Thursday, October 20, 2011

Predicting the Oblong Ball

I was recently challenged by some friends to predict NCAA college football, so I gathered up some historical data from this archive and adapted some of the better rating systems I've investigated to create a predictor.  It's hard to judge the performance.  It does not perform as well as the systems reported here according to my standard cross-validation testing, but my implementation of Sagarin's ELO also underperforms the reported performance.  Since my implementation of ELO tracks the Sagarin performance very well in basketball, I suspect there's a systemic difference in how performance is measured.

At any rate, I don't intend to spend a lot of time on this, but just for amusement, here are the predictions for this weeks games:

alabama over tennessee by 10.6
arkansas over mississippi by 14.8
ball state over central michigan by 1.8
boise state over air force by 25.7
california over utah by -11.4
central florida over alabama-birmingham by 21.2
clemson over north carolina by 5.1
florida atlantic over middle tennessee state by -12.4
florida state over maryland by 5.9
hawaii over new mexico state by .5
houston over marshall by 12.9
illinois over purdue by 11.0
iowa over indiana by 6.5
kansas state over kansas by 18.7
louisiana state over auburn by 14.4
louisiana-lafayette over western kentucky by 6.5
miami (florida) over georgia tech by -15.4
navy over east carolina by 5.2
nebraska over minnesota by 14.4
nevada over fresno state by 7.8
north texas over louisiana-monroe by 2.7
northern illinois over buffalo by 3.1
notre dame over southern california by 2.5
ohio over akron by 21.1
oklahoma state over missouri by 9.9
oklahoma over texas tech by 9.4
oregon over colorado by 22.8
penn state over northwestern by 10.9
rutgers over louisville by 12.0
south florida over cincinnati by -6.9
southern mississippi over southern methodist by -4.4
stanford over washington by 17.7
temple over bowling green state by 17.2
texas a&m over iowa state by 14.5
texas christian over new mexico by 21.9
texas-el paso over colorado state by -1.8
toledo over miami (ohio) by 16.4
tulane over memphis by 10.2
tulsa over rice by 4.4
ucla over arizona by 1.6
utah state over louisiana tech by -2.9
vanderbilt over army by 5.1
virginia tech over boston college by 15.6
virginia over north carolina state by -4.4
wake forest over duke by -2.3
washington state over oregon state by 5.2
west virginia over syracuse by 3.2
western michigan over eastern michigan by 13.7
wisconsin over michigan state by 7.0

Apologies for the awful formatting -- I put this together in 3 days and didn't put much effort in to making pretty.

The Usual Disclaimers apply:  Use this information at your own risk; it is not intended for gambling purposes and the Net Prophet does not encourage or recommend gambling on sports events.

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