Week 4 NCAA Projections

Scores and standings for every team
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 14th, 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 4.

Game of the Week: #4 LSU 26 (4-0) @ #18 Auburn 11 (3-1)
A traditionally hard-fought, low-scoring game, this contest between two top 20 teams in our pre-season Power Rankings does not disappoint - in the latter respect at least. LSU may have lost several key contributors from last year's national championship team, such as quarterback Matt Flynn and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, but these Tigers (as opposed to the other Tigers on the field) are still one of the country's top five most talented teams entering the season. LSU wins 93.4% of the time and by an average score of 26-11 to remind the SEC West who is king of the division.

Week 4 Scores for Every FBS Game

MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
South Carolina State @ Clemson953-46
Northeastern @ Syracuse956-36
Troy @ Ohio State954-49
Massachusetts @ Texas Tech954-46
Sam Houston State @ Kansas954-53
Alabama State @ UAB955-28
Nicholls State @ Memphis956-37
Murray State @ Western Kentucky956-33
Indiana State @ Northern Illinois955-36
Tennessee Tech @ W. Michigan955-39
Wofford @ S. Carolina955-38
E. Michigan @ Maryland9514-37
Buffalo @ Missouri9517-38
Portland State @ Washington St.956-33
Southeastern Louisiana @ Louisiana Tech956-33
Miami (OH) @ Cincinnati9512-30
Rice @ Texas9518-36
Vanderbilt @ Mississippi90.214-33
Wyoming @ Brigham Young88.513-31
Baylor @ Connecticut85.217-33
Ball State @ Indiana78.725-38
Temple @ Penn State7715-31
Iowa @ Pittsburgh70.515-24
Marshall @ S. Miss70.519-33
Iowa State @ UNLV70.517-27
San Jose State @ Stanford70.513-23
Mid Tenn @ Arkansas St.63.917-25
C. Michigan @ Purdue5927-34
Boise State @ Oregon5918-27
Arizona @ UCLA54.121-29
Mississippi State @ GA Tech52.517-22
Kansas State @ Louisville50.834-33
Ohio @ Northwestern50.822-30
New Mexico State @ UTEP50.822-28
Notre Dame @ Michigan State47.523-24
New Mexico @ Tulsa44.327-26
Miami (FL) @ Texas A&M42.627-26
Florida Atlantic @ Minn.39.335-33
Kent St. @ LA-Laf39.327-26
UCF @ Boston College36.120-18
Houston @ Colorado St.26.233-22
Idaho @ Utah State26.229-18
Akron @ Army24.619-15
Rutgers @ Navy24.632-29
Florida @ Tennessee24.638-28
Utah @ Air Force2330-21
TCU @ SMU21.335-19
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina1826-20
WF @ Florida State16.424-17
LA-Monroe @ Tulane14.831-22
Alabama @ Arkansas13.131-19
Fresno State @ Toledo8.233-23
LSU @ Auburn6.626-11
W. Virginia @ Colorado538-20
East Carolina @ NC St.530-16
Georgia @ Arizona St.537-17
South Florida @ Fla. Int.538-8

