Past Performance is not an indicator of Future Results, unfortunately

So the preseason polls are out, and the Spartans got very little love.  Which is surprising because, as Steve Grinczel noted (H/T: Steve Hendershot), preseason polls are generally based on the "recency" effect -- where teams finish the previous season becomes where teams start the next season.

So, I figured, why not go all in on last year being a predictor for this year?

I went to the 2008 Final Sagarin rankings -- using the Predictor model -- and lined out this year's schedule using last year's rankings.  And was very unsurprised by what I found.

2008 Final          
Home Rating Home Edge Visitor Rating Line
MSU 77.54 2.62 Montana State 50.24 -29.92
MSU 77.54 2.62 Central Michigan 62.3 -17.86
Notre Dame 73.69 2.62 MSU 77.54 1.23
Wisconsin 71.6 2.62 MSU 77.54 3.32
MSU 77.54 2.62 Michigan 65.79 -14.37
Illinois 72.46 2.62 MSU 77.54 2.46
MSU 77.54 2.62 Northwestern 75.59 -4.57
MSU 77.54 2.62 Iowa 88.2 8.04
Minnesota 68.05 2.62 MSU 77.54 6.87
MSU 77.54 2.62 Western Michigan 65.04 -15.12
Purdue 69.98 2.62 MSU 77.54 4.94
MSU 77.54 2.62 Penn State 94.3 14.14


As you can see, MSU would be a favorite in all but two games:  Iowa and Penn State.  Using this predictive model, 10-2 is very much within reach.

Since I started this post, the 2009 Preseason Sagarin rankings have been put up.  Here is a game-by-game based on preseason Predictor rankings.


2009 Preseason          
Home Rating Home Edge Visitor Rating Line
MSU 76.36 3.14 Montana State 53.82 -25.68
MSU 76.36 3.14 Central Michigan 65.24 -14.26
Notre Dame 75.02 3.14 MSU 76.36 -1.8
Wisconsin 78.32 3.14 MSU 76.36 -5.1
MSU 76.36 3.14 Michigan 77.66 -1.84
Illinois 71.55 3.14 MSU 76.36 1.67
MSU 76.36 3.14 Northwestern 71.92 -7.58
MSU 76.36 3.14 Iowa 79.63 0.13
Minnesota 70.05 3.14 MSU 76.36 3.17
MSU 76.36 3.14 Western Michigan 65.11 -14.39
Purdue 73.17 3.14 MSU 76.36 0.05
MSU 76.36 3.14 Penn State 86.58 7.08


Not quite as good for MSU, but still an 8-4 finish.

I personally am predicting 9-3:  losses to Penn State, Iowa (although I am growing less sure of this by the day), and at Illinois.  I just don't see Notre Dame as that much improved and I think Wisconsin is in the middle of a downward trend.

This is a FanPost, written by a member of the TOC community. It does not represent the official positions of The Only Colors, Inc.--largely because we have no official positions.

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