The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 11, 2017

PiRate Ratings 2017-18 College Football Bowls & Playoffs Preview

2017-18 Bowls & Playoffs Schedule

All times are EST

Saturday, December 16

New Orleans Bowl: 1:00 PM on ESPN

North Texas (9-4) vs. Troy (10-2)

 

Cure Bowl: 2:30 PM on CBSSN

Western Kentucky (6-6) vs. Georgia St. (6-5)

 

Las Vegas Bowl: 3:30 PM on ABC

Boise St. (10-3) vs. Oregon (7-5)

 

New Mexico Bowl: 4:30 PM on ESPN

Marshall (7-5) vs. Colorado St. (7-5)

 

Camellia Bowl: 8:00 PM on ESPN

Middle Tennessee (6-6) vs. Arkansas St. (7-4)

 

Tuesday, December 19

Boca Raton Bowl: 7:00 PM on ESPN

Akron (7-6) vs. Florida Atlantic (10-3)

 

Wednesday, December 20

Frisco Bowl: 8:00 PM on ESPN

SMU (7-5) vs. Louisiana Tech (6-6)

 

Thursday, December 21

Gasparilla Bowl: 8:00 PM on ESPN

Temple (6-6) vs. Florida Int’l. (8-4)

 

Friday, December 22

Bahamas Bowl: 12:30 PM on ESPN

UAB (8-4) vs. Ohio U. (8-4)

 

Idaho Potato Bowl: 4:00 PM on ESPN

Central Michigan (8-4) vs. Wyoming (7-5)

 

Saturday, December 23

Birmingham Bowl: 12:00 PM on ESPN

South Florida (9-2) vs. Texas Tech (6-6)

 

Armed Forces Bowl: 3:30 PM on ESPN

Army (9-3) vs. San Diego St. (10-2)

 

Dollar General Bowl: 7:00 PM on ESPN

Toledo (11-2) vs. Appalachian St. (8-4)

 

Sunday, December 24

Hawaii Bowl: 8:30 PM on ESPN

Houston (7-4) vs. Fresno St. (9-4)

 

Tuesday, December 26

Heart of Dallas Bowl: 1:30 PM on ESPN

West Virginia (7-5) vs. Utah (6-6)

 

Quick Lane Bowl: 5:00 PM on ESPN

Duke (6-6) vs. Northern Illinois (8-4)

 

Cactus Bowl: 9:00 PM on ESPN

Kansas St. (7-5) vs. UCLA (6-6)

 

Wednesday, December 27

Independence Bowl: 1:30 PM on ESPN

Florida St. (6-6) vs. Southern Miss. (8-4)

 

Pinstripe Bowl: 5:15 PM on ESPN

Boston College (7-5) vs. Iowa (7-5)

 

Foster Farms: 8:30 PM on Fox

Purdue (6-6) vs. Arizona (7-5)

 

Texas Bowl: 9:00 PM on ESPN

Texas (6-6) vs. Missouri (7-5)

 

Thursday, December 28

Military Bowl: 1:30 PM on ESPN

Navy (6-6) vs. Virginia (6-6)

 

Camping World Bowl: 5:15 PM on ESPN

Oklahoma St. (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (9-3)

 

Holiday Bowl: 9:00 PM on FS1

Michigan St. (9-3) vs. Washington St. (9-3)

 

Alamo Bowl: 9:00 PM on ESPN

TCU (10-3) vs. Stanford (9-4)

 

Friday, December 29

Belk Bowl: 1:00 PM on ESPN

Wake Forest (7-5) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)

 

Sun Bowl: 3:00 PM on CBS

North Carolina St. (8-4) vs. Arizona St. (7-5)

 

Music City Bowl: 4:30 PM on ESPN

Kentucky (7-5) vs. Northwestern (9-3)

 

Arizona Bowl: 5:30 PM on CBSSN

Utah St. (6-6) vs. New Mexico St. (6-6)

 

Cotton Bowl: 8:30 PM on ESPN

Ohio St. (11-2) vs. USC (11-2)

 

Saturday, December 30

Taxslayer Bowl: 12:00 PM on ESPN

Louisville (8-4) vs. Mississippi St. (8-4)

 

Liberty Bowl: 12:30 PM on ABC

Iowa St. (7-5) vs. Memphis (10-2)

 

Fiesta Bowl: 4:00 PM on ESPN

Penn St. (10-2) vs. Washington (10-2)

 

Orange Bowl: 8:00 PM on ESPN

Wisconsin (12-1) vs. Miami (Fla.) (10-2)

 

Monday, January 1

Outback Bowl: 12:00 OM on ESPN2

Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (8-4)

 

Peach Bowl: 12:30 PM on ESPN

Auburn (10-3) vs. Central Florida (12-0)

 

Citrus Bowl: 1:00 PM on ABC

Notre Dame (9-3) vs. LSU (9-3)

 

New Year’s Day Playoffs

Rose Bowl: 5:00 PM on ESPN

Oklahoma (12-1) vs. Georgia (12-1)

 

Sugar Bowl: 8:45 PM on ESPN

Clemson (12-1) vs. Alabama (11-1)

 

Monday, January 8

National Championship Game: 8:00 PM on ESPN

Rose Bowl Winner vs. Sugar Bowl Winner

 

PiRate Rating Spreads for Bowls/Playoffs

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
North Texas Troy -12.5 -11.2 -11.8
Georgia St. Western Kentucky -6.6 -6.9 -7.3
Boise St. Oregon -6.6 -5.7 -5.9
Marshall Colorado St. -10.4 -8.0 -8.7
Middle Tennessee Arkansas St. -5.9 -5.7 -5.7
Florida Atlantic Akron 15.2 14.8 16.4
SMU Louisiana Tech 11.7 10.5 11.1
Florida Int’l. Temple -5.8 -6.1 -5.2
UAB Ohio U -14.7 -16.3 -13.6
Wyoming Central Michigan 0.4 -0.8 -1.4
South Florida Texas Tech 3.8 3.2 4.5
San Diego St. Army 2.4 2.3 3.2
Appalachian St. Toledo -5.9 -7.1 -7.7
Fresno St. Houston -3.5 -4.5 -2.7
West Virginia Utah 0.2 0.7 0.2
Northern Illinois Duke -14.7 -13.8 -12.8
UCLA Kansas St. -7.7 -8.5 -8.4
Southern Miss. Florida St. -29.4 -27.4 -27.3
Boston College Iowa -0.3 -1.0 0.5
Arizona Purdue 0.8 -0.3 -0.8
Texas Missouri 4.2 6.3 5.5
Navy Virginia -1.1 0.5 -1.2
Oklahoma St. Virginia Tech 1.9 1.8 2.6
TCU Stanford -1.3 -1.2 -0.6
Washington St. Michigan St. 5.8 3.1 4.2
Wake Forest Texas A&M 6.4 6.6 7.4
Arizona St. North Carolina St. -8.3 -8.7 -8.4
Kentucky Northwestern -8.4 -7.9 -9.9
New Mexico St. Utah St. -9.1 -9.6 -8.8
Ohio St. USC 11.6 10.4 12.2
Mississippi St. Louisville -5.6 -4.5 -5.8
Memphis Iowa St. 4.0 3.1 3.9
Washington Penn St. -2.4 -3.5 -2.7
Miami (Fla.) Wisconsin -3.4 -2.1 -3.6
South Carolina Michigan -8.3 -8.6 -8.6
Auburn Central Florida 15.8 12.5 14.8
Notre Dame LSU -3.1 -1.8 -3.6
Oklahoma Georgia -2.4 -3.2 -1.8
Alabama Clemson 2.8 2.4 1.7

 

 

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December 31, 2015

Computer Simulations–Simper Bowl IX & Today’s College Playoffs

We are combining our own computer simulation championship game from our annual project with the actual College Football Playoff games today into one entity.

 

Simper Bowl IX

This year, we decided to expand our own computer college playoff to 24 teams just like in the Football Championship Series.  The prior rounds have been played, and you can search for the results on this site.  The Championship Game today pits #3 seed Oklahoma against #16 seed Ole Miss.

Oklahoma received a first round bye as the #3 seed.  The Sooners defeated Michigan 47-28 in the Sweet 16; Ohio State 26-20 in the Elite 8; and Stanford 31-20 in the Semifinal Round.

