The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 14, 2018

PiRate Ratings Selections for November 14-19, 2018

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:05 am

Call it a rebound week.  After a few weeks of mediocrity, our five Land Sharps went a combined 15-6 last week, and four of the five experts enjoyed highly profitable weeks.

Buckeye Michelle and Stewed Meat were both undefeated in their picks at 3-0 apiece.  Cal Gal Tiffany went 5-2, and Dean615 went 2-1.  Friday Dog 13, stuck with a lot of favorites and like so many in “No Fave November,” he finished 2-3.  The week left three of our five Sharps with double digit percentage returns on investment.  The best news is that with two weeks remaining in the regular season, all five of our experts have winning records.  Friends, that is an incredible feat.  To go an entire college football season with a winning record is more rare a feat than beating the S&P 500 returns for a decade.  Few ever do it, so when five out of five here have winning records, it is incredible.

Now, let’s hope this isn’t the kiss of death.  Here are our Land Sharp picks for this week.  All the Land Sharps were on the same page this week; each of the five selected five games each.

1.) Dean 615:  Season 26-18-2 59.1%  Return on Investment 13.5%

Baylor -2 vs. TCU

Nebraska +2.5 vs. Michigan St.

West Virginia -4.5 vs. Oklahoma St.

Purdue -4.5 vs. Wisconsin

Ole Miss +3 vs. Vanderbilt

 

2 tie) Cal Gal Tiffany: Season 34-24-0 58.6%  Return on Investment  13.1%

Tennessee +7 vs. Missouri

UCLA +3.5 vs. USC

Virginia +7 vs. Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech +5.5 vs. Miami (Fla.)

California +2.5 vs. Stanford

 

2 tie) Stewed Meat: Season 34-24-0 58.6%  Return on Investment  13.1%

North Texas -3.5 vs. Florida Atlantic

Colgate +11 vs. Army

UL-Monroe +8 vs. Arkansas St.

Wyoming -2 vs. Air Force

UTEP +7 vs. Western Kentucky

 

4.) Buckeye Michelle:  Season 26-20-1  56.5%  Return on Investment  8.5%

Buffalo +2.5 vs. Ohio

Miami (O) +7.5 vs. Northern Illinois

SMU +9 vs. Memphis

Indiana +28.5 vs. Michigan

Iowa St. +3 vs. Texas

 

5.) Friday Dog 13: Season 29-24-1  54.7%  Return on Investment  4.8%

Washington St. -9.5 vs. Arizona

Cincinnati +7.5 vs. Central Florida

Nevada -14.5 vs. San Jose St.

UTEP +7 vs. Western Kentucky

Arkansas +21.5 vs. Mississippi St.

 

The PiRate Ratings’ Goofy Parlays

We sure hope you heed our weekly warning to never wager real money on our just for fun selections.  We are not professionals at this, and even though one of the Land Sharps is a professional, Stewed never publishes the actual selections played for real, because Stewed is selfish about keeping the line where Stewed wants it to be.  She knows that if all of you reading this played the same selections, the line might move by a half-point.  This was said tongue-in-cheek, but in actuality, we know that a certain few of you reading this in the Caribbean, and in places like Reno, Las Vegas, and Tahoe, that you do look at our actual computer ratings before you make your weekly investment.

Just remember that we have never placed $1 on any of these goofy picks we publish.  It’s just for fun.  We are math nerds and have no relationship with any of the MIT and Cal Tech math geniuses that create advanced algorithmic equations to beat the spread.  Of course, all of those geniuses are looking up at the PiRate Ratings in both college and pro against the spread this season, as we are currently in first place at the Prediction Tracker against the College and the NFL Spread.  A wise man once said that a broken clock is accurate twice a day, and this season is one of those times for us.

Now, here are our goofy plays this week.  Have a good laugh but laugh all the way to the bank when you DON’T wager on these games.

COLLEGE
10-point Teaser 3-team Parlays @11-10
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Houston Tulane Pk Houston
Memphis SMU 19 SMU
Boise St. New Mexico 9.5 Boise St.
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Kentucky Middle Tennessee 6 Kentucky
TCU Baylor 8 Baylor
Wake Forest Pittsburgh 3 Pittsburgh
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Ohio St. Maryland 4 Ohio St.
Michigan St. Nebraska 8 Nebraska
Minnesota Northwestern 7.5 Northwestern
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Temple USF 4 Temple
Utah Colorado 17 Colorado
Notre Dame Syracuse 20.5 Syracuse
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Arkansas St. UL-Monroe 18 UL-Monroe
Missouri Tennessee 16 Tennessee
USC UCLA 13.5 UCLA
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Texas Tech Kansas St. 16 Kansas St.
Florida St. Boston College 8.5 Boston College
Georgia Tech Virginia 16.5 Virginia
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Michigan Indiana 38.5 Indiana
Air Force Wyoming 7.5 Wyoming
Nevada San Jose St. 4.5 Nevada
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Vanderbilt Ole Miss 13 Ole Miss
Stanford California 12.5 California
Western Kentucky UTEP 17 UTEP

 

Special Parlay using 5 Dimes
20-point Teaser 15 games @12-10
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Memphis SMU 29 SMU
Alabama The Citadel 32 Alabama
Kentucky Middle Tennessee 36 Middle Tenn.
TCU Baylor 18 Baylor
Michigan St. Nebraska 22.5 Nebraska
Northwestern Minnesota 22 Minnesota
Florida Idaho 20 Florida
Marshall UTSA 47 UTSA
Florida St. Boston College 18.5 Boston College
Georgia Tech Virginia 27 Virginia
Miami (Fla.) Virginia Tech 25.5 Virginia Tech
Air Force Wyoming 17.5 Wyoming
Vanderbilt Ole Miss 22.5 Ole Miss
Western Kentucky UTEP 27 UTEP
Arizona Washington St. 10.5 Washington St.

 

NFL
10-Point Teasers 3 Team Parlays @11-10
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Green Bay Seattle 7.5 Seattle
Tennessee Indianapolis 8 Indianapolis
Atlanta Dallas 13.5 Dallas
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Tampa Bay N.Y. Giants 9 N.Y. Giants
Houston Washington 13 Washington
Jacksonville Pittsburgh 4 Pittsburgh
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Denver L.A. Chargers 3 L.A. Chargers
Philadelphia New Orleans 1 New Orleans
Minnesota Chicago 7.5 Chicago
Team Team Total Pick
Seattle Green Bay 59 Under
Atlanta Dallas 38 Over
N.Y. Giants Tampa Bay 42 Over

 

 

 

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October 14, 2018

PiRate Ratings–College Football Week 8

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Thursday October 18
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Arizona St. Stanford -4.2 -2.8 -4.6
Arkansas St. Georgia St. 10.0 9.2 10.6

 

Friday October 19
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Boise St. Colorado St. 28.2 26.5 28.4
UNLV Air Force -9.6 -8.8 -9.4

 

Saturday October 20
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Temple Cincinnati 6.7 5.1 7.0
Arkansas Tulsa 12.3 10.7 10.6
Navy Houston -8.6 -7.0 -9.4
Tulane SMU 5.0 5.8 5.7
Missouri Memphis 15.5 12.1 15.5
East Carolina Central Florida -29.1 -29.6 -30.0
South Florida Connecticut 27.9 29.6 29.4
Syracuse North Carolina 13.5 13.0 13.3
Duke Virginia 12.6 10.1 12.9
Clemson North Carolina St. 22.4 20.3 23.0
Florida St. Wake Forest 6.7 8.3 8.6
TCU Oklahoma -4.6 -4.3 -6.3
Texas Tech Kansas 13.3 13.4 13.9
Michigan St. Michigan -6.2 -7.0 -7.1
Wisconsin Illinois 26.9 24.6 27.3
Iowa Maryland 13.7 13.1 14.2
Rutgers Northwestern -23.4 -22.7 -25.4
Indiana Penn St. -20.4 -18.7 -21.2
Nebraska Minnesota -2.8 -3.4 -4.5
Purdue Ohio St. -14.2 -13.6 -14.7
Marshall Florida Atlantic -0.6 1.4 -0.2
Middle Tenneesee Charlotte 17.3 16.3 18.3
Louisiana Tech UTEP 25.8 25.2 27.9
Southern Miss. UTSA 9.8 8.5 9.7
Florida Int’l. Rice 26.4 27.8 29.1
UAB North Texas -2.2 -2.2 -2.6
Western Kentucky Old Dominion 1.1 0.8 2.6
Army Miami (O) 15.1 14.2 13.0
Massachusetts Coastal Carolina 10.2 9.6 10.7
New Mexico St. Georgia Southern -13.3 -13.1 -13.7
Toledo Buffalo 2.5 1.4 1.1
Ohio U Bowling Green 14.6 15.5 14.8
Ball St. Eastern Michigan -6.8 -5.7 -7.4
Central Michigan Western Michigan -4.8 -4.0 -5.4
Kent St. Akron -10.3 -10.6 -11.0
Wyoming Utah St. -10.6 -12.1 -12.7
New Mexico Fresno St. -19.5 -16.9 -19.7
San Diego St. San Jose St. 30.5 30.0 33.1
Hawaii Nevada -5.9 -3.8 -6.7
Washington Colorado 22.3 19.3 22.8
Oregon St. California -13.9 -13.8 -15.1
Washington St. Oregon -1.1 -2.0 -2.7
Utah USC 9.2 8.9 10.6
UCLA Arizona 1.9 3.5 -0.6
Ole Miss Auburn -7.9 -7.0 -9.2
Tennessee Alabama -38.1 -35.6 -40.2
LSU Mississippi St. 1.6 4.0 2.2
Kentucky Vanderbilt 17.3 15.9 17.3
Appalachian St. Louisiana 22.0 21.7 22.7
Louisina-Monroe Texas St. 13.6 10.9 14.2

 

FBS FCS
Home Visitor PiRate
Liberty Idaho St. 4.8

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 140.2 138.2 141.8 140.1
2 Clemson 133.9 131.3 134.4 133.2
3 Georgia 127.8 124.7 128.6 127.0
4 Ohio St. 127.5 125.5 127.8 126.9
5 Michigan 125.5 124.2 125.9 125.2
6 Notre Dame 124.5 121.7 123.5 123.2
7 Washington 123.4 121.4 124.7 123.1
8 Penn St. 122.3 119.6 122.6 121.5
9 Oklahoma 119.7 118.3 120.0 119.3
10 Mississippi St. 119.9 117.4 120.6 119.3
11 L S U 118.6 118.4 119.8 118.9
12 Michigan St. 117.7 115.6 117.2 116.9
13 Utah 116.0 114.3 116.9 115.8
14 Miami 115.9 114.5 115.4 115.3
15 Iowa 116.0 114.0 115.7 115.2
16 Auburn 114.7 113.4 116.3 114.8
17 Wisconsin 115.8 113.1 115.2 114.7
18 Central Florida 114.5 114.7 114.8 114.7
19 Duke 115.3 113.2 114.9 114.5
20 Kentucky 114.9 113.8 114.8 114.5
21 Missouri 114.7 113.0 115.7 114.4
22 Florida 114.6 113.0 115.5 114.3
23 N. Carolina St. 114.5 113.9 114.4 114.3
24 Stanford 115.1 112.4 115.1 114.2
25 Oregon 113.7 113.6 114.6 114.0
26 Texas A&M 114.2 112.9 114.4 113.8
27 Boston College 114.4 111.8 113.8 113.4
28 Texas 113.5 112.1 113.0 112.8
29 Iowa State 112.8 111.2 112.6 112.2
30 Virginia Tech 112.2 111.2 111.8 111.7
31 West Virginia 112.4 111.4 111.5 111.7
32 S. Carolina 112.2 111.0 111.8 111.7
33 T C U 112.1 111.0 110.7 111.2
34 Georgia Tech 111.2 110.1 110.8 110.7
35 Fresno St. 110.9 109.9 111.2 110.7
36 Northwestern 110.7 109.0 110.6 110.1
37 Purdue 110.3 108.9 110.1 109.8
38 Boise St. 109.7 109.0 109.8 109.5
39 U S C 109.8 108.4 109.3 109.2
40 Syracuse 109.9 108.5 109.1 109.2
41 Washington St. 109.6 108.6 108.9 109.0
42 Utah St. 107.8 109.2 109.3 108.8
43 Texas Tech 109.5 108.2 108.4 108.7
44 Oklahoma St. 109.4 107.5 109.1 108.6
45 Arizona St. 107.9 106.6 107.5 107.3
46 Florida St. 107.4 106.8 107.1 107.1
47 Army 104.9 105.6 105.1 105.2
48 Virginia 105.2 105.7 104.5 105.1
49 Colorado 104.0 105.1 104.9 104.7
50 Maryland 105.3 104.0 104.5 104.6
51 Ole Miss 103.8 103.4 104.1 103.7
52 Kansas St. 104.3 102.9 103.4 103.5
53 Houston 103.0 103.7 103.4 103.4
54 Minnesota 103.7 102.8 103.6 103.4
55 Memphis 102.2 103.9 103.2 103.1
56 California 103.8 101.3 103.2 102.8
57 San Diego St. 102.4 102.6 103.2 102.7
58 Temple 102.4 102.4 103.1 102.6
59 Baylor 103.0 101.2 102.7 102.3
60 Wake Forest 103.8 101.4 101.5 102.2
61 Appalachian St. 100.8 102.6 102.5 101.9
62 N. Texas 99.9 102.4 100.9 101.0
63 Pittsburgh 101.4 100.7 100.8 101.0
64 Vanderbilt 100.5 100.8 100.5 100.6
65 BYU 100.1 100.6 100.7 100.4
66 Arizona 100.6 98.8 100.7 100.0
67 Arkansas 100.3 97.8 99.2 99.1
68 Tennessee 99.2 99.6 98.5 99.1
69 South Florida 98.4 100.4 98.5 99.1
70 N. Carolina 99.4 98.4 98.8 98.9
71 Cincinnati 98.2 99.8 98.6 98.8
72 Buffalo 97.7 99.8 98.8 98.8
73 U C L A 99.5 99.3 97.1 98.6
74 Indiana 98.9 97.9 98.4 98.4
75 Kansas 99.2 97.8 97.5 98.2
76 Florida Atlantic 97.2 97.9 97.8 97.6
77 Toledo 97.1 98.2 96.9 97.4
78 Nebraska 97.9 96.4 96.1 96.8
79 Louisiana Tech 94.6 97.1 96.1 95.9
80 U A B 94.6 97.1 95.3 95.7
81 Air Force 95.3 95.9 95.4 95.5
82 Northern Illinois 94.9 95.6 94.7 95.1
83 Louisville 95.2 95.2 94.4 94.9
84 Marshall 93.6 96.3 94.5 94.8
85 Tulane 94.4 94.8 94.2 94.5
86 Miami (O) 92.8 94.5 95.1 94.1
87 Eastern Michigan 93.5 94.8 94.0 94.1
88 Wyoming 94.3 94.1 93.6 94.0
89 Ohio U 92.7 93.9 93.2 93.3
90 Middle Tennessee 91.8 93.2 93.0 92.7
91 Western Michigan 91.8 93.4 92.7 92.7
92 Navy 91.4 93.6 91.0 92.0
93 Nevada 92.1 91.9 92.0 92.0
94 Troy 90.6 91.9 91.9 91.5
95 SMU 92.0 91.4 91.0 91.5
96 Akron 90.8 92.1 91.2 91.4
97 Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.6 90.4 91.2
98 Illinois 91.4 91.0 90.4 90.9
99 Tulsa 91.0 90.2 91.5 90.9
100 Georgia Southern 88.9 90.6 89.5 89.7
101 New Mexico 88.4 90.0 88.5 89.0
102 Arkansas St. 86.7 88.0 88.1 87.6
103 Central Michigan 85.0 87.4 85.3 85.9
104 Southern Miss. 84.4 87.4 85.0 85.6
105 Oregon St. 86.9 84.5 85.1 85.5
106 Ball St. 84.2 86.6 84.1 85.0
107 Colorado St. 84.5 85.4 84.4 84.8
108 Massachusetts 83.4 85.3 84.3 84.3
109 U N L V 83.2 84.6 83.5 83.8
110 Rutgers 84.8 83.7 82.8 83.8
111 Old Dominion 82.0 85.4 81.5 83.0
112 Louisiana 81.7 83.9 82.8 82.8
113 East Carolina 82.9 82.6 82.3 82.6
114 UL-Monroe 82.3 82.5 82.8 82.6
115 Hawaii 82.2 84.1 81.3 82.5
116 W. Kentucky 80.7 83.7 81.6 82.0
117 Liberty 81.3 80.5 81.5 81.1
118 Bowling Green 80.6 80.9 80.8 80.8
119 Georgia St. 79.2 81.2 80.0 80.1
120 U T S A 77.2 81.4 77.8 78.8
121 Kent St. 78.0 79.1 77.7 78.3
122 Charlotte 77.0 79.4 77.2 77.9
123 South Alabama 76.4 78.3 77.0 77.2
124 Coastal Carolina 75.7 78.2 76.1 76.7
125 San Jose St. 74.9 75.6 73.1 74.5
126 N. Mexico St. 73.1 75.0 73.3 73.8
127 Connecticut 73.5 73.8 72.1 73.1
128 Texas State 71.3 74.2 71.1 72.2
129 U T E P 71.3 74.4 70.7 72.1
130 Rice 66.2 68.7 64.3 66.4

 

