The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 4, 2012

PiRate Ratings For College Football: September 6-8, 2012

Can an assumption be made about Alabama after just one game?  Is this Crimson Tide edition the best in years?  It is much too early to make that assumption, but let us look at some facts.

 

The Crimson Tide offense got off the ball as quick as a team from the old Split-T days.  They engaged in their blocks while the defense was still reacting from the snap of the ball.  When, the line blocked, the defenders being blocked were moved off the line of scrimmage.

 

The Crimson Tide defensive front seven held its position and clogged up the inside holes.  The linebacker pursuit looked like the Baltimore Ravens.  Their perimeter force and contain was as good as it gets.

 

The Alabama secondary was in position to make plays all night.  When the Tide rushed the passer, they did not need to send a fifth pass rusher.  One defender on both sides of the line spied on Denard Robinson, forcing Robinson to stay in the pocket.

 

Now, add in to the offense a true freshman that looks like he could immediately be among the top three running backs in the SEC, and this team has the potential to be one of the best ever.

 

Since WWII, what we like to call the modern era of college football, there have been 20 teams (in our opinion) that can be considered among the best ever.  Here is a list of those teams as well as how they performed in their opening game.

 

Year

Team First Opponent

 

Score

1945

Army Louisville Field (military)

 

32-0

1947

Notre Dame Pittsburgh

 

40-6

1947

Michigan MichiganState

*

55-0

1949

Oklahoma BostonCollege

 

46-0

1956

Oklahoma North Carolina

 

36-0

1959

Syracuse Kansas

 

35-21

1961

Alabama Georgia

 

32-6

1966

MichiganState North Carolina St.

 

28-10

1966

Notre Dame Purdue

*

26-14

1966

Alabama Louisiana Tech

 

34-0

1968

OhioState S M U

*

35-14

1969

Texas California

 

17-0

1971

Nebraska Oregon

 

34-7

1971

Oklahoma S M U

 

30-0

1972

Southern Cal Arkansas

*

31-10

1974

Oklahoma Baylor

*

28-11

1987

Miami Florida

 

31-4

1992

Alabama Vanderbilt

 

25-8

1995

Nebraska Oklahoma St.

 

64-21

2001

Miami PennState

 

33-7

* Opponent was as good as 2012 Michigan

 

How ironic: only the 1947 Michigan Wolverines defeated a quality team by more than the 27 points Alabama clobbered Michigan.  That Michigan State team would go 7-2 in 1947.  That Wolverine team finished second in the nation in the regular season to Notre Dame, but a post-bowl poll listed Michigan number one, after the Wolverines beat USC in the Rose Bowl 49-0 (In games against three common opponents that year, Michigan’s average score was 56-7 and Notre Dame’s average score was 35-11).

 

Alabama plays four road games where they might face the type of opposition that can compete with the Tide (Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and LSU).  As of today, even LSU appears unable to compete with this Tide team.  If Alabama runs the table, beats the SEC East champion, and wins the National Championship this year, they will most definitely deserve mention among the 20 teams listed above.

 

This Week’s Schedule

Last week, there were a handful of big upsets.  Youngstown State’s win over Pittsburgh did not look like an upset; it looked like YSU would beat Pitt again and again.  Texas State made its debut in the FBS ranks with a similar style thrashing of Houston.  Two other minor upsets included a FCS team beating a FBS team.  UT-Martin beat Memphis, and Eastern Washington beat Idaho.

 

This week, we see two FCS teams that we favor over their FBS opponent.  North Dakota State is a 6.5-point favorite over Colorado, and Illinois State is a half-point pick over Eastern Michigan.

 

This is the week that Missouri and Texas A&M become SEC teams in earnest, as both schools play conference games.  Missouri hosts Georgia and Texas A&M host Florida in what looks to be two excellent debut games.

 

Here is a look at 10 other games that we find interesting:

 

1. Indiana @ UMass.  The Hoosiers have a chance to go to2-0 with a home game coming against Ball State.  Kevin Wilson’s troops struggled with Indiana State, but an IU win these next two weeks may give the team enough confidence to believe they can compete at Northwestern with an extra week to prepare.  It isn’t impossible, but it is still highly improbable, but IU can see a path to 6-6 if they can start 4-0.

 

2. Kent State @ Kentucky: The Wildcats did not show up against Louisville.  If UK loses this game, Coach Joker Phillips will be on life-support.  A loss against Western Kentucky in two weeks could then elevate Rick Minter to head coach. A Golden Flash win could be enough to propel KSU to their first bowl since 1972.

 

3. Purdue @ Notre Dame: This rivalry is as heated as Alabama-Auburn but with reserved Midwestern values.  The Boilermakers have pulled of some monumental upsets in this series.  Hank Stram became a known quantity as an offensive coach and Len Dawson as a mobile quarterback when they led PU to a monumental upset over the Irish in 1954.   The Boilermakers had that great three-year run in 1967, 68, and 69 when they put a hurtin’ on the Irish.  That 1968 game was a TV game that introduced the nation to Mike Phipps and the great Leroy Keyes.

 

Will this game have the same importance?  We doubt it, but it will be fun to watch.

 

4. South Florida @ Nevada: Why is this game so interesting?  Nevada is the one chance for a non-BCS Automatic Qualifier to upset the apple cart this year.  With Boise State losing last week, the Wolf Pack moved to the top of the line with a win at Cal.  USF is one of two co-favorites to win the Big East, so this game could actually feature two teams that will play in BCS bowls.

 

5. Wisconsin @ Oregon State: Wisconsin struggled with Northern Iowa last week, while Oregon State struggled with Hurricane Isaac, losing out on playing their opener when Nicholls State had to send in RSVPs.  Teams improve the most between games one and two, but the Beavers could easily upset the Badgers this week.  Paul Chryst is missed a lot in Madison, and Pitt fans may also wish he was still calling the plays at Camp Randall.

