The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 5, 2015

Computer Simulated NCAA Playoffs 2015-16: Round 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:44 am

The 2015-16 Computer Simulated Playoffs for FBS football has been extended to 24 teams, using the same format that is presently used for the actual FCS playoffs.

 

In today’s opening round, the number 9 through 24 seeds play at the home stadium of the better seed, while the top 8 seeds receive a bye to the second round, where they will host winners from today’s round.

 

For this computer simulation, we simulated each game only one time.  If we had done 100 or 1,000 simulations for each game, there would be no upsets, and the top seeds would have won every contest, making this experiment useless.

 

Here is today’s Schedule of Round 1 Games:

#24 Arkansas St. at #9 Notre Dame

#23 Bowling Green at #10 Florida St.

#22 Western Kentucky at #11 TCU

#21 San Diego St. at #12 Baylor

#20 Utah at #13 Northwestern

#19 Michigan at #14 Oregon

#18 Michigan at #15 Oklahoma St.

#17 Houston at #16 Ole Miss

 

Here are the results of those Round 1 games:

Team 1 2 3 4 F FD Rush Pass Total
#9 Notre Dame 14 14 10 0 38 24 211 174 385
#24 Arkansas St. 0 3 0 7 10 13 12 169 181
 
#10 Florida St. 6 14 10 7 37 23 179 301 480
#23 Bowling Green 3 7 3 7 20 18 86 311 397
#11 TCU 20 14 10 7 51 30 221 307 528
#22 Western Kent. 2 0 14 7 23 18 90 276 366
#12 Baylor 0 3 14 10 27 19 179 194 373
#21 San Diego St. 0 0 7 6 13 14 156 138 294
#13 Northwestern 3 3 10 3 19 16 180 147 327
#20 Utah 0 10 7 0 17 17 91 164 255
#14 Oklahoma St. 10 0 7 7 24 20 152 223 375
#19 Michigan 6 14 7 0 27 22 164 209 373
#15 Oregon 3 13 9 0 25 18 208 159 367
#18 Florida 3 6 3 0 12 12 114 126 240
#16 Ole Miss 16 14 6 3 39 27 177 331 508
#17 Houston 7 10 7 0 24 18 88 209 297

Here are the Round 2 Pairings to be published Friday or Saturday, December 11-12

Second Round
#9 Notre Dame at
#8 North Carolina  
   
#10 Florida St. at
#7 Stanford  
   
#11 TCU at
#6 Ohio St.  
   
#12 Baylor at
#5 Michigan St.  
   
#13 Northwestern at
#4 Iowa  
   
#19 Michigan at
#3 Oklahoma  
   
#15 Oregon at
#2 Alabama  
   
#16 Ole Miss at
#1 Clemson  

November 30, 2015

If Big-time FBS Football Held Its Own 24-Team Playoff

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:16 am

The Football Championship Series of the NCAA conducts a 24-team playoff. The conference champions of all the FCS leagues except the Ivy League, The Southwest Athletic Conference, and the Mideastern Athletic Conference receive an automatic bid.  The Ivy League refuses its teams from playing postseason football, while the SWAC and MEAC champions play in the Celebration Bowl.

The 24-team tournament awards first round byes to the top eight seeds, while the remaining 16 teams play to cut the number from 24 to 16.

What if the Football Bowl Series held a 24-team playoff rather than a four-team playoff? There is still a week to go in the regular season, but if there was a move to a 24-team playoff, this would be the opening week of the playoffs, and the conference championship games would be eliminated in lieu of adding 20 playoff teams.

We will have to surmise the actual conference champions of leagues that still have championships up for grabs, but a 24-team FBS playoff would look something like this.
American Athletic Conference: Houston
Atlantic Coast Conference: Clemson
Big 12 Conference: Oklahoma
Big Ten Conference: Iowa
Conference USA: Western Kentucky
Mid-American Conference: Bowling Green
Mountain West Conference: San Diego St.
Pac-12 Conference: Stanford
Southeastern Conference: Alabama
Sun Belt Conference: Arkansas St.

