The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 31, 2010

PiRate Ratings College Football Bowl Preview, Part Three

We are posting three bowl previews this year; this is the third preview.  We will give you the current odds for each game, the PiRate, Mean, and Bias spreads for each game, and the results of our 100 computer simulations for each game.

 

Today, we cover the bowls from January 3 through The BCS Championship Game.   

 

Monday, January 3

Orange Bowl

Miami, FL

8:00 PM EST on ESPN

Stanford (11-1)  vs.  Virginia Tech (11-2)

Vegas: Stanford by 3 ½

Totals: 58

PiRate: Stanford by 7.6

Mean: Stanford by 5.3

Bias: Stanford by 13.7

100 Sims: Stanford 77  Virginia Tech 23

Avg. Sim Score: Stanford 30.4  Virginia Tech 20.9

Outlier A: Stanford 45  Virginia Tech 19

Outlier B: Virginia Tech 33  Stanford 21

 

Tuesday, January 4

Sugar Bowl

New Orleans, LA

8:00 PM EST on ESPN

Ohio State (11-1)  vs. Arkansas (10-2)

Vegas: Ohio State by 3 ½

Totals: 56 ½

PiRate: Ohio State by 3.6

Mean: Ohio State by 2.8

Bias: Arkansas by 4.1

100 Sims: Arkansas 54  Ohio State 46

Avg. Sim Score: Arkansas 26.3  Ohio State 23.7

Outlier A: Arkansas 34  Ohio State 14

Outlier B: Ohio State 27  Arkansas 16

 

Thursday, January 6

GoDaddy.com Bowl

Mobile, AL

8:00 PM EST on ESPN

Miami (Ohio) (9-4)  vs. Middle Tennessee (6-6)

Vegas: Pick’em

Totals: 48 ½

PiRate: Miami (O) by 7.8

Mean: Miami (O) by 6.2

Bias: Miami (O) by 9.7

100 Sims: Miami (O) 64  Middle Tennessee 36

Avg. Sim Score: Miami (O) 35.1  Middle Tennessee 26.5

Outlier A: Miami (O) 41  Middle Tennessee 20

Outlier B: Middle Tennessee 34  Miami (O) 20

 

Friday, January 7

Cotton Bowl

Arlington, TX

8:00 PM EST on Fox Network

L S U (10-2)  vs. Texas A&M (9-3)

Vegas: Pick’em

Totals: 49

PiRate: Texas A&M by 1.8

Mean: L S U by 1.0

Bias: Texas A&M by 6.6

100 Sims: L S U 53  Texas A&M 47

Avg. Sim Score: L S U 25.5  Texas A&M 25.1

Outlier A: L S U 30  Texas A&M 13

Outlier B: Texas A&M 28  LSU 17

 

Saturday, January 8

BBVA Compass Bowl

Birmingham, AL

12 Noon EST on ESPN

Pittsburgh (7-5)  vs.  Kentucky (6-6)

Vegas: Pittsburgh by 3 ½

Totals: 52 ½

PiRate: Pittsburgh by 4.8

Mean: Pittsburgh by 4.7

Bias: Kentucky by 5.6

100 Sims: Pittsburgh 62  Kentucky 38

Avg. Sim Score: Pittsburgh 19.8  Kentucky 16.9

Outlier A: Pittsburgh 27  Kentucky 7

Outlier B: Kentucky 23  Pittsburgh 10

 

Sunday, January 9

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

San Francisco, CA

9:00 PM EST on ESPN

Nevada (12-1)  vs. Boston College (7-5)

Vegas: Nevada by 7 ½

Totals: 55

PiRate: Nevada by 12.9

Mean: Nevada by 12.4

Bias: Nevada by 5.3

100 Sims: Nevada 70  Boston College 30

Avg. Sim Score: Nevada 31.8  Boston College 23.6

Outlier A: Nevada 48  Boston College 25

Outlier B: Boston College 31  Nevada 24 (two times)

 

Monday, January 10

B C S  Championship Game

Glendale, AZ

8:00 PM EST on ESPN

Oregon (12-0)  vs.  Auburn (13-0)

Vegas: Auburn by 2 ½

Totals: 74 ½

PiRate: Oregon by 7.8

Mean: Oregon by 2.4

Bias: Oregon by 9.6

100 Sims: Oregon 64  Auburn 36

Avg. Sim Score: Oregon 43.6  Auburn 36.9

Outlier A: Oregon 51  Auburn 32

Outlier B: Auburn 44  Oregon 38 (three others by 6)

8 simulations went to overtime, with Oregon winning seven of those games

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March 17, 2009

Bracketnomics 505–The Advanced Level Class In Bracket Filling

Bracketnomics 505-The Advanced Level Class In Bracket Filling

This is a graduate level class that will earn you a Masters in Bracketnomics.  So you want a scientific method to guide you as you fill out your brackets?  You say you want a system that will take out most of the human-bias, and allow you to pick your teams in a mechanical fashion.  Well, we’ve got one for you that has been back-tested and holds up fantastically through the years. 

What the inventor of the PiRate system did was to discover the vital information that has worked in the past.  He’s been using this formula since the Internet made statistics-gathering easy, and it has been back-tested as far back as the days when the NCAA Tournament field consisted of just 23, 24, or 25 teams.

