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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Week 11 Predictions

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Last week, the Matrix was 5-0 picking winners in the spotlighted games, but 1-4 against the spread (despite being 27-21 against the spread for the week across all games).

Before getting to the games, I made a couple of minor changes to fix some glitches. The big change is the Navy factor. Basically, the formula from last week gave equal weight across all teams for their pass and run efficiencies. Navy, though, scores high in pass efficiency but doesn’t win games that way. So, I’ve added a factor to weight efficiencies based on the relative importance for that team’s offense.

Now the picks.

Game 1. (18) Auburn @ (10) Georgia

Auburn has lost 3 games by a total of 14 points, including a losses to a former #2 (South Florida) and the current #2, but also managed to lose to Mississippi State. Georgia lost one game by 21 to an inferior Tennessee (though definitely not inferior on that night). Georgia has only 1 quality win (at Florida) and a semi-quality win (at Alabama). Auburn’s record looks similar (at Florida and at Arkansas). Now both teams seem to be hot and it should be a solid, defensive game. The SEC can be a little difficult to figure out, and the line-setters and the Matrix seem to be seeing it that way as well. But Georgia needs to cover and then some at home to convince me they deserve to be 10th with two losses.

The Matrix: Georgia by ½ a point

Game 2. (17) USC @ Cal

A month ago this was set to be the big showdown in the PAC 10. Well, it turns out the big showdown already took place last week in Eugene, but this game will still throw a lot of talent on the field. Surprisingly, the two teams are only 36th and 39th in the nation in scoring despite having tons of talent. Cal’s offensive production has fallen every game since scoring 45 against a relatively tough Arizona defense. USC, on the other hand, played Oregon tough two weeks ago, clobbered Notre Dame’s JV team, and beat Oregon State handily last week. Unless Cal turns it around, USC should win in style but, at home, Cal has the talent to compete.

The Matrix: USC by ½ a point

Game 3. Illinois @ (1) Ohio State

My gut tells me that Ohio State better watch out for this game, but I can’t find any statistic to support that inclination. Illinois has lost some steam recently since its big win over Wisconsin. We can be confident that Juice won’t get much done in the air, but, if he can stretch the field a little, just might be able to pound out some points on the ground – against the nation’s second best run defense. Unfortunately for the Fighting Illini, Ohio State will have a much easier time scoring points. If Wells gets going, Ohio State could cover easily.

The Matrix: Ohio State by 20

Game 4. (4) Kansas @ Oklahoma State

Here’s why this game is important – Kansas is still undefeated. If Kansas wins out, it would have a portfolio that includes wins on the road and at a neutral field against top ten teams. That being the case, I think you have to put them in the national championship game, even if that means hopping them over one loss Oregon and LSU. But first it must beat the Cowboys. Kansas proved last week it could score points, and they will need to put up 35+ on Saturday if they want to win.

The Matrix: Kansas by 12

Game 5. Texas Tech @ (14) Texas

Texas Tech is 1st in passing yards and 118th in rushing yards, almost dead last in the nation. This isn’t new turf for Tech, but its still fun to watch. I still hold that Texas is over-rated this season, and I think Tech will show the world I’m right on Saturday. To come to the point, Harrell is a lot better than McCoy and the outcome will reflect that. The Matrix actually rates Tech higher than Texas, but gives the Longhorns a 3 point advantage at home.

The Matrix: Texas by 3

Pick of the Week:

Somehow, Iowa State has ended up on the other end of the Matrix’s pick of the week again. Colorado has a 74% of covering a five point line at Iowa State. We’ll see.

See Week 11 Predictions


  1. And I start the weekend 1-0. Who could ever doubt the Chippewas?

  2. And I drop to 1-1, 2-0 against the spread

  3. 2-1 picking winners, 2-1 against the spread. I'm a little disappointed in my Mountaineers - expect LSU to jump them in the Matrix rankings next week.