Skai Moore’s late interceptions saved the SEC from a second upset on the opening day of the football season, but the conference still joined the American and Sun Belt as Thursday’s disappointments.
Conference USA boasted three impressive showings to lead the ACC and Mountain West as Thursday’s better-than-expected conferences.
Moore’s two interceptions in the end zone for South Carolina stopped the ACC’s winning streak against the SEC. The Gamecocks 17-13 win over UNC was the first regular-season action since the ACC swept the SEC and joined the Pac-12 as the top conferences according to Breitbart Sports Conference Ratings. The SEC still suffered an upset when Vanderbilt’s two-point conversion failed in a 14-12 loss to Western Kentucky.
|Conf||Team (Away unless noted)||Chance||Final||Final All||Sqrt||Exceed||Opponent|
|ACC +7||Duke||87%||37||7||5.5||1.4||Tulane (home)|
|ACC +7||Georgia Tech (home)||100%||69||6||7.9||1.2||Alcorn St|
|ACC +7||North Carolina||28%||13||17||-2.0||0.6||South Carolina (neutral)|
|ACC +7||Wake Forest (home)||97%||41||3||6.2||0.9||Elon|
|Amer -7||Connecticut (home)||39%||20||15||2.2||4.2||Villanova|
|Amer -7||Tulane (home)||13%||7||37||-5.5||-1.4||Duke|
|Amer -7||UCF (home)||86%||14||15||-1.0||-5.1||Florida Intl|
|Big 12 +9||Oklahoma St||81%||24||13||3.3||-0.4||C Michigan (home)|
|Big 12 +9||TCU||80%||23||17||2.4||-1.2||Minnesota (home)|
|Big Ten +7||Michigan||25%||17||24||-2.6||0.5||Utah (home)|
|Big Ten +7||Minnesota (home)||20%||17||23||-2.4||1.2||TCU|
|CUSA – 9||Florida Intl||14%||15||14||1.0||5.1||UCF (home)|
|CUSA – 9||UT San Antonio||5%||32||42||-3.2||1.8||Arizona (home)|
|CUSA – 9||W Kentucky||49%||14||12||1.4||2.4||Vanderbilt (home)|
|Mid-Am -13||Ball St (home)||96%||48||36||3.5||-1.8||VMI|
|Mid-Am -13||C Michigan (home)||19%||13||24||-3.3||0.4||Oklahoma St|
|Mid-Am -13||Ohio||67%||45||28||4.1||1.5||Idaho (home)|
|Mid-Am -13||Toledo (home)||94%||16||7||3.0||-1.9||Stony Brook|
|Mt West -6||Fresno St (home)||89%||34||13||4.6||0.1||Abilene Chr|
|Mt West -6||Nevada (home)||94%||31||17||3.7||-1.3||UC Davis|
|Mt West -6||San Jose St (home)||45%||43||13||5.5||7.2||New Hampshire|
|Mt West -6||Utah St (home)||98%||12||9||1.7||-3.8||Southern Utah|
|Pac 12 +11||Arizona (home)||95%||42||32||3.2||-1.8||UT San Antonio|
|Pac 12 +11||Utah (home)||75%||24||17||2.6||-0.5||Michigan|
|SEC +15||South Carolina (neutral)||72%||17||13||2.0||-0.6||North Carolina|
|SEC +15||Vanderbilt (home)||51%||12||14||-1.4||-2.4||W Kentucky|
|SunB -14||Idaho (home)||33%||28||45||-4.1||-1.5||Ohio|
UNC, on course to build on the ACC’s sweep of the SEC at the end of the 2014 regular season, lost when Shon Carson broke a 48-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the final 17-13 margin. The four-point margin fell below expectations to give the SEC a -0.6 rating for the game and the ACC a +0.6.
Conference USA scored the biggest upset (Florida International 15, Central Florida 14). FIU exceeded expectations (see explanation below table) by +5.1 after being given a 14% chance of winning at Central Florida. However, Western Kentucky’s win proved a bigger resume-builder over the SEC. Despite their 5% chance of winning, UT-San Antonio scored 20 second quarter points against No. 22 ranked Arizona before finally falling late.
Based on the expected result and final of each game, the following are the team’s starting points (+15 for the SEC to -14 for the Sun Belt) and whether they are on pace to improve or drop.
Thursday’s winners: ACC started +7 (all 4 teams exceeded expectations), CUSA -9 (all three games great showings with 2 huge upsets and gave #22 Arizona a scare), Mountain West (3-0 included San Jose’s blowout upset of New Hampshire
Thursday’s neutral: Big 12 +9 (both wins closer than expected), Big Ten +7 (both losses closer than expected), Mid-American -13 (3-1 as expected), Pac-12 +11 (two wins closer than expected)
Thursday’s losers: American -7 (Central Florida shocked by FIU), SEC +15 (upset and near upset), Sun Belt (Idaho not very competitive in home loss to Ohio)
The SEC starts with a +15, while the Sun Belt is the 10th-ranked conference with a -14. This means the SEC would be expected to beat the Sun Belt by an average of 29 points-
The ratings are adjusted each week after looking at the difference between the square root of the anticipated score at www.masseyratings.com and the actual result, and the number of wins the conference gets verses the cumulative percent chance of winning each game.
A conference’s overall anticipated record includes the percent change of upsets. For example, the SEC was projected to go 12-2 because the chances of wins in their 14 opening week games was 1176% or 11.76 wins in 14 games.