2009 College Football Projections: Week 5 From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 College Football Projections

Week 5 NCAA Football Predictions
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 21st, 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 5 (10/3/09).

Game of the Week: #7 LSU 30 @ #15 Georgia 23
These two teams that underachieved last season both lose key pieces, yet still rank among our pre-season top 15. LSU finished just 8-5 in 2008, including losing a 52-38 shootout to Georgia at home. The key to optimism with the Tigers is their 38-3 win over favored Georgia Tech last season in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where freshman quarterback Jordan Jefferson and the offense really clicked. Jefferson and seven other offensive starters are back for what should be a much improved attack from 2008. Georgia had a slightly more prolific season, but lost more with the departure of first round NFL draft choices quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno. Unless previously injured Bulldogs Trinton Sturdivant (OL) and Jeff Owens (DT) come back as dominant players, Georgia may again disappoint in the SEC and lose to LSU by about a touchdown. LSU seeks revenge form last year by winning 76.1% of the time and by an average score of 30-23.


MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Virginia @ North Carolina95.07-24
North Carolina State @ Wake Forest46.218-17
Clemson @ Maryland31.219-14
Florida State @ Boston College6.029-9
Oklahoma @ Miami (FL)5.040-11
Virginia Tech @ Duke5.033-8
Kent State @ Baylor95.011-43
New Mexico @ Texas Tech95.012-40
Kansas State @ Iowa State47.521-20
Arkansas @ Texas A&M15.032-17
Colorado @ West Virginia95.08-42
Texas Southern @ Rutgers95.08-41
Pittsburgh @ Louisville14.626-15
South Florida @ Syracuse5.031-10
Arkansas State @ Iowa95.09-32
Michigan @ Michigan State80.18-19
Penn State @ Illinois45.225-24
Wisconsin @ Minnesota40.922-21
Northwestern @ Purdue28.212-8
Ohio State @ Indiana5.040-9
Memphis @ UCF39.516-15
Tulsa @ Rice26.933-26
East Carolina @ Marshall13.623-12
Southern Miss @ UAB9.336-20
Houston @ UTEP8.343-25
Washington @ Notre Dame95.06-35
Tulane @ Army55.514-17
Air Force @ Navy43.525-24
Toledo @ Ball State60.517-23
Ohio @ Bowling Green55.116-20
Temple @ Eastern Michigan30.617-12
Central Michigan @ Buffalo19.623-14
Western Michigan @ Northern Illinois13.630-18
Cincinnati @ Miami (OH)5.041-8
Southern Methodist @ TCU95.08-40
Utah State @ Brigham Young95.011-40
New Mexico State @ San Diego State64.515-21
Washington State @ Oregon95.06-49
UCLA @ Stanford79.713-27
Oregon State @ Arizona State25.623-17
USC @ California6.632-14
South Carolina State @ South Carolina94.08-25
Auburn @ Tennessee93.06-27
LSU @ Georgia23.930-23
Alabama @ Kentucky5.038-6
Georgia Tech @ Mississippi State5.034-8
Mississippi @ Vanderbilt5.035-9
Wyoming @ Florida Atlantic60.515-21
Florida International @ Louisiana-Monroe19.323-13
California-Davis @ Boise State95.07-43
Hawaii @ Louisiana Tech89.716-33
UNLV @ Nevada89.719-38
Colorado State @ Idaho5.031-11

