Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com’s NCAA college football simulation engine provides game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team’s chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams.
The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team’s roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team’s game simulation for that week.
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Game of the Week: Mississippi State at Alabama
If you’re scoring at home, Mississippi State and Marshall remain the only undefeated teams in the FBS. However, the Thundering Herd’s strength of schedule may come into question considering the combined record of their opponents is…29-59. Ouch.
The Bulldogs are sitting pretty atop the SEC East and College Football Playoff standings. Their average margin of victory this season is nearly 23 points. But even that stat couldn’t deter Vegas from naming Alabama a 6 1/2-point home favorite at open heading into the Week 12 contest also known as WhatIfSports.com’s featured game of the week.
Despite the fact Alabama has won three of its eight games by 10 or fewer points, including an overtime thriller at LSU this past weekend, Nick Saban’s defense is still feared by opposing offensive coordinators.
The Crimson Tide currently rank second in the country in points allowed per game at 13.9, third in rushing yards allowed per game (MSU’s bread and butter) at 89.8 yards allowed per game and 18th against the pass at 185.4 yards allowed per game.
Quarterback Blake Sims has thrown nine touchdowns with no interceptions his last four games and rushed for two more scores. Receiver Amari Cooper has caught five of those touchdown passes and leads the team with 10 trips to the end zone in addition to his 1,215 receiving yards – second-most in the nation. Lead running back, T.J. Yeldon (5.1 YPR) is dealing with a slight ankle sprain suffered in the win over LSU, but Saban said at his press conference he hopes to have him back by the end of the week.
The Bulldogs are 22nd against the rush (127 YAPG), but 123rd in the nation against the pass. This stat is misleading due to that 23-point average margin of victory mentioned earlier and the opposition needing to chuck the ball around the yard in an attempt to rally.
Dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott has tossed five interceptions in his previous four games, but has attempted to make up for those errors with 324 rushing yards on 58 carries (5.6 YPR) with five scores during that same stretch. Running back Josh Robinson still leads the team in rushing with 984 yards and 11 scores sharing the team-lead with Prescott.
We simulated the Tide and Bulldogs 101 times and the computers like Alabama to win 56.4-percent of the time by an average score of 21-20.