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Big 12 Games Preview - 10/8/11

Time for the weekly look at the upcoming Big 12 games based on ratings and adjusted stats to date. Keep in mind that personnel matchups, coaching decisions, injuries, etc. will not play into the numerical predictions and are all important information that will still need to be considered.

Some of you may be familiar with my matchup analyzer, which predicts a final score based on the power ratings of each team as well as specific stats for the game. What it doesn't yet have, but may be added soon, is a second final score prediction based on the adjusted stats it shows. As discussed in the Adjusted Stats Year in Review, regression analysis can be used to estimate points scored against rushing, passing, and turnovers. I have chosen to use 2011 stats to update that regression weekly based on the season so far. For 2011 through the games of 10/1/11 that number is currently 2.71*TPPA + 2.76*TRPC - 113.91*TVPP, which is used for the below analyses.

Also note that my power rating predicted scores below will differ form the analyzer because I'm using a standard 3 point homefield advantage while the analyzer uses the season results to date. Additionally, the official picks published later in the week may differ from the Other Games of Interest section because standard deviations aren't considered here.

Oklahoma (-9) vs. Texas - (@ the Cotton Bowl) 11:00 ABC
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma 34, Texas 15
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Texas 25 (25.4), Oklahoma 25 (24.8)
Matchup Analyzer Link

Huge discrepancy between the two models but the point spread basically pegs the middle of the two. I'd like to take solace in the fact that the stat regression seemed to have a better week last week (what a brutal beat both models took in the Georgia Tech game), but honestly it makes sense that Texas would do better in a model that doesn't include our woeful special teams performance to date. At least that's what I thought. Then I checked both Oklahoma and Texas against a 2011 Average team and was a little surprised. The result was that Texas would be expected to beat an average team 31-17 in the power model and 31-19 in the stat regression model. Oklahoma, meanwhile, is predicted to win 45-12 and 33-21, respectively. So it seems the Sooners are the ones with a major discrepancy in the two models. So where does that leave me? Honestly, with no idea on how to predict this game, which shouldn't be a surprise to fans of either team. This game frequently hinges on big plays, ridiculous levels of emotion, and who handles the tension best. Not just the players, but the coaches calling the plays. The line seems reasonable and I'll just hope that Texas gets at least serviceable performances from special teams units and wins the turnover battle. That being said, I will officially predict a Texas blowout because OU sucks, that's why.

Missouri (-3) @ Kansas St. 2:30 ABC
Power Rating Predicted Score - Kansas St. 34, Missouri 22
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Missouri 38, Kansas St. 35
Matchup Analyzer Link

This makes two weeks in a row that the ABC 2:30 broadcast will be LIVE FROM THE LITTLE APPLE! Last week the Wildcats under Wizard Snyder made a huge play when it mattered to knock off Baylor. The current line on their matchup with the Tigers is right on the nose with the stat model but it seems the power rating model believes in Snyder Magic. And the numbers show that Kansas State is indeed the squad with the power/stat discrepancy. Probably some of that Manhattan Magic that I refuse to pick against. All Longhorn fans know that we are owned by the purple cats, so I am unwilling to offend our masters by picking against them. Mark it down as an outright Kansas State victory.

Kansas (+33) @ Oklahoma St. 2:30 No TV
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma St. 59, Kansas 17
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Oklahoma St. 48, Kansas 20
Matchup Analyzer Link

This should just be a fantastic game. Turner Gill is about to turn the corner up there in Lawrence and this could be their breakout moment. Jayhawks cover and lose 52-20.

Iowa St. (+16.5) @ Baylor 6:00 FSN
Power Rating Predicted Score - Baylor 45, Iowa St. 36
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Baylor 34, Iowa St. 22
Matchup Analyzer Link

Fairly consistent margin from the two models even if the totals vary wildly. The Bears suffered a late game defeat on Saturday but still have the best player in the conference, while the best name in the conference comes into town off a big loss to the Longhorns. The two models agree that Baylor wins but the Cyclones cover, so that's what I'll go with on this one.

Texas A&M (-6) @ Texas Tech 6:00 FX
Power Rating Predicted Score - Texas A&M 48, Texas Tech 33
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Texas A&M, 41, Texas Tech 28
Matchup Analyzer Link

Along with Texas/OU this is the second Participating Schools' Biggest Rivalry Game of the week. As the last conference game edition of this soap opera, we can only hope for as entertaining a game as these two teams have put on for us in the past. Both models agree that the Aggies should cover but it's important to note that I have not yet coded a Mike Sherman Second Half Adjustments Factor into the equations. There's no good reason to expect the Red Raiders to win on paper, but then again there weren't any good reasons on paper to expect the Aggies to blow 17-point and 18-point halftime leads the last two weeks. Bad news for the Aggies is that the second half of this game will be at night in Lubbock. Worse news is that Gus Johnson will be calling it. SETH DOEGE STANDS AND FIRES!!!!!... Better hope for an un-Shermanable halftime lead, like maybe 45 points or so. Still, I'll go with the Aggies to cover just because it's a good jinx situation.


Michigan (-5.5) @ Northwestern
Power Rating Predicted Score - Michigan 45, Northwestern 12
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Michigan 43, Northwestern 21
Matchup Analyzer Link

Georgia Tech topped this list last week and was up by 24 points with less than a minute remaining. Shortly thereafter they completed their 10-point win and brutal beat for the computer models who had them as the top pick as 11-1/2-point favorites. There isn't any line as out of whack with the models this week, but the Michigan game is close. The Wolverines are seen as an undefeated pretender by lots of college football fans that remember the Rich Rod years, but this year's edition is also playing decent defense. After ranking 97th in adjusted yards per play allowed last year the 2011 edition is 21st through five games. This line actually opened at only 3-1/2 points but has quickly moved past the important number at 4 and is closing in on another one at 6 points.

Troy (-4) @ Louisiana-Lafayette
Power Rating Predicted Score - Louisiana-Lafayette 44, Troy 33
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Louisiana-Lafayette 33, Troy 23
Matchup Analyzer Link

Night game home dog (does it matter in the Sun Belt?) that both models say should win. I'm not going to pretend like I've seen either team play. Line opened at 4.5 points and has moved a hair to the Ragin' Cajuns.

TCU (-4.5) @ San Diego St.
Power Rating Predicted Score - San Diego St. 38, TCU 28
Stat Regression Predicted Score - San Diego St. 43, TCU 25
Matchup Analyzer Link

Another night game home dog that the models agree should win by double digits. TCU's defense has been simply awful so far and this line almost seems too good to be true as a long term EV play. On offense the Horned Frogs have run the ball well but their passing game is mediocre. I haven't seen the Aztecs play aside from a few minutes against Michigan, but I don't have much confidence in TCU right now.

Kent St. (+16.5) @ Northern Illinois
Power Rating Predicted Score - Northern Illinois 30, Kent St. 25
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Northern Illinois 18, Kent St. 16
Matchup Analyzer Link

Haven't seen either play but this is the final game of the week where both models disagree with the line by double digits in the same direction. Can't say I'm a big fan of betting on the Golden Flashes in a road game, but there it is.

That's it for this week.