Stats & Info: North Texas Mean Green

The bowl winners will be ...

December, 19, 2013
12/19/13
10:25
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With bowl season upon us, we can project the winners of the 35 Football Bowl Subdivision bowl games using the Football Power Index.

FPI is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the elements of team offensive, defensive and special-teams performance (adjusted for opponent) that correlate most with future results.

We can use each team’s FPI and the site of the game (all bowl games are treated as neutral) to calculate the expected point differential in a matchup and the percentage chance of each team winning.

In prior years, FPI has done reasonably well in projecting bowl winners (taking the team with the higher chance as the “winner”), getting about 65 percent of games right since 2004.

There have been some lean years in the past, but FPI has been quite good in the three most recent bowl seasons, accurately projecting 70 percent of winners in those games.

FPI takes into account only a team’s on-field performance to date in the given season. It doesn’t explicitly take into account players who are out with injuries or for other reasons, coaching movement before the bowls or differing levels of motivation that are sometimes thought to exist in bowl games.

In the 2013 regular season, starting with games on Sept. 26, FPI accurately projected 74 percent of winners.

FPI believes there to be a very clear favorite (80 percent or more to win) in four of the five BCS matchups, with Ohio State and Clemson as the most evenly matched BCS opponents.


The projections for all 35 bowl games this season are below. A couple of things that stand out:

The two most-lopsided matchups, according to FPI, involve a Pac-12 team facing a Big 12 opponent from Texas. FPI has Oregon as 91 percent likely to defeat Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl and Arizona State as 91 percent likely to beat Texas Tech in the National University Holiday Bowl.

The most-even matchup, according to FPI, is Kansas State versus Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, with the teams separated by a little more than a point in FPI (the Wildcats are 53 percent favorites). The closest “high-profile” bowl game is the AT&T Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma State and Missouri, with the Cowboys 54 percent likely to win, according to FPI.

The Vizio BCS National Championship is the only bowl game with both teams ranked in the top 10 in FPI. Three other games involve two FPI top-20 teams: Wisconsin-South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl; Oklahoma State-Missouri in the Cotton Bowl and Ohio State-Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl.

Weekend recap: Plumlee cleans the glass

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
11:29
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Player of the Weekend - Miles Plumlee
Plumlee came off the bench to haul in 22 rebounds in Duke's win over Maryland. It's the most rebounds in a game in the Coach K era at Duke, and most for a Blue Devil since Randy Denton's 25 in 1970. The last player with more rebounds off the bench? North Carolina's Sean May had 24 on Senior Night against Duke in 2005 (a pair of Tar Heel seniors started and played one minute).

Freshman of the Weekend - Tony Mitchell
Mitchell had 22 points and 20 rebounds, but North Texas fell short of Florida Atlantic in double overtime. Mitchell is the first freshman with a 20-20 game since Michael Beasley. With six blocks and five assists, Mitchell is the first freshman with 20 points, 20 rebounds, five blocks and five assists since Seton Hall's Eddie Griffin in 2000.

Scoring Star – Jamal Olasewere
Olasewere went 11-for-11 from the field and scored a career-high 32 points as Long Island beat St. Francis (NY). That matched Vermont’s Luke Apfeld for the most field goal attempts without a miss this season. Olasewere is the first player to score 30 or more while going at least 11-for-11 from the field since Oklahoma State’s Marshall Moses last season.

Stat Sheet Stuffer - Scott Machado
With 10 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds, Machado notched the second triple-double in Iona history in an 83-74 win over Marist. The previous triple-double came from Nakiea Miller in 2000. Machado is on track to be the first player to average double-digit points and assists since 1988 when Avery Johnson and Anthony Manuel did it.

