Friday Jan 09, 2009

Bowl recap, Big-12 was a fraud, and Florida #1

With their victory last night over OU, Florida is #1 in my ratings by nearly 2 points.

1    Florida              96.620  13-1
2    Oklahoma             94.802  12-2
3    Southern_Cal         93.011  12-1
4    Texas                92.284  12-1
5    Penn_State           88.831  11-2
6    Texas_Tech           86.171  11-2
7    Alabama              85.982  12-2
8    Utah                 85.714  13-0
9    TCU                  85.566  11-2
10   Boise_St             85.296  12-1 

It is interesting that they keep OU #2 ahead of USC and that the other team everyone is talking about, Utah, is #8, albeit a 5 spot improvement from before the bowls.  As a reminder, these ratings are intended to predict games so this is saying that Florida would be predicted to win by 9 over Utah on a neutral field.

As far as the bowls go, the Big-12 ended up disappointing and the SEC did better than the computer predicted, and so it would be appropriate to say the Big-12 was a fraud since I made statements about Alabama being a fraud earlier this year (which ended up being true IMHO).  Predicting they'd when every game was a big statement but while they did finish with a winning record, more was expected.

The predicted and actual records by conference are below.

Conference Predicted Record Actual Record
ACC 7-3 4-6
Big-Televen 1-6 1-6
Big-12 7-0 4-3
Big-East 3-3 4-2
C-USA 2-4 4-2
Independents 1-1 1-1
MAC 3-2 0-5
Mountain West 1-4 3-2
Pac-10 4-1 5-0
SEC 2-6 6-2
Sun Belt 1-1 1-1
WAC 2-3 1-4

The predictions were mixed with a perfect or within 1 record for 6 of the conferences, but big misses on the ACC, Big-12, and MAC (all did quite worse than expected) and C-USA, Mountain West, and SEC (did better).

On individual game predictions, the computer ended up 19-15 picking winners and 18-15-1 against the spread.  I missed both the winner and spread on UF/OU, but if I had given Florida credit for playing a home game as many have said playing in Miami effectively was, I would have picked them to win.  But my policy on bowl games is a team gets homefield advantage only if they are playing in the same city/stadium that is home for them.

So that completes another season.  We now turn to the NFL for a few more weeks so look for more posts on that soon.

Friday Jan 02, 2009

Alabama was a fraud part 3 and College Bowl Predictions 1/3 Update

I was vocal mid-season and then again after the SEC Championship game about Alabama's being #1 being wrong, so after Utah's dismantling of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl I feel compelled to toot my computers horn yet again.

While I did not go so far as to predict the upset, it was my second best pick of the week against the spread (picked Alabama by 4, line was 10.5, best pick was Virginia Tech to upset Cincinnati which they did) and reinforced what I said in the earlier posts.  And by actually getting beat where I said they'd win by 4, it is saying that even my computer ranking them #7 (and I had them in the #7-#9 range since week 7) was high.

Now, my computer isn't going off the deep end and proclaiming Utah #1, in part because Alabama wasn't as strong as everyone was saying, but more importantly because Utah played weak opponents generally and some of those very close (4-8 New Mexico 13-10!, 3-9 Michigan 25-23), and in their games against good opponents only won narrowly and were fortunate to have most at home (hosted Oregon State beating them by 3, hosted TCU winning by 3).  Utah will likely end up #7 or #8 in my rankings.

Having said all this, my computer isn't right all the time :(  In the three games yesterday I went 0-3 picking winners and 2-1 against the spread.  That leaves me 17-13 picking winners and 17-12-1 against the spread.  Both are above 0.500 but you'd expect picking winners to be a bit better than against the spread and this reflects the emphasis of my computer being predicting against the spread, not predicting winners.

And while my computer has generally done well in predicting conference records, it has missed on a couple with the SEC (Alabama excepted) and the Mountain West being stronger than expected, and the ACC and Big-12 being worse.

Conference Predicted Record Actual Record
ACC 7-3 4-6
Big-Televen 1-6 1-5
Big-12 7-0 3-2
Big-East 3-3 3-2
C-USA 2-4 3-2
Independents 1-1 1-1
MAC 3-2 0-3
Mountain West 1-4 3-2
Pac-10 4-1 5-0
SEC 2-6 5-2
Sun Belt 1-1 1-1
WAC 2-3


Even with some of the big games already played, while teams have moved around the predictions for the final 4 games have not changed significantly.  OU is picked by 2.1, UT by 9.4, Ball State by 2.3, and UConn by 2.8.

