The Pi-Rate Ratings

June 4, 2020

PiRate Ratings Going Ahead As Planned

Hello to all of our patrons and occasional readers.  The PiRate Ratings are currently going under the preseason compilation for both College and Pro football as if nothing has changed from the past.

Should the season be postponed or other major changes are made, we will do our best to adjust the ratings based on whatever presents itself.

Additionally, we will not participate in any political commentary or make any comments other than mathematical and historical counts.  That means that even though 2020 is an election year, we have chosen to stay out entirely from issuing any electoral vote count predictions and all the House and Senate forecasts.

We want this to be an escape for you to visit to get away from all other outside forces.  We are strongly considering adding a potential tabletop football game like we did several years ago with a “best of” tournament between some of the greatest college football teams of all time, similar to how we did this as a replacement to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, won by the 1968 UCLA Bruins.

Additionally, we are also considering putting a package together where people can send a small payment here, and we will send you the PDF files to print the “best of franchise” NFL and AFL teams between 1960 and 1979 with instructions on how you can cheaply print and have your own tabletop football strategy game to play.  We currently do not have a zip file creator on the PiRate ship.

One more heads up.  WordPress has begun to phase out the original editor, and they may force a new editor to be used, one that is not friendly to pasting tables from our spreadsheet.  If for any reason we find it impossible to paste our spreadsheet tables into this site, we will create a new site and leave the link to that site as the final posting here. Let’s hope we can get through the season without having to make that change.

If all goes according to the norm, expect to see the preseason PiRate College Football Ratings around August 20 and the NFL Football Ratings within hours after the teams make their final cuts the first Saturday in September.

Sincerely

The Captain

January 7, 2020

PiRate College Football Ratings–National Championship Game

Date: Monday, January 13, 2020

 

Site: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans

 

Start Time: 8:00 PM EST

 

TV: ESPN

 

TV Options:  ESPN’s Megacast will give viewers multiple options to watch this game:  Check the link below

https://espnpressroom.com/us/press-releases/2020/01/espn-presents-the-college-football-playoff-national-championship-through-cutting-edge-technology/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=espn-presents-the-college-football-playoff-national-championship-through-cutting-edge-technology

 

Our Personal Favorite Option: The Skycast allows the viewer to have a behind the quarterback view.  With this view, the experienced football follower can see all blocking schemes and defensive alignments and techniques as well as the pass patterns run by the receivers and the defensive coverage.  Best of all–No announcers to tell you the obvious.  The Public Address Announcer gives you all the information you need.

 

Radio–ESPN

 

Teams

LSU Tigers (14-0) vs.

Clemson Tigers (14-0)

 

Las Vegas Spread:  LSU by 5 1/2 to 6 1/2

Las Vegas Totals: 69 1/2

Best Las Vegas Money Line For Both Teams:

LSU -205 

Clemson +190

 

The PiRate Ratings

 

PiRate:  LSU by 1.1

Mean:    LSU by 0.8

Bias:       LSU by 0.1

Predicted Score: LSU 38  Clemson 37

 

Comparing The Legends In The Making

Joe Burrow vs. Trevor Lawrence

 

Statistic

Burrow

Lawrence

Passer Efficiency

204.6

173.2

Yards Per Attempt

10.9

9.3

Adjusted YPA *

12.6

10.2

Rushing Yds/Attempt

3.1

5.5

 

* Adjusted Yards Per Attempt:  [Yards + (20 * TD) – (45 * Int.)] / Attempts

March 12, 2018

Bracketnomics 505 for 2018: First Class

NOTE:  DO NOT REFER TO PAST YEARS’ BRACKETNOMICS REPORTS–THEY ARE OBSOLETE!!!!!

Welcome to the 2018 edition of the PiRate Ratings Bracketnomics 505 Course.  Our course is accredited, and when you complete it, you will earn your Bachelor of Madness Degree.  Just remember that it may not be a BS degree, but it is a BM degree, so you may want to think twice before telling others you received it from PiRate U.

Most universities have some type of history that potential enrollees can examine.  That’s to make the school look worthy of consideration.  Our PiRate School of Bracketnomics has been a bit up and down throughout our history.  When we first debuted as an online course, our selections and predictions put us into Ivy League/Cal Tech/MIT status.  We isolated some key points from back-tested data that worked.  Some of the early pointers that helped us pick brackets were things that would appear obvious to most people–scoring margin, rebounding margin, field goal percetage margin, turnover margin, schedule strength, and the ability to win away from one’s home court.

Our big breakthrough that helped us devise our first advanced metric came about when CBS’s Clark Kellogg mentioned that teams with “spurtability” tended to do best in the NCAA Tournament.  What is spurtability?  It is exactly what it sounds like, the ability for a team to go on a scoring spurt.  What we are talking about here is something like 10-0 or 15-4 or 20-8 run.  Next, in the evolution of PiRate Bracketnomics, our Captain began to research what factors contributed the most to big scoring spurts.  He discovered that half-court offenses and half-court defenses that led to one team connecting on a very high percentage of shots while the other team missed a high percentage of shots seldom led to these spurts by themselves.  It was rare for Team A to hit eight out of 10 shots, while Team B hit only one out of ten shots and led to a 16-2 run.  So, what caused the great spurtabilities of the teams?  The Captain discovered that in a large majority of the cases where a team went on a big scoring run in the NCAA Tournament, it was due to dominating rebounding at both ends of the court, forcing turnovers (especially steals) and then getting easy fast break baskets or forcing the opponent to foul.

From this point, the Captain devised what has come to be the most important factor in picking NCAA Tournament winners–the R+T Rating.  After trial and error using different data points, the Captain created a formula that doubled rebounding margin, added turnover margin, and then gave additional weight to steals and the prevention of steals.  The result was an approximation for how many extra scoring chances and points a team might be expected to receive versus the average college team.  If Team A had a R+T rating of 20, and Team B had a R+T rating of 10, then Team A would be expected to score 10 extra points against Team B just from extra scoring opportunities.  Team B could still win if they outshot Team A by a high enough percentage to make up for those 10 points.

A little success swelled the heads of all the PiRates.  We became too big for our tiny ship.  We began to try to perfect our rating by adding additional information.  We thought for a few years that teams that relied on the three-point shot were at a disadvantage against teams that pounded the ball inside, because so many of the tournament games were held in giant stadiums, even domes, and it affected depth perception and made it hard to aim on outside shots.

There was a time when we discounted teams that won games by shooting a lot of foul shots, because the officials did not call as many fouls in the tournament.

The success of the PiRate Ratings Bracketnomics led to some mainstream media sources linking to us, and we saw our readership go up by large multiples, especially between the second week of March and the first week of April.  And, then what happened?  After correctly picking the national champion during Bracket Picking day for three consecutive years; and after picking tiny George Mason to contend for a Final Four spot when Jim Larranaga guided the Patriots to the Final Four; and after picking Duke, Connecticut, and Kentucky to win and hit on another three in a row, the bottom fell out.

Just like the Dosage Index for the Kentucky Derby, the criteria began to lose its effectiveness.  Too many basketball equivalents of Strike The Gold and Real Quiet began winning when the profile predicted they had little or no chance.    While R+T ratings still remained effective, other criteria not used by us began to be more predictive.

The better three-point shooting teams started to win more and more. Watching the Golden State Warriors dominate the NBA and then seeing how almost every NBA team tried to copy them in some way, it became apparent that advanced metrics were changing the game, just like Sabermetrics changed the way general managers built their baseball teams.  The name of the game became three-point shooting and very high percentage two-point shooting.  Defenses that forced opponents to take lower percentage two-point shots became the new basis for determining effectiveness.

There was one other change that greatly affected the college game.  When the shot clock moved from 35 to 30 seconds, it appeared on the surface that it would minimally affect the game by maybe two or three possessions per game.  This was not the case.  Defenses discovered that they could pressure the offense more and more in hopes that they would force a turnover or force the offense to escape the pressure to find a good shot.  Many times, the pressure defense led to a hurried shot by the offense.  Thus, teams that were patient all of a sudden saw their shooting percentages fall when good pressure defenses forced too many hurried shots.  There was also the case where a defense that could keep the ball out of the close two-point range and force three-point shots to be taken a few feet farther back, could stop the patient offenses.  What was the solution to these defenses?  Up-tempo basketball came back in vogue.  Offenses began to try to hurry up their tempo to beat these gambling defenses or to get the preferred close in two-pointer or right behind the line three-pointer before defenses could organize.  The newer up-tempo style of play brought back basketball from 40 years ago.

Once again, the teams that can get up and down the court in a hurry and do so without becoming sloppy in execution have begun to dominate the game.  The patient offenses and non-pressuring defenses have found out that it is really hard to win consistently when the opponent is now finding a way to score 10 more points per game due to their new style of play.

What did we do at the PiRate Ratings to combat our decline in effectiveness?  The PiRates stripped our criteria down back to the basics.  We felt like we were missing the obvious.  Here is what matters when the NCAA Tournament begins play.

1. True Shooting Percentage Margin

2. R+T Rating

3. Schedule Strength

These three basic principles make up an overwhelming majority of how we will select our brackets when we release them Tuesday afternoon.
1. True Shooting Percentage Margin:  this is the difference between a team’s offensive true shooting percentage and defensive true shooting percentage.For college basketball, true shooting percentage is:

(100*Pts)/[2*(fga+{.475*fta})]. 

Don’t let this stat look intimidating.  We would never force you our patron that we love so much to have to figure the offensive and defensive percentages for 68 teams.  Do you know how long it takes to go to 68 different official athletic sites to get this information?  We do!  We have already calculated this informaton.

 

2. R+T Rating:  We hope most of you reading this today have some familiarity with our R+T Rating.

The formula for R+T is:

(R * 2) + (S * .5) + (6 – Opp. S) + T

R = rebounding margin; S = Steals per game; and T= Turnover margin

3. Schedule Strength:  It is obvious that a team could compile some very lofty True Shooting Percentages and R+T ratings playing the weakest 30 teams in the nation, while another team could compile some really awful stats playing the top 30 teams in the nation.  The first two data points must be weighted with the strength of schedule, and there is the rub.  How much do we adjust the data from True Shooting Percentage Margin and R+T Rating to factor in schedule strength?  We think we have the answer.  Based on the fact that a certain schedule strength number has held consistent as the floor among past Final Four teams, we believe we know the cut-off points that will allow us to interpolate the winners of each round.  Obviously, it is not an exact science, but hey, nobody has ever picked a perfect bracket, and we hear that the chances are better than somebody can win the Power Ball and Mega Millions jackpots in the same week than picking a perfect bracket.
The PiRates will reveal our entire bracket Tuesday afternoon.  And, after each round, we will then post an updated bracket for those people that play in contests where you can pick the winners round-by-round.

