Week 7 NCAA Predictions

Scores from every upcoming game
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
October 6, 2008

Each Monday morning will preview every college football DI FBS game of the upcoming week. All of our college football content, including our most recent power rankings and links to the pre-season preview are located here. If you want to take WhatIfSports weekly college football and/or NFL picks with you (to your MySpace, Facebook or personal homepage), please see the widget below on the right or at this page.

The inputs to the 10,001 simulations of each upcoming game are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings and then makes modifications for injuries and depth at each position. 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.

Games of the Week: #5 Texas 28 vs #1 Oklahoma 37
It's finally time for the undefeated Big 12 powers to play each other (and it's not just this game - see below). Simply put, Oklahoma is the best football team in the country. Btb claimed that before the Sooners played Cincinnati and reiterated it even before USC lost to Oregon State. Two of OU's opponents, TCU and Cincinnati, still rank in the top 35 of our power rankings and Baylor had been #35 before its dismantling this weekend. The Sooners won those three games by an average score of 45-18. The problem for Oklahoma though, is that it plays in the Big 12 and has to face #5 Texas, #8 Oklahoma State, #11 Texas Tech, #27 Nebraska and #29 Kansas just to earn to the right to play against a team like #2 Missouri in the Big 12 Championship. Even though they are our clear #1 team in the nation, we are only giving the Sooners a 35% chance of getting through the rest of its regular season schedule undefeated (which means a 20% chance of winning every game through the Big 12 Championship). Texas is very good. Colt McCoy and the Longhorns offense has looked every bit as good as Sam Bradford and the Oklahoma offense. This game will likely come down to which team has the better pass defense. OU is currently fourth in the nation, allowing just 4.8 yards-per-pass, while Texas is 33rd, yielding 6.1. That edge is enough to give the Sooners the win in the sim 76% of the time and by an average score of 37-28.

#8 Oklahoma State 35 @ #2 Missouri 36
Take the over. For those who have not been paying attention, Oklahoma State is really good. The Cowboys lead the nation with 11.6 yards-per-pass and are third in the country at 6.14 yards-per-rush. Oh yeah, and they have returned two punts for touchdowns and lead all other teams by five yards per punt return. No matter whom they have played, even if you live in Stillwater and bleed orange, Oklahoma State is better than you think. Points will be scored in what should be a classic barn-burner with opposing styles (Oklahoma State prefers to run, while Missouri airs it out). Homefield advantage and style (if Oklahoma State gets behind, it will have to pass and does not want to; if Missouri gets behind, it can keep passing) give the Tigers the slight edge, winning 81.8% of the time, but by an average score of just 36-35.

#15 LSU 19 @ #21 Florida 31
The SEC beats up on itself, but in 2008, it's not necessarily because all of the teams are elite. Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Auburn, South Carolina, Kentucky and even Ole Miss all warrant top 25 consideration, yet none of those teams would intimidate any of the Big 12 unbeatens. In fact, in our power rankings, where every FBS team plays every other FBS team 100 times, the SEC only won 60.2% of its games, while the Big 12 won 68.8%. The point is, that this game is not nearly as important as many thought it would be, especially if Florida wins. I would much rather watch the two games we just discussed. Anyway, Tim Tebow is much better than Jarrett Lee or whoever LSU puts behind center this weekend and that is enough to make the difference this season. Florida wins at home 83.5% of the time and by an average score of 31-19.

Week 7 Scores for Every FBS Game

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Gardner-Webb @ GA Tech953-56
Iowa State @ Baylor9515-36
Arizona St. @ USC9513-32
UCLA @ Oregon959-29
Washington St. @ Oregon State957-39
LA-Monroe @ Arkansas St.9513-37
Idaho @ Fresno State9512-35
Tennessee @ Georgia94.413-33
Notre Dame @ North Carolina93.915-33
Miami (OH) @ Northern Illinois93.310-27
Colorado @ Kansas91.111-27
New Mexico @ Brigham Young90.613-30
Rutgers @ Cincinnati9017-33
Minn. @ Illinois87.822-36
Syracuse @ W. Virginia87.615-30
UAB @ Houston87.524-39
UCF @ Miami (FL)85.810-23
Purdue @ Ohio State85.712-26
LSU @ Florida83.519-31
Oklahoma State @ Missouri81.835-36
New Mexico State @ Nevada76.727-37
Texas @ Oklahoma7628-37
Louisiana Tech @ Hawaii75.814-24
Arkansas @ Auburn73.712-21
Temple @ C. Michigan69.415-22
Bowling Green @ Akron68.815-21
Nebraska @ Texas Tech6730-36
Utah State @ San Jose State63.917-22
Toledo @ Michigan62.615-20
W. Michigan @ Buffalo60.123-27
Ohio @ Kent St.5920-24
S. Carolina @ Kentucky57.414-16
Tulane @ UTEP5020-22
E. Michigan @ Army5021-23
Clemson @ WF5022-18
Troy @ Florida Atlantic49.924-21
TCU @ Colorado St.45.922-17
Vanderbilt @ Mississippi State39.319-12
Arizona @ Stanford38.524-18
Michigan State @ Northwestern38.223-17
Iowa @ Indiana36.928-21
Louisville @ Memphis35.529-21
Mid Tenn @ Fla. Int.33.820-13
Kansas State @ Texas A&M32.730-21
Air Force @ San Diego State29.725-16
Penn State @ Wisconsin28.432-21
LA-Laf @ North Texas27.833-23
East Carolina @ Virginia26.420-12
Boise State @ S. Miss24.831-20
Utah @ Wyoming9.130-12
Ball State @ Western Kentucky6.236-14
Tulsa @ SMU5.935-21

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