E/A Sports fell from its high perch last year in predicting the outcomes of Boise State football games (or was that Boise State falling from the perch?) The 2008 simulations are done and here are the results!
The staff of E/A Sports fell off its pedestal last year with
two glaring losses in their prediction of Boise
State football games. E/A produces a new version of college
football each July featuring realistic animation and jam packs it with every
football statistic and player attribute known to man.
It is not the video gaming but rather the software's
simulation aspect that has drawn the attention of BroncoCountry. Since the 2001 season, we have noticed that
the simulations, when run several times, are as good a prediction of the
upcoming season as you will find anywhere.
From 2003-2006, E/A Sports' "NCAA Football" correctly predicted the
outcome of every single Boise State
regular season game bar none. Money.
Last year, the staff sloughed off and rested on their high
laurels. They missed two games in the Boise
State season. What's up with that? They predicted Boise
State wins over both Washington
and Hawai'i, when we know that
didn't happen. Which begs the
question—did the software blow it or was Boise
State really supposed to win those
games? Such is college football, where
paper and predictions mean nothing.
Nevertheless, interest is still high in Broncoville for
these prognostications. We ran 20
simulations of the 2008 season and as usual, found interesting results.
Generally, the 2009 version of this annual release expects Boise
State to have a good season. Boise
State qualified for a bowl game in
19 of those simulations, with eight of those being BCS
bowl games and a national championship game as well. The conclusion you can draw is that the
software projects Boise State
has a 95% chance of making a bowl game, a 40% chance of making a bowl game and
a 5% chance of making the national championship contest. The other simulation bowls were Western
Athletic Conference-affiliated bowls with the exception of one; the Emerald
won the league in 16 of the 20 simulations (80%). The Broncos lost a total of just 35 games in
the 20 simulations, with a projected record of 11-2. The best season was a 13-0 year, with E/A
forecasting a 12-1 season in nine simulations (45%). The worst season was a 7-5 year.
The average final ranking for Boise
State in the 20 simulations was #18. The Broncos finished in the top five three
times, the top 10 six times and the top 25 12 times. Thus, E/A predicts Boise State has a 15%
chance of finishing in the top five, a 30% chance of finishing in the top 10
and a 60% chance of ending the season in the top 25.
Among the other WAC teams, Fresno
State is the team E/A predicts will
do the best. The Bulldogs' average
season record was 9-4. FSU made a bowl
game in 17 of the 20 simulations, or 85%.
They qualified for a BCS bowl game
won the WAC in two of the 20 simulations.
Their best season was 11-2 which occurred five times, and their worst
season was a 4-8 final record.
From there, it's a crapshoot and a fight for the league's
third bowl game. Nevada
is projected to have a 6-6 record. The
Wolf Pack did not win the WAC in any of the simulations, but made a post-season
bowl game in seven of them (35%). Their
best season was 8-5, while their worst was 3-9.
New Mexico State
got a lot of respect from E/A Sports.
The Aggies won the WAC in two simulations, the same number as Fresno
State. The team from Las Cruces
finished with an average season of 7-6.
Their best year was 11-2, while their worst was 5-7, which happened
three times. The Aggies made the
postseason in exactly half of the simulations.
Louisiana Tech did not finish on top of the league in any of
the 20 simulations, but nonetheless is predicted to have a good season. The Bulldogs are also projected to have a 7-6
year. They made a bowl game in nine
simulations (45%). Clearly, Tech is a
force to reckon with this fall. Their
best season was a 10-3 year and they also finished 9-4 once. Their worst season was 4-8, which occurred
San Jose State
is projected to finish with a 4-8 record.
The Spartans did not win the WAC in any of the simulations nor did they
qualify for a bowl game. Their best
season was 6-6 while the worst E/A is predicting is 1-11.
projected to finish 3-9. The Vandals
finished 5-7 in three of the simulations for their best year, but also were
1-11 in four of them.
is projected to finish 3-9. Brent Guy's
team finished 5-7 in one simulation but also suffered through a 0-12 campaign.