Additionally, we will issue our regular PiRate Ratings spreads for each tournament game.
We hope you return Tuesday after 12 Noon EDT to see what we believe will be an exciting and informative Bracketnomics 505 course.  Yes, you can earn your BM degree!

November 15, 2017

Making College Football Even Better

This is our annual and somewhat repetitive treatise dealing with how to improve the college football game as it pertains to the current status.

College football is thriving since the advent of the 4-team playoff.  Unfortunately, those in charge made a little mistake in previous years when they scheduled semifinal bowls for the PM hours of New Year’s Eve.  Numerous fans across the nation chose (in some cases it was chosen for them by a significant other), to attend other festivities.  The semifinal games belong on New Year’s Day, which is the slot Americans have associated with bowl games for decades.  The ultimate college football experience starts with celebrating the birth of the new year while camping out on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena with hundreds if not thousands of potentially new friends; then watching the most magnificent two hours of the Tournament of Roses Parade, contemplating how much work has gone into the planning of this event (it actually begins on January 2nd every year), and then realizing that the bands will march and play their instruments for 5 1/2 miles.

One of the neat things to do if you have been to multiple Rose Parades is to stake out a spot on Paloma at the end of the route and then to be the first to view the floats as they go on display near Victory Park.

The culmination of a fantastic event should be the Rose Bowl Game, which should not be played on any other date but New Year’s Day at 3PM PST (Jan. 2 if the first is on a Sunday).

That being said, there are a few other changes that we believe will take a great game and shoot it into orbit.

ISSUE 1–The Playoffs (8 is not enough)

The Playoffs need more teams, so that all Power 5 Conference champions get an automatic bid.  How would you feel if the Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North and then did not have the opportunity to appear in the NFL Playoffs?  Or what if the Houston Astros would have been cut out of the Major League playoffs because Cleveland had a better resume this year?

Here’s how the PiRates see it at the present time.  We are unanimously in favor of giving all five Power Conference champions an automatic invitation to the gridiron dance, while at the same time, we believe the top four teams should receive a reward.  One method could be that the top four would host the next four in an 8-team tournament, but to us that is not enough reward for the top four teams.  Also, there are going to be years were the number 9 team is as good as the number 4 team, and instead of arguing that number 4 should not have been selected, as number 9 was just as deserving, why not extend it out by a half round?  12 is the perfect number of playoff teams.  Most importantly, a 12-team tournament gives the top four teams a bye to the quarterfinals, and they can still host a quarterfinal round game on their home turf.  That is the proper reward for finishing in the top four.

Additionally, a 12-team tournament gives the Group of 5 conferences a chance.  Guarantee that one of the 12 spots goes to the top Group of 5, just like it receives a New Year’s 6 Bowl bid now.  If Central Florida runs the table this year, rather than receive the last slot in the NY6, at least they could be the #12 seed in a 12-team playoff.  If they really are deserving, then they can prove it by taking out the #5 seed in a road contest.

With 5 Power Conference teams and one Group of 5 Conference team receiving automating bids, it leaves six at-large bids.  In our opinion, these six at-large teams should cover the bases for finding teams worthy of playing for all the marbles.  You are talking about teams ranked around #10 overall at this point.  The #10 vs. #11 team is much less important than the #5 and #4 team competing for a spot.

If we were to look at this season, playing out the remaining games for our purposes in this editorial, the playoffs might look something like this:

ACC Champion–Miami

Big 12 Champion–Oklahoma

Big Ten Champion–Wisconsin

Pac-12 Champion–USC

SEC Champion–Alabama

Best Group of 5–Central Florida

At large 1–Georgia

At large 2–Clemson

At large 3–Ohio St.

At large 4–TCU

At large 5–Penn St.

At large 6–Notre Dame

Top teams left out–Washington, Auburn, Michigan St., Boise St., Memphis, Oklahoma St., and LSU

At the present time, Wisconsin would be left out of the Playoff, even though the Badgers are undefeated.  This would be a travesty if a 13-0 UW team failed to make the playoffs while a 2-loss team sneaked in ahead of the Badgers.  Under our format, none of the teams left out would have any legitimate reason to state a case that they deserved to be in, because in actuality the last two seeds probably should not be in the tournament at all.  However, this actually serves a useful purpose.  If seeds 10, 11, and 12 are not all that worthy of being in the playoffs, then their first round hosts (seeds 5, 6, and 7) get a little benefit that seed 8 does not receive.

Seeding the 12 teams above, you would get something like this:

Opening Round

#12 Central Florida at #5 Georgia

#11 Notre Dame at #6 Clemson

#10 USC at #7 Ohio St.

#9 Penn St. at #8 TCU

Quarterfinal Round

UCF-Ga. Winner at #4 Wisconsin

N. Dame-Clemson Winner at #3 Oklahoma

USC-Ohio St. Winner at #2 Miami

Penn St.-TCU Winner at #1 Alabama

From here the playoffs would be back to where they are now–two bowl games for the Semifinals, followed by the National Championship Game.

 

ISSUE 2–The Games are Toooooooo Lonnnnnng

The NFL realized a few years back that their once 2 1/2 hour games had jumped by an hour, because players believed in going out of bounds rather than absorb contact by a quickly moving 300-pound wall of steel.  They began starting the clock after the ball was brought back in bounds by the side judge or line judge.  Thus, the number of scrimmage plays returned to about where it had been for decades, in the 120-130 per game neighborhood.

College football used to see anywhere from 110 to 150 scrimmage plays per game.  Today, one team might run 100 plays, while the other gets 75, and the game becomes the football version of War and Peace.  The game needs to get to a point where 120-150 plays is the average range.  There is one definite way to make the clock move more than it does today–end the stoppage of the clock on first downs.  The NFL does just fine without the clock stopping on first downs.  The sideline official simply places his lead foot on the spot where the scrimmage stick needs to go, and he keeps it there until the man holding the stick arrives, which is almost always before the ball is snapped for the next play.

If you keep the clock moving after a play results in a first down during a typical college football game today, you are not stopping the clock about 45 times per game.  On games where there are fewer first downs, the clock will keep running any way, so this will basically just keep your 1,000 total yard games under 4 hours, while doing little to the 500 total yard games.

ISSUE 3–We Want Real Overtime

The current mode of college overtime can take a hard fought, defensive gem 13-13 tie at the end of regulation and turn it into a 43-41 4OT game that looks like nobody played a lick of defense.

College overtime should start with one team kicking off to the other, and with a touchdown needed on the first drive in order to end the game without the kicking team getting the ball, just like in the NFL.  Play 10 or 15 minutes, and if the teams are still tied, then let it be a tie game.  Tie games can be just as important as wins and losses.  In today’s world of computer technology, a tie game will not throw a monkey wrench into the works.  Here’s a little secret for you: When the PiRates adjust our ratings after every college football game, we adjust all overtime games back to the tie score at the end of regulation and throw out what happens in overtime, with the exception of factoring in the possibilities of key players being injured and if it could deflate the loser in the future.  What goes on in the current overtime does not tell us anything important.  We need to know how teams perform on both sides of the ball on a 100-yard field and not a 25-yard field.  In actuality, it makes the game a different sport entirely.  How would you like a college basketball overtime only played in the half-court with each team getting a possession per overtime?  That is not real basketball either.

ISSUE 4: A Wet Turf Should Never Be Credited With a Tackle

How many times have you seen a player make a brilliant move to get open in the clear only to slip on wet turf or dive to make a play and then cannot advance the ball, even though no defender has participated in the play?  The NFL totally gets this issue.  A player should not be considered tackle, unless a defender is responsible for downing him or has made contact with him while he is on the ground.  Watching a receiver embarrass a defender, make a brilliant highlight-film catch, and then have to settle for a 6-yard gain, when he could get up and run for 25 yards robs not only the player and his team, but also the fans who want to see action.  When that player dives for the ball and makes the catch today, the turf gets the tackle.  Only vegetation can be happy about that.

ISSUE 5: Pass Interference Should Never Be Allowed to Become a Defensive Strategy

In the early 1980’s, the college football world changed defensive pass interference penalties to a maximum of 15 yards and an automatic first down.  In today’s game, there are times when it is beneficial to clobber a receiver and give up the 15 yards and first down rather than give up the 30-yard pass completion or the touchdown catch.  With less than a minute to go in the game when one team needs only a touchdown to win, but they must go 80 yards, every time the offensive team throws at an attempt to gain more than 35 yards, it is wise to merely clobber the receiver if there is any chance the ball will be caught.  You give up 15 yards and a first down, but now the receiver is hearing footsteps.  The next pass may find him not really extending his arms out to try to catch the pass, knowing that the defender can perform as much unnecessary roughness on him and only suffer the interference penalty.

The right thing to do is to restore pass interference penalties back to awarding the offense a first down at the spot of the foul, just like it has remained in the NFL.  Now, if a team interferes on a Hail Mary pass in the end zone, the offense gets the ball at the opponent’s one yard line, and gets another play, even if the clock shows 0:00.  Pass interference should never be allowed to become a strategy.  It is the equivalent of a flagrant foul in basketball on a breakaway drive to the hoop.

 

August 26, 2014

Special Bulletin!

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:36 am

Due to issues beyond our control, namely WordPress choosing to make it difficult to paste tabular data from Microsoft Excel, the PiRate Ratings will no longer publish their weekly ratings to this site.

 

Please visit our webpage at:  http://www.piratings.webs.com

 

January 1, 2014

PiRate Ratings Computer Simulated College Football Playoffs–Semifinals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:11 am

1. This is a 12-team tournament, using bowls for the first two rounds to get from 12 to 8 to 4.

 

2. The champions of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, and Pac-12 received automatic bids.

 

3. The champions of the AAC, CUSA, MAC, MWC, and Sunbelt received automatic bids if any finished in the top 16 of the RPI rankings, which replaced the BCS and has mathematical values that multiple mathematicians can determine and cannot be finagled in any way by football politicians in a back room.  For this experiment, we used an average of the top college ratings, including the PiRate Ratings.

 

4. We then selected the two to seven highest RPI-ranked teams (to fill the bracket at 12 total) not automatically selected and gave them berths in the tournament.

 

5. We then seeded the teams by RPI ranking from 1-12.  The top 4 teams received a first round bye as a reward for being one of the top four, while seeds 5-12 faced off in the first round.

 

This year, there were six automatic qualifiers and six at-large selections.  Florida St., Baylor, Michigan St., Auburn, and Stanford satisfy the #2 criteria above, whereas Central Florida satisfies #3.  The six at-large teams are: Alabama, Missouri, Ohio St., South Carolina, Oregon, and Oklahoma.

 

If this were next year, there would be a gross miscarriage of justice to the teams that are not number four.  Florida St., Auburn, and Alabama would definitely be three of the teams chosen.  Baylor, Michigan St., Stanford, Ohio St., Missouri, South Carolina, and Oregon would all have reason to be that fourth team, and only one of this seven would be chosen.  Now, the first team out is Clemson, not quite as deserving as any of the seven above, all of whom now make the 12-team tournament.