 

6. Iowa State @ Iowa: This was one of the most exciting games of 2011.  ISU won in triple overtime.  The Hawkeyes struggled at Soldier Field against a good Northern Illinois team, while the Cyclones beat a good Tulsa team last week.  The winner of this game will have a great shot at bowl eligibility.

 

7. Auburn @ Mississippi State: This becomes almost a must-win game for Auburn.  Games with LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Alabama could be four more losses, and just one upset loss to somebody like Vanderbilt could add up to seven losses.  This Tiger team is too good for that.  Even if they lose a close one in Starkville, we think they will find a way to win six or seven times.  If Mississippi State wins, the Bulldogs could be sitting on an eight or nine-win season.

 

8. Nebraska @ UCLA: The Big Ten needs a marquis out-of-conference win, and this becomes the league’s best chance.  The Cornhuskers have never returned to the prominence they enjoyed for years in the 1970’s-2001.  They have lost four or more games for eight consecutive seasons since they dismissed Frank Solich.  If UCLA pulls the upset here, the Bruins will be for a nine or 10-win season.

 

9. Vanderbilt @ Northwestern: Here are two academic heavyweights trying to become football welterweights for 2012.  Northwestern squeaked by with an almost miraculous win at Syracuse last week, while Vanderbilt received an apology letter from the SEC when the refs blew a decisive call on national television.  The winner of this game stays in line for bowl eligibility, while the loser is looking at 5-7.

 

10. Illinois @ Arizona State: This was a great game last year in Champaign-Urbana, and with two new coaches and two new systems, it shapes up to be really interesting this year. 

 

This Week’s Rankings of the 124 FBS Teams

PiRate Ratings

#

Team

PiRate

1

Alabama

130.7

2

L S U  

129.2

3

U S C

128.7

4

Oklahoma

128.1

5

OklahomaState  

126.7

6

FloridaState

121.5

7

Oregon  

120.9

8

KansasState

120.4

9

Texas

120.0

10

Notre Dame

119.7

11

Nebraska

118.8

12

Arkansas

118.4

13

Michigan

118.3

14

Georgia

117.3

15

South Carolina

117.3

16

Wisconsin  

116.4

17

Tennessee

115.9

18

OhioState

115.7

19

West Virginia

115.6

20

Clemson  

115.0

21

Missouri

114.8

22

Florida

114.7

23

Stanford

114.3

24

Baylor

113.9

25

MichiganState

113.2

26

Texas A&M

113.2

27

Texas Tech

112.3

28

Utah

111.6

29

North Carolina

111.5

30

Auburn

111.5

31

T C U

111.2

32

U C L A

111.0

33

Virginia Tech

110.7

34

Vanderbilt

110.6

35

B Y U

110.3

36

MississippiState

109.6

37

Georgia Tech

108.5

38

South Florida

108.0

39

IowaState

107.6

40

Louisville

106.1

41

OregonState

106.0

42

Illinois

105.7

43

Purdue

105.3

44

Washington

105.0

45

California

105.0

46

Rutgers

104.5

47

BoiseState

103.7

48

Arizona

103.7

49

Central Florida

102.8

50

North CarolinaState

102.7

51

Pittsburgh

102.6

52

Tulsa

102.6

53

Kansas

102.0

54

Iowa

101.8

55

BostonCollege

101.3

56

Ole Miss

101.3

57

Nevada

101.1

58

ArizonaState

101.1

59

Louisiana Tech  

101.1

60

Connecticut

100.9

61

Virginia

100.8

62

Miami-FL

100.3

63

Cincinnati

100.2

64

Houston

99.8

65

Duke

99.7

66

WashingtonState

99.4

67

Northwestern

98.5

68

Ohio U

97.6

69

Minnesota

97.4

70

Southern Mississippi  

97.1

71

WakeForest

96.3

72

Syracuse

96.3

73

S M U

95.6

74

Toledo

95.5

75

East Carolina

95.0

76

Western Michigan

94.8

77

Maryland

94.6

78

Bowling Green

94.4

79

Kentucky

94.4

80

PennState

94.3

81

Northern Illinois  

93.9

82

UtahState

93.8

83

Wyoming

93.2

84

Western Kentucky

93.0

85

San DiegoState

92.8

86

FresnoState

92.8

87

U T E P

92.7

88

Indiana

92.3

89

Army

92.1

90

UL-Lafayette

92.1

91

San JoseState

91.8

92

Marshall

91.7

93

Miami (O)

91.5

94

Colorado

91.1

95

Florida International

90.7

96

Navy

89.8

97

BallState

89.8

98

ArkansasState  

89.8

99

Temple

89.4

100

Kent St.

89.3

101

Rice

88.5

102

ColoradoState

88.4

103

North Texas

88.2

104

Central Michigan

88.0

105

Eastern Michigan

85.6

106

Air Force

85.6

107

Louisiana-Monroe

85.5

108

Troy

85.1

109

Hawaii

84.7

110

Buffalo

83.9

111

Tulane

81.9

112

New Mexico

81.4

113

U A B

80.3

114

Idaho

79.5

115

TexasState

79.1

116

UNLV

79.0

117

New MexicoState

78.1

118

U T S A

76.1

119

FloridaAtlantic

74.6

120

Memphis

73.9

121

Middle Tennessee

72.6

122

South Alabama

70.4

123

Massachusetts

68.3

124

Akron

66.3

 

 

PiRate Vintage Ratings

#

Team

Vintage

1

Alabama

123.0

2

U S C

120.5

3

L S U

120.0

4

Oregon

119.0

5

Florida St.

118.5

6

West Virginia

118.0

7

Oklahoma

116.5

8

N. Carolina

116.0

9

Georgia 

116.0

10

S. Carolina

116.0

11

OhioState

115.5

12

Oklahoma St.

