Week 8 NCAA Projections

Scores and standings for every team
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 18th, 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 8.

Game of the Week: #14 Wake Forest 26 (5-1) @ Maryland 23 (5-2)
Wake Forest is a bit of a surprise team that the computer loves, with Riley Skinner and Josh Adams on offense and a defense that is at least as talented top to bottom. The Demon Deacons get a big test in this game on the road against a 5-1 Maryland squad that has watched its offense really come into its own over the first six weeks of the season. Wake's defense is the difference as the team wins 65.6% of the time and by just three points 26-23.

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
San Diego State @ New Mexico958-33
Vanderbilt @ Georgia956-41
Syracuse @ South Florida9516-33
Stanford @ UCLA9510-36
Utah State @ Nevada9518-38
GA Tech @ Clemson9513-36
Colorado St. @ Utah9513-34
Mid Tenn @ Louisville88.522-34
Baylor @ Oklahoma State86.926-35
Kansas @ Oklahoma86.932-37
Army @ Buffalo86.910-31
Memphis @ East Carolina85.216-34
Mississippi @ Alabama83.614-34
Fla. Int. @ Troy83.610-26
San Jose State @ New Mexico State83.615-26
UTEP @ Tulsa8223-39
Hawaii @ Boise State75.416-28
Mississippi State @ Tennessee73.816-31
Indiana @ Illinois70.521-34
W. Michigan @ C. Michigan70.521-34
North Texas @ LA-Monroe70.517-33
Toledo @ Northern Illinois63.923-31
Oregon State @ Washington60.721-29
Arkansas @ Kentucky57.416-23
S. Miss @ Rice52.524-30
California @ Arizona49.230-31
Connecticut @ Rutgers47.527-27
Missouri @ Texas47.540-37
Michigan @ Penn State44.324-24
Akron @ E. Michigan44.321-20
Arkansas St. @ LA-Laf44.329-25
Brigham Young @ TCU4124-24
Miami (FL) @ Duke39.319-18
Idaho @ Louisiana Tech36.124-21
WF @ Maryland34.426-23
Kansas State @ Colorado31.133-29
Marshall @ UAB29.528-23
Miami (OH) @ Bowling Green29.523-20
Pittsburgh @ Navy27.929-23
North Carolina @ Virginia26.223-17
Houston @ SMU24.635-28
Purdue @ Northwestern21.332-22
Texas Tech @ Texas A&M1834-26
Virginia Tech @ Boston College13.123-14
Air Force @ UNLV11.536-24
Wisconsin @ Iowa6.633-13
Florida State @ NC St.531-11
Nebraska @ Iowa State531-12
Florida Atlantic @ Western Kentucky535-15
LSU @ S. Carolina539-13
USC @ Washington St.533-9
Ohio State @ Michigan State535-9