 

For this computer simulation, games were simulated on a simulator located on a major university campus.

 

Here are the teams, seeded 1-12

 

1. Florida St.

2. Auburn

3. Alabama

4. Stanford

5. Michigan St.

6. Missouri

7. Ohio St.

8. South Carolina

9. Baylor

10. Oregon

11. Oklahoma

12. Central Florida

 

The top four seeds received first round byes, while teams 5-12 played at neutral site bowls in round one.

 

In the first round, which can be viewed at:

https://piratings.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/1555/

 

South Carolina, Oregon, Missouri, and Michigan St. advanced to the quarterfinal round.

 

In the quarterfinal round, which can be viewed at:

https://piratings.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/2013-14-ncaa-football-computer-simulation-playoffs-quarterfinals/

 

South Carolina upset Florida St., Stanford defeated Michigan St., Oregon upset Auburn, and Missouri upset Alabama to make this the first time in the PiRate Simulation history that a top-3 seed did not make the semifinal round.

 

Here are your Final Four Match-ups that were simulated yesterday:

 

#4 Stanford vs. #8 South Carolina

#6 Missouri vs. #10 Oregon

 

Game 1: #4 Stanford vs. #8 South Carolina

 

Winner: Stanford 17  South Carolina 13

 

Stan

Team

S Car

 

 

 

16

FD

14

 

 

 

41-159

Rushing

43-112

 

 

 

167

Passing

121

 

 

 

15-27-1

Passes

13-23-2

 

 

 

68

Play

66

 

 

 

326

Yards

233

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

F

Stan

0

3

7

7

17

S Car

7

3

0

3

13

 

 

Game 2: #6 Missouri vs. #10 Oregon

 

Winner: Oregon 48  Missouri 35

 

Mo

Team

Ore

 

 

 

21

FD

24

 

 

 

42-162

Rushing

52-308

 

 

 

257

Passing

244

 

 

 

19-32-2

Passes

21-32-0

 

 

 

74

Play

82

 

 

 

419

Yards

552

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

F

Mo

14

7

14

0

35

Ore

10

10

14

14

48

 

Simper Bowl VII is now set. 

 

#4 Stanford vs. #10 Oregon

 

The Ducks will be trying to threepeat as Simper Bowl Champions.

 

Here are the results of the first six Simper Bowls

 

Simper Bowl I—January 2008: USC 38  Oklahoma 24

Simper Bowl II—January 2009: USC 27  Florida 23

Simper Bowl III—January 2010: Boise St. 39  TCU 37

Simper Bowl IV—January 2011: Ohio St. 27  Wisconsin 21

Simper Bowl V—January 2012: Oregon 38  Wisconsin 30

Simper Bowl VI—January 2013: Oregon 34  Alabama 24

September 10, 2013

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Every year, we receive a couple dozen questions from the readers, and we do not always have time to reply to each one.  Since June, and especially since August 29, we have received some excellent questions and comments that will be shown today.  For future reference, drop us a line at: pirate_ratings at live dot com.  When we get enough to answer, we will respond with another one of these segments.

 

1. How do you calculate your ratings?  Is this something anybody could do if they had your equations?

 

Answer: This is a tough one to answer.  Our ratings are not 100% mathematical formulae.  A mathematical formula is used for the base, but the data inputted is not cut and dry.  Whereas many other ratings take the scores of games and the strengths of schedules to make a least squares or least error rating where the scores and schedule strengths fit the best pattern, our ratings try to interpret these scores before running this data.

 

For instance, let us take a game between Oregon and Idaho.  The rating may state that Oregon should win by 77 points.  If they lead 42-0 with six minutes left in the second quarter and then coast to a 66-0 win, while playing the scout team the final quarter, should we really state that the Ducks performed 11 points below par and should be penalized in their next rating?  The Ducks could have won 112-0 without emptying the bench.  We look at how the score was made and not just the score.

 

In another instance, let’s say the final score of a game was 28 to 14.  There are so many different ways to interpret this 14 point win.  It could have been 21-14 with seconds remaining in the game and with the trailing team knocking at the door to tie it up and force overtime.  Let’s say the trailing team threw a pass in the end zone, and the ball went through the receivers’ hands and hit his shoulder pad.  The ball went flying through the air.  Had it flown left, another receiver would have easily caught the ball for a touchdown.  However, it flew right, into the hands of the strong safety, who caught it and ran 106 yards for a touchdown to make the score 28-14 instead of 21-21.  The direction of the deflection cannot be counted as 14 points.  No one play is worth that.

 

What if this 28-14 game was 28-0 with six minutes to go, and the scrubs scored a touchdown to cut it to 28-7, and then the leading team’s scrubs fumbled and gave up another touchdown with now four minutes to go.  The leading team then put their starters back in and drove from their 25 to the opposing 5 yard line before running out the clock.  This game could have been 42-0 if not for the reserves.  In a close game, those reserves will have little input in a future game.

 

2. What are the differences in your three ratings—PiRate, Mean, and Bias?

 

Answer: Okay, this one can be different depending on the year in question.  The PiRate Regular ratings stay the same every year.  They have not deviated since the advent of the Internet making statistical research so easy.

 

The Mean and Bias ratings have been tinkered with over the last 10 years.  In fact, the Mean rating has changed since 2011.  We perform 14 different calculations to start each season.  We look at returning lettermen and starters.  Each player at a positiong has a certain value, so that a returning starting left tackle earns the same points for Oregon and Alabama as it does for Georgia State and South Alabama.  This data is looked at many ways.  In one system, we may give more emphasis to the quarterback and wide receivers than in another system.  Our favorite calculation actually gives more weight to the interior lines than any of the skill positions.

 

After we calculate all the ratings, we adjust the previous year’s final rating for each team by the change in personnel entering this year.  For the PiRate regular rating, we take the 5 calculations that have always been used.  For the Mean rating, we take the 14 calculations and take the average rating.  For the Bias rating, we take the original 5 calculations and weight them a little differently.  Two of the calculations count 30% each; a third calculation counts 20%; and the other two count 10% each.  Thus, the PiRate Regular and Bias ratings will begin the season differing very little.

 

Additionally, each of the three ratings have a unique updating formula.  The PiRate Regular rating has the most conservative update and will not vary as much as the other two.  The Bias Rating has a more liberal update, and it will be more like the betting public and emphasize the most recent game over all others.  The Mean rating will usually have a smaller spread believing that the most recent game is part of a larger trend, but oftentimes overemphasized.  Thus, the Mean rating will frequently differ in the predicted winner when compared with the other two.  This is great for our purposes, for when the three ratings agree in a similar point-range, we believe this game is less uncertain than the average game.  In fact, over the last few years, when the three ratings take the same side of a selection, and the difference is two points or more on all three ratings, that selection has been the correct side about 62% of the time.  At 62%, you can get rich slowly if you have the courage to believe it will continue.  Of course, that 62% has a rather high standard deviation.  One year, the accuracy was just 46.4%.  One year, it was 73.1%.  One year, the number of plays this system generated exceeded 240 for the season, while just a couple years ago, there were only 97 plays for the season (which happened to be the 73.1% year at 68-25-4).

 

3. You once said that strength of schedule did not count for much in your system.  How can you be accurate then?

 

Answer: This statement is somewhat true, but let us explain what we mean.  We believe that the strength of a team lies in its talent, its teamwork, its coaching, and its commitment to win.  The schedule does not indicate how good a team may or may not be.  It may be how the rankings and BCS standings are determined, but we do not issue ratings to try to pick how the teams will be ranked or even which teams will play in the National Championship Game.  We want to rate the teams from best to worst and only care to compare which teams are actually better than others and by how many points.

 

Here is why strength of schedule is useless to us.  Let’s say that my friend the high school coach has just been hired at Old Dominion as the Monarchs move to FBS status.  In the first three years there, he successfully recruits the next Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall, Anthony Gonzalez, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Iupati, Andy Levitre, Ryan Clady, and Joe Staley to start on offense.  On defense, he signs Geno Atkins, Vince Wilfork, J.J. Watt, Julius Peppers, Patrick Willis, Clay Matthews, DeMarcus Ware, Darrelle Revis, Charles Tillman, Earl Thomas, and Eric Berry to start on defense.

 

Without a doubt, no team in college football could equal talent like this.  Not only are these guys obvious first team all-Americans, every one is a future first team All-NFL.  Even Alabama could not compete against this team.

 

Now, this ODU team’s schedule is: Georgia State, Charlotte, Appalachian St., Louisiana-Monroe, Massachusetts, Troy, South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas St., Georgia Southern, Texas St., and Army.  There is no doubt that they will go 12-0 and outscore this dozen by about 500-700 points.  Yet, the strength of schedule may rank this team around #20.  If this were this season, they would not even compete for an at-large BCS Bowl Bid, and they would have to settle for something like the New Orleans or Military Bowl.

 

This has been the case in the past.  In 1970, Arizona State had the best team in the nation.  They did not get a chance to play in a big bowl and had to settle for the Peach, where they won handily.  Nebraska was two touchdowns weaker in 1970 than they would be in 1971, and the Sun Devils had the better team in 1970, when they ran the table and proved unstoppable on offense.

 

In 1969, Penn State was probably a little better than Texas.  The Longhorns’ new Wishbone offense proved to be an excellent weapon, but by the end of the season, teams had figured out how to slow it down.  Only a miracle comeback even got UT to the Cotton Bowl, and then in the Cotton Bowl, they had trouble with a very good but not great Notre Dame team.  Meanwhile, Penn State had perhaps the best college defense in the last eight years.  This defense and the special teams actually scored or set up the score for more points than they gave up.  Additionally, it was a team that went 11-0 for the second consecutive season and would place a host of players in the NFL.  How strong was that Penn St. team?  Their second and third running options were Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell, two future NFL stars.  Their quarterback, Chuck Burkhart NEVER lost a game where he was the starting QB—that includes college, high school, and junior high—undefeated for life!

 

The end of the BCS era does not signal the end of this travesty.  Still, big name schools with gaudy schedules will beat out other schools for one of the four playoff berths.  There should be no selection of playoff berths.  There should be set guidelines that allow each team to qualify for a berth by winning on the field just like the NFL.  The last several Super Bowl Champs might never have been in the playoffs to begin with if they had to be selected as one of the top four teams.   Baltimore would have been left out last year.  The Green Bay Packers and New York Giants would not have qualified when they won their most recent Super Bowls.  It is our opinion, that this tournament needs to be eight-deep with each of the eight teams qualifying by winning on the field and clinching a spot based only on games played and never on human selection.

 

5. You used to report for Vanderbilt, and you stated that you married into a University of Wisconsin and Green Bay Packer family.  How do we know that you do not fudge on these teams and rate them higher than they deserve?

