The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 16, 2015

NFL Report For Week 2–September 10-14, 2015

What an amazing week one for the NFL season.  The game pitting the worst two teams from 2014 featured the two most recent Heisman Trophy winners.  Tampa Bay and Jameis Winston hosted Tennessee and Marcus Mariota.

If you didn’t see the outcome or the stats from that game, all you have to do is look at this week’s Sports Illustrated cover.  Mariota graces the cover of SI for the second time in five months and the sixth time overall.

The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner completed 13 of 16 passes for 209 yards and 4 TDs, as the Titans raced to a 35-7 halftime lead.  Mariota’s four TD passes came in the first half, and backup Zach Mettenberger replaced him in the second half, so Mariota’s day ended with just 16 pass attempts.

On his first touchdown pass, Mariota was aligned in the shotgun and apparently handed off to running back Bishop Sankey.  Even the CBS announcer began his play-by-play of the play in question by saying, “Mariota, he gives it to…”

Mariota’s fake from the apparent zone read play forced the Buccaneer linebackers to freeze, while Kendall Wright found the hole in the secondary coverage.  Mariota hit Wright in the seam of what looked like a cover 1 defense (man-to-man with a free safety), leading him perfectly and zipping the ball on a rope.  Wright caught the ball in full stride without hesitation and then split defenders to finish the 52 yard play.

One play does not foretell a Hall of Fame career, but Mariota gave several more examples that he could be a legitimate future star.  In earning NFL Player of The Week and Rookie Player of The Week honors, Mariota placed himself in some ritzy company.

Only one quarterback in the history of the NFL tossed four touchdown passes in his first game.  That man was Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, who while playing for the expansion team Minnesota Vikings, did this in 1961 against the Chicago Bears.  Tarkenton needed all four quarters to record the feat; Mariota did it in less than 30 minutes.

Mariota’s maximum QB rating for his first game has never been equaled in the history of the NFL back to 1933.  No QB who threw at least 10 passes in his first game ever recorded a 158.3 rating in his first start.

What about an encore?  Unless Josh McCown makes a miraculous recovery from a concussion and is cleared to play Sunday, Mariota gets to face the Heisman Trophy winner from the year before his adversary Winston.  The Titans venture north to take on Johnny Football (Manziel) and the Cleveland Browns.

Thursday night gives the public a chance to view Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos taking on Kansas City.  Manning’s season opener was a bit concerning for the Broncos.  His 24-40-1 for 150 yards and 0 TD and a bad back have football pundits wondering if maybe the time has come for Manning to become a full-time pizzeria owner.

Those pundits are not seeing the entire field.  The Broncos have a lot of problems, but Manning is not the primary concern.  Yes, Manning has lost some zip on his passes, but Denver has many more worries, like a green offensive line, no running game, and just two quality receivers.  Oh, and the Broncos were not playing against the Tampa Bay defense.  Baltimore’s defense has produced a lot of long days for opposing quarterbacks.

Let’s at least get through September before we crown Mariota the next superstar and proclaim Manning’s career over.

 

This Week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 106.3 105.0 106.8 106.0 1-0-0 27 26
Philadelphia 104.0 103.3 104.2 103.8 0-1-0 24 26
N.Y. Giants 100.5 100.3 101.2 100.7 0-1-0 26 27
Washington 93.0 92.0 92.1 92.4 0-1-0 10 17
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.3 107.2 108.6 108.0 1-0-0 31 23
Detroit 102.7 101.6 102.6 102.3 0-1-0 28 33
Minnesota 99.2 96.1 100.3 98.5 0-1-0 3 20
Chicago 96.0 95.4 96.3 95.9 0-1-0 23 31
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 100.9 100.7 101.1 100.9 1-0-0 20 9
New Orleans 99.5 95.1 99.9 98.2 0-1-0 19 31
Atlanta 96.4 96.7 96.8 96.6 1-0-0 26 24
Tampa Bay 89.3 90.4 88.7 89.5 0-1-0 14 42
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 106.7 106.2 106.6 106.5 0-1-0 31 34
Arizona 101.9 100.8 102.5 101.7 1-0-0 31 19
San Francisco 100.6 98.2 100.7 99.8 1-0-0 20 3
St. Louis 97.0 99.3 96.4 97.6 1-0-0 34 31
               
