Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Sep 2010

SDA: Night Time Is The Right Time

by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and Robert Weintraub

We celebrate Week 4 of the college football season with four battles of ranked teams, three of which take place Saturday evening. After watching Alabama face its toughest test of the young season in Fayetteville, keep the remote in hand as you flip between a battle of SEC dark horses (South Carolina-Auburn), the Schizophrenia Bowl (West Virginia-LSU), and Boise's Last Stand (Boise State-Oregon State). If styles make fights, all four of these fights could be outstanding. Throw into the mix a fun Thursday night battle and the beginning of full-scale Pac-10 play, and this has the makings of a lovely weekend.

(Editor's Note:There will be no podcast this week, so see the bottom of the article for storylines of the week and picks.)


No. 19 Miami -3 at Pittsburgh (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Miami
Has the Ball ...
When Pittsburgh
Has the Ball ...
Category Miami
(1-1)
Pittsburgh
(1-1)
Miami
Off
Pittsburgh
Def
Miami
Def
Pittsburgh
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 12 32
2010 FEI Rk 16 28
2010 S&P+ Rk 11 26 3 82 5 52
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 57 110 7 51
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 4 62 15 63
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 17 76 14 8
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
59.8% Run
(68th)
55.3% Run
(87th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 29 38 21 113
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
25.5%
(98th)
32.6%
(68th)

We're in Week 4 of the college football season, and both Miami and Pittsburgh are seeking their first victory of the year over an FBS opponent. The Hurricanes and Panthers each started 2010 with high hopes and can still salvage a modestly successful year and a conference title chase win or lose Thursday night. But there's plenty of team morale at stake, and the frustration for the loser of this one may take some time to overcome. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris has been scratched from Heisman watch lists, which may be a relief. Not facing the Ohio State defense ever again will be a relief as well. Pittsburgh's defense will be without star defensive end Greg Romeus for several weeks and hasn't looked terribly impressive yet. On offense, Pitt sophomore Dion Lewis is still seeking a rushing performance anywhere near as impressive as those he turned in on a weekly basis in his breakout freshman campaign.

Virginia Tech -4 at Boston College (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

OVERALL When Va. Tech
Has the Ball ...
When B.C.
Has the Ball ...
Category Va. Tech
(1-2)
B.C.
(2-0)
Va. Tech
Off
B.C.
Def
Va. Tech
Def
B.C.
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 20 23
2010 FEI Rk 5 19
2010 S&P+ Rk 38 32 63 102 7 40
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 63 88 32 74
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 40 91 14 12
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 58 109 3 101
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
79.7% Run
(6th)
74.4% Run
(11th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 46 77 4 23
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
40.0% Run
(33rd)
25.0% Run
(101st)

The Hokies appear to have shaken off the cobwebs from the opening weekend loss to Boise State. After a humiliating defeat against James Madison and a "here we go again" first half struggle against East Carolina, Virginia Tech turned in a second-half rout that was our first glimpse of the team we thought they were. Boston College, meanwhile, has begun the season as it always does -- knocking off weaklings with little fanfare and positioning itself for another unheralded run at a conference crown. The Eagles are doing it again on defense -- led by sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly (8 tackles, 3.5 for loss last week), they've allowed the lowest percentage of available yards against FBS competition to date. Their FBS competition to date has been Kent State. Hokies quarterback Tyrod Taylor (12th in passer rating, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception) presents a greater challenge.

