The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 26, 2021

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

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

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

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

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

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

PiRate Ratings By Conference

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

AAC Averages96.996.697.697.0

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

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

ACC Averages105.0105.0105.3105.1

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

Big 12 Averages110.5109.3109.0109.6

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

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

Big Ten Averages108.0108.2108.9108.4

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

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

CUSA Averages85.886.386.286.1

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

Indep. Averages92.192.591.692.1

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

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

MAC Averages91.190.589.590.4

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

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

MWC Averages95.195.395.295.2

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

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

Pac-12 Averages105.9106.6106.5106.3

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

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

SEC Averages111.8112.0112.0111.9

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

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

Sun Averages93.392.792.992.9

Conference Ratings

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

Excellent TV Schedule For A 14-Hour Marathon

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

All Times Eastern Daylight

Friday Night

Maryland vs. Iowa

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

TV Info: 8 PM on FS1

Saturday Games

Georgia vs. Arkansas

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

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

TV Info: 12 Noon on ESPN

Wisconsin vs. Michigan

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

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

TV Info: 12 Noon on Fox

Missouri vs. Tennessee

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

TV Info: 12 Noon on SEC Network

TCU vs. Texas

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

TV Info: 12 Noon on ABC

Notre Dame vs. Cincinnati

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

TV Info: 2:30 PM on NBC

Alabama vs. Ole Miss

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

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

TV Info: 3:30 PM on CBS

Kansas St. vs. Oklahoma

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

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

TV Info: 3:30 PM on Fox

Stanford vs. Oregon

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

TV Info: 3:30 PM on ABC

Rutgers vs. Ohio St.

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

TV Info: 3:30 PM on Big Ten Network

Kentucky vs. Florida

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

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

TV Info: 6 PM on ESPN

Oklahoma St. vs. Baylor

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

TV Info: 7 PM on ESPN2

Clemson vs. Boston College

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

TV Info: 7:30 PM on ACC Network

Oregon State vs. Washington

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

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

TV Info: 9 PM on Pac-12 Network

UCLA vs. Arizona St.

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

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

TV Info: 10:30 PM on FS1

September 12, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football September 12, 2021

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

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

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

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

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

This week’s FBS vs. FCS Games

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

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

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

PiRate Ratings By Conference

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

AAC Averages96.696.297.496.8

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

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

ACC Averages105.0105.0105.3105.1

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

Big 12 Averages110.5109.2108.9109.5

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

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

Big Ten Averages108.3108.6109.3108.7

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

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

CUSA Averages85.686.285.985.9

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

Indep. Averages91.191.590.691.1

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

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

MAC Averages91.591.089.890.8

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

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

MWC Averages94.794.994.894.8

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

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

Pac-12 Averages106.1106.8106.8106.6

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

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

SEC Averages111.7111.8111.8111.8

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

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

Sun Averages94.093.493.693.7

Conference Ratings

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

Saturday’s TV Games of Interest

All Times Eastern Daylight

12:00 Noon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3:30 PM

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

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

7:30 PM

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

10:15 PM

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

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

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

10:45 PM

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

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

Wide Variety In Styles This Year

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

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

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

August 20, 2021

Pac-12 Conference Preview

The Pac-12 Conference is a victim of longitude.  Nine of the league’s 12 teams are in the Pacific Time Zone, while the other three teams are in the Mountain Time Zone.  For purposes of drawing the most fans possible to Stadiums, games need to be played at night.  However, a 7 PM kickoff on the West Coast means it is 10 PM on the East Coast.  Thus, millions of football fans, media, and poll voters don’t see these teams play.

In order to play at a time when the East Coast can see the league play, games must kickoff before 4:30 PM.  It is not possible to televise six different conference games between 11 AM and 4:30 PM.  In order to play in the 12 Noon time slot on the East Coast, a Pac-12 game would need to kickoff at 9 AM.

Another issue with this league is the economy on the West Coast.  California, Oregon, and Washington have suffered in recent years, and the lower and middle income levels in these states do not earn a livable wage in high-priced living conditions.  Thus, several hundred thousand former residents of the Pacific Coast have left for the South and Southwest.  According to statistics from U-haul and their one-way rental statistics, the three states that have seen the most migration from the West Coast are, in order, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida.  With Texas moving to the Southeastern Conference and Texas A&M already there, all three states gaining population at the expense of the West Coast are SEC cities.  With this population, football recruits are also moving to the South and not likely to return to the West Coast for college.

The Pac-12 has been rather competitive in recent years.  While there have been very few double-digit losing teams, there also have been no undefeated teams and very few one-loss teams.  It figures that at the least, in order to make the Playoffs, a team from the Pac-12 would need to have nor more than 1 loss.  The last time a Pac-12 team had only one loss (not counting 2020’s Covid season) was 2016, when Washington finished 11-1 in the regular season, won the Pac-12 Championship Game, and became the last Pac-12 team to make the Playoffs, where they lost to Alabama 24-7 in the Peach Bowl.  The last team to finish a regular undefeated season was Oregon in 2010, before the league expanded to 12 teams.

Unfortunately for the Pac-12, in 2021, the best team figures to have two conference losses, and the worst team figures to have two conference wins, so it appears as if the league will not have a Playoff team this year.

Here’s how the Pac-12 media predicted the order of finish at the conference media days.

Pac-12 Media Poll
North Division1st PlOverall
Oregon38238
Washington2189
California140
Stanford137
Oregon St.71
Washington St.65

South Division1st PlOverall
USC27223
Utah6183
Arizona St.6170
UCLA1135
Colorado88
Arizona41

Pac-12 ChampionshipVotes
Oregon27
USC10
Utah3

Here is how the PiRate Ratings look to start the season.

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

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U S C118.8118.4120.9119.4
Arizona St.112.4113.5113.6113.1
Utah111.8112.1111.8111.9
U C L A110.5110.5110.6110.5
Colorado106.4105.8104.9105.7
Arizona95.294.594.094.6

Pac-12 Averages107.0107.8107.8107.5

North Division

Oregon has enjoyed multiple exceptional recruiting classes, but Coach Mario Christobal has seen his Ducks teams lose games they had no business losing in his three years in Eugene.  Last year, Oregon lost to Oregon State and California, backing into the Pac-12 Championship Game when Washington won the division but had to opt-out due to Covid.

Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is a proponent of up-tempo, no-huddle spread offense with one back and one tight end.  It requires a quarterback that can master the run-pass option.  He had a capable QB last year, but Tyler Shough decided to transfer to Texas Tech rather than return to Oregon.  New quarterback Anthony Brown has not yet proven to the Oregon coaching staff that he’s ready to take over the Duck offense as the starter.  True freshman, and 5-star recruit, Ty Thompson may move up to first team early in the season if not at the beginning.  Regardless of who starts the Fresno State game on September 4, the quarterback running Moorhead’s offense is likely not to be as effective as what Shough would have been had he stayed.

Oregon should be okay at running back, if former 1,000-yard rusher C.J. Verdell can stay healthy.  Last year’s co-regular Travis Dye also returns, so the Ducks should have a decent running game.  

The Ducks return all three of their starting wideouts from last year, and the trio is very good but not star quality.  What is star quality is the offensive line led by Rimington Award contender Alex Forsyth at center.

Oregon averaged 31.3 points and 413 yards per game last year.  It’s likely that the Ducks will make a minor retreat in both statistics, but the offense will still be a plus.

Defensively, Oregon was a disappointment in 2020.  The Ducks had the talent to compete for top honors in the league, but they finished sixth in scoring defense and fifth in total defense giving up more than 28 points and 400 yards per game.  The biggest addition to the Duck defense this year is coordinator Tim DeRuyter who replaces Andy Avalos, now the head coach at Boise State.  DeRuyter is a master of the 3-3-5 defense, and Oregon has a lot of talented depth to make this defense work.  The only problem is that sometimes first year defensive changes occasionally malfunction for a handful of plays in early games due to lack of having 11 players carry out their assignments.  

Leading the defense is top pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, the top pass rusher in the Pac-12 last year.  The rest of the defensive line will have new starters and could be a tad vulnerable against power running games.

The overall strong suit of this side of the ball is the five-man secondary.  Cornerback Mykael Wright led the conference in passes defended.  Star (middle safety) Jamal Hill is an excellent roaming defender who finds his way to the ball.

What may hamper Oregon’s chances of making a playoff run this year is there schedule.  Road games against Ohio State, Washington, UCLA, and Utah are likely to result in at least two losses, and as we mentioned before two losses eliminates a Pac-12 team.

Washington almost won the Pac-12 in anonymity last year.  The Huskies didn’t play a game until mid-November, and then they defeated Oregon State, Arizona, and Utah.  With a very slim chance at earning a Playoff Bid, they came up short in their season finale against Stanford.  Then, the team closed up shop for the year as a Covid casualty.

Second year coach Jimmy Lake returns about the same total experience as Oregon, and the Huskies benefit from hosting the Ducks in early November, so Washington figures to be the actual top contender for the Pac-12 North flag this year.

The Huskies have a tiny quarterback as quarterbacks go these days.  Dylan Morris is just six feet tall.  Morris wasn’t flashy in his four-game starting trial last year, but he was an excellent game manager.  In the wings should Morris falter is five-star recruit Sam Huard, the son of former Husky star Damon Huard and the nephew of Brock Huard.  He will be a fan favorite, and the second team quarterback is usually the darling of the fans any way.

