Expectations and Realities: Week 2 AP Top 25 College Football Teams

Last week I reported how top 25 teams performed relative to their expectations. In that article I compared vegasinsider.com’s lines for the AP top 25 teams to the actual scores for that week’s games. Here is week 2’s comparison.

During the first week of college football, Washington was the only team to drop from the top 25. Louisville replaced them for the 25th spot. Because of this, Washington was not included this week.

In the table below you will find the 25 teams ranked in the AP preseason poll, the predicted spread, the actual result, and the percent error. The teams are sorted based on how well the team performed based on the spread for that game. Teams with a positive percent error performed better than expected while teams with a negative percent error underperformed. Note: this is not a measure if a team won or lost a game, rather a measure of how well the team won or lost the game. For example, Texas A&M was predicted to beat Lamar by 46.5 points but outscored them by 70 points. Texas A&M performed 50% better than predicted.

Relative Performance of Week 2 AP Top 25 College Football Teams

Rank Team Opponent Spread Actual %Error
16 Notre Dame Michigan -4 -31 675%
24 Missouri Toledo -3.5 -25 614%
14 USC Stanford 3 -3 200%
15 Ole MIss Vanderbilt -18.5 -38 105%
23 Clemson South Carolina State -34 -66 94%
4 Oklahoma Tulsa -24.5 -45 84%
12 LSU Sam Houston State -32 -56 75%
9 Texas A&M Lamar -46.5 -70 51%
17 Arizona State New Mexico -24.5 -35 43%
3 Oregon Michigan State -13.5 -19 41%
10 Baylor Northwestern State -46.5 -64 38%
5 Auburn San Jose State -34 -46 35%
25 Louisville Murray State -35.5 -45 27%
6 Georgia Bye 0 0 0%
2 Alabama Florida Atlantic -42 -41 -2%
18 Wisconsin Western Illinois -41 -34 -17%
21 South Carolina East Carolina -14.5 -10 -31%
7 Michigan State Oregon 13.5 19 -41%
1 Florida State Citadel -56.5 -25 -56%
20 Kansas State Iowa State -12 -4 -67%
11 UCLA Memphis -22.5 -7 -69%
22 North Carolina San Diego State -14.5 -4 -72%
19 Nebraska McNeese State -35.5 -7 -80%
13 Stanford USC -3 3 -200%
8 Ohio State Virginia Tech -10 14 -240%

Use the following chart to help visualize the data in the table.

Many teams played easy opponents during week 2 as you can tell by the number of 30+ point spreads. However, there were some games that were predicted to be close. The most surprising win this week, for a top 25 team, comes from Notre Dame’s 31-0 shutout over Michigan. Notre Dame was favored by 4 points. This indicates that it was expected to be a close game that instead resulted in a blowout.

The first 14 teams in the table exceeded expectations while the bottom 11 underperformed.The top 3 overachievers this week were Notre Dame (675%), Missouri (614%), and USC (200%). The top 3 underperformers this week were Ohio State (-240%), Stanford (-200%), and Nebraska (-80%).

 

Important notes:

1. Spreads can be found at vegasinsider.com.

2. Percent error is calculated as

3. I understand that spreads are typically used for gambling purposes and that the lines move. However, it is important for the spreads to reasonably accurate in order for the house or bookie to make money. Lines are a consistent source of weekly predictions

One Comment

Leave a Reply