The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 29, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 4:44 am
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
TeamTeamSpread
XavierSt. Bonaventure-0.2
Texas A&MWashington St.0.8

March 23, 2022

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Wednesday, March 23, 2022
TeamTeamSpread
Texas A&MWake Forest2.5
BYUWashington St.2.5
UNC WilmingtonMiddle Tennessee-0.1
Fresno St.Youngstown St.2.5
Southern UtahPortland2.5

March 13, 2022

PiRate Ratings FINAL Bracketology 2022

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:35 pm
DateFINAL
SeedTeamTeamTeamTeamTeamTeam
1GonzagaArizonaKansasBaylor
2KentuckyAuburnDukeVillanova
3TennesseePurdueTexas TechWisconsin
4UCLAIllinoisArkansasIowa
5ConnecticutHoustonProvidenceSaint Mary’s
6TexasLSUAlabamaColorado St.
7Michigan St.Ohio St.Boise St.USC
8TCUNorth CarolinaSeton HallSan Diego St.
9Murray St.MemphisCreightonMarquette
10San FranciscoIowa St.Loyola (Chi.)Virginia Tech
11Miami (Fla.)DavidsonRichmondIndiana
12South Dakota St.UABNotre DameWyomingTexas A&MMichigan
13VermontChattanoogaNew Mexico St.Akron
14Montana St.DelawareSaint Peter’sCal St. Fullerton
15YaleLongwoodGeorgia St.Colgate
16Jacksonville St.Norfolk St.Wright St.BryantTexas SouthernTexas A&M-CC

First 4 #16 Seeds: Wright St., Bryant, Texas Southern, Texas A&M–CC

Last 4 Byes: Iowa St., Miami (Fla.), Davidson, Indiana

Last 4 In: Notre Dame, Wyoming, Texas A&M, Michigan

First 4 Out: SMU, Xavier, Rutgers, Wake Forest,

Next 4 Out: BYU, VCU, Oklahoma, Saint Louis

Sunday Morning From The Hull

This early Sunday morning on the PiRate ship, we are hunkered down in the hull with a spreadsheet full of numbers. After New Mexico State, Arizona, and Cal St. Fullerton enjoyed late night trophy raisings in Las Vegas, we added the updated numbers to our Bracketology and narrowed the field of hopefuls down to 70 and then realized we had one more team that maybe should not have been sent to the SS NIT and one team that maybe shouldn’t be considered a lock for the Dance. So, we are sitting at 72 teams this morning. There are six teams at the bottom of the Bubble, and three of them will be happy around 6:30 PM EDT, while three will have to settle for a possible trip to the flowerless garden in the Big Apple rather than the Garden District in the Crescent City.

The six bubblers this morning (in alphabetical order) are: Rutgers, SMU, Texas A&M, Xavier, Wake Forest, and Wyoming. Let us add the last potential bid-stealer to this formula. If Richmond upsets Davidson today in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Game, the Spiders will receive an automatic bid, while Davidson receives an at-large invitation. That will reduce one spot at the bottom of the Bubble. Additionally, if Texas A&M upsets Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, the Aggies will move ahead of the Last Four in, as they would be guaranteed immunity from going to Dayton early next week. That would then take a team that currently has a bye and drop them into First Four purgatory.

By 3:00 PM EDT, we will know whether Richmond secured a spot in the Field of 68 and if Texas A&M is either an automatic bid-earner or Bubble team in the last decisions to be made. One of our fine Buckaroo lasses then pointed out that the outcome of the American Athletic Conference Championship Game between Houston and Memphis could affect the resume of SMU. A Memphis win might drag the Mustangs along in the Tiger draft. Additionally, the Iowa-Purdue Big Ten Championship Game tips off after 3:00 PM EDT, and both teams’ seed line could move one spot from this game. A Purdue loss and a Tennessee win could see the Boilermakers and Vols switching spots on the seed line. Iowa could possibly jump up one spot with a win, especially if Houston loses today.

Therefore, our final Bracketology prediction will go live only once the outcomes of the last two games are known. If both games are blowouts, we will go ahead and publish the final prediction before the games end. If either game is undecided until the closing minutes, then expect our final Bracketology to go live within 10 minutes of the final horn.