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.8 107.7 107.6 107.7 1-0-0 28 21
Buffalo 101.2 102.3 101.5 101.7 1-0-0 27 14
Miami 98.9 100.4 98.4 99.2 1-0-0 17 10
N. Y. Jets 98.9 99.0 99.1 99.0 1-0-0 31 10
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.4 104.8 107.7 106.3 0-1-0 13 19
Cincinnati 103.6 104.3 103.6 103.8 1-0-0 33 13
Pittsburgh 102.9 103.0 102.8 102.9 0-1-0 21 28
Cleveland 94.2 91.9 94.0 93.4 0-1-0 10 31
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 103.3 104.1 103.0 103.5 0-1-0 14 27
Houston 97.3 98.8 96.9 97.7 0-1-0 20 27
Tennessee 96.7 96.7 97.8 97.1 1-0-0 42 14
Jacksonville 89.7 94.5 88.4 90.9 0-1-0 9 20
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 105.9 105.1 105.5 105.5 1-0-0 19 13
San Diego 101.0 101.9 100.9 101.3 1-0-0 33 28
Kansas City 100.5 102.5 100.8 101.3 1-0-0 27 20
Oakland 89.4 94.7 87.2 90.4 0-1-0 13 33
This Week’s Games
         
Week Number: 2      
Date of Games: September 17-21      
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Kansas City Denver -2.4 0.4 -1.7
Carolina Houston 6.6 4.9 7.2
Pittsburgh San Francisco 6.3 8.8 6.1
New Orleans Tampa Bay 12.7 7.2 13.7
Minnesota Detroit -1.0 -3.0 0.2
Chicago Arizona -2.9 -2.4 -3.2
Buffalo New England -4.1 -2.9 -3.6
Cincinnati San Diego 6.1 5.9 6.2
Cleveland Tennessee 0.5 -1.8 -0.8
NY Giants Atlanta 7.1 6.6 7.4
Washington St. Louis -1.0 -4.3 -1.3
Jacksonville Miami -7.2 -3.9 -8.0
Oakland Baltimore -13.5 -6.6 -17.2
Philadelphia Dallas 0.7 1.3 0.4
Green Bay Seattle 4.6 4.0 5.0
Indianapolis NY Jets 7.4 8.1 6.9

 

September 6, 2015

NFL Report For Week 1–September 10-14, 2015

The 2015 NFL Football season begins with major quarterback news.  Tom Brady, expected to be out four games, is now in.  Tim Tebow, expected to be in as an Eagle reserve, is now out.  Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the 2013 and 2014 Heisman Trophy winners, face off in week one in football’s equivalent of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.  Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 100% healthy, but he hasn’t a healthy top-flight receiver.  Former Heisman winners RGIII and Johnny Football begins the year as backups, while veterans Matt Flynn, Christian Ponder, and Matt Cassel are men without a country, er team.  As for Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard scholar inherits the unenviable task of trying not to throw interceptions (3.5% rate for career) for the Jets, where each bad play will be scrutinized like the name on the back of the jersey reads, “Trump” or “Clinton.”

 

By next Sunday, all will be well, and on the field results will take over for off the field news.  The PiRates have finalized the preseason ratings and have calculated their first spreads of the season.

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 106.9 105.6 107.6 106.7 0-0-0 0 0
Philadelphia 104.7 103.9 105.2 104.6 0-0-0 0 0
N.Y. Giants 99.9 99.7 100.4 100.0 0-0-0 0 0
Washington 93.2 92.1 92.5 92.6 0-0-0 0 0
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.5 107.5 109.1 108.4 0-0-0 0 0
Detroit 102.9 101.8 103.4 102.7 0-0-0 0 0
Minnesota 100.5 97.4 101.9 99.9 0-0-0 0 0
Chicago 95.8 95.1 95.8 95.6 0-0-0 0 0
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 100.8 100.0 101.0 100.6 0-0-0 0 0
New Orleans 100.1 95.4 101.1 98.9 0-0-0 0 0
Atlanta 95.7 96.1 95.8 95.9 0-0-0 0 0
Tampa Bay 92.1 93.4 92.0 92.5 0-0-0 0 0
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 107.8 106.9 108.0 107.6 0-0-0 0 0
Arizona 101.3 100.5 101.3 101.0 0-0-0 0 0
San Francisco 99.3 96.9 99.1 98.4 0-0-0 0 0
St. Louis 95.9 98.6 95.0 96.5 0-0-0 0 0
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.9 107.9 107.9 107.9 0-0-0 0 0
Buffalo 99.8 100.6 99.6 100.0 0-0-0 0 0
Miami 98.7 100.3 98.0 99.0 0-0-0 0 0
N. Y. Jets 97.7 98.2 97.5 97.8 0-0-0 0 0
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.7 105.1 108.2 106.7 0-0-0 0 0
Cincinnati 102.9 103.3 102.9 103.0 0-0-0 0 0
Pittsburgh 102.8 102.8 102.5 102.7 0-0-0 0 0
Cleveland 95.4 92.7 95.6 94.6 0-0-0 0 0
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 104.7 105.8 104.9 105.1 0-0-0 0 0
Houston 97.6 99.1 97.5 98.1 0-0-0 0 0
Tennessee 93.9 93.7 94.5 94.0 0-0-0 0 0
Jacksonville 89.8 95.2 88.5 91.2 0-0-0 0 0
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 105.6 104.8 105.0 105.1 0-0-0 0 0
San Diego 100.8 101.7 100.1 100.9 0-0-0 0 0
Kansas City 100.2 102.2 100.2 100.9 0-0-0 0 0
Oakland 90.1 95.7 87.9 91.2 0-0-0 0 0

