College Football Power Rankings - The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 09/17/2008
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 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.
It was a pedestrian 3-3 ATS week for the Ferringo 15 last week, discounting Temple's game against Buffalo. However, the F-15 is still 11-6 on the season for a strong start. Without further ado, here is our Ferringo 15 (all records are ATS):
1) Mississippi (2-0) - Ole Miss was off the board last week, but their value didn't take a hit. After a potential letdown spot following a tough Wake Forest loss, Ole Miss didn't lose to Samford (which would tell me they weren't as good as I thought) and they didn't blow the Bulldogs out (which would have told everyone how good they are). The Rebels held Wake to 2.6 yards per rush two weeks ago. They will need to be that stout against a dangerous Vandy attack this week. The Rebs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven against the 'Dores.
2) Oklahoma State (2-0) - Hopefully a week off will keep the Cowboys off some radars for the next couple weeks. They have back-to-back home games closing out a four-game stretch in Stillwater: Troy on Sept. 27 and Texas A&M on Oct. 4. Those are both revenge games and I will be surprised if they don't win both games by at least three touchdowns.
3) North Carolina (1-0) - If the Tar Heels beat Virginia Tech this weekend then UNC may find themselves out of the Top 10 here. Again, it's all about value. And back-to-back wins against Rutgers and Va. Tech would really sound the alarms for the squares that this Heels squad is one of the two or three best teams in the ACC. (Which I predicted at the start of the year.)
4) TCU (2-0) - The Horned Frogs absolutely dominated Stanford over the weekend, and that's a tremendous accomplishment for a team that could have been distracted by the impending hurricane. TCU made two huge stops - an INT in the end zone when a TD could have tied the game in the second half, and a fourth-and-one stop at midfield in the fourth quarter - and their defense has allowed just 24 points (to 124 scored) through three games. They are 24-point favorites this week but are coming off a big win, they have a game at Oklahoma on deck, and they are facing a fluky, pass-happy attack on the road. TCU is just 1-4 ATS in its last five against SMU.
5) Temple (3-0) - Not only killing myself for not going to the well with the Owls, but pissed that I actually bet against them! The Owls are now 1-2 on the year and may be the best 1-2 team in the country. A tough loss at home to Connecticut in overtime was only surpassed by a loss on the final play at Buffalo. Now Temple has to get up for a trip to Happy Valley, where a not-as-good Penn State team beat them 31-0 last year. Can the Owls avoid the letdown? A critical question. But this team is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games.
6) Ball State (2-0) - That was a solid 17-point win on the road against an Akron squad that has just played a pair of BCS schools tough. Ball State will be an F-15 staple this year mainly because Nate Davis is probably one of the best 5-10 quarterbacks in the country. Three of the next four are on the road for BSU, and I'm going to be wary of them as a road favorite. But first things first: they need a grudge win over Indiana, which dealt them an 18-point blasting last year. BSU basically stood no chance in that game though, as a win was needed to send Indiana into a bowl game. This year it may be different, but Indiana is also 20-0 in their last 20 against MAC teams.
7) Vanderbilt (3-0) - Perhaps it's no coincidence that there are three option teams on my list this week. And right now Vandy is the best one. The Commodores are headed to Oxford this weekend and again catching some points. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five at Ole Miss, 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings, the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, and Vandy is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games on the road. All-in-all this team has been paying out.
8) Southern Mississippi (3-0) - Hey, if you start 3-0 you get on the list. I am stunned by Southern Miss's success to start the season when absolutely everything pointed to the contrary. They brought back just 10 starters and had to go through a coaching change. But this team has played very tough football. They handled a pair of BCS teams and managed to backdoor Auburn. So why aren't they ranked higher if they are 3-0? Because as they head into conference play I think they might come back down to earth a bit.
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 (2-1) - Raise your hand if you didn't think that Arizona was good for one or two embarrassing, inexplicable road losses. Anyone? Yeah, Mike Stoops is still a joke when it comes to scheme and motivation and this Wildcats team is going to be involved in several wild and wacky games this year. I think you will be able to earn with them - that's why they are on the list - but let's just say that you might not want to watch too many of their games if you have money on them. Could be bad for your heart.
11) Georgia Tech (2-0) - Coach Johnson is taking some flack from the local media for calling the play-by-play guys in the Va. Tech game "morons". Tough times. We'll now see how the Jackets perform as a favorite and as somewhat of a market team. Mississippi State hails from the SEC, a conference that has dominated the ACC against the spread. MSU brings the No. 21 defense in the nation to Atlanta and will mark Tech's toughest test to day.
12) Alabama (2-1) - Armed with the most experienced quarterback in the SEC, John Parker Wilson, the Crimson Tide are a serious BCS sleeper. They have the overall talent to beat Georgia, Florida, and the rest of the heavyweights and we will likely get the best line value on this team. They are a poor 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games and 1-6 ATS in SEC play. They are just 1-4 ATS against Arkansas and just 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings. I think this is a different team, though. We will see.
13) Florida Atlantic (2-1) - The Owls have played a brutal nonconference schedule and the reason they make the list, mainly, is because I think they are going to wreck people in Sun Belt play. They have a Grudge Game this weekend at Minnesota, as the Gophers are going to want some payback for their shocking loss at FAU last season. They played Michigan State tight and covered in that game on the road last week. Can they deal with that serious travel two weeks in a row? To cover this weekend they may have to win outright.
14) Air Force (2-0) - Never betting against the Falcons. Why not bet on them every week then? It doesn't work like that. This is a fickle business. Air Force used and abused Utah last year when the Utes were laying in the gutter. I doubt the Utes have forgotten. Air Force is 3-1 ATS against Utah, but they are just 1-3 ATS in their last four at home against them. This is, yet again, a solid 'stay away' game for me since my lean is on Utah.
15) Iowa (2-1) - Die Kirk Ferentz you fucking clown. He takes an unnecessary safety at the end of the Iowa State game and then the first words out of his mouth at his postgame press conference are about the spread of the game. I leave them in here at the end basically so I can rail him and mention A) what a joke Iowa football has become, and B) tell him to have a fun time with the job search at the end of this season. This team was pathetic on Saturday on offense, and Rick Stanzi is pretty clueless under center. This team could pull an upset or an ATS cash in Big Ten play against the Big Boys, but only if they are catching a boat load of points.
Others Receiving Votes: Penn State (2-0), Texas (2-0), Oklahoma (2-0), Missouri (2-0), Tulsa (2-0), Tulane (2-0), Cal (2-1), Oregon (2-1), Kansas State (1-0), Middle Tennessee State (2-1), San Jose State (2-0), Buffalo (2-1), Rice (2-1), Duke (2-0)