Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 9: Saturday Recap

Week 9
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
TFG  39.1 -  13.9 73.8  41 -  12 77.4
RBA  38.9 -  14.1 73.5  39 -  14 73.6

Game of the Week
Nebraska Cornhuskers 24, Michigan State Spartans 3; 153 plays

(19) Nebraska 32, (10) Michigan St. 31 (53.4%); 163 plays

In yet another example of how college football isn't transitive, Michigan State beat Wisconsin, the Badgers hammered Nebraska, and therefore Michigan State will destroy Nebraska, right? Or not. So what happened? Well, you could point out that the home team always won. But then you'd have to acknowledge that it's possible that if team A beats team B, team A isn't necessarily better, especially if team A had home field advantage. But whatever. Back to the game at hand. The Nebraska defense was simply too much for the Spartans. Adjusting for home field advantage, the Husker defense was the second-best D the Spartans had seen all year behind only Ohio State; even then the Spartans had a few opportunities, including a pair of drives that started inside the Nebraska 40 yet yielded only three points. Other than that, the average starting position for the Spartans was their own 21. The Nebraska D did their part, and the Huskers walk away with the win.

(14) Michigan St. 29, (24) Nebraska 28 (62.7%); 167 plays

This one didn't quite work out. It wasn't pretty -- the teams combined for fewer than 200 yards passing and only 487 total yards. The Cornhuskers pounded the Spartans with RB Rex Burkhead, who accounted for three touchdowns. Maybe it was a post-Wisconsin letdown or maybe it was the Blackshirt defense, but the Spartans never got anything going offensively. Not only was it a Nebraska victory, but it was a definitive Nebraska victory, 24-3.

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Game
Ohio State Buckeyes 33, Wisconsin Badgers 29; 159 plays

(4) Wisconsin 31, (21) Ohio St. 20 (76.4%); 160 plays

It must suck to be a Wisconsin fan right now. The Badgers completed a furious comeback, scoring two touchdowns in the final 4:39. Just like last week. The Badgers left little time on the clock for a comeback. Just like last week. Then, the Badgers surrendered a bomb to let it all slip away. Just like last week. At 2-2 in conference, Wisconsin no longer controls its own destiny in their own division. With a 33-29 Ohio State victory, the Wisconsin season is on life support.

(9) Ohio St. 33, (7) Wisconsin 30 (52.9%); 158 plays

Off by one point and one play. I'm happy with this prediction. I said this was going to be a slow grind, and with six minutes to play the score was 20-14 in the favor of the Buckeyes. But over those last six minutes both teams decided to switch to "Madden" mode, and racked up a combined 28 points, including two sub-two-minute drives for Wisconsin that yielded touchdowns, and a 40 yard prayer by the Buckeyes to take the lead with 20 seconds left. It wasn't exactly an "immovable object", but the Ohio State defense did what they needed to do in order to give the offense a shot, and in the ends that's all that was needed.

Unstoppable Force 5, Immovable Object 3

Shootout of the Week
Oklahoma State Cowboys 59, Baylor Bears 24; 190 plays

(12) Oklahoma St. 45, (50) Baylor 33 (83.3%); 178 plays

This one was never going to be competitive, and in the end the teams combined for a weekend-high 83 points (we're ignored the OT game between USC and Stanford for obvious reasons). Unfortunately for Baylor it went pretty much as predicted, in that the Cowboys scored most of the points. Oklahoma State is still doing its best to prep for the Sooners, but did they do enough against Baylor to prove their point? Monday's rankings will give us the latest clue as to how the Cowboys and Sooners will stack up by the end of the year.

(8) Oklahoma St. 45, (42) Baylor 27 (68.5%); 172 plays

I'm not going to go as far as Justin in suggesting that this game was never going to be competitive. 68.5% is slightly more competitive than RBA expects LSU-Alabama to be. However, this game was over early. Oklahoma State jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead on back of Baylor's two turnovers on downs, two interceptions, and a missed field goal. Everyone loves a coach that goes for it, but this is what happens when it doesn't work out: 59-24 in favor of Oklahoma State.

Coin Toss Game of the Week
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns 45, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 20; 182 plays

(90) LA-Lafayette 29, (96) Middle Tenn. 28 (67.5%); 167 plays

I'm not going to pretend to know anything about this game. This was nowhere near as close as the computers expected, but RBA wound up on the correct side of the random number generator that is low-quality football.

(94) Middle Tenn. 39, (95) LA-Lafayette 34 (62.9%); 173 plays

Dammit, I got this one wrong.
That's about all I have to say about it.

Coin Toss Record: TFG 4, RBA 3.

2011 - 2012 Season
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
TFG 327.4 - 110.6 74.8 322 - 116 73.5
RBA 323.7 - 114.3 73.9 318 - 120 72.6

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