Monday, December 28, 2009

Sugar Bowl : Florida vs. Cincinnati : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2010, Friday (New Year's Day)

25. Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, Florida vs. Cincinnati, 8:30 pm

Florida is favored by 10.5 points. YPPSYS I ranks Florida 3rd with a rating of 2.3 and Cincinnati 4th with a rating of 2.0, an advantage of 0.3 x 9 = 2.7 points. YPPSYS II by margin of victory (as adjusted for schedule difficulty) rates Florida at 20.5 and Cincinnati at 13.3, an advantage of 7.2 points. Our call: we split the difference and call it for the Gators 31-26.

Rose Bowl : Ohio State vs. Oregon : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2010, Friday (New Year's Day)

24. Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, Ohio State vs. Oregon, 4:30 pm

The opening line favored Oregon by 2 points and that spread has risen to 3.5 points at the time of this posting. YPPSYS ranks Oregon 7th with a rating of 1.0 and Ohio State 12th with a rating of 0.4, a difference of 0.6 x 9 = 5.4 points. YPPSYS II puts the schedule-adjusted margin of victory of the Ducks at 14.1 points and of the Buckeyes at 13.2 points, a difference of 0.9 points. Our call: We split the difference and call it for Oregon 30-27.

Gator Bowl : Florida State vs. West Virginia : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2010, Friday (New Year's Day)

23. Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, FL, Florida State vs. West Virginia, 1:00 pm

Incredibly, the opening line favored Florida State by 1 point but that spread has changed to 3 points in favor of West Virginia. YPPSYS ranks the Seminoles 63rd with a rating of-1.9 and West Virginia 30th with a rating of -0.4, a difference of 1.5 x 9 = 13.5 points, whereas a schedule adjusted margin of victory calculation lowers that difference considerably.
Our call: We call it 31-24 for the Mountaineers.

Capital One Bowl : Penn State vs. LSU : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2010, Friday (New Year's Day)

22. Capital One Bowl, Orlando, FL, Penn State vs. LSU, 1:00 pm

The opening line favored Penn State by 3 points and that spread has dropped to 2.5 points at the time of this posting. YPPSYS ranks Penn State 9th with a rating of 0.8 and LSU 23rd with a rating of -0.2, a difference of 1.0 x 9 = 9 points. YPPSYS II calculates the schedule-adjusted margin of victory as 11.6 for Penn State and 8.6 for LSU, a margin of only 3 points. Our call: We split the difference and call it 23-17 for the Nittany Lions.

Outback Bowl : Northwestern vs. Auburn : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2010, Friday (New Year's Day)

21. Outback Bowl, Tampa, FL, Northwestern vs. Auburn, 11:00 am


The opening line favored Auburn by 4 points and that spread has risen to 7.5 points at the time of this posting. YPPSYS I ranks Auburn 18th with a rating of -0.1 and Northwestern 79th with a rating of -2.2, a difference of 2.1 x 9 = 18.9 points. When the schedule adjusted margin of victory is considered, that spread is lessened. Our call: We call it 38-24 for Auburn.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl : Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 31, 2009, Thursday (New Year's Eve)

20. Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Atlanta, Georgia, Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee, 7:30 pm

Tennessee has improved this year but the Virginia Tech offense and defense are both statistically a bit better this year than the comparable teams of the Volunteers.

The opening line favored Virginia Tech by 4 points and the spread over Tennessee at the time of this posting was 5.5 points.

YPPSYS ranks the Hokies 8th with a rating of 0.9 and the Vols 19th with a rating of -0.1, a difference of 1.0 x 9 = 9 points. The schedule-adjusted margin of victory puts Virginia Tech at 7th with 14.7 points and Tennessee 16th with 9.6 points, a 5.1 point advantage to the Hokies.

Our call: We split the difference and call it 24-17 for Virginia Tech.

Insight Bowl : Minnesota vs. Iowa State : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 31, 2009, Thursday (New Year's Eve)

19. Insight Bowl, Tempe, Arizona, Minnesota vs. Iowa State, 6:00 pm

YPPSYS ranks Minnesota 76th with a rating of - 2.2 and Iowa State 85th with a rating of -2.5, giving the Golden Gophers an advantage of 0.3 x 9 = 2.7 points over the Cyclones, and a schedule-adjusted margin of victory makes the game about even, so take your pick. Iowa State has the better offense - a bit below average - and Minnesota has the better defense - a bit better than average. Minnesota is favored by 1.5 points.
Our call: We call it 24-21 for Minnesota.

