The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 17, 2018

2018 Big Ten 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.
Our Power 5 Conference preseason ratings and won-loss predictions were figured before knowing the outcome of recent suspensions to Coaches Urban Meyer and D.J. Durkin at Ohio State and Maryland. Because our ratings set 100.0 as average, and the mean of all 130 teams must be 100.0, taking points away from Ohio State and Maryland require redistributing points to the other 128 teams. Expect these ratings to change prior to August 25.

Even before Ohio State had to put Meyer on paid leave, our summer PiRate Ratings had another team rated a little bit ahead of the Buckeyes. Michigan State won 10 games last year with wins over Michigan and Penn State. The Spartans were not as bad as they looked in the blowout loss in Columbus, and with practically the entire team returning plus the additions of some excellent talent that redshirted or saw minimal action, the Spartans begin the season ranked slightly higher than OSU.
Coach Mark Dantonio’s offense was not up to par last year, as Sparty averaged just 25 points and less than 350 yards per game. Things will be different this year, as returns 10 starters and a majority of the 2nd 11. Quarterback Brian Lewerke is not Khalil Tate, but the junior signal caller is primed to improve greatly on his passing numbers and equal or top his running numbers. Lewerke is known for breaking long runs in an unconventional manner. While he can break free on zone read plays, he has been known to make a simple quarterback sneak a long-gainer, and he can scramble as well as any contemporary.
Running back L.J. Scott can do a lot of damage between the tackles and then exploding outside once he gets through the line. He is powerful and has speed, and he excels at every part of the game, as a power runner with quick bursts to stretch the play wide; as a pass receiver (Ohio State got burned by a screen pass play to him); and as an incredible pass-protecting blocker).
The trio of Felton Davis, Cody White, and Darrell Stewart won’t confuse fans for the receivers at Oklahoma, but these guys are more than capable of making a defense that is expecting run pay dearly. Davis gives Lewerke the jump ball receiver in the end zone with his size and leaping ability.
An experience line with talent throughout should allow MSU to increase its offensive production to more than 30 points and 400 yards per game this year. Combine that with a highly-rated defense, and the Spartans can contend for a Playoff bid.
The strength of the defense is in the secondary, where free safety David Dowell intercepted 5 passes, knocked away 4 more, and recovered 2 fumbles. Cornerback Josiah Scott is a potential All Big Ten player as well.

Michigan State is solid at linebacker with Joe Bachie and Andrew Dowell returning, the team’s top two 2017 tacklers. Bachie intercepted three passes. If the Spartans are to reach the pinnacle, their pass rush will have to make a jump forward. End Kenny Willekes is capable of dumping the quarterback two or three times a game, but somebody else will need to step forward to prevent him from being double-teamed.

Michigan State might win an extra game with its special teams. Kicker Matt Coghlin was a perfect 38-38 on PATs and 15 of 19 on field goals. Punter Jake Hartbarger averaged 42 yards per punt with just 12 of his 69 punts returned for a measley 2.3 yards per return.

Ohio State has had to replace a head coach just prior to the start of a season in the recent past. In 2011, coming off a 12-1 season, Jim Tressel was dismissed, with Luke Fickell taking over as the interim. Ohio State fell to 6-7 and 3-5 in the Big Ten with the best talent in the conference not jelling. Urban Meyer became coach the next season and ran the table.

No matter who wears the headsets on the sideline on September 1st when the Buckeyes welcome a rebuilding Oregon State team to the Giant Horseshoe, Ohio State will look like Ohio State. The 2011 team commenced its season with a 42-0 win over Akron. It will be September 15, before the coaching issue might matter, when Ohio State plays TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Ohio State rarely must rebuild when they lose highly-talented players every year, and this year is no different. Quarterback J.T. Barrett passed for 35 touchdowns and ran for a dozen more in his final year in Columbus. Normally, replacing a star talent like Barrett would lead to a major drop in offensive production, but not at this football factory. Ohio State’s probable third string quarterback until the number two guy transferred was a former high school phenom who out-dueled Josh Rosen, never lost a game in his high school career, and has been compared to Doug Flutie. Tate Martell will have to wait his turn, while Dwayne Haskins runs the offense. Haskins has the better arm and can force defenses to keep an extra man in the passing zones, while Martell is the scrambler type, the type that wouldn’t lose a game of tag, but with the need to work on his passing mechanics a little more.
The Buckeyes are loaded at running back with the return of J. K. Dobbins (1,403 yards 7.2 avg) and Mike Weber (626 yards 6.2 avg 10 TDs). Weber is a little more powerful, but Dobbins is the better pass-catching threat.

As good as the running back unit is, the receiver unit is better, again not as good as Oklahoma, but as good as any other Big Ten foe. Parris Campbell is the current Percy Harvin for this offense. The speedy hybrid receiver is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, be it on the speed sweep or via the pass (or as a kick returner). When you can catch a pass at the line of scrimmage and take it all the way, defenses must tell their safeties to retreat, and that opens the middle for bigger receivers as well as gives running backs more room to break free.

The Buckeye offensive line is the best in the East Division and second best in the league. Their version of Michael Jordan is a tall and strong guard who opens holes inside and stops enemy pass rushers. Tackle Isaiah Prince makes the left side of the Ohio State line mighty tough. The line should allow the Buckeyes to top 40 points and 500 yards again this year, unless there is a mini-train wreck with Meyer being dismissed.

Ohio State begins the season just behind Michigan State because their defense lost a lot of talented players, including the top three tacklers, two of 2017’s top pass rushing trio, and players responsible for 2/3 of the interceptions. One position that will be strong is at end, where Nick Bosa returns following a year where he finished third in the league with 16 tackles for loss and tied for first with 9 sacks. Robert Landers assumes the vacant end position.

Tuf Borland anchors the second line of defense, but this is one area of concern in 2018. Ohio State is thin at linebacker, and it wouldn’t surprise us if they eventually transition to more of a 4-2-5 team if they can uncover enough quality in their backfield. Ohio State has some re-tooling to do in the back line of defense, where cornerback Damon Arnette and safety Jordan Fuller need some help.

If Meyer is not able to coach this team, Ohio State will be at least a touchdown to 10 points weaker in 2018. Still, the Buckeyes would be a contender for the East Division crown, but not the top or even second choice to do so.

This is a pivotal year for Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. The former NFC Champion coach with the 49ers has not worked the same magic at his alma mater that he was able to do at Stanford. This year gives him his best chance, and if the Wolverines don’t look as powerful as they did during the Bo Schembechler days, the fans in Ann Arbor may demand change.
The Maize and Blue have the talent to compete and even contend for a playoff bid this year, and if Harbaugh can get his new quarterback to play like he did against Auburn and Texas A&M while leading the Ole Miss offense, the pieces are in place for the Champions of the West to make a run at the championship of the Big Ten East.
Shea Patterson took his redshirt off late in the 2016 season at Ole Miss and looked like the next Archie Manning with his exceptional running ability and passing arm. Seven games into his sophomore season, Patterson’s season ended with a knee injury against LSU. Still, in just 6 1/2 games with the Rebels, his 2,259 passing yards and 17 touchdowns topped the entire Michigan offense in 13 games by more than 300 yards!

Michigan still has issues in the offensive line, where three starters return but only guard Ben Bredeson being all-conference quality. Patterson may be on the run too many times this year if the blocking cannot improve, and the ground game may stall like it did last year against teams like Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and South Carolina, the five teams that beat them.

If the line blocks just a tad bit better than average, the Michigan ground game will succeed. Patterson can take some of the defensive keying off Karan Higdon and Chris Evans, which should help the two running backs top their combined rushing for 1,679 yards and 17 touchdowns. Give Higdon a little room, and he can explode for 7-10 yards quickly. Evans is better equipped to earn the tough yards when they are needed.
Michigan has a young but somewhat experienced group of receivers. Last year’s starters did not shine, and this year’s replacements could easily make UM fans forget the 2017 starters. The best receivers may be tight ends Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry, and Michigan could succeed with the double tight end alignment this year. Patterson went to his tight ends in Oxford last year for some nice gains and conversions.

Make no mistake about it; Michigan’s bread and butter is their defense, and as good as the Wolverines were at stopping enemy offenses last year, 2018 could be very special. UM finished tops in the nation in passing yards allowed and third in total yards. Their secondary is even better this year, and we believe the Wolverines can lower last year’s points allowed per game from 18.8 to 15, especially if the offense sustains more drives.
In 19 years out of 20, a secondary this talented would be the tops in the land. This is that 20th year, when Washington has one of the best secondaries of all time. Michigan ranks just behind with the top two cornerbacks in the league. Lavert Hill and David Long may not put up the jazziest of numbers, but quarterbacks tend to throw the ball elsewhere. Think of it like issuing an intentional walk to a 50-homer guy in baseball.

The middle trio of this defense features two All Big Ten players in Khaleke Hudson and Devin Bush. Both are complete players that can stop the run, dump the quarterback, and defend against the pass. Bush might contend for the Butkus Award this year.

The defensive line is the weakest unit on this team, but it is still a big asset that is almost as strong as their rivals’ to the South’s d-line. End Rashan Gary should make first team all-conference if he stays healthy. Opposite side end Chase Vinovich could have been playing for pay this year, but he chose to return to Ann Arbor, and with another great year, his draft stock should go up.

Michigan begins the season playing what could be a playoff qualifier. The Wolverines travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame in the top game of the opening week of football. The winner of that game should carry the momentum forward to a 7-0 start through mid-October. Michigan has some tough games in the second half, having to face Sparty in East Lansing and Ohio State at the Giant Horseshoe plus host Wisconsin and Penn State. This team has the talent to go 11-1 or 10-2, but with just a little less production, UM could find itself back at 5-4 in the league, which would be dangerous for Harbaugh’s chances to return in 2019.

Penn State coach James Franklin worked his magic at Vanderbilt, doing the unthinkable by winning nine games in back-to-back seasons, both years finishing in the top 25, and by beating Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee in the same season. So, it should come as no surprise that he would do wonders in Happy Valley, as the Nittany Lions just enjoyed their first back-to-back 11-win seasons since Joe Paterno was still walking the sidelines.

Coming off a Big Ten championship in 2016, the Nittany Lions may have been a little better last year, even though they came up a game short in the East Division standings. The two losses were by a combined four points, so the Nittany Lions were oh so close from running the table and making it to the Playoffs.

We expect Penn State to take a slight backward turn this year, because their defense is almost entirely new this year. Only one two starters return on this side of the ball, and none of them played in the secondary last year. Amani Oruwariye actually made the All Big Ten Second team last year as a key reserve, so the defensive backfield is not in as bad a shape as it appears to be.

Linebacker U must have talent in the middle of their defense, and this year is no different. Koa Farmer, a converted safety and Cameron Brown give the defense a pair of talented stoppers.

The front four has talent as well, led by end Shareef Miller. In a league with multiple star defensive ends, Miller takes a back seat to nobody. He led Penn State with 11 1/2 tackles for loss and 5 1/2 sacks.

The Penn State defense will not be as stingy as last year, when they finished 6th nationally in scoring defense, but the decline will not be severe. Expect Penn State to give up about 21 to 23 points per game this year.

The offense returns its star quarterback, but it loses its heart, as superstar running back Saquon Barkley has taken his 1,271 rushing yards, 632 receiving yards, the nation’s best kick returning, and his 23 total touchdowns to the New York Giants. Miles Sanders might rush for 1,000 yards replacing Barkley, but he won’t be the all-purpose player that comes around to a school about as often as Halley’s Comet.

Trace McSorley needs to have an incredible finish to his career to move up the ranks in a very heavily talented field of draft-eligible quarterbacks. He’d probably be an undrafted free agent if this were next May. He’s a tad undersized and lacks the arm strength to contend with players like Patterson at Michigan, but for Penn State’s offense, he is more than adequate, bordering on stardom.

McSorley will need wideout Juwan Johnson to have a breakout year, as he is the only one of three 50+ catch receivers left on the roster. Johnson provides a big target and has a nice combination of speed and agility to go with excellent hands. If DeAndre Thompkins can be the 1A receiver and play like he did as a secondary talent last year, then the Penn State passing game should be in good shape.

The best news on this side of the ball is that the offensive line might be the most improved of any in the league. Five players with significant starting experience plus three others that will earn extensive playing time should give McSorley the time he needs to locate open receivers and open some holes for the running game.

Maryland is a team with a lot of dissension at the present time. Coach Durkin has the support of his players, and if he is fired, we expect the this program to be affected more than Ohio State’s losing Meyer would be. This team was on the cusp of contending for bowl eligibility, but it would not surprise us if the Terrapins fell to the bottom of the division and even go 0-9 if the players don’t rally around interim head coach Matt Canada, who just arrived from LSU.

The Terp offense will move on the ground more than through the air this year after being exactly equal in 2017 with 162 yards rushing and 162 yards passing per game. The running back tandem of Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison should team up for about 1,800 yards with the improved blocking expected from an experience offensive line that welcomes back the top five players from last year.

Maryland leads the nation in only one quarterback statistic, and unfortunately, that is number of quarterbacks used. The recent history has been quite negative as to the incredible number of QBs in need of disability insurance. Last year was more of the same in College Park, as the first two were done for the year in Mid-September. To complicate matters further, Maryland will switch from a shotgun alignment to an under-center alignment this year. Redshirt Freshman Kasim Hill and sophomore Tyrell Pigrome have very limited experience, but one of the two will start against Texas on September 1.

Maryland basically threw the ball to two players last year, and one returns in 2018. Taivon Jacobs turned 47 catches into 553 yards and 5 TDs last year. Jacobs will not be able to make up for the receptions and yards lost when D. J. Moore became a first round pick in the NFL Draft.

Maryland needs to re-tool a little on the defensive side, but there are some athletes here that can shine. The Terps use the 3-3-5 defense, and the secondary will be the strongest unit on the team. Safety Darnell Savage intercepted three passes last year and returned one for a touchdown. He led UM with 8 passed defended. Nickel back Antoine Brooks finished second on the team with 77 tackles last year, and he proved to be an excellent run defender, finishing with a team-leading 9 1/2 tackles for loss.

Outside linebacker Isaiah Davis is the lone returning starter at linebacker. The Terps need Buck linebacker Jesse Aniebonam to emerge as a force coming back from injury after starring there in 2016, when he made 9 QB sacks.

With Durkin as coach, we were prepared to give Maryland a 50-50 shot at bowl eligibility this year and a 90% chance of getting five wins. If Durkin is dismissed, this team could fall to 2-10, and there will be a long coaching search trying to find somebody to right the ship.

Rutgers found a way to win four games last year with an offense that averaged just 18 points and 263 yards per game. The Scarlet Knights scored just 71 points in their eight losses. Coach Chris Ash is a defensive specialist, having been the defensive coordinator at Ohio State and Arkansas before coming to RU. Quietly, he doubled the win total between his first and second year, and he returns more experience this year than either of his first two seasons in New Brunswick.

The offense should experience some improvement this year, but don’t expect too much. Quarterback Giovanni Rescigno shared the job last year with less than stellar results, so there is only one way to go from 47% completions and 5.2 yards per pass attempt. Tight end Jerome Washington returns after leading RU with just 28 receptions and 282 yards. Former Boston College running back Jonathan Hillman and talented sophomore Raheem Blackshear will get the brunt of the rushing attempts. Blackshear has the ability to break a long gain via the run or the pass, but his diminutive size will limit the amount of touches he can get and stay healthy. The offensive line is anything but an asset, as the Scarlet Knights frequently allowed pass rushers to get into the backfield quickly.

The RU defense will most likely carry the team on its shoulders again this season. This unit limited Purdue to 12 points, but it is not one of the league’s premier stop troops. Eight starters return from 2017, so Rutgers’ numbers on this side of the ball could improve a little after finishing 11th against the run and 10th against the pass.

Linebackers Deonte Roberts and Trevor Morris finished one-two in tackles last year, and they could both top 100 tackles this year. There are multiple players with experience returning to the secondary, but none appear to be ready to challenge for all conference honors. The pass rush was close to nonexistent last year, and the top pass rusher used up his eligibility.

Indiana was on the verge of turning the program around into an annual bowl-contender until they decided it was time for Kevin Wilson to go. Wilson ended up at Ohio State as an assistant, while Tom Allen took over in Bloomington. After a 5-7 finish last year, it could be difficult to contend fro a 6-win season and bowl bid this season.

The defense gave Indiana a chance to compete in several games last year, and this year, a major rebuilding task will send the defensive averages up by about 7-10 points per game. The offense will not be that much better if any better at all, so the Hoosiers may have to fight to stay out of the basement if Maryland doesn’t implode.

The old saying goes that if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. What does it say when you have three? Allen was not all that pleased with the depth chart here, and late in Spring, he signed former Arizona Wildcat starter Brandon Dawkins to join the competition between Sophomore Peyton Ramsey and true freshman Michael Penix. Dawkins performed admirably under center in Tucson, but he was not going to see a lot of time with Khalil Tate on the roster. He is an excellent dual-threat player and should eventually become the starter.

The Hoosiers have a decent but not flashy running back duo that should help IU top the 130 rushing yards per game from last season. Morgan Ellison and Cole Gest should both get 7-12 attempts per game.

Two of the three starters returning on defense play in the secondary. Cornerback Andre Brown is not one of the top 10 at his position in the Big Ten. Jonathan Crawford is a decent but not exceptional strong safety. The Hoosiers have numerous inexperienced players with promising talent, but this secondary is vulnerable.

At least the secondary has some experience. The front seven is void of experienced starters. There are a couple of players in the trenches that look like Big Ten athletes. Tackle Jacob Robinson should make some big plays from the inside, but IU is weak everywhere else up front.

They were oh so close last year, but came up a bit short. Wisconsin ran the table in the regular season beating Northwestern by two games, while no other team in the West Division finished above .500 in league play. The Badgers are still the favorite to repeat as division champions, but they won’t be as good this year as they were in 2017. The Badger offense will need to be the best defense this year, because UW lost a considerable amount of talent on the other side of the ball from the league’s top defense.

The Badgers are noted for having excellent offensive linemen, tight ends, and powerful running backs. Expect more of the same in 2018, as the nation’s best offensive line is loaded with talent and experience. There is such incredible depth here that some of the backups could start for other Top 25 teams! Three of the players could make All-American! Tackle Michael Deiter could be the first tackle picked in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he is the second best on the team, and he is actually better utilized at guard. Dave Edwards is a beast. He is strong, quick, and agile, having been an option quarterback in high school.

Wisconsin lost a fine tight end in Troy Fumagalli (46 catches 547 yards), but when they still have two fine players nominated to the John Mackey Award Watch List. Zander Neuville and Kyle Penniston can block like guards but can sneak into the secondary and turn a short pass into a nice gain.

Fumagalli was the leading pass receiver, but the three two wideout receivers are back this year. Quintez Cephus, A.J. Taylor, and Danny Davis combined for just 87 pass receptions, but the trio averaged 16 yards per reception with 16 touchdowns.

Alex Hornibrook returns as the starting quarterback, and if he moves forward as much this season as he did last season, he could challenge McSorley and Lewerke for first team all-conference honors. His top job though will be handing the ball off to Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for 1,977 yards as a freshman.

If the Badgers stumble this year, it will be because their defense allows opponents to score points faster than the offense can respond. After giving up less than 14 points per game, less than 100 rushing yards, and just 262 total yards per game. The Badgers are still strong at linebacker with last year’s top two tacklers returning. T.J. Edwards and Ryan Connelly combined for 169 tackles with 22 for lost yardage; they picked up 5 passes, with Edwards taking one to the house.

Nose Tackle Olive Sagapolu can stop the two A-gaps without doing much of anything. At 346 pounds, he is tough to move out of the way and can force running attacks to direct plays to the next gap over. The Badgers are totally inexperienced at the end positions, and this will be a concern at the start of the season.

In the defensive backfield, safety D’Cota Dixon is the lone returning starter, and while he is excellent against the run, he is not a pass defense star.

Wisconsin will have time to get their new defensive players some playing time against three beatable opponents. The September 22nd game at Iowa could go a long way in determining the West Division champion.

Northwestern returns enough talent on both sides of the ball to give Wisconsin and Iowa fierce competition for the West Division flag. The University spent $260 million building the finest indoor facility in the nation, right on Lake Michigan, and the Wildcats are going to ramp up recruiting and possibly become the football equivalent of Duke Basketball, where the finest combination of athletic and academic successes end up in Evanston. This is down the road; for now, Coach Pat Fitzgerald tries to improve on a 10-3 season that included a narrow win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

Clayton Thorson may not be an all-conference selection, but the senior quarterback has a good shot to hear his name announced in the 2019 NFL Draft. Thorson’s 2017 season was a bit off the 2016 season, but with his size and strength, NFL teams will have an interest in him. He has a a pair of experienced wide receivers returning, and Ben Skowronek and Flynn Nagel were the leading receivers last year.

Thorson relied on a lot of passes to his backs, and he will miss Justin Jackson’s 44 receptions and 1,311 rushing yards. Jeremy Larkin actually had better averages than Jackson in limited touches, as he has breakaway speed when he gets a little open space. The offensive line should be strong on the right side, but the left side could pose problems against some tough defensive stars.

