Sunday, August 04, 2002

College Football Musings- Here's a rough list of my statistical-but-unscientific chances of various Top-20 teams going undefeated. I'll call for a Oklahoma-Miami Fiesta Bowl. Despite making Miami #7 in their chances of going undefeated, I think a 10-1 Miami will get the second slot in the title game, as I'll predict that only one BCS-conference team will go undefeated this year.
Percentage chance of a undefeated pre-bowl season
1 Oklahoma 17.9
2T Florida State 11.2
2T Tennessee 11.2
4 Michigan 10.7
5 Texas 10.2
6 Nebraska 9.8
7 Miami 7.8
8 Oregon 6.3
9 Washington State 3.5
10 Florida 3.1
11 Virginia Tech 2.7
12 Michigan State 2.6
13 Colorado 2.4
Louisville 4.0
Marshall 21.2
Miami's rated #1 in the polls, but has a wicked schedule, going to Florida and Tennessee while having FSU and Virginia Tech heading to their place. My basic way of doing this was to look at the chances of winning each game. I put the Florida and Tennessee games at 40%, FSU at 60%, VT at 90% and 90% of winning all the other games. (.4)^2*(.6)*(0.9)^2=7.8% Oklahoma's my most likely of the power conference teams to go undefeated. They have three tough games on the way to 12-0, at home with Colorado, the Dallas(?) rumble with Texas and the Big 12 title game, all home or neutral-site games. Oregon's the key sleeper to come out of the Pac 10; the Pac 10's too deep to expect any 11-0 clubs. Michigan has a favorable schedule, with away games at Notre Dame and Ohio State being the two dangerous one along with Wisconsin and MSU coming to the Big House. The Tennessee-Miami game in September will be a key match-up. The loser still has a shot at the Fiesta Bowl title game, as any X-and-1 club out of the Southeastern Quad (Tennessee, Florida, FSU, Miami) will likely be the highest-ranked non-undefeated team. Of the non-BSC conference teams, Louisville would have the best shot of a Fiesta Bowl slot. They were there before in 1991, but in a year where a ML King Day flap left most big schools unwilling to touch Arizona. A win at FSU would put the on the map; if FSU went 9-2 or 10-1, the Cardinals would be in the BCS if they ran the rest of their schedule and might have an outside shot of being #2. A 10-1 Miami or Tennessee would likely trump Louisville in the BCS ratings, which would give a playoff a good chance of forming in the future. A few years back, a 11-0 Virginia Tech just got into the title game with an 11-1 Nebraska (IIRC) just missing second in the ratings. Marshall heads into Hokieland September 12th. If the Thundering Herd can win that one and run the MAC table, a top-ten finish is likely, especially if VT can get a good 8-3 or 9-2 schedule. While a MAC sked means getting into the top two's all-but-impossible, they might have a shot of being the first non-BSC conference team to get into a BCS bowl with HeismanTrophyCandidate Byron Leftwich. No, Byron's only his middle name now, his first name is HeismanTrophyCandidate.

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