College Football Power Rankings - The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 10/22/2008
After the Ferringo 15 suffered its first losing week of the year two weeks ago (6-8) my Top 15 Profit Teams - based on my own past, present, and future potential earnings formula - posted an absolutely astounding 10-1-1 ATS weekend! Air Force was our only loser (Arizona and Cal played each other, so I dismiss both the win and the loss) and we even went 2-0 on our "Others Receiving Votes" teams. Just a completely dominating weekend and proof that I actually do know what the hell I'm talking about!
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I had said last week that I wasn't going to have a knee-jerk reaction to our first losing week and this brings me to a key point about betting - you have to take the long view. You will have losing weeks here or there. It's inevitable. And trust me, you've never met anyone in your life that despises losing more than me. But as long as you trust your systems and research, and you stay consistent and focused you can, and will, turn a profit in this game.
For the year the Ferringo 15 is now 50-24-2, good for an amazing 68.0 percent success rate. I certainly don't expect our squads to match last week's numbers but I still think that there is some profit yet to be squeezed out of this group. So without further ado, here is our Ferringo 15 (all records are ATS):
1) Georgia Tech (5-0) - Jesus, imagine what Paul Johnson will do once he actually gets some of his own players in this system. Jeez. The favorite in their series with UVA is 5-1 ATS and the home team is a stellar 9-1 ATS. However, the Cavs are the team that has usually been favored. Virginia has been a poor road team (3-8 ATS in L11) and are coming off three straight home games in which they have beaten teams that will be headed to bowl games - UNC, ECU and Maryland. Oddsmakers are onto the Jackets and shackling them with greater lines. But their two BCS home wins came by an average of nearly 30 points so I think they can handle it.
2) Arizona (5-2) - Huge game in the desert this weekend as the Wildcats welcome the mighty USC Trojans. In the past, this is a game in which Mike Stoops and his Cats would fold like the French army, turn the ball over about six times, and be down four touchdowns by halftime. Have they turned over a new leaf? I doubt it. And USC beat Arizona State by 20 last year in a similar situation. But the Cats are on a 9-2 ATS run, they are 7-1 ATS in conference, and they have, fairly easily, covered three straight in this series.
3) Oklahoma State (6-0) - How are the Cowboys still catching double-digit points from anyone? I don't care if Texas is No. 1 in the nation, this is just a lack of respect towards Oklahoma State. The Cowboys could have come out flat and not covered last week against Baylor in a Letdown/Look Ahead situation. But instead they beat the spread by 10 points. In fact, OSU has beaten the spread by an average of 11 points per game. And those are the indicators that, to me, define very good teams.
4) Vanderbilt (6-1) - They have the worst offense in the country. They have been outgained in five of their last six games - and outgained by an average of about 130 yards in those games. Now they are laying double-digits to a team that has been a little spry this year. Duke has already matched up with a pair of option teams (Navy, Georgia Tech). The good news for Vandy is that the Blue Devils gave up an average of 30 points in those games. The red flag news is that Duke actually held both of those opponents under their season rushing average.
5) San Jose State (5-1) - The Spartans took care of business yet again last week and now get a chance to shock the bobbleheads by beating Boise State. And I think they can do it. The Spartans have never beaten Boise State (0-7) and were hammered, 42-7, on the Smurf Turf last year. But SJSU has lost by just three points and seven points in their last two home games against the Broncos. Boise State won at Oregon, so they can win in San Jose. But I do like Dick Tomey's squad and think they can pull a stunner.
6) Ball State (6-0) - The Cardinals had a week off to regroup after a dizzying schedule saw them play four of their last five games on the road. BSU is 2-0 SU and ATS on the road in conference play this year and have been very consistent. They beat the top team in the MAC East by 17 points on the road and beat the worst team in the MAC East by 21 at home. They are also an astounding 27-10 ATS over the last four years and are 13-3 ATS against teams with a losing record. That said, they are 24.5-point favorites this week in a series that has been decided by 25 points just once in the last decade.
