The Pi-Rate Ratings

February 2, 2018

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview for February 3-4, 2018

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:49 am

This Weekend’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

For Multi-Bid  Leagues

Saturday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
Connecticut Cincinnati -13.7
Central Florida Houston -3.0
East Carolina Memphis -6.4
St. John’s Duke -11.4
North Carolina St. Notre Dame 0.6
Wake Forest Clemson -4.1
Virginia Tech Miami (Fla.) 3.1
Syracuse Virginia -6.7
Louisville Florida St. 3.3
North Carolina Pittsburgh 21.9
Kansas Oklahoma St. 13.8
TCU Texas Tech 1.7
West Virginia Kansas St. 8.4
Texas Oklahoma 1.2
Baylor Iowa St. 8.6
Butler DePaul 12.9
Marquette Providence 4.9
Xavier Georgetown 15.4
Michigan Minnesota 9.7
Rutgers Purdue -16.9
Penn St. Iowa 6.7
Indiana Michigan St. -10.2
Wyoming Fresno St. 1.6
San Jose St. New Mexico -9.0
Boise St. UNLV 6.3
Colorado St. Nevada -13.3
San Diego St. Air Force 18.2
Stanford Oregon -0.5
UCLA USC 1.4
California Oregon St. -4.2
Washington Arizona -5.8
Missouri Kentucky 1.6
Texas A&M South Carolina 8.3
LSU Arkansas 0.2
Florida Alabama 7.6
Tennessee Ole Miss 12.1
Mississippi St. Georgia 2.8
Auburn Vanderbilt 12.8
Portland Loyola Marymount 1.1
San Diego Saint Mary’s -8.3
Gonzaga BYU 12.1
Pepperdine Pacific -6.1
Santa Clara San Francisco -4.1
Sunday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
South Florida Tulsa -9.8
Tulane Temple -2.1
Boston College Georgia Tech 5.7
Villanova Seton Hall 14.0
Ohio St. Illinois 11.7
Maryland Wisconsin 9.7
Washington St. Arizona St. -9.5

Note: As of last night’s games, with both Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky winning big road contests, Conference USA actually moved into multi-bid league status.  We apologize for not including CUSA games in this week’s preview, but if both MTSU and WKU win this weekend and mid-week, then CUSA will be included in next Friday’s preview.

Additionally, Boise State fell from at-large status into one of the First Four out, so the Mountain West Conference should not be included as a multiple bid league.  The update occurred after this week’s games had been rated and placed in our database.  If the MWC is still just a one for sure bid league next Friday, we will remove it from our preview, thus trading CUSA for MWC.  If neither or both leagues remain in the multiple bid leagues, we will cancel both or include both in next Friday’s preview, depending on the outcomes through next Thursday night.

The PiRate Ratings Top 25

Rank Team PiRate Conf.
1 Villanova 122.2 BIGE
2 Purdue 121.4 BTEN
3 Duke 120.2 ACC
4 Virginia 119.2 ACC
5 Michigan St. 118.9 BTEN
6 Kansas 117.5 B12
7 Cincinnati 117.4 AAC
8 Gonzaga 116.0 WCC
9 Xavier 115.2 BIGE
10 North Carolina 115.1 ACC
11 Auburn 114.9 SEC
12 Tennessee 114.8 SEC
13 West Virginia 114.4 B12
14 Texas Tech 114.4 B12
15 Wichita St. 114.2 AAC
16 Creighton 113.5 BIGE
17 Ohio St. 113.4 BTEN
18 Arizona 113.1 PAC12
19 TCU 113.1 B12
20 Saint Mary’s 112.9 WCC
21 Oklahoma 112.9 B12
22 Clemson 112.8 ACC
23 Nevada 112.4 MWC
24 Butler 112.4 BIGE
25 Florida St. 112.4 ACC

PiRate Ratings By Power Conference

Team PiRate Conf.
Cincinnati 117.4 AAC
Wichita St. 114.2 AAC
Houston 110.3 AAC
SMU 109.4 AAC
Temple 105.3 AAC
UCF 104.3 AAC
Tulsa 102.3 AAC
Tulane 100.2 AAC
Memphis 100.0 AAC
Connecticut 99.7 AAC
East Carolina 90.6 AAC
South Florida 89.5 AAC
Duke 120.2 ACC
Virginia 119.2 ACC
North Carolina 115.1 ACC
Clemson 112.8 ACC
Florida St. 112.4 ACC
Louisville 111.7 ACC
Miami FL 111.4 ACC
Virginia Tech 111.0 ACC
Notre Dame 110.8 ACC
Syracuse 108.5 ACC
North Carolina St. 107.4 ACC
Boston College 105.5 ACC
Wake Forest 105.2 ACC
Georgia Tech 103.3 ACC
Pittsburgh 96.7 ACC
Kansas 117.5 B12
West Virginia 114.4 B12
Texas Tech 114.4 B12
TCU 113.1 B12
Oklahoma 112.9 B12
Texas 110.6 B12
Kansas St. 110.0 B12
Baylor 109.9 B12
Oklahoma St. 107.2 B12
Iowa St. 104.8 B12
Villanova 122.2 BIGE
Xavier 115.2 BIGE
Creighton 113.5 BIGE
Butler 112.4 BIGE
Seton Hall 111.7 BIGE
Marquette 109.1 BIGE
Providence 107.7 BIGE
St. John’s 105.3 BIGE
Georgetown 103.3 BIGE
DePaul 102.5 BIGE
Purdue 121.4 BTEN
Michigan St. 118.9 BTEN
Ohio St. 113.4 BTEN
Michigan 112.2 BTEN
Maryland 110.7 BTEN
Penn St. 109.1 BTEN
Nebraska 107.3 BTEN
Northwestern 107.2 BTEN
Minnesota 106.0 BTEN
Iowa 105.4 BTEN
Illinois 105.2 BTEN
Indiana 105.2 BTEN
Wisconsin 105.0 BTEN
Rutgers 101.5 BTEN
Nevada 112.4 MWC
Boise St. 108.9 MWC
San Diego St. 107.8 MWC
UNLV 105.6 MWC
Fresno St. 104.8 MWC
New Mexico 102.4 MWC
Wyoming 102.4 MWC
Utah St. 101.3 MWC
Colorado St. 96.1 MWC
Air Force 93.1 MWC
San Jose St. 90.4 MWC
Arizona 113.1 PAC12
Arizona St. 111.1 PAC12
USC 109.7 PAC12
UCLA 108.1 PAC12
Oregon 107.6 PAC12
Utah 106.9 PAC12
Washington 103.8 PAC12
Stanford 103.6 PAC12
Colorado 102.7 PAC12
Oregon St. 102.7 PAC12
Washington St. 98.6 PAC12
California 95.0 PAC12
Auburn 114.9 SEC
Tennessee 114.8 SEC
Florida 112.3 SEC
Kentucky 112.0 SEC
Texas A&M 111.3 SEC
Arkansas 110.3 SEC
Missouri 110.1 SEC
Alabama 108.2 SEC
Georgia 107.2 SEC
Mississippi St. 107.0 SEC
LSU 107.0 SEC
South Carolina 106.5 SEC
Mississippi 106.2 SEC
Vanderbilt 105.6 SEC
Gonzaga 116.0 WCC
Saint Mary’s 112.9 WCC
BYU 107.4 WCC
San Diego 101.6 WCC
San Francisco 99.5 WCC
Pacific 98.9 WCC
Loyola Marymount 94.7 WCC
Portland 92.8 WCC
Santa Clara 92.4 WCC
Pepperdine 89.8 WCC

The PiRates Are Adjusting How We Look For Buried Treasure

The PiRate Ratings began and operated for years as a college and pro football prediction establishment.  The ratings themselves began in October of 1969 and have operated continuously since.  In 1978-79, basketball ratings were added, and from 1980-2009, the PiRates did some horse racing prognosticating.  In all this time, however, it was an added filler that actually became our most patronized product we have publicly issued, be it in print or radio.

Our March Madness Bracket Picking guides have annually dwarfed all others, be it in the number of readers to this site, the number of responses from our historic newspaper presence, or the number of responses to our historic radio presence (and in one case to our sponsor, when one team’s fans threatened to boycott the adult beverage because our leader picked their rival to win the rivalry game).

We back-tested all the past Final Four and National Champions for the years where we had statistical data to identify the fingerprint statistics that might help us forecast future Final Four and National Championship teams.  We identified some consistent stats and discovered that some stats had little or no bearing.

For instance, we discovered that for most years, teams that scored a very high percentage of their points at the foul line tended to lose with more frequency as the rounds progressed.  We surmised that a lesser number of fouls were called in the bigger games, and the teams that got this far that were not great foul shooting teams got to where they were because they were dominant in other areas.  It just so happened that these other areas were the consistent ones that produced the champions.

We wanted to come up with a statistic that could be used to represent what has helped teams dominate in NCAA Tournament play.  We began refining this data over the years.

When our captain became a baseball metric specialist and started researching advanced analytics, he learned what many others had already learned.  What may work to determine the regular season division winners may not work in the playoffs.  Oakland Athletics’ General Manager Billy Beane was quoted as saying (expletive altered), “My stuff doesn’t work in the playoffs.”

Beane was onto something, or in other words, it was plain to see that Oakland’s “Moneyball” ways produced 100-wins in the regular season, but it did not work in the playoffs, since the Athletics never won the pennant.  Forget for a minute that his predecessor Sandy Alderson actually began the advanced statistical age in Oakland, and he won three consecutive AL Pennants using a computer program to help determine some strategies.  Let’s look at why Moneyball issues do not work in the playoffs.

  1. On base percentage is superior to batting average, but in order to draw walks, the pitcher must throw pitches outside the strike zone.  In 130 out of 162 regular season games, a team might face pitching that would throw enough balls outside of the strike zone to walk four times per game.  However, in the playoffs, this team is more likely to face pitchers like Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, Carlos Carrasco, Clayton Kershaw, and Steven Strasburg.  These guys will paint the corners and force batters to either swing or walk back to the dugout rather than to first base.
  2. The sacrifice hit, hit and run, stolen base, and taking an extra base on singles and doubles may not be the most intelligent way to score runs in the regular season when again, 130 out of 162 games may present better ways to score runs by getting men on and hitting three-run homers.  However, try to wait for that three-run homer against Strasburg, Kluber, Sale, or Carrasco and see how far that gets you.  You are likely to lose 3-2 more than get that three-run tater.  Many people understand that giving up one of just 27 outs to advance a runner one base is foolish–most of the time.  If you are playing for one run in the eighth or ninth inning and have a runner on 2nd with no outs, it is the right thing to do to bunt the runner over to third.  Also, when the batter is facing a dominant pitcher, and the expected on base average for this batter against this pitcher is far south of what his normal OBA is, then it may also be the smarter option to bunt a runner up a base rather than risk a non-productive out or worse a GIDP.
  3. Relief pitching changes in the playoffs, especially the World Series.  In actuality, managers more intelligently use their best reliever when leverage is the highest, even if that is with two outs in the fifth inning.  Rather than bring in the top ace to protect a 3-run lead in the ninth, managers are more likely to use that ace in a one-run game in earlier innings.  Under Beane in the height of the Moneyball years where the A’s made the playoffs and lost, Oakland never invested a lot in a true stopper.  The numbers said that just about any above-average reliever could get 35 saves coming into the game in the ninth inning protecting a two or three-run lead.  In the playoffs, when Oakland needed the next Rollie Fingers, Paul Lindblad, Bob Locker, or Darold Knowles, or the next Dennis Eckersley, and they needed that stopper to stop a rally in the 6th inning, he wasn’t on the roster.

What does this have to do with March Madness, you may ask?  Plenty, we respond.  In basketball, the Four Factors have come to represent some of the best statistical analysis that can reveal the superior teams over the inferior teams.  During the regular season, these stats may show that State U is a top 25 team and should be no worse than a 5-seed in the Big Dance.  Then, this team gets a 4 or 5-seed in the tournament and goes up against a 12 or 13-seed that dominated a mid-major conference during the regular season.  This underdog possesses some of the dominating stats that work in the tournament, while the big team from the big conference does not.  And, lo and behold, the underdog upsets the favorite, making the sports media talk about how so many 12-seeds beat 5-seeds, like it is a curse.

Never once did these media experts consider that the reason the 12-seeds beat the 5-seeds much more often than normal is because these 12-seeds would beat these 5-seeds 7 times out of 10.  In other words, they are not really upsets.  They are indicators that the people that set the seeds are doing a poor job.

So, by now, you must be anxious to see what these special stats are that help us determine what works in the playoffs.  The answer is: The PiRate R+T Rating.

Huh?  What is the R+T Rating?  If you have followed our site for a long enough time, you have seen the R+T used since the 2000 NCAA Tournament.  It has been refined through the years, sort of like how weighted on-base average goes through refinements based on each season’s environments.

At the present time, our R+T rating is:

(R * 2) + (S * .5) + (6 – Opp S) + T

R = Rebounding Margin per game

S = Average Steals per game

T= Turnover Margin per game

This formula translates into the number of extra scoring opportunities a team should be expected to gain over an average team.  It took hours of backtesting to refine it to the point where the result represented a real number that estimated the number of “cheap” points a team might be expected to receive over an average team.

It looks simple enough. If one team has a large rebounding edge in a game, they will benefit with an extra number of shots.  Depending on whether the advantage is at the offensive or defensive end, or both, limiting shots to one per possession and getting putbacks on the offensive end can create spurts in games that turn close contests into blowouts.

Turnover margin is not as important as rebounding margin except for when the turnover comes by way of a steal.  If the opponent turns the ball over due to travelling or stepping out of bounds or committing a charge, the opponent does not immediately see a benefit.  It ends the opponents’ possession, but it does not lead to fast break opportunities or the ability to tip the ball in the basket from a couple feet away.

When a team steals the ball, however, this is the absolute best extra possession.  Most steals come when the defense gains possession of the ball while their players are facing their basket, and the team turning the ball over has their back to that basket.  Almost all steals immediately present a number’s advantage for the team gaining possession.  If it is 2 on 1 or 3 on 2, this is like having a 3-0 count as a batter with the bases loaded.  Even if the steal results in a 2 on 2 or 3 on 3, the team with the ball has the advantage, since any even strength less than 5 on 5 favors the offense in basketball.

This is what the R+T represents.  A steal and rebound counts more than a turnover or lack of a turnover, but the turnover has value too.

How do we interpret R+T?  We have levels of interpretation.

If a team has an R+T rating of 20 or better, this is a potentially dangerous tournament team.  In a tight, evenly matched game, a team with a 20+ R+T rating has a huge advantage over a team with an average R+T rating.  At crunch time, a crucial steal or offensive rebound resulting in a basket can be the difference.

An R+T rating of 15-20 is a good rating, and a team with a rating in this range has Sweet 16 potential and maybe Elite 8 potential.

An R+T rating of 10-15 is average for an NCAA Tournament team.  Unless this team is outstanding in other areas such as field goal percentage margin, they probably do not have the necessary talent to make it past the Sweet 16.  There have been teams that made the Final Four with R+T ratings in  this range, but most of the time, they got there because they played opponents with even weaker R+T ratings.

An R+T rating in the 5-10 range might win a game or even sneak into the Sweet 16, but they should not be expected to go any farther.  It is unlikely that a team in this range will face three consecutive teams with even weaker R+T ratings.

An R+T rating in the 0-5 range does not have the goods to make it to the second weekend of the tournament.  Favored teams in this range playing underdogs with double-digit R+T ratings are prime to be “upset.”

And, when you see a team with a negative R+T, treat this team like you would treat a race horse with “four white socks.”

There is an old poem about horses wearing white socks (hooves), as it was generally believed, rightly or wrongly, that white hooves were a sign of weakness in a horse.  If we remember correctly it goes:

One white sock, keep him to the end.

Two white socks, give him to a friend.

Three white socks, send him far away.

Four white socks, keep him not a day.

A team with a negative R+T rating has four white socks.  Pick them not a game.  Teams with negative R+T ratings almost always lose in the Round of 64, even if they are a 2-seed playing a 15-seed.  There was a year where three heavily favored teams from power conferences but with negative R+T ratings played three double-digit seeds from mid-major conferences but with good R+T ratings.  All three heavily favored teams lost.

Do you remember in 2013 when Florida Gulf Coast made Andy Enfield famous for something more than his fantastic spouse, when his 15th-seeded Eagles clobbered second-seed Georgetown?  FGCU had a fat R+T rating, while the Hoyas had a negative R+T rating.

Let’s look at this statistic in tabular form with several potential NCAA Tournament teams.  These numbers represent only the stats from conference games for each team, thus eliminating games where a power conference team beat a low-major team by 35 points and padded their stats.

Team Reb. Stl. Opp Stl. TO R+T  Conf.
Alabama -0.1 7.7 6.7 -0.3 2.7 1
Arizona 6.1 4.8 5.7 -0.2 14.7 5
Auburn -0.3 8.1 5.8 4.4 8.1 1
Buffalo 4.1 6.9 4.8 2.4 15.3 13
Cincinnati 9.1 7.1 5.1 3.1 25.8 7
Clemson -1.9 5.4 6.4 -0.5 -2.0 2
Duke 6.9 7.8 5.7 -0.1 17.9 2
East Tennessee 7.7 6.8 5.6 0.2 19.4 17
Florida -3.6 5.2 3.3 3.0 1.1 1
Florida St. 3.6 5.5 5.8 0.0 10.2 2
Gonzaga 10.5 5.7 4.9 2.6 27.6 11
Kansas -5.2 5.8 5.7 0.3 -6.9 3
Kansas St. -8.0 8.3 6.0 3.0 -8.9 3
Kentucky 2.0 5.7 5.1 -1.7 6.1 1
UL-Lafayette 10.2 7.9 5.7 1.1 25.8 23
Louisville 1.6 7.9 7.3 2.1 8.0 2
Loyola (Chi.) 0.8 7.4 5.7 2.2 7.8 9
Miami (Fla.) 0.9 7.6 6.3 1.6 6.9 2
Michigan -0.5 5.1 4.7 3.2 6.1 6
Michigan St. 9.0 3.5 4.8 -4.5 16.5 6
Middle Tennessee 10.0 5.5 6.2 -0.9 21.7 14
Montana 4.5 8.8 4.1 4.3 19.6 20
Nevada -1.2 7.3 4.4 4.8 7.7 10
New Mexico St. 11.5 4.3 5.3 1.7 27.6 15
North Carolina 9.9 5.5 5.7 -1.2 21.7 2
North Carolina St. 0.9 6.8 6.0 1.6 6.8 2
Ohio St. 6.0 5.8 3.9 0.0 17.0 6
Oklahoma 1.6 6.3 7.8 -3.2 1.4 3
Oregon 1.8 6.7 4.8 0.7 8.9 5
Purdue 1.9 5.5 5.4 1.5 8.7 6
Rhode Island 1.5 6.3 5.7 5.6 12.1 8
Saint Mary’s 6.4 5.8 6.3 -0.7 14.7 11
South Dakota St. 2.9 5.1 4.4 -0.2 9.8 16
USC -1.4 8.0 4.7 7.0 9.5 5
SMU -0.7 8.4 4.0 2.8 7.6 7
Tennessee 1.4 6.0 5.7 0.7 6.8 1
Texas Tech 5.1 6.2 6.7 0.6 13.2 3
UCLA -0.1 6.1 4.9 0.5 4.5 5
Villanova -3.2 6.7 4.3 3.6 2.3 4
Virginia -2.9 8.3 4.1 6.2 6.5 2
Virginia Tech -6.4 6.4 5.8 1.4 -8.0 2
West Virginia 2.8 6.9 6.0 2.3 11.4 3
Wichita St. 9.3 4.9 6.1 0.8 21.8 7

There are a couple of extra things to add to this discussion before you receive your BS in R+Tology.  Most of you by now have thought that it is a lot easier for New Mexico State to dominate in the WAC than it is for Kansas to dominate in the Big 12.  Beating Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Texas Tech is a lot harder than beating Chicago State, Missouri-Kansas City, and Seattle.  Definitely, the strength of the conference must be factored into this equation.  In the last column above, you see a number under the heading of “conf.”  This represents the rating of conferences by strength.  As of today, the SEC is the toughest league in college basketball.  The ACC is number two; the Big 12 is number three; and so on.  The WAC is number 15.  There are 31 Division One conferences, so 15 is about average, while the SEC and ACC are many points better than an average conference.

We do handicap these ratings when we do our March Madness picking.  An ACC team with an R+T rating of 15 is better than a Colonial Athletic Association team with an R+T rating of 23.  A SWAC team with an R+T rating of 7 is like a Big 12 team with a negative R+T rating.