Coming Monday afternoon (Eastern Time Zone), our first installment of Bracketnomics for the 2022 NCAA Tournament will post here. This will be the explanation for how to go about picking your brackets using analytics that have been back-tested for maximum accuracy. We cannot guarantee you will win your bracket-picking contests, but we have a history of many of our subscribers doing that over the two decades this page has existed. And, you cannot beat the price of this information–only the time it takes you to read it.

There is one small warning for this year: Using the criteria we rely on, there is way too much parity in this forthcoming tournament. Usually, five to eight teams have Final Four worthy resumes. As of this morning, only two teams have such wonders. That means that two teams that do not have Final Four resumes are guaranteed to make this year’s Final Four. It also means that a team like Connecticut in both 2011 and 2014 might be poised to make a run to the National Championship Game, and it is a much higher probability that a Mid-Major makes the Final Four like Loyola, Wichita State, Virginia Commonwealth, Butler, and George Mason have done in this Century and Indiana State and Penn did in 1979. If you are wondering when was the last time a team from outside of a power conference actually won the tournament, it was UNLV in 1990, 32 years ago. Gonzaga has come close twice, losing in the final game to North Carolina and to Baylor. Butler came within a final shot rolling on the rim and falling off of winning against Duke.

This shapes up to be a very exciting NCAA Tournament this year. There will be a lot of interesting story lines, so today, we are informing you that you probably feel a bit off. By Thursday morning, you just won’t be able to get up and going, and you will have to call in sick to work with a 48-hour bug, forcing you to take sick days on Thursday and Friday. Being self-employed or a member of sports media through the years, I was fortunate not to have to get Madness Fever.

Today’s Conference Tournament Schedule

All Times Eastern Daylight

12:00 PM on ESPN2: Ivy League Championship Game

Princeton vs. Yale

1:00 PM on ESPN: Southeastern Conference Championship Game

Tennessee vs. Texas A&M

1:00 PM on CBS: Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Game

Davidson vs. Richmond

3:15 PM on ESPN: Conference USA Championship Game

Houston vs. Memphis

3:30 PM on CBS: Big Ten Conference Championship Game

Iowa vs. Purdue

6:00 PM on CBS: Selection Sunday Show

PiRate Ratings College Basketball–Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday’s Conference Tournaments
American Athletic Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Fort Worth, TX
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
HoustonMemphis4.8
Atlantic 10 Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Washington, D.C.
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
DavidsonRichmond2.5
Big Ten Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Indianapolis
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
IowaPurdue-0.2
Ivy League–CHAMPIONSHIP
Boston
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
PrincetonYale2.5
Southeastern Conference–CHAMPIONSHIP
Tampa
Higher SeedLower SeedSpread
TennesseeTexas A&M7.8

Final Bracketology coming this afternoon after SEC Championship Game Concludes

After last night’s late games on the West Coast concluded, our Bracketology hopefuls shrunk to 70 teams. We still have to eliminate two teams from our field of 68 and then do a final seeding after the conclusion of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The outcome of that game will most definitely affect the field, possibly changing who plays an opening round “play-in” game in Dayton.

March 12, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology–Saturday Morning, the day before Selection Sunday

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:27 am
Date3/12/2022
SeedTeamTeamTeamTeamTeamTeam
1ArizonaGonzagaBaylorKentucky
2KansasAuburnDukePurdue
3VillanovaTennesseeTexas TechWisconsin
4UCLAArkansasIllinoisProvidence
5ConnecticutHoustonIowaTexas
6Saint Mary’sLSUAlabamaColorado St.
7Michigan St.Boise St.Ohio St.USC
8San Diego St.TCUMurray St.Creighton
9MemphisNorth CarolinaIowa St.Seton Hall
10MarquetteDavidsonLoyola (Chi.)San Francisco
11IndianaMiami (Fla.)Notre DameMichigan
12South Dakota St.UABSMUWyomingRutgersVirginia Tech
13VermontChattanoogaNew Mexico St.Princeton
14Kent St.Montana St.LongwoodColgate
15Long Beach St.MonmouthDelawareJacksonville St.
16Wright St.BryantNorfolk St.Georgia St.Texas SouthernTexas A&M-CC

Teams That Can Steal a Bid (Alphabetical Order)