Texas Bowl : Navy vs Missouri : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 31, 2009, Thursday (New Year's Eve)

18. Texas Bowl, Houston, Texas, Navy vs. Missouri, 3:30 pm

YPPSYS ranks Missouri 32nd with a rating of -0.5 and Navy 61st with a rating of -1.8, a difference of 1.3 x 9 = 11.7 points. That separation is smaller however when the schedule-adjusted margin of victory is considered. Missouri is favored by 6 points.

We are not fans of Navy or Air Force football at all because they intentionally use potentially dangerous cut blocks (blocks below the waist - e.g. at the thighs, knees or ankles) to run their offensive system, blocks which are known to be avoidable sources of player injuries, and in fact have been made illegal on the line (no chop blocks permitted), so why should they be allowed elsewhere? Football is a game and there is no excuse for putting young men in danger of serious injury for a block that is absolutely not necessary for the game of football.

Our call: We call it for Missouri 34-24.

Sun Bowl : Oklahoma vs. Stanford : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 31, 2009, Thursday (New Year's Eve)

17. Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, Oklahoma vs. Stanford, 2:00 pm

As a law school alumnus of Stanford, my allegiance in this game is of course with the Cardinal team, head coach Jim Harbaugh, Heisman 2nd-placed Toby Gerhart, and rising QB star Andrew Luck, whose recent surgery on his throwing hand makes his start in the Sun Bowl doubtful. It is conceivable that Tavita Pritchard may have to lead the team against the Sooners.

Stanford has all the makings of being a future Pac-10 football powerhouse, but the question must be asked whether they are far enough along to beat Oklahoma, a team loaded with talent, albeit greatly suffering this year from heartbreaking losses in close games as well as the injury-based loss of their Heisman-winning quarterback, Sam Bradford. In view of the Sooners 27-0 lacing of Oklahoma State in their last game, Oklahoma has apparently recovered enough to again be a formidable opponent to any team, holding the high-powered offense of the then 11th-ranked Cowboys to 6 first downs.

Our call: Oklahoma is favored over Stanford by 7 points. YPPSYS ranks Oklahoma 16th with a rating of 0.2 and Stanford 34th with a rating of -0.6, a difference of 0.8 x 9 = 7.2 points. The schedule-adjusted margin of victory puts Oklahoma 6th in the nation at 15.8 points as compared to Stanford's 8.2 points, 21st in the nation, a difference of 7.6 points. The YPPSYS stats thus fully support the oddsmakers' 7-point spread. The key stat may be the fact that Oklahoma ranks 5th in the nation in allowing only 2.7 yards per rushing attempt. If Stanford has to play without the adeptly passing Luck at QB, then Oklahoma will be able to concentrate on Gerhart's rushing.
We call it 31-21 for the Sooners, although we might have gone with Stanford if Luck were healthy.

Armed Forces Bowl : Houston vs. Air Force : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 31, 2009, Thursday (New Year's Eve)

16. Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, TX, Houston vs. Air Force, 12:00 pm

The opening line favored Houston by 7 points, which has fallen to a spread of 4 points at the time of this posting, surely because of the strength of the Air Force defense, which ranks 1st in the nation in passing defense, in spite of BYU's Max Hall, who zipped the Falcons for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns in their last regular season game. Air Force finished 4th in the very strong Mountain West Conference, a conference which thus far is undefeated in its bowl games. Air Force lost only 20-17 to undefeated TCU.

In other words, it is possible that Houston and its high-flying quarterback Case Keenum will have a tough time moving the ball against Air Force, which has a much better defense than an East Carolina team that beat the Cougars 38-32 at season's end.

Our call: YPPSYS ranks Houston 41st with a rating of -0.8 and Air Force 58th with a rating of -1.7, a difference of 0.9 x 9 = 8.1 points, whereas a schedule-adjusted margin of victory comparison leans in the direction of an even game. Houston averages 6.9 yards per play on offense but an astronomical 6.0 yards per play on defense, whereas the Falcons average a meager 4.8 yards per play on offense but a very strong 4.7 yards per play on defense. The result of the poor Houston offense is that the Air Force offense will have breathing room to perform. The excellent Air Force defense could stymie the Courgar offense enough to permit Air Force to win. We call it 27-26 for the Falcons.

