College Football Power Rankings - The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 10/29/2008
Last week the Ferringo 15 posted an absolutely ridiculous 10-1-1 mark ATS. And then they proved, once again, why I'm never as confident as I am after a losing day or week, and why I'm never as nervous as I am after a huge winning day or week.
It's all about regression, folks. It's all about market corrections and statistical certainties. So last week I said that in spite of the F-15's incredible 10-1-1 weekend I would be more likely to fade them over last weekend because I was expecting the numbers to even themselves out a bit. And what happened? The Ferringo 15 went 5-5 last week, discounting the Oklahoma State-Texas game because it pit two of our Top 15 profit teams against one another.
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Despite the subpar showing, my Ferringo 15 is now 55-29-2, good for an amazing 65.5 percent success rate. I really don't have any predictions for how our boys will perform this week. But I will say that the full-season numbers speak for themselves. So without further ado, here is our Ferringo 15 (all records are ATS):
1) Oklahoma State (7-0) - Is there any doubt that this team is going to win its bowl game by 30? The Cowboys will likely get relegated to some second- or third-tier bowl affair despite the fact that they are a Top 10 club. They have covered every game they have played this year. And while they might have some trouble getting up for Iowa State this weekend as 30-point favorites, I do think this OSU team will beat either Texas Tech or Oklahoma this season.
2) Arizona (6-2) - Great loss by the Wildcats last week. I say "great" because they easily covered the spread, but still took the 'L', so their value isn't completely wrecked (which a straight-up win over USC would have done). The Cats have a weekend off, and then it will be interesting to see if they have the maturity to go to Washington State and lay one on the Cougars. Wazzou is the worst BCS team in the country - by far - but should be catching a boatload of points. The Wildcats have a trip to Autzen the week following and have to make sure they aren't looking ahead.
3) Georgia Tech (5-1) - I do wonder how this team would be performing if it were not in the sad sack ACC. But hey, it is what it is and we should just keep cashing on them. There's been significant movement in this weekend's game against Florida State, as the Jackets opened as a small dog but are now a small favorite. Tech absolutely has to have this game if they want a shot at the ACC title game and I expect a sharp effort from the Jackets at home.
4) Temple (5-2-1) - Now that the Owls have their quarterback in the fold they are a player once again in the MAC race. This club has a losing record on the year, but for my money is the best team in their division. The Owls have a revenge game with Navy this weekend in a rematch of a contest where that they virtually gave away with penalties, turnovers, and sloppy play in last season's opener. Temple finishes the year with the lower rungs of the MAC and I can honestly see a situation in which they run the table - if they can get by the Middies.
5) Northern Illinois (5-2) - Big game next Wednesday for the Huskies. I anticipate that they will be catching double-digits at Ball State. NIU has lost two straight against BSU and are 0-3 ATS in the last three meetings. However, the idea of a national TV audience lining up to throw square money on Ball State and tipping the line to favor the Huskies is a very appealing thought indeed.
6) Minnesota (6-1) - With each win the season for the Golden Gophers is getting more and more special. There is an air about this team that they are going to do what they have to do to win ball games and when all is said and done this team will likely have completed the biggest turnaround in the nation. They get Northwestern at home in a revenge game, and the Wildcats may be without starting QB C.J. Bacher and stud tailback Ty Sutton. The breaks just keep going their way.
7) Penn State (6-1-1) - Tremendous win by the Nittany Lions against Ohio State, and this week they get a well-earned week off. Penn State has now won at Wisconsin and at Ohio State, something that only about six people in the country probably thought they had a realistic chance to do when the season started. The Lions are No. 8 in the nation in offense and No. 12 in defense. And like it or not, the Big Ten may have another national title contender.
8) TCU (6-2) - Wow. Once again, I have a team that I know is one of the best bets in the country and I simply am too stupid to throw down on them. Ugh. In TCU's last seven games against teams not named Oklahoma, they have outgained their opponents by an average of 231 yards per game. They are simply devastating at the line of scrimmage. And, yet again, I may have found a reason not to back them this week: they are on the road, after two dominating performances, laying 14 points the week before they play a season-defining game at Utah. Decisions, decisions.
9) Tulsa (6-1) - It had to feel good for the Golden Hurricane to overwhelm a Central Florida team that beat them twice last season. Tulsa's +236 point differential (29.5 per game) is one of the largest marks in the country. This team simply cannot be stopped on offense. They are stepping up in class this weekend against Arkansas though. As the Hogs represent the best team that Tulsa will face all year. However, the Razorbacks are coming off an emotional game against their former coach and have a tough trip to South Carolina on deck. Still, tough to see Tulsa favored over an SEC foe.
10) San Jose State (5-2) - I always manage to back the one F-15 team that doesn't cover. That was the case with the Spartans, who came up short against Boise State in a crucial WAC tilt last Friday. I don't begrudge this team that loss. Boise played fantastic, and SJS still battled back and hung around in that game. This team has plenty of ATS scores left in it.
11) Ball State (6-1) - An uninspired win over bottom-feeder Eastern Michigan last week is a red flag. It's a sign that the Ball State bandwagon is about to be set ablaze. This team is now No. 16 in the polls and is being pimped as a BCS Buster. However, three of their next four games are against MAC teams that are a combined 13-2 SU in conference play. Those three games are against primary West rivals, and you know those teams will be geeked up for a shot to knock off a Top 25 opponent.
12) Vanderbilt (6-2) - "Uh oh." That has to be the sentiment around Vandy these days. This program has been down this road before - just one win away from bowl eligibility only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them. The Commodores' 10-7 loss to Duke isn't altogether stunning, but it has to have rattled Vandy's cage. They catch Florida in two weeks, after the Gators tussle with UGA. That could be a decent ATS situation. But right now I want no part of this team as a favorite.
13) Texas (7-1) - The Longhorns are headed into a snake pit in Lubbock this weekend. Texas has been "in the bubble" as I like to say. That, to me, is when a team gets in a zone where they can seemingly do no wrong. Like Mario when he would eat a star. But Texas started blinking last week and now their superpowers are gone. That said, this game is the only thing standing between Texas and a trip to the Big 12 championship.
14) Florida International (5-1-1) - The Panthers are coming off a bye week but are still trying to get healthy. That said, this team has been banged up, hasn't played exceptionally well in any facet, and yet still continues to cover. This team is an ATS anomaly. They are not No. 1 in the conference in any category (other than kick returns) and are last in pass offense and second-to-last in rush offense. Yet, they just continue to cover, and they are catching at least a touchdown again this week.
15) Louisiana-Lafayette (6-1) - Mike Desormeaux is now probable for this week's homecoming game against FIU. The Rajin Cajuns are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games but have covered all four meetings with the Panthers.
Others Receiving Votes: California (4-2), Air Force (5-2)
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 nonsensical, random, speculative power rankings based on my own biases and conjecture. 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.
This is not a ranking of the 15 top teams to bet in any given week. This is an overall overview and ranking of the teams that have been the most profitable throughout the season. That said, last year the teams that were listed in my Ferringo 15 every Wednesday covered the spread that weekend at a 56-percent success rate, making the F-15 a pretty solid system in and of itself. Also, in 2007 the teams that ended the season in the Ferringo 15 finished an astonishing 121-46 ATS, good for a 73-percent success rate and nearly $70,000 for dime bettors.