Week One Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
New England Pittsburgh 8.1 8.1 8.4
Arizona New Orleans 4.2 8.1 3.2
Buffalo Indianapolis -1.9 -2.2 -2.3
Chicago Green Bay -9.7 -9.4 -10.3
Dallas N. Y. Giants 9.5 8.4 9.7
Denver Baltimore 1.9 2.7 -0.2
Houston Kansas City -0.6 -1.1 -0.7
Jacksonville Carolina -9.0 -2.8 -10.5
N. Y. Jets Cleveland 4.8 8.0 4.4
Oakland Cincinnati -9.8 -4.6 -12.0
San Diego Detroit 0.9 2.9 -0.3
St. Louis Seattle -8.9 -5.3 -10.0
Tampa Bay Tennessee 0.7 2.2 0.0
Washington Miami -3.5 -6.2 -3.5
Atlanta Philadelphia -6.5 -5.3 -6.9
San Francisco Minnesota 1.8 2.5 0.2

 Coming later this week:  Our solution to shortening the preseason while gaining revenue and increasing the fan base.

 

August 28, 2015

2015 AFC South Preview

Indianapolis and the Three Dwarfs:  Since the AFC South was formed, all four member teams have had their turn as the top banana, but there has been one consistent theme.  When Tennessee was dominant in the early 2000’s, the Colts were the chief competitor usually finishing a game behind or ahead of the Titans.

When Jacksonville was tough with their stable of tough running backs, it was Indianapolis that was 14-2 when the Jags were 12-4.

When Houston began to shine a few years ago, once again, their competition was the Colts.

Now, the Colts have no competition in the South.  Houston lacks a quarterback that can get them to the playoffs, and J. J. Watt cannot make 30 sacks to level the playing field.  Jacksonville has more rebuilding to do before they can even challenge for an 8-8 record.  Tennessee has been down for six years, and the Titans have as many holes in their roster as a piece of Swiss cheese.  The Colts could go 6-0 in divisional play, while the other three teams all finish 2-4.

 

Houston surprised the football world by rebounding from 2-14 to go 9-7 and almost make the playoffs.  The Texans’ schedule goes from one of the easiest with all the last place teams to one of the more difficult with two extra second place teams (Kansas City and Cincinnati instead of Oakland and Cleveland).  The Texans lose their star receiver in Andre Johnson, and Brian Hoyer passing to Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington as options to DeAndre Hopkins does not have the look of a playoff contender.

Andrew Luck compares with Peyton Manning in that he has taken over this team and led them to divisional dominance.  He also compares a little to Andy Dalton in that the Colts keep coming up short in the playoffs.  However, as we stated about Dalton, it is not his fault when the Colts’ defense gives up 45 points to the Patriots.  This year, Indianapolis’s offense is set to take a step up to the very top of the AFC.  The Colts add Andre Johnson to a roster already stocked with offensive stars.  An improved defense should give Indy a strong chance at competing for the best overall record in the AFC and a good shot at playing in February.

Jacksonville has been number 31 or 32 in the league for multiple seasons.  At one time, the Jaguars were the leading team to relocate to Los Angeles.  At one time, they were more than 21-point underdogs in a game.  Jacksonville might have been picked to contend for an 8-8 record this year had bad luck not hit this team in the Spring.  Top draft choice Dante Fowler was lost for the season with an ACL injury.  Fowler could have been the Jags’ Watt and improve the defense by a touchdown per game.  Now, they have little pass rush, and enemy quarterbacks will be a lot more comfortable on Sunday.

Tennessee puts all their eggs in the Marcus Mariota basket.  Eventually, we believe Mariota will prove to be the right choice for the Titans, but as a rookie with a vulnerable offensive line, we expect backup Zach Mettenberger to be the starter by midseason and possibly Clay Whitehurst by December.  The Titans defense made a couple of key additions by signing Brian Orakpo and adding legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau as assistant head coach.  LeBeau might wish he had retired with the liabilities in the line and in the secondary.

