We welcome you all to the game thread, boy am I excited for this game! To get all your minds thinking I want to give you some analyses from computer ranking systems, and see how they rate BYU and USU. Also some computer systems have specific algorithms for predicting game outcomes. Of course computers are always limited in one way or another, but you can take it for what it's worth, or you can just jump to the bottom and join in our game thread! Hope to hear from you all!!
BYU holds a slight edge, making up for a 6 point offensive deficit with strong defensive stats.
BYU is ranked 57th, Utah State is ranked 33rd. Here is a breakdown of the computer's predictions. This analysis is pretty high on USU's offense and for good cause, our defense will have it's hands full.
This matrix is "unbiased" meaning it only considers wins and losses, and the quality of opponent determined only by their wins and losses. BYU is ranked 70th while USU is ranked 71st. Slight edge given to BYU for beating 3-1 Middle Tennessee and 2-2 Texas, while Utah State's only wins are to sub .500 teams.
One of the more popular and referenced rankings system, Jeff Sagarin's ranking include predictions and incorporate home-field advantage. BYU is ranked 43rd with "predictor value" of 77.19 (the higher the better). Utah State is ranked 26th with a "predictor value" of 82.54, plus a home-field advantage of 4.24. Sum all those us and BYU is a 9.6 point underdog.
For those of you who have read my regular Eyes on the Enemy post know that I love to refer to Massey's computer comparison site. He takes any published online rankings (currently 96 of them) and charts them all, averaging them out the rankings to give a rather accurate rating system. Here's a look at the high, low, and average ranking for BYU and USU. (BYU High, shows the highest ranking for BYU and where USU is ranked in that same ranking, similarly for BYU low, USU high and USU low)
|Avg.||Medain||St. Dev.||BYU high||BYU low||USU high||USU low|
What do these numbers mean? Well with a 4.5 edge in standard deviation more systems agree that BYU is ranked around 50, while the jury is still out on just how good USU is, but they're still averaging nine places higher than BYU. The systems that rank BYU highest and lowest, also give a respectively high and low ranking to USU (likely those systems look at yardage gained and allowed). On the other hand the systems that rank USU highest and lowest have BYU ranked averagely.
There are thousands of way to interpret all of this, but I would generally say that BYU is definitely going into Logan as the underdog (of these five computer analyses, 3 went to USU, 1 to BYU, 1 tie). That said, predictive analysis takes past performance and projects it into the future, but cannot really account for teams improving, and assumes that teams basically improve at the same rate. And of course in the end, the bounce of the ball, the twitch of each muscle is each body of each player can have a great effect on the outcome of the game.
I think I may be more excited for this game than I was for the Utah game. I am very glad that the BYU-Utah State rivalry has developed into such a great game, and I expect the emotions in this one to make it a close game. I'd say no team ever leads by more than 10, and the final result is within 6. I also think it will be the opposite of last year's defensive struggle, an offensive shoot-out. I'm thinking we'll finally see those Hill to Hoffman touchdowns we've been waiting for