2016 College Football Week 0

It’s game week! Well, for two teams it is anyway. Hawaii and California open their seasons late Friday night in Australia. This week’s preview will look different than most; with only 1 game the focus will be on the FBS as a whole going into the season. The table below was constructed in a similar fashion as the expected wins table in the 2016 Preview post, but has been updated for Fall rosters (including injuries/suspensions in camp so far) and also includes some detail on what to expect throughout the season. Additionally, I’ve included the AP Preseason top 25 rankings alongside those 25 teams for comparison.

Next week’s preview will look at specific match-ups in addition to a high-level view. I will update the expected wins going forward, but will keep the preseason expected wins total in the table for comparison.

Additionally, next week I will start posting a weekly feature that I introduced late in 2015: Ticket Watch. This will look at entry prices (i.e. the least expensive tickets to a game) for games involving top 25 teams.

Week 0 win expectancy shows favored games (win probability >65%), favored toss-ups (between 50% and 65%), underdog toss-ups (between 35% and 50%) and underdogs (<35%):

 

School AP Preseason Rank Expected Wins Favored games Favored Toss-ups Underdog Toss-ups Underdogs
Alabama 1 10.70960322 12 0 0 0
Florida State 4 10.52846463 11 1 0 0
Oklahoma 3 10.28407131 11 1 0 0
Clemson 2 10.68343876 11 0 1 0
San Diego State 9.489936745 11 0 1 0
Northern Illinois 9.73346751 10 2 0 0
UCLA 16 9.688039103 10 2 0 0
Georgia 18 9.41920644 10 2 0 0
Ohio State 6 10.00057504 10 1 1 0
Notre Dame 10 9.449971248 10 1 0 1
Oregon 24 8.916618746 10 1 0 1
Michigan 7 9.844163312 10 0 1 1
Oklahoma State 21 9.021276596 9 2 0 1
Arkansas State 8.6359977 9 2 0 1
Western Kentucky 8.502875216 9 2 0 1
Tennessee 9 9.454571593 9 1 1 1
Iowa 17 8.081081081 9 1 0 2
Boise State 8.761357102 8 4 0 0
LSU 5 9.381828637 8 3 0 1
Houston 15 8.420356527 8 3 0 1
Michigan State 12 9.035077631 8 2 2 0
USC 20 8.481023577 8 2 1 1
Northwestern 7.26279471 8 1 0 3
Central Michigan 6.859976998 8 0 0 4
Appalachian State 8.489936745 7 4 0 1
Virginia 8.377803335 7 3 1 1
North Carolina 22 7.618746406 7 2 1 2
Toledo 7.339275446 7 2 1 2
Louisiana Tech 7.544278321 7 1 3 1
Utah 6.872052904 7 1 2 2
Florida 25 8.301322599 7 1 1 3
Tulane 7.591144336 6 4 1 1
TCU 13 8.091719379 6 3 2 1
Washington 14 7.863139735 6 3 2 1
South Florida 7.347901093 6 3 2 1
Southern Miss 7.311960897 6 3 1 2
Penn State 7.508625647 6 2 2 2
Virginia Tech 6.802472685 6 2 1 3
Texas A&M 7.146060955 6 1 4 1
Arizona State 7.197527315 6 1 1 4
Rice 6.573893042 6 1 1 4
Stanford 8 6.788959172 6 0 3 3
Cincinnati 7.429557217 5 4 3 0
Central Florida 6.758194365 5 4 0 3
Georgia Southern 6.950258769 5 3 1 3
Old Dominion 6.90253019 5 3 1 3
Temple 7.042553191 5 2 3 2
Colorado State 6.493099482 5 2 3 2
Auburn 7.110695802 5 2 2 3
Mississippi State 6.935307648 5 2 2 3
Pitt 6.933582519 5 2 1 4
Navy 6.761357102 5 1 4 2
Nebraska 6.849913744 5 1 3 3
Ole Miss 11 6.350488787 5 1 2 4
Bowling Green 6.05520414 5 1 2 4
Georgia Tech 5.758481886 5 1 1 5
Wisconsin 5.631109833 5 1 0 6
Missouri 6.138010351 5 0 3 4
Maryland 6.130247269 5 0 3 4
Air Force 6.942208166 4 5 1 2
Baylor 23 7.094307073 4 4 3 1
Nevada 6.474123059 4 4 2 2