No. 1 Alabama -7.5 at No. 10 Arkansas (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

OVERALL When Alabama
Has the Ball ...
When Arkansas
Has the Ball ...
Category Alabama
(3-0)
Arkansas
(3-0)
Alabama
Off
Arkansas
Def
Alabama
Def
Arkansas
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 1 24
2010 FEI Rk 2 30
2010 S&P+ Rk 1 34 1 63 19 51
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 1 98 75 105
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 1 44 12 31
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 13 96 17 18
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.0% Run
(62nd)
46.7% Run
(111th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 3 39 14 34
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
37.2% Run
(47th)
31.8% Run
(70th)

Ryan Mallet and crew were given a puncher's chance at toppling the Tide last season in Tuscaloosa, but were buried by the national champs. The rematch is in Ozark country, and the Hogs still have upset potential again, thanks to an explosive offense and the powerful right arm of Mallet. His poise and stellar play between the hedges against Georgia Saturday gives those hoping for an Alabama loss a fighting chance. Unfortunately, even if Mallet & Co. can crack the Tide's defense (and there are plays to be made against them), the Razorbacks will have to find some defense and a hint of a running game to upend Saban's Boys. Arkansas played well in Athens until the Bulldogs threw deep in the fourth quarter. Passer rating isn't a perfect indicator by any means, but it should be noted that Mallet is the second-highest rated passer in this game. Greg McElroy, who will be underappreciated until the time comes to replace him, should look to throw, as the Hogs will undoubtedly stack the line trying to stop Mark Ingram (9 carries for 151 and two touchdowns in his debut after knee surgery) and Trent Richardson. Meanwhile, another star, defensive end Marcel Dareus, returns after a two-game suspension, and he will be drooling to get after Mallett. Rain and a sloppy track are predicted for Saturday, which would hinder Arkansas' chances.

No. 16 Stanford -5 at Notre Dame (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

OVERALL When Stanford
Has the Ball ...
When Notre Dame
Has the Ball ...
Category Stanford
(3-0)
N.D.
(1-2)
Stanford
Off
N.D.
Def
Stanford
Def
N.D.
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 6 36
2010 FEI Rk 31 25
2010 S&P+ Rk 4 45 4 36 117 50
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 56 57 94 44
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 2 20 119 58
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 12 26 115 73
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
68.4% Run
(27th)
44.4% Run
(114th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 6 19 118 41
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
40.8% Run
(28th)
33.3% Run
(66th)

While one West Coast passer may have crashed and burned last weekend (Jake Locker, we shoot a pitied look in your general direction), Stanford's Andrew Luck is starting to roll. In today's "Fun with Small Sample Sizes" portion of SDA, Luck is currently on pace for 2,700 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, no interceptions and just four sacks; these numbers come despite the fact that Stanford is a run-heavy team. The Cardinal defense, however, will be put to the test by an Irish offense that is far from all-world, but still represents the best unit Stanford has faced. Stanford probably doesn't really have the second-worst pass defense in the country -- the ranking likely stems from strength-of-schedule adjustments -- but they will face a strong challenge from Dayne Crist, Kyle Rudolph, Michael Floyd, and Armando Allen. Notre Dame is desperate for a win, while Stanford has a golden opportunity to prove their S&P+ bonafides.

No. 23 Temple +15 at Penn State (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN)

OVERALL When Temple
Has the Ball ...
When Penn State
Has the Ball ...
Category Temple
(3-0)
Penn St.
(2-1)
Temple
Off
Penn St.
Def
Temple
Def
Penn St.
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 81 22
2010 FEI Rk 89 23
2010 S&P+ Rk 81 32 90 15 118 31
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 91 8 90 45
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 91 45 114 6
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 63 28 114 28
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
63.8% Run
(44th)
63.1% Run
(46th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 112 53 116 66
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
35.8% Run
(52nd)
30.0% Run
(78th)

For the next three bowl seasons, if a Big Ten or Pac-10 team qualifies for the national title game and a non-BCS conference team qualifies for a BCS bowl, the non-BCS team will automatically get selected for the Rose Bowl. You could call it the Boise State Rule, but at least until late Saturday afternoon, we will call it the Temple Rule. Al Golden's Cardiac Owls are 3-0 for the first time since 1979 after two fourth-quarter comebacks over Villanova and Connecticut and an overtime win over Central Michigan. Now, all that stands between them and their first 4-0 record since 1974 ... is a team they haven't beaten since two months before Pearl Harbor. Joe Paterno is 25-0 versus Temple and 3-0 versus Golden, his former protégé. If Temple is to somehow keep its Pasadena dreams alive, the team will likely have to win the battle of passing downs. Penn State and freshman quarterback Rob Bolden are vulnerable once leveraged into awkward situations, but Temple has not succeeded at stopping such situations. It is an uphill battle, but the dream lives on for now.

