clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

College football projections: Week 3 F/+ picks

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

So ... I can't say I saw this one coming:

Week 2 2014 Season
50-60% chance of winning 1-2 (33%) 6-5 (55%)
60-70% chance of winning 13-5 (72%) 20-10 (67%)
70-80% chance of winning 18-1 (95%) 34-6 (85%)
80-90% chance of winning 17-1 (94%) 41-4 (91%)
90-100% chance of winning 16-0 (100%) 31-1 (97%)

I wanted to make sure I was tracking the Chance of Winning columns below to see if they were lining up properly. I assumed that things would be pretty blurry at the beginning of the season, then crystallize as the numbers became more accurate. That means teams in the 80-90% column winning, say, 60% of the time while teams in the 60-70% column win 80% of the time. Inconsistencies, basically.

Instead, the favorites are winning at an even higher rate than expected. Teams given a 70 percent or greater chance of winning went 51-2 last week and are winning 91 percent of their games overall.

I think I understand what's going on here; as I've written before, teams start out in a pretty packed-in range to start the season. The best teams, for instance, are projected to finish with an F/+ rating in the plus-30 percent range, even though the best teams tend to finish the year around plus-38 to plus-50. That means the range between the best and worst teams is quite a bit smaller at the beginning of the year, and since that range is part of the Win Probability calculations, teams that are much better might be given an 80 percent chance of winning a game than, say, 90-95. The range will expand as real numbers replace projected numbers.

In that regard, the win percentages above seem to justify that the ratings have teams in the right order. So that's a nice thing.

Week 2 2014 Season
"NEW" Method 27-18 (60%) 64-64-1 (50%)
"OLD" Method 22-23 (49%) 41-42 (49%)
When Both Methods Agree 17-13 (57%) 29-27 (52%)

So I never did find spreads posted for the FBS-vs-FCS games last week, and I haven't found them this week either. Typically someone like Covers.com has them posted. Alas, I never found them last week, so the NEW projections above do not include records in those games. That's unfortunate, not because I think the numbers performed well (I have no idea) but because it makes it feel like the NEW record above is incomplete. But apparently it will remain that way.

With that caveat in mind, the NEW method certainly bounced back last week, posting perhaps artificially high numbers a week after posting artificially low ones. And with all of these percentages hovering around 50%, here's your reminder that Vegas knows what the hell it's doing. I like the way these numbers are getting a bead on most FBS teams, but Vegas has the same bead.

I have the projections and odds for FCS/FBS below even though they won't count toward the record against the spread.

