Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 9: Summary

As expected, predictions regressed to the mean this week as the system correctly predicted only 37 of 52 games for a 71% accuracy rate.  We'll examine the games I highlighted as ones to watch and then examine where the system went wrong.

Games To Watch

West Virginia at South Florida.  I said that USF would have to find some extra offense or really bring WVU down to their level.  USF did an amazing job shutting down the West Virginia offense, limiting them to 19 points in 163 plays for a defensive efficiency of 11.7.  Against a team like WVU that's a rating more in line with a Penn State or Ohio State.

USC at Oregon. What started as a close game turned into an absolutely ugly romp.  USC gave up 47 points in 184 possessions for a defensive efficiency of 25.5; that's not USC defense, that's SMU defense.  On the flip side, USC only scored 20 points, giving them an offensive efficiency of 10.9; that's not even SMU offense, that's Miami-OH offense. This was a lightning-fast game that threw USC out of their element and it showed.

Kansas at Texas Tech.  The good news for Kansas is they slowed down the potent TTU offense, limiting them to an offensive efficiency of 22.8.  The bad news for Kansas is that the TTU did them one better, limiting Kansas to a rating of 11.4.  The TTU defense needed to dig down and get some stops, and that's just what they did.

Coin Toss Game of the Week

Middle Tennessee State at Florida-Atlantic.  Florida-Atlantic dominated this game everywhere but where it mattered: the scoreboard.  First downs, total yardage, time of possession, all left MTSU on the short end.  But a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and a 74-yard touchdown put MTSU up by 7.

Just Plain Getting It Wrong

#93 SMU at #55 Tulsa (88.2%). SMU finally put together a solid performance on the defensive end, holding Tulsa to an offensive rating of 7.5.  Not exactly the class of titans, but an impressive showing from SMU nonetheless.

#69 Duke at #33 Virginia (82.9%). Combine a reinvigorated Duke team that seems determined to no longer be the conference doormat with a Virginia team that's in free-fall after a good start to the season.  What do you get?  A 28-17 upset.

#67 Temple at #35 Navy (82.2%). Temple returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and rang up a 41-yard touchdown pass with less than three minutes left.  Last year Temple visited Navy and lost 33-27 in 158 plays.  This year they won 27-24 in 150 plays.  The offense was the same, but the Temple defense got the stops they needed.