Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week 14: Saturday Recap

Week 14
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
RBA  14.9 -   6.1 71.1  18 -   3 85.7
TFG  15.2 -   5.8 72.6  17 -   4 81.0

Game of the Week

Oklahoma State Cowboys 44, Oklahoma Sooners 10; 181 plays

(5) Oklahoma 38, (12) Oklahoma St. 35 (63.7%); 180 plays

The stories of this game were turnovers and field position. Oklahoma State scored 44 points -- 5 touchdowns and 3 field goals -- off of drives of 40, 43, 68 and 1 yard (for touchdowns) and 57, 60, and 92 (for field goals). Throw in a touchdown directly off a turnover and the Sooners turned what could have/should have been a coin toss into a romp for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys managed 44 points in 181 plays for an offensive efficiency of 24.3 PPH against one of the best defenses in FBS. Oklahoma State is peaking at the right time, but it might be too late to make a serious case for the title game.

(6) Oklahoma St. 31, (5) Oklahoma 28 (54.7%); 172 plays

Okay, nobody saw 44-10 coming. I'll take a little credit for RBA picking the winner, but otherwise, this game was very far from the predictions. Justin hit the nail on the head; this game was all about field position and turnovers.

Coin Toss Record: TFG 6, RBA 6.

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Game

Wisconsin Badgers 42, Michigan State Spartans 39; 154 plays

(4) Wisconsin 31, (18) Michigan St. 24 (65.6%); 164 plays

"You keep saying that word. I don't think it means what you think it means." Maybe it's just Wisconsin, but Michigan State shouldn't be performing this well offensively. The Spartans exceeded offensive expectations for the second time against the Badgers and nearly won this game.

(3) Wisconsin 38, (15) Michigan St. 30 (68.0%); 160 plays

Regardless of the outcome, you can't say that Michigan State doesn't have a flair for the dramatic. Unlike the last time these teams met, Michigan State racked up more yards, more first downs, and (crucially) more turnovers. Unfortunately for the Spartans, this didn't translate to an even larger victory. Even up by only a touchdown, Wisconsin seemed to have this one locked up going into the second quarter (TFG had the Badgers as 81% likely to win just before the Spartans pulled off their ballet lateral play). By the time the second quarter ended, though, it was a dead-even coin toss. In the end, though, Wisconsin just had a bit more offense than Michigan State could handle.

Unstoppable Force 9, Immovable Object 3

Shootout of the Week

Southern Miss Golden Eagles 49, Houston Cougars 28; 205 plays

(23) Houston 39, (43) Southern Miss. 35 (63.2%); 177 plays

Can I get an "I told you so"? We're just lucky that Houston got exposed here instead of in a BCS bowl. Houston's offense was never quite as ferocious as some claimed, but here it was exposed for all to see. However even down 28-21 with 3:30 to play in the third quarter, the Cougars had about a 1-in-3 shot to win. Before the end of the quarter, though, they surrendered 14 points and their odds dropped to 1-in-12. Each team tacked on a meaningless touchdown to get our final score. Houston's loss, though, clears the way for TCU or USM, or some other similarly worthy non-BCS school to claim an at-large bid (thanks, hapless Big East!).

(24) Houston 31, (19) Southern Miss. 28 (52.0%); 171 plays

You could argue that Southern Miss has been overrated by RBA for most of the season, but it's been right about Houston. The Cougars' offensive inconsistency showed up at the worst possible time to the tune of 13.7 PPH. USM just kept scoring and scoring, and Houston kept playing fast. When you run 205 plays, small differences in efficiency turn into huge differences on the scoreboard. At 20.3 PPH, the Golden Eagles should have hung 42 on the Cougars, so they only slightly exceeded expectations. RBA missed the pick, but the analysis was pretty accurate.

2011 - 2012 Season
System Expected Actual
W - LWin % W - LWin %
TFG 501.6 - 176.4 74.0 499 - 179 73.6
RBA 498.5 - 179.5 73.5 492 - 186 72.6

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