One final adjustment.  When looking at the components of the R+T ratings, notice whether a team’s components are all positive numbers.  In other words, look to see if a team has positive rebounding margins, positive turnover margins (commit less than they force), averages more than 6 steals per game and who limits opponents steals to less than 6 per game.  This is the sign of a complete team, and complete teams frequently beat teams with superior R+T ratings when the other team is not a complete team.

Let’s look at two examples from above.

Dan Hurley has done a great job at Rhode Island, and the Rams are a “complete team.”  They have a positive rebounding margin.  They average more than 6 steals per game and give up less than 6 steals per game, and they have a really nice turnover margin.  Their R+T rating is 12.1, and the Atlantic 10 conference is rated #8.  URI is definitely Sweet 16-worthy with these stats before we begin to look at other factors like shooting percentages and defensive shooting percentages.

Now, let’s look at Michigan State.  The Spartans have a 16.5 R+T rating from the number 6 conference.  However, Sparty averages only 3.5 steals per game and have a negative turnover margin of 4.5.  This is a real warning sign for bracket-pickers.  MSU will dominate on the boards in a matchup against Rhode Island, but the Rams will even up that advantage with a large turnover margins against the Spartans.  If both teams shoot a similar percentage from inside and outside the 3-point line, you have a toss-up game.

Michigan State saw how this lack of being complete hurt them in the past.  In the 2016 NCAA Tournament, the Spartans faced a Middle Tennessee State team that excelled in turnover margin and steals.  The Blue Raiders basically were much quicker than Michigan State, and this is why their turnover margin was so excellent.  They could pressure the ball and play in the passing lanes without giving up easy baskets.  MTSU pulled off the upset thanks to turnover margin equalizing the rebounding margin of their opponent.  The Blue Raiders’ quickness led to a lot of open shots, while Michigan State’s power game did not produce an equivalent number of open shots.  MTSU took MSU out of its game plan and forced the tempo, turning this into a 70-possession game.  Michigan State preferred a 60-64 possession game, and those extra 6-10 possessions per side helped the underdog team.

It is not always this cut and dried.  Other factors have to be considered, and this is where the PiRate Ratings have made substantial changes starting this year.  In past years, we did not give a lot of support to excellent three-point shooting teams, because we favored teams that could get shots from within 5 feet of the basket.  During the last three or four years, the three-point shot has become much more important, essential if you will.  The Golden State Warriors and other NBA teams now rely on advanced analytical data almost as much as Major League Baseball teams.  Three-point shooting has been determined to be as vital as having the relief ace that can enter the World Series in the 6th inning and get six high-leverage outs.  The PiRate Bracket-picking protocol has now incorporated true shooting percentages with R+T ratings and conference strength to refine our ratings.

The game has come down to whether a team can be expected to shoot a certain percentage from inside and outside the 3-point line and whether they can be expected to get extra scoring opportunities.  A combination of these two basic factors will be how we handicap games in the future.  Of course, we will handicap the two factors based on conference strength.

When you look at our spreads each week, you are looking at an algorithm that incorporates and handicaps due to conference strength, expected true shooting percentages and scoring opportunities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 26, 2018

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview for January 27-28, 2018

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:16 am

Spreads For Major Conference Games This Weekend

Saturday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
Memphis Cincinnati -13.8
North Carolina North Carolina St. 12.2
Duke Virginia 5.0
Florida St. Miami (Fla.) 3.8
Pittsburgh Syracuse -9.6
Notre Dame Virginia Tech 4.8
Louisville Wake Forest 9.8
South Carolina Texas Tech -4.2
Florida Baylor 5.4
Texas Ole Miss 7.4
Kansas St. Georgia 7.8
Alabama Oklahoma -1.7
Iowa St. Tennessee -5.2
Vanderbilt TCU -4.9
Kansas Texas A&M 10.0
Arkansas Oklahoma St. 7.4
West Virginia Kentucky 8.8
Butler St. John’s 8.5
Creighton Georgetown 14.5
Penn St. Rutgers 9.0
Nebraska Iowa 4.7
San Jose St. Wyoming -9.7
Fresno St. Utah St. 7.6
New Mexico Colorado St. 9.4
Air Force Boise St. -13.2
UNLV San Diego St. 0.2
Arizona Utah 10.2
Arizona St. Colorado 12.1
Oregon Oregon St. 7.9
UCLA Stanford 7.5
Auburn LSU 9.5
Mississippi St. Missouri -1.0
Loyola Marymount San Diego -3.9
Pepperdine Santa Clara 1.4
Gonzaga San Francisco 20.0
BYU Pacific 12.7
Saint Mary’s Portland 23.0
Sunday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
SMU East Carolina 22.6
Houston South Florida 24.1
Wichita St. Tulsa 16.1
Temple Connecticut 7.1
Georgia Tech Clemson -6.9
Marquette Villanova -9.0
DePaul Seton Hall -5.0
Maryland Michigan St. -5.4
Indiana Purdue -13.6
USC California 17.9
Washington Washington St. 6.4

The PiRate Ratings Top 25

Rank Team PiRate Conf.
1 Villanova 122.2 BIGE
2 Purdue 121.7 BTEN
3 Duke 120.0 ACC
4 Michigan St. 119.3 BTEN
5 Virginia 119.0 ACC
6 Cincinnati 117.2 AAC
7 Kansas 117.0 B12
8 Gonzaga 116.7 WCC
9 West Virginia 116.2 B12
10 North Carolina 115.9 ACC
11 Xavier 115.4 BIGE
12 Texas Tech 114.5 B12
13 Wichita St. 114.4 AAC
14 Auburn 114.0 SEC
15 Creighton 114.0 BIGE
16 Oklahoma 113.5 B12
17 Ohio St. 113.4 BTEN
18 Tennessee 113.4 SEC
19 TCU 113.1 B12
20 Arizona 112.9 PAC12
21 Clemson 112.8 ACC
22 Florida St. 112.6 ACC
23 Saint Mary’s 112.5 WCC
24 Nevada 112.3 MWC
25 Florida 112.3 SEC

Note: Rhode Island from the Atlantic 10 Conference is #27, but no other A-10 team is in line for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.  Thus, the A-10 stays as a one-bid league if URI wins the automatic bid by winning the A-10 Tournament title.  If a second team should make it into serious Bubble contention, then we will commence with A-10 expanded coverage.

Also, the Mountain West Conference is in danger of being removed from this list.  While Nevada remains in the top 25 and looks like a near lock to make the NCAA Tournament with or without an automatic bid, the Wolfpack’s nearest competition, Boise State and San Diego State, have fallen back enough to be remote at-large candidates.  Should the Broncos and Aztecs fall off that Bubble, we will remove the Mountain West Conference as a Major.

PiRate Ratings by Major Conference 

Cincinnati 117.2 AAC
Wichita St. 114.4 AAC
Houston 110.3 AAC
SMU 109.9 AAC
UCF 104.4 AAC
Temple 104.2 AAC
Tulsa 101.8 AAC
Tulane 100.7 AAC
Connecticut 100.6 AAC
Memphis 99.9 AAC
East Carolina 90.8 AAC
South Florida 89.7 AAC
Duke 120.0 ACC
Virginia 119.0 ACC
North Carolina 115.9 ACC
Clemson 112.8 ACC
Florida St. 112.6 ACC
Miami FL 111.8 ACC
Notre Dame 111.6 ACC
Louisville 111.3 ACC
Virginia Tech 110.3 ACC
Syracuse 108.8 ACC
North Carolina St. 106.7 ACC
Boston College 105.6 ACC
Wake Forest 105.0 ACC
Georgia Tech 102.9 ACC
Pittsburgh 96.2 ACC
Kansas 117.0 B12
West Virginia 116.2 B12
Texas Tech 114.5 B12
Oklahoma 113.5 B12
TCU 113.1 B12
Kansas St. 110.7 B12
Baylor 110.4 B12
Texas 110.2 B12
Oklahoma St. 107.6 B12
Iowa St. 104.7 B12
Villanova 122.2 BIGE
Xavier 115.4 BIGE
Creighton 114.0 BIGE
Butler 110.9 BIGE
Seton Hall 110.9 BIGE
Marquette 109.7 BIGE
Providence 108.2 BIGE
St. John’s 105.9 BIGE
Georgetown 103.0 BIGE
DePaul 102.9 BIGE
Purdue 121.7 BTEN
Michigan St. 119.3 BTEN
Ohio St. 113.4 BTEN
Michigan 112.3 BTEN
Maryland 110.4 BTEN
Penn St. 108.6 BTEN
Northwestern 107.0 BTEN
Nebraska 106.5 BTEN
Minnesota 106.5 BTEN
Wisconsin 105.7 BTEN
Iowa 105.3 BTEN
Indiana 105.1 BTEN
Illinois 104.3 BTEN
Rutgers 102.6 BTEN
Nevada 112.3 MWC
Boise St. 109.0 MWC
San Diego St. 108.3 MWC
UNLV 105.5 MWC
Fresno St. 105.3 MWC
Wyoming 102.4 MWC
New Mexico 102.4 MWC
Utah St. 100.7 MWC
Colorado St. 96.5 MWC
Air Force 92.8 MWC
San Jose St. 89.7 MWC
Arizona 112.9 PAC12
Arizona St. 111.3 PAC12
USC 109.6 PAC12
UCLA 107.8 PAC12
Oregon 107.6 PAC12
Utah 106.2 PAC12
Stanford 103.8 PAC12
Washington 103.1 PAC12
Colorado 102.7 PAC12
Oregon St. 102.7 PAC12
Washington St. 99.7 PAC12
California 95.2 PAC12
Auburn 114.0 SEC
Tennessee 113.4 SEC
Florida 112.3 SEC
Kentucky 111.4 SEC
Arkansas 111.0 SEC
Texas A&M 111.0 SEC
Missouri 109.9 SEC
Alabama 108.3 SEC
LSU 108.0 SEC
South Carolina 106.8 SEC
Georgia 106.4 SEC
Mississippi 106.3 SEC
Mississippi St. 105.9 SEC
Vanderbilt 104.7 SEC
Gonzaga 116.7 WCC
Saint Mary’s 112.5 WCC
BYU 107.7 WCC
San Diego 101.2 WCC
San Francisco 99.7 WCC
Pacific 98.5 WCC
Loyola Marymount 94.3 WCC
Portland 92.5 WCC
Santa Clara 92.3 WCC
Pepperdine 90.7 WCC

PiRate Ratings Take on the Current 68

Beginning next week, we hope to commence with our 2018 March Madness Bracket Gurus report.  We have received the go ahead from 11 of our 12 gurus saying they will be ready to send us their selections on Monday or Tuesday each week for the rest of the season.  We have not been able to establish contact with Guru #12 this year, so we are in the market for a 12th Guru.  We have feelers sent out to a couple of reputable bracketologists hoping to get back to a dozen.

Until then, here is our personal take on 68 teams.

America East–1: Vermont 7-0/17-5

AAC–4: Cincinnati 7-0/18-2, Wichita St. 6-2/16-4, Houston 5-2/15-4, SMU 4-4/14-7

Atlantic 10–1: Rhode Island 8-0/16-3

ACC–8: Virginia 8-0/19-1, Duke 6-2/18-2, North Carolina 5-3/16-5, Clemson 5-3/16-4, Louisville 5-2/15-5, Miami (Fla.) 4-3/15-4, Florida St. 4-4/15-5, Notre Dame 3-4/13-7

Atlantic Sun–1: Florida Gulf Coast 6-0/15-8

Big 12–7: Kansas 6-2/16-4, Oklahoma 5-3/15-4, West Virginia 5-3/16-4, Texas Tech 5-3/16-4, Kansas St. 5-3/15-5, TCU 3-5/15-5, Texas 4-4/13-7

Big East–7: Villanova 6-1/19-1, Xavier 7-2/19-3, Creighton 6-3/16-5, Seton Hall 4-3/15-5, Butler 4-4/14-7, Providence 5-3/14-7, Marquette 4-4/13-7

Big Sky–1: Montana 8-0/15-5

Big South–1: Radford 7-2/14-8

Big Ten–4: Purdue 9-0/20-2, Michigan St. 6-2/18-3, Ohio St. 9-1/18-5, Michigan 6-4/17-6

Big West–1: Hawaii 4-1/13-5

Colonial–1: Northeastern 7-2/14-7

Conference USA–1: Middle Tennessee 7-1/15-5

Horizon–1: Northern Kentucky 7-1/14-6

Ivy–1: Penn 3-0/12-6

MAAC–1: Canisius 7-1/13-8

MAC–1: Buffalo 7-0/15-5

MEAC–1: Bethune-Cookman 5-0/11-9

Missouri Valley–1: Loyola (Chi.) 7-2/17-4

Mountain West–2: Nevada 7-1/18-4, Boise St. 7-2/17-4

Northeast–1: Wagner 6-2/13-6

Ohio Valley–1: Belmont 8-1/16-6

Pac-12–3: Arizona 7-1/17-4, Arizona St. 3-5/15-5, USC 7-2/16-6

Patriot–1: Bucknell 8-1/14-8

SEC–8: Auburn 6-1/18-2, Tennessee 5-3/14-5, Florida 6-2/14-6, Kentucky 5-3/15-5, Alabama 5-3/13-7, Arkansas 4-4/14-6, Missouri 3-4/13-7, Texas A&M 2-6/13-7

Southern–1: East Tennessee 8-0/17-4

Southland–1: Stephen F. Austin 5-2/16-4

SWAC–1: Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7-0/7-14

Summit–1: South Dakota 6-1/18-5

Sun Belt–1: Louisiana-LaFayette 8-0/18-3

West Coast–2: Saint Mary’s 9-0/20-2, Gonzaga 8-1/18-4

WAC–1: New Mexico St. 5-0/17-3

Last 4 In (headed to Dayton in a First 4 Game)

Notre Dame vs. Boise St.

Kansas St. vs. USC

#16 Seeds headed to Dayton in a First 4 Game

Wagner vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Penn vs. Radford

5 Double Digit Mid-Major Seeds No Single Digit Seed Wants to Play 

New Mexico St.

Middle Tennessee or Western Kentucky

Louisiana-Lafayette

East Tennessee St.

Vermont

 

5 Final Four Dark Horses (lower than 4 seed)

Kentucky

Wichita St.

Saint Mary’s

Nevada

Michigan

The Bubble On the Outside Looking In

69 Syracuse

70 Georgia

71 Washington

72 Western Kentucky (or Middle Tennessee if WKU wins automatic bid)

73 Baylor

74 Maryland

75 North Carolina St.

76 Oklahoma St.

 

 

 

January 5, 2018

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview for January 6-7, 2018

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:02 am

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads (multi-bid leagues only)

Saturday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
Connecticut East Carolina 14.7
Memphis Tulsa -0.9
Clemson Louisville 6.7
Virginia Tech Pittsburgh 15.1
Virginia North Carolina 4.3
Syracuse Notre Dame 0.2
Boston College Wake Forest 3.1
North Carolina St. Duke -11.4
Baylor Texas 2.8
Texas Tech Kansas St. 10.1
Oklahoma St. Iowa St. 8.0
West Virginia Oklahoma 4.4
TCU Kansas -1.3
Providence Xavier -4.7
Georgetown Creighton -5.9
St. John’s DePaul 7.6
Butler Seton Hall 2.2
Villanova Marquette 14.6
Michigan Illinois 9.7
Purdue Nebraska 18.2
Minnesota Indiana 11.4
Air Force Nevada -15.5
Colorado St. Fresno St. -4.5
Wyoming Boise St. -2.4
New Mexico San Jose St. 11.3
UNLV Utah St. 9.7
Colorado Arizona -8.3
Washington St. Washington -0.1
California UCLA -6.6
Georgia Alabama 0.7
Missouri Florida 2.6
Texas A&M LSU 8.6
Ole Miss Mississippi St. 1.3
Auburn Arkansas 1.6
South Carolina Vanderbilt 2.5
Tennessee Kentucky 4.1
Pepperdine San Francisco -3.7
Loyola Marymount Gonzaga -17.2
Pacific BYU -6.0
Santa Clara Portland 4.4
Saint Mary’s San Diego 13.9
Sunday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
Central Florida Temple 1.5
Wichita St. South Florida 27.0
Cincinnati SMU 6.6
Miami (Fla.) Florida St. 0.5
Ohio St. Michigan St. -6.7
Maryland Iowa 8.2
Utah Arizona St. -2.4
Stanford USC -5.0

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Top 25

Rank Team PiRate Conf.
1 Michigan St. 119.3 BTEN
2 Duke 119.1 ACC
3 Villanova 119.0 BIGE
4 Purdue 118.2 BTEN
5 Kansas 116.7 B12
6 Gonzaga 115.4 WCC
7 Texas Tech 114.8 B12
8 Virginia 114.7 ACC
9 North Carolina 114.4 ACC
10 Oklahoma 114.0 B12
11 Xavier 113.9 BIGE
12 West Virginia 113.9 B12
13 Wichita St. 113.8 AAC
14 Arizona 113.5 P12
15 Arkansas 112.9 SEC
16 Cincinnati 112.8 AAC
17 Arizona St. 112.8 P12
18 Creighton 112.7 BIGE
19 Notre Dame 112.1 ACC
20 TCU 111.9 B12
21 Florida St. 111.9 ACC
22 Seton Hall 111.5 BIGE
23 Saint Mary’s 111.3 WCC
24 Clemson 111.2 ACC
25 Florida 111.2 SEC

PiRate Ratings By Conference (multi-bid conferences only)

Team PiRate Conf.
Wichita St. 113.8 AAC
Cincinnati 112.8 AAC
SMU 110.2 AAC
Houston 108.8 AAC
Temple 105.4 AAC
UCF 103.4 AAC
Tulsa 102.1 AAC
Tulane 101.2 AAC
Connecticut 100.5 AAC
Memphis 97.7 AAC
South Florida 90.8 AAC
East Carolina 89.8 AAC
Duke 119.1 ACC
Virginia 114.7 ACC
North Carolina 114.4 ACC
Notre Dame 112.1 ACC
Florida St. 111.9 ACC
Clemson 111.2 ACC
Miami FL 109.9 ACC
Virginia Tech 108.9 ACC
Louisville 108.5 ACC
Syracuse 108.3 ACC
Wake Forest 106.3 ACC
Boston College 105.4 ACC
North Carolina St. 105.2 ACC
Georgia Tech 100.1 ACC
Pittsburgh 97.3 ACC
Kansas 116.7 B12
Texas Tech 114.8 B12
Oklahoma 114.0 B12
West Virginia 113.9 B12
TCU 111.9 B12
Baylor 109.5 B12
Texas 109.2 B12
Kansas St. 108.2 B12
Oklahoma St. 107.1 B12
Iowa St. 103.1 B12
Villanova 119.0 BIGE
Xavier 113.9 BIGE
Creighton 112.7 BIGE
Seton Hall 111.5 BIGE
Butler 109.7 BIGE
Marquette 108.4 BIGE
St. John’s 106.1 BIGE
Providence 105.7 BIGE
Georgetown 103.3 BIGE
DePaul 102.0 BIGE
Michigan St. 119.3 BTEN
Purdue 118.2 BTEN
Michigan 110.3 BTEN
Maryland 109.4 BTEN
Ohio St. 109.1 BTEN
Minnesota 108.9 BTEN
Penn St. 108.0 BTEN
Northwestern 106.3 BTEN
Wisconsin 105.2 BTEN
Iowa 105.2 BTEN
Illinois 104.6 BTEN
Nebraska 104.0 BTEN
Indiana 101.5 BTEN
Rutgers 100.8 BTEN
Nevada 110.9 MWC
Boise St. 107.4 MWC
San Diego St. 107.2 MWC
UNLV 106.9 MWC
Fresno St. 104.6 MWC
Wyoming 101.5 MWC
Utah St. 100.7 MWC
New Mexico 99.6 MWC
Colorado St. 96.6 MWC
Air Force 92.4 MWC
San Jose St. 91.8 MWC
Arizona 113.5 P12
Arizona St. 112.8 P12
USC 108.8 P12
Oregon 107.7 P12
UCLA 107.3 P12
Utah 106.4 P12
Washington 102.3 P12
Colorado 101.2 P12
Stanford 100.8 P12
Oregon St. 100.6 P12
Washington St. 99.8 P12
California 97.7 P12
Arkansas 112.9 SEC
Florida 111.2 SEC
Tennessee 111.0 SEC
Auburn 111.0 SEC
Kentucky 110.9 SEC
Texas A&M 110.8 SEC
Missouri 109.8 SEC
Alabama 107.9 SEC
LSU 106.2 SEC
Mississippi St. 105.3 SEC
Georgia 105.1 SEC
Vanderbilt 105.1 SEC
Mississippi 104.1 SEC
South Carolina 104.1 SEC
Gonzaga 115.4 WCC
Saint Mary’s 111.3 WCC
BYU 105.9 WCC
San Diego 101.4 WCC
San Francisco 99.7 WCC
Pacific 96.9 WCC
Loyola Marymount 95.2 WCC
Santa Clara 94.0 WCC
Pepperdine 93.0 WCC
Portland 92.6 WCC

This Week’s Estimate of Who’s In The Big Dance

Note–This is not our Bracketology Gurus report.  We expect that our gurus will begin sending us this data by the first of February.  Until then, this is our best guess as to who would be in the field if it began today.

