Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy all the awesome college football games.
These ensemble predictions aggregate a number of different predictions based margin of victory, yards per play statistics and market data. The rankings below refer to yards per play statistics adjusted for strength of schedule by The Power Rank algorithm.
All of these predictions and rankings are available to members.
Alabama over Auburn 7.7
CBS commentator Gary Danielson said he didn’t like this Alabama team as much as past versions because they don’t run the ball well. Indeed, Alabama ranks 28th in rush offense compared with 6th last season.
However, Alabama does throw the ball well with QB Blake Sims. They have the 11th ranked offense and should enjoy an edge over Auburn’s 28th ranked defense.
Mississippi over Mississippi State by 4.2
I know this seems ridiculous after Mississippi got shut out by Arkansas last week. However, Mississippi had more total yards than Arkansas (316 to 311) but could not overcome 6 turnovers. Turnovers are mostly random. For more details, check out my guide to college football analytics.
Florida State over Florida by 9.8
Florida State would be 4-4 if they played Auburn’s SEC schedule. However, they should beat Florida despite facing an 11th ranked Florida defense.
Missouri over Arkansas by 4.2
Missouri wins the SEC East with a victory over Arkansas, while a Missouri loss gives the division to Georgia. There’s no line out because of the injury status of Arkansas QB Brandon Allen.
Arkansas runs the ball behind their huge offensive line on 59.3% of plays. However, they’re not efficient at running the ball, as they rank 51st in yards per carry adjusted for schedule.
Wisconsin over Minnesota by 17.7
Minnesota has an average rush defense, which spells trouble against Wisconsin’s top ranked rush attack that runs the ball on 67.5% of plays.
Arizona over Arizona State by 2.5
A rash of injuries might affect this game. Arizona State receiver Jalen Strong has a concussion, while QB Anu Solomon and a bunch of others are questionable for Arizona.
Ohio State over Michigan by 15.3
Michigan must run the ball against Ohio State’s 54th ranked rush defense to have any chance to keep this close.
UCLA over Stanford by 4.8
Stanford WR and kick returner Ty Montgomery won’t play against UCLA, but it might not matter if Stanford can score touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone.
TCU over Texas by 7.4
Texas brings the 6th ranked defense that’s particularly good against the pass, but it probably won’t be enough against TCU.
Georgia over Georgia Tech by 16.3
RB Todd Gurley gets the headlines, but Georgia features the 11th and 9th best pass offense and defense respectively.