115.5

13

Clemson

114.5

14

Arkansas

114.5

15

Va. Tech

114.5

16

Nebraska

114.0

17

Michigan St.

113.0

18

Texas

113.0

19

Florida 

112.5

20

Missouri

112.0

21

Tennessee

112.0

22

U C L A

112.0

23

Georgia Tech

112.0

24

Michigan

111.5

25

Stanford

111.5

26

Kansas St.

111.0

27

Utah

111.0

28

Baylor

110.5

29

N.C.State

110.0

30

Miss.State

110.0

31

Auburn

109.5

32

Arizona St.

109.5

33

Wisconsin

109.0

34

T C U

109.0

35

Notre Dame

108.0

36

Illinois

107.5

37

B Y U

107.0

38

Texas A&M

107.0

39

Purdue

106.5

40

Washington

106.5

41

Arizona

106.5

42

Virginia

106.0

43

Vanderbilt

105.5

44

Oregon St.

105.5

45

Nevada

105.0

46

Louisville

104.5

47

Miami

104.0

48

Texas Tech

104.0

49

Iowa

103.5

50

S. Florida

103.0

51

Boise St.

102.5

52

IowaState

102.0

53

California

102.0

54

Northwestern

101.5

55

Ole Miss

101.0

56

Ohio U

100.5

57

Cincinnati

100.0

58

Air Force

100.0

59

Washington St.

100.0

60

Boston Coll.

99.5

61

U C F

99.0

62

N I U

99.0

63

Fresno St.

99.0

64

W M U

98.5

65

La. Tech

98.5

66

Connecticut

98.0

67

Toledo

98.0

68

PennState

98.0

69

Minnesota

97.5

70

S.D.State

97.5

71

U L L

97.0

72

Duke

96.5

73

E C U

96.5

74

WesternKy.

96.5

75

Rutgers

96.0

76

Sou. Miss.

96.0

77

Utah St.

96.0

78

S.J.State

95.5

79

Wyoming

95.0

80

Syracuse

94.5

81

WakeForest

94.5

82

Tulsa

94.5

83

Ark.State

94.5

84

B G U

94.5

85

Kentucky

94.0

86

Troy

94.0

87

Buffalo

93.5

88

Colorado

93.5

89

S M U

93.0

90

Houston

92.5

91

Colo.State

92.5

92

Ball St.

92.0

93

Maryland

91.5

94

U T E P

91.5

95

F I U

91.5

96

Kansas

91.5

97

Marshall

91.0

98

UNLV

91.0

99

Kent St.

90.5

100

Miami (O)

90.5

101

U L M

90.0

102

C M U

90.0

103

Indiana

90.0

104

Hawaii

89.5

105

Rice

88.5

106

E M U

88.0

107

Pittsburgh

87.5

108

U A B

87.5

109

N. Texas

87.0

110

Temple

86.5

111

Army

86.0

112

Texas St.

86.0

113

New Mexico

85.0

114

UTSA

84.5

115

N. Mex.State

82.0

116

MTSU

81.5

117

Navy

80.0

118

S. Alabama

79.5

119

Idaho

78.5

120

Tulane

78.0

121

Memphis

76.5

122

F A U

76.5

123

U. Mass.

76.0

124

Akron

73.5

 

Ratings by Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

FloridaState

0-0

1-0

121.5

118.5

Clemson  

0-0

1-0

115.0

114.5

North CarolinaState

0-0

0-1

102.7

110.0

BostonCollege

0-1

0-1

101.3

99.5

WakeForest

0-0

1-0

96.3

94.5

Maryland

0-0

1-0

94.6

91.5

       

 

Coastal Division

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Virginia Tech

1-0

1-0

110.7

114.5

North Carolina

0-0

1-0

111.5

116.0

Georgia Tech

0-1

0-1

108.5

112.0

Virginia

0-0

1-0

100.8

106.0

Miami-FL

1-0

1-0

100.3

104.0

Duke

0-0

1-0

99.7

96.5

       

 

       

 

Conference Means

105.85

 

105.24

106.5

 

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

South Florida

0-0

1-0

108.0

103.0

Louisville

0-0

1-0

106.1

104.5

Rutgers

0-0

1-0

104.5

96.0

Pittsburgh

0-0

0-1

102.6

87.5

Connecticut

0-0

1-0

100.9

98.0

Cincinnati

0-0

0-0

100.2

100.0

Syracuse

0-0

0-1

96.3

94.5

Temple

0-0

1-0

89.4

86.5

 

 

 

   
 

 

 

   
Conference Means

98.625

 

101.00

96.3

 

 

Big Ten

         
Leaders Division      

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Wisconsin  

0-0

1-0

116.4

109.0

OhioState

0-0

1-0

115.7

115.5

Illinois

0-0

1-0

105.7

107.5

Purdue

0-0

1-0

105.3

106.5

PennState

0-0

0-1

94.3

98.0

Indiana

0-0

1-0

92.3

90.0

         
Legends Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Nebraska

0-0

1-0

118.8

114.0

Michigan

0-0

0-1

118.3

111.5

MichiganState

0-0

1-0

113.2

113.0

Iowa

0-0

1-0

101.8

103.5

Northwestern

0-0

0-1

98.5

101.5

Minnesota

0-0

1-0

97.4

97.5

         
Conference Means

106.05

 

106.48

105.6

 

 

Big 12

         
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Oklahoma

0-0

1-0

128.1

116.5

OklahomaState  

0-0

1-0

126.7

115.5

KansasState

0-0

1-0

120.4

111.0

Texas

0-0

1-0

120.0

113.0

West Virginia

0-0

1-0

115.6

118.0

Baylor

0-0

1-0

113.9

110.5

Texas Tech

0-0

1-0

112.3

104.0

T C U

0-0

0-0

111.2

109.0

IowaState

0-0

1-0

107.6

102.0

Kansas

0-0

1-0

102.0

91.5

         
 

