
18West Virginia113.6
19Oregon113.3
20North Carolina113.3
21L S U112.6
22Arizona St.112.2
23Oregon St.112.0
24U C L A111.7
25Michigan111.7
26T C U111.6
27Miami (Fla.)111.1
28Wisconsin111.1
29Wake Forest110.6
30BYU110.2
31Coastal Carolina110.0
32Oklahoma St.109.9
33Maryland109.9
34Utah109.8
35NC State109.4
36Indiana109.4
37Baylor109.2
38Michigan St.108.8
39Washington108.3
40Kentucky107.5
41Louisiana107.1
42Mississippi St.106.7
43Missouri106.7
44Purdue106.6
45Nebraska106.6
46Virginia Tech106.3
47Kansas St.106.2
48Boise St.105.8
49Liberty105.3
50Minnesota104.8
51Stanford104.7
52Boston College104.6
53Virginia103.3
54Army102.8
55Louisville102.7
56Georgia Tech102.7
57Appalachian St.102.7
58Pittsburgh102.6
59Tennessee102.6
60UCF102.5
61Texas Tech101.8
62San Diego St.101.7
63South Carolina101.4
64Rutgers101.4
65Northwestern101.3
66SMU101.3
67Colorado100.9
68Fresno St.100.9
69Houston100.5
70California100.4
71Nevada99.1
72Tulane98.9
73Tulsa98.8
74Florida St.98.7
75Wyoming97.9
76Miami (Ohio)97.9
77Washington St.97.8
78San Jose St.97.8
79U A B97.7
80Air Force97.6
81U T S A97.3
82Central Michigan96.9
83Buffalo96.7
84Marshall96.4
85Syracuse96.3
86Illinois95.7
87Toledo95.3
88Western Michigan95.1
89Memphis95.0
90East Carolina94.3
91Eastern Michigan94.2
92Kent St.94.2
93Georgia St.93.7
94Hawaii93.1
95Troy91.4
96Duke91.4
97Arizona91.3
98South Alabama90.9
99Ball St.90.7
100Colorado St.90.7
101Florida Atlantic90.7
102Utah St.89.9
103USF89.7
104Louisiana Tech88.6
105Western Kentucky87.5
106Arkansas St.86.6
107Northern Illinois86.2
108Georgia Southern86.0
109Navy85.4
110Middle Tennessee85.4
111Ohio85.0
112U N L V84.6
113New Mexico83.4
114Southern Miss.83.3
115Texas St.82.5
116Vanderbilt82.4
117Florida Int’l.82.0
118Rice81.8
119Charlotte81.6
120Kansas80.9
121Temple80.7
122North Texas80.0
123UL-Monroe78.5
124U T E P78.0
125Bowling Green76.5
126Akron75.6
127Old Dominion74.9
128UMass71.7
129Connecticut71.1
130New Mexico St.69.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati120.0119.2121.8120.3
UCF102.2101.1104.2102.5
SMU100.7101.5101.6101.3
Houston100.999.5101.0100.5
Tulane99.097.7100.198.9
Tulsa98.899.098.598.8
Memphis94.394.995.795.0
East Carolina94.393.695.094.3
USF90.089.290.089.7
Navy85.885.085.485.4
Temple79.981.480.780.7

AAC Averages96.996.697.697.0

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson117.2117.4119.4118.0
Wake Forest110.7110.0111.2110.6
NC State109.6109.0109.5109.4
Boston College104.4104.8104.7104.6
Louisville102.3102.0103.8102.7
Florida St.98.698.798.898.7
Syracuse96.696.695.896.3

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina112.4112.6114.8113.3
Miami (Fla.)111.6110.3111.6111.1
Virginia Tech107.2105.9105.9106.3
Virginia102.8104.3102.8103.3
Georgia Tech102.6102.7102.8102.7
Pittsburgh102.4103.2102.4102.6
Duke91.492.590.391.4

ACC Averages105.0105.0105.3105.1

Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma125.8123.3124.3124.5
Iowa St.120.4118.7120.4119.9
Texas119.3117.7118.6118.5
West Virginia115.2113.2112.5113.6
T C U112.1110.9111.7111.6
Oklahoma St.110.3110.0109.3109.9
Baylor109.8109.3108.6109.2
Kansas St.106.5106.6105.5106.2
Texas Tech101.7102.4101.2101.8
Kansas83.481.178.180.9

Big 12 Averages110.5109.3109.0109.6

Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.118.6118.6120.1119.1
Penn St.114.9115.9117.6116.2
Michigan111.0112.0112.0111.7
Maryland111.1109.7108.7109.9
Indiana109.1108.9110.0109.4
Michigan St.109.1108.7108.6108.8
Rutgers100.3102.5101.4101.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Iowa114.4113.9116.0114.8
Wisconsin110.5110.4112.2111.1
Purdue106.1105.6108.0106.6
Nebraska106.2106.6106.9106.6
Minnesota103.9104.9105.8104.8
Northwestern101.4101.5101.1101.3
Illinois95.495.796.195.7

Big Ten Averages108.0108.2108.9108.4

Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Marshall96.296.196.996.4
Florida Atlantic89.891.490.890.7
Western Kentucky86.588.287.987.5
Middle Tennessee85.184.986.185.4
Florida Int’l.81.281.982.882.0
Charlotte80.881.782.381.6
Old Dominion74.475.275.274.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U A B97.897.697.797.7
U T S A97.097.797.397.3
Louisiana Tech88.989.487.688.6
Southern Miss.82.683.983.383.3
Rice81.981.681.881.8
North Texas80.380.179.680.0
U T E P78.379.076.778.0

CUSA Averages85.886.386.286.1

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame112.9114.0114.8113.9
BYU110.1109.6110.9110.2
Liberty104.5105.4105.9105.3
Army102.7102.8102.7102.8
UMass73.172.269.971.7
Connecticut71.472.569.371.1
New Mexico St.70.070.768.069.6

Indep. Averages92.192.591.692.1

Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)99.697.496.697.9
Buffalo97.396.396.696.7
Kent St.93.895.493.494.2
Ohio84.285.685.185.0
Bowling Green76.977.475.276.5
Akron77.375.474.175.6

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Central Michigan97.696.496.696.9
Toledo95.895.494.695.3
Western Michigan95.195.794.595.1
Eastern Michigan95.894.192.794.2
Ball St.91.791.589.090.7
Northern Illinois87.685.885.286.2

MAC Averages91.190.589.590.4

Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.105.6105.3106.3105.8
Wyoming97.497.998.597.9
Air Force97.397.598.197.6
Colorado St.90.590.591.190.7
Utah St.89.790.689.489.9
New Mexico83.784.082.483.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
San Diego St.102.0101.5101.6101.7
Fresno St.99.5101.2102.0100.9
Nevada98.6100.098.799.1
San Jose St.98.398.396.797.8
Hawaii93.492.893.093.1
U N L V85.284.184.784.6

MWC Averages95.195.395.295.2

Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon112.2113.2114.5113.3
Oregon St.111.8111.8112.4112.0
Washington107.3108.8108.9108.3
Stanford104.4105.3104.3104.7
California98.0102.2101.0100.4
Washington St.97.798.497.497.8

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U S C113.2113.1114.5113.6
Arizona St.111.8112.4112.5112.2
U C L A111.3111.8112.0111.7
Utah110.1109.9109.5109.8
Colorado101.4101.0100.4100.9
Arizona91.691.191.291.3

Pac-12 Averages105.9106.6106.5106.3

Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia131.7131.7133.3132.2
Florida118.4120.0119.4119.3
Kentucky106.9108.6107.1107.5
Missouri106.5107.2106.3106.7
Tennessee102.8102.2102.6102.6
South Carolina101.7101.5101.2101.4
Vanderbilt83.082.282.082.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama130.9129.8131.7130.8
Ole Miss117.3117.4117.9117.6
Texas A&M116.1116.8116.3116.4
Arkansas115.8115.9115.2115.7
Auburn115.6114.4115.4115.1
L S U111.8112.9113.2112.6
Mississippi St.106.8106.9106.3106.7

SEC Averages111.8112.0112.0111.9

Sunbelt Conference
East DivisionPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina110.8108.3110.8110.0
Appalachian St.102.2101.8104.0102.7
Georgia St.94.193.493.793.7
Troy91.291.691.691.4
Georgia Southern86.186.385.686.0

West DivisionPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana107.7105.8107.8107.1
South Alabama91.291.390.290.9
Arkansas St.86.587.585.986.6
Texas St.83.981.781.982.5
UL-Monroe79.079.477.178.5

Sun Averages93.392.792.992.9

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.9
2Big 12109.6
3Big Ten108.4
4Pac-12106.3
5Atlantic Coast105.1
6American Athletic97.0
7Mountain West95.2
8Sun Belt92.9
9Independents92.1
10Mid-American90.4
11Conference USA86.1

Excellent TV Schedule For A 14-Hour Marathon

After a week with a minimum of outstanding TV games, you will have a feast of great games this coming weekend. It will be possible to sit on your sofa in your man cave from Noon Eastern Time until 2 AM Sunday and be presented with excellent football game choices. This is a weekend where you might want to have multiple monitors at the ready. Here are our starred games on the tube.

All Times Eastern Daylight

Friday Night

Maryland vs. Iowa

The Terrapins haven’t been 5-0 since 2001, when they won the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and lost to Florida in the Orange Bowl. Maryland Stadium should be jam-packed as Coach Mike Locksley leads his charges onto the field to face the presumptive Big Ten West favorites in this battle of unbeaten teams. It’s still early, but a Hawkeye win to make Iowa 5-0 could put them on pace to run the table to the Big Ten Championship Game.

TV Info: 8 PM on FS1

Saturday Games

Georgia vs. Arkansas

Georgia’s quick 35-0 first quarter lead over Vanderbilt was achieved almost effortlessly, and Coach Kirby Smart took his starters out after the first quarter. It was like a walk-through practice for their regulars.

Arkansas played a tough 60-minute game against old Southwest Conference rival Texas A&M, knocking off the Aggies in a mild upset to start the season 4-0 for the first time since 2003. If you’re wondering when the last time Arkansas was 5-0, it was 1998. A week from today, that should still be true, but this should be an interesting game to watch to start the day. Beating Vanderbilt 62-0 this year is almost inevitable. Beating Arkansas by three touchdowns or more would justify moving the Bulldogs to number one in the nation. Of course, we did that this week.

TV Info: 12 Noon on ESPN

Wisconsin vs. Michigan

This is a fact-finding tour game for both teams. Can Wisconsin play a game without making multiple mental mistakes, or is this ingrained in their 2021 DNA? The Badgers could possibly be undefeated today if not for those crucial game-crushing mistakes. Was that Graham or Ethel Mertz throwing those touchdown passes to Notre Dame defenders at Soldier Field?

What are we to make of Michigan’s lack of offensive production against Rutgers? The Wolverines were leading the FBS in rushing yardage before the Scarlet Knights shut it down. The Maize and Blue need to control this game and win convincingly if they are really contenders for the Big Ten East title this year.

TV Info: 12 Noon on Fox

Missouri vs. Tennessee

Call this game a bowl qualifier. The winner has a strong path to bowl eligibility, while the loser will need to pull off at least one if not two upsets to get to 6-6. What makes this a much-watch game is that this is the middle of the SEC, and these teams have just enough talent to pull off an upset down the road against a potential Playoff-contender.

TV Info: 12 Noon on SEC Network

TCU vs. Texas

Some of the shine came off this game when TCU fell to Metroplex rival SMU. However, both teams are still undefeated in the Big 12, and the winner becomes the top contender to Oklahoma, who all of a sudden looks quite vulnerable. This should be your typical Southwestern Shootout with up to 90 total points scored, and if Texas wins handily like they did against Texas Tech, the Sooners better take notice before they head to the State Fair the week after.

TV Info: 12 Noon on ABC

Notre Dame vs. Cincinnati

Clemson has played itself out of the Playoff race with two losses. Ohio State will follow the Tigers if they lose another game. Texas A&M and Iowa State couldn’t live up to their preseason hype. If the Playoff Committee has to choose four teams today, Alabama, Georgia, and Oklahoma would be three of the choices, but choice number four would be wide open between Penn State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and Florida. The winner of this game in South Bend is going to be in great shape to run the table. Notre Dame’s remaining schedule looks soft. Cinti has one tough game at home against SMU and a possible rematch in the AAC Championship Game. We pronounce this one to be the top game of the day. Clear your schedule. This game should be close and may not be decided until the closing minutes.

TV Info: 2:30 PM on NBC

Alabama vs. Ole Miss

For the rest of the nation not reading this feature, this will be their game of the week. The top two Heisman Trophy Award contenders will face off in Tuscaloosa. Tide quarterback Bryce Young is being called the best game manager in college football. You want to know another former Alabama quarterback that was an excellent game manager? Bart Starr merely led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships.

Matt Corral is the exciting, dual threat superstar that has given Alabama all of its defeats in the last decade. Ole Miss could score 40 or more points in this game and still lose by double digits. It should be an interesting game, but the Tide has a bit more talent, and Nick Saban owns part of Lane Kiffin’s subconscious.

TV Info: 3:30 PM on CBS

Kansas St. vs. Oklahoma

Oklahoma doesn’t look anything like a Playoff contender, as they were lucky to survive at home against a fair but not great West Virginia team. Kansas State laid an egg against an Oklahoma State team that has not been the most dominant 4-0 team.

The loser of this game will most likely lose at least one other conference game, and that will eliminate that team from Playoff contention. Kansas State lost to Arkansas State the week before going to Norman last year and handing the Sooners a loss. The Wildcats have the talent to repeat the upset, especially if the OU offense doesn’t get a tune-up this week in practice.

TV Info: 3:30 PM on Fox

Stanford vs. Oregon

The Ducks earned a lot of Playoff Committee bonus points by winning at Ohio State, but their other games have not been totally impressive. The Pac-12 has so much parity that the also-ran teams have better chances to upset the contenders than in any other Power 5 league. Stanford hasn’t defeated a quality team this year, as USC has now proven to be mediocre at best. The Ducks have had difficulty winning in Palo Alto through the years, and a loss here would kill their chances of making the Playoffs, especially with road games against Washington, UCLA, and Utah still to be played.

TV Info: 3:30 PM on ABC

Rutgers vs. Ohio St.

As John McEnroe might say, “you cannot be serious!” Rutgers playing Ohio State is a key TV game? The Buckeyes might be walking into a garden ambush at SHI Stadium in Piscataway. Rutgers had a chance to win in Ann Arbor, and they stopped a btter running game than Ohio State has this year. Can they also stop a top passing game? It should be interesting and worth watching.

TV Info: 3:30 PM on Big Ten Network

Kentucky vs. Florida

Who will play top contender for the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC East? Kentucky has been improving year by year on the defensive side but has been lacking offensively due to problems passing the ball. Coach Mark Stoops brought Liam Coen to Lexington after running the Los Angeles Rams’ offense. The Wildcats still have a top notch defense, but the passing game is struggling a bit.

In the second half of their game against Alabama, Florida looked like the superior team. A lousy first half did the Gators in. Not having Anthony Richardson to play these last two games have played a little toll on the Gator offense. If Richardson is full strength, Florida should be able to top Kentucky in Lexington. Florida must keep winning every week to make the Georgia game essential. The Gators are still very much in the Playoff race.

TV Info: 6 PM on ESPN

Oklahoma St. vs. Baylor

Who would have predicted that these teams would both be 4-0 when they faced off? Both teams have to be considered Big 12 Championship Game contenders, but the Cowboys are probably a legitimate contender, where the Bears must still prove they are for real. A win here adds to the proof given when they beat Iowa State.

TV Info: 7 PM on ESPN2

Clemson vs. Boston College

It’s obvious by now that Clemson’s offense has suffered too many losses from last year’s team, as many defenses have successfully held that tiger. Boston College survived a 56-yard field goal to pick up a rare ACC win over an SEC team. At 4-0, the Eagles are one of two remaining undefeated teams left in the league (Wake Forest). If BC can win this game and look like it was not a fluke, then at least, the league can pretend to still have a playoff contender.

TV Info: 7:30 PM on ACC Network

Oregon State vs. Washington

Oregon State played one bad quarter against Purdue in the season opener, and that’s why the Beavers are not 4-0 and threatening to make the Pac-12 North a two-team race. Washington lost to Montana in week one and then fell to Michigan in week two. The Huskies still might win the North Division title, but they have no chance to make the Playoffs.

