SPAM - NCAA Football 2021 - Week 2 Update (with picks and week 1 recap)



Week 1 is in the books and Iowa is 1-0, the best thing you can possibly be after one week of play. Let's just enjoy that and brace ourselves for ¡El Assico! The assiness is nearly upon us.

Here's how SPAM picked Week 1, which was Not Great, Bob. Not Great.

Illinois v. Nebraska (Illinois, 30-22)
Vegas said: NEB -6.5
SPAM said: NEB -2.2 (take Illinois)

Michigan v. Western Michigan (Michigan, 47-14)
Vegas said: MI -17
SPAM said: MI +3.7

Iowa v. Indinia (Iowa, 34-6)
Vegas said: IA -3.5
SPAM said: IA -6.1

Wisconsin v. Penn State (Penn State, 16-10)
Vegas said: WI -4.5
SPAM said: WI -6.9

Minnesota v. Ohio State (Ohio State, 45-31)
Vegas said: OSU -14
SPAM said OSU -7
SPAM pushed.

This pick was looking REAL good there for a half.

Purdue v. Oregon State (Purdue, 30-21)
Vegas said: Purdue -7
SPAM said: Purdue -2.6

Northwestern v. Michigan State (Michigan State, 38-21)
Vegas said: NWU -3
SPAM said: NWU -15.8

Rutgers v. Temple (Rutgers, 61-14)
Vegas Said: Rutgers -14
SPAM said: Rutgers: -4.8

Maryland v. W. Va (Maryland, 30-24)
Vegas said: W. Va: -2.5
SPAM said: W. Va. -6.0

SPAM also picked Clemson to cover Georgia, but DID correctly product a UCLA victory over LSU.

I just realized that I didn't post SPAM's predictions for Nebraska or Illinois in Week 1. Short version, SPAM didn't pick the Nebraska game because Fordham isn't a D1 school, and SPAM had Illinois losing to UTSA by 6.5, but I'm not including the correct Illinois pick in my record count because I didn't post it in advance.


An ugly start, but this system is least accurate right now, and is working from mostly 2020 data. How much confidence do you have in the predictive power of 2020 data?


Ok, let's look to the future. Here's the updated SPAM projections for the rest of Iowa's season based on what happened across the NCAAFootballosphere in weeks 0 and 1.

Game by Game

Opponent Margin Win%
Indiana 9.5 W (1-0)
@Iowa State -0.2 46.6%
Kent State 10.7 75.2%
Colorado State 18.9 87.8%
@Maryland 10.9 75.5%
Penn State 10.0 73.9%
Purdue 12.0 77.6%
@Wisconsin 2.3 58.3
@Northwestern 4.3 62.7%
Minnesota 14.0 80.7%
Illinois 17.5 85.8%
@Nebraska 8.9 72.0%

Most of these lines did not move much, with a few notable exceptions. The Iowa State line has moved from a 3 point Cyclone advantage to a near-dead heat. Given that Jack Trice stadium is worth 3.1 points in home field advantage, Iowa is actually slightly favored in this one, but the nod goes to the Cyclones due to their formidable venue.

The Wisconsin line also moved about 2 points in Iowa's favor, reflecting the Badgers' hapless performance over the weekend, while Iowa took care of business.

Finally, Nebraska's offensive output vs. Fordham did it some favors, and the Cornhuskers closed the gap with Iowa by about another 2 points. It's pretty hard to move these lines much in one week, so this says much for how many outliers we had in week 1.

But if you like that, you're going to love this:

Record Projection

Record Odds
4-8 0.2%
5-7 0.9%
6-6 3.7%
7-5 10.5%
8-4 20.6%
9-3 27.0%
10-2 23.4%
11-1 11.4%
12-0 2.4%

With one win in the bag, the odds of course push up across the board. Of note, the odds of 9, 10, 11, and 12 win seasons each shot up a few percentage points, removing distribution from mostly the 7-5 and 8-4 categories.

