College Football Power Rankings - The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 10/07/2008
Just another DOMINATING weekend for the Ferringo 15, as our teams turned in an eye-popping 11-3 ATS with one team on a bye. That means that over the last two weeks the F-15 is 18-5-1 ATS and on the season my teams are 34-15-1 ATS on the year. That's a .694 winning percentage if you had played these teams blind the week after they had been listed in the Ferringo 15!!!
We have a few new members of the F-15 this week. Ole Miss and Alabama are both out - and I don't think their value will work its way back up into worthiness this year - and surprising Florida International is in at No. 14 and North Carolina, a preseason Top 5 team in the Ferringo 15, has snuck its way back into the fold.
Without further ado, here is our Ferringo 15 (all records are ATS):
1) Oklahoma State (4-0) - Big showdown in Columbia this weekend with the mighty Missouri Tigers. Mizzou has dominated this series, winning eight of 11 and covering seven of the last nine. But, admittedly, this is not the same Oklahoma State team that we've seen over the last few years. This club is focused and ruthless, and I think they are relishing the chance to take a swing at a Top 10 team. However, this is just their second road game of the year and the Cowboys are just 9-21 ATS as a road dog over the last seven years.
2) Georgia Tech (4-0) - The Jackets simply dominated the Blue Devils last weekend and are adjusting well to the role of favorite. Their last two wins were by an average of nearly 30 points per game and they covered the two lines by a combined 38 points. A big plus for this team to this point has been the schedule. And it helps them out again. They had a bye week in between Mississippi State and Duke, and now they basically have a scrimmage with Gardner Webb before a crucial showdown with Clemson.
3) Arizona (4-1) - Right now the Wildcats are the Pac-10 sleeper that their in-state rivals in Tempe were supposed to be. And I really only see this team getting better now that stud tight end Rob Gronkowski is back in the fold. Gronkowski missed Arizona's first three games because of a bout with mono. But he has tallied five touchdowns in two games since he's been back and the Cats have managed 79 points in those two conference games. Potential trap game this weekend at Stanford. Arizona has home games against Cal and USC coming up after their trip to Stanford.
4) Vanderbilt (5-0) - I'm starting to get the impression that Vanderbilt is this year's Virginia. Last year the Cavaliers were a team that people had trouble buying into until it was too late. UVA caught a lot of breaks, made a lot of breaks, and superceded everyone's expectations. Vanderbilt is currently ranked right behind Georgia. I mean, c'mon. They should be sinking like a stone in the F-15 because of the hype surrounding what they're doing. But the truth is that as long as teams keep doubting them I think they are still in a great position to continue to cash in. And getting back top wideout George Smith, who still isn't 100 percent, will only help that passing attack.
5) TCU (4-1) - This is a team that I am very frustrated with myself for not playing more. They have covered 19 of 26 Mountain West Conference games and have been dominating people with the No. 1 defense in the country. They are allowing an average of just 20 rushing yards per game. Twenty. And that includes a game against Oklahoma in which they held the mighty Sooners to just 31 total rushing yards. They have beaten Colorado State three straight times by an average of 23 points per game. But beware: the Frogs may be looking ahead to a crucial game next Thursday against BYU and they are just 4-10-1 as a road favorite over the last five years.
6) Tulsa (4-0) - The Golden Hurricane just keep on keepin' on. The nation's No. 1 offense in 2007 is right back at it, and is currently No. 1 in the country in total offense and in points scored. They have scored at least 56 points in each of their last four games and now face one of the worst defenses in the country (SMU) that is No. 117 in total yards and No. 116 in points allowed. Yikes. But keep this in mind: the home team has won six straight in the SMU-Tulsa series and SMU has covered four straight.
7) Temple (4-1-1) - What my Owls have done this year--and I will call them 'my Owls' because I've been on this team since the beginning--is sensational considering they lost their starting quarterback. But that is helping to keep their value up and keep them in my Top 10. They are dogs again this weekend at Central Michigan, but the line has dropped from a +10 open to a +8.5 current line. Maybe people are starting to realize that this is one of the top defenses in the country and that Al Golden is a rising coaching star.
8) Northern Illinois (4-0) - I can't give the Huskies enough credit for the way they played Tennessee last week. Phil Fulmer is a guy who is known for running it up on teams from smaller conferences and he desperately needed a blowout win last week to keep the lynch mob at bay. They are still lurking in the MAC West and get three straight home games. Miami of Ohio is reeling, and NIU has won three straight in this series. But the oddsmakers are getting to a point where they are going to start piling points on the Huskies to slow down their ATS success.
9) Air Force (3-1) - Finally. I finally bet against the Falcons last week and won! I am still not convinced that this Air Force team is as good as they have played. But I'm still not willing to wager and find out. They come off an emotional two-game home stretch against Utah and Navy, both close losses, and now head on the road to take on an undisciplined and seemingly disorganized San Diego State team.
10) Buffalo (4-1) - Really a huge game on the horizon for the Bulls. They are hosting Western Michigan, the prohibitive favorite in the MAC. But they have had two weeks to prepare and get healthy and this could be a turning point in their season. The fact that Buffalo is favored in this game is quite a surprise. But it also shows that the word is out on Turner Gill's boys. That said, I don't like it that UB is taking 66 percent of the action on this game and that the line is moving against them. Bad sign for our MAC sleeper.
11) Ball State (5-0) - Curious. Ball State broke into the Top 25 this week. Hooray for them, and they certainly deserve it. Nate Davis is the best quarterback that most people have never heard of. But after cracking the AP Top 25 Ball State's spread against hapless Western Kentucky dropped from 20.0 to 16.0. Red flag. Ball State has a great schedule over the next month and should continue to be a solid earner.
12) Minnesota (4-1) - They cover as an underdog. They cover as a moderate favorite. They just continue to cover. The Golden Gophers are going to be a team that no one saw coming on its way to earning bowl eligibility. They should be underdogs in the remainder of their games, with the exception of a home tilt with Northwestern, and I am willing to wager that they go 4-2 ATS the rest of the way. Mark it down.
13) Texas (5-0) - Tough test this weekend with Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout. (I know the Political Correctness Police changed the name, but I don't care.) What is unique about this game is that both OU and UT are undefeated against the spread heading into it. These are two very public, very high profile teams yet they have both exceeded their already lofty expectations. Texas is a decisive underdog. But you always have to think that points in a rivalry game like this have increased value.
14) Florida International (4-1) - No one told FIU that they weren't supposed to be any good this year. Part of their ATS success as come from absurdly low expectations. However, they have been smoking hot over their last three games: playing USF tough before losing by just eight points, blowing out Toledo at the Glass Bowl, and routing North Texas as a road favorite. They now catch a home game against an MTSU team off a miraculous win. This is a letdown spot for the Raiders, but they are also the better team, have proven themselves against better competition, and are catching points. But FIU also has the motivation of wanting to revenge a 47-6 beat down at the hands of MTSU last year.
15) North Carolina (3-1) - Welcome back Cam Sexton. The once-banished starter is back at the helm and his redemption story certainly is a good one. UNC will get a crack at an up-and-coming Notre Dame team this week and will need to play their best game to avoid the upset. Notre Dame really is not a joke this season. Also, UNC has been outgained in three of its four wins (but not its lone loss) and that's usually a bad sign for a team ATS.
Others Receiving Votes: Mississippi (3-2), Texas Tech (2-0-1), Louisiana-Lafayette (4-1), Kentucky (3-1), San Jose State (3-1), Duke (3-1), Missouri (3-1), Iowa State (3-1), Penn State (4-1), Alabama (4-2)
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.