America East

Vermont 1-0/10-5

American

Cincinnati 2-0/13-2

Wichita St. 2-0/12-2

SMU 2-1/12-4

Atlantic 10

Rhode Island 2-0/10-3

Atlantic Coast

Duke 1-1/13-1

North Carolina 1-1/12-3

Virginia  2-0/13-1

Miami (Fla.) 1-1/12-2

Clemson 2-0/13-1

Florida St. 1-1/12-2

Notre Dame 2-0/12-3

Louisville 1-0/11-3

Syracuse 1-1/12-3

Atlantic Sun

Florida Gulf Coast 0-0/9-8

Big 12

West Virginia 2-0/13-1

Oklahoma 2-0/12-1

Kansas 1-1/11-3

TCU 1-1/13-1

Texas Tech 2-0/13-1

Texas 1-1/10-4

Baylor 0-2/10-4

Big East

Xavier 3-0/15-1

Seton Hall 2-0/13-2

Villanova 1-1/13-1

Creighton 2-1/12-3

Butler 2-1/12-4

Big Sky

Montana 3-0/10-5

Big South

Radford 2-0/9-6

Big Ten

Michigan St. 3-0/15-1

Purdue 3-0/14-2

Ohio St. 3-0/12-4

Michigan 2-1/13-3

Minnesota 2-1/13-3

Maryland 2-2/13-4

Big West

UC-Davis 1-0/10-5

Colonial

Charleston 2-0/11-3

Conference USA

Middle Tennessee 2-0/10-4

Horizon

Northern Kentucky 2-0/9-5

Ivy

Pennsylvania 0-0/9-5

Metro Atlantic

Canisius 2-0/8-7

Mid-American

Central Michigan 1-0/12-2

Mideastern Athletic

UNC-Central 1-0/7-8

Missouri Valley

Missouri St. 3-0/13-3

Mountain West

Nevada 3-0/14-3

Boise St. 3-0/13-2

Northeast

Robert Morris 3-0/9-7

Ohio Valley

Belmont 3-0/11-5

Pac-12

Arizona 2-0/12-3

Arizona St. 0-2/12-2

UCLA 2-1/11-4

USC 2-1/11-5

Patriot

Navy 1-1/10-5

Southeastern

Kentucky 2-0/12-2

Florida 2-0/10-4

Auburn 1-0/13-1

Texas A&M 0-2/11-3

Arkansas 1-1/11-3

Missouri 1-0/11-3

Mississippi St. 1-0/13-1

Southern

UNC-Greensboro 1-0/10-4

Southland

Stephen F. Austin 1-1/12-3

Southwestern Athletic

Jackson St. 2-0/5-10

Summit

South Dakota 2-0/14-4

Sun Belt

Louisiana-Lafayette 3-0/13-3

West Coast

Gonzaga 3-0/13-3

Saint Mary’s 3-0/14-2

Western Athletic

New Mexico St. 0-0/12-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 21, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for November 21-25, 2017

Ugh!  After a nice streak of winning weeks to get us into the black, albeit by a sliver, our picks wore the collar last week.  Now, we are 9% in the red with just a couple weeks left to go to try to make it three consecutive winning seasons.  Boycotting the NFL picks has really hurt us this year, but that had to be done.

Maybe with 5 picks this week, we can hit on something that we have not been able to do well in the last few years–hit big on rivalry week.  In past years, we have played it safe and issued only one or two parlays on this week.  When a 2-9 team plays its 9-2 rival, the outcome isn’t as cut and dry as the week before when 2-8 played 8-2 in a non-rivalry game.

We only went with five games to throw a lot of darts on the board and hope we can somehow come out with a high enough score to win.  We need to win any three of these parlays to put us back in the black for the year, but winning three of five during rivalry week is crazy.  So, if we do, it is more pure dumb luck than our strategy.

As always, this is just an exercise for fun among one PiRate Captain and his 5 lasses.

Date
Nov 21-25
#1 @ +147  
Must Win Must Lose
Akron Kent St.
Florida Int’l. Western Ky.
   
#2 @ +137  
Must Win Must Lose
Texas Texas Tech
Tennessee Vanderbilt
   
#3 @ +155  
Must Win Must Lose
La.-Lafayette Georgia Southern
Florida St. Florida
Clemson South Carolina
   
#4 @ +154  
Must Win Must Lose
North Texas Rice
Middle Tenn. Old Dominion
Alabama Auburn
Wisconsin Minnesota
   
#5 @ +156  
Must Win Must Lose
Eastern Mich. Bowling Green
Georgia Georgia Tech
Northwestern Illinois
Virginia Tech Virginia
San Diego St. New Mexico

 

November 16, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for November 16-18, 2017

After a winning week with a modest 35% return on our investment, the PiRate Rating Money Line Parlays are just a fraction below break even for the season.  We are submitting three selections this week, with the odds being a tad lower in hopes that at least two of these three will win and put us back in the black for the season.  There are numerous trap games this week, so we chose to lay off about 35 of these games that could have been used to produce parlays in the +180 to +235 range.  The problem is that in just about every case, we were split on one of the games in the possible parlay.  For instance, the Western Kentucky-Middle Tennessee game found us divided at 3 to 3.  Either way, we could have used this parlay to produce a nice fat odds in our favor, but none of us are steadfast in our belief in the team we believe will win.  You can put a ditto on Wake Forest and North Carolina St.  We were 3-3 on that game too.

What you do receive this week are three parlays in which we were 6-0 on all but one game, and 5-1 on the other (NW-Duke).

Here are our 3 selections for the week.  REMEMBER: we issue these selections only for entertainment purposes and NEVER wager real currency on these picks.  We advise you follow our lead.  If you are a professional “player” and will play regardless, please use these selections as only one source for your investing ideas.

#1 @ +136  
Must Win Must Lose
Georgia Tech Duke
West Virginia Texas
******************** ********************
#2 @ +165  
Must Win Must Lose
Northwestern Minnesota
South Alabama Georgia Southern
Missouri Vanderbilt
********************  ********************
#3 @ +122  
Must Win Must Lose
Utah St. Hawaii
Old Dominion Rice
Idaho Coastal Carolina

October 26, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for October 26-28, 2017

Oh brother!  I leave my ladies in charge of the website for a few days, and when I return from a nice long weekend, they have rearranged all the e-furniture.  Worse, they exchanged the Money Line picks I had left with their own, and they actually enjoyed a winning week.  They issued four selections (totally different than what I had left to be published), and they won two of the four for a return on investment of 28%.

Believe me, I have not heard the end of this.  Mrs. Captain, of course, sided with her gender, and so this week, I must defer to the ladies to pick the parlays yet again.  All I have done is to organize their picks into the best possible parlay odds by sourcing the best odds from the available books.  What you have as a result are four more parlays, each returning greater than +120 odds (actually this week better than +150) while playing no more than three games per parlay.

Because the ladies selected to teams to win outright as underdogs, and to minimize risk, I have combined these two underdogs in one parlay that, if it wins, it would return an incredible payoff at +375 (a $100 investment would return $475).

One preface to this before you look at the parlays.  Two of the ladies here bleed scarlet and gray and believe that the Giant Horseshoe is a basilica, tabernacle, shrine, and temple.  They believe that script Ohio is akin to the holy scriptures.  Their key pick this week is Ohio State over Penn State, and to add to their partiality, they refer to the opponent at State Pen, and they believe James Franklin was set on Earth by Lucifer.

Personally, I see the Buckeyes ready to get their revenge, but I know Coach Franklin and have seen him work miracles at Vanderbilt.  If he could win at Georgia and Florida as a bigger underdog than his Nittany Lions will be tomorrow, then he can certainly channel his inner Tom Lasorda and get his team ready to run through the walls at said horseshoe.  I would not have selected this game as part of a parlay, but then I have ceded control of this submission to the lasses.

#1 @ +152  
Must Win Must Lose
Northern Illinois
Eastern Michigan
Appalachian St. Marshall
Georgia Florida
#2 @ +162  
Must Win Must Lose
South Carolina Vanderbilt
Notre Dame NC State
Texas Baylor
#3 @ +152  
Must Win Must Lose
SMU Tulsa
Iowa Minnesota
Ohio St. Penn St.
#4 @ +375  
Must Win Must Lose
Northwestern Michigan St.
Wyoming New Mexico

Money Line Parlay Tutorial for newcomers to this site

If you are new to Money Lines and Parlays, hopefully this will explain it well enough for you to understand what is going on above.

When two sports teams play, the more familiar way to provide options for wagering is a pointspread.  For instance, say that Notre Dame is playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.  Alabama might be favored to win by 6 1/2 points.  In order for Alabama to win the game for those that bet on the Crimson Tide, they would have to win by 7 or more points.  If Notre Dame won or lost by 6 points or less, then those that wagered on Notre Dame would win their bets.

There is another way to bet on this game.  It is called the “Money Line.”  Pointspreads are not used.  Instead, you simply pick either Alabama or Notre Dame to win the game.  If you can bet on Alabama to win this game, even by one point, it sounds too good to be true.  Yes, there is a catch here.  In order to bet on Alabama, you must put up more money than the sports book, but if you bet on the underdog Irish to win the game, the book puts up more money than you.  This is why the wager is called a “money line.”

When you look at money line odds, the favorite will have a minus number, and the underdog will have a plus number, although there are times when a tossup game will have two minus numbers.  The reason for this is that the sports books must get their cut or vigorish.

Let’s look at a couple games to be played tonight.  Northern Illinois hosts Eastern Michigan, and NIU is a modest favorite.  The Money Line is available at about 15 sports books where one could make a wager in one’s home via the Internet.  The line may vary from site to sire, so it is best to shop around to find the best odds.

For our purposes in this tutorial, we will use one famous online sports book, Five Dimes.  At the present time, the Money Line odds at 5D for the NIU-EMU game is listed at:   Northern Illinois -275, Eastern Michigan +235.

If you want to wager on NIU, you must put up $275 for every $100 5 Dimes puts up.  If you wager $100 on NIU to win, you will $36.36 profit and receive back $136.36 if NIU wins, and you will be out $100 if they lose.  If you wager $100 on EMU to win, you will receive $275 profit and receive back $375 if EMU wins, and you will be out $100 if they lose.

When you combine two or more games into one money line wager, your odds improve, but your chances of winning all the games in the one wager go down.  Let’s say you want to combine three favorites into one betting wager.  Let’s say you are going to play a parlay that includes Favorite #1 at -250, Favorite #2 at -225, and Favorite #3 at -180.

How do yo determine what the odds would be on this parlay of three favorites, all of whom would have to win their games for you to win your wager?  I won’t bore you with the mathematical formula.  There is an easy way to figure the odds, and it is called a parlay calculator.  You don’t have to buy this from a Las Vegas book store.  They are available for free in many places online.  In our opinion, the parlay calculator at Vegasinsider.com is the easiest one to use.  You can find this calculator at: http://www.vegasinsider.com/parlay-calculator/

First, we select $100 for the bet amount (you can put any other amount in this spot, but all of the PiRate Rating parlays are played at $100 per wager.  We simply input -250, -225-, and -180 adjacent to Team #1 Money Line, Team #2 Money Line, and Team #3 Money Line.  Then we click on “Calculate”, and we see the number $214.57 returned.  This means that if these three favorites we have selected all win their games, we will make a $214.57 profit and receive $314.57 in our account (The profit plus what we wagered).  If the three teams do not all win their games, we will be out the $100 we invested on this game.  It can be a headache to see two teams win their games, and then your final favored team loses in an upset due to a fourth quarter field goal, but it happens, and you have to live with it.

Our goal at the PiRate Ratings is to select parlays that return better than +120 odds, while betting mostly on favored teams.  We prefer to play no more than three games in a parlay, but there are times when we might play 6 or 7 prohibitive favorites when the odds look preferable.  We won a 7-team parlay once that returned +200 odds, and all 7 teams won by double-digits.  Of course, this is a rare event.  Every week, some big underdog will upset a favorite.  In recent weeks, we had some considerable underdogs pulling off big upsets.  Syracuse surprised Clemson.  Arizona State beat up on Washington, Arizona took out Washington State, Tulsa whipped Houston, Iowa State beat Oklahoma, and Troy beat LSU.  These sure things that could have been included on parlays destroyed the selections.

As usual, read this and understand it: The PiRates never wager real currency on our selections.  We enjoy the fun that mathematics married to athletics brings a group of math geeks.  We only wager imaginary money on these games, and thus we have no worries about issuing these picks.  They are strictly for the fun of it, and enjoying a winning week is a win for mathematics and not our bank accounts.

Enjoy the games, but be just as wealthy on Sunday morning as you are on Saturday morning.

 

October 9, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for October 11-14, 2017

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:14 am

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Troy South Alabama 15.8 13.1 15.4
Louisiana-Lafayette Texas St. 17.0 15.8 18.4
Syracuse Clemson -19.2 -18.2 -19.4
California Washington St. -16.5 -16.4 -17.8
Army Eastern Michigan 5.6 6.2 6.2
Temple Connecticut 14.9 12.3 15.1
Pittsburgh North Carolina St. -9.6 -8.6 -10.5
West Virginia Texas Tech 5.3 6.2 6.1
Tennessee South Carolina 0.0 -0.8 -0.9
Kansas St. TCU -2.2 0.0 -2.5
Illinois Rutgers -2.2 -0.8 -2.7
Iowa St. Kansas 25.1 22.6 26.9
Mississippi St. BYU 17.1 18.5 17.3
Indiana Michigan -6.7 -6.6 -5.7
Louisville Boston College 18.4 17.2 18.6
Air Force UNLV 8.9 7.0 9.1
Marshall Old Dominion 7.0 5.6 8.4
Oklahoma St. Baylor 24.4 21.1 25.2
Maryland Northwestern -4.9 -1.1 -4.9
Kent St. Miami (O) -8.4 -8.9 -9.2
Bowling Green Ohio U -6.3 -6.9 -6.2
Ole Miss Vanderbilt 0.6 0.0 -0.2
Wisconsin Purdue 23.0 17.8 20.8
North Carolina Virginia 4.2 3.7 1.3
Central Michigan Toledo -7.5 -6.7 -8.2
Buffalo Northern Illinois -2.7 -0.1 -1.2
Oklahoma (N) Texas 8.6 6.5 8.7
Western Michigan Akron 19.8 15.3 20.8
Miami (Fla.) Georgia Tech 9.3 9.3 10.7
Duke Florida St. -12.5 -12.3 -12.6
Florida Texas A&M 10.1 11.3 10.4
Alabama Arkansas 39.1 34.8 38.6
LSU Auburn -11.4 -10.7 -10.9
Memphis Navy 6.5 5.0 6.8
Tulsa Houston -8.1 -7.3 -8.7
Oregon St. Colorado -13.6 -12.1 -12.8
Utah St. Wyoming 0.0 0.2 0.7
Western Kentucky Charlotte 22.6 19.6 22.9
Louisiana-Monroe Georgia St. 0.1 1.4 -0.9
Idaho Appalachian St. -12.9 -8.4 -12.5
Georgia Southern New Mexico St. -7.4 -4.0 -7.9
UAB Middle Tennessee -17.5 -14.3 -16.0
Southern Miss. UTEP 17.5 15.5 17.3
North Texas UTSA -8.4 -8.4 -9.7
Central Florida East Carolina 34.1 34.0 35.7
Florida Int’l. Tulane -15.9 -15.5 -16.1
Arkansas St. Coastal Carolina 21.6 21.9 21.3
Georgia Missouri 31.4 34.1 32.9
Nebraska Ohio St. -29.5 -25.6 -30.1
South Florida Cincinnati 28.4 24.6 28.2
Minnesota Michigan St. 5.9 4.4 4.9
USC Utah 15.4 13.1 15.0
Arizona UCLA -3.6 -3.9 -4.3
Fresno St. New Mexico -1.7 -2.7 -2.0
Colorado St. Nevada 25.9 22.1 24.8
San Diego St. Boise St. 6.6 8.6 8.0
Arizona St. Washington -25.4 -22.8 -26.7
Stanford Oregon 9 10.2 9.1
Hawaii San Jose St. 13 14.0 13.6

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Retrodictive Rankings

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

Predictive Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 139.0 134.4 137.8 137.1
2 Ohio St. 134.3 131.6 134.0 133.3
3 Washington 130.5 127.4 131.2 129.7
4 Clemson 130.0 127.4 129.5 129.0
5 Penn St. 128.2 126.1 129.1 127.8
6 Auburn 126.9 124.7 127.0 126.2
7 Georgia 125.5 125.9 125.9 125.8
8 Florida St. 123.3 121.9 122.1 122.5
9 Oklahoma St. 122.5 121.1 123.3 122.3
10 Oklahoma 122.1 120.8 122.6 121.8
11 Miami 122.3 120.0 122.0 121.4
12 Wisconsin 122.9 119.1 121.4 121.2
13 Washington St. 120.8 118.3 120.4 119.8
14 U S C 119.6 118.9 119.4 119.3
15 Virginia Tech 118.7 118.1 119.0 118.6
16 T C U 119.2 116.8 119.5 118.5
17 Notre Dame 117.4 116.0 118.1 117.1
18 N. Carolina St. 117.2 116.5 117.3 117.0
19 Stanford 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6
20 Florida 115.2 114.2 114.6 114.7
21 Georgia Tech 116.0 113.7 114.3 114.7
22 Louisville 114.9 113.9 114.8 114.5
23 Michigan 114.4 114.4 113.8 114.2
24 Texas 113.5 114.3 113.9 113.9
25 Kansas St. 113.9 113.8 114.0 113.9
26 Central Florida 111.8 113.4 113.1 112.8
27 L S U 112.6 111.0 113.1 112.2
28 South Florida 112.2 110.8 113.3 112.1
29 Kentucky 110.9 109.7 110.2 110.3
30 Oregon 111.4 108.8 110.5 110.2
31 West Virginia 109.7 110.3 109.9 110.0
32 Iowa 109.8 110.0 109.6 109.8
33 Northwestern 110.1 108.2 110.0 109.4
34 U C L A 108.5 107.8 107.9 108.1
35 Utah 107.2 108.8 107.4 107.8
36 Colorado 109.1 107.4 106.9 107.8
37 Mississippi St. 107.2 108.0 107.2 107.5
38 Texas Tech 107.4 107.0 106.8 107.1
39 Texas A&M 108.1 105.9 107.2 107.1
40 S. Carolina 107.7 106.8 106.7 107.1
41 Syracuse 107.8 106.2 107.1 107.0
42 Duke 107.8 106.7 106.6 107.0
43 Colo. State 107.4 105.9 107.7 107.0
44 Wake Forest 107.5 106.1 107.3 106.9
45 Iowa State 106.1 106.7 107.0 106.6
46 Minnesota 105.5 106.0 105.0 105.5
47 Houston 105.2 104.4 105.3 105.0
48 San Diego St. 104.5 104.7 105.6 104.9
49 Indiana 104.7 104.8 105.1 104.9
50 Pittsburgh 104.6 104.9 103.9 104.5
51 Vanderbilt 105.1 104.2 104.0 104.4
52 Memphis 104.5 103.8 104.8 104.3
53 N. Carolina 105.1 104.1 103.3 104.2
54 Virginia 103.9 103.4 105.0 104.1
55 Purdue 102.9 104.3 103.6 103.6
56 Tennessee 104.7 103.0 102.8 103.5
57 Michigan St. 102.5 104.6 103.1 103.4
58 Maryland 102.2 104.1 102.2 102.8
59 Arkansas 102.9 102.5 102.2 102.6
60 Western Michigan 102.1 100.5 103.5 102.0
61 Nebraska 101.8 103.0 100.9 101.9
62 Baylor 101.1 103.0 101.2 101.8
63 Arizona St. 102.1 101.5 101.5 101.7
64 Ole Miss 102.7 101.2 100.8 101.6
65 Navy 101.0 101.8 101.0 101.2
66 Arizona 101.9 100.9 100.6 101.1
67 Boise St. 100.9 99.1 100.6 100.2
68 California 101.3 98.9 99.6 99.9
69 Toledo 99.4 99.4 100.6 99.8
70 Boston College 99.5 99.7 99.2 99.5
71 Tulane 98.6 98.6 99.3 98.8
72 Army 98.3 98.4 99.1 98.6
73 SMU 98.3 98.5 98.7 98.5
74 Appalachian St. 98.7 96.4 99.0 98.0
75 Troy 96.6 96.6 96.1 96.4
76 Missouri 97.1 94.8 96.0 96.0
77 Eastern Michigan 95.7 95.2 95.9 95.6
78 U T S A 94.3 96.1 96.1 95.5
79 New Mexico 95.0 94.7 95.8 95.2
80 Temple 94.5 94.8 94.6 94.6
81 Wyoming 95.4 94.2 94.2 94.6
82 Tulsa 94.6 94.7 94.1 94.5
83 Rutgers 93.9 94.0 93.1 93.7
84 BYU 93.1 92.5 92.9 92.8
85 Air Force 92.3 92.8 92.6 92.6
86 Florida Atlantic 91.2 93.9 92.5 92.5
87 W. Kentucky 92.1 91.5 93.0 92.2
88 Oregon St. 92.5 92.3 91.0 91.9
89 Utah St. 92.4 91.4 91.9 91.9
90 Ohio U 90.9 92.3 91.6 91.6
91 Northern Illinois 90.6 90.4 91.3 90.7
92 Miami (O) 89.6 91.6 90.8 90.7
93 Arkansas St. 89.6 91.1 90.9 90.5
94 Middle Tennessee 89.7 90.3 90.3 90.1
95 Fresno St. 90.3 89.0 90.8 90.1
96 Marshall 88.8 90.1 90.4 89.8
97 Louisiana Tech 88.5 90.1 89.4 89.4
98 Central Michigan 88.9 89.7 89.4 89.3
99 Illinois 89.2 90.7 87.9 89.3
100 Cincinnati 86.8 89.1 88.1 88.0
101 N. Mexico St. 88.2 86.3 88.4 87.6
102 U N L V 86.4 88.7 86.5 87.2
103 Southern Miss. 86.7 87.9 86.9 87.1
104 Buffalo 85.4 87.7 87.6 86.9
105 Akron 85.3 88.2 85.7 86.4
106 Hawaii 85.9 86.9 85.7 86.2
107 Old Dominion 84.8 87.6 85.0 85.8
108 Nevada 84.5 86.8 85.9 85.7
109 UL-Lafayette 84.9 86.2 85.0 85.4
110 Massachusetts 85.4 84.7 85.3 85.1
111 Kansas 84.0 87.1 83.1 84.8
112 N. Texas 84.0 85.6 84.3 84.6
113 Georgia St. 84.7 84.1 84.7 84.5
114 S. Alabama 83.2 86.0 83.3 84.2
115 Idaho 82.9 85.0 83.5 83.8
116 Bowling Green 82.6 83.5 83.3 83.1
117 Connecticut 82.1 85.0 82.0 83.0
118 UL-Monroe 81.8 82.5 80.8 81.7
119 East Carolina 80.7 82.4 80.4 81.2
120 Florida Int’l. 80.1 80.6 80.7 80.5
121 Kent St. 79.2 80.7 79.6 79.8
122 Georgia Southern 77.8 79.3 77.5 78.2
123 San Jose St. 76.8 76.9 76.1 76.6
124 Rice 74.9 76.0 75.0 75.3
125 Ball St. 74.0 76.2 75.2 75.1
126 Charlotte 72.6 74.9 73.0 73.5
127 U T E P 72.2 75.3 72.6 73.4
128 Coastal Carolina 71.0 72.2 72.5 71.9
129 UAB 69.7 73.5 71.8 71.7
130 Texas St. 70.4 72.9 69.1 70.8