Dayton
Richmond
Saint Louis
Texas A&M
Tulane

January 24, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:27 am
Date1/24/2022
SeedTeamTeamTeamTeamTeamTeam
1ArizonaGonzagaAuburnBaylor
2HoustonVillanovaKansasPurdue
3KentuckyLSUWisconsinDuke
4IllinoisTexas TechUCLAXavier
5Michigan St.TennesseeAlabamaOhio St.
6ConnecticutTexasUSCProvidence
7BYULoyola (Chi.)Seton HallIowa St.
8MarquetteWake ForestNorth CarolinaIowa
9Colorado St.Saint Mary’sIndianaSan Francisco
10San Diego St.FloridaDavidsonMurray St.
11OregonFlorida St.Miami (Fla.)TCU
12UABChattanoogaMichiganCreightonVirginia TechWyoming
13IonaToledoVermontSouth Dakota St.
14WagnerNew Mexico St.TowsonOakland
15LibertyPrincetonSouth AlabamaUC-Riverside
16NavyMontana St.Texas SouthernLongwoodNorfolk St.Texas A&M-CC

Best of the Rest

69Boise St.
70Arkansas
71Texas A&M
72Mississippi St.
73Cincinnati
74Saint Louis
75Missouri St.
76Belmont

January 7, 2022

PiRate Ratings Bracketology–January 7, 2022

Date1/7/2022
SeedTeamTeamTeamTeamTeamTeam
1BaylorGonzagaHoustonArizona
2KansasVillanovaAuburnLSU
3DukePurdueTexasTennessee
4IllinoisMichigan St.USCKentucky
5AlabamaUCLAConnecticutIowa St.
6WisconsinXavierOhio St.Texas Tech
7Loyola (Chi.)Seton HallBYUIndiana
8IowaColorado St.W. VirginiaN. Carolina
9OklahomaVa.TechSan FranciscoMississippi St.
10ProvidenceTCUFloridaWake Forest
11Saint Mary’sMichiganSan Diego St.MemphisTexas A&MClemson
12ChattanoogaBelmontDavidsonUAB
13IonaOhioVermontTowson
14WagnerSouth Dakota St.NavyOakland
15Grand CanyonUC-IrvineLibertyPrinceton
16LouisianaWeber St.Nicholls St.Gardner-WebbTexas SouthernHoward

First Four Out

Creighton
Louisville
Florida St.
Cincinnati

Next Four Out

Minnesota
Wyoming
Boise St.
Washington St.

Process: The PiRate Ratings use a combination of NET Rankings, Computer Rankings, Strength of Schedule, Strength of Wins, The Eye-Test, and unfortunately Politics to attempt to mimic what the NCAA Selection Committee does leading up to Selection Sunday.

December 23, 2021

A New Gator Bowl

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 12:30 pm

With Texas A&M having to back out of the Gator Bowl due to multiple positive Covid cases, The Gator Bowl has now extended an invitation to Rutgers to face Wake Forest. Below are the new PiRate Ratings spreads for that game. Let’s hope this is the only game affected.

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
Wake ForestRutgers19.117.419.1

November 7, 2021

PiRate Ratings College Football–November 9-13, 2021

PiRate Pro Football Game — NFL Edition

Our PiRate Ratings’ statistically-accurate Pro Football Game recently added the NFL Greats from 1960-1975 to the previously issued AFL Greats. These games come to you in Zip Files where you can print your own and save $50 off the cost of purchasing a boxed game. Check it out:

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

HomeVisitorPiRateMeanBias
Miami (O)Buffalo7.77.06.0
Eastern MichiganOhio U11.79.99.1
Western MichiganAkron19.220.620.4
Bowling GreenToledo-19.4-18.7-19.8
Central MichiganKent St.8.05.76.7
Northern IllinoisBall St.-3.2-3.9-2.6
PittsburghNorth Carolina3.03.72.0
South FloridaCincinnati-25.4-25.3-26.5
Boise St.Wyoming17.917.718.3
Kansas St.West Virginia0.61.61.6
Coastal CarolinaGeorgia St.17.216.217.1
ClemsonConnecticut46.846.350.0
IowaMinnesota9.28.18.5
Virginia TechDuke18.917.518.8
Georgia TechBoston College1.81.91.8
Penn St.Michigan3.73.54.9
IndianaRutgers11.69.411.1
TempleHouston-26.8-25.0-27.2
Michigan St.Maryland10.411.712.3
LouisvilleSyracuse5.24.86.1
Oklahoma St.TCU10.611.511.1
TexasKansas35.936.138.8
Wake ForestNorth Carolina St.0.90.80.9
BaylorOklahoma-7.3-6.4-7.4
VirginiaNotre Dame-5.6-5.4-7.4
WisconsinNorthwestern22.822.324.3
RiceWestern Kentucky-9.5-11.1-11.5
ArizonaUtah-22.2-22.3-22.2
Appalachian St.South Alabama16.816.719.1
UCLAColorado12.713.313.8
WashingtonArizona St.-1.5-0.9-1.3
UNLVHawaii-1.7-2.0-1.4
OregonWashington St.11.311.412.8
Oregon St.Stanford11.010.611.4
CaliforniaUSC-5.1-1.8-3.1
MemphisEast Carolina-3.8-3.0-4.1
AuburnMississippi St.10.09.19.9
Louisiana TechCharlotte8.07.35.4
Texas TechIowa St.-16.0-14.7-16.6
TroyLouisiana-13.5-11.9-12.8
Old DominionFlorida Atlantic-11.1-11.3-10.5
SMUCentral Florida3.64.92.5
MissouriSouth Carolina1.51.91.5
VanderbiltKentucky-27.1-28.8-28.6
UTSASouthern Miss.31.231.432.0
AlabamaNew Mexico St.61.360.063.4
Ole MissTexas A&M-1.4-2.3-2.1
TennesseeGeorgia-22.0-22.5-23.0
Ohio St.Purdue23.623.523.0
Florida St.Miami (Fla.)-3.7-2.8-3.3
MarshallUAB4.34.45.1
LSUArkansas0.61.52.2
Texas St.Georgia Southern-1.0-2.9-2.0
Middle TennesseeFlorida Int’l.17.617.518.0
TulaneTulsa1.00.22.2
North TexasUTEP0.6-0.31.3
Louisiana-MonroeArkansas St.0.1-0.3-0.5
Fresno St.New Mexico21.422.624.7
Colorado St.Air Force-6.5-6.6-7.2
San Jose St.Utah St.5.34.64.0
San Diego St.Nevada2.61.21.7

FBS vs. FCS Games This Week

FBSFCSPiRate
FloridaSamford31.2
MassachusettsMaine1.8
ArmyBucknell38.8

FBS Teams With The Week Off

BYU
Illinois
Liberty
Navy
Nebraska

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

RankTeamRating
1Georgia135.4
2Alabama130.6
3Ohio St.129.5
4Oklahoma122.4
5Texas A&M120.8
6Iowa St.120.6
7Utah117.9
8Cincinnati117.6
9Wisconsin117.4
10Oklahoma St.117.2
11Auburn117.0
12Penn St.115.9
13Ole Miss115.8
14Notre Dame115.0
15Michigan114.8
16Oregon113.7
17Texas113.4
18Clemson113.4
19Iowa113.3
20Arkansas113.2
21Baylor112.4
22NC State112.3
23Wake Forest111.7
24Florida111.6
25L S U111.6
26Arizona St.111.3
27West Virginia110.7
28Kentucky110.6
29Mississippi St.110.3
30North Carolina110.3
31Pittsburgh110.1
32Tennessee109.9
33Michigan St.109.7
34Coastal Carolina109.6
35BYU109.4
36Miami (Fla.)109.4
37Nebraska109.2
38T C U109.2
39Purdue109.1
40Kansas St.109.0
41U C L A108.8
42Oregon St.108.4
43U S C108.1
44Louisiana108.0
45Minnesota107.6
46Washington107.0
47Boise St.106.9
48Appalachian St.106.0
49Virginia105.9
50Washington St.104.9
51Houston104.7
52Louisville104.1
53Florida St.104.1
54Liberty103.3
55SMU102.7
56Nevada102.6
57U T S A102.4
58UCF102.0
59Indiana101.9
60Texas Tech101.8
61Syracuse101.8
62California101.8
63Boston College101.4
64San Diego St.101.4
65Air Force101.3
66Maryland101.2
67Virginia Tech101.1
68South Carolina100.9
69Fresno St.100.8
70Georgia Tech100.8
71East Carolina100.7
72Stanford100.4
73Army100.4
74Missouri99.5
75Colorado98.5
76Illinois98.0
77Marshall98.0
78Toledo97.1
79Miami (Ohio)96.6
80U A B96.4
81Northwestern96.2
82Central Michigan95.9
83Ball St.95.6
84Eastern Michigan95.4
85Georgia St.95.3
86Tulsa95.3
87Memphis94.6
88San Jose St.94.5
89Western Kentucky94.5
90Rutgers94.2
91Tulane93.9
92Western Michigan93.2
93Colorado St.93.0
94Utah St.92.9
95Troy92.8
96Arizona92.7
97Florida Atlantic92.5
98Buffalo92.1
99Wyoming92.0
100Kent St.91.6
101South Alabama91.5
102Hawaii90.8
103Navy90.0
104Northern Illinois89.9
105USF88.9
106Middle Tennessee88.3
107Ohio87.7
108Georgia Southern86.3
109Duke85.7
110U N L V85.1
111U T E P84.5
112Louisiana Tech83.3
113North Texas83.0
114Arkansas St.82.4
115Texas St.81.9
116Rice81.3
117New Mexico80.9
118Vanderbilt80.4
119UL-Monroe79.6
120Kansas79.5
121Old Dominion79.0
122Charlotte78.9
123Bowling Green76.3
124Temple75.8
125Akron75.7
126Southern Miss.73.4
127Florida Int’l.73.1
128New Mexico St.72.0
129Connecticut68.7
130UMass66.1

