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Big 12 Games Preview - 10/22/11

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 10/15/11 that regression is currently 2.73*TPPA + 2.87*TRPC - 136.40*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.

Kansas St. (-12.5) @ Kansas - 11:00 FSN
Power Rating Predicted Score - Kansas St. 43, Kansas 21
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Kansas St. 36, Kansas 29
Matchup Analyzer Link

Kansas State's march continues this week in Lawrence against their in-state rivals. The Wildcats have the second-lowest standard deviation in scoring performance in the nation this year, so I tend to trust their power rating prediction relative to their stat model prediction more than with most teams. Purple Power should theoretically be able to control this game on the ground against the Jayhawks although you have to wonder when their luck on fumbles will run out (8 fumbles, 0 lost so far). Either way, I see no reason to end my streak of picking the Wildcats to cover. KSU 40-23.

Oklahoma St. (-7.5) @ Missouri 11:00 FX
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma St. 40, Missouri 31
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Missouri 31, Oklahoma St. 29
Matchup Analyzer Link

I'm a little upset with Brandon Weeden right now because his lack of field awareness probably cost me some money this week. I had predicted a final of 38-31 Oklahoma State over Texas and that may have been the exact final score if he had thrown the pick to Gideon before stepping out of the end zone. On the other hand, the Cowboys are actually the only team in the country with a lower standard deviation on the power rating side than Kansas State, so their consistency has been amazing so far. Still, I take personal grudges seriously so I'll take Mizzou to cover here just because. Missouri will need to use Josey to control this game on the ground and not leave it in Franklin's hands. The Cowboys defense ranks #109 in total rushing and #2 in total passing so far this year. But on the other side of the ball the Cowboys should be able to toss the ball well enough to pull out a win. Call it 38-31 because Weeden doesn't step out of the back of the end zone this time.

Texas A&M (-20.5) @ Iowa St. 2:30 ABC
Power Rating Predicted Score - Texas A&M 45, Iowa St. 18
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Texas A&M 32, Iowa St. 25
Matchup Analyzer Link

The Aggies finally played a second half last week and it left the Baylor Griffins in their wake. Next up is a trip to Jack Trice Field to take on a Cyclone squad that was humbled last week in Columbia. The Aggies should win this comfortably and the Cyclones will have to run the ball and control the clock (sound familiar?) to cover. The Big 12 is better at pass defense almost across the board than run defense this year so the blueprint for an upset in this league will be very consistent. But I don't think the perfect gameplan wins this game for ISU, so I'll only pick them to cover. And I'm not terribly confident of that so let's call it A&M by a final of 41-21.

Texas Tech (+28) @ Oklahoma 7:00 ABC
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma 54, Texas Tech 28
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Oklahoma 39, Texas Tech 19
Matchup Analyzer Link

Not the game I would have picked for the prime time broadcast, but that's just me. Oklahoma will roll here but because both of my models call for the Red Raiders to cover I'm somewhat obliged to go with that. I'll just attempt to split the difference and call it Oklahoma 47-24.


Penn State (-4) @ Northwestern
Power Rating Predicted Score - Penn State 24, Northwestern 13
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Penn State 30, Northwestern 18
Matchup Analyzer Link

As I say a lot, not a huge fan of this pick but the numbers are the numbers. It just seems like taking the Nittany Lions to cover a 4-point spread is like expecting a blowout.

Army (+8.5) @ Vanderbilt
Power Rating Predicted Score - Vanderbilt 31, Army 14
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Vanderbilt 33, Army 18
Matchup Analyzer Link

Yep, the pickings are definitely getting slim as we get to the midway point of the season. I don't instinctively get scared off by this pick, but that's probably bad news more often than good news.

Utah (+3) @ California
Power Rating Predicted Score - Utah 23, California 15
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Utah 21, California 19
Matchup Analyzer Link

A road dog the systems like to outright win the game. That is usually another red flag (man I need to program some red flags into this thing) but Cal isn't even playing their home games at home this year.

Temple (-12.5) @ Bowling Green
Power Rating Predicted Score - Temple 34, Bowling Green 11
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Temple 36, Bowling Green 18
Matchup Analyzer Link

The last time I mentioned Temple as a team to watch somewhere they went out and got rolled 36-13 by Toledo the following week. So take heart, Bowling Green fans, you're probably going to win this one despite being big underdogs.

That's it for this week.