Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Free Preview: Rose Bowl TCU vs Wisconsin

The Rose Bowl will take place on 1/1 pitting Wisconsin against TCU.

Wisconsin is ranked #12 by the computer with a 11-1 record and a rating of 80.205 against a schedule strength of 64.176.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were ok early but improved late, their worst game being against San Jose State and best game being against Ohio State.  They are 7-5 against the spread this year and the computer is 5-6 picking their games against the spread and 9-2 picking winners in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000,00FFFF,FFFF00&chxt=x,y&chls=0|1|0|0|1|0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss|Schedule|Opponent&chdlp=t&chds=30,110&chtt=12 Wisconsin 80.205&chd=t:-1,74.858,63.734,75.540,73.017,69.051,76.720,91.889,79.597,-1,80.266,84.391,86.521,85.446,-1,-1,-1,-1|74.447,76.727,74.284,71.709,71.381,70.332,74.213,79.489,79.733,78.482,77.979,77.711,79.863,80.258,80.054,80.061,80.217,80.205|-1|-1|67.553,63.933,59.875,61.146,56.939,60.484,62.334,64.034,65.233,63.538,63.274,62.425,64.180,64.097,64.072,64.077,64.234,64.176|-1,56.082,53.724,77.528,-1,76.040,62.061,81.878,75.586,-1,61.577,60.624,68.765,63.861,-1,-1,-1,-1&chxl=0:||@UNLV|SJSt|ASU|AustinPeay|@MichSt|Minn|tOSU|@Iowa|bye|@Purdue|Indiana|@Mich|Nwstrn|bye|bye|bye|bye|1:|30|50|70|90|110&chm=o,00FF00,0,01,22,1|o,00FF00,0,02,14,1|o,00FF00,0,03,37,1|o,00FF00,0,04,4,1|o,FF0000,0,05,43,1|o,00FF00,0,06,22,1|o,00FF00,0,07,42,1|o,00FF00,0,08,41,1|o,00FF00,0,10,27,1|o,00FF00,0,11,20,1|o,00FF00,0,12,35,1|o,00FF00,0,13,24,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|x,00FFFF,4,-1,8,1|d,FFFF00,5,-1,20,1|t14,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t31,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t44,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t50,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t51,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t35,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t20,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t17,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t16,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t18,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t14,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t11,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t11,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t12,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t12,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t12,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t12,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t53,00FFFF,4,01,15,1|t73,00FFFF,4,02,15,1|t86,00FFFF,4,03,15,1|t111,00FFFF,4,04,15,1|t100,00FFFF,4,05,15,1|t91,00FFFF,4,06,15,1|t76,00FFFF,4,07,15,1|t56,00FFFF,4,08,15,1|t68,00FFFF,4,09,15,1|t77,00FFFF,4,10,15,1|t80,00FFFF,4,11,15,1|t66,00FFFF,4,12,15,1|t71,00FFFF,4,13,15,1|h,000000,0,0.63,1,1

TCU is ranked #4 by the computer with a 12-0 record and a rating of 84.976 against a schedule strength of 63.615.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were pretty good all year but stumbled a bit late, their worst game being against San Diego State and best game being against Utah.  They are 5-5 against the spread this year and the computer is 5-5 picking their games against the spread and 10-0 picking winners in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000,00FFFF,FFFF00&chxt=x,y&chls=0|1|0|0|1|0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss|Schedule|Opponent&chdlp=t&chds=30,110&chtt=4 TCU 84.976&chd=t:-1,83.836,78.375,90.082,81.873,78.341,82.535,86.475,92.262,80.958,93.869,74.709,-1,77.408,-1,-1,-1,-1|85.160,84.965,84.209,84.520,85.330,85.651,86.859,86.870,86.864,86.391,89.664,83.524,84.681,84.457,84.458,84.486,84.830,84.976|-1|-1|67.725,75.769,62.669,63.380,65.782,63.789,65.391,64.904,64.802,63.364,64.209,62.552,63.878,63.149,63.120,63.133,63.419,63.615|-1,74.825,-1,70.034,64.680,56.577,58.921,67.501,73.204,56.082,73.290,72.698,-1,48.439,-1,-1,-1,-1&chxl=0:||OrSt|TennTech|Baylor|@SMU|@CSU|Wyoming|BYU|AF|@UNLV|@Utah|SDSt|bye|@NewMex|bye|bye|bye|bye|1:|30|50|70|90|110&chm=o,00FF00,0,01,33,1|o,00FF00,0,02,5,1|o,00FF00,0,03,25,1|o,00FF00,0,04,26,1|o,00FF00,0,05,18,1|o,00FF00,0,06,14,1|o,00FF00,0,07,23,1|o,00FF00,0,08,28,1|o,00FF00,0,09,17,1|o,00FF00,0,10,34,1|o,00FF00,0,11,28,1|o,00FF00,0,13,9,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|x,00FFFF,4,-1,8,1|d,FFFF00,5,-1,20,1|t2,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t6,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t6,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t7,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t3,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t4,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t24,00FFFF,4,01,15,1|t62,00FFFF,4,02,15,1|t67,00FFFF,4,03,15,1|t49,00FFFF,4,04,15,1|t71,00FFFF,4,05,15,1|t55,00FFFF,4,06,15,1|t71,00FFFF,4,07,15,1|t62,00FFFF,4,08,15,1|t71,00FFFF,4,09,15,1|t62,00FFFF,4,10,15,1|t77,00FFFF,4,11,15,1|t72,00FFFF,4,12,15,1|t81,00FFFF,4,13,15,1|h,000000,0,0.69,1,1

