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Estimated Major Conference Power Ratings

Estimated Major Conference Power Ratings

Estimated Major Conference Power Ratings

The Golden Nugget posted its “Game of the Year” early pointspreads a few days ago. I thought it would be fun to take those numbers and try to “reverse engineer” what their Power Ratings must have been for all the teams from major conferences.

It wasn’t quite as easy as I had hoped:

*They don’t seem to be using a universal “3” for home field advantage

*They probably shaded some lines in anticipation of betting action

Also, I couldn’t find any games involving Duke of the ACC, or SMU…a new team in the Big East (or American Athletic Conference as it will be known). So, I can’t get every “big six” team in here.

For the most part, these hold up. If you just use three points for home field, you’ll typically be within a point of where the Golden Nugget lined their games. And, we’re so far in advance of the season anyway that any realistic Power Ratings are just a broad estimate. If you say Texas Tech is a 65…they might be as crappy as 63, or as competitive as 67. And, even that range might be too small. It’s worth gathering estimates just so you have a framework for handicapping. Just keep it in perspective.

There’s one game that doesn’t really line up with the others, and that’s Notre Dame -3 at home vs. Oklahoma. Oklahoma was generally getting more respect than that otherwise…and it jumped out like a sore thumb when I was updating tonight after Don Best posted the initial moves. I double-checked a logical pathway from Notre Dame to Oklahoma (ND plays both Michigan and Michigan State…both of those teams play Iowa…Iowa plays Iowa State…and Iowa State plays Oklahoma…where’s Kevin Bacon when you need him?!). That pathway had Oklahoma as a couple points better than ND rather than even on a neutral field. I’m guessing the Golden Nugget gave ND more for home court in that game…or was anticipating ND betting action.

Here we go. I started the process by arbitrarily assigning Alabama a number…knowing I could get to the rest of the SEC through them…and the rest of the other conferences through interconference games against SEC teams. I usually give “championship” teams an 85 within my own process. Alabama was getting so much line respect generally that they seemed to be perceived as better than a typical champion. I made them an 88, and reverse-engineered everybody from that starting point.


Alabama 88
Texas A&M 79 (Bama is -6 at A&M, allotting 3 for home field)
Georgia 78
South Carolina 76
Florida 76
LSU 74
Ole Miss 72
Vanderbilt 67
Mississippi State 65
Missouri 64
Tennessee 64
Arkansas 62
Auburn 61
Kentucky 53

Gets kind of messy in the hunk from Georgia down to LSU because sometimes those teams are getting more respect than others in individual games. Decent enough ballpark estimate to start. Ole Miss is a team to watch because they’ll be playing some big league games plus Texas in Austin.

BIG 12

Oklahoma 78
Texas 77
Oklahoma State 76
TCU 72
Kansas State 71
Baylor 66
West Virginia 66
Texas Tech 65
Iowa State 59
Kansas 52

There are times where OU and Texas are more even…and where Oklahoma State gets respect in blowout situations.

Let me stick Notre Dame BYU, and Boise State in here since Notre Dame is a natural link with big games against Oklahoma and some Big 10 teams.

Top Independents

Notre Dame 73
Boise State 68
BYU 66

Big 10

Ohio State 79
Wisconsin 73
Nebraska 72
Michigan 71
Michigan State 70
Northwestern 70
Penn State 67
Iowa 60
Minnesota 60
Purdue 57
Indiana 56
Illinois 56

Pac 12

Oregon 85
Stanford 78
USC 73
Arizona State 73
Oregon State 69
Washington 68
Arizona 68
Utah 62
California 57
Washington State 62
Colorado 48


Florida State 75
Clemson 72
Virginia Tech 70
Miami 70
Georgia Tech 67
North Carolina 66
Maryland 64
Syracuse 60
Pittsburgh 60
Virginia 59
NC State 59
Boston College 54
Wake Forest 54
Duke ???

Note that Pittsburgh and Syracuse are now in the ACC.

American Athletic Conference

Louisville 71
Cincinnati 66
Central Florida 61
Rutgers 57
Houston 57
South Florida 57
Connecticut 56
Temple 52
Memphis 50
SMU ???

If you think any of the teams listed today are way off base from your read of the pricing, post a comment at the bottom or send me a tweet @jefffogle. I think I’m generally within a point…but it’s easy to lose track of something when you’re trying to encapsulate almost 250 posted games. Please let me know if you think there’s an error.

If these stabilize…we can use them as a starting point for the new season. I may even just cut-and-paste these into new posts in the future where I add in coaching changes, QB changes, and returning starter information. You can then print those out and make your own notes on them (or, do that here and get started already!).

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