Ugly Stat Line of the Weekend – Jared Sullinger
The good news? Sullinger had a triple-double in Ohio State’s 58-48 loss to Michigan State. The bad news? One of those categories was turnovers. Sullinger had 17 points and 16 rebounds, but his other numbers stick out more: 10 turnovers and a 33 field goal percentage. Of course, the rest of the Buckeyes shot just 24 percent. Sullinger is the first Big Ten player with 10 turnovers since Evan Turner in 2009.
Player of the Weekend – Ricardo Ratliffe
Ratliffe scored a career-high 27 points to go with eight rebounds, as Missouri came away with an 89-88 win at Baylor. He went 11-for-14 from the field, and now has a 77.2 field goal percentage on the season. That’s on track to break Steve Johnson’s Division I record of 74.6 percent in 1980-81. How efficient has Ratliffe been? Consider that he’d need to miss his next 18 shots just to fall into second place in the nation.

Filling Up the Stat Sheet – Jesse Sanders
Liberty’s Jesse Sanders came into Saturday averaging 12.6 PPG, 7.9 APG and 7.9 RPG this season, yet somehow a triple-double had escaped him. That changed in an 84-78 win at High Point, as Sanders finished with 14 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. The senior has now had a triple-double in all four years on campus. Sanders is now averaging 8.0 RPG and 8.1 APG. No one has done that in at least the past 15 seasons.

Losing Legends – Boeheim, Calhoun, Krzyzewski
Syracuse, Duke and Connecticut all lost Saturday, meaning the three winningest active coaches all fell on the same day. Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun and Mike Krzyzewski hadn’t lost on the same day since January 18, 2003. That’s a span of 3,291 days. The fourth-winningest active coach (Bob Huggins) did manage a win on Saturday, as West Virginia topped Cincinnati in overtime.

Lofty Historical Comparison – Tony Mitchell = Michael Beasley
On Saturday, Missouri picked up its biggest win of the season down in Waco. Meanwhile, just two hours to the north, a former Tiger recruit had a huge game. Tony Mitchell had 30 points and 17 rebounds in North Texas’ overtime win over Denver. In just 11 career games, he's hit 30 points and 15 boards twice. The last freshman with multiple such games? Michael Beasley, who did it five times in 2007-08.

Ugly Stat Line of the Weekend - Brandon Young
Shadowed by Hugh Robertson for most of the game, DePaul’s Brandon Young went 0-for-13 from the field in Sunday’s 75-59 loss to South Florida. It’s the most attempts without a make by a Division I player this season. The last Big East player to go 0-for-13 or worse was South Florida’s Collin Dennis in 2006.

DePaul has DePower Thursday night

January, 6, 2012
1/06/12
11:14
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Rare Big East win for DePaul
DePaul outscored Pittsburgh 7-0 in the final 10 seconds of the game to come away with an 84-81 win. The Blue Demons had lost 16 straight Big East home games and had only won two Big East games in the past three seasons combined. All three of DePaul’s conference wins over the past four seasons have been by three points or fewer. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has lost four straight games for the first time during the Jamie Dixon era.

Monster performance for North Texas freshman
North Texas outlasted South Alabama 78-73 in overtime courtesy of a monster performance from freshman Tony Mitchell, who finished with 34 points and 16 rebounds. He’s the first freshman to put up at least 30 points and 15 rebounds since Jared Sullinger last season.

In fact, over the last five seasons, the only other freshmen to pull it off were Fordham’s Chris Gaston and Michael Beasley, who had five such games. Mitchell, who was once Missouri bound, was playing in just his seventh game.

Jones happy to be back in San Diego
Rob Jones saved his best game for his former team. The St. Mary’s senior scored a career-high 31 points to go with 12 rebounds in a 78-72 win over San Diego.

Jones spent his first two seasons at San Diego before transferring in 2009. In fact his previous career-high of 27 came as a freshman at San Diego back in February 2008. St. Mary’s has won 12 of 13 and improved to 14-2.

Seven points at halftime for Louisiana-Monroe
Louisiana-Monroe had only seven points at halftime in a 58-30 loss to Florida Atlantic. The Warhawks actually had as many turnovers as points in the first half. Charles Winborne’s three points led the team going into the break.

No one on the team finished the game with more than two field goals. The team shot 19.5 percent on the game, the second worst shooting performance by a D-I team this season. That included 17.9 percent from two-point range. For Florida Atlantic, it set a school record for fewest points allowed in a half and in a game.

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