2009 College Football Projections: Week 8 From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 College Football Projections

Week 8 NCAA Football Predictions
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 24th, 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 8 (10/24/09).

Game of the Week: #19 TCU 24 @ #24 BYU 22
The Mountain West has three top 25 teams in TCU, BYU and Utah. That can be good and bad. The good news is that there are three teams from the non-BCS conference that could make some noise nationally. The bad news is that they could all beat up on each other to the point where none of the teams can make a BCS bowl game. TCU is the conference's best chance, but the Horned Frogs are going to have to go undefeated to make a BCS bowl. TCU plays at middle-of-the-ACC teams Clemson and Virginia, yet its true test will be this game in Provo against the offensively powerful BYU Cougars. Senior quarterback Max Hall, junior running back Harvey Unga and senior tight end Dennis Pitta may be among the nation's best at their positions, but the rest of the BYU team is full of uncertainty. Four new starters on the offensive line will have to contend with Jerry Hughes and the vaunted TCU defense. Advantage TCU. It may not be a pretty game that endears the country to the conference, but TCU should pull off the important victory. The Horned Frogs win 57.1% of the time and by an average score of 24-22.


MatchupHome Win%Avg Score
Clemson @ Miami (FL)55.112-16
Florida State @ North Carolina37.917-14
Maryland @ Duke24.623-17
Georgia Tech @ Virginia5.034-8
Iowa State @ Nebraska95.014-42
Texas A&M @ Texas Tech95.013-42
Colorado @ Kansas State45.516-17
Oklahoma State @ Baylor11.343-27
Oklahoma @ Kansas5.045-23
Texas @ Missouri5.044-14
Connecticut @ West Virginia95.06-29
Louisville @ Cincinnati74.819-32
South Florida @ Pittsburgh58.116-19
Akron @ Syracuse44.922-21
Minnesota @ Ohio State95.07-29
Indiana @ Northwestern85.47-22
Iowa @ Michigan State17.318-10
Illinois @ Purdue5.033-9
Penn State @ Michigan5.031-9
Southern Methodist @ Houston95.013-48
Tulane @ Southern Miss95.08-41
UCF @ Rice82.411-26
UAB @ Marshall52.221-24
Tulsa @ UTEP24.933-27
Boston College @ Notre Dame947-28
Wake Forest @ Navy59.115-20
Rutgers @ Army5.032-8
Buffalo @ Western Michigan8713-28
Kent State @ Ohio66.115-23
Temple @ Toledo55.815-18
Central Michigan @ Bowling Green33.223-19
Ball State @ Eastern Michigan20.624-15
Northern Illinois @ Miami (OH)13.624-11
Air Force @ Utah74.816-28
San Diego State @ Colorado State73.817-27
TCU @ Brigham Young42.924-22
UNLV @ New Mexico38.222-20
Oregon State @ USC95.09-45
Washington State @ California95.04-52
UCLA @ Arizona90.49-28
Arizona State @ Stanford59.118-24
Oregon @ Washington5.037-10
Arkansas @ Mississippi95.014-43
Auburn @ LSU95.08-49
Tennessee @ Alabama95.08-28
Louisiana-Monroe @ Kentucky69.49-18
Vanderbilt @ South Carolina38.912-11
Florida @ Mississippi State5.059-6
North Texas @ Troy95.09-35
Western Kentucky @ Middle Tennessee95.08-26
Florida International @ Arkansas State69.814-24
Florida Atlantic @ Louisiana-Lafayette58.520-25
Idaho @ Nevada95.07-50
Louisiana Tech @ Utah State16.627-16
Fresno State @ New Mexico State15.326-12
Boise State @ Hawaii5.038-13