 

 

   
Conference Means

112.44

 

115.78

109.1

 

 

Conference USA

East Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Central Florida

0-0

1-0

102.8

99.0

Southern Mississippi  

0-0

0-1

97.1

96.0

East Carolina

0-0

1-0

95.0

96.5

Marshall

0-0

0-1

91.7

91.0

U A B

0-0

0-1

80.3

87.5

Memphis

0-0

0-1

73.9

76.5

         
West Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Tulsa

0-0

0-1

102.6

94.5

Houston

0-0

0-1

99.8

92.5

S M U

0-0

0-1

95.6

93.0

U T E P

0-0

0-1

92.7

91.5

Rice

0-0

0-1

88.5

88.5

Tulane

0-0

0-1

81.9

78.0

         
         
Conference Means

91.1

 

91.83

90.4

 

 

Independents

         
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Notre Dame  

1-0

119.7

108.0

B Y U  

1-0

110.3

107.0

Army  

0-0

92.1

86.0

Navy  

0-1

89.8

80.0

         
         
Conference Means

99.1125

 

102.98

95.3

 

 

Mid American Conference

East Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Ohio U

0-0

1-0

97.6

100.5

Bowling Green

0-0

0-1

94.4

94.5

Miami (O)

0-0

0-1

91.5

90.5

Kent St.

0-0

1-0

89.3

90.5

Buffalo

0-0

0-1

83.9

93.5

Massachusetts

0-0

0-1

68.3

76.0

Akron

0-0

0-1

66.3

73.5

         
West Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Toledo

0-0

0-1

95.5

98.0

Western Michigan

0-0

0-1

94.8

98.5

Northern Illinois  

0-0

0-1

93.9

99.0

BallState

1-0

1-0

89.8

92.0

Central Michigan

0-0

1-0

88.0

90.0

Eastern Michigan

0-1

0-1

85.6

88.0

         
         
Conference Means

89.3615

 

87.61

91.1

 

 

Mountain West Conference

         
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

BoiseState

0-0

0-1

103.7

102.5

Nevada

0-0

1-0

101.1

105.0

Wyoming

0-0

0-1

93.2

95.0

San DiegoState

0-0

0-1

92.8

97.5

FresnoState

0-0

1-0

92.8

99.0

ColoradoState

0-0

1-0

88.4

92.5

Air Force

0-0

1-0

85.6

100.0

Hawaii

0-0

0-1

84.7

89.5

New Mexico

0-0

1-0

81.4

85.0

UNLV

0-0

0-1

79.0

91.0

 

 

 

   
Conference Means

92.985

 

90.27

95.7

 

 

Pac-12 Conference

North Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Oregon  

0-0

1-0

120.9

119.0

Stanford

0-0

1-0

114.3

111.5

OregonState

0-0

0-0

106.0

105.5

Washington

0-0

1-0

105.0

106.5

California

0-0

0-1

105.0

102.0

WashingtonState

0-0

0-1

99.4

100.0

         
South Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

U S C

0-0

1-0

128.7

120.5

Utah

0-0

1-0

111.6

111.0

U C L A

0-0

1-0

111.0

112.0

Arizona

0-0

1-0

103.7

106.5

ArizonaState

0-0

1-0

101.1

109.5

Colorado

0-0

0-1

91.1

93.5

         
         
Conference Means

108.138

 

108.15

108.1

 

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Georgia

0-0

1-0

117.3

116.0

South Carolina

1-0

1-0

117.3

116.0

Tennessee

0-0

1-0

115.9

112.0

Missouri

0-0

1-0

114.8

112.0

Florida

0-0

1-0

114.7

112.5

Vanderbilt

0-1

0-1

110.6

105.5

Kentucky

0-0

0-1

94.4

94.0

         
West Division        
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Alabama

0-0

1-0

130.7

123.0

L S U  

0-0

1-0

129.2

120.0

Arkansas

0-0

1-0

118.4

114.5

Texas A&M

0-0

0-0

113.2

107.0

Auburn

0-0

0-1

111.5

109.5

MississippiState

0-0

1-0

109.6

110.0

Ole Miss

0-0

1-0

101.3

101.0

         
         
Conference Means

112.568

 

114.21

110.9

 

 

Sunbelt Conference

         
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Western Kentucky

0-0

1-0

93.0

96.5

UL-Lafayette

0-0

1-0

92.1

97.0

Florida International

0-0

0-1

90.7

91.5

ArkansasState  

0-0

0-1

89.8

94.5

North Texas

0-0

0-1

88.2

87.0

Louisiana-Monroe

0-0

0-0

85.5

90.0

Troy

0-0

1-0

85.1

94.0

FloridaAtlantic

0-0

1-0

74.6

76.5

Middle Tennessee

0-0

0-1

72.6

81.5

South Alabama

0-0

0-1

70.4

79.5

         
         
Conference Means

86.5

 

84.20

88.8

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

         
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Vintage

Louisiana Tech  

0-0

0-0

101.1

98.5

UtahState

0-0

1-0

93.8

96.0

San JoseState

0-0

0-1

91.8

95.5

Idaho

0-0

0-1

79.5

78.5

TexasState

0-0

1-0

79.1

86.0

New MexicoState

0-0

1-0

78.1

82.0

U T S A

0-0

1-0

76.1

84.5

         
         
Conference Means

87.1786

 

85.64

88.7

 

 

Here Are The PiRate and Vintage Spreads For This Week

This Week’s Games
         
Favorite Underdog PiRate Vintage Line
Thursday, September 6      
CINCINNATI Pittsburgh 0.1 15.0 4   
         