Defensively, the Wildcats are stronger in the front seven and lacking in experience in their back line. Linebackers Paddy Fisher and Nate Hall combined to make 192 tackles with 26 for loss. Hall blitzed and sacked the QB five times. Up front, Samdup Miller and Joe Gaziano teamed for 14 1/2 sacks and 21 1/2 total tackles for loss. The secondary has just one returning starter. Montre Hartage intercepted a couple of passes, but this unit is lacking in stars.
Usually, Big Ten teams begin the season with a winnable game against a Group of 5 opponent. This year, Northwestern begins the season on the road in a pivotal conference game against Purdue. Then, in November, when Big Ten teams rarely play out of conference, the Wildcats host Notre Dame. The schedule is not favorable for a run at a division flag.

On the other hand, Iowa has a very favorable schedule to make a run at the division flag, even if like Wisconsin, they have a lot of replacing to do on the defensive side. Coach Kirk Ferentz enters his 20th season in Iowa City, and as a gift, the Hawkeyes are the only team in the Big Ten that does not play Ohio State, Michigan, or Michigan State.

On the offensive side, they Hawkeyes are led by their best player, quarterback Nate Stanley. Stanley came from out of almost nowhere to take over at QB last year and surprised the nation with 26 touchdown passes and 2.432 passing yards. Included in those stats were 5 TD pass games against Iowa State and Ohio State.

Like many teams in this league, Iowa uses a lot of two tight end sets, and the Hawkeyes return both starters this year. Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson teamed up to grab 54 passes good for 814 yards and 14 touchdowns. They will team up with top wideout Nick Easley to make Iowa’s passing game strong. The running game may be a work in progress with last year’s two top backs no longer around. Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin saw limited action in 2017 and looked capable of becoming contributors this year, but the Iowa running game may be down a little this year.

The defensive liability that will hurt the Hawkeyes this year is the middle of the defense. All of last year’s top linebackers are gone, and there isn’t much experience returning. Iowa will be vulnerable early against the short passing game and play-action passes until the new linebackers get enough reps to understand how to play at full speed. This is not the case up front, where the defensive line should be rather strong this year. Ends Anthony Nelson and Parker Hesse should get to the enemy quarterback a fair amount of times and stop running backs on stretch plays often enough to encourage offenses to try something else.

The secondary may have four new starters this year, even though there is returning starting experience. The Hawkeyes will miss star defensive back Joshua Jackson and his eight interceptions.

Who saw this coming last year? Purdue was picked to maybe contend for fifth place in the division and hopefully win four or five games. Under new coach Jeff Brohm, the Boilermakers looked more like the Drew Brees team that played at Ross-Ade Stadium 20 years ago than recent Purdue squads. Purdue Missouri, Minnesota, and Iowa in the regular season, and then secured a winning season by topping Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl.
It is more of the same for the Boilermakers offensively this year, but like most of the division, they must rebuild on the other side of the ball. The offense improved only marginally in scoring average in Brohm’s first season in West Lafayette, but the defense shaved 18 points off the scoring average allowed.

A tight race for the starting quarterback job is still too close to call. Last year, Elijah Sindelar got a majority of the snaps, but he did so only because David Blough was out for the year with an injury. Sindelar played the last few weeks on a torn ACL, but both should be ready to begin the year. It could easily continue to be undecided into the season, as both could play.

The Boilermakers need true freshman Rondale Moore to live up to his credentials as soon as possible, because there isn’t a go-to guy on the roster. Most of the returning receivers are capable second and third options, but only if there is a play-making first option.

The running game should be slightly improved, even though last year’s starter has graduated. Markell Jones and Tario Fuller will carry the ball behind an experienced line featuring Rimington Award contender Kirk Barron at center.

Purdue’s run defense was one of the better groups in the nation last year, but most of the stars that made it so powerful won’t be on the sidelines this year. One of those who will be back is middle linebacker Markus Bailey, who finished second on the team in tackles and first in sacks. He played on the strongside last year, but he will return to the middle in 2018.

The front four has questions, especially at end, while there are concerns at the cornerback spots as well. Safeties Jacob Thieneman and Navon Mosley return as starters, but they were more of supporting role players than stars.

Purdue has two strong non-conference opponents on their schedule in Missouri and Boston College, and most of the winnable conference games are on the road this year. If Brohm can take the Boilermakers back to a bowl this year, it may be an even better coaching job than last year. It also may get him a lot of offers to coach at more successful programs.

Minnesota used to be as big a power in college football as Ohio State is today. That was nearly 60 years ago, but this school still has the resources to return to greatness. Second year coach P. J. Fleck knows how to recruit and coach, as he made Western Michigan a New Year’s Bowl participant. Fleck is a motivational coach in the mold of James Franklin, but don’t underestimate his ability to get the most out of the talent on hand. The Golden Gophers fell one victory short of qualifying for a bowl last year, but with a majority of his starters returning on both sides of the ball, Fleck should play game number 13 in December.

Minnesota couldn’t move the ball or score points well enough to find that elusive sixth win. Narrow losses to Maryland, Michigan State, and Iowa could have been wins with just a little more offense. Quarterback play was a major liability in 2017, so the fact that Minnesota will have a new signal caller in 2018 is not a bad thing. It was thought that either redshirt freshman Tanner Morhan or juco transfer Vic Viramontes will be under center when the Gophers take on New Mexico State in week one. However, in recent days it appears that true freshman walk-on Zack Annexstad might be the starter.

Annexstad is not your typical walk-on. He turned down scholarship offers at multiple FBS schools to pay to attend his father’s alma mater. He has the stronger arm and has the skills to lead this team to at least seven more points per game than last year.
UM is set at running back, where Rodney Smith narrowly missed topping 1,000 yards and could easily match or top his fine sophomore campaign, where he rushed for 1,158 yards. It’s at receiver where the Gophers are not yet quite up to standards of the top teams in the league. Tyler Johnson is a fine receiver, capable of turning a short pass into a long gain, but he cannot do it all himself. Freshmen and untested sophomores will man the other positions. The Gophers plan to create shade for the fans in the stadium, and they signed two of the largest offensive linemen in the game. Tackle Daniel Faalele tips the scale at 400 pounds on a 6 foot 9 inch frame. Curtis Dunlap is only 6-5 and 370. Both should add depth to an improving offensive line this year.

Unlike most of their division brethren, Minnesota has experience returning throughout the defensive side of the field. In fact, they have a star in each unit. End Carter Coughlin led the team with 6 1/2 sacks. Linebacker Thomas Barber led the team and finished third in the league with 115 tackles, including 10 1/2 for loss. Safety Antoine Winfield looked like an all-conference player when he was healthy in the four games he played.

Minnesota gave up 22.8 points per game and 347 yards per game, which in the Big 12 would have been outstanding. It’s just average in the Big Ten, and the Gophers have a chance to improve those numbers to 20 points and 330 yards given up. A non-conference schedule that should give them three wins means, they only have to go 3-6 to get back to a bowl. That’s a strong possibility.

There is a generation of college football fans that do not know that Nebraska was once what Alabama is today. The Cornhuskers last won the national championship 21 years ago and last looked like the best team ever 23 years ago. The Cornhuskers are a far cry from even respectability, but new coach Scott Frost should stir up excitement at his alma mater. Too bad he doesn’t have eligibility left, because Nebraska could use him under center. Two freshmen are competing for the starting quarterback job, Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez. For the time being, both may play in the early games in hopes that one will emerge as the clear choice.

Whoever is in at quarterback, he will have a fine pair of receivers to aim his throws to. Stanley Morgan, Jr. and J.D. Spielman teamed for 116 receptions and 1,1816 yards. Morgan’s father was a star with the New England Patriots and likely headed to the NFL in another year.
In past years, it was not unusual for Nebraska to rush for 400 to 500 yards with 1st team All-American backs. Things have changed in Lincoln, as the Cornhuskers finished 13th in the league in rushing with just 107.5 yards per game last year. No back topped 500 yards rushing for the season, and leading returnee Tre Bryant fell short of 300 yards. A combination of having Frost’s hurry up spread offense and a better blocking wall should help Nebraska increase their rushing average by 30-50 yards per game this year.
The defense formerly and famously known as the Blackshirts in the dynasty years of this program looked more like the black and blue in recent years. Nebraska gave up 36.4 points and 436.2 yards per game last year, including 42 points to Oregon 56 to Ohio State, and a final three swoon that saw Minnesota, Penn State, and Iowa all top 50 points. Expect these numbers to shrink in 2018. We would not be shocked if NU shaved 10 or more points and 50 or more yards off those poor averages.

The front seven will lead the way in 2018. Nebraska switches to a 3-4 after being an even-front team last year. The move to defensive end from outside linebacker should help Ben Stille team up with Carlos Davis and Freedom Akinmoladun top the 7 sacks the trio produced last year. Linebacker Dedrick Young is the leading returning tackle, and he’ll team with juco transfer Will Honas to give the Cornhuskers a better second line of defense. Expect more aggressive play in the secondary this year, as defensive coordinator Erik Chinander prefers a defense that concentrates on forcing turnovers.
There is a path to six wins for Frost in his first year at Memorial Stadium, but it isn’t going to be easy. After an opening game at home with Akron, the next three games are a bit tricky.
Illinois finished last in offense and 12th in defense in the Big Ten last year, and Coach Lovie Smith realized that desperate measures were needed. After Arizona fired Rich Rodriguez, Smith hired his offensive coordinator, Rod Smith to try to jump start the Illini offense. Quarterback Cam Thomas flashed just enough talent in a relief appearance against Purdue last year to give Illinois fans hope that he can move the team with consistency. The cupboard isn’t bare in the receiving corps, as Mike Dudek, Ricky Smalling, and tight end Louis Dorsey all saw extended playing time in 2017 and combined to catch 77 passes. Mike Epstein led the team with 346 rushing yards, even though he wasn’t the starter. He should top 500 this year. The entire offensive line returns, so expect Illinois to do much better than the paltry 15.4 points and 280 yards per game this year.

Defensively, Illinois gave up 31.5 points and 418 yards per game last year and won only two games, against Ball State and Western Kentucky. In Big Ten play, they went 0-9 and only really challenged in one game. There really is no reason to believe those numbers will improve this year. The defensive line and secondary is the weakest in the Big Ten, and the linebacker trio is only marginally better.

This could be the end of the line for Smith as coach of the Illini. With a 5-19 record in two years, another double-digit loss season might not be acceptable.

Here is how the Big Ten Conference Media voted in the preseason poll, which was taken before Meyer and Durkin were put on leave.

Big Ten
East 1st Place Points
1. Ohio St. 23.5 191.5
2. Michigan St. 2 142
3. Penn St. 1 141.5
4. Michigan 1.5 140.5
5. Maryland 0 75.5
6. Indiana 0 60
7. Rutgers 0 33
West 1st Place Points
1. Wisconsin 28 196
2. Iowa 0 155
3. Northwestern 0 138
4. Nebraska 0 104
5. Purdue 0 98.5
6. Minnesota 0 64.5
7. Illinois 0 28

The PiRate Ratings differ somewhat, and as we have mentioned, we expect considerable movement in these ratings, especially in the East Division if Meyer and/or Durkin are dismissed. LATE NOTE: It was announced Friday afternoon that the Meyer investigation would conclude on Sunday.

Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan St. 0-0 0-0 127.7 125.1 128.1 127.0
Ohio St. 0-0 0-0 125.1 122.3 125.6 124.3
Michigan 0-0 0-0 121.7 120.6 122.7 121.6
Penn St. 0-0 0-0 121.2 117.7 121.6 120.2
Maryland 0-0 0-0 102.2 100.2 100.5 101.0
Rutgers 0-0 0-0 98.4 97.0 96.2 97.2
Indiana 0-0 0-0 97.8 96.3 97.3 97.1
West Division
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 0-0 0-0 123.1 119.2 123.4 121.9
Northwestern 0-0 0-0 114.8 112.6 115.4 114.3
Iowa 0-0 0-0 113.2 110.0 112.0 111.7
Purdue 0-0 0-0 107.9 106.3 106.6 106.9
Minnesota 0-0 0-0 104.7 103.6 104.0 104.1
Nebraska 0-0 0-0 100.5 98.7 97.8 99.0
Illinois 0-0 0-0 94.0 93.5 92.9 93.5
Big Ten Averages 110.9 108.8 110.3 110.0

 

New Coaches
Not counting the two interim head coaches, Scott Frost is the lone new head coach in the league this year. Frost left undefeated Central Florida to return to his alma mater Nebraska. He turned UCF from an 0-12 team to a 14-0 team in just two years. If he can get Nebraska to a bowl in year one and then compete for 9 wins in 2019, he will have some property named after him in Lincoln.

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. Ohio State and Maryland could see their ratings change by large amounts depending on the outcome of the two coaching investigations.

Team Conference Overall
East
Michigan St. 9-0 13-0*
Ohio St. 8-1 11-1
Michigan 7-2 10-2
Penn St. 6-3 9-3
Maryland 3-6 5-7
Rutgers 2-7 5-7
Indiana 0-9 2-10
West
Wisconsin 7-2 10-3
Iowa 7-2 10-2
Northwestern 5-4 7-5
Minnesota 5-4 8-4
Purdue 3-6 4-8
Nebraska 1-8 4-8
Illinois 0-9 2-10
* Michigan State to win Big Ten Champ. Game

Bowl Tie-ins
1. Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA
2. Citrus Bowl in Orlando, FL
3. Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL
4. Holiday Bowl in San Diego, CA
5. Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL or Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN
6. Pinstripe Bowl in New York, NY
7. San Francisco Bowl in San Francisco, CA
8. Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, MI
9. Armed Forces Bowl in Forth Worth, TX
10. Heart of Dallas Bowl in Dallas, TX

Coming Tomorrow–The Atlantic Coast Conference

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November 2, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for November 2-6, 2017

The PiRate Captain had to send up the white flag after his lasses staged a successful mutiny two weeks ago. Much to his chagrin and ego, the ladies proceeded to come up with back-to-back weeks of pillaging of the Vegas vessels.

Last week, they brought in enough booty to send the SS Fortune into the black for the season. They proceeded to return a profit on the investment of a whopping 147%, missing out on going a perfect 4 for 4 by one play in overtime in the Appy State-U Mass game.  For the season, the PiRate Account is now in the black with a very modest 1% ROI.

The Captain will note that in the previous two seasons, the period from the last of October to the first of December followed the same MO–the selection results went from red numbers to black numbers and clinched a profit for the overall seasons.
Now, the lasses are lobbying to change the name of the PiRate ship to Queen Anne’s Revenge. The Captain is worried that five swollen heads on the lovely ladies could lead to a return of some booty to the Nevada books, but the ladies are overly confident that they have zeroed in using their superior female intuition.

Once again, the ladies picked the teams they thought had the best chance of winning outright but at the same time went off as small favorites, total tossups, or even slight underdogs. The Captain merely served as their accountant, putting together the best possible parlays as far as favorable odds go, thanks to his knowing which of the 2 dozen reputable books had the best overall odds.

 
The PiRate lasses selected four money line parlays, each going off at better than +120 odds, which is the unwritten rule for this weekly feature. Actually, there are just three parlays this week, as the fourth selection is a single game where the ladies believe the underdog should be favored by at least a touchdown.

Enjoy the picks, but remember, neither the ladies nor the Captain ever wager real money on the outcomes of these games. The goal here is to have fun with math.

#1 @ +155  
Must Win Must Lose
North Texas Louisiana Tech
#2 @ +144  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia St.
Georgia Southern
Kentucky Ole Miss
#3 @ +167  
Must Win Must Lose
Navy Temple
Northwestern Nebraska
#4 @ +204  
Must Win Must Lose
Missouri Florida
UAB Rice
Tulane Cincinnati

 

 

September 28, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for September 28-October 2, 2017

After four weeks of the football season, our readers might just want to take a knee; then again, they might want to place that knee firmly in some PiRate groin!  Ouch!  1,000 apologies if you took our ill-adivsed advice!

Another losing week, and we are now in the hole to the tune of -25% return on our investment for the season.  We won only one of last week’s four selections, returning $245 on $400 invested.  The -25% return for the season comes from $899 returned on $1,200 invested, quite a hole to try to emerge from before the season runs out of dates.

Our one solace, and we hope this is yours as well, is that these are imaginary dollars.  We can continue to select a liberal amount of games and be a bit wild with our selections, because we are only out the time it takes to pick these games.

This week, you will notice that all of our selections are college football games.  There are no NFL picks.  Make of this what you want, and you will be partially correct.  For one, we just didn’t feel like looking at the NFL Money Lines.  None of us will attend any games this week, and as far as we know, none of us will be watching on TV or listening on the radio.  Another reason why we didn’t select any NFL games is that the league is extremely erratic this year.  The supposed sure-thing 0-16 Jets won big over a playoff contender, and the Texans with a rookie QB almost beat New England, so let’s just walk away from the NFL for now.  The politics can only make the outcomes more unpredictable.

That leaves us with college football, and there are a lot of good games this week.  By good, we mean games in which the favorite is in the 5 to 10 point range, which presents us excellent Money Line potentials.  We actually like one underdog winning outright on the road, and we are going to put that one out as a single entry.

Here are our 5 parlay selections for this week.  Remember this: The members of the PiRate Ratings are not foolish enough to wager real currency on these selections.  We are nervous enough with our value stock selections, which are real, so we don’t need the added stress.  You to should avoid the stress of worrying about losing $500 real dollars on these selections, so only wager imaginary money if you must.

#1 @ +155  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia Tech North Carolina
Georgia Tennessee
Nebraska Illinois
#2 @ +150  
Must Win Must Lose
Iowa Michigan St.
#3 @ +146  
Must Win Must Lose
Central Florida Memphis
Cincinnati Marshall
#4 @ +128  
Must Win Must Lose
Kentucky Eastern Mich.
Western Mich. Ball St.
La. Tech South Alabama
Boston College Central Mich.
#5 @ +135  
Must Win Must Lose
UNLV San Jose St.
Florida Intl. Charlotte
San Diego St. N. Illinois
Florida Vanderbilt

 

 

 

 

August 31, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 20, 2017

2017 Big Ten Preview

We kick off our Power 5 Conference previews today with the Big Ten Conference. While the Big Ten is our lowest rated Power 5 league to begin the season, the margin is miniscule. The number two through five leagues are separated by three points. What hurts the Big Ten is that four teams are below the norm among the entire 130 FBS roster. The other Power 5 leagues have 0, 1, or 2.

Most of the nation’s professional media have Ohio State as the overwhelming pick to win the league, and the PiRates believe the Buckeyes are the clear-cut favorite. However, Ohio State will face very stiff competition from Penn State again this season. The two teams are heavily loaded with talent, and the loser of this game could very well finish the regular season at 11-1 and have a small chance to earn a Playoff bid. The two teams square off in Columbus on October 28.

Michigan is looking at a major rebuilding project with the loss of 10 defensive starters. Having just five starters back on offense isn’t a picnic either, and Coach Jim Harbaugh has an opening game with Florida looming. The next three could come in any order, as Maryland, Indiana, and Michigan State are decent but not great teams. Two of this trio should become bowl-eligible.

The West will once again be competitive this year. Last year, five teams competed for the flag, and the same five should be involved in a hotly contested race this season. Wisconsin begins the year as the highest-rated team, but Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska are all capable of topping the Badgers. The race could end in a multiple-team tie, and 7-2 could even win the division outright yet again.

Jeff Brohm is the new ingredient in the Midwestern cocktail. He takes over a moribund Purdue program and promises to bring excitement to West Lafayette. Purdue has not been a factor for several years now, but the Boilermakers have a storied history as an exciting and innovative program that has pulled off big upsets. Brohm doesn’t have a lot of quality talent to work with in year one, but it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if the Boilermakers ruined a Saturday for a contending team.

Here is how the Big Ten media voted in the preseason poll.

Big Ten–East Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Ohio St. 34 260 29
2 Penn St. 7 231.5 4
3 Michigan 1 192 1
4 Michigan St. 0 128 0
5 Indiana 0 114 0
6 Maryland 0 100.5 0
7 Rutgers 0 38 0
         
Big Ten–West Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Wisconsin 31 259 4
2 Northwestern 5 219 0
3 Nebraska 2 176.5 0
4 Iowa 0 164.5 0
5 Minnesota 0 131 0
6t Purdue 0 57 0
6t Illinois 0 57 0

The PiRate, Mean, and Bias ratings are in close step with the media.

Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 132.3 129.1 131.3 130.9
Penn St. 125.3 122.6 125.8 124.6
Michigan 116.5 115.7 115.5 115.9
Indiana 104.3 104.6 104.5 104.5
Maryland 101.8 104.3 101.7 102.6
Michigan St. 95.4 100.1 95.6 97.0
Rutgers 95.5 95.7 94.6 95.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 122.2 118.0 120.7 120.3
Northwestern 113.9 111.3 113.5 112.9
Iowa 111.6 111.2 111.3 111.4
Minnesota 106.8 106.3 106.5 106.5
Nebraska 104.7 106.3 104.0 105.0
Purdue 94.7 97.3 95.4 95.8
Illinois 90.1 92.0 88.4 90.2
         
Big Ten Averages 108.2 108.2 107.8 108.1

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

Big Ten Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
East Division      
Ohio St. 9-0 13-0 ***PLAYOFFS***
Penn St. 8-1 11-1 Cotton
Michigan 6-3 9-3 Outback
Indiana 3-6 6-6 Quick Lane
Maryland 2-7 4-8  
Michigan St. 2-7 4-8  
Rutgers 2-7 4-8  
       
Team Conference Overall Bowl
West Division      
Wisconsin 8-1 11-2 Citrus
Northwestern 6-3 9-3 Taxslayer
Minnesota 6-3 8-4 Foster Farms
Nebraska 5-4 7-5 Pinstripe
Iowa 4-5 7-5 Holiday
Purdue 1-8 2-10  
Illinois 1-8 2-10  
       
Ohio St. to win Big Ten Championship Game
No Big Ten team available for Armed Forces Bowl

 

Trivia: We are going to keep the previous trivia question open for a day or so. If you missed it, here it is again.
In 1918, Georgia Tech beat North Carolina State 118-0. For half a century no Division 1 team scored 100 points on another Division 1 team. In 1949 San Jose State beat New Mexico 103-0, but the Spartans would not become a major college participant until the following season, so this one doesn’t count. The last time a Division 1 team scored 100 points on another Division 1 team was in 1968, when current AAC West member Houston beat current AAC West member Tulsa 100-6.