Ole Miss had to play in the opening round as the #16 seed.  The Rebels defeated Houston 39-24 in that round to advance to the Sweet 16.  Then, Ole Miss defeated top-ranked Clemson 35-20 in the Sweet 16; North Carolina 27-16 in the Elite 8; and Michigan State 27-17 in the Semifinals.

 

Here are the championship results.

Simper Bowl IX 1 2 3 4 F FD Rush Pass Total
#3 Oklahoma 10 6 7 7 30 22 166 252 418
#16 Ole Miss 13 7 0 14 34 27 249 302 551

Congratulations to the Ole Miss Rebels, winner of Simper Bowl IX.

 

The College Football Playoffs 2015-16–The Real Larry Culpepper Playoffs

This is what you have been waiting for.  Yesterday, we input all the stats and schedule strengths for the four teams in today’s playoffs.  We even included the recent suspensions of Clemson players in the loss of talent.

 

We then simulated both games 100 times coming up with the number of wins, the average score, the standard deviations of the games, and the outlier scores in both directions.

 

Orange Bowl

Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

Time: 4:00 PM Eastern Time

TV: ESPN, Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe

Radio: ESPN, Bill Rosinksi, David Norrie, Joe Schad

Teams: Clemson (13-0) vs. Oklahoma (11-1)

100 Sims

Clemson wins: 39

Oklahoma wins: 61

Average Score: Oklahoma 30.7  Clemson 22.1

Standard Deviation: 8.6

Outlier A: Oklahoma 51  Clemson  16

Outlier B: Clemson 37  Oklahoma 14

 

Cotton Bowl

Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Time: 8:00 PM Eastern Time

TV: ESPN, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox, and Tom Rinaldi

Radio: ESPN, Brad Sham, Danny Kannell, and Ian Fitzsimmons

Teams: Alabama (12-1) vs. Michigan St. (12-1)

100 Sims

Alabama wins: 53

Michigan St. wins: 47

Average Score: Alabama 20.5  Michigan St. 18.8

Standard Deviation: 5.7

Outlier A: Alabama 31  Michigan St. 6

Outlier B: Michigan St. 27  Alabama 16

December 6, 2015

PiRate Ratings Final Bowl Projections

80 teams, but only 77 of them are 6-6 or better.  Nebraska, Minnesota, and San Jose State are the three 5-7 teams with the top APR scores, excluding Missouri, which opted out.

 

The at-large selections came down to an issue with one bowl where it appears that two teams from the same conference will be forced to play.  We selected a matchup of teams that avoided each other in conference play in making our final projections.

 

Our regular ratings and actual bowl coverage will begin Monday after all actual choices have been made.

 

BOWL PROJECTIONS–December 6, 2015

Bowl Conferences Team vs. Team
Cure AAC SBC Tulsa vs. Georgia St.
New Mexico MWC CUSA New Mexico vs. Central Michigan *
Las Vegas Pac-12 MWC/BYU Utah vs. BYU
Camellia MAC SBC Ohio vs. Appalachian St.
New Orleans CUSA SBC Louisiana Tech vs. Arkansas St.
Miami Beach AAC CUSA South Florida vs. Western Kentucky
Idaho Potato MAC MWC San Jose St. * vs. Colorado St.
Boca Raton AAC MAC Temple vs. Toledo
Poinsettia MWC Army Boise St. vs. Northern Illinois
GoDaddy MAC SBC Bowling Green vs. Georgia Southern
Bahamas CUSA MAC Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
Hawaii AAC MWC/BYU Cincinnati vs. San Diego St.
St. Petersburg AAC CUSA Connecticut vs. Marshall
Sun ACC Pac-12 Miami vs. USC
Heart of Dallas Big 12 CUSA Utah St. * vs. Southern Miss.
Pinstripe ACC Big Ten Pittsburgh vs. Indiana
Independence SEC ACC Arizona * vs. Duke
Foster Farms Big Ten Pac-12 Nebraska vs. UCLA
Military ACC AAC North Carolina St. vs. Navy
Quick Lane ACC Big Ten Akron * vs. Minnesota
Armed Forces Big Ten MWC Washington * vs. Air Force
Russell Athletic ACC Big 12 North Carolina vs. Baylor
Arizona CUSA MWC Arizona St. * vs. Nevada
Texas Big 12 SEC Texas Tech vs. LSU
Birmingham AAC SEC Memphis vs. Auburn
Belk ACC SEC Virginia Tech vs. Mississippi St.
Music City ACC/Big Ten SEC Louisville vs. Texas A&M
Peach N. Y. 6 N. Y. 6 Florida St. vs. Houston
Cotton Playoff Playoff Alabama vs. Michigan St.
Orange Playoff Playoff Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Holiday Big Ten Pac-12 Wisconsin vs. Washington St.
Ouback Big Ten SEC Northwestern vs. Tennessee
Citrus Big Ten SEC Michigan vs. Florida
Sugar Big 12 SEC Oklahoma St. vs. Ole Miss
Rose Big Ten Pac-12 Ohio St. vs. Stanford
Fiesta N. Y. 6 N. Y. 6 Iowa vs. Notre Dame
TaxSlayer ACC/Big Ten SEC Penn St. vs. Georgia
Liberty Big 12 SEC Kansas St. vs. Arkansas
Alamo Big 12 Pac-12 TCU vs. Oregon
Cactus Big 12 Pac-12 West Virginia vs. California
Nat’l Champ. Semifinal Winners Michigan St. vs. Oklahoma
           
* = At-large selection due to contracted conference not having an eligible team for this slot

November 25, 2014

PiRate Ratings College Football Playoffs and Bowl Projections

This will be the penultimate week of College Football’s regular season. The current top 4 teams, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Mississippi State, will probably not be the same top four teams by the time the committee meets again and issues the actual four teams in the playoffs in December, maybe more than a little different thanks to games this week.

There are numerous teams with 5-6 records needing to win their final game; some will lose and miss out on a bowl. Some will win and earn a trip to an “also-ran” bowl. Yet others will win but not be selected for a bowl.

The race to see which Group of 5 Conference top team will receive a bid to a Big Six Bowl could be decided this week, as Marshall hosts improving Western Kentucky, while Colorado State plays at in-state rival Air Force. Boise State clings to life hoping that the Thundering Herd and Rams both lose. Should Marshall lose either this week or next week in the Conference USA Championship Game, and both Colorado State and Boise State lose, then the door might be slightly ajar for a Cincinnati or Memphis to back into the Peach Bowl.

There are still playoff spots up for grabs in the conference championship game races.

In CUSA, the winner of this week’s Louisiana Tech-Rice game in Ruston, LA, will get the privilege of facing Marshall for the conference title.

There are still three teams alive in the MAC-West trying to advance to the conference championship game against Bowling Green. If Northern Illinois beats Western Michigan, the Huskies earn the nod. Should Western Michigan prevail, then Toledo would win the division if the Rockets take care of lowly Eastern Michigan. If EMU upsets Toledo, then Western Michigan would earn the spot if the Broncos beat NIU.

Both divisions of the Mountain West Conference are up for grabs. In the Mountain Division, Boise State controls their destiny. The Broncos win the division title with a win at home over Utah State. If the Aggies upset the Broncos, then they would take the division if Air Force beats Colorado State, but the Rams would win the division title if they beat the Falcons in Colorado Springs.

In the West Division, it’s almost ashamed that any team can still win this race, when CSU could finish 11-1 and not get into the championship. San Diego State and Fresno State are currently tied at 4-3 in league play. If both win this week, Fresno State would claim the division flag with a 6-6 overall record. Obviously, if one wins and one loses, the winner goes to the MWC Championship Game.

If the Aztecs and Bulldogs both lose to finish 4-4, then Hawaii will also be 4-4 by virtue of defeating Fresno State. Nevada can also get to 4-4 with a win over rival UNLV. In a four-way tie like this, Nevada would win the division based on best head-to-head record among the four tied teams. If Nevada loses to UNLV, and Hawaii wins over Fresno State, then the flag goes to Fresno due to their win over Nevada (and filtering through three prior tiebreakers to get to this point).