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 2-0 4-0 111.8 113.4 113.1 112.8
South Florida 2-0 5-0 112.2 110.8 113.3 112.1
Temple 1-2 3-3 94.5 94.8 94.6 94.6
Cincinnati 0-2 2-4 86.8 89.1 88.1 88.0
Connecticut 0-3 1-4 82.1 85.0 82.0 83.0
East Carolina 1-2 1-5 80.7 82.4 80.4 81.2
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 2-0 4-1 105.2 104.4 105.3 105.0
Memphis 1-1 4-1 104.5 103.8 104.8 104.3
Navy 3-0 5-0 101.0 101.8 101.0 101.2
Tulane 1-1 3-2 98.6 98.6 99.3 98.8
SMU 1-1 4-2 98.3 98.5 98.7 98.5
Tulsa 0-2 1-5 94.6 94.7 94.1 94.5
             
AAC Averages     97.5 98.1 97.9 97.8
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 4-0 6-0 130.0 127.4 129.5 129.0
Florida St. 1-2 1-3 123.3 121.9 122.1 122.5
N. Carolina St. 3-0 5-1 117.2 116.5 117.3 117.0
Louisville 1-2 4-2 114.9 113.9 114.8 114.5
Syracuse 1-1 3-3 107.8 106.2 107.1 107.0
Wake Forest 1-2 4-2 107.5 106.1 107.3 106.9
Boston College 0-3 2-4 99.5 99.7 99.2 99.5
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 2-0 4-0 122.3 120.0 122.0 121.4
Virginia Tech 1-1 5-1 118.7 118.1 119.0 118.6
Georgia Tech 2-0 3-1 116.0 113.7 114.3 114.7
Duke 1-2 4-2 107.8 106.7 106.6 107.0
Pittsburgh 0-2 2-4 104.6 104.9 103.9 104.5
N. Carolina 0-3 1-5 105.1 104.1 103.3 104.2
Virginia 1-0 4-1 103.9 103.4 105.0 104.1
             
ACC Averages     112.8 111.6 112.2 112.2
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma St. 1-1 4-1 122.5 121.1 123.3 122.3
Oklahoma 1-1 4-1 122.1 120.8 122.6 121.8
T C U 2-0 5-0 119.2 116.8 119.5 118.5
Kansas St. 1-1 3-2 113.9 113.8 114.0 113.9
Texas 2-0 3-2 113.5 114.3 113.9 113.9
West Virginia 1-1 3-2 109.7 110.3 109.9 110.0
Iowa State 1-1 3-2 106.1 106.7 107.0 106.6
Texas Tech 1-1 4-1 107.4 107.0 106.8 107.1
Baylor 0-2 0-5 101.1 103.0 101.2 101.8
Kansas 0-2 1-4 84.0 87.1 83.1 84.8
             
Big 12 Averages     110.0 110.1 110.1 110.1
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 3-0 5-1 134.3 131.6 134.0 133.3
Penn St. 3-0 6-0 128.2 126.1 129.1 127.8
Michigan 1-1 4-1 114.4 114.4 113.8 114.2
Indiana 0-2 3-2 104.7 104.8 105.1 104.9
Michigan St. 2-0 4-1 102.5 104.6 103.1 103.4
Maryland 1-1 3-2 102.2 104.1 102.2 102.8
Rutgers 0-2 1-4 93.9 94.0 93.1 93.7
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 2-0 5-0 122.9 119.1 121.4 121.2
Iowa 1-2 4-2 109.8 110.0 109.6 109.8
Northwestern 0-2 2-3 110.1 108.2 110.0 109.4
Minnesota 0-2 3-2 105.5 106.0 105.0 105.5
Purdue 1-1 3-2 102.9 104.3 103.6 103.6
Nebraska 2-1 3-3 101.8 103.0 100.9 101.9
Illinois 0-2 2-3 89.2 90.7 87.9 89.3
             
Big Ten Averages     108.8 108.6 108.5 108.6
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Florida Atlantic 2-0 3-3 91.2 93.9 92.5 92.5
W. Kentucky 1-1 3-2 92.1 91.5 93.0 92.2
Middle Tennessee 1-1 3-3 89.7 90.3 90.3 90.1
Marshall 1-0 4-1 88.8 90.1 90.4 89.8
Old Dominion 0-1 2-3 84.8 87.6 85.0 85.8
Florida Int’l. 2-1 3-2 80.1 80.6 80.7 80.5
Charlotte 0-2 0-6 72.6 74.9 73.0 73.5
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 0-1 3-1 94.3 96.1 96.1 95.5
Louisiana Tech 1-1 3-3 88.5 90.1 89.4 89.4
Southern Miss. 1-1 3-2 86.7 87.9 86.9 87.1
N. Texas 2-0 3-2 84.0 85.6 84.3 84.6
Rice 1-1 1-5 74.9 76.0 75.0 75.3
U T E P 0-2 0-6 72.2 75.3 72.6 73.4
UAB 1-1 3-2 69.7 73.5 71.8 71.7
             
CUSA Averages     83.5 85.3 84.4 84.4
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   5-1 117.4 116.0 118.1 117.1
Army   4-2 98.3 98.4 99.1 98.6
BYU   1-5 93.1 92.5 92.9 92.8
Massachusetts   0-6 85.4 84.7 85.3 85.1
             
Independents Averages     98.5 97.9 98.8 98.4
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio U 1-1 4-2 90.9 92.3 91.6 91.6
Miami (O) 1-1 2-4 89.6 91.6 90.8 90.7
Buffalo 1-1 3-3 85.4 87.7 87.6 86.9
Akron 2-0 3-3 85.3 88.2 85.7 86.4
Bowling Green 1-1 1-5 82.6 83.5 83.3 83.1
Kent St. 0-2 1-5 79.2 80.7 79.6 79.8
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 2-0 4-2 102.1 100.5 103.5 102.0
Toledo 0-0 4-1 99.4 99.4 100.6 99.8
Eastern Michigan 0-2 2-3 95.7 95.2 95.9 95.6
Northern Illinois 1-0 3-2 90.6 90.4 91.3 90.7
Central Michigan 1-1 3-3 88.9 89.7 89.4 89.3
Ball St. 0-2 2-4 74.0 76.2 75.2 75.1
             
MAC Averages     88.6 89.6 89.5 89.3
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colo. State 2-0 4-2 107.4 105.9 107.7 107.0
Boise St. 1-0 3-2 100.9 99.1 100.6 100.2
New Mexico 1-1 3-2 95.0 94.7 95.8 95.2
Wyoming 1-0 3-2 95.4 94.2 94.2 94.6
Air Force 0-2 1-4 92.3 92.8 92.6 92.6
Utah St. 1-1 3-3 92.4 91.4 91.9 91.9
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 2-0 6-0 104.5 104.7 105.6 104.9
Fresno St. 2-0 3-2 90.3 89.0 90.8 90.1
U N L V 1-1 2-3 86.4 88.7 86.5 87.2
Hawaii 0-3 2-4 85.9 86.9 85.7 86.2
Nevada 1-1 1-5 84.5 86.8 85.9 85.7
San Jose St. 0-3 1-6 76.8 76.9 76.1 76.6
             
MWC Averages     92.6 92.6 92.8 92.7
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 3-0 6-0 130.5 127.4 131.2 129.7
Washington St. 3-0 6-0 120.8 118.3 120.4 119.8
Stanford 3-1 4-2 117.3 116.1 116.5 116.6
Oregon 1-2 4-2 111.4 108.8 110.5 110.2
California 0-3 3-3 101.3 98.9 99.6 99.9
Oregon St. 0-3 1-5 92.5 92.3 91.0 91.9
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 3-1 5-1 119.6 118.9 119.4 119.3
U C L A 1-1 3-2 108.5 107.8 107.9 108.1
Utah 1-1 4-1 107.2 108.8 107.4 107.8
Colorado 0-3 3-3 109.1 107.4 106.9 107.8
Arizona St. 1-1 2-3 102.1 101.5 101.5 101.7
Arizona 1-1 3-2 101.9 100.9 100.6 101.1
             
Pac-12 Averages     110.2 108.9 109.4 109.5
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 3-0 6-0 125.5 125.9 125.9 125.8
Florida 3-1 3-2 115.2 114.2 114.6 114.7
Kentucky 2-1 5-1 110.9 109.7 110.2 110.3
S. Carolina 2-2 4-2 107.7 106.8 106.7 107.1
Vanderbilt 0-3 3-3 105.1 104.2 104.0 104.4
Tennessee 0-2 3-2 104.7 103.0 102.8 103.5
Missouri 0-3 1-4 97.1 94.8 96.0 96.0
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 3-0 6-0 139.0 134.4 137.8 137.1
Auburn 3-0 5-1 126.9 124.7 127.0 126.2
L S U 1-1 4-2 112.6 111.0 113.1 112.2
Mississippi St. 1-2 3-2 107.2 108.0 107.2 107.5
Texas A&M 2-1 4-2 108.1 105.9 107.2 107.1
Arkansas 0-2 2-3 102.9 102.5 102.2 102.6
Ole Miss 0-2 2-3 102.7 101.2 100.8 101.6
             
SEC Averages     111.8 110.4 111.1 111.1
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 2-0 3-2 98.7 96.4 99.0 98.0
Troy 1-0 4-1 96.6 96.6 96.1 96.4
Arkansas St. 1-0 2-2 89.6 91.1 90.9 90.5
N. Mexico St. 0-2 2-4 88.2 86.3 88.4 87.6
UL-Lafayette 1-1 2-3 84.9 86.2 85.0 85.4
Georgia St. 1-0 2-2 84.7 84.1 84.7 84.5
S. Alabama 0-1 1-4 83.2 86.0 83.3 84.2
Idaho 1-1 2-3 82.9 85.0 83.5 83.8
UL-Monroe 3-0 3-2 81.8 82.5 80.8 81.7
Georgia Southern 0-1 0-4 77.8 79.3 77.5 78.2
Coastal Carolina 0-2 1-4 71.0 72.2 72.5 71.9
Texas St. 0-2 1-5 70.4 72.9 69.1 70.8
             
Sun Belt Averages     84.2 84.9 84.2 84.4

Conference Ratings

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 ACC 112.8 111.6 112.2 112.2
2 SEC 111.8 110.4 111.1 111.1
3 BIG 12 110.0 110.1 110.1 110.1
4 PAC-12 110.2 108.9 109.4 109.5
5 BIG TEN 108.8 108.6 108.5 108.6
6 INDEP. 98.5 97.9 98.8 98.4
7 AAC 97.5 98.1 97.9 97.8
8 MWC 92.6 92.6 92.8 92.7
9 MAC 88.6 89.6 89.5 89.3
10 Sun Belt 84.2 84.9 84.2 84.4
11 CUSA 83.5 85.3 84.4 84.4

PiRate Ratings Bowl Projections

Note–At this point of the season, it appears that up to six additional teams could be bowl eligible that do not receive bowl invitations.  The MAC and CUSA could be the victims in this scenario.  Don’t count on any teams getting in with losing records this season.

Bowl Conferences Team 1 Team 2
New Orleans CUSA SBC Southern Miss. Arkansas St.
Cure AAC SBC Temple Appalachian St.
Las Vegas MWC 1 PAC-12 5 Colorado St. UCLA
New Mexico CUSA MWC Louisiana Tech Fresno St.
Camellia MAC SBC Northern Illinois Troy
Boca Raton AAC CUSA South Florida UAB
Frisco AAC MAC SMU Ohio
Gasparilla AAC CUSA Memphis Marshall
Bahamas CUSA 1 MAC Florida Atlantic Toledo
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Miami (O) Wyoming
Birmingham AAC SEC 8-9 Tulane Vanderbilt
Armed Forces Army BIG TEN 8 Army [Utah St.]
Dollar General MAC SBC Western Mich. Georgia St.
Hawaii AAC MWC Houston Boise St.
Heart of Dallas BIG 12 6 CUSA Kansas St. UTSA
Quick Lane ACC 7-9 BIG TEN 7 [Central Mich.] Indiana
Cactus BIG 12 5 PAC-12 6 Texas Arizona
Independence ACC 7-9 SEC 8-9 Duke Arkansas
Pinstripe ACC 3-6 BIG TEN 5 Virginia Iowa
Foster Farms BIG TEN 6 PAC-12 8 Northwestern Oregon
Texas BIG 12 3 SEC 2-7 Texas Tech Mississippi St.
Military AAC 7-9 ACC 7-9 Navy Georgia Tech
Camping World ACC 2 BIG 12 2 Virginia Tech Oklahoma
Holiday BIG TEN 3 PAC-12 2 Purdue Stanford
Alamo BIG 12 1 PAC-12 1 TCU USC
Belk ACC 3-6 SEC 2-7 North Carolina St. LSU
Sun ACC 3-6 Pac-12 Florida St. Utah
Music City ACC 3-6/B10 4 SEC 2-7 Louisville South Carolina
Arizona MWC SBC San Diego St. [North Texas]
Cotton At-large At-large Penn St. Washington St.
Taxslayer ACC 3-6/B10 4 SEC 2-7 Maryland Florida
Liberty BIG 12 4 SEC 2-7 West Virginia Tennessee
Fiesta At-large At-large Oklahoma St. Notre Dame
Orange ACC 1 SEC 1/B10 1 Miami (Fla.) Georgia
Outback BIG TEN 2 SEC 2-7 Michigan Kentucky
Peach At-large At-large Wisconsin Central Florida
Citrus B10 1/ACC 2 SEC 1 Michigan St. Auburn
Rose Playoff Semi-final Alabama Ohio St.
Sugar Playoff Semi-final Clemson Washington
Nat’l Champ. Semifinal Winners Alabama Clemson
         
Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections

Princes That Could Be Kings
A popular feature of many sports websites is the coaches hot seat. Coach So and So makes 5 million a year, and in his 5 years at Big-time U, he has a record of 32-30. Obviously, it’s time for So and So to go, go, go.

We here at the PiRate Ratings like to accentuate the positive. We would never feature a hot seat. Instead, we like to locate those up and coming young geniuses that will one day become the new So and So at Big-time U.

We classify three types of princes in this field–head coaches at Group of 5 Schools, head coaches at FCS schools, and coordinators at FBS Power 5 Conference schools.

Here is our first edition of Princes That Could Be Kings. These guys are head coaches at schools in the Group of 5 conferences. To make the list as a “prince,” they must be under the age of 45 (under 44 since if they were hired for next season, they would then be 45), as we are looking for up and comers and not coaches that have won 100 games without making it to the top tier. If a coach has won a lot of games at a Group of 5 school, he is already a king, but he is ruling a smaller nation.

Here is our current list in alphabetical order.

Major Applewhite, Houston, age 39
Applewhite quarterbacked Texas in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He began his coaching career at his alma mater under Mack Brown, and he has experience as a coordinator under Nick Saban and Tom Herman. He is in his first year as head coach at Houston, but he’s already considered a big-time name in the coaching business, and his stay with the Cougars could lead to bigger and better things sooner rather than later.

Mike Bobo, Colorado St., age 43
Bobo was the starting quarterback at Georgia in the 1990’s and a long-time offensive assistant at his alma mater. He tutored Matthew Stafford, Aaron Murray, and David Greene during his time between the hedges. At Colorado State, Bobo has an 18-14 record in his third year in Fort Collins, and his Rams look like the top team in the Mountain Division of the MWC.

Neal Brown, Troy, age 37
Brown couldn’t be any hotter than he is now. Troy recently won at LSU to raise their record on the season to 4-1. This comes on the heels of a 10-3 season last year, as the Trojans will contend with Appalachian State, Arkansas State, and UL-Monroe for the Sun Belt Conference title this year.

Jason Candle, Toledo, age 37
Candle’s coaching career began in the Division III ranks, and he has limited FBS experience, all at Toledo, where he worked for current Iowa State coach Matt Campbell when Campbell held the Rockets’ head coaching position. In his second year in the Glass Bowl, his won-loss record is 14-5.

Scott Frost, Central Florida, age 37
The national championship-winning quarterback of the 1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers, Frost played under legendary coach Tom Osborne. In his final game at Nebraska, he led the Cornhuskers to a blowout win over a Peyton Manning-led Tennessee team.

Frost was not an NFL-caliber passer, but he was athletic enough to play for pay. He became a valuable special teams player during a brief NFL career that saw him play for Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells.

As an assistant at Oregon, Frost experienced the Chip Kelly. In his second year as a head coach, Frost has UCF in contention for the New Year’s 6 Bowl Bid allocated to the best Group of 5 team. The Golden Knights average more than 200 yards rushing and 300 yards passing this season. They average 47.5 points per game, but this team is not one dimensional, yielding less than 16 points per game. They have succeeded while having to cancel games, reschedule games, and in one case, not knowing for sure who they were about to play.

Seth Littrell, North Texas, age 39
Littrell played at Oklahoma as a running back on the 2000 national champion team under Bob Stoops. He was an assistant under Mike Leach at Texas Tech and under Larry Fedora at North Carolina. His offense is a perfect combination of his three former mentors, as UNT is currently averaging 215 yard per game on the ground and 295 yards through the air. He took the Mean Green to a bowl in year one and has UNT at 3-2 and in position to make it back to another bowl this year.

