Dusting off an entry from my older blog on Tumblr, the posts of which are now usurped by my presence on WordPress, I’m attempting to work with certain variables that should determine the winner of each of the 35 college football bowl games:
Coach’s win% in bowls.
School’s win% in bowls.
Conference strength of schedule, the higher the better.
Yards per pass attempt of starting QB
Travel: Closer school to the neutral field (or home field if applicable)
Common opponents: Who had the better w/l record vs. these, and much greater point differential in those games.
Here’s the spreadsheet with the breakdown for each bowl.
The lighter blue color indicates which side has a better edge in that category. Those small edges give 1 point. The blue-green color indicates a dominant edge. Those are 2 points. Whichever team gets more points become the pick for me.
For extra comparison I looked at www.vegasinsider.com and their consensus odds. If my pick suggested a blowout and the odds reflect this, (see Fiesta Bowl) then I’d certainly make the straight up pick and the favorite. Likewise if I side with the underdog and the odds are pointed to them, then that’s how the pick would work. In all other cases, it depends on the spread and how close I rank the teams. In
I’m playing 2 of the pick ’em contests, one by Yahoo! (straight up), and ESPN (confidence). I’ll assign more confidence in the cases where there is both a larger pointspread and I have the two teams widely ranked apart.
There were several games that proved too close to call for me, notably where the spread is very small. In the Pinstripe Bowl, I actually do not think it will be a large victory for Notre Dame; I have it a tiny Scarlet Knights win.
Sources for stats: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb, http://www.teamrankings.com