Whoops; missed a week.
Quick humble-brag: Sagarin (http://sagarin.com/sports/cfsend.htm) predicted a 6.11 point victory for the Tide over the Aggies in College Station. Once all was said and done, Bama won by...an even 7 points (pay no attention to the "41-point margin Sagarin projected for Bama over Colorado State" behind the curtain).
Sorcery? Revelation? Collusion? Nope; merely advanced statistics. So let's see what they have in store for the rest of the college football season:
SEC-EAST 1. Georgia 88.27 #3 2. South Carolina 85.64 #8 3. Florida 84.52 #11 4. Missouri 79.71 #27 5. Vanderbilt 76.11 #46 6. Tennessee 75.42 #49 7. Kentucky 68.37 #77 ______________________________ SEC-WEST 1. Alabama 95.52 #1
2. LSU 87.36 #5
3. Texas A&M 86.75 #6 4. Ole Miss 79.79 #26
5. Auburn 78.92 #33
6. Mississippi State 77.28 #41
7. Arkansas 75.32 #51
Some interesting notes:
- Alabama is projected to beat any team in the country on a neutral field, and any team in the country on the road except for Oregon. I guess Sagarin didn't watch the Colorado State game. Jokes aside, the model is not yet well-connected, meaning that preseason rankings are still biasing the numbers (although the bias is smaller and smaller with each additional week of game data). Once we see unbiased numbers, we may be in for a shock.
- Missouri is a few favorable bounces away from being a 10-win team. This is the one that I buy the least: 7 projected wins (including an upset of Florida), plus 3 projected losses with a margin of less than a field goal (Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Texas A&M). Some of this is Mizzou getting too much credit for stomping a previously overhyped Indiana squad, and some of this is the model overestimating homefield advantage. The model current spots the home team a 5.23 point edge; if we use last year's final value (an even 3 points), the other other Tigers stay at 7-5 (swapping Florida for Vandy) but with only 2 realistic upset opportunities.
- Arkansas ain't there yet. OK, one more humble brag: Sagarin predicted a Rutgers win by 3.47, pretty close to the actual 4-point margin of victory. The Razorbacks have a few winnable games at home remaining on their schedule, but not enough to go bowling in Year 1.
So, any big changes in the standings?
SEC-EAST 1. Georgia 11-1 (8-0) Capital One Bowl 2. South Carolina 11-1 (7-1) Sugar Bowl 3. Florida 7-5 (4-4) Outback Bowl 4. Missouri 7-5 (3-5) Liberty Bowl 5. Tennessee 6-6 (3-5) Independence Bowl? 6. Vanderbilt 6-6 (2-6) Music City Bowl? 7. Kentucky 2-10 (0-8) ______________________________ SEC-WEST 1. Alabama 12-0 (8-0) BCS National Championship Game 2. LSU 10-2 (6-2) Cotton Bowl 3. Texas A&M 10-2 (6-2) Chick-Fil-A Bowl 4. Ole Miss 7-5 (3-5) Gator Bowl
5. Auburn 6-6 (2-6) BBVA Compass Bowl?
6. Arkansas 5-7 (2-6) 7. Mississippi State 5-7 (2-6) ______________________________ SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: Alabama (-7) over Georgia
The bowl picture is still pretty clear for the top 7 teams (I'm taking a guess that the Gator Bowl will prefer Ole Miss to Mizzou, but your mileage may vary). The bottom 3 are again anyone's guess; I'm thinking the SEC gives Auburn and Nashville de facto home games in order to maximize ticket sales, but what do I know.
Around the country, order is restored in the Pac-12, as Oregon is projected to win out and punch their ticket to Pasadena with a title game win over Arizona State. Oklahoma State is also projected to finished undefeated, but a low preseason ranking will again stick them as the odd man out. Clemson is not projected to Clemson this year, beating Miami for the ACC Championship but being struck from the BCS Championship discussion in the final game of the regular season. Ohio State will be in the same boat, winning the Big Ten over Nebraska with only one regular season blemish. Louisville goes undefeated in the AAC, and no one cares. No BCS busters this year, as Northern Illinois, Utah State, Marshall, and Louisiana-Lafayette all have at least one loss. BYU and Notre Dame are unlikely BCS at-large teams with 3+ losses on their schedules.
So, #1 and #2 are easy to fill in, as are the automatic bids; what do we do with the at-larges? Here's my best guess:
BCS Matchups:BCS National Championship Game: Alabama (-3) over Oregon
Rose Bowl: Stanford (-1) over Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Louisville (-1) over Clemson
Sugar Bowl: South Carolina (-1) over Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State (-2) over Florida State
Next out: Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, Baylor, Wisconsin.