College Football Power Rankings: the Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo - 8/26/2014
How many professional handicappers do you know that have hit 60 percent of their college football picks each week over the past two years and, let's say, about 250 plays? And even if you did know of someone that managed to accomplish that feat, were they giving those picks out for FREE?
Well, incredibly, that is exactly what the Ferringo 15 has done over the past two years. Our college football betting power rankings have gone 153-103 against the spread during that stretch. That is a steady and documented 59.8 percent winning rate over 256 trials. When you consider my KING College Betting System is hitting 58.9 percent (83-58) over those two seasons as well, I think it is safe to say I know a thing or two about this whole college football betting thing.
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The Ferringo 15 is my Profit-Power Rankings, a rating of the 15 teams that hold the most value in college football betting at the moment. It is a reflection of past, present, and projected future achievement against the spread in college football. As teams play and betting markets adjust, so to does the perceived "value" of the teams on the list.
Consider the Ferringo 15 a list of stocks whose values will fluctuate based on how they perform and also how the public's expectations for them change.
In 2012 no college football betting system in the country was a better bet in the last two months than the Ferringo 15. The F-15 turned a profit in eight of the final nine weeks of the regular season, and the teams on this list went an amazing 75-43-1 against the spread. The top six teams on the Ferringo 15 were a staggering 35-11-1 ATS in the last nine weeks of the season.
Now, the opening two weeks of the Ferringo 15 are the most unreliable. My initial rankings are based on offseason research and projections. But once the pads start popping and I get to scout teams in person I adjust quickly and decisively. Sometimes my first instinct was dead-on. Sometimes I completely miss the mark. But rest assured, the Ferringo 15 is a nice road map to figuring out which teams are hot at the window at any given moment throughout the season.
1. Rutgers (0-0) - Maybe I just have a soft spot for old Big East teams. Or maybe it's the fact that I've been screaming about how overrated the Big Ten and SEC have been for the past decade. But something tells me that Rutgers is going to cash a lot of tickets this year. Statistically they are said to have the toughest schedule in school history. But I don't think the drop-off from the Big Ten elite to the Scarlet Knights is as far as everyone else. Rutgers has 16 starters back, including a three-year starter at quarterback. This team is made up of tough Jersey kids that won't back down from anything. This program went 9-4 in both 2011 and 2012 before a dip last season. But Rutgers lost and covered last year at Fresno State, at Louisville and versus Notre Dame in their bowl game. The Scarlet Knights are 9-4 ATS as an underdog the past three seasons, and I think they are going to be just fine banging heads with the top teams in their new conference.
2. Maryland (0-0) - Oh look: another Big Ten newcomer. Again, I just don't think that the difference between the Big Ten and the ACC is as large as the bobblehead media likes to pretend that it is. And I think this Terps squad is going to be just fine in the Big Ten East this year. Maryland was very close to being a 10-win team last year, and that was despite the fact that they had some injury issues. They have 17 returning starters, nine three-year starters, a veteran quarterback, and a receiver in Stefon Diggs that can singlehandedly change games. The Terps could end up being underdogs in as many as seven of their eight league games. But if their offensive line holds up then I can see this group putting a scare into more than one Big Ten power. Again, the perception about the strength of the Big Ten relative to other leagues is out of whack. And I think Rutgers and Maryland can take advantage.
3. California (0-0) - Last season I cleaned up betting against the Golden Bears, who were a pathetic 2-10 ATS while being outscored by 22.9 points per game. However, I also remember thinking to myself that this Cal team was going to be infinitely better this time around. Well, they had to be; they couldn't have been worse. Pick sixes. Wild turnovers. Porous defense. Injuries. You name it and Cal was afflicted by it last year. They should be more settled in Sonny Dykes' second season. And OC Tony Franklin is just one of those guys that knows how to put points on the board. The Pac-12 is loaded. And Cal is viewed as chum. But even if they can't be expected to pull many upsets, I still think they have closed the gap between themselves and the better teams in this league.
4. Akron (0-0) - This is Terry Bowden's third year at Akron, and there is no doubt that he's turned this program respectable after several seasons as a complete joke. The Zips went 1-31 against FBS opponents from 2010 to 2012 before notching five wins in 2013. Akron also had very competitive losses at No. 11 Michigan (28-24) and at No. 23 Northern Illinois (20-27). The Zips have 14 returning starters and 12 senior starters on the roster, and this team should be a tough out as they fight for their first bowl appearance in nearly a decade.
5. Georgia (0-0) - Despite the fact that they haven't won much of anything the last 20 years, the Bulldogs are usually one of the most overrated teams in the country. And at No. 12 in the nation they aren't exactly under the radar. But this could be the year that Georgia actually earns some of the hype. Injuries crippled this team last season, and Georgia is in a prime bounce-back position. They are stacked on defense with 16 of their top 20 tacklers back and new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt fresh off a national title run with Florida State. The Bulldogs also have all of their top skill people back, sans a starting quarterback. But senior Huston Mason gained valuable experience last year and could channel his inner D.J. Shockley.
6. Memphis (0-0) - The Tigers have gone 12-48 straight up over the last five years and don't really move the meter. But they have a very underrated defense - one of the best n the AAC - and if they can get improved play from their attack they can cause some problems for some people. The Tigers have a brutal early season schedule, with trips to UCLA, Ole Miss and Cincinnati. But with 17 starters back and several statistical indicators pointing toward an improved season, this is a group that I can see outplaying its modest expectations.