A Houston wide receiver caught a 25-yard pass for a touchdown in that 100-6 game that made the score 93-6. He later went on to fame in the music business. A Tulsa lineman also became a famous celebrity on television and through his books.

Here are your three trivia questions:
1. Name the Houston Wide Receiver that would become a famous music celebrity.
2. Explain how this wide receiver once performed the National Anthem for a sporting event that was postponed soon after he performed, yet there was no rain, snow, or lightning.
3. Name the Tulsa lineman that became a famous TV celebrity and has used this game as a means to help advance his career.

 

Coming tomorrow: Read our Big 12 preview before you go watch the eclipse.  Is the sun going dark on this once great league, or is there life still in the Big 12?

October 17, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For October 20-22, 2016

Another Hot Seat Burns

Purdue dismissed Darrell Hazell as head coach yesterday, even though the Boilermakers are off to a 3-3 start and have been more competitive in their games this year than in recent seasons. This brings to three the number of coaches that were replaced in the first half of the season (Les Miles–LSU & Ron Turner–Florida International), not counting Art Briles and Baylor.

Firing a coach in mid-season allows a school to officially, but quietly, begin its coaching search ahead of the schools that have already decided to go with a new regime but have yet to make the announcement official. LSU, FIU, and Purdue can now begin reaching out to agents of prospective coaches to feel out the situation. Coach X, who is 5-1 at a Group of 5 School this year would never say he was interested in any job other than the one he currently has, but Coach X’s agent, Johnny Slickster, has already begun to talk to schools about interviewing his client as well as telling them in a general manner what basic details would have to be included in a contract.

Prime Candidates

The three schools with openings for 2017 will no doubt balloon to seven to 12 schools by the time we exchange our Christmas and Hanukkah gifts this year, so who are the prime candidates to see their incomes climb from six to seven figures?

Basically, three types of candidates earn head coaching jobs in college football–head coaches at smaller schools than the one in question, top coordinators from successful schools, and NFL coaches that have recently lost their jobs. Occasionally, a smaller Group of 5 program will hire a coach from FCS ranks, and a former head coach will get another chance to come back into coaching, but most of the available jobs go to one of the three types described above. Today we will look at the head coaches at smaller schools.

In the past, Miami of Ohio was called “The Cradle of Coaches.” This MAC program produced a Hall of Fame class in its own. Among the legends that coached at the Oxford, Ohio, school were Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, Sean Payton, John Harbaugh, Jim Tressel, Bill Mallory, John Pont, and Colonel Red Blaik.

While the Red Hawks are not producing legends any more, their conference has become a breeding grounds for Power 5 teams. It should be no different this year, as Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck could be the top candidate for multiple jobs. Fleck has stated that he believes too many coaches fail to see how good they have it where they currently are and make a mistake moving up. Other than Al McGuire, who stayed at Marquette for years after being offered multiple jobs every season, there are not too many American males that have turned down the doubling or tripling of their salary to remain in a smaller job. Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a nice northern town, but places like Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Austin, Texas, or Los Angeles, are very livable too, especially when they come with four million dollar contracts.

Jason Candle at Toledo, John Bonamego at Central Michigan, and Chris Creighton at Eastern Michigan could all be on the radar as well. Creighton has maneuvered the EMU into position to go to a bowl this year, and the Eagles have only been bowling one time, back in 1987.

The Sun Belt Conference has chiefly supplied coaches from Arkansas State in recent years, and the guys they sent on to bigger places have done quite well, including Gus Malzahn, Hugh Freeze, and Bryan Harsin. It’s time to spread the wealth of wizards to other locations, and there are some prime candidates this year. Scott Satterfield at Appalachian State could get some feelers. Troy’s Neal Brown will draw interest, and Idaho’s Paul Petrino will be on some schools’ lists, especially since his program will drop to FCS in two years.

In Conference USA, Jeff Brohm is a hot commodity at the present, but there are other potential candidates in this league. Marshall’s Doc Holliday may only have an interest in one other job, which is not about to become open any time soon, but his recruiting ability could earn him a look at Purdue. Bobby Wilder from Old Dominion could be an option for a larger school, while North Texas’s Seth Littrell is probably a couple years away from becoming a hot commodity.

In the Mountain West, Tony Sanchez is a Las Vegas man, so he may not be ready to leave UNLV after two years. The Rebels have not completely turned the corner, but a sneaky bowl-eligible season when they were picked to finish near the bottom could put Sanchez on some radar screens. The coach that appears to be a rising star from the MWC is Wyoming’s Craig Bohl.  Bohl built North Dakota State into the Alabama of the FCS, and he could get some offers from the Big 12, Pac-12, and even Big Ten.
Then, there is the American Athletic Conference, where Houston’s Tom Herman could be the leading candidate at multiple big-time programs. Herman could stay in Houston if the Cougars were told they were going to be selected by the Big 12, but at this point in time, it is starting to look like the Big 12 will stay as they are. South Florida’s Willie Taggart and Temple’s Matt Rhule should get opportunities to talk to bigger schools.

There are three other Group of 5 coaches that could draw specialty interest if certain jobs became available. Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo, Tulane’s Willie Fritz, and Army’s Jeff Monken may not get the opportunity to interview at a big-time state school, because these three coaches are triple option coaches. There are not many schools in the Power 5 Conferences that would consider going to the archaic system of running the ball 85% of the time, but a place like Purdue, Vanderbilt, or Kansas might be willing to try it out. You cannot ask for too much more from Paul Johnson, who has guided Georgia Tech to seven bowls in eight years, including a top 10 finish and Orange Bowl win.

We will add two more men that could probably go to a Power 5 team and win, but that we feel will not get the opportunity to do so. Akron’s Terry Bowden and New Mexico’s Bob Davie once coached at big-time programs. Bowden led Auburn to multiple SEC West championships, while Davie took over for Lou Holtz at Notre Dame.

How Good is Bama

We frequently get asked by people that know us to compare a team with team’s from the past. Recently, an Alabama fan asked us how good this Tide team was compared to those from the past. He was only asking to compare to past Tide teams, but we like to go one further. How good is this Alabama team among all the teams in college football history?

The obvious answer is that the 2016 Alabama team would beat the 1962 Green Bay Packers or the 1970 Pro Bowl teams, just like today’s Cleveland Cavaliers would run the Boston Celtics of the Red Auerbach era out of the gym, and many high school sprinters of today could win the Gold Medal in the 1896 Olympics.

However, we could say it another way. LeBron James might only have grown to 6 foot 4 had he lived 50 years ago. Compared to Elgin Baylor or Connie Hawkins, he might have been a bench-warmer back then. Had Jesse Owens been born in 1994, he might make Usain Bolt look slow. You have to compare talent to its historical time frame.

So, with the above caveat, where does Alabama currently rank among all-time teams? We can use our PiRate formula to determine how they rank among teams since about 1970. The formula has been tweaked through the years, but we have kept records to know how to compare a rating from 1979 with a rating from today. To be considered great, a team in our PiRate and Bias ratings needs to top 135.0, and in the Mean rating, 130.0. Alabama tops 135 in the PiRate and Bias, but they are a tad under 130 in the Mean. 135 means that a team is 5 touchdowns better than the average team.

Very few teams have finished the season five touchdowns better than the average team. Since 1970, that group is limited to:

1971–Nebraska
1972–Southern Cal
1974–Oklahoma
1995–Nebraska
2001–Miami
2004–Southern Cal
2005–Texas

The 1995 Nebraska team remains the top ever in our PiRate Ratings’ history. USC in 1972 and Nebraska in 1971 are close behind in a tie for second (The 1971 Oklahoma team almost made this list).

There are no doubt other teams prior to our ratings that are as good or even better than the teams we have listed. Army in 1944 and 1945 was much like an all-star team. Notre Dame between 1946 and 1949 stocked the NFL with more than 30 players. Oklahoma once won 47 games in a row in the middle 1950’s and went 107-8-2 over an 11-year span.

If the season ended today, this Alabama team would rank 6th all-time in our PiRate Ratings, behind 1995 Nebraska, 1972 USC, 1971 Nebraska, 2001 Miami, and 2004 USC. Check below to see how we rate the Tide against unbeaten Texas A&M this week.

PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 135.6 128.6 135.5 133.2
2 Michigan 129.3 126.8 129.8 128.6
3 Washington 128.5 121.1 128.6 126.1
4 Ohio St. 125.6 124.9 126.5 125.7
5 Louisville 126.5 121.3 126.4 124.7
6 Clemson 126.3 119.0 125.3 123.5
7 LSU 123.8 119.1 123.2 122.0
8 Oklahoma 120.2 118.3 120.1 119.5
9 Auburn 118.5 116.6 118.7 117.9
10 Tennessee 118.7 115.6 118.1 117.5
11 Virginia Tech 117.2 116.4 117.5 117.0
12 Texas A&M 117.3 115.5 117.1 116.6
13 Miami 118.8 112.2 118.5 116.5
14 Florida St. 118.7 112.3 117.7 116.2
15 Colorado 116.5 112.3 116.8 115.2
16 Wisconsin 115.3 113.4 116.0 114.9
17 USC 116.9 112.4 114.6 114.6
18 North Carolina 116.6 110.1 116.4 114.4
19 Oklahoma St. 114.1 115.1 113.9 114.4
20 Houston 114.3 112.6 116.1 114.3
21 Baylor 113.8 114.1 114.4 114.1
22 Ole Miss 116.2 110.4 115.3 114.0
23 Florida 113.7 116.0 112.0 113.9
24 Pittsburgh 114.9 111.2 114.1 113.4
25 Western Michigan 113.1 111.7 115.0 113.3
26 Washington St. 113.2 110.1 113.3 112.2
27 Nebraska 113.0 109.9 113.0 112.0
28 Stanford 114.2 107.8 113.1 111.7
29 Iowa 112.2 109.5 112.1 111.3
30 Texas 110.9 112.1 110.2 111.1
31 UCLA 111.6 110.2 111.1 111.0
32 West Virginia 111.4 110.1 110.9 110.8
33 South Florida 111.3 109.0 112.0 110.8
34 Arkansas 112.8 107.9 110.7 110.5
35 Notre Dame 112.0 108.4 110.3 110.2
36 TCU 109.6 111.1 109.1 109.9
37 North Carolina St. 110.2 107.2 110.0 109.1
38 Boise St. 108.1 109.3 109.4 108.9
39 Georgia Tech 109.5 105.3 108.6 107.8
40 Mississippi St. 108.8 106.7 107.8 107.8
41 Georgia 108.2 107.4 107.5 107.7
42 Utah 110.1 104.7 108.0 107.6
43 Penn St. 107.1 109.1 105.9 107.4
44 BYU 109.3 103.6 108.8 107.2
45 Northwestern 109.2 104.5 107.9 107.2
46 Kansas St. 106.4 108.9 106.2 107.2
47 Minnesota 105.7 104.5 105.2 105.1
48 Arizona St. 105.8 104.9 104.6 105.1
49 Oregon 105.9 104.3 104.9 105.0
50 Michigan St. 105.4 104.4 103.3 104.4
51 Memphis 105.8 102.4 104.6 104.3
52 Indiana 103.0 105.6 102.7 103.8
53 Toledo 103.4 102.8 104.0 103.4
54 Wake Forest 104.1 101.7 103.8 103.2
55 Texas Tech 103.4 102.7 101.4 102.5
56 Virginia 103.0 100.8 102.4 102.1
57 California 105.1 97.8 102.8 101.9
58 Maryland 101.4 104.3 99.5 101.7
59 Syracuse 103.1 99.8 101.5 101.5
60 San Diego St. 101.2 99.9 103.3 101.5
61 Missouri 101.6 100.9 101.1 101.2
62 Duke 101.1 101.3 100.2 100.9
63 Navy 100.9 100.8 100.6 100.8
64 Temple 100.7 100.6 100.7 100.7
65 Vanderbilt 101.6 98.4 100.3 100.1
66 Tulsa 99.1 101.3 99.9 100.1
67 Arizona 100.9 98.8 99.4 99.7
68 South Carolina 99.5 99.0 98.9 99.2
69 Appalachian St. 98.4 98.6 100.3 99.1
70 Boston College 99.2 98.6 98.9 98.9
71 Western Kentucky 99.1 96.2 99.9 98.4
72 Central Michigan 97.6 99.3 98.3 98.4
73 Air Force 97.7 98.9 97.9 98.2
74 Kentucky 97.8 99.4 96.9 98.0
75 Iowa St. 98.3 97.8 97.6 97.9
76 Cincinnati 97.7 98.0 97.8 97.9
77 Army 93.3 101.7 96.3 97.1
78 Connecticut 97.6 95.4 97.5 96.9
79 Illinois 97.4 93.9 96.6 96.0
80 Troy 92.8 97.4 94.8 95.0
81 Middle Tennessee 94.5 95.5 95.1 95.0
82 Central Florida 94.0 96.3 94.4 94.9
83 Louisiana Tech 93.9 95.3 95.4 94.9
84 Utah St. 93.2 95.7 92.9 93.9
85 Oregon St. 95.6 91.1 93.9 93.5
86 Northern Illinois 92.7 94.0 93.8 93.5
87 New Mexico 92.2 94.6 92.9 93.3
88 Purdue 94.2 92.3 92.9 93.1
89 East Carolina 91.9 93.9 92.1 92.6
90 Georgia Southern 91.6 91.5 93.8 92.3
91 Ohio 89.4 96.4 89.8 91.9
92 SMU 91.2 90.8 93.3 91.8
93 Southern Mississippi 91.3 91.8 91.7 91.6
94 Old Dominion 89.0 92.5 89.6 90.4
95 UNLV 88.5 91.8 88.8 89.7
96 Arkansas St. 87.9 89.9 89.6 89.1
97 Wyoming 88.9 88.9 89.5 89.1
98 Akron 86.6 92.6 88.1 89.1
99 Rutgers 90.2 88.0 88.6 89.0
100 Colorado St. 87.3 89.1 88.2 88.2
101 Ball St. 86.5 88.5 87.7 87.6
102 Marshall 85.8 88.9 87.0 87.2
103 Nevada 85.7 88.4 86.5 86.9
104 Tulane 85.3 89.4 85.9 86.9
105 South Alabama 83.5 90.4 84.8 86.2
106 Kent St. 85.3 87.0 85.9 86.1
107 Eastern Michigan 85.1 87.6 85.3 86.0
108 UTSA 82.6 89.6 85.3 85.9
109 Kansas 83.7 89.5 81.0 84.8
110 Georgia St. 82.5 87.0 84.4 84.6
111 Bowling Green 84.3 84.4 84.2 84.3
112 Miami (O) 83.4 84.7 84.8 84.3
113 San Jose St. 84.3 83.9 83.5 83.9
114 Hawaii 84.0 82.8 83.6 83.5
115 Rice 80.7 87.5 80.9 83.0
116 Fresno St. 80.4 84.3 80.2 81.6
117 Idaho 79.0 84.6 80.5 81.4
118 Florida International 79.3 84.5 79.4 81.1
119 Massachusetts 78.3 85.0 79.4 80.9
120 North Texas 79.1 81.7 79.7 80.2
121 Florida Atlantic 76.8 81.7 80.0 79.5
122 UL-Lafayette 76.0 82.8 77.6 78.8
123 Buffalo 74.8 82.0 75.4 77.4
124 Charlotte 71.1 76.7 71.5 73.1
125 UTEP 70.5 75.1 71.5 72.4
126 New Mexico St. 70.7 74.1 71.4 72.1
127 UL-Monroe 69.8 74.6 70.3 71.6
128 Texas St. 69.1 70.6 70.1 69.9

 

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 111.3 109.0 112.0 110.8
Temple 100.7 100.6 100.7 100.7
Cincinnati 97.7 98.0 97.8 97.9
Connecticut 97.6 95.4 97.5 96.9
Central Florida 94.0 96.3 94.4 94.9
East Carolina 91.9 93.9 92.1 92.6
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 114.3 112.6 116.1 114.3
Memphis 105.8 102.4 104.6 104.3
Navy 100.9 100.8 100.6 100.8
Tulsa 99.1 101.3 99.9 100.1
SMU 91.2 90.8 93.3 91.8
Tulane 85.3 89.4 85.9 86.9
         
AAC Averages 99.2 99.3 99.6 99.3
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisville 126.5 121.3 126.4 124.7
Clemson 126.3 119.0 125.3 123.5
Florida St. 118.7 112.3 117.7 116.2
North Carolina St. 110.2 107.2 110.0 109.1
Wake Forest 104.1 101.7 103.8 103.2
Syracuse 103.1 99.8 101.5 101.5
Boston College 99.2 98.6 98.9 98.9
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Virginia Tech 117.2 116.4 117.5 117.0
Miami 118.8 112.2 118.5 116.5
North Carolina 116.6 110.1 116.4 114.4
Pittsburgh 114.9 111.2 114.1 113.4
Georgia Tech 109.5 105.3 108.6 107.8
Virginia 103.0 100.8 102.4 102.1
Duke 101.1 101.3 100.2 100.9
         
ACC Averages 112.1 108.4 111.5 110.7
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 120.2 118.3 120.1 119.5
Oklahoma St. 114.1 115.1 113.9 114.4
Baylor 113.8 114.1 114.4 114.1
Texas 110.9 112.1 110.2 111.1
West Virginia 111.4 110.1 110.9 110.8
TCU 109.6 111.1 109.1 109.9
Kansas St. 106.4 108.9 106.2 107.2
Texas Tech 103.4 102.7 101.4 102.5
Iowa St. 98.3 97.8 97.6 97.9
Kansas 83.7 89.5 81.0 84.8
         
Big 12 Averages 107.2 108.0 106.5 107.2
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 129.3 126.8 129.8 128.6
Ohio St. 125.6 124.9 126.5 125.7
Penn St. 107.1 109.1 105.9 107.4
Michigan St. 105.4 104.4 103.3 104.4
Indiana 103.0 105.6 102.7 103.8
Maryland 101.4 104.3 99.5 101.7
Rutgers 90.2 88.0 88.6 89.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 115.3 113.4 116.0 114.9
Nebraska 113.0 109.9 113.0 112.0
Iowa 112.2 109.5 112.1 111.3
Northwestern 109.2 104.5 107.9 107.2
Minnesota 105.7 104.5 105.2 105.1
Illinois 97.4 93.9 96.6 96.0
Purdue 94.2 92.3 92.9 93.1
         
Big Ten Averages 107.8 106.5 107.1 107.2
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 99.1 96.2 99.9 98.4
Middle Tennessee 94.5 95.5 95.1 95.0
Old Dominion 89.0 92.5 89.6 90.4
Marshall 85.8 88.9 87.0 87.2
Florida International 79.3 84.5 79.4 81.1
Florida Atlantic 76.8 81.7 80.0 79.5
Charlotte 71.1 76.7 71.5 73.1
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisiana Tech 93.9 95.3 95.4 94.9
Southern Mississippi 91.3 91.8 91.7 91.6
UTSA 82.6 89.6 85.3 85.9
Rice 80.7 87.5 80.9 83.0
North Texas 79.1 81.7 79.7 80.2
UTEP 70.5 75.1 71.5 72.4
         
CUSA Averages 84.1 87.5 85.2 85.6
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 112.0 108.4 110.3 110.2
BYU 109.3 103.6 108.8 107.2
Army 93.3 101.7 96.3 97.1
Massachusetts 78.3 85.0 79.4 80.9
         
Indep. Averages 98.2 99.7 98.7 98.9
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 89.4 96.4 89.8 91.9
Akron 86.6 92.6 88.1 89.1
Kent St. 85.3 87.0 85.9 86.1
Bowling Green 84.3 84.4 84.2 84.3
Miami (O) 83.4 84.7 84.8 84.3
Buffalo 74.8 82.0 75.4 77.4
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 113.1 111.7 115.0 113.3
Toledo 103.4 102.8 104.0 103.4
Central Michigan 97.6 99.3 98.3 98.4
Northern Illinois 92.7 94.0 93.8 93.5
Ball St. 86.5 88.5 87.7 87.6
Eastern Michigan 85.1 87.6 85.3 86.0
         
MAC Averages 90.2 92.6 91.0 91.3
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 108.1 109.3 109.4 108.9
Air Force 97.7 98.9 97.9 98.2
Utah St. 93.2 95.7 92.9 93.9
New Mexico 92.2 94.6 92.9 93.3
Wyoming 88.9 88.9 89.5 89.1
Colorado St. 87.3 89.1 88.2 88.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 101.2 99.9 103.3 101.5
UNLV 88.5 91.8 88.8 89.7
Nevada 85.7 88.4 86.5 86.9
San Jose St. 84.3 83.9 83.5 83.9
Hawaii 84.0 82.8 83.6 83.5
Fresno St. 80.4 84.3 80.2 81.6
         