This method will not pick every game correctly and make you an instant millionaire.  It is geared toward finding the tendencies that historically have mattered most in picking the teams with the best chances of advancing.  Not all teams will be a perfect fit in this formula; what this formula does is pick the teams that have the best chance of advancing and making a deep run into the tournament. 

How has the formula performed in recent years?  Last year, it picked Kansas to win the NCAA Championship.  In 2006, it tabbed George Mason as a team to watch to sneak into the Elite 8 (they went to the Final 4).   It correctly selected Florida and UCLA for the Final Four in both 2006 and 2007. 

There have been a couple of seasons where the criteria didn’t apply successfully, but over the course of the 50 seasons, it has performed accurately about 43 times.  Without further adieu, here is the PiRate Bracket-Picking System.

1. Scoring Margin

For general bracket picking, look for teams that outscored their opponents by an average of 8 or more points per game.  Over 85% of the Final Four teams since the 1950’s outscored their opponents by an average of 8 or more points per game. 

Make a separate list of teams that outscored their opponents by an average of 10 or more points per game and a third list of teams outscoring opponents by an average of 15 or more points per game.  More than 80% of the final four teams in the last 50 years outscored their opponents by double digit points per game.  When you find a team with an average scoring margin in excess of 15 points per game, and that team is in one of the six power conferences, then you have a team that will advance deep into the tournament.

This is an obvious statistic here.  If team A outscores opponents by an average of 85-70 and their team B opponent outscores their opposition by an average of 75-70, team A figures to be better than team B before you look at any other statistics. 

In the days of the 64/65-team field, this statistic has become even more valuable.  It’s very difficult and close to impossible for a team accustomed to winning games by one to seven points to win four times in a row.  This average gives the same significance and weighting to a team that outscores its opposition 100-90 as it does to a team that outscores its opposition 60-50.

2. Field Goal Percentage Differential

Take each team’s field goal percentage minus their defensive field goal percentage.  Look for teams that have a +7.5% or better showing.  50% to 42% is no better or no worse than 45% to 37%.  A difference of 7.5% or better is all that matters.  Teams that have a large field goal percentage margin are consistently good teams.  Sure, a team can win a game with a negative field goal percentage difference, but in the Big Dance, they aren’t going to win four games much less two.  This statistic holds strong in back-tests of 50 years.  Even when teams won the tournament with less than 7.5% field goal percentage margins, for the most part, these teams just barely missed (usually in the 5.5 to 7.5% range).  In the years of the 64/65-team tournament, this stat has become a more accurate predictor.  Nowadays, the teams with field goal percentage margins in the double digits have dominated the field.  If you see a team shoot better than 48% and allow 38% or less, that team is going to be very hard to beat in large arenas with weird sight lines.

3. Rebound Margin

This statistic holds up all the way back to the early days of basketball, in fact as far back to the days when rebounds were first recorded.  The teams that consistently control the boards are the ones that advance deep into the tournament.  What we’re looking for here are teams that out-rebound their opposition by five or more per game.  In the opening two rounds, a difference of three or more can be used.

The reason this statistic becomes even more important in mid-March is that teams don’t always shoot as well in the NCAA Tournament for a variety of reasons (better defense, abnormal sight lines and unfamiliar gymnasiums, nerves, new rims and nets, more physical play with the refs allowing it, etc.).  The teams that can consistently get offensive putbacks are the teams that go on scoring runs in these games.  The teams that prevent the opposition from getting offensive rebounds, holding them to one shot per possession, have a huge advantage.  Again, there will be some teams that advance that were beaten on the boards, but over the course of four rounds, it is rare for one of these teams to advance.  West Virginia in 2005 made it to the Elite Eight without being able to rebound, but not many other teams have been able to do so.  There have been years where all four Final Four participants were in the top 20 in rebounding margin, and there have been many years where the champion was in the top 5 in rebounding margin.

4. Turnover Margin & Steals Per Game

Turnover margin can give a weaker rebounding team a chance.  Any positive turnover margin is good here.  If a team cannot meet the rebounding margin listed above, they can get by if they have an excellent turnover margin.  Not all turnover margin is the same though.  A team that forces a high number of turnovers by way of steals is better than a team that forces the same amount of turnovers without steals.  A steal is better than a defensive rebound, because most of the time, a steal leads to a fast-break basket or foul.  When a team steals the ball, they are already facing their basket, and the defense must turn around and chase.  Many steals occur on the perimeter where the ball-hawking team has a numbers advantage.  So, this system counts a steal as being worth 1.33 rebounds. 

The criteria to look for here is a positive turnover margin if the team out-rebounds its opposition by three or more; a turnover margin of three or better if the team out-rebounds its opposition by less than three; and a turnover margin of five or more if the team does not out-rebound its opponents.  Give more weight to teams that average 7.5 or more steals per game, and give much more weight to teams that average double figure steals per game.  A team that averages more than 10 steals per game will get a lot of fast-break baskets and foul shots.  In NCAA Tournament play, one quick spurt can be like a three-run homer in the World Series, and teams that either steal the ball or control the boards are the ones who will get that spurt.

The All-Important R+T Margin: Consider this the basketball equivalent of baseball’s OPS (On Base % + Slugging %).  Here is the PiRate R+T stat: R + (.2S * {1.2T}), where R is rebounding margin, S is average steals per game, and T is turnover margin.  When this stat is 5 or more, you have a team that can overcome a few other liabilities to win.  When the result is 10 or more, you have a team that has a great chance of getting enough additional scoring opportunities to make it to the later rounds.  When this stat is negative, you have a team that will be eliminated before the Sweet 16.