Friday, August 31      
Utah UTAH STATE 15.8 13.0 7 1/2
         
Saturday, September 8      
VIRGINIA Penn State 9.0 10.5 10   
Indiana MASSACHUSETTS 22.5 12.5 13 1/2
MICHIGAN Air Force 36.7 15.5 21   
OHIO U New Mexico State 23.0 22.0 21   
KENTUCKY Kent State 8.1 6.5 7   
OHIO STATE Central Florida 16.9 20.5 17 1/2
BOWLING GREEN Idaho 18.4 19.5 16   
CLEMSON Ball State 28.7 26.0 27   
KANSAS Rice 16.5 6.0 9 1/2
WYOMING Toledo 1.2 0.5 3   
North Carolina WAKE FOREST 13.2 19.5 8   
MISSOURI Georgia 0.5 -1.0 -3 1/2
KANSAS STATE Miami (Fla) 23.1 10.0 7   
Michigan State CENTRAL MICHIGAN 22.7 20.5 23 1/2
Southern Cal (n) Syracuse 30.9 24.5 27 1/2
NOTRE DAME Purdue 16.4 3.5 14 1/2
South Florida NEVADA 3.9 -5.0 -1   
Wisconsin OREGON STATE 6.9 0.0 8   
OREGON Fresno State 31.1 23.0 34   
SOUTH CAROLINA East Carolina 25.3 22.5 21 1/2
Iowa State IOWA 3.3 -4.0 -3 1/2
L S U Washington 28.2 17.5 23 1/2
OLE MISS U t e p 11.6 12.5 7 1/2
MISSISSIPPI STATE Auburn 1.1 3.5 3   
Texas Tech TEXAS STATE 30.7 15.5 17 1/2
Maryland TEMPLE 3.2 3.0 -10 1/2
TEXAS New Mexico 41.6 31.0 38   
TEXAS A&M Florida 2.0 -2.0 1 1/2
HOUSTON Louisiana Tech 1.7 -3.0 -3 1/2
Nebraska U C L A 4.8 -1.0 5   
SAN DIEGO STATE Army 4.7 15.5 4 1/2
CONNECTICUT North Carolina State 1.2 -9.0 -6   
TULSA Tulane 23.7 19.5 25   
Vanderbilt NORTHWESTERN 9.1 1.0 3 1/2
STANFORD Duke 18.6 19.0 15   
Oklahoma State ARIZONA 20.0 6.0 13 1/2
Illinois ARIZONA STATE 1.6 -5.0 -3   
FLORIDA INT’L Akron 26.9 20.5 23 1/2
UL-Lafayette TROY 4.5 0.5 -3   
MIDDLE TENNESSEE Florida Atlantic 0.0 7.0 8   
ARKANSAS STATE Memphis 18.4 20.5 23   
ARKANSAS UL-Monroe 35.9 27.5 30 1/2
ALABAMA Western Kentucky 41.7 30.5 40   

 

Coming Tomorrow: Our PiRate NFL Picks For Week 1.  Can we have a year like 2011, when our regular season NFL picks beat the spread to the tune of 60.8%?  (31-21-2)

 

October 18, 2011

PiRate Ratings: NFL For Week 7–October 23-24, 2011

Two Big Rivalries Renewed This Week

First, let us give ourselves a hearty slap on the back for jinxing the possible monumental Thanksgiving Day game between Green Bay and Detroit.  The 49ers had the last slap laugh in that matter.

 

Speaking of Green Bay, the Packers and Vikings renew their rivalry at Lambeau Field this Sunday.  In the AFC, the Chiefs and Raiders square off in Oakland.  These two games are two of the best all-time rivalry games over the last 50 years.  In this writer’s opinion, both rivalries matured at the same time the Super Bowl came into existence.  Let’s take a look at the key games to show you that you never can predict these games.

 

Green Bay vs. Minnesota

1966

The Packers were coming off an NFL Championship, their third in the last five years, and Coach Vince Lombardi’s team was headed to a 12-2 regular season and win in Super Bowl I.  The Vikings were just 2-4-1 when they ventured to Lambeau Field to face the 6-1 Packers.  As usual between these teams in those days, it was a hard-fought trench war that pre-dated the “Black and Blue Division” moniker given the old NFC Central Division.

 

Green Bay led this game 17-10 as the fourth quarter began, but the underdog Vikings scored 10 points in the final minutes to upset the Packers 20-17.  Big plodding fullback Bill Brown blasted into the end zone from a yard out to cap a final drive that produced the winning points.  It wouldn’t be the last time Brown pulled off that feat.

 

1967

Once again, the Packers were headed to a Super Bowl title, while the Vikings were going nowhere.  In fact, coming into Lambeau Field, the Purple and White sported an 0-4 record, while Green Bay had yet to lose a game.

 

The weather was cold and dreary, and the game turned into a defensive struggle for most of the day.  Green Bay led 7-0 with less than a quarter to play, when Brown did it again.  He capped a drive with a one yard plunge up the middle to tie the score, and then he converted a couple of first downs to set up a winning Fred Cox field goal, as Minnesota won 10-7.

 

1970

This time, the shoe was on the other foot.  Green Bay was no longer a power, while Minnesota was the defending NFL Champions (They had won the final NFL title by defeating Cleveland, but lost in the Super Bowl to Kansas City).

 

Coach Bud Grant and his Purple People Eaters were on their way to a second consecutive 12-2 season, while Green Bay was headed to a 6-8 season in what would prove to be Coach Phil Bengston’s last year, and Bart Starr’s last full year as the regular quarterback. 

 

The Packers had lost to Detroit 40-0 a couple weeks earlier, and nobody gave Green Bay a chance even at home.  The Packers pulled off the surprise of the week with a 13-10 upset.  Donny Anderson ran the sweep almost like the good ole days, and Dave Hampton returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

 

1972

In 1972, Coach Dan Devine took the Packers to their last full season (not counting a 5-3-1 record in the strike-shortened 1982 season) division championship prior to Brett Favre’s run.  The Packers were 4-2, while the Vikings were 2-4 as they squared off in Green Bay.

