Sunday, December 6, 2015

College Football Playoff and Bowl Picks

The College Football Playoff and all 39 other bowls are now set (there were so many this year that some 5-7 teams made it), and with that I can use my Pyth ratings from the MDS Model to project the winners of each game. A couple of notes about this year's slate:

  1. As mentioned above, three 5-7 teams will play in a bowl game this year: Nebraska, Minnesota, and San Jose State.
  2. There is a 41st bowl for 2 FCS teams: the winners of the MEAC and SWAC will face off in the first bowl of the season in Atlanta. These 2 conferences voluntarily removed themselves from FCS playoff consideration in order to participate in this bowl.
  3. With the 5-7 debacle, 2 MWC teams actually will end up playing each other in a bowl game: Nevada vs Colorado State. And the MWC commissioner is not happy about it.
But first, here are my probabilities for each team in the playoff:

3Michigan State30.90%12.12%

Alabama is the #1 team in the country in my model, and we look headed for a rematch of the 2014 Sugar Bowl in the NCG: Alabama vs Oklahoma. And 2/5ths of the time, Tricky Nicky will take home yet another title for Alabama.

Before we take a look at the rest of the bowls, let's look back at my "8 Completely Arbitrary 2015 NCAAF Bold Predictions". I definitely went chalk (not bold) with pretty much every single one, so we should see a high percentage of correct "predictions".

1. North Carolina will be this year's fraud ACC team
Check! 1/1

2. Georgia will win the SEC
Not even close. 1/2

3. Alabama will miss the CFP
As I just illustrated above, they'll likely win the damn thing. 1/3

4. Al Golden will be fired after Miami goes 6-6 again
Well, I got this half-way correct about half-way through the season. Golden got fired, but Miami went 8-4. 1.5/4

5. The ACC will be the conference left out of the CFP
Try #1 overall seed. 1.5/5

6. Tennessee will beat Florida
This definitely should've happened, but of course, it didn't. 1.5/6

7. Ezekiel Elliot will win the Heisman Trophy
Not likely. 1.5/7

8. Ohio St will repeat as National Champions
Literally can not happen. 1.5/8

Well, that should entirely have been expected. 1.5/8 for a phenomenal percent correct of 19%-ish.

Now for the rest of the bowl picks, which are backed by math and statistical reasoning, and not just me pontificating (only FBS included):