Scuzz Model: Last Chance


Well the good news is that it doesn’t really hurt anymore. That said, this weekend’s game becomes NU’s last chance at some small sense of redemption and redirection, headed toward next year. When you compare common opponents, all of Illinois’ losses are worse than ours, save Wisconsin, but the location of that game I think is meaningful (we played in Madison, Illinois was at home). NU also matches up well against IL – defensively & with our running game. The biggest question to me, is can NU rally around itself, in this miserably disappointing season? Are the coaches & players still unified? I tend to think yes — this is a strong program, Fitz has great relationships with his players, and there is enough dislike for Illinois to be a focal point during the preparation. However, based on the last 6 weeks, there has been zero confidence running through this team or these players; on the opposite side, Illinois got their first B1G win in two and a half years last week. I’ll call this an uphill battle, even though we are favored. The model sees this as a toss-up… in my heart I know we can win, but I’ll be nauseous and uncomfortable till the final second ticks off the clock.

This Week’s Picks:

Straight up: 493-135 (78.5%)
ATS: 357-247 (59.1%)
Blog Picks: 38-17 (69.1%)

Week 1: 4-1
Week 2: 2-2
Week 3: 5-0
Week 4: 3-2
Week 5: 3-1
Week 6: 2-3
Week 7: 3-2
Week 8: 4-1
Week 9: 3-1
Week 10: No Picks
Week 11: 4-0
Week 12: 3-1
Week 13: 2-3

The model was strong last week, though I picked poorly. That UCLA game in particular upset me, cause the Bruins really should’ve won / covered. I also didn’t have the stones to pick Oklahoma State or Minnesota. C’est la vie. This week the rivalries will likely hurt the model’s effectiveness, but that’s never stopped me from making picks before. Here are this week’s picks:

Kansas State (-16.5) @ Kansas: I’m saddened to think this may be the last chance to bet against Charlie Weis in college football. Model has KState by 25.

Baylor (-13) @ TCU: In the first of two very similar picks, I think Baylor comes back strong this weekend against TCU. The Frogs are a solid team, but they just don’t have the weapons, or the home field advantage to do to Baylor what OSU did. It also will be relatively nice temp-wise in DFW this weekend. Scuzz model favors the Bears by 20.

Oregon (-21.5) vs Oregon State: Usually I wouldn’t touch a rivalry game like this, but I think Oregon is frustrated, angry, and playing at home. I also think OSU lacks type of running game that has given Oregon trouble in their two losses. Model likes the Ducks by an additional 3 points.

Pittsburgh (+3) vs Miami: I never love the cold weather argument, but with the Miami Hurricanes it seems to happen every year — they go north late and struggle. This year, not only are they headed to colder climes, but Pittsburgh is a good team, and Miami is missing their best player. I like Pitt to surprise with a win in this game – the model still favors Miami, but likes Pitt to cover.

UAB (-14.5) vs Southern Miss: Last week I highlighted the model’s performance on EMU, and this week will similarly figure in on Southern Mississippi. This team is 0-11, and has covered only twice this year. The model is 10-1 picking on S. Miss, and likes UAB to win by 3 TDs this weekend.

Other Notables:
Minnesota (+15) @ Michigan State
Indiana (-20) vs Purdue
Penn State (+24.5) @ Wisconsin
Michigan (+14.5) vs Ohio State
Iowa (+3) @ Nebraska
Duke (+6.5) @ North Carolina
Florida (+27.5) vs FSU
UCLA (+3) @ USC
Texas (-4.5) vs Texas Tech
Missouri (-4) vs Texas A&M
Alabama (-11) @ Auburn

Already Obsolete BCS Championship Hunt:
As far as I’m concerned, everyone is at risk this week, save NIU (who won last night) and Fresno State who plays a weak opponent. The fact is that weird things happen during rivalry week… Are we likely to have all 5 of these teams move through to next weekend unscathed? Yes. But I bet it doesn’t happen….



Posted on November 27, 2013, in Saturday Morning Stats. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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