5. Power Conference Plus Schedule Strength

I’m sure up to this point you have been thinking that it is much easier for North Dakota State or Siena to own these gaudy statistics than it is for Pittsburgh or Michigan State.  Of course, that’s correct.  We have to adjust this procedure so that the top conferences get extra weight, while the bottom conferences get penalized.  Here is how we do it.  Look at the Strength of schedule for every team in the Field.  You can find SOS on many websites, such as the RPI at cbs.sportsline.com.  Take the decimal difference for each team in the Field and multiply that by 100.  For example if Team A’s SOS is .6044 and Team B’s is .5777, the difference times 100 is 2.67.  So, Team A’s schedule was 2.67 points (or round it to 3) per game tougher than Team B’s.  Use this in head-to-head contests for every game in your bracket.

These are the five basic PiRate criteria used for the last dozen or so years.  You might be shocked to see that there are some key statistics that are not included.  Let’s look at some of these stats not to rely upon.

Assists and Assists to Turnover Ratio

While assists can reveal an excellent passing team, they also can hide a problem.  Let’s say a team gets 28 field goals and has 21 assists.  That may very well indicate this team can pass better than most others.  However, it can also mean two other things.  First, this team may not have players who can create their own offense and must get by on exceptional passing.  That may not work against the best defensive teams in the nation, or the type that get into the Dance.  Second, and even more importantly, it may indicate that this team cannot get offensive putbacks.  As explained earlier, the offensive putback is about as important as any stat can be.  So, consider this stat only if you must decide on a toss-up after looking at the big five stats.

Free Throw Shooting 

Of course, free throw shooting in the clutch decides many ball games.  However, history shows a long line of teams making it deep into the tournament with poor free throw shooting percentages, and teams that overly rely on free throws may find it tough getting to the line with the liberalized officiating in the tournament.

Let’s say a team shoots a paltry 60% at the foul line while their opponent hits a great 75% of their foul shots.  Let’s say each team gets to the foul line 15 times in the game, with five of those chances being 1&1, three being one shot after made baskets, and seven being two shot fouls.  For the 60% shooting team, they can be expected to hit 3 of 5 on the front end of the 1&1 and then 1.8 of the 3 bonus shots; they can be expected to hit 1.8 of 3 on the one foul shot after made baskets; and they can be expected to hit 8.4 of 14 on the two shot fouls for a total of 15 out of 25.  The 75% shooting team can be expected to connect on 3.75 of 5 on the front end of the 1&1 and then 2.8 of 3.75 on the bonus shot; they can be expected to hit 2.3 of 3 on the one foul shot after made baskets; and they can be expected to connect on 10.5 of 14 on the two shot fouls for a total of 19.35 out of 25.75.  So, a team with one of the top FT% only scores nine more points at the foul line than a team with one of the worst.  That looks like a lot of points to make up, but consider that this is about the maximum possible difference.  Also consider that teams that shoot 60% of their foul shots and make the NCAA Tournament are almost always the teams that also have the top R+T ratings.  Teams that make the NCAA Tournament with gaudy free throw percentages frequently got there by winning close games at the line.  In the NCAA Tournament, fouls just don’t get called as frequently as in the regular season.  The referees let the teams play.  So, looking at superior free throw percentage can almost lead you down the wrong path. 

Ponder this:  The 1973 UCLA Bruins are considered to be the best college basketball team ever.  That team connected on just 63% of its free throws.  They had a rebounding margin of 15.2, and they forced many turnovers via steals thanks to their vaunted 2-2-1 zone press.  In the great UCLA dynasty from 1964 through 1973 when the Bruins won nine titles in 10 years, they never once connected on 70% of their free throws and averaged just 66% during that stretch.

3-point shooting

You have to look at this statistic two different ways and consider that it is already part of field goal percentage and defensive field goal percentage.  Contrary to popular belief you do not count the difference in made three-pointers and multiply by three to see the difference.  If Team A hits eight treys, while their Team B opponents hit three, that is not a difference of 15 points; it’s a difference of five points.  Consider made three-pointers as one extra point because they are already figured as made field goals.  A team with 26 made field goals and eight treys has only one more point than a team with 26 made field goals and seven treys.

The only time to give three-point shots any weight in this criteria is when you are looking at a toss-up game, and when you do look at this stat, look for the team that does not rely on them to win, but instead uses a credible percentage that prevents defenses from sagging into the 10-12-foot area around the basket.  If a team cannot throw it in the ocean from behind the arc, defenses can sag inside and take away the inside game.  It doesn’t play much of a role in the NCAA Tournament.  A team that must hit 10 threes per game in order to win isn’t going to be around after the first weekend.

One Big Star or Two Really Good Players

Teams that got to the Dance by riding one big star or a majority of scoring from two players are not solid enough to advance very far.  Now, this does not apply to a team with one big star and four really good players.  I’m referring to a team with one big star and four lemons or two big scorers with three guys who are allergic to the ball.  Many times a team may have one big scorer or two guys who score 85% of the points, but the other three starters are capable of scoring 20 points if they are called on to do so.  If you have a team with five double figure scorers, that will be a harder one to defend and one that will be consistent.  It’s hard for all five players to slump at once.

We hope this primer will help you when you fill out your brackets this week. 

Now, here is a way to put numbers to the criteria.  It isn’t exactly the way our founder did it every year, but it is a close approximation.