 

The Purple People Eaters ate quarterback Scott Hunter in the fourth quarter, returning two interceptions for touchdowns as Minnesota pulled off the 27-13 upset.

 

Oakland vs. Kansas City

Some fans say this rivalry became intense when the Kansas City Athletics baseball team moved to Oakland.  However, the rivalry goes back much farther.  It was already intense when the Chiefs were still the Dallas Texans, but it became fierce and hated once the American Football League had an agreement in place to merge in four years and would play the NFL champion in the Super Bowl.

 

1966

The Chiefs were headed to the AFL title and would represent the league in Super Bowl I.  The Raiders were a decent team but lacked consistency at quarterback.  When these two squared off at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Oakland was 2-3, while Kansas City was 4-1 having split with the two-time defending AFL champion Bills.

 

On this day, the Raiders got what they needed from their quarterback.  Future Raiders’ head coach Tom Flores threw for 300+ yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard strike to former Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, who had been converted into an end by Coach John Rauch.

 

Meanwhile, the tough Raider defense knocked Chiefs’ running back Mike Garrett out of the game after he had rushed just three times for a loss of two yards.  Garrett had entered the game averaging better than six yards per carry.  Oakland won 34-13.

 

1968

After the Raiders destroyed the rest of the league in 1967 with their new quarterback, the mad bomber Daryle Lamonica, it was expected that they would repeat and possibly go 14-0. 

 

Kansas City rebounded from a 9-5 season and looked more like the Green Bay Packers than an AFL team.  They ran the ball with power and speed, and when defenses tried to stop the run, quarterback Len Dawson threw long passes to Otis Taylor and Fred Arbanas. 

 

Both teams entered this game at 4-1, having lost to the two best remaining teams in the AFL.  Kansas City lost by a point to Joe Namath and the Jets, while Oakland had been upset by a San Diego team that would forge a three-way tie at 8-2 later in the season before collapsing after Thanksgiving.

 

This game was supposed to be the game of the year, but something happened leading up to it.  The Chiefs suffered injuries to their entire receiving corps.  Coach Hank Stram did not have a single healthy receiver.  Rather than sign multiple receivers off the waiver wire or try to make do with taxi squad players, he did what only Stram would ever think of doing.  He installed a full-house T-formation offense straight out of the 1940’s.  He even used two tight ends and no wide receivers.

 

Of course, an offense like that was easy to stuff and completely shut down—correct?  No, not correct, as the Chiefs ran power plays, trap plays, and misdirection plays that the Silver and Black could not stop.

 

Over and over, Kansas City sustained long, time-consuming drives.  Dawson threw three play-action passes all day and completed two for 16 yards, one of them to a back.

 

The three Chief backs, Mike Garrett, Robert Holmes, and Wendell Hayes teamed for 293 rushing yards on 57 attempts.  Kansas City upset the Raiders 24-10, and this game may have been the beginning of the end for Coach Rauch and his unbeatable team.

 

1968, part two

The Raiders and Chiefs ended the regular season tied at 12-2, and the AFL had a playoff game to determine which Western Division team would face the Jets for the AFL Championship a week later.

 

Kansas City had given up just 170 points in 14 games, which was 29 points better than any other defense in the nine year history of the AFL.  Oakland had nearly equaled its offensive mayhem of 1967, scoring 453 points.  This game was expected to be the best game ever played in the AFL.

 

It wasn’t.  It was over before halftime, as the Raiders destroyed the Chiefs 41-6.  Lamonica threw five touchdown passes on his way to almost 350 yards passing.  Fred Biletnikoff caught three of those TD tosses.

 

The vaunted Kansas City running game ground to a halt, as the terrific trio gained just 61 yards on 22 attempts.

 

1969

In the last season of the AFL, the league instituted a new playoff rule.  Because the league had expanded to 10 teams, and because the NFL had four divisions with four playoff teams, the AFL decided to add the runners-up from its two divisions to the playoff mix.  Thus, the second place team in each division would play at the first place team in the opposite division, with the two winners playing for the AFL title a week later.

 

It was no surprise that Oakland and Kansas City won the two playoff spots in the Western Division.  However, Oakland was clearly the better team.  Under first year head coach John Madden, the Raiders had gone 12-1-1, losing only to the Cincinnati Bengal’s great passer Greg Cook before he suffered a career-ending injury.

 

Kansas City finished 11-3, relying on great defense and just enough offense without making mistakes. 

 

The Raiders beat the Chiefs handily three times that year.  The first did not count because it came in the preseason, but the other two were regular season games.

 

In the opening round of the playoffs, the Raiders humiliated Houston 56-7 in what was the second worst playoff margin ever.  Kansas City prevented the New York Jets from repeating as World Champions, which set up a fourth meeting between the two bitter rivals.

 

Coach Stram prepared well hoping to stop Lamonica and Biletnikoff and making Oakland beat them with their ground game.  Oakland did not cow-tow to any team and refused to alter their playing style for any opponent, especially the team they hated more than they hated the hippies across the bay.

 

Lamonica did not last the full 60 minutes.  A sack late midway through the third quarter ended his day, and greybeard George Blanda was forced into action.  He could not move the Raiders’ offense, and Kansas City held on for a 17-7 win.  The Chiefs picked off four Oakland passes and became the final AFL Champion.

 

1970

Of all the rivalry games between these two teams, this was the fiercest of all.  Not only did it produce multiple free-for-alls, including one of the worst bench-clearing brawls in football history, it even produced a rules change.

 

Neither team was great by this time.  The Colts and Dolphins were now the two best teams in the new AFC.  However, the new AFC West was going to be won by one of these two teams.

 

When the two heavyweights faced off in Kansas City, it was the Chiefs that dominated the game for most of the day.  However, they could only muster two touchdowns and a field goal and led 17-14 in the fourth quarter.

