The PiRates went 38-13-1 for the week of October 14, giving them a year-to-date record of 262-82-4 (76.2%) in picking the winning team. A quick glance at about three dozen computer ratings obtainable via the Internet shows that the PiRates are picking the winner with better accuracy than about 75% of those ratings, although most of the ratings differ by no more than one or two games a week.
PiRate Ratings For Thursday, October 19, 2006
Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number
# Team W L Rating
1 Ohio State 7 0 131
2 California 6 1 126
3 Michigan 7 0 125
4 Texas 6 1 123
5 Southern Cal 6 0 122
6 Clemson 6 1 121
7 Wisconsin 6 1 121
8 L S U 5 2 121
9 Florida 6 1 119
10 Oregon 5 1 119
11 Auburn 6 1 118
12 Tennessee 5 1 117
13 Nebraska 6 1 117
14 Oklahoma 4 2 117
15 West Virginia 6 0 116
16 Notre Dame 5 1 116
17 Louisville 6 0 116
18 Boise State 7 0 114
19 Penn State 4 3 114
20 Arkansas 5 1 113
21 Pittsburgh 6 1 113
22 Georgia Tech 5 1 112
23 Boston College 5 1 111
24 Missouri 6 1 111
25 Rutgers 6 0 110
SEC PiRate Ratings
Florida 6 1 119
Tennessee 5 1 117
South Carolina 4 2 105
Georgia 5 2 103
Vanderbilt 3 4 101
Kentucky 3 4 95
L S U 5 2 121
Auburn 6 1 118
Arkansas 5 1 113
Alabama 5 2 103
Ole Miss 2 5 96
Miss. State 2 5 89
PiRates Show Vandy Now Finishing: 2-6/5-7
Just one pt. away from 6-6/Bowl eliibility
This Week's Schedule
The schedule gets interesting this week, both in the SEC and
nationally. For starters, there is
the annual third Saturday in October game between Alabama and Tennessee. Arkansas hosts an Ole Miss team that is
starting to look like they could pull off an upset down the road. Georgia hosts Mississippi State and needs to rebound before the Bulldogs have to
consider going bowling in Nashville or Memphis in
I see a couple dozen interesting games outside of the SEC this week. On Thursday night, the New Mexico-Utah
game could be a bowl eliminator game.
The Utes are one of the 10 biggest disappointments this
The Pittsburgh-Rutgers winner will remain undefeated in the Big East, and
if Rutgers can win this one on the road, The
University of New Jersey just might find themselves in the nation's top 15 on
Sunday afternoon. Kudos goes to the
Big East this year, as the league is much stronger than expected, even higher
rated than the ACC. Cincinnati and Syracuse are
much improved, and the only real disappointment is Connecticut (though, I
predicted in the preseason that the Huskies would
Notre Dame hosts UCLA which shouldn't be all that difficult, but if the
Bruins make this a close game, it will raise the strength of the Pac-10 teams
ahead of them.
In the Big 12, the winner of the Baylor-Kansas game will be 4-4 and still
in contention for a bowl bid. If
Baylor wins, the Bears will be 3-1 in the league. Guy Morriss is to be commended for
turning around a program that lost 66 of 72 Big 12 games in their first nine
years in the Big 12 (1996-2004).
I've written about Wyoming several times this year. They came through with the convincing
thrashing over Utah last week, and now they
State. Sonny Lubick's Rams are much improved
this year and in line to go to a bowl.
The Cowboys could be ready to trounce on another visitor, but this game
is one of the finest rivalry games that has remained a well-kept secret to fans
living outside of the Rockies. A better day cannot be had than an early
morning hike in Curt Gowdy State
Park followed by attending this game in Laramie. The winner still holds dim MWC
Staying out West, Boise
State ventures into a precarious
predicament in Moscow,
Idaho, where Dennis Erickson's
Vandals find themselves surprisingly undefeated in WAC play. A Bronco win virtually sews up the WAC
title, but if Idaho can pull off the big upset,
the race to the finish between Boise, Idaho, Nevada, and
Speaking of Hawaii, the Warriors must make a second
consecutive trip to the mainland after enduring a crippling earthquake earlier
this week. On top of that, they are
the homecoming foe for New
Mexico State. Hal Mumme vs. June Jones equals 100
points or more even if both teams are a little fatigued (NMSU played Boise State on Sunday
Here are the SEC games for the week.