1. Scoring Margin

Award 5 points for every team with a scoring margin difference of 10 or more

Award 3 points for every team with a scoring margin difference of 8.0-9.9

Award 1 point for every team with a scoring margin difference of 5.0-7.9

Award 0 points for every team with a scoring margin difference of 0-4.9

Award -3 points for every team with a negative scoring margin

2. Field Goal % Margin

Award 5 points for every team with a FG% margin difference of 10% or more

Award 3 points for every team with a FG% margin difference of 7.5 to 9.9

Award 1 point for every team with a FG% margin difference of 5.0-7.4

Award 0 points for every team with a FG% margin difference of 0.0-4.9

Award -3 points for every team with a FG% margin difference below 0

3. Rebound Margin

Award 3 points for every team with a Rebound margin difference of 5 or more

Award 1 point for every team with a Rebound margin difference of 3.0-4.9

Award 0 points for every team with a Rebound margin difference of 0-2.9

Award -2 points for every team with a Rebound margin difference below 0

4. Turnover Margin

Award 3 points for every team with a Turnover margin difference of 3 or more

Award 1 point for every team with a Turnover margin difference of 1.5-2.9

Award 0 points for every team with a Turnover margin difference of 0-1.4

Award -2 points for every team with a Turnover margin below 0

5. PiRate R+T Formula

Once again, the formula for R+T is [R + ({.2*S}*{1.2*T})], Where R is rebounding margin, S is avg. steals per game, and T is turnover margin

Award 5 points for every team with an R+T of 10 or more

Award 3 points for every team with an R+T of 7.5-9.9

Award 1 point for every team with an R+T of 5-7.4

Award 0 points for every team with an R+T of 0-4.9

Completely eliminate from consideration all teams with a negative R+T

6. Schedule Strength

Use this to compare when looking at team vs. team.  Take the difference in the Strength of Schedule as given by cbs.sportsline.com and multiple it by 100.  For example, Team A with an SOS of .5252 has a schedule 7 points weaker than Team B with an SOS of .5921.  If these two teams face each other, give the Team B an extra 7 criteria points over Team A ([(.5921-.5252)*100]=6.69 rounds to 7).

If you want to compile all this information yourself, the best way is to go to all 65 official athletic websites of the teams in the Big Dance.  You will find up-to-date statistical information.  Some of these stats are available in other places, but many have been found to be riddled with mistakes, or they are not up-to-date.  All 65 school sites are accurate and timely.

Coming tomorrow (Wednesday), we’ll reveal which teams belong in the later rounds by virtue of having the best criteria scores.

January 7, 2009

College Football Computer Simulation Playoffs–Championship Game

NCAA 2008 College Football Playoff Simulation

Championship Round

 

Welcome to season number two of the NCAA College Football Playoff Simulation.  For those reading this blog for the first time, the PiRate College Football Playoffs take the champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC as automatic qualifiers.  Any of the remaining conference champions (including the top independent) that finish in the top 16 in the final regular season BCS Standings also qualify automatically.  At-large teams are then selected in the order of BCS finish until 12 total teams have been selected.  The 12 teams are seeded by BCS ranking.

 

Here is how the 12 teams were selected for the 2008 playoffs.

 

Top Six Conference Champions

ACC-Virginia Tech 9-4 seeded 12th

Big East Champion-Cincinnati 11-2 seeded 11th

Big Ten-Penn State 11-1 seeded 8th

Big 12-Oklahoma 12-1 seeded 1st

Pac-10-Southern Cal 11-1 seeded 5th

SEC-Florida 12-1 seeded 2nd

 

Automatic Qualifiers By Virtue Of Top 16 In BCS

MWC-Utah 12-0 seeded 6th

WAC-Boise State 12-0 seeded 9th

 

Top Four At-Large To Fill Out 12-Team Field

Texas 11-1 seeded 3rd

Alabama 12-1 seeded 4th

Texas Tech 11-1 seeded 7th

Ohio State 10-2 seeded 10th

 

The PiRate Playoff System uses the top 11 bowl games to play the four rounds.  The 5th through 12th seeds must play in the first round, while the top four seeds receive byes to the quarterfinals.

 

The First Round games were simulated Saturday, December 13.  Here were the results of those games.

 

Insight Bowl: #5 Southern Cal 20 #12 Virginia Tech 6

 

Cotton Bowl: #6 Utah 23 #11 Cincinnati 20 2ot

 

Chick-Fil-a Bowl:  #10 Ohio State 45 #7 Texas Tech 31

 

Outback Bowl: #9 Boise State 34 #8 Penn State 23

 

 

Quarterfinal Round Matches

Simulated December 20

 

Fiesta Bowl

#1 Oklahoma 48  #9 Boise State 21

 

Sugar Bowl

#2 Florida 34  #10 Ohio State 17

 

Capital One Bowl

#3 Texas 35  #6 Utah 17

 

Gator Bowl

#5 Southern Cal 17  #4 Alabama 10

 

 

FINAL FOUR

 

Rose Bowl

 

Southern California 27  Oklahoma 14

 

Orange Bowl

 

Florida 49  Texas 35

 

 

National Championship Game

 

Florida 14-1  vs. Southern Cal 14-1

 

AND THE WINNER IS………….