PiRate Ratings by Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Central Florida 114.5 114.7 114.8 114.7 3-0 6-0
Temple 102.4 102.4 103.1 102.6 3-0 4-3
South Florida 98.4 100.4 98.5 99.1 2-0 6-0
Cincinnati 98.2 99.8 98.6 98.8 2-0 6-0
East Carolina 82.9 82.6 82.3 82.6 0-3 2-4
Connecticut 73.5 73.8 72.1 73.1 0-3 1-5
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average AAC Overall
Houston 103.0 103.7 103.4 103.4 2-0 5-1
Memphis 102.2 103.9 103.2 103.1 1-3 4-3
Tulane 94.4 94.8 94.2 94.5 1-1 2-4
Navy 91.4 93.6 91.0 92.0 1-2 2-4
SMU 92.0 91.4 91.0 91.5 1-1 2-4
Tulsa 91.0 90.2 91.5 90.9 0-3 1-5
AAC Averages 95.3 95.9 95.3 95.5
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Clemson 133.9 131.3 134.4 133.2 3-0 6-0
N. Carolina St. 114.5 113.9 114.4 114.3 1-0 5-0
Boston College 114.4 111.8 113.8 113.4 2-1 5-2
Syracuse 109.9 108.5 109.1 109.2 1-2 4-2
Florida St. 107.4 106.8 107.1 107.1 1-3 3-3
Wake Forest 103.8 101.4 101.5 102.2 0-2 3-3
Louisville 95.2 95.2 94.4 94.9 0-4 2-5
Coastal Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average ACC Overall
Miami 115.9 114.5 115.4 115.3 2-1 5-2
Duke 115.3 113.2 114.9 114.5 1-1 5-1
Virginia Tech 112.2 111.2 111.8 111.7 3-0 4-2
Georgia Tech 111.2 110.1 110.8 110.7 1-3 3-4
Virginia 105.2 105.7 104.5 105.1 2-1 4-2
Pittsburgh 101.4 100.7 100.8 101.0 2-1 3-4
N. Carolina 99.4 98.4 98.8 98.9 1-2 1-4
ACC Averages 110.0 108.8 109.4 109.4
Big 12 Conference
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average B12 Overall
Oklahoma 119.7 118.3 120.0 119.3 2-1 5-1
Texas 113.5 112.1 113.0 112.8 4-0 6-1
Iowa State 112.8 111.2 112.6 112.2 2-2 3-3
West Virginia 112.4 111.4 111.5 111.7 3-1 5-1
T C U 112.1 111.0 110.7 111.2 1-2 3-3
Texas Tech 109.5 108.2 108.4 108.7 2-1 4-2
Oklahoma St. 109.4 107.5 109.1 108.6 1-3 4-3
Kansas St. 104.3 102.9 103.4 103.5 1-3 3-4
Baylor 103.0 101.2 102.7 102.3 2-2 4-3
Kansas 99.2 97.8 97.5 98.2 0-3 2-4
Big 12 Averages 109.6 108.2 108.9 108.9
Big Ten Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Ohio St. 127.5 125.5 127.8 126.9 4-0 7-0
Michigan 125.5 124.2 125.9 125.2 4-0 6-1
Penn St. 122.3 119.6 122.6 121.5 1-2 4-2
Michigan St. 117.7 115.6 117.2 116.9 3-1 4-2
Maryland 105.3 104.0 104.5 104.6 2-1 4-2
Indiana 98.9 97.9 98.4 98.4 1-3 4-3
Rutgers 84.8 83.7 82.8 83.8 0-4 1-6
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average BTen Overall
Iowa 116.0 114.0 115.7 115.2 2-1 5-1
Wisconsin 115.8 113.1 115.2 114.7 2-1 4-2
Northwestern 110.7 109.0 110.6 110.1 3-1 3-3
Purdue 110.3 108.9 110.1 109.8 2-1 3-3
Minnesota 103.7 102.8 103.6 103.4 0-3 3-3
Nebraska 97.9 96.4 96.1 96.8 0-4 0-6
Illinois 91.4 91.0 90.4 90.9 1-2 3-3
Big Ten Averages 109.1 107.6 108.6 108.4
Conference USA
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
Florida Atlantic 97.2 97.9 97.8 97.6 1-1 3-3
Marshall 93.6 96.3 94.5 94.8 2-1 4-2
Middle Tennessee 91.8 93.2 93.0 92.7 2-1 3-3
Florida Int’l. 89.6 93.6 90.4 91.2 2-0 4-2
Old Dominion 82.0 85.4 81.5 83.0 0-4 1-6
W. Kentucky 80.7 83.7 81.6 82.0 0-2 1-5
Charlotte 77.0 79.4 77.2 77.9 2-1 3-3
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average CUSA Overall
N. Texas 99.9 102.4 100.9 101.0 2-1 6-1
Louisiana Tech 94.6 97.1 96.1 95.9 2-1 4-2
U A B 94.6 97.1 95.3 95.7 3-0 5-1
Southern Miss. 84.4 87.4 85.0 85.6 1-1 2-3
U T S A 77.2 81.4 77.8 78.8 2-1 3-4
U T E P 71.3 74.4 70.7 72.1 0-2 0-6
Rice 66.2 68.7 64.3 66.4 0-3 1-6
CUSA Averages 85.7 88.4 86.2 86.8
FBS Independents
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average Conf. Overall
Notre Dame 124.5 121.7 123.5 123.2 x 7-0
Army 104.9 105.6 105.1 105.2 x 4-2
BYU 100.1 100.6 100.7 100.4 x 4-3
Massachusetts 83.4 85.3 84.3 84.3 x 2-5
Liberty 81.3 80.5 81.5 81.1 x 3-3
N. Mexico St. 73.1 75.0 73.3 73.8 x 2-5
Indep. Averages 94.5 94.8 94.7 94.7
Mid-American Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Buffalo 97.7 99.8 98.8 98.8 3-0 6-1
Miami (O) 92.8 94.5 95.1 94.1 3-1 3-4
Ohio U 92.7 93.9 93.2 93.3 1-1 3-3
Akron 90.8 92.1 91.2 91.4 0-2 2-3
Bowling Green 80.6 80.9 80.8 80.8 0-3 1-6
Kent St. 78.0 79.1 77.7 78.3 0-3 1-6
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MAC Overall
Toledo 97.1 98.2 96.9 97.4 1-1 3-3
Northern Illinois 94.9 95.6 94.7 95.1 4-0 4-3
Eastern Michigan 93.5 94.8 94.0 94.1 1-3 3-4
Western Michigan 91.8 93.4 92.7 92.7 3-0 5-2
Central Michigan 85.0 87.4 85.3 85.9 0-3 1-6
Ball St. 84.2 86.6 84.1 85.0 2-1 3-4
MAC Averages 89.9 91.3 90.4 90.6
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Boise St. 109.7 109.0 109.8 109.5 2-1 4-2
Utah St. 107.8 109.2 109.3 108.8 2-0 5-1
Air Force 95.3 95.9 95.4 95.5 0-3 2-4
Wyoming 94.3 94.1 93.6 94.0 0-3 2-5
New Mexico 88.4 90.0 88.5 89.0 1-1 3-3
Colorado St. 84.5 85.4 84.4 84.8 2-1 3-4
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average MWC Overall
Fresno St. 110.9 109.9 111.2 110.7 2-0 5-1
San Diego St. 102.4 102.6 103.2 102.7 2-0 5-1
Nevada 92.1 91.9 92.0 92.0 1-2 3-4
U N L V 83.2 84.6 83.5 83.8 0-2 2-4
Hawaii 82.2 84.1 81.3 82.5 3-1 6-2
San Jose St. 74.9 75.6 73.1 74.5 0-3 0-6
MWC Averages 93.8 94.4 93.8 94.0
Pac-12 Conference
North Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Washington 123.4 121.4 124.7 123.1 3-1 5-2
Stanford 115.1 112.4 115.1 114.2 2-1 4-2
Oregon 113.7 113.6 114.6 114.0 2-1 5-1
Washington St. 109.6 108.6 108.9 109.0 2-1 5-1
California 103.8 101.3 103.2 102.8 0-3 3-3
Oregon St. 86.9 84.5 85.1 85.5 0-3 1-5
South Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average P12 Overall
Utah 116.0 114.3 116.9 115.8 2-2 4-2
U S C 109.8 108.4 109.3 109.2 3-1 4-2
Arizona St. 107.9 106.6 107.5 107.3 1-2 3-3
Colorado 104.0 105.1 104.9 104.7 2-1 5-1
Arizona 100.6 98.8 100.7 100.0 2-2 3-4
U C L A 99.5 99.3 97.1 98.6 1-2 1-5
Pac-12 Averages 107.5 106.2 107.3 107.0
Southeastern Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Georgia 127.8 124.7 128.6 127.0 4-1 6-1
Kentucky 114.9 113.8 114.8 114.5 3-1 5-1
Missouri 114.7 113.0 115.7 114.4 0-3 3-3
Florida 114.6 113.0 115.5 114.3 4-1 6-1
S. Carolina 112.2 111.0 111.8 111.7 2-3 3-3
Vanderbilt 100.5 100.8 100.5 100.6 0-3 3-4
Tennessee 99.2 99.6 98.5 99.1 1-2 3-3
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SEC Overall
Alabama 140.2 138.2 141.8 140.1 4-0 7-0
Mississippi St. 119.9 117.4 120.6 119.3 1-2 4-2
L S U 118.6 118.4 119.8 118.9 3-1 6-1
Auburn 114.7 113.4 116.3 114.8 1-3 4-3
Texas A&M 114.2 112.9 114.4 113.8 3-1 5-2
Ole Miss 103.8 103.4 104.1 103.7 1-2 5-2
Arkansas 100.3 97.8 99.2 99.1 0-4 1-6
SEC Averages 114.0 112.7 114.4 113.7
Sunbelt Conference
East Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Appalachian St. 100.8 102.6 102.5 101.9 2-0 4-1
Troy 90.6 91.9 91.9 91.5 3-1 5-2
Georgia Southern 88.9 90.6 89.5 89.7 3-0 5-1
Georgia St. 79.2 81.2 80.0 80.1 1-1 2-4
Coastal Carolina 75.7 78.2 76.1 76.7 1-2 3-3
West Division
Team PiRate Mean Bias Average SBC Overall
Arkansas St. 86.7 88.0 88.1 87.6 0-2 3-3
Louisiana 81.7 83.9 82.8 82.8 2-1 3-3
UL-Monroe 82.3 82.5 82.8 82.6 1-2 3-4
South Alabama 76.4 78.3 77.0 77.2 2-2 2-5
Texas State 71.3 74.2 71.1 72.2 0-3 1-5
Sun Belt Averages 83.4 85.1 84.2 84.2

 

The Conferences Rated

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 SEC 114.0 112.7 114.4 113.7
2 ACC 110.0 108.8 109.4 109.4
3 B12 109.6 108.2 108.9 108.9
4 BTEN 109.1 107.6 108.6 108.4
5 P-12 107.5 106.2 107.3 107.0
6 AAC 95.3 95.9 95.3 95.5
7 IND 94.5 94.8 94.7 94.7
8 MWC 93.8 94.4 93.8 94.0
9 MAC 89.9 91.3 90.4 90.6
10 CUSA 85.7 88.4 86.2 86.8
11 SUN 83.4 85.1 84.2 84.2

 

This Week’s Playoff and Bowl Projections

Note: We revised these early Monday morning.  Multiple sites have listed different bowl tie-ins.  We visited each bowl’s home page to verify the correct alignments and made the appropriate changes.

Additionally, our bowl projections differ from most others because we make assumptions on future games.  For instance, all other major bowl projections have Ohio State in the Playoff today.  We believe the Buckeyes are going to lose a game before the end of the regular season and fall to 5th or 6th in the final poll.  Central Florida is listed as the top Group of 5 team and placed in a New Year’s 6 Bowl, but we believe they will lose and fall behind others.  Currently, we forecast Fresno State to end up in this spot.

Here are the revised bowl & playoff projections.

Bowl Conferences Team 1 Team 2
New Mexico MWC CUSA Utah St. North Texas
Cure AAC SBC Central Florida Georgia Southern
Las Vegas MWC Pac-12 San Diego St. Utah
Camellia MAC SBC Western Michigan Appalachian St.
New Orleans CUSA SBC Louisiana Tech Louisiana-Monroe
Boca Raton AAC CUSA Tulane Florida Atlantic
Frisco AAC At-Large Cincinnati [BYU]
Gasparilla AAC CUSA South Florida Marshall
Bahamas MAC CUSA Buffalo Florida Int’l.
Idaho Potato MAC MWC Eastern Michigan Boise St.
Birmingham AAC SEC Memphis [Southern Miss.]
Armed Forces AAC Big 12 Houston [Army]
Dollar General MAC SBC Northern Illinois Troy
Hawaii CUSA MWC UAB Hawaii
Heart of Dallas Big Ten CUSA Minnesota Middle Tennessee
Quick Lane ACC Big Ten [Toledo] Michigan St.
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 Texas Tech Arizona St.
Independence ACC SEC Virginia [Louisiana]
Pinstripe ACC Big Ten Syracuse Maryland
Texas Big 12 SEC Baylor Texas A&M
Music City ACC/Big Ten SEC Wisconsin Mississippi St.
Camping World ACC Big 12 Virginia Tech Iowa St.
Arizona MWC SBC Nevada Arkansas St.
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 West Virginia Washington
Belk ACC SEC Duke South Carolina
Peach At-large At-large Florida North Carolina St.
Military AAC ACC Temple [Colorado]
Sun ACC Pac-12 Boston College Stanford
San Francisco Big Ten Pac-12 Northwestern USC
Liberty Big 12 SEC TCU Auburn
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Purdue Oregon
Gator ACC/Big Ten SEC Miami (Fla.) Missouri
Outback Big Ten SEC Penn St. LSU
Fiesta At-large At-large Michigan Fresno St.
Citrus ACC/Big Ten SEC Iowa Kentucky
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Ohio St. Washington St.
Sugar Big 12 SEC Oklahoma Georgia
FBS PLAYOFFS
Cotton Clemson Notre Dame
Orange Alabama Texas
Championship Game Alabama Clemson
Teams in [Brackets] are at-large selections

 

There Is Really Only One Team That Can Beat Alabama

The Alabama Crimson Tide currently sits almost one touchdown ahead of the number two Clemson Tigers, but can this Clemson team defeat Alabama?  The answer to that question is probably not, with a qualification.  If Tua Tagovailoa’s knee injury issues were to force him to miss games, then maybe Clemson or Ohio State could make a close game of it.  However, when Tua is healthy, there is only one team that can beat the top-ranked Tide.  That team is: Alabama.

Unless Alabama has a total meltdown, the Tide should win every game by double digits.  Let’s take a look at the moment at Alabama through seven games compared to some great teams from the PiRate Ratings era (1969-Present) that ran the table and won the national championship.

Team Year PPG Opp Rush Opp Pass Opp Yds Opp
Alabama 2018 54 15 217 127 350 190 567 317
Alabama 2009 32 12 215 78 188 166 403 244
Texas 2005 50 16 275 131 237 172 512 303
USC 2004 38 13 177 79 272 200 449 279
Miami (Fla.) 2001 43 10 205 133 250 138 455 271
Oklahoma 2000 37 15 135 108 295 171 430 279
Florida St. 1999 38 17 124 99 303 206 427 305
Nebraska 1997 47 17 393 73 121 184 514 257
Nebraska 1995 53 15 400 78 157 216 557 294
Alabama 1992 28 9 209 55 154 139 363 194
Miami (Fla.) 1991 32 8 146 132 295 157 441 289
Washington 1991 41 10 232 67 240 170 472 237
Alabama 1979 32 6 345 102 84 78 429 180
Notre Dame 1973 35 8 350 82 111 119 461 201
USC 1972 39 11 247 110 185 132 432 242
Nebraska 1971 39 8 253 98 178 112 431 210
Texas 1969 40 11 363 90 109 136 472 226
Mystery Team 46 9 319 77 189 185 508 262

I’ll mention that mystery team in a moment.  Let’s look at Alabama’s stats so far.  The Crimson Tide is averaging 54 points per game and giving up 15.  For the most part, the starters have rarely played in the fourth quarter of any game and some have not played in the second half.

This Tide team is unstoppable on offense, as they can still ram through defenses and break through for large rushing gains, but now they have the best quarterback in the nation.  Tagovailoa is drawing comparisons to Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson.  For older folks, he’s like a combination of Daryle Lamonica and Tobin Rote.  In a day when few teams average more than 10-11 yards per completion, Tagovailoa is averaging more than 14 yards per attempt!

The only knock against Alabama so far this year is that they have played a rather weak schedule.  However, the Tide quickly dismissed the good teams they have faced.  They beat Texas A&M by more than three touchdowns, while Clemson had to sneak by the Aggies.  They beat Ole Miss by 55 and Missouri by 29.

The Crimson Tide still has games to play against LSU, Mississippi State, and Auburn, but we don’t expect any of the three to beat ‘Bama.  LSU will be the toughest test prior to the SEC Championship Game.  With Georgia losing to LSU, and with Florida and Kentucky still on the Bulldogs’ schedule, there is no guarantee that Georgia will even make the SEC Championship Game.

If Alabama runs the table, they will play the #4 seed in the Semifinal Game of the Playoffs.  As of today, it looks like the #4 seed will be a one-loss team, from Among Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Michigan, and remotely Washington St. or Oregon.  None of these teams will challenge the Tide.

The Championship Game might pit Clemson against ‘Bama again.  It could be Alabama and Ohio State, but we have a suspicion that the Buckeyes will lose one game this year, either to Purdue this weekend, Michigan State, or Michigan.  There really isn’t a team other than maybe Clemson that can compete with Alabama this year.  For the Crimson Tide to lose, they will have to beat themselves.

Now to the Mystery Team  

The Mystery Team had drawn comparisons to the great Army teams with Glenn Davis and Felix Blanchard.  They had been compared to the great Oklahoma team that won 47 games in a row.  In fact, the Mystery Team had won 22 games in a row

What you are looking at is an undefeated team with the closest win being 27 points.  This Mystery Team beat the #10 team by four touchdowns and the #19 team by 33 points.

But, there’s a catch.  This team was undefeated with these gaudy stats with one game left to play.  They only needed to win their final game of the year against a team they had defeated by more than five touchdowns the year before.

This team was called by its coach, a Hall of Famer with prior national titles as his best ever.  Did this team beat itself?  No, not exactly.  The prior year’s team cost this Mystery Team its for sure national championship.

This team is Ohio State in 1969.  Through eight games, the Buckeyes did what Alabama is doing this year.  They never trailed for even one second of the season going into the final game against Michigan.  A 41-14 win over Washington in Seattle was their closest game to date, and they entered this game as a 17-point favorite over the 7-2 and 12th-ranked Wolverines at the Big House.

The year before Ohio State beat Michigan 50-14.  The Buckeyes had tried for two when they were up 43-14 and missed, and then they added another touchdown late to hit the half-century mark.  For the next season, first year Michigan coach Bo Schembechler made sure his returning players remembered that game.  The number 50 was plastered everywhere a Wolverine football player could find himself in the athletic facility.  Practice uniforms had the number 50.

Ohio State began the 1969 game like they had the previous eight games.  They returned the opening kick past the 40 yard line, and then on the first scrimmage play, quarterback Rex Kern scrambled for 25 yards to put the Buckeyes close to the Michigan 30.  Bruising fullback Jim Otis carried wide on a sweep, then off-tackle, then up the middle twice in a row to give Ohio State a first down at the Michigan 20.  Otis appeared to make it a first and goal a few plays later, but OSU was called for a false start.  On 4th and short, Michigan made the first big play of the drive stopping the Scarlet and Gray inches short of a first down.

Michigan could not do anything with the ball and punted after three plays.  Ohio State roared right back.  Michigan punted, and Ohio State punt returner Larry Zelina returned it almost back to where Michigan had punted.  It was a quick and easy five play drive for a touchdown, and the Buckeyes led 6-0.  PATs were not automatic in those days, and the OSU extra point was missed.

At this point, it looked like the blowout was on.  However, the Michigan players were not about to let Ohio State do to them in Ann Arbor what had happened a year earlier in Columbus.  Michigan drove the ball on a 10-play drive for a touchdown, and when behemoth kicker Frank Titas hit the PAT, Ohio State trailed for the first time all season, even if it was just 7-6.

Ohio State did what Woody Hayes’ teams did best.  On the next possession, they drove almost 75 yards in 10 plays to retake the lead on a pass from Kern to end Jan White.  On a 2-point try, Kern was sacked before he could pass the ball, and Ohio State led 12-7.  The Buckeyes would not score another point in 1969.

Michigan came alive and quickly drove for the go-ahead score to take a 14-12 lead.  Before the half was done, the Wolverines would put the game away.  After Ohio State was forced to punt, Barry Pierson almost returned it to the house, being knocked down just short of the goal.  Michigan scored a couple of plays later and led 21-12 near the middle of the quarter.  Following a nice Ohio State drive that stalled, Coach Hayes elected to try to make a 53-yard field goal, as in those days, a missed field goal that did not get returned was a touchback.  The kick was way short, and Michigan had the ball once again.  A nice drive could consume the clock, but Schembechler was interested in more.

Michigan calmly killed the clock, but they did so by driving 80 yard for the apparent killing touchdown.  The score was overturned by a penalty.  A short field goal made it 24-12 Wolverines, and that’s how the score stayed the rest of the day.

In the second half, Pierson, the punt returner that set up the go ahead touchdown was the leading receiver for Ohio State.  He intercepted three Buckeye passes, as quarterbacks Kern and Ron Maciejowski threw a combined six picks.  Ohio State didn’t threaten to score any more touchdowns, missing a couple of long field goals.  Michigan played conservatively letting the Buckeyes make mistakes, and the greatest Ohio State team in modern history finished the season 8-1.

