The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 10, 2020

PiRate Ratings Bracketology For February 10, 2020

Date

2/10/2020

Seed

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

Team

1

Baylor

Gonzaga

Kansas

San Diego St.

2

Duke

Dayton

Louisville

Maryland

3

Seton Hall

Florida St.

West Virginia

Auburn

4

Villanova

Butler

Oregon

Penn St.

5

Kentucky

Michigan St.

Iowa

Creighton

6

LSU

Colorado

Marquette

Illinois

7

Arizona

Rutgers

Wisconsin

Michigan

8

Houston

Texas Tech

BYU

Ohio St.

9

USC

Purdue

Wichita St.

Arkansas

10

Saint Mary’s

Rhode Island

Oklahoma

Florida

11

Xavier

Indiana

Northern Iowa

Stanford

Virginia

12

E. Tennessee St.

Yale

S. F. Austin

Mississippi St.

VCU

13

Liberty

Vermont

New Mexico St.

North Texas

14

Bowling Green

Wright St.

Colgate

Hofstra

15

Winthrop

Little Rock

Murray St.

UC-Irvine

16

South Dakota St.

Montana

Prairie View

Rider

Robert Morris

N. Carolina A&T

The Bubble Contenders

69

Arizona St.

70

Cincinnati

71

Memphis

72

Utah St.

73

Minnesota

74

N. Carolina St.

75

Richmond

76

Syracuse

77

Notre Dame

78

Furman

 

 

January 16, 2020

PiRate Ratings College Basketball For January 16, 2020

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:30 am

Power Conference & Top 25 Teams Playing Thursday

 

Home

Visitor

Spread

Memphis

Cincinnati

4.7

Arizona

Utah

14.3

Arizona St.

Colorado

-1.7

BYU

San Diego

18.1

USC

California

11.0

Gonzaga

Santa Clara

18.4

Washington

Oregon St.

4.1

 

 

December 1, 2019

PiRate College Football Ratings: December 1, 2019

This Week’s Conference Championships Spreads

All times given are Eastern Standard

Friday, December 6

Conference

Pac-12

North Division

Oregon 10-2

South Division

Utah 11-1

Site:

Santa Clara

Time:

8:00 PM

TV:

ABC

PiRate:

Utah by 7.1

Mean:

Utah by 6.3

Bias:

Utah by 6.8

 

 

Predicted Score:

Utah 27

Oregon 20

 

 

Saturday, December 7

 

Conference

Sun Belt

East Division

Appalachian St. 11-1

West Division

Louisiana 10-2

Site:

Boone, NC (Appy St.)

Time:

12 Noon

TV:

ESPN

PiRate:

Appy St. by 9.2

Mean:

Appy St. by 8.4

Bias:

Appy St. by 9.1

Predicted Score:

Appalachian St. 35

Louisiana 26

 

 

Conference

Mid-American

East Division

Miami (O) 7-5

West Division

Central Michigan 8-4

Site:

Detroit

Time:

12 Noon

TV:

ESPN 2

PiRate:

CMU by 2.0

Mean:

CMU by 3.9

Bias:

CMU by 3.1

 

 

Predicted Score:

Central Mich. 31

Miami (O) 28

 

 

Conference

Big 12

1st Place

Oklahoma 11-1

2nd Place

Baylor 11-1

Site:

Arlington, TX

Time:

12 Noon

TV:

ABC

PiRate:

Oklahoma by 5.2

Mean:

Oklahoma by 4.6

Bias:

Oklahoma by 5.4

 

 

Predicted Score:

Oklahoma 38

Baylor 33

 

 

Conference

Conference USA

East Division

Florida Atlantic 9-3

West Division

UAB 9-3

Site:

Boca Raton, FL (FAU)

Time:

1:30 PM

TV:

CBSSN

PiRate:

FAU by 11.9

Mean:

FAU by 10.0

Bias:

FAU by 12.2

 

 

Predicted Score:

Florida Atlantic 28

UAB 17

 

 

Conference

American Athletic

East Division

Cincinnati 10-2

West Division

Memphis 11-1

Site:

Memphis

Time:

3:30 PM

TV:

ABC

PiRate:

Memphis by 6.9

Mean:

Memphis by 7.8

Bias:

Memphis by 8.1

 

 

Predicted Score:

Memphis 35

Cincinnati 27

 

 

Conference

Mountain West

Mountain Division

Boise St. 11-1

West Division

Hawaii 9-4

Site:

Boise, ID

Time:

4:00 PM

TV:

ESPN

PiRate:

Boise St. by 16.9

Mean:

Boise St. by 15.7

Bias:

Boise St. by 18.0

 

 

Predicted Score:

Boise St. 48

Hawaii 31

 

 

Conference

Southeastern

East Division

Georgia 11-1

West Division

LSU 12-0

Site:

Atlanta

Time:

4:00 PM

TV:

CBS

PiRate:

LSU by 5.6

Mean:

LSU by 5.3

Bias:

LSU by 5.5

Predicted Score:

LSU 35

Georgia 30

 

 

Conference

Atlantic Coast

Atlantic Division

Clemson 12-0

Coastal Division

Virginia 9-3

Site:

Charlotte

Time:

7:30 PM

TV:

ABC

PiRate:

Clemson by 30.2

Mean:

Clemson by 28.3

Bias:

Clemson by 30.9

 

 

Predicted Score:

Clemson 40

Virginia 10

 

 

Conference

Big Ten

East Division

Ohio St. 12-0

West Division

Wisconsin 10-2

Site:

Indianapolis

Time:

8:00 PM

TV:

Fox

PiRate:

Ohio St. by 19.4

Mean:

Ohio St. by 18.8

Bias:

Ohio St. by 20.5

 

 

Predicted Score:

Ohio St. 44

Wisconsin 24

 

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

 

#

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

1

Ohio St.

141.9

141.1

143.0

142.0

2

Clemson

138.8

137.0

140.0

138.6

3

L S U

135.5

133.5

135.7

134.9

4

Georgia

128.4

126.7

128.7

127.9

5

Alabama

128.8

125.7

129.1

127.9

6

Utah

126.8

125.9

127.5

126.7

7

Michigan

125.6

124.3

125.9

125.3

8

Florida

125.9

123.5

125.8

125.0

9

Oklahoma

122.9

122.4

122.5

122.6

10

Wisconsin

122.5

122.3

122.6

122.5

11

Auburn

122.9

121.1

122.7

122.2

12

Penn St.

121.4

120.5

121.4

121.1

13

Notre Dame

120.8

119.9

121.0

120.6

14

Oregon

119.5

119.4

120.2

119.7

15

Iowa

118.4

116.9

118.0

117.8

16

Baylor

117.7

117.8

117.1

117.5

17

Minnesota

117.2

116.8

116.5

116.8

18

Texas A&M

115.1

112.5

113.3

113.7

19

Washington

113.1

112.8

114.0

113.3

20

Iowa St.

112.9

113.2

112.7

112.9

21

Kansas St.

112.4

112.3

112.3

112.3

22

Kentucky

112.4

111.3

111.6

111.8

23

Central Florida

111.6

111.1

112.1

111.6

24

U S C

111.0

111.6

111.8

111.5

25

Texas

111.1

111.4

111.0

111.2

26

Memphis

110.2

110.6

111.4

110.7

27

Virginia Tech

110.5

110.5

111.2

110.7

28

Tennessee

110.7

110.4

110.1

110.4

29

Oklahoma St.

110.3

110.8

109.7

110.3

30

Mississippi St.

109.8

106.6

113.3

109.9

31

Washington St.

110.0

109.2

110.0

109.7

32

Indiana

109.9

108.9

109.5

109.4

33

Appalachian St.

109.6

109.1

109.0

109.2

34

Virginia

108.6

108.7

109.1

108.8

35

Missouri

109.9

107.5

108.5

108.6

36

T C U

107.7

109.7

107.9

108.4

37

Boise St.

107.9

108.2

108.0

108.0

38

South Carolina

109.0

107.1

108.0

108.0

39

North Carolina

107.7

107.6

108.4

107.9

40

Arizona St.

107.9

107.3

108.1

107.8

41

Ole Miss

107.8

106.9

108.1

107.6

42

Michigan St.

107.7

106.8

106.7

107.1

43

Nebraska

106.3

106.5

105.6

106.1

44

Cincinnati

105.8

105.3

105.8

105.6

45

Air Force

104.6

106.4

105.6

105.5

46

SMU

104.8

104.7

105.4

105.0

47

Florida St.

104.8

104.6

104.9

104.8

48

Miami (Fla.)

104.5

104.0

105.1

104.5

49

Texas Tech

104.6

104.9

103.7

104.4

50

Purdue

104.1

103.9

103.7

103.9

51

California

103.7

103.5

104.2

103.8

52

Wake Forest

103.1

102.4

103.3

102.9

53

Louisiana

102.9

103.2

102.4

102.8

54

Northwestern

103.4

102.6

102.1

102.7

55

West Virginia

102.7

102.7

102.3

102.5

56

Illinois

102.2

102.8

101.8

102.3

57

Pittsburgh

102.4

101.8

102.3

102.2

58

BYU

102.1

102.3

101.6

102.0

59

Boston College

101.9

101.4

102.0

101.8

60

Oregon St.

101.2

102.1

101.5

101.6

61

Navy

100.3

102.6

101.6

101.5

62

Stanford

101.6

100.6

100.8

101.0

63

Louisville

100.2

99.8

99.9

100.0

64

Tulane

99.6

100.2

100.0

99.9

65

Temple

99.4

99.3

100.5

99.7

66

Wyoming

98.6

100.3

98.9

99.3

67

Syracuse

99.7

98.9

98.9

99.2

68

Duke

99.4

98.6

99.1

99.0

69

Georgia Southern

99.0

99.1

98.7

99.0

70

Florida Atlantic

98.5

98.5

99.6

98.9

71

Colorado

98.6

98.5

98.7

98.6

72

U C L A

98.7

98.3

98.2

98.4

73

Ohio

98.4

97.6

98.9

98.3

74

San Diego St.

97.6

99.2

97.6

98.1

75

Hawaii

97.0

98.4

96.4

97.3

76

Western Michigan

97.6

96.6

97.1

97.1

77

Arizona

97.0

96.8

96.8

96.9

78

Utah St.

96.8

96.5

97.1

96.8

79

Western Kentucky

95.3

95.9

96.5

95.9

80

Houston

94.8

95.7

96.4

95.6

81

Buffalo

94.8

95.4

96.2

95.4

82

Tulsa

94.1

95.1

95.4

94.9

83

Kansas

93.7

94.7

93.8

94.1

84

Army

94.1

94.3

93.4

94.0

85

Louisiana Tech

93.9

94.1

93.7

93.9

86

Southern Miss.

93.7

92.6

93.9

93.4

87

Central Michigan

92.3

93.1

93.5

92.9

88

Maryland

93.5

92.6

92.0

92.7

89

Fresno St.

92.4

93.4

92.2

92.7

90

Marshall

92.0

91.7

92.5

92.1

91

North Carolina St.

92.3

91.4

91.6

91.8

92

Vanderbilt

92.5

90.9

90.9

91.4

93

Ball St.

91.0

90.7

91.2

91.0

94

Nevada

89.8

91.3

89.1

90.1

95

Arkansas St.