 

HOUSTON TEXANS

Texans Starting Lineup
Offense
WR DeAndre Hopkins
WR Cecil Shorts
WR Nate Washington
TE Garrett Graham
LT Duane Brown
LG Xavier Su’a-Filo
C Ben Jones
RG Brandon Brooks
RT Derek Newton
QB Brian Hoyer
HB Alfred Blue
FB Jay Prosch
   
Defense
DE Jared Crick
DT Vince Wilfork
DE J. J. Watt
LB John Simon
LB Brian Cushing
LB Mike Mohamed
LB Jadeveon Clowney
CB Kareem Jackson
S Rahim Moore
S Stevie Brown
CB Johnathan Joseph
N5 A. J. Bouye
   
Special
Kicker Randy Bullock
Punter Shane Lechler
KR Chandler Worthy
PR Chandler Worthy
Houston Texans
Head Coach Bill O’Brien
Off. Coordinator George Godsey
Def. Coordinator Romeo Crennel
2014 W-L-T 9-7-0
Pts 23.3
Opp 19.2
   
Ratings  
PiRate 97.6
Mean 99.1
Bias 97.5
Average 98.1
   
Grades  
Running B+
Passing D
Vs. Run A
Vs. Pass C+
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C
   
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 11
Overall Rank 22
Postseason No

 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Colts Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Andre Johnson
WR T. Y. Hilton
TE Dwayne Allen
TE Coby Fleener
LT Anthony Costanzo
LG Lance Louis
C Khaled Holmes
RG Todd Herremans
RT Jack Mewhort
QB Andrew Luck
HB Frank Gore
FB (NONE)
   
Defense
DE Kendall Langford
DT Josh Champan
DT Arthur Jones
LB Trent Cole
LB Jerrell Freeman
LB D’Qwell Jackson
LB Erik Walden
CB Greg Toler
S Mike Adams
S Dwight Lowery
CB Vontae Davis
N5 Darius Butler
   
Special
Kicker Adam Vinatiari
Punter Pat McAfee
KR Dan Herron
PR Phillip Dorsett
Indianapolis Colts
Head Coach Chuck Pagano
Off. Coordinator Pep Hamilton
Def. Coordinator Greg Manusky
2014 W-L-T 11-5-0
Pts 28.6
Opp 23.1
   
Ratings  
PiRate 104.7
Mean 105.8
Bias 104.9
Average 105.1
   
Grades  
Running B
Passing A+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass C
Special Teams A
Coaching + Intangibles B-
   
Predicted W-L 10-6-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 4
Overall Rank 7
Postseason Yes

 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Jaguars Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Allen Robinson
WR Allen Hurns
TE Julius Thomas
TE Marcedes Lewis
LT Luke Joeckel
LG Zane Beadles
C Stefen Wisniewski
RG Brandon Linder
RT Jermey Parnell
QB Blake Bortles
HB T. J. Yeldon
FB (NONE)
   
Defense
DE Andre Branch
DT Ziggy Hood
DT Tyson Alualu
DE Jared Odrick
LB Telvin Smith
LB Paul Posluszny
LB Dan Skuta
CB Davon House
S Craig Loston
S Sergio Brown
CB Aaron Colvin
N5 Josh Evans
   
Special
Kicker Josh Scobee
Punter Bryan Anger
KR Denard Robinson
PR Rashad Greene
Jacksonville Jaguars
Head Coach Gus Bradley
Off. Coordinator Greg Olson
Def. Coordinator Bob Babich
2014 W-L-T 3-13-0
Pts 15.6
Opp 25.8
   
Ratings  
PiRate 89.8
Mean 95.2
Bias 88.5
Average 91.2
   
Grades  
Running C-
Passing D
Vs. Run C-
Vs. Pass C-
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C-
   
Predicted W-L 5-11-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 16
Overall Rank 32
Postseason No

 

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Kendall Wright
WR Harry Douglas
TE Delanie Walker
TE Anthony Fasano
LT Taylor Lewan
LG Byron Bell
C Brian Schwenke
RG Chance Warmack
RT Jeremiah Poutasi
QB Marcus Mariota
HB Bishop Sankey
FB Jalston Fowler
   
Defense
DE DaQuan Jones
DT Sammie Hill
DT Jurrell Casey
LB Derrick Morgan
LB Zach Brown
LB Avery Williamson
LB Brian Orakpo
CB Perrish Cox
S Da’Norris Searcy
S Michael Griffin
CB Jason McCourty
N5 Coty Sensabaugh
   
Special
Kicker Ryan Succop
Punter Brett Kern
KR Dexter McCluster
PR Dexter McCluster
Tennessee Titans
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt
Off. Coordinator Jason Michael
Def. Coordinator Ray Horton
2014 W-L-T 2-14-0
Pts 15.9
Opp 27.4
   
Ratings  
PiRate 93.9
Mean 93.7
Bias 94.5
Average 94.0
   
Grades  
Running C
Passing C+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass B-
Special Teams B
Coaching + Intangibles C
   
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 14
Overall Rank 28
Postseason No

 

August 23, 2013

2013 Pac-12 Conference Preview

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:59 pm

2013 Pac-12 Conference Preview

 

Get ready for an exciting season of college football on the West Coast.  The 2013 Pac-12 conference should have two heated races in the divisions.

