Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week 8: Saturday Matchups

Game of the Week
South Carolina Gamecocks at Florida Gators


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
8 Florida 0.835 0.628 14 25.4 25 13.3 5 156.8 106
6 South Carolina 0.865 0.563 36 29.5 8 14.0 9 155.6 112

This is -- by a large margin -- expected to be the best game of the year. With a GUGS score of 84.9, it is projected to be much better than other top games Stanford at Oregon (77.5), Notre Dame at USC (76.5), Oregon at USC (76.5) or Oklahoma State at Kansas State (76.0). The Gators have gotten to where they are this year by having their 5th-ranked defense make up for their barely-top-25 offense. The Gamecocks, though, have been much more balanced. Both their offense and defense are in the top 10 of the TFG rankings. So what about that common opponent of LSU? Florida hosted LSU and had to come back in the second half to overcome a 6-0 halftime deficit. The Gamecocks visited LSU, lead at the half, and didn't actually surrender the lead for good until the last eight minutes. TFG says that Florida has the edge in this game and in the SEC East race, but it'll be close. Whoever wins this has the inside track on making the SEC Championship game.  Florida 32, South Carolina 31 (55.9%); 156 plays.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
6 Florida 0.959 0.557 6 19.3 32 7.6 2 161.3 111
3 South Carolina 0.983 0.542 30 23.1 8 8.3 4 157.7 123

This one looks like it's going to be great, pitting two of the top six teams in the RBA poll.  They also happen to be in the top seven of the BCS poll, so I'm not alone in this regard.  Both South Carolina and Florida are defensively minded teams, exhibiting 4.4 +/- 7.8 PPH and 1.5 +/- 12.2 PPH efficiencies, respectively.  Unlike Justin, I think this one is going to be relatively low scoring because both teams struggle offensively against top competition.  The Gamecocks peak a little higher at 33.5 +/- 20.8 PPH, but Florida is a bit more consistent at 28.2 +/- 17.8 PPH.  Florida has home field advantage to keep it close, but South Carolina wins the efficiency battle on both sides of the ball.  RBA says South Carolina, 22-21, with 55.7% confidence.

Coin Toss Game of the Week
Washington Huskies at Arizona Wildcats
GUGS Score: 50.7


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
62 Arizona 0.525 0.562 3 17.6 44 16.9 70 169.2 30
39 Washington 0.698 0.552 12 20.3 26 15.3 53 167.8 48

This one is tough to pick based on this season's data.  Both Arizona and Washington have a good win (Oklahoma State and Stanford, respectively), a few wins against terrible teams, and a bunch of reasonable losses.  The one thing we can say about these two teams is that Washington plays better defense at 6.8 +/- 16.9 PPH than Arizona plays at 9.2 +/- 15.3 PPH, but neither is particularly effective at stopping the opponent.  Offensively, there's no telling what we're going to get.  The Huskies can score, but their 34.7 +/- 28.8 PPH suggests that they're not terribly predictable.  Arizona is merely average offensively at 21.7 +/- 8.2 PPH.  RBA picks Washington, 31-28, with 63.6% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
54 Arizona 0.542 0.683 7 21.6 52 20.1 50 183.5 5
69 Washington 0.466 0.706 2 22.0 46 23.2 81 155.7 111

This doesn't appear to be one of those not-sure-could-be-close games. This appears to be one of those RBA-and-TFG-fundamentally-disagree-on-a-team games. In this case we have wildly differing opinions about Washington. Eddie places them in the top third of FBS, while I place them solidly in the bottom half. We both agree their offense is better than their defense, but TFG says their defense is pretty atrocious. This may be the biggest disagreement you'll see in a Coin Toss game this year, so it'll be a nice litmus test for whose system is better. Given how wildly inconsistent them teams have been (see Eddie's variance numbers) who knows what you're going to get out of this game. TFG gives a reasonable edge to Arizona, but doesn't quite anoint them as the 2-to-1 favorites we'd need to term this an upset should the Huskies win. Arizona 39, Washington 34 (68.5%); 169 plays.

W - L
% Correct
RBA 37.49 - 14.51 72.10%
TFG 37.70 - 14.30 72.50%