Here’s the thing.  In this era, the Big Ten was not bowl friendly.  The champion of the league earned a Rose Bowl bid, but there was a rule that a team could not make consecutive trips to the Rose Bowl.  Had Ohio State beaten Michigan, they would have been 9-0 with no bowl game.  Michigan, at 7-3, would have been picked to go in their place.  However, Schembechler had told his team that if they lost to the Buckeyes, he would decline the Rose Bowl bid.  Third place Purdue would have faced USC instead.

Michigan did win, and the Wolverines headed to Pasadena to play a 9-0-1 USC team that had tied Notre Dame.  On the night before the game, Schembechler suffered a heart attack and did not coach in the game.  Assistant Jim Young became acting head coach, and Michigan played lethargically, losing to USC 10-3.  It was the first time Michigan had ever lost a bowl game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 12, 2018

PiRate Ratings Selections for September 13-17, 2018

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 5:56 pm

We received a lot of comments last week from regular readers to this site that know how to contact us through another site.  We tend to keep our comments sections closed, because it becomes a task to monitor it for stuff that does not need to appear here.

The comments had nothing to do with our own picks last week.  We introduced five guest pickers, three of them members of the fairer sex, and overall, they had quite a successful week.

By far the overwhelming amount of responses were aimed at Buckeye Michelle.  The Ohio Transplant to the Sunny South merely went 5-0 picking 5 underdogs, and we received all kinds of comments pertaining to her, including a couple of marriage proposals.

Friday Dog 13 went 3-0 picking three prohibitive favorites that won by even larger scores than the line they were asked to cover.

Cal Gal Tiffany went 5-2 in her seven picks, again, a very successful week that equates to a 56% Return on Investment.

Stewed Meat narrowly missed having a winning week, as Stewed went 2-3.  Bringing up the rear at 1-2 was Dean 615.

What about our own picks?  We suffered a lot of near misses and finished the week losing $90 imaginary after wagering $1,100 and going 5-6.  For the years, after two weeks, we are down $220 on a total of $1,700 wagered in our pretend bank account, so we are off to a bad year so far.

Just remember, all the picks you receive here this week and every week are free, and you should consider them worth exactly what you pay for them.

First, here are the PiRate’s official selections for the week.

Straight Spreads and Totals Selections–7

Favorite Underdog Spread/Total Pick
Army Hawaii           6 Army
Baylor Duke          6.5 Duke
Minnesota Miami (Ohio)          13 Minnesota
Denver Oakland          46 Under
Washington Indianapolis          47 Under
Cincinnati Baltimore           1 Baltimore
Dallas N.Y. Giants           3 Dallas

10-point Teaser Parlays–2

If you are unfamiliar with 10-point teasers, you can move the line by 10 points in your favor and play at less favorable odds than if you wager a straight wager against the spread or total.  By combining more than one game into a parlay, you can adjust the odds.  A 10-point teaser using three games makes the odds the same as wagering a straight wager.  You put up $11 of your money against $10 of the books, or what is referred to as -110 (You wager $110 versus the book wagering $100).

10-point teaser 3-team parlay -110
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Florida Colorado St. 31 Colorado St.
Texas USC 13.5 USC
Boston College Wake Forest 15 Wake Forest

 

10-point teaser 3-team parlay -110
Favorite Underdog Spread Pick
Indiana Ball St. 4 Indiana
Penn St. Kent St. 24.5 Penn St.
Wisconsin BYU 11 Wisconsin

The Land Sharps

Now for our special sharps–our 5 guest pickers.  They have been tasked with selecting 3, 5, 7, or 9 college games each week.  None of the 5 know what the other 4 are picking, so in some cases, more than one guest is picking the same game, and even though it did not happen this week, we are sure that at some point, they could be on opposite sides of the same game.

We search for the best available line at oddshark.com.

Buckeye Michelle (5-0 for the season)

Syracuse + 3 1/2 vs. Florida St.

LSU +10 vs. Auburn

Duke +6 1/2 vs. Baylor

San Diego St. +5 1/2 vs. Arizona St.

Toledo +10 1/2 vs. Miami (Fla.)

 

Friday Dog 13 (3-0 for the season)

Missouri -6 vs. Purdue

Tennessee -30 1/2 vs. UTEP

Virginia -3 1/2 vs. Ohio

 

Cal Gal Tiffany  (5-2 for the season)

Florida Int’l. -4 vs. U Mass.

Army -6 vs. Hawaii

Oklahoma St. -2 1/2 vs. Boise St.

Washington – 6 1/2 vs. Utah

Georgia Tech +4 vs. Pittsburgh

 

Stewed Meat (2-3 for the season)

Colorado St. +20 1/2 vs. Florida

Buffalo -3 vs. Eastern Michigan

Oregon St. +3 1/2 vs. Nevada

Washington -6 1/2 vs. Utah

Oklahoma St. -2 1/2 vs. Boise St.

 

Dean 615 (1-2 for the season)

Notre Dame -14 vs. Vanderbilt

North Texas +7 vs. Arkansas

TCU +14 vs. Ohio St.

 

 

 

June 10, 2018

The PiRates Are Hard At Work For Football Season

Hello Mates.

This is the head PiRate telling you that we have set sail and are on our way out to the green sea, otherwise known as the Football Field.

We have already begun to update our college football ratings for the 2018 season.  We have a unique way of updating our ratings from the end of the previous season to the beginning of the new season.  We have point values assigned to every starting and backup position on offense and defense plus an overall rating for the components of special teams.

For instance, as it should be obvious, the Quarterback is the most important position in college football.  So, we take special care in determining how many points better or worse each of the 130 teams is in week one compared to their final game of the year before by adding or subtracting points based on the QB.  We look at certain analytics data, just like baseball teams look at advanced statistics.  We actually have our own version of WAR for college football.  Instead of Batting, Fielding, and Pitching WAR, we have offense, defense, and special teams WAR, only instead of putting the final numbers into wins above average, we use points per game above average.  In the PiRate Ratings, a rating of 100.0 is average.  If a quarterback is worth 6.3 points better than an average QB, then before we look at the reserves, a team that is totally average at every other position would begin the season at 106.3 for this particular piece of the ratings’ puzzle.  If a quarterback has been determined to be 3.8 points below average, it would reduce the average team from 100.0 to 96.2.

On offense, the receiving corps is the next most important part of the equation, while the offensive line and running back corps are equal in importance as the last two parts.

Defensively, we look at all three units as they play against the run and the pass.  Stopping the pass is more important these days than stopping the run.  Interceptions, Passes Broken Up, Sacks, and Hurries are all parts of the Pass defense stats we look at.  We also have special ratings for nose guards that have the responsibility of taking up space and keeping blockers away from the linebackers, as these heroes of the trenches rarely show up in box scores, until one of the behemoths gets injured, and his replacement prevents the star will linebacker from making his usual 14 tackles with 2 for loss.

We have an intangible part of this equation as well.  Say a team has a change in coaches.  The old coach was a spread option or flexbone disciple, while the new coach is an air raid disciple.  It’s going to take 2-4 years to fully implement the changes, as that five foot nine inch triple option QB is not going to work as a dropback passer.

Another example in an intangible is the team that had 9 key injuries the year before, and 8 of the 9 return at 100% after missing parts or all of the year before.

In 2018, there will be a case where a potential all-star junior quarterback will transfer from one Power 5 school to another and be immediately eligible.  This will have major effects on his new team, much more than if he were the top incoming freshman in the nation.  This QB has already proven himself in a power conference, while the top incoming freshman only proved himself in Georgia high school action.  There is a difference as deep as the Grand Canyon in comparing the two, even though the incoming freshman might eventually become the next John Elway.  The seasoned starter showed what he could do when he passed for close to 350 yards against Auburn, while the freshman threw for 220 yards against Troup County High School.

This is just one piece of a 5-prong process.  We rate each team against every other team using 5 different processes.  Once we are done, we use three different algorithms to come up with a PiRate, Mean, and Bias rating for each of the 130 teams.  The PiRate and Bias differ by very little, so they will frequently be highly correlated, while the Mean rating is somewhat different than the other two, because it takes the equally-weighted average of the five ratings, while the other two apply heavier weights to some of the five components.  Because they share the exact same weighting of the prong we showed you above, these two tend to stay correlated.

We know we have a lot of advanced mathematicians reading our blog, and we are grateful for your patronage.  We try to make this more analytically dominated than you might get from other sports rating sites and even break down the fourth wall from time to time to show you what we do.

If you are not a math fan and just love football, then fear not.  We still hope to have computer ratings that are as accurate as possible, and we still will make fools of ourselves weekly to issue free picks that you can then take and gift to Las Vegas if you are foolish enough to not realize that these picks are worth exactly what you pay for them.

We have 10 weeks to go.  With a lot of late night work, we hope to have the ratings ready for you in 9 weeks max.

Thanks,

The Captain

March 12, 2018

Selection Committee Got It Right–Only Because The Criteria Was Wrong

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee is under fire today for how teams like Oklahoma, Arizona State,  and Syracuse made the tournament, while teams like Saint Mary’s, Middle Tennessee State, and USC did not.

Don’t blame this Committee.  They did not create the criteria that they use to select the teams.  You wouldn’t blame a jury if the judge orders them not to consider the most convincing evidence in a trial, and it produces the opposite verdict.

We are hearing interesting rumors that Louisville and USC received punitive treatment due to the impending FBI probe, but we do not buy into this rumor.

The reality is that Oklahoma, Arizona State, and Syracuse are in the field, and USC, Saint Mary’s, and Middle Tennessee are not.

The PiRate Bracket Gurus correctly picked 67 of the 68 teams, missing on USC versus Syracuse.  They don’t want to make this sound like sour grapes here, and they are not responsible in the least for our comments, but we find it a laughing joke that the Trojans did not make the tournament, while Arizona State did make the tournament.

Again, it is not the Committee’s fault that the most convincing evidence that would show the superior team was not admissible in this case.  USC finished in 2nd place in the Pac-12, while Arizona State finished tied for 8th place, with only three teams below the Sun Devils in the standings.  USC bested ASU by four games in the conference standings!

How can a team finish 22.2% better in the majority part of an identical schedule than another team and see the weaker team make the tournament, while they did not?  This is why March Madness is more mad due to inferior selection criteria.

We repeat a comparison we made earlier this season.  Take the NFL Playoffs.  Let’s say that during the first month of the season, The New York Giants beat Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh and lead the NFC East at 4-0, while The Eagles are 2-2, with victories over Washington and Tampa Bay.

At this point in the season, the Giants are the best team in the NFL, while Philly is in the bottom half.  Now, from this point on, the Giants finish 5-7 for a 9-7 record.  The Eagles go 9-3 for an 11-5 record.

So, in the playoffs, the Giants are selected by the NFL Selection Committee due to their Quadrant 1 NFL wins in September, while the Eagles have to go to the Bert Bell Playoff Bowl in Miami (Google It–There really was a bowl game in the NFL).

If the NFL stages its playoffs this way, the league would be the laughingstock of sports.  The playoffs would be a big joke.  Yet, in college basketball, the public is brainwashed into believing that this giant tournament of mostly mediocrity is can’t miss entertainment.

The PiRates can easily miss seeing almost all these games where one or more of the combatants fared so poorly in the regular season that in decades past, their coaches might have been fired or put on a hot seat.

Allowing the 8th best team in a rather weak conference to have a chance to play for the national championship is par for the course in this everybody gets a trophy society.  When it comes down to it, neither USC nor Arizona State should have been invited to the NCAA Tournament.  Likewise, no team that did not win a conference championship should have been invited.  There are 32 conferences.  There should be 32 teams invited to the tournament, the 32 champions.

Before you say, “Hey Bucakroo, you cannot be serious about including Radford but not Duke,” let us preface that we favor just the 32 conference champions, but we also would favor handicapping the tournament so that the top 10 conference champions would receive byes to the Sweet 16, while the other 22 conference champions would have to compete in a play-in tournament to narrow from 22 to 12 to 6.  The 6 play-in winners would fill out the Sweet 16.

This is exactly how the NCAA Tournament used to be conducted.  Back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, six to eight conference champions received automatic byes to the Sweet 16, while 14 to 18 other conference champions (and top Independents) were forced to play-in to the Sweet 16.  The bye conferences were determined by the past 5 years results in prior NCAA Tournaments.

Four plus decades ago, over half of the division 1 teams in the East were independents, playing in a loosely-knit organization called the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference).  Prior to 1975, the ECAC was guaranteed two spots in the NCAA Tournament, while other Independents from the South, Midwest, and West could only be selected as at-large entries if and when the NCAA determined they were worthy.

Usually, 24 teams were selected for the NCAA Tournament.  There were eight teams that received byes and 16 teams that played into the Sweet 16.  On the third Saturday of March, the play-in games were played on neutral sites.  Then, on the following Thursday night (Friday night until 1968), the Sweet 16 Round was played, and the Elite 8 Round was played on Saturday.  There were regional consolation games to give each region four total games.

Then, the Final Four was played the following Thursday night with a consolation game and National Championship Game played on Saturday afternoon.  Starting in 1973, the Final Four moved to its present Saturday afternoon-Monday night format.

The explanation that the tournament became huge when it moved to 64 and then 68 teams is not actual fact.  The tournament was already big before it began to expand.  It would have continued to gain fan support if it had stayed exactly the same, and it is our opinion that it would be even bigger than it is today had it remained a tournament of conference champions.

With today’s format, a lot of really fantastic marquee games never happen.  The so-called media darling long shots that pull off a first round upset or sneak into the Sweet 16 eventually get blown out by a power conference team, giving the power conference team somewhat of a breather to the next round.  With 32 first round games, there are going to be a handful of upsets when a power team either overlooks the smaller school or comes out flat, while the other team plays the game of its lives.

The 1927 New York Yankees occasionally had an off day and lost to the Washington Senators (8 times that year).  They even lost a game to the St. Louis Browns.  There is always that odd day or night where things just don’t go the way they should 99% of the time.  It actually hurts the tournament when a #2 seed loses to a #15 seed, because the #15 seed isn’t going anywhere, while the #2 seed could have given the public a really incredible Elite 8 game against a #1 seed.

With that in mind, the PiRates have two separate ideas that would make the NCAA Basketball Tournament much better than it is now.  It would still give the Radford’s a real chance to compete for the title, and it would eliminate the ridiculous, human-error-laced, Selection Committee trying to create a reason why the 12-6 number two team from a power conference stays home, while the 8-10 number eight place (tied for 8th) team from that same conference makes the field.

Option A: Split Division 1 into D1 Large and D1 Small.  D1 Large would be the top 16 conferences, while D1 Small would be the bottom 16 conferences.

Conduct separate 16-team playoffs in the same manner that the NBA now uses.  4 rounds of best of 7 playoffs with the higher-ranked team getting home court advantage.  This option allows the home town fans a chance to see their team play on its home court, whereas only a handful of fans can afford to travel all over the map to watch them play in far away outposts.  How many Buffalo Bulls fans will make the trip to Boise, Idaho?

You could add a twist to the playoff formats and incorporate the relegation and promotion rules from soccer, where the conference of the Small Champion is promoted to Large, and the conference with the weakest-rated Large Champion being relegated to Small.

Imagine a Final Four with Arizona playing Kansas in a best of 7, and Virginia playing Michigan State in a best of 7.  What would the TV ratings be on these series rather than seeing a Sweet 16 game between one of these powers and a long shot low-major team that will lose by 20+ in the Sweet 16?  The two series would dwarf the ratings of today’s earlier rounds where teams are forced to play in the mornings and afternoons of weekdays.

Option B would be to revert back to how the tournament was conducted in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  Take the 22 weakest conferences and send their champions to a 22 to 12 to 6 play-in.  Send the other 10 top conference champions expressly to the Sweet 16.

Sure, teams like North Carolina, Villanova, and Michigan would not be in the tournament, but then neither would be 8-10 Arizona State or 8-10 Syracuse.  Villanova, Michigan, Purdue, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas Tech, West Virginia, and USC among others would give the 16-team (like it was when it was great) NIT a great group of teams, so great that they could return to playing all 15 games at Madison Square Garden.

Most of you reading this today are wondering what our schedule will be for the NCAA Tournament.  Usually, today is the day we release our annual Bracketnomics report showing what back-tested data has been successful in isolating past NCAA Tournament winners.

The PiRates have made some sweeping changes this year, as advanced metrics have made our past bracket-picking criteria somewhat obsolete.  We still have our exceptional R+T weighted rating, and it still represents a huge chunk of what works for us, but we have dropped a lot of the other former data.  With advanced metrics like true shooting% and a better way to compare teams based on strength of schedule, we will be releasing an all-inclusive, somewhat explanatory reveal Tuesday afternoon.

March 10, 2018

PiRate Ratings Conference Tournament Update–March 10 , 2018

Today’s PiRate Rating Spreads For Conference Tournament Games

Higher Seed Lower Seed Spread
Vermont UMBC 12.4
Cincinnati Memphis 17.5
Wichita St. Houston 0.1
Rhode Island St. Joseph’s 6.7
St. Bonaventure Davidson -0.9
Virginia North Carolina 1.0
Kansas West Virginia 0.1
Villanova Providence 13.7
Montana Eastern Washington 4.2
UC-Irvine Cal. St. Fullerton 2.0
Western Kentucky Marshall 5.1
Harvard Cornell 6.6
Penn Yale 6.9
Buffalo Toledo 3.9
Hampton UNC-Central 3.8
New Mexico San Diego St. -4.9
Arizona USC 1.9
Kentucky Alabama 3.0
Tennessee Arkansas 3.0
SE Louisiana Stephen F. Austin -5.6
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Texas Southern -5.2
UL-Lafayette Texas-Arlington 5.8
Georgia St. Georgia Southern 3.1
New Mexico St. Grand Canyon 4.9

Games in Blue are Semifinal Contests

Games in Red are Championship Games

Today’s Schedules With Approximate Tip Times and TV

All Times are Eastern Standard (Remember Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday at 2 AM)

America East Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Home Visitors TV
11:00 AM #1 Vermont #2 UMBC ESPN2

Vermont is the home team in this tournament played on campus sites.  Because the rounds are spaced out, both teams had ample time to prepare for this game.  The Catamounts won handily in the two regularly-scheduled games.

UMBC’s only hope is to try to contain Vermont’s dominating power forward Payton Henson and be able to hit a lot of contested shots.  In the two previous games, Vermont held the Retrievers to well under 40% from the field.

Henson, the former Tulane bench warmer who became a star when he transferred to Vermont, controlled the boards in both games and led Vermont in scoring both times.

 

American Athletic Conference Tournament
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM #1 Cincinnati #5 Memphis CBS
3:30 PM #2 Wichita St. #3 Houston CBS
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
3:00 PM Cinti or Memphis Wichita or Houston CBS

Tubby Smith lives to see another day as head coach of Memphis.  Two nail-biting wins into the tournament, Memphis finds itself taking on the top seed for a chance to play for an automatic bid and steal a bid for the AAC.

Memphis failed to tally 50 points in either meeting with the Bearcats, and neither game was close.  If Cincinnati does not come out flat, and it is hard to imagine a team that hustles like the Bearcats coming out flat, there is little chance the Tigers will pull the upset.

The other semifinal game should be very interesting, and there is a possibility that this game could come down to the 40th, or maybe the 45th minute before a winner is assured.  Houston’s defense has been improving all year long, while Wichita State’s defense is still somewhat of a work in progress.  The Cougars have not been this good in 25 years, and they look poised to make another step forward, maybe even to the Sweet 16.