To those 10 automatic bids, the following 14 teams would receive at-large bids.
Michigan St.
Ohio St.
North Carolina
Notre Dame
Florida St.
TCU
Baylor
Northwestern
Oklahoma St.
Oregon
Ole Miss
Florida
Michigan
Utah

The first round games to be played this week would look something like this.
Numbers in parentheses represent seedings

G1: (24) Arkansas St. at (9) Notre Dame
G2: (23) Bowling Green at (10) Florida St.
G3: (22) Western Kentucky at (11) TCU
G4: (21) San Diego St. at (12) Baylor
G5: (20) Utah at (13) Northwestern
G6: (19) Michgan at (14) Oklahoma St.
G7: (18) Florida at (15) Oregon
G8: (17) Houston at (16) Ole Miss

The Second Round would look like this.
G1 winner at (8) North Carolina
G2 winner at (7) Stanford
G3 winner at (6) Ohio St.
G4 winner at (5) Michigan St.
G5 winner at (4) Iowa
G6 winner at (3) Oklahoma
G7 winner at (2) Alabama
G8 winner at (1) Clemson

If you have been a reader here for long enough, you know that we have access to a large computer that allows us to input all the statistics of each team and simulate games. We inputted the statistics this morning and played all 23 games of this simulated tournament.

We will reveal the results of Round one later this week.

April 6, 2015

NCAA National Championship Game By The Numbers

Duke (34-4) vs. Wisconsin (35-3)
CBS Television Tip Time: 9:18 PM EDT
Team Offense Duke Wisconsin
Field Goals 1075 989
Field Goal Attempts 2140 2054
3-Point Shots 279 281
3-Point Attempts 721 769
Free Throws 594 578
Free Throw Attempts 853 755
Offensive Rebounds 439 372
Defensive Rebounds 964 931
Turnovers 416 291
Steals 274 171
Possessions Per Game 66.4 59.8
Points Per Game 79.6 72.7
Team Defense Duke Wisconsin
Field Goals 937 872
Field Goal Attempts 2220 2041
3-Point Shots 192 198
3-Point Attempts 612 527
Free Throws 373 317
Free Throw Attempts 538 449
Offensive Rebounds 417 291
Defensive Rebounds 775 782
Turnovers 476 373
Steals 213 159
Possessions Per Game 66.7 59.9
Points Per Game 64.2 57.9
Four Factors Duke Wisconsin
Effective Field Goal % 56.8 55.0
Effective Field Goal %–Defense 46.5 47.6
Offensive Rebound Rate 36.2 32.2
Opponents Offensive Rebound Rate 30.2 23.8
Turnover Rate 16.5 12.5
Opponents Turnover Rate 18.8 16.0
Free Throw Rate* (FT/100 Poss.) 23.6 24.8
Opponents Free Throw Rate * 14.7 13.6
PiRate Criteria Factors Duke Wisconsin
Scoring Margin 15.4 14.8
Field Goal % Margin 8.0 5.4
Rebound Margin 5.6 5.4
Turnover Margin 1.6 2.1
R+T Rating # (see below for formula) 19.6 19.1
Won-Loss Away From Home 15-2 21-2
Schedule Strength (Per ESPN) 61.6 61.5
# R+T Rating components: Duke Wisconsin
Rebound Margin * 2 11.2 10.8
Average Steals * .5 3.6 2.2
6 – Opponents Average Steals 3.2 4.0
Turnover Margin 1.6 2.1
R+T Rating 19.6 19.1
PiRate Ratings
PiRate Red Wisc by 1
PiRate White Duke by 1
PiRate Blue Duke by 2

100 Computer Simulations

Duke Wins: 52

Wisconsin Wins: 48

Note: 9 Overtime Games 2 of which went to double overtime, and one to triple overtime

Average Score: Duke 70.7  Wisconsin 69.4

Outlier A: Duke 74  Wisconsin 58

Outlier B: Wisconsin 70  Duke 60

This concludes the PiRate Ratings College Basketball Coverage for the season.  We will return in a couple weeks to offer our take on the Kentucky Derby with an emphasis on the two possible super horses this year–Dortmund and Materiality.