Tulane @ Auburn
PiRate Predicts: Auburn 42
Peiser Predicts: Tigers may eventually pull away from the Green Wave and
win by 28 to 35 points.
Tommy Turbeville's Tigers showed Florida a thing or two in the second half of
last week's game. Like most
Division I-A teams this year, the Tigers have definite flaws that can be
exploited, but they have fewer areas to exploit than 90% of the rest of the
NCAA. Tulane doesn't have the
material to do so, as the Green Wave will have no answer for Auburn's defense and will
find it hard to score more than one time.
Auburn may not run
away from the start in this game.
Their offense needs help from the stellar defense to put a big number up
on the board. I see this game not
being a slaughter until the second half.
will have a 14 to 17-point lead at the half and then methodically extend it
until no burnt orange and navy starters are left in the
State @ L S
PiRate Predicts: L S U 45
Peiser Predicts: Tigers eviscerate ailing Bulldogs in huge
This figured to be one of the best games this week when the football
schedules were released this past spring.
self-destructed. It started last
season with the narrow loss to Southern
Cal. The Bulldogs kept
losing after that (to Nevada, Louisiana Tech,
and Tulsa). A 2006 opening win over a good
Nevada team pointed FSU toward another good
season but a late loss to Oregon re-opened the gaping wound from the USC
game. Since then, Fresno State
has failed to win a game including a loss to lowly Utah State.
LSU, even with two losses in league play, may be the most talented team
in the SEC. Here's where computer
rankings are useless. When the
Tigers are clearly better than their opponent, they can slaughter that opponent
by more points and more impressively than either Auburn or Florida could. However, LSU couldn't beat those two
teams on the road, and the 13 point defeat by the Gators is considerably more
than the Florida Field advantage.
Where do you rank LSU—ahead of Auburn and
Florida because they can beat the average team
by more points; or behind Auburn and Florida because those two
teams happened to beat them on the days they played?
All three Tiger quarterbacks should get a chance to play in this game,
and the trio should top 300 yards through the air. Meanwhile, Fresno will be lucky to
move the ball enough to get into triple digit yardage in this game. I foresee LSU winning this one by
something like 42-6, 41-3, or 45-7.
The PiRates say FSU will score more than one time, but I cannot believe
that will happen short of a major LSU turnover.
Ole Miss @ Arkansas
PiRate Predicts: Arkansas 35 Ole Miss 13
Peiser Predicts: I went against the computer last week by calling for Ole
Miss to scare ‘Bama, and I think the Rebels will do much better than a 22-point
loss this week.
Brent Schaeffer began to live up to his billing last week against
the Rebels came close to pulling off the upset. This week, they face an Arkansas team that feasted on weakling Southeast Missouri last week.
When a good team pastes a patsy at home one week and stays at home for
the next game, they usually bring their A-game. And, when a team plays a hard-fought
road game and comes up short, they usually mail it in if the next game is also a
Arkansas will find
little resistance running the ball against the Rebels, so the Hogs should win
this game with relative ease.
However, the Razorback rushing attack should succeed in scoring on
time-consuming drives. One long
drive for a touchdown per quarter would only produce 28 points. For that reason, I expect Arkansas to clobber Ole
Miss by a 28-10 score. The stats
will look much worse than the final score.
State @ Georgia
PiRate Predicts: Georgia 27
Peiser Predicts: 100% chance Bulldogs will win this game—98% chance it's
not the one with maroon and white uniforms.
If Georgia loses this game, Mark Richt
will start getting the business from the Bulldog faithful. Uga is an unhappy bulldog right now,
following back-to-back losses at home for the first time since 1995. When was the last time they lost at home
three consecutive weeks? It
happened just one time, in 1936, if you count playing Auburn at Columbus, Georgia a home game. The Bulldogs haven't lost three games in
a row since 1990.
State will have a difficult time
gaining 200 yards in this game, as Georgia will shut down their running game, and
the Maroons won't be able to exploit the Georgia
Georgia should top
200 yards passing in this game regardless of what numbered uniform is doing the
passing. It all adds up to a
rebound win for Georgia. The PiRates probably have this one
PiRate Predicts: Vols 34
Peiser Predicts: Throw out
the stats in this one. It will be
closer than the computer says.
These two teams are closer in strength than you might think. Both teams have passed for more than 200
yards in every game they've played.
Both teams gave up a pile of passing yards to teams from out West in
their first games and have since held their remaining opponents to much less
than 150 passing yards per game.