90.0

90.4

89.7

90.0

96

Liberty

89.5

90.8

89.8

90.0

97

U A B

89.1

91.0

89.9

90.0

98

Miami (Ohio)

90.3

89.2

90.4

90.0

99

Georgia Tech

90.2

88.9

90.2

89.8

100

Kent St.

89.0

89.1

89.8

89.3

101

Colorado St.

88.0

91.2

88.7

89.3

102

Georgia St.

89.3

90.1

88.4

89.3

103

Troy

89.6

89.8

88.1

89.2

104

Florida Int’l.

89.1

89.0

89.3

89.1

105

South Florida

88.8

89.3

88.9

89.0

106

Middle Tennessee

88.9

88.5

89.2

88.9

107

San Jose St.

87.9

89.7

88.1

88.6

108

Charlotte

87.9

88.3

88.6

88.3

109

Eastern Michigan

87.8

88.0

88.2

88.0

110

Arkansas

88.0

87.8

87.3

87.7

111

Northern Illinois

87.5

86.9

87.8

87.4

112

Coastal Carolina

86.9

87.8

86.3

87.0

113

Louisiana-Monroe

86.7

87.4

86.4

86.9

114

North Texas

86.3

86.0

86.2

86.2

115

Rutgers

85.1

84.6

83.6

84.4

116

U N L V

83.7

85.4

83.5

84.2

117

Toledo

84.0

83.9

84.1

84.0

118

Rice

82.4

83.7

82.4

82.8

119

East Carolina

82.4

83.6

82.3

82.8

120

New Mexico

79.7

81.7

78.6

80.0

121

Texas St.

79.2

79.9

78.9

79.3

122

South Alabama

77.0

79.5

77.0

77.8

123

Texas-San Antonio

76.1

77.9

76.5

76.8

124

New Mexico St.

75.6

77.3

75.2

76.0

125

Old Dominion

73.5

73.5

73.2

73.4

126

Connecticut

71.3

73.9

70.8

72.0

127

U T E P

68.5

71.8

68.6

69.6

128

Bowling Green

68.1

67.5

67.8

67.8

129

Akron

62.8

62.5

61.7

62.3

130

Massachusetts

56.7

58.2

55.7

56.9

 

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

American Athletic Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

AAC

Overall

Central Florida

111.6

111.1

112.1

111.6

6-2

9-3

Cincinnati

105.8

105.3

105.8

105.6

7-1

10-2

Temple

99.4

99.3

100.5

99.7

5-3

8-4

South Florida

88.8

89.3

88.9

89.0

2-6

4-8

East Carolina

82.4

83.6

82.3

82.8

1-7

4-8

Connecticut

71.3

73.9

70.8

72.0

0-8

2-10

 

 

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

AAC

Overall

Memphis

110.2

110.6

111.4

110.7

7-1

11-1

SMU

104.8

104.7

105.4

105.0

6-2

10-2

Navy

100.3

102.6

101.6

101.5

7-1

9-2

Tulane

99.6

100.2

100.0

99.9

3-5

6-6

Houston

94.8

95.7

96.4

95.6

2-6

4-8

Tulsa

94.1

95.1

95.4

94.9

2-6

4-8

AAC Averages

96.9

97.6

97.6

97.4

 

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

ACC

Overall

Clemson

138.8

137.0

140.0

138.6

8-0

12-0

Florida St.

104.8

104.6

104.9

104.8

4-4

6-6

Wake Forest

103.1

102.4

103.3

102.9

4-4

8-4

Boston College

101.9

101.4

102.0

101.8

4-4

6-6

Louisville

100.2

99.8

99.9

100.0

5-3

7-5

Syracuse

99.7

98.9

98.9

99.2

2-6

5-7

North Carolina St.

92.3

91.4

91.6

91.8

1-7

4-8

Coastal Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

ACC

Overall

Virginia Tech

110.5

110.5

111.2

110.7

5-3

8-4

Virginia

108.6

108.7

109.1

108.8

6-2

9-3

North Carolina

107.7

107.6

108.4

107.9

4-4

6-6

Miami (Fla.)

104.5

104.0

105.1

104.5

4-4

6-6

Pittsburgh

102.4

101.8

102.3

102.2

4-4

7-5

Duke

99.4

98.6

99.1

99.0

3-5

5-7

Georgia Tech

90.2

88.9

90.2

89.8

2-6

3-9

ACC Averages

104.6

104.0

104.7

104.4

 

 

Big 12 Conference

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

B12

Overall

Oklahoma

122.9

122.4

122.5

122.6

8-1

11-1

Baylor

117.7

117.8

117.1

117.5

8-1

11-1

Iowa St.

112.9

113.2

112.7

112.9

5-4

7-5

Kansas St.

112.4

112.3

112.3

112.3

5-4

8-4

Texas

111.1

111.4

111.0

111.2

5-4

7-5

Oklahoma St.

110.3

110.8

109.7

110.3

5-4

8-4

T C U

107.7

109.7

107.9

108.4

3-6

5-7

Texas Tech

104.6

104.9

103.7

104.4

2-7

4-8

West Virginia

102.7

102.7

102.3

102.5

3-6

5-7

Kansas

93.7

94.7

93.8

94.1

1-8

3-9

Big 12 Averages

109.6

110.0

109.3

109.6

 

 

Big Ten Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

BTen

Overall

Ohio St.

141.9

141.1

143.0

142.0

9-0

12-0

Michigan

125.6

124.3

125.9

125.3

6-3

9-3

Penn St.

121.4

120.5

121.4

121.1

7-2

10-2

Indiana

109.9

108.9

109.5

109.4

5-4

8-4

Michigan St.

107.7

106.8

106.7

107.1

4-5

6-6

Maryland

93.5

92.6

92.0

92.7

1-8

3-9

Rutgers

85.1

84.6

83.6

84.4

0-9

2-10

 

 

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

BTen

Overall

Wisconsin

122.5

122.3

122.6

122.5

7-2

10-2

Iowa

118.4

116.9

118.0

117.8

6-3

9-3

Minnesota

117.2

116.8

116.5

116.8

7-2

10-2

Nebraska

106.3

106.5

105.6

106.1

3-6

5-7

Purdue

104.1

103.9

103.7

103.9

3-6

4-8

Northwestern

103.4

102.6

102.1

102.7

1-8

3-9

Illinois

102.2

102.8

101.8

102.3

4-5

6-6

Big Ten Averages

111.4

110.8

110.9

111.0

 

 

Conference USA

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

CUSA

Overall

Florida Atlantic

98.5

98.5

99.6

98.9

7-1

9-3

Western Kentucky

95.3

95.9

96.5

95.9

6-2

8-4

Marshall

92.0

91.7

92.5

92.1

6-2

8-4

Florida Int’l.

89.1

89.0

89.3

89.1

4-4

6-6

Middle Tennessee

88.9

88.5

89.2

88.9

3-5

4-8

Charlotte

87.9

88.3

88.6

88.3

5-3

7-5

Old Dominion

73.5

73.5

73.2

73.4

0-8

1-11

 

 

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

CUSA

Overall

Louisiana Tech

93.9

94.1

93.7

93.9

6-2

9-3

Southern Miss.

93.7

92.6

93.9

93.4

5-3

7-5

U A B

89.1

91.0

89.9

90.0

6-2

9-3

North Texas

86.3

86.0

86.2

86.2

3-5

4-8

Rice

82.4

83.7

82.4

82.8

3-5

3-9

Texas-San Antonio

76.1

77.9

76.5

76.8

3-5

4-8

U T E P

68.5

71.8

68.6

69.6

0-8

1-11

 

 

CUSA Averages

86.8

87.3

87.2

87.1

 

 

FBS Independents

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

Conf.

Overall

Notre Dame

120.8

119.9

121.0

120.6

x

10-2

BYU

102.1

102.3

101.6

102.0

x

7-5

Army

94.1

94.3

93.4

94.0

x

5-7

Liberty

89.5

90.8

89.8

90.0

x

7-5

New Mexico St.

75.6

77.3

75.2

76.0

x

2-10

Massachusetts

56.7

58.2

55.7

56.9

x

1-11

Indep. Averages

89.8

90.5

89.4

89.9

 

 

Mid-American Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

MAC

Overall

Ohio

98.4

97.6

98.9

98.3

5-3

6-6

Buffalo

94.8

95.4

96.2

95.4

5-3

7-5

Miami (Ohio)

90.3

89.2

90.4

90.0

6-2

7-5

Kent St.

89.0

89.1

89.8

89.3

5-3

6-6

Bowling Green

68.1

67.5

67.8

67.8

2-6

3-9

Akron

62.8

62.5

61.7

62.3

0-8

0-12

 

 

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

MAC

Overall

Western Michigan

97.6

96.6

97.1

97.1

5-3

7-5

Central Michigan

92.3

93.1

93.5

92.9

6-2

8-4

Ball St.

91.0

90.7

91.2

91.0

4-4

5-7

Eastern Michigan

87.8

88.0

88.2

88.0

3-5

6-6

Northern Illinois

87.5

86.9

87.8

87.4

4-4

5-7

Toledo

84.0

83.9

84.1

84.0

3-5

6-6

MAC Averages

87.0

86.7

87.2

87.0

 

 

Mountain West Conference

Mountain Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

MWC

Overall

Boise St.

107.9

108.2

108.0

108.0

8-0

11-1

Air Force

104.6

106.4

105.6

105.5

7-1

10-2

Wyoming

98.6

100.3

98.9

99.3

4-4

7-5

Utah St.

96.8

96.5

97.1

96.8

6-2

7-5

Colorado St.

88.0

91.2

88.7

89.3

3-5

4-8

New Mexico

79.7

81.7

78.6

80.0

0-8

2-10

 

 

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

MWC

Overall

San Diego St.

97.6

99.2

97.6

98.1

5-3

9-3

Hawaii

97.0

98.4

96.4

97.3

5-3

9-4

Fresno St.

92.4

93.4

92.2

92.7

2-6

4-8

Nevada

89.8

91.3

89.1

90.1

4-4

7-5

San Jose St.

87.9

89.7

88.1

88.6

2-6

5-7

U N L V

83.7

85.4

83.5

84.2

2-6

4-8

MWC Averages

93.7

95.1

93.6

94.2

 

 

Pac-12 Conference

North Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

P12

Overall

Oregon

119.5

119.4

120.2

119.7

8-1

10-2

Washington

113.1

112.8

114.0

113.3

4-5

7-5

Washington St.

110.0

109.2

110.0

109.7

3-6

6-6

California

103.7

103.5

104.2

103.8

4-5

7-5

Oregon St.

101.2

102.1

101.5

101.6

4-5

5-7

Stanford

101.6

100.6

100.8

101.0

3-6

4-8

 

 

South Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

P12

Overall

Utah

126.8

125.9

127.5

126.7

8-1

11-1

U S C

111.0

111.6

111.8

111.5

7-2

8-4

Arizona St.

107.9

107.3

108.1

107.8

4-5

7-5

Colorado

98.6

98.5

98.7

98.6

3-6

5-7

U C L A

98.7

98.3

98.2

98.4

4-5

4-8

Arizona

97.0

96.8

96.8

96.9

2-7

4-8

Pac-12 Averages

107.4

107.2

107.7

107.4

 

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

SEC

Overall

Georgia

128.4

126.7

128.7

127.9

7-1

11-1

Florida

125.9

123.5

125.8

125.0

6-2

10-2

Kentucky

112.4

111.3

111.6

111.8

3-5

7-5

Tennessee

110.7

110.4

110.1

110.4

5-3

7-5

Missouri

109.9

107.5

108.5

108.6

3-5

6-6

South Carolina

109.0

107.1

108.0

108.0

3-5

4-8

Vanderbilt

92.5

90.9

90.9

91.4

1-7

3-9

 

 

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

SEC

Overall

L S U

135.5

133.5

135.7

134.9

8-0

12-0

Alabama

128.8

125.7

129.1

127.9

6-2

10-2

Auburn

122.9

121.1

122.7

122.2

5-3

9-3

Texas A&M

115.1

112.5

113.3

113.7

4-4

7-5

Mississippi St.