The winner of this game will be tied for first at the minimum and in sole possession of first if Stanford beats Oregon. OSU looked like a serious contender in their pasting of USC in the Coliseum. The last time the Beavers had won at the Coliseum was 1960, when Tommy Prothro was coaching the team, and future Heisman Trophy quarterback Terry Baker was leading it. If Tristan Gebbia can stay healthy, Oregon State just might be the team that Oregon has to worry about.

TV Info: 9 PM on Pac-12 Network

UCLA vs. Arizona St.

This is a battle for first place in the Pac-12 South, but neither team is in contention for a Playoff bid. ASU lost to BYU, while the Bruins lost to Fresno State. At 12-1, neither team would get in against a third place SEC school that is 11-1.

The PiRates begin updating the ratings during the second half of the late Pac-12 game, so we always have the audio up on these games while working through the wee hours of the morning. These games are always exciting and keep us alert. You get your money’s worth with Pac-12 games, even if it no longer really is the “conference of champions.”

TV Info: 10:30 PM on FS1

September 12, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football September 12, 2021

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:56 am

Note: We want to thank all our fans that were part of the opening weekend introduction of the PiRate Ratings Pro Football Simulation Tabletop Game. We were overwhelmed by the number of orders you made for the salute to the American Football League.

If you are interested in knowing more about the game, click on the link below.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
LouisianaOhio U23.319.222.3
LouisvilleCentral Florida0.31.1-0.8
IllinoisMarylalnd-14.3-12.2-11.2
Miami (Fla.)Michigan St.10.39.411.3
MichiganNorthern Illinois20.323.524.3
ArmyConnecticut35.734.538.9
MassachusettsEastern Michigan-15.9-14.8-16.5
TempleBoston College-22.4-21.3-22.0
West VirginiaVirginia Tech9.79.18.3
BuffaloCoastal Carolina-8.7-7.0-9.9
PittsburghWestern Michigan15.816.517.5
OklahomaNebraska25.622.524.0
IndianaCincinnati-3.9-3.1-4.3
Texas A&MNew Mexico35.335.936.9
ColoradoMinnesota4.93.31.4
WyomingBall St.3.44.37.7
Kansas St.Nevada8.97.37.4
Notre DamePurdue0.52.30.8
ClemsonGeorgia Tech26.727.129.6
Washington St.USC-12.8-11.7-14.6
FloridaAlabama-13.3-10.1-13.9
Wake ForestFlorida St.8.77.18.4
IowaKent St.26.423.929.4
Louisiana TechSMU-4.5-4.9-7.0
Ohio St.Tulsa23.423.425.6
KansasBaylor-15.1-17.4-19.6
ToledoColorado St.16.516.315.3
DukeNorthwestern-11.6-10.3-12.5
ArkansasGeorgia Southern30.029.229.1
MemphisMississippi St.-13.7-13.3-11.4
WashingtonArkansas St.17.517.820.1
UTSAMiddle Tennessee14.114.912.3
LibertyOld Dominion35.636.337.6
MarshallEast Carolina5.06.04.4
Southern Miss.Troy-10.5-9.1-10.2
Texas TechFlorida Int’l.26.226.223.4
Georgia St.Charlotte14.212.312.0
San Diego St.Utah-6.1-6.7-6.5
GeorgiaSouth Carolina29.029.231.7
Penn St.Auburn-0.91.41.7
Air ForceUtah St.10.39.011.1
North CarolinaVirginia14.812.817.8
LSUCentral Michigan12.514.914.8
North TexasUAB-8.8-8.7-8.9
VanderbiltStanford-14.2-16.1-14.9
TexasRice33.231.332.0
Ole MissTulane14.315.612.6
Boise St.Oklahoma St.-2.7-2.8-0.9
BYUArizona St.2.10.62.1
UNLVIowa St.-32.7-32.2-33.9
UCLAFresno St.18.116.215.8
HawaiiSan Jose St.-3.5-4.3-2.2

This week’s FBS vs. FCS Games

FBSFCSPiRate
KentuckyChattanooga30.2
MissouriSE Missouri29.4
TennesseeTennessee Tech30.7
SyracuseAlbany21.5
RutgersDelaware23.5
Miami (O)Long Island25.5
AkronBryant9.2
Appalachian St.Elon27.7
Oregon St.Idaho21.2
CaliforniaSacramento St.22.3
Bowling GreenMurray St.5.2
Florida AtlanticFordham27.4
HoustonGrambling28.8
South FloridaFlorida A&M15.5
Texas St.Incarnate Word13.5
OregonStony Brook32.4
North Carolina St.Furman27.1
Louisiana-MonroeJackson St.11.6
South AlabamaAlcorn St.23.3
New Mexico St.South Carolina St.1.5
ArizonaNorthern Arizona16.3

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Alabama132.3
2Georgia128.5
3Oklahoma126.4
4Clemson121.7
5Iowa St.120.6
6Ohio St.119.5
7Cincinnati119.2
8Auburn118.2
9Texas A&M117.8
10North Carolina117.7
11Iowa117.6
12Florida116.8
13Penn St.116.0
14U S C115.7
15Wisconsin114.7
16T C U114.4
17Ole Miss114.0
18Texas114.0
19Oregon113.5
20Miami (Fla.)113.4
21U C L A113.0
22West Virginia112.9
23Indiana112.4
24Arkansas112.3
25Arizona St.111.7
26L S U111.4
27Utah110.5
28BYU110.3
29Maryland109.6
30Oklahoma St.109.5
31Coastal Carolina109.1
32Michigan108.6
33Purdue108.6
34Notre Dame108.3
35NC State108.1
36Kentucky108.0
37Mississippi St.108.0
38Louisiana106.9
39Virginia Tech106.9
40Wake Forest106.8
41Liberty106.8
42Oregon St.106.3
43Missouri106.2
44Colorado106.2
45Michigan St.106.1
46Minnesota106.0
47Washington105.6
48Virginia105.6
49Kansas St.105.4
50Nebraska105.3
51Stanford105.1
52Baylor104.9
53Boston College104.8
54Boise St.104.3
55UCF104.0
56Pittsburgh103.3
57Texas Tech102.9
58Tulane102.9
59Appalachian St.102.8
60Northwestern102.5
61Tennessee102.4
62Army102.1
63Louisville101.7
64South Carolina101.5
65Florida St.101.3
66Houston101.2
67San Diego St.101.1
68Nevada100.6
69Rutgers100.4
70San Jose St.100.4
71Central Michigan100.4
72Washington St.99.6
73California99.6
74Fresno St.99.3
75Tulsa98.4
76Toledo98.3
77Miami (Ohio)97.9
78Buffalo97.6
79Wyoming97.4
80SMU97.2
81Air Force97.0
82U T S A96.9
83Georgia Tech96.8
84Marshall96.7
85Troy95.4
86Ball St.95.3
87Syracuse94.9
88East Carolina94.6
89Illinois94.5
90U A B94.2
91Kent St.94.0
92Memphis93.7
93Hawaii93.1
94Florida Atlantic92.5
95Arizona92.2
96Georgia St.91.7
97South Alabama91.4
98Eastern Michigan91.0
99Arkansas St.90.1
100Utah St.89.8
101Western Michigan89.7
102Northern Illinois88.9
103Louisiana Tech88.7
104Duke88.5
105Ohio88.3
106USF88.2
107Texas St.87.8
108Vanderbilt87.0
109Western Kentucky86.2
110Middle Tennessee86.1
111Georgia Southern85.9
112Colorado St.85.3
113Rice84.8
114New Mexico84.8
115U N L V84.7
116Navy84.6
117Kansas84.5
118Southern Miss.83.4
119North Texas82.4
120Charlotte80.9
121Florida Int’l.80.6
122Temple80.4
123U T E P76.6
124UL-Monroe75.6
125Akron75.2
126UMass72.8
127Bowling Green72.4
128Old Dominion72.3
129New Mexico St.69.4
130Connecticut67.7

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati119.0118.0120.6119.2
UCF103.6102.5105.9104.0
Tulane102.7101.4104.5102.9
Houston101.6100.2101.9101.2
Tulsa98.498.698.198.4
SMU96.597.597.697.2
East Carolina94.693.795.494.6
Memphis92.993.594.793.7
USF88.687.788.388.2
Navy85.184.384.584.6
Temple79.681.180.480.4

AAC Averages96.696.297.496.8

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson120.6121.0123.3121.7
NC State108.6107.8108.0108.1
Wake Forest107.2106.0107.3106.8
Boston College104.5104.9104.9104.8
Louisville101.4101.0102.6101.7
Florida St.101.0101.4101.4101.3
Syracuse95.495.294.294.9

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina116.7116.8119.7117.7
Miami (Fla.)113.8112.5114.1113.4
Virginia Tech107.8106.4106.4106.9
Virginia104.9106.9104.9105.6
Pittsburgh102.9103.9103.3103.3
Georgia Tech96.996.996.796.8
Duke88.589.887.388.5

ACC Averages105.0105.0105.3105.1

Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma127.6125.0126.5126.4
Iowa St.121.1119.3121.4120.6
T C U114.9113.6114.6114.4
Texas115.0113.0113.9114.0
West Virginia114.5112.6111.6112.9
Oklahoma St.110.0109.6108.8109.5
Kansas St.105.8105.8104.7105.4
Baylor105.5105.1104.1104.9
Texas Tech102.9103.7102.1102.9
Kansas87.384.781.684.5

Big 12 Averages110.5109.2108.9109.5

Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.118.8119.0120.8119.5
Penn St.114.7115.8117.4116.0
Indiana112.0111.9113.3112.4
Maryland111.0109.3108.3109.6
Michigan107.8108.9109.2108.6
Michigan St.106.5106.1105.8106.1
Rutgers99.4101.6100.2100.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Iowa117.0116.5119.4117.6
Wisconsin114.1114.0116.0114.7
Purdue108.4107.8109.6108.6
Minnesota104.9106.0107.3106.0
Nebraska105.0105.5105.5105.3
Northwestern102.6102.5102.3102.5
Illinois94.294.694.794.5

Big Ten Averages108.3108.6109.3108.7

Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Marshall96.796.796.996.7
Florida Atlantic91.493.392.792.5
Western Kentucky85.287.086.486.2
Middle Tennessee85.785.587.186.1
Charlotte80.181.181.580.9
Florida Int’l.79.780.581.780.6
Old Dominion72.072.672.272.3

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U T S A96.897.496.596.9
U A B94.594.293.994.2
Louisiana Tech89.089.687.688.7
Rice84.884.784.984.8
Southern Miss.82.684.283.483.4
North Texas82.782.482.082.4
U T E P77.077.775.176.6

CUSA Averages85.686.285.985.9

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
BYU110.2109.5111.1110.3
Notre Dame107.4108.6108.9108.3
Liberty105.6106.9107.8106.8
Army102.0102.0102.3102.1
UMass74.273.670.672.8
New Mexico St.69.870.667.869.4
Connecticut68.369.565.467.7

Indep. Averages91.191.590.691.1

Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)99.797.496.697.9
Buffalo98.297.297.497.6
Kent St.93.695.593.094.0
Ohio87.289.188.588.3
Akron77.075.073.675.2
Bowling Green73.073.470.972.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Central Michigan101.199.8100.2100.4
Toledo98.898.497.798.3
Ball St.96.296.193.695.3
Eastern Michigan92.790.989.591.0
Western Michigan90.090.388.889.7
Northern Illinois90.488.587.988.9

MAC Averages91.591.089.890.8

Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.104.3103.8104.8104.3
Wyoming96.797.398.397.4
Air Force96.896.797.497.0
Utah St.89.590.689.389.8
Colorado St.85.385.185.485.3
New Mexico85.085.384.084.8

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
San Diego St.101.5100.9100.9101.1
Nevada99.9101.5100.3100.6
San Jose St.100.9101.099.4100.4
Fresno St.97.699.7100.699.3
Hawaii93.492.793.193.1
U N L V85.584.284.684.7

MWC Averages94.794.994.894.8

Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon112.1113.4115.0113.5
Oregon St.106.2106.1106.5106.3
Washington104.6105.9106.3105.6
Stanford104.8105.9104.6105.1
Washington St.99.5100.399.199.6
California97.2101.5100.199.6

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U S C115.2115.0116.7115.7
U C L A112.7112.9113.3113.0
Arizona St.111.1112.0112.0111.7
Utah110.6110.6110.4110.5
Colorado106.7106.3105.6106.2
Arizona92.892.091.892.2

Pac-12 Averages106.1106.8106.8106.6

Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia127.9127.9129.9128.5
Florida116.0117.9116.6116.8
Kentucky107.4109.2107.5108.0
Missouri106.1106.8105.8106.2
Tennessee102.6101.9102.6102.4
South Carolina101.9101.6101.2101.5
Vanderbilt87.686.886.787.0

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama132.4131.0133.5132.3
Auburn118.6117.4118.7118.2
Texas A&M117.3118.2117.9117.8
Ole Miss113.9114.0114.1114.0
Arkansas112.8112.5111.5112.3
L S U110.5111.7112.0111.4
Mississippi St.108.1108.3107.5108.0

SEC Averages111.7111.8111.8111.8

Sunbelt Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina109.8107.1110.3109.1
Appalachian St.102.2101.9104.4102.8
Troy95.195.495.795.4
Georgia St.92.391.491.591.7
Georgia Southern85.986.485.485.9

TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana107.6105.3107.9106.9
South Alabama91.791.890.791.4
Arkansas St.90.191.189.290.1
Texas St.89.186.987.487.8
UL-Monroe76.276.573.975.6

Sun Averages94.093.493.693.7

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.8
2Big 12109.5
3Big Ten108.7
4Pac-12106.6
5Atlantic Coast105.1
6American Athletic96.8
7Mountain West94.8
8Sun Belt93.7
9Independents91.1
10Mid-American90.8
11Conference USA85.9

Saturday’s TV Games of Interest

All Times Eastern Daylight

12:00 Noon

Indiana vs. Cincinnati: The Bearcats could pick up some much needed schedule strength with a road win against the Hoosiers, although Indiana’s big loss to Iowa may not make a CU win all that influential to the Selection Committee down the road. As of this publication, it has not been decided if this will be the ABC or ESPN game.

Buffalo vs. Coastal Carolina: Why do we call this important? Coastal Carolina has a chance to run the table for a second consecutive regular season, and this figures to possibly be their second toughest game on their schedule. If the Chanticleers win this one on the road, then possible a road game against Appalachian State on October 20 will be all that stands in CCU’s way of going 12-0 and competing for a NY6 Bowl. This game will be on ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Oklahoma vs. Nebraska: We don’t expect an exciting game in this one, but it marks a very important 50th anniversary. On Thanksgiving Day of 1971, the number one Cornhuskers visited Norman to face the number two Sooners in the “Game of the Century.” We believe it was the game of the second half of the century, as the 1946 Army-Notre Dame game at Yankee Stadium was just as big.

On that great day 50 years ago, the lead changed hands three times with Nebraska tailback Jeff Kinney diving into the end zone late in the fourth quarter to give the ‘Huskers the 35-31 win. Oklahoma went on to the Sugar Bowl and destroyed a 9-1 Auburn team that had Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan at quarterback. The final score was 40-22, but it was 40-6 before Coach Chuck Fairbanks emptied his bench.

Nebraska met undefeated Alabama in the Orange Bowl for the national title. The game was a blowout by halftime, as Nebraska cruised to a 38-6 win. Nebraska finished first in the polls, and Oklahoma finished #2. Colorado, which only lost to Nebraska and Oklahoma edged Alabama for #3, while the Tide fell to #4. This was the only time in history that the #1 team beat the #’s 2, 3, and 4 teams in a season.

As for this year’s game, Oklahoma should win by a lopsided score, but maybe Nebraska will play its best game under Coach Scott Frost and make it interesting. Catch this game on Fox.

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: The Hokies look strong enough defensively to compete with all their ACC brethren, while West Virginia is a work in progress under second year coach Neal Brown. The Mountaineers are a different team at Mountaineer Field than they are on the road. This should be a stern test for Justin Fuente’s squad. This one airs on FS1.

