Saturday, November 6, 2010

TCU vs Utah Preview; TCU to win, Utah to cover

It isn't every day that we have undefeated teams playing in week 10 of the season, and when those teams are #2 and #7 in my computer's rankings, it is worth of a detailed preview.

TCU enters the game having been ranked in the top-10 all year, the low being #7 4 weeks ago.  However, they haven't played that many meaningful games, the win over #14 Oregon State being the most important, but the wins over #34 Air Force and #37 Baylor were good as well.

As can be seen from the chart below, TCU has been pretty consistent without too many highs or lows.  The computer has gone 4-3 picking their games.

Utah started off the season in the top-20, but dropped to 43 after some early season meaningless games and the 3 point home win over Pitt not being that impressive when Pitt was 2-3 and #50.  But they've played far more meaningful games and played better their last 4 hitting their stride including a throttling of a decent Iowa State and win over Air Force on the road.

They have not been as consistent as TCU over the whole year, but the last 4 games have been pretty close to where they are rated now.  The computer has not done well picking their games going 1-5-1.

The teams do have 4 common opponents.  Both teams beat Colorado State handily, TCU on the road, the same for Wyoming, Utah on the road, and the same for UNLV TCU on the road, but TCU handled Air Force much more easily than Utah did (38-7 at home vs 28-23 on the road).

Right now, TCU's better showing against Air Force and better non-conference win over Oregon State versus Utah's narrow win over Pitt has them rated higher and would be the pick on a neutral field, but the game is in Utah so nearly makes it even.  But the computer still likes TCU by 1.6 to win, but with the spread at 5, Utah to cover.