College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 11/14/2007
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.
It looks like the Ferringo 15 may have run out of steam. Our clubs went just 5-7 ATS last week, including Tuesday's cover by Ball State. It is only natural that the value would get sucked out of the best money teams in the country but that still doesn't mean that our little project this year hasn't been successful. Including last week's results the F-15 has gone a respectable 53.9 percent this year against the number. Not bad considering that it has included minimal handicapping!
And without further ado, here is our Week 12 version of the Ferringo 15:
1) Kansas (9-0) - In 600 total minutes of football this season the Jayhawks have been behind for exactly 28 of them. The Jayhawks are once again shackled with a comically large line, posted as a favorite of over 20 points for the fifth time this season. They covered the other four by an average of 14.9 points per game though so I think they can handle it.
2) Oregon (8-1) - Thursday night primetime spot for the Ducks and I think they will be ready roll on Arizona. Oregon is 4-1 ATS in their last five trips to Tucson and the road team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Also, without a conference championship game in the Pac-10 I think the Ducks know that this is going to be one of their last opportunities to make a statement to the national media.
3) Missouri (7-2) - While Kansas continues to dominate in the Big 12 it looks like the Tigers may be losing steam. They've failed to cover in two of their last three outings and are taking on a K-State club in Manhattan, where Mizzou is 1-5 ATS over the past six years.
4) Arizona State (7-3) - The Rose Bowl is right there in front of the Sun Devils. But they're going to have to be much sharper against USC on Thanksgiving Day. The Trojans will be able to put on the same amount of pressure as the Bruins did and if Rudy Carpenter continues taking shots then things could get ugly.
5) Connecticut (6-2) - Last week was a predictable letdown for a team that had just come out of a grueling three-game gauntlet. But now I think that the Huskies come back and overwhelm a Syracuse team that rolled over and played dead a long time ago. There is a solid system that suggests playing against UConn this week, but the Orange are 0-24 ATS when they lose to a conference opponent that has revenge.
6) Air Force (8-2) - Mark Mangino has dibs on Coach of the Year honors, but Troy Calhoun better get some votes. The Falcons continue to execute with military precision and are in a great spot to earn a 10-win season. Air Force has covered six straight games but is just 1-8 ATS as a double-digit favorite over the pat seven years.
7) Tennessee (7-3) - Even if Phil Fulmer can't hold onto the SEC East title or score a defining victory in the SEC Championship or major bowl game, he may be able to stick around for another season in Knoxville just because of the money he's been able to put in boosters' pockets this season ATS.
8) Cincinnati (7-2) - The No. 13 rush defense in the country is going to be put to the test this weekend against West Virginia. They've aced their last two challenges, holding two physical teams (South Florida and Connecticut) to a combined 127 yards on 60 carries. That is legit.
9) Troy (7-2) - Man, if only the Trojans had played a D-I team last week. They were set up in a perfect Letdown-Look Ahead Spot last week against Western Kentucky and clearly played down to the level of their competition. But hey, they won their seventh game in their last eight and are now set up for season-defining clashes with MTSU and Florida Atlantic.
10) Ball State (7-3) - With a season-ending win at Northern Illinois after Thanksgiving the Cardinals should ensure themselves a decent bowl game. They've covered seven of nine and should be a big favorite against the Huskies. Also, this team is losing just two senior starters so expect big things from BSU next year.
11) Kentucky (6-3) - Right now the Wildcats are the proverbial Team No One Wants To Play. Their offense has slowed down a bit but they are still lethal. Problem is, they never play well in Athens and are 1-3 ATS in their last four trips there. However, they close the season at home against a vulnerable Tennessee team and I think that's the season-defining win they claim.
12) Clemson (6-3) - Ever since the Tigers got throttled at home against Virginia Tech in early October they've run off four straight wins straight up and against the spread. Those four wins have come by an average of 35 points and two were on the road. They have the No. 3 pass defense in the country and you know they're going to be licking their chops for a shot at B.C. cover boy Matt Ryan this weekend. Clemson is just 2-6 ATS as a home favorite.
13) Middle Tennessee State (6-3) - The Blue Raiders got caught with their hands in the cookie jar last week against a horrible Louisiana-Lafayette club. They were looking ahead to Troy and got worked over. But now they are in the midst of 10 days of prep and they should be posted as the dog in that one. Bad news is that the dog is 1-3 ATS in that series, so we'll see what happens.
14) Louisiana Tech (6-2) - It's Senior Night this weekend against San Jose and this line has seen some of the largest movement of the week. Tech was hammered 44-10 in last year's meeting and has covered five of its last six conference games. On top of that, they are 12-4 ATS against a team with a losing record.
15) Illinois (6-4) - They started the year at No. 1 on this list. They were there for one game and one game only. As for last week's win over Ohio State. All the signs were in place, but did I have the stones to back them? Of course not. That right there, boys and girls, sums it up.
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.