October 7, 2015

Nic’s Picks – Week 6

Editor’s note: Like most of us, Nic had a so so week  5 going  4-3 overall and now stands at 43-12 (78%) on the season.

North Carolina State (4-1) @ Virginia Tech (2-3)-  Well the Wolfpack finally played a team with a pulse, and what pretty much everyone outside of Raleigh figured would happen, happened.  Virginia Tech, I just don’t know what to expect of them, this was supposed to be the year that Frank Beamer could put a respectable team back together, the defense was supposed to be good enough to get VT to at least 8 wins but I don’t see that happening.  Brissett I think since he has seen a real team will now be able to put enough together that he can get the W in Blacksburg.  NC State 24 – VirginiaTech 14

Duke (4-1) @ Army (1-4)- The Blue Devils knocked off a tough Boston College team last week without scoring a single touchdown.  BC’s defense is #1 in total defense unfortunately they are #113 in total offense.  This week Army will be a good bit easier to face than BC was so I fully expect Duke to improve to 5-1 and maybe start to gain a little more respect slowly from the national media.  Duke 34 – Army 13

Virginia (1-3) @ Pittsburgh (3-1)- Another game for Pittsburgh that they should  be able to rack up the impressive defensive stats and improve to 4-1 on the season.  Pittsburgh 27 – Virginia 7

Wake Forest (2-3) @ Boston College (3-2)- The Eagles with their stingy defense and home field advantage will get their first conference win of the season.  Wake Forest, despite only being 2-3 has actually impressed me this season but they won’t have enough offense to get past the number 1 defense in yards allowed in the country.  Boston College 17 – Wake Forest 7

Georgia Tech (2-3) @ Clemson (4-0)- The Tigers are coming off of a hard-fought and emotionally draining win in the pouring rain this past weekend.  The Clemson fan base showed up and showed out in primetime but that isn’t makes them great they are great because they show up in all games big and small same as the team in the Dabo Swinney era.  What makes the Swinney era different from the Bowden era is that they win the big games and then they win the games against lesser opponents afterwards as they have won 30 consecutive games against non-ranked competition. Georgia Tech has given up over 200 yards a game on the ground the last several weeks Clemson will do that to them again and maybe with the sun coming out Watson and the pass game may begin to shine again as well, the defense will hold GT off the board until late after the game is well in hand.  Clemson 38 – GeorgiaTech 21

Syracuse (3-1) @ South Florida (1-3)- I believe the Syracuse Orange will get their QB Eric Dungey back this week but this week is more about USF just being that bad.  Syracuse 28 – South Florida 20

Miami (3-1) @ Florida State (4-0)- I can’t believe I’m about to predict this but I believe that Miami didn’t have their full attention on Cincinnati last week and that is why they fell to the Bearcats, this week FSU has their full attention as they probably did last week.  Dalvin Cook is list as day-to-day and Everett Golson despite having success in the past just hasn’t been able to throw the ball this year.  I think that Brad Kyaa goes off through the air and Joseph Yearby has a solid day on the ground while the ‘Canes defense does just enough and they save Al Golden’s job, for now.  Miami 24 – FloridaState 17

SUR 10 Week 5

Our panel –

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com multimedia editor for the Anderson Independent-Mail.
Chris Cox – SUR Recruiting Analyst and contributor.
Nic Mills – Intern in the Clemson Athletic Communications Office and SUR contributor.
Marty Coleman – SUR editor.

The voting is done independently and without the knowledge or influence of how the others voted, tabulated by our accounting firm and hermitically sealed in a #10 envelope until unveiled each week.

The Results:

SUR 10 2015 5

Also receiving votes: Oklahoma (3), Stanford (2), Florida (1), Notre Dame (1)

SUR Week 5 Algo Picks

While the results below may not look stunning, remember one measure of a model such as this is to have the actual results fall in line with the projected results. To that extent the algorithm has succeeded, with the exception of the 80-89% range (tiny sample size).

Head to head against the ESPN FPI? Not so much.SUR W4 ResultsSUR W5

Nic’s Picks – Week 5

Week 5 already? We’re moving right along in the season, aren’t we? Week four was a fun week, posting a 7-2 record and moving to 39-9 in 4 weeks of picking games. Each new week as we progress should get more and more challenging but so far I am having pretty good success. The misses this past week were Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

Now it’s on to an exciting week 5, well, at least here in Clemson it’s exciting.