Both teams are more than adequate defensively against the
Tennessee has a
slight advantage running the ball right now, but Alabama has the potential to break out with a
big day on the ground if Kenneth Darby returns to his 2005
The Volunteers had an extra week to prepare for this game, while
extended to overtime last week.
Combine that with the home field advantage and slightly better talent and
should prevail by about 10 to 14 points.
PiRate Predicts: Carolina 21 Vanderbilt
Peiser Predicts: Let's hope the wind stays cooperative when Hahnfeldt
attempts the game winner with five seconds to
Vanderbilt finds itself on the bubble of being on the bubble for a bowl
invitation. They must win three
more games this year and have Duke and Kentucky left to play in addition to this
game. It can be done, but the
Commodores have a huge hurdle to leap this week. Steve Spurrier is 13-0 against
Vanderbilt as a coach and 14-0 as a coach and player. The Commodores have come close several
times against his teams, including the 1996 national title team at Florida and against South Carolina last
I see this game being close unless one team commits a high number of
turnovers. If you want to know who
I am picking and why, you have to be a premium subscriber and tune in Friday
morning. The PiRate computer says
the Gamecocks are one point better.
I'll have a slightly different story in the game
10 Other Games of Note
Rutgers @ Pittsburgh (Friday
PiRate Predicts: Pitt 24
Peiser Predicts: This will be a hard-hitting, exciting game. Dave Wannstedt can coach after all. Panthers
If the game were played this week, Pitt would beat Michigan State. That one loss is the only blemish on the
Panthers' schedule. The only
blemish on Rutgers season has been the numerous reports that Scarlet Knight
coach Greg Schiano could be high on the wish list at Miami.
Rutgers is getting
it done with their defense this year.
The Knights own shutouts over Illinois and Navy, in which they held both
teams under 200 total yards. Nobody
has found success running the ball against them. Even Navy's spread option attack could
only muster 113 yards on the ground.
Pittsburgh is somewhat
weaker defensively than Rutgers, both against
the run and the pass, but the Panthers are considerably stronger on the attack
side. Quarterback Tyler Palko leads
the nation in passing efficiency.
He's completing better than 70% of his passes and is averaging better
than 10 yards per pass attempt.
Neither team has faced a top 25 caliber opponent this season, so this
will be both teams' first stern test.
At home, the Panthers have a slight advantage. Call it a three to five point win for
State @ Maryland
PiRate Predicts: Terps 21
Peiser Predicts: It should be a crime, but the winner of this game is
probably going to a bowl. Go with
the home team in a close one.
Maryland has got to
be the weakest 4-2 BCS team this decade.
The Terrapins were taxed in wins over William and Mary and MTSU. They just barley nipped winless Florida
International by four points. Last
week, they beat a weak and rebuilding Virginia team by two
Carolina State team will show up this week? Will it be the one that lost to
Akron, or will it be the one that beat
Florida State and Boston College?
This should be a close game as The Terps are slightly better offensively
and the Wolf Pack are slightly better defensively. Once again, the home field advantage
seems to be all that separates these two teams. Go with Maryland to win by a field goal and become the
weakest 5-2 team in a BCS conference.
U C L A @ Notre Dame
PiRate Predicts: Irish 34
Predicts: Brady Quinn torches the Uclan secondary in this game between the teams
with the two best fight songs.
UCLA has traded outstanding offense for an improved defense this season,
but the Bruins are about to see their defensive statistics take a turn for the
worse. Notre Dame will ride the arm
of Brady Quinn for 250-300 yards passing and add another 125-150 yards on the
ground. Figure on the Irish topping
30 points again this week making it five times in seven
UCLA has to find a healthy quarterback to play in this game. With regular Ben Olson out at least
three more weeks with a knee injury and number two QB Pat Cowan questionable
with a freak throat injury that has rendered him unable to talk, the Bruins find
themselves in a heap of trouble.
It looks like a mismatch in the making in South Bend. The Irish should be comfortably ahead by
the midway point of the third quarter and cruise to a 15 to 20 point victory.
PiRate Predicts: Michigan 34 Iowa 12
Predicts: This one may be a little closer than expected before the Wolverines
prevail by less than the 22 points the computer says.
Michigan should ride
the legs of tailback Mike Hart this week.
defense, especially against the run, has gone on hiatus the last three
games. The Hawkeyes have given up
an average of 423 yards in those games.
