2009 College Football Projections: Week 3 From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 College Football Projections

Week 3 NCAA Football Predictions
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 19th, 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 3 (9/19/09).

Game of the Week: #20 Utah 20 @ #22 Oregon 23
This game is at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, which should provide the difference in a game that is otherwise a toss-up. Oregon's non-conference schedule is one of the toughest in the nation, playing at Boise State and hosting Purdue and Utah. While favored in all three, there is a good chance they lose at least one of those games. If they don't, watch out for the Ducks, who get USC, Cal and Oregon State at home this year. This Week 3 matchup may actually mean more to Utah. With heigthened expectations despite being without veteran starting quarterback Brian Johnson, the Utes are looking to equal the success of last season's undefeated run through the Sugar Bowl. A win at Oregon would likely setup a clash of undefeated teams at TCU in November. A loss and Utah becomes irrelevant in the BCS landscape. Oregon wins at home just 54.8% of the time and by an average score of 23-20.


MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Elon @ Wake Forest95.07-31
Gardner-Webb @ North Carolina State95.08-34
Boston College @ Clemson89.48-24
Middle Tennessee @ Maryland85.711-26
Nebraska @ Virginia Tech78.116-29
East Carolina @ North Carolina62.110-16
Georgia Tech @ Miami (FL)29.621-16
Furman @ Missouri95.07-44
Rice @ Oklahoma State95.017-54
Texas Tech @ Texas95.013-46
Tulsa @ Oklahoma95.015-49
Duke @ Kansas93.713-37
Connecticut @ Baylor85.011-28
Wyoming @ Colorado65.412-19
Utah State @ Texas A&M47.220-22
Charleston Southern @ South Florida95.07-40
Florida International @ Rutgers93.710-30
Navy @ Pittsburgh74.115-26
Northwestern @ Syracuse20.918-10
Temple @ Penn State95.07-39
Wofford @ Wisconsin95.09-42
Eastern Michigan @ Michigan93.06-27
Arizona @ Iowa74.114-25
Northern Illinois @ Purdue58.112-16
California @ Minnesota7.627-11
Virginia @ Southern Miss93.78-31
Tennessee-Martin @ Memphis86.010-26
Buffalo @ UCF49.813-14
Bowling Green @ Marshall45.518-19
Michigan State @ Notre Dame70.810-19
Central Arkansas @ Western Kentucky43.212-13
Ball State @ Army25.220-14
Alcorn State @ Central Michigan95.08-32
Miami (OH) @ Western Michigan95.09-41
Cal Poly @ Ohio92.47-26
Indiana @ Akron61.518-23
Iowa State @ Kent State59.523-27
Ohio State @ Toledo5.038-6
Texas State @ TCU95.05-44
Hawaii @ UNLV72.419-29
Florida State @ Brigham Young44.227-26
Nevada @ Colorado State14.035-22
Air Force @ New Mexico7.331-14
Louisiana-Monroe @ Arizona State95.07-31
San Jose State @ Stanford87.710-28
Kansas State @ UCLA72.811-19
Cincinnati @ Oregon State65.422-30
Utah @ Oregon54.820-23
Southern Methodist @ Washington State29.919-14
USC @ Washington5.057-9
Louisiana-Lafayette @ LSU95.06-50
North Texas @ Alabama95.04-53
Southeastern Louisiana @ Mississippi95.06-55
Tennessee @ Florida95.07-49
Mississippi State @ Vanderbilt79.77-20
Florida Atlantic @ South Carolina69.414-21
Louisville @ Kentucky29.620-13
Georgia @ Arkansas17.331-21
West Virginia @ Auburn5.037-7
UAB @ Troy69.819-30
Nicholls State @ Louisiana Tech95.06-34
San Diego State @ Idaho19.624-14
UTEP @ New Mexico State18.628-17
Boise State @ Fresno State9.330-14

