Week 0 was an interesting one in college football, highlighted by a Big Ten upset and several dominant performances by unexpected teams. Including FCS contests, there were 14 games in all matching Division I opponents. While this will be the smallest total of games for any week till December, it was still enough to provide for some noticeable movement in my Power Ratings.
Biggest upward movers
1. Vanderbilt (+ 4 points)
The Commodores enjoyed a huge season-opening win at Hawaii, totaling 63 points while gaining 601 yards of offense. They scored 35 points in the third quarter alone, equaling their highest total in any game since November 2020.
2. Illinois (+ 3 points)
The Illini also posted a blowout win in Week 0 and did so in dominating defensive fashion over Wyoming, holding the Cowboys to six points and 30 total passing yards. Illinois faces its first conference test Saturday at Indiana.
3. Florida Atlantic (+ 2.5 points)
I moved the Owls up 2 1/2 points for their rout of Charlotte on Saturday. FAU was only a seven-point favorite but won 43-13. The bright spot was the rushing attack, which gained 218 yards on 49 carries, the latter matching the high for all of last season.
Biggest downward movers
1. Hawaii (-4 points)
The Rainbow Warriors were listed as one of my most unstable teams heading into the season, and it showed, particularly defensively, as they gave up more than 600 yards to a Vanderbilt team expected to struggle offensively this season.
2. Wyoming (-3 points)
There are obvious concerns after just one game with the Cowboys unable to generate anything through the air and no Josh Allen waiting in the wings.
3. Charlotte (-2.5 points)
It was an extremely disappointing opening-day effort for the 49ers, who brought back 14 starters, including senior QB Chris Reynolds. He played reasonably well, but the team was overwhelmed up front on both sides of the ball.
Effective Strength Ratings
Having not played in Week 0, Georgia continues to pace the Effective Strength Ratings for 2022, which are based on adjustments made since last season. With an ES rating of 45.2, the Bulldogs own a + 0.8 point edge over Ohio State and a + 2.3 point edge over Alabama, meaning that strength rating calculation would have coach Kirby Smart’s team as that big of a favorite over each team on a neutral field. These are obviously different than my Power Ratings and based purely on statistical measures.
The Bettors Ratings are a reflection of what the betting markets think about the teams in 2022. My calculations for the opening of any season in this measurement are based on last year’s finishing position, any adjustments made to overall strength since the end of last season, plus any unusual futures markets differing from my projections. Alabama is the highest-rated team in my Bettors Ratings, with a 0.1-point edge over Ohio State (-43.2 to -43.1) and a 2.5-point edge over Georgia (-43.2 to -40.7). Obviously, the bigger the negative number the better for this rating set.
The recent ratings, which designate the teams playing best in recent weeks, won’t be fully in effect until teams have played three or four games on average. For this week, they mirror the Effective Strength Ratings. Over the next two weeks, they will be based on manual adjustments.
Schedule Strength Ratings
The Schedule Strength Ratings, currently reflecting the difficulty of each FBS team’s 2022 schedule, will also not be fully in effect until each team has played a few games. For now though, note that Arkansas faces the toughest 2022 schedule, starting with a Saturday date with Cincinnati, the first Group of 5 team to qualify for the CFP last year. Georgia Tech, which hosts Clemson on Monday, is a close second, and Auburn is third. The easiest slate of any FBS team in 2022 belongs to Florida International, which begins its quest to improve on a 1-11 season with a Thursday game hosting Bryant. Note that none of the FCS teams will show a Schedule Strength Rating till at least week 3.
Leading the way in my FCS Power Ratings heading into the season is North Dakota State, which scores a 47.5, putting it on par with Washington out of the Pac-12. The Bison will get a chance to prove their worthiness in that league when they travel to Tucson to take on Arizona on Sept. 17. South Dakota State is next in line with a rating of 46, followed by Sam Houston State and Montana, each at 38.5. The FCS Power Ratings and all of the strength ratings on a game-by-game basis will be upgraded weekly for VSiN Pro subscribers.