 

Southern California Trojans

 

Final Score:  USC 27  Florida 23

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

USC

3

10

14

0

 

27

Fla

6

3

6

8

 

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USC

Stat

Fla

 

 

 

 

18

FD

14

 

 

 

 

46-148

Rush-Yds

29-77

 

 

 

 

239

Pass Yds

223

 

 

 

 

19-32-0

Passes

19-35-2

 

 

 

 

5-41.8

Punt

6-40.5

 

 

 

 

3-46

PR

2-17

 

 

 

 

7-60

Pen

6-50

 

 

 

 

1-0

Fum

2-1

 

 

 

 

68

Play

64

 

 

 

 

387

Tot Yds

300

 

 

 

USC-Buehler 36 yd. FG, 1st Qtr. 10:33 (USC 3 FL 0)

Fla-Tebow 4 yd. run, kick blocked, 1st Qtr. 3:11 (FL 6 USC 3)

Fla-Phillips 29 yd. FG, 2nd Qtr. 7:55 (FL 9 USC 3)

USC-Turner 17 yd. pass from Sanchez, Buehler Kick 2nd qtr. 3:09 (USC 10 FL 9)

USC-Buehler 45 yd. FG, 2nd Qtr. 0:00 (USC 13 FL 9)

USC-Gable 9 yd. run, Buehler Kick, 3rd Qtr. 12:46 (USC 20 FL 9)

USC-Maualuga 44 yd. interception return, Buehler Kick, 3rd Qtr. 9:15 (USC 27 FL 9)

Fla-Demps 2 yd. run, 2-point try failed, 3rd Qtr. 0:54 (USC 27 FL 15)

Fla-Murphy 31 yd. pass from Tebow, Tebow run for 2, 4th Qtr. 2:27 (USC 27 FL 23)

 

Congratulations go to Southern California for winning the simulated national championship playoffs for the second year in a row!

 

 

The Real BCS Championship Game Simulated 100 Times

 

Florida won 59 of the 100 Simulations by an average score of 36 to 32.

Five of the games went to overtime, with one simulation going four overtimes.  Oklahoma won that one 68-66.

Florida won 11 games by 10 or more points with their biggest margin of victory being 23 points in a 55-32 win.

Oklahoma won three games by 10 or more points with their biggest margin of victory being 19 points at 49-30.

29 of the simulations were decided by three points or less, with Florida winning 15 and Oklahoma winning 14.

 

Regardless of the outcome of this game, there will be discussion that three other teams were just as deserving.

 

If Oklahoma wins this game, Texas has every bit as much right if not more to proclaim themselves champions.  They beat Oklahoma on a neutral field.

 

If Florida wins this game, then Utah has every bit as much right it nor more to proclaim themselves champions.  The Utes beat Alabama by more points than Florida did, and Utah had to play this game as if they were the road team.  Utah won at Oregon State, something that Southern Cal did not do.

 

Speaking of Southern Cal, the Trojans are hands down the best college team in the nation.  Most football experts, including the wise guys in Nevada understand this fact and would list USC as a favorite over any other team.

January 2, 2009

NCAA 2008-09 College Football Playoff Simulation–Semifinal Round

NCAA 2008 College Football Playoff Simulation

Semifinal Round

 

Welcome to season number two of the NCAA College Football Playoff Simulation.  For those reading this blog for the first time, the PiRate College Football Playoffs take the champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC as automatic qualifiers.  Any of the remaining conference champions (including the top independent) that finish in the top 16 in the final regular season BCS Standings also qualify automatically.  At-large teams are then selected in the order of BCS finish until 12 total teams have been selected.  The 12 teams are seeded by BCS ranking.

 

Here is how the 12 teams were selected for the 2008 playoffs.

 

Top Six Conference Champions

ACC-Virginia Tech 9-4 seeded 12th

Big East Champion-Cincinnati 11-2 seeded 11th

Big Ten-Penn State 11-1 seeded 8th

Big 12-Oklahoma 12-1 seeded 1st

Pac-10-Southern Cal 11-1 seeded 5th

SEC-Florida 12-1 seeded 2nd

 

Automatic Qualifiers By Virtue Of Top 16 In BCS

MWC-Utah 12-0 seeded 6th

WAC-Boise State 12-0 seeded 9th

 

Top Four At-Large To Fill Out 12-Team Field

Texas 11-1 seeded 3rd

Alabama 12-1 seeded 4th

Texas Tech 11-1 seeded 7th

Ohio State 10-2 seeded 10th

 

The PiRate Playoff System uses the top 11 bowl games to play the four rounds.  The 5th through 12th seeds must play in the first round, while the top four seeds receive byes to the quarterfinals.

 

The First Round games were simulated Saturday, December 13.  Here were the results of those games.

 

Insight Bowl: #5 Southern Cal 20 #12 Virginia Tech 6

 

Cotton Bowl: #6 Utah 23 #11 Cincinnati 20 2ot

 

Chick-Fil-a Bowl:  #10 Ohio State 45 #7 Texas Tech 31

 

Outback Bowl: #9 Boise State 34 #8 Penn State 23

 

 

Quarterfinal Round Matches

Simulated December 20

 

Fiesta Bowl

#1 Oklahoma 48  #9 Boise State 21

 

Sugar Bowl

#2 Florida 34  #10 Ohio State 17

 

Capital One Bowl

#3 Texas 35  #6 Utah 17

 

Gator Bowl

#5 Southern Cal 17  #4 Alabama 10

 

 

FINAL FOUR

 

Rose Bowl

#1 Oklahoma 13-1 vs. #5 Southern Cal 13-1

 

