❌ Stop Speculating
A lot can happen in the next three weeks, so why debate yet?
Good morning and happy Thursday.
To recap the past weekend, there wasn’t too much craziness to report on. Michigan survived Penn State at home and moved to 6th in the CFP Rankings. If they were able to beat Ohio State, I imagine they’d jump Cincinnati and be in the Top 4, and probably rightfully so as they already have a top 4 strength of record, a stat we talked about a few weeks ago: meaning it would be hard for any average top 25 program to be 9-1 with Michigan’s schedule.
Other than that, Pitt came out of an overtime game with UNC with the win. And Alabama played New Mexico State so we all know how that went. I’m not sure why the SEC seems to play an out-of-conference game in the middle of the heat of the conference schedule, while the Big Ten doesn’t give themselves a break. It would seem beneficial for the Big Ten and other conferences to allow their teams to reset mid-season with an easier matchup. I guess that’s what Rutgers and Maryland are there for.
Honestly though, I’m getting pretty tired of all the CFP Speculation. It seems that the majority of conversation on ESPN (I’m looking at you, College Gameday) and even Twitter is revolving around these Tuesday night rankings. And, credit to ESPN, they achieved their goal. They wanted to create a system that would create a massive amount of debate, and allow them to fill hours of TV time each week discussing these hypotheticals. But I just don’t enjoy talking about who might be ranked higher than who if they win against X, Y, and Z teams. Or if they win 2 and lose the conference championship, or lose 1 and win the conference championship.
There are endless permutations of how this season can end. And I personally feel like we should just let them play out, and then once everyone’s record is set, you can debate who has the best resume. To do so three or four weeks early when there are so many unknowns remaining seems meaningless (unless you’re a TV executive).
With that said, let’s jump right into this week’s games.
So Elo’s picks are on a 3-week losing streak but are still very positive on the year. We are also doing very well in the CollegeFootballData.com prediction game, sitting at #2 overall! We don’t do that great against the spread (but like we’ve mentioned, spreads are hard!), but straight up and in terms of predicting the actual spread (not necessarily who will cover), we’re doing great!
If you’re interested in competing, you can too! All you need is a Twitter or Reddit account and you can go in and place your spread predictions each week, and the site will measure how you do. If you’re interested in building a model of your own and don’t know where to start, send me an email and I can share mine and give you a few pointers. If there’s enough interest, maybe we can do a newsletter about it in the future.
I think the only game that stands out to me is that Oregon are underdogs against Utah this weekend, so if you believe in the Ducks, that’s a nice opportunity for some value. The Pac-12 is sketchy though, and it does feel like anyone can beat anyone depending on the amount of precipitation that night. Also good to know: Virginia Tech fired their coach, a Maryland upset over Michigan is more likely than a Michigan State upset over Ohio State, and there’s a 3% chance that both happen this weekend. There’s a 68% chance neither happens.
Here are the win probabilities by conference. I’ll have the non-Power 5 conference games up on the site later today!
Clemson is still favored against Wake Forest, both by Vegas and Elo. I’m honestly surprised. Hopefully that turns into a great game. Noon kickoff.
Vegas doesn’t think any games this weekend are going to be close in the Big Ten.
I know it’s shocking to see Colorado as a favorite at 3-7, but Washington is only one better 4-6, and the Buffs are home. It feels like Washington should be in the race to win the Pac-12, but this just wasn’t their year. And we already spoke about Oregon above, but we give them a slight edge against Utah.
Not a lot to see here for another week.
Thank you for reading and enjoy your weekend! Newsletter will be brief next week for Thanksgiving, but I’ll still get the expected values and win probabilities out to you.