Even without the services of Mario Manningham, Steve Breaston and Adrian
Arrington should be ample targets for quarterback Chad Henne. Michigan should gain 400+ yards and score 30+
The Wolverines are just plain scary against the run and rushing the
passer. Iowa may pick up 225
yards passing this week, but they won't reach 300 total yards. The Hawkeyes will score at least twice,
but that will be nowhere near enough to win this game. Call it a 17 to 20-point victory for the
maize and blue.
PiRate Predicts: This game is rated a tossup with both teams expected to
score 23 points and head to overtime
Peiser Predicts: The Cornhuskers have proven they are back, but
Texas is still
in a class by themselves in the Big 12.
Mack's marauders will win in a close
The PiRate computer shows two Big 12 games this week to be virtual
tossups (less than ½ point difference in the teams). The first one is this game between
Nebraska and Texas.
The Longhorns have recovered nicely since their lone loss to Ohio State. Nebraska's lone loss came at the hands of Southern Cal in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Texas is out-gaining their opposition by 135.7
yards per game. Nebraska is out-gaining
their opposition by 132.1 yards per game. The Longhorns have outscored their
opponents by 29 points per game, while the Cornhuskers have outscored their foes
by an average of 23.6 points per game.
Nebraska has one of
the best home field advantages in college football. The weather Saturday in Lincoln is supposed to be cold and rainy, not the type of
football the lads from Austin are accustomed to enjoying.
What it all leads up to is one really close game. Texas may be just a tad better even playing on
the road in inclement weather. Give
the Longhorns the tiniest of advantages.
I'm thinking that UT wins something like
PiRate Predicts: Badgers 35
Peiser Predicts: Wisconsin wins again, and Brett Bielema should
get some National Coach of the Year publicity
Wisconsin was not
supposed to be 6-1 after seven games this year. Much credit needs to go first year coach
Bret Bielema's way. The Badgers
were pegged to fare no better than 6-6 this year, and UW now has a chance to
play in a New Year's Bowl.
This week, Wisconsin takes the Big 10's
top-rated defense to West
Lafayette, Indiana, to
face the league's top-rated offense in Purdue. Let's look at the statistics in this
Wisconsin is allowing 12.7 points per game, 117 yards rushing per game,
123 yards passing per game (3rd in the nation), and 240 total yards
Purdue is averaging 476 total yards per game (4th in the
nation) and 325 yards passing per game (also 4th in the
So which unit will prevail this week, Wisconsin's defense or Purdue's offense? There's another factor to consider. The Badgers are rather strong on
offense, while Purdue gives up more than 400 total yards and almost 30 points
per game. The Boilermakers gave up
35 points to Indiana State and 28 points to Ball State.
Even with rain in the forecast, it looks like a Bucky Badger day this
weekend. Wisconsin will win, but
their fabulous defensive statistics are about to take somewhat of a hit. Call it a 10-point Wisconsin win with the score around
Texas A&M @
PiRate Predicts: another dead tossup with both teams expected to score 31
points and head to overtime
Predicts: I couldn't agree more with the computer on this one. Of the BCS games this week, this should
be the biggest humdinger. The
Cowboys are ready to return to a bowl game after pulling off the close
This is the second tossup game in the Big 12 according to the PiRate
computer. With Missouri getting all the publicity this year among the
surprise teams in this league, Oklahoma State and coach Mike Gundy are getting
overlooked. The Cowboys were picked
to fight it out with Baylor for last place in the South Division, and now they
are fighting it out with Baylor, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M for second place!
However, the most impressive
win so far has been last week's 10-point road win over Kansas. The Cowboys haven't beaten a who's who
of quality opponents.
Texas A&M beat previously undefeated Missouri last week and, the Aggies are on pace
for a bowl game. Like OSU, the
A&M has not beaten much this year other than Missouri.
This game will propel the winner well above the bowl bubble, and it
should be as close as advertised.
Look for a lot of offense in Stillwater this weekend. I could see a scenario develop that
would lead to 900 or more total yards and 80 or more points being scored if the
weather cooperates (forecast is for around 60 degrees with slight rain
chance). I am going with the home
team by a point or two.
Georgia Tech @ Clemson
PiRate Predicts: Clemson 31
Georgia Tech 16
Predicts: Tigers are one bad play from being an undefeated and top 10 team. They should win the first of two games
to be played between these two teams
These two teams have emerged as the class of the ACC, although Wake Forest fans might debate that their team
was dominating Clemson until a series of unfortunate events occurred in less
than 15 minutes.