3:30 PM

Florida vs. Alabama: Florida might have a bit of a quarterback controversy between starter Emory Jones and exciting backup Anthony Richardson. Jones tossed two interceptions against South Florida’s defense. Richardson ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on just four carries, and he was three for three for 152 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

Alabama has no controversies. The Tide look unstoppable with what should be a rebuilding year. Can they manhandle the Gators in Gainesville? A 20+ – point win looks highly possible. This game is CBS’s first SEC game of the season.

7:30 PM

Penn St. vs. Auburn: This is Bryan Harsin’s first test as Auburn’s head coach. Penn State is not all the way back as a power, but playing them at Happy Valley is quite difficult. Expect a potentially lower scoring game, but it should be highly competitive and worth watching. It’s the ABC prime time game.

10:15 PM

BYU vs. Arizona St.: After dominating Utah Saturday night, this BYU team looks just as tough or even tougher in 2021 than it looked in 2020 with an All-American quarterback now starting for the New York Jets. Meanwhile, Arizona State has quietly started 2-0 with two creampuffs.

The Sun Devils have withstood some major accusations with potential illegal recruiting, so bad, that an insider has claimed that an incredible tell-all book about the transgressions would be a bestseller.

This figures to be ASU’s last chance for multiple seasons to make hay before their sun sets with numerous punishments, that is if the NCAA has any investigators remaining. This game airs on ESPN.

10:45 PM

UCLA vs. Fresno St.: After Saturday’s Oregon win at Ohio State, Fresno State’s close loss to the Ducks on September 4 looked a lot more impressive. The Bulldogs won’t be intimidated by the 2-0 Bruins, coming off a big win over LSU plus a week off.

UCLA didn’t need the week off after beating LSU at the Rose Bowl, but the Bruins won’t be hurt by the bye week. This should be an action-packed and exciting game, and Fresno State could still be there in the fourth quarter with a chance to win. Catch this game on the Pac-12 Network.

Wide Variety In Styles This Year

The up-tempo offenses of the recent decade have some new company with teams going the other way. The hurry-up no huddle teams are still to be found in great numbers. However, some coaches are killing the clock trying to play ball-control and taking all the time off the play clock between plays.

Here’s an exceptional case in point to show the extremes from yesterday. Central Michigan played ball-control yesterday against FCS opponent Robert Morris. They gave RMU just 38 scrimmage plays (30 runs and 8 passes). The total of 119 plays looked like a game from the 1950s. In Madison, WI, Eastern Michigan was also held to 38 plays and 92 total yards against the Badgers in a game that had just 113 total plays. Several additional games were limited to less than 130 scrimmage plays, something that has been a rarity in recent seasons. Troy and Liberty combined for just 114 scrimmage plays.

At the other extreme, Marshall did something rarely done in college football history. They ran 100 plays in their win over UNC Central. They gained 700 yards. Arkansas State just missed 100 with 99 plays; they scored 50 points against Memphis, and they lost! North Texas had 96 plays against SMU and scored just 12 points.

September 7, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football, September 7, 2021

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:20 am

This Week’s Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
Coastal CarolinaKansas25.325.031.4
Boise St.UTEP28.626.830.8
VirginiaIllinois10.311.99.3
ArmyWestern Kentucky23.521.522.8
Ohio St.Oregon14.413.313.6
MassachusettsBoston College-31.1-32.5-36.3
South FloridaFlorida-25.7-29.3-27.2
TennesseePittsburgh5.33.55.3
East CarolinaSouth Carolina-5.7-6.8-4.2
Florida AtlanticGeorgia Southern-0.11.61.7
MinnesotaMiami (O)8.612.815.3
Oklahoma St.Tulsa16.015.615.4
Northern IllinoisWyoming-2.8-5.7-7.4
SyracuseRutgers0.0-2.6-1.7
Virginia TechMiddle Tennessee25.624.823.0
New MexicoNew Mexico St.18.418.120.2
Notre DameToledo13.916.317.7
ConnecticutPurdue-29.1-27.4-33.2
NavyAir Force-5.8-6.5-6.8
Penn St.Ball St.19.120.425.0
AkronTemple6.12.21.4
GeorgiaUAB31.331.433.6
TCUCalifornia24.618.621.4
NebraskaBuffalo6.27.87.1
Iowa St.Iowa8.16.96.0
Colorado (d)Texas A&M-9.7-11.5-12.2
Bowling GreenSouth Alabama-18.6-18.5-20.5
RiceHouston-10.5-8.8-10.3
Miami (Fla.)Appalachian St.16.816.115.2
Florida Int’l.Texas St.-7.9-4.5-3.8
Mississippi St.North Carolina St.1.01.80.6
WisconsinEastern Michigan24.125.929.3
SMUNorth Texas13.915.415.6
TroyLiberty-7.7-8.7-9.4
Arkansas St.Memphis-0.40.4-3.3
ArkansasTexas-5.2-3.3-6.0
KentuckyMissouri3.95.23.9
North CarolinaGeorgia St.24.425.328.4
MichiganWashington2.31.71.5
Colorado St.Vanderbilt1.52.63.4
ArizonaSan Diego St.-1.0-1.0-1.0
BYUUtah-0.8-2.1-0.1
Arizona St.UNLV28.931.531.3
USCStanford20.919.623.3
Oregon St.Hawaii15.215.815.7
(d) CU-A&M gameplayed in Denver

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Alabama132.7
2Georgia125.8
3Oklahoma125.4
4Iowa St.122.1
5Ohio St.121.9
6Clemson121.6
7U S C119.8
8Cincinnati119.2
9Texas A&M118.3
10Auburn117.8
11Florida117.1
12Texas117.0
13Iowa116.6
14North Carolina116.3
15T C U116.0
16Miami (Fla.)114.9
17Penn St.114.9
18Wisconsin114.6
19Ole Miss113.8
20U C L A113.0
21Arizona St.112.1
22Indiana112.1
23Utah111.9
24L S U111.6
25West Virginia111.4
26Oklahoma St.111.3
27Oregon111.1
28Notre Dame109.9
29Arkansas109.2
30NC State109.1
31Coastal Carolina108.9
32BYU108.9
33Maryland108.4
34Louisiana108.1
35Washington108.1
36Kentucky107.8
37Wake Forest107.3
38Mississippi St.107.3
39Virginia Tech107.2
40Michigan106.9
41Minnesota106.6
42Liberty106.5
43Missouri106.5
44Boston College106.4
45Michigan St.106.0
46Oregon St.106.0
47Kansas St.105.8
48Colorado105.7
49Purdue104.6
50Baylor104.1
51Texas Tech104.0
52Army103.8
53Florida St.103.8
54Tennessee103.7
55Virginia103.7
56Boise St.103.5
57UCF103.5
58Nebraska103.5
59Northwestern102.8
60Tulane102.2
61South Carolina102.0
62Pittsburgh102.0
63Appalachian St.101.9
64Louisville101.6
65Stanford101.5
66San Jose St.100.4
67Nevada100.1
68Central Michigan99.7
69Rutgers99.6
70Washington St.99.6
71Buffalo99.5
72San Diego St.98.9
73Houston98.6
74Fresno St.98.1
75California97.4
76Miami (Ohio)97.4
77Wyoming97.3
78Tulsa97.1
79Toledo97.0
80Marshall96.7
81U A B96.7
82Georgia Tech96.6
83SMU96.5
84Ball St.96.4
85Illinois96.2
86U T S A95.9
87Air Force95.7
88Syracuse95.7
89Troy95.4
90Arizona94.9
91East Carolina94.4
92Memphis93.5
93Hawaii93.4
94Georgia St.93.2
95South Alabama92.8
96Kent St.91.5
97Eastern Michigan91.2
98Ohio90.8
99Arkansas St.90.4
100Georgia Southern90.2
101Northern Illinois89.0
102Western Michigan89.0
103Louisiana Tech89.0
104Utah St.89.0
105Florida Atlantic88.8
106Duke88.3
107Texas St.88.2
108Rice87.7
109USF87.7
110Vanderbilt86.6
111Navy86.3
112Colorado St.86.2
113Middle Tennessee85.7
114New Mexico85.5
115Kansas84.7
116U N L V84.6
117Western Kentucky84.2
118North Texas83.0
119Southern Miss.82.8
120Charlotte80.7
121Florida Int’l.80.3
122Akron78.5
123U T E P77.8
124Temple77.3
125UL-Monroe75.6
126Connecticut72.7
127Old Dominion71.8
128UMass71.6
129Bowling Green71.1
130New Mexico St.68.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati119.0118.0120.6119.2
UCF103.1102.0105.4103.5
Tulane102.0100.7103.8102.2
Houston99.197.599.298.6
Tulsa97.297.396.797.1
SMU95.896.996.996.5
East Carolina94.593.495.394.4
Memphis92.793.194.693.5
USF88.387.087.787.7
Navy86.886.086.386.3
Temple76.478.177.477.3

AAC Averages95.995.596.796.0


Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson120.5120.9123.2121.6
NC State109.5108.8109.1109.1
Wake Forest107.7106.5107.8107.3
Boston College105.9106.5106.9106.4
Florida St.103.5103.9103.9103.8
Louisville101.3100.9102.5101.6
Syracuse96.295.995.195.7

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina115.2115.3118.3116.3
Miami (Fla.)115.2114.0115.6114.9
Virginia Tech108.1106.8106.8107.2
Virginia103.1105.1102.8103.7
Pittsburgh101.6102.7101.8102.0
Georgia Tech96.796.796.596.6
Duke88.389.687.188.3

ACC Averages105.2105.3105.5105.3


Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma126.6124.0125.5125.4
Iowa St.122.6120.8122.9122.1
Texas118.0115.9117.2117.0
T C U116.6115.1116.3116.0
West Virginia113.0111.1110.1111.4
Oklahoma St.111.7111.4110.7111.3
Kansas St.106.2106.2105.1105.8
Baylor104.7104.3103.3104.1
Texas Tech104.0104.8103.2104.0
Kansas87.484.981.884.7

Big 12 Averages111.1109.8109.6110.2


Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.121.1121.3123.2121.9
Penn St.113.5114.6116.5114.9
Indiana111.7111.6113.0112.1
Maryland109.8108.1107.1108.4
Michigan106.2107.1107.3106.9
Michigan St.106.4106.0105.7106.0
Rutgers98.6100.999.399.6

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Iowa116.0115.5118.4116.6
Wisconsin113.9113.9115.9114.6
Minnesota105.1106.6108.1106.6
Purdue104.4103.8105.6104.6
Nebraska103.2103.7103.5103.5
Northwestern102.9102.8102.6102.8
Illinois95.896.296.696.2

Big Ten Averages107.8108.0108.8108.2


Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Marshall96.796.796.996.7
Florida Atlantic87.789.789.088.8
Middle Tennessee85.485.186.785.7
Western Kentucky83.285.184.384.2
Charlotte79.980.981.380.7
Florida Int’l.79.280.281.480.3
Old Dominion71.572.171.771.8

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U A B96.996.796.496.7
U T S A95.896.495.595.9
Louisiana Tech89.389.987.989.0
Rice87.687.787.987.7
North Texas83.483.082.783.0
Southern Miss.82.083.682.882.8
U T E P78.079.076.277.8

CUSA Averages85.586.185.885.8


FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame108.7110.3110.8109.9
BYU109.0108.0109.7108.9
Liberty105.3106.6107.5106.5
Army103.7103.6104.1103.8
Connecticut73.374.570.472.7
UMass73.372.569.171.6
New Mexico St.69.269.966.868.6

Indep. Averages91.892.291.291.7


Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Buffalo100.099.099.499.5
Miami (Ohio)99.596.895.897.4
Kent St.91.193.090.591.5
Ohio89.791.691.090.8
Akron80.578.376.978.5
Bowling Green71.872.169.371.1

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Central Michigan100.499.199.599.7
Toledo97.897.096.197.0
Ball St.97.497.394.596.4
Eastern Michigan92.991.089.691.2
Northern Illinois90.688.687.989.0
Western Michigan89.389.688.189.0

MAC Averages91.791.189.990.9


Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.103.6102.8104.0103.5
Wyoming96.597.298.397.3
Air Force95.695.596.195.7
Utah St.88.789.888.589.0
Colorado St.86.086.086.586.2
New Mexico85.686.085.085.5

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
San Jose St.100.9101.099.4100.4
Nevada99.4101.099.8100.1
San Diego St.99.498.798.698.9
Fresno St.96.498.599.498.1
Hawaii93.793.093.493.4
U N L V85.584.084.384.6

MWC Averages94.394.594.494.4


Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon109.8111.1112.6111.1
Washington106.9108.4108.9108.1
Oregon St.105.9105.8106.2106.0
Stanford101.3102.4100.8101.5
Washington St.99.5100.399.199.6
California95.099.597.997.4

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U S C119.2119.0121.0119.8
U C L A112.7112.9113.3113.0
Arizona St.111.4112.5112.6112.1
Utah111.8112.1111.8111.9
Colorado106.4105.8104.9105.7
Arizona95.494.794.694.9

Pac-12 Averages106.3107.0107.0106.8


Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia125.2125.1127.1125.8
Florida116.0118.3116.9117.1
Kentucky107.2109.1107.1107.8
Missouri106.3106.9106.2106.5
Tennessee103.9103.1104.1103.7
South Carolina102.3102.2101.6102.0
Vanderbilt87.486.486.186.6

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama132.8131.4133.9132.7
Texas A&M117.6118.7118.6118.3
Auburn118.2117.0118.3117.8
Ole Miss113.7113.8113.9113.8
L S U110.7111.9112.2111.6
Arkansas109.8109.6108.2109.2
Mississippi St.107.5107.6106.7107.3

SEC Averages111.3111.5111.5111.5


Sunbelt Conference
East DivisionPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina109.7106.9110.1108.9
Appalachian St.101.3100.9103.4101.9
Troy95.195.495.795.4
Georgia St.93.892.992.993.2
Georgia Southern90.390.789.890.2

West DivisionPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana108.8106.5109.1108.1
South Alabama92.993.192.392.8
Arkansas St.90.391.589.390.4
Texas St.89.687.287.788.2
UL-Monroe76.276.573.975.6

Sun Averages94.894.294.494.5

Rating of Conferences

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.5
2Big 12110.2
3Big Ten108.2
4Pac-12106.8
5Atlantic Coast105.3
6American Athletic96.0
7Sun Belt94.5
8Mountain West94.4
9Independents91.7
10Mid-American90.9
11Conference USA85.8

What To Make Of Week 1

Alabama Football 2021 = UCLA Basketball 1967-1973

College basketball between 1967 and 1973 was all about one team against the rest. UCLA so dominated basketball in those years that their games were seldom entertaining to non-Bruins fans. They won games by scores such as 115-65, 114-56, and 82-43. They beat other top 10 teams by scores like 79-53, 73-57, and 96-77. In the rare occasion that they played the #1 team, when they were not ranked #1, they merely won 101-69 after leading by 44 points before putting in the scrubs.

Alabama football has reached that same point. Games are no longer entertaining unless you are a Crimson Tide fan. Coach Nick Saban has reached the same level as John Wooden. Last year, Alabama played a 10-game all SEC schedule plus two playoff games. Six of the 13 opponents were ranked, and ‘Bama won these six gamed by an average of three touchdowns per game. The Tide suffered heavy losses to the NFL Draft, including the Heisman Trophy winner and a 1st round picked quarterback. For any other program, 2021 would be a large rebuilding season. For Alabama, they simply plug in the next 1st round draft pick at QB, who after one career start is now the front-runner for this year’s Heisman Trophy. It’s just like Sidney Wicks replacing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the best player in the nation in 1969-70, and Bill Walton replacing Wicks in 1971-72.

Revenge Of The FCS

Six FCS teams beat FBS teams in Week One of the college football season. While South Dakota State beating Colorado State may not have been all that surprising, since SDSU is the Alabama of FCS, but when Washington lost at home to Montana, that shook the Power 5 Pac-12 to its foundation.

There are two reasons why these FCS teams were more competitive than normal. First, these FCS teams played football in the Spring. Most of these teams looked like they were in mid-season form, playing more like a Power 5 team in a postseason bowl. Also, with the free extra year given to all players by the NCAA, age tends to lead to parity. An outstanding 5-star 18-year old is light years better than a 3-star 18-year old. A 23-year old college football player most likely is a 3-star holdover, and he is little better than a 23-year old 2-star player at an FCS school.