Frank Wilson, UTSA, age 43
Wilson has a somewhat different resume from the others on this list, but he definitely deserves to be part of this group. His assistant coaching history includes working for renegades like Lane Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, and Les Miles. He led UTSA to their first ever bowl game in his first year in San Antonio, and he has the Roadrunners in contention to win the CUSA West Division this year. His teams are balanced–equally strong running and passing the ball and defending the run and pass, and he is one of the best recruiters in the land.

October 2, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for October 4-7, 2017

PiRate Rating Spreads For This Week

October 4-7        
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Georgia Southern Arkansas St. -6.5 -6.9 -8.7
North Carolina St. Louisville 2.5 3.0 2.3
Connecticut Memphis -13.7 -9.8 -13.8
BYU Boise St. -0.5 0.7 0.0
East Carolina Temple -7.2 -6.0 -7.2
Oklahoma Iowa St. 26.2 23.2 26.3
Clemson Wake Forest 27.0 25.1 26.8
Toledo Eastern Michigan 6.7 6.8 8.0
Kansas Texas Tech -14.6 -10.7 -14.5
Iowa Illinois 22.9 21.6 23.8
Vanderbilt Georgia -14.5 -16.4 -15.8
Auburn Ole Miss 27.0 26.3 29.0
Northwestern Penn St. -14.2 -14.0 -14.9
Virginia Duke -2.3 -1.1 0.5
Syracuse Pittsburgh 5.9 4.0 5.9
Ohio U Central Michigan 4.8 5.5 5.7
Miami (O) Bowling Green 15.8 16.8 16.7
Texas St. Louisiana-Monroe -7.5 -5.5 -7.4
Middle Tennessee Florida Int’l. 10.6 11.2 10.3
Appalachian St. New Mexico St. 13.3 12.9 13.4
Purdue Minnesota -3.1 -1.7 -2.2
North Carolina Notre Dame -5.9 -5.9 -8.6
Northern Illinois Kent St. 13.6 11.9 13.5
Navy Air Force 12.4 12.6 12.4
Florida LSU 7.3 7.5 6.3
Buffalo Western Michigan -15.1 -11.0 -14.5
TCU West Virginia 13.0 9.7 13.4
Akron Ball St. 10.7 11.8 9.3
Florida St. Miami (Fla.) 4.6 5.3 4.2
Oregon Washington St. -1.9 -2.6 -2.3
Tulane Tulsa -1.5 -1.0 -0.9
Ohio St. Maryland 31.8 27.1 31.0
USC Oregon St. 29.9 29.5 31.1
UAB Louisiana Tech -22.5 -19.2 -21.4
South Carolina Arkansas 1.7 1.6 1.0
Utah St. Colorado St. -11.6 -11.3 -12.4
Idaho Louisiana-Lafayette 3.0 3.8 4.1
Old Dominion Florida Atlantic 4.3 3.6 3.4
Charlotte Marshall -13.5 -12.6 -14.7
Coastal Carolina Georgia St. -11.6 -9.7 -10.1
Rice Army -14.8 -13.8 -15.3
UTSA Southern Miss. 13.4 13.6 15.6
Texas Kansas St. 2.6 3.6 2.9
Houston SMU 8.0 7.3 7.3
Texas A&M Alabama -32.6 -29.8 -32.7
Boston College Virginia Tech -17.0 -16.0 -18.0
Kentucky Missouri 17.8 19.0 18.6
San Jose St. Fresno St. -10.2 -8.8 -11.4
Michigan Michigan St. 18.4 15.4 17.0
UTEP Western Kentucky -19.4 -15.3 -20.3
Nebraska Wisconsin -17.4 -12.1 -16.4
Cincinnati Central Florida -20.6 -19.9 -20.3
Colorado Arizona 14.7 13.4 13.9
Utah Stanford -7.5 -4.3 -6.5
Nevada Hawaii -0.8 0.9 0.8
Washington California 31.7 31.0 34.1
UNLV San Diego St. -11 -8.4 -11.3
This Week’s FBS vs. FCS Games
Home Visitor PiRate
Indiana Charleston Sou. 29

 

This Week’s PiRate Retrodictive Ratings 

Retrodictive Ratings are like rankings, rating teams based on what they have done so far this season without trying to predict the outcome of future games

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team Rating
1 Alabama 132.4
2 Clemson 130.8
3 Washington 129.6
4 Oklahoma 129.2
5 Penn St. 127.7
6 Georgia 127.5
7 Michigan 123.8
8 Ohio St. 123.6
9 Wisconsin 123.5
10 Miami (Fla) 123.0
11 TCU 122.9
12 Washington St. 122.2
13 USC 120.7
14 Louisville 120.4
15 San Diego St. 117.9
16 Florida 117.6
17 Virginia Tech 116.5
18 Oklahoma St. 116.1
19 Central Florida 115.8
20 South Florida 115.6
21 Auburn 115.5
22 Notre Dame 115.5
23 Utah 115.2
24 Stanford 115.1
25 North Carolina St. 115.0
26 Texas Tech 114.9
27 Navy 114.9
28 Wake Forest 114.8
29 Mississippi St. 114.7
30 Kansas St. 114.7
31 Minnesota 114.2
32 Oregon 114.0
33 Duke 113.9
34 Iowa 113.5
35 Kentucky 113.4
36 Georgia Tech 113.2
37 Maryland 112.9
38 Florida St. 112.5
39 Houston 112.0
40 Texas A&M 111.8
41 West Virginia 111.4
42 Michigan St. 111.1
43 LSU 110.6
44 Colorado 110.2
45 Tennessee 109.7
46 Toledo 109.3
47 Vanderbilt 108.5
48 South Carolina 108.2
49 Texas 107.7
50 California 107.6
51 Memphis 107.2
52 UCLA 106.9
53 Western Michigan 106.6
54 Nebraska 106.0
55 Boise St. 105.6
56 Northwestern 105.0
57 Indiana 104.7
58 Purdue 104.4
59 Arizona St. 103.9
60 Colorado St. 103.7
61 Virginia 103.4
62 Troy 102.9
63 UTSA 102.0
64 SMU 101.8
65 Arkansas 101.7
66 Appalachian St. 101.5
67 Ole Miss 100.9
68 Northern Illinois 100.7
69 Marshall 100.0
70 Pittsburgh 99.6
71 Ohio 98.9
72 Louisiana Tech 98.4
73 Tulane 98.2
74 Boston College 98.0
75 Arizona 97.8
76 Iowa St. 97.0
77 Utah St. 96.6
78 Air Force 96.2
79 Army 95.9
80 Wyoming 95.3
81 North Carolina 94.5
82 Western Kentucky 94.1
83 Arkansas St. 93.7
84 Southern Miss. 93.3
85 Temple 92.9
86 New Mexico 92.8
87 Fresno St. 92.2
88 Syracuse 91.5
89 North Texas 91.1
90 Tulsa 90.6
91 Florida Int’l. 90.4
92 Eastern Michigan 89.9
93 Buffalo 89.4
94 Illinois 89.3
95 Cincinnati 88.7
96 Miami (O) 88.1
97 Florida Atlantic 88.0
98 Idaho 87.2
99 BYU 86.9
100 Middle Tennessee 86.5
101 Old Dominion 86.1
102 Baylor 85.8
103 New Mexico St. 85.0
104 UNLV 84.9
105 Akron 84.7
106 Missouri 84.7
107 Oregon St. 84.1
108 UL-Monroe 83.6
109 Rutgers 82.9
110 Hawaii 82.5
111 Central Michigan 82.2
112 UL-Lafayette 82.0
113 Ball St. 81.8
114 East Carolina 81.3
115 South Alabama 80.8
116 Connecticut 79.6
117 UAB 79.1
118 Georgia St. 78.3
119 Coastal Carolina 77.9
120 Georgia Southern 77.8
121 Kansas 77.8
122 Kent St. 75.1
123 Rice 75.0
124 Nevada 74.4
125 Massachusetts 73.8
126 Bowling Green 73.3
127 San Jose St. 73.2
128 UTEP 73.1
129 Texas St. 72.6
130 Charlotte 72.2

PiRate Predictive Ratings

Predictive Ratings only look forward to the next week’s games played.  They do not rate teams based on what they have done so far, and in many cases, a higher-rated team may have lost to a lower-rated team (like Ohio State being rated higher than Oklahoma).

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 141.1 136.3 140.1 139.2
2 Ohio St. 132.6 129.9 132.1 131.5
3 Clemson 130.7 127.8 130.3 129.6
4 Washington 130.0 126.9 130.7 129.2
5 Penn St. 127.7 125.7 128.5 127.3
6 Auburn 126.8 124.6 126.9 126.1
7 Oklahoma 125.9 124.0 126.6 125.5
8 Georgia 123.6 124.3 123.9 123.9
9 Florida St. 124.1 122.6 123.1 123.3
10 Oklahoma St. 122.5 121.1 123.3 122.3
11 Miami 121.5 119.3 121.0 120.6
12 Wisconsin 122.4 118.4 120.7 120.5
13 U S C 119.5 118.8 119.3 119.2
14 Virginia Tech 118.9 118.2 119.4 118.8
15 T C U 119.5 116.9 119.9 118.7
16 Washington St. 118.3 116.1 117.8 117.4
17 Stanford 117.5 116.1 116.7 116.8
18 Michigan 116.9 116.5 116.2 116.5
19 Louisville 116.3 115.2 116.4 116.0
20 N. Carolina St. 115.8 115.2 115.7 115.6
21 Notre Dame 115.7 114.5 116.5 115.5
22 Florida 116.0 114.9 115.5 115.5
23 Georgia Tech 116.0 113.7 114.3 114.7
24 Texas 113.5 114.3 113.9 113.9
25 Kansas St. 113.9 113.8 114.0 113.9
26 Oregon 113.4 110.5 112.6 112.2
27 South Florida 112.2 110.8 113.3 112.1
28 Central Florida 110.7 112.3 111.8 111.6
29 L S U 111.8 110.3 112.2 111.4
30 Kentucky 111.4 110.2 110.9 110.8
31 Colorado 111.5 109.5 109.4 110.1
32 Northwestern 110.6 108.6 110.6 109.9
33 West Virginia 109.4 110.2 109.5 109.7
34 Iowa 109.6 109.8 109.3 109.6
35 U C L A 108.5 107.8 107.9 108.1
36 Utah 107.0 108.8 107.2 107.7
37 Mississippi St. 107.2 108.0 107.2 107.5
38 Duke 108.4 107.0 107.0 107.5
39 Minnesota 107.3 107.5 106.9 107.2
40 Syracuse 107.8 106.2 107.1 107.0
41 Colo. State 107.2 105.8 107.5 106.8
42 Wake Forest 106.8 105.7 106.5 106.3
43 Vanderbilt 106.6 105.4 105.6 105.9
44 Arkansas 106.2 105.6 105.7 105.9
45 N. Carolina 106.8 105.6 104.9 105.8
46 Indiana 104.6 104.7 105.0 104.8
47 Pittsburgh 104.9 105.2 104.2 104.8
48 Maryland 103.9 105.8 104.1 104.6
49 Texas A&M 105.5 103.5 104.4 104.5
50 S. Carolina 104.9 104.2 103.7 104.3
51 Houston 104.5 103.8 104.4 104.2
52 Texas Tech 104.5 103.9 103.7 104.0
53 Tennessee 104.7 103.0 102.8 103.5
54 Virginia 103.1 102.9 104.4 103.5
55 Iowa State 102.6 103.8 103.3 103.3
56 Western Michigan 102.7 101.0 104.2 102.6
57 Nebraska 102.0 103.4 101.3 102.2
58 San Diego St. 101.9 102.0 102.8 102.2
59 Purdue 101.1 102.8 101.7 101.9
60 Baylor 101.1 103.0 101.2 101.8
61 Arizona St. 102.1 101.5 101.5 101.7
62 Ole Miss 102.8 101.3 100.9 101.7
63 Navy 101.4 102.1 101.5 101.6
64 Memphis 101.7 100.8 101.8 101.4
65 Michigan St. 100.0 102.5 100.7 101.1
66 Toledo 99.6 99.5 101.0 100.0
67 California 101.3 98.9 99.6 99.9
68 Boston College 99.4 99.7 98.9 99.3
69 SMU 99.0 99.1 99.6 99.2
70 Arizona 99.8 99.1 98.4 99.1
71 Tulsa 98.8 98.7 98.6 98.7
72 Boise St. 99.0 97.2 98.5 98.2
73 Appalachian St. 98.6 96.3 98.9 97.9
74 U T S A 95.7 97.3 97.8 96.9
75 Troy 96.6 96.6 96.1 96.4
76 Army 95.5 95.6 96.2 95.8
77 Missouri 96.6 94.3 95.3 95.4
78 Eastern Michigan 95.5 95.1 95.5 95.4
79 BYU 95.5 94.9 95.5 95.3
80 New Mexico 95.0 94.7 95.8 95.2
81 Tulane 94.4 94.6 94.8 94.6
82 Wyoming 95.4 94.2 94.2 94.6
83 Miami (O) 92.7 94.7 94.2 93.9
84 W. Kentucky 93.6 92.8 94.7 93.7
85 Rutgers 93.9 94.0 93.1 93.7
86 Temple 92.7 93.1 92.6 92.8
87 Air Force 91.9 92.5 92.1 92.2
88 Louisiana Tech 91.4 92.5 92.4 92.1
89 Utah St. 92.6 91.5 92.1 92.1
90 Oregon St. 92.6 92.4 91.1 92.0
91 Ohio U 91.1 92.5 92.1 91.9
92 Northern Illinois 90.2 90.0 90.7 90.3
93 Illinois 89.7 91.2 88.5 89.8
94 Marshall 88.7 90.0 90.3 89.7
95 U N L V 88.7 91.1 89.0 89.6
96 Fresno St. 89.8 88.5 90.3 89.6
97 Old Dominion 88.6 91.1 88.9 89.5
98 Middle Tennessee 89.0 89.8 89.4 89.4
99 Arkansas St. 88.2 89.9 89.8 89.3
100 Central Michigan 88.7 89.5 88.9 89.0
101 Cincinnati 87.6 89.9 89.1 88.9
102 Kansas 87.4 90.7 86.7 88.3
103 Florida Atlantic 86.9 89.9 88.1 88.3
104 Hawaii 87.6 88.4 87.4 87.8
105 N. Mexico St. 88.3 86.4 88.5 87.7
106 Buffalo 85.1 87.5 87.2 86.6
107 Connecticut 84.9 88.0 85.0 86.0
108 Southern Miss. 85.3 86.7 85.2 85.7
109 Massachusetts 85.4 84.7 85.3 85.1
110 Akron 83.9 87.0 84.0 85.0
111 Georgia St. 84.9 84.2 84.9 84.7
112 N. Texas 84.0 85.6 84.3 84.6
113 Idaho 83.5 85.6 84.4 84.5
114 UL-Lafayette 84.0 85.3 83.8 84.4
115 S. Alabama 83.2 86.0 83.3 84.2
116 Nevada 82.8 85.3 84.2 84.1
117 East Carolina 82.5 84.1 82.4 83.0
118 Florida Int’l. 80.8 81.1 81.6 81.2
119 UL-Monroe 81.1 81.7 79.9 80.9
120 Kent St. 79.6 81.1 80.2 80.3
121 Bowling Green 79.5 80.4 79.9 79.9
122 Georgia Southern 79.2 80.5 78.6 79.4
123 Rice 77.7 78.8 77.9 78.1
124 San Jose St. 77.1 77.2 76.4 76.9
125 Ball St. 75.7 77.7 77.2 76.9
126 Charlotte 72.7 75.0 73.1 73.6
127 U T E P 71.7 75.0 71.9 72.9
128 Coastal Carolina 70.8 72.1 72.3 71.8
129 Texas St. 71.1 73.7 70.0 71.6
130 UAB 66.5 70.8 68.5 68.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 2-0 5-0 112.2 110.8 113.3 112.1
Central Florida 1-0 3-0 110.7 112.3 111.8 111.6
Temple 0-2 2-3 92.7 93.1 92.6 92.8
Cincinnati 0-1 2-3 87.6 89.9 89.1 88.9
Connecticut 0-2 1-3 84.9 88.0 85.0 86.0
East Carolina 1-1 1-4 82.5 84.1 82.4 83.0
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Houston 1-0 3-1 104.5 103.8 104.4 104.2
Navy 3-0 4-0 101.4 102.1 101.5 101.6
Memphis 0-1 3-1 101.7 100.8 101.8 101.4
SMU 1-0 4-1 99.0 99.1 99.6 99.2
Tulsa 0-1 1-4 98.8 98.7 98.6 98.7
Tulane 0-1 2-2 94.4 94.6 94.8 94.6
             
AAC Averages     97.5 98.1 97.9 97.8
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 3-0 5-0 130.7 127.8 130.3 129.6
Florida St. 1-1 1-2 124.1 122.6 123.1 123.3
Louisville 1-1 4-1 116.3 115.2 116.4 116.0
N. Carolina St. 2-0 4-1 115.8 115.2 115.7 115.6
Syracuse 0-1 2-3 107.8 106.2 107.1 107.0
Wake Forest 1-1 4-1 106.8 105.7 106.5 106.3
Boston College 0-2 2-3 99.4 99.7 98.9 99.3
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 1-0 3-0 121.5 119.3 121.0 120.6
Virginia Tech 0-1 4-1 118.9 118.2 119.4 118.8
Georgia Tech 2-0 3-1 116.0 113.7 114.3 114.7
Duke 1-1 4-1 108.4 107.0 107.0 107.5
N. Carolina 0-3 1-4 106.8 105.6 104.9 105.8
Pittsburgh 0-1 2-3 104.9 105.2 104.2 104.8
Virginia 0-0 3-1 103.1 102.9 104.4 103.5
             
ACC Averages     112.9 111.7 112.4 112.3
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 1-0 4-0 125.9 124.0 126.6 125.5
Oklahoma St. 1-1 4-1 122.5 121.1 123.3 122.3
T C U 1-0 4-0 119.5 116.9 119.9 118.7
Texas 1-0 2-2 113.5 114.3 113.9 113.9
Kansas St. 1-0 3-1 113.9 113.8 114.0 113.9
West Virginia 1-0 3-1 109.4 110.2 109.5 109.7
Texas Tech 0-1 3-1 104.5 103.9 103.7 104.0
Iowa State 0-1 2-2 102.6 103.8 103.3 103.3
Baylor 0-2 0-5 101.1 103.0 101.2 101.8
Kansas 0-1 1-3 87.4 90.7 86.7 88.3
             
Big 12 Averages     110.0 110.2 110.2 110.1
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 2-0 4-1 132.6 129.9 132.1 131.5
Penn St. 2-0 5-0 127.7 125.7 128.5 127.3
Michigan 1-0 4-0 116.9 116.5 116.2 116.5
Indiana 0-2 2-2 104.6 104.7 105.0 104.8
Maryland 1-0 3-1 103.9 105.8 104.1 104.6
Michigan St. 1-0 3-1 100.0 102.5 100.7 101.1
Rutgers 0-2 1-4 93.9 94.0 93.1 93.7
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 1-0 4-0 122.4 118.4 120.7 120.5
Northwestern 0-1 2-2 110.6 108.6 110.6 109.9
Iowa 0-2 3-2 109.6 109.8 109.3 109.6
Minnesota 0-1 3-1 107.3 107.5 106.9 107.2
Nebraska 2-0 3-2 102.0 103.4 101.3 102.2
Purdue 0-1 2-2 101.1 102.8 101.7 101.9
Illinois 0-1 2-2 89.7 91.2 88.5 89.8
             
Big Ten Averages     108.8 108.6 108.5 108.6
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
W. Kentucky 0-1 2-2 93.6 92.8 94.7 93.7
Marshall 0-0 3-1 88.7 90.0 90.3 89.7
Old Dominion 0-0 2-2 88.6 91.1 88.9 89.5
Middle Tennessee 0-1 2-3 89.0 89.8 89.4 89.4
Florida Atlantic 1-0 2-3 86.9 89.9 88.1 88.3
Florida Int’l. 2-0 3-1 80.8 81.1 81.6 81.2
Charlotte 0-1 0-5 72.7 75.0 73.1 73.6
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 0-0 3-0 95.7 97.3 97.8 96.9
Louisiana Tech 1-0 3-2 91.4 92.5 92.4 92.1
Southern Miss. 0-1 2-2 85.3 86.7 85.2 85.7
N. Texas 2-0 3-2 84.0 85.6 84.3 84.6
Rice 1-1 1-4 77.7 78.8 77.9 78.1
U T E P 0-1 0-5 71.7 75.0 71.9 72.9
UAB 0-1 2-2 66.5 70.8 68.5 68.6
             
