The Ferringo 15 is my Profit-Power Rankings, a ladder or hierarchy based on which teams are the most profitable on the field. I'm not trying to give you some other nonsensical, random, speculative power rankings based on my own biases and conjecture. So instead of Alabama moving up or down the polls on the basis of how badly they blew out Vanderbilt the previous Saturday, I'm going to rank each team based on past, present, and projected future achievement against the spread.
And over the past two years they have been on point. In 2007 the teams that finished in the Ferringo 15 had a collective 121-46-1 mark against the spread. In 2008 they came back and went 81-63-3 in the week that they were in the Ferringo 15. In 2009 the teams that were in the F-15 only managed to win 53 percent of their games that Saturday. But, all in all, these college football power rankings have been exactly what any good gambler hopes to be: profitable in the long term.
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So far in 2010 we’ve had one weekend of the F-15 and one weekend of profit for the F-15. Our clubs went 7-5 against the spread last week, discounting the game between Rice and North Texas. Among our seven covers were big wins in marquee games by Ohio State, South Carolina and Michigan. We’ll have to see if we can make it two-for-two with profit this week.
So without further ado, here is my Ferringo 15 college football power rankings (all records are ATS against the closing line):
1. San Diego State (2-0) – They have a very shaky hold on the top spot here, as they are catching only two touchdowns in Missouri this weekend. That’s an awful lot of respect for a franchise that hasn’t done much this century. And given Ryan Lindley’s penchant for disappearing in big games I think that is more than a bit optimistic. But so far so good for SDSU on the path back to respectability. They are just 4-10 ATS in nonconference games and just 3-9 ATS after a win.
2. Rice (2-0) – Last Saturday the Owls pulled an “upset” over North Texas in Rice’s second in-state game in two weeks. Now they head into a stretch where they get three straight games at home. The first is as a home dog against Northwestern, the only non-Texas team that they play until late October. Rice is just 7-16 ATS in its last 23 nonconference tilts, but they are also 10-4-1 ATS at home and should be way up for a crack at another BCS foe.
3. Mississippi State (1-1) – I’m not going to completely write off Mississippi State just because they lost a tough game against Auburn. That one really could have gone either way last Thursday. They have a tall task this week taking on LSU in the Tigers’ first home game of the season. The Bulldogs are actually 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings, but this year is the first time in nearly a decade that they aren’t catching double-digits when facing LSU.
4. Kent State (2-0) – Kent State was pretty game at Boston College last week despite playing without sixth-year senior Eugene Jarvis. He is really a key offensive piece and he may miss this week’s game at Penn State as well because of a sore groin. Kent State has one of the most odd schedules because five of their first six games are on the road before finishing with four of five at home. We’ll see how they hold up against a Nittany Lions team that will want to get out some frustration after getting rocked last Saturday.
5. Ohio State (2-0) – Big win for Brutus and the Boys last week, as Ohio State handled Miami in the second half en route to a marquee win. Ohio State can kind of name its own score over the next month, as its next four games come against Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Oh, and three of those four games are at home. Maybe this has something to do with why the Buckeyes always get hammered in major bowl games? Just a thought.
6. South Carolina (2-0) – The Gamecocks are legit and are definitely a threat in the SEC East. This week they have a throwaway game against Div. II Furman, and it will be key for the Cocks to avoid a letdown. That will be nearly impossible, I’m afraid, as USC has a road game at Auburn and a home game against Alabama on deck. They need to save their strength for a pair of games they will most assuredly be dogged in.
7. Syracuse (1-1) – The Orange were hammered out in Washington last week but I’m not going to begrudge them that one. Syracuse was actually up 10-0 in that game, and only trailed 13-10 at halftime, before they got run through in the second half. But as I look through the rest of the Big East this conference is a disaster. And because the top teams are so weak right now all that does is pull Syracuse even closer. SU gets two easy (we hope) wins the next two weeks against D-II schools.
8. Maryland (2-0) – The Terps will really get to test their value this week against West Virginia. And already it looks like the sharp money is on board this group as the line in that game has dropped from 13.5 to the Terps catching just 10 points. Although I’m fairly certain that movement is against WVU as much as it is on Maryland. The Terps have covered four straight dating back to last year but they are just 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight home games.
