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Big 12 Games Preview - 10/29/11

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 10/22/11 that regression is currently 3.25*TPPA + 2.32*TRPC - 156.57*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.

Missouri (+11.5) @ Texas A&M - 11:00 FX
Power Rating Predicted Score - Texas A&M 33, Missouri 23
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Texas A&M 35, Missouri 32
Matchup Analyzer Link

The Aggies were a little fortunate to be playing the Cyclones last week as they did not have their sharpest game of the season but were still able to easily handle Iowa State. This game will certainly be filled with SEC!SEC!SEC! chants, so that should be enthralling. Despite the models both calling for a Tiger cover, I think the Aggie passing game will find plenty of space to operate and see a final in the 38-20 range.

Baylor (+16.5) @ Oklahoma St. 2:30 ABC
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma St. 57, Baylor 39
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Oklahoma St. 38, Baylor 30
Matchup Analyzer Link

This is a big game for the Cowboys, in my opinion. Oklahoma lost so the Cowboys are now the top dog in the conference for the time being. They are now #3 in the BCS rankings and are the ABC game of the week with Robert Griffin III coming to town. How will the Cowboys hold up in this situation? The Bears, meanwhile, are coming off a bye week used to recover from their beatdown at the hands of the Aggies. I see a little bounceback for each team in this one, but not enough for the Bears to win. 45-34 Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma (-13.5) @ Kansas St. 2:30 ESPN
Power Rating Predicted Score - Oklahoma 32, Kansas St. 25
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Oklahoma 25, Kansas St. 22
Matchup Analyzer Link

What was supposed to be a battle of unbeatens was spoiled last week by the Red Raiders, and Oklahoma should be even more motivated for this matchup now. Still, that 13-1/2 point spread seems high in Manhattan against Snyder considering the history in this game and the Wildcats' season to date. Kansas State got away with another fumble last week against the Jayhawks, not that it would have mattered. I think the dream season comes to an end this week, but the Wildcats manage to cover. Call it 34-24 Oklahoma.

Iowa St. (+15.5) @ Texas Tech 6:00 FSN
Power Rating Predicted Score - Texas Tech 49, Iowa St. 28
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Texas Tech 31, Iowa St. 26
Matchup Analyzer Link

My antipathy toward the Sooners is fairly well known at this point, so it shouldn't be very surprising that Texas Tech was my favorite college football team in Saturday's action. Because of that, I am willing to accept the credit for the Red Raiders' stunning upset in Norman. There's no reason to think that the Cyclones should win this game, but Tech is famous for getting up for the big games and then blowing it against weaker teams. The best team they've ever had (2008) nearly slipped the Longhorns into the Big 12 title game by losing to a 4-8 Baylor squad before pulling out a 35-28 win. So I'll take Iowa State to cover for that reason alone. Same score even, 35-28 Red Raiders.

Kansas (+27.5) @ Texas 6:00 Longhorn Network and Jayhawk Network
Power Rating Predicted Score - Texas 49, Kansas 24
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Texas 42, Kansas 25
Matchup Analyzer Link

The Longhorn offense couldn't ask for a better opponent to get untracked against. After the bye week they take on a Kansas squad that makes up for being terrible against the pass (#114 adjusted total passing allowed per play) by being truly awful against the run (#118). The Texas defense, on the other hand, will need to stay awake against a Jayhawk passing game that actually ranks 9th nationally in adjusted passing efficiency so far this year. Even that strength, though, matches up poorly against the Longhorns so I'm going to get crazy and actually call for Texas to cover that huge line at home. Texas 51-20. And I may or may not be watching it on a pirated stream over the internet. THAT'S JUST A JOKE MR. INTERNET COPPERS!


Michigan St. (+4.5) @ Nebraska
Power Rating Predicted Score - Michigan St. 31, Nebraska 24
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Michigan St. 25, Nebraska 19
Matchup Analyzer Link

Both models call for the Spartans to win while Vegas is giving them 4-1/2 points early in the week. I haven't looked into this one in much depth yet, but I don't see how Nebraska should be expected to move the ball consistently against Michigan State. Will be interested to hear opinions on this one.

Syracuse (+3.5) @ Louisville
Power Rating Predicted Score - Syracuse 24, Louisville 17
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Syracuse 31, Louisville 26
Matchup Analyzer Link

Not exactly an exciting matchup, but this is the second team fresh of a huge win at home that has shown up here the next week on the road. It's not a matter of being too high on Syracuse, it seems that the computer isn't a very big fan of the Cardinals.

Boston College (+7.5) @ Maryland
Power Rating Predicted Score - Maryland 31, Boston College 15
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Maryland 35, Boston College 16
Matchup Analyzer Link

While Maryland was definitely overhyped in last week's Field Position Power Ratings, this week it's just a matter of Boston College being a poor football team. The Eagles actually played better than expected last week against the Hokies and still lost by 16.

Arkansas (-10.5) @ Vanderbilt
Power Rating Predicted Score - Arkansas 29, Vanderbilt 26
Stat Regression Predicted Score - Vanderbilt 25, Arkansas 23
Matchup Analyzer Link

The systems see a close game in this matchup, so taking the big home dog doesn't seem that unreasonable. Then again, you would be betting on Vanderbilt.

That's it for this week.