Analysis of 2016 College Football Playoff Semi-final games

Let’s not coronate Alabama champion just yet. Over on Bleacher Report, I wrote about the College Football Playoff from an analytics perspective.

Alabama is the clear favorite, and I even like their chances to cover two touchdowns against Washington in the first semi-final.

But that dang football bounces in funny ways sometimes. A few turnovers here, maybe some subpar play from Nick Saban’s team, you never know.

Ohio State and Clemson features some interesting match ups, as both teams have their strengths on offense and defense.

To check out my analysis, click here.

Predicting the final college football playoff committee rankings of 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-2-19-25-pmLast night, I predicted what the college football playoff committee would release today as its final rankings. I got the top 4 correct, as Clemson did jump over Ohio State to claim the 2nd seed.

However, I had Michigan ahead of Penn State at 5th and 6th respectively, as it seemed insane to move Penn State ahead of a team to which they suffered a 39 point defeat. The committee moved Penn State ahead of Michigan anyway.

I list odds for all match ups between the four teams in the playoff at the bottom of the article.

To check out the article, click here.

College football playoff probabilities before championship week, 2016

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-10-17-34-amOver at Bleacher Report, I wrote about my final college football playoff odds for the season. Alabama, Clemson and Washington are in with wins in their conference championship games, and the Big 12 is out.

There remains some uncertainty for the remaining top teams, most of which reside in the Big Ten. My article discusses the following:

  • Ohio State is not a lock, but it would take a lot to move them out of the top 4.
  • Michigan isn’t dead just yet.
  • How in the world is the champion of the conference with 4 of the top 7 teams on the outside looking in?

To check out the article, click here.

College football playoff probabilities after week 12, 2016

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-10-33-52-amOver at Bleacher Report, I posted my odds for each team to make the college football playoff. This week’s article looks at:

  • Michigan at Ohio State, a critical game in the playoff picture.
  • With 4 teams in the top 7, the chance that the Big Ten gets two teams.
  • Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State.
  • The USC dilemma, since the Trojans are generating much debate.

To read the article on Bleacher Report, click here.

How Louisville gets into the college football playoff

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-11-02-33-amAfter a week of utter chaos, the committee told us they still like Michigan and Clemson over Louisville.

This isn’t what my algorithm expects from the committee. Usually, teams move down when they lose. Michigan lost in stunning fashion to Iowa but stayed at 3rd. Clemson had a similar loss to Pittsburgh but only dropped from 2nd to 4th.

The loser in these decisions is Louisville at 5th. With the strange behavior of this committee, I’m starting to believe that my 55% for Louisville to make the playoff is too high.

But maybe not. Louisville has to hope that Ohio State wins the Big Ten, which does two things.

  • Eliminates Michigan, since Ohio State plays them next week.
  • Eliminates Ohio State as another potential one loss non-conference champions looking to get into the playoff.

Then Louisville needs a two or three loss team to win the Pac-12 (Colorado, Utah, USC still in contention for the South), which would eliminate Washington from contention. This all assumes that Clemson wins the ACC Atlantic, denying Louisville the chance to win the ACC.

Still, their likelihood is probably less than 55%.

To check out all of my playoff odds at Bleacher Report, click here.