2009 College Football Projections: Week 2 From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 College Football Projections

Week 2 NCAA Football Predictions
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 18th, 2009

WhatIfSports.com will preview a week of the college football season each day for 15 days, including projected scores from 10,000 simulations for all FBS games and updated standings as of that week. Once we have reached the end of the season, we will present our projected bowl match-ups with results.

Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of August 1, 2009. A schedule of our 2009 College Football Preview, including links to other previews that have already been posted is located here.

Also, see below for details on how you can run your own college football program with Gridiron Dynasty.

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Each regular season FBS game is simulated 10,000 times. 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 don't expect any to do so.

Also, 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. We 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 considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings from 2008. Once this step is complete, we make our modifications for 2009 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 the conference of the home team and then winning percentage of the home team, with the score reading the visitors first followed by 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 10,000 simulations. Every underdog has a chance to win. Along those lines, this may be relatively obvious for some examples (i.e. James Madison vs. Maryland), 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 (9/12/09).

Game of the Week: #4 USC 31 @ #9 Ohio State 14
Ohio State is a top ten team this season, but they are on the outside looking in at what appears to be a four-horse race for the national championship. USC is one of those horses. The Trojans return almost everyone from an offense that lit up Ohio State's defense in USC's 35-3 victory a year ago. The lone question is at quarterback, where there are currently three former Scout.com top three QB recruits competing for the job. With its own quarterback question figured out and less certainty on USC's defense, Ohio State should be able to put more points on the board this year, but it won't be enough. USC wins in Columbus 90% of the time and by an average score of 31-14.


MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Jacksonville State @ Florida State95.05-48
James Madison @ Maryland95.08-37
Marshall @ Virginia Tech95.09-36
Murray State @ North Carolina State95.09-34
Kent State @ Boston College71.813-23
Clemson @ Georgia Tech71.412-23
Stanford @ Wake Forest44.521-20
TCU @ Virginia5.028-7
Idaho State @ Oklahoma95.05-65
Bowling Green @ Missouri90.015-36
Houston @ Oklahoma State88.034-49
Rice @ Texas Tech87.720-39
Arkansas State @ Nebraska81.418-32
Iowa @ Iowa State5.039-11
Howard @ Rutgers95.08-42
Southeast Missouri State @ Cincinnati95.07-38
East Carolina @ West Virginia90.79-28
North Carolina @ Connecticut22.916-10
Illinois State @ Illinois95.08-47
Syracuse @ Penn State95.08-41
Eastern Michigan @ Northwestern94.79-25
Fresno State @ Wisconsin83.414-31
Central Michigan @ Michigan State82.710-22
Air Force @ Minnesota44.222-23
Western Michigan @ Indiana14.629-17
Notre Dame @ Michigan13.025-12
USC @ Ohio State10.031-14
UCF @ Southern Miss95.09-35
Southern Methodist @ UAB76.718-31
Kansas @ UTEP12.038-22
Brigham Young @ Tulane5.040-12
Louisiana Tech @ Navy58.518-23
Duke @ Army23.319-12
South Florida @ Western Kentucky5.041-8
New Hampshire @ Ball State92.78-28
Morgan State @ Akron87.711-28
Western Illinois @ Northern Illinois84.49-24
Colorado @ Toledo37.518-17
Pittsburgh @ Buffalo5.027-8
Weber State @ Colorado State94.09-31
Southern Utah @ San Diego State83.711-24
Tulsa @ New Mexico9.333-17
Oregon State @ UNLV9.031-16
Texas @ Wyoming5.056-7
Eastern Washington @ California95.04-51
Northern Arizona @ Arizona95.07-39
Purdue @ Oregon95.09-35
Idaho @ Washington92.09-28
Hawaii @ Washington State24.322-13
Florida International @ Alabama95.05-41
South Carolina @ Georgia95.07-31
Troy @ Florida95.07-61
Vanderbilt @ LSU95.09-37
UCLA @ Tennessee90.79-25
Mississippi State @ Auburn52.813-16
Texas Southern @ Louisiana-Monroe70.111-21
Kansas State @ Louisiana-Lafayette59.816-22
Memphis @ Middle Tennessee59.815-20
Ohio @ North Texas23.323-14
Miami (OH) @ Boise State95.06-48
Prairie View A&M @ New Mexico State74.811-22
Utah @ San Jose State5.030-7

