Simming the NCAA: Week 7

First I’ll take a look at last week’s simulations. The simulation got Texas’s score; that’s something, right? Although McCoy’s performance was overestimated, the simulation wasn’t that far off from the combined performances of McCoy and Ash. Other than that, Oklahoma’s offense was greatly underestimated. I thought that Oklahoma would win by more than six, but even I was surprised by the 55-17 drubbing.

Overall, the simulation came pretty close predicting the Missouri-Kansas State game. Although it overestimated the performances of the quarterbacks and was generally off in the box score particulars, it called a close Kansas State win that I wasn’t expecting. Despite the details, following the sim’s overall score prediction would have paid off.

Despite the margin of victory in the Auburn-Arkansas game being underestimated, it did get the first quarter (Auburn 14-Arkansas 7). Further, the prediction on Wilson’s performance (17/29, 243 yds, 2 td) was nearly dead on (24/36, 262, 2 td). Where the simulation erred the most was overestimating the production of Dyer and Trotter.

The simulation was right in predicting a big LSU win over Florida, although LSU won by a little more than expected. Driskel didn’t end up playing, and the Florida quarterback performance was way overestimated, along with that of Rainey. Further, although he had a good day, as I expected Lee didn’t have nearly the dominating day the simulation thought. The simulation was very accurate with respect to Ware’s rushing, and was nearly dead on with regards to each team’s leading receiver.

Finally, although the simulation correctly called Northwestern’s hot start, it underestimated Michigan’s performance – especially in the second half – and the prediction of a close game in the end was not borne out. Both quarterbacks’ performances exceeded the simulation result, and the prediction for Robinson and Toussaint’s rushing days were nearly dead on if reversed. I will say, too, that the sim correctly called Roundtree’s 83 yards receiving, although on a few more receptions and with a touchdown.

Now on to this week, I’ve simulated seven of the top matchups talking place on Saturday, using NCAA 12 and the Super Sim function. Although certainly not gospel, this gives an alternative, seemingly neutral insight into how each game might go, simulating the game play for play. The following are the results of the simulations, along with some thoughts on the outcomes.

#6 Oklahoma State @ #22 Texas

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
OSU        0          7          0         0          7
TX            3          7          7         7         24


OSU:     B. Weeden 17/40, 139 yds, 1 td, 2 int; 7 car, 17 yds
J. Randle 7 car, 27 yds
J. Blackmon 5 rec, 31 yds

TX:        C. McCoy 15/27, 243 yds, 2 td, 1 int
M. Brown 30 car, 98 yds, 1 td
M. Davis 4 rec, 110 yds

Forgive me if I’m a little skeptical of this result. Although I did pick Oklahoma State, Mack Brown has never lost the game following the Red River Rivalry. Adding in his past success against the Cowboys, a Texas win at home wouldn’t necessarily surprise me. But to hold Weeden to 139 yards (and Oklahoma State to 179 total), and the nations top scoring offense to only seven points seems a little ridiculous to me, even against likely the best defense the Cowboys will have faced to date. I guess this is why I simulate these games, but I’d be rather surprised if this was in any way accurate. We’ll have to wait and see.

#17 Kansas State @ Texas Tech

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
KSU       0          14        0          0          14
TTU        7           7         0         10         24


KSU:     C. Klein 15/30, 160 yds, 2 td, 1 int
J. Hubert 12 car, 61 yds; 5 rec, 43 yds
T. Thompson 3 rec, 32 yds, 1 td

TTU:      S. Doege 26/49, 243 yds, 2 td; 7 car, 17 yds
E. Stephens 16 car, 74 yds, 1 td; 6 rec, 55 yds
A. Torres 9 rec, 94 yds, 1 td

After Texas Tech took the early lead, Kansas State mounted a second quarter rally and turned a touchdown deficit into a touchdown lead. Both teams were scoreless in the third, but Tech got ten fourth quarter points to knock off Kansas State at home. As much as I like Bill Snyder, I predicted that Kansas State’s streak will end – albeit a week later than I initially thought – and NCAA agrees.

#20 Baylor @ #21 Texas A&M

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
BAY      14          14        7         14        49
TAM       0            7         7         14        28


BAY:     R. Griffin III 15/23, 251 yds, 5 td
T. Ganaway 12 car, 59 yds; 2 rec, 22 yds
T. Williams 5 rec, 108 yds, 1 td

TAM:     R. Tannehill 27/45, 318 yds, 3 td, 1 int
C. Michael 15 car, 40 yds, 1 td
J. Fuller 9 rec, 123 yds, 1 td

Baylor takes on the choke artists formally known as Texas A&M, and the simulation says it’s not even close. Behind the incredibly efficient passing day of Robert Griffin III (5 touchdowns on 15 completions), Baylor takes the Aggies to the woodshed. While I do think A&M will probably score more than 28 (and that those 14 fourth quarter points would likely come in the first quarter instead), I wouldn’t be surprised if Baylor puts up 49 on this porous A&M secondary and gets the win.