109.8

106.6

113.3

109.9

3-5

6-6

Ole Miss

107.8

106.9

108.1

107.6

2-6

4-8

Arkansas

88.0

87.8

87.3

87.7

0-8

2-10

SEC Averages

114.1

112.2

113.8

113.4

 

 

Sunbelt Conference

East Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

SBC

Overall

Appalachian St.

109.6

109.1

109.0

109.2

7-1

11-1

Georgia Southern

99.0

99.1

98.7

99.0

5-3

7-5

Georgia St.

89.3

90.1

88.4

89.3

4-4

7-5

Troy

89.6

89.8

88.1

89.2

3-5

5-7

Coastal Carolina

86.9

87.8

86.3

87.0

2-6

5-7

 

 

West Division

Team

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Average

SBC

Overall

Louisiana

102.9

103.2

102.4

102.8

7-1

10-2

Arkansas St.

90.0

90.4

89.7

90.0

5-3

7-5

Louisiana-Monroe

86.7

87.4

86.4

86.9

4-4

5-7

Texas St.

79.2

79.9

78.9

79.3

2-6

3-9

South Alabama

77.0

79.5

77.0

77.8

1-7

2-10

SBC Averages

91.0

91.6

90.5

91.1

 

Conference Power Ratings

#

League

Average

1

Southeastern

113.4

2

Big Ten

111.0

3

Big 12

109.6

4

Pac-12

107.4

5

Atlantic Coast

104.4

6

American

97.4

7

Mountain West

94.2

8

Sun Belt

91.1

9

Independents

89.9

10

Conference USA

87.1

11

Mid-American

87.0

 

 

Our Guess at Top 6

1

Ohio St.

2

LSU

3

Clemson

4

Georgia

5

Utah

6

Oklahoma

 

 

Top 5 Group of 5

1

Memphis

2

Boise St.

3

Appalachian St.

4

Cincinnati

5

Louisiana

 

PiRate Bowl Projections

One is the loneliest team that you’ll ever know–79 Bowl Eligible Teams For 78 Spots

 

Bowl

Conf

Conf

Team

Team

Bahamas

MAC

CUSA

Buffalo

Charlotte

Frisco

AAC

At-large

SMU

[Louisiana Tech]

Cure

AAC

SBC

Navy

Georgia St.

New Mexico

CUSA

MWC

UAB

Air Force

Boca Raton

AAC

MAC

Central Florida

Miami (O)

Camellia

MAC

SBC

Western Michigan

Arkansas St.

Las Vegas

MWC #1

Pac-12

Boise St.

Washington St.

New Orleans

CUSA

SBC #1

Western Kentucky

Appalachian St.

Gasparilla

AAC

CUSA

Cincinnati

Florida Atlantic

Hawaii

BYU/MWC

AAC/MWC

BYU

Hawaii

Independence

ACC

SEC

North Carolina

[Florida Int’l.]

Quick Lane

ACC

Big Ten

Florida St.

Michigan St.

Military

ACC

AAC

Boston College

Temple

Pinstripe

ACC

Big Ten

Pittsburgh

Michigan

Texas

Big 12

SEC

Texas

Texas A&M

Holiday

Pac-12

Big Ten

Washington

Iowa

Cheez-It

Big 12

Pac-12

[Liberty]

[Nevada]

Camping World

ACC

Big 12

Notre Dame

Iowa St.

Cotton

At-large

At-large

Oklahoma

Memphis

First Responder

CUSA

Big 12

Southern Miss.

[Kent St.]

Redbox

Pac-12

Big Ten

Arizona St.

Illinois

Music City

SEC

ACC

Kentucky

Indiana

Orange

ACC

BTen/SEC

Virginia

Alabama

Belk

ACC

SEC

Wake Forest

[Marshall]

Sun

ACC

Pac-12

Virginia Tech

California

Liberty

Big 12

SEC

Kansas St.

Mississippi St.

Arizona

SBC

MWC

Louisiana

San Diego St.

Alamo

Big 12

Pac-12

Oklahoma St.

USC

Citrus

SEC

BTen/ACC

Florida

Wisconsin

Outback

Big Ten

SEC

Minnesota

Auburn

Rose

Big Ten

Pac-12

Penn St.

Oregon

Sugar

Big 12

SEC

Baylor

Georgia

Birmingham

AAC

SEC

Tulane

[Miami (Fla.)]

Taxslayer/Gator

SEC

Big Ten

Tennessee

Louisville

Idaho Potato

MAC

MWC

Toledo

Utah St.

Armed Forces

Big Ten

MWC

[Ohio]

Wyoming

Lending Tree

MAC

SBC

Central Michigan

Georgia Southern

FBS PLAYOFFS

Fiesta

Top 4

Top 4

LSU

Clemson

Peach

Top 4

Top 4

Ohio St.

Utah

Championship

Fiesta

Peach

Clemson

Ohio St.

Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 10, 2019

PiRate Ratings Special Money Line Plays

We had an upset pick at +200 a couple nights ago, but since we isolated on this one, a bunch of Sharps obviously saw the same value we did.  So, our upset pick is only going off at +195 for now.  We have three Money Line plays to show you this week, two of which are parlays.

Money Line Play #1

Temple +195 vs. Memphis

It’s true that Temple doesn’t enjoy the best home field advantage, but Memphis has a considerable road team disadvantage.  The Tigers have not been tested on the road, and their stats on both sides of the ball are not Boise State worthy at the moment.

Temple dropped a game at Buffalo, but the Owls would beat the Bulls seven times out of 10.  TU’s defense should be just strong enough to hold the Tigers under 28 points, while the Owl offense has a good chance at 30+.  Thus we have strong feelings that Temple will win this game outright.  If you can find this game anywhere at +200, then play it as a gamble.  Our ratings show this a toss-up game, so +200 is quite a bargain if you can find it.

 

Money Line Play #2

Two-game Parlay at +138

 

Eastern Michigan over Ball St.

Central Michigan over New Mexico St.

 

 

Money Line Play #3

Three-game Parlay at +155

Wake Forest over Louisville

Ohio U over Northern Illinois

Baylor over Texas Tech

 

Remember–We do not charge for our selections, and you should consider this information worth what you pay for it.  Please do not lose your mortgage payment because of something you read on this site.  We NEVER wager real money on sporting events.

August 13, 2019

2019 American Athletic Conference Football Preview

Today, we wrap up the Group of 5 Conference previews with the American Athletic Conference.  The AAC has seen its champion represent the Group of 5 conferences in a New Year’s 6 Bowl Game three times in the five years of the current rules set in place.  While this league is the strongest Group of 5 league to start 2019, we selected Army to be our predicted G5 team to make an NY6 Bowl bid this year.

This is a league about to undergo some transition.  Connecticut will return to the Big East after in 2020, and there will be an opening for another school to join the AAC.  It could be U Mass, Army, or Liberty, but it could also be somebody like Buffalo from the Mid-American Conference or possibly a new FCS school deciding to jump to FBS, like Villanova.

As for this season, the AAC should be a little more competitive than in the recent past.  Central Florida has dominated the league for two consecutive years, and the Golden Knights will be an excellent team once again this year.  However, teams like Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis, and maybe one or two dark horses will make UCF’s path to a “threepeat” quite difficult.

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

American Athletic Conference Media Poll
 

 

East Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Central Florida 19 169
2 Cincinnati 11 157
3 South Florida 0 107
4 Temple 0 101
5 East Carolina 0 66
6 Connecticut 0 30
 

 

West Division
Pos. Team 1st Place Votes Overall Votes
1 Memphis 15 165
2 Houston 14 162
3 Tulane 0 108
4 SMU 1 87
5 Navy 0 70
6 Tulsa 0 38
 

 

Championship Game Winner Overall Votes
Central Florida 12
Cincinnati 8
Memphis 6
Houston 4

 

Here are our preseason PiRate Ratings.

Preseason PiRate Ratings–American Athletic
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 107.7 107.1 108.8 107.9
Cincinnati 106.6 105.0 106.8 106.1
Temple 101.9 101.0 103.2 102.0
South Florida 94.4 95.9 94.9 95.1
East Carolina 85.0 87.6 84.9 85.8
Connecticut 75.9 77.9 74.4 76.1
 

 

West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 104.0 103.3 105.2 104.2
SMU 98.7 98.4 98.9 98.7
Houston 95.0 96.7 97.8 96.5
Tulane 95.4 96.6 95.5 95.8
Tulsa 91.3 91.9 92.3 91.8
Navy 86.3 89.2 85.9 87.2
AAC Averages 95.2 95.9 95.7 95.6

Note:  These preseason ratings are accurate as of August 1, 2019, and subject to change before the first week of the season due to personnel changes prior to the first week of the season.

 

Predicted Won-Loss Records

The PiRate Ratings were not created to forecast won-loss records like other ratings might attempt.  Our ratings are valid for just the next game on the teams’ schedules, and we have pre-set adjustments built into our ratings on many teams.  For instance, if a team has exceptional starting talent but little depth, their rating has a pre-set reduction per week of the season, so that even if they win or lose a game by the exact expected margin, they will lose some of their power rating due to their depth issues.

If a team has exceptional, but inexperienced talent, their rating will have a pre-set addition per week of the season, and even if their performance may be exactly what was expected, their power rating will rise.

What you see in these predicted won-loss records are our opinion and not calculated from the ratings.  These are the estimated records based on a vote, with the Captain having 50% of the vote and the crew having the other 50%.  The Captain then rounded up or down those teams picked to have an average wins that were not whole numbers.

 

PiRate Members Predicted Won-Loss
East Division
Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Cincinnati 6-2 9-4
2 Central Florida 6-2 9-3
3 Temple 5-3 9-3
4 South Florida 5-3 6-6
5 East Carolina 2-6 5-7
6 Connecticut 0-8 1-11
 

 

West Division
Pos Team Conference Overall
1 Memphis 6-2 10-3*
2 SMU 5-3 8-4
3 Houston 5-3 7-5
4 Tulane 4-4 6-6
5 Navy 3-5 4-8
6 Tulsa 1-7 3-9
 

*

 

Memphis Picked To Win AAC Championship Game

 

Bowl Predictions
Birmingham SMU
Boca Raton Central Florida
Cure Temple
Frisco Houston
Gasparilla Cincinnati
Hawaii Memphis
Military South Florida

Also Bowl Eligible

Tulane

 

Coaches That Could Move To Power 5 Conferences

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

Josh Heupel, Central Florida

Mike Norvell, Memphis

Willie Fritz, Tulane

 

Coaches On The Hot Seat

Randy Edsall, Connecticut

Phillip Montgomery, Tulsa

 

Top Quarterbacks

D’Eriq King, Houston

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Brady White, Memphis

 

Top Offense

Central Florida

Memphis

Houston

 

Top Defense

Temple

Memphis

Cincinnati

 

Coming Tomorrow: We start previewing Power 5 Conferences with the ACC

August 15, 2018

2018 American Athletic Conference Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 19, 2016

2016 American Athletic Conference Football Preview

Today, we conclude with our previews of the Group of 5 conferences and throw in the four independents to boot. The American Athletic Conference produced the Group of 5 at-large representative to the New Year’s 6 Bowls last year. Houston represented the little brothers well last year, when the Cougars bested Florida State in the Peach Bowl last year.

