College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 11/08/2007
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.
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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.
Last week the Ferringo 15 went 6-5, posting yet another profit while running its season record to 57-46 (55.3 percent). Without further ado, here is our Week 11 version of the Ferringo 15:
1) Kansas (8-0) - Now that was revenge. The Jayhawks took out the frustration of every ass whooping they ever took from Nebraska on Saturday. They hammered the Huskers on Alumni weekend and took another step toward a BCS bowl. However, you always have to be wary of a team after such a near-perfect performance. Especially on the road. But you also can't bet against a team that is this hot.
2) Oregon (8-1) - Wait, people are just now talking about Dennis Dixon for the Heisman? It is repulsive the sway that ESPN has over the sheep in the mainstream media. With two winnable road games - Arizona and UCLA - and hosting the Civil War to close the season, the Ducks are in the driver's seat for the national title. That UCLA game is a land mine though.
3) Missouri (7-1) - No Pig, no problem. Mizzou wasn't fazed by the loss of their defensive captain last week at Colorado. But now they are laying serious points to a faltering A&M club. The Tigers are 6-0 ATS after Colorado but any play on them this week is purely for amateurs.
4) Arizona State (7-2) - You can't tell me that when the Sun Devils took over trailing 35-23 late in that Oregon game that every ASU backer thought, "Yes, here we go again." Unfortunately, the Sun Devils couldn't muster an more garbage time magic. They are still laying a touchdown to a battered and broken UCLA squad, but has the bubble burst on the Pac-10's surprise team?
5) Connecticut (6-1) - The Huskies have completed as impressive a three-game stretch as any team in the country, rocking out three consecutive wins at home against teams that have dined in the Top 20 this year. They play exceptionally fundamental football, and it will be interesting to see how Donald Brown managed on the ground against the bruising Cincinnati rush defense.
6) Air Force (7-2) - A lot of people are expecting Notre Dame to bounce back and beat the Falcons "just because they have to win sometime", but I've seen enough of this Air Force team to know that they are capable of a blowout win. They've covered five straight overall and are 3-0 ATS against the Irish. AF's last four wins have been by an average of 17.3 points and they have beaten the spread by an average of 8.2 points during their 5-0 rush.
7) Temple (6-3) - We're in uncharted territory with the Owls when we're tailing them each week - and it's not on the hardwood. Temple is 1-4 ATS in its last five against Penn State and 1-6 ATS against the Big Ten. However, the Owls are 6-1 ATS at home and Penn State is 1-6 ATS on the road.
8) Cincinnati (6-2) - I loved how prepared and how sharp this team was coming off their bye. They were actually losing for a majority of last year's meeting with Connecticut before tallying 10 points in the last two minutes to steal a win. The Bearcats are 7-2 ATS at home and the Huskies are 2-6 ATS on turf.
9) Troy (7-2) - A garbage backdoor cover is still a cover, and Troy's garbage TD with five seconds left earned the Trojans yet another cash. To be fair, Troy did hang with the Bulldogs for three of the four quarters and they received a gutsy effort from star QB Omar Haugabook after sandbagging all week as to whether he'd play.
10) Ball State (6-3) - I said that it would be bad karma for the Cardinals to win against Indiana last week and they obliged with a loss. After three straight road games BSU gets a few extra days to prep for perhaps the hottest offense in the country (Toledo). The Cards are 3-1 ATS against the Rockets recently, including three straight home covers.
11) Ohio State (6-3) - Hey, look who it is! Betting against Tressel and the Buckeyes is a bit like betting against Belichick and the Patriots - do it at your own risk. Ohio State is 21-6 ATS against its pathetic Big 10 brethren and is 22-7 ATS in its last 29 games overall. Illinois is 5-1 ATS against the Buckeyes and did give them a scare last season. But again: at your own risk.
12) Central Florida (6-3) - The Knights won three in a row against the spread, then lost three in a row, and now have won three in a row again. UCF is 0-5 as a conference road favorite but they have won their last three by an average of 24 points while UAB has dropped its last three by an average of 35 points. Laying three touchdowns actually seems feasible.
13) Kentucky (5-3) - After a much-needed week off the Wildcats will be rested and ready for a surprisingly important SEC matchup with Vanderbilt. However, I don't know how much value resides on the Cats as a shaky road favorite, and I think a play on them is simply for squares. UK is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings with Vandy.
14) Middle Tennessee State (6-3) - 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.
15) Louisiana Tech (6-2) - This week's matchup with LSU is much, much more important to the Bulldogs than it is to the Tigers. That being said, LSU is 9-3 ATS as a 30+ favorite over the past 11 years while Tech is just 5-4 ATS in those spots.
Others receiving votes: West Virginia (5-3), Miami, OH (6-3), Wake Forest (6-3), Michigan (6-3).
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.