College Football Power Rankings - The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 09/12/2008
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.
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This is not a ranking of the15 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.
The Ferringo 15 went 8-3 ATS last week for a solid start to the year, and UNC covered on Thursday to run our mark to 9-3. So without further ado, here is our Ferringo 15 (all records are ATS):
1) Mississippi (2-0) - The Rebels played a fantastic game on Saturday in their near-miss against Wake Forest. Actually, the only reason that they stayed on top of the F-15 is because they did lose. Had they won the gig would be up (it may already be) on how good this team is and hence their value would have decreased. They have a soft game against Samford this weekend before hosting Vanderbilt. Then a trip to The Swamp for Florida. I think there is still plenty of meat left on the bone with this club.
2) Oklahoma State (2-0) - Absolutely killing myself for not backing Oklahoma State for the second straight week. Ugh. But they have three straight home games (this week they are "off" against Missouri State) that I think they can dominate before a Big Money game at Missouri. I love the way their schedule sets up and I already have some situations circled where the Cowboys will likely warrant being a top play.
3) North Carolina (1-0) - Unfortunately, UNC's value is on the way down after their monster win over Rutgers on Thursday. Everyone's going to be singing their praises and that's the last thing we want. I was really hoping that Rutgers would beat them down so we could get on UNC against Va. Tech in a big way. However, if the Hokies lose to Georgia Tech this weekend then one of my favorite plays in the ACC goes down the drain.
4) TCU (1-0) - I definitely think that two touchdowns is too much for this Horned Frogs club to be laying to a Pac-10 upstart this weekend, but TCU has looked as sharp as any mid-Major team in the country to this point. They have an intriguing schedule on the horizon - with road games at wacky SMU and a trip to Oklahoma - but I think there is enough experience and talent here for the Froggies to be a player.
5) Temple (2-0) - I love it. We are 2-for-2 with Temple games and they have really played well in both outings. The trouble is that I could see them falling into the ol' Letdown this weekend after a really tough overtime loss to rival UConn. The Owls had that game wrapped up and now they are on the road against an energized Buffalo bunch.
6) Ball State (1-0) - This weekend's matchup with Akron is a very, very trick detail for the Cardinals. I don't think that this defense should be laying a TD on the road to an offense that can move the ball like the Zips. However, Ball State is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 road games and is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games overall. If they lose, BSU maintains some value. If they win and cover, this team may have maxed out.
7) Iowa (2-0) - I fully understand that they have played two pathetic excuses for football teams in Maine and Florida International. But if Rick Stanzi can stabilize the Black Hole that this team has had at quarterback then the Hawkeyes could pull a stunner or two in conference play. They have a big rivalry rematch with Iowa State this weekend and a tricky game at Pittsburgh following that. But I think this teams is picking up steam heading into Big Ten play.
8) Rice (2-0) - If you want to talk about all-time fluke wins, the Rice Owls' comeback at Memphis - who, by the way, are pretty much the Oakland Raiders of college football in terms of being a total disaster - has to be up there over the last few years. The Clement-Dillard combo means that the Owls are never out of a game. Also, this team gets bonus points: they are 42-11 against the total over the last five years.
9) Northern Illinois (2-0) - NIU is 0-2 in the standings but 2-0 at the window; that is Ferringo 15 gold! The experience that they bring to the table each week with 22 returning starters is priceless and I can see this team doing a lot of damage in the wide-open MAC. If they do ever get rolling I'd be worried about them as a favorite, but this NIU club is definitely a live dog.
10) Arizona (2-0) - Listen, I still don't trust Willy Tuitama like I don't trust Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins, Aaron Brooks, and any number of other boneheaded quarterbacks capable of having a big game or two. But this Wildcats team is getting a look like their in-state rivals, the Sun Devils, had last year. The Wildcats aren't good defensively, but their ability to score and create some turnovers will make them a tough out for the Pac-10 big shots.
11) Georgia Tech (1-0) - Why are the Yellowjackets on this list instead of Vanderbilt, when the 'Dores have two ATS wins on their plate? Well, by playing in the sad-sack ACC I think that Georgia Tech has the better opportunity to win some games and cause some problems. Also, I think Vandy is a bit too banged up right now and that their star is fading a bit. Tech does need to limit the fumbles though if they want to continue to cash. Especially against an opportunistic Va. Tech squad.
12) Buffalo (2-0) - Turner Gill has done a masterful job of turning this Bulls program around. And in a wide-open MAC race there is no reason that this team can't compete. Drew Willy and James Starks actually outplayed their more ballyhooed counterparts on Pittsburgh last week.
13) Kansas State (1-0) - The Wildcats can justify this ranking by going into Louisville and tearing the Cardinals' head off next Wednesday night. Right now there's a lot of buzz surrounding Josh Freeman, the K-State quarterback. But be wary: he is still a turnover machine and you may not want to get too cozy with the Wildcats. However, after a very disappointing year last year the Wildcats have low expectations from the media but a nice-sized chip on their shoulder.
14) California (2-0) - Hello, Pac-10 sleeper. Cal is a very talented team and Jeff Tedford has them playing with a purpose. No letdown after their big win against Michigan State opening week as they put a 66-3 whooping on Washington State. USC, Oregon, and Arizona State are getting all the love, but Cal has the best value and may, when it's all said and done, prove themselves as the best squad.
15) Air Force (1-0) - Last week was the last time, maybe ever, that I will bet against the Falcons. This is not a very strong team. At least not compared to last year's unit. But they are incredibly well-coached and their execution is second to none.
Others Receiving Votes: Vanderbilt, Ohio