2009 College Football Projections: Week 11 From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 College Football Projections

Week 11 NCAA Football Predictions
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 27th, 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 11 (11/14/09).

Game of the Week: #26 Notre Dame 18 @ #40 Pittsburgh 17
Admittedly, this is not a great week for college football, but that shouldn't downplay the potential importance of this game on the BCS bowl picture. Notre Dame's schedule shapes up well for the Fighting Irish to be favored in every game except at home against USC. Obviously, 11 wins would get the team into a BCS game, but so may 10 or even 9. The game at Pittsburgh is the second toughest on the season for Notre Dame and it comes late enough in the season where the teams will know how much it means. In fact, with Pitt contending for a Big East crown, it could be that the winner of this game makes a BCS bowl and the other does not. Notre Dame has ten starters back on Charlie Weis' offense, while Pittsburgh has one of the top defenses in the Big East. In the matchup of strength vs. strength, Jimmy Clausen and company come out ahead - barely. The Fighting Irish triumph 59.1% of the time and by an average score of 18 - 17.


MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Miami (FL) @ North Carolina56.112-15
Boston College @ Virginia41.912-13
Clemson @ North Carolina State25.619-12
Florida State @ Wake Forest16.324-12
Virginia Tech @ Maryland10.328-11
Georgia Tech @ Duke5.034-10
Texas A&M @ Oklahoma95.08-59
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State89.028-47
Nebraska @ Kansas59.827-33
Colorado @ Iowa State37.923-21
Missouri @ Kansas State5.334-14
Texas @ Baylor5.043-15
Syracuse @ Louisville82.712-28
South Florida @ Rutgers53.221-23
Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh40.918-17
West Virginia @ Cincinnati13.331-17
Indiana @ Penn State95.07-42
Northwestern @ Illinois95.09-33
South Dakota State @ Minnesota95.07-33
Michigan @ Wisconsin78.113-26
Iowa @ Ohio State68.813-21
Michigan State @ Purdue9.318-6
Tulane @ Rice83.714-30
East Carolina @ Tulsa41.524-23
UAB @ Memphis41.225-24
UTEP @ Southern Methodist23.629-20
Southern Miss @ Marshall8.331-15
Houston @ UCF5.038-11
Delaware @ Navy95.09-37
Virginia Military @ Army74.49-18
Toledo @ Central Michigan83.414-28
Temple @ Akron63.815-22
Ohio @ Buffalo43.517-16
Ball State @ Northern Illinois37.521-19
Western Michigan @ Eastern Michigan6.033-13
Bowling Green @ Miami (OH)5.029-9
UNLV @ Air Force84.718-33
Utah @ TCU57.115-19
Wyoming @ San Diego State45.516-17
Brigham Young @ New Mexico5.037-13
Stanford @ USC95.09-51
Washington @ Oregon State95.09-37
Arizona State @ Oregon91.411-31
Arizona @ California88.011-29
UCLA @ Washington State5.624-8
Auburn @ Georgia95.07-38
Louisiana Tech @ LSU95.010-40
Tennessee @ Mississippi93.712-34
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt86.08-19
Troy @ Arkansas66.419-27
Alabama @ Mississippi State5.039-7
Florida @ South Carolina5.054-6
North Texas @ Florida International87.49-27
Western Kentucky @ Louisiana-Monroe79.48-22
Louisiana-Lafayette @ Middle Tennessee57.816-20
Arkansas State @ Florida Atlantic26.626-18
Idaho @ Boise State95.07-47
Fresno State @ Nevada87.716-36
New Mexico State @ Hawaii66.416-23
San Jose State @ Utah State52.514-16