 

The Chiefs had the ball in their own territory and only needed a couple first downs to run out the clock.  They got the first one and had a crucial third down play coming up.  Quarterback Dawson rolled out as if to pass and then saw enough running room to pick up the first down, even on his old legs.  He sprinted to the far side of the field and dove past the first down marker for an apparent first down that would seal the game.

 

However, that was not the end of the play.  The Raiders’ biggest villain of all, Ben Davidson (who sported a handlebar mustache before A’s pitcher Rollie Fingers), speared Dawson after the play was over.

 

Otis Taylor then threw a punch at Davidson, and the game turned into a professional wrestling match, except the punches and fighting were not pre-planned.  Both benches cleared, and the referees had a hard time restoring order.  When they separated the two teams, they held a conference.  Their decision was to toss out both Davidson and Taylor and call offsetting personal foul penalties. 

 

In those days, offsetting penalties after the end of the play nullified the play, so Kansas City had to convert the third down play again.  This time, Oakland stopped them and forced the Chiefs to punt.  The Raiders had just enough time to complete two passes and attempt a long field goal.  Blanda converted from just across midfield (goalposts were at the goal line in those days), and the Raiders left Kansas City with a 17-17 tie.

 

As it turned out, this tie game was all that prevented Kansas City from winning the division.  Oakland finished 8-4-2, while Kansas City finished 7-5-2.  Both teams would have been 8-5-1 had the fight not affected the outcome of the game.  The Chiefs would have won the tiebreaker.

 

Because of that game, the NFL changed the dead ball personal foul rule so that it could not nullify a play after it happened.

 

The PiRate Ratings For Week 7

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New York Giants

102.5

99.7

103.2

1.5

4

2

0

154

147

Dallas Cowboys

101.9

103.2

102.0

0.5

2

3

0

115

121

Philadelphia Eagles

101.7

101.6

99.2

2

2

4

0

145

145

Washington Redskins

95.8

98.2

101.0

3.5

3

2

0

96

83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Green Bay Packers

110.9

110.0

109.0

2

6

0

0

197

114

Chicago Bears

103.6

102.9

104.4

2.5

3

3

0

146

132

Detroit Lions

103.0

105.4

105.8

3

5

1

0

178

114

Minnesota Vikings

96.1

96.5

95.3

4

1

5

0

121

145

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New Orleans Saints

106.3

104.7

104.1

3.5

4

2

0

177

151

Atlanta Falcons

102.1

100.4

99.9

3.5

3

3

0

135

147

Tampa Bay Bucaneers

98.8

98.4

100.0

2.5

4

2

0

113

145

Carolina Panthers

93.8

95.5

96.3

2.5

1

5

0

133

163

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Francisco 49ers

104.4

106.7

104.3

2.5

5

1

0

167

97

Seattle Seahawks

94.5

95.6

94.8

1.5

2

3

0

94

122

Arizona Cardinals

92.0

93.2

95.1

3

1

4

0

96

121

St. Louis Rams

91.5

91.0

87.9

2

0

5

0

49

137

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

New England Patriots

107.6

108.8

105.6

2.5

5

1

0

185

135

New York Jets

103.7

104.1

101.2

3

3

3

0

145

131

Buffalo Bills

100.1

102.2

105.4

3.5

4

2

0

188

147

Miami Dolphins

96.1

94.6

91.7

3

0

5

0

75

128

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Baltimore Ravens

110.4

110.2

109.9

3.5

4

1

0

148

71

Pittsburgh Steelers

105.3

102.9

102.1

3

4

2

0

119

102

Cincinnati Bengals

97.9

100.1

101.5

2.5

4

2

0

137

111

Cleveland Browns

93.7

93.8

95.7

1

2

3

0

91

117

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Houston Texans

103.7

102.5

103.4

2

3

3

0

141

124

Tennessee Titans

100.1

100.6

101.7

3.5

3

2

0

105

94

Indianapolis Colts

95.2

92.4

91.9

2

0

6

0

104

163

Jacksonville Jaguars

94.8

93.5

92.7

1.5

1

5

0

72

132

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

HFA

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

San Diego Chargers

103.6

101.5

101.6

1

4

1

0

120

109

Oakland Raiders

100.3

101.6

102.6

2

4

2

0

160

150

Kansas City Chiefs

96.6

93.2

94.8

1

2

3

0

77

150

Denver Broncos

92.6

95.2

95.9

2.5

1

4

0

105

140

 

This Week’s Games (Tally ho, to Wembley we go!)

Home Team in CAPS

(N) Denotes Neutral Site

       
   

 

 

 

 

 

Week 7: October 23-24, 2011

Vegas Line as of Tuesday, October 18, 2:00 PM EDT

             

 

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vegas

Totals

Chicago  (n) Tampa Bay (London)

4.8

4.5

4.4

1   

44   

CAROLINA Washington

0.5

-0.2

-2.2

2 1/2

44   

NEW YORK JETS San Diego

3.1

5.6

2.6

-2   

45   

CLEVELAND Seattle

0.2

-0.8

1.9

3   

40 1/2

Houston TENNESSEE

0.1

-1.6

-1.8

-3   

44 1/2

MIAMI Denver

6.5

2.4

-1.2

2   

42 1/2

DETROIT Atlanta

3.9

8.0

8.9

3 1/2

47 1/2

OAKLAND Kansas City

5.7

10.4

9.8

3 1/2

41 1/2

Pittsburgh ARIZONA

10.3

6.7

4.0

3 1/2

42   

DALLAS St. Louis

10.9

12.7

14.6

13   

43   

Green Bay MINNESOTA

10.8

9.5

9.7

8   

47   

NEW ORLEANS Indianapolis

14.6

15.8

15.7

14   

48   

Baltimore JACKSONVILLE

14.1

15.2

15.7

7 1/2

39   

 

September 5, 2011

1960’s NFL Football Trivia Quiz

1960’s Pro Football Trivia Quiz

 

Okay pro football fans.  See how many of theses dozen trivia questions from the 1960’s you can answer.  This quiz was issued to a Green Bay Packers pre-game gathering, and not one of the 34 “experts” came close to getting all these questions correct.  Of course, they did not have a computer with which to cheat and look up the answers.

