Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week 7: Saturday Matchups

Game of the Week
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns
GUGS Score: 71.5


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
29 Texas 0.699 0.547 40 22.4 36 16.0 25 163.5 84
15 Oklahoma St. 0.782 0.532 50 25.8 17 15.5 21 181.6 3

This game is going to be a true measure of each squad. Even though the public perception of Texas has been trending downwards for a while now, the Longhorns were never really a top-20 squad (scroll down). On the flip side the Cowboys play the third-fastest ball in FBS, which tends to inflate their reputation on offense. Make no mistake: the Cowboys are good and have a top-20 offense, but certainly not the #1 offense. This is going to come down to which team can control the pace of the game. If Oklahoma State goes off to the races like the Sooners did last week, it's going to be game over. The Longhorn defense is a shade better than the Arizona defense that held the Cowboys to 37, but TFG thinks the Cowboys pull it off. Oklahoma St. 34, Texas 33 (51.5%)


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
31 Texas 0.768 0.523 60 19.0 34 12.4 26 168.2 44
9 Oklahoma St. 0.941 0.550 15 25.8 5 14.1 43 172.6 9

RBA considers the (9) Cowboys to be the real deal. They have a top five offense and a respectable enough defense to handle most opponents. In contrast, (31) Texas only dropped seven spots after their butt whoopin' last weekend, so RBA is still relatively confident about the Longhorns' place in the world. (Behind Texas A&M? Say it ain't so!) The Longhorns are about a touchdown less efficient than the Cowboys offensively. They make up a little of that on defense, but not nearly enough to help them here. The game is barely better than a coin toss at 52.3%, thanks to Oklahoma State's offensive flakiness in big games, but they should pull a 31-24 victory.

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Game
Arizona State Sun Devils at Oregon Ducks
GUGS Score: 60.6


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
5 Oregon 0.966 0.533 42 27.3 3 9.7 8 176.1 3
11 Arizona St. 0.913 0.528 53 19.5 30 10.8 15 173.9 6

(11) Arizona State doesn't have the offense to keep up with (7) Oregon's offense. The Ducks have the #3 offensive attack at 35.0 +/- 15.4 PPH, far outpacing the Sun Devils' 24.8 +/- 10.8 PPH. Since Oregon plays so fast, they can maximize their offensive advantage. Both teams are surprisingly good on defense. The Ducks are slightly better at 0.5 +/- 18.5 PPH than the Sun Devils' 3.5 +/- 14.6 PPH, but they're mostly equal. Simply put, Oregon is way too strong offensively for Arizona State to keep up. RBA predicts a convincing Duck victory, 38-24, with 73.3% probability.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
7 Oregon 0.877 0.641 10 27.7 7 12.6 8 187.2 1
25 Arizona St. 0.743 0.644 9 21.5 45 14.1 13 176.5 12

This is another measure of two teams moving in different directions. While the Ducks aren't necessarily sinking, they've more managed to maintain the status quo from last year. Minus some miscues against LSU and Oregon would be undefeated. The Sun Devils lost a close one to Illinois, but other than that have been on the rise since the start of the year. The question is whether or not they've caught up with Oregon enough. The Arizona State defense might be able to slow down the Duck offense, but they're nowhere near the "immovable object" necessary to stop them. TFG says this is a pretty solid Duck victory. Oregon 39, Arizona St. 29 (78.2%)

Shootout of the Week
Baylor Bears at Texas A&M Aggies
GUGS Score: 47.3


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
16 Texas A&M 0.779 0.635 12 23.3 26 14.1 12 178.9 8
46 Baylor 0.592 0.581 28 23.0 31 19.8 63 176.5 13

Two teams with offenses around 23.0 PPH, except the difference between 16th-ranked A&M and 46th-ranked Baylor is the extra 5.7 PPH on defense that Baylor surrenders. Between the solid offenses, middle-of-the-road defenses, and blistering pace, both sides are going to ring up a lot of points. A&M is better equipped to handle the track meet, though, and TFG is pretty certain they'll be able to send Baylor packing. Texas A&M 39, Baylor 31 (77.9%).


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
20 Texas A&M 0.870 0.555 9 20.4 21 11.9 24 171.6 14
40 Baylor 0.688 0.566 2 22.1 13 16.9 72 171.7 13

Robert Griffin III has turned taken (39) Baylor to unprecedented heights, but these are the same Bears that surrendered 36 points to Kansas State (30.2 +/- 19.4 PPH). (20) Texas A&M has similar offensive numbers at 28.2 +/- 15.5 PPH but a slightly better defense. Baylor's offense exceeds the Aggies' with 27.0 +/- 9.9 PPH. Unfortunately, their defense is significantly less efficient. All this means that we expect Texas A&M to win, 38-28, with 70.2% confidence.

Coin Toss Game of the Week
Ohio State Buckeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini
GUGS Score: 67.0


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
28 Illinois 0.778 0.536 37 18.2 42 13.9 40 169.8 24
19 Ohio St. 0.881 0.532 44 18.7 39 10.6 13 159.4 117

This particular game illustrates a glitch in my algorithm that I'm unsure how to resolve in a mathematically valid way. My log5 formula uses efficiency against a 0.500 strength team because it's a more accurate measure of confidence than the teams' efficiencies in the given game. The problem is that the expected score is backwards from the log5 output. Therefore, the confidence is inverted. Basically, the efficiencies show (19) Ohio State as a slight victor, but home field advantage flips the game in favor of (28) Illinois. The prediction still holds -- RBA believes Illinois will win -- but the pick is probably overly confident. RBA says Illinois wins, 25-24, with 72.1% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
36 Illinois 0.652 0.493 66 22.3 39 17.3 37 166.8 57
9 Ohio St. 0.829 0.537 45 23.1 28 12.3 7 159.5 107

This may be one of those scenarios where my computer hasn't caught up to the realities of this season. Ohio State most likely isn't the 9th-best team in FBS, and Illinois is probably a shade better than 36th. But then again, maybe not. Even in their losses the Buckeyes have held their opponents to an average of 23 points. If they can prevent a repeat of the collapse against Nebraska, they'll be in good shape. Illinois, though, is looking to prove that they're for real. The problem is that they're not particularly strong on either side of the ball, so it's an open question as to what the key to this game will be. TFG gives the slight nod to the visiting Buckeyes, though. Ohio St. 31, Illinois 29 (64.0%)

W - L
% Correct
RBA 34.80 - 12.20 74.05%
TFG 34.16 - 12.84 72.68%