College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 10/31/2007
Polls and rankings can be a gambler's best friend when it comes to wagering on large groups of vicious and volatile college students, the type that paint their faces, don high density polyurethane shells, and assemble each week to thrash each other on the gridiron. Polls and rankings set the general consensus on how strong a certain team is, regardless of Truth, and that makes them a tool for exploiting a misinformed football betting public.
But this ranking system is going to work a little differently. We have enough rampant conjecture across the nation in regards to college football so I have set out to provide my faithful readers with some info that should enrich their gambling lives. The result: the Ferringo 15.
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 convoluted, random, speculative power rankings based on my own biases. So instead of Ohio State moving up or down the polls on the basis of how badly they blew out Northwestern the previous Saturday I'm going to rank each team based on past, present, and projected future achievement against the spread.
Below I've listed teams that have been and hopefully will continue to be the most profitable teams for bettors this season.
After two consecutive losing weeks, the Ferringo 15 posted a 6-4 Saturday to restore its authority over the college football landscape. Even though it's becoming tougher and tougher to find value on our top teams, they have still posted a solid 51-40 (56 percent) mark this season. So without further ado, here is our Week 10 version of the Ferringo 15:
1) Kansas (7-0) - Truly devastating. The Jayhawks deserve to be considered as one of the best teams in the nation because they've devastated every manner of foe. They won blowouts, shootouts, slugfests, rivalry games, letdown games, etc. They are Legit, and now they get a crack at a Nebraska team that's just begging to quit on this season. They've covered three straight against the Huskers, although they're usually getting the 19 points as opposed to laying them.
2) Oregon (7-1) - Any questions? I have to say that Oregon's value may have hit its peak when Matt Harper made that late interception against USC last week. But as long as they're still suiting up in Eugene there's still a chance for another blowout. The Ducks are 1-3 ATS in their last four at home against the Sun Devils and I won't be shocked to see the number in this game get to 7.5. No matter how strong Oregon is that's still a tall order.
3) Missouri (6-1) - After playing a near-perfect game against Texas Tech you had to expect a bit of a letdown against lightweight Iowa State. But now the Tigers have to see if they can turn it back on against a Colorado team that just got done manhandling those same Red Raiders. Mizzou has not traditionally played well at altitude, posting a 0-3 ATS mark in their last three trips to Folsom Field. In fact, the Tigers are just 2-7-1 ATS over the past decade against the Buffaloes.
4) Arizona State (7-1) - Either Dennis Erickson is the best coach in college football or he's using some kind of Belichick-cheating thing working because the Sun Devils have outscored their opponents 153-29 in the second half this season. Amazingly, ASU is 7-1 ATS this season for the game, but just 2-6 ATS against the first-half line.
5) Connecticut (5-1) - Lucky? Good? Doesn't matter - the Huskies just pay out. Connecticut has definitely proven itself as a rough-and-tumble crew, physically controlling a powerful South Florida team last week. Granted, USF was just one yard away from sending that game to OT but UConn still secured the W. The Huskies have benefited from horrid New England weather the last two weeks but they may have to play Rutgers in idyllic fall conditions this Saturday.
6) Air Force (6-2) - They fumbled five times and they covered. Unreal. And, yes, I'm bitter because I had the scrub Lobos in that one. Air Force's execution on offense is impeccable, but they can still get pushed around on defense. The Falcons are 16-2 straight up against Army and 8-2 ATS against the Black Knights over the past decade. Air Force's margin of victory over the past nine years is 21.8 points per game.
7) Boston College (5-2) - The Eagles dodged a big bullet last week in Blacksburg and now get a crack at Florida State at Alumni Stadium. This will be B.C.'s first home game in nearly a month and they are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 in Chestnut Hill. The Seminoles are a bit banged up heading into this game, but the visitor in this series has won each of the last two meetings.
8) Temple (6-2) - With two full weeks to prep and pat themselves on their backs, the Owls are rested and ready to take on an Ohio team that's coming off a big road win at Bowling Green. MAC teams are 17-10 ATS as underdogs over the past four weeks, including a 5-1 mark last Saturday. Can the Temple D get it done again? I know I'm not going against them.
9) Cincinnati (5-2) - Cincy may be facing a crisis of confidence heading into a key matchup with South Florida this week. But the Bearcats are as nasty as ever and I think coach Brian Kelly will have them ready to roll this Saturday in a nationally televised game. Cincinnati has to cut down on penalties. They've been flagged more than any team in the Big East and that's a killer on the road. The Cats are 3-0 ATS against South Florida.
10) Troy (6-2) - Troy put it on Arkansas State last week but there were some troubling developments that came out of that one. First, their secondary is horrid when it comes to defending the deep ball. Second, and most importantly, quarterback Omar Haugabook is doubtful to play this week with an injured hamstring. The reigning Sun Belt POY is the key to the Trojans, and without him things don't look good. Their only salve is that they are catching the Bulldogs in a Look Ahead-Letdown spot.
11) Ball State (6-2) - After covering in six of their last seven outings the Cardinals are getting heavy action this weekend at Indiana. Ball State is 0-18 SU against current Big Ten teams, including 0-3 against their in-state rivals, but they've covered three straight against the Big Boys. That being said, this could be an emotional one for the Hoosiers, who have been shooting for that "13th Game" all season as an attempt to honor their dead coach. It would be bad karma for BSU to win.
12) Kansas State (5-2) - The Wildcats are 11-2 against Iowa State recently, winning by an average of 32 points per game. The home team is 7-3 ATS over the past decade, but with nothing to play for you have to wonder how much the Cyclones have left in the tank. K-State has played three teams with a losing record this year (one was a D-IAA team) and their average margin of victory is 36.3 points.
13) UCLA (5-3) - I'm sorry, but I have to laugh at the Bruins for yet another pathetic loss to an inferior foe. Coulda seen that Wazzou debacle a mile away. But I still like the value that UCLA possesses because they still play up to the level of their competition. The Bruins have won four of their last five trips to Tucson, but the trouble is that their sieve pass defense could get cut up by Wee Willie Tuitama.
14) Kentucky (5-3) - Who is sinking faster: Kentucky or South Florida? Granted, the Wildcats have faced the teeth of their SEC schedule over the past month but they still should have managed better than a 1-3 ATS mark. Of course, that's what you get with these schools that shoot their nut in September - they make great Fade Fodder for the rest of the season.
15) Middle Tennessee State (6-2) - Hey, look who came out of nowhere. And now that Florida Atlantic took a shot to the ribs last week the Blue Raiders are in the thick of the hunt for the Sun Belt crown. MTSU is now 12-5 ATS dating back to the middle of 2006. And next up on the docket: the team that gave FAU that shot, Louisiana-Monroe.
Others receiving votes: Middle Tennessee State (6-2), Louisiana Tech (5-2), West Virginia (5-3), Memphis (4-2), Miami, OH (6-3).
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.