 

March 31, 2015

Final Four Preview–Semifinals

Team Team Tip Time Network
Kentucky (38-0) Wisconsin (35-3) 6:09 PM EDT TBS
Duke (33-4) Michigan St. (27-11) 8:49 PM EDT TBS

Indianapolis will be rocking Saturday night as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four promises to be exciting with the potential for two close games.

The four teams share similar statistical competence where past National Champions have dominated, namely in rebounding.  As we told you a couple weeks ago, the one statistic that has 100% correlation with the National Champion is positive rebounding margin.  Since 1954, when complete rebounding statistics were archived, every National Champion has finished the season with positive rebounding margin.  This is not true for the other statistics, as we have crowned champions with negative field goal margin, negative turnover margin, and negative free throw margin.

This year is no different; the four combatants are all dominant rebounding teams, each outrebounding their opposition by more than five per game.

Looking back at the remaining Pirate Ratings Final Four Criteria, we have four teams that fit our mold like a glove.  All four have scoring margins greater than 8.0 per game, with three holding double-digit socring margins.  Two of the four hold 8% or greater field goal percentage margins, with one pushing that number into double digits.  Three of the four have better than 75% winning percentage away from their home floor, and all four have fat R+T ratings.

Final Four Offensive Statistics

Team FG FGA 3pt 3pta FT FTa OR DR TO Stl
Duke 1049 2090 277 711 567 816 432 935 408 265
Kentucky  980 2096 200 577 676 933 485 975 402 248
Michigan St. 992 2126 287 743 441 698 427 998 427 199
Wisconsin 966 2006 274 752 560 733 360 909 281 170

Final Four Defensive Statistics

Team FG FGA 3pt 3pta FT FTa OR DR TO Stl
Duke 915 2165 185 592 363 522 408 751 462 209
Kentucky  727 2068 168 629 425 650 451 730 523 181
Michigan St. 807 2054 222 702 565 783 371 840 409 208
Wisconsin 846 1987 195 522 308 439 285 766 367 154

Four Factors Statistics

Team EFG DEFG OR% DOR% TO% DTU% FT* DFT*
Duke 56.8 46.5 36.5 30.4 16.6 18.7 23.1 14.7
Kentucky  51.5 39.2 39.9 31.6 16.4 21.4 27.5 17.4
Michigan St. 53.4 44.7 33.7 27.1 17.4 16.6 17.9 22.9
Wisconsin 55.0 47.5 32.0 23.9 12.4 16.1 24.6 13.5

PiRate Ratings Criteria Statistics for Final Four

Team PPG D PPG Mar. FG-M Rb-M TO-M R+T WLRd W-L SOS Poss.
Duke 79.5 64.3 15.2 7.9 5.6 1.5 16.6 14-2 33-4 61.8 66.3
Kentucky  74.6 53.9 20.8 11.6 7.3 3.2 22.4 18-0 38-0 58.7 64.6
Michigan St. 71.4 63.2 8.2 7.4 5.6 -0.5 13.9 13-6 27-11 67.0 64.7
Wisconsin 72.8 57.8 15.0 5.6 5.7 2.3 17.9 20-2 35-3 61.1 59.9

PiRate Ratings For Semifinal Round

Team Team Red White Blue
Kentucky Wisconsin 3 3 6
Duke Michigan St. 6 5 8

100 Computer Simulations For Semifinal Round

Kentucky vs. Wisconsin

Kentucky Wins: 94

Wisconsin Wins: 6

Average Score: Kentucky 71  Wisconsin 62

Outlier A: Kentucky 78  Wisconsin 62

Outlier B: Wisconsin 64  Kentucky 59

Duke vs. Michigan St.

Duke Wins: 84

Michigan St. Wins: 16

Average Score: Duke 77  Michigan St. 70

Outlier A: Duke 84  Michigan St. 62

Outlier B: Michigan St. 73  Duke 64

January 29, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX Simulator

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , — piratings @ 9:09 am

Thanks to finally gaining access to the simulator of a prestigious college computer lab, the PiRates have simulated Super Bowl XLIX 10,000 times.  Without further adieu, here are the key essential numbers.