Week 8 Standings

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastGeorgia Tech6 - 26 - 2
Atlantic CoastFlorida State7 - 05 - 2
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina State6 - 15 - 2
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech6 - 15 - 2
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina5 - 25 - 2
Atlantic CoastMaryland5 - 35 - 3
Atlantic CoastClemson4 - 34 - 3
Atlantic CoastWake Forest2 - 64 - 4
Atlantic CoastDuke3 - 43 - 4
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)3 - 43 - 4
Atlantic CoastBoston College2 - 63 - 5
Atlantic CoastVirginia2 - 52 - 5
Big 12Oklahoma State7 - 06 - 1
Big 12Texas7 - 06 - 1
Big 12Oklahoma6 - 16 - 1
Big 12Texas Tech6 - 26 - 2
Big 12Kansas6 - 15 - 2
Big 12Baylor5 - 25 - 2
Big 12Nebraska4 - 35 - 2
Big 12Kansas State4 - 44 - 4
Big 12Missouri3 - 43 - 4
Big 12Iowa State2 - 63 - 5
Big 12Colorado3 - 42 - 5
Big 12Texas A&M0 - 72 - 5
Big EastWest Virginia7 - 07 - 0
Big EastRutgers7 - 06 - 1
Big EastPittsburgh7 - 16 - 2
Big EastSouth Florida5 - 25 - 2
Big EastCincinnati4 - 34 - 3
Big EastConnecticut3 - 43 - 4
Big EastLouisville2 - 53 - 4
Big EastSyracuse1 - 62 - 5
Big TenPenn State8 - 07 - 1
Big TenIowa7 - 17 - 1
Big TenOhio State7 - 16 - 2
Big TenNorthwestern6 - 26 - 2
Big TenIllinois5 - 25 - 2
Big TenWisconsin5 - 24 - 3
Big TenMichigan State4 - 44 - 4
Big TenMichigan3 - 54 - 4
Big TenMinnesota3 - 54 - 4
Big TenPurdue2 - 62 - 6
Big TenIndiana1 - 72 - 6
Conference USASouthern Miss7 - 17 - 1
Conference USAHouston6 - 15 - 2
Conference USAEast Carolina5 - 25 - 2
Conference USATulsa5 - 25 - 2
Conference USAUTEP3 - 43 - 4
Conference USAMemphis2 - 53 - 4
Conference USAUAB2 - 53 - 4
Conference USAMarshall4 - 43 - 5
Conference USARice2 - 63 - 5
Conference USASouthern Methodist2 - 52 - 5
Conference USATulane1 - 62 - 5
Conference USAUCF1 - 62 - 5
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame6 - 15 - 2
Independents (FBS)Navy5 - 34 - 4
Independents (FBS)Army2 - 63 - 5
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky0 - 71 - 6
Mid-AmericanWestern Michigan8 - 06 - 2
Mid-AmericanBall State7 - 16 - 2
Mid-AmericanCentral Michigan5 - 35 - 3
Mid-AmericanOhio5 - 35 - 3
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois3 - 44 - 3
Mid-AmericanTemple3 - 44 - 3
Mid-AmericanKent State4 - 44 - 4
Mid-AmericanAkron4 - 33 - 4
Mid-AmericanBowling Green4 - 43 - 5
Mid-AmericanBuffalo3 - 53 - 5
Mid-AmericanToledo2 - 63 - 5
Mid-AmericanEastern Michigan0 - 71 - 6
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)0 - 81 - 7
Mountain WestTCU7 - 06 - 1
Mountain WestUtah6 - 16 - 1
Mountain WestBrigham Young5 - 36 - 2
Mountain WestAir Force6 - 25 - 3
Mountain WestColorado State4 - 44 - 4
Mountain WestSan Diego State3 - 43 - 4
Mountain WestWyoming2 - 53 - 4
Mountain WestUNLV4 - 43 - 5
Mountain WestNew Mexico2 - 52 - 5
Pacific-10USC7 - 07 - 0
Pacific-10California6 - 16 - 1
Pacific-10Oregon State6 - 15 - 2
Pacific-10Oregon6 - 15 - 2
Pacific-10Arizona5 - 25 - 2
Pacific-10Stanford6 - 25 - 3
Pacific-10Arizona State4 - 34 - 3
Pacific-10UCLA2 - 52 - 5
Pacific-10Washington State0 - 71 - 6
Pacific-10Washington1 - 71 - 7
SoutheasternFlorida7 - 07 - 0
SoutheasternAlabama8 - 07 - 1
SoutheasternLSU6 - 16 - 1
SoutheasternMississippi6 - 16 - 1
SoutheasternGeorgia5 - 25 - 2
SoutheasternTennessee4 - 34 - 3
SoutheasternVanderbilt5 - 34 - 4
SoutheasternArkansas3 - 43 - 4
SoutheasternKentucky2 - 53 - 4
SoutheasternSouth Carolina3 - 53 - 5
SoutheasternAuburn2 - 62 - 6
SoutheasternMississippi State1 - 72 - 6
Sun BeltLouisiana-Lafayette5 - 24 - 3
Sun BeltTroy5 - 24 - 3
Sun BeltMiddle Tennessee5 - 34 - 4
Sun BeltArkansas State4 - 23 - 3
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic3 - 33 - 3
Sun BeltFlorida International3 - 43 - 4
Sun BeltLouisiana-Monroe1 - 62 - 5
Sun BeltNorth Texas0 - 81 - 7
Western AthleticBoise State6 - 16 - 1
Western AthleticNevada6 - 15 - 2
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech5 - 25 - 2
Western AthleticFresno State4 - 34 - 3
Western AthleticHawaii3 - 43 - 4
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 63 - 5
Western AthleticSan Jose State2 - 42 - 4
Western AthleticUtah State3 - 42 - 5
Western AthleticIdaho0 - 81 - 7

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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