Kentucky +13.5 at No. 9 Florida (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

OVERALL When Kentucky
Has the Ball ...
When Florida
Has the Ball ...
Category Kentucky
(3-0)
Florida
(3-0)
Kentucky
Off
Florida
Def
Kentucky
Def
Florida
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 17 5
2010 FEI Rk 51 1
2010 S&P+ Rk 9 10 19 31 108 47
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 36 27 89 31
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 15 46 109 62
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 33 50 73 34
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
67.3% Run
(33rd)
68.3% Run
(29th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 11 97 117 53
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
28.6% Run
(84th)
39.7% Run
(35th)

It's been a comfortable breaking-in period for new Wildcats coach Joker Phillips. After winning a tough opener at Louisville, Kentucky has blasted Western Carolina and Akron, looking very good in the process. In particular, do-everything athlete Randall Cobb and running back Derrick Locke will provide tests for Florida's defense, which is well ahead of its offense after three games. The Gators showed a five-man defensive front Saturday for the first time, and stuffed the Vols rushing attack (29 yards allowed). With Alabama's fleet of NFL-ready backs looming next week, Locke will provide another good rehearsal for Teryl Austin's defense. Meanwhile, the snapping woes continue in Gainesville, with Mike Pouncey struggling to adjust to center, but the Gators found a little momentum in the second half at Tennessee last week. Nevertheless, it took a fake punt and three forced turnovers to put away a Vols squad that Oregon had blasted the week before. Kentucky hasn't beaten Florida since 1986, and they haven't won in The Swamp since 1979. Even with Florida's struggles, it will take a consummate effort (and perhaps some inspirational scheming by The Joker) for Kentucky to put an end to that streak.

No. 12 South Carolina +2.5 at No. 17 Auburn (Saturday, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When S. Carolina
Has the Ball ...
When Auburn
Has the Ball ...
Category S. Caro.
(3-0)
Auburn
(3-0)
S. Caro.
Off
Auburn
Def
S. Caro.
Def
Auburn
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 7 13
2010 FEI Rk 13 21
2010 S&P+ Rk 7 15 16 17 4 27
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 14 9 23 52
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 39 24 5 7
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 22 18 8 43
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
67.6% Run
(31st)
80.3% Run
(5th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 40 20 6 18
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
35.3% Run
(57th)
48.2% Run
(12th)

The Gamecocks might be the most positive surprise team of the young season. The dismantling of Georgia in week two might not be their crowning achievement by the end of the year, but Steve Spurrier has South Carolina poised offensively and defensively to contend for the SEC East crown. In their first trip away from home, they'll face an Auburn Tigers team that also might have something to say about the SEC championship. The gut-check comeback and overtime victory over Clemson last weekend came on the heels of a nail-biter against Mississippi State in the opener. If the last few weeks were any indication, the hitting will be vicious and the drama will be palpable -- just another week in the SEC. Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton leads the team in passing and rushing, and Ontario McCalebb has been spark out of the backfield.

No. 24 Oregon State +17 at No. 3 Boise State (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Oregon St.
Has the Ball ...
When Boise St.
Has the Ball ...
Category Ore. St.
(1-1)
Boise St.
(2-0)
Ore. St.
Off
Boise St.
Def
Ore. St.
Def
Boise St.
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 39 19
2010 FEI Rk 36 8
2010 S&P+ Rk 42 36 22 29 47 71
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 37 22 37 81
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 19 48 69 57
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 48 42 53 49
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
68.7% Run
(26th)
59.8% Run
(67th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 4 23 24 64
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
30.3% Run
(76th)
37.3% Run
(46th)

It isn't worth all that much in the face of constant scrutiny about weak schedules, but the Broncos have to feel a little bit of satisfaction in the wake of the Oregon State blue practice field stunt this week. Which team is the scrappy underdog pulling out all the stops to get some attention again? Boise State's M.O. for years has been created from gadgets and gumption. This season, they've been more business-like than ever before, calmly dominating the beginning and end of the Virginia Tech game and efficiently slaughtering Wyoming from start to finish last week. The Beavers defense needs to get Kellen Moore off the field if it has a chance. Boise State's offense has only had one three-and-out on the season thus far. Offensively, Oregon State has had some success with Jacquizz Rodgers on the ground and quarterback Ryan Katz's progress has been modest.