MWC Averages 91.0 92.3 91.4 91.6
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 128.5 121.1 128.6 126.1
Washington St. 113.2 110.1 113.3 112.2
Stanford 114.2 107.8 113.1 111.7
Oregon 105.9 104.3 104.9 105.0
California 105.1 97.8 102.8 101.9
Oregon St. 95.6 91.1 93.9 93.5
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colorado 116.5 112.3 116.8 115.2
USC 116.9 112.4 114.6 114.6
UCLA 111.6 110.2 111.1 111.0
Utah 110.1 104.7 108.0 107.6
Arizona St. 105.8 104.9 104.6 105.1
Arizona 100.9 98.8 99.4 99.7
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.4 106.3 109.3 108.6
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 118.7 115.6 118.1 117.5
Florida 113.7 116.0 112.0 113.9
Georgia 108.2 107.4 107.5 107.7
Missouri 101.6 100.9 101.1 101.2
Vanderbilt 101.6 98.4 100.3 100.1
South Carolina 99.5 99.0 98.9 99.2
Kentucky 97.8 99.4 96.9 98.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 135.6 128.6 135.5 133.2
LSU 123.8 119.1 123.2 122.0
Auburn 118.5 116.6 118.7 117.9
Texas A&M 117.3 115.5 117.1 116.6
Ole Miss 116.2 110.4 115.3 114.0
Arkansas 112.8 107.9 110.7 110.5
Mississippi St. 108.8 106.7 107.8 107.8
         
SEC Averages 112.4 110.1 111.7 111.4
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 98.4 98.6 100.3 99.1
Troy 92.8 97.4 94.8 95.0
Georgia Southern 91.6 91.5 93.8 92.3
Arkansas St. 87.9 89.9 89.6 89.1
South Alabama 83.5 90.4 84.8 86.2
Georgia St. 82.5 87.0 84.4 84.6
Idaho 79.0 84.6 80.5 81.4
UL-Lafayette 76.0 82.8 77.6 78.8
New Mexico St. 70.7 74.1 71.4 72.1
UL-Monroe 69.8 74.6 70.3 71.6
Texas St. 69.1 70.6 70.1 69.9
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.9 85.6 83.4 83.7

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.4 110.1 111.7 111.4
2 ACC 112.1 108.4 111.5 110.7
3 Pac-12 110.4 106.3 109.3 108.6
4 Big 12 107.2 108.0 106.5 107.2
5 Big Ten 107.8 106.5 107.1 107.2
6 AAC 99.2 99.3 99.6 99.3
7 Independents 98.2 99.7 98.7 98.9
8 MWC 91.0 92.3 91.4 91.6
9 MAC 90.2 92.6 91.0 91.3
10 CUSA 84.1 87.5 85.2 85.6
11 Sun Belt 81.9 85.6 83.4 83.7

 

This Week’s Spreads

This Week’s Games–October 20-22
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Thursday, October 20      
Virginia Tech Miami (Fla.) 1.4 7.2 2.0
South Alabama Troy -7.3 -5.0 -8.0
Boise St. BYU 1.8 8.7 3.6
         
Friday, October 21      
Temple South Florida -7.6 -5.4 -8.3
San Diego St. San Jose St. 19.9 19.0 22.8
California Oregon 2.2 -3.5 0.9
         
Saturday, October 22      
Army North Texas 17.2 23.0 19.6
South Carolina Massachusetts 24.2 17.0 22.5
Connecticut Central Florida 6.6 2.1 6.1
Toledo Central Michigan 8.8 6.5 8.7
Bowling Green Miami (O) 2.9 1.7 1.4
Northwestern Indiana 8.7 1.4 7.7
Iowa Wisconsin -0.1 -0.9 -0.9
Louisville North Carolina St. 19.3 17.1 19.4
Kansas Oklahoma St. -27.4 -22.6 -29.9
Kansas St. Texas -1.5 -0.2 -1.0
Minnesota Rutgers 18.5 19.5 19.6
Boston College Syracuse -0.9 1.8 0.4
Kent St. Ohio U -2.1 -7.4 -1.9
Air Force Hawaii 17.2 19.6 17.8
Ball St. Akron 2.9 -1.1 2.6
Stanford Colorado 0.7 -1.5 -0.7
Virginia North Carolina -10.6 -6.3 -11.0
Navy Memphis -1.9 1.4 -1.0
Michigan Illinois 34.9 35.9 36.2
Nebraska Purdue 21.8 20.6 23.1
West Virginia TCU 4.8 2.0 4.8
Appalachian St. Idaho 22.9 17.5 23.3
Northern Illinois Buffalo 20.9 15.0 21.4
Alabama Texas A&M 21.3 16.1 21.4
Western Michigan Eastern Michigan 30.0 26.1 32.7
Tulsa Tulane 16.8 14.9 17.0
UCLA Utah 4.5 8.5 6.1
Missouri Middle Tennessee 10.1 8.4 9.0
UNLV Colorado St. 4.2 5.7 3.6
Marshall Charlotte 17.7 13.4 18.5
Auburn Arkansas 8.7 11.7 11.0
Washington Oregon St. 35.9 33.0 37.7
Florida Int’l. Louisiana Tech -11.6 -7.4 -13.0
Western Kentucky Old Dominion 13.1 6.7 13.3
UTSA UTEP 14.6 17.0 16.3
Cincinnati East Carolina 8.8 7.1 8.7
SMU Houston -20.9 -19.3 -20.3
Texas St. UL-Lafayette -4.4 -9.7 -5.0
Maryland Michigan St. -1.0 2.9 -0.8
Kentucky Mississippi St. -8.0 -4.3 -7.9
New Mexico St. Georgia Southern -17.9 -14.4 -19.4
Penn St. Ohio St. -15.5 -12.8 -17.6
Texas Tech Oklahoma -13.8 -12.6 -15.7
LSU Ole Miss 9.1 11.2 10.4
New Mexico UL-Monroe 25.4 23.0 25.6
Arizona St. Washington St. -4.4 -2.2 -5.7
Utah St. Fresno St. 15.8 14.4 15.7
Nevada Wyoming -0.2 2.5 -0.1

 

FBS vs. FCS Week 8  
Home Visitor PiRate
Georgia St. UT-Martin 15
Rice Prairie View 14
Vanderbilt Tennessee St. 25

Bowl Projections

This week, we project 78 teams to be bowl eligible, necessitating two 7-loss teams falling into bowl games.  A 6-7 Hawaii team trumps all other 7-loss teams.

Bowl Conferences Team vs. Team
New Mexico MWC CUSA New Mexico vs. Sou. Miss.
Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC Utah vs. Boise St.
Cure AAC SBC South Florida vs. Ga. Southern
Camellia MAC SBC Akron vs. S. Alabama
New Orleans CUSA SBC Old Dominion vs. Troy
Miami Beach AAC MAC Tulsa vs. Central Mich.
Boca Raton AAC CUSA Houston vs. Western Ky.
Poinsettia MWC BYU Air Force vs. BYU
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Eastern Mich. vs. Wyoming
Bahamas AAC/CUSA MAC/CUSA Memphis vs. Toledo
Armed Forces Navy Big 12 Navy vs. [Idaho]
Dollar General MAC SBC Ohio U vs. Appy St.
Hawaii CUSA MWC Middle Tenn. vs. {Hawaii}
St. Petersburg AAC ACC/ND Temple vs. Miami (Fla.)
Quick Lane ACC/ND Big Ten Georgia Tech vs. Indiana
Independence SEC ACC/ND {Boston Coll.} vs. [Florida Int’l.]
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA Maryland vs. North Texas
Military ACC/ND AAC N. Carolina St. vs. Central Fla.
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Penn St. vs. Arizona St.
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 [UNLV] vs. California
Pinstripe ACC/ND Big Ten Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota
Russell Athletic ACC/ND Big 12 Florida St. vs. TCU
Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 Iowa vs. Wash. St.
Texas Big 12 SEC Kansas St. vs. Ole Miss
Birmingham AAC SEC [Arkansas St.] vs. [Ball St.]
Belk ACC/ND SEC Wake Forest vs. Georgia
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 Oklahoma vs. USC
Liberty Big 12 SEC Oklahoma St. vs. LSU
Sun ACC/ND Pac-12 N. Carolina vs. Stanford
Arizona CUSA/SBC MWC/SBC La. Tech vs. San Diego St.
Music City ACC/ND/B10 SEC Northwestern vs. [Army]
Orange ACC/ND B10/SEC Clemson vs. Tennessee
Citrus ACC/ND/B10 SEC Wisconsin vs. Arkansas
TaxSlayer ACC/ND/B10 SEC Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Peach Semifinal Semifinal Ohio St. vs. Washington
Fiesta Semifinal Semifinal Alabama vs. West Virginia
Outback Big Ten SEC Nebraska vs. Florida
Cotton At-Large At-Large Louisville vs. Western Mich.
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Michigan vs. Colorado
Sugar Big 12 SEC Baylor vs. Texas A&M
Nat’l Champ. Semifinal Winners Alabama vs. Ohio St.
           
[Team] At-Large Selection
{Team} At-Large Selection of projected 7-Loss Team

 

 

 

October 10, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For October 12-15, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, it’s the second Monday in October, and the Oktoberfest Parade was a dandy this year.  That doubleheader football classic continues as these words are typed.

The spicy, not sweet, pumpkin pie was delicious again, and the crisp cool weather with snow due by Friday creates the perfect festive environment.  Plus, there are no wild dashes to the stores tomorrow.

For those of you readers in the lower 48 not familiar with what us PiRates speak of, today is Canadian Thanksgiving.  It is actually somewhat older than the holiday celebrated in the States.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Parade features floats, pretty lasses waving until their hands go numb, and all the fun and frivolity of any parade in the Lower 48.  Rather than sponsor a store to begin selling for the next big holiday, this parade concentrates on raising funds with the Onkel Hans Food Drive.

The Lions did play today, but it was the British Columbia Lions.  They fell in a heartbreaker to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37-35.  We have friends that call the winners “Winterpeg.”  In the nightcap, Calgary is playing Toronto, and the game is currently nearing halftime with CGY in the lead.

Our hats and hearts go to our friends and patrons in Canada on your special day.  Your nation has opened its heart to our PiRate family in the past, and you are our extended family in our book.  We hope to keep a certain jewelry designer’s paws off all that amethyst in NW Ontario, for she would like nothing more than to bring it all home with her and make beautiful jewelry as she has done before.

Cinderella’s Slipper Didn’t Fit This Time

We were all prepared to recall the incredibly fantasy-like feats of the Cardiac Indiana Hoosiers of 1967, and it would have been for good reason.  When Tennessee almost pulled a 12-foot rabbit out of their hat Saturday afternoon in College Station, Texas, it might have topped the Hoosiers’ unexpected run to the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl in 1967.

Alas, the Vols ran out of Aladdins’ lamps to rub, and they were shocked back to reality in double overtime.  With Alabama coming to Knoxville this week, don’t expect any miracles.  Nick Saban’s Tide will keep the throttle at full-speed even if the Tide go up 21 points quickly.

Are We Looking At Another Great Big Ten Finale

Ohio State and Michigan are both undefeated, both in the top 5, both averaging at  least 50 points per game, and both giving up less than a dozen points per game as the season is halfway in the books.

It looks close to a sure thing that one of these two teams will make the Playoffs at the end of the season and enter said games at 13-0.  Yes, Nebraska is still unbeaten, but the Cornhuskers appear to be about 14-17 points weaker than either East Division power.  There is a chance both teams could find a way into the 4-team scramble if Clemson, Washington, and the loser of the Alabama-Texas A&M game all lose another game.

In the Days of Woody Hayes in Columbus Bo Schembechler in Ann Arbor, there were two very special games between these two teams when both were undefeated with the Rose Bowl (the only bowl available to a Big Ten team) on the line.   The first time was in 1970.

The 1969 Ohio State team looked like the best team in college football since the 1945 Army Cadets.  They destroyed all eight opponents on their schedule.  Michigan had improved week-to-week after losing big to a Missouri team that would win the Big 8 and play in the Orange Bowl.  The Wolverines entered the 1969 finale just one game behind the Buckeyes in the Big Ten race, so an unlikely upset win would put the Maize and Blue in the Rose Bowl.  Nobody outside of Michigan gave the Wolverines a chance to win the game, but a basket full of OSU turnovers led to an incredible upset.

Now, in 1970, Ohio State was ready for revenge.  The entire campus was prepared for war.  The Buckeyes had won all their games again leading up to this one, and this time Michigan had won all their games.  This time, Michigan looked like the more unbeatable team.  The Wolverines had just blown out Iowa almost like they blew out Rutgers this past weekend.  Ohio State had barely edged a Purdue team that was much weaker than the Boilermakers’ previous four editions.

As wont to be when Woody’s team faced Bo’s team, the game was a defensive struggle for 60 minutes.  Michigan couldn’t move the ball at all the entire day, while Ohio State found a lot of success running inside the tackles and then faking inside and running outside.  However, it did not produce points.  It took a blocked extra point attempt to decide this game, as Ohio State won 10-9 to earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.  In Pasadena, the Buckeyes were not prepared to face the passing game of Stanford’s Jim Plunkett, as the Indians (not yet the Cardinal) pulled off a big upset and opened the door for Nebraska to take the first of two consecutive national titles.

As the season continues, and if both teams continue to win, we will give a short history of the 1973 and 2006 games.  If the two teams are 11-0 when they play in November, it will outrank the Game of the Century of 2006, when Ohio State was #1 and Michigan was #2.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 131.8 124.8 131.5 129.4
2 Michigan 129.0 126.5 129.5 128.3
3 Ohio St. 126.2 125.6 127.3 126.4
4 Louisville 127.8 122.1 127.9 125.9
5 Washington 128.2 120.8 128.3 125.8
6 Clemson 127.7 120.1 126.9 124.9
7 LSU 123.8 118.6 123.0 121.8
8 Virginia Tech 120.7 119.9 121.3 120.6
9 Tennessee 121.2 118.1 120.8 120.0
10 Oklahoma 119.8 117.7 119.6 119.0
11 Miami 120.4 113.5 120.3 118.1
12 Auburn 118.2 116.3 118.4 117.6
13 Florida St. 119.3 112.4 118.5 116.7
14 Texas A&M 117.0 115.2 116.8 116.3
15 Houston 115.1 113.2 117.1 115.1
16 Ole Miss 116.8 110.6 116.3 114.6
17 Wisconsin 114.7 112.7 115.2 114.2
18 Oklahoma St. 113.8 114.8 113.6 114.1
19 Colorado 114.7 110.3 114.8 113.3
20 North Carolina 115.3 109.1 114.9 113.1
21 Pittsburgh 114.4 110.8 113.5 112.9
22 Florida 112.6 115.2 110.8 112.9
23 USC 114.8 110.6 112.4 112.6
24 Washington St. 113.0 109.8 113.1 112.0
25 Nebraska 113.2 109.6 113.2 112.0
26 Baylor 111.3 111.4 111.9 111.5
27 Notre Dame 113.1 109.7 111.6 111.5
28 UCLA 111.9 110.6 111.4 111.3
29 Iowa 112.4 109.5 111.8 111.2
30 Stanford 113.6 107.0 112.3 111.0
31 South Florida 111.5 109.1 112.3 111.0
32 Boise St. 109.9 110.8 111.6 110.8
33 Western Michigan 110.4 109.5 112.1 110.7
34 Texas 110.5 111.8 109.7 110.7
35 Arkansas 112.2 107.7 109.7 109.9
36 TCU 109.3 110.8 108.8 109.6
37 Georgia 109.5 108.7 109.0 109.1
38 Georgia Tech 109.8 105.5 108.9 108.1
39 North Carolina St. 109.1 106.4 108.7 108.1
40 Utah 110.5 105.0 108.5 108.0
41 Kansas St. 107.1 109.8 107.0 108.0
42 Mississippi St. 108.6 106.7 107.5 107.6
43 BYU 109.5 103.6 109.1 107.4
44 West Virginia 107.8 106.7 107.2 107.2
45 Penn St. 106.8 108.8 105.6 107.1
46 Arizona St. 107.3 106.6 106.3 106.8
47 Michigan St. 107.3 106.5 105.4 106.4
48 Texas Tech 107.0 106.1 105.1 106.1
49 Northwestern 107.8 102.9 106.3 105.7
50 Oregon 105.7 104.1 104.7 104.8
51 Memphis 106.1 102.4 104.8 104.5
52 Toledo 104.5 103.5 105.3 104.4
53 Maryland 104.0 107.2 102.0 104.4
54 Indiana 102.8 105.9 102.5 103.7
55 Minnesota 103.6 102.1 103.2 103.0
56 Wake Forest 103.5 101.6 103.0 102.7
57 Virginia 103.5 101.2 103.0 102.6
58 Missouri 103.0 102.0 102.6 102.6
59 Arizona 103.3 100.9 101.9 102.0
60 San Diego St. 101.7 100.1 104.0 102.0
61 California 104.8 97.5 102.5 101.6
62 Temple 100.8 100.6 100.9 100.8
63 Navy 100.7 100.6 100.4 100.6
64 Air Force 99.5 100.2 99.9 99.9
65 Duke 99.5 100.2 98.4 99.4
66 Vanderbilt 100.8 97.6 99.3 99.3
67 South Carolina 99.3 98.8 98.7 99.0
68 Tulsa 97.8 100.2 98.4 98.8
69 Boston College 99.0 98.4 98.7 98.7
70 Central Michigan 97.8 99.5 98.5 98.6
71 Western Kentucky 99.3 96.0 100.2 98.5
72 Iowa St. 98.7 98.1 98.1 98.3
73 Appalachian St. 97.5 97.0 99.3 97.9
74 Syracuse 99.6 96.3 97.7 97.9
75 Kentucky 97.6 99.2 96.7 97.8
76 Cincinnati 97.5 97.8 97.6 97.7
77 Connecticut 97.4 95.3 97.2 96.7
78 Army 92.8 101.2 95.8 96.6
79 Illinois 97.0 93.7 96.0 95.6
80 Troy 93.1 97.7 95.1 95.3
81 Middle Tennessee 94.3 95.7 94.8 94.9
82 Central Florida 93.9 96.3 94.2 94.8
83 Ohio 91.2 98.7 91.7 93.9
84 Utah St. 93.0 95.5 92.7 93.7
85 Northern Illinois 92.5 93.8 93.6 93.3
86 Purdue 94.0 92.3 93.2 93.2
87 Oregon St. 95.2 90.8 93.4 93.1
88 Louisiana Tech 91.9 93.1 93.2 92.7
89 East Carolina 91.7 93.7 91.9 92.4
90 Georgia Southern 91.3 91.3 93.5 92.1
91 New Mexico 90.7 93.6 91.2 91.9
92 Southern Mississippi 91.3 92.3 91.9 91.9
93 SMU 91.0 90.6 93.1 91.6
94 Akron 88.6 94.1 90.3 91.0
95 Old Dominion 88.8 92.3 89.4 90.2
96 Rutgers 91.1 88.7 89.7 89.9
97 UNLV 88.3 91.9 88.6 89.6
98 Wyoming 88.7 88.7 89.3 88.9
99 Arkansas St. 87.7 89.5 89.3 88.8
100 Nevada 87.0 90.1 87.8 88.3
101 Marshall 86.4 89.3 87.7 87.8
102 Ball St. 86.5 88.0 87.5 87.3
103 Kansas 86.2 92.2 83.5 87.3
104 Colorado St. 86.0 88.1 86.5 86.9
105 South Alabama 84.0 91.1 85.4 86.8
106 Kent St. 86.0 87.6 86.5 86.7
107 Tulane 85.0 89.4 85.7 86.7
108 UTSA 82.4 89.4 85.3 85.7
109 Georgia St. 82.2 86.7 84.1 84.3
110 Bowling Green 84.2 84.7 83.9 84.3
111 San Jose St. 84.0 84.6 83.8 84.1
112 Miami (O) 83.0 84.4 84.5 84.0
113 Eastern Michigan 82.3 85.3 83.4 83.7
114 Hawaii 84.2 82.7 83.8 83.6
115 Massachusetts 80.6 87.5 81.9 83.3
116 Rice 80.9 87.7 80.9 83.2
117 Fresno St. 80.2 84.5 79.8 81.5
118 Florida International 79.6 84.6 79.7 81.3
119 UL-Lafayette 76.9 84.4 78.6 80.0
120 North Texas 78.9 81.5 79.5 80.0
121 Florida Atlantic 76.5 81.6 79.6 79.2
122 Idaho 76.6 82.4 77.9 79.0
123 Buffalo 75.3 83.0 76.1 78.2
124 New Mexico St. 73.4 76.6 74.3 74.8
125 Charlotte 70.9 76.7 71.3 73.0
126 UTEP 70.3 74.9 71.3 72.2
127 UL-Monroe 69.6 74.5 70.1 71.4
128 Texas St. 69.6 71.0 70.6 70.4
           
PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.3 110.0 111.5 111.3
2 ACC 112.1 108.4 111.5 110.7
3 Pac-12 110.3 106.2 109.1 108.5
4 Big Ten 107.9 106.6 107.2 107.2
5 Big 12 107.2 108.0 106.5 107.2
6 Independents 99.0 100.5 99.6 99.7
7 AAC 92.0 91.7 92.3 92.0
8 MWC 91.1 92.6 91.6 91.8
9 MAC 90.2 92.7 91.1 91.3
10 CUSA 84.0 87.3 85.0 85.4
11 Sun Belt 82.0 85.7 83.5 83.7
American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 111.5 109.1 112.3 111.0
Temple 100.8 100.6 100.9 100.8
Cincinnati 97.5 97.8 97.6 97.7
Connecticut 97.4 95.3 97.2 96.7
Central Florida 93.9 96.3 94.2 94.8
East Carolina 91.7 93.7 91.9 92.4
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 115.1 113.2 117.1 115.1
Memphis 106.1 102.4 104.8 104.5
Navy 100.7 100.6 100.4 100.6
Tulsa 97.8 100.2 98.4 98.8
SMU 91.0 90.6 93.1 91.6
Tulane 85.0 89.4 85.7 86.7
         
AAC Averages 92.0 91.7 92.3 92.0
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisville 127.8 122.1 127.9 125.9
Clemson 127.7 120.1 126.9 124.9
Florida St. 119.3 112.4 118.5 116.7
North Carolina St. 109.1 106.4 108.7 108.1
Wake Forest 103.5 101.6 103.0 102.7
Boston College 99.0 98.4 98.7 98.7
Syracuse 99.6 96.3 97.7 97.9
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Virginia Tech 120.7 119.9 121.3 120.6
Miami 120.4 113.5 120.3 118.1
North Carolina 115.3 109.1 114.9 113.1
Pittsburgh 114.4 110.8 113.5 112.9
Georgia Tech 109.8 105.5 108.9 108.1
Virginia 103.5 101.2 103.0 102.6
Duke 99.5 100.2 98.4 99.4
         
ACC Averages 112.1 108.4 111.5 110.7
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 119.8 117.7 119.6 119.0
Oklahoma St. 113.8 114.8 113.6 114.1
Baylor 111.3 111.4 111.9 111.5
Texas 110.5 111.8 109.7 110.7
TCU 109.3 110.8 108.8 109.6
Kansas St. 107.1 109.8 107.0 108.0
West Virginia 107.8 106.7 107.2 107.2
Texas Tech 107.0 106.1 105.1 106.1
Iowa St. 98.7 98.1 98.1 98.3
Kansas 86.2 92.2 83.5 87.3
         
Big 12 Averages 107.2 108.0 106.5 107.2
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 129.0 126.5 129.5 128.3
Ohio St. 126.2 125.6 127.3 126.4
Penn St. 106.8 108.8 105.6 107.1
Michigan St. 107.3 106.5 105.4 106.4
Maryland 104.0 107.2 102.0 104.4
Indiana 102.8 105.9 102.5 103.7
Rutgers 91.1 88.7 89.7 89.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 114.7 112.7 115.2 114.2
Nebraska 113.2 109.6 113.2 112.0
Iowa 112.4 109.5 111.8 111.2
Northwestern 107.8 102.9 106.3 105.7
Minnesota 103.6 102.1 103.2 103.0
Illinois 97.0 93.7 96.0 95.6
Purdue 94.0 92.3 93.2 93.2
         
Big Ten Averages 107.9 106.6 107.2 107.2
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 99.3 96.0 100.2 98.5
Middle Tennessee 94.3 95.7 94.8 94.9
Old Dominion 88.8 92.3 89.4 90.2
Marshall 86.4 89.3 87.7 87.8
Florida International 79.6 84.6 79.7 81.3
Florida Atlantic 76.5 81.6 79.6 79.2
Charlotte 70.9 76.7 71.3 73.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisiana Tech 91.9 93.1 93.2 92.7
Southern Mississippi 91.3 92.3 91.9 91.9
UTSA 82.4 89.4 85.3 85.7
Rice 80.9 87.7 80.9 83.2
North Texas 78.9 81.5 79.5 80.0
UTEP 70.3 74.9 71.3 72.2
         
CUSA Averages 84.0 87.3 85.0 85.4
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 113.1 109.7 111.6 111.5
BYU 109.5 103.6 109.1 107.4
Army 92.8 101.2 95.8 96.6
Massachusetts 80.6 87.5 81.9 83.3
         
Independents Averages 99.0 100.5 99.6 99.7
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 91.2 98.7 91.7 93.9
Akron 88.6 94.1 90.3 91.0
Kent St. 86.0 87.6 86.5 86.7
Bowling Green 84.2 84.7 83.9 84.3
Miami (O) 83.0 84.4 84.5 84.0
Buffalo 75.3 83.0 76.1 78.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 110.4 109.5 112.1 110.7
Toledo 104.5 103.5 105.3 104.4
Central Michigan 97.8 99.5 98.5 98.6
Northern Illinois 92.5 93.8 93.6 93.3
Ball St. 86.5 88.0 87.5 87.3
Eastern Michigan 82.3 85.3 83.4 83.7
         
MAC Averages 90.2 92.7 91.1 91.3
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 109.9 110.8 111.6 110.8
Air Force 99.5 100.2 99.9 99.9
Utah St. 93.0 95.5 92.7 93.7
New Mexico 90.7 93.6 91.2 91.9
Wyoming 88.7 88.7 89.3 88.9
Colorado St. 86.0 88.1 86.5 86.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 101.7 100.1 104.0 102.0
UNLV 88.3 91.9 88.6 89.6
Nevada 87.0 90.1 87.8 88.3
San Jose St. 84.0 84.6 83.8 84.1
Hawaii 84.2 82.7 83.8 83.6
Fresno St. 80.2 84.5 79.8 81.5
         
MWC Averages 91.1 92.6 91.6 91.8
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 128.2 120.8 128.3 125.8
Washington St. 113.0 109.8 113.1 112.0
Stanford 113.6 107.0 112.3 111.0
Oregon 105.7 104.1 104.7 104.8
California 104.8 97.5 102.5 101.6
Oregon St. 95.2 90.8 93.4 93.1
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colorado 114.7 110.3 114.8 113.3
USC 114.8 110.6 112.4 112.6
UCLA 111.9 110.6 111.4 111.3
Utah 110.5 105.0 108.5 108.0
Arizona St. 107.3 106.6 106.3 106.8
Arizona 103.3 100.9 101.9 102.0
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.3 106.2 109.1 108.5
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 121.2 118.1 120.8 120.0
Florida 112.6 115.2 110.8 112.9
Georgia 109.5 108.7 109.0 109.1
Missouri 103.0 102.0 102.6 102.6
Vanderbilt 100.8 97.6 99.3 99.3
South Carolina 99.3 98.8 98.7 99.0
Kentucky 97.6 99.2 96.7 97.8
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 131.8 124.8 131.5 129.4
LSU 123.8 118.6 123.0 121.8
Auburn 118.2 116.3 118.4 117.6
Texas A&M 117.0 115.2 116.8 116.3
Ole Miss 116.8 110.6 116.3 114.6
Arkansas 112.2 107.7 109.7 109.9
Mississippi St. 108.6 106.7 107.5 107.6
         
SEC Averages 112.3 110.0 111.5 111.3
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 97.5 97.0 99.3 97.9
Troy 93.1 97.7 95.1 95.3
Georgia Southern 91.3 91.3 93.5 92.1
Arkansas St. 87.7 89.5 89.3 88.8
South Alabama 84.0 91.1 85.4 86.8
Georgia St. 82.2 86.7 84.1 84.3
UL-Lafayette 76.9 84.4 78.6 80.0
Idaho 76.6 82.4 77.9 79.0
New Mexico St. 73.4 76.6 74.3 74.8
UL-Monroe 69.6 74.5 70.1 71.4
Texas St. 69.6 71.0 70.6 70.4
         
Sun Belt Averages 82.0 85.7 83.5 83.7
PiRate Retrodictive
# Team
1 Alabama
2 Ohio St.
3 Clemson
4 Michigan
5 Washington
6 Texas A&M
7 Louisville
8 Tennessee
9 Nebraska
10 Wisconsin
11 Florida St.
12 Houston
13 Ole Miss
14 Western Michigan
15 Oklahoma
16 Baylor
17 Boise St.
18 Miami (Fla)
19 Virginia Tech
20 LSU
21 West Virginia
22 Florida
23 Stanford
24 South Florida
25 Auburn
26 Arkansas
27 Utah
28 Georgia
29 USC
30 Washington St.
31 Arizona St.
32 Colorado
33 North Carolina
34 Navy
35 North Carolina St.
36 Memphis
37 TCU
38 UCLA
39 Penn St.
40 Pittsburgh
41 Air Force
42 Kansas St.
43 Toledo
44 Wake Forest
45 Oklahoma St.
46 Iowa
47 BYU
48 Troy
49 Maryland
50 Georgia Tech
51 Indiana
52 San Diego St.
53 California
54 Texas Tech
55 Tulsa
56 Appalachian St.
57 Northwestern
58 Georgia Southern
59 Minnesota
60 Central Michigan
61 Mississippi St.
62 Central Florida
63 Oregon
64 Kentucky
65 Akron
66 Michigan St.
67 Texas
68 Louisiana Tech
69 Wyoming
70 Western Kentucky
71 Arizona
72 South Carolina
73 Temple
74 Notre Dame
75 Old Dominion
76 Southern Miss.
77 Boston College
78 Duke
79 Ohio
80 South Alabama
81 Connecticut
82 Middle Tennessee
83 Missouri
84 Army
85 Virginia
86 Tulane
87 East Carolina
88 Vanderbilt
89 Cincinnati
90 Oregon St.
91 Colorado St.
92 Purdue
93 Eastern Michigan
94 Rutgers
95 Utah St.
96 Illinois
97 Syracuse
98 Idaho
99 Iowa St.
100 Hawaii
101 UL-Lafayette
102 Northern Illinois
103 UTSA
104 Ball St.
105 Arkansas St.
106 Nevada
107 Georgia St.
108 SMU
109 Texas St.
110 Marshall
111 New Mexico
112 North Texas
113 UNLV
114 New Mexico St.
115 Kent St.
116 Bowling Green
117 Kansas
118 UL-Monroe
119 Massachusetts
120 Florida Int’l.
121 Buffalo
122 Charlotte
123 San Jose St.
124 Fresno St.
125 Florida Atlantic
126 UTEP
127 Miami (O)
128 Rice

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

This Week’s Games–October 12-15
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Wednesday, October 12      
UL-Lafayette Appalachian St. -18.1 -8.1 -18.2
         
Thursday, October 13      
East Carolina Navy -6.0 -3.9 -5.5
         
         
Friday, October 14      
Louisville Duke 31.3 24.9 32.5
Tulane Memphis -18.6 -10.5 -16.6
Fresno St. San Diego St. -18.5 -12.6 -21.2
BYU Mississippi St. 3.9 -0.1 4.6
         
Saturday, October 15      
Georgia Vanderbilt 11.7 14.1 12.7
Clemson North Carolina St. 21.6 16.7 21.2
Purdue Iowa -15.9 -14.7 -16.1
Oklahoma Kansas St. 15.7 10.9 15.6
Texas Tech West Virginia 2.2 2.4 0.9
Rutgers Illinois -3.9 -3.0 -4.3
Maryland Minnesota 3.4 8.1 1.8
Georgia Tech Georgia Southern 20.5 16.2 17.4
Virginia Pittsburgh -7.9 -6.6 -7.5
Ohio U Eastern Michigan 11.9 16.4 10.7
Miami (O) Kent St. -1.0 -1.2 -0.1
Middle Tennessee Western Kentucky -3.0 1.7 -3.4
Akron Western Michigan -18.8 -12.4 -18.8
Florida St. Wake Forest 18.8 13.8 18.5
Buffalo Ball St. -9.2 -3.0 -9.4
Toledo Bowling Green 22.3 20.8 23.4
Northern Illinois Central Michigan -2.3 -2.7 -1.9
Massachusetts Louisiana Tech -8.8 -3.1 -8.8
Baylor Kansas 28.1 22.2 31.4
Tennessee Alabama -7.6 -3.7 -7.7
Arizona USC -8.5 -6.7 -7.5
Air Force (*) New Mexico 8.8 6.6 8.7
Michigan St. Northwestern 2.5 6.6 2.1
Miami (Fla.) North Carolina 8.1 7.4 8.4
Troy Georgia St. 13.9 14.0 14.0
Indiana Nebraska -7.9 -0.7 -7.7
Syracuse Virginia Tech -18.1 -20.6 -20.6
Oregon St. Utah -12.3 -11.2 -12.1
Florida Missouri 12.6 16.2 11.2
Idaho New Mexico St. 6.2 8.8 6.6
Charlotte Florida Int’l -6.2 -5.4 -5.9
Marshall Florida Atlantic 12.9 10.7 11.1
Rice UTSA 1.0 0.8 -1.9
Arkansas Ole Miss -1.6 0.1 -3.6
UL-Monroe Texas St. 2.0 5.5 1.5
Arkansas St. South Alabama 6.7 1.4 6.9
South Florida Connecticut 17.1 16.8 18.1
Houston Tulsa 20.3 16.0 21.7
Texas Iowa St. 14.8 16.0 14.6
LSU Southern Miss. 34.5 28.3 33.1
Notre Dame Stanford 2.5 5.7 2.3
Central Florida Temple -3.9 -1.3 -3.7
Colorado Arizona St. 10.4 6.7 11.5
Wisconsin Ohio St. -8.5 -9.9 -9.1
Boise St. Colorado St. 26.9 25.7 28.1
Washington St. UCLA 4.1 2.2 4.7
San Jose St. Nevada -0.5 -3 -1.5
Hawaii UNLV -0.1 -5.2 -0.8
         
(*) Game to be played in Dallas
FBS vs. FCS Week 7  
Home Visitor PiRate
Army Lafayette 31

This Week’s Bowl Projections

Bowl Conferences Team vs. Team
New Mexico MWC CUSA Colorado St. vs. Louisiana Tech
Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC Washington St. vs. San Diego St.
Cure AAC SBC Connecticut vs. Appalachian St.
Camellia MAC SBC Central Mich. vs. Troy
New Orleans CUSA SBC Old Dominion vs. Ga. Southern
Miami Beach AAC MAC Central Florida vs. Toledo
Boca Raton AAC CUSA Houston vs. W. Kentucky
Poinsettia MWC BYU Air Force vs. BYU
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Ball St. vs. Wyoming
Bahamas AAC/CUSA MAC/CUSA South Florida vs. Western Mich.
Armed Forces Navy Big 12 Navy vs. Texas
Dollar General MAC SBC Ohio U vs. Arkansas St.
Hawaii CUSA MWC Middle Tenn. vs. Hawaii
St. Petersburg AAC ACC/ND Memphis vs. Pittsburgh
Quick Lane ACC/ND Big Ten [Akron] vs. Northwestern
Independence SEC ACC/ND [Southern Miss.] vs. Wake Forest
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA Minnesota vs. North Texas
Military ACC/ND AAC Georgia Tech vs. Temple
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Penn St. vs. Stanford
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 Texas Tech vs. California
Pinstripe ACC/ND Big Ten N.Carolina St. vs. Maryland
Russell Athletic ACC/ND Big 12 Virginia Tech vs. TCU
Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 Iowa vs. USC
Texas Big 12 SEC Oklahoma St. vs. Arkansas
Birmingham AAC SEC Tulsa vs. [South Alabama]
Belk ACC/ND SEC North Carolina vs. Auburn
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 West Virginia vs. Arizona St.
Liberty Big 12 SEC Kansas St. vs. LSU
Sun ACC/ND Pac-12 Florida St. vs. Utah
Arizona CUSA/SBC MWC/SBC UTSA vs. Idaho
Music City ACC/ND/B10 SEC Indiana vs. [Army]
Orange ACC/ND B10/SEC Louisville vs. Tennessee
Citrus ACC/ND/B10 SEC Wisconsin vs. Georgia
TaxSlayer ACC/ND/B10 SEC Miami (Fla.) vs. Florida
Peach Semifinal Semifinal Alabama vs. Washington
Fiesta Semifinal Semifinal Ohio St. vs. Clemson
Outback Big Ten SEC Nebraska vs. Ole Miss
Cotton At-Large At-Large Boise St. vs. Baylor
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Michigan vs. Colorado
Sugar Big 12 SEC Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
Nat’l Championship Semifinal Winners Alabama vs. Ohio St.
           
[Team] At-Large Selection

September 19, 2016

College Football Ratings & Spreads For September 22-24, 2016

What an incredible college football week has just passed!  We told you last week that it could be the best September slate of college football games in years, and it lived up to the hype.

Guess what?  This weekend won’t exactly be chopped liver.  There are some excellent games on tap, and more conference games will be played this week.

First, some information about you guys and dolls.  We asked you to go to our sister site at http://www.piratings.webs.com and tell us who your favorite college and NFL teams happened to be.  We have received dozens of replies so far, and a pattern has developed.

Among the colleges mentioned, a large majority of you are Big Ten fans.  The number one school mentioned so far, and by quite a large margin, is Ohio State.  Number two surprised us, as we expected that an SEC school or six would be among the top ones you fine folks follow.  No SEC team received more than three votes, and that three belongs to Florida.  Number two behind the Buckeyes was their arch-rival Michigan, and in distant third place was the other Big Ten East biggie, Michigan State.

The NFL followed suit with upper Midwest fan support.  In a close race so far, Cleveland, Green Bay, and Chicago rank one-two-three.

It could be that the PiRate Ratings have a lot of upper Midwest support.  There are ties to Ohio State in a minor way, much less than the ties to Wisconsin, but it is there.  However, we expected a lot more SEC support, and it just didn’t come.  Wherefore art thou Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, and Aggie fans?

Okay, now to get down to business.  We will obviously comment on the 3 Big Ten schools first today, and then include other games of interest that you might want to follow this week.

Ohio St.

The Buckeyes get a well-timed week off after picking up the biggest win of the NCAA season against the Sooners in Norman.  Their next two games are home contests against Rutgers and Indiana, so Urban Meyer’s team will be 5-0 when they head up to Camp Randall Stadium on October 15.

The stats are intimidating to any future opponent: 56.7 points per game to 12.3 points allowed per game; 306 yards per game rushing to just 103 allowed per game; a total yards per game average of 545 to 279; the defense has intercepted nine passes in three games; and if that isn’t enough riches, the Buckeyes have the best kicking game in the nation so far with a 50+ yard punt average and a 47+ yard net punt average to go with perfect 100% accuracy on PATs and field goals.

Michigan

The Wolverines spotted improved Colorado a quick two touchdown lead before getting down to business and posting an impressive 17-point win at the Big House.  Penn State comes to Ann Arbor this week, after the Nittany Lions held off a pesky Temple team.  The Maize and Blue defense and special teams have scored or set up more points than they have allowed with interception returns, punt returns, and three blocked kicks so far.  At one time, in 1969, Penn State’s defense and special teams scored or set up more points than the defense allowed for the entire season.  That Penn State team finished undefeated, and if this Michigan team can continue to replicate that great 1969 Penn State team, there is no reason to think the Wolverines cannot run the table–at least head to the Giant Horseshoe at 11-0.  How much would another 11-0 vs. 11-0 matchup cost to purchase a ticket on the street this time?  Prices were highly inflated in 2006, when these two teams were undefeated and ranked 1-2.

As for this week, We don’t think James Franklin’s Nittany Lions will roar much.  They might hold Michigan under 40 points, but can they score more than 17?

 

Michigan St.

The Spartans looked like a different team between game one against Furman and game two against Notre Dame.  Now MSU hosts a Wisconsin team that must have overlooked Georgia State last week, but even overlooking the Panthers, UW should have won by 30.  Sparty’s defense held Notre Dame’s rushing game at bay all night, and a repeat performance against the Badgers will mean a double-digit win.  For the record, we do not believe they will stop the UW rush like they stopped the Notre Dame running game.

Tyler O’Connor looked like a pro prospect at times against the Irish secondary.  His one interception came on a deflection, and if you remove that deflection, he had a night Connor Cook would have been proud of.  Look for MSU to win another tight game by less than a touchdown.  The last three times these schools have played, the margins were all under a TD.

Other Games of Interest

Thursday Night:

Clemson at Georgia Tech

The CU win at Auburn does not look all that impressive after Texas A&M looked better in their win at Jordan-Hare.  The narrow win over Troy could not be erased by the slaughter over the FCS school that was so unprepared to play a Power 5 team, that their kick returner handed the Tigers a touchdown by tossing it to the back judge without downing the ball.  This Clemson team has started to resemble the Florida State team of 2014.  That FSU team was considerably weaker than the 2013 champion, but they still made it to the playoffs.  We are not sure this CU team is playoff worthy, but they have time to right the ship.

Georgia Tech is 3-0 and looks like a defensive juggernaut in the process.  However, a closer look shows their defensive performance has come against three teams that would have trouble scoring in 11 on 0 practice drills.  Tech’s next three games could see a reverse in defensive performance.  Still, the Yellow Jackets are mighty tough to prepare for, and when you take away two days of preparation, it could make this a rather interesting game to watch.

Saturday

Florida at Tennessee

Butch Jones’ legacy in Knoxville is like an almost finished book.  The one major chapter of his mystery novel is the one where you find out who did it.  If Florida did it, ole Butch may not get a chance to write the sequel.