The teams are separated by 2 degrees through UNLV as follows:

2 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->Arizona_St-->Oregon_St-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->Austin_Peay-->Tennessee_Tech-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->San_Jose_St-->Utah-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->Air_Force-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->Brigham_Young-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->Colorado_St-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->New_Mexico-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->San_Diego_St-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->Utah-->TCU
3 Wisconsin-->UNLV-->Wyoming-->TCU

Against UNLV, Wisconsin won 41-21 on the road and TCU won 48-6 on the road.

The spread was TCU by 1.5 but now more around 3 and the computer agrees picking them by 4.4.  Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:

*.TCU                   -1.5 over  .            Wisconsin  4.4  2.9 0.651 0.601


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Armed Forces Bowl Preview

The Armed Forces Bowl will take place on 12/30 pitting Army against SMU.

Army is ranked #79 by the computer with a 6-6 record and a rating of 62.740 against a schedule strength of 60.380.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were better early than late, their worst game being against Temple and best game being against @Duke.  They are 4-7 against the spread this year and the computer is 8-4 picking their games against the spread and 10-2 picking winners in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000,00FFFF,FFFF00&chxt=x,y&chls=0|1|0|0|1|0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss|Schedule|Opponent&chdlp=t&chds=30,110&chtt=79 Army 62.740&chd=t:-1,56.400,64.574,70.907,77.465,53.410,70.329,55.792,-1,56.395,55.540,75.570,56.275,-1,-1,55.733,-1,-1|55.590,54.521,54.925,57.555,65.240,63.999,65.778,64.476,64.203,63.976,63.182,64.423,63.198,63.411,63.597,62.983,63.049,62.740|-1|-1|60.558,49.454,54.010,51.818,58.305,59.181,58.968,59.430,58.971,56.557,57.996,58.047,59.361,59.490,59.689,60.630,60.700,60.380|-1,49.389,70.563,53.963,62.143,63.399,53.351,58.781,-1,-1,73.204,59.194,74.338,-1,-1,69.722,-1,-1&chxl=0:||@EMich|Hawaii|NoTexas|@Duke|Temple|@Tulane|Rutgers|bye|VMI|AF|@KentSt|ND|bye|bye|Navy|bye|bye|1:|30|50|70|90|110&chm=o,00FF00,0,01,33,1|o,FF0000,0,02,38,1|o,00FF00,0,03,31,1|o,00FF00,0,04,43,1|o,FF0000,0,05,43,1|o,00FF00,0,06,37,1|o,FF0000,0,07,43,1|o,00FF00,0,09,17,1|o,FF0000,0,10,36,1|o,00FF00,0,11,42,1|o,FF0000,0,12,31,1|o,FF0000,0,15,36,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|x,00FFFF,4,-1,8,1|d,FFFF00,5,-1,20,1|t110,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t107,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t104,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t75,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t81,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t75,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t75,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t75,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t72,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t74,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t70,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t79,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t77,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t76,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t78,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t77,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t79,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t93,00FFFF,4,01,15,1|t99,00FFFF,4,02,15,1|t117,00FFFF,4,03,15,1|t106,00FFFF,4,04,15,1|t106,00FFFF,4,05,15,1|t110,00FFFF,4,06,15,1|t111,00FFFF,4,07,15,1|t113,00FFFF,4,08,15,1|t118,00FFFF,4,09,15,1|t114,00FFFF,4,10,15,1|t113,00FFFF,4,11,15,1|t112,00FFFF,4,12,15,1|t112,00FFFF,4,13,15,1|h,000000,0,0.41,1,1

