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Kentucky vs. Louisville simulation

Every college football fan could call themselves an expert, perhaps even more so for some Kentucky fans. Forecasting upsets, betting the spread (and winning) and finding significance in statistical analysis are concepts any Joe Schmoe could figure out. However, something that Mr. Schmoe can’t do is run over 100 game simulations using complicated computer algorithms. WhatIfSports.com prediction engine can, and it is cranking out results for week one of the college football season. A year ago, WIS went 579-198 in its predictions (74.5 percent accurate), so the formula works.

The results of the WIS simulation for Kentucky vs. Louisville had the Cardinals winning 61.9 percent of the time, by an average score of 23.4—18.2, a much smaller margin than the -13.5 spread Vegas laid down.

One statistic which has favored the winner of the Governor’s Cup for the past 13 years is the running game. Quite simply, the team with the most total yards has always won the game. The projection from WIS for Sunday holds that tradition true, predicting the Cardinals to out-rush the Cats by five yards, 125 to 120.

The passing game favors Louisville as well, according to WIS. With Maxwell Smith behind center, the Cats complete 17 passes on 32 attempts for 196 yards. On the other side, Teddy Bridgewater and UofL have 19 completions on 32 attempts for 240 yards.

Both the running game and passing game considered Louisville only has a slight advantage in either — not a monumental leap ahead for the Cards like some fans on both sides believe. The running game is a push; five yards give-or-take for either side isn’t enough to call it for anyone. The passing game goes to Louisville only because of their total yards being 42 yards extra. Breaking it down, though, it’s only a difference of an average of one-yard more per pass.

Summing it all up, Louisville’s biggest advantage in this projection is the first downs. The Cardinals moved the chains four more times than the Wildcats, which could be attributed to those 42 extra passing yards. That is a significant reason for the five-point victory overall for the bad guys. The projection clearly favors Louisville, but the statistics show this game will be very very close. When the tides are close and the underdog is hungry in a rivalry game, crazy things can happen.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

11 Comments for Kentucky vs. Louisville simulation



  1. ukcat58
    1:09 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    a huge day for the JOKER – a defining moment – If history repeats itself with slow starts, team not mentally ready, and poor play calling, …..long day – soooooo long JOKER!



  2. Owen
    1:11 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    How accurate was it on the first week last year? I imagine it gets more accurate as the season goes on. Hard to predict given all the new faces and position changes.



  3. Musehobo
    1:23 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    “The team with the most total yards has always won the game.” I realize your point here is that this is a stat (that if you play the game long enough), eventually the team with more yards loses. But this stat is so closely correlated with winning it’s not even worth bringing up. Its similar to saying “the team that finishes the season with the best record always wins”.



  4. ATS or straight up
    1:24 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    Was it 74.5% against the spread? Or just straight up? If it is just straight up that is not impressive at all with the amount of games that are easy to predict. If it is ATS then they can get rich with that software!



  5. ATS or straight up
    1:25 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    3 – great point. the baseball team with the most hits has won the last 5 games. common sense that it will typically happen that way. with some exceptions.



  6. Huh?
    1:30 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    75% proves the formula works? How, exactly? What does it say about the model? Or is better than 50% just arbitrarily better?



  7. Steve Back
    3:21 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    Polls for facebook

    Results

    Kentucky or Louisville – Which team wins the Governor’s Cup

    Kentucky

    7%

    Louisville

    93%

    100% Chance Matt Jones gets punched in the face while at PJCS.



  8. common tater
    4:26 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    The key to this game will be hanging on the football. Honestly uofls offense leads to the chance of more fumbles. watch.



  9. Mike Leach
    5:02 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky with 17 first downs, Hmmmmm. I know more about KY football than I do about this crappy team Im coaching in this damp, rainy, podunk, dump of a town. HIRE ME AFTER SATURDAY PLEASE!!! Then I will get you the wins!!! FREE MIKE LEACH!!!!



  10. UL2UK8
    10:32 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    A problem with using last year UK football, to predict this year is most of last year UK had a QB (Newton) who would not run the plays that where called, and he could not read a college defense.