#18 Arizona State @ #9 Oregon

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
AZST      7          0         0          21         28
ORE       7          21        7          0          35


AZST:   B. Osweiler 27/46, 297 yds, 4 td
C. Marshall 10 car, 43 yds; 5 rec 58 yds
A. Pflugrad 6 rec, 49 yds, 2 td

ORE:    D. Thomas 15/25, 170 yds, 1 td; 16 car, 29 yds, 1 td
K. Barner 20 car, 139 yds, 3 td
R. Vaughn 5 rec, 45 yds, 1 td

The (likely) LaMichael James-less Ducks seemed just fine early on, racing out to a 28-7 halftime lead on visiting Arizona State. But the Sun Devils defense tightens up after the half, holding Oregon to only seven more points, and the furious 21 point fourth quarter rally led by Osweiler makes it a ballgame before coming up just short. Barner, filling in for the injured James, seems to do just fine, racking up 3 touchdowns to lead the Oregon ground game. Thomas was efficient but unspectacular in the passing department, but combined with the Ducks’ rushing attach it was enough to hold off the monster day from Osweiler. While I do think James’ absence will be enough to allow Arizona State to pull off the upset on the road, I agree with the simulation that this will be a fairly high scoring, close game.

#17 Florida @ #24 Auburn

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
FLA        7           7          6         7          27
AUB       3          28         0         6          37


FLA:     J. Driskel 26/43, 318 yds, 1 td, 1 int
C. Rainey 13 car, 52 yds, 1 td; 6 rec, 44 yds
J. Reed 7 rec, 80 yds

AUB:     B. Trotter 16/24, 257 yds, 2 td
M. Dyer 18 car, 65 yds, 2 td
T. Reed 4 rec, 68 yds

Auburnrode a 28 point second quarter to get by Floridain a shootout, led by an efficient passing effort from Trotter and solid play from Dyer. I’m a little surprised at the day simulated for Driskel, as 300+ yards seems a bit much from a player we’re not even sure will start – I’d think that some of those yards would be coming from Rainey on the ground instead. But then again, Auburn isn’t exactly known for their defense, and this is the type of game they’ve been having this year. While I agree that Auburn will get the win, I also agree that Florida will have a much better day offensively than they’ve experienced the past two weeks.

#19 Virginia Tech @ Wake Forest

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
VT         0          10        7         10          27
WF        0           7         7         10         24


VT:       L. Thomas 19/29, 251 yds, 3 td, 2 int
D. Wilson 25 car, 125 yds
D. Coale 5 rec, 80 yds

WF:      T. Price 16/34, 276 yds, 2 td; 6 car, 18 yds
J. Harris 20 car, 81 yds, 1 td; 3 rec, 104 yds, 1 td
C. Givens 6 rec, 78 yds, 1 td

I wanted to see how the somewhat disappointing Hokies would fare going on the road against surprising upstart Wake Forest, and the simulation didn’t disappoint. First, let me say it’s just hilarious that two of Virginia Tech’s receivers have the last names Coale and Coles. You can take the Hokie out of the coal mine, but I guess the can’t take the coal mine out of the Hokie. This game was incredibly close throughout; the largest lead was the Hokies by 10, and even that was only briefly. The teams traded the lead throughout the second half, and the Demon Deacons actually for most of the fourth before the Hokies went ahead for good with only 51 seconds left. For those who are quick to dismiss Wake Forest this weekend, this might give you some pause. While I do think that Virginia Tech will win, I agree with the simulation that it’ll be close.

#12 Michigan @ #23 Michigan State

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
MICH      0          10        3         14         27
MSU      14          0         7         3           24


MICH:   D. Robinson 20/42, 278 yds, 2 td; 2 car, 12 yds
F. Toussaint 25 car, 100 yds, 1 td; 3 red, 32 yds
J. Hemingway 5 rec, 85 yds

MSU:    K. Cousins 21/28, 223 yds, 3 td
L. Bell 26 car, 96 yds
B. Cunningham 7 rec, 121 yds, 2 td

Very reminiscent to last week against Northwestern, Michigan came out of the gate slowly and ended the first quarter down 14-0. The defense tightened up however, only allowing ten more points the rest of the way, and the offense started to get going and chip away at the lead. Even still, Sparty led for almost the entire game, and after Toussaint scored on a touchdown run to bring it within two late in the game, the two-point conversation failed and Michigan was unable to recover the onside kick. State appeared to put the game out of reach, scoring (FG) with 40 seconds left, but I feel like I’ve seen this before. Given one last chance, Michigan got moving with a big Jeremy Gallon reception, and Robinson hit Roundtree from 11 yards out for the game winner as time expired. Michigan edged State in the rushing battle, 116-107, continuing the trend of the team with more rushing yards winning the game. I know Robinson will get more than two rushing attempts, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s bottled up with Sparty daring the Wolverines to beat them with running backs and the passing game. Although Robinson had a fairly inaccurate day through the air, it’s notable that he didn’t throw an interception. With State’s injuries along the offensive line I think they’ll have some struggles running the ball, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the simulation’s prediction of a close Michigan win comes true.


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  1. Pingback: Before Visiting The Sportsbook - New Content Added: Week of October 9th

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