7) Minnesota (5-1) - Very quietly the Gophers have been orchestrating the biggest turnaround in college football. This team won just one game last year and was not competitive in most of their losses. But at the moment - and I know this is going to sound ridiculous - they could end up being the No. 3 or even the No. 2 team in the Big Ten. At least according to the standings. After a trip to Purdue the Gophers finish with three of four at home and just one game - at Wisconsin - in which they would be sizeable underdogs. Still plenty of value left in this team.
8) Texas (7-0) - I can't stress enough how incredible it is that the Longhorns - one of the premier football programs in college football history - have covered 10 of 11 games. That very, very rarely happens that such a public team is actually BETTER than even the squarest of bettors surmises. The Longhorns won by three points in Stillwater last year and is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. The only concern has to be if this week is the inevitable letdown for a team that just hammered Oklahoma and Missouri.
9) Florida International (5-1-1) - The FIU line was between 9.5 at open and 12 at close last week so I am counting their 10-point loss to Troy as a 'push'. How they are continuing to cover, I have no idea. But with UL-L, Arkansas State, and Florida Atlantic on the horizon I'm curious how the Panthers are going to hold up. They have won three of four games following their spirited 17-9 loss at South Florida, but they have the third-worst offense in the country.
10) Northern Illinois (5-1) - The teams from Michigan - Western and Central - are getting all of the love. But it's the Huskies that are lurking with a chance to steal the MAC East title. We're going to find out how good this team is over the next three weeks, as they get Bowling Green and Central Michigan at home and play at Ball State. I almost hope that the Huskies lose this week and that BSU blows out EMU. If that happens we should be getting a boatload of points next week when they meet.
11) Penn State (5-1-1) - Last year I thought that the Nittany Lions had Ohio State. They were playing at home, in White Out conditions, in a prime spot to make a move on the Big Ten title. They got smoked, 37-17, as the home team failed to cover for the first time in a decade. So will this year be revenge or a red flag? The Lions run one of the best spread offenses in the country - the exact offense that OSU has had so much trouble with in nonconference games over the last few years. This should be a good one and could go either way.
12) TCU (5-2) - One of my biggest regrets of the season is going to be that I didn't go big on TCU over BYU. Anyone who has consistently read the F-15 knows that I had been saying for weeks that the Horned Frogs are underrated mainly because I thought they could take on and beat the Cougars. They did, and I sat on my hands. Damn it. The word is out on this team. But with the No. 1 defense in the country - they are giving up 19 yards rushing per game - it doesn't much matter.
13) Temple (5-2-1) - Adam DiMichele is back, and not a moment too soon. Temple is - stunningly - in second place in the MAC East and still has dreams of winning the conference. DiMichele led the Owls to a crucial comeback win in his first game back on Tuesday and the team has a very favorable schedule from here on out. And despite what their overall numbers show, this defense is much, much better than the No. 60 unit in the country.
14) Tulsa (5-1) - The Golden Hurricane won and covered last week, but I still dropped them in my rankings here. The reason is pretty basic - I still just don't think that they are that good. I really just don't. They are set up for what should be a rivalry game blowout this weekend against Central Florida. UCF is 11-23-1 ATS in their last 35 road games and they swept the Hurricane by an average of three touchdowns last year. This one could get ugly. Especially after Tulsa has hung up 56 points or more in five of six games.
15) Louisiana-Lafayette (6-1) - Troy sits atop the Sun Belt standings, but the Ragin' Cajuns are the ones making the most noise in the conference. UL-L has covered six-straight games and is riding the No. 8 offense in the country. This team is No. 1 in the nation in rushing and a few years from now you're going to be drafting some guy named Tyrell Fenroy in the NFL Fantasy Draft. And when one of your buddies asks you who he is, you tell them he's a Cajun. UL-L has a week off before a tricky game with FIU next week.
Others Receiving Votes: California (4-2), Air Force (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.