An excellent case in point is the East Tennessee State slaughter over Vanderbilt. Everything possible was in place to forecast this 20-point blowout win over the SEC host. The Buccaneers played in the Spring and enjoyed an incredible year on the defensive side of the ball. Most of their two-deep returned. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt brought in a new coaching staff after the Commodores went 0-9 and had to use a female soccer player as their placekicker in their final two games. Numerous players left the team via the Transfer Portal, and the incoming coach made it known that he preferred not to sign players from that portal. The Commodores are a very youthful team lacking any real star players, while ETSU had one player in his late 20’s playing Saturday night. Thus, not only was the game an upset that finished 41 points different from the spread, it was obvious that ETSU dominated the Commodores. In some respect, men beat boys.

With all FBS teams now having a game under their belts, expect some of this FCS advantage to disappear each week until it is gone.

Must Watch Games This Week

12 Noon Eastern

Oregon visits the giant horseshoe to face Ohio State on Fox. The Ducks underperformed in a win over Fresno State, but it was obvious that they didn’t show the nation all their weapons. The Pac-12 suffered numerous black eyes, with the rest of the North Division losing their first games.

3:30 PM Eastern

Saturday is the 20th anniversary of the tragic bombings in New York and Washington, D.C. It is no coincidence that Air Force and Navy will play on CBS rather than their regular SEC game.

On ABC, Iowa visits Iowa State for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. The Cyclones were not impressive in their opener against Northern Iowa, but last year, Iowa State lost to Louisiana-Lafayette by 17 in their first game and then beat Oklahoma two weeks later. Iowa looked like the class of the Big Ten West when they trounced Indiana.

7:00 PM Eastern

Perhaps the game of the day comes from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the Razorbacks will host long-time arch-rival Texas in a game that will soon become a regular affair once Texas joins the SEC (maybe in 2022). Neither team is the dominant top 10 team like they were many times in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but this should be an incredibly, hard-fought game between two 1-0 teams. Catch this game on ESPN.

Mississippi State hosts North Carolina State, and the ACC is suffering more than the Pac-12 after one week. The Wolfpack were one of two bright spots for the ACC, while the Bulldogs had to win on the final play over Louisiana Tech. This should be a close game, and the teams will fight tooth and nail to get to 2-0. This one is on ESPN2.

7:30 PM Eastern

Missouri visits Kentucky in a battle to determine which SEC East team will become the potential top challenger to Georgia, assuming Florida does not retain this position. Missouri had a pedestrian performance in a win over Central Michigan in week one. On the other hand, Kentucky unveiled a new offense led by former Rams’ assistant Laim Coen. Coen’s offense made Penn State transfer Will Levis look like Jared Goff of 2018. Can the Cats put up flashy numbers against an SEC opponent? Tune into this one on The SEC Network.

10:15 PM Eastern

The late games this week could be duds except for the Utah at BYU game in Provo. Aside from it being a rivalry game, both schools looked strong in week one wins. Catch this rivalry game on ESPN.

August 29, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football For September 1-6, 2021

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:26 am

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
RutgersTemple15.615.914.6
Central FloridaBoise St.2.11.43.9
Appalachian St. (n)East Carolina5.25.76.2
North Carolina St.South Florida18.519.118.3
TennesseeBowling Green35.033.538.3
MinnesotaOhio St.-13.5-12.2-12.6
Virginia TechNorth Carolina-5.5-7.2-10.8
Wake ForestOld Dominion38.636.638.9
CharlotteDuke-9.9-10.5-7.3
NorthwesternMichigan St.4.34.85.3
MichiganWestern Michigan15.015.517.2
Georgia St.Army-0.1-0.6-0.9
Kansas St. (n)Stanford2.61.11.5
KentuckyLouisiana-Monroe33.335.335.9
TulaneOklahoma-28.5-27.2-25.6
WisconsinPenn St.6.55.45.7
ArkansasRice26.125.824.2
OregonFresno St.16.816.217.2
MarylandWest Virginia-3.5-3.5-3.8
IowaIndiana0.4-0.41.1
CincinnatiMiami (O)16.418.121.9
NavyMarshall-0.1-0.9-0.8
Miami (Fla.) (n)Alabama-13.3-12.7-13.7
PittsburghMassachusetts28.029.832.6
MissouriCentral Michigan8.810.89.7
Mississippi St.Louisiana Tech25.825.527.0
TexasLouisiana9.99.98.2
USCSan Jose St.18.017.322.0
PurdueOregon St.1.40.71.8
HoustonTexas Tech1.1-1.32.8
Texas St.Baylor-13.4-16.1-14.6
Ohio USyracuse0.63.33.9
AuburnAkron37.638.641.5
IllinoisUTSA7.17.28.8
FloridaFlorida Atlantic32.432.732.3
Georgia TechNorthern Illinois11.714.315.2
Clemson (n)Georgia-2.3-1.4-0.8
South AlabamaSouthern Miss.10.88.88.6
Texas A&MKent St.28.727.430.7
UCLALSU4.93.53.4
ArizonaBYU-11.0-10.7-13.3
CaliforniaNevada0.33.83.5
San Diego St.New Mexico St.33.131.735.4
Washington St.Utah St.18.718.618.9
Florida St.Notre Dame-2.4-4.1-4.7
Ole Miss (n)Louisville11.611.910.0

Note:. Oklahoma vs. Tulane has been moved to Norman, OK.

Home

Oklahoma
Visitor

Tulane
PiRate

33.5
Mean

32.2
Bias

30.6

FBS vs. FCS Games

FBSFCSPiRate
UAB (n)Jacksonville St.18.3
UtahWeber St.30.6
UNLVEastern Washington6.7
New MexicoHouston Baptist20.0
Florida Int’l.Long Island22.4
Ball St.Western Illinois26.7
BuffaloWagner37.7
Coastal CarolinaThe Citadel30.6
TulsaUC-Davis26.3
Western KentuckyUT-Martin17.7
Arizona St.Southern Utah37.7
Eastern MichiganSt. Francis (PA)29.3
KansasSouth Dakota14.6
ColoradoNorthern Colorado31.0
Colorado St.South Dakota St.7.6
WyomingMontana St.21.4
HawaiiPortland St.21.8
Air ForceLafayette35.0
Boston CollegeColgate37.6
ConnecticutHoly Cross7.3
NebraskaFordham25.5
Iowa St.Northern Iowa36.7
LibertyCampbell26.7
Georgia SouthernGardner-Webb28.8
South CarolinaEastern Illinois30.4
Middle TennesseeMonmouth8.6
Oklahoma St.Missouri St.35.0
MemphisNicholls21.6
SMUAbilene Christian28.5
ToledoNorfolk St.33.4
Arkansas St.Central Arkansas15.6
TroySouthern25.7
North TexasNorthwestern St.11.1
VirginiaWilliam & Mary31.9
VanderbiltEast Tennessee St.20.3
TCUDuquesne43.9
WashingtonMontana28.8
UTEPBethune-Cookman11.7

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Alabama130.2
2Oklahoma128.1
3Georgia125.2
4Iowa St.124.8
5Clemson122.2
6Ohio St.121.9
7U S C119.4
8Florida118.2
9Texas A&M118.1
10North Carolina117.7
11Miami (Fla.)116.9
12Cincinnati116.5
13Auburn116.1
14T C U116.0
15Wisconsin115.9
16Texas115.6
17Indiana115.5
18Ole Miss113.3
19Arizona St.113.1
20Oklahoma St.113.1
21Penn St.113.1
22Iowa112.8
23Oregon112.5
24West Virginia112.3
25L S U112.1
26Washington112.1
27U C L A112.0
28Utah111.9
29Notre Dame110.2
30Mississippi St.110.1
31Arkansas109.5
32BYU109.2
33Louisiana109.2
34Coastal Carolina108.4
35Wake Forest107.7
36Kentucky107.4
37Maryland107.2
38Oregon St.106.9
39Missouri106.4
40Minnesota106.1
41NC State106.1
42Northwestern105.8
43Colorado105.7
44Liberty105.5
45Virginia Tech105.3
46Boston College105.2
47Michigan104.9
48Baylor104.5
49Kansas St.104.4
50Tennessee104.0
51Boise St.103.9
52Purdue103.7
53Florida St.103.5
54Michigan St.103.0
55Stanford103.0
56UCF102.8
57Virginia102.7
58Washington St.102.5
59Louisville102.1
60Nebraska102.0
61Texas Tech101.9
62Appalachian St.101.0
63South Carolina100.8
64San Jose St.100.8
65Houston100.7
66Pittsburgh100.2
67San Diego St.100.2
68Tulsa100.1
69Army100.0
70Miami (Ohio)99.7
71Central Michigan99.7
72Tulane99.0
73Nevada98.8
74Wyoming98.5
75California98.4
76Georgia Tech98.2
77Buffalo98.0
78Illinois97.6
79Ball St.97.4
80Fresno St.96.7
81Toledo96.7
82Air Force96.5
83Georgia St.96.5
84East Carolina95.3
85U A B95.2
86SMU95.0
87Rutgers95.0
88Arizona94.6
89U T S A93.9
90Hawaii93.6
91Ohio93.5
92Marshall93.4
93Troy93.4
94Memphis93.2
95Syracuse92.9
96Kent St.91.7
97Georgia Southern91.6
98Eastern Michigan91.4
99South Alabama91.2
100Western Michigan91.0
101USF90.4
102Navy90.3
103Vanderbilt90.1
104Arkansas St.89.9
105Duke89.8
106Colorado St.89.0
107Texas St.87.8
108Florida Atlantic87.7
109Northern Illinois87.5
110Rice87.1
111Louisiana Tech86.5
112Utah St.85.8
113New Mexico85.7
114Kansas85.4
115U N L V84.9
116Southern Miss.84.4
117Middle Tennessee83.7
118Western Kentucky82.7
119North Texas81.7
120Temple81.6
121Akron79.8
122Charlotte79.5
123Florida Int’l.79.0
124U T E P77.9
125UL-Monroe75.6
126Connecticut74.3
127UMass73.1
128Old Dominion71.4
129Bowling Green70.8
130New Mexico St.67.8

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati116.3115.3118.0116.5
UCF102.5101.2104.8102.8
Houston101.199.5101.6100.7
Tulsa100.2100.399.7100.1
Tulane98.897.5100.699.0
East Carolina95.394.396.295.3
SMU94.395.495.495.0
Memphis92.492.894.393.2
USF91.089.790.690.4
Navy90.890.090.390.3
Temple80.682.481.981.6

AAC Averages96.796.297.696.8

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson120.9121.5124.0122.2
Wake Forest108.0106.7108.3107.7
NC State106.5105.8105.9106.1
Boston College104.7105.3105.7105.2
Florida St.103.4103.6103.5103.5
Louisville101.7101.4103.2102.1
Syracuse93.793.192.192.9

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina116.4116.7119.9117.7
Miami (Fla.)117.1116.1117.7116.9
Virginia Tech106.4104.9104.7105.3
Virginia102.1104.1101.8102.7
Pittsburgh99.8100.9100.1100.2
Georgia Tech98.098.398.398.2
Duke89.791.288.589.8

ACC Averages104.9105.0105.3105.0

Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma129.3126.7128.2128.1
Iowa St.125.3123.5125.6124.8
T C U116.6115.1116.3116.0
Texas116.7114.5115.6115.6
Oklahoma St.113.5113.2112.5113.1
West Virginia113.8112.0111.1112.3
Baylor104.9104.8103.8104.5
Kansas St.104.9104.7103.5104.4
Texas Tech102.0102.8100.8101.9
Kansas88.185.682.585.4

Big 12 Averages111.5110.3110.0110.6

Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.121.1121.3123.2121.9
Indiana114.9115.0116.4115.5
Penn St.111.7112.8114.6113.1
Maryland108.7106.9105.8107.2
Michigan104.3105.1105.3104.9
Michigan St.103.5103.0102.5103.0
Rutgers94.196.394.595.0

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Wisconsin115.2115.2117.3115.9
Iowa112.3111.6114.5112.8
Minnesota104.6106.1107.6106.1
Northwestern105.8105.8105.8105.8
Purdue103.6102.9104.5103.7
Nebraska101.7102.2102.0102.0
Illinois97.197.698.297.6

Big Ten Averages107.0107.3108.0107.5

Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Marshall93.493.493.693.4
Florida Atlantic86.788.687.887.7
Middle Tennessee83.483.184.783.7
Western Kentucky81.783.682.882.7
Charlotte78.879.680.279.5
Florida Int’l.77.978.980.179.0
Old Dominion71.271.971.271.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U A B95.495.294.995.2
U T S A94.094.593.493.9
Rice87.087.187.387.1
Louisiana Tech86.987.485.286.5
Southern Miss.83.385.284.584.4
North Texas82.181.781.481.7
U T E P78.179.176.377.9

CUSA Averages84.384.984.584.6

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame108.8110.6111.2110.2
BYU109.2108.2110.3109.2
Liberty104.3105.6106.5105.5
Army100.099.8100.2100.0
Connecticut74.976.172.074.3
UMass74.874.070.573.1
New Mexico St.68.569.265.767.8

Indep. Averages91.591.990.991.5

Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)101.999.298.199.7
Buffalo98.597.597.998.0
Ohio92.294.494.093.5
Kent St.91.393.490.591.7
Akron81.879.678.179.8
Bowling Green71.672.168.870.8

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Central Michigan100.599.199.599.7
Ball St.98.498.395.597.4
Toledo97.596.795.896.7
Eastern Michigan93.191.289.891.4
Western Michigan91.291.690.191.0
Northern Illinois89.387.086.187.5

MAC Averages92.391.790.491.4

Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.103.9103.3104.3103.9
Wyoming97.798.499.598.5
Air Force96.496.396.996.5
Colorado St.88.888.889.389.0
Utah St.85.686.685.285.8
New Mexico85.886.285.285.7

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
San Jose St.101.3101.699.5100.8
San Diego St.100.699.9100.2100.2
Nevada98.499.798.498.8
Fresno St.95.297.297.996.7
Hawaii93.993.293.693.6
U N L V85.884.384.684.9

MWC Averages94.494.694.594.5

Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon111.0112.4114.1112.5
Washington110.9112.4112.9112.1
Oregon St.106.7106.7107.3106.9
Stanford102.6103.9102.4103.0
Washington St.102.3103.2102.1102.5
California95.7100.599.098.4

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U S C118.8118.4120.9119.4
Arizona St.112.4113.5113.6113.1
U C L A111.9111.9112.2112.0
Utah111.8112.1111.8111.9
Colorado106.4105.8104.9105.7
Arizona95.294.594.094.6

Pac-12 Averages107.1107.9107.9107.7

Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia124.8124.5126.3125.2
Florida117.0119.4118.1118.2
Kentucky106.7108.8106.8107.4
Missouri106.2106.9106.2106.4
Tennessee104.1103.1104.6104.0
South Carolina101.1101.0100.4100.8
Vanderbilt90.989.989.690.1

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama130.4128.8131.3130.2
Texas A&M117.4118.3118.6118.1
Auburn116.4115.2116.6116.1
Ole Miss113.3113.3113.2113.3
L S U111.0112.4112.8112.1
Mississippi St.110.2110.4109.7110.1
Arkansas110.1109.9108.5109.5

SEC Averages111.4111.6111.6111.5

Sunbelt Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina109.2106.4109.6108.4
Appalachian St.100.5100.0102.5101.0
Georgia St.97.096.296.396.5
Troy93.193.493.793.4
Georgia Southern91.792.191.291.6

TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana109.8107.6110.4109.2
South Alabama91.691.590.691.2
Arkansas St.89.891.088.889.9
Texas St.89.486.787.287.8
UL-Monroe76.476.573.975.6

Sun Averages94.894.194.494.5

Rating of Conferences

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern111.5
2Big 12110.6
3Pac-12107.7
4Big Ten107.5
5Atlantic Coast105.0
6American Athletic96.8
7Mountain West94.5
8Sun Belt94.5
9Independents91.5
10Mid-American91.4
11Conference USA84.6

August 22, 2021

Southeastern Conference Preview

On July 21, 2021, the future of college football was forever changed.  In a year where the Name, Image, and Likeness ruling in favor of the players allowed college athletes to enter the highest tax bracket and changed the definition of, or ended, amateurism; in a year, where every player was allowed to return to his team with the same amount of remaining eligibility as last year; in a year where the Transfer Portal created college football free agency; and in a year where the NCAA basically threw up its hands and told the conferences that they were free to determine the future of football, what happened on July 21 was the equivalent of the firing on Fort Sumter.