SMU is ranked #68 by the computer with a 7-6 record and a rating of 64.680 against a schedule strength of 64.512.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were very consistent other than two games, their worst game being against Houston and best game being against Washington State.  They are 5-6-1 against the spread this year and the computer is 7-5-1 picking their games against the spread and 10-3 picking winners in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000,00FFFF,FFFF00&chxt=x,y&chls=0|1|0|0|1|0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss|Schedule|Opponent&chdlp=t&chds=30,110&chtt=68 SMU 64.680&chd=t:-1,64.402,72.980,75.340,67.805,69.957,70.908,65.733,45.417,68.913,46.679,-1,68.347,71.949,62.621,-1,-1,-1|66.562,68.844,70.648,69.720,68.588,68.197,67.898,68.157,64.620,64.964,62.605,62.494,63.813,64.517,64.316,64.378,64.355,64.680|-1|-1|64.428,79.123,67.716,62.240,66.297,64.311,64.100,65.998,65.390,64.132,64.159,63.466,63.469,63.484,64.149,64.221,64.232,64.512|-1,69.391,57.120,64.329,84.976,55.945,70.897,69.722,63.366,53.351,57.669,-1,57.335,61.938,69.610,-1,-1,-1&chxl=0:||@TTU|UAB|WSU|TCU|@Rice|Tulsa|@Navy|Houston|@Tulane|@UTEP|bye|Marshall|@ECU|@CFlorida|bye|bye|bye|1:|30|50|70|90|110&chm=o,FF0000,0,01,35,1|o,00FF00,0,02,32,1|o,00FF00,0,03,40,1|o,FF0000,0,04,26,1|o,00FF00,0,05,37,1|o,00FF00,0,06,43,1|o,FF0000,0,07,35,1|o,FF0000,0,08,43,1|o,00FF00,0,09,35,1|o,FF0000,0,10,43,1|o,00FF00,0,12,33,1|o,00FF00,0,13,43,1|o,FF0000,0,14,35,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|x,00FFFF,4,-1,8,1|d,FFFF00,5,-1,20,1|t60,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t51,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t56,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t61,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t60,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t59,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t59,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t71,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t65,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t76,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t79,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t76,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t70,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t69,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t69,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t69,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t68,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t13,00FFFF,4,01,15,1|t30,00FFFF,4,02,15,1|t76,00FFFF,4,03,15,1|t47,00FFFF,4,04,15,1|t64,00FFFF,4,05,15,1|t74,00FFFF,4,06,15,1|t54,00FFFF,4,07,15,1|t53,00FFFF,4,08,15,1|t63,00FFFF,4,09,15,1|t63,00FFFF,4,10,15,1|t65,00FFFF,4,11,15,1|t77,00FFFF,4,12,15,1|t79,00FFFF,4,13,15,1|h,000000,0,0.43,1,1

The teams are separated by 2 degrees through Navy and Tulane and 3 degrees a bunch of other ways as follows:

2 Army-->Navy-->SMU
2 Army-->Tulane-->SMU
3 Army-->Air_Force-->Navy-->SMU
3 Army-->Air_Force-->TCU-->SMU
3 Army-->Duke-->Navy-->SMU
3 Army-->Navy-->East_Carolina-->SMU
3 Army-->North_Texas-->Rice-->SMU
3 Army-->Notre_Dame-->Navy-->SMU
3 Army-->Notre_Dame-->Tulsa-->SMU
3 Army-->Rutgers-->Tulane-->SMU
3 Army-->Tulane-->Central_Florida-->SMU
3 Army-->Tulane-->Houston-->SMU
3 Army-->Tulane-->Marshall-->SMU
3 Army-->Tulane-->Rice-->SMU
3 Army-->Tulane-->Tulsa-->SMU
3 Army-->Tulane-->UTEP-->SMU

Both lost to Navy on the road, Army by 14 and SMU by 7, and both beat Tulane on the road, Army by 18 and SMU by 14.

The spread is SMU by 7.5 and the computer agrees but only by 1.9.  Given the games against common opponents, 7.5 does seem like a lot of points.  Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:

 .Army                  +7.5 over *.                  SMU  1.9  5.6 0.601 0.769


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Free Schmidt Computer Alamo Bowl Preview

Newsletter Subscribers gets these previews for all the games as part of their subscription, but I'll post a couple of these here for all to see over the next few days.  If you want them all, subscribe!

The Alamo Bowl will take place on 12/29 pitting Oklahoma State against Arizona.