 

Weather was input into the simulation.  We used the current forecast for Phoenix at the approximate time of halftime–64 degrees.  We used a 7 MPH wind from the Southeast with mostly cloudy skies and relative humidity of 60%.

 

10,000 Simulations (rounded to the nearest whole number)

New England Patriots Won 63%

Seattle Seahawks Won 37%

Average Margin of victory: New England by 2

Average Total Points Scored: 54

New England at -1 Covered the Spread: 59%

Seattle at +1 Covered the Spread: 37%

Push (NE won by 1): 4%

New England Won by 14 or more points: 7%

New England Won by 7-13 points: 17%

New England Won by 4-6 points: 21%

New England Won by 1-3 points: 18%

Seattle Won by 14 or more points: 2%

Seattle Won by 7-13 points: 8%

Seattle Won by 4-6 points: 11%

Seattle Won by 1-3 points: 16%

Game went Over 48 points: 56%

Game went Under 48 points: 40%

Game total exactly 48 %: 4%

Game Went to Overtime: 9% (This is rather high, but 896 of the 10,000 simulations showed the game going to overtime, and one simulation had the game going into the second period of OT.  Could we be looking at the first OT in Super Bowl history?  9% is still just one chance in 11, but there has not been a league championship game ending with overtime since the Dallas Texans defeated the Houston Oilers in the AFL Championship in the 1962 season, and not since the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in the NFL Championship in 1958.  That means 58 consecutive pro football championships have not ended in overtime. 

There have been a couple of very close finishes where the last play of the game stopped an overtime from happening in a Super Bowl.

Super Bowl V ended with Colts’ kicker Jim O’Brien connecting on the game-winning FG as the clock expired in what became known as the “Kick heard ’round the world.” 

 

Super Bowl XXXIV ended with Tennessee Titan receiver Derek Mason being stopped one yard short of the goal line with the St. Louis Rams up by seven.

 

December 31, 2014

PiRate Ratings FBS Playoffs Computer Simulation–Simper Bowl VIII

We apologize for not having this post published when it was supposed to come out.  Major computer issues with substantial losses of data forced us to run an end around play to get back online.

Today, we are combining our annual Simper Bowl computer simulated playoffs (not like the actual playoffs–read prior postings under this category for a complete explanation) with the 100 simulations run for both actual Playoff games.

First, let’s start with our Simper Bowl Results.

In Simper Bowl VIII, #3-seed TCU squared off against #5-seed Baylor in our version of our 12-team playoff.  The game was played in Arlington, TX, and due to the proximity of both clubs, no home-field advantage was added, as we felt that both teams would have an equal amount of fans, and TCU was not all that much closer to the stadium to earn any extra advantage.

AND YOUR 2014 SIMPER BOWL VIII CHAMPION IS……………………

TCU!  Congratulations to the Horned Frogs, the team the computer simulator judged to be the best team in the nation.

Final Score: TCU 38  Baylor 26

STATS

First Downs: TC 27  BA 20

Rushing: TC 45-203  BA 23-67

Passing: TC 226  BA 291

Passes: TC 20-32-0  BA 28-51-1

Play-Yds: TC 77-429  BA 74-358

After 1st Qtr.: TCU 10  Baylor 6

Half: TCU 17  Baylor 16

After 3rd Qtr.: TCU 31  Baylor 19

********************************************

100 Sims of Actual Rose and Sugar Bowls

We simulated both Playoff games 100 times.  Here are the results.

Rose Bowl

#2 Oregon vs. #3 Florida St.

Outright Wins: Florida St. 57  Oregon 43

Average Score: Florida St. 24.9  Oregon 22.5

Outlier A: Florida St. 40  Oregon 22

Outlier B: Oregon 45  Florida St. 20

Sugar Bowl

#1 Alabama vs. #4 Ohio St.