No. 22 West Virginia +8.5 at No. 15 LSU (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

OVERALL When WVU
Has the Ball ...
When LSU
Has the Ball ...
Category WVU
(3-0)
LSU
(3-0)
WVU
Off
LSU
Def
WVU
Def
LSU
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 26 16
2010 FEI Rk 17 9
2010 S&P+ Rk 37 23 91 59 74 59
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 107 69 77 34
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 56 42 60 99
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 89 46 90 47
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.0% Run
(62nd)
73.5% Run
(12th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 58 79 95 76
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
39.7% Run
(34th)
48.0% Run
(13th)

Too bad for West Virginia that there isn't a "+" ranking for schizophrenia (Schizo+, maybe?). The team that played the fourth quarter against Marshall and the first quarter against Maryland was a surefire, top 10 team with other-worldly athleticism and potential. The team that played the other three quarters of each game was a 6-6 team at best. The Mountaineers are the definition of a tease. They please fans and viewers just enough to keep them tantalized, then putting the goods away until next week. Meanwhile, LSU is finally starting to earn some respect. No, Jordan Jefferson is probably not a national title-caliber quarterback, but the Bayou Bengals are exploiting their built-in athleticism advantages to a much higher degree this season. Though the "+" rankings have not yet come around (give it time), LSU is allowing just 2.2 yards per carry and, omitting the 97-yard touchdown against North Carolina, 6.4 yards per pass. Cornerback Patrick Peterson is beginning to flaunt his five-star talent, while Stevan Ridley and Russell Shepard have combined to average 6.2 yards per carry. If WVU cannot maintain great play for more than a quarter, they might lose big.

California +7 at No. 14 Arizona (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, FSN)

OVERALL When California
Has the Ball ...
When Arizona
Has the Ball ...
Category Cal
(2-1)
Arizona
(3-0)
Cal
Off
Arizona
Def
Cal
Def
Arizona
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 34 11
2010 FEI Rk 27 39
2010 S&P+ Rk 28 6 18 62 37 13
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 8 115 28 18
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 43 22 50 30
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 16 19 85 26
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.1% Run
(61st)
50.7% Run
(103rd)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 60 25 57 7
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
34.7% Run
(63rd)
17.5% Run
(117th)

Until their shellacking in Reno, Cal had been one of the most statistically impressive teams of the young season. But after a 52-31 loss to Nevada, the Golden Bears fell back in the race for official Pac-10 dark horse. Taking their place in line (if they weren't ahead already) were the Arizona Wildcats, who bolted to an early lead over Iowa in steamy Tucson, then scored late to put the game away. The Wildcats now rank 14th in the country, their highest standing since the beginning of 1999. Arizona quarterback Nick Foles has used receivers Juron Criner (who is battling turf toe), David Douglas and William Wright to lead one of the best passing downs offenses in the country, and Nic Grigsby is underrated, if perhaps underused. California running back Shane Vereen will need to have another big day if the Bears want to stay ahead in the Pac-10 standings. He might do just that, as rushing defense has been Arizona's biggest area of vulnerability to date.

Storylines of the Week

With no podcast this week, we turn back to the written word to explore our favorite storylines.