 

Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM #1 Rhode Island #4 St. Joseph’s CBSSN
3:30 PM #2 St. Bonaventure #3 Davidson CBSSN
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM Rhode Island or St. Joe’s St. Bona. or Davidson CBS

The two lower seeded teams move into serious bid-stealer territory.  Of the two, we believe Davidson has a rather good chance of pulling off back-to-back upsets of the top two seeds and steal a bid from a Louisville, Oklahoma, or Arizona St.

When Davidson ventured up to Olean, NY, to face St.  Bonaventure less than two weeks ago, it produced one of the most exciting games of the NCAA season.  The Bonnies eventually won in triple overtime 117-113, and the stat sheet was a masterpiece.  Three St. Bonaventure players topped 30 points, combining for 14 made three-pointers, while Davidson’s Peyton Aldridge had 45 points, and Kellian Grady had 39.  Today’s game may be decided by the three-point shot.  Both teams are strong defensively inside the paint.

Rhode Island is the class of this league, but the Rams are beatable, and St. Joe’s knows how to beat them.  How about a 30-point pasting by the Hawks over the Rams in Kingstown?  If they could win at URI, then St. Joe’s should surely be able to win on a neutral court in the nation’s capital.  Something tells us that Rhode Island will play with multiple chips on multiple shoulders today and get revenge.

 

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:30 PM #1 Virginia #6 North Carolina ESPN

There seldom is need to give a lot of PR to the ACC Tournament.  The ACC Tournament is like football’s Rose Bowl.  It is the grandaddy of conference tournaments (aplogies to the Southern Conference Tournament, but the ACC is a bit more prestigious).

This should be a fantastic game tonight.  North Carolina didn’t fare all that well against the top-seeded and nationally top-ranked team this year.  The Tar Heels thought they had the Cavaliers Pack-line defense figured out in the first half, and it looked like this game would go down to the buzzer.  Then, a couple of fine-tuning adjustments totally stopped North Carolina for about 10 minutes, while Virginia’s offense slowly extended the lead out to double-digits.  The Tar Heels missed all of their shots in the second half of the second half.  UVa won by a dozen points, holding UNC under 50.

The mandatory statement that North Carolina is a much better team since that loss is required to be inserted here.  However, equal time forces us to state additionally that Virginia’s offense has improved almost as much in that time frame.

In other words, this game has the potential to be rivoting entertainment for you.  We expect the score to be around 60-60 with three minutes to play.  Then, who knows what might happen.  Past ACC Tournament history could help us predict something well worth watching.  We are excited about this game just writing these words!

 

Big 12 Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #1 Kansas #3 West Virginia ESPN

Do we even need to hype this game?  In our opinion, the rivalry between KU and WVU is approaching that of the Yankees and Red Sox.  The contrast in styles between two A-1 coaches, and the talent level on the floor tonight will make this a game full of movement and spurts.  Kansas handled the Mountaineers press rather easily in both games, and WVU did not get many transition points.  In a half-court game, the Jayhawks are about 10 points better than the Mountaineers, so the question is, can Coach Bob Huggins find a new wrinkle that will force Kansas to commit an extra five turnovers tonight?  If so, then this game is a toss-up.  If not, then the Jayhawks cut down the nets yet again.

 

Big East Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:30 PM #2 Villanova #5 Providence Fox

Usually, there is a tendency for the average generic sports fan to develop a temporary rooting interest for one generic team against another generic team–a game in which he or she has no ties to either team.  When a fan in Florida watches Oregon play USC, he or she might temporarily become a fan of one of the schools.  For instance, a typical guy in Orlando might cheer for USC solely because Trojan coach Andy Enfield married a former supermodel.

If you are one of the generic superfans, like all of us here on the PiRate ship, you are in a quandary tonight with these two teams.  Why is that?  It is because Villanova coach Jay Wright and Providence coach Ed Cooley are two of the best gentlemen in the game.  They are more than coaches to their players; they are second fathers, the type that dote over their children.

As for the game tonight, Villanova better not feel any overconfidence, because Providence has put all of its pieces together and has seen the finished puzzle of success.  The Friars are possibly still sitting on their best game of the season, and for that reason, we believe that at the least, Providence will cover in this game, and quite possibly win outright.  However, and this is a big however, the Friars have had to go to overtime the last two nights to get to this point.  Their legs may be a tad fatigued in the second half, while Villanova has won by comfortable margins and has rested their starters.  So, for that reason, the rest of the PiRates say the Wildcats are going to come out and be a bit too much for the underdog Friars.

What does this tell you?  Lay off this game if you like to invest in college basketball and just watch it for fun.

 

Big Sky Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:00 PM #1 Montana #3 Eastern Washington ESPNU

This is one of those tricky games.  Montana would appear to be the favorite, but in our opinion, the Grizzlies will have to play at the top of their talent level tonight to have a chance to win this game.  EWU lost a game at Idaho in early February that they should have won.  Since then, they have played like the king of the league, reeling off eight victories in a row by an average margin of more than 10 points per game.  The Eagles roster is a United Nations of basketball with players from Australia, Serbia, Lithuania, The Ukraine, and the Dominican Republic on the roster.

Montana has the best guard duo in the league, and in tournament play, strong guards lead to championships as long as there is adequate support in the front-court players, just enough to force defenses to stay honest.  Montana’s hopes for the NCAA Tournament rest on the shoulders of Ahmaad Rorie and Michael Oguine.  They were a combined 8 of 21 in the regular season loss to EWU.  Expect a 70-75 possession game tonight, and we believe Eastern Washington will send Montana to an automatic NIT berth.

 

Big West Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
11:59 PM #3 UC-Irvine #4 Cal St. Fullerton ESPN2

What did we tell you about this league?  The top four seeds were basically dead even in talent, and we believed that any of the four could advance and win the dancing invitation.  So, what happened late last night?  The two lower seeds advanced to the championship game.

If you live on the East Coast, you better get the coffee pot brewing after supper tonight if you want to see the last automatic bid of the day be handed out.  Tonight’s game is a great contrast in playing styles.  UC-Irvine wins by playing tough defense and controlling the boards, while Fullerton has a great passing offense that leads to taking open shots and not rushing the offense.

The two teams split the season series with both winning on the other team’s home floor.  This looks like a game where one team will jump for joy in the final few seconds of a closely contested game.  You may have to stay awake until after 2 AM on the East Coast if you want to know who got the bid.

 

Conference USA Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
8:30 PM #3 Western Kentucky #4 Marshall CBSSN

If you don’t have a dog left in the fight today, and you just want to watch a potentially incredible game in the evening, you might want to tune into this one.  All we have to say about Marshall is mention the coach’s name.  He is Dan D’Antoni, the brother of Houston Rocket coach Mike D’Antoni.  Houston is 51-14 in the NBA using the same type of playing style that Marshall uses.  The D’Antoni brothers are the Billy Beane’s of basketball.  They are high on analytics, and they believe that the offense has the best chance of scoring quickly before the defense can force a bad shot as the clock winds down.  It’s all about three-pointers and high percentage two-point shots, and the belief is that if your guards get the ball up the floor quickly, an open opportunity will develop in one of those two locations.

Of course, this works a lot better when one of your guards is James Harden.  Marshall has two guards that play at the collegiate level like Harden does in the NBA.  Jon Elmore and C.J. Burks can fill it up, and they both average in excess of 20 points per game.  Keeping defenses honest, the Thundering Herd have Ajdin Penava inside, but the offense itself creates close open shots for a host of average players, and any average player at this level can hit from three feet away.

What about Western Kentucky?  The Hilltoppers are notorious for playing their best ball in March.  This goes back for decades and decades through a who’ who of great coaches and players.  WKU is much like their big brother up in Lexington.  They go into tournament championship games with the prestige of the New York Yankees.  They expect to win, but they do not consider it a foregone conclusion, and the red uniform makes them put out an effort like every player is Enos Slaughter.  Both the good news and the not-so-good news about WKU is that they are a very balanced team with any of the five starters capable of scoring 20-25 points in a game.  However, sometimes, none of the five will take over and will the team to a victory.

Western swept the season series with Marshall, but we do not particularly love the Hilltoppers chance to get a three-peat in today’s championship game.  Marshall will come out loose and ready to play 75-possession basketball.  Western better be ready and not only come expecting to play 65-possession basketball.

 

Ivy League Tournament
Philadelphia (Ivy Madness)
Top 4 Teams Qualify
Semifinals EST Championship Game EDT
       
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:30 PM #1 Harvard #4 Cornell ESPNU
3:00 PM #2 Penn #3 Yale ESPN2
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
9:00 PM  Harvard or Cornell Penn or Yale  ESPN2

The final conference tournament begins play today.  The Ivy League only sends its top four to the Palestra, so in theory the winner should usually be able to avoid a trip to Dayton.  If Penn or Harvard win Ivy Madness, they should be 16-seeds but avoid Dayton.  If Cornell wins, they are almost assuredly headed to Dayton, and if Yale wins, it would be a 50-50 guess.

Penn has the advantage of playing on their home floor, and the Quakers went 7-0 at home in Ivy League play.  Their two conference losses came at Harvard and at Yale, so the championship game should provide a bit of excitement.  Of course, Penn has to get past a Cornell team that gave the Quakers two close games in the regular season.

 

Mid-American Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
7:00 PM #1 Buffalo #2 Toledo ESPN2

The top two seeds found their way to the championship game, and we are returning to becoming confident in the Bulls.  Buffalo has the talent that if they can play with confidence and not become deer in the headlights, they could sneak past an opening round favorite in the NCAA Tournament.  We do not believe Toledo can do the same, but in the conference tournament, the Rockets could easily blast their way to victory.

These two teams played only once in the regular season, and it seems like it was a year ago.  Buffalo won on their home floor in an offensive shootout 104-94.  The difference in the game was the Buffalo ball-hawking defense.  The Bulls gave up a few easy baskets when their gambling defense did not force a turnover, but they forced Toledo into numerous turnovers that led to easy Buffalo scores.

This won’ be an 81-possession game like the first time, and if Toledo can take care of the basketball, they have the backcourt advantage with a couple of tall, sharp-shooting perimeter players in Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Jaelen Sanford.

If Buffalo is to hold serve and claim both the regular season and conference tournament titles, we believe that forward Nick Perkins needs to have a 20-point, 8-rebound game, and the Bulls need to force the tempo and not let Toledo slow the game down.

 

Mideastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM #1 Hampton #6 UNC-Central ESPN2

Two teams with recent success in the MEAC will face off for the automatic bid.  Hampton has won the tournament title three of the last seven seasons under Coach Edward Joyner, while UNC-Central has claimed two of the last four under Coach LeVelle Moton.

Once again, this game presents an excellent study in different styles of play.  Hampton is more of a finesse team with better shooters, while UNC-Central has the superior power game and can control the action inside.  Finesse won out in the lone regular season game between the two teams, as Hampton shot lights out in a blowout win.

 

Mountain West Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
6:00 PM #3 New Mexico #5 San Diego St. CBS

The two defensive behemoths easily advanced to the championship game, giving the Mountain West a second bid that came at the expense of a Louisville, Notre Dame, or Arizona St.

Either of these two teams will become a fierce, pesty opponent to a favored team in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.  New Mexico faced a major transition this year.  They raided in-state rival New Mexico State to hire Coach Paul Weir away from las Cruces.  Weir brought his tenacious, full-court press defense to Albuquerque, and the Lobos had growing pains for the first half of the season.

Since a rough start at 8-11, the Lobos improved by going 11-3 since mid-January.  The press began to pay dividends as the players obtained the needed live experience to see it work.  A much-improved up-tempo offense took off about the same time, as the Lobos gained confidence and went from a passive to a very aggressive team.

San Diego State basketball is all about outstanding pressure man-to-man defense and an inside power offense.  It’s much like the same offense that Aztec coach Steve Fisher used with the Fabulous Five at Michigan in the 1990’s.  Like New Mexico, SDSU had a slow start to the season, but they closed in a rush with eight consecutive wins by an average score of 78-64.  What they did to regular season champ Nevada last night should put a scare into any potential four or five seed team from a power conference.  The Aztecs looked like the UCLA team of 1970 in the semifinal trouncing of Nevada.  They controlled the boards like they had Sydney Wicks, Steve Patterson, and Curtis Rowe pounding the glass, as the former top team in the league trailed by 30 points in the first half!

Don’t expect New Mexico to be intimidated.  This game is going to be rough and tumble for 40 minutes, and if we had to pick one game where the referees may have to step in and separate the combatants in this war, this would be the game.

 

Pacific 12 Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
10:00 PM #1 Arizona #2 USC FS1

Usually, the Pac-12 Tournament Championship Game is the key college basketball game on the West Coast, but it won’t even be the best game in the host city.  It won’t even be the second best game in that city.  Las Vegas hosts both the Mountain West and Western Athletic championships tonight, and unfortunately for the “League of Champions,” this will be the third best game in sin city tonight.

The outcome of the game will matter very little, as both teams have now secured spots in the field of 68, and neither will move much by winning or losing.  We do not particularly feel like either the Wildcats or Trojans will make much of a dent in the NCAA Tournament, as the Pac-12 needs a transfusion, with an infusion of better talent.  Sorry Pac-12 fans, but your league is suffering somewhat of a malaise.

 

Southeastern Conference Tournament
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM #4 Kentucky #9 Alabama ESPN
3:30 PM #2 Tennessee #6 Arkansas ESPN
       
Championship–March 4
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
1:00 PM Kentucky or Alabama Tennessee or Arkansas ESPN

Once Missouri fell, we called this tournament the Kentucky Invitational, as that is what we knew it would look like once the Blue Mist fans bought up all the Mizzou fans tickets.

Arkansas bested Florida, and that made Kentucky’s path to the title all that easier.  Today the Wildcats basically need to put an extra half-body on Colin Sexton and then control the boards like they should to advance to the title game tomorrow for the umpteenth time in their history.

The other game should be much more interesting, as Arkansas and Tennessee match up evenly well.  Arkansas won the regular season game in Fayetteville 95-93 in overtime in a game before New Year’s Day.  The Razorbacks then went 9-8 the rest of the regular season, while the Vols went on to share the conference title with Auburn.

This tournament is screaming for a game between bitter rivals in blue and orange.  Tennessee has always been the principle rival for Kentucky in all sports, while Tennessee considers Kentucky its chief basketball rival.

 

Southland Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
10:00 PM #1 SE Louisiana #3 Stephen F. Austin ESPN2

We hope you read our preview of this conference tournament the last two days.  If not, we referred to #3 Stephen F. Austin as the champion thoroughbred horse that stumbled and lost the 2017 race but still figured to be the great champion of the past, while Southeast Louisiana and Nicholls State were the two currently sexy horses vying for the finish line.

The crowd at the race track watches the two new hot contenders sharing a four furlong lead over the champion horse, and all in attendance feverishly focus their eyes on the champion waiting for him to make that patented closing move to win the race from three-wide.

Last night, Stephen F. Austin began to move, and when they did, they looked like Whirlaway at the Kentucky Derby.  The Lumberjacks just ran past Nicholls State, putting the game away handily in the first half.  Now, they have Southeast Louisiana in their sights, and the Lions better be ready to roar in the Championship Game, because SFA doesn’t look to be losing any speed at the finish line.

 

Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
4:00 PM #1 Arkansas-Pine Bluff #3 Texas Southern ESPN2

Our heart says Texas Southern tonight, because our leader has a past friendly relationship with TSU coach Mike Davis, but our brain says that Arkansas-Pine Bluff will become the first team ever to begin a season 0-14 and make the NCAA Tournament.

These two teams could play 100 times, and we would pick UAPB to win about 55-60 of those games.  The Golden Lions won two very close games over the Tigers in the regular season, and they seem to have their number.

The winner of this game is already put in the First Four in Dayton in permanent marker.  There is no need to pencil the winner this year.  Either a 19-loss or 20-loss team will earn an automatic bid.

 

Sun Belt Conference Tournament
Semifinals–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
12:30 PM #1 UL-Lafayette #4 UT-Arlington ESPN3
3:00 PM #2 Georgia St. #3 Georgia Southern ESPN3
       
Championship–March 11
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
2:00 PM ULL or UTA Ga St. or Ga. Sou. ESPN2

Louisiana-Lafayette may be the overwhelming favorite to win the tournament with a coach (Bob Marlin) that has taken the Ragin’ Cajuns and formerly Sam Houston to the NCAA Tournament, but Georgia State also has the tournament experience coach on their sideline, as Ron Hunter has taken GSU and IUPUI to the Dance in the past.

What does this mean for UT-Arlington and Georgia Southern?    Ten years ago, Scott Cross guided UTA to a conference tournament title, while Georgia Southern coach Mark Byington has been slowly upgrading the program at Hanner Fieldhouse.

Don’t expect the two favorite to easily coast to the finals tomorrow, but the chances are better than 50-50 that both teams win tonight.

 

Western Athletic Conference Tournament
Championship–March 10
Time Higher Seed Lower Seed TV
10:00 PM #1 New Mexico St. #3 Grand Canyon ESPNU

There’s nothing more to say about this tournament than what we previously stated.  This just might be the best Championship Game of the entire lot this weekend.  New Mexico State has been tournament savvy since November, when the Aggies beat Davidson and Miami (Fla.) in Hawaii and almost knocked off USC for the championship.  After NMSU completed the regular season sweep of GCU, their record stood at 22-3, and the Aggies were on the verge of cracking the top 25.  But, playing an overly physical team like GCU can take its toll, and NMSU suffered by losing consecutive road games against the other top two teams of the four in this league.  The team recovered and since then has won five games in a row by an average of 16.8 points per game.

Grand Canyon has made great strides moving into Division 1.  The only for-profit university playing Division 1 basketball, the Antelopes have a student base from all over the country, as they have both a real campus and an online presence.  Of course, John Doe, a GCU online-only student in Augusta, Maine, is not eligible to play on the team, but his tuition might help the school fund the athletic program a little bit.  This could be the start of something big if the Antelopes make the Dance.  Imagine the University of Phoenix or Devry University trying this out.   And, what happens when Penn State or Alabama discover that they must begin to have an online university in addition to a real campus?  The NCAA might have to eventually establish some ground rules, when Dunkin’ Bill Duncan and Henry Hoopshot decide to attend classes at home but play on the basketball team, because they both live just 10 miles away.  Who will really be doing the homework???

 

 

 

February 23, 2018

PiRate Ratings College Basketball Preview for February 23-25, 2018

Filed under: College Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 8:36 am

Note: In case you haven’t heard, Yahoo Sports has released information concerning the FBI’s probe of college basketball, naming names and teams.  Go to Yahoo Sports to read the article.

The article casts a shadow over the impending March Madness and whether players and even teams may be declared ineligible or run the risk of having the entire Final Four vacated if four implicated teams make the semifinals.

Until there is definite news on who will and will not be allowed to participate in the NCAA Tournament, the PiRate Ratings will continue to rate the teams as if nothing has affected the tournament.  Our Bracket Gurus report that runs on Monday afternoons will continue to include all teams that are eligible of this moment.  Our ratings will remain the same until players are removed from rosters.

 

In the PiRate Rating’s world, we have made a bit of a change this week.  The Mountain West Conference has reverted back to a one bid league for now as Boise State has fallen back in the Bubble race.  At the same time, St. Bonaventure has now moved into the projected field, giving the Atlantic 10 Conference multiple projected bids.  Thus, we have added the A-10 to our ratings list of power conferences and removed the MWC and returned it to mid-major.

We have retained Nevada and Boise State in the ratings of top mid-majors.

Also note that the first postseason conference tournament bracket has been decided.  The Atlantic Sun Conference begins tournament action Monday night, and you can see the bracket for this game at the conclusion of the spreads and ratings.