On that date, news leaked out from a Houston sports reporter that Oklahoma and Texas were going to leave the Big 12 Conference and join the Southeastern Conference.  

Immediately, the remaining Big 12 teams had to declare states of emergency.  The two teams leaving the conference accounted for most of the revenue generation in the league.  A league of eight teams with Oklahoma State and Iowa State as the two top programs would not command the media contract, and the league teams would be choked out in revenue sharing.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey then stated that increasing the number of teams in the Playoffs from four to 12 did not need to be put on a fast-track.  Other media officials began to speculate that Sankey might not be finished with realignment at 16.  Rumors surfaced that Florida State, Clemson, Michigan, and Ohio State might be next.  Once thought of as a totally ridiculous type of rumor, it no longer seemed far-fetched to believe it could occur.

Sankey started the Civil Football War, and the teams not included in the exclusive SEC Country Club chose to combine forces.  The ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 commissioners realized that their futures were in serious doubt, and something needed to be done to counter the moves of the SEC.  And, voila, it appears that the three leagues are on the cusp of forming an alliance, where the three leagues will play all of their non-conference games against each other.  The other idea is that they will agree not to play any SEC teams.  The War is on.

The problem with this potential war is this:  if you added Oklahoma to the SEC this year, four of the top six teams would be SEC teams.  Having the other leagues not play any of these teams might mean that the SEC could hold a four-team tournament of its own and have a much better playoff than if the rest of the nation was involved.

We’ll have to wait at least a year until the Sooners and Longhorns make the move, but suffice it to say–the SEC begins the season for the 15th consecutive season as the strongest conference in college football.  Penn State football coach James Franklin summed it up best when he was the head coach at Vanderbilt a decade ago:  “The three strongest conferences in football are the NFC, the AFC, and the SEC.”

After the news broke in Hoover, AL, about the potential realignment, the media eventually voted in their preseason poll.  Mind you, that this league allows local fan sites from the schools to vote in these polls, and you will see some ridiculous outliers in the votes.  I have been a poll voter in the past, but since becoming a voting member of the National Football Foundation, I only vote on NFF issues.


SEC Media Preseason Poll
Eastern Division1st PlOverall
Georgia124923
Florida7784
Kentucky2624
Missouri555
Tennessee362
South Carolina1355
Vanderbilt149

Western Division1st PlOverall
Alabama130932
Texas A&M1760
LSU1633
Ole Miss1529
Auburn440
Arkansas1241
Mississippi St.217

Championship Game Winner
Alabama84
Georgia45
Ole Miss1
Texas A&M1
Florida1
Kentucky1
South Carolina1

The PiRate Ratings show little difference from the media poll.


Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia124.8124.5126.3125.2
Florida117.0119.4118.1118.2
Kentucky106.7108.8106.8107.4
Missouri106.2106.9106.2106.4
Tennessee104.1103.1104.6104.0
South Carolina101.1101.0100.4100.8
Vanderbilt90.989.989.690.1

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama130.4128.8131.3130.2
Texas A&M117.4118.3118.6118.1
Auburn116.4115.2116.6116.1
Ole Miss113.3113.3113.2113.3
L S U111.0112.4112.8112.1
Mississippi St.110.2110.4109.7110.1
Arkansas110.1109.9108.5109.5

SEC Averages111.4111.6111.6111.5

Eastern Division

Georgia

None of Nick Saban’s former assistant coaches have ever beaten him in a football game.  There was a time when the same was true for Bear Bryant, until future Alabama head coach Gene Stallings and his 1967-68 Texas A&M Aggies came from behind to beat Bama in the Cotton Bowl.

Kirby Smart has come the closest to beating Saban, and he almost did it in the National Championship Game.  If there is a year where Georgia might be the better team between the two behemoths, this could be the year.  However, in recent days, Georgia has seen a rash of injuries and a personal issue deplete what might have been the best receiving corps in the nation.  

The Bulldogs have seen the injury bug hit the top two tight ends, Darnell Washington and John FitzPatrick.  Third teamer Brock Bowers is a competent pass-catcher, but his blocking ability is considerably weaker than Washington.

Wide receiver Arik Gilbert was considered the final piece of the puzzle for the Bulldogs to have the best offense in the SEC when he came this Summer via the Transfer Portal, but Gilbert has been away with a personal matter and has not been practicing.    What hurts here is that Gilbert can play at tight end or wideout.  Expected starting wideouts Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson have missed practice, and UGA was already prepared to play the 2021 season without top receiver Geoge Pickens.

If most or all of these receivers are able to play in game one, then Georgia has a fighting chance to pull off the first upset of the season, when they face former annual rival Clemson in a game to be played in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Bulldogs are loaded at every position on both sides of the ball.

Quarterback J.T. Daniels went 4-0 as a Bulldog starter last year.  The former USC quarterback passed for more than 300 yards in two of those starts.  When a team that always has one of the top five running back units in the country can all of a sudden pass for 300 yards, you have a team that resembles LSU in 2019.

How is the Bulldog running brigade this year?  Zamir White can be a brigade by himself.  He was healthy for the entire season last year, and he produced 779 rushing yards at a 5.4 yard per carry clip.  He scored 11 touchdowns.  White has help.  Backup James Cook averaged 6.7 yards per attempt, and three other returnees combined to rush for 662 yards at 5.6 yards per attempt.

The Bulldog offensive line features one of the top blockers in the nation in guard-tackle Jamaree Salyer.

The 2021 UGA offense has the potential to be the best in the nation, not necessarily in points and yards, but in actual talent.  In the toughest league in college football, averaging 35-40 points per game and 425-450 total yards a game is better than 45-50 points and 550 yards in other leagues.

Defensively, Georgia can go head-to-head with Alabama in the front seven, but the defensive backfield may be a tad suspect if you can call maybe the 20th best secondary in the nation suspect.

Up front, nose tackle Jordan Davis should be playing on Sundays in 2022.  He can take on two offensive blockers, shed them, and clobber a running back, and he can rush the passer from the inside.  Jack End/Linebacker Adam Anderson is one of the best outside pass rushers in the league.

Star Linebacker/Safety Tykee Smith is another player with injury issues in Fall Practice.  His injury would hurt Georgia more than any of the injuries on offense.  The West Virginia transfer is considerably better than backup Latavious Brini.

The big intangible that could be the difference in a close game is special teams play.  The Bulldogs have the best punter in the league in Jake Camarda and one of the best kickers in Jack Podlesny.  Additionally, the Bulldog return games are both major weapons.

When we first released the ACC preview, our prediction was that Georgia would edge Clemson in an incredible game that would set the table for the Bulldogs to run the table to the SEC Championship Game, where #1 Alabama would face #2 Georgia.  However, since that preview, all the receiver issues as well as the potential loss of Smith makes the Clemson game look a little less likely for the Bulldogs.  The rest of the regular season should present Georgia with few problems as long as the team doesn’t suffer more injuries.  If the entire squad can be healthy in December, this might be the year the Bulldogs kick in the door and beat Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

 Florida

The Gators beat Georgia and were 8-1 after the first week of December last year.  A loss to LSU and then to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game sent the Gators to the Cotton Bowl, where future SEC foe Oklahoma dismantled the Gators’ defense in a 55-20 blowout.  At 8-4, the season was considered a disappointment.  2021 could be trouble for Florida, as Coach Dan Mullen has a rebuilding job to do on both sides of the ball.

The first question with the offense is how Emory Jones will replace Kyle Trask as quarterback.  Trask passed for 43 touchdowns last year and 4,283 yards.  He averaged close to 10 yards per pass attempt.  Jones is more of a dual threat quarterback.  He’d probably be an excellent single wing tailback, but will he be able to throw the ball 30-35 times a game and put up numbers anywhere close to what Trask accomplished last year?  We don’t think he will, but he might run for 750-800 yards.

Florida’s top three running backs from last year are back again, and combined with Jones, the Gators could rush for 175-200 yards per game and shave a few scrimmage plays off the defensive average as well.

Along with the loss of Trask, replacing Kadarius Toney, Kyle Pitts, and Trevon Grimes will be tough.  The trio accounted for 151 receptions and 31 touchdowns.  Florida’s receivers this year will rely on getting open because Jones uses the run-pass option with effectiveness, forcing defenders to play a cat and mouse game.

Three offensive line starters return, and this year’s line will be about as talented as last year’s.

The Gators averaged 40 points and 510 yards per game last year, but those numbers will not be approached in 2021.  30-35 points and 400-430 yards will still allow the Gators to win enough games to compete for a New Year’s Bowl.

Defensively, Florida broke down too many times last year.  With significant starters to replace, the defense may be no better this year.  The four returning starters, end Zachary Carter, linebackers Brenton Cox and Ventrell Miller, and cornerback Kaiir Elam all have All-SEC talent, but the other seven starters are average to above average only.  The defensive line has the potential to develop into a top flight unit if a couple of transfers play a little beyond expectations.

Florida’s non-conference schedule should allow the Gators to pick up four wins.  They must play both Alabama and Georgia in conference play, and their grudge match at LSU plus road games against Missouri and Kentucky present too many obstacles to compete for the Eastern Division title this year.  A nine-win regular season and New Year’s Day bowl would be a reasonable expectation.

Kentucky

Mark Stoops has a 49-50 career record at Kentucky in eight years.  It sounds mediocre, but he inherited a mess in Lexington, and he’s slowly turned this program into a fairly strong one, where a bowl game is now expected.  How the Wildcats went 23-14 the last three years with the weakest passing attack in the league is a testament to how well Stoops can squeeze points out of yards.  Kentucky’s 121.5 yards per game passing last year was actually less than some of Alabama’s averages in the 1970’s when they ran the Wishbone and passed the ball 10 times a game.

The passing woes may be a thing of the past, as former Penn State quarterback Will Levis has come to town.  Levis has a strong arm, and he can scramble and run the ball.  New offensive coordinator Liam Coen most recently tutored Jared Goff to an NFC Championship and playoff appearance in two years as the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator.  He believes Levis is the man that can make his multiple offense run effectively.

Running back Chris Rodriguez, Jr., led the Wildcats with 785 rushing yards while scoring 11 touchdowns.  Kavosley Smoke looked impressive in his few carries.

Kentucky may sneak up on some defenses this year with the passing game, not just because of the arm of Levis.  The receiving corps has some hidden gems, and a true freshman son of an NFL Hall of Famer might sneak into the first unit.  Nebraska transfer Wan’Dale Robinson becomes the top target, even though last year’s top receiver Josh Ali returns.   Robinson caught 51 passes in eight games last year for the Cornhuskers.  That true freshman that may sneak onto the first team as the third receiver is Christian Lewis, the son of legendary Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis.

Kentucky has some questions to answer at the interior line.  Potential All-American Darian Kinnard might have been a second round draft pick had he chosen to enter the draft, and his return is a big plus, but the Cats lost their other tackle, Landon Young, who may have been the most talented offensive lineman Kentucky has had in 20 years.

Defensively, there are a lot of holes to fill, and this is the reason why we cannot call Kentucky a dark horse team to contend in the Eastern Division.  Similar to Florida, the four returning starters are all highly talented.  End Josh Paschal, linebacker DeAndre Square, and safeties Tyrell Ajian and Yusuf Corker will lead what will be an inexperienced defense at the other seven positions.  

Kentucky should win all four non-conference games, and then they are likely to split their conference games at 4-4.  An 8-4 season with a bowl game would continue the success of the Stoops era.

Missouri

Eliah Drinkwitz went 5-5 in his first season at Missouri after going 12-1 in his one year at Appalachian State.  The second year skipper has Tiger fans excited that Missouri is headed in the right direction.  Drinkwitz proved that he’s a coach capable of adjusting his style of play to the talent he has, as he went with wide-open passing attack in his first year in Columbia after being a run-first coach at Appy State.  Expect more of the same from the Tigers this year, as the Mizzou offense should post even better numbers in 2021 than in 2020.

Quarterback Connor Bazelak didn’t start the first two games last year, as Alabama and then Tennessee won in blowouts.  At 0-2, Bazelak assumed starting duties and guided the Tigers to a 5-3 finish and an average of 28.9 points per game.  Bazelak finished with a 67.3% completion percentage for 2,366 yards, averaging close to 300 passing yards per game in his starts.

Missouri’s pass receiving corps figured to be a team strength until it was robbed of two of its key reserves due to injuries in August practices.  Keke Chism and Jalen Knox figure to be the top two targets after combining for 66 receptions and 763 yards last year, but incoming Ohio State transfer Mookie Cooper figured to be the missing ingredient that took the UM passing game from really good to great.  Cooper is out until mid-season with a leg injury.  

The running game loses its top weapon in Larry Rountree III, after he rushed for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns and became a member of the Los Angeles Chargers.  Tyler Badie might not run for 800 yards this year, but he’s more likely to be successful picking up three yards on 3rd and two and punching the ball into the end zone from the two than Rountree was able to do.  He’s also a capable pass-catcher out of the backfield.

An experienced and talented offensive line will open holes for the running game and provide enough pass protection for Bazelak to work his magic.  Drinkwitz’s Tigers will be flying in 2021.  Expect Mizzou to top 30 points and 425 yards per game.

It’s the defensive side of the ball that will determine whether Missouri will stay around .500 or win a couple more games.  He hired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks as his new defensive coordinator, and Wilks will implement massive changes in the way this team plays defense.  Expect Missouri to play mostly a 4-2-5 defense with a lot more zone coverage after being mostly a man-to-man coverage team last year with three-linebacker sets.  The transformation may be rough at times, but it could lead to more takeaways, something Missouri needed last year, when they were -5 in turnover margin.

Missouri’s defensive strength is up front, where the defensive line returns three starters, featuring 1st team All-SEC end Trajan Jeffcoat, who led the team with six QB sacks last year.  Former starter Kobie Whiteside appears to be healthy once again after missing half of last year with a knee injury.

The now two-man linebacker crew must make do without its leading tackler from 2020, as Nick Bolton earned consecutive All-SEC selections his last two years and appears set to become a starter with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Devin Nicholson does return after finishing second to Bolton with 82 tackles.

The biggest concern with the defense is the secondary, where two starters return to a unit that struggled in coverage last year.  A revamped secondary will have to learn multiple zone coverages, and there could be growing pains.

The Missouri schedule is tougher than average, and the Tigers could sink in September if the defense cannot quickly grasp all the new concepts.  An opening game against Central Michigan should be a win, but the Chippewas are not a team to take lightly.  CMU has enough talent to make this game interesting.  A trip to Kentucky follows a week later, and the Wildcats’ new passing game will test out the Tigers’ new defense.  After a breather against SEMO, a game at Boston College to close out September could be a little more than Missouri bargained for.  A 3-1 non-conference mark after an easy win over North Texas would require three conference wins to gain bowl eligibility.  With a home game against South Carolina and a road game against a weak Vanderbilt team, the Tigers will need to find one more win to get to 6-6.

Tennessee

This once proud, perennial top 10 team has fallen on hard times in the 21st Century.  Five coaches have come and gone between the Volunteers’ last appearance in the SEC Championship Game.  The Vols also botched two coaching hires, one in which they apparently hired Mike Leach and then unhired him, and one where they apparently had agreed to a deal with Greg Schiano before protests forced them to cancel the agreement.

Tennessee turns to its latest hopeful guru in Josh Heupel.  What Paul Westhead was to college basketball at Loyola Marymount, Heupel was to college football at Central Florida, where the Knights typically ran 85 scrimmage plays and topped 40 points per game with a balanced run-pass attack.  The philosophy worked and was quite exciting to watch when Heupel had a star quarterback like McKenzie Milton.  It was still exciting and still scored points when Milton wasn’t there, but it wasn’t as consistent, and the other team discovered that they could score points almost as easily as UCF.  It ended in a 2020 season that brought a 6-4 record with an average game score of 42-33.

Tennessee suffered through a 3-7 season that included six consecutive losses by an average score of 35-16 before topping Vanderbilt in a blowout win and then concluding the former coach Jeremy Pruitt era with a blowout loss to Texas A&M.  Included in the turmoil was an endless quarterback battle that never worked its way to a successful conclusion.

After the season, the Vols lost more talent in the Transfer Portal than any other team, and that does not include three of the four quarterbacks.  It looks like a total makeover is coming to Knoxville, and makeovers like this rarely look pretty at the top level of college football.

