College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 09/20/2007
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.
Up to this point, the Ferringo 15 teams have gone a respectable 13-7 ATS. We're in the shadow of conference play, and it will be interesting to see how many of these teams go from live, valuable dogs to square, exploitable chalk, but we will see. Without further ado, here is our Week 4 version of the Ferringo 15:
1) South Florida (1-0 Against the Spread) - Fresh off their not-so-stunning upset over Auburn, the Bulls have had two weeks to prepare for ACC foe North Carolina. South Florida is getting some respect, as indicated by their 14-point chalk against the Tar Heels, so they may slip from atop the polls here. Also, they have West Virginia next Friday so they may be caught looking ahead this weekend.
2) Purdue (2-0 ATS) - Points - points everywhere!!! The Big Ten has been pathetic in the nonconference and there's been one constant in their struggles: these big, hulking teams have had a lot of trouble with speed and teams that run a spread offense. The Boilers aren't nearly as quick as some Big East or SEC teams, but their quirky style and excellent play from Curtis Painter should be good for at least two nice upsets.
3) South Carolina (1-1) - Steve Spurrier has assembled a defense worthy of an SEC contender, and it's going to be on display this weekend at LSU. The Gamecocks have covered eight straight road games and with the Ol' Ball Coach's knack for coming up big in primetime games I think we have a winning combo.
4) Anyone Playing Notre Dame (3-0) - So far, so good. The Irish nation is still in a total state of disarray. And looking at their schedule, this week's game against traditionally shaky Michigan State may be their last chance at a win until November. The good news is that even if they're getting 24-30 points the offense is so awful that they won't cover it.
5) Oklahoma (3-0) - Through three games, the Sooners have outscored their opponents 184-26. Yes, that's an average score of 61-9 and that is unreal. I think Bob Stoops is more than a little bitter that he and his boys were at the butt of the Boise State jokes all offseason. This team is a wrecking ball.
6) Cincinnati (2-0) - Mark it down right now - this team is going to DOMINATE someone in a mid-level bowl game. I mean, it's not going to be close. I made the same prediction with Rutgers last year and they slaughtered K-State. It doesn't even matter who the quarterback is; Grutza and Mauk can both make plays and earn cash.
7) Washington (2-1) - Jake Locker is the real deal and was a half away from yet another upset last week. Because the Huskies play such a brutal schedule we're going to continue to get great value on them all season. I think they'll score two straight-up upsets this season, but the trouble will be pinpointing the two.
8) Boston College (3-0) - I called the Eagles to take the ACC crown back in August and they're making me look real good so far. I do think that they'll struggle with Army this weekend in a letdown spot, but the rest of the schedule looks golden. Their two toughest matchups will be at Va. Tech and at Clemson, but B.C. is a combined 9-1 ATS in their L10 against that pair.
9) Oregon (3-0) - We've seen this before from the Ducks, who have a habit of tantalizing in September. We will actually learn a lot about this team this week against Stanford. With a date with Cal on the horizon, we'll see if this squad of Ducks can dominate a weaker opponent and show that they can stay focused.
10) Memphis (1-0) - The Tigers looked just bored enough last weekend against Jacksonville State to get a touchdown spotted to them at Central Florida this week. With 33 of the 44 starters in last year's two-point Knights win suiting up on Saturday I think that getting seven points could be mighty tempting. I also think the winner of this game ends up winning the CUSA East.
11) Iowa (2-1) - We're going to find out a lot about this Iowa team this weekend at Wisconsin. The Badgers struggled with both UNLV and The Citadel over the past two weeks and could be ripe for an upset. The Hawkeyes have won four of five against the Badgers, but they did lose last year.
12) UCLA (2-1) - What an absolute bloodbath in Utah. The Bruins' pass defense has been a sieve and such an atrocious loss should be a huge red flag. However, I'm not going to penalize them as much because I actually think it may have increased the value on this team.
13) Georgia Tech (2-1) - Tashard Choice is likely to be on the shelf for at least two weeks with his hamstring injury, opening the door for a Jackets free fall. Their loss to Boston College may have actually increased their value, since it drops them back in the pack of ACC also-rans. But with that defense they are going to be a tough W from here until January.
14) Missouri (3-0) - Are they a true threat in the Big 12 or a flash in the pan? I don't know, and frankly, as long as they keep covering I don't care. Chase Daniels simply gets it done on offense, and as a result there is no number too big for them to handle. The problem is that as they continue to win their defense isn't going to be up to the task of covering inflated lines. Chase to the rescue? We will see.
15) Central Florida (2-0) - With 17 starters back and a thumping running game, UCF is going to be tough to top. They may have peaked with their near-miss against Texas, but I think they'll be a dog in at least three more games this year. Take the points and take the cash, this could end up being the best team in CUSA.
Others receiving votes: Kansas (2-0), Indiana (2-0), Arizona State (2-1), New Mexico (2-1), Kentucky (2-0), Vanderbilt (1-1), Rutgers (2-0), Tulsa (2-0), Buffalo (2-1).
Dropped out: Hawaii, UNLV, New Mexico State
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