Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Compu-Picks 2012 Preview: MAC

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Aug 25, 2012


2012 Compu-Picks Previews Each 1-A League: MAC Preview

Below is the preview for the MAC, consisting of five tables. The first shows projections for each MAC team, with the others showing key statistics and/or details behind the projections.

Projected ranking and expected results

Expected Wins Projected League Results
Team 2012 Rank 2011 Rank All Games League Games SOS Div Finish Division Odds
Miami (Ohio) 59 91 7.14 5.72 100 1 34.7%
Ohio 75 61 8.20 5.35 123 2 24.8%
Bowling Green 77 93 7.22 5.32 103 3 26.0%
Kent 97 101 5.81 4.27 116 4 11.5%
Buffalo 111 112 3.11 2.16 76 5 1.8%
UMass 117 0 2.28 1.91 78 6 1.0%
Akron 124 120 1.08 0.76 81 7 0.2%
Northern Illinois 54 51 8.73 6.13 118 1 40.5%
Toledo 65 42 7.62 5.30 117 2 23.6%
Central Michigan 74 108 6.80 4.94 93 3 16.0%
Western Michigan 101 69 5.85 3.91 111 4 8.8%
Ball State 96 95 4.37 3.39 70 5 6.4%
Eastern Michigan 104 100 4.33 2.84 75 6 4.8%

Some notes and comments about the MAC and its teams:

1) Right now, the MAC is projected to have a very have/have-not feel, with the top three teams in each division substantially above everyone else. And with five of those six teams projecting schedule strength rankings worse than 100th, it's not just possible but outright likely that the MAC will again have a double-digit team in the regular season, even before the league championship game.

2) Ohio's schedule especially stands out. They play precisely one AQ team: a very depleted Penn St. Other than that, they have NM St, Marshall and a AA team for the non-conference, and in league play they miss all three of the teams projected to be best in the West. If they're even mediocre, they should coast to nine wins easily.

3) Toledo has an interesting resume. They had fantastic turnover and fumble luck last year, lose a bunch of players, and have a new coach. On the other hand, they had awful injury luck last year, they still were arguably the class of the league (though they didn't win the division due to a head to head loss to NIU), and their recruiting has been picking up nicely. With some signals pointing strongly in opposite directions, it'll be interesting to see how the season goes for them.

The next two tables show key statistics and details underlying the projections, from prior history and performance to luck-related statistics to key indicators of incoming and outgoing talent. Below is a brief explanation of some of these items:


Rank - Projected 2012 ranking, from 1 to 124
2011 Rank - 2011 ranking using the current compu-picks model, from 1 to 120 (does NOT include the four 1-A newcomers)
Prev 4 yr - ranking of the average rating from 2007-2010, from 1 to 120 (does NOT include the four 1-A newcomers)
Injuries - starts lost to injury during the 2011 season, from Phil Steele
Fumble Luck - the number of net turnovers in 2011 due to fumble luck
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 4, ranked from best to worst
Starters - returning offensive / defensive / special teams (kicker and punter) starters, per Phil Steele magazine (* if the QB returns), with some edits due to subsequent news
Returning Yards, Tackles, Int, Sacks, Lettermen - returning production and roster depth; lettermen taken from philsteele.com, with the other stats calculated from cfbstats.com.
Draft Losses - based on the 2012 draft

Key Statistics - Performance, Luck and Coaching

Team 2012 Rank 2011 Rank Prev 4 yr Injuries Turnovers Fumble Luck New Coach
Miami (Ohio) 59 91 114 29 -4 -2 .
Ohio 75 61 85 22 0 0.5 .
Bowling Green 77 93 87 11 -13 -2.5 .
Kent 97 101 109 17 12 0 .
Buffalo 111 112 105 16 -2 1.5 .
UMass 117 0 0 0 0 0 1
Akron 124 120 115 37 -9 1.5 1
Northern Illinois 54 51 63 7 6 -1 .
Toledo 65 42 98 53 16 3.5 1
Central Michigan 74 108 77 28 -12 2 .
Western Michigan 101 69 88 13 -3 -2.5 .
Ball State 96 95 93 25 -1 -1.5 .
Eastern Michigan 104 100 120 12 -5 -2.5 .

Talent Inflows and Outflows

Team Recruit Rank Recruit Trend Starters Ret. Yards Ret. Tackles Ret. Int Ret. Sacks Ret. Lettermen Draft Losses
Miami (Ohio) 95 84 9*/7/2 88% 56% 70% 58% 73% 0
Ohio 108 75 6*/7/1 62% 74% 87% 85% 75% 2
Bowling Green 84 44 7*/10/2 67% 87% 100% 93% 72% 0
Kent 116 91 8*/6/1 69% 74% 64% 77% 69% 0
Buffalo 111 50 7/7/0 42% 63% 100% 71% 73% 0
UMass 0 0 6* /9/0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0
Akron 103 64 8*/5/1 51% 48% 100% 35% 65% 0
Northern Illinois 109 46 4/8/2 31% 69% 100% 66% 72% 1
Toledo 77 25 4*/4/1 59% 54% 43% 54% 70% 0
Central Michigan 78 65 8*/8/2 85% 70% 88% 54% 78% 0
Western Michigan 94 60 7*/7/0 57% 59% 75% 55% 64% 2
Ball State 100 70 8*/5/2 83% 56% 30% 47% 64% 0
Eastern Michigan 114 74 9*/5/2 84% 52% 60% 33% 73% 0

The next two tables show probability distributions for the projections, based on 5,001 season simulation runs. Please note that a . indicates zero odds, while 0% indicates a non-zero probability that just rounds to 0%. The first table breaks down results across all games, while the second breaks down results across league games only.