Oklahoma State is ranked #14 by the computer with a 10-2 record and a rating of 79.609 against a schedule strength of 68.486.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were a bit up and down in wins and losses, their worst game being against Troy and best game being against Tulsa.  They are 8-3-1 against the spread this year and the computer is 6-5-1 picking their games against the spread and 9-3 picking winners in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000,00FFFF,FFFF00&chxt=x,y&chls=0|1|0|0|1|0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss|Schedule|Opponent&chdlp=t&chds=30,110&chtt=14 Oklahoma_St 79.609&chd=t:-1,85.776,61.836,90.284,-1,79.308,72.511,86.072,67.810,83.991,87.958,84.567,81.514,72.466,-1,-1,-1,-1|73.987,75.056,71.876,76.325,76.381,76.133,76.078,78.348,75.645,77.341,79.916,79.669,80.578,79.324,79.138,79.150,79.339,79.609|-1|-1|68.852,50.172,57.570,60.130,60.022,62.967,62.115,63.639,64.607,65.455,66.586,66.402,66.612,67.738,67.710,67.719,68.225,68.486|-1,64.329,61.825,70.897,-1,79.297,50.978,69.391,80.798,70.980,70.034,67.810,60.040,81.455,-1,-1,-1,-1&chxl=0:||WSU|Troy|Tulsa|bye|TAMU|@LaLaf|@TTU|Nebraska|@KanSt|Baylor|@Texas|@Kansas|Okla|bye|bye|bye|bye|1:|30|50|70|90|110&chm=o,00FF00,0,01,25,1|o,00FF00,0,02,22,1|o,00FF00,0,03,31,1|o,00FF00,0,05,40,1|o,00FF00,0,06,17,1|o,00FF00,0,07,36,1|o,FF0000,0,08,43,1|o,00FF00,0,09,37,1|o,00FF00,0,10,30,1|o,00FF00,0,11,34,1|o,00FF00,0,12,26,1|o,FF0000,0,13,43,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|x,00FFFF,4,-1,8,1|d,FFFF00,5,-1,20,1|t34,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t43,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t21,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t26,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t26,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t29,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t22,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t26,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t18,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t9,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t9,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t10,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t15,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t15,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t15,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t15,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t14,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t89,00FFFF,4,01,15,1|t83,00FFFF,4,02,15,1|t91,00FFFF,4,03,15,1|t98,00FFFF,4,04,15,1|t76,00FFFF,4,05,15,1|t92,00FFFF,4,06,15,1|t77,00FFFF,4,07,15,1|t64,00FFFF,4,08,15,1|t54,00FFFF,4,09,15,1|t41,00FFFF,4,10,15,1|t39,00FFFF,4,11,15,1|t47,00FFFF,4,12,15,1|t49,00FFFF,4,13,15,1|h,000000,0,0.62,1,1

Arizona is ranked #21 by the computer with a 7-5 record and a rating of 76.452 against a schedule strength of 71.898.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were more consistent but had a streak of not bad losses to end the season, their worst game being against The Citadel and best game being against Washington.  They are 4-7 against the spread this year and the computer is 8-3 picking their games against the spread and 7-4 picking winners in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000,00FFFF,FFFF00&chxt=x,y&chls=0|1|0|0|1|0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss|Schedule|Opponent&chdlp=t&chds=30,110&chtt=21 Arizona 76.452&chd=t:-1,85.571,68.769,79.597,72.001,-1,69.836,81.102,89.889,79.006,69.788,70.255,-1,76.331,73.540,-1,-1,-1|74.827,76.378,79.209,82.618,84.474,85.236,82.199,80.395,81.082,81.272,79.036,76.628,77.508,76.821,76.289,76.319,76.514,76.452|-1|-1|71.635,58.592,57.198,64.799,67.844,67.080,68.622,66.866,66.663,67.188,69.221,68.602,69.787,71.562,71.881,71.841,71.955,71.898|-1,65.132,-1,75.586,73.990,-1,74.825,64.329,71.712,67.994,87.148,76.244,-1,91.478,77.528,-1,-1,-1&chxl=0:||@Toledo|TheCitadel|Iowa|Cal|bye|OrSt|@WSU|Wash|@UCLA|@Stanford|USC|bye|@Oregon|ASU|bye|bye|bye|1:|30|50|70|90|110&chm=o,00FF00,0,01,35,1|o,00FF00,0,02,6,1|o,00FF00,0,03,39,1|o,00FF00,0,04,38,1|o,FF0000,0,06,43,1|o,00FF00,0,07,34,1|o,00FF00,0,08,35,1|o,00FF00,0,09,38,1|o,FF0000,0,10,29,1|o,FF0000,0,11,43,1|o,FF0000,0,13,25,1|o,FF0000,0,14,43,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|x,00FFFF,4,-1,8,1|d,FFFF00,5,-1,20,1|t19,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t16,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t11,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t7,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t8,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t13,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t16,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t12,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t9,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t11,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t20,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t18,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t21,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t21,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t21,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t21,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t21,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t66,00FFFF,4,01,15,1|t88,00FFFF,4,02,15,1|t57,00FFFF,4,03,15,1|t34,00FFFF,4,04,15,1|t40,00FFFF,4,05,15,1|t33,00FFFF,4,06,15,1|t44,00FFFF,4,07,15,1|t42,00FFFF,4,08,15,1|t33,00FFFF,4,09,15,1|t17,00FFFF,4,10,15,1|t18,00FFFF,4,11,15,1|t12,00FFFF,4,12,15,1|t9,00FFFF,4,13,15,1|h,000000,0,0.58,1,1

The teams are separated by 2 degrees through WSU and 3 degrees as follows:

2 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Kansas_St-->UCLA-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Nebraska-->Washington-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Texas-->UCLA-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->Arizona_St-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->California-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->Oregon-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->Oregon_St-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->Southern_Cal-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->Stanford-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->UCLA-->Arizona
3 Oklahoma_St-->Washington_St-->Washington-->Arizona

Against WSU, Oklahoma State thumped them at home and Arizona beat them 24-7 on the road.