Updated FBS Standings through Week 8

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastClemson7 - 06 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech7 - 06 - 1
Atlantic CoastWF5 - 15 - 1
Atlantic CoastMaryland4 - 35 - 2
Atlantic CoastBoston College4 - 24 - 2
Atlantic CoastFlorida State5 - 14 - 2
Atlantic CoastGA Tech4 - 34 - 3
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina6 - 14 - 3
Atlantic CoastDuke1 - 53 - 3
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)3 - 43 - 4
Atlantic CoastVirginia2 - 52 - 5
Atlantic CoastNC St.1 - 61 - 6
Big EastW. Virginia6 - 06 - 0
Big EastSouth Florida6 - 16 - 1
Big EastCincinnati5 - 15 - 1
Big EastConnecticut6 - 15 - 2
Big EastLouisville5 - 14 - 2
Big EastPittsburgh5 - 14 - 2
Big EastRutgers2 - 54 - 3
Big EastSyracuse2 - 52 - 5
Big TenOhio State8 - 08 - 0
Big TenIllinois6 - 15 - 2
Big TenIndiana6 - 15 - 2
Big TenWisconsin6 - 15 - 2
Big TenIowa4 - 45 - 3
Big TenPenn State4 - 45 - 3
Big TenMichigan5 - 24 - 3
Big TenNorthwestern4 - 34 - 3
Big TenPurdue6 - 14 - 3
Big TenMichigan State4 - 44 - 4
Big TenMinn.3 - 43 - 4
Big TwelveOklahoma7 - 07 - 0
Big TwelveKansas6 - 16 - 1
Big TwelveMissouri7 - 06 - 1
Big TwelveTexas Tech7 - 06 - 1
Big TwelveKansas State5 - 25 - 2
Big TwelveOklahoma State6 - 15 - 2
Big TwelveTexas5 - 25 - 2
Big TwelveNebraska4 - 34 - 3
Big TwelveColorado2 - 53 - 4
Big TwelveTexas A&M2 - 53 - 4
Big TwelveBaylor2 - 52 - 5
Big TwelveIowa State1 - 62 - 5
Conference USATulsa6 - 16 - 1
Conference USAHouston6 - 15 - 2
Conference USAUCF5 - 14 - 2
Conference USAEast Carolina4 - 34 - 3
Conference USAMarshall3 - 43 - 4
Conference USARice4 - 33 - 4
Conference USAS. Miss4 - 33 - 4
Conference USAMemphis2 - 63 - 5
Conference USASMU3 - 53 - 5
Conference USATulane1 - 52 - 4
Conference USAUTEP2 - 52 - 5
Conference USAUAB1 - 72 - 6
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame3 - 34 - 2
Independents (FBS)Navy2 - 53 - 4
Independents (FBS)Army1 - 62 - 5
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky2 - 62 - 6
Mid-AmericanBall State6 - 15 - 2
Mid-AmericanW. Michigan6 - 25 - 3
Mid-AmericanC. Michigan5 - 24 - 3
Mid-AmericanKent St.4 - 34 - 3
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)5 - 24 - 3
Mid-AmericanBowling Green2 - 53 - 4
Mid-AmericanBuffalo2 - 53 - 4
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois3 - 43 - 4
Mid-AmericanOhio2 - 53 - 4
Mid-AmericanTemple2 - 53 - 4
Mid-AmericanE. Michigan2 - 63 - 5
Mid-AmericanToledo2 - 52 - 5
Mid-AmericanAkron2 - 62 - 6
Mountain WestUtah7 - 17 - 1
Mountain WestBrigham Young7 - 06 - 1
Mountain WestTCU6 - 26 - 2
Mountain WestAir Force5 - 24 - 3
Mountain WestWyoming3 - 44 - 3
Mountain WestNew Mexico5 - 34 - 4
Mountain WestColorado St.2 - 52 - 5
Mountain WestSan Diego State1 - 62 - 5
Mountain WestUNLV2 - 52 - 5
Pacific-10USC5 - 15 - 1
Pacific-10Arizona5 - 25 - 2
Pacific-10Arizona St.4 - 24 - 2
Pacific-10California5 - 14 - 2
Pacific-10Oregon5 - 24 - 3
Pacific-10UCLA3 - 44 - 3
Pacific-10Oregon State3 - 43 - 4
Pacific-10Washington St.2 - 63 - 5
Pacific-10Washington2 - 42 - 4
Pacific-10Stanford1 - 71 - 7
SoutheasternGeorgia7 - 07 - 0
SoutheasternLSU7 - 07 - 0
SoutheasternFlorida5 - 15 - 1
SoutheasternAlabama5 - 25 - 2
SoutheasternAuburn6 - 15 - 2
SoutheasternKentucky5 - 25 - 2
SoutheasternS. Carolina5 - 35 - 3
SoutheasternMississippi State3 - 44 - 3
SoutheasternMississippi3 - 44 - 3
SoutheasternTennessee4 - 34 - 3
SoutheasternArkansas2 - 53 - 4
SoutheasternVanderbilt0 - 71 - 6
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic5 - 25 - 2
Sun BeltArkansas St.4 - 34 - 3
Sun BeltLA-Monroe5 - 24 - 3
Sun BeltLA-Laf1 - 62 - 5
Sun BeltMid Tenn2 - 52 - 5
Sun BeltNorth Texas1 - 62 - 5
Sun BeltTroy2 - 52 - 5
Sun BeltFla. Int.0 - 71 - 6
Western AthleticBoise State5 - 15 - 1
Western AthleticNevada5 - 25 - 2
Western AthleticFresno State5 - 14 - 2
Western AthleticHawaii3 - 44 - 3
Western AthleticIdaho4 - 44 - 4
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 43 - 3
Western AthleticSan Jose State3 - 43 - 4
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech1 - 52 - 4
Western AthleticUtah State0 - 71 - 6

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