 

Answer: You are confusing ranking and rating.  Ranking might bring into play human partiality, but we are trying to rate teams based on how this rating can be used to select against the spread.  We would be quite happy for these three teams to win every week, but what most excites us is picking all the winners against the spread.  So, our love of being accurate is really all that matters.  We have no influence over the rankings, so it really matters not which teams we cheer for.  And, to tell you the truth, some of us root for different teams.  And, we are not fanatical fans.  Our founder has cultivated friendships with athletic officials at numerous schools including those at the University of Tennessee, the University of Minnesota, and personnel with the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns.  He never roots against anybody.  His love of the game is what keeps his interest going, and as a long-time coach in football and basketball, his first love is watching teams practice.  As most long-time coaches will agree, they miss the practices when they retire.  They don’t really miss the games, the schmoozing with alumni, the media, etc.

 

6. What happened to your Computer Simulations?

Answer: We regret to say that we lost access to the college campus computer that allowed us to run these simulations.  So, unless this changes, we will not be able to offer this service in the future.

 

7. I want to make my own ratings.  Can you offer help?

Answer: This is one we get a lot.  If you want to make your own ratings, do what we did when we started out in 1969.  Begin with your own personal belief about each team.  Begin with each conference and rank the teams within the conference.  Then, take the best teams in each conference and rank against each other.  It should look something like it looked for our founder in October 1969:

 

Southwest Conference:

Arkansas 0, Texas -1, Texas Tech -27, TCU -29, SMU -30, Texas A&M -30, Rice -34, Baylor -41.

 

He did this for every conference as well as the numerous independents, which he had broken down into four regions since there were so many then.

 

At the time, Ohio St. was number one overall.  They received the top rating at 120, or 20 points better than the average team and about 40 points better than the typical weak team.  He had Arkansas as the third best of the teams, about 3 points weaker than Ohio St.  Thus for the SWC, the teams had these ratings:

 

Arkansas 117, Texas 116, Texas Tech, 90, TCU 88. SMU 87, Texas A&M 87, Rice 83, and Baylor 76.

 

At the time, he gave every team with a large stadium 4 points home field advantage, every team with an average stadium 3 points, and every team with a small stadium 2 points.

 

After each game, he raised or lowered the rating from 1 to 6 points based on the outcome of the game, or left it the same.  Whatever he gave to one team, he took the opposite away from the other.  It was crude, but he was 9 years old.   

8. Have you ever considered using more colors in your blog?

Answer: That was a great suggestion, and we took your advice this summer and began using team colors.

September 6, 2012

PiRate Ratings College Picks For Week 2: September 6-8, 2012

Welcome back to week two of the college football season where if you really want to, you can lay 64 ½ points and get Florida State over Savannah State at some books.  We don’t fool with FCS teams, mainly because it isn’t easy to find action on games like that, and we try to emulate reality here.  We want to try to beat the legitimate lines, even if our picks are just for fun.

 

Last week, we were mediocre and finished 6-7-0 with our college selections.  Our teasers finished 4-2-0 and our single $-line parlay won.  We blew it on the straight sides to the tune of 1-5.

 

We are known for our teasers and moneyline parlays, so we are going to stick with those this week.

 

1. Moneyline Parlay @ -106

North Carolina over Wake Forest

Ole Miss over UTEP

Stanford over Duke

 

2. Moneyline Parlay @ -105

Ohio State over Central Florida

Bowling Green over Idaho

LSU over Washington

Indiana over UMass

Michigan over Air Force

Oklahoma State over Arizona

 

3. 10-point Teaser

Utah State +17 ½ vs. Utah

Virginia Pk vs. Penn State

Indiana – ½ vs. UMass

 

4. 10-point Teaser

North Carolina +2 vs. Wake Forest

Notre Dame +24 ½ vs. Purdue

Texas A&M +8 ½ vs. Florida

 

5. 10-point Teaser

Cincinnati & Pittsburgh OVER 39

Air Force & Michigan OVER 51 ½

Notre Dame & Purdue OVER 42

 

6. 13-point Teaser

Bowling Green -3 vs. Idaho

Clemson -14 vs. Ball State

Rice +22 ½ vs. Kansas

Ole Miss +5 ½ vs. UTEP

 

7. 13-point Teaser

Auburn +16 vs. Mississippi State

Texas A&M +11 ½ vs. Florida

Stanford -2 vs. Duke

Oklahoma State – ½ vs. Arizona

 

8. 13-point Teaser

Kentucky & Kent State OVER 30

Georgia & Missouri OVER 42

Iowa & Iowa State UNDER 60

Auburn & Mississippi State OVER 34

 

9. 13-point Teaser

Temple & Maryland UNDER 58 ½

Texas A&M & Florida OVER 39

Stanford & Duke UNDER 71 ½

Illinois & Arizona State OVER 35 ½

 

October 23, 2011

PiRate Ratings: College Football for October 25-29, 2011

A Different Look At The Bowls

You can go to a couple dozen sites to get bowl projections, but those are simply opinionated predictions.  At the PiRate Ratings, we like to look at the bowls in the same way the bowls themselves look at the teams.  We go conference-by-conference and try to act as if we were representatives of the bowls.

 

Before going further, let us not forget that we issued a challenge at the first of this year to boycott the sponsors of the bowls and to notify the sponsors of your choice that you are boycotting their products for that purpose.  This was done as a ploy to take away the only reason there is not an NCAA Playoff in FBS Football.  If corporations were to become afraid to sponsor a bowl, then the bowl cannot make money.  If there was an “Occupy the Bowls” movement, the corporate big-wigs just might decide to sponsor playoffs and not bowl games.  When that happens, there will be playoffs.

 

Okay, that said, let us look at each conference and give you their bowl tie-ins and show you which teams are on the radar screen for invitations.

 

A C C

1. BCS Automatic Bid (Orange Bowl if not Championship Game)

2. Chick-fil-A

3. Champs Sports

4. Sun

5. Belk

6. Music City

7. Independence

8. Military

Note: The ACC is the first substitute if the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl cannot fill its Pac-12 spot or if Army is not bowl eligible

 

The ACC Championship Game winner will get an automatic BCS Bowl bid, and it will be the Orange Bowl unless the champion goes to the National Championship Game.  For the Tigers to get to the title game, at least four teams from among LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Boise State, and Stanford will have to lose while CU goes 13-0.  Clemson is not a sure thing to get that far.  Virginia Tech is capable of beating the Tigers in a rematch.

 

The loser of the ACC Championship Game should end up in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A. 

 

The next tier of teams that should get the next bowl slots are Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina.  Wake Forest and North Carolina State will fill out the last two spots.  There is a good chance that Virginia will win six games, and they could push Wake Forest for the eighth bowl spot.  In that case a 7-5 Demon Deacon team could fill in as an at-large entry in another bowl, and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will have an opening for an ACC team, since Army will not be bowl eligible.

 

Big East

1. BCS Automatic Bid (At-Large)

(Notre Dame is eligible for all spots below here)

2. Champs Sports

3. Belk

4. Pinstripe

5. Liberty or BVAA Compass *

6. Beef O’Brady’s

 

* The Liberty Bowl has the option of selecting a Big East team in lieu of a Conference USA team or in place of the SEC if there are not enough bowl eligible SEC teams.  See SEC for more details.

 

Cincinnati is currently on top of the Big East at 2-0, but the Bearcats still have road games with Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Syracuse and a game at Paul Brown Stadium off campus against West Virginia.  Cinti will be in a bowl, but we are not sure they are the true favorite to make it a BCS bowl.

 

With the exception of South Florida, any of the other seven teams could win the league title.  Syracuse sure looks like the team to beat as of this week.  The Orange have a key game at Louisville this weekend.

 

Notre Dame is not headed to a BCS bowl with three losses and a road game still to play against Stanford.  The Irish will grab one of the five non-BCS bowl bids.  Counting Cincinnati and Syracuse, there will need to be three more bowl-eligible teams to fill the required slots.  Rutgers and West Virginia are sure things.  Pittsburgh and Louisville might decide the last bowl-eligible team when they face off in November.  Connecticut and South Florida are least likely to win six games.

 

Big Ten

1. BCS Automatic Bid (Rose Bowl if not Championship Game)

2. Capital One

3. Outback

4-5. Gator or

4-5. Insight

6. Meineke Car Care

7. Ticket City

8. Little Caesar’s

 

The Big Ten champion will be headed to Pasadena this year, as it is almost impossible for this league to finish in the top two of the BCS Standings.

 

Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, and Nebraska all have just one loss and are bowl eligible.  Illinois is bowl eligible as well.  Iowa should get there this weekend after playing Minnesota.  Purdue and Ohio State, both 4-3, face off in November, and the winner of that game will finish the season with six or more wins.  If the conference sends a second team to the BCS, the Little Caesar’s Bowl could be looking to the Sunbelt to fill the vacant slot.  We think the Big Ten will miss out on getting a second BCS spot.

 

Big 12

1. BCS Automatic Bid (Fiesta Bowl if not Championship Game)

2. Cotton

3. Alamo

4. Insight

5. Holiday

6. Meineke Car Care

7. Pinstripe (Notre Dame is eligible for this if Big 12 cannot provide a team)

 

With Oklahoma losing to Texas Tech, it throws a monkey wrench into the Big 12’s “sure-thing” chance to produce two BCS Bowl teams.  Oklahoma State is the only National Championship Game possibility now, as it appears that Boise State will not fall enough in the computer rankings for a one-loss Big 12 team to pass them, especially if Georgia keeps winning in the SEC.

 

Kansas State is still undefeated, but the Wildcats have Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M in the next three weeks.  If they win all three, then they deserve to move into the top two, but there’s a greater chance of a satellite fragment crashing at the 50-yard line at Snyder Family Stadium than the Wildcats completing that sweep.

 

Oklahoma State needs to win out, and they will play the Alabama-LSU winner for the national championship (assuming LSU does not beat Alabama and then lose to Arkansas).

After the Sooners, Cowboys, and Wildcats, Texas A&M is the best of the rest.  The Aggies could easily be undefeated, but they blew double digit leads in back-to-back weeks against Oklahoma State and Arkansas.

 

Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas are sure to gain bowl eligibility, while Missouri has a good shot to get to 6-6.  If Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State and finishes 10-2, we believe they will still have a chance to garner a BCS At-large spot.  If the Sooners beat OSU and both finish 11-1, then it will be an almost certainty that the league will send two teams.

 

Pac-12

1. BCS Automatic Bid (Rose Bowl if not Championship Game)

2. Alamo

3. Holiday

4. Sun

5. MAACO

6. Kraft Fight Hunger

7. New Mexico

 

Stanford will deserve a spot in the National Championship Game if they go 13-0 with their schedule.  They face USC at the Coliseum this weekend, and must also defeat Oregon and Notre Dame in Palo Alto.  Then, they have to win the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game, most likely against Arizona State.