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Cincinnati117.4116.8118.7117.6
Houston104.8103.9105.3104.7
SMU102.5102.6103.0102.7
UCF101.9100.7103.5102.0
East Carolina100.3100.1101.7100.7
Tulsa95.495.295.395.3
Memphis94.194.595.294.6
Tulane93.992.895.093.9
Navy89.989.790.590.0
USF89.088.589.288.9
Temple75.576.475.675.8

AAC Averages96.896.597.596.9


Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Clemson113.1113.0114.1113.4
NC State112.2112.0112.7112.3
Wake Forest111.6111.3112.1111.7
Louisville103.8103.6105.0104.1
Florida St.103.9104.1104.3104.1
Syracuse101.6101.9101.9101.8
Boston College101.4101.4101.5101.4

Coastal Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
North Carolina109.8109.8111.2110.3
Pittsburgh109.8110.5110.2110.1
Miami (Fla.)109.7108.9109.6109.4
Virginia105.6106.5105.5105.9
Virginia Tech101.7100.8100.7101.1
Georgia Tech100.7100.8100.8100.8
Duke85.886.484.885.7

ACC Averages105.0105.1105.3105.1


Big 12 Conference
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oklahoma123.3121.6122.4122.4
Iowa St.121.2119.8120.7120.6
Oklahoma St.117.5117.2117.0117.2
Texas114.5112.7113.1113.4
Baylor113.0112.3112.0112.4
West Virginia112.0110.4109.8110.7
T C U109.9108.7108.9109.2
Kansas St.109.5109.0108.4109.0
Texas Tech102.2102.2101.1101.8
Kansas81.679.677.379.5

Big 12 Averages110.5109.3109.1109.6


Big Ten Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Ohio St.129.1129.0130.4129.5
Penn St.114.9115.5117.2115.9
Michigan114.2115.0115.3114.8
Michigan St.109.5109.6109.9109.7
Indiana101.9101.6102.0101.9
Maryland102.1100.9100.6101.2
Rutgers93.395.293.994.2

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Wisconsin116.9116.7118.5117.4
Iowa113.1112.7114.0113.3
Nebraska108.9109.1109.7109.2
Purdue108.5108.5110.4109.1
Minnesota106.9107.6108.5107.6
Illinois97.698.098.598.0
Northwestern96.196.496.296.2

Big Ten Averages108.1108.3108.9108.4


Conference USA
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Marshall97.697.998.698.0
Western Kentucky93.394.995.494.5
Florida Atlantic92.093.092.492.5
Middle Tennessee87.988.188.888.3
Old Dominion78.479.379.479.0
Charlotte78.279.179.478.9
Florida Int’l.72.873.173.373.1

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
U T S A102.0102.7102.6102.4
U A B96.396.596.496.4
U T E P84.285.483.784.5
Louisiana Tech83.783.982.383.3
North Texas82.883.183.083.0
Rice81.381.381.481.3
Southern Miss.73.373.773.073.4