7. North Carolina State (0-0) - After three straight bowl games the Wolfpack bottomed out in Dave Doeren's first year in Raleigh. They suffered through a 0-8 ACC season, and there isn't much buzz around this team heading into the season. But the Wolfpack have 14 starters back and welcome Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett under center. He can't possibly be worse than the QBs they've had to endure the last two seasons. The Wolfpack had some great ATS seasons under Tom O'Brien, going 10-2 ATS in 2008 and 10-3 ATS in 2010. They are just 8-17 ATS the past two years, though, and I think that has actually increased their value heading into this season.
8. North Carolina (0-0) - When I look at N.C. State I see a team that can cover some spreads in ACC play this year. When I look at North Carolina I see a team that could win the Coastal and do some damage. Things clicked into place for the Heels last year when dual-threat Marquise Williams took over at quarterback. They won six of their last seven games, losing by just two points versus Duke and beating Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. They have a lot of talented athletes, and Larry Fedora is set to make a jump in Year 3 of his time in Chapel Hill. UNC has gone 15-10 SU and 14-11 ATS the past two seasons despite a host of off-field distractions. I think things are looking up for this group.
9. Syracuse (0-0) - Here we have another undervalued ACC team. After an awful decade of football the Orange may finally be ready to turn the corner. Their 15 returning starters is the most in eight years, and they are trying to build of back-to-back solid seasons that culminated in third-tier bowl wins. If junior dual-threat quarterback Terrel Hunt can continue to improve then the Orange could have an explosive offense. And defensively the have seven starters back and an upperclassmen-laden group. Syracuse has a midseason stretch with marquee games against Maryland, Notre Dame, Louisville and Clemson. They should be a sizeable underdog in each of those games despite only one being a true road tilt. That stretch will determine far the Orange have come. And it could be a gold mine for bold bettors looking to buy low on a former power.
10. Texas-San Antonio (0-0) - The Roadrunners have 20 returning starters, 19 senior starters, two senior kickers, 13 three-year starters, and are one of the most experienced teams I have encountered in my time handicapping college football. Will that translate into wins? We can't be sure. But UTSA has gone 15-9 SU and 14-8 ATS in its last two years as a FBS program. They lost by just 21 to Oklahoma State and by 25 at Arizona last year, and UTSA won its last five games last season. They are bowl eligible for the first time in program history, and they could be a surprise team in Conference USA. Get on the bandwagon early.
11. Mississippi State (0-0) - With all the talk about the top teams in the SEC West I feel like the Bulldogs are being overlooked. Dan Mullen has done a great job rebuilding this program into something useful. The Bulldogs have lost 15 straight games against Top-25 opponents. But I think that this year could be the season they stop playing people close and start taking people down.
12. Air Force (0-0) - The Falcons have to deal with the distraction of a rape-related scandal heading into this season. However, the charges and penalties for that incident were directed toward the 2011 team rather than the current iteration. If the Falcons can keep their focus, this is Troy Calhoun's best and most experienced team in years. The Falcons have been a money burner the past two seasons (6-19 ATS) and went just 2-10 last year. They are completely off the radar but could return to their days as a bona fide pain in the ass for Mountain West opponents this fall.
13. Louisiana (0-0) - The Rajun Cajuns are the No. 2 most experienced team in the country behind UTSA, and that gives them the edge over a lot of the teams I have in the Honorable Mention category. The Sun Belt is always good for one breakout ATS team, and this year I think that it is Mark Hudspeth's crew. They have won nine games and a bowl game in three straight seasons. They were the best team in their league last year and return 17 starters as well as three-year starters at quarterback, running back and left tackle. With nine starters back on defense and a burgeoning fan base they could be headed toward their first conference title in over 40 years. And I can see a host of blowouts dotting the schedule along the way.
14. Georgia Southern (0-0) - I'm going to go a little outside the box here. The Eagles are an option team, which instantly makes them a solid underdog wager. They also had the goods to take down Florida last year in Gainesville. It doesn't matter that UF didn't care about that game; if they have the talent to beat an SEC foe then they have the talent to hang around and cover underdog spreads in the Sun Belt. GSU has only four home games before Thanksgiving. But that should only enhance their underdog value as they try to navigate a tricky road slate. We'll take an early season flier on this upstart program.
15. Northwestern (0-0) - It was a really tough call for this final spot. However, I think that Northwestern has a great chance to win a surprise Big Ten title. They seem to have that one dream season once a decade, and this could be it. They went 10-3 SU and 11-2 ATS just two seasons ago before a misleading 5-7, 3-9 split last year. Pat Fitzgerald group has had a strange offseason, with the team galvanized by the school's lawsuit against the NCAA for the right to unionize, but they are a veteran team ready to make up for last year. They have 18 starters back, including 10 guys that are three-year starters, and the schedule bodes very well for them with home games against Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan. This team may not be underrated for long, however.
Honorable Mention: Connecticut, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Oregon State, Washington, TCU, Iowa State, Army, Cincinnati, Houston
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Robert Ferringo was the top football handicapper in the country last year, earning nearly $8,000 in total football profit in 2014-14 and posting one of the best seasons in America. He hit 62.1 percent for the entire NFL season (95-58) and was amazing down the stretch, closing with 11 of 14 winning NFL weeks and 12 of 15 overall winning football weeks. Robert has posted 3 of 4 winning football seasons, 6 of 7 winning NFL seasons, 30 of 44 winning football months, and 6 of 7 winning NFL preseasons. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System posted another winning season (now 2-for-2) and is 83-58 over the last two years (58.9 percent).
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