The spread is Oklahoma State by as many as 6.5 but now more 4.5 to 5.5 and the computer agrees but by less picking them by just 2.8.  Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:

..Arizona               +6.5 over  *          Oklahoma State  2.8  3.7 0.616 0.648


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 NFL Week 15 Ratings, Projected Records, and Playoff Predictions and Scenarios

The week 15 ratings and rankings are now available so go to the web-site to take a look.

It is no surprise that New England is far and away #1 but interestingly Green Bay moves up to #2 with the close loss on the road.  This at the expense of Pittsburgh who drops 2 spots with their loss at home.

But what is more interesting this time of year is the season ending projections and who should make the playoffs.

In the AFC some of it is clear with the Patriots, and Kansas City set to win their divisions and the Jets to get a wildcard.  The other three spots aren't so clear.

My computer projets Baltimore and Pittsburgh to both win out and tie at 12-4 in which case Pittsburgh gets the division (division record) and Baltimore would get the second wildcard.

That then leaves the AFC South where my computer also projects a tie at 9-7 and with both teams presently having the same division record, the tie-breaker would be conference record where Jacksonville gets the nod.  However, the Colts have an extra conference game to play so they could make that tie-breaker moot if they win out or each team splits and Jacksonville loses to Houston.  Should that happen, Indianapolis would get the nod based on a better record among common opponents.

In the NFC some things are also clear with Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Chicago projected to win divisions and the Saints the first wildcard.

The other wildcard will likely come down to Green Bay and the Giants making this weekends game huge. My computer projects both teams to be at 10-6 meaning Green Bay wins that game and thus they'd get the spot.  But Green Bay has the much harder road so the Giants have a good shot even if they lose.  Tampa Bay has a shot at making it interesting but would have to win at New Orleans to do so.

The final spot in the NFC West is interesting as this weekends games for Seattle and St. Louis are almost meaningless.  Regardless of what they do, the winner of their final game at Seattle will likely decide who wins the division.  If they enter that game tied, the winner moves ahead.  If Seattle is one game ahead but loses, St. Louis wins the tie-breaker having beat them twice.  If St. Louis is one game ahead but loses, Seattle wins the tie-breaker on division record.

Unless!  If both Seattle and St. Louis lose this weekend and San Francisco wins their finale against Arizona, the 49ers could win the division if Seattle beats the Rams (division record) or if St. Louis wins (head to head).  Given that Seattle has to go on the road to a good Tampa Bay team, the 49ers almost controls their own destiny.  They just have to go on the road to St. Louis this weekend where they'll likely lose.

So that's the break down, what do you think?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Interesting playoff scenarios; Seattle and St. Louis

I just posted an entry about the projected playoff teams, and there are several situations where tie-breakers could come in to play.  So I thought I'd take a look at some scenarios and who would make it.

This post will take a look at the NFC West.

My computer projects St. Louis to win the division even though they won't be favored in the final game in Seattle.  This is because Seattle has two tough opponents (Atlanta and Tampa Bay) and is expected to lose them while St. Louis doesn't have a shoe-in to win their next two but hosting them both will help.  Should the Rams lose to the Chiefs (most likely one they'd lose) then the teams would tie at 7-9 and the Seahawks would win the tie-breaker on division record (4-2 vs 3-3).

So, if they tie and Seattle wins the final game, advantage Seattle on division record.  If they tie and the Rams win the final game, advantage Rams on head-to-head.  So it could come down to the final game and each team controls their own destiny and the Seahawks have the tie-breaker edge, but the Rams have the easier road and best chance to avoid a tie-breaker.

2010 Week 14 Preliminary NFL Playoffs Projection; Big tie-breaker in NFC

There are still three games to play this weekend, but that doesn't stop me from taking a look at my computer's projected records and who will make the playoffs.

First here are the AFC projected records:

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
New England13-344.334.318.7
NY Jets11-541.412.038.7
Kansas City10-641.717.232.7
San Diego9-744.830.221.7

This has New England and Pittsburgh winning their divisions and being the top seeds and Baltimore and the Jets being the wildcards with records (11-5) better than the other division winners.  Kansas City is projected to win the West at 10-6 and then one of Indianapolis or Jacksonville will win the South.  Indianapolis has the better chance of 9-7 but Jacksonville has the better chance of 10-6.  Next week's tilt between the two teams will be big, the winner likely winning the division, although it could go a ways down the tie-breaker list to decide it.

