College Football Power Rankings - The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 10/14/2008
Well, last week we saw the other side of the Ferringo 15. This is our Profit-Power Rankings, with each team moving up and down based on their overall value in the market. The rankings aren't based on any specific matchup, but instead are calculated to reflect past, present, and future projections against the spread.
Two weeks ago the F-15 posted a sensational 11-3 ATS mark to run our season record to 34-15-1 (69.4 percent). Well, the market finally corrected on our clubs and last week we posted our first losing week of the year. The F-15 was just 6-8 on the weekend. And although our No. 1 team scored the biggest upset of the week (Oklahoma State over Missouri) it was a rare down week. However, I'm not going to bite the hand that feeds us and I didn't orchestrate a major shakeup.
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Without further ado, here is our Ferringo 15 (all records are ATS):
1) Georgia Tech (4-0) - Almost by default, the Jackets are one of the top teams, in terms of value, left. Clemson is an absolute wreck and G-Tech has a great opportunity to solidify its position in the ACC race this weekend. The problem is that the Yellowjackets have played a bunch of patsies up to this point and now the schedule starts to thicken up. I think the Ramblin' Wreck dump four of their next six and I think they have peaked.
2) Arizona (4-2) - I don't trust Willie Tuitama. I don't trust Mike Stoops. I don't trust the Wildcats defense. But by the looks of it, not too many others do as well. Last year Arizona State had their crack at being a Pac-10 dark horse. Now the boys at U of A are relishing the role. Last week's loss at Stanford wasn't all that unpredictable. But I actually think that sets them up nicely for a "surprise" win against Cal this weekend.
3) Oklahoma State (5-0) - This is how it goes in the Ferringo 15 - sometimes when you win you actually drop in the rankings. Oklahoma State is off to a fantastic start to the year. But after their marquee win over Mizzou last week it looks like the public is onto them. I still think they can catch some good odds in the loaded Big 12. But it's clear that they are no longer the sleeper that I had been saying they were for weeks.
4) Vanderbilt (5-1) - This ranking is very hesitant, and based solely on the fact that they are still catching over two touchdowns heading into Athens this weekend. Clearly they still have some value and its obvious that most bettors still aren't buying into the 'Dores. However, how they perform with that cushion against the Bulldogs will determine if they stay or go.
5) San Jose State (4-1) - Dick Tomey's club may be the best team in the WAC. Yeah, that includes Boise State. The Spartans were decimated by injuries last year and were absolutely tossed around. But this season things appear to be clicking and they may boast the best defense in the conference. They have a tricky game at New Mexico State this weekend, but get Boise State and Fresno State at home. I think they win one of those games outright.
6) Ball State (6-0) - I guess that's what I get for not having more faith. After riding BSU for the first month of the season I've gotten off them over the last couple weeks. I figured that their foray into the Top 25 and the loss of Dante Love would have bumped them down in the value category. Not true. The bottom line is that Nate Davis is just a sensational leader and their defense has only given up seven points in its last two games - both on the road. That right there is why they are getting it done at the window.
7) Minnesota (6-1) - With all due respect to Penn State, the Gophers may still be the best bet in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers are fourth - yes, FOURTH - in the Big Ten right now, ahead of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. And if they played any of those clubs tomorrow they would likely be dogged. They have a very awkward game this weekend at Purdue and then get three of four at home to close the year. These guys are in a real nice spot to make a move toward a solid bowl game just one year after being a laughing stock.
8) Texas (6-0) - You know, this one is all about respect for the fact that such a public team can post a 6-0 ATS mark. And after watching Kansas go 10-1 ATS to start the year last year I'm not going to play against or write off any Big 12 team. That said, I don't look for these Horns to be the No. 1 team in the country for very long. The Big 12 is just too competitive for them not to get caught off guard. And was Will Muschamp a tremendous pickup or what?
9) Florida International (5-1) - Hey, who the hell are these guys? The Golden Panthers were a team with absolutely zero expectations heading into this year. So I guess it's pretty easy to exceed expectations when you don't really have any. They have won three straight, but have their next two games on the road. They catch a scrappy Troy team fresh off an emotional win over Florida Atlantic and then have a bye week before a trip to UL-Lafayette. FIU is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games.
10) Northern Illinois (4-1) - Really a critical game for the Huskies this week at home against Bowling Green. NIU is hanging on for dear life in the loaded MAC West and has to keep pace with a home win over a solid East squad. NIU has the No. 1 defense in the MAC - great value stat - and they only lost by eight combined points to Minnesota and Tennessee. Very good team. Just hope they can find their way into a bowl game.
11) Air Force (4-1) - The Falcons just keep on performing. They are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games and a stellar 10-1 ATS in their last 11 conference games. This week they get a crack at a UNLV squad that was overwhelmed by Nevada's rush-oriented attack and they are still a seemingly underrated favorite (-4.5). They have covered five of six meetings and seem to really be overcoming the youth that I thought would doom them this season.
12) California (4-1) - The Golden Bears are set for the defining portion of their schedule following their bye week. They have a tricky game at Arizona against the upstart Wildcats, then home games against UCLA (whom they should whip) and Oregon (who they should whip even worse), before a trip to face USC in a game that could be for the Pac-10 title. But first things first. If Cal can get past Arizona they are in a position to make a serious run out West. But that loss at Maryland is still a huge red flag against this team.
13) Tulsa (4-1) - I said last week that I don't think Tulsa is that good. Yes, statistically speaking they have the No. 1 offense in the country, are 6-0 overall, and are 4-1 ATS. But I still do not like their long-term prospects. Frankly, they are overrated. So why are they still in my F-15? Because their toughest remaining games are at home. And even though I expect a letdown or two this is still a potential conference champion. I just can't figure out how.
14) TCU (4-2) - Time to earn that paper. I had bestowed F-15 honors to TCU over Mountain West foes BYU and Utah because I thought the Horned Frogs were equal in talent to that pair and a bit under the radar. Well, now TCU gets a crack at BYU, at home, this weekend. And nearly three of every four wagers on the game are going on the Cougars. So it's put-up or shut-up time for our boys. One foreboding note: TCU is just 1-5 SU in games played on Thursdays over the last five years.
15) Temple (4-2-1) - Hanging by a thread. That's how my Owls are doing right about now. But there is great news: the MAC East kinda sucks. Temple is just 1-3 in conference play right now, but they are still very much in the race. The top team in the division is Bowling Green at 1-1 and then there are three teams at 1-2. So the great news is that despite a heartbreaking start to the year this rugged team still has something to play for. And until they are done I still think they are worth a play.
Others Receiving Votes: Penn State (4-1-1), Louisiana-Lafayette (5-1)
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.