CUSA Averages86.086.686.486.3

FBS Independents
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Notre Dame114.2114.9115.9115.0
BYU109.5109.1109.7109.4
Liberty102.9103.4103.6103.3
Army100.5100.4100.2100.4
New Mexico St.72.372.970.872.0
Connecticut69.369.867.168.7
UMass67.266.664.566.1

Indep. Averages90.991.090.390.7


Mid-American Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Miami (Ohio)98.096.495.396.6
Buffalo92.891.991.792.1
Kent St.91.492.591.091.6
Ohio87.388.187.787.7
Bowling Green76.877.075.076.3
Akron76.975.674.675.7

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Toledo97.897.296.397.1
Central Michigan96.995.795.295.9
Ball St.96.696.194.295.6
Eastern Michigan96.695.494.395.4
Western Michigan93.593.792.493.2
Northern Illinois90.989.789.189.9

MAC Averages91.390.889.790.6


Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Boise St.106.4106.7107.6106.9
Air Force101.0101.2101.8101.3
Colorado St.93.093.093.193.0
Utah St.92.593.492.892.9
Wyoming91.692.092.492.0
New Mexico81.481.379.980.9

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Nevada102.1103.2102.4102.6
San Diego St.101.7101.4101.2101.4
Fresno St.99.9100.9101.7100.8
San Jose St.94.895.093.894.5
Hawaii91.190.890.590.8
U N L V85.484.985.285.1

MWC Averages95.195.395.295.2


Pac-12 Conference
North Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Oregon112.7113.9114.7113.7
Oregon St.108.2108.5108.5108.4
Washington106.3107.4107.4107.0
Washington St.104.4105.4104.9104.9
California100.0103.0102.4101.8
Stanford100.2100.9100.1100.4

South Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Utah117.8118.0118.0117.9
Arizona St.110.8111.4111.7111.3
U C L A108.6108.9109.0108.8
U S C108.0107.8108.4108.1
Colorado98.898.698.298.5
Arizona92.692.792.892.7

Pac-12 Averages105.7106.4106.3106.1


Southeastern Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Georgia134.9135.3136.2135.4
Florida111.1112.2111.6111.6
Kentucky110.0111.2110.5110.6
Tennessee109.8109.7110.2109.9
South Carolina101.4101.0100.4100.9
Missouri99.899.998.999.5
Vanderbilt80.980.479.980.4

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Alabama130.6129.9131.2130.6
Texas A&M120.3121.0120.9120.8
Auburn117.1116.6117.4117.0
Ole Miss115.9115.7115.8115.8
Arkansas113.4113.3112.8113.2
L S U111.0111.8112.0111.6
Mississippi St.110.1110.5110.4110.3

SEC Averages111.9112.0112.0112.0


Sunbelt Conference
East Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Coastal Carolina110.2108.6110.0109.6
Appalachian St.105.6105.4107.1106.0
Georgia St.95.694.995.495.3
Troy92.692.893.092.8
Georgia Southern86.486.686.086.3

West Division
TeamPiRateMeanBiasAverage
Louisiana108.6107.2108.3108.0
South Alabama91.891.791.091.5
Arkansas St.82.682.781.882.4
Texas St.82.981.281.581.9
UL-Monroe80.179.978.879.6

Sun Averages93.693.193.393.3

Conference Ratings

RankConferenceRating
1Southeastern112.0
2Big 12109.6
3Big Ten108.4
4Pac-12106.1
5Atlantic Coast105.1
6American Athletic96.9
7Mountain West95.2
8Sun Belt93.3
9Independents90.7
10Mid-American90.6
11Conference USA86.3