Houston should be right in the thick of the AAC and NY6 Bowl race this year, but we believe that another league member is talented enough to take this year’s automatic NY6 Bowl bid, and if they can pull off one upset, maybe even challenge for the #4 seed in the playoffs.

Coach Willie Taggart has his South Florida team ready to make a run toward an undefeated season this year. The Bulls must pull off the upset against Florida State, but USF gets to host the Seminoles in that game a week after FSU must face Louisville on the road.

USF returns an exceptional dual threat quarterback in Quinton Flowers. Flowers topped 1,000 yards rushing (not counting QB sacks, or if NFL statistic rules were used) last year, while averaging more than 8 yards per passing attempt. Seven of his top eight targets from last year return to give the Bulls an improved passing attack. That should allow multi-talented running back Marlon Mack to see less eight-man defensive fronts and give him a chance to improve on his 1,381 rushing yards from a year ago.

Defensively, USF 10 of their top dozen tacklers from a year ago, including potential All-American Deatrick Nichols as a cover cornerback. USF should trim about 5 points and 30-50 total yards off what the defense allowed last year, and that should give the Bulls a fighting chance to conquer that one great matador in their path to a perfect season.

Houston is still the class of the West Division. The Cougars came within an upset loss against Connecticut in November last year of possibly getting into the Playoff picture. Second year head coach Tom Herman proved to be a talented protege of his mentor Urban Meyer, as he guided the Cougars to a 13-1 season. Only a few questions on the defensive side keep us from making UH our clear-cut favorite for the NY6 Bowl, but they only trail USF by a tiny margin as the season begins. What hurts the Cougars is an opening game against Oklahoma at NRG Stadium, and we cannot see the Cougars’ defense being ready to stop the Sooners’ offense. Starting 0-1, Houston will be behind the eight-ball all season. Road games against Cincinnati, Navy, and Memphis may be more than UH can handle, so the Cougars could be a two-loss team heading into the AAC Championship Game.

Here is how the Media picked this year’s AAC race.

American Athletic Conference–East Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 South Florida 15 164 2
2 Temple 9 144 1
3 Cincinnati 6 130  
4 Connecticut 0 89  
5 East Carolina 0 55  
6 Central Florida 0 48  
         
American Athletic Conference–West Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Houston 30 180 27
2 Navy 0 128  
3 Memphis 0 124  
4 Tulsa 0 92  
5 SMU 0 65  
6 Tulane 0 41  

And, here are how our PiRates rate the teams to begin the 2016 season.

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 108.3 105.7 109.5 107.8
Cincinnati 101.5 102.7 102.5 102.3
Temple 102.2 101.2 103.1 102.2
Connecticut 98.3 96.1 98.6 97.7
East Carolina 91.6 94.6 91.7 92.6
Central Florida 85.9 88.6 85.9 86.8
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 110.1 108.3 111.9 110.1
Tulsa 99.7 102.2 100.4 100.8
Memphis 102.7 97.8 100.8 100.5
Navy 99.2 99.0 98.6 99.0
SMU 93.7 92.1 93.2 93.0
Tulane 82.2 86.1 82.0 83.4
         
AAC Averages 98.0 97.9 98.2 98.0

The PiRate Ratings are meant to be used only to predict the outcomes of the next week of games, and are not best used to predict beyond that point.  Because we use algorithms that include automatic adjustments by each team based on depth and experience, two different teams can win by the exact score we predict, and their new ratings might change differently.

 

Thus, using our ratings to predict won-loss records and bowl projections is a bit comical, but then we all need some laughs every now and then.  So, laugh away at our projected standings and bowls.

American Athletic Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
East Division      
South Florida 8-0 12-1 * Cotton–NY6
Temple 6-2 9-3 Military
Cincinnati 4-4 6-6 Birmingham
Connecticut 3-5 4-8  
East Carolina 2-6 3-9  
Central Florida 1-7 2-10  
       
Team Conference Overall Bowl
West Division      
Houston 8-0 10-3 St. Petersburg
Navy 6-2 8-4 Armed Forces
Tulsa 5-3 8-4 Miami Beach
Memphis 4-4 7-5 Bahamas
SMU 1-7 3-9  
Tulane 0-8 3-9  
       
* South Florida to win AAC Title and automatic NY 6 Bowl Bid

Coming Later Today–A look at the four independents.

 

 

 

October 19, 2015

College Football Preview: October 20-24, 2015

Weekday Bonanza
Other than on Thanksgiving, we are not particularly fans of weekday games in football. However, this week, every weekday game presents an interesting proposition. Take a look at what will be available to you to watch.

Tuesday Night
Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas St.: Consider this week a sort of FInal Four in the Sun Belt Conference, as two teams with undefeated SBC records face off in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The winner is almost guaranteed a bowl bid, while the loser will have to fight to get the fourth bid from the league. Expect a lot of fireworks and a high scoring game.

Thursday Night
Temple at East Carolina: Not only is first place up for grabs in the American Athletic Conference East Division, this game serves as a New Year’s Six Bowl Eliminator for Temple. The Owls own a win at Penn State, and a win in this road game would give Temple a resume equal to Houston, Memphis, and Toledo, the three teams contending with the Owls for that big bowl bid. ECU is tough to beat at home, and the Owl defense will have to be ready to play.

Georgia Southern at Appalachian St.: This is the other “semifinal” game in the Sun Belt this week, and it is the battle of the top two teams in the league. Both teams are undefeated in SBC play and 5-1 overall, and both teams’ coaches are on the radar at big schools. This game will be a nice contrast in playing styles, and we are not sure either defense can stop the other teams’ offense.

California at UCLA: These two teams cannot afford another conference loss and remain in contention for their respective divisions in the Pac-12. UCLA lost in a trainwreck last week in the Bruins’ annual punishment at the hands of Stanford. Cal had a week off after blowing a chance to win at Utah.

Friday Night
Memphis at Tulsa: Can Memphis go on the road and win a tough game less than a week after pulling off their most important victory in over 50 years, if not ever? The Tigers sit on top of the Group of 5 poll today, and it they win out, they will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl at season’s end. There are a couple of big impediments in their way, and this game is one of them. Tulsa is looking at seven or eight wins, so you cannot discount them in this game.

Utah St. at San Diego St.: This might be a preview of the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. After destroying Boise St., the Aggies are in control of the Mountain Division race, and after blasting San Jose St., the Aztecs should cruise to the West Division title. Utah St. has the hot offense, and San Diego St. has the tough defense, so this one should be quite entertaining.

 

Don’t think that you can take Saturday off this week. There are a host of games worth watching, including these:
Clemson at Miami: The Hurricanes did everything but beat Florida State two weeks ago, and an upset in this game might save Al Golden’s job. CU has a clear path to the NCAA Playoffs if they win this game, as the remaining toughies are at home.

Auburn at Arkansas: This could be one of those Bowl Eliminator games, with the loser probably dropping to 5-7 at the end of the year.

Duke at Virginia Tech: If the Blue Devils go to Blacksburg and pull off a win, then the Duke-North Carolina game could be the deciding game for the ACC Coastal Division championship. A Tech loss might be the end of the Hokies’ bowl hopes this year and might seal Frank Beamer’s fate, bringing an announcement that he will retire at the end of this season.

Tennessee at Alabama: This rivlary game might still not be back to where it was for decades, but Tennessee had an extra week to prepare, while ‘Bama had to play at Texas A&M. There are just so many weeks that a team can get up for a big game, so this contest may be a lot closer than people expect. The Tide offense is still mostly one dimensional, but that one dimension, the running game, is close to incredible. Still, if Tennessee does not turn the ball over like A&M, the Vols could still be in contention in the fourth quarter.

Washington St. at Arizona: The Pirate has the Cougars in bowl contention. Coach Mike Leach’s Washington State team is sitting at 4-2 with enough winnable games ahead to go bowling this year. Arizona sits in the same position this week and should find its way to bowl eligibility. This one is for jockeying position with the winner having a leg up on going to a warmer locale in December.

Western Kentucky at LSU: Okay, we are not saying that the Hilltoppers will challenge for an upset in this game, but LSU has had defensive lulls in the middle of every game this year. If the Tigers have that issue in this game, WKU could score 21 to 28 points in a hurry, making Leonard Fournette play all four quarters. LSU needs a couple of breather games to rest Fournette for the upcoming game at Alabama.

Utah at USC: This game has “that look.” Utah is in position to earn a surprise playoff berth, but they have a minefield in front of their way to a possible 13-0 record. USC is struggling to even get to 6-6 after all the issues this team has dealt with this season. This is the Trojans’ first home game since the dismissal of Steve Sarkisian, and teams usually play the best they are going to play in their first home game under an interim coach. The Trojans looked good at Notre Dame, and it figures that they will be ready to give the Utes all they can handle.

 

