Game of the Week
Stanford Cardinal at Oregon Ducks
GUGS Score: 79.1
This game has come up as a game of the week for the last few years now, and it's pretty easy to see why: two good teams which TFG feels are evenly matched, and who will create a lot of points. Oregon is definitely known for piling on the points, but this year they've finally broken into the top three in offensive efficiency. In previous years they scored a lot because they were very fast and pretty efficient; this year it's because they're still playing very fast, but now they're also very efficient. The only knock against the Ducks right now is that they haven't played a difficult schedule -- sorry, Oregon fans, but Arizona doesn't count -- and they've had mixed results. They blew out then-TFG #26 Arizona State, but struggled mightily against then-TFG #16 USC. Stanford is a step above USC on defense, and very close to USC's abilities on offense. This game will be the biggest potential stumbling block to Oregon's title hopes. It all depends on whether the computer has underestimated the Ducks because of their tendency to take their foot off the gas early, or if the USC game was a sign of the true Oregon squad. TFG gives the nod to the Ducks, but just barely. Oregon 40, Stanford 36 (57.6%); 170 plays.
RBA has a similar attitude towards this game as TFG for many of the same reasons. RBA considers Oregon the top offense in college football this year, even considering their blistering pace. Their defense is in the top 25, but we should expect them to find themselves in more shootouts thanks to a series of defensive injuries. Even without Andrew Luck, the Cardinal are still managing a respectable 30.0 +/- 18.8 PPH offense and kept Southern Cal in check with a 4.3 +/- 11.9 PPH defense. Just so everyone remembers, that's the same Southern Cal that put up 51 points on Oregon a couple weeks ago. In the end, the game is being played in Eugene, and Stanford simply won't be able to keep up with the nation's top offense. RBA picks Oregon, 38-24, but with only 56.6% confidence.
Coin Toss Game of the Week
Houston Cougars at Marshall Thundering Herd
GUGS Score: 41.2
Sure, now RBA picks against Houston... the Cougars are in free-fall at this point, now down to an offensive efficiency of 23.6 +/- 15.4 PPH and defensive efficiency of 15.2 +/- 7.2 PPH. RBA disagrees with TFG's assessment of the efficiencies in this one. Marshall sports superior, if less consistent, 24.7 +/- 16.8 PPH offense and 13.3 +/- 16.2 PPH defense. However, the differences are small, meaning that the Thundering Herd need home field advantage to win this one, 34-31, with 62.6% confidence.
This game will be fast. How fast? Let's put it this way: the slower team (Marshall) plays at a clip faster than the speed demons in Oregon. Houston takes that to the next ridiculous level. Between the pace and the iffy defenses, expect a lot of points in this game. Houston was in last week's Coin Toss Game of the Week, and their inept performance against Tulsa let me clinch the 2012 Coin Toss title with four weeks to go (thanks, Houston). This week, though, TFG is giving the Cougars the nod. Their offense is a full 1.6 PPH more efficient than that of the Thundering Herd, and their defense surrenders 3.6 fewer PPH than their opponents. The only thing Marshall has going for them is home field advantage, but that won't be enough to overcome Houston's superiority. Houston 40, Marshall 35 (64.8%); 183 plays.
2012 Coin Toss Record: RBA 3, TFG 8.
W - L
|RBA||34.61 - 14.39||70.63%|
|TFG||34.13 - 14.87||69.65%|