Rankings the 2016 Bowl games – a viewers guide

Which bowl games should you watch this season? Which games will bore you to tears?

Here, I use analytics to rank game games by watchability. The idea is you want to watch games between two good teams, and you want the outcome decided in the final minutes.

Ohio State versus Clemson in the college football playoff semi-final tops the list, although I’m sure many of you would watch that game no matter analytics says.

Army versus a terrible North Texas team gets ranked dead last, 40 out of 40. You can skip that game, especially if you’re at work at noon on Tuesday, December 27th.

Here’s the full list of games. The prediction and rank for teams come from my public college football team rankings.

I save my most accurate predictions for members of The Power Rank. To learn more, click here.

1. Ohio State versus Clemson at a neutral site.
Ohio State (3) will beat Clemson (5) by 1.0 at a neutral site. Clemson has a 47% chance of beating Ohio State.

2. Michigan versus Florida State at a neutral site.
Michigan (2) will beat Florida State (7) by 3.1 at a neutral site. Florida State has a 41% chance of beating Michigan.

3. Auburn versus Oklahoma at a neutral site.
Oklahoma (11) will beat Auburn (14) by 1.1 at a neutral site. Auburn has a 47% chance of beating Oklahoma.

4. USC versus Penn State at a neutral site.
USC (9) will beat Penn State (16) by 2.2 at a neutral site. Penn State has a 43% chance of beating USC.

5. LSU versus Louisville at a neutral site.
LSU (4) will beat Louisville (10) by 4.1 at a neutral site. Louisville has a 38% chance of beating LSU.

6. Florida versus Iowa at a neutral site.
Florida (22) will beat Iowa (24) by 0.3 at a neutral site. Iowa has a 49% chance of beating Florida.

7. Stanford versus North Carolina at a neutral site.
Stanford (13) will beat North Carolina (18) by 2.3 at a neutral site. North Carolina has a 43% chance of beating Stanford.

8. Oklahoma State versus Colorado at a neutral site.
Oklahoma State (29) will beat Colorado (34) by 0.6 at a neutral site. Colorado has a 48% chance of beating Oklahoma State.

9. Arkansas versus Virginia Tech at a neutral site.
Virginia Tech (19) will beat Arkansas (30) by 1.7 at a neutral site. Arkansas has a 45% chance of beating Virginia Tech.

10. Washington versus Alabama at a neutral site.
Alabama (1) will beat Washington (6) by 10.7 at a neutral site. Washington has a 22% chance of beating Alabama.

11. Nebraska versus Tennessee at a neutral site.
Tennessee (15) will beat Nebraska (32) by 3.8 at a neutral site. Nebraska has a 39% chance of beating Tennessee.

12. Western Michigan versus Wisconsin at a neutral site.
Wisconsin (8) will beat Western Michigan (26) by 5.1 at a neutral site. Western Michigan has a 35% chance of beating Wisconsin.

13. Pittsburgh versus Northwestern at a neutral site.
Pittsburgh (23) will beat Northwestern (37) by 2.6 at a neutral site. Northwestern has a 42% chance of beating Pittsburgh.

14. Minnesota versus Washington State at a neutral site.
Washington State (25) will beat Minnesota (38) by 3.0 at a neutral site. Minnesota has a 41% chance of beating Washington State.

15. North Carolina State versus Vanderbilt at a neutral site.
Vanderbilt (40) will beat North Carolina State (50) by 1.3 at a neutral site. North Carolina State has a 46% chance of beating Vanderbilt.

16. West Virginia versus Miami (FL) at a neutral site.
Miami (FL) (20) will beat West Virginia (41) by 4.2 at a neutral site. West Virginia has a 38% chance of beating Miami (FL).

17. Boise State versus Baylor at a neutral site.
Boise State (39) will beat Baylor (51) by 1.8 at a neutral site. Baylor has a 45% chance of beating Boise State.

18. Georgia versus TCU at a neutral site.
Georgia (33) will beat TCU (48) by 3.2 at a neutral site. TCU has a 40% chance of beating Georgia.

19. Memphis versus Western Kentucky at a neutral site.
Western Kentucky (44) will beat Memphis (53) by 1.6 at a neutral site. Memphis has a 45% chance of beating Western Kentucky.

20. Appalachian State versus Toledo at a neutral site.
Toledo (47) will beat Appalachian State (58) by 2.6 at a neutral site. Appalachian State has a 42% chance of beating Toledo.

21. South Florida versus South Carolina at a neutral site.
South Florida (45) will beat South Carolina (60) by 3.1 at a neutral site. South Carolina has a 41% chance of beating South Florida.

22. Georgia Tech versus Kentucky at a neutral site.
Georgia Tech (43) will beat Kentucky (57) by 3.2 at a neutral site. Kentucky has a 40% chance of beating Georgia Tech.