The Big Ten West goes to the team that claims Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Babe the Blue Ox wears number 25 for Wisconsin, and Minnesota may need axes to beat the Badgers in Madtown.

The Big 12 is still a three-team race. Baylor plays Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Bears control their own destiny and finish the regular season at home against Kansas State.

TCU plays a real trap game in Austin against Texas, and the Longhorns are a team nobody looks forward to playing in late November. TCU closes with a home game over Iowa State the following week.

Kansas State needs a little help to win the Big 12. The Wildcats should dismiss Kansas this week, and they need a Texas win over TCU. If that happens, then their game at Baylor would decide the Big 12 title.

The Pac-12 South is still a three-team race. USC and Utah were eliminated last week. If UCLA defeats Stanford in Pasadena Friday, the Bruins win the division. If Stanford wins, then the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game Friday in Tucson advances to the Pac-12 Championship Game. Remember that Arizona penned the lone loss on North Division champion Oregon.

Finally, in the Southeastern Conference, both division races are yet to be decided. In the East, if Missouri beats Arkansas, the Tigers win the East with a 7-1 record. If Arkansas wins, then Georgia claims the title. In the West, if Alabama beats Auburn or Ole Miss beats Mississippi State, the Crimson Tide wins the division crown. If Auburn beats Alabama and Mississippi State wins The Egg Bowl, then Mississippi State wins the division title.

Should the West Division champion lose to Missouri or Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, the committee will have a difficult time selecting a two-loss SEC champion over any of the one-loss teams in the other Power 5 conferences.

Here is our current look at Playoff and Bowl Projections by conference.

If a team is bracketed thusly, [ Team ], they are an at-large selection.

Group of 5 Conferences

American Athletic Conference

Central Florida has a tough game at East Carolina remaining, and we believe the Pirates will prevail. Cincinnati has a tough game at Temple remaining, but we believe the Bearcats will win in Philly. Memphis has just one game left to play, at home against Connecticut. A win over the lowly Huskies gives the Tigers the AAC Championship. Unfortunately, winning the AAC Title may only get the Memphians a trip down US 72 to Birmingham.

Temple is likely headed to a 6-6 record, and there will not be a contracted spot for the Owls. We believe Temple has little chance to earn an at-large bowl invitation, as the bowls most likely to need a replacement team are all several hundred miles away from the Keystone State.

1. Birmingham Bowl: Memphis (7-1/9-4) vs. South Carolina
2. St. Petersburg Bowl: Central Florida (6-2/8-4) vs. Miami (Fla.)
3. Miami Beach Bowl: Cincinnati (7-1/9-3) vs. B Y U
4. Military Bowl: East Carolina (6-2/9-3) vs. North Carolina St.
5. Armed Forces Bowl: Houston (5-3/7-5) vs. [ Ohio U ]

Bowl Eligible but no bowl: Temple (4-4/6-6)

Conference USA

Marshall fans were nervous for awhile last week as UAB gave the Thundering Herd all they could handle. A home finale against Western Kentucky might be an interesting high scoring game, but we believe MU will win by double digits. The CUSA Championship Game might be interesting for a quarter to a half, but MU looks to strong for any league opponent. We are sticking with Doc Holliday and his troops to be the initial Group of 5 Conference team to earn a Big Six Bowl bid.

1. Big Six—Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Marshall (8-0/13-0) vs. Georgia
2. Hawaii Bowl: Louisiana Tech (7-1/8-5) vs. Utah St.
3. Bahamas Bowl: Rice (5-3/7-5) vs. Toledo
4. New Mexico Bowl: U T E P (5-3/7-5) vs. Air Force
5. Boca Raton Bowl: Middle Tennessee (5-3/6-6) vs. Northern Illinois
6. Heart of Dallas Bowl: Western Kentucky (3-5/6-6)

Bowl Eligible but no bowl: Old Dominion (4-4/6-6), UAB (4-4/6-6)

Mid-American Conference

Fortunately, the Buffalo-Kent State game had no postseason implications as both teams had already been eliminated from bowl eligibility. It appears that there will be seven bowl eligible teams from the MAC for five guaranteed bowl bids. We believe one of the two other teams will earn the last bowl invitation. The MAC has been a little down this year, but it would not surprise us if the league goes 5-1 or even 6-0 in the bowls.

1. Bahamas Bowl: Toledo (7-1/9-4) vs. Rice
2. Boca Raton Bowl: Northern Illinois (6-2/9-3) vs. Middle Tennessee
3. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Bowling Green (6-2/8-5) vs. Nevada
4. Camellia Bowl: Western Michigan (7-1/9-3) vs. South Alabama
5. GoDaddy.com Bowl: Central Michigan (5-3/7-5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
6. Armed Forces Bowl: [ Ohio (4-4/6-6) ] vs. Houston

Bowl Eligible but no bowl:Akron (4-4/6-6)

Mountain West Conference
We are going to go with Boise State over Utah State this week to secure the Mountain Division title, and then take the Broncos to win the Conference Championship Game the following week. We also believe Colorado State will win at Air Force. Regardless these four teams are the top quartet in the league and will receive the four

1. Las Vegas Bowl: Boise St. (7-1/11-2) vs. Arizona St.
2. Poinsettia Bowl: Colorado St. (7-1/11-1) vs. Navy
3. Hawaii Bowl: Utah St. (6-2/9-4) vs. Louisiana Tech
4. New Mexico Bowl: Air Force (4-4/8-4) vs. U T E P
5. New Orleans Bowl: San Diego St. (5-3/7-5) vs. Arkansas St.
6. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Nevada (4-4/7-5) vs. Bowling Green

Note: Fresno State is projected to win the West Division and lose to Boise State to finish 6-7. In the past, special waivers have been made for 6-7 teams like this to accept a bowl invitation. Fresno could trump Ohio for an at-large bowl invitation in this instance, but we will leave the Bulldogs out this week.

Sunbelt Conference

Georgia Southern could win the Sunbelt with a perfect 8-0 conference record and a 9-3 overall record, but the Eagles will not get a bowl invitation. GSU can only earn a bowl bid if there are not enough bowl eligible teams to fill all the bowls, and their will be more than enough teams this year.

Louisiana-Lafayette lost to a very hot Appalachian State team last week, but the Ragin’ Cajuns will still receive the top bowl offer from the SBC, due to Georgia Southern’s ineligibility. The New Orleans Bowl has selected ULL three years in a row, while the GoDaddy.com Bowl has become Arkansas State’s annual 13th game. This year, we believe the bowls might like to have a little variation. There will be two extra bowl eligible teams, and we are certain that at least one bowl needing an at-large representative will choose a team from this league.

1. GoDaddy.com Bowl: Louisiana-Lafayette (7-1/8-4) vs. Central Michigan
2. New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas St. (5-3/7-5) vs. San Diego St.
3. Camellia Bowl: South Alabama (5-3/6-6) vs. Western Michigan
4. Heart of Dallas Bowl: [ Texas St. (5-3/7-5) ] vs. Western Kentucky

Bowl Eligible but no bowl: Appalachian St. (6-2/7-5) and very deserving

Independents

Notre Dame is included in the Atlantic Coast Conference bowl tie-ins, and the Irish are dropping fast. A loss to USC could place Notre Dame in El Paso or Nashville in December.

BYU is the first team to know for sure where they are headed. The Cougars will play in the Miami Beach Bowl won or lose against California.

Navy needs one more win and has two chances. We believe the Middies will win out and finish 7-5, and their reward will be a possible Top 15 opponent.

1. Miami Beach Bowl: B Y U (8-4) vs. Cincinnati
2. Poinsettia Bowl: Navy (7-5) vs. Colorado St.

Power 5 Conferences

Atlantic Coast Conference

Florida State is creeping closer and closer to the edge on slippery ground. The Seminoles cannot keep winning ugly like this and expect to remain in the Top Four if Baylor, TCU, and even Ohio State win big. A regular season finale against rival Florida is going to be a real fight, and the Seminoles then have to deal with Georgia Tech’s option offense in order to get to the Playoffs.

The Orange Bowl might prefer Florida State to lose to Florida and win the ACC Championship Game, because the Seminoles would head to Miami instead of the Playoffs and sport a 12-1 record. If FSU makes the Playoffs at 13-0, then a possible four-loss Georgia Tech team could end up in the Orange Bowl over three-loss Duke and Louisville teams and possible four-loss Clemson team.