Playoff and Bowl Projections

BowlTeamTeam
BahamasUTSAKent St.
CureAir ForceCoastal Carolina
BocaMemphisFlorida Atlantic
New MexicoUTEPFresno St.
IndependenceBYUMarshall
Lending TreeCentral MichiganAppalachian St.
L. A.San Diego St.USC
New OrleansUABLouisiana
Myrtle BeachMiddle TennesseeMiami (O)
Famous Idaho PotatoNorthern IllinoisBoise St.
FriscoSan Jose St.Western Michigan
Armed ForcesWashington St.Army
GasparillaFloridaHouston
HawaiiCentral FloridaNevada
CamelliaBall St.Troy
Quick LaneEastern MichiganWyoming
MilitaryLouisvilleEast Carolina
BirminghamLibertyWestern Kentucky
First ResponderSyracuseOregon St.
LibertyWest VirginiaMissouri
HolidayVirginiaUCLA
Guaranteed RateMarylandTexas
FenwaySMUBoston College
PinstripeClemsonMinnesota
Cheez-ItMiami (Fla.)Iowa St.
AlamoBaylorUtah
Duke’s MayoWake ForestMississippi St.
Music CityPenn St.Tennessee
Las VegasPurdueArizona St.
Tax Slayer GatorPittsburghArkansas
Tony The Tiger SunNorth CarolinaWashington
ArizonaToledoUtah St.
CitrusWisconsinOle Miss
OutbackIowaKentucky
TexasKansas St.Auburn
PeachNorth Carolina St.Cincinnati
FiestaNotre DameMichigan
RoseOregonMichigan St.
SugarOklahoma St.Texas A&M
CottonOhio St.Oklahoma
OrangeGeorgiaAlabama
ChampionshipGeorgiaOhio St.

Fire The Coach!

The firing of football coaches began early this year. Quick openings at USC, Connecticut, Georgia Southern, LSU, Texas Tech, and TCU plus the firing of Washington State coach Nick Rolovich for failure to obtain the required Covid Vaccine, makes a record seven coaches fired in the middle of a season. If fans in the Sunshine State had their way, two more head coaches would join that list, maybe three if Florida International had a fanbase.

I never publish the over-the-top negative emails, texts, and comments when an upset fan wants to go on a tirade seeking the loss of a coach’s job. Instead, I usually reply privately to the commenter asking him to explain what the coach is not doing that other successful coaches are doing. Usually, the answer is always either play-calling or personnel decisions.

“If Coach Smith had put Billy Jones in at quarterback in September, and sent in longer passing plays, we’d be 9-0 right now,” is a typical type of response. My reply back to them most of the time includes video of the fan’s team and the top team in the country, running virtually the same offense. Whereas. the top team’s QB gets 3.5 seconds to locate a receiver, and he’s passing to three future NFL receivers, the fan’s teams’ QB gets less than 2 seconds to locate a receiver that is months away from selling insurance, teaching at a Middle School, or working at a sports radio station. When the top team plays a Cover 2 Combo defense, their five underneath defenders stick to the other team’s receivers like glue, and the safeties can play a but closer to the line of scrimmage, because they are sprinters that won’t be beaten deep. When the fan’s team uses the same defense, two or three of the underneath defenders lose their assignment, and the safeties have to play another 5 yards off the ball to keep from being beat deep by superior athletes. When the top team runs an inside zone blast play, their offensive line quickly controls the initial defensive surge and then take care of the linebackers. The fan’s team’s offensive line briefly opens a running lane in the first second after the snap, but by the time the running back gets the ball and arrives at the line of scrimmage, he faces a blockade.

How much of football success in a college game is determined by which team has more talent? The correct answer is somewhere between 80 and 90%! As legendary coach John Wooden stated in one of his famous quotes, “The team with the better players almost always wins.” He said that about basketball, and it is even more true in football, where quicker, and stronger means more to the sport’s success than everything else.

Look at the top recruiting classes of the last five seasons. The best cumulative classes and the best teams this year are strongly correlated. It isn’t a perfect one to one, but if your favorite team has had five consecutive top 10 classes, and your buddy’s favorite teas has had five consecutive recruiting classes in the 20-40 range, chances are about 90% that your team is going to beat his team when they play.

Coaching is not a difficult task. 130 head coaches at the collegiate level know how to teach the game to their players. 130 college strength and conditioning coaches know how to get players beefed up. Find 130 people between the ages of 35 and 60 in your neighborhood with driver’s licenses. How much difference is there in driving their cars down the road? I am not talking about speed; I am talking about keeping the car in the proper lane, not running over the kids waiting at the school bus stop, and not wrapping their vehicle around the telephone pole. The differences will be subtle.

Now say that of these 130 drivers in your neighborhood, 20 have brand new 2022 models that almost do the driving for the driver. 30 others have a 2020 or 2021 model that is easy to drive, but unlike the 2022 models above that parallel park for the driver, the driver must do more work on those one and two year old cars. The rest of the drivers have older model cars, and the bottom 30-50 have cars with issues that impair the drivers’ abilities to keep the car on the road as perfectly as those elite 20. Maybe some of the cars have faulty brakes. Others have leaking oil. Some have bald tires, and the steering on some is a bit loose, and the car “floats” a little.

