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2009 Elite Selection Playoff: Week Fourteen and BCS Championship Predictions

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2009 Elite Selection Playoff: Week Fourteen and BCS Championship Predictions

Disclaimer: The following is not intended for betting purposes.

Similar to last year, the final AV Ranking values (see the values in the table below) will be used to predict the BCS bowl game winners against the spread.

The BCS games are as follows:

  • Rose Bowl presented by Citi: Ohio State vs. Oregon
  • Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. TCU
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida
  • FedEx Orange Bowl: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech
  • Citi BCS National Championship: Texas vs. Alabama

The AV Ranking predicts the following winners:

  • Ohio State (0.836) over Oregon (0.765), margin of 0.071
  • TCU (0.855) over Boise State (0.839), margin of 0.016
  • Cincinnati (0.882) over Florida (0.838), margin of 0.044
  • Iowa (0.784) over Georgia Tech (0.747), margin of 0.037
  • Alabama (0.986) over Texas (0.897), margin of 0.089

The BCS National Championship game has the largest AV Ranking margin while the Fiesta Bowl seems to be the most evenly matched contest. The AV Ranking correctly predicted the winner in 80.8 percent of the regular season contests last year. This year is not much different, as the outcomes of 82.3 percent of the regular season games were correctly predicted.

But predicting the winner is far less interesting than predicting which teams will cover the spread.

Using the methodology outlined here, the AV Ranking was used to generate a point spread for the five BCS games listed above. The table below shows these point spreads along with the Vegas point spreads and the corresponding delta. The Vegas spreads were taken on December 7th, so they have likely changed since then.

AV Ranking and Vegas Predictions
Bowl GameAV Ranking FavoriteAV Ranking Point SpreadVegas Point SpreadDelta
RoseOhio State-4.2+3.5+7.7
TostitosTCU-0.9-7-6.1
SugarCincinnati-2.6+10+12.6
OrangeIowa-2.2+3.5+5.7
BCS National ChampionshipAlabama-5.2-5+0.2

As the table shows, the AV Ranking is against the odds in three (Rose, Sugar and Orange) of the five games. This effectively means that the AV Ranking predicts people are overestimating the favorites.

The largest disparity is in the Sugar Bowl, where Vegas has Florida as 10-point favorites while the AV Ranking predicts Cincinnati to win the game. The second largest difference is in the Rose Bowl, where Vegas predicts Oregon to beat Ohio State while the AV Ranking likes the Buckeyes. Both Vegas and the AV Ranking predict about a five-point win for Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.

As a side note, predicting the Bowl Game winner is not a facile proposition. The best indicator of winning is previous wins, i.e. the strongest corollary to predicting the winner of a game is the Adjusted Win Percentage (AWP) of the two participants. As such, this is the most heavily weighted metric of the AV Ranking.

In Bowl Games the AWP values of the two teams are nearly always similar, as the teams are usually evenly matched. In this scenario, Strength of Schedule (SOS) or Team Performance Ratio (TPR) are better predictors of which team will win as the AWP of both teams is virtually identical.

The AV Ranking SOS predicts the following winners:

  • Oregon (0.728) over Ohio State (0.589), margin of 0.139
  • TCU (0.310) over Boise State (0.251), margin of 0.059
  • Florida (0.578) over Cincinnati (0.552), margin of 0.025
  • Iowa (0.608) over Georgia Tech (0.432), margin of 0.176
  • Alabama (0.608) over Texas (0.595), margin of 0.014

The AV Ranking TPR predicts the following winners:

  • Ohio State (0.778) over Oregon (0.724), margin of 0.054
  • TCU (0.835) over Boise State (0.762), margin of 0.073
  • Florida (0.847) over Cincinnati (0.691), margin of 0.156
  • Georgia Tech (0.669) over Iowa (0.625), margin of 0.044
  • Alabama (0.957) over Texas (0.906), margin of 0.052

This data supports the Vegas odds favoring Florida over Cincinnati rather than the AV Ranking prediction of the Bearcats over the Gators. Cincinnati’s number one AWP ranking (see below) trumps its lower SOS and TPR. In other words, the delta between the AV Ranking and Vegas point spreads above is likely overestimated. Additionally, the turnover in Cincinnati’s coaching staff likely favors the Gators even more.

The final ESP and AV Ranking values are shown below. For reference purposes the weekly releases can be found here: week seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Elite Selection Playoff (ESP)
RankTeamAP PollCoach's PollAV RankingPoints
1Alabama1111
2Texas2220.96
3TCU3340.906
4Cincinnati4430.893
5Florida5560.826
6Boise St6650.813
7Ohio State8870.733
7Oregon7790.733
9Iowa101180.653
10Georgia Tech910110.64
11Penn State119120.613
12Virginia Tech1212100.586
13Miami FL1415130.48
14Brigham Young1514140.466
14LSU1313170.466
16Pittsburgh1716150.4
17West Virginia1817160.36
18Nebraska2019200.253
19Oregon St1620280.213
19Oklahoma St2118230.213
21Wisconsin2422190.173
22Stanford1921300.16
22Arizona2223210.16
24Central Michigan25NR180.12
25Utah2324250.08
AV Ranking
RankTeamPointsStrength of ScheduleQuality Wins/LossesAdjusted Win PercentageMargin of VictoryTeam Performance Ratio
1Alabama0.986341551
2Texas0.8973923432
3Cincinnati0.88251811517
4TCU0.85510313224
5Boise St0.839110113111
6Florida0.8384622643
7Ohio State0.8364321099
8Iowa0.784353103632
9Oregon0.7651338131413
10Virginia Tech0.76541915115
11Georgia Tech0.747831272321
12Penn State0.72382671067
13Miami FL0.7034221153026
14Brigham Young0.702895991829
15Pittsburgh0.694454720178
16West Virginia0.6914417254630
17LSU0.6882931202925
18Central Michigan0.677112937819
19Wisconsin0.674793202414
20Nebraska0.6593336271316
21Arizona0.6572314334133
22Southern Cal0.656387284441
23Oklahoma St0.6555693203423
24North Carolina0.652664333731
25Utah0.6468428202636
Adjusted Win Percentage (AWP)
RankTeamPoints
1Cincinnati0.886
2TCU0.882
3Boise St0.88
4Texas0.874
5Alabama0.868
6Florida0.81
7Georgia Tech0.757
7Central Michigan0.757
9Brigham Young0.756
10Ohio State0.743
Strength of Schedule (SOS)
RankTeamPoints
1Mississippi St0.947
2Florida St0.902
3Miami OH0.894
4Virginia Tech0.779
5Washington St0.762
6Oklahoma0.756
7Syracuse0.755
8Colorado0.753
9Louisville0.753
10Washington0.751
Team Performance Ratio (TPR)
RankTeamPoints
1Alabama0.957
2Texas0.905
3Florida0.846
4TCU0.834
5Virginia Tech0.816
6Oklahoma0.803
7Penn State0.789
8Pittsburgh0.778
9Ohio State0.777
10Air Force0.763
Margin of Victory (MOV)
RankTeamPoints
1Boise St0.94
2TCU0.933
3Texas0.924
4Florida0.881
5Alabama0.837
6Penn State0.762
7Oklahoma0.758
8Central Michigan0.753
9Ohio State0.75
10Houston0.739
Quality Wins/Losses (QWL)
RankTeamPoints
1Alabama1
2Ohio State0.833
3Iowa0.577
4North Carolina0.52
4Northwestern0.52
6Purdue0.434
7Southern Cal0.419
8Cincinnati0.416
9Florida St0.405
10Stanford0.398

Furthermore

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