The top receiver on the team is tight end Cade Otton.  Otton won 1st team All-Pac-12 honors last year after catching 18 passes in four games for three touchdowns and at a 14.3 yard per catch clip.  Additionally, he blocks like a Pro Bowl guard.

Washington won games by pounding the opponents into submission with a power running game last year, and there is no reason to expect they won’t use the same tactic in 2021.  Sean McGrew, Kamari Pleasant, and Richard Newton bring different skill sets to this position, but if Newton can regain his 2019 form, he might leapfrog to the primary assault position.

Whoever totes the pigskin, he will be operating behind one of the finest offensive lines in college football.  All five starters return from what may have been the finest interior wall in Seattle since the 1991 team won the national championship.  For this reason alone, UW figures to have the most efficient and consistent offense in the Pac-12 this year. 

How much the defense can improve will likely determine if Washington can make a long shot run at playoff contention this year.  Pass defense has been the strong point of Husky defenses for the last several seasons, and this year should be no different.  Washington led the Pac-12 in passing yards and total yards allowed last year.

Washington runs a unique defense, a 2-4-5 alignment with two tackles, four linebackers, and a nickel defensive backfield.  The two defensive tackles rarely post impressive stats, but they are the key to the defense, forcing double team blocks from the offense.  If they can occupy four of the five offensive linemen, it leaves nine defensive players to stop seven offensive players, basically just six against teams where the quarterback is not a running threat.  Opposing offensive coaches have learned that they cannot pound the ball between the tackles, because three defensive players pursue to the ball with little or no interference.

The inside linebackers have to be tough in this defense, and UW has an excellent tandem in Edefuan Ulofoshio and Jackson Sirmon.  The outside linebackers become the principal pass rushers in this defense, and UW goes two-deep with talent here.

The five-spoke secondary has capable talent led by cornerback Trent McDuffie.  However, even though there is talent in the backfield, it lacks the experience the Huskies have had in recent years, and it will be the one unknown early in the season until the talented players gain the experience. 

After a breather to start the season, Washington travels to Ann Arbor to face Michigan in week two.  A win over the Wolverines will get UW some Eastern publicity.  The schedule is then favorable to give the Huskies a slim chance to run the table heading into their game against Oregon at Husky Stadium in November.  Because there is so much parity in the Pac-12, we just can’t pull the trigger and call this team a legitimate Playoff contender, but we will call them a co-favorite to win the North Division.

Oregon State was just 2-5 in the shortened 2020 season, but the Beavers were in all seven games thanks to a well-balanced offense.  The 2021 OSU record may still be on the minus side of .500, but with just a tad more production than expected, the Beavers have the potential to challenge for a 6-6 season.

Fourth year coach Jonathan Smith may feel the pressure to win this year, but he took over a program that needed a good five years to return to decency.  Whether the school will give him a fifth year may hinge on how much better year four is than year three.

Oregon State has an offense capable of scoring 30-35 points a game and gaining 200 or more yards both in running and passing the ball. Having four players all capable of winning the starting quarterback job is excellent when a team worries about injuries, but having four quarterbacks still in contention for the starting job two weeks before game week may not be the best situation.  We believe last year’s early season starter Tristan Gebbia will emerge as the starter for game one, but he’s not guaranteed to remain number one.  Chance Nolan is a better runner.  He lacks the accuracy of Gebbia, but he is more of a gunslinger when he throws.  

Tre-Shaun Harrison saw limited action last year after leaving Florida State for Corvallis.  Playing in the final two games of the year, Harrison caught four passes for 51 yards and a score against Stanford and five passes for 91 yards against Arizona State.  In a 12-game schedule, he could catch 60 passes for more than 800 yards.

The questionable unit on the offense is the running back group.  Losing Jermar Jefferson and his 120+ yards per game is going to hurt the Beavers this year, but OSU has a potential 1,000-yard runner in former South Carolina Gamecock DeShaun Fenwick.  Fenwick is a capable pass-catching weapon coming out of the backfield as well.  Fenwick averaged more than five yards per attempt in six different SEC games last year (Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, LSU, Auburn, and Ole Miss).  If he can average more than five yards per attempt this year, the Beavers’ offense will click and score 30+ points per game.

The defense has been the issue with the Beavers basically since Dee Andros retired five decades ago.  OSU gave up 33.3 points per game and 442.3 yards per game in 2020.  Three returning starters might appear on the Pac-12 all-conference team this year, but overall, this side of the ball will be a weakness again.

Defensive end Isaac Hodgins is the best player up front, but even if the rest of the interior is mediocre at best, there is experience returning in all three spots.

Linebacker is the one strength of the defense.  Inside LB Avery Roberts was a magnet to enemy ball-carriers last year, culminated with a 21-tackle performance against Utah, in a game that OSU came close to pulling off a big upset.  Fellow inside LB Omar Speights finished runnerup to Roberts last year in tackles, while outside LB Andrzej Hughes-Murray  took advantage of the free year and returns for year six.

The secondary will be somewhat of a liability, especially on the flanks.  The Beavers have talent but lack experience at cornerback, but they are in good shape at safety.

The path to bowl eligibility in 2021 probably begins with the opener at Purdue on September 4.  The team that loses this game most likely sets the tone for a losing season, while the winner gains enough confidence to maybe pick off a favored team or two along the way.  The biggest issue with the schedule is that most of the teams the Beavers have the best chance at upsetting will be hosting OSU (Washington State, Cal, and Colorado).  It looks like the Beavers will come up a bit short this year, but the majority of their losses should be by 14 points or less.

After dropping its first two games last year to Oregon and Colorado, Stanford rebounded to win their final four games over California, Washington, Oregon State, and UCLA.  Those four wins were by a combined 10 points, and with a rebuild coming on the offensive side of the ball and a difficult non-conference schedule, 2021 could be a down year on the Farm.

Stanford coach David Shaw likes to pound the ball between the tackles, forcing defenses to put extra defenders in the box and then pass the ball over the inverted opponents.  That tactic might not be all that successful this year, namely because Shaw must find a new quarterback now that last year’s starter Davis Mills is competing for the starting job with the Houston Texans.  Jack West doesn’t have the arm strength or accuracy Mills had.  Tanner McKee has limited experience, but he could eventually emerge as the starter.

Whoever wins the QB battle, he won’t have a stable of star receivers catching his passes.  Michael Wilson is a decent but not stellar receiver, but he figures to be the best option.  Normally, Stanford has an outstanding pass-catching tight end, but the Cardinal do not have a potential star this year.

Stanford has experience at running back, but Austin Jones and Nathaniel Peat are not Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love.  The duo might total about 1,600 rushing yards this year, but they won’t force defenses to put eight in the box.

The defense has a chance to be better in 2021 than it was last year, mainly because the Cardinal gave up 32 points and almost 440 yards per game last year.  Then, again, with the lack of experience up front, Stanford could very well be generous with enemy offenses again this year.  Opponents ran the ball with relative ease against this defense last year, and the defensive front seven was decimated by graduation after suffering multiple injuries last year.  

Defensive end Thomas Booker is one of the few returning starters in the front seven this year.  Booker is a multi-tool player, strong against outside runs, rushing the passer, defending the perimeter in pass coverag, and even blocking kicks.  Unfortunately, the geniuses on the Farm haven’t figured out how to make 10 more clones of him.

The secondary returns almost the entire two-deep, but still Stanford cannot be considered particularly strong in pass defense.  

The Cardinal face Kansas State in a neutral site game to begin the season.  They then must open Pac-12 play a week later at USC.  A trip to Nashville in week three should give them a double-digit road win over fellow academic elite Vanderbilt, but the 4,000-mile round trip might make their home opener with UCLA tougher than it should be.  The Cardinal could be 1-3 at that point, and they still will have to face Oregon, Arizona State, Washington, Utah, and Notre Dame.  Finding six wins with this schedule will be next to impossible, if Stanford doesn’t beat Kansas State and maybe UCLA.

We at the PiRate Ratings have a tradition every year when we discuss Washington State football.  No, we do not work for the Chamber of Commerce or the State Department of Tourism, but we feel obligated to inform the rest of the nation just how incredibly beautiful the Palouse is.  This area can be described as the part of Northern Idaho and Southeastern Washington, including the city of Pullman, the home of the Cougars.  Some of the most beautiful hills on the planet can be found within a short drive of the Washington State campus.  It must be an incredible recruiting bonus to players that value topography, photography, and living a relatively quiet and simple life.  

As for the Cougar football team this year, second year coach Nick Rolovich hopes to finally fully implement the same system he used successfully at Hawaii.  Normally moving from the Air Raid offense to another offense can be a difficult and lengthy process, but Rolovich is a proponent of the old Run and Shoot offense, a first cousin of the Air Raid.  The transformation is a short one, and the Cougars should put up some incredible offensive numbers this year.  The only problem is that they might give them up to the opposition even quicker!

Last year’s co-starting quarterbacks Jayden de Laura and Cammon Cooper both return, and they are joined by former Tennessee starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who definitely needed a change of scenery.  Don’t rule out walk-on QB Victor Gabalis, who has shown enough in early practices to get into the mix.   This has the makings not of a quarterback controversy but maybe one of those times where there are two or three quarterbacks playing to see which one has the hot hand.  Which QB has the best grasp of the option passing routes will ultimately take the most snaps.

