Sagarin/Dolphin predictions for aTm game

Battle of the Unbeatens! Sounds like a marquee matchup until you discover that it's Texas A&M. Legitimate contenders or poseurs? Two of those wins have come against a Division III team and an NAIA team. All but one of the rest have come against teams in the bottom tier of Division I. The 13-point victory over Houston is noteworthy because Houston beat Missouri. The victory over a Big 10/11 opponent is noteworthy because it came in the Aggies' only road outing to date this season.

The Aggies have garnered some respect from Sagarin, rising as high as #34 in the Elo Chess rankings. Even their Pure Points and overall rankings are in the Top 64, which would make them NCAA Tournament material if you simply took the top 64 teams from the Sagarin ratings.

But their conference opener is on the road against Kansas, and Sagarin is giving the Jayhawks a 12.5-point edge in the contest and an 86 percent chance of winning the game. Kansas is playing 5.9 points better than its Sagarin Pure Points rating, however, while A&M is only playing 2.8 points better, so that gives Kansas another 3.1 points, boosting the margin to 15.6 points. I would say that the intangibles work in A&M's favor, however. It's easy to have a letdown after the emotional high of beating Georgia Tech in a thriller (see Gonzaga against Missouri after knocking off undefeated Oklahoma State), and it's also easy to look past A&M to the big Kentucky game this Sunday. And with the weak schedule the Aggies have played, it's hard to know just how good their team is. Add to that the fact that Simien is still out, and it's easy to see why I think the intangibles work in A&M's favor. But Kansas has the sixth man in the Allen Field House crowd, which was a significant factor in the Georgia Tech game.

As far as inconsistency is concerned, aTm is right on the national average, while Kansas is slightly more inconsistent, which is to be expected when one of your top players goes out with an injury. That loss has also contributed to Kansas showing a negative trend of marginal significance. The Aggies also have a negative trend, but it's not statistically significant.

Well, Massey finally updated some links on his home page that now point to his 2005 ratings based on win-loss outcomes, but that page states that the ratings and predictions based on margin of victory will not be posted publicly this season. In addition, his offense and defense rankings that used to appear on the individual team pages have disappeared. So what we're left with is something fairly similar to Sagarin's Elo Chess rating, but there's not enough information on which to base a score prediction or even a score margin. Not much difference between Massey and the plethora of other rankings available on the web now. Fortunately, we have Dolphin to take his place.

Dolphin is predicting a final score of 77 to 63 in favor of Kansas, with an 89 percent chance of the Jayhawks winning the game. The Aggies have respectable ratings in Dolphin's lists as well.

It's rare for a team to finish with an RPI much in excess of 0.7, but at the moment, the Jayhawks' RPI is a stunning 0.74, and it's only going to go higher after taking on an undefeated team. It won't go up that much, because the opponents' opponents are so weak, but Kansas is following today's game with a marquee matchup in Lexington against RPI #26.


               ======================== Sagarin =======================
               Rate    SoS    Elo     PP   Perf   Inc.       Trend
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ==============
Kansas         #  4   # 78   #  8   # 13   +5.9   11.6   -1.51 +/- 1.49
Texas A&M      # 42   #332   # 34   # 50   +2.8   11.0   -0.70 +/- 1.49 

               ============ Massey ============     === RPI ===     ====
               Rate    SoS    Pow    Off    Def     Rate    SOS     Rec.
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====     ====   ====     ====
Kansas         #  3   # 76   #      #      #        #  1   #  2      9-0
Texas A&M      # 87   #321   #      #      #        #124   #325     11-0

               ======================= Dolphin ======================
               Std.   Med.   Pre.   IRPI   RPI    Pair   Poll   Sched
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   =====
Kansas         #  5   #  5   #  6   #  2   #  1   #  3   #  8   0.638
Texas A&M      # 39   # 39   # 55   # 62   #115   # 35   # 49  -0.629