Outright Wins: Alabama 89  Ohio St. 11

Average Score: Alabama 32.6  Ohio St. 21.7

Outlier A: Alabama 44  Ohio St. 13

Outlier B: Ohio St. 29  Alabama 23

December 16, 2014

2014-15 Computer Simulated College Football Playoffs—Elite 8 Round

The quarterfinal round of the 2014-15 College Football Computer Simulated Playoffs has been run through the simulation program, and unlike the first round, there were some surprises.

If you have not read our entry from December 8 explaining how and why we perform this computer simulation, read here:
https://piratings.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/2014-15-computer-simulated-playoffs/

In the first round, seeds 5-12 faced off on the higher seeds’ home fields, while seeds 1-4 received byes. In that opening round, #5 Baylor defeated #12 Kansas State 38-24; #6 Florida St. edged #11 Auburn 30-28; #7 Ole Miss beat #10 Georgia 31-28 in 2 ot; and #8 Mississippi St. trounced #9 Michigan St. 45-17.

Here is the schedule for today’s quarterfinal round games:
#8 Mississippi State at #1 Alabama
#7 Ole Miss at #2 Oregon
#6 Florida State at #3 T C U
#5 Baylor at #4 Ohio State

Without further adieu, here are the results of those games.

#8 Mississippi State at #1 Alabama
Final Score: Alabama 30 Mississippi St. 17

Stats
First Downs: AL 24 MS 16
Rushing: AL 41-209 MS 29-137
Passing: AL 226 MS 168
Passes: AL 20-34-1 MS 19-29-2
Play-Yds: AL 75-435 MS 58-305
After 1st Qtr: AL 6 MS 0
Half: AL 16 MS 7
After 3rd Qtr: AL 23 MS 10

 

#7 Ole Miss at #2 Oregon
Final Score: Ole Miss 24 Oregon 22

Stats
First Downs: OM 19 OR 19
Rushing: OM 28-118 OR 41-189
Passing: OM 309 OR 231
Passes: OM 28-44-1 OR 24-45-1
Play-Yds: OM 72-427 OR 86-420
After 1st Qtr: OM 7 OR 6
Half: OM 21 OR 12
After 3rd Qtr: OM 21 OR 19

 

#6 Florida St. at #3 TCU
Final Score: TCU 42 Florida St. 24

Stats
First Downs: TC 26 FS 18
Rushing: TC 34-177 FS 30-99
Passing: TC 289 FS 308
Passes: TC 25-38-0 FS 26-49-3
Play-Yds: TC 72-466 FS 79-407
After 1st Qtr: TC 14 FS 0
Half: TC 28 FS 14
After 3rd Qtr: TC 42 FS 24

 

#5 Baylor at #4 Ohio St.
Final Score: Baylor 40 Ohio St. 38

Stats
First Downs BA 30 OS 23
Rushing: BA 28-109 OS 45-313
Passing: BA 484 OS 210
Passes: BA 38-51-0 OS 18-29-1
Play-Yds: BA 79-593 OS 74-523
After 1st Qtr: OS 17 BA 10
Half: OS 31 BA 19
After 3rd Qtr: OS 38 BA 26

The Final Four Is Now Set. Moving on to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl, we have #3 TCU and #7 Ole Miss. Facing off in the Sugar Bowl, #5 Baylor challenges top-seeded Alabama.
Return to this site on Friday, December 19 for the results of that simulation.

December 12, 2014

2014-15 Computer Simulated College Football Playoffs–1st Round

The opening round of the 2014-15 computer simulated college football playoffs has been played, and there were a couple of really close games along with two games that were not all that close.

If you have not read our entry from December 8 explaining how and why we perform this computer simulation, read here:

https://piratings.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/2014-15-computer-simulated-playoffs/

In the first round, seeds 5-12 face off on the higher seeds’ home fields, while seeds 1-4 receive byes.

Here are the results of those four games.