Miami (3-0) @ Cincinnati (2-2)- If the ‘Canes are going to be taken for real then they really need to go on the road this week and lay a beat down of the Bearcats from Cincy. I feel like they will do just that, Kayya has a big game and Miami’s defense shuts down Cincinnati without their starting QB in the game. Miami 38 – Cincinnati 14

Pittsburgh (2-1) @ Virginia Tech (2-2)- Pitt has had a bye week to prepare for this road contest in Blacksburg, VA. The Hokies are coming off of a disappointing loss to East Carolina. The Hokies have now lost to ECU the last 2 years and even farther back then that they have been having trouble with the Pirates. I have no confidence in VT what so ever so I’m going with the road team here. Pittsburgh 28 – Virginia Tech 20

Louisville (1-3) @ North Carolina State (4-0)- The Wolfpack have looked good so far against sub-par competition and are 4-0 for a second straight season. The Cardinals have played a much tougher schedule and for that sit at 1-3. I’m not confident that NC State is really that good but they do have the home field advantage and are facing a team that I know even less about so I’m going to go with the ‘Pack to get their first quality win of the season. NC State 34 – Louisville 28

Boston College (3-1) @ Duke (3-1)- Both teams have good defenses and both have been a little inconsistent on offense. I think however, that Duke’s offense is more stable than BC, plus BC is on the road so I’m taking the Blue Devils to get another quality win and another step closer to bowl eligibility for a 4th straight season. Duke 17 – Boston College 13

Florida State (3-0) @ Wake Forest (2-2)- The Demon Deacons are at home, plus FSU hasn’t had the greatest QB play so far. However, Dalvin Cook plus a good defense at FSU is enough for this one to be over by half time. Florida State 45 – Wake Forest 14

North Carolina (3-1) @ Georgia Tech (2-2)- So who will be starting at QB for the Tar Heels? Trubisky has done well in his time coming in in the past and just through for over 300 yards in the second half this past week. Georgia Tech needs badly to get a win this week before going on the road to Clemson next week, if they don’t win this week they could be looking at a 2-4 start. I’ll take the Yellow Jackets healing some wounds this weekend at home. Georgia Tech 38 – North Carolina 28

Notre Dame (4-0) @ Clemson (3-0)- The big game of the weekend, the 8p.m. primetime showdown on ABC. The first time the Tigers and Irish have met in Football since 1979, the first time in Clemson since 1977. Clemson has had 16 days to prepare for this game and a win is vital. The Tigers will get it done this weekend, the Irish are feeling confident after putting up 62 at home against winless UMASS however, I’m looking back to that week 2 matchup at Virginia. The only road contest of the season and no offense to the Virginia fan base but the atmosphere in Charlottesville is nothing compared to what Saturday night will be. Deshone Kizer and the Irish will keep it close in the first half but in the second half the crowd noise and pressure build up will come out and turnovers by Notre Dame will lead to some easy points and the Tigers eventually pulling away. It also won’t hurt that Watson will make everyone forget what happened in Louisville and the Heisman contender in him will be shown. Clemson 38 – Notre Dame 24

SUR 10 Week 4

Our panel –

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com multimedia editor and former Clemson beat writer for the Anderson Independent-Mail.
Chris Cox – SUR Recruiting Analyst and contributor.
Nic Mills – Intern in the Clemson Athletic Communications Office and SUR contributor.
Marty Coleman – SUR editor.

The voting is done independently and without the knowledge or influence of how the others voted, tabulated by our accounting firm and hermitically sealed in a #10 envelope until unveiled each week.

The Results:

SUR 10 W4

Also receiving votes: Utah (5), Florida State (4), Texas A&M (1)

SUR Algo Picks Week 4

When is going 10-7 a good week?  When the majority of your picks were in the 50-59% probability range.  The results of a good model will be true to the probability range and as you can see below it’s been correct on 57.1% of the picks that had a probability between 50.1-59.9 and 63.6% of those in the 60-69.9 range.  The other two ranges have a smaller sample size so there’s not much to be taken from those at this point.

On the other hand, the ESPN FPI kicked my tail, winning all 4 games that we disagreed on and 8 of 11 for the season.

SUR Results 15 3

On to week 4, where I disagree with the FPI on 6 of 18 games.  I’ll either close that gap or perhaps fall farther behind. My covers of the week both came in last week and are now 3-3 on the season.  This week we give you these three:

Ole Miss (80.8%), LSU (72.0%) and Arizona (70.0%)


Nic’s Picks Week 4

Last week, the week with the first kind of challenging schedule turned out to be a fairly good week in terms of picking winners at 9-3. For the season I’m now 32-7 overall in three weeks picking ACC games. On to the picks for week 4.