 

This is a year of transition, and there are no true clear-cut favorites.  On paper, Oregon looks like the class of the league, but the Ducks will not have Coach Chip Kelly on the sidelines, as well as Kenjon Barner and his 1,700+ rushing yards, as well as three of the top five defensive stoppers from 2012.

 

Don’t discount the Ducks.  New coach Mark Elfrich has enough talent to take the Quack Attack back to the National Championship Game.  However, to do so, Oregon will have to win at Stanford.  The Cardinal won at Autzen Stadium last year.

 

Speaking of Stanford, this could be an even stronger edition in Palo Alto this season.  Kevin Hogan proved to be a very capable successor to Andrew Luck, and he will enjoy having the top offensive line  in the league.  However, the Cardinal lost all their key receivers and their key running back.  SU will continue to shine and contend for national honors thanks to a top-notch defense that could yield as few as 15 points per game this year.

 

Oregon St. is lying in ambush of the big two in the Pac-12 North Division.  The Beavers have top 10 talent, albeit third best in this division.  OSU could easily start the season at 7-0 before closing with a brutal stretch of games against Stanford, USC, Arizona St., Washington, and Oregon.  It will be hard topping 4-1 in those five games, and 2-3 may be more likely.

 

Washington is just a step below the big three in the North Division.  The Huskies will take a backseat to nobody on the attack side of the ball.  Coach Steve Sarkisian has one of the best receiving corps in the country, and quarterback Keith Price has 3,500 yard potential.  The Husky defense should be slightly improved, but the schedule prohibits it from a high national ranking.

 

Washington St. and California are well back of the top four in the North Division.  Washington St. starts year two of the Mike Leach era.  He must direct a new quarterback and replace the top receiver from last year.  WSU averaged the worst rushing production in modern day times, when the Cougars ran for just 29 yards per game in 2012.  Of course, sacks (57 in all) played a huge part, and if you count the rushing the proper way, like the NFL, the number inflates to 60 yards per game and a 3.7 average per attempt.

 

California becomes the next team to switch to the Air-Raid Offense, as former Louisiana Tech head man Sonny Dykes takes over in Berkeley.  Look for UC to pass the ball about 45-50 times per game, but it will be a long season at Memorial Stadium with a major rebuilding project commencing.

 

The South Division will be more competitive than the North with four teams in contention.  Our preseason ratings show less than two points separating the top four teams, which is less than the home field advantages for each team.  A 7-2 conference mark could be enough to win the division outright, and a 6-3 record could once again be all that is needed (UCLA last year).

 

This could be a do or die year for Lane Kiffin as coach of the USC Trojans.  The men of Troy failed to live up to expectations last year, finishing just 5-4 in league play and failing to show up against Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.  Max Wittek and Cody Kessler are battling to replace Matt Barkley at quarterback, and star receiver Marqise Lee has given statements to the media that the lack of naming a starter could be causing a stir within the team.  We cannot name the Trojans as the team to beat in the South, as possible dissension and lack of leadership could cause the demise of Kiffin in Los Angeles.

 

The team that we believe has the best chance of winning the division is Arizona St.  The Sun Devils are strong but not spectacular at every position on the field, and there is quality depth for second year head man Todd Graham.  Graham has produced winners everywhere he has coached, but his problem has been stating put.  He is the Larry Brown of football.  Should he decide to stick around Tempe for a lengthy stay, he could restore this program to the lofty status it enjoyed under Frank Kush in the 1970’s.  We look for a Kush-like year at Sun Devil Stadium; ASU should top 200 yards rushing, 200 yards passing, and 40 points per game.

 

UCLA faces a minor rebuilding project on the defensive side of the ball, but the Bruins have enough talent back to contend for the South Division title.  Brett Hundley is the best pure drop back passer in the league, and he could approach 4,000 passing yards.

 

Arizona should be vastly improved on the defensive side of the ball, and when a Rich Rodriguez team plays decent defense, you have to consider his team a legitimate contender for a league title.  The Spread offense will always produce points and access yardage, so the Wildcats are right there with the other three contenders this year.

 

Utah is starting to fall well back of the contenders in this division.  The Utes fell to 3-6 in league play last year, and we do not believe they can match that mark this year.  There isn’t enough talent in Salt Lake City.  The Utes had to fight off a scrappy Colorado team last year, and Cal drops off the schedule with a trip to Oregon as the replacement.  Throw in the regular non-conference games against BYU and Utah St., and it looks like a long year for Coach Kyle Whittingham’s crew.