Rob Weintraub: Texas and Florida, two of the most formidable programs in the recent history of the sport, are scuffling, understandable if not quite predictable given the new talent the schools are breaking into the lineups. Unfortunately, the success of Alabama in 2009 gives impatient fans a handy counterexample. The Tide broke in a new starting quarterback last season, Greg McElroy, and galloped to a national title. So John Brantley and Garrett Gilbert are on shorter leashes with fans in Gainesville and Austin, and the stumbling starts by the Horns and Gators aren't being shrugged off as they probably should. Still, both teams are 3-0 and on track to achieve their goals. Saturday, both teams face opponents they would generally bury (Florida-Kentucky, Texas-UCLA, both home games) in good times. Both the Wildcats and the Bruins are just good enough to spring upsets should the big boys snooze through the games. And they are both flawed enough to get Florida and Texas going in the right direction before huge tests next weekend (Florida goes to Tuscaloosa, and the Horns head to Dallas for their annual grudge match with Oklahoma).

Brian Fremeau: It's obviously important for Boise State to win, and win big, the rest of the season if it hopes to claim a spot in the BCS championship game. The schedule is what it is, and there certainly isn't anything the Broncos can do about it. But there are plenty of things the teams on that schedule can do about it. WAC teams, particularly those with a shot at bowl eligibility, can win more of their non-conference games. This weekend presents precisely that kind of opportunity. Fresno State travels to Oxford for a winnable game against a reeling Mississippi team. Nevada can take down BYU in Provo. Louisiana Tech hosts Southern Miss. None of these would be huge shockers, and few will immediately register with fans and pollsters as having much significance on the national championship race. But those games are just as important to Boise State as the game on the blue turf this weekend. The computers will be paying close attention. If Fresno State and Nevada in particular can remain undefeated, the poll voters will be more inclined to grant Boise State extra style points down the stretch as well.

Bill Connelly: Alabama has won 30 of its last 32 games and 27 regular-season battles in a row. The Crimson Tide are bigger, stronger, faster and smarter than almost everybody they play. Yet, they still almost lost to both Tennessee and Auburn on their way to the national title last season. Now they must play three straight teams that are ranked in the nation's top 12. Which one will either take down the Tide or come the closest? Can a nasty home environment and Ryan Mallett's hand cannon get the job done this week in Fayetteville? Does Florida have enough offense? Can Marcus Lattimore engineer some more magic against what is at least a slightly vulnerable Alabama rushing defense? Granted, the tests don't end after these three opponents, but this is the single toughest stretch of Alabama's season. Will they have to survive another scare, or are they simply too good this year?

Picks

Remember last year, when Rob fell short in the picks department? Well meet Rob 2.0, the leader of this season's picks contest after three weeks. We are changing up the F/+ picks this week to incorporate a bit more 2010 data, so hopefully we can start climbing back toward the 55-60 percent mark that we reached last year.

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Rob F/+
Miami -3 Pittsburgh Pitt Miami
Va. Tech -4 Boston Coll. Va Tech BC
Alabama -7.5 Arkansas Alabama Alabama*
Stanford -5 Notre Dame Stanford Stanford
Temple +15 Penn State Temple Penn St.
Kentucky +13.5 Florida Florida Kentucky
S. Carolina +2.5 Auburn S. Caro. S. Caro.
Oregon St. +17 Boise State Boise St.* Oregon St.
W. Virginia +8.5 LSU WVU WVU
California +7 Arizona Arizona Arizona
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
Week 3
Season Total
Rob: 6-4 (1-0) 15-13-2 (.533) (3-0)
F/+: 4-6 (0-1) 14-14-2 (.500) (0-3)

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 23 Sep 2010

8 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2010, 1:14pm by TV_Pete

Comments

1
by zlionsfan :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 3:55pm

5-4-0, 1-0 last week (I posted after Thursday night's game), 16-11-2, 2-0 on the season.

I don't think I'll be calling it the Temple Rule. What does it say when they've had Guts against I-AA and middle- to bottom-tier I-A opponents? I don't have a lot of faith in Penn State, but enough that I think it'll be a good win for PSU.

Odd to see Stanford favored in South Bend. I would guess Irish fans are fervently hoping that Crist doesn't get another "contusion" this weekend. (I certainly hope he doesn't. I have no love for Notre Dame, but I certainly don't wish to see a young man's brains scrambled by repeated "contusions".)