College Bowl Predictions 1/2 Update

With the games of New Years Day now past, here is my next update.

Since the last update, in picking winners I went 7-3 for a total of 17-10 which is getting better. Against the spread I went 4-5-1 for a total of 15 11-1.

  • Houston/Air Force - Had Air Force winning by 0.5 so missed on both since Houston was favored by 4
  • Oregon State/Pitt - Had Oregon State by 1.1 and they won but line was 3 so a push on the spread
  • Vanderbilt/BC - Had BC by 2.5 but Vandy won but had Vandy +3.5 so won the spread
  • Kansas/Minnesota - Had Kansas by 7.9 and they won but had Minnesota +10.5 so lost on the spread
  • LSU/Georgia Tech - Had Georgia Tech by 6.2 so missed on both
  • Iowa/South Carolina - Had Iowa by 3.3 and they won and line was 3 so won the spread
  • Georgia/Michigan State - Had Georgia by 2.2 and they won but had Michigan State +8
  • Nebraska/Clemson - Had Nebraska by 0.6 and they won and also had them +3
  • USC/Penn State - Had USC by 1.1 and they won but had Penn State +10
  • Virginia Tech/Cincinnati - Had Virginia Tech by 2.9 and they won and line was Cincinnati by 2.5 so won that too


As far as the conferences go, here is the status:

Conference Predicted Record Actual Record
ACC 7-3 4-6
Big-Televen 1-6 1-5
Big-12 7-0 3-1
Big-East 3-3 3-2
C-USA 2-4 3-1
Independents 1-1 1-1
MAC 3-2 0-3
Mountain West 1-4 2-2
Pac-10 4-1 5-0
SEC 2-6 3-1
Sun Belt 1-1 1-1
WAC 2-3 1-4

With conferences games complete or possibility to still have my predictions on, the predictions are still generally dead on (Big-Televen, Big-East, Independents, Sun Belt) or 1 off (Big-12, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Pac-10, SEC, WAC).  Of course, the SEC still has 4 games to play and the Big-12 3 so I could be way off too!

As far as over and under achievers, the ACC underachieved by 3 games, the Pac-10 finished perfect, and the SEC is on track to over achieve.

Current predictions for today's games are Texas Tech by 9.1, East Carolina by 2.5, and Alabama by 4.8. 

Tuesday Dec 30, 2008

College Bowl Predictions 12/31 Update

With another 4 games played and 5 more on tap today, it is time for another update.

 In picking winners I went 3-1 and against the spread 2-2.

  • Missouri/Northwestern - Picked Missouri by 8.6 and they won by 7 and had Northwestern +13
  • Maryland Nevada - Picked Maryland by 1.2 and they won by 7 and naturally got the spread win too as they were 2.5 point dogs
  • Rice/Western Michigan - Picked Rice by 0.6 and they won big but missed on the spread having Western Michigan +3
  • Oregon/Oklahoma State - Had Oklahoma State winning and covering the 2.5 but Oregon won so missed on both.
That leaves the total for winner at 10-7 and the spread 11-6.  Not too bad so far.

As far as the conferences go, here is the status:

Conference Predicted Record Actual Record
ACC 7-3 3-3
Big-Televen 1-6 0-2
Big-12 7-0 1-1
Big-East 3-3 3-0
C-USA 2-4 2-1
Independents 1-1 1-1
MAC 3-2 0-3
Mountain West 1-4 2-1
Pac-10 4-1 3-0
SEC 2-6 0-0
Sun Belt 1-1 1-1
WAC 2-3 1-4

My predictions are generally on target, especially for those that are done nailing the Sun Belt and Independents and only 1 game off for the WAC.  We'll see if Oklahoma State losing is an omen for the Big-12 though as they are just off to a 1-1 start after a 7-0 prediction.

There are 5 more games today so we'll see if I can post another update tomorrow morning.

Monday Dec 29, 2008

College Bowl Predictions 12/29 Update

I posted my computers bowl game predictions and a first update the past couple of weeks and with 13 games played now, it is time for another update.

In picking winners I went 4-4 for a total of 7-6 which isn't impressive but there were a bunch of close games I just missed. I had Boise State by less than a point and they lost by a point so I was awfully close to the right margin, just on the wrong side. I had North Carolina by 3 and they lost by 1. I fared a lot better picking games against the spread (which is what I've tuned the system for) going 7-1 the past 8 games for a total of 9-4.

