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Compu-Picks 2011 Analysis: Week Three

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Sep 19, 2011


Compu-Picks 2011 Analysis: What the system can learn from results of the first three weeks

This year, I published a number of Compu-Picks preview articles, which among other things included record projections for each team. These projections were based on 2,500 season simulations, and consisted of the average number of wins across all projections. But beyond just the overall record, the system also simulated every game played by every 1-A team in each of the 2,500 simulations. This means that, even though there isn't enough data to use Compu-Picks for weekly picks yet, I can still come up with some interesting data and results from the games so far.

With that in mind, I'll look at a couple of the more interesting I'll look at a couple of interesting teams so far. For each of these teams, I'll show their preseason projection, as well as what their projections would like look like given their record after week one, after week two and after week three. While everything in these tables is based on the projections run before any games have been played, you can see the impact of each win or loss on a team's total season projections. Let's start with two teams that have started on a hot 2-0 streak, Michigan and Texas.

In each of the two below tables, the original preseason projection is at the left, and each column to the right represents their projection given a win in each successive week. For both teams, being 3-0 increases their win projections nicely. LSU in particular now looks pretty elite, as their projection went a touch over 10 wins given a 3-0 start. While there are plenty of games where a loss is possible, only Alabama is rated as a likely loss, and even there it's more like a tossup. Of course, the fact that Alabama has played very well will factor into the true odds (and drop LSU's win probability somewhat), but even so it's very clear that at the least they have a solid shot. And if they can win that game, a national title run becomes a very strong possibility. They still need to make it to that game unblemished, but right now their chances of that seem pretty decent.

As noted in the above comments, I should emphasize that these tables are conditional expectations that don't reflect how each of their future opponents have done so far, or what the actual scores have been, just that there was a 1-0, or 2-0, or 3-0 start. So it is a simplification, though one that I still think is interesting to look at.

Louisiana State Win Odds and Expectations Preseason Start 1-0 Start 2-0 Start 3-0
Total # Simulations 2500 910 909 689
Win % vs
Oregon 36% 100% 100% 100%
AA 100% 100% 100% 100%
Mississippi State 66% 76% 76% 100%
West Virginia 55% 65% 65% 70%
Kentucky 83% 90% 90% 92%
Florida 82% 90% 90% 92%
Tennessee 53% 65% 65% 69%
Auburn 66% 76% 76% 81%
Alabama 28% 38% 38% 42%
Western Kentucky 99% 99% 100% 100%
Mississippi 71% 82% 82% 85%
Arkansas 54% 65% 66% 69%
Total Expected Wins 7.93 9.47 9.48 10.00
Total Expected Wins After Week Three 5.91 6.72 6.72 7.00

Texas Win Odds and Expectations Preseason Start 1-0 Start 2-0 Start 3-0
Total # Simulations 2500 2259 1136 562
Win % vs
Rice 90% 100% 100% 100%
Brigham Young 48% 50% 100% 100%
UCLA 38% 40% 49% 100%
Iowa State 88% 90% 93% 96%
Oklahoma 28% 30% 36% 42%
Oklahoma State 44% 46% 54% 62%
Baylor 74% 76% 82% 88%
Kansas 85% 87% 91% 94%
Texas Tech 63% 66% 73% 78%
Missouri 36% 38% 44% 52%
Kansas State 85% 86% 90% 93%
Texas A&M 29% 31% 37% 46%
Total Expected Wins 7.09 7.39 8.49 9.50
Total Expected Wins After Week Three 5.33 5.49 6.00 6.50

Next, let's look at a couple of surprising 3-0 teams, Iowa St and Vanderbilt. As you can see in the below tables, their 3-0 starts don't guarantee a postseason berth (Iowa St's win expectation is about 5.5, and Vandy's is just over 6), but for both teams the odds are a whole lot better than they were at the start of the season.

Iowa State Win Odds and Expectations Preseason Start 1-0 Start 2-0 Start 3-0
Total # Simulations 2500 1989 665 266
Win % vs
AA 80% 100% 100% 100%
Iowa 29% 33% 100% 100%
Connecticut 26% 30% 40% 100%
Texas 12% 13% 21% 31%
Baylor 23% 26% 36% 49%
Missouri 3% 4% 7% 12%
Texas A&M 5% 6% 9% 13%
Texas Tech 7% 8% 12% 17%
Kansas 35% 39% 48% 57%
Oklahoma 1% 2% 3% 6%
Oklahoma State 6% 7% 12% 20%
Kansas State 20% 24% 30% 42%
Total Expected Wins 2.47 2.93 4.19 5.48
Total Expected Wins After Week Three 1.12 1.29 1.79 2.48