There is certainly a chance that the Ravens could tie Pittsburgh, but the Steelers seem to have a good handle on the potential tie-breakers.  In the West, should San Diego get to 10-6 with the Chiefs, they could very well win the tie-breaker.

The NFC is not as clear.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
New Orleans11-546.332.015.3
Green Bay10-645.416.431.7
Tampa Bay10-644.614.233.8
NY Giants10-637.921.728.3
St Louis8-840.515.534.4
San Francisco6-1045.333.114.8

Atlanta has a firm grip on the #1 seed and New Orleans seems to have one on a wildcard, but after that it gets interesting.  With five teams projected to be 10-6 and only three spots, potentially two teams with double digit wins will be left home.

In the North, the Green Bay / Chicago winner in week 17 will likely get the division, but Chicago has the tie-breaker advantages today if they tie.  In the East, Philadelphia has a better shot at 11-5 so could make it moot (and if they win tonight they may be projected at 11-5), but if they tie it could go well down the tie-breaker list as well.  St. Louis seems to have the upper hand in the West, but it could come down to the final game they play as well and Seattle has the tie-breaker advantage.

The other NFC wildcard could be a complex situation with the odd team out in the East and North tied with Tampa Bay at 10-6.  Given there are still a variety of ways each team could get there, hard to say who would win the tie-breaker.

This will be updated after Monday night's games.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We need more transparency in the BCS, computers and polls

This week's snafu with with one of the computers missing a score in its initial week 14 rankings and that causing LSU to incorrectly be #10 ahead of Boise State has heightened calls for there to be more transparency and validation of the BCS number crunching and you can add my voice to that chorus.

Interestingly, the reason this was caught by Jerry Palm was because the one computer that does publish its algorithm, Colley Matrix, is the one that made the error.  Kudos to Wes Colley for making his algorithm public, but how do we know that any of the other five computers didn't make a similar error this week or in past weeks?  Some of the computers certainly have strange results at times but even small errors which don't appear to be that odd can obviously affect the BCS rankings as this case shows.  The BCS seems to simply trust the computer operators to get it right.

One of the oddities that doesn't make sense to me is in the Billingsley Report.  Specifically how it handles bye weeks.  For example, in week 14 many teams didn't play and as you can see, their ratings didn't change.  This means that he is seemingly not incorporating the results of past opponents after the head to head game in his ratings.  For example, Stanford did not play in week 14 but several prior opponents did, yet Stanford's rating is unchanged.  Does this mean that Boise State's rating was based on Virginia Tech's sole loss to them and Boise State's rating did not benefit from Virginia Tech turning out to be a very good team?  That seems to be major flaw.

Billingsley does explain this somewhat, but admits that what happens to an opponent after you play them is "water under the bridge".  He uses an example where due to injury the makeup of a team changed and that is valid, but that is certainly not the norm, so he has built a system to handle the exception at the expense of what is common, as most teams don't have a major injury to their star player.  Secondly, particularly early in the season, where a team is rated and ranked may not be accurate yet, so basing a teams rating on that and not allowing it to change to reflect how the team really performs seems very iffy.  He goes on to say that he does have a special rule where a team on a bye week can have their rating change if they are undefeated to make sure they stay ahead of teams they've beaten.  This sounds nice on the surface, but a system made from having special rules and exceptions isn't sound.  Why not a special rule for 1-loss teams too to keep them ahead of all the teams they've beaten?

Billingsley is also a system that uses a pre-season rating/ranking.  Fundamentally I have nothing wrong with that, my system does too just like Billingsley, but by the end of the season the pre-season rating is not a factor at all.  Because Billingsley doesn't factor in a teams performance after you play them, that means that the pre-season ranking is a huge factor.  For example, Alabama was his #1 last year which is fine, but that means that South Carolina not only got credit for beating an undefeated #1 team when they did it, but still are today even though they ended up as a 3-loss team.  This seems to be another big flaw.

Like Jerry Palm, I've looked at Wes Colley's algorithm and implemented it myself too and it is mathematically sound and does not have any exceptions or special rules like Billingsley.  He also allows a teams rating to change based on how prior opponents play the rest of the year.  So despite the administrative error that started this whole debate, I applaud him for having a sound algorithm and publishing it.  And when I get a chance, I'll put together a comparison of the 6 computers (based on the limited info available).

But the computer operators aren't the only place we need transparency.  The polls too should have their voting public each week.  Thankfully, the AP does, but they aren't used in the BCS anymore.  The coaches poll tried to not publish their final regular season ballots but caved to the pressure, but that doesn't fully address the situation as where teams are in the poll or BCS is going to influence where pollsters vote them in subsequent weeks, and those ballots from the formative early season polls aren't public so things can still be skewed by pollsters with agendas.  And as we saw in the final coaches poll, there is certainly bias.