As far as the conferences go, here is the status:

Conference Predicted Record Actual Record
ACC 7-3 2-3
Big-Televen 1-6 0-1
Big-12 7-0 0-0
Big-East 3-3 3-0
C-USA 2-4 1-1
Independents 1-1 1-1
MAC 3-2 0-2
Mountain West 1-4 2-1
Pac-10 4-1 2-0
SEC 2-6 0-0
Sun Belt 1-1 1-1
WAC 2-3 1-3

All of this done through the Rutgers/NC State game so things will change after tonight's game where Missouri is now picked by 8.6 with a line of 13.

Tuesday Dec 23, 2008

College Bowl Predictions 12/23 Update

I posted my computers bowl game predictions a few days ago and with 5 games played, I thought I'd give an update.

In picking winners I went 3-2 getting Wake Forest over Navy, South Florida over Memphis, and Arizona over BYU, but missed the close Colorado State win over Fresno State and close Southern Miss win over Troy. Not a bad start as the misses were expected to be and were close games and Vegas also went 3-2.

As far as the conferences go, it is very early but here is the status:

Conference Predicted Record Actual Record
ACC 7-3 1-0
Big-Televen 1-6 0-0
Big-12 7-0 0-0
Big-East 3-3 1-0
C-USA 2-4 1-1
Independents 0-2 0-1
MAC 3-2 0-0
Mountain West 1-4 1-1
Pac-10 4-1 1-0
SEC 2-6 0-0
Sun Belt 1-1 0-1
WAC 3-2 0-1

The only conference where things are off to a bit of a wrong start is the WAC but still 4 games to go.

As far as the original predictions and any changes, apart from a few tenths here and there, the only change in a pick is to change Hawaii in a virtual tie to Notre Dame by 0.3.

There is a great game tonight with 12-0 Boise State taking on 10-2 TCU, TCU's two loses to Oklahoma and Utah. Current pick is to take the 3 points Boise State is being given as I pick them by 0.4. Enjoy!

Saturday Dec 20, 2008

College Bowl Predictions; Big-12 7-0, SEC 2-6!

With the bowl season about to start, it is time to list my computers predictions. I list one decimal point in the predicted margin for those that might need that precision for entertainment purposes. :)

Favorite Margin Underdog
Wake Forest 2.4 Navy
Fresno State 1.9 Colorado State
South Florida 8.4 Memphis
Arizona 1.1 BYU
Troy 2.1 Southern Miss
Boise State 0.3 TCU
Hawaii 0.1 Notre Dame
Central Michigan 4.7 Florida Atlantic
North Carolina 3.1 West Virginia
Florida State 6 Wisconsin
California 1.7 Miami-Florida
Northern Illinois 1.8 Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 2.5 NC State
Missouri 8.4 Northwestern
Maryland 0.1 Nevada
Rice 0.1 Western Michigan
Oklahoma State 5.2 Oregon
Air Force 0.7 Houston
Oregon State 1 Pittsburgh
Boston College 5.1 Vanderbilt
Kansas 7.4 Minnesota
Georgia Tech 5.9 LSU
Iowa 3.9 South Carolina
Georgia 1.9 Michigan State
Nebraska 1.2 Clemson
USC 0.3 Penn State
Virginia Tech 2.6 Cincinnati
Texas Tech 10.7 Ole Miss
East Carolina 2.6 Kentucky
Alabama 3.5 Utah
Connecticut 2.0 Buffalo
Texas 10.3 Ohio State
Ball State 4.1 Tulsa
Oklahoma 5.0 Florida

Now, as games are played and my ratings are updated, these predictions may change a little so I'll probably update them periodically so stay tuned.

Clearly my computer likes the Big-12 picking OU, UT, TT, and Ok. St. to all win their games, but here is how it predicts the conferences to do. Let's see how it does!

Conference Predicted Record
ACC 7-3
Big-Televen 1-6
Big-12 7-0
Big-East 3-3
C-USA 2-4
Independents 0-2
MAC 3-2
Mountain West 1-4
Pac-10 4-1
SEC 2-6
Sun Belt 1-1
WAC 3-2

Now, with this few games the specific matchups can skew things, but it is no surprise the Big-12 is expected to have the best record, although perhaps 7-0 is a surprise, but the Pac-10, considered to be having a down year is expected to go 4-1 and a lower conference the MAC is even 3-2, but the SEC is predicted to go 2-6. Even with the matchups perhaps dictating some of it, this is supported by my computer not thinking as highly of the SEC and specifically Alabama as the pollsters all year and backed up by the SEC championship game.

Enjoy the games!




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