Plus: A thought about ‘Bama-Florida, and a 10% Vegas underdog 👀
Well that just happened…
We ended up having some quality college football games—and even better weather—on Saturday. The sun was out, which meant double-TVs on the deck (had to watch the US Open women’s final too, of course!) And I watched another Pac-12 game, this time against the Big Ten, so two halves make a whole!
I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong on two fronts last week.
First, Ohio State did indeed have to worry about the Oregon Ducks, despite their 89.4% win probability, which, as we know, is nowhere near a certainty.
Second, the Week 2 slate was not weak. Well, it was, but not if you watched all the right games and ignored whatever was going on down in the SEC.
Wow, that was so brave of me.
The Buckeyes made it look close at the end, but it never felt close. Oregon controlled the game on both sides, first—it felt like—on defense, holding OSU to a touchdown in the first half. And then in the second half, with an explosive offense that ran past OSU defenders.
And the run-game is what set the two teams apart. According to collegefootballdata.com, Oregon running back CJ Verdell averaged .38 Predicted Points Added (PPA) per play, while Miyan Williams for OSU managed only .07. The QBs were both productive, with .38 PPA for C.J. Stroud and .41 for Anthony Brown. So no Stroud slander just yet. The Buckeyes’ issues run deeper.
Drew was working on our in-game win probability model last weekend, and found that we were very low on Ohio State’s chances at the half, even though they were only down 7!
Near the end of the game, our model shifted sentiment, giving Ohio State a 69% chance to pull out the win. We’re not exactly sure what changed, but Ohio State were indeed in it down to the wire. There are still plenty of kinks to work out, but it was interesting to see the big swings as the game progressed.
In other big Week 2 results, Iowa upset Iowa State (although is 10 beating 9 really an upset?), unranked Stanford walloped #14 USC and cost Clay Helton the keys to his program, and Arkansas did the same to #15 Texas, giving them a taste of what the SEC-life might be like in a few years. If they struggled to find success in the Big-12 after being “back” for the last four years, it’s gonna take a few decades of being “back” in the SEC before they see any success in that conference.
Oh, and Virginia Tech beat Middle Tennessee. What’d I tell you? Easy money.
With Clay Helton’s firing, that special time of year is coming early this fall, and will unfortunately stick with us all season: who will be the next coach of USC? Unsurprisingly, James Franklin’s name was one of the first to be thrown out there. I’ll squash this rumor here and now by asking the simple question… why? Why would Franklin want to leave what he’s got in Happy Valley? He has the #1 recruiting class for 2022 (USC’s is 29th, for now…), the #12 class for 2023 (USC is not ranked), a top-10 football program right now, and the 7th highest salary in college football, which more than covers the cost of living in central Pennsylvania.
And now, my “only conceivable reasons for anyone to want to go to USC” list:
– Getting a sick tan
– Putting avocado on everything you eat
And these are easily outweighed by fires, mudslides, and running out of water all the time. So keep looking, USC.
I’m working on an article about quarterbacks and interceptions. Namely, how do quarterbacks play after throwing one? Are they rattled? Do they become more conservative? More accurate? We’re going to find out, and see who cracks under pressure, and who balls out in the face of adversity. Be on the lookout for that article to kickoff your Saturday morning.
I don’t have much to share with you, but for now here are the most-benched quarterbacks since 2014 after throwing an interception.
Week 3 (already?)
It’s the final week of non-conference play (kinda). And thankfully, we have some teams challenging themselves this weekend. Highlighted by none other than Auburn vs. Penn State in a primetime White Out game. Elo has Penn State as slight favorites at 60.8% win probability in this matchup, but it could go either way.
Below are the win probabilities for the Power-5 teams, and, where appropriate (or inappropriate), my commentary. If you’re looking for Group of 5 games, check out staturdays.com.
Nebraska playing Oklahoma this weekend is exactly like when you sign up for the marathon a year ahead of time hoping that you’ll be in shape by the time the race comes around. As is usually the case, Nebraska will be puking on the sidewalk 3 miles in, and might duck into a Porta-Potty, take off their race bib, and try to blend back into the crowd.
But in all seriousness, we have a lot of other competitive games this weekend.
Virginia Tech @ West Virginia looks like the game to watch here, and keep an eye on Virginia, who is underestimated by Vegas by over 10 percentage points compared to Elo 👀.
I will not blame you if you don’t watch any Pac-12 football this weekend. It’s okay.
Florida have more of a chance to beat Alabama than Oregon did to Ohio State last week, and are underdogs by about just as much. Think about that.
Think about it… don’t act on it.
That’s all I’ve got for you. Enjoy your weekends and remember to check out my article this weekend!