Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week 11: Saturday Matchups

Game of the Week
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns.
GUGS Score: 73.2

Eddie: On one hand, we have (19) Oklahoma State with an explosive offense.  On the other, we have (28) Texas, who lost to Iowa State and Baylor.  The Longhorns have two things going for them:  a decent defense that should hold Oklahoma State to 14.6 PPH and home field advantage.  Oklahoma State lost to the only respectable defense they faced -- Nebraska.  RBA says this one is a coin flip at 50.5% confidence but settles on Texas, 28-27.
Justin: The (29) Longhorns have fallen off significantly on the offensive side since last year; this is a problem since the (23) Cowboys have a relatively explosive offense at 23.8 PPH, a good 2.9 PPH better than Texas. What Texas lacks in offense they make up for in defense, with a 1.0 PPH better than Oklahoma State. On a neutral field this would tip towards Oklahoma State, but this is being played in Austin, which tips the balance in Texas' favor but just barely. TFG says this will be the closest game of the week as Texas wins 35-33, but only with 50.7% confidence.

BCS Game of the Week
Southern California Trojans at Arizona Wildcats.
GUGS Score: 70.7

Justin: This top-20 Pac-10 showdown is effectively a battle over 3rd place in the conference. The top two spots are locked down by (6) Oregon and (14) Stanford, but the (19) Trojans and (16) Wildcats are competing with (26) Oregon State and (41) Cal for the "best of the rest" title. USC -- which depended so much on their defense last year -- have slipped on that side of the ball to the point where they're aspiring to be as good defensively as (43) Notre Dame. The Wildcats, however, are currently tied for the 11th-best defense in I-A, which is good because their offense needs help. At 19.6 PPH the Wildcats sport the 3rd-worst offense in the top 25, which is nearly 4.0 PPH behind USC. The game is in Tucson, though, which should give Arizona just enough of a bump to pull out a narrow victory, 32-30, but only with 55.0% confidence.
Eddie: (15) Southern Cal isn't very good on the defensive side of the ball at 17.0 PPH, but their offense is pretty good.  The Trojan offense should put up 18.9 PPH against (17) Arizona's 14.9 PPH defense.  The Wildcats should have plenty of opportunities themselves with a decent 15.3 PPH offense.  In the end, we have nice close game with plenty of scoring.  RBA says Arizona over Southern Cal, 31-27, with 58.3% confidence.

BCS Upset Watch of the Week
Utah Utes at Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
GUGS Score: 48.3

Eddie: RBA has never taken to (31) Utah and has always seemed a bit enamored with (49) Notre Dame, but this prediction seems a little squirrelly.  Notre Dame has played several close games this year and isn't quite as bad as their record indicates.  Utah isn't as good as their record indicates because they really haven't beaten anybody of note and got destroyed by TCU last week.  However, the Utes have a pretty explosive offense at 19.4 PPH facing off against a fairly weak Irish defense at 18.0 PPH.  In the end, home field advantage makes this one closer than expected, but Utah should walk away with a 28-27 win at 71.0% confidence.  (Remember: confidence is likelihood a team wins, irrespective of the expected score.)
Justin: TFG, on the other hand, is rather fond of (11) Utah and doesn't expect (43) Notre Dame to have a great chance of pulling off the upset. The Fighting Irish have a respectable defense that's only 1.0 PPH adrift of Utah, but the Utes sport a 7.7 PPH advantage on offense. Even though this one's being played in South Bend, TFG says Notre Dame can't stop Utah's offense and loses by a touchdown, 35-28.

Kids' Table Game of the Week
Tulsa Golden Hurricanes at Houston Cougars.
GUGS Score: 57.2

Justin: Once again this game ends up looking more interesting than the BCS Upset Watch game. The (58) Cougars are on a slide after losing their quarterback, so TFG may still be too optimistic about their odds. (61) Tulsa is on a bit of an upswing with no bad losses since a thumping at Oklahoma State. Both teams are extremely close to the definition of average, with around 20 PPH on both the offensive and defensive ends (plus or minus 0.8 PPH). This game, however, is going to be high-scoring. Both teams average over 175 plays per game, and both have lax defenses. TFG says this shootout goes to Houston, 38-36, but only with 56.0% confidence.
Eddie: (62) Houston and (69) Tulsa are going to score some points.  The Cougars and Golden Hurricane offenses come in at 19.2 PPH and 17.5 PPH, respectively.  Their defenses aren't particularly good at 18.8 PPH and 20.0 PPH.  The only question is how many plays they're going to fit into this game.  Thanks to a marginal efficiency advantage and home field, Houston should win this one by a touchdown, 38-31, at 52.3% confidence.

Games you probably wanted us to preview:

Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers.
GUGS Score: 62.3

This game will be much closer than the conventional wisdom expects, as both systems give the Bulldogs better than 1-in-3 odds of pulling off the upset.

South Carolina Gamecocks at Florida Gators.
GUGS Score: 41.7

Outside of a bad loss to Alabama, Florida has two losses by a total of 6 points. South Carolina just got thumped by Arkansas, and both systems expect this to be about as close.

Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes.
GUGS Score: 34.9

Neither system gives Penn State better than a 1-in-5 shot of winning this one.