As usual, consume the material as you see fit.
|DATE||OPPONENT||MASSEY W%||MASSEY PROJ.||S&P+ W%||S&P+ PROJ.||FPI W%||SAGARIN SPREAD|
|Nov-21||at N.C. State||23%||27-37||15%||19-37||15%||+12.85|
Some brief thoughts on this:
- When a line is finally released for Syracuse-N.C. State -- there's nothing on the board as of this writing -- it is likely to hover around a dozen points or so. The Wolfpack aren't anything particularly special -- N.C. State ranks 46th in the Massey Ratings (the Wolfpack are also 46th in the Massey Composite Rankings), is 34th in F+ and FPI, and holds the 47th position in the Sagrain Ratings -- but N.C. State has still assembled a profile (in totem) that elevates the Wolfpack above the Orange in these metrics (even with injuries, etc.). Turning the potential that Syracuse created last weekend against Clemson into kinetic energy is important for the Orange, but a guaranteed win in Raleigh based on (a) Syracuse's output against the Tigers and (b) N.C. State's issues and deficiencies is far from a certain reality. The Orange can compete with N.C. State, but Syracuse will need to overplay its cumulative performance profile to snatch one from the Wolfpack on the road. Can and should remain very different things for Syracuse this season, and the pregame projection from football computers reflect that ahead of the Orange's penultimate game of the year.
- Boston College is sitting in that dangerous toss-up territory. The game continues to slowly move in Syracuse's direction, but it'd be nice to see the Orange as a definitive favorite from all of the football computers. Playing Four-Win Bowl with a sense of dread probably isn't as fun as playing Four-Win Bowl with a resigned sense of calm.
Here's a win-loss projection table from three football computers:
There are some pretty notable differences between the Massey Ratings, S&P+, and FPI when it comes to the likelihood of a winless finish, an undefeated finish, and a 1-1 close to the year. Ballparking a blend among the measures -- which is a noisy exercise -- gives Syracuse about a 39% chance of losing its last two, a 10% chance of winning its final two games, and a 51% chance of splitting against N.C. State and Boston College. In odds form: Syracuse is 3:2 to win out, 9:1 to lose out, and 1:1 to finish 1-1. Soul-crushing doom isn't the most likely outcome in the next two weeks, which is kind of nice.
As for how football computers changed their outlook after last weekend's effort against Clemson, here are the changes from last week:
|DATE||OPPONENT||MASSEY W%||MASSEY MARG.||S&P+ W%||S&P+ MARG.||FPI W%||SAGARIN SPREAD|
|Nov-21||at N.C. State||+6%||+3||+4%||+4||+2%||-1.82|
|MASSEY W||MASSEY L||S&P+ W||S&P+ L||FPI W||FPI L|
Some brief thoughts on this:
- Football computers witnessed N.C. State fall apart against Florida State and Syracuse hold its own against Clemson. The issue remains that the Orange are looking up at the Wolfpack, even with the Orange pulling closer to N.C. State. A Syracuse victory in Raleigh would be an upset -- at least at the moment; the character of a win against N.C. State may change at the end of the season depending on the trajectories of each team -- and offer a platform for finishing well. What's especially interesting about Syracuse's expectation against N.C. State, though, is that the average projected spread between the Massey Ratings, Sagarin Ratings, and S&P+ has hovered around a dozen points since Syracuse lost to LSU (the low average was seven points after Syracuse's bye week; the high average was 16 after the Orange's debacle in Louisville). Relative to N.C. State, Syracuse hasn't changed all that much. Weird.
- The projected spread against Boston College, contrastingly, has been more dynamic, partly due to the Eagles shedding early curbstompings against garbage opponents and failing to perform to expectations against actual teams. Assuming Notre Dame uncorks an ass beating on Boston College and Syracuse keeps it respectable against the Wolfpack, the Orange are likely to have more than a field goal in their favor in next week's projected margins.