Florida has won 11 straight games in this series.  The average score in this streak has been 29-16, although the last two have both been decided by a single point.  The Gators are going to have to make due with Austin Appleby at quarterback after starter Luke Del Rio injured his knee on a cheap shot tackle by North Texas.  Appleby would become the second former Purdue quarterback to start a game for an SEC team in the last two weeks (Danny Etling @ LSU).  After replacing Del Rio, Appleby completed passes of 11 and 19 yards against the Mean Green in his four attempts.  At Purdue, Appleby had a tendency to force throws where he should not have passed, and his interception rate was  4%, about 45% higher than the QB that sent him packing from West Lafayette.

Josh Dobbs has not been what he was expected to be this year.  It looks like the coaching staff has put a governor on his scrambling and is not calling for Dobbs to keep the ball on many designed running plays.  That might change this week, as the Vols need to pull out all the stops to move the ball against Geoff Collins’ defense.

Tennessee is not without major losses due to injury, and it affects a trio of excellent starting defensive players.  All-American punt returner and very good cornerback Cameron Sutton will be out for several weeks. All-SEC weakside linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin should be able to play, but he will be far from 100%, and the Vols are hurting depthwise here, as middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland and backup hybrid linebacker/safety Quarte Sapp will miss the game.

Expect a low-scoring, hard-fought game that comes down to the final few minutes.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in Arlington, TX (Dallas Cowboys Stadium)–The Southwest Classic

What can these two former Southwest Conference rivals do for a second encore after the last two games in Jerryworld went to overtime?  The Aggies won both games, and it would not surprise us again if the game was still to be decided late in the fourth quarter.  Arkansas has not beaten A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC.

Both teams have big wins already this year.  Arkansas won at TCU, while A&M topped UCLA, so they have been tested, and we expect a quality game from both sides.  It was hoped that Austin Allen would be able to approach his graduated brother Brandon’s stats at quarterback, but through three games, little brother has greatly surpassed expectations.  Add to this fact that running back Rawleigh Williams has done an admirable job replacing Alex Collins.  It has been the Razorback defense that has not quite lived up to expectations.

As for the Aggies, Kevin Sumlin has dealth with his critics in recent years since Johnny Manziel left College Station, and most of that criticism has come from subsequently weaker offenses year over year.  We may ask these critics why a 44-31 win is better than a 29-16 win?  This Aggie team can play defense, as most defenses led by legendary guru John Chavis tend to do.  Against Josh Rosen and UCLA, the Aggie defense produced five sacks and three interceptions.  Auburn tried to throw short, and A&M didn’t give up yards after the catch.

Arkansas will try to combine pounding the ball up the gut with vertical passes to Keon Hatcher combined with spreading the field and finding Drew Morgan, tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, and Dominique Reed.

Stanford at UCLA

The must-win games continue to allow Stanford a chance to stay in the playoff hunt.  A win over USC at home was just fine.  A win at UCLA and by a larger margin than the Bruins fell at Texas A&M, gives the Cardinal the much-needed ammunition to fight against the Clemson’s, Louisville’s, and Houston’s.  SU must run the table against a weaker Pac-12 slate, and a win at the Rose Bowl Saturday night pumps up their resume.  A loss, and it’s all up to Washington and Arizona State to carry the Pac-12 banner.

Boise St. at Oregon St.

The Broncos are now in a multi-team battle with South Florida, Houston, Memphis, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Toledo, and San Diego State for the NY6 Bowl Bid.  For that matter, throw in a surprising Army team into this mix and don’t eliminate the other two service academies just yet.

This game is Boise’s best resume builder for the rest of the season, even though the Beavers are at the bottom of the Pac-12.  It is almost required that BSU wins this game by at least 17 points, or they might have to be the last remaining undefeated team in December.

 

Here are this week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings–Predictive
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 131.1 123.6 130.9 128.5
2 Louisville 127.9 121.7 128.1 125.9
3 Ohio St. 122.9 122.2 124.4 123.2
4 LSU 124.0 118.3 123.0 121.8
5 Michigan 121.9 119.8 122.5 121.4
6 Tennessee 121.8 117.1 121.8 120.2
7 Oklahoma 120.0 117.3 119.9 119.1
8 Clemson 122.2 113.9 120.7 118.9
9 Stanford 121.4 114.2 120.3 118.6
10 Washington 121.0 113.2 121.1 118.4
11 Miami 120.1 112.8 120.0 117.6
12 Houston 115.5 113.6 117.7 115.6
13 Oklahoma St. 115.3 116.3 115.1 115.6
14 Florida St. 117.9 110.6 116.8 115.1
15 North Carolina 117.2 110.5 116.9 114.9
16 Virginia Tech 114.5 114.1 114.8 114.5
17 Texas A&M 114.8 113.8 114.8 114.5
18 Pittsburgh 115.9 111.4 115.0 114.1
19 Iowa 115.1 112.0 114.8 114.0
20 Auburn 113.9 112.4 113.8 113.4
21 Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.7 113.3
22 Notre Dame 114.9 111.2 113.6 113.2
23 Florida 112.6 116.3 110.8 113.2
24 Michigan St. 113.5 112.5 111.7 112.6
25 Texas 112.1 113.6 111.2 112.3
26 TCU 111.9 113.5 111.5 112.3
27 USC 114.3 109.9 111.6 111.9
28 Oregon 112.3 111.0 111.5 111.6
29 Arkansas 113.7 108.8 111.0 111.2
30 South Florida 111.6 109.0 112.8 111.1
31 Ole Miss 113.6 107.1 112.4 111.0
32 Georgia 111.0 111.1 110.9 111.0
33 UCLA 111.4 110.4 111.0 110.9
34 Baylor 110.4 110.5 111.5 110.8
35 Nebraska 111.8 108.4 111.9 110.7
36 Wisconsin 111.1 109.0 111.7 110.6
37 Georgia Tech 111.0 107.2 110.4 109.5
38 Boise St. 108.0 109.4 110.3 109.2
39 Colorado 110.1 105.6 110.6 108.8
40 Utah 110.8 105.1 108.7 108.2
41 Kansas St. 107.2 110.2 107.1 108.2
42 BYU 110.3 103.6 109.7 107.9
43 Penn St. 107.2 109.0 105.9 107.4
44 Arizona St. 107.5 108.1 106.3 107.3
45 West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
46 Western Michigan 106.8 104.8 108.6 106.7
47 Washington St. 107.6 104.8 107.5 106.7
48 North Carolina St. 106.9 104.7 106.3 106.0
49 San Diego St. 105.8 102.9 108.2 105.7
50 Minnesota 105.1 103.1 104.8 104.3
51 Central Michigan 103.0 105.7 104.2 104.3
52 Northwestern 106.4 101.2 104.8 104.1
53 Texas Tech 105.5 103.3 103.4 104.1
54 Toledo 104.2 102.8 105.2 104.1
55 Missouri 104.1 103.3 103.9 103.8
56 Indiana 101.8 106.3 101.4 103.2
57 Arizona 104.3 102.0 103.1 103.1
58 Cincinnati 101.9 102.5 102.6 102.4
59 Maryland 101.4 105.0 99.2 101.9
60 Memphis 103.7 99.6 102.0 101.8
61 California 105.0 96.6 102.7 101.4
62 Air Force 100.9 101.3 101.4 101.2
63 Wake Forest 101.8 99.5 100.9 100.8
64 Tulsa 99.7 102.0 100.4 100.7
65 Vanderbilt 102.5 98.3 101.0 100.6
66 South Carolina 100.9 99.9 100.4 100.4
67 Boston College 100.5 99.5 100.0 100.0
68 Temple 99.9 99.6 100.3 100.0
69 Western Kentucky 100.8 96.4 102.0 99.7
70 Syracuse 101.4 97.6 99.2 99.4
71 Virginia 100.4 97.4 99.7 99.2
72 Duke 99.0 99.8 97.3 98.7
73 Navy 98.8 98.7 98.3 98.6
74 Appalachian St. 97.7 96.4 99.8 98.0
75 Army 93.8 102.0 97.1 97.6
76 Connecticut 97.5 95.3 97.7 96.9
77 Rutgers 98.0 95.5 96.4 96.7
78 Purdue 97.6 95.2 96.6 96.5
79 Illinois 97.6 94.3 96.6 96.2
80 East Carolina 95.1 97.2 95.5 95.9
81 Oregon St. 98.4 93.6 95.8 95.9
82 Kentucky 94.9 97.5 93.6 95.3
83 Ohio 91.5 100.1 92.5 94.7
84 Utah St. 93.9 96.7 93.5 94.7
85 Middle Tennessee 94.0 95.3 94.5 94.6
86 Iowa St. 95.0 94.7 93.8 94.5
87 Northern Illinois 93.7 94.9 94.4 94.3
88 Southern Mississippi 93.8 93.7 94.8 94.1
89 New Mexico 92.2 95.2 93.0 93.5
90 Nevada 91.6 95.1 92.8 93.2
91 SMU 92.6 91.8 91.9 92.1
92 Georgia Southern 91.3 91.3 93.6 92.1
93 UNLV 89.8 94.2 89.9 91.3
94 Troy 88.6 93.6 90.5 90.9
95 Louisiana Tech 89.8 92.0 90.9 90.9
96 Marshall 88.7 93.1 90.5 90.8
97 Arkansas St. 88.7 90.7 90.2 89.9
98 San Jose St. 89.8 89.8 90.0 89.9
99 Akron 86.7 93.1 88.1 89.3
100 Bowling Green 89.7 88.5 89.1 89.1
101 Central Florida 88.2 90.6 88.2 89.0
102 Colorado St. 86.0 88.7 86.5 87.1
103 Ball St. 85.9 87.9 86.8 86.9
104 Kansas 85.0 92.5 82.3 86.6
105 Tulane 85.5 88.6 85.7 86.6
106 Old Dominion 85.4 88.3 85.7 86.5
107 Kent St. 84.1 85.8 84.3 84.8
108 Rice 81.8 89.6 81.8 84.4
109 Miami (O) 83.6 84.4 84.7 84.2
110 Wyoming 83.9 83.6 84.1 83.9
111 Georgia St. 81.5 86.6 83.2 83.8
112 Florida Atlantic 81.7 85.1 83.3 83.4
113 UTSA 79.6 87.5 82.1 83.1
114 South Alabama 80.0 87.6 81.4 83.0
115 Florida International 80.2 87.1 80.9 82.7
116 Massachusetts 79.5 87.5 81.0 82.7
117 Eastern Michigan 79.9 85.1 80.8 81.9
118 Fresno St. 80.5 84.6 80.1 81.7
119 Buffalo 77.8 86.6 79.0 81.2
120 UL-Lafayette 75.8 84.4 77.7 79.3
121 Idaho 76.0 81.8 77.3 78.4
122 New Mexico St. 75.4 78.0 76.2 76.5
123 Hawaii 77.1 75.8 76.2 76.4
124 North Texas 74.6 77.0 74.6 75.4
125 UTEP 72.3 76.7 73.8 74.3
126 Charlotte 70.5 77.7 71.6 73.3
127 Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
128 UL-Monroe 70.1 75.2 70.7 72.0

 

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

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 111.6 109.0 112.8 111.1
Cincinnati 101.9 102.5 102.6 102.4
Temple 99.9 99.6 100.3 100.0
Connecticut 97.5 95.3 97.7 96.9
East Carolina 95.1 97.2 95.5 95.9
Central Florida 88.2 90.6 88.2 89.0
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 115.5 113.6 117.7 115.6
Memphis 103.7 99.6 102.0 101.8
Tulsa 99.7 102.0 100.4 100.7
Navy 98.8 98.7 98.3 98.6
SMU 92.6 91.8 91.9 92.1
Tulane 85.5 88.6 85.7 86.6
         
AAC Averages 99.2 99.1 99.4 99.2
         
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Louisville 127.9 121.7 128.1 125.9
Clemson 122.2 113.9 120.7 118.9
Florida St. 117.9 110.6 116.8 115.1
North Carolina St. 106.9 104.7 106.3 106.0
Wake Forest 101.8 99.5 100.9 100.8
Boston College 100.5 99.5 100.0 100.0
Syracuse 101.4 97.6 99.2 99.4
         
Coastal Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 120.1 112.8 120.0 117.6
North Carolina 117.2 110.5 116.9 114.9
Virginia Tech 114.5 114.1 114.8 114.5
Pittsburgh 115.9 111.4 115.0 114.1
Georgia Tech 111.0 107.2 110.4 109.5
Virginia 100.4 97.4 99.7 99.2
Duke 99.0 99.8 97.3 98.7
         
ACC Averages 111.2 107.2 110.4 109.6
         
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 120.0 117.3 119.9 119.1
Oklahoma St. 115.3 116.3 115.1 115.6
Texas 112.1 113.6 111.2 112.3
TCU 111.9 113.5 111.5 112.3
Baylor 110.4 110.5 111.5 110.8
Kansas St. 107.2 110.2 107.1 108.2
West Virginia 107.2 106.6 106.8 106.9
Texas Tech 105.5 103.3 103.4 104.1
Iowa St. 95.0 94.7 93.8 94.5
Kansas 85.0 92.5 82.3 86.6
         
Big 12 Averages 107.0 107.9 106.3 107.0
         
Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 122.9 122.2 124.4 123.2
Michigan 121.9 119.8 122.5 121.4
Michigan St. 113.5 112.5 111.7 112.6
Penn St. 107.2 109.0 105.9 107.4
Indiana 101.8 106.3 101.4 103.2
Maryland 101.4 105.0 99.2 101.9
Rutgers 98.0 95.5 96.4 96.7
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 115.1 112.0 114.8 114.0
Nebraska 111.8 108.4 111.9 110.7
Wisconsin 111.1 109.0 111.7 110.6
Minnesota 105.1 103.1 104.8 104.3
Northwestern 106.4 101.2 104.8 104.1
Purdue 97.6 95.2 96.6 96.5
Illinois 97.6 94.3 96.6 96.2
         
Big Ten Averages 108.0 106.7 107.3 107.3
         
Conference USA
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Kentucky 100.8 96.4 102.0 99.7
Middle Tennessee 94.0 95.3 94.5 94.6
Marshall 88.7 93.1 90.5 90.8
Old Dominion 85.4 88.3 85.7 86.5
Florida Atlantic 81.7 85.1 83.3 83.4
Florida International 80.2 87.1 80.9 82.7
Charlotte 70.5 77.7 71.6 73.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Southern Mississippi 93.8 93.7 94.8 94.1
Louisiana Tech 89.8 92.0 90.9 90.9
Rice 81.8 89.6 81.8 84.4
UTSA 79.6 87.5 82.1 83.1
North Texas 74.6 77.0 74.6 75.4
UTEP 72.3 76.7 73.8 74.3
         
CUSA Averages 84.1 87.7 85.1 85.6
         
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame 114.9 111.2 113.6 113.2
BYU 110.3 103.6 109.7 107.9
Army 93.8 102.0 97.1 97.6
Massachusetts 79.5 87.5 81.0 82.7
         
Independents Averages 99.6 101.1 100.4 100.4
         
Mid-American Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio 91.5 100.1 92.5 94.7
Akron 86.7 93.1 88.1 89.3
Bowling Green 89.7 88.5 89.1 89.1
Kent St. 84.1 85.8 84.3 84.8
Miami (O) 83.6 84.4 84.7 84.2
Buffalo 77.8 86.6 79.0 81.2
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 106.8 104.8 108.6 106.7
Central Michigan 103.0 105.7 104.2 104.3
Toledo 104.2 102.8 105.2 104.1
Northern Illinois 93.7 94.9 94.4 94.3
Ball St. 85.9 87.9 86.8 86.9
Eastern Michigan 79.9 85.1 80.8 81.9
         
MAC Averages 90.6 93.3 91.5 91.8
         
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 108.0 109.4 110.3 109.2
Air Force 100.9 101.3 101.4 101.2
Utah St. 93.9 96.7 93.5 94.7
New Mexico 92.2 95.2 93.0 93.5
Colorado St. 86.0 88.7 86.5 87.1
Wyoming 83.9 83.6 84.1 83.9
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 105.8 102.9 108.2 105.7
Nevada 91.6 95.1 92.8 93.2
UNLV 89.8 94.2 89.9 91.3
San Jose St. 89.8 89.8 90.0 89.9
Fresno St. 80.5 84.6 80.1 81.7
Hawaii 77.1 75.8 76.2 76.4
         
MWC Averages 91.6 93.2 92.2 92.3
         
Pac-12 Conference
North Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Stanford 121.4 114.2 120.3 118.6
Washington 121.0 113.2 121.1 118.4
Oregon 112.3 111.0 111.5 111.6
Washington St. 107.6 104.8 107.5 106.7
California 105.0 96.6 102.7 101.4
Oregon St. 98.4 93.6 95.8 95.9
         
South Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
USC 114.3 109.9 111.6 111.9
UCLA 111.4 110.4 111.0 110.9
Colorado 110.1 105.6 110.6 108.8
Utah 110.8 105.1 108.7 108.2
Arizona St. 107.5 108.1 106.3 107.3
Arizona 104.3 102.0 103.1 103.1
         
Pac-12 Averages 110.3 106.2 109.2 108.6
         
Southeastern Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Tennessee 121.8 117.1 121.8 120.2
Florida 112.6 116.3 110.8 113.2
Georgia 111.0 111.1 110.9 111.0
Missouri 104.1 103.3 103.9 103.8
Vanderbilt 102.5 98.3 101.0 100.6
South Carolina 100.9 99.9 100.4 100.4
Kentucky 94.9 97.5 93.6 95.3
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 131.1 123.6 130.9 128.5
LSU 124.0 118.3 123.0 121.8
Texas A&M 114.8 113.8 114.8 114.5
Auburn 113.9 112.4 113.8 113.4
Mississippi St. 114.4 111.7 113.7 113.3
Arkansas 113.7 108.8 111.0 111.2
Ole Miss 113.6 107.1 112.4 111.0
         
SEC Averages 112.4 110.0 111.6 111.3
         
Sunbelt Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 97.7 96.4 99.8 98.0
Georgia Southern 91.3 91.3 93.6 92.1
Troy 88.6 93.6 90.5 90.9
Arkansas St. 88.7 90.7 90.2 89.9
Georgia St. 81.5 86.6 83.2 83.8
South Alabama 80.0 87.6 81.4 83.0
UL-Lafayette 75.8 84.4 77.7 79.3
Idaho 76.0 81.8 77.3 78.4
New Mexico St. 75.4 78.0 76.2 76.5
Texas St. 71.6 72.7 72.8 72.4
UL-Monroe 70.1 75.2 70.7 72.0
         
Sun Belt Averages 81.5 85.3 83.0 83.3

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.4 110.0 111.6 111.3
2 ACC 111.2 107.2 110.4 109.6
3 Pac-12 110.3 106.2 109.2 108.6
4 Big Ten 108.0 106.7 107.3 107.3
5 Big 12 107.0 107.9 106.3 107.0
6 Independents 99.6 101.1 100.4 100.4
7 AAC 99.2 99.1 99.4 99.2
8 MWC 91.6 93.2 92.2 92.3
9 MAC 90.6 93.3 91.5 91.8
10 CUSA 84.1 87.7 85.1 85.6
11 Sun Belt 81.5 85.3 83.0 83.3

This Week’s Spreads

Thursday, September 22  PiRate Mean  Bias 
Georgia Tech Clemson -8.2 -3.7 -7.3
         
Friday, September 23  PiRate  Mean  Bias 
Eastern Michigan Wyoming -1.0 4.5 -0.3
Utah USC -0.5 -1.8 0.1
         
         
Saturday, September 24  PiRate  Mean  Bias 
Akron Appalachian St. -8.0 -0.3 -8.7
Buffalo Army -14.0 -13.4 -16.1
Cincinnati Miami (O) 20.8 20.6 20.4
Connecticut Syracuse -1.9 -0.3 0.5
Indiana Wake Forest 3.0 9.8 3.5
Kentucky South Carolina -3.0 0.6 -3.8
Michigan Penn St. 17.7 13.8 19.6
Michigan St. Wisconsin 5.4 6.5 3.0
North Carolina Pittsburgh 4.3 2.1 4.9
Purdue Nevada 9.0 3.1 6.8
South Florida Florida St. -3.8 0.9 -1.5
Temple Charlotte 31.9 24.4 31.2
Tennessee Florida 12.2 3.8 14.0
Virginia Central Michigan 0.4 -5.3 -1.5
Virginia Tech East Carolina 22.4 19.9 22.3
West Virginia (N) BYU -0.1 6.0 0.1
Western Michigan Georgia Southern 18.5 16.5 18.0
Iowa St. San Jose St. 8.2 7.9 6.8
Old Dominion UTSA 8.3 3.3 6.1
Rutgers Iowa -14.1 -13.5 -15.4
Alabama Kent St. 50.0 40.8 49.6
Auburn LSU -7.1 -2.9 -6.2
Baylor Oklahoma St. -1.9 -2.8 -0.6
Minnesota Colorado St. 22.1 17.4 21.3
Ole Miss Georgia 5.6 -1.0 4.5
Texas A&M (N) Arkansas 1.1 5.0 3.8
Tulane UL-Lafayette 11.7 6.2 10.0
Memphis Bowling Green 17.0 14.1 15.9
Troy New Mexico St. 16.2 18.6 17.3
Utah St. Air Force -4.0 -1.6 -4.9
Arizona Washington -13.7 -8.2 -15.0
Arizona St. California 5.5 14.5 6.6
Oregon Colorado 5.2 8.4 3.9
Oregon St. Boise St. -6.6 -12.8 -11.5
UCLA Stanford -7.0 -0.8 -6.3
Massachusetts Mississippi St. -32.4 -21.7 -30.2
Notre Dame Duke 18.9 14.4 19.3
Western Kentucky Vanderbilt 1.3 1.1 4.0
Fresno St. Tulsa -16.2 -14.4 -17.3
Florida Atlantic Ball St. -1.2 0.2 -0.5
Rice North Texas 9.7 15.1 9.7
Texas St. Houston -41.9 -38.9 -42.9
Florida Int’l. Central Florida -6.0 -1.5 -5.3
Middle Tennessee Louisiana Tech 6.7 5.8 6.1
Northwestern Nebraska -2.4 -4.2 -4.1
Marshall Louisville -36.4 -26.1 -35.1
SMU TCU -17.3 -19.7 -17.6
UTEP Southern Miss. -18.5 -14.0 -18.0
UNLV Idaho 16.8 15.4 15.6
FBS vs. FCS Week 4  
Home Visitor PiRate
Boston College Wagner 36
Ohio Gardner-Webb 30
Missouri Delaware St. 45
South Alabama Nicholls St. 19
Arkansas St. Central Arkansas 21
Northern Illinois Western Illinois 13
Kansas St. Missouri St. 42

 

 

 

August 20, 2016

2016 Big Ten Conference Football Preview

The Power 5 Conference previews begin today, and in the unusual spot of lowest ranked of the Big 5 stands the 14-member Big Ten. In actuality, just three points separates the fifth best conference from the second best this year, so the Big Ten is basically in a four-way tie for second best conference this year.