Boise State (2-1) @ Virginia (1-2)- After the Notre Dame game I would have thought that Virginia would have had a real shot at winning this game, I still think that they have a chance to win due to it being in Charlottesville but I am a little more doubtful. It is tough to pick Virginia after seeing how they looked against William&Mary. I hope that I am wrong with this pick, I want Virginia to get the win but I can’t pick them. Boise State 31 – Virginia 20

Georgia Tech (2-1) @ Duke (2-1)- The Blue Devils were looking good to get the win early on against Northwestern last week but that defense for NW really stiffened in the second half and gave Duke troubles. Georgia Tech, I was more confident that you would beat Notre Dame than I was in Clemson beating Louisville but you just let me down big time. I’m going to give you another chance to go out and get a quality road win at Duke this week though. GeorgiaTech 27 – Duke 17

Louisiana State (2-0) @ Syracuse (3-0)- Not much to write here, give the ball to Leonard Fournette and you will win LSU. I’ll take the Bayou Tigers big in this one. LSU 38 – Cuse 10

Delaware(1-2) @ North Carolina(2-1)- It appears as though the game against South Carolina was just a fluke Marquise Williams has been on point in two wins since then, the Tar Heels will again cruise in this game. North Carolina 48 – Delaware 7

Indiana (3-0) @ Wake Forest (2-1)- Another ACC/B1G challenge, the ACC took 3 of those 5 contest last week.   The teams Indiana has beaten have not been impressive but then again Wake hasn’t really been impressive either, I’m calling this one a toss-up and taking Indiana. Indiana 27 – Wake Forest 23

Northern Illinois (2-1) @ Boston College (2-1)- NIU took the number one ranked team in the country to the wire last week, will they have the energy to do it again. BC’s defense is good enough to hold NIU to single digits, will their O be good enough to score more? I’m going to take BC kicking 3 field goals and holding NIU to 1 TD. Boston College 9 – Northern Illinois 7

Virginia Tech (2-1) @ East Carolina (1-2)- In years past this game would scare the Hokies, however right now I feel like the Hokies are feeling good and this isn’t the same ECU squad from the last several years. Virginia Tech 28 – East Carolina 13

Samford (2-1) @ Louisville (0-3)- The Cardinals are the best 0-3 team in the country. They have played one good team close, one okay team close and then Houston that was just loss of focus but they get in the win column this week with an easy one against FCS Samford. Louisville 38 – Samford 7

North Carolina State (3-0) @ South Alabama (2-1)- Congratulations State you are playing pathetic teams on the road, you’re playing the wrong teams from Alabama though if you want to be taken seriously. We will have to wait at least another week before we see if this team is going to be for real. State will roll. NC State 41 – S Alabama 14

SUR 10 Week 3

Ohio State loses a first place vote, Georgia moves up 4 spots, Tigers drop 2.

Our panel –

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com multimedia editor and former Clemson beat writer for the Anderson Independent-Mail.
Chris Cox – SUR Recruiting Analyst and contributor.
Nic Mills – Intern in the Clemson Athletic Communications Office and SUR contributor.
Marty Coleman – SUR editor.

The voting is done independently and without the knowledge or influence of how the others voted, tabulated by our accounting firm and hermitically sealed in a #10 envelope until unveiled each week.

SUR 10 W3 2015

Others receiving votes: Florida State (3), Alabama (1)

Dropped out: Alabama, Southern Cal, Georgia Tech

SUR Week 3 Algo Picks and Results

Sometimes the numbers aren’t your friend and that’s what at least one game this week looks like. Remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint and as tempting as it is to change the numbers spit out by the Gonkulator, I’d rather accept those numbers and work to fix the algorithm, if in fact I find that it needs to be fixed at the end of the season.

Remember, the same calculation that outpaced the ESPN FPI during last bowl season is making these picks. I also recognize that results against teams like Howard and Appalachian State are affecting the numbers in a big way early in the season and I expect that to disappear to a large degree as the season matures.SUR Results 15 2

SUR Algo 3
Covers of the week: Florida (75.0%) and Virginia Tech (73.5%)

Covers of the week record: Last week 0-2, season 1-3

Nic’s Picks – Week 3

Week 3 ACC Picks: I went 11-2 this past week and am 23-4 overall. This week’s picks will be a bit tougher as we get into ACC play for four teams plus five more play fellow Power5 conference opponents as there are 5 ACC/B1G matchups. Three are at the ACC school and two at the B1G school.