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads for Power Conferences and top Mid-Majors

Friday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
Rhode Island Dayton 13.8
Indiana Ohio St. 3.0
Saturday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
South Florida Tulane -6.5
SMU Wichita St. -3.7
VCU St. Bonaventure -2.6
Duquesne Davidson -7.1
Fordham LaSalle -3.8
George Mason Massachusetts 2.0
Richmond St. Joseph’s -0.3
St. Louis George Washington 6.8
Virginia Tech Louisville 3.8
Miami (Fla.) Boston College 8.8
Clemson Georgia Tech 14.2
Wake Forest Notre Dame -2.8
Pittsburgh Virginia -21.1
Duke Syracuse 15.8
TCU Baylor 4.8
Texas Oklahoma St. 6.3
Texas Tech Kansas 2.1
West Virginia Iowa St. 14.9
Oklahoma Kansas St. 4.9
DePaul Marquette -3.2
Georgetown Providence 1.2
St. John’s Seton Hall -1.4
Creighton Villanova -6.0
Maryland Michigan 1.7
Utah USC 1.9
California Washington -5.2
Stanford Washington St. 10.6
Oregon St. Arizona St. -4.2
Oregon Arizona -1.5
Ole Miss Tennessee -5.8
Georgia LSU 2.2
Mississippi St. South Carolina 6.4
Vanderbilt Texas A&M -1.9
Alabama Arkansas 2.4
Kentucky Missouri 5.3
Florida Auburn 0.1
Loyola Marymount Pacific -1.4
Saint Mary’s Santa Clara 21.6
BYU Gonzaga -5.0
Pepperdine Portland 1.1
San Francisco San Diego 2.3
Austin Peay Murray St. -6.0
Buffalo Ohio 11.3
East Tennessee St. Wofford 9.3
Loyola (Chi.) Illinois St. 11.7
Middle Tennessee UAB 9.6
New Mexico St. UMKC 17.0
South Alabama Louisiana-Lafayette -9.6
Stony Brook Vermont -9.5
Sunday’s Games    
Home Team Visitor Spread
Cincinnati Tulsa 19.1
Temple Central Florida 4.7
Houston East Carolina 23.8
Connecticut Memphis 2.0
North Carolina St. Florida St. 0.5
Wisconsin Michigan St. -9.5
Rutgers Illinois -0.1
Purdue Minnesota 18.5
Nebraska Penn St. -0.2
Iowa Northwestern 1.6
Nevada Colorado St. 20.6
Colorado UCLA -3.2

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Top 25

Rank Team PiRate Conf.
1 Villanova 121.7 BIGE
2 Duke 120.5 ACC
3 Purdue 119.6 BTEN
4 Virginia 119.4 ACC
5 Michigan St. 119.4 BTEN
6 Cincinnati 118.0 AAC
7 North Carolina 116.7 ACC
8 Kansas 116.7 B12
9 West Virginia 115.8 B12
10 Gonzaga 115.4 WCC
11 Texas Tech 115.3 B12
12 Xavier 115.1 BIGE
13 Auburn 115.1 SEC
14 Wichita St. 114.7 AAC
15 Tennessee 113.6 SEC
16 Ohio St. 113.5 BTEN
17 TCU 112.9 B12
18 Clemson 112.9 ACC
19 Butler 112.8 BIGE
20 Arizona 112.8 PAC12
21 Michigan 112.7 BTEN
22 Creighton 112.2 BIGE
23 Kentucky 112.2 SEC
24 Nevada 112.1 MWC
25 Florida St. 112.0 ACC

PiRate Ratings By Power Conference

Team PiRate Conf.
Rhode Island 111.1 A10
Davidson 108.6 A10
St. Bonaventure 107.4 A10
VCU 101.3 A10
St. Louis 100.8 A10
Dayton 100.8 A10
St. Joseph’s 100.5 A10
LaSalle 99.8 A10
Duquesne 98.0 A10
George Washington 97.5 A10
Massachusetts 97.3 A10
Richmond 97.2 A10
George Mason 96.3 A10
Fordham 93.0 A10
Cincinnati 118.0 AAC
Wichita St. 114.7 AAC
Houston 111.8 AAC
SMU 107.5 AAC
Temple 105.4 AAC
UCF 104.2 AAC
Tulsa 102.4 AAC
Memphis 100.3 AAC
Tulane 99.5 AAC
Connecticut 99.3 AAC
East Carolina 91.5 AAC
South Florida 90.0 AAC
Duke 120.5 ACC
Virginia 119.4 ACC
North Carolina 116.7 ACC
Clemson 112.9 ACC
Florida St. 112.0 ACC
Virginia Tech 111.4 ACC
Notre Dame 111.1 ACC
Louisville 111.1 ACC
Miami FL 110.8 ACC
North Carolina St. 109.0 ACC
Syracuse 108.7 ACC
Boston College 105.5 ACC
Wake Forest 105.3 ACC
Georgia Tech 102.2 ACC
Pittsburgh 95.3 ACC
Kansas 116.7 B12
West Virginia 115.8 B12
Texas Tech 115.3 B12
TCU 112.9 B12
Baylor 111.1 B12
Oklahoma 111.0 B12
Texas 110.3 B12
Kansas St. 109.6 B12
Oklahoma St. 107.5 B12
Iowa St. 104.9 B12
Villanova 121.7 BIGE
Xavier 115.1 BIGE
Butler 112.8 BIGE
Creighton 112.2 BIGE
Seton Hall 111.3 BIGE
Marquette 109.6 BIGE
Providence 106.9 BIGE
St. John’s 106.9 BIGE
Georgetown 104.6 BIGE
DePaul 103.4 BIGE
Purdue 119.6 BTEN
Michigan St. 119.4 BTEN
Ohio St. 113.5 BTEN
Michigan 112.7 BTEN
Penn St. 111.5 BTEN
Maryland 110.9 BTEN
Nebraska 107.8 BTEN
Indiana 107.0 BTEN
Wisconsin 106.4 BTEN
Northwestern 106.4 BTEN
Iowa 105.0 BTEN
Minnesota 104.6 BTEN
Illinois 104.4 BTEN
Rutgers 101.3 BTEN
Arizona 112.8 PAC12
Arizona St. 110.7 PAC12
USC 109.4 PAC12
UCLA 108.7 PAC12
Oregon 107.8 PAC12
Utah 107.8 PAC12
Stanford 104.4 PAC12
Washington 103.5 PAC12
Oregon St. 103.0 PAC12
Colorado 102.0 PAC12
Washington St. 97.3 PAC12
California 94.8 PAC12
Auburn 115.1 SEC
Tennessee 113.6 SEC
Kentucky 112.2 SEC
Florida 111.7 SEC
Texas A&M 111.2 SEC
Arkansas 111.0 SEC
Missouri 110.4 SEC
Alabama 109.9 SEC
Mississippi St. 108.8 SEC
LSU 107.8 SEC
Georgia 106.5 SEC
South Carolina 105.9 SEC
Vanderbilt 105.8 SEC
Mississippi 104.8 SEC
Gonzaga 115.4 WCC
Saint Mary’s 111.5 WCC
BYU 106.4 WCC
San Diego 101.0 WCC
San Francisco 100.3 WCC
Pacific 98.6 WCC
Loyola Marymount 94.2 WCC
Santa Clara 92.9 WCC
Portland 92.9 WCC
Pepperdine 91.0 WCC

PiRate Ratings For Key Mid-Majors

Nevada 112.1 MWC
Boise St. 108.8 MWC
Middle Tennessee 108.6 CUSA
Louisiana Lafayette 108.5 SBC
Loyola (Chi.) 108.3 MVC
Western Kentucky 107.3 CUSA
New Mexico St. 107.2 WAC
Murray St. 106.4 OVC

Conference Tournament Bracket

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament
All Games Played at Higher Seed
All Times EST
       
Quarterfinals–February 26
Time Home Visitors TV
7:00 PM #1 Florida Gulf Coast #8 USC Upstate ESPN3
7:30 PM #4 NJIT #5 North Florida ESPN3
8:00 PM #2 Lipscomb #7 Stetson ESPN3
7:00 PM #3 Jacksonville #6 Kennesaw St. ESPN3
       
Semifinals–March 1
Time Home Visitors TV
TBA FGCU/USCU NJIT/N.Fla. ESPN3
TBA Lipsc./Stetson Jville/Kenn ESPN3
       
Championship–March 4
Time Home Visitors TV
3:00 PM Higher Remaining Seed Lower Remaining Seed ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2017

PiRate Ratings Money Line Parlays for December 1-2, 2017 (with 10-point teasers)

For those of you still following this weekly feature, we’ll buy and read your book you will write dealing with masochism.  This has been a lousy year for the PiRate Picks.  This week, there are not enough college games to put together many Money Line parlays, so we are dusting off and bringing out of mothballs our former claim to fame to give us 4 plays–10-point teasers.

For those of you who are not wise to a 10-point teaser, this type of play allows the player to move the point spread or totals number by 10 points in either direction and then play a parlay at certain odds.  We like to combine either 3 teams at -110 or 4 teams at +136 odds, and this week, we have two 4-game parlays at +136.

Thus, a winning week can be had with a 2-2 record, and at 3-1, it can be a very profitable week.  At 4-0, we get out of the red and into the black.  At 1-3 or 0-4, we take more Maalox.

Remember this most important aspect to this weekly feature–all our picks are just for fun, and we never wager real coin or currency or Bitcoins on these picks. We suggest you do the same as well.

#1 @ +273  
Must Win Must Lose
USC Stanford
New Mexico St. South Alabama
Clemson Miami
Oklahoma TCU

 

#2 @ +230  
Must Win Must Lose
Wisconsin Ohio St.

 

#3 10-point teaser +136  
Clemson Miami Under 57
Wisconsin Ohio St. Under 62
Florida St. UL-Monroe Under 75
Oklahoma TCU Under 73.5

 

#4 10-point teaser +136  
Stanford USC Under 69
Florida Atlantic North Texas Under 84
Central Florida Memphis Under 92
Auburn Georgia Under 58

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 19, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for November 21-25, 2017

Filed under: College Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:54 pm

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Akron Kent St. 16.2 16.9 16.6
Eastern Michigan Bowling Green 17.7 16.8 17.7
Ball St. Miami (O) -20.5 -20.5 -21.0
Mississippi St. Ole Miss 11.6 12.9 12.7
TCU Baylor 24.2 21.2 24.4
Toledo Western Michigan 7.5 8.1 8.3
Virginia Virginia Tech -13.7 -14.2 -13.2
Central Michigan Northern Illinois 1.1 1.8 0.8
Buffalo Ohio U -9.4 -8.6 -8.4
Arkansas Missouri -7.9 -6.6 -7.6
San Diego St. New Mexico 20.5 20.7 21.2
Houston Navy 4.2 3.6 3.9
Pittsburgh Miami (Fla.) -16.3 -14.9 -15.8
Nebraska Iowa -9.3 -9.1 -9.0
Troy Texas St. 24.9 23.0 25.2
Central Florida South Florida 6.8 8.8 7.8
Florida Int’l. Western Kentucky -2.7 -2.2 -2.7
Texas Texas Tech 12.5 12.7 13.8
UCLA California 1.6 3.1 2.6
Cincinnati Connecticut 2.6 2.6 3.2
Syracuse Boston College -1.6 -3.0 -2.2
Rutgers Michigan St. -8.2 -9.5 -9.5
Purdue Indiana -0.2 -0.2 -0.3
Michigan Ohio St. -13.6 -11.4 -14.8
North Carolina St. North Carolina 14.0 14.1 14.7
Wake Forest Duke 5.9 4.8 7.1
Georgia St. Appalachian St. -6.8 -5.8 -6.5
Tennessee Vanderbilt 4.4 3.6 3.9
Kansas St. Iowa St. 2.3 2.1 1.3
Kentucky Louisville -6.0 -5.9 -7.1
Georgia Tech Georgia -13.3 -15.3 -15.0
Maryland Penn St. -24.0 -21.5 -24.8
Illinois Northwestern -21.9 -20.0 -23.1
Rice North Texas -12.7 -12.6 -13.2
Charlotte Florida Atlantic -27.1 -26.5 -28.5
Air Force Utah St. -0.3 0.9 -0.3
Marshall Southern Miss. 8.0 8.3 9.2
Nevada UNLV 3.8 4.0 4.7
Washington Washington St. 11.8 11.8 12.1
San Jose St. Wyoming -26.8 -25.4 -27.0
Utah Colorado 2.7 4.6 4.7
Louisiana-Monroe Arkansas St. -8.3 -8.7 -10.3
Middle Tennessee Old Dominion 6.9 5.8 7.7
Minnesota Wisconsin -19.4 -16.0 -19.2
Stanford Notre Dame 5.3 4.8 4.3
South Carolina Clemson -18.2 -16.7 -18.4
LSU Texas A&M 11.2 11.1 12.2
Fresno St. Boise St. -8.2 -7.7 -8.0
SMU Tulane 6.9 7.1 6.8
Oklahoma St. Kansas 41.7 37.8 43.5
Arizona St. Arizona 0.6 1.2 1.3
Oklahoma West Virginia 18.4 16.8 19.0
Oregon Oregon St. 16.6 14.9 17.3
New Mexico St. Idaho 9.9 7.5 9.1
Louisiana-Lafayette Georgia Southern 8.3 7.9 9.0
Tulsa Temple 5.1 3.9 4.7
Louisiana Tech UTSA -0.2 -0.5 -0.5
Memphis East Carolina 27.0 24.9 27.7
UAB UTEP 16.1 13.1 17.8
Auburn Alabama -7.3 -5.9 -6.0
Florida Florida St. -8.9 -8.4 -7.9
Hawaii BYU -3.4 -2.2 -3.6

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Retro Rankings

Based on what the teams have done for the entire season and not forward looking

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

PiRate Ratings For This Week

Forward Looking Predictive Ratings totally unrelated to rankings

PiRate Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 137.9 134.3 136.7 136.3
2 Ohio St. 132.2 129.9 132.6 131.6
3 Auburn 128.5 126.4 128.8 127.9
4 Clemson 128.6 126.1 128.1 127.6
5 Georgia 126.2 126.1 126.5 126.3
6 Oklahoma 125.1 123.9 125.9 125.0
7 Penn St. 125.2 124.1 125.5 124.9
8 Miami 125.4 123.7 124.6 124.6
9 Washington 125.0 122.9 124.9 124.3
10 Wisconsin 124.2 121.7 123.1 123.0
11 Oklahoma St. 120.6 119.9 121.0 120.5
12 T C U 119.8 118.1 120.1 119.3
13 U S C 119.4 118.6 119.0 119.0
14 Stanford 119.6 118.0 118.8 118.8
15 Virginia Tech 118.8 118.2 118.6 118.5
16 L S U 117.7 115.5 118.0 117.1
17 Notre Dame 117.3 116.2 117.6 117.0
18 Florida St. 116.7 115.8 115.2 115.9
19 N. Carolina St. 115.9 115.1 115.7 115.6
20 Louisville 115.8 114.9 115.6 115.4
21 Michigan 115.6 115.5 114.8 115.3
22 Central Florida 113.8 115.0 115.1 114.6
23 Washington St. 115.2 113.0 114.8 114.3
24 Mississippi St. 114.3 114.3 114.2 114.3
25 Texas 113.9 114.0 114.6 114.2
26 Northwestern 114.0 112.9 114.0 113.6
27 Wake Forest 113.5 111.6 113.7 112.9
28 Iowa State 112.5 112.6 113.5 112.9
29 Kansas St. 111.8 111.8 111.8 111.8
30 Iowa 110.9 111.2 110.1 110.8
31 Georgia Tech 111.9 109.8 110.5 110.7
32 Memphis 110.0 109.2 110.8 110.0
33 West Virginia 109.6 110.1 109.9 109.9
34 Boston College 109.7 109.6 109.6 109.6
35 Missouri 109.7 107.8 109.1 108.9
36 South Florida 109.0 108.2 109.3 108.8
37 Texas A&M 109.5 107.4 108.8 108.6
38 Duke 109.1 108.3 108.1 108.5
39 S. Carolina 108.9 107.9 108.1 108.3
40 Oregon 108.7 106.7 108.0 107.8
41 Kentucky 108.3 107.5 107.0 107.6
42 Boise St. 107.9 106.4 108.3 107.5
43 Arizona 107.3 105.9 106.3 106.5
44 Indiana 106.3 106.3 106.8 106.5
45 Utah 106.2 106.6 106.2 106.3
46 Arizona St. 106.5 105.5 106.1 106.0
47 Florida 106.3 105.9 105.8 106.0
48 Pittsburgh 106.1 105.8 105.8 105.9
49 Michigan St. 104.9 105.8 105.9 105.5
50 Colorado 106.5 105.1 104.5 105.3
51 Purdue 104.6 104.6 105.0 104.7
52 Syracuse 105.1 103.6 104.4 104.4
53 California 105.4 103.2 103.8 104.1
54 Ole Miss 104.7 103.4 103.5 103.9
55 U C L A 104.0 103.3 103.5 103.6
56 Texas Tech 103.4 103.3 102.9 103.2
57 Virginia 103.0 102.0 103.3 102.8
58 San Diego St. 102.2 102.2 103.3 102.6
59 Toledo 101.9 101.9 103.7 102.5
60 N. Carolina 102.9 102.0 102.0 102.3
61 Houston 101.9 101.7 101.9 101.8
62 Minnesota 101.8 102.7 100.9 101.8
63 Navy 100.7 101.2 101.0 100.9
64 Colo. State 101.3 100.3 101.1 100.9
65 Florida Atlantic 99.3 101.0 101.0 100.4
66 Army 99.5 99.5 99.8 99.6
67 Tennessee 99.9 98.3 98.1 98.8
68 Ohio U 98.0 99.4 98.9 98.8
69 Wyoming 99.3 98.2 98.6 98.7
70 Nebraska 98.6 99.1 98.1 98.6
71 Baylor 98.1 99.4 98.2 98.6
72 Maryland 98.3 99.6 97.7 98.5
73 Arkansas 98.8 98.1 98.5 98.5
74 SMU 97.8 98.3 98.1 98.1
75 Vanderbilt 98.5 97.7 97.2 97.8
76 Western Michigan 97.5 96.7 98.4 97.5
77 Fresno St. 96.7 95.7 97.3 96.6
78 Northern Illinois 96.1 95.9 97.2 96.4
79 Eastern Michigan 95.7 95.8 96.1 95.9
80 Tulsa 95.9 95.4 95.7 95.7
81 Troy 95.5 95.7 95.1 95.4
82 Central Michigan 94.7 95.1 95.5 95.1
83 Arkansas St. 94.3 95.5 95.5 95.1
84 Utah St. 95.3 94.4 95.1 94.9
85 Tulane 93.9 94.1 94.3 94.1
86 Temple 93.8 94.5 94.0 94.1
87 Oregon St. 94.1 93.9 92.6 93.5
88 Rutgers 93.7 93.4 93.4 93.5
89 Appalachian St. 93.6 92.4 93.4 93.1
90 Marshall 91.7 93.0 93.3 92.7
91 Air Force 91.9 92.4 91.8 92.0
92 W. Kentucky 90.4 90.6 91.1 90.7
93 Massachusetts 90.5 89.7 90.8 90.3
94 U T S A 89.2 91.4 90.2 90.2
95 Miami (O) 88.7 90.7 89.9 89.8
96 Nevada 88.7 90.4 89.8 89.6
97 Illinois 89.5 90.5 88.5 89.5
98 BYU 89.6 89.5 89.3 89.4
99 Akron 87.9 90.0 88.6 88.8
100 N. Texas 87.5 88.8 88.4 88.2
101 Middle Tennessee 86.6 87.7 87.6 87.3
102 Southern Miss. 86.7 87.8 87.2 87.2
103 Buffalo 85.6 87.8 87.5 87.0
104 U N L V 86.4 87.8 86.5 86.9
105 Louisiana Tech 86.0 87.8 86.6 86.8
106 East Carolina 86.0 87.3 86.1 86.5
107 N. Mexico St. 85.9 84.7 86.0 85.5
108 Florida Int’l. 84.7 85.4 85.3 85.2
109 Connecticut 84.4 86.2 84.6 85.1
110 Cincinnati 84.0 85.8 84.8 84.9
111 New Mexico 84.6 84.5 85.1 84.7
112 UL-Lafayette 84.0 84.9 84.0 84.3
113 Georgia St. 84.3 84.1 84.3 84.3
114 Old Dominion 82.6 85.0 82.9 83.5
115 UL-Monroe 83.0 83.8 82.2 83.0
116 Kansas 81.8 85.1 80.5 82.5
117 Hawaii 82.2 83.3 81.7 82.4
118 UAB 81.3 81.2 83.1 81.9
119 S. Alabama 80.7 82.7 80.9 81.4
120 Bowling Green 80.5 81.6 80.8 81.0
121 Idaho 79.1 80.2 79.9 79.7
122 Georgia Southern 78.6 80.0 78.0 78.9
123 Kent St. 73.7 75.2 74.0 74.3
124 Texas St. 73.6 75.7 72.9 74.1
125 Rice 72.8 74.2 73.2 73.4
126 Coastal Carolina 72.4 73.8 73.1 73.1
127 Charlotte 69.2 71.5 69.4 70.0
128 San Jose St. 69.5 69.8 68.6 69.3
129 U T E P 68.2 71.1 68.3 69.2
130 Ball St. 65.7 67.7 66.4 66.6