Week 3 Standings

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina State3 - 03 - 0
Atlantic CoastFlorida State3 - 02 - 1
Atlantic CoastGeorgia Tech3 - 02 - 1
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina3 - 02 - 1
Atlantic CoastBoston College2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastClemson2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastDuke2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastMaryland2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastWake Forest1 - 22 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia1 - 21 - 2
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)0 - 21 - 1
Big 12Kansas3 - 03 - 0
Big 12Oklahoma State3 - 03 - 0
Big 12Oklahoma3 - 03 - 0
Big 12Texas3 - 03 - 0
Big 12Baylor2 - 02 - 0
Big 12Colorado2 - 12 - 1
Big 12Missouri2 - 12 - 1
Big 12Nebraska2 - 12 - 1
Big 12Texas Tech2 - 12 - 1
Big 12Kansas State1 - 22 - 1
Big 12Iowa State1 - 21 - 2
Big 12Texas A&M0 - 21 - 1
Big EastPittsburgh3 - 03 - 0
Big EastRutgers3 - 03 - 0
Big EastSouth Florida3 - 03 - 0
Big EastWest Virginia3 - 03 - 0
Big EastLouisville2 - 02 - 0
Big EastCincinnati1 - 22 - 1
Big EastConnecticut1 - 21 - 2
Big EastSyracuse0 - 30 - 3
Big TenIowa3 - 03 - 0
Big TenNorthwestern3 - 03 - 0
Big TenPenn State3 - 03 - 0
Big TenWisconsin3 - 03 - 0
Big TenIllinois2 - 02 - 0
Big TenMichigan State2 - 12 - 1
Big TenOhio State2 - 12 - 1
Big TenPurdue2 - 11 - 2
Big TenIndiana1 - 21 - 2
Big TenMichigan1 - 21 - 2
Big TenMinnesota1 - 21 - 2
Conference USASouthern Miss3 - 03 - 0
Conference USASouthern Methodist2 - 12 - 1
Conference USATulsa2 - 12 - 1
Conference USAUAB1 - 22 - 1
Conference USAUTEP2 - 12 - 1
Conference USAHouston1 - 11 - 1
Conference USAEast Carolina1 - 21 - 2
Conference USAMarshall1 - 21 - 2
Conference USAMemphis1 - 21 - 2
Conference USARice1 - 21 - 2
Conference USAUCF1 - 21 - 2
Conference USATulane0 - 20 - 2
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame3 - 02 - 1
Independents (FBS)Army1 - 21 - 2
Independents (FBS)Navy1 - 21 - 2
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky0 - 31 - 2
Mid-AmericanBall State3 - 03 - 0
Mid-AmericanAkron2 - 12 - 1
Mid-AmericanKent State2 - 12 - 1
Mid-AmericanOhio2 - 12 - 1
Mid-AmericanWestern Michigan3 - 02 - 1
Mid-AmericanTemple1 - 11 - 1
Mid-AmericanBowling Green1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanBuffalo1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanCentral Michigan1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanEastern Michigan0 - 31 - 2
Mid-AmericanToledo0 - 31 - 2
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)0 - 30 - 3
Mountain WestTCU2 - 02 - 0
Mountain WestAir Force3 - 02 - 1
Mountain WestColorado State2 - 12 - 1
Mountain WestSan Diego State2 - 12 - 1
Mountain WestUNLV2 - 12 - 1
Mountain WestUtah2 - 12 - 1
Mountain WestBrigham Young1 - 21 - 2
Mountain WestNew Mexico1 - 21 - 2
Mountain WestWyoming1 - 21 - 2
Pacific-10California3 - 03 - 0
Pacific-10Oregon State3 - 03 - 0
Pacific-10USC3 - 03 - 0
Pacific-10Arizona State2 - 02 - 0
Pacific-10Oregon3 - 02 - 1
Pacific-10Stanford3 - 02 - 1
Pacific-10Arizona2 - 12 - 1
Pacific-10UCLA2 - 12 - 1
Pacific-10Washington1 - 21 - 2
Pacific-10Washington State0 - 31 - 2
SoutheasternAlabama3 - 03 - 0
SoutheasternFlorida3 - 03 - 0
SoutheasternLSU3 - 03 - 0
SoutheasternMississippi2 - 02 - 0
SoutheasternGeorgia2 - 12 - 1
SoutheasternTennessee2 - 12 - 1
SoutheasternVanderbilt2 - 12 - 1
SoutheasternMississippi State1 - 22 - 1
SoutheasternArkansas1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternKentucky1 - 11 - 1
SoutheasternAuburn1 - 21 - 2
SoutheasternSouth Carolina1 - 21 - 2
Sun BeltLouisiana-Lafayette2 - 12 - 1
Sun BeltArkansas State1 - 11 - 1
Sun BeltLouisiana-Monroe1 - 21 - 2
Sun BeltMiddle Tennessee1 - 21 - 2
Sun BeltTroy2 - 11 - 2
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic0 - 20 - 2
Sun BeltFlorida International0 - 20 - 2
Sun BeltNorth Texas0 - 30 - 3
Western AthleticBoise State2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticHawaii2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticNevada1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticUtah State1 - 11 - 1
Western AthleticFresno State1 - 21 - 2
Western AthleticIdaho0 - 31 - 2
Western AthleticSan Jose State0 - 30 - 3

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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