Pittsburgh can still gain bowl eligibility with a mild upset win at Miami, while the Virginia-Virginia Tech game is a bowl qualifier for the winner and eliminator for the loser.

1. PLAYOFFS—Rose Bowl: Florida St. (8-0/13-0) vs. Oregon
2. Big Six—Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech (6-2/9-4) vs. Wisconsin
3. Russell Athletic Bowl: Duke (5-3/9-3) vs. Kansas St.
4. Gator Bowl: Louisville (5-3/9-3) vs. Ole Miss
5. Belk Bowl: Clemson (6-2/8-4) vs. Florida
6. Sun Bowl: Notre Dame (7-5) vs. Washington
7. Pinstripe Bowl: North Carolina (5-3/7-5) vs. Penn St.
8. Military Bowl: North Carolina St. (2-6/6-6) vs. East Carolina
9. Independence Bowl: Virginia (4-4/6-6) vs. Texas A&M
10. Quick Lane Bowl: Boston College (4-4/7-5) vs. Rutgers
11. St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami (Fla.) (4-4/7-5) vs. Central Florida

Big Ten

While we do not project Ohio State to make the Playoffs, mainly because we have the Buckeyes losing to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, we do believe that three league teams will receive Big Six Bowl invitations.

Not much has changed in the bowl pecking order here. We have removed Michigan from the bowl list, because a loss to Ohio State will leave the Wolverines at 5-7. The winner of the Illinois-Northwestern game in Evanston will decide the last league bowl representative.

1. Big Six—Orange Bowl: Wisconsin (7-1/11-2) vs. Georgia Tech
2. Big Six—Cotton Bowl: Ohio St. (8-0/11-2) vs. T C U
3. Big Six—Fiesta Bowl: Michigan St. (7-1/10-2) vs. Baylor
4. Buffalo Wild Wings (Citrus) Bowl: Iowa (5-3/8-4) vs. Missouri
5. Outback Bowl: Nebraska (4-4/8-4) vs. Auburn
6. Holiday Bowl: Minnesota (5-3/8-4) vs. Arizona
7. Music City Bowl: Maryland (5-3/8-4) vs. Tennessee
8. San Francisco Bowl: Northwestern (4-4/6-6) vs. U S C
9. Pinstripe Bowl: Penn St. (2-6/6-6) vs. North Carolina
10. Quick Lane Bowl: Rutgers (2-6/6-6) vs. Boston College

Big 12

Should Texas beat TCU and Kansas State beat Baylor, the Big 12 will lose all chances to place a team in the Playoffs. If both TCU and Baylor win out, then there is a chance one or even both could end up playing for all the marbles. What hurts the Big 12 is not having a conference championship game (which could hurt an 11-1 Mississippi State team if Alabama wins the SEC West).

Because of the likelihood that both Baylor and TCU will at least earn Big Six Bowl bids, and because four league teams, instead of the usual two or three, will fail to earn bowl eligibility, the Big 12 will not meet its obligations to supply enough teams to the contracted bowls. In fact, we believe two bowls will be forced to find alternatives.

1. Big Six—Cotton Bowl: T C U (8-1/11-1) vs. Ohio St.
2. Bix Six—Fiesta Bowl: Baylor (8-1/11-1) vs. Michigan St.
3. Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma (6-3/9-3) vs. U C L A
4. Russell Athletic Bowl: Kansas St. (7-2/9-3) vs. Duke
5. Liberty Bowl: Texas (5-4/6-6) vs. Arkansas
6. Cactus Bowl: West Virginia (5-4/7-5) vs. Utah

Pac-12 Conference

Oregon slipped in November last year with a loss to Arizona that cost the Ducks any chance to finish in the top two of the final BCS standings. This year, they are playing for their Playoff lives. The Ducks should win their Civil War battle against Oregon State, but the game is at Reser Stadium, where the Beavers can be tough. The Pac-12 Championship Game then must be won to guarantee Oregon a spot in the Final Four.

U C L A was supposed to contend for a Playoff spot, but the Bruins lost one too many games to stay in the chase. Even if the SEC finishes with four two-loss teams, and Ohio State loses to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, it will be difficult for an 11-2 Bruins team to sneak into the Final Four.

California is 5-6 with a home game against BYU this week. The Bears have a chance to get to 6-6 and take the final at-large bowl bid away from Ohio, but we believe the Cougars will score 35-40 points and keep the Bears out of a bowl.

1. PLAYOFFS—Rose Bowl: Oregon (8-1/12-1) vs. Florida St.
2. Alamo Bowl: U C L A (7-2/10-3) vs. Oklahoma
3. Holiday Bowl: Arizona (7-2/10-2) vs. Minnesota
4. San Francisco Bowl: U S C (6-3/8-4) vs. Northwestern
5. Sun Bowl: Washington (4-5/8-5) vs. Notre Dame
6. Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona St. (6-3/9-3) vs. Boise St.
7. Cactus Bowl: Utah (5-4/8-4) vs. West Virginia
8. Texas Bowl: [ Stanford (4-5/6-6) ] vs. L S U

Southeastern Conference

There are three questions this week with the SEC. The first one is the more important one. What happens to Mississippi State if the Bulldogs beat Ole Miss, while Alabama beats Auburn to earn the West Division flag? The Committee has indicated that conference champions will be given higher priority over non-conference champions. Mississippi State is still number four, but The Committee cannot place another team past the Bulldogs with the understanding that Baylor, TCU, or Ohio State could be a conference champion. Might the Big 12 Champion or Ohio State pass an idle Bulldog team in the final poll?

Question number two involves two teams still attempting to become bowl eligible. Tennessee is 5-6 with what amounts to a home game on their rival’s home field. The Volunteers should handle Vanderbilt easily to earn a bowl bid. Kentucky was once 5-1 and the sexy choice for contention for a Big Six bowl. At 5-1, we wrote that the Wildcats could easily lose their final six games and not go to a bowl. UK is one loss to Louisville away from making us soothsayers.

Question number three involves the SEC not wanting to give the Big 12 a chance to move Texas into the Texas Bowl against Texas A&M. The SEC most definitely will arrange for the Aggies to go to a bowl that cannot invite a Big 12 team. Thus, we believe another interesting matchup is possible. Look below at our Liberty Bowl projection.

1. PLAYOFFS—Sugar Bowl: Alabama (7-1/12-1) vs. Mississippi St.
2. PLAYOFFS—Sugar Bowl: Mississippi St. (7-1/11-1) vs. Alabama
3. Big Six—Peach Bowl: Georgia (6-2/10-2) vs. Marshall
4. Buffalo Wild Wings (Citrus) Bowl: Missouri (7-1/10-3) vs. Iowa
5. Outback Bowl: Auburn (4-4/8-4) vs. Nebraska
6. Gator Bowl: Ole Miss (4-4/8-4) vs. Louisville
7. Texas Bowl: L S U (4-4/8-4) vs. [ Stanford ]
8. Belk Bowl: Florida (4-4/6-5) vs. Clemson
9. Music City Bowl: Tennessee (3-5/6-6) vs. Maryland
10. Liberty Bowl: Arkansas (2-6/6-6) vs. Texas
11. Birmingham Bowl: South Carolina (3-5/7-5) vs. Memphis
12. Independence Bowl: Texas A&M (3-5/7-5) vs. Virginia

November 17, 2014

PiRate Ratings College Football Playoffs and Bowl Projections

See the PiRate Ratings and Spreads for college and pro football at: http://www.piratings.webs.com
How many points is Alabama worth in home field advantage at Bryant-Denny Stadium? Would you say that five points is about right? If so, then The Crimson Tide and Mississippi State are dead even on a neutral field, correct?

The brains that vacuum large pots of money out of the books in Las Vegas, Reno, and offshore would tell you this is true, but the elite that select the teams for the playoffs may not see it that way. There is precedent for not seeing the forest for all the trees.

