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Week 3 2023 MHSAA Football Preview
Some early 'smoke signals' of computer ratings
Hi Everyone -
Welcome back to Goosepoop #71!
This weekend marks Week 3 of the MHSAA football season…. crazy that we’re already 1/3rd through the regular season, right?
Week 3 also means our computer ratings are just around the corner. At the conclusion of this week’s action, we’ll have enough data to rate every team in the State.
What does that mean for you, my dear newsletter subscriber?
Each week, expect:
Top 10 rankings for every division
Point spreads, over/unders, and win probabilities for each of the week’s best games
Right here on the newsletter.
If you want to see what this looked like last year, check out one of our previous posts:
Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of our weekly posts!
But wait - there’s more!
NEW to our content this year are LIVE, round-by-round probabilities for each team’s playoff chances:
We’ll also have LIVE game projections for each team’s future games….
…. a first-round playoff opponent projection that shows the % probability your team plays [X] opponent first round….
…. and a trend analysis chart, which shows how your team’s computer rating is varying week to week, relative to the rest of the MHSAA
This new content will NOT be available here on the newsletter
It will ONLY be available on our new, paid site, which is also launching Sunday, alongside of our computer ratings.
If you’re interested in subscribing to that site, drop me your email here
I’ll let you know THE MOMENT that we’re live on Sunday
With that out of the way, let’s turn to the action at hand: we’ve got ~20 games to project this week, yet we have NO computer ratings.
So how on earth can we possibly project games?
Well, we can’t. But we CAN give some early *smoke signals*.
Yes - you heard me: smoke signal.
It’s too early to say definitively a team’s rating should be X
…. but we do have two weeks of action under our belts
…. and last year’s computer ratings
So we CAN say: wow, in the two weeks that TEAM Z has played, they’ve beaten last year’s projections BOTH times
…. That’s not a rating in and of itself, but it does *smell* smoky ….. TEAM Z (in our example) is likely significantly improved from last year
In each of our games this week, expect this sort of projection.
We’ll also take care to include our other two projection methods from Weeks 1 & 2.
(if you want to read up on those two methods, read the first part of the post below)
PSA: our other company, Teamfi, just crossed over a quarter-million dollars fundraised for teams and clubs around the State.
And you know what?
Teamfi fundraised that money for (almost) free
Learn more (and find out how your team can do the same) at our website
Week 3’s Best Games
Dakota vs. Anchor Bay
MAC Red action kicks off this week, and this is the conference’s only matchup between 2-0 teams. Dakota has not lost to Anchor Bay since 2003, and signs point towards that continuing, albeit in narrower fashion: Dakota has underperformed its 2022 rating in each of its two outings this year (10 points under their ‘22 spread vs Fordson, 24 points under their ‘22 spread vs Utica), while Anchor Bay has been a bit steadier (9 points UNDER their ‘22 spread vs Port Huron, 9 points OVER their ‘22 spread vs GP South).
Who you guys think will win: 100% Dakota (2 Submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Dakota -20
Eisenhower vs. Chippewa Valley
Eisenhower is 2-0, and while Chippewa Valley isn’t, they’re only 1 point away from it (they lost 22-21 to West Bloomfield week 1). And that 1 point represents an improvement over last year: they should have lost to WB by 4 (according to ‘22 ratings). In their other outing, CV performed similarly, defeating L’Anse Creuse 42-0 (a 9 point improvement). As for Eisenhower, they’ve also seen marked improvement: their 55-7 defeat of Utica Ford in Week 2 represents a 7 point improvement over ‘22.
Who you guys think will win: 50% Eisenhower (2 Submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Chippewa Valley -12
Hudsonville vs. East Kentwood
While EK just lost handily to Byron Center this past week, I chose this game because it likely has HUGE playoff implications: EK’s defeat of Hudsonville in ‘22 kept the Eagles out of the playoffs. Will EK prevail once more? Last year, our model set the Falcons as a 1 point favorite. Thus far, that trend has flipped a bit: Hudsonville has averaged a 4 point spread outperformance (they beat ‘22’s spread by 4 against Howell and 6 against East Lansing), while EK has been more mixed (they outperformed by 11 against Hartland but underperformed by 24 against Byron Center).
Who you guys think will win: 72% Hudsonville (53 Submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): East Kentwood -1
Coopersville vs. West Catholic
Our 15th best overall team from 2022 has somehow only gotten better: West Catholic has outperformed their 2022 computer rating by an average of 21 points thus far this season. They’ll face off against their fellow 2-0 OK Blue foe in Coopersville, who has been more of a mixed bag: they underperformed ‘22 by 5 points against Otsego, but overperformed by 14 against Sparta.
Who you guys think will win: 52% Coopersville (46 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): West Catholic -18
Mona Shores vs. Reeths-Puffer
Reeths-Puffer is 2-0 and going for their first win over Shores since 2016. What do the trends say? Really nothing at all: both RP and Mona have underperformed and outperformed their ‘22 ratings thus far this year. RP outperformed by 15 points against Grand Haven, but underperformed by 2 against Farmington. Mona outperformed against Manitowac Lincoln by 21, but underperformed against Rockford by 6.
Who you guys think will win: 71% Reeths-Puffer (17 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Mona Shores -19
Churchill vs. Belleville
Fun fact: Belleville’s last loss came at the hands of the Churchill Chargers, who defeated the Tigers 28-21 in 2021. Can they pull it off again? They’ve certainly performed like it: they’ve outperformed their ‘22 rating by an average of 22 points thus far this year. Belleville has both underperformed (8 point underperformance against Rouge) and outperformed (2 point outperformance against Stevenson). That points towards the gap narrowing a bit… but it’s a large one to cross (‘22 ratings favor Belleville by 53 points).