 

Oregon is still a co-favorite to win the league title for the second consecutive year.  The Ducks lost to LSU to open the season, but they have gotten better and better each week.  Oregon has a tough three-game stretch at Washington, at Stanford, and versus USC.  If they win out and then take Arizona State in the conference title game, they might be the top one-loss team and the only one capable of leapfrogging over an undefeated Boise State team.

 

Since the Trojans are not eligible for bowl participation until next year, there is a very good possibility that this conference will not have seven bowl eligible teams this year.

 

Washington and Arizona State are the other sure things, while Cal will probably do it if they beat UCLA this week.  It is a high probability that no other team will win six games, so the Pac-12 will come up short by two teams, three if they send a second team to the BCS. 

 

S E C

1. BCS Automatic Bid (Sugar Bowl if not Championship Game)

2. Capital One

3-4-5. Outback or

3-4-5. Cotton or

3-4-5. Chick-fil-A

6. Gator

7. Music City

8-9. Liberty *

8-9 BVAA Compass *

 

* If the SEC cannot provide enough teams, the Liberty and Compass bowls alternate each year which bowl will find an at-large participant.  If the Liberty Bowl does not get an SEC team, they will take a Big East team that would have been the Compass Bowl’s selection.

 

It is very hard to believe the winner of the Alabama-LSU game would not be in the National Championship Game.  It isn’t impossible, but it’s hard to see any other SEC team beating the winner of this game.  It is also possible that if the winner of this epic matchup on November 5 wins by less than a field goal in one of those game for the ages, that the two teams could play again in New Orleans for all the marbles.

 

Arkansas is lurking in the bushes.  They have upset LSU before, including the Tigers’ national championship year of 2007.

 

Auburn, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina will be bowl eligible, and all of them could have eight wins on their resume.

 

Mississippi State is having an off-year after winning nine games in 2010, but the Bulldogs should get to 6-6 with Kentucky, UT-Martin, and Ole Miss still on the schedule.

 

Tennessee and Vanderbilt both have a chance to get to six wins, and it is likely that the winner of their November 19 game will be 6-6, while the loser finishes 5-7.  Kentucky and Ole Miss will not become bowl eligible this year.  So, it looks like nine bowl eligible teams for a probable 10 slots.

 

Best of the Rest

Mountain West

1. MAACO

2. Poinsettia

3. Independence

4. Famous Idaho Potato

5. New Mexico

 

Boise State has road victories over Georgia and Toledo, two teams that will be in bowls.  They have home victories over Tulsa, Nevada, and Air Force, who should all be in bowls.  The Broncos still have games with TCU and San Diego State, who should both be in bowls.  That adds to seven bowl teams on their schedule, and if they go 12-0, they will definitely be deserving of a BCS at-large Bowl Bid, but not the National Championship Game.  The Broncos will only get to New Orleans if every other team loses at least one game (Houston not included).  In our opinion, the Broncos deserve a BCS Bowl game over any Big East or ACC team.

 

TCU and San Diego State are sure things to become bowl eligible, while Air Force has concluded the difficult part of their schedule and could win out.

 

This is where things get murky.  If BSU earns a BCS bowl bid, this league will be liable for six bowl teams.  They may only have four.  Wyoming is 4-2, but the Cowboys will be hard pressed to come up with two more wins with a schedule that includes San Diego State, Air Force, and Boise State on the road and TCU at home.  A win over New Mexico is almost a guarantee, so the Cowboys would have to win against rival Colorado State in Ft. Collins on December 3.

 

The Rest

 

Conference USA

1. Liberty *

2. Hawaii

3. Ticket City

4. Armed Forces

5. Beef O’Brady’s

6. New Orleans

* BVAA Compass

 

* The Liberty Bowl can select a Big East team in place of the CUSA champion and send the league champion to Birmingham to the Compass Bowl.

 

Houston could go 13-0 and still be forced to play in the Liberty Bowl, although the Cougars could be shipped to a better bowl, such as the Alamo Bowl, in a “back room deal.”

 

Southern Mississippi and Tulsa are the two best teams after Houston, and both still have to play the Cougars (that is if USM wins the East Division and Houston wins the West).

 

SMU and UTEP should both be bowl eligible.  Of the remaining East Division teams, East Carolina has the best chance of sneaking in with six wins, while Central Florida and Marshall are long shots.  There is a chance that this league will come up one team short.

 

Independents

1. Notre Dame: Irish get a BCS bid if they finish in the top 8 in the final BCS standings.  They can also qualify for any Non-BCS bowl with ties to the Big East, and they can fill the Big 12’s Pinstripe Bowl slot if it is not filled by a Big 12 team).

 

2. B Y U: Cougars will earn a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl if they win seven games.

 

3. Navy: Midshipmen qualify for the Military Bowl if they are bowl eligible.

 

4. Army: The Black Knights qualify for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl if they are bowl eligible.  The ACC will replace a non-eligible Army team if they have a ninth bowl eligible team.

 

The only sure thing here is that BYU will earn their Armed Forces Bowl bid.  Notre Dame will go to one of the Big East bowls, while Army and Navy will be home for the holidays this year.

 

M A C

1. GoDaddy.com

2. Little Caesar’s

 

Toledo is the one sure thing this year.  The Rockets have been on a mission since the referees took away the Syracuse game from them with the blatantly terribly wrong PAT call.  They will earn one of the two guaranteed bowl bids.

 

Five teams will be competing for the other bowl spot.  In the East, where four teams have two conference losses, Temple, Ohio, and Bowling Green could all become bowl eligible.  In the West, besides Toledo, Northern Illinois can never be counted out of contention, as the Huskies have enough support to earn an at-large bid.  The two surprise teams here are Ball State and Eastern Michigan.  Both are 3-1/5-3, and both should win again to become bowl eligible.  While the Cardinals were in a bowl during Brady Hoke’s final season at BSU in 2008, it has been 24 years since EMU made its only bowl appearance.  The Eagles could win eight games, and Coach Ron English would have to merit some National Coach of the Year votes for taking a team that was #120 in the BCS two years ago.

 

Sunbelt

1. New Orleans

2. GoDaddy.com

* Beef O’Grady’s

* BVAA Compass

 

* The SBC is the principal backup choice of the Beef O’Grady’s Bowl if it cannot fill its spots with their regular tie-ins.  It is a secondary backup for the BVAA Compass Bowl.

 

Arkansas State is 3-0 in league play, while UL-Lafayette and Western Kentucky have one league loss apiece.  ASU beat WKU, and WKU beat ULL.  If ULL beats ASU, then the three could share the title, but we do not believe that will happen.  We’ll stick with ASU until somebody beats them in league play.

 

Florida International has a good chance of getting to seven wins and almost guaranteeing their receiving an at-large bowl bid.

 

The typical powers Troy and Middle Tennessee are out of the bowl picture for now.

 

W A C

Famous Idaho Potato

Poinsettia

Hawaii (Hawaii if they have seven or more wins)

New Mexico

 

Nevada will be the conference champion again, and Hawaii will win at least eight games.  After that, there is a question whether any other team will be bowl eligible.

 

San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, and New Mexico State are 3-4, while Fresno State is 3-5.  FSU plays 13 games, and the Bulldogs are on pace to finish 6-7 and out of the bowl picture.

 

Of the 3-4 teams, Louisiana Tech still must face Fresno State, Ole Miss, and Nevada on the road, and that leads to seven losses.  New Mexico State still has games against Nevada, Georgia, and BYU, and that leads to at least seven losses.  San Jose State has the best chance to finish 3-2 and become bowl eligible.  The Spartans close with Louisiana Tech, Idaho, Utah State, Navy, and Fresno State.  2nd year coach Mike MacIntyre has done a great job in two years there, and with former Michigan starting quarterback Tate Forcier set to become eligible next year, the Spartans could be on the verge of returning to their former winning ways when they went to four bowls in a decade.

 

This Week’s Power Ratings 1-120

#

Team

PiRate

1

Alabama

138.1

2

Stanford

136.5

3

L S U

136.1

4

Oregon

131.6

5

Oklahoma St.

129.3

6

Oklahoma

129.3

7

Boise St.

126.9

8

Wisconsin

124.5

9

TexasA&M

123.3

10

Notre Dame

119.8

11

Florida St.

119.8

12

Clemson

119.5

13

Southern Cal

119.2

14

Arkansas

119.0

15

Michigan St.

118.8

16

Arizona St.

118.1

17

S. Carolina

116.7

18

Michigan

116.3

19

Missouri

115.6

20

Nebraska

114.9

21

Virginia Tech

114.3

22

Florida 

113.5

23

Georgia 

113.0

24

Miami(FL)

112.7

25

Washington

112.6

26

T C U

112.6

27

Kansas St.

112.3

28

Texas

111.3

29

TexasTech

111.1

30

Mississippi St.

111.0

31

Ohio St.

110.4

32

Cincinnati

109.5

33

W. Virginia

109.0

34

California

108.9

35

Arizona

108.5

36

Penn St.

107.7

37

Iowa

107.5

38

Southern Miss.

107.4

39

Tennessee

106.8

40

Utah

106.7

41

Auburn

106.7

42

Houston

106.6

43

Nevada

106.6

44

Baylor

106.5

45

Oregon St.

105.6

46

B Y U

105.0

47

Georgia Tech

104.1

48

Vanderbilt

103.9

49

WakeForest

103.0

50

San Diego St.

102.8

51

Pittsburgh

102.7

52

N. Carolina

102.4

53

Illinois

101.9

54

N. Carolina St.

101.7

55

Tulsa

101.4

56

S M U

101.3

57

S. Florida

101.3

58

Purdue

101.1

59

Toledo

100.6

60

U C L A

100.6

61

Maryland

100.4

62

Temple

100.3

63

Air Force

100.3

64

Washington St.

99.8

65

Hawaii

99.3

66

Northwestern

99.2

67

Rutgers

99.1

68

Utah St.

98.7

69

Ole Miss

97.7

70

Syracuse

97.1

71

Duke

96.7

72

BostonColl.

96.6

73

Iowa St.

95.9

74

Virginia

95.8

75

Connecticut

95.1

76

Navy

95.0

77

LouisianaTech

95.0

78

San Jose St.

94.8

79

Louisville

93.9

80

Central Florida

93.9

81

Fresno St.

93.7

82

Northern Illinois

93.4

83

Colorado

92.7

84

Western Michigan

92.6

85

East Carolina

92.5

86

Arkansas St.

91.9

87

Kentucky

89.1

88

Kansas

88.5

89

Wyoming

88.1

90

Bowling Green

87.7

91

U T E P

87.6

92

FloridaInt’l

87.1

93

Minnesota

86.8

94

Miami(O)

86.3

95

OhioU

85.9

96

U A B

85.8

97

Rice

85.5

98

Marshall

84.7

99

New Mexico St.

84.5

100

Colorado St.

