Week #8 Statistics and FEI Prediction for Nebraska

Submitted by Enjoy Life on October 25th, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Prediction for MSU: The FEI Forecast for this Saturday is Nebraska 27  – Michigan 24 with a 57% Probable Win Expectation for Nebraska. This difference is entirely the home field advantage. Basically a toss up and, like the Purdue and MSU games, FEI is wrong and Michigan wins the game 31 – 10. For whatever reason, FEI remains unimpressed with the Wolverines. As you can see  below, M is ranked better than Nebraska in every FEI category except offense.

imageFremeau Efficiency Index: Even though it was a low scoring and close victory, FEI rewarded Michigan and moved M from #47 to #36 because MSU is still ranked very high by FEI (#29 if you can believe that!). The S&P Ratings (Also from Football Outsiders) is a play based analysis (rather than possession based) and M is ranked #11 overall, #5 in offense, and #29 in defense.

The FEI is a drive based analysis considering each of the nearly 20,000 drives each year in FBS college football. The data is filtered to eliminate garbage time (at the half or end of game) and is adjusted for opponent. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams (win or lose) and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams.

imageNational Rankings: The rankings for offense and defense are based on scoring (yardage statistics are inherently flawed). These are simply raw numbers without any adjustments for opponent, garbage time, or anything else. The data is from TeamRankings and includes only games between two FBS teams.

FEI Details: Here are the FEI numbers for Michigan and their opponent ( Football Outsiders FEI ).


imageimagePoints Per Possession: The defense continues to excel. After those first two games, M is allowing just 9.8 points per game (13, 13, 13, 0, and 10).

Cumulative PPPo is 2.7 for the offense and 1.4 for the defense. M finished 2011 outscoring opponents by almost a 2:1 margin with PPPo for offense of 2.8 and defense of 1.4. The 2 charts show the raw data for offense and defense with the number of possessions adjusted for "kneel downs" at the half or end-of-game (maximum deduction = 2).

Using Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense National Rankings for the past 5 years (FBS AQ teams only), this table shows the percentage of teams that finish the season with a +WLM and a +5 WLM. For example, teams that finished in the Top 40 in both offense and defense had a 100% chance to be +WLM and an 82% chance to be +5 WLM (9-4 or better).




October 25th, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

What's the point of this? The predictions don't seem to follow our improvements at all and I'm pretty sure this is the 2nd or 3rd week in a row where the OP has called FEI wrong. Why bother? I am as unimpressed with FEI as the metric is unimpressed with the Wolverines.


October 25th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

"As you can see  below, M is ranked better than Nebraska in every FEI category except offense."

Playing Alabama, Notre Dame, and Michigan State will certainly make your offensive numbers look worse. Then again, playing Notre Dame and (especially) Michigan State's offenses helped our defensive statistics.


October 25th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

To hell with FEI!!! We haven't given up more than 13 points in our last 5 games, and we've only played 7. We're improving every game defensively.

We gave up 25 to an Air Force team in our second game of the season, which is a game you can't conclusively rely on stats. Alabama proves nothing except we weren't a NC team out of the gate. But neither is Nebraska; not out of the gate, not now!

I think Michigan will look like the clear better team, but I don't think we're going to Lincoln to blow the Huskers out. Wolverines win 27-23 in a game that's not as close as the score appears. Just as likely, Michigan wins 27-16.

Blue in Seattle

October 25th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

It would be interseting to see the raw scores compared to the adjusted score (adjustments are based on strength of competition). Tracking FEI over the past three seasons it's been intersting to read how much tweaking of the model goes on.  The largest amount of tweaking goes on in relationship to the strength of opponent adjustments.

Michigan has done poorly against it's overall non-conference schedule this year.  UMass being the best game, probably wasn't a big reward considering their strength.  Air Force was probably a big hit on both sides of the ball since neither side was a blowout.

From what I've read on FEI I think splitting the model apart into offense and defense makes those parts weaker.  Look at the overall, if I'm reading your chart correctly, and look how much worse we were getting with those wins against Air Force and UMass.  But our performance in the bye week was outstanding!

I think this model is a really good predictor by Jan 15.



October 25th, 2012 at 7:09 PM ^

and results against each team's schedule.

Michigan has lost to better competition, but your best win this season was at home against a 4-4 team. Nebraska's beaten one rated team at home, and a 6-2 team on the road. In Michigan's only road victory at Purdue you dominated, but it was Purdue.

Does any of this or FEI mean anything? Probably not.

I think the two teams are pretty evenly matched, I'm just looking forward to a hard fought, exciting game and Nebraska victory. Let's face it, most people knew a long time ago this game would likely determine the Legends.

Here's a stat: Nebraska’s won 10 straight home night games, is 36-5 overall in home night games. And this is Michigan's first ever visit to Memorial Stadium.