#12 Kansas State at #5 Baylor
Final Score: Baylor 38 Kansas State 24

Stats

First Downs: BU 24, KS 19

Rushing: BU 34-188, KS 41-161

Passing: BU 372, KS 211

Passes: BU 25-38-1, KS 18-33-1

Play-Yds: BU 72-560, KS 74-372

After 1st qtr: Baylor 10-0

Half: Baylor 17-7

After 3rd qtr: Baylor 31-10

#11 Auburn at #6 Florida State
Final Score: Florida State 30 Auburn 28

Stats

First Downs: FS 23, AU 25

Rushing: FS: 29-106, AU 48-279

Passing: FS 402, AU 209

Passes: FS 34-46-2, AU 17-27-1

Play-Yds: FS 75-508, AU 75-488

After 1st qtr: Auburn 7-0

Half: Auburn 14-7

After 3rd qtr: Auburn 28-20

#10 Georgia at #7 Ole Miss
Final Score: Ole Miss 35 Georgia 31 2 ot

Stats

First Downs: OM 23, GA 20

Rushing: OM 34-152, GA 42-273

Passing: OM 236, GA 171

Passes: OM 21-37-1, GA 15-27-2

Play-Yds: OM 71-388, GA 69-444

After 1st qtr: Tied 7-7

Half: Georgia 14-10

After 3rd qtr: Georgia 14-13

After 4th qtr: Tied 21-21

After 1st OT: Tied 28-28

#9 Michigan State at #8 Mississippi State
Final Score: Mississippi State 45 Michigan St. 17

Stats

First Downs: MSS 32, MCH 16

Rushing: MSS 49-265, MCH 25-69

Passing: MSS 217, MCH 221

Passes: MSS 19-32-0, MCH 24-43-2

Play-Yds: MSS 81-482, MCH 68-290

After 1st qtr: Mississippi St. 14-0

Half: Mississippi St. 21-3

After 3rd qtr: Mississippi St. 42-10

The Quarterfinals are now set and will be simulated Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Here are the pairings for the Elite 8.

#8 Mississippi State at #1 Alabama
#7 Ole Miss at #2 Oregon
#6 Florida State at #3 T C U
#5 Baylor at #4 Ohio State

December 8, 2014

2014-15 Computer Simulated Playoffs

Filed under: 2014 Simulated NCAA Playoffs — Tags: , , , — piratings @ 9:31 am

The Road To Simper Bowl VIII

With the dawning of the inaugural NCAA College Football Playoff, the PiRates figured the Simper Bowl would cease to exist now that the title would be more fair. However, the football gods gave us the utmost controversy this year, as six teams definitely deserved spots in the playoffs.

Imagine if the NFL chose not to include the NFC East champion (Philadelphia or Dallas), while taking Detroit due to a big week 17 win over Green Bay? The NFL is the king of all sports because there is consistency. Maybe too many teams qualify for the playoffs, but the qualification for making the playoffs is clear and plain to see. If you win your division, you are one of the top four seeds, and if you have one of the next two best records in your conference (with rules to break ties), you are one of the final two seeds.

Baylor and TCU are like 12-4 teams in the NFL that finished tied for first in a division and then were not allowed in the playoffs. One of these teams might even receive a first round bye and have home field advantage if this were the NFL.

The PiRate Ratings have a website at http://www.piratings.webs.com, where fans can contact us. We usually receive inquiries about the processes we use in constructing our ratings, why our home field advantage is different for every game played, as well as questions about why our format is Green and Gold (members of the family are “owners” of the Green Bay Packers).

We were surprised this week when 14 of you sent us inquiries asking if we would bring back our computer simulation of the college playoffs like in past years. We usually receive 14 contacts from you in one month, so when 14 asked in a three-day period, we knew we had to bring the simulation back.

We saw this travesty being a real possibility just last season, when if the four-team playoff had been in effect, there would have been many teams feeling jilted from their exclusion from the Final Four. In 2013, Florida State, Auburn, and Alabama were definitely the top three teams, but number four was even more cluttered with Baylor, Michigan St., Stanford, Ohio St., Missouri, South Carolina, and Oregon all having legitimate claims to that fourth slot. That meant 10 teams were deserving of making the playoffs. Additionally, Louisville, still a member of the AAC, was in the Top 16 and thus also deserving of a playoff spot, making 11 teams total that deserved a chance to play for the title. This is why we believe the playoffs need to be 12 teams.