Projected Results - All Games

Odds of Winning _ Games
Team E(wins) Stdev (wins) 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Miami (Ohio) 7.14 2.12 . 1% 3% 7% 15% 19% 19% 16% 9% 6% 3% 1% 1% 0%
Ohio 8.20 2.27 . 6% 10% 15% 17% 17% 13% 10% 6% 3% 2% 1% 0% 0%
Bowling Green 7.22 2.10 . 1% 2% 9% 17% 20% 19% 13% 8% 5% 2% 2% 1% 0%
Kent 5.81 2.45 . 1% 2% 4% 7% 11% 15% 15% 15% 12% 9% 5% 3% 1%
Buffalo 3.11 2.19 . 0% 0% 1% 1% 2% 4% 6% 10% 15% 18% 18% 15% 11%
UMass 2.28 1.82 . . 0% 0% 0% 1% 2% 3% 5% 10% 17% 24% 24% 15%
Akron 1.08 1.36 . . . 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 3% 7% 14% 31% 42%
Northern Illinois 8.73 2.24 . 9% 14% 18% 19% 15% 10% 7% 5% 2% 1% 1% 0% 0%
Toledo 7.62 2.53 . 5% 8% 11% 15% 15% 14% 11% 8% 6% 3% 2% 1% 0%
Central Michigan 6.80 2.36 . 2% 4% 7% 11% 15% 17% 16% 12% 8% 4% 2% 1% 0%
Western Michigan 5.85 2.69 . 2% 3% 5% 7% 11% 13% 14% 14% 12% 9% 6% 3% 2%
Ball State 4.37 2.57 . 0% 1% 2% 4% 5% 8% 11% 14% 14% 15% 12% 9% 5%
Eastern Michigan 4.33 2.56 . 0% 1% 2% 3% 5% 8% 10% 14% 15% 15% 12% 8% 5%

Projected Results - League Games

Odds of Winning _ League Games
Team E(wins) Stdev (wins) 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Miami (Ohio) 5.72 1.69 . 15% 23% 22% 19% 11% 6% 3% 1% 1%
Ohio 5.35 1.69 . 10% 18% 22% 21% 16% 8% 4% 1% 0%
Bowling Green 5.32 1.75 . 9% 19% 22% 21% 14% 8% 4% 2% 1%
Kent 4.27 1.87 . 4% 8% 15% 19% 19% 17% 11% 6% 2%
Buffalo 2.16 1.67 . 0% 1% 3% 6% 10% 17% 23% 23% 17%
UMass 1.91 1.50 . 0% 1% 2% 4% 8% 15% 26% 28% 17%
Akron 0.76 1.00 . 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 4% 11% 34% 50%
Northern Illinois 6.13 1.59 . 22% 25% 23% 15% 8% 4% 2% 1% 0%
Toledo 5.30 1.82 . 11% 18% 21% 19% 14% 10% 4% 2% 1%
Central Michigan 4.94 1.76 . 7% 13% 20% 21% 18% 11% 6% 3% 1%
Western Michigan 3.91 1.93 . 3% 7% 11% 16% 19% 18% 14% 8% 3%
Ball State 3.39 1.96 . 2% 5% 8% 14% 18% 18% 17% 12% 6%
Eastern Michigan 2.84 1.97 . 2% 3% 6% 10% 13% 18% 19% 18% 11%

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) I have provided adjusted division (or league) odds in a couple of instances. For the Big Ten Leaders, it shows the odds of each team winning adjusting for the fact that Ohio St and Penn St will both be ineligible. The same is true for the ACC Coastal and North Carolina.

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 Mississippi St to be any better than Arkansas, 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. This overstatement has been reduced compared to last year's projections, but still likely exists to some degree. Please keep this in mind when looking at the distribution of win probabilities.

7) Since there is much less data available for the four 1-A newcomers, the power rating methodology has been more manual and arbitrary. As a consequence, I am somewhat less confident of the projections for those four teams than I am for the other 120 1-A members. Please keep this in mind when looking at the newcomers' projections.

2012 Compu-Picks Blog

Questions, comments or suggestions? Email me at cfn_ms@hotmail.com

Follow cfn_ms on Twitter

Related Stories
First Look: Toledo
 -by WildcatAuthority.com  Aug 26, 2012
Meyer Updates Game One Personnel
 -by BuckeyeSports.com  Aug 27, 2012
Quarterbacks Will Each Work One Quarter
 -by FightinGators.com  Aug 27, 2012