Being the fifth best league does not mean the Big Ten will not have a team in the third FBS College Football Playoffs. In fact, three teams have the talent to run the table and earn one of the four coveted spots. And overall, the PiRates believe 11 teams could be bowl eligible this year. This means that at least one and probably two teams will fill vacant spots as at-large candidates.

The power once again rests in the East Division, where six of the seven members have a chance to get to six wins. In recent years, it has come down to the Ohio State-Michigan State game, but this year we believe a third team will crash the party. Second year head coach Jim Harbaugh has quickly rebuilt the Michigan Wolverines to a point where the Maize and Blue are ready to return to greatness not seen in a decade. The Wolverines improved immediately in year one, becoming tougher on both sides of the ball and doubling their wins from the year before from five to ten.

The same improvement in year two could make Michigan a national title contender. The offense loses a good quarterback in Jake Rudock, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions, but unlike recent years, there is a competition among multiple quality quarterbacks, and whoever wins the battle will be a talented and competent leader. Expect Michigan’s passing game to remain as strong as last year, whether former Houston QB John O’Korn or Wilton Speight wins the job.

Whoever winst that job will have a bevy of highly-talented receivers catching the passes. Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh combined for 108 catches and 14 touchdowns as the starting wideouts last year, while tight end Jake Butt added 51 catches.

Running back De’Veon Smith is another pass-catching weapon, but his main goal is continuing to improve as a multi-talented runner who can plunge forward up the middle for an extra yard or two and break a long run to the outside. Backup Ty Isaac is capable of taking over a game if he can become more consistent.

Where Michigan should win most games this year is up front, as their offensive line has no peers inside the league. There is talent throughout the two-deep, led by center Mason Cole, guard Kyle Kalis, and tackle Erik Magnuson.

The other side of the ball is strong and potentially dominating up front, as the defensive line has a quartet of brick walls. Opponents will run away from the side end Chris Wormly lines up on, and quarterbacks will worry about his rushing when dropping back to pass. Taco Charlton will see improved stats this year, as he faces more plays to his end of the line.

The pass defense was a little vulnerable at times, but the back seven should be better this year, led by potential All-American cornerback Jabrill Peppers.

If it wasn’t for a schedule that includes road games with Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State, the media and other experts might be calling for a 12-0 regular season. Maybe, just the Pirates believe it is possible this year.

Ohio State looks to be in a rebuild season, but in Columbus, rebuilding means a possible 9-3 season. The Buckeyes lost so much from last year’s 12-1 season on both sides of the ball. Sure, there is still a ton of talent left on this squad, but we believe OSU will be about a touchdown weaker overall.

J.T. Barrett returns at quarterback after splitting the job with Cardale Jones, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. Barrett is a better fit in Coach Urban Meyer’s spread offense, but defenses might be able to sneak defenders toward the line without worrying as much about being beaten deep by the arm of Jones.

The biggest replacement Meyer must make is at running back, where Ezekiel Elliott might be the leading candidate for NFL Rookie of the Year in Dallas. Finding capable receivers to replace Michael Thomas, Jalen Marshall, and Braxton Miller will be nearly as difficult.

The offensive line must replace three starters, but there was a lot of talented depth here last year, and we don’t see this becoming much of a problem this year.

Defensively, the Buckeyes return one starter to the line, one at linebacker, and one in the secondary. Middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan and end Tyquan Lewis could both become All-Americans, while end Sam Hubbard has all-league potential.

Road games with Oklahoma and Michigan State should be too much for the inexperienced Buckeyes to handle this year, so it could be a bowl other than the New Year’s 6 this year.

Michigan State faces a similar but less rebuilding effort this year after making the NCAA Playoffs in 2015. Coach Mark Dantonio’s Spartans won a lot of close games last year in their road to the Big Ten title, and a small rebuild should mean that some of those close wins last year could become close losses this year. Replacing quarterback Connor Cook may be the toughest replacement in the entire league, and number two might be finding one or more players to replace the production of defensive star Shilique Calhoun.

Penn State coach James Franklin is 14-12 in his first two seasons in Happy Valley, and another 7-6 year will leave Nittany Lion fans very unhappy. Although most of the offense returns this year, one player missing is quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Although Hackenberg had issues with the Franklin offense, he still was good enough to become an NFL Draft pick, and nobody on the current roster has his skills.

The Defense loses a lot of talent, but possibly more important is the loss of defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, who will be directing the defense at Tennessee this year. September 10 could be an important Saturday for Franklin’s future in State College. A loss at Pittsburgh could get the alumni moving to find a replacement.

Indiana and Maryland don’t figure to contend for an upper division spot this year, but both teams have enough talent to go 3-0 outside of league play and find three more wins to get to 6-6. Rutgers is not in that same boat. The Scarlet Knights will be fortunate to avoid double digit losses.

Although the West Division is not as strong, the competition might be fiercer. Four teams have the potential to end up in the Big Ten Championship Game, while a fifth should be bowl eligible.

Iowa is the slight favorite to repeat as division champions, but Nebraska might be the most improved team in the division. The two rivals meet in Iowa City on Black Friday.

Wisconsin has the talent to win double digit games in most years, but not this year with a schedule that only a masochist could design. The Badgers face the two Michigan schools on the road and must face Ohio State at home, and then add a game at Lambeau Stadium against national title contender LSU. They also play at Iowa, and all of these games occur by October 22.

Northwestern is a mystery team this year to some extent. The Wildcats return a lot of talent from a 10-3 team, but overall that talent is not as strong as the other contenders. Coach Pat Fitzgerald finds a way to squeeze every yard and point out of his offense, while the defense always plays better on the whole than the sum of its parts.

Minnesota begins its first full season under Coach Tracy Claeys, who took over after Jerry Kill retired after the season began last year. The Gophers should be about as good this year as last, which means a probable lower-tier bowl.

Illinois and Purdue do not have the talent to compete for bowl eligibility, but both teams are capable of pulling off an upset. Last year, they both upset Nebraska and could have knocked the Cornhuskers out of a bowl.

The Big Ten does not sanction an official media preseason poll, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer does the job for the league in an unofficial capacity. Here is that Cleveland.com poll.

Big Ten–East Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Ohio St. 31 260.5 27
2 Michigan 14 241 11
3 Michigan St. 1 195.5  
4 Penn St. 0 155.5  
5 Indiana 0 110  
6 Maryland 0 81.5  
7 Rutgers 0 52  
         
Big Ten–West Division
# Team 1st Pl. Total Champ.
1 Iowa 33 265 1
2 Nebraska 3 206  
3 Wisconsin 2 194.5  
4 Northwestern 1 171.5  
5 Minnesota 1 132  
6 Illinois 0 76.5  
7 Purdue 0 46.5  

 

Here are our initial PiRate Ratings for the league.

Big Ten Conference
East Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Michigan 120.0 118.0 120.4 119.5
Ohio St. 113.3 113.5 113.5 113.4
Michigan St. 113.1 112.4 111.1 112.2
Penn St. 109.5 111.3 108.0 109.6
Indiana 101.5 106.0 100.9 102.8
Maryland 100.9 104.2 98.1 101.1
Rutgers 99.0 96.2 97.3 97.5
         
West Division        
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
Iowa 114.6 110.9 114.2 113.2
Nebraska 110.4 105.9 110.5 108.9
Wisconsin 109.1 105.9 109.5 108.2
Northwestern 109.7 103.5 108.1 107.1
Minnesota 104.8 102.8 104.7 104.1
Illinois 100.6 97.2 99.8 99.2
Purdue 99.4 96.6 98.3 98.1

 

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.

Big Ten Conference Projected Standings
Team Conference Overall Bowl
East Division      
Michigan 9-0 13-0 * Playoffs–Fiesta
Ohio St. 7-2 9-3 Citrus
Michigan St. 7-2 9-3 Outback
Penn St. 6-3 8-4 Music City
Indiana 3-6 6-6 [Cactus] *
Maryland 3-6 6-6 [Birmingham] *
Rutgers 1-8 3-9  
       
Team Conference Overall Bowl
West Division      
Iowa 7-2 10-3 Holiday
Nebraska 5-4 8-4 Pinstripe
Northwestern 5-4 8-4 Foster Farms
Wisconsin 5-4 7-5 Quick Lane
Minnesota 4-5 7-5 Heart of Dallas
Illinois 1-8 3-9  
Purdue 0-9 3-9  
       
* Indiana’s Cactus Bowl Bid is an at-large selection
* Maryland’s Birmingham Bowl Bid is an at-lerge selection

Coming up tomorrow: The Big 12 Conference was close to going on life support until Oklahoma made the playoffs last year.  Now, with the possibility of new blood coming soon, and the likelihood that the Sooners could be better this year, there’s hope for the league.  Find out which teams are contenders, which are pretenders, and what team could surprise a lot of people this season.

 

September 17, 2013

PiRate Ratings–College Football: September 19-21, 2013

Odds and Ends

This is shaping up to be a season where multiple big-time coaching jobs could become available in the college football world.  As many as five major schools could be searching for a new head man to lead them back to where they think they should be.

 

We’ll start in Austin, Texas, where Longhorn coach Mack Brown appears to be losing control of a team that had enough talent to run the table.  The defense, which should have been vastly improved, has taken a step back.  Numerous media mentions of all the talent that did not sign with the Longhorns, including quarterbacks Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel, and Jameis Winston, make the coaching staff look incompetent, even if it isn’t totally so.  The bottom line is that at Texas, 10-2 should be the weakest acceptable won-loss record for a school with all the resources needed to be the New York Yankees of college football.   There is enough quality talent in the Lone Star State to stock an entire BCS conference.

 

Next, let’s venture to Los Angeles, where some clever person has been going around painting the word “Kiffin” on all the fire lanes in the area.  Lane Kiffin might have to beat Stanford in the regular season and Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game to save his job.  USC is not a slam dunk success like Texas, but it should be rather easy to recruit enough talent to compete for the national title three years out of five.  The defense has given up twice as many points per game in Kiffin’s tenure than it did in the last several years of the Carroll era.  The Wild Bunch they are not.

 

Next, we’ll venture to the plains and stop in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Bo Pelini has not turned the Cornhuskers’ program around.  The Cornhuskers believe that every year should be 1971, 1983, 1995, or 1997.  After Tom Osborne left, Frank Solich carried on the tradition with minor slippage.  58-19 was not good enough for the rabid NU fans, and Solich was chased off following a 10-3 season in 2003.  Ten years and two coaches later, the Cornhuskers have not equaled that 10-3 record that was not good enough for Solich to keep his job.  Under Solich, Nebraska’s scoring margin was 15.1 points per game.  In his tenure, they gave up 17.4 points per game.  Pelini’s Cornhusker teams have lost four games every year, and this year’s team looks like it could have a tough time losing just that many.  Throw in a recent audio release that displayed the coach bad-mouthing the Cornhusker fans in an expletive-filled monologue, and it looks like short of Nebraska getting to the Rose Bowl, Pelini’s job is in serious jeopardy.

 

Now, throw in the regular turnover that happens every year, and add these three big jobs that could become open.  The following is a list of schools where coaches could decide to retire or try something else.

 

Steve Spurrier—South Carolina:  Spurrier is 68 years old.  He does not seem very happy this year, as there has been dissension in Columbia.  He may decide playing golf every day is preferable to this.

 

Kirk Ferentz—Iowa: Ferentz has long been known as one of the best pure coaches in the game.  His Iowa Hawkeyes have shared to Big Ten titles, but they have never earned a trip to Pasadena in his 14 previous seasons.  Ferentz has turned down multiple offers to move to the NFL where he was a highly competent assistant under Bill Belichick with the original Cleveland Browns.  At 58, if he ever wants to be an NFL head coach, it needs to be soon.  This could be the year he finally pulls the trigger.

 

Jerry Kill—Minnesota:  This is a sad situation.  Kill is an excellent coach, and he is slowly turning the Gophers’ program around.  He revived the downtrodden program at Northern Illinois in just three seasons, and in year three in the Twin Cities, he has UM off to a 3-0 start with a nine-win season possible.  Unfortunately, Kill suffers from epilepsy, and just last week he had to leave a game for the fourth time due to seizure.  He has received the emphasis “Vote of Confidence” from the administration, but VOCs very frequently prove to be metaphorical for “PYBs” or “Pack Your Bags.”  It is not fair, but other schools are using this in recruiting, and the more events that take place, the more it will be effective.  Kill may have to step aside for another position in the university.  Life is not fair.

 

Mike Gundy—Oklahoma St.: Gundy has a fat record (70-35) in Stillwater, and he has all the pieces he needs (T. Boone Pickens and his money) to build a dynasty at OSU.  However, there is a black cloud hanging over this team as a multiple-part expose emerges detailing how the Cowboys’ climbed almost to the top of the mountain via the illicit trail.  If sanctions come down, Gundy could even receive a show-cause edict, which would basically force him out of coaching at the college level for “x” amount of years.

 

Bob Stoops—Oklahoma: This is crazy, but there are football zealots in Oklahoma that are not satisfied with a 150-37 won-loss record.  They should look closely up north where their former conference rival exiled Coach Solich to Athens, Ohio.  Stoops has not won a second national championship.  It has been 13 years.  Never mind that he brought OU to the National Championship Game twice but lost to teams that were among the 25 best of all time.

 

The Return of the Rebels?

If you are college football fan over the age of 55, you can remember a time when the Ole Miss football team was the equivalent of Oregon in modern times.  Yes, the Rebels once were the most exciting team in college football, and they competed for the national title every year.  They even won three of them back when four to seven polls’ champions were recognized as real champions.

 

Under legendary coach Johnny Vaught, Ole Miss became the first SEC team to emphasize a wide-open style of play with quarterbacks that could pass the ball on any down from any place on the field.  Prior to Vaught, all SEC teams still played caveman football.  They ran the ball 99% of the time until they passed their own 40 yard line.  If it was 3rd and 10 from their own 25 yard line, teams were more likely to punt the ball rather than attempt a pass.  Some teams had four or five passing plays in their playbook and even numbered them as “Pass Number Four.”  Teams ran the ball 90% of the time, and when they did throw, it was usually a play-action pass on first or second down in the other team’s territory.

 

Vaught changed that in Oxford.  He used the Wing-T, Slot-T, T with Flanker, and even a three-receiver set with no tight ends.  Other SEC teams still had two tight ends and no wide receivers, and Tennessee still used the Single Wing.  Under Vaught, Ole Miss made football exciting.  Quarterbacks matriculated to Oxford, because it gave them the opportunity to show off their skills to NFL scouts.  Archie Manning may have been the most widely publicized QB to play for Vaught, but top notch passers like Glynn Griffing, Jake Gibbs, and Charlie Conerly.

 

After Vaught retired at the end of the 1970 season, Ole Miss fell on hard times.  Multiple losing seasons followed with the occasional rebound to 6-5 or 8-4.  Eli Manning brought the Rebels a short-term window where they faced off against LSU in 2003 with the winner taking the conference championship, but alas, the Bengal Tigers nipped them by a field goal and went on to capture the national title as well.

 

Now, Hugh Freeze has the Rebels on track to return to the times when everything was gravy in Oxford.  Ole Miss looks like a team capable of scaring Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M.  Freeze took a 2-10 team in 2011 and won seven games including an impressive blowout of Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl last year.  After demolishing Texas in Austin last week, Ole Miss has its first 3-0 start since 1989.  The Rebels have the benefit of an extra week to prepare for Alabama in Tuscaloosa on the 28th, and the Tide did not roll all over Ole Miss last year.  If Ole Miss can gain a split in the their next four games (at Alabama, at Auburn, Texas A&M, and LSU), they could earn a Cotton, Capital One, or Outback Bowl bid in year two of the new regime.  And, if they go 3-1, they could be looking at the Sugar Bowl or better.  Oh, and Ole Miss had its best recruiting year since the Vaught days.  Some of the true freshmen are already paying big dividends for Freeze.  Now, a school that has been recognized in modern times as a great place to enjoy a football game and watch a team wearing Harvard Crimson and Yale Blue has become a place to watch the new most exciting team of the Deep South.

 

Previews Of This Week’s Key Games

Clemson at North Carolina St.: The Tigers fortunately had a week off to come down from the high of beating Georgia.  They now have a trap game when they travel to Raleigh Thursday night.  The Wolf Pack will be waiting in ambush, and as much as the Clemson Memorial Stadium crowd helped CU in its big win, the Carter-Finley faithful will help NCSU.  State is 2-0, albeit against two pushovers, but the Pack also had a week off to prepare for this game.  Expect State to play its best game of the entire season, but will it be enough?

 

Arizona St. at Stanford: Stanford has not looked all that impressive in its first two games, while Arizona St. has looked like a team capable of winning the Pac-12 South flag.  The winner of this game will move to the top of the heap of Duck challengers.  It should be as exciting as last Saturday’s ASU-Wisconsin game.  Hopefully, a blown call will not decide this one.

 

North Carolina at Georgia Tech:  We have seen the Techsters easily dispose of Elon and Duke, but can the Yellow Jackets run all over a quality ACC team?  If the answer is yes, then the ACC race just became very interesting.  Tech still has road games against Miami, BYU, and Clemson, and of course, they end with Georgia.  If Paul Johnson is on the verge of taking the one BCS team that runs the spread option offense back toward the top of the league, then the rest of the league’s coaches will not sleep easily.  It is virtually impossible to practice against this offense when your scout team cannot learn to run it in one week.

 

Auburn at LSU: LSU has quietly started 3-0 with three impressive offensive showings.  Auburn is also 3-0 under new coach Gus Malzahn.  LSU should win this game by double digits, but it will be an excellent test to gauge where both programs stand.  Should LSU win handily, and Auburn continue to play well, it could mean that Les Miles has a possible 2011 repeat on his hands.  If Auburn pulls off the upset, then Malzahn will be crowned the new Shug Jordan.

 

Arkansas at Rutgers: This contest allows us to gauge the American Athletic Conference.  Rutgers looks like a middle of the pack team in the new AAC, while Arkansas is probably around 8th or 9th best in the SEC.  Bret Bielema has rapidly installed his style of offense in Fayetteville, and the Razorbacks have two backs topping 100 yards in the same game.  When he finds two tight ends capable of making all-conference at the same time, it will be time to seriously look at Arkansas as a player in the toughest division in college football.

 

Michigan St. at Notre Dame:  The Irish have not put it together for four quarters in their first three games, and Michigan St. may require such an effort for Notre Dame to avoid a 2-2 start.  This game basically becomes a BCS at-large bowl eliminator, as the loser will have virtually no chance to qualify for such.  Notre Dame must finish in the top eight in the BCS standings to automatically earn a bid to one of the big five bowls.  10-2 should be good enough with the schedule they play.  9-3 will be iffy.  8-4 means they will bowl in December.

 

Missouri at Indiana: This one is somewhat similar to the Arkansas and Rutgers game, but with one extra reason to watch.  Missouri underperformed last year with quarterback James Franklin injured.  Is this team capable of playing with Georgia, Florida,  and South Carolina?  If the Tigers win convincingly, we still may not know the answer, but a convincing win will definitely move MU above Tennessee and Vanderbilt as the team most likely to surprise one of the big three.  Coach Gary Pinkel could have Mizzou at 5-0 when they play at Georgia on October 12.  The Tigers will be out for blood in that game after the Bulldogs clawed them by three touchdowns in their inaugural conference game last year.

 

Here are this week’s college football ratings.

PiRate Regular

1

Oregon

133.9

2

Alabama

132.5

3

Ole Miss

124.9

4

Stanford

124.2

5

Oklahoma St.

122.6

6

Texas A&M

122.0

7

Georgia

121.5

8

L S U

121.2

9

Ohio St.

120.7

10

South Carolina

119.9

11

Arizona

119.5

12

Washington

118.9

13

U C L A

118.6

14

Florida St.

118.5

15

Louisville

117.6

16

Baylor

117.5

17

Florida

117.5

18

Arizona St.

