The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 27, 2010

The 2010-11 College Football Playoff Computer Simulation–Semifinals

The 2010-11 College Football Playoff Computer Simulation—The Final Four


You are looking live at the College Football Playoff Computer Simulation for 2010-11.


In the first round, Arkansas defeated Michigan State, Wisconsin defeated Connecticut, Boise State defeated Oklahoma, and Ohio State knocked off Virginia Tech.  Last week in the quarterfinals, Auburn beat Arkansas, Wisconsin edged Stanford, Oregon trounced Boise State, and Ohio State bested TCU.


For those of you that did not read our features from the previous two weeks, here are the particulars.  We have access to a university computer that has a simulation program that has been used for several years to pick football winners.  Its results in picking winners have been quite accurate, but it has failed in picking games against the spread.  Thus, it can only be used to pick winners.


We have used this simulator for three and a half years.  If you follow our NFL playoff coverage, then you have seen how accurate it can be.


Last year, the simulator gave us Boise State as the national champion, defeating TCU in the “Simper Bowl.”  The results were similar to the actual Fiesta Bowl won by Boise State.


Our simulated playoffs started with 12 teams.  We took the champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC and awarded them automatic bids.  We then took all other conference champions that finished in the top 12 of the BCS and awarded them automatic bids.  We then selected the highest-rated BCS teams not already given automatic bids and awarded at-large bids until we had our “Dandy Dozen.”  The teams were then seeded 1-12 based on their BCS rating.


The top four seeds received first round byes as a reward.  We limit our playoff to 12, because we feel the number 16 team would never be deserving of winning the national championship, while there have been seasons where the number 12 team could have been a contender.


With a 12-team playoff, we needed 11 games.  So, we used the top 11 bowls to play these games.  The first round began two weeks ago with four games being played.  The quarterfinals ran last Monday; today, the semifinals run, and next Monday, January 3, the Championship Game, called “The Simper Bowl,” will run.


In prior years, we used one simulation and reported the score and stats.  This year, we changed our format. 


We are running the simulation 100 times and taking the average score of these 100 simulations as our score for the playoff game. 


We will show you how many games each team won, the average score of these 100 simulations, the outlier scores on both sides, and the average rushing and passing yards for each team.


Here is the bracket for this season’s playoffs:


First Round

Outback Bowl: #8 Arkansas vs. #9 Michigan State

Chick-fil-A Bowl: #5 Wisconsin vs. #12 Connecticut

Insight Bowl: #7 Oklahoma vs. #10 Boise State

Alamo Bowl: #6 Ohio State vs. #11 Virginia Tech


Quarterfinal Round

Sugar Bowl: #8 Arkansas vs. #1 Auburn

Cotton Bowl: #5 Wisconsin vs. #4 Stanford

Fiesta Bowl: #10 Boise State vs. #2 Oregon

Capital One Bowl: #6 Ohio State vs. #3 T C U



As we stated above, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Boise State, and Ohio State emerged victorious in the opening round games, and Auburn, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Ohio State advanced to today’s semifinal games. 


The simulations have been conducted, and here are the results.  They were extremely close today.  In the Orange Bowl, 88 sims were decided by five points or less.  In the Rose Bowl, all 100 sims were decided by single digits, and 17 went to overtime!



Orange Bowl

#1 Auburn vs. #5 Wisconsin




Average Score: Wisconsin 40.6  Auburn 38.7

Wisconsin wins: 53

Auburn wins: 47


Outlier A: Wisconsin 48  Auburn 36

Outlier B: Auburn 42  Wisconsin 29

Average Wisconsin Yards: rush-248  pass-177

Average Auburn Yards: rush-208  pass-211


Rose Bowl

#2 Oregon vs. #6 Ohio State




Average Score: Ohio State 26.9  Oregon 24.8

Ohio State wins: 50

Oregon wins: 50

Outlier A: Ohio State 45  Oregon 37 3ot

Outlier B: Oregon 30  Ohio State 21

Average Ohio State Yards: rush-183  pass-179

Average Oregon Yards: rush-186  pass-180



Simper Bowl IV is set.  Congratulations to the Big Ten Conference for landing both championship game participants.  Wisconsin will play Ohio State for all the marbles, and you can see the results next Monday in play-by-play format.


The format for the championship game will be different.  We will simulate this game 100 times to discover the winner of the game to determine the winner.  Then, we will simulate it again as many times as needed for the winner to come up with another win.  The first simulation past number 100 that shows our 100-game simulation as the winner will be the official Simper Bowl results.  Since we will give you the results in a play-by-play format, if you do not peak at the bottom, you can follow the action as if you are seeing it unfold live, sort of.


For example, let’s say we were simulating 2009 Alabama against 2008 Florida.  Let’s say that Alabama wins the 100 simulations by a margin of 52 to 48.  We will then simulate this game again and again until the result shows Alabama winning and take that first simulation from #101 on that shows Alabama winning as the game result.


So, come by this website next Monday afternoon, January 3, 2011, for Simper Bowl IV.


Happy New Years to all, and please be responsible Friday night.  Don’t miss 2011 because you were ignorant on the last day of 2010.

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