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Big 12 Games Preview - 10/15/11

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 10/8/11 that number is currently 2.76*TPPA + 2.79*TRPC - 131.70*TVPP, which is used for the below analyses.

Also note that my power rating predicted scores below will differ from 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.

Baylor (+9) @ Texas A&M - 11:00 FX
Power Rating Predicted Score - Texas A&M 48, Baylor 42
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Baylor 38, Texas A&M 35
Matchup Analyzer Link

The Aggie defense did what it had to do last week against the Red Raiders and actually allowed only 5.38 total passing yards per attempt in that matchup, giving up 371 total passing yards on 69 passing plays. Tech actually ran 105 offensive plays in that game, which is the most in a regulation game so far this year (Navy ran 105 in their overtime loss to Air Force). This week's EWP ratings have this as a matchup of the #22 and #23 teams and it should live up to that competitively. Both models like the Bears to cover the 9-point spread, and who am I to argue with a computer? In fact, I'm going to go ahead and take the Bears to win outright if only for the entertainment aspect.

Iowa St. (+14.5) @ Missouri 1:00 No TV
Power Rating Predicted Score - Missouri 34, Iowa St. 17
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Missouri 37, Iowa St. 24
Matchup Analyzer Link

Both teams are coming in off of some recent losses, but while the Cyclones have lost two straight games by 23 points, the Tigers are making a habit of competitive losses. The models like the line on this game, so stay away unless you're a gambling addict but Mizzou should win this game for their first conference victory of the year. Not that anyone will be able to see it, but that's probably way the Tigers are looking to move to the SEC as soon as they can. Show me, indeed. On the Jefferson Pilot Sports Network if necessary.

Oklahoma St. (-7.5) @ Texas 2:30 ABC
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma St. 41, Texas 30
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Texas 24, Oklahoma St. 21
Matchup Analyzer Link

I'm sober now, but I started to question that when I saw the stat regression model's output on this one. But in looking at the breakdown, the issue seems to be that the stat model doesn't have a good handle on the Cowboys' offense. Okie State would be predicted to beat an average team 48-23 by the power model but only 29-21 by the stat model. Still, I was amazed to see Texas open as only a 6-point dog and the current line means so were most bettors. On the bright side, Texas A&M's defense held the Cowboys to 3 points for a half, so there's that. I'm not going to lie, I'm a hopeless optimist (when not drunk, I guess), so I'll take the Horns to cover. Oklahoma State 38, Texas 31. What? I'm not that optimistic.

Kansas St. (+3) @ Texas Tech 6:00 FSN
Power Rating Predicted Score - Kansas St. 36, Texas Tech 29
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Kansas St. 30, Texas Tech 22
Matchup Analyzer Link

Refusing to pick against our purple-clad masters last week served me well, so my pick here should be obvious. Snyder loves to control the game by running the ball and the Red Raiders have a terrible run defense so far this year (#107 in total rushing allowed per carry). In fact, the weakest facet of the conference overall so far this year has been run defense and the Wildcats just dispatched the team with the best TRPCA ranking in the conference so far. I'll just go ahead and call the Wildcats' undefeated Big 12 Championship now.

Oklahoma (-35) @ Kansas 8:15 ESPN2
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma 63, Kansas 17
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Oklahoma 49, Kansas 24
Matchup Analyzer Link

Ugly. Even if Stoops were inclined to let off the gas I don't think it's possible for the Sooners to stop scoring in this one. Even without wide receivers handing the ball to them. But at least the Jayhawks are on national TV for recruiting purposes. Take that, Mizzou!


Georgia Tech (-8) @ Virginia
Power Rating Predicted Score - Georgia Tech 40, Virginia 21
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Georgia Tech 44, Virginia 20
Matchup Analyzer Link

The computer still likes the Yellowjackets, but the good news is that they weren't on this list last week when they squeaked by Maryland. As we move to the middle of the season there are no longer any plays with as large of a discrepancy as was required the first two weeks, so I'll just be putting the four biggest differences here. Kansas State was actually #2 this week, so that leaves two more.

Virginia Tech (-7) @ Wake Forest
Power Rating Predicted Score - Wake Forest 26, Virginia Tech 23
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Wake Forest 27, Virginia Tech 25
Matchup Analyzer Link

This isn't a matter of the computer being overly impressed with the Demon Deacons' win over the Seminoles this weekend, it has to do with it being completely unimpressed with the Hokies so far this year. Virginia Tech gave up 8.7 yards per play at home to the Hurricanes, including 7.2 yards per rush (after removing sacks).

Toledo (-8) @ Bowling Green
Power Rating Predicted Score - Toledo 48, Bowling Green 21
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Toledo 37, Bowling Green 22
Matchup Analyzer Link

The power system really likes the Rockets right now, and that results in this game being listed. Given the standard deviation of both teams' power ratings, I doubt this one makes the official pick list on Wednesday.

That's it for this week.