2009 College Football Projections: Week 4 From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 College Football Projections

Week 4 NCAA Football Predictions
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 20th, 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 4 (9/26/09).

Game of the Week: #16 Iowa 18 @ #13 Penn State 22
In another game where homefield advantage should mean the difference, Penn State hosts fellow top 20 team Iowa in the Big Ten opener for both squads. By Week 4, Daryll Clark and Penn State should have the passing game figured out after losing three senior starting wide receivers, while Iowa will know if Jewel Hampton is the answer to replace Shonn Greene. In a typical Big Ten battle, points will be hard to come by and most of the yards will come on the ground. Watch for Nittany Lions' junior running back Evan Royster to feed off the home crowd and break a big play to edge the Hawkeyes. Penn State wins 56.8% of the time and by an average score of 22-18.


MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
North Carolina Central @ Duke93.47-26
Miami (FL) @ Virginia Tech82.49-24
North Carolina @ Georgia Tech76.711-23
South Florida @ Florida State72.416-25
Wake Forest @ Boston College37.515-12
Rutgers @ Maryland35.224-21
TCU @ Clemson34.615-13
Pittsburgh @ North Carolina State30.620-16
Grambling State @ Oklahoma State95.08-62
Louisiana-Lafayette @ Nebraska95.013-38
Northwestern State @ Baylor95.09-45
UTEP @ Texas95.09-58
Tennessee Tech @ Kansas State84.79-24
Army @ Iowa State62.515-22
Southern Miss @ Kansas59.125-30
UAB @ Texas A&M32.628-25
Rhode Island @ Connecticut95.07-29
Maine @ Syracuse83.79-23
Fresno State @ Cincinnati78.716-29
Indiana @ Michigan87.09-25
Illinois @ Ohio State74.817-28
Michigan State @ Wisconsin57.815-20
Iowa @ Penn State56.818-22
Minnesota @ Northwestern32.616-12
Notre Dame @ Purdue5.026-7
Sam Houston State @ Tulsa95.08-41
UCF @ East Carolina95.07-27
McNeese State @ Tulane74.412-23
Texas Tech @ Houston59.532-38
Marshall @ Memphis40.520-19
Vanderbilt @ Rice34.220-16
Western Kentucky @ Navy95.07-40
Hofstra @ Western Michigan95.08-37
Miami (OH) @ Kent State91.08-31
Idaho @ Northern Illinois86.49-28
Akron @ Central Michigan79.717-29
Buffalo @ Temple49.514-15
Boise State @ Bowling Green7.333-14
San Diego State @ Air Force95.012-35
Louisville @ Utah93.711-33
Colorado State @ Brigham Young93.017-38
New Mexico State @ New Mexico75.713-23
UNLV @ Wyoming35.919-17
Washington State @ USC95.04-69
Washington @ Stanford94.411-35
Arizona @ Oregon State60.520-25
California @ Oregon27.924-17
Arkansas @ Alabama95.06-38
Ohio @ Tennessee94.09-28
Arizona State @ Georgia93.010-31
Ball State @ Auburn48.217-19
Florida @ Kentucky5.061-6
LSU @ Mississippi State5.042-7
Mississippi @ South Carolina5.038-9
Toledo @ Florida International73.113-23
Louisiana-Monroe @ Florida Atlantic72.815-26
Troy @ Arkansas State56.819-22
Middle Tennessee @ North Texas19.623-13
Middle Tennessee @ North Texas17.923-12
Cal Poly @ San Jose State85.46-20
Southern Utah @ Utah State85.010-25
Missouri @ Nevada51.230-33