84.5

101

Army

84.1

102

UL-Monroe

84.0

103

WesternKy.

83.1

104

Idaho

83.0

105

UL-Lafayette

82.1

106

Indiana

81.2

107

North Texas

81.0

108

Eastern Michigan

80.9

109

Ball St.

80.7

110

Central Michigan

80.0

111

MiddleTennessee

78.6

112

Buffalo

78.0

113

Troy

77.8

114

U N L V

77.8

115

Kent St.

74.5

116

New Mexico

70.1

117

Memphis

69.2

118

Tulane

68.7

119

Akron

67.5

120

FloridaAtlantic

64.8

 

By Conference

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

FloridaState

2-2

4-3

119.8

Clemson

5-0

8-0

119.5

WakeForest

4-1

5-2

103.0

North CarolinaState

1-2

4-3

101.7

Maryland

1-3

2-5

100.4

BostonCollege

0-4

1-6

96.6

       
Coastal Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Virginia Tech

3-1

7-1

114.3

Miami-FL

2-2

4-3

112.7

Georgia Tech

3-2

6-2

104.1

North Carolina

1-3

5-3

102.4

Duke

1-2

3-4

96.7

Virginia

1-2

4-3

95.8

 

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Cincinnati

2-0

6-1

109.5

West Virginia

1-1

5-2

109.0

Pittsburgh

1-1

3-4

102.7

South Florida

0-3

4-3

101.3

Rutgers

2-1

5-2

99.1

Syracuse

1-1

5-2

97.1

Connecticut

1-1

3-4

95.1

Louisville

1-1

3-4

93.9

 

 

Big Ten

       
Leaders Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Wisconsin

2-1

6-1

124.5

OhioState

1-2

4-3

110.4

PennState

4-0

7-1

107.7

Illinois

2-2

6-2

101.9

Purdue

2-1

4-3

101.1

Indiana

0-4

1-7

81.2

       
Legends Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

MichiganState

3-0

6-1

118.8

Michigan

2-1

6-1

116.3

Nebraska

2-1

6-1

114.9

Iowa

2-1

5-2

107.5

Northwestern

0-4

2-5

99.2

Minnesota

0-3

1-6

86.8

 

 

Big 12

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

OklahomaState

4-0

7-0

129.3

Oklahoma

3-1

6-1

127.5

TexasA&M

3-1

5-2

123.3

Missouri

1-3

3-4

115.6

KansasState

4-0

7-0

112.3

Texas

1-2

4-2

111.3

TexasTech

2-2

5-2

111.1

Baylor

1-2

4-2

106.5

IowaState

0-4

3-4

95.9

Kansas

0-4

2-5

88.5

 

 

Conference USA

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Southern Mississippi

2-1

6-1

107.4

Central Florida

1-2

3-4

93.9

East Carolina

2-1

3-4

92.5

U A B

1-3

1-6

85.8

Marshall

2-2

3-5

84.7

Memphis

1-2

2-6

69.2

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Houston

3-0

7-0

106.6

Tulsa

3-0

4-3

101.4

S M U

3-1

5-2

101.3

U T E P

1-2

4-3

87.6

Rice

1-3

2-5

85.5

Tulane

1-3

2-6

68.7

 

 

Independents

       
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Notre Dame  

4-3

119.8

B Y U  

6-2

105.0

Navy  

2-5

95.0

Army  

2-5

84.1

 

 

Mid American Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Temple

3-2

5-3

100.3

Bowling Green

2-2

4-4

87.7

Miami(O)

1-2

2-5

86.3

OhioU

2-2

5-3

85.9

Buffalo

1-3

2-6

78.0

Kent St.

0-3

1-6

74.5

Akron

0-3

1-6

67.5

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Toledo

4-0

5-3

100.6

Northern Illinois

3-1

5-3

93.4

Western Michigan

2-2

4-4

92.6

Eastern Michigan

3-1

5-3

80.9

BallState

3-1

5-3

80.7

Central Michigan

1-3

2-6

80.0

 

 

Mountain West Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

BoiseState

2-0

7-0

126.9

T C U

3-0

5-2

112.6

San DiegoState

1-1

4-2

102.8

Air Force

0-3

3-4

100.3

Wyoming

1-0

4-2

88.1

ColoradoState

1-1

3-4

84.5

UNLV

0-1

1-5

77.8

New Mexico

0-2

0-7

70.1

 

 

Pac-12 Conference

       
North Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Stanford

5-0

7-0

136.5

Oregon

4-0

6-1

131.6

Washington

3-1

5-2

112.6

California

1-3

4-3

108.9

OregonState

2-2

2-5

105.6

WashingtonState

1-3

3-4

99.8

       
South Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

U S C

3-1

6-1

119.2

ArizonaState

3-1

5-2

118.1

Arizona

1-3

2-5

108.5

Utah

0-4

3-4

106.7

U C L A

2-2

3-4

100.6

Colorado

0-4

1-7

92.7

 

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

South Carolina

4-1

6-1

116.7

Florida

2-3

4-3

113.5

Georgia

4-1

5-2

113.0

Tennessee

0-4

3-4

106.8

Vanderbilt

1-3

4-3

103.9

Kentucky

0-3

3-4

89.1

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Alabama

5-0

8-0

138.1

L S U

5-0

8-0

136.1

Arkansas

2-1

6-1

119.0

MississippiState

0-4

3-4

111.0

Auburn

3-2

5-3

106.7

Ole Miss

0-4

2-5

97.7

 

 

Sunbelt Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

ArkansasState

3-0

5-2

91.9

FloridaInternational

1-2

4-3

87.1

Louisiana-Monroe

1-2

2-5

84.0

Western Kentucky

3-1

3-4

83.1

U.ofLouisiana

4-1

6-2

82.1

North Texas

2-2

3-5

81.0

MiddleTennessee

1-2

2-4

78.6

Troy

1-2

2-4

77.8

FloridaAtlantic

0-4

0-7

64.8

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nevada

2-0

4-3

106.6

Hawaii

2-1

4-3

99.3

UtahState

0-2

2-5

98.7

LouisianaTech

2-1

3-4

95.0

San JoseState

2-1

3-4

94.8

FresnoState

2-1

3-5

93.7

New MexicoState

1-2

3-4

84.5

Idaho

0-3

1-6

83.0

 

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

   

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 25  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

FLORIDAINT’L Troy

11.8

33-21

5   

   

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 26  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

PITTSBURGH Connecticut

10.6

28-17

10 1/2

   

 

 

 

Thursday, October 27  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

MIAMI(FL) Virginia

19.9

34-14

14 1/2

HOUSTON Rice

23.1

51-28

26 1/2

   

 

 

 

Friday, October 28  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

T C U B y u

11.1

35-24

11 1/2

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Saturday, October 29  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

Mississippi St. KENTUCKY

18.9

31-12

10 1/2

MARSHALL U a b

1.9

26-24

6   

Central Mich. AKRON

10.0

31-21

8 1/2

WESTERNMICH. Ball St.

14.4

31-17

13 1/2

NORTH CAROLINA WakeForest

2.4

28-26

7   

FLORIDA ST. North Carolina St.

21.6

38-16

19 1/2

Clemson GEORGIATECH

12.4

42-30

NL

Iowa MINNESOTA

17.7

28-10

17 1/2

Michigan St. NEBRASKA

0.4

24-24 to ot

-5 1/2

Northwestern INDIANA

15.5

37-21

9 1/2

MICHIGAN Purdue

18.2

38-20

15   

PENN ST. Illinois

9.3

23-14

6   

Virginia Tech DUKE

15.1

27-12

14   

West Virginia RUTGERS

6.9

31-24

7   

Syracuse LOUISVILLE

0.2

26-26 to ot

-4   

MARYLAND BostonCollege

6.8

27-20

7 1/2

AUBURN Ole Miss

12.0

35-23

10 1/2

Arkansas VANDERBILT

12.6

34-21

12 1/2

TEXAS Kansas

26.3

38-12

24   

Bowling Green KENT ST.

10.7

31-20

5   

Air Force NEW MEXICO

27.7

42-14

28 1/2

TULSA S m u

3.1

37-34

3   

ARIZONA ST. Colorado

28.4

38-10

30 1/2

EAST CAROLINA Tulane

26.8

40-13

18   

TEXASA&M Missouri

11.2

38-27

11   

TEXASTECH Iowa St.

18.2

38-20

17 1/2

MIAMI(O) Buffalo

5.8

28-22

8   

NOTRE DAME Navy

27.8

45-17

17 1/2

Florida  (N) Georgia

0.5

24-23

NL

LOUISIANATECH San Jose St.

3.7

31-27

9 1/2

CENTRAL FLORIDA Memphis

27.7

41-13

29   

Hawaii IDAHO

12.8

38-25

11   

Colorado St. U N L V

3.7

28-24

3 1/2

UTAH Oregon St.

4.1

27-23

7   

California U C L A

5.3

31-26

5 1/2

WASHINGTON Arizona

7.1

30-23

8   

OREGON Washington St.

35.3

56-21

32 1/2

South Carolina TENNESSEE

6.9

20-10

6 1/2

Oklahoma KANSAS ST.

12.2

42-30

13 1/2

OKLAHOMA ST. Baylor

25.8

50-24

18   

Wisconsin OHIO ST.

11.1

25-14

8 1/2

Southern Miss. U T E P

16.8

38-21

11   

Stanford SOUTHERN CAL

13.8

35-21

8 1/2

Nevada NEW MEXICO ST.

19.1

40-21

15   

SAN DIEGO ST. Wyoming

17.7

35-17

17   

UL-MONROE Western Kentucky

3.4

31-28

6 1/2

ARKANSAS ST. North Texas

13.4

34-21

14 1/2

UL-Lafayette MIDDLETENNESSEE

1.0

26-25

-3   

 

 

October 16, 2011

PiRate Ratings: College Football for October 18-22, 2011

The Surprises and The Disappointments

As we pass the halfway point in the season, let’s take a look at each conference and review which teams have outperformed their expectations, underperformed their expectations.

 

A C C

Surprises: Clemson suffered through a 6-7 season last year, but the Tigers are 7-0 with wins over Auburn, Florida State, and Virginia Tech.  They play at Georgia Tech in two weeks and close the regular season at South Carolina.  CU has the horses to run the table and win the ACC Championship Game, but they will not be a contender for the National Championship Game unless they are the lone undefeated team remaining on December 4.

 

Georgia Tech figured to struggle to reach .500 this year with a young defense, but the Yellow Jackets’ offense has been outscoring opponents, until Saturday when they lost to Virginia.

 

Disappointments: Florida State was supposed to contend for national honors this year, but the Seminoles are a mediocre 3-3 halfway through the schedule.  FSU could run the table in the second half, but there is little to no chance they will claim the Atlantic Division crown.

