Game of the Week
Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Nebraska Cornhuskers
GUGS Score: 61.1
Just keep telling yourself that it's not actually September 1st, 2012; it's really January 10th, 2012, and nothing has changed since yesterday. Why? Because that's the way the computers see it, and in that world of last year, Nebraska/Southern Miss is going to be a pretty damn good game. The Huskers are moderate-but-not-crazy favorites thanks to their superior defense and respectable offense. But this year? Who knows. TFG still has to predict this one, though, and it gives a healthy edge to Nebraska. Nebraska 36, Southern Miss. 31 (68.6%); 170 plays.
What? No (17) Michigan versus (1) Alabama? As far as RBA's concerned, that one isn't going to be close. On the other hand, this one looks interesting. RBA still thinks Larry Fedora is on the sideline for the (12) Golden Eagles, and it should be interesting to see if the defensively-minded Ellis Johnson can keep the offense rolling. The Golden Eagles were a consistent 20.2 +/- 0.04 PPH last season. In contrast, Taylor Martinez was an inconsistent 29.3 +/- 20.4. The defenses paint the same picture, with Nebraska presenting an inconsistent 6.2 +/- 12.8 PPH and Southern Miss 10.5 +/- 6.6 PPH. Personally, I'm a Southern Miss fan, but RBA says home field advantage wins it for the Cornhuskers, 29-28, with 52.7% confidence.
Shootout of the Week
Toledo Rockets at Arizona Wildcats
GUGS Score: 49.8
The computer thinks that Nick Foles and Eric Page are still playing, so this may be an overestimate. However, Rich Rodriguez will probably have his side ready to score. (And if his time at Michigan was any indication, the defense will arrive four years from now.) Assuming everything carries over from last year, the (50) Toledo Rockets offense should score plenty at 28.8 +/- 14.5 PPH but give up 13.3 +/- 12.0 PPH. (58) Arizona should play a respectable 29.0 +/- 19.8 PPH on offense and surrender a lot of points at 13.0 +/- 11.1 PPH. Offenses usually take a few games to gel, so I'd probably take the under on this one. RBA says Arizona, 35-31, with 54.2% confidence.
What happens when you mix two offenses in the top half of FBS with two defenses in the bottom half of the division? The shootout of the week, that's what. Once again, I really have no idea how this is going to play out, but TFG says it'll be high scoring with a slight edge to the Wildcats. This one is all about pace, and that generally doesn't change too much year-to-year (see: Oregon, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State). In the end, though, TFG gives the slightest of nods to Arizon. Arizona 40, Toledo 39 (53.3%); 170 plays.
Coin Toss Game of the Week
Northwestern Wildcats at Syracuse Orange
GUGS Score: 38.3
The computers had to find a Saturday game in which we disagreed, and Syracuse/Northwestern it is. As we've mentioned before, Northwestern has a habit of pulling wins out of the hat, so it's probably a risky proposition to pick against them, but TFG is doing just that. Home field advantage means so much more in the beginning of the year that even a superior offense and defense won't be enough to push the need in the Wildcats' direction in the eyes of the computer. This looks to be close, though, and I'll be rooting the way my computer says I should. Go Orangemen. Syracuse 35, Northwestern 34 (53.1%); 165 plays.
There aren't too many disagreements between RBA and TFG this week, so the toss-up is slim pickings. (59) Northwestern has had recent success, whereas (89) Syracuse has been lost in the wasteland since Donovan McNabb played for the Orange(men). The Syracuse defense is a pathetic 15.4 +/- 3.4 PPH. Northwestern should do relatively well with a 21.8 +/- 10.1 PPH offense. The Wildcat defense is a historically flaky 6.3 +/- 19.1 PPH, but Syracuse will need an above-average performance from their 17.1 +/- 6.3 PPH offense to pull this one off. Home field keeps it close, but Northwestern should win, 28-27, with 62.7% confidence.
W - L
|RBA||19.90 - 7.10||73.72%|
|TFG||19.79 - 7.21||73.29%|