There could be a bright spot with the quarterback position this year.  Two former starting quarterbacks with Power 5 conference teams have transferred to Knoxville.  Former Michigan quarterback Joe Milton appears to be the odds-on favorite to open the season as the starter, while former Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker should be #2.  This should be considered an upgrade over the revolving door on The Hill in 2020, and with the new offense, the Vols should be a bit more successful moving the ball and scoring points.

The ground game will need Milton or Hooker to take up some of the slack lost when Eric Gray transferred to Oklahoma.  Gray WAS the UT offense at times last year.  Jabari Small and Tiyon Evans will split most of the carries by running backs this year.  Both have the potential to be effective, and the Vols’ running game could be a surprise at times this year.

The receiving corps is a total remake this year.  However, with the QB problems in the rear view mirror, expect this unit to put up much better stats, even with all new starters.  With the extreme up-tempo run by Heupel, it requires at least two complete sets of receivers to play, and eventually, defensive backfields that cannot platoon with two separate units suffer fatigue breakdowns.  So, even if the receivers are mostly untested, they will put up some incredible statistics.  Keep an eye on Mississippi State transfer JaVonta Payton.  He should become the new go-to guy, but this unit has multiple players with sprinter’s speed.  If they can catch the ball, Tennessee could shock the league with passing numbers.

The offensive line has been an underperformer for multiple seasons.  It figures to be a work in progress this year, but Milton and Hooker could take a lot of the pressure off the interior blockers that was put there by the former quarterbacks.  Tackle Cade Mays can play guard as well, and he will be the foundation for this unit.

After averaging just 21.5 points and 346 yards per game last year, those numbers could be the halftime numbers of multiple games this year.  The Vols should move north of 30 points and 400 yards per game in 2021.

All is not so optimistic on the defensive side of the ball, and as quickly as the Big Orange score points, they may just as quickly give them up.  The Vols figure to finish #13 in scoring and total defense in the league this year thanks only to there being possibly the worst defense in modern SEC history just down the road.

The biggest issue with this defense is at the linebacker spot, where the roster was decimated by graduation and Transfer Portal defections.  Henry To’o To’o was one of the best linebackers the Vols have had in the last 25 years, and his loss is Alabama’s gain.  Look for Tennessee to rotate fresh linebackers into the rotation, hoping a couple can stand out and become key contributors.

Up front, the Vols look to have a somewhat decent pass rush with Matthew Butler returning at end.  Look out for USC transfer Caleb Tremblay on the inside, and we think that a healthy LaTrell Bumphus could be a key contributor here as well.

The secondary is the most experienced unit on the defense with three returning starters.  Cornerbacks Alontae Taylor and Kenneth George, Jr. combined for 10 passes defended last year, while safeties Trevon Flowers and Jaylen McCullough teamed for 105 tackles.

Heupel’s first Vols’ team has a chance at making a bowl thanks to an advantageous schedule.  If Tennessee can top Pittsburgh in week two in a home game, it should mean UT goes 4-0 in non-conference games.  Needing just two conference wins for bowl eligibility, one is a given against Vanderbilt, while games with Missouri, South Carolina, and Kentucky will give the Vols that chance to pick up the second conference win.

South Carolina

The Will Muschamp era is over in Columbia, and there’s renewed excitement in the hiring of Shane Beamer as the new head coach.  Beamer, a surprise long shot candidate for the job, hit the ground running when he took over, and he looks like he could be one of the best recruiters in the league, and he certainly has won over fans with his public outreach.  That bodes well for the Gamecocks down the road, but 2021 may be a season where the team looks too familiar to fans at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Coming off a 2-8 season that included wins over Vanderbilt and Auburn, it figures that 2021 should see something of a bounceback, especially for an offense that scored just 44 points in the final three games.  Six starters return on offense, and the most important one is running back Kevin Harris.  Harris finished second in the league in rushing with 1,138 yards, scoring 15 touchdowns.  He ran for more than 200 yards in two games and topped 100 yards in three others, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.  He added 21 receptions, which was third best on the team.  A recent back injury in practice may open the door for MarShawn Lloyd to reclaim the starting position he lost last year when he was lost for the season with a knee injury.  When both are healthy, this is the best tandem running back duo in the league.

You win in college football in the 2020’s with a quarterback that can move the ball through the air down the field, and South Carolina is hurting in this department.  Expected starter Luke Doty has missed practice time with a foot injury.  After watching backup Jason Brown struggle to run plays in practice and giving a walk-on a try, Beamer made the decision to take graduate assistant Zeb Noland, who has one year of eligibility remaining, and place him on the active roster.  Noland began his playing career at Iowa State and transferred to North Dakota State, where he graduated after being the backup to the great Trey Lance.

The receiving corps must be rebuilt from the ground up, and tight end Nick Muse may have to be the primary target with all the turmoil surrounding the passing game.  Muse grabbed 30 passes and gained 425 yards last year.  

The good news is that the offensive line is experienced and a lot more talented than it looked to be last year.  Four of five starters return.

The front seven of the defense has experience and talent, but the secondary is inexperienced and not as talented.  USC will need to blitz a lot this year to put pressure on enemy quarterbacks, because if given too much time, they will pick the Gamecock secondary to shreds.

In the trenches, the entire starting four return, including edge rusher Kingsley Enagbare, who led the team with six QB sacks and seven TFL in eight games.    

Linebacker Damani Staley is the leading returning tackler (50), and former starter Sherrod Greene returns at LB after missing almost all of last year.  When healthy in 2019, Greene made 6 ½ tackles for loss, so he is a disrupter.

South Carolina will likely be forced to use nickel coverage on most plays this year.  There isn’t a lot of SEC-caliber talent in this unit, and going up against the offenses on this schedule, the Gamecocks are going to be outgunned more often than not.

The USC schedule includes the non-conference season finale against rival Clemson, so the Gamecocks start the season with a guaranteed non-conference loss.  They will need to win the other three against weak competition.  Once conference play starts, only the Vanderbilt game looks like a near sure thing.  Four wins may be all that can be expected out of this team, but that would double last year’s total.

Vanderbilt

The one private, academically prestigious school in the SEC is always behind the eight-ball when it comes to acquiring enough talent to compete against the best public institutions of higher football standards than any other in the nation.  2020 was a season that Vanderbilt fans would like to forget.  Thanks only to Kansas being a total trainwreck, or this would have been the worst power 5 team of the 21st Century.

In all the years of struggling to survive in the SEC, until last year, Vandy had never suffered through a winless season.  But, the 0-9 finish, where the Commodores opted out of the Georgia game twice ended with Earth-shattering news that many believed embarrassed the school more than it advanced gender equality.  Covid decimated the Commodore lineup to the point where former coach Derek Mason was forced to take the backup goalie on the women’s soccer team and make her the starting kicker on the team.  Sarah Fuller was a perfect two for two on extra points to make history, but 2020 was a year Vanderbilt would like to erase from the history books.

Enter Vanderbilt football alum Clark Lea to take the reins of the Commodore football program.  Lea was one of the best defensive coordinators in college football in recent years at Notre Dame.  Former coach Mason came to Vanderbilt with the same credentials.

Lea has the endorsement of the Wizard of Vanderbilt athletics.  Baseball coach Tim Corbin wanted him for this job, and Lea hopes that a Corbin-like approach to the job can turn the Commodores’ football fortunes around.  A several million dollar investment in new facilities should help recruiting down the road, but for now the Commodores must make do with the weakest offense and weakest defense in the SEC.

Oddly, Vanderbilt is in good shape at quarterback, where they have two talented players that bring different skill sets to the game.  Starting quarterback Ken Seals looked like a seasoned veteran as a true freshman last year.  With minimal pass protection, he completed almost 65% of his passes and 12 touchdowns.  His 10 interceptions can be explained somewhat with very poor pass protection, but a couple were blatant freshman mistakes, including a crucial red zone pick against Texas A&M in the opener that might have made a 17-12 loss a 19-17 win and set a totally different tone for the season.  Backup Mike Wright has quicker feet and a stronger arm, but he is not as accurate as Seals.  Still, expect to see Wright get a good number of series as a change of pace.

Considering this team ranked 11th in the league in passing yardage, the Commodores have a couple of talented receivers returning in Cam Johnson and Chris Pierce.  The two combined for 81 catches last year.  Amir Abdur-Rahim is the secret sauce of this unit.  He is the one truly deep threat receiver, and we expect new offensive coordinator David Raih will gamble with a few more deep throws this year than Vandy has attempted in recent years.

The running game has been a strength in recent years as two Commodore players made it to the NFL.  However, this will be a question mark this year after expected feature back Keyon Henry-Brooks transferred to Louisiana Tech.  Incoming Temple transfer Re’Mahn Davis will begin the year as the starter.  Davis averaged 4.2 yards per rush in two seasons at Temple, but against the only defense anywhere close to SEC caliber, he only gained 36 yards on 15 carries.  Walk-on Mitchell Pryor may be the most reliable inside threat on the team.  What he lacks in pure ability, he makes up for in effort.  In limited duty in two years, he has averaged five yards per rush, all on straight ahead power dive plays and scored a pair of touchdowns.

The offensive line returns three starters, and three more former starters return after opting out last year.  Still, this is the weakest offensive line in the SEC, and the #13 line is closer to #1 than Vanderbilt is to it.

Now, for the extreme gloom.  The Commodore defense is not up to SEC standards.  It may not be up to the standards of a good FCS team.  It might ranke dead last this year if the offense cannot sustain drives that keeps the defense off the field.  The 2020 defense was more talented than this one will be, and they finished ranked 121 of 127 in yards allowed at 487.4 per game.

Last year’s defense had very few positives, and all the positives have vacated the premises.  End Dayo Odeyingbo, now playing in the NFL, and Andre Mintze, now trying to hook on with the Broncos as a UFA, accounted for more than 65% of the QB sacks and 41% of the TFL.  Top defensive back Donovan Kaufman followed Mason to Auburn.

What’s left is the overwhelming last place defensive line, linebackers, and secondary.  In all the years of covering college football, we cannot remember any team having the last place unit on an entire defense.  Vanderbilt gave up 37.3 points per game in 2020.  That included giving up 41 points to a weak South Carolina team and 42 to a weak Tennessee team.  As bad as that was, the 2021 defense could give up more than 45 points and 500 yards per game.

There are two winnable non-conference games on this year’s schedule, which is the reason why this team won’t go winless for a second season in a row.  Vanderbilt should beat East Tennessee State in the season opener, and Connecticut coming to Nashville in early October should be another win.  However, the other 10 teams on the schedule look to be out of reach.  A non-conference game at Colorado State is the other potential win, but the last time Vandy played a Mountain West team, the weakest one in the league, UNLV, blew them off the field in Nashville.

Western Division

Alabama

Nick Saban may have put his best ever team on the field last year.  The Crimson Tide beat 11 consecutive conference opponents, including Georgia, Florida, and Texas A&M, on their way to a perfect 13-0 record and national championship, where they toyed with both of their playoff opponents.

The talent lost from that team could form the basis of an NFL expansion franchise.  So much talent has been lost, that in our ratings, the Crimson Tide begin the season more than 11 points weaker than they ended the season.  So where does this drop Alabama in the national rankings to start the year?  It doesn’t.  They are still number one and still expected to win another national championship.

At this point in his wizardry in Tuscaloosa, Saban has become the John Wooden of college football.  When Wooden lost Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after the 1969 season, his next two years before Bill Walton debuted with the varsity, he relied on Sydney Wicks, Curtis Rowe, and Steve Patterson and won the next two national championships without the dominant big man.  Saban loses Mac Jones, who could very well become the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback sometime this season.  He loses Najee Harris, who was more dominant at ‘Bama than Derrick Henry.  Harris scored 26 rushing touchdowns and four more on passes for 180 points and 1,891 total yards.  Saban also loses Devonta Smith at wide receiver.  All he did was catch 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns.  At the end of the year, he picked up the big piece of hardware naming him the best player in college football.  Ha, he may not have even been the best player on his team!

The roster is still chock full of 4-star and 5-star athletes waiting for their turns to become all-stars.  Foremost among them may be one of the leading candidates to pick up that big piece of hardware in New York City this December.

Bryce Young was the most heralded quarterback recruit to sign at Alabama in decades, but he has had to wait his turn in line.  In very limited action last year, he completed 13 of 22 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.  Passing is just half of his game.  Young possesses an ability to make defenders miss when he runs the ball.  Think of him as a better version of Russell Wilson in college.  New offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien will make Young a better passer, but O’Brien’s history is one of a pro-style offense.  He might be forced to add more designed runs for Young.

The next star running back for the Crimson Tide should actually be a three-headed monster.  The trio of Brian Robinson, Jr., Jase McClellan, and Trey Sanders will team up to approach Harris’s 2020 numbers.  If Sanders stays healthy, he may eventually become the feature back capable of topping 1,000 yards.

John Metchie, III, and Slade Bolden are all that’s left of last year’s tops in the nation receiving corps, but Saban has hoarded 5-star talent in this unit and has two true freshmen (Ja’Corey Brooks and Christian Leary) that could quickly see the field this year.  Alabama can go three-deep in this position and still get the job done.

Normally, losing three star offensive linemen would be a big issue, but not here at the offensive line factory of Tuscaloosa.  The new OL may still be the best in the nation, but it may not be the best at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Saban signed what may be the best offensive line recruiting group in the history of college football.  This group may be the college equivalent of the 1962 Green Bay Packers’ offensive line, the best in football history!  And, it is likely that the entire group will be redshirted, so watch out future SEC teams; pancakes may be served up at all future Tide games!

If an offense that lost eight starters still figures to be one of the best in the nation, what can you say about a defense that returns eight starters?  All three units on this team rank in the PiRate Ratings preseason adjustment process as top five units, and arguably, if the defensive line lives up to its potential, this Tide team could be number one in the SEC in all three categories.  Perhaps the last time this could be said was back in the 1930’s, when General Robert Neyland’s Tennessee team shut out every regular season opponent!  No, Alabama isn’t going to record 13 shutouts, not in these days, but holding opponents to less than 17 points and 350 yards per game in 2021 when the schedule is chock full of teams with future NFL talent is just as complimentary.

The defensive line has underperformed somewhat in recent years, but with all the star talent Alabama has had at linebacker, finding big beefy guys that could protect the linebackers was more important than finding the next Eric Curry and John Copeland.

All-American candidate Chris Allen  made 6 QB sacks and 13 tackles for loss, and yet he may be overshadowed by the other linebackers.  Will Anderson, Jr., is an All-American candidate after recording seven sacks and 10 ½ TFL.   Christian Harris led the Tide with 79 tackles with seven TFL and 4 ½ sacks.  As if that isn’t enough, the Tide picked up our top-rated Transfer Portal player in former Tennessee linebacker Henry To’o To’o.  To’o To’o has quickly picked up the new defense and will be the defensive quarterback from his middle linebacker position.  This quartet should conjure up memories of the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers linebacking unit of Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, and Andy Russell.

As good as the linebacking unit is, the secondary is better.  There could be two 1st team All-Americans patrolling the defensive backfield.  We keep comparing the Tide units with famous pro football units of the past.  Safeties Jordan Battle and Malachi Moore, combined with cornerbacks Josh Jobe and Marcus Banks (and don’t forget 5th DB Daniel Wright) are the college equivalent of the 1960’s Detroit Lions quartet of Nighttrain Lane, Dick LeBeau, Yale Lary, and Gary Lowe.  Unlike that great quartet, Alabama’s offense won’t put the great secondary’s accomplishments to waste.

Alabama’s schedule features an opening week game against Miami in Atlanta, a road game against Florida  two weeks later, a home game against Ole Miss two weeks after that, a road trip to Texas A&M a week later, and November games against rivals LSU and Auburn.  Still, we can predict nothing else but a 12-0 regular season.  A potential #1 vs. #2 Game of the Century against Georgia could be the perfect way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the last Game of the Century played on Thanksgiving Day between Nebraska and Oklahoma.  If Georgia can upset Clemson, it could happen.  

Texas A&M

What a difference a couple months made in College Station, Texas, last year!  Texas A&M began the 2020 football season getting outplayed by a Vanderbilt team that would go 0-9.  Only a couple of crucial Commodore mistakes allowed the Aggies to escape with a 17-12 win.