This Week’s Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Baylor 130.4 127.2 131.5 129.7
2 Alabama 129.2 127.1 129.0 128.4
3 TCU 128.1 119.2 128.6 125.3
4 Ohio St. 126.7 120.9 127.4 125.0
5 Utah 125.8 120.2 125.3 123.8
6 Oklahoma 124.3 120.9 124.2 123.1
7 Stanford 123.5 122.1 123.5 123.0
8 LSU 123.0 119.7 122.9 121.9
9 Notre Dame 123.0 119.7 123.0 121.9
10 USC 120.2 116.7 120.2 119.0
11 Texas A&M 119.8 117.4 118.5 118.6
12 Clemson 117.7 118.5 118.0 118.1
13 Florida 118.8 115.8 119.0 117.9
14 Michigan 119.0 115.7 118.8 117.8
15 Tennessee 119.4 114.7 118.9 117.7
16 North Carolina 117.5 117.9 117.5 117.6
17 Ole Miss 120.3 114.3 117.9 117.5
18 UCLA 120.3 114.0 118.1 117.5
19 Georgia 119.7 112.4 118.5 116.9
20 California 117.8 112.8 117.9 116.2
21 Arkansas 118.2 112.6 117.4 116.1
22 Michigan St. 116.3 112.6 115.9 114.9
23 Florida St. 114.6 115.4 113.8 114.6
24 Arizona St. 116.1 111.1 115.2 114.1
25 Mississippi St. 114.4 110.9 114.5 113.3
26 Oregon 115.6 108.7 114.8 113.0
27 Georgia Tech 114.3 111.6 113.0 113.0
28 Oklahoma St. 113.3 111.4 113.5 112.7
29 Auburn 113.8 111.6 112.8 112.7
30 West Virginia 114.6 109.3 113.9 112.6
31 Iowa 110.6 113.2 111.5 111.8
32 Boise St. 113.0 108.8 112.8 111.5
33 Wisconsin 110.3 110.8 109.8 110.3
34 North Carolina St. 109.9 111.1 108.8 109.9
35 Nebraska 110.8 108.9 110.1 109.9
36 Arizona 111.8 106.1 110.8 109.6
37 Memphis 109.1 109.1 110.3 109.5
38 Duke 108.9 109.7 109.9 109.5
39 Virginia Tech 110.1 108.8 109.7 109.5
40 Louisville 108.6 110.9 108.6 109.4
41 Temple 108.1 110.2 108.8 109.0
42 Missouri 110.3 107.0 109.5 108.9
43 Western Kentucky 107.7 108.0 109.7 108.5
44 Miami 107.9 108.5 108.7 108.4
45 Pittsburgh 107.3 108.2 108.5 108.0
46 Houston 104.3 112.0 107.0 107.8
47 Washington 107.4 104.8 108.0 106.7
48 Texas 107.3 104.9 107.2 106.5
49 Texas Tech 109.0 100.2 108.8 106.0
50 BYU 105.7 104.9 106.6 105.7
51 Illinois 106.7 104.5 105.6 105.6
52 Toledo 104.2 105.0 105.9 105.0
53 South Carolina 106.8 103.1 104.9 104.9
54 Penn St. 104.2 105.5 104.4 104.7
55 Kentucky 105.9 102.5 105.0 104.5
56 Utah St. 104.1 104.1 104.6 104.3
57 Bowling Green 101.7 106.5 104.2 104.1
58 Cincinnati 103.7 103.7 104.7 104.0
59 Minnesota 104.1 102.6 103.2 103.3
60 Northwestern 103.0 103.2 102.4 102.9
61 Kansas St. 106.3 95.7 105.7 102.6
62 Appalachian St. 100.8 103.9 102.8 102.5
63 Colorado 104.4 99.1 102.8 102.1
64 Navy 100.3 103.4 101.1 101.6
65 Washington St. 102.7 98.4 102.0 101.0
66 Boston College 100.2 104.3 98.5 101.0
67 Western Michigan 99.7 99.8 101.1 100.2
68 San Diego St. 98.0 103.0 99.4 100.1
69 Louisiana Tech 99.8 97.8 100.0 99.2
70 Vanderbilt 101.0 95.9 100.5 99.1
71 Virginia 99.7 97.2 98.8 98.6
72 East Carolina 96.4 100.0 97.4 97.9
73 Georgia Southern 96.5 98.9 97.5 97.6
74 Rutgers 98.6 95.9 97.2 97.2
75 Purdue 97.9 97.2 96.4 97.2
76 Northern Illinois 95.1 98.5 95.9 96.5
77 Marshall 95.8 96.9 96.6 96.4
78 Indiana 96.3 96.8 95.7 96.3
79 Wake Forest 94.9 98.6 94.0 95.8
80 Middle Tennessee 95.7 94.8 95.4 95.3
81 Syracuse 93.7 96.8 92.9 94.5
82 South Florida 91.5 98.1 92.2 93.9
83 Air Force 92.4 96.0 91.5 93.3
84 Iowa St. 94.9 90.7 94.0 93.2
85 Colorado St. 93.9 92.1 92.6 92.9
86 Central Michigan 90.6 94.8 93.1 92.8
87 Maryland 94.1 91.3 93.0 92.8
88 Tulsa 90.4 95.2 91.3 92.3
89 Florida International 91.1 93.4 92.5 92.3
90 San Jose St. 91.0 94.0 90.8 91.9
91 Ohio 89.6 93.7 91.2 91.5
92 Southern Mississippi 90.1 91.3 90.4 90.6
93 Arkansas St. 89.0 89.6 90.1 89.6
94 Nevada 88.5 92.2 87.8 89.5
95 Oregon St. 91.0 87.8 89.0 89.3
96 New Mexico 88.5 89.2 87.3 88.3
97 Connecticut 85.9 91.4 86.6 88.0
98 Hawaii 87.2 89.4 87.2 87.9
99 Massachusetts 85.8 88.9 86.9 87.2
100 SMU 85.1 89.0 85.1 86.4
101 Central Florida 84.6 88.0 85.3 86.0
102 Akron 83.3 89.6 84.7 85.9
103 Tulane 85.2 87.6 83.9 85.6
104 Rice 83.9 87.8 84.4 85.4
105 UL-Lafayette 83.9 87.7 84.5 85.4
106 Kent St. 83.3 85.8 84.1 84.4
107 UNLV 82.7 85.3 83.4 83.8
108 Buffalo 80.6 87.4 82.8 83.6
109 Fresno St. 82.1 86.2 80.7 83.0
110 Florida Atlantic 81.1 84.4 81.1 82.2
111 Ball St. 81.4 83.2 81.6 82.1
112 UT-San Antonio 80.6 83.0 81.6 81.7
113 Army 77.6 87.1 79.1 81.3
114 Texas St. 79.9 83.4 79.0 80.8
115 Wyoming 80.1 82.8 79.3 80.7
116 South Alabama 75.7 82.1 77.1 78.3
117 Old Dominion 76.2 81.4 74.9 77.5
118 UL-Monroe 78.2 76.2 78.0 77.5
119 Georgia St. 76.8 76.4 77.0 76.7
120 UTEP 75.7 78.1 75.3 76.4
121 Kansas 78.1 71.4 76.1 75.2
122 Eastern Michigan 72.6 80.1 72.0 74.9
123 Troy 73.9 75.3 75.4 74.9
124 Idaho 72.0 78.5 73.6 74.7
125 Miami (O) 72.7 77.1 72.5 74.1
126 New Mexico St. 73.6 74.6 73.6 73.9
127 North Texas 72.1 77.0 71.8 73.6
128 Charlotte 69.5 72.1 69.6 70.4

 

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

 

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Temple 3-0 6-0 108.1 110.2 108.8 109.0
Cincinnati 0-2 3-3 103.7 103.7 104.7 104.0
East Carolina 2-1 4-3 96.4 100.0 97.4 97.9
South Florida 1-1 3-3 91.5 98.1 92.2 93.9
Connecticut 1-2 3-4 85.9 91.4 86.6 88.0
Central Florida 0-3 0-7 84.6 88.0 85.3 86.0
             
West Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 2-0 6-0 109.1 109.1 110.3 109.5
Houston 3-0 6-0 104.3 112.0 107.0 107.8
Navy 2-0 4-1 100.3 103.4 101.1 101.6
Tulsa 0-2 3-3 90.4 95.2 91.3 92.3
SMU 0-2 1-5 85.1 89.0 85.1 86.4
Tulane 1-2 2-4 85.2 87.6 83.9 85.6
             
AAC Averages     95.4 99.0 96.1 96.8
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 3-0 6-0 117.7 118.5 118.0 118.1
Florida St. 4-0 6-0 114.6 115.4 113.8 114.6
North Carolina St. 0-2 4-2 109.9 111.1 108.8 109.9
Louisville 1-2 2-4 108.6 110.9 108.6 109.4
Boston College 0-4 3-4 100.2 104.3 98.5 101.0
Wake Forest 1-3 3-4 94.9 98.6 94.0 95.8
Syracuse 1-1 3-3 93.7 96.8 92.9 94.5
             
Coastal Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
North Carolina 2-0 5-1 117.5 117.9 117.5 117.6
Georgia Tech 0-4 2-5 114.3 111.6 113.0 113.0
Duke 2-0 5-1 108.9 109.7 109.9 109.5
Virginia Tech 1-2 3-4 110.1 108.8 109.7 109.5
Miami 1-1 4-2 107.9 108.5 108.7 108.4
Pittsburgh 3-0 5-1 107.3 108.2 108.5 108.0
Virginia 1-1 2-4 99.7 97.2 98.8 98.6
             
ACC Averages     107.5 108.4 107.2 107.7
             
Big 12 Conference
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Baylor 3-0 6-0 130.4 127.2 131.5 129.7
TCU 4-0 7-0 128.1 119.2 128.6 125.3
Oklahoma 2-1 5-1 124.3 120.9 124.2 123.1
Oklahoma St. 3-0 6-0 113.3 111.4 113.5 112.7
West Virginia 0-3 3-3 114.6 109.3 113.9 112.6
Texas 1-2 2-4 107.3 104.9 107.2 106.5
Texas Tech 2-2 5-2 109.0 100.2 108.8 106.0
Kansas St. 0-3 3-3 106.3 95.7 105.7 102.6
Iowa St. 1-2 2-4 94.9 90.7 94.0 93.2
Kansas 0-3 0-6 78.1 71.4 76.1 75.2
             
Big 12 Averages     110.6 105.1 110.4 108.7
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 3-0 7-0 126.7 120.9 127.4 125.0
Michigan 2-1 5-2 119.0 115.7 118.8 117.8
Michigan St. 3-0 7-0 116.3 112.6 115.9 114.9
Penn St. 2-1 5-2 104.2 105.5 104.4 104.7
Rutgers 1-2 3-3 98.6 95.9 97.2 97.2
Indiana 0-3 4-3 96.3 96.8 95.7 96.3
Maryland 0-2 2-4 94.1 91.3 93.0 92.8
             
West Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 3-0 7-0 110.6 113.2 111.5 111.8
Wisconsin 2-1 5-2 110.3 110.8 109.8 110.3
Nebraska 1-2 3-4 110.8 108.9 110.1 109.9
Illinois 1-1 4-2 106.7 104.5 105.6 105.6
Minnesota 1-2 4-3 104.1 102.6 103.2 103.3
Northwestern 1-2 5-2 103.0 103.2 102.4 102.9
Purdue 0-3 1-6 97.9 97.2 96.4 97.2
             
Big Ten Averages     107.0 105.7 106.5 106.4
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 4-0 6-1 107.7 108.0 109.7 108.5
Marshall 3-0 6-1 95.8 96.9 96.6 96.4
Middle Tennessee 2-1 3-4 95.7 94.8 95.4 95.3
Florida International 1-2 3-4 91.1 93.4 92.5 92.3
Florida Atlantic 1-2 1-5 81.1 84.4 81.1 82.2
Old Dominion 1-1 3-3 76.2 81.4 74.9 77.5
Charlotte 0-3 2-4 69.5 72.1 69.6 70.4
             
West Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisiana Tech 2-1 4-3 99.8 97.8 100.0 99.2
Southern Mississippi 2-1 4-3 90.1 91.3 90.4 90.6
Rice 2-1 3-3 83.9 87.8 84.4 85.4
UT-San Antonio 1-2 1-6 80.6 83.0 81.6 81.7
UTEP 0-2 2-4 75.7 78.1 75.3 76.4
North Texas 0-3 0-6 72.1 77.0 71.8 73.6
             
CUSA Averages     86.1 88.2 86.4 86.9
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   6-1 123.0 119.7 123.0 121.9
BYU   5-2 105.7 104.9 106.6 105.7
Army   2-5 77.6 87.1 79.1 81.3
             
Independents Averages     102.1 103.9 102.9 103.0
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Bowling Green 3-0 5-2 101.7 106.5 104.2 104.1
Ohio 2-1 5-2 89.6 93.7 91.2 91.5
Massachusetts 0-2 1-5 85.8 88.9 86.9 87.2
Akron 1-2 3-4 83.3 89.6 84.7 85.9
Kent St. 2-1 3-4 83.3 85.8 84.1 84.4
Buffalo 0-2 2-4 80.6 87.4 82.8 83.6
Miami (O) 0-3 1-6 72.7 77.1 72.5 74.1
             
West Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Toledo 3-0 6-0 104.2 105.0 105.9 105.0
Western Michigan 2-0 3-3 99.7 99.8 101.1 100.2
Northern Illinois 2-1 4-3 95.1 98.5 95.9 96.5
Central Michigan 2-1 3-4 90.6 94.8 93.1 92.8
Ball St. 1-2 2-5 81.4 83.2 81.6 82.1
Eastern Michigan 0-3 1-6 72.6 80.1 72.0 74.9
             