23. Texas A&M versus Kansas State at a neutral site.
Texas A&M (12) will beat Kansas State (52) by 9.1 at a neutral site. Kansas State has a 25% chance of beating Texas A&M.

24. Indiana versus Utah at a neutral site.
Utah (21) will beat Indiana (55) by 7.2 at a neutral site. Indiana has a 30% chance of beating Utah.

25. Houston versus San Diego State at a neutral site.
Houston (28) will beat San Diego State (63) by 6.6 at a neutral site. San Diego State has a 31% chance of beating Houston.

26. Maryland versus Boston College at a neutral site.
Boston College (75) will beat Maryland (79) by 0.7 at a neutral site. Maryland has a 48% chance of beating Boston College.

27. Arkansas State at UCF.
UCF (78) will beat Arkansas State (84) by 3.9 at home. Arkansas State has a 39% chance of beating UCF.

28. Louisiana Tech versus Navy at a neutral site.
Navy (54) will beat Louisiana Tech (74) by 4.4 at a neutral site. Louisiana Tech has a 37% chance of beating Navy.

29. Ohio versus Troy at a neutral site.
Troy (68) will beat Ohio (80) by 2.6 at a neutral site. Ohio has a 42% chance of beating Troy.

30. Temple versus Wake Forest at a neutral site.
Temple (36) will beat Wake Forest (72) by 7.9 at a neutral site. Wake Forest has a 28% chance of beating Temple.

31. Central Michigan versus Tulsa at a neutral site.
Tulsa (59) will beat Central Michigan (86) by 5.5 at a neutral site. Central Michigan has a 34% chance of beating Tulsa.

32. Brigham Young versus Wyoming at a neutral site.
Brigham Young (27) will beat Wyoming (85) by 11.8 at a neutral site. Wyoming has a 20% chance of beating Brigham Young.

33. Eastern Michigan versus Old Dominion at a neutral site.
Old Dominion (104) will beat Eastern Michigan (106) by 0.4 at a neutral site. Eastern Michigan has a 49% chance of beating Old Dominion.

34. Southern Miss versus Louisiana Lafayette at a neutral site.
Southern Miss (93) will beat Louisiana Lafayette (102) by 2.2 at a neutral site. Louisiana Lafayette has a 43% chance of beating Southern Miss.

35. UTSA at New Mexico.
New Mexico (90) will beat UTSA (109) by 7.6 at home. UTSA has a 29% chance of beating New Mexico.

36. South Alabama versus Air Force at a neutral site.
Air Force (61) will beat South Alabama (100) by 9.3 at a neutral site. South Alabama has a 25% chance of beating Air Force.

37. Middle Tennessee State at Hawaii.
Middle Tennessee State (91) will beat Hawaii (112) by 2.3 on the road. Hawaii has a 43% chance of beating Middle Tennessee State.

38. Miami (OH) versus Mississippi State at a neutral site.
Mississippi State (31) will beat Miami (OH) (110) by 17.4 at a neutral site. Miami (OH) has a 11% chance of beating Mississippi State.

39. Idaho versus Colorado State at a neutral site.
Colorado State (73) will beat Idaho (114) by 9.2 at a neutral site. Idaho has a 25% chance of beating Colorado State.

40. Army versus North Texas at a neutral site.
Army (77) will beat North Texas (116) by 10.7 at a neutral site. North Texas has a 22% chance of beating Army.

Win probabilities for the college football playoff, 2016

With the field set for the college football playoff, these are my member numbers for the semi-final games.

  • Alabama will beat Washington by 9.1 points (76.1 percent win probability).
  • Ohio State will beat Clemson by 2.7 points (58.5 percent win probability).

For the championship game, these are odds for possible match ups.

  • Alabama will beat Ohio State by 7.1 points (71.1 percent win probability)
  • Alabama will beat Clemson by 9.8 points (77.7 percent win probability).
  • Ohio State will beat Washington by 2.0 points (56.3 percent win probability).
  • Washington will beat Clemson by 0.7 points (52.2 percent win probability).

A lot more analysis is forth coming.

Numbers for all bowl games are available to members. To learn more, 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.

Podcast: College football championship week, Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins

thefootballanalyticsshow_cover_landscapeCollege football is getting real, folks. In this week’s podcast, I discuss the scenarios for all the top teams.

Ohio State isn’t a lock. There just aren’t any locks in sports, although it is highly likely the Buckeyes make the playoff.

Michigan isn’t dead. But they do need help, and maybe more than you think.

Then I transition to the NFL to discuss the Atlanta Falcons, the surprising top team in my member NFL rankings. We shall see how long they last there.

Last but not least, I look at the Washington Redskins and their potent offense. They have an interesting game at Arizona this week.

To listen to the podcast, click on the play button.

To listen on iTunes, 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.