CUSA Averages     83.8 85.5 84.6 84.6
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   4-1 115.7 114.5 116.5 115.5
Army   3-2 95.5 95.6 96.2 95.8
BYU   1-4 95.5 94.9 95.5 95.3
Massachusetts   0-6 85.4 84.7 85.3 85.1
             
Indep. Averages     98.0 97.4 98.4 97.9
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami (O) 1-0 2-3 92.7 94.7 94.2 93.9
Ohio U 1-0 4-1 91.1 92.5 92.1 91.9
Buffalo 1-0 3-2 85.1 87.5 87.2 86.6
Akron 1-0 2-3 83.9 87.0 84.0 85.0
Kent St. 0-1 1-4 79.6 81.1 80.2 80.3
Bowling Green 0-1 0-5 79.5 80.4 79.9 79.9
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Western Michigan 1-0 3-2 102.7 101.0 104.2 102.6
Toledo 0-0 3-1 99.6 99.5 101.0 100.0
Eastern Michigan 0-1 2-2 95.5 95.1 95.5 95.4
Northern Illinois 0-0 2-2 90.2 90.0 90.7 90.3
Central Michigan 0-1 2-3 88.7 89.5 88.9 89.0
Ball St. 0-1 2-3 75.7 77.7 77.2 76.9
             
MAC Averages     88.7 89.7 89.6 89.3
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colo. State 1-0 3-2 107.2 105.8 107.5 106.8
Boise St. 1-0 2-2 99.0 97.2 98.5 98.2
New Mexico 1-1 3-2 95.0 94.7 95.8 95.2
Wyoming 1-0 3-2 95.4 94.2 94.2 94.6
Air Force 0-2 1-3 91.9 92.5 92.1 92.2
Utah St. 1-0 3-2 92.6 91.5 92.1 92.1
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 1-0 5-0 101.9 102.0 102.8 102.2
U N L V 1-0 2-2 88.7 91.1 89.0 89.6
Fresno St. 1-0 2-2 89.8 88.5 90.3 89.6
Hawaii 0-2 2-3 87.6 88.4 87.4 87.8
Nevada 0-1 0-5 82.8 85.3 84.2 84.1
San Jose St. 0-2 1-5 77.1 77.2 76.4 76.9
             
MWC Averages     92.4 92.4 92.5 92.4
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 2-0 5-0 130.0 126.9 130.7 129.2
Washington St. 2-0 5-0 118.3 116.1 117.8 117.4
Stanford 2-1 3-2 117.5 116.1 116.7 116.8
Oregon 1-1 4-1 113.4 110.5 112.6 112.2
California 0-2 3-2 101.3 98.9 99.6 99.9
Oregon St. 0-2 1-4 92.6 92.4 91.1 92.0
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 2-1 4-1 119.5 118.8 119.3 119.2
Colorado 0-2 3-2 111.5 109.5 109.4 110.1
U C L A 1-1 3-2 108.5 107.8 107.9 108.1
Utah 1-0 4-0 107.0 108.8 107.2 107.7
Arizona St. 1-1 2-3 102.1 101.5 101.5 101.7
Arizona 0-1 2-2 99.8 99.1 98.4 99.1
             
Pac-12 Averages     110.1 108.9 109.4 109.4
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 2-0 5-0 123.6 124.3 123.9 123.9
Florida 3-0 3-1 116.0 114.9 115.5 115.5
Kentucky 1-1 4-1 111.4 110.2 110.9 110.8
Vanderbilt 0-2 3-2 106.6 105.4 105.6 105.9
S. Carolina 1-2 3-2 104.9 104.2 103.7 104.3
Tennessee 0-2 3-2 104.7 103.0 102.8 103.5
Missouri 0-2 1-3 96.6 94.3 95.3 95.4
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 2-0 5-0 141.1 136.3 140.1 139.2
Auburn 2-0 4-1 126.8 124.6 126.9 126.1
L S U 0-1 3-2 111.8 110.3 112.2 111.4
Mississippi St. 1-2 3-2 107.2 108.0 107.2 107.5
Arkansas 0-1 2-2 106.2 105.6 105.7 105.9
Texas A&M 2-0 4-1 105.5 103.5 104.4 104.5
Ole Miss 0-1 2-2 102.8 101.3 100.9 101.7
             
SEC Averages     111.8 110.4 111.1 111.1
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 1-0 2-2 98.6 96.3 98.9 97.9
Troy 1-0 4-1 96.6 96.6 96.1 96.4
Arkansas St. 0-0 1-2 88.2 89.9 89.8 89.3
N. Mexico St. 0-1 2-3 88.3 86.4 88.5 87.7
Georgia St. 0-0 1-2 84.9 84.2 84.9 84.7
Idaho 1-0 2-2 83.5 85.6 84.4 84.5
UL-Lafayette 0-1 1-3 84.0 85.3 83.8 84.4
S. Alabama 0-1 1-4 83.2 86.0 83.3 84.2
UL-Monroe 2-0 2-2 81.1 81.7 79.9 80.9
Georgia Southern 0-0 0-3 79.2 80.5 78.6 79.4
Coastal Carolina 0-1 1-3 70.8 72.1 72.3 71.8
Texas St. 0-1 1-4 71.1 73.7 70.0 71.6
             
Sun Belt Averages     84.1 84.9 84.2 84.4

Ratings By Conference

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 ACC 112.9 111.7 112.4 112.3
2 SEC 111.8 110.4 111.1 111.1
3 BIG 12 110.0 110.2 110.2 110.1
4 PAC-12 110.1 108.9 109.4 109.4
5 BIG TEN 108.8 108.6 108.5 108.6
6 INDEP. 98.0 97.4 98.4 97.9
7 AAC 97.5 98.1 97.9 97.8
8 MWC 92.4 92.4 92.5 92.4
9 MAC 88.7 89.7 89.6 89.3
10 CUSA 83.8 85.5 84.6 84.6
11 Sun Belt 84.1 84.9 84.2 84.4

Playoff and Bowl Projections

Bowl Conferences Team 1 Team 2
N. Orleans CUSA SBC Louisiana Tech Arkansas St.
Cure AAC SBC [W. Kentucky] Appalachian St.
Las Vegas MWC 1 PAC-12 5 Colorado St. Stanford
New Mexico CUSA MWC North Texas Boise St.
Camellia MAC SBC Ohio U New Mexico St.
Boca Raton AAC CUSA South Florida Marshall
Frisco AAC MAC SMU Buffalo
Gasparilla AAC CUSA [Fresno St.] Florida Int’l.
Bahamas CUSA 1 MAC Florida Atlantic Western Mich.
Potato MAC MWC Miami (O) Wyoming
B’ham AAC SEC 8-9 Memphis Tennessee
Arm. Forces Army BIG TEN 8 Army Nebraska
$ General MAC SBC Northern Illinois Troy
Hawaii AAC MWC Houston Hawaii
Ht. of Dallas BIG 12 6 CUSA Kansas St. UTSA
Quick Lane ACC 7-9 BIG TEN 7 [Toledo] Michigan St.
Cactus BIG 12 5 PAC-12 6 Texas Colorado
Independ. ACC 7-9 SEC 8-9 [Old Dominion] [UNLV]
Pinstripe ACC 3-6 BIG TEN 5 Virginia Maryland
F. Farms BIG TEN 6 PAC-12 8 Purdue Oregon
Texas BIG 12 3 SEC 2-7 Texas Tech Arkansas
Military AAC 7-9 ACC 7-9 Navy [Middle Tenn.]
Camp.Wrld ACC 2 BIG 12 2 Virginia Tech Oklahoma St.
Holiday BIG TEN 3 PAC-12 2 Northwestern UCLA
Alamo BIG 12 1 PAC-12 1 TCU USC
Belk ACC 3-6 SEC 2-7 N. Carolina St. Florida
Sun ACC 3-6 Pac-12 Duke Utah
Music City ACC 3-6/B10 4 SEC 2-7 Georgia Tech Mississippi St.
Arizona MWC SBC San Diego St. [Iowa]
Cotton At-large At-large Penn St. Georgia
Taxslayer ACC 3-6/B10 4 SEC 2-7 Minnesota South Carolina
Liberty BIG 12 4 SEC 2-7 West Virginia Kentucky
Fiesta At-large At-large Washington St. Wisconsin
Orange ACC 1 SEC 1/B10 1 Louisville Ohio St.
Outback BIG TEN 2 SEC 2-7 Michigan Texas A&M
Peach At-large At-large Notre Dame Central Florida
Citrus B10 1/ACC 2 SEC 1 Miami (Fla.) Auburn
Rose Playoff Semi-final Clemson Oklahoma
Sugar Playoff Semi-final Alabama Washington
Champ. Semifinal Winners Alabama Clemson
         
Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections

It’s Bowl Contention/Elimination Season
Welcome to real Autumn. As the calendar page flips to October, college football season is in full bloom. Many schools will reach the halfway point of their schedule this weekend. Another sign that Autumn is here in earnest–college football picks up another day, as the Wednesday night scheduling begins this week.

If it’s October, then it is time to start looking at bowl eligibility. Obviously, there are dynasties like Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and others that are going to a bowl with 100% certainty, and there are teams like Charlotte, Kansas, and Oregon State that are definitely not going to a bowl.

There are about 80 teams in position to become bowl eligible, and maybe 55 to 60 of these schools will earn it, while the other 20 to 25 will fall short. We call this time of year, Bowl Contention/Elimination Season (BCES). Each week, there will be games where the winner will stay in contention for a bowl, while the loser will either be severely damaged or outright eliminated from bowl contention. Let’s take a look at some of the early BCES games in October.

Illinois (2-2) at Iowa (3-2). The loser of this game cannot find a path to 6-6. Illinois must win this game and then defeat Rutgers, and then two from Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, and Northwestern. If the Illini cannot beat Iowa, they cannot win four others. Iowa’s offense is struggling with new a new quarterback, receivers, and running backs. They will have to squeak by three more opponents and have a tough closing schedule.

Duke (4-1) at Virginia (3-1). This is not a bowl elimination game. The winner of this one is in very good shape to become bowl eligible, in fact close to 100% likely with just one loss.

Pittsburgh (2-3) at Syracuse (2-3). This is a true bowl eliminator. The winner moves to 3-3 and stays in contention for a bowl at probably 6-6, while the loser is not going to win four more games.

Florida International (3-1) at Middle Tennessee (2-3). This was not how it was supposed to be this year in CUSA. Western Kentucky, Old Dominion, and Middle Tennessee are struggling, while FIU is in contention for the East Division title. For Middle, they have serious injury issues on offense, namely their quarterback and top two receivers. FIU has improved each week under Butch Davis, and a win this week probably gives the Panthers anywhere from 85-90% chance of getting to six wins.

Minnesota (3-1) at Purdue (2-2). This is a trap game for Minnesota. After losing a tough home game to Maryland, the Gophers travel to West Lafayette to take on a much-improved, confident Boilermaker team that will be coming off a bye week and will be playing in the memory of former great PU coach Joe Tiller, who recently passed away. Jeff Brohm will have Purdue fired up to win this game, and at 3-2, Purdue will be more than Spoilermakers; they will be serious bowl contenders.

Tulsa (1-4) at Tulane (2-2). The winner still has a chance to make a bowl this year. The loser has no chance. Green Wave second year coach Willie Fritz will start getting noticed by the big schools if he guides Tulane to a bowl in his second year in New Orleans. Fritz worked wonders at Georgia Southern, and before that, he turned programs around at Sam Houston State and Central Missouri. Fritz’s offense is unique in college football. It may look a lot like Army, Navy, and Georgia Tech’s triple option offense, but it is nothing like those three. It is more similar to the old Nebraska offense with zone blocking rules and regular (double) options with power running and quick passing. His style of play might work in the Big 12 or even the SEC. He might get a chance to interview at an SEC school in December if TU can make a run to a bowl.

Arkansas (2-2) at South Carolina (3-2). If Arkansas loses this game, the Razorbacks are in serious jeopardy of not getting to six wins this year, and it could be one of three or four SEC schools looking to replace a coach. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp is okay to stay if he goes 5-7, but Brett Bielema may have a tough time keeping the job in Fayetteville if he doesn’t get the Razorbacks to eight wins.

UL-Lafayette (1-3) at Idaho (2-2). It is hard to beat Idaho in the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. There will be very little chance that ULL will recover to 6-6 if they lose to the Vandals this week. On the other side of the field, Idaho must get to seven wins to have a legitimate chance at a bowl. The Sun Belt will not go to bat for the Vandals unless they force the issue, because Idaho is dropping to FCS at the end of this year and will no longer be a SBC member. Only if the SBC has no other options, will Idaho get a fair shake.

Florida Atlantic (2-3) at Old Dominion (2-2). The winner of this one moves into decent contention for a bowl. It is our opinion that CUSA will end up with more bowl eligible teams than bowl contracts, but there are always other leagues that cannot fill their allotment of bowl bids. Due to geography, this league has an advantage in placing at-large teams in bowls.

Arizona (2-2) at Colorado (3-2). Rich Rodriguez is in serious trouble in Tucson, and anything short of a bowl invitation should be the end of his tenure in the desert. The Wildcats would need three more wins if they beat the Buffaloes at Folsom Field this week, but finding three more wins is still a tough task. Colorado would need just two more wins if they hold off the Wildcats in Boulder, and Mike MacIntyre has job security in the Rockies.

The Playoff Race, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love A Threepeat
At this point in the season, it might be insane to think that any team other than Alabama or Clemson has a chance to make it to the College Football National Championship Game. Sure, there are a lot of really good teams, some that might run the table and enter the playoffs at 13-0. But, at this point of the season, the two powers look to be in a league of their own, headed to a rubber match in Atlanta, which would be the perfect neutral site.
How rare is it for the same two teams to play for the Championship of a sport three years in a row? In one word–Very! College football has only had a playoff for a couple years, and before that a BCS Championship, so the chances have not been there for it to happen. It could be argued that from 1944 to 1946, Army and Notre Dame played in essence the National Championship Game when they faced off at Yankee Stadium, but those games were in-season, and there was no guarantee that the winner would be the champion.
In the NFL, no two Super Bowl teams have every played each other three years in a row. Prior to the Super Bowl era, The Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns played for the NFL title in 1952, 1953, and 1954.

The New York Giants and New York Yankees squared off in three consecutive World Series in 1921, 1922, and 1923. In the NBA, the Warriors and Cavaliers have played each other for the title the last three years, and in the NHL, even though for many years there were not even 10 total teams (just 6 for many of those years), it has still been rare. Detroit and Montreal met for the Stanley Cup in 1954, 1955, and 1956.

 

September 11, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for September 14-16, 2017

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:54 am

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

PiRate Ratings Spreads
September 14-16        
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Boise St. New Mexico 12.9 10.4 11.8
Temple Massachusetts 14.2 15.6 14.5
South Florida Illinois 20.5 17.3 22.9
UTEP Arizona -23.3 -17.6 -20.1
South Carolina Kentucky 0.5 1.2 0.2
Marshall Kent St. 4.6 4.9 4.7
Boston College Notre Dame -8.1 -5.1 -8.8
Virginia Connecticut 16.2 13.0 17.0
Michigan Air Force 26.8 25.4 25.7
UAB Coastal Carolina -8.3 -3.8 -8.0
Miami (O) Cincinnati 4.5 4.3 5.2
Penn St. Georgia St. 45.2 43.7 46.0
Akron Iowa St. -15.1 -12.3 -15.7
Old Dominion North Carolina -16.3 -12.1 -14.3
Pittsburgh Oklahoma St. -9.8 -8.6 -12.3
Minnesota Middle Tennessee 17.5 17.2 16.2
Indiana Florida Int’l. 26.8 26.6 26.2
Memphis UCLA -2.3 -2.3 -1.4
Nebraska Northern Illinois 20.7 22.3 19.7
Duke Baylor 13.2 9.2 11.7
Ohio U Kansas 4.0 2.8 5.7
Wake Forest Utah St. 21.0 21.4 21.2
Louisville Clemson -8.2 -5.5 -7.1
Syracuse Central Michigan 18.3 16.3 17.0
East Carolina Virginia Tech -28.3 -26.4 -28.7
BYU Wisconsin -17.3 -14.4 -15.1
Missouri Purdue 7.8 2.8 5.7
Iowa North Texas 33.3 31.3 33.0
Texas A&M UL-Lafayette 23.9 19.9 22.7
Northwestern Bowling Green 31.2 28.8 30.2
Oklahoma Tulane 36.1 33.4 36.6
Florida Tennessee 6.4 7.7 7.5
TCU SMU 19.0 16.1 18.6
Western Kentucky Louisiana Tech 11.5 7.8 12.1
Ohio St. Army 36.2 33.7 34.5
Washington St. Oregon St. 27.0 24.1 27.6
Texas St. Appalachian St. -25.8 -19.6 -27.4
Alabama Colorado St. 32.1 28.7 31.2
Toledo Tulsa -0.4 0.4 1.3
Western Michigan Idaho 21.4 15.8 22.0
UL-Monroe Southern Miss. -2.8 -3.9 -4.3
Wyoming Oregon -9.5 -8.6 -9.7
Mississippi St. LSU -10.3 -7.9 -10.6
Central Florida Georgia Tech -7.5 -2.9 -4.6
Vanderbilt Kansas St. -1.6 -3.0 -3.2
Houston Rice 26.1 23.8 25.2
New Mexico St. Troy -3.5 -6.3 -3.4
Texas Tech Arizona St. 5.3 4.6 5.0
USC Texas 13.0 11.3 13.2
Utah San Jose St. 23.9 27.2 24.9
Washington Fresno St. 43.8 41.5 44.5
California Ole Miss -4.0 -5.2 -4.3
San Diego St. Stanford -15.0 -12.1 -12.8
This Week’s FBS vs. FCS Games
Home Visitor PiRate
Auburn Mercer 40
Georgia Samford 26
UTSA Southern 24
West Virginia Delaware St. 55
North Carolina St. Furman 31
Colorado Northern Colorado 39
Ball St. Tennessee Tech 20
Rutgers Morgan St. 36
Charlotte N.C. A&T -2
Buffalo Colgate 7
Nevada Idaho St. 25
Arkansas St. Ark.-Pine Bluff 51
South Alabama Alabama A&M 28
Florida Atlantic Bethune-Cookman 15

The Big 12 Arises Like The Phoenix
A week after Texas and Baylor suffered devastating losses, the Big 12 returned from the dead with some major victories. Oklahoma went to the Giant Horseshoe and toyed with Ohio State for most of the evening. The Sooners looked about as effective on offense as they looked back in 2008, when they had Sam Bradford, Chris Brown, Demarco Murray, Juaquin Iglesias, Jermaine Gresham. But, it was the defense that really looked dominant. Oklahoma’s effort Saturday night reminded us more of their 2001 team that featured Tommie Harris, Rocky Calmus, Derrick Strait, and Roy Williams.

TCU’s defense totally shut down Arkansas in the Horned Frogs win at Fayetteville. TCU’s defense held Arkansas to 13 first downs and 267 total yards; more importantly, they held them to just 7 points.

Oklahoma State won on the road at South Alabama, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the Jaguars have a history of sneaking up on Power 5 conference teams.

Baylor lost once again, and Iowa State just missed against Iowa, while Texas played much better in their drubbing of San Jose St. The Longhorns get a chance to redeem themselves for the Maryland debacle when they venture to the LA Coliseum to take on USC this week. If UT keeps this game close, then watch out for the ‘Horns in Big 12 Conference play. It is a transition process into Coach Tom Herman’s offense, but Herman’s teams find a way to win, and Texas will win more than they did last year.

ACC Tilt Highlights Top Games This Week
Following Clemson’s defensive gem against Auburn, the Tigers must now face the reigning Heisman Trophy winner on his turf. Clemson’s game at Louisville tops this week’s schedule. Louisville has the horses to do to CU what they did to Florida State last year, but we believe Coach Dabo Swinney will come up with another brilliant game plan to slow down the Cardinal attack. The issue is whether the Clemson offense has enough to get to about 27 points, because even when you slow down the ‘Ville, you might still give up 24 points.

Clemson’s big rival has a big game this week. South Carolina hosts Kentucky. USC already owns a conference win and can take a major step forward toward competing with Georgia for the East Division flag. Kentucky has not looked up to the standards we thought they had the potential to be, performing so-so in wins over Southern Miss and Eastern Kentucky.

Florida hosts Tennessee in the Swamp, and the Gators got a week off after their no-show event against Michigan. Meanwhile, Tennessee is playing its third game in 12 days and has suffered a couple of injury losses. The Vols’ offense has been at the extremes. On one drive, they look like Louisville, and on the next drive they look like a college version of the New York Jets or San Francisco 49ers. Florida was very consistent offensively against Michigan–they looked like the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on every drive against the Wolverines. Expect the Gators to play near their maximum capacity in this game. They cannot start 0-2 with a now 11-game schedule and have much chance to recover to much more than 7-4 and possibly just 6-5. A Tennessee win puts the Big Orange into the contender category in the mediocre East Division.

