What a fun win on Saturday! Let’s see how much of an effect it had on the analytical models…
ESPN’s Football Power Index
|Team||National Rank||FPI||Big 12 Title Odds|
The FPI score is the expected margin of victory against an average team on a neutral field. West Virginia is enjoying its second consecutive week as the most average team in the country according to FPI with a score of -0.1.
The Big 12 median FPI rose to another season-high of 8.3 Below are the odds of victory for Texas Tech against each remaining opponent.
Texas Tech Win Probability (%)
|@ West Virginia||51.9|
Texas Tech’s average remaining win percentage is 38.4 percent, which means they still have a lot of punching up to do like they did against Oklahoma State last week. Below are the odds that Texas Tech finishes with any given season record that has more than a one percent chance of happening. FPI currently projects Tech to finish 6.1-6.
SP+ measures the same thing as FPI; expected margin of victory against an average team on a neutral field. For reference, SP+ has Northwestern and Illinois as the two most average teams in the country with SP+ of 0.4 and -0.3, respectively. Texas Tech is currently 3.3 points behind the median Big 12 SP+ of 14.
Adam McClintock ranks all 130 FBS teams every week and predicts the margin of victory for each FBS vs. FBS matchup. He usually has the full Big 12 rankings out by the time I publish this, but may have fallen behind this week.
He gives Baylor a 66 percent chance to beat Texas Tech and has the Bears favored by 7 points. His model projects that Texas Tech is the 64th best team in the country and that they will finish 5-7.
Sagarin gives Baylor a 76 percent chance to win and has them favored by about 10 points. That is very close to the line in Vegas, which opened at Baylor -10 or -10.5.
My Two Cents
Here’s what I said last week: “One of the next three is a must-win, and it probably would be better if it were against Oklahoma State or Iowa State in front of a home crowd. Win one in this tough stretch, then get to 4-4 against Kansas as the schedule lightens up a bit.”
Saturday was a big win, and has me thinking 4-4 after the trip to Lawrence is a bare minimum. I’m not so sure Texas Tech doesn’t have a better chance against Baylor than some of the numbers above seem to indicate. Below are some keys to the game and why I think it’s reasonable that Texas Tech can perform even better than they did in a 10-point win over Oklahoma State.
- Baylor’s offense has been inconsistent and has endured some pretty lengthy scoring droughts. In their 21-13 win over Rice, the Bears didn’t score in the second half. They gave up a 20-point lead to Iowa State two weeks ago before salvaging a 23-21 victory. That was after it took them nearly the entire first half to score against the Cyclones.
- What Baylor’s offense does well is convert in the red zone. They’re very efficient. When they get inside the 20, they’re going to score points and it’s usually 7 instead of 3. They did have some kicking woes against Iowa State, including a botched PAT and missed field goal from 38 yards out. They also opted to go for it on 4th & 15 from the 28-yard line rather than try a 45-yard field goal. Forcing field goals could be a big victory for Texas Tech’s defense on Saturday.
- Texas Tech needs to do better in terms of the offense complementing the defense. Other than the disaster in Norman against an overwhelming offense, Texas Tech’s defense has looked most vulnerable late in games. Against Arizona, Texas Tech got stops on nine of their first 11 defensive stands. Arizona’s final two drives (possessions 12 and 13 of the game) were both touchdowns and they went for 14 plays and 13 plays, respectively. Against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech got stops on its first nine defensive possessions. Oklahoma State scored on five of its next seven possessions. Texas Tech lost the time of possession battle in both games. A big part of this is third down conversions, which Texas Tech has been dreadful at converting so far. If they can move the ball on offense, they can positively impact the game without scoring. Get a couple first downs, shift field position, and shorten the game for the defense. It could go a long way.
- Lastly, Texas Tech left a lot of meat on the bone against Oklahoma State. I’m not talking about being a few plays away from a perfect game, I mean they made multiple mistakes that would have made the game a complete blowout had they executed properly. Duffey missed guys deep a few times, the failed fake field goal, the 15 yard punt before halftime that gave the Cowboys great field position, the failed 4th & 1 conversion in Oklahoma State territory, the failed onside kick recovery, etc. I was thrilled that overall Tech made huge improvements, but they could be even better just by executing some fundamentals. If they take another step forward against Baylor in this respect and hit on they keys outlined above, I like their chances.
- Dare I say it? Texas Tech 31, Baylor 26