I thought I would try something different this week.
With cupcake Saturday in the SEC, college football lacks many marquee games with playoff implications. One of the best games, Kansas State at West Virginia, happened last night (Kansas State won by 6).
Instead of writing previews of big games, I’m offering one sentence on a wide number of games. This is partially inspired Vox sentences, which has actually enticed me to follow the news.
The numbers below are based on the ensemble predictions that aggregate a number of different predictions. The team rankings based predictions are one of many factors that go into the ensemble.
I expect these ensemble predictions, which are available to members, to be more accurate than the team rankings based predictions.
Mississippi over Arkansas by 5.4
Arkansas might be 5-5, but they’re currently 14th in the team rankings (6th of 7 SEC West teams).
Michigan over Maryland by 4.3
The predicted margin of victory for Michigan should probably be bigger with the injury to Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs, their best player.
Stanford over California by 7.4
I don’t blame others for forecasting the end of Stanford’s golden era, but the Cardinal still have the nation’s top defense by adjusted yards per play.
UCLA over USC by 6.2
UCLA finishes the season against rivals USC and Stanford, and one more loss makes me 4-0 in my preseason win total predictions.
Tennessee over Missouri by 1.7
Missouri, which has a 30% chance to win their two remaining games and win the SEC East, some how features the 4th defense but 72nd offense in my yards per play adjusted for strength of schedule.
Notre Dame over Louisville by 4.9
Notre Dame has the 27th and 29th ranked offense and defense respectively, not much different from when I predicted the Fighting Irish wouldn’t make the college football playoff before the Florida State game.
Utah over Arizona by 4.4
Arizona has an 8-2 record but a 5-1 record in games decided by less than a touchdown, a statistic that strongly regresses to the mean in college football.
Wisconsin over Iowa by 11.8
Melvin Gordon gets all the headlines, but Wisconsin has the 5th ranked defense by adjusted yards per play after losing their entire front seven from last season.
Nebraska over Minnesota by 10.2
Nebraska’s defense dropped from 24th to 38th after Wisconsin gashed them for 9.8 yards per play last weekend.
Florida State over Boston College by 16.8
While my prediction that Notre Dame wouldn’t make the college football playoff looks good, I also predicted the same for Florida State. Oh well.