So, welcome to the Road to Simper Bowl VIII. In case you are new to this, we started this 12-team simulation in 2007. It has always been our belief that every conference champion of a major conference should automatically qualify for an NCAA Playoff berth. Since there are now five major conferences, that means five teams should receive automatic bids. This hints at an eight-team playoff, but for two reasons, we do not like the idea of having an eight-team playoff. First, in many years, there are teams just outside the top eight that are worthy of making the playoffs. We love history. In 1976, Texas A&M did not finish the regular season among the Top Eight. Yet, our ratings showed the Aggies to be the number one team in the nation by December, even though their record was 9-2. Our ratings showed the Aggies were four points better than actual champion Pittsburgh and more than a touchdown better than the Georgia team Pittsburgh faced in the Sugar Bowl.

The second reason we do not like an eight-team format is we believe the highest-rated teams deserve some reward in the form of a first-round bye (like the NFL).

This is why we have stuck with our 12-team format. While in some years, the ninth best team has an argument that they belong in an eight-team playoff, rarely ever has the number 13 team had any realistic grounds to complain about being left out of a 12-team playoff. This is the equivalent of the first four out of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Yes, a 19-14 team from the Big Ten may be better than the champion of 15 other mid and low-majors, but they only have themselves to blame for going 19-14. This team is not a contender for the Final Four.

Here is our format for our 12-team simulated playoffs. We have adjusted it a little bit from past seasons.

1. This is a 12-team tournament, using home fields for the first two rounds to get from 12 to 8 to 4, and then using the current bowls to play the Final Four and Championship.

2. The champions of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, and Pac-12 receive automatic bids, but not any preference toward receiving byes.

3. The champions of the AAC, CUSA, MAC, MWC, and Sunbelt receive automatic bids if any finish in the top 16 of the Power Rankings, which replaces the BCS. Thus, theoretically, all five of these conferences could field a team in the same season.
What do we use for “Power Rankings?” The PiRate Ratings are part of the Massey Comparison Rankings, a group of the most accurate computer rankings in the nation. For this purpose, we will use the Massey Comparison Rankings as our equivalent of basketball’s RPI. We’d prefer some tiebreaker system to mechanically determine the playoff teams, but for now, that is not possible.

4. We then select the two to seven highest PR-ranked teams (to fill the bracket to make 12 total) not automatically selected and give them berths in the tournament.

5. We seed the teams by Power Ranking from 1-12. The top 4 teams receive a first round bye as a reward for being one of the top four, while seeds 5-12 face off in the first round.
This year, none of the champions of the AAC, CUSA, MAC, Mountain West, or Sunbelt finished in the Top 16. Boise State just missed, coming in at 19. Thus, with five automatic bids, we must invite the next seven highest-rated teams to fill out our 12-team bracket.

Here are the Dandy Dozen teams, seeded for 2014-15.

1. Alabama 12-1
2. Oregon 12-1
3. TCU 11-1
4. Ohio St. 12-1
5. Baylor 11-1
6. Florida St. 13-0
7. Ole Miss 9-3
8. Mississippi St. 10-2
9. Michigan St. 10-2
10. Georgia 9-3
11. Auburn 8-4
12. Kansas St. 9-3

And here is the bracket for this year’s tournament.

Opening Round
Game 1: #12 Kansas State at #5 Baylor
Game 2: #11 Auburn at #6 Florida St.
Game 3: #10 Georgia at #7 Ole Miss
Game 4: #9 Michigan St. at #8 Mississippi St.

Quarterfinal Round
Game 5: Game 4 Winner (Michigan St./Mississippi St.) at #1 Alabama.
Game 6: Game 3 Winner (Georgia/Ole Miss) at #2 Oregon
Game 7: Game 2 Winner (Auburn/Florida St.) at #3 T C U
Game 8: Game 1 Winner (Kansas St./Baylor) at #4 Ohio St.