2010 Week 13 NFL Projections; Patriots and Falcons #1 seeds

With four games to play, the playoff picture is pretty clear regarding who will make it, but positioning is still important.

This week had a number of important games affecting the seeding and Atlanta and New England now lead the projected records at 13-3 with Pittsburgh close behind at 12-4.  Baltimore and the Jets have an uphill road now with both projected to get the AFC wildcards at 11-5 and New Orleans a wildcard in the NFC at 11-5 as well.

Chicago and Green Bay will go down to the wire it appears as they are projected to both be 11-5 which Chicago holding the tie-breaker today, but if Green Bay wins the finale they'd have split their two games.  My computer gives Chicago the slightly better chance of 11-5 and significantly better chance of 12-4 so they get the nod.

In the NFC East, the Eagles are projected to finish a game ahead of the Giants and in the AFC West Kansas City should be a game ahead of the Chargers.  And right now, in the bringing up the rear NFC West, the Rams have the edge over the Seahawks with a better chance of 8-8 or 9-7, but with both teams having at 27%+ chance of 7-9 there could still be a losing team making the playoffs.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
New England13-338.917.231.6
New Orleans11-542.222.626.3
NY Jets11-538.734.115.7
Green Bay11-537.313.034.6
Kansas City10-638.028.921.1
NY Giants10-637.921.428.6
Tampa Bay9-739.327.522.4
San Diego9-738.216.632.1
St Louis8-838.922.927.1
San Francisco6-1041.021.228.3

2010 NFL Week 13 Ratings and Rankings; Patriots #1; Packers #2, Steelers #3

For this late in the season, there are a surprising number of changes at the top of this weeks NFL ratings and rankings.

New England and Green Bay remain #1 and #2, but behind them Pittsburgh and Atlanta move up at the expense of the Jets and Ravens.  And the Eagles and Chicago move up ahead of San Diego with the Giants rejoining the top-10.

The Giants have been nearly the most schizophrenic team with their ups and downs, second only to the Raiders. Here is the Giants performance chart.

By comparison, a team like Baltimore has been far more consistent.

This is something to consider when picking games and this does factor in to the confidence of my computer's picks.

1New England88.27010-282.082+0, +1.000
2Green Bay87.3368-481.140+0, +0.258
3Pittsburgh86.6159-382.645+2, +0.614
4Atlanta86.04610-281.002+2, +0.353
5NY Jets85.5839-381.876-2, -1.377
6Baltimore85.3428-481.508-2, -0.811
7Philadelphia84.3958-481.330+1, +0.228
8Chicago83.8509-379.783+2, +0.420
9San Diego82.7336-679.864-2, -1.749
10NY Giants82.6748-479.248+5, +1.138

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Checking in on the week 14 polls; Coaches Poll observations and analysis

USA Today has a nice summary of the coaches voting here, and after a quick review here are some observations.

As one would expect, Oregon is #1 or #2 on all of the ballots, but perhaps surprisingly, Auburn isn't!  Robb Akey (Idaho), Mike Locksley (New Mexico), and Kyle Whittingham (Utah) have them #3, but only one of those has TCU #1 ahead of them.  So these coaches perhaps have bias towards TCU and against Auburn, but not so much to blindly put TCU ahead of Oregon.

TCU gets the one first place vote, but is as low as #6 (!) on Ron Zook's (Illinois) ballot.  He apparently buys into the little sisters of the poor theory that the Ohio State president does.  Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) and Gary Pinkel (Missouri) have TCU at #5.  Who do these three put ahead of TCU?  Zook predictably has Wisky, tOSU, and Michigan State ahead, Gary Pinkel has Wisky and tOSU, and Dan Mullen has Wisky and Stanford.

Wisconsin is pretty consistently voted but Jim Harbaugh (Stanford) has them #8 (!) behind Stanford, OU, VaTech, and tOSU.  This seems like a pretty severe case of bias and trying to make sure Stanford was #4 in the BCS to get the auto-bid.  To be fair though, Nick Saban (Alabama) also had Wisky #7 behind Stanford, tOSU, and Michigan State.

Boise State probably has the most variation with votes from #7 all the to #16.  Who voted them #16?  Interestingly Mike Locksley did putting a host of teams ahead of them including VaTech 6(!) spots ahead plus other multi-loss teams Arkansas, OU, Missouri, Texas A&M, LSU, and OkState.  Hard to understand that one.

What do you think?

Checking in on the week 14 polls; AP observations and analysis

I've been checking in on the polls the last few weeks and here is this weeks observations of the 12/5 AP poll.