Vanderbilt Win Odds and Expectations Preseason Start 1-0 Start 2-0 Start 3-0
Total # Simulations 2500 2299 1481 521
Win % vs
AA 92% 100% 100% 100%
Connecticut 62% 64% 100% 100%
Mississippi 28% 30% 35% 100%
South Carolina 3% 3% 4% 8%
Alabama 3% 3% 4% 8%
Georgia 32% 34% 39% 50%
Army 66% 69% 73% 81%
Arkansas 9% 10% 12% 20%
Florida 14% 15% 19% 26%
Kentucky 30% 31% 37% 46%
Tennessee 9% 10% 12% 19%
Wake Forest 35% 37% 42% 54%
Total Expected Wins 3.82 4.06 4.78 6.12
Total Expected Wins After Week Three 2.01 2.12 2.42 3.12

Next up is a pair of interesting 1-2 teams. BYU started the year with an important win over Ole Miss, but followed it up with a close loss at Texas and an blowout home loss to Utah. Notre Dame, on the other hand, has improved week over week, culminating in a clear win over an overmatched Michigan St team. As the table shows, even at 1-2 BYU is expected to beat UCF next week (all the more so considering how UCF just lost at FIU). As long as they don't get upset there (which would substantially downgrade their expectations), they're projected to end up at a pretty respectable number.

Notre Dame, on the other hand, has a long way to go to try and hit 8+ wins. With a number of potential landmines remaining on the schedule, they'll be hard-pressed to reach that number, much less 9 or 10 wins. That said, they've got some solid opportunities coming up to show that they really are better than their 1-2 record so far. If they can turn their one win against the Spartans into the start of a winning streak (and each game for a while is winnable), then their projections should start to improve. At the least, it seems like they've probably already hit rock bottom with their 0-2 start, and are not likely to end up bowl-less, as their 0-2 record had suggested was likely.

Brigham Young Win Odds and Expectations Preseason Start 1-0 Start 1-1 Start 1-2
Total # Simulations 2500 1619 1050 636
Win % vs
Mississippi 65% 100% 65% 39%
Texas 52% 58% 35% 20%
Utah 66% 71% 64% 41%
Central Florida 88% 91% 89% 83%
Utah State 97% 99% 98% 97%
San Jose State 94% 97% 95% 93%
Oregon State 62% 69% 62% 53%
Texas Christian 31% 37% 30% 19%
Idaho 97% 98% 98% 95%
New Mexico State 99% 99% 99% 98%
Hawaii 71% 76% 70% 63%
AA 100% 100% 100% 100%
Total Expected Wins 9.22 9.96 9.03 8.02
Total Expected Wins After Week Three 7.40 7.67 7.39 7.02

Notre Dame Win Odds and Expectations Preseason Start 0-1 Start 0-2 Start 1-2
Total # Simulations 2500 353 122 236
Win % vs
South Florida 86% 0% 0% 49%
Michigan 81% 65% 0% 25%
Michigan State 78% 66% 51% 26%
Pittsburgh 78% 61% 48% 58%
Purdue 82% 69% 58% 68%
Air Force 76% 59% 45% 61%
Southern California 76% 63% 49% 59%
Navy 86% 75% 65% 74%
Wake Forest 87% 75% 61% 75%
Maryland 83% 72% 60% 67%
Boston College 87% 73% 58% 70%
Stanford 38% 22% 12% 20%
Total Expected Wins 9.38 7.00 5.07 6.53
Total Expected Wins After Week Three 6.93 5.69 4.57 5.53

And, finally, I look at a very surprising 0-3 team, Boston College. Unfortunately for the Eagles, there really isn't any good news here. Not only are they 0-3, they compiled that record against some of the easiest tests they'll have all year. It's always possible that things could turn around, but right now it looks very likely that BC's long bowl streak is going to come to an end.

Boston College Win Odds and Expectations Preseason Start 0-1 Start 0-2 Start 0-3
Total # Simulations 2500 633 406 224
Win % vs
Northwestern 75% 0% 0% 0%
Central Florida 49% 36% 0% 0%
Duke 68% 52% 45% 0%
Wake Forest 71% 60% 56% 46%
Clemson 39% 29% 25% 23%
Virginia Tech 24% 15% 10% 7%
Maryland 58% 46% 39% 29%
Florida State 20% 11% 7% 7%
North Carolina State 49% 34% 31% 25%
Notre Dame 13% 8% 5% 2%
Miami (Florida) 41% 28% 24% 17%
AA 98% 95% 94% 89%
Total Expected Wins 6.05 4.16 3.35 2.45
Total Expected Wins After Week Three 4.13 3.28 2.90 2.45

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.

2011 Compu-Picks Blog

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