Clemson has played a lot like LSU this year. Against the teams they were clearly
superior to, the Tigers have shown no mercy, winning by an average of better
than 55-6. Against the teams with
equal or almost equal talent, CU's average score has been
Georgia Tech qualifies for a team with equal or close to equal talent,
and thus this should be a close game.
However, there is one little feature that I left out. All those close games have come while
Clemson was on the road. This game
is at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Look for a close game, but Clemson should score late to pull away. Call it a 7-10 point win. Georgia Tech should get a rematch in
College @ Florida State
Predicts: Seminoles 23 B C
Peiser Predicts: I'm going against the computer and calling for the Eagles
to pick up the road win
First, let me preface this prediction. Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan is
questionable for this game as of this writing. If he doesn't play, then go with the
PiRates and consider FSU the clear-cut choice Saturday. However, if Ryan is ready to go, I think
the Eagles will pull off the upset in Tallahassee.
Neither team should rush for many yards in this game, but the Seminoles
need to succeed running the ball to open up their passing game. Boston College only needs the running game to be
able to pick up two yards on 3rd and two and to get one yard at the
opponents' one yard line. With a
healthy Ryan quarterbacking, the Eagles have the talons needed to put the clamps
on the Seminoles. With Ryan playing
close to 100%, I see BC winning 24-20.
Without Ryan, the PiRate score looks about
PiRate Predicts: Ducks 38
Peiser Predicts: The quack attack might be a tad too strong for the
Cougars, even on WSU's home field.
State has lost three games this year—at
Auburn and at home against Southern Cal and Cal. Needless to say, they have faced three
tough teams. Wins over Idaho, Baylor, and Oregon State are looking better every week. This is a team capable of pulling off a
big upset at home.
from the pasting at Cal by downing UCLA last week, but they let
the Bruins back into the game near the end. Another finish like that this week could
snatch defeat out of the webbed feet of victory.
Both teams pass the ball for more than 250 yards per game. Oregon happens to run the ball for more than
200 yards per game as well. That
may be just a little too much offense for the Cougars to shut down, while the
Duck defenders should slow down the WSU offense a few
It all adds up to a high scoring win for Oregon.
The PiRate prediction looks good to me.
Non-BCS Top 10
1 Boise St. 7 0 114
2 B Y U 4 2 110
3 Hawaii 4 2 109
4 Tulsa 5 1 108
5 T C U 3 2 106
6 Nevada 3 3 104
7 Navy 5 2 103
8 Wyoming 3 4 103
9 Southern Miss. 4 2 102
10 Utah 4 3 102
1 Temple 0 7 70
2 Buffalo 1 5 71
3 Florida Atl. 2 4 74
4 Utah State 1 6 78
5 North Texas 2 4 78
6 Florida Int'l 0 7 79
7 La.-Monroe 1 5 79
8 La. Tech 1 5 82
9 New Mexico St. 2 4 83
10 Duke 0 6 83
1 Big Ten 108.55
2 Pacific Ten 108.20
3 Big Twelve 107.08
4 Southeastern 106.67
5 Big East 105.75
6 Atlantic Coast 103.75
7 Mountain West 98.33
8 Independents 94.25
9 Conference USA 94.00
10 Western Athletic 92.78
11 Mid American 89.92
12 Sunbelt 82.63
And The Rest
Winner Loser Margin
Cent. Mich. Bowling Green 14
Virginia N. Carolina 9
Utah New Mexico 7
West Va. Connecticut 20
Penn State Illinois 28
Michigan St. Northwestern 8
Louisville Syracuse 15
Ohio State Indiana 42
T C U Army 15
Va. Tech Southern Miss. 11
Ohio U Buffalo 24
Ball State Western Mich. 5
B Y U U N L V 34
Baylor Kansas 7
Northern Ill. Temple 24
East Carolina S M U 3
Miami (F) Duke 23
California Washington 27
Wyoming Colorado State 7
U C F Rice 8
Toledo Eastern Mich. 1
Akron Miami (O) 13
Arizona St. Stanford 31
Nevada San Jose St. 20
Oregon State Arizona 1
Houston U T E P 6
Louisiana Tech Utah State 7
Iowa State Texas Tech 0
Missouri Kansas State 17
Oklahoma Colorado 18
U A B Marshall 5
Hawaii New Mexico St. 23
Tulsa Memphis 18
Air Force San Diego St. 8
Boise State Idaho 25
Oregon Washington St. 8
Arkansas St. North Texas 12
M T S U La.-Monroe 7
South Florida Cincinnati 2