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Compu-Picks 2011 Preview: Big 12

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Jul 25, 2011


2011 Compu-Picks Previews Each 1-A League: the Big 12

Below is the preview for the Big 12, consisting of three tables.

The first table outlines the projected rankings for each Big 12 team, sorted from best to worst, and then presents the following selected key stats:
Rank - Projected 2011 ranking, from 1 to 120
2010 Rank - 2010 ranking using the current compu-picks model
Prev 4 yr - ranking of the average rating from 2006-2009
Recruit Rank - ranking of past 4 years of recruiting (each year equally weighted), from scout.com
Recruit Trend - the difference between the past 3 years of recruiting and the previous 3, ranked from best to worst
Injuries - starts lost to injury during the 2010 season (from Phil Steele)
Turnovers - turnover margin during the 2010 season, from cfbstats.com
Draft Losses - based on the 2011 draft
Ch - new head coach, per collegefootballpoll.com (1 indicates a new coach, . indicates no new coach)
Starters - returning offensive / defensive starters, per Phil Steele magazine (* if the QB returns), with some edits due to subsequent news

The second table shows the expected number of total wins for each team, as well as the odds for each potential number of wins, based on 2500 season simulation runs (note: a . indicates zero odds, while 0% indicates a non-zero probability that just rounds to 0%).

The third table shows the odds of winning the league, the expected number of league wins for each team, as well as the odds for each potential number of league wins, based on 2500 season simulation runs (note: a . indicates zero odds, while 0% indicates a non-zero probability that just rounds to 0%).

Projected ranking and key statistics

Team Rank 2010 Rank Prev 4 yr Recruit Rank Recruit Trend Injuries Turnovers Draft Losses Ch Starters
Oklahoma 4 15 4 6 2 4 14 11 . 8*/8
Texas A&M 13 26 53 18 49 4 -5 19 . 10*/8
Oklahoma State 16 10 29 28 38 2 12 4 . 9*/5
Missouri 19 14 16 36 30 31 11 31 . 9/6
Texas 28 51 5 2 13 8 -12 21 . 6*/6
Texas Tech 34 56 20 31 9 3 -3 1 . 7/7
Baylor 71 53 79 53 29 1 0 26 . 9*/5
Kansas State 73 46 70 75 120 10 4 9 . 6/7
Kansas 74 99 36 51 32 17 -8 0 . 7*/8
Iowa State 98 67 89 71 88 7 6 0 . 5/7

Projected Results - All Games

Team Rank SOS E(wins) 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Oklahoma 4 29 9.72 . 16% 23% 22% 17% 10% 6% 3% 2% 1% 0% 1% . .
Texas A&M 13 10 8.73 . 8% 13% 18% 19% 14% 12% 7% 3% 2% 1% 0% 0% 0%
Oklahoma State 16 34 8.48 . 6% 12% 17% 18% 17% 12% 9% 5% 2% 1% 1% 0% .
Missouri 19 44 8.19 . 4% 9% 15% 18% 18% 15% 10% 6% 3% 1% 0% 0% .
Texas 28 7 7.09 . 2% 6% 8% 13% 15% 16% 14% 11% 7% 3% 2% 1% 0%
Texas Tech 34 42 7.32 . 2% 5% 9% 14% 18% 17% 14% 10% 5% 3% 1% 1% 0%
Baylor 71 18 4.50 . 1% 1% 1% 2% 5% 8% 13% 18% 19% 17% 10% 5% 2%
Kansas State 73 40 4.71 . 0% 0% 1% 3% 4% 8% 14% 20% 21% 17% 7% 3% 1%
Kansas 74 31 4.62 . 0% 0% 1% 2% 6% 9% 13% 16% 19% 16% 11% 4% 1%
Iowa State 98 33 2.47 . 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 4% 6% 11% 19% 25% 21% 11%