Holiday Bowl : Nebraska vs. Arizona : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 30, 2009, Wednesday

15. Holiday Bowl, San Diego, CA, Nebraska vs. Arizona, 8:00 pm

The opening line on the Holiday Bowl game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Arizona Wildcats saw this game as even, and the Arizona Wildcats are now surprisingly seen by the line as 1-point favorites, in spite of the Huskers narrow 13-12 loss in the Big 12 championship game to highly-ranked Texas, a game which Nebraska actually deserved to win.

Nebraska already beat a Stoops-coached team this year - the better of the two Stoops teams - and so a Nebraska loss in this game is unlikely.

Apparently the oddsmakers are impressed by the Wildcats last regular season game, in which they vanquished a relatively weak Southern Cal team, 21-17, gaining 239 yards passing on 22- of 40 completions. They will have difficulty gaining comparable yardage against the Nebraska defense, which has been running in a 4-1-6, 4-0-7 viz. 5-6 formation ever since midseason, i.e. with more-or-less 6 defensive backs and a (4-to-) 5-man rush, including the nation's best lineman, award-winning Ndamukong Suh, the AP college football player of the year:

Nebraska has a defense statistically similar to that of the Iowa Hawkeyes, who beat Arizona 27-17 early in the season, allowing only 8 first downs, and the Husker defense is even better than that of Iowa, compensating all season long for an anemic offense. The game will be played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on turfgrass (made in Arizona), and this might give the Wildcats a bit of an unfair home field advantage :-) so one has to be careful in prognostications.

NU had 5 first downs against Texas as the helpless offensive coordination staff of Nebraska amazed the nation with its inept playcalling. Seldom has there been such a great gap between the offensive and defensive units of a college football team - and this can only be a function of two competence levels in offensive and defensive coordination. One can only hope that there will be absolutely necessary changes made in the offensive coaching staff when the season ends. Wishful thinking can not make untalented coaches competent. Perhaps some people are better at recruiting than coaching? Certainly possible, and maybe their responsibilities should be tailored according to their talents. Just a suggestion, mind you.

Our call: YPPSYS I ranks the Cornhuskers 20th with a rating of -0.1 and Arizona 29th with a rating of-0.4, or a difference of 0.3 x 9 = 2.7 points. YPPSYS II by the schedule-adjusted margin of victory MOV rates the Huskers 13th at 10.6 points and Arizona 28th at 5.6 points, or a five-point advantage to the Cornhuskers. We call it for Nebraska 26-14 on the assumption that the sputtering nationally 102nd-ranked offense will have been tweaked in the interim and that freshman QB Cody Green will also play some as a run-and-pass QB - how about a pistol or wildcat formation?

Humanitarian Bowl : Idaho vs. Bowling Green : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 30, 2009, Wednesday

14. Humanitarian Bowl, Boise, Idaho, Idaho vs. Bowling Green, 4:30 pm

By common opponent comparison this football season, the Idaho Vandals lost to Boise State 63-25 while the Bowling Green Falcons lost to the Broncos 49-14, but comparative scores can be deceiving, as Boise State outgained Bowling Green 529 yards to 282 yards, whereas the Vandals actually put up MORE yards total offense than the Broncos, outgaining them 514 yards to 458 yards. Idaho lost the game because of 7 turnovers and otherwise might in fact be the much stronger team when compared to Bowling Green.

Our call: The opening line favored the Falcons by 1 point and was 2 points at the time of this posting. YPPSYS ranks Idaho 53rd with a rating of -1.6 and Bowling Green 94th with a rating of -2.8, a difference of 1.2 x 9 = 10.8 points. Both teams have leaky pass defenses and a lot of points should be scored. We thus call this game for Idaho 44-34.

Music City Bowl Game Result 2009 : Clemson over Kentucky 21-13

Clemson beat Kentucky 21-13 in the Music City Bowl. The Tigers' C.J. Spiller had 67 yards rushing and 1 TD on 15 attempts and 58 yards on three pass receptions. Clemson averaged 6.8 yards per play to 4.1 yards per play for Kentucky and should have thus won more handily than the they did. We predicted a Clemson win by 8 points. Our NCAA I FBS bowl record is now 6-4 in predicting the winner and 6-4 against the spread.

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