Orange Bowl

#2 Florida 13-1 vs. #3 Texas 12-1

 

RESULTS OF SEMIFINAL GAMES

 

Rose Bowl

 

Southern California 27  Oklahoma 14

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

Oklahoma

7

0

7

0

 

14

Southern Cal

10

3

7

7

 

27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OKL

Stat

USC

 

 

 

 

18

FD

22

 

 

 

 

21-77

Rush-Yds

39-148

 

 

 

 

282

Pass Yds

267

 

 

 

 

25-43-2

Passes

19-33-0

 

 

 

 

5-42.4

Punt

4-38.8

 

 

 

 

1-9

PR

2-31

 

 

 

 

7-60

Pen

5-35

 

 

 

 

2-1

Fum

1-0

 

 

 

 

64

Play

72

 

 

 

 

359

Tot Yds

415

 

 

Mark Sanchez threw touchdown passes to Michael Turner on consecutive drives at the end of the 3rd quarter and beginning of the fourth quarter after Oklahoma had taken a 14-13 lead.  The USC defense held the Sooners to 11 total yards and no first downs in the final quarter, sacking Sam Bradfors twice on 3rd down plays.

 

Orange Bowl

 

Florida 49  Texas 35

 

Team

1

2

3

4

OT

F

Florida

14

14

7

14

 

49

Texas

7

14

7

7

 

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fla

Stat

Tex

 

 

 

 

25

FD

19

 

 

 

 

39-183

Rush-Yds

18-44

 

 

 

 

290

Pass Yds

332

 

 

 

 

25-38-0

Passes

27-41-1

 

 

 

 

0-0

Punt

3-42.3

 

 

 

 

1-12

PR

0-0

 

 

 

 

6-44

Pen

8-58

 

 

 

 

0-0

Fum

1-0

 

 

 

 

77

Play

59

 

 

 

 

473

Tot Yds

376

 

 

Florida scored touchdowns on their first four possessions, as Tim Tebow started the game 15-18 for 176 yards.  Colt McCoy brought the Longhorns back in the second quarter; trailing 28-7, he led Texas on two quick scoring drives, topping the second one with a nine yard touchdown scamper.

 

With the score tied 35-35, Tebow ran off-tackle 26 yards for the go-ahead score, and then linebacker Brandon Spikes intercepted McCoy and returned it 41 yards for the touchdown that sealed the game.

 

National Championship Game

 

Florida 14-1  vs. Southern Cal 14-1

 

This game will be simulated January 7th

January 4, 2008

PiRate BCS National Championship Game Preview and Viewer’s Guide

The NCAA Football Bowl Division BCS Championship Game

Monday, January 7, 2008

8:30 PM EST

Fox Network

New Orleans Superdome

Ohio State 11-1 vs. LSU 11-2

How They Got To New Orleans

Ohio State Buckeyes

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Colors

Scarlet and Gray

League

Big 10 Conference

National Titles (*)

2002, 1968, 1957, 1954, 1942

* Awarded by AP, UPI, BCS, and other official polls
Unofficial Nat’l Titles (%)

1998, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1970,

1969, 1961, 1944, 1933

% Awarded by various unofficial polls and computers

Head Coach

Jim Tressel

Record at Ohio State

73-15 in 7th season

Bowl Record at OSU

4-2

Overall Record

146-58-2

Offensive Coordinator

Jim Bollman

Defensive Coordinator

Jim Heacock/Luke Fickell

Opponents

OSU

Opp

Youngstown State

38

6

Akron

20

2

at Washington

33

14

Northwestern

58

7

at Minnesota

30

7

at Purdue

23

7

Kent State

48

3

Michigan State

24

17

at Penn State

37

17

Wisconsin

38

17

Illinois

21

28

at Michigan

14

3

Per Game Stats

OSU

Opp

Points

32.0

10.7

First Downs

20.9

12.9

Rushing Attempts

43.6

31.4

Rushing Yards

200.7

77.1

Avg per Rush

4.6

2.5

Rush Yds NFL method *

209.0

99.6

Passing Yards

196.4

148.2

Pass Yds NFL method *

188.1

125.7

Pass Completions

16.3

16.4

Pass Attempts

25.3

31.6

Interceptions

1.0

0.8

Sacks

3.5

1.2

Sack Yards

22.5

8.3

Punting Avg.

40.4

39.2

Punt Returns

38.6

6.8

Net Punting

36.5

33.9

Fumbles-LST

1.4-0.6

1.3-0.7

Penalties-Yds

5.4-40.9

4.1-37.2

Yds per Interception Ret.

17.8

7.4

Avg. Kick Return

17.6

21.4

Time of Possession

32:11

27:49

3rd down conversion %

47.6

30.7

PAT %

97.8

100.0

FG %

81.0

70.0

* The NFL figures QB sacks as lost passing yards and not rushing yards
This is a better barometer of both the rushing and passing games

Louisiana State Tigers

Location

Baton Rouge, LA

Colors

Purple and Gold

League

Southeastern Conference

National Titles (*)

2003, 1958

* Awarded by AP, UPI, BCS, and other official polls
Unofficial Nat’l Titles (%)

1936, 1935, 1908

% Awarded by various unofficial polls and computers

Head Coach

Les Miles

Record at LSU

33-6 in 3rd year

Bowl Record at LSU

2-0

Overall Record

61-27

Offensive Coordinator

Gary Crowton

Defensive Coordinator

Bo Pelini

Opponents

LSU

Opp

at Mississippi St.