WSU returns its top two running backs, but in the run and shoot, running ability takes a backseat to pass blocking and pass catching ability.  Max Borghi can block and catch like a tight end, but he can also sprint through holes in the wide-spaced offensive line.  It would not be a shock to see WSU top its rushing offense output from last year.

What should make the WSU offense more potent in 2021 is one of the top offensive lines in the conference.  Four full-time starters are back, and they have size and quickness.  Give the run and shoot offense exceptional blocking, and it can easily gain 500 yards and score 40 points.

Washington State could score 40 points in many games, but that may not be a guarantee that they win those games.  The Cougars were the 11th best defense in the Pac-12 last year, but their stats could have easily been the worst in the league in most years.  WSU surrendered 38.5 points per game, giving up 155 yards rushing and 307 yards passing per game!  When a defense gives up five yards per rush and eight yards per pass attempt, only an F-grade can be given to it.

WSU has one potential star on the defensive side of the ball.  Linebacker Jahad Woods might earn second team all-conference honors this year.

The Cougars’ key game this year may be a non-conference game against the other Cougars–BYU.  Win that game, and WSU likely goes 3-0 outside of the Pac-12.  There is a definite path to three more wins in the Pac-12 this year.  We are high on Rolovich as a coach that can develop winners.  He quickly made Hawaii a winner, and we believe he will make Martin Stadium another wonderful place to visit on your trip to the Palouse.

There are some teams that the PiRate Ratings have a tough time updating every year.  California is one of them.  The Golden Bears seem to be all over the map from one year to the next.  We thought Cal was a North Division contender last year.  While Covid hurt the Bears as much as it did any other FBS team that actually played, when the Bears were blown off the field by UCLA, making the Bruin defense look like Alabama after it gave up 48 points to Colorado, Covid couldn’t be 100% responsible.

What are we to make of this year’s Berkeley boys?  Coach Justin Wilcox should mold a rather competent offense together, but the defense might be in for a heap of trouble, especially against the offenses the Bears must face this year.

Start with the good.  Chase Garbers may be the best player on the Cal roster, and QB is where you want to have a star.  Garbers never got on track last year, and his stats were not indicative of his ability.  In 2019, Garbers had a 14/3 TD/INT ratio and averaged more than eight yards per pass attempt.  Garbers has three of his starting four receivers returning this year, but there is no star talent on board. 

There is depth at running back, but unless Christopher Brown, Jr. returns to his pre-injury 2019 form, defensive coordinators won’t stay up nights worrying about the Cal running game.

The defense has led the way during most of the Wilcox tenure in Berkeley.  Wilcox lost his defensive coordinator to Oregon, and he lost seven starters to boot.  It will be difficult to approach last year’s numbers.  The lone bright spot on this side of the ball will be at the linebacker spot, where outside linebackers Cameron Goode and Kuony Deng provide excellent run containment with the ability to blitz and stop plays in the backfield.  The duo might need to combine for 200 tackles this year to make Cal a big winner.

As we warned above, our ratings have missed on Cal more than average in past years.  This year, we cannot see a path to a winning record for the Bears, but that might be just want Bear fans want to hear!

South Division

Which Pac-12 team almost went undefeated last year?  It was the USC Trojans, and Southern Cal dominated the stat sheet against Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game, except for the all-important turnover margin.  Three interceptions prevented USC from staking a claim as the first undefeated Power 5 Conference Champion to not even be in the discussion for the Playoffs.  USC was #13 in the Playoff Rankings before their Championship Game against Oregon.  Had the Trojans won that game, it would have been controversial to take a couple of one-loss ACC teams over a Power 5, 6-0 team.

USC begins the 2021 season as the leading contender for the Pac-12 South Division title.  The Trojans, like a majority of Pac-12 teams, are considerably stronger on the offensive side of the ball than on the defensive side.  The Trojans’ Air Raid offense finished first in the league with almost 320 passing yards per game last year, and the Coach Clay Helton welcomes back Kedon Slovis, the second best passer in the West after Carson Strong at Nevada.  Slovis had some shoulder issues last year after a freshman season that was on par with Trevor Lawrence’s first year.  Slovis proved last year that he can bring a team back to victory after trailing in the fourth quarter, as he did so multiple times.  He had the composure of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Amon-Ra St. Brown has moved to the Detroit Lions, but USC still has two star receivers, and it should make this unit the best in the Pac-12.  Drake London should become the go to guy after averaging 84 receiving yards per game last year.  Bru McCoy was a five-star recruit, and he should emerge as another big-time receiver this year.

Once considered Tailback U with all the superstar running backs starting with Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett in the mid-1960’s, USC failed to gain 100 rushing yards per game last year.  Vavae Malepeai led the Trojans with just 238 yards and three touchdowns.  

Four starters return to the offensive line, but there are multiple players with past starting experience.  While this will be the weakest unit on the offense, it won’t necessarily be a weakness.  USC should score more than 35 points and gain more than 425 yards per game this year.

If the Trojans are to compete for a top 10 finish in 2021, the defense will need to make a considerable leap forward from decent to very good.  USC gave up 26 points per game, which was good enough for third best in the league last year, but against 2021 teams like Washington State, Notre Dame, and UCLA, a better defense might be required.

While five full-time starters must be replaced, there are many career starts in what returns.  And, the Trojans have some excellent recruits ready to contribute immediately as freshmen.  Defensive end Korey Foreman may have moved up onto the first team depth chart, but a nagging groin injury might move him back to the second team to begin the season.  When healthy, he will team with Nick Figueroa and Tuli Tuipulotu to give the Trojans excellent and deep talent at the terminal positions.

The secondary figures to be a team strength with cornerback Chris Steele and safety Isaiah Pola-Mao joining Texas transfer safety Xavion Alford.  USC should be a little tougher against the pass in 2021.

While the linebacking unit may be the most vulnerable, the best player on the defense is outside linebacker Drake Jackson.  He is the best pass rusher on the team as well as a quick pursuer to the ball.

USC starts the season as the odds-on favorite to win the South Division, but there are a bit too many question marks to see a path to a 13-0 or 12-1 season.  The Trojans will lose two games at the minimum, and that will keep them out of the Playoff picture.

Arizona State was at one time our preseason favorite to be the top team in the South Division, but off the field troubles, including a recruiting investigation, could cause just enough turmoil in Tempe, that the Sun Devils are affected during the season.  And, this could be Coach Herm Edwards’ swan song if the investigation turns up any discretions on his part.

Edwards loves his running game, as he has always been a “run to set up the pass” coach.  With Rachaad White rushing for 105 yards per game last year while averaging an eye-popping 10 yards per attempt.  He had touchdown runs of 93 and 55 yards, but he still averaged 6.8 yards on his remaining 40 carries.

The Sun Devils return quarterback Jayden Daniels, a dual threat as a runner and a passer.  Daniels has a talented but less experienced receiving corps this year.  Former Utah receiver Bryan Thompson averaged 23 yards per reception in four years with the Utes, and if he can repeat that number with ASU, the Sun Devil running game will benefit from deeper secondary alignments.

A talented and experienced offensive line should make it easier for this offense to score points this year against quality competition.  Against USC and UCLA, the Sun Devils scored 45 points.  Against Arizona and Oregon State, they scored 116 points.

The defense should be strong this year.  Eight starters return to the conferences leading scoring defense, but opponents averaged 436 yards per game last year.  ASU should be a bit more stingy in yardage allowed, but the points allowed might rise a bit.  The strength of the defense is the front line, where tackle Jermayne Lole and end Tyler Johnson will make it tough on enemy running backs running the ball to their side.

The defensive backfield features three returning starters and four seniors, making it about the most experienced backfield in college football.

The Sun Devils should go 3-0 outside of Pac-12 play, but we cannot see this team winning more than six conference games in the balanced Pac-12.

Utah began the shortened 2020 season with losses to division title winners USC and Washington.  Then, the Utes rebounded with wins over Oregon State, Colorado, and Washington State.  The Utes return 10 offensive and eight defensive starters and should be a little better in 2021 than they were in 2020.  

Quarterback was not a particularly strong position in Salt Lake City last year, but Coach Kyle Whittingham brought in an experienced passer through the transfer market.  Former Baylor starter Charlie Brewer started for four years in Waco, and he should produce stats closer to what Tyler Huntley put up two years ago.  Brewer has two excellent targets coming back in tight end Brant Kuither and wide receiver Britain Covey combined for 100 receiving yards last year.

The running game will take a step backwards due to the unfortunate Christmas death of Ty Jordan.  The Utes will obviously pass the ball considerably more this year.

The defense may not be as strong this year as last, but each unit on this side of the ball has one star.  Mika Tafua leads the interior line from his end spot.  He made three quarterback sacks in five games last year.  Middle Linebacker Devin Lloyd led the Utes with 48 tackles, while Clark Phillips, III, gets another freshman season and should make the defensive backfield the strength of the defense.

The Utes have an excellent chance of winning all three non-conference games, and the South Division title could be decided when they play USC at the LA Memorial Coliseum in October.

UCLA football has had little to cheer about for seven years.  The Bruins have been playing to several thousand empty seats at the Rose Bowl, as the commute is too far for most students, and since the Rams and Chargers came back to town, there just hasn’t been enough support to go to the Sons of Westwood.  Fourth year head coach Chip Kelly has a 10-21 record, and he’s likely not going to be around for year five if the Bruins don’t make it to a bowl this year.  With 19 starters returning, including an experienced quarterback and offensive line, 2021 should be the year that Kelly’s heroes turn things around.