Week 2 Standings

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastBoston College2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastDuke2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastFlorida State2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastGeorgia Tech2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina State2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina2 - 02 - 0
Atlantic CoastClemson1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastMaryland1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia1 - 11 - 1
Atlantic CoastWake Forest0 - 21 - 1
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)0 - 10 - 1
Big 12Kansas2 - 02 - 0
Big 12Nebraska2 - 02 - 0
Big 12Oklahoma State2 - 02 - 0
Big 12Oklahoma2 - 02 - 0
Big 12Texas Tech2 - 02 - 0
Big 12Texas2 - 02 - 0
Big 12Baylor1 - 01 - 0
Big 12Colorado1 - 11 - 1
Big 12Iowa State1 - 11 - 1
Big 12Kansas State1 - 11 - 1
Big 12Missouri1 - 11 - 1
Big 12Texas A&M0 - 10 - 1
Big EastPittsburgh2 - 02 - 0
Big EastRutgers2 - 02 - 0
Big EastSouth Florida2 - 02 - 0
Big EastWest Virginia2 - 02 - 0
Big EastLouisville1 - 01 - 0
Big EastCincinnati1 - 11 - 1
Big EastConnecticut1 - 11 - 1
Big EastSyracuse0 - 20 - 2
Big TenIllinois2 - 02 - 0
Big TenIowa2 - 02 - 0
Big TenMichigan State2 - 02 - 0
Big TenNorthwestern2 - 02 - 0
Big TenPenn State2 - 02 - 0
Big TenWisconsin2 - 02 - 0
Big TenIndiana1 - 11 - 1
Big TenMinnesota1 - 11 - 1
Big TenOhio State1 - 11 - 1
Big TenPurdue1 - 11 - 1
Big TenMichigan0 - 21 - 1
Conference USASouthern Miss2 - 02 - 0
Conference USATulsa2 - 02 - 0
Conference USAEast Carolina1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAHouston1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAMarshall1 - 11 - 1
Conference USARice1 - 11 - 1
Conference USASouthern Methodist1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAUAB1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAUCF1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAUTEP1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAMemphis0 - 20 - 2
Conference USATulane0 - 20 - 2
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame2 - 01 - 1
Independents (FBS)Army1 - 11 - 1
Independents (FBS)Navy1 - 11 - 1
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanBall State2 - 02 - 0
Mid-AmericanTemple1 - 01 - 0
Mid-AmericanAkron1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanWestern Michigan2 - 01 - 1
Mid-AmericanKent State1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanOhio1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanToledo0 - 21 - 1
Mid-AmericanBowling Green0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanBuffalo0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanCentral Michigan0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanEastern Michigan0 - 20 - 2
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)0 - 20 - 2
Mountain WestAir Force2 - 02 - 0
Mountain WestUtah2 - 02 - 0
Mountain WestTCU1 - 01 - 0
Mountain WestColorado State2 - 01 - 1
Mountain WestBrigham Young1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestNew Mexico1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestSan Diego State1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestUNLV1 - 11 - 1
Mountain WestWyoming1 - 11 - 1
Pacific-10Arizona2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10California2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10Oregon State2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10Stanford2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10USC2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10Arizona State1 - 01 - 0
Pacific-10Oregon2 - 01 - 1
Pacific-10UCLA1 - 11 - 1
Pacific-10Washington1 - 11 - 1
Pacific-10Washington State0 - 20 - 2
SoutheasternAlabama2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternFlorida2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternLSU2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternTennessee2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternArkansas1 - 01 - 0
SoutheasternKentucky1 - 01 - 0
SoutheasternMississippi1 - 01 - 0
SoutheasternAuburn1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternGeorgia1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternMississippi State1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternVanderbilt1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternSouth Carolina0 - 20 - 2
Sun BeltLouisiana-Lafayette2 - 01 - 1
Sun BeltArkansas State1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltLouisiana-Monroe1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltMiddle Tennessee1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltTroy1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic0 - 10 - 1
Sun BeltFlorida International0 - 10 - 1
Sun BeltNorth Texas0 - 20 - 2
Western AthleticHawaii2 - 02 - 0
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 01 - 1
Western AthleticBoise State1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticFresno State1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticIdaho0 - 20 - 2
Western AthleticSan Jose State0 - 20 - 2
Western AthleticNevada0 - 10 - 1
Western AthleticUtah State0 - 10 - 1

A schedule of our 2009 College Football Preview, including links to other previews that have already been posted is located here.

Ever wanted to be in be in charge of your own college football program? With Gridiron Dynasty from WhatIfSports.com, you have a chance to do just that. From recruiting and running practice to gameplanning and scheduling - it is all under your control. Start at DIII and try to work your way up to winning the DI championship at your favorite school.

Paul Bessire is the Product Manager of Content and Quantitative Analysis for WhatIfSports.com, a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in NCAA Matchup analysis and college football sim games. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!

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