Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 12: Saturday Recap

Week 12
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
TFG  41.7 -  14.3 74.4  41 -  15 73.2
RBA  41.7 -  14.3 74.5  40 -  16 71.4

Game of the Week / Coin Toss Game of the Week
Michigan Wolverines 45, Nebraska Cornhuskers 17; 163 plays

(16) Michigan 33, (17) Nebraska 31 (50.5%); 163 plays

The box score will reveal that the Cornhuskers had three turnovers, and surrendered 418 yards to the Wolverines, and that's a pretty good summary of how this coin toss turned into a rout. Two of those fumbles gave the Wolverines a short field -- 31 and 33 yards -- and lead to 14 points. The Huskers only got five first downs in the first half, and 54 yards of their 260 total yards of offense was on one fluke TD run. Remove that play, and the Nebraska offense only managed 6.13 PPH against an unimpressive Michigan defense.

(19) Nebraska 28, (29) Michigan 27 (53.0%); 167 plays

Michigan's defense bottled up Nebraska's offense. Then, Nebraska's defense elected to take the game off and allow Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint run wild on them for a combined 221 yards. RBA wasn't particularly confident in this pick at 53%, but the algorithm expected this one to be a bit closer. Chalk another one up for TFG.

Coin Toss Record: TFG 6, RBA 4.

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Game
Wisconsin Badgers 28, Illinois Fighting Illini 17; 144 plays

(6) Wisconsin 34, (45) Illinois 20 (85.6%); 165 plays

Surprisingly, the Illini didn't get blown out in this one, thanks to a slow Wisconsin start. Then, Montee Ball got rolling, finishing with 224 yards and three touchdowns, as the Illini surrendered 21 second-half points. RBA overestimated Wisconsin's margin of victory by a field goal, but I'll take it. This game felt so meaningless compared to the next game in this recap.

(6) Wisconsin 40, (48) Illinois 26 (84.1%); 162 plays

This shouldn't have been as close as it was. Wisconsin has been a different team since their back-to-back losses, but their offense has been relatively consistent. Outside of Alabama and LSU, the Badgers and the Cardinal have been the main sources of efficient offense in FBS; Oregon (27.4 PPH), Oklahoma State (27.9 PPH) and Houston (26.1 PPH) have their reputations inflated either by pace, quality of opponent, or both. In that light, it's shocking that Wisconsin struggled so much to score against the Illinois defense, but it does hint that the Illini managed to improve on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately it wasn't enough.

Unstoppable Force 8, Immovable Object 3

Shootout of the Week
Baylor Bears 45, Oklahoma Sooners 38; 194 plays

(4) Oklahoma 43, (57) Baylor 30 (88.0%); 178 plays

Does no one outside of Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge really want to play in the national title game? Because this is the second near-lock that the Sooners have blown. The odds of Oklahoma losing to both Texas Tech and Baylor hover at around 1-in-92, but when the other team is doing 15-yard touch passes you can only shake your head and wonder what the football gods have against you. This one lived up to its shootout nature, going fast and furious until literally the final minute of play.

(4) Oklahoma 42, (46) Baylor 27 (85.0%); 171 plays

Baylor got all the bounces in this one and held on for dear life in the 4th quarter. Baylor surrendered a 14 point lead in the last 6:39 and was lucky to get a false start on the Sooner two-point conversion with 0:55 remaining. Goodness gracious, I have no idea why Oklahoma didn't run the Belldozer power every down because Baylor never came close to stopping it. The false start penalty pushed Oklahoma outside of easy two-point conversion range, so the Sooners settled for the extra point. Rather than let Baylor take a knee and play for overtime, Oklahoma decided to start using its three timeouts. Rather than kick the ball back to Oklahoma, Baylor decided to go for it, leading to a 45-38 Baylor victory. I understand why Bob Stoops used his timeout, but he'll never live it down. Nobody saw this upset coming, but 83 points certainly makes for a nice shootout.

2011 - 2012 Season
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
TFG 447.2 - 155.8 74.2 442 - 161 73.3
RBA 443.4 - 159.6 73.5 433 - 170 71.8

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