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Let’s Figure Out UCF’s 2019 Projected Win Total

New S&P+ totals can help give us an idea of how many games UCF can expect to win.

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UCF Football
UCF went 12-1 in 2018.
Derek Warden

Time now for us to geek out about UCF Knights Football in 2019 because it’s never too early to do that.

Credit to our friends at Tomahawk Nation for this idea. They took a look at Bill Connelly’s latest 2019 preseason S&P+ rankings and calculated a projected win total based on their opponents and a home field advantage factor.

So we decided to copy that. Sort of.

First, some explanations.

Let’s establish UCF’s S&P+ rating, which is 11.7, 28th in the nation as of now (For a full explanation of Bill Connelly’s S&P+, go here).

What this means is, compared to the average team, UCF is 11.7 points better than the average team on a neutral field. So if UCF is playing a team with an S&P+ of -2.0, on a neutral field, UCF should be a 13.7-point favorite.

But, as we know, most games are not played on neutral fields. The folks in Las Vegas will tell you that home field is worth three points to the home team, but since we’re nerds, we know that varies if you look at the evidence.

Collin Wilson of The Action Network calculated this over a ten-year sample size through 2017, and so I decided to use this number and subtract it from the S&P+ difference for each of UCF’s road opponents. For home games, I added UCF’s home field advantage of 3.01 points according to this metric.

Now that we have an adjusted point spread, to figure out win probability, I used this spread-to-expected-win-probability chart from BoydsBets and rounded the adjusted spread to the nearest half-point.

From there, to figure out a total win probability, you just add the individual games’ win probability.

Alright, enough of that, let’s do the maths:

UCF 2019 S&P+ Win Probability

H/A Opponent Opponent S&P+ Rank Home Field Adv Adj. Spread Win Probability
H/A Opponent Opponent S&P+ Rank Home Field Adv Adj. Spread Win Probability
Home Florida A&M N/A - - - 100.0%
Away FAU -1.3 79 -1.47 11.5 80.6%
Home Stanford 10 32 3.01 4.7 63.1%
Away Pittsburgh 3.8 59 -1.74 6.2 66.4%
Home UConn -24.7 129 3.01 39.4 100.0%
Away Cincinnati 7.1 44 -1.63 3.0 57.4%
Home ECU -14.4 113 3.01 29.1 100.0%
Away Temple 2.2 66 -3.61 5.9 66.4%
Home Houston 0.3 73 3.01 14.4 86.8%
Away Tulsa -0.6 95 -1.87 10.4 79.3%
Away Tulane -7.2 98 -2.48 16.4 89.1%
Home South Florida 1 71 3.01 13.7 83.5%
Home Field Advantage Data: The Action Network | Win Probability Data: BoydsBets

One note: Because they’re in FCS, Florida A&M is not measured in S&P+, but we’re assuming that UCF’s win probability for that game is 100% because, well, it’s Florida A&M. Good thing the band is awesome.

Side note: I don’t think any team has a 100% chance of winning or losing any game, but let’s just ride with it here.

Now we’ve got the win probability for each game, so when you add all those percentages up, you get 9.73. So, based on math, as of this writing, UCF should win somewhere between 8 and 10 games.

When we look at conference games only, the total is 6.63, so S&P+ tells us that UCF should win between 5 and 7 games in conference.

I don’t know about you, but I’d be happy with 9-10 wins for UCF in 2019.

We’ll update this total as Bill updates S&P+, but for now, let the speculation begin.