 

Boston College is 1-5, and the Eagles close with their toughest games.  BC could lose 10 games for the first time since 1978.  Firing Jeff Jagodzinski for interviewing for an NFL job may have come back to bite the Eagles.  Frank Spaziani’s career record in Chestnut Hill is now 17-16 (Jago was 20-8 in his two years).

 

Big East

Surprises: That the league is still alive and may even keep their automatic BCS bid is the biggest surprise.  If Boise State and Air Force actually become members, it will be an even bigger surprise.

 

West Virginia and Cincinnati were expected to be as good as they are, but Rutgers was not supposed to be 5-1 and almost 6-0.  The Scarlet Knights had been going downhill since they went 11-2 in 2006.  Coach Greg Schiano’s team gets both WVU and Cinti at home, so don’t count out RU.

 

Disappointments: Pittsburgh is the one real disappointment in this league.  The Panthers are 3-4 under first year coach Todd Graham.  Many prognosticators pegged Pitt to contend with West Virginia.

 

Big Ten

Surprises: Until Saturday, Illinois and Michigan were the two big surprises.  Both teams lost to fall to 6-1.

 

Penn State, Michigan State, and Nebraska were expected to contend for division titles, while Wisconsin is no surprise. 

 

Disappointments: There are really no surprises here.  Ohio State is 4-3, but after all their bad news, the Buckeyes are about where everybody thinks they would be.  Northwestern is 2-4 and a mild disappointment, but then again, we’re talking about a team that can never take a win for granted.

 

Big 12

Surprises: Kansas State is one of the top surprises in the nation.  Hurray for the Septuagenarian set, as Coach Bill Snyder has his Wildcats at 6-0.  KSU should be 7-0 when they host Oklahoma in two weeks.  It isn’t possible, is it?

 

Disappointments: It’s hard to call it a disappointment, but 4-2 Texas A&M has blown large leads in their two losses.  The Aggies could easily be 6-0, and their two losses came to Oklahoma State and Arkansas, two teams that will probably play in January.

 

Conference USA

Surprises: Obviously, the biggest surprise is this league’s proposed merger with the Mountain West Conference to form the biggest league since the old Southern Conference had 22 members in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.

 

They are not a major surprise, but UTEP is 3-3 with a chance to get to 6-6 and a bowl for the second consecutive season.  The Miners had to start from scratch on offense, but Coach Mike Price knows how to develop an attack unit.

 

Disappointments: Central Florida is 3-3 but could still finish 8-4.  The Knights should be 5-3 when they host Tulsa on Thursday, November 3.  If UCF wins that game, the following game at Southern Miss could decide the East Division title.

 

Independents

Surprises: There are no surprises among the independents.  BYU is the closest thing to a surprise at 5-2.  The Cougars will finish 8-4 or 9-3, which is about where most experts predicted.

 

Disappointments: The other three independent teams are disappointments thus far.  Notre Dame kicked off the season with a home loss to South Florida and followed it up with a loss to Michigan.  They have since reeled off four wins in a row and could travel to Stanford on November 26 with a 9-2 record.

 

Navy has not been able to generate enough passing to keep defenses honest, and the Midshipmen are 2-4 halfway through the season.  The back half of the schedule is tougher than what was expected, and the Middies could be out of the bowl picture this season.

You can say the same thing about Army.  The Black Knights are also 2-4, but they are 2-4 for a different reason.  Their desert swarm defense has stayed camouflaged after the opponent snaps the ball.  Like Navy, it looks like there will be no bowling for Army this year.

 

M A C

Surprises: Little surprises us when it comes to the MAC.  From week to week, you never know what you are going to get.  One week Temple looks unbeatable, then they lose big to Toledo.  Of course, since then, they have merely shut out back-to-back opponents.

 

Eastern Michigan is 4-3, but two of those wins were against FCS teams.  However, the Eagles have not been above .500 in the second half of a season since 1995, when they last finished above .500.

 

Disappointments: Ohio U was supposed to contend with Temple for the East Division title, but the Bobcats are sinking fast.  At 1-2/4-3, it appears as though they are out of the division race.

 

Mountain West

Surprises: (See Conference USA for the big surprise).  It is certainly no surprise that Boise State is undefeated and headed to a possible third 12-0 regular season in the last six years.  The Broncos will need Oklahoma or both Alabama and LSU to lose to have a shot at the National Championship Game.  If Oklahoma State runs the table, they could top BSU as well.

 

San Diego State and Wyoming are 4-2, but neither team is a surprise at this point.  The Aztecs were expected to contend for another bowl game, while Wyoming is almost a disappointment halfway through their schedule.  The Cowboys could have won an extra game in the first half of the season, and they could easily go 1-5 in the second half to miss out on a bowl.

 

Disappointments: Air Force is 3-3 after being expected to contend for 2nd place in the league.  The Falcons should rebound to win at least four of their final six if not five.

 

Pac-12

Surprises: If there are surprises here, then you have to look at the Evergreen State.  Washington is 5-1.  They face Stanford in Palo Alto this weekend, and the Huskies could make it an interesting game.

 

Washington State is 3-3, and the Cougars have an outside shot of going 3-3 in the second half of the season.  It has been eight years since WSU has been to a bowl.

 

Disappointments: California was supposed to rebound from a subpar 2010 season, but the Bears are 3-3 after losing three games in a row.  Coach Jeff Tedford’s offense is not churning out the yards and points like it did in earlier in the decade.  Another 5-7 season is possible.

 

Oregon State could be headed back to a place they were familiar with for almost three decades.  The Beavers never approached a winning season from the early 1970’s until the late 1990’s.  After losing to Sacramento State to begin the season, OSU has reached the halfway point at 1-5.  1-11 is a possibility.

 

S E C

Surprises: There are no real surprises in the top conference in the nation.  Alabama and LSU are headed to a possible epic game in November, while Arkansas is not to be counted out yet.  If LSU beats Alabama, and Arkansas beats LSU, the West Division could end up with three 7-1/11-1 teams.

 

Could the defending national champions be a surprise at 5-2?  Yes!  Auburn was expected to struggle to reach six wins this year, but the Tigers are headed to at least a 7-5 season if not better.

 

In the East, Georgia has rebounded with five consecutive wins after starting 0-2.  The Bulldogs could make it 10 in a row before having to face Alabama, LSU, or Arkansas in the SEC Championship Game.

 

Disappointments: In the East, Florida is a huge disappointment.  Losing John Brantley has been as devastating at the Colts losing Peyton Manning.  The Gators are 4-3 and could drop to 6-6 before bowl season.

 

In the West, Ole Miss is 2-4 and headed to a second consecutive 4-8 season.  Coach Houston Nutt could be on the hot seat.  Ole Miss letting David Cutcliffe go after the 2004 was as big a mistake as New Mexico forcing Rocky Long out.

 

Mississippi State is 3-4 and will most likely be 5-6 prior to the Egg Bowl on November 26.  It will take a win over Ole Miss to become bowl eligible.

 

Sunbelt

Surprises: The SBC may be the weakest FBS conference overall, but the biggest surprise of all comes from this league.  Louisiana was expected to struggle to beat out Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic to avoid the cellar.  Instead, the Ragin’ Cajuns are 4-0/6-1.  UL-Lafayette has never been to a bowl game, but that is going to change.  If they should happen to win out and finish 11-1, they could even garner some top 25 votes.  Their one loss came at Oklahoma State in the opener.

 

Disappointments: The two teams that have been the top contenders in recent years have fallen this year.  Troy has won or shared the league title for five consecutive years, but the 2-4 Trojans will have a tough time getting to 6-6 let alone finish with a piece of the title.

 

Middle Tennessee was expected to contend for the league title after going two bowls the last two seasons.  The 1-4 Blue Raiders own only one win, and that came against the hapless Memphis Tigers.

 

W A C

Surprises: The biggest surprise is that not a single team has a winning record halfway through the season.  New Mexico State has to be considered the only positive surprise, as the Aggies are 3-3.  It has been nine seasons since NMSU last finished with a winning record, and we do not believe they will make it this year due to a really tough closing schedule.  They play 13 regular season games, and we cannot see four more wins.

 

San Jose State is 3-4, but that equals the total number of games they won in 2009 and 2010 combined.  The Spartans have a shot at getting to 6-6.

 

Disappointments: Except for New Mexico State and San Jose State, the rest of the league is a disappointment.  Nevada and Hawaii are not going to make waves this year.  For years, Fresno State has been pulling off major upsets and going to bowls, but the Bulldogs have never won the WAC.  In what could be Coach Pat Hill’s weakest team in five years, it would be quite ironic if FSU finally won the title in this major down year for the league.

 

The Cream Rises Farther From The Skim Milk

In PiRate Ratings’ history, only one time did five teams finish with what today would equal 130.0 or above PiRate Ratings; Back then, our founder rated teams with 0 as the mid-point, whereas today 100 is the norm. 

 

That year was 1973.  That year, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Alabama all finished above 30, which is 130 today.

 

Halfway through 2011, four teams are currently above 130, while a fifth team is very close.  Take a look at this week’s ratings.

 

#

Team

PiRate

1

Alabama

138.6

2

Oklahoma

134.5

3

L S U

134.1

4

Stanford

132.5

5

Boise St.

129.7

6

Oregon

128.7

7

Oklahoma St.

127.3

8

Wisconsin

127.2

9

Notre Dame

126.0

10

TexasA&M

124.0

11

Arkansas

121.3

12

Clemson

119.1

13

Florida St.

118.3

14

Arizona St.

118.1

15

Missouri

117.4

16

S. Carolina

116.7

17

Michigan

116.3

18

Michigan St.

116.2

19

Washington

115.9

20

Southern Cal

114.8

21

Virginia Tech

114.0

22

Nebraska

113.7

23

Florida 

113.5

24

Georgia 

113.0

25

W. Virginia

112.5

26

Miami(FL)

111.5

27

Texas

111.3

28

Mississippi St.

111.0

29

Utah

110.7

30

Ohio St.

110.4

31

Cincinnati

109.8

32

Kansas St.

109.1

33

T C U

108.8

34

Auburn

108.5

35

Nevada

107.1

36

Penn St.

107.0

37

Iowa

106.8

38

Baylor

106.5

39

Tennessee

106.3

40

California

106.0

41

Georgia Tech

105.6

42

U C L A

105.6

43

TexasTech

104.9

44

Arizona

104.8

45

S M U

104.6

46

B Y U

104.5

47

Illinois

104.1

48

Houston

103.9

49

Southern Miss.

103.9

50

Washington St.

103.8

51

Vanderbilt

103.5

52

WakeForest

102.9

53

San Diego St.

102.8

54

Pittsburgh

102.7

55

N. Carolina

102.6

56

Temple

102.5

57

Oregon St.

102.2

58

Maryland

102.0

59

S. Florida

101.0

60

Rutgers

100.7

61

Hawaii

100.6

62

N. Carolina St.

100.2

63

Tulsa

100.0

64

Northwestern

99.8

65

Toledo

99.7

66

Utah St.

