Simming the NCAA: Week 4-2012

By: legallymaize  

We’re back this year to provide NCAA simulations on some of the marquee or otherwise interesting games each week. Although certainly not gospel, this gives an alternative, seemingly neutral insight into how each game might go, simulating the game play through the Super Sim feature.   You can’t get any worse than the first pick last week, as the sim (and myself as well) completely whiffed on Stanford-USC. Barkley wasn’t too far off the prediction, with the two picks instead of touchdowns, but the sim way overestimated Redd (who still managed two touchdowns) and Woods while drastically underestimating Nunes and Taylor’s big day.

NCAA didn’t take the same path for Notre Dame-MSU, but it did end up with the right result. Both quarterbacks were overestimated (minus the interceptions), but Bell was nearly dead on and the sim called the Irish defense stifling the Spartan attack. Again, while the score was a little off, I’ll take it.

For Cal’s trip into the Shoe, you can’t get any closer than dead-on: the sim nailed the 35-28 Buckeye win (despite my hesitations), and even the points by quarter breakdown was pretty damn close. The stats were a little off, with most of the big performers underestimated (except for Maynard’s touchdown passes), but it’s hard to do better then this.

NCAA had Florida over Tennessee, but the late barrage of Gator points made this much more lopsided than the prediction. All of the stats were decently close, with Gillislee and Reed off by only a yard. The sim didn’t see the depth of the Gator rushing attack, and that accounted for much of the final score.

Finally, the sim had Louisville in a close win over UNC, although it turned into more of a shootout than expected, and the 5 point Tarheel loss instead of 1 meant that UNC failed to cover. Despite way underestimating Renner (who played an incredible game) and overestimating Bridgewater, the Cardinals rushing provided just enough to get the win.

Now on to this week’s games:

#22 Arizona @ #3 Oregon

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
ARIZ      0           6          8          6          20
ORE       7          14         7          10        38


ARIZ:  M. Scott 20/43, 221 yds, 3 td, 1 int
K. Carey 16 car, 52 yds
D. Buckner 5 rec, 94 yds, 2 td

ORE:  M. Mariota 20/35, 246 yds, 2 td
K. Barner 16 car, 57 yds, 1 td
D. Thomas 5 rec, 88 yds

Oregon got the scoring started early and never let off the gas. Five different players scored for the Ducks, and it was too much for Arizona to keep up. The Wildcat attack was led by Scott through the air, but it couldn’t erase a tough day on the ground, and despite putting up some points Arizona was never really within reach. I see the scores being higher, but I do think the margin of victory will hold for Oregon-around 3 scores.

#10 Clemson @ #4 Florida State

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
CLEM      14        14         0         10         38
FSU        10         7         3           8          28


CLEM:   T. Boyd 18/26, 278 yds, 1 td, 1 int
A. Ellington 15 car, 68 yds, 2 td; 2 rec, 60 yds
D. Hopkins 7 rec, 109 yds

FSU:    E. Manuel 19/38, 256 yds
C. Thompson 14 car, 88 yds, 2 td
K. Shaw 6 rec, 99 yds

In the battle of the perennially overrated, it was a shootout early, with the scoring settling down after halftime. A big fourth quarter ended Florida State’s chances at a comeback, and Clemson was able to walk out of Tallahassee with the win. It was fairly tough sledding for both quarterbacks, although the running games picked up the slack. I have my doubts about Clemson pulling the upset, especially on the road, but given these two teams lately, non much would surprise me.

#15 Kansas State @ #6 Oklahoma

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
KSU        7          7          0          7           21
OKLA      0          7          0          7           14


KSU:    C. Klein 15/28, 260 yds, 2 td
J. Hubert 17 car, 68 yds, 1 td
T. Thompson 3 rec, 80 yds, 1 td

OKLA:   L. Jones 18/39, 300 yds, 1 td
D. Williams 13 car, 36 yds, 1 td
K. Stills 7 rec, 123 yds, 1 td

This makes it two top ten road upsets in a row, so says the sim. In a surprisingly low scoring affair, Kansas State held off the Sooners and pull out the win. Not a lot got done on the ground, but both quarterbacks had decent days through the air. Despite throwing for 300 yards, Jones could only get into the endzone once, and that wasn’t enough. Although I could see Clemson taking out Florida State, I’m much more skeptical here. I’m not sold on Kansas State yet, and have a hard time seeing them pull the upset in Norman.

Missouri @ #7 South Carolina

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
MIZZ       0          14        0          7         21
USC         7          0        0           7         14


MIZZ:   J. Franklin 14/31, 186 yds, 2 td, 1 int
K. Lawrence 14 car, 97 yds, 1 td; 3 rec, 59 yds, 1 td
T. Moe 5 rec, 67 yds, 1 td

USC:  D. Thompson 18/37, 218 yds, 2 td
M. Lattimore 29 car, 98 yds; 4 rec, 38 yds, 1 td
B. Ellington 4 rec, 57 yds, 1 td

The road upsets continue. Despite a big day rushing and receiving from Lattimore, The Cocks don’t have the firepower to overcome Mizzou. A fairly poor outing by Franklin was bailed out by a big performance from Lawrence (the running backs were easily the players of the game), and the Tigers had just enough to pull the upset and get their first SEC win. Unlike the two games above, I actually think Missouri will pull it off. They hung around with Georgia for most of the game, and I think this Gamecock team is overrated and about to be exposed.

#18 Michigan @ #11 Notre Dame

Team    1st        2nd      3rd       4th       Final
MICH       3         9          7          3          22
ND         7          0         10          0         17


MICH:   D. Robinson 23/34, 338 yds, 2 td, 3 int
F. Toussaint 20 car, 62 yds
D. Gardner 7 rec, 127 yds

ND:     E. Golson 28/38, 233 yds, 1 td, 2 int
C. Woods 13 car, 68 yds, 1 td
T. Eiffert 4 rec, 79 yds, 1 td

It was a back and forth affair, but Michigan ended up with the win in South Bend. Despite 3 interceptions, Robinson had a big day through the air, making up for tough goings on the ground. Golson was soso, also with more interceptions than touchdowns. I do see Michigan pulling the upset, although the score will probably be higher. The key to this game is Robinson’s passing, as he should shred the Irish secondary, especially after another starter went down for the season. Notre Dame will score some points, but I think Michigan can pass to set up the run and put up enough to keep the Irish at bay. One final thing to remember is that as the underdog, Michigan is the almost defacto favorite. The underdog was won straight-up nearly every time of late, and Notre Dame hasn’t won this game as the favorite in nearly two decades.


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  1. Pingback: New Content Added: Week of September 16th « Before Visiting The Sportsbook

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