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Friday Forum: Projecting Florida's 2015 season with win shares

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When going game by game, it's hard to see Florida having a tremendously successful 2015.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Friday Forum finally gets around to that ever-popular means of determining expectations for a team in a given year: Win shares!

For the uninitiated, win share projections are done by estimating the percentage chance a team has to win a given game. We've run win share projections here at Alligator Army in 20142013, and 2012, and while everyone was a little low in 2012 and a bit high in 2013, many folks pegged Florida's 2014 season pretty accurately.

While FlaGators, bless his heart, consistently ran his projections at the end of July, I wanted to wait until just before the season began to let injuries and possible attrition shake out. Here are mine, with reasoning below.

Opponent Win Share
New Mexico State 1.00
East Carolina 0.85
at Kentucky 0.75
Tennessee 0.50
Misssissppi 0.30
at Missouri 0.35
at LSU 0.25
vs. Georgia 0.25
Vanderbilt 0.90
at South Carolina 0.45
Florida Atlantic 0.95
Florida State 0.40
Total 7.00

I relied on Bill Connelly's Projected S&P+ Rank a fair bit for my win shares, and I adjusted pretty heavily for home and road games — which is why the hardest games I see on the schedule are a road trip to LSU and a game in the state of Florida against Georgia, both projected as top-10 S&P+ programs, but the hardest home game will not be against defending ACC champion Florida State, which is projected to be 17th in S&P+, but Mississippi, projected to be eighth.

The number I think might strike people as most high is Kentucky's, but the Wildcats are projected to be 52nd in S&P+, suggesting that their hype may surpass their performance. That said, I also don't see any likely juggernauts on the schedule — and Florida beat a similar Georgia team last fall, after all, and was very close to beating a similar LSU team at home — so I'm comfortable putting no values lower than 0.25 on any game, which, of course, raises my overall estimate.

And while I fiddled with the component numbers just a little and made sure to give all of my values on a 0.05 gradation, coming out at exactly 7.00 wins is a happy accident.

Those are my win shares. Let's see yours.