9. Arizona (2-0) – This week the Wildcats have a shot at a big revenge win. Arizona was mauled last year up in Ames, but now they get a shot at the highly ranked Hawkeyes out in the desert. Arizona is just 1-6 ATS in its last seven games against the Big Ten and they have had all kinds of problems against big, physical teams like Iowa. But Arizona is also 5-1 ATS at home and they get four of their next five games in Tucson. Iowa has been one of the most profitable teams in the country over the last year-plus so they are hard to fade, but I have a good feeling that Arizona will come through this weekend.
10. Michigan (2-0) – I would love to have the Wolverines ranked higher, but I actually think that their value has taken a bit of a hit over the last week. Denard Robinson’s incredible 500-plus yard performance has gotten him some Heisman buzz and now bettors – who are already looking for reasons to play on this traditional power – want to get on board. The thing to be careful about with this team is that because they are so young they are definitely going to be prone to peaks and valleys in their play. Shaky performances over the next few weeks against UMass, Bowling Green and Indiana won’t surprise me. These guys had been so focused and gotten so high for the first two games (Connecticut and Notre Dame), and they have a brutal stretch in October against Michigan State, Iowa and Penn State to look ahead to.
11. North Carolina (1-0) – Well, it’s one down and 12 to go for the Tar Heels. They will get running back Shaun Draughn back this week for a key clash with Georgia Tech. But there are still 12 other players that won’t suit up for this week’s action. North Carolina has had two weeks to prep for Tech and they will be looking for revenge for a convincing loss in Atlanta last year. But no one knows what to expect from the Tar Heels and there are still plenty of questions surrounding a team that really only looked good for about eight minutes against LSU. UNC is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against Tech.
12. Texas A&M (2-0) – I thought that Mike Sherman’s team might take a step back at the window this season due some surprising success near the end of 2009 and some buzz heading into 2010. That hasn’t been the case yet, but the Aggies also really haven’t played anyone. They have a layup against Florida International this week before they get two weeks or prep for a trip to Stillwater. A&M is 5-0 ATS at home, but they are also just 5-11 ATS after a straight-up win.
13. SMU (2-0) – I am getting the sense that SMU’s stay in the Ferringo 15 is ill advised and will be short-lived. They are a stunning 23-point favorite over Washington State this week. I know that the Cougars are wretched, but Wazzou actually beat SMU straight up last year. Also, SMU has a home game next Friday against TCU. And even though I can’t believe I am suggesting that SMU is looking past a BCS opponent, I do think that is the case. You always have to be careful laying a big number backing a team that doesn’t play any defense and SMU is just 5-12 ATS at home.
14. Alabama (2-0) – This team cracks the Top 15 for the same reason that Ohio State makes the list. These schools are just powerhouses and it almost doesn’t matter what the number is. There really aren’t any true challengers presenting themselves in the SEC this season. So even though the Crimson Tide aren’t nearly as strong as they were during their national title run last year they are still the class of the strongest conference in the nation. Would you be stunned if they beat Duke by 40 this week? Me neither. Alabama has covered four straight nonconference games and eight of 10 on the road.
15. Nevada (1-1) – The Wolfpack absolutely demolished Colorado State, 51-6, and now they have their sights set on a juicy nonconference upset over a Pac-10 stalwart. Cal comes to town this week and Nevada should be sky-high for its biggest game of the year outside of their November date with Boise State. Nevada has been consistently overvalued in nonconference play (3-8 ATS in L11) but they have been stellar in Reno. Nevada is 26-12 ATS in its last 38 home games and I imagine that the locals will serve to push the number on this Cal game down even further. (Nevada is a slim 2.5-point underdog.)
Others Receiving Votes: Tulsa, Michigan State, Cal, Connecticut, Kentucky, Miami, OH, Northern Illinois
Robert Ferringo is a writer and a professional college football and NFL handicapper for Doc’s Sports. Last year he brought home +62.5 Units for his clients for NFL picks and he is regarded as one of the top totals players in the sport. He has turned a profit in 5 of 6 football weeks and has a 7-Unit NFL Game of the Month on the board this Week. You can sign up for his college football and NFL picks and get more information here.