Offense was not the reason UCLA lost four out of seven games last year, as the Bruins scored more than 35 points per game and gained 455 yards per game running Kelly’s Spread Offense.  Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson missed 10 days of practice for undisclosed reasons, but he appears to be ready to enjoy a fantastic season after averaging 160 passing yards and 44 rushing yards last year.  He had a 12/4 TD/INT ratio.

Two fine receivers return in tight end Greg Dulcich and wideout Kyle Phillips.  Dulcich gives the Bruins one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the country, while Michael Martinez blocks for the run like another tackle.

The offensive line returns intact from last year, and Thompson-Robinson will shine with an extra half-second of protection.  The line should help the running game as well, and running back Brittain Brown should step in for Demetric Felton and put up similar averages.  The Bruins should once again score north of 30 points per game, and if the defense can improve by five points per game, this could be a team that sneaks into division title contention.

There are no big stars on the defensive side, but as a whole all three units are average to a little better than average, and if the offense maintains possession of the ball for more than 30 minutes a game, this defense can hold opponents just long enough for the offense to outscore opponents.  With 10 starters returning to the stop side, expect some improvement.  Whether it is enough is the big question.

When the Bruins enter conference play against Stanford in Palo Alto on September 25, they could have a 1-2, 2-1, or possibly a 3-0 record.  An opening game win over Hawaii is close to a sure thing.  Getting the benefit of playing in Week 0, the second game against an LSU team playing its first game is the pivotal contest of the year.  A team usually improves its most between game one and game two.  If the Bruins improve enough, they could be sky high and ready to play their best game in the Kelly era when the Bengal Tigers come to the Rose Bowl.  UCLA should earn bowl eligibility regardless of the outcome of the LSU game, but if they should pull off the upset over the Southeastern Conference opponent, watch out Pac-12 rivals.  This team may be ready to sneak into contention in the South.

The biggest surprise in the league last year and probably the biggest surprise among any of the Power 5 conferences was the Colorado Buffaloes.  Former UCLA head man Karl Dorrell was a later hire after Mel Tucker left for Michigan State.  Expected to be lucky to beat out Arizona to avoid the South Division basement, CU merely won its first four games over UCLA, Stanford, San Diego State, and Arizona to set up a pivotal regular season finale against Utah with a chance to earn the South Division title.  The Buffs lost that one and then lost to Texas in the Alamo Bowl to finish 4-2.

2021 figures to be a return to normalcy in Boulder, and this team has the most rebuilding to do of any team in the Pac-12.  The offense begins the year behind the eight-ball as two players that might have been the starting quarterback have injuries that will force them to the sidelines.  True freshman Drew Carter and redshirt freshman Brendon Lewis are the last two standing in Boulder.  Lewis appears to have the edge as the starter for the opening game.

The Buffaloes will rely more on the running game, and they return the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in Jarek Broussard, who ran for almost 150 yards per game last year.   The passing game is going to be tough to achieve much success, and having a raw receiving corps along with a freshman quarterback might allow opponents to concentrate more on stopping the CU running game.

Defense was not particularly a strong point last year, but last year’s defense had more talent than what returns to Boulder this year.  If not for having the weakest team in the league in their division, Colorado’s defense would likely finish last this year.  Still, we expect the Buffaloes to give up more than 35 points per game this year.  And, we also expect a return to the wrong side of .500 in the league.  CU can still earn a minor bowl, and their key game may be against Minnesota in Boulder on September 18.

As for Arizona, the Wildcats start over from scratch with Coach Jedd Fisch.  Fisch comes to Tucson after a one-year stint as the quarterbacks coach with the Patriots after spending two years as an offensive assistant with the Rams.  Fisch played for Steve Spurrier at Florida at the end of the 20th Century, and Wildcats’ fans are hoping he can install his version of the Fun and Gun offense.  Arizona has been a member of the Pac-10/Pac-12 since 1978, but the Wildcats have never won the conference championship and only once have won the South Division title.

The Wildcats start from the bottom, so having to replace the most starters of any Pac-12 team isn’t that much of a burden, considering they finished 2020 with an 0-5 record, ending with a 70-7 loss to their in-state rival.

As of August 19, Fisch has yet to decide on his starting quarterback, and he commented that gut instinct may be how he picks his starter.  The problem isn’t one of choosing among great options.  Whoever is named to start game one, he will be the #12 starting QB in the 12-team league.

The same can be said of the running game where UA’s best offensive threat of 2020 has graduated.  Michael Wiley may be the best offensive threat this year.

The offensive line is just as deficient as the other two units, even with the return of three 2020 starters.  The one unit that has a little depth and experience.  Four players with starting experience return after combining for 60 catches and 647 yards.

The really bad news is that now that you have read how much the offense figures to be a major liability in 2021, it will be head and heels better than the defense.  Arizona gave up 40 points per game and 473 yards per game last year.  Teams only passed the ball for a little over 200 yards per game, but they rarely passed the ball much in the second half.  Expect the pass defense to give up more than 250 passing yards this year.  

Outside linebacker Anthony Pandy returns after leading the Wildcats in tackles and interceptions.

Arizona has one major asset, but he won’t be utilized enough.  Kicker Lucas Havrisik may be the best kicker in the league.

Here’s the good news about Arizona in Fisch’s first year.  The Pac-12 is a crazy league.  We actually expect the Wildcats to upset a team or two and win three games overall.

The PiRate Ratings are designed to predict the next game on a team’s schedule and not to look forward past the next game.  Nevertheless, we issue predicted won-loss records for fun.

Pac-12 Conference
North DivisionConf.Overall
Washington7-210-3
Oregon6-38-4
Washington St.3-65-7
Stanford3-64-8
Callifornia2-74-8
Oregon St.2-74-8

South DivisionConf.Overall
USC7-211-2*
Utah7-210-2
UCLA6-39-3
Arizona St.5-48-4
Colorado4-56-6
Arizona2-73-9
* USC picked to win Pac-12 Championship Game

March 26, 2021

PiRate Ratings Sweet 16 Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:13 am

Friday, March 26, 2021

FavoriteUnderdogSpread
Loyola (Chi.)Oregon St.6.5
BaylorVillanova5.2
ArkansasOral Roberts13.3
HoustonSyracuse7.0
GonzagaCreighton13.3
MichiganFlorida St.3.4
AlabamaUCLA5.7
USCOregon3.4

Bracketnomics Took A Beating

Like 99% of the public, our brackets are destroyed thanks to all the lower seeded teams winning in the first two rounds. Obviously, the Big Ten was highly overrated, and the Pac-12 was highly underrated. A lack of non-conference games this year made the schedule strengths too biased. There are only four teams in the Sweet 16 with resumes similar to past national champions.

Gonzaga is the only remaining team that meets 90% of the criteria of a national champion. Michigan would also meet the criteria, but their star playmaker is still injured and out. So, the Wolverines have to be discounted somewhat.

Baylor and Houston meet more than 75% of the criteria, but they are missing one key important stat. Connecticut is the only past national champion of the 21st Century to win the national title with this type of criteria.

If Gonzaga wins the title, then the bracketnomics data will have proven itself to be accurate for the year, even if our interpretation of the data was wrong. If Michigan, Houston, or Baylor wins the title, then it will be another Connecticut type of deal, where the criteria was valid but not identifiable enough to be considered a success. If anybody else cuts the nets, then the criteria failed for this year.

What should we make of this data this year? Do we throw this year out due to the highly dysfunctional season? So many games were cancelled this year, while other games were scheduled on as little as 48-72 hours notice. Included in the cancellations was a Gonzaga vs. Baylor game that should have been played, in all places, in Indianapolis in December!

One thing we will note in 2021-2022 is to consider the Big Ten Conference to be a tad overrated and the Pac-12 Conference a tad underrated. Maybe, it is time for “The Conference of Champions” to return to its prominence it enjoyed in the second half of the 20th Century.

What to Make of Gonzaga

Gonzaga’s strength of schedule just barely qualifies for national championship-worthy criteria. However, no team from outside the Power Conferences (AAC, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, or SEC) has won the national championship since 1990, when UNLV cut down the nets. In three decades, Gonzaga came within a made basket, and Butler came within a rimmed out prayer of pulling off the Mid-Major miracle.

Gonzaga has been compared all season to the 1991 UNLV team that ran the table during the regular season with a scoring margin of close to 30 points, only to fall to Duke in the Final Four.

Could Gonzaga meet a power conference blue blood and meet the same fate as UNLV 30 years ago? Creighton would not be considered a blue blood, and we cannot see the Bulldogs losing Saturday. A win in the Sweet 16 would have GU playing a Pac-12 team in the Elite 8, either USC or Oregon. We cannot count either of these teams as a Duke-like blue blood.

In the National Semifinals, Gonzaga would face either Michigan, Florida State, UCLA, or Alabama. With Isaiah Livers able to play, Michigan would definitely be considered blue blood material. Florida State is in the blue blood neighborhood. UCLA and Alabama are both a little too green to be blue these days.

The Championship Game would present a potential opponent in Baylor that would be a true blue blood team this year. Syracuse might be a powder blue blood with their matchup zone so hard to prepare for when teams have not faced it before.

