A Disagreement on Warren DLS / River Rouge
Week 8 2022 Preview Guide
Welcome back to Goosepoop, newsletter #47!
Today is our eighth of 14 weekly previews.
For this week’s post, we’ve got the following sections in store:
Big Games: A brief overview of 2 of the State’s biggest games
Fun Facts: A smattering of ‘fun facts’ about matchups occurring that week
Other Info: General football information (polls, etc.)
Lastly, if you haven’t checked out our Week 7 Rankings, give that a read before proceeding. That post will give you a lot of background behind what’s in store for today’s newsletter (link below).
Before we jump into the post, I want to take a moment and say thanks to our entire community of 877 subscribers.
As of last week, this newsletter is now 1 year old, and we’re forever thankful to the love & support you guys have shown us over that time period.
Here’s to year 2 and knocking down 1000 subscribers! (WE ARE GETTING SO CLOSE).
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One last thing:
At some point this week, we’re going to release our first paid product (we are running a bit behind, and I apologize!)
Goosepoop Premium brings you all of our Computer Model’s data, for every game in the State.
That means the same model that just predicted 85% of the winners last Friday night will be be in your hands.
With a subscription, you’ll get access to:
the spread & over/under for every game in the State
the ability to track which teams are rising and falling the fastest
the model’s accuracy in predicting each team’s results to date
If you’re interested, you can sign up to be notified when it releases here:
Launching our first paid product is a huge step in the journey we’re on, and we hope you’re as excited as we are!
Week 8 Big Games
Warren DLS vs. River Rouge
Wow. I cannot believe we are in Week 8 already.
We’re now in the best part of the Season: we’ve got a feel for who the best teams are, and we can comfortably point ourselves to the games that matter.
Our first game, Warren DLS vs. River Rouge, certainly fits that description, albeit not in the way you might expect. Remember that these two teams are in different divisions (DLS is D2, Rouge is D3). That means from an ultimate goals perspective, this game is fairly meaningless to both teams: a loss here means nothing to each’s pursuit of a State Championship over the next 7 weeks.
However, it’s not always goals that bring meaning to a game: sometimes it’s simply just bragging rights.
And bragging rights are at stake here. Why? A few data points:
Both teams are rated #1 in their respective divisions
Both teams are near the top of our overall ratings (DLS is #2 overall, Rouge is #16)
Both teams have a tradition of excellence (7 state final appearances between the two of them in the last 7 years)
Put simply, this is a big game between two great football PROGRAMS.
And the way you guys have picked this one in the Playoff Wizard fits this description: of the 82 total submissions on this game this week, there were 42 in favor of DLS, and 40 in favor of River Rouge.
For those that haven’t been following, that’s about as narrow of a margin that we’ve seen in one of our featured games this year (51% / 49%).
But here’s where the disagreement starts: you see, our model doesn’t think it will be that close. In fact, we’ve got DLS by 15 points, a spread that would imply a much higher probability of DLS winning (~75 / 80%).
What do you guys know that the model does not? Are you baking in the potential for DLS to play ‘down’ to their competition (see the Brother Rice game)?
If you’ve got thoughts on why this might be, drop a comment below:
Dexter vs. Saline
In our second game, a similar dynamic is playing out: Saline & Dexter are two good teams who can still very much achieve all of their goals with a loss this weekend.
However, this game isn’t about the State Championship. No, it’s about bragging rights, this time in the form of a conference championship.
And it’s a special form of conference championship: you see, Dexter has traditionally been one of the worst programs in the State.
The Dreads lost 42 straight games from 2013 - 2018, and, throughout their entire playing history, they’ve never won more than 8 games in a season.
Their stat line against Saline holds a similar feel: over the last 30 years, Saline and Dexter have played each other 21 times, with Dexter winning just once (2005).
So, winning this one would bring a conference championship, yes, but it would also mark something larger: leaving the past behind. Sure, Dexter has had some good seasons recently (they’ve not had a losing season since 2017), but there’s something momentous about winning a conference championship over a foe who has traditionally dominated you. It clears the air, shifting the conversation from “Dexter is on the rise” to “Dexter is the top dog and here to stay”.
Will the Dreads get it done? Our model says it won’t be easy: We’ve got Dexter favored by 4 points over Saline, a spread that is just barely above coin flip odds.
You guys seem to disagree: 67% of you have selected Dexter to win here. That probability implies a spread closer to around ~10 points.
Thoughts on why this might be? Leave a comment below:
4 Sets of Fun Facts for Week 8
The Best Game in Every Division
As always, we’re bringing you this week’s best game in every division:
Two games to note here:
Croswell-Lexington is an 8 point underdog to North Branch this weekend. So why do Playoff Wizard users think they’ll win (52% in favor of Cros-Lex)? The BWAC has been crazy all year this year, and, if this result plays out, the madness would certainly continue.
Despite being a matchup between D7’s #1 and #3 teams, TC St Francis is still favored by 14 points against Lawton. If this one plays out as modeled, I’m not sure anyone will touch TCSF in the Playoffs.
Tracking the Champs
Let’s check in on last year’s State Champions and see how they’re projected to do this week:
Belleville is playing fellow undefeated KLAA foe Livonia Franklin this weekend. This is the first time Belleville has played an opponent where they’re not favored by more than 40 points (although a 28 point spread is not far off), so pay close attention to how that one plays out. If Belleville covers, expect their computer rating to shoot up as a result.
Other games to note:
Detroit MLK and Cass Tech will play for the City Championship this weekend. Detroit MLK is favored once again, but not by the margin you might expect (MLK -2). That’s basically a coin flip.
Chelsea is the underdog against Edwardsburg. An 8 point spread in high school football doesn’t mean too much (it basically gives the Eddies a 60% chance to win), but if it plays out, Chelsea will have a 3 loss regular season for the first time since 2018.
GRCC is favored by 16 points against Wayland. From a full body of work standpoint, this spread makes sense, but if you zoom in a bit closer to last week’s results, it does not: Wayland only lost to South Christian by 7 in Week 7. If the same Wayland team from last week shows up tomorrow night, expect Wayland to cover.
Games Where 7-0 Teams are Projected to Lose
This week, we’ve got 3 games where 7-0 teams are expected to lose. These are:
Lapeer (playing Clarkston)
Durand (playing New Lothrop)
Livonia Franklin (playing Belleville)
Additionally, we’ve got 2 additional games where 7-0 teams are favored, but only by single digit margins (essentially coin flip odds):
Dexter (playing Saline)
Flint Hamady (playing Charlotte)
As our post earlier this week noted, there’s only 35 undefeated teams remaining in the State.
I expect at least a few of the above games to go chalk, along with a few upsets as well - so, don’t be surprised when that 35 number drops into the 28 - 29 range after this week.
Finally, let’s talk about some other Week 8 fun facts that the model is spitting out:
Game w/ the highest over/under: (91)
Portage Northern vs. Stevensville Lakeshore
Game w/ the lowest over/under: (14)
Sand Creek vs. Adrian Madison
Pick ‘em Games: (7)
Charlotte vs. Flint Hamady
White Pigeon vs. Kent City
Detroit Voyageur vs. Romulus Summit
Ionia vs. St Johns
Hazel Park vs. St Clair
Detroit Community vs. Mt Clemens
Walled Lake Northern vs. Walled Lake Central
Other Useful Information
The Week 7 Coaches Poll was just released on Tuesday. Check it out here if you’d like to see how the State’s coaches are ranking the teams in all 8 11-man divisions:
That’s all for today! We hope everyone has a great Week 8.
Check back here on Monday for the next edition of our Goosepoop Computer Ratings.
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