Projected Results - League Games

Team Rank League Odds E(wins) 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Oklahoma 4 40.9% 7.38 27% 28% 20% 12% 6% 3% 1% 1% 1% 0%
Texas A&M 13 20.6% 6.55 13% 19% 24% 18% 14% 7% 3% 1% 1% 0%
Oklahoma State 16 12.7% 5.99 6% 14% 20% 22% 17% 12% 6% 2% 1% 0%
Missouri 19 10.8% 5.82 6% 14% 20% 20% 18% 11% 7% 3% 1% 0%
Texas 28 7.8% 5.33 4% 9% 14% 21% 21% 15% 9% 5% 2% 1%
Texas Tech 34 4.6% 4.73 2% 5% 11% 16% 20% 19% 14% 8% 3% 1%
Baylor 71 1.2% 2.74 1% 1% 2% 4% 9% 14% 21% 22% 19% 8%
Kansas State 73 0.4% 2.60 0% 0% 2% 4% 7% 13% 22% 24% 20% 8%
Kansas 74 0.7% 2.73 0% 0% 2% 4% 9% 14% 21% 23% 18% 8%
Iowa State 98 0.2% 1.12 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 3% 8% 17% 31% 40%

Some commentary about the projections:

1) Thanks to going to nine league games and generally upgrading the OOC a bit, a lot of Big 12 teams are going to have schedules far tougher than what they're used to (with only two joke OOC games instead of his usual 3-4, I think Bill Snyder may cry). This means that, by and large, a lot of teams are likely to have records a bit worse than what they're used to. It'll be an interesting adjustment.

2) Oklahoma seems to be the national consensus #1, and while it seems clear that they should be a very solid squad, #1 may be a bit of a reach. They have a number of positives, such as: not many draft losses; 16 returning starter including quarterback; strong recruiting (and the #2 recruiting trend in the country); and a great 2006-2009 run. However, they were also only rated 15th best in 2010 (and much worse in 2009), and they had fantastic injury and turnover luck in 2010 (both are likely to revert to some degree). Those are red flags that drop their rating a bit compared to the other teams at the very top. Overall, they're likely to be a very strong team, and certainly a legitimate national title contender, but Compu-Picks disagrees with the national consensus of this being #1 overall.

3) Oklahoma St and Texas A&M are an interesting pair. They're neck and neck around the #10 spot, and together it seems likely that if Oklahoma isn't going to win the Big 12, it'll probably be one of these two. Together they have an interesting set of strengths and weaknesses.
Comparatively, Oklahoma St has been the superior on the field the last five years, and lost much less to the draft, but A&M has been better in recruiting, suffered poor turnover luck (OK St had enjoyed their best margin since 2004, and seem unlikely to repeat that in 2011), and has 18 starters returning. And both enjoyed fantastic injury luck in 2010, and I would presume that at least one (and possibly both) will not be as fortunate in 2011. Overall, they both seem like solid teams, though I'm not sure about top 10 for either. At the end of the day, I'd guess one ends up a top 10 team, and one falters, and I really don't know which will be which.

4) Missouri should be a decent team. Their schedule is rated the weakest in the Big 12 (partially a weak OOC, partially because they don't have to play themselves, which should help them to a solid record. They had an interesting mix of lousy injury luck and good turnover luck in 2010, and they actually had the highest draft losses in the league, but they were solid in both 2010 and previous years. Overall they project to slip just a little bit, but are reasonable contenders for the league title if Oklahoma slips.

5) Texas should certainly rebound from a horrible 2010 campaign, but the question is how much. They recruit fantastically well (and it's only been getting better), they were one of the best programs in the country from 2006-2009, and their extreme outlier turnover margin (-12 when they're usually in the 0 to +10 range) suggests extreme improvement. On the other hand, they return a middling amount of starters from a roster that already had issues, they actually enjoyed pretty solid injury luck in 2010 and there's no telling how much of 2010 was an outlier poor set of games and how much was due to more fundamental (and difficult to fix) issues like sliding player development. Compu-Picks has them #28, but they could legitimately be a top 10 program, or they could drop back to around 6-6 (the mid-range projection for them is 7-5, thanks mainly to a brutal non-conference slate). They will without a doubt be one of the more interesting teams to watch in 2011.