However, we here on the PiRate ship do not see Gonzaga as the UNLV team three decades later. We see this Bulldogs team more like the 1964 UCLA Bruins 57 years later. By this, we do not refer to playing style. The two teams couldn’t be any more different. Coach John Wooden’s first national champions were small in size; no starter was taller than 6 foot 5 inches. Gonzaga has size and muscle inside.

The 1964 Bruins used a devastating 2-2-1, 3/4 court zone press and occasionally a 1-2-1-1 full court zone press to force tempo and turnovers, while Gonzaga uses a standard half-court defense that relies on pressuring the ball and forcing poor shots, where they can control the boards and run the fast break and secondary break for cheap baskets and then hit the offensive glass for additional chances.

Where the two teams are quite similar is their method for winning games. In going 30-0 in 1964, UCLA put every game away with a 2 to 3 minute scoring run. The best example occurred in the national title game, where a favored Duke team, with two 6 foot 10 inch starters towering over the Bruins, fell under pressure in just 2 1/2 minutes, as the Bruins ran off 16 points in a row.

Gonzaga has this same ability to take a three-point lead and make it a 15-point lead in just a couple minutes of playing time. Their game against BYU in the West Coast Conference Championship Game is a testament to this ability. BYU held a 10-point lead and looked like they were going to do what Saint Mary’s had done in the prior WCC Championship Game. Then, in very little clock time, GU went from 10 down to 10 up, and the game was over.

There is another team remaining with the same ability to go on a major game-clinching scoring run, and that is Houston. Funny how comparing Gonzaga to UCLA brings Houston into the conversation, as Houston and UCLA conjure up memories of past titanic rivals like Dempsey-Tunney, Affirmed-Alydar, and New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.

Houston is most definitely not considered the favorite to make it to the National Championship Game. They still have to solve the Syracuse zone and then possibly beat the most underrated team in the field in Loyola of Chicago or the team that found lightning in a bottle in Oregon State. Then, they most likely have to dismiss Baylor to make it to their third national championship game in the school’s history.

A Houston-Gonzaga national championship tilt would be quite memorable, and it would be one where both teams enjoy scoring runs that make the outcome unpredictable.

March 19, 2021

PiRate Ratings NCAA Tournament Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 6:27 pm

Saturday, March 20, 2021

FavoriteUnderdogSpread
GonzagaNorfolk St.29.8
OklahomaMissouri0.9
CreightonUCSB6.6
VirginiaOhio6.1
USCDrake5.1
KansasEastern Washington9.6
OregonVCU0.7
IowaGrand Canyon15.6
MichiganTexas Southern24.9
LSUSt. Bonaventure0.2
ColoradoGeorgetown4.6
Florida St.UNCG10.0
BYUUCLA3.9
TexasAbilene Christian7.2
ConnecticutMaryland2.2
AlabamaIona19.2

March 3, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:40 am

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

HomeVisitorSpread
La SalleSaint Joseph’s0.6
George WashingtonFordham4.3
TulaneWichita St.-4.5
SyracuseClemson0.8
Notre DameNC St.2.4
Florida St.Boston College14.9
Seton HallConnecticut0.2
St. John’sProvidence2.6
VillanovaCreighton1.6
Eastern WashingtonIdaho St.13.7
Penn St.Minnesota3.1
NorthwesternMaryland-2.6
North Carolina A&TSouth Carolina St.12.0
North Carolina CentralFlorida A&M0.4
Colorado St.New Mexico18.8
UNLVSan Diego St.-12.3
WagnerMerrimack6.1
BelmontSIU Edwardsville16.4
Morehead St.Southeast Missouri St.8.7
UtahOregon St.3.8
OregonUCLA2.4
USCStanford7.7
Boston ULehigh7.2
FloridaMissouri4.9
Texas A&MMississippi St.-3.7
Sam Houston St.Texas A&M-CC14.7
New OrleansNorthwestern St.3.0
Houston BaptistIncarnate Word0.4
Central ArkansasSoutheast Louisiana1.5
Stephen F. AustinAbilene Christian-3.1

March 1, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Monday, March 1, 2021

HomeVisitorSpread
St. BonaventureDayton7.7
Saint LouisMassachusetts8.0
RichmondSaint Joseph’s14.5
VirginiaMiami (Fla.)14.4
SyracuseNorth Carolina-1.0
Oklahoma St.Oklahoma2.1
RadfordHampton8.8
WinthropHigh Point14.1
CampbellGardner-Webb-1.5
UNC AshevilleLongwood3.6
NebraskaRutgers-6.5
Western KentuckyFlorida Intl.17.3
MaristQuinnipiac2.8
Colorado St.Air Force20.7
Arizona St.Washington St.2.7
OregonArizona1.9
Central ArkansasStephen F. Austin-10.1
LamarTexas A&M-CC5.1
Incarnate WordNew Orleans-0.4
Arkansas-Pine BluffJackson St.-7.3
Mississippi Valley St.Grambling-18.8
Alabama A&MTexas Southern-6.4
Alabama St.Prairie View A&M-10.9

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Rk.TeamRatings
1Gonzaga127.5
2Michigan122.9
3Baylor121.6
4Iowa120.7
5Houston119.6
6Illinois119.4
7Alabama118.2
8Ohio St.117.2
9Florida St.116.5
10Arkansas116.1
11Creighton115.7
12West Virginia115.4
13Villanova115.3
14Purdue115.2
15Wisconsin115.1
16Kansas115.1
17Loyola Chicago115.0
18Colorado114.9
19USC114.5
20San Diego St.114.5
21BYU114.4
22Texas114.1
23Tennessee114.0
24Texas Tech113.9
25Florida113.9
26Virginia113.8
27Rutgers113.7
28LSU113.5
29Maryland113.2
30North Carolina113.1
31Connecticut112.9
32Oklahoma St.112.7
33Oklahoma112.6
34Georgia Tech112.6
35Duke112.2
36St. Bonaventure112.1
37Indiana111.6
38Penn St.111.6
39Memphis111.6
40Utah St.111.3
41Arizona111.3
42Clemson111.3
43Oregon111.2
44Seton Hall111.1
45VCU111.0
46Missouri111.0
47Louisville110.9
48SMU110.9
49UCLA110.8
50Toledo110.7
51Saint Louis110.7
52Boise St.110.7
53Xavier110.7
54Kentucky110.7
55Virginia Tech110.7
56Richmond110.5
57Minnesota110.5
58Wright St.110.3
59Drake110.3
60Syracuse110.1
61Mississippi109.7
62Auburn109.6
63Michigan St.109.5
64Colorado St.109.3
65St. John’s109.1
66Buffalo109.0
67Notre Dame108.9
68Stanford108.8
69Mississippi St.108.7
70North Texas108.7
71Northwestern108.6
72Providence108.5
73N.C. State108.5
74Marshall108.4
75Wichita St.108.2
76Davidson108.2
77Louisiana Tech107.9
78Marquette107.8
79UC Santa Barbara107.7
80Pittsburgh107.3
81Saint Mary’s107.3
82Utah107.1
83Western Kentucky107.0
84Belmont106.9
85Georgia106.9
86Kent St.106.8
87South Carolina106.6
88Colgate106.6
89Georgetown106.6
90Missouri St.106.5
91Liberty106.5
92Dayton106.4
93Rhode Island106.3
94Furman106.2
95Arizona St.105.9
96UCF105.9
97Nevada105.7
98Vanderbilt105.7
99Cincinnati105.6
100Abilene Christian105.6
101Ohio105.4
102San Francisco105.3
103Akron105.3
104Winthrop105.3
105Oregon St.105.3
106Washington St.105.2
107Loyola Marymount105.2
108Nebraska105.2
109UC Riverside105.0
110UNC Greensboro104.9
111Bowling Green104.8
112Butler104.7
113UC Irvine104.7
114Massachusetts104.7
115Eastern Washington104.7
116South Dakota St.104.6
117Tulsa104.5
118UAB104.3
119Pepperdine104.2
120Indiana St.104.1
121Duquesne103.9
122Vermont103.9
123Pacific103.8
124TCU103.6
125Boston College103.6
126George Mason103.5
127Wofford103.3
128Weber St.103.2
129DePaul103.2
130Texas A&M103.0
131Temple103.0
132East Tennessee St.102.7
133Grand Canyon102.4
134Bradley102.3
135Morehead St.102.3
136East Carolina102.2
137UTEP101.8
138Tulane101.7
139Detroit101.6
140Navy101.6
141Cal St. Bakersfield101.6
142Mercer101.4
143Georgia St.101.4
144Miami FL101.4
145North Dakota St.101.3
146Miami OH101.2
147Ball St.101.2
148VMI101.2
149South Florida101.2
150Santa Clara101.1
151Cleveland St.101.1
152Chattanooga101.0
153UMBC100.7
154Drexel100.7
155Wake Forest100.7
156Iowa St.100.7
157Murray St.100.6
158Northern Iowa100.6
159Jacksonville St.100.6
160Stephen F. Austin100.5
161Old Dominion100.4
162Oral Roberts100.4
163UTSA100.3
164Northeastern100.3
165Eastern Kentucky100.3
166California100.3
167Siena100.3
168UNLV100.2
169Southern Utah100.1
170James Madison100.1
171Gardner Webb100.0
172New Mexico St.100.0
173Hofstra99.9
174Texas St.99.8
175Coastal Carolina99.8
176Sam Houston St.99.8
177Bellarmine99.7
178Washington99.7
179South Dakota99.6
180Kansas St.99.3
181Bryant99.0
182Northern Kentucky98.7
183Valparaiso98.7
184La Salle98.6
185Wyoming98.5
186Montana98.2
187Rice98.2
188Evansville98.1
189Monmouth98.1
190Illinois St.98.1
191Saint Joseph’s98.0
192Southern Illinois98.0
193Iona98.0
194San Diego98.0
195Florida Atlantic97.9
196Fresno St.97.9
197Hawaii97.9
198Nicholls St.97.8
199Army97.8
200Saint Peter’s97.7
201Louisiana97.6
202Oakland97.2
203Wagner97.2
204Hartford97.1
205Austin Peay97.1
206George Washington97.1
207South Alabama97.0
208Delaware96.9
209UMKC96.9
210UNC Asheville96.8
211Charleston96.7
212UNC Wilmington96.5
213Milwaukee96.5
214Campbell96.5
215Loyola MD96.5
216Radford96.5
217Lipscomb96.4
218Utah Valley96.3
219UMass Lowell96.2
220Montana St.96.2
221Youngstown St.96.2
222Stony Brook96.1
223UC Davis96.1
224Little Rock96.1
225Mount St. Mary’s96.0
226Appalachian St.96.0
227Albany96.0
228Charlotte95.9
229Norfolk St.95.9
230UT Rio Grande Valley95.8
231Niagara95.8
232Portland St.95.8
233Elon95.8
234Western Carolina95.7
235Prairie View A&M95.7
236Canisius95.6
237Green Bay95.5
238UT Arlington95.4
239American95.4
240UC San Diego95.4
241Longwood95.2
242Lafayette95.2
243The Citadel95.2
244Cal Baptist95.2
245Stetson95.1
246Texas Southern95.0
247Seattle94.9
248Morgan St.94.9
249Arkansas St.94.8
250Southern Miss94.7
251Northern Colorado94.7
252Eastern Michigan94.5
253Marist94.4
254Boston University94.4
255Sacramento St.94.2
256Samford94.2
257Cal St. Fullerton94.2
258IUPUI94.2
259New Hampshire94.0
260Western Michigan94.0
261Towson93.7
262Bucknell93.7
263Southeast Missouri St.93.6
264Quinnipiac93.6
265Georgia Southern93.4
266High Point93.2
267Illinois Chicago93.2
268LIU93.2
269Merrimack93.1
270Florida A&M93.1
271Central Michigan93.1
272Purdue Fort Wayne93.1
273Idaho St.93.0
274Long Beach St.92.9
275Cal St. Northridge92.9
276Fordham92.8
277Middle Tennessee92.8
278Jackson St.92.8
279Robert Morris92.8
280North Carolina A&T92.6
281Florida Gulf Coast92.5
282New Mexico92.5
283NJIT92.4
284Louisiana Monroe92.4
285North Dakota92.4
286North Florida92.3
287Manhattan92.3
288Fairleigh Dickinson92.0
289Southern91.9
290Jacksonville91.8
291St. Francis NY91.8
292William & Mary91.8
293Holy Cross91.8
294Tarleton St.91.7
295FIU91.7
296St. Francis PA91.6
297New Orleans91.6
298North Carolina Central91.5
299Troy91.5
300Eastern Illinois91.5
301Howard91.4
302Western Illinois91.4
303Sacred Heart91.4
304North Alabama91.3
305Coppin St.91.3
306Tennessee Tech91.1
307Rider91.0
308Grambling St.90.6
309Air Force90.6
310Northwestern St.90.6
311SIU Edwardsville90.5
312Binghamton90.5
313Nebraska Omaha90.4
314Lamar90.2
315USC Upstate90.2
316Tennessee St.90.2
317Presbyterian90.1
318Fairfield89.9
319Hampton89.7
320San Jose St.89.5
321Northern Illinois89.5
322Incarnate Word89.2
323Lehigh89.2
324Southeastern Louisiana88.9
325McNeese St.88.7
326Northern Arizona88.7
327Portland88.6
328Central Arkansas88.4
329Dixie St.88.0
330Maine88.0
331Houston Baptist87.6
332Charleston Southern87.6
333Kennesaw St.87.3
334Cal Poly87.2
335Alcorn St.87.1
336Texas A&M Corpus Chris87.1
337Central Connecticut86.9
338Alabama A&M86.6
339Tennessee Martin86.3
340Denver86.0
341Arkansas Pine Bluff83.5
342Idaho83.0
343Alabama St.82.8
344South Carolina St.82.6
345Delaware St.81.6
346Chicago St.80.7
347Mississippi Valley St.69.8

