2015 College Football Picks: Week 1

Sports

College football is back! Woo!

Per usual, the college football picks for week 1 are below.

These are pretty self-explanatory. Each team has a projected score, which is adjusted for strength of schedule and home field advantage (except for games played on neutral fields). Each team also has an expected win probability, expressing how often you would expect team A to beat team B. Not all games are listed here, of course, as I am not collecting data on FCS teams.

Additionally, since no games have actually been played yet, remember these are made up entirely of preseason projections. The projections will slowly fade out as the season goes on.

If you are interested in seeing the ratings for each team, click here.

Last Season’s Results

Straight Up

Win Probability Correct Wrong % Correct
50%-59.9% 123 80 60.59%
60%-69.9% 122 72 62.89%
70%-79.9% 120 39 75.47%
80%-89.9% 104 20 83.87%
90%-100% 71 6 92.21%
Total 540 217 71.33%

Against the Spread

381-360-18 (51.3%)

Week 1 picks after the jump.

Week 1 Picks

Update: New this season, I will also be including what I call the “Game Watchability Rating” for each game. Essentially, it is a number that is supposed to tell you which games should be the most entertaining to watch. It takes into account three variables. First, because most people love to watch two highly-ranked teams play each other, it takes into account the THOR+ rankings for each of the teams playing. That means two higher ranked teams playing are likely going to have a bigger watchability rating than two lower ranked teams.

Second, because people generally love to watch (at least the end of) close games, it takes into account the win probability of each game. A game that is closer to 50/50 in the win probability column will have a higher watchability rating than a game in which the win probability is 80/20. This allows you to at least know which games you should potentially tune into the ending of.

Third, it takes into account the total amount of points that are projected to be scored in a game. While some people love low-scoring defensive struggles, most people prefer to watch two teams that put a lot of points on the board. The watchability rating also distinguishes between games in which the score should be high because one team scores 50 and the other scores 10, and games in which both teams score 30-40 points. Nobody wants to watch blowouts unless it’s their team doing the blowing out.

Finally, the rating should be read like all other ratings on this site. 100 = Average. Above 100 is above average, while below 100 is below average. So, the higher the number, the better the game should be. The lower the number, the less likely you should be to tune into that game unless your team is playing.

Now, onto the picks!

Note: A * next to a game indicates it is being played on a neutral field. 

September 3 Game Watchability Rating Win Probability Projected Score
South Carolina* 157 55% 38
North Carolina 45% 30
UCF 96 73% 25
Florida International 27% 13
Central Michigan 103 26% 20
Oklahoma State 74% 38
Vanderbilt 113 71% 36
Western Kentucky 29% 24
Utah 143 62% 21
Michigan 38% 17
Minnesota 139 36% 21
TCU 64% 32
Idaho 109 41% 21
Ohio 59% 26
Tulane 127 44% 19
Duke 56% 22
Arizona 60 91% 40
UTSA 9% 12
Hawai’i 123 58% 27.1
Colorado 42% 27.0
September 4 Game Watchability Rating Win Probability Projected Score+
Georgia State 74 72% 37
Charlotte 28% 17
Western Michigan 152 45% 26
Michigan State 55% 35
SMU 79 14% 16
Baylor 86% 45
Illinois 93 74% 31
Kent State 26% 16
Boise State 103 81% 39
Washington 19% 18
September 5 Game Watchability Rating Win Probability Projected Score+
Georgia 61 96% 46
Louisiana-Monroe 4% 11
Northwestern 129 35% 15
Stanford 65% 26
Eastern Michigan 108 46% 26
Old Dominion 54% 44
Nebraska 130 70% 34
BYU 30% 25
Temple 113 75% 15
Penn State 25% 9
Tulsa 85 70% 37
Florida Atlantic 30% 20
Arkansas 54 96% 57
UTEP 4% 12
Auburn* 139 66% 29
Louisville 34% 21
UCLA 73 92% 41
Virginia 8% 11
Tennessee 75 89% 48
Bowling Green 11% 18
North Carolina State 55 93% 49
Troy 7% 16
Oklahoma 54 95% 51
Akron 5% 10
Texas A&M* 163 60% 26
Arizona State 40% 25
Kentucky 91 77% 37
Louisiana-Lafayette 23% 20
Notre Dame 108 81% 29
Texas 19% 13
West Virginia 119 71% 36
Georgia Southern 29% 20
Florida 60 92% 34
New Mexico State 8% 10
Northern Illinois 54 92% 43
UNLV 8% 13
Alabama* 164 57% 25
Wisconsin 43% 21
Florida State 81 88% 45
Texas State 12% 15
Southern Mississippi 78 16% 17
Mississippi State 84% 42
USC 86 86% 53
Arkansas State 14% 20
September 6 Game Watchability Rating Win Probability Projected Score+
Marshall 98 79% 40
Purdue 21% 20
September 7 Game Watchability Rating Win Probability Projected Score+
Virginia Tech 156 42% 19
Ohio State 58% 20
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