Among non-conference opponents, Bowling
Green is forecast to have the best season. The Falcons finished with an average record
of 8-5. They were 11-3 in their best
season, and did not suffer a losing record in the 20 simulations. They made a bowl game in nine simulations
Mississippi is projected to have a good year as well. The Golden Eagles finished with an average
season record of 7-6. They won 10 games
in three of the simulations, while their worst season was 3-9. Southern Miss made the postseason five times
Oregon was the
surprise to me. The Ducks, a Top 25 team
in most preseason polls, are projected to finish with a 5-7 record. The Ducks did make a BCS
bowl in one simulation when they finished 11-2.
They were 3-9 a shocking five times.
Here are the individual game predictions:
vs. Idaho State
The Broncos came away the winner in 19 of these 20 simulations,
with an average score of 43-7. The
largest margin of victory came in a 56-0 simulation, while Idaho
State won a 10-7 slugfest.
vs. Bowling Green
The Falcons gave Boise
State one of its toughest games of
the year in nearly every simulation. The
average score was 32-30. Boise
State did prevail in 15 of those
contests (75%), with the largest margin being 47-27. The Falcons' biggest win was 37-13.
I've already revealed probably the biggest surprise of these
simulations—that Oregon is not
projected to finish with an outstanding season.
You can probably thus conclude that Boise
State won 17 of those (85%). Four of those, however, went into overtime
with the Broncos winning one of them. The
average score was 34-25 in favor of the Broncos. The largest margin of victory for Boise
State was 55-14, while Oregon
won 34-25. Clearly, E/A Sports is going
way out on a limb with this one and risking their accurate predictions.
vs. Louisiana Tech
The Broncos prevailed in 19 of the 20 simulations (95%) with
Tech winning 37-34. The average score
was Boise State
39-24. The largest margin for the
Broncos came in a 48-7 game, but that was not the norm.
vs. Southern Mississippi
The Golden Eagles won at home in four of these contests
(16%), with the biggest win being 45-27.
The average score found Boise State
winning 37-24. The Broncos won one
contest 56-7, but again that was a simulation on the fringe.
Unlike last year's simulations between these two, in which Boise
State prevailed in just 55% of the
contests, the Broncos won 19 of these (95%).
Hawai'i's only win came in
a 42-35 contest. Boise
State's biggest win was 45-10. The average score came in as Boise State 35, Hawai'i,
was the winner here in 18 of the 20 simulations, with the Spartans' biggest win
coming in a 42-21 game. Boise
State won 55-3 in another
simulation. The average score was 43-16,
vs. New Mexico State
The Broncos prevailed in Las Cruces
in 16 of the 20 simulations (80%). The
average score was Boise State 39, New Mexico State 22. The Aggies' biggest win came in a 41-34 win,
while Boise State
won 55-13 in their largest margin of victory.
vs. Utah State
The Broncos won all 20 of these simulations by an average
count of 31-11. The biggest margin of
victory happened twice in 49-7 games.
did well against Idaho as well,
winning all 20 simulations. The average
score was Boise State 44, Idaho
15. The biggest win came in a 70-3 game,
but most simulations were closer than that.
The Broncos won in 19 of these simulations, with the average
contest being 33-16. Nevada's
win was a 31-28 result, while Boise
State's biggest margin if victory was 42-3.
vs. Fresno State
In the regular season finale, Boise
State was able to win in 16 of
these simulations (80%). Fresno's
biggest win came in a 42-28 victory in Bronco Stadium. Boise
State was a 38-3 winner in another
simulation. The average score was 30-21
in favor of Boise State. Other than the Bowling
Green game, this was the closest of the 12
So there you have it folks.
E/A is once again sticking its neck on the line, especially in the Oregon
season. Nowhere have I seen them having
anything but an outstanding year. Print
this page out and compare it against the results so we can hold the collective
feet of E/A to the fire!