The following week, Alabama easily topped A&M by four touchdowns, and there was a tiny undercurrent in Aggieland that Coach Jimbo Fishers’ seat was starting to get a bit warm.  A hard-fought upset win over Florida took the heat off and woke up the team.  Texas A&M proceeded to beat everybody else on the schedule and then trounced North Carolina in the Orange Bowl to finish 9-1 and fourth in the final polls.

If only the Aggies had an experienced quarterback returning, this might have been “The Year!”  A&M has exceptional talent everywhere else, and the big game against Alabama will be played at Kyle Field in October.  Alas, we cannot pull the trigger and call for an Aggie upset.  Another one-loss season is possible.

Replacing Kellen Mond at quarterback may force the Aggies to use two untested quarterbacks this year.  Last year’s number two man Hayned King is still a freshman.  He is the better runner, but lesser passer of the two contenders.  2019 backup Zach Calzada has the better passing arm but isn’t as mobile as King.  Calzada is more of a drop-back vertical passer.

While the Aggies suffered heavy losses to the offensive line, it does welcome Tennessee transfer Jahmir Johnson to bookend the outside spots with lone returning starter Kenyon Green.  There will be a slight drop in blocking ability, and it could be a main reason why King might have the advantage to start at QB, as his mobility can make up for the blocking liability.

One area where the Aggies will have more talent this year than last is the receiving unit.  Everybody that mattered last year returns this year, led by Ainias Smith and Chase Lane at wideouts and Jalen Wydermyer at tight end.  There three stars teamed for 118 receptions good for 1,479 yards and 14 touchdowns.  There is ample depth here.

The running game is in capable hands with the return of 1,000-yard rusher Isaiah Spiller and top backup Devon Achane.  Spiller is also a pass-catching threat to take a quick pass behind the line of scrimmage and make something happen.

The Aggie defense improved as the season progressed last year, and at the end of the year, it led the league in yards allowed and finished third in points allowed.  Nine starters return from this side of the ball, including multiple seniors who chose to return for a free year.

The best unit on the defense is the interior line.  End DeMarvin Leal and tackle Jayden Peavy have All-SEC potential.  

While linebacker is the question of the defense, it does return Aaron Hansford.  Losing Buddy Johnson will be a tough spot to replace, but Andre White, Jr., played well as a backup last year.

The secondary returns all five starters from last year, and this group proved to be quite good by November.  There is exceptional depth as well.  

The out-of-conference schedule is a cinch for A&M to pick up four wins.  Early conference games against Arkansas in a game to be played at Cowboys Stadium, and Mississippi State in a home game should allow the Aggies to be 5-0 when Alabama comes to Kyle Field on October 9.  It would take a minor miracle for the Aggies to win that game, but that game may be the one obstacle preventing A&M from running the table in the regular season.  Fisher is one of three SEC head coaches to own a national championship.  There are only five total (Dabo Swinney and Mack Brown).

The next three spots in the Western Division pecking order are up for grabs.  It is hard to differentiate between the three, so we will present them in order of their preseason PiRate Rating.

Auburn

Auburn fans grew tired of former coach Gus Malzahn.  His on-the-field coaching remained exceptional, but recruiting was beginning to fall behind the other leaders of the SEC.  After a 6-5 season last year, the administration felt that $21,500,000 was an acceptable price to part ways with Malzahn and hire a hot name.

Bryan Harsin may not have been the hot name Auburn fans wanted, but that’s who they got.  Harsin probably underachieved a little at Boise State, as the Broncos were expected to win the Mountain West Conference every year.  Every one of his teams from 2014 to 2020 were ranked in the top 25 at some point in the season, and every one lost games they should not have lost.  If he couldn’t win the conference championship with the best overall talent in the league, how will he make Auburn a big winner in the SEC, when they do not have the best talent in the Western Division?  It will be interesting to see what happens.  Harsin did pull off a coup in hiring Mike Bobo as his offensive coordinator and Derek Mason as his defensive coordinator, two guys with SEC head coaching experience.

Auburn returns 16 starters, and they add a key transfer that could make things interesting at quarterback.  Bo Nix is the returning starting QB, but he hasn’t totally solidified his spot for 2021.  Former LSU quarterback T.J. Finley started multiple games down the stretch for the Tigers, and if Nix continues to throw to the wrong receiver by not properly reading the coverage, Finley could eventually supplant him under center.  Bobo uses a pro-style offense where reading coverages and throwing to the right receiver is a much more involved process.  We have heard through the grapevine thay Nix disappointed with numerous interceptions in a recent closed scrimmage.  This is something to monitor as the season is less than two weeks from starting, but we believe Nix will be the starter for the opener with Akron.

The receiving corps took a major hit with the departures of Seth Williams and speedster Anthony Schwartz.  The duo made 101 catches with 1,396 yards and seven touchdowns last year.  The Tigers have some decent talent taking over, but they are inexperienced.  Ze’Vian Capers suffered through injuries that limited his availability until August, but he’s begun to look like a number one option in recent days.  Elijah Canion has deep play potential, and Harsin’s Bronco teams had a propensity to throw deeper routes than Malzahn’s offense used.

The running game returns its top two backs in Tank Bigsby and Shaun Shivers.  Bigsby was the top running back recruit in the nation two years ago, and he lived up to his credentials by taking the SEC Freshman of the Year Award after running for 834 yards and five touchdowns.  He topped 100 yards in four games, including three games in a row in October.

All five starting offensive linemen return from last year, but the Tigers had issues protecting Nix.  Of course, Nix held onto the ball a bit too long with trouble reading defensive coverage, which led to his throwing under pressure too many times.

Expect the defense to show marked improvement under Mason’s tutelage.  His defenses looked terrible against some SEC teams while he was at Vanderbilt, but he developed a lot of 3-star players into NFL talents.  Mason has more talent to work with in his first year at Auburn than he had in his entire tenure at Vandy.

Up front in the 2-gap 3-4 defense, end Colby Wooden has all-star potential.  Nine of his 41 tackles last year were behind the line of scrimmage.

The linebacker unit is going to be as productive as any Auburn linebacker unit in recent history.  Zakoby McClain led the SEC with 113 tackles (more than 10 per game).  Expect to see him top the three sacks he made last year.  Owen Pappoe added 93 tackles with four sacks and an interception.

A strong defensive backfield got stronger when Donovan Kaufman followed Mason from Vandy to the Plains.  He will plug the vacant safety spot and team with potential All-American Smoke Monday to give Auburn one of the top five defensive backfields in the nation.

Auburn has one of the three stud placekickers in this league in Anders Carlson.  Carlson connected on 20 of 22 field goal attempts last year.

The Tigers may have the toughest non-conference road game in the SEC this year, as they face Penn State in Happy Valley in week three.  They will definitely be 2-0 when they go to Beaver Stadium, and this will be a big test.  If they can beat a Big Ten contender on the road, Auburn will gain important confidence that could propel the Tigers into a 7-1 record when they play Texas A&M in a battle that could decide second place in the West.  Alas, we believe asking this team to beat Penn State is a bit too much, and the Tigers will more likely go 4-4 or 3-5 in the league.  The Tigers’ offense may sputter a bit this year, and the defense will not be able to bail them out every week.

Ole Miss

Now for the team that may be the most exciting to watch in the SEC and one of the most exciting in college football.  The Ole Miss Rebels are coming off a 5-5 season that included an Outback Bowl win over Indiana to make it to .500.  Ole Miss finished first in the league and third in the nation in total offense, while they finished last in the league and second to last overall in total defense.  Their average game score was 39-38.

Second year head coach Lane Kiffin may not have the best quarterback in the nation, but by the end of the year, the rest of college football might be looking up at him in passing yardage.  Matt Corral averaged 334 passing yards per game and three touchdowns per game last year and ran for another 506 yards and six scores in his first season running Jeff Lebby’s wide open spread offense. Lebby can claim lineage in the Bob Stoops, Art Briles, and Josh Heupel coaching trees.  If he were a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby, it would be like he carried the lineage of Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed in his bloodline.  

The best option any quarterback can have is a receiver that can get open deep and catch the long bomb.  Any team would love to have a Cliff Branch type of deep threat, and Ole Miss has that in Braylon Sanders.  Expect a stellar year from Sanders where he more than doubles his 15 catches from last year.  He averaged more than 25 yards per reception and scored touchdowns on 27% of his receptions.  While Ole Miss will miss Elijah Moore and his eye-popping 86 catches, 1,193 yards, and eight scores, the Rebels will make up for a lot of that lost yardage by spreading the wealth around to three or four others.

As strong as the Rebels were through the air, their running game was potent.  Corral proved to be an excellent threat on the ground, and Jerrion Ealy forced defenses to stay honest with men in the box.  Ealy led the Rebels with 745 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.  Ole Miss can go three deep with talented runners.

The Ole Miss offensive line is not overly strong, but they are more than adequate in this offense.  Tackles Nick Broeker and Jeremy Jones get the job done.

This has the makings of an offense that will top 225 yards rushing and 375 yards passing.  600 total yards per game is reachable.  Kent State did it last year, and a Baylor team that Lebby was part of in 2015 averaged 617 yards per game.  The all-time record belongs to Houston in 1989 at 625 total yards per game.  If Kiffin decides to run up the score against the four really weak defenses his team will face, that number is within reach.

Ole Miss may need to gain 600 yards a game to compete for the number two or three spot in the SEC West.  Their defense will be improved in 2021, but then it is impossible to be worse than last year.  How bad was this side of the ball in 2020?  Remove the game against a Vanderbilt team that was as weak as a mediocre FCS team last year, and in the other eight SEC games, the Rebels gifted their opponents 42.8 points and 550 yards per game!

Thanks to an even weaker Vanderbilt defense this year, Ole Miss will have no units that rank dead last in the conference.  The defensive line is still weak enough that in a normal season, it would be the worst in the league.  There isn’t enough muscle up front, and this year, there won’t be as much experience as last year (which may not be such a bad thing).

The middle of the defense will be its strength and the only unit that ranks up there with other SEC defenses.  Four talented linebackers (counting buck defender Sam Williams, who is more linebacker than end) with starting experience return, including the leading tackler in Jaquez Jones and leading quarterback sacker Williams.

A full season from Star defensive hybrid safety/linebacker Otis Reese will improve the secondary coverage in 2021.  Once he was declared eligible, he averaged eight tackles per game.

If Ole Miss can reduce their gifts to opposing offenses to less than 35 points per game this year, nine wins are not out of the realm of possibility.  Their non-conference schedule should give them a 4-0 record, and one of those wins would come against former Rebel coach Hugh Freeze, who will most likely bring a 9-0 Liberty team to Oxford in November.  

LSU

Every year, there are a few teams that the PiRate Ratings predict to greatly outdo what other predictors predict.  Some of the time, our ratings are correct, and they are wrong.  Sometimes, we have egg on our face.

Likewise, there are teams that other services predict to have great years, when the PiRate Ratings show the same teams to be ranked lower than the other services.  Again, sometimes, we are correct, and sometimes, we have more egg on our face, maybe pie in the face.

LSU falls into the category of teams the PiRate Ratings expect to be weaker than what the consensus is for this team.  Others are picking the Bayou Bengals to contend with Texas A&M for second place and possibly to sneak up on Alabama in November.  We see a 4-4 SEC team; at least, we see a 4-4-level team to start the 2021 season.

Coach Ed Orgeron brought in new offensive and defensive coordinators, loses his expected starting quarterback before the season begins, and lost his best receiver over the Summer into the Transfer Portal.  The Tigers’ offense is less than average compared to the powerful scoring machines in the league.

Max Johnson went 2-3 in his five game audition with the team in 2020.  He limited mistakes, throwing just one interception in 150 attempts, but overall, he’s no better than 10th or 11th best starting QB in this league.  Backup Garrett Nussmeier may eventually be a much better option for the Tigers, but he won’t see a lot of action unless Johnson proves he cannot move the offense.

LSU has a stable full of horses at running back, but new offensive coordinator Jake Peetz wants to go with an aerial circus like the 2019 national champions used with Joe Burrow.  The four backs may see their total opportunities decrease this year.  John Emery, Jr., proved to be a quality pass receiver out of the backfield last year, so he will most likely see his playing time increase this year.

The receiving corps loses its best guy in Terrace Marshall, who led the Tigers with 48 receptions and 10 touchdowns before opting out in late November.  Returning deep threats Kayshon Boutte and Jaray Jenkins combined for 16.6 yards per catch.

The offensive line is the true strength of the offense.  The starting five all come back after four took advantage of a free second senior season.

The Tigers had issues on defense last year, giving up 35 points and 492 yards per game.  That number includes a game against 0-9 Vanderbilt that LSU will not play this year.  Remove the outlier stats from that 41-7 game, and LSU gave up 517 yards per game.  Orgeron replaced defensive coordinator Bo Pelini for former Minnesota Vikings’ defensive backs coach Daronte Jones.  The defensive backfield figures to be the strong point of the defense, with four of five starters returning, including cornerbacks Derel Stingley, Jr., and Eli Ricks, who make up one of the top outside tandems in the nation and second best in the SEC.

There is a ton of returning starting experience up front, but the LSU interior line was exploited too many times last year.  Jones promises to get more physical play out of a roster than can go two-deep across the line with talent.  End Ali Gaye recorded 9 ½ tackles for loss.

The middle of the defense is still a work in progress,  as there are no SEC star-quality linebackers.  Walk-on Jared Small is likely to win a spot in the lineup.

We are confident that Jones will make LSU a more physical, punishing defensive team this year, but how much will the actual numbers improve?  The offense may have some growing pains adjusting to the new offense, especially if there are issues with the quarterbacks.  The schedule does not present any gifts to this team.  LSU must open on the road at the Rose Bowl against a UCLA team that will be playing their second game of the year.  That game is a perfect trap game, and the PiRate Ratings show the Bruins to be the favorite.  This has the making of a 4-4 team in league play with a second consecutive five-loss season and a minor bowl invitation.

Mississippi State

The PiRates could write a book on Coach Mike Leach, “The Pirate,” that might be as long or longer than Leach’s Swing Your Sword.  Leach is the most interesting head coach in American sports, and he’s always good for making headlines with out of the box statements.

He would have stolen the show at SEC Media Days this year with the statements he made, but he had the misfortune of speaking on the day the “Big Reveal” rumor came out from Houston concerning Oklahoma and Texas.

Leach’s number one soundbite involved his plan for making the FBS Playoffs a 64-team event.

What about the 2021 season in Starkville?  2020 started off with a bang when the Bulldogs outscored 2019 National Champion LSU 44-34.  That was the high point of the season until mid-December.  State lost to Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Alabama, scoring just 30 points in those four games.  After a poorly played game that allowed Vanderbilt to keep the score close and ended with a small 24-17 victory, three more losses followed to Georgia, Ole Miss, and Auburn.  The Bulldogs scored just 58 points in those three losses, but the games were close.  Then, to close out the season, MSU slaughtered Missouri 51-32 and then as a 3-7 team in a bowl game, they topped Tulsa 28-26 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Will 2021 be more consistent in year two of the Pirate in Starkville?  We believe that the Air Raid offense will be a bit more consistent this year, and the defense will be as good or a little better than last year, and the Bulldogs should find themselves back in a bowl game, this time with a winning record.

The Air Raid offense needs a quarterback that can quickly read a defense and throw accurately with a quick release to the right receiver.  It needs receivers that can understand when to alter their route assignments based on what the defense does.  It also requires tractors disguised as offensive linemen that can take maximum line splits and force edge rushers wider than normal to make them one step farther away from the quarterback.  Every requirement cannot be totally found in this year’s offense, but State will be closer to having all the parts this year than they did last year.

Will Rogers was 3-3 as the Bulldog starting quarterback, and he put up monster numbers once he took over as the number one QB.  Rogers completed 45 passes against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.  Only Tim Couch, a former Leach student, completed more passes in an SEC game.  Rogers only averaged 5.7 yards per pass attempt, but in the Leach offense, passing the ball 60 times means that 20 of those passes are really glorified quick-pitch plays with the ball tossed forward instead of backward.  Those plays should almost count as running plays.

Rogers’ top receiver was running back Jo’Quavious Marks, who caught 60 passes for just 268 yards, but as mentioned in the previous paragraph, a lot of the receptions were safety valve passes behind the line of scrimmage.  The actual top three returning wideouts, Jaden Walley, Austin Williams, and Malik Heath teamed up for 132 receptions and 1,397 yards.