Week 4 Standings

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastFlorida State4 - 03 - 1
Atlantic CoastGeorgia Tech4 - 03 - 1
Atlantic CoastDuke3 - 13 - 1
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina State3 - 13 - 1
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina3 - 13 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech3 - 13 - 1
Atlantic CoastBoston College2 - 22 - 2
Atlantic CoastClemson2 - 22 - 2
Atlantic CoastMaryland2 - 22 - 2
Atlantic CoastWake Forest2 - 22 - 2
Atlantic CoastVirginia1 - 21 - 2
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)0 - 31 - 2
Big 12Oklahoma State4 - 04 - 0
Big 12Texas4 - 04 - 0
Big 12Baylor3 - 03 - 0
Big 12Oklahoma3 - 03 - 0
Big 12Kansas4 - 03 - 1
Big 12Nebraska3 - 13 - 1
Big 12Missouri2 - 23 - 1
Big 12Colorado2 - 12 - 1
Big 12Iowa State2 - 22 - 2
Big 12Kansas State2 - 22 - 2
Big 12Texas Tech2 - 22 - 2
Big 12Texas A&M0 - 31 - 2
Big EastWest Virginia3 - 03 - 0
Big EastPittsburgh4 - 03 - 1
Big EastRutgers4 - 03 - 1
Big EastSouth Florida3 - 13 - 1
Big EastLouisville2 - 12 - 1
Big EastCincinnati2 - 22 - 2
Big EastConnecticut2 - 22 - 2
Big EastSyracuse1 - 31 - 3
Big TenPenn State4 - 03 - 1
Big TenWisconsin4 - 03 - 1
Big TenIowa3 - 13 - 1
Big TenNorthwestern3 - 13 - 1
Big TenOhio State3 - 13 - 1
Big TenIllinois2 - 12 - 1
Big TenMichigan State2 - 22 - 2
Big TenMichigan2 - 22 - 2
Big TenMinnesota2 - 22 - 2
Big TenIndiana1 - 32 - 2
Big TenPurdue2 - 21 - 3
Conference USASouthern Miss3 - 13 - 1
Conference USATulsa3 - 13 - 1
Conference USAHouston2 - 12 - 1
Conference USASouthern Methodist2 - 12 - 1
Conference USAEast Carolina2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAMarshall2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAUAB2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAUTEP2 - 22 - 2
Conference USATulane1 - 21 - 2
Conference USAMemphis1 - 32 - 2
Conference USARice1 - 31 - 3
Conference USAUCF1 - 31 - 3
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame4 - 03 - 1
Independents (FBS)Navy2 - 22 - 2
Independents (FBS)Army1 - 31 - 3
Mid-AmericanWestern Michigan4 - 03 - 1
Mid-AmericanBall State4 - 03 - 1
Mid-AmericanKent State3 - 13 - 1
Mid-AmericanAkron2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanCentral Michigan2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanOhio2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanTemple1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanEastern Michigan0 - 31 - 2
Mid-AmericanBuffalo2 - 21 - 3
Mid-AmericanBowling Green1 - 31 - 3
Mid-AmericanToledo0 - 41 - 3
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)0 - 40 - 4
Mountain WestTCU3 - 03 - 0
Mountain WestAir Force4 - 03 - 1
Mountain WestUtah3 - 13 - 1
Mountain WestUNLV3 - 12 - 2
Mountain WestBrigham Young2 - 22 - 2
Mountain WestColorado State2 - 22 - 2
Mountain WestSan Diego State2 - 22 - 2
Mountain WestWyoming1 - 32 - 2
Mountain WestNew Mexico2 - 21 - 3
Pacific-10California4 - 04 - 0
Pacific-10USC4 - 04 - 0
Pacific-10Oregon State4 - 03 - 1
Pacific-10Stanford4 - 03 - 1
Pacific-10Arizona State2 - 12 - 1
Pacific-10UCLA2 - 12 - 1
Pacific-10Oregon3 - 12 - 2
Pacific-10Arizona2 - 22 - 2
Pacific-10Washington1 - 31 - 3
Pacific-10Washington State0 - 41 - 3
SoutheasternAlabama4 - 04 - 0
SoutheasternFlorida4 - 04 - 0
SoutheasternLSU4 - 04 - 0
SoutheasternMississippi3 - 03 - 0
SoutheasternGeorgia3 - 13 - 1
SoutheasternTennessee3 - 13 - 1
SoutheasternVanderbilt3 - 12 - 2
SoutheasternMississippi State1 - 32 - 2
SoutheasternArkansas1 - 21 - 2
SoutheasternKentucky1 - 21 - 2
SoutheasternAuburn1 - 31 - 3
SoutheasternSouth Carolina1 - 31 - 3
Sun BeltArkansas State2 - 12 - 1
Sun BeltLouisiana-Lafayette2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltTroy2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltMiddle Tennessee3 - 22 - 3
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic1 - 21 - 2
Sun BeltFlorida International1 - 21 - 2
Sun BeltLouisiana-Monroe1 - 31 - 3
Sun BeltNorth Texas0 - 51 - 4
Western AthleticBoise State3 - 13 - 1
Western AthleticHawaii2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticNevada2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 22 - 2
Western AthleticUtah State2 - 11 - 2
Western AthleticFresno State1 - 31 - 3
Western AthleticSan Jose State1 - 31 - 3
Western AthleticIdaho0 - 41 - 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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