 

Colorado edged Washington St. by one point last year to avoid an 0-12 season.  A loss to Sacramento St. basically brought about the end of the Jon Embree era in Boulder.  Enter former San Jose St. coach Mike MacIntyre.  In year one, the Buffaloes better be ready to play their best in week two against Central Arkansas, or CU could be looking at 0-12.  Give MacIntyre time, and he will turn things around at Folsom Field.

 

New Teams: None

 

Departures: None

 

Pre-season PiRate Ratings

Pacific 12 Conference

North Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Oregon

0-0

0-0

127.9

119.7

128.8

Stanford

0-0

0-0

127.1

115.9

126.8

Oregon St.

0-0

0-0

121.3

108.6

120.0

Washington

0-0

0-0

117.5

112.6

118.0

Washington St.

0-0

0-0

100.3

96.1

99.9

California

0-0

0-0

97.8

91.9

95.5

     

 

 

 

South Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

U S C

0-0

0-0

116.9

111.4

116.8

Arizona

0-0

0-0

116.2

108.8

115.1

Arizona St.

0-0

0-0

115.5

113.1

115.9

U C L A

0-0

0-0

115.2

103.0

114.1

Utah

0-0

0-0

99.7

96.7

98.5

Colorado

0-0

0-0

89.8

85.9

87.6

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

112.1

105.3

111.4

 

 

Official Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll

 

Pos

Team

Points

1st Place

NORTH DIVISION

1

Oregon

145

15

2

Stanford

139

11

3

Oregon St.

95

0

4

Washington

84

0

5

California

47

0

6

Washington St.

33

0

       
Pos Team

Points

1st Place

SOUTH DIVISION

1

U C L A

135

12

2

Arizona St.

130

10

3

Southern Cal

117

4

4

Arizona

76

0

5

Utah

60

0

6

Colorado

28

0

       

Pac-12 Title Game Champion

  Oregon

14

 
  Stanford

8

 
  U C L A

3

 

 

The Pac-12 did not release an official preseason all-conference team, so we will list the key players for each team with stats from 2012 in parentheses.

 

North Division

 

California

Brendan Bigelow—RB (431 rush/9.8 avg  Breakaway runner)

Chris Harper—WR (41-544)

Richard Rodgers—WR (20-288)

DeAndre Coleman—DL (48 tackles/3 sacks/8.5 TFL)

Nick Forbes—LB (85 tackles/4 Passes Defended)

Michael Lowe—DB (3 Int.)

 

Oregon

Marcus Mariota—QB (68.5% comp./8.0 ypa/32TD/6 Int./860 Rush [minus sacks])

Josh Huff—WR (32-493/7 TD)

Colt Lyerla—TE (25-392/6 TD)

De’Anthony Thomas—Slot (701 rush/11 rush TD/45-445 rec./5 rec. TD/17.1 PR avg and 1 TD/1 KR TD)

Hroniss Grassu, Jake Fisher, and Tyler Johnstone—OL

Taylor Hart—DL (36 tackles/8 sacks/11 TFL)

Ito Ekpre-Olomu—DB (4 Int./20 Passes Defended)

Terrance Mitchell—DB (8 Passes Defended)

 

Oregon St.

Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion—QB (look for both to see action where they combined for 3,926 passing yards and 26 TD)

Storm Woods—RB (940 Rush/13 TD)

Brandon Cooks—WR (67-1,151/5 TD)

Grant Enger and Michael Philipp—OL

Scott Crichton—DL (9 sacks/17.5 TFL)

Michael Doctor—LB (83 tackles/11 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Rashaad Reynolds—DB (3 Int./16 Passes Defended)

Keith Kostol—P (41.9 avg/38.5 net/41% inside 20)

 

Stanford

Kevin Hogan—QB (71.7% comp.)

Kevin Danser and David Yankey—OL

Henry Anderson—DL (51 tackles/5.5 sacks/13 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Ben Gardner—DL (49 tackles/7.5 sacks/14.5 TFL5 Passes Defended)

Trent Murphy—LB (56 tackles/10 sacks/18 TFL/6 QB hurries/5 Passes Defended)

Jordan Richards—DB (68 tackles/3 Int./15 Passes Defended)

Ed Reynolds—DB (47 tackles/6 Int./11 Passes Defended)

 

Washington

Keith Price—QB (60.9% comp./19 TD/13 Int.)

Bishop Sankey—RB (1,439 rush/5.0 avg/16 TD/33-249 rec.)

