Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week 12: Saturday Matchups

Game of the Week
North Carolina State Wolfpack at North Carolina Tar Heels.
GUGS Score: 64.4

Justin: Yet another ACC game in the "no one has any clue who's going to win this one" game of the week. We should really start capping how often a team can show up here. Regardless, the (30) Tar Heels host the (29) Wolfpack in a showdown that not many people outside of North Carolina will care about. The Wolfpack are about 1.0 PPH on the good side offensively, but 0.5 PPH off in defensive efficiency. Unfortunately for the Tar Heels, home field advantage doesn't matter as much in November as it did in September, so they won't get the boost they're looking for playing in Chapel Hill. Not that this is much of a road game, as the Wolfpack only have a 30 minute bus ride down I-40 to get there. TFG says this one is a coin toss, with the coin favoring the faster-paced Wolfpack, 32-30, but only with 51.1% confidence.
Eddie: Another ACC game that I'm going to get incorrect.  We've talked about both these teams in this space multiple times, so let's get to the numbers.  Neither is pretty offensively, where UNC has a +0.7 PPH advantage.  However, the Tarheels have a decided advantage defensively, sporting a +2.9 PPH advantage.  The game is in Chapel Hill, so add another three points.  Overall, this shapes up to be a Tarheel 31-21 victory at 67.2% confidence.

BCS Game of the Week
West Virginia Mountaineers at Louisville Cardinals
GUGS Score: 57.5

Eddie: Louisville has made tremendous strides under coach Charlie Strong (formerly of Batesville, AR -- my wife's hometown, but I digress).  However, the Cardinals have an extremely high offensive variance of 32.0 PPH.  This doesn't bode well for them because the Mountaineers are a respectable team.  The Louisville offense should expect only 9.7 PPH.  Luckily for them, West Virginia shouldn't be much better at 12.7 PPH.  Home field makes this one closer than it probably should be, but West Virginia should win 24-21.  RBA gives Bill Stewart a 55.6% chance of not screwing this one up.
Justin: TFG has a little bit more faith in the (24) Moutaineers than RBA, and even less faith in the (53) Cardinals. Both teams play a relatively conservative pace -- expect about 163 plays in this game -- and have reasonably good offenses -- 18.8 PPH for WVU, 17.9 PPH for Louisville -- but this game will come down to defense. Mainly it will come down to Louisville's mediocre defense and West Virginia's strong defense. The Mountaineers sport a better defensive efficiency than (11) Nebraska, whereas Louisville is just a shade better than (83) Purdue. In this case, defense will lead West Virginia to a 30-26 victory, with 68.6% confidence.

BCS Upset Watch of the Week
Army Black Knights at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
GUGS Score: 36.8

Justin: Near the end of the season we're scraping the bottom of the barrel for these AQ-versus-non-AQ games, and it shows. (32) Notre Dame hosts (79) Army in a game where the loser will have the better offense; yes, Army has put up better adjusted offensive numbers than the Fighting Irish. Unfortunately Army is also allowing about 9.0 PPH more on defense than Notre Dame; throw in Notre Dame's relatively quick pace, and this one should get out of hand quickly. TFG says the Irish coast to victory by at least a touchdown, with 76.2% confidence.
Eddie: I'm worried about this one.  Don't get me wrong; everything on paper says the Irish roll.  They have a +7.1 PPH offensive advantage and an insane +11.1 PPH defensive advantage.  However, Notre Dame always seems to burn me, especially when they should win big.  RBA says 38-20 with 77.0% confidence.

Kids' Table Game of the Week
Houston Cougars at Southern Miss Golden Eagles
GUGS Score: 58.0

Eddie: This game is a virtual coin flip at 50.2%.  Southern Miss sports a slight +2.1 PPH defensive advantage, while Houston has a +1.1 PPH offensive edge.  They're playing in Hattiesburg, so the Golden Eagles get a three point bump.  In the end, RBA takes the family pick -- Southern Miss over Houston 34-28.
Justin: This game will be fast. Fast, fast, fast. Don't be surprised if these two teams combine for over 180 plays. This game will also feature little to no defense, as both allow in the neighborhood of 19.5 PPH.  Houston has an ever-so-slight edge on offense, though, and that should be enough to return home as victors. TFG says the Cougars take this one, 36-35, but only with 53% confidence.

Games you probably wanted us to preview:

Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan Wolverines.
GUGS Score: 55.0

Michigan drags the average team quality down.

Ohio State Buckeyes at Iowa Hawkeyes
GUGS Score: 54.7

Great teams, close game (RBA and TFG actually disagree vehemently about this one; RBA says Iowa, TFG says Ohio State), but ultimately a low-scoring affair.

Stanford Cardinal at California Golden Bears
GUGS Score: 51.5

Stanford is going to blow out Cal. Book it. Done.