I don't know that Boise State is necessarily that much better than the Beavers, but it's their last chance to show something against a non-WAC team, and I don't know that beating Nevada would make that much of a difference, even if the Wolf Pack run the table before that game.

Lots of home dogs this week. Interesting. Miami, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Stanford, Penn State, Florida (lock), Auburn, Boise State, LSU, California.

2
by mvhuber :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 5:04pm

The most interesting game of the weekend for me is South Carolina-Auburn. South Carolina is notorious for sh*tting the bed games like this where everyone gets all excited about them as a contender. It seemingly happens every year. This year Spurrier's boys appear to have a little bit more edge to them with Marcus Lattimore running like a sledgehammer. They've missed that physicality in the backfield (I think I heard a George Rogers comparison along the way). It will be interesting to see if Stephen Garcia can avoid a performance like the one he gave against UConn in the bowl game. If they can win against Auburn on the road, I would say they have generated some proof that they legitimate shot of winning the SEC East this year with Florida looking a little vulnerable.

3
by Jeff Fogle :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 5:56pm

"so hopefully we can start climbing back toward the 55-60 percent mark that we reached last year."

BC, was hoping you could clarify where that 55-60% mark came from. You do that over a season at volume and you're the master of all you survey in Vegas. Professional wagerers typically sit in the 53-55% range over volume (any less and they lose!).

Adding the final bowl/BCS championship results in the archives to the last listed results in the archives, I'm showing:

Bill's S+P: 92-78-3 (54%)
Brian's FEI: 79-91-3 (46%)
Rob's Picks: 70-100-3 (41%)

(I added the last bit by hand, so it might be off a smidge...but not a smidge that would change any conclusions)

This year the S+P and FEI have been combined. So, are you saying you hope the F+ combination is trying to "climb back" to the range that S+P by itself reached? Or, did you backtest all the picks with the new combination, and you're saying that the backtested plays would have gone 55-60% had the program been in existence back then?

4
by Theo :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 6:02pm

They're showing Miami - Pittsburgh here, anything to stay awake for?

5
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 7:15pm

Still at work, so making this quick and will add in record later: Miami, BC, Alabama, Stanford, Penn State, Florida, Auburn, Oregon State, LSU, and Cal. Counter-consensus picks of Auburn, LSU, and Cal, and I'll go with the Crazy Eddie's Bayou Bengals.

6
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 10:12pm

And, if I can count right, I went 4-6 (0-1) last week to move to 16-12-2 (1-2) on the year. Both my counter-consensus picks failed, so I'm 3-3 on those while all Rob-F/+ consensus picks are 9-8 on the year.

7
by robwein (not verified) :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 10:15pm

I made this week's picks while sky-high on cold medicine, so a dip back toward the 40% level seems likely...
RW

8
by TV_Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 09/24/2010 - 1:14pm

I think Florida has a good (agressive) secondary and a good 3rd-down back in Demps. However, Florida's QB looks average (pretty much every completion required his receivers to jump 2 feet into the air and extend to make the catch). Florida's pass-blocking is acceptable, but their run-blocking is unable to move anyone off the LOS (they appear to be a finesse-blocking team that does better blocking sideways to make a whole for the draw play). Go back and look at plays with Tebow and you will see that they ran into the same problem when they had formations with more than 1 TE.

Something I disagree with is how Urban Meyer's scheme uses little backs up the middle and big running backs around the end. It seems to me that bigger backs are better used to pound out the tough yards up the middle, while smaller, faster backs tend to do better "in space" on runs around the edge.

I would point out that most of Moody's fumbles and bobbles have been on pitches to the outside, while Percy Harvin's and Demps' fumbles tended to occur on draw plays up the middle.

Go back and look at the first two games and compare the difference. In the first half of each game, when UF struggled they were going with little guys up the middle and big guys around the edge. They switched this in the 2nd half and that is when they pulled away.