Semifinals
Sugar Bowl: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner
Rose Bowl: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner

CHAMPIONSHIP
Arlington, TX: Sugar Bowl Winner vs. Rose Bowl Winner

For this computer simulation, games were simulated on a simulator located on a major university campus.
Process: We use a simulation program at a major university computer lab. We will simulate each game just one time, because if we run 100 or 1000 simulations, there will be no chances for upsets, and the top seeds will win every game. By simulating each game just one time, we produce the same chance that each team has to win, be it expected or an upset. If one team has a 75% chance of winning, then the underdog has less than 1% chance of winning if the game is simulated 100 times, but it has a 25% chance of winning if the game is simulated just once.

Home Field advantage is factored into all games, even those played at neutral sites. Alabama never plays a neutral site game, as the Crimson Nation shows up in mass numbers even 2,000 miles away from home.

The simulator uses statistical data much in the same way as popular sports games such as “Strat-O-Matic” and “Paydirt” use to make player and team cards and then simulates a game based on these statistics. Plays are called by artificial intelligence, using tendencies the actual teams use. Generically, these plays are:

Running Plays
1. Power inside
2. Quick inside
3. Power off-tackle
4. Tackle trap
5. Power wide
6. Quick wide
7. Misdirection
8. Draw

Passing Plays
9. Screen
10. Short Play-Action
11. Medium Play-Action
12. Long Play-Action
13. Short Flood
14. Medium Flood
15. Middle Routes
16. Sideline Routes
17. Deep Zone Route
18. Long Bomb

Specialty Plays
19. QB Sneak
20. Trick Play
21. Goalline Fade
22. QB Kneel Down

All forms of special teams are included in this simulation program, and the program generates full stats.

Schedule

Round One Games will be published on Friday, December 12
Round Two Games will be published in Tuesday, December 16
The Semifinal Round will be published on Friday, December 19
The Championship Round will be published on Tuesday, December 23

January 8, 2014

PiRate Ratings: NFL Divisional Playoff Round–January 11-12, 2014

Wildcard Playoff TV Schedule

Day

Time (ET)

Game

TV

Radio

Saturday, January 11

4:35 PM

New Orleans @ Seattle

Fox

Westwood 1

Saturday, January 11

8:15 PM

Indianapolis @ New England

CBS

Westwood 1

Sunday, January 12

1:05 PM

San Francisco @ Carolina

Fox

Westwood 1

Sunday, January 12

4:40 PM

San Diego @ Denver

CBS

Westwood 1

   

 

 

 

To find a local Westwood 1 radio affiliate, check this link:

http://westwoodonesports.com/stations/

 

Weather Forecasts For Kickoff and Next 3-4 hours

Seattle—100% chance of rain, potentially heavy, and windy with a game time temperature in the mid to upper 40’s and falling slowly through the duration of the game

 

New England—60% chance of rain and gusty winds with temperatures holding steady near 50 throughout the game.

 

Carolina—Partly cloudy with a small rain chance and light winds with temperatures in the mid to upper 50’s during the course of the game.

 

Denver—Partly cloudy with a small rain chance and moderate wind gusts with temperatures at kickoff in the mid-40’s and falling into the 30’s during the game.

 

 

PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Seattle New Orleans

7.3

6.9

6.9

New England Indianapolis

7.0

5.4

6.7

Carolina San Francisco

-1.5

-2.0

-1.7

Denver San Diego

7.3

7.4

7.7

 

Computer Simulations (100x)

New Orleans at Seattle

New Orleans wins: 14

Seattle wins: 86

Average Margin: Seattle 32.3  New Orleans 22.6

NO Outlier Win: 36-24

Sea Outlier Win: 44-13

 

Indianapolis at New England

Indianapolis Wins: 33

New England Wins: 67

Average Margin: New England 29.4  Indianapolis 23.1

Ind Outlier Win: 34-19

NE Outlier Win: 31-6

 

San Francisco at Carolina

San Francisco Wins: 64

Carolina Wins: 36

Average Margin: San Francisco 22.8  Carolina 18.6

SF Outlier Win: 30-10

Car Outlier Win: 21-6

 

San Diego at Denver

San Diego Wins: 49

Denver Wins: 51

Average Margin: San Diego 29.8  Denver 29.6

SD Outlier Win: 49-27

Den Outlier Win: 52-31

This one surprised us, but then again San Diego already won at Denver once before this season.

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