LSU travels north to take on an under-the-radar Mississippi State team that has circled this game on their schedule since Spring Ball. Miss State has just one win over the Tigers in the 16 games in this century, and that one win came at Baton Rouge. The last time the Bulldogs bested their Bayou Rivals in Starkville was 1999. The winner of this game has to be taken seriously as a top contender to Alabama.

Kansas State looks to prove that it belongs in the discussion in the Big 12, and the Wildcats have a tough game at Vanderbilt this week. The Commodores looked similar to Stanford and Michigan in their opening two wins, but to beat a top 15 team is a lot different than beating Middle Tennessee and Alabama A&M. This game actually features the top two passing offenses in Raw QB Ratings, as Kyle Shurmur has Vandy at #1, while Jesse Ertz has Kansas State at #2. This looks to be the best Kansas State offense since the great 1998 team almost made it to the National Championship Game.

The previously mentioned Texas-USC game should be interesting, but the Trojans should eventually win this one by two touchdowns or more. However, if the Longhorns can control the clock offensively, their questionable defense can hold on long enough to make this game close enough to be undecided until the fourth quarter.

The late game on the Coast has Stanford playing at San Diego State. If the Aztecs are to challenge for the Group of 5’s top spot and the New Year’s 6 Bowl, they must win this game. Stanford will be a tough out for the hometown team, but Rocky Long has SDSU looking like a team capable of running the table if they get past the Cardinal.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings
This happens frequently in September. A top team is upset by another team, but the top team still rates ahead of the team that beat them. That’s the liability of predictive ratings, and the strength of retrodictive ratings. We have three predictive ratings–the regular PiRate, the PiRate Mean, and the PiRate Bias. We also have one set of PiRate Retrodictive Ratings.

If you need a primer, predictive ratings take what the teams have done so far and tries to predict what they will do next week. So, if State U has a predictive rating of 113.5 and plays Tech with a rating of 110.2, then before home field advantage (and road team disadvantage) are factored in, State is expected to beat Tech by 3.3 points. Let’s say the game is at State, and our special Pirate formula shows State to have a 3.2 point home field advantage for this game. It would then be quite easy to see that State should beat teach by 6.5 points.

Our retrodictive rating does not try to predict the outcomes of the next week’s slate of games. It is only concerned with what the teams have done. If State and Tech were to have the same Retro Ratings as their predictive ratings, this would not indicate that State should win by 6.5 points. It only means that to date, State has been about 3.3 points better in their results than Tech has been (no home field advantage used because this rating does not predict outcomes).

Why are we bringing this up? Simple. Ohio State is still number two in our predictive ratings. Oklahoma is behind the Buckeyes. In our Retrodictive Ratings, Ohio State fell quite a bit, just like Florida State did after losing to Alabama.

How can our predictive ratings show Ohio State to still be number two? It is a case of methodology. Our updates to our Predictive Ratings are rather conservative, with the Mean Rating being the most conservative, and the Bias being the least conservative, but still conservative. Remember, our predictive ratings are only looking forward and not backward. It is easier to think in terms of a major upset, like when Ole Miss beat Alabama two consecutive seasons. These two wins did not jump Ole Miss over the Tide. In a similar manner, when LSU beat Alabama during the regular season in 2011, Alabama stayed ahead of LSU in the ratings. When they met again in the National Championship Game, Alabama was the favorite, and they won 21-0.

We will lead with our Retrodictive Ratings First–We have put the rating numbers in this week to show you the difference between these ratings and the Predictive Ratings.

PiRate Retrodictive
# Team Retro
1 Alabama 127.2
2 Clemson 125.8
3 Washington 124.9
4 Oklahoma 124.6
5 USC 124.1
6 Penn St. 123.8
7 LSU 122.3
8 Ohio St. 120.8
9 Oklahoma St. 120.4
10 Wisconsin 118.8
11 Michigan 118.6
12 Miami (Fla) 116.6
13 Louisville 116.5
14 Florida St. 116.4
15 Auburn 115.9
16 Virginia Tech 115.6
17 Stanford 114.5
18 Kansas St. 114.0
19 Georgia 113.9
20 Tennessee 113.1
21 TCU 112.7
22 Washington St. 112.4
23 Utah 112.2
24 Iowa 111.9
25 Colorado 111.8
26 Florida 111.5
27 Houston 111.3
28 Mississippi St. 110.8
29 South Florida 110.3
30 San Diego St. 110.0
31 Georgia Tech 109.5
32 South Carolina 109.3
33 UCLA 109.1
34 Oregon 108.9
35 Notre Dame 108.8
36 Vanderbilt 108.6
37 West Virginia 108.3
38 Minnesota 108.0
39 Boise St. 107.7
40 Michigan St. 107.0
41 Pittsburgh 106.7
42 Toledo 106.1
43 Texas A&M 104.8
44 Wake Forest 104.3
45 Nebraska 104.0
46 Maryland 103.8
47 Duke 103.7
48 Kentucky 103.7
49 North Carolina St. 103.1
50 Memphis 103.0
51 Northwestern 101.8
52 Navy 101.6
53 Ole Miss 101.5
54 California 101.3
55 Tulsa 101.1
56 Texas 101.0
57 Arkansas 100.7
58 Air Force 100.5
59 Western Michigan 100.1
60 Colorado St. 100.0
61 Texas Tech 99.8
62 BYU 99.3
63 Appalachian St. 98.7
64 North Carolina 98.4
65 Army 98.1
66 SMU 97.9
67 Central Florida 97.7
68 Temple 97.5
69 Boston College 97.3
70 Indiana 97.1
71 Old Dominion 96.8
72 Western Kentucky 96.7
73 Troy 96.5
74 Arkansas St. 96.4
75 UTSA 96.2
76 Iowa St. 96.0
77 Purdue 95.9
78 Wyoming 95.7
79 Louisiana Tech 95.4
80 Illinois 95.3
81 Missouri 95.2
82 Eastern Michigan 95.0
83 Central Michigan 94.8
84 Arizona St. 94.4
85 Arizona 94.2
86 Middle Tennessee 94.0
87 Northern Illinois 93.8
88 Ohio 93.6
89 Syracuse 93.5
90 Tulane 93.5
91 Baylor 93.3
92 Southern Miss. 93.2
93 Oregon St. 93.1
94 New Mexico 92.9
95 Hawaii 92.7
96 Utah St. 92.2
97 Idaho 91.5
98 Cincinnati 91.2
99 Miami (O) 91.1
100 Virginia 90.9
101 UL-Lafayette 90.7
102 Coastal Carolina 90.0
103 Akron 89.6
104 Marshall 89.6
105 Nevada 89.3
106 New Mexico St. 88.8
107 Rutgers 88.5
108 Ball St. 88.3
109 South Alabama 88.0
110 Fresno St. 87.9
111 Georgia Southern 87.4
112 North Texas 87.1
113 Connecticut 86.6
114 UL-Monroe 86.3
115 San Jose St. 86.1
116 Kent St. 85.9
117 Kansas 85.5
118 Rice 85.2
119 Buffalo 84.9
120 UNLV 84.4
121 East Carolina 83.7
122 Georgia St. 83.6
123 Florida Int’l. 83.4
124 Bowling Green 83.0
125 Florida Atlantic 82.6
126 UTEP 82.1
127 UAB 80.5
128 Texas St. 79.1
129 Charlotte 77.5
130 Massachusetts 75.3

Our Regular Predictive Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 133.0 128.2 132.0 131.1
2 Ohio St. 129.4 126.6 128.7 128.2
3 Washington 128.9 125.3 129.7 128.0
4 Clemson 128.9 125.1 128.1 127.4
5 Oklahoma 127.7 125.4 128.6 127.2
6 Florida St. 126.9 124.9 126.2 126.0
7 Penn St. 126.2 124.0 126.9 125.7
8 Auburn 124.0 121.9 123.8 123.2
9 U S C 122.0 121.3 122.3 121.9
10 Oklahoma St. 121.6 120.3 123.2 121.7
11 L S U 120.3 118.5 121.0 119.9
12 Wisconsin 121.1 117.2 119.4 119.3
13 Stanford 118.8 116.7 117.9 117.8
14 Miami 118.7 116.3 117.8 117.6
15 Louisville 117.7 116.6 118.0 117.4
16 Georgia 116.7 117.9 116.8 117.1
17 Michigan 117.1 116.4 116.3 116.6
18 Virginia Tech 116.2 115.8 116.6 116.2
19 Washington St. 116.8 114.0 115.9 115.6
20 Florida 115.4 114.7 114.7 114.9
21 Kansas St. 114.8 114.5 115.3 114.9
22 T C U 114.8 112.1 114.7 113.8
23 N. Carolina St. 113.4 113.1 113.1 113.2
24 Texas 112.0 113.0 112.0 112.4
25 Colorado 113.7 111.7 111.5 112.3
26 Georgia Tech 113.1 110.6 111.1 111.6
27 Iowa 111.5 111.2 111.2 111.3
28 Tennessee 112.0 110.0 110.2 110.7
29 Kentucky 111.3 109.8 110.8 110.6
30 Notre Dame 111.2 109.3 111.3 110.6
31 Oregon 111.1 107.9 110.2 109.7
32 U C L A 110.2 109.2 109.7 109.7
33 West Virginia 109.1 109.9 109.1 109.4
34 Vanderbilt 110.2 108.5 109.2 109.3
35 South Florida 109.5 107.7 110.7 109.3
36 Northwestern 109.4 107.5 109.3 108.7
37 Pittsburgh 108.8 108.7 108.0 108.5
38 Duke 109.5 108.1 107.9 108.5
39 N. Carolina 109.4 108.1 107.9 108.5
40 S. Carolina 108.8 108.0 108.0 108.3
41 Minnesota 108.0 108.0 107.5 107.8
42 Mississippi St. 107.0 107.6 107.4 107.3
43 Arkansas 106.7 106.2 106.5 106.5
44 Ole Miss 107.4 106.0 105.8 106.4
45 Utah 105.4 107.9 105.7 106.3
46 Maryland 105.6 107.7 105.7 106.3
47 Syracuse 106.7 105.1 105.8 105.9
48 Indiana 105.0 105.1 105.4 105.2
49 Memphis 104.9 103.9 105.3 104.7
50 Wake Forest 105.1 104.4 104.5 104.6
51 Nebraska 104.1 105.7 103.3 104.4
52 Texas A&M 105.1 102.7 103.7 103.8
53 Houston 104.2 103.0 103.8 103.7
54 Central Florida 102.6 104.7 103.5 103.6
55 Colo. State 103.9 102.5 103.8 103.4
56 Tulsa 102.8 102.1 102.8 102.6
57 Iowa State 101.7 102.8 102.4 102.3
58 Texas Tech 102.8 102.5 101.6 102.3
59 San Diego St. 100.9 101.5 102.1 101.5
60 Missouri 102.6 99.7 101.3 101.2
61 Boise St. 101.6 99.4 101.0 100.7
62 BYU 100.9 99.8 101.3 100.6
63 Virginia 99.9 99.9 101.3 100.4
64 Arizona St. 100.5 100.9 99.6 100.3
65 Boston College 100.1 101.2 99.5 100.3
66 Baylor 99.3 101.9 99.2 100.1
67 Michigan St. 98.6 102.0 99.5 100.0
68 Toledo 99.4 99.5 101.2 100.0
69 Western Michigan 100.4 97.7 101.8 100.0
70 Navy 99.0 100.0 98.9 99.3
71 Appalachian St. 99.7 96.9 100.2 98.9
72 Purdue 97.8 99.9 98.6 98.8
73 California 99.9 97.3 97.9 98.4
74 Arizona 98.7 97.5 96.6 97.6
75 Wyoming 98.7 96.3 97.5 97.5
76 SMU 97.2 97.5 97.6 97.4
77 Army 96.3 95.9 97.2 96.5
78 Rutgers 95.9 95.9 95.4 95.7
79 W. Kentucky 95.7 93.9 97.1 95.6
80 Temple 95.0 95.7 95.1 95.3
81 U T S A 93.9 95.6 96.1 95.2
82 Tulane 94.6 95.0 95.0 94.9
83 Eastern Michigan 94.6 94.2 94.5 94.4
84 Miami (O) 92.9 95.3 95.1 94.4
85 Middle Tennessee 93.5 93.8 94.3 93.9
86 Air Force 93.3 94.0 93.6 93.6
87 Troy 93.7 93.9 92.9 93.5
88 Oregon St. 92.8 92.9 91.3 92.3
89 Illinois 92.0 93.4 90.8 92.1
90 New Mexico 91.7 92.0 92.2 92.0
91 Old Dominion 90.6 93.5 91.1 91.7
92 Central Michigan 91.4 91.8 91.8 91.7
93 Cincinnati 89.9 92.4 91.4 91.2
94 Arkansas St. 89.5 91.1 91.2 90.6
95 Ohio U 89.5 91.4 90.4 90.4
96 Kansas 88.4 91.6 87.7 89.3
97 Hawaii 88.6 90.2 88.6 89.1
98 U N L V 87.5 90.4 87.9 88.6
99 Louisiana Tech 87.2 89.1 87.9 88.1
100 Connecticut 86.7 89.9 87.3 88.0
101 Fresno St. 88.1 86.7 88.2 87.7
102 Southern Miss. 87.1 88.5 87.2 87.6
103 Nevada 85.3 88.4 87.3 87.0
104 Utah St. 87.6 86.5 86.8 87.0
105 Northern Illinois 86.4 86.4 86.6 86.4
106 N. Mexico St. 87.1 84.6 86.6 86.1
107 East Carolina 84.9 86.4 84.8 85.4
108 Marshall 84.5 85.9 85.6 85.4
109 Akron 83.7 87.5 83.7 85.0
110 UL-Lafayette 84.2 85.8 84.0 84.7
111 Florida Atlantic 83.1 86.4 84.2 84.6
112 S. Alabama 83.5 86.4 83.7 84.5
113 Georgia St. 84.5 83.7 84.4 84.2
114 Buffalo 82.5 85.2 84.5 84.1
115 San Jose St. 84.5 83.7 83.8 84.0
116 Kent St. 82.9 84.1 83.9 83.6
117 Idaho 82.0 85.0 82.8 83.2
118 Massachusetts 83.4 82.6 83.1 83.0
119 N. Texas 81.3 82.9 81.2 81.8
120 Bowling Green 81.2 81.8 82.1 81.7
121 Florida Int’l. 81.2 81.4 82.2 81.6
122 UL-Monroe 81.8 82.1 80.3 81.4
123 Ball St. 79.0 81.4 80.6 80.3
124 Georgia Southern 79.9 81.2 79.5 80.2
125 Rice 79.6 80.7 80.1 80.1
126 Coastal Carolina 74.8 75.7 76.6 75.7
127 Charlotte 74.5 77.1 74.9 75.5
128 U T E P 72.9 77.3 74.0 74.8
129 Texas St. 71.5 74.8 70.3 72.2
130 UAB 64.1 69.3 66.1 66.5

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
South Florida 0-0 2-0 109.5 107.7 110.7 109.3
Central Florida 0-0 1-0 102.6 104.7 103.5 103.6
Temple 0-0 1-1 95.0 95.7 95.1 95.3
Cincinnati 0-0 1-1 89.9 92.4 91.4 91.2
Connecticut 0-0 1-0 86.7 89.9 87.3 88.0
East Carolina 0-0 0-2 84.9 86.4 84.8 85.4
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 0-0 1-0 104.9 103.9 105.3 104.7
Houston 0-0 1-0 104.2 103.0 103.8 103.7
Tulsa 0-0 1-1 102.8 102.1 102.8 102.6
Navy 1-0 2-0 99.0 100.0 98.9 99.3
SMU 0-0 2-0 97.2 97.5 97.6 97.4
Tulane 0-1 1-1 94.6 95.0 95.0 94.9
             
AAC Averages     97.6 98.2 98.0 97.9
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 0-0 2-0 128.9 125.1 128.1 127.4
Florida St. 0-0 0-1 126.9 124.9 126.2 126.0
Louisville 1-0 2-0 117.7 116.6 118.0 117.4
N. Carolina St. 0-0 1-1 113.4 113.1 113.1 113.2
Syracuse 0-0 1-1 106.7 105.1 105.8 105.9
Wake Forest 1-0 2-0 105.1 104.4 104.5 104.6
Boston College 0-1 1-1 100.1 101.2 99.5 100.3
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 0-0 1-0 118.7 116.3 117.8 117.6
Virginia Tech 0-0 2-0 116.2 115.8 116.6 116.2
Georgia Tech 0-0 1-1 113.1 110.6 111.1 111.6
Pittsburgh 0-0 1-1 108.8 108.7 108.0 108.5
Duke 0-0 2-0 109.5 108.1 107.9 108.5
N. Carolina 0-1 0-2 109.4 108.1 107.9 108.5
Virginia 0-0 1-1 99.9 99.9 101.3 100.4
             
ACC Averages     112.5 111.3 111.8 111.9
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 0-0 2-0 127.7 125.4 128.6 127.2
Oklahoma St. 0-0 2-0 121.6 120.3 123.2 121.7
Kansas St. 0-0 2-0 114.8 114.5 115.3 114.9
T C U 0-0 2-0 114.8 112.1 114.7 113.8
Texas 0-0 1-1 112.0 113.0 112.0 112.4
West Virginia 0-0 1-1 109.1 109.9 109.1 109.4
Iowa State 0-0 1-1 101.7 102.8 102.4 102.3
Texas Tech 0-0 1-0 102.8 102.5 101.6 102.3
Baylor 0-0 0-2 99.3 101.9 99.2 100.1
Kansas 0-0 1-1 88.4 91.6 87.7 89.3
             
Big 12 Averages     109.2 109.4 109.4 109.3
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 1-0 1-1 129.4 126.6 128.7 128.2
Penn St. 0-0 2-0 126.2 124.0 126.9 125.7
Michigan 0-0 2-0 117.1 116.4 116.3 116.6
Maryland 0-0 2-0 105.6 107.7 105.7 106.3
Indiana 0-1 1-1 105.0 105.1 105.4 105.2
Michigan St. 0-0 2-0 98.6 102.0 99.5 100.0
Rutgers 0-0 0-2 95.9 95.9 95.4 95.7
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 0-0 2-0 121.1 117.2 119.4 119.3
Iowa 0-0 2-0 111.5 111.2 111.2 111.3
Northwestern 0-0 1-1 109.4 107.5 109.3 108.7
Minnesota 0-0 2-0 108.0 108.0 107.5 107.8
Nebraska 0-0 1-1 104.1 105.7 103.3 104.4
Purdue 0-0 1-1 97.8 99.9 98.6 98.8
Illinois 0-0 2-0 92.0 93.4 90.8 92.1
             
Big Ten Averages     108.7 108.6 108.4 108.6
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
W. Kentucky 0-0 1-1 95.7 93.9 97.1 95.6
Middle Tennessee 0-0 1-1 93.5 93.8 94.3 93.9
Old Dominion 0-0 2-0 90.6 93.5 91.1 91.7
Marshall 0-0 1-1 84.5 85.9 85.6 85.4
Florida Atlantic 0-0 0-2 83.1 86.4 84.2 84.6
Florida Int’l. 0-0 1-1 81.2 81.4 82.2 81.6
Charlotte 0-0 0-2 74.5 77.1 74.9 75.5
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 0-0 1-0 93.9 95.6 96.1 95.2
Louisiana Tech 0-0 1-1 87.2 89.1 87.9 88.1
Southern Miss. 0-0 1-1 87.1 88.5 87.2 87.6
N. Texas 0-0 1-1 81.3 82.9 81.2 81.8
Rice 1-0 1-1 79.6 80.7 80.1 80.1
U T E P 0-1 0-2 72.9 77.3 74.0 74.8
UAB 0-0 1-1 64.1 69.3 66.1 66.5
             
CUSA Averages     83.5 85.4 84.4 84.4
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   1-1 111.2 109.3 111.3 110.6
BYU   1-2 100.9 99.8 101.3 100.6
Army   2-0 96.3 95.9 97.2 96.5
Massachusetts   0-3 83.4 82.6 83.1 83.0
             