Clemson(2-0) @ Louisville(0-2)- This Louisville team is the first test of the season for the Tigers. Yes App State looked like they were going to be a test during the first quarter but a 28 point second quarter put that to rest. Louisville is what people are calling a wounded dog and they really are, they are 0-2. Nobody really expected them to be 2-0; pretty much everyone expected them to be 1-1. They apparently were the team that got caught looking ahead to this Thursday nights showdown. It will be an interesting game, a close one for the first 3 quarters but I anticipate Clemson pulling away come the fourth. Bold prediction; Watson goes over 300 yards through the air and another 50 yards on the ground and the Tigers Defense holds L’ville to under 250 total yards.
Clemson 34 – Louisville 20

Florida State(2-0) @ Boston College(2-0)- Boston College, my apologies for last week’s pick. Yes I did pick you to win but I didn’t think you would be able to eclipse the 40 point mark but you went on to 76 points and only gave up 11 total yards. Upsets have occurred in Chestnut Hill just last year they knocked off mighty Southern California. This season the Eagles have been impressive early and well Florida State hasn’t however I do believe that Florida States level of competition has been a little bit more than BC’s. I’m not going to predict an upset but I will say that if Boston College wins on Friday night I won’t be surprised. Florida State 31 – Boston College 21

Illinois(2-0) @ North Carolina(1-1)- Let me start by saying that I know two things about Illinois; 1- they have a new head coach, like he was hired two weeks before the season and 2- they have outscored their first two opponents 96-3. This is one of five ACC/B1G games on this weekend alone. All of this weekend’s ACC/B1G games are between mediocre teams in both conferences, so it should help determine which conference is deeper as both are viewed as the bottom two power conferences. Marquise Williams needs play like week 2 Marquise and not week 1 Marquise and the Tar Heels should be able to defend their home turf. North Carolina 44 – Illinois 24

Wake Forest(1-1) @ Army(0-2)- These games are generally always ugly looking and for the most part Wake generally comes out on top, so I guess I’ll go with them but I am skeptical. Last week I put my trust in Wolford to go get a win that could help them out big time, but he couldn’t do it. Wake Forest 23 – Army 17

Central Michigan(1-1) @ Syracuse(2-0)- The Orange got a big win in conference play last week to insure that they don’t finish in the cellar. This week they look to get halfway to bowl eligibility if they can win and get to 3-0. It is imperative that they win this week because it is going to be hard enough to find 3 more wins on that schedule. Syracuse 38 – Central Michigan 21

Northwestern(2-0) @ Duke(2-0)- This is another important game in the ACC/B1G challenge this weekend, Northwestern is currently ranked 23 in the AP and 24 in the Coaches polls. Northwestern has already won a big non-conference showdown against Stanford and their D appears to be pretty good. Duke has been firing on all cylinders and I feel like they also will take a big win for themselves and for the ACC. Duke 27 – Northwestern 20

Georgia Tech(2-0) @ Notre Dame(2-0)- Ahhh the big game of the weekend, The Rambling Wreck and the Fighting Irish get to go head to head. I felt Notre Dame was the second most over ranked team in the offseason behind Auburn and a blowout of a very bad Texas team at home and a struggle to beat a bottom feeder in the ACC on the road have not changed my opinion. Georgia Tech while yes they haven’t faced anyone yet has been very impressive and they will show the country that this weekend. Georgia Tech is currently a 2.5 point favorite, they easily cover that. Georgia Tech 38 – Notre Dame 24

Nebraska(1-1) @ Miami(2-0)- If Al Golden is going to have a good enough season this year to stay in Miami I feel this is a game that he has to win. Last year in Lincoln the ‘Huskers got the best of the ‘Canes but that was with a true freshman QB in his fourth career game, this year he is more grown up and one of the top SO QB’s in the country. Miami 28 – Nebraska 24

William&Mary(1-0) @ Virginia(0-2)- Mike London and the Cavaliers nearly got a win last week that could have potentially sparked a win streak or season that could have saved his job at Virginia, but they fell in the waning seconds to the Irish. Enjoy the last few weeks in Charlottesville, Mike, it doesn’t look good. Virginia 37 – William&Mary 7

Virginia Tech(1-1) @ Purdue(1-1)- Virginia Tech takes an improving defense and a young QB on the road. Statistically speaking both teams are fairly even, level of competition played so far very much goes to the Hokies, but on the road with a young QB, I just don’t think it goes well for the Hokies in this one. Purdue 24 – VirginiaTech 16

North Carolina State(2-0) @ Old Dominion(2-0)- The Wolf Pack and Jacoby Brissett have gotten off to another strong start and this game won’t be any different. North Carolina State 45 – Old Dominion 17

Pittsburgh(2-0) @ Iowa(2-0)- If Pitt still had James Connor I think I would lean towards them pulling off the road win, but they don’t and Iowa has the better defense and home field. Iowa 27 – Pittsburgh 17