MAC Averages     87.7 91.6 88.9 89.4
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 2-1 5-2 113.0 108.8 112.8 111.5
Utah St. 3-0 4-2 104.1 104.1 104.6 104.3
Air Force 2-1 3-3 92.4 96.0 91.5 93.3
Colorado St. 1-2 3-4 93.9 92.1 92.6 92.9
New Mexico 2-1 4-3 88.5 89.2 87.3 88.3
Wyoming 1-2 1-6 80.1 82.8 79.3 80.7
             
West Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 3-0 4-3 98.0 103.0 99.4 100.1
San Jose St. 2-2 3-4 91.0 94.0 90.8 91.9
Nevada 1-2 3-4 88.5 92.2 87.8 89.5
Hawaii 0-3 2-5 87.2 89.4 87.2 87.9
UNLV 1-2 2-5 82.7 85.3 83.4 83.8
Fresno St. 1-3 2-5 82.1 86.2 80.7 83.0
             
MWC Averages     91.8 93.6 91.5 92.3
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Stanford 4-0 5-1 123.5 122.1 123.5 123.0
California 2-1 5-1 117.8 112.8 117.9 116.2
Oregon 2-2 4-3 115.6 108.7 114.8 113.0
Washington 1-2 3-3 107.4 104.8 108.0 106.7
Washington St. 2-1 4-2 102.7 98.4 102.0 101.0
Oregon St. 0-3 2-4 91.0 87.8 89.0 89.3
             
South Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Utah 3-0 6-0 125.8 120.2 125.3 123.8
USC 1-2 3-3 120.2 116.7 120.2 119.0
UCLA 1-2 4-2 120.3 114.0 118.1 117.5
Arizona St. 2-2 4-3 116.1 111.1 115.2 114.1
Arizona 2-2 5-2 111.8 106.1 110.8 109.6
Colorado 0-3 3-4 104.4 99.1 102.8 102.1
             
Pac-12 Averages     113.1 108.5 112.3 111.3
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Florida 4-1 6-1 118.8 115.8 119.0 117.9
Tennessee 1-2 3-3 119.4 114.7 118.9 117.7
Georgia 3-2 5-2 119.7 112.4 118.5 116.9
Missouri 1-3 4-3 110.3 107.0 109.5 108.9
South Carolina 1-4 3-4 106.8 103.1 104.9 104.9
Kentucky 2-2 4-2 105.9 102.5 105.0 104.5
Vanderbilt 0-3 2-4 101.0 95.9 100.5 99.1
             
West Division            
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 3-1 6-1 129.2 127.1 129.0 128.4
LSU 4-0 6-0 123.0 119.7 122.9 121.9
Texas A&M 2-1 5-1 119.8 117.4 118.5 118.6
Ole Miss 2-1 5-2 120.3 114.3 117.9 117.5
Arkansas 1-2 2-4 118.2 112.6 117.4 116.1
Mississippi St. 1-2 5-2 114.4 110.9 114.5 113.3
Auburn 1-2 4-2 113.8 111.6 112.8 112.7
             
SEC Averages     115.8 111.8 115.0 114.2
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team Conference Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 2-0 5-1 100.8 103.9 102.8 102.5
Georgia Southern 3-0 5-1 96.5 98.9 97.5 97.6
Arkansas St. 2-0 3-3 89.0 89.6 90.1 89.6
UL-Lafayette 1-0 2-3 83.9 87.7 84.5 85.4
Texas St. 0-1 1-4 79.9 83.4 79.0 80.8
South Alabama 1-1 3-3 75.7 82.1 77.1 78.3
UL-Monroe 0-2 1-5 78.2 76.2 78.0 77.5
Georgia St. 1-1 2-4 76.8 76.4 77.0 76.7
Troy 0-2 1-5 73.9 75.3 75.4 74.9
Idaho 1-2 2-4 72.0 78.5 73.6 74.7
New Mexico St. 0-2 0-6 73.6 74.6 73.6 73.9
             
Sun Belt Averages     81.8 84.2 82.6 82.9

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 115.8 111.8 115.0 114.2
2 Pac-12 113.1 108.5 112.3 111.3
3 Big 12 110.6 105.1 110.4 108.7
4 ACC 107.5 108.4 107.2 107.7
5 Big Ten 107.0 105.7 106.5 106.4
6 Indep. 102.1 103.9 102.9 103.0
7 AAC 95.4 99.0 96.1 96.8
8 MWC 91.8 93.6 91.5 92.3
9 MAC 87.7 91.6 88.9 89.4
10 CUSA 86.1 88.2 86.4 86.9
11 SBC 81.8 84.2 82.6 82.9

 

NCAA Playoffs
1 Ohio St.
2 LSU
3 Utah
4 Clemson

 

Group of 5 Contenders For Automatic New Year’s Six Bowl Bid
# Team      
1 Memphis      
2 Houston      
3 Toledo      
4 Temple      
5 Navy

 

Power 5 Bottom 10

# Team
10 Virginia
9 Rutgers
8 Purdue
7 Indiana
6 Wake Forest
5 Syracuse
4 Iowa St.
3 Maryland
2 Oregon St.
1 Kansas

 

FCS Top 10
# Team PiRate
1 Jacksonville St. 96.8
2 Harvard 94.9
3 Coastal Carolina 91.7
4 Dartmouth 91.6
5 North Dakota St. 91.3
6 South Dakota St. 91.3
7 James Madison 90.2
8 Illinois St. 90.0
9 McNeese St. 89.4
10 Portland St. 88.9

 

This Week’s Games
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Tuesday, October 20        
Arkansas St. Louisiana-Lafayette 7.6 4.4 8.1
         
Thursday, October 22        
East Carolina Temple -8.7 -7.2 -8.4
Appalachian St. Georgia Southern 6.8 7.5 7.8
UCLA California 5.5 4.2 3.2
         
Friday, October 23        
Tulsa Memphis -15.7 -10.9 -16.0
San Diego St. Utah St. -3.1 1.9 -2.2
         
Saturday, October 24        
Miami (Fla) Clemson -6.8 -7.0 -6.3
Arkansas Auburn 7.4 4.0 7.6
Wake Forest North Carolina St. -13.0 -10.5 -12.8
Syracuse Pittsburgh -10.6 -8.4 -12.6
Texas Kansas St. 4.0 12.2 4.5
Rice Army 9.3 3.7 8.3
Baylor Iowa St. 38.5 39.5 40.5
Nebraska Northwestern 10.8 8.7 10.7
Charlotte Southern Miss. -18.1 -16.7 -18.3
Central Florida Houston -17.2 -21.5 -19.2
Louisville Boston College 11.4 9.6 13.1
Navy Tulane 18.1 18.8 20.2
Kent St. Bowling Green -16.4 -18.7 -18.1
Air Force Fresno St. 13.3 12.8 13.8
Western Michigan Miami (O) 29.5 25.2 31.1
Massachusetts Toledo -15.4 -13.1 -16.0
Ball St. Central Michigan -6.7 -9.1 -9.0
Buffalo Ohio U -6.0 -3.3 -5.4
Northern Illinois Eastern Michigan 25.5 21.4 26.9
Louisiana Tech Middle Tennessee 7.1 6.0 7.6
Marshall North Texas 26.7 22.9 27.8
Oklahoma Texas Tech 18.3 23.7 18.4
Oklahoma St. Kansas 38.2 43.0 40.4
Illinois Wisconsin -0.6 -3.3 -1.2
Maryland Penn St. -7.6 -11.7 -8.9
Michigan St. Indiana 23.0 18.8 23.2
Georgia Tech Florida St. 2.7 -0.8 2.2
Virginia Tech Duke 4.2 2.1 2.8
Alabama Tennessee 12.8 15.4 13.1
North Carolina Virginia 20.8 23.7 21.7
Arizona Washington St. 12.1 10.7 11.8
Vanderbilt Missouri -7.3 -9.1 -7.0
South Florida SMU 9.4 12.1 10.1
Nevada Hawaii 5.3 6.8 4.6
Cincinnati Connecticut 20.8 15.3 21.1
Idaho Louisiana-Monroe -3.2 5.3 -1.4
Florida Int’l. Old Dominion 17.9 15.0 20.6
UTEP Florida Atlantic -2.9 -3.8 -3.3
Ole Miss Texas A&M 3.5 -0.1 2.4
LSU Western Kentucky 18.3 14.7 16.2
Texas St. South Alabama 6.7 3.8 4.4
San Jose St. New Mexico 5.5 7.8 6.5
Mississippi St. Kentucky 11.5 11.4 12.5
USC Utah -2.6 -0.5 -2.1
Rutgers Ohio St. -25.1 -22.0 -27.2
New Mexico St. Troy 2.2 1.8 0.7
Boise St. Wyoming 35.9 29.0 36.5
Oregon St. Colorado -10.4 -8.3 -10.8
Stanford Washington 19.1 20.3 18.5
         
         
FBS vs. FCS Week 8 PiRate    
BYU Wagner 51    

 

Bowl Conferences Team vs. Team
Cure AAC SBC Temple vs. Arkansas St.
New Mexico MWC CUSA San Jose St. vs. Florida Int’l.
Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC/BYU Washington St. vs. Utah St.
Camellia MAC SBC Ohio vs. South Alabama
New Orleans CUSA SBC Louisiana Tech vs. Appalachian St.
Miami Beach AAC CUSA Memphis vs. Marshall
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Akron vs. Boise St.
Boca Raton AAC MAC South Florida vs. Northern Illinois
Poinsettia MWC Army San Diego St. vs. USC *
GoDaddy MAC SBC Bowling Green vs. Georgia Southern
Bahamas CUSA MAC Western Kentucky vs. Toledo
Hawaii AAC MWC/BYU Tulsa vs. BYU
St. Petersburg AAC CUSA East Carolina vs. Southern Miss.
Sun ACC Pac-12 Pittsburgh vs. UCLA
Heart of Dallas Big 12 CUSA Texas vs. Rice
Pinstripe ACC Big Ten Duke vs. Rutgers
Independence SEC ACC Kentucky vs. Miami (Fl)
Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 Northwestern vs. Oregon
Military ACC AAC Virginia Tech vs. Navy
Quick Lane ACC Big Ten Boston College vs. Indiana
Armed Forces Big Ten MWC Louisiana-Lafayette * vs. Air Force
Russell Athletic ACC Big 12 Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma
Arizona CUSA MWC Middle Tennessee vs. Colorado St.
Texas Big 12 SEC Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss
Birmingham AAC SEC Cincinnati vs. Auburn
Belk ACC SEC North Carolina vs. Tennessee
Music City ACC/Big Ten SEC Louisville vs. Mississippi St.
Peach N. Y. 6 N. Y. 6 Clemson vs. Michigan St.
Cotton Playoff Playoff Baylor vs. Florida St.
Orange Playoff Playoff Ohio St. vs. Alabama
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Penn St. vs. Arizona St.
Ouback Big Ten SEC Michigan vs. Texas A&M
Citrus Big Ten SEC Wisconsin vs. Florida
Sugar Big 12 SEC LSU vs. TCU
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Stanford vs. Iowa
Fiesta N. Y. 6 N. Y. 6 Utah vs. Houston
TaxSlayer ACC/Big Ten SEC Illinois vs. Georgia
Liberty Big 12 SEC West Virginia vs. Arkansas
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 Oklahoma St. vs. California
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 Kansas St. vs. Arizona
Nat’l Champ. Semifinal Winners Ohio St. vs. Baylor
           
* = At-large selection due to contracted conference not having an eligible team for this slot

 

August 14, 2015

2015 American Athletic Conference Preview

2015 brings changes to the American Athletic Conference.  Navy joins the league, giving the AAC 12 teams, and with 12, you get a championship game.  The league has now been divided into divisions with Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, South Florida, and Temple placed in the East, and Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa placed in the West.