Week 5 Standings

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastFlorida State5 - 04 - 1
Atlantic CoastGeorgia Tech5 - 04 - 1
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina State4 - 14 - 1
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina4 - 14 - 1
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech4 - 14 - 1
Atlantic CoastClemson3 - 23 - 2
Atlantic CoastDuke3 - 23 - 2
Atlantic CoastMaryland2 - 33 - 2
Atlantic CoastWake Forest2 - 33 - 2
Atlantic CoastBoston College2 - 32 - 3
Atlantic CoastVirginia1 - 31 - 3
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)0 - 41 - 3
Big 12Baylor4 - 04 - 0
Big 12Oklahoma State4 - 04 - 0
Big 12Oklahoma4 - 04 - 0
Big 12Texas4 - 04 - 0
Big 12Kansas4 - 03 - 1
Big 12Nebraska3 - 13 - 1
Big 12Missouri2 - 23 - 1
Big 12Kansas State3 - 23 - 2
Big 12Texas Tech3 - 23 - 2
Big 12Colorado2 - 22 - 2
Big 12Iowa State2 - 32 - 3
Big 12Texas A&M0 - 41 - 3
Big EastWest Virginia4 - 04 - 0
Big EastPittsburgh5 - 04 - 1
Big EastRutgers5 - 04 - 1
Big EastSouth Florida4 - 14 - 1
Big EastCincinnati3 - 23 - 2
Big EastConnecticut2 - 22 - 2
Big EastLouisville2 - 22 - 2
Big EastSyracuse1 - 41 - 4
Big TenPenn State5 - 04 - 1
Big TenWisconsin5 - 04 - 1
Big TenIowa4 - 14 - 1
Big TenNorthwestern4 - 14 - 1
Big TenOhio State4 - 14 - 1
Big TenMichigan State3 - 23 - 2
Big TenMichigan2 - 33 - 2
Big TenMinnesota2 - 33 - 2
Big TenIllinois2 - 22 - 2
Big TenPurdue2 - 32 - 3
Big TenIndiana1 - 42 - 3
Conference USASouthern Miss4 - 14 - 1
Conference USATulsa4 - 14 - 1
Conference USAHouston3 - 13 - 1
Conference USAEast Carolina3 - 23 - 2
Conference USASouthern Methodist2 - 22 - 2
Conference USAMarshall2 - 32 - 3
Conference USAMemphis2 - 32 - 3
Conference USAUAB2 - 32 - 3
Conference USAUTEP2 - 32 - 3
Conference USAUCF1 - 42 - 3
Conference USATulane1 - 31 - 3
Conference USARice1 - 41 - 4
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame5 - 04 - 1
Independents (FBS)Army2 - 32 - 3
Independents (FBS)Navy2 - 32 - 3
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky0 - 41 - 3
Mid-AmericanBall State5 - 04 - 1
Mid-AmericanWestern Michigan5 - 04 - 1
Mid-AmericanCentral Michigan3 - 23 - 2
Mid-AmericanKent State3 - 23 - 2
Mid-AmericanAkron2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanTemple2 - 22 - 2
Mid-AmericanBowling Green2 - 32 - 3
Mid-AmericanBuffalo2 - 32 - 3
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois2 - 32 - 3
Mid-AmericanOhio2 - 32 - 3
Mid-AmericanToledo0 - 52 - 3
Mid-AmericanEastern Michigan0 - 41 - 3
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)0 - 50 - 5
Mountain WestTCU4 - 04 - 0
Mountain WestAir Force5 - 04 - 1
Mountain WestUtah3 - 13 - 1
Mountain WestBrigham Young3 - 23 - 2
Mountain WestColorado State3 - 23 - 2
Mountain WestSan Diego State3 - 23 - 2
Mountain WestUNLV3 - 22 - 3
Mountain WestWyoming1 - 42 - 3
Mountain WestNew Mexico2 - 31 - 4
Pacific-10USC5 - 05 - 0
Pacific-10Oregon State5 - 04 - 1
Pacific-10California4 - 14 - 1
Pacific-10Stanford5 - 04 - 1
Pacific-10Oregon4 - 13 - 2
Pacific-10Arizona State2 - 22 - 2
Pacific-10Arizona2 - 22 - 2
Pacific-10UCLA2 - 22 - 2
Pacific-10Washington State0 - 51 - 4
Pacific-10Washington1 - 41 - 4
SoutheasternAlabama5 - 05 - 0
SoutheasternLSU5 - 05 - 0
SoutheasternFlorida4 - 04 - 0
SoutheasternMississippi4 - 04 - 0
SoutheasternTennessee4 - 14 - 1
SoutheasternGeorgia3 - 23 - 2
SoutheasternVanderbilt3 - 23 - 2
SoutheasternArkansas2 - 22 - 2
SoutheasternSouth Carolina2 - 32 - 3
SoutheasternMississippi State1 - 42 - 3
SoutheasternKentucky1 - 31 - 3
SoutheasternAuburn1 - 41 - 4
Sun BeltArkansas State2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltFlorida International2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltLouisiana-Lafayette2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltTroy2 - 22 - 2
Sun BeltMiddle Tennessee3 - 22 - 3
Sun BeltLouisiana-Monroe1 - 41 - 4
Sun BeltNorth Texas0 - 51 - 4
Western AthleticBoise State4 - 14 - 1
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech3 - 13 - 1
Western AthleticNevada3 - 13 - 1
Western AthleticHawaii2 - 22 - 2
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 32 - 3
Western AthleticFresno State1 - 31 - 3
Western AthleticSan Jose State1 - 31 - 3
Western AthleticUtah State2 - 21 - 3
Western AthleticIdaho0 - 51 - 4

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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