45

0

Virginia Tech

48

7

Middle Tennessee

44

0

South Carolina

28

16

at Tulane

34

9

Florida

28

24

at Kentucky

37

43

3 OT
Auburn

30

24

at Alabama

41

34

Louisiana Tech

58

10

at Ole Miss

41

24

Arkansas

48

50

3 OT
Tennessee

21

14

Per Game Stats

LSU

Opp

Points

38.7

19.6

First Downs

22.4

16.5

Rushing Attempts

43.3

33.4

Rushing Yards

218.9

103.1

Avg per Rush

5.1

3.1

Rush Yds NFL method *

233.8

122.0

Passing Yards

229.2

180.8

Pass Yds NFL method *

214.3

161.9

Pass Completions

18.2

15.2

Pass Attempts

31.9

32.7

Interceptions

0.9

1.6

Sacks

2.5

2.2

Sack Yards

18.9

14.9

Punting Avg.

43.4

39.2

Punt Return Avg.

5.8

9.5

Net Punting

35.5

36.5

Fumbles-LST

1.2-0.2

1.8-0.9

Penalties-Yds

8.7-64.9

4.6-37.2

Yds per Interception Ret.

11.6

9.5

Avg. Kick Return

20.1

20.5

Time of Possession

32:07

27:53

3rd down conversion %

45.4

36.0

PAT %

100.0

96.7

FG %

78.1

83.3

L S U Offense

Ohio State Defense

Pos

No.

Name

Ht 

Wt

Yr

||

Pos

No.

Name

Ht

Wt

Yr

SE

1

Brandon LaFell

6-3  

205

So

||

DE

97

Cameron Heyward

6-6   

282

Fr

2

Demetrius Byrd

6-2  

195

Jr

||

9

Rob Rose

6-5   

294

S0

28

R.J. Jackson

6-0  

205

So

||

DT

84

Doug Worthington

6-7   

271

So

LT

70

Ciron Black

6-5  

320

So

||

93

Nader Abdallah

6-5   

297

Jr

76

Jarvis Jones

6-7  

294

Fr

||

DT

92

Todd Denlinger

6-3   

286

So

LG

79

Herman Johnson

6-7  

356

Jr

||

72

Dexter Larimore

6-3   

304

Fr

63

Ryan Miller

6-6  

302

Jr

||

DE

50

Vernon Gholston

6-4   

264

Jr

62

Robert Smith

6-2  

273

Sr

||

78

Alex Barrow

6-5   

275

Jr

C

74

Brett Helms

6-2  

270

Jr

||

WLB

1

Marcus Freeman

6-2   

236

Jr

63

Ryan Miller

6-6  

302

Jr

||

36

Brian Rolle

5-11   

212

Fr

RG

65

Lyle Hitt

6-2  

299

So

||

MLB

33

James Laurinaitis

6-3   

240

Jr

76

Jarvis Jones

6-7  

294

Fr

||

38

Austin Spitler

6-3   

234

So

63

Ryan Miller

6-6  

302

Jr

||

SLB

6

Larry Grant

6-3   

226

Sr

RT

71

Carnell Stewart

6-5  

320

Sr

||

26

Tyler Moeller

6-1   

203

Fr

78

Joseph Barksdale

6-4  

310

Fr

||

CB

2

Malcolm Jenkins

6-1   

208

Jr

TE

82

Richard Dickson

6-2  

235

So

||

32

Eugene Clifford

6-2   

191

Fr

89

Keith Zinger

6-4  

250

Sr

||

13

Andre Amos

6-1   

179

So

81

Mit Cole

6-4  

260

Sr

||

SS

4

Kurt Coleman

5-11  

187

So

FL

9

Early Doucet

6-0  

207

Sr

||

3

Jamario O’Neal

6-1    

199

Jr

80

Terrence Toliver

6-5  

190

Fr

||

FS

21

Anderson Russell

6-0   

205

So

87

Jared Mitchell

5-11  

198

So

||

8

Aaron Gant

6-0   

201

So

QB

15

Matt Flynn

6-3  

227

Sr

||

CB

20

Donald Washington

6-1   

188

So

11

Ryan Perrilloux

6-3  

227

So

||

5

Chimdi Chekwa

6-1   

185

Fr

14

Andrew Hatch

6-3  

214

So

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

TB

18

Jacob Hester

6-0  

228

Sr

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Keiland Williams

6-0  

226

So

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

Charles Scott

5-11  

226

So

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Trindon Holliday

5-5  

160

So

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

Richard Murphy

6-1  

197

Fr

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

FB

45

Quinn Jackson

6-2  

238

Jr

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

Shawn Jordan

5-11  

254

Sr

||

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ohio State Offense

L S U Defense

Pos

No.

Name

Ht

Wt

Yr

||

Pos

No.

