The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 20, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Football–Prologue

Welcome to the start of the college football season. It’s officially called “Week 0,” as there are just a handful of games to kickoff the season, but we’ll take real football, even if no marquee teams are playing this week.

Our standard format here is to post the college picks the day after the last game played of each week. Most of the year, that will be Sunday afternoon. Because Week 1 will have a Labor Day game, that week will be Tuesday afternoon.

Then, on Thursdays, we will issue our just for fun picks against the spread. In recent years, almost all of the picks we published were money line parlays going off at better than +120 odds and using every available sportsbook to try to find value. So many of you attempted to play these picks even though we tried 50 ways to encourage you not to do so. We never wager a penny on these picks, because there is no margin of safety involved.

This year, we are going to use just one sportsbook each week, so it would theoretically be possible for many of you to do the wrong thing and give money to these wealthy corporations. Additionally, we are going to emphasize straight picks against the spread and less parlays.

For what it’s worth, in the 22 years that the PiRate Ratings have issued just for fun selections, we had theoretically winning seasons in 16 of those years, 5 losing seasons, and one break-even season.

The PiRate Ratings are part of two large conglomerates of multiple power ratings, basically the NFL of computer ratings.

The Massey Composite Rankings, run by Ken Massey in East Tennessee, combines all the computer rankings into one composite. The website is:

The Prediction Tracker, run by Todd Beck in Illinois, combines all the computer power ratings into a mean spread, median spread, and standard deviation. There are additional stats to predict the chance that the home team wins and the chance that the home team covers. The website is:

The first regular season PiRate Ratings for the 2022 college season will post here on Sunday afternoon, August 21.

The weekly ratings will include the spreads for all games involving an FBS team, divided into FBS vs. FBS games and FBS vs. FCS games. We have three different but similar ratings for games between two FBS teams, while we have just one rating for games between FBS versus FCS teams, because we have to rate the FCS teams differently, and two of our ratings cannot be calculated based on the FCS data.

After the spreads for the week, the next portion of our weekly release is the FBS rankings from 1 to 131, followed by the ratings broken down by conference, and a rating of the conferences.

The final part of the weekly release will include different things depending on the week. In the second half of the season, this will become our bowl and playoff projections.

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