117.0

19

Clemson

116.7

20

Texas

116.4

21

Oklahoma

115.6

22

Notre Dame

115.6

23

Michigan

115.3

24

Wisconsin

115.2

25

Oregon St.

115.1

26

Missouri

115.1

27

Michigan St.

114.8

28

Miami

114.6

29

Georgia Tech

114.6

30

Northwestern

114.5

31

T C U

113.1

32

U S C

113.0

33

B Y U

110.8

34

Virginia Tech

110.7

35

Nebraska

110.7

36

Penn St.

110.0

37

Kansas St.

109.1

38

Vanderbilt

108.9

39

Texas Tech

108.8

40

Mississippi St.

108.6

41

Auburn

107.2

42

North Carolina

106.9

43

Cincinnati

105.7

44

Washington St.

105.7

45

Tennessee

105.6

46

West Virginia

103.8

47

Indiana

103.8

48

Central Florida

103.4

49

Fresno St.

103.2

50

Utah

103.1

51

Utah St.

103.0

52

Minnesota

102.0

53

Syracuse

101.6

54

San Jose St.

101.0

55

Arkansas

100.9

56

Boise St.

100.3

57

Boston College

100.2

58

Iowa

99.9

59

Illinois

99.8

60

Toledo

99.7

61

Pittsburgh

99.4

62

Maryland

99.2

63

Bowling Green

99.2

64

Rutgers

99.0

65

Kentucky

99.0

66

East Carolina

98.2

67

Iowa St.

98.1

68

Northern Illinois

98.1

69

Rice

97.7

70

Duke

97.6

71

Navy

97.6

72

Ball St.

97.5

73

Purdue

96.8

74

Marshall

96.8

75

North Carolina St.

96.7

76

Wake Forest

96.6

77

Louisiana–Monroe

96.4

78

California

96.3

79

Louisiana–Lafayette

94.4

80

Arkansas St.

93.9

81

Virginia

93.7

82

Kansas

93.7

83

Tulsa

93.6

84

S M U

93.5

85

North Texas

92.8

86

San Diego St.

92.5

87

Colorado

92.0

88

Ohio

91.6

89

Houston

91.2

90

Wyoming

91.0

91

Colorado St.

90.0

92

Buffalo

89.7

93

Connecticut

89.6

94

Western Kentucky

89.4

95

South Florida

89.3

96

U T S A

88.7

97

Kent St.

88.1

98

Memphis

87.6

99

Nevada

87.4

100

U A B

87.3

101

Middle Tennessee

86.8

102

Troy

86.8

103

Temple

86.7

104

Hawaii

85.6

105

Florida Atlantic

85.5

106

U T E P

85.3

107

Western Michigan

84.8

108

Tulane

84.7

109

Army

84.4

110

U N L V

84.3

111

Louisiana Tech

82.9

112

South Alabama

82.9

113

Akron

82.8

114

Central Michigan

82.7

115

Southern Miss.

81.3

116

Texas St.

81.2

117

Eastern Michigan

79.3

118

New Mexico

79.3

119

Air Force

79.0

120

Miami (O)

78.4

121

New Mexico St.

73.7

122

Massachusetts

71.0

123

Idaho

69.7

124

Florida Int’l

67.8

125

Georgia St.

60.1

 

PiRate Mean

1

Oregon

129.8

2

Alabama

125.1

3

Florida St.

122.2

4

Ole Miss

120.5

5

L S U

120.4

6

Arizona St.

118.8

7

Georgia

118.6

8

Ohio St.

118.0

9

South Carolina

117.9

10

Texas A&M

116.6

11

Wisconsin

116.5

12

Clemson

115.7

13

Miami

115.7

14

Louisville

115.6

15

Michigan St.

115.3

16

Stanford

114.6

17

Washington

114.6

18

Arizona

114.6

19

Georgia Tech

114.2

20

Michigan

113.8

21

Florida

113.3

22

Penn St.

113.0

23

Oklahoma St.

112.6

24

Missouri

112.2

25

Northwestern

112.1

26

Notre Dame

111.7

27

Oklahoma

111.4

28

Virginia Tech

111.0

29

U C L A

110.9

30

U S C

110.5

31

North Carolina

109.2

32

B Y U

109.0

33

Baylor

107.8

34

Nebraska

107.7

35

Indiana

107.5

36

T C U

107.4

37

Arkansas

107.4

38

Auburn

107.0

39

Texas

106.6

40

Maryland

106.5

41

Cincinnati

106.2

42

Texas Tech

106.2

43

Vanderbilt

106.0

44

Central Florida

105.6

45

Washington St.

105.1

46

Tennessee

105.0

47

Mississippi St.

104.8

48

Oregon St.

104.0

49

Illinois

103.7

50

North Carolina St.

103.0

51

Utah

102.7

52

Fresno St.

102.6

53

Rutgers

102.4

54

Minnesota

102.2

55

Houston

102.1

56

Kansas St.

101.5

57

Marshall

101.2

58

Rice

100.6

59

Ball St.

100.4

60

East Carolina

100.3

61

Toledo

100.3

62

Utah St.

99.9

63

Navy

99.8

64

Kentucky

99.6

65

Wake Forest

99.5

66

Northern Illinois

99.3

67

Bowling Green

99.0

68

Iowa

98.9

69

S M U

98.6

70

Syracuse

98.6

71

Boston College

98.5

72

Duke

98.3

73

Colorado

97.5

74

Pittsburgh

97.3

75

Virginia

97.1

76

West Virginia

96.0

77

San Jose St.

95.9

78

Memphis

95.8

79

Louisiana–Monroe

95.2

80

Ohio

95.1

81

North Texas

95.0

82

Boise St.

94.0

83

Louisiana–Lafayette

94.0

84

Purdue

93.1

85

Middle Tennessee

92.8

86

Wyoming

92.3

87

Army

92.1

88

California

91.8

89

U T E P

91.5

90

Kent St.

91.3

91

Tulane

91.2

92

Western Kentucky

91.0

93

Kansas

90.9

94

Tulsa

90.6

95

Colorado St.

90.3

96

U T S A

90.2

97

Nevada

90.1

98

Buffalo

90.0

99

U A B

89.4

100

San Diego St.

89.4

101

Texas St.

88.6

102

Arkansas St.

88.3

103

Iowa St.

88.0

104

Troy

88.0

105

Akron

87.9

106

South Alabama

87.4

107

U N L V

86.9

108

Hawaii

86.3

109

Western Michigan

86.0

110

New Mexico

85.5

111

Temple

85.1

112

Florida Atlantic

84.9

113

Central Michigan

84.9

114

Connecticut

84.6

115

Louisiana Tech

84.5

116

Eastern Michigan

84.2

117

Air Force

83.6

118

South Florida

82.3

119

Miami (O)

82.3

120

Southern Miss.

80.7

121

Massachusetts

80.2

122

New Mexico St.

80.0

123

Idaho

79.1

124

Florida Int’l

70.6

125

Georgia St.

69.3

 

PiRate Bias

1

Oregon

135.5

2

Alabama

133.6

3

Ole Miss

125.2

4

Oklahoma St.

123.4

5

Stanford

122.9

6

L S U

122.2

7

Texas A&M

122.1

8

Georgia

122.0

9

Ohio St.

121.0

10

Florida St.

120.4

11

Washington

119.9

12

South Carolina

119.6

13

Louisville

119.3

14

Arizona

118.3

15

Baylor

117.9

16

U C L A

117.9

17

Clemson

117.8

18

Arizona St.

117.0

19

Oklahoma

115.6

20

Georgia Tech

115.5

21

Florida

115.5

22

Wisconsin

115.2

23

Texas

115.1

24

Miami

114.8

25

Michigan

114.6

26

Northwestern

114.0

27

Missouri

114.0

28

Notre Dame

113.6

29

Oregon St.

113.5

30

T C U

113.3

31

Michigan St.

112.9

32

U S C

112.8

33

B Y U

112.0

34

Virginia Tech

110.3

35

Penn St.

109.3

36

Texas Tech

109.1

37

Nebraska

109.0

38

Vanderbilt

108.4

39

Mississippi St.

108.0

40

Kansas St.

107.7

41

North Carolina

107.5

42

Washington St.

106.5

43

Cincinnati

106.4

44

Auburn

106.3

45

Utah St.

105.0

46

Tennessee

104.9

47

Central Florida

104.3

48

Indiana

104.1

49

Fresno St.

104.1

50

Utah

102.5

51

West Virginia

102.1

52

San Jose St.

101.6

53

Maryland

101.5

54

Boise St.

101.1

55

Minnesota

100.9

56

Syracuse

100.7

57

Boston College

100.5

58

Illinois

100.4

59

Bowling Green

100.4

60

Toledo

100.2

61

Rutgers

99.6

62

Iowa

99.6

63

East Carolina

99.5

64

Arkansas

99.4

65

Pittsburgh

99.1

66

Rice

99.0

67

Northern Illinois

98.8

68

Marshall

98.7

69

Ball St.

98.2

70

Navy

97.7

71

North Carolina St.

97.5

72

Kentucky

97.5

73

Louisiana–Monroe

97.1

74

Wake Forest

96.5

75

Duke

96.4

76

Iowa St.

96.2

77

Purdue

94.3

78

California

94.3

79

Virginia

94.0

80

Louisiana–Lafayette

93.8

81

Arkansas St.

93.4

82

Wyoming

93.2

83

North Texas

93.0

84

S M U

92.9

85

Ohio

92.9

86

Kansas

92.6

87

Tulsa

92.6

88

Houston

92.5

89

San Diego St.

92.5

90

Colorado St.

90.4

91

Colorado

90.1

92

Connecticut

90.0

93

Buffalo

89.8

94

Western Kentucky

89.8

95

Kent St.

88.7

96

U T S A

88.4

97

Troy

88.3

98

Memphis

88.2

99

South Florida

88.0

100

U A B

87.5

101

Middle Tennessee

87.0

102

Western Michigan

87.0

103

Nevada

86.8

104

Hawaii

86.7

105

U T E P

86.0

106

Florida Atlantic

85.8

107

Army

85.7

108

Temple

85.4

109

Tulane

84.9

110

U N L V

84.7

111

South Alabama

83.9

112

Akron

83.2

113

Central Michigan

82.4

114

Louisiana Tech

82.1

115

Southern Miss.

81.3

116

Texas St.

80.4

117

New Mexico

79.5

118

Eastern Michigan

79.3

119

Air Force

79.0

120

Miami (O)

76.8

121

New Mexico St.

73.2

122

Massachusetts

70.9

123

Idaho

69.3

124

Florida Int’l

67.7

125

Georgia St.

61.5

 

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Louisville

0-0

3-0

117.6

115.6

119.3

Cincinnati

0-0

2-1

105.7

106.2

106.4

Central Florida

0-0

3-0

103.4

105.6

104.3

Rutgers

0-0

2-1

99.0

102.4

99.6

S M U

0-0

1-1

93.5

98.6

92.9

Houston

1-0

2-0

91.2

102.1

92.5

Connecticut

0-0

0-2

89.6

84.6

90.0

South Florida

0-0

0-3

89.3

82.3

88.0

Memphis

0-0

0-2

87.6

95.8

88.2

Temple

0-1

0-3

86.7

85.1

85.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

League Averages

 

 

96.4

97.8

96.7

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Florida St.

1-0

2-0

118.5

122.2

120.4

Clemson

0-0

2-0

116.7

115.7

117.8

Syracuse

0-0

1-2

101.6

98.6

100.7

Boston College

1-0

2-1

100.2

98.5

100.5

Maryland

0-0

3-0

99.2

106.5

101.5

North Carolina St.

0-0

2-0

96.7

103.0

97.5

Wake Forest

0-1

1-2

96.6

99.5

96.5

     

 

 

 

Coastal Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Miami

0-0

2-0

114.6

115.7

114.8

Georgia Tech

1-0

2-0

114.6

114.2

115.5

Virginia Tech

0-0

2-1

110.7

111.0

110.3

North Carolina

0-0

1-1

106.9

109.2

107.5

Pittsburgh

0-1

1-1

99.4

97.3

99.1

Duke

0-1

2-1

97.6

98.3

96.4

Virginia

0-0

1-1

93.7

97.1

94.0

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

104.8

106.2

105.2

 

Big 12 Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Oklahoma St.

0-0

3-0

122.6

112.6

123.4

Baylor

0-0

2-0

117.5

107.8

117.9

Texas

0-0

1-2

116.4

106.6

115.1

Oklahoma

1-0

3-0

115.6

111.4

115.6

T C U

0-1

1-2

113.1

107.4

113.3

Kansas St.

0-0

2-1

109.1

101.5

107.7

Texas Tech

1-0

3-0

108.8

106.2

109.1

West Virginia

0-1

2-1

103.8

96.0

102.1

Iowa St.

0-0

0-2

98.1

88.0

96.2

Kansas

0-0

1-1

93.7

90.9

92.6

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

109.9

102.8

109.3

 

Big Ten Conference

 

Leaders Division

 
Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

 
Ohio St.

0-0

3-0

120.7

118.0

121.0

 
Wisconsin

0-0

2-1

115.2

116.5

115.2

 
Penn St.

0-0

2-1

110.0

113.0

109.3

 
Indiana

0-0

2-1

103.8

107.5

104.1

 
Illinois

0-0

2-1

99.8

103.7

100.4

 
Purdue

0-0

1-2

96.8

93.1

94.3

 
     

 

 

 

 

Legends Division

 
Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

 
Michigan

0-0

3-0

115.3

113.8

114.6

 
Northwestern

0-0

3-0

114.5

112.1

114.0

 
Michigan St.

0-0

3-0

114.8

115.3

112.9

 
Nebraska

0-0

2-1

110.7

107.7

109.0

 
Minnesota

0-0

3-0

102.0

102.2

100.9

 
Iowa

0-0

2-1

99.9

98.9

99.6

 
     

 

 

 

 
League Averages    

108.6

108.5

107.9

 

Conference USA

 

East Division

 
Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

 
East Carolina

1-0

2-1

98.2

100.3

99.5

 
Marshall

0-0

2-1

96.8

101.2

98.7

 
U A B

0-0

0-2

87.3

89.4

87.5

 
Middle Tennessee

0-0

2-1

86.8

92.8

87.0

 
Florida Atlantic

0-1

1-2

85.5

84.9

85.8

 
Southern Miss.

0-0

0-3

81.3

80.7

81.3

 
Florida Int’l

0-0

0-3

67.8

70.6

67.7

 
     

 

 

 

 

West Division

 
Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

 
Rice

0-0

1-1

97.7

100.6

99.0

 
Tulsa

0-0

1-2

93.6

90.6

92.6

 
North Texas

0-0

2-1

92.8

95.0

93.0

 
U T S A

0-0

1-2

88.7

90.2

88.4

 
U T E P

0-0

1-1

85.3

91.5

86.0

 
Tulane

1-0

2-1

84.7

91.2

84.9

 
Louisiana Tech

0-1

1-2

82.9

84.5

82.1

 
     

 

 

 

 
League Averages    

87.8

90.3

88.1

 

Independents

Team

 

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Notre Dame

 

2-1

115.6

111.7

113.6

B Y U

 

1-1

110.8

109.0

112.0

Navy

 

2-0

97.6

99.8

97.7

Army

 

1-2

84.4

92.1

85.7

New Mexico St.

 

0-3

73.7

80.0

73.2

Idaho

 

0-3

69.7

79.1

69.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Avg’s.

 

 

92.0

95.3

91.9

 

Mid-American Conference

East Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Bowling Green

1-0

2-1

99.2

99.0

100.4

Ohio

0-0

2-1

91.6

95.1

92.9

Buffalo

0-0

1-2

89.7

90.0

89.8

Kent St.

0-1

1-2

88.1

91.3

88.7

Akron

0-0

1-2

82.8

87.9

83.2

Miami (O)

0-0

0-2

78.4

82.3

76.8

Massachusetts

0-0

0-3

71.0

80.2

70.9

     

 

 

 

West Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Toledo

0-0

1-2

99.7

100.3

100.2

Northern Illinois

0-0

2-0

98.1

99.3

98.8

Ball St.

0-0

2-1

97.5

100.4

98.2

Western Michigan

0-0

0-3

84.8

86.0

87.0

Central Michigan

0-0

1-2

82.7

84.9

82.4

Eastern Michigan

0-0

1-2

79.3

84.2

79.3

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

87.9

90.8

88.4

Mountain West Conference

Mountain Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Utah St.

1-0

2-1

103.0

99.9

105.0

Boise St.

1-0

2-1

100.3

94.0

101.1

Wyoming

0-0

2-1

91.0

92.3

93.2

Colorado St.

0-0

1-2

90.0

90.3

90.4

New Mexico

0-0

1-2

79.3

85.5

79.5

Air Force

0-2

1-2

79.0

83.6

79.0

     

 

 

 

West Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Fresno St.

0-0

2-0

103.2

102.6

104.1

San Jose St.

0-0

1-1

101.0

95.9

101.6

San Diego St.

0-0

0-2

92.5

89.4

92.5

Nevada

0-0

1-2

87.4

90.1

86.8

Hawaii

0-0

0-2

85.6

86.3

86.7

U N L V

0-0

1-2

84.3

86.9

84.7

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

91.4

91.4

92.1

   

 

Pacific 12 Conference

North Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Oregon

0-0

3-0

133.9

129.8

135.5

Stanford

0-0

2-0

124.2

114.6

122.9

Washington

0-0

2-0

118.9

114.6

119.9

Oregon St.

1-0

2-1

115.1

104.0

113.5

Washington St.

1-0

2-1

105.7

105.1

106.5

California

0-0

1-2

96.3

91.8

94.3

     

 

 

 

South Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Arizona

0-0

3-0

119.5

114.6

118.3

U C L A

0-0

2-0

118.6

110.9

117.9

Arizona St.

0-0

2-0

117.0

118.8

117.0

U S C

0-1

2-1

113.0

110.5

112.8

Utah

0-1

2-1

103.1

102.7

102.5

Colorado

0-0

2-0

92.0

97.5

90.1

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

113.1

109.6

112.6

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Georgia

1-0

1-1

121.5

118.6

122.0

South Carolina

1-1

2-1

119.9

117.9

119.6

Florida

0-0

1-1

117.5

113.3

115.5

Missouri

0-0

2-0

115.1

112.2

114.0

Vanderbilt

0-2

1-2

108.9

106.0

108.4

Tennessee

0-0

2-1

105.6

105.0

104.9

Kentucky

0-0

1-2

99.0

99.6

97.5

     

 

 

 

West Division

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Alabama

1-0

2-0

132.5

125.1

133.6

Ole Miss

1-0

3-0

124.9

120.5

125.2

Texas A&M

0-1

2-1

122.0

116.6

122.1

L S U

0-0

3-0

121.2

120.4

122.2

Mississippi St.

0-1

1-2

108.6

104.8

108.0

Auburn

1-0

3-0

107.2

107.0

106.3

Arkansas

0-0

3-0

100.9

107.4

99.4

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

114.6

112.5

114.2

 

Sunbelt Conference

Team

Conf.

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Louisiana–Monroe

0-0

2-1

96.4

95.2

97.1

Louisiana–Lafayette

0-0

1-2

94.4

94.0

93.8

Arkansas St.

1-0

2-1

93.9

88.3

93.4

Western Kentucky

0-1

1-2

89.4

91.0

89.8

Troy

0-1

2-1

86.8

88.0

88.3

South Alabama

1-0

2-1

82.9

87.4

83.9

Texas St.

0-0

2-0

81.2

88.6

80.4

Georgia St.

0-0

0-3

60.1

69.3

61.5

     

 

 

 

League Averages    

85.6

87.7

86.0

 

Transitioning Teams *

Team

 

Overall

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Georgia Southern

 

2-1

85.9

88.3

93.0

Old Dominion

 

1-2

81.7

82.5

88.5

Appalachian St.

 

0-2

78.6

77.3

85.7

Charlotte

 

2-1

56.5

61.1

63.6

           
* Not figured in regular averages to 100      

 

Here Are This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

 

Date:

September 19-21, 2013

   

 

 

 

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Air Force Wyoming

-9.5

-6.2

-11.7

Akron UL-Lafayette

-8.6

-3.1

-7.6

Alabama Colorado St.

46.0

38.3

46.7

Army Wake Forest

-9.2

-4.4

-7.8

B Y U Utah

9.7

8.3

11.5

Baylor UL-Monroe

24.1

15.6

23.8

Central Michigan Toledo

-14.5

-12.9

-15.3

Connecticut Michigan

-22.7

-26.2

-21.6

Duke Pittsburgh

0.7

3.5

-0.2

Eastern Michigan Ball St.

-16.2

-14.2

-16.9

Florida Tennessee

14.9

11.3

13.6

Florida Atlantic Middle Tennessee

1.7

-4.9

1.8

Fresno St. Boise St.

5.9

11.6

6.0

Georgia North Texas

32.2

27.1

32.5

Georgia Tech North Carolina

10.7

8.0

11.0

Indiana Missouri

-8.3

-5.5

-6.9

Iowa Western Michigan

18.1

15.9

15.6

Kansas Louisiana Tech

13.8

9.4

13.5

L S U Auburn

17.0

16.4

18.9

Louisville Florida Int’l

52.8

48.0

54.6

Maryland (a) West Virginia

-3.1

12.0

0.9

Massachusetts Vanderbilt

-35.4

-23.3

-35.0

Memphis Arkansas St.

-3.8

10.0