# 2005 College Football Ratings Kickoff--A Primer

As many of you remember last season, I picked several college games against the spread. Somehow, I got lucky in September and October and hit the hottest winning streak I've had in 20 years, at about 80% success against the spread. All the while, I was experimenting with a way to put my thoughts on what wins college football games into a power rating. After crunching numbers together for a few months, I have finally come up with such a number--a power rating.

To briefly explain what I do that is different from most other ratings, I try to break the game down into the sum of its parts. Where other prognositcators might say State will beat Tech because they have a better quarterback, I say what does that matter? The QBs aren't facing each other one on one. I compare State's offensive line to Tech's defensive line and vice versa. Those units will have to square off. I do the same thing for every possible scenario--running game against defense vs. the run, passing game vs. defense against the pass, etc.

After determining who has the advantage at each scenario, I assign a numerical value to that advantage. State's running game is 4 points better than Tech's defense against the run. After summing up the differences, I throw in a few intangibles, such as home field advantage, revenge possibilities, having a bye week, etc. This brings me to a total difference, which then becomes my predicted pointspread. Based on where those advantages exist, I also determine a possible final score.

Previously, I applied this to all the Division 1-A games each week and then looked to see where the Las Vegas spread differed from mine by a determined amount (which varied based on the wager). The 7-point and 10-point teaser parlays looked very beatable last year, and I had lots of success doing so. <>P Starting this year, I have compared all teams as if they are playing every other team every week. It has allowed me to say that State's offensive line is 5 points better than the average defensive line. After comparing all parts of each team, I have assigned each team a beginning power rating. These ratings can easily be updated each week. For instance, If State's power rating shows it should beat Tech by a 35-21 score, and State beats Tech 21-17, State will drop some while Tech will rise. Even if State actually beats Tech 35-21, the ratings may move because past opponents' results may force both State and Tech up or down a few points. Thus, a team could gain or lose points after having a bye week.

This season, I will give you my power ratings each week and let you determine what to do with them. I will still break down the Vandy game in-depth, with a few other games of major importance to boot. Then, I will reveal my power ratings for every game as well as my power 25 poll. Have fun using these ratings at your own discretion.