Week 2 NCAA Projections

Scores and standings for every team
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 12th, 2008

We will preview a college football week each day for 15 days, including scores and updated standings for each week. At the conclusion of those previews, we will present our bowl match-ups with results and final updated pre-season Power Rankings (see original rankings below).

Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of August 1, 2008. A schedule of upcoming college football preview content including links to other previews that have already been posted is located here.

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Each regular season FBS game is simulated 1,000 times, with the sum of the winning percentages of those games being our Expected and Absolute Records as of the conclusion of that week. The Absolute Record is simply the total number of games in which a team is favored. The Expected Record, the more accurate approach, is the sum of the team's win probabilities from each game. The Expected Record accounts for the fact that some wins are less certain than others (a 50.1% win is different than a 99% win). Since the favored team does not win every game (otherwise, why would we watch?), the likelihood of an upset is important to take into account. We may ultimately say that six teams are favored to win all of their games, but we only expect one team to do so (stick around to August 26th to find out who).

Also, especially since we are rounding, it is possible for a team to win a game more often, yet score the same or fewer points than the opponent on average. In those cases, for Absolute Records, we always take higher winning percentage and are not predicting a tie or a win by an underdog. This is another reason why the expected records are more accurate, as the teams are so evenly matched, the game could easily go either way.

The inputs to the simulations are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that first considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings from 2007 and then makes modifications for 2008 based on returning starters (who, where and how many), expected progression of returning players in new roles, depth at each position and incoming recruits and transfers.

Games for each week are ordered by winning percentage of the home team descending, with the score reading the visitors first and then the home team. If a team is listed as having a 95% chance of winning, that means that it won at 95% or more of the 1,000 simulations. Every underdog has a chance to win. Along those lines, this may be relatively obvious for some examples (i.e. LSU vs. Appalachian State), but non-FBS rosters and ratings are not maintained individually due to lack of data. In other words, right or wrong, all non-FBS teams are treated equally.

Today we preview Week 2.

Game of the Week: #16 Texas Tech 37 (2-0) @ Nevada 32 (1-1)
After several marquee match-ups in the first week of the season, Week 2 does not have a single game that stands out above the rest. This one pits a high-powered Texas Tech squad looking to contend for the Big 12 crown. The team's defense will get an early-season, non-conference, road test against another potential offensive juggernaut in Nevada. According to the sim, Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree and the Red Raiders win 75.4% of the time by an average score of 37-32. Personally, I may take the Over on that projection (and whatever Vegas says). Either way, this will be a fun game to watch that may be closer than most would think.

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Citadel @ Clemson953-45
Furman @ Virginia Tech953-43
Richmond @ Virginia954-36
Western Carolina @ Florida State954-38
William & Mary @ NC St.955-30
Tennessee Tech @ Louisville956-44
Eastern Illinois @ Illinois953-44
Marshall @ Wisconsin9510-40
Murray State @ Indiana954-45
Northern Colorado @ Purdue954-44
Ohio @ Ohio State956-41
Eastern Washington @ Colorado955-40
Louisiana Tech @ Kansas9513-36
Montana State @ Kansas State954-47
Northwestern State @ Baylor956-39
Southeast Missouri State @ Missouri954-55
Texas State @ SMU957-35
San Diego State @ Notre Dame958-39
Sacramento State @ Colorado St.955-35
Stephen F. Austin @ TCU954-40
Utah State @ Oregon959-35
C. Michigan @ Georgia9513-39
Norfolk State @ Kentucky954-37
Southeastern Louisiana @ Mississippi State954-36
Troy @ LSU955-44
Tulane @ Alabama957-37
Idaho State @ Idaho957-37
Nicholls State @ New Mexico State956-37
Weber State @ Hawaii955-38
Fla. Int. @ Iowa957-36
Cincinnati @ Oklahoma9520-35
San Jose State @ Nebraska959-34
Texas Southern @ Arkansas St.956-37
E. Michigan @ Michigan State9510-36
Stanford @ Arizona St.9510-38
New Hampshire @ Army93.46-25
UNLV @ Utah93.413-39
S. Miss @ Auburn91.88-31
UAB @ Florida Atlantic91.813-35
Mississippi @ WF90.212-31
Miami (FL) @ Florida90.212-38
Buffalo @ Pittsburgh88.514-37
Northern Illinois @ W. Michigan83.618-32
Toledo @ Arizona78.721-38
Oregon State @ Penn State7715-27
Miami (OH) @ Michigan73.813-30
GA Tech @ Boston College67.217-26
Houston @ Oklahoma State63.931-38
Texas A&M @ New Mexico57.423-31
Akron @ Syracuse55.715-24
Navy @ Ball State50.830-36
Air Force @ Wyoming49.221-21
Northwestern @ Duke45.922-23
Minn. @ Bowling Green39.333-33
Rice @ Memphis37.728-24
Kent St. @ Iowa State32.822-18
Arkansas @ LA-Monroe24.631-20
Texas Tech @ Nevada24.637-32
Connecticut @ Temple21.326-18
Brigham Young @ Washington21.336-28
South Florida @ UCF19.731-21
California @ Washington St.14.832-21
W. Virginia @ East Carolina9.838-21
Maryland @ Mid Tenn9.831-17
S. Carolina @ Vanderbilt8.228-13
Tulsa @ North Texas6.639-23
Texas @ UTEP533-17
Western Kentucky @ Eastern Kentucky530-8