Last year, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Central Florida tied for first with East Carolina, Houston, and Temple finishing bowl eligible.  Only Temple failed to earn a bowl bid.  This year, as many as eight teams could wind up bowl eligible, but the league will probably just send seven teams to bowls.  Not having the planned Austin Bowl this year will be a major bummer to one possible 6-6 team.

The clear-cut media favorite in the East Division is Cincinnati.  Coach Tommy Tuberville’s first two Bearcat teams ended with identical 9-4 records, which followed consecutive 10-3 records by his predecessor Butch Jones.  Tuberville welcomes back the vagabond quarterback Gunner Kiel, who when he finally settled on Nippert Stadium as his home field, instantly became the top passer in the league last year.  Kiel helped Cinti top 300 passing yards per game in 2014, and 2015 should be more of the same, as the top six receivers are back in the fold.  The Bearcats must rebuild in the defensive front seven, but they have a seasoned and talented secondary, so don’t expect much falloff on this side of the ball.

Temple began to turn the corner last year under Coach Matt Rhule, as the Owls finished 6-6 after going 2-10 the year before.  Rhule welcomes back a league high 19 starters as well as better than 80% of the letterwinners from 2014, and this TU team is talented enough to edge out Cincinnati for the East Division title.  The Owls must play the Bearcats in the Queen City, and that game will take place early in the season on September 12.  Temple must play Penn State the week before, while UC gets a patsy in Alabama A&M.  If the Temple front seven can stay healthy in week one, the Owls can slow down Cinti’s offense and have a chance to get the upper hand in the division race.

The drop from number two to number three in the East is steep.  Central Florida must rebuild on both sides of the ball, as Coach George O’Leary lost all of his key pass catchers on offense and all of his starting secondary and his top five tacklers from last year.  There is enough talent remaining for UCF to post a winning record, but the Knights will be fighting off East Carolina for third and not the top two contenders.

Speaking of East Carolina, the Pirates also face a minor rebuilding reclamation.  Shane Carden graduated as the top passer in school history and Justin Hardy left as the top receiver in school history, and it will be impossible to replace their contributions.  A better than average offensive line will make it a bit easier for new skill position players to have some success, but the offensive points per game is going to take a hit.  Defensively, ECU is thin on the front line, so the rushing defense could weaken as the season wears on.

Willie Taggart maybe has one more season to resurrect the South Florida program.  Coach T doubled the wins from two to four in year two, but Bulls fans believe this team should dominate the league, and they may look to make changes if USF doesn’t double the win total again this year.  That is not going to happen, as the Bulls must start anew on the offensive end.  Taggart is switching to a faster-paced offense, and breaking in a new quarterback with a new offense is a recipe for many mistakes, mistakes which lead to losses.  The USF defense should be improved, but the offense may not give the stop troops a lot of rest.

Connecticut has not enjoyed a good season since 2010, when former coach Randy Edsall took the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl.  Second year coach Bob Diaco went 2-10 in his first year in Storrs, and this year’s team is more talented.  However, more talented may only lead to closer losses, as both sides of the interior line are not yet up to AAC standards.

The race in the West Division should be a three-team affair.  Memphis, Houston, and Navy all have the horses to take the division crown, while Tulane, Tulsa, and SMU should fight for fourth.
Memphis was the big surprise in the league last year.  Coach Justin Fuente began his coaching career with 4-8 and 3-9 records, and the Tigers were not expected to do any better in 2014.  After beginning the season 2-2 with expected wins over Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee with competitive losses to UCLA and Ole Miss, Memphis blew Cincinnati off the Liberty Bowl field.  Following a close loss to Houston, the Tigers then ran the table to finish 10-3, including a bowl win over BYU.

This year, Memphis has the bulk of its offense returning, and the Tigers could threaten to average 40 points per game.  They are going to need those points, because the defense was decimated by graduation losses.  Only one starter from the back seven returns, and the pass defense will get a Baptism under fire with early games against pass happy Bowling Green, Cincinnati, and Ole Miss.

Houston welcomes a new coach after firing a coach that went 8-5 in back-to-back seasons.  There are many examples in the past where schools got too stingy and replaced a better than average coach with what they thought was an even better coach, only to experience many disappointing seasons.  Can Tom Herman bring the Urban Meyer magic to Houston?  Herman was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, but Herman couldn’t bring along Cardale Jones, J. T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott, or Braxton Miller.  He’ll have to make do with better than average Greg Ward at quarterback, talented Kenneth Farrow at running back, and a group of credible but not flashy wide receivers.  His offensive line won’t remind him of the Buckeye line he had last year.  Defensively, the Cougars return the bulk of the two deep secondary, and this will be the best pass defense in the league.

Navy brings the spread option offense to the league, and because none of their conference foes faced this offense last year, the Midshipmen will benefit from the lack of experience facing the regular and triple option.  Coach Ken Niumatalolo typically starts as many seniors as he can, so every year, Navy must break in a batch of new starters.  However, one player that returns to his spot is quarterback Keenan Reynolds.  An experienced option quarterback is like a Major League baseball team having three 20-game winners in its starting rotation.  Reynolds should leave Navy as the all-time leading rusher, and he is going to set a mark for career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback that may not be topped for decades.

Tulane represents the best of the rest in the West.  The Green Wave should be much improved over last year’s 3-9 mark, and it would not surprise us if Coach Curtis Johnson guides TU back to bowl eligibility.  Last year’s offense actually outgained the 2013 offense in yardage but scored eight fewer points per game.  Look for TU to return to the 2013 scoring rate.  The Green Wave defense is not strong enough to stop the top teams in the league, so fourth is the best this team can hope for in the division.

There was a time when Tulsa would have dominated the West Division if not the entire league.  In 2008, the Golden Hurricane offense led the nation with 47.2 points per game and 570 total yards per game.  In 2012, TU won the Conference USA championship and then knocked off Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl.  Since then, TU has won just five of 24 games, and that has brought a coaching change.  Enter Phillip Montgomery, the former Baylor assistant who mentored RGIII and Bryce Petty.  There is good news and bad news for TU fans this year.  The good news: expect Montgomery’s air show to light up the scoreboards and bring a lot of  excitement to Champan Stadium.  With 10 starters returning, including a fine quarterback in Dane Evans and a potential NFL receiver in Keevan Lucas, the Hurricane should top 30 points per game and maybe even 35 with the new wide open passing game.  The bad news: the defense is going to give up points just as quickly as the offense and maybe even a bit quicker.  It adds up to a season where there won’t be a lot of kicks on Route 66 down in T-Town.

SMU is almost back in the same position as they were when they returned from the Death Penalty in the 1980’s.  Following a 1-11 season where the Mustangs played like more like Shetland Ponies, the school has made sweeping changes.  Gone is Coach June Jones and his run and shoot offense.  Enter former Clemson offensive guru Chad Morris and his spread offense.  Morris is highly connected in the Lonestar State, and he will eventually bring enough talent to return SMU to some of its former glory, but it isn’t going to happen in year one.  SMU can hope to double its win total this year, but 2-10 is not much to get excited over.  There is a long way to go to return to respectability.

Here are the AAC Media’s preseason predictions.

American Athletic Conference Media Poll
Pos. Team 1st Place Total
East Division
1 Cincinnati 29 179
2 Central Florida 1 135
3 Temple 0 116
4 East Carolina 0 105
5 South Florida 0 53
6 Connecticut 0 42
West Division
1 Memphis 13 153
2 Houston 10 149
3 Navy 7 148
4 Tulane 0 74
5 SMU 0 59
6 Tulsa 0 47
Overall Champion
Cincinnati 22, Memphis 5, Houston 2, UCF 1

The media did not select a preseason All-AAC team, so we are posting our own preseason team based on highest individual PiRate Ratings, the basic component for our PiRate and Bias team ratings and a key component of the Mean Rating.

Conference USA Preseason All-Conference Team
Offense Player School
Quarterback Gunner Kiel Cincinnati
Running Back Marlon Mack South Florida
Running Back Kenneth Farrow Houston
Wide Receiver Keevan Lucas Tulsa
Wide Receiver Mekale McKay Cincinnati
Tight End Alan Cross Memphis
Offensive Line Kyle Friend Temple
Offensive Line J. T. Boyd East Carolina
Offensive Line Ike Harris East Carolina
Offensive Line Parker Ehringer Cincinnati
Offensive Line Garrett Stafford Tulsa
Defense Player School
Defensive Line Silverberry Mouhon Cincinnati
Defensive Line Thomas Niles Central Florida
Defensive Line Praise Martin-Oguike Temple
Defensive Line Royce Lafrance Tulane
Linebacker Tyler Matakevich Temple
Linebacker Zeek Bigger East Carolina
Linebacker Nigel Harris South Florida
Defensive Back William Jackson Houston
Defensive Back Adrian McDonald Houston
Defensive Back Josh Hawkins East Carolina
Defensive Back Zach Edwards Cincinnati
Special Teams Player School
Punter Spencer Smith Memphis
Kicker Jake Elliott Memphis
Return Specialist Shaq Washington Cincinnati

Here are the preseason PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings and average of the three.

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Temple 103.5 106.6 104.5 104.9
Cincinnati 104.2 104.6 105.7 104.8
Central Florida 94.7 99.6 96.3 96.9
East Carolina 93.3 99.2 93.7 95.4
South Florida 86.0 93.9 85.8 88.6
Connecticut 79.3 85.9 79.1 81.4
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 101.3 101.6 102.6 101.8
Houston 94.2 102.6 96.8 97.9
Navy 96.8 99.6 96.8 97.7
Tulane 92.4 95.6 92.2 93.4
Tulsa 86.9 94.1 88.1 89.7
SMU 84.1 89.8 83.2 85.7
AAC Averages 93.1 97.8 93.7 94.9

And, here are our won-loss predictions and bowl projections.

PiRate Ratings Predicted Records
Pos Team Conf. Overall Bowl
East Division
1 Cincinnati 7-1 10-3 * Birmingham
2 Temple 6-2 8-4 Military
3 Central Florida 5-3 7-5 Miami Beach
4 East Carolina 5-3 6-6 St. Petersburg
5 South Florida 2-6 3-9 None
6 Connecticut 0-8 2-10 None
West Division
1 Memphis 7-1 10-3 ^ Cure
2 Navy 6-2 9-3 Boca Raton
3 Houston 5-3 8-4 Hawaii
4 Tulane 4-4 6-6 At-Large
5 Tulsa 1-7 3-9 None
6 SMU 0-8 2-10 None
* Wins Title Game
^ Loses Title Game

Coming Later Today: The FBS Independents (what’s left of them).

