Auburn should be a ten point underdog to Oregon, says The Power Rank. It’s a prediction that doesn’t seem to make sense given recent history. In the SEC championship, Auburn devastated a very good South Carolina team 56-17. Heisman trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton ran over a South Carolina defender on his way to the endzone, adding to his aura of invincibility. Meanwhile, on the same day up in Corvalis, Oregon put away rival Oregon State 37-20 in the Civil War but arguably didn’t play the greatest game. Oregon State provided competition late into the game, pulling to within 10 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
This situation is reminscent of last season’s Super Bowl. Indianapolis won their first 14 games of the season before resting their starters down the stretch. In the playoffs, the Colts handily dispatched of Baltimore and the New York Jets by double digits to reach the Super Bowl. In the NFC, New Orleans started the season on fire only to sputter late in the season. The Saints needed a Brett Farve interception late in the 4th quarter of the NFC championship to force overtime and squeak by with a 3 point win. Intuitively, everyone had the Colts by a field goal in the Super Bowl. But, The Power Rank, which considers all games in the current season, had the Saints by 1. New Orleans won the Super Bowl 31-17.
In this current college season, Oregon has been dominant, only allowing Cal to come within 10 points of beating them. The Vegas line sees this strength and has settled on the Ducks as a 3 point favorite. The Power Rank’s predicted margin of victory is considerably larger because the algorithm thinks highly of the Pac 10. Teams from the Pac 10 had wins over Iowa (Arizona), Hawaii (USC), and Notre Dame (Stanford) as well as close losses to TCU (Oregon State) and Wisconsin (Arizona State). Oregon beat all of 5 of these Pac 10 teams by at least 11 points.
Here are predictions for all 35 bowl games:
Oregon will beat Auburn by 9.9
Ohio State will beat Arkansas by 1.9
TCU will beat Wisconsin by 7.6
Oklahoma will beat Connecticut by 13.0
Stanford will beat Virginia Tech by 5.3
Brigham Young will beat UTEP by 9.8
Northern Illinois will beat Fresno State by 2.3
Ohio will beat Troy by 0.1
Louisville will beat Southern Miss by 2.2
Boise State will beat Utah by 16.6
Hawaii will beat Tulsa by 7.0
Florida International will beat Toledo by 2.9
Air Force will beat Georgia Tech by 5.1
West Virginia will beat North Carolina State by 1.0
Missouri will beat Iowa by 2.7
Maryland will beat East Carolina by 7.4
Illinois will beat Baylor by 5.4
Oklahoma State will beat Arizona by 0.5
Kansas State will beat Syracuse by 2.6
North Carolina will beat Tennessee by 3.6
Nebraska will beat Washington by 10.9
Clemson will beat South Florida by 7.9
Miami (FL) will beat Notre Dame by 1.6
Georgia will beat UCF by 4.1
South Carolina will beat Florida State by 1.3
Texas Tech will beat Northwestern by 4.0
Florida will beat Penn State by 5.3
Alabama will beat Michigan State by 7.9
Mississippi State will beat Michigan by 6.8
Miami (OH) will beat Middle Tennessee State by 6.0
LSU will beat Texas A&M by 1.1
Pittsburgh will beat Kentucky by 2.8
Nevada will beat Boston College by 16.0
San Diego State will beat Navy by 5.8
SMU will beat Army by 4.8
Stanford by 5.3… still a little too close for my liking!
Love the new graphic, too. I thought it was interesting to see Mississippi Valley State as dead last… sure have fallen since the days of Jerry Rice!