Saturday, October 9, 2010

Week 6: Saturday Matchups

Once again our Game of the Week delivered, as the Texas/Oklahoma game came down to the closing seconds. Clemson/Miami turned into another ACC stalemate, Air Force/Navy was a defensive showdown, and UNC proved that they're the best football program in the state of North Carolina.

With that, on to this week's picks.

Game of the Week
Pittsburgh Panthers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
GUGS Score: 66.8

Eddie: (27) Notre Dame are a bunch of 2-3 frauds with a traitorous head coach and pussy mascot.  At least, that's what I'm sure everyone's thinking.  The Irish aren't that efficient against good teams at 13.9 PPH and have a sketchy defense at 17.0 PPH.  However, (33) Pittsburgh isn't any better at 12.0 PPH and 17.0 PPH, respectively.  Expect some missed tackles to go along with a 28-21 Notre Dame victory.  At least RBA is only 54.1% confident you'll have to see that fucking leprechaun dance around when it's all said and done.
Justin: Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any quality games that are both competitive and have top-notch talent, so your GUGS Game of the Week (by default) is (30) Pitt at (35) Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are really relying home field advantage here, because they're certainly not getting a boost from their underpowered offense (18.1 PPH), although their defense allows a respectible 14.2 PPH. On the other side, Pitt has a relatively high-powered offense, on par with (13) Arizona or (10) Nebraska. Their defense is a bit suspect, though, and TFG thinks that suspect Panther defense plus home field advantage equals a 32-31 Notre Dame win.

BCS Game of the Week
Clemson Tigers at North Carolina Tar Heels.
GUGS Score: 66.6

Justin: I know Eddie's not happy about this pick, but he's welcome to come up with his own system. We've got two top-30 teams facing off, trying to get their first conference wins. Granted this will be a defense-oriented game, but Clemson has produced some good nailbiters. TFG says they don't pull off this one, though, falling to the Tar Heels, 30-29.
Eddie: You've got to be kidding me.  This is the 3rd straight week with a (22) UNC matchup.  If GUGS spits out UNC next week, I'm going to suggest we kick it to the curb.  What can I say this week that hasn't been said so far?  UNC expects 15.0 PPH of offense and 15.0 PPH defense.  (30) Clemson sports a similar offensive and defensive balance at 14.6 PPH and 15.7 PPH, respectively.  UNC has an advantage in both efficiencies and home field advantage.  RBA picks UNC 28-24 with 57.8% confidence.

BCS Upset Watch of the Week
Navy Midshipmen at Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
GUGS Score: 57.0

Eddie: On one side of the coin, you have the same (45) Demon Deacons that gave up 62 to Stanford.  On the other, you have the (55) Midshipmen that lost to Maryland.  Yes, that Maryland.  Navy has been uncharacteristically inefficient on offense this season at 12.2 PPH but have stepped it up defensively to 12.8 PPH.  In fact, the Middie defense varies only 1.8 PPH over the entire range of opponents.  In contrast, Wake Forest has one of the highest variances both offensively (37.3 PPH) and defense (24.8 PPH).  If we look only at efficiencies, this game is dead even.  However, it's played in Winston-Salem, so the Deacons claim a close 27-24 victory, spoiling the upset with 53.8% confidence.
Justin: Eddie and I disagree on this one. The loss that (45) Navy suffered to (77) Maryland was a freak occurence, and (81) Wake had traveled nearly 3,000 miles into the maw of (16) Stanford. Both teams are better than Eddie's examples would have us believe, but unfortunately that's not saying much for Wake. Navy at least has a respectible offense (19.3 PPH) and servicable defense (16.9 PPH), making this a 32-29 Navy win on the road.

Kids Table Game of the Week
East Carolina Pirates at Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
GUGS Score: 56.8

Justin: On a neutral site, (61) Southern Miss and (63) ECU have the potential to play a several-OT thriller. Both are within 6-thousandths of a percent of 0.500 and play at a good clip (170+ plays per game). In the end, though, Southern Miss is the better team and is playing at home, which is enough to tip this game to their favor, but just barely. TFG says the Golden Eagles win, 34-31, but only with 59.7% confidence.
Eddie: Long-time readers will know that I have a soft spot for (57) Southern Mississippi because my mother and three uncles went there, so I'm happy to report that RBA doesn't expect this game to be very close.  (67) East Carolina sports a 0.8 PPH offensive advantage, but USM holds a 4.6 PPH defensive advantage.  Plus, the game is in Hattiesburg, giving the Golden Eagles another advantage.  Because of the relative strengths, RBA gives this game only 56.6% confidence, but all the advantages point toward a Southern Miss victory.

Games you probably wanted us to preview:

Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Wolverines.
GUGS Score: 62.0

This looks to be a close, high-scoring game. However we've only got one spot for a game between two teams in automatic-qualifier conferences, and Clemson and UNC are each top-30 teams. Both TFG and RBA say the fine folks from the Michigan schools are on the wrong side of 30.

LSU Tigers at Florida Gators.
GUGS Score: 60.0

Two top-12 teams, but Florida is still the better team and has home field advantage. Depending on which computer you believe more, this will either be moderately high-scoring but not close (TFG) or moderately close but not high-scoring (RBA). We split the difference and ignore it.

Southern California Trojans at Stanford Cardinal.
GUGS Score: 41.3

Stanford. Book it. Done.