Week 11 Standings

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastGeorgia Tech9 - 29 - 2
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech9 - 18 - 2
Atlantic CoastFlorida State10 - 07 - 3
Atlantic CoastClemson6 - 47 - 3
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina7 - 37 - 3
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina State7 - 36 - 4
Atlantic CoastMaryland5 - 55 - 5
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)5 - 55 - 5
Atlantic CoastDuke4 - 64 - 6
Atlantic CoastWake Forest2 - 94 - 7
Atlantic CoastBoston College3 - 73 - 7
Atlantic CoastVirginia2 - 83 - 7
Big 12Texas10 - 09 - 1
Big 12Oklahoma9 - 19 - 1
Big 12Oklahoma State9 - 18 - 2
Big 12Kansas8 - 27 - 3
Big 12Texas Tech7 - 36 - 4
Big 12Baylor7 - 36 - 4
Big 12Missouri5 - 56 - 4
Big 12Nebraska4 - 66 - 4
Big 12Colorado5 - 54 - 6
Big 12Kansas State4 - 74 - 7
Big 12Texas A&M1 - 93 - 7
Big 12Iowa State2 - 93 - 8
Big EastWest Virginia10 - 09 - 1
Big EastRutgers9 - 07 - 2
Big EastPittsburgh8 - 27 - 3
Big EastSouth Florida5 - 46 - 3
Big EastCincinnati6 - 46 - 4
Big EastConnecticut3 - 64 - 5
Big EastLouisville3 - 74 - 6
Big EastSyracuse1 - 92 - 8
Big TenOhio State10 - 19 - 2
Big TenPenn State10 - 19 - 2
Big TenIowa9 - 29 - 2
Big TenIllinois8 - 28 - 2
Big TenWisconsin8 - 27 - 3
Big TenMichigan State7 - 47 - 4
Big TenNorthwestern6 - 56 - 5
Big TenMichigan4 - 75 - 6
Big TenMinnesota4 - 75 - 6
Big TenPurdue2 - 92 - 9
Big TenIndiana1 - 102 - 9
Conference USAHouston9 - 18 - 2
Conference USASouthern Miss8 - 28 - 2
Conference USAEast Carolina7 - 37 - 3
Conference USATulsa6 - 46 - 4
Conference USAUTEP6 - 45 - 5
Conference USAMarshall5 - 54 - 6
Conference USARice4 - 64 - 6
Conference USAUAB4 - 64 - 6
Conference USAMemphis2 - 83 - 7
Conference USASouthern Methodist2 - 82 - 8
Conference USATulane1 - 92 - 8
Conference USAUCF1 - 92 - 8
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame9 - 17 - 3
Independents (FBS)Navy7 - 46 - 5
Independents (FBS)Army3 - 73 - 7
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky0 - 101 - 9
Mid-AmericanWestern Michigan10 - 18 - 3
Mid-AmericanBall State8 - 27 - 3
Mid-AmericanCentral Michigan7 - 36 - 4
Mid-AmericanOhio7 - 36 - 4
Mid-AmericanAkron6 - 45 - 5
Mid-AmericanBowling Green6 - 45 - 5
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois5 - 55 - 5
Mid-AmericanKent State4 - 65 - 5
Mid-AmericanTemple4 - 65 - 5
Mid-AmericanBuffalo3 - 74 - 6
Mid-AmericanToledo3 - 74 - 6
Mid-AmericanEastern Michigan0 - 102 - 8
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)0 - 111 - 10
Mountain WestTCU10 - 08 - 2
Mountain WestBrigham Young7 - 38 - 2
Mountain WestUtah8 - 28 - 2
Mountain WestAir Force9 - 28 - 3
Mountain WestColorado State4 - 64 - 6
Mountain WestSan Diego State3 - 74 - 6
Mountain WestUNLV5 - 64 - 7
Mountain WestNew Mexico3 - 73 - 7
Mountain WestWyoming3 - 73 - 7
Pacific-10USC10 - 09 - 1
Pacific-10California9 - 18 - 2
Pacific-10Oregon State8 - 27 - 3
Pacific-10Oregon8 - 27 - 3
Pacific-10Arizona6 - 36 - 3
Pacific-10Stanford6 - 46 - 4
Pacific-10Arizona State4 - 65 - 5
Pacific-10UCLA4 - 64 - 6
Pacific-10Washington1 - 92 - 8
Pacific-10Washington State0 - 101 - 9
SoutheasternFlorida10 - 010 - 0
SoutheasternAlabama10 - 09 - 1
SoutheasternMississippi9 - 19 - 1
SoutheasternLSU8 - 28 - 2
SoutheasternGeorgia7 - 37 - 3
SoutheasternTennessee6 - 46 - 4
SoutheasternArkansas6 - 45 - 5
SoutheasternVanderbilt6 - 55 - 6
SoutheasternKentucky3 - 74 - 6
SoutheasternSouth Carolina3 - 84 - 7
SoutheasternMississippi State2 - 83 - 7
SoutheasternAuburn3 - 83 - 8
Sun BeltArkansas State7 - 26 - 3
Sun BeltTroy7 - 36 - 4
Sun BeltMiddle Tennessee7 - 46 - 5
Sun BeltFlorida International6 - 45 - 5
Sun BeltLouisiana-Lafayette5 - 55 - 5
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic3 - 64 - 5
Sun BeltLouisiana-Monroe3 - 73 - 7
Sun BeltNorth Texas1 - 103 - 8
Western AthleticBoise State9 - 19 - 1
Western AthleticNevada9 - 18 - 2
Western AthleticFresno State6 - 46 - 4
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech6 - 46 - 4
Western AthleticUtah State5 - 54 - 6
Western AthleticHawaii4 - 64 - 6
Western AthleticSan Jose State2 - 73 - 6
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 83 - 7
Western AthleticIdaho0 - 111 - 10

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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