6) This seems like a fairly average year for Texas Tech. Again likely to be a bit lower than they were during the Leach era, but still a pretty decent squad, and their schedule is cushy enough to make another bowl appearance likely.

7) It's tough to see Kansas St making a bowl run in 2011. As noted above, their schedule is about to get a hell of a lot harder than they're used to, and that's going to make things very difficult for them, especially in what looks like a rebuilding year. Being not just bad but dead last in recruiting trend is a serious negative, and one that suggests they're in real trouble. Moreover, they've got seven games that will be tough to win (Miami, Mizzou, and the former Big 12 South less Baylor), and it's tough to see them being far enough better than the rest of the Big 12 (Baylor, Kansas, ISU) to assume 3-0 in that set. Overall, 4-5 wins seems like the likeliest range for them, which is exactly what Compu-Picks pegs.

8) It seems like every year of late Baylor is the team about to make a move. Robert Griffin is great, therefore Baylor is finally going to be decent, make a bowl game, etc. Well, in 2010 they finally did make a bowl game, where they got thrashed by a mediocre Illinois team. Now it's 2011, their schedule is rated the second toughest in the Big 12, they had the second highest draft losses in the league (their highest since at least 2001), they enjoyed incredible injury luck in 2010 (especially unlikely to repeat given that Griffin likes to run), and overall they don't look likely to go back to a bowl game.

There are a few important notes and caveats I need to make about this model:

1) Compu-Picks does not endorse implicitly or explicitly any form of illegal gambling. Compu-Picks is intended to be used for entertainment purposes only.

2) No guarantee or warranty is offered or implied by Compu-Picks for any information provided and/or predictions made.

3) This preseason model is primarily based on the main compu-picks model. Essentially, it attempts to predict how well a team will rate given its rating history, as well as a number of other data points, such as returning starters, draft talent lost, turnovers, recruiting, etc. This means, among other things, that the rankings are power rankings based on how good a team projects to be, as opposed to a more cynical (though accurate) model that attempts to project how the BCS will rank a team by making adjustments to favor those with easy schedules and punish those with tough schedules.

4) For three teams (Auburn, Oregon, UNC), you can see that they're projected to half a new coach. This was a manual adjustment I made to the data based on the off-field issues that each program is dealing with. A new coach is a negative predictive factor, so estimating a 50% chance of having a new coach makes an impact. For UNC, it's more that there's a pretty reasonable chance that they'll replace Butch Davis (or be forced to) before the season. For the other two, it's more a reflection of the possibility that the ongoing investigations will unearth more trouble, possibly leading to a coach replacement and/or current players being declared ineligible. For those two, estimating a 50% chance of a new coach is mainly a proxy for that possibility. It's admittedly arbitrary, but I believe that it's reasonable given the current climate.
I have also provided adjusted division (or league) odds in a number of instances. For the Pac-12 South, it shows the odds of each team winning adjusting for the fact that USC will be ineligible (the original calculation does not account for this). For various other instances, it would only be relevant if the team in question does in fact become ineligible for the division/league title. Should that not happen, you can ignore the adjusted odds.

5) There is a substantial amount of noise in these projections, which is to be expected given the large number of unknowns (who will have good and bad luck with injuries, which young players will improve and which won't, how specific matchups will come into play, etc.). Right now the standard error is a bit over 0.2 on a scale of about -1 to +1. It's important to look at the projections with this in mind to get a sense of how material the projected differences are. Given a standard error around 0.2, it is safe to project Alabama to be a much better team than Mississippi St, but it is not safe to project Arkansas to be any better than LSU, much less a lot better.

6) At this point, there are a number of model features that need to be investigated further. Chief among these is the distribution of extreme events. It appears that the model may be overstating the probabilities of extreme events, such as 12-0 or 0-12 records, or major underdogs winning their division/league. Please keep this in mind when looking at the distribution of win probabilities.

2011 Compu-Picks Blog

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