At the top, Auburn supplants Oregon as #1 based on 13 voters swapping them on their ballots plus a few that had Auburn behind TCU moving them up.  Given the result, that is understandable, although I think some voters are forgetting how dominant Oregon has been, that they were playing a rivalry game on the road, and that Auburn had already experienced South Carolina so knew how to handle them.

Behind that, things are pretty static until #9 where Oklahoma moves ahead of Boise State despite Boise State gaining votes.  Some voters that had dropped Boise as low as #20 had mercy and brought them back up.  It baffles me how one missed field goal changes a voters opinion of a team so much.  Desmond Conner had Boise #3 and dropped them to #20 because of it, and likely would have kept them #3 or at least #4 had they made it.

Voters seem to have maxed out Virginia Tech as they won but stayed #12 and only gained 56 points.

One thing you might have expected is that the SEC as a whole would benefit from Auburn's move up, but that isn't the case.  Arkansas lost 9 points while LSU gained 7 and idle Alabama gains 31 and moves up 2 spots!  That is likely more due to Nebraska losing and falling than any side effect from Auburn.

UConn doesn't deserve to be in the top-25, but voters felt obligated to vote them there, 27 including them on their ballot this week while only 7 did last week.

Now a deeper dive.  I already tweeted who the voters were that swapped Oregon and Auburn and where they are from, no real surprises there.

Here is my chart that shows each of the top-25 teams and their high and low spot on the ballots.

And just for comparison, last weeks.

You can see there is less volatility around a number of teams, many of which didn't play, which makes me think some pollsters are influenced significantly by the poll totals and thus the other voters.  As noted above, clearly some voters overreacted to Boise's loss last week, but the Big-Ten didn't play and here Michigan State is suddenly more consistent in their votes.

2010 Week 14 College Football Ratings and Rankings; Oregon #1, Stanford #2, Auburn #3

And the regular season is finished and we have some clarity, so much that we pretty much know where teams are going in the BCS and the final BCS rankings are just a formality.  But what does my computer say?

The top two teams stay the same in Oregon and Stanford, but behind them Auburn's convincing win over South Carolina vaults them nearly 3 ratings points to #3.  While they are closer, at this point my computer would pick Oregon by 6 on a neutral field.

The teams that fell back are Boise State and TCU but behind them, on the strength of Auburn moving up Alabama does too swapping spots with Ohio State.

Just outside the top-10 at #11, Virginia Tech completes their comeback after their slow start.  Had they simply beat James Madison by 5 instead of losing by 5 my computer would have them #6.

So, the likely teams in the BCS bowls are ranked 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 61.  Clearly the 61 is UConn and the Big-East getting a team in the BCS has been endlessly debated, but who are the other teams left out?

Boise State clearly played well enough to deserve a spot and in years when TCU didn't go undefeated would have qualified, but there wasn't room for them, although my computer says based on on the field merit, they should go ahead of the other at-larges.  My computer actually likes Alabama better than Arkansas but again, just run out of spots with Auburn from the SEC already in.  And at #10 is Nebraska, but they too are the odd man out.

Stay tuned for more details on the bowls as the match-ups are set.  Subscribe to the newsletter for in-depth previews of each game.


1Oregon91.35412-069.609+0, +0.109
2Stanford87.00211-172.385+0, +0.008
3Auburn85.44913-069.900+2, +2.262
4TCU84.47512-063.131-1, +0.018
5Boise St84.15211-165.212-1, +0.092
6Alabama82.4199-368.776+1, +0.355
7Ohio State81.94311-165.144-1, -0.134
8Arkansas81.84110-268.730+0, +0.393
9Oklahoma81.20111-271.456+0, +0.130
10Nebraska80.59410-368.627+0, -0.448
11Virginia Tech80.51711-266.743+3, +1.149
12Wisconsin80.13311-164.137-1, -0.125
13Missouri79.80410-269.043+0, -0.076
14Oklahoma St79.17010-267.734+1, -0.154
15South Carolina79.1589-471.174-3, -1.045
16Texas A&M79.0889-370.098+0, -0.113
17Nevada78.52712-163.271+0, +0.452
18LSU77.89310-269.056+1, +0.417
19Arizona St77.3736-672.558+1, +0.341
20Florida St76.9779-469.108-2, -0.731
21Arizona76.3267-571.853+0, -0.495
22Southern Cal76.3158-573.761+2, +0.683
23Michigan St75.96711-164.949-1, -0.178
24Iowa75.4957-566.552-1, -0.166
25Oregon St74.6455-776.530+0, -0.038
26West Virginia74.5959-363.725+0, +0.168
27Notre Dame74.1677-569.679+0, +0.174
28North Carolina St73.9558-466.966+1, +0.079
29California73.8955-773.306-1, +0.013
30Florida73.7387-570.063+0, +0.117