Kasen Williams—WR (77-878/6 TD)

Danny Shelton—DL (45 tackles/4 TFL)

John Timu—LB (91 tackles/6 Passes Defended)

Shaq Thompson—LB (74 tackles/8.5 TFL/3 Int./6 Passes Defended)

Sean Parker—DB (77 tackles/6 Passes Defended)

 

Washington St.

Gabe Marks—WR (49-560)

Dominique Williams—WR (34-546)

Elliott Bosch—OL

Cyrus Coen—LB (60 tackles/3 sacks/12 TFL/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Deone Bucannon—DB (106 tackles/4 Int./8 Passes Defended)

Andrew Furney—K (Made 60-yard FG last year)

 

South Division

 

Arizona

Ka’Deem Carey—RB (1,929 rush/6.4 avg/23 TD/36-303 rec.)

Jake Fischer—LB (119 tackles/6.5 FL)

Marquise Flowers—LB (100 tackles/5.5 sacks/13 TFL/3 Int./6 Passes Defended)

Jonathan McKnight—DB (51 tackles/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Richard Morrison—PR (13-10.2/1 TD)

 

Arizona St.

Taylor Kelly—QB (67.1% comp./8.5 ypa/29 TD/9 Int.)

Marion Grice—RB (679 rush/6.6 avg/11 TD/41-425 rec./8 TD rec.)

Chris Coyle—TE (57-696/5 TD)

Evan Finkenberg—OL

Will Sutton—DL (63 tackles/13 sacks/23.5 TFL)

Carl Bradford—LB (81 tackles/11.5 sacks/20.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Alden Darby—DB (80 tackles/3 Int./7 Passes Defended)

Osahon Irabor—DB (14 Passes Defended)

 

Colorado

Christian Powell—RB (691 rush/4.4 avg./7 TD)

Nelson Spruce—WR (44-446/3 TD)

Paul Richardson—WR (former 1,000+ rec. yards/missed 2012)

Daniel Munyer—OL

Chidera Uzo-Diribe—DL (43 tackles/7 sacks/10.5 TFL)

Derrick Webb—LB (88 tackles/5.5 TFL)

 

Southern Cal

Silas Redd—RB (905 rush/5.4 avg./9 TD)

Marqise Lee—WR (118-1,721/14 TD/8.2 rush avg./28.5 KR/1 KRTD/Should be 1st or 2nd pick in 2014 NFL Draft)

Marcus Martin, John Martinez, and Max Tuerk—OL

Leonard Williams—DL (64 tackles/8 sacks/13.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Morgan Breslin—DL (62 tackles/13 sacks/19.5 TFL)

Hayes Pullard—LB (107 tackles/8 TFL)

Dion Bailey—DB (80 tackles/8 TFL/4 Int./9 Passes Defended)

 

U C L A

Brett Hundley—QB (66.5% comp./29 TD/11 Int.)

Shaquelle Evans—WR (60-877)

Jake Brendel and Xavier Su’A-Filo—OL

Cassius Marsh—DL (50 tackles/8 sacks/10.5 TFL)

Eric Kendricks—LB (150 tackles/6 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

Anthony Barr—LB (83 tackles/13.5 sacks/21.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

 

Utah

Travis Wilson—QB (62.7% comp.)

Jeremiah Poutasi—OL

Trevor Reilly—DL (69 tackles/4.5 sacks/6.5 TFL/5 Passes Defended)

 

 

PiRate Ratings Summary

 

About Grades

93-100         A+

86-92           A

79-85           A-

72-78           B+

65-71           B

58-64           B-

51-57           C+

44-50           C

37-43           C-

30-36           D

0-29             F

 

About Predictions

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

 

North Division

Team

California Golden Bears

               
Head Coach

Sonny Dykes

               
Colors

Blue and Gold

               
City

Berkeley, CA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

2-7

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

52

Pass Offense

77

Run Defense

69

Pass Defense

52

               
Ratings              
PiRate

97.8

Mean

91.9

Bias

95.5

               
Rankings              
PiRate

71

Mean

96

Bias

78

               
Prediction              
Conference

2-7

Overall

3-9

 

 

Team

Oregon Ducks

               
Head Coach

Mark Helfrich

               
Colors

Green and Gold

               
City

Eugene, OR

               
2012 Record              
Conference

8-1

Overall

12-1

               
Grades              
Run Offense

100

Pass Offense

91

Run Defense

92

Pass Defense

90

               
Ratings              
PiRate

127.9

Mean

119.7

Bias

128.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

2

Mean

2

Bias

2

               
Prediction              
Conference

8-1

Overall

11-1

 

 

Team

Oregon St. Beavers

               
Head Coach

Mike Riley

               
Colors

Orange and Black

               
City

Corvallis, OR

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-3

Overall

9-4

               
Grades              
Run Offense

67

Pass Offense

94

Run Defense

93

Pass Defense

88

               
Ratings              
PiRate

121.3

Mean

108.6

Bias

120.0

               
Rankings              
PiRate

10

Mean

35

Bias

11

               
Prediction              
Conference

7-2

Overall

10-2

 

