Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 4: Saturday Matchups

Last week's GUGS selections ran the gamut from eerily accurate to accurate for a half to just a weeee bit off. This week's selections run the gamut from somewhat obscure to even more obscure. So with that, here are the games of the week.

Nevada Wolfpack at Brigham Young Cougars.
GUGS Score: 82.2

Justin: The (32) Wolfpack visit the (40) Cougars in what expects to be a close match. BYU is a disciplined team with an effective defense but low-powered offense. Nevada has put up better offensive numbers, but offsets that with poor defense.  Even BYU's anemic offense should put up good numbers against Nevada, but it'll be a very close game. TFG says the Cougars pull off a 1-point victory in Provo, but only with 57.5% odds.
Eddie:  (30) Nevada has been incredibly explosive on the offensive side of the ball and should ring up 20.8 PPH, which is no small feat against a 0.718 strength team like (36) BYU.  Conversely, BYU's offense has been rather anemic against stronger opponents and should expect 16.0 PPH against Nevada. The game is played in Provo, so the Cougars get a small bonus.  RBA says the Wolfpack should win a moderately high scoring game 34-31.  However, the confidence is only 54.4% because Nevada's powerful offense is supplemented by a rather shaky defense (19.8 PPH).

North Carolina Tar Heels at Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
GUGS Score: 81.7

Eddie:  This week's pillow fight is brought to you by the letters 'P' and 'U'.  Is this really one of the top four games of the week?  (47) Rutgers is 2-0 after beating a D-IAA team (that RBA ignores) and needing a 4th quarter touchdown to beat FIU.  (54) North Carolina is 0-2 after losing respectable games to LSU and Georgia Tech.  This game should feature a great deal of offensive incompetence with Rutgers putting up 15.0 PPH and UNC scoring 14.4 PPH.  Rutgers should win by a touchdown 28-21 with 51.5% confidence thanks to the added home field bump.
Justin: I know Eddie doesn't approve of this game, but I think he's just upset that the computers didn't pick Arkansas/Alabama to be closer than it will be. The (34) Tar Heels travel to New Jersey to take on the (43) Scarlet Knights in what will be, admittedly, not exactly an offensive display for the ages. UNC is from the defense-heavy ACC, and Rutgers has a decent offense but averages fewer than 160 plays per game. Expect a deliberate and defense-heavy (but close) victory by the Knights, 30-28.

Central Michigan Chippewas at Northwestern Wildcats.
GUGS Score: 78.5

Justin: The (49) Chippewas remain a legitimate top-50 team that closely resembles (statistically) their more famous in-state football brethern in the Big Ten (the Wolverines sneak in an extra 2.6 plays per game and manage an extra 0.7 PPH, but otherwise they're identical). The (63) Wildcats have home field advantage, however, and hope to ride that to victory; they'll need all the help they can get, since the Chippewas have a 1.8 PPH advantage on offense, but that extra FG per game will be offset by home field advantage. Northwestern takes this in a nailbiter, 30-28.
Eddie: (62) Central Michigan can put up a lot of points but has one of the largest drop-offs in D-IA.  The Chippewa offense varies by up to 37.0 PPH, depending on opponent strength.  (70) Northwestern isn't a mindblowing football team, but they are consistent, thanks to an offense that varies by only 5.0 PPH.  All this adds up to an incredibly tight game where home field advantage gives the Wildcats a 27-24 victory with 54.1% confidence.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
GUGS Score: 72.1

Eddie: RBA doesn't think this game is that interesting.  (63) Southern Miss should have a 4.7 PPH advantage over (82) Louisiana Tech.  Ruston isn't a particularly frightening place to play, but RBA gives the Bulldogs a bonus, anyway.  Even with the home field advantage, RBA says the Golden Eagles wins this game 63.9% of the time by a score of 31-27.
Justin: The (66) Golden Eagles face off against the (82) Bulldogs in what TFG expects will be one of the closest games of the day. Both have faced decent competition for their rankings, but can't seem to get things together on the defensive side; both teams allow about 19 PPH. The difference is that the Golden Eagles put up about 18 PPH on offense, compared to about 15 PPH for LA Tech. Eddie doesn't seem too exciting about this game, but I'll give his computer some more leeway to decide "exciting" when it starts getting more right than my TFG program.

Games you probably wanted us to preview:

California Golden Bears at Arizona Wildcats.
GUGS Score: 78.7

A major Pac-10 showdown. Arizona is the better team and they're playing host to the Golden Bears. TFG is not at all fond of their chances (70.2%) but RBA says this will be a coin toss (51.6%) that Arizona wins by 11 points. Yes, you read that right. No, I don't know how that works.

Oregon State Beavers at Boise State Broncos.
GUGS Score: 45.2

This game is Boise's second and only remaining chance to really impress the BCS voters, and both TFG and RBA says they should have a good shot at doing so. They're two-touchdown favorites, and anywhere from 3-to-1 to 5-to-1 favorites. Oddly enough neither computer is completely sold on the Broncos, either, so this is their time to shine.

Alabama Crimson Tide at Arkansas Razorbacks.
GUGS Score: 37.3

Both TFG and RBA say Alabama with over 80% confidence.  Eddie says the computers can eat his poo.  The cumulative weight of the 2010 season is only 15% for RBA.  Arkansas's defense could be better this season.  (It's hard to imagine it being worse.)  Alabama's defense could be worse; it's not like San Jose State, Penn State, and Duke are offensive juggernauts.  Honestly, it's still too early to tell exactly how this one is going to play out.