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Elo 2017: Cornell Homecoming Weekend, a Full Ivy League Weekend

Week five of Elo predictions are now ready. To recap, last week our model went 1-1 again. Princeton handily beat Brown in a 53-0 blowout down in Providence. Columbia rallied in overtime to defeat Penn with a score of 34-31. Columbia is undefeated at this point in the season with a 5-0 record and is consistently winning despite not being favored in the models.

However, in last week’s article I did try to adjust for some of the model’s limitations and make it clear that Columbia has a better chance than our model shows of winning each game. Elo focuses on long-term success and comfortable wins, so Columbia’s two Ivy League games with close scores have not boosted them too much. The other limitation of Elo mentioned here is the constraint of it only counting Ivy League games. If I was able to gather and calculate data on all of the FCS teams then this model would be slightly more accurate because all games would factor into the model.

For this upcoming weekend there are four games because every Ivy League team is playing a conference game. Let’s take a look at the individual predictions below.

Week Five

Princeton vs. Harvard, Friday, October 20 at 7:30pm

This weekend is starting off with what looks to be a close and interesting matchup. Both teams are doing well, but sport 1-1 Ivy League records. A win in this game will keep them on track for an Ivy League championship, but a loss may mean the end of their title race as there are two Ivy League teams still undefeated in conference play. It will be interesting to see whether home field advantage gives Harvard enough to hold out against Princeton.

Columbia vs. Dartmouth, Saturday, October 21 at 12:30pm

This is the most meaningful game of the week. An undefeated Columbia team is looking to continue its historic run, while Dartmouth is looking to put an end to it. The game is to be played in New Hampshire and our model predicts Dartmouth to be the stronger of the two undefeated teams. I also think the model underestimates Columbia. As I described above, Columbia just turned into a good team and Elo hasn’t quite caught up. I expect this to be a very close game.

Yale vs. University of Pennsylvania, Saturday, October 21 at 1:00pm

For this contest, the Yale Bulldogs travel to Pennsylvania to face the Quakers. Despite Yale’s superior (4-1) record, I feel Penn (2-3) should be favored in this game. Both of Penn’s Ivy League losses came against undefeated teams and one loss came in overtime. The Quakers have lost three straight games and are looking to change course in a home game against another strong conference team.

Brown vs. Cornell, Saturday, October 21 at 3:00pm

Now, for the most important game of the week: the Cornell Big Red vs. the Brown Bears. This is a big matchup for our Big Red who currently have a 1-4 overall record (1-1 Ivy). Despite having the home advantage, Cornell is not favored. Although, it could be a good game for a Big Red win. The game will be played against the Ivy League’s second worst team and it will be in front of a massive Homecoming crowd. The Big Red have shown they can do it against Harvard, so expect this to be a very good game.

The Elo model sits 4-4 in game projections so far. Check back in again next week for more Elo predictions.


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