The best driver of the 130 neighbors will have issues dirving the faulty cars. The least competent of the 130 drivers will still parallel park a new 2022 car easily and effortlessly.

College team fans can sometimes be the number one hindrance in a coach’s ability to recruit. Putting Coach Smith on a hot seat and creating a Fire Coach Smith website, accelerates the issue. When Coach Smith is given a private vote of confidence by his school, but the school’s fans and media say his days are numbered, 18 year old kids hear and see this and become hesitant to sign at State. Maybe, it’s just one or two players, but these could be the ones that move the needle in a couple of years. Rival schools quickly let these 4-star and 5-star talents know that State is on the verge of firing Coach Smith, so come to Tech and play for Coach Williams, who just got a major contract extension and could run for Mayor in Techtown and win by a landslide.

Let me use one example about how insane fandom can be. I will use the hometown college team, Vanderbilt. The Commodores have strict academic restrictions on who coaches can recruit. Of the top 1,000 recruits in a season, about 75 have the academic talent to earn admission to the school. Unfortunately, none of these 75 are required to put Vanderbilt on their list of potential colleges. The A+ student with ACT/SAT scores high enough to gain admission to Vanderbilt, or for that matter, Harvard, Yale, Cal Tech, and MIT, frequently uses that intelligence to realize that four years in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or Columbus, Ohio, will allow him to be a star in the classroom and on the football field. By becoming a star at Alabama or Ohio State, his ticket for life is virtually guaranteed to be a skybox seat with private valet parking.

First year Vanderbilt head football coach Clark Lea faces a near impossible task of trying to recruit enough players in the high three-star range and up to compete in an SEC that is light years tougher than it was 10 years ago. With Oklahoma and Texas headed to the league, the small private school that shares more in common with former SEC member Sewanee and former Big Ten member Chicago than Alabama or Georgia is in an impossible position to succeed. The talent level between Vanderbilt and the next weakest team in the SEC is almost as far apart as the number 13 SEC team is to Alabama and Georgia. Lea has talent that could not win the Conference USA divisions. 20 FCS teams have more talent, and East Tennessee State totally dominated the Commodores in the season opener.

Vanderbilt defeated 1-8 Connecticut, a team that only beat Yale and then just barely, when the Huskies had to use their backup quarterback. The Commodores won the game on a final play field goal by a kicker that had been #2 at Alabama and was not going to see action. That UConn team lost to UMass, a team that was just dominated by Rhode Island.

Lea took over a car that had brake, transmission, steering, and suspension issues along with bald tires and a leaking head gasket. He has to drive on the same street with 13 brand new state of the art smart cars. Yet, there are deluded fans that believe he should be at the head of the motorcade and is to blame for the car not being able to stay in its lane or even start on cold mornings.

The monumental task of trying to build this program into one that can compete for minor bowls once every three years is already suffering from the arrows being publicly shot by a small amount of vocal fans, three of which have sent me emails venting about how Lea cannot coach. Since I do not participate in any of the public sports forums for Vanderbilt athletics, as I basically stopped following the program as a fan over a decade ago, I only see what these fans send me, but I can easily see that when recruits read this scathing criticism on these forums, and both their parents and they do read them, it creates reasonable doubt, and players begin to decommit, which has happened in the last fortnight.

Years ago, I made a public statement on a sports radio show that trying to win SEC football games at Vanderbilt was akin to beating a similarly skilled opponent in chess when he has both queens, and you have nine pawns. These vociferous fans have now robbed Lea of a bishop. Lea will be the coach at Vanderbilt for at least three more years after this season, and a minority of Vanderbilt fans may see their opinions become fact somewhat because the three recruits per year they turn away makes the difference in a couple of wins per year.

If you are a fan of a fledgling football program like Arizona, Kansas, or Vanderbilt, anything you can legally do to enhance your school’s recruiting efforts should be the obvious way to support your school other than with your checkbook. Successful recruiting is the only way a school can overcome bad times and improve to mediocre to decent to above average to really good. In the SEC of the mid 2020’s, Vanderbilt may face a situation similar to what Sewanee and Chicago faced in the late 1930’s. The task for Coach Lea is already close to impossible; if you root for the Commodores, don’t remove the “close.”

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