Indep. Averages     97.9 96.9 98.2 97.7
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami (O) 0-0 1-1 92.9 95.3 95.1 94.4
Ohio U 0-0 1-1 89.5 91.4 90.4 90.4
Akron 0-0 1-1 83.7 87.5 83.7 85.0
Buffalo 0-0 0-2 82.5 85.2 84.5 84.1
Kent St. 0-0 1-1 82.9 84.1 83.9 83.6
Bowling Green 0-0 0-2 81.2 81.8 82.1 81.7
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Toledo 0-0 2-0 99.4 99.5 101.2 100.0
Western Michigan 0-0 0-2 100.4 97.7 101.8 100.0
Eastern Michigan 0-0 2-0 94.6 94.2 94.5 94.4
Central Michigan 0-0 2-0 91.4 91.8 91.8 91.7
Northern Illinois 0-0 1-1 86.4 86.4 86.6 86.4
Ball St. 0-0 1-1 79.0 81.4 80.6 80.3
             
MAC Averages     88.7 89.7 89.7 89.3
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Colo. State 0-0 2-1 103.9 102.5 103.8 103.4
Boise St. 0-0 1-1 101.6 99.4 101.0 100.7
Wyoming 0-0 1-1 98.7 96.3 97.5 97.5
Air Force 0-0 1-0 93.3 94.0 93.6 93.6
New Mexico 0-0 1-1 91.7 92.0 92.2 92.0
Utah St. 0-0 1-1 87.6 86.5 86.8 87.0
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 0-0 2-0 100.9 101.5 102.1 101.5
Hawaii 0-0 2-1 88.6 90.2 88.6 89.1
U N L V 0-0 1-1 87.5 90.4 87.9 88.6
Fresno St. 0-0 1-1 88.1 86.7 88.2 87.7
Nevada 0-0 0-2 85.3 88.4 87.3 87.0
San Jose St. 0-0 1-2 84.5 83.7 83.8 84.0
             
MWC Averages     92.6 92.6 92.7 92.7
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 0-0 2-0 128.9 125.3 129.7 128.0
Stanford 0-1 1-1 118.8 116.7 117.9 117.8
Washington St. 0-0 2-0 116.8 114.0 115.9 115.6
Oregon 0-0 2-0 111.1 107.9 110.2 109.7
California 0-0 2-0 99.9 97.3 97.9 98.4
Oregon St. 0-0 1-2 92.8 92.9 91.3 92.3
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 1-0 2-0 122.0 121.3 122.3 121.9
Colorado 0-0 2-0 113.7 111.7 111.5 112.3
U C L A 0-0 2-0 110.2 109.2 109.7 109.7
Utah 0-0 2-0 105.4 107.9 105.7 106.3
Arizona St. 0-0 1-1 100.5 100.9 99.6 100.3
Arizona 0-0 1-1 98.7 97.5 96.6 97.6
             
Pac-12 Averages     109.9 108.5 109.0 109.2
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 0-0 2-0 116.7 117.9 116.8 117.1
Florida 0-0 0-1 115.4 114.7 114.7 114.9
Tennessee 0-0 2-0 112.0 110.0 110.2 110.7
Kentucky 0-0 2-0 111.3 109.8 110.8 110.6
Vanderbilt 0-0 2-0 110.2 108.5 109.2 109.3
S. Carolina 1-0 2-0 108.8 108.0 108.0 108.3
Missouri 0-1 1-1 102.6 99.7 101.3 101.2
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 0-0 2-0 133.0 128.2 132.0 131.1
Auburn 0-0 1-1 124.0 121.9 123.8 123.2
L S U 0-0 2-0 120.3 118.5 121.0 119.9
Mississippi St. 0-0 2-0 107.0 107.6 107.4 107.3
Arkansas 0-0 1-1 106.7 106.2 106.5 106.5
Ole Miss 0-0 2-0 107.4 106.0 105.8 106.4
Texas A&M 0-0 1-1 105.1 102.7 103.7 103.8
             
SEC Averages     112.9 111.4 112.2 112.2
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Appalachian St. 0-0 1-1 99.7 96.9 100.2 98.9
Troy 0-0 1-1 93.7 93.9 92.9 93.5
Arkansas St. 0-0 0-1 89.5 91.1 91.2 90.6
N. Mexico St. 0-0 1-1 87.1 84.6 86.6 86.1
UL-Lafayette 0-0 1-1 84.2 85.8 84.0 84.7
S. Alabama 0-0 0-2 83.5 86.4 83.7 84.5
Georgia St. 0-0 0-1 84.5 83.7 84.4 84.2
Idaho 0-0 1-1 82.0 85.0 82.8 83.2
UL-Monroe 0-0 0-1 81.8 82.1 80.3 81.4
Georgia Southern 0-0 0-2 79.9 81.2 79.5 80.2
Coastal Carolina 0-0 1-0 74.8 75.7 76.6 75.7
Texas St. 0-0 1-1 71.5 74.8 70.3 72.2
             
Sun Belt Averages     84.4 85.1 84.4 84.6

The Conferences Rated

PiRate Ratings By Conference
# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 112.9 111.4 112.2 112.2
2 ACC 112.5 111.3 111.8 111.9
3 BIG 12 109.2 109.4 109.4 109.3
4 PAC-12 109.9 108.5 109.0 109.2
5 BIG TEN 108.7 108.6 108.4 108.6
6 AAC 97.6 98.2 98.0 97.9
7 INDEP. 97.9 96.9 98.2 97.7
8 MWC 92.6 92.6 92.7 92.7
9 MAC 88.7 89.7 89.7 89.3
10 Sun Belt 84.4 85.1 84.4 84.6
11 CUSA 83.5 85.4 84.4 84.4

Bowl Projections begin in October

August 29, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for August 31-September 3, 2017

This Week’s College Football Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Alabama (N) Florida St. 6.6 3.8 6.3
Arizona St. New Mexico St. 23.0 25.7 22.8
Auburn Georgia Southern 46.7 42.9 47.2
Boise St. Troy St. 8.3 6.2 8.2
Central Florida Florida Intl. 17.1 19.6 16.6
Clemson Kent 48.3 42.9 46.2
Coastal Carolina Massachusetts -10.5 -7.8 -8.4
Colorado Colorado St. 9.4 8.3 7.0
Eastern Mich. Charlotte 22.1 18.5 21.7
Florida (N) Michigan -1.1 -1.0 -0.8
Florida Atlantic Navy -12.5 -9.8 -11.1
Georgia Appalachian St. 19.6 23.9 19.1
Georgia Tech Tennessee 4.8 3.9 4.8
Illinois Ball St. 14.4 14.0 11.2
Indiana Ohio St. -25.1 -21.6 -23.9
Iowa Wyoming 16.2 18.4 17.1
LSU (N) BYU 20.5 19.8 20.6
Marshall Miami (Ohio) -9.4 -9.8 -11.1
Memphis Louisiana-Monroe 30.8 28.9 33.3
Michigan St. Bowling Green 16.0 20.5 14.9
Middle Tenn. Vanderbilt -17.7 -14.9 -15.8
Minnesota Buffalo 30.6 26.1 28.4
Mississippi South Alabama 26.8 22.4 22.0
NC St. (N) South Carolina 8.8 8.4 9.3
Nebraska Arkansas St. 19.4 19.2 17.0
North Carolina California 16.1 17.1 16.6
Northern Ill. Boston College -13.3 -14.1 -12.6
Northwestern Nevada 34.5 28.0 31.8
Notre Dame Temple 15.7 13.1 15.3
Oklahoma UTEP 52.6 46.1 52.3
Oklahoma St. Tulsa 14.5 14.5 16.1
Penn St. Akron 43.6 36.7 43.9
Purdue (N) Louisville -22.0 -18.5 -21.7
Rutgers Washington -29.9 -25.5 -31.8
Southern Miss. Kentucky -24.5 -21.2 -24.1
Texas Maryland 14.0 12.3 14.3
Texas-San Antonio Houston -10.3 -7.3 -8.0
UCLA Texas A&M 4.0 5.5 4.8
USC Western Mich. 22.4 25.8 21.1
Virginia Tech West Va. 9.0 7.5 9.6
Wisconsin Utah St. 37.6 34.4 36.9

(N) means neutral site game

We’ve had a small appetizer of college football games, and the first main course shall be served over the course of five days, commencing with a couple of choice morsels Thursday night. The PiRates will be focused on these games this weekend.

Ohio State at Indiana–It is rare for Big Ten teams to open with a conference game. This one should be a tad more interesting than it looks on the surface. Indiana released former head coach Kevin Wilson from his contract last year (actually a forced resignation), due to an issue with a player with more than an injured back who was told to keep playing.  Wilson didn’t wait long to have a new job. He is now the offensive coordinator at ….. Ohio State! Add Wilson’s chip on his shoulder to Coach Urban Meyer’s boulder chip on his shoulder from his Buckeyes’ being shut out by Clemson in the Playoff Semifinals, and Ohio State will most likely do everything it can to run the score up on IU. It is not supposed to matter, but if the Buckeyes win this game 63-0, the pollsters will immediately overreact and move them up in the polls, maybe up to number one.

Tulsa at Oklahoma State–Are the Cowboys strong enough to challenge rival Oklahoma and compete for the Big 12 Championship? This might be the best Oklahoma State team since the 2011 team came within an upset loss to Iowa State from playing for all the marbles. Tulsa might be a little better than the 10-3 team of last year, possibly the Golden Hurricane’s best team since maybe 1982 and definitely as good as recent dominant TU teams in this century. A close game doesn’t necessarily mean that Oklahoma State isn’t a playoff contender. This game could be rather close for quite a long time.

Colorado vs. Colorado State (in Denver)–The Rams’ offense looked lethal against Oregon State, and a team usually improves the most in the week between game one and game two. CU does benefit from having 2017 game film on CSU, but this advantage does not offset the one game of experience that the Rams have. If CSU pulls off the mild upset, the Rams could be in line to become the top Group of 5 contender for the New Year’s 6 Bowl tie-in. This just might be the actual best game of the week, but few people will watch this one outside the Centennial State.

Maryland at Texas–Tom Herman makes his debut in Austin, and the Longhorn faithful believe the days of wine and roses will return sooner rather than later. Maryland will not back down and be easy fodder for the Longhorns, and there is an extra factor in this game that could lead to a lower than expected game score. Who better to know the weaknesses of the Urban Meyer-style spread offense than somebody that was a defensive assistant under Meyer? In this game, former offensive coordinator Herman will lead UT against former Meyer defensive assistant D. J. Durkin, the head coach on the opposite sideline. This game becomes a real life chess match worth watching.

Wyoming at Iowa–Okay, you may not be all that excited about this game, but we are. First and foremost, some of the PiRates have a love and affinity for the Western part of this nation’s flyover real estate, Iowa and Wyoming included. Also, we are big time supporters of Cowboy coach Craig Bohl and Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz. These two gentlemen know their stuff, and their teams have an incredible grasp of the fundamentals and the “little things”. These two teams may win games in ways that are not easily seen in the box score. We look for this one to be nip and tuck, and it would not shock us if the visitors from Laramie pulled off the upset.

South Carolina vs. North Carolina State (in Charlotte)–The ACC has the small advantage over the SEC these days. The Wolf Pack appear to be primed to challenge Louisville for third best in the ACC Atlantic and maybe even become a dark horse contender for the division flag, while the Gamecocks are on the cusp but not yet playing like a challenger, even in the parity known as the SEC East. Our opinion on this one is that NCSU should win by more than a touchdown if not more than two. However, this should become a shootout, as South Carolin’a offense should annex a lot of territory in this game.

Florida vs. Michigan (in Arlington, TX)–We have been flip-flopping on this game since June. At first, we believed that Michigan could be in danger of falling back to 6-6 or even 5-7, while we believed that Florida was like a snake in high grass waiting to pounce on all the mice in their division of their league. Then, after looking at returning depth and experience, it appeared to us that Michigan had a lot of experienced backups who, with a year of seasoning, could be rather competent regulars in 2017. We were concerned about the Florida quarterback situation, and then Coach Jim McElwain secured the signature of former Notre Dame starter Malik Zaire. It tilted the needle over to the Gator side, but then McElwain was forced to suspend star receiver Antonio Callaway and a half dozen other players for this game. Callaway may have been the one piece in the puzzle that Michigan would have found no real answer in stopping. Now, the needle tilts toward the Maize and Blue. By the way, Michigan will wear maize-colored jerseys in this game, something they have not done in 89 years.

Alabama vs. Florida State (in Atlanta)–Obviously, this is the top game of the week and maybe the top game of the regular season. There are so many layers to peel off in this preview, more than we have space to devote to it. In an abridged version, can Florida State’s offensive line protect quarterback Deondre Francois long enough for him to find a group of raw receivers? Frnacois spent too much time with his back on the turf in 2016, and it will take a major improvement on the Seminoles part to hold off stars like Da’Ron Payne and get past the Crimson Tide trench to linebackers the quality of Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton. On the other side of the ball, Alabama cannot get by predominantly on a power running game. Jalen Hurts has the talent to throw for 200+ yards in this game. This game brings back memories of 50 years ago, when Alabama returned almost their entire two-deep from a defense that gave up 44 points in 11 games the year before and returned Ken Stabler from an offense that scored more than 27 points a game. The Tide were 20+ point favorites in this game and was lucky to escape with a 37-37 tie. Notably, in this game the great Bear Bryant was equipped with a microphone. There were issues with the scoreboard, and late in the game, Bryant was overheard on the mic saying, “What the H is the score any way?”

Texas A&M at UCLA–The losing team’s coach will sit on a seat that is about 10 degrees warmer Monday than it is now. Texas A&M has enough talent to compete for third in the SEC West and challenge for a 10-win season, but the Aggies looked as strong last year as well. After TAMU began the season 6-0, the team collapsed, finishing 2-5. The defense wore down after the overtime win over Tennessee, and the Aggies two wins after that big game came against New Mexico State and UT-San Antonio. UCLA struggled after quarterback Josh Rosen exited with a shoulder injury. However, the Bruins were just 3-2 prior to the injury in the Arizona State game, so Coach Jim Mora, Jr. overhauled the Bruin offense in the off-season and made numerous changes to his offensive coaching assistants. The Bruins also must rebuild a good bit on the defensive side of the ball, so the offense better gel quickly. So, don’t go up to the junior Mora and ask if his team can still make the playoffs this year.

There are a host of additional games on this week’s schedule that hold some bit of unique interest. Those games include:

FIU at Central Florida–Butch Davis returns to the sidelines for FIU and has enough talent to surprise in 2017. UCF believes they can challenge rival USF in the East.

Navy at FAU–Lane Kiffin’s debut with the Owls against the tricky triple option offense of Navy makes this one look like a track meet. It wouldn’t surprise us if more than 75 total points are scored in this one.

Temple at Notre Dame–The Owls begin life without Coach Matt Rhule. New head man Geoff Collins faces a total rebuild in Philly, while Notre Dame looks to recover from a poor 2016 season with a half-dozen new assistants.

Troy at Boise State–We have an eye on Boise at the start of the season. Boise State could be at a crossroads, where their dynasty seasons could be over. Then again, this could also be the low-point of a major rebuild. Troy was down for a few years, but the Trojans returned to Sun Belt fame last year with a 10-3 season and co-championship. It won’t get the headlines that the big games receive, but this game should be an excellent contest.

Kentucky at Southern Mississippi–Last year Southern Miss pulled off an incredible upset at Kentucky to begin the 2016 season, and it looked like Mark Stoops was in a bit of trouble in Lexington. However, the Wildcats turned things around to win seven games that included a trip to the Taxslayer Bowl. Now, there are football experts that believe Kentucky can compete for the 2017 SEC East title. The Blue and White return the bulk of an offense that averaged 30 points and 420 yards per game, while the defense should be a little better than last year. Southern Miss is not as strong as last year, but still good enough to knock off UK in Hattiesburg, especially if the expected rain makes this game sloppy.

Appalachian State at Georgia–Appy State came close to upsetting Tennessee in Knoxville to begin the 2016 season. Can the Mountaineers go down between the hedges and make like miserable for the Bulldogs? Georgia’s defense should control this game, holding ASU to about 200-250 total yards, while the offense may not be flashy, but should produce 200 rushing yards. If Georgia wins by less than 17 points, it will be cause for concern. We will look at all the SEC East teams carefully this week to see if one or two emerge as the true top squads.

Houston at UT-San Antonio–UTSA is a contender in the West Division of CUSA, and in a normal week, the Roadrunners would be expected to make this a close game. Houston must play this one with little practice thanks to Hurricane Harvey, and it is Major Applewhite’s debut with the Cougars. This will be interesting to see how much lost preparation hurts UH.

Georgia Southern at Auburn–We don’t expect this game to be close. It could easily be 21-0 in the first quarter. What we are looking for in this one is how well Tiger quarterback Jarrett Stidham runs Gus Malzahn’s offense. If Stidham replicates the stats from his last three FBS games (2015 against Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State), then watch out, because this Auburn team just might be good enough to go to the 2017-18 playoffs. Stidham’s stat line in those three games was 51-81-2 for 934 yards and 6 TDs. If he averages 11.5 yards per pass attempt for Auburn, then even Alabama better beware.

Purdue vs. Louisville (in Indianapolis)–This game features Jeff Brohm making his Boilermaker coaching Purdue against former mentor Bobby Petrino and some QB named Lamar Jackson, who owns some trophy he received from the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan named for former coach John Heisman. It would not be shocking if UL won this one by a score similar to 62-24, but what makes this game interesting is to see how a Big Ten team looks running a spread passing game.

South Alabama at Ole Miss–South Alabama upset Mississippi State and San Diego State last year, two teams that played in bowls. So, it would not be a big shock if the Jaguars won in Oxford. However, if USA wins, the blame will be on Ole Miss and interim coach Matt Luke rather than on the performance. Luke is most likely in a position where he has little chance of keeping the job full time, even though he deserves a head coaching job. It would not surprise us if a big name coach was patrolling the home team sidelines at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium next year.

LSU vs. BYU (in New Orleans)–This game was moved from Houston to New Orleans due to the hurricane. It gives the Tigers a tiny bit more advantage, but we didn’t think this game would be all that close in Houston. BYU has a game under its belt, and the Cougars did not show their entire arsenal. What they showed was only adequate at best. This game takes on added interest not because of the weather, but because whether Ed Orgeron can prove that the removing of the interim label was the right move in Baton Rouge. LSU has a considerable amount of talent, just behind Alabama and Auburn and as much as Texas A&M. The Tigers have a chance to win 10 games this year, but there is always that bit of doubt about a new coach. Orgeron has done well as the interim at USC and LSU, but his tenure as head coach at Ole Miss was a major disappointment.

Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee–Both Nashville-area teams played in bowls last year, and this game has become quite the local rivalry. MTSU has one of the top quarterbacks in the Group of 5, who happens to be the coach’s son. Brent Stockstill will draw NFL scouts to Murfreesboro this year, as the Blue Raiders look to have a potent offense capable of putting up 40 points and 500 yards per game. On the other side of the field, Derek Mason has begun to make Vanderbilt look more like Stanford East. The only ingredient missing in recent years has been the most important spot–at quarterback. Now, Vanderbilt has a competent passer, who while not another Andrew Luck or even Keller Chryst, he is competent enough to lead Vanderbilt to the cusp of division contention. Kyle Shurmur, son of Minnesota Viking OC Pat Shurmur, may have the knowledge of the game that a typical NFL quarterback may have. If he can show a bit more arm strength and a slightly quicker release, Vanderbilt’s offense will begin to look like Stanford’s, as the Commodored already have a strong running game and a stingy defense. If MTSU wins this game, then Syracuse and Minnesota will take notice, as the Blue Raiders will be capable of starting 3-0 against FBS competition. If Vanderbilt wins this game, then Kansas State needs to take note, because the Commodores will be 2-0 when the Wildcats come to the Music City on September 16.

Tennessee at Georgia Tech (in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta)–Volunteer coach Butch Jones knows that he must win and win big in 2017, or else he will have a garage sale in January, where he disposes of a lot of orange-colored clothing and accessories. Tennessee was a disappointing 9-4 team last year and must try to improve with an unproven quarterback, something that usually only works if said raw QB wears crimson-colored clothing. Georgia Tech has an experienced offensive line returning to block for the spread option offense. Usually, if an offensive line is as experienced as the Techsters, the offense automatically improves some from the previous season. However, in this offense, the experience of the quarterback is much more important than the line, because in many cases the key defender at the point of attack is not blocked at all. Hence, the QB reads the defense and options off the reaction of the key defender. Coach Paul Johnson has not officially named his starting quarterback, but we think it will be former slot back TaQuon Marshall. The ultra-quick Marshall has the potential to be a great option quarterback, but getting his Baptism under orange fire is not the ideal way to begin a career. If Johnson goes with last year’s backup Matthew Jordan, then Tennessee’s defense should be good enough to hold the Yellow Jackets under 21 points. This is good, because the Vols may struggle on offense in September.

Note–Ratings and Bowl Projections return next week, as we did not update them after the small sampling of games last week.

Money Line Parlays makes its seasonal debut Thursday morning, August 31, 2017.

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