Marks ran for just a little more than he gained in receptions, totaling just 312 rushing yards.  Backup Dillon Johnson averaged 4.4 yards per carry on limited touches, but he added 36 receptions, also for 4.4 yards per catch.

The offensive line is still the one liability hindering the Air Raid from taking off.  The offensive line returns several players that saw action last year.  While the blocking improved during the season, the offensive line has a long way to go until it is ready to replicate what Leach’s offensive lines at Washington State and Texas Tech did.  It will be much more experienced this year.

Leach’s best Cougar team in Pullman was the 2018 team that went 11-2 and finished in the top 10 in the final polls.  While he had Gardner Minshew running the offense, the real secret to why that team set the WSU record for wins was a defense that bent but did not break.  The 2021 MSU defense figures to be a little better than the 2020 edition, and the 2020 edition was better than expected, finishing fifth in the league in yards allowed and sixth in points allowed.  Defensive coordinator Zach Arnett comes from the Rocky Long coaching tree.  He’s a proponent of Long’s 3-3-5 defense.  He has a decent starting lineup set to begin the season, but the reserves will mostly be untested unknowns.

The strength of this year’s defense is the secondary.  Cornerbacks Martin Emerson and Emmanuel Forbes teamed for 117 tackles, and an impressive 17 passes defended.  Forbes led the SEC with five interceptions, returning three to the house.  

The best defender on the team can be found at outside linebacker.  Aaron Brule.  He can play the run, rush the passer, and drop into pass coverage equally well.  Tyrus Wheat isn’t far behind in talent and potential production.  

The defensive line is the weakest part of the defense, and if any of the starters miss time, the backups are not ready to control the lines in an SEC game.

Mississippi State should win all four of their non-conference games, but there are three teams that have the talent to challenge the Maroons.  In conference play, the Bulldogs get a home game with Kentucky and a road game with Vanderbilt from the Eastern Division.  That is their path to six wins and bowl eligibility, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they pick up an upset win along the way.

Arkansas

A 3-7 record at Arkansas never looks satisfactory to fans, but the three wins came against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee.  The last time Arkansas beat more than three SEC teams in one year was 2015.  The Razorbacks had lost 20 consecutive SEC games before topping Mississippi State in October of last year.  

In Sam Pittman’s first year at Arkansas, the Razorbacks lost three games by a field goal or less.  The Razorbacks return the most starters in the league, and last year’s starters were considerably improved from 2019.

The offense must replace the quarterback, but this might work in Arkansas’s favor in a unique way.  Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles would prefer to use the Veer and Shoot offense that made his dad famous at Baylor.  Last year’s QB, Feleipe Franks was a drop back passer and not equipped to be a dual threat in the offense.  Arkansas has a clear-cut #1 QB this year, but they also have a highly-talented #2.  K.J. Jefferson is a remarkable dual threat, and he should be a better fit in what Briles wants to run.  Backup Malik Hornsby is elusive and quick, and he can throw darts.  He isn’t as developed at reading defenses as Jefferson, but he can make the offense work if called upon to do so.

Jefferson and Hornsby have a prize receiver in Treylon Burks.   He led the Hogs with 51 catches, good for 820 yards.  He has first round draft pick written all over him, as he combines size, speed, and exceptional hands.  Tight end Blake Kern gives Jefferson another big body to locate in the middle.

Arkansas has quantity and quality in its backfield.  Trelon Smith led the team with 710 rushing yards with five touchdowns, which included an 83-yard touchdown run against Florida.  T.J. Hammonds will be playing his sixth season in a Razorback uniform.  He carries a career 6.9 yard rushing average.

The entire starting offensive line returns with three seniors coming back for an extra season.  The players have put on some muscle since last year, and this should start to resemble a legitimate SEC interior line.

The defense was still well behind SEC standards last year, as Arkansas gave up 35 points and 450+ yards per game playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation.  Nine starters return to run defensive coordinator Barry Odom’s unique defense.  Arkansas uses a Dime Defense as its base package, and the 3-2-6 alignment relies on defensive backs that can cover the run like linebackers.  

It all starts up front, where the three-man line aligns wide to get the best potential routes to the quarterback.  Arkansas added size and depth, including three players from the Transfer Portal.

The two-man linebacker tandem finished one-two in tackles last year.  Grant Morgan led with 111 tackles, 7 ½ for loss, along with five passes defended.  Bumper Pool recorded 101 tackles with 6 ½ for loss and five passes defended.

The secondary requires players that can quickly recognize the run and contain the play.  Frequently one or more of the players will blitz.  The good news here is that five of last year’s six starters are back and will be more comfortable running this system.  Middle safety Jalen Catalon was a beast last year with 99 tackles, three interceptions, four passes defended, and two forced fumbles.  Montaric Brown was the co-leader in passes defended with five.  The rest of the secondary has quick defenders.

The Razorbacks will soon be playing their old former Southwest Conference rival Texas as an SEC game, but they get to renew the rivalry this year with a home game against the Longhorns on September 11.  Texas will be the favorite, but Arkansas should compete in this game.  They will win their other three non-conference games and then they have a chance to win three more in the conference to become bowl eligible.

The PiRate Ratings are not designed to predict seasonal won-loss ratings.  Their nature makes them good for just the next game on the schedule.  However, we like to have fun predicting won-loss records.

Southeastern Conference
East DivisionConf.Overall
Georgia8-012-1
Florida5-39-3
Kentucky4-48-4
Missouri3-56-6
Tennessee2-66-6
South Carolina1-74-8
Vanderbilt0-82-10

West DivisionConf.Overall
Alabama8-013-0*
Texas A&M7-111-1
Ole Miss5-39-3
LSU4-47-5
Mississippi St.3-56-5
Auburn3-56-6
Arkansas3-56-6
* Alabama picked to win SEC Championship Game

July 20, 2021

Adjusting Teams Due To The Transfer Portal

The Transfer Portal Giveth And Taketh Away

Like a lord of the gridiron, the new transfer portal has wreaked havoc on the overall landscape of college football.  We have recently completed updating the effect on the PiRate Ratings for all the transfers that have both left a former school and chosen a new destination for 2021.  Among those that have entered the transfer portal, there are a handful of point spread-moving talents that have not officially chosen a new school.  A trio of what we call 15+ talents on a rating scale of 0-20 are leaning to schools but have yet to officially sign.  These players will affect our ratings when they do sign.

The PiRate Ratings adjusted the talent levels of the teams by considering the players entering the Transfer Portal like they were graduating seniors.  As for the entry to a new team, the field had to be taken on a case by case basis.  The players that played 1 to 4 games last year are classified as redshirt players and rated as such.  There are others that redshirted without playing any games last year, and they are rated a little differently than the 1-4 game players.  We take these 0-game players, and if they rate 15 or above in talent, they become the equivalent of a hot freshman expected to contribute immediately, like Trevor Lawrence or Hershel Walker.

For the rest of the group of experienced college players, we consider these as regular talent added at what we consider full strength.  If a defensive end that started for a Power Conference team last year or the year before becomes a starter at a new Power Conference team, the new team is graded like the new player is a returning starter, which is optimal for the team.  If the Power Conference starter moves to a Group of 5 team, there is a bonus score if that player is expected to be the starter.

All transfers are not only rated for their talent, but there is a positional adjustment as well.  The starting QB from a Power 5 team is a little more important than the starting punter.  We use the accepted advanced metric positional hierarchy used in pro football and put our own stamp on it;  the hierarchy goes:

  1. Quarterback
  2. Top Outside Pass Rusher (DE or OLB)
  3. Blind-side Tackle (Left tackle for Right-hand QB)
  4. Top Cover Cornerback
  5. #1 Wide Receiver
  6. Defensive Tackle
  7. Running Back
  8. #2 Outside Pass Rusher (DE or OLB)
  9. Middle/Inside Linebacker
  10. Tight End
  11. Free Safety
  12. Weakside Linebacker (or Nickel Back)
  13. Right Tackle (or LT for left-handed QB)
  14. #2 Cornerback
  15. Right Guard
  16. #2 Wide Receiver
  17. Center
  18. Strong Safety
  19. Strongside Linebacker
  20. Left Guard
  21. Nose Tackle
  22. #3 Wide Receiver
  23. Kicker
  24. Punter
  25. Return Specialist

It isn’t exactly cut and dry, as we have to analyze each team to see if their style of play is a pro-style.  For teams that run the option, either from the spread or with a QB under center, the positional adjustment is a bit different.  What it adds up to is a lot of extra work, but without this work, the preseason power ratings would be too inaccurate to be useful.  

Let’s look at an example of a couple of teams that have seen their historical preseason power rating altered by the Transfer Portal.  

The Auburn Tigers have a new coaching staff with Bryan Harsin coming in from Boise State.  Harsin hired two gems as his coordinators, both with extensive SEC experience.  Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo and Defensive Coordinator Derek Mason are like having two extra head coaches on staff, and this generates a movement in the preseason rating.  But, we must also count the positives that former head coach Gus Malzahn and Kevin Steele brought to Auburn and make a coaching adjustment score from the January Citrus Bowl to the start of this season.  

Now, take a look at the key transfers for Auburn as the 2021 season nears.  Wide receiver Hal Presley left for Baylor.  He’s a redshirt freshman who played 0 games last year.  

Big Cat Bryant had three QB sacks, an interception, a couple of QB hurries, and 17 tackles at his defensive tackle position.  His leaving to join Malzahn at Central Florida is a bigger loss than Presley as it applies to week 1 of the 2021 season.  

Daquan Newkirk is a senior for the second year and put up similar numbers to Bryant, while being able to play both defensive tackle and defensive end.  His loss to SEC rival Florida hurts the Tigers a tad more.  

Running back D.J. Williams was only Auburn’s third option last year, but he has some worth.  If you follow the game rabidly like we do, you might remember Williams putting a hurt on #1 LSU two years ago, as his 150+ total yards led to Auburn almost knocking off the eventual national champion.  Florida State will get more out of him than Auburn would this year.

Safety Chris Thompson, Jr. was a freshman who saw action in enough games to be considered a sophomore in experience, but he will still be a freshman at his new school, USC.  Thompson rates as a 16 on our talent scale, so he counts like adding a Trevor Lawrence or Hershel Walker freshman to the Trojans.

These five players are the five that can actually move a team’s rating by more than 0.3 points, and together, the quintet reduces Auburn’s overall positional-adjusted talent score by 177 basis points.

Now let’s look at the key players that Auburn gained through the Portal.  We count seven players as being talented enough to improve the War Eagles’ point spread by 0.3 or more points.

They picked up a talented all-star safety from FCS Southeast Missouri in Bydarrius Knighten, who has NFL potential and needs to showcase his talents on the big stage.

Knighten will be joined by a former SEC starting safety in Vanderbilt’s Donovan Kaufman.  Kaufman played just two games in 2020 before a medical issue forced the freshman’s season to end.  He reunites with his former coach and should compete for a starting job at safety and as a return specialist.  Having two safeties with this amount of talent come on board awards a little bonus for the defensive backfield.

We aren’t done with the secondary just yet.  The best transfer of the defensive backfield is former West Virginia starting cornerback Dreshun Miller, a graduate 5th year player.  He started multiple games inside Big 12 play as well as having an excellent career at Eastern Arizona Junior College.

Staying on the defensive side, Auburn adds Kansas defensive end Marcus Harris.  Harris started multiple games for the Jayhawks last year and in 8 games, he had 7 ½ tackles for loss.  

Now, on the offensive side of the ball, there are a lot of specialized calculations to make because Auburn picked up a quarterback with starting experience in the SEC.  T.J. Finley comes to the Plains from LSU, where he started after Myles Brennan was lost for the year.  However, Auburn still has two-year regular Bo Nix as their expected starter just before August practices commence.  There should be a heated race for the starting job in the Bobo offense, but Nix will most likely be taking the snaps when Auburn hosts Akron on September 4.  Finley’s contribution might be limited, but on the other hand, if he wins the battle to start, he might be the most significant addition to the team.  It leaves us having to consider many possibilities before arriving at a score for Finley.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Ingram returns to the state where he was a star running back in high school after not seeing action at Central Michigan last year.  Ingram is not expected to see a great deal of action with Auburn’s top two running backs returning, but he’s talented enough to make a positive contribution.

Finally, there is journeyman wide receiver Demetris Robertson.  He’s the most difficult player in the entire Portal to grade.  Starting from the beginning, Robertson was a 5-star recruit and the top receiver in his recruiting class when he committed to Alabama as a highschool senior.  He ended up signing with California and shredded the Pac-12 as a true freshman.  He suffered an injury as a sophomore and played in just two games.  He then transferred to Georgia, where he was somewhat of a disappointment the last two seasons.  He was expected to be a fourth receiver for the Bulldogs before transferring to Auburn two weeks ago.  There’s another big issue though; he’s facing multiple felony charges, which may be why he entered the Portal near the deadline, because University of Georgia rules may have forced his ineligibility.  If Robertson can play a full season for Auburn, he will contribute to the Bobo offense.  But, he may never get a chance to play a game!  That’s a large subset of possibilities to calculate into the preseason equation.

All told, the incoming players on Auburn’s Transfer Portal list sum to 258 basis points with the defensive backfield bonus included.  Factor in the loss of 177 basis points from the players transferring out, and you get a surplus of 81 basis points improvement through the transfer portal.  Using our talent algorithm, Auburn expects to gain 4.1 power rating points in this area. 

For example number two, let’s inspect Oklahoma without delving into all the plot twists we showed you with Auburn.

Oklahoma lost seven players that will negatively affect their talent score by enough points to matter.  Additionally, at two positions, they lost multiple players to the Portal.  Safety Brendan Radley-Hiles had 115 career tackles in his time in Norman, while hybrid safety/linebacker Robert Barnes took four years of experience to Colorado.  Wide Receiver Jalin Conyers did not play as a freshman but he has NFL potential at Wide Receiver or Tight End and might eventually cost Oklahoma more down the road than they will in September of this year.  Losing wide receiver Charleston Rambo will hurt the Sooners in week one. Not affecting Oklahoma at all for 2021 is former tight end Grant Calcaterra, who retired from football at the end of 2019 after multiple concussions, but he un-retired and transferred to Auburn before the coaching change saw him transfer again to SMU.

The Sooners lost a 4-star tackle to Louisiana-Monroe in Stacey Wilkins.  Wilkins has not played for the Sooners, and his loss will be felt down the road, but it will be just the minimum to matter in 2021.  

Finally, there is quarterback Tanner Mordecai.  The fourth year sophomore was going to be a spectator watching All-American Spencer Rattler lead the Sooners, so Mordecai joined Calcaterra at SMU.  This has potential to affect Oklahoma should Rattler suffer an injury.  The #2 QB at a passing school is as important as the #2, #3, and #4 running backs at a running school.

The total loss in basis points for Oklahoma is 272, which is enough to affect the outcome of a game or two before we look at who the Sooners picked up.  The five players that transferred into Norman are the best quintet in the nation.  Former Tennessee running back Eric Gray and former LSU running back Kevontre Bradford, who has speed in the Chris Johnson CJ2K range, gives the Sooners a national top five running back corps when you add former starter Kennedy Brooks.  The Sooners’ running game combined with Rattler’s passing ability into a possible 45-points per game offense.

There is one more offensive stalwart to add to the mix, as former 5-star tackle recruit Wanya Morris started for two years at Tennessee and should step in and start at the all-important blind-side tackle.  Oklahoma’s potential to average 45 ppg may also come with consistency.

The defense added safety Key Lawrence, the third former Tennessee Vol to matriculate to Oklahoma.  Lawrence saw considerable action on defense and special teams as a true freshman last year.  He will do so for Oklahoma in 2021.

All told, the Sooners gain 200 basis points from incoming transfers, and combining it with the 272 lost, the net change is -72 basis points on transfers alone.  This equals about 3.9 points lost in power rating.

Some of the teams expected to profit the most off the Transfer portal in 2021 include: Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami (Fla.), Penn State, SMU, South Carolina, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC,   Teams that lost considerable talent include: Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Memphis, Tennessee, and Texas.

This adjustment makes up just one part of a multiple part adjustment to the power ratings for each of the 130 FBS teams.  In the case of Clemson losing 245 basis points of talent, fear not for the Tigers.  They still have more than enough talent and added enough from past recruiting classes to make it back to the College Football Playoffs in 2021-2022.

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