Who you guys think will win: 82% Belleville (11 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Belleville -53
SH Stevenson vs. Romeo
Stevenson is 2-0, and they’ll kick off conference play against Romeo, who is perhaps the best 0-2 team in the State. The Bulldogs outperformed a 19 point spread against reigning D1 Runner-Up Caledonia in Week 1 (they lost 35-28), but underperformed a week later against a very hot Roseville (7 point underperformance). Stevenson, on the other hand, has seen nothing but improvement: in both outings thus far this year, they’ve been more than two touchdowns improved over 2022 projections.
Who you guys think will win: 50% Romeo (10 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Romeo -20
GR Catholic Central vs. Wayland
An OK Gold matchup that may sneak up on you: recall that Wayland had reigning D4 State Champion, South Christian, on the ropes LATE in their matchup last year (SC won, 21-14). They’re also 2-0 and have seen nothing but improvement: they outperformed their ‘22 projected point spreads in both outings thus far this year (Holland Christian by 10, Hopkins by 20). Do the Wildcats have what it takes to narrow the gap against GRCC? The Cougars themselves are a bit of a mystery: they lost big to Loyola Academy (IL) in Week 1, but just handed River Rouge a 38-6 defeat in Week 2, which is a whopping 35 point outperformance from last year.
Who you guys think will win: 81% GRCC (21 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): GRCC -24
East Grand Rapids vs. Lowell
A classic rivalry featuring two 2-0 teams. EGR pulled the upset last year, winning 15-14. Will they prevail once more? Signs point to marked improvement by the Pioneers: they’ve outperformed their ‘22 projections in both outings this year (Cedar Springs by 19, South Christian by 27). Lowell, on the other hand, has been consistent with prior year: they improved over their 2022 projection against Mattawan (6 points), but underperformed against Middleville TK (7 points).
Who you guys think will win: 56% Lowell (71 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Lowell -16
Garber vs. Freeland
Both Garber and Freeland are 2-0, and they’ll square off for the 7th time in recorded history this weekend. Freeland has won ALL prior matchups, and signs point towards that continuing: Garber has underperformed their ‘22 projection in both outings this year (22 point underperformance vs. Hemlock, 6 point underperformance vs. John Glenn), while Freeland has been more mixed (27 point underperformance vs. Clare, 21 point overperformance vs. Swan Valley)
Who you guys think will win: 100% Freeland (0 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Freeland -17
Holt vs. Grand Ledge
Lansing’s two D1 programs square up to kickoff conference play. Last year, these teams played twice, with a total point differential of 7 points. It’s no surprise, then, to see last year’s point spread of 3 points. Will such a narrow margin hold once more? Holt underperformed their ‘22 projection in Week 1 against Mason (30 points), but turned around and overperformed in Week 2 against Swartz Creek (11 points). Grand Ledge has been steadier: they’ve overperformed their ‘22 rating in both outings thus far this year (4 points vs. West Ottawa, 8 points vs. BC Lakeview).
Who you guys think will win: 66% Grand Ledge (38 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Grand Ledge -3
Lake Fenton vs. Goodrich
Two undefeated Flint Metro League schools who are on a tear: Lake Fenton has done nothing but surpass their ‘22 projections, with a 37 point outperformance against Pinckney and a 25 point outperformance against Hillsdale. Goodrich is in the same boat, but to a lesser degree: they surpassed ‘22’s projection by 19 against Frankenmuth and by 9 against Linden.
Who you guys think will win: 70% Goodrich (20 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Goodrich -21
Byron Center vs. FH Northern
The second of TWO undefeated OK White matchups. Byron Center is fresh off an impressive defeat of East Kentwood, while FHN is one of only 13 teams in the State who’ve yet to give up a score. So who blinks first? FHN has certainly performed impressively thus far, with two outperformances (29 points vs. Jenison, 14 points vs. Wyoming). BUT, BC has as well (24 point outperformance vs. East Kentwood, 30 point outperformance vs. BC Central).
Who you guys think will win: 73% Byron Center (73 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Byron Center -19
Kingsford vs. Gladstone
Is Gladstone the best team in the UP this year? It’s hard to say at this point, but bear in mind that last year, Gladstone and Negaunee were rated the two best, and Gladstone just defeated Negaunee this past week. The Braves have also defeated Marquette by 29, a 7 point outperformance from ‘22’s projection. They’ll face stiff competition from the Flivvers of Kingsford, who are 2-0 themselves and just outperformed by 11 points against Houghton.
Who you guys think will win: 67% Gladstone (3 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Gladstone -7
Other Games to Watch Out For
Schoolcraft vs. Kalamazoo United
The Best Game in D7
Both Teams are Undefeated
Who you guys think will win: 65% Schoolcraft (20 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Schoolcraft -7
Marlette vs. Ubly
The Best Game in D8
Both Teams are Undefeated
Who you guys think will win: 86% Ubly (7 submissions)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): Ubly -49
St Ignace vs. Alcona
The Best Game in 8-Man
Both Teams are Undefeated
Who you guys think will win: N/A (no Playoff Wizard for 8 Man)
Computer Model’s Projection (from last year ONLY): N/A (St Ignace does not have an 8 man rating yet as they played 11 man last year)
MHSFCA COACH’S POLL
One last thing!
The MHSFCA Coach’s poll just dropped.
If you want to see how the State’s Coach’s rank the best teams in every division, click the link below:
That’s all for today, guys. Thanks for reading!
If you like our work, make sure you subscribe below. You’ll get this note straight to your inbox for the rest of the season.