College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 10/25/2007
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.
We have some wholesale changes to our Ferringo 15 as our top squads have gone just 10-14 ATS over the past two weeks. At this point of the season, it may be expected since our teams actually lose value each week that they cover because more and more people have caught on to their stylings. Regardless, these top earners are still 45-36 (58.8 percent) on the season. So without further ado, here is our Week 9 version of the Ferringo 15:
1) Kansas (6-0) - The good news for KU backers this week is that the Jayhawks' high-flying offense is going up against one of the worst pass defenses in the nation. The bad news is that they've never won a game at College Station. Kansas is just 13-22 ATS in Big 12 road games recently.
2) Oregon (6-1) - Is this the weekend that Oregon's injuries catch up with them? I don't think so. The key for the Ducks is going to be if they can minimize turnovers. USC has the No. 1 pass defense and No. 2 rush defense in the Pac 10, and something tells me the Trojans aren't going to be intimidated going to Eugene. The Ducks are 1-5 ATS against the Trojans at home.
3) Missouri (6-0) - In Chase we trust. Mizzou played the best game of its season last week and should dominate a disinterested Iowa State crew this weekend. However, the four touchdowns seem like a lot to cover in this one, even for the Tigers. It's just getting a little late in the year to be laying 30 points in a conference game.
4) Arizona State (6-1) - Do not underestimate the impact that losing Ryan Torrain will have on this offense. That guy is an absolute bull. The Sun Devils are 0-4 ATS against Cal and they are just 2-19 SU against ranked opponents since the start of 2001. This is by far the best team that ASU has faced all year and it will be interesting to see how they come out of the bye week.
5) Kentucky (5-2) - It took one of the strangest gambling moments in recent memory to deny the Wildcats their sixth cash of the season. I'm still stunned that Kentucky opted not to kick the extra point after their "meaningless" touchdown last week and that makes me wonder a little about them, mentally. The Wildcats have come off an ultra-emotional three-game stretch and now have to somehow get up for Mississippi State this weekend. They're just lucky this one isn't on the road.
6) South Florida (4-2) - Last Thursday marked the worst game that USF had played all season and they still found themselves with the ball at half-field with a great opportunity to send the game to overtime. The Bulls are 7-2 ATS as a favorite and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games on grass. But will this be a Hangover Game? This one is all on Jim Leavitt.
7) Air Force (5-2) - Chad Hall, Chad Hall, Chad Hall. There aren't many guys out there leading their team in rushing yards, receiving yards, and touchdowns. But Mr. Hall is doing just that. The Force have covered three straight in conference play and are coming off a gritty win over Wyoming. Trouble is, I think they're headed for a trap in New Mexico because I don't think their pass defense can hold up.
8) Indiana (5-2) - The Hoosiers may have let one get away last week against Penn State but they still earned the cash. The Hoosiers are just one more win away from bowl eligibility and you know that this team is focused on getting it for their fallen coach. Trouble is, they are taking the worst rush defense in the country into this weekend's game against P.J. Hill. Indiana is 5-3 ATS against the Badgers and the road team is 4-1 ATS in this series.
9) Temple (6-2) - Hey, I'm just as surprised as you are. But after spending several years at the bottom of the D-I barrel, the Owls have themselves a defense that hits hard enough to compete in the MAC. That's really the key issue: here is a program that was trying to compete with West Virginia and Louisville each year and now they're knocking heads with Buffalo and Kent State.
10) Connecticut (4-1) - I gotta give the Huskies some love. However, UConn has the No. 6 defense in the country, but they've faced five offenses ranked No. 90 or below, four ranked No. 100 or below, and they were fortunate enough to get Louisville on a sloppy field. The Huskies are 0-11 SU against ranked opponents and I think there's some bad karma on this team after the way they have handled the blown fair catch call.
11) UCLA (5-2) - Would I be shocked if they lost at Washington State, a team that's beaten the Bruins five of the last six times? Absolutely not. UCLA is 7-23-1 ATS against sub-.500 teams. That's Karl Dorrell for you. Also, MLB Christian Taylor will likely be out for this game with a concussion. He is responsible for making the defensive calls and could be a huge blow. The home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings, the underdog is 5-1 ATS, and the Bruins are 0-6 ATS against the Cougars.
12) Duke (5-2) - This could be as good of a time as ever for the Blue Devils to steal a cover against the Seminoles. The road team is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings, Duke had an extra week to prepare, and FSU could be set for a Hangover Game after their tough loss to Miami. Duke has covered four straight as a double-digit dog.
13) Cincinnati (5-2) - Yes, after two straight brutal SU losses as a double-digit favorite I'm still not wavering in my support for the Bearcats. Clearly, they are human. But I think their Big East struggles have added some value on what is a very good team.
14) Troy (5-2) - The Trojans are just wrecking people in the Sun Belt, winning five straight games by an average of 21.6 points per game. They too are heading to a place that they do not play well at - Arkansas State. I think this is a Red Flag Line (Troy -4), and the Trojans are 1-5 SU and ATS against ASU.
15) Ball State (5-2) - Nate Davis is one of the best quarterbacks that you don't know about, and this team can put up a lot of points in a short amount of time. They were a missed field goal away from beating Nebraska a month ago and they could catch Illinois feeling sorry for itself this weekend. The Cardinals are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games and 10-1 ATS against a team with a winning record.
Others receiving votes: Kansas State (4-2), Florida Atlantic (5-2), Fresno State (4-2), Middle Tennessee State (5-2), South Carolina (4-3), UAB (4-2), Illinois (4-3).
For more info on Robert's members picks, check out his Insider Page here.