Here is Kansas' season:

SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
====   =============================   =======   ======    =====    =====
HOME   # 20 Vermont                     68  61    +5.96    +1.04
HOME   #148 Saint Joseph's              91  51   +19.52   +20.48
HOME   # 89 Nevada                      85  52   +16.33   +16.67
HOME   # 70 Pacific                     81  70   +14.48    -3.48
HOME   # 86 TCU                         93  74   +16.22    +2.78
HOME   #163 Louisiana-Lafayette         96  51   +20.39   +24.61
HOME   # 39 South Carolina              64  60   +11.56    -7.56
HOME   # 55 Wis.-Milwaukee              73  62   +12.98    -1.98
HOME   #  6 Georgia Tech                70  68    +1.69    +0.31
HOME   # 50 Texas A&M                            +12.51             0.860
AWAY   # 11 Kentucky                              -4.34             0.354
AWAY   #110 Iowa State                            +9.18             0.786
AWAY   # 92 Colorado                              +8.42             0.766
HOME   # 67 Nebraska                             +14.12             0.888
AWAY   # 54 Villanova                             +4.85             0.662
AWAY   #297 Baylor                               +22.13             0.972
HOME   #  9 Texas                                 +3.20             0.609
HOME   #105 Missouri                             +17.08             0.930
AWAY   # 67 Nebraska                              +6.04             0.699
AWAY   #117 Kansas State                          +9.53             0.795
HOME   # 92 Colorado                             +16.50             0.923
AWAY   #  5 Texas Tech                            -6.84             0.278
HOME   #110 Iowa State                           +17.26             0.932
AWAY   # 12 Oklahoma                              -4.18             0.359
HOME   #  2 Oklahoma State                        -3.49             0.382
HOME   #117 Kansas State                         +17.61             0.936
AWAY   #105 Missouri                              +9.00             0.781

Latest season projection is still for five cumulative losses. There are four projected losses in individual games, including the road games against Kentucky, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma, but the Pure Points ratings currently favor Oklahoma State in the contest in Allen Field House.

Here is Texas A&M's season. The Aggies are projected to win 7 conference games.


SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
====   =============================   =======   ======    =====    =====
HOME   #316 N.C. A&T                    89  56   +24.11    +8.89
Div3   Trinity                          67  48
NAIA   Permian Basin                    98  36
HOME   #215 Oakland-Mich.               81  63   +15.21    +2.79
HOME   #331 Prairie View A&M            82  40   +34.01    +7.99
HOME   #302 Alabama A&M                 71  68   +22.51   -19.51
HOME   #295 Louisiana-Monroe            78  36   +21.61   +20.39
HOME   #252 Chicago State               90  70   +17.90    +2.10
HOME   #320 Grambling                   97  66   +24.94    +6.06
HOME   #137 Houston                     93  80   +10.30    +2.70
AWAY   #227 Penn State                  62  60    +8.00    -6.00
AWAY   # 13 Kansas                               -12.51             0.127
HOME   #  9 Texas                                 -5.27             0.315
AWAY   #  5 Texas Tech                           -15.31             0.081
HOME   # 12 Oklahoma                              -4.57             0.338
HOME   #117 Kansas State                          +9.14             0.798
AWAY   # 67 Nebraska                              -2.43             0.412
HOME   #297 Baylor                               +21.74             0.976
AWAY   # 12 Oklahoma                             -12.65             0.124
HOME   #105 Missouri                              +8.61             0.784
HOME   #  2 Oklahoma State                       -11.96             0.137
AWAY   #  9 Texas                                -13.35             0.111
AWAY   # 92 Colorado                              -0.05             0.498
HOME   #110 Iowa State                            +8.79             0.789
HOME   #  5 Texas Tech                            -7.23             0.255
AWAY   #  2 Oklahoma State                       -20.04             0.034
AWAY   #297 Baylor                               +13.66             0.894
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