Let’s go back to 2006. Number one Ohio State, 11-0, hosted number two Michigan, also 11-0, at the giant horseshoe in Columbus. Ohio State’s home field advantage was worth at least four and as much as six points, and the Buckeyes had to hold on to edge the Wolverines by three points. In essence, on a neutral field, Michigan figured to be marginally better than Ohio State, and these two teams should have been slotted to face each other for the national championship a month and a half later. It would have been the greatest National Championship Game of the BCS era, but the BCS rankings dropped Michigan down and elevated Florida up into the number two slot.

Florida exploded to embarrass Ohio State in the title game, while a dejected Michigan team failed to show up in the Rose Bowl against a quality USC team. Had there been a playoff that year, these would have been the four teams, so in the end, Florida and USC would have advanced to the title game.

Back to 2014, what say the college football nation should Mississippi State and Alabama both win out? The Bulldogs are most likely going to edge out any 11-1 Big 12 team, as well as a possible 12-1 Ohio State team. In our opinion, any one-loss SEC West team must be in the playoffs, especially since Arkansas is now one win away from making all seven SEC West teams bowl eligible. There are no Iowa State’s, Kansas’s, or Texas Tech’s in the SEC West. There are no Purdue’s, Illinois’s, or Indiana’s in the SEC West. There are no Colorado’s or Washington State’s in the SEC West.

There are still a bevy of tricky games left that could shake up both the playoff race and the bowl projections.

In the ACC, Georgia Tech is one Duke loss away from facing Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. The Seminoles want no part of the spread option of the Yellow Jackets, as one or two breakdowns on defense could be the difference of 14 points. What if GT got an early lead? Can FSU come from behind against the best time-consuming offense there is?

In the Big Ten, Wisconsin might be strong enough to beat Ohio State in a possible conference championship game. The Badgers still have tough games left against Iowa and rival Minnesota.

In the Big 12, Baylor faces an Oklahoma State team this week that must win this game or upset Oklahoma to become bowl eligible. The Cowboys are probably looking at 5-7, but they may force the Bears to extend themselves. Baylor still has a date with Kansas State in December.

TCU has an even tougher assignment coming up on Thanksgiving. The Horned Frogs face a coming-on-strong Texas Longhorns team in Austin. We see that as a tossup as of today.

The Pac-12 could be interesting as well. The South Division is a mess with six of the seven teams still in contention for the division flag. UCLA controls its own destiny, and the Bruins will face Oregon in the conference championship game if they down USC and Stanford, both games to be played at the Rose Bowl. There is a chance for a five-team tie at 6-3, in which case Utah would emerge as the division champion.

In the race for the one Big Six Bowl invitation guaranteed to a Group of Five team, it is Marshall’s to lose. The Thundering Herd has a little bit of a tricky game this week at UAB, but we believe MU will come through. The likely opponent in the Conference USA Championship Game is Louisiana Tech, but Marshall looks like the class of this league, and coach Doc Holliday will be on the short list on many head coaching openings. Should Dana Holgersen get the offer at Florida or Michigan, or any other school that will get him out of West Virginia, then Holliday will be the next coach in Morgantown. If Marshall finishes 13-0, look for the Herd to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Should Marshall fall, Colorado State is the team in waiting, but only if the Rams can win at Air Force. At 11-1, the Rams would likely be in the Fiesta Bowl against a Baylor or TCU.

Here is a look at each conference and where we project the teams to go.

Records shown are our projections for where the teams will finish.

[ Team ] Indicates an at-large invitee

Group of 5 Conferences

American Athletic Conference
Coach Justin Fuente has greener pastures in his future after he has brought the Memphis Tigers back from the lowest of the lows to within two wins of a conference championship. The Tigers have home games against South Florida and Connecticut, and they figure to win both games by double digits. Unfortunately, at 9-3, Memphis has no real chance of falling into a Big Six bowl.

Temple appears to be in serious trouble in the bowl hunt. The 5-5 Owls must win out to have any chance to earn a spot, because at 6-6, their fan base is not strong enough to earn an at-large bid, as they cannot average 30,000 per game at Lincoln Financial Field.

1. Birmingham Bowl: Memphis (7-1/9-3) vs. Florida
2. St. Petersburg Bowl: Central Florida (6-2/8-4) vs. Miami (Fla.)
3. Miami Beach Bowl: Cincinnati (7-1/9-3) vs. B Y U
4. Military Bowl: East Carolina (6-2/9-3) vs. Virginia Tech
5. Armed Forces Bowl: Houston (5-3/7-5) vs. [ California ]

Also Bowl Eligible—Temple 4-4/6-6

Conference USA
As we mentioned above, Marshall has a clear path to a 13-0 finish, which will secure the automatic Group of Five bid to a Big Six Bowl. CUSA will get an extra bowl spot because of this, and the league will still have a surplus of bowl eligible teams. There is a secondary bowl tie-in, but we believe the bowl in question will choose to take a much more prestigious school from out West rather than a 6-6 CUSA team that averages less than 10,000 fans per home game in attendance.

In the West Division Louisiana Tech is not a lock for the top spot. The Bulldogs play at Old Dominion this week, and the Monarchs are in a must-win situation to become bowl eligible. If ODU wins, then LT must defeat Rice in two weeks to win the division title. If Rice beats UTEP this week, and ODU beats LT, then the November 29 game between the Owls and Bulldogs would decide the division title.

1. Big 6—Peach Bowl: Marshall (8-0/13-0) vs. Georgia
2. Hawaii Bowl: Louisiana Tech (8-0/9-4) vs. Air Force
3. Bahamas Bowl: Rice (5-3/7-5) vs. Bowling Green
4. Boca Raton Bowl: Middle Tennessee (5-3/6-6) vs. Northern Illinois
5. New Mexico Bowl: U T E P (5-3/7-5) vs. Utah St.
6. Heart of Dallas Bowl: Western Kentucky (3-5/6-6) vs. Maryland
Also Bowl Eligible: UAB 4-4/6-6

Mid-American Conference
Northern Illinois’s win over Toledo throws the West Division up for grabs with four teams still in the race. Western and Central Michigan join the other two in contention for the division crown. In the East, Bowling Green has already clinched the division title. The Falcons have a tough road game against an angry Toledo team Wednesday night. BGU’s lone conference loss came against Western Michigan, and the Broncos totally shut down the Falcons’ offense in the second half of that game.

The MAC figures to have two extra bowl eligible teams, both at 6-6, and neither will be lucky enough to earn an at-large invitation.

1. Bahamas Bowl: Bowling Green (6-2/9-4) vs. Rice
2. Boca Raton Bowl: Northern Illinois (6-2/9-3) vs. Middle Tennessee
3. Idaho Potato Bowl: Toledo (7-1/8-5) vs. San Diego St.
4. Camellia Bowl: Western Michigan (6-2/8-4) vs. South Alabama
5. GoDaddy Bowl: Central Michigan (6-2/8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Also Bowl Eligible: Ohio 4-4/6-6 & Akron 4-4/6-6

Mountain West Conference
For awhile Saturday night, it looked like the Mountain Division representative in the MWC Championship Game was about to be Colorado State, as San Diego State shot out to a nice lead over Boise State, before the Broncos charged back to win. The top four teams remain Mountain Division schools, as the West Division currently has a three-way tie at 3-3, with one of the co-leaders, Fresno State, mired at 4-6 overall.

The league has six bowl tie-ins and will produce six bowl eligible teams. Should Colorado State edge out Marshall for the Big Six bowl bid, it will force a the Idaho Potato Bowl to search for an at-large team, which most likely would come from the Pac-12.

1. Las Vegas Bowl: Boise St. (7-1/11-2) vs. Utah
2. Poinsettia Bowl: Colorado St. (7-1/11-1) vs. Navy
3. Hawaii Bowl: Air Force (5-3/9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech
4. New Mexico Bowl: Utah St. (6-2/9-4) vs. U T E P
5. New Orleans Bowl: Nevada (5-3/8-5) vs. Arkansas St.
6. Idaho Potato Bowl: San Diego St. (4-4/6-6) vs. Toledo

Sunbelt Conference

Louisiana-Lafayette clinched the top seed in the bowl order, but the Ragin’ Cajuns have not clinched the conference championship. Georgia Southern is also undefeated in conference play, but the Eagles are not bowl eligible this year unless there are not enough bowl eligible teams (which there will be by quite a few). ULL has been in a rut, playing in three consecutive New Orleans Bowl games. We think it is about time, they leave the state in December.

