Saturday, November 10, 2012

Week 11: Saturday Matchups

Note: I've been absolutely atrocious about finding time to write these. It hasn't been fair to our reads or to Eddie, and it's going to stop now. Partially because I'm embarrassed that I haven't found time to keep up with my own blog, and partially because I've missed weeks and weeks of gloating about how I'm stomping Eddie in our Coin Toss series this year.

Game of the Week
Kansas State Wildcats at TCU Horned Frogs


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
21 TCU 0.738 0.510 57 25.5 24 16.9 21 164.5 63
11 Kansas St. 0.816 0.599 27 35.3 2 19.4 47 153.9 118

Kansas State is one of those teams that does well, but for the life of it just can't seem to impress my computer. They've only had two games all year decided by fewer than two touchdowns, yet they've yet to crack the top 10 (to be fair, though, Boise State should fall enough to gift them a top-10 spot any week now). The main problem is that TFG still sees garbage time touchdowns as points allowed by a team, and the Wildcats seem to hand over at least one of those each game. Clamp down on those, and TFG would easily put the Wildcats in the top five. The good news is that they've got an opportunity to do just that against a team TFG still respects, even though the Horned Frogs are 2-3 since the start of October. TFG thinks this will be a relatively high-scoring affair between two top-25 teams, which has all the ingredients for a good Game of the Week. In the end, though, Kansas State's high-powered offense is just going to be too much for TCU's defense. With luck the Wildcats can clamp down on defense and start to show that they're deserving of being a real national title contender. Kansas St. 40, TCU 36 (57.1%); 159 plays.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
33 TCU 0.761 0.464 94 19.9 25 14.5 46 168.1 45
4 Kansas St. 0.975 0.531 48 26.9 2 13.6 36 165.7 79

The ironic part of Justin's return is that I'm throwing this together at the last minute because I just got back from Las Vegas.  If there was any question, I rendered unto Caesar's Palace that which is Caesar's.  -- Eddie

RBA respects the Wildcats enough to rank them in the top five.  However, I'm a little worried about this pick.  Maybe you've heard, but Collin Klein may not play against TCU.  RBA assumes that he'll play, so the rest of this post will assume the same.  With Klein, Kansas State has a top five offense.  RBA still thinks they're inconsistent, but they're getting better, improving from 35.5 +/- 19.8 PPH to 34.6 +/- 15.4 PPH over the last three weeks.  Contrary to the accolades they're getting from the people on ESPN, the Wildcat defense (9.2 +/- 8.9 PPH) isn't that great, and they have hardly budged in the same time frame.  That said, they should do very well against the Horned Frogs.  TCU has a middle of the pack offense (24.7 +/- 9.5 PPH) and a Baylor-esque defense (0.9 +/- 27.2 PPH).  If Klein doesn't play, it could be dicey, but with Klein, this one is a solid K-State win, 38-31, with 69.2% confidence.

Coin Toss Game of the Week
Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Houston Cougars
GUGS Score: 48.0


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
62 Houston 0.514 0.469 85 18.0 41 18.4 83 176.8 3
66 Tulsa 0.474 0.466 91 15.9 65 15.6 55 171.6 16

I humbly accept the smack talk from Justin because, quite frankly, the results haven't been pretty in this space.  The Cougars are sinking without quarterback Case Keenum and coach Kevin Sumlin.  The departures have impacted the offense, dropping from 21.1 +/- 0.1 PPH in 2011 to 22.9 +/- 9.8 PPH.  Their defense has failed them, as well, dropping from 15.2 +/- 1.7 PPH to 15.3 +/- 6.1 PPH.  Combined, this implies that Houston is losing roughly a touchdown per hundred plays against average competition in 2012.  In contrast, Tulsa has remained consistently mediocre all year.  Their offense exhibits an inconsistent 27.7 +/- 21.2 PPH, while their defense is even less consistent at 4.9 +/- 23.5 PPH.  There's a non-zero probability that Houston is still on its way down, but based on the current data, Tulsa's defense is bad enough that the Cougars should keep pace.  Home field advantage swings the game for Houston, 31-28, with 55.6% confidence.


Team WinPct SoS Off. Def. Pace
64 Houston 0.482 0.352 113 20.6 61 21.2 62 187.5 2
52 Tulsa 0.548 0.381 100 20.4 65 18.9 42 176.1 12

Even after losing Case Keenum to graduation last year, Houston decided not to slow things down to make it easier on Keenum's replacement. This ... has not gone well. The Cougars have gone from a 28.2 PPH offensive efficiency last year to a mere 20.6 PPH this year. Their defense has also slipped by about three PPH, meaning the Cougars have gone from nipping at the heels of the top 20 to nipping at the heels of the top half of FBS. The Golden Hurricane have experienced a similar but not as drastic swan dive this year, losing 2.8 PPH on offense and 1.2 PPH on defense. Whatever their shortcomings on the field, both teams have decided that this will be another year of GO GO GO. In this end look for a moderately high-scoring game in which the home team eeks out a slight victory. Tulsa 37, Houston 36 (52.4%); 181 plays.

2012 Coin Toss Record: RBA 3, TFG 7.

(P.S. Dear Eddie: Neener neener. So there. --Justin)

W - L
% Correct
RBA 37.09 - 13.91 72.74%
TFG 36.82 - 14.18 72.20%