Week 3 Statistical Review

September 18, 2017

Highest Graded Teams (Percentile Performance)

1. Mount Union - win over Marietta 69-3 (100.0%)

2. Mary Hardin-Baylor - win over Linfield 24-3 (100.0%)

3. St. Thomas - win over Carleton 63-0 (100.0%)

4. Hardin-Simmons - win over Louisiana College 55-10 (99.8%)

5. Albion - win over Concordia Wis. 79-7 (99.8%)

6. Wheaton Ill. - win over Carthage 37-14 (99.8%)

7. Whitworth - win over La Verne 53-0 (99.7%)

8. St. John's - win over St. Olaf 56-7 (99.5%)

9. Brockport - win over St. John Fisher 38-7 (99.4%)

10. Heidelberg - win over Ohio Northern 40-21 (99.2%)


Wheaton makes it three-for-three grading out in the Top 10, this time with a convincing win over Carthage, who is rated just a shade behind Illinois Wesleyan in the Top 25. Mount Union picked up right where they left off after their bye week, and Mary Hardin-Baylor physically dominated Linfield. UMHB's conference mate Hardin-Simmons also put together a blowout of McMurry, which is making their game look like it will be a Top 10 showdown.


Elsewhere, Albion had the largest margin of victory in the country, which is impressive even if it is against an NACC team. Whitworth has also made their second appearance on the Top 10 list, again making me eat my words from my preseason preview. If Whitworth keeps up this pace on offense, and if Linfield can't find a spark of their own, Whitworth may end Linfield's playoff streak.


Brockport is also solidifying their place as the favorite in the E8, which is making my model look pretty good, given I had them as a slight favorite in the preseason (but knowing the E8, they'll probably get blown out by Hartwick and lose the Pool A bid on a tie-breaker somehow).

Lowest Graded Teams (Percentile Performance)

204. Iowa Wesleyan - loss to Martin Luther 42-20 (0.0%)

203. Concordia Wis. - loss to Albion 79-7 (0.0%)

202. Greensboro - loss to Brevard 63-7 (0.0%)

201. Rockford - loss to Adrian 62-7 (0.1%)

200. Earlham - loss to Anderson 27-16 (0.2%)

199. Minnesota-Morris - loss to Eureka 48-20 (0.2%)

198. Anna Maria - loss to Curry 47-20 (0.2%)

197. Westminster Mo. - loss to St. Scholastica 48-18 (0.7%)

196. Crown - loss to MacMurray 48-34 (0.8%)

195. Westfield State - loss to Mass-Dartmouth 51-26 (0.4%)


Martin Luther can't decide if they want to play like the worst team in the country or not. 

Biggest Upsets (Predicted Line)

1. Greenville - win over Northwestern Minn. 21-15 (+24.1)

2. Lewis and Clark - win over Pomona-Pitzer 40-29 (+19.3)

3. Bluffton - win over Mount St. Joseph 32-31 (+18.7)

4. Carroll - win over Augustana 28-25 (+18.2)

5. Catholic - win over Randolph-Macon 25-20 (+16.9)

6. Susquehanna - win over Muhlenberg 14-11 (+15.4)

7. SUNY-Maritime - win over Merchant Marine 38-31 (+14.8)

8. Dickinson - win over Gettysburg 24-21 (+13.4)

9. Buena Vista - win over Central 39-38 (+13.1)

10. Martin Luther - win over Iowa Wesleyan 42-20 (+10.7)


Catholic has pulled off a big upset for the second week in a row. If they keep this up, they'll stop being called upsets pretty soon. 


In general, there were much fewer high-profile upsets this week, with Muhlenberg being the only Top 50 team to lose a game they were favored in. Buena Vista was voted last-place by the IIAC coaches in the preseason (but 5th in my model), and pulled off a dramatic win, with a reverse on a 2-point conversion in OT to win.


Some of the other wins on this list may seems surprising, such as Bluffton over MSJ, SUNY-Maritime over USMMA, or Lewis and Clark over Pomona-Pitzer, but the in the first couple weeks of the season, all of the favorites in those games had been underperforming their projections. In other words, the writing was on the wall.

Biggest Outliers (Absolute Error in Score Prediction)

1. Concordia Wis. @ Albion (51.6)

2. Iowa Wesleyan @ Martin Luther (32.7)

3. Wisconsin Lutheran @ Trine (30.5)

4. Lewis and Clark @ Pomona-Pitzer (30.3)

5. Northwestern Minn. @ Greenville (30.1)

6. Loras @ Dubuque (30.0)

7. Belhaven @ Texas Lutheran (27.8)

8. Alfred State @ Rochester (25.1)

9. La Verne @ Whitworth (25.1)

10. Thiel @ Bethany (24.7)


BVU over Central wasn't the only surprising result in the IIAC this week, with Loras missing a last-second field goal that would have put the game in overtime. UD came into the game a 33-point favorite. 


The surprising thing about the Belhaven/TLU game isn't the winner, but instead that Belhaven was shut out. TLU hasn't looked great on D yet this season, and if Belhaven is good at anything, it's usually scoring points.

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