This will be an interesting bowl race among the rest of the field. Arkansas State and South Alabama are already bowl eligible, while Texas State and Appalachian State are one win away.

1. GoDaddy Bowl: Louisiana-Lafayette (8-0/9-3) vs. Central Michigan
2. New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas St. (5-3/7-5) vs. Nevada
3. Camellia Bowl: South Alabama (5-3/6-6) vs. Western Michigan

Also Bowl Eligible: Texas St. 5-3/7-5

Independents (Notre Dame included in ACC bowl tie-ins)
Army’s loss to Western Kentucky officially eliminates the Black Knights from their Armed Forces bowl tie-in. BYU clinched their Miami Beach Bowl berth with a win over UNLV, while Navy has two chances left to win one more game and earn their Poinsettia Bowl invitation.

1. Miami Beach Bowl: B Y U (7-5) vs. Cincinnati
2. Poinsettia Bowl: Navy (7-5) vs. Colorado St.

Power 5 Conferences

Atlantic Coast Conference
Whew! That’s what ACC Commissioner John Swofford must have mouthed late Saturday night when Florida State pulled out yet another dramatic finish to stay undefeated. The Seminoles will not make the playoffs if they lose any remaining game, and Swofford needs something positive for his conference with an academic fraud investigation hanging over his head at North Carolina (he was formerly the AD at UNC), as well as numerous rumors about the Florida State program.

Virginia Tech’s upset of Duke opens the door for Georgia Tech to win the Coastal Division title, and the Yellow Jackets will back into that game should North Carolina beat Duke this weekend. FSU will be rooting heavily for the Blue Devils to win that game.

1. PLAYOFFS—Rose Bowl: Florida St. (8-0/13-0) vs. Oregon
2. Big 6—Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech (6-2/9-4) vs. Wisconsin
3. Russell Athletic Bowl: Duke (5-3/9-3) vs. West Virginia
4. Gator Bowl: Clemson (6-2/8-4) vs. Ole Miss
5. Belk Bowl: Notre Dame (8-4) vs. L S U
6. Sun Bowl: Louisville (5-3/8-4) vs. Arizona St.
7. Pinstripe Bowl: Boston College (4-4/7-5) vs. Rutgers
8. Military Bowl: Virginia Tech (4-4/7-5) vs. East Carolina
9. Independence Bowl: North Carolina (5-3/7-5) vs. South Carolina
10. Quick Lane Bowl: North Carolina St. (2-6/6-6) vs. Northwestern
11. St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami (Fla.) (5-3/8-4) vs. Central Florida

Big Ten Conference

Ohio State is still squarely in the playoff race, but after this past Saturday’s games, we now seriously doubt that they can win the Big Ten Championship. After watching Wisconsin run through Nebraska, and remembering what happened the last time OSU and UW faced off, we believe the Badgers might be a little too strong for Ohio State’s run defense if these two face off for the title.

Wisconsin still must earn their spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, and that will be no easy task. The Badgers have a road game against Iowa and a home game for Paul Bunyan’s Axe against Minnesota. Weather could easily play a factor in both games, so it is not guarantee that UW will even make it to Indianapolis.

We have made one change in the bowl eligibility list this week. With Northwestern’s comeback win at Notre Dame, we now move the Wildcats over Illinois.

1. Big 6-Orange Bowl: Wisconsin (7-1/11-2) vs. Georgia Tech
2. Big 6-Cotton Bowl: Ohio St. (8-0/11-2) vs. T C U
3. Big 6-Fiesta Bowl: Michigan St. (7-1/10-2) vs. Baylor
4. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Nebraska (5-3/9-3) vs. Missouri
5. Outback Bowl: Iowa (5-3/8-4) vs. Auburn
6. Holiday Bowl: Minnesota (4-4/7-5) vs. Arizona
7. Music City Bowl: Penn St. (2-6/6-6) vs. Tennessee
8. San Francisco Bowl: Michigan (4-4/6-6) vs. U S C
9. Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers (2-6/6-6) vs. Boston College
10. Quick Lane Bowl: Northwestern (4-4/6-6) vs. North Carolina St.
11. Heart of Dallas Bowl: Maryland (4-4/7-5) vs. Western Kentucky

Big 12 Conference

It has been quite apparent for some time that the Big 12 will not supply enough bowl eligible teams to meet all of its bowl obligations. This will be a certainty if both Baylor and TCU win out. Oklahoma State is now on the outside looking in, as the Cowboys are 5-5 with games remaining against Baylor and Oklahoma.

Texas is the key to this league’s bowl projections. The Longhorns have a legitimate chance to knock off TCU and throw a large monkey wrench into the works. For now, because it makes things much too difficult to rearrange, we are going to go with TCU and Baylor to win out.

1. Big 6-Cotton Bowl: T C U (8-1/11-1) vs. Ohio St.
2. Big 6-Fiesta Bowl: Baylor (8-1/11-1) vs. Michigan St.
3. Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma (6-3/9-3) vs. U C L A
4. Russell Athletic Bowl: West Virginia (6-3/8-4) vs. Duke
5. Liberty Bowl: Texas (5-4/6-6) vs. Arkansas
6. Cactus Bowl: Kansas St. (6-3/8-4) vs. Washington

Pac-12 Conference

Oregon has already clinched the North Division title, but the Ducks have two tough games that must be victories if they are going to make the playoffs. They end the regular season at rival Oregon State, and the Beavers will probably be 5-6 needing a win to earn a bowl bid. Of course, the Pac-12 Championship Game will be tough, and the Ducks will not know their opponent until late on November 29.

We have already written about the South Division title race. If UCLA wins out, the Bruins are in the title game. However, if UCLA loses to either USC or Stanford (or both), there are numerous tie-breaker possibilities that can give USC, Arizona, Arizona State, or Utah the flag.

There are seven teams already bowl eligible, and three teams need just one more win to get there. We believe two of the three will get that sixth win, meaning nine teams will be bowl eligible. We project two of the nine will have to sweat out at-large invitations, and being the top two available at-large candidates, they will secure the projected two at-large available spots.

1. PLAYOFFS-Rose Bowl: Oregon (8-1/12-1) vs. Florida St.
2. Alamo Bowl: U C L A (7-2/10-3) vs. Oklahoma
3. Holiday Bowl: Arizona (6-3/9-3) vs. Minnesota
4. San Francisco Bowl: U S C (6-3/8-4) vs. Michigan
5. Sun Bowl: Arizona St. (6-3/9-3) vs. Louisville
6. Las Vegas Bowl: Utah (6-3/9-3) vs. Boise St.
7. Cactus Bowl: Washington (4-5/8-5) vs. Kansas St.
8. Texas Bowl (at-large): [ Stanford ] (4-5/6-6) vs. Texas A&M
9. Armed Forces (at-large): [ California ] (3-6/6-6) vs. Houston

Southeastern Conference

If Kentucky can beat rival Louisville, and if Arkansas can beat either Ole Miss or Missouri, the SEC will end up with an amazing 13 bowl eligible teams. We are going with 12, and this will be just enough to satisfy all the bowl tie-ins for the king of college conferences.

Read above to reinforce why we believe the SEC will win out over the Big 12 and Big Ten in the one-loss race to the playoffs.

If, by chance, Ole Miss wins the Egg Bowl and Georgia knocks off Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, then it is going to be a very difficult choice for the Playoff Committee to take any SEC team if there are still four teams that have zero or one loss. Imagine if Georgia wins out to finish 11-2. How could the Bulldogs jump over TCU and Baylor, if both finish 11-1? Even a 12-1 Ohio State team would finish ahead of UGA.

Now, let’s say there are five two-loss SEC teams (Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Missouri), and then losses to TCU, Baylor, and Ohio State leave a dozen two loss teams in the mix. The real winner in this scenario would be Novartis, the owner of Maalox, because 12 influential elites would come down with the first case of mass heartburn.

For the sake of Condaleeza Rice’s stomach, let’s stick with the Tide and Bulldogs winning out.

Note—with the SEC’s decision to place conference teams where they can best capitalize on the bowl matchups, we have made some very interesting bowl games thanks to maneuvering like we expect the league will do.