Arizona 6.549166187 4 3 2 3
Texas 6.265957447 4 3 2 3
North Carolina State 5.918343876 4 3 1 4
Memphis 6.493387004 4 2 3 3
Hawaii 6.366302473 4 2 4 3
Indiana 5.580506038 4 2 2 4
Buffalo 6.123059229 4 2 1 5
Iowa State 5.55146636 4 2 1 5
South Alabama 5.322886717 4 2 1 5
UTEP 5.567280046 4 1 3 4
Kansas State 6.171650374 4 1 2 5
Illinois 4.620184014 4 0 0 8
Ohio 6.500862565 3 5 1 3
San Jose State 6.331799885 3 5 0 4
Marshall 6.151523864 3 4 2 3
Louisiana-Lafayette 5.887579068 3 3 3 3
Washington State 6.120471535 3 3 2 4
Arkansas 6.010638298 3 2 3 4
Utah State 5.55146636 3 2 3 4
Florida Atlantic 5.45399655 3 2 2 5
Rutgers 5.20960322 3 2 2 5
Boston College 5.171075331 3 2 2 5
Kentucky 4.873490512 3 2 2 5
BYU 5.394767108 3 2 1 6
Western Michigan 5.878953422 3 1 4 4
Miami FL 5.798159862 3 1 4 4
East Carolina 5.28493387 3 1 3 5
South Carolina 5.122196665 3 1 2 6
UNLV 4.479298447 3 1 2 6
Duke 5.473260495 3 0 4 5
New Mexico 5.258481886 3 0 3 6
Louisville 19 5.78493387 2 6 0 4
West Virginia 5.792984474 2 4 3 3
Akron 6.161874641 2 3 6 1
Ball State 5.276883266 2 3 3 4
Middle Tennessee 5.609833237 2 2 5 3
Charlotte 5.217653824 2 2 3 5
Georgia State 4.924094307 2 2 3 5
Kent State 4.574755607 2 2 2 6
Troy 4.264232317 2 2 2 6
Minnesota 4.675100633 2 2 1 7
UTSA 4.506612996 2 2 1 7
Wake Forest 4.251006325 2 2 1 7
Tulsa 4.469235193 2 1 4 5
Texas Tech 4.602645198 2 1 3 6
Vanderbilt 4.378090857 2 1 1 8
Idaho 4.604657849 1 3 3 5
Texas State 4.525589419 1 2 4 5
Louisiana-Monroe 3.660724554 1 2 2 7
Colorado 3.727717079 1 2 1 8
Eastern Michigan 3.361702128 1 2 0 9
Oregon State 4.479298447 1 1 5 5
Syracuse 4.185163887 1 1 5 5
Fresno State 4.035077631 1 1 4 6
North Texas 3.724841863 1 1 3 7
Massachusetts 2.991661875 1 1 1 9
Miami OH 3.5146636 1 0 4 7
Wyoming 3.726279471 1 0 3 8
Connecticut 3.556066705 1 0 2 9
Purdue 3.544278321 1 0 2 9
SMU 3.310235768 1 0 2 9
Kansas 2.333525014 1 0 1 10
Army West Point 3.004887867 0 3 0 9
Florida International 4.276308223 0 2 4 6
New Mexico State 3.673087982 0 2 3 7
California 3.007475561 0 1 2 9

A few things jump out to me. First, California’s first chance at a win is also it’s best chance; this could be a rough year for the Bears. Next, a few teams look extremely over-valued in the AP poll, mostly glaringly Louisville which my data projects to struggle to get bowl-eligible. Baylor is a wild card this year; who knows what to expect from them. The Ole Miss projection is largely a reflection of their brutal schedule, especially the first half of it. Stanford is another surprising one. Their roster isn’t nearly as talented as in recent years, even with the return of McCaffrey, and their schedule is polarizing with half the games likely wins and the other half below 50% win probability.

One last thing to take away; the above table is NOT to be interpreted as rankings. My data does not project San Diego State and Northern Illinois as the 5th and 6th best teams in the country; it just sees those teams navigating their schedules as 5th and 6th best. With this in mind, the teams in highlighted as over-valued by the AP poll are not necessarily worse than all of the teams ahead of them on this table. Hopefully this will make more sense as the season progresses and actual wins can be viewed alongside expected wins.

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