But if you liked THAT then you're going to love THIS:

Division Championship Odds

Big 10 West

Team Champ. Odds
Iowa 69.67%
Wisconsin 14.68%
Northwestern 4.46%
Purdue 3.23%
Nebraska 0.94%
Illinois 0.93%
Minnesota 0.76%

Sweet Baby Ray and His Delicious Assortment of BBQ Sauces! Iowa at a 70% chance to win the West. In WEEK 2!? WHAT U SAY? How can this be? Well, the answer is actually rather simple. Iowa has a conference win, and Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska, and Minnesota all have conference losses. That means Iowa only needs to hold serve. Iowa has a one-game margin of error against all of these teams. The Hawkeyes can either beat each of those teams and be in. Or, Iowa can lose heads up but if any of those teams lose to another B1G West opponent (and, SOME of them are going to have to lose, we all play each other), then Iowa sneaks in despite the heads-up loss.

The reason this is showing up now is that we don't usually have a conference game in week 1, and Iowa stands alone atop the West (well, yes, I see you, Illinois, but ... no disrespect intended, I'm not ready to take you seriously just yet). Thus, week 1 victories rarely move the needle much. You'll notice in future weeks that the wins and losses in non-conference games don't do much, either. For example, if Iowa loses in Ames this weekend, it shouldn't change these division championship odds much at all.

That gaudy 70% championship rate is a little smoke and mirrors. All it takes is for Iowa to lose, and Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, or Nebraska to win, 1 conference game and we're back to even. But, for now, for this week, we've got a Week 2 unicorn. Gaze upon it and be satisfied.

Big 10 East

Team Champ. Odds
Ohio State 48.71%
Penn State 20.52%
Rutgers 7.09%
Indiana 6.95%
Michigan 4.36%
Maryland 2.80%
Michigan State 2.46%

The biggest surprise here is that Ohio State isn't favored by more. Indiana dropped from 2nd to 4th, behind Penn State and ... lemme check my notes here.... something called "Rutgers"? Well anyway, the Hoosiers also still basically have it all in front of them. They have to beat Ohio State to win the East. That was what they needed before the Iowa game, and nothing has changed, except perhaps the level of irrational exuberance in Bloomington. I am a LITTLE puzzled that MSU is stuck at the bottom despite a conference win while Indiana has a conference lost, but that's a testament to just how bad MSU's statistics are. Even being ahead by a game, SPAM doesn't like them.


Wisconsin v. Eastern Michigan
Vegas says: WI -25.5
SPAM says: WI -7.6
SPAM Picks: Eastern Michigan

Illinois v. Virginia
Vegas says: VA -10
SPAM says: VA -11.6
SPAM Picks: Virginia

Oregon v. Ohio State
Vegas says: OSU -14
SPAM says: OSU -8.4
SPAM Picks: Oregon

Youngstown State v. Michigan State
(No Line)

Miami (OH) v. Minnesota
Vegas says: MN -19.5
SPAM says: MN -1.5
SPAM Picks: Miami (OH)

Indiana State v. Northwestern (no line)

Rutgers v. Syracuse
Vegas says: Rutgers -2
SPAM says: Rutgers -3.9
SPAM Picks: Rutgers

Purdue v. UConn
Vegas says: -33.5
SPAM says: UConn -3.8
SPAM Picks: UConn (SPAM, you sad, sad bastard, CAN'T YOU READ THE NEWS!?)

Buffalo v. Nebraska
Vegas says: NE -13.5
SPAM says: Buff -13.6
SPAM Picks: Buffalo (yes, SPAM has BUFFALO favored by 13.6; see prior remarks about cross-conference projections)

Iowa v. Iowa State
Vegas says: ISU -4.5
SPAM says: ISU -0.2
SPAM Picks: Iowa

Idaho v. Indinia (no line)

Washington v. Michigan
Vegas says: MI -6.5
SPAM says: WA -0.9
SPAM Picks: Washington

Ball State at Penn State
Vegas says: PSU -22
SPAM says: Dead Even
SPAM Picks: Ball State

Howard at Maryland (no line)

Have fun! If you get down, get down with responsibility and caution. Only gamble what you can afford to lose. Disclaimer: I am not a gambler, bettor, picker, grinner, lover, sinner, joker, smoker, or midnight toker. I provide this data for fun and games only. You alone are responsible for all of the terrible and costly decisions you make resulting from your completely unjustifiable reliance on it.

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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