College Football Power Rankings - The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 11/21/2008
Unfortunately, I think the dream is dead.
The Ferringo 15 has gone just 7-19 over the last two weeks after starting the season with a sensational 60-32-2 ATS run. Tracking these teams in my College Football Profit Power Rankings is the perfect display of how the books act, react, and how to counter them. Our teams were under the radar to begin the season. But as the year went on the numbers have caught up to them and now, late in the season, all of the value that was there early in the year is now gone.
This week's team is now more of a reward for clubs that have performed the best against the number this season. But in reality there is just not a ton of value left in these clubs. In fact, the best bets over the next two weeks may be to wager on some of the nation's underachievers who may jump up and bite someone (against the number, anyway) to close the year. But that is not how this works.
So without further ado, here is our Week 12 Ferringo 15 Profit-Power Rankings:
1) Oklahoma State (8-2) - I'm sticking with my boys in the top spot, just because they've been good to us this year. They get a week off to prepare for Bedlam, while Oklahoma is putting all of its effort and emphasis on this week's game against Texas Tech. Just a great spot for the Cowboys, especially if OU wins this week.
2) Ball State (8-2) - Wednesday marked yet another Ball State win and they have continued to cover tough, tough spreads in conference games. You really can't undervalue that. The MAC really was one of the best conferences in the country this year from a value standpoint (only two of 13 teams have a losing ATS record) and Ball State has been the best of the bunch. That's saying something.
3) California (7-3) - Even though Cal screwed the pooch last week at Oregon State I still think that this is a very solid squad and that they are going to make a nice bowl bet. That said, I don't really know if I see the Bears blowing out Stanford in this weekend's Rivalry Game.
4) Florida (8-2) - The thing that disappointed me the most about the South Carolina game (well, besides the fact that I lost my bet on the Cocks) was that I never really got to evaluate how the Gators would do against a smash mouth team. Because that's exactly what they are going to face when they take on Alabama in the Georgia Dome. Or maybe I did see it, and the answer is: they dominated.
5) Oregon State (7-2) - I don't know how I let the Beavers slide through the cracks this year but they have been one of the best wagers in the country. And if you want any insight into my luck on the gridiron: OSU has only not covered in two games, and I bet on them for one of them (at Penn State). Also, Fresno State has only covered one line this year (at Rutgers) and I bet against them in that game. I swear I am a great handicapper with horrible luck.
6) TCU (7-3) - Wow. That's all I can say about TCU's spread against Air Force this week, which is 19.5. TCU does have revenge and their last two wins over the Falcons (in 2005 and 2006) were by an average of 31 points. But still. Oh, yeah, then there's that whole "absolutely dominating rush defense" thing. That helps too.
7) North Carolina State (7-2) - If you want to talk about a team to watch for next year, this is it. N.C. State has been decimated by injuries but they just continue to cover spreads. N.C. State is kind of the opposite of Fresno State and East Carolina (combined 3-16 ATS) in that they were left for dead because of how they looked the first two weeks of the year. But they responded by being one of the best bets in the country.
8) Georgia Tech (7-2) - Huge win last night at home against a Miami team that is trying to wrap up a trip to the conference championship game. Just an amazing job by Paul Johnson and he should get a lot of consideration for Coach of the Year. Tech has to travel to Athens next week to close the season. But they have run on everyone this year and if they are catching as many points as I think they might be (around 17) I think they will be a must play.
9) Boise State (6-3-1) - On the one hand it's hard to say that this team has a ton of value considering they are in the Top 10 in the country and that they have been wrecking people this season. On the other hand they are only laying six points at Nevada this week and could find themselves in a BCS bowl game. I still say that this team is not as good as they have played. But we will see on Saturday if I am right.
10) Texas (8-3) - I actually think that - ironically enough - a lot of Texas' value depends on what happens in Norman this weekend. If Texas Tech wins then Texas is pretty much screwed as far as making it to the Big 12 Title Game. They would have a shot at a BCS bowl game though if they can beat Texas A&M badly enough. If Oklahoma wins then the Horns are in a position to where they still have a shot at the national title game.
11) Louisiana-Lafayette (7-3) - You can't say that I didn't tip you off that the Cajuns would be hard-pressed to beat Florida Atlantic last week. I'm just kicking myself for not making FAU a higher pick. However, UL-L still has a lot to play for and after getting blown out and failing to cover two spreads in a row they have some value against a Troy team that could let down after nearly beating LSU.
12) Penn State (6-3-1) - Huge game at home this week against Michigan State. But for a team that has been a covering machine, I can't say that the Lions still have a ton of value. They are simply laying too many points this week for it to be considered a high-value spot. That's not to say that they can't, or won't, cover this week against Sparty. I'm just saying that there are no surprises left for the Lions.
13) Minnesota (7-3) - It's been a whirlwind last month for the Gophers. They were riding high and were one of the best stories in the country at 6-1. But then when they actually started playing people they lost a stunner to Northwestern, a stunner at home to Michigan, and then stunningly almost knocked off Wisconsin in Madison. Weird. Now they have a chance to sink the Iowa ship, although Minnesota is just 2-7 ATS against the Hawkeyes.
14) Air Force (7-3) - Hey, I actually won a bet against the Falcons last week. It wasn't easy, but I proved that it's possible. I will now restore my moratorium on wagering against them this season.
15) Florida International (6-2-1) - The Panthers have performed well at the No. 15 slot so I see no reason to move them and mess with the mojo.
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.