 

March 22, 2013

Bracketnomics 2013: NCAA Tournament: Saturday, March 23, Third Round

 2013 NCAA Tournament— Round Three Schedule For Saturday, March 23, 2013

All times Eastern Daylight

Time

Network

Region

Higher Seed

Lower Seed

 

12:15 PM

CBS

South

#4 Michigan (27-7)

#5 Virginia Commonwealth (27-8)

 

2:45 PM

CBS

Midwest

#3 Michigan St. (26-8)

#6 Memphis (31-4)

 

5:15 PM

CBS

Midwest

#1 Louisville (30-5)

#8 Colorado St. (26-8)

 

6:10 PM

TNT

West

#6 Arizona (26-7)

#14 Harvard (20-9)

 

7:10 PM

TBS

Midwest

#4 St. Louis (28-6)

#12 Oregon (27-8)

 

7:45 PM

CBS

East

#3 Marquette (24-8)

#6 Butler (27-8)

 

8:40 PM

TNT

West

#1 Gonzaga (32-2)

#9 Wichita St. (27-8)

 

9:40 PM

TBS

East

#4 Syracuse (27-9)

#12 California (21-11)

 

Team

PPG

Opp

Diff

FG%

Def FG%

Diff

Reb

Opp

Diff

TO

Opp TO

Diff

Stl

R+T

SOS

Rd  W-L

Michigan

75.2

62.9

12.3

.484

.419

6.5

35.1

32.2

2.9

9.2

12.1

2.9

6.0

7.58

56.00

60.0

V C U

77.3

64.8

12.5

.449

.444

0.5

34.8

34.8

0.0

11.8

19.9

8.1

11.8

12.08

55.72

64.7

Michigan St.

68.2

59.3

8.9

.460

.394

6.6

37.3

30.5

6.8

13.4

12.8

-0.6

8.1

7.70

59.69

53.3

Memphis

75.9

65.1

10.8

.479

.405

7.4

37.8

32.9

4.9

14.6

15.5

0.9

9.0

7.78

54.81

81.3

Louisville

73.6

58.0

15.6

.445

.388

5.7

37.5

33.9

3.6

12.7

18.7

6.0

10.7

12.94

59.42

77.8

Colorado St.

73.1

62.9

10.2

.448

.409

3.9

40.4

28.4

12.0

10.8

11.1

0.3

4.9

13.34

56.44

56.3

Arizona

73.3

63.7

9.6

.450

.415

3.5

36.2

30.3

5.9

13.1

13.8

0.7

6.9

8.12

57.27

68.8

Harvard

68.9

63.9

5.0

.482

.440

4.2

29.4

30.4

-1.0

13.5

13.8

0.3

7.4

0.84

48.79

42.9

St. Louis

68.7

58.1

10.6

.448

.412

3.6

32.8

32.5

0.3

11.5

15.2

3.7

7.5

6.24

55.73

69.2

Oregon

72.5

62.9

9.6

.451

.406

4.5

37.9

30.9

7.0

15.1

15.7

0.6

8.8

9.48

53.29

60.0

Marquette

69.0

62.7

6.3

.467

.405

6.2

35.0

30.6

4.4

13.6

12.9

-0.7

6.7

4.90

58.24

46.7

Butler

69.7

63.7

6.0

.455

.417

3.8

36.6

28.9

7.7

13.2

11.2

-2.0

5.7

6.44

56.61

70.6

Gonzaga

78.0

59.7

18.3

.503

.382

12.1

37.4

30.0

7.4

11.3

13.9

2.6

8.0

12.12

54.72

93.8

Wichita St.

69.4

60.7

8.7

.443

.400

4.3

38.4

30.0

8.4

12.8

13.2

0.4

7.5

10.38

53.84

64.7

Syracuse

71.3

60.1

11.2

.440

.377

6.3

38.7

34.6

4.1

12.6

15.5

2.9

8.9

9.36

59.30

56.3

California

67.5

64.4

3.1

.446

.396

5.0

37.2

34.0

3.2

12.5

11.1

-1.4

5.8

2.68

56.35

60.0

 

Thursday’s Pick Record: 12 – 4.

 

Game Previews

Michigan vs. Virginia Commonwealth

Michigan has a decided shooting edge in this game, and the Wolverines should win the rebound battle, but the key here will be how much they control the boards.  VCU’s pressing defense is called “Havoc” for a reason.  The Rams can get 10 steals on just about any team in this tournament, because players do not have the fundamentals mastered in this era.  If Michigan cannot win the rebounding battle by at least five and maybe as much as eight, VCU will create enough turnovers and score enough in transition to erase Michigan’s shooting advantage.  The Maize and Blue may be the best team VCU’s press has tried to upset this year, and Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. are much better than the average pair of ball-handlers.

 

Like most of Saturday’s games, this one will be an excellent game to watch, and it should be nip and tuck all the way.  We grade these teams three ways to come up with our PiRate Number.  Michigan has a slight edge in one rating, while VCU has an equally slim edge in the second rating.  VCU qualifies in four of our rating criteria categories, while Michigan qualifies in three.  However, Michigan qualifies in the all-important strength of schedule, while the Rams do not.

 

VCU fails to qualify on SOS by the thinnest of hairs, and when we compare the two teams’ SOS side-by-side, they are separated by less than a point per game.

 

PiRate Pick: Virginia Commonwealth 74  Michigan 70

 

Michigan St. vs. Memphis

This is another game where the teams match up well with enough strengths with which to exploit the other and enough liabilities that can be exploited.  MichiganState is a tad slow in transition, while Memphis is considerably quicker.  The Spartans are stronger in the paint, while their guards are better outside shooters than the Tigers’ guards.

 

We think the difference in this game will come in shot selection.  In the second half, we expect MichiganState to take the smarter shots, while Memphis throws up some ill-advised shots.  It will be the difference down the stretch as Sparty pulls away at the end.

 

PiRate Pick: Michigan State 68  Memphis 61

 

Louisville vs. Colorado St.

The Rams might have a decent shot at ousting any of the other three number one seeds, but they unfortunately draw the one number one seed that they do not match up well against.  Louisville is a much better version of New Mexico, and CSU could not handle New Mexico.

 

The Cardinals have the best defensive backcourt in the tournament, even better than VCU’s Havoc Defense.  Not only can UL steal the ball 10 times a game, they also can stop teams in the paint and on the perimeter in the halfcourt.  Coach Rick Pitino may have his best team since his 1996 Kentucky Wildcats, and “The Ville,” looks to be unstoppable at this point.

 

ColoradoState may keep it close for one or two TV timeouts, but the Cardinals will pull away and have a double-digit lead before halftime.  CSU is not the best come-from-behind team, and things will only get worse until Pitino removes his starters.

 

PiRate Pick: Louisville 77  Colorado St. 54

 

Arizona vs. Harvard

If you read our previous post, you know we selected the 6-seeded Wildcats to emerge as the surprise winner of the West Region.  We’ve been given a gift in this round, as Sean Miller’s squad almost gets a walkover to advance to the Sweet 16.

 

Harvard is the first team that failed to qualify in any of our criteria categories to advance to the Round of 32 in six seasons.  We do not expect the Crimson to put up much of a fight in this game.

 

Arizona will get about 10-12 more chances to score points in this game, and the Wildcats should match or exceed Harvard in shooting percentage.  UA’s quickness should prevent the Crimson from getting many open looks from behind the arc, which is the only area where Harvard has a chance to stay in the game.

 

PiRate Pick: Arizona 71  Harvard 52

 

St. Louis vs. Oregon

We think this will be a dandy of a game to watch.  Aside from being just plain solid, SLU is playing for their deceased head coach, Rick Majerus.  While this emotional boost of octane does not figure in our PiRate Criteria, we do keep this knowledge in the back of our heads.

 

OU has an axe to grind that equalizes the Billikens’ extra emotion.  The Ducks felt as if they were seeded about five spots lower than they deserved to be seeded.  So these factors cancel each other out.

 

Let’s look at the Criteria numbers for this game.  Oregon should end up with a better shooting percentage, and the Ducks should win the battle of the boards, but not by a large number.  The SLU players are a better ball-control team, but they won’t remind anybody of conference rival VCU.

 

Oregon has a small R+T advantage, while SLU has played a slightly more difficult schedule and has performed better away from home.  The fact that this game is in San Jose does not help the Ducks as much as it would if this were the previous round, but SLU will have been on the coast for four days and will have adjusted by the time this game tips off.

 

Both teams have exceptional depth and balance, and this game should have a fluidity that others do not.  It would not surprise us if neither team ever enjoys a lead of more than eight points.  It would also not surprise us if 40 minutes is not enough to determine the winner.

 

PiRate Pick: Oregon 72  St. Louis 70

 

Marquette vs. Butler

This game could have just as easily been Davidson versus Bucknell.  Marquette survived an advanced because Davidson panicked at the end.  Bucknell had Butler on the ropes, but the Bulldogs showed poise when it counted.  The more experienced teams emerged victorious.

 

Now, in this round, we need to closely examine the numbers, because both teams are solid with savvy.  Marquette is a slightly better shooting team than Butler, and the Golden Eagles are also a little better affecting shots by the opponent.   Butler is considerably better on the glass, while neither team is much of a ball-hawking power.  Butler will get three to five more chances to score, but Marquette will shoot a higher percentage.

 

Looking at the other criteria, Marquette compiled their stats against competition that was a little less than two points per game better than Butler’s opponents, but Butler performed much better away from Indianapolis than MU did away from Milwaukee.  This stat is the deciding factor for us, and we believe Coach Brad Stevens will have his squad a little better prepared on less than 48 hours notice.

 

PiRate Pick: Butler 59  Marquette 55

 

Gonzaga vs. Wichita St.

The number one seed and regular final season number one team almost fell to a 16-seed.  The last time the overall number one team and top seed in a region lost their first game was way back in 1981, when #1-seed DePaul lost to #9-seed St. Joseph’s (40-team tournament in 1981).

 

WichitaState looked like a Sweet 16 team in their win over Pittsburgh.  The Shockers have their best team since the great 1981 team that advanced to the Elite 8.  That team had three future NBA players in Cliff Levengston, Antoine Carr, and Xavier McDaniel.

 

Of course, this is Gonzaga’s best team, and the Bulldogs have been toughened by their narrow escape.  We do not see Coach Mark Few’s team stubbing its toe and coming out flat in this game.  GU has something to prove.

 

The Zags are a better shooting team and a better defending team in the half-court.  The two teams are fairly even on the boards, while Gonzaga enjoys a slight advantage in turnover margin.  The two teams’ strengths of schedule differ minutely, but Gonzaga enjoys a considerably better record away from Spokane than WSU has away from Wichita.

 

PiRate Pick: Gonzaga 78  Wichita State 69

 

Syracuse vs. California

The Golden Bears get a little bit of home court advantage, as Berkeley is only 45 miles north of San Jose.  Still, the ‘Cuse is clearly the better team.

 

A lot of teams have trouble with Coach Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 matchup zone the first time they face it.  We believe the Bears will shoot under 40% in this game and fail to pick up enough offensive rebounds to keep the game within reach at the end.

 

Syracuse enjoys small, but significant advantages in field goal percentage margin and rebound margin.  The difference is more significant in turnover margin, and this leads to SU enjoying an R+T rating that is worth 6 ½ more possessions.  To top it off, The Orangemen’s strength of schedule is about three points per game better than Cal’s.  This adds up to a solid win for Boeheim’s bunch.

 

PiRate Pick: Syracuse 69  California 57

 

Coming Saturday night, we will preview Sunday’s games.

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