PiRate Ratings By Conference

Atlantic 10
TeamRating
St. Bonaventure112.1
VCU111.0
Saint Louis110.7
Richmond110.5
Davidson108.2
Dayton106.4
Rhode Island106.3
Massachusetts104.7
Duquesne103.9
George Mason103.5
La Salle98.6
Saint Joseph’s98.0
George Washington97.1
Fordham92.8
American
TeamRating
Houston119.6
Memphis111.6
SMU110.9
Wichita St.108.2
UCF105.9
Cincinnati105.6
Tulsa104.5
Temple103.0
East Carolina102.2
Tulane101.7
South Florida101.2
Atlantic Coast
TeamRating
Florida St.116.5
Virginia113.8
North Carolina113.1
Georgia Tech112.6
Duke112.2
Clemson111.3
Louisville110.9
Virginia Tech110.7
Syracuse110.1
Notre Dame108.9
N.C. State108.5
Pittsburgh107.3
Boston College103.6
Miami FL101.4
Wake Forest100.7
America East
TeamRating
Vermont103.9
UMBC100.7
Hartford97.1
UMass Lowell96.2
Stony Brook96.1
Albany96.0
New Hampshire94.0
NJIT92.4
Binghamton90.5
Maine88.0
Atlantic Sun
TeamRating
Liberty106.5
Bellarmine99.7
Lipscomb96.4
Stetson95.1
Florida Gulf Coast92.5
North Florida92.3
Jacksonville91.8
North Alabama91.3
Kennesaw St.87.3
Big 12
TeamRating
Baylor121.6
West Virginia115.4
Kansas115.1
Texas114.1
Texas Tech113.9
Oklahoma St.112.7
Oklahoma112.6
TCU103.6
Iowa St.100.7
Kansas St.99.3
Big East
TeamRating
Creighton115.7
Villanova115.3
Connecticut112.9
Seton Hall111.1
Xavier110.7
St. John’s109.1
Providence108.5
Marquette107.8
Georgetown106.6
Butler104.7
DePaul103.2
Big Sky
TeamRating
Eastern Washington104.7
Weber St.103.2
Southern Utah100.1
Montana98.2
Montana St.96.2
Portland St.95.8
Northern Colorado94.7
Sacramento St.94.2
Idaho St.93.0
Northern Arizona88.7
Idaho83.0
Big South
TeamRating
Winthrop105.3
Gardner Webb100.0
UNC Asheville96.8
Campbell96.5
Radford96.5
Longwood95.2
High Point93.2
USC Upstate90.2
Presbyterian90.1
Hampton89.7
Charleston Southern87.6
Big Ten
TeamRating
Michigan122.9
Iowa120.7
Illinois119.4
Ohio St.117.2
Purdue115.2
Wisconsin115.1
Rutgers113.7
Maryland113.2
Indiana111.6
Penn St.111.6
Minnesota110.5
Michigan St.109.5
Northwestern108.6
Nebraska105.2
Big West
TeamRating
UC Santa Barbara107.7
UC Riverside105.0
UC Irvine104.7
Cal St. Bakersfield101.6
Hawaii97.9
UC Davis96.1
UC San Diego95.4
Cal St. Fullerton94.2
Long Beach St.92.9
Cal St. Northridge92.9
Cal Poly87.2
Colonial
TeamRating
Drexel100.7
Northeastern100.3
James Madison100.1
Hofstra99.9
Delaware96.9
Charleston96.7
UNC Wilmington96.5
Elon95.8
Towson93.7
William & Mary91.8
Conference USA
TeamRating
North Texas108.7
Marshall108.4
Louisiana Tech107.9
Western Kentucky107.0
UAB104.3
UTEP101.8
Old Dominion100.4
UTSA100.3
Rice98.2
Florida Atlantic97.9
Charlotte95.9
Southern Miss94.7
Middle Tennessee92.8
FIU91.7
Horizon
TeamRating
Wright St.110.3
Detroit101.6
Cleveland St.101.1
Northern Kentucky98.7
Oakland97.2
Milwaukee96.5
Youngstown St.96.2
Green Bay95.5
IUPUI94.2
Illinois Chicago93.2
Purdue Fort Wayne93.1
Robert Morris92.8
Metro Atlantic
TeamRating
Siena100.3
Monmouth98.1
Iona98.0
Saint Peter’s97.7
Niagara95.8
Canisius95.6
Marist94.4
Quinnipiac93.6
Manhattan92.3
Rider91.0
Fairfield89.9
Mid-American
TeamRating
Toledo110.7
Buffalo109.0
Kent St.106.8
Ohio105.4
Akron105.3
Bowling Green104.8
Miami OH101.2
Ball St.101.2
Eastern Michigan94.5
Western Michigan94.0
Central Michigan93.1
Northern Illinois89.5
Mideastern Athletic
TeamRating
Norfolk St.95.9
Morgan St.94.9
Florida A&M93.1
North Carolina A&T92.6
North Carolina Central91.5
Howard91.4
Coppin St.91.3
South Carolina St.82.6
Delaware St.81.6
Missouri Valley
TeamRating
Loyola Chicago115.0
Drake110.3
Missouri St.106.5
Indiana St.104.1
Bradley102.3
Northern Iowa100.6
Valparaiso98.7
Evansville98.1
Illinois St.98.1
Southern Illinois98.0
Mountain West
TeamRating
San Diego St.114.5
Utah St.111.3
Boise St.110.7
Colorado St.109.3
Nevada105.7
UNLV100.2
Wyoming98.5
Fresno St.97.9
New Mexico92.5
Air Force90.6
San Jose St.89.5
Northeast
TeamRating
Bryant99.0
Wagner97.2
Mount St. Mary’s96.0
LIU93.2
Merrimack93.1
Fairleigh Dickinson92.0
St. Francis NY91.8
St. Francis PA91.6
Sacred Heart91.4
Central Connecticut86.9
Ohio Valley
TeamRating
Belmont106.9
Morehead St.102.3
Murray St.100.6
Jacksonville St.100.6
Eastern Kentucky100.3
Austin Peay97.1
Southeast Missouri St.93.6
Eastern Illinois91.5
Tennessee Tech91.1
SIU Edwardsville90.5
Tennessee St.90.2
Tennessee Martin86.3
Pac-12
TeamRating
Colorado114.9
USC114.5
Arizona111.3
Oregon111.2
UCLA110.8
Stanford108.8
Utah107.1
Arizona St.105.9
Oregon St.105.3
Washington St.105.2
California100.3
Washington99.7
Patriot
TeamRating
Colgate106.6
Navy101.6
Army97.8
Loyola MD96.5
American95.4
Lafayette95.2
Boston University94.4
Bucknell93.7
Holy Cross91.8
Lehigh89.2
Southeastern
TeamRating
Alabama118.2
Arkansas116.1
Tennessee114.0
Florida113.9
LSU113.5
Missouri111.0
Kentucky110.7
Mississippi109.7
Auburn109.6
Mississippi St.108.7
Georgia106.9
South Carolina106.6
Vanderbilt105.7
Texas A&M103.0
Southern
TeamRating
Furman106.2
UNC Greensboro104.9
Wofford103.3
East Tennessee St.102.7
Mercer101.4
VMI101.2
Chattanooga101.0
Western Carolina95.7
The Citadel95.2
Samford94.2
Southland
TeamRating
Abilene Christian105.6
Stephen F. Austin100.5
Sam Houston St.99.8
Nicholls St.97.8
New Orleans91.6
Northwestern St.90.6
Lamar90.2
Incarnate Word89.2
Southeastern Louisiana88.9
McNeese St.88.7
Central Arkansas88.4
Houston Baptist87.6
Texas A&M Corpus Chris87.1
Summit
TeamRating
South Dakota St.104.6
North Dakota St.101.3
Oral Roberts100.4
South Dakota99.6
UMKC96.9
North Dakota92.4
Western Illinois91.4
Nebraska Omaha90.4
Denver86.0
Southwestern Athletic
TeamRating
Prairie View A&M95.7
Texas Southern95.0
Jackson St.92.8
Southern91.9
Grambling St.90.6
Alcorn St.87.1
Alabama A&M86.6
Arkansas Pine Bluff83.5
Alabama St.82.8
Mississippi Valley St.69.8
Sun Belt
TeamRating
Georgia St.101.4
Texas St.99.8
Coastal Carolina99.8
Louisiana97.6
South Alabama97.0
Little Rock96.1
Appalachian St.96.0
UT Arlington95.4
Arkansas St.94.8
Georgia Southern93.4
Louisiana Monroe92.4
Troy91.5
Western Athletic
TeamRating
Grand Canyon102.4
New Mexico St.100.0
Utah Valley96.3
UT Rio Grande Valley95.8
Cal Baptist95.2
Seattle94.9
Tarleton St.91.7
Dixie St.88.0
Chicago St.80.7
West Coast
TeamRating
Gonzaga127.5
BYU114.4
Saint Mary’s107.3
San Francisco105.3
Loyola Marymount105.2
Pepperdine104.2
Pacific103.8
Santa Clara101.1
San Diego98.0
Portland88.6