98.7

67

Purdue

98.7

68

Navy

98.2

69

Air Force

98.0

70

Virginia

97.1

71

Duke

96.8

72

BostonColl.

96.7

73

Western Michigan

96.4

74

Colorado

96.4

75

Central Florida

96.2

76

Iowa St.

95.7

77

Ole Miss

95.7

78

Connecticut

95.1

79

LouisianaTech

95.0

80

Northern Illinois

95.0

81

San Jose St.

94.8

82

Fresno St.

92.7

83

Syracuse

92.1

84

Louisville

92.1

85

Kansas

91.5

86

Arkansas St.

89.6

87

East Carolina

89.4

88

FloridaInt’l

89.2

89

Kentucky

88.8

90

Wyoming

88.1

91

Colorado St.

88.0

92

UL-Monroe

88.0

93

Minnesota

87.8

94

Marshall

87.2

95

Miami(O)

87.0

96

Rice

86.7

97

OhioU

85.1

98

Bowling Green

85.0

99

UL-Lafayette

84.8

100

Army

84.4

101

U T E P

84.2

102

U A B

83.4

103

Idaho

83.0

104

New Mexico St.

82.7

105

Indiana

81.9

106

Central Michigan

80.3

107

Ball St.

80.2

108

WesternKy.

78.2

109

North Texas

77.9

110

Troy

77.8

111

U N L V

77.8

112

Buffalo

76.4

113

MiddleTennessee

75.5

114

Tulane

74.7

115

Kent St.

74.5

116

Eastern Michigan

74.5

117

New Mexico

73.8

118

FloridaAtlantic

70.4

119

Akron

68.2

120

Memphis

64.5

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

 

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Clemson

4-0

7-0

119.1

Florida State

1-2

3-3

118.3

Wake Forest

3-1

4-2

102.9

Maryland

1-2

2-4

102.0

North Carolina State

0-2

3-3

100.2

Boston College

0-3

1-5

96.7

       
Coastal Division

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Virginia Tech

2-1

6-1

114.0

Miami-FL

1-2

3-3

111.5

Georgia Tech

3-1

6-1

105.6

North Carolina

1-2

5-2

102.6

Virginia

1-1

4-2

97.1

Duke

1-1

3-3

96.8

 

 

Big East Conference

 

 

 

 

Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

West Virginia

1-0

5-1

112.5

Cincinnati

1-0

5-1

109.8

Pittsburgh

1-1

3-4

102.7

South Florida

0-2

4-2

101.0

Rutgers

2-0

5-1

100.7

Connecticut

1-1

3-4

95.1

Syracuse

0-1

4-2

92.1

Louisville

0-1

2-4

92.1

 

 

Big Ten

       
Leaders Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Wisconsin

2-0

6-0

127.2

Ohio State

1-2

4-3

110.4

Penn State

3-0

6-1

107.0

Illinois

2-1

6-1

104.1

Purdue

1-1

3-3

98.7

Indiana

0-3

1-6

81.9

       
Legends Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Michigan

2-1

6-1

116.3

Michigan State

2-0

5-1

116.2

Nebraska

1-1

5-1

113.7

Iowa

1-1

4-2

106.8

Northwestern

0-3

2-4

99.8

Minnesota

0-2

1-5

87.8

 

 

Big 12

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Oklahoma

3-0

6-0

134.5

Oklahoma State

3-0

6-0

127.3

Texas A&M

2-1

4-2

124.0

Missouri

1-2

3-3

117.4

Texas

1-2

4-2

111.3

Kansas State

3-0

6-0

109.1

Baylor

1-2

4-2

106.5

Texas Tech

1-2

4-2

104.9

Iowa State

0-3

3-3

95.7

Kansas

0-3

2-4

91.5

 

 

Conference USA

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Southern Mississippi

1-1

5-1

103.9

Central Florida

1-1

3-3

96.2

East Carolina

2-1

2-4

89.4

Marshall

2-1

3-4

87.2

U A B

0-3

0-6

83.4

Memphis

0-2

1-6

64.5

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

S M U

3-0

5-1

104.6

Houston

2-0

6-0

103.9

Tulsa

2-0

3-3

100.0

Rice

1-2

2-4

86.7

U T E P

1-2

3-3

84.2

Tulane

1-2

2-5

74.7

 

 

Independents

       
Team

 

Overall

Rating

Notre Dame  

4-2

126.0

B Y U  

5-2

104.5

Navy  

2-4

98.2

Army  

2-4

84.4

 

 

Mid American Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Temple

3-1

5-2

102.5

Miami (O)

1-1

2-4

87.0

Ohio U

1-2

4-3

85.1

Bowling Green

1-2

3-4

85.0

Buffalo

1-2

2-5

76.4

Kent St.

0-3

1-6

74.5

Akron

0-2

1-5

68.2

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Toledo

3-0

4-3

99.7

Western Michigan

2-1

4-3

96.4

Northern Illinois

2-1

4-3

95.0

Central Michigan

1-2

2-5

80.3

Ball State

2-1

4-3

80.2

Eastern Michigan

2-1

4-3

74.5

 

 

Mountain West Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Boise State

1-0

6-0

129.7

T C U

2-0

4-2

108.8

San Diego State

1-1

4-2

102.8

Air Force

0-2

3-3

98.0

Wyoming

1-0

4-2

88.1

Colorado State

1-1

3-3

88.0

UNLV

0-1

1-5

77.8

New Mexico

0-1

0-6

73.8

 

 

Pac-12 Conference

       
North Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Stanford

4-0

6-0

132.5

Oregon

3-0

5-1

128.7

Washington

3-0

5-1

115.9

California

0-3

3-3

106.0

Washington State

1-2

3-3

103.8

Oregon State

1-2

1-5

102.2

       
South Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Arizona State

3-1

5-2

118.1

U S C

3-1

5-1

114.8

Utah

0-3

3-3

110.7

U C L A

2-1

3-3

105.6

Arizona

0-3

1-5

104.8

Colorado

0-3

1-6

96.4

 

 

Southeastern Conference

East Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

South Carolina

4-1

6-1

116.7

Florida

2-3

4-3

113.5

Georgia

4-1

5-2

113.0

Tennessee

0-3

3-3

106.3

Vanderbilt

1-3

3-3

103.5

Kentucky

0-3

2-4

88.8

       
West Division      
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Alabama

4-0

7-0

138.6

L S U

4-0

7-0

134.1

Arkansas

1-1

5-1

121.3

Mississippi State

0-4

3-4

111.0

Auburn

3-1

5-2

108.5

Ole Miss

0-3

2-4

95.7

 

 

Sunbelt Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Arkansas State

2-0

4-2

89.6

Florida International

1-1

4-2

89.2

Louisiana-Monroe

1-1

2-4

88.0

U. of Louisiana

4-0

6-1

84.8

Western Kentucky

2-1

2-4

78.2

North Texas

1-2

2-5

77.9

Troy

1-2

2-4

77.8

Middle Tennessee

0-2

1-4

75.5

Florida Atlantic

0-3

0-6

70.4

 

 

Western Athletic Conference

       
Team

Conf.

Overall

Rating

Nevada

1-0

3-3

107.1

Hawaii

1-1

3-3

100.6

Utah State

0-1

2-4

98.7

LouisianaTech

1-1

2-4

95.0

San Jose State

2-1

3-4

94.8

Fresno State

2-0

3-4

92.7

Idaho

0-3

1-6

83.0

New Mexico State

1-1

3-3

82.7

 

 

Here are the PiRate Ratings for this week’s games.

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings

   

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 18  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

ARKANSAS ST. Florida International

3.4

34-31

2 1/2

   

 

 

 

Thursday, October 20  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

Central Florida U A B

10.3

30-20

15   

ARIZONA U c l a

2.2

26-24

4   

   

 

 

 

Friday, October 21  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

Rutgers LOUISVILLE

5.6

23-17

2 1/2

West Virginia SYRACUSE

17.4

38-21

13 1/2

   

 

 

 

Saturday, October 22  

PiRate Spread

 

 

Favorite Underdog

Score

Line

IOWA Indiana

28.4

38-10

21 1/2

North Carolina St. VIRGINIA

0.1

23-23 to ot

-4   

Illinois PURDUE

2.4

21-19

6   

FLORIDA ST. Maryland

19.3

35-16

16   

MIAMI (FL) Georgia Tech

8.9

33-24

3   

Wake Forest DUKE

3.6

27-23

3   

Arkansas OLE MISS

22.6

35-12

14 1/2

Cincinnati SOUTH FLORIDA

5.3

35-30

-1   

CLEMSON North Carolina

19.5

41-21

11   

Northern Illinois BUFFALO

16.1

34-18

12   

VIRGINIA TECH Boston College

20.3

33-13

21 1/2

Texas A&M IOWA ST.

25.3

45-20

17 1/2

Western Mich. EASTERN MICH.

19.4

36-17

16 1/2

T C U New Mexico

38.0

45-7

39   

BALL ST. Central Mich.

2.4

26-24

1   

Tulsa RICE

10.8

38-27

NL

VANDERBILT Army

22.1

31-9

8 1/2

UTAH ST. LouisianaTech

7.2

34-27

5 1/2

Temple BOWLING GREEN

15.0

31-16

12 1/2

Ohio U AKRON

14.4

31-17

15   

TULANE Memphis

12.7

33-20

NL

Oklahoma St. MISSOURI

6.9

45-38

7 1/2

Oregon COLORADO

28.8

42-13

NL

Nebraska MINNESOTA

22.9

33-10

26 1/2

Utah CALIFORNIA

1.7

25-23

-1   

BOISE ST. Air Force

35.2

49-14

29 1/2

Kansas St. KANSAS

15.6

30-14

15   

OKLAHOMA Texas Tech

32.6

50-17

25 1/2

WASHINGTON ST. Oregon St.

4.6

31-26

2 1/2

NAVY East Carolina

11.8

38-26

10   

NEVADA Fresno St.

17.4

38-21

10   

HOUSTON Marshall

19.7

40-20

16   

Penn St. NORTHWESTERN

4.2

21-17

3   

TOLEDO Miami (O)

15.2

36-21

14 1/2

ALABAMA Tennessee

35.8

45-9

27 1/2

NOTRE DAME Southern Cal

14.7

27-12

8 1/2

SOUTHERN MISS. S m u

2.3

30-28

3 1/2

STANFORD Washington

19.6

44-24

20   

L S U Auburn

28.6

42-13

21   

Wisconsin MICHIGAN ST.

7.5

35-27

7   

Colorado St. U T E P

1.3

27-26

-6 1/2

UL-Lafayette WESTERN KENTUCKY

4.1

24-20

4   

MiddleTennessee FLORIDA ATLANTIC

2.6

24-21

6   

UL-Monroe NORTH TEXAS

7.6

34-26

3   

 

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