1. PLAYOFFS-Sugar Bowl: Alabama (7-1/12-1) vs. Mississippi St.
2. PLAYOFFS-Sugar Bowl: Mississippi St. (7-1/11-1) vs. Alabama
3. Big 6-Peach Bowl: Georgia (6-2/10-3) vs. Marshall
4. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Missouri (5-3/8-4) vs. Nebraska
5. Outback Bowl: Auburn (4-4/8-4) vs. Iowa
6. Gator Bowl: Ole Miss (4-4/8-4) vs. Clemson
7. Belk Bowl: L S U (4-4/8-4) vs. Notre Dame
8. Music City Bowl: Tennessee (4-4/7-5) vs. Penn St.
9. Texas Bowl: Texas A&M (3-5/7-5) vs. [ Stanford ]
10. Liberty Bowl: Arkansas (3-5/7-5) vs. Texas
11. Independence Bowl: South Carolina (3-5/7-5) vs. North Carolina
12. Birmingham Bowl: Florida (4-4/6-5) vs. Memphis

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

December 3, 2007

PiRate Ratings/Final Regular Season Top 25/Bowl Schedule/NCAA Playoffs

PiRate Rating Picks from this past weekend:

Winners: 8-4  66.7%  Season:   490-173 73.9%

Vs. Spread: 7-4-0 63.6%  Season: 109-132-3 45.2%

PiRate Top 25-Final Regular Season

No.

Team

Won

Lost

PiRate

1

Southern Cal

10

2

127

2

Oklahoma

11

2

126

3

Florida

9

3

126

4

Ohio State

11

1

123

5

Virginia Tech

11

2

122

6

West Virginia

10

2

122

7

L S U

11

2

120

8

Missouri

11

2

120

9

Kansas

11

1

120

10

Georgia

10

2

118

11

Arkansas

8

4

118

12

Oregon State

8

4

117

13

South Florida

9

3

117

14

Clemson

9

3

116

15

Cincinnati

9

3

115

16

Arizona State

10

2

114

17

Boise State

10

2

114

18

Tennessee

9

4

114

19

Utah

8

4

113

20

Oregon 

8

4

113

21

U C L A

6

6

113

22

Illinois

9

3

112

23

Wisconsin

9

3

112

24

Brigham Young

10

2

112

25

Texas

9

3

112

PiRate Ratings By Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference

Atlantic Division

Conference

 

Overall

 

 

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Clemson

5

3

 

9

3

410

220

116

Wake Forest

5

3

 

8

4

338

279

111

Boston College

6

2

 

10

3

372

264

110

Maryland

3

5

 

6

6

299

259

110

Florida State

4

4

 

7

5

275

263

106

North Carolina St.

3

5

 

5

7

249

339

94

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coastal Division

Conference

 

Overall

 

 

 

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Virginia Tech

7

1

 

11

2

381

201

122

Virginia 

6

2

 

9

3

289

222

109

Georgia Tech

4

4

 

7

5

313

231

104

Miami (FL)

2

6

 

5

7

247

312

98

North Carolina

3

5

 

4

8

254

294

97

Duke

0

8

 

1

11

215

398

86

Big East Conference

Conference

 

Overall

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

West Virginia

5

2

 

10

2

467

207

122

South Florida

4

3

 

9

3

430

248

117

Cincinnati

4

3

 

9

3

441

223

115

Rutgers

3

4

 

7

5

374

262

107

Connecticut

5

2

 

9

3

334

223

105

Louisville

3

4

 

6

6

422

377

105

Pittsburgh

3

4

 

5

7

274

291

105

Syracuse

1

6

 

2

10

197

418

87

Big 10 Conference

Conference

 

Overall

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Ohio State

7

1

 

11

1

384

128

123

Illinois

6

2

 

9

3

345

234

112

Wisconsin

5

3

 

9

3

366

280

112

Penn State

4

4

 

8

4

365

211

111

Michigan St.

3

5

 

7

5

409

322

110

Michigan

6

2

 

8

4

313

243

108

Purdue

3

5

 

7

5

395

297

102

Indiana

3

5

 

7

5

389

321

99

Iowa

4

4

 

6

6

222

225

95

Northwestern

3

5

 

6

6

310

372

93

Minnesota

0

8

 

1

11

315

440

93

Big 12 Conference

North Division

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Missouri

7

1

11

2

522

319

120

Kansas 

7

1

11

1

532

192

120

Colorado

4

4

6

6

331

353

101

Kansas St.

3

5

5

7

422

370

100

Iowa St.

2

6

3

9

218

381

95

Nebraska

2

6

5

7

401

455

95

 

 

 

 

 

South Division

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Oklahoma

6

2

11

2

564

236

126

Texas

5

3

9

3

432

295

112

Texas Tech

4

4

8

4

501

309

109

Texas A&M

4

4

7

5

346

313

108

Oklahoma St.

4

4

6

6

401

351

105

Baylor

0

8

3

9

218

411

83

Conference USA

East Division

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Central Fla.

7

1

10

3

499

362

107

East Carolina

6

2

7

5

362

357

97

Southern Miss.

5

3

7

5

330

283

95

Marshall

3

5

3

9

298

411

89

Memphis

6

2

7

5

353

375

87

U A B

1

7

2

10

235

421

78

 

 

 

West Division

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Tulsa

6

2

9

4

513

458

100

Houston

6

2

8

4

436

359

97

Tulane

3

5

4

8

293

285

87

Rice

3

5

3

9

374

515

85

S M U

0

8

1

11

340

477

83

U T E P

2

6

4

8

403

445

82

Independents

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Navy

X

X

8

4

479

438

97

Notre Dame

X

X

3

9

197

345

94

Western Ky.

X

X

7

5

398

250

78

Army

X

X

3

9

203

364

77

Mid-American Conference

East Division

Division

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Bowling Green

4

2

 

6

2

8

4

385

354

96

Ohio U

3

3

 

4

4

6

6

366

359

89

Buffalo

4

2

 

5

3

5

7

291

331

86

Miami (OH)

4

2

 

5

2

6

7

260

333

85

Temple

3

3

 

4

4

4

8

197

315

85

Akron

2

4

 

3

5

4

8

254

350

84

Kent St.

1

5

 

1

7

3

9

259

350

80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Division

 

Conference

Overall

 

 

 

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Central Mich.

4

1

 

6

1

8

5

439

466

97

Western Mich.

2

3

 

4

4

5

7

323

347

97

Ball St.

4

1

 

5

2

7

5

379

316

95

Eastern Mich.

3

3

 

3

4

4

8

290

374

87

Toledo

2

3

 

3

5

5

7

395

470

85

Northern Illinois

0

5

 

1

6

2

10

229

370

79

Mountain West Conference

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Utah

5

3

8

4

306

187

113

Brigham Young

8

0

10

2

374

225

112

T C U

4

4

7

5

319

230

108

Air Force

6

2

9

3

353

232

106

New Mexico

5

3

8

4

298

247

98

Colorado St.

2

6

3

9

304

369

93

San Diego St.

3

5

4

8

301

413

90

Wyoming

2

6

5

7

233

311

86

U N L V

1

7

2

10

218

343

85

Pacific 10 Conference

Conference

Overall

 

Team

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Southern Cal

7

2

10

2

375

191

127

Oregon St.

6

3

8

4

341

280

117

Arizona St.

7

2

10

2

386

241

114

Oregon 

5

4

8

4

440

286

113

U C L A

5

4

6

6

276

272

113

Arizona

4

5

5

7

336

322

112

Washington 

2

7

4

9

380

413

107

California

3

6

6

6

338

313

106

Washington St.

3

6

5

7

308

389

104

Stanford

3

6

4

8

235

339

96

Southeastern Conference

East Division

Conference

 

Overall

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Florida

5

3

 

9

3

 

517

290

126

Georgia

6

2

 

10

2

 

383

252

118

Tennessee

6

2

 

9

4

 

434

365

114

Kentucky

3

5

 

7

5

 

440

357

110

South Carolina

3

5

 

6

6

 

313

282

108

Vanderbilt

2

6

 

5

7

 

260

271

104

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Conference

 

Overall

 

 

 

 

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

 

Pts

Opp

Rating

L S U

6

2

 

11

2

 

503

255

120

Arkansas

4

4

 

8

4

 

478

307

118

Auburn

5

3

 

8

4

 

292

200

111

Mississippi St.