FBS vs. FBS

Day Time (ET) TV Game Spread NEW
Prediction
Chance of winning NEW
Pick
OLD
Prediction
OLD
Pick
Diff?
Thu 8:00 PM CBSSN Louisiana Tech at North Texas -4 North Texas by 3.5 (26.7 - 23.2) 63.2% Louisiana Tech North Texas by 3.5 Louisiana Tech
Thu 9:00 PM ESPN Houston at BYU -18 BYU by 12.0 (29.6 - 17.6) 78.5% Houston BYU by 16.6 Houston
Fri 7:00 PM ESPNU Toledo at Cincinnati -11 Cincinnati by 5.3 (34.5 - 29.3) 66.8% Toledo Cincinnati by 6.2 Toledo
Fri 8:00 PM ESPN Baylor at Buffalo 34.5 Baylor by 17.9 (40.5 - 22.7) 86.6% Buffalo Baylor by 29.6 Buffalo
Sat 12:00 PM ABC/ESPN2 Boise State at Connecticut 16 Boise State by 7.7 (26.3 - 18.6) 71.3% Connecticut Boise State by 13.8 Connecticut
Sat 12:00 PM SECN Central Florida at Missouri -10 Missouri by 8.2 (32.4 - 24.2) 72.3% Central Florida Missouri by 10.8 Missouri XXX
Sat 12:00 PM ESPN East Carolina at Virginia Tech -11 Virginia Tech by 14.4 (28.8 - 14.4) 82.1% Virginia Tech Virginia Tech by 20.3 Virginia Tech
Sat 12:00 PM ESPN3 Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech -20 Georgia Tech by 21.4 (43.1 - 21.8) 90.5% Georgia Tech Georgia Tech by 31.2 Georgia Tech
Sat 12:00 PM ESPNU Indiana at Bowling Green 7.5 Bowling Green by 1.0 (31.0 - 29.9) 58.0% Bowling Green Indiana by 0.3 Bowling Green
Sat 12:00 PM ABC/ESPN2 Kent State at Ohio State -32 Ohio State by 24.0 (36.1 - 12.1) 92.9% Kent State Ohio State by 35.2 Ohio State XXX
Sat 12:00 PM ESPN3 Massachusetts at Vanderbilt -17 Vanderbilt by 14.0 (29.9 - 15.9) 81.6% Massachusetts Vanderbilt by 19.8 Vanderbilt XXX
Sat 12:00 PM CBSSN Ohio at Marshall -21 Marshall by 13.9 (32.6 - 18.7) 81.4% Ohio Marshall by 19.6 Ohio
Sat 12:00 PM FS1 Pittsburgh at Florida International 26 Pittsburgh by 16.9 (28.7 - 11.8) 85.4% Florida International Pittsburgh by 28.1 Pittsburgh XXX
Sat 12:00 PM ESPN News Syracuse at Central Michigan 6.5 Syracuse by 0.5 (17.0 - 16.4) 56.8% Central Michigan Syracuse by 2.7 Central Michigan
Sat 12:00 PM BTN West Virginia at Maryland -3.5 Maryland by 3.8 (20.8 - 17.0) 63.9% Maryland Maryland by 4.0 Maryland
Sat 12:30 PM ESPN3 Louisville at Virginia 6.5 Louisville by 9.9 (23.8 - 13.8) 75.3% Louisville Louisville by 17.3 Louisville
Sat 2:00 PM ESPN3 Air Force at Georgia State 11.5 Air Force by 4.0 (30.4 - 26.3) 64.3% Georgia State Air Force by 8.2 Georgia State
Sat 2:00 PM Pac-12 Wyoming at Oregon -43 Oregon by 32.4 (41.6 - 9.1) 97.7% Wyoming Oregon by 48.3 Oregon XXX
Sat 3:30 PM ABC Arkansas at Texas Tech -3 Texas Tech by 3.9 (41.3 - 37.4) 64.0% Texas Tech Texas Tech by 4.1 Texas Tech
Sat 3:30 PM ESPNU Arkansas State at Miami-FL -16 Miami-FL by 15.6 (29.9 - 14.3) 83.7% Arkansas State Miami-FL by 22.2 Miami-FL XXX
Sat 3:30 PM CBS Georgia at South Carolina 6 Georgia by 0.5 (32.7 - 32.2) 56.7% South Carolina Georgia by 2.6 South Carolina
Sat 3:30 PM ESPN Iowa State at Iowa -10 Iowa by 14.1 (30.3 - 16.2) 81.7% Iowa Iowa by 19.9 Iowa
Sat 3:30 PM ESPN3 Kansas at Duke -15.5 Duke by 14.1 (37.5 - 23.5) 81.7% Kansas Duke by 19.9 Duke XXX
Sat 3:30 PM BTN Miami-OH at Michigan -31 Michigan by 27.2 (35.8 - 8.6) 95.2% Miami-OH Michigan by 40.2 Michigan XXX
Sat 3:30 PM CBSSN NC State at South Florida 1 South Florida by 1.0 (30.2 - 29.1) 58.0% South Florida NC State by 0.3 South Florida
Sat 4:00 PM ESPN News Mississippi State at South Alabama 14 Mississippi State by 9.5 (27.8 - 18.3) 74.6% South Alabama Mississippi State by 16.7 Mississippi State XXX
Sat 4:00 PM SECN UL-Lafayette at Ole Miss -27.5 Ole Miss by 22.9 (35.3 - 12.4) 91.9% UL-Lafayette Ole Miss by 33.5 Ole Miss XXX