Updated FBS Standings through Week 2

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastBoston College2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastClemson2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastMaryland2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastWF2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastFlorida State1 - 01 - 0
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina1 - 01 - 0
Atlantic CoastDuke1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastGA Tech1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastNC St.1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia1 - 11 - 1
Big EastConnecticut2 - 02 - 0
Big EastLouisville2 - 02 - 0
Big EastPittsburgh2 - 02 - 0
Big EastSouth Florida2 - 02 - 0
Big EastW. Virginia2 - 02 - 0
Big EastCincinnati1 - 11 - 1
Big EastSyracuse1 - 11 - 1
Big EastRutgers0 - 10 - 1
Big TenIndiana2 - 02 - 0
Big TenIowa2 - 02 - 0
Big TenOhio State2 - 02 - 0
Big TenPenn State2 - 02 - 0
Big TenWisconsin2 - 02 - 0
Big TenPurdue1 - 01 - 0
Big TenIllinois1 - 11 - 1
Big TenMichigan State1 - 11 - 1
Big TenMichigan2 - 01 - 1
Big TenMinn.2 - 01 - 1
Big TenNorthwestern2 - 01 - 1
Big TwelveColorado2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveKansas State2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveKansas2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveMissouri2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveNebraska2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveOklahoma2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveTexas Tech2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveTexas2 - 02 - 0
Big TwelveBaylor1 - 11 - 1
Big TwelveIowa State1 - 11 - 1
Big TwelveOklahoma State2 - 01 - 1
Big TwelveTexas A&M1 - 11 - 1
Conference USATulsa2 - 02 - 0
Conference USAHouston1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAMarshall1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAMemphis0 - 21 - 1
Conference USARice1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAS. Miss1 - 11 - 1
Conference USASMU2 - 01 - 1
Conference USAUCF1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAEast Carolina0 - 20 - 2
Conference USATulane0 - 10 - 1
Conference USAUAB0 - 20 - 2
Conference USAUTEP0 - 20 - 2
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame1 - 01 - 0
Independents (FBS)Army1 - 11 - 1
Independents (FBS)Navy1 - 11 - 1
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanBall State2 - 01 - 1
Mid-AmericanBuffalo1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanC. Michigan1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanE. Michigan1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanKent St.1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanTemple1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanW. Michigan1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanAkron0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanBowling Green0 - 20 - 1
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanOhio0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanToledo0 - 10 - 1
Mountain WestBrigham Young2 - 02 - 0
Mountain WestTCU2 - 02 - 0
Mountain WestAir Force2 - 01 - 1
Mountain WestColorado St.1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestNew Mexico1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestSan Diego State1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestUNLV1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestUtah1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestWyoming1 - 11 - 1
Pacific-10Arizona St.2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10Arizona2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10Oregon2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10USC1 - 01 - 0
Pacific-10California2 - 01 - 1
Pacific-10Oregon State1 - 11 - 1
Pacific-10Stanford0 - 20 - 2
Pacific-10UCLA0 - 10 - 1
Pacific-10Washington St.0 - 20 - 2
Pacific-10Washington0 - 20 - 2
SoutheasternArkansas2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternAuburn2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternFlorida2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternGeorgia2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternLSU2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternMississippi State2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternS. Carolina2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternTennessee1 - 01 - 0
SoutheasternAlabama1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternKentucky1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternMississippi1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternVanderbilt0 - 20 - 2
Sun BeltArkansas St.1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltMid Tenn1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltFla. Int.0 - 20 - 2
Sun BeltLA-Laf0 - 10 - 1
Sun BeltLA-Monroe0 - 20 - 2
Sun BeltNorth Texas0 - 20 - 2
Sun BeltTroy0 - 20 - 2
Western AthleticBoise State1 - 01 - 0
Western AthleticFresno State1 - 01 - 0
Western AthleticNew Mexico State1 - 01 - 0
Western AthleticHawaii1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticIdaho1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticNevada1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticSan Jose State1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech0 - 20 - 2
Western AthleticUtah State0 - 20 - 2

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