PiRate Ratings Alphabetically

RkTeamRating
100Abilene Christian105.6
309Air Force90.6
103Akron105.3
7Alabama118.2
338Alabama A&M86.6
343Alabama St.82.8
227Albany96.0
335Alcorn St.87.1
239American95.4
226Appalachian St.96.0
41Arizona111.3
95Arizona St.105.9
10Arkansas116.1
341Arkansas Pine Bluff83.5
249Arkansas St.94.8
199Army97.8
62Auburn109.6
205Austin Peay97.1
147Ball St.101.2
3Baylor121.6
177Bellarmine99.7
84Belmont106.9
312Binghamton90.5
52Boise St.110.7
125Boston College103.6
254Boston University94.4
111Bowling Green104.8
134Bradley102.3
181Bryant99.0
262Bucknell93.7
66Buffalo109.0
112Butler104.7
21BYU114.4
244Cal Baptist95.2
334Cal Poly87.2
141Cal St. Bakersfield101.6
257Cal St. Fullerton94.2
275Cal St. Northridge92.9
166California100.3
214Campbell96.5
236Canisius95.6
328Central Arkansas88.4
337Central Connecticut86.9
271Central Michigan93.1
211Charleston96.7
332Charleston Southern87.6
228Charlotte95.9
152Chattanooga101.0
346Chicago St.80.7
99Cincinnati105.6
42Clemson111.3
151Cleveland St.101.1
175Coastal Carolina99.8
88Colgate106.6
18Colorado114.9
64Colorado St.109.3
31Connecticut112.9
305Coppin St.91.3
11Creighton115.7
76Davidson108.2
92Dayton106.4
208Delaware96.9
345Delaware St.81.6
340Denver86.0
129DePaul103.2
139Detroit101.6
329Dixie St.88.0
59Drake110.3
154Drexel100.7
35Duke112.2
121Duquesne103.9
136East Carolina102.2
132East Tennessee St.102.7
300Eastern Illinois91.5
165Eastern Kentucky100.3
252Eastern Michigan94.5
115Eastern Washington104.7
233Elon95.8
188Evansville98.1
318Fairfield89.9
288Fairleigh Dickinson92.0
295FIU91.7
25Florida113.9
270Florida A&M93.1
195Florida Atlantic97.9
281Florida Gulf Coast92.5
9Florida St.116.5
276Fordham92.8
196Fresno St.97.9
94Furman106.2
171Gardner Webb100.0
126George Mason103.5
206George Washington97.1
89Georgetown106.6
85Georgia106.9
265Georgia Southern93.4
143Georgia St.101.4
34Georgia Tech112.6
1Gonzaga127.5
308Grambling St.90.6
133Grand Canyon102.4
237Green Bay95.5
319Hampton89.7
204Hartford97.1
197Hawaii97.9
266High Point93.2
173Hofstra99.9
293Holy Cross91.8
5Houston119.6
331Houston Baptist87.6
301Howard91.4
342Idaho83.0
273Idaho St.93.0
6Illinois119.4
267Illinois Chicago93.2
190Illinois St.98.1
322Incarnate Word89.2
37Indiana111.6
120Indiana St.104.1
193Iona98.0
4Iowa120.7
156Iowa St.100.7
258IUPUI94.2
278Jackson St.92.8
290Jacksonville91.8
159Jacksonville St.100.6
170James Madison100.1
16Kansas115.1
180Kansas St.99.3
333Kennesaw St.87.3
86Kent St.106.8
54Kentucky110.7
184La Salle98.6
242Lafayette95.2
314Lamar90.2
323Lehigh89.2
91Liberty106.5
217Lipscomb96.4
224Little Rock96.1
268LIU93.2
274Long Beach St.92.9
241Longwood95.2
201Louisiana97.6
284Louisiana Monroe92.4
77Louisiana Tech107.9
47Louisville110.9
17Loyola Chicago115.0
107Loyola Marymount105.2
215Loyola MD96.5
28LSU113.5
330Maine88.0
287Manhattan92.3
253Marist94.4
78Marquette107.8
74Marshall108.4
29Maryland113.2
114Massachusetts104.7
325McNeese St.88.7
39Memphis111.6
142Mercer101.4
269Merrimack93.1
144Miami FL101.4
146Miami OH101.2
2Michigan122.9
63Michigan St.109.5
277Middle Tennessee92.8
213Milwaukee96.5
57Minnesota110.5
61Mississippi109.7
69Mississippi St.108.7
347Mississippi Valley St.69.8
46Missouri111.0
90Missouri St.106.5
189Monmouth98.1
186Montana98.2
220Montana St.96.2
135Morehead St.102.3
248Morgan St.94.9
225Mount St. Mary’s96.0
157Murray St.100.6
73N.C. State108.5
140Navy101.6
108Nebraska105.2
313Nebraska Omaha90.4
97Nevada105.7
259New Hampshire94.0
282New Mexico92.5
172New Mexico St.100.0
297New Orleans91.6
231Niagara95.8
198Nicholls St.97.8
283NJIT92.4
229Norfolk St.95.9
304North Alabama91.3
30North Carolina113.1
280North Carolina A&T92.6
298North Carolina Central91.5
285North Dakota92.4
145North Dakota St.101.3
286North Florida92.3
70North Texas108.7
164Northeastern100.3
326Northern Arizona88.7
251Northern Colorado94.7
321Northern Illinois89.5
158Northern Iowa100.6
182Northern Kentucky98.7
71Northwestern108.6
310Northwestern St.90.6
67Notre Dame108.9
202Oakland97.2
101Ohio105.4
8Ohio St.117.2
33Oklahoma112.6
32Oklahoma St.112.7
161Old Dominion100.4
162Oral Roberts100.4
43Oregon111.2
105Oregon St.105.3
123Pacific103.8
38Penn St.111.6
119Pepperdine104.2
80Pittsburgh107.3
327Portland88.6
232Portland St.95.8
235Prairie View A&M95.7
317Presbyterian90.1
72Providence108.5
14Purdue115.2
272Purdue Fort Wayne93.1
264Quinnipiac93.6
216Radford96.5
93Rhode Island106.3
187Rice98.2
56Richmond110.5
307Rider91.0
279Robert Morris92.8
27Rutgers113.7
255Sacramento St.94.2
303Sacred Heart91.4
191Saint Joseph’s98.0
51Saint Louis110.7
81Saint Mary’s107.3
200Saint Peter’s97.7
176Sam Houston St.99.8
256Samford94.2
194San Diego98.0
20San Diego St.114.5
102San Francisco105.3
320San Jose St.89.5
150Santa Clara101.1
247Seattle94.9
44Seton Hall111.1
167Siena100.3
311SIU Edwardsville90.5
48SMU110.9
207South Alabama97.0
87South Carolina106.6
344South Carolina St.82.6
179South Dakota99.6
116South Dakota St.104.6
149South Florida101.2
263Southeast Missouri St.93.6
324Southeastern Louisiana88.9
289Southern91.9
192Southern Illinois98.0
250Southern Miss94.7
169Southern Utah100.1
36St. Bonaventure112.1
291St. Francis NY91.8
296St. Francis PA91.6
65St. John’s109.1
68Stanford108.8
160Stephen F. Austin100.5
245Stetson95.1
222Stony Brook96.1
60Syracuse110.1
294Tarleton St.91.7
124TCU103.6
131Temple103.0
23Tennessee114.0
339Tennessee Martin86.3
316Tennessee St.90.2
306Tennessee Tech91.1
22Texas114.1
130Texas A&M103.0
336Texas A&M Corpus Chris87.1
246Texas Southern95.0
174Texas St.99.8
24Texas Tech113.9
243The Citadel95.2
50Toledo110.7
261Towson93.7
299Troy91.5
138Tulane101.7
117Tulsa104.5
118UAB104.3
223UC Davis96.1
113UC Irvine104.7
109UC Riverside105.0
240UC San Diego95.4
79UC Santa Barbara107.7
96UCF105.9
49UCLA110.8
219UMass Lowell96.2
153UMBC100.7
209UMKC96.9
210UNC Asheville96.8
110UNC Greensboro104.9
212UNC Wilmington96.5
168UNLV100.2
19USC114.5
315USC Upstate90.2
238UT Arlington95.4
230UT Rio Grande Valley95.8
82Utah107.1
40Utah St.111.3
218Utah Valley96.3
137UTEP101.8
163UTSA100.3
183Valparaiso98.7
98Vanderbilt105.7
45VCU111.0
122Vermont103.9
13Villanova115.3
26Virginia113.8
55Virginia Tech110.7
148VMI101.2
203Wagner97.2
155Wake Forest100.7
178Washington99.7
106Washington St.105.2
128Weber St.103.2
12West Virginia115.4
234Western Carolina95.7
302Western Illinois91.4
83Western Kentucky107.0
260Western Michigan94.0
75Wichita St.108.2
292William & Mary91.8
104Winthrop105.3
15Wisconsin115.1
127Wofford103.3
58Wright St.110.3
185Wyoming98.5
53Xavier110.7
221Youngstown St.96.2