 

Team

Stanford Cardinal

               
Head Coach

David Shaw

               
Colors

Cardinal and White

               
City

Palo Alto, CA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

8-1 (won Pac-12 Championship)

Overall

12-2

               
Grades              
Run Offense

84

Pass Offense

92

Run Defense

99

Pass Defense

93

               
Ratings              
PiRate

127.1

Mean

115.9

Bias

126.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

4

Mean

9

Bias

4

               
Prediction              
Conference

9-0 (wins Pac-12 Conf. Championship)

Overall

13-0

 

 

Team

Washington Huskies

               
Head Coach

Steve Sarkisian

               
Colors

Purple and Gold

               
City

Seattle

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

83

Pass Offense

87

Run Defense

82

Pass Defense

78

               
Ratings              
PiRate

117.5

Mean

112.6

Bias

118.0

               
Rankings              
PiRate

16

Mean

22

Bias

15

               
Prediction              
Conference

4-5

Overall

7-5

 

 

Team

Washington St. Cougars

               
Head Coach

Mike Leach

               
Colors

Crimson and Gray

               
City

Pullman, WA

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-8

Overall

3-9

               
Grades              
Run Offense

25

Pass Offense

93

Run Defense

69

Pass Defense

65

               
Ratings              
PiRate

100.3

Mean

96.1

Bias

99.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

55

Mean

81

Bias

58

               
Prediction              
Conference

1-8

Overall

3-9

 

 

South Division

Team

Arizona Wildcats

               
Head Coach

Rich Rodriguez

               
Colors

Cardinal and Navy

               
City

Tucson, AZ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

4-5

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

93

Pass Offense

88

Run Defense

74

Pass Defense

71

               
Ratings              
PiRate

116.2

Mean

108.8

Bias

115.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

21

Mean

33

Bias

26

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-4

Overall

8-4

 

 

Team

Arizona St. Sun Devils

               
Head Coach

Todd Graham

               
Colors

Maroon and Gold

               
City

Tempe, AZ

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

8-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

71

Pass Offense

88

Run Defense

86

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.5

Mean

113.1

Bias

115.9

               
Rankings              
PiRate

24

Mean

19

Bias

20

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-3 (lose Pac-12 Champ. Game)

Overall

8-5

 

 

Team

Colorado Buffaloes

               
Head Coach

Mike MacIntyre

               
Colors

Old Gold and Black

               
City

Boulder, CO

               
2012 Record              
Conference

1-8

Overall

1-11

               
Grades              
Run Offense

35

Pass Offense

62

Run Defense

62

Pass Defense

57

               
Ratings              
PiRate

89.8

Mean

85.9

Bias

87.6

               
Rankings              
PiRate

92

Mean

113

Bias

98

               
Prediction              
Conference

0-9

Overall

1-11

 

 

Team

Southern Cal Trojans

               
Head Coach

Lane Kiffin

               
Colors

Cardinal and Gold

               
City

Los Angeles

               
2012 Record              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-6

               
Grades              
Run Offense

82

Pass Offense

78

Run Defense

95

Pass Defense

76

               
Ratings              
PiRate

116.9

Mean

111.4

Bias

116.8

               
Rankings              
PiRate

17

Mean

27

Bias

17

               
Prediction              
Conference

6-3

Overall

9-4

 

 

Team

U C L A Bruins

               
Head Coach

Jim Mora, Jr.

               
Colors

Deep Sky Blue and Sun Gold

               
City

Los Angeles

               
2012 Record              
Conference

6-3 (lost in Pac-12 Champ. Game)

Overall

9-5

               
Grades              
Run Offense

71

Pass Offense

95

Run Defense

78

Pass Defense

74

               
Ratings              
PiRate

115.2

Mean

103.0

Bias

114.1

               
Rankings              
PiRate

26

Mean

47

Bias

29

               
Prediction              
Conference

5-4

Overall

7-5

 

Colorado Buffaloes

Team

Utah Utes

                 
Head Coach

Kyle Whittingham

 
                 
Colors

Crimson and White

 
                 
City

Salt Lake City

 
                 
2012 Record                
Conference

3-6

 
Overall

5-7

 
                 
Grades                
Run Offense

53

 
Pass Offense

71

 
Run Defense

69

 
Pass Defense

64

 
                 
Ratings                
PiRate

99.7

 
Mean

96.7

 
Bias

98.5

 
                 
Rankings                
PiRate

60

 
Mean

75

 
Bias

66

 
                 
Prediction                
Conference

1-8

 
Overall

3-9

 

 

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