Name

Ht 

Wt

Yr

WR

80

Brian Robiskie

6-3  

196

Jr

||

LE

93

Tyson Jackson

6-5    

291

Jr

12

Dane Sanzenbacher

5-11  

178

Fr

||

47

Tremaine Johnson

6-2    

282

Jr

LT

75

Alex Boone

6-8  

313

Jr

||

LT

72

Glenn Dorsey

6-2    

303

Sr

73

Josh Kerr

6-5  

276

Fr

||

97

Al Woods

6-4    

315

So

LG

71

Steve Rehring

6-8  

345

Jr

||

90

Ricky Jean-Francois

6-3   

285

So

78

Dan Dye

6-3  

277

Sr

||

RT

99

Marlon Favorite

6-1   

302

Jr

C

64

Jim Cordle

6-4  

302

So

||

92

Drake Nevis

6-1   

288

Fr

66

Andrew Moses

6-3  

272

So

||

90

Ricky Jean-Francois

6-3   

285

So

RG

63

Ben Person

6-4  

321

Jr

||

RE

49

Kirston Pittman

6-4   

252

Sr

77

Connor Smith

6-5  

317

Fr

||

84

Rahim Allen

6-3   

254

So

RT

74

Kirk Barton

6-6  

300

Sr

||

90

Ricky Jean-Francois

6-3   

285

So

70

Byrant Browning

6-4  

311

Fr

||

SLB

35

Luke Sanders

6-5   

242

Sr

TE

88

Rory Nicol

6-5  

250

Jr

||

56

Perry Riley

6-1   

232

So

86

Jake Ballard

6-7  

255

So

||

MLB

48

Darry Beckwith

6-1   

230

Jr

87

Brandon Smith

6-3  

240

Jr

||

54

Jacob Cuttera

6-4   

235

So

WR

9

Brian Hartline

6-3  

180

So

||

WLB

7

Ali Highsmith

6-1   

223

Sr

4

Ray Small

6-0  

182

So

||

11

Kelvin Sheppard

6-3   

223

Fr

QB

17

Todd Boeckman

6-5  

243

Jr

||

CB

19

Jonathan Zenon

6-0   

180

Sr

11

Robby Schoenhoft

6-6  

244

So

||

29

Chris Hawkins

6-1   

175

So

TB

28

Chris Wells

6-1  

235

So

||

SS

16

Craig Steltz

6-2   

209

Sr

34

Maurice Wells

5-10  

195

Jr

||

24

Harry Coleman

6-2   

205

So

3

Brandon Saine

6-1  

220

Fr

||

FS

27

Curtis Taylor

6-3   

204

Jr

FB

49

Dionte Johnson

6-0  

242

Sr

||

44

Danny McCray

6-1   

206

So

16

Trever Robinson

6-0  

225

Sr

||

CB

21

Chevis Jackson

6-0   

184

Sr

42

Tyler Whaley

6-1  

265

Sr

||

4

Jai Eugene

5-11   

184

Fr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L S U Special Teams

Ohio State Special Teams

Pos

No.

Name

Ht

Wt

Yr

||

Pos

No.

Name

Ht

Wt

Yr

K

6

Colt David

5-9  

173

Jr

||

K

85

Ryan Pretorius

5-9  

175

Jr

P

36

Patrick Fisher

6-5  

253

Sr

||

KO

20

Aaron Pettrey

6-1  

193

So

KR

8

Trindon Holliday

5-5  

160

So

||

P

15

A. J. Trapasso

6-1  

224

Jr

5

Keiland Williams

6-0  

226

So

||

KR

4

Ray Small

6-0  

182

So

9

Early Doucet

6-0  

207

Sr

||

34

Maurice Wells

5-10  

195

Jr

PR

3

Chad Jones

6-3  

218

Fr

||

PR

9

Brian Hartline

6-3  

180

So

9

Early Doucet

6-0  

207

Sr

||

4

Ray Small

6-0  

182

So

LS

51

Jacob O’Hair

6-2  

237

Sr

||

LS

56

Dimitrios Makridis

6-1  

208

Sr

Hld

15

Matt Flynn

6-3  

227

Sr

||

61

Jackson Haas

6-3  

228

Sr

11

Ryan Perrilloux

6-3  

227

So

||

Hld

48

Jon Thoma

6-1  

199

So

Game Preview

In January of 1973, Ohio State played Southern California in the Rose Bowl and USC blew them off the Pasadena turf much like they did with Illinois this past Monday.  A year later, Ohio State returned to the Rose Bowl for a rematch with USC.  Many pundits expected another Trojan slaughter, but The Buckeyes redeemed themselves with a slaughter of their own by a score of 42-21.

Does history repeat itself?  Ohio State was blown out last year by Florida in the National Championship Game, and now they must take on another SEC team in their home state.  Ohio State has much better odds this time around, as LSU is more of a power team than a speed and finesse team.  Ohio State can hold its own against power teams.

What does play in LSU’s favor is that this is almost a home game for them.  The Tigers receive three points home field advantage, and they already own a win on this field this season.

I expect this to be a game that is slightly biased in favor of defense in the bend but don’t break mode.  I expect both teams to lose good chances to score in this game.

When it comes down to it, LSU coach Les Miles will gamble, while Ohio State coach Jim Tressel will play it close to the vest.  Will LSU’s gambles pay off or be costly?  Will Ohio State be too conservative?  This is where the game will be decided.  I’d say it’s pretty much 50-50, so you should be rewarded with a game rivaling the excitement of last week’s New England Patriots-New York Giants game.

Las Vegas Line:          LSU by 4

Totals Line:                 48½

Money Line:                LSU -165  Ohio State +150

PiRate Computer:     Tossup with predicted score of 24-24 going to overtime

Mean Rating:             LSU 26  Ohio State 25

75 other computers:    48 pick LSU and 27 pick Ohio State

75 computers avg.       LSU by 2.08 points

             

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