Coming Later Today: Our conference tournament coverage begins with a look at dates, sites, numbers of teams, and more.

Also Later Today: Our Updated Bracketology–There was a lot of movement over the weekend.

February 25, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:25 am

Thursday, February 25, 2021

HomeVisitorSpread
HoustonWestern Kentucky12.9
Sacramento St.Weber St.-6.5
Northern ColoradoPortland St.2.4
Idaho St.Montana-3.1
MichiganIowa1.8
IllinoisNebraska18.1
Michigan St.Ohio St.-7.3
MinnesotaNorthwestern5.0
DetroitRobert Morris10.7
Youngstown St.Illinois-Chicago3.8
Green BayPurdue Fort Wayne5.3
MilwaukeeIUPUI3.6
Western MichiganMiami (O)-3.3
OhioEastern Michigan12.4
BuffaloCentral Michigan14.3
South Carolina St.Florida A&M-10.4
San Diego St.Boise St.5.3
MerrimackSt. Francis (NY)4.6
St. Francis (PA)Mount St. Mary’s-1.9
Sacred HeartFairleigh Dickinson2.5
BryantLong Island University8.1
Central ConnecticutWagner-8.1
SIU EdwardsvilleUT Martin6.8
Morehead St.Tennessee St.14.0
Eastern KentuckyBelmont-7.1
Jacksonville St.Murray St.-0.3
Eastern IllinoisSoutheast Missouri St.0.7
Tennessee TechAustin Peay-5.8
Arizona St.Washington8.0
UtahUCLA-1.1
ColoradoUSC0.7
StanfordOregon0.2
CaliforniaOregon St.-2.0
ArizonaWashington St.7.8
Prairie View A&MMississippi Valley St.27.1
Texas SouthernArkansas-Pine Bluff13.6
GonzagaSanta Clara30.3
BYUSan Francisco11.0
PepperdineLoyola Marymount2.4
San DiegoPortland11.9
Saint Mary’sPacific5.8

Bracketnomics 2021 is Coming!

Our most popular feature at the PiRate Ratings is coming soon. Our annual Bracketnomics series will commence once conference tournament action begins. We made a major upgrade to the system last year, incorporating a host of new back-tested factors that separated contenders from pretenders in the past.

This new back-engineered data was ready to debut last year, but the virus ended up defeating the Big Dance. This year, the virus still brings special situations to the tournament, as everybody will be brought into a small area of Central Indiana, much like an Olympiad. But, we expect the Bracketnomics data to hold its weight in determining which teams have the best chances to win six games in 17 days.

For what it’s worth, here’s a little tease. The top two teams, the undefeated Gonzaga and undefeated Baylor, currently do not have the ideal resumes for a national champion. On the other hand, if the tournament commenced today, no team would have a perfect resume, but two teams have better resumes than the rest. Those two teams are Michigan and Illinois. A lot can change in the next two weeks, so don’t go placing wagers on the Wolverines and Ilini to make the Final Four. Just remember to check here daily once the conference tournament action begins.

February 20, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Spreads

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:00 am

Saturday, February 20, 2021

HomeVisitorSpread
St. Joseph’sLa Salle-1.5
VCUGeorge Mason12.0
RichmondDuquesne7.4
Miami (Fla.)Georgia Tech-5.0
SyracuseNotre Dame2.2
Wake ForestNC St.-2.2
PittsburghFlorida St.-6.6
North CarolinaLouisville2.0
DukeVirginia0.3
TulaneCentral Florida-2.0
KansasTexas Tech2.0
TexasWest Virginia1.8
TCUKansas St.8.5
Iowa St.Oklahoma-11.1
VillanovaConnecticut6.0
GeorgetownSeton Hall-4.2
St. John’sDePaul8.4
IndianaMichigan St.6.3
MinnesotaIllinois-5.1
NebraskaPurdue-7.6
Fresno St.San Diego St.-13.9
Washington St.Stanford-2.9
USCArizona7.4
Oregon St.Colorado-8.0
OregonUtah6.7
WashingtonCalifornia0.6
UCLAArizona St.6.8
AlabamaVanderbilt17.1
TennesseeKentucky7.2
South CarolinaMissouri-1.8
FloridaGeorgia8.0
LSUAuburn4.8
Ole MissMississippi St.5.5
Loyola MarymountBYU-6.6
PortlandPacific-12.6
Santa ClaraPepperdine-1.1
GonzagaSan Diego32.2

February 12, 2021

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 12:01 pm

2/12/2021

SeedTeamTeamTeamTeamTeamTeam
1GonzagaBaylorMichiganOhio St.
2HoustonIllinoisVillanovaAlabama
3VirginiaWest VirginiaIowaTennessee
4Texas TechWisconsinUSCTexas
5MissouriOklahomaFlorida St.Kansas
6CreightonColoradoVirginia TechRutgers
7FloridaPurdueXavierUCLA
8Oklahoma St.LouisvilleClemsonMinnesota
9Loyola (Chi.)North CarolinaBYUIndiana
10San Diego St.ArkansasSeton HallLSU
11DrakeSt. BonaventureBoise St.Utah St.
12BelmontToledoOregonStanfordColorado St.VCU
13WinthropUNCGUABLiberty
14NavyUC-IrvineS. F. AustinGrand Canyon
15South DakotaNortheasternSienaCleveland St.
16Texas St.UMBCE. WashingtonBryantN. C. A&TPrairie View

Bubble Contenders

69Saint Louis
70Connecticut
71Richmond
72Western Kentucky
73Penn St.
74Syracuse
75St. John’s
76Maryland
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