 

Some of these questions are tricky, so be on your toes.  It doesn’t hurt to be over 50 and to have remembered this era, but then again, with our aging memories, it may not help either.

 

1. What team handed Vince Lombardi his last NFL postseason loss?

 

2. Who was the American Football League’s passing leader in its first year of existence?

 

3. Who was the first pro player to record 100 receptions in a single season?

 

4. Who was the first kicker to connect on more than 30 field goals in a single season?

 

5. The Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans recycled their nicknames.  Which two pro teams were once the Texans and Titans?

 

6. What NFL team lost only its final regular season game and failed to make the playoffs?

 

7. What NFL team won only one game in the first half of their season and still won their division?

 

8. Besides Jim Brown, which two players won multiple NFL rushing titles in the 1960’s?

 

9. Which TV network televised the first Super Bowl?

 

10. Which team and in what year was the last time an offense ran out of a full-house T formation for an entire game?

 

11. Who was the only player to be a member of both the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line?

 

12. During the 1960’s, 12 pro teams played their home games for at least one season in a stadium that began as a Major League baseball park and was not constructed for football.  How many can you come up with?

Answers  Below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. No, it was not the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1960 NFL Championship Game.  The St. Louis Cardinals defeated Green Bay in the 1964 Playoff Bowl at The Orange Bowl in Miami.  Prior to 1970, the runner-up in the Eastern Conference played the runner-up in the Western Conference in Miami for third place in what was called “The Bert Bell Benefit Bowl”, but most media and fans called it “The Playoff Bowl.”  St. Louis, finished runner-up to the Cleveland Browns, while Green Bay finished runner-up to the Baltimore Colts.  The Cardinals defeated Green Bay 24-17.

 

 

 

2. Former member of the US House, presidential and vice-presidential candidate Jack Kemp of the Los Angeles Chargers

 

 

 

3. Lionel Taylor caught 100 passes for the Denver Broncos in 1961.

 

 

 

4. Jim Turner 34 with 1968 Super Bowl Winner New York Jets

 

 

 

5. The New York Titans and Dallas Texans were original members of the American Football League (AFL).  The Titans became the Jets following a change of ownership, while the Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs.

 

 

 

6. The 1967 Baltimore Colts were 11-0-2 entering their final game against the Los Angeles Rams at the LA Coliseum.  The Rams were 10-1-2 entering this game, having tied the Colts in Baltimore earlier in the season.  Los Angeles beat the Colts to win the NFL Coastal Division title at 11-1-2, and the Colts were done at 11-1-2, which was the second best record in the NFL.  The other three playoff teams (Dallas, Cleveland, and Green Bay) entered with just nine wins each.

 

 

 

7. The 1970 Cincinnati Bengals were 1-6-0 at the halfway point.  After an opening week win over Oakland, the Bengals lost six in a row.  Cleveland led at 4-3-0; Pittsburgh was second at 3-4-0, and Houston was third at 2-4-1.  The Bengals caught fire in the second half using the short passing of quarterback Virgil Carter and the running of Paul Robinson combined with a defense that was tough against the run.  The team won all seven games in the second half to win the AFC Central at 8-6-0, as Cleveland folded and finished 7-7-0.  In the playoffs, the Bengals fell quickly to eventual Super Bowl Champion Baltimore 17-0, when they had no answer for Bubba Smith, Roy Hilton, and Mike Curtis and gained less than 150 total yards.  Johnny Unitas completed two bomb for touchdowns.

 

 

 

8. Gayle Sayers of the Chicago Bears in 1966 & 1969 and Leroy Kelly of the Cleveland Browns 1967-1968

 

 

 

9. TRICK QUESTION: Both NBC and CBS televised Super Bowl I at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.  CBS used Ray Scott and Frank Gifford with Jack Whitaker commentary in the Booth and with Pat Summerall reporting on the sidelines.  NBC used Curt Gowdy and Paul Christman in the booth with Charlie Jones on the Sidelines.

 

 

 

10. On October 20, 1968, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 24-10 using a full-house T-formation offense.  Coach Hank Stram had no healthy wide receivers available for the game.  He took his starting halfback, Mike Garrett, his starting fullback, Robert Holmes, and his backup fullback, Wendell Hayes and placed them in the backfield with Hayes in the middle and Garrett and Holmes to the sides.  Stram also used two tight ends, and quarterback Len Dawson threw just three passes all day, all on play-action. The Chiefs rushed for almost 300 yards on the day.  Oakland could not stop the deceptive quickness to the outside or the power to the inside. 

 

 

 

11. Rosey Grier

 

 

 

12. St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium I (aka Sportsman’s Park)

 

Chicago Bears in Wrigley Field

 

Cincinnati Bengals in Crosley Field

 

Cleveland Browns in Cleveland Municipal Stadium

 

Detroit Lions in Tiger Stadium

 

Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City Municipal Stadium

 

Minnesota Vikings in Metropolitan Stadium

 

Boston Patriots in Fenway Park

 

New York Giants in Yankee Stadium

 

New York Titans in the Polo Grounds

 

Pittsburgh Steelers in Forbes Field

 

Washington Redskins at Griffith Stadium

 

 

 

If you said the Baltimore Colts, you are wrong.  The Colts played at Memorial Stadium before the Orioles moved from St. Louis.  As for other teams, The Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons played in venues that were created as multi-use parks.  The Denver Broncos played in a Minor League baseball park that would one day become a Major League park.

 

 

 

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