College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 09/05/2007
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 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. It's still early in the season so there will likely be a lot of fluctuation from week to week. But after we've had some time to get the lay of the land these rankings will be buttressed by solid, visceral performance.
Here is our Week 2 version of the Ferringo 15:
1) New Mexico State (0-0) - By default, the Aggies are our No. 1 money team because South Carolina couldn't cover last week. And, quite naturally, our top team will be challenged in a big way this weekend against a school that was No. 10 on our list last week. The Aggies have to face intrastate rival New Mexico this week as a mere touchdown dog. Bold. NMSU is actually 3-1 ATS in their last four trips to UNM and each program brought back 18 starters from the teams that played a 34-28 chess match last year.
2) South Florida (0-0) - I wonder if the Bulls saw what I saw in that Auburn-Kansas State game last weekend: The Fear. Auburn is vulnerable, zapped of their superhuman strength and facing a down year after three straight seasons of total domination. Can USF capitalize? They weren't very sharp against Elon, yet the oddsmakers are giving the Bulls 7.5 points less than they handed K-State heading into Jordan-Hare last week. Sounds like some people believe the hype.
3) Purdue (1-0) - My Big 10 Sleeper looked unstoppable in the second half against Toledo last week. Winning in the Glass Bowl is not to be taken lightly, and doing it by four touchdowns is downright filthy. With their watered-down schedule, the Boilers could actually pick up steam but significantly lose value as they head toward a home showdown with Ohio State on Oct. 6.
4) Memphis (1-0) - These guys just cannot finish games - and I love it! We got the best-case scenario out of the Tigers last week as they scored a backdoor cover while losing outright. That was their ninth loss by six or less since the start of 2005. Sooner or later they're going to start to win these games and we'll be there to cash in with them.
5) Iowa (1-0) - Their victory over Northern Illinois wasn't pretty, but it was effective. And I liked it. I think that Jake Christensen will be fine this season, but he did have a rough go against UNI. In the meantime, their diesel front four and Albert Young should be good enough. The Hawkeyes are 13-1 ATS recently as home favorites of three points or more after a double-digit SU win.
6) Hawaii (0-0) - So it begins for the Rainbows. They're spotting La. Tech a four-touchdown head start this weekend, on the road no less. That being said, Hawaii is 6-1 in its last seven games as a favorite of 20 points or more and have covered four straight in that situation. However, they have only been this heavy of a chalk on the mainland once over the past five years.
7) South Carolina (0-1) - South Carolina won outright and lost against the spread. Not good for value. But I'm going to stick with them one more week because I think they'll show up ready to rock in Athens. The Cocks are 10-1 on the road with conference revenge. They got hammered 18-0 last year by the Dawgs, but covered as 18-point puppies at UGA in 2005.
8) Anyone Playing Notre Dame (1-0) - Well, the cat is out of the bag on this one. As we suspected, the Irish blow. The trouble now is that everyone knows it. So instead of moving up on our list after that impressive performance by the Yellowjackets, Anyone Playing Notre Dame actually loses value.
9) Oklahoma (1-0) - Yeah, even I was shocked to see a 10-point spread in their upcoming tilt with Miami. But that means one of two things: either Miami is going to be sitting in this slot next week or the Sooners are going to win in a blowout. Bob Stoops is a Big Game Coach and we'll see if this OU team is up to snuff.
10) UCLA (1-0) - Let me be one of the first to say that I think UCLA is one of the three best teams in the country. I almost want to say they're the best team in California but the peyote is wearing off. The Bruins have covered five of their last six meetings with BYU, the top team in the MWC.
11) Georgia Tech (1-0) - Nasty. The Jackets were nasty in the way that they eviscerated Notre Dame. Every wise guy across the country had a piece on this game and I was no exception. But I got the distinct impression that prognosticators were more stunned by how bad the Irish were than they were impressed by how strong Tech is. They should tool on Samford before a huge home game against B.C.
12) Kansas State (1-0) - These guys are legit. They looked outstanding on both sides of the ball against Auburn. That's a no-joke venue to open a season and they had that game in their fingers. Some costly penalties and a tricky turnover left them deflated, but I think the experience will be invaluable considering they play at Texas, at Oklahoma State and at Nebraska this season. They're a combined 14-3 ATS against that trio.
13) Oregon (1-0) - I'm still cursing App. State. Not because I have any love for the Wolverines. Just the opposite. I've claimed all offseason that the Wolverines were grossly overrated. But instead of the Ducks knocking the unsuspecting Wolverines off their perch as 13-point dogs this weekend, Oregon has to roll into The Big House armed with just over a touchdown and face a team hell bent on making up for last week's embarrassment.
14) Washington (1-0) - I wasn't impressed with the Huskies in their first 30 minutes against bumbling Syracuse. But the way they stepped on the Orange's throat during the second half definitely raised my brow. They have, BY FAR, the toughest schedule in the country. I saw enough to think that they can earn the cash in at least half of their games this year - especially if they get blown out once or twice in their next three games.
15) Illinois (0-1) - I'm not willing to drop the Illini out just yet. But they are hanging by a thread. I'm hoping a loss to Mizzou actually enhances their value. Here's to hoping they suffer a letdown-look ahead this weekend against Western Illinois. If they can manage to only win by a couple touchdowns then people might start questioning how good this team is. We will know better and take advantage when they head to Syracuse.
Others receiving votes: Vanderbilt, Boston College (1-0), TCU (1-0), Central Florida (1-0), Florida Atlantic (1-0), Texas Tech (1-0), Cincinnati (0-0), Michigan State (1-0)
Dropped out: New Mexico (0-1), Virginia (0-1)
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