PiRate Ratings By Conference

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 7-0 10-0 113.8 115.0 115.1 114.6
South Florida 6-1 9-1 109.0 108.2 109.3 108.8
Temple 3-4 5-6 93.8 94.5 94.0 94.1
East Carolina 2-5 3-8 86.0 87.3 86.1 86.5
Connecticut 2-5 3-8 84.4 86.2 84.6 85.1
Cincinnati 1-6 3-8 84.0 85.8 84.8 84.9
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 6-1 9-1 110.0 109.2 110.8 110.0
Houston 4-3 6-4 101.9 101.7 101.9 101.8
Navy 4-3 6-4 100.7 101.2 101.0 100.9
SMU 3-4 6-5 97.8 98.3 98.1 98.1
Tulsa 1-6 2-9 95.9 95.4 95.7 95.7
Tulane 3-4 5-6 93.9 94.1 94.3 94.1
             
AAC Averages     97.6 98.1 98.0 97.9
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 7-1 10-1 128.6 126.1 128.1 127.6
Florida St. 3-5 4-6 116.7 115.8 115.2 115.9
N. Carolina St. 5-2 7-4 115.9 115.1 115.7 115.6
Louisville 4-4 7-4 115.8 114.9 115.6 115.4
Wake Forest 4-3 7-4 113.5 111.6 113.7 112.9
Boston College 3-4 6-5 109.7 109.6 109.6 109.6
Syracuse 2-5 4-7 105.1 103.6 104.4 104.4
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 7-0 10-0 125.4 123.7 124.6 124.6
Virginia Tech 4-3 8-3 118.8 118.2 118.6 118.5
Georgia Tech 4-4 5-5 111.9 109.8 110.5 110.7
Duke 2-5 5-6 109.1 108.3 108.1 108.5
Pittsburgh 2-5 4-7 106.1 105.8 105.8 105.9
Virginia 3-4 6-5 103.0 102.0 103.3 102.8
N. Carolina 1-6 3-8 102.9 102.0 102.0 102.3
             
ACC Averages     113.0 111.9 112.5 112.5
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 7-1 10-1 125.1 123.9 125.9 125.0
Oklahoma St. 5-3 8-3 120.6 119.9 121.0 120.5
T C U 6-2 9-2 119.8 118.1 120.1 119.3
Texas 5-3 6-5 113.9 114.0 114.6 114.2
Iowa State 5-3 7-4 112.5 112.6 113.5 112.9
Kansas St. 4-4 6-5 111.8 111.8 111.8 111.8
West Virginia 5-3 7-4 109.6 110.1 109.9 109.9
Texas Tech 2-6 5-6 103.4 103.3 102.9 103.2
Baylor 1-7 1-10 98.1 99.4 98.2 98.6
Kansas 0-8 1-10 81.8 85.1 80.5 82.5
             
Big 12 Averages     109.7 109.8 109.9 109.8
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 7-1 9-2 132.2 129.9 132.6 131.6
Penn St. 6-2 9-2 125.2 124.1 125.5 124.9
Michigan 5-3 8-3 115.6 115.5 114.8 115.3
Indiana 2-6 5-6 106.3 106.3 106.8 106.5
Michigan St. 6-2 8-3 104.9 105.8 105.9 105.5
Maryland 2-6 4-7 98.3 99.6 97.7 98.5
Rutgers 3-5 4-7 93.7 93.4 93.4 93.5
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 8-0 11-0 124.2 121.7 123.1 123.0
Northwestern 6-2 8-3 114.0 112.9 114.0 113.6
Iowa 3-5 6-5 110.9 111.2 110.1 110.8
Purdue 3-5 5-6 104.6 104.6 105.0 104.7
Minnesota 2-6 5-6 101.8 102.7 100.9 101.8
Nebraska 3-5 4-7 98.6 99.1 98.1 98.6
Illinois 0-8 2-9 89.5 90.5 88.5 89.5
             
Big Ten Averages     108.6 108.4 108.3 108.4
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Florida Atlantic 7-0 8-3 99.3 101.0 101.0 100.4
Marshall 4-3 7-4 91.7 93.0 93.3 92.7
W. Kentucky 4-3 6-5 90.4 90.6 91.1 90.7
Middle Tennessee 3-4 5-6 86.6 87.7 87.6 87.3
Florida Int’l. 4-3 6-4 84.7 85.4 85.3 85.2
Old Dominion 3-4 5-6 82.6 85.0 82.9 83.5
Charlotte 1-6 1-10 69.2 71.5 69.4 70.0
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 3-4 6-4 89.2 91.4 90.2 90.2
N. Texas 6-1 8-3 87.5 88.8 88.4 88.2
Southern Miss. 5-2 7-4 86.7 87.8 87.2 87.2
Louisiana Tech 3-4 5-6 86.0 87.8 86.6 86.8
UAB 5-2 7-4 81.3 81.2 83.1 81.9
Rice 1-6 1-10 72.8 74.2 73.2 73.4
U T E P 0-7 0-11 68.2 71.1 68.3 69.2
             
CUSA Averages     84.0 85.5 84.8 84.8
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   9-2 117.3 116.2 117.6 117.0
Army   8-3 99.5 99.5 99.8 99.6
Massachusetts   4-7 90.5 89.7 90.8 90.3
BYU   3-9 89.6 89.5 89.3 89.4
             
Indep. Averages     99.2 98.7 99.4 99.1
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio U 5-2 8-3 98.0 99.4 98.9 98.8
Miami (O) 3-4 4-7 88.7 90.7 89.9 89.8
Akron 5-2 6-5 87.9 90.0 88.6 88.8
Buffalo 3-4 5-6 85.6 87.8 87.5 87.0
Bowling Green 2-5 2-9 80.5 81.6 80.8 81.0
Kent St. 1-6 2-9 73.7 75.2 74.0 74.3
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Toledo 6-1 9-2 101.9 101.9 103.7 102.5
Western Michigan 4-3 6-5 97.5 96.7 98.4 97.5
Northern Illinois 6-1 8-3 96.1 95.9 97.2 96.4
Eastern Michigan 2-5 4-7 95.7 95.8 96.1 95.9
Central Michigan 5-2 7-4 94.7 95.1 95.5 95.1
Ball St. 0-7 2-9 65.7 67.7 66.4 66.6
             
MAC Averages     88.8 89.8 89.7 89.5
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 7-0 9-2 107.9 106.4 108.3 107.5
Colo. State 5-3 7-5 101.3 100.3 101.1 100.9
Wyoming 5-2 7-4 99.3 98.2 98.6 98.7
Utah St. 4-3 6-5 95.3 94.4 95.1 94.9
Air Force 3-4 4-7 91.9 92.4 91.8 92.0
New Mexico 1-6 3-8 84.6 84.5 85.1 84.7
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 5-2 9-2 102.2 102.2 103.3 102.6
Fresno St. 6-1 8-3 96.7 95.7 97.3 96.6
Nevada 2-5 2-9 88.7 90.4 89.8 89.6
U N L V 4-3 5-6 86.4 87.8 86.5 86.9
Hawaii 1-7 3-8 82.2 83.3 81.7 82.4
San Jose St. 0-7 1-11 69.5 69.8 68.6 69.3
             
MWC Averages     92.2 92.1 92.3 92.2
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 6-2 9-2 125.0 122.9 124.9 124.3
Stanford 7-2 8-3 119.6 118.0 118.8 118.8
Washington St. 6-2 9-2 115.2 113.0 114.8 114.3
Oregon 3-5 6-5 108.7 106.7 108.0 107.8
California 2-6 5-6 105.4 103.2 103.8 104.1
Oregon St. 0-8 1-10 94.1 93.9 92.6 93.5
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 8-1 10-2 119.4 118.6 119.0 119.0
Arizona 5-3 7-4 107.3 105.9 106.3 106.5
Utah 2-6 5-6 106.2 106.6 106.2 106.3
Arizona St. 5-3 6-5 106.5 105.5 106.1 106.0
Colorado 2-6 5-6 106.5 105.1 104.5 105.3
U C L A 3-5 5-6 104.0 103.3 103.5 103.6
             
Pac-12 Averages     109.8 108.5 109.0 109.1
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 7-1 10-1 126.2 126.1 126.5 126.3
Missouri 3-4 6-5 109.7 107.8 109.1 108.9
S. Carolina 5-3 8-3 108.9 107.9 108.1 108.3
Kentucky 4-4 7-4 108.3 107.5 107.0 107.6
Florida 3-5 4-6 106.3 105.9 105.8 106.0
Tennessee 0-7 4-7 99.9 98.3 98.1 98.8
Vanderbilt 0-7 4-7 98.5 97.7 97.2 97.8
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 7-0 11-0 137.9 134.3 136.7 136.3
Auburn 6-1 9-2 128.5 126.4 128.8 127.9
L S U 5-2 8-3 117.7 115.5 118.0 117.1
Mississippi St. 4-3 8-3 114.3 114.3 114.2 114.3
Texas A&M 4-3 7-4 109.5 107.4 108.8 108.6
Ole Miss 2-5 5-6 104.7 103.4 103.5 103.9
Arkansas 1-6 4-7 98.8 98.1 98.5 98.5
             
SEC Averages     112.1 110.8 111.5 111.4
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Troy 5-1 8-2 95.5 95.7 95.1 95.4
Arkansas St. 5-1 6-3 94.3 95.5 95.5 95.1
Appalachian St. 5-1 6-4 93.6 92.4 93.4 93.1
N. Mexico St. 2-4 4-6 85.9 84.7 86.0 85.5
UL-Lafayette 4-2 5-5 84.0 84.9 84.0 84.3
Georgia St. 5-1 6-3 84.3 84.1 84.3 84.3
UL-Monroe 4-3 4-6 83.0 83.8 82.2 83.0
S. Alabama 3-4 4-7 80.7 82.7 80.9 81.4
Idaho 2-4 3-7 79.1 80.2 79.9 79.7
Georgia Southern 1-5 1-9 78.6 80.0 78.0 78.9
Texas St. 1-6 2-9 73.6 75.7 72.9 74.1
Coastal Carolina 1-6 2-9 72.4 73.8 73.1 73.1
             
Sun Belt Averages     83.8 84.5 83.8 84.0

Conference Ratings

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 ACC 113.0 111.9 112.5 112.5
2 SEC 112.1 110.8 111.5 111.4
3 BIG 12 109.7 109.8 109.9 109.8
4 PAC-12 109.8 108.5 109.0 109.1
5 BIG TEN 108.6 108.4 108.3 108.4
6 INDEP. 99.2 98.7 99.4 99.1
7 AAC 97.6 98.1 98.0 97.9
8 MWC 92.2 92.1 92.3 92.2
9 MAC 88.8 89.8 89.7 89.5
10 CUSA 84.0 85.5 84.8 84.8
11 Sun Belt 83.8 84.5 83.8 84.0

Bowl Projections

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

Championship Games and Bowl Eligibles By Conference

If you are a fan of a team that will finish 5-6 or 5-7, you can forget your team playing in a bowl with a losing record this season.  In fact, we project two bowl eligible teams to miss out on all the fun this year, as we project 80 teams to be bowl eligible this season.

American Athletic

The UCF-USF winner this week will face Memphis for the conference championship.  It looks like UCF and Memphis will meet in Orlando in a rematch game.  UCF won the first one convincingly, but Memphis is several points better now than then.  The winner of this game almost assuredly plays in the New Year’s Six Bowl as the Group of 5 Representative, and it will more than likely be at the Peach Bowl.

Bowl Eligible: 6 (UCF, USF, Memphis, Navy, Houston, SMU)

5-Wins: Temple and Tulane

Temple must win at Tulsa, which is doable but less than 50-50.

Tulane must win at SMU, which is also doable but less than 50-50 and less then Temple’s chances.

Atlantic Coast 

Clemson will play Miami (Fla.) in Charlotte.  The winner has about a 92% chance of gaining a Playoff spot, while the loser will most likely get an Orange Bowl bid.

Bowl Eligible: 8 (Clemson, Wake Forest, Louisville, NC St., Boston College, Miami, Va. Tech, Virginia

5-Wins: Georgia Tech and Duke

Georgia Tech would have to pull off the monumental upset of Georgia, which they may have about a 3-5% chance of doing.

Duke must win at Wake Forest, and the Demon Deacons are playing like a top 20 team.  The Blue Devils beat Georgia Tech, so they could be peaking at the right time.

4-Wins: Florida St.

The Seminoles were able to reschedule their cancelled hurricane game with UL-Monroe, and now they can become bowl eligible by beating Florida and ULM.  We believe their chances to get to 6-6 are about 70-75% in their favor.

Big 12

Oklahoma has clinched the top seed in the renewal of the Big 12 Championship Game.  TCU needs to beat Baylor this week to get the number two seed.  If the Horn Frogs croak against the Bears, then Oklahoma St. will get the bid with a win over hapless Kansas.  There is a very remote chance that Iowa St. could still get in, but it would require too many things to take place.

Bowl Eligible: 7 (Oklahoma, TCU, Okla. St., Iowa St., Texas, West Virginia, Kansas St.)

5-Wins: Texas Tech

Texas Tech closes the season at Texas, and we believe the Longhorns will handle the Red Raiders and most likely end the Kliff Kingsbury era in Lubbock.

Big Ten

Wisconsin and Ohio State have clinched their divisions and will face off in the Big Ten Championship Game.  The Badgers’ defense may be up to the task to handle an inconsistent Buckeye offense.  If so, UW is Playoff-bound.  A Buckeye win opens the door for a one-loss Miami or one-loss Alabama team to get this bid, or if Miami and Alabama are unbeaten, there will be a big controversy over the #4 seed between a 2-loss Ohio State, Georgia, USC, and Notre Dame, and maybe even an undefeated UCF if they win their last two games.

Bowl Eligible: 7 (but guaranteed to have 8) (Ohio St., Penn St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa)

5-Wins: Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota.

Indiana and Purdue play for the Old Oaken Bucket and a bowl bid, as the winner will be 6-6.

Minnesota must beat undefeated Wisconsin to finish 6-6.  With the Gophers’ offense struggling, and the Badgers defense peaking, UW could win this won in an ugly fashion in the neighborhood of 20-6.

Conference USA

This conference is going to strike it rich this bowl season with a possible 10 teams playing in December.

First, Florida Atlantic and North Texas will square off in one of the potentially best championship games in this league’s history.  Win or lose, we are hearing from sources that the Boca Raton Bowl would love to invite hometown team FAU.

Bowl Eligible: 8 (guaranteed to have 9) (Florida Atlantic, Florida Int’l., Marshall, Western Kentucky, North Texas, UAB, Southern Miss, UTSA)

5-Wins: Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech

Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion play each other in Murfreesboro this week, so the winner will become bowl eligible.

Louisiana Tech hosts UTSA with a slumping offense, and we give the Bulldogs a 70% chance of winning this game and becoming the 10th bowl eligible CUSA team.  There will be slots available possibly for all 10 teams, and it is possible that two CUSA could face off in a bowl.

Independents

Army is 8-3 with the Navy game remaining.  The Black Knights are Armed Forces Bowl bound.

Notre Dame actually counts with the ACC teams, so they are part of the ACC package, and we believe the Irish will  be enjoying Oranges this year, but only if they get by Stanford this week,.

Mid-American

Akron beat Ohio to win the Eastern Division title.  The Zips will play Toledo or Northern Illinois.  TU can clinch the Western Division title with a win at home against Western Michigan or a Northern Illinois loss at Central Michigan.  NIU can win if they beat CMU and WMU beats Toledo.

This league will receive an extra bid and possibly two extra bids.  See Below

Bowl Eligible: 6 (Akron, Ohio, Toledo, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Central Michigan)

5-Wins: Buffalo

Buffalo hosts Ohio U this week, and a Bulls win will give them a 6-6 record.  There is a catch.  Buffalo most likely needs Louisiana Tech or Florida State to lose this week to guarantee a decent shot at a bowl.  We have the Bulls as team #79 in a 78-team bowl field.  There is another little possibility that could help Buffalo get over the top ahead of another bowl eligible team.  The MAC has two secondary bowl agreements, with the Quick Lane and the Foster Farms bowls.

Toledo at 10-2 might be attractive enough for the Foster Farms Bowl to invite the Rockets west to face Oregon, Stanford, Washington, or California.  The Quick Lane is most likely going to need a MAC team as well, so Buffalo could sneak in to a bowl through this back door ahead of a 10th CUSA team.

Mountain West

Here is where a conference championship game will not be as exciting as it should be, unless something really interesting takes place this week.  Boise State and Fresno State have clinched berths in the MWC Championship Game, but the two teams close out the regular season facing each other, so it will be an immediate rematch.  The Las Vegas Bowl bid goes to the winner of the second game.  Even if the Conference Champion loses by 50 points this week and wins by 1 next week, that team gets the Las Vegas Bowl bid.

Bowl Eligible: 6 (Boise St., Colorado St., Wyoming, Utah St., Fresno St., San Diego St.)

5-Wins: UNLV

The Runnin’ Rebels must win their rivalry game against Nevada, and they must do it in Reno.  UNLV has about a 50-50 shot at pulling it off, giving the MWC 7 bowl teams for 5 bowls.  Two at-large slots will be waiting for the 6th and 7th teams.

Pac-12

USC has clinched the South Division, and the Trojans hold a very minute chance of sneaking into the Playoffs.  More than likely, they are playing in the Pac-12 Championship Game for a berth in the Fiesta Bowl.

The North Division is still up for grabs between Washington State and Stanford.  If Washington State wins the Apple Cup, then the Pirate Mike Leach will have his team in the Championship Game.  If Washington wins, then Stanford takes the treasure away from the Pirate.

The bigger news in the Pac-12 is the firing of UCLA coach Jim Mora, Jr.  The Bruins still have a game to go at home against California, and the winner will be bowl eligible.  UCLA is actually hoping it can win the Chip Kelly Bowl.  Kelly is rumored to be headed to Westwood, but it is not confirmed.