Updated FBS Standings through Week 4

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastClemson4 - 04 - 0
Atlantic CoastWF3 - 03 - 0
Atlantic CoastMaryland3 - 13 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech4 - 03 - 1
Atlantic CoastBoston College2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastDuke1 - 22 - 1
Atlantic CoastFlorida State2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina2 - 12 - 1
Atlantic CoastGA Tech2 - 22 - 2
Atlantic CoastVirginia1 - 21 - 2
Atlantic CoastNC St.1 - 31 - 3
Big EastW. Virginia3 - 03 - 0
Big EastPittsburgh3 - 02 - 0
Big EastConnecticut4 - 03 - 1
Big EastSouth Florida3 - 13 - 1
Big EastCincinnati2 - 12 - 1
Big EastLouisville3 - 02 - 1
Big EastRutgers1 - 22 - 1
Big EastSyracuse2 - 22 - 2
Big TenOhio State4 - 04 - 0
Big TenIndiana3 - 03 - 0
Big TenWisconsin3 - 03 - 0
Big TenIowa3 - 13 - 1
Big TenMinn.3 - 13 - 1
Big TenNorthwestern4 - 03 - 1
Big TenPenn State4 - 03 - 1
Big TenIllinois2 - 12 - 1
Big TenMichigan3 - 02 - 1
Big TenPurdue3 - 02 - 1
Big TenMichigan State2 - 22 - 2
Big TwelveKansas4 - 04 - 0
Big TwelveTexas Tech4 - 04 - 0
Big TwelveTexas4 - 04 - 0
Big TwelveNebraska3 - 03 - 0
Big TwelveOklahoma3 - 03 - 0
Big TwelveMissouri4 - 03 - 1
Big TwelveColorado2 - 12 - 1
Big TwelveKansas State2 - 12 - 1
Big TwelveOklahoma State3 - 02 - 1
Big TwelveTexas A&M1 - 22 - 1
Big TwelveBaylor1 - 32 - 2
Big TwelveIowa State1 - 32 - 2
Conference USAHouston3 - 13 - 1
Conference USATulsa2 - 12 - 1
Conference USAUCF2 - 12 - 1
Conference USAEast Carolina2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAMarshall2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAMemphis1 - 32 - 2
Conference USARice2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAS. Miss3 - 12 - 2
Conference USASMU2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAUTEP1 - 21 - 2
Conference USAUAB1 - 31 - 3
Conference USATulane0 - 30 - 3
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame2 - 12 - 1
Independents (FBS)Navy2 - 22 - 2
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky2 - 22 - 2
Independents (FBS)Army1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanW. Michigan3 - 13 - 1
Mid-AmericanBall State3 - 12 - 2
Mid-AmericanC. Michigan2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanKent St.3 - 12 - 2
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanTemple2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanBowling Green0 - 31 - 2
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanToledo1 - 21 - 2
Mid-AmericanAkron1 - 31 - 3
Mid-AmericanBuffalo1 - 31 - 3
Mid-AmericanE. Michigan1 - 31 - 3
Mid-AmericanOhio0 - 41 - 3
Mountain WestBrigham Young4 - 03 - 1
Mountain WestTCU4 - 03 - 1
Mountain WestUtah3 - 13 - 1
Mountain WestAir Force2 - 22 - 2
Mountain WestNew Mexico2 - 22 - 2
Mountain WestUNLV2 - 22 - 2
Mountain WestWyoming2 - 22 - 2
Mountain WestColorado St.1 - 21 - 2
Mountain WestSan Diego State1 - 21 - 2
Pacific-10Arizona St.3 - 13 - 1
Pacific-10Arizona3 - 13 - 1
Pacific-10Oregon3 - 13 - 1
Pacific-10California3 - 02 - 1
Pacific-10Oregon State2 - 12 - 1
Pacific-10Washington St.2 - 22 - 2
Pacific-10USC1 - 11 - 1
Pacific-10UCLA1 - 21 - 2
Pacific-10Stanford1 - 31 - 3
Pacific-10Washington0 - 30 - 3
SoutheasternGeorgia4 - 04 - 0
SoutheasternLSU4 - 04 - 0
SoutheasternFlorida3 - 03 - 0
SoutheasternAlabama3 - 13 - 1
SoutheasternAuburn3 - 13 - 1
SoutheasternMississippi State2 - 23 - 1
SoutheasternMississippi3 - 13 - 1
SoutheasternS. Carolina3 - 13 - 1
SoutheasternKentucky2 - 12 - 1
SoutheasternTennessee2 - 12 - 1
SoutheasternArkansas2 - 22 - 2
SoutheasternVanderbilt0 - 41 - 3
Sun BeltArkansas St.2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltLA-Monroe2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltLA-Laf0 - 31 - 2
Sun BeltMid Tenn1 - 31 - 3
Sun BeltTroy1 - 31 - 3
Sun BeltFla. Int.0 - 30 - 3
Sun BeltNorth Texas0 - 30 - 3
Western AthleticBoise State2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticFresno State2 - 12 - 1
Western AthleticNew Mexico State1 - 22 - 1
Western AthleticIdaho2 - 22 - 2
Western AthleticSan Jose State2 - 22 - 2
Western AthleticHawaii1 - 21 - 2
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech1 - 21 - 2
Western AthleticNevada1 - 21 - 2
Western AthleticUtah State0 - 40 - 4

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