Saturday, October 1, 2011

Week 5: Saturday Matchups

Game of the Week
Texas A&M Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks
GUGS Score: 77.7


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
13 Arkansas 0.781 0.611 17 27.8 8 16.7 34 166.7 53
12 Texas A&M 0.791 0.594 21 22.6 30 13.3 10 176.2 12

Eddie gets yet another chance to defend the Razorbacks. The thing is that this time he might actually have a case. The Aggies and the Razorbacks are nearly symmetric versions of each other. Arkansas has a top-10 offense and good-by-not-great defense, while the Aggies have a top-10 defense and a good-but-not-great offense. This is even being played at a neutral site.  This game will come down to whether or not Arkansas can get its offense going, and minimize turnovers and mistakes. TFG says this'll be a close one, but gives the slight edge to the Aggies, but only just slightly. A&M 35, Razorbacks 33, with 51.1% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
19 Arkansas 0.867 0.569 1 22.6 11 13.0 33 165.3 81
15 Texas A&M 0.895 0.554 10 19.8 25 10.9 15 171.1 16

Here we go again. Although (20) Arkansas is ranked lower than (15) Texas A&M, RBA actually considers Arkansas the stronger team. I can imagine y'all scratching your heads at that. Arkansas's offense is more potent (32.7 +/- 20.2 PPH) than the Aggies (28.4 +/- 17.2 PPH). Their defense (2.3 +/- 21.4 PPH) is comparable to the Aggies (2.7 +/- 16.3 PPH). The real key here is the Razorbacks' variance, which is slightly higher than the Aggies. This means that they are likely to lose more games than Texas A&M, ranking them lower, even though they might actually be the stronger team, on average. My Hogs have been bitten by injuries lately, so it's difficult to really say how this one is going to play out. RBA says Arkansas 31-27.

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Game
Alabama Crimson Tide at Florida Gators
GUGS Score: 61.1


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
9 Florida 0.932 0.551 12 23.0 10 7.9 2 161.8 107
2 Alabama 1.000 0.549 17 24.0 7 6.1 1 157.6 120

You may have heard about the padawan-master comparison between Will Muschamp and Nick Saban. Well, let's just say that the student has not yet become the master. (2) Alabama is devastatingly good. They're more consistent than (9) Florida on both sides of the ball. Furthermore, they hold a 6.0 PPH offensive advantage and a 7.7 PPH defensive advantage. The only things keeping this game under control are the Crimson Tide's slow and methodical pace and Florida's home field advantage. RBA says Alabama wins a hard-hitting 28-21 game with 70.5% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
3 Florida 0.906 0.521 48 27.8 9 11.3 2 163.1 83
1 Alabama 0.952 0.580 25 31.0 1 9.4 1 157.0 116

This is about as good of a UFIO game as you can ask for, as Alabama has the top-ranked offense and the Gators have the second-rated defense. Unfortunately for Florida, the only better defense in the country will also be on the opposite sideline in Alabama crimson. The Gator offense isn't bad -- at 27.8 PPH it's the ninth-best offense in the country -- but the Alabama defense is just that much better; as the only sub-10.0 PPH defense in the country. The Gators are down 3.2 PPH on offense and 1.9 PPH on defense, meaning on a neutral site they should expect to be down about a TD over the course of a normal game. This game is being played at Florida, though, which means the Gators could make it competitive. TFG thinks this is the best shot anyone in the SEC has of slowing the Crimson Tide down the rest of the season, but even with that Alabama are favored, 32-30, with a 58.5% chance of taking home the win.

Shootout of the Week
Nevada Wolf Pack at Boise State Broncos
GUGS Score: 40.8


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
2 Boise St. 0.908 0.472 77 29.6 5 11.8 4 164.4 76
45 Nevada 0.580 0.433 89 23.5 27 20.6 70 167.8 45

Having witnessed Nevada's stunning near-collapse at SJSU in person, this looks like it will be another Boise State romp. The Wolfpack isn't the same team they were last year when they knocked off Boise thanks to two stunning missed field goals, but Boise still has Kellen Moore under center. What hasn't gotten much notice is the Boise defense; they held a good Georgia team to their lowest point total so far this year, Toledo to their lowest for the year, and Tulsa to the second-lowest for the year. The only team to turn out a better defensive performance against any Boise opponent? (6) Oklahoma, and their #3 defense in the country. Look for the Broncos to shut down the Wolfpack offense and turn this into an extended offensive drill. Broncos 43, Nevada 28, with Boise at 91.2% favorites.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
5 Boise St. 0.983 0.458 97 25.6 4 9.6 7 169.2 29
61 Nevada 0.496 0.468 89 19.3 31 18.1 80 170.3 21

Notice a pattern forming here? If it wasn't apparent by now, (5) Boise State is really, really good. (61) Nevada has fallen like a rock since Colin Kaepernick's graduation. In fact, Justin and I got to see them limp to a victory against San Jose State in person two weekends ago. This game is going to be yet another Bronco execution. Nevada is weak defensively at 4.5 +/- 27.3 PPH, and Boise is as destructive as ever with a 35.3 +/- 19.2 PPH offense. Basically, the score in this game is capped by how long Chris Petersen leaves his starters in the game. RBA says that Boise rolls at home, 49-20, with 91.0% confidence.

Coin Toss Game of the Week
Washington State Cougars at Colorado Buffaloes
GUGS Score: 44.5


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
73 Colorado 0.393 0.561 5 15.4 69 17.7 76 168.7 35
55 Washington St. 0.545 0.535 39 19.0 34 17.2 70 172.7 9

Yet another game between comically bad teams, Justin? I know that (55) Washington State has been on the rise thanks to Marshall Lobbestael (who?) and a resurgent offense (in Pullman?), but this jump in productivity manifests as a huge variance. Their offensive variance is a whopping 35.9 PPH, and their defensive variance is barely better at 26.7 PPH. (73) Colorado has a new head coach this season, but they're still largely the same Buffalo team that has floundered for the last few seasons. Home field keeps this game within a touchdown, but based on this season's results, we expect the Cougars to pull out a 35-28 victory with 67.4% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
71 Colorado 0.422 0.553 38 18.0 74 20.4 66 166.1 59
86 Washington St. 0.332 0.522 47 16.5 90 21.8 81 168.9 36

Yes yes yes. I'll update the algorithm in my copious free time. For this week, though, it appears that we agree on Colorado (ranked in the low 70s) but disagree on Washington State. TFG is a bit slower to adjust to big changes in a team, and as such is still skeptical that the Cougars really have a big chance here. Washington State's offense may be "resurgent" but TFG has yet to really buy into that surge. The upside is that this game between two third-quartile teams should move quickly and provide some entertainment, since both teams are n the top half of the league for pace. Quick, sloppy, and not pretty (insert a "your mom" joke here) but TFG has the Buffaloes taking this one home 34-29, with 68.2% confidence. The fun part of this game won't be the on-field action as much as it will be the commentators going on and on about conference realignment, thanks to this being a Pac-12 conference game this year.

W - L
% Correct
TFG 37.20 - 12.80 74.41%
RBA 35.69 - 14.31 71.38%