Highest Graded Teams (Percentile Performance)
1. St. John's (100.0%)
2. Mount Union (100.0%)
3. Whitworth (100.0%)
4. Illinois Wesleyan (99.8%)
5. Wheaton Ill. (99.8%)
6. St. Thomas (99.8%)
7. UW-Oshkosh (99.7%)
8. Frostburg State (99.5%)
9. Delaware Valley (99.2%)
10. John Carroll (99.1%)
I'm not really going to talk about that St. John's game; it's all pretty much been said by now.
Mount Union looked sharp in every aspect of the game this week. The QB looked good, the special teams were electric, and the defense was its normal stout self. They played like a national title-ready team.
Whitworth made me eat my words from my preseason column, where I said I didn't think they would be the second-best team in the NWC. I should have followed my thought process for other conferences--the team returning the best quarterback is probably going to be better than expected. Central may also be in for a down year after graduating some impact players of their own.
Illinois Wesleyan beat UW-Whitewater, which is always impressive. Maybe the model was over-compensating the Warhawks' past performance, which occurred under a different HC, and maybe IWU was lucky (*cough* turnover luck *cough*), but still, a wildly impressive opening win.
Lowest Graded Teams (Percentile Performance)
204. Greenville (0.0%)
203. Maine Maritime (0.0%)
202. Minnesota-Morris (0.0%)
201. St. Scholastica (0.0%)
200. Grinnell (0.0%)
199. Finlandia (0.1%)
198. Thiel (0.1%)
197. Earlham (0.1%)
196. Iowa Wesleyan (0.1%)
195. Anna Maria (0.2%)
I don't want to dwell on teams who played poorly, so I'm not going to expound on these performances, but it's worth noting that losing 98-0 to a Top 10 team means you still played probably better than some other teams around the country.
Biggest Upsets (Predicted Line)
1. Martin Luther (+26.2)
2. Loras (+25.2)
3. Allegheny (+18.7)
4. Ferrum (+18.5)
5. FDU-Florham (+17.0)
6. Illinois Wesleyan (+16.6)
7. Berry (+15.1)
8. Guilford (+15.0)
9. Mount Ida (+13.3)
10. Rhodes (+12.3)
Martin Luther was the last-place team in my preseason ratings, and they won their opener. Good by them.
Loras looked more like the (surprisingly good) team from a couple years ago than they looked like the (predictably poor) team from last year. We'll see which team shows up for the rest of the year.
Allegheny, who was one of the Bottom 25 teams in the preseason, played like a Top 50 team in their opener. Second-year bumps for a new coach are real, and Allegheny has a good one. Would be incredible if they continued playing at this level given the lack of playmakers they displayed last year.
I know some people might be surprised to see Berry on here, and I probably had them underrated in the preseason. I feel like that's the "realest" result from the 10 teams in this list.
Biggest Outliers (Absolute Error in Score Prediction)
1. Loras @ Elmhurst (57.2)
2. St. Scholastica @ St. John's (52.6)
3. Whitworth @ Central (50.9)
4. Allegheny @ Thiel (50.7)
5. Greenville @ Millikin (39.8)
6. Franklin & Marshall @ Lebanon Valley (38.0)
7. Martin Luther @ Minnesota-Morris (33.2)
8. FDU-Florham @ TCNJ (31.0)
9. Maine Maritime @ SUNY-Maritime (30.9)
10. George Fox @ UW-Platteville (29.9)
The F&M/Lebanon Valley game wasn't an upset, but I expected it to be close. Instead, Franklin and Marshall dominated. Lebanon Valley was supposed to have a shot in the MAC, but that doesn't seem realistic anymore. For F&M, they may have a shot to crack into the Top 2 or 3 in the CC after JHU's defense showed some cracks against Washington & Lee in their opener.