4

4

 

7

5

 

269

301

106

Alabama

4

4

 

6

6

 

322

262

105

Ole Miss

0

8

 

3

9

 

241

342

97

Sunbelt Conference

Conference

 

Overall

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Troy

6

1

 

8

4

408

295

100

Fla. Atlantic

6

1

 

7

5

361

405

95

La.-Monroe

4

3

 

6

6

282

332

91

M T S U

4

3

 

5

7

308

339

86

Arkansas St.

3

4

 

5

7

291

331

85

La.-Lafayette

3

4

 

3

9

285

430

83

Fla. Int’l

1

6

 

1

11

181

469

73

North Texas

1

6

 

2

10

308

541

72

Western Athletic Conference

 

 

 

Team

Won

Lost

 

Won

Lost

Pts

Opp

Rating

Boise St.

7

1

 

10

2

515

238

114

Hawaii

8

0

 

12

0

552

292

111

Fresno St.

6

2

 

8

4

387

323

99

Nevada

3

4

 

5

6

386

385

96

San Jose St.

4

4

 

5

7

245

352

92

La. Tech

4

3

 

5

6

239

319

88

Utah St.

2

6

 

2

10

247

406

84

Idaho

0

8

 

1

11

258

443

79

New Mexico St.

1

7

 

4

9

312

471

78

The Bowl Schedule

Date Time Bowl City Team Team Network
12/20 9:00 PM Poinsettia San Diego Utah 8-4 Navy 8-4 ESPN
12/21 8:00 PM New Orleans New Orleans Florida Atlantic 7-5 Memphis 7-5 ESPN2
12/22 1:00 PM Papa John’s Birmingham Cincinnati 9-3 Southern Miss. 7-5 ESPN2
12/22 4:30 PM New Mexico Albuquerque Nevada 6-6 New Mexico 8-4 ESPN
12/22 8:00 PM Las Vegas Las Vegas U C L A 6-6 Brigham Young 10-2 ESPN
12/23 8:00 PM Hawaii Honolulu East Carolina 7-5 Boise State 10-2 ESPN
12/26 7:30 PM Motor City Detroit Purdue 7-5 Central Michigan 8-5 ESPN
12/27 8:00 PM Holiday San Diego Texas 9-3 Arizona St. 10-2 ESPN
12/28 5:00 PM Champs Sports Orlando Boston College 10-3 Michigan St. 7-5 ESPN
12/28 8:00 PM Texas Houston T C U 7-5 Houston 8-4 NFL
12/28 8:00 PM Emerald San Francisco Maryland 6-6 Oregon State 8-4 ESPN
12/29 1:00 PM Meineke Car Care Charlotte Connecticut 9-3 Wake Forest 8-4 ESPN
12/29 4:30 PM Liberty Memphis Central Florida 10-3 Mississippi St. 7-5 ESPN
12/29 8:00 PM Alamo San Antonio Penn State 8-4 Texas A&M 7-5 ESPN
12/30 8:00 PM Independence Shrevport Colorado 6-6 Alabama 6-6 ESPN
12/31 12:30 PM Armed Forces Ft. Worth California 6-6 Air Force 9-3 ESPN
12/31 2:00 PM Sun El Paso South Florida 9-3 Oregon 8-4 CBS
12/31 2:00 PM Humanitarian Boise Georgia Tech 7-5 Fresno St. 8-4 ESPN2
12/31 4:00 PM Music City Nashville Florida State 7-5 Kentucky 7-5 ESPN
12/31 7:30 PM Chick-fil-A Atlanta Clemson 9-3 Auburn 8-4 ESPN
12/31 8:00 PM Insight Tempe Oklahoma St. 6-6 Indiana 7-5 NFL
1/1 11:00 AM Outback Tampa Wisconsin 9-3 Tennessee 9-4 ESPN
1/1 11:30 AM Cottton Dallas Arkansas 8-4 Missouri 11-2 FOX
1/1 1:00 PM Capital One Orlando Michigan 8-4 Florida 9-3 ABC
1/1 1:00 PM Gator Jacksonville Texas Tech 8-4 Virginia 9-3 CBS
1/1 4:30 PM Rose Pasadena Illinois 9-3 Southern Cal 10-2 ABC
1/1 8:30 PM Sugar New Orleans Hawaii 12-0 Georgia 10-2 FOX
1/2 8:00 PM Fiesta Glendale West Virginia 10-2 Oklahoma 11-2 FOX
1/3 8:00 PM Orange Miami Kansas 11-1 Virginia Tech 11-2 FOX
1/5 12:00 PM International Toronto Rutgers 7-5 Ball State 7-5 ESPN2
1/6 8:00 PM GMAC Mobile Tulsa 9-4 Bowling Green 8-4 ESPN
1/7 8:00 PM National Title New Orleans L S U 11-2 Ohio State 11-1 FOX

Selection Monday: The NCAA Football Computer Simulation Pairings

For all of you who want playoffs in lieu of the BcS joke we have, here is how they would work in the PiRate system.

The PiRate system calls for a 12-team playoff.  The champions of the ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC receive automatic bids.  The six highest ranked teams after that, regardless of conference affiliation are then invited as at-large participants.

The four highest ranked automatic qualifiers receive first round byes, while the other eight teams play in the opening round.  Bowls are used for all 11 games needed for a 12-team playoff.

Round One is December 8.  The Quarterfinals are December 22.  The Semifinals are January 1.  The Championship Game is January 14.

The Participants

ACC: Virginia Tech 11-2

Big East: West Virginia 10-2

Big 10: Ohio State 11-1

Big 12: Oklahoma 11-2

Pac-10: Southern California 10-2

SEC: L S U 11-2

At-Large: Georgia 10-2

At-Large: Missouri 11-2

At-Large: Kansas 11-1

At-Large: Hawaii 12-0

At-Large: Arizona St. 10-2

At-Large: Florida 9-3

Instead of the argument that LSU edged Georgia due to political factors made by certain network shirts, the argument would be between Florida, Illinois, Boston College, and Clemson.  At least these teams know they lost three games and have no right to argue like Georgia has this year.

The brainwashers try to tell the public that a playoff would destroy the bowl.  I ask you this:  How many bowls this year have any meaning or appeal to anybody other than the fans of the participating teams?  Does a bowl pitting a 7-5 team against a 6-6 team attract you to watch?  Are you just chomping at the bit to watch the Poinsettia, Armed Forces, Insight, Texas, and Independence Bowls?  Other than the LSU-Ohio State game, none of the other bowls matter.  Even the historic, Sugar, Cotton, Rose, Orange, and Fiesta Bowls have no bearing on the national championship.  There’s no need to watch these games, and when the sponsors of these bowls hear from enough fans who contact them to tell them as much, they will force a playoff.

Under the PiRate system, 11 bowls would play a deciding factor in the NCAA Championship.  The remaining bowls that currently have 6-6 and 7-5 teams would now have 8-4 and 9-3 teams instead. 

Let’s look at the pairings.

Round One-December 8

 

Gator Bowl:              #5 Georgia vs. #12 Florida

Outback Bowl:         #6 Missouri vs. #11 Arizona State

Holiday Bowl:           #7 Southern Cal vs. #10 Hawaii

Chick-fil-A Bowl:     #8 Kansas vs. #9 West Virginia

Quarterfinals-December 22

Fiesta Bowl:              #4 Oklahoma vs. Winner of Gator Bowl

Capital One Bowl:   #3 Virginia Tech vs. Winner of Outback Bowl

Cotton Bowl:             #2 L S U vs. Winner of Holiday Bowl

Rose Bowl:                #1 Ohio State vs. Winner of Chick-fil-A Bowl

Semifinals-January 1

Sugar Bowl:              Winner of Fiesta Bowl vs. Winner of Rose Bowl

Orange Bowl:           Winner of Capital One Bowl vs. Winner of Cotton Bowl

National Championship Game-January 14

New Orleans                        Winner of Sugar Bowl vs. Winner of Orange Bowl

Check back with the PiRate Ratings for the computer simulation of this championship playoff.  I will post scores and statistics for all these games, starting with round one Saturday.

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