Bowl Eligible: 7 (but guaranteed to have 9) (Washington St., Stanford, Washington, Oregon, USC, Arizona St., Arizona)

5-Win Teams: California, UCLA, Utah, Colorado

Cal plays at UCLA, and the Bears hope they can swim with the Fisch’s.  Jedd Fisch will be UCLA coach for one or two games.

Colorado visits Utah, so the winner of that game will also be bowl eligible.

Look for the Pac-12 to place 2 at-large teams in bowls back east, most likely the two winners this week.

Southeastern

Normally a league with double digit bowl participants, the SEC is only going to have 9 teams playing in the postseason.

Georgia is waiting for the winner of the Iron Bowl to face off in the SEC Championship Game.  Auburn has become the sexy choice to knock off the number one Crimson Tide, but us old Buccaneers believe this just won’t happen.  We have Alabama set to be the top seed in the Playoffs, hosting team number four in the Sugar Bowl.

Bowl Eligible: 9 (Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi St., Texas A&M)

5-Wins: None

Sun Belt

They have 12 teams in this league, but there is no championship game in the SBC.  The Sun Belt is most likely to have extra teams, including team number 80, or the second bowl eligible team left out of all the fun.

There are two weeks left in the SBC regular season, so there are some 4-6 teams still alive in the bowl hunt.

Bowl Eligible: 4 (Troy, Georgia St., Arkansas St., Appalachian St.)

5-Wins: UL-Lafayette

The Ragin’ Cajuns have two games left and need to win just one to most likely get their New Orleans Bowl bid that they always seem to get whenever they are bowl eligible.  ULL hosts 1-9 Georgia Southern this week and should secure their sixth win.  They finish at Appy State, where they are most likely to lose.

4-Wins: UL-Monroe and New Mexico St.

UL-Monroe has less than 0.5% chance of beating Arkansas St. at home this week and then winning at Florida St. the week after.  So, the Warhawks are basically out of the picture.

New Mexico St. has at least a 50-50 chance of finishing the season with wins over Idaho and South Alabama, both games in Las Cruces.  However, the Aggies do not have a great shot at getting into their first bowl since the 1960 Sun Bowl.  NMSU is leaving the Sun Belt and will become an independent next year.  The SBC has a history of being a tad bush league by shunning teams leaving their conference.  The Aggies have already told the league they can only accept bids to bowls close to home, and we believe they will get to spend the holidays very close to home, because they will not be invited to a bowl if they finish 6-6.  Of course, if two from Louisiana Tech, Buffalo, and Florida State lose, and if Duke loses to Wake Forest and Minnesota loses to Wisconsin, then the Aggies will get an invitation at 6-6.  Whether or not they accept it, we cannot predict.

We here at the PiRate Ratings hope you have a festive Thanksgiving holiday.  Don’t let your tummy be the biggest loser this week.  Pace yourself and try to get some exercise.

Our schedule will be a little different this week.  We are putting out our Monday edition today on Sunday.  We will have both the NFL ratings and Money Line picks on Tuesday, and then we will return next Sunday night or Monday morning.

Thank You to all our followers.  You have made 2017 a record year for PiRate Rating readership.  A lot of you came on board back during March Madness, because we were very lucky to successfully pick all 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament.  Our basketball coverage will return just after New Year’s, as our ratings need all the teams to play 8 games before they make any sense.

 

November 13, 2017

PiRate Ratings College Football Forecast for November 14-18, 2017

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Akron Ohio -10.3 -9.0 -10.9
Kent St. Central Michigan -18.5 -17.4 -19.0
Bowling Green Toledo -17.1 -16.1 -18.2
Miami (O) Eastern Michigan -4.6 -2.7 -3.9
Northern Illinois Western Michigan 1.2 1.9 1.4
Ball St. Buffalo -16.9 -17.1 -18.3
South Florida Tulsa 18.3 17.4 19.4
Western Kentucky Middle Tennessee 7.0 5.8 6.8
New Mexico UNLV 1.8 0.1 2.4
Indiana Rutgers 8.3 9.0 8.7
Georgia Kentucky 19.6 20.5 20.7
East Carolina Cincinnati -3.0 -3.2 -4.3
Duke Georgia Tech -7.3 -5.2 -7.3
Virginia Tech Pittsburgh 17.3 16.8 17.6
Temple Central Florida -15.1 -16.0 -15.9
Wake Forest North Carolina St. -2.4 -3.5 -2.5
Louisville Syracuse 6.2 6.8 6.7
Northwestern Minnesota 7.8 5.8 8.5
Michigan St. Maryland 9.6 9.2 11.4
West Virginia Texas 2.3 2.3 2.3
Kansas Oklahoma -40.0 -35.4 -42.2
Wyoming Fresno St. 8.6 8.2 7.4
Boise St. Air Force 17.1 15.2 17.3
Utah St. Hawaii 12.0 10.2 11.9
Old Dominion Rice 14.6 15.6 14.7
Southern Miss. Charlotte 15.0 13.8 15.2
BYU Massachusetts 3.3 4.0 2.7
UTEP Louisiana Tech -14.5 -13.4 -15.0
Georgia Southern South Alabama -9.1 -9.7 -9.9
Texas Tech TCU -11.5 -9.8 -12.3
Iowa Purdue 13.0 12.9 12.2
Oregon Arizona 0.6 0.5 0.4
Ohio St. Illinois 46.7 43.4 48.1
Florida UAB 27.3 23.8 24.4
Oregon St. Arizona St. -7.9 -7.5 -9.1
Memphis SMU 13.2 12.2 13.4
Miami (Fla.) Virginia 27.4 26.4 26.8
Baylor Iowa St. -11.6 -10.3 -12.7
Arkansas Mississippi St. -12.9 -13.5 -13.5
Vanderbilt Missouri -6.6 -5.4 -7.2
Washington Utah 25.1 21.7 25.4
Auburn UL-Monroe 49.5 46.6 50.5
Oklahoma St. Kansas St. 16.5 15.4 17.3
Colorado St. San Jose St. 35.2 33.9 35.9
Penn St. Nebraska 32.1 29.9 33.3
Tennessee LSU -14.4 -13.8 -16.5
Notre Dame Navy 20.9 18.7 21.3
Tulane Houston -7.7 -6.9 -7.7
UL-Lafayatte New Mexico St. -2.4 0.6 -2.7
Idaho Coastal Carolina 13.8 13.6 13.9
North Texas Army -12.1 -10.2 -11.8
Arkansas St. Texas St. 24.2 23.1 26.0
Florida Atlantic Florida Int’l. 13.4 15.1 14.2
Boston College (n) Connecticut 26.7 24.4 26.5
UTSA Marshall 0.3 1.3 -0.5
Ole Miss Texas A&M -1.0 -0.4 -1.3
Wisconsin Michigan 11.1 8.6 10.6
USC UCLA 17.8 17.5 18.3
Stanford California 16.9 17.3 18.3
San Diego St. Nevada 16.1 14.2 15.8

FBS vs. FCS Games

Home Visitor PiRate
Clemson Citadel 50.0
Alabama Mercer 49.0
Florida St. Delaware St. 50.0
North Carolina Western Carolina 24.0
South Carolina Wofford 27.0

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

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

 

 

PiRate Predictive Ratings
# Team PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 Alabama 137.6 134.0 136.4 136.0
2 Ohio St. 132.7 130.4 133.1 132.1
3 Auburn 129.0 126.9 129.3 128.4
4 Clemson 128.1 125.6 127.6 127.1
5 Penn St. 126.6 125.2 127.1 126.3
6 Washington 126.8 124.3 126.9 126.0
7 Georgia 125.5 125.6 125.6 125.6
8 Miami 126.3 124.4 125.7 125.5
9 Oklahoma 125.0 123.7 125.8 124.8
10 Oklahoma St. 123.1 122.2 123.7 123.0
11 Wisconsin 123.8 121.2 122.6 122.6
12 Stanford 120.2 118.5 119.7 119.5
13 U S C 119.7 118.8 119.5 119.3
14 Virginia Tech 119.6 118.9 119.5 119.3
15 T C U 118.6 116.9 118.9 118.1
16 Notre Dame 118.2 116.8 118.7 117.9
17 L S U 117.5 115.3 117.8 116.9
18 N. Carolina St. 116.9 116.1 116.9 116.6
19 Michigan 115.7 115.7 115.0 115.5
20 Florida St. 116.2 115.3 114.7 115.4
21 Mississippi St. 114.5 114.5 114.6 114.5
22 Georgia Tech 115.5 113.0 114.3 114.3
23 Washington St. 114.9 112.7 114.5 114.0
24 Central Florida 112.7 114.1 113.8 113.6
25 Iowa State 112.6 112.6 113.7 113.0
26 Iowa 112.9 113.0 112.3 112.8
27 Texas 112.1 112.4 112.6 112.4
28 Louisville 112.3 111.4 112.1 111.9
29 Wake Forest 112.5 110.6 112.5 111.8
30 West Virginia 111.4 111.7 111.9 111.7
31 Northwestern 110.4 109.3 110.3 110.0
32 South Florida 110.1 109.0 110.7 109.9
33 Boston College 109.9 109.6 109.9 109.8
34 Kansas St. 109.6 109.8 109.4 109.6
35 Memphis 108.8 108.1 109.4 108.7
36 S. Carolina 109.1 108.1 108.3 108.5
37 Arizona 109.2 107.6 108.4 108.4
38 Syracuse 109.1 107.6 108.4 108.4
39 Kentucky 109.0 108.0 107.9 108.3
40 Texas A&M 109.1 107.1 108.3 108.2
41 Missouri 108.5 106.6 107.8 107.6
42 Boise St. 107.0 105.5 107.2 106.6
43 Oregon 106.8 105.0 105.9 105.9
44 Florida 106.2 105.6 105.4 105.7
45 Minnesota 105.6 106.5 104.8 105.6
46 Michigan St. 104.9 105.8 106.0 105.6
47 Arizona St. 105.8 104.9 105.4 105.4
48 Duke 105.7 105.3 104.5 105.2
49 Pittsburgh 105.3 105.1 104.9 105.1
50 Colorado 106.2 104.8 104.2 105.0
51 Utah 104.7 105.5 104.5 104.9
52 Texas Tech 104.6 104.5 104.1 104.4
53 Ole Miss 105.1 103.7 104.0 104.3
54 California 104.8 102.7 102.9 103.5
55 Houston 103.4 103.0 103.6 103.3
56 Indiana 102.9 103.1 103.2 103.1
57 Purdue 102.9 103.1 103.1 103.0
58 U C L A 103.4 102.8 102.7 103.0
59 San Diego St. 102.0 101.9 102.9 102.3
60 Virginia 101.8 101.0 101.9 101.6
61 N. Carolina 102.1 101.2 101.2 101.5
62 Toledo 100.7 100.8 102.4 101.3
63 Colo. State 101.5 100.5 101.3 101.1
64 Army 100.9 100.6 101.4 101.0
65 Navy 100.3 101.1 100.4 100.6
66 Wyoming 100.7 99.4 100.0 100.0
67 Ohio U 99.1 100.2 100.2 99.8
68 Vanderbilt 99.9 99.1 98.7 99.2
69 Florida Atlantic 98.0 100.0 99.5 99.2
70 Tennessee 100.1 98.5 98.3 99.0
71 SMU 98.5 98.9 99.0 98.8
72 Maryland 98.3 99.6 97.6 98.5
73 Baylor 98.0 99.4 98.0 98.5
74 Arkansas 98.6 97.9 98.1 98.2
75 Western Michigan 97.7 96.8 98.6 97.7
76 Nebraska 97.5 98.3 96.8 97.5
77 Rutgers 97.6 97.1 97.5 97.4
78 Northern Illinois 95.9 95.8 97.0 96.2
79 Eastern Michigan 95.8 95.8 96.2 95.9
80 Arkansas St. 94.5 95.7 95.7 95.3
81 Troy 95.2 95.4 94.8 95.1
82 Central Michigan 94.7 95.1 95.5 95.1
83 Fresno St. 95.0 94.2 95.6 95.0
84 Temple 94.6 95.1 95.0 94.9
85 Tulsa 94.8 94.6 94.3 94.6
86 Oregon St. 94.8 94.5 93.3 94.2
87 Air Force 92.8 93.3 92.9 93.0
88 Tulane 92.7 93.1 92.9 92.9
89 Appalachian St. 93.3 92.1 93.1 92.8
90 Marshall 91.8 93.0 93.5 92.8
91 Utah St. 92.6 91.8 92.2 92.2
92 W. Kentucky 90.7 90.8 91.5 91.0
93 U T S A 89.1 91.4 90.0 90.1
94 Massachusetts 90.3 89.5 90.6 90.1
95 BYU 90.1 90.0 89.8 89.9
96 Nevada 88.9 90.7 90.2 89.9
97 Miami (O) 88.6 90.7 89.8 89.7
98 Illinois 89.0 90.0 88.0 89.0
99 Cincinnati 87.9 89.5 89.0 88.8
100 Akron 86.8 89.2 87.3 87.8
101 N. Mexico St. 87.6 86.0 87.9 87.2
102 Buffalo 85.6 87.8 87.6 87.0
103 Middle Tennessee 86.3 87.5 87.2 87.0
104 U N L V 86.1 87.6 86.1 86.6
105 N. Texas 85.8 87.4 86.5 86.6
106 S. Alabama 85.7 87.7 85.9 86.4
107 Louisiana Tech 85.6 87.4 86.2 86.4
108 Florida Int’l. 86.0 86.4 86.8 86.4
109 New Mexico 84.9 84.7 85.5 85.0
110 Connecticut 84.2 86.2 84.3 84.9
111 Hawaii 84.6 85.6 84.3 84.8
112 Southern Miss. 84.2 85.3 84.7 84.7
113 Old Dominion 83.5 85.9 83.9 84.4
114 Georgia St. 84.0 83.8 84.0 84.0
115 UAB 81.4 84.2 83.5 83.0
116 East Carolina 82.4 83.9 82.2 82.8
117 UL-Lafayette 82.3 83.6 82.1 82.7
118 Kansas 81.9 85.3 80.6 82.6
119 UL-Monroe 82.5 83.3 81.7 82.5
120 Bowling Green 81.7 82.7 82.1 82.2
121 Idaho 81.1 82.2 81.9 81.7
122 Georgia Southern 74.6 76.0 74.0 74.9
123 Kent St. 73.7 75.2 74.0 74.3
124 Texas St. 73.4 75.5 72.7 73.9
125 Charlotte 72.2 74.5 72.4 73.0
126 Rice 71.9 73.3 72.2 72.5
127 Coastal Carolina 70.7 72.1 71.4 71.4
128 U T E P 68.6 71.5 68.7 69.6
129 San Jose St. 69.3 69.6 68.4 69.1
130 Ball St. 65.7 67.7 66.3 66.6

 

American Athletic Conference
East Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Central Florida 6-0 9-0 112.7 114.1 113.8 113.6
South Florida 5-1 8-1 110.1 109.0 110.7 109.9
Temple 3-3 5-5 94.6 95.1 95.0 94.9
Cincinnati 1-5 3-7 87.9 89.5 89.0 88.8
Connecticut 2-5 3-7 84.2 86.2 84.3 84.9
East Carolina 1-5 2-8 82.4 83.9 82.2 82.8
             
West Division            
Team AAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Memphis 5-1 8-1 108.8 108.1 109.4 108.7
Houston 4-2 6-3 103.4 103.0 103.6 103.3
Navy 4-3 6-3 100.3 101.1 100.4 100.6
SMU 3-3 6-4 98.5 98.9 99.0 98.8
Tulsa 1-5 2-8 94.8 94.6 94.3 94.6
Tulane 2-4 4-6 92.7 93.1 92.9 92.9
             
AAC Averages     97.5 98.0 97.9 97.8
             
Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Clemson 7-1 9-1 128.1 125.6 127.6 127.1
N. Carolina St. 5-1 7-3 116.9 116.1 116.9 116.6
Florida St. 3-5 3-6 116.2 115.3 114.7 115.4
Louisville 3-4 6-4 112.3 111.4 112.1 111.9
Wake Forest 3-3 6-4 112.5 110.6 112.5 111.8
Boston College 3-4 5-5 109.9 109.6 109.9 109.8
Syracuse 2-4 4-6 109.1 107.6 108.4 108.4
             
Coastal Division            
Team ACC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Miami 6-0 9-0 126.3 124.4 125.7 125.5
Virginia Tech 3-3 7-3 119.6 118.9 119.5 119.3
Georgia Tech 4-3 5-4 115.5 113.0 114.3 114.3
Duke 1-5 4-6 105.7 105.3 104.5 105.2
Pittsburgh 2-4 4-6 105.3 105.1 104.9 105.1
Virginia 3-3 6-4 101.8 101.0 101.9 101.6
N. Carolina 1-6 2-8 102.1 101.2 101.2 101.5
             
ACC Averages     113.0 111.8 112.4 112.4
             
Big 12 Conference
Team B12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Oklahoma 6-1 9-1 125.0 123.7 125.8 124.8
Oklahoma St. 5-2 8-2 123.1 122.2 123.7 123.0
T C U 5-2 8-2 118.6 116.9 118.9 118.1
Iowa State 4-3 5-5 112.6 112.6 113.7 113.0
Texas 4-3 5-5 112.1 112.4 112.6 112.4
West Virginia 5-2 7-3 111.4 111.7 111.9 111.7
Kansas St. 3-4 5-5 109.6 109.8 109.4 109.6
Texas Tech 2-5 5-5 104.6 104.5 104.1 104.4
Baylor 1-6 1-9 98.0 99.4 98.0 98.5
Kansas 0-7 1-9 81.9 85.3 80.6 82.6
             
Big 12 Averages     109.7 109.8 109.9 109.8
             
Big Ten Conference
East Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio St. 6-1 8-2 132.7 130.4 133.1 132.1
Penn St. 5-2 8-2 126.6 125.2 127.1 126.3
Michigan 5-2 8-2 115.7 115.7 115.0 115.5
Michigan St. 5-2 7-3 104.9 105.8 106.0 105.6
Indiana 1-6 4-6 102.9 103.1 103.2 103.1
Maryland 2-5 4-6 98.3 99.6 97.6 98.5
Rutgers 3-4 4-6 97.6 97.1 97.5 97.4
             
West Division            
Team BTen Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Wisconsin 7-0 10-0 123.8 121.2 122.6 122.6
Iowa 3-4 6-4 112.9 113.0 112.3 112.8
Northwestern 5-2 7-3 110.4 109.3 110.3 110.0
Minnesota 2-5 5-5 105.6 106.5 104.8 105.6
Purdue 2-5 4-6 102.9 103.1 103.1 103.0
Nebraska 3-4 4-6 97.5 98.3 96.8 97.5
Illinois 0-7 2-8 89.0 90.0 88.0 89.0
             
Big Ten Averages     108.6 108.4 108.4 108.5
             
Conference USA
East Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Florida Atlantic 6-0 7-3 98.0 100.0 99.5 99.2
Marshall 4-2 7-3 91.8 93.0 93.5 92.8
W. Kentucky 3-3 5-5 90.7 90.8 91.5 91.0
Middle Tennessee 3-3 5-5 86.3 87.5 87.2 87.0
Florida Int’l. 4-2 6-3 86.0 86.4 86.8 86.4
Old Dominion 2-4 4-6 83.5 85.9 83.9 84.4
Charlotte 1-5 1-9 72.2 74.5 72.4 73.0
             
