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College football, Week 6: Schedule, TV listings, S&P+ and F/+ picks

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NCAA Football: Boston College at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

I hate reruns. From last week:

Using my latest method for S&P+ projections, here are the averages since the start of 2014:

* Absolute Error (for a given week) between 11 and 12 points: 55.4% against the spread

* Between 12 and 13 points: 53.5%

* Between 13 and 14 points: 51.6%

* Between 14 and 15 points: 50.5%

* 15+ points: 46.0%

(Note: From an absolute error perspective, the most successful systems in a given year tend to settle in the low- to mid-12s.)

The error for S&P+ tends to float between about 13.5 and 15 points for the opening weeks of a given season, as S&P+’s preseason projections are exposed as accurate about some teams and drastically inaccurate about others. In theory, it goes down from there, hopefully eventually settling in the 12-13 range.


In terms of absolute error, S&P+ broke through into the low 13s last week. A nice start.

Oh yeah, and S&P+ went 20-32 against the spread. A cool 38%. Good times. Good, good times.


In the games in which one team covered easily (10 or more points), S&P+ went 12-10. In the games that finished closer to the Vegas line, S&P+ went 8-22.

Week 4 was a whopper from a bad luck perspective. Week 5 saw improvement! Barely!

  • S&P+ Week 5 absolute error: 12.8. Good!
  • Expected performance against the spread: ~52%. Good!
  • S&P+ Week 5 performance against the spread: 42% (25-34). Bad!
  • Record in games decided within 7 points of the spread: 9-16 (36%). Really bad!
  • Record in games decided within 3 points of the spread: 4-9 (31%). Terrible!

This is absolutely nuts. I’ve never seen two weeks of bad luck like this. You win, Vegas. You win.

I like the way S&P+ is honing in so far this season. The absolute error is shrinking each week and is well within the range that I prefer at this point in the season. And S&P+ is now 46% against the spread this year.

Whatever. Luck will probably turn at some point, but ... whatever.

Here’s the updated Google doc with all picks. And, as always, here’s a completely useless embed, just for fun:

By the way, I’ve been tinkering with ways to incorporate volatility into the weekly projections. The way this fall has going, it will probably fail. But expect a post on that, hopefully tomorrow.