Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 11: Saturday Recap

Week 11
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
TFG  39.9 -  17.1 70.0  44 -  13 77.2
RBA  40.0 -  17.0 70.1  41 -  16 71.9

Game of the Week
Oregon Ducks 53, Stanford Cardinal 30; 166 plays

(4) Stanford 38, (6) Oregon 33 (59.7%); 173 plays

Oregon didn't so much win this one as Stanford handed it to them on a silver platter. The Ducks got 7 points off an interception, another 15 off a pair of turnovers that gave them the ball inside the Cardinal 20, and 14 points off three freak long plays of nearly 60 yards apiece (which Stanford has never done so far). That's 22 directly from turnovers, and 14 from improbably bad defense. On the flip side, Stanford's average starting position on their four touchdown drives was their own 26, and they didn't get much help from Oregon's two turnovers. The Ducks walk out of Palo Alto as the presumed Pac-12 champions, but in the process kill any chances of a Pac-12 reappearance in this year's national title game.

(2) Stanford 38, (4) Oregon 31 (51.2%); 171 plays

RBA said this would be a coin flip. The Ducks won by 23. However, if you watched it, you could start to see where this game was closer than that. The Cardinal committed an uncharacteristic five turnovers, including one pick six after the ball hit a Stanford receiver right in the hands. On the other hand, Oregon scored touchdowns on 4th and 7 and 4th and 1 plays. As Ken Massey said, the weaker team wins 30% of the time, and this is likely one of those times.

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Game
Alabama Crimson Tide 24, Mississippi State Bulldogs 7; 155 plays

(1) Alabama 31, (29) Mississippi St. 13 (95.3%); 159 plays

This game was close throughout the night, but it was never really competitive. The Bulldogs were held scoreless until the 4th quarter, and Alabama ground out the clock with Trent Richardson. RBA predicted an 18-point Crimson Tide victory. In practice, they won by 17. I consider that an accurate accessment.

(1) Alabama 37, (39) Mississippi St. 21 (93.7%); 160 plays

The only two numbers you need to know are "386" and "131"; those are the number of yards Alabama and Mississippi State tallied, respectively. For Alabama this game was a relative sprint, totaling 155 plays. And two can play the "did I guess the spread right" game; I had the Crimson Tide by 16. Mission Accomplished.

Unstoppable Force 7, Immovable Object 3

Shootout of the Week
Oklahoma State Cowboys 66, Texas Tech Red Raiders 6; 179 plays

(11) Oklahoma St. 43, (60) Texas Tech 33 (77.1%); 182 plays

This game came in four points below what I thought the combined score would be. The bad news for Texas Tech is that I underestimated the Cowboys by 23 and overestimated the Red Raiders by 27. The good news for Oklahoma State is that this finally showed that they could play some defense when it counted, which is going to come in handy when they face off against Oklahoma.

(7) Oklahoma St. 42, (56) Texas Tech 28 (78.4%); 176 plays

Well, we found our shootout. Oklahoma State scored at will until pulling the starters and then scored some more. I suggested that Texas Tech's high variance strategy could keep them in the game. Unfortunately, it can also do the opposite. In this case, the fast-paced Texas Tech passing game was ineffective, giving the Cowboys more possessions, leading to many more scores.

Coin Toss Game of the Week
Michigan State Spartans 37, Iowa Hawkeyes 21; 182 plays

(23) Iowa 24, (22) Michigan St. 21 (69.5%); 165 plays

Well, I missed this one. Michigan State lead 31-7 at the half, and it was never close. Meh, it happens.

(22) Michigan St. 31, (33) Iowa 29 (57.3%); 162 plays

Also not much to say about this game in and of itself. However it does have implications for the Big Ten championship, as we appear to be headed for a Michigan State-Wisconsin rematch. Wisconsin has to be Illinois on the road (doable) and then Penn State at home (also doable). If that happens then we could be treated to Hail Mary, Part II. And frankly that sounds much more interesting than replaying that other recent big game of note.

Coin Toss Record: TFG 5, RBA 4.

2011 - 2012 Season
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
TFG 405.5 - 141.5 74.1 401 - 146 73.3
RBA 401.7 - 145.3 73.4 393 - 154 71.8

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