The Florida State women's basketball team wrapped up the non-conference portion of their schedule on Thursday with a dominating 82-50 win over Jacksonville. With this win FSU improved their record to 12-1. The Noles are ranked #13 by the AP and USAToday, #10 by Sagarin and #8 in the RPI. FSU has established itself as one of the best programs in the nation. However, conference play is never easy. Now that conference play is here I thought that it would be interesting to investigate what type of record that we can expect from Florida State.
We can try to predict how the season will go by combining Jeff Sagarin's ratings (as a proxy for a Vegas point spread) with Betting Talk's percentage chance a team wins the game based on the closing point spread. We will then add up the percentage chances of a win to calculate the number of wins that our simple model predicts Florida State will finish with in the conference regular season.
The following chart displays the results from our model.
Note 1: In the Sagarin Spread the home team gets a 3 point boost. I have adjusted the numbers in the table to reflect this boost. Note 2: FSU is currently favored in every game analyzed except for the game at Louisville and the home date with Notre Dame. Note 3: The Betting Talk percentage refers to the current chances of an FSU win.
As you can see the model predicts FSU to win 14.135 games. Essentially the prediction is for FSU to go 14-2. While this could certainly happen I feel that the Betting Talk percentages are a bit generous to the favored team. While I do think that FSU should be favored in every game except the Louiville and Notre Dame games, I wouldn't give them a 100% chance to beat teams like Miami, Virginia, UNC, or Syracuse. Therefore I have specified a different model using the "Prince %". It is identical to the first model except for that one change. The following chart displays the results from this model.
This new model predicts FSU to win 13.11 games. Therefore the prediction is for FSU to go 13-3. I was intentionally a bit conservative with my percentages but I do think that 13 wins is a reasonable prediction. FSU could certainly win 15 (or even 16) ACC games but that would require the Noles to get a lot of breaks. For instance, no opponent could have an incredible shooting night, FSU would have to stay injury free, FSU would have to avoid a slump, etc.
To be clear, FSU has the talent and the experience to win 15 or 16 ACC games but I feel that it is a bit audacious to predict this result right now even though I think that the Noles are one of the best teams in the nation. The 13-3 prediction also factors in that the Noles may have bad injury luck. If the Seminoles were guaranteed to have perfect health for the entire season 14-2 would be more realistic. However, if FSU gets hit by injuries they could easily be significantly worse than 13-3. Let me know what you guys think of FSU's likely win total in the comments.
Florida State begins their ACC schedule on Dec. 31st against the North Carolina Tar Heels (10-3). Stay tuned to TN for more on this game and the entire season as it unfolds.