At The Power Rank, I’ve developed a regression model for preseason rankings in college football. It has predicted the game winner in 70.4% of games since the 2005 season.
To get the results of this model, check out The 2015 College Football Win Totals Report. It includes:
- Win total for FBS teams based on the preseason rankings
- 2 teams with value in the win totals market
- 2 overrated teams heading into 2015
- The simple truth that allows for accurate preseason predictions in college football
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Here’s a sample from the win totals report.
The Power Rank: 5th, expected 9.4 wins. Market: 10 wins.
Each year, a team gets a bounce in preseason rankings because of an exceptional bowl game performance.
In 2011, West Virginia destroyed Clemson by a 70-33 margin in the Orange Bowl. West Virginia started 2012 at 11th in the AP poll only to end year 7-6.
In 2013, Oklahoma beat perennial power Alabama 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl. Oklahoma started 2014 at 4th in the AP only to have a disappointing 8-5 season.
Last year, TCU treated Ole Miss like a scout team, beating them 42-3 in a New Year’s Six Bowl. There’s almost no way TCU doesn’t get overrated in 2015.
However, TCU shows up at 5th in my preseason rankings. A big reason is program strength over the past 4 seasons. Even though they had a poor 4-8 record in 2013, TCU was 32nd in my year end rankings and 8 points better than the average FBS team.
Earlier, we discussed how Memphis had a lucky year in 2014 for a usually poor program. TCU also had an exceptional 2014, but they were also strong the previous 3 years. My model says TCU will remain a top 10 team in 2015.
However, there are reasons to believe 5th is too high for TCU. They had incredible luck with injuries last year. It’s unlikely that the defensive starters miss one game total due to injury again in 2015.
Also, long time defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas retired. Head coach Gary Patterson has a considerable impact on the defense, but he also has to deal with the loss of 3 of 4 starters in the secondary.
TCU won 11 games during a magical regular season in 2014. It will be hard to replicate that total, but the preseason model does predict 9.4 wins, close to the market total of 10. Just don’t pencil TCU in for the college football playoff just yet.
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