And with this post, we've projected all of the Big 12's teams...
The numbers like ATM a smidge more than I do, but there's nothing inherently unrealistic about the picks below.
2009 BTBS Projections
|Date||Opponent||Proj. W/L||Margin||Record||Conf. Rec.|
|10/17||at Kansas State||L||-2.1||3-3||0-2|
|10/24||at Texas Tech||L||-7.9||3-4||0-3|
The touchdown test: if all the pieces fit, and ATM's a touchdown better than expected, then OSU and @KSU become winnable (along with, strangely, @Tech), and 8-4 is within reach. If the defense is even worse than expected (which is saying something), and the Aggies are a touchdown worse, they're potentially staring 4-8 in the face with a loss to CU and potential loss to Baylor.
Beyond that handful of games, everything's pretty well-defined. Only five of ATM's 12 games are projected within a touchdown. They by all means should start 3-0, and by the time Halloween rolls around, they should be somewhere between 3-4 and 5-2. The Colorado game will likely be the key to their bowl hopes. I've repeatedly documented how neither I nor the numbers care for CU that much, and this game is a projected win, but I'd still pick CU at home in this one. If ATM wins that one, however, they really could sneak into the Texas Bowl or something, assuming they're still able to take out Baylor at home, or maybe win at K-State.
ATM's season will boil down to the running game--can Cyrus Gray or newbie Christine Michael be infinitely more consistent and less-maddening than Mike Goodson was last year?--and the defense. They should be solid at LB, but both D-line and the secondary are pretty big concerns. We'll see.
Next up: we pull everything together into a Big 12 standings/bowl projections post.