Sat 4:00 PM Fox Illinois at Washington -13.5 Washington by 11.2 (31.2 - 19.9) 77.4% Illinois Washington by 15.5 Washington XXX
Sat 4:00 PM FS1 Minnesota at TCU -14 TCU by 10.4 (27.5 - 17.1) 76.0% Minnesota TCU by 14.1 TCU XXX
Sat 5:00 PM Pac-12 Army at Stanford -28 Stanford by 27.7 (41.7 - 14.0) 95.5% Army Stanford by 41.0 Stanford XXX
Sat 5:00 PM ESPN3 Western Michigan at Idaho -3 Idaho by 1.0 (32.0 - 31.0) 58.0% Western Michigan Western Michigan by 0.3 Western Michigan
Sat 6:00 PM Eastern Michigan at Old Dominion -18 Old Dominion by 7.8 (33.9 - 26.0) 71.5% Eastern Michigan Old Dominion by 10.2 Eastern Michigan
Sat 6:00 PM ESPN2 Southern Miss at Alabama -48 Alabama by 37.7 (44.8 - 7.1) 98.6% Southern Miss Alabama by 56.4 Alabama XXX
Sat 7:00 PM MWC Video Northern Illinois at UNLV 10 Northern Illinois by 10.7 (26.9 - 16.1) 76.6% Northern Illinois Northern Illinois by 18.6 Northern Illinois
Sat 7:00 PM FCSA Tulsa at Florida Atlantic -1 Tulsa by 4.8 (37.8 - 33.0) 65.8% Tulsa Tulsa by 9.3 Tulsa
Sat 7:00 PM ESPNU UL-Monroe at LSU -31 LSU by 28.1 (38.9 - 10.8) 95.8% UL-Monroe LSU by 41.6 LSU XXX
Sat 7:00 PM FSN Affiliates UTSA at Oklahoma State -13.5 Oklahoma State by 12.2 (27.8 - 15.6) 78.8% UTSA Oklahoma State by 16.9 Oklahoma State XXX
Sat 7:00 PM CBSSN Wake Forest at Utah State -14 Utah State by 9.0 (14.0 - 5.0) 73.7% Wake Forest Utah State by 12.0 Wake Forest
Sat 7:00 PM Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee -1.5 Western Kentucky by 1.4 (38.1 - 36.7) 58.8% Western Kentucky Western Kentucky by 4.1 Western Kentucky
Sat 7:30 PM SECN Kentucky at Florida -18 Florida by 12.1 (31.0 - 18.9) 78.7% Kentucky Florida by 16.8 Kentucky
Sat 7:30 PM NBC Purdue at Notre Dame -28 Notre Dame by 28.9 (41.5 - 12.6) 96.2% Notre Dame Notre Dame by 42.8 Notre Dame
Sat 8:00 PM ESPN News Navy at Texas State 10 Navy by 5.2 (40.5 - 35.2) 66.7% Texas State Navy by 10.0 Navy XXX
Sat 8:00 PM New Mexico State at UTEP -11 UTEP by 9.9 (31.6 - 21.7) 75.1% New Mexico State UTEP by 13.3 UTEP XXX
Sat 8:00 PM BTN Penn State at Rutgers 3 Penn State by 3.2 (31.1 - 28.0) 62.6% Penn State Penn State by 6.8 Penn State
Sat 8:00 PM ABC Tennessee at Oklahoma -21 Oklahoma by 20.4 (33.2 - 12.8) 89.5% Tennessee Oklahoma by 29.6 Oklahoma XXX
Sat 8:00 PM Fox UCLA at Texas 7.5 UCLA by 3.7 (20.8 - 17.1) 63.6% Texas UCLA by 7.6 UCLA XXX
Sat 8:00 PM ESPN USC at Boston College 17 USC by 12.8 (33.8 - 21.0) 79.8% Boston College USC by 21.8 USC XXX
Sat 9:00 PM ESPN2 Rice at Texas A&M -32 Texas A&M by 26.5 (46.5 - 20.0) 94.8% Rice Texas A&M by 39.1 Texas A&M XXX
Sat 10:00 PM ESPNU Arizona State at Colorado 15.5 Arizona State by 18.4 (40.9 - 22.4) 87.3% Arizona State Arizona State by 30.5 Arizona State
Sat 10:30 PM CBSSN Nebraska at Fresno State 10.5 Nebraska by 7.8 (28.6 - 20.8) 71.5% Fresno State Nebraska by 14.0 Nebraska XXX
Sat 11:00 PM Pac-12 Nevada at Arizona -15.5 Arizona by 12.4 (34.2 - 21.9) 79.1% Nevada Arizona by 17.2 Arizona XXX

FBS vs. FCS

Day Time (ET) TV Game Prediction Chance of winning
Sat 3:00 PM ESPN3 Indiana State at Ball State Ball State by 13.3 (29.4 - 16.1) 80.6%
Sat 3:00 PM MWC Video UC Davis at Colorado State Colorado State by 10.4 (33.5 - 23.1) 76.0%
Sat 3:30 PM CSBA Alabama A&M at UAB UAB by 23.4 (37.8 - 14.4) 92.4%
Sat 7:00 PM ESPN3 Abilene Christian at Troy Troy by 2.2 (27.4 - 25.2) 60.5%
Sat 8:00 PM Pac-12 Portland State at Washington State Washington State by 11.8 (32.5 - 20.7) 78.3%
Sat 8:00 PM ESPN3 SE Louisiana at Tulane Tulane by 3.0 (26.6 - 23.6) 62.2%
Sun 12:00 AM MWC Video Northern Iowa at Hawaii Hawaii by 4.1 (21.2 - 17.1) 64.5%