Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 8: Summary

The first tempo-free week is in the books and I'm actually quite surprised how well the predictions played out.  Overall the system correctly predicted 48 of the 56 games, for an accuracy rate of 86%.  First let's take a look at the four games I singled out in my previous post and then get into were the system got it wrong.

Games To Watch

Georgia Tech at Virginia: This ended up being much less interesting than the numbers indicated.  UVa hung around until the start of the third quarter when GT embarked on a monster 82-yard, 11 minute drive that produced a touchdown and 20-6 lead.  UVa never really recovered and only picked up another FG, while GT added two more touchdowns to put this one away for good.

Clemson at Miami (FL): There were two general trains of thought about this game going in: either it was going to be a blowout of an unranked opponent by a Miami-FL squad that had just gone 4-1 against four Top 25 opponents, OR it was going to be an overtime thriller like the last two games between these teams (in 2004 and 2005).  It turned out to be the latter, with two ties and 12 lead changes culminating in a Clemson win in overtime.

Oklahoma at Kansas: Oklahoma did what the needed to do if they want to get back into serious bowl contention.  On paper they're an efficient squad that gets it done with defense, and Saturday was no different.  Going into this game, Oklahoma was tied with Florida for having the second-most-efficient defense -- 9.0 points per 100 possessions (PPH) -- and held Kansas to 13 points on 176 possessions (7.4 PPH).  Kansas had no answer from their defense, with a defensive efficiency of 19.9.  Up next for Oklahoma is what should be a cakewalk against Kansas St.  Meanwhile Kansas faces another team searching for answers in the form of Texas Tech.

Coin Toss Game of the Week

Florida-Atlantic at Louisiana-Lafayette: This game ended up being anything but close, as Florida-Atlantic pulled away for a 51-29 win.  This is a great example of Just Plain Getting It Wrong.  Which brings us to ...

Just Plain Getting It Wrong

We've already seen two games where the numbers gave us the wrong result.  Let's look at the other six.  The favorite is in bold, and the numbers in parenthesis are the odds that the favorite would win (and subsequently turned out to be wrong).

Texas A&M at Texas Tech (95.4%): This was supposed to be a showcase of TTU's potent offense, the second-most efficient in the land behind Florida.  Instead it turned into a demonstration of how TTU can put up efficiency numbers that best resemble those of Hawaii (14.9 offense, 25.7 defense).

Iowa St. at Nebraska (95.0): Iowa St. had a 1-in-20 shot of pulling this one out.  They did, aided by the significantly less likely stunner of Nebraksa turning the ball over no less than 8 times during the game, including 4 times inside the Iowa St. 10 yard line.  Despite that, Nebraska still had a shot with 1:37 to go, needing only to go around 40 yards to get within field goal range.  Unsurprisingly, Nebraska decided to do away with the drama and throw an interception.  Fun fact: Iowa State was the second leading receiver for Nebraska.

SDSU at Colorado St. (83.7): A tale of two halves.  Colorado St. was up 21-7 at the half, then gives up 35 second-half points, including a 60-yard touchdown with three minutes left in the game.

Kent St. at Ohio (83.6): Ohio simply got outplayed here, only making it close on an 87-yard punt return with less than 2:30 left in the game.

Tulsa at UTEP (77.9): Tulsa had this one in hand, up 24-13 with less than nine minutes left.  At that point it fell apart as UTEP reeled off two TDs -- including one two-point conversion -- over an eight minute window.

LA Tech at Utah St. (53.2): This game was effectively a coin toss that came down to a failed two-point conversion and a 4th-down pass that sailed high.