Monday, September 30, 2013

Post-ECU season outlook, and why it's worse than you think

There are a number of reasons why this past Saturday's loss to ECU was very, very bad and has a HUGE impact on our outlook going forward:

• ECU isn't very good
• It was at home
• It was an absolute blowout
• The Bayesian network of teams is now complete

The last point is the biggest. What I mean by that is that after Week 5, there are no (or very few) teams in FBS that are separated by more than 5 degrees of separation in a graph network containing all FBS teams. For example, UNC is 3 degrees of separation away from Florida. UNC plays NC State (1), NC State plays FSU (2), and FSU plays Florida (3).

Thus, the rankings given by Massey, Sagarin, and others should now be fairly accurate (before Week 5 they were heavily dependent upon data from last season).

After the ECU game, we shed over 10 points in Sagarin's Predictor rating, and fell 30 spots in Massey's overall rankings. The repercussions are as follows:

• 65.877% chance (per Massey) we win 5 or fewer games and don't make a bowl game
• Expected number of wins is now at 4.93 (had been around 7 to 7.5 thus far)
• Only favored now vs Boston College, vs Virginia, vs Old Dominion, and vs Duke (previously also favored vs Miami, at NC State, and at Pitt)
• We're staring directly in the face of a 1-5 start. To put that quantitatively, 60.37% chance we're 1-5 after the Miami game

It may be just one game, but it matters A LOT for projecting the rest of the season.

Monday, September 2, 2013

UNC's Season Outlook

Using Jeff Sagarin's USA Today ratings and Kevin Massey's ratings, I've projected out the rest of Carolina's season. Using the preseason rankings from both, things currently stand as follows:

Expected record: between 7-5 and 8-4

Games in which UNC will not be favored:@ Ga Tech (-2.5), @ Va Tech (-6), vs Miami (-0.5), @ NC St (-1.5)