West Division            
Team CUSA Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U T S A 2-4 5-4 89.1 91.4 90.0 90.1
N. Texas 6-1 7-3 85.8 87.4 86.5 86.6
Louisiana Tech 2-4 4-6 85.6 87.4 86.2 86.4
Southern Miss. 4-2 6-4 84.2 85.3 84.7 84.7
UAB 5-2 7-3 81.4 84.2 83.5 83.0
Rice 1-5 1-9 71.9 73.3 72.2 72.5
U T E P 0-6 0-10 68.6 71.5 68.7 69.6
             
CUSA Averages     83.9 85.6 84.8 84.8
             
FBS Independents
Team   Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Notre Dame   8-2 118.2 116.8 118.7 117.9
Army   8-2 100.9 100.6 101.4 101.0
Massachusetts   3-7 90.3 89.5 90.6 90.1
BYU   3-8 90.1 90.0 89.8 89.9
             
Indep. Averages     99.9 99.2 100.1 99.7
             
Mid-American Conference
East Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Ohio U 5-1 8-2 99.1 100.2 100.2 99.8
Miami (O) 3-3 4-6 88.6 90.7 89.8 89.7
Akron 4-2 5-5 86.8 89.2 87.3 87.8
Buffalo 2-4 4-6 85.6 87.8 87.6 87.0
Bowling Green 2-4 2-8 81.7 82.7 82.1 82.2
Kent St. 1-5 2-8 73.7 75.2 74.0 74.3
             
West Division            
Team MAC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Toledo 5-1 8-2 100.7 100.8 102.4 101.3
Western Michigan 4-2 6-4 97.7 96.8 98.6 97.7
Northern Illinois 5-1 7-3 95.9 95.8 97.0 96.2
Eastern Michigan 1-5 3-7 95.8 95.8 96.2 95.9
Central Michigan 4-2 6-4 94.7 95.1 95.5 95.1
Ball St. 0-6 2-8 65.7 67.7 66.3 66.6
             
MAC Averages     88.8 89.8 89.7 89.5
             
Mountain West Conference
Mountain Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Boise St. 6-0 8-2 107.0 105.5 107.2 106.6
Colo. State 4-3 6-5 101.5 100.5 101.3 101.1
Wyoming 5-1 7-3 100.7 99.4 100.0 100.0
Air Force 3-3 4-6 92.8 93.3 92.9 93.0
Utah St. 3-3 5-5 92.6 91.8 92.2 92.2
New Mexico 1-5 3-7 84.9 84.7 85.5 85.0
             
West Division            
Team MWC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
San Diego St. 4-2 8-2 102.0 101.9 102.9 102.3
Fresno St. 5-1 7-3 95.0 94.2 95.6 95.0
Nevada 2-4 2-8 88.9 90.7 90.2 89.9
U N L V 3-3 4-6 86.1 87.6 86.1 86.6
Hawaii 1-6 3-7 84.6 85.6 84.3 84.8
San Jose St. 0-6 1-10 69.3 69.6 68.4 69.1
             
MWC Averages     92.1 92.1 92.2 92.1
             
Pac-12 Conference
North Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Washington 5-2 8-2 126.8 124.3 126.9 126.0
Stanford 6-2 7-3 120.2 118.5 119.7 119.5
Washington St. 6-2 9-2 114.9 112.7 114.5 114.0
Oregon 2-5 5-5 106.8 105.0 105.9 105.9
California 2-5 5-5 104.8 102.7 102.9 103.5
Oregon St. 0-7 1-9 94.8 94.5 93.3 94.2
             
South Division            
Team P12 Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
U S C 7-1 9-2 119.7 118.8 119.5 119.3
Arizona 5-2 7-3 109.2 107.6 108.4 108.4
Arizona St. 4-3 5-5 105.8 104.9 105.4 105.4
Colorado 2-6 5-6 106.2 104.8 104.2 105.0
Utah 2-5 5-5 104.7 105.5 104.5 104.9
U C L A 3-4 5-5 103.4 102.8 102.7 103.0
             
Pac-12 Averages     109.8 108.5 109.0 109.1
             
Southeastern Conference
East Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Georgia 6-1 9-1 125.5 125.6 125.6 125.6
S. Carolina 5-3 7-3 109.1 108.1 108.3 108.5
Kentucky 4-3 7-3 109.0 108.0 107.9 108.3
Missouri 2-4 5-5 108.5 106.6 107.8 107.6
Florida 3-5 3-6 106.2 105.6 105.4 105.7
Vanderbilt 0-6 4-6 99.9 99.1 98.7 99.2
Tennessee 0-6 4-6 100.1 98.5 98.3 99.0
             
West Division            
Team SEC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Alabama 7-0 10-0 137.6 134.0 136.4 136.0
Auburn 6-1 8-2 129.0 126.9 129.3 128.4
L S U 4-2 7-3 117.5 115.3 117.8 116.9
Mississippi St. 3-3 7-3 114.5 114.5 114.6 114.5
Texas A&M 3-3 6-4 109.1 107.1 108.3 108.2
Ole Miss 2-4 5-5 105.1 103.7 104.0 104.3
Arkansas 1-5 4-6 98.6 97.9 98.1 98.2
             
SEC Averages     112.1 110.8 111.5 111.5
             
Sunbelt Conference
Team SBC Overall PiRate Mean Bias Average
Arkansas St. 4-1 5-3 94.5 95.7 95.7 95.3
Troy 5-1 8-2 95.2 95.4 94.8 95.1
Appalachian St. 5-1 6-4 93.3 92.1 93.1 92.8
N. Mexico St. 2-3 4-5 87.6 86.0 87.9 87.2
S. Alabama 3-3 4-6 85.7 87.7 85.9 86.4
Georgia St. 5-1 6-3 84.0 83.8 84.0 84.0
UL-Lafayette 3-2 4-5 82.3 83.6 82.1 82.7
UL-Monroe 4-3 4-5 82.5 83.3 81.7 82.5
Idaho 2-3 3-6 81.1 82.2 81.9 81.7
Georgia Southern 0-5 0-9 74.6 76.0 74.0 74.9
Texas St. 1-5 2-8 73.4 75.5 72.7 73.9
Coastal Carolina 0-6 1-9 70.7 72.1 71.4 71.4
             
Sun Belt Averages     83.7 84.5 83.8 84.0

Conference Ratings

# League PiRate Mean Bias Average
1 ACC 113.0 111.8 112.4 112.4
2 SEC 112.1 110.8 111.5 111.5
3 BIG 12 109.7 109.8 109.9 109.8
4 PAC-12 109.8 108.5 109.0 109.1
5 BIG TEN 108.6 108.4 108.4 108.5
6 INDEP. 99.9 99.2 100.1 99.7
7 AAC 97.5 98.0 97.9 97.8
8 MWC 92.1 92.1 92.2 92.1
9 MAC 88.8 89.8 89.7 89.5
10 CUSA 83.9 85.6 84.8 84.8
11 Sun Belt 83.7 84.5 83.8 84.0

Playoff and Bowl Projections

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

Who Should Be National Coach of the Year
If Alabama wins the National Championship this year with a perfect 15-0 record, Nick Saban would be the odds-on favorite to win the National Coach of the Year Award. Playing in a very tough SEC Western Division and adding a win over Georgia, plus two in the Playoffs, it would be hard to argue with anybody that voted Saban number one on their ballots.

However, we here at the PiRate Ratings not only do not think Saban should be the National Coach of the Year, he shouldn’t be the State of Alabama Coach of the Year!
This is not a knock against Saban. In our opinion, Saban’s coaching job this year would be the same as Swen Nater as the second best center in the nation in 1972 and 1973 when he was at UCLA (unfortunately, number one was Bill Walton).

If you are over the age of 50 like so many of our readers, you remember SMU receiving the death penalty, not being allowed to play for two years. When the Mustangs returned to college football, they suffered through years and years of very weak football seasons. It was a new century before the Mustangs finally returned to a bowl.

What would you have thought of any coach that not only could have quickly taken SMU to a bowl in its first year back in football? That SMU coach that helped bring SMU back to football was none other than the greatest offensive tackle in NFL history–Forrest Gregg.  The job was too hard, and SMU won just four games in its first three years back in business.

A similar instance has presented the college football nation with another team not playing football for two seasons before returning this year. UAB dropped football for financial reasons after finishing 6-6 in 2014. The Blazers were expected to struggle mightily in their first season back in FBS football, being lucky to win a game this year. Except, nobody told Coach Bill Clark that his team was not supposed to come within one game of the CUSA West Division title and become bowl eligible, but that is exactly where UAB sits through 10 games of the season. The Blazers are 7-3, and Clark deserves serious consideration for NCOY; nobody has done a better job than Clark.
The Conference Races & Bowl Eligibility
Around the first of February every year, college basketball fans start looking in earnest at which teams appear to be in the NCAA Tournament, which are on “the bubble,” and which appear to be headed to a lesser tournament or none at all. In the Playoff era of FBS football, somebody should start something similar. So, here is a list for each conference.

Group of 5 Conferences
American Athletic Conference
Bowl Eligible: 6 — Central Florida, South Florida, Memphis, Houston, Navy, SMU
5-Win Teams: 1 — Temple
4-Win Teams: 1 — Tulane
Bowl Tie-ins: 7
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 7 (but the champion is likely to receive the NY6 Bowl bid, leaving this league one team short in its needs to fill its bowl tie-ins.

Central Florida leads the race for the one New Year’s Six Bowl slot that goes to a Group of 5 team, but Memphis has just one loss (to UCF). Should the Tigers beat UCF in a rematch at the AAC Championship Game, then Memphis could take the NY6 Bowl. USF is still in contention for this spot as well.

Temple needs one more win. The Owls host Central Florida this week in what should be a trap game for the Knights. TU closes the year out with a road game against Tulsa, so Temple has a decent chance to pick up win number six in the finale.

Tulane must upset Houston and SMU to become bowl eligible, and we do not see the Green Wave toppling either team.

Conference USA
Bowl Eligible: 6 — Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Florida Int’l., North Texas, UAB, Southern Miss.
5-Win Teams: 3 — Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, UTSA
4-Win Teams: 2 — Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech
Bowl Tie-ins: 6
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 9

Florida Atlantic has a two-game lead over Marshall and FIU, and Lane Kiffin has said this is the mosr rewarding season he has experienced as a coach. North Texas has already clinched the Western Division.

The three 5-win teams have excellent chances to get to six wins, and this should give thie league multiple at-large bowl teams. There will be enough open bowls for all nine bowl-eligible teams to receive bids.

Mid-American
Bowl Eligible: 5 — Ohio, Toledo, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Central Michigan
5-Win Teams: 1 — Akron
4-Win Teams: 2 — Miami (O), Buffalo
Bowl Tie-ins: 5
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 7 or 8

Akron may or may not beat Ohio this week, but the Zips finish with Kent State, and this should Terry Bowden’s squad to earn their second bowl in three seasons.

Both Miami and Buffalo have okay chances to win their final two games and square their marks at 6-6, but we believe the better prediction would have just one of the pair going 2-0. Miami host Eastern Michigan and closes at Ball State. The Redhawks lost their first six games last year and then won six in a row to earn a bowl bid. They only needed to go 3-0 to repeat the process this year, and they got a good start by upsetting Akron.

Buffalo has to win at Ball State and then upset Ohio in the regular season finale to finish 6-6. If the Bulls and Miami both finish 6-6, it is our opinion that the MAC will fail to place all eight teams in bowls. Seven teams are most likely the maximum that will earn bids from the MAC.

Mountain West
Bowl Eligible: 5 — Boise St., Wyoming, Colorado St., San Diego St., Fresno St.
5-Win Teams: 1 — Utah St.
4-Win Teams: 2 — Air Force, UNLV
Bowl Tie-ins: 5
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 6

It looks like Boise State and San Diego State will face off in the MWC Championship Game, and the winner will be a formidable foe for a Pac-12 team in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Utah State was not expected to compete for a bowl this year, but the Aggies are one win away from bowl eligibility. Hawaii visits Logan this week, and USU should get that sixth win before finishing at Air Force.

As for the four-win teams, it will be a major surprise if either Air Force or UNLV wins out. The Falcons play at Boise State this week, and that should produce loss number seven. UNLV finishes with road games against New Mexico and Nevada.

Sun Belt
Bowl Eligible: 3 — Troy, Appalachian St., Georgia St.
5-Win Teams: 1 — Arkansas St.
4-Win Teams: New Mexico St., South Alabama, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe
Bowl Tie-ins: 5
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 6

Arkansas St. is 5-3 with three chances to win one more game. The Red Wolves host lowly Texas State this week and should become bowl eligible, before closing with a road game against UL-Monroe and a home game with Troy.

Two of the four 4-win teams should become bowl eligible, but there is not likely to be six openings for this league with five bowl tie-ins.

UL-Lafayette always seems to find its way to the Superdome in the postseason. The Ragin’ Cajuns have played in five bowls in their history, all of which were New Orleans Bowls. ULL must finish 2-1 against a slate of New Mexico State, Georgia Southern, and at Appalachian State, and their chances are better than 50-50 of winning twice.

UL-Monroe and South Alabama have very tough roads to close out the year. ULM merely must win at Auburn or at Florida State and then take care of Arkansas State at home in order to finish 6-6. USA should win at Georgia Southern this week, but their finale at New Mexico State looks very difficult.

As for New Mexico State, the Aggies need to go 2-1 against UL-Lafayette, Idaho, and South Alabama. We believe NMSU will get those two wins, but then the league will not lobby for the Aggies to get a bowl bid, as they will be leaving the Sun Belt after this season. This league has spurned teams leaving the conference in the past, most recently Middle Tennessee, when the Blue Raiders left for CUSA.

Independents
Note–Notre Dame will not be included in this section, as they count in the ACC bowl section.

Bowl Eligible: 1 — Army
Army is 8-2, and the Black Knights are Armed Forces Bowl.

Power 5 Conferences
Atlantic Coast
Bowl Eligible: 8 — Clemson, North Carolina St., Wake Forest, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech, Virginia + Notre Dame
5-Win Teams: 2 — Boston College, Georgia Tech
4-Win Teams: 3 — Syracuse, Duke, Pittsburgh
3-Win Team: 1 — Florida St.
Bowl Tie-ins: 9
Likely Bowl Eligible: 10

Miami or Clemson is likely to make the Playoffs.

Clemson and Miami will play in the ACC Championship Game, and the winner stands an excellent chance of making it to the Playoffs. Notre Dame is still alive for a NY6 Bowl, but the slaughter at the hands of Miami has ended the Irish’s chances of making the Playoffs. Notre Dame still has a road game against Stanford, and the home game with Navy is no sure thing, so there is a rather possible chance that the Irish will lose for a third time and be relegated to a non-NY6 Bowl.

Boston College gets a chance to become bowl eligible at the best venue in the Boston area. The Eagles face off against U Conn at Fenway Park. BC finishes with a road game against Syracuse. We believe the Eagles will be bowl bound this year.
5-4 Georgia Tech plays just 11 games thanks to the hurricane. The Yellow Jackets most likely must win at Duke this week, as they finish against Georgia in two weeks.

Syracuse, Duke, and Pittsburgh are all 4-6. We do not believe any of the three will finish 2-0 to become bowl eligible. Syracuse plays at Louisville this week, and the Cardinals should send the Orange to their seventh loss, making the home finale with Boston College inconsequential. Duke has to beat Georgia Tech and Wake Forest to get to 6-6, and even though they would be the top APR team at 5-7, we believe there will be 80 bowl eligible teams for the 78 bowls, meaning no 5-7 teams will get a chance to bowl this season. Pitt is staring at 4-8 with games against Virginia Tech and Miami to close out a forgettable 2017 season.

Florida St. is 3-6, and until they hurried to reschedule their hurricane-cancelling game with UL-Monroe, it looked like they would have no chance to get to six wins. The Seminoles will handle Delaware State with ease this week, and then they must beat rival Florida in Gainesville, before the makeup game with UL-Monroe will mean something. There is a good chance the Seminoles will accomplish the feat.

Big 12
Bowl Eligible: 4 — Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., TCU, West Virginia
5-Win Teams: 4 — Iowa State, Texas, Kansas State, and Texas Tech
4-Win Teams: 0
Bowl Tie-ins: 6
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 7

Oklahoma is heavily favored to win out and earn a Playoff spot. TCU and Oklahoma State could both receive NY6 bowl bids, which would then leave the Big 12 two teams short and allow two at-large teams to fill the last two bowls in the pecking order.

Oklahoma should wrap up a spot in the Big 12 Playoffs with a game against Kansas this week. The other spot is still up for grabs. Oklahoma State, TCU, and West Virginia are tied at 5-2, while Iowa State and Texas are 4-3. Our money is on TCU to win at Texas Tech and at home against Baylor, and the Horned Frogs would hold the tiebreaker over OSU and WVU.

Of the four 5-win teams, one will most definitely fall short, finishing 5-7. Texas Tech and Texas face uphill climbs this week against favored opponents, and the Red Raiders and Longhorns close out in Austin on Black Friday, where the winner will be 6-6.

Big Ten
Bowl Eligible: 7 — Ohio St., Penn St., Michigan St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa
5-Win Teams: 1 — Minnesota
4-Win Teams: 5 — Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers, Purdue, Nebraska
Bowl Tie-ins: 8
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 7

Wisconsin has a good chance of making the Playoffs, while one other team should earn a NY6 bowl bid. This would leave three Big Ten bowls without a league team.

Wisconsin has clinched a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, while Ohio State is the overwhelming favorite to back into the title game. Michigan could beat the Buckeyes at the Big House in the season-ender, but unless the Wolverines knock off Wisconsin at Camp Randall this week, beating OSU will not get them to the Championship Game.

Minnesota closes with Northwestern in Evanston and Wisconsin in Minneapolis, so it looks like the Gophers may fall to 5-7. As for the five, 4-6 teams, we cannot find a path for any of the quintet to finish 2-0.

Pac-12
Bowl Eligible: 5 — Washington, Washington St., Stanford, USC, Arizona
5-Win Teams: 6 — Oregon, California, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, UCLA
4-Win Teams: 0
Bowl Tie-ins: 6
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 9

Two from among the current Bowl Eligible teams are likely headed to NY6 bowls, so there should be one extra bowl eligible team to be sent elsewhere to an at-large bid.

If Stanford beats Cal this week, then Washington State would win the North Division with a win over Washington, while Stanford would win the division if Washington beat Washington State. If Cal beats Stanford, then the Wash-WSU winner would win the division.

USC has won the South Division title, and the Trojans have improved enough since October, that they should be considered favorites over any of the three North contenders.

Half of the league currently have five wins. We believe that four of the six will get the sixth win. Oregon finishes with Arizona and Oregon State at home, and the Ducks have a great chance to return to a bowl. Either Colorado or Utah is guaranteed to make a bowl, because one will have to win their encounter. The same goes for UCLA and Califirnia. Arizona State plays at Oregon State before hosting Arizona, and the Sun Devils should get win number six.

SEC
Bowl Eligible: 8 — Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi St., Texas A&M, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina
5-Win Teams: 1 — Missouri (Ole Miss is 5-5 but ineligible)
4-Win Teams: 3 — Arkansas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Bowl Tie-ins: 9
Likely Bowl Eligibles: 9

Alabama is almost certain to make the Playoffs, while Georgia is likely to earn a NY 6 Bowl Bid. That would leave the SEC two teams short in their bowl obligations.

Alabama only needs to show up to beat Mercer this week, and then the Tide has to finish at Auburn. Auburn can win the West Division by pulling off the big upset over Alabama.

LSU and Mississippi State should both get to nine wins, while South Carolina is an upset away over Clemson from becoming the sixth nine-win team from the league.

Missouri gets to play 0-6 Vandy and 1-5 Arkansas, so the Tigers should be 6-6 if not 7-5.
We do not expect any of the three 4-6 teams to win out and become bowl eligible.

 

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