Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 3: Saturday Matchups

Game of the Week
Oklahoma Sooners at Florida State Seminoles
GUGS Score: 73.3


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
12 Florida St. 0.826 0.561 34 26.3 14 14.1 14 160.8 100
6 Oklahoma 0.885 0.611 19 25.2 17 11.1 5 183.6 2

The (6) Sooners and (12) Seminoles are both teams on the rise this year. Oklahoma recently took over the top spot in the AP polls and will be looking to prove that they're for real. Meanwhile the Seminoles for a signature non-conference win because -- let's face it -- just winning the ACC isn't going to be enough to impress anyone these days. Both teams have top 20 offenses and defenses; the main point of difference will be pace. The Sooners average nearly 185 plays per game, while the Seminoles barely crack 160. The media likes to focus on Oregon as a team that plays fast, and rightly so; the Ducks average 186 plays per game, but the Sooners aren't far behind. Florida State very well might be thrown out of their comfort zone in this one by Oklahoma's pace. TFG says a superior defense and enough opportunities to exploit the talent gap will be enough for a 33-32 Oklahoma win, but just barely. With only a 51.7% chance of victory, this game is for all intents and purposes a coin toss.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
17 Florida St. 0.887 0.553 11 19.8 25 9.3 6 83.2 67
6 Oklahoma 0.965 0.542 27 23.3 12 8.9 3 85.4 18

RBA isn't quite as high on (7) Oklahoma's offense as the humans because it recognizes that the Sooner offense simply plays faster than the competition, running approximately 171 plays/game. That said, they're still very good at 34.3 +/- 22.0 PPH. (17) Florida State has a decent offense themselves at 22.8 +/- 6.1 PPH. More importantly, the Seminoles are consistent. RBA expects a nail-biter with home field advantage skewing the game in favor of the Seminoles, 29-28.

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Game
Stanford Cardinal at Arizona Wildcats
GUGS Score: 52.4


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
32 Arizona 0.761 0.561 5 17.4 51 11.4 16 83.6 53
1 Stanford 1.000 0.546 20 26.8 2 9.5 7 83.8 46

(1) Stanford comes into this game heavily favored. Their offense brings a strong 34.3 +/- 14.9 PPH, outpacing (31) Arizona's 27.6 +/- 20.6 PPH. Their defense is also stronger at 2.5 +/- 14.0 PPH versus the Wildcats' 0.0 +/- 24.2 PPH. They're playing in Tucson, which helps Arizona, but RBA says Stanford rolls, 35-21, with 79.3% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
39 Arizona 0.615 0.673 6 18.7 66 15.5 26 171.2 27
5 Stanford 0.888 0.478 66 30.3 1 13.2 7 161.2 96

The fifth-ranked Cardinal bring their top-rated offense to (39) Arizona in our UFIO Game of the Week. Make no mistake: Stanford is the clear favorite in this one, but this will be the first real test of their offense this year. Duke was able to exploit a few Cardinal miscues for points, but didn't really put the 2011 version of this offense to the test. With Jim Harbaugh up the road in San Francisco these days it's an open question as to whether Stanford can maintain the same level of performance as they did last year. Arizona's offense won't be able to keep pace with a Stanford offense hitting on all cylinders, so it's going to be up to the Wildcat defense to keep this one close. TFG is skeptical, and picks Stanford to win comfortably by a 36-27 margin with 76.5% confidence.

Shootout of the Week
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Tulsa Golden Hurricane
GUGS Score: 47.7


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
55 Tulsa 0.542 0.404 93 20.5 48 19.2 56 174.9 16
15 Oklahoma St. 0.777 0.518 53 25.9 15 15.7 28 181.2 4

Two moderately efficient offenses, two so-so defenses, and a lot of possessions are the recipe for this week's shootout. The (15) Cowboys boast a solid offense and a good defense, which is bad news for exceedingly mediocre (55) Tulsa. Expect the play count for this game to tip into the mid-to-upper 170s, which should give both teams plenty of opportunities to put points on the board. Oklahoma State is another Big XII team that likes to play fast (see also: Oklahoma), and this game should be a race to the end zone. TFG says the Cowboys take it on a late touchdown, 38-33, but only with 66.1% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
60 Tulsa 0.509 0.464 90 18.7 37 16.7 66 85.2 21
10 Oklahoma St. 0.956 0.551 14 24.0 9 13.4 34 86.0 10

(10) Oklahoma State plays at a frantic pace of 172 plays per game, emphasizing their offensive strength. The Cowboys should put up 23.4 PPH against (60) Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane defense has no chance of stopping Justin Blackmon. On the other side of the ball, Oklahoma State is a statistical anomaly; the Cowboys defense performs slightly better against strong opponents than weak opponents. Tulsa's offense fades against better competition at 28.1 +/- 18.9 PPH. There should be a lot of points in this game, but Oklahoma State should score at will. RBA says that Oklahoma State wins the shootout, 38-27, with 70.8% confidence.

Coin Toss Game of the Week
West Virginia Mountaineers at Maryland Terrapins
GUGS Score: 65.0


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
35 Maryland 0.738 0.524 57 19.0 33 13.9 41 82.0 93
18 West Virginia 0.871 0.538 31 17.6 47 10.1 10 82.7 79

Personally, I'm a little unsure what to make of (18) West Virginia. Dana Holgorsen is a huge upgrade from Bill Stewart, and RBA has only seen one game with the new head coach. (36) Maryland has a new coach of his own, so it's a little tough to gauge them, as well. However, Maryland has beaten Miami, which has helped their standing. Although West Virginia has traditionally been considered an offensive power, defense is likely to rule the day. West Virginia's defense comes in at 9.1 +/- 1.9 PPH, whereas Maryland comes in at 9.5 +/- 9.0 PPH. Home field and ugly uniforms make the difference for Maryland to beat West Virginia, 25-24, with 64.4% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
46 Maryland 0.588 0.558 37 20.6 47 17.9 48 168.7 43
16 West Virginia 0.768 0.490 60 22.6 30 14.0 12 156.5 117

Eddie didn't do that well here last week, and it seems like he's setting himself up for failure by picking the ACC team to win. But at least his RBA system is pretty vehement about (46) Maryland's chances in this game, so maybe it's taking the Terrapins' dear-god-my-eyes-are-bleeding uniforms into account somehow. Short of that I can't understand why it would choose the Terrapins over (16) West Virginia. The Mountaineers play slow, deliberate, and grind'em-out ball that won't give Maryland many chances to pull off the kind of miracle they did against Miami. This will still be a close one (obviously) but TFG gives the 60.4% edge to West Virginia to pull off a 31-29 victory in College Park.

W - L
% Correct
RBA 33.50 - 11.50 74.44%
TFG 33.34 - 11.66 74.08%